2003 Notebook: Weak VIII
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20 February 2003
No. 4,981 (cartoon)
Why are you so obsessed with death?

There’s always hope.

21 February 2003
The Rafters Want Fresh Meat
“Looks like the rafters want fresh meat,” Dr. McGrath declared as we surveyed the brilliant San Francisco skyline from the roof of his laboratory.

“What in the hell are you talking about?” I asked.

“Those rafters look hungry,” Dr. McGrath replied and pointed at some big-ass birds circling in the sky high above us.

“Ah,” I said, “I believe members of that subspecies of big-ass birds are known as raptors.”

“Rafters,” Dr. McGrath corrected. “They live in the rafters of barns and abandoned buildings. Eat mices like popcorn. Evil fowl. Just terrible.”

I changed the subject. Since I don’t care about birds, I figured my friend and I could find a more rewarding debate.

22 February 2003
Heart Attack Lottery
I was walking down a busy San Francisco street when I heard some pudgy office drone puffing on a cigarette say, “Some woman on the seventh floor had a heart attack.” He looked disturbingly pleased with his knowledge of the recent commotion.

I kept walking. I attributed his smugness to schadenfreude, but not for long. Had he disliked the unfortunate heart attack victim, he probably would have called her a derogatory name, not “some woman.”

I think reason that the pasty, middle-aged man was sanguine about the unfortunate incident was that he had again won the heart attack lottery. A heart attack visited his office building, and decided to leave with a woman on the seventh floor, not him.

23 February 2003
Expectorant or Laxative?
I finally saw my first Thomas Kinkaide paintings this afternoon; they’re just amazing!

I’d heard of Kinkaide before today, of course. I first learned of him when he trademarked the name, “Painter of Light.” (Note to self: trademark “Artist of Darkness.”) And then there was his real estate development, which would offer morons the opportunity to live in cute little crappy houses, just like the ones in his paintings. I wasn’t surprised when Alicia told me some investigative journalists had done an exposé about Kinkaide’s allegedly shady business practices. I don’t know what the fuss was about; what does the art world stand for if not bilking the gullible?

But none of those anecdotes prepared me for his paintings. They’re just abysmal! They’re the kind of paintings a mind-numbingly stupid imbecile would paint if s/he was a competent technician. If I had a big couch, I’d definitely buy an amazing painting to hang behind it.

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24 February 2003
Plastic Knife Follies
It’s dinner time on Kinky Love Motions Airlines Flight 606 to Amsterdam, and that’s always a treat. There’s literally no food in the world like airline food!

Some idiot bureaucrat has decided to provide my fellow passengers and me with plastic—not aluminum—knives. (Why they bother with knives at all is a mystery; every airline dinner I’ve enjoyed has been so overcooked that I could slice the entrée with a damp potato chip.) Presumably, the plastic knives are part of a generally incompetent safety program.

After murderers used knives in a highjack, administraitors banned passengers from carrying sharp object. A cretin hid a bomb in his shoe, so the administraitors declared that my boots should be x-rayed. But, since no one has started a major fire on a jet an hour away from the nearest land, no one bothered to confiscate my matches, or to confirm that the liquid in my liter bottle of whisky really is whisky, not gasoline or worse.

I can only conclude that the only reason terrorists don’t down more jets is that there just aren’t that many suicidal mass murders on the loose. Nevertheless, I really must get back to work on launching Nude Bondage Airlines.

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25 February 2003
Shooting for Flies
I had a great time at Gerrit’s party last weekend. In addition to the predictable pleasures, Kiliaen explained why the toilets at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport feature the image of a fly silkscreened onto the porcelain.

As Kiliaen put it, “If you think most men can accurately direct a stream of urine into a large urinal a few centimeters away, you’d be wrong.” Kiliaen said that clever Dutch researchers investigating this problem concluded that men aim better if they have a target at which to aim. And that’s where the fly comes in.

The lavatory engineers at Kinky Love Motions Airlines have apparently embraced the findings; I see that the toilets on KLM jets now feature little stickers depicting a giant insect. I guess a bumpy plane demands a larger target.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart