“What’s the point,” Brigid asked, “of ordering ‘loaded potato skins’ and then leaving the skins?”
“I don’t want the skins,” Greg replied. “All I really want is the cheese and bacon. What about it?”
“That means you’re just eating the load,” she said. Alex, sitting in the corner, suppressed a snort.
“Fine, I’m just eating the load then,” said Greg. “If I want to eat a load now and again, that’s my own business.”
“I guess that’s true enough,” Brigid replied.
“So what did you think of the show?” Alex asked, sipping at a ‘grasshopper’. “I thought the guy playing the detective was great.”
“Yeah, he was pretty good,” Brigid said. “Although they telegraphed the ending too much. It’s supposed to be this huge surprise, but it was like, he’s the only one left!”
“Well, it’s better than The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” said Greg. “The solution to that one is just plain cheating, in my opinion.”
“I liked The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” Alex said. “I don’t think it was cheating at all!”
“Of course it was!” Greg said, nearly flinging a potato skin across the room in a gesture of outrage. “How is the reader supposed to have a chance at figuring out the mystery when the bloody narrator is lying to you?”
“He didn’t lie exactly,” said Alex.
“Well, it’s a lie of omission, if nothing else. And it really irritated me! Agatha Christie is supposed to be this great mystery writer, but in Roger Ackroyd she resorts to base trickery. It’s hardly an impressive feat to fool the readers when you haven’t given them all the information! It’s like saying, ‘Pick a number between 1 and 20,’ and then acting like you’re terribly clever because the answer is really ‘Thursday’.”
“Okay, okay, forget I said anything.”
“I nearly threw the book across the room when I read the ending of that one,” Greg said. “Really, it was unworthy of her.”
Brigid, with the air of someone who’d decided enough was enough, leaned over and peered at him. “Greg,” she said.
“Shut up and eat your load.”
Greg opened his mouth to reply, but apparently unable to come up with a suitable response, hunkered over his plate. “Yes ma’am,” he said contritely, and picked off some more cheese.
Dedicated to graveyardgreg.
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