The oddball posts which don’t fit into any other category. Why ‘Pink Dog’? Because a pink dog used to feature in them. Of course.

Pink Dog

Quite simply, the best book title. Ever.

And hooray, I have recently relocated my own copy:

The Art of Faking Exhibition Poultry by George Scott

The book, which I discovered courtesy of my growing niche book collection, is appositely dedicated to “All poultry judges and exhibitors in the interests of the poultry fancy”. Much as I have a soft spot for the title used by another Mark Pack, this one is the winner in the best book title ever stakes.

The admiring quotes at the front of the book tell us that its author is, at least according to The Poultry World, “the most arresting and provocative writer on poultry”. It went into at least a second edition.

George Scott also wrote a preface to The Ceylon Poultry Club Year Book, 1934. Quite the expert it would seem.

He was also a man who was not modest about the role of poultry detection in the happiness of mankind. Hence he selected this Huxley quote to appear at the start of the book: “There is no alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and of action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is when the garment of make-believe by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features is stripped off”.

The various chapters are titled:

  • What faking is
  • The psychology of faking
  • Modern tendencies in faking
  • The detection of faking
  • Darkening the plumage of buff and red varieties
  • Dyeing the plumage
  • Bleaching the plumage of white varieties
  • Faking leg colour
  • Other forms of faking
  • Notes on the chemicals used in faking

But best of all is Scott’s foreword. Socrates, Galileo, Voltaire, Neitzsche and DH Lawrence (who was, Scott says, “harassed and persecuted by a flock of moronic smuthounds”) are all cited in it. Impressive. Though not quite as impressive as Scott’s line in insults such as when he complains of “the pseudo-scientific Hogan cult, with all its blowsy jargon; its crapulous fundament of snide anatomy; its noisy and prolific drool of whim-wham”.

A good read.