History Main / BotheringByTheBook

28th Sep '16 9:09:42 AM ErikModi
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** Babylon 5 really seems to like this trope. Another episode had [=EarthDome=] trying to charge Sheridan and Ivanova 5 credits a month each rent for extra space in their officers quarters. After Sheridan's protests failed to accomplish anything, he deducted ten credits a month from the budget for military preparedness and applied it against the rent, on the grounds that he's not prepared to fight anyone until he's had a decent night's sleep in his own damn bed.
9th Sep '16 11:48:05 PM LadyNorbert
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* In the Italian "Filagranate" (a Maiden in the Tower tale, like Literature/{{Rapunzel}}, the heroine sees that the person who called her to let down her hair is a handsome young man, not the old witch -- but figured since he had said the right words, she could lower it for him as well for the witch.

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* In the Italian "Filagranate" (a Maiden in the Tower GirlInTheTower tale, like Literature/{{Rapunzel}}, Literature/{{Rapunzel}}), the heroine sees that the person who called her to let down her hair is a handsome young man, not the old witch -- but figured since he had said the right words, she could lower it for him as well for the witch.



* ''FanFic/TheInfiniteLoops'' makes this Harry Potter's modus operandi when dealing with his enemies. Meanwhile, Mayor Mare has made this her speciality, managing to stop the Vogons blow up Equestria with it.

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* ''FanFic/TheInfiniteLoops'' makes this Harry Potter's modus operandi ''modus operandi'' when dealing with his enemies. Meanwhile, Mayor Mare has made this her speciality, specialty, managing to stop the Vogons blow up Equestria with it.



* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', Bob Parr [[CouldSayItBut would like to]] help his customers navigate Insuricare's labyrinthine policies to receive their insurance coverage, [[BlatantLies but he can't]]. As a side-effect, this makes his boss absolutely furious because Parr's actions are causing legitimate payments the business can't weasel out of.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', Bob Parr [[CouldSayItBut would like to]] help his customers navigate Insuricare's labyrinthine policies to receive their insurance coverage, [[BlatantLies but he can't]]. As a side-effect, side effect, this makes his boss absolutely furious because Parr's actions are causing legitimate payments the business can't weasel out of.of making.



* In Literature/TheLostFleet, John Geary at one point deals with a request by his ObstructiveBureaucrat higher-ups to provide "any information related" to a decision he made. He responds by rationalizing that since all of it had [[ExactWords some relevance to his decision making process]], and giving them an infodump of everything in the entire fleet database ''in a single file''. This takes several minutes for the entire combined computing power of the whole alliance fleet, and he wonders if it might crash their servers. Even if it didn't it would be functionally impossible to dig through the entire mess of information to find anything to use against him.
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novels it's suggested that golems rebel this way (they tend to parody various [[RobotRollCall robot related tropes]]) until they are free. This has the side effect of convincing people that they are stupid and/or insane.

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* In Literature/TheLostFleet, ''Literature/TheLostFleet'', John Geary at one point deals with a request by his ObstructiveBureaucrat higher-ups to provide "any information related" to a decision he made. He responds by rationalizing that since all of it had [[ExactWords some relevance to his decision making process]], and giving them an infodump of everything in the entire fleet database ''in a single file''. This takes several minutes for the entire combined computing power of the whole alliance fleet, and he wonders if it might crash their servers. Even if it didn't it would be functionally impossible to dig through the entire mess of information to find anything to use against him.
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novels novels, it's suggested that golems rebel this way (they tend to parody various [[RobotRollCall robot related tropes]]) until they are free. This has the side effect of convincing people that they are stupid and/or insane.



** In ''Literature/ACivilCampaign'', Aral sponsors a bill making it easier for peasants to change from one FeudalOverlord to another. This naturally increases the rent and tax incomes of the more popular ones. One Count decided to breed several dozen girls in artificial wombs -- a newly imported technology -- to increase his district's population without having to improve his rule in any way. Though it was considered obviously wrong to exploit mass-produced children, he argued that he'd used his own genetic material for their paternal contribution, [[note]]but ''not'' his wife's for the maternal aspect, a fact the Countess was [[WomanScorned extremely vexed]] about[[/note]] and they were therefore technically his daughters. The "mothers" (women who'd donated ova to clinics and such) weren't consulted at any stage of the proceedings and just about all of them were singularly uninterested in asserting any claim on the children. There AintNoRule against a man having a very large family, after all, and whether the current law means his use of the eggs can be considered theft is ambiguous at best - they can prevent future occurrences, but he will get off scot-free for his existing actions. Ekaterin provided a solution by pointing out that if they ''were'' his daughters, he could be required to pay a dowry for ''each and every one of them'' - at a level to be determined at the discretion of the Emperor. The last we see is him screaming in rage right after the judgement is handed to him.

