Thursday, October 24, 2019

the last book I ever read (Paradise by Donald Barthelme, excerpt five)

from Paradise by Donald Barthelme:

Veronica says, “So what are you doing now?”

“Car wash,” Tim says, “over on Tenth Avenue. Washing cars. What most people don’t know is that the finish on today’s cars, especially the Japanese cars, actually embraces the dirt. I mean if you wanted the dirt to adhere to the finish you couldn’t come up with a better . . . There are these tiny pits uniformly distributed over the surface of the car that act like traps for the graime, reach out and suck it up. It becomes like plaque on teeth. Now, you wonder why they can’t devise a solvent that would dissolve the plaque and not harm the enamel. I’m telling you, the formula exists. It is in being. But because the big dentrifice outfits don’t want to lose a very, very lucrative market, you and I get zip. Have to go in twice a year and have some dental assistant scrape away with the old hand tool for an hour. Are you familiar with the work of Buckminster Fuller? Have you read what Fuller has to say about copper wire? The earth’s supply of copper is finite. Our per capita investment in copper, for every man, woman and child on earth—“

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