Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Man Martin's "The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome"

Man Martin writes and teaches in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been twice named Georgia Author of the Year.

Here Martin dreamcasts an adaptation of his latest novel, The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome:
Bone King, suffering a mysterious neurological condition that intermittently prevents his going through doors, consults with the famous Dr. Limongello (pronounced Lemon Jell-O) who gives a bizarre diagnosis - King’s soul is becoming detached from his brain - and an equally bizarre therapy; when stuck at a door, he is to dance - following the same logic that stutterers communicate clearly when they sing. And each day, to address the underlying problem, he must perform a series of tasks aimed at relearning empathy for others and ultimately for himself.

Casting this to my satisfaction will require a time-machine.

Dr. Limongello is a bit “mad;” a doctor whose infectious self-confidence could make a patient accept a patently absurd diagnosis. Who better than John Astin, best known for his role of Gomez Addams on television’s The Addams Family. Cartoonist Charles Addams’ original Gomez was pudgy and sleepy-eyed, but Astin’s version was an irresistible manic force. He didn’t merely kiss his wife, her devoured her, starting at the fingertips and working his way up to her neck. That’s Limongello; fizzing with manic energy, evidence that if the world is cockeyed, you have to be a little cockeyed yourself to live in it properly.

Bone King is a socially awkward grammar nerd, afraid - quite rightly - that his wife is carrying on with the yardman. I visualize him played by Alec Guiness with the same dreamy abstraction he brought to The Man in the White Suit. Guiness is a master of physical comedy, but what sets him apart is his expression of forlorn unsurprise at the disasters that rain down on him, a look of wounded dignity. This is the look Bone might wear, finding himself frozen at a threshold in some public place, and compelled to break into dance to get through.
Visit Man Martin's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Man Martin and Zoe.

The Page 69 Test: The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome.

--Marshal Zeringue