2007 Notebook: Weak VI
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5 February 2007
No. 9,639 (cartoon)
You’ve said nothing.

No, I’ve left nothing unsaid.

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6 February 2007
Two Meters for a Penny
Stephan sent me more information about Momofuku Ando’s spectacular invention, instant ramen.

I always thought that the ramen package contained one very long noodle, even though I never really looked. (That’s because I prepare the salty treat by smashing the block into hundreds of tiny noodlelettes.) As is so often the case, I thought wrong.

As it turns out, each brick of noodles contains eighty to a hundred noodles, with a cumulative length of over thirty meters. At current prices, that works out to about half a cent a meter. That’s cheap, even for an artist!

7 February 2007
A Paunchity of Men
Andrew told me his sister’s complaining about a paunchity of men in Memphis. I thought he misquoted her, but she was in fact referring to the distended bellies of men who largely (no pun intended) subsist on a diet of barbecue and beer.

8 February 2007
Dogsitting: Day Seven
After a tumultuous start, my dogsitting stint has devolved into the stultifying routine that is a dog’s life. Coincidentally, I just happened to hear that at least one apocryphal dog story is, on occasion, true. John Steinbeck’s dog really did eat his entire Of Mice and Men manuscript just before he finished the novel.

I am reminded of the Groucho Marx remark, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” That’s why Steinbeck had to rewrite the entire narrative.

As a result of this cautionary tale, I keep my portable computer locked behind two different doors. I’m not sure the dogs could chew through the machine’s polycarbonate case, but, when it comes to canines, I’m not taking any chances.

9 February 2007
My Dinner with Yoko
Walter and Colleen invited me to have dinner with Yoko Ono at their place tonight. Ono showed up with hollow bread rolls with “Mummy Food” stamped on the bottom; she also brought some Leica Beer. Nice!

When I reminded Ono that we’d met at another dinner, she looked at me sternly and insisted she’d never seen me before. She was so certain that I began to doubt my own clear memories. I eventually figured out that I dreamt the whole episode.

10 February 2007
More Bad Grammar
Colin sent me a brief note to correct my grammar after I wrote, “I cannot not love double negatives.”

“More accurately, I do not not love double negatives,” Colin explained. “Else, I am compelled to love double negatives.”

I ignored Colin’s well-intentioned advice. If I didn’t have bad grammar, I’d have no grammar at all.

11 February 2007
Dogsitting: Day Ten
It’s been a long ten days with the dogs. The miserable canines’ enormous snouts have been covered with dried spittle. I don’t know if it’s their own—dogs frequently shake their heads as if in an epileptic fit—or from playing with each other. They could be foaming at the mouth for all I know; I wouldn’t put it past them. These disgusting mucous strands are obviously unacceptable, but I’m reticent to touch their wretched beaks.

And so, I was most grateful for the timely arrival of a Pacific storm that dumped lakes of rain here. I simply locked the dogs in the back yard despite their increasingly urgent protestations. (Dogs don’t get pneumonia, do they?) Nature took its course vis-à-vis the canines’ nasal discharges, and I was able to hand them back to their owners today in marginally acceptable condition.

And now, having figuratively and literally washed my hands of the beasts, it’s back to the fort and the delight of irresponsible delights.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart