2006 Notebook: Weak XXIX
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17 July 2006
No. 6,923 (cartoon)
Tell me you love me.

18 July 2006
A Woman of an Uncertain Age
I don’t talk with Susan very much since she moved to Missouri; that’s just the way things in Missouri operate. In any case, we enjoyed a nice, long phone conversation yesterday in which she complained about getting old.

“That’s a lie spread by communists,” I protested, then added, “by the way, how old are you, anyway?”

She changed the subject, as she’s done for decades when asked about her chronological age. But I persisted.

“Say, Susan, so how old are you?” I asked.

“I’m as old as my nose and older than my teeth,” she unanswered.

“No, I mean how old are you in earthling years?” I persisted.

“Are you a masochist?” she asked. “There are some questions one doesn’t ask.”

That may or may not be true, but there certainly are questions that one (one being Susan) will never answer.

19 July 2006
Dang Dang!
The reason this notebook is chock full o’ typos is that Mr. P. Bear, my pro bono, gratis—and for free, even—editor, retired some years ago. Dang!

Nevertheless, from time to time my errors have been egregious enough to drive him out of retirement for a few minutes. For example, he recently cited several examples of unexplainably duplicated words. For example:

11 November: “He ordered his his burrito without ricin ...”

29 February: “... swilling Rainier Ale from from gallon jugs ...”

5 May: “... shot the the poodle in self-defense.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Bear’s comments were less than helpful. Despite repeated requests, he refuses to reveal whether it’s grammatically correct to delete the first or the second duplicated word. Dang dang!

20 July 2006
Unrequited Animal Love
When it comes to good value in periodicals, Russian newspapers are hard to beat. Not to be outdone by larger competitors such as the Moscow News, Komsomolskaya Pravda reports that a young Russian peasant in Siberia took advantage of a public opportunity to question President Vladimir Putin about law, rights, and romance.

“All girls have left our small village and moved to the city, so I cannot find a woman to be with. But I see the solution to the problem. I love animals very much and want to ask you when it will be allowed in Russia, as it is in Holland, to marry domestic animals?”

What a plaintive cry from a man still longing for civil liberties as yet unrealized some fifteen years after the implosion of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And anyway, what could possibly be sadder than unrequited animal love?

21 July 2006
Survival School Dropout
Dave Buschow of River Vale, New Jersey, went on a survival training course and didn’t. Didn’t survive, that is. Buschow died in hellacious Utah heat on a wilderness hike organized by the Boulder [Utah] Outdoor Survival [sic] School.

Buschow, on day two of a twenty-eight day, three-thousand dollar course, complained of cramps and thirst on an ambitious trek where water bottles were forbidden. Later that day, one of his fellow students noticed that Buschow was “unusually quiet.” Or, in more common parlance, dead.

The school’s Internet site boasts, “Our goal is to take you from a world of convenience and comfort and put you in a situation where you must go ‘just a little bit farther’ — past those false limits your mind has set for your body.”

Poor Dave Buschow of River Vale, New Jersey; I guess his false limits proved to be all too true. And so, I suppose the only question is this: did his relatives receive a refund since he didn’t survive survival school?

22 July 2006
Yet Another Disco Casualty
Victor Willis, the man who parodied a policeman in the infamous eighties disco ensemble, the Village People, recently headed to jail after being caught with crack cocaine and a loaded gun, then providing a false name to the real police, then going on the run as a fugitive for six months. That sort of thing.

Willis is an American, and thus it should go without saying that his problems really aren’t his fault. The real culprit—as I, too, have always maintained—is disco. Willis, who claims to be sober for the first time in a quarter of a century, maintains his fall from grace and coherence on, “the excesses of the disco era that many artists like me found difficult to shake almost thirty years later.”

Poor Victor Willis; I don’t expect him to survive his ordeal. As any right-thinking person will confirm, disco kills. Boom-chakka boom-chakka boom-chakka boom-chakka boom-chakka boom-chakka boom-chakka ad ad nauseam.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart