1 April 1996
Declaration of Extended Galactic Antics
"Whereas, April Fools Day is a joyous occasion and a glorious holiday, and,
2 April 1996
I spent most of the day as I've spent most of the past two weeks: trying to get a new computer with a new operating system to run new software. I have no thing to show for my dreary efforts except for sore wrists.
3 April 1996
I dropped a container of pesto when I was putting away the groceries. The jar bounced twice then sent the cafetiere shattering on the floor.
4 April 1996
Hero / Antihero
aircraft / antiaircraft
5 April 1996
What we call trees are really the roots of trees. We're all walking around upside down. Everybody's crazy.
6 April 1996
Sabine writes to me in a strange code. It takes me an hour to decipher one of her letters, and even then I still can't understand a few words. Is that sequence of regular loops supposed to be "mushroom," "mesmerize," "meditation," or something completely different?
7 April 1996
Old Man Hamilton's Legacy
Neighborhood children gleefully keep alive a grim local legend. They assert with varying degrees of conviction that before old man Hamilton moved to Spretly he sealed the notorious little Jimmy Spring inside his house and left him to suffocate. (In fact, the Springs moved unannounced to Peghildens to elude bill collectors.)
8 April 1996
Birthday and Deathday
Today would have been Dad's seventy-sixth birthday, had he not died quietly during a nap on the 1991 winter solstice.
9 April 1996
It was a scene of horrid brutality, even for the seventeenth century France: during communion, Father M. attempted to rape Mrs. C., who was some eight months pregnant. Her pleas for help were ignored by the dumbstruck faithful as well as the insane Father M., who screamed hysterically that "the seed of God would triumph over the spawn of the devil." He did not stop his frenzied attack until Mrs. C. smashed his skull with a heavy silver chalice. For what seemed an eternity, Ms. C.'s quiet sobs were the only sound in the cathedral; Father M.'s blood mixed with the communion wine at the base of the alter. Then, one by one, the parishioners crept silently from the dark cathedral into the midday sun.
10 April 1996
Explosive Device (Installation description)
The piece consists of a plinth1 concealing a timed or remote-controlled explosive device2; a business card (above) is held in a gold-plated "alligator" clip projecting from the center of the top of the plinth.
11 April 1996
I was surprised to find a dead pigeon in the street; it had apparently just been hit by a car. It seems that pigeons always manage to get out of the way of speeding cars at the very last moment. (Almost always.) Like human jaywalkers, pigeons always seem to exert the minimum amount of energy necessary to avoid getting hit.
12 April 1996
A friend of mine used to be part of a gang of eco-terrorists. He and his cohorts used to put timed destructive devices in backwoods buildings, structures they maintained shouldn't have been built in the first place.
13 April 1996
I saw the first buds of spring today. (It's been a long cold winter.) This is a sad time, it means soon all the marvelous specter of grey plastic bags will be obscured by leaves. The leaves all look the same but no two bags are the same.
14 April 1996
Kathy likes to shatter glass just before dawn. She goes downtown and fires a pellet gun through the windows of businesses she dislikes. After a good morning's sleep, she goes back to survey the damage. She shouldn't do that sort of thing; I feel guilty admiring the cracks.
15 April 1996
When you're in England, your best bet for spirited food is an Indian takeaway. The illustration on the carrying bag says everything you need to know: "Delicious Hot food Especially cooked for you!" In this case, the illustration is a bonus.
16 April 1996
National Constipation Day
A multinational laxative manufacturing conglomerate has declared that today is National Constipation Day in England. It was a shrewd move; Brits seem constantly in a delicate balance of terror and awe of their bowels.
17 April 1996
On the way home I saw a tank speeding through my neighborhood. For some reason I felt no safer.
18 April 1996
The walls of this town are adorned with the work of a prolific graffitist. The graffiti doesn't seem to advocate any discernible political or social agenda ...NAZIS KILLED ELVISThe handwriting is all the graffiti have in common. I can't tell whether the slogans are the work of a clever artist or a psychotic; that's always a fine distinction.
19 April 1996
I stop every time I walk by a local book store; its windows are filled with copies of Insight Guides Spam. A closer look at the poor typography reveals that the book is in fact the much more predictable Insight Guides Spain, but I never remember. The next day I again stop to look at a window full of Insight Guides Spam.
20 April 1996
There are definite causal relationships between wealth and happiness as well as between wealth and unhappiness. The popular media has found it profitable to highlight the former relationship; it seems most people love to read how miserable the rich really are. Still, my affluent friends don't seem to be oppressed by their wealth.
21 April 1996
The windows of Factory Direct Windows have been boarded up for as long as I can remember. The shoemaker's children go barefoot. I have no photographs of some of my closest friends. Clichés live.
22 April 1996
Newcastle upon Tyne (or is it Newcastle-upon-Tyne?) has changed a lot in recent years. Shipbuilding, coal mining, the steel industry and most of the fishing is gone.
23 April 1996
Elbows are interesting but rarely seen. Or perhaps they're interesting because they're rarely seen--especially the ones with scars. I simply must depict more elbows.
24 April 1996
Someone--or, more likely, some committee--has put up signs throughout the neighborhood admonishing the kids that there shall be "NO BALL GAMES." The kids, of course, ignore them.
25 April 1996
Workers are busy preparing the infrastructure for cable television. I was impressed that one laborer took the time to sprinkle small pieces of lightly-colored stone on top of the fresh asphalt covering the trench. Since I don't think the embellishments increase the structural integrity of the filling, the little rocks must therefore be art.
26 April 1996
A Time-Based Woman
I saw a picture of the "Woman of Today" drinking "The Wine of Yesterday" whose appearance was ostensibly enhanced with "The Hair Care Products of Tomorrow." She was definitely some woman.
27 April 1996
The Mad Cow Epidemic has, appropriately enough, reached epidemic proportions. The government has given English farmers military "adversary bags," huge thick plastic bags to be used for ten enemy bodies during "times of conflict" (or, "war," as it was previously known).
28 April 1996
Olde Englande Farming
You may thing that the English countryside is a tableau of cow dung, ruminant urine, and other such byproducts of contemporary British farming practices. If that's what you thought, you'd be right, but, more to the point, you'd be wrong.
29 April 1996
I recently enjoyed a delightful dinner with an old friend. After we were all suitably sated, he brought out an old 78 record player. We listened to an ancient Glenn Miller recording of Moonlight Serenade. The music was delightfully scratchy and hissy, exactly as my father would have heard it during World War II.
30 April 1996
A friend asked me if I knew the most common source of food poisoning. I guessed chicken, since it's rinsed in a fecal bath as part of the industrial meat processing ordeal. Anything that's been sautéed in shit has to be dangerous.
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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart