2004 Notebook: Weak XXXI
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30 July 2004
No. 5,993 (cartoon)
I fear I don’t have much time left.

You’ve already had more than enough time.

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31 July 2004
Fire Museum
Mark and I spotted the Fire Museum when we were driving around the wastelands south of Boston.

“Looks like it’s closed,” Mark said.

“Obviously,” I replied, “it’s not on fire.”

1 August 2004
A Prejudice Reinforced
I rarely go to museums; the shows are usually predictable and/or just plain bad. I did see an atypically brilliant show at the DeCordova Museum in February, so I decided to go back.

I’m glad I did. I saw some really mediocre art selected by some equally mediocre curators. It was worth six dollars to have my prejudices confirmed that institutional exhibits are usually a waste of time, space, and vision.

2 August 2004
Why Germans Drink
The Reuters news agency reports, “Germans are Europe’s worst binge drinkers with almost one in five believing ‘the point of drinking is to get drunk,’ according to a survey Wednesday.”

The Mintel market research survey of 35,000 people failed to cite the reason the other Germans drank. To get sober, maybe?

3 August 2004
Aiming for Better Pedestrians
I like to jaywalk; the practice promotes efficiency and safety. Or, so I thought until I read an article about an overzealous policeman in Pilsen.

It seems that the Czech cop fired a warning shot over the head a pedestrian who stepped into the street illegally. When the man failed to return to the sidewalk, the policeman shot at the jaywalker twice, and missed both times.

The next time I’m back in the Czech Republic, I shall have to remember this critical cultural difference. It would be just my luck to run into a sober cop who could shoot straight.

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4 August 2004
The Great British Faggot
The Doody family of Wolverhampton, England, faces a daunting challenge. I learned of their calling when Pierre forwarded me a BBC article, Family of faggot fans fly the flag; The Doody family hope to raise profile of faggots.

It seems that Fred, Janet, Lewis, and Grace Doody won a national competition to promote faggots as one of the great British dishes, such as fish and chips, Cornish pasty, spotted dick, Yorkshire pudding, haggis, et cetera. One of the first problems they have in their campaign is that I have no idea what kind of food they’re hyping. I checked a few dictionaries, and only found two contemporary definitions: “offensive term for a homosexual man,” or “bundle of twigs, sticks, or branches bound together.” The BBC article only provided one vague description: “The great British faggot is full of flavour and a great belly warmer at this time of year.” I’ve endured enough cold, dank English summers to appreciate the warmth aspect; I wonder of they’re talking about the goo covered in brownish-grey sauce I once had in a Liverpool pub?

Mr Brain’s Faggots, who sponsored the contest, will use the Doodys to launch National Faggot Week. Since most Brits will eat any mashed-up animal covered in brownish-grey sauce, I think the Doodys might actually succeed.

5 August 2004
Awe Reservoir, Henri
I just learned that Henri Cartier-Bresson died at age ninety-five. I always thought I’d have a glass of wine with him one day, but now it looks like I won’t. After hearing the news, I poured two glasses of Rene Junot. Henri didn’t touch his, so I drank that glass too.

I looked at some of his photographs, and agreed with Henri’s assessment of his work. “I am just a photographer like any other—only better!”

6 August 2004
Dahlia is a Dal
I was delighted when Dahlia said she prefers to be called Dal. I’m so lazy that the difference between enunciating three syllables and just saying one is of more importance than a less slothful person might appreciate.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart