Stare.
 
2003 Notebook: Weak II
 
   
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9 January 2003
No. 7,638 (cartoon)
It’s time for you to choose.

I just can’t seem to decide.

Indecision is a decision.

10 January 2003
An Understandable Suicide
I just read that a man used his leather belt to hang himself in the toilet of a British Airways jet en route to Los Angeles. British Airways is a horrible airline, and Los Angeles is a horrific megalopolis. I suppose either environment could have inspired him to end his life.

I wonder why more people don’t kill themselves aboard a British Airways flight to Los Angeles.

11 January 2003
Bikers with Glocks
A number of my learned friends and I were sitting around telling tales; that’s when I recounted the story of the San Francisco cyclist who was accosted by hoodlums in a car.

One of the thugs threw a can of beer at the cyclist. The projectile hit the man in the head and knocked him to the pavement. The idiots sped off, then abruptly turned around and raced back toward the biker. As the cyclist composed himself, he reached into his small waist pouch where riders usually keep a spare innertube, repair tools, et cetera. He pulled out a small pistol, calmly aimed, then fired six rounds through the windshield of the car speeding toward him.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

Smash!

The bullies’ car spun out of control and crashed; three of the thugs died. The cyclist put the gun back in his pouch and pedaled away.

“And then what happened?” asked Jamie.

“Nothing,” I replied. “The cops never found the guy on the bike.”

“Then what’s the point of your story?” Jamie continued.

“Not all stories have a point,” I said. “I just thought our tales were a bit short in the schadenfreude department.”

Jamie looked disappointed.

“If you insist,” I added, “I suppose the moral of this story is that motorists should always show courtesy to cyclists in general and bikers with Glocks in particular.”

12 January 2003
Alcoholiday
“I don’t feel well,” Dr. Wheeler confided.

“I’m not surprised,” I said. “You’ve been dead for many years.”

“That’s no reason to feel bad,” he replied. “so I’m seeking alcoholistic treatment.”

“What does that involve?” I asked.

“It’s like this,” Dr. Wheeler continued. “I’m going on a long alcoholiday.”

Some people never learn. I suspect I’ll have to put up with Dr. Wheeler’s alcoholier-than-thou attitude until we’re both dead.

13 January 2003
Really Good Odds
Josie asked me if I’d ever get a real job.

“I doubt it,” I said with a laugh. “I’d wager the odds against that ever happening are around seventeen katrillion to one.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Josie demanded.

“That was wrong,” I admitted. “The odds are more like seventy-one jaxillion to one.”

“I give up,” Josie replied. “What game are you playing today?”

“It’s no game,” I declared. “It’s just that a ridiculous question demands a ridiculous answer.”

14 January 2003
Daylight Beauty Mouth Stare
Howie wrote to tell me that he liked the Walker Evans “stare” quote. He included a poem, “that, in my opinion, uses the word ‘stare’ to efficacious effect.”

Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

—William Henry Davies, 1871-1940

I sent a note to Howie in which I opined that although the poem was predictably tedious, it was not without some merit. I didn’t mention that I rather liked the risqué double entendre; one should not admit such sentiments in writing.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart