2005 Notebook: Weak XXXVII
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10 September 2005
No. 9,802 (cartoon)
Why am I alive?

It’s illegal to kill you.

11 September 2005
Zimbabwean or Zambian Ridgeback?
Gwen pointed to a large mongrel with a bad haircut and announced to no one in particular that she liked Rhodesian ridgebacks.

“How can anyone like a mutt with a name referencing a failed colonialist land grab?” I asked. “And anyway, wouldn’t it be a Zimbabwean or Zambian ridgeback by now?”

“I never know you cared about dogs,” Gwen replied.

“Good point,” I agreed, “I don’t.”

Stupid curs.

12 September 2005
The One About the Greek and the Italian
“Did I tell you the joke about the Greek and the Italian?” I asked Francesca.

“You didn’t tell it to me once; you told it to me twice,” Francesca replied. “Don’t you remember anything?”

“I don’t need to remember anything,” I replied, “that’s why I keep a daily notebook on my computer.”

“Then why don’t you make a note that you’ve told me that inane joke so I never have to hear it again?” Francesca suggested.

That sounded like a reasonable suggestion; here’s the story.

So anyway, a Greek and an Italian were sitting in a bar debating who had the superior culture.

The Greek guy says, “Well, we have the Parthenon.”

Arching his eyebrows, the Italian replies, “We have the Coliseum.”

The Greek retorts, “We Greeks gave birth to advanced mathematics.”

The Italian, nodding agreement, says, “But we conquered most of the known world with the Roman Empire.”

And that’s when the Greek plays his trump card, “We invented sex.”

The Italian shrugs, then replies, “Maybe, but it was the Italians who introduced it to women!”

13 September 2005
Business Without Pants
I declined Tania’s proposition to join her in a business venture.

“It sounds like a good idea,” I agreed, “but I’m not interested in any enterprise that requires wearing pants.”

I think she wanted a more complete explanation, but she was too afraid to ask.

14 September 2005
Summer Moon Regurgitated
I’m thousands of miles away from the Yosemite, but I’ll nevertheless wager that the photo weenies will be lined up jowl to jowl tomorrow at Glacier Point. That’s because some Texas State University astronomers have concluded that the moon will be in the exact position it was when Ansel Adams made his classic postcard, “Autumn Moon.”

(As a technical aside, the forensic astronomers concluded the snapshot was made on 15 September 1948, making it a summer moon.)

I have no idea what all the fuss is about. After all, anyone with a computer can put the moon anywhere in a photograph.

I hope it storms, with a few well-aimed lightning zaps.

15 September 2005
I had a lovely dinner tonight with my friend Boulaye and his family at an Indian restaurant in Toronto. One of the many reasons I enjoy Boulaye’s company is that we both appreciate very hot foods. In fact, I’ve never had better peppers than the ones he gave me years ago from his village in Mali. They were scorchio!

And so, I was surprised when Boulaye said I could have the whole vindaloo dish; he said it was a bit spicy for him.

“Seems rather tame to me,” I replied after taking a couple bites.

“You can eat more peppers than any white person I know,” Boulaye remarked.

I didn’t know what to say. On one hand, I know he was paying me a compliment. On the other hand, we Caucasians are renowned for our blandness.

“Thanks,” I said.

We all enjoyed a delightful evening, especially me.


16 September 2005
Not About Uranus
Oh dear; I’m even more confused than usual. If I correctly understood the article I read, Uranus has been demoted and is no longer a proper planet. As it turns out, there are too many big rocks orbiting the outer edge of my solar system, so the astronomical authorities have decided that Neptune is the outermost planet. (At the moment, Neptune’s more distant from the sun than is Uranus, but that’s another story for a later date.)

I’ll miss Uranus, and not just because the name works so well in myriad adolescent jokes. Few people know that Uranus was castrated and overthrown by his son, Kronos. Another good reason not to procreate, as if one more was needed.

Oops, never mind.

I just reread the article, and discovered that it’s Pluto—not Uranus—that may now demarcate the outer periphery of our known solar system.

Just never mind.

17 September 2005
Taste Out the Window
Cynthia was appalled when I told her the story about the government’s plan to support rescue efforts by collecting the gold fillings out of the mouths of hurricane victims who have decomposed too much to ever be identified.

“That’s in very poor taste,” she opined.

“Taste went out the window when I came in the door,” I explained.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized that I’d just come up with a great name for a country music song. It’s too bad I hate cousin-kissing music.

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©2005 David Glenn Rinehart