Monday, April 10, 2006

Langdon Speaks

Another weekend comes to a close and I find myself back at work and counting the days until the next one. It's amazing that five days of work can seem like twenty and that two days off can feel like two hours. A quick summary of the weekend would go as follows:

Saturday: Rainy and cold. Indoor rock climbing. Dinner and drinks.

Sunday: Sunny and cold. Softball practice. Post practice beers. Afternoon spent in post beer rehab of injured arm by a sadist who took great pleasure in telling me that the injury was due to my lack of physical conditioning - despite weeks of work on said conditioning with this individual. Still, it's hard to argue with the truth.

No word on the interviews from last week, which is probably not good news. I did get a call from the agency this morning, but they've yet to call me back and they didn't say anything about the next round so that doesn't bode well for my prospects.

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The DaVinci Code: Robert Langdon Commentary

Chapter 1

Robert Langdon awoke slowly.

A telephone was ringing in the darkness-a tinny, unfamiliar ring. He fumbled for the bedside lamp and turned it on. Squinting at his surroundings he saw a plush Renaissance bedroom with Louis XVI furniture, hand-frescoed walls, and a colossal mahogany four-poster bed.

Where the hell am I?
RL: I have no idea why Dan Brown imagines he knows what I was thinking, but here’s what happened. I woke up and I knew exactly where I was. When I looked around, I was searching for the prostitute that I’d brought back to the room earlier that evening. When realized that she was gone, I checked the nightstand to make sure that she hadn’t taken my wallet with her.

And for the record, I have no idea the furniture was Louis XVI as I’m quite the Trading Spaces that Brown appears to be. In fact, most of the murders that took place in the book can be directly attributed to my late arrival as a result of Brown’s insistence that we watch the episode until “reveal.” What’s even worse is that he has an annoying habit of jumping up and down and squealing with joy whenever the homeowners hate the room.


The jacquard bathrobe hanging on his bedpost bore the monogram: HOTEL RITZ PARIS.

Slowly, the fog began to lift.

Langdon picked up the receiver. "Hello?"

"Monsieur Langdon?" a man's voice said. "I hope I have not awoken you?"

Dazed, Langdon looked at the bedside clock. It was 12:32 A.M. He had been asleep only an hour, but he felt like the dead.

RL: That’s another of the many “facts” that Brown got wrong. I’d gotten back to the room at 11:15 P.M. and there’s no way that I was finished with the hooker in 17 minutes. I’m as certain of that as I am of the fact that when she called me “projectile rapide” it was nothing more than a nickname derived from the French perception of Americans as gun toting cowboys.

"This is the concierge, monsieur. I apologize for this intrusion, but you have a visitor. He insists it is urgent."

Langdon still felt fuzzy. A visitor?

His eyes focused now on a crumpled flyer on his bedside table.

THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PARIS
proudly presents
an evening with Robert Langdon
Professor of Religious Symbology, Harvard University

Langdon groaned. Tonight's lecture-a slide show about pagan symbolism hidden in the stones of Chartres Cathedral-had probably ruffled some conservative feathers in
the audience. Most likely, some religious scholar had trailed him home to pick a fight.
RL: Actually, I was worried that it might be her pimp.

"I'm sorry," Langdon said, "but I'm very tired and-"

"Mais monsieur," the concierge pressed, lowering his voice to an urgent whisper.

"Your guest is an important man."

Langdon had little doubt. His books on religious paintings and cult symbology had made him a reluctant celebrity in the art world, and last year Langdon's visibility had increased a hundred-fold after his involvement in a widely publicized incident at the Vatican. Since then, the stream of self-important historians and art buffs arriving at his door had seemed never-ending.

RL: No thanks to that idiot author, I might add. To be honest, I’d have preferred to go back to the quiet life, but his borderline hysterical novelization in “Angels and Demons” of what had been a fairly tame and routine Vatican visit to examine some documents had turned into a best-seller and ruined my life.

"If you would be so kind," Langdon said, doing his best to remain polite, "could
you take the man's name and number, and tell him I'll try to call him before I
leave Paris on Tuesday? Thank you." He hung up before the concierge could
protest.
RL: The main reason that I hung up was that there was a sudden intense itchiness in my groin area. Thankfully, Brown didn’t include my thoughts at the time, which where:

“Great. I think have crabs. Again.”

Sitting up now, Langdon frowned at his bedside Guest Relations Handbook, whose cover boasted:
SLEEP LIKE A BABY IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS.
SLUMBER AT THE PARIS RITZ.

He turned and gazed tiredly into the full-length mirror across the room. The man staring back at him was a stranger-tousled and weary.

You need a vacation, Robert.
RL: Actually, by this point I was thinking something entirely different - mostly involving killing off Brown before he could write his next book and further ruin my life. What made it worse was that I'd already heard rumors about a movie version of the book.

If that happened, I hoped that they’d cast someone like George Clooney or Brad Pitt in the lead role rather than, for example, Tom Hanks. I dreaded the thought of Hanks trying to grow some nauseating approximation of my slightly long and wavy, yet still very manly hairstyle.