Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Since both J. and I have the feeling that we've been strapped into a roller coaster and can't get off (and as J. puts it, not the fun kind), I wondered what I could/should/wanted to write on the blog. And what I've decided is to ignore everything and share something I find extremely funny with you. Laughter is good medicine, after all.

This comes from my discovery that the library had the most recent Thursday Next novel by Jasper Fforde. Do you know Thursday Next? If you don't, they are very difficult to explain. The first novel is The Eyre Affair. In it, Thursday Next, who lives in England, but not really England... an alternative England where they have figured out how to jump through time and have regenerated woolly mammoths (they annually migrate across England) and dodo birds (people keep them as pets). So it's a little like science fiction, but not really. There's also some social commentary as the behemoth corporation, Goliath, is constantly trying to take over the world. There's a lot of puns, which I miss. And the characters learn to leap into the book world. Into Jane Eyre specifically in the first Thursday Next book. All in all, they are a terrific lot of fun, if a little confusing at times.

Which is why after starting the most recent book, The Woman who Died a Lot, I decided what I really needed to do was to set it aside and reread the previous books again, so I could really keep up with the story line. But not before I got to the part in the book that made me laugh out loud. The passage made me so happy that I read it several times and then read it out loud to J. and M. so they could enjoy it to. And I know a couple of you (mother of the P family, specifically) will enjoy it, so I'm going to share it with you.

Yes, Mom, I'll be home this afternoon so you can call me.

One thing which will help this passage make sense is if you know that in Thursday Next's world, the special police forces of Special Operations (SpecOps, or SO) has been disbanded, with just a few left. She is now describing one of those.

"This only left SO-3, which we had called the "The Odd Squad." They looked after dimensional travel issues, which were so disagreeably complex and mind-bogglingly strange that we were all glad to have nothing to do with them. Suffice it to say there were a shade over six thousand entirely separate dimensions with the League of Alternative Realities - a tiny fraction of the total, but you didn't get to join the league until you'd figured out how to move across, something that now seemed so blindingly obvious it's astonishing we couldn't see it before. Our own dimension was coded ID-11 and was the only league member with diphtheria, David Hasselhoff and the French, which amused the rest of the multiverse no end. It wasn't all bad news, as we were also the only one with bicycles, dogs, and music, which put us in a robust trading position. SO-3 mostly dealt with trade issues like this; early trades were Brompton folding bicycles to HC-110 in return for escalators, and Dalmatians to X-TOL for fax machines. A more recent deal was the complete works of Bartok in exchange for a chain of grocery stores peculiar to D-76, which featured cheaper groceries. The chain was called Aldi, which explained the low cost and why you can't ever recognize the brands."

It still makes me laugh. Aldi jokes. Snort.


Patty Mueller said...

Thanks a lot! Now I have to go back and reread ALL of the Thursday Next books,just so I can read this one (which I didn't know existed....). Like I don't have enough to read already.

Thanks for the laugh this morning!! For the record - anyone under the age of 15 won't get the joke. And does this mean that Aldi is now in England?! Hmm...lots to think about today.

Carla said...

I've never read these novels, but may have to add them to my book list.

I did laugh out loud at this quote, though.

Very, very funny!

sara parker said...

Thanks for sharing this! More books to the list! :)

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