John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Five

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Preach On. And On. And On Some More.

Back at the Snug Harbor, Ramon is trying to sell Cunningham on the relaxing properties of raking; I can't help suspecting that Ramon is trying to con Cunningham into doing his work for him, but Cunnigham, bless his heart, gives it a few tentative rakes. "Doesn't the Yost boy skate as well as surf?" Cunningham asks, as the raking continues. "How he gets around on land," Ramon agrees. Maybe then the pool should remain empty, giving Shaun someplace to skate, Cunningham ponders. "Tell me now, before I go for the hose," says Ramon. Yes -- a filled-up pool would certainly cut down on the skating opportunities.

Away from the pool, Butchie is on the phone with Kai, using a lot fewer vulgarities and slurs than during his conversation with Tina. Anyhow, Butchie is trying to convince Kai to get Shaun over to Cissy's so that he can finalize the terms of the meeting with Tina. "Young Henry Kissinger," a rakeless Cunningham observes -- and I know that's a clever slam and all, but really, Butchie is a doing a masterful job of triangulation here among Shaun, Cissy, and Tina. Maybe there's a professor's gig at Georgetown in his future, and a Nobel Peace Prize, and a series of war crimes. Kai is reluctant to retrieve Shaun from the skate park he's currently at unless she can confidently say where she's taking him: "I'm not taking him to Cissy's until I know Tina's going to meet him there." "Tell him Tina's going to meet him," Butchie responds, which seems more hopeful than definitive at this point. Kai seems dubious that Cissy would have Tina over for lunch after all the fussing and feuding from last night; Butchie stresses that he's working on it. "I better not get him to that house, Butchie, and have Cissy freak out in front of Shaun again," Kai says firmly. "Because then he'll never want to fucking go back there." Butchie thanks Kai for her participation in this scheme and hangs up so that he can psych himself up for the next unpleasant phone conversation. That's when we hear a saxophone playing a slightly flat and not altogether on-key version of "My Favorite Things" -- it's Freddy, standing in the doorway of his hotel room, making like Charlie Parker. Cunningham claps politely. "That's how I relax," Freddy shouts. Frankly, I prefer the raking. So does Ramon: "Was he tuning up, or was that a tune?" "Rodgers and Hammerstein," Cunningham says, helpfully. "Not their best phase." Oh, Barry Cunningham -- we have much in common, you and I, including our disdain for The Sound Of Music. Perhaps, in a less narratively dense show, I might have called you friend.

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John From Cincinnati

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