2006 Notebook: Weak XIII
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26 March 2006
No. 7,835 (cartoon)
You’re sick.

The disease is the cure.

27 March 2006
Where Are the Bald Women?
I see bald guys everywhere; I can easily spot them by the glare off their hairless, scarred domes or by their cheap, unconvincing toupees.

I wonder why lots of women don’t go bald? They must, but I can’t see them. Better wigs?

28 March 2006
My Work Philosophy
As I’ve always said, if you find work that’s gratifying then you’ll never work again.

Actually, I never said that; I just heard that on a radio program. The quote was attributed to “some junkie,” so I figure I can steal it with impunity. The only reason anyone thinks I have a modicum of cleverness is that no one—including me—knows how much of my work has been obtained by shameless thievery.

29 March 2006
Positive Response from an Atypical Demographic
I was unnerved when an old friend (who shall remain anonymous for the usual reasons) reported that her sixteen-year old daughter read a few entries from this notebook and concluded that I was “a funny guy.”

“Funny as in pathetic loser?” I asked.

“No,” she replied.

“Funny as in squaresville, daddio?” I continued.

“Nope,” she responded.

“Please don’t say funny as in dirty old man,” I said nervously.

“Fortunately not,” she reassured.

“Then I give up,” I concluded, “what flavor of funny?”

“Funny as in ha-ha funny,” she explained.

At first, I was pleased by the compliment, but then I started to worry, which is what I do best. Is having one’s work appreciated by a gifted, percipient teenager a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

30 March 2006
Spicy Medicine and a Beer
With good reason, many women worry about breast cancer and many men fear prostate cancer. It’s small solace that more men die with prostate cancer than are actually terminated by prostate cancer.

Of greater consolation is the news in the recent edition of Cancer Research: capsaicin kills prostate cancer cells and inhibits the growth of tumors. Since capsaicin is the chemical that puts the hot in hot peppers, I look forward to even more self-medication.

When I told Roberto the good news, he reminded me of a study a few years ago that masturbation is also efficacious in warding off prostrate cancer. A quick poke around the Internet revealed that xanthohumol—a flavonoid compound—is helpful in fighting the disease. And where can one obtain xanthohumol? Since it’s only found in hops, the answer is simple: beer and ale!

I must remember to send these notes to my mother; she still worries that I’m not taking good care of myself.

31 March 2006
That’s What All the Despots Say
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is a despicable, corrupt oligarch and/or obligarch. Still, he’s not without his redeeming qualities, such as telling good stories. For example ...

“I am accused of having said that the [Chinese] Communists used to eat children. But read The Black Book of Communism and you will discover that in the China of Mao, they did not eat children, but had them boiled to fertilize the fields.”

A few days later, Berlusconi issued an apology that wasn’t an apology.

“It was questionable irony, I admit it, because this joke is questionable. But I did not know how to restrain myself.”

I did not know how to restrain myself—that’s what all the despots say!

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1 April 2006
Another Saint Stupid’s Day Lament
This year’s Saint Stupid’s Day parade wasn’t as good a preceding ones. I know I said that in 2002, 2004, and 2005, but this year I have empirical proof.

As everyone knows, a Saint Stupid’s Day parade must have a drunken trombone player. This year, though, no one volunteered, so Bishop Joey had to hire a union musician. That’s so very, very wrong.

Later, along the parade route on Columbus Avenue, I saw that a wig shop was having a Saint Stupid’s Day special on hairpieces. Oh dear, this holiday is getting to be all too commercial.


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2 April 2006
Hunting with Slow Bullets
The Canadian government is allowing hunters to kill 325,000 baby seals this year. Actually, the Canadian and Norwegian sealers aren’t really hunters, since one doesn’t really need to hunt a stationary newborn seal. I’ve seen how it’s done back in my Greenpeace days: the “hunter” just walks up to the seal and clubs it over the head. Whacka-whacka, crunching skull, lights out!

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn, sensitive to reports of pups being skinned alive or choking on their own vomit, insisted the hunt was humane because the prey died instantly by having their heads bashed in or by being “shot with one quick bullet.”

One quick bullet?! Not true. Those few Newfies (a term of endearment for the citizens of the maritime province of Newfoundland) who don’t use clubs use ancient, rusting guns with twisted, corroded barrels. Combined with underpowered Canadian bullets, Newfies shoot seals with slow bullets.

Slow bullets? Fast bullets? Doesn’t matter; the seals just lie there like the apocryphal Victorian virgin on her wedding night.

Lights out!

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart