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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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7 August 2014

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No. 680 (cartoon)

I would die for you.

That’s easy to arrange.

8 August 2014

Her Mother’s Legs

I had an unnerving visit with Maia’a daughter Amelia today. Although it’s normal for children to resemble their parents, twenty-four-year-old Amelia looks exactly like Maia did when we first met thirty-some years ago, and her voice is indistinguishable from her mother’s speech today. Spooky.

Now here’s the weird thing. Amelia was wearing the shortest of shorts; it’s obvious that she has her mother’s legs. How is Maia getting around without them? She’s smart and resourceful; I’m sure she’s figured out a clever alternative.

9 August 2014

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In Defense of Lorie Ann Hill

Hoo boy, poor Lorie Ann Hill is in a heap o’ trouble, a real a heap o’ trouble. The forty-nine year old teacher showed up for her first day of work at Wagoner [Oklahoma] High School early in the morning; so far so good. She had consumed a rather large amount of vodka, and, as one school official delicately put it, “was also missing the lower half of her clothing.”

Not so good.

Frank Sandiford, a parent of one of the students, wasted no time in passing judgment. “I just don’t know how you can be a professional teacher and teaching young people, and then show up drunk.”

I, for one, shall defend Hill. Since I may be the only one, here goes. I don’t recommend being drunk, but then I don’t live in Oklahoma, either. I can’t say that being inebriated to the point of numbness when trapped in a room with dozens of surly teens is wise, but a wise person wouldn’t put herself in that situation. It’s ridiculously hot in Oklahoma, so wearing pants makes no sense whatsoever.

Hill is in a heap o’ trouble, but things could be worse: she could still be working at Wagoner High School.

10 August 2014

A Failure to Write Badly

Selena is in a mood most foul. The judges rejected her entry to the Really Really Really Bad Writing Contest because it was racist, sexist, and homophobic. Here’s her submission.

“I am a homosexual first, and a Negro second,” Rastus lisped as he wiped the fried chicken grease from his chin with the sleeve of his old, tattered shirt. The waitress, blond and dumber than used grits, nodded and smiled vacuously.

I agreed with the jurists. Her writing wasn’t truly bad; it was merely formulaically stupid and offensive. She should have heeded Richard Le Gallienne’s warning, “You can’t fake it. Bad writing is a gift.”

I tried to cheer Selena by gently reminding her of Frederick Raphael’s prediction, “Awards are like hemorrhoids; in the end, every asshole gets one.”

Selena was, alas, inconsolable.

11 August 2014

Exploding Corpses

The world is full of stupid, annoying clichés, and “think outside the box” is certainly one of the more tiresome ones. Nevertheless, it’s surprisingly good advice when it comes to human carcasses. I know this because Josh Slocum, the director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, said so in an editorial warning against using expensive, sealed caskets that, “lock in the freshness!”

“While you’re insulating grandma from the outside air, she could be stewing in her own fluids, turning into slurry from the work of anaerobic bacteria. When the weather turns warm, in some cases, that sealed casket becomes a pressure cooker and bursts from accumulated gases and fluids of the decomposing body. The next time relatives visit grandma, they could find her rotting remains oozing from her tomb in the form of a nauseating thick fluid.”

I’m grateful to Slocum for alerting me to the exploding casket syndrome. I shall make a point of never getting in a casket unless it has good ventilation and drainage.

12 August 2014

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Comparing Apples and Oranges

For almost forever, I’ve been accused of comparing apples and oranges. Rather than continue to deny such unjustified recriminations, I thought it would be easier to compare apples and oranges. It proved to be even simpler than I anticipated.

I began by weighing two apples and two oranges on a triple beam scale. I enjoyed weighing the fruit to the tenth of a gram; that’s the first time I’d used the scale since I mixed my last batch of darkroom chemicals twenty-five (!) years ago. The apples and oranges weighed 250.3, 249.3, 372.6, and 357.4 grams, respectively. That’s an empirical comparison right there!

And even though “funner” may not be a legitimate word, the next step was decidedly funner. The fruit and I ascended the perilous ladders leading to the roof of the Internet Archive. After enjoying the panoramic view of the neighborhood, I proceeded with my comparison by dispatching the apples and oranges to the cement slab sixteen meters below me. Unlike the piece I did last month, Thirteen Cans of Tuna Captured by Gravity After Being Flung from a Great Height, neither the apples nor the oranges maintained their structural integrity.

Splat! Splat! Splat! And splat!

The photographs in Comparing Apples and Oranges speak for themselves, so I don’t need to do so.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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