by Catriona Mills

Random Weirdness from the Bookshelf: The Gothic Edition

Posted 17 February 2009 in by Catriona

Guess which decade this edition of Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis’s extravaganza of terror and anti-Catholic hysteria was published in:

My favourite bit of this cover is the expression on Matilda’s face; if I had to guess what she was thinking, it would be, “I’ve lost all control over my own right arm!”

I also love her idea of a suitable outfit to wear while masquerading as a man inside a monastery. Matilda, I think you might be giving people a couple of hints about your gender, there.

I showed this cover to my mother, and she said, “But can you imagine if they’d published an edition of Oliver Twist?—it would have had the tagline ‘And still he asked for more!’”

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-Eight

Posted 16 February 2009 in by Catriona

Or, how I learnt about the complexities of gender politics through Monkey (a lesson originally learnt some twenty-five years ago):

ME: Why is Tripitaka leading that mob against the slightly sad puppy monster?
NICK: I don’t know.
ME: But didn’t Tripitaka say that all monsters are in the mind? So why is he at the head of a lynch mob now?
NICK: Well, the thing about Tripitaka is that she’s a bit of a flip-flopper.
ME: But she’s so pretty.

And later, during the end-credit music (the dodgy, late seasons’ credit music, not the awesome, early seasons’ credit music):

ME: This is like a Christmas carol as done by “Tainted Love.”
NICK: Yeah.
ME: No, Soft Cell! Not “Tainted Love,” Soft Cell! Dammit. That would have been much funnier if I’d got the name right.
NICK: But I mentally added the correct value, so it’s all right.

Quotes That Have Annoyed Me Today

Posted 16 February 2009 in by Catriona

My Gmail programme runs unobtrusive banner advertisements across the top of the page.

Sometimes, these frustrate me beyond measure, as when, on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, I was offered “fantastic” deals on “Impeach Obama” T-shirts. Clearly, my e-mail programme—which, if it were sentient, would know me as well as anyone, being privy to most of my everyday communication—doesn’t have the faintest idea about my political leanings. It probably doesn’t care, either.

Sometimes they bewilder me, as when they declared that’s “Word of the Day” was “obscure,” which really isn’t that (forgive me) obscure a word.

But today they’ve annoyed me. Not much, just a mild degree of annoyance.

Today, I have a quote of the day from Charles Kettering: “Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.”

Well, no. I’d say that’s probably true.

But, Charles Kettering, holder of over three hundred patents, man responsible for the development of Freon and the first practical coloured paints for mass-produced cars (to paraphrase Wikipedia), they do quite frequently tax the items that help us to think more broadly, more deeply, and more intensely.

Look, for example, at the fact that paperback books cost a small fortune now, compared to their prices before the introduction of the GST—after which they rose by considerably more than ten percent, I might add.

And it’s nothing new: think of the Taxes on Knowledge (not the best link, but good on dates), which increased the prices of papers carrying political content well beyond the reach of any but the well-to-do, and which existed for over one hundred years.

(So when you see an inexpensive Victorian journal telling you that it’s “A Weekly Journal of Science, Arts, and Literature,” it’s not telling you what is contains, it’s telling you what it doesn’t contain: no religion or politics, and therefore not taxable.)

So they may not be able to levy a tax explicitly on thought, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they tried.

But they can certainly levy taxes on those objects and institutions that facilitate, enrich, or inspire thoughts.

So stop being fatuous, Gmail’s Quote of the Day.

Lessons I Have Learned From Watching Fantasy Films

Posted 15 February 2009 in by Catriona

1. It is by no means difficult to pick up—in a relatively short period of time, usually only days or even hours—sufficient skills with a sword to disarm, seriously maim, or perhaps even kill an enemy who has had lifelong training in swordsmanship.

Clearly, Inigo Montoya and Westley were rather slow learners.

2. Walking in a fantasy world is not tiring at all. This is almost certainly due to the rarified atmosphere in a pre-industrial world.

3. The more unconvincing the enemy looks, the harder it will be to kill. This is particularly true when the enemy is actually a puppet.

4. Dragons are a bit rubbish, really, aren’t they? I mean, they can breathe fire, own great wealth, usually demonstrate strong magic, often possess some sort of ill-defined wisdom that has passed, over the eons, beyond the ken of man—but when do you really see a dragon using these powers to thoroughly subjugate a kingdom?

Okay, yes: there was Reign of Fire.

But apart from that? Really, dragons should be firmly and metaphorically crushing entire populations beneath their scaly claws, and they just don’t. Rubbish, really.

5. Surely most fantasy kingdoms must suffer from an unusually high rate of osteoporosis. I assume this because of the relative dearth of cows. Sure, when you pass a humble farmstead, there’s bound to be one or maybe two cows outside. Sometimes goats. Enough to provide for the milk and cheese needs of a single family, especially given the relative size of agrarian families in a pre-industrial world.

But where, when the hero is tramping across acres of what look to me like prime dairy land, are the herds of cows required to provide milk to the urban centres?

Why, in short, are fantasy films so lacking in cows?

6. Most places in a fantasy world that are likely to hasten your demise—to make your death more untimely, as it were, than it might otherwise have been—tend to wear their heart on their sleeve. They’re usually called something like “The Caverns of Doom” or “The Fire Swamp.”

This should make them easier to avoid, really.

7. Weapons in a fantasy world seem to operate counter to the nature of their own materials. People never seem to clean their swords before resheathing them, despite the damage this would cause to the blade and to the scabbard. And, for that matter, why don’t swords have blood grooves? Vast amounts of blood would be running down over the wielder’s hand, causing them to drop the sword constantly. And, for that matter, why isn’t there more blood in a fantasy sword fight? And how do you keep your sword sharp when hardly any hero seems to own a whetstone or, if they do own one, to use it, despite spending all day hacking off bits of their enemies, even down to the bone, which must surely blunt the edge of even the sharpest sword?

Of course, these questions don’t apply if you have a named sword: everyone knows that named swords operate under their own laws, even when those laws contravene the laws of physics themselves.

8. Every fantasy kingdom is, well, a kingdom, isn’t it? Oh, I don’t mean that there aren’t any queens, because there are. Sometimes there are even evil Regents.

But where are the oligarchies? The ruling priesthoods? The democratically elected governments? I know they exist in the books, but where are they on film? What, in short, is so great about kings?

9. I’m not even going to cover question about bathes and personal grooming, since the always fabulous Diana Wynne Jones has already covered those.

10. I’m not sure about this, but I have a feeling that girls, like dragons, are a bit rubbish, too. This goes against much that I’ve learnt from sources other than fantasy films, but it does seem that, in the fantasy world on-screen, girls tend to be more trouble than they’re worth, always getting kidnapped and screaming, falling over and breaking their ankles, or just plain getting into trouble.

And they’re so lippy, and there’s nothing worse than a lippy woman. Apparently.

Of course, I’m excluding the dead wife from Hawk the Slayer from this category. You know, the one who has a concealed blade in her over-sized crucifix? She turned out to be the most interesting part of that film.

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-Seven

Posted 15 February 2009 in by Catriona

At the tail end of a conversation in which I endeavoured to prove that occasionally swearing at Nick does not make me the worst girlfriend in the world:

ME: So it doesn’t make me evil, like you say it does.
NICK: I never said that!
ME: You implied it.
NICK: When?
ME: Last week.
NICK: Last week?
ME: I think it was Thursday.
NICK: Really?
ME: In the afternoon.
NICK: Seriously? Were we chatting on IM?
ME: . . . Sweetie, I’m just making this up, now.

See, that’s really what makes Nick fun: he’s so intensely gullible.

The Gecko Insurrection Is Not Over

Posted 13 February 2009 in by Catriona

The saga started, as you know, with the disappearance of my fabulous tweezers.

