April 4, 2002

Recently I took on the position of serving as an art reviewer for a small magazine. I know you’re probably thinking, "Wait, isn’t modern art all just a bunch of garbage and dead animals and occasionally paint thrown on a gallery floor?" Well, yes, it is, and most of that stuff sells for fabulous amounts of money. Britain’s Turner Prize just made some lucky artist nearly $30,000, and all he had to do was create a room where the lights go on and off. Last year’s winning exhibit was a bed strewn with used condoms and empty beer bottles. It won because it made the judges remember the wild and wacky lives their college roommates had while they, the judges, were spending all their time studying art history so they get jobs giving large sums of money to artists who pretend to be wild and wacky but in fact lack any real talent or creative ability. But I digress.

Also recently in the world of art an artist named Damien Hirst put together an "installation" of beer bottles (the new artistic medium of the 21st century), ashtrays, coffee cups, and other garbage. It was expected to sell for "six figures", but unfortunately–I’m not making this up–a janitor thought the garbage was, well, garbage, and threw it away. You can insert your own joke about modern art here, but think about this: something is worth what people will pay for it. It wasn’t that long ago that people who look at modern art and say, "Well heck, I could do that," were shelling out fistfuls of money for little stuffed animals. Meanwhile people who considered little stuffed animals to be tasteless and vulgar paid ten bucks apiece to go a museum and see a shark in a giant tank of formaldehyde–which proves that modern art’s not all bad. I wouldn’t want to put a shark in my living room, but you’ve got to admit there’s something cool about that. (Ironically the artist who did that was the aforementioned Damien Hirst, which just goes to show that every artist gets sloppy every once in a while.

Most people don’t realize that Duchamp’s "Nude Descending a Staircase" started out as a realistic portrait but he kept getting distracted because his model was, well, a nude descending a staircase, and this was before people had cable television and could see that sort of thing anytime they wanted.) Yes, there’s a lot of bad art, but what are we going to do about it? I’ve got a plan: if we all get rich, we can invest in artists who produce interesting work that doesn’t involve garbage on a gallery floor. The only question is, what’s a sure way to get rich? Well, there’s always being an artist.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q: I’m two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby’s sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she’s borderline irrational.
A: So what’s your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it’s not pain I’ll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you’re pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby’s diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.


1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.

2. You’re adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.

3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.

4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.

5. You’re using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says "How’s my driving-call 1-800-****"

6. Everyone’s head looks like an invitation to batting-practice.

7. You’re convinced there’s a God and he’s male.

8. You can’t believe they don’t make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.

9. You’re sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.

10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

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