Thursday, Jan. 17, 42 A.B.

Two Thin Slices Of Reality, No Meat

Monday, Jan. 17, 1977 - Kuwait

"Visit to the National Museum, there's no history to this place, it goes back twenty-five years.  There were like eight rooms, one had three coins in the whole room.  Think there was one room that Alexander left some pots in.  Alexander the Great - three pots and four coins.  A room with yesterday's dresses.  More tea and coffee with the director.  Just sat there, there was nothing to do.  Carred over to see the secretary-general of the Council for Arts for more tea and coffee and ceremony.  Dirty handprints on the wall, as if they killed somebody and it was a work of art or something.  Guys standing around.

"Everybody says the same routine:  Where are you staying?  How long have you been here?  How long will you be here?  When are you leaving?  When are you coming back?

"Carred over to see a rich collector named Fahad al Dabbous.  Chubby and cute.  He had a lot of paintings around on the walls, some Dalis, one sort of big one, lots of male friends there, most in costume, a couple of wives.  They had drinks there, also - only the rich, remember?  A big spread on the table, nothing compared to Iran's big spreads.  The men looked fat, but usually in costume you couldn't tell too much.  But this one was chubby.  He had bought the Marilyn and the Flower prints.  He was wearing a girl's diamond-studded watch with a blue face.  The Kuwaiti food was greasy - greasy roast.

"Bought crab soap ($6).  At 8:00 we were picked up by Mr. Bater, who was the cultural attaché from the United States to Kuwait, and taken to see the Anmerican Ambassador Morandi who was giving us a dinner.  His wife was from Seattle, talked so much it drove us crazy.  They were Democrats.  Dinner was served at 10:00.  Left at 12:00, bored.  Used the crab soap, it didn't work.  Fell asleep in bathtub.  In bed couldn't sleep.  Read the Ruth Kligman book again, she was driving Jackson Pollock crazy in the car and that's when he ran into the pole.  Gave it to Fred to read." - The Andy Warhol Diaries


Thursday, January 17, 2002 - Ohio

No visits to any museums today.  What's the point when I have so many things in the house I can enjoy?  Like the can of 7 Up that I bought in 1970 - the one with not a drop of 7 Up sealed up in it, only air or a vacuum.  Someday when scientists want to know what the air was like back then, they'll come flocking to me.  Or who knows?  Maybe it'll be my can which proves that vacuums back then were vastly different than vacuums today.  I wouldn't be a bit surprised considering how much Toledo's changed in the last 30 years.

After contemplating my can for what seemed like a sufficient amount of time, I got out my two copies of Double's 1986 single, "The Captain of Her Heart."  Once again, I particularly liked the one on which A&M Records accidentally(?) stamped The Art of Noise's "Paranoimia."  The Max Headroom vocals are as lovely as the day they were first pressed.  The whole experience motivated me to look The Art of Noise up online.  Imagine my glee when I typed "Art of Noise" into Barnes & Noble's music search engine and it responded with "The Essential Neil Diamond" - heehee!  In fact, The Art of Noise was the 22nd thing B&N gave me in response to my request for "Art of Noise."  Among those B&N deemed more artfully noisy than Art of Noise itself: AC/DC, Queen, and Bette Midler.  I wonder if they all joke about this when they get together for tea after the Grammys.

Used a sticky-tape lint removal roller to clean cat hair off the bed again.  I have several, but I just happened to use the one which gives off a heavy industrial oil odor when the sticky-tape sleeve rubs against the black plastic holder/handle.  I've never had one like it before.  Does this make it as valuable to collectors as my improperly labeled Double single or my 7 Up can?  Must remember to watch Antiques Roadshow tonight just to see if I can glean a clue.

Must remember not to look at the front page of the newspaper tomorrow.  Today's had a deeply troubling story headlined "Premature babies struggle in school, researchers report."  Shouldn't they all be in incubators or something??

My own research keeps getting interrupted by people calling me up and demanding to know what my all-time favorite joke is.  It's been this way ever since I posted those jokes an actual professor determined to be the funniest.  I actually have two, but everyone hangs up on me as soon as I tell the first one.  I imagine them rushing off to McDonald's in hopes of finding the finest in French cuisine.

One fellow this morning asked me what my most embarrassing moment had been instead.  Had I not been so taken aback by his unexpected originality I might have had the wit to say "Allowing myself to answer the phone for the millionth time this morning when I know damn well nothing good came from the 999,999 calls which immediately preceded it."  Instead, I told him the truth.  "One time I went to an important meeting with a new blather shaker.  When the time came for me to contribute to the proceedings, I discovered that the holes were too small to let any of my blather come out.  If I hadn't managed to scrounge up some prattle out of a long-forgotten corner of my vest pocket, my career would have been over right then and there."

I'm not sure, but I think he hung up just before I got to "blather"....

Cracked the Warhol again, just to be reminded that even the lives of rich and famous people are often banal.  Am glad I don't have to go all the way to Kuwait to enjoy greasy food.  The reference to crab soap puzzled me at first, however.  Maybe he meant to write crab soup?  The alternative possibility of his having to wash his pet crab with crab soap drained the color from my face.  The thought that Kuwaitis might actually be making soap out of crabs moved me to tears.  Then it hit me: Andy was seeking a cure for genital lice.  What a relief!  Was made sad all over again by the reference to Pollock's accident.  Tried in vain to distract myself from the horror of it all by wondering to what extent the aftermath resembled one of his paintings.  What finally worked was imagining that the "Fred" whom Andy refers to was Fred MacMurray.    

I think it's time for my nap.


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(©Now by DJ Birtcher)  |  (©Now by DJ Birtcher)
(©Now by DJ Birtcher)  |  (©Now by DJ Birtcher)


To All My Would-Be Callers:  No need to let me know how sorry you are about the tears I shed over the crab soap.  No need to offer to send me any Kleenex, either.  I'm done crying now.  And the crying I did do actually helped me with that research project you all keep interrupting.

The question which prompted that research was this:  If all the tears cried by all the people in the history of the world were carefully collected and laid end to end, would they reach to the moon?

An average tear of mine measures approximately 0.5 centimeters from head to tail.  Two such tears laid end to end measure approximately 1 centimeter.  There are 160,935 centimeters in a mile, meaning that it takes 321,870 tears laid end to end to form a line of tears a mile long.

The closest the moon ever comes to the earth is 221,463 miles.  This means that it would take about 71,282,295,810 lined up tears to reach it.  Let's call it 72 billion tears, just to be on the safe side.

Isaac Asimov once estimated that about 100 billion people have lived on this planet of ours so far.  If every one of those people shed just one tear from each eye in their entire life, there would be more than enough tears to extend from the earth to the moon and back again.

Conservatively assuming that the average person has lived at least 20 years and has cried at least 10 tears at least twice during each of those years, we can conclude that if all the tears humans have ever shed were laid end to end, they would form a line capable of running back and forth between the earth and the moon over 555 times.  That's the equivalent of 3 times to Venus, or a straight line extending more than 25 million miles past the sun....

On second thought, if you do have any Kleenex to spare, be sure to pass 'em along to me.

They just might keep me from drowning....