Food, Irony, Dogs and Dust

11 July 2007

A place to eat where the words ‘fresh food prepared on the premises’ seemed more like a warning than any kind of advertisment or inducement to consume. Indeed as a statement it only seemed to flag the need for more detailed enquiries, suggesting questions like – where exactly on the premises was the food allegedly prepared, by whom and when?


A very strong new story from M John Harrison at 1001 Nites Cast from the great prompt “not a hint of irony“.  Maybe it’s my jetlag but this one seems more melancholic than the others Mike’s done there. Perhaps it’s all in the narrator’s distance from events, and in his articulation of a world in which certain possibilities cannot or should not, or can no longer be explored.

For no good reason (I think) the story brought to mind these lines which I’d cut and pasted from an online guide to Beijing, a few years ago.

After the destruction of all the capital’s dogs in 1950, it was the turn of sparrows in 1956. A measure designed to preserve grain, its only effect was to lead to an increase in the insect population. To combat this, all the grass was pulled up, which in turn led to dust storms in the windy winter months.

I’m writing again for the 1001 project on Friday – I have the feeling its going to be a strange one since because of timezones I’m getting the prompt first thing in the morning and I have to have it written by noon.