2006 Notebook: Weak XVI
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16 April 2006
No. 6,201 (cartoon)
Why are you so antisocial?

I’m not; it’s just that I hate you.

17 April 2006
Taxing My Patience
There are stupid ideas, really stupid ideas, and, in the case of a presentation I attended last weekend, overarching and extraordinarily stupid ideas.

The stupidity in question involves an alleged artist from Los Angeles who advocates taxing art sales in order to fund grants for artists. The cockamamie scheme would require that sales of art work would involve a special tax, presumably involving lots of special government paperwork. And what would we get in return? Well, those of us fortunate enough to receive a grant would get a maximum of less then ten dollars a week.

And so, why did I waste my time going to a predictably imbecilic event? The organizers offered free pizza and beer; that’s why. I stayed there just long enough to inhale two slices of pizza and four weak beers. I think many more people were also there for a free meal instead of the lame demagoguery; over half of the audience was gone by the time the pies were devoured.

18 April 2006
The Hotel Nymphomania, Gone for a Century
One hundred years ago today, San Francisco’s Hotel Nymphomania was destroyed by a rather large earthquake. According to media reports, a number of people died in the natural catastrophe and resulting fires. Sadly, sloppy historians failed to note what happened to the hundreds of homeless nymphomaniacs. Still, that hasn’t stopped a number of my learned friends from tirelessly searching for the nymphomaniacs’ great great great granddaughters.

19 April 2006
Freeing Annette
Annette greeted me with a damning frown when I showed up at her place tonight.

“You’re drunk, aren’t you?” she asked accusingly.

“Most certainly not,” I replied.

“Then perhaps you’ve had so much to drink that you forgot that you’ve been drinking,” Annette responded, “let me smell your breath.”

“At the risk of being repetitiously redundant,” I continued, “I did have a couple of sophisticated adult beverages [one of my favorite euphemisms for Rainier Ale] before coming over.”

“Then just admit you’re drunk,” Annette demanded.

“My dearest Annette, I am simply unshackled from the oppressive bonds of sobriety,” I explained as I handed her a cold can of ale, “free yourself and join me.”

She rolled her eyes, then accepted my peace offering. And after several more gelid delights, we were both free of pragmatic concerns.

20 April 2006
Years ago, Imelda went to see a performance by Die Kreuzen [The Crosses] in Los Angeles. She was surprised to see that over half of the audience comprised tough-looking, tattooed Hispanic men, an unlikely demographic for a punk music ensemble from Milwaukee. And sure enough, when Die Kreuzen started to play, all the Chicanos walked out.

Turns out it was all a misunderstanding based on mispronunciation. The Hispanic audience thought they were there to hear the nonexistent band “Die Cruisin,” not the group pronounced “dee kroytzen.”

Die Kreuzen with accordions, what a concept!

21 April 2006
Shutting Computers Down and Up
I woke up in the middle of the night with an insight. I can’t recall whether I had this revelation while dreaming, awake, or in the pleasant fields between those states. In any case, here’s what I wrote at three in the morning.

“If one turns off a computer by shutting it down, then one one turns on a computer by shutting it up!”

Unfortunately, the idea that so captivated me in the middle of the night is of little interest after a couple of double-espressos at dawn.

22 April 2006
White and Brown Eggs
Today, I learned from listening to the government radio station that chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs, and that chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs.

Upon learning this, I immediately called my friend Dr. Camhi, who herds more chickens than all of my other friends combined. She’d never heard of the correlation between chicken earlobes and eggs, but she agreed that it must be true if it the government radio station said so.

After hanging up the phone, I wondered about life on the farm. Does white bread come from wheat with white earlobes and brown bread come from wheat with red earlobes?

And what about corn? Ears of corn don’t have earlobes! Or do they? My life in the city is so far from life on the farm—if such a thing still exists—that I don’t know anyone with an intimate knowledge of wheat.

23 April 2006
This Is the Lesson on Crossing the Sands. Remember It.
I ran across a bit of folk wisdom the other day, a brief treatise involving a hierarchy of strategies for crossing the Sahara. I quite like the piece, even though I doubt I’ll ever see the world’s largest desert unless it’s from the climate-controlled comfort of a jet.

Nevertheless, I decided to transcribe the short exposition in case I need to refer to it later.

Crossing the Sands.

This Is the Lesson on Crossing the Sands. Remember It.

The sands are wide, the oases few. It is always safest to remain where you are.

But if you cannot remain where you are, then it is safest to go with a caravan. But if there is no caravan, then it is safest to go with a trusted band of companions.

But if there are no trusted companions, then it is safest to go with one who knows the sands.

But if there is no one who knows the sands, then you must cross the sands alone.

There are two things to remember. First, take nothing with you but what sustains you: food and water. If you cannot take both, leave the food but carry the water. You must carry the water if you are to cross the sands.

Second, never attempt to travel by daylight: the sun will kill you. You must wait until nightfall; then it will be safe to travel. Moonlight and darkness will be light enough.

There are two things you must do. Stay alive. And keep moving. If you can do just those two things, you will come to another oasis.

This Is the Lesson on Crossing the Sands. Remember It.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart