British performance artist Mark McGowan plans to be buried under a meter of mashed potatoes, reports Reuters. One might reasonably ask why, but McGowan isn't saying, other than to hint that it is some sort of tribute to American illusionist David Blaine. (Blaine also has a thing for getting himself buried or encased in various substances, usually in very public places like Times Square.)
McGowan is no stranger to weird publicity stunts himself. His most famous one involved eating meatballs supposedly made from dog meat (that's "dog meat" as in, "the meat of dogs," not "meat meant to be eaten by dogs," which would be disgusting).
And not just any dog meat, but Welsh corgi meat. McGowan says he did it to protest the fact that Prince Philip, husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, had hunted and killed a fox. His abstruse point: Welsh corgis are her majesty's favorite kind of dog—supposedly she always has at least four scampering around, keeping the royal carpetcleaners busy—so eating them was a political statement—snacking truth to power, so to speak.
We have no idea whether the mashed potato stunt will have the same keen satirical edge as the dog food dinner, or it is merely McGowan indulging some personal tuber fetish, but then, does it really matter?
"Before this, I couldn't even fry an egg, but now here I am preparing five-course dinners, and I have not had any complaints."
–"Egidio," the head chef at the 120-seat restaurant in Fortezza Medicea, near Pisa, Italy. What might help keep complaints to a minimum is the fact that Fortezza Medicea is a maximum-security prison and Egidio is a convicted murderer connected tothe Mafia, so a bad review could earn you a pair of cement shoes. The fine-dining restaurant, which has been packed since it opened a couple months ago, is part of a vocational training program that hopes to give prisoners some practical foodservice skills for when they are released (something Egidio won't get to take advantage of, as he is serving a life sentence).
ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID CLARK