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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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24 April 2021

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No. 7,186 (cartoon)

Almost no one treats me with such contempt.

Almost no one knows you very well.

25 April 2021

My Audio-Immune System

I forgot that Derek was such a delicate, sensitive soul until I demanded that he silence the disgusting crap oozing from his radio. The synthesized aural pablum presented as music was bad enough, but the ads were like a rusty cheese grater scraping my eardrums.

Just when I thought everyone had long forgotten about Spiro Agnew, he called me an effete snob. (At least he didn’t scorn me as a nattering nabob of negativism.) I protested that I was quite humble, and pointed out that I have a lot about which to be very humble indeed. I explained that my aversion to ads, especially on “noncommercial [sic] public radio,” was because I have a weakened audio-immune system.

It’s like cilantro, even though it’s not at all like cilantro. (As everyone knows, the single nucleotide polymorphisms make that distinguished member of the parsley family taste like soap—or even horribly metallic—for some unfortunate people.)

In the case of my audio-immune system, I have an almost toxic reaction when I’m listening to a broadcast in a car and suddenly a moron is screaming in my ear about how white my teeth can be. For some people that’s merely unsatisfying, but my immediate reaction is to empty the clip in my Glock into the radio. (That’s why my friends who know me well insist that I disarm before riding with them.)

I’m so glad I came up with a clinical name for my visceral loathing of broadcast advertising; “my audio-immune system response” sounds so much better than “obnoxiously intolerant.”

26 April 2021

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New Mexico Constellation

New Mexico Constellation is another photograph that I can’t show here, even though I am. I like it because it has so many fine details and intricate patterns, none of which are visible on the Internet. And so, I’m presenting retinal art that can’t be seen. Does that make it conceptual art? That was an empty rhetorical question; I find such labels useless at best.

I’ll play the amateur card and describe what you’re (not) seeing. It’s a New Mexico thing: paint on the hood of a truck after it’s been in the sun and heat for a decade or two or three. It's highly regarded here as the unique patina of a working truck, as opposed to a shiny new posh pickup that’s never hauled anything but takeaway fast food.

27 April 2021

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Grenade Party Nostalgia

I was hit by a wave of nostalgia when I saw this morning’s headline, “WW2 bomb” found in Bavarian forest was sex toy, say officials. Those wacky Bavarians! I haven’t heard about a grenade party since the nineties, when they were a passing fad in San Francisco.

Knowing German police as I don’t, I was surprised to read that it took them a while to figure out that the only explosion it might possibly cause was an orgasm. Here’s the payload line from today’s story: “The condoms and lubricant in the bag helped point to the device’s intended use, police told the German news agency dpa.” Apparently they needed more evidence to reach a definite conclusion even after ascertaining that it was made out of rubber.

Having watched all one hundred and sixty-eight episodes of Hogan’s Heroes, I’m something of an expert on WWII, so I was dismayed by the complete lack of any journalism. Was it an Eierhandgranate 39 (egg grenade), a Stielhandgranate M43 (potato masher grenade), or perhaps even an American Mk 2 grenade?

We’ll probably never know. The “reporters” just swallowed and regurgitated a police press release. That reminds me of one of Isabella’s grenade parties, but that’s another tale for another day.

28 April 2021

Pope Shonky

Bernie asked me what I thought of his latest scam, er, business venture. He showed me a mockup of an Internet site he was developing, but I didn’t get past the headline.

Receive Personal Blessings from Pope, Francis!

“This already smells shonky,” I began. “What’s with the comma?”

“Was it that obvious?” he asked. “Maybe I need a smaller font.”

“Just tell me how your latest grift works,” I continued.

“I found a guy on the Internet named Francis Pope,” he explained. “He agreed to bless anything on a percentage basis.”

“Is he even Catholic?” I asked.

Bernie assured me that Pope had catholic tastes and could bless anything. Even better, he ran a background check and found that Pope was clean; he’d never even been accused of touching an altar boy.

“You don’t have a prayer,” I concluded.

“Doesn’t matter, he responded. “We’re only selling blessings at the moment; prayers come later.”

29 April 2021

No Joke

My friends are very generous; they frequently give me advice I didn’t even ask for. I’m fine and don’t need charity, so I usually decline every well-intentioned gift with one exception: when it’s really bad. Dahlia sent me such a suggestion a few days ago.

You’re turning into a one-trick mule, David. Every entry is the same: setup/punch line, setup/punch line, setup/punch line. You need to get out of your rut and try something completely different, like maybe something that actually happened to you, or maybe end with a zinger instead of a joke.

Okay, let’s see how this goes ...

Gregg called this morning and told me Jayne has lung cancer. When I asked how bad, he just said that it was time for me to get on a plane soon.

And there ya go: true story, no joke, and a zinger instead of a punch line.

I hope Dahlia is pleased; I am not. That’s the last time I’m following up on one of her recommendations until she comes up with something even worse.

And with that, I’m returning to the world I create; it’s so much nicer than the one on offer at the moment.

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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart

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