#112 – The Case Of The Bouncing Betty, Michael Avallone BOOK REVIEW

December 1, 2018
krauserpua

Bouncing Betty

Those of you not yet banned from Twitter for hate speech will have likely seen the latest reeeeeeeeing from liberal snowflakes: the Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer television special. Laughing stock website The Huffington Post published an article decrying the “marginalisation” of Rudolph, finding the tale “seriously problematic”. You probably think I’m joking. Oh no, go read the story. Here’s a quote:

He asks Rudolph if he can drive his sled through the snowstorm.

At this point in the story, instead of fighting Santa and demanding for the abuse to end, Rudolph gives in and lets Santa exploit him for an even further extent of time. After that, Rudolph is treated nicely as long as he lets himself be exploited for years to come and the story ends on that bombshell.

The story clearly suggests that dysfunctional people are ok for society as long as we can find a way to use or exploit them for our own personal gain.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer represents how in the past, people with dysfunctions had been exploited for others’ gains. This story suggests that if people with dysfunctions don’t exploit themselves to others, they are sitting about and being useless and lazy.

Now, we all know why liberals get triggered like this: they are society’s losers. Marxism is an ideology of losers, suggesting those losers band together to attack the winners. A liberal will be triggered by Rudolph’s exclusion for having a dodgy nose because they were the kids marginalised at school for being cowards, whiners, weaklings, and fatties.

Did I say fatties? Well, what a smooth segue into Michael Avallone’s The Case Of The Bouncing Betty, the sixth novel in the Ed Noon private eye series. The name comes from a German WW2 landmine that would spring up several feet into the air before exploding. You can imagine how gruesome that would be. This novel appropriates the name because Noon’s client, Betty Heck, is 440lbs. That’s in 1954, the pre-Tumblr era, when 440lbs wasn’t merely “slightly chubby”.

There’s no way this book would get published in 2018. Avallone is merciless in mocking Betty’s weight – even though he presents her as a sympathetic character overall. Here’s the very opening lines:

The first time I saw Betty she was bouncing. She kept on bouncing right up until the day she died [1]. Why she died was no more important than why she bounced. Because when I found out why Betty bounced I found out why she died.

That’s not as facetious as it sounds, by the way. That first paragraph is a strictly logical foreshowing of the plot – what I’m about to spoil. Betty works as a mattress tester [2] for Sleep-Tite bedding company precisely because her weight gives the mattresses a solid stress test. Her boss Bartholomew Artel has gotten into a dope smuggling racket with Tommy Chin and his eldest sun from the Chop Suey restaurant across the road from Ed Noon’s detective agency. The distribution end has been agreed with Mafia boss Bim Caesar. Unfortunately, two unanticipated events scuttle the plan. First, Artel falls in love with Lois Hunt and decides to elope and go straight. Second, when bouncing on the mattresses, Betty splits the seams and all the dope pours out.

It’s at this moment the story opens:

The door swung back and Bouncing Betty bounced in. All four hundred and forty pounds of her. And I suddenly felt a helluva lot safer with a gun in my hand.

She stopped bouncing long enough to glare at me, then bounced over to the client’s chair on the other side of the desk and flopped into it with a sigh that seemed to lower the Marilyn Monroe calendar a full quarter of an inch. The chair groaned with age.

Betty hires Noon as a bodyguard because she’s had three attempts on her life and doesn’t know why (she didn’t recognise the dope). If you’ve read the previous five Noon books you know exactly what’s coming next……. an aggressive man barges into the office. It’s Artel, and he offers to double Betty’s price if Noon will drop the case. You can guess what happens right after that too: an unknown shooter fires from outside Noon’s office (in this case from a rooftop across the street) and murders Artel. I swear, this is how five of the first six Noon novels begin.

Hot bird

Not Betty, yesterday

The mystery that follows is fun in its own way, as Noon gets on the wrong side of Bim Caesar, survives a nightclub shoot-out, is kidnapped at gunpoint twice, and I think he’s slugged on the head once too. The prettiest woman is brutally raped and almost murdered – Noon books always have the prettiest dames getting mistreated. He’s also accused of a murder by his cop friends who – yet again – forget all the previous times they suspected him of murder and he was exonerated. He even goes on the run – again.

What sets The Case Of The Bouncing Betty apart is the constant ripping on Betty’s weight. Almost every page she’s on has either Noon or another character marginalising her. It’s seriously problematic [3]. For example:

She rolled her glass in her fat fingers. It looked no bigger than a thimble.

She kept on laughing. Genuine laughter that made her mountainous breasts rhumba, mambo and just about everything else.

I was tying up my shoes and thinking about a cup of coffee when the bedroom door pushed open. I couldn’t see Lois Hunt for a full second because Betty Heck, all four hundred and forty pounds of her, was filling the doorway as she stretched… Betty lumbered into the room and Lois Hunt came around her left side, looking for a cigarette.

It’s not just the main plot point that hinges on Betty’s lard-ass. When cornered in their apartment by three hoods, Betty uses her width to obscure a gangster’s view to block a shotgun, before slugging him. One of the murder attempts fails because she’s too fat to fit through the elevator doors when they try to shove her down the shaft. Even the hoods rip into her weight.

Betty Heck shrieked low but cut it off immediately as Bucky thrust the shotgun almost in her face, “Shut up, Fatso, before we start on you.”

I dare say this unending tirade of fat-shaming made The Case Of The Bouncing Betty even more fun than usual. I never tire of laughing at fatties [4]. This was a good return to form after a disappointing fifth book.

If you’d like my books because they are really good and stuff, then go here to check out my product range, with explanations of what’s what and what’s not.

Sigma Wolf store

[1] Until the very moment of her death, actually, because she’s pushed down a flight of stairs and breaks her neck.
[2] That is not a 1954 slang for what is now called a THOT.
[3] In a funny way
[4] Now that I’m no longer one of them.

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