Stare.
 
2002 Notebook: Weak XLV|
 
   
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12 November 2002
No. 4,581 (cartoon)
Why am I wasting my time with you?

You know you will never do any better.

You too?

13 November 2002
Not Schnockered
I saw a curious advertisement in the window of Lila’s Liquors. The poster featured an image of a cow covered in marshmallows, mustard, and catsup. The advertisers used concise copy.

Schnockered Vodka
Only alcohol has more alcohol.
Get Schnockered!
Schnockered Vodka

I examined a bottle, and discovered that Schnockered is concocted in Nukualofa, Tonga, a location not renowned for sophisticated adult beverages. It turns out that Schnockered is ninety-nine and a half percent alcohol. At twenty-five dollars a bottle, though, the South Pacific swill can’t compete with the economical, frosty goodness of Rainier Ale.

I decided not to get Schnockered.

14 November 2002
A Probable Rinehart
A demented-looking man approached me at Yvon’s reception last night. He greeted me by pointing to my name tag and saying, “Ah, another Rinehart! Can’t go wrong with Rineharts!”

I didn’t quite know what to say, since one can go very, very wrong with Rineharts. It happens all the time.

He saw me staring at an unfamiliar surname on his lapel, and volunteered, “My mother was a Rinehart.” He needn’t have offered an explanation; Rineharts lie all the time.

I asked him what he thought about the current plans for a Middle East oil grab, colloquially known as the war on Iraq.

“The butchers are at it again, aren’t they?” he replied. “I got out of going to Viet Nam; I convinced ’em I was crazy. And they believed me!”

He flashed a maniacal grin, and suggested we each get two glasses of wine from different servers.

“Ah, the classic ‘one for me and one for my friend’ scam!” I enthused. “Looks like you really are a Rinehart.”

15 November 2002
Demonstrably True
Desiree generously offered me some constructive criticism.

“Can’t you write a vaguely accurate account of anything?” she asked. “I was at the Toxic Waste Park soirée, and it wasn’t anything like you described.”

“My dear Desiree, I’m afraid you’re mistaken,” I replied. “Every word I write is true, and I can prove it.”

“How?” she demanded.

“You read my story on the Internet,” I said, “And you know as well as I do that they wouldn’t let me publish anything that wasn’t true.”

Desiree didn’t know what to say. She just gave me an ugly grimace, the kind where little droplets of spittle explode from the corner of the mouth.

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16 November 2002
Punk Rock Brass Quintet Scandal
I went to a performance by the Punk Rock Orchestra tonight, and it was every bit as fantastic as the name suggests. I especially enjoyed Aaron Seeman’s spirited and virtuosic performance of several Dead Kennedys’ compositions. Unfortunately, I can’t say that the preceding ensemble also represented good value for money.

I am referring to the brass quintet that performed a selection of songs by the Minutemen. First of all, the songs were well over a minute long. That’s a minor quibble, however, compared to my major conceptual problem with the group. It turned out to be a four-person quintet, and one of the musicians used a wooden bass instead of a tuba!

What a shock! What a scandal! Who do these nefarious punks think they’re fooling? And what will these would-be subversives think of next?!

17 November 2002
Introducing My Muse
Wendy told me I’d be much more productive if I wasn’t “so damnably lazy.”

Wendy made the classic mistake of assuming that what works for her also works for other artists.

“Wendy, there’s something you should know about me,” I said softly, “something I may have failed to mention in the past.”

“What is it?” she asked.

“Sloth is my muse,” I declared.

Wendy looked confused. I wasn’t surprised; industrious people usually can’t appreciate the power of indolence.

18 November 2002
It’s Unanimous!
I asked Genie if she’d agree to join me in checking out the new burrito parlour, The Conquistadors’ Comeuppance.

“Sounds like a great idea,” she replied. “You have my unanimous approval!”

I appreciated Genie’s enthusiasm. If the restaurant’s unsatisfactory, I won’t feel too bad.

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19 November 2002
Easier Than Inspiration
I agreed to do a favor for Nancy, a friend employed by a do-gooder group. Nancy was trying to save some pastoral land from being developed; she wanted some pretty landscape photos. I gladly offered to provide them.

“Are you inspired yet?” Nancy asked as we drove through rolling California hills.

“Inspiration is for amateurs,” I replied.

“Do you really believe that?” Nancy asked.

“I certainly do,” I said. I failed to add that I stole the “Inspiration is for amateurs” line from Chuck Close.

I can’t imagine an easier photograph to make; I didn’t have much to do except remove the lens cap from my camera to make a pretty landscape photograph.

Nancy liked the photographs; I did not.

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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart