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

RHONDA MCDONNELL rhonda_mcdonnell at msn.com
Wed May 6 01:53:14 EDT 2009

Surely this is fiction, Chuck.  Great for a laugh during my May malaise.


"You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing."
                                    Walker Percy


Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 09:22:59 -0400
From: lowry.charles at gmail.com
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [percy-l] "Lost Chapter" of Confederacy of Dunces acted out in court

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 Street.
Chuck Lowry
Brooklyn, New York
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