A Dog Is Barking Everywhere


Foghorns show up in much of my writing, but that’s because I cultivate a disingenuously melancholy disposition that my actual life, full of hilarity and good-natured insults, completely belies.

But today I discovered that “a distant barking dog” appears in everything ever written by anybody.  At Slate, Rosecrans Baldwin ponders this strange ubiquity of blandly barking canines:

“If a novel is an archeological record of 4.54 billion decisions, then maybe distant barking dogs are its fossils, evidence of the novelist working out an idea.”

Prospective novelists take note: eliminate your barking dog urge!

Michael Berger is a barely-published writer and book-seller living in San Francisco. He is one of the founding Corsairs of the Iron Garters Bike Club and is currently pursuing a degree in applied pataphysics. He sometimes eats oatmeal for dinner. More from this author →