1999 Notebook: Interval V

8 February 1999
Perishable Fruit
Apple aired an expensive television advertisement during the Super Bowl. According to Apple's hype, "The Mac OS and most Mac applications can handle internally generated dates correctly all the way to the year 29,940."

What a scandal! All the work I've been doing for the last fifteen years may not run in twenty-eight thousand years. If you're not reading this in 27,941 years, don't blame me.

9 February 1999
The Novel Progress of Charles
Charles told me his second novel is going well, even though it's not really a novel.

"I called it a novel, but it's all true. Actually, that's not true either. I had to tone things down a bit to make it publishable."

Charles should know, his work is banned in lots of countries, dozens maybe. My work is only banned in France, although I could probably find a few more countries if I was a bit more ambitious.

10 February 1999
Toothpaste Whisky Mouth
Scott insisted I have some whisky with him.

"I can't, Scott, I just brushed my teeth and my mouth is full of toothpastey chemicals."

"No problem!" retorted Scott. "Bad whiskey tastes better with toothpaste."

Now here's the scary part of this brief story: Scott was right!

11 February 1999
The Greek Future Past
I asked Athena--I really do know a woman named Athena--why Greeks always seem so damn cheerful, so confident.

She shrugged, smiled, and said, "We have a great future behind us."

12 February 1999
Toscani Cigars
Arturo only smokes Toscani cigars. After watching this strange odoriferous behavior for years, I finally asked him why he smoked 'em.

"It's the ashes; they're the best thing for cleaning teeth."

Arturo flashed a brilliant brown smile that I couldn't decipher.

13 February 1999
Acceleration Is A State Of Mind!
Some technoshysters are trying to get me to buy some computer hardware I don't really need. Here are the words they used to try to seduce me with the pleasures of their product:

    Acceleration Is A State Of Mind!

    The Faster You Go, The Faster You'll Arrive!

That was an incredibly bad advertisement. I took their advice, slowed myself down, and now my unmodified computer seems much faster. I guess acceleration really is a state of mind. The slower you go, the more you can add to the trip.

14 February 1999
Anatomical Cravings
A friend attributed a remark to me that he claimed to remember as a favorite quote from my late adolescence: "I crave your braid, Miss Rudd." He was surprised when I claimed I'd never made such a remark. Since this was a friend I've known for most of my pseudo-adult life, neither of us could be sure whether or not I'd ever really said it.

I don't think I did. The only name that sounds even vaguely familiar is Miss Rug, a miserable, little British bureaucrat who once exiled me to the secret jail underneath Heathrow Airport ... but that's another story. No, the thing that made this quote sound implausible was the craving for braids. I've never craved braids, except for maybe one or two. Three at the most. I've always craved ankles and occasionally wrists; the problematic joints are usually the most interesting.

15 February 1999
Fred's in big big trouble. Again!

Fred made a fool of himself at last night's party. He was staring at Katrina (and who could possibly blame him?); he was looking at her so hard he couldn't hear her.

He didn't hear a word she said, something everyone now regrets with barely hidden amusement.

16 February 1999
The Death of a Useless Man
I just finished Maxim Gorky's book, The Life of a Useless Man. I'm about to give away the predictable ending in the next paragraph, so if you plan on reading Gorky's novel in the future, then you should probably read something else now.


The Useless Man is of course killed by a train. Russians were always getting killed by trains, at least the Russians who populated Russian novels. That's why Russians don't complain about Aeroflot , at least not as much as everyone else does. Sure, Aeroflot planes seem to crash much more frequently than other brands, but the aerial carnage is nothing compared to Russian trains.

gratuitous image
17 February 1999
Steven Russell Galster (snaportrait)
Steve is a friend of mine.

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©1999 David Glenn Rinehart