Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Born Existentialist

Born Loser 04-30-09
I think everybody has that fear. You're working a decent but dead-end job, you're married to someone who doesn't quite float your boat anymore but you can't leave cuz you have a kid and you realize that this life is not what you signed up for. Well, the life you get is never the one you sign up for, it just depends on what you would've signed up for. I wanted to be married with children and have at least two novels out by now. Instead I'm a single parent engaged to wonderful girl with only one novel out and can't seem to be able to finish my second one. But I'm going to try to get a lot of writing done throughout the summer.

Oh, the strip. Um, Brutus is a loser.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Goremay or Gourmet, the Foods' from a Diner!

Born Loser 04-29-09
Maybe that's the chef's last name and it's more of a pun or play on words.

But I am more disturbed by the way Brutus is sitting on that stool. It kind of looks painful/erotic.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Joe & Querty #1.2

"Sorry I had to keep you in my locker," Joe said to Querty as he sat down at the table with Buddy and Kip and tossed his sack lunch down. Kip and Buddy looked at each other worriedly. "But I need both my hands to work."

"I understand. I'm the one who made you bring me to work," Querty said. "Hi, guys."

"Hi..." both Buddy and Kip wanted to direct it to Joe but Querty said it and they didn't want to acknowledge Querty.

"So Joe," Buddy began. "Kip and I are going speed dating tonight and were wondering if you'd like to join us."

"Speed dating? What's that?" Querty asked.

"It's where you sit down across from a woman and talk to her for five minutes or so then you rotate to the next woman," Kip explained.

"Speed dating. One hour photo. Instant mashed potatoes. What's the rush?" Querty asked.

"Uh-oh, who woke up Andy Rooney?" Buddy chuckled.

"Shut up, fatty!" Querty snapped.

"Who are you calling fat?" Buddy leapt up and wrapped his hands around Querty's neck.

"Buddy, that's my wrist!" Joe cried.

"Buddy!" Kip began pulling Buddy off of Joe's arm. "You're strangling a sock!"




Nicki got to her journalism class and was immediately confronted by the teacher Mr. Rowlands. "Nicki, glad you're here. The moment you've been waiting for has arrived. Chris had to drop out as editor so that task now falls to you," he said.

Nicki smiled. "Really? And I start right now?"

"Mm-hmm," Mr. Rowlands said. "I know you'll do fine. Good luck. If you have any questions or concerns, you know where to reach me."

Nicki got behind the desk and began looking through the articles as the students came in. After everyone settled into working on their articles or heading off to work on their assignments, another student came in and sat down in front of Nicki.

"Yes?" Nicki asked.

"I have a story for you," the girl said.

Nicki pulled out a notebook and a pen. "Okay, let me have it."

"I'm Katie Fischer, I'm a sophomore and I know this sounds unbelievable and I don't blame you if you don't believe me but I have to tell someone. Principal Anschutz raped me."

Nicki sat in shock at her desk. "It's my first day," she said softly.




"The Story"
Principal Jason Anschutz had devoted the last twenty years of his life to children and was a three time winner of Principal of the Year and a Teacher of the Year award. He went to every PTO meeting and was at every school function. Nicki couldn't believe that he would've done anything like that to anyone. She had taken Katie into a private room and got her side of the story and thanked her and sent her back to class and then wondered what to do now.

She sat at the kitchen table looking over the notes she had written down. Irene came in from upstairs and saw her daughter staring blankly at the paper and sighing heavily.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"I have a problem," Nicki said.

"What about?" Irene sat down next to Nicki.

"I was made editor of the school paper today," Nicki started.

"Well, that's good. You've been wanting to be editor since school started."

"I know but now I have a problem," Nicki sighed and looked at Irene. "This girl came into the room to pitch me a story. She said the principal raped her."

"Principal Anschutz? He's such a nice guy. The couple times I met him he was more than charming," Irene said. "So this girl wants you to print the story?"

"I don't think so but I think she wanted to tell somebody. She probably figured I'd go to the police and just let them have it but if I do that I ruin someone's life and career," Nicki said.

"If he didn't do it then he should have nothing to worry about."

"Even if he didn't do it, revealing this will destroy his reputation because once the seed is planted in someone's mind then it never leaves," Nicki sighed again and sat the notebook down.

Joe came down the stairs dressed in a nice blazer and slacks. "How do I look?" Joe posed for everyone and rubbed Nicki's head.

"You look nice. Where's Querty?" Irene asked.

"He's staying home tonight. He thought speed dating sounded a bit...well, stupid."

"Probably for the best," Nicki said. "Have fun. Meet someone."

"I'll try. I'll be back around in a couple of hours."

Joe left the house, closing the door behind him. Irene and Nicki looked at each other. "They're gonna kick him out of the hotel," Irene shook her head.

Nicki stood up and gathered up her notebook and made her way to the stairs. "I'm gonna go call the police. I just hope I'm doing the right thing."





Joe, Buddy and Kip arrived at the massive hotel where the speed dating was being held. They signed in and took their seats at several rows of tables. When all the men were seated, the women came in and sat down. After a brief introduction, the time started and the men and women began talking to each other, learning as much as possible within five minutes.

The first couple of girls didn't thrill Joe and he honestly didn't thrill them but the third woman was someone he kind of liked. "I'm Joe," he said to her as she sat down.

"Hi, Joe. I'm Shirley."

"Shirley, huh?" Joe noted her beautiful long brown hair and sparkling green eyes. "Why is a pretty young woman like you doing here at speed dating?"

Shirley blushed a little. "I'm busy with my job and my volunteering and have very little time for dating. Plus I don't drink or anything I so can't meet people in bars like normal people. My friends urged me to go."

"My friends kind of urged me too," Joe chuckled. "So what else can you tell me about yourself?"

"Well, I'm a dental assitance and as I said I love to volunteer and just stay at home and read," Shirley said. "You?"

"I work at the oil refinery and mainly I just stay home with my mom and little sister," Joe realized that he just admitted that he still lived with his mom and immediately regretted what he said.

"Aw, you still live with your mom? That's so sweet," Shirley smiled and looked at Joe. The bell rang and the guys all stood up and started to move to the next girl.

"That was a really fast five minutes," Joe said to Shirley as he was pushed out of the chair and toward the woman to Shirley's right. "Hi, I'm Joe."

"Jenna," the woman said. "Hi, Joe."

Besides Shirley and Jenna, Joe met only two more women that he seemed to like, Diane and Marnie. Joe, Buddy and Kip sat in the drive-thru of the local McDonald's talking about the women they met.

"So do you think any of the women will get in touch with you?" Buddy asked.

"I'm sure this one woman will, she really liked me," Kip said.

"There were about four or so that I really liked so I'm hoping they'll email me," Joe said.

"I can't wait to get home and find out how I did," Buddy said.




Principal Anschutz wasn't at school the next day. Nicki found out that he was undergoing questioning. Nicki felt awful about what was happening but she couldn't just sit there and let him get away with it, if he did it.

