Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Of Course"

"Of Course"
from The Lottery and Other Stories, by Shirley Jackson

Oh, hey, look!  It's James Harris, again! (Or rather, it's Mrs. Harris, telling us about her husband.)

Item #1:
"'Mr. Harris,' Mrs. Harris said carefully, 'feels that movies are intellectually retarding.  We do not go to movies.'"

Item #2:
"'Mr. Harris cannot bear the radio,' Mrs. Harris said. 'We do not own one, of course.'  'Of course,' Mrs. Tylor said. 'No radio.'"

Item #3:
"'Mr. Harris just feels that the newspapers are a mass degradation of taste.  You really never need to read a newspaper, you know.'"  --and--  "'Three times they deliberately left their New York Times on our doorstep.  Once James [their son] nearly go into it.'"  (Ha ha ha!  Well... These days, I mightn't want my innocent young child sullied by contact with the New York Times, either!)

There's not much to say.  I found it amusing, and I didn't blame Mrs. Tylor for planning to sneak out to the movies so she wouldn't be around when Mrs. Harris came back in the afternoon-- but she's going to have to deal with the Harris family, eventually.  Clearly, a confrontation will be inevitable, once Mr. Harris moves in.  (Such a coincidence that all their previous neighbors have been so awful, isn't it?)