Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The narrative power of a missing apostrophe: Devils Due

So at first I was thinking it was nonsensical I said something along the lines of, "It's just two nouns back to back, it doesn't mean anything."

Then Lonespark pointed out that if someone said, "Book due," you'd understand that that.

One can imagine a person who wants to return a book on time but also wants it as long as possible having a count down:

Book due in three days
Book due in two days
Book due in one day
Book Due!

This give us an impression of a story, but not so much the Twilight Zone's The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street as Waiting for Godot.  The forces of good and righteousness are completely ready to snap into action.  Anticipation has been building, preparations have been made.  Today is the day.  Like the book, Devils Due!

But then, no Devils show up.  Everything remains peaceful and idyllic.  The divine vs. infernal action/suspense whatever movie cannot begin because the due devils don't show up.  Devils Overdue.  Fuck.  The heroes are left to figure out what to do with themselves as nothing out of the ordinary goes wrong.

Meanwhile the Devils are getting a tan.

Someone thinks that they've got horrible burns but they explain that no, it's just a good tan, if they stay out of the sun too long their skin gets so bright.  One says, "Almost florescent."


But what about a different interpretation.

Due can also be about what is deserved.  Perhaps someone did something bad and some devils are due, but note the "are" so we'll drop that and move on to payment.


Payment.  The merchant gives the customer the order and says, "That's five devils due."

What sort of wares are paid for in devils (or services I suppose.)  How does one go about rounding up the devils they have to pay with?


And, most importantly of all.  Isn't this all more interesting than a story called, "Devil's Due," which sounds like it's a knock of Angel Heart (if it's what the devil is due) or Rosemary's Baby (if it's the devil's due date)?

1 comment:

  1. Of course it might be that there's a missing l, and the story is about devils who duel.