POPUP / THE TURTLE MOVES / TERRY PRATCHETT DISCWORLD DAY

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December 4, 2017
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“Ankh-Morpork! Pearl of cities! This is not a completely accurate description, of course — it was not round and shiny — but even its worst enemies would agree that if you had to liken Ankh-Morpork to anything, then it might as well be a piece of rubbish covered with the diseased secretions of a dying mollusc.” – The Light Fantastic (Terry Pratchett)

Discworld Day – The Turtle Moves, was held 4th of November, at The Moors Castle in Johannesburg. As an avid fan of all things Terry Pratchett, I was looking forward to this day from the moment we made the booking. The day certainly did not disappoint. Though a basic understanding of the Discworld novels will make the experience much more entertaining and engaging, it is definitely not required to enjoy it.

We started the day off by getting into proper Pratchett attire, the members of our initial travelling party included:

Twoflower “The Traveler” (an inhabitant of Bes Pelargic, in the Agatean Empire),

(Granny) Esmerelda “Esme” Weatherwax (A witch, member of the Lancre Coven and self-appointed guardian of her small country),

Corporal Cecil Wormsboroug St. John Nobbs “Nobby” (an untidy, smelly, and despite being human, about the same height as a dwarf, and carrying a certificate signed by the Patrician to prove that he’s a human being)

Mr. Jonathan Teatime (pronounced “Teh-ah-tim-eh”) (A graduate assassin from Anhk-Morpork, hired by the Auditors to inhume the Hogfather)

Cutangle (former Archchancellor of Unseen University and Archmage of the Silver Star. He comes from the Ramtops, where his father Acktur Cutangle lived in the village of Brass Neck next to Granny Weatherwax’s home village.)

We were later joined by Her Grace, Lady Sybil Deirdre Olgivanna Ramkin-Vimes, The Duchess of Ankh (the last scion of one of the oldest clans of the Ankh nobility, the Ramkins) and Errol (Lady Sybil’s dragon, In Ankh Morpork, dragons are badly designed windbags prone to exploding if they get over-excited, so best not to excite it with petting)

Together we took to the streets of Ankh-Morpork in search of feasts, festivities and all things Discworldly. Although a major lack of Terry Pratchett merchandise was apparent, there were plenty other nicknacks to peruse and admire. The food and drink stalls were few, but had a good enough selection to get you by without feeling hungry or thirsty.

The venue was fitting and had enough of the right feel for the event, The Mended Drum was woefully lacking in space for the amount of visitors however, during the Discworld Quiz a large amount of patrons had to sit on the ground, though this did offer some relief from the heat. The quiz was very thorough, and only diehard fans would have been able to score top marks. Lady Sybil and I only managed a measly 13 marks, bravo to the Patrician for such a well-researched quiz, the librarian must’ve had a hand in compiling it.

Following the quiz a Sing-A-Long was had, with a wonderful rendition of the famous drinking song “A wizard’s staff has a knob on the end” (which I am sure Nanny Ogg thoroughly enjoyed). Though the double entendres might have left some of the young ones in attendance blushing or giggling.

While meandering through the streets of Ankh-Morpork we happened upon quite a few of our fellow Ankh-Morporkians

Rincewind the Wizard (A failed student at the Unseen University for wizards in Ankh-Morpork, often described by scholars as “the magical equivalent to the number zero”, and spends just about all of his time running away from various bands of people who want to kill him for various reasons)

Captain Carrot Ironfounderson (Carrot Ironfoundersson is Captain of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch police force. Bulging with muscles, this two metre (six-foot-six-inch) dwarf (adopted) remains honest, good-natured, and honourable despite the city’s best efforts.)

Death of Rats “The Grim Squeaker” (can communicate everything in a one-syllable sound: squeak, with the occasional emphasis of an eek-eek, when he is excited. This can only be understood by certain people.)

Death (fascinated with humans in general, and as a result attempts to emulate their behaviour, if only to better understand them) and Binky (is truly a white horse, a large, magnificent white horse, white not as snow but as milk, because milk has more life than snow)

Gytha Ogg “Nanny Ogg” (has been married three times, with fifteen children who survived their early childhood, and has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren)

Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler (he is a perpetually failing salesman. He gets fancy new ideas which never work.) Selling his famous “Sausage inna bun” (Once tasted never forgotten is an often used term to describe it, as, although they are quite successful they are also absolutely disgusting and may contain various products of dubious provenance.)

Anoia (Goddess of Things That Get Stuck in Drawers, a minor goddess. When someone rattles a drawer and cries “How can it close on the damned thing but not open with it? Who bought this? Do we ever use it?”, even though the person might be genuinely irritated or even exasperated, it is as praise unto Anoia. Faithful Anoians (worshippers of Anoia) purposefully rattle their drawers and complain every day. Anoia also finds objects that roll under other objects and things stuck in sofa cushions, and is considering handling stuck zippers. She eats corkscrews.

Lord Havelock Vetinari (Lord Patrician of the city state of Ankh-Morpork. The ruler of the city-state of Ankh-Morpork. As a youth, he enrolled in the Assassins’ Guild which, apart from teaching its students how to kill other people for money, also gives them an excellent education)

Cohen the Barbarian (Ghenghiz Cohen, Cohen the Barbarian is the last and greatest of the barbarian heroes. He is over 90 years old, which just goes to show how good Cohen is at not dying. Known to be leader of the Silver Horde, a small group of similarly elderly barbarian heroes,)

Tiffany Aching (Tiffany began her witching career at nine, upon being scouted by the “witch finder” Miss Tick. She led the Feegles on a journey into Fairyland to rescue Wentworth,)

The Nac Mac Feelges (The Feegles spend their time drinking, fighting and stealing, alone or in various combinations. The immense strength and rowdiness of these pictsies means that they will fight anything, and they have a particular fondness for headbutting creatures far larger than themselves)

Overall the day was a success and a lot of fun was had, if I were to be invited to another one of these events, I would simply exclaim in the wise word(s) of the Librarian…

“OOK!”

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