Shaw applied the Page 69 Test to Plaster City and reported the following:
To me, the spirit of the Page 69 Test is for the page to stand on its own. Out of context, warts and all. Does it convey a voice, a character, or a question that will intrigue the reader to want to read more?Visit Johnny Shaw's website.
So in that spirit, I’m going to lay down the back jacket copy of Plaster City: A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco, followed by the entirety of Page 69 with no annotations.
Here’s the back jacket copy:Jimmy Veeder and Bobby Maves are back at it, two years after the events of Dove Season—they’re not exactly the luckiest guys in the Imperial Valley, but, hey, they win more fights than they lose.And here’s Page 69:
Settled on his own farmland and living like a true family man after years of irresponsible fun, Jimmy’s got a straight life cut out for him. But he’s knocking years off that life thanks to fun-yet-dangerous Bobby’s booze-addled antics—especially now that Bobby is single, volatile, profane as ever, and bored as hell.
When Bobby’s teenage daughter goes missing, he and Jimmy take off on a misadventure that starts out as merely unfortunate and escalates to downright calamitous. Bobby won’t hesitate to kick a hornets’ nest to get the girl to safety, but when the rescue mission goes riotously sideways, the duo’s grit—and loyalty to each other—is put to the test.
Before we headed out, we made a drunk stratagem to stay on the residential streets and not drive over twenty-five miles per hour, because that’s the kind of elaborate preparations you construct when you’re drunk and have a stratagem.
“Should we bring the guns?” Bobby asked.
“The just-in-case guns I brought.”
Bobby went to the closet and pulled out a long gym bag.
“When did you put that in there?”
“When you were getting beer.”
Then, one at a time, Bobby pulled out four pistols, a rifle, and two shotguns. He spread them out on the bed like he was displaying them for sale. It was an impressive arsenal.
“Seven guns,” I said. “For two people.”
“Actually, I didn’t know you were coming. These were intended for my personal use.”
“Were you going to tie them all together and make a super-gun?”
“No, one at a time. If the opportunity arose. Although, let’s consider the super-gun idea. I never turn my back on awesome. Seven is stupid, though. But I could definitely do something with two shotguns. And if I had a sword and some duct tape--I should be writing this down.”
“Let’s leaves the guns,” I said. “We’re drunk. They’re guns. I’m not loving the combo.”
“What if we run into trouble?”