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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak VI


5 February 2017

gratuitous image

No. 4,429 (cartoon)

Nothing is better than love and affection.

Only the best for you, so nothing you shall have.

6 February 2017

My Team Won!

Some people were disappointed with the outcome of yesterday’s big American football game, but not me: my team won! But that’s not at all surprising; my team has never lost.

I don’t pay much attention to American—or any other flavor—football. Watching a bunch of men the size of large refrigerators giving each other concussions that will enfeeble them sooner than later just isn’t that entertaining. Given the immense hyperbole associated with the overhyped annual contest, it’s impossible to ignore. When pressed, I explain that I’m rooting for whoever happens to be ahead at the moment, thus I’m always supported the winning side.

Go team go!

7 February 2017

The World’s Foremost Authority

Professor Irwin Corey is no longer the world’s foremost authority. He lost his title on a technicality; he died yesterday.

Even though he enjoyed a remarkable career and lived to be one hundred and two, he did miss an opportunity when his 1960 bid to become mayor of Chicago failed. I’ll never understand why, since, as was pointed out at the time, “Corey is the only candidate named Irwin.” And who wouldn’t vote for someone with such a great campaign slogan, “Irwin will run for any party and he’ll bring his own bottle.”

His wisdom was timeless, and particularly relevant today. He could have been anticipating the current political morass when he predicted, “If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.”

Now that the title of the world’s foremost authority is up for grabs for the first time since I was born, I was briefly tempted to claim it as mine. That idea lasted about thirty-seven nanoseconds until I realized that every new ideaslinger in town would come gunning for me just like the bad guys do in an old Western movie.

Nah, I’ll remain relatively anonymous and enjoy more freedoms and no pressures, and let some other pretender to the throne deal with all the assassination attempts.

8 February 2017

A Dream Come True

I usually try to maintain the stable façade of a grownup, but every now and again I can’t resist the playground mentality of my youth and repeat disgusting, repulsive stories in order to ... hold everything; I don’t need to explain something this obvious: gross is good.

A few days ago a forty-two-year-old domestic worker in Injambakkam, India, had some nasal problems that remained undiagnosed after three exams.

The fourth try was the charm. M.N. Shankar, the head of the ear, nose and throat department at Stanley Medical College Hospital, spotted her problem using an endoscope. The unfortunate woman was hosting a live, adult cockroach between her eyes at the base of her skull near her brain.

“It was alive,” Shankar reported, “and it didn’t seem to want to come out.”

I believe Shankar’s story, since he provided a gripping forty-five-minute video account of pulling the writhing, obstreperous insect out of the woman’s nose. The footage of the doctor’s forceps dragging the flailing, battling cockroach out of the folds of the woman’s pink nasal membranes provided some of the most repugnant and revolting images I’ve ever seen.


Shankar acknowledged that he and his staff have removed flies, leaches, and maggots from his patients’ noses, but this was the first cockroach extraction. And perhaps not the last. The pitiable patient is still under observation while Shankar and his team try to discover whether the cockroach laid hundreds of eggs in the woman’s brain.

9 February 2017

The Zero-Minute Meeting

Mek is a brilliant, practical person, and thus avoids meetings whenever possible. Today was one of those days when he couldn’t elude the tentacles of bureaucracy, so he came up with a clever defense.

“Let’s make it a zero-minute meeting,” he suggested.

His semantic gambit worked!

I’m plagiarizing Mek’s idea. Businesspeople love gimmicks and crazes as much as anyone else, so this could be the next executive fad du jour. And since this involves commerce, not art, I should make a fortune! Now if I can only make it through the editing and publishing gauntlet without being forced to sit through a meeting, the whole endeavor will be an unqualified success. I’m completely unqualified, so this just might work!

10 February 2017

Patron Engagement Management

A trio of charming young theatre people visited the Internet Archive today. We didn’t have time to talk at length, so I gave them an open invitation to come back for a longer visit. We exchanged contact information, and after they left I noticed that one of the women had a curious title, Patron Engagement Manager.

Patron engagement manager?! I suspect that means “fundraiser,” not unlike “sanitation engineer” serving as an inflated title for “janitor.” Still, I can’t be sure.

What if she literally manages engagements? She might serve as a courtship concierge, ensuring the couple got good seats at the show, didn’t have to wait in line for drinks and/or the toilet at intermission, that sort of thing. That would make good business sense. The theatre rents out its facilities for special events, so it’s likely such a service might lead to a lucrative booking for a wedding and/or reception.

Or perhaps the patron engagement manager’s duties are more closely linked to thespian pursuits; does she provides drama coaching? Or, perhaps more accurately, lack of drama coaching? It might just involve demonstrating how to ee-nun-see-ate clearly when saying, “I will always love you no matter how corpulent and indebted I become.”

That’s quite enough conjecture for one afternoon. I hope the patron engagement manager returns and tells me more about her work, as long as she doesn’t do anything awkward like trying to introduce me to a potential spouse in order to book her organization’s venue.

11 February 2017

Maybe Even a Juicy Burrito

Scaachi Koul annoys me. I hear she’s a good writer, but that’s beside the point. Here’s the problem. Colin told me that in May she’s publishing a collection of essays, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter.


That title should have been mine. Even though I never thought of that in the last sixty years, I’m sure I would have eventually. I told Colin that I could get a collection of my writing to press next month and use the title that should have rightfully been mine, but he told me to forget it: she got lawyered up and has it copymarked and traderighted.

Triple feh!

It’s like déjà vu all over again. I went through this years ago when Dave Eggers used a title that should have been mine for one of his books, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I accepted his de facto apology when he made me a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. (Thanks again, Dave!)

I’m not getting my dandruff in a lather about this, just the opposite. I remain positive, and won’t be surprised if I get another grilled cheese sandwich out of this, or maybe even a juicy burrito.


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart