- 16 April 2002
- No. 6,838 (cartoon)
- What is creation without art?
- 17 April 2002
- Janets Bathroom Priorities
- Janet invited me over to her new condominium for drinks, so I went.
Wow! I exclaimed. You can see half of San Francisco from here!
I paid a lot more to be on the twenty-third floor, she said, but its worth it.
I didnt take the bait to ask her how much she paid for the tiny apartment; people from my part of the world dont talk about such things. And anyway, I knew that Janet would mention the price, since people from her part of the world delight in discussing such topics.
After a couple drinks, I asked Janet where the toilet was. She told me that I was sitting on it! She took the seat off my chair to reveal a toilet seat, then removed the lid from a carved, mahogany box and pulled out a roll of toilet paper.
Ill wait in the hall, Janet announced cheerfully, let me know when youre done.
Although I didnt like the idea of urinating in the middle of a friends living room, my bladder overruled my modesty.
When Janet returned and we resumed our conversation, I asked her why she bought a $363,000 condominium without a separate bathroom.
Well, it did have a regular bathroom when I bought it, she explained, but I decided it made the apartment seem too tiny, so I knocked out the walls.
And where do you bathe? I asked.
Oh, you just slide the dining room table over, she explained, theres a bathtub underneath.
- 18 April 2002
- Slurred Hearing
- I like writing for a number of reasons. First, I can usually edit out my more inane thoughts before anyone ever realized they passed through my head. Secondly, I dont speak very well. I talk too fast, and I always slur my speech regardless of whether or not Ive had a couple of drinks.
I was reminded of my proclivity for lazy speech when Erin made a simple request in the middle of my excited soliloquy.
David, she interrupted, shut up!
Up I shut.
Now, when you resume your apocryphal tale, Erin continued, speak s-l-o-w-l-y, e-nun-ci-ate, and ar-ti-cu-late.
Erin, mdear, I replied, I fear youre slurring your hearing.
Erin wisely ignored me.
I could see why youd talk fast if you had a lot to say, but youd be better off if you talked much more deliberately, Erin explained. That strategy might give your brain a chance to catch up with your tongue.
Thanks, Erin, I said. I suppose thats good advice.
I didnt add that I had no intention of taking her good advice. After all, Edward Dahlberg was right when he observed, There is hardly a man on earth who will take advice unless he is certain that it is positively bad.
- 19 April 2002
- JFA Lives!
- Eddie was unambiguously drunk when he showed up at the lab this evening.
You would appear to be a tad tipsy, I said. Whats the occasion?
Why did Reagan send the marines to Beirut? Eddie asked.
What does that have to do with inebriation? I replied.
He was trying to impress Jodie Foster! Eddie roared.
I liked the Hinckley joke; I rarely hear any Hinckley jokes these days.
And what does that have to do with inebriation? I repeated after an involuntary laugh.
Im going to see Jodie Fosters new movie tonight! Eddie announced with a ridiculous grin.
And thats the reason youre almost legless? I inquired.
Of course it is, Eddie confirmed. I love Jodie Foster, and since I probably wont remember half of the movie Im about to see, Ill get to see it for the first time again later.
I wasnt sure about Eddies drinking and viewing strategy, but we both agreed that Jodie Fosters Army was a very fine musical ensemble.
- 20 April 2002
- The Same Group of Random People
- Elizabeth said we should drop by her neighbor Scotts party tonight, and I agreed. I had no idea who Scott was, and that made the prospect all the more appealing. Since I was unlikely to know anyone there, I looked forward to the opportunities provided by anonymity. In practice, that usually means being able to graze and browse the bar without being interrupted by unsolicited conversations.
When we walked into the apartment, the kitchen was empty, as were all the bottles therein. Self-explanatory, really. We then walked down the hall and surveyed the living room. I didnt know what to make of the couple dozen people milling around, so I looked at Elizabeth for a cue.
Its the same group of random people, she declared.
How can the same group of people be random? I asked.
I use random in a different way, Elizabeth explained.
I had no idea what she meant, but I did know enough not to debate anyone whos appended a Philosophiæ Doctor to her surname.
We left in search of a different group of random people.
- 21 April 2002
- The Most Fascinating Kind of Art
- Most work is pointless and futile, especially mine. Thats why Ive considered hiring unskilled people to do useless tasks. If I ever had the money, I might pay one person to move a huge pile of dirt from one place to another, using only a large spoon. And, when that task was completed, Id pay the same person to use the same spoon to move the same pile of dirt back to the original location. Or, I might commission someone to use color pencils to fill in an entire coloring book, then erase every trace of the work.
And so on.
I thought of my stupid idea today when I learned that a large corporation had already implemented my lunacy. It turns out that the double-dealing, double-crossing, and guileful bureaucrats at the Enron Corporation set up a huge commodities trading center in the firms Texas headquarters. Visitors could see Enron employees stationed at huge computer monitors and teleconferencing stations heatedly haggling and bargaining, just like in the movies. And, in Houston as in Hollywood, the whole scene was nothing but a façade. The Enron employees were only acting; their equipment wasnt connected to the world outside.
I think Andy Warhol might have liked the greedy scumbags running Enron. I base this worthless speculation on one of Warhols most popular quotes, Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
- 22 April 2002
- Dance is a Challenging Medium
- Jessica told her boyfriend Merle how much I enjoyed (last years awards ceremony (bloody elbow notwithstanding), and so it was that Merle invited me to tonights festivities. I accepted the invitation with fond memories of the good, free wine (bloody elbow notwithstanding), but Merle had another agenda.
A few minutes into the presentation, Merle jabbed me in the ribs, pulled out a pair of huge binoculars from his shoulder bag, and chortled, Get a load of this!
This was a performance by two dancers from the San Francisco ballet, Joanna Berman and some guy. I couldnt see much without binoculars, since we were in the highest balcony of the opera house looking down on the dancers several hundred meters below. I didnt mind watching the abstracted dance, given my usual problems with dance.
After the performance, I asked Merle how he enjoyed it.
Couldnt see nothing, grumbled Merle.
What do you mean? I asked. Those look like pretty powerful binoculars.
Were too high, explained Merle. I like to check out the dancers frilly underwear when she kicks up her leg. Looking down, I couldnt see nothing. These seats are total crap.
Frilly underwear?! Oh dear; I fear Merle was thinking of French women doing historical reënactments of the can-can, even though I doubt hes ever been to France. I decided not to ask.
Yep, I agreed, Dance is a challenging medium, no matter how you look at it.
- 23 April 2002
- Letting Down, Very Badly
- Every now and then, I suffer from delusions of adequacy. Specifically, I imagine that Im a decent writer. And sometimes, usually after a few pints of Rainier Ale, I even fantasize that Im a good writer.
I never suffer from these hallucinations for long before reality rears its ugly head. Today, for example, I read some purported excerpts from the Queen Mothers remembrance board on the Internet.
I thought she would never die; she has let us all down very badly.
D. Holmes, Somerset
She was a trooper and she never gave up. I remember one time she was visiting a school and I asked her if she would like to make a visit to the cloakroom before she left. No, she replied, I didnt give in to the Nazis and I wont give in to the bladder. Thats how she was, a fighter, who refused to be beaten by anything. She pissed herself later though; it was sickening.
B. Forrester, North Yorkshire
Her death should act as a warning to others who think it is cool to experiment with drugs.
E. Franks, Cheshire
It is such a loss; God has shat on our heads.
K. ONeil, Inverness
No matter how she felt, no matter the situation, she always wore a smile. Just like a retard.
G. Hollins, East Sussex
I remember she came to visit us in the East End one time. She was so kind, so generous, and so sweet. She whispered softly in my ear, you know its not true, she said, you dont smell of shit. She was a wondrous person.
E. Collier, London
Although I dont usually recognize a hierarchy of aesthetics, I believe its fair to say that D. Holmes, B. Forrester, E. Franks, K. ONeil, G. Hollins, and E. Collier are more interesting and amusing writers than Ill ever be.