“IT” (Post 7/9)

08It Month Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]

In this part, we’ll cover:

Derry: The Third Interlude

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Derry: The Third Interlude

[264] Reference:

“You’re too young to remember when Bobby Thomson hit his home run for the Giants in the play-off game in 1951.”



Bobby Thompson’s hit is called the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” (this phrase is from the 1837 poem “Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson). It was the game-winning home run in the Giants/Dodgers National League pennant game. It was the third game of a three-game playoff in which the Giants trailed, 4-2. The game was the first ever televised nationally. (This event opens Don DeLillo’s (excellent) novel Underworld.)

Bobby Thompson (1923-2010) was a Scottish-born American professional baseball player. He was nicknamed “The Staten Island Scot.”


“When the picture-taking starts, the story is over.”


I’m not so sure this is true now. The recording can start while the story is still unfolding.


“The place makes it news as much as what happened in the place.”


Part 4: July of 1958

[267] References:

Sidney Simien,

“My Toot Toot”



Sidney Simien (1938-1998), known as Rockin’ Sidney and Count Rockin’ Sidney, was an American R&B, zydeco, and soul musician who began recording in the late 1950s and continued performing until his death. His biggest hit, “My Toot Toot”, was released in 1984 and became an international hit in 1985.

Chapter 13: The Apocalyptic Rockfight

[268] Vocabulary:

A pretty girl (…) copying an offprint.



A printed copy of an article that originally appeared as part of a larger publication.

[269] References:

Eying his audience with all the baleful interrupt-if-you-dare pugnacity of Captain Billy Bones in the Admiral Benbow.



Billy Bones is a fictional character in the first section of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island. He terrorizes the customers of the Admiral Benbow Inn with his swearing, singing and general bullying.

[270] The construction of this sentence is interesting. To avoid ambiguity (who sprang out of the bushes?) or overusing the same name King uses “he” in the first half and “Henry” after the comma.

The spring after he had killed Mike’s dog, Henry sprang out of the bushes one day while Mike was walking toward town to go to the library.


[271] Reference:

His mother read one of her endless British mysteries: Marsh, Sayers, Innes, Allingham.



Hammond Innes (1913-1998) was a British novelist who wrote over 30 novels, as well as children’s and travel books. He was awarded a C.B.E. in 1978. Unusually for the thriller genre, Innes’ protagonists were often not “heroes” in the typical sense, but ordinary men suddenly thrust into extreme situations by circumstance.

Margery Allingham (1904-1966) was an English writer of detective fiction, best remembered for her “golden age” stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion.

[272] Reference:

A chapter he had read in a book [on glamours] called Night’s Truth.


I can’t find a book with this title on Goodreads, Wikipedia, or Amazon.

[273] Reference (is there actually a “Ritual of Chüd” from the Himalayans?)

There does not appear to be. The word “Chud” means “strange,” “wondrous” people in Slavic. It is a Russian and Ukrainian word for ancient Estonians, Vepsians, Votes, Izhorians, and Baltic Finns.

[274] Reference:

A war souvenir which, Butch said, he had taken off the body of a dying Nip on the island of Tarawa (he had actually traded six bottles of Budweiser and three joysticks for the sword in Honolulu).



Tarawa is an atoll and the capital of the Republic of Kiribati, in the central Pacific Ocean. The atoll is best known by outsiders as the site of the Battle of Tarawa (November 1943) during World War II.


The trick was so simple it was damn near babyish, but none of them had seen it until Ben pointed it out. He was good at stuff like that, but when he showed you he never made you feel like a dummy.


Chapter 14: The Album 

[276] Reference:

“When L-L-Larsen pitched the n-no h-hitter in the World S-Series two years ago, d-do you think that was just luh-luck?”



Don Larsen (b.1929) is an American retired MLB pitcher. Larsen pitched the sixth perfect game in MLB history in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. It is currently the only no-hitter and perfect game in World Series history.

[277] Reference:

Kookie… Kookie… lend me your bones.”



Kookie, Kookie – Lend Me Your Comb” was a song sung by Edd Byrnes and Connie Stevens.

Edd Byrnes was referenced in Christine (note [33]).

[278] Reference:

“We put down this heavy-duty glue – Tangle-Track [sic], they call it.”


I think this type of glue is called Tangle-Trap. It may be a purposeful typo (Ben could simply have the name wrong).

[279] Reference:

“Like in The Giant Claw,” Richie said.



The Giant Claw (a.k.a. The Mark of the Claw) is a 1957 American black-and-white science fiction giant monster film. It was directed by Fred F. Sears and starred Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday. The plot concerns a gigantic bird, purported to come from an antimatter galaxy, which ultimately attacks Manhattan.


“Good plan, man,” Richie said sagely from where he sat on the edge of the excavation with his sneakers dangling down.

“What’s wrong with you?” Mike asked.

“Got a bone in my leg,” Richie said comfortably.



Crickets hummed sleepily like summer clocks in the brush.


[282] References:

“Haystack thinks Tommy Sands and Pat Boone sing rock and roll (…) Ernie K. Doe sings rock and roll.” (…)

“Also,” Mike said, leaning on his shovel, “there’s (…) Shep and the Limelights [sic], La Verne Baker [sic], (…) Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, (…) The Crests, the Chords, Stick McGhee-



Ernest Kador Jr. (1933-2001), known by the stage name Ernie K-Doe, was an African-American rhythm-and-blues singer best known for his 1961 hit single “Mother-in-Law”, which went to number 1 on the Billboard pop chart in the U.S.

