2007 Notebook: Weak V
gratuitous image
30 January 2007
No. 9,218 (cartoon)
You’re priceless.

You’re worthless.

It’s like we’re twins.

31 January 2007
A Piece a Month
For years, I’ve been increasingly bothered that that few things ever emerge from the black hole that is my “Work in Progress” folder. My lack of productivity is beginning to annoy even the conceptual artist in me, so I’ve decided to do something about it.

Nothing ever happens without a deadline, or at least that’s the way my universe works. Thus I’ve given myself a quota of making one “serious” (teehee!) piece of work a month, so by by the end of the year I’ll have made a dozen new works in addition to three hundred and sixty-five disposable notebook entries like this one. Therefore I Am is my item for January, and next month I shall finish a project that’s undeniably groovy (in the technical sense).

By writing this today, I’ll have something for my friends to point to and ask, “What have you done lately?” It’s important to give friends ammunition to use; it keeps everyone alert and honest.

1 February 2007
Norman Rockwell’s Conceptual Mistake
Were he not dead, Norman Rockwell would be one hundred and thirteen years old on Saturday. Even so, I doubt he would have overcome what he considered to be one of his great shortcomings as an artist.

“I learned to draw everything except glamorous women,” Rockwell lamented. “No matter how much I tried to make them look sexy, they always ended up looking silly, or like somebody’s mother.”

I’m a better artist than Rockwell, so I recognize his mistake, his conceptual blunder. By failing to realize that “silly” and “mother” aren’t the opposite of sexy, Rockwell passed up many rewarding opportunities.

2 February 2007
Dogsitting: Day One
I’ve agreed to care of some very dear friends’ dogs while they’re out of the country for the next week or so.

I’m afraid we’re off to a bad start; the dyslexic beasts regard me as a dog.

3 February 2007
Dogsitting: Day Two
I think I see what the problem here is: the dogs don’t realize their place in the greater scheme of things, somewhere between squirrels and cockroaches. Their closest relative are rats; the rodents share over ninety-eight percent of the dogs’ DNA.

In order to help the mongrels get over their delusions of adequacy, I wrote a brief motivational note, printed it, and taped it to the wall by the dogs’ water bowl.

You Are a Dog.

You have a tail and walk on four legs; thus you realize you’re inhuman. You might conclude that you’re a cat, but that would be a big mistake. Having been dealt a very bad hand in the game of genetic selection, the best you can hope for is to emulate the cat. Obviously, you will never become a feline, but you will be a better dog to the degree to which that is possible.

Cats do not concern themselves with human affairs. You should also mind your own business. Model your behavior on the feline state of enlightenment by ignoring the doorbell; visitors have come to enjoy human company, and no one’s sending you a package or a letter. (Any and all messages will continue to be sent on the form of dog urine sprayed on shrubberies, fire hydrants, lamp posts, et cetera.)

And then there’s the matter of personal hygiene. I’m not talking about licking your genitalia; since that’s physically impossible for me to do I suppose I can’t comment. However, when it comes to defecation, we’re on equal footing, so to speak. Have you ever seen a piece of cat excrement anywhere? (The bits you’ve dug up don’t count.) Thus why you had to leave a smelly pile of dogs detritus in front of the door to the store where I left you for less than two minutes is, well ... think about it. Please.

I’ll move on to some finer points of bettering yourselves tomorrow, but in the meantime, I’d like to bring up the subject of interspecies licking. No humans invited to this house do it (at least not here), cats don’t do it, and neither should you.

In conclusion, stop barking. Instead; think about meowing; the zen exercise will serve all of us well.

4 February 2007
Dogsitting: Day Three
I returned from a half-hour trip to discover one of the dogs was gone. An escape, on my watch!

Of course, the first thing that came to mind was imagining welcoming my friends home by noting that half of their dogs were fine.

I headed out on my bike looking for the escapee, and decided to steer into oncoming traffic in the hopes that it would appear that I died in a tragic cycling accident, after which one of the heartbroken beasts in my care broke out of the house to find me.

Instead, all of the drivers I tried to hit swerved to avoid me, and I ended up back at the house after two and a half hours of frantic pedaling. That’s where I discovered that the runaway had returned in order to see if there might be any rewards involved for his capture.

I changed the locks; from now on these slippery dogs aren’t going anywhere except in their little doggie bondage outfits.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart