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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXV


18 June 2011

gratuitous image

No. 2,477 (cartoon)

I live for you.

I wish you wouldn’t.

19 June 2011

Clowns Kill

Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, comes from somewhere. In today’s news, Chicago is somewhere.

A presumably surly teenager approached a clown and demanded money. When the clown declined, the kid pulled out a pistol, which proved to be a fatally unwise move. The clown grabbed the gun and shot the kid; he shot him dead he did.

The attacker didn’t live long enough to discover that his clown target was also a Chicago policeman. But that’s almost irrelevant.

Clowns kill; believe it.

20 June 2011

Kitty Dirt Bath

I’m kittysitting for Cleo, who’s rolling in the dirt on a warm, sunny day. She did that yesterday, and no doubt will do so again tomorrow. And yet: when she curls up in bed with me, she’s always immaculately clean.

How can cats who bathe dirt be clean? That is of course a rhetorical question, since trying to figure out how and why cats do anything is a complete waste of time.

21 June 2011

Innovations in Health Care

James Verone didn’t have a job or health insurance, but he did have some severe ailments including arthritis, slipped discs, some sort of growth on his chest, and a dodgy foot. He also had a remedy that was traditional yet innovative: bank robbery.

The classic approach to bank robbery involves a good disguise, a gun, and a fast getaway car. The North Carolinian took a radical approach and used none of the usual tools. Instead, he presented a teller with a concise note.

This is a bank robbery; please only give me one dollar.

After pocketing the loot, Verone announced, “I’ll be sitting right over there in the chair waiting for the police.”

His cunning plan worked: he was arrested, taken to jail, and got an appointment to see a doctor. That’s right, he robbed a bank to get medical care.

What other country in the western world has such an amazing health care system that works that way? None, that’s which one. And some radical radicals want to change it?!

Unbelievable. Or not.

22 June 2011

The Oldest Person in the World

Maria Gomes Valentim is no longer the oldest human in the world. That’s because the Brazilian died less than a month before her hundred and fifteenth birthday. Besse Cooper, who’ll be one hundred and fifteen if she lives another couple of months, in now the oldest person in the world.

I hope I’m never the oldest person in the world. Everyone who gets that title usually dies very soon thereafter.

23 June 2011

Not Urgent, Not Important

Dwight David Eisenhower made a number of insightful observations, such as, “Things have never been more like they are today in history.” Perhaps most notably, he warned—in vain, alas—about the military-industrial complex.

And then there’s this: “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” I liked it when I heard that for the first time today, but changed my mind after thinking about it for a minute. That’s how long it took me to recognize the saying as one of those useless, trite truisms that unimaginative managers like to trot out. Anyone who relies on apophthegms instead of analyses to rank urgency and importance deserves the consequences of their idiotitude.

As for me, I’m going to ignore the urgency-importance matrix and instead use Arthur James Balfour’s perspective as an inspiration for my (in)actions. “Nothing matters much, and in the end nothing matters at all.”

24 June 2011

Stinky Peeper

I have no plans to go to Boulder, Colorado anytime soon, but it’s nevertheless good to know it’s again safe to urinate and defecate there. Maybe.

Police arrested Luke Chrisco; he was suspected of hiding in the holding tanks of portable toilets to spy on users. He was almost caught before, but managed to elude pursuers even though he was covered in feces. I can’t figure out how he escaped; perhaps he just blended in with the crowd?

I’ve never thought of Colorado as a particularly dangerous place, but this story makes me wonder about the competency of Colorado cops. If it took more than one try to catch a voyeur dripping with excrement, I wonder how many more competent villains are still in business.

25 June 2011

Where Fun Comes to Die

I love the junk mail that appears every day on my computer. Today’s favorite is an invitation to visit Beaver, Oklahoma, “Where fun comes to die.”

I have no plans to go to Oklahoma, but, if I do, I shall visit Beaver. Exuberance can be tiring, and Beaver sounds like a very restful place.


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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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