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A Medical Opinion on the Effects of a Writer's Strike
No one knows John is to become president, so he plans to make it a surprise. Instead of acting the dignitary, he just goes around making idle chitchat.
He comes to Philip Castle, who tells John that he's planning on calling a strike for all writers.
John doesn't support the idea, claiming, "'[It] would be like the police or the firemen walking out'" (103.11).
They get Julian Castle in on the conversation. Castle the elder says that without literature a man will die, either from "putrescence of the heart or atrophy of the nervous system" (103.18). We have no idea what any of that means, but it certainly doesn't sound pleasant.