2003 Notebook: Weak XLV
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5 November 2003
No. 6,981 (cartoon)
You couldn’t care less.

I can, and I will.

6 November 2003
The Color of the Number Six
“What color is the number six?” Amelia asked.

“Grey,” I answered without hesitation.

“Wrong!” she shrieked with delight. “It’s brown!”

“You’re wrong,” I replied. “I’m a chromophobe, so it’s all grey to me.”

“What’s a chromophobe?” Amelia asked.

“It’s someone like me who’s afraid of colors,” I explained.

“Why are you afraid of something that won’t hurt you?” she asked.

That led to a tedious debate. I really need to stop arguing with six-year olds.

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7 November 2003
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Robin sent me Tina Hager’s photograph of pResident Bush signing the what’s colloquially known as the Dead Mommy Bill. The legislation outlaws some kinds of abortion, even if such a procedure is needed to save the parent’s life.

She attached this note: “What’s wrong with this picture?”

“That a bunch of paunchy, white guys are gloating over telling women what they can and cannot do?” I asked.

“Bingo!” she replied. “Got it in one.”

“It wasn’t hard,” I admitted. “Idiots are rarely known for subtlety.”

8 November 2003
Alchemists, Witches, and Vampires
Selma, the only Serbian I know, sent me an amazing note.

    Before I decided to become an alchemist I was a witch. At the time I did not realize I was a witch ... my ignorance was so great that the spells I performed I rationalized as unusual and bizarre coincidences and psychic occurrences. I was blind. I should have known better since that night in Budapest when the bat flew into the room. He did not want to leave; I knew my family had vampire blood and I knew I was being sent greetings, but I did not wish to engage with them that night.

    Vampires do not drink blood like people think, they drain you of your energy and form symbiotic relationships with their hosts. It is difficult to resist the thirst to lust and be seductive. Manipulating emotion and the future were intuitive; the vampire and the witch genes were working without much of my conscious effort. How confusing that was for a while, I did not know what was going on. In the meantime my interest in alchemy grew, I was learning so much! (To be continued.)

I was amazed at her story, and insisted she drop by the lab the next time she was in San Francisco. And tonight, she did. We shared a bottle or two of wine, and chatted amicably about this, that, and the other thing. It wasn’t until late in the evening that I asked her to tell me about alchemists, witches, and vampires.

“I made all that up,” she replied with a laugh.

She was amused that someone believed her nonsense, just as I am when someone believes my lies. We enjoyed a pleasant evening.

9 November 2003
Dylan Thomas’s Last Good Idea
I usually don’t like poetry, but even I have heard of Dylan Thomas. Everyone has. He drank himself to death fifty years ago tonight. Suicide is always a good career move, one way or the other.

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10 November 2003
Sonja showed me two words and asked me to spot the difference between the seemingly identical words. Finally, I admitted I’m a terrible proofreader and thought they looked the same.

Sonja pointed out that the two words were set in different fonts. I argued that the words were the same; she insisted they were different. We had a pointless argument, my favorite kind.

11 November 2003
An Ostensibly Good Liver
Ben was completely drunk when he showed up at the lab tonight.

“Been preloading?” I asked.

“I figure it’s better to be a good liver than to have one,” he replied.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart