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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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5 March 2022

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No. 8,043 (cartoon)

You stabbed me in the back and betrayed me.

Dog-eat-shit world, innit?

Bad dog!

6 March 2022

Baboon vs. Badger, Doors vs. Wheels

If there’s anything better than a stupid argument, it’s a passionate, stupid, unwinnable argument.

When it comes to all things Internet, my learned friends agree that it’s best at what it was designed to do: disseminate photographs and videos of kittens and cats. Facilitating farcical disagreements is a close second.

For years, the writers for a periodical with a name too asinine to mention have been asking everyone they interview the same question: which critter would win a fight between a baboon and a badger? (In case you were wondering, the late Desmond Tutu bet on the baboon.)

The latest source of contention is even better or worse, depending on your perspective: are there more wheels or doors in the world? The beauty of this brouhaha is that it not only involves numbers but also pedantic clashes over the definitions of “door” and “window.”

I’m not one to shy away from an inane debate, so here’s where I stand. A baboon would win a fight with a door, and there are more windows than badgers on the planet. I triple dog dare anyone to prove otherwise.

7 March 2022

Droll, Very Droll

Michelle told me she had a zany idea, and before she could tell me what it was I had one of my own. “Zany” is a word I never use, and I was all but certain that I never typed it in any of my previous nine thousand five hundred and sixty-two notebook entries. I decided to check.

I’ve done this several times before, and discovered that even a word that I didn’t think I’d ever use appeared at least once in the million-plus words I’ve published. And so it was with zany: four times.

I decided that I wasn’t going to keep repeating this frustrating exercise, and kept looking for a previously unwritten word. I ruled out words I’d never use like horripilations. (That sounds horrible; that’s why I always the synonym, goosebumps.) I discovered I’d already used rambunctious (once), risible (twice), and preposterous (twenty-four times).


I was contemplating using horripilations after all when I recalled Wilma Flinstone saying, “Droll, very droll.”

Paydirt! I not only used that word for the first time today here, I just did it twice!

Bravo me!

(I just checked and discovered that was the second time I used “paydirt” and the ninth time I used “bravo.”)

8 March 2022

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 flew from Kuala Lumpur on 8 March 2014 to ... well, no one knows. Eight years after the flight to nowhere arrived at its unknown destination, here’s the big news about the jet’s disappearance: there is none.

I’m certain someone will discover the plane’s carcass—and the remains of carcasses within—before the sun explodes in a few billion years. As for when, I’m a bit conflicted. I’d like to know what happened before I pop my clogs, but I also like the idea of dying with that disappearance among life’s many mysteries.

Surprise me!

9 March 2022

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Willies and Hoovers c. 1950

I have pretty good manners for a guy, and I never snoop on my friends. Having said that, I couldn’t help noticing the title of a book on Andy’s couch, Penile Injuries Incurred Through Interaction with Vacuum Cleaners, Vol. XXII, published in London by His Majesty’s Stationery’s Office.

Hold it, twenty-two volumes on vacuums as the crudest of sexbots in 1950?! Let’s see; the cleaning device as we know it wasn’t patented until 1908; I wonder if those miserable English wankers are up to Vol. CXXXVI by now?

I retract that. Nature abhors a vacuum, and if Brits love them in an amorous way I don’t want to know about it. I would also like to remain uninformed about why Andy was reading it; I hope it was for the amusing illustrations.

10 March 2022

Women Judges, Not a Kidney Day

Today is World Kidney Day, but I’m not having anything to do with it. First of all, it should be World Kidneys Day since every human has two of ’em except for those who don’t. Using the singular case makes it sound like we’re celebrating the best kidney in the world. That’s preposterous, as is recognizing just one of my two kidneys. Who has a favorite kidney?

No more biological malarky for me; I’m celebrating the United Nations International Day of Women Judges today. The last female magistrate I had was smart, charming, attractive, and gave me an eighty-percent discount off my fine for my only cycling ticket. She agreed that I should watch out for speeding automobiles and that I was forgiven for blowing through numerous stop signs on an empty street ... except for the clever cop who spotted me.

11 March 2022

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Three Planar Views of the USS Hornet

I pedaled all over Alameda, California, during the month I was there. That was no athletic accomplishment at all; the faux island is flat. One of the regular sights on my circuit was the USS Hornet (CVS-12). The retired aircraft carrier—now technically a museum—is too big to miss.

(Here’s a fascinating example of military intelligence: CVS stands for, “antisubmarine warfare support aircraft carrier.”)

It cost more than five liters of wine to go aboard, so I made Three Planar Views of the USS Hornet sitting on my bike in the parking lot. I didn’t have much to say about the old warship, and empirical evidence suggests that I’ve said everything I had to say visually.

12 March 2022

Taking a Stab at Modern Art

I’m intrigued by newspaper stories where the real news is buried far below the headline. Here’s today’s example: Police ID Suspect in Stabbing of MoMA Employees.

Gary Cabana allegedly knifed a couple of employees at the Museum of Modern Art when they refused to let him watch a film because his membership was revoked for being a Known Cretin. At last report he’s on the lamb or maybe on the sheep, whatever the preferred getaway ruminant of choice is these days.

Four New York Times reporters covered a relatively trivial story (the two museum staffers are expected to fully recover); that’s three or four more journalists than usually report on a gruesome Gotham murder. None of the would-be Clark Kents mentioned the real news until near the end of the article: the film Cabana would apparently kill to see was Bringing Up Baby.

Let’s see, when was that made? 2022? 2012? 2002? 1992? 1982? Nope, keep going ...

Bringing Up Baby was released in 1938. If that’s modern art, is there anything made in the last century that’s not? Maybe that’s the wrong question; perhaps “Modern Art” is anything someone alive today will pay to see.

Coming next weak: more of the same.


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©2022 David Glenn Rinehart

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