Saturday, June 30, 2018

E Is for Empty and Eediot

Well, at least she got it home...? I guess that's a positive to this negative. The car isn't sitting in some parking lot or along the side of a road or highway. It's the little things. The little things.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Mother Gargle Likes to Get Drunk and Nude On Her Birthday

                                                                                 
Why doesn't Brutus just call and say Veeblefester is making him work late? Then he can leave work and go out and have a drink or something. You would think that Brutus would be itching to get home and celebrate that Mother Gargle is another year closer to death. I guess I don't know Brutus as well as I thought.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Market Price

Wow! Those are some fresh scallops!

I've discussed this before here. Do I really want to eat something that was pulled out of Lake Erie? Thing is, I found a list of best places to eat scallops in Ohio and a lot of those places looked really good so maybe I do want to eat something that was pulled out of Lake Erie.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Uncle Ted > Brutus

If we're counting "senior moments" as forgetting where you plopped your car keys down then we've all been having senior moments since high school or so. Senior moments should be more reserved for forgetting people's names despite being around those people your whole life, saving up things that you don't need in a pointless effort of cheating death and living longer, or running people over at a farmer's market.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Aw, Baby, You Know I Don't Mean Those Things I Said

Oh boy, another Thornapple argument where Brutus gives in and apologizes but yet doesn't know what he's apologizing for. Normally I get upset at this trope but I understand it here because Gladys literally gets upset at everything Brutus says.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Late

If there's anything I've learned from my 21 years of having a job is that you never tell your boss that you were late. Let them figure that out on their own. I'm not saying you need to lie on your time card/sheet/whatever but you don't need to spend precious time hunting down your boss just to say "Sorry I'm late" which could then lead to a serious talk about how maybe you aren't putting forth the effort into the company anymore and that maybe it's time to consider parting ways. SCREW YOU, TOM!!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Divine Life #3


“I have never felt so relieved,” Emily said after pulled her head back inside the car. “And happy. Relieved and happy.”

“I’m glad you’re happy,” Nathan smiled. “I’m glad you’re not pregnant. While I have nothing against children, I am against 16-year-old mothers and Graham Ogle reproducing. At least right now. Maybe in a few years I’ll feel differently.”

“Thank you for taking me. I’m glad I get to share this moment with you,” Emily smiled at Nathan. She sighed loudly and sat back in the seat. “Why’d we drift apart?”

“Because I can’t get you weed and neither of us wanted to sleep together.”

“We’ve been friends since Kindergarten, our friendship has to be stronger than drugs and sex.”

Nathan shrugged. “We still talk. We’re still friendly. We can still talk to each other about stuff. We could be worse.”

“So what’s been going on the last three years or so? Aren’t you, like, into ghosts or something?”

“It’s more I’m into history but it’s because of the supposed hauntings of places that I’ve learned of the history,” Nathan explained. “I don’t believe in the ghosts. But I also wouldn’t mind them showing themselves to me.”

“I saw a ghost once,” Emily said.

“What? No,” Nathan chuckled.

“No, seriously. When I was, like, nine or ten, I was at my Aunt Beth’s house and I went on a walk with the other cousins. There was this weird trail-like thing that went along the city limits to the dump. Most locals called it the Old Dump Road but it didn’t seem big enough to be a road.

“Anyway, there was this old wood house along the trail that had been abandoned for as long as my Aunt Beth could remember. On this walk, I was looking at the house. All the windows had been broken out so it wasn’t a glare but I saw a little girl in the window. She had an old-timey dress and long blonde hair. She was just standing there staring at us. I tried to get my cousins attention but when they finally turned to look, she was gone.”

“The classic little girl in the window,” Nathan began. “And no one else saw it?”

“No. You don’t believe I really saw her.”

“I believe you saw something. I don’t believe you saw the ghost of a little girl.”

“What else could it have been? There was no glass in the window so it wasn’t a reflection. What else could look like a little girl?”

“I don’t know. It could’ve been curtains fluttering in the wind. Maybe it was a real little girl exploring the house…”

“That’s even creepier.”

“A giant wasp nest.”

“Now you’re just making stuff up.”

“Wasp nests can be huge,” Nathan said. “It was probably a wasp nest.”

Emily sighed loudly.




Saturday came and Jeremy woke up early and decided to walk to the lone coffee shop Ransomville had, Paramore. The shop was empty except for the employees and Chloe, sitting in the back reading, her plague mask on the back of her head. Jeremy ordered his coffee--a hot black and white latte, which was dark and white chocolate mixed together in espresso--and went over to Chloe. “Mind if I join you?” he asked her.

“What?” Chloe looked up.

“Do you mind if I join you or do you want to keep reading?”

“Yeah. I mean, no. No one ever asks to join me so clearly I’m having a stroke or something,” Chloe responded.

“Sorry,” Jeremy said.

“It’s not your fault that I’m so awesome that no one can handle it,” Chloe shrugged.

“What are you drinking?” he nodded to her cup.

“Almond amaretto. I like the sweet cyanide taste.”

Jeremy raised an eyebrow. “If you’re trying to make me go away, it’s not going to work.”

Chloe raised her arm and lowered as she snapped her fingers. “Aw, nuts.”

“Are you here every Saturday morning?”

“I’m here every morning. I get up early.”

“What are you doing today?”

“Nothing much. I’m gonna go to the park and read then go to the library and read.”

“That’s all you’re doing today? Don’t you hang out with friends?”

“Sure,” she shrugged.

“Are you from here?”

“Born and raised.”

“I’m from Kansas City.”

“I know. Your mom writes those books.”

“You’ve read them?”

“Checked out the first two from the library.”

“Did you like them?”

“Ehn,” Chloe shrugged. “They were all right. I don’t need to own them.”

“We could really use that money, Chloe,” Jeremy smiled.

“I’m sure. Do you want to come to the park with me?”

“Are you offering?”

“I guess I should because I feel you’ll just follow me there anyway.”

“Maybe,” Jeremy said.




WPA Park was established in 1938. The area was originally a dilapidated area that had suffered when not as many trains came through the area. Every building was demolished and an old stone windmill was moved from a town that had not existed in many years. Sidewalks wandered through the park, playground equipment was installed on the north side near the houses, and numerous other things had been added over the last eighty years.

As Jeremy and Chloe walked through the park, she pointed out the history of the amenities in the park. The windmill, the cupola from the old three-story Ransom Consolidated School from 1893 that housed all the grades until 1972 and was demolished in 1973, and a hastily made makeshift log cabin that was to the park in 1994 and built in 1854 where a meeting was held by local founders who debated whether to be on the side of free staters or Missourians. They chose free state, although there was little action this far west.

“Will you be coming with me to the library?” Chloe suddenly asked.

“I actually think I will leave you along now. Thanks for spending the morning with me. I’ll see you in school.”

“Yeah, it was a pretty good morning,” Chloe said. “We should do it again sometime.”

Jeremy began heading home but was stopped along Lincoln Street by Nathan. “Jeremy. Frank and I are doing some ghost hunting tonight. Do you want to come with us?”

“Ghost hunting? Where are you going?”

“There’s an old house across the river we’re going to explore. It’s more fun with more people.”

“Are we going to die?”

“Eighty percent chance we don’t die,” Nathan reassured.

“What time?”

“Midnight.”

“That late?”

“We have to make sure it’s late enough for everybody to be asleep.”

Jeremy scoffed. “Fine.”

“Great. I’ll see you about midnight. I’ll be in my mom’s maroon minivan.”

“Your mom’s minivan?”

“What automobile do you have?”

“Touche. But barely.”

Birthday Resolutions

It's summer so that means it's time for road trips and vacations with your family that you normally may not be able to do while your kids are still in school. Over in Rex Morgan, M.D., two characters are on a road trip themselves. I don't know why and I don't care. What I do care about is that they drove through my neck of the country this last week. Let's get started.

It seems as though they are doing "roadside attractions" and not a "things to do" vacation. So basically they are doing things that might be found in the WPA Guides of the 1930s. So instead of going to Kansas City to see the World War I Museum, Union Station, or hanging out in the Power & Light District or Country Club Plaza, they are going to stop and look at a parking garage, a giant gun with an orange tip, and, maybe, a cow on a tower.

I don't know where they were in the Sunday strip but probably not too far from Liberty, Missouri and they are eating again? Kansas City can't come soon enough.

It's a common misconception that the building with the giant books is the Kansas City Public Library when, in reality, it's the parking garage across the street. That doesn't make it less cool or less of an interesting way to beautify a normally boring-looking building but make the distinction.

"Are we done with Missouri?" That's what I ask after I spend a significant amount of time in Missouri. Also, where else were you going to go? The only way out of Kansas City without driving through more of Missouri is to enter Kansas.

And, yes, that teepee is a real thing. TeePee Junction, once a roadside motel park, is location just north of Lawrence. It's really kind of cool and worth at least a drive-by. Marked on the teepee are lines for how how the water was during the 1951 and 1993 floods.
It's odd that the Evel Knievel Museum is already on roadside attraction tours already. It just opened, like, last year and isn't even technically what I would consider a roadside attraction.

And then they arrive in Topeka for the Evel Knievel Museum and we see nothing about Evel Knievel. They go to Truckhenge and stop by a busy Topeka intersection before continuing to head west to Wamego.

Only in a work of fiction can everything you want to see be easily accessible along the same highway. Goodland is a mostly straight shot along I-70 from Wamego, where the Oz Museum is, while Wichita is south along the Turnpike but you can reach Garden City from there along Highway 400. You know what else is near Garden City? The In Cold Blood house. Now that's an attraction!

I guess driving around Kansas is over. I don't like it when people are reminded of someone's name by the name of something. "Millie's Diner. I knew a Millie." Well, it's probably not the same one since you make no indication you are somewhere you've been before. But since this is a work of fiction, lo and behold, it's the same damn Millie!

I been a little lax in posting things that aren't regularly scheduled but I'm hoping to start getting things up in the next week or so. I am also working on several research ideas for a book idea I'm trying to flesh out. If you would like to support my writing or research you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi. A big thank you to those who have given.

Gladys must have also decided to be more of a bitch for this birthday. Look at that face in the last panel. There's a part of me that thinks she has somehow convinced Brutus that it's her birthday over the course of the last six to eight months just so she could say all this because it all sounds very scripted. Very scripted.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Uncleted

"Also, I'm old so I've forgotten where I laid it" probably. Old people, amirite?

I don't understand the joke. I have several theories on what the joke may be but is that the world we want to live in? Creating theories on why newspaper comic strips are funny?

Friday, June 22, 2018

It's Her Microwaving Apron

I don't know why Gladys looks so angry in the last panel, Brutus has a point. You're just shoving something in the microwave, why do you need an apron? Why do we need aprons at all? Millennials are probably killing the apron industry.

In the time it takes you to walk over to the door, greet Brutus, talk about dinner, and then walk back to the kitchen to make dinner, you could've just been making dinner.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fake Story

I am not seeing where the amount of fake news is that high. I guess Brutus says "stories" which could mean almost anything. I mean if I tell the story of the time I floated down the river and found the golden city of El Dorado, that is untrue. Let's not forget all the fan-fiction out there. That's untrue as well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On a Serious Note...

It's a shame Wilberforce isn't out here with them. Why won't Brutus and Gladys let Wilberforce out of his...room...?

Seriously though, if you are currently feeling small and insignificant about what's happening with children coming into the country and being separated from their parents and guardians, there are things that you can do to help an innocent young child crying for their parents in a strange new land.

Donate to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)

Call your Senators and Representatives. Choose your state or enter your ZIP code and call, email, or fax your voice in Congress and let them know what you think.

Encourage others to call their Senators and Representatives.

Find a local protest. Find the closest protest to you and commit to join.

Donate to Together Rising or the ACLU.

It shouldn't matter that these children are coming over with "aliens crossing the border illegally", the United States has a history of doing this to children from taking babies born to slaves away from their parents just to be resold into slavery; Native American boys and girls being taken and placed into boarding schools and forced to learn to become "white"; we even do it today under the guise of "Child Protective Services". You would think we would actually learn from history and be better than this. We need to be better than this.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

40 Years a Cat


Garfield is turning 40 today. That's great and all but there are several other comic strips that are celebrating an anniversary this year that I hope gets as much coverage as Garfield has been getting from GoComics. Gasoline Alley will be celebrating 100 years in November. Nancy, who just got a new artist, will celebrate 80 years if you don't count the time it was Fritzi Ritz. Heathcliff, the original orange and black cat, will be celebrating 45 years this September. Here's hoping those strips get a little love as well and not just from their creators.

I find it kind of aggravating that all of the arguments between Brutus and either Gladys or Mother Gargle are kind of like the comments section on newspaper sites or social media platforms. And just like those places, what they are arguing about is probably unknown to them and completely pointless.

Monday, June 18, 2018

🎺waa-waa

I can only assume, based on the look Veeblefester is giving in the last panel, Veeblefester hired someone to break Brutus' leg so Veeblefester is perfectly aware of "What's new".

Seems odd that Veeblefester would cripple Brutus especially after Brutus got nothing done at work last week during his concussion episode.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Supercomics #14


Mrs. S. and Jack Strand’s siege on the old school building went as planned. The whole team went to where Agent Spider’s body lay. The members of CBX stayed back, defending the building. Mrs. S. and Jack first ran into Charles and Sally.

“Get them,” Charles shouted. “We have to protect the soul.”

“Oh, little boy,” Mrs. S. said as Jack grabbed Charles’ arm. “You don’t have the advantage of a sneak attack this time,” Jack hit Charles in the middle of his chest, crushing it. Charles went flying backwards and landed with a hard thud on the ground, unmoving.

Sally stayed closer to the school, hidden out of sight. She watched as Mrs. S. and Jack approached the back door of the old school. When they were almost there, Sally attacked. She landed on Jack and landed a couple of blows, one seeming like it hurt him, before Jack grabbed an appendage and slammed her down on the ground. “Lucy...Linus...they’re going in the school...Charles and myself...down...Please…”

Jack stomped heavily onto Sally’s head. Twice. Like Charles, she was unmoving. Mrs. S. and Jack broke the door down and entered the school building.

“We need to get back to the school,” Superkitten raised her head and turned back. “Chim, stay with Spider. Geo, Fire, and I will go back to the school,” Superkitten ordered.

The three rushed back to the school where they saw Linus and Lucy fighting Mrs. S. and Jack and were seemingly holding their own. Fire created a flame barrier, blocking the way to where the soul was kept. Jack grabbed Linus and threw him at the oncoming heroes. Geo-Whiz was able to slow Linus down with his powers and lower him gently to the ground.

Lucy was still fighting but then made a mistake--switching her fight to Mrs. S.--which allowed Jack to grab Lucy and throw her into the wall. He then slammed himself into her. Superkitten leapt up and collided with Jack, wanting to get him away from Lucy. Like Charles, Sally, and Agent Spider, she had stopped moving but she she was at least still breathing.

Geo-Whiz and Fire focused their attention on Mrs. S. Geo-Whiz used rocks and bricks to trap Mrs. S. against the wall. Superkitten kept at it with Jack who was finding it hard to keep her at bay.

Finally, Jack was able to grab Superkitten by the neck and held her away from him. He stood and began squeezing her neck and throat. She turned red then purple and coughed trying to breathe and get out of his grip. Geo-Whiz used his powers to lift Jack up into the air. He dropped Superkitten and Fire raced over to get her away from Jack.

Geo-Whiz used the earth to throw Jack to the ground and then tried to bury him. Dmitri was coming down the corridor. Fire removed the barrier she put up. Jack overpowered the earth and clawed his way to his feet. He swung at Geo-Whiz and connected with his jaw. Jack then ripped Mrs. S. from her bonds and they ran through the room and into the corridor. Jack shoved Dmitri hard into the wall and kept running, Mrs. S. close by.

They found the room with the soul and Jack ripped the door off. Inside, stood Smoke imbued with the soul of Madame Spectre.

“The soul,” Mrs. S. started. “Madame Spectre.”

“Mom…” Madame Spectre began. “Do you recognize me?”

“No,” Mrs. S. scoffed. “Wait. ‘Mom’?” She looked harder at Madame Spectre. “Vanessa?”

“You remember my name. Do you remember anything else about me?”

“When you were a little girl, about 3 or 4, you loved having me read to you. You would always bring me a book and be so happy when I took it, lifted you up onto my lap, and opened it up. You still have the same eyes,” Mrs. S. said.

Madame Spectre shrunk herself down. She became Vanessa again, but she was able to touch and be touched, something that hadn’t been possible in seven years--when her mom left her. “Why did you leave us?” Why did you leave me and Dad?”

“I’m not really the motherly type,” Mrs. S. said.

“Reading to me. That’s motherly. You didn’t even have to really do anything after that. Just be there. When I became...whatever it was, I was a frightened little girl who needed her parents to love her and help her through this,” Vanessa said. “Instead, you tucked me into bed, shot my father, and left.”

“He loved me too much,” Mrs. S. looked away angrily. “We were just having fun and then we had a baby, got married. I wanted out. I was one of best thieves in the world. I couldn’t do that and be tied down by a husband and child.”

“I was a scared little girl. I needed you.”

“Dmitri did a good job raising you. You didn’t need me.”

“That’s not true. Maybe that’s what you convinced yourself.”

Jack stepped between Vanessa and Mrs. S. “Enough. The soul is in the girl. Do we still want it or are we going to continue this family reunion?”

“You want the soul?” Vanessa turned back into Madame Spectre. “Come and get it.”

“Not so fast,” Dmitri suddenly said, placing a tranquilizer band on Jake’s head. “We’re done here.”




Mrs. S. and Jack were arrested and sent to the holding facility back in Arlington. The team gathered solemnly in the meeting room. Superkitten, Geo-Whiz, Linus, Fire, Chimney Girl, Dmitri, and Madame Spectre. Agent Spider, Charles, and Sally were downstairs in a makeshift morgue. Lucy was one floor above in a hospital bed, hooked up to several tubes and wires to monitor her and keep her stable.

“What now?” Fire asked. “We took a lot of damage in that fight.”

“We keep going,” Superkitten said. “And with Madame Spectre, we’ll be unstoppable.”

“I cannot join you,” Madame Spectre said. “I have all of the universe to look after. I will be here if you need my assistance but I have to leave you.”

“I think I’m going to hit the dusty trail as well,” Dmitri suddenly revealed.

“Our fearless leader?” Geo-Whiz exclaimed.

“Superkitten is your fearless leader now. You’ll still have my support and the government’s but it’s time for you to make your mark on your own.”

“What are you going to do, Linus?” Chimney Girl asked.

“You’re going to keep Lucy here until she wakes up?”

“For as long as she needs,” Superkitten replied.

“I’m without my own team. If you’ll have me, I feel I can offer a lot to the All-American Corps.”

“Glad to have you,” Superkitten said.

“If you don’t mind, I’m gonna go and sit with Lucy for a bit,” Linus said.

“Of course. Take all the time you need,” she smiled at Linus.

Linus left and everyone continued talking. Linus arrived at Lucy’s medical room and sat down in a chair next to her bed. “Hope you come out of this soon,” he choked. “I don’t know what I’d do without you. It doesn’t seem to lose Mom, Dad, and my sister and keep on living. Get better soon, Lucy. You have to get better.”

Middle Class White Person Problem

So my cousin won an Emmy last night. It was for the writing he did for Outdoor Nevada, a show that airs locally on their PBS. Go check it out and congratulations.
photo courtesy his Facebook page
If you would like to support me, my work, writing, or research, you know where to go. Patreon and Ko-Fi.

There is something about the second panel that just irks me. It's probably the inclusion of "in a word" when just answering "expensive" would've worked.

btw, I love the Mother Gargle portrait hanging on the wall in the background.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

How Do People Still Tolerate Cable Companies?

Brutus and Gladys did this before when their cable went out, they just continued sitting in their chairs watching the television. It's been awhile since I've known the terrors of the cable being out because I'm a millennial--I'm killing the television industry or something like that--I stream everything but the cable being out was when I got stuff done. Dishes, cleaning, book readin'. Why are Brutus and Gladys just staring at a blank screen when they could be reading the latest issues of Golf Digest and, I'm going to say, US Weekly?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dead In the Ground

After Washington, John Adams became president with Thomas Jefferson as vice-president (he got 2nd place!) and Adams would go on to become our first one-term president. Despite heavy opposition from Jefferson and Hamilton loyalists, Adams one term is considered pretty favorable by historians. Adams was the first president to reside in the White House and signed ill-conceived bills that increased the number of years it took to become a citizen of the country, allowed the president to deport any foreigner who he deemed dangerous to the country, and made it illegal to publish knowingly false or malicious articles against the government.

Interestingly, Adams was the first president to not attend his successors' inauguration. Adams left the White House for Massachusetts in the early morning hours to be with his wife. His son, Charles, had died shortly after losing the election and Adams wanted to get back home with his wife. Only two other presidents didn't attend their successor's inauguration. John Quincy Adams did not attend Andrew Jackson's and Andrew Johnson did not attend Ulysses Grant's.

And yes, John Adams is dead. He died 50 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, only a few hours after Thomas Jefferson.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Not Concussed

I don't know what Friday has in store for this comic but it's really crappy that Chip is ending this storyline on a Thursday instead of squeezing one more out for Friday. Honestly, he could've stretched this out to Saturday.

What's pretty glaring is that Gladys obviously doesn't care about her husband's health. Not that I'm surprised but, again, it's pretty glaring.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Still Concussed

I'm starting to get the feeling that Chip had a long phone conversation with his editor about this very topic. "Look, Chip, if I let you be a couple days late with your comics because of a concussion, then I'd have to let everyone be late if they had a concussion. Adam @ Home, Cornered, Drabble--I just can't take that chance. I mean, I gave Darby Conley time off for his concussion and there hasn't been a new Get Fuzzy in five years."

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Concussed

Veeblefester isn't wrong. I never see Brutus do any work at his desk. He's usually lamenting how terrible is job is, staring at the clock waiting for 5 o'clock, or hanging out at the watercooler. From what I can tell, whatever Brutus was doing before he fell and hit his head was the most work he's done in a while.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bump

Hey, Brutus has the same health insurance I had from 1997 to 2003 and again from 2006 to 2011 which was just sarcasm and snarky commentary. You might recognize it as the same health plan Congress wanted to give us a few months ago.

I do want to know how Brutus hit the top of his head. Seems very suspicious and I think human resources, the insurance company or someone should investigate this slip and fall very thoroughly.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tank N Tummy #4

Aaron was mopping the floor of the Tank N Tummy when MaryJane came in. She was a fairly tall girl with long brown hair and sleepy hazel eyes. She had a kind of pointed nose and was dressed in a lavender-ish pantsuit.

“Hey, guys,” she greeted then slipped a little on the wet floor. “Whoa! You should put up the wet floor sign. Someone’s gonna fall and sue you.”

“I’ll put it up,” Aaron said.

“I told him,” Ryan shook his head.

“Aaron likes to break the rules,” Dominic joked.

“This is Aaron?” MaryJane went ecstatic and eyed Aaron up and down. “Yeah. I’d do that,” she smirked.

“The floor is wet and I clearly have a mop. People can figure out that the floor is slick without a sign,” Aaron argued. “I’ll put it up when I’m done.”

“What are you doing here, MJ?” Dominic asked.

“Ugh. They had me working in the law library. Nobody comes down so I’m taking an extra long lunch to gaze at eye candy.”

“What’s on the menu for today?” Ryan asked.

“Girls in chokers, skinny Latino guys.”

Dominic nodded in appreciation.

The door opened and a guy came in. “Hey, Joey,” Dominic, Ryan, and MaryJane said in unison.

“Hey,” he muttered. “Joey grabbed some candy and chips and then grabbed a fountain drink. As Joey walked to the counter, his foot hit a wet spot and went out from under him. He landed hard on his back, tossing the candy across the floor and spilling his drink.

“Now I have to mop again,” Aaron said.

“Told you, you should’ve put the sign up,” MaryJane shook her head.

“Having the sign wouldn’t have made Joey less likely to slip and fall,” Aaron argued.

“Now Joey’s going to sue you,” Ryan said.

“No he won’t,” Aaron rolled his eyes.

“I would. I would never just let hundreds of thousands of dollars just sit on the table like that,” Dominic said.

“Stop…” Aaron sighed.

“Yeah. I’m going to sue,” Joey announced.

“Stop…”

“I know the perfect lawyer to represent you, too,” MaryJane said.

“Ryan and I will be witnesses,” Dominic offered.

“Why are you helping him do this?”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be your lawyer,” MaryJane put her arm around Aaron’s shoulders. “It’ll be great practice.”

“Practice?”




Weeks later, the five of them met in court. “I hate all of you,” Aaron said.

“Please refrain from talking to the prosecution, Mr...Aaron,” MaryJane gave a thumbs-up and wink to Joey’s lawyer, who nodded in approval.

“Why are you even taking this case? Isn’t this kind of beneath a lawyer of your stature?” Aaron asked.

“I would never just let hundreds of thousands of dollars just sit on the table like that,” the lawyer said.

“Man after my own heart,” Dominic said.

“All rise,” the bailiff announced. “The Honorable Harold T. Stone, presiding.”

“Where have I heard that name before?” Dominic asked himself.

“Please be seated,” Judge Stone said. “So Mr...Joey slipped and fell at a Tank N Tummy convenience store that was being mopped by Mr...Aaron who refused to put the wet floor sign. Mr. Aaron, why didn’t you just put the sign up?”

“It wouldn’t have stopped him from slipping and falling. He could see the floor was wet but chose to walk normally anyway,” Aaron explained. “Joey’s kind of an idiot.”

“Objection!” Joey’s lawyer stood up.

“Sustained. Ms. Brun, instruct your client not the insult the prosecution.”

“Yes, sir,” she slapped Aaron’s hand.

“Mr. Joey,” Judge Stone began but then seemed to change his mind. “Counsel, please approach the bench. Why don’t your clients have last names?”

“I honestly don’t think my client has one, Your Honor,” Joey’s lawyer admitted.

“And I’m not on a last name basis with my client,” MaryJane said.

“Go sit back down. Mr. Joey, please tell the court your account of your slip and fall.”

“It was a beautiful day that became dark and cloudy after I entered the Tank N Tummy, which has always been like a second home to me. When I came in, Aaron began sticking the mop between my feet trying to make me fall. I grabbed my purchases and just wanted to get out of there. Aaron hit my feet with the mop again and this time my feet slipped and I fell to the ground. I landed hard and although I was lucky enough not to die, there are some time that I wish I had,” Joey sniffed and covered his face with his hands. His lawyer gently hugged him and patted his shoulder.

“What?” Aaron exclaimed.

“Quiet, you monster,” MaryJane hissed at Aaron as she wiped a tear from her eye.

“MaryJane, you were there. You know that’s not what happened.”

“But his story spoke to my emotions.”

“I’m going to get the death penalty.”




Judge Stone recessed the court for a couple of hours for lunch and to make a decision. “I’ve reread the statements of Mr. Joey and Mr. Aaron and the two witness statements from Misters Hall and Conrad. My ruling is that Mr. Aaron be required to treat Mr. Joey to a...Tank N Tummy lunch some time in the near future. Also, pay for all court fees and expenses,” Judge Stone gaveled. “Court dismissed.”

“Pretty sweet deal,” MaryJane held her arm up for a high five.

“This has all been a waste of time,” Aaron said. “I didn’t need a judge to tell me to treat Joey to his daily sup at the Tank N Tummy.”

“Well, now you have a first-hand account of the American legal system.”

“That’s why we have Law & Order reruns,” Aaron said.

“Mr. Aaron, my bill,” Joey’s lawyer handed Aaron a receipt.

“Wait. Why am I getting this?”

“You have to pay all court and lawyer fees. Judge’s orders,” MaryJane said. “And here’s my bill,” she smiled, handing Aaron her own receipt.

“This is twice as much as I make in a year,” he freaked out, glancing back and forth from each bill. “I’d rather have the death penalty.”

Mr. Wrong

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I get the trope of the mother-in-law having to hate whoever their daughter marries but Brutus isn't all that bad. He seems like a decent father, he has a good job where he is rising to the top despite his incompetence, and is pretty laid back. While I agree that everybody can do better than who they are with, that's not how love works. Besides, Mother Gargle, you have seen the merchandise you were peddling, right? Right?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

More Like Rango

I know that this is a dig to Brutus' sanity or lack thereof but considering how terrible some of Johnny Depp's roles have gotten, Mad Hatter is a downright decent comparison. Hattie could have called him Mortdecai, Tonto, or [checks online] Donnie Fleischer(?).

Friday, June 8, 2018

Mediocrity

Brutus either got a new therapist or he shaved his little beard. Also, isn't "delusions of mediocrity" just considered life? I've been reading and commenting on this strip for more than ten years and Brutus has never showed signs of "delusions of mediocrity". Brutus is well aware of his limitations and shortcomings. He's not deluded at all.

If you or someone you know is in distress or struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Thursday, June 7, 2018

True Age

So then technically he does remember your birthday--at least one third of it.

I thought we as a society were past lying about our ages. I mean, I hear jokes about it. "Ha-ha, so are you going to stay 55 this year?" "Ha-ha, yep." and then they don't stay 55. I also find these age jokes strange coming from something that keeps their characters at one age perpetually.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Golf Analogy

I'm glad that the joke Chip's best friend, Norm, told him over the weekend a couple weeks ago made it into a comic. I mean, that's what we want to see in our local papers, right?

And who'd offer those meals...Arnie? I'm just going to assume this is a miscolored Arnie. It's a golf ball, not an airline jet. No one is on your golf ball to either serve or receive meals.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Stumblin' Man

So what could Brutus have possibly been carrying that could have made a CRASH sound? Most of what Brutus deals with is paper. Maybe Brutus tripped and knocked the in/out box off of his desk.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

West Union Road #1

“I’m tired,” Kyle yawned.

“How can you be tired? You’ve had an entire week off,” Laura complained. “You didn’t even go anywhere or do anything. You just stayed at home.”

“We can’t all afford to go to Myrtle Beach, Laura,” Kyle mocked.

“It’s not my fault that my family takes a vacation every year,” Laura said. “Did you even leave the house?”

“Just to go to the gas station to refill my 52 ounce cup with soda then it was right back home.”

“Hi, Cassie. What’d you do over spring break?” Laura asked.

“I was at the lake mostly since it was a pretty warm week. I was looking at what swimsuit styles were going to be in this year. Good news, two pieces are still the norm,” Cassie said.

“Has anyone seen Melissa?” Kyle asked. “I called her a couple of time over break. One time her mom answered and refused to let me talk to her--or maybe Melissa really wasn’t there. I don’t know. Her mom always sounds mad at me. The other time she answered but didn’t want to do anything. We talked for a bit but that was it.”

“I went over once,” Cassie began. “No one answered.”

“Weird. She’s usually looking for a reason to get out of that house,” Laura said.

“You haven’t heard?” someone came up to them. “Melissa died.”

“What? No,” Cassie raised her eyebrow. “How?”

“House fire. Killed her whole family. I’m shocked you didn’t know about it. You are her friends after all.”

Kyle, Laura, and Cassie looked at each other. They went to their first class where they heard more rumors about the deaths and fire. By the end of the day, the latest and most upsetting rumor was that the fire was intentionally set and Melissa had done it.

“No,” Cassie shook her head. “Melissa wasn’t suicidal. She wasn’t depressed. She wasn’t a huge fan of her family but not enough to do that.”

“I think we need to talk with someone who might actually know,” Laura said.

When the dismissal bell rang, the three of them went up to the school counselor. “Ms. Kovacs, we have a question,” Cassie began.

“I’m a little busy now, girls,” she noticed Kyle. “And gentlemen.”

“We have a question about Melissa. We’re her best friends so we deserve to know,” Cassie said.

Ms. Kovacs looked at them. “Close the door,” she said. Laura closed the door and Ms. Kovacs settled into her chair. “Melissa and most of her family died in a house fire over the weekend. Thankfully, her younger sister was staying with friends so she survived. If you guys need someone to talk to we’ll have additional counselors and a therapist here tomorrow.”

“Maybe, but we were wondering about how the fire happened. Kids out there are saying that Melissa started the fire--that she killed herself and her family,” Cassie said.

“As her best friends, we just want to make sure that her name isn’t being tarnished,” Kyle said.

Ms. Kovacs sighed. “If students are talking about this--spreading rumors and gossip--you need to let a teacher or other staff member know. Now, the investigation is early but the fire marshal is saying that the fire was intentionally set. They don’t know who started the fire but, like I said, the investigation is early.”

“So she did kill herself,” Laura said.

“And her family,” Cassie continued.

“We don’t know that. We don’t know anything about what happened. Or why,” Kyle said.

The kids were at a fast food place. It felt empty without Melissa sitting in the booth with them. Laura had known Melissa the longest, since Kindergarten. Kyle had known her since middle school and they had dated for about a year and a half. Cassie was a new addition to Melissa’s friends having met when school started this year.

The four of them attended West Union High School on West Union Road. It was a newer high school built in 2007 to handle the massive influx of kids into the district on the westside. The old high school, Alexander High, couldn’t handle the additional students to the city was split in half.

“Why are we assuming Melissa did all this?” Kyle asked. “We’ve all met her parents. I could see either one of them doing it as well.”

“I don’t think they did,” Cassie said. “Melissa did it and we all know she did.”




The day before Spring Break, a Thursday. The dismissal bell rang and all the kids squealed and headed out the doors of the high school. Laura and Melissa walked together slowly. “When are you leaving for Myrtle Beach?” Melissa asked.

“Sunday afternoon. I’m doing all my packing tonight and tomorrow so we can hang out on Saturday if you want.”

“Maybe. I’m thinking of taking Tabitha to a movie and maybe a hike. Get her out of the house for a bit,” Melissa explained.

“Cool. If you change your mind or want to bring her along, let me know.”

“I will,” Melissa nodded.

Laura expected to see Melissa at some point before she left on Sunday but didn’t.




“How do you know Melissa did it?” Laura asked. She was getting a little upset that her best friend was getting dragged through the mud by her friends.

“Melissa was acting weird for a while now. Maybe it was a slow build until she just couldn’t take it anymore,” Kyle suggested.

“Take anymore of what? Her parents? She had only one more year of them. She could’ve handled that,” Laura said.

“Maybe it was a combination of things--school, home, friends. She’s had a pretty rough year. Coming out as bisexual, our breakup, her parents, Cassie’s rejection, and all within months of each other,” Kyle argued.

“I refuse to believe that we are a cause of this,” Cassie shook her head. She stood up angrily and stormed off. Laura and Kyle looked at each other. Laura gritted her teeth and looked back at Cassie.

“Go,” Kyle said, rolling his eyes.

Laura got up and ran after Cassie. “Cassie. We know it’s not our fault,” she grabbed Cassie’s arm and pulled her to a stop. “There was a lot of stuff going on in her life but I am sure we were the good stuff. Cassie, we weren’t the reason. We don’t even know what happened. Suicide, murder, accident, we don’t know. We don’t know.”

Cassie was crying. Laura pulled her into a hug. “I feel so responsible…” Cassie sobbed.

“I know. I do, too. But we’re not,” Laura hugged Cassie tightly. “We’re not.”

Vacation? What's That?

This last week I went to Rogers, Arkansas (home of the very first Walmart apparently) to see my sixth (?) Dave Matthews Band concert. I don't know what it was but I think it was the best show I've ever been at. I've enjoyed every Dave Matthews show I've been to but this one just seemed better. With every show, I create a wishlist of what I would like to hear. Usually I hear two, maybe three, songs from that list but on this particular night, they played seven from the list I made. It also marked the first time that I heard "The Song That Jane Likes" which is one of the first songs Dave Matthews wrote and, after numerous relistenings, is probably my favorite Dave Matthews Band song. One thing that actually stood out to me is that they didn't play anything from Away From the World. I guess they didn't play anything from Busted Stuff either but considering AFtW is their most recent album, it just stood out to me. Anyway, I think I can ignore that solely based on the amazing performance of "Stand Up" they played that night.

And because I've spent so much space talking about "The Song That Jane Likes", here is what I recorded. Many apologies for the guerrilla-style recording.


"What are you up to, Brutus?"

"I have to submit the dates I want to take my vacation so I'm staring really hard at this calendar and I'm hoping that if I stare at it long enough, much like one of those Magic Eye things, that the perfect date will emerge."

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