I Read Ch. 4 of 50 Shades of Grey

So, remember where we left off in Chapter 3? Yeah me neither. Let’s look…Oh yes. That. Christian has saved Ana from falling into traffic, and she’s in his arms, lips puckered cartoon-style, and then…Chapter 4.

Christian closes his eyes and…shakes his head no. Then he launches into a soap opera style, “It’s not you, its me…” thing, and pushes her away. Ana’s ‘head swims’ from the confusion. It does this a lot. It must be very fit.

Chapter 4 has events, but they manage to feel, well, uneventful. First and most importantly no one mentions the ‘gay incident’: its the non-event I’ve been waiting for! Short version: Ana leaves, cries, writes exams and then goes to bar. Christian shows up and Ana passes out. There’s no sex.

Much more excruciating long version: Christian sends Ana off by wishing her luck on her exams. She’ll need it (she’s a bit special). Ana then ‘disappears down the sidewalk.’ Disappears?  Is she magic? Did she activate her teleport watch? She rematerializes inside the carpark where she falls in a heap and cries. Eventually Ana gets her sh!t together and drives home, although I don’t know why she doesn’t just teleport.

Kate asks her how ‘coffee’ went, as Ana doesn’t like coffee. Again with the literal coffee-ness? I cannot believe that there are two people alive in the continental U.S. who do not understand the social construct known as the coffee date. Is it because E. L. James is British? Is the coffee date not a thing in the U.K.? How did these two naifs find each other? Sigh.

We then fast forward a week, and see Ana and Kate finish their last exam. They drive back to their apartment where they find a parcel addressed to Ana. Ana is surprised, because she hasn’t ordered anything from Amazon lately. See? She’s got the internet. So there’s no excuse for her being so naive: the internet knows everything. The package turns out to be a ridiculously expensive first edition set of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. There’s no return address, but it’s pretty clearly from Mr. Grey, and it contains another cryptic warning for Ana. It could only be creepier if it was all magazine-clipped letters like a ransom note. Nothing says hot lovin’ like self-loathing psychopathy!

Our two special ladies then head off to the bars for some college-student drunkiosity. Ana tells us she has never been drunk. And she made it all the way through college? Was she raised by the Duggars? It really would explain a lot. She mentions that Jose won’t graduate for another year, but he comes to the bar anyway. O! M! G! He’s drinking and it’s not a major life milestone? I think you’d better stage an intervention!

This is where the only mildly amusing thing so far happens. Ana has drunk a lot. She decides she’d better slow down, and orders a pitcher of beer. Geddit? Watery American beer? It’s like not drinking at all! Haw Haw!

Ana then staggers to the bathroom and decides that a drunken, harassing phone call to Christian Grey is just the thing to pass the time while waiting for a stall to free up. She takes the Wiz, then goes to order the pitcher of beer. Feeling ill (poor thing, she must have caught that MacGuffin that Kate had in Chapter 1) she heads outside for some fresh air. Jose follows her out for some more drunken harassment, at which point they are set upon by, you guessed it! Christian Grey, who has found Ana by tracing her cell phone. Totally not creepy!

Ana then vomits at length all over the parking lot. See? She didn’t need Grey. Two more minutes and the Jose situation would have dealt with itself. Christian then tells her sternly that he is all about pushing limits (he actually uses those words. (His real secret is that he used to be a valley girl. (I just used triple nested brackets. Ha! You can’t stop me!))), but that being drunk in public is beyond the pale. Really? Seriously? We’re supposed to believe that he’s some kind of S&M god, but drinking offends his delicate sensibilities? I’m holding my hands together to form a big W, because WHATEVER.

Also at this point, Ana’s subconscious is, ‘tutting and glaring at me over her half-moon glasses.’ Wait. Her subconscious is Professor McGonagall?

Okaaaay…I’d assumed you had to be smarter to attend Hogwarts, but it does explain the disappearing.

Ana and Christian go back inside the bar for a round of drunken, stumbly dancing in a cloud of vomitty halitosis, and then they head for home, whereupon Ana faints spectacularly. Before she passes out she manages to be shocked that Kate is on the floor dancing. With a guy she doesn’t even know! Quelle horreur! And on that scandalous note Chapter 4 mercifully ends.

What wonders await in Chapter 5? Not sex, I’m told. So likely it’s more tedious confusion and needless scandalizing. See what I do for you?

 

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