2007 Notebook: Weak XX
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15 May 2007
No. 2,588 (cartoon)
This is war.

I’m not taking sides.

I’m not taking prisoners.

16 May 2007
Weird Bob Dylan in the Suburbs
The musician and noted plagiarist Bob Dylan, née Zimmerman, has been getting some pretty bad reviews lately from some audience members who are unaware and/or unimpressed by his fame. The critics and Dylan’s grandson attend the same kindergarten in a Los Angeles suburb.

According to the New York Post, “The kids have been coming home and telling their parents about the weird man who keeps coming to class to sing scary songs on his guitar. They just think of him as the weird guitar guy.”

That’s one of the myriad problem with the suburbs; weirdness is rarely appreciated.

17 May 2007
Secondary Virginity?!
Conservative zealots and insane religious fanatics are hilarious when they’re not being maniacally dangerous.

Grover Norquist, an anti-tax extremist, opined that liberal politicians, “could redeem themselves in the eyes of the conservative movement despite their past records, just as some high school students take abstinence pledges even after having had sex. It’s called secondary virginity. It is a big movement in high school and also available for politicians.”

Secondary virginity?! As Bugs Bunny would have said, “What a maroon!”

I’ve seen how secondary virginity works in practice. As dumb ideas go, it’s right up there with making the world a better place by all but abandoning taxation for the wealthy.

18 May 2007
Covers Too Far Apart
I was discussing books with Dr. Diamond; she asked me if I’d ever read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. I replied that I had not.

“I don’t think I’ve read a better first half of a book,” she reported.

I liked her review; it reminded me of a similar observation by Ambrose Bierce, “The covers of this book are too far apart.”

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19 May 2007
Signature Finger Strategy
I went to Florida today to visit a whole passel of relatives, some of whom I’ve never met. I hadn’t seen any of them in over a dozen years; that presented a challenge rendezvousing with my cousin Jennifer. I emailed her my passport photo, told her I’d be carrying a black bag, and that I’d be wearing a small, black backpack. I advised her that if she wanted to increase the probability that she’d identified the right person, she should look for an hombre with 9.3 fingers.

The plan worked; we had no problem spotting each other, especially since she was carrying a sign announcing that she was looking for someone with 9.3 fingers. Once again, my missing finger has served me well.

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20 May 2007
My Last Visit Uncle Don?
I’m having a great time in Florida with my uncle, Don. He reminds me a lot of my late father, his brother Glenn. We’ve been staying up until midnight drinking whiskey, playing pool, sharing great stories, and telling bad jokes. Despite the frivolity, there’s a somber undercurrent.

As I get older and appreciate my mortality, I’m more and more conscious that there’ll be a last time I do everything: the last time I’ll land in Bangkok, the last time I’ll throw a snowball, et cetera. And so, it’s rather sobering—whiskey notwithstanding—to realize that this may be the last time I’ll see my eighty-five year old uncle. Except for my family, there’s no reason to travel the ten-thousand kilometers to Florida and back.

Another uncle, Don’s brother Russ, died after my last visit with him. I thought it wasn’t my final visit, but I was wrong. With dumb Rinehart luck, my pessimism will be as misplaced as my optimism was.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart