So how’s everyone liking those official Bad Books, Good Times mugs? Well, there’s even better news! Apparently Spreadshirt must have lowered the cost of these things, so now all the mugs are about $3 cheaper! Keep in mind the deadline to order if you want any of these by Christmas is the 13th. [Ariel says: We’re also trying to figure out how easy it is to open a store on the UK version of the site and transfer over the designs. This is mostly because I want to order all the mugs and tote bags but the US to UK shipping prices are extortionate. And also we love our UK readers as well!]
In other, non-mug and non-BBGT topics, you might know if you read my personal blog that every so often I dabble in musical projects. I just covered one of my favorite albums – Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats – in its entirety on ukulele. It’s a concept album about two people in a mutually destructive marriage who start drinking themselves to death. Good times! You can read more about it on my other blog, stream it all on Soundcloud, and download it MediaFire.
The way the next three chapters are broken up, Ariel and I decided it makes most sense for me to just do one chapter of Walking Disaster this week, which puts us a little behind where we are in Beautiful Disaster, right before Travis’s threesome. Next week we get Travis’s side of the aftermath of the threesome. At no point do we even get the threesome itself, which might seemingly defeat the point of telling the story from Travis’s perspective, but I’m too relieved to particularly care. [Ariel says: With Walking/Beautiful Disaster and House of Night we’re trying to take a break from erotica, and this seems to be working out well.]
Chapter 9: Crushed
Abby and Travis sort of almost kissed before he got a call about a fight at the end of last chapter, so we pick up with Abby and America going to “freshen up” for the fight (…sure?) and Travis being angsty and sad over Abby moving out and being more interested in Parker than him. Seriously, so much of this book is Travis narrating about how sad he is about Abby, if we did the “which Friend are you most like” test on him, we couldn’t say the womanizing Joey. We would actually have to say Ross.
But back to the girls freshening up to go watch one man beat up another man. Remember how the first time Abby dressed up for a fight she was in cardigans and pearls because she was a Good Girl and these books were hilariously like if John Hughes wrote Fight Club? Well, we’re already at the point where I guess we’ve completely forgotten that that’s part of her character. [Ariel says: That person is never to be seen again for some reason.]
Abby rounded the hall corner in right jeans and a yellow top, her tits bouncing every time she moved.
Despite having gone from Sandy-at-the-beginning-of-Grease to Sandy-at-the-end-of-Grease less than a quarter of the way into this book, Travis isn’t pleased and tells her to change because she’s too distracting. We already critiqued this scene in Beautiful Disaster where Travis was making it out like “if you’re dressed like that gross men will stare at you”, but when we read the scene from Travis’s perspective in Walking Disaster, it’s actually because he’s worried he will stare at her during his fight! Bet you didn’t see that shocking other side of the story coming!
[Ariel says: I imagine this slow motion scene where a punch is flying at Travis, and he’s about to duck but then BOOBS. I guess at this point Zoey from House of Night would pop in and be like “TEE HEE BOOBS!”]
Abby changes and they depart. Travis takes Abby with him through the back entrance of the academic building where the fight takes place, because this is apparently the one college in America without security cameras. There’s a dumb scene where they have to climb through a window and Travis catches Abby and it’s probably supposed to be cute if you’re into novels about emotionally abusive relationships masquerading as romance.
“You fall like a girl,” I said
Travis tells Abby to stay by Adam where it’ll be safest because there’s supposed to be a big crowd because the opponent is from State where they have their own Circle, because apparently Travis fights people at a varsity level.
Abby admits to being nervous. Travis tries to assuage her concern.
“If it’ll make you feel better, I won’t let him touch me. I won’t even let him get one in for his fans.”
“How are you going to manage that?”
I shrugged. “I usually let them get one in – to make it look fair.” […]
“I find it hard to believe that you only get hit when you let them hit you.”
Because of course our main character is just so good at this that he only fails on purpose. But don’t worry! IT GETS STUPIDER.
“Would you like to make a wager on that, Abby Abernathy? […] If you win, I’ll go without sex for a month.” She raised an eyebrow. “But if I win, you have to stay with me for a month.”
Abby laughs like “uh, I have to stay with you anyway”, and Travis is like, “Nope! They fixed the heater in your building and we haven’t told you yet LOL so wanna platonically cuddle with me for a month? I have no ulterior motive for this.”
They make the bet, Travis goes out into the circle against an opponent “breathing hard and shaking like he’d just shot up with Red Bull and Mountain Dew”, which is coincidentally the exact same composition as Honey Boo Boo’s “go go juice”.
Travis ain’t got no time for this silly game and pleasing the crowd and stuff, so he dodges every punch his opponent sends at him and doesn’t hold back on his own punches.
I’d dodged punches from Trenton way faster than this bitch could throw.
I don’t know if any of you watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (don’t), but there’s a character on there who’s the stock quiet, tough guy field agent with a secret, troubled past, and his character gets pretty panned by critics who find him and the subtle hints about his brothers beating him up being why he’s such a capable fighter now boring and unoriginal. That’s basically how I feel about Travis.
[Ariel says: It’s also incredibly hard to see his brothers beating him up when he was younger as something actually serious and not just roughhousing because the brothers are all super close and love each other a lot. The way it’s presented to us at first seems to imply they’re horrible, malicious older brothers. He says things like “You wouldn’t want to be alone in a room with so-and-so.” Like if all you have to do is be alone in a room with a guy for him to start beating you up, that’s pretty dark.]
Travis lures his opponent to the center of the room where he accidentally punches a cement pillar, and then knocks Adam out, which doesn’t seem particularly sporting. The crowd is excited, but Travis only wants Abby.
Smiles turned to shock when I shoved people out of my way. “Get! The fuck! Back!” I yelled, pushing harder as panic came over me […] desperately searching for Abby in the darkness. “Pigeon!”
A man has just beaten the shit out of another man, and now he’s pushing through a sea of people screaming for a pigeon. I want you to really think about how terrifying that scene is.
He finds Abby, he makes a joke about how she’s going to need more clothes to move in, and Abby tries to understand why this is seriously the plot.
“Why on earth would you want me to stay with you, anyway?” she asked.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Everything’s better when you’re around.”
“But why do I have to sleep in your bed?” “NO PARTICULAR REASON.”
They weirdly actually act super couple-y, or at least very flirty. Travis carries her up the stairs to the apartment and lean on each other on the couch. [Ariel says: America notices this and points out how happy Travis seems. He attributes it to winning the fight, but America is far too clever for this!]
America grinned. “No, it’s something else,” she said, watching my hand as I patted Abby’s thigh.
America then totally changes gears by talking to Abby about Parker, which – in my book from Travis’s point of view – definitely looks like a ploy to get Travis to make a move. But Ariel brought up a good point yesterday: when we see the story from Abby’s point of view, America very much knows that Abby doesn’t want anything with Travis. Guess we really do have to read both halves of this story!
The scene plays out much like it did in Beautiful Disaster, with Shep getting pissy about Travis and Abby maybe getting together ruining his relationship with America somehow, and with Travis telling Abby not to fall asleep because he wanted to talk to her about “something”. From Travis’s point of view… he doesn’t totally know what he’s going to say. Guess we really don’t have to read both halves of this story.
He overhears Abby’s conversation with America about how she and Travis are just friends and how she doesn’t believe Travis is interested in her.
“It’ll never happen. He told me he doesn’t see me like that, anyway. Besides, he’s a total commitment-phobe, I’d be hard-pressed to find a girlfriend outside of you that he hasn’t slept with, and I can’t keep up with his mood swings.” […]
America sighed. “[…] I see you two together, and the only difference between me and Shep and you and Travis is that we’re having sex. Other than that? No difference.”
“There is a huge, huge difference. Is Shep bringing home different girls every night? Are you going to the party tomorrow to hang out with a guy with definite dating potential? You know I can’t get involved with Travis, Mare. I don’t even know why we’re discussing it.”
Travis reveals that he’s been overhearing the conversation and, hurting from hearing the truth and/or why Abby doesn’t like him, he leaves to go to the bar to do that very thing, because nobody in this book seems to be retaining information. [Ariel says: Wow it makes even less sense from this side of the story. I didn’t realize he’d overheard this much of the conversation. All the issues Abby has are easily addressed things. None of what she’s saying is actually a personal attack on him except the mood swings thing, but even he knows that’s true. He could be like, “Hey, I won’t bring home girls because we would actually be a couple. Hey, there’s actually no evidence I’m not willing to commit except I haven’t had feelings for any of those people. Hey, sorry I was a huge man-slut…maybe you can get past that? But as you know, his solution is to have a temper tantrum manifested as a threesome.] [Matthew adds: I know. The book could have actually ended right here. That’s the real tragedy.]