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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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17 December 2015

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No. 2,110 (cartoon)

You’re being condescending.

I had no idea you knew such a big word.

18 December 2015

O’Hare Insecurity

I love airports for the same reason I like to hit myself on the head with a tire iron: I feel so much better when I stop. Air travel has become so unpleasant that I’m happy to go no farther from my lovely home than I can pedal.

In Chicago today, I endured the longest insecurity screening line I’ve ever experienced. The queue was so lengthy that the Taking Scissors Away inspectors abandoned even the pretense of security theatre. Everyone was shuffled through the checkpoints without removing shoes and jackets. They even let the guy in front of me carry his AK-47 with him after he lied and said his magazine was empty.

I wasn’t surprised. The Department of Homeland Insecurity revealed that its undercover agents were successful in ninety-six percent of their attempts to smuggle guns past the TSA’s Keystone Cops. The Federal Bureau of Investigation already has seventy-two DHI employees on its terrorist watch list. They don’t have to watch very diligently; empirical evidence suggests that domestic terrorism is almost statistically nonexistent, the odd religious zealot shooting up a family planning clinic notwithstanding.

19 December 2015

Fernande Grudet

Fernande Grudet, who perfected the business model used by so many contemporary gallery owners, died today. It’s a sad day for the art world, but not for me, since the art world is really the art marketing world and has almost nothing to do with art.

20 December 2015

Cows Must Die Diener

One of the best parts about traveling is getting home and hearing about what I missed. This afternoon, Fabian told me that I really should have gone to the Cows Must Die Diener when I was in Chicago.

The greasy spoon opened in 1920, and has been open around the clock ever since. The owners lost the keys decades ago, but they haven’t missed them since there’s no need to lock the door. Almost everything on the modest menu contains bovine bits. Even the salad is topped with shredded cow tongue.

The diener’s purpose is to exterminate all cows, like the one Mrs. O’Leary had that allegedly started the 1871 conflagration that killed over three hundred Chicagoans.

I feigned dismay that I missed the epicurean abomination, but I’d never eat at such a place. I could already feel my arteries start to clog just listening to the description of the walls covered in a thick patina of fat from decades of fried, boiled, and baked amimals.

I think the restaurant owners need to change the name of their establishment to Poodles Must Die Diener and update the menu accordingly. The odds of some wretched little dog starting the next huge Chicago fire are much higher than a cow doing so.

21 December 2015

Dad’s Deathday

I was embarrassed to discover that my cupboard was bare when Antonio came over to my studio this afternoon. (There are no cellars in Sans Frisco; that’s why I keep my wine in the cupboard.) I accepted his offer to run to the store and get a few bottles, but only on the condition that I paid for it. I explained to him that my father died twenty-four years ago today, and that his only request was that I buy everyone a round on his deathday.

“What kind should I get?” he asked.

“I don’t care,” I replied, “and money is no object as long as it’s cheap.”

I wish I had told my father that line; he would have liked it. I gave Antonio twenty dollars; that’s more than enough for at least seven bottles.

22 December 2015

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Exploding Beer Angel

Lydia put a warm bottle of beer in her freezer to chill; that’s something I’ve done many times. She then did something I’ve never done: she forgot about it.

The obedient bottle of beer followed the laws of physics; it expanded until it exploded. Her freezer was a mess, but that didn’t bother me since I didn’t have to clean up the paradoxically sticky, frozen mess.

Indeed, from my perspective it was an aesthetically pleasing accident, for the shattered bottle of frozen beer was a thing of transformative beauty. It looked like an angel with his or her wings of sharp glass spread to reveal a glistening, frozen body. I was reasonably pleased with my photograph of the frosty readymade. I’d be tempted to make a series of such images, except that I don’t want to either clean a freezer or waste more beer.

23 December 2015

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I Won!

I’ve been running for king of England since 1996, and nineteen years of lazy campaigning have finally paid off.

I won; I’ll never be the king of that miserable, grey, little nation! Let me explain ...

I never really wanted to be King David and spend the rest of my life opening shopping malls, euthanizing orphans, and performing all the other tedious, meaningless tasks expected of an impotent monarch. Who would want to waste the rest of his life in such mindless drudgery?

Prince Chuck, my former opponent, that’s who. I ran my campaign in order to get him to pay me to drop out, and it finally worked. Extortion and blackmail are such ugly words, so let’s just say that the royal family gave a mind-bogglingly huge cash donation to my favorite charity, me, after I agreed to call off the election and never speak about my relationship with Diana, his ex-wife.

Chuck’s family gets to keep its inbred monopoly and I get to stay in Sans Frisco and probably never see England again except in my nightmares. Were it not for the fact that Olde Elephant Ears—as his miserable servants call him—always has been and always be a whining loser, I’d almost say that we both won.

King David is dead, long life King David!

(I kept a copy of my David for King Internet site for anyone to see if they want to challenge future would-be petty despots.)

Stare.

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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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