Stare.
 
2003 Notebook: Weak VII
 
   
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12 February 2003
No. 9,619 (cartoon)
I’m going to be gone for quite some time.

Very long?

Forever.

13 February 2003
Hateful Speech
I recently read that someone’s trying to ban the Christian bible because it contains “hate” speech, or words intended to generate virulence.

Exodus 21:7 sanctions slavery, and Leviticus 25:44 confirms that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from a neighboring nation. (I suppose that would explain why so many Americans have their own Canadians.) The prohibition in Leviticus 11:6-8 against touching the skin of a dead pig could certainly be construed to denigrate American football players. Leviticus 11:10 also says that eating shellfish is an abomination, for what that’s worth. And in an edict that could annoy damn near everyone, Leviticus 19:27 forbids cutting the hair around one’s temples.

And so on.

Although such speech is certainly hateful, I can’t support book banning. There must be a better way to free the poor Canadians.

14 February 2003
Deformed VD Babies
VD this, VD that, everyone seems to be celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day. I have no idea why people commemorate the patron saint of sexually-transmitted diseases.

I heard that Americans are expected to give each other over a hundred million roses today. And an article I read in the San Francisco Chronicle said that the Ecuadorian workers who grow many of those roses are poisoned by the nasty agricultural chemicals the growers force the peasants to use. Ross Wehner, who authored the piece, cited a 2000 United Nations’ International Labor Organization study that determined that sixty percent of Ecuadorian rose workers suffered from “headaches, blurred vision, muscular twitching and other symptoms of pesticide poisoning.” And then there’s the anecdotal evidence of deformed babies.

Aldicarb®, she loves me,
Bravo®, she loves me not,
Captan®, she loves me,
Dimethoate®, she loves me not,
Iprodione®, she loves me,
Procymidone®, she loves me not,
Tedion®, she loves me!

That’s amore!

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15 February 2003
A Brush with Death
I came close to death today; I’m deeply disturbed by the experience.

I bought an inexpensive chess set from a shop on Market Street. As I crossed Fifth Street en route to my lab, I heard a splat split splat! Some evil pigeon tried to kill me by bombing me from high in the stratosphere.

The pigeon excrement splattered harmlessly on the chess box. Had I been walking even a few centimeters to the left, I could have died. Although I didn’t.

16 February 2003
The Case for Monogamy
“There sure are a lot of beautiful women out today,” I remarked to Jen.

Jen didn’t reply.

“I suppose there are a lot of handsome men, too,” I added in an attempt not to sound like the sexist pigdog I may be, “it’s just that I don’t look for them.”

“There are definitely not a lot of handsome men out there,” Jen corrected. “If there were, women would be as interested in monogamy as men are.”

“Perfect!” I exclaimed. “You just wrote today’s notebook entry for me.”

“If you use that,” Jen said, “I want credit.”

“Duly noted,” I replied.

That proved to me a mistake. She then wasted an inordinate amount of time trying to convince me to publish the phrase, “open-ended dead end.”

I refused her earnest suggestion.

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17 February 2003
Tommy’s Typos
Al tried to take me to breakfast at Tommy’s Restaurant, but couldn’t.

Misguided city officials in Seaside, California, demolished Tommy’s old restaurant; they muttered some nonsense about urban renewal when the bulldozers rolled in. (At least when the Israelis level someone’s residence or place of business, they’re honest enough to admit they’re being vengeful.)

Tommy, not one to be distracted by petty bureaucracy, simply moved his business to an adjacent town. He lost one typo in the move, but gained another. Instead of the “workingmans [sic] special,” Tommy now offers the Working Man Breakfast, complete with “Hashe [sic] Browns.”

Typos don’t concern me; I’ve fathered more than my share. I failed to enjoy an underserved Working Man Breakfast; for some reason Tommy’s was closed. Al and I headed down the burrito trail, with substantial and delightful results.

18 February 2003
Shame in Rubber Boots
I’m still smarting from the predawn remark Suzie made yesterday: “You’d never make it in first grade.” Suzie knows what she’s talking about; she’s a professional first-grade teacher.

“Suzie,” I pleaded, “just tell me where you hide the coffee.”

“Sorry,” she replied, “I don’t have any. All I have is green tea; care for some?”

Since I was clearly going to have a bad morning, I decided to ask Suzie why I’d fail first grade.

“It’s your boots,” Suzie explained. “Your laces are undone. Gotta know how to tie your shoes to make it in first grade.”

“My feet overheat,” I explained.

“Nothing wrong with slip-on shoes,” Suzie replied skeptically.

“I’m hot-blooded,” I explained some more.

“There’s no shame in rubber boots,” Suzie replied skepticallier.

Since I’m familiar with contemporary folklore vis-à-vis sheep, I know that there is shame in rubber boots, and I’m not talking about the sheep, either. I drank my limp, green tea and tied my boots.

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19 February 2003
Nocturnal Impressionism
Ever since I was a boy, I’ve seen homeless people sleeping on sheets of cardboard. And now I know why: it’s comfortable and free.

I recently received a shipment of prints packed in huge sheets of cardboard. I stacked the cardboard into a large pile to create a bed.

After sleeping on my new bed for a month, I discovered a wonderful development in my sleeping apparatus: the cardboard altered to accommodate my body. Although the changes are too subtle to be obvious in a photograph, I can clearly see the impressions of my shoulders and hips reflected in the contours of the cardboard.

My bed is becoming art, the best kind of art, art created in an unconscious state.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart