2001 Notebook: Weak XLX
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11 December 2001
My New Necklace
I have a great new necklace. For free, even. I found it on the roof of my lab, so I figure it’s mine. “Finders keepers,” as my learned nephew Joseph says.

At first, I thought the “Irvington Memorial Cemetery” disk must have been one of those toe tags one sees on movie corpses. And then I remembered that a corpse is boxed by the time it visits the cemetery. And anyway, my new necklace fits around my head; that’s much too much string for a toe tag. All my friends have a different theory on how the necklace landed on the roof of my lab, but no one has a convincing explanation.

The provenance of my new necklace remains a mystery.

12 December 2001
Portfolio Supply and Demand
I just heard an announcement that Israeli Minister without Portfolio Dan Meridor will be addressing the World Affairs Council of Northern California. And that’s when a lovely idea paid a visit.

I imagine lots of ministers need a portfolio, and I know a zillion artists have portfolios to sell. If I introduce the rich politicians to poor artists and take a commission on each sale, I’ll never have to work again. Of course, I needn’t work again anyway, but I still like the idea of having supply and demand as my servants.

13 December 2001
Four Seconds for as Rupee
I have a habit of remembering where I was a year or a decade ago at any given moment. And so it is that I’m thinking about being in India a year ago. I didn’t particularly dislike or enjoy my visit, but I do miss the absence of saccharine Christmas sentiment.

A year ago, I attended a talk hosted by a small, Mumbai arts organization. Ms. Narula, the woman who organized the event, was distressed to learn that the institution “hosting” the event demanded nine hundred rupees an hour for the use of a small room.

I told Ms. Narula that she should make the best of the situation, and suggested that she treat the speaker as a human jukebox.

“I figure it will only cost fifteen rupees a minute for the presentation,” I said. “Here are three ten-rupee notes to pay for the introduction.”

Ms. Narula looked disappointed that I only offered a pittance, so I provided an explanation.

“Look,” I said, “this is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. I know you, and I’m delighted to sponsor your introduction. I also know that a good introduction shouldn’t last more than a minute, so fifteen rupees will cover the intro and the other fifteen rupees will allow the speaker to get going.”

The speaker never showed up, so I never found out if my scheme worked. I do remember, however, that Ms. Narula and I went on to enjoy several Kingfisher Strong Premium Beers for less than nine hundred rupees an hour.

14 December 2001
A Stupid Day
I’ve been hearing a lot about stupidity today. It started when Doug explained why he generally avoided drinking vodka.

“I don’t know what it is, but I get stupid, really stupid. Stupid as in “trying to take off my pants by pulling them over my head” stupid.

Ira the sports writer said the trick to interviewing athletes is to let them talk, and talk, and then talk some more until they eventually chance upon a quotable quote. (At least I think that’s what Ira said; I didn’t take notes during our martini lunch.)

Joyce opined that the poor teenager in the computer store was “a hirsute knuckle-dragger, dumber than a box of dirt” just because he didn’t know the differences between various types of SDRAM DIMMs.

I thought Joyce was stupid for being so hard on the kid, but I didn’t say anything. It’s just a stupid day.

15 December 2001
Obscene Money Dance
I met a drunk man at Melvin’s party; the drunk told me that he was the chief financial officer at a local software company. He also told me he “worshipped money.”

“Every time we get a check for more than a hundred thousand dollars, I do my money dance,” he told me. “It goes like this ...”

I tried to escape, but he had me cornered. I had no choice but to watch the man rub a cocktail napkin all over himself while he rolled his eyes and made obscene, guttural sounds.

“Excuse me,” I interrupted, “but I seem to be out of beer.”

“It’s just not the same without a real check,” the drunk explained.

“I suppose not,” I agreed as I walked away.

“I love money!” the drunk exclaimed to no one in particular.

16 December 2001
Nobody Knows Anything
Pearl told me to look at the Nobody Knows Anything Internet site, so I did. (Pearl doesn’t always provide the best advice, but it’s pointless arguing with her.)

Nobody Knows Anything features lots of writing about people who publish their journals and notebooks. I used to think that publishing a notebook was about the most boring thing a person could do, but I now know I was wrong. Nobody Knows Anything lived up to its name; I now realize that writing about other writers’ notebooks and journals is even more boring.

Any site with a name as good as “Nobody Knows Anything” had to be a disappointment, and it was. Why would anyone care what someone else wrote in a notebook?

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart