If you don’t know what Digger is, go read it before reading these quotes. The quotes are not the best lines from the webcomic. No, there are too many of those to be contained in a mere list. If you want the best lines, go read the comic. If you don’t want the best lines, particularly, go read the comic. Seriously. Go read the comic. It will enrich your life.
As I was saying, this isn't a list of best quotes. It's a list of the quotes that illuminate Wombat Culture as it exists within Digger. If you’ve already read the comic and just want a little reminder of the joy of experiencing a touch of Wombat Culture, this is the list for you. If you haven’t already read the comic: read the comic.
You'll see from the quotes that Wombat Culture is centered around geology and engineering and general underground pragmatism. A bit of humor may sneak into the list, of course. I’m a sucker for humor. Also, the page numbers refer to the website, not to the printed books. Those didn’t exist when I compiled the list. Enjoy!
One of the first things a young wombat learns is that if she's lost, tunneling around at random only gets her more lost. Fortunately, there's a direction that she can always count on to go somewhere eventually. Straight up.
"Dip me in chalk and call me a limestone conglomerate!"
"Can't carve a tunnel with tears," as my Grandmother used to say.
"Well . . . I suppose no one was ever killed by a cave painting. Except Great Aunt Ruby that time, and everyone said that was a fluke."
"Man, don't you know not to mess with a sleeping wombat? We swing pickaxes for twelve hours a day. We're like biceps with feet."
"Remember Tunnel 17!" (If you want an explanation of that one, read the comic.)
"Now, what in the name of the dirt under the claws of the Mother of all Wombats is your problem?"
" . . . all this talking philosophy is like trying to tunnel through water."
"But let's not panic. Just think of it as a cave-in. There's no immediate way out, but that's okay. Relax. Breathe slowly. Don't worry about the people back home, because you can't do anything about that right now. Stay calm.
Don't try to fix everything at once. Focus. Just assess the situation and do whatever needs to be done next. And don't waste air."
"And as Cousin Shalesides used to say, "Momma wasn't raisin' no ingrates."
". . . 'Cos everyone I met was madder than a mole in Maytime."
"Mother of moles. . . " (exclamation)
"Well, you can't brace a tunnel with haste . . . "
"-- Cousin Tunnelfast found an ornamental pond of blind cave koi in an old dwarfholt that not only talked, they argued philosophy. In
Limerick form. With two inch fangs."
Page 103 (yes, it's after
111 in the webcomic archives - the page numbering is as
distorted as the cross-spatial entry tunnel – it might be helpful to know that
you can go to any page directly with the address http://diggercomic.com/?p=
and put the page number after the =)
"Ah, well. . . Better working that weeping, as my Mother used to say."
Page 107 (yes, still after 111)
". . . Blood of the Architect!"
"Hold your moles, I'm comin'."
"NEVER STAB A WOMBAT IN THE REAR!"
Page 131 (yes, it's after 142: magic - twisting - space - hole)
"We’ve got like three inch hides down there. It's practically armor plate. All stabbing it does is get us REALLY ticked off."
Page 133 (not before 142)
"You call that a hammer? I wouldn't tenderize a turnip with that hammer!"
Hag: "How do you feel?"
Digger: "Like I've been run over my a mine cart. And the donkey it was attached to."
Hag: "But, don't you have old women who run things?"
Digger: "Yeah, we call them '"Senior Engineers.' Men, too."
"Unghgh. Blood and shale and bracing, my head."
Page 143 (do I have to explain this?)
"Eh. Done is done. The rock is split, might as well carve it as cry over it."
Page 145 (ditto)
"Okay. As my Uncle Braceforth used to say, 'There are very few problems that cannot be made better with a night's sleep, breakfast, and a pickaxe."
Page 656 (I can see it coming)
" . . .And by the time I got back to the warren, my fur would be white and all the good engineering jobs of my generation would be taken."
Page 657 (wait for it)
"Merciful Mother of Moles. . . "
Page 660 (still waiting)
"I've said it before -- wombats aren't much good at melancholy. And there's something absurdly cheering about being attacked by a vampire squash. I men, you gotta laugh."
Page 160 (zing! knew it.)
"(List of difficulties due to excavating while working around an arrow wound.) But still, it was a root cellar. There's no such thing as a joyless root cellar."
"As eulogies go, it was somewhat more religious than I liked, but it had an almost wambattish brevity that I admired."
"There aren't any wombat gods to tell stories about. We wouldn't stand for it."
Page 172 (you know the drill)
"I'll bet you diamonds to dolomitic conglomerates . . . "
(translated wombat curse) “I will construct its dwelling using inferior materials!”
Page 199 (these are not the page numbers you’re looking for)
“Blood and shale . . . “ (Most frequently used exclamation)
“Great. Well . . . in for coal, in for diamonds, I suppose.”
(I’m not sure this qualifies, but I like it, so it’s in.)
“Boy, you can sure tell I was high when I dug this thing, can’t you?
(Our favorite wombat had hit a pocket of bad air while digging.
Page 213 (same drill)
(footnote to song) *Various bloodthirsty and off-key versions of this song exist, commemorating the legendary battle of the flood tunnels, where hundreds of heroic wombats gave their lives in the fight for better quality assurance standards, setting the stage for the Great Mortar Rebellion some years later.
“—If this is less than a thousand years old, I’m a thrust fault.”
“. . . a few load bearing beams short of a tunnel.”
“But, as Mom would say, ‘If you didn’t want to go swimming, you shouldn’t have tunneled under the lake!’”
“Always double-check your math if there are explosives involved.” (Part of an explanation of what evil is. You need to read the rest of it in context. I’m tickled that failing to perform with due diligence is an obvious evil, to a wombat.)
“And if Ed was involved, I’d personally eat my pickaxe. Without salt.”
“I can see you two are gonna get on like a tunnel explosion. . . “
Digger: “I’m starting to suspect . . . look, do humans ever have baby humans that get . . . lost? Go missing? And then they’re raised by moles?”
Murai: “Wolves are more traditional with us.:
“Ed, sweet ancestors, what’s wrong?”
Page 393 (shhhhh!)
“People don’t get to be rude just because they save your life -- ”
“Shadow, what in the name of the Mother of moles are you doing?”
“Okay, wait just a shale-draggin’ minute here.”
“Think about - - er - - moles. Yes. Nice moles. With velvety snouts and soft fur. Happy moles. Gamboling in a tunnel. I’m in my happy place, with moles.
Oh, man. I’m losing it.”
Random hyena: “What was that song she was teaching us, anyway? About the milkmaid and the thrust fault?”
“The problem with lecturing someone about ethics is that it always comes around to bite you in the knees. . . . Well. Honesty is the best policy, as Grandma Rootslash used to say.”
Page 470 (**whistling**)
“Oh, Mother of moles, my head feels like a mining accident.”
Mother of moles, no one should have to explain cultural relativism on a queasy stomach, particularly since wombats aren’t cultural relativists. We know full well that some stuff is just wrong.”
“That’s a big ‘ol load of coproliths, statue.”
Page 564 (There is much exposition about the way wombats pack for a journey.)
“Grim Eyes, this is Murai. Be nice to her. The ladder goes all the way to the bottom of the mine shaft, but here are no landings, if you get what I mean.”
Grim Eyes: “Heh. Do you have any children?”
Digger: “Me? Blood and shale, no! Not really old enough, and I haven’t met anybody I’d want to enter into a binding legal contract with, never mind including reproductive clauses . . . “
Grim Eyes: “That’s how earth-rats reproduce?”
Digger: “No, we do that in the usual way. We just make sure all the forms are filled out first.”
Page 549, the next page (you know the drill) goes into more detail, but the conversation is as much character development as wombat culture, so I’m skipping it.
“And furthermore, should you hurt its feelings, I’m going to smelt ore with your bones, understand?”
“I deserve this. My fifth grade vocational teacher would have my head.”
Page 591 (calming breaths)
“ . . . but if wishes were ingots. Beggars would smelt, as Great-Aunt Ironbit used to say.”
“My dear hunter-gatherer, allow me to introduce you to lignite. Grim Eyes, Lignite. Lignite, Grim Eyes. “
Page 669 more about moles
Page 676 discussion of ghosts and their differences due to species.
“He . . . listened closely and politely, asked occasional geological questions, and generally gave the impression of watching someone dig a hole they weren’t getting out of in a hurry.”
749 a few details about wombat inheritance
“. . . it wasn’t magic, exactly. It felt like .. . oh, like the itch in your claws you get when you walk under a ceiling that could come down at any moment.
The whole world felt like an impending cave-in.”
“I’ll make him regret the day he slid out of his mother pouch –“
“But – just – I – oh, ancestors bugger it . . . “
Villain: “Do you have any idea how long twelve thousand years is?”
Digger: “I know it’s not long enough to make a good rock.”
Basic mine safety covers working safely in total darkness.
“There’s always something that needs doing, as one or the other of my grandmothers used to say . . .”
“Don’t ask me why I felt like that. Boneclaw Mother could probably have told me, but I didn’t really feel like having her mine that particular vein out.”
This would be the end of the list, but I just have to add at least one Oracular Slug quote: “Don’t salt the messenger.” Page 114.
And a special thank you to Ursula Vernon for creating and sharing Digger and for giving me permission to post these quotes. You have made a fan very happy.