2009 Notebook: Weak XXXVIII
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18 September 2009
No. 8,758 (cartoon)
Do you suffer from nightmares?

Only when I’m awake.

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19 September 2009
Pecks of Peaches
I photographed pecks of peaches at a farmers’ market in Buffalo this morning. The image isn’t original, or even of much visual interest. I made the photograph simply so I could repeat the phrase, “pecks of peaches.”

20 September 2009
Mass Teddy Bear Grave
Chris knows where the bodies are buried; she buried them.

When it was time to sell the house her late parents bought in 1937, Chris and her sisters had to disperse seventy years of accumulated accumulations. Everything went smoothly until she had to deal with her mother’s collection of forty teddy bears. They were too worn and tattered to find a place in anyone’s home, but had too much sentimental value to be relegated to the city dump.

Chris came up with a creative solution to the problem: a mass grave. She dug a pit in the back yard, and buried the bears in the same soil where so many of the family’s dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, gerbils, fish, et cetera were laid to rest.

I wonder what will happen when inquisitive children come across the mass burial site? Too bad neither of us will be there when it happens.

21 September 2009
The Sickest Joke Ever
Sheila and I have an ongoing competition: who can tell the sickest joke? She’s obviously been boning up on his studies; she told me the most disturbing joke I’ve ever heard. Ever heard, ever.

Question: What do you get when you stab a baby?


This is why Sheila won: her punch line was so appalling that even I can’t repeat it. This is the first time in five-thousand notebook entries I’ve censored myself.

A pox upon thee, Sheila!

22 September 2009
Artists’ Suicides as a Public Good
I read some periodicals more than others, and I’m way behind on The Archives of Suicide Research. That’s why I’ve only just seen the 2005 article by Samuel Cameron, Bijou Yang, and David Lester, “Artists’ Suicides as a Public Good.”

“Sales of the artist’s products and associated merchandise may increase after the suicide,” the authors noted, “and people, including those who were not even born at the time of the suicide, may derive value from its iconic reification, not to mention the higher value they derive from some private goods.”

The researchers used Kurt Cobain as a poster boy for a beneficial suicide, and understandably so for reasons that have nothing to do with monetary considerations. From everything I’ve heard, Cobain was arrogant and abusive to many of the people with whom he worked, and his shotgun exit from this world elicited more cheers than tears among the people he maltreated.

A public good indeed!

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23 September 2009
Flowers from Susan
I found a pleasant surprise when I arrived at Mark’s apartment in Boston yesterday. Mark was away on an unexpected trip to Washington, but he left me a few bottles of wine and a corkscrew. And Susan left me a bouquet of five sunflowers and a note.


    So sorry to miss you this trip. These are to welcome you.


I waited to call Susan to thank her until Mark returned tonight.

“Better be careful with the flowers,” I advised her. “I married the only other woman who gave me flowers.”

I knew she wouldn’t take me seriously, but thought I’d have Mark witness the innocent exchange. Susan’s brilliant, and would never mistake a frivolous remark for flirtation, but why take chances?

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart