Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Secret of "P"

Having not read this classic Raymond Chandler mystery, I am quite confused. Just why do you brand an otherwise attractive woman with the letter "P"? What descriptive personality or physical trait is it supposed to warn others away from? Preppiness? Persnicketyness? Phoniness? Pettiness? Permissiveness? Prissiness? Pit odor?

Or does it refer to some sort of unwanted or controversial medical condition? Psoriasis? Psychotic episodes? Periodontal disease? Plantar's warts? Pigeon toes? Perforated ear drums? Plastic surgery?

Could it refer to her somewhat unorthodox choice of career? Podiatrist? Pundit? Parking lot attendant? Pit boss? Pearl diver? Praline maker?

Just maybe, considering my discussion here, it identifies the wearer as one of the new century's most scorned home improvement show characters: popcorn ceiling owner!


Stephanie said...

Or "Papered the walls...with pictures of puppies."

Or "painted our vintage wood floors purple."

Or! "Pretended to buy energy-saving windows when really they're as efficient as tin-foil." No, probably not that one.

Muley said...

Somehow, I don't think the woman shown in the book cover ever had the time or inclination to raise puppies, but I could be wrong. She might have a passing knowledge of tinfoil, however, gained through opening all those sticks of gum I'll bet she nervously chews.