Mirrored from Sythyry.
[Sorry it took me so long to get back to writing Sythyry. Recall that Sythyry is visiting one Prof. Mump, a scholar of transaffection, in Barency, for the purpose of finding somewhere more congenial to go visit than Eigrach was. -bb]
Back to the story!
“What, then, are the categories of primes whose behavior you study?” we asked as one. To which our host replied: “Alphabetically, so as to avoid distinctions that any semantically-enhanced order might accidentally provide, they are as follows:
- Religious devotees
- The Artistically-Inclined
- Prostitutes and Cley-Sellers
- Madmen – harmless
- Madmen – dangerous
- Drunkards and Diplomats
- Priests and Wizards
- Thieves and Mathematicians
- Gormoror Hill Tribesmen (alphabetized under “tribesmen”)
“What a curious set of categories,” I exclaimed. “They overlap in many ways, and, I imagine, they exclude some categories I might have thought were important.
“Well, you are clearly mistaken,” said Mump. “People who fall outside of these categories are few and far between, and cannot be greatly important.”
“Well, what of, shall we say, an Orren judge?” I asked. (I had spent a ninth of an hour between the word “Well” and the word “what”, trying to think of a category.)
Mump gave me a very tolerant smile. “An Orren judge, my good lizard, is either nobility or a guildsman of the lawyer’s guild, and surely harbors the desire to become a riverbum, unless, as is often the case, being on the way to becoming a drunkard and diplomat.”
“Oh, my. I daresay most would be described thus, but all…?” I asked.
“Well, sir, if there were an anomalous Orren judge who managed to avoid all these categories would be such a strange Orren as to surely elude any reasonable understanding of prime behavior. Indeed, it is hard to see how such a pecular and eccentric personage could possibly be given a judgeship, or allowed to stay one for very long,” came the answer of Mump. Which was certainly hard to argue with — not because it was right (for I think it was not), but because it was too squirmy.
Phaniet wagged her tail. “So, if all people are in one of these categories, or more, then I take it that simply being in a category is not, in and of itself, a bad thing? I was worried when we were presented as a category along with “Madmen – dangerous” and “Prostitutes and Cley-Sellers.”"
Mump chuckled. “To be sure! We have categories like ‘Nobility’ and ‘Guildsmen’, which permit no insult to them.”
Phaniet leaned closer to him. “So, how are ‘Transaffectionate’ regarded in your department?”
Mump leaned away from her. “You are regarded as not troublesome.”
“Over there with the ‘Madmen – Harmless’ and ‘The Artistically-Inclined’?”, I asked.
“More or less. You shouldn’t have any great amount of trouble,” said Mump. “Even if you were, say, to visit one of my classrooms, to answer the questions of curious students in a far more first-hand manner than we generally manage to arrange.”
We accidentally believed him.