Disclaimer: This is…ok, I don't really know what this is, but it's not meant to infringe on the rights of Mr. Terry Pratchett. I don't think that there is a Judge Quibble in the series…maybe.

The Matter At Hand

Drumknott knocked discreetly before entering.

"Sir, your four-thirty ass kicking is here."

Vetinari looked up from his papers. "Already?"

"Afraid so, sir. Shall I send him in?"

The patrician sat back in his chair, stilling him with a raised hand. "Just who is it this time?"

"Rincewind, sir."

Vetinari pushed back, his chair groaning in sympathy. He pinched the bridge of his nose.

"He was under the care of a therapist, was he not?"

"He was, my lord."

"And just what are the charges this time?"

"Unnatural knowledge of root vegetables in public ,sir." Drumknott leaned in, the tips of his ears going pink. "This time, he was eyeing up a kohlrabi as well."

"Does this depravity know no end? The kohlrabi, as well?"

'It's disgusting, sir."

"You don't know what a kohlrabi is, do you, Drumknott?"

"Sounds a bit involved, sir."

Vetinari clasped his hands on the desk before him, and looked thoughtful. "The stick with a nail in it…was that not effective?"

"It was for a time, my lord."

"And his visit to the Seamstresses Guild…could they do nothing for him?"

"No sir. The redhead in a mashed potato bikini just confused him."

"Pity that," breathed the patrician,"she's such a nice woman. I'm sure she did her best."

"A consummate professional,sir."

Vetinari looked down, addressing something at his feet. "What are we to do with the bad boy? Yes he is a bad boy! Yes, hims is!"

Mr. Fusspot ran to his toy box, and trotted happily back with his favorite vibrating toy.

"If it was only that simple," his daddums breathed. Vetinari reached down, and scratched the little dog behind the ear, breathing a sigh that would have been wistful, had it not been coming from him. He never looked forward to this; it was, to his mind a vulgar display at best. Ass kicking was a standard course at the Assassins Guild school, it was also offered on weekends, as part of the community enrichment program, but it was so…hands on, so devoid of any thought and stratagem. It was a pre-emptive, and sometimes post-emptive assault on the senses…the last refuge of ruffians. Vetinari was not a ruffian, he was a tyrant, and as such,it was his job to employ people to attend to such matters.

He propped his elbows on the desk, and steepled his fingers. "What are we to do with him , Drumknott?"

"We are to kick his ass, sir." Drumknott stood at attention, and recited."By order of Judge Quibble…one ass kicking, administered under the auspices of Lord Vetinari, a public apology to the green grocer, and no contact with root vegetables for three months."

"Yes…but we are not inflexible, Drumknott," said the patrician, leaning back. "I have, in fact, come up with a rather cunning plan."

Drumknott suddenly clasped his hands at chest level, and made a wide, toothy grin.


"Sir?" he said through clenched teeth.

"Why are you looking like a chimpanzee in need of fiber?"

"I have been told that I need to be more forthcoming. I'm taking a course in it ,sir."

"At the Fools Guild, perhaps?"

"How did you know sir?"

"Drumknott, I don't have time for two ass kickings today."

"Thank you,sir," he exhaled, deeply relieved.

"Drumknott, what becomes of people who work in chocolate factories?"

"They stuff bon bons down their jumpers in zany assembly line scenes."

"What do they do in REAl life, Drumknott?"

Drumknott was concentrating.

"I'll give you a hint. They get sick and tired of looking at chocolates."

Drumknott continued to concentrate.

Vetinari cocked his head, and studied his face. "Give in?"

Drumknott started. "Sorry sir, I just had a horrible vision of kohlrabi…"

"Which you don't know what that is…" nodded Vetinari.

"Must have been all that grinning, sir."



"Make arrangements to bundle our Mr. Rincewind off to the nearest potato farm, and tell cook to send up the largest, bluntest kohlrabi available…I feel I have been remiss in your on-the-job training."