Friday, August 31, 2018

But the Watercooler

Wait a minute. If you click on the 'watercooler' tag in the posts, there are literally dozens of examples of people at work talking to Brutus. Dozens!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

He Needs the Raise for All the Pumpkin Spice Lattes Gladys Buys

Alternate punchlines:

"17,000 is such a high number."

"You didn't have to have a family, you know."

If you need more money, get a second job, like 8.6% of Americans have."

"You've done it the last 15 years!"

It's a bold move to have stacks and sacks of money surrounding you while you talk salaries and raises to your employees. But then again, Veeblefester is a bold guy.

Is 'bold' the right word?

No. I don't like today's strip.

There. Much better.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

For Whom the Hattie Tolls

How does Hattie keep getting in their house? I imagine she invites herself over to "play with Wilberforce" and then just abandons him to go harass Brutus. While Hattie is angrily mocking Brutus with [squints at comic] correct grammar(?!), Wilberforce is playing alone in his room wondering when his friend is coming back.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Mondays

Uh, oh. Brutus just stroked out a little bit.

I've always been intrigued by how Brutus dressed for work like he's Ward Cleaver going to work at the patent attorney office (I don't know what he really did but I've always assumed it was patent attorney). Overcoat, hat, umbrella. Is it 1956?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Divine Life #5


“Seonna, are you going out for track?” Savannah asked as she sat down next to Seonna. Maggie sat next to Savannah.

“Yeah, I’m gonna be, like, the best runner this year,” Seonna bragged.

Maggie stayed out of their conversation even though she was also going out for track. She was a good athlete back in Kansas City and that probably wouldn’t change in Ransomville. Seonna had long legs so she probably would be pretty fast but Maggie wondered if Seonna was as conditioned as she was.

Maggie was always playing sports. She hated having to leave all the leagues she was in because she knew Ransomville was not going to have all that Kansas City had, if anything. The school also offered fewer sports at the middle school level. Track, basketball, wrestling, and soccer were the only sports offered with football and baseball--no girls allowed--offered in high school. Maggie had never done wrestling but was kind exciting about trying it when it came time.




At the high school, Chloe turned around in her desk and showed Jeremy something on her phone. It was some kind of meme. He chuckled and they laughed together. Frank, sitting next to Jeremy, raised an eyebrow and looked at them oddly. When class was over, Christine caught up with Frank.

“Are Jeremy and Chloe dating?” she asked him.

“I don’t think so. I think they’re just becoming good friends,” Frank replied.

“It’s weird. And Chloe is already so weird,” Christine said before breaking away from Frank. She went to language arts where she again shared a class with Jeremy.

In language arts, they were about to start reading The Odyssey which amazed Jeremy that they were reading such an higher level book.

“What is an odyssey?” the teacher asked. A couple kids raised their hands but one just blurted out their answer.

“It’s like an adventure.”

“Yes, and in the case of The Odyssey, it’s a series of adventures over a long period of time. We’re going to read Homer’s The Odyssey and answer these questions, she held up a packet of paper. “After we’re finished reading, we’re going to write our own adventures but we’re going to do it a little differently. We’re going to partner up and each write a portion of the story. Then we’re going to pass it off to another group and those partners with write a portion.”

Christine perked up. The teacher began handing out the packet of questions. Students began grabbing copies of the book that were on their desks and began flipping through them. When the teacher finished handing out the papers, she began reading out loud to the class.




Maggie, Seonna, and Candace were all at the track ready to try out. “I didn’t expect to see you here, Candace,” Maggie said.

“I figured the same thing about you,” Candace sneered.

“I used to run at my previous school. I was pretty good, you know,” Maggie figured that it was time to toot her own horn.

“Mm,” Seonna nodded. “We’ll see.”

Savannah was sitting in the stands watching the three friends stretch and warm up. She normally didn’t care about school sports but since she cared about Seonna, she figured she’d at least watch the tryouts. Since three of her friends were trying out, she now figured she’d have to go to games if all three made the team.

All three did. Maggie was able to run slightly faster than Seonna and Candace, who was more adept to the field events, also made the team. “You were pretty good,” Seonna loosely shook Maggie’s hand. “That will be the only time you beat me though.”

“Mm. We’ll see,” Maggie responded. “We’re not against each other. We’re all on the same team.”

“You coming with us to the Tastee Kup for a celebratory shake?” Seonna asked, all anger and competition instantly left her.

“Yeah, sure,” Maggie was nonchalant with her answer but was very excited.

At the Tastee Kup, Candace and Savannah sat on one side of the booth with Seonna and Maggie on the other. Seonna had taken off her tank top so she was just in her sports bra and track shorts much to the chagrin of the Tastee Kup manager. Savannah didn’t mind though.

“We’re gonna dominate this year,” Seonna said. “We’ve never had someone as fast as me on the team.”

“Faster,” Maggie corrected.

“Ooh, someone’s salty,” Seonna laughed and placed her hand on Maggie’s leg. Maggie thought that was weird but tried not to bring attention to it especially with Savannah right there. “Are you going to do wrestling?” she asked Maggie.

“Yeah. I’ve never wrestled before so it’ll be a new experience.”

“Wrestling is usually a boy’s sport but the coach allows girls. It’ll be nice having another girl on the team. Especially when we have our overnight competition. I won’t have to room with the coach. We can practice together.”

“Yeah,” Maggie agreed and tried to move her leg but ended up with Seonna’s hand closer to the inside of her leg. After the Tastee Kup, Seonna and Savannah went one way while Maggie and Candace went another. “Seonna’s gay, right?”

“Totally,” Candace laughed. “I saw her rubbing your leg.”

“Do you think Savannah noticed? I know Savannah has a crush on Seonna.”

“Savannah can’t make Seonna go out with her.”

“I’m not gay though. Have I been leading her on?”

“I don’t think so. I don’t know,” Candace shrugged. “I think Seonna just likes having new meat around.”

“That doesn’t make me feel better.”




“Hey, Jeremy,” Nathan came up to Jeremy as he walked home. “Can you come over after dinner, like at 7?”

“I’m having dinner with Chloe. We’re probably gonna get dessert at the Tastee Kup afterwards. Why?”

“Why are you having dinner with Chloe?”

“Because she asked me,” Jeremy replied. “Why do you want me to come over?”

“Just to hang out. I have something to talk to you about.”

“I’ll try to make it after Chloe and I get dessert.”

“No, it’s fine. Let me know if she still wears that mask at home.”

“Okay,” Jeremy waved. “See you.”

Can You Hear Me Now?

The first settler in the Lecompton area was William R. Simmons who took a squatter's claim and operated a ferry across the Kansas River in 1852. In the fall of 1854, Aristides Roderique and A.G. Boone arrived in the area and noted that the river bank and rolling hills would be a good place for a city. Noting the many bald eagles, Boone named the town 'Bald Eagle'. They returned to Missouri to organize a town company but, for whatever reason, were unsuccessful. When Samuel D. LeCompte was appointed federal judge of Kansas Territory, Bald Eagle was renamed LeCompton in his honor and in the spring of 1855, streets and blocks were laid out.

On August 8, 1855, the territorial legislature met at Shawnee Mission and designated Lecompton the territorial capital of Kansas Territory. Lecompton became a huge proslavery, business, and government center. $50,000 was appropriated for a capital building but construction was halted after the basement and first floor were built. For the first four years, Lecompton had everything going for it--it was the largest city in the area with a population of about 5,000, it was the county seat of Douglas County, it was the territorial capital and on track to become the state capital, and was nicknamed the "Wall Street of the West". In September 1857, all that started to change.

The Lecompton Constitutional Convention met on the second floor of Constitution Hall on Elmore Street and began drafting a constitution that would admit Kansas into the Union as a slave state. After 20 days, the Constitution was complete and ready to send to Congress. The people of Kansas did not even get to vote on this Constitution--they got a choice of "constitution with slavery" which would have enshrined and protected slavery in the new state or "constitution without slavery" which would have still allowed slavery but restricted the importation of new slaves to the area. "Constitution with slavery" won due to a boycott of the election by free-staters. Another vote was held on the Lecompton Constitution by the new free-state majority in January of 1858 that voted down the proslavery constitution more than 10,000 to 200. The president of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, John Calhoun, decided to send the Lecompton Constitution to President James Buchanan with the earlier votes indicating that Kansans loved the Lecompton Constitution. The decision between free and slave state was now in the hands of Congress.

The Lecompton Constitution easily passed the proslavery Senate but stirred debates in the anti-slavery House. Debates raged and even a fight when two Wisconsin Republicans ripped the hairpiece off a Mississippi Democrat and declared "I've scalped him!" The Constitution ultimately failed in the House and caused deep divisions in the Democratic Party. In 1860, Democrats ran two candidates for president--northerner Stephen Douglas and southerner John Breckinridge. Republican Abraham Lincoln won the presidency with 180 electoral votes and 39% of the popular vote. The Lecompton Constitution was rejected by Congress and Kansans or, as the Leavenworth Conservative newspaper put it, "killed, killed, killed."

With free-staters in charge, the territorial government, for the most part, moved to Topeka and Lecompton's clout began dwindling. Businesses began moving or closing, Lawrence became the Douglas county seat, by 1860, the population was only about 300, and on January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state and Topeka was chosen the capital. But Lecompton has been able to survive. It's population is growing, it was recently named a Best Little Town in Kansas. It also features two museums that proudly focus on its heritage. Lecompton is currently a quaint town of about 700 people about three miles northwest of Lawrence.

Constitution Hall, built in 1856 by Sheriff Samuel Jones. On the second floor,
the Lecompton Constitutional Convention met.
The Territorial Capital Museum, built on the foundation of the territorial capital in 1882,
this building was used for Lane University until 1902, Lecompton High School until 1926 and
is now the Territorial Capital Museum.
Lecompton High School, built in 1926 and consolidated with Perry in 1970, the school
is now being used as a community center for Lecompton citizens.
The Kansas Democratic Headquarters along the Kansas River. Built around 1854-5, this
may have been the first permanent structure in the area.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the relocation of the 1892 city jail in 2012.
For more information on Lecompton, you can check out their Facebook Page or their website. They also have a nice, interactive walking tour map.

I'm getting kind of bothered by the fact that Brutus seems to assume that Veeblefester is his friend. I know that you can be friends with your boss but it's clear that Veeblefester doesn't like Brutus and wants nothing to do with him. Why did Veeblefester even answer the phone? Maybe Veeblefester likes Brutus more than he lets on.

You know who we haven't seen in a while? Wastrel Gravesite. If you would like to support my writing or research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Binge-Able

This feels like something that would be shown on Pluggers. "You know you're a plugger if you have to keep watching previous episodes of the TV show you are currently binge-watching. Hyuk, hyuk!" and there's a picture of, oh let's say, the dog-man in the panel saying "Before I watch episode 6, I need to go back and watch episode 5...".

I hear about this a lot, going back an rewatching an episode because you forgot what happened in it but I've never seen it in action. Do people do this or does this anomaly only afflict the older set who just also happen to have access to millions of eyes every day?

Speaking of binge-watching TV shows, I have three television series ideas that are ready and rarin' to go if a network or streaming service are reading this. You can email me through the About page.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Hold the Pickles

Just order the loaded burger without the pickles? I'm trying to decide if Brutus' oddly placed hand is a wink and nod to heartburn or if Chip couldn't figure out a way to draw his hand on his stomach.

Pepper Jack has become one of my new favorite cheeses to put on sandwiches. That and provolone. But I love all cheeses and will try any that you shove under my nose. Yes, even that cheese.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

They Need a Second TV

You may have seen the lack of social media presence the last few days. I am taking a much needed break from it to focus on writing, reading, and research. I am also going to start phasing away from the website over the next few months. While I think some things will still be posted here, I am going to focus on using social media for my research, writing, and LAMNB but also physical publishing whenever I can.

I'm working on numerous stories and projects right now and I'm hoping to get those finished and ready to publish by the end of the year. When they will see the light of day, I don't know. If you would like to support my writing and research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi, or you can follow my social media presence when I come back from my self-imposed exile.

There's a lot about TV that's stupid--and it's not just sports. Most of it is usually our faults. The prevalence of reality and singing shows, Tim Allen's career, Big Bang Theory being on for 12 years. But there are a lot things that are the fault of the people in charge. Bill Cosby, Pushing Daisies being canceled, Hogan's Heroes, Bill Cosby, everything on USA, Bill Cosby.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Haw!

