2006 Notebook: Weak XII
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19 March 2006
No. 7,259 (cartoon)
I want to go home again.

You can’t; you were never there.

20 March 2006
Believe It or Don’t
Today, a four-seater plane crashed into a cemetery near Branson, Missouri. At last report, rescuers have found one hundred and ninety-three bodies. Not really; that’s an old joke.

Today, a four-seater plane crashed not far from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum near Branson, Missouri. Everyone aboard died. Believe it or not.

Last week, Peter Tomarken died when his plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay. Tomarken was the host of several television programs including “Press Your Luck,” “Wipe-Out,” and “Paranoia.” Believe it or not.

I wonder if there’s some relationship between semantics and aeronautic safety?

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21 March 2006
Heidi Puss
I’m taking care of Dr. Merrill’s cats Heidi and Fluffy while she’s on holiday. Those aren’t the kitties’ real names, but that doesn’t matter since cats wisely ignore any sound a human makes unless it’s the sound of a can opener.

(This reminds me of a somewhat related joke. Question: what do you call a dog with no head? Answer: Why call it anything? It’s not going to come.)

Where was I? Yes, Heidi and Fluffy, that’s right. I call one kitty Fluffy because she’s fluffy. I address the other puss as Heidi because he always hides, albeit ineffectually, under the bed cover. I suppose “Heidi” should really be “Hidey,” but, since cats can’t spell, who cares?

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22 March 2006
My First Backpack, 1976-2006
Dr. Roselle once correctly observed that most people bought high-quality camping gear when they were young on the premise that it would last a lifetime. He added that that was generally a self-fulfilling supposition since most equipment saw very little use.

I bought an excellent backpack decades ago, and enjoyed hiking at least a thousand kilometers with it. Although it was starting to show signs of wear, it functioned perfectly until the end. And that brings us to the final act.

From all available evidence, it appears that the pack was attacked by Norwegian roof rats. I have no idea what these Scandinavian rodents are doing in Sans Frisco; most likely they’re here for the temperate climate like the rest of us. Anyway, the wee beasties chewed through the thick, nylon fabric, then gnawed through a topographical map of Glacier National Park, and finally shredded a pair of Ma Kraler socks in order to reach their target: a couple of packets of soy sauce I’d stashed inside. The dang varmints ruined my pack, so I left it on the street to provide a homeless person with a modestly better alternative to a shopping cart.

And so, I need to buy a new backpack. Assuming that my second pack is as good as my first one, and that I can keep it away from Norwegian roof rats, this backpack will be the last one I’ll ever own. We’re not here long.

23 March 2006
A Cautionary Tale
Even though I occasionally wish I was more mature, I still take childish pleasure in schadenfreude and clichés coming to life. Or almost to death, as is the case here.

Jacqueline Dotson allegedly lost control of her behemoth vehicle, and then ran several cars off the road before she crashed through a guardrail and landed upside down. Rescuers found her severed arm still clutching her mobile phone.

Bad drivers getting their comeuppance, inappropriate mobile phone use punished, and no one died, what’s not to like?

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24 March 2006
The Classic Slapstick Cliché, Revisited
I was walking down a rainy street today when I felt one foot fly out from under me. I managed to regain my balance in midair and avoid falling, but I was nevertheless unnerved. I thought I’d stepped on a tretminen.

When I discovered that I’d slipped on an orange peel, I started laughing uncontrollably. I was supposed to have slipped on a banana peel! I inadvertently picked the wrong fruit!

25 March 2006
A Sobering Thought
“That was a sobering thought,” Brian concluded.

“Sure was,” I agreed, “so I guess we both know what needs to be done.”

“Get unsober?” Brian asked.

“What other choice is there?” I concluded as I reached for my corkscrew.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart