Book:Feet of Clay/Annotations

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This great image, whose splendor [was] excellent, stood before you; and its form [was] awesome. This image's head [was] of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces."

(The Bible: Book of Daniel, 2:32)

Corgi paperback p34: Detritus is questioned, although half-heartedly so, by Vimes over an allegation of Watch brutality. Detritus denies knowledge of an incident in which a criminal troll is nailed to a wall by his ears. (although later he feels a need to conceal a hammer which the small-minded might see as connected). Compare this to a sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which small-time criminal Vince Snetterton-Lewis admits to having been nailed - by his ear - to a small occasional coffee table for annoying the dreaded crimelord Dinsdale Piranha.

Corgi paperback p41-42: Apparently, it wasn't Daphne, the current city morpork, who appears on the City Watch badge. It's Olive, her great-grandmother. And Pardessus Chatain Pursuivant ought to know. As some of the the City Watch badges - specifically badge number 177, that issued to Sam Vimes - have been continually in circulation since King Veltrick I founded the watch some four hundred years previously - morporks must be very long-lived birds indeed. Either that, or it's History Monks again.

Corgi paperback p44: Red Crescent consulted a scroll. "Good, good." he said. "how do you feel about weasels?".... "I know they're not strictly a heraldic animal, but we've got some on the strength and frankly unless we can persuade somebody to adopt them, we're going to have to let them go..."

Partly a reference to standard Zoo practice, where private individuals sponsor ("adopt") animals and help pay for their upkeep. Red Crescent is perhaps summing up the situation on the Disc for heraldic weasels. But on Roundworld, weasels are part of the coat of arms of the German city of Wesel features three weasels couchant, argent on a field gules. (another of those side-splitting heraldic puns; "weasel" in German is "wiesel") There is a Phillips family whose coat of arms features weasels. The Croatian national coat of arms incorporates a weasel. (kuna, in Serbo-Croat: another of those hilarious heralds' puns is that the kuna is also the national unit of currency. Pop goes the weasel?)

And in Roundworld heraldry, a whole category of shield designs are called "furs" and are usually assigned to nobility. This website states these are depicted as an abstract representation of the fur of the weasel, an alternative name for which in heraldry is the ermine. Perhaps in Discworld heraldry, the vermine (that selfish little bastard that will do anything so as not to part with its own fur) occupies this niche?

Gollancz hardback p77: You are armigerous, Nobby. Armigerous is a social disease, passed down the family line and therefore hereditary, contagious in the right circumstances from carriers who do not know they have it, and which may be cured by application of remedies to the head and neck...

Gollancz hardback p177: Nothing beats an Earl except a Duke, and we haven't got one of them. Fred Colon is again Foreshadowing. In the next Watch book, Jingo, Sam Vimes is advanced to the rank of Duke. Partly as a back-handed reward, partly as a gift from Vetinari to Lady Sybil to advance her to primus inter pares among Ankh-Morpork's society ladies - but mainly, one suspects, to ensure the top rank in the city's nobility is firmly filled, with a man Vetinari can largely rely on, and that there isn't a job vacancy anybody else could exploit to their own ends.

Corgi paperback p284: Fred Colon is tied up and locked in a cellar. He is desperate to get out, having overheard a discussion about how to dispose of an interfering policeman. "... A wide-open doorway marked Freedom . He'd settle for anything."

Literally anything? A subtle detail here is that in the text, the word Freedom is in the sort of capital letters and type only usually used by Death. This line is also an allusion to the Doorway Dilemma parodied in Lords and Ladies by Ponder Stibbons, Casanunder and Ridcully - two doors, only one of which leads to freedom (the other to death), guarded by two men, one of whom will lie and the other will tell truth...

Gollancz hardback p236: Cows should go "Moo".... Fred Colon may well be foreshadowing Where's My Cow? here as quite a lot of them go astray in the big city... also in American sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, in an episode screened maybe four years after publication of FoC, we have a possible reverse annotation. Sergeant Robert Barone of the New York Police Department has a similar sort of misadventure with a loose bull called Nestor, part of an illegal rodeo show whose animals escape and cause havoc on the NY streets. Nestor proceeds to gore him in "the upper thigh". (Terry loves to create Watch references to other fictional police forces in literature and TV - although this may be a case of TV taking the idea from him. Robert Barone is a police sergeant with nineteen years' service, hitherto unwounded on duty, who can legitimately retire on full pension after twenty. Hmm.)

And the boar Fred encounters a little further down the page could have drawn the Hogfather's sleigh.

Gollancz hardback p242: Wee Mad Arthur demands there be "no welching" on his promised dollar for Watch service. Given the origins of the Roundworld slang "no welching" - an ethnic slur on the Welsh - should he have really said "no Llamedosing"?

Gollancz hardback p245: Right now, I'd swear in a gorgon. More foreshadowing: by Unseen Academicals, Vimes has indeed recruited a Gorgon constable.

Corgi paperback p328: "Cheery Littlebottom strode into the Palace kitchen and fired her crossbow into the ceiling. "Don't nobody move!" she yelled.

There is a certain resemblance here to the Police Academy series of movies (also parodied in the opening pages of Men at Arms?), in which an assorted bunch of misfits and no-hopers are trying to become policemen and women. Cheery's attitude here is similar to the shy and self-conscious black woman with the reedy high-pitched voice (Recruit Laverne Hookes), who is shy, rather timid, unsure of herself, and who out of inexperience behaves inappropriately in situations calling for a different sort of response.

There are resemblances to the "Terminator II" movie as well:

  • Like a T-800, Model 101, you can open the heads of the golems, and get the CPU / chem out and put it back in; in the meantime, the terminator / golem is deactivated;
  • In the pursuit of Wee Mad Arthur and Fred Colon, Meshugah is being shattered, but rebuilds himself like the T-1000
  • The inability of humans, dwarfs, and even Wee Mad Arthur - he doesn't even try it! - to stop Meshugah;
  • The fight between Meshugah and Dorfl, right to the point when the "dead" Dorfl comes suddenly alive again and kills Meshugah with a fatal blow into the head;
  • The location of the fight: An industrial workplace (Ankh-Morpork style), even with a big basin / trough filled with a molten, lethal liquid in it.

And in TV sci-fi spoof Red Dwarf, the android Kryten, when demobilised for repair, has his "personality and conscience chips" located in his head. Crewmate Dave Lister is seen to flip Kryten's head open, prop it up on a pull-out support strut as if it were a car's bonnet, and remove the chips from an inert Android. Shades of Vetinari and Mr Pump: he then reprograms the conscience chip so that Kryten is disinhibited from following an ethically dubious course of action. Lister is reprogramming Kryten's "chem" equivalent.

Dorfl's willingness to debate religion "with the priest of the most worthy God" has much the same effect as rolling a golden apple inscribed with "to the most beautiful" in a room-ful of Goddesses. The priests fall to fighting among themselves and Dorfl is disregarded.