2003 Notebook: Weak XIII
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26 March 2003
No. 9,365 (cartoon)
You’re bleeding.

I shot myself.

You should have done that a long time ago.

27 March 2003
It Works the Same in Every Country
Sandy showed me a quote and asked me to guess the author. Here’s the text:

    Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.

“Well, George Bush wouldn’t say that because he’s illiterate,” I said, “so Tony Blair is an obvious choice, but a bit too obvious. I assume the answer will be ironic, so I’ll pick a Nazi. Hitler?”

“No,” Sandy answered, “it’s Hermann Goering. Had you heard it before?”

“No,” I replied, “but it was depressingly familiar anyway.”

28 March 2003
Agreeable Wine
I offered Marcus some wine, but he declined.

“I’m afraid cheap red wine doesn’t agree with me,” he explained.

“I’m not sure it really agrees with me,” I admitted. “On the other hand, it’s never put up an argument either.”

I enjoyed what turned out to be a very agreeable bottle of cheap red wine. Marcus needs to make more friends.

29 March 2003
Invisible Audience
Izahia asked me if I ever found it difficult to please my audience.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “I’ve never tried.”

I didn’t add that I really don’t have an audience.

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30 March 2003
A One-bulb War?
Mary has an electric candle in her window. She put it there because her partner’s on a long commercial fishing trip in the Bering Sea; the candle in the window is an old maritime tradition. She also put it there to protest the invasion of Iraq.

“I hope it’s going to be a one-bulb war,” she said.

“I wouldn’t count on it,” I replied.

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31 March 2003
Portland Spectacles
I saw a giant pair of spectacles in the window of an optometrist’s shop in Portland, Oregon today. I photographed them; that’s the only possible response when confronted with giant spectacles.

1 April 2003
April Fool’s Sexual Prowess
I was strolling down the street when two old men walked toward me. Their hair was matted and they wore filthy, torn clothes; I assume they were homeless. As they passed me, I distinctly heard one man say “... my sexual prowess ...”

Although I understand that sex is a basic need, I nevertheless wondered if I was the victim of a subtle April Fool’s joke.

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2 April 2003
Missing Free Drink
I’m back at the lab after all sorts of travels, and it’s time for laundry. As I was going through my dirty clothes, I found ticket number 455075, “GOOD FOR ONE DRINK.” The trouble is, I can’t remember what bar, airline, club, restaurant, or other establishment issued it.

I can’t bring myself to throw it away, even though I doubt I’ll ever be able to use it. Oh well, times are hard all over.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart