Sunday, July 06, 2008

A dog eating contest

When a headline makes me blink, I make a note of it. An alien would be forgiven for taking "a dog eating contest" literally.

There are parts of the world where dog meat is eaten. There is at least one video on you-tube that shows a small, sleeping puppy inside a hot dog bun. Competitive eating is popular enough to be televised occasionally.

Talking of which, have you seen the new TV reality series "I Survived A Japanese Game Show"? In one game, team members ran against the flow up a treadmill, with a seed tray strapped to their heads. In the seed tray was a mealy, sticky food item that the "Eater" had to grab without using hands, and consume completely. An umpire was responsible for looking in the Eater's mouth to be sure it was empty before the next runner was dispatched.

Would anyone like to contribute a headline that jarred them?

Newspapers and paper money don't make sense to one of my alien god-Princes of Tigron.

Excerpt from KNIGHT'S FORK

North London
Hampstead High Street

“Read all abaaaht it!” an evening boy of papers shouted, by a strange, half-tented cart from which passersby could exchange very small pieces of folded paper for very large, folded stacks of dirty paper, which they would then unfold and look at.

Prince Thor-quentin was fascinated. He loitered to observe the folly of mankind. His attention was captivated by more-efficiently folded papers. They were colored, and individually sealed in tight, clear wrappings to stop them flipping in the London street wind. Many of these colored papers showed bare-chested males, proudly displaying their favorite exercise equipment, or modest females in heat, bending over conveniently placed vehicles.

The boy of papers varied his cries of what was interesting. “Antipodean alarm!” he wailed. “Australian Air Force authorities allay anxiety over alleged alien…”

So many big A-words! Thor-quentin thought.

Then, he caught sight of the grainy, blurry, black-and-white photograph. The boy of papers might call the object diving into the sea a twisted, distorted weather balloon, but Prince Thor-quentin knew it for what it was. A Volnoth water-capable shuttle.

He’d practiced Djinncraft before on impressionable, sacrificial virgins. He’d never imagined that he’d use it to obtain something as worthless as a pile of dirty papers.

Approaching the boy of papers at a suitable lull in the passing trade, Thor-quentin murmured, “I will take. You will not cry out.”

The boy of papers promptly turned aside, folded from the midsection, and vomited into the slightly lower level of the trafficway.

Slack damn! Less force is required in this lesser gravity, Thor-quentin noted. He helped himself to a selection of the folded stacks of papers and passed a hand over the wad of small, purplish papers, as if he might be making a fair exchage like everyone else. In addition, since he could, he took one catalog of the local females in heat.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry


  1. Anonymous1:44 PM EDT

    seems like Thor-quentin is just as ruthless as his uncle.

    And I like your books ms? mrs? Cherry^^

  2. Thank you for your comment, Literature Vixen!

    I'm Mrs, but please call me Rowena.

    Thor-quentin is worse than his uncle. I'm going to have a lot more fun with him!

    If you read Knight's Fork, I hope you'll enjoy a couple of the conversations about morality, cruelty, and what --if anything--is admirable about Tarrant-Arragon that Rhett (the hero) has with Thor-quentin.

    BTW, An ARC of Knight's Fork is being given away to one commenter at

    There will be more ARCs given away. Those keen on winning ARCs (and they will be very nice ones) might consider a Google Alert for "ARC of Knight's Fork".

    I should do that!

    Best wishes,


  3. Very funny scene. I like the catalogs of females in heat. :)

  4. Ahh females in heat, yes indeedy. What about the magazine 'Men with Helmets on?' 'Old men looking dazed'? and my favourite 'Choose your steak'?
    Will have to have a look at that blog.

  5. Anonymous7:51 PM EDT

    Ok..Rowena^^ I hope you do have more fun with him. And I did know the mrs when i though about it later(shrugs)

    Thanks for your reply!

    Sincereley from a swedish fan.

  6. Anonymous7:54 PM EDT

    Ok...Rowena^^I do hope you do have more fun with him,he seems so,so "djinn-ish"

    And I did know about the mrs part only forgot.

    Sincerely from a swedish fan

  7. Would anyone like to contribute a headline that jarred them?

    Six Aiken DSS Workers Suspended After Death

    This was the front page headline of the South Carolina newspaper The State back in 1994 or so, the same week Michael Jackson and Priscilla Presley smooched onstage at the Grammies. The reason I know this is because that's the article on the back of the post-mortem suspension one, which I clipped, having bought the newspaper for the sole purpose of holding on to that headline.

    Now the correct interpretation seems obvious, but on the afternoon I saw that headline I was really thrown for a loop, wondering why anybody would bother to suspend employees after their deaths.