he had swiped a Western Union flimsy

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
‘Yes, sir, I was.’ He had stopped at the Western Union office just before coming here to reserve an Avis car at Stapleton Airport, Before leaving he had swiped a Western Union flimsy. Now he took the folded and crumpled blank form from his pocket and flashed it before Queems’s bloodshot eyes. He put it back in his pocket and, allowing his voice to drop another notch, said: ‘Jana sent it. It was waitin in my letterbox when I got back just now.’
Source: The Shining by Stephen King

In this scene, Hallorann is speaking to his boss Queems about taking 3 days off to visit his son. He had told him that he divorced his wife Jana and that her white boyfriend had shot his son.

What does the bolded sentence mean? Why the capital B in before after the comma? For emphasis? Is this flimsy note a telegram? Why would he have swiped a telegram?

Thank you
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The capital B is correct. The comma is a mistake and should be a full stop (period).
    Swiped in this case means stolen.
    A flimsy is a document made out of (usually multi-part self-carboning) thin paper, designed to be used in conjunction with a credit card and one of those hand-roller machines that mechanically copies the card number onto the document. He is presumably intending to use it to defraud Western Union of some money.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. I got it. Would the flimsy also mean the form that one completes in a bank when making a deposit?

    Thank you again.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    He's waving it about and saying that Jana had sent it. I think it's the form on which a telegram would be written.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ... I think it's the form on which a telegram would be written.
    I'm sure that's what it is. He took the form. Then he wrote a fake telegram on it to explain why he needed to visit his son. (Western Union was the main telegraph company in the United States. It stopped providing telegraph service in early 2006. King wrote The Shining in the 1970s; the reference is correct for then. Stapleton Airport closed in 1995, but again, King was correct at the time.)
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    I'm sure that's what it is. He took the form. Then he wrote a fake telegram on it to explain why he needed to visit his son. (Western Union was the main telegraph company in the United States. It stopped providing telegraph service in early 2006. King wrote The Shining in the 1970s; the reference is correct for then. Stapleton Airport closed in 1995, but again, King was correct at the time.)
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    he took the folded and crumpled blank form from his pocket and flashed it before Queems’s bloodshot eyes.
    I agree with the general explanation of what is going on. However, I don't think Hallorann actually filled out the form; he flashed it around without letting Queems look at it closely, and then lied about what was on it.
     
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