Over drinks and pizza the other night, the lovely and lissom Ms A. B. Dearheart and I had an interesting conversation, which is the reason for this post. Dirty Harry and Discworld. Allegedly, Commander Sam Vimes’ character is loosely modeled on Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan (or at least, that’s what Pratchett commented when he saw Paul Kidby’s drawings of Sam Vimes in The Art of Discworld). This apart, there’s some very direct references to the Dirty Harry movies in the Discworld novels.

1. The motto of the Discworld City Watch (commanded by Vimes) is ‘Fabricati diem, pvnc!’, dog Latin for ‘Make my day, punk’; and

2. In the novel Guards! Guards! Vimes holds back a mob at dragon-point (he’s holding a small, but excessively explosive dragon in his hands), while growling "This is Lord Mountjoy Quickfang Winterforth IV, the hottest dragon in the city. It could burn your head clean off." A liftoff from Dirty Harry’s famous “But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?

Dearheart and I thought up a possible third reference (those who’ve seen the movie and/or read Pratchett’s Feet of Clay may or may not agree, but still). In the movie, in the scene which immediately precedes the “Do I feel lucky?” dialogue, Dirty Harry is eating lunch at a diner, and he has this conversation with the waiter:

Harry: Say Jaffe, is that Tan Ford still parked in front of the bank?
Jaffe: Tan ford...Yep. Tan Ford
Harry: Engine running?
Jaffe: I don't know. How can I tell?
Harry: Exhaust fumes coming from the tailpipe.
Jaffe: Oh, my God. That is awful. Look at all that pollution.
Harry: Yeah. Do me a favor. Call this number.
Jaffe: Police department?
Harry: Yeah. Tell them Inspector Callahan thinks there's a 211 in progress at the bank. Be sure and tell them that's IN progress.
Jaffe: In progress. Yes sir.
Harry: Now, if they'll just wait for the cavalry to arrive

In Feet of Clay, Captain Carrot is eating breakfast in a dwarf bakery (and feeding his werewolf girlfriend tit-bits under the table), when he has this conversation:

“The waiter bustled up. 'Another helping, Mr Carrot? On the house.' Every restaurant and eatery in Ankh-Morpork offered free food to Carrot, in the certain and happy knowledge that he would always insist on paying. 'No, indeed, that was very good. Here we are . . . twenty pence and keep the change,' said Carrot. 'How's your young lady? Haven't seen her today.' 'Angua? Oh, she's . . . around and about, you know. I shall definitely tell her you asked after her, though.'

The dwarf nodded happily, and bustled off. Carrot wrote another few dutiful lines and then said, very softly, 'Is that horse and cart still outside Ironcrust's bakery?' There was a whine from under the table. 'Really? That's odd. All the deliveries were over hours ago and the flour and grit doesn't usually arrive until the afternoon. Driver still sitting there?' Something barked, quietly. 'And that looks quite a good horse for a delivery cart. And, you know, normally you'd expect the driver to put a nosebag on. And it's the last Thursday in the month. Which is payday at Ironcrust's.' Carrot laid down his pencil and waved a hand politely to catch the waiter's eye. 'Cup of acorn coffee, Mr Gimlet? To take away?'

‘Course, in Dirty Harry, ol’ Clint shoots the baddies down, and in Feet of Clay Carrot uses loaves of dwarf bread and the werewolf girlfriend (in her, er, natural form, of course) to dissuade the robbers, but still. Similarities? Yes? No?

11 Scallywags have walked the Plank |:

Perakath said...

I need to read some Discworld!

Rassles said...

NICE call.

I feel like I should quote Die Hard now, just because. But I won't.

So I'll go with this gem:

"When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross."

mistercrowley said...

Per: Yes, you should. It's good for one's immortal soul.

Raz: Nice Call y'self. I think I'll just go with:

"No fucking shit lady. Does it sound like I'm ordering pizza?"


Coo said...

ooh template change.

mistercrowley said...

Coo: It sucks. As in....I want to get rid of this crap-colored background, but dunno how to.

siropdevanille said...

Congratulations! The scatalogical template is gone! :D

Mister Crowley said...

The scatological template was ditched weeks ago :P

Joe said...

im getting impatient.. mind putting up a new post already?

SR said...

blog already

Mukta said...

when are you going to write again?

Mister Crowley said...

Joe, SR, Mukta: Coming soon. Watch this space. Things have been terribly hectic past few weeks. Therefore the silence :)