Friday, November 18, 2011

Dead Until Dark: Chapter 2 - Gran and Sookie Entertain Company; Bill Entertains Company

Chapter 2 starts off with Grams answering the phone like a total bitch. I'm not sure why, and neither is Sookie. Finally, something we have in common (besides being awesome). A friend has called to say that a tornado touched down in Bon Temps the night before. Not just anywhere in Bon Temps. Directly on the Ratray's trailer (didn't you just know they lived in a trailer?). Sookie knows, of course, that it was Tornado Bill (do they name tornadoes? whatever, they do now). Gran asks when Bill is going to come and visit her in order to discuss coming to her Sad Old Lady's club, and it was agreed he would come the next day. After dark, naturally. Gran goes on a cleaning frenzy, because hey, just because the guy sleeps in the ground (or underground or coffin) doesn't mean he has to look at dirt in the Stackhouse household. Wow, that seems repetitive. Whatevs.

Because the criminal always revisits the crime scene (ok, maybe Sookie's not the criminal, but she's definitely a counterpart of some kind), she drives to what used to be the luxurious Ratray homestead. While she's there, the Sheriff comes along and brings up the fact that she and the Ratrays had a situation. She says she had nothing to do with the tornado, and Sheriff Bud agrees. I mean, come on, dude. This guy must be as sharp as a tack - the trailer is in a completely different spot and the car is on its side, and the yard looks like...well, like a tornado hit it. Seriously. What a douche. Sheriff Bud insinuates that perhaps Vampire Bill had something to do with this scene, since it's a wide known fact that Bill and Sookie are...ah...waitress and customer? The mortician asks if Sookie's Gran thinks it's a good idea to be hanging out with vampires/dead folks. Now, I really don't know if Harris is trying to be ironic here, since it's asked by a guy who works with dead people? But then, through this series, I've learned that Harris is a few bricks short of a load and/or has people write parts of the books and doesn't really proofread or edit for continuity. Which is great for a continuing series (YOU HEAR ME, FRANCINE PASCAL??!!).

As I mentioned in my previous post, Sookie is one of the best, if not the best, working waitress in the world, so she heads off to work. The tornado at the Ratrays' place has totally taken over as gossip as opposed to Maudette's murder. Which is a bit weird. I mean, I agree - a freak tornado is trippy, but someone got murdered - MURDERED - this chick was bit by vampires who knows how many times, and then strangled. But whatever. The fact that these happened a day apart may have something to do with it. These people are from the bayou, and if I've learned anything from VC Andrew's shitty ghostwriter and Waterboy, it's that folks from the bayou are just a little backwards. Maybe they couldn't keep more than one scandal in their minds at a time (my apologies to those from Louisiana - this is all said with tongue planted firmly in cheek).  She works with a big, fake smile on her face and does her job perfectly (because she's the best).  This is how I see her smiling.

Yes, I know this is a dude, but I couldn't find any pictures of chicks that I liked. Plus, well, I don't really like Sookie as Harris writes her. So there.

We meet Cajun Rene (because hey, every bayou has a Cajun, and every bayou has a Rene). He gets on Sookie's nerves because he won't stop talking to her. I'm sorry, but isn't customer service part of being a waitress? Maybe it's changed since I was a waitress/bartender, but I remember that pretending to care what was going on in people's lives was kind of important in getting tips. Rene is hooked up with Sookie's co-worker, Arelene, who's kind of, well, I don't know if slut is the right word, but she goes through a lot of dudes, and has 2 kids.

Remember how I said that Sookie's hot stuff? Yeah, the reason Rene's introduced is because some drunk dude goes for Sookie's snack box, and Rene jumps to her defense. He grabs the offender's hand (hand? really? wow, scary stuff) and makes him apologize to Sookie. He doesn't want to because, hey, Sookie's crazy so she deserves to be sexually assaulted, right? So, yeah, Rene takes care of Mr. Hands and all's well again in Merlotte's.

In order to primp (or pimp?) herself for Bill's visit the next day, Sookie puts on a short, tight dress. This is pointed out as Gran thinks it's too tight for a lady, and Jason thinks it's too short for his innocent pure sister to wear. Whatever, wear what you want, you know you want Bill to be hot for you. Her wicked awesome accessories? Yellow earrings and a yellow banana clip. Yes, a banana clip. Remember those from the '80s? Sadly, this book is set in fairly recent times - 2001. Way after banana clips were cool. But hey, Bill's old ballz, so maybe he doesn't keep up with ladies' fashions. Sookie can only hope.

Bill shows up while Sookie's sweeping the front porch and scares the panties off Sookie. If she's wearing any. Sookie, Gran and Bill start chatting, and Gran asks Bill some pretty frickin' personal questions. Like where he gets his money, and does he sleep naked. Wow, Gran, do you want to find out for yourself, you old coug? What's the version of super old cougar? She finally asks some normal questions, like why he came to Bon Temps. Turns out, Bill used to live in the area, and he gives her some quick history, like the fact that he knew her relatives.

Once Gran's done with the third degree, Bill asks Sookie to go for a midnight stroll with him. Gran has no problem with this - even though he's a freaking vampire and probably wants to suck the life out of Sookie. But no, honey, go ahead for a walk in the dark with an undead monster. He asks if she's upset about what he did to the Ratrays, and she murmurs that it did bother her a bit, but only because she doesn't believe in taking human lives. She asks him if he's killed people (fucking duh) and he admits he has, but he can control himself now when he drinks blood. He mentions glamouring, and he explains it to Simple Sookie. What I don't understand is that it's mentioned over and over again in the series that Sookie reads a lot but she doesn't know what glamouring is? Really? Sookie asks him if he will try to glamour her, but it doesn't work. Then she asks if he can float, and he can. And does. She wants to know if all vampires can float, and he says no. In a really roundabout way.

Bill asks Sookie why she's not afraid of vampires, and she pretty much says it's because she's always been considered a freak because of her mind reading abilities, and who is she to judge? You know, because vampires and mind readers are kinda the same thing. It was hard on her because her parents took her to all kinds of shrinks and school was shit. She aced tests, of course, because she's friggin' awesome (I hope I've stressed this enough), but her classwork sucked because of all those other stupid students thinking about their own fucking work. How dare they. Eventually her family believed that it was just mind reading and not a mental illness or tumor.

Sookie asks Bill how vampires are made, and it's the same old story - drain the blood to the point of death then give the to-be vampire a transfusion of the sire's blood. It takes a couple days, then voila!! Nouveau Vampire!

Sookie gets a little creeped out by this (hey, you asked, bitch) and asks Bill how long he plans to stay in Bon Temps. Bill says pretty much forever. Then he comments on how little her dress is. So, I'm thinking this dress must be pretty frickin' skimpy, if everyone thinks she should have more clothes than this on. Turns out, Bill misses petticoats and long skirts. Sounds like he'd be more comfortable among the Amish.  He asks her if she has a slip on under the dress (what?) and she slides her dress up to show him the lace and her sexy as hell legs.

Sidebar: I can just see Charlaine Harris writing this and thinking "I wish I had long tanned legs like my character. To make sure everyone knows, I'm going to keep writing about how tan she is, how bouncy and large her boobs are, how blond and glisteny her hair is, and how long and lean her legs are." I guess that's why some people write, to live the life they wished they had, but come on. End of sidebar.

They talk about Bill's previous life. He had a wife and kids, and fought for the Confederacy in the civil war. Bill gets bored with this, and asks Sookie about her daily life activities. Here is the Coles notes version:

  • she gets up
  • she eats breakfast (sometimes cereal, sometimes eggs - she's crazy like that)
  • brushes her teeth
  • showers
  • shaves her legs
  • goes to work, goes shopping, rents a movie or suntans 
  • reads (because she reads a whole lot, because she's super smart)
Isn't that exciting? Seriously, Harris lists that shit.

They're almost done their walk, when Sookie lays one on Bill. On their first date...oh, wait, this isn't a date. Sookie, you tramp! Then she tells him to go home. Cock tease!! She offers to help Bill with some contractors, since he's out during the day. Not out and about, but, like, dead. As she's getting ready for bed, she daydreams about Bill sticking it to her. Sookie's hasn't swiped her v-card yet, so this would be her first time.

The next day, Sookie makes some calls for Bill so he can get his house together (which is a dump and will take lots of work to make presentable) then lays out in the sun for her tanning. It should be noted that suntanning is her ONLY vice. Because she's awesome. I feel like a broken record. But just remember how awesome she is. Please. Sam calls her and asks her to come in because a fellow co-worker didn't make it into work that day. She's all pissy that she has to come in (um, you can say no, moron) and finally agrees after making a rude noise. I'm wondering, did she burp into the phone? Because that to me is a rude noise.

Sookie gets to work and reads Arlene's mind. Turns out, Arlene's up the stick. Arlene gets all mad, because hey, respect privacy, you douche!! Then Sookie gets all bitchy when she thinks Arlene is coming back to confront her, but it's only Sam, and he wants to comfort her. For no real reason, just because Sookie's cranky. They talk about her mind reading for a couple minutes (meaning she whines to him about it) and she says the main reason she likes Bill is because she can't read his mind.

When she's off work, she takes her ponytail out, because Bill likes her hair loose (just like his women, muahahahaha), and redoes her make up. She talks about how shit-tastic Bill's house is and how much work it needs. There's a car parked in the driveway with bumper stickers that read "Vampires Suck" and "Honk if You're a Blood Donor". Yes, sounds classy. Can't be Bill's car, because he'd never be that declasse. She gets to the door and it's opened by a chick vamp in a pink sports bra, white shirt and leggings. Honestly, is this book set in the '80s? Because I'm getting seriously concerned about the fashion. Sookie thinks she looks cheap, and this is a lot coming from Fashionplate Sookie with the white t-shirts and black shorts. Oh, and too tight and too short dress who can't resist showing dudes her slip. So she heads in and finds that Bill has company - this chick, a human chick, a human dude, and two other male vampires. She's all worried, but she's a trooper so she heads inside with the vamps. Talk about a brainiac. I'm sorry, but I would have been the fuck outta there. Then again, I'm kind of into self-preservation. The vamps think Bill brought a snack by, but of course, that's not the case. Sookie's not a snack - she's a waitress!!

One of the dude vamps is rude to Sookie, and she gets so mad, she says a swear word! Oh my!! Sookie, your virgin mouth! The human chick, Janella, denounces Sookie as "Crazy Sookie" and starts rubbing one of the dude vamp's crotch. I mean, hey, that's what I do whenever I'm in a strange house and someone new comes into the room. Gotta make sure they know who my property is, right? Sookie doesn't approve of any of this activity, or like any of the vampires or humans who have intruded on Bill. They talk about how Sookie can't possibly be satisfying Bill (all the while, Janella is giving one of the vamps a hand-job on the couch). Sookie discovers that the human dude has sino-AIDS, which doesn't kill vampires outright, but fucks them up royally and makes them vulnerable. Sookie discovers this fact just as Bill is about to sink his teeth into Jerry (human). Bill breaks Jerry's wrist, who faints. The vamps and the humans (both conscious and unconscious) leave after a bit, and Sookie can't be more relieved. She's so relieved, she faints. Why? I don't know. Because she's a moron, maybe. She gets all pissy and wants to know if all vampires are like that and why he let them in, and why didn't they all love her and couldn't everyone just get along? Okay, maybe I exaggerated. Anyhow, we hear about how scared Sookie was for her life and Bill tells her that not all vamps are assholes, but when they're around each other, they egg each other on.

Naturally, because sex is an offshoot of fright, Sookie asks if Bill can get it up. Then she gets mad at him when he kind of jokes it off. What a tool. She wants to storm out, but Bill asks for a kiss goodbye. Sookie can't possibly kiss Bill after witnessing all the debauchery that happened in the living room, and runs away. Blinded by tears.

Overview:  Bill killed the Ratrays and made it look like a tornado. Cajun Rene doesn't like it when people sexually harass Sookie. Gran doesn't care if Sookie goes out for walks with the undead, if they're polite and sleep naked. Sookie wants to get it on with Bill, but only if there are never any other vampires in the vicinity. Rene's girlfriend and Sookie's co-worker, Arlene, is pregnant. Sam is the best boss ever and favours Sookie over every other person he has working for him. Oh, and Sookie shows her slip to whoever asks, because she's kind of a slut. But a virgin. So just a cocktease.