Putting to one side the Twitter outrage and the fact that many newspapers have reported that it will not now be happening, I can’t be the only person to think that a restaurant called Death Row Dinners is a rather splendid idea.
Sure, some of the marketing (pictures of prisoners essentially) was in bad taste, but the central concept – “Eat like it’s your last meal on earth” – is an interesting way to make us think more about our food, and an extension of a conversation many of us will have had around the dinner table.
“We’ve taken those pictures off the website now and, looking back, maybe that was a bit much,” someone called D tells me. “The restaurant [in east London from 24 October] will definitely be going ahead.”
Without wishing to spoil the menu, D says diners will be treated to “comfort foods” and a few surprises, including one course that will consist of a single unpitted black olive, the last request of a prisoner who thought that if he swallowed the stone an olive tree would grow.
“The world would be very boring if every time people complained about something it got cancelled,” D says. “We know it’s not for everyone. Some people want to walk in the park. Others want to take the Jack the Ripper tour.”
One night only
If you suffer from Fomo (fear of missing out), look away now. Because while you were watching Bake Off or something equally mundane last Wednesday, you were missing out on the chance to spend the evening in awe-inspiring company.
Only kidding. In fact, the night was the journalist James Delingpole’s – he of the climate-change denying and the books with titles such as 365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy – first attempt to invite people to his local pub to listen to him chatting with like-minded friends. And the first guest? Toby Young, making this, surely, a contender for the worst night out in the history of the world ever.
But wait, what’s this? Using the old drug-dealer technique of giving it out free the first time, Delingpole’s people tell me that the next “event” will cost “between £10 and £20”. And if you think it can’t get any worse, think again. He’s only gone and lined up Katie Hopkins.
That Mitchell on the web look
The popular experimental novelist David Mitchell took to Reddit for an AMA (ask me anything) last week. Unsurprisingly, alongside various questions about Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, were scores of wags wanting to know when and if there would be a new series of Peep Show.
Did Mitchell take offence? Not a bit. “I sometimes get offers to go and do stand-up comedy,” he answered, “but I send them back to my agent to be forwarded to the other David Mitchell. I wonder if he gets emails for me from time to time. I like his work. Ambassadors has good scripts.”
Though the U2 album giveaway appears to have spectacularly backfired, this has not, it seems, deterred other bands from offering novel ways to get their music heard.
Take the American hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. Not content with the imminent release of their second album, the group are offering various packages to anyone pre-ordering the CD – from $30 for the album and a T-shirt to $10m for the Run the Jewels Retirement Package.
For $10m “the group will retire from music, making only one song a year for you personally. Every song title will be your name with a number next to it. You are free to exploit these recordings however you like.” Prospective buyers should read the small print, though: “Run the Jewels reserve the right to take your money and not fulfil any of their obligations.”
My CV’s in the post
Earlier this year, the state of Colorado allowed marijuana to be sold openly for the first time. A few days prior to these “dispensaries” opening their doors, the 122-year-old Denver Post newspaper launched a website called The Cannabist to concentrate on all things spliff-related.
Last week The Cannabist was advertising for a writer. “Our new columnist will write about sex, relationships, intimacy, gender issues and more as it all relates to a world where marijuana is becoming legal,” the ad reads. “Our columnist will write about his or her own history and answer readers’ questions. This is a paid freelance position and our ideal candidate will truly put him or herself out there.”
Readers, I’m only telling you this in the hope that you won’t be too disappointed if I’m not here next week.
No rhyme or reason
Another in a regular series of limericks based on recent events:
Though they promised for better or worse,
Relations since then have got terse,
When they said “Take your partners”,
They assumed it meant dancers,
Put it down to that old “Strictly” curse.