Tuesday, December 31, 2013

...Cuz a Thornapple Party Don't Stop

For the last few years, my father-in-law has been researching his father's time overseas in World War II. He was stationed over in Papua New Guinea from January 1943 until September 1945. His unit was the 224th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Searchlight Battalion. Recently, my father-in-law has published a small book detailing the history of this unit. The purpose of the 224th AAA SL/BN was, as their name suggests, to locate enemy aircraft with radar and searchlight. He's made a couple connections with other children of the 224th and he occasionally upkeeps a website about the unit.

What makes the story more unique is that it takes place in the Pacific theatre, a commonly overlooked area of World War II that has only just recently come into light and the 224th never had a history published. A history was started shortly after the war but was never completed. This small book attempts to complete, record and publish the history of the 224th. To order the book, you can go here. For additional information, you can visit this website.

Enough said.

Join us tomorrow for an all-new, slightly different Whiz Bang and Tauy Creek.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Yeah, Veeblefester Looks Very Busy There

I'm on various forms of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and even Instagram, although I don't use it. The newest social media platform that seems to making the rounds, at least in teenage circles, is SnapChat. I work at a school where every student just received iPads and SnapChat is open a lot--almost as much as Facebook and Twitter. I've seen the way these kids use SnapChat and I am not a fan. To be honest, I don't get it. I do get why they are using it but as I told one student who said the pictures you post are deleted after 10 seconds, "if you believe what you post on the Internet disappears then I've got some ocean-front property in Topeka to sell you."

One of my Facebook friends posted this article about why you should delete your SnapChat account. It's a good article and convinced me that SnapChat was, is, and always has been a despicable social media platform. I won't post the whole thing here but there are the three reasons he gives.

1. SnapChat is built on a lie.
They say your picture, post, information, whatever gets deleted but there's no way for that to happen. It's the Internet, everything is saved and recorded.

2. SnapChat was created to be a safe way to sext.
Apparently that's something that has been recorded repeatedly especially in legal documents and company emails where the creators admit it should be used solely for sexting and repeatedly call women "betches." Class.

3. It's all innocent.
Yeah. All social media is innocent until it no longer is and the more people that use it, the quicker it stops being innocent.

My main argument against SnapChat is very simple and based on what I've seen my students use it for. Very little of SnapChat is actually used for funny or interesting things. Most posts are just typically this:
Or this:
Also, lots of boobs and penises. Word of caution: don't do an Internet search for "SnapChat pictures."
As I've noticed and explained before, it seems to me that Brutus is already pretty high up the food chain at Veeblefester Corps. meaning that for Brutus to be promoted, Veeblefester would just have to give Brutus his job which makes it understandable why Veeblefester won't promote him.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Last Sunday

There are going to be some changes coming to Watch This Space and the Whiz Bang on January 1st. First, the biggest change will be no more Born Loser comics. I've been reviewing, commentating and snarking on Born Loser comics since January 2008 and, I'm sure many of you will agree, it's outlived its golden age by a mile. Next will be a new Whiz Bang logo and a slightly new header but the biggest change will be a switch to a more standard blog format similar to what I did with The Point of Beginning on this site. Personal stories, rants, raves and just a combination of everything I've been doing on my numerous blogs all now in one place.

The reason for this is that I've been inspired by other sites I read and want to post more consistently. I have numerous ideas I want to blog about but I need to get motivated and actually do it. There are comic book posts, old video game reviews, television shows to rip apart that I want to write along with just your standard observations, family foibles and local history I want to get posted but I need to actually sit down and get those done. But I also need to get stories written and edited for Liberty, which is also going to get a slight change, as well.

But for now, enjoy the last Sunday Born Loser and remember that you can always read The Born Loser at the Gocomics website.

How expensive were these gifts? Clearly they were expensive enough that Veeblefester wanted the employees to know but $10-20 baubles probably would've worked fine and he still would've gotten a thank you. But enough about money, how adorable is the picture of himself that Veeblefester has? Key-ute.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Or Any "Procedural", Really

KHNH #2
"Alright, Hailey, I will see you in the morning for school," Mark kissed Hailey, his daughter, on the top of the head. "Molly is in the living room if you need anything. Love you," Mark said, turned out the light and went out into the living room where Molly, a brunette girl of about 22 sat on the couch. Molly was only the second babysitter Mark had hired to watch his daughter. It was a fairly easy gig and paid well and you only worked Monday through Friday and Hailey was asleep for most of your stay there. "I guess I'll head out," Mark said entering the living room where Molly was sitting on the couch, texting on her phone.

"Okay, I'll see you in the morning," Molly said in a sing-song voice.

There was suddenly a loud knock on the door. Mark went over and opened it and Sara pushed the door open, coming into the apartment. "What are you doing?" asked Mark.

"Seeing my daughter!" Sara shrieked. Mark and Sara had dated for most of high school and married during college. Sara got pregnant about three years into their marriage despite all of the precautions they had taken. As the years went on since high school, Sara became more and more unstable. She made up scenarios and stories despite having proof they weren't true, she blamed Mark for her terrible life and for constantly cheating on her despite never doing anything close to that.

"She's in bed and it's nearly ten o'clock at night," Mark said looking at a clock on the wall. "You can see Hailey this weekend."

"So I don't get to see my daughter but this slut does?" Sara yelled, pointing to Molly. Molly put down her phone and started to stand up. "Are you sleeping with her?"

"Sara, calm down. Molly has nothing to do with us. She's just a babysitter. Besides, a judge said you can't be alone with Hailey so I'm not going to leave you alone overnight with her."

"How dare you judge me! I'm a good mother!"

"Sara, I'm not judging you. A judge judged you. And you are a good mother--when you are fully medicated early in the day. Any time before or after that you are crazy."

"I am not crazy!" she screamed. "I'm going to see my daughter."

Mark grabbed Sara's arm. "No, you are not. She's in bed. She's sleeping."

Mark and Sara glared at each other. Molly looked at both of them. "Um, do you want me to leave?"

"No. Sara is leaving," Mark said.

"Like hell..." Sara scoffed.

Mark pulled out his cell phone and dialed. "Hello, will you tell Danny and Randi that I can't come in tonight. I've suddenly come down with a touch of the crazy," he glared angrier at Sara.




"So what's the plan tonight?" Randi asked, sitting down at her area in the booth.

"I don't know. Mark was the one who usually came up with the plan for what to do."

"We should be able to come up with something to fill the next six hours," Randi said. "How hard can it be?"

"I just planned on playing music. Maybe coming up with some new segment involving the Internet or something," Danny shrugged. "Mark is more of a showy guy. I just say funny things."

"Let's answer a CraigsList ad," Randi said and the theme music to the Graveyard Shift began. "I mean, look at this one. 'I saw you in the cereal aisle at the store. You were wearing a gray hoodie over you thin purple shirt that showed off your amazing breasts.' It goes on to say he tripped and knocked over a display just as he was about to introduce himself and in the chaos of employees helping him up, she walked away. Maybe she listens. We can contact him through here and maybe get him on the phone."

"Sure, why not? You have a CraigsList account?" asked Danny.

"I do. Let me log in and I'll send him an email."

"Good evening, night owls," Danny began after the theme music ended. "Welcome to the Graveyard Shift. I'm Danny, we have Randi here. Mark is gone today dealing with some family issues at home. We don't have much planned for you tonight so it will be pretty
laid back so we hope you enjoy a lot of music."

"I got the email sent," Randi said over the air.

"We're trying to make a love connection on CraigsList and maybe you listeners can help us out," Danny read the advertisement. "It doesn't say which store but hopefully we can get the original poster on the air and we can help him find this girl in the gray hoodie, purple shirt and amazing breasts."

"What other radio show would do this? What other radio show cares this much?" Randi asked.

Danny laughed. "Well put, Randi. Well put."




Molly had been sent home. Hailey was asleep soundly in her bed and Mark and Sara were sitting on the couch, arms crossed, both looking upset. "You don't have to stay here..." Mark said haltingly.

"Not until I see my daughter," Sara replied in the same tone.

Mark rolled his eyes.

"Why won't you let me see her?"

"You have to give me notice before you can see her unless it's a weekend and last I checked, it's not a weekend," Mark said.

"You always try to keep me away from her," Sara whined.

"You never even want to see her until someone tells you you can't! I'd be more than happy to let you see Hailey more but you have to start proving to me that you are responsible. Remember that the reason you no longer get to see her is because you forgot," Mark finger-quoted, "to feed her for over a week."

"You're always going to rub that in my face, aren't you?" Sara snapped.

Mark just looked at her. Mark and Sara had dated all through high school and college where they got married. At 21, Sara got pregnant and gave birth to Hailey which is when the problems started. Sara became more angry, forgetful and unpredictable to the point where it became dangerous for Mark and for Hailey. Mark and Sara divorced two years ago and he was granted custody of Hailey. Sara, since then, had been going through spurts of being responsible and wreaking havoc, depending on the time of month. The court order said she could see Hailey more if she went to a doctor and got diagnosed and began doing whatever it takes to try to lead a normal life but she refused claiming there was nothing wrong with her.

"Can I just peek into her bedroom?" Sara asked.

"Will you leave afterward?" Mark asked.

She nodded.

"Fine. But no talking and be quiet. She's sleeping and she has school in the morning."




"I don’t know. I just thought she was very pretty and I was going to ask her out but...external forces clearly didn’t want me to that night,” the man who wrote the CraigsList ad said over the phone and on the air.

“Well, I don’t know what the odds are of her actually listening to this program or even this station but maybe our listeners can help spread the word and reunite you two,” Danny said.

“Considering he listens makes the odds better that she listens as well,” Randi says.

“Maybe. So why did you walk into a display of macaroni and cheese?” Danny asked.

“I was distracted by her and her shirt,” the man said. “Trust me. If you had seen this shirt and those breasts you would’ve walked into a large and very noticeable food display as well.”

“Yep. I’ve done some pretty stupid stuff as well for love. We’ll keep your number, man, and we’ll pass it on if we hear from her. Randi will also put the information up on the blog. We’ll talk to you later, man.”

“Okay.”

“So what stupid stuff have you done for love?” Randi asked.

“Oh, you know, the usual.”

“No, I don’t. Tell me,” Randi smiled.

“I once proposed to someone I loved,” Danny said.

“Aww,” Randi cooed.

“And she not only couldn’t wait to say ‘no’ she said it numerous times. Over and over again. And laughed while she did it.”

“That’s not stupid, it’s sad,” Randi said. “Stupid stuff is supposed to be funny.”

“Oh! You want something funny. I had a girlfriend who made me do a striptease act wearing her clothes,” Danny said. “And I don’t know if this says something about me or her but her clothes, especially her underwear, fit really well.”

Randi just looked at Danny.

“What?”

“You’re lying aren’t you?”

“Why would I lie about that?”

“I don’t know,” Randi sighed. “Hello, The Graveyard Shift,” she answered the phone. “Really? Yeah. Let me get you his number,” she looked over at Danny and smiled.




“Mommy!” Hailey came out of her room and saw Sara and Mark sitting on the couch together.

They stood up and Hailey came running up and hugged her mom. “Hey, angel girl. I thought I’d see you off to school this morning,” she looked at Mark. “If that’s okay with your dad.”

“It’s fine,” Mark said. “Hailey, I will see you at 3:30. Sara, we’ll see you this weekend.”

“Okay,” Hailey and Sara headed out of the apartment. “Thanks, Mark,” she smiled.
Mark waved his hand dismissively. His phone rang and he pulled it out of his pocket to answer it. “Hey, Danny? How was last night?”

“It was fine. We made a love connection on CraigsList but most of the night was just music and mindless rambling.”

“So it was a normal night?”

“Yeah, I guess it was. Will you be back tonight?”

“I should be.”

“What was Sara’s problem?”

“I think she was just lonely.”

“Don’t get back together with her,” Danny threatened.

“I won’t. That ship has sailed.”

“Good. I didn’t like what she turned you into.”

“No one did. I’ll see you tonight, Danny.”

“See you, Mark.”

Brutus must be watching The Michael J. Fox Show. Or the first seven episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Babushka.

Back in 2005, I wrote a book called Harter Union based on my time working at Baker University. I'm not proud of the physical copy but everyone should go out and buy the Kindle version. It's only $2.

Why is Gladys dressed like an old Russian woman?

Veeblefester. Snootpelt. Tea cozy companies sure have stupid names. Also, what kind of client would a tea cozy company have? Designers? Fabric? I don't get it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Social Security Forgot to Send Brutus' Name to Santa

I learned something about my family a few weeks ago. My great-grandma passed away long before I was born--in fact it was when my Grandma was three back in 1941. From what I learned, Grandma Dovie found out she was pregnant and had cancer at the same time. The doctor recommended that she have an abortion and start cancer treatments. Dovie refused, opting to bring the pregnancy to term and by the time my Grandma was born in October 1939 the cancer was too far gone and Grandma Dovie died in January 1941. I never knew that story before but I always knew that Grandma Dovie sacrificed herself so that my Grandma could live. And, yes, it does get you thinking that had she chosen the abortion then I probably wouldn't be here.

What would've happened had Grandma Dovie not had cancer? I don't know. Would I have been able to meet her? I met my Grandpa's mom because she died in 1988 at the age of 95. My Grandma's father, who I never met because he seemed to just abandon his original family after Dovie's death and started a new one, died a couple days before my first birthday in 1984, so there is a chance she could've lived long enough for her to see me and my cousin (1981) being born.I'm glad I finally know what happened but I wish I would've known a lot earlier but I didn't know until after my Grandma had died and then I just never asked. I plan on expanding this post a lot more in the future over on The Point of Beginning if you would like to read more.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!

Or Brutus' parents lived a comfortable but strapped life as most did in those times and didn't work themselves to death just to break even like we all do now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pixelated Pre-Christmas Paint Post

Wait a minute...
There I fixed that for you.

I do find it odd that we say Christmas is about giving but yet have personified getting.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Klout's Clout

I saw a really good article yesterday on USA Today asking how much clout Klout actually has. The article, and the people the reporter talked to, said "Not much" and the reason is the same reason I haven't been a huge fan of Klout. Sure I still check it every day or two but I don't let it influence what I do on social media because it just gauges interactions not content.

I can write a blog post that gets 100 views or post something on Tumblr that gets 50 reblogs but Klout doesn't record that. I do wish that Klout would come up with some sort of algorithm that could actually view quality of posts along with interaction. You can connect all your blogs to Klout (Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr) but it doesn't actually do anything with that information. If it does record comments or reblogs, I haven't ever seen it utilized on my account. What's interesting about what I've seen on my account is that my score is held up by interactions on Twitter but Facebook interactions raise my score more and keep them steady which seems odd because I get much more interaction on Twitter and barely do anything on Facebook.

Or maybe it's just a huge conspiracy against me.

I like the way this woman is drawn. I don't know what it is but I really like it. There's your Christmas present this year, Chip. No snarky comment today.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why Does Gladys Always Poke Her Head In Before She Enters a Room?

For those of you who don't know, I created a Tauy Creek page about a year or so ago--maybe even two years because it was 2011 when I decided what I actually wanted to do with this thing. Anyway, I closed it down after only a few months because of lack of interest and have decided to bring it back. So if you are so inclined, please go Like it. I don't know if it will be updated much besides the typical daily posts but you never know and it's not like you actually have to pay attention to it.

Is Gladys saying that she doesn't want the surprise to be ruined or that she doesn't want to ruin the surprise of Brutus finding out what she got herself to be from him? Ugh. It's all so confusing. But the Thornapples do have a nice Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Year Cards

The other day we got about a dozen Christmas cards in the mail. I was shocked because usually we receive about 3-4 probably because we never send any out. I started going through them and they were all for my neighbor across the street. For some reason our mail carrier can't seem to differentiate between and 8 and a 9 and confuses our street name with the street one over despite neither name looking or sounding alike. They don't even have the same name suffix.

Meanwhile, Brutus is postponing his Christmas card giving until he knows exactly who to send to. Veeblefester is confused and angry at this because he's supposed to be Scrooge-like character in this strip.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Maybe You Should Give Her a New Family

Earlier today, a federal court judge ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Basically the judge ruled that denying people the right to do something a majority of people can do violates the 14th Amendment and that fear and disgust is not a valid reason to deny people basic human rights. The actual quote from Judge Robert Shelby is:
In the absence of such evidence, the State's unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State's refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens.

As someone who lives in a state with a, now unconstitutional, ban on same-sex marriage, I congratulate the people who are now rushing to get married before the attorney general orders all marriages stopped. I support you and hope you are able to keep the rights bestowed upon everyone else in this country and that those rights are extended to others in states where they are still treated as less than human.
The line at the Salt Lake County Clerk's office where at least 200 people are waiting to get married.
Why is Brutus offering to buy Hattie Christmas presents? I don't care how close her and Wilberforce are, you don't go buying presents for random neighborhood youths.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Church of Veeblefester

I give my mind, body and soul to you, Veeblefester. You are the messiah in this Godless world. All hail to the Veeblefester! Worship the tea cozy magnate at the church of your choice! Hail, Veeblefester! Hail, Veeblefester! ALLAH!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What a Perfect Blendship

Oh, Brutus, I'm your friend. I don't have any others so why not a fictional 40-ish year-old cartoon man? I've done worse.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Look on Brutus' Face Is the Best

There's a new issue of Liberty now posted if you didn't know. It's called "Life After Alison" and focuses on a group of friends who start growing apart after the death of their mutual friend. From what I can tell in the stats, it's really popular so I don't know what's going on.

I love how those pumpkins have been out since roughly a week before Halloween are still round and solid enough to be stacked into a snowman.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

No. 44: Life After Alison

One
“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a funeral before,” Aaron said as he, Myrna, Wendy and Dennis stood in front of Alison’s casket.

“You’re 28. I find that hard to believe,” Myrna said. “Have any of your relatives died? There is no way you’ve never been to a funeral.”

“My great-great grandma died back in 1988 and I remember visiting her before she died but I do not remember going to a funeral.”

“I still find you never going to a funeral slightly unbelievable,” Myrna said.

Dennis tilted his head slightly to get a better look and Alison. “She looks so natural. Almost like she’s just asleep.”

“Are you okay?” Wendy patted his back.

“With this?” he spread his arms, motioning to the coffin “yeah. I am a little uneasy with my name being mentioned in the obituary.”

“Why?” Myrna asked.

“We were just dating--boyfriend and girlfriend. Sure we were living together but it makes it seem like we were going to be married.”

“I thought you loved Alison…” Aaron said.

“I did. I do. But I…we didn’t even know if we were going to get married or what. I’m probably just over thinking this and letting something that means nothing get to me.”

“We were all just together last weekend. Remember?” Wendy asked, looking at Myrna. “We went to see a movie and get some dinner. She was in such a good mood.”

“It’s not like she knew she was going to die,” Myrna said. “It is surreal that we all were just talking to her at some point six days ago and now we’ll never talk to her again.”

“Has anyone seen or talked to Stanley?” Dennis asked, looking around the funeral home.

“I called him when the visitation started,” Myrna said and snuck a peek at her phone. “He didn’t answer. I left a message and I’ll call him again when we start heading out to the cemetery.”

“I wonder why he’s not here,” Dennis said.

“She looks so natural,” someone said coming up behind them.

“Nathan,” Wendy backed up, “what are you doing here?”

“Alison and I dated for four years. Of course I’m going to come to her funeral.” Nathan stepped closer to the casket and looked in. “She still wears the ring I got her?” he asked, looking at a simple gold ring on her pinky.

Dennis quietly walked away from the group. “It’s just jewelry, Nate. Her still having it doesn’t really mean anything,” Myrna said and followed Dennis. “I’m sorry Nathan is here,” she said to him.

“It’s okay. He has every right to be here. They did date for four years.”

“You weren’t around for it. It was a terrible relationship,” Myrna said. “You are so much better than Nathan.”

“Why did she keep in touch with him?”

“They have a detailed history together. Also, the town’s not that big,” Myrna responded. “And I think he kept coming back and she was too nice to tell him to quit bugging her.”

“She was nice, wasn’t she?” Dennis’ eyes watered.

“She was.”