Katie walked up to Nicki and pulled her into a doorway. "What did you decide to do?" she asked her.

"I went to the police. I told them I had this story and what he did. I've edited the story to conform to the standards developed for this kind of story and an officer will call me back giving me the go-ahead if Principal Anschutz did it," Nicki explained.

"So my name won't be mentioned at all?" Katie teared up and shook with nervousness.

"No. I guarantee it."

"Thank you. This means so much to me," Katie hugged Nicki and then bounded off.

Nicki looked at where Katie disappeared and smiled. Katie wasn't lying.

Nicki went back to her journalism classroom and sat down at her desk. Her cell phone rang and she answered it. "Hello?" Nicki said. "Yes? All right. Thank you."




It was a special edition that came out the next day. Principal Anschutz was allowed into the school one last time to get his things but he was escorted with three police officers. Students and teachers watched as their favorite principal gathered up his belongings and prepared to leave the school. Principal Anschutz saw Nicki, holding a copy of the newspaper she had approved to be printed.

"Nicki Shamus," he said. "I read your article."

"Th...thank you..." she stammered.

"But it is hugely inaccurate," he growled. "It's all lies. I have devoted nearly my entire life to children and this school. I don't know who told you what you were told but they were lying and when I am cleared of all this, you will be pulled off the journalism board faster than you can blink an eye."

"Okay, that's enough. Come on, Anschutz. We didn't have to bring you here to get your stuff but we were being nice and you're going back on your deal."

Nicki watched the officers shove Principal Anschutz out of the school. The doubt had reentered her mind.




Joe opened his email and saw a message from someone he didn't know. He opened it and saw that it was from Shirley, from the speed dating. He read it with a smile on his face. She was asking him out. He had to go tell Querty.

Next:
A girl becomes obsessed with one of her classmates relationships; Joe has a date with Shirley and brings Querty.

Wow, the Month Is Almost Done

Born Loser 04-28-09
"And the people at McDonald's weren't happy the way we treated their tables like a bed."

Monday, April 27, 2009

If You Didn't Tell Him, He Wouldn't Even Notice

Born Loser 04-27-09
It's my life and it's my body so if I want to destroy it with more salt than necessary then that's my business. We established in yesterday's strip that Brutus is unhealthy, hopefully we won't have a whole week of weight watching jokes because if anyone needs to watch their sodium intake, it's Gladys.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Worst. Strip. Ever.

Born Loser 04-26-09
Chip originally had planned for today's strip to last through the week as Brutus and his doctor continuously have a back-and-forth about how Brutus inappropriately uses his treadmill but instead he decided to condense it all into this really unfunny Sunday strip.

I mean look at it. It is really unfunny.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beatrice Arthur 1922-2009


Beatrice Arthur, the gruff voiced, wise-cracking star of Maude and The Golden Girls has passed away. She was 86. She died peacefully in her sleep at her home with her family. A spokesperson for Arthur said she had cancer but would not elaborate.

She was a pioneering actress right up there with Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore. She will be missed.

Shameless Plugs

Want to be more involved? Did you know you can follow this blog? Scroll down to the very bottom and click "Follow". It's easy and fun! Need more? Well, did you know there is a Facebook group called "Losers Are Made, Not Born"? Well there is. Just go here and join. Still need more? Tell your friends about this blog, link to it often, scream from the rooftops, do whatever you can to promote this blog. Have your own blog? Let me know, I'll link to it somewhere.

And as always, enjoy the advertising throughout the blog and check out Project Wonderful for more information.

POtW: J.C. Steele House

This is the front steps and foundation to the former J.C. Steele house near the town of Clinton and in front of the Wakarusa Valley Heritage Museum. The house was built in 1866 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately the house was torn down in 1981 but the foundation remains as part of the parking lot to the museum. A marker with the flagpole marks the site of the house.

J.C. Steele House foundation

Chair Abuse

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I think renewing wedding vows is pretty romantic but what you should do to get another wedding shower is divorce and then get remarried. No? Ok.

I love how Brutus' right arm is struggling to stay wrapped around his huge load of a wife. At least we'll now have several weeks of rehabilitation therapy humor as Gladys' size has now crushed Brutus' femur bone into dust.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The American Education System Has Failed Us Again

Born Loser 04-24-09
We know they are learning history because of the history book on the teacher's desk.

While I think this was just Chip's lame excuse to put the word 'ass' in a comic strip, he brings up a good point. We only believe Cleopatra was killed by an asp (she committed suicide) because that's what people of the time wrote and other biographers and historians agree. Maybe she was kicked in the face by a donkey or something and people were like, "she needs a more noble death, she's the queen of Egypt for Ra's sake!" and poof, suicide-by-asp was born.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

#190: Prairie City

I was actually able to go up, legally and with permission, to an old house near Baldwin City that I fell in love with several years ago. The house is the only remaining building that used to be a part of Prairie City, Kansas. Aside from the house, only the cemetery remains. Because of this house, I got an idea for a novel, which I am slowly working on, but in order to create a decent historical novel, I had to learn something about the area.

Prairie City was a small town formed from a disagreement of Dr. William Graham and Henry Barricklow of nearby Palmyra. The dispute forced Dr. Graham and his associate, I.F. Greene to move two miles to the southwest. The other town founders were James Lane and Salmon S. Prouty, who used the first printing press in Kansas. The town was founded on the Leavenworth-Fort Scott Military Road and at it's best, 1857-58, the town boasted more than two dozen houses, two mills, doctors, stores, a depot and two churches. Prairie City was called The Little Italy of America and had a 10-acre park named Eden Park.

The town also had a newspaper, The Freeman's Champion and the first post office in the area with John Winton as postmaster. The Heber Institute, a boy's school started by the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1856 failed before it opened and the building was later used as Prairie City School District No. 1 and later a grange hall. Prairie City was the rendezvous point for John Brown and his men the day before the Battle of Black Jack three miles east; famed newspaper journalist Horace Greeley stayed in Prairie City and it's believed that it was here where he coined the term "Go west, young man." Also, William Quantrill passed two miles west of town after burning Lawrence in 1863.

On March 24, 1883, the Douglas County commissioners had certain streets and alleys vacated. Nothing remains to mark the townsite except for the Prairie City-Mt. Cavalry Cemetery, the ruins of the Catholic Mission and the George Miller house.

This sign used to be at the main intersection of North 200 and E 1575 Roads which was roughly the center of town. The sign was knocked down a couple years ago and never replaced.

An old picture of the Heber Institute which was located on the north end of Eden Park at the corner of Geary and Aurora Streets. The school failed before it opened and was later the Prairie City School and later a grange.

This is the view to the north from the top of Liberty Hill, the highest point in Douglas County. Nearby is the ruins of the old Catholic Mission where there used to be a flagpole that was used to hoist lanterns up to warn settlers of guerrilla attackers. The signal was sent from Liberty Hill to Signal Oak north of Baldwin City and from there a lantern signal was sent to Mount Oread in Lawrence.

This is a illustration of the Prairie City Catholic Mission and the Priest's residence that was located on Liberty Hill. The Mission was built in 1857 and was in use until 1893.

These are the ruins of the Mission. A sign down on the main road used to point to the approximate location of the ruins but vandals knocked the sign down and it was never replaced.

This is the Miller House, built in 1861 by George Miller who moved to Prairie City from Lecompton. The house is completely made of stone and is the last house from Prairie City to still be standing. The house became abandoned in the 1970s and his been vandalized repeatedly since.

This is the grave of two of the Miller children, George X. and Ignace. Altogether, the Millers had eight children. George and Margaret married on February 22, 1859. The stone on the property reads:
George X. Ignace
February 22, 1864 April 2, 1871
July 1, 1865 April 2, 1872
Sons of G. & M. Meunier

Meunier was the French version of Miller. George was born in St. Lawrence County, New York and his mother was French. George was even educated in Canada.

The Prairie City Cemetery. Soon to possibly be the last remnant of Prairie City if the Miller house isn't saved. Some of the original settlers are buried in this cemetery and the adjacent Mt. Cavalry Cemetery. A repainted redwood sign marks the Prairie City side while a stone entrance marks the Mt. Cavalry side.

I'm hoping to protect this area as it does have a rich history that needs to be included with Baldwin City and Black Jack and Baldwin has always embraced it's history and Black Jack was just federally recognized as a historic place but even if I can't save the house, I want to be able to protect the children's grave and do a better job of marking the sites of Prairie City, now just a ghost town.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gravy? You're Soaking In It

Born Loser 04-22-09
Oh my God! It's so hot today. I'm glad it's actually a temperature that normal for this time of the year unlike the weird 30s we had earlier in April. But you're not here to hear me bitch about the weather. Or are you...?

Why isn't Gladys eating? Or Wilberforce for that matter. Is this part of a plot to slowly poison Brutus and instead of just putting the rat poison in just his food, she puts it in while making it so her and Wilberforce can't eat?

Also that knife looks like it couldn't cut butter....

Seven #1.4

Cassius, Seven, Tara, Nicholas and Abraham sat in the Kazachov living room. Tzviel sat back in his chair and calmly listened to the black man while Abraham seemed in shock.

"I still don't see, or understand how you got here Mr. Traveller," Tzviel said. "Are you sure you are blind?"

"Since I was 15, Mr. Kazachov. I can't really understand it but I can see where I'm going when it's related to what I have to do but other times, I can't see my own fingers in front of my face," Cassius explained.

"And what is it that you have to do?" Abraham asked, with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

"I have to find Shmand Valley," Cassius said.

"And you need our kids for that?" Abraham asked.

"What is Shmand Valley?" asked Tzviel.

Cassius smiled although he didn't mean to. "From what I can see, Shmand is a beautiful valley filled with trees, mesas, canyons and crystal clear rivers and lakes. It's largest city and capital, Lyj, is a shimmering beacon of prosperity but there's another city, Xan, where it's ruled with an iron fist. Xan City, while ruled by Lyj, is out of the reach of the capital," Cassius explained.

"What are you going to do in Shmand?" Tzviel asked.

Cassius said with all seriousness, "Prevent a war."




"The Journey Begins"
Cassius, Tzviel and Abraham sat in the kitchen around the dinner table while the kids were in the living room but still listening. The adults were having a cup of coffee and both Tzviel and Abraham were wondering what direction to take with their questionning.

"So how did you get here?" Tzviel finally asked.

"I've been following the railroad. My visions show me the way but the rails led me here."

"Where did you come from? Abraham asked.

"From a city near the Delta. I awoke from a nightmare in a panicky sweat. I kept seeing these flashes of...something. I now know it was the Valley. At first, my visions were just flashes--pieces of the puzzle and I was scared. After several hours, the visions slowed and became clearer and I learned all about Shmand, Lyj and Xan City. I knew what was coming and soon my visions showed me what I needed to do.

"My journey was to begin in the Gateway to the West, Westport. I left my humble home and headed north on the train. I spent a night in Westport then left early the next morning to find the Seven Signs."

"Signs? What signs?" Tzviel asked.

"The first I knew only as The Old Fort but as I headed west I learned that Fort Zarah was the oldest fort west of the 'Sipp so I followed the railroad to Fort Zarah. There, I got visions of the second sign which was a bit more clearer. I had to go to the Prairie City Mission," Cassius said. "Your children were the third sign."

"This is all a bit too much," Abraham began. "I know Nicholas, along with Seven and Tara, like to explore but I'm not sure I approve of Nicholas running off across the state looking for a mysterious valley."

"We don't have a choice," Nicholas said, coming into the kitchen. "If we are to believe Cassius' visions, then we were chosen. We were chosen to protect Shmand and that's not something I'm going to turn my back on."

Everyone was silent as what Nicholas said sunk in. "I agree with Nicholas," Seven said.

"Of course you do," Tzviel chuckled. "Well, I can't speak for Abraham and Tara can really do what she want--she's not my daughter, but if Seven wants to go, then he can. I trust him," he finished.

Abraham stood up and walked over to Nicholas and put his hands on his son's shouldars. "Nicholas, you can make your own decisions but if you want to go on this journey then you have my blessing," Abraham smiled.

"All right then," Seven said, "when do we leave?"




The next morning, the three of them were all packed and ready to go. Cassius, the three friends and their fathers walked to the railroad tracks near the depot. "What you've packed may only last you a week," Abraham said, "so keep your eyes peeled for vegetation."

"Be careful, most of this state is still very hostile. Rest as often as you can," Tzviel hugged Seven and Tara.

"We'll be fine. Cassius made it here from the Delta and he's blind," Seven said.

Tzviel chuckled. "Be safe but have a good time."

The four travelers began walking west along the railroad track. As they walked their fathers waved and were soon just specks. Cassoday got smaller and smaller until it could no longer be seen in the distance.

"So where are we going first?" Tara asked.

"The fourth sign is the King's Elm. We'll know it when we find it," Cassius said.

"The King's Elm," Seven repeated. "I like that."

Next:
The four continue their journey and various secrets come out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lunchtime Update

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So Brutus has been the same height since he was 16. At least he's not shrinking.

What I find kind of mean is the look on Gladys' face in the second panel. It's like she takes glee from insulting and belittling Brutus. I understand completely because it's fun insulting and belittling the guy but I at least don't do it with that look on my face.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Something Coming

I'm gonna have something exciting posted either Wednesday or Thursday. It's something that I've been wanting for several years and Wednesday I finally have a chance to accomplish it. More information in POB#190 (I'm resuming the original numbering) coming either late Wednesday or sometime Thursday.

I am so excited.

Tea Cozy Sales Down? Who Would've Thought...

Born Loser 04-20-09
You know, I don't think the bad tea cozy sales are because of the economy, I think it's because people don't buy tea cozies.

