2006 Notebook: Weak XXV
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18 June 2006
No. 6,216 (cartoon)
Save the whales!

For the main course!

Seals for appetizers!

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19 June 2006
Two Wrongs Make a Right!
I brought a bottle of cheap, Hawaiian, Whaler’s brand rum with me to the Caribbean, and now it’s almost gone. (As a small, ironic aside, I didn’t share a drop of it with any of the whalers attending the International Whaling Commission meeting here in St. Kitts.) And so, I decided to go native.

I picked up a case of Giant Malt at the liquor store; the opaque beverage appeared to be some sort of stout. But, of course, appearances can be deceiving, especially since I failed to note the nonalcoholic warning on the label. The concoction tasted horrible; damnation!

I dispatched Dr. Palmer to acquire a bottle of local rum. He returned with a bottle of clear liquid that, like many types of rum, contained forty percent alcohol. However, the bottle lacked the most important component of rum: rum itself. In fact, Dr. Palmer had returned with a bottle of almost undrinkable cane spirit.

However, I was delighted to discover that combining the unpalatable Giant Malt with the wretched cane spirit resulted in a potation that was barely tolerable, but undeniably functional if not rather efficacious. And thus, everything my mother told me notwithstanding, sometimes two wrongs really do make a right.

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20 June 2006
What a Dive!
I took my last dive today, distributed the seashells I found a few days ago along the sea bed, and said goodbye to the ridiculously colorful little fishes swimming among the rocks of an artificial reef.

The visual experience compared favorably to computer simulations of marine aquaria. Having said that, I spotted my favorite fish last night at the government reception at the Brimstone Hill Fortress. As was my wish, the fish on my dish was chopped into in bite-sized pieces and served in a lovely curry sauce.

21 June 2006
Into Summer, Ambiguously
Angelina wrote to admonish me for writing on 2 June, “It’s summer ...” She helpfully pointed out that summer doesn’t start this year until today at 12:48:06 Greenwich Mean Time.

This technicality is largely irrelevant, in that I’m spending most of the day on planes and in airports en route back to San Francisco. And, as just about everyone knows, there are no seasons in jets or airports.

22 June 2006
Forklifts or Not
On yesterday’s flight from Miami, the woman sitting next to me identified herself as, “a retired drug dealer.”

“What kind?” I asked.

“There are only two types of drug dealers,” she explained, “those who use forklifts and those who do not.”

“What kind were you?” I asked.

“That’s a question one doesn’t ask,” she said politely.

“Why didn’t you just say that the first time?” I inquired.

“Sorry, I just had to work in the forklift joke,” she admitted.

23 June 2006
A Headless Plinth of Some Merit
The Royal Academy recently displayed a handsome, slate plinth with a small, femur-shaped piece of wood placed atop it. As is so often the case in these exhibits, the artist was not pleased with the presentation.

It seems that David Hensel submitted a sculpture of a human head, the plinth, and the aforementioned stick with which to prop up said head. The prestigious curators, however, selected the plinth and stick for the show, but rejected the head.

“The two parts were judged independently,” explained an academy representative. “The head was rejected. The base was thought to have merit and accepted ... It is accepted that works may not be displayed in the way that the artist might have intended.”

The fiasco reminded me of an idea I had years ago: why not just exhibit frames and not bother with relatively mediocre art? I shall now amend that to include plinths, with or without a little stick on top.

24 June 2006
Billy’s Demotion
Anyone seeking still more incontrovertible evidence of British decline need look no further than the Cyprus-based First Battalion, the Royal Welsh regiment. An unfortunate incident during a 16 June parade resulted in the demotion of one of the regiment’s ranks from lance corporal to fusilier.

According to Captain William Rose, who witnessed the event in question, reported that Lance Corporal William Windsor, “was trying to headbutt the waist and nether regions of the drummers.”

It’s a sad day when one is reprimanded for headbutting drummers. After all, what other language can a simple drummer comprehend? To paraphrase Homer Banks, Carl Hampton, and Raymond Jackson, if headbutting drummers is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Poor Billy Windsor. He still gets his ration of two cigarettes a day (which he eats), but after his demotion the other soldiers no longer salute him. Conscripts—especially goats—have a miserable life in the British army. (In case you missed it, the punch line of this silly story is that the recently-demoted Billy is, in fact, a six-year old goat.)

25 June 2006
Cherryland Redux
Jewel Kilcher, who attended the same school in Interlochen as I did—albeit some years later—came up with an interesting observation.

    “I grew up singing for alcoholics, and it never really seemed like alcohol fixed anything. I was afraid that it would get me. Around thirty, I kind of realized that alcohol really does solve all your problems. Whoever said drinking doesn’t help lied. You live and you learn.”

You live and you learn, or sometimes you don’t. In any case, it sounds like Kilcher enjoys a Cherryland of her own.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart