From the Press Office: We would like to apologize for the delay in updating this most important public service. We thank you the public for your fascinating questions, and ask you kindly not to send any more. His lordship would like to ponder the existing questions. More answers will follow.
But first, please carefully read the following pamphlet written in conjunction with the Office of Health and Human, Alternative-Species and Undead Services. It is a matter of grave importance to the public.The Powdered Peril
Danger lurks even in the brightest corners of our fair metropolis.
It exists in the school yards, where men in slouched hats and baggy overcoats crook a finger at impressionable youngsters and pass them a pack of the powdery menace in exchange for their milk money.
It exists on the street corners, where young women better off earning their living by other means pull up their skirts to reveal, in their garters, a collection of paper tubes containing a hazardous substance that promises a tart and sugary rush.
It exists in the offices, factories and yes, even in the halls of the powerful, where gentlemen of means slip out of important meetings in order to partake of their insidious habit in the privacy of the privy.
We are referring, of course, to the Powdered Peril.
First, a disclaimer. There is, in fact, no evidence that any actual pixies are involved in the production, distribution or consumption of Pixie Stix. Loopy Glitterknees (Mrs.), head of the Pixie Anti-Defamation League of Ankh-Morpork, has lodged several complaints against the use of the label "pixie" in relation to this most damaging of narcotics. She has also informed us that a Pixie stick in pixie parlance is vaguely pornographic. While we acknowledge the need for sensitivity in word selection, we have for the sake of clarity chosen to use the street name of the drug. No disrespect is meant to anyone in Ankh-Morpork's valuable pixie community. Indeed, our supply of magic sparkles and delightful little paintings featuring fireflies and buttercups would be seriously endangered if not for our proud, local pixies.
In the last year alone, the street price of this mixture of sugar, bicarbonate of soda and tartaric acid wrapped in paper tubes has dropped by half, while the supply – smuggled in from the Golden Trapezoid of Uberwald, Borogravia, Chirm and Lancre – has tripled. The result, of course, is a massive expansion in Pixie Stix trafficking. It is an estimated AM25 million dollar industry.
The effects of Pixie Stix consumption are still being studied. Initial test results released recently by a team at Unseen University reveal that the consumption of as few as ten consecutive stix could lead to heart palpitations, loss of balance, giddiness, giggle attacks and an alarming 25 percent increase in stupidity. These results have been born out by anecdotal evidence of chronic Pixie Stix users wandering around babbling, falling over, laughing hysterically and knocking into walls.
Experts predict that as much as 40 percent of the Ankh-Morpork population could be Pixie Stix addicts in the next twenty years if something is not done about this most perilous of powders. A political solution is being sought, but you, the citizens, must also do your part. All Pixie Stix dealers and suspected dealers should be reported to Commander Vimes of the City Watch, who has penned a personal addendum to this pamphlet (see below).
Also, be on the look out for signs of Pixie Stix addiction: optimism, unfounded happiness, manic activity, excessive grinning or laughing, increased idiocy, powdery lips and tooth decay (due to improper consumption of the powder, which when eaten properly is placed directly on the tongue and swallowed like an oyster). If a loved one displays more than two of the above characteristics, have him or her examined by a licensed addiction therapist, who if need be will refer the unfortunate to one of several detox centers set up around the city. Be warned: the sight of a loved one in sugar withdrawal can be distressing.
If you have more questions about what you can do to help fight the Powdered Peril, please contact the Department of Health and Human, Alternative-Species and Undead Services at the Winter Palace of Ankh-Morpork (at the gates, ask for Larry).
L. Mercator, press secretary
On order of: Havelock Vetinari (patrician)
In conjunction with: Office of Health and Human, Alternative-Species and Undead Services
Addendum from the Ankh-Morpork City Watch:
All of you Pixie Stix users listen up! The stuff is sweet, granted. It's tart and makes you feel better about the world. Once you've had one, you have to have another. I know what that's like. I understand the devil's circle of addiction.
But that doesn't mean I'm not going to throw each and every one of your powder-addled arses into the Tanty until you see the error of your ways. You're all a danger to yourselves and to upstanding citizens who don't need to down a drug to get a kick out of life. If you think I'm joking, come on down to the Tanty and count how many cells we got with junkies in. You want to guess? Lots, that's how many! Keep that in mind the next time you tear open a paper tube, right? Roight!
Pixie Stix dealers: I am hereby announcing a zero tolerance policy toward Pixie Stix in Ankh-Morpork. You see what I'm doing right now? I'm rubbing my hands together. I'm rubbing my hands because I got a lot of intolerance built up in me the past few years what with all the danger of being labelled a speciesist, and now I get to let it all out. You'd think after being as tolerant as I've been lately that I'd of forgotten what it's like to persecute a group of people with stubborn, unrelenting violence.
Well, you'd be wrong.
Anybody caught selling or trying to sell Pixie Stix will be judged guilty on the spot and sentenced to consume the entire supply immediately under the supervision of a watchman and a dentist. You're professionals. You know what happens when you down fifty or a hundred of those things at once. Don't make me spell it out for you. Let's just say that the dentist will have a good pair of rusty pliers on hand at all times and you'll spend the rest of your lives eating slumpie. Got it?
Commander Samuel Vimes (Sir,Duke, etc.)
Ankh-Morpork City Watch
**The Office of the Patrician would also like to wish you and yours a safe and happy Hogswatch!