2003 Notebook: Weak XI
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13 March 2003
No. 4,844 (cartoon)
This can’t be happening.

Empirical evidence suggests you’re wrong.

14 March 2003
Faux Phlegm Earrings
The woman sitting next to me on yesterday’s flight to San Francisco wore curious earrings. In fact, the earrings didn’t look like earrings. In fact—as an aside, I must mention that this is the first time in my life I’ve used two facts in one paragraph—I didn’t immediately recognize them as earrings. If fact (another record!), the woman’s brains appeared to be oozing out of her ears.

After a couple thousand kilometers of silence, she asked, “what do you think of my earrings?”

“They’re most remarkable,” I replied. “Who’s the artist?”

“I am!” she beamed. “I made them myself. Latex and love, that’s my formula.”

“That’s a classic,” I agreed.

The woman—I never did learn her name—went on to describe her difficulties in marketing her faux phlegm earrings.

“I’m afraid I don’t have any advice,” I said. “It’s been my experience that art and commerce don’t mix.”

The woman with the faux phlegm earrings took offense at my remark, and never spoke to me again. And that’s fine with me; faux phlegm earrings speak for themselves.

15 March 2003
Irritating Everyone
Natalie Maines has a remarkable talent, but it’s not singing. Maines is a member of the musical ensemble, Dixie Chicks, a trio of attractive women who’ve achieved commercial success by wearing revealing clothing.

During a London concert, the Texan correctly read the mood of her crowd and said that she was “ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

That remark seriously annoyed the cretins who support the global village idiot one Italian newspaper memorably called “the barbarian from Texas,” and said morons said they would henceforth boycott the three chicks.

And that’s when Maines, who can read a sales forecast as well as the next chick, managed to enrage everyone she’d failed to previously annoy by kowtowing to the global village idiot. “I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful.”

And so it was, with less than a couple dozen words, that Natalie Maines managed to irritate more or less everyone on the planet.

What a gift! I wish I could do that.

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16 March 2003
Looking for Ansel
I saw a “Looking for Ansel” photo contest advertisement from Mike’s Camera in Boulder, Colorado. Unfortunately, Mike failed to include a telephone number. Had he done so, I would have helpfully pointed out that Ansel died almost two decades ago.

I’m sure Mike will eventually figure things out when Ansel fails to collect his prize.

17 March 2003
Edible Legs?
I’m looking at my bare legs propped up on the porch railing, and I’m pondering this question: would my legs provide tasty meat, or would roast Rinehart be as old and tasteless literally as I am conceptually?

Unlike the rest of me, my legs are in good shape from cycling all over. I don’t know, however, if lots of muscle and not much fat makes for a rewarding carnivorous experience.

Uncle Russ used to be a meat inspector for the U.S. government; I shall ask him whether he’d rather barbecue a fairly fit cyclist or a pudgy, succulent office worker. I suspect he’ll give me the same advice he’s always provided: “I wouldn’t eat any of that crap.”

18 March 2003
Impossible Bag of Pasta
Lewisa’s here for dinner, but there’s a problem. Mice live in my lab, but that’s not the problem. I don’t share food with the mice, so that’s not the problem either.

I pulled a cellophane bag of Fusilli No. 69 out of the mice-proof refrigerator, and put it on the counter near the cauldron of boiling water. And that’s when something impossible happened.

As I chopped a bulb of garlic, I absent-mindedly noticed that the bag of pasta was contracting. I smiled as I watched the cellophane crinkle and shrink before I realized the problem. The bag of cold pasta should have expanded once it reached the warm galley air, but it was shrinking.

I stared at the impossible bag of pasta until Lewisa interrupted my reverie to ask about the burning onions.


I eventually concocted a fine meal, but I never did figure out why the cold bag of pasta contracted in the warm air.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart