And today Batiuk goes back to the tired well of Les running into a former teacher who can’t believe that Les is a successful published author. It’s an odd thing, because while I haven’t read much Act 1, I was given the impression that while Les was hapless (usually due to others’ shortcomings), he wasn’t portrayed as an idiot. It’s just Batiuk’s standard “every high school kid’s an idiot who will never amount to anything” trope. It’s so powerful that it applies even to The Delicate Genius of Westview.
Although I can amuse myself my imagining that instead of the obvious meaning of the punchline, Rita can’t believe that Les wrote a sequel to a book that was about a woman dying of cancer. There can’t ever be a sequel less essential than this one.
Plus, “back in Ohio”? You’re in Ohio now, you damn ninny!