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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XIV


3 April 2019

gratuitous image

No. 8,520 (cartoon)

Life is like a chess game.

I don’t know how to play.


4 April 2019

The Dead Have Risen

The April edition of The Journal of Sexual Medicine just arrived, and, as usual, it makes for gripping reading. I was particularly touched by Brian V. Le, Kevin T. McVary, Kevin McKenna, and Alberto Colombo’s paper, Use of Magnetic Induction to Activate a “Touchless” Shape Memory Alloy Implantable Penile Prosthesis.

In plain English, the researchers figured out how to give a cadaver’s penis an erection. I have no idea what practical application their discovery might have, but Theresa does. She insists that virtually all practitioners of the mortuary arts are necrophiliacs.

As Oscar Wilde noted in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “All art is quite useless.” I’d say that most science is quite useless, but perhaps undertakers would disagree.

5 April 2019

A Fishy Morality Sale

Humans have a complicated relationship with fish. We love, admire, and eat them, just like dogs. In China at least.

Michael Ray Hinson found himself on the wrong side of that line when he was charged with cruelty to animals and animal abandonment after he failed to take his pet fish with him when he was evicted on 22 March. New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputies found the Oscar (that’s a breed, not the critter’s fishy name) in filthy water living off cockroaches and suffering from “hole in the head disease.” That sounded typical for North Carolina to me, but I haven’t been there in seven years so maybe that’s no longer common there these days.

I have no idea about the fifty-three-year-old man’s moral character, but his mistake was obvious. Had he simply fried his pet fish in butter and garlic with a bit of salt and cayenne pepper and posted a video of his recipe on the Internet he could have made enough money to pay his rent.

As any slaughterhouse owner could tell you, killing animals is fine as long as no one sees them suffer. That may sound fishy, but it’s true.

6 April 2019

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Paint by Numbers Black Square Painting

Dan Robbins, who invented the concept of paint by numbers, died recently. That’s not really true, though. Well, the deceased part is: Robbins is in fact expired, departed, gone, perished, fallen, lifeless, and quite dead indeed.

Robbins did not, however, come up with the concept of painting by numbers; Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci employed that technique over half a millennium ago. I nevertheless decided to honor the American for introducing the practice to the hoi polloi with my latest piece, Paint by Numbers Black Square Painting (Homage to Dan Robbins).

7 April 2019

Help Me! I’m Normal!

I was heading home from Barlow’s party through Golden Gate Park tonight when I saw a naked man attempting to flag down passing motorists.

“Help me!” he screamed repeatedly, “Help me! I’m normal!”

The police got there before I could offer him a fig leaf.

I felt sorry for the poor guy, for normality is a horrible state in which to be. Sans Frisco, on the other hand, is a great place to escape the clutches of reality. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

8 April 2019

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My Father at Ninety-Nine

Today would have been my father’s ninety-ninth birthday. Coincidentally, I just saw an old 1965 Plymouth Barracuda like the one he drove when I was a boy. (I know almost nothing about cars; the only reason I know the year the car was made is because that model was only on the market in 1965.)

The 1965 Barracuda’s huge dome window was a marvel of Detroit engineering. In the summer, it turned the automobile in an oven. I wouldn’t be surprised if a poor family used their vehicle to bake a chicken in July. The car had only the most rudimentary cooling system: windows that opened to cool the solar oven with hot, humid air.

Nights were another story. My father loved to drive down dark country roads. When he did, I laid on my back looking at the stars through my spaceship’s panoramic window. Good times!

My wonderful childhood morphed into a tolerable adolescence (it doesn’t get better than that!) then into an improbably charmed life. Thanks for everything, and happy birthday, Glenn Albert Rinehart.


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©2019 David Glenn Rinehart

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