In the thirteenth part of Hogfather, Susan travels to a strange place, Teatime’s henchman have an unnerving encounter, and Death is confronted. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
So why is it that so many kids all over the world draw things so similarly? Is it became the development of our understanding of the world progresses much the same anywhere you are? Like, why did I draw houses the same way? Why did I understand colors exactly as Pratchett describes here? My house looked nothing like the one I drew, and yet I totally had four square windows, a triangular roof, a chimney, and the same goddamn tree sitting outside of it.
I don’t have an answer. But it’s clear that enough children on the Disc do the same thing because THERE’S AN ENTIRE WORLD BASED SOLELY ON THIS UNIVERSAL DESIGN. Of course there is! Context clues from later in this chapter suggest that this is where Teatime and his henchmen are, but exactly how do you access it? Is that what they used the wizard for? Bah, I’m jumping ahead of myself. I can’t help it! I’m excited for Susan and Bilious because they’re so close to the truth, which means I am, too. I’m selfish, okay?
I didn’t even realize it until I got to this section, but Death, as the Hogfather, had given me a gift. Me, the reader! See, I do generally love people making fun of overly expensive food. I’ll pay a lot of money every so often to have a really good sushi dinner, but otherwise, I am utterly uninterested in the whole Tiny Portion Food That Costs A Third of My Rent thing. Even if I someday have a ton of money, I’ll never partake in it. It seems so absurd to me! So yes, I was endlessly pleased with the whole Boots as Gourmet Cuisine scene. And then it happened.
“I can’t even find the coffee… Still, they probably won’t last till the coffee…”
“Mud. Café de Terre,” said the manager firmly. “Genuine ground coffee.”
“Oh, they’ll spot that, sir!”
“They haven’t up till now,” said the manager darkly.
I will never recover from this. NEVER.
Is it weird that I just feel bad for all the men that Teatime scooped up and got to work for him? Yes, they’re criminals, and no, I don’t think I need to condone what they’ve done to people. At the same time, they’re stuck working with one of the most frightening characters in this whole series of books. Teatime’s attack on Medium Dave is just… good lord. I’m not gonna repeat the thing he does to him because I HAVE A THING ABOUT EYES, but yet again, Teatime switches between a horrific violence and that camaraderie that he thinks works but actually makes him scarier.
And I still don’t know what he’s doing. Why the deeds? What did they do with all the teeth they stole? Why does Banjo suddenly seem to care more about supporting Teatime than his brother, despite that Teatime most certainly did not treat him better? Is it because of fear? A twisted sense of respect?
I DON’T GET IT.
Of course, right as Death arrives in the Library at Unseen University, this section ends. THE WORLD HAS CONSPIRED AGAINST ME. Since the wizards are the only humans who can reliably recognize Death on sight, I was excited to see if Death would explain why he had taken up the mantle of the Hogfather. I AM GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT. It better be at the start of the next section. What I know thus far is that Death wants people to believe in the Hogfather, given that Teatime and the Auditors did something to make people STOP believing in him. Is it working, though? Have Death and Albert succeeded? I NEED TO KNOW.
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