Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Tiny Ewell is in a cab driving through Watertown, Massachusetts. Tiny’s wife recently took out a restraining order against him, and Tiny is now going through detox, the first stage of alcohol rehabilitation, at St. Mel’s Hospital. In the taxi, Tiny is accompanied by a rehabilitative staffer. Together they are headed for the Enfield Marine VA Hospital Complex.
This passage introduces yet another character suffering from addiction, and highlights some of the disastrous consequences that can result from substance abuse.
Meanwhile, on the afternoon of April 2, Y.D.A.U., Prince Q——’s personal physician’s personal assistant goes to the medical attaché’s house to check why he hasn’t shown up for work. When the assistant doesn’t come back, the personal physician goes to check himself, followed by two security guards from the Saudi Embassy, followed by two Seventh Day Adventists who had seen faces through the living room window and attempted to deliver a pamphlet to the residents. Now this whole group of people stands still, watching the TP (teleputer) in silence.
The entertainment cartridge that the medical attaché is watching functions as a kind of Venus fly trap, paralyzing everyone who watches it. Yet no one seems to know it is possible for cartridges to have this effect, which means that more and more people are becoming trapped by the cartridge, which—because it is has been set on a loop—just keeps playing.