2008 Notebook: Weak XXIV
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12 June 2008
No. 6,705 (cartoon)
Why are you shouting?

I have nothing to say.

13 June 2008
Two Thousand Days Longer than Joe Strummer
I’ve now lived two thousand days longer than Joe Strummer née John Mellor. Too bad he died so young, but I think it might be largely his fault. I think Strummer realized too many good ideas too soon; he didn’t pace himself. It’s not unlike Douglas Adams’ untimely death; he didn’t ration his finite number of heartbeats and died exercising in a gym.

I’ve learned from their mistakes, and have arrived at an optimum ratio of heartbeats to creative output. At this rate, I should be able to create alleged art until I die. That’s the theory, at least. As for practice, we shall see.

14 June 2008
Funny Undefined
Freddie asked me to tell him a joke, so I told him one of my favorites.

Two cows are standing in the middle of a field, and one cow says to the other, “Does it seem like Tuesday to you?”

“And then what?” Freddie asked.

“That’s it,” I said with a smile.

“I don’t get it,” Freddie replied, “tell me why that’s funny.”

I was flummoxed. Just as I couldn’t explain what makes a bad joke a bad joke, I wasn’t able to rationalize what make a joke funny. Rather that beat a dead, humorless horse, I told him an easily appreciated joke, the one about the three porcupines, the hot springs, and the mayonnaise. Everyone likes that joke.

15 June 2008
Jean Cocteau’s Amazing Day
It’s Jean Cocteau’s Amazing Day again, the occasion on which I reflect on his insightful comment, “Stupidity is always amazing, no matter how used to it you become.”

I’m grateful for researchers at Der Spiegel for tapping into that rich vein of stupidity, professional football. Here are some of the gems they discovered.

The round thing has to go in the rectangular thing.

One can win each game, one can also lose each game.

There is only one possibility: victory, defeat, or a draw.

Sometimes you lose, sometimes the others win.

The Swedes are no Dutchmen; we saw that very clearly.

Milan or Madrid, the most important thing is it’s Italy.

The score is currently one to one. But it could also have been the other way around.

The chances are currently fifty-fifty or even sixty-sixty.

Our chances are seventy-fifty.

You don’t always need to have an absolute majority behind you, sometimes fifty-one percent is enough.

Yes; those are stupid—or at least innumerate—remarks, but they all pale in comparison to Lukas Podolski’s observation, “Fussball ist wie Schach, nur ohne Würfel.” Or, in English ...

Football is like chess, only without the dice.

Now that really is amazing!

16 June 2008
Yet Another Way to Die
I read that a young boy in South Carolina drowned. That sort of tragedy happens all the time, but this death was unusual in that the boy drowned at home, over an hour after leaving the swimming pool. The lad succumbed to what’s known as, “dry drowning.” I had no idea that one could walk and talk with water-filled lungs, but it turns out that you can drown a day after leaving the water.

Too bad about the boy’s death, but it’s fascinating how many ways human can die. I wonder what I’ll come up with?

17 June 2008
The Beautiful Women of Santiago
Evelyn’s been to Chile before, so I asked her to tell me about Santiago.

“You’ll have a great time,” she assured me, “the women there are beautiful.”

“Women everywhere are beautiful,” I replied, “what are you talking about?”

“You’ll see,” she explained. “One day you’ll come out of your hotel and see some of the most beautiful women you’ve ever seen. These lovely creatures are putas.”

“What’s that?” I asked, “the indigenous people of the region?”

“No, you idiot gringo,” Evelyn laughed, “they’re prostitutes!”

“I don’t think that’s funny,” I said.

“I know,” Evelyn agreed, “that’s what makes it so funny. You white boys are just hilarious.”

So much for Evelyn’s insights on Chile; I shall just have to go there and see for myself.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart