[percy-l] "Lost Chapter" of Confederacy of Dunces acted out in court

Charles Lowry lowry.charles at gmail.com
Tue May 5 09:22:59 EDT 2009

> Toole's world has evaporated?

About two years ago, I had an Ignatius J. Reilly moment in New Orleans.  I
was in One Shell Square, the large, white office building on Poydras Street
between Carondelet and St. Charles.  About two floors below me, two soldiers
from God's lost battalion, obviously a mother and son, entered the
elevator.  She was of ordinary structure and appearance, dully dressed,
perplexed and confused by life and only moderately protected by the plainest
of brown coats.  He was large, to the point of hulking, oddly dressed in
striped dress pants, obviously the bottom half of a forty-year-old suit.
The ensemble was completed by a bright green tee shirt, a red plaid hunter's
coat and white dress shoes.  The story quickly became clear: she worked in
one of the law firms or energy companies populating the tower.  She did not
feel well and called him to come to her place of work to make sure that she
got home safely.  In the elevator he berated her, savagely and publicly, for
interrupting the scholarly productivity of his afternoon and for squandering
their scant resources on bottled water when surely there were free water
fountains all throughout her office.  He accused her of confecting a
fainting spell only to avoid cooking his supper.  Momentarily, I expected,
Big Chief tablets would begin to fall from the son's pockets as he railed
about the disappearance from society of a proper appreciation of geometry
and theology.  I was disappointed in that expectation but nevertheless
mentally calculated the distance from Poydras Street to Constantinople

Chuck Lowry
Brooklyn, New York
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