Green mile; Vietnamese cooking

Greg Pulliam pulliam at IIT.EDU
Mon Dec 13 05:12:51 UTC 1999

In "The Green Mile," the floor between the death row cells--which is
part of the last long walk a condemned man makes to the electric
chair--is painted green, hence the term and the name of the book.  As
far as I know, it's just King's term.  The book is set in an unnamed
southern state--the movie apparently specifies Louisiana.   Some of
my former in-laws worked at Parchman Prison in the Mississippi Delta,
and I don't recall hearing this term used in relation to death row

>    "Green mile" supposedly slang for the "last mile" walked before death row.
>    A Dow Jones check shows no hits outside of Stephen King.  I
>haven't read the book (the movie is due out soon).  Did King make up
>"the green mile"?
>    The drama takes place in the south in 1932.  What does King know
>about this dialect?  Did he get it right in the novel?
>    I've been looking into this.  The one essential element is the fish sauce.
>NUOC MAM--the first Dow Jones hit appears to be the New York Times,
>12 September 1977, pg. 17, col. 1, "nuoc mam sauce, sine qua non of
>Vietnamese cuisine."
>NUOC CHAM--the Globe & Mail, 23 September 1981, pg. SB2, "Nuoc cham
>is a sauce used extensively in Vietnamese cooking and is basically a
>distillation of anchovies."


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