2006 Notebook: Weak XLII
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15 October 2006
No. 9,359 (cartoon)
What do you do?

About what?

16 October 2006
Damned Canadians!
Sonja’s refrigerator was barren of liquid refreshments, so I repaired to a nearby liquor store for some healthy lashings of Rainier Ale.

The turbaned clerk applauded my choice of beverage by commenting, “It’s aboot time someone bought that swill.”

“Aboot?!” I replied.

The cashier pretended that he didn’t hear me.

I grabbed the insolent worker’s turban; when I pulled it off I saw what I expected: a wool cap featuring the logo of a Canadian hockey team.

“I can smell a Canadian a couple of clicks away,” I said.

“How nice for you,” the contemptuous worker replied with a smirk, “I have no doubt such insights will serve you well in the future.”

Damn, the insidious, insubordinate Canadians have infiltrated almost every crevice of my wonderful life. I know it’s just a matter of time before the barbarous, unwashed Canadian hordes pour south over the largely undefended border; that’s why I continue to resist the temptation to return to live in the Pacific Northwest.

17 October 2006
Defending Turkey Testicles
The politicians “serving”on the Fort Myers Beach [Florida] Council have decided that the fourth annual Turkey Testicle Festival may be called the Turkey Testicle Festival. Councilman Charles Meador persuasively argued that a dozen other cities host annual phenomena that involve the use of the word, “testicle.”

Councilman Garr Reynolds declared that the name is “inappropriate” for “a family island.”

“We do have youngsters here,” Reynolds said. “We’re trying to uplift their thinking.”

Uplifting?! What could be higher than testicles? I suspect that anyone who can’t answer that question may not be from Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Uplifting thinking indeed.

18 October 2006
Smells Like China
This should be a red-letter day for me as a consumer. Since my fellow chromophobes and I have no red-letter days, though, I can only comment on the olfactory situation in my studio.

It smells like China.

A dear friend of mine bought me a new computer, one that’s over twice as fast as any I’ve used. That, and a huge liquid-crystal display. And so, I’m enjoying having wonderful new tools. That my studio now smells of the carcinogens from the Chinese factory in which they were manufactured is a small price for me—as opposed to the poor Chinese workers—to pay.

19 October 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Pine-Coffin May Be In One
Whilst scanning the obituaries in today’s Daily Telegraph, I read that Lieutenant Colonel Pine-Coffin is listed among the recently deceased. Why the dead soldier never got around to changing his name to something like Lieutenant Colonel Youth-Everlasting, this I do not understand.

Although British culture remains a mystery, mostly, I suspect that Lieutenant Colonel Pine-Coffin may be in such a container.

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20 October 2006
Future Nazi Porn
For reasons I hope I’ll never understand, a disturbingly large number of people remain fixated on eugenics. I suppose it’s just a case of idiots thinking the world would be a better place if there were more of us and less of them. On a personal note, I think a planet infested by people like me would be a disaster: who’d do the work?

The latest example of such speculation comes from Mick Jagger’s alma mater, the London School of Economics. “Evolutionary theorist” Oliver Curry unimaginatively speculates that the future will look a lot like the present, with homo sapiens divided between two subspecies: “upper class and a dimwitted underclass.” (Personal aside number one: although I’m no evolutionary theorist, this future sounds a lot like Eloi and Morlocks in H.G. Wells’ 1895 novel, The Time Machine.)

Curry describes those on the wrong side of the genetic fence as, “dimwitted, ugly, squat, goblin-like creatures.” (Personal aside number two: I suspect Curry may have purloined this vision from a visit to Mississippi, but that’s just a hunch.)

As for the ever-popular master race, “the descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative.” The men will have, “squarer jaws, deeper voices, and bigger penises.” And the women will enjoy, “smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features.” And we’ll be over two meters tall, as if the ruling class evolved from the Dutch. (Personal aside number three: that sounds like a safe bet to me.)

My favorite part of the article wasn’t the speculation about bigger penises and pert breasts (the future as pornography!), but the illustrator’s example of how the bifurcated humans will appear. The underling looks like a cross between a munchkin and a hobbit. And the representative of the master race looks like—who else?—Adolph Hitler.

(Personal aside number four: I’m not concerned with the future; that’s not where I’m going.)

21 October 2006
Disheartening and Disheadening
In the recent news, I note that Major General William Caldwell, the top American military mouthpiece in Iraq, has broken ranks to announce that all heck has broken loose in that wretched land.

“The violence is indeed disheartening,” Caldwell observed.

That’s news to me. Since so many of the victims of the Iraqi internecine violence end up with their necks severed, I always thought of the violence in the American-occupied country as disheadening. That the brutality is now disheartening as well is indeed news.

On the other side of the coin, some six-hundred thousand Iraqis aren’t complaining that Americans have brought the freedom of civil war to their devastated country; they’re the ones who’ve died since the invasion.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart