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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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28 May 2020

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No. 502 (cartoon)

Did you go to art school?

I dropped out after three days.

It took you that long to figure out that old scam?!

29 May 2020

Speed Bumps on Love Street

I was enjoying having a drink or several with Rebecca and Sonja until Sonja decided to confide that she was suffering from hemorrhoids. I knew what was going to happen next, and it did.

Rebecca has a number of remarkable skills, and always knowing the wrong thing to say is near the top of the list.

“Ignore them, Sonja,” she advised. “Just think of them as speed bumps on Love Street.”

Rebecca ignored Sonja’s unconcealed grimace and smiled obliviously. I was similarly appalled, but took a conciliatory note.

“No one can spell ‘hemorrhoids’ without a dictionary,” I noted, “so I suppose Sonja could do worse.”

With generous help from Rebecca, Sonja did indeed do worse later this afternoon, but I’m done reporting from Love Street.

The End.

30 May 2020

Useless Micromorts

I thought I was alone all night, but I woke up with a micromort. I never realized that I’ve been doing that every day of my life until a learned friend learned me about the concept.

A micromort is a one-in-a-million chance of dying. Everyone gets one a day for checking out from nonnatural causes, all the weird stuff that never happens until it does: getting electrocuted by an asteroid, stung by a rabid shark, that sort of thing. The odds get much better or worse after that, depending on your perspective. For example, giving birth in this miserable country would add another two hundred and ten micromorts; that’s one of many reasons I’ll never do that.

You can see where this train is heading all the way from Kalamazoo. Living in New York City during Coronarama gets you fifty bonus micromorts. That’s still statistically insignificant to me. If the coronavirus is going to harvest one in twenty thousand people, I figure there are at least nineteen thousand more likely victims than me.

Marcel Duchamp had his brilliant insight carved into his tombstone: D’ailleurs, c’est toujours les autres qui meurent. (Besides, it’s always the others who die.)

31 May 2020


“Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the [White House] underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.” I wish the New York Times reporters would have provided more details as well as a historical perspective. An embattled psychopathic hatemonger takes refuge in his bunker ... let’s see, where have I heard that before?

Almost seventy-five years ago to the day, Adolph Hitler retreated to his Führerbunker. His bullet in the brain plan to avoid being captured succeeded; he was never even tried for war crimes let alone convicted.

I doubt pResient Drumph knows anything about history, but I’m sure his Secret Agents aren’t that ignorant (as if such a thing is possible). I assume at least one is familiar with George Santayana’s maxim, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” Perhaps they supplied dRumph’s führerbunker with a Walther PPK 7.65 pistol and cyanide. The former solved all of Hitler’s woes and the latter prevents all coranavirus attacks!

1 June 2020

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1962 Okay

Several of my friends suggested that we deal with our physical isolation by having video chats instead of the usual phone calls. I’ve gently and diplomatically told them that I’m only accepting such invitations from people with new facial tattoos, otherwise I think it’s worse than a waste of time.

I know it’s a tautology, but I do love the people I love. Nevertheless, I don’t understand why anyone would want to look up my nostrils while we talk. Similarly, I’m not interested in dermatology and have no desire to study the stubble and blemishes on anyone’s chin for an hour.

I’m amused by the fascination with “new” technology; George Jetson had video calls all figured out almost sixty years ago. If I was more industrious, I’d follow his example and simply put a flattering photo of myself in front of the camera then jaw away without worrying whether I any remnants of black bean chili—or worse—stuck between my teeth.

When it comes to videophones, Iggy Pop was off by a few years: “Well it’s 1962 okay, all across the USA ...”

2 June 2020

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Blackout Tuesday

The Coalition for Good, The Association Against Evil, and The Federation for Doing the Right Thing issued a joint proclamation that all well-intentioned people should post a black square on the Internet today. What a great idea, a celebration of the life and work of Kazimir Malevich and his 1915 painting, Black Square!

It turns out the organizations were just hoodwinking the public by using Malevich’s long coattails to promote their own agendas. Even though I published a black square on 21 May and will do so again on 18 June 2020, I figured out I’d slap another one up there today; can’t have too much of a good thing!

Lest I be misunderstood, I want to make it clear that I do not fully support the partnership’s goals. Good should be avoided if it’s a substitute for excellence, evil can be most entertaining and rewarding on occasion, and sometimes doing the right thing is just too much work.

3 June 2020

Good DGR/Bad DGR

Selena told me I’m most unwelcome in Ontario. That’s not really what she said, but she really did say that.

Sort of.

She was talking about broad opposition to having a DGR—my initials, eh?—in the frosty province. I was shocked; I was welcomed and treated very well indeed the last time I was in Toronto.

Wha’ happened?!

It was a bolt from the blue to discover I’d been confused with another DGR: Deep Ground Repository. Yep, some scoundrels were using my good name to try and foist a DGR nuclear waste dump on unsuspecting Canucks.

This unfortunate case of mistaken identity may be a big problem the next time I try to cross the northern border, but that may not be for quite some time. For reasons that have nothing to do with me, the Canadians have wisely banned Americans from entering their frozen wasteland. Until then ...

Down with DGR!

Huzzah DGR!

4 June 2020

Prime Options

Clarissa and were talking about life during Coronarama; she asked me when I wanted to die. After confirming that “never” was not an acceptable answer, I told her I’d like to take my last breath ten minutes before everyone on the plane realizes that the suicidal pilot is about to try to fly the plane I’m on through a mountain.

That answer wasn’t good enough for her (almost nothing ever is); she insisted that I tell her how many years I wanted to live.

I began by explaining that I don’t want to live to be a hundred and paralyzed by decrapitude. I want to die in my prime, and that leaves me with seven options: sixty-seven, seventy-one, seventy-three, seventy-nine, eight-three, eighty-nine, and ninety-seven. The sixties and seventies seem a bit too soon, ninety-seven is too close to a hundred, so that leaves eighty-three and eighty-nine.

That still wasn’t good enough; she asked me to choose one. I declined and promised to surprise her. After all, chance and I need to retain a shred of mystery.


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©2020 David Glenn Rinehart

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