2001 Notebook: Weak XXIII
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5 June 2001
Live Oil
I invited myself to Muriel’s tonight by offering to cook dinner for her. What sensible person could decline an offer from a drive-by chef? Certainly not Muriel.

I generally enjoy cooking for friends, although it’s always a challenge trying to do four things at once. As a visiting chef, I need to keep up my end of the conversation while drinking the cheap red wine I brought while investigating a strange kitchen for the necessary utensils, spices, et cetera. And, of course, I need to cook.

And so it was that I found myself talking with Muriel about recent developments in the Cambodian rice industry, quaffing a quart of wine, waiting for the water to boil, and looking for oil. And that’s when I spotted the bottle of “Live Oil.”

I found the idea of cooking with live oil quite unnerving. To be completely honest, I’ve never thought twice about splashing oil into a pan to prepare a hot bath for smelly garlic. But tonight, I couldn’t bring myself to pour live oil into a red-hot iron skillet.

When I told Muriel about my moral dilemma, what did she do? She laughed; that’s what she did.

“You’re such a silly idiot, David,” she said. “It’s just a cheap bottle of olive oil. Are you too drunk to read?”

I should have known. I should have known, but I never do.

6 June 2001
Exhaling a Burrito
Nicholas Ozzenfont sent me a query about a recent notebook entry. He was curious about a particular sentence:

    Later, after we each inhaled a large burrito, I returned to the laboratory.

“Is it possible,” Ozzenfont asked, “to exhale a burrito?”

I couldn’t tell by the tone of his letter whether his question was philosophical, or physiological, or both, or neither.

“Sir,” I replied, “there are some things in this lovely world of ours that are beyond appreciation or even comprehension. I hope that you’ll respect my conviction that exhaling a burrito is one of them.”

7 June 2001
No One Is So Blind As He Who Cannot See
I read a story about Erik Weihenmayer, a man who just climbed to the top of Mount Everest. Although anyone with a hundred thousand dollars can more or less be walked to the top of the world, Weihenmayer’s story is unique in that he’s the first blind person to climb the world’s highest peak.

I don’t get it. First, why would anyone climb Mount Everest? It’s almost impossible to do without servants and oxygen tanks, and what’s the fun of being in the mountains with servants and crates of accoutrements? And second, why would anyone go to all the trouble of climbing to the top of Mount Everest without the possibility of perusing the periphery?

Beats me. But, then again, most things do.

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8 June 2001
Two Explanations for Missing Art
I went to an event at the Art Institute tonight. Jerrod and I noticed that one of the pieces on the wall was missing.

“It must have been a pretty awful painting for someone to have gone to all the trouble of stealing it,” I hypothesized.

“It must have been a pretty good painting for someone to have gone to all the trouble of stealing it,” Jerrod opined.

Jerrod’s an optimist; I am not.

Is the gallery half empty or half full? Jerrod and I agreed to disagree.

9 June 2001
Smells Like Wine Vineyards
Carolyn and I just shared a magnum of Merlot from Smells Like Wine Vineyards.

The beverage did, in fact, smell like wine. Carolyn and I agreed that truth in advertising is always a pleasant surprise.

10 June 2001
Brain Tickets
I told Patty that I craved her right index finger.

Patty told me that I should sell tickets to my brain.

We spent much of the evening complimenting each other.

Life can be very nice, sometimes.

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart