2008 Notebook: Weak LI
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18 December 2008
No. 3,804 (cartoon)
Why did you do that?

I hurt everyone to find out if I’m really loved.

19 December 2008
A few weeks ago, Rosalind made a disparaging remark about all the poh-theeds in Golden Gate Park. I told her I knew nothing about botany, and that I couldn’t differentiate a fiddlehead from a cattail.

Rosalind was incredulous that I didn’t know what a poh-theed was, so she explained that “poh-theed” was how people who smoke a lot of marijuana pronounce pothead. She informed me that this was common knowledge; everyone knows that “poh-theed” means pothead.

Since then, I’ve asked quite a few of my learned friends if they’d heard of the word “poh-theed,” but none of them has. I mentioned this to Rosalind, and asked who else used the word. She could only cite a fictional character, Homer Simpson. I suspect some pothead coined the alleged word “poh-theed,” then forgot about her creation.


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20 December 2008
Christmas Spirit Murder
I haven’t bought a newspaper in years; I may never do so again. I don’t miss them, except for the odd, yellowed clipping of some article from decades ago, such as the story about the ninety-kilogram cyst.

Today, I came across another old feature about David Bullock murdering Herberto Morales on Christmas day in 1981.

“[Morales] started messing with the Christmas tree, telling me how nice the Christmas tree was. So I shot him,” Morales confessed. “It was in the Christmas spirit, it makes me happy.”

I doubt I would have remembered such a macabre tale if I wouldn’t have found the discolored piece of newsprint. Even so, I’m not going to miss newspapers, especially since I have hundreds of such grisly and gory stories stored in my computer.

Don’t mess with Christmas trees, and happy holidays!

21 December 2008
Dark Solstice
Today’s the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. It’s an easy date to remember; my father died seventeen years ago today.

It’s dark this morning; the room got even darker after I opened the curtains.

It’s a very inky morning in sooth.

22 December 2008
Hail Santa!
Oliver told me that his daughter Adriana got in trouble at her elementary school last week. Her teachers called Oliver to report that Adriana was telling her fellow students that Santa Claus was a fictional character, and that there was no reward for good behavior. Instead, Adriana warned her classmates that, if they’d been bad, Satan Claus would punish them by defecating on them as they slept, killing their pets, or worse. If anyone doubted her, she pointed out that Satan Claus was just another name for Satan Nicholas.

“That’s pretty good,” I said.

“I’m rather proud of her,” Oliver told me with a fatherly smile, “especially after she ignored her teachers’ recriminations.”

“Probably because she knows they’ll be getting a nasty visitation from Satan Claus,” I suggested.

Hail Santa!

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23 December 2008
Beta Vulgaris
One of the many things I enjoy about housesitting is perishable food. I’d never raid a friend’s larder, but if there’s food that will become inedible if I don’t eat it, then my duty as a housesitter is clear.

Alina and Jacob left fresh beets in the refrigerator, so I was obliged to eat them. Margaret, who knows more about beets than all my other learned friends combined, told me to boil the Beta vulgaris for an hour then eat them.

I boiled the beets, then forgot about them for two or three days. That was a mistake, a big mistake.

When I opened the pan of beets, I discovered a most disgusting sight: the beets had metamorphosed into some sort of evil alien critter. Their roots had evolved into tentacles, and the larval body of the former vegetable was oozing some sort of primordial ectoplasm.

I hate to waste food, but I tossed the execrable beets on top of Alina and Jacob’s compost heap. Beta vulgaris indeed!

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart