2002 Notebook: Weak XLIV
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30 October 2002
No. 8,571 (cartoon)
It’s completely hopeless, utterly and completely hopeless.

If only it was that simple.

31 October 2002
Proper Vampire Procedures
As I’ve said before, I’ve always liked vampires. I’m reminded of that predilection today because it’s Halloween, and because I recently learned that Raymond McNally died. Halloween needs no introduction; Raymond McNally probably does.

McNally was an expert on vampires. It turns out that my understanding of vampires was too simplistic. I always thought that vampires turned regular humans into vampires with a bite on the neck, followed by some perfunctory blood sucking. Like making babies, though, there’s more to creating a vampire than meets the eye.

McNally discovered that a person can’t become a vampire until s/he drinks the blood of a vampire, just as some religions maintain a person can’t become a Christian without drinking the blood of Jesus, along with a bit of flesh for good measure.

I think I’ll drink chardonnay tonight, all night.

1 November 2002
Sycamore or Magnolia, Cheese or Peanut Butter?
Margaret lowered her head, looked me straight in the eye, and whispered a question.

“I’m trying to decide on my favorite word,” she said. “Which do you prefer, sycamore or magnolia?”

I don’t have a favorite word, so I didn’t know what to say.

“Magnolia, I suppose,” I replied.

“Why do you say that?” Margaret demanded.

“I don’t know what a sycamore or a magnolia is,” I admitted, “but I’m certain that I can spell the latter.”

“I’m afraid that simply won’t do,” Margaret responded. “No, that just will not do.”

We changed the subject, and compared the relative merits of cheese sandwiches to those of peanut butter sandwiches.

2 November 2002
The Book of Unwritten Rules
“I can’t believe you did that!” Lucile gasped apropos of who knows what.

“Did what?” I asked with genuine innocence.

“You ate the last three shrimp on Martin’s buffet!” she explained. “You just don’t do that!”

“Who says?” I said, posing a rhetorical question.

“It’s an unwritten rule,” Lucile declared.

“Then how was I supposed to know?” I replied with feigned concern.

“Everyone just knows that,” Lucile asserted. “It’s in The Book of Unwritten Rules.”

“That’s still on my list of things to read,” I lied as I headed for the last of the calamari.

3 November 2002
Mrs. John H. McLaughlin’s Stationery
I saw a note from Sylvia on unfamiliar letterhead with “Mrs. John H. McLaughlin” printed at the top of the page.

I mentioned this find to several friends, and heard different explanations. José thought that was the way all married women referred to themselves decades ago; Amelia opined that the format was a relatively antiquated way of addressing a widow.

The past remains a mystery, unexplored mostly.

4 November 2002
The Twenty-Five Hundredth Excuse
Annette, after tippety-tapping her fingers impatiently for quite some time, finally asked me why I was spending so much time staring at my blank computer monitor.

“I want to get today’s notebook entry out of the way before we head to the hills,” I said, then added an afterthought. “It looks like this will be my twenty-five hundredth entry.”

“Why don’t you write some crap about being a quarter of the way to your ten-thousandth diatribe and turn the damn thing off?” Annette demanded.

“I’m afraid that would be cheating,” I said as I typed the command sequence to shut down my computer.

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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart