Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler

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Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler
Image from the SOUL MUSIC Animated Series
Name Claude Maximillian Overton Transpire Dibbler
Race Human
Age Sixtyish
Occupation Entrepreneur
Physical appearance Weaselly
Residence Various including a cellar near Treacle Mine Road and Cable Street, and at The Sign of the Newt, Monkey Street
Relatives See: List Of Dibblers Around The Disc (Below) He also has a nephew called Soll.
Marital Status Single
Books Guards! Guards!, Moving Pictures, Reaper Man, Soul Music, The Truth, Night Watch,Making Money
Cameos Jingo, Unseen Academicals, Small Gods, Men at Arms, Interesting Times, Feet of Clay,Raising Steam The Celebrated Discworld Almanak

CMOT Dibbler or Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler is a fixture in the street life of Ankh-Morpork, where he is a perpetually failing salesman. He gets fancy new ideas (such as feng-shui consulting, or selling stale rocks to trolls) which never work. His product line includes Dibbler's Homoeopathic Shampoo, which failed to meet the expectations of the customer. Sometimes he sells things that don't belong to him or don't even exist (although such business practices are rather common in Ankh-Morpork). Dibbler has sometimes managed to be the top manager in a blooming new industry (like in Moving Pictures or Soul Music), but either due to bad luck or the fact it's the semi-real Discworld (where magical phenomena bloom but don't last long), he consistently fails. Fortunately, he always has a backup trade to fall back on: selling Sausage inna bun, the sausage made not of pork but rather of anything that's been near a pig. Dibbler's sausages taste awful, but with a lot of sizzling onions and persistent price-cutting, Dibbler always manages to make a living by selling these sausages to people who have gotten sick from his sausages before. This demonstrates that he is a very good salesman.

His mercantile aspirations, and lack of aptitude for it, make the Dibbler-like character instantly recognisable, as does the appalling food that is his fall-back product. Suspiciously similar characters appear in several countries including Ankh-Morpork, Agatean Empire, XXXX, and Omnia, all having a similar name and a nickname which describes self-harm. Several of these Dibbler-like salesmen have been encountered by Rincewind. When Rincewind meets a Dibbler-double, he ponders on the theory that there are only a small number of real people in the world, and the many people you meet are merely duplicates, that's why you seem to meet the same person all across the world (this discussion on many of the Dibblers can be found in The Last Continent). Indeed, there seems to be a bit of kindred spirit between the two: Both suffer from pre-emptive karma. If it looks like anything good is going to happen, something bad happens immediately to balance things, and keeps on happening right through when the good should happen. Dibbler is a little more lucky, though: He gets some of the good, but the bad is building up quick under the surface.

In Ankh-Morpork, Dibbler's nickname CMOT comes from his claims along the lines of "selling this at such a low price that it's cutting me own throat". The Omnian Dhblah makes a similar claim earning him the nickname Cut-Me-Own-Hand-Off. Not all Dibblers make claims about the pricing aspect. The Agatean Dibhala says "may I disembowel meself honourably!" when customers complain about the low quality of his merchandise (in Interesting Times). No Dibblers have been found in Überwald as of yet, but since the local lore strictly prohibits the purveyance of dodgy sausages, locating a Dibbler there may require a closer inspection of the local gibbets.

Night Watch tells us that, at least in the alternate history in which Vimes was sent back in time, the phrase "cutting me own throat" was in fact suggested to him by Vimes (occupying the vital space of Sgt.-at-Arms John Keel) who of course knew him from the future. However, In Making Money, it is revealed that Dibbler's full name is in fact Claude Maximilian Overton Transpire Dibbler, which creates the interesting question of whether the name or the nickname came first. It could well be one of those strange coincidences that are not unknown on Roundworld, and practically normal on Discworld. It might be good marketing, or a ploy to make applying for a bank loan easier, for Dibbler to assume proper names that fit in with the C.M.O.T. nickname. After all, until the rules were changed to prevent this happening again, Dibbler was astute enough to register with the Patrician as the sole member of the Guild of C.M.O.T. Dibblers...

Self-serving though they might be, Dibbler and his sound-alike counterparts occasionally do display a streak of political activism. Night Watch reveals that C.M.O.T. was peripherally involved in dissident activities against Lord Winder, carrying messages for one of the revolutionary groups; in both versions of history, he also participated in the struggles at Treacle Mine Road, and now wears the lilac annually. His Agatean counterpart in Interesting Times carried a copy of that subversive document, "What I Did On My Holidays", and both the Ecksian and Omnian Dibblers express political opinions that are less than complimentary to government policy.

Of course, being Dibblers, such professed activism may simply be a way to ensure that, once the revolution comes, they can sell overpriced souvenirs to the victorious side, no matter which it is.

Dibbler is also resolutely against the idea of taking a salaried job working for somebody else. Something in his soul absolutely revolts against this. When he is effectively—literally as well as metaphorically—tied to a desk to turn out spurious and sensationalist stories for the Ankh-Morpork Inquirer, he welcomes his liberation by William de Worde and the dwarfs with open arms. However, he only accepts a job writing advertising copy for the Ankh-Morpork Times when William makes it absolutely clear that Dibbler will be working as a freelance journalist and not a Times man. It may be the case that Dibbler still to this day turns other peoples' products into best sellers with his own inspired, if not altogether legal, decent, honest and truthful, advertising copy. After all, as Moist von Lipwig reflected, Dibbler can sell sausage by its "squeal" and smell and not its taste, or people would not keep coming back for more the way they do. Men who can sell the squeal are rare and valuable. His stories also helped the Inquirer outsell the Times: oddly enough, Dibbler himself thought nobody would ever believe them.

In The Compleat Ankh-Morpork, it is revealed that Dibbler is one half of a publishing house based on Monkey Street called Toplis & Dibbler. The identity of the mysterious Mr Toplis, if he exists, is not yet known. But this publishing firm is responsible for the magazines Back Street Pins and Girls, Giggles and Garters. Top-quality works for the discerning connoisseur of art, naturally.

Raising Steam sees him in an entirely logical and unsurprising occupation—with New Ankh expanding to take on the rapidly growing city population, he is now, at least until the houses start subsiding into the swamps they are built on, a property speculator. Although Harry King, Moist von Lipwig and Dick Simnel will be providing both competition and better-built houses for their railway workers as a necessary spin-off from steam.

List Of Dibblers Around The Disc

The term Dibbleganger has been coined by an unsung genius to describe the many morphic resonances of Dibbler around the Disc.

Dibbler himself has also used various extremely flimsy alternative names to lend credence to his various business ventures. These include:

All these Dibbler-variants appear to be based at the same address in Monkey Street.