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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak II


9 January 2014

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No. 5,072 (cartoon)

You’re looking positively defecatious.

Better than negatively defecatious, I suppose.

Not in this case.

10 January 2014

Henry James, Lettuce, and Shampoo

If you ever spot me buying something in a grocery store, do not stand behind me in the checkout line. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to talk with you. I would probably enjoy meeting you, especially if you’re buying a bottle of cheap whisky to drink out of a paper bag in the parking lot.

No, the reason I suggest that you not stand behind me is that I invariably choose the wrong queue. If there’s only one person in front of me, it’s probably going to be an aggressive pensioner trying to get the manager to honor his fifteen-year-old coupon for a discount on a discontinued brand of dog food. That sort of thing.

Tonight, I ended up in line behind a woman who was only buying lettuce and shampoo. She mentioned to the cashier that she was looking forward to reading a Henry James novel she’d just checked out of the library. That was all it took for the clerk to give her a brief lecture on the author’s place in the pantheon of nineteenth-century literary realism. The woman listened patiently since she was waiting for the grocery store lecturer to hand over her change. The well-intentioned young man then went on to recommend at least a dozen books that she simply must read.

I’m glad I didn’t borrow a hundred thousand dollars to pay for a degree in English literature or else I might also be selling lettuce and shampoo.

11 January 2014

Good Times Long Ago

Penelope provided a new twist on the familiar birds and bees narrative: every human spent the first thirty minutes of her or his life as a single cell. I remember that period fondly; life was much simpler then.

12 January 2014

That’s Why It’s Called News

Gareth was bored, so I told him the news story about the Kenyan villagers who were plagued by cheetahs killing their goats. One night they ambushed the invaders, and humanely captured the big cats after they chased them down on foot.

“Hold it,” Gareth interrupted. “Are you saying they ran down the fastest mammals on earth?”

I explained that cheetahs are sprinters, but Kenyans are endurance runners who caught the big cats after chasing them for six kilometers.

“If that really happened,” Gareth replied, “then why didn’t I hear about it?”

“I suppose that’s why it’s called news,” I concluded.

13 January 2014

My Lunulas

Buzz told me that the white part of my fingernail is called the lunula. With learned friends like her, who needs a formal education?

14 January 2014

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Organ Donor

Many years ago, I saw a big guy riding a large, powerful motorcycle. The back of his leather jacket had a single word on large, white letters: DONOR.

I’m a good thinker, or so I flatter myself (since no one else will). I’m certainly not a quick thinker, though; it took me perhaps a decade for me to realize I could use his idea even though I rarely wear a jacket when I’m cycling.

After perhaps five minutes of work with a label maker, my bike helmet now features the identification, David Glenn Rinehart = ORGAN DONOR.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart