IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour this Sunday.
1. The US Army goes up in smoke
J Malcolm Garcia tells how US troops in Afghanistan use fire to dispose of everything from vehicles to human faeces – but there may be unforeseen consequences (Guernica).
What is it like living so close to an American base? I want to know. I expect them to grumble about the soldiers searching their shops. Instead, they tell me about a strange odor they say comes from the base. It smells of plastic.
Double Rainbow Song became a nearly religious rite as concertgoers hoisted their hands in the air and swung their arms from side to side in synchronized waves while Sarah and her nominal siblings sang over and over, “Yeah, ye-ee-aa-aah, so intense.”
“We are like bacterias!” Marteins shouted happily at one point. Marteins shouts because he is excitable and has spent most of his life communicating over the noise of engines. He drives a white van, whose seats are wrapped in plastic to preserve them from fish rot.
“Suddenly, I thought I heard a slight movement in the slops pail behind me,” she writes. “To my absolute horror, I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail… Then the tiny foot twitched! It wasn’t possible. The midwife must have dropped that tiny baby alive into the slop pail!”
Sam kept a score sheet, a page in his journal full of ticks like the ones cartoon inmates scratch into prison walls. He was counting the number of doctors that had inspected him (twenty-one) and the number of times they had taken his blood (seventy-two).
When she arrived at her big applause line—“Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama will be a one . . . term . . . President!”—Marcus recited it out loud and raised his fist. “That’s powerful, that’s good, that’s excellent!” he said. “Yes, yes, yes!”
…AND A CLASSIC READ FROM THE ARCHIVES…
Trey’s aunt saw me taking notes. “You’re writing a story about him?” Vicki Cox asked, amused. I confirmed that I was. “But . . . why?” she asked. A few feet away, the Great Zucchini was pretending to be afraid of his own hand.