Friday, September 11, 2009

The Last Contintent

An extended quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel, The Last Continent. It is a parody about all things Australian.

Rincewind had attracted the attention of at least one other watcher apart from whatever it was that dwelt in the waterhole.

Death had taken to keeping Rincewind's lifetimer on a special shelf in his study, in much the way that a zoologist would want to keep an eye on a particularly intriguing specimen.

The lifetimers of most people were the classic shape that Death thought was right and proper for the task. They appeared to be large eggtimers, although, since the sands they measured were the living seconds of someone's life, all the eggs were in one basket.

Rincewind's hourglass looked like something created by a glassblower who'd had the hiccups in a time machine. According to the amount of actual sand it contained - and Death was pretty good at making this kind of estimate - he should have died long ago. But strange curves and bends and extrusions of glass had developed over the years, and quite often the sand was flowing backwards, or diagonally. Clearly, Rincewind had been hit with so much magic, had been thrust reluctantly through time and space so often that he'd nearly bumped into himself coming the other way, that the precise end of his life was now as hard to find as the starting point on a roll of really sticky transparent tape.


The leader looked down at him. 'Name your price for that little battler, mate!' said Remorse.

'Er... three.. er... squids?'said Rincewind muzzily.

'What? For a wiry little devil like that?He's got to be worth a coupla hundred at least!'

'Three squids is all I've got...'

'I reckon a few of them rocks hit him on the head,' said one of the stockmen who were holding Rincewind up.

'I mean I'll buy him off'f you, mister,' said Remorse, patiently. 'Tell you what - two hundred squids, a bag of tucker and we'll set you right on the road to... Where was it he wanted to go, Clancy?'

'Bugarup,' murmured Rincewind.

'Oh, you don't wanna go to Bugarup,' said Remorse. 'Nothing in Bugarup but a bunch of wowsers and pooftahs.'

''s okay, I like parrots,' mumbled Rincewind, who was just hoping that they would let him go so that he could hold on to the ground again. 'Er... what's Ecksian for going mad with terrified fatigue and collapsing in a boneless heap?'

The men looked at one another.

'Isn't that "snagged as a wombat's tonker"?'

'No, no, no, that's when you chuck a twister, isn't it?' said Clancy.

'What? Strewth, no. Chucking a twister's when... when you... yeah, it's when you... Yeah, it's when your nose... hang on, that's "bend a smartie"...'

'Er-' said Rincewind, clutching his head.

'What? "Bend a smartie" is when your ears get blocked under water.' Clancy looked uncertain, and then seemed to reach a decision. 'Yeah, that's right!'

'Nah, that's "gonging like a possum's armpit", mate.'

'Excuse me --' said Rincewind.

'That ain't right. "Gonging like a possum's armpit" is when you crack a crusty. When your ears are stuffed like a Mudjee's kettle after a week of Fridays, that's "stuck up like Morgan's mule".'

'No, you're referrin' to "happier than Morgan's mule in a choccy patch" --'

'You mean "as fast as Morgan's mule after it ate Ma's crow pie".'

'How fast was that? Exactly?' said Rincewind.

They all stared at him.

'Faster'n an eel in a snakepit, mate!' said Clancy.'Don't you understand plain language?'

(Taken from The Last Continent - Terry Pratchett)

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