Unpacking Wide Awake

Back when I began writing In the Land of the Penny Gnomes I was probably on a Pratchett, Adams, Fforde reading spree. It shows. The ideas are, hopefully, original enough they are seen as homages rather than blatant rip-offs. All I know is I’m laughing as I write this stuff. Let’s unpack.

Narrative Convention

It would be nice to say Professor Nobody and Bug caught up with narrative convention. But the ice pack and cup of tea were actually both Sindy’s idea.

Sapling Wood

Long time readers of Pratchett will no doubt remember the concept of sapient pear wood, from which Rincewind’s homicidal luggage is constructed. Sapling wood probably sprang from that idea.

It literally saps the energy from the neurons used to transmit pain signals to the brain. This is actually a symbiotic relationship which springs from a principle derived from the AMaPoIB. The sapling wood transmits the sapped energy to the prime tree, from which all sapling saplings are born. This transference continues even after the sapling wood is harvested, which makes it useful to build things like comically huge headache cures.

Professor Nobody has actually attempted to create legos from sapling wood, but some things are too impossible even for imagination to tackle. I mean, imagine a lego which makes you feel better for stepping on it! Some things are just best left alone.

Back in Time

The Realm does not exist in normal space-time. So the Professor is correct in assuming he’ll be able to get Will back to his room shortly after he departed in the first place. The problem is, his aim isn’t all that great, so he’s more likely to drop him in their neighbor’s pool around 7 AM the following morning. Also, time-shifting removes all external objects from the traveller, so Will may be in for an embarrassing return home.

It’s probably best we don’t talk about this with him.

Three Days

Bug might be married, but neither he nor Professor Nobody really grasp the concept of hospitality. The couch was nearby, it looked comfortable enough, and they didn’t feel like dragging him upstairs. So, that’s where he was left. Bug was actually proud he didn’t leave him on the floor, which he may have done had he not wanted to vacuum.

A Social Insights

Professor Nobody is a kind gnome, but doesn’t do to well around others 1. As such, he paces his social insights by attempting to limit himself to under ten a year. That way his brain doesn’t melt.

Also, imagining a semi-unhinged gnome shouting, “A Shower!” with absolutely no explanation makes me happy.

Bug, also being rather slow on the social uptake, was made aware of Will’s need for a change of clothes only after being struck in the head with a frying pan 2.

Measured Up

Will is a bit creeped out someone was measuring him for clothes while he slept. He needn’t be worried, though. Sindy used a remote controlled portable back-scatter to get his ideal measurements. It was all done “blind,” so all she ever saw were numbers.

After she was finished it fell off the shelf and collided with an icepack, whereupon it transformed into a two liter bottle of club soda. Maybe Will should be concerned, after all.


  1. Kind of like some pastor/writers I know. 
  2. After which he was hit in the head with a comically large mallet. 
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