2007 Notebook: Weak XXI
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21 May 2007
No. 6,357 (cartoon)
You’re not yourself.

I couldn’t take it any more.

22 May 2007
I awoke in Florida and fell asleep in California. Somewhere between thither and yon, I slipped into a fantastic story that I really can’t repeat. Really. I wish I had more unrepeatable stories; perhaps I should do something about that.

23 May 2007
Waschbaeren Uber Alles
Although World War II was a long time ago, the Nazis still cast a long shadow. For example, Europe’s still reeling from Hermann Goering’s 1934 approval of a Reich Forestry Service request to release exotic animals to, “enrich the local fauna.” (That’s Nazi-speak for giving hunters something new to kill.)

Today, Waschbaeren, or “wash bears (Procyon lotor),” are everywhere. Americans know them by their common name, raccoons. The British are, as usual, getting their collective xenophobic knickers in a twist; the tabloids are railing against the “Nazi raccoons” on the other side of the English Channel.

As for the Waschbaeren, they’re eating well, making lots of babies, and having a great time on a continent where they have no natural predators.

Waschbaeren über alles!

24 May 2007
Only Arne Saknussemm Knows for Sure
I read an article in New Scientist that documents that parts of Canada have less gravity than other regions of the planet. As usual, I didn’t understand the science. The author said something about the Earth’s crust bouncing back after the ice age. Or maybe the gravity differential has something to do with magma flows beneath the planet’s surface. Or maybe both, or maybe neither.

Only Arne Saknussemm knows for sure. And anyway, who cares about Canada?

25 May 2007
Someone Else’s Story from Some Other Day
It’s 20:43, and nothing happened in my life today so far. And so, I shall repeat something that happened in someone else’s life on a day that is not today. This is my notebook, and I can cheat if I want.

Once upon a time long ago in a city far away, F. Scott Fitzgerald asked Robert Benchley this rhetorical question, “Don’t you know drinking is slow death?

Benchley, after a thoughtful slurp on his drink, replied, “So who’s in a hurry?”

There’s nothing funny about drinking oneself to death. Who am I kidding; of course there is!

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26 May 2007
Watery Climate Change Drink
I ran into a problem this morning en route from San Francisco to Anchorage. On Alaska Airlines No. 87, the flight attendant added an inordinate amount of ice to my tomato and vodka breakfast drink. Wrong wrong. I requested a refill, but without so much ice.

The flight attendant explained that she and her colleagues had no choice but to add a disproportionate amount of ice because of climate change. I didn’t understand her complex explanation of carbon emissions, ozone depletion, greenhouse gases, and so on and so on and so on some more. Turns out that the radiation problem is so bad that Arctic jets need to carry seventy-one percent more ice than they did in 1994.

Having said that, the climate change problem really isn’t that bad at ten thousand kilometers above the earth; my watery drink problem vanished when I switched to red wine.

Et voilà!

27 May 2007
It’s So Cold ...
I’m back in Alaska for the first time in some fifteen years. Damn; I forgot how cold it is here. It’s so cold, I have to light two matches and rub the flames together to start a fire. It’s so cold that I put my frozen dinner in the freezer to defrost. It’s so cold that cabbies are wearing flannel turbans. It’s so cold that even the Amish use electric blankets.

Actually, it’s almost June, and rather warm. Still, I can’t resist the flimsiest of pretexts to tell stupid, hoary jokes that were old before I was born.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart