2004 Notebook: Weak XX
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15 May 2004
No. 8,827 (cartoon)
You are killing me.

We’re all dying, always; I wouldn’t worry about it.

16 May 2004
Dynamic Incompetent
Wallace Broecker, an oceanographer at Columbia University, receivied some excellent advice from the “real” Dr. Seuss (not to be confused with the author Theodore Geisel): “Don’t become an administrator; it will ruin you.” Instead, Seuss advised Broecker to be “a dynamic incompetent.”

And he did.

Broecker followed the admonition of Dr. Seuss to commit, “three outrageous acts a year, and then nobody will ever want you to be on a committee, or they won’t want you to administrate.”

I wish all my friends who’ve been sucked dry by academic administrative parasites had met Dr. Seuss when they were still fully alive.

17 May 2004
Cork Pocket Conundrum
I awoke—fully clothed—covered in sticky glitter. My pockets were stuffed with champagne corks, but I don’t remember drinking anything last night. There’s no blood anywhere, so I’m not worried.

I feel sorry for people who live lives devoid of mysteries.

18 May 2004
Tight Rice
My favorite embalmer told me an amusing story about last night’s dinner. She reported that she and her entourage went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered a large meal to take back to her apartment. After checking the packages, she pointed out that she only received three of the four pints of rice she ordered.

“That is four pints,” the cashier said as he pointed to the three containers, “we pack it tight.”

I forget how—or if—they resolved the small dispute.

19 May 2004
An Annoying Review
I recently attended a fairly tedious lecture by a noted cartographer. About the only thing I remember about the talk is the poke in the ribs Eleanor gave me when I started snoring. Later, at the bar, I apologized, and pulled a relevant remark from David Fingleton out of my computer, “Snoring is the highest form of operatic criticism.”

Eleanor accepted my apology, and added that she woke me up before I got past the purring stage of snoring. Things could have been worse, and they will be.

20 May 2004
Rhonda’s an Enucleator
“It’s here!” Rhonda squealed when she pulled a large, manilla envelope from the stack of mail on her desk.

“What’s here?” I asked.

“My enucleator’s certificate,” she replied. “I’m now a licensed enucleator.”

“What does that mean?” I inquired.

“It means that I can legally pull out your eyeballs so someone else can use them,” she answered with a mischievous smile. She read my expression, then quickly added, “But don’t worry; as a little professional courtesy we generally wait until the donor’s dead.”

Now that I know what an enucleator is, it confirms my belief that I always want nothing but social interaction with anyone who needs a certificate from the government for their professional pursuits.

21 May 2004
Lost Revenant
I saw a strange woman staring at a brick wall on Mission street. She looked gaunt, pale, and confused, as if she was suffering from an unpleasant combination of drugs.

“Do you need any help?” I asked.

“No,” she replied blankly, “I’m just lost.”

“If you tell me where you want to go,” I said, “I can probably tell you how to get there.”

“You cannot,” she responded in a dull monotone. “I am a revenant, but I don’t know why I came back.”

I said I was sorry, then walked away from the hopeless woman. There wasn’t anything I could do.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart