killclaudio: (Passing Walrus)
[personal profile] killclaudio
Chris, who is a total darling and the fangrrl Housemate Of Choice (tm) bought me a present today - the Due South books!

Er, ignore the book they're propped on. That's Johnson's Archaeological Theory, which is even more exciting!

I'd forgotten these even existed, although I had a vague memory of them being truly terrible. I was right. I can't get through a sentence without cringing. Want to hear some of it? Of course you do! This is the opening chapter of All The Queen's Horses, based on the episodes All The Queen's Horses and Red, White or Blue.


"Yes, sir?"

"We need to improve our image."

"Sir?" Benton Fraser stared, puzzled, at the woman in front of him.

"Our image, Fraser." Superintendent [sic] Thatcher stared back. Her face, as usual, was an inscrutable mask. "The image of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police."

Resplendent in his dress uniform of red tunic and blue [blue?] trousers, Benton drew himself up to his full height. "I wasn't aware there was anything wrong with out image, sir." He sounded piqued, insulted. Paramount to him was the image he reflected, not for the greater good of himself, but for that of the Mounties.

Thatcher (for obvious reasons she rarely divulged her christian name) looked down for a moment. Didn't he know, she thought? Wasn't he aware that his presence, in the shape of six-foot two of gorgeous hunkdom [I kid you not, it actually says that], unnerved her? No, she corrected herself, of course he didn't. She had, in the two months since she had taken over as Canadian Consul in Chicago, gone to great lengths to conceal her feelings from Constable Benton Fraser. Such had been her inner turmoil that she had, at first, tried to fire him. At the time he had been convinced that - personal feelings aside - she had ample grounds for doing so.

The book then goes on about their backstory at interminable length. I won't copy out that bit, it's too dull. Let's get on to;

Since then, neither of them had referred to the episode. Now they enjoyed a healthy working relationship; Thatcher lusted quietly beneath her brittle facade while Benton, to his professional discomfiture, became increasingly hot under the collar of his dress uniform whenever he found himself in Thatcher's presence for more than a few minutes.

Refocussing her attention on the matter in hand, quelling a moment of quiet lust, Thatcher looked up at her deputy. "Where were we?" She demanded.

Benton forced his thoughts away from his collar and back to the matter in hand. "We were discussing our image, sir."

"Ahh. Yes. I am not," continued Thatcher, "referring to your image in particular, Fraser. I'm concerned about the Mounties in general; about the way the public perceives us. Especially the American public."

"Uh...and what do you propose we do about our image...sir?"

Thatcher hoped Benton couldn't see the corners of her mouth twitching. She had to admit that the 'sir' business - quite unconscious on Benton's part - gave her a certain frisson.

It goes on in this appalling vein for quite some time, and I won't subject you to all of it. There was, however, one passage I found particuarly offensive.

There was much that Thatcher didn't know about Benton. She didn't know that he had lost his mother when he was six. She wasn't aware that his quixotic personality [oh look, McGregor found his thesaurus] had much to do with being raised by his maternal grandparents [er, no, paternal grandparents] in small towns in the inhospitable Northwest Territories while his Mountie father pursued Mountie affairs [he!] in even more inhospitable locations. She didn't know that those grandparents had died (of disappointment) shortly after Benton himself had followed in his father's footsteps at that age of eighteen.

I'm sorry, what the fuck? George and Martha Fraser died of a broken heart?! I...have no words.

You know, I have a policy never to burn books, no matter how vile the material in them. I admire Vetinari's attitude, never a man to ignore fresh knowledge. But in the case of these books? I might have to make an exception.
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June 2008

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