Q: Is Cancerland in the temperate zone? That is to say, does it have the usual four seasons one associates with the temperate zone?
A: It is in the temperate zone, yes. However, in Cancerland, the seasons number not four but five. We have summer, fall, winter, spring, and an extra irregularly occurring season called Maudlin, or the Tearful Time. Maudlin comes round out of the blue, whenever it wants, between any of the other regular seasons, or two or three times consecutively, or not for many, many months on end.
Q: Are you shitting me?
A: I am not shitting you, no. Even stranger, Maudlin can superimpose itself on any of the other seasons, so that all of a sudden you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of Tearful Summer, or Tearful Winter, or Tearful Fall. Tearful Spring is an especially bad time.
Q: How the hell does any calendar account for such a chaotic arrangement?
A: We do not have calendars in Cancerland.
Q: And how, without a calendar, if I may bloody well ask, does anyone plan anything?
A: We have dates, Quentin, just not a conventionally laid-out calendar.
Q: But then how do you know that a certain appointed date has in fact rolled around?
A: Our doctors’ offices leave us voicemail messages to confirm that so-and-so has an appointment tomorrow at such and such a time.
Q: You know what I’m starting to wonder about, Albert?
A: No, Quentin, I don’t know what you are starting to wonder about.
Q: How come you can’t enunciate anything but a goddamned flat declarative statement?
A: It’s better than being the Grand Inquisitor. Question, question, question, question. Nothing but endless questions.
Q: Is this never going to stop?
A: It is indeed, Quentin. Right now.
Q: Albert? Albert? You’re not going to disappear on me again, are you?