Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tauy Creek Digest #44: Gun

In the early morning hours of February 16th, the father of one of my students was shot and killed. This came not even two days after a 19-year-old opening fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 people and injuring 14 more. The perpetrators of these heinous crimes shouldn't have even had guns and taking those weapons away from them should've been easy but for whatever reason, they were able to possess them. I can't even tell anymore if the people who are so adamantly against gun control are really pro-gun, anti-government, or just children doing the opposite of what somebody wants you to do. I do know that they are acting selfishly, putting themselves above everybody else which is fine but when people are dying--when your actions involve other people--then you don't get to have a choice anymore. Your rights end where someone else begins.

When I worked on my middle school paper, my first article was about a school shooting. While it wasn't a massacre like some of the others that have happened, it will still so weird to write. I am not positive which one it was--either Greensboro, North Carolina or Blackville, South Carolina--but it has always stuck out in my mind especially after Columbine in 1999. The shooting in Greensboro, in 1994, was because a student was suspended for smoking. The student shot and wounded the assistant principal and then killed himself. Blackville occurred exactly a year later in 1995. Again, a suspended student shot and killed a math teacher and wounded another math teacher before turning the gun on himself. Little did I know that school shootings would end up becoming a theme in local and national news over the next 25 years.

I wrote a story about a school shooting back in the 90s and revamped the story a few years later. I haven't published or posted it anywhere because it seemed like whenever I had it planned, a real school shooting would happen so I'd postpone it. When Stephen King announced that he was allowing his book "Rage", about a school shooting, go out of print after several school shooters were revealed to have read it for inspiration, I decided to quit trying to publish it and just forget about it. When people, especially friends in high school, read the story, they were shocked. A couple even wondered if I was going to shoot up the school. Clearly they didn't know me that well because I didn't have access to a gun even if I wanted to and that's the whole point of the gun control we're talking about.

People who want to use guns to hurt others shouldn't be able to acquire those guns and those who enable their ability to get them should be punished. Maybe it would make gun dealers think twice about the people they are selling to if they could also be arrested for murder. Maybe parents and friends would keep their guns better secured and put away if they could be charged as an accomplice when shootings happens. Would doing this actually create fewer shootings? It certainly wouldn't stop all of them but it would stop a few and to think it wouldn't is just ignorant.

We could also beef up our mental health system. Since Sandy Hook, conservatives and pro-gun people have been pointing to mental health being the real cause of all the shootings and that is true and it's great we're talking about it but, just like with gun control, that's all we do. You would think that the people in charge would, even if they didn't want to restrict guns, would at least commit to fixing our mental health care system but I think that shows us that they don't really care about fixing the problem and that they hope we'll just forget about it, which is what usually happens, or that we'll finally just throw up our hands and say "This is the way it is."

But we shouldn't have to do that and the fact that people out there feel that we should all live in fear of one another and arm ourselves to the teeth to protect our bodies and our homes is just bafflingly backwards. I will always firmly believe that humans are basically good. I've seen people say that we are less safe than we've ever been and that's just the way it is now but I don't believe that at all. If we are less safe it is because we are making ourselves less safe. We refuse to learn about other people, we move away as soon as someone "undesirable" comes into our neighborhood, we cling to our opinions, our religion, our guns with no regard for people who have different opinions or a different religion or a fundamental difference on who needs a weapon.

You could also look at this way. We could work together and compromise to create sensible gun control laws and better mental health now or we can continue badgering you about this every single time this happens, which as you know, is a lot.

I Pledge Allegiance To...

I'm pretty firm in my convictions but I don't know if I would promise that for my job. Seems kind of weird. Also, I'm not sure of any conviction that would be good to hold firm to at a tea cozy company.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Gladys' Sister!

I'm sure actual lugers are perfectly fine with people assuming their sport is easy and "made to order" for lazy people who just want to lie on their back all day. No skill, no training, no nothing needed to compete in the luge. Honestly, I'm pretty sure lugers just showed up on the Olympics doorstep and were like "We're ready to luge!"

My winter Olympic choice would be curling. For summer Olympics I would choose something with water even though I'm not a huge fan of water or know how to swim.

This quote--which is apparently a proverb--first appeared in 1659 but discussing old proverbs seems a bit advanced for a third grade lesson and this isn't Wilberforce and Hattie's regular teacher so I can only think that this is some substitute not following the lesson plan and instead teaching the students about horror movies. Up next: The Last House On the Left.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kid Eternity #3

“It’s so great that you are letting me do this, Mom,” Cory said as he helped his Mom, Erin, in the kitchen. Cory was mixing together cheese crackers, Chex, and other things into a giant bowl.

“You’ve been asking for Chase and Izzy to spend the night for a long time. I figured that it was time to finally say yes,” Erin said.

A sharp pain went up through Cory’s side. “Ow,” he grabbed at his side.

“Are you okay?” Erin asked.

“Yeah, I think it’s nerves. Although I don’t know why I’d be nervous.”

“Maybe you’re hungry. Have one of these sandwiches or something from the veggie tray,” Erin pointed.

When Chase and Izzy arrived, Cory was in the bathroom. The pain in his side was now a constant throb. He got up off the toilet and pulled up his pants. “Well, didn’t have to poop,” he sighed as washed his hands.

Erin let in Chase and Izzy. Cory came downstairs and greeted his friends. “Hey, Cory,” Izzy smiled at him.

“Hi, Izzy. It’s great to see you,” he hugged his friends.

“We just saw each other yesterday at school. And Facebook Messaged last night and this morning,” Chase said.

“If you’re going to have this attitude all night, Chase, then you can just leave,” Cory said.

“Nah. I see you have nachos over there,” Chase said and walked over to the table of food.

“Well, looks like it’s just you and me tonight, Izzy. What do you want to do?”

“What do you think?” she smiled slyly then pulled a video game out of her bag.

The three of them played video games for the next couple of hours while snacking on the food at the dining room table and in the kitchen. Cory’s pain was nearly non-existent although if he moved just the right way then it would twinge with pain but he kept anything he felt hidden.

After eating a bit more, the three of them began watching a scary movie. They gathered more food, turned down the lights, and dove onto the couch. Izzy sat close to Cory who, acting like it was more comfortable, put his arm around her.

About halfway through the movie, there came a rapping on the window--a metal on glass sound. “What was that?” Izzy asked. “It sounded like something tapping on the window.”

“It’s probably just a branch of the bush out there,” Cory said and pulled Izzy closer to him. His side twinged with pain again and made a sudden sharp breath through his teeth.

“You okay?” Izzy asked him.

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

Outside, a man dressed in black walked around the house. The house was mostly dark except for a light on upstairs and the glow of the TV. The dining room window was lower to the ground, easy to just step in. Just a swipe and…

The man threw his hand at the window. The metal fingers shattered the glass. The man lept into the house. “Where is the ringbearer?” he shouted, seeing the three teens now standing in the living room.

Cory jumped over the couch, aiming his ringed fist at the man. “Who are you?” Cory asked, bringing up a shield to block the knives he had as fingers.

“I am Fingerknives,” the man responded. “I was sent by Sepulcher to kill the new ringbearer.”

“Good luck with that,” Cory used the shield to push Fingerknives back out the window. “Call the police,” he shouted back at Izzy and Chase.

Erin came running downstairs. “What’s going on--oh my God, Cory!” she freaked out seeing her son fighting with a man who had knives for fingers.

Cory just tried to contain Fingerknives until the police could come but Fingerknive’s fingers were so sharp that he was able to cut through the ring’s creations. One of the knives came through and scratched Cory on the cheek. He leapt off of Fingerknives to regain his composure. Fingerknives lunged at Cory. Cory quickly moved his ring hand but his side began spasming in pain and he went down to his knees.

“Finally,” Fingerknives said as he held an arm above his head. He quickly brought it down toward Cory’s neck. A football hit Fingerknives on the side of the head, his arm moved and a couple of knives went into Cory’s shoulder blade.

“Chase,” Izzy chided.

“Sorry,” Chase shrugged. “Better his shoulder than his neck and spine.”

“What is going on?” Erin wondered loudly.

“I’ll deal with you three in a minute,” Fingerknives said. He brought down his hand again but this time stopped, a shocked expression on his face.

Cory pulled a knife he had created with the ring out of Fingerknive’s gut. Fingerknives fell to the ground. A couple of police cars were rushing down the street.

“Cory, are you okay?” Erin and Izzy ran to Cory.

“Call an ambulance,” Cory groaned and fell over while clutching his side.

“A burst appendix,” Erin sighed and sat down next to Izzy and Chase. “He’s probably been suffering with the pain all day. He never said anything.”

“I noticed he was moving differently but didn’t think anything of it,” Izzy said. “And I understand that a burst appendix can be dangerous but why aren’t we talking about Cory basically being a superhero?”

“Yeah, when did that happen?” Erin asked.

“And how’d he keep it a secret?”

“He had a little help,” Chase said.

“You knew?” the women said at the same time.

“I was there when it happened,” Chase gave a hint of a smile.

“What?” again in unison.

“Ms. Buchanan? Can I have a word with you?” a doctor came into the waiting room. Erin and the doctor stepped to the side. “I don’t want to alarm you but Cory doesn’t have a heartbeat. He actually doesn’t have any vital signs.”

“What? He’s dead?” she felt weak and teared up.

“I think you should have a talk with your son.”

Just minutes from being operated on, Cory was very pale and sweaty. He was also very weak. “All right, Cory. What’s going on?”

“I’m having my appendix out. Well, what’s left of it,” he groaned.

“You know what I’m talking about. The ring. That Fingerknives guy.”

“I’m the ringbearer now. It’s a long story. Can I please just have my appendix out now?”

“Yes but we’re talking later.”

After the surgery and a little after, Cory was awake and Erin, Chase, and Izzy were in the room with him. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I should’ve told you.”

“Is your lack of vital signs related to whatever this is?” Erin asked.

“Yes. I was chosen as the ringbearer after I died,” Cory explained.

“You…? You’re dead?” Erin couldn’t breathe.

“But I’m feeling much better now,” Cory smiled.

“It’s not funny, Cory,” Izzy said. “You’re dead.”

“But I’m not though. I’m still here. I can still grow up. I still have a future. I needed to be dead so that I can go through the time stream and all that,” Cory tried his best to explain but no one seemed to like it. “I had no choice. I was chosen.”

“That makes it worse,” Erin sighed.

The outer wall of the hospital room exploded. Someone, completely in black, stood on the edge of the building. “I am Kid Eternity and I am going to destroy the false ringbearer!” the being shouted as it glared at Cory.

"Sales" Person

Tomb bricks, used during the Han period of Ancient China to bring pleasure and protection to
the tomb occupants. These date back to the Western Han Dynasty which lasted from 206 B.C. - 9 B.C.
We went to Kansas City yesterday to see an exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum on Ancient China--Dreams of the Kings. It featured a lot ancient artifacts from the Han Dynasty, the Qi Dynasty, and a lot of jade from a tomb called Lion Mountain. We also saw other exhibits such as The Art of Calligraphy, Eugene Richards: The Run-On of Time, and their permanent American and American Indian collection.

While it was all good, the part that struck me was the Eugene Richards exhibit. A social activist who uses photography to bring to light the struggles and humanity of people forgotten by the system, Richards creates a powerful image in his photos. This exhibit alone was worth the trip. The photos were rough and haunting and I won't soon forget them.

For more about our excursion into Kansas City and the museum tour, check out the Tauy Creek Facebook Page and Instagram. Thanks to all the readers. Don't forget Patreon and Ko-Fi over in the sidebar if you wish to support my writing and research.

If Brutus is so bad at his job then why does he still have it? This also reinforces that Brutus is just a salesperson. But if he's just a salesperson then why does he seem to be one of the most important people at Veeblefester Incorporated? Maybe it's a "Dwight from The Office" situation. In The Office, Dwight was labeled "Assistant to the Regional Manager", a made-up position that he took to mean "Assistant Regional Manager." Maybe that's what they did with Brutus--he's "Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer."

Saturday, February 24, 2018

She Has Four Minutes To Live

FUN FACT: I'm taller than President Trump but somehow I weigh more. I admit that I'm not in the best shape but my shape is slightly better than Il Don-ce.

Gladys is a tall drink of water. I know Brutus is supposed to shorter than your average man but I figured 5'8" or so with Gladys being six even. That Gladys is drawn so small in today's strip is just weird. Anyway, if Gladys really wants to get taller, I recommend the gruesome and painful procedure of leg lengthening where the doctor breaks your legs and screws a ring into the bones. The rings are then twisted about a millimeter every day for a month, allowing new bone to grow into the gap of the broken bones. After about a month you are ready for physical therapy. All told you are looking at about a year-long process that adds about two to three inches to your height.

Friday, February 23, 2018

I Also Don't Want Shredded Lettuce On It

I'm trying to figure out if peanut butter was the craziest thing Chip could think of to put on a burger or what. While peanut butter seems like an odd condiment on your hamburger, there are many places that sell an Elvis burger which is a burger with peanut butter, bananas, and bacon. Apparently it's pretty good but I've never had one.

I'll be honest, I'd rather have a burger with peanut butter on it than those giant red onions.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Kids Today

"Honestly, it takes all my energy just to get through the day and things are just going to get worse in middle school and high school when things actually matter and school literally shows how stupid I am in some things while pointing me toward a career that school does not adequately prepare me for. The mere fact that you called me up to your desk and I'm not wearing my trademark hat has set me back emotionally and mentally several months."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

They Look Fine To Me

I bought some new slippers a few months ago and they were made with lamb wool and they smelled terrible. Just god awful. Sent them back quickly. I don't know what Brutus is talking about up there but he should just send them back. Quickly.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What About a Five Dollar Bill?

Choosing who your favorite president is can be a very tasking thought. How does one decide? I separate them into three categories and none of those categories are money-based.

1. Favorite President Based on Personal Research
This is presidents who I have looked up and enjoy reading and learning about. Why I like them may be based on what they did before, during, or after being president, ways that they shaped our country, or because their life is really interesting even if you remove "president" from their name.

  1. George Washington
  2. Barack Obama
  3. John Quincy Adams
  4. Theodore Roosevelt
  5. Dwight Eisenhower
2. Favorite Presidents Based on Policy
These are presidents who helped their country. For better or for worse, they saw what needed to be done and took control usually upsetting the opposing party and sometimes even their own. If not for them, this country may not be where it is today.
  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. Franklin Roosevelt
  3. James Monroe
  4. Thomas Jefferson
  5. George Washington
3. Favorite Presidents Based on Professionals
These are the presidents that everyone agrees are the greatest. They may switch numbers here and there and it may even depend on what political affliliation you side with but, generally, these are considered the best.
  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Franklin Roosevelt
  4. Theodore Roosevelt
  5. Dwight Eisenhower
4. Favorite Presidents That I Lived Through
Usually when people ask me who my favorite president is, I say John Quincy Adams, but sometimes they want to know of the ones I lived through. That narrows down the list by quite a lot considering that I've only lived through six presidents.
  1. Barack Obama
  2. Bill Clinton
  3. George H.W. Bush
  4. George W. Bush
  5. Ronald Reagan
If I had to choose strictly between Washington and Lincoln then I would go with Lincoln.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Supercomics #10

Kansapolis, Kansas, the largest city in the country with a population of about 11 million people, was a highly modern city with thousands of buildings touching the sky. A city this big shouldn’t exist in what was originally considered The Great American Desert but here it was. Kansapolis was founded with many other Kansas cities in 1855, one year after Kansas opened for settlement. For years, Kansapolis struggled to grow because of the surrounding town of Topeka, the state capital, and Tecumseh. The town stayed stagnant through the Civil War until 1877 when Theodore Nolan moved his textile company from New York City to Kansapolis.

People though Nolan was crazy for moving his thriving business halfway across the country to a town of barely 200 people in Kansas. He showed critics by making his company even bigger and helping make Kansapolis into a massive metropolis within 20 years. In the 1890s, he spearheaded a project to widen the Kansas River from Kansas City to Junction City.

It was a huge job, destroying hundreds of feet on either side of the river to make it possible to make the river more navigable. Dozens of smaller cities were destroyed but the wider river helped the larger cities to grow even more. Kansapolis doubled in population from about 52,000 to 106,000. Shortly after the turn of the century, Kansapolis dwarfed surrounding cities such as Topeka, Lawrence, and both Kansas Cities. All cross-country railroads went through Kansapolis.

After World War II, thousands moved to Kansapolis and the surrounding cities. Tecumseh had long since been buried by an expanding Kansapolis. Topeka, while still the capital, had been relegated to a suburb but still a popular place to live. Numerous other suburbs surrounded Kansapolis.

Kansapolis had about two dozen neighborhoods. The one that Matthew Coffin was sent to was The Northeast, known locally as The Struggle. It was his last mission for Dmitri before he left the team. After this mission, he was free to do what he wanted.

His mission was to investigate a man named Wardell Moten, better known by the name War. War had a monopoly on drugs and crime in The Northeast. Nothing happened without War knowing about it and until now Kansapolis just let it happen but his drugs and crime were spilling over into other neighborhoods. Matthew was to clean up the neighborhood and stop War.

Matthew was set up in a small apartment building. It was advertised as furnished but only had a ratty couch, a kitchen table, and a bed that gave the couch a run for its money. Matthew just had a box of stuff to give the illusion of truly moving in. As Matthew unlocked the door, his neighbor came out of his apartment.

“Oh, hey. New neighbor. LaRonn Crisp,” he held out his hand. Matthew eyed him. Styled hair, thick glasses, he was wearing a shirt for the Sunflower State Trailblazers, to local professional basketball team. Matthew saw no evidence of LaRonn doing or selling drugs.

Matthew took the hand extended to him. “Matthew Coffin.”

“Good to meet you, Matthew. Welcome to the building.”

“Thank you. Is it pretty quiet here?”

“For the most part. The people before you were noisy. It was a couple and she was a prostitute so they constantly had people coming and going--no pun intended--and she was loud,” LaRonn said.

Matthew smirked. “Well, I’ll be quiet.”

“Cool. I have to get to work. I’ll see you around.”

LaRonn headed downstairs and Matthew went into his apartment. He sat the box on the table and went to the window. From his third floor apartment, Matthew could see the surrounding neighborhood but the tall buildings downtown could be seen against the horizon. He looked down to see people of the neighborhood doing what normal people did. He had seen this before. He wondered why people who seemed to be such hard workers struggled to pull themselves out of poverty.

Matthew went out in the afternoon after school. The streets of the neighborhood were more crowded with the kids not in school. Most kids had congregated into parks or blacktops to play basketball. It was a warm day with slight overcast so a good day to be outside.

Matthew stopped at one of the blacktops to watch some teens play basketball. He watched for quite awhile, impressed with their skill but noticing they needed a coach to help them work together. One kids on one of the teams was clearly the star. No matter what, the ball would go to him. Most of the time, he made the basket but the times he missed, he could’ve easily passed to someone who was open and they could’ve made it.

“You a scout?” one of the boys walked up to Matthew.

“What? No. I’m not a scout. Do I look like one?”

“Maybe. You are dressed nicer than most people we see,” the boy said.

“Thank you,” Matthew laughed. “If I were a scout, I would be looking at this group. Great potential here.”


“Who said ‘but’? I didn’t say ‘but’.”

“There’s always a but after a comment like that.”

Matthew laughed again. “You’re relying too much on one player. The object isn’t to get the ball to him,” the other boys were now gathering around Matthew. “Don’t get me wrong, ninety percent of the time that’s good strategy but there’s a reason basketball is a team sport and not one-on-one or two-on-two.”

Matthew showed them several plays he remembered from high school and college. He explained what he saw and how to fix it then let the boys play. He saw improvement and each team scored more points on average and more players got to make points. Matthew continued watching until a little girl came running into the blacktop area. “Leon, Mom wants to know when you’re coming home.”

Leon, the good player that Matthew first noticed, rolled his eyes and sighed. “Probably about six thirty. I have an errand to run,” he answered.

“What errand?” the girl asked.

“None of your business, Kamani,” Leon said. “Tell Mom six thirty. I’ll see you then.”

“Okay,” Kamani bounced off back toward the street.

“I’ll see you around, kids,” Matthew turned and gave a slight wave and headed out. “Keep practicing. Hopefully I’ll be able to see a shoe with your name on it.”

They continued playing. “What do you have to do?” one of the boys asked Leon.

“I have to see a guy about a thing,” Leon answered. “It’s nothing.”

“You’re not going to screw this up again are you?” a man asked Leon as he handed him a bag.

“No. No, of course not,” Leon replied. “Everything will go smoothly tonight. I promise.”

“Good. See to it that it does. This is a big drop so there should be no screw ups.”

“I know. I promise,” Leon nervously agreed.

Later, Leon arrived at an apartment building with the bag over his shoulder. He walked all the way up the stairs to the top floor. Bums and burn-outs were littered throughout the seemingly abandoned building but people lived here. Leon knocked on a door in a specific pattern and he heard a muffled ‘Come on’ from the other side.

He walked in and saw several guns pointed at him. He tried not to show how scared he was. “I have the stuff. From Badu.”

A man made a motion with his fingers and the guns lowered. “You messed up on your last delivery, didn’t you?” the man asked.

“I’m still here,” Leon shrugged. The men all walked over to a table and Leon sat the stuff on the table. “It’s all there, I double checked it.”

“I’m sure you did,” the man smiled. He was known as Fang. It was a stupid name but he called himself that because of his gold canine teeth on either side of his top incisors. His real name was Reign Morris which was probably why he went by a nickname. “I still need to check, of course.”

“Of course,” Leon invited.

Fang opened the bag and began looking, happy with what was inside and with Leon. “Nice,” he breathed.

The window shattered and America tumbled into the room. He quickly took out the two closest goons and used one of them as a shield when another started shooting at him. He threw the dead and bloody body at the three gang members.

Leon shuffled away from the fray. “No, no, no,” he said then turned and ran out of the apartment.

America ignored him and went after Fang. “One down,” he growled.

“You’ve got the wrong guy,” Fang pleaded. “You don’t want me. You want War. Wardell Moten. He’s the one that supplies the stuff. I just distribute it.”

“I want all of you. You are all cancer,” America said. “Those teeth look stupid,” he said and hit Fang twice in the mouth.

“War is mad,” Cyncere said. “He thinks that masked guy followed you. You should’ve been paying attention better. Now, a fifth of the stuff isn’t on the street which means War isn’t getting that money.”

“He got paid for the delivery,” Leon argued. “He has money.”

“War gets a percentage of the sales, too, not just money for supplying it.”

Leon sighed heavily. “This isn’t good.”

“Maybe you should leave. Hide somewhere for a bit until War gets his dealers sorted out,” Cyncere suggested.

“Where am I supposed to go? All my family lives here and I have no money to even stay at a hotel on the other side of the city,” Leon said.

“Just hide out at a friend’s house,” Cyncere shrugged.

“I can’t put my friends at risk,” Leon said. “Maybe if I just lay low--go to school, come home--things will cool down.”

“Leon,” Kamani began knocking on his bedroom door. “Mommy says you need to take me to the park.”

Leon sighed and rolled his eyes.

“It’ll be fine. We’ll play some ball,” Cyncere clapped Leon on the back.

At the park, Leon and Cyncere played basketball with no incidence. Kamani was playing in the sand box near the entrance to the park. As they played, a car drove by, windows went down and four gun barrels poked out and began firing. Everyone in the vicinity scattered and screamed. The car then screeched off. Leon and Cyncere got up off the ground.

“Kamani!” Leon shouted and ran to his sister who had been clipped by one of the bullets. “No-no-no-no-no,” he grabbed and cradled her.

Matthew happened to be walking down the sidewalk and saw what happened. He turned to chase after the car but only got a couple of steps before he heard Leon in the park. Matthew then ran to the park and saw Leon holding Kamani. “Call an ambulance,” Matthew said.

“She’ll be dead before any first responder gets here,” Cyncere sneered. “You’d be better off picking her up and running her to the hospital on foot.”

“Then that’s what I’ll do,” Matthew pulled his shirt off, revealing his America suit. The two boys looked in awe at it. America carefully picked up Kamani. He bullet had grazed her head but she was losing blood. “Get to the hospital as soon as you can. She’ll be fine,” America gave a slight smile then began running as fast as he could.

After taking Kamani to the hospital, America spent the rest of the day finding out where War was hiding himself while also taking out his various drug agents. War was obviously in one of five locations but not everyone knew where those locations were and War usually changed where he went everyday. When America finally found out where War was hiding out, his hotel room at the Hotel Dawson, the nicest hotel in the neighborhood, he quickly made his way over and made his way to the penthouse room at the top of the hotel.

When America went in, War was sitting behind a desk in the massive room. “Will the girl be alright?” he asked, barely glancing at America.

“Yes. Not that you care,” America replied.

War seemed hurt by that. “Of course I care. What happened was sloppy. It makes me look bad and now I have to work to regain what trust and respect I may have lost,” War explained. “But maybe this unfortunate accident will make Mr. Wakes be less sloppy himself.”

“So you only care from a business standpoint,” America said. “I think it’s time that someone shut down your operation.”

“Someone else will just take my place and in the meantime there will be chaos and instability even deadlier than what’s happening now.”

“Not if I can help it,” America said.

“You don’t think I’d go down without a fight do you?” War stood up slowly from the desk. Two men with guns suddenly appeared from around the corner. The two men began firing at America.

America barely dodged the bullets. One hit him in the shoulder and another hit him in the hip. He landed on the desk, grabbed the lamp and threw it at one of the men, hitting him on the hand. Acting quickly, the other man opened fire again but America was ready and dodged the bullets which hit the other man in the chest and neck. As America landed, he punched the man still standing as hard as he could. America could feel the man’s jaw splinter through his skin. America then grabbed the gun, jerked it out of his hand, and twisted his arm until he heard a crack.

War had run away. There was only one door that led out of the penthouse so America followed that one out and into a hallway. As he ran, from another small hallway, a fist came out and struck America. He stumbled and fell against the wall. War came out charging, trying to keep the upper hand and keep America at bay. War got in a few good hits to the ears, eyes, nose, and jaw before America got him in the throat. War stumbled giving America the time needed to jump to his feet and wage his own attack on War. He repeatedly went for the face. Blood from War’s mouth and nose poured out and splattered on the walls and floor of the hallway.

War’s face was broken and bloody and barely recognizable. “Are you done?” America asked.

War opened his mouth as if to say something or even scream but instead collapsed to the floor. America carried War’s body from the hotel to the police station eleven blocks in Downtown Kansapolis. America was silent, gave each officer a hard look then walked out of the building and back to the Northeast.

The Northeast had become more of a home over the last month. Matthew got more furniture and opened a recreation center that not only taught kids basketball, volleyball, boxing, and numerous other sports but also offered therapeutic services similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. Kids and teens were free to talk or not talk. Matthew worked to focus the kids’ attention and anger on a sport. It worked on some, not all.

Matthew had also became a concrete presence in Leon and Kamani’s lives, becoming a mentor and friend to their mother. He also became friends to his neighbor, LaRonn. Crime and drugs were still a problem--War was right, without him chaos reigned but America did what he could to keep the peace. It was going to be a long, hard road but it was a road that Matthew felt he needed.

Yes, He's the Son of That Taft

The official portraits of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were revealed earlier this week. Their uniqueness is what makes me really appreciate them more. The other official portraits are all roughly the same--the difference being President John F. Kennedy's which shows him with arms crossed and head looking down. These are difference mainly because they were painted by African American painters. Kehinde Wiley painted President Obama while Amy Sherald painted Mrs. Obama.

It will be fun to scroll through the other presidential portraits and come to this one and not seeing the man standing or sitting at a desk in an office or in front of a book case or even in front of American or military flags but in a lush green garden that almost makes the man a secondary object in his own portrait. As for Mrs. Obama's portrait, I can't find the words to describe the grace, dignity, and beauty of Mrs. Obama or that dress.

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The Taft-Hartley Act, actually the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, was a bill written by Senator Robert Taft and Rep. Fred Hartley, Jr. It became a law despite President Truman's veto. The law, which is still in effect, was essentially written to strangle the power that unions had. It discouraged strikes, which surged after World War II ended, and prohibited radical leaders from controlling unions. The bill was heavily supported by business lobbyists and was a bipartisan bill which was how Congress was able to override Truman's veto. Efforts to make changes to the law during the Carter and Clinton administrations failed due to Republican opposition and lack of Democratic support.

I'm trying to make the effort of reading more this year. So far I think I'm doing pretty good. Don't think I'll read a book on the Taft-Hartley Act though, not because it sounds boring but because I don't think there's really a book about it. Although the damage it did to worker's right still resonates today.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


"Also, my parents are usually drunk and belligerent and prone to hitting things."

Brutus should take Wilberforce and Hattie wanting to play at his house as a compliment. Your house is more fun. And Wilberforce and Hattie can do their sacrifices without being checked up on or having to clean the burn marks and blood.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Year of the Dog

The extent of my knowledge on China comes from those paper placemats at Chinese buffets. I believe it was my third grade teacher who first informed me about the Chinese New Year. I'm not sure why Wilberforce's teacher has that exasperated look on her face. While Wilberforce's comment is stupid, he is only 9 and something like that should illicit some kind of chuckle, at least. Then this moment turns into a teaching moment about how calendars work and what the heck a lunar calendar is.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Not a Very Menacing Growl

In Kewpie's defense, the Thornapple home does only have, like, one chair. Two if you count the one they bring out only when the strip calls for it.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

She Comes In Like a Wrecking Ball

Wilberforce will continue to try to tame Hurricane Hattie but Hattie can never be tamed. She must always be wild and free. Good to see Wilberforce staying positive though.

Tauy Creek Digest #43: BTV

“Thank you for coming in Mrs. Griffin,” the principal said. Connie Griffin and Bobbo sat down in the chairs in front of Principal Lundgrens’ desk. “This isn’t an easy conversation to have and I hate having to do it but your son, Robert, isn’t going to pass his eighth grade year of middle school. You probably know this, Mrs. Griffin, but we have to go over the options with you on what steps you want to take with Robert.”

“This comes as a surprise to me,” Connie began. “I knew he wasn’t doing great this year but I didn’t know it was this bad.”

Bobbo was listening but looking out the window behind Principal Lundgren. He could see most of the parking lot but in his head was going through a scene from his imaginary television show he had been running for the last year. It was a daily soap opera-like show featuring little figurines of random pop culture characters he had accumulated through the years. He called it Globe and he kept track of the episodes in a daily planner after he had acted out the episode with the figures.

“Bobbo,” Connie exclaimed, snapping Bobbo out of his trance.


“Why did you do so badly this year?” she asked. He had always been so good in school. Sure, he had trouble with math but being good at everything else usually canceled that out. “And it’s not just math like it usually was but science, social studies, and English, three subjects you absolutely love. What happened?”

Bobbo shrugged. “I don’t know. I just…I was also doing other things.”

“What other things? Your main job is going to school and nothing should be more important than that.”

“Then when am I going to get any writing done?” Bobbo had started on a science novel back in fifth grade and he was still working on it. He figured that he was about halfway through it but he wasn’t sure. And that was aside from the fake television show and detailing “episodes” from he and his friends’ life into a kind of episode guide.

“I love that you want to be a writer and are really throwing yourself into that kind of work but you are fourteen. You are only in middle school. There will be plenty of time to write when you are older.”

“When? When I’m in college? When I’m working a job I don’t like to make money? When I’m taking care of a wife and three kids? When I retire? How about when I’m dead?” Bobbo argued.

“Bobbo,” Connie sighed and placed her hand on Bobbo’s knee. “We will talk about this when we get home. What are our options?” Connie turned to Principal Lundgren.

“Well, there are two options. One, Bobbo retakes eighth grade year. Two, we do a social promotion. He still graduates,” Principal Lundgren explained “he still crossed the stage and shakes hands but there won’t be anything in the envelope. Also, as long as he is in this district and, really, in this state, he has to pass the rest of his grades or he will be held back and forced to repeat them.”

The last four words bored into Bobbo’s heart and brain. The incidental music playing in his head stopped. He started thinking about what being held back—whether it’s his eighth grade year or his sophomore year—would mean to him. He’d become even more bored in class, probably lose what few friends he had. None of these options were ones he wanted but these were the ones presented to him.

“He should probably be held back. Better to do it now than when he’s in high school and the grades and effort actually matter,” Connie said.

“What? No, I don’t want to be held back,” Bobbo exclaimed. “It’s not fair.”

“How is it not fair? You didn’t do the work. You didn’t pass. You shouldn’t be rewarded for failing like this.”

“I’m not being rewarded. You know I’m smart. You know I can do this. You both know this. I’m having a bit of a struggle and the solution is to paint a big red A on my chest? Whether I’m held back or receive an empty envelope, it’s a huge punch in the gut,” he nervously laughed and tried to keep tears from falling from his eyes. “And…and what if I struggle in high school at some point and fail?”

“Bobbo…” Connie sighed again. “These are the rules, or the laws, or whatever. We have no control over them. It may not seem fair, it may not seem right but they are the only options.”

“Then I choose the empty envelope,” Bobbo said, crossing his arms.

Connie turned her body in the chair to face her son. “Bobbo, you have to do better next year.”

“I can. I will. I can handle work, school, and writing,” Bobbo said. He had applied to work at Greenbush College in the food service department. Several other teenagers were going to work there including his friends Brooke and Max. The job was supposed to start the Tuesday after Labor Day and Bobbo was excited to finally have his own money since his mom had never given him an allowance.

“I don’t think there will be any work in the near future,” Connie shook her head. “And writing should also be put on the back burner because school needs to be your only focus for the next year.

“But I want to keep this job. I’ve been excited for this job since I was in sixth grade,” Bobbo said. “I can do it. Give me a chance. I can do it,” he seemed to be almost hyperventilating.

Connie sighed again. Bobbo had never heard her sigh this much. “To keep the job you have to stay above a C, got it?” she said.

Bobbo nodded. “Yeah,” he gulped.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Where's Gladys' Real Body?

The following is a transcript excerpt of the speech that Brutus gave at the 2018 Tea Cozy Expo:

What a crowd. And just so you know from security, there aren't too many people outside protesting, OK. That I can tell you. A lot of people in here, a lot of people pouring right now. They can get them in. Whatever you can do, fire marshals, we'll appreciate it.

Well, I'm thrilled to be back at the Tea Cozy Expo, in the great state of Ohio with so many thousands of hard-working American patriots. You know I'd love it if the cameras could show this crowd, because it is rather incredible. It is incredible. Incredible.

As everybody here remembers, this was the scene of my first tea cozy speech, right? The crowds were so big, almost as big as tonight, that the people said right at the beginning, you know, there's something special happening here. You always understood what the corporate fatcats did not. Our movement is a movement built on love. It's love for fellow citizens. It's love for struggling Americans who've been left behind, and love every American child who deserves warm tea and a chance to have all of their dreams come true. From the inner cities to the rural outposts, from the Sun Belt to the Rust Belt, from east to west and north to south, our movement is built on the conviction that every American from every background is entitled to a well-crafted and beautiful piece of cloth that keeps their tea warm when it is still in the kettle.


Monday, February 12, 2018

The Tea Cozy Expo 2018

I rarely read the comments on anything. I feel it's just best to keep a positive outlook on life and not bring down my mojo with moronic/inane/disturbing comments online. Today, a comment caught my eye--people explaining that the above technically doesn't make sense since a steer is castrated and a bull is not. I don't have any friends and do daily commentary on a comic strip and even I was like "Get a life, guys."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Time Man #2

One year ago…
The strange wrist sundial had been brought in nearly a decade ago by someone who didn’t leave a name. It was repaired and left on the shelf since then unclaimed and untouched.

Harold Banner found the small sundial fascinating. It looked ancient while also looking very modern. The previous owner of the Fix-It Shop, Franz Reznicek, gave the sundial to Harold. He thought it was nice but impractical as an actual way to tell time. After work, before he went home, he slipped on the sundial and his street clothes were replaced with a skintight blue suit with a yellow cape and hood.

Harold discovered that the sundial gave him super strength flight, and invulnerability. Turning the dial slowed down and stopped time. Harold became a protector of his beaten down neighborhood in Golden City. He became Time Man and immediately began rubbing Councilman Lucius Goebel the wrong way.

Lucius felt like he should be the hero of Ward 9 even though everything he did was to further his own career and line his own pockets at the expense of the poverty-stricken residents. Lucius was currently serving ten years in prison for conspiracy to assassinate the mayor.
Despite the hard and dangerous work, Harold enjoyed being Time Man and helping out his neighbors and being a beacon of hope for people who desperately needed one.

Time Man lifted the giant chunk of concrete over his head.and tossed it a few feet away. Trapped under the rubble was a young girl and her younger brother. The building had been knocked down by a man named Sledge, a hulk of a person with a sledgehammer instead of a right hand. Everyone had been accounted for except for these two.

“I told Conner you’d save us, Time Man,” the girl coughed.

Time Man picked up the girl who was holding her brother. A paramedic quickly took them and began checking on them. Time Man spoke with them for a minute before flying off. Quickly, Time Man realized that a metal orb was following him.

Strange, he thought as he noticed the orb followed his every move. He moved toward it and it backed away. Is it a camera? He noticed a lens on the front shimmering in the sun. He stopped time, crushed the orb between his hands and restarted time.

“Nice try,” he said and flew off.

Conrad grunted and huffed. “Luckily we have a plan B,” he said. “We know who he is so he won’t be able to hide from us.”

When Time Man arrived back home, his wife Margaret was sitting down in the living room with Jessica Milch, a young woman they had met when Harold, worried for his family due to his powers, moved his family to a small town in Iowa.

“Jessica? What a surprise,” Time Man said as he took off the sundial and returned to his civilian clothes. Harold was surprised to see Jessica. He didn’t think she was the type to visit a big city, preferring small town life to big city stresses.

“I thought I’d visit. I miss you guys living next door,” Jessica said.

Harold cocked his head when he noticed that Jessica had a black eye and she looked much thinner. “Are you okay? What happened to your eye?”

“Accident back home,” he gingerly touched the massive bruise on her eye.

Harold noticed the worn and irritated skin around her wrists. “What’s wrong? What happened?” he pointed at her, looking at her wrists.

Jessica rubbed her wrists. “Someone took me. They wanted to know about you. They wanted to know about Time Man. I tried to hold back on giving them anything but…” she sobbed and covered her face. “They tortured me and starved me and beat me and…”

“It’s okay,” Ellie went over to hug Jessica. “You’re safe now. We’ll protect you. Do you know who took you?”

Jessica shook her head.

“I have an idea,” Harold growled and turned to leave.

When Time Man got through security and to the visiting room, Lucius Goebel was sitting patiently waiting for him.
"Lucius!” Time Man bellowed. Lucius calmly pointed to the phone on the wall. Time Man angrily picked it up. “What’s the meaning of this?”

“You came here,” Lucius said. “Oh, you mean the kidnapping and such. We had to learn more about you, Harold, so after we ‘triangulated’ that Time Man appeared in both Golden City and Duquesne, Iowa, we researched who was in both of those places, found where you and your family lived and figured Ms. Milch might know more about you, especially as Time Man,” Lucius explained.

“Kidnapping and torture. Your sentence just gets longer,” Time Man said.

“Oh, please, none of that can be traced to me and I’ve been here so I couldn’t have kidnapped and tortured that poor young woman. Don’t worry, I will leave her alone and you and your family. I just wanted to know more and now I do,” Lucius smiled.

Time Man stared at Lucius for a few seconds.

“Please, visit again, Harold,” Lucius kept his smile and hung up the phone. He stood up, turned and walked away back to the cells with a guard following closely.

As he flew home, Time Man happened to hear the faint screams of a woman down below. He flew down and found a man holding down a young woman and attempting to wrestle her pants off. As she struggled, he hit or slapped her. Time Man landed and pulled the man off of her. He lifted the man over his head. “I am not in the mood for this,” Time Man said and threw the man, kicking and screaming, into a brick wall. Some of the bricks and cement cracked as the man landed hard on the ground. “Are you okay?” Time Man asked the lady.

“I’m fine. Going to be a little bruised.”

“Call 911 and tell them what happened. I don’t think he’ll try to hurt anyone again,” and Time Man was back in the air.

Do I Ever Get Sick of the Same Two Players Making All the Points? Heck, No!!

I made some changes to my Patreon if you are so inclined to start supporting what I do on here. You can now get your name, depending on the level, on a supporter page, sponsor page, or even one of the series themselves. You can also get access to ideas, outlines, chapters, and a new Patreon-only series no matter what level. Check it out. You can also Like Tauy Creek on Facebook, follow me Twitter and Instagram, or buy me a cup of coffee. Whatever you choose, thank you and continue enjoying my work.

The Winter Olympics started this week in Peyongchang, South Korea. One of the coolest moment, at least to me which is why I'm showcasing it here, is the Korean delegations marching in as one Unified Korea. Whether or not this will lead to significant changes between the two countries remains to be seen but this may be a step in the right direction.
Photo by Lui Siu Wai for Xinhua.
Mm. I'm not a fan of either of those things. Basketball because I'm not a huge sports guy and those Housewife shows because I'm apparently one of those few people who don't like getting involved in people's personal lives and watching people at their worst. I'm not a huge "reality" show fan in general. Never have been and probably never will be.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

It. Is. Saturday.

There are some weekends where I just want to sit around and do nothing but there are some weekends where I want to do stuff--mostly when it is warmer or I absolutely have to. I was originally going to go out and do stuff today--a short hike, cemetery traipsing, check a few planned pictures off the list, but since the temperature is going to be a crisp 22 degrees today, I've decided to keep my time outside to getting coffee and, maybe, some groceries.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Sleep Forever

Sadly, it looks like it's time to get up or close to it. That's worse than having a bad dream.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Someone's Gotta Do It

Brutus has a job. Brutus works everyday. Gladys, while being a stay-at-home mom is important, her son is at school everyday so I think Gladys could shovel the sidewalk so that Brutus doesn't have to do more work after he comes home from work.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Home Late

"Gee, sorry, Mom. I get that you don't have a life, go anywhere, or have any friends, but that doesn't apply to the rest of us. And that you don't remember if this is the second day in a row that I've been late says to me that you need to cut back on that cooking sherry." (Women still get drunk on cooking sherry, right. That's a thing that still happens and has always happened, correct?)

Monday, February 05, 2018

Nobody Makes It On Their Own

Veeblefester acquired his vast fortune the same way most wealthy people do--he inherited it after his parents died. Sure, it's possible for someone to start a company and make millions but Veeblefester did not do that--especially with tea cozies. Call your father on the phone and get that million dollar loan.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

POB #7: Riddle, Riddle, Who's Got the Riddle?

In some alternate universe, millions of people every week are watching the hit CW show "Westfield" but we don't live in that alternate universe, we live in the universe where Archie Andrews reigns supreme as the THE teenage comic book star. Debuting three months before Archie did, Wilbur Wilkin came on the scene in Zip Comics #18. Wilbur obtained his own series in 1944 which lasted until 1959. It managed to crank out three more issues in 1963, 1964, and 1965, finally coming to an end in with #90. Wilbur has been occassionally reprinted in various Archie Comic Digests but it seems as if Wilbur's short-lived time in the sun is over.

Archie Comics would recycle the Wilkin name in the ongoing series That Wilkin Boy in 1962. Whether this was an attempt to update Wilbur Wilkins for the 60s is unknown.

Zip Comics would be canceled in 1944 after 47 issues.

In Wilbur's first appearance, he beats up someone who calls him Willie instead of Bill then is proven right when his father berates a man for calling him Mr. WilkinS. The story then goes off on a tangent of Wilbur putting together a football team to impress a man he thinks is a recruiter but is really just a cheerleader. I honestly think the reason Wilbur didn't hit it big with America is because of the hair.

I've often wondered, is it against some sort of law to use a famous person's name in a fake headline on a comic book? Pinatra is clearly Sinatra but why couldn't they just put Sinatra? Was Frank going to sue if he saw his name attached to this? Would people think using Sinatra on the cover would be an endorsement from him?

What boloney? The boloney in the school paper? The ads should just be local businesses, what local business is selling this riddle book?

Also, my spell check says "boloney" is spelled wrong.

What fun? It's just a book of riddles. No one likes riddles. Now if it was a book of practical jokes then I'd be onboard but riddles? You're just wasting fifty cents, Wilbur.

"Yes! Yes!! Now I can spite my enemies with riddle after riddle! HAHAHAhaHahahahHAHAahaaha!!! The streets will flow with the blood of the unfunny!"

Is it, Wilbur? Is it?

That's quite the face on the math teacher. It's like his face is melting and he's trying to use all his muscles to keep it from melting. It's not working.

That's an odd punishment and something that I don't think would really hold up.

That teacher better be careful. We're in the part of history where random people on the street could have some committed to an asylum.

Do you know the answer to this riddle?
How can 5 apples be divided among 4 girls and 2 boys so that the boys get twice as much as the girls?

Seems like a very wordy riddle. Also sexist.

They seem to be spending a lot of comic panels on this math teacher. Too many if you ask me.

We're 19 panels in and we have seen Wilbur in 9 of them. Not that him being in them would make them funnier but still...

Now, you might think that this isn't a news story that would show up in a newspaper but I am looked at old newspapers a lot lately and can confirm random hospitalizations were very common stories back then. Heck, people just visiting people across the county sometimes made the paper.

I feel like we skipped a page. No? *sigh* Okay...

Do you know the answer to this riddle?
Two grasshoppers start out in a race 25 feet apart. With every hop, the hopper who's behind cuts the lead in half. In how many hops will he catch up?

Again, that riddle seems really wordy.

Can no one in this universe keep their thoughts in their head? I guess if they actually just thought their thoughts, then Bill Vigoda wouldn't have an excuse to draw these rubbery confused faces.

The bus doesn't turn around and take the route in the other direction? That's some terrible mass transit.

I think now is a good time to point out that 1)Mr. Wilkin wasn't mumbling; and 2)the artist, Bill Vigoda, was the brother of Barney Miller actor and possible deceased person, Abe Vigoda. Vigoda continued to hone his artistic skills into some many Archie stories and was the person who did the art for Li'l Jinx.

Vigoda would pass away in 1973.

I thought Wilbur was supposed to be in this story.

37 panels in, only 11 have Wilbur.

It took four men to get another man's foot out of a gopher hole? I get that this is a comic book but that is the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in a comic.

What? How...? What...? Huh...? This is now the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in a comic.

You know the best thing about this story? The answers to the riddles are probably very underwhelming.

I'm not a golfer and I have never met someone who is and I've spent very little time on golf courses but why is that bridge like that? It's too high up, no guard rails, and any idiot could easily just walk off of it. Any idiot just did!

Oh, good. Mr. Wilkin's breakdown made the evening edition of the local paper.

Damn it, Wilbur.

It is funny that Mr. Wilkin and Professor Gooble (really? Gooble?) would be in the same room. But if they were in separate rooms then we wouldn't get panels like this:
There you have it. The answers to the riddles and I want to do the same thing to Wilbur or at least the creators of this story--if they weren't both dead.

Let's recap. How can 5 apples be divided among 4 girls and 2 boys so that the boys get twice as much as the girls? Applesauce.

Two grasshoppers start out in a race 25 feet apart. With every hop, the hopper who's behind cuts the lead in half. In how many hops will he catch up? Never.

This could really use some explanation. If you make applesauce then you are not dividing up apples are you? And we need clarification on the grasshopper one. Wilbur deserves to be bludgeoned by that riddle book. Wilbur should've heeded Red's warning.