In Thud!, when testing out the Axle device to see what it can do, and having nearly brained the Patrician with an inadvertent lump of flying iron, Mr Pony doesn't seem to know who he is talking to, explicitly asking Carrot Ironfoundersson to identify the person.
Yet Pony has already met the Patrician and even spoken to him: on the fateful night at Unseen University where Reacher Gilt's manipulations come unstuck. As an employee of the Grand Trunk, Pony must have been sweating as to whether or not he would be arrested as well as the rest of the Board: nights like this, and people like Vetinari, must stick in the memory?
But on being reintroduced to Vetinari, he has a baffling attack of total amnesia...--AgProv 12:56, 26 June 2007 (CEST)
- But he wasn't a member of the Board, just the technical guy, right? And I don't recall Pony being there at UU, and if he was there, he was probably more interested in the technical details of the omniscope ;) --Sanity 13:33, 26 June 2007 (CEST)
My memory may be at fault (it has been) but my recollection is of Vetinari talking to Pony and tasking him with collecting the tell-tale transmission logs from each tower. (As part of the case against Gilt, or to conceal Moist's involvement in the fake message?). Pony replies with something that makes it explicit that he knows exactly who he's talking to - "It'll take months, my Lord!" - and Vetinari bids him to go and make an early start, in that case. This is followed by a narrative note about Pony, who had privately been fearing much worse, gratefully leaving the Presence. I'll check the text - last chapter of Going Postal - when I get home later.--AgProv 14:33, 26 June 2007 (CEST)
Here it is:- Going PostalDoubleday hardback edition pp 339-340
"Mr Pony, you are the chief engineer of the Grand Trunk, are you not?" said Vetinari... "Please, your Lordship, I'm just an engineer, I don't know anything!"
And the dialogue goes on pretty much as I recall above.
Yet in Thud! (Doubleday hardback, pp357-358) the dialogue is:-
"Excuse me, what is this about?" said Lord Vetinari, holding out a hand imperiously. "The man glanced at him and then turned to Carrot.
"Who's this?" he said.
"Lord Vetinari,'ruler of the city, may I present mr Pony of the Artificers' Guild?"
Of course, George Pony might perhaps have a twin brother (or a son?) who's just as good at machinery and engineering, who hasn't met the Patrician yet, but this could all be quite confusing if taken at face value! And the events of Thud! are quite clearly after those of Going Postal...--AgProv 00:24, 27 June 2007 (CEST)
- This is one of few things in the series of books that has bugged me as well.
I am sort of relieved to see other people have noticed it as well. One may try to find an in-universe way of explaining this, but I feel it is far more likely that maybe some notes got mixed up or some notations lost and that this is simply a writers error. However, arguably an in-universe explanation is more fun. Possibly mr. Pony is a very busy man, who knows everything there is to know about how a differential gear can work, considering all the things it can be made of, from wood to any sort of metal or alloy, and he just has no time or interest to remember ordinary menial things like the faces and names of people. I do imagine him to be the sort of man whos wife lays his clothes out for him, and if she would make a mistake and set the right shoe on the left place, mr. Pony would walk around all day with his feet in the wrong shoes and in the evening vaguely remark that streets these days arent what they used to be. In short, absent-minded, because his mind is always busy with his work. --Merari 13:09, 29 October 2011 (CEST)
I have to agree that is almost exactly how I imagine him, I mean what better character for a top innovator then an absent-minded genius, it is so cliche. --Zdm 16:43, 29 October 2011 (CEST)