2003 Notebook: Weak XLVIII
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26 November 2003
No. 6,573 (cartoon)
Things will never be the same.

Nothing is ever the same.

That’s what I just said.

27 November 2003
Pot Luck Thanksgiving
I enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving dinner today with sixty-some other people in a spacious loft. The event captured the spirit of the holiday; everyone contributed copious amounts of food, wine, and other intoxicants.

Early in the evening, I told Anastasia that I was looking forward to dinner, since everyone presumably brought their best culinary offering. Anastasia disagreed, and suggested that we might be about to experience the tragedy of the commons.

Anastasia’s comment reminded me of something my late grandmother Beulah used to say: “Everyone brought biscuits to the picnic then wondered why there wasn’t enough fried chicken.”

Anastasia and Beulah were wrong. As I recall, everyone enjoyed too much of everything, even though I can’t remember anything very clearly. And for that and everything else, I give thanks.

28 November 2003
When Vordo Met Shout
I recently witnessed two men introducing themselves with some difficulty; their normal communication problems were exacerbated by their choice of somewhat unusual nicknames.

“Hi, I’m Vordo.”


“No, Vordo. With a V.”

“Hi Vordo, I’m Shout.”


“Shout. I’m Shout.’

And so on.

I was very confused; two previously unknown nicknames were more than I could handle under the circumstances. And so it was that I spent the rest of the evening addressing Vordo and Shout as “pal,” “buddy,” “mate,” et cetera.

We all enjoyed a pleasant night.

29 November 2003
Or Aardvarks, Perhaps
I evaded giving an to answer Em’s very personal question about Beverly; nicely brought-up boys just don’t do that sort of thing.

“I barely knew Beverly,” I lied.

“I thought you two used to be really close,” Em replied.

“Not at all,” I explained, “Beverly and I never really knew each other even though we traveled in the same circles. I suppose we’re like two panthers in the jungle who also never really knew each other even though they traveled in the same circles. Or, aardvarks, perhaps.”

30 November 2003
Twenty-Four Trites
I really don’t have any of my nine remaining fingers on the pulse of popular culture. And so it was that I just heard Eric Clapton’s 1991 recording, Twenty-Four Nights.

I can’t believe how bad the music is, and that response raises the old question of why talented people make mediocre work. I don’t know the answer. (I may be a talented person who makes mediocre work, so I couldn’t possibly answer.)

On the other hand, I do recognize a piece of excrement when it hits my eardrum. That’s why I felt visceral discomfort when I heard Clapton’s recording of Bell Bottom Blues, made over two decades after the original recording by Derek and the Dominoes.

In 1970, musicians could more or less legitimately sing a song like Bell Bottom Blues. After all, people did wear bell-bottom pants at the time, and the blues are nothing if not eternal.

But to sing the same song in 1991, with an ersatz symphony and hackneyed “soul” singers for accompaniment, well, that’s ridiculously preposterous. The aural nonsense sounded like the soundtrack for a laxative commercial, which may or may not have explained my response to such calculatedly trite wretchedness.

1 December 2003
Good Advice Again Wasted
“Don’t believe everything you think,” Elyse advised.

I thought that was good advice, but, after thinking about it, wasn’t really sure if I believed it.

2 December 2003
Pf.T. A.M.N.
Once upon a time, I spent many years in England. But that’s another story for another day.

Whilst on that grey, little island, I noticed that a lot of people had obscure initials after their names. Some were probably professional accreditations, some may have been associated with royalty. I never asked.

Anyway, I decided to add some characters after my name in 1994 or so. That’s why I identified myself in all my formal correspondence as David Glenn Rinehart Pf.T. A.M.N.

Since that time, most Americans have asked me what the additional characters mean, but no Brit ever has. Curious, that. And that’s why only a couple of friends in the British Isles know that my titled name is David Glenn Rinehart Pretentious fucking Title, After My Name.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart