2004 Notebook: Weak XXX
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24 July 2004
No. 2,756 (cartoon)
I love you like a boulder loves gravity.

You love me like a parasite loves a host.

It’s all too beautiful.

25 July 2004
Cider House Fools
I was disappointed—but not at all surprised—when Cassandra gave the film Cider House Rules a scathing review. I never saw the movie, but I did quite like the John Irving novel of the same name on which it was based. I suppose it once again shows that one should never judge a book by its movie.

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26 July 2004
Old Ale in New Cans
Oh dear, I got quite a shock today when I arrived at Asad Market. Some corporate idiots—it had to be a committee—redesigned the Rainier Ale can I’ve known and loved for so many years. I found an old can for comparison, one that Pamela had cleverly repurposed. (That would explain the carburetor puncture.)

The verdant forest green is gone, replaced by a fluorescent, neon green that only exists naturally in certain tropical fish that couldn’t possibly exist in Mt. Rainier’s frigid, glacier-fed lakes and streams. The so-called designers pushed the mountain into the background behind the word ALE, as if anyone could possibly confuse strong Rainier Ale with watery, weak Rainier “Beer.”

And speaking of strength, the only thing that really matters about ale is ale, so I’m pleased to report that the alcohol content remains at a comfortable 7.3 percent. Pity about the can, though; that’s progress I suppose.

27 July 2004
Soup Sandwiches
I ran into a paramedic in a bar who told horrific stories about the day of the smashing jets. The worst part was her description of the people who jumped from the burning skyscrapers.

“Man, when they hit the pavement they sounded like garbage bags full of soup sandwiches,” she said, “splish!”

“That sounds like an awful way to die,” I replied.

“Not at all,” she claimed. “They were all unconscious by the time they hit the ground.”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“Stalin had an inquisitive mind,” she explained. “He conducted all sorts of experiments on German POWs that you don’t want to know about.”

She was right, so I changed the subject.

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28 July 2004
A340 Basement
My mother asked me to send her a postcard from Italy, but I couldn’t find an interesting one. Every postcard I saw looked like an Italian stereotype, and I love my mother too much to send her a cliché.

I flew back to San Francisco on a new jet, an Airbus 340. I appreciated lots of the industrial design details, nice little touches I’ve never seen on rusty American jets. My favorite feature was the basement. I’ve been on jets with an attic, but I’d never seen a basement on a a plane before.

The basement itself wasn’t all that interesting, just a few toilets. Nevertheless, I thought my mother would delight in getting a postcard with a picture of a jet with a basement on it, so that’s what I sent her.

29 July 2004
Baby Pictures
Raul told me about how a mediocre actress who was popular some thirty years ago played a cameo role in the conception of his as yet unborn child.

It seems that Raul and his partner couldn’t conceive in the traditional fashion, so they enlisted the help of a team of scientists to introduce Mr. Sperm to Ms. Egg in a test tube. This involved a trip to the fertility clinic’s laboratory to make a sperm delivery.

Raul was greeted by a young receptionist who handed him a box containing old, tattered, pornographic magazines.

“I’m paying thirty thousand dollars and this is what I get?!” Raul asked as he waved a 1983 copy of Hotsy Totsy Cheerleaders. “You call this porno?!”

The poor woman blushed, and sent Raul down the hall to a small room covered in very old pinup posters, including one featuring the previously mentioned “actress.”

“I hope you took some snapshots,” I said. “That would be the perfect opening photograph in your family album.”

Raul just grimaced.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart