Patricia the Mono

Patricia the Mono

This article is part of a series on vehicles in The Dark Tower.

“Now we know the name of the one that fell in the river,” Eddie said. “Patricia. They got their colors wrong, though. It’s supposed to be pink for girls and blue for boys, not the other way around.”

-Stephen King, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands

Patricia the Mono

We all remember Blaine the Mono, but what about the more obscure Patricia?

By the time Roland and his ka-tet found her, Patricia the Mono had crashed just outside Lud. Some say she committed suicide. Others say Blaine killed her. Why did Patricia the mono have to die? The answer is simple, either way: that’s what happens in a world that has moved on.

During the showdown with Blaine, the pink mono was talking about the people of Lud treating him like a god: “THIS AMUSED ME FOR A SHORT WHILE. THEN, LAST MONTH, MY ONLY REMAINING COLLEAGUE—PATRICIA—COMMITTED SUICIDE.”

~Stephen King, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands, page 298

The conversation continues on, and Blaine mentions that Patricia the Mono was crying all the time.

Then, he makes some incriminating remarks:

“I EVENTUALLY BECAME SO DISTURBED BY HER BLATTING THAT I ERASED THE CIRCUITS CONTROLLING HER NON-VOLUNTARIES. I EMANCIPATED HER, YOU MIGHT SAY. SHE RESPONDED BY THROWING HERSELF IN THE RIVER. SEE YOU LATER, PATRICIA-GATOR.”

~Stephen King, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands, page 299

Patricia the Mono
Patricia the Mono. This photo’s from Reddit. Photo links to source.

What was Patricia the Mono like before the world moved on?

What was Patricia the Mono like before the world moved on? We have some tantalizing clues.

For one thing, Bix (the old guy from the beginning of Wind through the Keyhole) said Patricia once had “beautiful glass sides.” We also know that Patricia was blue. According to a popular Wiki, she ran from Lud to Fedic, her last stop. However, I think her last stop is the Northern Baronies, not Fedic (and I have a quote to prove it. Read on!).

Finally, we have one more tidbit, mayhap with a bit of sigul code written in by Sai King himself, may it do ya fine. Here tis, as heard by the ka-tet from inside the train station in Lud:

“And over everything, the speakers chanting news of a dozen different destinations. Patricia is now boarding for Northwest Baronies…

~Stephen King, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands, Page 250

So we know that Patricia chugs out toward the Northwest Baronies. Cool! But there’s more to this information than it at first seems.

Patricia the Mono: Lexical Symbolism

Indeed. While rereading the Waste Lands to research this article, I may have come across an Easter Egg!

Directly following the above quote, the text reads:

“Will Passenger Killington, passenger Killington, please report to the information booth on the lower level? Blaine is now arriving at Berth #2, and will be de-barking shortly…”

I’ll just come right out and say it: Sai King is playing with language here in a such a way as to make symbolic code.

First of all, Killington is a very punny name. If you’ve finished the Waste Lands, you know how the exchange with Blaine ends, and I don’t think it’s necessary to explain that one any further.

There’s another pun here: de-barking. “Barking” (e.g. crying, blatting, being loud and noisy and annoying) is what Patricia was apparently doing when Blaine fried her circuits. And it is certainly what Blaine does (the guy speaks in ALL CAPS, for fuck’s sake).

Thank you very much for reading.

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