2006 Notebook: Weak XX
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15 May 2006
No. 7,793 (cartoon)
I can inveigle anyone I please.

You please no one.

16 May 2006
Oxygen and the Refreshing Smell of Japanese Girls’ Underwear
I heard a report on the radio today that chain stores in Japan will soon offer canisters of oxygen for sale.

“People are under a lot of stress and can’t get much exercise, so they aren’t getting enough oxygen,” explained company spokesman Minoru Matsumoto. “This is especially true of people who do long hours of desk work in front of a computer. They don’t breathe that deeply.”

Initially, the company will offer “O2 Supli” in two flavors, peppermint and grapefruit. Since a can of some thirty-five doses will cost less than six dollars, industry observers are predicting commercial success.

I anticipate that peppermint and grapefruit will prove to be unwise choices; here’s why.

Peppermint and grapefruit are generic flavors, and not particularly Japanese. Looking at Japanese vending machines, it’s easy to spot a particularly, peculiarly Japanese scent: previously-worn schoolgirls’ underwear. Anyone can buy them from refrigerated vending machines, but then what? In claustrophobically-crowded Japan, there just aren’t that many places one can anonymously sniff girls’ dirty knickers.

The solution is obvious: canned oxygen with the scent adolescent girls’ undergarments. What pathetic salaryman wouldn’t pay good yen for such a stimulating break?


17 May 2006
No Improvement Today
Dr. Batlan is giving me another well-intentioned harangue on how I should work harder to improve myself. I kept my mouth shut as long as I could, and then I had to rebut his nonsensical admonitions.

“If I wanted to better myself,” I said, “I’d read more of what I’ve written.”

“That’s like eating your own vomit,” Dr. Batlan replied after a long, thoughtful pause.

“Vomit’s rich in vitamins and nutrients,” I observed.

“You’re just trying to annoy me,” Dr. Batlan protested.

“I am not really trying to annoy you; it’s actually effortless,” I corrected.

Fortunately, this ridiculous exchange put an end to Dr. Batlan’s interminable diatribe.

18 May 2006
Fertilizer or Sausage?
Red Lead Ed assured me that he overheard a Mafia guy saying that Jimmy Hoffa had been ground into sausage and, presumably, sold in grocery stores. And now, the FBI is digging up Michigan farms looking for Hoffa’s remains. I wonder who’s right, Red Lead Ed or the FBI’s informant?

19 May 2006
No Cold War Stories
I ran into a retired air force officer in a bar who told me that he was involved in lots of clandestine confrontations with Soviet forces during the Cold War.

I told him my story about being captured in Siberia, but he wasn’t impressed.

“I could tell you stories that would curl your pubic hair,” he boasted.

“For example?” I asked.

“The best stuff’s still classified,” he said. “We’ll both be dead by the time the juicy dirt gets out.”

I suppose he’s right. That’s the way history works when it works at all; a lot of the most interesting things stay buried.

20 May 2006
On Winning Fourteen Games of Monopoly
My computer just beat me playing Monopoly after I won fourteen games in row, four shy of my longest winning streak. Monopoly’s an elegant game, but I’m appalled and ashamed at my lack of imagination in wasting so much time. I’m looking forward to getting a new computer later this year. In addition to a welcome speed boost, the new processor can’t run the fifteen-year old Monopoly software.

Even though playing Monopoly is a symptom, not a problem, I’ll nevertheless be glad to retire it. Good riddance.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart