Quote of the Day
"Chained to a desk in the front office of Heaven (they can't be too careful these days) is God's Big Book of Lists,
wherein everything is set out in categories, and everything within each category is listed in order, 'Most' at the top, 'Least' at the bottom, like the Top Twenty or the Deloittes ratings for cricketers. As a handy at-a-glance reference the Big Book
isn't particularly helpful; since it has to include everything, regardless of how rare a particular phenomenon may be, you tend to find yourself wading through pages and pages of far-fetched nonsense before you get to the useful stuff. The Big List of Useless Stuff, for example, begins with a whole batch of improbable curiosities, things that a normal, sane person could never conceive of coming across except in proverbs and figures of speech -- chocolate fireguards, one-armed paper-hangers, truthful lawyers, Vulcan pornography, and the like -- which means that the most useless real-life contingencies only start at #12,485, giving a false impression of how useless they are. Microsoft manuals, for example, are listed at the 19,669th most useless thing in the world, which sounds like a boost for the boys from Seattle until you realize that #19,668 is a bottomless bucket and #19,670 is a one-lira coin."
-- Tom Holt, Nothing but Blue Skies
(And this is just piffle, thrown in by-the-way. The actual story is about dragons, weathermen, conspiracies, and true love. Holt tosses these things off like it was no effort at all. What a writer.)