Large Technical Lumps, Preparation

I have two items for today’s write-up of Stephen King’s The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition:

1. On page 65, Stu Redman is in a government hospital, and he doesn’t know why he is there.  He thinks: “They had certain ways of keeping things from you in hospitals.  Four years ago his wife had died of cancer at the age of twenty-seven, it had started in her womb and then just raced up through her like wildfire, and Stu had observed the way they got around her questions, either by changing the subject or giving her information in large, technical lumps.”

I’ve never felt that people gave me “large, technical lumps” to conceal information from me, but I have had my share of being served “large, technical lumps”—not so much by doctors or nurses, but by others.  I especially hate when I hear one of these lumps, I ask a question, and the person serving me the lump has the audacity to say, “I already told you the answer to that”.  Yeah, but it’s hidden somewhere in that large technical lump!

2.  On page 78, Nick Andros is in a jail because he was picked up when he was unconscious due to people who beat him up and robbed him.  The Sheriff tells Nick (in the book, and also in the miniseries): “When I was a boy we caught ourselves a mountain lion up in the hills and shot it and then drug it twenty miles back to town over dirt hardpan.  What was left of that creature when we got home was the sorriest-lookin sight I ever saw.  You the second-sorriest, boy.”

The narrator then says: “Nick thought it had the feel of a prepared speech, carefully honed and treasured, saved for out-of-towners and vags that occupied the barred Saline boxes from time to time.”

Some people in the world have a naturally quick wit: they can say just the right things in a timely manner.  Others of us struggle to come up with things to say, or we may take some time to formulate what we want to express in our minds before it exits our lips.  And many are somewhere in between those two extremes.  For those who struggle in some way in this area, it may be a good idea to prepare or rehearse what we want to say, or to borrow zingers that we have heard from others.  That is something that a therapist recommended to me a while back.  Sometimes, that has worked.  Sometimes, it hasn’t, since people may not think what I’m saying is all-that-funny.  But my therapist also said that there’s no guarantee that social skills will always work, but there’s a chance that they might.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Social Skills, Stephen King. Bookmark the permalink.