Saturday, May 31, 2008

We Are Morporkians


We have received a clacks to the effect that Weird Alice is far too busy in Ankh-Morpork to update her Clacks Log at the moment. However, she sent us a song that -- she says -- is all the rage there right now. So gather at your nearest stadium, get your air guitars ready, and get your candles out...


    I've paid Guild dues
    Time after time
    I've hung o'er scorpions
    But committed no mime
    And rats on sticks - I ate a few
    I've had my fears of Sam Vimes on my case
    And Havelock too
    (Ankh is gonna flow on and on like Foul Ole Ron)

    We are Morporkians, my friend
    And we'll own your helmets in the end
    We are Morporkians, we are Morporkians
    Wild times amuse us
    Cos we are Morporkians...
    ...of Discworld.

    I've drunk and caroused
    And won certain brawls
    I've had my share of Gods and dragons
    And things Turnwise and Widdershins
    Beggars to balls
    But it's been no bed at Rosie's
    No Unseen U
    I'll consider Sybil's salad before the unwholesome taste
    Of BCBs and stoo
    (Ankh is gonna ooze on and on like Foul Ole Ron)

    We are Morporkians, my friend
    And we'll own your culture in the end
    We are Morporkians, we are Morporkians
    You can't refuse us
    Cos we are Morporkians...
    ...of Discworld

    ...we're Morporkians, old chum
    And we'll go on drinking in the Drum
    We are Morporkians, cool ones and dorky 'uns
    Nurr nurr nurr nurr nurr
    Cos we are Morporkians...

-- Alice

Note for Roundworlders: in case there's someone, living on a mountaintop somewhere, who doesn't actually know the words to Queen's We Are the Champions, original lyrics can be found at:

May 2008

by Fernando Magnifico

Buongiorno my friends, it is I, Fernando! The Lady Asterisk is indisposed this month, because she has sprained her pinafore when oiling her orrery. But do not be afraid, for Fernando is here to shoulder the great burden of being your astrologer for today. And such a burden it is, for the people of Ankh-Morpork have taken Fernando to their bosoms, and he has been in much demand to provide private services for his readers. The personal horoscopes Fernando writes are the most very excellent, as these testimonials say to me:

    "Ever since your horoscope advised me to be suspicious of the honesty of Certain Persons, the number of rejected applicants for my modest premises has gone up and the table manners of my remaining boarders have improved greatly. Thank you, Fernando." -- E. Arcanum (Mrs), Proprietress, Arcanum's Lodging House (only Clean and Decent may apply)

    "Being a believer in modern Thienthe, I doubted that your horothcope would be of much uthe to me in my work, but by following your advithe, I have improved my lightning thrike predictionth by forty perthent. Thank you, Thir." -- Igor, Pseudopolis Yard

    "I was saved from great financial disaster by Fernando's horoscope, which recommended against new business dealings. Needless to say, after I tasted one of the entrepreneur in question's sausages-inna-bun, I was glad I had not purchased the franchise! Thank you Fernando." -- A. Merchant, Scoone Avenue

Last month, two of the heavenly star signs changed, and this month, there is one more change to happen. Fernando will tell you more about this, but first, Fernando is very excited to tell you that this month the stars all speak about clothing! Fernando knows that clothing is very important, and that the cut of a lady's fichu or a man's bodkin says more about them than mille dolce paroli, or "a thousand words" as they say here in Ankh-Morpork. And so, Fernando has asked the stars to guide him on this molto importante subject, so that he may guide you, my readers, in your fashion choices. Look to the stars, and look to your wardrobes, and the rest will take care of itself as Fernando takes care of his beloved velvet pantaloons. Ciao bella!

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

For Hoggers, your item of clothing is the pantaloon. In these exciting modern times, some ladies are experimenting with the wearing of pantaloons, but Fernando prefers the mystery of skirts, for who knows what they might hide from the eyes of the easily excited? Ladies, if you must wear the pantaloons, choose the vast flowing ones of the Aurient, and still you will be mysterious. Gentlemens Hoggers may choose from a wide range of fabrics, from the fine silk of Agatea to the so sturdy broadcloth of Zlobenia. For those special occasions for both mens and ladies, the Street of Cunning Artificers offers a range of interesting leather and rubber pantaloons. Fernando approves of this.

The Half-Eaten Sandwich 21 Apr - 21 May
(formerly Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips)

This is a good month for Munchers to let their fantastical side free, for the stars say that you should put tastefulness aside and wear the brash, colourful clothes instead. Fernando can suggest casual travel shirts from Bes Pelargic, gold suits like the one worn by the Postmaster General, or for the ladies, pink lace skirts decorated with embroidered smiling cats. Which reminds Fernando, sometime he must tell you about his young-manful experiences as a cat herder on the high desert plains of Brindisi. Such fierce pussies Fernando has never seen before or since, caramba!

Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

Hernians should wear the useful working-class undershirt of XXXX, the singlet, sometimes known as "dwarf-beaters" from their popularness among certain troll gangs. Fernando does not wear the singlet because it would hide his magnificent collection of medallions, but he understands from his cousins that there is nothing more attractive to the senoritas than a manly man wearing a singlet. Although when Fernando asked his sister Rosita about this, she only laughed.

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

This month, Staffies must investigate the wonderful world of footwear. Shoes, sandals, the dhing-dhongs of Bhangbhangduc, the boots of kinky, the boots that are made for walking, even the Disc-famous glass slippers of Genua. The wealthy among you should investigate the bellissima shoes of Brindisian bootmaker Manunu Blanchi; he is bootmaker to the stars, so let the stars choose your bootmaker. Seven league boots are also risky. Fernando tried them once, and had to wait weeks before he could properly admire the ladies again.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

If you are a Bilian, this month your item of clothing is the skirt. Gentlemen Bilians may prefer to wear the traditional Feegle man-skirt, the kilt as it is called. Ladies of an adventurous nature, and Fernando loves the ladies of adventurous nature, might try the new fashion craze from couturier Minnie of Chirm, known as the Minnie skirt; but only on days when it is not too windy. Lady Golems should wear gingham, and man Golems should wear the man-skirt of the BeTrobi Islands, because sometimes sarong is so right. Fernando must warn you though, the best skirts for the Bilians are those that resist stains and are easily washed.

The Celestial Parsnip 24 Aug - 23 Sept
(formerly Mubbo the Hyena)

Snippies, your clothing feature this month is coats. They say you can tell a person's true quality by the quality of their coat, and the stars agree that They are right. Choose your coat carefully: it should be a thing of great beauty, like Fernando, and also hard-wearing and long-lasting, like Fernando. A good coat, like a good pair of hundred-dollar boots, can last a lifetime, or at least until the capricciosos of fashion say that it is fashionable once again. Fernando once bought his sainted Auntie Maria a full-length coat made of vermine, at great expense naturally. It was far too warm for the lovely Brindisian weather, but she wore it everywhere, and Fernando can tell you that coat earned him a lot of free gnocchi.

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

This month, the clothing for Boring'uns will be socks. Socks are very important clothing, as they keep your toes warm in the cold, and in the summer, they stop your feet from being sunburnt when you wear sandals. And with the mere addition of a half-brick, your sock can become a fearsome weapon capable of leaving buildings standing -- not that any Boring'un would be interested in that.

Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

This is a good time for Andies to let their double nature run free, for they have two things this month: the most, and the least, practical clothing materials -- leather and lace. As any dwarf can tell you, leather is hard-wearing, practical, and favoured not only in the mines but no less by many of the young gentlemens who frequent The Leopard's Shorts Club (right across the street from the Pink Pussy Cat Club). Lace is very much the opposite, demure and saintly, except when worn by the senoritas of Brindisi. Oh, the flutter of a lace hanky! It can be a promise of paradise, as Fernando knows. Modern peoples of Morpork, especially the younger ones, can try a combination of leather and lace. Fernando's grandmamma Angelina would not approve, but she is ninety-three and has worn nothing but widow's black for as long as Fernando can remember.

The Spoons, a.k.a. the Greater and Lesser Spoons, 23 Nov - 21 Dec
(formerly Great T'Phon's Foot)

This month, Footies will cease to be under the influence of Great T'Phon's Foot, and come under the influence of the Greater Spoon and the Lesser Spoon, also know known as the Spoons. As a Spooner, you will be under the influence of the Goddess Anoia, so Fernando recommends you rattle your drawers regularly.

Fernando is amused that the item of clothing for Spooners this month is, the drawers! So do not be shamed to be caught outside in your underwear, for this month the very stars say that it is, as the Morporkers say, hokay. And if you do, you may even find somebody to rattle your drawers for you.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

For Hokians from Uberwald who feel the pang of the home sickness, the stars are kind this month as your item of clothing is the famous lederhosen of Uberwald: you can feel back at home with the short leather breeches chaffing your legs; while the other Hokians can just feel foolish. Or you can also considering the famous shorts of EcksEcksEcksEcks. But Fernando assures you, under no circumstances must you wear the footsball shorts of the Quirmians, may their cheeses turn to horrible green runny things and poison them in their girly Quirmish beds.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

If you are a Gazundian, this month the stars say that hats are your item of clothing. Fernando does not like to confine his magnificently flowing hair under a hat, but many people do like hats. And not just wizards and witches either. Hats are important for bankers, postmen, and anyone who wishes to join a secret society. Whether you choose a vast flowered hat like the ones my colleague the lovely Signora Cake wears, a sparkling top hat, a horned battle helmet, a charming cloche, a cheeky pork pie hat, a firm and manly fedora, or even the hated beret of despicable Quirm, your hat will say much about you to the world. Though in the case of the horned battle helmet, what it says is that you had best be able to fight, because nothing says "I am looking for trouble" quite like a horned battle helmet.

Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

Umbragians, your clothing of the month is the veil. For the ladies, you can look mysterious and exotic, like you are still wearing part of your wedding dress. And for the gentlesmen, you too can disguise yourself as a harem girl and break into a Klatchian palace like the great barbarian heroes of old. The most exciting thing about a veil is this: at some time, it will be taken off. Fernando has seen men follow a veiled lady across entire continents hoping for a glimpse of what lies beneath it. Sadly, in the case of many Tsorteans, Ephebians and even, to Fernando's shame, Brindisians, what it often hides is a moustache. But the Disc is a large place and holds peoples of all sorts of opinions and tastes, so for some, the moustache is not a problem.