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Hane

"Ride, Sally, Ride" (or Sex Rules): A Masterwork by Doug Wilson

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Hane

@Marmion, I live in a blue town, but there’s a goddamn full-size Confederate flag hanging on a full-size flagpole in the front yard of a house a couple of streets away from me.
 

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Petronella
On 11/23/2020 at 3:59 AM, Hane said:

“Thelma…hadn’t told Isadora (yet) that her husband, Mia, was the acquisitions editor for the biggest publisher in Colorado.” Notice the “her husband, Mia.” Dougie wants you to be HORRIFIED by this little tidbit.

Hane, is it any clearer in the book itself what’s meant here? Is Mia a man with a feminine-seeming name? Or a woman who considers herself a husband? Or “both/and” rather than one gender? Just not sure exactly what Doug wants us to clutch pearls at.

On 11/24/2020 at 3:43 AM, Hane said:

Ace, for his part, was more than happy to have her present in the room, in that she was anything but an eyesore

This is, according to Hane, a direct quote from the book. I thought maybe Ace was glad to have her be part of the trial prep because he trusted her, because she’d have good ideas, because she’s a good friend. But no: it’s because she’s hot. Good grief.

On 11/24/2020 at 3:43 AM, Hane said:

She recounts the sad tale of how and why she left Stephanie’s father: “I was simply angry, bitter, frustrated, resentful, and more angry. I was simply doing *anything* I could think of that would hurt him

This is Stephanie’s mom’s account of leaving Stephanie’s blowhard dad. Sounds like a solid plan! It certainly reflects a reasonable reaction towards any Doug Wilson-type figure! Shame she seems to be sorry for it.

On 11/24/2020 at 3:43 AM, Hane said:

Evil Overweight Butch Lesbian had been Victoria’s therapist (of course)

Ugh, so now therapists can’t be trusted either. Doug must live in such constant fear: women, therapists, shelter volunteers, all manipulators and liars!! (And probably ugly and probably lesbians.)

On 11/24/2020 at 3:43 AM, Hane said:

Stephanie and her father had learned that Steven Sasani had been married before, in Arkansas, and was still legally married to one Patricia Sasani, age 48. Stephanie can find no trace of Patricia on line, but decides that Patricia may not still be in Arkansas. So she waits for Steven to leave his house and goes over to take a look around.

Peering into a basement window, she sees a woman who signals her for help. Could it be the very same Patricia?  Of course it is!

WTF???? They learn the sex-bot user actually used to be married, so instead of, like, looking up the address or phone number of where she lives now, their first assumption is that she’s being held prisoner in his basement? And they’re RIGHT????

On 11/24/2020 at 3:43 AM, Hane said:

Trish wants to go directly to the cops, but Jon wants to spring her on the prosecution as a surprise witness,

And then instead of doing what’s good for the victim they decide to use her as a gotcha witness at the trial?????????? WTAF???

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Ozlsn
8 hours ago, Petronella said:

then instead of doing what’s good for the victim

Why would that be a consideration?  How would it benefit Ace, the only Important character? 

Also not sure that "the person I stole from and destroyed the property of is a terrible human being" is actually pertinent to the defence in any way. I mean "I stole his car and trashed it, but he's a drug dealer" - so what? You stole the car.  This lawyer sucks.

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THERetroGamerNY
On 11/21/2020 at 6:38 PM, Hane said:

Dougie constantly tosses in descriptions of the filthy, decaying infrastructure of the roads, public buildings, and parking lots of dystopian Colorado. I guess he is implying that every square inch of the red states is a pristine paradise by comparison. Also, Bad Guys always drive things like Japanese and/or energy-efficient cars.

This is just such a random thing to me, that part of the issue this damned story has is with road infrastructure. lol

This Fundie jackass likely thinks “intersectionality” has to do with Interstate maintenance or some shit.

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CyborgKin

Oh good, 2020 was only missing a thread title combining 'Doug Wilson' and 'sex'.  Now it's complete.  *vomit*

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Petronella
10 hours ago, THERetroGamerNY said:

This is just such a random thing to me, that part of the issue this damned story has is with road infrastructure. lol

Oh I don’t think it’s random at all. He seems to genuinely believe (or at least be preaching) that Christianity is not just the correct religion, but in fact the only correct societal underpinning in literally ALL ways. EVERYTHING would be solved if we were all conservative Christians of his very specific type. Yes, even the highways! And lacking Christianity leads to ruin. Not just moral ruin; literal, physical ruin.

Far from random, I think this is foundational to their belief system.

It’s very Prosperity Gospel.

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Ozlsn
5 minutes ago, Petronella said:

EVERYTHING would be solved if we were all conservative Christians of his very specific type. Yes, even the highways! And lacking Christianity leads to ruin. Not just moral ruin; literal, physical ruin.

He's never been to Dubai or Singapore or any of the other non-Christian places with decent infrastructure, has he.  Or even the Wrong Type Of Christian places with decent infrastructure, e.g. most of western Europe. Or the nominally Wrong Type Of Christian But Kind Of Secular places like Australia, NZ and Canada...

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Dana723

I was thinking about this book and I'll be honest with you - the kernel idea is actually an interesting one.  A book regarding when destroying AI would be considered murder would be something that would interest me.  Even better, a book regarding AI as a sex robot paralleled with human prostitutes doing sex work could be amazing.  But it would take a far better writer to pull it off.  

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CyborgKin
On 11/7/2020 at 2:28 AM, Black Aliss said:

Ronny is a malevolent scumbag. Other PACE characters make the occasional mistake (like choosing to read a book instead of pray), but Ronny's every action is either stupid or simply unprovoked, intentional evil. Ronny is a thief....

He mocks a small child for crying....

Later, Ronny crashes his motorcycle, paralyzing one of the other characters in the accident. Following this, Ronny mocks the other character for needing a wheelchair. 

I remember that!

 

On 11/6/2020 at 2:51 AM, THERetroGamerNY said:

I can’t explain why, but the idea that this book is “Blade Runner for Fundies” will NOT leave my brain.

I wish we could be actually reading that book.  Or maybe watching 'Westworld for Fundies' :P

Well actually I think Westworld with Fundies would be better.  "Have you questioned the nature of your reality?"

 

Anyhow I think the real robots in this story are DW's internal stereotypes of liberals.  He seems to think there's real people who have the actual continual exclusive thought process "beep boop, abortion and porn for everyone, bzzzzzz must exterminate marriage and the church, boop beep believe all women unconditionally" etc.

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Petronella
19 hours ago, CyborgKin said:

Anyhow I think the real robots in this story are DW's internal stereotypes of liberals.  He seems to think there's real people who have the actual continual exclusive thought process "beep boop, abortion and porn for everyone, bzzzzzz must exterminate marriage and the church, boop beep believe all women unconditionally" etc.

BRILLIANT

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Ozlsn
On 11/29/2020 at 4:19 AM, Dana723 said:

A book regarding when destroying AI would be considered murder would be something that would interest me. 

Agreed - the reboot of Battlestar Galactica went a bit in that direction (also in the "what actually makes us human?" direction) which was interesting.

23 hours ago, CyborgKin said:

Anyhow I think the real robots in this story are DW's internal stereotypes of liberals.  He seems to think there's real people who have the actual continual exclusive thought process "beep boop, abortion and porn for everyone, bzzzzzz must exterminate marriage and the church, boop beep believe all women unconditionally" etc.

Black and white thinking doesn't really accept that pretty much all people have shades of grey. I mean, he can't even discuss that his (anti) heroes are acting directly against their alleged moral values by lying etc. There's no recognition even that their actions could be seen as utter hypocrisy, or justification of the behaviour with acknowledgement that it is inconsistent - even a "in the face of tyranny etc" acknowledgment would be something.

Stephanie's blatant lie though is... not really justifiable under either her or Doug's alleged moral code - lying for a gotcha! moment is just being an arsehole. Which is consistent with Doug's actual moral code I suppose.

23 hours ago, CyborgKin said:

Well actually I think Westworld with Fundies would be better.  "Have you questioned the nature of your reality?"

I would watch that. Especially if we could do it as a Truman Show kind of desert island crossover.

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Hane

Ride, Sally, Ride—Chapter Eleven: Hindu God of War

Full Height

Benson draws himself up to his full height and tells Roberta that, because Ace is refusing to do the right thing and admit his guilt in the “murder” of Sally the sex doll, they should accept an interview with the press to do some damage control on Ace’s behalf.

Roberta, despite her years of training in womanly submission, says, “No.” (Because it’s just hunky-dory for a Good Christian Wife to say “no” to her husband if he isn’t following The Rules of Dougie.) She tells Benson that they have been wronging Ace, and she is repenting of her “folly, laziness, and cowardice” and says she’s going to call her “actually godly son” Ace to meet him for coffee. She accuses Benson of hypocrisy, having seen sketchy info on his computer (apparently she was a computer tech when she met him, and knows the limits of “clear history”). Because anyone who doesn’t agree with Dougie is sexually perverted and a hypocrite. Benson tells her to go, if that’s what she wants to do.

Hindu God of War

Benson is livid that Roberta has accused him of moral compromise. He starts typing her an angry letter, then remembers something Ace had said about the possibility of their pastor “baptizing a sexbot.” Suddenly Benson gets an email from the pastor, with the subject line “Position Paper on Baptizing ‘Alternative’ Members Thoughts?”

Wow! Yet another evil that Ace had predicted (along with EBT cards in brothels and the legalization of brother-sister unions)! Benson goes into the kitchen for a glass of water. He slips and falls flat on his back, cracking his head on the floor, and the glass in his hand bounces off his forehead. After lying unconscious for a few minutes, he comes to with the realization that Ace has been right all along! He looks in the mirror and sees that the circular welt on his forehead makes him look like a “Hindu god of war.”

He deletes the draft of his angry letter and decides to talk with Ace and Roberta to find out what she really thinks.

The Almost Name

At the coffee shop, Roberta apologizes profusely to Ace for having allowed Benson to throw him out of the house, and for not having stood up for him during his rough patch in high school. Benson calls, says he’ll meet them at home, and says that the pastor has called a special meeting of the church leadership.

Roberta says that Benson had wanted to name Ace Phinehas, but she didn’t want to, and never told him why, because she “was afraid of what might happen. But it happened anyway.” (As I believe I mentioned earlier, Phinehas was an Old Testament figure who was displeased with sexual immorality—particularly in cases where Israelites intermarried with Moabites and Midianites and worshiped their god—and had murdered an Israelite man and a Midianite woman who were in the act of intercourse. Quite the exemplary character.)

Excitement on the Session

At the church leadership session, the pastor offers a short devotional, which Benson recognizes as coming from “a popular website for busy pastors.” The reason for the meeting: A church member “was requesting a special form of membership for his android partner, and according to the by-laws, *any* kind of membership required baptism, and because it was a sex doll, that meant a special form of baptism. And *that* meant a Greek word study of baptism!”

An older traditionalist announces his resignation from the session. (By “session,” Dougie apparently means leadership council.) And Benson decides to join him.     

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CyborgKin

Dougie seems to get more narratively incoherent with every chapter.

 

Also there's a new BSG thing in the works.  It's very unclear and confusing how it relates to the previous show.

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Ozlsn
5 hours ago, CyborgKin said:

Dougie seems to get more narratively incoherent with every chapter.

 

Also there's a new BSG thing in the works.  It's very unclear and confusing how it relates to the previous show.

The difficulty of wanting to post two reactions simultaneously! I agree is about Doug, thank you about BSG. 

6 hours ago, Hane said:

according to the by-laws, *any* kind of membership required baptism, and because it was a sex doll, that meant a special form of baptism. And *that* meant a Greek word study of baptism!”

That is the weirdest thought train. But hey, why not study the Greek word instead of actually discussing the issue.

6 hours ago, Hane said:

At the coffee shop, Roberta apologizes profusely to Ace for having allowed Benson to throw him out of the house, and for not having stood up for him during his rough patch in high school.

That'd be the one when he was accused of sexual assault then? Or are they not getting specific here. 

6 hours ago, Hane said:

He slips and falls flat on his back, cracking his head on the floor, and the glass in his hand bounces off his forehead. After lying unconscious for a few minutes, he comes to with the realization that Ace has been right all along!

Does Doug realise that he's admitted that having an acquired brain injury may be a prerequisite for believing this dreck? 

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Hane

@Dana723, @CyborgKin, @Ozlsn—re AI/androids: Have you seen the British series “Humans” (which was cancelled after three years, dammit)? Lots of good content about what constitutes self-awareness and being human.

@Ozlsn, Dougie is pretty vague about what went on during Ace’s “rough patch” in high school. There was something about not respecting his father (later justified, because Benson was such a wishy-washy so-and-so!), flirting with atheism in order *not* to be like his father, and a “temper” that almost got him expelled, despite the lax disciplinary standards of his private Christian high school. The sexual encounter with Camila ended all that—nearly prostrate with guilt and grief, Ace became not only a Christian, but The Right Kind.

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Columbia
11 hours ago, Hane said:

a “temper” that almost got him expelled

Interesting choice of personal sins. The Calvinist theology bros are not generally the type to view anger as anything other than a manly expression of masculinity. 

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Petronella
9 hours ago, Columbia said:

Interesting choice of personal sins. The Calvinist theology bros are not generally the type to view anger as anything other than a manly expression of masculinity. 

Thus making it an acceptable sin for the protagonist to have! Kind of like romance novels where the heroine's relatable flaw is "too thin" or "too busty" or "her lips are too full." *eyeroll*

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The Mother Dust
On 12/1/2020 at 11:00 PM, Columbia said:

Interesting choice of personal sins. The Calvinist theology bros are not generally the type to view anger as anything other than a manly expression of masculinity. 

I was on a Lord of the Rings youtube clip rabbit hole (i just need to rewatch the movies already) when I happened on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv_KAnY5XNQ.  Aragorn vs. Toxic Masculinity. Oh my gosh, it's so good.  One of the hosts points out that the only acceptable emotions these "toxic" guys are allowed is lust and anger, right about what you just said @Columbia.   

 

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CyborgKin

@Hane yep, another show that was snatched away too soon :(  Humans also introduced me to Gemma Chan and Letitia Wright, both of whom subsequently appeared in Marvel movies.  At least it got a third season, where The Sarah Connor Chronicles only got two and Caprica only got one.  Caprica brings us back around to BSG, though I've read that it was originally pitched as a show about the effect of AI tech on a family and it was later moulded into the BSG prequel it became to get more audience.  Though not enough.

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Hane

Ride, Sally, Ride—Chapter Twelve:  Gonzo Law

Hi, FJers! I’m finally back because I’ve gotten the stomach to attempt the rest of this gawdawful screed. We’re now 70% down, 30% to go. This one is a VERY long chapter.

Suggestion

Let me stop for a sec to gag over the way Stephanie and her father interact. There’s almost a kind of flirtation going on between them. Here he calls her “sugar,” and the reason for my gagging will become obvious when (spoiler alert!) he is reunited with his wife and we see his prized pet name for *her.*

Stephanie tells Jon, “This is not a cultural system that honors the rule of law anymore. They honor the *appearance* of the rule of law…But the world underneath that thin veneer is a world gone mad. And that means you need to give them change in their own currency….and practice a little gonzo law.” By this, she means he should insist that a third of the jury be made up of sex androids (because out of Ace, Steven, and Sally, a third of them are sex androids), ensuring a hung jury.

Jury of Peers

In court, Jon asks the judge to allow him four sexbot jury members. Connor, the prosecutor, realizes he’s shot himself in the foot by admitting that the bots can be programmed to vote either for or against a verdict. Jon uses that reasoning to throw out any verdict given by bots because of obvious jury tampering as a result of their programming. The judge rules against Jon’s request.

Here Goes

The next day in court, Jon refers to Sally the sexbot as Steve’s concubine, pointing out the fact that Steve and Sally aren’t legally married, because he is still legally married to Trish, and polygamy isn’t legal in either Arkansas or Colorado (yet). He refers to Sally as a concubine, or “slave wife,” because Steve bought her for $3000.

Isadora Flames Out

Connor calls Isadora, the young woman accusing Ace of sexual assault, to the stand. Thelma, her counselor, had advised her to “go big or go home”—that is, fabricate more damning evidence against Ace—and to claim she’d been counseled by a therapist who helped victims of molestation and had conveniently died the year before. Isadora goes into detail about all the things Ace had supposedly done to her. Jon points out that, during the year she and Ace attended the same school, he was enrolled in an honors program at a different campus forty minutes away and he wouldn’t have been able to cross paths with her.

