Chapter 3

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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.

Chapter 3

There are no time cues in this short chapter, so it still must be Thursday, March 26, 1970, the third day of the narrative.

Page 46

Surfer-Lowrider Wars
Surfers were mostly white boys, middle class. Lowriders were primarily Hispanic and working class. They were not fond of each other. I recall in high school, back in the mid-1960s, it was surfers and "greasers." Same deal, basically class warfare.

top kahuna
A Hawaiian term, kahuna means a wizard or expert.

Page 47

Endless Bummer
This is a pun on The Endless Summer, an influential 1966 documentary about surfing.

what's behind the door where Carol is standing . . . zonk
Carol Merrill was an assistant on the TV game show Let's Make a Deal in which contestants would have to choose unseen prizes hidden behind doors. Some prizes were valuable, but the "zonks" were the worthless prizes.

it's toll-free–800-BENTCOP
"Toll free Numbers" One of several anachronisms in the torrent of pop-culture references in IV. Toll free numbers with the 800 area code weren't patented until 1978 and didn't come into use until 1982.


Struggling confusedly at close quarters. Ian Scuffling was the alias bestowed on Tyrone Slothrop by Blodgett Waxwing, GR p. 256.

Wandering Jew
Wandering Jew Inch Plant is apparently a popular ornamental along with dwarf palms and dieffenbachia. The three plants are mentioned in passing when Doc pays a visit to Pat Dubonnet at the Gordita Beach [cop] station where the plants have their places along with locomotive-size espresso machines whose previous incarnation was the two-coil hot plate and a jar of instant coffee.

Page 48

Art Fleming
Another game show reference (see previous page). Fleming was the original host of the TV game show Jeopardy.
Perhaps Doc is too stoned to realize the meaning of the Art Fleming look. Jeopardy was and is a show on which the contestants are given answers and expected to come up with the correct questions.

quadrilateral in uniform
A nice joke on "square" (as in the opposite of a hippie).

Sharon Tate
Sharon Tate was one of the victims in the Charles Manson murders.

eleventh-commandment issues
During Reagan's 1966 campaign for governor, Republicans established the "eleventh commandment": Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican. More here. This phrase also appears on pg. 271.

Page 49

Swedish Fish
A gummy candy. See here. Also appears on pg. 270 with expanded meaning.

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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