The Writing's on the Walls (Was: Re: On the subject of WickedWomen)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Thu May 24 17:12:38 EDT 2001

The Writing's on the Walls (Was: Re: On the subject ofHallie posted her list
of quotes from the bathroom wall...

You know what worries me about it?  I don't know very many of the answers,
and about half of those that I do know, I only know because she's lent me
the books they're from!

Ah well, here we go...

leaving spoiler space so people can post their own answers before reading


>1.  There were five of us - Carruthers and the new recruit and myself, and
Mr. Spivens and the verger.  It was late afternoon on November the
fifteenth, ...(I've cut out the rest of that sentence as it makes it a dead

The opening sentence of "To Say Nothing of the Dog", by Connie Willis.
Which I just started reading this evening.

>3.  "Why did you decide to work with fads?"
    "Everybody else was doing it."

Heheheh.  I've no idea what this is from, but I love it!  Hallie, whatever
it is, can I borrow it next time?

>6.  O where is the queen, and where is she now?
    Go out by the oak leaf, with never a bough.

Randal's song from "The Perilous Gard" by Elizabeth Marie Pope.  Which I
just read last night.

>7.  Oh how I'd like to be queen, Pa,
    Watching my troops at review,
    With slippers of crimson shagreen, Pa,
    And all of my underclose new!

This sounds as if it might be from one of the "James III" books by Joan
Aiken.  Probably "Dido and Pa", since that's the only one I can think of
that I haven't read.

>8.  I saw something nasty in the woodshed.

    There'll be no butter in hell!

Aha!  "Cold Comfort Farm" by Stella Gibbons.  "Worst fears realised.  Seth
and Rueben too.  Send gumboots." :-)

9.  God is in the details!
    No stone unturned!

Back to "To Say Nothing of the Dog"; these are both quoted ad nauseam by
Lady Schrapnell (what a wonderful name that is!).  The former is a quotation
from Gustave Flaubert.

>10. 1. Optimize potential.
    2. Facilitate empowerment.
    3. Implement visioning.
    4. Strategize priorities.
    5. Augment core structures.

Any management handbook. :-)

>12.  In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real
women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were
small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

Douglas Adams.  I think it's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", but it
*could* be one of the later ones.  (Have we all got our towels ready for

>13.  "I do not understand you."
     "Then we are on very unequal terms, for I understand you perfectly
     "Me? yes; I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible."

Bother.  This sounds rather like Jane Austen, but I don't recall it in any
of the ones I've read, which leads me to guess that it may be in "Mansefield
Park", the only one I haven't read yet.

14.  "Do you ever feel completely itch?" :-)

>16.  "You don't look like any god to me, Christopher Heron!  You look like
a piece of gilded ginger-bread, that's what you look like, one of those
cakes they sell at a fair!"

Back to "The Perilous Gard"; this is Kate yelling at Christopher right
before he's sacrificed by the Faeries, and this is the line that finally
gets through to him.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I feel that if a character cannot communicate, the very least he can do is
to shut up!"
--Tom Lehrer

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