Stephen King: The Long Walk: It Doesn't Make Sense

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Things that didn't make sense to me

This page is dedicated to YouTuber Edward Lorn for this review on The Long Walk where he mentioned there are things that don't make sense.
After hearing that, I started taking notes on all things that don't make sense.

NOTE: Page numbers are from Kindle for Windows
- 4 mph is too fast a pace to maintain for 5 days by untrained teenagers.
  Since Germany apparently won World War II and perhaps conquered the US,
  the US is probably using kph, but still calling it mph.
  Which means the low speed cut of 4 mph is actually 4 kph which is almost 2.5 mph.
  That seems more reasonable.

- The food and drink they had did not replace the electrolytes they lost through sweat.
  Their water was distilled which means it had the minerals removed.
  Besides weakness and fatigue, they'd be experiencing muscle spasms, convulsions, seizures,
  cardiac arrhythmia, confusion, headaches, paresthesia (chilling, prickling, numbness, or burning sensations),
  gastrointestinal issues (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and anorexia), hallucinations and psychotic episodes.
  The boys should have been given mineral water, at least, if not some kind of drink made especially to replace electrolytes in athletes.
  Here is a list of foods with minerals.

- The quicker the competition drops out, the better the odds for those remaining, and yet people help each other.
  They should have all agreed from the start "No helping each other so we can end this as soon as possible"
  You'd expect there to be books written or advice-guides to help walkers win.

- Why do they waste breathe talking to each other?  You'd think they'd go further if they stay focused and saved their breath.

- Why are they helping Scramm by pouring water over his head to cool him?
  We been givin' him water every now and again, also sort of pourin' it over his head.

- It doesn't make sense that McVries decides to try smoking. What he should have done is offer the cigs to other walkers, cut reduce their lung capacity.

- Why was Garraty the only one to be met along the way by family and friends (Mom and girlfriend Jan)?
  McVries' parents dropped him off, then drove to a motel in Presque Isle which is about a 40 minute drive.
  "They're staying at a motel in Presque Isle. They didn't want to go home until it was over. One way or the other."
  The walker's route on Route 1 from Caribou passes right through Presque Isle. It's possible that the family's Motel was on the route.
  The center of Presque Isle is about 34 miles from the start. At 4 mph, it would take them 8.5 hours to walk there
  which means they would have arrived about 5:30 PM. It's as if McVries' parents purposely avoided seeing him on the walk.
  Why didn't we see family and/or friends from Olson, Baker, Abraham, Harkness, Parker, Pearson, Scramm, or even Stebbins?
  Garraty even sees his high school class, and yet no other walker had their class show up that we're aware of.
  "Now, peripherally, he could see his high school class,"

- Scramm didn't need to commit suicide. His fever had gone down, and he seemed to be improving. His feet still felt fine.
  He gives this big speech as to why he's motivated to win, then he quits.

- I don't understand why McVries flapped his hands in an oddly uncompleted way.
  McVries flapped his hands in an oddly uncompleted way.

- The soldiers should be a better shot. except for the boy that ran off into the hail where they could barely see him, they should only need one shot to give a walker their ticket.
  The shots should kill them instantly. They shouldn't have time to scream after being shot.
  Someone else was shot down ... behind him, this time. The aim was bad, and the unlucky ticket-holder screamed hoarsely for what seemed a very long time before another bullet cut off the sound.
  Then there was a single sharp report, a pause, then a second.
  The holed Walker made a high, gobbling sound, like a turkey grabbed suddenly by a silent-stepping farmer.

- As it gets near midnight, Garraty begins to think of what's happening elsewhere including "bartenders think about putting the chairs up on the tables".
- How does he know when bars close?  He's 16. Bars usually close at 2 am anyway.

- Usually you put dead bugs under a microscope. If you do put a live bug under a microscope, you don't usually kill it.
  he died like a bug under a microscope.

- The knock knock jokes don't make sense. It's supposed to be a play on words. Example: Knock knock. Who's there? Etch. Etch who? Bless you, friend.
  "Knock, knock, Garraty."
  "Who's there?"
  "Major who?"
  "Major buggers his mother before breakfast,"

- If I were on the long walk, I'd sit down and stretch for about 1 minute and 45 seconds, until I got my third warning, then I'd stand up and walk off my 3 warnings in 3 hours, and repeat.
- I'd pair up with others, and alternate massaging each other's muscles. I'll massage your muscles, in 3 hours, you massage my muscles.
- This would also drop us back from the pack, which is what you want. You don't want to see the horror of others getting shot. You don't want to make friends.

- How could Garraty be dimly aware of how Stebbins feet felt?
  Stebbins the lean Buddha. His feet carried him along automatically, but he was dimly aware that they felt swollen and slippery, as if they were filling with pus.

- What does "not bothering as a rule" mean?
  No one else seemed much disposed to talk, so Garraty wandered off by himself to the far side of the road, waving now and then to someone, but not bothering as a rule.

- What does "for best" mean, in this sentence.
  He hadn't really seen his mother back there in Freeport at all, he realized sadly, but she had been there-in her shabby black coat,
  "for best," the one that showed the white snowfall of dandruff on the collar no matter how often she shampooed.

- Why did Garraty change his mind about Stebbins?  See page 50 below.
  p15 He wondered if Stebbins would fold early-Stebbins with his jelly sandwich and his purple pants. He wondered if he would fold up first.
  p16 Suddenly he was sure Stebbins was going to get his ticket right here, still in sight of the starting post.
  p21 He hadn't expected anyone-not even Stebbins-to get a ticket until late afternoon at least.
  p30 He wondered if Stebbins was lonely or tired. He still thought Stebbins would fold up early-maybe first-although he didn't know why he thought so.
  p34 Stebbins, you bastard, Garraty thought, you were supposed to get your ticket first, didn't you know?
  p43 Garraty thought of Stebbins again. Stebbins was wearing tennis shoes. Maybe Stebbins was fighting blisters right now.
  p50 He didn't want Stebbins to fold up early anymore.

- Barkovitch says he needs friends. Wrong! Bad idea! It's OK to be hated on The Long Walk. Everyone is your enemy basically.
  a guy's got to have some friends ... a guy's got to have a crowd, you know?

- By amusing each other, you improve their moods and extend the walk. Bad idea!
  "On the other hand," Baker drawled softly, "we're all in this together and we might as well keep each other amused."

- Do people say this?
  See anything green?
  I was scairt green.

- Why is McVries trying to motivate Olson?  It's not in his interest.
  "Pick up your feet. I want to see you dance up this hill like Fred Astaire."
  "What do you care?" Olson asked fiercely.
- McVries tries to help with Olson's spirits twice
  "Leave him alone," Baker said quietly.
  "Why should I? He's busy convincing himself he can crap out any time he feels like it.
  That if he just lays down and dies,
  it won't be as bad as everyone makes out.
  Well, I'm not going to let him get away with it."

  "Don't," Garraty said, frightened. "Please don't fight. Let's ... be nice."
  "Want a party favor?" Baker asked crazily. <-- what is Baker talking about?
  "Who asked you, you goddam redneck?"

- Garraty was an idiot. He should have encouraged Pearson to run into the crowd
  Pearson's voice dropped. "I've made up my mind, though. If I get so tired and I can't go on, I'm gonna run over there and dive into the crowd. They won't dare shoot. Maybe I can get away."
  "It'd be like hitting a trampoline," Garraty said. "They'll bounce you right back onto the pavement so they can watch you bleed. Don't you remember Percy?"

- Olson was an idiot. He should have encouraged Ray to slip into the woods.
  "We could slip into the woods now and they'd never see us," Garraty said thoughtfully.
  "Try it," Olson said. "They've got infrared sweep-scopes, along with forty other kinds of monitoring gear, including high-intensity microphones.
  They hear everything we're saying. They can almost pick up your heartbeat. And they see you like daylight, Ray."

- Olson is an idiot for telling Barkovitch that he's an idiot for taking a rest. Let people be idiots.
  "See? I just got myself a rest. It's all in my Plan."
  "Maybe you think so," Olson said, his voice higher than usual. "All I see that you got is three warnings.
  For your lousy minute and a half you got to walk three ... fucking ... hours. And why in hell did you need a rest? We just started, for Chrissake!"

- Olson criticized Barkovitch for taking a rest and getting 3 warnings
  All I see that you got is three warnings. For your lousy minute and a half you got to walk three . . . fucking . . . hours. And why in hell did you need a rest? We just started, for Chrissake!
  - But when Garraty kissed the Girl, Olson said he'd take 3 warnings for that
  For that I would have taken three warnings.
  - Olson is being hypocritical. Barkovitch improved his odds by removing a small stone and straghtening his sock. Both are rests.

- Who ever yelled break it up was an idiot. If people want to fight, let them.
  Cries of "Break it up!" and "Cut the shit!" filled the air, but Rank took no notice. He went for Barkovitch with his head down, bellowing.

- Barkovitch didn't kill Rank!  Why do they call him a murderer and killer? Rank got himself killed trying to hit or tackle Barkovitch.
  "There, Barkovitch, you're not a pest anymore. Now you're a murderer."
  "Can't wait to see your brains all over the road," McVries said quietly. His hand had gone to the scar and was rubbing, rubbing, rubbing. "I'll cheer when it happens, you murdering little bastard."
  "Not you, killer. Nothing's ever going to be all right for you. Just keep striding."
  "Shut up, killer," McVries said absently. "She pretty, Ray? Your girl?"
  "Shut up, killer," McVries said. "I'm not dumping on you, Ray. Come on, let's get away from the killer, here."
  "Shut up, killer." Barkovitch told McVries to go to hell, and now he seemed quite upset by the whole thing. Garraty smiled wanly in the darkness.
  Garraty was suddenly very sure they were plotting to kill him, the way someone named Barkovitch had once killed a faceless number named Rank.

- Eating raw hamburger can make you very sick
  "And some raw hamburger."
  "Raw hamburger-" Olson made a sick face.
  "Good fast energy in raw hamburger," McVries said.
  "You're off your trolley. You'll puke all over the place."
  McVries only smiled.
- Olson was an idiot. He should have let McVries share his raw hamburger with many people. Maybe they'd all get sick.

- 1. you cannot tear out your own throat
- 2. hands do not fly up like startled doves before you die
  And Barkovitch's hands suddenly went up like startled doves taking flight and Barkovitch ripped out his own throat.
  Boy Stebbins saw when he was young: He threw both of his arms up, like he was Superman.
  Olson: He raised both hands up into the sky.

- What would Jesus do?  Jesus would save someone from death. If Olson is religious, he'd know that. Jesus wouldn't let someone die if their death could be easily prevented.
  Olson: You're gonna die, McVries. You wait and see. God's gonna strike you dead for what you did. God's gonna strike you dead as dogshit.
  God will punish him, God will strike him down.

- McVries comment "Nobody loves a deader" doesn't make sense in this context
  "I believe in true love," Garraty said.
  "You want to know why I don't?" Olson said.
  "Ask Fenter. Ask Zuck. They know."
  "That's a hell of an attitude," Pearson said.
  "No, it's not," McVries said "Nobody loves a deader."

- Garraty's mom and girlfriend didn't object until the final backout date approached.
  Friends and family threw him a congratulation dinner, then friends and family tried to talk him out of it.

- Can you feel your kidney contract or drag at you?
  His kidneys contracted.
  His kidneys dragged at him
- Why would their kidney ache? The causes of kidney pain are infection, disease, or kidney stones, none of which would be caused by a long walk to a teenager
  My neck is stiff and my kidneys ache.
- How did he bruise his kidney?
  He wanted to break into a run, bruised kidneys and ...

- How do they know they broke the record and that the Major was pleased?  Maybe the kid with the transistor radio was listening to the coverage of the long walk.
  The word came back that they had made almost nine miles before Curley bought his ticket. The Major was said to be as pleased as punch.

- Curley shouts "It ain't no fair if you've got a charley horse!"
- Curley should understand the rules at this point. There's no point in claiming it's not fair.

- Larson's ticket: If he was too tired to walk, he'd be too tired to talk because he'd be gasping for air.
- He should understand the rules at this point. They don't give you a break if you get tired and need to catch up later.
  Listen, I'll catch up, I'm just resting. A guy can't walk all the time. Not all the time. Can he, fellas?

- They have no right to be angry at the Major and the soldiers, but they misdirect their anger toward them anyway. They knew what they were getting into.
  Check out the Misdirected Anger page.
  "You've got no right to hate the Major. He didn't force you."
  "Force me? FORCE me? He's KILLING me, that's all!"

