Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Notes to Things I Learned from Donald E. Westlake . . .

* And then there's this, which would fall into the category of Things I Would Have Suspected Had I Bothered to Think About Them, but Good God, Why Would I Ever Have Put Myself Through That?

On arriving in Vegas for his heist, Dortmunder is pegged as a crook of some sort by a cabbie, a hotel clerk, a waitress, and two security guards, all within approximately an hour after touchdown. They all politely suggest he ply his trade elsewhere--except the guards, who intimate something similar by silently flanking him as he circles the casino's Battle-Lake (where faux pirate ships wage daily battles). So his long-time associate Andy Kelp takes him clothes shopping, outfitting him in the baggy shorts and grotesquely printed shirts that signify American leisure. Dortmunder, as is his wont, is not pleased:
"I don't know about this," Dortmunder said. "I don't know about those knees, to begin with."

"You brought those knees in with you, John," Kelp reminded him. "Look at the clothes."

It was very hard to look at the clothes, with those knees glowering back at him from the discount-store mirror like sullen twin hobos pulled in on a bum rap.
Now that's a simile!

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