I got a kick out of reading many of the fanfic stories here that feature Vetinari in questionable circumstances. I wondered - how might he react if he read them?

(Insert usual disclaimers here: Pterry owns everything, etc.)

A Public Service Message
From the Office of the Patrician

It has come to our attention through our agents in the Guild of Fans & Disciples that a series of rumours regarding the Patrician's private life have been spread for the titillation of the citizens of our fair city. Certain scribblers - we dare not call them scribes for fear of offending the Guild of Scribes & Notaries - have seen fit to describe in lurid detail a set of liaisons that the Patrician wishes to reassure the public never, in fact, happened.

We shall not repeat the content of the rumours nor name the unfortunates who appear as participants. While we realise that the Patrician may be of some interest to the public, some of the other slandered persons are private citizens who should be granted their libertas privi accordingly.

His Lordship strongly urges the aforementioned scribblers to cease and desist all malicious gossip. In case they do not, he has given the head torturer anatomically precise instructions on how to greet any guests invited to the Palace for a chat on the subject. Some invitations, we might add, are already in the mail.

Unfortunately, some damage has already been done. To put the public's moral fears at rest, we would like to clear up a recurring issue. That is, the reason the Patrician has never married.

Mr. Slant of the Guild of Lawyers has suggested that we first note the absolutely false and in no way applicable characteristics of His Lordship's bachelorhood. The Patrician is in no way, nor was he ever the following: Promiscuous with any creature or species of whatever gender, living, dead or undead (including but not limited to humans, dwarfs, elves, trolls, zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghouls, etc.); monogamously attached to any of the above; or in any physical relationship with household items, including demon-powered carpet cleaners. May we also add that His Lordship has no children. Any reports to the contrary may result in painfully slow legal action or an alternative action that is merely painful (and slow).

And now to clear up the central question of why the Patrician has never married. The answer is simple. He has never married because he is the ruler of Ankh-Morpork.

The Patrician administers a city of a million, its citizens of every species and complexion, its single university encompassing one of the disc's largest concentrations of magic. Creatures from other dimensions have several times attempted to tear apart the fabric of reality, the dead haven't always stayed dead (even if they would like to), and other assorted ripples in space and time seem to find a comfortable home here. His Lordship was even reportedly turned into a lizard in an unfortunate incident upon which we will not elaborate. Add the normal context of municipal politics and international relations and it is soon clear that leading Ankh-Morpork is as easy as wearing a greased pig on a hot day.

A young wizard at Unseen University has proposed that there are other worlds in which, theoretically, a metropolis the size of our beloved city contains only one politically relevant species, functions in more or less linear time in a set number of dimensions and - most significant of all -- has no magic. Perhaps the Patrician of said metropolis would have the time and inclination to marry. He would certainly not require the eternal vigilance His Lordship must have to keep Ankh-Morpork out of the jaws of either: 1) civic chaos, or 2) creatures of an occult or tentacular nature.

What of love? His Lordship finds it nothing more than a sticky sweet sentiment advertised in alarming quantities by the Writers & Poets Guild. Far too much about rainbows, lollipops and whiskers on kittens have also been perpetuated of late. But since the Office of the Patrician in no way influences guild business, we will leave the subject.

We hope this announcement has cleared up any remaining questions. To assure that this is so, members of the Palace Guard are standing by in all major public squares to discuss any lingering concerns.

L. Mercator, press secretary

On order of:

Havelock Vetinari (Patrician)