- What is the idiot whistling laughter of the spheres?
  They passed a sign now which seemed to summarize to Garraty's dumbly wondering eyes all the screaming insanity there might be in the universe,
  all the idiot whistling laughter of the spheres, and this sign read: 49 MILES TO BOSTON! WALKERS YOU CAN MAKE IT!
  And there was a high singing, not in his ears but between them, spiraling up and up, and he was crazily sure that it was the actual sound of brainwaves–
- I think it has something to do with Musica Universalis
  From bobledrew on Reddit: The term "Music of the spheres" relates to the idea that there are proportions in the universe that are harmonious and "musical",
  which relates back to the relationships between frequencies and music. I think what King is saying in that passage is that to Garraty,
  the very universe has gone from a place of reason and sense to a place of chaos and randomness, which he sums up with substituting "idiot whistling laughter" for music.
  Of course, Garraty is in extremis at this point, he's been walking for days without real sleep or rest, his body and brain are breaking down.
  From Carbon_Bob on Reddit: It references an ancient idea that the Earth is the center of the universe,
  and that the stars, sun and planets are basically painted on transparent spheres which slide around the Earth.
  This conglomeration of spheres can explain why the stars seem to move independent of the moon, sun and planets.
  The music of the spheres comes from them rubbing together, like when you run your thumb over a crystal glass.
  If you could hear it, it would be a droning whistle, like the sound of a crowd at a distance.
  From Garraty's perspective, the Crowd is now ever present, and as numerous as the stars.
  Garraty is the center of the universe, which consists only of Garraty, the road, and Crowd.
  Garraty, as the center of the universe isn't moving, the road is sliding under him, and Crowd is sliding past.

- How is touching the carbine like knocking on wood?
  One of the soldiers jumped off the halftrack and brought over a fresh canteen. When he turned away, Garraty touched the carbine slung over the soldier's back. He did it furtively. But McVries saw him.
  "Why'd you do that?"
  Garraty grinned and felt confused. "I don't know. Like knocking on wood, maybe."

- Why is McVries still in NJ at 11 pm the day before the walk?
  McVries should have been in Maine by 11 pm on April 31.
  McVries was a Backup before he got the call shortly after 11 pm on April 31.
  All Backups need to be in the parking lot as the numbers are handed out at roughly 8 am on May 1.
  If there is a Prime no-show, then a backup needs to be picked randomly from the complete set of Backups.
  Therefore, McVries needs to be in Maine by 8 am on May 1.
  If there is a Backup no-show, whether they are picked as Prime or not, there are probably consequences.

- Who pep-talks themselves referring to themselves by their own last name?
  Garraty, he pep-talked himself, you're in good shape. Twelve guys dead, twice that many maybe hurting bad by now, but you're okay. You're going good. You're great. You're alive.

- Blonde soldier assigned to Garraty during his leg cramp, puts his chronometer away and counts down the final seconds on his own. That doesn't seem right.
  The blond soldier with the remotely handsome face put away the pocket chronometer. His lips moved soundlessly as he counted down the last few seconds.

- Abraham gets upset when losing a game of dimes with Baker, thinking he's getting hussled.
  "You're cheating, you fuck!" Abraham shouted.
  "I'm not cheating," Baker said calmly. "That's a dollar forty you owe me, turkey."
  "I don't pay cheaters." Abraham clutched the dime he had been flipping tightly in his hand.
  "And I usually don't match dimes with guys that call me that," Baker said grimly, and then smiled. "But in your case, Abe, I'll make an exception. You have so many winning ways I just can't help myself."
  Either they'll both die, or only one will live, meaning if they owe money, they'll never need to pay,
  or if they're owed, they can never collection. So why get upset?

- Abraham was on his way to the movies, but noticed they were having the test, and decided to skip the movie for the test.
  Who skips a movie to take a test? It makes no sense.

- Abraham applied for The Long Walk on the spur of the moment but we know that most males from age 13 to 18 signup.
- It's a little strange that Abraham wasn't like most 13 to 18 year old males, not really caring about signing up.
  I didn't feel particularly qualified to participate in anything. I took the exam completely on the spur of the moment.
  I was on my way to the movies and I just happened past the gym where they were having the test.
  You have to show your Work Permit card to get in, you know. I just happened to have mine with me that day.
  If I hadn't, I wouldn't have bothered to go home and get it. I just would have gone on to the movies and I wouldn't be here right now, dying in such jolly company.

