petermorwood: (Default)
BBC4, a couple of years back, broadcast Who Killed Mrs De Ropp? a dramatization of three of Saki's delicately vicious Edwardian short stories, The Storyteller, The Lumber-Room and, of course, Sredni Vashtar.

I hunted them down on the Net, not difficult since they're all PD, and saved them as a .DOC file which I've just finished re-reading. Well, not quite "just." The re-reading was ten minutes ago, because as usual after finishing Sredni Vashtar with its final line
...Conradin made himself another piece of toast...
I ended up in the kitchen, feeding slices of Stafford's Crusty Farmhouse White into the Dualit and then, buttered with much butter, into me.

Since it happens nearly every time, I wondered: has anyone else this sort of automatic response to improbable stimuli?

Not smell, that's too easy unless the scent of coffee makes you want cornflakes (not so improbable at breakfast, but after dinner rather more so) and even sound, especially something frying, can have a Pied Piper effect. However, being enticed to eat toast by the last sentence of a story almost a century old is a bit odd because – as you'll discover if you haven't read it before - Sredni Vashtar is mostly about matters more macabre than that.

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