2002 Notebook: Weak XLIX
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3 December 2002
No. 6,690 (cartoon)
I’ve done everything for you.

You’ve never done a thing for me.

Shall we call it a draw?

4 December 2002
Michael Jackson’s One Good Act
I’ve always disliked Michael Jackson, almost as much as he dislikes himself. No, that’s not right. I dislike Jackson’s bland, calculatedly mediocre, commercial recordings.

Recently, Jackson limped into court wearing one shoe, and couldn’t seem to remember much about anything. I suppose he employs people to do that sort of thing for him. At one point, the opposing attorney asked Jackson if he suffered from memory problems.

“Not that I can recall,” Jackson replied.

And so it is that the poor deformed man, with that remark, finally said something interesting.

5 December 2002
Good Nursing Home Strategies
I sat beside a talkative woman named Roberta on the flight to Seattle. She introduced herself by discussing retirement plans.

“Isn’t it a shame about the scandalous state of nursing homes?” she asked.

“I suppose so,” I replied. “I really can’t say, since almost everyone I know had the good sense to die before they couldn’t take care of themselves.”

“Well, your family is lucky,” Roberta responded. “I’ve seen how shitty a bad nursing home can be, and I’m not going to let that happen to me.”

“Tobacco and alcohol work for most people,” I said. “Is that your strategy?”

“Oh no!” she exclaimed. “I’m investing in several different insurance policies that will ensure that I end up in an excellent nursing home.”

We talked some more, and learned that Roberta is thirty-eight years old. She’s planning for death, and not much else.

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6 December 2002
A Major Scientific Advance
Today is a brilliant day at the lab, just brilliant! After years of tireless research, the rigorous investigations into whether dirty dishes can in fact wash themselves have brought about a critical breakthrough.

At 18:01 this evening, Rölf made the following entry in the central lab notebook:

    All soiled dishes missing except for one bowl and four utensils. Small amount of soap bubbles floating in bowl; large volume of soap bubbles emerging from right drain. Scrub brush, two drain sieves, and nine thin, rectangular ice cubes in dry sink bottom.

I’m excited! We could be on the verge of eliminating washing up forever! The ice cubes, however, remain a grave concern.

7 December 2002
Living in Infancy
Greta rolled her eyes and groaned when she learned what I did today.

I just smiled and shrugged.

I’ve always taken the approach of a British politician who said he tried to lead a life so full of public scandal and debauchery that no one could ever blackmail him. I haven’t been able to generate much scandal or debauchery, but I have learned not to hide my myriad lesser follies.

Greta doesn’t know me very well; she was appalled by my public display of immense stupidity.

“This is a day that will live in infancy,” she declared.

“If you say so,” I concurred.

8 December 2002
The Alluring Scent of Cyanide
I’ve never liked amaretto, and now I know why, thanks to the makers of Disaronno Original Amaretto. The Italian liqueur merchants were trying to promote their syrupy concoction by pumping the smell of almonds—the basis for amaretto—into London subway stations.

Unfortunately, amaretto smells like cyanide, a correlation that no one involved in the million-and-a-half pound advertising campaign considered. Conservative British officials worried that some members of the public might panic at the prospect of a cyanide attack, and killed the campaign.

Pip pip and cheerio, that’s what I say. Even though I enjoy wine that tastes like grape-flavored lighter fluid, I, too, draw the line at cyanide.

Amaretto? Feh!

9 December 2002
A Positive Falsehood
I’m not feeling very good today for reasons I don’t want to explain. And so, when Anthony asked me how I was doing, I lied.

“If I felt even a milligram better,” I replied, “I’d probably vomit up big chunks of love and happiness all over the table.”

Anthony looked appalled; his reaction brought me no small amount of cheer. Sometimes it really does pay to lie.

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10 December 2002
Emulsion for the Corpse Body Lotion No. 5
After I missed the last train back to the city, I’m staying at Carol’s place tonight. It’s always fun sleeping in a new place, and, in this case, a little weird.

Carol has a bottle of “Emulsion for the Corpse Body Lotion No. 5” in her bathroom. What’s that supposed to mean? Emulsion for the corpse that’s also a body lotion? A body lotion made from the emulsion of a corpse? An emulsion lotion for a corpse’s body?

And why does Carol have three locks on the door to her basement?

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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart