2002 Notebook: Weak LI
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17 December 2002
No. 4,150 (cartoon)
I will never forget you.

How can you be positive that you love me so much?

I will never remember you.

18 December 2002
More Serious Than Good
I heard some buffoon go on at great length about the myriad technical complexities involved in making his mediocre prints. His tiring diatribe reminded me of Elliot Erwitt’s remark, “I criticize some of my colleagues for being overly serious as a defense mechanism for not being very good.”

19 December 2002
Wild Pink Flamingos!
I was biking along the Florida coast when I saw a couple of amazing, mythical creatures. Except they couldn’t be an apparition; I was looking at them in the midday sun as they stalked their prey only three or four meters away.

Wild pink flamingos presented a disappointing spectacle; they lacked the elegance and static perfection of their domesticated, plastic counterparts.

I studied the fowls for a few minutes as they poked their long beaks into the stagnant, opaque, swamp water. The birds’ search for whatever it is that pink flamingos eat reminded me of every disturbing photograph I’d ever seen of desperate people foraging for a meal in garbage dumps and sewers.

I took a few photographs of the disgusting creatures, then pedaled off.

I showed the photographs to Jan, an accomplished amateur birdologist, when I got back to her place. Without hesitation, she declared them to be rose-bellied spoonbills, not pink flamingos.

Whew! I was relieved to have my faith in the conceptual perfection of pink flamingos restored.

20 December 2002
Bigger Than Arnold
I ran into Arnold Schwarzenegger at the San Francisco airport. Or, to be more precise, I walked by him in the hall. I was surprised to discover that I’m taller than he is by some fifteen centimeters.

Actually, I wasn’t very surprised at all. Famous people are always, without exception, shorter than they appear.

21 December 2002
X-ray Boots
I’m back in San Francisco after ten flights in seven days. I was “randomly” selected to be thoroughly searched eight times, although I suspect my “Overthrow the Evil Imbeciles” t-shirt may have offended some of the security drones.

I can’t imagine the security charade would stop anyone who really wanted to blow up a jet. After all, no one checked to see if the two liters of whisky in my bag was whiskey or gasoline. (Sometimes I can’t tell the difference myself.) And besides, anyone who’s had elite military training can make a powerful bomb from a ball of yarn, a bottle of olive oil, and a small aubergine.

The tedious examinations had an unlikely benefit. The silly security people seemed to have killed all the bacteria in my boots by x-raying them eight times.

And now, I do feel just a little bit safer.

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22 December 2002
Peas on Earth
Alleged holidays.


23 December 2002
Have a Crappy Little Christmas
I may be part Spanish.

I read about a Spanish artist, Antoni Miralda, who presented an elaborate display of angels, nuns, Saint Nicholas, and the usual Christmas suspects. He added the pope for good measure. Each of the characters was depicted with a bare derrière, all the better with which to defecate.

It turns out that some Catalonians believe that defecation represents the fertilization of the earth. That’s the official explanation for the statues’ rude exhibitionism.

I prefer a simpler explanation. Christmas is just the shittiest time of the year.

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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart