2005 Notebook: Weak XXXIV
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20 August 2005
No. 2,628 (cartoon)
I wonder what death will be like?

I doubt you’ll notice anything different.

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21 August 2005
Low Profile World Trade Center
Nathan and I were walking around downtown when I spotted Portland’s World Trade Center.

“That’s a pretty short building as world trade centers go,” I said. “Doesn’t seem like much of an edifice.”

“It’s not much of a target, either,” Nathan replied. “And in any case, it’s bigger than the one in New York.”

22 August 2005
(Probably) Not My Last Visit With Russ
I’m enjoying a pleasant, relaxed visit with Russ and Betty. I’d anticipated that this would be a rather somber, final visit with my uncle; he was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few months ago. Fortunately, it looks like I’ll be seeing him for some time to come; the doctor who made the prognosis failed to take into account a remarkable new regimen of experimental drugs, as well as the Rinehart family practice of doing the opposite of what we’re supposed to do. I’m sure our general disdain for authority is one of the reasons Russ is doing reasonably well.

Russ is certainly not unscathed though. He lost maybe ten kilograms as well as some of his energy. Still, he’s talking about how he plans on waiting a few years before he buys a new car. At the same time, he’s also comfortable with his mortality. And practical, too.

“If all those other fuckers over thousands of years have figured out how to die,” Russ reasoned, “then I figure I can too.”

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23 August 2005
Lazy Killer Dog
Roland told me an incredible story about his new dog, an Italian greyhound. On the surface, this beast would not appear to be any kind of incredible animal. It’s a miniature version of a real greyhound; it weighs less than five kilograms. It shivers whether it’s hot or cold, and makes pitiful, unearthly whimpers and moans that sound like a Martian being tortured.

Turns out it’s just a trick, or at least it was this morning. Roland was walking his dog in the warehouse district near the docks when a huge Great Dane spotted the quivering greyhound and sauntered over to inspect it.

The greyhound whimpered forlornly until the Great Dane was towering over it. And that’s when the greyhound leapt up and sunk its sharp teeth into the huge dog’s neck. The Great Dane first yelped, then howled in pain as it attempted to shake off the greyhound. Each time the mammoth dog jerked its head back and forth, the greyhound’s teeth twisted deeper into the Great Dane’s neck.

Roland reported the frenzy only lasted twenty seconds or so until the Great Dane fell on its side. When it did, the greyhound released the fallen dog and walked away licking the blood off its mouth.

“That’s wild,” I said, “what a weird thing to happen.”

“Sure was,” Roland agreed. “Italian greyhounds usually go for the kill, but my dog’s lazy more often than not.”

24 August 2005
I Can Believe It’s Vinegar!
I was glad Jackie came by for a visit tonight, especially since she brought a couple bottles of wine.

“I know you hate cute names,” she began, “but I thought these bottles of ‘Nasti Spumante’ and ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vinegar!’ would appeal to your peculiar palate.”

She was, of course, right.

The “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vinegar!” did, in fact, taste like vinegar, so we drank that bottle first and washed it down with the marginally better wine. I enjoyed a lovely evening; it’s always a pleasure to be with friends who share my particular (lack of) taste.

25 August 2005
I Never Knew Laurie Anderson Said That!
I told Martha I usually carry an undetectable graphite-epoxy pistol with me when I fly. I started to explain why this was a safe thing to do, but Martha interrupted me.

“I know that one,” she said dismissively, “you got it from Laurie Anderson: what are the odds of having two bombs on the same plane?”

Damn; I never knew Laurie Anderson said that! What’s worse, I can’t remember if I stole that from her or not. I have no compunction about plagiarizing someone else’s idea as long as no one can spot the stolen goods.

I really must make the effort to be a better thief.

26 August 2005
A Convincing Literary Recommendation
Lysandria gave me a book of short stories, Twisting the Knife Back In: Seventeen Prime Stories, then insisted that I read it.

“I never heard of any of these authors,” I said skeptically.

“Read it anyway,” Lysandria insisted. “They haven’t heard of you either.”

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27 August 2005
A Free Jar for Two Dollars
I bought a jar of bruschette this afternoon. The label claimed the contents were full of organic this, sun-dried that, and lots of wholesome crap. I took one taste of the oily, salty concoction then threw out the contents.

Even so, I didn’t waste my money. I paid a couple of dollars for the glass hexagonal jar; the container was the product and the comestibles were superfluous.

As a result, I now have a six-sided jar for my hexagonal coins and a round jar for my traditional coinage.

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©2005 David Glenn Rinehart