Telephone conversation that might have occurred at the Daily Mirror last week:
Mirror Man: “Hello, Christopher Hitchens?”
Hitchens: “Yes, it is he”
Mirror Man: “Hi Chris, it’s the Mirror here in London. Look, erm, thanks for that article on how the anti-war movement should hang its head in shame – really great stuff as usual. But…”
Hitchens:”But what? What’s the problem with it? Has Pilger been on at you again?”
Mirror Man: “No problem Chris, its brilliant, really great, its just, well, you know, here in Britain, at this time of year, we prefer, as I am sure you know because you are British of course..
Hitchens: “Yes I am British. What is your point?”
Mirror Man: “Well, it’s more of a suggestion than a point, but we were just wondering if this week you might write something about erm, the weather”.
Hitchens: “The weather? I have just written a book on Iraq. I give lectures at the White House on the terrorist threat and you want me to write about the weather?”
Mirror Man “Look its entirely your call of course. Its just a suggestion on our part..
Hitchens:“Well on weather, actually my own widely-derided theory is that there’s a buried folk memory of August 1914, when a hot summer of legendary length and intensity came to a sudden terminus with the collapse of civilisation.”
Mirror Man: “Brilliant stuff. Something on that will be great.”
Hitchens: No problem at all. 500 words by tomorrow?”
Mirror Man: “Magic stuff Chris. Cheers mate”