- It's a bigger town than Limestone (referring to Caribou)
  But once they arrive
  Everyone was disappointed with Caribou.
  It was just like Limestone.
  But it's nothing like Limestone. I've been to both places, and Caribou is much more built up.

- Baker said "Git me a lead-lined one with pink silk insides and a white satin headpillow."
  McVries said "Be fucked if I'd do it," Garraty said. "Lay out fifteen hundred dollars or something just to keep the rats away after I was dead."
  Leadlined coffins aren't that expansive. As cheap as $105.

- Figuring in the Prime group and the backups, your chance of survival is fifty-to-one.
  This probability makes no sense. There are 100 walkers. Give it's random, then chance of survival is 100 to 1.
  Click here for more info about how the chance of survival changes over time.
  There are many more factors to calculate chance of survival. Look at statistics for his age, weight, leg length, fitness scores, etc.
  Then you have to consider mental fitness, and strategy.

Factors that affect chance of survival:
Strategy used
Fitness level
How prone you are to cramps
If you get sick
If you are prone to sun stroke
color of your skin.  Lighter skin would reflect sunlight better and not get as hot as a really dark skinned person.
Length of legs
Mental toughness
Motivation level
Clothing to protect from sun and cold
Proper shoes and socks
What you brought with you in your packsack.
Do you have friends and family along the way to improve your spirit?
Are you trying to last longer than someone else?  McVries' goal was to last longer than Barkovitch.
Knowing your Las Vegas odds might affect your attitude, good or bad
People cheering for you
Girls (or boys) that want to kiss you

- Why did they have a testimonial dinner the day after the first back-out date of April 15?
  They don't know if they're a walker or backup until the second and last back-out date on April 31.
  They might be a back-up and not get picked, or they might be a backup or walker, then back-out.
  Having the testimonial dinner the night of April 31 makes more sense.  They could still back-out before midnight,
  but it would be assumed that if you don't backout before the testimonial dinner, then you'll go through with it.
  "I couldn't back down. There were too many people watching. I think it must work the same with just about everyone.
  It's one of the ways they tip the game, you know. I let the April 15th backout date go by and the day after that they had a big
  testimonial dinner for me at the town hall-all my friends were there and after dessert everyone started yelling Speech! Speech!
  And I got out and mumbled something down at my hands about how I was gonna do the best I could if I got in, and everyone applauded like mad.
  It was like I'd laid the fucking Gettysburg Address on their heads. You know what I mean?"
- Garraty was also given tea by the Ladies' Aid two nights before the Walk started.
  The Ladies' Aid had given him a tea two nights before the Walk started.

- McVries found out he was a backup on April 31. We have this sentence from the book.
  "Back in the parking lot, engines started and a number of cars began pulling out-boys
  from the backup list who would now go home and watch the Long Walk coverage on TV."
  Later in the book it reads
  "When the call came, I had just ten hours. They laid on an airplane and a rental car at the Presque Isle airport."
  If McVries knew he was a backup on the morning on April 31, he should have been heading to the start of The Long Walk
  in case boys didn't show up for the start. All of the backups should have been waiting in the parking lot,
  but the book just says "a number of cars began pulling out". It sounds like only a few backups showed up.
  So two things don't make sense.
  1. McVries should have already been on his way to the start.
  2. There should have been 88 cars in the parking lot if McVries was the 12th and last backup, but it sounds like a few cars.

- Why would Vegas give nine-to-one odds for someone who is most likely to win? Those odds would be for the long-shots. Stebbins should have something like two-to-one odds, with a longshot like Percy getting nine-to-one odds.
  It's Stebbins, Ray. Nothing can wear him down, he's like diamonds. The word is Vegas likes him nine-to-one now that Scramm's out of it.

- It's highly improbable that two brothers would be picked in the lottery. If it did happen, there's be some law that would only allow the first brother.
  "Joe and Mike? The leather-jacket guys everybody thought was queer for each other? They're Hopis.
  I think that was what Scramm was trying to tell us before, and we weren't gettin' him. But . . . see . . . what I hear is that they're brothers."

- You'd think there would be a law that would prevent children of officials from being in The Long Walk, so Stebbins would not be eligible.
  The Major is my father, Garraty! He's my father!

- The speed of the walkers is measured by toy-sized radar dishes mounted on the front and back of the halftrack
  How does radar know which walker it's measuring? They have numbered decals on their clothing or skin (if they're shirtless),
  and what if a wall of walkers is blocking another walker? How would it measure the blocked walker?
  There is no way for radar to identify whose speed they are measuring.

- How does the halftrack know the correct direction for each walker?
  If there was a sharp S-curve ahead and the halftrack is traveling South,
  some of the walkers would be going East and West, and their South speed would be 0.
  Some would be going SE and SW, so their speed South would be 2 mph, assuming they were going 4 mph.
  I'm assuming the correct direction is parallel to the center line but how does the halftrack
  know the correct direction for each of the 100 walkers, whose correct directions could all be different?

- Why does the soldier need a separate sonar device when the halftrack is always tracking them?
  That introduces two different points of truth which may differ.
  All that is needed is an ear-piece where they would radio the soldier when to lower the carbine from high port and remove the safety,
  when to raise their carbine to high port and engage the safety, and when to issue the ticket.

- Why didn't Olsen go back and pick up his food belt when he dropped it? He didn't have any warnings and the worst that could happen is a violation-warning.
- So Olson could have turned back and got it. The only explanation I can think of is that he was shocked and not thinking clearly.  Here is the scene.
  his foot came down on a discarded belt of food concentrates. Surprised, he looked up. It had been Olson's. His hands were twitching at his waist. There was a look of frowning surprise on his face.
  "I dropped it," he said. "I wanted something to eat and I dropped it." He laughed, as if to show what a silly thing that had been. The laugh stopped abruptly. "I'm hungry," he said.
  No one answered. By that time everyone had gone by and there was no chance to pick it up. Garraty looked back and saw Olson's food belt lying across the broken white passing line.
  "I'm hungry," Olson repeated patiently.

- This exchange at the start of the novel between Garraty and his mom doesn't make sense.
  Still in that low conspirator's voice that he hated: "They'd understand, I know they would. The Major-"
  "The Major would-" Garraty began, and saw his mother wince. "You know what the Major would do, Mom."
- If his mom knew what the Major would do, then why was she saying The Major would understand?

- The Long Walk has been going on for at least 17 years, all of his life, so there had to be a lot of info about what body type is the best.
  Garraty wondered if the skinny ones would last or burn out quickly.
- It doesn't make sense that Scramm was expected to win with a body of moose. The top walkers are thin and light.

- The walkers should have been more spread out. If the lead walker in the vanguard was walking 1 mph faster than the last walker on average,
  which is a reasonable assumption, then after 5 days, or 120 hours, the lead walker would be 120 miles away.

  By day 5, the vanguard should have been over 100 miles away from Stebbins.
  The calculation is simple:
  1. Assume the first walker is moving at 1 mph faster than the last walker
  2. Five days is 120 hours
  3. If you travel at 1 mph for 120 hours, you've traveled 120 miles
  They would need far more halftracks and soldiers to monitor everyone than was indicated.
  Plus, they would have to cordon off the road for 30 hours to let the entire pack pass if they were spread by 120 miles.
  120 miles is a significant distance to walk non-stop, which is why it's so important to walk as close to the minimum.
  There are many scenes where characters stop and got 2 or 3 warnings, meaning they are stopped anywhere between a minute and two minutes.
  Here are some examples of characters falling back much further than was indicated in the book.
  Note that the book is from Garraty's perspective, and that characters would have fallen back too far for Garraty to make the observations he did.
  Barkovitch stopped close to 2 minutes to remove a tiny pebble from his shoe and smooth his sock.
  By the time he started to trot back to Olson, he would be more than two football fields away.
  I thought Barkovitch was smart, but he trots back to Olson to brag that he just got a rest, not observing Hint 13: Conserve energy whenever possible.
  Barkovitch should have continued walking at 4+ mph, pulling up the rear. His rest was negated by his 8 minute jog back to Olson.
  Excerpt: But then Barkovitch was up. He paused to brush some road dirt from the knees of his pants. Then he broke into a trot, caught up with the group, and settled back into his walking pace.
  Garraty fell back a football field when he kissed the girl. He fell back more than 2 football fields when he:
  - had a leg cramp - Garraty goes from last to first, but it's Day 3 about 2 pm. The lead walkers would be more than 50 miles ahead!
  - had the laughing jag
  - met his mom and Jan in Freeport
  Garraty should have been way behind Stebbins, because Stebbins pace was steady.  If you observe Hint 13, you wouldn't bother catching up to the pack.  They would be too far ahead to waste the energy.
  Other examples of walkers falling back more than a football field are:
  - Harkness stopping to massage his cramping foot
  - Gribble kissing the girl
  - Baker squatting to take a crap
  But they always ignore Hint 13, and catch back up. At least Baker was out of breath when he caught up, which would be realistic.
  Excerpt: "Fastest crap I evah took!" he said, badly out of breath.

  Why would the Major tell the walkers to observe Hint 13: Conserve energy whenever possible,
  then challenge them to break the record for the furthest traveled before first ticket?
  This may have caused them to walk faster than necessary to break the record.

- there is no way radar adn sonar could uniquely identify each walker

- McVries' dad wanted to tie and gag Peter in the basement of the theater.
  But Peter gets the call at 11 pm and there was no time for that.
  Why not tie and gag him earlier just in case?
  And why did his parents buy 4 plane tickets and rent a car
  if they had no intention of letting Peter go on the walk?

- The soldier put his chronometer away and counted down the last few seconds in his head.  That does not seem fair.
- Life and death should be decided by a computer or accurate time-piece.  The soldier may count fast or slow.
  The blond soldier with the remotely handsome face put away the pocket chronometer. His lips moved soundlessly as he counted down the last few seconds.

- Scramm is built like a buffalo. He gets called a moose.
  He's built like a buffalo
  Hey Ma! Look at the big guy! Look at that moose, Ma! Hey Ma! Look!
- According to McVries, the heavier guys get tired quicker
  They say the heavier guys get tired quicker
- If that's true, then Scramm shouldn't have been the odds-on favorite in Vegas.
  "Vegas odds made me the favorite just before the Walk started," Scramm said. "Odds-on."

- Garraty went from last to first in about 3 minutes after his leg cramp.
- Garraty catches up to Stebbins
He looked at his watch. It was 2:17 PM. For the next hour he would be less than two seconds from death.
- Garraty catches up with McVries and they catch up with Joe who is leading the vanguard.
"Hello, Joe," McVries said, and Garraty had an hysterical urge to add, whaddaya know?
"Howdy," Joe said curtly.
They passed him and then the road was theirs, a wide double-barreled strip of composition concrete
stained with oil and broken by the grassy median strip,bordered on both sides by a steady wall of people.
"Onward, ever onward," McVries said. "Christian soldiers, marching as to war. Ever hear that one, Ray?"
"What time is it?"
McVries glanced at his watch. "2:20. Look, Ray, if you're going to-"
- It only took Garraty 3 minutes to walk from Stebbins to pass Joe.
- Assuming Garraty averaged 6 mph, and Stebbins and Joe were walking at 4 mph, the distance from Stebbins to Joe was only 528 feet!
- That's how far Garraty would travel at 2 mph (the difference) in 3 minutes.

- After McVries was shot, Garraty caught up to Stebbins too quickly.
- 4 mph is 352 feet per minute. Garraty and McVries stopped for about a minute
- which means Stebbins was about 700 feet ahead by the time Garraty started walking again.
McVries opened his eyes and smiled again. The next instant, he was gone.
Garraty walked unknowingly now. He stared blankly at Stebbins, who stared back at him curiously.

- Roger Fenum is #13 and Ray Garraty is #47. That's 33 surnames from Fen to Gar
- Basically 47 people A-G (7 letters) and 53 H-Z (19 letters)

- Some content must have been cut because this line from Garraty "Do you want to touch me too?", makes no sense.
  "We'll all spit in your brains," Garraty said crazily. "Do you want to touch me too?"

- It seems unrealistic they will win everything they want. There are no more millionaires so they can't ask for millions of dollars.
  The Prize-everything you want for the rest of your life
  Examples of things they can't ask for:
  1. Kill The Major
  2. Kill everyone on Earth
  3. Be Ruler of the World
  4. Be a unicorn
  5. Live on Pluto
  6. Visit the center of the Earth
  7. End The Long Walk
  8. Live forever
  9. All the Gold

You get a large sum of money too, but since there are no more millionaires, you'll get less than a million.  It's probably about $250,000.
It's more likely some of the things you can ask for are ...
  1. Free housing for you and your family. Probably not a million dollar mansion but something nice where ever you choose to live in the 51 states.
  2. Free food for life
  3. Free maids
  4. Free cooks
  5. Free gardeners
  6. Free house maintenance
  7. Free medical care for you and your family
  8. Utilities paid for life
  9. A few nice cars (within limits)
 10. Free stuff like TVs, bicycles. It's about 1978 so no PCs, drones, smart-phones, yet, but you could one of the brick cell phones.
 11. Free travel around the world (within limits)
 12. Free entertainment (movies, plays, video games, etc)

They left at 2 AM and arrived about 8 AM so it was a 6 hour trip.
Did Mrs. Garraty really complain about not getting the card back for 6 hours?
Why didn't she let Ray sleep? How did she know they wouldn't give the blue card back?
"Don't they give the card back?" Mrs. Garraty asked. "Don't they—"
"No, Mom," Garraty said patiently.
"Well, I don't like it," she said, pulling forward into an empty space. She had been saying it ever since they set out in the dark of two in the morning. She had been moaning it, actually.

How did the group stay with Gribble when Gribble stopped for 1 minute and 45 seconds to make out with the girl?
There are 5280 feet in a mile so at 4 mph, you're moving at 21,120 feet per hour.
Divide that by 60 and you get 352 feet per minute. Multiple that by 1.75 minutes, and the group would have traveled 616 feet.
When Gribble stopped to make out with the girl, he was with that group of Garraty, Pearson, Barkovitch, Baker, etc.
By the time he broke off the sexual encounter, the group would have been at least 616 feet down the road and
Gribble would not have been able to catch up to have that conversation.

The Hopi Brothers
They should have known Mike and Joe were brothers from the start. They would have sat together in the group of 100 boys,
both wearing the same leather jacket with eagles on the back. They would have gone up to accept their large plastic number
from The Major one after the other and people would know they had the same last name just like Art Baker was followed by James Baker.
They even look like brothers. They're also both Indian so they would have stood out among the mostly white boys.
It doesn't make sense that they learn they are brothers later in the walk.

Olson mentioning the boy who got his ticket at the starting post doesn't make sense.
If something like that did happen, it would have been big news, and most would have heard about it.
Olson said it happened the year before last so it's pretty recent.
I think Olson just made it up.
Excerpt: "Just couldn't move. He took his three warnings and then at 9:02 AM they gave him his ticket.
Right there by the starting post."

Rays' mom saying "if your father was here, he'd put a stop to-"
She was going to say "he's put a stop to you going on The Long Walk."
But the parents have no say, so his father couldn't do anything.
If Garraty refused to walk on the day of the walk, he'd get squaded.
It makes no sense that Percy's mom kept trying to get her son.
She should know that she'd get a spectator ticket if she interfered.

It makes no sense that Garraty's mom thinks he can backout the morning of the walk. He'd get squaded!
"There's still time to change your mind-"
The fear and anticipation cranked up a notch.
"No, there's no time for that," he said. "The backout date was yesterday."
Still in that low conspirator's voice that he hated: "They'd understand, I know they would. The Major-"
"The Major would-" Garraty began, and saw his mother wince. "You know what the Major would do, Mom."

It went on until 8:40, and it came out right. No one had ducked out.
Of course it came out right. The boys check in at the gate.
If there are any Prime no-shows, a Backup is randomly picked from the Backups in the parking lot.
All of the Backup boys should be in the parking lot.
If there are any Backup no-shows, there are probably consequences, especially if they're picked as Prime.

She was yelling for her Percy to come home now.
Percy's mom should know that if he doesn't backout, he's required to be in The Long Walk, or get a ticket.

"What's the next big town, Garraty?" McVries asked.
"We join up with the turnpike someplace, don't we?" Baker asked.
"How far to Caribou, Maniac?" somebody asked him. Garraty looked around. It was Barkovitch.
The walkers should know the route. They must have gotten a map.
It don't make sense that they asked Garraty so many questions about the route.

They were unprepared: You'd think they would all have packsacks that contained ...
  1. sunscreen
  2. sunglasses
  3. hat to protect from rain and sun
  4. bug repellent
  5. chapstick
  6. variety of stimulants to say awake
  7. variety of pain killers
  8. proper clothing
  9. proper shoes
  10. rain clothing like a poncho to stay dry
  11. small fold-up umbrella
  12. toilet paper
  13. walking poles
Date Created November 9, 2018
Last Updated April 8, 2023