Both of them knew their relationship was getting boring. They’d been dating for over four years and engaged for two of them. Alison had taken to handling the boredom by discovering new hobbies and letting Nathan fuck her in the ass for something different in the bedroom. Nathan decided to combat the boredom by cheating on Alison with Jessica Ivy.

Jessica was a junior in high school, a good three years younger than Nathan who had just graduated from high school with Alison. At first, Nathan tried to keep his relationship with Jessica secret but after a few months stopped caring and even bought Jessica with him when hanging out with his and Alison’s mutual friends. Alison had a feeling that Nathan was cheating on her and with who but never confronted him until she walked in on them when she went to see him at his apartment.

“I know what you’ve been doing,” she began after sending Jessica out and making a partially dressed Nathan sit down on the couch. “I’ve known for awhile. The reason I haven’t said anything is because I’ve also checked out on this relationship. I haven’t gone as far as you but nothing about what we have is satisfying to me anymore.”

“So…what’s next?”

Alison slid her engagement ring off her finger and handed it back, holding the gold ring between her thumb and forefinger. “I think we should end the engagement and go our separate ways.”

Nathan took the ring from her. “So we’re breaking up?”

Alison cocked her head and raised an eyebrow. “You have to ask?”

“Can we have sex one last time?” Nathan asked, smiling in his fake innocence way that all girls, it seemed, thought was adorable.

“I think you are dating Jessica now and I don’t feel comfortable being the other woman,” Alison smiled. “Bye, Nathan,” she turned and left the apartment.




Two
“What are you doing here?” Caroline asked as she entered the coffee shop.

“I’m scheduled today,” Stanley responded.

“Isn’t today your friend’s funeral?”

“Yeah. I decided not to go,” Stanley said. “Plus this place doesn’t allow bereavement leave for friends. Sure, seven grandparents die; take off as long as you want!”

“Are you okay?”

“No. I’ve been Alison’s friend since college. We went well together. I was always there for her. In college, before she met Myrna, I was the one always there for her. She’d come to my dorm in the middle of the night. She’d talk to me when her boyfriend was being a jerk. When they finally broke up I was there. I waited a respectable amount of time and then asked her out. She always said she wasn’t ready but would then go out on a date a couple nights later. When she wasn’t dating anyone and she got drunk enough, she’d come to me. No funny stuff. Just kissing and cuddling together in bed. I’d always ask her out and she’d always reject me but I stayed her friend because I liked her and her company but now that she’s gone, I wonder if it was worth it,” Stanley revealed.

“Not worth it? You had ten years of friendship with someone you loved. How could that not be worth it?”

“I wanted more, Caroline. Why didn’t she just give me a chance? I’ve never understood why girls never seem to give guys who they are friends with a chance. I’m a nice guy. I would’ve treated her well.”

“Maybe she didn’t like you in that way?” she shrugged.

“Then she should’ve told me. If I ask you out and you are not interested then say so. She kept making up excuses and maybe not stringing me along but If she would’ve just said she wasn’t interested in me…” Stanley trailed off from there.

“If she would’ve told you she wasn’t interested, would you have stopped pursuing it?”

“I don’t know,” Stanley sighed. “Maybe I wouldn’t have stuck around so long but I also wouldn’t have been following around a girl who clearly had no interest in me for nearly ten years like a stupid puppy on a leash. Maybe I could’ve just been friends with her.”

“What are you going to tell your friends when they ask you why you didn’t go to her funeral?” Caroline asked.

“They were her friends, not mine. There’s a part of me that doubts we’ll ever see each other again,” Stanley said. “I did help her make a huge change in her life though,” Stanley smiled oddly as he looked at Caroline.

“What’d you do?” she asked, smiling back.

“I got her to quit drinking as much.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. She used to drink all the time. She invited me to drink with her one morning, we nearly slept together and that helped get her act together.”

“Really? You two almost had sex which caused her to sober up?” Caroline stifled a laugh. “I don’t believe it.”

“No, really. The thought of sleeping with me cures women of becoming alcoholics,” Stanley laughed. “She never did thank me for that.”




It was about eleven in the morning five years ago and Alison had invited Stanley to her apartment to hang out. When he arrived, she had already downed several beers. “Stanley!” she yelled. “So glad you made it!” she hugged him.

“You invited me over,” he said.

“I know. I need someone to drink with and watch these cartoons with me,” Alison pointed at the television.

“Drink? It’s eleven in the morning,” Stanley faked a chuckle.

“I know. That’s why I invited you over. Otherwise, drinking this early is just sad.”

She handed Stanley a beer then walked over to the couch and flopped down on it. Stanley opened the beer and sat down on the couch. Alison placed her feet on Stanley’s lap. For the next hour, they sat in almost complete silence watching Nickelodeon. Stanley only made it through two beers but Alison had polished off five, not including the one she was drinking when he arrived.

Stanley had been massaging Alison’s feet for the last ten minutes which was something she liked and that he liked to do. “You should come up here and lay with me,” she offered and scooted closer to the edge of the couch.

Stanley pulled himself next to Alison, awkwardly placing his left arm over his head and his right arm around Alison’s waist. “It’s a little cramped,” he said.

Alison turned slightly. “I like being close to you,” she kissed him. He kissed her back and began rubbing her stomach. She stopped kissing him and grabbed his hand. “Grab some boob, Stanley!” and she placed his hand on her breast. She went back to kissing him and he gently fondled her left breast. “Oh, yes…” she moaned.

Alison scooted back into the middle of the couch so Stanley was now on top of her. They continued kissing, Alison holding Stanley close to her. Stanley stopped kissing her and pulled away. “What are we doing?”

“We’re making out,” Alison said. “And don’t tell me you don’t like it because I feel your boner,” Alison pulled Stanley closer to her and leaned up to whisper in his ear. “You need to kiss me more, fondle my boobs, tear my clothes off and fuck me.”

Stanley pulled back again. “You’re drunk.”

“And horny. I know you want to fuck me. You should take advantage of my offer.”

Stanley sighed, got off of Alison and stood up. “It wouldn’t be right,” he began. “You are in no condition to have sex with anyone right now. I’m going to help you upstairs to your bedroom and then I’m going to go home, okay?”

Alison looked innocently at Stanley; one of her eyebrows was raised, and nodded. “Okay,” and began sitting up. Stanley helped her stand and then took her upstairs.




Three
Myrna and Wendy became good friends because of Alison. Alison had always mentioned Myrna and Wendy to each other but neither of them had met until Alison’s 21st birthday. Myrna and Wendy became close because they had to carry Alison home that night and then they stayed up talking.

It was a week after the funeral when Myrna met Wendy for lunch. The three of them met for lunch occasionally when Alison was alive. Wendy was already sitting at a table with someone when Myrna came into the diner. The girl sitting next to Wendy was cute, about the same size and build as Wendy and had really short blond hair.

“Hi, Wendy,” Myrna sat down across from the girls. “Who’s this?”

“This is Amanda,” Wendy smiled at Amanda who took her hand under the table. “She’s my girlfriend.”

“What?” Myrna smiled and looked back and forth between Wendy and Amanda.

“We’ve been together about three months. We told Alison a couple of months ago and we were going to tell everybody last week but then Alison died and we decided to wait until everything with her death and the funeral died down.”

“I wish you would’ve told us sooner. Anyways, congratulations!” Myrna exclaimed. “How did you meet?”

“Alison and I went to a gay night at a bar—she liked being hit on by lesbians—and that’s when we met,” Wendy said.

“I’m glad you’re happy,” Myrna said, smiling at both of them. “You are happy, right?”

“I think we are,” Wendy looked at Amanda.

“I’m happy if you’re happy,” Amanda smiled back.

“I do think this being my first relationship has helped in understanding what I want from my significant other,” Wendy revealed. “Also, Alison’s parents gave me some photo albums that have a lot of pictures of us. They also have quite a bit of Nathan, Eric, Dennis and other boyfriends of hers. They thought it would be best if we kept them and divided them up between each other.”

“Maybe we can all come over some weekend and get those sorted. Talk about old times and reminisce,” Myrna suggested. “Are there any good pictures of the three of us—you, me and Alison?”

“Not that I saw,” Wendy shook her head. “There’s always at least one boyfriend in every picture it looked like.”

Myrna chuckled. “Alison sure liked men.”
“I think she liked what came attached to the men,” Wendy joked.

“Speaking of men, have you talked to Stanley since the funeral? I’ve tried calling him but he’s not answering or responding to my messages.”

“I haven’t talked to him,” Wendy answered. “He was more Alison’s friend anyway.”

Myrna nodded. “When did you come out to Alison?”

“It was when we were living together after she broke up with Jason but before she met Dennis.”




Wendy had been Alison’s best friend since elementary school when they met in third grade. As they grew, it was clear that Alison was the more personable of the two and while Wendy was able to go out and have a good time with her friends, she was normally Alison’s exact opposite. Wendy was quiet, kept to herself and never went out unless it was with Alison. The two girls acted more like sisters than friends.

The main difference between Alison and Wendy were their relationships. Alison seemed to always have a boyfriend while Wendy never did or even showed any interest in getting one. Alison usually brought this up in a joking manner and then offered to set Wendy up with someone which Wendy always declined.

Several months after Wendy moved in and a couple months after Alison and Jason broke up, Alison was moaning from her bedroom with one of her random guys, keeping a decent rhythm with the squeaking bed. Wendy rolled over and attempted to ignore the noises so she could fall asleep.

It seemed as though she was only asleep for a few minutes when Alison came into her room. “Wendy? Are you awake?”

“Yeah. What’s up?”

“Nothing. I just wanted to sleep with you,” Alison said as she got into bed with Wendy, which had been a common occurrence since sleep-overs began back in the third grade. They laid in silence for about a minute until Alison farted.

“Alison!” Wendy shrieked and rolled over slightly. “Did you get into bed with me just to fart?”

Alison rolled over on top of Wendy. “Not necessarily,” Alison leaned down and kissed Wendy on the lips. Wendy laid there in shock as Alison lowered herself to Wendy’s waist and began removing her panties. “You have a very hairy pussy,” Alison said to Wendy, commenting on the tangle of dark brown hair between her legs. Alison began going down on Wendy.

Her breathing became stuttered and soft moans escaped her lips. Wendy’s orgasm mounted and she reached down to hold Alison’s head. Her eyes opened and all was quiet in her bedroom. She sat up and looked around the room, breathing heavily. She sighed loudly then flopped back down on her pillow.

Wendy had known since middle school that she wasn’t what anyone thought she should be. She did not start fawning over boys like many of her classmates did, she didn’t really start fawning over anyone. Around the time Alison and her other girl friends were dating and losing their virginities, Wendy continued to avoid that lifestyle. She finally admitted to herself in college that she was gay but didn’t tell anyone because her being a lesbian didn’t affect her or anyone else’s life.

Wendy decided to tell Alison mainly because of the dream but also because of all the secrets the two of them had shared as friends. When Alison came home from work, Wendy was sitting at their kitchen table.

“Hi, Wendy, what’s going on?” Alison smiled, wondering why Wendy was sitting at the kitchen table since it had mainly become a place to keep mail and other important papers in the last few months.

“I need to tell you something,” Wendy said. “I’ve known for awhile but I’ve never told anybody since it didn’t really matter or affect anyone. Anyway,” Wendy breathed deep. “I’m gay.”

“Nooo…” Alison purred. “You went to prom with that guy who was in love with you.”

“That was in high school and he was in love with me, I was indifferent about him.”

“What was his name?” Alison scratched her head. “It started with a ‘B.’”

“I can’t remember. I just remember that his tux looked weird, he didn’t comb his hair and he had a massive zit on his cheek. Even if I wasn’t gay, he was not getting lucky that night.”

“You said you’ve known for awhile. How long?”

“Since middle school at least,” Wendy said. “How are you doing?”

Alison walked up to Wendy and she hugged her. “I am so glad you told me. You’re my best friend and I love you so much.”

Wendy hugged Alison tighter and her eyes teared up.

“How much does this turn you on right now?”

“Shut up,” Wendy said as they continued hugging.




Four
“I wish I could’ve gone to the funeral but Jess and I had an appointment with the doctor. Wow, 27. She had so many years left in front of her,” Eric said as he looked at a picture of him and Alison that Myrna had given him.

“I know,” Myrna began. “It really made me think twice about what I’m doing with my life. I’m happy that your life has gotten better. Happily married, baby on the way. You must be really excited.”

“I am very excited,” Eric answered. “I never realized how much I wanted children until she told me she was pregnant.”

“That’s great,” Myrna said, uneasy. “Oh, I’m just going to ask. Do you ever wonder how life would be different if we had stayed together?”

“I have. And I don’t think our lives would be any better. Think about it, Myrna. I had a crappy job, bouncing from relationship to relationship, we had sex on our first date. Life wouldn’t be good. There’s a chance that we’d still be together and there’s a chance that we would be happy but our lives would be completely different and I don’t think for the better. Do you still paint?”

Myrna laughed. “No, I don’t. I’ve moved onto other things.”

“That’s too bad. I always liked your paintings but I get it, it’s hard to make money being a painter. You should still do it though, even if it is just a hobby.”

Myrna blushed then continued eating. They changed the subject to Alison and reminisced while they ate. After lunch, they walked out of the restaurant together and said their good-byes and parted ways. Myrna got out her phone and started calling someone. Dennis’ voicemail picked up and Myrna hesitated at leaving a message but decided to hang up instead.




It was about one month after Alison and Eric broke up when Myrna received a phone call from Eric. “Hey, Myrna, what’s up?”

“Um, nothing much,” she replied, confused. “What’s going on? Why are you calling me?”

“I was wondering if you’d want to go out with me this weekend.” Eric asked.

Myrna sat up straight on the couch. “I don’t know. I mean, you just broke up with Alison and I don’t know if the wounds are still fresh or…”

“Alison broke up with me so she probably doesn’t care and if I’m calling you and asking you out then clearly I am ready to try to move on. Besides, it’s not really a date; it’s just two friends going out for dinner.”

Myrna smiled. “That’s sounds good. I’ll see you Saturday.”

Saturday came and Myrna and Eric had dinner together and then went back to his place where they started drinking and talking. “So why do you still work at Walmart?”

Myrna laughed which came out as more of a snort. “I don’t know. It’s just a job. It pays the bills.”

“You should be doing something else. Something that is relevant to your degree,” Eric said.

“I know but what can I honestly do with an art degree? I mean, I read that the Louvre is hiring people to create more masterpieces but I feel I should start small like with the Art Institute or the Guggenheim.”

“You could try applying to small museums around here as a part-time tour guide or something. Call the art center and see if you can set up a showing of your paintings.”

“Why do you care what I do with my paintings?” Myrna asked.

“I like you, Myrna. I’ve liked you since I met you and why would I not want someone to follow their dreams?”

Myrna blushed and turned bright red. “Thanks, Eric. Alison doesn’t like my paintings.”

“And what museum does Alison work at?” Eric asked.

Myrna chuckled. She looked at the clock on the VCR and started to stand up. “It’s getting late. You should take me home,” Eric shot up and grabbed Myrna started to stumble.

“Neither of us is in any condition to leave this apartment,” he held onto Myrna and his left hand accidentally brushed against Myrna’s breast. “Sorry.”

“That’s okay,” Myrna said and they kissed. They continued making out for more than a couple of minutes. Myrna pushed away and turned toward the door. “I should really go.”

“No. Stay. Why do you want to leave so quickly?” Eric asked her, taking her hand.

“I feel like I’m betraying Alison. You guys just broke up and…”

“She broke up with me. Right now we’re just friends. There is no reason that you should be thinking that you are betraying her.”

They went to bed together, fully clothed with a decent amount of space between them in bed. When they woke up at seven, they had migrated to the middle of the bed and Eric had his arm around Myrna and their bodies were pressed together.

Eric held her tighter and spoke softly in her ear “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” she started to stretch.

Eric realized that he had an erection that was pressed into her lower back and he quickly readjusted himself. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay. It happens,” she said as she rolled over to face him.

“See? I told you nothing would happen last night,” he smiled at her.

“That doesn’t mean nothing won’t happen now,” Myrna bit her lip before leaning in and kissing Eric. They pressed their bodies together and Myrna rolled and pulled Eric on top of her and removed his shirt.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Eric asked as she took her shirt off.

“Definitely,” she said and kissed him again.

When they were finished, Eric drove Myrna home and they made plans for that evening. Myrna took a shower and as she was getting dressed, her phone rang.

“Hey, Alison,” she answered after looking at the screen.

“What the hell are you doing?” Alison shouted.

“Right now?” Myrna was confused. “I just got out of the shower…”

“Why did you fuck Eric?”

“What?”

“I know you slept with Eric. Why did you do that?”

“First of all, why do you care and how is it any of your business and second, how did you found out?”

“I talked to Eric a little bit ago and he said he spent the night with you. He didn’t specifically say he had sex with you but I know you pretty well so I just figured you and him did it.”

“And what if we didn’t have sex? What if you are just jumping to conclusions and nothing really did happen between me and Eric?”

“Is that what happened?”

Myrna thought about lying and was silent for a few seconds. “Again, why do you care? You and Eric broke up,” Myrna said.

“That doesn’t mean you get to jump into bed with him. You can’t date him, Myrna.”

“You can’t tell me what to do,” Myrna started to get angry. “I like Eric, Alison, and if I want to continue seeing him then that’s my right. You don’t have to like it but considering it’s Eric and mine relationship, your opinion doesn’t really matter!”

“It’s me or him, Myrna. Let me know what you decide,” Alison hung up.

Myrna threw her phone on the bed but it started ringing again. “Eric?” she answered.

“Hey, Myrna. Did Alison call you?”

“Yes. Why did you tell her that we were together?”

“I just said I spent the evening with you and she immediately took that to mean that we spent the night together and had sex,” Eric said. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault. Alison loves jumping to conclusions about stuff like this,” Myrna said.

Eric chuckled. “Yeah. But the reason I called is to cancel our date for tonight.”

“What? Why? If it’s because of Alison…”

“I don’t want you to lose your best friend. Dating me will just cause problems not only between you and Alison but you and all of your friends. I really enjoyed our time together and maybe someday we can try this again,” Eric said, his voice breaking. “Thank you for an amazing night, Myrna.” Eric hung up and Myrna once again threw her phone onto her and she began crying.




Five
For the last four years, Aaron owned and operated a restaurant called Ingredient. It served typically popular cuisine but it also had a bar attached to it. For the last four years, Alison had been telling Aaron that he was going to make it but nearly a month after her death, Aaron was locking the doors.

Aaron was behind the bar pouring himself numerous shots of whiskey. He had invited his friends and loyal customers to a final gathering to say good-bye but only he was there.

“You’re going to what?” Alison asked him shortly after he announced his intent to open a restaurant.

“I’m opening a restaurant. I got approved for the loan today,” Aaron had never looked happier. Wendy, Myrna and Nathan congratulated him but Alison kept her composure.

“Do you even know how to run a restaurant?” she asked.

“I’ve seen how it’s done and I have a degree in business. I specifically went to school to learn how to run a business.”

“And you’re going to be the head chef as well even though you’ve only been an assistant chef since getting out of college?” she asked.

“What are you getting at Alison? Do you think I shouldn’t do this?”

“No. I think you should do what makes you happy but maybe you could go into a partnership with someone who has experience as both an owner and as head chef,” Alison explained. “I just don’t want to see you get hurt.”

“That’s part of owning a business—any business, Alison. If it succeeds, great, but if it doesn’t then at least I tried and can try again in the future.”

“Then you go for it, Aaron,” Alison said.

Aaron poured himself another shot. “Bitch,” he muttered.

The outside door of the bar opened and Dennis walked in. “Aaron? Is no one else here?”

“Nope. I’m the only one. Besides you, now.”

“Has anybody been by? Myrna? Wendy?”

“Nope. I even invited Nathan and I don’t particularly care for Nathan,” Aaron said and poured him and Dennis a drink. “I know it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead and I know you were dating her but Alison’s a bitch!”

Hearing that did not shock Dennis and he quickly downed the shot Aaron gave him. “How come?”

“She didn’t want me to open this place but wanted me to do whatever made me happy and then I had to hear every time Ingredient was doing bad ‘Oh, it’ll get better. You’re just in a slump’ blah, blah, blah. I didn’t listen to her the first time so why did I listen to her the next forty-seven?”

“Say what you will about Alison but she was jealous that you opened this place. She always played it safe. She was on the pill but still made me wear a condom. She had jobs that someone would have to try to get fired from. She went to school to become a nurse. She would say she was being practical or smart but she was playing it safe. I don’t think she took a chance on anything in her life,” Dennis said. “I was going to break up with her.”

“Noooooo…” Aaron breathed, drunkenly.

“I loved her but I couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life with her.”

“Is that why you were so uneasy when your name was printed in her obituary?”

“I think that would make anyone uneasy,” Dennis laughed. “But I felt guilty because I had been thinking about breaking up with her and then her dying but when I really think about it, I wanted to break up with her because she was kind of a mean person. And I really came to realize that during Stanley’s birthday party last year.”

“I remember that,” Aaron said and poured them both more to drink.




"Thanks for coming with me to pick out a shirt," Myrna said as she and Dennis walked into the store. "I need someone to tell me what looks hot and what is not."

"No problem. We need to spend more time together anyway," Dennis said.

"I like spending time with you. I like you much better than Alison's previous boyfriends," Myrna said. She began rifling through some shirts on a rack, looking at them, pulling them out and holding them up. "Definitely trying these two on," she said, laying a light blue shirt and a black shirt on her arm. "What did you get Stanley?"

"I just got him a gift card," Dennis shrugged. "I don't really know him very well except for a few things. And he likes to read so I got him a gift card to a bookstore."

"That's more than I got him," Myrna said as she grabbed a couple other shirts off the rack and headed to a dressing room. She began removing the shirt she had on and continued talking. "I got him a nice card that includes an IOU. I don't even know why we are throwing him a birthday party. We've never had one for him before." She pulled a red shirt over her that had slightly puffy sleeves and waist.

"I think it's because it's his thirtieth and this is all Alison. We're only doing it because of Alison," Dennis said and watched Myrna walk out of the dressing room. He eyed the shirt but mainly focused on the cleavage the shirt revealed.

"You like it?" she asked.

"It does something for me," he replied.

She looked down at her chest and smiled. "I like it too," and she went back into the dressing room. "Have you ever spent any time with Stanley without Alison?"

"I don't think so," Dennis said. "Stanley is more Alison's friend. Everyone else is just kind of there. I like Stanley but if it wasn't for Alison I don't think I'd choose him as a friend."

Myrna came back out of the dressing room in a simple green shirt. "What about this one?"

Dennis looked the shirt up and down. "Is there something about green shirts that make boobs bigger?"

"So I take it you like it?" she chuckled.

"Yes but I'm serious. It's a scientific fact that green shirts make girls hotter," Dennis said.

"Okay," Myrna laughed as she rolled her eyes. She went back into the dressing room.

"I honestly don't plan on staying very long. Can you take Alison home when the party is over?"

"Probably. If not I can probably get Aaron to," Myrna came out of the dressing room in the black shirt. "This one?"

"It's nice. Hey, after this, do you have any lunch plans?"

"Lunch?" Myrna said from the dressing room. "It's almost three."

"It doesn't have to be a big lunch. Just go somewhere and have something small. I missed lunch so I am hungry."

"Sure we can grab something," Myrna came out of the dressing room in the blue shirt. "What do you want? What sounds good?"

Dennis stared at Myrna in the blue shirt. He didn't hear what she had asked. The shirt was tight on her and highlighted her flat stomach and big breasts. The shirt also went well with her blue eyes and reddish hair.

"Dennis! What sounds good?" Myrna asked again.

"What?" he snapped out of it. "Oh! Well, I'm thinking something Mexican."

"I'll take that as a ringing endorsement for this shirt," Myrna smiled, looked down at her chest and placed her hands over her breasts.

"Yeah. It was good."

"Good? You forgot how to listen and talk when you saw me walk out," she laughed. "I think I know what shirt I'm wearing tonight. If you can handle it."

Myrna bought her shirts and she and Dennis left the store. "Is fast food all right or do you want to go to a restaurant?"

"Fast food is fine."

Dennis and Myrna sat in the fast food restaurant and ate their food and talked more about the party. "And I find it weird that Alison is holding the party and her favorite bar. Not Stanley's, hers."

"Well, that's just like Alison. The party is for someone else but she has to be front and center during it."

"I know," Dennis laughed. "I love her but sometimes she makes it hard to."

"You love her?"

Dennis seemed taken aback. "Yeah. I thought I mentioned that."

"Not from you. Alison's mentioned that you've both said 'I love you' but I didn't know you really did. It's only been a year."

"That's ample time to fall in love," Dennis said. "I actually fell in love a while ago but didn't want to say anything until I knew she felt at least a little bit of the same thing."

"I have the feeling this party is going to be a disaster," Myrna said.

"Aren't all birthdays?" Dennis asked jokingly.

"Yeah but this will be a disaster party that no one will admit was a disaster and when someone brings it up things will get awkward," she explained.

"We'll just have to make sure it's not a disaster," Dennis said.

After their meal, Dennis dropped Myrna off at her apartment. "I'll see you tonight at the bar around eight," she said, getting out of the car. She leaned back into the car. "Thanks for looking at clothes with me."

"You're very welcome. Thanks for eating with me."

"You're welcome as well," Myrna chuckled. She then leaned closer and kissed Dennis on the lips. Dennis knew he should've pulled away but he touched her cheek and kissed her back. When they parted, Myrna spoke "I knew this party would be a disaster..."




The party had been going on for a couple of hours and Alison was already pretty drunk. Dennis and Myrna stayed away from each but kept making passing glances.

"It's present time," Alison sat three bags on the table in front of Stanley. "Open mine last," Alison pulled one of the bags away and pushed the other two closer.

Stanley opened one of the bags and pulled out a couple of movies. "Awesome. I love these movies. I don't know why I don't already own them."

"Well you do now," Wendy said. "And now you need to invite us over so we can all watch them."

"Those movies are good. They are so stupid but it's like the producers knew that so they told the actors to treat it that way," Dennis said.

"I didn't know you liked those movies," Alison said. "You usually hate movies like this."

"I like stupid movies. What I don't like are stupid movies that think they are doing something new when it's really just the same crap," Dennis said.

Stanley began opening the second bag. "This is from Dennis and me," Myrna began. "I dropped his gift in my bag so it didn't get lost."

"Thanks," Dennis said.

"No problem," she smiled.

Stanley pulled out a couple of gift cards, one from a bookstore and the other for a grocery store. "Books and food? I love books and food!" he exclaimed. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," Dennis and Myrna answered in unison.

"Open mine now," Alison bounced.

Stanley opened the bag and pulled out a wrapped gift. He tore open the wrapping and saw that it was a toy. An action figure. "What the...?" The figure was from a Japanese cartoon he'd never heard of and was a child-like figure wearing a kimono robe and an odd orange hat. One of the accessories that came with it was a pacifier.

"I saw that and immediately thought of you," Alison said.

"Oh, gee. Thanks," Stanley said sarcastically. "So you saw this baby-like character with a pacifier and thought of me?"

Myrna had walked around the table to Dennis. She leaned down to his ear "Told you it would be a disaster."




Six
Myrna walked up to Dennis’ front door and knocked. After several days of wanting to call him and talk to him, she finally worked up the nerve to call and ask him to lunch. It was a little after ten in the morning but Myrna was ready to see Dennis and talk to him. Dennis lived in a small rental house he and Alison had lived in for the last four months of their relationship. The landlord was an old guy who was, as Dennis described him, a nosy cheapskate. When Dennis didn’t answer she knocked louder and when he didn’t answer that she began repeatedly ringing the doorbell which finally got him to answer.

“Myrna! What the hell are you doing here?” he asked, drowsily with one eye open.

“We’re having lunch together,” she replied.

Dennis stared at Myrna then glanced at a clock near the door on the wall. “Yeah. At lunch.”

“I’m here early. I wanted to talk. Are you hungover?”

“A little. It was the last night Aaron’s restaurant was open so Aaron and I hung out for several hours.”

“I completely forgot about that,” Myrna gasped.

“So did everyone else it seemed.”

“No one showed up?”

Dennis faintly shook his head. “Come on in,” he opened the door wider and stepped aside. “What did you want to talk about?”

“Alison,” Myrna said, seating herself on the arm of his couch. “It’s been almost a month since she died and the funeral and I’ve been noticing some changes in our group dynamic.”

“Like the fact there hasn’t really been a dynamic since the funeral?” Dennis asked.

“Yes, so you’ve noticed that too?”

“Yes but it was bound to happen. Alison was the glue that held our fragile little group together. Without her it was bound to fall apart. Why would her friends continue to hang out with me? I was just dating her. If we had broken up I would’ve been out of the picture anyway.”

“I like hanging out with you. I would’ve tried to stay your friend,” Myrna said.

“Would you?” Dennis was skeptical. “I’ve heard about Eric.”

Myrna blushed and lowered her head. “With Eric it was different.”

“No. It wasn’t,” Dennis walked over to Myrna and grabbed her chin, he pulled her head up and they looked at each other. “You have a habit of falling for all of Alison’s boyfriends. I know you slept with Nathan. You slept with Eric and that one guy whose name none of us remembers…”

“His name was Joel.”

“No, it wasn’t,” Dennis smiled at her. “The problem with doing that is that Alison wouldn’t let you. She’d make you choose between her friendship and the guy you liked and you always chose her friendship. This time, you don’t have to.”

Myrna looked into Dennis’ eyes. “What are you talking about?”

Dennis leaned down and kissed Myrna. Her eyes closed and she slowly and softly put her hand on his shoulder. He continued to hold her chin and pulled her onto her feet and then embraced her and they continued kissing.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Stull & Cat

Many of you may know Ariana Grande as one of the many singer/actors out there. She is mainly known as Cat Valentine, a character she portrays on Victorious and Sam & Cat. At some point during the year Ariana took a trip to Stull ("near Kansas City, Kansas") and drove through the cemetery where a "sick, overwhelming feeling of negativity [came] over the whole car and we smelled sulphur, which is the sign of a demon." I've been to Stull numerous times and have never smelled sulphur. An oddly lovely mix of musty cemetery, creek and strawberry car air freshener, yes, but never sulphur. Grande then apologized for being in the cemetery, took a picture and they left the cemetery. The article doesn't mentioned if they noticed any farmers with pitchforks or if they were followed back to Highway 40 by a red Geo Tracker. The picture, Grande mentioned, has three faces in it. "Textbook demons", she says. She then tried to send the picture to her manager but it wouldn't go through because it was "666 megabytes." Yeah, uh-huh. I want to see this picture so if you see this Miss Grande please find a way to upload the photo so we can all see it. You may also want to read my article on Stull over at 16th & Mass.

I do love chili. My uncle won a chili cook-off at his church late last month which was kind of cool. He got some money and what looked like a giant golden spoon. I, however, make a pretty mean homemade hot chocolate.

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm Sorry...You're An Ugly Witch

What makes today's strip even funnier (is "funnier" the right word?) is that I insulted Mother Gargle's appearance the other day. The only difference is that I am not story so I'm not gonna apologize.*




*Also, she's a fictional character.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Law Firm, Link That Reads 'Unsubscribe,' Same Thing

Did you know...that the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires any email being used for commercial purposes to have a visible and operational "UNSUBSCRIBE" link? Yes, I looked into it and no, it's not perfect but honestly, what was perfect during George W. Bush's administration?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Hills Are Alive.....

Start promising that daily posts are back then miss three days right after. I'm gonna try to do better but last week was just very busy in the evening which is when I post these things.

On Thursday I watched The Sound of Music Live on NBC starring Carrie Underwood. I was about what I expected but Carrie's performance of Maria did not impress but I thought everyone not named Carrie Underwood did very well. I tweeted shortly after I first heard Carrie croak out the words to "The Sound of Music", after testing it on my live-in audience--my wife, about Julie Andrews:
As you can see, it kind of made the rounds on Twitter but only half a dozen people actually replied to it with four being just your standard agreements on Underwood's terribleness. But there was one that said "you can't compare a movie to a live performance." Which I really wasn't. I was just making a joke. A movie can take months to make and produce, edits can be made and things can be done and refilmed to make the film seem as perfect as possible whereas a live performance cannot. I wasn't comparing Carrie Underwood to Julie Andrews but I honestly thought Underwood would live up to Andrews amazing performance but because NBC needed a live Sound of Music why?

It needed to be live to make up for how not-good it was going to be. Didn't like something? It was live. Thought the singing was too shrill and the acting too wooden? It was live. Didn't like when the little girl playing Gretl said "shit" after skipping a line? It was live. NBC can use the "It was live" crutch for anything if the show got bad reviews or something. But I don't think NBC will be using that very much as The Sound of Music Live gave them their biggest Thursday night ratings (excluding sports events) since 2009.

The same could be said about your breasts, Mother Gargle...

Wait. There's more than one company that makes tea cozies?

This is apparently the week of everyone just having a back and forth. Seeing them all in a row is kind of unsettling.

Once again, the Thornapples are allowing Hurricane Hattie to just run amok in their house. Seriously, is Hattie the Sluggo in this strip?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Crossing the Color Line



Franklin made his debut in Peanuts on July 31, 1968. Franklin has always been one of my favorite Peanuts characters probably because he is rarely seen and tends to be the "straight man" even more so than Charlie Brown. What people don't realize is that it took quite a lot for Franklin to become a character in the strip. Hogan's Alley has a great article on the creation of Franklin and one woman's goal to get a cartoonist to put a black characters in his comic strip.