Mark Reads ‘The Last Continent’: Part 15

In the fifteenth part of The Last Continent, Rincewind escapes… sort of. The wizards make it to Fourecks… sort of. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

Well, okay! Things are getting interesting and chaotic, and the chaotic is a lot of fun. I feel like The Last Continent has picked up a bit from the recent sections, so let’s discuss why.

Rincewind and Dibbler

Ah, regional delicacies! I’m of the mind to try pretty much anything these days, and I’ve had lots of fun meals in the past few years. I mentioned trying haggis before and was pleasantly surprised at delicious it was because… well, see, there’s this thing we do in America where All Foods Not Distinctly American Are Gross And Need To Be Shunned And Reviled. Note that this extends to authentic versions of foods we appropriate into more terrible things. For example, I have legit heard someone say that tacos – the kind you get for a buck with tortillas made by hand, cooked fresh out of a stand or one a thousand trucks in Los Angeles – are fucking disgusting, but Taco Bell is a masterpiece. (Which doesn’t even address how even street tacos in LA are nothing like this in Mexico or others in Central America, but that’s a whole separate post.)

We make fun of everything that isn’t to our tastes, so I imagine that’s where a lot of these food myths come from. I’ve heard that the following foods are disgusting and never should be eaten by fellow Americans: haggis, meat pies, actual sushi in Japan (SHUT UP YOU ARE WRONG), spam musubi (I WILL PHYSICALLY FIGHT YOU OVER YOUR WRONG OPINION), grits (THAT’S JUST RACISM, SHUT UP), pancit (HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR LIFE BEING 100% MISERY ALL THE TIME), literally all vegan food everywhere (some of it is pretty gross but it’s come a long way and I still love it), chip/crisp flavors in other countries (Canada and the UK have better flavors than us, this is 100% gospel truth), Beverly soda (I will support this, despite knowing that it’s an aperitif/palate cleanser, that shit is N A S T Y), mushy peas (what do you have against peas you monster), the Sunday roast (YOU CAN LAUGH AT THIS because I honest-to-god once heard someone say I should not eat this because it disrespected the Lord YOU MAY CONTINUE LAUGHING), salty licorice (which I like to call SATAN INCARNATE),  black pudding (which I had for the first time last year!!! It was pretty good!!!), and I think you get the point.

So where does this myth come from? A fear of other places? An unwillingness to try new food? I mean, if I’d listened to everyone who told me haggis is gross, I never would’ve tried that haggis burger I had in Edinburgh last summer, which was INCREDIBLE. At the same time, I also haven’t taken a deep look at all the weird food we have here in my country. Like, the Texas State Fair has a fried food competition that is the most ridiculous thing in the world, and I’ve been twice, and I have eaten (and enjoyed!) things like fried lemonade (you read that correctly) and fried cuban sandwiches. It’s everywhere! REGIONAL FOOD IS SO FASCINATING AND I WANT YOU ALL TO TALK ABOUT IT. What weird shit do you have where you live? What do you enjoy that you know others won’t? TALK TO ME.

The Opera House

Again, no idea where this is going, but Rincewind is hiding from the highly efficient watch in an opera house while also pretending to be a chef. How he’s able to escape being recognized as not a chef is a bit strange, but not super important. However… why is the prima donna’s name such a problem? Oh god, it’s going to be a terrible pun, right?

The Boat

WELL, SHIT. I’m so used to the wizards bickering that I assumed that the start of their argument would just be that: a start with no follow-through. Nothing ever escalates beyond a disagreement, mostly because the wizards are, frankly, too lazy to commit to anything beyond that. Except this fight is brutal, with the Dean and Ridcully taking shots at one another about their talent and adequacy, and for a second, I thought that the Bursar had actually calmed the two of them down. AND THEN THE DEAN INSULTS THE LECTURER IN RECENT RUNES, and then it just escalates horribly until:

Ridcully waved a finger at the Dean. “Now you listen to me…”

A crimson spark leapt off his hand, left a trail of smoke past the Dean’s ear, and hit the mast, which exploded.

It’s an accident, though, a product of the sheer amount of magic in the air, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Like, so much happens in the span of like seven pages, and it’s a beautiful escalation. Mrs. Whitlow is swimming for shore, the boat completely fell apart, and the wizards use the seeds of the boat as surfboards, and let’s not forget that the Librarian TURNS INTO A DOLPHIN. A DOLPHIN.

This section ends with a tsunami, doesn’t it? Oh, this book is so fucking weird, y’all.

vid

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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