Stephen King: The Long Walk: Humor

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It seems Stephen King's sense of humor shined through in places

NOTE: Page numbers are from Kindle for Windows
- I think King is referencing the song Camptown Races, doo-dah, doo-dah, day
  I don't care, his legs answered back. Don't care if I do die, do die, do die.

- Pearson referencing an old Dial-Soap commercial
  "It's your mind," McVries said, "using the old escape hatch. Don't you wish your feet could?"
  "I use Dial," Pearson said, pulling an idiotic face. "Don't you wish everybody did?"

- I've been thinking. Save your strength.
  Pearson joined them. "I've been thinking."
  "Save your strength," McVries said.
  "Feeble, man. That is feeble."

- McVries meaning is on two levels. First, it's not good to have 2 seconds on your timer, and Second, his shoes are about to fall apart
  p299 I don't think I'd like to be in your shoes right now.
  p201 Garraty could feel his right heel wobbling. Pretty soon the nails would let go, and he would shed the shoeheel like dead skin.
  p261 His feet pounded the pavement and the loose heel flapped looser, like an old shutter on a dead house.
  p268 feeling the dew seep through his cracked shoes
  p327 It seemed to Garraty that he felt every pebble through the paper-thinness of his shoes.
  p337 "I ... uh!" Garraty lurched forward, momentarily off balance. "My damn shoeheel came off," he said. "Get rid of'em both," Baker advised. / I have lost my shoes.

- Garraty doesn't want McVries to know he's calling the spectators "Freaks"
  "Freaks," Garraty muttered.
  "What was that?" McVries asked.
  "I said I want to sit down and have something to eat. Look at those people. Fucking bunch of pigs."

- Evidence that King made updates after writing the book 1966 to 1967.
- 1971 Monty Python's Flying Circus, catchphrase "And Now for Something Completely Different"
  They wanted to see what screwing a dead man felt like.
  Now for Something Completely New and Different.
  I don't know if Gribble got much out of it, but they sure as shit did.

- Two meanings for "carried away", figurative and literal
  "I guess I got carried away," Garraty muttered, even though he wasn't the one who had gotten carried away. That had been Zuck. "Anyone want a cookie?"

- Two meanings for "out of sight", literal and figurative
  He wondered where Harkness was. Far out of sight, anyway. That was Scramm, too. Really out of sight.

- Garraty didn't have much of a sense of a humor, except for rare occasions
  "Well, look. We're getting together on something. All of us that are left."
  "Scrabble, maybe?"

- Here's another instance of that rare Garraty sense of humor
- What's it all about, Alphie? It's a reference from a Burt Bacharach song named Alphie, off the album Reach Out, which was released Jan 1 1967, right when Stephen King was in the middle of writing the book.
- Most young people reading the book won't get this reference, but it would have been hilarious in 1967.
  "What's it all about?"
  Suddenly Garraty cackled madly. "What's it all about, Alfie?"

- McVries trying to change the subject
  "Do you still think I'll win?"
  "Does it always get this foggy up here in the spring?"
  "What's that mean?"
  "No, I don't think you'll win.

- McVries says "Oh my God, is it true?" and you think he's referring to the walker that just got shot, but he's actually referring to Stebbins saying the Major is his father.
  His low-pitched voice rose to a pulpit shout.
  "How come I know so much about the Long Walk? I know all about the Long Walk! I ought to! The Major is my father, Garraty! He's my father!"
  The crowd's voice rose in a mindless cheer that was mountainous and mindless in its intensity; they might have been cheering what Stebbins had said, if they could have heard it. The guns blasted. That was what the crowd was cheering. The guns blasted and Pastor rolled over dead.
  Garraty felt a crawling in his guts and scrotum.
  "Oh my God," McVries said. "Is it true?" He ran his tongue over his cracked lips.
  "It's true," Stebbins said, almost genially, "I'm his bastard.

- Another race instance of Garraty being funny
  Well, old Abe has tossed his cookies, Garraty thought remotely. That's no way to observe Hint 13, Abe.

- McVries play on Scramm's name, telling Garraty to scram
  "Do you know how Scramm is?"
  "I'm not his doctor. Why don't you scram yourself?"

- I'm guessing this reference is hilarious, but I don't get the reference
  Abraham ... what price stovepipe hat, audience?

- Both the Major and McVries said "pre-sent harms" rather than "Present arms" at the 400 Gun Salute. It's funny because it implies a gun causes harm.
  "Pre sent harms!"
Date Created November 9, 2018
Last Updated November 9, 2018