Forbid Them Not: The Eager Chatter and the Angry Jogger

Forbid Them Not: The Eager Chatter and the Angry Jogger October 12, 2018

Forbid Them Not, pp. 270-285

It is now June 20th. The book opened with Nora Stoddard staking out Laura’s Sunday school class on March 20th. The papers were served to Deanna on April 19th; Cooper met Laura that evening. The first hearing was April 29th, followed by the Depositions. Cooper told Peter that he was in love with Laura on May 19th; Laura got engaged on May 20th. The second hearing on May 23rd. Peter kissed Jody in New York City on May 27th, and the Today Show was June 2nd.

I’m going to try to speed through some relatively boring parts.

We all knew that the funding from Randall was toast after the New York Times called Peter to ask him about it, but we have to sit through a long phone conversation between Cooper and Randall’s lawyer telling him that anyway. At least, I do. I won’t make you sit through it. The only thing that confuses me is why Randall was so tight-lipped about everything to begin with.

“The New York Times reached Mr. Wasson’s brother at home. And his brother called and yelled at my client, demanding to know the truth. Mr. Wasson told him that he refused to answer the question unless his bother was willing to disclose what charities he supports with his own personal funds. But even so, the matter has erupted, and Mr. Wasson feels led to terminate the relationship. Too many other goals are jeopardized.”

This confuses me because rich right-wing donors aren’t usually so concerned about people finding out what causes they support. Why doesn’t Randall tell his brother that that’s his own business, and to go deal, and go on funding Cooper?

Regardless, Cooper next calls the Center for Constitutional Litigation and sets up a time for them to meet with his clients. I’m upset that we’re not given any reason for Cooper not calling Concerned Women for America, which was Peter’s initial suggestion. Why mention CWA at all only to drop it? Farris actually worked for CWA early on in his career. His name-dropping isn’t confusing. It’s his dropping of the organization afterwards that’s confusing.

Next Cooper calls Peter. He engages in some banter with Sally, Peter’s secretary who first invited him onto the chatroom he’s been frequently. Sally tells Cooper that she loves that in the chatroom, all that matters is what you say, not what you look—but when lets drop that he went on the chat room under the name Rocky, she says they already have a Rocky: “He’s twice divorced and keeps asking every woman if she is single.” What you say is not all that matters.

Cooper finally gets through to Peter, and lets him know that he has lost his funding. Peter is sorry about the situation, but does not bring up Concerned Women for America or any similar potential funding source. Instead, he suggests that Cooper finish the brief and argue the case before the Virginia Supreme Court using what funds he has, and then turn the case over to the Center for Constitutional Litigation for the appeal to the Supreme Court.

The question of the emails comes up, and I swear that this is all—literally all—that is said:

“Man, that’s too bad. Do you have any idea how the reporter found out?”

“None. Unless someone is reading my e-mail or tapping my phone.”

“Oh yeah, I talked to my friend, Aaron, the computer whiz. He said that there are a number of ways to intercept e-mails, and that you shouldn’t put anything truly sensitive through an account they know about.”

“Thanks. But I probably won’t be on the case much longer anyway.”

That’s literally it.

Nothing about trying to find out how to figure out who hacked his email, or even whether it’s possible to find out. This exchange is curious too, given that Cooper just told Randall’s lawyer that he didn’t send anything via email, and given that, at Randall’s bequest, Cooper never talked to Randall about the business on the phone (they met at his office before hours).

All I can think is that they’re both really, really tired. Or something. If this were an interesting book, they might be being slowly drugged or something, such that they’re forgetting things they’re supposed to check, or remember.

And that’s the end of the chapter. Really! I told you it had a lot of filler. I’m going to keep going anyway.

It is now June 21, and we’re going on the chatroom. At least, that’s what I assume. Peter is not on the chat, and nor is Sally, but we enter the chatroom with “You are entering Mars Hill” nevertheless. Cool. Exciting!

Contentlady: I don’t believe we should give up on our country just because of the current bunch in DC.
Sancty-fried: Are you saying that our government is bananas?
Firemomma: Courtesy laugh to Sancty. Ha.
Abba4JC: They may not be bananas but they are nuts if they think I am going along with this one.

I don’t buy that their language on the subject would be this … tame. I’d expect to hear more about the Antichrist, or about libtards. And maybe something about armed insurrection, and guns.

Angelic: Has something new happened in America? I am in Canada and I don’t hear everything that is going on.
Notreally: Our newly elected president has decided to eliminate tax deductions for more than three children in a family. So if you have a big family like me, you are toast.

Oh! Oh! This is interesting, because it’s so early 2000s!

Notreally: They think like China does. Too many kids. Have only one. It’s Thursday. Time to eat rice again.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a lot of concern on the Right about China’s one-child policy, and the potential that the Left might try something similar in the U.S. The irony is that its was conservatives, not liberals, who introduced the bills that came the closest to this. A 2012 Pennsylvania bill would have barred women from receiving TANF assistance if they had another child well already receiving assistance. (Conservatives draw a distinction between tax deductions and credits for people with large families, and welfare assistance for large families, but the two are not that dissimilar.)

Anyway, back to the chat. There is a whole lot of back and forth that consists primarily of chatroom members cracking jokes, and then laughing at each other’s jokes. Sally comes on and more hilarity ensues. Ultimately, she tells them about Cooper’s financial situation—which means either that she listened in on her boss’s call, or that he told her about it—and she tells them she has an idea. She suggests that they each send Peter a check for $25, and then email everyone in their “email directory” with a request that they do the same, and pass it on.

Because it’s predictable at this point, I’ll go ahead and let you know that this works, and that it fixes Cooper’s funding problem, and that no one ever circles back around to Concerned Women for America. In case you haven’t noticed, I hate loose ends! Don’t throw it out there and then completely forget it was ever a thing!

That is my summary of six straight pages of chat logs. Really. All they do is banter. And not in an interesting manner. Notreally tries to one-up everyone else by donating $27.50, and Sally says she’ll hold him to it, and then latter after they iron out the details Notreally says “we will send our $25” and Sally says “Notreally, you gotta send $27.50.” Ha! Ha! Ha!

Ok enough chat room. That’s the end of a second chapter and I still don’t feel like we have a lot of meat here. I mean really, what has happened in these chapters? Cooper got the call we all knew was coming from Randall’s lawyer. Cooper then called the secular lawyers to set up an appointment, and then Peter, who basically had nothing for him. I’m starting to think that call was just an excuse, to let Sally know he’s financially strapped, cue the chat room.

Whatever. I’m going to keep going. Onward and upward!

He couldn’t help but look back as he walked away from the parking area near the bike trail. That salesman was right. The paint on his GMC Jimmy really did seem to change color in direct sunlight, albeit early morning sunlight.

Or downward, I guess.

But how was he going to make the insurance payments? He had been so focus ed on the UN case that he had started turning down other clients. His uncle had warned him bout that, but the money seemed so certain.

Definitely downward.

Cooper is having a very moody run. He’s so upset by the knowledge that he’ll soon be off the case—and about “the lost cause with Laura”—that he’s having trouble concentrating on the brief he’s supposed to be writing. The Thomases and Garvises met with the lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Litigation, Farris lets us know, and while “neither Deanna or Jeanne wanted to switch attorneys,” they were swayed by their husbands, who “convinced them that the financial realities left them no choice.” No one, it seems, mentioned Concerned Women for America.

He thinks about jogging off the track to Laura’s elementary school, but then realizes that staring at an empty building (it’s summer) would make him feel “rather ridiculous,” so he doesn’t. Melancholy Cooper is melancholy.

But then! Then! Good news!

Well, sort of good news.

The Washington Times calls him on his cell. He pauses his jog to take the call, only to find that it’s his lucky break!

“We hear that you are stepping down from the UN case. I’m calling to verify that and ask why, if it is true.”

Cooper started to laugh incredulously. “Who told you that?”

“Well, I suppose I can tell you. He didn’t say it was confidential. Someone named Terry Pipkin. Is he connected with the case? He claimed to be on the inside somehow.”

“I see,” Cooper said, the blood running hot through his veins.

Yes! Yes! You have him now Cooper, you have him!

On second thought, maybe I should have stopped after the second chapter. I think this book is making me loopy.

Cooper doesn’t want to say anything to the Washington Times reporter, but promises her an exclusive when he has something to say. Then he hangs up.

“I’ll also give you the exclusive story on how I am going to beat the tar out of a creep named Terry Pipkin,” he promised, not into his cell phone but in the general direction of the cornfield.

Cool.

And I’m going to leave it there.

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