Thursday, November 30, 2017

Rich Ego


Well, Veeblefester does own the tea cozy factory? Warehouse? Business. So, yes, this tea cozy world does revolve around Veeblefester.

I wonder what Brutus was being egotistical about. What if Veeblefester just wanted to say this. "Here is some age old advice. Do not be egotistic, Thornapple." Yes, I'm going with that. Veeblefester is thinking up ways to talk about himself by starting out the conversation with bits of "advice."

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Does Arnie Really Think Brutus Would Exercise?


 Sounds like a health issue. You should get that checked out. Are your hiccups waking you up or do you wake up and then get them? Either way, go see a doctor. That doesn't sound good.

"Please let us produce your tea cozies, or sell you our tea cozies. I'm not entirely sure which one we do around here. Maybe both? Sincerely yours, Skilled Writer Brutus."

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Give Me a Head With Hair


I went through the Arnie archives and I don't see any difference in his hair. "Annihilated it" seems a bit rude. I always get my hair cut short so I go the longest amount of time as possible before going back to the barber. Also, it doesn't matter how amazed and complimentary you are, Brutus. Arnie's not going to let you touch his hair.

Read today's full strip.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Homebody Dad #1

HOMEBODY DAD


David Livingston was sitting in his cubicle listening to a call. Every few seconds he would pause and write something down then start the call up again. While listening, he faintly heard his name being said. He stopped the call, took off his headset and turned to see his supervisor standing behind him.

“Glad to see you monitoring some calls. We have a few concerns about some of the calls you’ve been scoring.”

“Really? Why cuz?”

“Well,” the supervisor sat down and opened a small three-ring binder. “These are the more pressing concerns. We audited these calls and found glaring examples of protocol being skipped over.”

“What? Really?”

“Like this call. She neglected to read one of the scripts, didn’t give out a phone number, and didn’t verify the caller’s ZIP code.”

David took the paper and looked at it. “I remember this call. There were three scripts she neglected to read. I marked her down on two of them.”

“Even if you don’t mark her down, we’d like you to list what script was skipped.”

“That seems unnecessarily malicious,” David said. “As far as the phone number, it was a number that wouldn’t have helped the caller. She pointed that out during the call. As for the ZIP verification, I know. I chose not to include that because that would’ve lowered her score to a 1 which means she would’ve gotten a verbal warning. I noted that she needs to verify the ZIP code and that next time I wouldn’t overlook it.”

“What we’d really like to do is have the CSR say ‘There is a number you can call. I’m not sure if it will help you but let me give it to you.’ See?”

“But then they are giving useless information to the caller which is also something we score down on, and makes the call longer, which we also score down on.”

“You get scored less heavily on those though. Better safe than sorry.”

David gave his supervisor an odd look. “Bottom line, you want me to start being nitpicky over the calls? Start throwing the hammer down? Show that there is no longer a Mr. Nice Guy?”

“We just want you to do your job,” the supervisor sighed and stood up to leave.

“‘We just want you to do your job,’” David mocked.

“Did you have any questions?” his supervisor popped up over the cubicle wall.

“No. I’m good,” David quickly said.




David got home and parked in the back in the alley. He got out slower than he normally did, weighed down by what he was told at work.

“David, guess what?” Milo Story, a neighbor and good friend of David’s came over from across the alley. “I finally went downtown and got approved to start bottling and selling my beer.”

Several years ago, Milo had started brewing his own beer in his basement and since then it had kind of become a big organization and he had been talking about getting a license to bottle and sell it for several months now.

“Congrats, man,” David shook Milo’s hand. “Let me know if you need my help. I want to support you in any way I can.”

“I need investors so if you know anyone who would like to get in on the ground floor, let me know.”

“I will. See you later,” David waved and headed to his house.

David went in and walked through to the living room. Their nanny, Rose, was sitting on the couch watching TV. A vacuum cleaner hung on the front window curtains. “Hi, Mr. Livingstone,” Rose said.

“Hey, Rose. How was Oliver?”

“A perfect angel like always. He ate at 9, 1, and 2:30 and I put him down for a nap at 3:15. We watched that new show on Nick Junior. It was okay. I think Nick Junior has better shows than Disney. You would think that Disney would be better but Nick Junior, I think, tries harder.”

“Yeah, I see that. I always liked Nick Junior when Sophie and Lucy were little. Did you ever get that thing on the bottom of your foot looked at?”

“Oh, yes. I did.”

“That’s good. What was it? Wart? Corn? Blister?”

“Tic-Tac.”

“Oh. Of course,” David shrugged. “Rose? Why is the vacuum hanging on the curtain?”

“There was a spider on the curtain and I didn’t want to use a tissue or something that could leave a smudge on the curtain so I tried to vacuum the spider up. It didn’t quite work out.”

“I see. Just use a tissue or napkin next time. Or just ignore it.”

“You’re the boss,” Rose shook her head. She got up off the couch. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Mr. Livingstone.”

“See you, Rose. Have a good evening.”

David went upstairs and into the attic. “Where would they be?” he asked himself quietly. He moved a couple of boxes and opened a plastic tub. Inside was a bunch of comic-related books and magazines. Packed away with them was a manila folder with David’s own comic strip in it.

He had drawn the comics through high school and part way through college. As he flipped through what he had drawn, he chuckled at a couple of them. The art left much to be desired--not much more than stick figures but he thought they had potential. Even if they didn’t look good, they were kind of funny although he may have been biased.

He heard the door open and someone come home. He gathered his comics and went downstairs. He saw his oldest daughter, Sophia, and wife Alison, standing in the kitchen. “Hey, Sophia. What are you doing home, honey?” David gave his wife a quick peck on the cheek.

“I had to go pick up our daughter--son--from school. She...He hit another student.”

“What? Why?”

“He kept calling me a girl,” Sophia said.

“But you…” David began but Alison interrupted.

“Michael has decided to identify as male,” Alison said.

“Okay,” David sighed. “That still doesn’t mean you hit other students.”

“He was being stupid and made me angry.”

“I understand. But you will soon figure out that a lot of things are stupid and will make you angry. There are a lot of stupid people in this world especially on things like this but just remember that most people you meet in life will support you no matter what. Okay?”

“Okay,” Michael nodded. “I’m going up to my room.”

“All right,” David said. “Leave your phone.”

“What? Why?”

“You hit a kid today. You’re grounded. Three days.”

“Okay,” Michael huffed and laid his phone on the kitchen counter.

“What brought all this on? He left here as a girl,” David asked.

“I don’t know. You know Michael hasn’t felt comfortable in quite a while. This is just where those feeling ended up,” Alison said. David leaned down and rested his head on the counter. “Bad day at work?”

“Not really. Things just got all piled up today. My boss wants me to be more of a, well, I don’t want to use the word Nazi but I don’t know what word even comes close.”

“You’ve been unhappy with this job for awhile now haven’t you?”

David nodded. “I wanted to ask you something. Since you went back to work, I have been thinking about cutting back my time at the call center.”

“You mean quitting because they don’t allow people to cut back on time.”

“Yes.”

“Look, David, I get it. You hate your job but it’s been really nice having your extra income these last few months. We could still make it but it’d be tighter.”

“I was thinking of that. We’d save money by not hiring Rose and Milo is going to start bottling and selling his beer and he’s looking for investors.”

“So we won’t even have what we have saved up over the last year or so? Just so you can drink with your best friend?”

“You don’t seem to approve,” David said. “We’ll start making money as more people buy but, I agree, it may be awhile which is why I have plan B.”

“Begging in the streets?”

“No. Creating a webcomic.”

“Oh. Begging on the Internet.”

“During high school I used to draw a comic strip and I think it has potential,” David slid the folder of comics toward his wife.

She opened it and began flipping through them. “I remember you saying that you drew these. You’ve never shown them to me before.”

“They were always put away or I forgot I saved them. Anyway, with ad revenue and maybe donations from fans we could maybe clear a few dollars a month. I know it’s not ideal but I think it’ll work.”

“You’ve thought a lot about this,” Alison said.

“It’s been a busy half hour.”

“We can try it. Six month trial? We can go from there. Okay?” she wrapped her arms around David’s torso.

“Really? Oh, thank you, hon,” he kissed her. “I’m gonna go wake up Oliver, change my clothes, and sketch some ideas before we make dinner.”

“Okay,” she chuckled and watched him run upstairs. She went into the living room. “David? Why is the vacuum hanging on the curtains?”

Giblet Spice


I don't know why the coffee shop is using leftovers to flavor their coffee but I do know that they would never use the word 'giblet' in the name of the drink. For some reason, using 'giblet' makes me think the latte would be chunky.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Football Friday


I have watched exactly zero minutes of football this Thanksgiving and I know I'm overstuffed with it. It was bad enough trying to not care about football before the president began to make it a policy issue. On holidays I used to be subjected to all day football. You would think after years of watching it as a child I would be able to understand it's appeal. Nope, didn't get it back then and I still don't get it now.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Besides, We're Not Made of Turkeys, Son


You can't see what kind of bird they are eating so it's possible they might be stuck with the chicken.

Wait. If it's impractical to ship a 15-20 pound turkey to Texas/Florida/Puerto Rico, then how is it practical to send Brutus there? Unless...is Mother Gargle suggesting that they hack Brutus into several manageable pieces? Some go to Texas, some go to Florida that way they can never be rejoined and Brutus will never plague the Earth ever again.

If you would like to win the original art to today's strip, go to www.ha.com/ncs. Clearly, Heritage Auctions did not get the memo that Art Sansom has been dead since 1991 and that Chip continues to sign both of their names.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tauy Creek Digest #38: Dr. Martin Van Buren Stevens



Those of you who were able to see my presentation on the Douglas County Poor Farm know I mentioned a Dr. Martin Van Buren Stevens, who was a resident of the Farm in 1909.

Dr. Martin Van Buren Stevens was born in 1836, possibly in Ohio. He received his Bachelor's at Oberlin College and his doctorate from Adelbert College in Cleveland. From what I can tell, his main form of practice was phrenology but he may have also been versed in other practices as he became very well-respected around Lawrence.

Dr. Stevens was a very charitable and religious man. He attended the annual religious Chautauqua in Ottawa and was a massive presence there and whenever he went out. From accounts, Dr. Stevens was a very tall and gaunt man. His name appears in the Annual Report of the State Board of Health from 1899. In it, he condemns examinations and rushing children off to school without breakfast. It should be noted that his title of doctor appears in quotes. Dr. Stevens even attended the KU School of Law in his seventies but never graduated so never practiced.

Dr. Stevens was very active up through 1907 when he attended his last Chautauqua in Ottawa. Shortly after, his physical and mental health deteriorated and he was often found wandering Lawrence and begging for money. After he was arrested and spent several days in the county days in the county jail, he was sent to the county farm. There, his health rapidly declined. He had resisted the county farm for so long but finally consented.

Dr. Martin Van Buren Stevens passed away at the county farm on November 13, 1909. He was at the farm for two and a half months. He actually had enough for his funeral which was surprising to people. Little was ever known about him. During a revival, he testified that he had two wives and three children that had already passed on. He had a brother, Victor, who lived in Oskaloosa. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.

"Someway whenever I have taken anything up it seemed to be at the wrong time to make good."


Battle of the Birds


Well, this will be the worst Thanksgiving the Thornapples will ever have.

By my calculations, a twenty pound turkey would cost around $10 plus tax. A twenty pound chicken would cost around $14 plus tax. Maybe that's not accurate but I feel an entire chicken costs more than an entire turkey.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Why Does Food Need To Be Trendy?


Refusing to eat dinner because it's something different? That seems childish. As someone with basic human decency, I can at least try it and take a small helping just in case I don't legitimately like it. No, just be all childish about it, huff and puff, then angrily sit on the couch in front of the TV hungry all night. I don't care.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Marriage Woes


Why are trying to improve your relationship at this late stage of your marriage? For Wilberforce? That kid is going to need years of work with or without a parental divorce marked on that form.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

He's 74


Uncle Ted should think about how young he wants to go. Not only because no will believe him if he goes back far enough but because too young and there's to way he could've done whatever he did during the sixties.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Bart the Daredevil


Credits
Episode 7F06 (#21)
Created by Matt Groening; Developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
Directed by Wes Archer
Executive Producers James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Starring Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Harry Shearer
Also Starring Hank Azaria, Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell

Story

While watching wrestling, Homer and Bart see an advertisement for a monster truck ralley featuring TRUCKASAURUS. Both Homer and Bart want to go but as luck would have it, Lisa's recital is also that night. Thankfully, Lisa's recital is at 5 while the monster truck rally is at 8. Surely there's enough time to go to both, right?

The recital ends with barely enough time to get across town to wherever the rally is being held but then Homer can't find a parking spot. When he thinks he's found one, it's learned that it's the entrance to the stadium. The car gets stuck in the mud and then TRUCKASAURUS appears ready to eat them. After being rescued, the Simpsons are ready to watch the monster truck rally. A high point, for Bart anyway, is the daredevil stunt from Captain Lance Murdock, who manages to ride his motorcycle over a tank of sharks, electric eels, piranhas, and a lion, with a bit of his own blood just to rile them all up, only to accidentally fall in when his bike tips over. With that, Bart decides to become a daredevil.
This makes me want to be a daredevil.

Bart starts out with skateboarding over cars, dogs, a bus, but soon sees bigger challenges with the Springfield Gorge. Lisa overhears his plan and tries to get Dr. Hibbert and Lance Murdock to dissuade Bart from pursuing this life. Instead, Murdock tells Bart to go for it because "bones heal" and "women love scars." Lisa then tells Homer and Marge who forbid Bart to jump the Gorge. Bart goes anyway and Homer arrives at the Gorge just in time to stop Bart. To prove a point to Bart, Homer says he is going to jump the Gorge just so that Bart has to watch someone he loves do something dangerous. Bart comes to his senses and stops Homer from going. Unfortunately, the skateboard starts rolling down the ramp and launches him over the Gorge but Homer doesn't quite make it and winds up in the hospital next to Lance Murdock.
So close.

Random Observations

  • TRUCKASAURUS!!
  • I originally thought having Lisa's recital on Saturday was strange. Most of my afterschool programs and such were only on Fridays but I guess there are programs on Saturdays but usually it's because it's a two-night thing or if it's a big school. This is neither of those things.
  • There is a three hour time frame but yet the recital takes up nearly all of that time. Franz Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony", which Homer thinks won't last very long since it's unfinished, is actually 25 minutes or so which doesn't seem long but when performed by 2nd graders is probably difficult to sit through.
  • Schubert didn't finished this symphony, technically Symphony No. 8, either because he started working on another, more appealing to him, piece or because of a bout of syphilis. Musicologists cannot agree on which one.
  • I've always overlooked how the Simpsons wind up in the pit and nearly killed by TRUCKASAURUS but now that I'm watching it and actually reviewing it, it's so silly and unbelievable. Clearly this was the "children are watching" gag.
  • Bart: "Dad, I want to be a daredevil."
    Homer: "Hee, hee. Kids say such stupid things."
  • I have to give credit to Bart--and really the writers-- for building up Bart's attempts at being a daredevil. He tried jumping a car and got injured. Trying again, he was able to leap it and moved onto bigger things ultimately deciding to jump Springfield Gorge. I feel other animated shows and even The Simpsons of today would have Bart immediately try to jump the Gorge instead of having a build-up of Bart actually doing well at being a daredevil.
  • I've always loved the heartfelt autograph that Lance Murdock writes for Bart with his mouth.

Saturday Catch-Up


Who would say this to Brutus? This company only has five employees and that's counting Veeblefester. That's the only reason I can think of that would give Brutus as much power as he seems to have in this company.

More proof this company has only a few employees: Why is Brutus going to the president and CEO about payroll matters?

I don't really think about getting old. I don't mind it--it is just a number and you only are as old as you feel you are and all that jazz. The only thing I don't like about getting old is no longer being with "it". I used to be with "it" but they keep changing what "it" was and now what I'm with isn't "it" and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me. And it'll happen to you.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Maybe It Was Your Snoring


"I didn't sleep at all last night" isn't something to take literally. It's a figurative phrase meaning that Brutus got far less than adequate sleep. He didn't just lay there awake all night. He probably slept for an hour or so and snored, tossed and turned, kept waking up, rolling into positions that exacerbated his snoring. What I'm getting at is have some sympathy Miss Stay-At-Home.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Crashing Bore?


Crashing bore?

I've never heard that phrase before.

Maybe I've just never paid attention. Google shows several headlines that use it.

Huh.

*

Monday, November 13, 2017

Twiddle-Dee-Dee


"Involuntary inertia"? Then you would think the external force of losing his job and lack of money would make Brutus less inert but whatever. It's Brutus' family not mine, and they're fictional so...

Sunday, November 12, 2017

At Least There's Some Color To This Void


I got confused between the fourth and fifth panel. He says "Yes" and then the phone is back on the hook? Couldn't there be a narration box that reads "Minutes later..." or something indicating that the phone call is over and Brutus has hung up?

What's Brutus doing there, just sitting in front of the phone anyway? Maybe if he was at a desk or if he was just walking by, it'd look normal but he's clearly at a dining room or kitchen table just sitting at the phone. Look at him. The first is literally this: *Brutus sitting at table, staring straight ahead* *phone rings* *Brutus slightly drops head and looks at phone, expression on face doesn't change*

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Supercomics #7


On a distant and dying planet, Viktor and Tatiana were preparing to send their newborn child away. “He’ll be accepted there, on Earth, and be a god among men,” Viktor said, trying to reassure Tatiana, and himself, that sending him away to survive was a much better choice than keeping him there just to die. “You know it’s not fair to punish our son for the sins of his fathers.”

“We did nothing wrong,” Tatiana cried.

“And if there were time, we’d launch ourselves with him but there is not. We could barely complete this ship and it isn’t even assured that he will make it.”

The planet shook, one of the many tremors they had to live with over the last year, each day getting worse and worse. “Send him,” Tatiana sobbed. “Send him now.”

Viktor quickly sent off the ship with their child inside. Viktor and Tatiana held each other as they watched the ship leave the planet and fly across the black universe. Within a few days, the ship arrived on Earth, crashing into a field in Kansas.

“What in the world,” Eben, an older human asked when he saw the object fall out of the sky and crash into his field.

“Eben! What’s going on out here?” his wife, Sarah, ran out of their house.

“I don’t know but I’m taking the truck to find out.”

“I’m coming with you,” Sarah said.

They got in their old pickup truck and drove out to where Eben saw the crash. They found a smoldering crater and a small ship in it. “Some sort of contraption,” Eben carefully slid his way into the crater.

“Careful, Eben,” Sarah said.

“It’s some kind of rocketship or something. It looks like there’s something inside,” he carefully touched the window glass and it melted. He stumbled back a bit but got closer and saw what was inside. “There’s a kitten inside of this.”

“A what? A kitten?”

Eben carefully picked up the kitten and brought it out of the crater. “Who would do this to a poor, defenseless kitten?” he asked.

“Another country? Could it possibly be American?”

“There’s no identifiable writing on the ship. I would think if it was one of ours we’d be surrounded with guns pointed at us.”

“What do we do with him?” Sarah asked.

“We keep him,” Eben said matter-of-factly.

“What if he’s some sort of experiment?”

“Then the people who did this don’t deserve to have him back. Let’s get back to the house and we can figure out what to do with the ship later.”

They named the kitten Clark and raised him as their own. Being a cat in a human world was difficult but Clark prevailed. As he grew, Clark got stronger and developed a myriad of powers. It was clear that Clark was different from everyone. After high school, Clark went to college. One of his college professors became infected with radiation and became Nuclear Man. It was Clark’s first battle and how he showed the world what he could do. It’s also where he got the name Supercat.

Clark and his adopted parents designed a costume and Supercat officially made his debut. For ten years, Supercat took on everything from small-time crooks to genetically modified war machines like Hellstroke.

Then a parasite began crossing the universe. The red crystal froze everyone and everything and drained the life from them. Supercat tried to stop the red crystal after watching people panic and fellow heroes kill themselves. He failed. The crystal was unable to usurp his life but solidified him in the middle of space. Until Kon arrived and brought Supercat into this universe.




Now, Supercat and Grunge were on the streets of New York City bringing entire buildings down in one punch and killing anyone who crossed their paths. Rodham and Kon were enthusiastically watching the death and destruction from the ship.

The team arrived but stayed away from the fray. “We have to act quickly,” America said. “We need to split up--one team for the ship, another to the two on the street, and a third to save civilians.”

“I want the guy in blue,” Superkitten said.

“I can split between the other guy and helping civilians,” Geo-Whiz said.

“Okay. Smoke, help civilians. Everyone else, you’re with me and the ship,” America ordered. “Split up, gang.”

“We really need a team name,” Superkitten said as she ran off.

America and Agent Spider headed toward the ship. They were only a few yards away when Red Fish appeared from it. “Red Fish, you escaped,” Agent Spider exclaimed.

“I don’t think he escaped,” America said and barely dodged a punch from Red Fish. Agent Spider was able to web up his fist and eyes in an effort to slow him down. “He’s been brainwashed or something.”

“Well, how do we cure him?”

“My first instinct is to just hit him really hard,” America hit Red Fish sending him back a few feet.

“Alix would’ve loved to see that,” Agent Spider laughed. He shot more webbing at Red Fish, tying his wrists together. America grabbed Red Fish and pulled him down to the ground, slamming him into the street.

“Use your web to seal him in this hole,” America pointed. “Now, let’s deal with the ship and whoever else is up there.”

“I was hoping their fellow warrior would put up more of a fight,” Kon said, watching America and Agent Spider launching themselves at the ship. “The fish-man is down but not out. Rodham, take over for him.”

“With pleasure,” she said and left.

Once again, America and Agent Spider were near the ship when Rodham suddenly appeared. She used her trident to send America back down to the ground but not before sending him through a building first. Agent Spider tried to web her trident and pull it away but Rodham was stronger and was able to pull Agent Spider toward her. She grabbed Agent Spider and hit him numerous times before throwing to where the other two were dealing with Grunge and Supercat.

Agent Spider slammed into the pavement. He slowly pulled himself up and got a good look at the destruction caused by Grunge and Supercat. America pulled himself out of the ruined basement of the building Rodham had blasted him through. His suit was torn and he actually had a couple bruises and some blood on his face. “Wasn’t expecting that,” he growled.

From behind, something slammed into him. They flew through the air and a couple of walls. They hit the ground and slid along the road, tearing a narrow strip of rocks through the street. America got up, knocking whoever attacked him off of him. He quickly turned and saw Red Fish.

“Ugh,” America sighed. “Guess I should’ve punched you harder.” America did hit Red Fish harder and then harder, over and over again until he was finally down and unmoving.

Near Agent Spider, Geo-Whiz was trying to battle Grunge with rocks from damaged buildings and streets and from underground but nothing was working. Agent Spider motioned to keep Grunge distracted while he went over and then hit Grunge as hard as he could.

Grunge flew back nearly a block before landing hard on the street. America joined Agent Spider and Geo-Whiz. “This isn’t working,” he sighed. “They are too strong for us. Our power doesn’t even come close.”

“It’s time to take the gloves off then,” Agent Spider said. “I have a plan to stop these two and then we can help Superkitten with the guy in blue,” he explained.

Geo-Whiz spoke, “All right. Well, what’s the plan? We only have a few seconds before these two are on our butts."




Supercat inspired by characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

What? I Don't Even Know Charles Manson!!


Whew. Thank God Brutus didn't tell him about the many LSD-fueled sex orgies I attended throughout the 1960s and 1970s. And I'm just going to let Wilberforce have this moment--he doesn't need to know about my desertion and proclivity for Vietnamese prostitutes. Speaking of which, it's almost time to purchase my plane tickets for this year...

Friday, November 10, 2017