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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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3 December 2015

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No. 129 (cartoon)

I wish I had a spouse who loved me.

So do I.

4 December 2015

Turtle Love

Life is hard in Detroit; just ask Kai Xu, who lives across the toxic Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, eh?

Customs police arrested Xu because he had fifty-one turtles in his pants whilst crossing the border. They were, of course, live. Here in Sans Frisco, at least half of the people walking around have some sort of live critter in their clothing, whether it’s a kitten in the brassiere, a mouse or two in the socks, and, of course, the ever popular turtles in the pants. (I rejected Silvia’s suggestion that I mention the one-eyed trouser snake; even I am not that juvenile.)

The poor college student will be sentenced for his “crime” in April, which is a shame. Had he only chosen to explore his sexuality in a civilized place like Sans Frisco, I’m sure that he and the turtles would be enjoying a lovely fifty-two-some right now.

I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on with the woman wearing the writhing pants next to me here at the taqueria, but, unlike the prying, repressed bureaucrats in Detroit, I’m minding my own business.

5 December 2015

Monday Plans? (Tora! Tora! Tora!)

Kenji said he had no plans for next week, and that made me suspicious. Ayako once confided whilst most inebriated that the Japanese are still planning another sneak attack on 7 December, but neither she nor Kenji would even hint at the likely target or year. I’m going to have a long lunch followed by a long dinner at my local sushi place next Monday just to be safe; that would be the last place to be bombed.

6 December 2015

Burgundy Jeans

Sebastian asked me why I chose to wear burgundy jeans instead of the more common blue or black jeans. I told him I bought them for the most obvious reason: they were the least expensive. They were selling for perhaps a third of the normal retail price; apparently cerise is an unpopular color.

Although I bought the pants out of frugality, I now like wearing the merlot-colored denims because they don’t show any trace of wine stains even though I’ve been wearing them for a couple of weeks. One would have to stare at my pants for a long time before the salsa splotches were noticeable, so I’m not going to worry about those either.

7 December 2015

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Found Paper Sculpture

Yesterday’s rain created an interesting image on the sidewalk near my studio. A slow drip from a leaking, second story gutter disintegrated part of the pages of a newspaper back into pulp, and left the remaining sheets dried and molded to the cement.

The tableau reminded my of Spanish water torture (Chinese water torture is a myth) during the Spanish Inquisition. Here’s one description I read ...

Victims were strapped down so that they could not move, and cold or warm water was then dripped slowly on to a small area of the body; usually the forehead. The forehead was found to be the most suitable point for this form of torture because of its sensitivity: prisoners could see each drop coming, and after long durations were gradually driven frantic as a perceived hollow would form in the center of the forehead.

I have empirical evidence that a steady dribble of water can dissolve newsprint, but could it decay someone’s skull? I’m sure military experts have the answer, but I don’t want to know what it is.

8 December 2015

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What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor?

What do you do with a drunken sailor? Commanders in the United States Nave have finally answered the rhetorical question posed in the old sea shanty.

Rear Admiral David Baucom was having a jolly good time at a Florida hotel last April; alcohol was involved. (I guess front admirals sail on the front lines and rear admirals hang around beachfront hotels.) Specifically, he was swilling gin, wine, and whiskey at a National Defense Transportation Association’s Transportation Advisory Board dinner.

I assume that the “defense” contractors were getting the admiral more than three sheets to the wind to lubricate sales talks for more profitable boondoggles, but ’twould appear that everyone involved miscalculated. The sailor got specrapulously drunk, fell and hit his head on a stool in the bar, then urinated in his pants before being escorted back to his hotel room.

The two-star admiral evidently found his second wind, and headed back out of his room. Unfortunately, during the fog of peace, he neglected to wear any clothes. Female guests reported the breach of decorum, and, after an investigation by the Naval Inspector General, Baucom was, “reassigned to the Pentagon.”

Now we know what happens to a drunken sailor these days: bureaucratic and career oblivion.

Things were different when my late father was in the navy during the Second World War. The admiral’s misadventure sounds like the first chapter of one of the stories he told about some of the nights he and his fellow swabbies spent on shore leave between long, dangerous voyages in the Pacific. Although I miss my father, I’m glad he never lived to see a navy comprised of mollycoddles and incompetents.

9 December 2015

Off the Rails without a Paddle

Curtis asked me what he thought Jill meant when she wrote, “It’s time for us to acknowledge that we’re sailing on separate trains, and not to or from the same airport, either.”

It would be nice if that was her attempt to get published in the Block That Metaphor! section of The New Yorker,” I replied, “but I fear she’s trying to tell you that your romance is off the rails without a paddle and headed toward rocky shoals.”

“Yeah,” Curtis agreed with a shrug, “I kinda figured it was something like that.”

I wonder if the editors of The New Yorker will publish Jill’s sentence or mine?

10 December 2015

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Was Jesus a Zombie?

Somewhere in Tel Aviv learned Talmudic scholars are carrying on a nuanced, albeit quite feisty, religious debate. Somewhere in Cincinnati not so learned zealots are carrying on a coarse, acrimonious, pseudo-religious shouting match that really doesn’t qualify as a discussion at all.

Was Jesus a zombie?

The pro-zombie camp maintains that Jesus was, by definition, a zombie: a corpse that comes back to life to walk the earth again.

“God frowns upon this manger scene,” counters the other side. “Jesus has supreme power over death and evil; he is not a zombie.”

I just remembered that I forgot to mention the catalyst for this brouhaha, a crèche Jasen and Amanda Dixon built that shows all the usual actors as zombies. They describe it as, “the world’s first zombie nativity scene,” and, “a wonderful piece of artwork.”

I don’t get involved in religious debates, but I think that this is one of the few positive developments to come out of the annual Christmas tribulations in decades. Thank you, Jasen and Amanda!


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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