2006 Notebook: Weak XXXVI
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3 September 2006
No. 3,729 (cartoon)
I’m going to hurt you.

You’re so predictable.

4 September 2006
The the TLA (three-letter acronym) is a foundation of contemporary communication. After all, who can get by without references to FTP, LSD, PIP, et cetera? I’ve only met one TLA I didn’t like, FLA. It just seems wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong for the the acronym for “four-letter acronym” to have only three characters.

And so it was that I was delighted to hear from Mark Taylor, an astrologist—or was that astronomer?—in Bristol, England. It turns out that he came across my piece, All Possible Four-Letter Words (Except One) while searching on the Internet for TSAP (Theoretical Spectral Access Protocol) and IVOA (International Virtual Observatory Alliance).

After hearing from Dr. Taylor, I can now sleep easier at night knowing that my four-character creations are ETLAs, or Extended Three-Letter Acronyms.


5 September 2006
A Boring Loss
Dr. Wiles has returned from Boring Man, the popular, colloquial name for the annual, week-long Burning Man party. The highlight turned out to be a lowlight, alas.

“I took lots of drugs, and did great interviews with lots of people,” Dr. Wiles reported. “but I think I lost them.”

He’s digging through a mountain of dust-covered beef jerky, empty condom wrappers, myriad scraps of paper with unintelligible squiggles, some woman’s underwear he borrowed(?!), but the interview tapes appear to be lost. Forever.

Too bad, people make the most lucent observations after they’ve rewired their brains on cheap, hallucinogenic chemicals. Oh well; the missing interviews are humanity’s loss, not mine.

6 September 2006
Sid’s Stay of Execution
Sid has over a thousand bottles of wine in his basement that his doctor says he can’t drink.

A thousand bottles of wine?! That seems just crazy. I mean, why would anyone keep more than a couple of cases? Who’d need more before the liquor store opens in the morning?

Surprisingly, Sid isn’t upset about his doctor’s orders. His “rationale” is that he’ll certainly live until he’s swallowed all the wine he’s purchased to date, and thus regards his involuntary abstinence as a stay of execution.

Wine does funny things to people, not all of them beneficial.

7 September 2006
Poor Kitty
Mindy’s cat Pico is sick; he has some sort of feline pyrexia. Poor kitty.

Pico’s not happy about his predicament, but Mindy’s not complaining.

“Every time Pico fires off a pussy mucous rocket, I photograph the impact,” Mindy explained. “In another day or two I’ll have enough material for a new show.”

Mindy and Pico are right; we all need more kitty art.

8 September 2006
Another Exaggerated Demise
Dr. Lehman was being examined in her dentist’s office when the office manager came in with rather disturbing news.

“Your husband has called to say he has died,” she dutifully informed Dr. Lehman.

Dang; it just occurred to me that I forgot to mention several relevant pieces of knowledge. First, Dr. Lehman’s dentist immigrated from Viet Nam. As did his office manager. In addition, the office manager is also his mother. And lastly, English is not the mother’s first language. In fact, I doubt English is among her top forty tongues. And with that out of the way, let us return to our story, already in progress ...

“Mother,” the dentist said after hearing the disturbing report, “please read the message carefully.”

The office manager squinted at the scribble, smiled, and announced, “Your husband has called to say his battery has died!”

9 September 2006
A Word with Lots of Negative Connotations
All rules—except those against folk-dancing and incest—really are made to be broken. And that even includes Russell Hart’s admonition, “Beware of artists with only one name.”

Of late, my favorite exception to this generally exemplary maxim is some hombre who does business as, “Banksy.” His work is easy to find on the Internet, so I’ll just cite his answer to the question, “Is graffiti art or vandalism?”

“That word has a lot of negative connotations and it alienates people,” Banksy said, “so no, I don’t like to use the word ‘art’ at all.”


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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart