Precious Jolson

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Precious Jolson
Name Precious Jolson
Race Human, family from Howandaland
Occupation Watchman
Physical appearance
Parents All Jolson
Marital Status
Cameos Thud!, Snuff

Precious Jolson is a lance-constable of the Watch who is briefly introduced in Thud!, through the third-person account of Fred Colon. Constable Jolson assists Fred in rescuing a would-be pole dancer at the Pink PussyCat Club, who has let enthusiasm and wishful thinking get the better of her, and who has become immovably fixed to the pole owing to rheumatics and muscular spasms.

When Fred remarks to Nobby Nobbs that the only way of freeing the hapless Mrs Spudding from the pole was to rip it bodily off its mounting and slide her off, and adds I tell you, Nobby, that girl's got the muscles of a troll on her, it is unclear if he is referring to (i) Mrs Spudding's limpet-like attachment to the pole, or (ii) Lance-Constable Jolson's ability to wrench pole and limpet-like attachment out of the floor. This is aggravatingly ambiguous, as if the person with the muscles of a troll on her is Lance-Constable Jolson, it fixes her as the so far only identified normally human woman police constable, in a Watch which includes Sally von Humpeding (vampire), Angua von Überwald (werewolf), and Cheery Littlebottom (dwarf). It may also hint at a family relationship with catering giant All Jolson, in which case an early life spent labouring in the family kitchen, unloading sixty-pound sacks of flour and potatoes from delivery carts, &c, might well account for the muscle.

Happily, in Snuff, this is cleared up, and we learn that Precious is 'a lady for whom the word large simply would not do' and that she is quite capable of picking up a brace of drunks and throwing them into the hurry-up wagon. We also find out that she is the daughter of All Jolson. It seems everything about her is family-sized including her good nature, and she is quite a favourite in the Watch, where her tendency to be a fountainhead for jolliness and to have a cheerful word for everyone stands her in good stead.

She proves useful in her knowledge of Howondaland, as the Jolsons originated from there. She regards it as quite boring, unless, as she doubtlessly did, you try to stroke a resident cat, whereupon they get 'kind of stroppy'. As this comes from Precious, who can arm-wrestle a troll and win, the stroppiness of the cat is probably approaching the carnivorous level. Interestingly enough, a King Samuel in Howondaland has a retinue of very tall, imposing, Amazon women warriors. Is it possible that Mrs Jolson, the mother of Precious, was an Amazon with a taste for good food and a man who could provide it? Precious may not be alone in body size and general inclination.

Also, she has a more than superficial similarity to a certain Roundworld detective in Botswana, who also has a very traditional body figure.

And a big, strong human would of course add extra spirit to a night spent minge drinking with the other girls in the Watch, as in the famous last words uttered by many a foolish fellow: I likes a girl with spirit...