Then my tweezers returned.

And I thought then that the gecko insurrection movement might have gone underground, or that, perchance, they were abandoning their revolutionary plans.

But, no.

Because I’ve just been in the bathroom.

And my fabulous tweezers are still there, but one of the other two pairs has disappeared now.

So perhaps the return of the fabulous tweezers was a sympathetic gesture, a kindness from the small lizards to the humans they are planning to overthrow.

But, clearly, they still need tweezers to carry out their plans—whatever those plans might be.

(This, incidentally, is the one-year anniversary of Circulating Library: I wrote my inaugural post on the 13th of February last year. So the fact that this, my 513th post, is about my revolutionary geckoes, is a nice encapsulation of the way the blog has expanded its boundaries in the last twelve months.)

I Love You, Brisbane. Let's Never Fight Again.

Posted 13 February 2009 in by Catriona

Using Contemporary Graphic Design To Slander Former Heads of State

Posted 11 February 2009 in by Catriona

Exhibit A:

This is a slightly wonky photograph of a late nineties edition of 1932’s Devil’s Cub, itself a sequel to 1926’s These Old Shades. (Well, not a direct sequel: it deals with the original protagonist’s son.)

Judging from the creases, I seem to have fallen asleep on this book at some point, which isn’t uncommon.

It’s not a bad read, provided that you like your heroes on the aggressive side, which I don’t, really. It’s fun, if not quite as funny as some of the others.

But take a closer look at the cover, in Exhibit B:

Yep, that’s William Lamb, painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

He’s perhaps best known as the somewhat unfortunate husband of Lady Caroline Lamb, said to be slightly embarrassed by her affectionate portrait of him in her first novel, Glenarvon (1816) and even more so by her rather warm (to use the contemporary euphemism) description of their married life.

But he steadfastly refused to divorce his wife, although the novel itself would probably have given him grounds even if her affair with Lord Byron hadn’t been quite so public. He seems, too, to have given his wife advice towards her later novels, despite any embarrassment he might have felt about Glenarvon.

And he was Queen Victoria’s prime minister, after his wife’s early death and his own accession to the title of Lord Melbourne.

Okay, he was named by Caroline Norton’s husband as the subject of a criminal conversation trial that nearly destroyed the government. But there was no proof and he resisted Norton’s attempts at blackmail. And though this was a horrible situation for Caroline Norton, whose husband prevented from seeing her three sons and refused to grant her the divorce that might have allowed her to remarry, she did put the experience to good use: it was primarily due to her agitation that Parliament passed the Custody of Infants Act (1839) and the Matrimonial Causes Act (1857)—the latter allowed women to retain control over their own property after marriage and to take court action on their own behalf (which would in turn contribute to women being able to seek divorces themselves, instead of having to wait to be divorced).

(See also Caroline Norton’s Defense: English Laws for Women in the 19th Century, edited by Joan Huddleston, for more information on Norton. It’s out of print, unfortunately, but fascinating.)

Okay, so William Lamb didn’t actively take part in those campaigns.

But I still think that depicting him right above the red-inked slogan “Devil’s Cub” is going a little fair.

Live-blogging Doctor Who, Season Two: Tooth and Claw

Posted 10 February 2009 in by Catriona

Note: This is an odd live-blogging experience. About two hours ago, the server that hosts Circulating Library went down for emergency repairs. It went down without warning, which suggests that there’s some problem in the underlying hardware. This is exceptionally annoying.

I asked Nick what the options were, and he suggested that I simply couldn’t blog it tonight. But I’m quite fond of this episode, and I don’t really want to miss one episode out of the season if I can avoid it.

So I’ve reached a compromise that suits me: I’m live-blogging this in Microsoft Word—which is a whole ‘nother story. I’m blogging it as I would if I could access my actual blog, but it’ll be posted later—as soon as the site is up and running again. So consider this a live-blogging under unusual live-blogging circumstances.

It’s also given me the opportunity to discover that Microsoft Word doesn’t recognise the word “blog.” Microsoft Word is so far behind the times.

That was fifteen minutes ago, and the blog’s still not up.

Here, though, we have a Scottish vista—most beautiful country on earth, bar none—and a carriage crossing the heath.

And monks! Vicious monks, threatening crofters. Damn! Ninja monks. They don’t believe in the hand of God: they have the fist of man—and some excellent bullet time. Was this episode directed by Yun-Woo Ping?

NICK: These chaps are a little underexplained, I have to say.

I don’t think they need explanation, since these guys have quarter staffs, and a giant scary box, which even the head ninja monk seems a little frightened of. We don’t get to see what’s in the box, though the terrified inhabitants of the stately home (or Scottish equivalent thereof) that they’ve attacked do.

The Doctor claims they’re heading for the late 1970s, for which he thinks Rose is over-dressed in her cut-off overalls and dusty pink T-shirt. Of course, it’s unlikely to end that way—they seem to be listening to Ian Durie, by the way. And the Doctor loves the Muppet movie, but hates Margaret Thatcher.

Instead, they’ve landed in Scotland in 1879—and there’s David Tennant’s real accent (and the Robbie Burns quote). Rose, on the other hand, is firmly instructed not to attempt a Scottish accent.

The Doctor trained under Doctor Bell? Ha! (That would be the model for Sherlock Holmes, for those of you who don’t read Golden Age detective fiction.) On the other hand, that’s Queen Victoria. Nick and I are secretly quite fascinated by the fact that Doctor Who keeps coming back the Victorian era. But I don’t really have time for that angle right now.

Instead, they’re heading to the house of a Sir Robert McTeesh (and I’m sure I haven’t got that right) [it’s “MacLeish,” as it turns out. I checked later. So I was close. In a manner of speaking], thanks to a tree across the train lines (which the queen is suspicious about), which has prevented them getting to Balmoral.

Sir Robert, of course, is the man whose house has just been overtaken by ninja monks.

Meanwhile, Rose bets the Doctor ten quid she can make the queen say “We are not amused.” (She tried for five quid, but the Doctor said at that price it would be against his responsibilities as a time traveller.)

Wait, Sir Robert’s estate is called Torchwood? Now, I bet that’s not a coincidence.

There’s a running joke about Rose’s relative nakedness, but I’ve not had a chance to reproduce any of that. Funny, but mostly because of the delivery.

Sir Robert’s wife is super pretty, but she’s not happy with the guy in the mysterious crate, who we see shushing the terrified group. (Apparently, David Tennant went to acting school with the chap in the crate, who was a bit weird even then.)

Meanwhile, the Doctor’s being shown a gorgeous steampunk telescope—Rose is still trying to get the queen to say, “We are not amused.” This is starting to annoy me, actually. The Doctor thinks the telescope is rubbish as a telescope, but beautiful. It is truly beautiful.

There’s a local myth about a wolf that fascinated Prince Albert, but before Sir Robert can explain the story, the head ninja monk, now masquerading as a butler, cuts him off. There’s something mysterious being done in the kitchen by numerous semi-identical monks, involving herbs, which they then feed to the queen’s soldiers.

Who promptly collapse.

Well, they’re not getting their Christmas bonuses.

Rose, meanwhile, is hearing about the problems in the house, the over-running by the ninja monks, from a terrified housemaid called Flora. She convinces Flora to tell the Doctor, but they come across the drugged soldiers in the interim, and are snatched by ninja monks.

The Doctor is told that Rose has been delayed by the complexities of nineteenth-century clothing, which the Doctor finds convincing.

Hang on, my server’s back up! I’ll cut and paste.

Ah, now this is proper live-blogging. Hurray!

(The fact that Nick didn’t tell me the server was back up is another story.)

(I’ve missed the queen talking about missing Albert.)

Rose is now with the other prisoners—and we see the terrifying eyes of the creature in the crate—while Sir Robert tells the story of the local legend of the wolf. Rose, showing the bravery we see in other episodes, approaches the crate, recognising the content as not human. Well, the boy in the crate is human, but something else has taken a local boy, a “heartsick boy,” and taken over his body.

And the Doctor mentions the word “werewolf” for the first time.

Rose offers to take the werewolf—the essential wolf—back to its home planet, but it wants to take over the queen, and begin “the Empire of the Wolf.”

The wolf, meanwhile, recognises something of a kindred spirit in Rose, presumably a hangover from the Bad Wolf events of last season.

Sir Robert is trying to warn the Doctor of the nature of the ninja monks—that they turned from God and worship the wolf.

Meanwhile, the moon has risen, and the creature in the crate is changing. Rose is trying to motivate the prisoners to pull simultaneously on the chain holding them, though they are, not surprisingly, distracted by the man turning into a werewolf in front of them.

The ninja-monk-butler openly admits to wanting the throne, and kills the queen’s last bodyguard—just as Rose and the prisoners release themselves, as the Doctor leaps into the room and, seeing the werewolf, proclaims, “That’s beautiful!”

(It is, in a way. The transition looked intensely painful: I can’t blame the prisoners for being distracted.)

The queen has her own pistol, though I doubt it would work against a werewolf. We don’t get to see how it works against a ninja-monk-butler, whom she shoots.

The werewolf, meanwhile, is roaming the house, entirely comfortable in its plan to kill everyone. The house is ringed with ninja-monks, by the way. The Doctor tries to convince the man I called the crofter earlier—who is, of course, the steward of Torchwood, though whether the house steward or the land steward is another story. I’m betting house steward—that the werewolf is not that easy to kill, but the steward goes ahead and is grotesquely eaten.

The werewolf enters the kitchen where Sir Robert’s wife is hiding with the maids, but disappears without eating them, which is odd and suggestive.

Oh, apparently ninja-monk-butlers are susceptible to bullet wounds.

Much frenetic running through the house ensues.

Hang on, there’s a soldier still alive and conscious. Where’d he come from? Anyway, he plans to hold the corridor, despite knowing that bullets can’t stop the beast, to give the queen time to get away. He’s eaten horribly, as well—after talking to the queen about the mysterious content of the chest she brought with her in the carriage.

The werewolf is stopped by the door to the library, for some reason. The Doctor is uncertain why, though they all look quite relieved not to be eaten. The Doctor, of course, is overtaken with intellectual curiosity about why the werewolf can’t enter the room.

(Oh, and there’s some indiscriminate hugging, going on. And Rose tries to make the queen say she’s not amused, but now is really not the time.)

The queen seems to have lost faith in the Doctor, partly because of his gobbledegook but mostly because he’s dropped out of the Scottish accent at some point.

The Doctor and Sir Robert’s wife both realise that the wolf won’t touch or pass mistletoe—the wife sees the monks garlanded in mistletoe, while the Doctor has to lick a door. I know which one I’d rather be.

(The Doctor suggests that the wolf only thinks it’s allergic to mistletoe, a belief instilled by the monks as a means of controlling it.)

The Doctor’s also quite rude to Sir Robert, although it seems a little unnecessary. Even if he’s not as bright as his father, that’s hardly his fault. He, Rose, and Sir Robert flip frantically through the books in the library, looking for information they can use.

The queen, meanwhile, whips the Koh-i-noor out of her pocket. The Doctor wonders why she’s carrying it with her, and the queen acknowledges that Prince Albert never liked it. The Doctor knows that Prince Albert had the stone cut down by 40%, which seems a shame.

This sets the Doctor off. He knows the wolf is trying to trap the queen in the house, but the Doctor thinks that Sir Robert’s father and Prince Albert may have planned a counter trap for the wolf, which conveniently falls through a skylight at that point, but is doused with mistletoe-infused water by Isabel (finally, we get a name for Sir Robert’s wife).

The party head towards the conservatory, followed closely by the recovered wolf.

Sir Robert stays outside, hoping to buy them some time and, perhaps, to absolve himself of his sense that he has committed treason. Luckily, he has some swords stored on the wall outside the observatory, but that doesn’t seem to have helped him last long against the wolf. He dies off-screen, but I’m not too worried about that in this context.

(Remember, he’s one of the people the Doctor flashes back to in the final episode of season four.)

Meanwhile, the Doctor has put the diamond in the telescope, magnifying the light in some way I don’t understand and using it against the wolf right as it grabs the queen. (The question of why the queen was standing right in front of the door instead of at the far end of the room, when they knew she was the target, goes unanswered.) The telescope immobilises the beast, who transforms to human shape, begs for the light to be made brighter, and disappears with a howl.

The queen has been bitten, but she won’t acknowledge it.

The queen knight the Doctor and makes Rose a dame, but simultaneously banishes the Doctor from her empire, never to return. She claims that they consort with stars and magic and think it fun, but their world is steeped in terror, and blasphemy, and death. She won’t allow it. (She’s also not amused, so Rose wins her bet.)

I’d like to see some pay-off to the Doctor being banished, myself.

The Doctor, meanwhile, indulges in some entirely scurrilous rumours about Queen Victoria’s haemophilia. I’m no expert, but my understanding is that you don’t actually have to inherit haemophilia: it can be caused by a mutation in a single individual, who then becomes a carrier of the disease, passing it on to their descendants.

But I’m not getting into a debate about Queen Victoria’s haemophilia.

The queen, finally, founds Torchwood in remembrance of Sir Robert and to guard against the Doctor’s return. I wonder if there’ll be any pay-off for that?

And next week, Sarah Jane comes back! Hurray! I hope the server doesn’t go down next week, as well.

Additional Lizard; or, Heat Makes For Strange Bedfellows

Posted 10 February 2009 in by Catriona

A Farce, in Three Acts.

Well, no: it’s not really. The word “bedfellows” is used pretty loosely, too: I haven’t actually found a lizard in my bed since, well, the last time I found a lizard in my bed.

But I have noticed that the living-room geckoes are much less chary about wandering around during the day time in this hot sticky weather. (For the record, BoM tells me that it’s currently 32 degrees with 56% humidity. I would have put it as more humid than that, considering it was 86% humidity at midnight last night. But it is true that I don’t feel as close to suffocating right now as I did as midnight, when it was like drowning.)

Anyway, the geckoes don’t get much attention on the blog, because they’re usually fairly nocturnal, and difficult to photograph in low light, being much smaller than the water dragons.

But here he is, clinging to what now looks as though it’s a slightly grubby cornice.

And I think that means all our lizards have now had a look-in on the blog, assuming this guy also stands in for the other two geckoes who live in our living room.

The Lizard No Longer Cares Either Way About Being Photographed

Posted 9 February 2009 in by Catriona

I’m going to do him the courtesy of assuming that he’s realised the camera is benign. Because now he doesn’t seem to care how close I get; he doesn’t even get restless during the closer shots.

It certainly saves me time on cropping and editing photographs,

He’s also developing his range of facial expressions.




Superbly disdainful:

An Update On The Planned Gecko Insurrection

Posted 9 February 2009 in by Catriona

I have found my fabulous tweezers. On the kitchen windowsill.

Now, that’s just odd. I use the kitchen windowsill to store all sorts of things, not least my cigarettes. And I’m sure the tweezers weren’t there when I grabbed a packet of cigarettes yesterday.

There’s only one plausible solution.

The geckoes have clearly worked out how to lift the lid of my laptop and, since the computer is not password protected, have been reading the blog, and have discovered that their plans for an insurrection have been rumbled.

(Or, I suppose, the possums could be telepathic as well as telekinetic.)

Now it’s only a matter of figuring out whether they’ve returned the tweezers out of a sense of “Fly, all is discovered!” or whether they’re trying to lull me into a false sense of security.

Well, that and wondering why they haven’t returned my cheese slicer, as well.

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-Six

Posted 7 February 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Honey, don’t store things on the windowsill. (It’s not just nagging: that windowsill also gets full sunlight most of the day.)
NICK: What?
ME: The Ajax.
NICK: Oh. That’s a temporary measure.
ME: They’re all temporary measures.
NICK: It’s the war.
ME: What war?
NICK: The war.
ME: Which war?
NICK: I can’t tell you. It’s a secret war.
ME: A secret war.
NICK: Marvel Secret Wars.
ME: Marvel Secret Wars are the reason why you left the Ajax on the kitchen windowsill?
NICK: Yes.

Fictional Dialogues With Detective Novelists: A Sampler

Posted 6 February 2009 in by Catriona

Disclaimer: None of the dialogue here is taken verbatim from the books, but I think it’s fairly accurate.

Agatha Christie 1
HERCULE POIROT: Ah, Hastings! Always you are helpful to me. Always you think of exactly the wrong thing.
ME: Wait, you say you’re addressing Hastings, but that was aimed at me, right?

Agatha Christie 2
AGATHA CHRISTIE: Don’t look at what I’m doing with my left hand. Look at the elaborate twirling movements of my right hand, instead.
ME: Wait, is the doctor left-handed? Did you mention that? Where? Is it relevant? Have I guessed who the murderer is? That counts as a guess, right? Even though you reveal his name in the next paragraph?

Rex Stout
NERO WOLFE: Well, if you can’t tell who the murderer is after all I’ve just told you, I’m certainly not going to give you any further assistance.
ME: Wolfe, you smug, smug man. I love you!

Kathy Reichs
TEMPE BRENNAN: I was sure I was right about [blank], though I could barely believe it myself.
ME: Wait, did you mention [blank] earlier? Did I skip a paragraph? Well, don’t mention it if you’re not going to tell me!

Randall Garrett
LORD DARCY: Clearly, this murder was committed by magic.
ME: Well, obviously. I like your Irish sorcerer, by the way.

Arthur Conan Doyle
SHERLOCK HOLMES: Well, surely, Watson, if you’d paid attention to the number of steps up to the second floor and the fingers on the murdered man’s right hand . . .
ME: You know, another murder would really liven this plot up.

P. D. James
ADAM DALGLIESH: I’m sure you must know what happened by now.
WHICHEVER SUBORDINATE OFFICER HE’S WORKING WITH IN THIS NOVEL: I think I see it, sir, but there’s one thing I don’t understand.
P.D. JAMES: He explained his theory carefully and Dalgliesh agreed with him.
ME: But you can’t do it like that! You can’t reveal the way in which the murder occurred in between paragraphs—that’s cheating! Agatha Christie would never have done that!
AGATHA CHRISTIE: Don’t look at what my left hand’s doing.

Late-Night Strange Conversation

Posted 5 February 2009 in by Catriona

Poor Nick: he never does get used to the fact that I like to talk about nonsense while he’s trying to go to sleep.

ME: I saw this Facebook group called “I wish a little elf would write my thesis for me.”
NICK: Hmmm?
ME: Yeah, I would have joined that once.
NICK: (Grunt)
ME: But then I saw it had a disclaimer saying it’s not plagiarism if the elf references properly.
NICK: It’s still plagiarism.
ME: I know that! I would have bought it if they’d said that, maybe, it wasn’t plagiarism because supernatural creatures are not subject to mundane laws.
NICK: (Grunt)
ME: But even then I think you’d find it a bit tricky from your perspective.
NICK: (Grunt)
ME: Legally, I mean.
NICK: (Grunt)
ME: It’s like when someone, probably Matt Damon, got Robin Williams to write his thesis in that movie I think I just made up in my head.
NICK: (Grunt)




Recent comments

Monthly Archive