2001 Notebook: Weak XXIX
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17 July 2001
Can You Spot the Mistakes?
If art museums aren’t much fun, don’t blame me. I’m doing all I can to lighten things up in those miserable, hallowed halls.

And so it was that I came up with an interpretive sign to encourage museum visitors to interact with the poor museum administraitors trapped in their windowless cubicles. Here’s the text:

    Can you spot the mistakes?

    Seven of the Works of Art in this gallery contain at least one mistake.

    Identify them to the museum director, then claim your free prize!

I’ll be putting these notices up in museums over the next few months, at no cost to the institutions involved.

And should anyone reading this claim their free prize, please don’t mention my name. As a generous philanthropist, I need no laurels. Just putting a smile on a beleaguered museum director’s face is more than enough remuneration for me.

18 July 2001
Nothing to Say
I had a pleasant reunion with Lauren last night after a long separation, even though it turns out that I had almost nothing to say. Every time I mentioned something, she replied, “I know that” or “You already mentioned that.”

It turns out that Lauren’s one of the nineteen people who read this notebook, and so she knows about almost everything of interest I’ve done or imagined in the last few months. Since I had nothing to say, I was able to enjoy the pleasures of listening attentively.

We enjoyed a quiet evening.

19 July 2001
No King
My campaign to become king of England needs a shot in the arm, so I’m here on this grey island to lead my supporters.

At the moment, I’m inspired by Ernest Rutherford, the scientist who rallied his colleagues with the famous observation, “We haven’t got the money, so we’ve got to think.” That was the inspiration to cover the characters “Smo” on all the English “No Smoking” signs in order to change them to “No king” signs.

Pretty clever, eh?

It seemed like a great idea, but my field lieutenants report that there aren’t any “No Smoking” signs in England. I guess my opponent Chuck is willing to sentence a sizable percentage of the electorate to death by cancer in order to win what promises to be a very ugly election.

20 July 2001
Listening to a Snotty Critic
I spend a lot of time listening to educational radio programs. I do this not because of any desire to better myself, but because I detest and abhor the advertisements on all the other radio stations.

And that’s how I happened to hear a music critic’s analysis of the Dead Boys’ recording, Young, Loud, and Snotty. I failed to note the critic’s name, but I do remember that he mentioned that a liter of mucous a day slides down the back of a human throat. I suppose slimy people have even more, but still that’s an amazing statistic.

A liter a day works out to around ten milliliters—the average volume a human male ejaculates—every fifteen minutes.

I’m going to put away my computer and calculator now; too much musing on bodily fluids can’t be beneficial.

21 July 2001
Junkie Chic
I went to a fancy dinner in London hosted by some well-known junkies. Each place setting had a mortar and pestle, a mirror, a razor blade, and two small aluminum foil packets.

The host cheerfully explained the setup. One aluminum envelope contained chunks of sea salt; the other foil wrapper was full of peppercorns. The host told the other guests and me to put the salt on the mirror and chop it up into a fine powder with the razor blade. He also instructed us to grind the peppercorns with the mortar and pestle.

I thought the drug schtick was pretty stupid, especially since the cooks oversalted the food in the kitchen. Although it’s been argued that Eric Clapton never sounded better than when he had a bottle in his mouth and a needle in his arm, I still think junkie chic is more pointless and insidious than most fashions.

It’s like A.D. Coleman said: “Marx was off by one count in his famous formulation. History repeats itself not twice but thrice: first as tragedy, second as farce, lastly as fashion.”

22 July 2001
The Piles of London
Nigel’s walking rather awkwardly. This led me to make the obvious observation.

“Nigel, you’re walking really weird,” I noted. “Why’s that?”

“Piles,” Nigel replied tersely.

“What are piles?” I asked naïvely.

“They’re bloody hemorrhoids, aren’t they?” Nigel answered.

“Why are hemorrhoids called piles?” I responded with genuine ignorance.

“Because no one can spell bloody haemorrhoids, can they?” Nigel shot back.

Londoners certainly are a cheerless lot.

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart