2007 Notebook: Weak XXXVIIII
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18 September 2007
No. 8,693 (cartoon)
I’m going to make you suffer until you beg for death.

I’m tired of your empty promises.

19 September 2007
Reservations on Having Been Born
Oh dear, Alicia’s having more problems with her mother. Why it is that over half of the women I know have difficult relationships with their mother, this I do not know.

Alicia’s mother called her from Ireland after learning about Alicia’s commercial setback. Her mother advised her not to take the situation too seriously, because, “you’re a professional failure anyway!”

“If I had known this is the kind of mother I’d have,” Alicia told me, “I would never have let her give birth to me.”

I thought bringing up the possibility of a postnatal abortion wasn’t a good idea, so I didn’t.

20 September 2007
Snowing the Ass Off a Goat
Linda’s visiting, and reminiscing at great length about the past. When talking about her late husband, she said everyone agreed that, “He could snow the ass off a goat.”

I asked her what that meant. She said she had no idea, but thought it was a lovely phrase. I’m not sure if I believed her; she may have been trying to snow me.

21 September 2007
A Surprise Visit
Sometimes I wonder what people are like when I’m not watching. Are their homes always as tidy as when I visit? Do they act differently when no one else is there? Such questions, e.g., does a lumber company profit if a tree falls with no one around?, are of little interest.

Where was I? Yes, housesitting, that’s what I was thinking about.

When I showed up at Art and Cindy’s house tonight to take care of their cats while they were away, I got quite a surprise: they were still there. It turns out that I mistakenly showed up a day early. They were unnerved when they heard someone unlocking and opening their door, and I was unnerved to discover I’d arrived quite prematurely.

And so, since we were all unnerved, Art and Cindy brought out a couple of bottles of wine so that we could get nerved again.

I can report that, at nineteen-hundred hours, I found them eating burritos in their pajamas. Their house was as neat as always, and I found no evidence of a methamphetamine lab in the kitchen. There’s really nothing tawdry, risqué, or even unpredictable to report.

I’m glad no one’s ever walked through my door when I assumed I was alone, although I’d certainly have a more interesting story to tell if someone did.

22 September 2007
Idiots Rule Boston
Law enforcement personnel, police, and their ilk all have this in common: they’re human. And so, by definition, they embody the full range of humanity. I’ve only met the smart ones here in San Francisco; even when they’ve had their guns trained on me, they’ve always been professional. That may or may not be because the stupidest of the dumb cops and the dumbest of the stupidest cops are all in Boston. At least, that’s what recent events again suggest.

A few months ago, some publicists for a television program planted small, plastic sculptures illuminated with blinking lights in a dozen American cities. The stunt went unnoticed, except in Boston, where authorities shut down the city because of the “obvious” terrorist attack.

In a case of déjà vu all over again, cops at the Boston airport aimed their machine guns at Star Simpson, a nineteen-year old engineering student and artist who had a battery and small circuit board with nine flashing lights pinned to her chest.

“She was immediately told to stop, to raise her hands and not to make any movement, so we could observe all her movements to see if she was trying to trip any type of device. Had she not followed the protocol, we might have used deadly force,” State Police Major Scott Pare, the airport’s commanding officer, explained. “She’s lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue.”

What an imbecile! But maybe—just maybe—I’m being too critical of Major Pare. Perhaps he’s seen a secret memo from a terrorist organization.

    COMRADES: In the future, we should abandon the approach of dressing like business executives and concealing our throat-slitting devices as did the glorious martyrs who brought down the World Trade Center. Instead, let us call attention to ourselves and our bombs with exposed wiring, batteries, and flashing lights, so as to befuddle the infidels, God willing.

On the other hand, slicing up the event with Occam’s razor suggests that Major Pare is a paranoid ignoramus.

23 September 2007
Marcel Marceau’s Final Silence
Marcel Marceau, née Marcel Mangel, perhaps the most famous mime in the history of that sad medium, is dead. I think this calls for a moment of silence, and perhaps a few silly gestures as well.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart