Gamma joke

Dad, want to hear a joke? Gamma asked me.
Okay, I said.
A guy walks into a bar, she said.
(I love it when little girls tell me jokes that start that way).
He orders a beer, she said. After it comes, a big, mean guy appears and drinks it down in one go. The first guy starts crying.
What kind of sissy are you, the big tough guy says, crying over a beer?
It’s not just the beer, the first guy says. This morning, my wife left me and I decided to kill myself. I tried to hang myself, but the rope broke. I tried shooting myself, but the gun jammed. Now I just put poison in my beer, and you drank it.

She told me the joke about twice a day for a week. Luckily it’s a funny joke.


There’s nothing like a day off in the middle of the week to perk you up, I thought.

Sleeping in. Finally getting that workout I had been too busy for for so long.

No more feeling old for me. Spring had arrived, I thought, and I feel perky and youthful. Besides the only alternatives to getting older are dying or getting that weird Hollywood-actress-Madame-Tussaud-wax-person-with-a-concussion look.

Face it, James Dean never got to sit in the middle of an orchestra hugging a cello vibrating madly with a roomful of music, which is pretty cool, as I discovered Wednesday evening.

I remember reading Meike’s blog years ago when she was writing about playing in an orchestra, and I wondered if I would ever be good enough on the cello to experience that.

And, now, eh, I’m not exactly good enough, but there I am in the middle of it. That’s pretty cool. I just play the bass part when things get fiddly. I gather that’s legitimate.

Anyway, I went outside and smelled the air and looked at the flowers.

I played with the tortoise.

Well, not exactly played. I was upstairs in my office and heard some bumping noise and thought the cats wanted in (they knock) and checked but it wasn’t them. Then I saw the kitchen door was open, and couldn’t find the tortoise and thought maybe she had staged a daring escape. I couldn’t find her anywhere. I even looked in the cellar, in case she had gotten frisky and tumbled down the stairs.

I found a book Gamma had been looking for under the kitchen bench.

I found the tortoise in the living room. She was trying to burrow through the door, she had been knocking on it with her shell.

What the hell, I thought, I’ll make a day of it: I called my haircut person and made an appointment. Not with her, she had the afternoon off. But with the new woman.

We negotiated my haircut, including safe word. She did a good job. She didn’t talk as much as my regular person. So, not being a conversationalist myself, it was a pretty quiet haircut. Buzzing and snipping, mostly. She asked me if I wanted my sideburns trimmed. I had just had a nightmare about my sideburns, where this guy was obsessed with their length, so I told her to go ahead and do whatever she wanted to them. So now I have medium, normal sideburns.

Then she said, “should I trim your eyebrows while I’m at it?”

“…,” I said.

“Uh…” I said.

“Cause, you know, you got a few long ones in there.”

“Sure,” I said.

When I got home, I couldn’t find the tortoise again. The kitchen door was somehow open again, so I looked in all the usual places — reception hall, billiards room, ballroom, gallery 1, gallery 2, kitchen, dining room, dungeon, torture chamber.

I finally found her in the library/music room, snuggled in a corner behind my cello.


I won’t say I lack passion, but the only time I taste blood is when I floss.

Continue reading

Why mortality was invented

Gamma: “Gah. This movie is so long!”
Gamma’s father: “But just think: if you were going to be executed when it was over, it would seem too short.”

Little-known facts about smelt


  • The smelt is a highly political fish, said to be closely allied to the grayling of the salmon family.

  • One particular type of smelt, the candlefish is so fat at spawning time that you can stick a wick up its ass and burn it like a candle.
  • When a smelt accidentally buys a cellphone with a camera because the zero broke on its old phone, the smelt smells trouble (with olfactory organs which are deep indentations with a smell-sensitive lining).
  • After waiting in vain for an epiphany, the smelt will give up and go back to the store where it bought its Siemens C72 phone and ask how to get pictures it takes onto a computer, and will be told there is a cable that will do the trick, only it’s not in stock and the saleswoman doesn’t know when it’s coming in, could be in a week, could be tomorrow.
  • No fool, the smelt in such a situation will go next door to another electronics shop and buy a cable.
  • Unfortunately, no one tells the smelt that this particular cable only works on a PC with 500 mA USB ports, and it wastes an hour installing, deinstalling and reinstalling, deinstalling, downloading, unzipping, installing, deinstalling and reinstalling drivers on its work and home PCs before it reads the directions and checks and finds out that all computers to which it (the smelt) has access have 100 mA (actually more like 98) USB ports.
  • The smelt will swear in such a situation that this is the last time it buys Fuxxor brand anything.
  • Or anything with moveable parts, or containing copper for christssake.
  • The smelt sometimes wonders what percentage of the gadget industry’s annual turnover can be attributed to consumers accidentally purchasing incompatible gadget accessories.
  • Little is known about the smelt’s sense of taste. Its eating habits are sometimes destructive and cannibalistic.