2007 Notebook: Weak XXXIX
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24 September 2007
No. 1,697 (cartoon)
You’re a has-been.

You’re a never-were.

25 September 2007
Petty Theft, Petty Objection
Mabel, Helena’s mother, wrote to me to complain that I stole a line in my story about the breast-feeding fatwa from Will Rogers.

“It was he that first said, ‘some people are for it, some people are against it, and I tend to agree,’ ” Mabel generously informed me, adding “and I’m old enough to know.”

I thanked Mabel for her grievance, and explained that since Will Rogers wasn’t bothered by my petty theft, I wasn’t either.

26 September 2007
Leica Cameras Hidden in Her Hair
I just listed to Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno’s song, Burning Airlines Give You So Much More, for the first time in years. I clearly remembered a line, “Maybe she will do a bit of spying, with Leica cameras hidden in her hair,” but clearly I was wrong. In fact, she had micro cameras hidden in her hair. I liked my version with Leica cameras much better. I think I’ll never listen to a recording of Burning Airlines Give You So Much More again in order to keep my version of the song intact in my mind.

27 September 2007
The Ultimate in Pain Relief
United States Food and Drug Administration investigators are looking into the deaths of four patients who used Fentora, a powerful painkiller. The drug’s active ingredient is fentanyl, a chemical much stronger than morphine.

I don’t see what all the hubbub’s about. Someone takes one of the strongest painkillers available, then enjoys permanent pain relief. What’s the problem?

After a bit of additional research, I discovered that one of the patients committed suicide by taking Fentora. And that’s the problem: government bureaucrats frown on self-administered euthanasia.

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28 September 2007
Pivo’s Progress
I’m housesitting for Dr. Raedeke, and enjoying a predictably great time. Sadly, his old cat Odie left this world since the last time I was a caretaker here, and now Pivo—a hyperactive younger cat—is running maniacally amok.

Odie had many laudable virtues, but his urinary aim wasn’t one of them. That’s why Dr. Raedeke used a large darkroom developing tray as a cat box. Now that Odie’s gone, Dr. Raedeke’s replaced the large tray with a smaller cat box. Nevertheless, things still aren’t right in the department of kitty urination and defecation.

When I moved in to take care of the cats, I was surprised to find rolls of toilet on the bathroom sink counter but none in the wall-mounted roll holder. I thought this arrangement was rather curious, since Dr. Raedeke’s relentlessly tidy. I mounted the toilet paper in the bathroom wall above the cat box, and didn’t think anything of it.

It wasn’t long until Pivo showed me why the toilet paper was stored on the countertop. The mischievous kitty cleverly managed to unroll all the toilet paper into his litter box, where he tore and shredded the mass of tissue into a pleasing arrangement. I gave the clever cat an extra portion of salmon for dinner; kitty creativity should be rewarded.

29 September 2007
Caveman and Drunken Hunter
I love to spot great news headlines, so I was delighted to find, “Man Beheads Tame Hotel Duck.”

It seems that Scott D. Clark, who was staying at a hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota, was famished late one night. Clark spotted a tame duck swimming in a tiny pond in the lobby of the Embassy Suites Hotel, and did what any ravenous caveman would do: he ripped off the compliant duck’s head.

“I’m hungry,” Clark announced to onlookers including the hotel’s security guard, “I’m gonna eat it.”

St. Paul police Sergeant John Wuorinen, no slouch when it comes to canny insights into the criminal mind, offered a plausible explanation for twenty-six year old man’s behavior.

“He was allegedly drunk,” Wuorinen noted.

Aha! That would explain everything.

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30 September 2007
Twenty-Two Lunar Features
Many years ago, I discovered that some of the first astronomers assigned lovely, romantic names to the moon’s geographic features: Sea of Vapors, Marsh of Sleep, Bay of Seething, Ocean of Storms, and so on. I decided to photograph artificial lunar surfaces and give the images the evocative titles. And that’s when the trouble began.

It turns out that finding or creating fake photographs of the moon was incredibly difficult. In fact, I only made one photograph. The image of reticulated insulation on the roof of my old laboratory was completely unconvincing. When I came across scores of high-resolution digital images of the moon, I decided to complete the project.

And so it was that I combined someone else’s photographs with someone else’s titles to create Twenty-Two Lunar Features, which is all mine.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart