2004 Notebook: Weak V
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30 January 2004
No. 3,163 (cartoon)
Why did you change?

I never changed.

One of us is insane.

31 January 2004
Mean Punkle David
Even though I’m neither mean nor an uncle, many of my friends’ young children address me as Mean Uncle David.

I call the kids punks; that annoys them. When they retaliate by calling me a punk, I correct them: “That’s Mr. Punk to you, punk.” Hannah contracted “punk” and “uncle” and now calls me Mean Punkle David.

Has a nice ring to it, no?

1 February 2004
Thai Deadly Chicken Scam
Another day, another food catastrophe. This time it’s some sort of chicken flu in Thailand. As usual, government administraitors are assuring the public that there’s nothing to worry about in spite of members of said public dying.

In order to assuage carnivores’ fears, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra offered anyone who died after eating well-cooked chicken three-million baht (around U.S. $75,000) in compensation.

What a brilliant scam! Even though I’m not very familiar with Thai culture, I can’t imagine a dead consumer filing a claim.

2 February 2004
The Last Groundhog’s Day
Today is Groundhog’s Day, when observers in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, note whether or not a large rodent casts a shadow upon emerging from its hole. This datum allows amateur meteorologists to perform a six-week weather forecast.

It turns out that someone recently poisoned the groundhog, so now no one knows what kind of weather we’re headed into.

3 February 2004
The Hierarchy of Geeks
I’m going to talk about geeks, but first I need to mention that my learned friends and I use the word “geek” to only describe someone who is wise in the ways of information technology. I aspire to be a geek, but I don’t have the perseverance or patience to learn the requisite arcane knowledge.

The most accomplished geek I know personally is a large man, with an ample belly hewn from patiently sitting in front of a computer for decades. One day, he introduced me to an associate of his who he described as a megageek, a man with an immense, protruding stomach. Soon thereafter, the megageek invited me to have a drink with his mentor, an übergeek. The übergeek was gargantuan, an hombre who’d apparently been force-fed sugary drinks and confections rich in lard since childhood.

With men, empirical evidence suggests the bigger the belly the bigger the geek. With women, however, the biggest geeks are the most attractive. I know that doesn’t make sense, but then most things don’t.

4 February 2004
Dead or Alive?
I was zipping through San Francisco on my bicycle and shot through an intersection just after the the traffic light changed. A group of bike messengers yelled, “No die! No die! No die!” Their incantation may or may not have saved my life.

I was atypically ungrateful. For reasons I don’t really understand, I was ready to die this afternoon.

5 February 2004
An Ambitious Schedule
I awoke well before the crack of noon; I have a busy day ahead. Here’s what I intend to accomplish today.

1. Take it out, turn it around, put it back in again, then rake it back out differently.

2. Turn left immediately after deciding to turn right (minimum three times).

3. Change my mind about a certainty.

4. Determine whether a spatula or a serving spoon makes the best launcher for a small catapult.

I have lots more to do, of course, but I’m not sure whether I’ll have time to even change my mind.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart