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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak IX


26 February 2017

gratuitous image

No. 9,134 (cartoon)

That’s a sobering development.

That calls for a drunkening denouement!

27 February 2017

Judith Permar’s Crucifixion

I used to think I couldn’t imagine finding a sliver of amusement or a bit of justice in anyone’s painful death, but that was before I read about Judith Permar.

The Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, grandmother died a few weeks ago while stealing clothing from a drop-off box full of charitable contributions. She left the engine of her hundred-thousand-dollar car running on a frigid night, then climbed on the stool she brought to pilfer donations intended for the needy.

She lost her footing when her stool slipped out from under her at two in the morning, and was left hanging by a broken arm and wrist with her hand stuck inside the container. The coroner reported that she died from blunt force trauma and hypothermia. Or, in lay terms, she froze to death while being semi-crucified.

It was an ironic ending for a woman whose family described her as “having Protestant faith.” I’m not at all familiar with that sect’s beliefs, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve taking from the poor and giving to the rich. (If it did, I’m sure the Republicans would have sued for trademark infringement.)

She’d been spotted stealing clothes and shoes from the donation box before; I wonder if wonder if she was buried in stolen attire?

28 February 2017

But Half Are Left!

Here’s the headline from the Biological Extinction conference: “Leading biologists, ecologists, and economists” predict that half of the species on the planet may be extinct by the end of the century.

These alarmist announcements annoy me, especially when they obscure the positive news. The biodiversity collapse is indeed grim; it’s far worse than most people realize. Why didn’t these alleged authorities emphasize the good news: half of the species on the planet may not be extinct by the end of the century?

I’ll be thoroughly composted by 2100, but the idea that half of the species alive today will be around them makes me almost cheerful. It’s too bad, though, that humans will probably be among the survivors.

1 March 2017

Preserving My Gimcrack Reputation

Samantha asked me how my love life was going, so I told her.

“It couldn’t be better,” I declared, “I’m in love with myself!”

“Ah, the greatest love of all,” she replied.

I thanked her for practically dictating a new cartoon, and asked her to pause for a moment while I wrote that down.

“I wouldn’t bother stealing that,” she advised. “That’s from a crappy Whitney Houston song, and you’ll get caught.”

I appreciated the warning. I have only one problem with appropriating, i.e., stealing, someone else’s ideas: getting caught. Samantha was right; I definitely didn’t want to plagiarize a famous, alcoholic, crack cocaine addict. Even I have a reputation to preserve, albeit a rather gimcrack one.

2 March 2017

Mister Pissy Paws

Joey quit his job at InterGauge Concepts. He didn’t really leave voluntarily; he was forced to move on by Katia, his nemesis and perfidious former colleague.

Katia’s desk was near the toilets, an environment that most people would avoid but in which Katia thrived. A year ago, she heard a toilet flush a few seconds before Joey ran out the bathroom door and concluded that he’d failed to wash his hands in hot, soapy water, as if he was a surgeon about to perform a discectomy.

From that unfortunate moment forward, Katia did everything within her formidable secretarial powers to ensure that Joey was known at Mister Pissy Paws.

Just as an overabundance of weasels nibbling at your heels can eventually result in the loss of one or more feet, Joey found it impossible to work at a mediocre company where he was the butt of a running joke.

I told him that Katia had done him a huge favor by forcing him out of a dead-end job, and that he should enjoy a nice asparagus dinner and send her a nice bouquet of flowers after he’d urinated on them.

3 March 2017

Photography Statistics

Michelle and I spent the afternoon drinking cheap wine and arguing about things we didn’t care abuot, such as comparing analog with digital photography.

“Did you know,” I asked, “that yesterday people made more digital photographs than were made on film since the beginning of time?”

“Wow, that’s amazing!” she enthused. “Do you have the actual numbers?”

“There are none,” I replied. “I just made that up. Isn’t that a great statistic?”

“But it’s not true!” she complained.

I pointed out that she couldn’t possibly know with certainty the truthiness of what I concocted, and suggested she was letting her reality ruin her enjoyment of my imaginary numbers.

I don’t understand why some people go out of their way to make their lives unimaginative and boring, and I hope that I never do.

4 March 2017

Rum Cocktails

Andy asked the obvious one-word question when he arrived at my studio this afternoon: “Libations?”

“You’re in luck!” I announced. “We’re having rum cocktails. Weak or strong?”

“What’s the difference?” he asked.

“Weak is one part rum to two parts rum,” I explained, “and strong is one part rum to five parts rum.”

“You’re just glugging rum into a glass,” he concluded. “You can’t declare that’s a cocktail.”

“Um, I’m pretty sure that’s precisely what I just did,” I replied. “If we submit to all the cocktail traditionalists we’d all be cowering in our caves eating raw meat instead of enjoying rum cocktails.”

My impeccable logic won the day, and a good time was had by all, or at least by Andy and me over rum cocktails.


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart