There Is No Dog
How we cite our quotes:
"You never pay attention to me! You don't care about anyone other than those poxy poor people in your poxy files." He put on a nyah-nyah whine. " Oh, look at me, I've got AIDS, I was in a war, my baby's dead. If you're so worried about them, why don't you go live in the bloody Democratic bloody Republic of Tonga—""Congo." "Bloody Democratic bloody Republic of bloody stupid-arse Congo." (18.11)
This has got to be the weirdest temper tantrum ever. Notice that Bob can't even remember the name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That's how much he cares.
In the middle of the Pacific, tsunamis gained momentum. Tornadoes devastated Kansas and the eastern Chinese coastal province of Jiangsu. And all because the Almighty had fallen head over heels in love with an assistant zookeeper. It wasn't a joke, and would become less of a joke as the situation progressed. God falls in love; thousands die. (26.131)
Rosoff gives us two scales so that we see how unjust the suffering Bob is causing really is. By starting out with a huge global scale, she suggests that the zookeeper, and an assistant zookeeper at that, is especially trivial.
It wasn't that he didn't like to fix things. But every adjustment led to unexpected repercussions, a chain of reactions certain to render the original deed null and void. He'd had plenty of experiences like that: the sweet child saved from death who grew up to be Vlad the Impaler. Mr. B felt like some sort of cursed accountant, with figures that eternally refused to add up. (28.15)
Yeah, we don't particularly like having to do the math on that one, either: is it the needs of the many or the needs of few? Or the one? (Is that a single tear we feel slipping down our cheeks?)