So he does have no confidence and feels intimidated by smart, in-control women.

I wouldn't take this guy's advice on women anyway. Isn't he the same guy that's been divorced a couple of times and openly objectifies women right there in front that same watercooler?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Tuesday's Coffee

I don't really see how that helps you but okay.

Chip's friend: "That's the largest coffee cup I've ever seen, Chip!"

Chip: "It's my secret weapon for days like this, when I'm really dragging, I don't even have to drink it. I just walk around carrying this cup and everyone assumes I must be fully charged and raring to go."

Chip's friend: "What? You work from home. You're a cartoonist."

Chip: "Uh, oh. Here comes the old whip-cracker now. If she asks where I'm going, I have a big meeting on the 9th floor."

Chip's friend: "That's your wife. Your boss is in Kansas City. Your house only has two stories on it!"

Speaking of coffee, if you'd like to support my work you can buy me a cup over on Ko-Fi.

Monday, August 20, 2018

I've Been At School for a Week

Yeah, it was great to start later in the year but you also had to stay in school until after Memorial Day. I want to say the dates changed from after to Labor Day to late August while I was in school.

And I'm well aware that we should never read the comments that people post but GoComics gives me a featured comment and it grabbed my interest. Basically, since you still have to be in school for 180-190 days (depending on the state) then kids clearly have more days off. This comment had 5 replies so like an idiot, I opened them. The first comment--THE FIRST COMMENT--"Teachers need those days off to attend the union meetings."

Now, I've been working in education for 7 years and my wife for 12 years. Not once was there a "union meeting" on one of those days off. Most days off are because of professional development. Being an educator is one of the rare jobs where you have to do things in order to continue to do your job. Not only do you have to make sure your kids are learning, you have to have so many hours of re-education or you can't get recertified. How many other jobs do that? Probably not yours "Iron Pounder."

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mom's Taxi #2

Lindsay, Brooklyn, Georgia, and Maddie stared at the blue feathered dinosaur that was also staring at them. Karmen was watching from inside the van.

“They did have feathers,” Maddie breathed.

“Where are we?” Lindsay asked no one. “What do we do?”




Andrew, Christine, her husband John, and Michelle, Maddie’s mom, were standing with a couple of police officers. “Lindsay is tall, about 5’11”, brown hair usually pulled into a ponytail. Wide hazel eyes. Here. I have a picture of Lindsay and the girls on my phone,” Andrew got out his phone and showed the officer the picture.

“Here,” the officer pulled a card of his shirt pocket. “Email me that picture. What car was she driving?”

“A forest green hatchback,” Andrew said. He gave the make, model, and year of Lindsay’s car. “I think I have an old insurance card in my car with the license number on it.”

“Okay. Can you get that?” the officer turned to Christine. “You dropped your daughter off at Ms. Baird’s at about 8:15?”

“Yes, I had an errand to run before the game and was going to be a few minutes late.”

“What were you doing? We need to verify that you were there without Georgia.”

Christine hesitated. She could still feel Michael on top of her and inside of her. She looked at John. They’d been having marital troubles over the last year. She had started talking to Michael after they met at the discount grocery store. Christine had done terribly at keeping their two flings secret. Their first time, her oldest daughter, Audrey, had walked in on them and now this. Maybe this was fate giving her a sign. “I was at CostCo getting a giant case of those small Sunny D bottles,” she lied.

The officer wrote that down. “Okay. And Maddie spent the night at the Bairds?”

“Yes,” Michelle answered. “Maddie had been over at Lindsay’s all day Friday and she--Maddie--called from Lindsay’s cell asking to spend the night. See?” Michelle held up her phone showing a recent call from Lindsay at 5:17 in the evening that lasted less than five minutes.

The officer made a note. Andrew was back with the old insurance card. “Mr. Baird, do you know, was Lindsay depressed or angry?”

“We went through a pretty messy divorce but it was mostly amicable. She seemed okay. The girls never mentioned anything about their mom acting differently,” Andrew explained.

“Do any of you know which route she might have taken to the soccer field?”

“She would probably take Atwood,” Michelle said.

“Which is closed at 32nd,” Christine reminded.

“So we don’t know which way she was going,” Andrew said.

