1 min read

Someone ought to do something

From Hogfather by Terry Pratchett:

"There's something wrong and he won't tell me?" said Susan.

That made her even more angry.

"But Albert is in on it, too," she added.

She thought: Thousands, millions of years in the same job. Not a nice one. It isn't always cheerful old men passing away at a great age. Sooner or later, it was bound to get anyone down.

Someone had to do something. It was like that time when Twyla's grandmother had started telling everyone she was the Empress of Krull and had stopped wearing clothes.

And Susan was bright enough to know that the phrase "Someone ought to do something!" was not, by itself, a helpful one. People who used it never added the rider "and that someone is me." But right now someone ought to do something, and the whole pool of someones consisted of her, and no one else.

Twyla's grandmother had ended up in a nursing home overlooking the sea at Quirm. That sort of option probably didn't apply here. Besides, he'd be unpopular with the other residents.

For context: Susan is Death's granddaughter, sort of. (You might remember her from an earlier post.) Death, the skeletal embodiment of death, is running around trying to fill the role of the Hogfather, the Discworld's equivalent of Santa Claus, because the Hogfather has disappeared. Death is not doing a great job of this, to amusing effect. Albert is (if I recall correctly) Death's steward/butler.

How does this feel, being the whole pool of someones? Stressful? Aggravating? It must be, right? I'm not sure.