2009 Notebook: Weak XII
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19 March 2009
No. 5,124 (cartoon)
I’d be better off dead.

Stop looking at life through rose-colored glasses.

20 March 2009
Singaporean Procreation Talent
Loo Choon Yong, a Singaporean parliamentarian, suggested that his country’s workweek should be extended from five to six days. He recommended this because his fellow citizens aren’t creating enough fellow citizens to do what needs to be done.

“We should accept that, as a people, our procreation talent is not our forte,” the politician explained.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of an x-day workweek if x is greater than a smidgeon. On the other hand, working six days a week seems much less strenuous than raising a child.

The choices are too abstract to consider seriously. After all, I’ve never been to Singapore and have no plans to go there.

21 March 2009
Bat Populations Risk Extinction
I often listen to the radio while I’m working. Perhaps “listen” isn’t the right word; many times I’m not conscious of who’s talking about what happening where when. Sometimes, I’ll tune into the middle of a talk and wonder if the subject is lemmings, Lithuania, or lemon meringue pie.

This afternoon, I heard a warning, “... half of all bat populations could risk extinction unless action is taken immediately.”

That’s all I heard. All bat populations? Where? Extinction when? Am I supposed to do something?

22 March 2009
The Used Food Store
Stephanie buys a lot of her groceries from the used food store. Of course, there’s no supermarket called Used Food Store. Instead, the unnamed shop sells inexpensive items from bankrupt distributors, excess inventories, that sort of thing.

When I asked Stephanie why she refers to her grocery store as the used food store, she explained that meals taste better when they come from a source with a funny name. I suppose I could have argued with her, but, since the pesto tasted wonderful, I decided that such a discussion would be gaucher than gauche.

23 March 2009
The Three States of Oregon Weather
I haven’t been to Oregon in some time, so I foolishly asked Mary what sort of weather I should anticipate. She patiently reminded me that I could expect three possible meteorological conditions.

1. It’s about to rain.

2. It’s raining.

3. It just rained.

She was, of course, correct. I’m having a lovely, moist time.

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24 March 2009
A Curious Wound
Whilst cavorting through modest shrubberies on the sand dunes surrounding Lake Cleawox, I managed to poke a stick into my thigh. Or maybe the branch stabbed me; I can’t recall. It was a foggy day in every dimension.

The impact resulted in two tiny, parallel puncture wounds. Curiously, the cuts developed a bruised ring around them. Any doctor could probably give me a simple medical explanation for the phenomenon, but that’s of no interest. Two parallel lines in the center of a circle is quite satisfying.

25 March 2009
Giving Oddness a Bad Name Redux
Oh dear, I’m in a dangerous situation. Dangerous, that is, for an ostensibly creative person. I’m about to repeat myself. Consciously, even.

A year ago, I wrote about The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. I then went on to complain about the selection process as well as the outcome. And now, I’m about to do exactly the same thing.

(I won’t do it again. Honest.)

Here’s the 2009 winner: The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais. I’m sure this happened because everyone likes a typo. The book, which sells for over a thousand dollars, had an extra “milli” in the title. Oops.

Professor Philip M. Parker is also the author of The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Hermetic-Type Motor Compressors, 60 Hp and All Refrigerants Excluding Ammonia, The 2009-2014 World Outlook for Foam Rubber Pillows and Cushions Excluding Bed and Fancy Types, and related works. The real reason his book won wasn’t the title, with or without typo. As was the case last year, the most promising contenders weren’t considered.

Was Excrement in the Late Middle Ages in the running? It was not. Was The Industrial Vagina considered? It was not. And so on and so forth.

I rest my lazy case.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart