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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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30 April 2014

gratuitous image

No. 8,118 (cartoon)

You’re disgusting.

No, I just look and act that way.

1 May 2014

No Cause for Concern

Derek asked me if I was concerned about my mortality. I told him I don’t fear death; that’s something that will never happen to me during my lifetime. I’m not terribly smart, but I least I have enough sense not to waste time fretting about the inevitable and/or something completely beyond my control.

2 May 2014

I Must Be in Texas

I’m visiting Isabella in Texas. As we drove around, I noted that the Six Shooter Mall’s slogan is, “There’s never enough of too much.”

I must be in Texas.

3 May 2014

Blowing Smoke in Texas

I’m sure that lots of people smoke tobacco in San Francisco, but since public smoking is banned in most places, smelling cigarette smoke is uncommon. On the rare occasion when I get a whiff of it cycling past a smoker, the smell is exotic, almost fragrant.

Being in Texas reminds me of the bad old days. The cigarette smoke here is thick, cloying, and leaves a fetid stench in my hair and on my clothes. I’ve only been here for a couple of days, but I’m already looking forward to getting out if this homogenous wasteland and going home. I hate to be one of those clichéd San Francisco elitists, but I far prefer living in that pleasant bubble to being in the United States.

4 May 2014

Swamp Stompin’

Davy Crockett left Tennessee with a memorable farewell. “Y’all can go to hell; I am going to Texas.”

I was reminded of that fine distinction when Bernie invited me to go swamp stompin’ with him. This is more or less how he described it.

It’ll be hotter than hell, but I wouldn’t worry about it because the humidity is worse. There’ll be varmints and creepy-crawlies that’ll bite ya, sting ya, and that’s just for starters. No need to worry about the gators, though, ’cept for the hungry ones. There’s more nasty diseases in the water than a gaggle of truck stop hookers, but swamp stompin’ never killed no one, at least I don’t think so. It’ll be bodacious fun!

How exciting! What a prospectus!

I knew that swamp stompin’ would be brutal, savage, and dangerous, so I stayed home.

5 May 2014

A Poor Excuse for a Texan

Enrico’s trying to fit in after moving to Texas. He bought the entire cowboy fetish outfit—ten gallon hat, checkered shirt, tight jeans, silver belt buckle the size of a dinner plate, and armadillo cowboy boots—but Dahlia says it’s not going very well.

“What does ‘not going very well’ mean in practice?” I asked.

Dahlia explained that Enrico was accosted by a soused roughneck chewing whisky-flavored bubblegum and drinking beer when he went to Joe Bob’s Lonesome Cowpoke Saloon. The drunk appraised his ridiculous outfit and declared that he was, “a poor excuse for a Texan, but great excuse for a Yankee poser.”

I can’t imagine why Enrico would want to be accepted as a Texan if only because I can’t put myself in his shoes: those pointy cowboy boots are mighty uncomfortable.

6 May 2014

Fresh Air in Texas

I had the misfortune of being in the Houston airport today, where I suffered a brutal olfactory assault when I walked into the bathroom. It wasn’t like the wall of stench from feces and urine that almost overwhelmed me in Agadir; it was much, much worse. The vomitous stench smelled like a combination of embalming fluid and artificial strawberry flavoring in a viscid petroleum mist.

When I asked the janitor what the wretched smell was, he showed me the huge aerosol can of “Prairie Rose” air freshener he’d been spraying liberally.

“Sure smells sweet, don’t it?” he asked proudly.

“It certainly is something else,” I replied.

“Freshening” the air by polluting it is yet another triumph of marketing over sanity, which I suppose is a pretty good description of Texas, too.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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