Moby

Dave Moby, Ace’s former boss at the recycling plant, has had a change of heart and now will be testifying on Ace’s behalf. As she dries dishes, his wife tells him, “I have been praying ever since the prosecutor first told you that you were on the witness list….I need a *husband,* not a coward. If you went along with this evil, I would…be losing a husband,” and tells him to man up if he wants “to get past third base tonight.” *shudder*groan*

In court, Dave waxes ecstatic about Ace’s qualities as a “fine young man.” Connor goes batshit because he had expected Dave to be a witness *against* Ace. Dave explains how the video footage (there’s no audio) seems to show him angrily expelling Ace, when in fact he was wishing him well. Dave points out that he’s probably be fired for his testimony, but that he’s doing the right thing.

Conversion

Stephanie is sworn in on the Koran, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and the Jefferson Bible—horrors!—and recalls that Ace had told her that women don’t have as precise a sixth sense about men as they think they do. (So there!) She’s uncertain how to factor in the fact that Connor is a “flamer.” (God help us.) He asks her whether she’s a Christian, and she says she is. When he asked her how long she’s been a Christian, she replies, “I have not been baptized yet but, taking one thing with another, I would estimate that I have been a Christian for about two minutes. Your question just pushed me off the fence.” Her eyes and Ace’s meet, and she feels warm all over. She explains, “I realized that, as much as I disliked all the people who are trying to get Ace, if I didn’t come to Christ, I had more in common with them than I did with Ace and the other real Christians I have met.”  Yep—the old us-vs.-them.

During the recess, Jon texts his pastor, a former Navy SEAL, to come over and baptize Stephanie that evening. Time is of the essence because shizz is getting REAL, people!

When she returns to the stand, Connor asks her why she accused slimeball lawyer Dwight of raping her. There follow three solid pages of her verbal gymnastics about what exactly facts and arguments really mean. (Reminds me of the infamous “That depends on what ‘is’ is.”) Connor and the judge are FLUMMOXED, folks!

Baptism

The pastor, Jon, Stephanie, Ace, and the pastor’s wife and daughter gather at Jon’s house, where Stephanie is baptized. Then Ace steps up the Jon and asks, “May I kiss your daughter?” This nauseating question nearly caused me to hurl my poor innocent iPhone at the wall, destroying both. Jon consents. Ace tells her, “May I be the first to congratulate you?” and bends her over and kisses her full on the mouth. Crap—I haven’t seen that done at weddings, let alone baptisms! Now Ace and Stephanie are officially boyfriend and girlfriend.

Ace admits that the pastor has removed one of his “central temptations”: that is, his desire to kiss a non-Christian. But now Stephanie is a Christian, and fair game—for kissing, at least.

Will You Be…?

The next day at the courthouse, Ace decides to go all gonzo and asks Stephanie to apply for a marriage license with him. Because there is no “preprinted husband/wife stuff” on the applications, they decide to fill in the terms “concubine” and “suzerain.” That way, they’ll have a legal document with the word “concubine” on it, allowing Sally to have qualified as one.

Then Stephanie laughs and says—get a load of this crapola, dudettes—“And if they say no to *concubine* in their bigoted ways, then I will ask for another one, and write in ‘dusky Nubian slave.’” She argues that she’d be “identifying” as a slave, Nubian, and dusky. (Oh I swear to almighty God I am in danger of smashing my favorite mug on the floor.) The clerk at the marriage license office refuses to issue their license, but they capture video footage of the exchange on Stephanie’s phone.

Trish Takes the Stand

Trish Sasani is called to the stand, and Connor is *shocked* at her presence and very existence, because he is very, very stupid. She testifies that she and Steve, early in their marriage, had been into a lot of kinky stuff, but she got tired of it, and Steve became mean and abusive, locking her in a basement bedroom with an attached bathroom and occasionally visiting her to do “degraded” things in front of her with Sally. He drugged her and moved with her from Arkansas to Colorado, where he similarly imprisoned her in the new house. During her imprisonment, memories of her childhood Christian school comforted her. She points out that in Colorado, anyone wanting to take more wives needs the consent of the prior wife—consent she never gave. She mentions that Sally was Steve’s fourth sex android, and that he introduced each of them to her as his “wife.” After a while, Steve would deem each droid “rebellious” and destroy it—one of them at the recycling plant.

Messing with the Jury

The judge (who has been pressured into an eventual verdict against Ace) sends a paid thug into the jury room to threaten the jurors into delivering a unanimous “guilty” verdict. The jurors absorb this in horror.   

Only 14% more of this shizz to go!

 

Edited by Hane

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Hane

Ride, Sally, Ride—Chapter Thirteen: Extraction and Aftermath

Invitation

The governor of Wyoming is swooping into rescue Our Plucky Heroes!  He learned that there’s a judicial fix in against Godly Young Ace, and he’s arranged to have his intelligence operatives send a helicopter to fly Ace, Jon, Trish, and Stephanie to safety.

Helicopter Ex Machina

Jon selflessly decides that his place on the helicopter (which holds only four passengers) should be taken by Vickie, his wife, and that he’ll book out of Colorado on his own later. Stephanie goes to her mother’s office, picks her up, and the fugitives from Utter Moral Decay hurry to the courthouse roof, where the chopper will come for them. Jon and Vickie express gushing forgiveness to each other, and he asks to take her out to dinner in Laramie in a couple of weeks. He kisses the top of her head and calls her “sport,” which reduces her to a quivering orgasmic heap.

In the helicopter, an explosives expert takes a look at Ace’s ankle monitor.  Note:  This ankle monitor has never been mentioned anywhere else in the book. The explosives guy inserts Ace’s right leg and foot into a steel box designed to remove the bracelet. Tense excitement alert: He says that the gizmo can be one of two kinds of ankle monitors: one that will go off like a siren and one kind that will blow your foot off if you leave downtown Denver! Of course, Explosives Expert gets the gadget off and safely stowed away in five minutes. Dammit.

The War Was Brief

Back in Denver, Jon manages to get away to Wyoming unseen because the Evil Governor of Colorado assumes he’s absconded on the helicopter. Six months prior, Jon had sold his house and converted all his money into cryptocurrency. (Dougie hadn’t bothered to mention any of this earlier.)

Ace is declared guilty in absentia. The “heartland” states are angry that Ace’s trial had taken place, and the blue states are angry that Wyoming refused to follow the “rule of law” and is letting Ace walk around free. California, Oregon, Washington, and other blue states secede from the union in rapid succession. Crooked gay prosecutor Connor moves to California and lives out his life in obscurity. The red states seize Colorado. The new governor of Colorado gives Righteous Dave Moby a full pardon and a seat on his cabinet. Steve Sasani goes to California, becomes a minor celebrity for a while, then slides into abject poverty. Alberta secedes from Canada and applies for statehood. (True fact: Friends of mine in Alberta told me that this idea, lamentably, isn’t as ludicrous as they hoped.) The heartland states easily capture Oregon and Washington because of all the inept pacifists there, seizing their ports, and then put Denver, Portland, and Chicago under martial law to “detoxify” them.  Because obvs only Manly Men Red Staters are capable of Running Things Right.

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Hane

Ride, Sally, Ride, THE END—Chapter Fourteen: Honeymoon Adventures

Quite the Wedding

With moral support and prayers from Stephanie, Vickie heads out for her dinner date with Jon. She is described, out of the blue, as a tall, voluptuous, volatile “pistol,” and Jon inwardly expresses regret at having acted impassively around her prior to their separation. They happily go into the restaurant together.  They “confess their sins to each other,” and he asks her to marry him again. She promises to be a “dutiful wife” this time, and he promises to be a “decent human being.” They still have their wedding rings, so they decide to go to the courthouse to remarry, with Stephanie and Ace as witnesses.

Ace’s money (what money? He’s a twenty-year-old college kid who worked in a recycling plant) was left in Colorado, but generous “free state” people come forward to lend him funds until the banks in Colorado are open for business again. He gets Jon’s blessing to propose to Stephanie (*gag*).  Let me point out that Ace is twenty years old, and Stephanie is about the same or a bit younger.

The four of them go out to dinner together (where there is more nonsense about Ace graciously pulling out Stephanie’s chair and how she likes it now), and whom should they meet but Lionel and Sara? Lionel is acting properly rugged and masculine, not all lispy and limp-wristed the way he had been before. He tells Stephanie he has been a spy for the Nebraska Secret Service all along. In the scuffle at the Denver courthouse, he had been trying to save Stephanie, but someone had knocked him down before he could. Because of the infamous Pussy Tape, the Nebraska Secret Service retired him and launched a campaign to rehabilitate his image. Once he is no longer the “internationally recognized p-word,” he intends to propose to Sara. He also says that the money Connor paid him for Stephanie and Jon’s fake personal information will be going to pay for both weddings.

