Tuesday, August 23, 2016

They Should Go Crafting


Mary Worth
I don't know about other people but the last thing I wanted to do when a girl broke up with me was hang out with my mom. It will be fun to see Iris find Tommy buried under hundreds of prescription bottles. Here's hoping this storyline is almost over.

Beetle Bailey
Ah. So this is how the soldiers at Camp Swampy die.

The Born Loser
I found Michael Phelps the least inspiring part this Olympics--well, his and Ryan Lochte's. I enjoyed women's gymnastics and really enjoyed getting to see and know beach volleyball player April Ross. I mean, look at her. She's just so cute.

Monday, August 22, 2016

What Would Happen If All the Ants Jumped?


Just a reminder that everything else that is posted on this website is posted on weekends now. I post a link to whatever has been updated on Twitter. If you feel like you have missed something, go to the Sections tab in the top menu and click whichever title you may have missed and see when the most recent update was. Now, onto comics.

Beetle Bailey
I love how determinedly Sarge is shoved that food into his mouth. "You don't think I'm pulling my weight? How do you like this?!"

Scary Gary
If Mark Buford ever wanted to use my likeness as a new friend for Gary, I wouldn't mind. However, I retain all animation rights for that character.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith
"I've seen Snuffy's ass on more than one occasion. I've seen his ass so much. Why do I see his ass so much?"

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Liberty #62: Panda

Her parents met many years ago. No one was quite sure when but they were married a long time before the girl came along. He had wanted a quiet marriage, a quiet life, and he got it. He and his bride moved into this old house shortly after getting married. It was too large for just the two of them but he made it clear that he did not want children. For several years, fate complied with that even going so far as to cause three miscarriages. They were still happy but for her, there was an emptiness.

When she was finally blessed with a little girl, she was told to keep her quiet. She complied as best she could but too many long nights forced her husband to move their daughter’s room into the attic. It was there that a large stuffed panda sat in the window. The girl had received the panda from her grandma, her father’s mother. It was unknown if her mother still had her parents.

Her grandma would dote on her as much as possible. Her mother often gave her too much attention, and her father not enough but grandma did it just right. The girl loved seeing her grandma come through the attic door.

“She seems thin and looks pale,” the grandma said to the girl’s mother. “Have you been feeding her enough?”

“She never gets hungry,” mother shrugged. She could never hear if the girl was crying so she rarely came up to feed her. She was fed only when the adults were. “And we don’t get out like to the park as much as we would like,” mother explained. They had stopped leaving the house because her husband began worrying that someone would take her. Her husband had become very erratic over the last couple of months. She just brushed it off as he was a new father. Everything would be back to normal soon.

Two days before the girl turned three, their phone rang. Both the father and mother could easily hear the phone in the hallway but not the girl screaming and crying right above them. She tried to get out of bed but both her eyes were cloudy and unfocused, a problem she noticed a few months ago but kept to herself. They usually fixed themselves by the afternoon.

He got out of bed and shuffled to the phone, answering it with a gruff “Hello?”

A man on the other end explained that something had happened at his mother’s house and that he should come over. Within minutes, he and his wife we dressed and heading out the door.

“What about…?” she asked, pointing to the door to the attic, but was interrupted.

“She’ll be fine,” he grabbed her hand and pulled her along.

They drove across town to his mother’s house. Police tape encircled the front yard and there were a couple of police cars. He and his wife stepped over the tape and went into the house. “What are you doing? This is a crime scene,” an officer said.

“This is my mother’s house,” he said gruffly.

“Oh,” the officer hung his head. “Sorry. We’re thinking it was a robbery. Someone broke in through the side door and your mother was unfortunate enough to still be awake.”

The officer led them to where his mother was, covered with a sheet. He collapsed to the floor and began sobbing. His wife stood over him and gently put her hand on his shoulder.




Over the next few years, they grew more reclusive. Dark shades were drawn on every window except the one with the panda. His mother had left him a small fortune so he no longer had to go to work. They lived meagerly on his inheritance and kept from going outside as much as possible.

The girl was now six and, while skin and bones, still cute with her short, home-styled haircut and freckles dotting the area across her nose under her eyes. Her mother went upstairs every evening before bed to give her food and clean up the child’s toilet that she had been trained to use.

“Hey, there,” her mom would always say. She would never use her name. She may not have even remembered it.

“Ay, deer,” the girl would repeat.

“Here’s your food.”

“Dood.”

The bowl was placed on the floor and she was unchained from an o-hook screwed into the wall. Her mother would clean out the bowl while the girl ate then drop off the clean toilet and a baby bottle of water, take the empty dish and the empty bottle from the evening before, the girl would be chained back up and her mother would leave, locking the door behind her. That was most interaction the girl would get for the next three years.

Downstairs, the girl’s father had moved he and his wife’s bedroom into the living room. He never went upstairs and she only went up to tend to the girl. Everything had been moved downstairs whether they needed it or not. The downstairs of their house became a cluttered mess and he began worrying about thieves wanting his family’s possessions. He kept a gun an arm’s length away all the time.

He spent the days muttering and wandering around the house, making sure their piles of trash were suitable or that their piles of trash were where they were supposed to be. She just stayed out of the way, in her rocking chair, attempting to read through her diminishing eyesight. Then, one day, it was gone. Replaced with a white, cloudy image, her vision never readjusted like it usually did. She carefully felt her way to her rocking chair and sat down, unmoving, untalking, unseeing.

The girl had been crying for over an hour before he finally heard it. “Why is she crying?” he asked.

“She’s hungry.”

“Then feed her. You’re supposed to keep her quiet.”

“I can’t feed her.”

“Why?”

“I can’t see,” she revealed to him.

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t see. It’s like I’m looking through clouds. I can’t get her dinner fixed. I can’t go up and down the stairs. I can’t clean her toilet. You’re going to have to do it.”

“I don’t go upstairs,” he grumbled.

“Then she’ll just cry,” she shrugged.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, the girl’s cries clearly drilling into his ears. “Why didn’t you tell me about your eyesight?”

“You don’t want to be bothered by our ailments,” she answered.

The crying deafened him. His wife continued to sit in her rocking chair, acting like nothing was wrong. She could barely hear her daughter but he was being tortured by her screeching wails. The girl couldn’t hear the two gunshots her father used on her mother and himself. They were too far away, the walls too thick, her crying too loud.




The shots did catch the attention of their neighbors who found this the last straw in the family’s oddness. They called the police who came over, saw all the windows covered to keep out the light, and pushed their way into the house. Inside, they found the woman bleeding and slumping in the rocking chair. The man, in his armchair. The police heard the faint screaming coming from upstairs.
Upon breaking into the attic, they found the girl, chained to the wall, her toilet nearly full. Nothing in the room besides a mattress, blanket, and the sun-bleached panda in the window. One of the officers carefully went to unchain the girl while the other radioed in.
“Hi, there,” the officer said kneeling down in front of the girl. “My name is Hal, what’s yours?”
The girl had stopped crying but was still sniffling. “Pa-naa,” she said, but was pointing at the stuffed animal in the window.
“Okay, we’ll just call you that for now. Panda,” the officer said. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Veterans and Sandwiches--That's It


Blondie
Dagwood's not wrong here. We throw the term 'hero' around so loosely anymore on the Internet that the word has lost a lot of its meaning. I went on a rant about it not too long ago but not in my house to my wife and dog like a normal person but on Twitter.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not
A monkey? A squirrel is usually the cause of the near-daily blackouts Baldwin City, Kansas has and has had for over 20 years.

Dennis the Menace
Mr. Wilson is genuinely upset and frustrated by he and his wife's financial situation. Their income only is comprised of his Social Security and his pension and he wonders how he will continuing living the adequate yet meager lifestyle they have cultivated. Martha, however, ignores everything her husband says to make a fat joke. Dennis should be taking notes.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Life On the Fast Lane


Credits:
Episode Number 7G11 (#109)
Created by Matt Groening; Developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Written by John Schwartzwelder
Directed by David Silverman
Starring Dan Castellanetta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Harry Shearer
Guest Starring Albert Brooks

The first in a long series of episodes dedicated to the delicate balance of Homer and Marge's marriage, it's Marge's birthday and the kids are in the kitchen making her breakfast and bragging about the gifts that they got her. First, you have Lisa's macaroni portrait.
Next, you have Bart's giant jug of French perfume.
Homer, still asleep, believing the breakfast is for him, and that it is his birthday, doesn't have a gift so he runs out to get one. That night, at the Singing Sirloin, where all the waiters sing at you, Homer happily presents his gift to Marge: a bowling ball with his name engraved on it. (So you'd know it's from him.)
Upset that Homer clearly got himself a bowling ball for her birthday, Marge decides to learn how to bowl just to spite him. It's clear that she is not very good but she catches the eye of Jacques, a French bowling instructor (Brooks) who agrees to teach Marge to bowl. Jacques and Marge become very close and Jacques even gets Marge a bowling glove with her name sewn onto it. After several bowling lessons, Jacques asks Marge to have brunch with him.
While at brunch, Jacques and Marge run into Helen Lovejoy, the gossipy minister's wife, but Jacques covers up their "date" by saying it is a bowling lesson. Jacques then becomes bolder and asks Marge to meet him at his apartment. Marge promptly faints and dreams of a bowling-themed life with Jacques. Upon awakening, Marge agrees.

Homer, meanwhile, is aware that something is wrong but he doesn't know what or how he can fix it. He finds the personalized glove for Marge and begins thinking it's another man and that Homer pushed Marge right to him. Bart, also aware that something is going on with his parents, tries to help Homer during a game of catch.
The next morning, Marge is packing lunches and Homer compliments her on how she makes her sandwiches before saying good-bye to her and leaving for work. On her way to Jacques' apartment, Marge drives down a street that reminds her of her marriage and the commitment she has to Homer. She reaches a fork in the road and is torn between going to Jacques' and going to the Nuclear Plant.

As Homer is doing something with nuclear material, Marge comes up to him. The two kiss and embrace and Homer picks her up and carries her out of the plant, announcing to his coworkers that he's "going to the backseat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes."

Random Observations
  • This episode really made an impact on me about physical and emotional cheating when it comes to relationships. Jacques and Marge didn't really have a physical relationship, although Jacques tried, but they did have an emotional one which I have always felt was worse. There's barely a worse feeling out there than knowing that you are no longer your significant others' best friend anymore.
  • I love when TV shows have kids make breakfast there are always dozens of pancakes. There's no way a kid would stand over the stove to make two dozen pancakes or more. I can barely stand there and make nine.
  • "If she likes your present so much, then why isn't she wearing any?" "Yeah, Mom, why aren't you wearing any of my perfume?" "I'm saving it...for a special occasion." "What the hell are you talking about? There's gallons of it."
  • I love Marge's original bowling stance. Cup the ball with both hands and swing the ball down the alley.
  • I had never noticed that Jacques loses his accent when he shouts "four onion rings!" while they are fondling the alley until I read it in the Simpsons episode guide. Now, I can't unhear the loss of the accent.
  • "Dad, you didn't even say 'ouch'." "Oh. Sorry. Ouch."
  • This won't be said for a few years but luckily Marge "drove down that ironic street."

Somber Saturday

I got some sad news yesterday. My old boss from Baldwin High School, special education teacher, Laura Beaulieu has passed away. She started working in the special education department at Baldwin High in 1995 and was there until she had to leave in December of 2015. She was an inspiration to her coworkers and her students through her passion in teaching and helping kids with disabilities. She began the annual Mardis Gras Diversity Day which celebrated a wide variety of disabilities inviting the special education departments from dozens of other school to celebrate with cajun food cooked by the kids, zydeco music, and a wide assortment of games and entertainment.

Her death comes after a short battle with breast cancer. The things I remember most were the looks she got when a struggling student was able to pass a class that was difficult for them and when she would talk about her children and grandchildren. Laura was definitely a soul taken from this world too soon. But, then again, aren't a lot of people?



Family Circus
PJ is right to look worried, not because his older brother is too weak and about to drop him but because Jeffy is clearly suggesting that Bil and Thel take their youngest to a shady doctor and have his pituitary gland removed.




















Friday, August 19, 2016

More Like "Is Mallard Fillmore Still Being Made?"


Sally Forth
Really. It's teenager for "more than like" but "less than love". See also, "like-like".

Mallard Fillmore
Freedom of speech protects you in the case of the government saying you can't say what you want, it does not protect you if your job, school, or random person doesn't like what you say.

I also went the website listed here and looked at the closest college near me (University of Kansas) and saw that they were a Red Light Policy school!! That means they have at least one policy that clearly restricts to the rights of students to say what they want. The two policies they have listed is the policy saying students can't threaten, coerce, stalk, bully, prank phone call, vandalise, or intimidate other students or their private property. The other policy says students can't sexually harass or do anything even resembling sexual harassment. In my opinion, those are two pretty good policies to have on the books.

It's good to know that Mallard is all for students harassing each other and being generally terrible to each other with no consequences.

Shoe
Whoa, Cosmo, not now. A man-bird-thing just died.