Discussion:
Door Into Summer question
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BPRAL22169
2004-05-23 23:30:44 UTC
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A Journal subscriber, Vince Losasso, has written in with several questions
about idioms in Door Into Summer. Most of them I was able to field, but this
one has me scratching my head. Any help, anyone? the _underlined_ text is the
idiom that's troubling:

"On page 179 [of the del Rey edition]: (perhaps the most puzzling of all)
I knew what Galloway wanted me for and, to tell the truth, I had been dragging
my feet. He wanted to dress me up in 1900 costumes and take pictures. [I] had
told him that he could take all the pix he wanted of me in 1970 costumes, but
that 1900 was twelve years before my father was born. He said nobody would
know the difference, _so I told him what the fortuneteller told the cop._ He
said I didn't have the right attitude."

Here is what I told Vince:

"I don't know specifically what Heinlein had in mind -- sounds like the
punchline of popular joke that has since passed out of currency. What comes
to my mind is "I'd know the difference." But it's also possible it was
something like a fancy way of telling the cop to mind his own business or a
curse would be put on him. this IMO, would be a good candidate to put on afh.
Since you dont seem to be on it, I'll take the liberty of doing it for you."

Bill
Bookman
2004-05-24 02:58:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by BPRAL22169
A Journal subscriber, Vince Losasso, has written in with several questions
about idioms in Door Into Summer. Most of them I was able to field, but this
one has me scratching my head. Any help, anyone? the _underlined_ text is the
"On page 179 [of the del Rey edition]: (perhaps the most puzzling of all)
I knew what Galloway wanted me for and, to tell the truth, I had been dragging
my feet. He wanted to dress me up in 1900 costumes and take pictures.
[I] had
Post by BPRAL22169
told him that he could take all the pix he wanted of me in 1970 costumes, but
that 1900 was twelve years before my father was born. He said nobody would
know the difference, _so I told him what the fortuneteller told the cop._
He
Post by BPRAL22169
said I didn't have the right attitude."
"I don't know specifically what Heinlein had in mind -- sounds like the
punchline of popular joke that has since passed out of currency. What comes
to my mind is "I'd know the difference." But it's also possible it was
something like a fancy way of telling the cop to mind his own business or a
curse would be put on him. this IMO, would be a good candidate to put on afh.
Since you dont seem to be on it, I'll take the liberty of doing it for you."
Qualifier: I am not directly familiar with the idiom, I have always
treated it as an icon, so to speak.

Here's my guess: Fortune-telling rides the thin edges of illegality
WRT fraud and anti-witchcraft laws. At a guess, I'd say that the
fortune-teller told the cop that if it's accurate, it isn't fraud, if it
isn't, it is fraud.

I'm probably wrong, but I tried. The class is invited to do better.

Regards,

Rusty the bookman
Nuclear Waste
2004-05-24 07:13:21 UTC
Permalink
"BPRAL22169"
Post by BPRAL22169
"On page 179 [of the del Rey edition]: (perhaps the most puzzling of all)
I knew what Galloway wanted me for and, to tell the truth, I had been dragging
my feet. He wanted to dress me up in 1900 costumes and take
pictures. [I] had
Post by BPRAL22169
told him that he could take all the pix he wanted of me in 1970 costumes, but
that 1900 was twelve years before my father was born. He said
nobody would
Post by BPRAL22169
know the difference, _so I told him what the fortuneteller told the cop._ He
said I didn't have the right attitude."
ISTM that _COTG_ has the story while Thorby is on the run just after
Baslim is shortened. Let me find the book.

NW
Art
2004-05-25 17:32:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by BPRAL22169
A Journal subscriber, Vince Losasso, has written in with several questions
about idioms in Door Into Summer. Most of them I was able to field, but this
one has me scratching my head. Any help, anyone? the _underlined_ text is the
"On page 179 [of the del Rey edition]: (perhaps the most puzzling of all)
I knew what Galloway wanted me for and, to tell the truth, I had been dragging
my feet. He wanted to dress me up in 1900 costumes and take pictures. [I] had
told him that he could take all the pix he wanted of me in 1970 costumes, but
that 1900 was twelve years before my father was born. He said nobody would
know the difference, _so I told him what the fortuneteller told the cop._ He
said I didn't have the right attitude."
"I don't know specifically what Heinlein had in mind -- sounds like the
punchline of popular joke that has since passed out of currency. What comes
to my mind is "I'd know the difference." But it's also possible it was
something like a fancy way of telling the cop to mind his own business or a
curse would be put on him. this IMO, would be a good candidate to put on afh.
Since you dont seem to be on it, I'll take the liberty of doing it for you."
The Fortune-teller told the cop: "I predict you ain't gettin' any."

---
Art
David M. Silver
2004-05-25 19:33:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Art
The Fortune-teller told the cop: "I predict you ain't gettin' any."
It does make sense in context, Art.
--
David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29, Lt.(jg), USN, R'td, 1907-88
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