Saturday, 9 April 2016

All This and Ultimatum Too

It’s been more than a year since I’ve tasted sweet, sweet Richard Rohmer fiction.  Stanley Whyte’s last note on Death By Deficit was in March 2015. But Ultimatum 2 was worth the wait.  (Brian and Stan, have you started? I’ll avoid spoilers.) I’m barely halfway through and here’s what I’ve got:

Page 8: ultimatum, ultimatum, ultimatum
Page 9: ultimatum
Page 12: ultimatum, ultimatum, ultimatum
Page 13: ultimatums
Page 14: ultimatum
Page 31: ultimatum
Page 38: ultimatum
Page 41: ultimatum, “… his ultimatum strategy was brilliant”
Page 95: ultimatum, ultimatum
Page 96: ultimatum
Page 97: ultimatum, ultimatum, ultimatum
Page 114: ultimatum, ultimatum
Page 116: “Ivanov blanched. He blurted out one word: “Ultimatum!”
Page 120: ultimatum
Page 121: ultimatum, “I have used the Latin word – ultimatum…”
Page 125: “To conclude, the parties agreed that the word “ultimatum” was never to be applicable to any record of the proceedings. Never!”

And here’s the best thing about the plot. (Again, spoiler, but they give it away on the back cover.)  The Russians have a lot of nuclear waste they want to get rid of.  The Americans have been helping them get rid of it.  Then Condoleezza Rice has a brilliant idea: Why not bury it in a hole? America asks Russia what they think, and the Russians agree. (At least that’s how it stands on page 125.)

There’s absolutely no reason to describe this plan as an ultimatum. I believe the technical term is “offer.”

This ain’t my first Rohmer rodeo, though.  I’ll bet my de Havilland Otter they’re about to threaten Canada.

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