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#6644You see, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty
attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool
takes in all the lumber of every sort he comes across, so that the knowledge
which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with
a lot of other things, so that he has difficulty in laying his hands upon it.
Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his
brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing
his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect
order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and
can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every
addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of
the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out
the useful ones.
-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Study in Scarlet"
#6645You tread upon my patience.
-- William Shakespeare, "Henry IV"
#6646 You will remember, Watson, how the dreadful business of the
Abernetty family was first brought to my notice by the depth which the
parsley had sunk into the butter upon a hot day.
-- Sherlock Holmes
#6647Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not
original and the part that is original is not good.
-- Samuel Johnson
#6648Zounds! I was never so bethumped with words
since I first called my brother's father dad.
-- William Shakespeare, "Kind John"
#6649The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
-- John Milton
#6650"I understand this is your first dead client," Sabian was saying. The
absurdity of the statement made me want to laugh but they don't call me
Deadpan Allie and lie.
-- Pat Cadigan, "Mindplayers"
#6651A morgue is a morgue is a morgue. They can paint the walls with aggressively
cheerful primary colors and splashy bold graphics, but it's still a holding
place for the dead until they can be parted out to organ banks. Not that I
would have cared normally but my viewpoint was skewed. The relentless
pleasance of the room I sat in seemed only grotesque.
-- Pat Cadigan, "Mindplayers"
#6652"What's this? Trix? Aunt! Trix? You? You're after the prize! What
is it?" He picked up the box and studied the back. "A glow-in-the-dark
squid! Have you got it out of there yet?" He tilted the box, angling the
little colored balls of cereal so as to see the bottom, and nearly spilling
them onto the table top. "Here it is!" He hauled out a little cream-colored,
glitter-sprinkled squid, three-inches long and made out of rubbery plastic.
-- James P. Blaylock, "The Last Coin"
#6653"Good afternoon, madam. How may I help you?"

"Good afternoon. I'd like a FrintArms HandCannon, please."

"A--? Oh, now, that's an awfully big gun for such a lovely lady. I
mean, not everybody thinks ladies should carry guns at all, though I
say they have a right to. But I think... I might... Let's have a look
down here. I might have just the thing for you. Yes, here we are!
Look at that, isn't it neat? Now that is a FrintArms product as well,
but it's what's called a laser -- a light-pistol some people call
them. Very small, as you see; fits easily into a pocket or bag; won't
spoil the line of a jacket; and you won't feel you're lugging half a
tonne of iron around with you. We do a range of matching accessories,
including -- if I may say so -- a rather saucy garter holster. Wish I
got to do the fitting for that! Ha -- just my little joke. And
there's *even*... here we are -- this special presentation pack: gun,
charged battery, charging unit, beautiful glider-hide shoulder holster
with adjustable fitting and contrast stitching, and a discount on your
next battery. Full instructions, of course, and a voucher for free
lessons at your local gun club or range. Or there's the *special*
presentation pack; it has all the other one's got but with *two*
charged batteries and a night-sight, too. Here, feel that -- don't
worry, it's a dummy battery -- isn't it neat? Feel how light it is?
Smooth, see? No bits to stick out and catch on your clothes, *and*
beautifully balanced. And of course the beauty of a laser is, there's
no recoil. Because it's shooting light, you see? Beautiful gun,
beautiful gun; my wife has one. Really. That's not a line, she
really has. Now, I can do you that one -- with a battery and a free
charge -- for ninety-five; or the presentation pack on a special
offer for one-nineteen; or this, the special presentation pack, for

"I'll take the special."

"Sound choice, madam, *sound* choice. Now, do--?"

"And a HandCannon, with the eighty-mill silencer, five GP clips, three
six-five AP/wire-fl'echettes clips, two bipropellant HE clips, and a
Special Projectile Pack if you have one -- the one with the embedding
rounds, not the signalers. I assume the night-sight on this toy is

"Aah... yes, And how does madam wish to pay?"

She slapped her credit card on the counter. "Eventually."

-- Iain M. Banks, "Against a Dark Background"
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