Mr and Mrs Twit are two ugly, smelly, nasty people, who spend their lives playing nasty tricks on each other. Mrs Twit, who uses a walking stick, does not like children. They enjoy treating animals with cruelty, by luring birds to glue-smothered trees so that they can be baked into bird pie, and by tormenting their pet monkeys, Muggle-Wump and his family, by getting them to stand upside down, one on top of the other. One day, the arrival of the Roly-Poly Bird from Africa allows the monkeys and the surviving birds to get the revenge that they have craved for years. They glue the carpet and furniture to the ceiling while the Twits are out, then on their return two ravens land some drops of glue from paintbrushes held in their claws onto the Twits' heads. When the Twits go indoors and see their furniture apparently turned upside down, they stand on their heads, believing that they are upside down and intending to turn the right way up; of course remaining stuck that way. With the Twits out of the way, the Muggle-Wumps are able to return to their native Africa with the help of the Roly-Poly Bird. Eventually, the Twits' bodies collapse into themselves, until there is nothing left but that which they wore or carried with them.
Mr Twit is a trollish person, having hair that covers his whole face, except for his forehead, eyes and his nose. His hair (which he falsely believes makes him look wise and grand), is spiky and hard rather than smooth and soft. He is 60 years old, and he never washes. His beard contains scraps of food dropped there while he ate, including tinned sardines, stilton cheese, and corn flakes. Occasionally, he picks these scraps out and eats them. He is also a possible cannibal; when some boys come into his garden and climb the glue-ridden branches of the tree and get stuck, he threatens to bake them in a pie instead — although, fortunately, they escape. Mr Twit is a beer drinker, even doing so at breakfast. He is known to go very quiet when he is plotting his latest evil trick, the victim of which is usually his wife.
Mrs Twit is the shrewish wife of Mr Twit. She, unlike her husband, was once very beautiful, but thinking ugly thoughts caused her to transform into the ugliest woman in the world. She is no more hygienic than her husband, and no more pleasant either: she uses her cane as a weapon against children and animals. Mrs Twit has only one real eye; the other is made of glass, and she sometimes takes it out and uses it to frighten her husband. into Mr Twit's mug of beer at the breakfast table. This makes Mr Twit always jump in shock.
The Twits, as a book, has, as Dahl himself acknowledged, occasionally made adults feel physically sick — perhaps not least because of the graphic description of what lies within Mr Twits' beard in the second chapter of the book (all the chapters being very short by the standards of Dahl's novels). However, it seems it was written with the view that children enjoy being disgusted — and frightened. Whatever the truth in this theory, it has remained popular amongst children and due to its shortness is occasionally seen as a good "starting point" by UK parents — and primary school teachers — when introducing children to Roald Dahl's stories for younger readers.
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