Shep and the Limelites was an American doo-wop group of the early 1960s. They are best known for their 1961 hit recording, “Daddy’s Home.” (The group wasn’t formed until 1960, which makes this a bit anachronistic for Mike to list in 1958.)

LaVern Baker (1929-1997) was an American rhythm-and-blues singer who had several hit records in the 1950s and early 1960s. Her most successful records were “Tweedle Dee” (1955), “Jim Dandy” (1956), and “I Cried a Tear” (1958).

Hank Ballard (1927-2003) was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s. He played an integral part in the development of the genre. He wrote and recorded “The Twist” which spread the popularity of the dance and was notably covered by Chubby Checker.

The Crests were an American doo-wop group formed in the mid 1950s. The group had several Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their most popular song was “16 Candles” (1959).

The Chords were a 1950s American doo-wop group, whose only hit was “Sh-Boom” (1954).

Stick McGhee (1918-1961) was an African-American jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for his blues song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” (1947).

[283] Reference:

The picture (…) had as many details and little side-jokes as a big Mort Drucker panel in a Mad magazine movie take-off.”



Mort Drucker (b.1929) is an American caricaturist and comics artist best known as a contributor for over five decades in Mad, where he specialized in satires on the leading feature films and television series.

[284] Reference:

None of the boys knew much about either the Volstead Act or its repeal.



The informal name for the National Prohibition Act.

Chapter 15: The Smoke-Hole

[285] Reference/Translate:

“Thee sees the rurales, senhorr.”



Rurales (Spanish for “Rurals”) is a Mexican term used to describe two different government forces. The best known is the Guardia Rural (Rural Guard) founded by President Benito Juarez in 1861. It was used as an effective form of repression. The Rurales were dissolved during the Mexican Revolution. There is now a modern Cuerpo de Defensa Rural (Rural Defense Corps): members of a part-time voluntary militia, used to support Federal forces.

[286] Reference:

“I got this book out of the library last week (…) Ghosts of the Great Plains.”


I can’t find a pre-1960 book of this title.

[287] Yes. The Author. Isn’t a plot so much easier to write when the Author is an actual force that the characters must obey?

Stephen King is God of this universe and God is very active in his creations’ lives. His characters’ intuitive flashes become an annoying gimmick when you’ve read enough of his work; he avoids establishing proper motivation and logic with bursts of insight from nowhere.

For a moment he felt the way you did when you suddenly realized you had swum out too far and the water was over your head. There was an intuitive flash: We’re being drawn into something. Being picked and chosen. None of this is accidental. Are we all here yet?



It was nice to imagine something bigger than you, smarter than you, was doing your thinking for you (…) Richie was convinced that the force that had brought them together (…) – that force wasn’t the same as the one killing the children. This was some kind of counterforce to that other… to (…)

It. But all the same, he didn’t like this feeling of not being in control of his own actions, of being managed, of being run.


For an author so scornful of the phrase “for some reason,” this is cheap:

[Bill] understood now why he had sent Eddie back to get Ben; it was that pumping-station they were supposed to go to, that very one, and only Ben knew exactly which one it was – they ran along both banks of the Kenduskeag at irregular intervals. “Ih-ih-hit’s the pluh-pluh-hace! The w-w-way ih-in! The wuh-wuh-wuh-way to It!”

“Bill, you can’t know that!” Beverly cried.

He shouted furiously at her – at all of them. “I know!”



Suppose there was Another?

And suppose further that these children were agents of that Other?


Anyone who’s read The Dark Tower knows this Other is King himself.

By coincidence (surely not on purpose, surely not guided by the hand of any Other), by the bonding of seven extraordinarily imaginative minds, It had been brought into a zone of great danger.



Bill understood somehow that there was yet Another, and that Final Other dwelt in a void beyond this one. This Final Other was, perhaps, the creator of the Turtle, which only watched, and It, which only ate. This Other was a force beyond the universe, a power beyond all other power, the author of all there was.


This seems lazy, lazy, lazy. The fantasy falls apart when King’s best explanation is: Yeah, this is all me.

And clearly, [Bill] heard the Voice of the Other; the Turtle might be dead, but whatever had invested it was not.

“Son, you did real good.”


[288] Reference:

Pretty soon Big Bill is gonna get noivous from the soivice because we’re not answering anymore, and he and Ben will come down and haul us out. It’s just like Conway Twitty says – only make-believe.


A 2010 Wikipedia discussion from a user named Lantzy:

[Nervous in the service] was the title of a marching song sung by women during WWII. The chorus goes “If you’re nervous in the service, And you don’t know what to do / Have a baby, get out of the Navy.”

An October 4, 2014 blog post titled “Nervous in the Service” on ryanai.blogspot.com says:

[Nervous in the service] is one of my Dad’s old expressions (…) I wondered about the origins of the expression. I do recall Ruby Rhod saying it in The Fifth Element (…) [I] found a song from the era called To a Wave that may have been the source for that marching nonsense rhyme.

Urban dictionary says it’s also used to refer to premature ejaculation.

It’s Only Make Believe” is a song written by Jack Nance and American country music artist Conway Twitty. It was released by Twitty as a single in July 1958.

Post 8


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