Pearls of Wisdom
from Terry Partchett's
Numbering in a total quantity of fifteen and circulated
worldwide via all sorts of circuitous methods.
May 21, 2001
One of life's certainties is that there is generally a last
chocolate hidden in all those empty wrappers.
May 18, 2001
Most of what you get taught is lies. It has to be. Sometimes
if you get the truth all at once, you can't understand
May 16, 2001
Death found Pestilence in a hospice in Llamedos. Pestilence
like hospitals. There was always something for him to do.
Currently he was trying to remove the "Now Wash Your Hands"
sign over a cracked basin. "Soap? I'll give 'em
May 14, 2001
I've never liked philosophers. They make it all sound so grand
and simple, and then you step out into a world that's full of
May 11, 2001
It has been rather peaceful of late, I agree, said
"Peaceful?" Said War. "Ha! I may as well change m'name to
'Police Action' or 'Negotiated Settlement'! Remember the old
days? Warriors used to froth at the mouth! Arms and legs
bouncing in all directions! Great time, eh?" He leaned across
and slapped Death on the back. "I'll bag 'em and you'll tag'em,
This looked hopeful, Death thought.
May 9, 2001
Age and wisdom don't necessarily go together. Some people just
become stupid with more authority.
May 7, 2001
A chocolate you did not want to eat does not count as
chocolate. This discovery is from the same brand of culinary
physics that determined that food eaten while walking along
contains no calories.
May 4, 2001
In his experience, many of the world's greatest discoveries
were made by men who would be considered mad by conventional
standards. Insanity depended on your point of view, he always
said, and if it was the view through your own underpants then
everything looked fine.
May 1, 2001
The yeti of the Ramtops, are one of the few creatures to
utilize control of personal time for a genetic advantage. The
result is a kind of physical premonition-you find out what is
going to happen next by allowing it to happen. Faced with
danger, or any kind of task that involves risk of death, a yeti
will save its life up to that point and then proceed with all
due caution. Yet in the comfortable knowledge that, should
everything go pancake-shaped, it will wake up at the point
where it saved itself with, and this is the important part,
knowledge of the events which have just happened but which will
not happen now because it's not going to be such a damn fool
April 27, 2001
People have been messing around with time ever since they were
people. Wasting it, killing it, sparing it, making it up. And
they do it. PeopleÕs heads were made to play with
timeÉ. You watch the Procrastinators even on a quiet
day. Moving time, stretching it here, compressing it
thereÉitÕs a big job.
April 25, 2001
You had to hand it to human beings. They had one of the
strangest powers in the universe. No other species anywhere in
the world had invented boredom. Perhaps it was boredom, not
intelligence, that had propelled them up the evolutionary
ladder. Trolls and dwarfs had it, too, that strange ability to
look at the universe and think 'oh, the same as yesterday, how
dull. I wonder what happens if I bang this rock on that
April 23, 2001
Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do
it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a
sign on it saying "End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT
TOUCH," the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.
April 20, 2001
There was a thick book there, bound in night. On the cover,
where a book like this might otherwise say 'Our Wedding' or
'Acme Photo Album' it said 'MEMORIES'.
Death turned the heavy pages carefully. Some of the memories
escaped as he did so, forming brief pictures in the air before
the page turned and then went flying and fading into the
distant, dark corners of the room. There were snatches of
sound, too, of laughter, tears, screams and for some reason a
brief burst of xylophone music which caused him to pause for a
An immortal has a great deal to remember. Sometimes it's
better to put things where they will be safe.
April 18, 2001
They were the observers of the operation of the universe, its
clerks, its auditors. They saw to it that things spun and rocks
And they believed that for a thing to exist it had to have a
position in time and space. Humanity had arrived as a nasty
shock. Humanity practically was things that didn't have a
position in time and space, such as imagination, pity, hope,
history and belief. Take those away and all you had was an ape
that fell out of trees a lot.
April 16, 2001
Nine-tenths of the universe is the knowledge of the position
and direction of everything in the other tenth. Every atom has
its biography, every star its file, every chemical exchange its
equivalent of the inspector with a clipboard. It is unaccounted
for because it is doing the accounting for the rest of it.
Nine-tenths of the universe, in fact, is the paperwork.