2006 Notebook: Weak VII
gratuitous image
12 February 2006
No. 7,521 (cartoon)
I couldn’t tell you how much I love you, even with a hundred tongues.

If you had a hundred tongues, they’d all lie.

13 February 2006
Nora Barnacle’s Impenetrable Spouse
When I visited Andy in his apartment, I was struck by the grimy, worn copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Curiously, that appeared to be the only book he owns.

“That book was there a couple of years ago,” I observed. “Aren’t you done with it yet?”

“No,” Andy replied, “and I never will; it’s impenetrable. The only reason I haven’t thrown it away is that I leaf through it when I’m watching really trashy television. That way I don’t feel quite so dirty.”

I like Joyce, but not for his writing. I’ve never read a word he’s written and probably never will. What I like about Joyce is his choice of a spouse. Had it not been for Joyce, I doubt I would have ever heard Nora Barnacle’s name.

14 February 2006
According to traditional Catholic lore, the feast of Saint Valentine has traditionally been celebrated on 14 February in honor of a third-century martyr whose head was cut off with a chainsaw (or something like that). Today is also the anniversary for the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, the bombing of Dresden during the second world war, and the death of the first cloned sheep, Dolly.

It’s like Ernest Hemingway observed, “If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.”

15 February 2006
Argument with Andrea Revisited
I was in the middle of an inane debate with Andrea when I announced that I was struck by a sense of déjà vu.

“That’s probably because we’ve had this argument before,” she confirmed.

“Assuming that’s true,” I continued, “then who won?”

“I did,” Andrea replied, “after you conceded your specious argument of no merit was specious and of no merit.”

“I’m glad you remembered,” I said cheerfully, “now we can argue about something else.”

16 February 2006
A Thoroughly Modern Suicide
Elaine’s friend Frank killed himself a few days ago; she sent me a copy of the suicide note he posted on the Internet.

    Dear friends and voyeurs,

    When I awoke this morning, I realized my life couldn’t possibly get any better. I thought about it, then decided to quit while I was ahead. I had to take advantage of this perfect opportunity; that didn’t leave time for any farewells. I apologize for the form letter; it won’t happen again. (Sorry; I couldn’t sign off without a bad joke.) It was fun while it lasted; thanks.


Elaine was understandably upset, so I didn’t tell her that I thought Frank was an inconsiderate idiot. I think there are a number of valid reasons for ending one’s life, but feeling good isn’t one of them.

17 February 2006
Dubious Laughter Therapy
I read that retired Colonel James L. “Scottie” Scott has been on a personal mission to promote “laughter therapy” to help American National Guard and Army Reserve families cope with their loved ones being deployed to murderous hellholes around the world.

“It’s so terrific,” claims Scott. “You can’t think about anything else when you’re laughing which is why it’s such a natural stress management tool that totally clears stress.”

Unfortunately, the news report I read didn’t provide any examples of his alleged humor.

“Don’t worry, folks,” I can imagine him saying. “All our soldiers work as a team; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.” [Giggles and chortles.] “Our troops all use the best equipment, although, come to think of it, I suppose it was all provided by the lowest bidder. [Loud, sustained laughter.]

I shall have to watch the calendar and see if Scott’s doing any performances around San Francisco. It could be a good show, since if one can laugh at the carnage of war one can laugh at anything.

So anyway, a blind suicide bomber walks into the canteen ...

18 February 2006
Noseless Women
Decades ago I remembered reading about a philosopher who posited that god exists because women have noses. Or something like that; it’s been a long time since I formally studied philosophy. In any case, the proposition went something like this: a woman without a nose would be a horrible thing, and, since women have noses, there must be a supreme being. Or something like that.

Some time after that, I was in a bus station in Wyoming when I saw a woman with no nose. Even worse than that, there was a bright, white bandage in the middle of her face where her nose should have been. I was too shy to ask her if she believed in some flavor of supreme being.

I hadn’t given too much thought to noseless women until yesterday, when I heard about the sad story of Jody Bennett in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She arrived at the dinner table with a napkin over her face. It turns out that Greg Hill, her boyfriend, allegedly bit off her nose.

A friend of mine was romantically involved with a man in Oklahoma. I never met him, but he seemed like a nice guy. In any case, she’s since moved to Oregon. That’s always a good move.

Corporal Shane Tuell said medical personnel advised against pumping the suspect’s stomach for evidence. “They said, given the acid in the stomach, that it would be a futile effort to try and do that,” the policeman reported.

I wonder if Bennett believes in god? I wonder about that, but not too much.

19 February 2006
Mission Image Strategy
Kurt took a look at my torn shirt, ill-fitting pants, and dirty boots, and chided me for not paying attention to my appearance.

“I am,” I replied. “I’m headed over to the Mission for a burrito.”

“What’s that have to do anything?” Kurt asked.

“A lot of those little gangsters are carrying guns,” I explained. “I try to look unimportant in case they’re low on ammunition; they may not want to waste a bullet on me.”

“That’s nonsense,” Kurt said.

“I think the evidence speaks for itself,” I concluded, “I haven’t been shot yet.”

last weak  |  index  |  next weak

©2006 David Glenn Rinehart