In the first half of the seventh chapter of Going Postal, Moist makes strides in stamp technology and participates in an important interview. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Well, now I’m worried. Up until now, Moist had actually done a great job not being noticeable. Which is understandable; the circumstances allowed for that because he’s been spending his days indoors, trying to get the most basic elements of the post office running. But even when he left the building, he was still operating under a similar mindset as he normally did, just for a different reason. He’s a con man, through and through. (And we see the seedier side of that here, too; more on that in a second.) So he knows how to seem unassuming. He blends in with those around him. And then, when he’s got someone one-on-one, he turns on the charm. Look at the way he gets Mr. Spools to help him! If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume they were a perfect match: a customer and a businessman who are beautifully in sync with one another’s needs.
And maybe Moist does grant Mr. Spools the patent on perforated stamps/paper. That’s a generous act, but in hindsight, had Moist done that because he knew that he was going to steal from Mr. Spools? Had he known his nature was coming to the fore, and had he known that he would be unable to resist the temptation? It sullies the good deed because there’s a shady reason for it. But Vetinari knew that Moist would behave this way; that’s why Mr. Pump is around. (I actually expected Mr. Pump would make Moist return the stolen notepaper.) But will Moist’s nature get the best of him? Is he just going to continue to con the people around him, or is this experience going to convince him there’s more to life than deception?
That question can have another meaning here, though. His interview with Sacharissa Cripslock (YESSSSSS!!! So excited to have her back!) reminded me that Moist has an ego, and that ego is going to get him in trouble. With the subplot involving the clacks still simmering in the background, my main concern at this point is that Sacharissa’s story is going to grab the attention of Gilt. That’s not exactly the greatest person to have irritated at you, right? Though I’m now realizing that this would be two con men battling one another, and that is a beautiful thought. So, perhaps that’s what this is setting up! The interview with the Times is how the post office gets on Gilt’s radar. That’s not to suggest that it’s bad that Moist is ambitious; I feel like that part IS genuine. He really does seem to want to get the post office running so smoothly that they can deliver any piece of mail anywhere. That’s such a huge development, y’all!!!
So, with this in mind, I wonder if this won’t be the sole interaction Moist has with the Times. If this really does develop into a fight of sorts, I could see the Times (and hopefully Sacharissa!) appearing throughout the rest of the book. Moist couldn’t resist stealing, but he also couldn’t resist gloating once Sacharissa started asking him about the failures of the clacks service. And Moist’s points were poetic. Romantic. They were exactly the sort of thing to grab the attention of the general public, and I think the Times is going to run with that. Oh, it will ABSOLUTELY piss Reacher Gilt off, but I also feel like Moist would like a little competition? Basically, I’m eager to see where this goes, particularly since the inevitable collision of Moist and Gilt will be MOST ENTERTAINING.
I can’t say I know where the Professor Pelc story is going. Why is it important that he studied the effects of “big masses of writing”? We basically have confirmation that the undelivered letters have a strange sort of sentience. Is there something more to them? OH GOD, I’M NOT READY.
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