July 18, 2005

From Yendi (Steven Brust):

Krager says that life is like an onion, but he doesn't mean the same thing by it that I do.

He talks about peeling it, and how you can go deeper and deeper, until finally you get to the center and nothing is there. I suppose there's truth in that, but in the years when my father ran a restaurant, I never peeled an onion, I chopped them; Krager's analogy doesn't do much for me.

When I say that life is like an onion, I mean this: if you don't do anything with it, it goes rotten. So far, that's no different from other vegetables. But when an onion goes bad, it can do it from either the inside, or the outside. So sometimes you get one that looks good, but the core is rotten. Other times, you can see a bad spot on it, but if you cut that out, the rest is fine. Tastes sharp, but that's what you paid for, isn't it?

Dzurlords like to fancy themselves as pastry chefs who go around cutting the rotten parts out of onions. Trouble is, they generally can't tell the good from the bad. Dragon-lords are good at finding bad spots, but when they find one they like to throw out the whole barrelful. A Hawklord will find a bad spot every time. He'll watch you cook the thing, and eat it, and he'll nod sagaciously when you spit it out again. If you ask why he didn't tell you about it, he'll look startled and say, "You didn't ask."

I could go on, but what's the point? In the House Jhereg, we don't care teckla droppings about bad spots. We're just here to sell onions.

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