- So what is
this book about, dwarling?
- Oh, another of those ghastly little science-fiction novels. The decadent aristocrats sit in their beseiged castle, which is being systematically undermined by the nasty, uncouth Meks. As one tower after another collapses in ruins, they try to decide which bottles of priceless old wine most urgently need to be drunk before the inevitable end.
- What a frightfully unsubtle metaphor. I presume it's poorly written and stylistically uninventive?
- Alas, you presume correctly. You must forgive me, I was only a teenager when I read it.
- I forgive you, dwarling. Anything on the news?
- More catastrophes in the third world, I believe. I'm afraid I lost interest after a minute and turned it off. Thought I'd go back to Proust.
- Very sensible, dwarling.