"Current theories on the creation of the Universe state that, if it was created at all
and didn't just start, as it were, unofficially, it came into being between ten and
twenty thousand million years ago. By the same token the earth itself is generally
supposed to be about four and a half thousand million years old.
These dates are incorrect.
Medieval Jewish scholars put the date of the Creation at 3760 B.C. Greek Orthodox theologians put Creation as far back as 5508 B.C.
These suggestions are also incorrect.
Archbishop James Usher (1580-1656) published Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti in 1654, which suggested that the Heaven and the Earth were created in 4004 B.C. One of his aides took the calculation further, and was able to announce triumphantly that the Earth was created on Sunday the 21th of October, 4004 B.C., at exactly 9:00 A.M., because God liked to get work done early in the morning while he was feeling fresh.
This too was incorrect. By almost a quarter of an hour."
"God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising,
which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players,* to being
involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank
cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who
smiles all the time.
* i.e., everybody."
"Crowley was currently doing 110 mph somewhere east of Slough. Nothing about him looked particularly demonic, at least by classical standards. No horns no wings. Admittedly he was listening to a Best of Queen tape, but no conclusions should be drawn from this because all tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums."
"With five billion people in the world you couldn't pick the buggers off one by one
any more; you had to spread your effort. But demons like Ligur and Hastur wouldn't
understand. They'd never have thought up Welsh-language television, for example.
Or value-added tax. Or Manchester.
He'd been particularly pleased with Manchester."
- Crowley, reflecting on up-to-date demonic Deeds
"The Bentley plunged on through the darkness, its fuel gauge pointing to zero. It had pointed to zero for more than sixty years now. It wasn't all bad, being a demon. You didn't have to buy petrol, for one thing. The only time Crowley had bought petrol was once in 1967, to get the free James Bond bullet-hole-in-the-windscreen transfers, which he rather fancied at the time."
"Anyway, being brought up as a Satanist tended to take the edge off it. It was something you did on Saturday nights. And the rest of the time you simply got on with life as best as you could, just like everyone else."
"It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."
"Sister Mary's error might have been noticed by the other nun had not she herself been severely rattled by the Secret Service men in Mrs. Dowling's room, who kept looking at her with growing unease. This was because they had been trained to react in a certain way to people in long flowing robes and long flowing headdresses, and were currently suffering from a conflict of signals. Humans suffering from a conflict of signals aren't the best people to be holding guns, especially when they've just witnessed a natural childbirth, which definitely looked an un-American way of bringing new citizens into the world. Also, they'd heard that there were missals in the building."
"The ducks in St James's Park are so used to being fed bread by secret agents meeting clandestinely that they have developed their own Pavlovian reaction. Put a St James's Park duck in a laboratory cage and show it a picture of two men -- one usually wearing a coat with a fur collar, the other something sombre with a scarf -- and it'll look up expectantly."
"Aziraphale collected books. If he were totally honest with himself he would have to have admitted that his bookshop was simply somewhere to store them. He was not unusual in this. In order to maintain his cover as a typical second-hand book seller, he used every means short of actual physical violence to prevent customers from making a purchase. Unpleasant damp smells, glowering looks, erratic opening hours - he was incredibly good at it."
"25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying
Where is the flaming sword which was given unto thee?
26 And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.
27 And the Lord did not ask him again."
- three additional verses in the "Buggre Alle This Bible" in the third chapter of Genesis, added by someone who really must know what happened
This little piggy went to Hades This little piggy stayed home This little piggy ate raw and steaming human flesh This little piggy violated virgins And this little piggy clambered over a heap of dead bodies to get to the top.- nursery rhymes for the Antichrist
"They where in the cafeteria of the British Museum, another refuge for all weary foot soldiers of the Cold War. At the table to their left two ramrod-straight Americans in suits were surreptitiously handing over a briefcase full of deniable dollars to a small dark woman in sunglasses; at the table on their right the deputy head of MI7 and the local KGB section officer argued over who got to keep the receipt for the tea and buns."
"The owner of a voice like that would be the sort of person who, before making a plastic model kit, would not only separate and count all the parts before commencing, as per the instructions, but also paint the bits that needed painting first and leave them to dry properly prior to construction. All that separated this voice from chartered accountancy was a matter of time."
"'That's sexism, that is. Going around giving people girly presents
just because they're a girl.'"
- Pepper (A Girl)
"A typical National World Weekly would tell the world how Jesus' face
was seen on a Big Mac bun bought by someone from Des Moines, with an artist's
impression of the bun; how Elvis Presley was recently sighted working in a
Burger Lord in Des Moines; how listening to Elvis records cured a Des Moines
housewife's cancer; how the spate of werewolves infesting the Midwest are
the offspring of noble pioneer women raped by Bigfoot; and that Elvis was
taken by Space Aliens in 1976 because he was too good for this world.*
* Remarkably, one of these stories is indeed true."
"CHOW^TM contained spun, plaited, and woven protein molecules, capped and coded,
carefully designed to be ignored by even the most ravenous digestive tract
enzymes; no-cal sweeteners; mineral oils replacing vegetable oils; fibrous
materials, colorings, and flavorings. The end result was a foodstuff almost
indistinguishable from any other except for two things. Firstly, the price,
which was slightly higher, and secondly, the nutritional content, which was
roughly equivalent to that of a Sony Walkman.
MEALS^TM was CHOW^TM with added sugar and fat. The theory was that if you ate enough MEALS^TM you would a) get very fat, and b) die of malnutrition."
- inventions of Famine
"The Burger Lord pathfinder salesmen had been shot 25 minutes after setting foot in France."
"'If I was an alien,' said Pepper, voicing the opinion of them
all, 'I wouldn't go round telling people all about mystic cosmic harmony.
I'd say,' her voice became hoarse and nasal, like someone hampered by an
evil black mask,''Thish ish a lasher blashter, sho you do what you're told,
They all nodded. A favorite game in quarry had been based on a highly successful film series with lasers, robots, and a princess who wore her hair like a pair of stereo headphones^TM. (It had been agreed without a word being said that if anyone was going to play the part of any stupid princesses, it wasn't going to be Pepper.) But the game normally ended in a fight to be the one who was allowed to to wear the coal scuttle^TM and blow up planets."
"It would be a very accurate historian who could pinpoint the precise day when the Japanese changed from being fiendish automatons who copied everything from the West, to becoming skilled and cunning engineers who would leave the West standing. But the Wasabi had been designed on that one confused day, and combined the traditional bad points of most Western cars with a host of innovative disasters the avoidance of which had made firms like Honda and Toyota what they were today."
"It looked like every cartoon of a flying saucer Newt had ever seen.
As he stared over the top of his map, a door in the saucer slid aside with a satisfying whoosh, revealing a gleaming walkway which extended automatically down to the road. Brilliant blue light shone out, outlining three alien shapes. They walked down the ramp. At least, two of them walked. The one that looked like a pepper pot just skidded down it, and fell over at the bottom.
The other two ignored its frantic beeping and walked over to the car quite slowly, in the worldwide approved manner of policemen already compiling the charge sheet it their heads. The tallest one, a yellow toad dressed in kitchen foil, rapped on Newt's window. He wound it down. The thing was wearing the kind of mirror-finished sunglasses that Newt always thought of as Cool Hand Luke shades.
'Morning, sir or madam or neuter,' the thing said. 'This your planet, is it?'
The other alien, which was stubby and green, had wandered off into the woods by the side of the road. Out of the corner of his eye Newt saw it kick a tree, and then run a leaf through some complicated gadget on its belt. It didn't look very pleased.
'Well, yes. I suppose so.' he said.
The toad stared thoughtfully at the skyline.
'Had it long, have we, sir?' it said.
'Er. Not personally. I mean, as a species, about half a million years. I think.'
The alien exchanged glances with its colleague. 'Been letting the old acid rain build up, haven't we, sir?' it said. 'Been letting ourselves go a bit with the old hydrocarbons, perhaps?'
'Could you tell me your planet's albedo, sir?' said the the toad, still staring levelly at the horizon as though it was doing something interesting.
'Well, I'm sorry to have to tell you, sir, that your polar ice caps are below regulation size for a planet of this category, sir.'
'Oh, dear,' said Newt. He was wondering who he could tell about this, and realizing that there was absolutely no one who would believe him. [...]
The small alien walked past the car.
'CO2 level up 0.5 percent,' it rasped, giving him a meaningful look. 'You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?'"
- close encounter on the road to Lower Tadfield
"The Voice of God. But not the voice of God. An entity in its own
right. Rather like a Presidential spokesman."
- explanation of Metatron
"Crowley's London flat was the epitome of style. It was everything that a flat should be: spacious, white, elegantly furnished, and with that designer unlived-in look that only comes from not being lived in."
"This one was like a Porsche with a screen."
- Crowley's computer
"Along with the standard computer warranty agreement which said that if the machine 1) didn't work, 2) didn't do what the expensive advertisement said, 3) electrocuted the immediate neighbourhood, 4) and in fact failed entirely to be inside the expensive box when you opened it, this was expressly, absolutely, implicitly and in no event the fault or responsibility of the manufacturer, that the purchaser should consider himself lucky to be allowed to give his money to the manufacturer, and that any attempt to treat what had just been paid for as the purchaser's own property would result in the attentions of serious men with menacing briefcases and very thin watches. Crowley had been extremely impressed with the warranties offered by the computer industry, and had in fact sent a bundle Below to the department that drew up the Immortal Soul agreements, with a yellow memo form attached just saying: 'Learn, guys.'"
"He had heard about talking to plants in the early seventies, on Radio Four,
and thought it an excellent idea. Although talking is perhaps the
wrong word for what Crowley did.
What he did was put the fear of God into them.
More precisely, the fear of Crowley.
In addition to which, every couple of month Crowley would pick out a plant that was growing too slowly, or succumbing to leaf-wilt or browning, or just didn't look quite as good as the others, and he would carry it around to all the other plants. 'Say goodbye to your friend,' he'd say to them. 'He just couldn't cut it ...'
Then he would leave the flat with the offending plant, and return an hour or so later with a large, empty flower pot, which he would leave somewhere conspicuously around the flat.
The plants were the most luxurious, verdant, and beautiful in London. Also the most terrified."
"The only wall decoration was a framed drawing - the cartoon for the Mona
Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's original sketch. Crowley had bought it from
the artist one hot afternoon in Florence, and felt it was superior to the
* Leonardo had felt so too. 'I got her bloody smile right in the roughs,' he told Crowley, sipping cold wine in the lunchtime sun, 'but it went all over the place when I painted it. Her husband had a few things to say about it when I delivered it, but, like I tell him, Signor del Giocondo, apart from you, who's going to see it? Anyway ... explain this helicopter thing again, will you?'"
"Plan A had worked. Plan B had failed. Everything depended on Plan C, and there was one drawback to this: he had only ever planned as far as B."
"'Go on. Press 'D'. Elvis Presley died in 1976.'
I DON'T CARE WHAT IT SAYS, said the tall biker in the helmet, I NEVER LAID A FINGER ON HIM."
- DEATH on "Pop Trivia 1962-1979"
Jesus won't cut you off before you're through With him you won't never get a crossed line, And when your bill comes it'll all be properly itemised He's the telephone repairman on the switchboard of my life. The phone line to the saviour's always free of interference He's in at any hour, day or night And when you call J-E-S-U-S you always call toll-free He's the telephone repairman on the switchboard of my life.- The Power Cable (Nebraska) Evangelical Choir
"It's the color past ultra-violet. The technical term for it is infra-black.
It can be seen quite easily under experimental conditions. To perform the
experiment simply select a healthy brick wall with a good run-up, and,
lowering your head, charge.
The color that flashes in bursts behind your eyes, behind the pain, just before you die, is infra-black."
"In every big-budget science fiction movie there's the moment when a spaceship
as large as New York suddenly goes to light speed. A twanging noise like a
wooden ruler being plucked over the edge of a desk, a dazzling refraction of
light, and suddenly the stars have all been stretched out thin and it's gone.
This was exactly like that, except that instead of a gleaming twelve-mile-long
spaceship, it was an off-white twenty-year-old motor scooter. And you didn't
have the special rainbow effects. And it probably wasn't going at more than
two hundred miles an hour. And instead of a pulsing whine sliding up the
octaves, it just went putputputputput ...
But it was exactly like that anyway."