Friday, October 31, 2008

Clog Post 16 with Rockin' Round The Discworld



This will only be a shortish Clog, because I'm off at last! All my possessions have been returned by the Watch, with nothing missing, and I'm packed and ready to go.

Looking back on my months here, I'd have to say I'm happy -- feeling glad; I've got Ankhstones in my bag; I'm luteless, but not for long; my lucre is coming on... all in all, not a bad way for this wandering Bard to end a long and eventful stay in Ankh-Morpork.

Today was a chilly Sektober morning, still dark outside, and raining just a bit. We left the Palace under cover of Dawn (One Glorious Dawn, that is; a very friendly Agatean immigrant who's recently joined the Palace Guard, having arrived with references from the Emperor Cohen himself), who thoughtfully provided us with shelter under his cloak as we scuttled through the early morning streets. Not many people about at this time of day, although I could hear the ripe swearing of traders setting up their stalls in Sator Square and the dull clonks of King's men collecting night-soil buckets... typical charming A-M street sounds, I'll almost miss them.

It's also a good thing I still have my Personal Demonicommunication Activator -- otherwise I'd be buried in reams of Clacks flimsies. So many good-luck and thank-you and sad-you're-leaving messages from people all over (and under) the city! I've been reading through them while I wait for my coach... The ladies at Mrs Palm's ordered me a saucygram, but the Palace guards wouldn't let him in, so I was treated instead to a, shall we say, eye-popping performance in the coaching yard as our baggage was being stowed! The coachmen were very amused. As for the saucygram himself, I have to say he certainly was all there (yes, I got his C-mail address; never know when one might want a male stripper to make housecalls in Lost Wages). After he put his clothes back on, he kindly gave me the Woo Hon Ling catalogue I promised to take home for 'the girls'. I'm sure it will provide me with many interesting hours of reading on my journey...

Listeria, Lucrezia and Anaglypta came along to see me off. We got quite teary! I thought Listeria might be joining me on the first leg of the trip, because she mentioned having to make a stop in Sto Helit before setting off again around the Disc, but it seems that my coach goes direct to Sto Lat instead. What's more, it looks like there wouldn't be room for her anyway, because, there's a party of five Cabbage Grower's Collective Bank actuaries sharing the first leg with me. Luckily for me, none of them looks to be the talkative kind. I doubt they'd be interested in the catalogue, either; they probably only get excited about columns of figures, not graphically illustrated intertwined ones...

Cert couldn't join us at the coaching yard. I knew that in advance, because he's back to working 24/8 somewhere below Dolly Sisters on the Undertaking, but he has some holidays coming and intends to join me in Lost Wages in time for Hogswatch... ooh, almost time to go -- and our driver, a Mr Bombalurina from Brindisi, just told me "the lads" would appreciate it if I could give them a song, and he just happens to have a lute in his locker in the office. My last performance in Ankh-Morpork! I'm putting the imp into Record mode:

    There's colour on the Disc
    Called octarine
    Sator Market trade is brisk
    Dibbler's sausages are green
    But there's a warning sign on the Circumfence
    There's a load of warring species
    Not to mention Undead
    Dunmanifestin is awash with Gods
    So I pray to the Lady
    To adjust the odds

    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!

    I see a Turtle in the sky
    Toting giant pachyderms
    Witches on broomsticks fly
    Igors battle germs
    Though the magic's here to stay
    Those Devices are a hit
    It's time for change
    And we've a knack for it
    There's reformed Moist
    Who will never break a bank
    (Clever, backing Harry King: he'll be dredging the Ankh)

    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!

    We got a hundred thousand souls
    In Ankh-Morpork land
    We've got a stern Patrician --
    One vote, one Man
    We've got united Guilds, from plain to fancy
    Got new improved HEXes crunching technomancy
    Got a Cube revolution and it's turning fast
    Got carts to drive, got spells to cast

    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld!
    Keep on rockin' round the Discworld...

Well, that went down a treat. They wanted me to do more, but some Watchmen just showed up. To report that I'm leaving, no doubt. So it's goodbye to the little house on Silver Street, and goodbye to the various Guilds who have been so welcoming to me, and goodbye to the dirty old Ankh, and to all the wonderful pubs and shops and restaurants and Cultural Experiences and Colourful Local People. It's been...educational. I do hope I can come back some day.

Time to leave. The sun is rising, and we're just pulling out of the yard now. I'm homeward bound!

-- Alice

Note for Roundworlders: the original lyrics for Rockin' in the Free
World, by Neil Young, can be found at:

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