Saturday, April 18, 2015

1167: Hey, I Spelled Dale Earnhardt's Name Right

I don't get the joke. That's exactly was NASCAR is and don't let anybody tell you anything different.

Back when I worked in a call center, I shared a cubicle with a guy who had a lot of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. crap in it. Supposedly he worked for Earnhardt's crew whenever he was racing at Kansas Speedway--which was maybe only once a year, if that. Rumor had it that he made more money on that one visit from Earnhardt than he made all year at the call center he worked. I believed that about as much as I believe Bigfoot is my next door neighbor.

I don't know what I hated more, having to share a cubicle or having to share that cubicle.

I Was Hitler

“Six months. Six months I waited for this. Of all the people who came before. Of all the people I could’ve been…why him?” I said out loud, complaining to no one. I picked up the paper and
read over the names of my former lives again.


Joshua Wilson Donald, July 26, 2023 – alive
Marcus Anthony Fordham, January 19, 1987 – July 25, 2023
Robert Angelo D’Agostino, May 1, 1945 – January 18, 1987
Adolf Hitler, April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945
Nikolai Kremlov, March 18, 1783 – April 19, 1889
Christopher Aiokiev, August 17, 1709 – March 17, 1783

The name just stood out to me, mockingly. I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and dialed my sister Emily. “Hey, Emily, you know the appeals process for your past lives?” Emily had worked at the Department of Health and Human Services-Former Lives Division since her sophomore year of college and knew that area like the back of her hand. “Has anyone ever successfully appealed to not have their past lives publically listed?”

“Not in the fifteen years I’ve been with the DHHS and I don’t think there has been a successful appeal since this whole former lives thing started nearly 40 years ago.”

“Why do they have to make the lives public?”

“I don’t know. That’s why I don’t want mine,” Emily said.

“Can you come over after work? Maybe you can help me put this into perspective.”

When Emily arrived, I let her in and she immediately grabbed the paper with my former lives on it and began reading. “Holy shit. Hitler? I’ve never known anyone with someone famous in their past lives. I mean, I know it’s Hitler but still,” Emily said, ecstatic about being related, even generations apart, to someone well-known.

“It’s not that one I’m worried about. I think we’ve all decided how we feel about Hitler but, here,” I handed Emily some papers that had been printed off of a website.

“Nikolai Kremlov?” she read. “What the hell? Raped and killed about 30 young children in Petropavlovsk, Russia between 1825 and 1847. The bones of the children were found after he died in 1889 buried under his house in shallow graves. At least it’s not as bad as Hitler.”

“Two murderers in a row. Do you know who else has two murderers in a row?”

Emily shook her head and shrugged.

“No one. I did a search. A lot of people have one killer in their former lives but none of them have more than one. And my life only goes back 345 years. I saw lives that went back 3,000 years none of them had two killers,” I shouted. I sat down in a chair and looked at the floor.

“I’m sorry, Josh. I don’t know what to tell you,” she came over to me and placed her hand on my shoulder. “You know you’re nothing like Hitler or Nikolai Kremlov, right?”

“I guess but still. It’s a little disarming,” I looked up at Emily and grinned a little.

“Are you hungry? Do you want to grab dinner?” she asked me.

“Yeah, I could go for some food.”

I grabbed my keys off the table and she sat the former life and Nikolai Kremlov papers on the table. As we walked out the door, she chuckled. “If you ever get really bossy, people can tell you that you are ‘literally Hitler.’”

“Thanks, that makes me feel so much better,” I rolled my eyes.

“I knew it would.” [ ]




Story inspired by this writing prompt.

Friday, April 17, 2015

1166: Another Day Older and Deeper In Debt

When comic strip characters talk about work, I often wonder what jobs the cartoonists had or have. Has Chip ever even had a real job?* He started apprenticing with his father at a young age so I don't know where he may have worked. I'd be interested in finding out. I should've asked him that during his Twitter Q&A last year.




*For the record, I do consider cartooning a real job. It's just a joke. I can't even draw so I'm probably just jealous.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

1165: Wasn't She Pregnant Last Month?

This seems like something that would be better served by saying it was on her Facebook page. I can see someone posting "I'm going to have a baby!! But don't tell anyone, it's a secret!" with that stupid clenched teeth emoji on Facebook but Twitter doesn't seem to be used like that. Maybe I just have a better timeline on Twitter than I do on Facebook.

Also, Mary Jo Kronk sounds like one of those women who always assume they are pregnant. I wouldn't go finding her baby registry quite yet Gladys until you see proof that she is with child. While we wait for proof that Mary Jo is pregnant, you can follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

1164: It's Tax Day = More Veeblefester

So Veeblefester, who caught Brutus' mistake probably within seconds of getting the paper and probably doesn't even pay that much attention to what's shoved under his nose, thinks Brutus is clever enough to fool the IRS? I think Brutus would be able to fool the IRS for maybe one or two years but not longer than that.

Besides, Veeblefester should be able to afford the best tax-avoidance accountants who can keep him from paying taxes for years to come.

The biggest issue nearly all rich people have with the current income tax system is that they are still required to pay at least some taxes. And Veeblefester is proof that the rich are not actually job creators because it seems as if Brutus is doing the work of several people. He's assistant to Veeblefester, second-in-command, works in receivables, works sales and I'm sure a couple other things.

Time for a job fair, Veeblefester. There are unemployed people out there who would love to have one of Brutus' eight jobs.

Monday, April 13, 2015

1163: Why Does Brutus Keep Eating Here?

So this tuna surprise casserole is just noodles, some kind of creamy mixture and maybe broccoli or other vegetables? Isn't tuna, like, the cheapest meat-like food you can buy that isn't gangrenous? I hope you aren't paying for the tuna that isn't in the tuna surprise casserole.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

1162: Such a Sympathetic Wife

Oh my god, Gladys, your husband is screaming inside for help and you're just making a fat joke. Seriously though, if you're feeling drained physically, mentally and/or emotionally and think you just can't go on, there are people you can talk to that aren't like Gladys.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

1161: I Also Like It Because It's Not a Musical

One of my favorite plays is Mary Chase's Harvey. For those who don't know, Harvey is the story of Elwood P. Dowd, a nice guy who can see a six foot three and a half white rabbit named Harvey. Elwood and Harvey become close friends which aggravates Elwood's socially up-and-coming sister Veta Louise. Veta decides to send Elwood to a sanitarium on the outskirts of town called Chumley's Rest. After your standard comedy of errors and mistaken identity, Veta, Dr. Sanderson and Dr. Chumley are all on the lookout for Elwood and Harvey.

I was first brought to the attention of Harvey when my cousin played Dr. Sanderson in a high school production. Afterwards, I watched the 1950 James Stewart movie and the 1999 Harry Anderson TV movie which are both just phenomenal. I highly recommend the Jimmy Stewart version but I'm a big fan of Harry Anderson so it's always my go-to. But that first high school production got me on board.

Yesterday, the high school I work at, the same high school mentioned above actually, did another production so I decided to go and watch it. Aside from some sound issues and that it seemed to take most of the cast some time to really find their footing, it was just as I remember it. I love the nuances of Elwood that are sprinkled about the play--mostly his annoying cheerfulness and him always giving his card to people and explaining which phone number they may reach him at--but the character of Veta is much more a daunting task to play because the actress has to not only not believe in Harvey but also believe in him. When Jimmy Stewart didn't win the Oscar for his portrayal but Josephine Hull did for Veta, Stewart praised Hull saying that all he did was believe Harvey was real. Hull had to both believe and not believe.

If you get a chance to ever watch Harvey--it's on occassionally during TCM's 31 Days of Oscar--I highly recommend it. It's an excellent, slightly over-the-top, feel-good story.
from l. to r.: The cab driver, Wilson, Dr. Chumley, Nurse Kelly, Veta Louise, Elwood, Myrtle Mae, Dr. Sanderson,
Mrs. Chumley, Judge Gaffney, Mrs. Chauvenet
Why did it take Gladys an hour to realize that Wilberforce never went to bed? I love the look of utter disdain on Wilberforce's face in the second panel. That is the face of a kid who has nothing left to care about. Or one half of the Menendez brothers.
The one on the right clearly.