Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Literary Gem


Came across a line in a Stephen King short story, from his latest collection, Just After Sunset.
Tickled me when I read it -- it was like one those folksy aphorisms you hear, that, even if you have never heard it before, you feel as if you have, or should have. I dunno if it is his line or if he just repeated something he picked up along the way, but it made me grin.

From the mind of a man driving on a highway in Florida who needs to stop and take a whiz, in the story "Rest Stop,"

"Yet there was a fundamental problem with beer any undergraduate understood: You couldn't buy it, only rent it."

3 comments:

Dan Moran said...

Not original to King. I've been hearing that phrase since I was a teenager. I still remember the girl I first heard it from -- she was the girlfriend of the man I worked for, and she'd struck me as almost ridiculously ladylike up to that point. She sat drinking her beer from a glass -- the rest of us on the bottles --

"You know what they say," she said in that genteel voice, "you don't buy beer, you only rent it. I gotta pee."

I liked her better after that.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, it sounds like something I should have heard, but since I never did, I liked it. Down where I came, from, drinking beer and subtle didn't go together ...

Dave said...

I remember Terry Pratchett using it more than once.

The Colour of Magic: "No - this was still the interior of the Drum, its walls stained with smoke, its floor a compost of old rushes and nameless beetles, its sour beer not so much purchased as merely hired for a while."

I also seem to remember another one, contrasting things you purchase in Ankh-Morpork with those you rent (beer and women, as far as I can recall). But I can't find it in the books now...