Thursday, January 31, 2008

Life In Quirm


Well. The good news is that I'm back in my own body again -- or my own body is back to itself again -- whatever -- and that I've found Alice's trail. Or at least an indication of Alice's trail. We've managed to reach each other through a variation of Postvital Communications, and I've discovered that she's in an alternate universe and has been trapped in an alternate Quirm for weeks now. This is her report, in song of course.

We'll see each other again. I'm working on it.


    There's a Godsawful floral clock
    In that town with miasmic air
    Where the cheeses are ageing slow
    And the cafes serve sparkling 'eau'
    But they roll up the pavements at night
    And the tourism turns to flight
    Though there's wineries ev'rywhere
    All the 'vin' is so 'ordinaire'
    Yes, the city's a sad old bore
    See it once and you'll cry 'non more!'
    Though the cuisine is 'cordon bleu'
    It's ennui that you'll choke upon

    Shouting round the veg stalls
    Oh man, look at those tradesmen go
    It's a brassica show
    Take a look at the Watchmen
    Rolling up their dog-ends
    Oh man, wonder if they'll ever know
    There's something shaking in Sto
    Is there life in Quirm?

    It's on Morporkia's guanoed brow
    In plainer words than in 'WHERE'S MY COW?'
    That the Quirmians struck true fame:
    Voted "Most Boring Town" again!
    Yes, its lack of all interest reigns
    From the Ankh to the fecund plains
    It's the paste in the rural jewels
    (Though it's good for producing Fools)
    Really, Quirm is a sad old bore
    It's advisable to ignore
    Now I'm watching that clock again
    As the sun turns the crocus on

    Short yobs
    Fighting in the Dwarf bars
    Oh man, look at those Kzad-bhats go
    They've been digging below
    Take a look at the schoolgirls
    Barging down the sports field
    Oh man, wonder if they'd ever care
    Death sent his granddaughter there...
    Is there life in Quirm?

Note for Roundworlders:
original lyrics can be found at:

January 2008


by Fernando Magnifico

    Editor's note: it is with great trepidation that we introduce a new astrologer for this month's issue. Lady Anaemia Asterisk sent us a note a few days ago, begging off from the Horoscope for this month, but promising to have her "very talented, oh so very talented" apprentice prepare it.


Hallo and buongiorno! The Lady Asterisk is indisposed this month, she is suffering from the Hogswatch exhaustion. But do not worry! It is I, Fernando, who is here, and I will be your astrologer today.

People ask me, "Fernando, how do I become a magnificent lover like you? I am but a pale, lukewarm-blooded Morporkian without a single drop of your hot Brindisian blood. Is it hopeless?" I laugh at them, but not cruelly, because Fernando is never cruel. Unless you want him to be, and then Fernando will be merciless. I laugh at them because it is not true that all Brindisians are magnificent lovers like Fernando. To be like Fernando, you must know everything there is to know about your lovers, not just their names. And so Fernando has come across the Disc to Ankh-Morpork, all the way from Brindisi, to learn astrology, for what else can tell you so much about a person but the stars?

For many weeks I have studied the art of astrology at the magnificent feet of the very beautiful and sexy Lady Asterisk. Fernando has been like a slave to Lady Asterisk, and has suffered to learn his art. But now that his Lady is too exhausted to cast the horoscope for you, Fernando is ready to shoulder the burden. Do not worry, Fernando has never failed yet!

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

If you are a Hogger, this is a good month for you to make such magnificent music and song! You listen to Fernando and learn to play the ancient beloved lute of sleepy Veranda and sing the aria from "L'uomo della cucina". Come desidero ho mangiato una salsiccia con questi fagioli!!! Which is Brindisian for "How I wish I had a sausage with these beans", but do not worry, it is very romantic when you sing it.

Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

If you are born under Gahoolie, this will be a good month for making passionate love. If you do not have anyone to make passionate love with, do not worry, for Fernando can help you no matter who you are. Fernando is very open minded. Many species make passionate love, and Fernando will always be there to help.

Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

Herne the Hunted is the sign of parts. You know, the manly parts and the ladyly parts, and for trolls, the rocky parts. Fernando does not like to be rude and speak of them directly, except in the boudoir, but you know the parts I mean. This is a good month for Hernians who are wishing to make many magnificent babies with their parts, so you must remember to take part.

The Wizard's Staff and Knob 22 Jun - 22 Jul

Fernando knows that life is not all play, sometimes you must swim the furthest ocean and climb the highest mountain to find a token of your love. Fortunately, Fernando is not afraid of hard work, and if you are a Staffie, you too should not be afraid of hard work. This is the month for you to work hard, and like Fernando, you shall have great success at all you attempt.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

If you have every dreamed of being a famous artist, this is the ideal month for you to make great art. Whether you are the late beginner like Grandma Marmoset or the early genius like Leonardo da Quirm, this month you must make love to your canvas, so to speak. And if you need a model, Fernando has his own figleaf.

Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

If you are a Mubboon, this will be a good month for adding to your jewellery collection. Fernando suggests that Zoon gold jewellery never is out of place. For women, rings on every finger. Do not be tempted to use brass or silver! Nothing but gold will do. The gem is not important, diamonds or Ankhstones, it does not matter, so long as the ring is at least 11ct gold. With earrings, the bigger the hoop the better. For men, choose tasteful plain gold rings half an inch or so in width. Do not overdo it with a ring on every finger: more than three rings on each hand is just being ostentatious. If you are looking for an outlet for your artistic side, Fernando suggests gold medallions on chains. You can never have too many medallions.

The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars 24 Sept - 23 Oct

For you Boring'uns, this is a month for washing your hair. The Boring'uns, they say to Fernando "My hair is so greasy and lank, how do I make it as thick and long like Fernando's?". I tell them, you should wash it three times with well water, but do not forget to strain the newts out first. Then condition with egg yolks and kumquat, and you too shall have hair as sensual and dark as Fernando's.

Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

Fernando is friend to all, but most people are not so fortunate to be Fernando. They have enemies, betrayers and adversaries. If you have had your honour insulted, this is your month for vengeance! Let your enemies weep, and their enemies celebrate. Fernando does not like to talk of such unpleasantness, but the stars have spoken -- this is the month for Andies and retribution.

Great T'Phon's Foot 23 Nov - 21 Dec

If you Footies tend your garden this month, you will be sure to have great success, like Fernando's Uncle Enzo. How magnificent are Uncle Enzo's tomatoes and melanzane! Fernando remembers as a small boy sneaking into Uncle Enzo's garden and stuffing himself sick on figs. This is a good month for your garden, especially the zucchinis and the garlic.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

For Hokians, this month is an excellent month for coach racing. If you have every wanted to "spark iron" on the cobblestones with high-speed coach driving, this is your month to start. Fernando's life is already very much exciting, but many people are not so fortunate, and for them the thrill of being a "straw head" brings joy to their lives. For Hokians this month, Fernando can recommend the Linguini Diavolo with the red leather seats, go-faster stripes and two Klatchian Thoroughlybred horses.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

This is be a good month for Gazundians to remember their mammas! Your mamma is the most important person. You should listen to Fernando, who writes to his sainted Mamma every day, and goes home to see her on her birthday and at Hogswatch.

Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

Footsball! The greatest game of all, and if you are born under the sign of the Lesser Umbrage, this will be a good month for footsball. Like Captain Carrot of the City Watch would say -- and he is a man nearly as magnificent as Fernando -- every month is a good month for footsball, but this month will be especially favourable for Umbragians and Brindisians: the magnificent Rail Juvenilis Footsball Club will be taking on the accursed Quirmian Fromageophages for the Brindisi Cup. Go Juvenilis!