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13 August 2015
No. 7,980 (cartoon)
You’re a huge disappointment.
Then I’m not disappointed.
14 August 2015
The House That Swill Built
San Francisco is like any other city in the world: segregated. The desperately poor live among the desperately poor, and the ridiculously rich live among their peers in neighborhoods such as Pacific Heights, colloquially known as Pacific Whites.
Alina took me to a party there at the preposterously huge mansion of a successful restaurateur who owns three mediocre eateries in the Fisherman’s Wharf tourist slums. She reports that he cheerfully shares his business plan; it’s probably the oldest one there is.
Give the people what they want.
Most people want what they know, which is why the shrewd businessman serves that same greasy, salty food the tourists eat when they’re home in Alabama or Oklahoma. In a nod to San Francisco culinary clichés, his restaurants serve deep-fried clams wrapped in bacon, chicken and lard gravy in a bowl made out of a sourdough roll, that sort of thing. The tourists eat it up, figuratively and literally.
Alina and I appreciated his generosity; he served really great wine and elegantly tasty horses’ doovers. There wasn’t a trace of the vile, artery-clogging swill that made him rich.
15 August 2015
Jacob had a brilliant idea that turned out to be a brilliantly stupid idea. He thought the millions of people who love bicycles would buy the cycling clothes he designed, so he ordered a thousand shirts with “I am a shameless pedalphile” printed across the chest.
Not only did he fail to find a distributor or even a single store that would carry his product, he was twice threatened with grievous bodily harm when he wore the shirt in public.
Although he failed to sell a single garment, he did learn the value of market research. As always, experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
16 August 2015
Work in Progress
Nico insisted that I tell her about my alleged work in progress. (Work in alleged progress?) I protested that I never did that, if only to avoid getting inquiries about stillborn projects for years on end. She insisted that she would never do that, and that if I gave her the briefest of descriptions she would stop annoying me. I didn’t believe her, but, since it would be worth it in the unlikely event she was telling the truth, I threw her a bone. Or, more accurately, a banana.
“I am eating bananas and drying the skins,” I explained. “It’s not unthinkable that someday I just might do something with them, or perhaps not.”
“You call eating bananas work in progress?” she asked.
“You shouldn’t be disappointed,” I replied. “I tried to warn you that you wouldn’t want to hear the answer.”
Oh well, at least she won’t pester me about my work in progress again.
17 August 2015
Thinking of Something Else
Computers are unreliable, but they’re infinitely more dependable than my spotty memory. I learned long ago to write down anything I wanted to remember, no matter how certain I was that I’d never forget it.
I was walking down Balboa Street a couple of days ago when I had what I recall was a really good idea. I didn’t have my glasses readily available, so I took advantage of my phony doodad’s speech recognition technology to dictate a note. I just looked at my notepad to be reminded of my clever thought, and found, “don’t cut your carbs before they’re de.”
I’ve never once said anything about carbohydrates, so I have no idea what I was originally thinking. Alas, my excellent idea (I can now call it excellent since that can’t be disproved) has vanished without a trace. This is indeed a sad day for humanity and for me in particular. Nevertheless, I remain relentlessly positive. I’m sure I’ll think of something else.
I think I’ll have a drink. There, I just did think of something else!
18 August 2015
Josephine chastised me for making what I accurately describe as, “self-indulgent art.” She asked me, with righteous sincerity, what I was doing to help the disenfranchised. And that gave me an idea, as most things do.
I have yet to figure out how to monetize this self-indulgent claptrap, so why not take advantage of the poor? After all, everyone else does. Perhaps I should commission a shyster to sell stare.com franchises. Nah, the bamboozler would probably defraud me first. I’m afraid the disenfranchised will have to fend for themselves alone; they always have and always will.
19 August 2015
Eric Jensen posted a piece on the Internet about photographing a low-flying plane fighting wildfires. I didn’t read his piece, “This is what it’s like to be dumped with fire retardant.” Even though I’ve never been in a similar situation, I obviously knew how he felt: retarded.
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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart