2007 Notebook: Weak XIX
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7 May 2007
No. 6,719 (cartoon)
Pleased to meet you.

Same here, I like liars.

8 May 2007
Betty’s Ninetieth Birthday
I had a pleasant time at Betty’s ninetieth birthday party. She was born in 1917; imagine that!

Betty’s not much of a party gal, which may or may not have something to do with her longevity. In any case, it was the best alcohol-free party I’ve ever been to since I was a teenager, and not just because it’s the only one, either.

I wonder if Betty’s really ninety; she doesn’t look that old. Maybe she just thinks she’s ninety because time passes so slowly during extended periods of sobriety.

9 May 2007
Bad Jokes Undefined
When I warned Hilary Monday night that I was about to tell a bad joke, she asked me to explain what constituted a bad joke.

I’m not easily flummoxed, but I couldn’t even begin to define what makes a joke bad. Two days later, I still can’t. I always thought an understanding of bad jokes was a priori knowledge, but, as is frequently the case, I thought wrong.

10 May 2007
Like Attracts Fat Like
Everyone knows that more and more Americans are getting more and more obese. Life is rich in the land of the half-kilogram quadruple cheeseburger.

On yesterday’s travels through three airports, I noticed a new development: fat people are gathering in groups. I concluded that they congregated as if they were obeying the laws of physics, as if their collective mass provided its own gravity. I later rejected that theory when a thin woman and a child walked by without deviating from their path.

I later deduced that the reason the large people clustered together is vanity. After all, a grossly obese person looks a bit less overweight sitting beside a grotesquely obese person.

I’m staying away from the conglomerations of corpulent people, even though I look positively lithe next to some of the behemoths. No, when a passing alien space ship needs a fresh supply of meat, I know where they’re going to begin their harvest.

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11 May 2007
Cultural Crapo
To get to the Flint [Michigan] Cultural Center, you need to trek down Crapo Street until it intersects with Kearsley Street. Once there, you’ll never be far from Crapo.

Very Flint indeed!

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12 May 2007
Let’s Merge!
More than one learned scientist has suggested that our ancient ancestors invented beer in order that unattractive people could procreate.

Some things never change. That’s why I was delighted by the Molson Brewing Company’s unambiguous advertising campaign. The beer pushers didn’t talk about their brew’s superior ingredients, sophisticated taste, or other characteristics irrelevant to the plot. Instead, they put large labels reading “LET’S MERGE” on their bottles.

Who needs subtlety when you have lots of beer?

13 May 2007
It’s a Fluke!
I love Canada! The country is full of beer, maple leaves, hockey rinks, more beer, beavers, Mounties, and still more beer. Beauty, eh? It’s also the home of the trucking company, Fluke Transportation Group in Hamilton, Ontario.

I discovered this while driving on the 401 to Toronto. That’s where I spotted the company’s motto on the back of one of its trucks: If it’s on time, it’s a “Fluke.”

That’s the second time in a week I’ve heard such an improbable name. Earlier this week, I talked with a beautiful woman who claimed to be from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. I thought she was joking, but it turns out there really is such a town.

I used to think Garrison Keillor made up some amusing business names and geographic locations, but now I’m not so sure. I wonder if he gets all of his material from business directories and atlases?

14 May 2007
In and Out of the Grave
I have been—and am—involved in some wonderful love stories. But then there are wonderful love stories, and then there are some absolutely incredible love stories. Today, I read one such tale that rivals Victor Hugo’s.

Basanta Roy lies in a grave in Jharkhand state. Unlike all the other men in Indian graves, Roy climbs out of the grave he dug every morning. The old Hindu man, who claims to be over a hundred years old, is mourning his wife, who died nearly ten years ago. Her grave is beside his.

“He cleans his grave every day and waits for his death, which seems to be eluding him,” said Shyam Narayan Ram, an Indian bureaucrat familiar with the situation.

I’d sell Roy one of the Twin Death Beds I designed, but with my luck he might not live long enough to pay for it.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart