In the first half of the third chapter of Making Money, Moist meets Hubert, gets a demonstration, and turns down an offer. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
This book is already too much, what the hell???
So, Hubert is basically the mad scientist trope except he doesn’t know that he fulfills this trope? I suppose that’s an accurate interpretation of him, but it’s also important to note that Hubert spends so much time in the cellar of the bank that he doesn’t know… well, much of anything happening in the outside world. He is singularly focused on what he has created and perfecting it. In that sense, he’s like a more disorganized Mr. Bent, right? Both of them have such an intense focus on the things they’re interested in! They just approach their interests differently.
And Hubert’s interest is… well, it’s the Glooper. It is a device that is both impossible to describe and weirdly sensible? I don’t know if Pratchett was referencing something in the real world, but it reminded me of a computer or computational power. It’s statistics and probability, rendered through complicated glassware, flasks, reservoirs, and buckets. Well… sort of? Since we don’t know the exact details of the Glooper, it’s hard to tell what parts are just Hubert winging it and which are based on real formulas or measurements or anything. (And knowing Pratchett’s writing, it’s possible that Hubert has no real clue what he’s doing, and he’ll still end up accurately predicting the future anyway.)
Once we moved away from the Glooper itself, though, things started to make more sense. Namely:
“What relation is Hubert to the current chairman?”
“Nephew,” said Bent. “How did you—?”
As is often the case with super rich families, there’s a lot of nepotism. And this feels like a confirmation that Hubert is allowed to do what he does solely because he is part of the Lavish family. He might be eccentric to the rest of the family, but having the prestige of a last name like that, connected to old money, means that you get away with a whole lot more things than the rest of us do. So, is Hubert just the acceptable black sheep in the family? How is his device going to actually affect the story?
I imagine Mr. Bent would be offended by the comparison to Hubert, but I do see a commonality between them. The first half of this chapter continues to give us more examples of his complete devotion to the bank, as well as Bent’s uncanny ability to compute large sums in his mind. While I can see how Bent could be an antagonistic force as Moist tries to bring about changes in the bank—oh, Moist is definitely going to help out!!!—I also recognize that, as far as I can tell, he enjoys what he does. There’s almost a sense of pleasure in Bent’s words as he talks about math or his policies. There’s certainly pride in the way he speaks of his time working late in the evenings or while on holiday. And I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that. It’s what he loves, and while I don’t know why he pursued that, I accept that this is who he is.
So, I initially thought that the Big Cabbage scene was Moist, since it sounded like his sort of grifting and conning. But it’s clearly a separate person, and I’m latching on to one detail over everything else: the newspaper that this man picked up. Because isn’t there a photo of Moist in the paper now? How much you wanna bet that this man knows Moist? (WHY DO HIS TEETH COMMUNICATE, WHAT THE HELL.)
Back at the Office
Oh, there are so many fascinating details planted in the scene where Moist returns to the Post Office. First of all, there’s some great info on the Lavish family, and I cannot fucking believe I JUST GOT THE PUN/REFERENCE IN THEIR LAST NAME. Oh my god, a LAVISH lifestyle. (I’m a writer, I swear.) Anyway, the brief and jarring history that we get here is… well, it basically confirms exactly what I thought they were like? Clearly Topsy is the best. (Though I’m curious about her side of the family and what they’re like.) The rest are walking nightmares who have gotten everything they have wanted in life and who become enraged when they don’t. Also: lots of familial legal suits??? Oh god, they’re totally a super rich family, and they’re probably going to be obnoxious.
Miss Dearheart is on her way back. WHAT DID SHE DISCOVER. The chapter header did not lie: that note is OMINOUS.
And then there’s Vetinari again. I mentioned this on video, but seriously, have we ever gotten this much of Vetinari this early? It makes for a great joke because he keeps showing up to pester Moist. I feel like that’s a sign of just how much he wants Moist to do as he’s being asked, though. He’s never been this persistent, you know? And despite that Moist signs the documents stating that he’ll remain with the Post Office, I am sure something will change his mind. Will it be an external force? Will Vetinari have to try again, or will circumstance push Moist in that direction?
Mark Links Stuff
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