Chapter 16

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Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.

Page numbers refer to editions with 369 pages, where the story begins on page 1. Not sure if there are other editions with variant pagination. Please let us know otherwise.

Page 275

Rhus Frothingham
"Rhus" is the formal name of the plant genus commonly referred to as Sumac. It includes various desirable plants, but also Poison Sumac and Poison Ivy. See: Plants of Inherent Vice

Page 276

"Thought you'd never want to speak to me again."
So, now Doc and Penny deal with her betrayal (handing him over to the FBI on page 72) which was never mentioned when they spent the night together in between (page 120).

Page 277

indict a bean burrito
An amusing local twist on the common adage, which virtually every lawyer probably learned in law school, that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich."

Page 278

Midnight, pitch dark . . . blind cannonball
That's quite a metaphorical excursion!

Page 280

the playoffs, even though it was Eastern Division
The fifth game of the NBA finals was played in New York Monday, May 4, 1970. The Knicks won 107-100 over the Lakers.

it was time for the eleven-o'clock news..."Give it a rest Bugliosi"
11:00 P.M., Monday, May 4, 1970. Given that this is the day of the killings at Kent State, it seems odd that the late news would be taken up by the Manson case.

Page 281

A promo came on for the late movie
Late night, Monday, May 4, 1970.

Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster
Godzilla film released in the USA in 1965 with the name of the titular monster slightly altered from Ghidorah to Ghidrah. Later re-releases of the film have corrected the spelling.

Roman Holiday
1953 film starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. Believe it or not, the similarities of this film's ending, reporter saying goodbye to a princess he's romantically involved with at one of her public events, with "Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster" are so striking that a real connection seems plausible. Pynchon isn't the only one to have noticed the parallels: DVD Savant and IGN.

Next day was as they say another day
Oh, it's another day all right. Pynchon has inserted a day in between Monday, May 4, 1970 and Tuesday, May 5. This day continues until the end of chapter 17, a total of 34 pages, making it the day with the most pages in the book.

The phrase perhaps echoes "Tomorrow is another day," from page 18.

The events of this day are unusual, to say the least. See later annotation, for those who don't mind a spoiler.

Page 282

Eddie Robinson
This would be the actor Edward G. Robinson, whose vocal style while portraying Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello in Little Caesar has become synonymous with "gangster talk" ever since.

Page 283

Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme
One of Charles Manson's devotees, not charged in the Tate murders, but later jailed for coming at President Gerald Ford with a loaded gun. Coincidentally, she was paroled after 30 years in jail, the very week Inherent Vice was released...

Page 290

El Huevoncito
Someone with a better grasp of idiomatic Spanish can correct this, but:

"Huevon" is a vulgar slang insult, implying that that the subject is lazy and stupid. The "cito" is a dimunitive suffix. I suppose an English translation might be "little lazy asshole" or something along those lines.

Page 294

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson also makes a brief appearance on page 395 of Mason & Dixon. The transcription of TJ's language (like "traffick in Enslavement") echoes the faux-vérité 18th-century style of Mason and Dixon too.

the tree of liberty . . .
This quote is from a 1787 letter Jefferson wrote to W. S. Smith.

Chapter 1
pp. 1-18
Chapter 2
pp. 19-45
Chapter 3
pp. 46-49
Chapter 4
pp. 50-54
Chapter 5
pp. 55-67
Chapter 6
pp. 68-88
Chapter 7
pp. 89-110
Chapter 8
pp. 111-123
Chapter 9
pp. 124-153
Chapter 10
pp. 154-162
Chapter 11
pp. 163-185
Chapter 12
pp. 186-206
Chapter 13
pp. 207-234
Chapter 14
pp. 235-255
Chapter 15
pp. 256-274
Chapter 16
pp. 275-295
Chapter 17
pp. 296-314
Chapter 18
pp. 315-342
Chapter 19
pp. 343-350
Chapter 20
pp. 351-363
Chapter 21
pp. 364-369
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