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Authors: Paul Gamble

The Ministry of SUITs (35 page)

BOOK: The Ministry of SUITs
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  1. 47
    Jack would find out himself why it was a bad idea to go to the quartermaster for equipment. But not until chapter thirty-eight. I wouldn't hold your breath until you get there if I were you. Unless you are either a phenomenally fast reader, or alternatively able to hold your breath for a very, very long time because you are a whale or some other kind of aquatic mammal. If you are a whale and are reading this, how are you keeping the pages dry? I assume you can achieve it by laminating each page individually. However, that seems very labor-intensive.

  2. 48
    If a teacher had been watching them, they would have had no idea that it was happening. Teachers spend years in college learning to watch people without their realizing it.

    Some people believe that teachers learn about the subject they teach while at college. However, if teachers really knew about their subject, schools wouldn't need textbooks. Textbooks are only necessary when someone doesn't know what they're talking about. With a textbook a teacher just needs to ensure that they have
    read one chapter ahead
    of the kids they are teaching.

    If you wish to test this, read an entire textbook on your first day of class and watch how nervous it makes your teacher when you tell them.

  3. 49
    It is. It sounds like it shouldn't be, but it is.

  4. 50
    Actually, this may not be a good metaphor. A hug from a six-foot bunny rabbit would most likely be terrifying. Apart from anything else you'd be asking yourself questions like “What evil scientist has made a six-foot bunny rabbit? And while the scientist was making it larger did he change its dietary preferences from raw carrots to raw human flesh?” Please feel free to scribble out this metaphor and write in a more appropriate one of your own devising.

  1. 51
    sounds as if it shouldn't be a real word either. But it is. Believe me. The way they sound, I imagine that the two words are probably good friends. They probably collect stamps and play MMORPGs together.

  2. 52
    Jack quietly wished that Mr. Teach had employed one of the mad scientists who tried to invent bananas rather than one of the evil ones. (See chapter fourteen.)

  3. 53
    People who study stones are called geologists. It's strange that they can't think of anything better to do with their time. Stones never move or do anything interesting. Being a geologist must be even more boring than being a urologist ursinologist.

  4. 54
    Jack is the only person ever to wish this. The purchase of a plastic dinosaur is an important transaction and significant lifestyle choice. It is essential to take your time and think about what kind of plastic dinosaur would make you happiest. There's a natural instinct that suggests you just go straight for the
    Tyrannosaurus rex
    . But the beauty and understated grace of a
    has a lot to recommend it. In terms of color, it's hard to go wrong with purple.

  5. 55
    One made from especially tough kangaroo pouch fluff.

  6. 56
    “It” being a thought, rather than a polar bear paw. For those of you who like to know all the little details, the name of the polar bear was Peter.

  7. 57
    Jack secretly hoped to himself that they hadn't got any of the bandages from the Ancient Egypt section of the museum.

  8. 58
    If someone made a film called
    Revenge of the Werehamster
    , I, for one, would definitely go and see it.

  9. 59
    Jack's parents were very clear on this. A schoolbag was expected to last for at least a year, or until one of the other kids in his class had written a rude word on it. Whichever came first.

  10. 60
    It should be pointed out that the planks no longer looked like scaffolding. Now that Trudy and Jack had finished with them, what they looked like was the floor of a very bad woodwork class.

  11. 61
    In the old days untraceable poisons would be made from Amazonian frogs. These days you could probably buy untraceable poisons from Amazon. Just goes to show you, the world likes balance and everything in life is circular (especially circles).

  12. 62
    And obviously it would also have squashed Jack quite badly. It would almost certainly have resulted in a fatal squashing. Fatal squashings do occur occasionally. However, a friend of mine who is a coroner has reassured me that they are thankfully rare.

  13. 63
    For further evidence of this please see chapters eighteen and nineteen.

  14. 64
    Alternatively, make up your mind to just look in one place. This will then be “the last place you would look.”

  15. 65
    Slapping someone in the face is
    the kind of thing that
    you shouldn't do
    to someone who has suffered from severe head trauma, but it shouldn't surprise anyone to know that it was also exactly the kind of thing that they taught you to do as part of the Ministry First Aid course. The Ministry's medical care
    wasn't good.

  16. 66
    Unless you had really, really bad parents.

  17. 67
    Except this one. Obviously. This is all true. Totally.

  18. 68
    It should be pointed out that even though Kenneth Grahame wrote
    The Wind in the Willows
    (an absolute masterpiece of literature) he also worked in a bank. So not only did he lie to children, but he probably lied to just about everyone.