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** In ''Literature/ACivilCampaign'', Aral sponsors a bill making it easier for peasants to change from one FeudalOverlord to another. This naturally increases the rent and tax incomes of the more popular ones. One Count decided to breed several dozen girls in artificial wombs -- a newly imported technology -- to increase his district's population without having to improve his rule in any way. Though it was considered obviously wrong to exploit mass-produced children, he argued that he'd used his own genetic material for their paternal contribution, [[note]]but ''not'' his wife's for the maternal aspect, a fact about which the Countess was [[WomanScorned extremely vexed]] about[[/note]] [[/note]] and they were therefore technically his daughters. The "mothers" (women who'd donated ova to clinics and such) weren't consulted at any stage of the proceedings and just about all of them were singularly uninterested in asserting any claim on the children. There AintNoRule against a man having a very large family, after all, and whether the current law means his use of the eggs can be considered theft is ambiguous at best - they can prevent future occurrences, but he will get off scot-free for his existing actions. Ekaterin provided a solution by pointing out that if they ''were'' ''are'' his daughters, he could be required to pay a dowry for ''each and every one of them'' - at a level to be determined at the discretion of the Emperor. The last we see is him screaming in rage right after the judgement is handed to him.



** Also in the film version, Harry's IronicEcho when Umbridge is confronting the centaurs: she begs him to tell them she's harmless, to which he replies "I'm sorry, Professor, but I must not tell lies."
** Dumbledore also manages to piss Umbridge off when she fires Trelawney by pointing out that although she has the power to fire teachers at Hogwarts, it doesn't mean she can also evict Trelawney from her home there, as the authority to decide the actual residency in the castle still lies with the Headmaster. He follows it up by reminding her that her right to hire staff applies only if he himself is unsuccessful in finding someone to fill the position, and hires Firenze (a centaur, who Umbridge is [[FantasticRacism terrified of]]) on the spot to take over as Divination teacher.
* The main character of ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'' adopts this as a lifestyle. She is required by magic to obey all orders given to her and finds this spectacularly annoying. So when those orders are not the sort that will harm anyone, she ''will'' obey those orders right down to the dregs, just to spite the person giving them. When ordered to sing louder, she practically shouts. When then ordered to sing quieter, she drops to a whisper, etc.

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** Also in the film version, Harry's IronicEcho when Umbridge is confronting the centaurs: she begs him to tell them she's harmless, to which he replies replies, "I'm sorry, Professor, but I must not tell lies."
** Dumbledore also manages to piss Umbridge off when she fires Trelawney by pointing out that although she has the power to fire teachers at Hogwarts, it doesn't mean she can also evict Trelawney from her home there, as the authority to decide the actual residency in the castle still lies with the Headmaster. He follows it up by reminding her that her right to hire staff applies only if he himself is unsuccessful in finding someone to fill the position, and hires Firenze (a centaur, who of which Umbridge is [[FantasticRacism terrified of]]) terrified]]) on the spot to take over as Divination teacher.
* The main character of ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'' adopts this as a lifestyle. She is required by magic to obey all orders given to her and finds this spectacularly annoying. So when those orders are not the sort that will harm anyone, she ''will'' obey those orders right down to the dregs, just to spite the person giving them. When ordered to sing louder, she practically shouts. When then ordered to sing quieter, more quietly, she drops to a whisper, etc.and so forth.



** A later episode had Captain Sheridan effectively buy time to shut down the [[FantasticRacism pro-Earth]] (and officially unofficial) [[StateSec Night Watch]] by careful use of this trope. The orders he'd received gave Night Watch a frankly scary array of powers and authority, but had come from the Political Office, rather than through Earth Alliance military channels. He refused to implement his orders because they were from outside his chain of command (this could only buy time, as Night Watch were one of President Clark's pet projects, and he ''was'' in the chain of command. Commander in Chief, to be precise).

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** A later episode had Captain Sheridan effectively buy time to shut down the [[FantasticRacism pro-Earth]] (and officially unofficial) [[StateSec Night Watch]] by careful use of this trope. The orders he'd received gave Night Watch a frankly scary array of powers and authority, but had come from the Political Office, rather than through Earth Alliance military channels. He refused to implement his orders because they were from outside his chain of command (this command. (This could only buy time, as Night Watch were one of President Clark's pet projects, and he ''was'' in the chain of command. Commander in Chief, to be precise).precise.)



* In one episode of ''Series/GrangeHill'', the students decided to attempt to stage a strike in school. When that failed, they went to the school rule book, which they stole a copy of from one of the teachers. The rule they picked was "Students must always walk in the hallways". So, they started '''''always''''' walking in the hallways - including walking when they should've actually been in class. When that tactic failed, they resorted to a second perambulatory rule, which was "Students must always walk on the left". This gave them an excuse to take the long way around to get from one classroom to the classroom immediately to its right, by walking on the left of the hall all the way around the school. Again the teachers were not happy, and all student-owned copies of the rulebook were confiscated. Apparently only the teachers were supposed to know the exact wording of the rules, the students only got to know when they'd broken one.

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* In one episode of ''Series/GrangeHill'', the students decided to attempt to stage a strike in school. When that failed, they went to the school rule book, of which they stole a copy of from one of the teachers. The rule they picked was "Students must always walk in the hallways". hallways." So, they started '''''always''''' walking in the hallways - including walking when they should've actually been in class. When that tactic failed, they resorted to a second perambulatory rule, which was "Students must always walk on the left". left." This gave them an excuse to take the long way around to get from one classroom to the classroom immediately to its right, by walking on the left of the hall all the way around the school. Again the teachers were not happy, and all student-owned copies of the rulebook rule book were confiscated. Apparently only the teachers were supposed to know the exact wording of the rules, rules; the students only got to know when they'd broken one.



* In ''Series/TheDoctorBlakeMysteries'', Lucien uses his SmokyGentlemensClub's own rulebook to prove that he is allowed to hang a painting of a nude in the club's main lounge.

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* In ''Series/TheDoctorBlakeMysteries'', Lucien uses his SmokyGentlemensClub's own rulebook rule book to prove that he is allowed to hang a painting of a nude in the club's main lounge.



** Magic actually ''does'' have rules that allow you to shortcut this process if both players have nothing to do, so trying this sort of thing in a tournament will get you a penalty for stalling and/or unsportsmanlike conduct for fishing for penalties. It's one key thing judges are taught to spot. In ''casual'' play, of course, your opponent will probably just start throwing stuff at you.

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** Magic ''Magic'' actually ''does'' have rules that allow you to shortcut this process if both players have nothing to do, so trying this sort of thing in a tournament will get you a penalty for stalling and/or unsportsmanlike conduct for fishing for penalties. It's one key thing judges are taught to spot. In ''casual'' play, of course, your opponent will probably just start throwing stuff at you.



** In another strip, Sam gives her a piece of advice regarding orders she can't get out of with the above philosophy, with the added bonus that it's invariably frustrating to authority figures (who he makes a hobby of pissing off):

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** In another strip, Sam gives her a piece of advice regarding orders she can't get out of with the above philosophy, with the added bonus that it's invariably frustrating to authority figures (who (whom he makes a hobby of pissing off):



* Played straight and subverted in ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill''. In the episode "Square-Footed Monster" Ted Wassanasong began building an eyesore house in the middle of the Hills' neighborhood despite the protests of the neighbors. Subverted when they try using a county clerk to help them but he can't find any regulations to halt construction. Later the house falls down in a storm and the neighbors have to tear the house down with tools to prevent it from damaging their houses. Ted tries to take the neighborhood to court but the judge rules against him so out of spite Ted sells the land to the city who erects a power substation. Now played straight as the county clerk digs out a regulation which lets the neighborhood build a facade house around the substation so no-one has to look at it.

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* Played straight and subverted in ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill''. In the episode "Square-Footed Monster" Monster," Ted Wassanasong began building an eyesore house in the middle of the Hills' neighborhood despite the protests of the neighbors. Subverted when they try using a county clerk to help them but he can't find any regulations to halt construction. Later the house falls down in a storm and the neighbors have to tear the house down with tools to prevent it from damaging their houses. Ted tries to take the neighborhood to court but the judge rules against him him, so out of spite Ted sells the land to the city who city, which erects a power substation. Now The trope is immediately played straight as the county clerk digs out a regulation which lets the neighborhood build a facade house around the substation so no-one no one has to look at it.



** A textbook example: French railway employees were forbidden to strike after the railways were nationalized. They scanned the rule book and found that regulations stated the engineer had to check at every overpass for obstructions on the tracks, and if he wasn't sure, to consult with the rest of the train crew. It wasn't usually done, of course, for the simple reason that doing so put the trains ridiculously behind schedule...which is exactly what happened when they started doing it. They couldn't be penalized for enforcing the rules, but it got results. Postal workers in Austria did much the same thing, strictly enforcing a rule that all packages and letters must be weighed to ensure there was enough postage for them, leaving the post offices filled up with unweighed mail by the second day. http://libcom.org/organise/work-to-rule

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** A textbook example: French railway employees were forbidden to strike after the railways were nationalized. They scanned the rule book and found that regulations stated the engineer had to check at every overpass for obstructions on the tracks, and if he wasn't sure, to consult with the rest of the train crew. It wasn't usually done, of course, for the simple reason that doing so put the trains ridiculously behind schedule...which is exactly what happened when they started doing it. They couldn't be penalized for enforcing the rules, but it got results. Postal workers in Austria did much the same thing, strictly enforcing a rule that all packages and letters must be weighed to ensure there was enough postage for them, leaving the post offices filled up with unweighed mail by the second day. http://libcom.org/organise/work-to-rule[[http://libcom.org/organise/work-to-rule Seen here.]]
21st Aug '16 2:28:47 PM OwenoColwyn
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** In ''Literature/ACivilCampaign'', Aral sponsors a bill making it easier for peasants to change from one FeudalOverlord to another. This naturally increases the rent and tax incomes of the more popular ones. One Count decided to breed several dozen girls in artificial wombs -- a newly imported technology -- to increase his district's population without having to improve his rule in any way. Though it was considered obviously wrong to exploit mass-produced children, he argued that he'd used his own genetic material for their paternal contribution, [[note]]but ''not'' his wife's for the maternal aspect, a fact the Countess was [[WomanScorned extremely vexed]] about[[/note]] and they were therefore technically his daughters. The "mothers" (women who'd donated ova to clinics and such) weren't consulted at any stage of the proceedings and just about all of them were singularly uninterested in asserting any claim on the children. There AintNoRule against a man having a very large family, after all. Ekaterin provided a solution by pointing out that if they ''were'' his daughters, he could be required to pay a dowry for ''each and every one of them.'' The last we see is him screaming in rage right after the judgement is handed to him.

to:

** In ''Literature/ACivilCampaign'', Aral sponsors a bill making it easier for peasants to change from one FeudalOverlord to another. This naturally increases the rent and tax incomes of the more popular ones. One Count decided to breed several dozen girls in artificial wombs -- a newly imported technology -- to increase his district's population without having to improve his rule in any way. Though it was considered obviously wrong to exploit mass-produced children, he argued that he'd used his own genetic material for their paternal contribution, [[note]]but ''not'' his wife's for the maternal aspect, a fact the Countess was [[WomanScorned extremely vexed]] about[[/note]] and they were therefore technically his daughters. The "mothers" (women who'd donated ova to clinics and such) weren't consulted at any stage of the proceedings and just about all of them were singularly uninterested in asserting any claim on the children. There AintNoRule against a man having a very large family, after all. all, and whether the current law means his use of the eggs can be considered theft is ambiguous at best - they can prevent future occurrences, but he will get off scot-free for his existing actions. Ekaterin provided a solution by pointing out that if they ''were'' his daughters, he could be required to pay a dowry for ''each and every one of them.'' them'' - at a level to be determined at the discretion of the Emperor. The last we see is him screaming in rage right after the judgement is handed to him.
20th Aug '16 4:13:34 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''BasicInstructions'' [[http://basicinstructions.net/basic-instructions/2012/11/29/how-to-find-your-motivation.html utilized this]]. As summed up in the third panel:

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* ''BasicInstructions'' ''Webcomic/BasicInstructions'' [[http://basicinstructions.net/basic-instructions/2012/11/29/how-to-find-your-motivation.html utilized this]]. As summed up in the third panel:
18th Aug '16 9:12:40 PM PaulA
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* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold being rather fond of {{Guile Hero}}es, this naturally comes up regularly in ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':

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* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold being rather fond of {{Guile Hero}}es, this naturally comes up regularly in Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':
18th Aug '16 9:12:07 PM PaulA
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* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold being rather fond of {{Guile Hero}}es, this naturally comes up regularly in ''Literature/TheVorkosiganSaga'':

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* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold being rather fond of {{Guile Hero}}es, this naturally comes up regularly in ''Literature/TheVorkosiganSaga'':''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':
11th Aug '16 1:54:36 AM PaulA
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** Used for a last-minute save in ''Falling Free''. The genetically-engineered quaddies having been legally defined as "post-fetal experimental tissue cultures," Captain Bannerji refuses to fire on them on the grounds that it could be considered an act of hazardous waste disposal, for which the proper forms have not been filled out.
** In ''A Civil Campaign'', Aral sponsors a bill making it easier for peasants to change from one FeudalOverlord to another. This naturally increases the rent and tax incomes of the more popular ones. One Count decided to breed several dozen girls in artificial wombs -- a newly imported technology -- to increasing his district's population without having to improve his rule in any way. Though it was considered obviously wrong to exploit mass-produced children, he argued that he'd used his own genetic material for their paternal contribution, [[note]]but ''not'' his wife's for the maternal aspect, a fact the Countess was [[WomanScorned extremely vexed]] about[[/note]] and they were therefore technically his daughters. The "mothers" (women who'd donated ova to clinics and such) weren't consulted at any stage of the proceedings and just about all of them were singularly uninterested in asserting any claim on the children. There AintNoRule against a man having a very large family, after all. Ekaterin provided a solution by pointing out that if they ''were'' his daughters, he could be required to pay a dowry for ''each and every one of them.'' The last we see is him screaming in rage right after the judgement is handed to him.

to:

** Used for a last-minute save in ''Falling Free''.''Literature/FallingFree''. The genetically-engineered quaddies having been legally defined as "post-fetal experimental tissue cultures," Captain Bannerji refuses to fire on them on the grounds that it could be considered an act of hazardous waste disposal, for which the proper forms have not been filled out.
** In ''A Civil Campaign'', ''Literature/ACivilCampaign'', Aral sponsors a bill making it easier for peasants to change from one FeudalOverlord to another. This naturally increases the rent and tax incomes of the more popular ones. One Count decided to breed several dozen girls in artificial wombs -- a newly imported technology -- to increasing increase his district's population without having to improve his rule in any way. Though it was considered obviously wrong to exploit mass-produced children, he argued that he'd used his own genetic material for their paternal contribution, [[note]]but ''not'' his wife's for the maternal aspect, a fact the Countess was [[WomanScorned extremely vexed]] about[[/note]] and they were therefore technically his daughters. The "mothers" (women who'd donated ova to clinics and such) weren't consulted at any stage of the proceedings and just about all of them were singularly uninterested in asserting any claim on the children. There AintNoRule against a man having a very large family, after all. Ekaterin provided a solution by pointing out that if they ''were'' his daughters, he could be required to pay a dowry for ''each and every one of them.'' The last we see is him screaming in rage right after the judgement is handed to him.
8th Jul '16 9:24:08 PM eowynjedi
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* In episode "Voice Analyzer" of ''Series/BarneyMiller'' honest but excitable Wojo completely flunks a quote-unquote ''voluntary'', definitely-not-a-lie-detector device just by doing the calibration questions. Dietrich responds by insisting on doing the test (after being reminded that it wasn't mandatory) and feeds it a series of BlatantLies without setting it off once. Barney goes a step further and forces Scanlan to back down by ''not'' volunteering, as the refusal of the squad's captain would make a significant statement.

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* In episode "Voice Analyzer" of ''Series/BarneyMiller'' honest but excitable Wojo completely flunks a quote-unquote ''voluntary'', definitely-not-a-lie-detector device just by doing the calibration questions. Dietrich responds by insisting on doing the test (after being reminded that it wasn't mandatory) and feeds it a series of BlatantLies without setting it off once. Barney goes a step further and forces Scanlan to back down by ''not'' volunteering, as the refusal of the squad's captain would make a significant statement.statement--that, and Scanlan's outrage sends the machine into overdrive.
8th Jul '16 9:22:25 PM eowynjedi
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Added DiffLines:

* In episode "Voice Analyzer" of ''Series/BarneyMiller'' honest but excitable Wojo completely flunks a quote-unquote ''voluntary'', definitely-not-a-lie-detector device just by doing the calibration questions. Dietrich responds by insisting on doing the test (after being reminded that it wasn't mandatory) and feeds it a series of BlatantLies without setting it off once. Barney goes a step further and forces Scanlan to back down by ''not'' volunteering, as the refusal of the squad's captain would make a significant statement.
30th May '16 8:44:18 PM Doug86
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* Jested about In AndreNorton's ''Literature/IceCrown''. One of Imfray's men, after rescuing him from his execution for treason, claims that he never heard an order saying he's no longer his commander, so it was his duty; Imfray points out that he must have heard it just before; the man says he's been hard of hearing ever since Imfray rescued him from a rock fall. Imfray carries on the joke with an observation that hearing loss could see him out of the guard, and the man assures him that if anyone knows he was involved, it did.

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* Jested about In AndreNorton's Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/IceCrown''. One of Imfray's men, after rescuing him from his execution for treason, claims that he never heard an order saying he's no longer his commander, so it was his duty; Imfray points out that he must have heard it just before; the man says he's been hard of hearing ever since Imfray rescued him from a rock fall. Imfray carries on the joke with an observation that hearing loss could see him out of the guard, and the man assures him that if anyone knows he was involved, it did.
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