Kick ass moment #12

Thursday, September 15, 2011

That one I found so funny.  This small extract is from The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It's no spoiler but since you may want to keep the last bit for the actual reading of the book if you've not yet picked up the novel, I put the text of the last sentence in white on white. Highlight to read it. It's a story Kvothe is telling around a fire:
     "Once upon a time," I began. "There was a little boy born in a little town. He was perfect, or so his mother thought. But one thing was different about him. He had a gold screw in his belly button. Just the head of it peeping out.
    "Now his mother was simply glad he had all his fingers and toes to count with. But as the boy grew up he realized not everyone had screws in their belly buttons, let alone gold ones. He asked his mother what i was for, but she didn't know. Next he asked his father, but his father didn't know. He asked his grandparents, but they didn't know either.
    "That settled it for a while, but it kept nagging him. Finally, when he was old enough, he packed a bag and set out, hoping he could find someone who knew the truth of it.
    "He went from place to place, asking everyone who claimed to know something about anything. He asked midwives and physickers, but they couldn't make heads of tails of it. The boy asked arcanists, tinkers, and old hermits living in the woods, but no one had ever seen anything like it.
    "He went to ask the Cealdim merchants, thinking if anyone would know about gold, it would be them. But the Cealdim merchants didn't know. He went to the arcanists at the University, thinking if anyone would know about screws and their workings, they would. But the arcanists didn't know. The boy followed the road over the Stormwal to ask the witch women of Tahl, but none of them could give him an answer.
    "Eventually, he went to the King of Vint, the richest king in the world. But the king didn't know. He went to the Emperor of Atur, but even with all his power, the emperor didn't know. He went to each of the small kingdoms, one by one, but no one could tell him anything.
    "Finally, the boy went to the High King of Modeg, the wisest of all the kings in the world. The high king looked closely at the head of the golden screw peeping from the boy's belly button. Then the high king made as gesture, and his seneschal brought out a pillow of golden silk. On that pillow was a golden box. The high king took a golden key from his neck, opened the box, and inside was a golden screwdriver.
    "The high king took the screwdriver and motioned the boy to come closer. Trembling with excitement, the boy did. Then the high king took the golden screwdriver and put it in the boy's belly button.
    I paused to take a long drink of water. I could feel my small audience leaning toward me. "Then the high king carefully turned the golden screw. Once: Nothing. Twice: Nothing. Then he turned it the third time, and the boy's ass fell off."
Man... if I would have been there, I surely would have had the same reaction as Tempi!

Kick ass moment #11


Bets Davies said...

What. The. Fuck.

I've heard some silly attempts to recreate a a myth or fairy tale, but I'm sorry. This one wasn't working for me. Even as a bizarre laugh. Though I have to admit I keep thinking this kid is going to get his belly button unscrewed and his whole innards will explode through the opening in a geyser, leaving him a skin shell.

Phil said...

I can understand that it may not work for everybody but being so simple and silly as a conclusion with a good build-up, I couldn't help myself but laugh when I read it.

Stan said...

I heard a version of this story about 55 years ago. It had pretty much the same beginning and end, but a different path to the solution of the golden screw.

In case you did not use the highlight to read the final lines, the kid's ass falls off!

In some versions the moral of the story is that, if you screw around with something you don't understand, you'll lose your ass!

JL said...

Context is key with this one. In the context of the story action, it's hilarious.

Nicolas said...

Indeed. [=

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