Knowledge is the key to immortality
|Prepared by Dr. Baburam Swami - Assistant Professor - English|
Pam brings home a man she just met named Len for the purpose of sex. Due to her bed not being made, they will make love in the living room instead which turns out to be somewhat awkward for Len when Harry, Pam’s dad, makes several passes in and out of the room. Pam, by contrast, take her dad’s appearances in stride. When he finally sticks his head around the corner for the last time, Pam and Len suggestively extend to him an offer to eat candy. When Harry leaves for work and Pam takes off Len’s pants, he muses about how good life can be.
Len and Pam are now in a boat and as the time from first scene has passed Len has been taken in as a boarder. During their conversation, Pam admits that her parents haven’t spoken to each other for years and that she once had a brother but he was killed by a bomb. Fred, the boat manager, shouts sexually suggestive jokes toward the couple and it becomes obvious that Pam is attracted.
Pete, Barry, Mike, and Colin meet up in the same park where the boat conversation took place. Pete is dressed nicely for the funeral of a boy he intentionally ran over. Barry is teased mercilessly by the others and when Len arrives he is recognized by Colin from their school days. Mary, Pam’s mom, appears carrying groceries and as Len helps her out, sexually crude jokes reign supreme.
Back in the living room, Mary is placing food on the table. While Len eats, Harry sleeps away in a chair. Wearing just a slip, Pam comes in to put on makeup and tries to get the TV to work, but nobody can figure out how to adjust it. Throughout the scene, a baby begins to cry off-stage and even though the crying never stops, none of the characters make an effort to check in on it. Instead, they bicker among themselves.
Pam has been dumped by Fred, the boat manager and is sick in with bed with Len making an attempt to provide comfort. When he brings in the baby, Pam ignores it. As she has for works.
Back at the park Fred and Len are fishing and chatting. Len has lost his job because he’s spent so much time caring for Pam. Pam arrives with the baby in a carriage which has she has drugged with aspirins in order to stop it from crying. After Fred rejects her, Pam storms out of the park in anger, leaving the baby behind. Len then follows after Pam. The other guys start to wander in one at a time and amid more sexual joking, they start punching the baby and violently pushing the carriage. Fred then joins in the fun by rubbing the baby’s own poop into its face and ultimately all the guys have great, great fun throwing rocks at the baby until they kill it. Pam comes back and wheels the carriage away without bothering to look inside.
Fred is in jail whining to Pam about how he was victimized by a crowd of angry wives upon being brought to the jail. Pam is distressingly free of anger toward Fred even though Fred casts blame upon her for having a baby in the first place. He also throws stones at a gang of hooligans and the police for stopping the hooligans. Len shows with cigarettes for Fred and after Pam leaves informs him that he was a witness to the entire event.
Harry is in the living room ironing and talking with Len about his new job. Pam comes in to dry her hair and the scene devolves into more domestic bickering.
Len is cleaning his shoes when Mary enters the living room wearing only a slip. She is preparing to head the movies with a friend. After letting Len know she doesn’t mind if he brings sex partners up to her room, she gets a tear in her stocking and has Len sew it back together while it is still on her leg. Harry enters, looks at Len and Mary and then leaves.
In a café sit Len and Pam waiting for Fred. The occasion is a breakfast celebration for Fred’s release from jail. Pam attempts to lose Len, but he’ll have none of it. Fred and the other baby murderers arrive with a girl named Liz. Pam tries to force Fred’s attention onto herself, but receives only humiliation. The talk revolves around what prison and killing a baby feels like.
It’s tea time in the living room. Mary pours Harry’s tea onto the floor which results in an argument in which Mary las claim to most of the home’s possessions and Harry accuses his wife of having sex with Len. Mary responds by breaking the teapot over Harry’s head. Pam eventually blames all her problems on Len and Len responds by announcing he will leave.
Len has his ear to the floor eavesdropping on Pam who is in the room below. Harry enters with a bandage on his head. Len swears he never laid a finger on Mary. When Len reminds him that he and Mary had a row, Harry responds by saying it was only Mary who had a row. He suggests that Len not move out because he will eventually move out himself, but only when it is his decision and not Mary’s.
In the living room Mary is clearing plates from the dining table and Len is repairing a chair. Pam is reading a magazine and Harry is filling out a betting slip. Len asks Pam to get a hammer, but she ignores him. He continues in silence along with the others
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