Ponder ground his teeth and rested his forehead in his hand. Why could he never remember to watch what he said in front of Ridcully? One simple remark about that article in the Times, and now he was sitting at the Archchancellor's right hand at the banquet table, with every wizard in the University staring at him, the grieving relatives gawping or crying or spluttering with horror, and the Patrician sitting across the table from him and carefully avoiding any facial expression.

"… according to the Times report, he held the match to the dragon's mouth and peered down its throat to examine the infection …"

Ponder groaned and pressed his forehead against the table, trying to block out the speech.

"… and so we are gathered here today to present the late Arthur Smith with the first annual posthumous Stibbons Award for public services," Ridcully eventually finished. "A toast to the deceased."

The man's stunned relatives raised their glasses, as did the University staff. Ponder noticed the liquid in the Dean's glass was sloshing rather a lot, and the wizard's mouth was covered by his hand in a poor attempt to conceal sniggers.

"And would Mister Stibbons care to say a few words?"

Ponder rose to his feet, pulled Ridcully closer and hissed in his ear; "Yes, Archchancellor, I know I said that man must have been so stupid his death ought to merit a civic award for removing himself from the city, but I didn't mean it literally!"


With apologies to the nice people at the Darwin Awards. Dedicated to all those who "improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it".