Flimsy stuff like the Turner Prize and the Oscars are not, of course, of any interest at all to truckshunters.  They are mere baubles and bagatelles which, in the stately pageant of human cultural evolution, will ultimately be forgotten and dissolve into dust.

The winners of the Diagram Prize, on the other hand, achieve true immortality in our eyes - not by dreaming up some instantly forgettable artwork or ‘installation’, or by pretending to be someone they're not, but through the deceptively simple means of writing earnest, well-intentioned books and then giving them ludicrously po-faced titles.

And it’s that time of year once again to roll out the truckshunter red carpet - deep red shag pile from end to end - and celebrate the shortlist contenders for the 2015 Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year (courtesy of Bookseller magazine).

Check these out…

*Advanced Pavement Research
A collection of peer-reviewed papers from a pavement symposium

*Nature’s Nether Regions
A history of the evolution of genitalia ( - on my shopping list already)

*The Madwoman in the Volvo:  My Year of Raging Hormones
The story of one woman’s experience of the menopause ( - not on my shopping list)

*Where Do Camels Belong?
An investigation into the contradictions of ‘native’ and ‘invasive’ species

*Divorcing a Real Witch:  For Pagans and the People That Used to Love Them
A self-help book for those whose spouses have been drawn away to the occult

*The Ugly Wife Is A Treasure At Home
A study of the revolutionary act of romantic love and sexual freedom in Mao’s China

*Strangers Have The Best Candy
A chronicle of the author’s meeting with strangers

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Where have all the hedgehogs gone?

According to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, there were about 30m hedgehogs in Britain in the 1950s.  By 1995, this had fallen to about 1.5m.  Their latest estimate suggests that there may now be less than a million.

Something is very, very seriously amiss when a harmlessly lovable creature like the hedgehog - a reliably constant ingredient in England’s tapestry of wildlife for millennia - is in danger of extinction.  Just imagine it - a country without hedgehogs.  Unthinkable.

What on Earth has gone wrong?

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Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Bentonbag said...

As I may have mentioned my husband is an entomologist. Some years ago he discovered a beetle which was new to science in a wheel rut in Sicily. It is a very small beetle almost undistinguishable from a lot of other little beetles. But like many invertebrates it is mainly identifyable by its genitalia, only visible under a microscope (insert your own jokes here folks). I am told that the male beetle's private parts resemble an old fashioned tin opener. My husband used to carry a photocopy of the photograph of his beetle's bits in his pocket and sometimes opened conversations with "Would you like to see a photograph of my beetle's *****?"

The beetle's full name is Ochthebius Eyrei.

Ian Robinson said...

How do you pronounce *****?

Bentonbag said...

As in Hampton Wick