When's the last time you bought a tea cozy? Do any of you even own tea cozies? Didn't think so. And why does Veeblefester constantly refuse to believe his business is failing? He's done this before and Brutus got angry at him then too. I can't imagine that Veeblefester is that blind and I would blame his "Yes" men but Brutus is obviously not a yes man.

Also, is the sales chart based on monthly performance? Quarterly? Yearly? Consider how high the early part of the chart is, it most be by decade.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chip Must Love Him Some Baseball

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Yep, this is true. However, no matter how you phrase it, illustrate or even if it has a Wikipedia page, baseball is boring--past, present and future.

But in reading the Wikipedia page, it appears that they won 57 games and tied one. I guess this is technically still undefeated but it needs some clarification.

Greenwood Valley Road

New feature. A weekly Picture of the Week, taken by me. This will happen every Saturday unless I don't have a worthy enough picture but I'm sure I'll find something.

The first entry is the intersection of the River Road and Greenwood Valley west of Lecompton near the county line. I enjoy the old sign hanging on the post and I tried to get the angle so you can see both directional signs in the background. I had also forgot about the railroad but was able to get that in the picture (at least the rail bed anyway). The intersection is marked as "Grover" on county maps but I've been able to find very little about this town. Right now there is only one house at the intersection and that hardly constitutes a town but at some point there must have been something else here. I'm just wondering why it's still being marked.

Greenwood Valley Road intersection

Friday, April 17, 2009

#189: DGCo. Vol. I

I love where I'm from. I am a complete dork when it comes to my home of Douglas County, Kansas. I've lived most of my life in Lawrence except for the six years I lived in Baldwin City. It was mainly because of Baldwin that I got interested in history. I had to write a report for my Kansas History class and I chose the history of Baldwin which included history on the Santa Fe Trail and early battles of the Civil War.

I think, and this is just my opinion, that Douglas County has the richest history of any county in Kansas. And I have proof to back it up. Lawrence, the county seat, was burned down twice; Baldwin is home to the first four-year college in the state and nearby Black Jack has what some people consider the first battle of the Civil War--the Battle of Black Jack, 1856. Lecompton was in the running to be the state capital and the Lecompton Constitution was drafted making Kansas a slave state. The first printing press in Kansas was used in Prairie City near Baldwin and nearby Brooklyn was burned in 1863 and never rebuilt.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are many houses and buildings that are historic, that line the streets of Old West Lawrence, Lecompton's Woodson Street, Baldwin's High Street and Eudora's Church Street. Lately I've tried to get pictures of things that are old or seemingly historic just so that there is some memory of that place. It was I who put the pictures up on the Douglas County National Register of Historic Places Wikipedia page and I am proud of that accomplishment. A couple months ago I started a blog about Douglas County but it got too tiring trying to pick out moments of history to post (plus I wanted it to be a collaborative effort) but I plan on starting some major research in the next month or so, so what I get written I will definately post here and transfer to the County blog.

My favorite spots in the county are varied. I don't really have any in the city but closest would probably be Lakeview Lake. Since Lakeview is essentially like private property (and at one time was a resort), people look at you weird if you stop too long. It's really a nice place though. From Lakeview, travel the river road toward Lecompton (not very hard to get lost) and follow County Road 1023 past Lecompton to North 2100 Road and follow the road around and down the hill until you come to an old schoolhouse. The Greenwood Valley School was built in 1896 and is still in decent condition. This isn't a place I hang out because the landowner is kind of ornery and there's an electric fence surrounding the school.

Just follow North 2100 around the East 100 and follow that until you come to Highway 40. Turn left and then right onto East 200 Road and follow until North 1600 Road. Turn left to East 250 Road and head south to North 1400. Turn right, then right again up a driveway and you are at Mound Cemetery.

Mound Cemetery (sometimes erroneously called Old Stull Cemetery) was platted in 1888 on a beautiful natural mound. If you look out toward the east-southeast you can see Clinton Dam ten miles away. After the cemetery get back on East 250 and follow it around Clinton Lake until you come to East 800 Road. Take East 800 south until you come to North 600 Road. Turn right then turn left onto East 750 Road and follow it all the way to the end and you come to Colyer Cemetery, a lovely and quiet spot at the top of a hill. I spend some time here planning my writing and just looking at the names.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Space Dork #1.1

Introduction
Before we get started on the first installment of Space Dork I must give you some background on this story. I, along with a friend of mine, began writing this story back in 1993 or 1994 and I had originally intended it for it to be my first book but after I moved to Baldwin, I had all but forgotten about this story. I wrote a short story featuring these characters a few years ago and decided to get back into writing the whole thing. While I didn't expect to publish it as it's own book or anything I figured I could shove it into a collection of unpublished works that I didn't deem worthy enough. But I figure this is the next best thing. I don't know if this will last long enough to show all the various storylines I eventually got written down but hopefully we can cross at least a couple of bridges. Enjoy.

Colonel Nicholas Bonaparte sat back in his chair and puffed on his cigar as his ship, Pluto's Revenge, pulled into port in Calgary. He and his crew had been out the last five years terraforming a couple of Jupiter's moons--Io and Ganymede. Bonaparte was excited to return to Earth but was also excited about his next mission. He would actually be able to leave the solar system.

His ship's success rate on terraforming made it possible. It would take a good fifteen years but the payout was worth it. Bonaparte would be able to retire and pay for his grandkids college and take his wife somewhere nice for a second honeymoon.

For the next run, Bonaparte would also get some new crew members. He always welcomed newcomers and always treated them with respect and gratitude no matter what field or position they were in. Colonel Bonaparte could always expect his crew to be the best in the Administration.




Leroy Rizzo let out a small burp as he pulled into the massive parking lot of the NASA Calgary Site. In the passenger seat sat his little sister Colleen who had joined NASA specifically for this trip. The huge payout at the end would pay for her college with plenty left over to move whereever her services were needed.

Rizzo had tried repeatedly to talk her out of it--fifteen years was a long time to be in deep space, millions of light years from Earth. Leroy did see the glamour of it however. It would be nice to have the money so he could pay off his student loan debts.

Rizzo had applied and got accepted to art school and took all four years. Being an artist wasn't something Rizzo really wanted and sending in his picture of the turtle was just a joke. Rizzo stuck it out to the tune of $125,000 and was currently working as a pizza delivery boy and professional roustabout.

"You still have time to change your mind, sis," Rizzo sighed as he pulled into a parking spot.

"You're not gonna change my mind, Leroy. I'm going to do this. I need to do this," Colleen said.

"But fifteen years. Fifteen years away from your friends and family," Rizzo said. The two of them got out of the car and began walking toward the docking terminal.

"In fifteen years the ship's crew will become my friend and an interim family," Colleen smiled. "Nothing but good things will come from this."

"I doubt it," Rizzo scoffed.

Rizzo and Colleen approached the officer checking everyone in. "Name and purpose?" she asked. The officer was an attractive brunette with beautiful wide eyes and very expressive eyebrows.

"Colleen Rizzo, first technician," Colleen replied.

"Go right in," the woman directed. "And you, sir?"

Rizzo was struck by the woman's beauty. "I'm not...Are you going to be on this trip?" he asked.

"Yes, I'm Captain Alexandria Henshaw, or Alex," she smiled. "Are you going to be on this trip, too?"

"Just give me the paperwork!" Leroy said, smiling hugely.




"Leaving Earth"
Several years ago, the United States, Canada and Mexico expanded and combined their space programs and became the North American Space Administration, or NASA. Since Earth was overcrowded and the Moon Colonies had succeeded, NASA began focusing on inhabiting other planets in the solar systems. NASA developed a quick-working terraforming system that helped speed up progress on the Moon and Mars.

The Pluto's Revenge was going to be the first ship to leave the solar system and while that would've taken hundreds of years, hundreds of years ago, it now just takes five years to leave the solar system. This mission would take Pluto's Revenge out of the solar system to the snowy and wind-blown planet of Scotia, a good contender for a replacement Earth.

Rizzo's training went really well, he only threw up three times--once in zero gravity. Rizzo was hired as a third technician, essentially the lowest tier on the ship. They were in charge of clean-up duty and low-key maintenance. Ironically, the service androids who cleaned the latrines and did the laundry were ranked higher than the third techs but only because they had a better union.

Rizzo sat next to the window in a dazed, sickly state on the ride to the ship. Next to him was Manford Cardy, another third tech.

"Are you going to be all right?" Cardy asked.

"Yeah. I'll be fine. I don't think I'm made for space travel," Rizzo said. He extended his hand, "Leroy Rizzo."

"Manford Cardy," Cardy said. "I'm from Louisiana."

"Colorado. I can't believe I signed up for something like this," Rizzo sighed. "I can't even remember what persuaded me to do something this stupid!" Captain Henshaw walked by and smiled in the general direction of Rizzo and Cardy. "Oh, yeah."




In a stroke of luck, Rizzo and Cardy were bunkmates but they also had to share with Randall Ortiz, a chubby, balding and annoying speck of a man who you'd think only joined the trip to die.

Ortiz was in Las Vegas, losing all of his money when he got a wild hair. Ortiz found the cleanest hooker he could find and the two went up to a hotel room. Ortiz got too anxious and nervous and spent roughly the next fifteen minutes kissing the whore and crying softly.

Suddenly, the hotel room door flew open and the whore's pimp was standing over them yelling about how much money she owed him and her denying this. Ortiz tried to get away but his exit was blocked by several policemen who were answering a noise disturbance complaint.

In all the commotion, Ortiz grabbed his clothes and snuch out as the police and the pimp and the whore were arguing. Ortiz got on the only bus outside, which was going to Calgary, to skip town. Ortiz was certain he had a warrant out for his arrest despite the fact that Ortiz was not a part of the argument and that prostitution is legal in Nevada. People told him that but he just shrugged it off.

"Either way, I left the scene of a crime," he concluded.

"I still don't see the crime," Rizzo said. "You weren't an accessory, you were a witness and I doubt you could see much with tears in your eyes."

"Either way," Ortiz's favorite sentence beginner, "I'm not coming back to Earth. On the way back from Scotia, we do a stopover on Pluto. I'm getting off there," Ortiz said.

Ever since Pluto had to be demoted to 'dwarf planet', it has been the bastard child of the solar system. Decades ago, NASA used Pluto as a testing site for their nuclear aeronautical missile. The missile was successful and soon Pluto became the testing site of every military test known.

In recent years, as the radiation had died down, small settlements have started popping up and NASA decided to include Pluto in it's terraforming plans. The population of Pluto was mainly younger, college-aged people leaving some people to remark that Pluto was now a hippie commune.

"Sure, Ortiz," Rizzo said.




Pluto's Revenge left Earth's atmosphere. Aboard ship, you could hardly tell the difference except that the light dimmed. Bonaparte was surrounded by the Captains of the ship, Eric Hanson, Anthony Rousello and Henshaw.

"Fifteen years," Bonaparte said as he and the captains looked at the Earth getting smaller and smaller. "Say good-bye to it because you won't see it again for a very long time."

"Bye," said Rousello.

"See ya," Hanson said to the Earth and turned around to leave the Colonel's Quarters. Hanson was not sorry to see Earth leave. He hoped this would be the longest fifteen years of his life. Hanson's whole family had been military people. Ever since the Civil War of 1861, not to be confused with the Civil War of 2023, the Hanson men had been proud defenders of their countries.

Hanson became the only male in his long lineage to not join a branch of the military. Hanson was more interested in space exploration and aspired to that. While he was a captain, his family still thought of him as a failure.

Little did they or anyone know that by the end of this excursion, Hanson would be the one in charge and a hero.

Next:
Rizzo and Hanson meet; Ortiz is put on guard duty in the prison; Colleen goes on her first terraforming assignment.

I Like Marriage

Photobucket
How come it seems like no one has a good marriage in comic strips? They never talk to each other and just sit around at the kitchen table praying for death. Oh, sure, occasionally they kiss each other on the forehead but like in For Better or For Worse, they're dead inside. They're dead.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000 (AJGLU-3000) Explains "Archie"

Hi folks, I'm introducing a temporary feature this week since I've started a new job, the writer and artist from the Archie comic strip the Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000 (or the AJGLU-3000 for you Curmudgeon fans) will take the reins and try to explain why today's Archie is funny. Let me know what you think.

Archie 04-13-09
[insert text]
Here, I tried to lure the reader into thinking [[Mr. Lodge]] actually likes [[Archie]]. [[Veronica]] then reveals that [[Mr. Lodge]] does not like [[Archie]] but is simply distressed about what is happening in the news. From what I scan on ''The New York Post'' and view from clips on ''Fox News'', this is what you humans are currently worried about and therefore it makes this situation funny. The framed picture of the money bag is something I came across while scanning a page from an old ''Scrooge McDuck'' comic book.
[end text]

Details At 11

Ah, new job. Taking time away from being online. I'll try to update as often as I can but I'm making no promises or guarantees. But in today's strip:
Born Loser 04-13-09
I'm wondering what the reason is for Veeblefester to be on television. Explaining that his company is sound? Explaining that the massive layoffs are crucial in this economic environment? Perp walk?

If it is in fact a perp walk then Veeblefester should be covering his face, unless he has no shame like Bernie Madoff.

#188: Rednecks--Their World Too (I Guess)

I like to drive around and take pictures of interesting things or things I think look cool or interesting. I also like to take pictures of things that are historical or may be lost to progress or nature itself. I typically am never confronted or anything because I don't look dangerous. I was confronted once when I was at the Czech-Moravan Cemetery north of Rossville, Kansas. It's an out-of-the-way cemetery and people were there doing some upkeep on it. I got out, took my picture and got back in my car. I waited for a while to leave which gave one of the people enough time to walk over to me and talk to me. He asked me what I was doing there so I kind of lied and said that I had family in the cemetery and was just coming to take a picture of the cemetery. He asked me who and I said a great-aunt or something like that. He then asked me how I knew where this cemetery was. I told him that I had an aunt in Rossville who told me of it and I also mentioned the signs that were posted at the main road intersection. He seemed to be okay with that answer. Plus it didn't seem that I was going to cause a threat so he let me on my way. I don't like it when I am confronted but I do understand it if I do show up at some out-of-the-way area that only four people know about. They just want to make sure I'm not there setting tombstones on fire.

I was out earlier this week getting some pictures of the Franklin County Poor Farm, some church ruins and Centropolis and I was having a pretty good day. I found the Poor Farm pretty easily and the church ruins were amazing, so amazing that I wish those trees didn't get in the way. I'm glad I was able to get a picture before the leaves came in and covered everything. Centropolis was completely out of my mind but when I passed by the sign I figured I'd get a picture of their small cemetery and some sort of sign that said "Centropolis" because it's such a cool name which is why I chose it as the main city in my Secret Identity series. So I was driving around the northwestern part of Franklin County just aimlessly headed nowhere when I get on this paved road that passed by this creek. And it looked slightly familiar and I realized that I've taken a picture of this creek before so I pull over and stop to take another one, a better one with my camera and not my camera phone. I get my pictures and get in my car. I hear a car coming down the main road and start to slow down, they turn onto the road I'm on as I'm pulling away. They start following me, pretty closely I might add. I'm wondering what they are doing but figure they live on this road or something so I try to ignore but they are being douchebags and driving close to me. I just kept on going, they finally stop, pull over and turn around!

That made me mad! They were just being douchebag rednecks, I'm pretty sure. So I gave up on Franklin County for the day and headed back to my neck of the woods although I got around to doing some reading and discovered there are a couple of other things I want to get pictures of because I think they would be cool. Anyway, enjoy the pictures I took from that temultuous day and until next time, I remain...

~Brian

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Secret Identity #1.8

Andy and Barney, still in Independence, parked on the street and walked up the sidewalk to the Johnston house. Barney knocked on the door and a woman answered. Her hair was a mess, it was obvious she had been crying and had a cigarette dangling from her mouth.

"Yes?" she asked gruffly.

"I'm Barney Renauld, the detective from Centropolis. I've come to ask you a few questions."

"I'm heading out to work," the woman looked back at the man sitting on the couch in the dark in front of the TV. "'Cuz someone has to. You can ask him a few questions...if he's not too drunk."

The woman pushed by Barney and Andy and got into a car parked in front of Barney's. They stepped inside and slowly approached the man.

"And you are...?" Barney began.

"David Johnston. I'm Miranda's father. The woman who just left is Beth, Miranda's mother."

"This must be a difficult time for both of you," Barney said.

"You'd be amazed. We always act like this, Mr..., uh..."

"Renauld. Just call me Barney," Barney said. "This is my associate Andy Warren. Can we ask you a few questions about your daughter?"

"Sure. But let's be clear that I never touched her! You people investigating this kind of crap always say the father molested the daughter whether it's true or not."

"I assure you, sir that I was not even thinking that. And it is unfortunate that most police immediately jump to conclusions," Barney said. "But on that subject, was Miranda ever molested that you know of?"

Mr. Johnston was silent for a few seconds before speaking. "Not that I know of but in this world anymore, you never know."

Andy stared at Mr. Johnston intently but Barney continued talking. "What did Miranda like to do? After school or with friends?"

"She liked to draw and doodle. She has, like, a dozen notebooks in her room of drawings and little poems," Mr. Johnston pointed off toward a hallway.

"I would like to look at her room if that's all right, Mr. Johnston," Barney said.

"I don't care. Down the hall, first door on right," Mr. Johnston said and let out a small burp.

"Just a couple more questions. Do you know the names of any of Miranda's friends?"

"Not really. Emily something and a girl who dyes her hair pink. Their names are probably in the notebook."

"All right. Last question, do you love Miranda?"

Mr. Johnston turned his head and looked at Barney and Andy. Tears finally welled up in his eyes and he quickly turned back away. "Of course. She was my baby girl."

"Thank you, Mr. Johnston. We're just gonna grab the notebook and be on our way."

Barney and Andy found Miranda's bedroom. It was a typical teenage girl's room with a poster of a popular pop band on the wall, pictures of friends and boyfriends littering the wall, clothes strewn about the floor and a box spring and mattress laying on the floor, sheets and blankets unmade. There was a stack of notebooks on the dresser and Barney grabbed the top two.

Andy shut the door and stepped close to Barney. "He was hiding something."

"What? How can you tell?"

"His tone and breathing. His breathing became shallower and his tone changed pitch when you asked if she had been molested."

"You think he did something?" Barney asked.

"I don't know. I don't think so."

"Well, we got the notebooks, let's get back to the hotel," Barney opened the door and the two left the house leaving Mr. Johnston in exactly the same spot he was in when they arrived.




"Questions"
Jessica was glad to finally start her student teaching job at East Merriam Elementary School in the third grade class taught by Lucille Demarest. She was amazed at how the children were drawn to her due to her youthfulness. She noticed a couple of the boys had developed crushes on her but one caught Jess' attention. Eli Watterson, with his dark black hair and dark, inset hazel eyes, Jess felt there was something about him and soon found out that he was an extremely gifted student.

Eli was a quiet student who always seemed to be doodling in the margins of his papers. Eli had a friend in Anthony Wickersham but that was pretty much it. Aside from writing, reading and drawing, Eli's favorite hobby was magic.

It's was Eli's turn for show and tell but like usual, he passed and Mrs. Demarest went to the next student on the list. "Hold on just a minute," Jess said to Mrs. Demarest and walked over to Eli and kneeled down next to him. She whispered to him for a moment. Eli continued to shake his head and finally Jess gave up.

Jess caught up with Eli as the class headed out for recess. "Why didn't you do any of your magic?" she asked him.

"I wasn't ready. Besides, no one here would be interested in magic. It would just be used as another way to make fun of me behind my back," Eli said.

"That's not true. For all you know, showing off your magic would've opened a new door for you to make more friends and come out of your shell," Jess said.

"What's wrong with just being part of the background?" Eli asked.

Jess knew she was defeated and sighed. "Nothing's wrong with it. Absolutely nothing," Jess said. "Go on outside."




Barney and Andy sat with three of Miranda's friends in the teacher's lounge at the local high school. "So there was nothing different about Miranda around the time of her disappearance?" Andy asked.

"Not really. The only major difference was that she had started to go to church. She had never been religious or anything close to it but she had suddenly started going to church every Sunday for the last month or so," one of the friends said.

"Which church? We should probably talk to the pastor or some of the church regulars to see if they noticed anything," Barney said. "Thank you for talking to us. Hopefully we can find Miranda before anything happens."

"The Oak Street Church of Christ at Oak and 9th," another friend said.

Barney and Andy left the school and got back in Barney's car. "Do you think we'll find her?" Andy asked.

"Let's just go talk to the pastor of that church," said Barney. The tone of his voice seemed unsure and he refused to actually answer the question.

They arrived at the church and walked up to the door. It was unlocked so they walked in. They heard someone shouting toward the back of the church and stopped to listen. "Girls who dress provocatively, who dress like the whores and prostitutes you see in movies and in brothels, who show of the skin of their legs, backs, chest and stomachs, bring it on themselves! They deserve what happens as it is not God's will for girls to tempt the fates like that. They deserve punishment. They deserve what they get!" the pastor stopped and took a breath. "Oh, hello. I'm working on this Sunday's sermon. Can you hear me okay back there?"

Barney angrily looked at the pastor. "Loud and clear," he said.




"Bloody Hell!" Cal Nolan barged into NolanMark's Space Program Department. "What the hell is going on?"

"We're getting something on the radar," one of the men said.

"It's probably that blasted International Space Station again. Let me see," Cal said.

"It's not the ISS. It's something bigger. We've sent out beams of light and a sonar to try to get a better picture. It should be ready soon. It's nothing from this world, that we are sure of."

The man led Cal over to a read out of the sonar reflections. It wasn't the Space Station and it definately wasn't from Earth. It was a massive ship, oval in shape with massive wing-like flanks on either side.

"What the hell?" Cal exclaimed. "How close is this...monstrosity?"

"It'll reach Earth in 24 hours, sir," someone replied. "It appears to headed straight for Centropolis."

"Someone call the President and tell him that we have everything under control. Get ahold of the NolanMark Military and tell them to standby and wait for my orders. Centropolis is my jurisdiction."

Next:
BrainWave attacks Centropolis.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Octo-Mom

Born Loser 04-10-09
Hell has officially froze over because while it's a few weeks late, this strip is topical and so topical that irradiated microbursts have appeared in the second panel.

I don't like Nadya Suleman (or Octo-Mom) and I'm glad I'm not alone. She's insane and insane people shouldn't have kids (especially 14 of them). Hell, there are perfectly normal people out there who shouldn't have kids.

What disappoints me is that Chip has barely touched on the economic crisis but goes full force with an Octo-Mom joke. What's this world coming to?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nincompoop? Them's Fightin' Words

Born Loser 04-08-09
Well, when you are in such a competitive field as tea cozies then you have a very good reason to degrade your employees when they make a mistake.

No Born Loser for the rest of the week as I am gearing up for Easter and my birthday. I'll see you sometime next week.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Melvin & Helu

Well, after my failed attempt at The Kings of Framingham published, I got another story written and published that I hope was not too vulgar for them. Melvin & Helu was written in the spirit of Calvin and Hobbes. In fact, when I created Melvin and Helu back in 1988, I just traced Calvin and Hobbes but gave Helu a shorter tail (because he's a bear, not a tiger).

I'm hoping to get several M&H stories written over the next year or so but there's a couple others that I want to get done first before bounding off on another Melvin & Helu adventure. This story is based on when Calvin and Hobbes tried to go to the Yukon and failed miserably at it. Let me know what you think.

The link may not work because they are doing something to it but just keep trying.

What Do These Strips Have to Do With Being a Loser?

Doing some catch-up today. I didn't get online at all yesterday and I'm slightly proud of myself. I have a new job that kind of cuts into my online time but starting next week things are probably going to change even more so we'll just have to see. Onto yesterday's strip:
Photobucket
Is this a continuation from Sunday's baseball game? Despite the different coloring I would say 'yes' because as we've learned, the daily strip colorists have crayons jammed in their brains.

Born Loser 04-07-09
Five dollars? That seems kind of expensive for something that can be thrown together by a hobo. And why is Brutus under the spell of Mr. Gravesite? What's this hold that Wastrel has over him?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Joe & Querty #1.1

The cemetery was located three mile out of town on County Road 4-East. The road curved to the north and into the cemetery. The gravel road led around the back of the cemetery and connected to three other roads that led out. Situated on the west side of the cemetery was a beautiful old stone church. A small crowd gathered around a purple tent and golden brown casket. A gentle breeze blew across the cemetery but it was going to be a humid day. The funeral was for Larry Shamus who had lived in Williamsburg, New Jersey for most of his life and lived in a white Victorian house on Nursery Street. Under the tent, sitting in chairs right in front of the casket were Larry's wife, Irene; his daughter Nicki and son, Joe.

Irene used to be a nurse until she retired when Nicki was born; Nicki was a senior in high school and was just biding her time until she graduated. Joe worked at the CAAF Oil Refinery with his best friends Buddy Culver and Kip Lamarr. The funeral wore on and came to an end. The Shamus family proceeded back to the family house where close family friends had set up a buffet table full of the food given to the Shamus family. Dr Arnold Fish was the Shamus' next door neighbor and a popular gynecologist. He was always there for Joe or Nicki to talk to.




"Querty"
As the hardest worker of all, the sun, lowered in the western sky creating an orange-purple haze, the Shamus family was looking through photos and a foot locker that Larry kept in the garage. Joe finished emptying out the locker and looked around confused.

“What’s wrong?” Irene asked.

“Where’s Dad’s old high school stuff? I wanted to look through his yearbooks,” Joe replied.

“I think it’s all in the old trunk down in the cellar,” Irene recollected.

“I’ll go down and look,” and with that, Joe bounded away to the cellar door in the kitchen.

Nicki stood up and walked over to Irene and placed her hand softly on her mother’s shoulder. “Mom? Isn’t it in that trunk?”

“Oh my. Yes it is. Well, don’t worry. It’s been almost ten years, surely that thing won’t have that much control over him after all this time,” Irene reassured but there was some doubt in her voice.

Down in the cellar, Joe pulled the string to turn on the bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. The old trunk was tucked away in the corner covered by a small pile of useless keepsakes: an old easel, three pairs of beyond-repair overalls and, for some reason, a map of Germany.

Back upstairs. “What are you talking about?” Buddy asked. “Does Joe have a hideous deformed brother?”

“No, Buddy,” Harry began. “When Joe was seven, he didn’t have many friends and therefore he created one.”

“Oh! So he has an imaginary friend?” Buddy queried.

“Not exactly…” Nicki said haltingly.

In the cellar, Joe pulled an old football jersey out of the trunk and unfolded it to look at it. A sock fell to the ground. The sock had two big black buttons sewn on for eyes. “Oh my God,” Joe said in a hushed voice as he bent down to pick up the sock. “I haven’t seen this in years,” Joe slid the sock on his hand, looked at it and smiled.

Upstairs. “He had a sock puppet friend?” Kip howled with a huge grin on his face.

“It’s not funny Kip. Joe had a serious problem and Querty helped him get through his formative years,” Irene explained.

“He wore a sock on his hand from the age of seven until he was nineteen!” Buddy ejaculated.

“To be fair Buddy, Joe stopped wearing Querty to school when he was 16,” Irene said matter-of-factly.

“Querty? He named the sock?” Kip questioned.

It’s been ten years guys,” Marilyn interjected. “That part of Joe is probably long gone.”

Joe’s eyes met Querty’s buttons. Joe smiled and moved Querty’s ‘mouth’ in a playful manner. “Querty…” Joe said in a reminiscent tone, “…what the hell was I thinking?” Joe pulled the sock off and tossed it aside. He went back to work digging the yearbooks out of the trunk.
“What were you thinking?”

Joe stood straight up and glanced around the cellar.

“I helped you through some troubling times and this is how you repay me?”

“Wha…?” and before Joe could continue, his eyes locked on Querty. “Querty?” Joe bent down and slid Querty back on his left hand.

“Yeah, it’s me,” Querty said as he looked right at Joe. “Do you know how long I was in that trunk?” the sound of Querty talking did seem to actually come from his ‘mouth’ and Joe’s lips were tightly pressed together.

Joe shook his head.

“I’m asking you. It’s not like there’s a freakin’ calendar in there. Well, there is but it’s from 1949. Ask your father why he keeps a 1949 calendar. Very peculiar,” Querty rambled.

“He…He died,” Joe said.

“What?” Querty asked, stunned.

“He passed away a week ago. We had the funeral today.”

“Jeez, I’m sorry, kiddo. Had I known but the spiders aren’t really all that talkative in that trunk,” Querty said apologetically.

“That’s okay. Let’s go upstairs. I just came down to get these yearbooks,” Joe scooped up the yearbooks in his right hand, keeping Querty erect on his left hand. He went upstairs and peered around the corner from the kitchen. “Hey look what I found!” he said ecstatically.

“Oh, no,” Irene and Nicki moaned immediately.

“Dad’s yearbooks!” Joe held them out from around the corner for all to see.

“Oh, thank God,” Irene sighed.

“And look!” Joe emerged from the kitchen with Querty on his hand. Querty turned his head and made ‘eye’ contact with everyone.

“We-ell, long time, no see,” Querty said. “And for some of you, just no see.”

“Oh yeah, introductions!” Joe cleared his throat and went around the room. “You remember my Mom and possibly Nicki?”

“Oh my. That’s Nicki? She is a beautiful girl,” Querty complimented.

“Thank you,” Nicki said but then blushed and covered her eyes when she remembered that she was talking to a sock puppet.

“And who are these people?” Querty asked.

“These are my friends Buddy and Kip," Joe said.

“Well, it's a pleasure to meet and re-meet all of you. And I do apologize for Larry's passing. He made this world a better place while he was alive,” Querty said.

“Thank you, Querty,” Irene said. “Oh, Jeez,” she sighed.

“I’m gonna go upstairs and catch Querty up on what’s been going on,” Joe said.

“It was a pleasure seeing you all again. If I don’t see you later tonight I will see you in the morning. Good night,” Querty said. Buddy and Nicki absentmindedly waved and everyone watched Joe and Querty head up the stairs. “So do you think Nicki would go out with me? I know there’s a difference in age but since I’m not human…” everyone heard Querty say as they got to the top of the stairs.

“You know that there are probably pills that can cure that,” Buddy said.

“For Joe or for us because we just treated a sock puppet like a human,” Kip pointed out.

“Well,” Buddy stood up, “this has been…swell but we’re gonna get going. If you have any problems with Joe or Querty,” Buddy sighed, “call.”

“I will,” Irene said and accepted a hug from Buddy and then from Kip.

“And I am going to check and see if Querty will be around for awhile,” Nicki said, “because I could smell him from here.”

Next:
Joe takes Querty to work; Nicki becomes editor of the school newspaper.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What the Hell Are They Talking About?

New Born Loser for 04-05-09
I don't think my uncle would come with me to my colonoscopy. What a great relationship Brutus and Uncle Ted have with each other.

Born Loser 04-05-09
Now wait a minute...that is not the Uncle Ted that we know from earlier in the strip. My first post featured Uncle Ted. This is Uncle Ted twenty years later. Which at least makes more sense than the 40-year-old Uncle Ted we saw previously. Ooh, and now Uncle Ted gets two tags! Yay!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mother Gargle Is a Lazy, Lazy Man

Born Loser 04-04-09
Wow! If that's Mother Gargle dressing less than effortlessly then I'd hate to see how she looked when she was trying. Did she actually button her sweater? Or did she choose something better than a black-purple ensemble? And does dressing with style also translate to the hair? Because that's where she needs the most help.

Friday, April 3, 2009

GPS Equals Pointless

Born Loser 04-03-09
I don't need GPS. I don't travel very far from where I come from but I honestly don't think I would ever need GPS. There are these things called 'maps' that tell you where stuff is and last I knew you can find and print them off from the Internets here, here, here and here. I don't know about you but those do just fine for me or I write the directions down.

People are stupid.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Born Loser 04-02-09
I promised myself that if American Idol ever came back to Kansas City, I would audition. I know I wouldn't get through but there's that small sliver of chance that I would then I would a problem on my hands. Stay in Kansas and not realize the dream I never wanted or go to Hollywood and have to deal with all those annoying wannabes (and I'm talking about Paula Abdul here). So maybe I won't audition.

Anyway, I always thought it would be cool to be on a show like Survivor but I'm not strong enough. I'd fail or get really sick or something. Plus, I'm not really much of a team player but I'm quiet and likable enough to maybe last a few weeks or something. What I wouldn't like is having to see Gladys in her swimsuit or tanktop. No matter how much weight she lost.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st Reflections

Over 5,000 views. Wow. I never thought I'd be doing this that long but earlier this year I made a goal to reach 5,000 views by my birthday (mission accomplished) and my long-term goal is to get over 10,000 views by the end of the year.

I read a lot of comic mockery pages and I've noticed that the ones that do more than just one comic like The Comics Curmudgeon, Daily Comics Review, Dean's Comic Booth and The Blog of Comics and Other Stuff don't talk about The Born Loser and while I would like to think that it's out of respect, it's probably because Loser is a terrible strip that offers no originality or humor to the comics pages. You have to be crazy to want to read and make fun of this strip every day for over a year (and want to keep it going). Luckily, I'm now getting the psychiatric help I so badly need.Also, in regards to the poll, we have a tie between Veeblefester feeding Brutus calcium deposits and Veeblefester forcing Brutus to lick his clitoris that is so (in?)conveniently placed on his hand. Let us all hope for more awkward panels like that in the future. But now onto today's strip in which Wilberforce looks like a very old, very short man.

Born Loser 04-01-09
I expected a really bad April Fool's joke for today. I have to give Chip credit then. But then seeing Wilberforce in the second panel forces me to take the credit away again. I'd almost rather see a very bad joke and/or pun. Oh, well, at least today's strip is funnier than last year's.
Born Loser 04-01-08

Also, April is still Sexual Assault Awareness Month, just go to www.rainn.org.