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An Inquiry into Idleness. Quite well known in the field.

      “But the Appendix isn’t known for its accuracy,” said Aunt Lily. “Accuracy isn’t the point.”
      “‘It is an Appendix of dubious facts, rumors, and myths,’” recited Colonel Korsakov. “‘A repository of questionable knowledge, and an opportunity to dither about.’ That’s from our charter,” he said to Jo. “The bit about dithering is the most important. We are a society of ditherers.”
      “Dithering?” said Jo.
      “You know — fiddling about, puttering, loafing. The Order of Odd-Fish has a long and distinguished history of dithering. Sir Oliver is the world’s foremost authority.”
      “Oh, I wouldn’t say that!” protested Sir Oliver.
      “He wrote a six-hundred-thousand-page dissertation on dithering,” said Aunt Lily. “Puttering, Muddling, and Mucking About: An Inquiry into Idleness. Quite well known in the field.”
      “I make no claims,” said Sir Oliver.
      “Don’t be so modest! Your work was years ahead of its time.”
      “Is it worth reading?” said Jo.
      “Nobody’s ever read it,” whispered Aunt Lily.
      “Please!” Sir Oliver smiled.
      “Honestly, he can’t take a compliment,” said Aunt Lily.
      The cockroaches swooped in, snatched away the soup bowls, and served plates heaping with a gooey stew...

ex James Kennedy, The Order of Odd-Fish (2008)
google books preview (2010) : 86 : link

wikipedia (on the book) : link
author’s website (opens to a very nice — and relevant — “about”) : link

10 March 2024