No-one liked the Joshua N'Clement block. There were two schools of thought about what should be done with it. The people who lived there thought everyone should be taken out en then the block should be blown up, and the people who lived near the block just wanted it blown up.
There was a new library in the Civic Centre. It was so new it didn't even have librarians. It had Assistant Information Officers.
Johnny had seen films of American shopping malls. They must have different sorts of people in America, he'd thought. They all looked cool, all the girls were beautiful, and the place wasn't crowded with little kamikaze grandmothers.
"You've got a lot of time for abstract thought when you've got your hand stuck up a dead badger."
The figures the telescope was producing were all that was left of an exploding star twenty million years ago. A billion small rubbery things on two planets who had been getting on with life in a quiet sort of way had been totally destroyed, but they were certainly helping Adrian get his Ph.D. and, who knows, they might have thought it all worthwhile if anyone had asked them.
"I believe it's very hard to have fun in Iceland without fish being involved in some way."
- "America?" said Mrs Liberty. "Won't we get scalped?"
- "Good grief, no!" said William Stickers, who was a bit more up to date
about the world.
- "*Probably* not," said Mr Fletcher, who had been watching the news lately
and was even more up to date than William Stickers.
Sergeant Comely was working on the general assumption that where you got lots of people gathered together, something illegal was bound to happen sooner or later.
Mrs. Nugent was the Johnson's next door neighbour, and known to be unreasonable on subjects like Madonna played at full volume at 3 a.m.
"Why bother with such a big stone arch?" "It's just showing off. There's probably a sticker on the back saying 'My Other Grave Is A Porch'".
Granddad was superstitious about books. He thought that if you had enough of them around, education leaked out, like radioactivity.
"Are you a physicist?" "Me? I don't know anything about science!" "Marvellous! Ideal qualification!"
Suicide was against the law. Johnny had wondered why. It meant that if you missed, or the gas ran out, or the rope broke, you could get locked up in prison to show you that life was really very jolly and thoroughly worth living.
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