A Cast of Thousands suddenly expects to attend Ace and Stephanie’s wedding—including the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Jon books a cathedral for the ceremony.

Ace’s parents, Benson and Roberta, arrive. Benson grovelingly apologizes to Ace for sinning against him, and admits being envious of him. (Oh, FFS.)

Re the wedding: “Stephanie…had an almost pathological fear of people thinking that she had always carried around a secret desire to be a princess. The reverse was actually the case, and she was beginning to suspect that perhaps the Lord was thinking that being a princess for a day might do her some spiritual good….[Ace] was obviously a prince among men, and if she were to marry him, what did that make *her*?” Pass the Emetrol.

She walks down the aisle on Jon’s arm. When the officiant asks, “Who gives this woman to marry this man?” Jon responds, “Her *mother* and I,” and Stephanie gets even giddier.

OK, friends—is there any more of that Emetrol left? Because we’re gonna need it, stat: “[Stephanie] let go of her father’s arm, and in a deep fluid motion, she curtsied to Ace….In return, he solemnly [spontaneously] bowed….She had been practicing in her bedroom for weeks.” A Time magazine cameraman got a pic of this and it wound up on the magazine’s front cover, over a heading that said “The Curtsy.” “And so it was, over the years that followed, the curtsy and bow became an essential part of wedding ceremonies. But not in California.”

A Bit of Excitement

Ryker, the guy who had tried and failed to assassinate Ace earlier in the story, decides to try again. (There is a lengthy description of a prior failed assassination attempt in which he had tried to bump off a pastor—who coincidentally would marry Ace and Stephanie later—who was preaching about Leviticus. Ryker failed because, as he was about to shoot, a five-year-old accidentally dropped a psalter from the church balcony and it hit him on the head. The bullet missed the preacher, who languidly said, “Those guys are so gay they won’t even shoot straight” har har har. In the commotion, Ryker slipped away.)

Ryker finds the motel where Ace and Stephanie are spending the beginning of their honeymoon. He sees them at breakfast. Stephanie hurries back to her room to get something, and Ryker takes advantage of the empty room to point his pistol at the back of Ace’s head. Stephanie miraculously reappears, carrying a hardshell travel case, and instinctively hurls it at Ryker’s head. Ryker falls, shooting himself in the leg. Ryker ends up in the slammer for life.

Headed Home

At the end of their honeymoon, Ace and Stephanie decide to move to Idaho, where each of them has been offered a full-ride scholarship to New Saint Andrews College (aka House o’ Dougie). As they bask in the natural beauty of Banff, Stephanie apologizes for having, back during their Deep Conversation in the coffee shop an eon ago, attributed Ace’s “gentlemanliness” to a lack of testosterone. She continues, “I do believe it is statistically improbable and biologically impossible for me *not* to be pregnant.” (They have been married two weeks.)  Ace opens the car door for her, then closes it.  Because that’s how Dougie signals the virtues of conservative Presbyterian patriarchy, the cornerstone of modern civilization.

*FIN*

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Xan

@Hane -- there ought to be some sort of award to give you for slogging through this mess.  It just got worse the farther in we got.  I honestly don't believe many of his fan boys actually finished the book.  I bet they liked the premise and just jumped on board in the reviews because... holy shit.  This book is terrible.  

The curtsy part almost did me in.  It reminded me of the Gwen Shamblin/Joe Lara wedding.  I think the fundies all secretly believe that weddings ought to be something out of a Disney princess movie.  

My only surprise was that Dougie allowed Stephanie to also get a scholarship to college.  Of course, the pregnancy thing will probably complicate her finishing her education so that's how he might have justified it to himself.  After all, she's a woman.  

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Hane

@Xan, I didn’t bother mentioning how the character Vickie’s father cheered and her mother scowled when she dropped out of college after three and a half years and a 4.0 GPA because she found it “boring.” WTAF?

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Botkinetti

The whole book is like a long fever dream. Nobody acts in a recognizably human way and Doug is a lousy writer. 

@Hane thank you for slogging through this mess. I’m almost sorry the book is done because I enjoy your recaps so much.

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