Wednesday, November 17, 2004


I am currently reading At The Tomb of the Inflatable Pig by John Gimlette. It is a sort of travelogue/history of Paraguay. I had no idea that Paraguay was insane. The book is very, very entertaining and very informative. In the context of this review, I will now unsueably quote a substantial portion of said book:

"The builder looked at his pick-up doubtfully. 'I don't think it will go that far.'

He was right. There were too many essential structures missing. It would have been like driving around in a diagram.

I started reinforcing my pleas with offers of cash. I worked my way up the street, making more and more outrageous propsals at each tyre [Limey book] shop. My bidding reached its critical momentum in the grocer's. I was now offering the equivalent of fifty newspapers, three old prostitutes or a night-and-a-half at the Hotel Dysentery. It was good enough for Lino the grocer. He was soon packing me into his fancy new pick-up, with his wife out on the back. I was pleased that she was coming because it took the hard commercial edge off our transaction, turning it into more of a family outing. Mrs. Berera brought her swimming costume, a beach towel, a garden chair and a bottle of frozen cherryade. It was obviously an excursion they'd enjoyed many times before and Mrs. Berera wasn't the least perturbed when her chair slid backwards and forwards across the truck as Lino whirled in a tornado of red volcanic gravel. We tried to keep an eye on her in the mirror but sometimes Mrs. Berera slid completely out of view and it wasn't until the next fold in the earth's crust--and the reversal of centrifugal forces--that she made her stately reappearance."

This is funny. I recommend actually purchasing this book. A rare compliment from me.


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