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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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22 October 2017

gratuitous image

No. 3,512 (cartoon)

You pulled the rug out from under me.

Should I have pushed you off a cliff?

If only we weren’t in Kansas.

23 October 2017

A Novel for the Price of a Burrito

Devorah is complaining that writing a novel was more difficult than she ever imagined. That’s not the real problem, though; her big mistake was telling anyone about her epic undertaking.

No one knows that I began working on a novel decades ago, so no one knows I abandoned the project toward the beginning of the second chapter. That’s when I realized I could buy a novel for the price of a burrito.

I bought a used copy of Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume; it’s a much better novel than I—and almost everyone else—will ever write.

24 October 2017

Finding Nothing

Luka was in a nasty cycling spill; his bicycle is fine. (Etiquette demands that the first question one asks of a cyclist after an accident is, “How’s your bike?”) He pedaled away bloodied but with all of his teeth intact and no broken bones; that’s the difference between a nasty spill and a serious accident.

His doctor was nevertheless concerned that he may have sustained a more serious injury, and ordered a battery of tests. Luka reported that the results were positive. “They did a scan of my brain and found nothing.”

Ah, back to business as usual.

25 October 2017


Niklas toils in an office; he’s one of the thousands of miserable employees working for the Tedious Corporation. (If an employee’s not miserable, his or her manager rightly concludes that they’re not being worked hard enough.)

Niklas asked me what I thought about a selection of his notes of his boss’s remarks from yesterday’s meeting: “Harmonized it in the cloud,” “a disruptive mesh network in the microservices of the Internet of things,” “Growth-hack the analytics,” and “If we hit that bulls-eye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Jackpot!”

“I love the last one,” I said, “but she left out ‘checkmate’.”

“Do you know what they have in common?” he asked.

“I suppose that’s the business gibberish du jour,” I replied.

“Good guess,” he responded, “but wrong. She gets all of her management bunkum from the comics.”

That explains everything!” I concluded. “No wonder they’re somewhat entertaining.”

26 October 2017

Flammable and Infallible Meals

Lily was in a mood most foul when I showed up at her place for dinner tonight.

“Why the grim grimacing?” I asked.

“I just burned a lot of fat,” she explained.

“I thought that was one of the main reasons that you went to the gym,” I asked.

“It is,” she confirmed. “Unfortunately, I’m talking about our dinner that started a grease fire in the oven.”

I assured her that wasn’t a problem; I didn’t mention that anything with that much fat in it was probably better cremated than consumed.

“It appears to me that we need to replace the fat you just burned,” I suggested, “and I think this Winnimere cheese I brought, along with your closet full of wine, is just the ticket. And better yet, unlike our incinerated entrée, it’s infallible!”

Nothing could have gone wrong, so it didn’t.

27 October 2017

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Looking for Uranus

Alexis modeled her latest outfit today. Or maybe it was just the headpiece of a more complex ensemble; I didn’t ask.

“I love your latest creation!” I enthused.

“That’s what I thought too until I wore it in public,” she replied.

“Is it uncomfortable?” I asked.

“Not at all.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“All the engineers keep pointing out that my model of the solar system is not to scale, but that’s not the worst of it.”

“Then what is?”

“Ignoramuses with absolutely no understanding of astronomy keep asking about Uranus.”

I can see why that would be annoying. I bet half of the people in the solar system don’t know with any certainty whether or not Uranus is a real planet. Some say yes, some say no, and I tend to agree.

28 October 2017

Nanny State Prisoners

What’s the world coming to?! (As an aspiring curmudgeon, I use that sentence at every opportunity.)

Once upon a time, strong, self-reliant people populated this country. Judging a recent headline, that was a long time ago.

I’m thinking about Jeremy J. Van Ert, who was accidentally locked in a Wisconsin convenience market’s cooler a few minutes before midnight on Monday. He didn’t call the police, the fire department, or paramedics for help like an entitled, helpless ninny, nor did he panic and cause thousands of dollars of damage by breaking the glass. Instead, he resolutely spent the night there without inconveniencing anyone. He survived on beer until the store opened early in the morning.

How was he rewarded for his bravery and selfless sacrifice of surviving hours imprisoned in a miserable little cell refrigerated to a degree above zero? With a citation for retail theft, that’s how. This travesty of justice is yet another example that no good deed goes unpunished.

For shame! A pox on the nanny state!

29 October 2017

Lepercon Tales

Elias and Sophia are good friends and lousy parents. I suppose they’re really not that bad, it’s just that they’re so overprotective of their daughter Amelie that I fear the pasty little girl will faint at the sight of her own shadow when and if she’s allowed to go outside without a parent hovering nearby.

I don’t really like children, but I don’t dislike the little parasites either, so I asked Amelie’s parents if I could tell her some traditional Irish holiday tales. I’m glad I cleared it them, but even so they were furious with me.

“I just told her some old Irish Halloween yarns,” I protested.

“She said you told her some horror store about a magical little devil who grants children’s wishes then takes part of their body in exchange,” Sophia fumed.

“I did tell her the lepercon story about the little boy who finally gets the pony he’s always wanted then loses a leg and can’t ride it,” I agreed. “I thought she was old enough to appreciate the obvious irony.”

“What kind of leprechaun tale is that?” Elias demanded.

That’s when I realized we’d had a simple misunderstanding. They thought I “leprechaun,” not “lepercon.” I think it’s never too early to learn about leprosy, but her paranoid parents vehemently disagreed. I feel sorry for the little princess; I hope someone gives her a well-rounded education since I doubt Elias and Sophia ever will.


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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