When one of the main characters asks their Durquist friend how the race can tell each other apart (they all look the same, too) the Durquist responds to the effect of "we just can." In The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, the third book. Dessert is betel nut, the PNG national drug.
To Francine Well, pull my finger. There really was no wait. Oh, oh, I was also in Independence.