Saturday, April 20, 2013

Plastic Owl

Just like old Samuel Johnson himself, Portis waits until the book is almost over to spring his owl on me: "Louise said a plastic owl would have frightened the snake away. Why had I not set out a dummy owl, a great horned owl made of plastic?" That's near the end of GRINGOS. So it is just as I speculated within my tiny mind: EVERY CHARLES PORTIS NOVEL HAS AN OWL IN IT. Well, we are talking about an owl that is NOT there, and a FAKE owl that is NOT there, so an owl that is "in" the book by being doubly absent, but that counts just fine by my crummy standards. And now I am thinking of my old favorite coffee shop back in Atlanta, where the key to the restroom was attached to a big plastic owl so you wouldn't walk away with it. And thus conclude my touching memories of days gone by.