He was stupid, yes, in the particular way that very clever people can be stupid, and maybe he had all the tact of an avalanche and was as self-centered as a tornado, but it would never have occurred to him that children were important enough to be unkind to.
The phrase ‘Set a thief to catch a thief’ had by this time (after strong representations from the Thieves’ Guild) replaced a much older and quintessentially Ankh-Morporkian proverb, which was ‘Set a deep hole with spring-loaded sides, tripwires, whirling knife blades driven by water power, broken glass and scorpions, to catch a thief.’
They had been in Ankh-Morpork for three days and Granny was beginning to enjoy herself, much to her surprise. She had found them lodgings in The Shades, an ancient part of the city whose inhabitants were largely nocturnal and never inquired about another’s business because curiosity not only killed the cat but threw it in the river with weights tied to its feet. The lodgings were in the top floor next to the well-guarded premises of a respectable dealer in stolen property because, as Granny had heard, good fences make good neighbors.
Ankh-Morpork! Brawling city of a hundred thousand souls! And, as the Patrician privately observed, ten times that number of actual people. The fresh rain glistened on the panorama of towers and rooftops, all unaware of the teeming, rancorous world it was dropping into. Luckier rain fell on upland sheep, or whispered gently over forests, or pattered somewhat incestuously into the sea. Rain that fell on Ankh-Morpork, though, was rain that was in trouble. They did terrible things to water, in Ankh-Morpork. Being drunk was only the start of its problems.
It was, in fact, one of those places that exist merely so that people can have come from them. The universe is littered with them: hidden villages, windswept little towns under wide skies, isolated cabins on chilly mountains, whose only mark on history is to be the incredibly ordinary place where something extraordinary started to happen. Often there is no more than a little plaque to reveal that, against all gynecological probability, someone very famous was born halfway up a wall.
One of the remarkable innovations introduced by the Patrician was to make the Thieves’ Guild -responsible- for theft, with annual budgets, forward planning and, above all, rigid job protection. Thus, in return for an agreed average level of crime per annum, the thieves themselves saw to it that unauthorized crime was met with the full force of Injustice, which was generally a stick with nails in it.
I just realized … After the JFK 50th stuff dies down, we’re all going to be subjected to coverage of the 50th anniversary of the advent of the Beatles.
Now, as an aging fart, I’m at least as much a fan of Beatles music as most in my generation. However, what I imagine we’re in for is in-depth coverage of the media phenomenon of the Beatles. So it will be another set of aging newsies, covering what newsies had to say back then.
When one person in your stream blogs something, then re-blogs a re-blog response to that, and continues doing this, ESPECIALLY when the original post has a few pages of pictures, a “Collapse the bits of this I’ve already seen" option would be really, really nice.
It’ll help avoid the “A pox on both your houses!” feeling that crankypants like me start to develop, when scrolling past the same set of pics, over and over and over and over …