  19. 69
    Just because they're pirates it doesn't mean that they aren't well-organized.

  20. 70
    It is interesting to note that David never actually learned what to do with a drunken sailor midafternoon or in the evening. The instructions he received only detailed what to do with him early in the morning.

  21. 71
    The Marble Arch Caves are a geopark in Northern Ireland, including stalactites and stalagmites, underground rivers, caverns, and passageways. Well worth a visit.

  22. 72
    It is worth noting that the fact that Trudy asked this question later saves her life. You should continually ask adults questions because you never know when one of their answers will save your life. Also, adults find it really irritating if you're always asking questions. So you know … that's a bonus.

  23. 73
    Interestingly enough there really was another Cthulhu, Janet Cthulhu, who was an office cleaner and always brought cupcakes in for people's birthdays. This sometimes caused amusing confusion. It also sometimes caused people to avoid birthday cupcakes when they heard that “Cthulhu” had brought them in. They were worried they might be from the other Cthulhu and would therefore be ancient and evil cupcakes of unimaginable power, which would cause the populace of the world to descend into madness and insanity.

  24. 74
    When anyone begins a sentence with “Now, the interesting thing is,” you can immediately surmise that what they are about to tell you isn't interesting in the slightest. If it was interesting, they wouldn't have had to
    tell you
    it was interesting. It is, however, the kind of thing that parents are always starting their sentences with.

  25. 75
    For those of you who want to know exactly what shade Jack blushed, on a Dulux color chart his cheeks would have been considered Fire Cracker 2.

  26. 76
    Suffocation through spluttering is in fact the most common cause of dying through embarrassment. People often say “I nearly died of embarrassment,” without realizing that it is technically possible. The easiest way to avoid dying of embarrassment is simply to not take oneself too seriously. If you learn to laugh at yourself, it doesn't seem so bad when other people do it as well.

  27. 77
    is not a real word.

  28. 78
    Trudy is right about this. It isn't.

  29. 79
    Which could be an enormous web spun by an ordinary spider. Or an ordinary-sized web spun by an enormous spider. I'll let you choose.

  30. 80
    Back in those days people took their names from what they did. If you made roofs you were called Thatcher, if you made horseshoes you were called Smith, and if you promised to look after people's money for them and then somehow managed to lose it all you were called Banks. Teachers were more often than not called Teach.

  31. 81
    For those who really need to know, not the original legendary Irish pirate Grace O'Malley, but one of her great granddaughters.

  32. 82
    Tutus rarely have pockets. It tends to spoil the line of the garment.

  33. 83
    A good general rule of medical thumb is that if you are running a fever, it is a good idea to drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. However, if you are already dead, this isn't considered necessary. Most doctors advise that if you are dead you should lie very still and try not to talk to people. The not-talking rule isn't really a health-based rule. It's just that the living tend to get panicky around talking corpses.

  34. 84
    They didn't. I mean it was a good plan, but it wasn't as cool as the awesome Static.

  35. 85
    Actually Jack is wrong about this. You can buy a new grandfather, but the warranties on them are very short indeed.

  36. 86
    Jack was right in this conclusion. Mr. Rackham was descended from a pirate named “Calico Jack” Rackham. Calico Jack was the pirate who came up with the idea for the skull-and-crossbones flag. He was also known for having two women crew members. Because pirates may be greedy, murderous, unpleasant scoundrels, but that doesn't mean that they're sexist as well.

  37. 87
    I think I've got that right. Explosions are notoriously difficult to spell.

  38. 88
    To be perfectly accurate, some of the Pirates couldn't believe their eyes, while others couldn't believe their eye. A lot of them had patches.

  39. 89
    Although we can all agree that it would be better as the Eiffel Roller Coaster.

  40. 90
    The dinosaur's name was Bernie. But that's just a coincidence.

  41. 91
    Even I couldn't tell you what happened to Blackbeard Junior. However, it wouldn't be hard to believe that a certain little old lady, a direct descendant of Grace O'Malley, might have found him still attached to a dinosaur and helped him to escape. Of course that is nothing more than conjecture.

  42. 92
    Gemma, how proud of me are you that I've managed this entire acknowledgments without using a footnote (apart from this one, obviously)? And you said that footnotes were “becoming like a sickness with me.”

  43. 93
    Holly, what do you think of this as an acknowledgments section? I'm planning to wait until Gemma is busy with something else and then I'm going to jam in a whole lot more footnotes.

BOOK: The Ministry of SUITs
2.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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