2008 Notebook: Weak L
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11 December 2008
No. 8,917 (cartoon)
I suffer from delusions.

No, you enjoy them.

12 December 2008
Safe Sex
Lots of people worry about lots of things all the time. And so, I welcomed a recent report in the British Medical Journal that many popular phobias have no basis in fact. Sugar doesn’t cause hyperactivity in children, suicides don’t increase over the holidays, poinsettias aren’t poisonous, most of the body’s heat is not lost by going hatless, eating at night doesn’t lead to more obesity than eating the same meal during the day, that sort of thing.

Somehow, the British Medical Journal editors missed the big neurosis story: it’s almost unheard of for anyone to have a stroke and orgasm simultaneously. For that to happen, one needs to have a rare opening between the upper chambers of the heart, then for a blood clot to get sucked through the opening and directly to the brain. In other words, the more orgasms one has, the fewer moments one’s exposed to the risk of stroke.

Sex prevents strokes! I wonder why that story wasn’t more widely disseminated? It’s no wonder people don’t buy newspapers any more.

13 December 2008
Bacon’s Not Bacon
Francis Bacon noted, “We are potential carcasses. If I go into a butcher’s shop I always think it’s surprising that I wasn’t there instead of the animal.”

That’s a wonderful sentiment. Being grateful for simply being alive puts everything else in perspective, and makes a croque-monsieur all the tastier.

14 December 2008
Faux Crises
I know very little about what’s happening today in the grander scheme of things, and probably won’t for decades. That’s the way things work; people in power rarely tip their hands. Who knows what sort of nefarious villainy Dick Cheney has been up to for the last eight years in his secret hidey-hole? Cheney, that’s who, and he’s not talking.

Here’s how it works in practice. Sixty-some years ago President Roosevelt proclaimed a gas rationing program—along with a national speed limit of thirty-five miles an hour—during the second world war. The campaign was an exercise in subterfuge; the United States had enough oil to fight a war with plenty left over for domestic consumption.

The real point of the exercise was to preserve tires, since the Japanese had gained control of most of the world’s rubber production. But since the average American apparently couldn’t be trusted to act responsibly, the politicians concocted a fake oil shortage.

I wonder what alleged truths will be revealed as a lies in fifty years? That’s yet another thing I needn’t worry about, since I’ll be dead then. Death will eventually address every one of my problems and concerns, so I’m enjoying the confusion and consternation while I can.

15 December 2008
Death by Vacuum
After reading my story about the man who was arrested for allegedly “receiving sexual favors from a vacuum,” Jana sent me an article from the Biloxi Tattler about a disconsolate janitor who killed himself with an industrial vacuum cleaner. The miserable Mississippian attached the device to his face over his left eye, ingested a lethal dose of bourbon and barbiturates, then turned on the vacuum.

As Jana noted in the accompanying note, “the vacuum giveth and the vacuum taketh away.”

I’ll never kill myself. Having said that, I think having my brains sucked out would be a pretty good way to go.

16 December 2008
Lethal Aerial Art
Jasmin opined that no airline would ever feature any of my films on a flight.

“Of course not,” I agreed, “I’ll never have the connections for that kind of distribution.”

“It’s not that,” she replied, “it’s that people would walk out.”

I liked the idea of people jumping out of a plane to avoid seeing bad art; that’s the kind of work I might actually make one day if I work hard enough.

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17 December 2008
Turkey Feather!
“Amazing!” Florian exclaimed in the middle of dinner. “Look at this!”

He pointed out the tiny stem of a turkey feather still rooted in the dead bird’s skin. We all marveled at the evidence that the meat on Florian’s plate actually came from a bird, a fowl with feathers.

Florian fed the turkey skin to his dog, who inhaled it without noticing the feather or anything else. Meat’s just meat to a dog, and to most humans as well.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart