2003 Notebook: Weak XII
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19 March 2003
No. 4,167 (cartoon)
This doesn’t make sense.

Most things don’t.

20 March 2003
Fishy Prophet
Two fish-cutters at the New Square Fish Market, some thirty kilometers north of Manhattan, heard a nine-kilogram carp shouting Hebrew phrases as it was about to be slaughtered.

“It said ‘Tzaruch shemirah’ and ‘Hasof bah’,” Luis Nivelo explained to the New York Times, “which essentially means that everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is near.”

The fish may have uttered a self-fulfilling prophecy. After the carp urged Nivelo’s coworker Zalmen Rosen to study the Torah, Nivelo clubbed the carp on the head. Soon thereafter, the fish-cutters transformed the visionary creature into gefilte fish for the holidays.

Oy! Oy! Oy!

21 March 2003
Motor City Hussein
I read that Saddam Hussein has the keys to Detroit, Michigan. It’s no wonder the Iraqi leader rejected the American demand that he and his sons go into exile.

22 March 2003
Vegetable Oil?!
I’m confused. As usual.

I’ve been boiling all sorts of vegetables for decades, and I’ve never seen anything floating on the top of the water except for the odd worm or two. So here’s the question: where does vegetable oil come from?

Vegetables never taste oily, and there’s never any oil visible when I steam or boil vegetables, so where does vegetable oil come from?

I will ignore the vegetable oil problem because there is no vegetable oil problem.

23 March 2003
Wimpy Hollywoodness
Carol invited me over to her house to watch the Academy Awards ceremonies on the television. Although I’m not interested in film stars, I’m a huge fan of free drinks and dinner.

And so I went.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a free drink or a free dinner, and so it was that I had to watch the television. I was appalled by almost all of the famous thespians. (I presume they were famous since they were on the program.)

I was nauseated by the weasel-worded “antiwar” statements. “I certainly hope peace prevails.” “I look forward to the day when we’re all with our loved ones.” “A world without conflict will be a darned good thing.”

I was almost to the point of reverse peristalsis when Michael Moore accepted his award. He said—paraphrasing roughly—that pResident Bush was a stupid white man prosecuting a phony war, and an illegitimate potentate at that.

I enjoyed the evening. Maybe Hollywood’s not quite as insipid as I thought.

24 March 2003
Not Drinking After Janis
Marna declined the drink I offered, then offered an explanation. She said her brother was Janis Joplin’s manager, and that she grew up around drunken musicians. She said that drunks never served as good ambassadors for alcohol, and so she abstained.

I didn’t understand Marna’s logic. Although I never had her experience of witnessing debauchery firsthand when I was a child, I nevertheless got the unambiguous impression that chemical excesses brought certain rewards.

I’m glad I only met Janis Joplin through her recordings. Otherwise, I might have missed out on many a rewarding debauchery.

25 March 2003
A Beautiful Bladder Thing
Jill had a revelation in the toilet that she shared with everyone when she returned to the bar.

“An empty bladder is a blank canvas!” she announced. “An empty bladder is a beautiful thing!”

Who could disagree with that?

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart