2001 Notebook: Weak XXI
21 May 2001
Remembering the Wrong Idea
One thousand, nine hundred and sixty notebook entries ago I postulated, “Cameras cause blindness. Carry a camera and you’ll never see anything.

It’s really true. And since then, I’ve discovered a corollary: ideas only appear when they can’t be recorded.

I was reminded of this correlation between thoughts and technology tonight when I came up with a great idea, if I do say so myself. When I went to write it down, though, I discovered I was carrying a small, silver picture frame instead of the electronic doodad that translates my handwriting into text. (How I came to confuse a framed photograph with one of my favorite toys is another story for another day.)

I asked Ali if she had a pen and paper, but of course she didn’t.

“What right-thinking person would carry around a pen and paper these days?” she asked.

“Good point,” I admitted.

“Here,” she said as she passed me her mobile phone, “why don’t you just tell yourself about your stupid idea on your answering machine?”

And so I did.

Later, after we each inhaled a large burrito, I returned to my laboratory and checked my phone messages. On message number seven, I heard my nasally voice advise me, “use mobile phone for recording idea when you forget to bring your gizmo.”

Damnation! I remembered the wrong idea.

22 May 2001
That Kind of Night
I asked Alan why he decided to serve potatoes instead of pasta with salmon tonight.

“The horse is fine,” Alan said, “but if you have a car, which one would you use?”

“What do horses have to do with potatoes?” I asked.

“Potatoes, tomatoes, they’re all the same damn vegetable,” Alan replied.

“Alan, I suspect that you may have enjoyed two or more bottles of wine before I arrived,” I hypothesized.

“You say horse, I say of course,” Alan confirmed.

It was that kind of night.

23 May 2001
The Lipstick on the Pig
Every now and again, I need to find some money. After all, Rainier Ale doesn’t grow on trees.

I find the easiest money comes from consulting, or, in lay terms, talking. People who should know better pay me money to talk; what a ridiculous idea!

My most recent consulting engagement consisted of helping Janet come up with a good slogan for her organization’s new program. It was easy; I told her she should change “international problems require international solutions” to “her lithe body glistened under the golden Mediterranean sun.”

“That doesn’t sound quite right,” Janet responded hesitantly.

“Trust me,” I insisted. “It’s the lipstick on the pig.”

Janet looked skeptical, sighed, then gave me a very large check.

I still can’t believe that people who should know better pay me money to talk!

24 May 2001
How’s My Drinking?
I was zipping down Valencia Street on my bike when a speeding car almost ran me off the road. Since San Francisco streets are viscous with automobiles, I was able to catch up with the car when it became stalled in traffic.

The car had an unusual bumpersticker. At first glance, it looked like one of those “How’s My Driving? Call 800-123-4567” advisory notices.

But not quite.

Instead, the bumpersticker on the big, black sedan read, “How’s My Drinking? Call 202-324-3000.”

And so I called, even though the call wasn’t free. The phone rang a few times before a tired, prerecorded voice answered.

“Thank you for calling the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Your identity has been recorded, you need not leave a message.” And then the line went dead.

How do they do that?!

25 May 2001
From Plastic to Real and Back Again
I hallucinated tonight for no particular reason. I reached out and could feel it, sort of. It kept changing from plastic to real and back again.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

That’s just plain weird.

26 May 2001
The Fish Word for Water
Sadie and I had a long talk last night; that’s what Sadie and I do best.

“What’s the masculine equivalent of a nymphomaniac?” I asked.

“Do fish have a word for water?” Sadie replied.

We paused after two unanswered questions, then discussed the unseasonably warm weather.

27 May 2001
The Ocean’s Too Big
I went for dinner at Steve’s place, where he served up copious quantities of nachos, beer, and not much else.

“Steve,” I asked, “Murdered any salmon recently?”

“Nope,” he replied, “the ocean’s too big.”

The ocean too big? How can the ocean be bigger? Or smaller for that matter?

I don’t know. I don’t care. All I know is that I need to head to a store if I’m going to see any fish on my dish.

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart