The Catcher in the Rye
How we cite our quotes:
"She's prob'ly in the museum, then. We went last Saturday," the kid said.
"Which museum?" I asked her.
She shrugged her shoulders, sort of. "I don't know," she said. "The museum."
"I know, but the one where the pictures are, or the one where the Indians are?"
"The one where the Indians."
"Thanks a lot." (16.16-21)
Holden might have difficulty communicating with almost everyone, but he sure knows how to talk to a kid. He understands immediately that “Indians” are what she’ll remember.
She was having a helluva time tightening her skate. She didn't have any gloves on or anything and her hands were all red and cold. I gave her a hand with it. Boy, I hadn't had a skate key in my hand for years. It didn't feel funny, though. You could put a skate key in my hand fifty years from now and I'd still know what it is. She thanked me and all when I had tightened it for her. She was a very nice, polite little kid. God, I love it when a kid's nice and polite when you tighten their skate for them or something. Most kids are. They really are. I asked her if she'd care to have a hot chocolate or something with me, but she said no, thank you. She said she had to meet her friend. Kids always have to meet their friend. That kills me. (16.23)
Haha. Holden might know what a skate key is, but, uh, we had to ask our parents. (It’s a little key you’d use to tighten or loosen adjustable skates that you could put over your shoes.) In any case, this is like a kid from the ‘90s saying that she’d always recognize a pog—it’s just a part of childhood.
The part that got me was, there was a lady sitting next to me that cried all through the goddam picture. The phonier it got, the more she cried. You'd have thought she did it because she was kindhearted as hell, but I was sitting right next to her, and she wasn't. She had this little kid with her that was bored as hell and had to go to the bathroom, but she wouldn't take him. She kept telling him to sit still and behave himself. She was about as kindhearted as a goddam wolf. (18.6)
You know how Holden thinks his brother is such a phony? This is why. Screenwriters make people care about the kids on screen and ignore the kids right next to them.