I'm re-reading Terry Pratchett's Soul Music
. For those that don't know it, Soul Music is set on the Discworld, a pancake-like planet where magic takes the place of the laws of phyics and earthly common sense *.
In Soul Music the Discworld discovers Music With Rocks In and this book is perhaps one of the best in the entire series. I'll share a paragraph or two to corrupt your mind and get you all to buy the book (or at least visit a library and check it out).
In Soul Music Death (who is a real "person" and speaks IN ALL CAPS) takes a break to forget, well, everything really. Traditionally this is often done by consuming large amounts of alcohol and/or joining the Klatchian Foreign Legion. We join Death at the gates:
IS THIS THE KLATCHIAN FOREIGN LEGION?
The face of the little man on the other side of the door went blank.
Ah, he said,
you've got me there. Hang on a moment. The hatch shut. There was a whispered discussion on the other side of the door. The hatch opened.
Yes, it appears we are the... the...
what was that again? Right, got it... the Klatchian Foreign Legion. Yes. What was it you were wanting?
I WISH TO JOIN.
Join? Join what.
THE KLATCHIAN FOREIGN LEGION.
There was some more whispering.
Oh. Right. Sorry. Yes. That's us.
The doors swung open.The visitor strode in.
What's your name, soldier?
You don't have to say, actually. That's what the... the...
KLATCHIAN FOREIGN LEGION?
... what's it all about. People join to... to... with your mind, you know, when you can't... things that happened...
Right, he said.
Er. It's a twenty-year tour, legionary. I hope you're man enough for it.
I LIKE IT ALREADY, said Death.
Some time later when The Band With Rocks In (the drums are rocks, before you ask) gets more famous they get a roadie, called Asphalt:
How come, said Cliff,
he's so short?
N'elephant sat on me, said Asphalt, sulkily.
An elephant sat on you? said Buddy, as they crossed the square.
Yup. At the circus, said Asphalt.
I used to muck 'em arth.
That's how you got like that?
Nope. Didn't get like this 'til elephants had sat on me t'ree, fo' times, said the small fat troll.
Dunno why. I'd be cleanin' up after 'em, next minute it'd all be dark.
I'd have quit after the first time, me, said Glod.
Nah, said Asphalt, with a contented smile.
Couldn't do that. Show business is in me soul.
Great stuff. Now if you'll excuse me I'll listen to some music with rocks in, possibly containing tolls.
*) Sidenote: the Librarian of Unseen University (who also features in this book) is an orang-utan (due to an unspecified magical incident), who communicates in levels of "oook". It is from this that the name OOOk Default: stems, the collective that has brought you the amazing Virtual Pet Rock™.