“We’ll put out an APB for the vehicle and question people along James and Alexandria Streets to see if she took one of those after reaching the detour,” the officer said. “Mr. Baird, Mr. and Mrs. Hetrick, and Ms. Kubrick, can you come with me so we can get pictures of your kids and Lindsay?”

They all nodded. They separated to their own vehicles and followed the one officer back to the police station. Only Michelle wasn’t thinking the worst.




Brooklyn walked up to the dinosaur and reached out her hand to pet it. “Brooklyn, don’t touch it. You could get...oh, what’s that disease you can get from birds?” Lindsay said.

“It’s not a bird, Mom,” Brooklyn scoffed.

“It’s feathered and an ancestor of birds. Don’t touch it.”

“Shouldn’t we be finding some shelter and some food?” Maddie asked.

“Well, we have the car for shelter. There looks to be plenty of food-like stuffs in the plants but I don’t know if they are safe to eat,” Lindsay looked at the odd fruits on the fern-like plant near her.

The dinosaur made a cooing purr sound. “Aw, he loves us,” Brooklyn said.

“He probably thinks we’re food,” Karmen said. She had gotten out of the car but was still somewhat cowering behind it.

“We should find a cave,” Georgia said. “Be cave people.”

The trees rustled again. “What’s that?” Brooklyn asked. “Some of your friends?”

Another dinosaur popped out, angrier with darker colored feathers. Brown with a fringe of purple. It hissed and the blue dinosaur ran away. “Girls, get in the car.”

The girls and Lindsay slowly got in the car and locked the doors. The dinosaur came up to the driver’s window and hissed again. Lindsay started the car. “Can we go home?” Karmen cried.

“We’ll try, sweetie,” Lindsay threw the car into reverse and backed up to head back the way that they had come. The car raced--bouncing and flailing--down the narrow clay ruts. She couldn’t drive too fast so the dinosaur was able to keep up. Suddenly, the dinosaur paused then darted back into the trees.

“He stopped chasing us,” Maddie said.

“He went back into the trees,” Karmen said.

Lindsay slowed down and then came to a stop. She was breathing heavily. “Can someone reach back and grab me a bottle of water?”

Georgia reached back into the hatchback and began opening the case of bottled water she brought. “Why did he stop chasing us?” Brooklyn asked.

“I don’t know,” Lindsay said taking a bottle from Georgia. “I’m just glad it stopped.” She took a huge drink and then put the bottle in a cup holder. The water slightly vibrated and rippled as it sat there.




When Christine and John returned home, their oldest daughter, Audrey, was at the kitchen table seemingly waiting for them. “Mom, can I talk to you real quick?”

“Can it wait? We have to get pictures of Georgia to the police?” Christine sighed.

“Why? What happened?” Audrey asked.

“Should we tell her?” John asked.

“I guess we should. Audrey, Georgia has gone missing. I dropped her off at Ms. Baird’s and they never made it to the soccer game,” Christine said.

“What happened? Did Ms. Baird take her?”

“We don’t know. She also had Brooklyn, Karmen, and Maddie. We don’t know what happened. She just disappeared.”

Audrey nodded and looked down at her fingers between her legs.

“We’ll find her. It’ll be okay,” Christine teared up and rubbed Audrey’s arm. “What do you have to tell me?”

“Nothing. It can wait,” Audrey stood up and went to her bedroom.

“How’d she take the news?” Audrey’s friend, Amber, asked.

“I didn’t tell her. Georgia’s missing.”

“Really? What happened?”

“She was with Ms. Baird, driving to the soccer field. They never got there.”

“Do you think she killed her?” Amber asked.

“I don’t think so.”

“Well, you should tell your parents soon because if Georgia is found dead, there’ll never be a good time to tell them you’re pregnant.”




The vibrations in the water grew bigger. Pounding could be heard in the distance and smaller dinosaurs and flying dinosaurs were quickly abandoning the forest. “I feel like we’re in some Jurassic Park situation,” Lindsay said quietly. “Let’s find a place to go.”

She started the car and began driving away from the forest, following the animals. The girls in back, Maddie, Karmen, and Georgia, turned around and saw a tyrannosaurus rex standing a couple feet over the trees of the forest. It roared which both scared and thrilled the girls.

Hot Grounders?

"Hey, Thornapple! Quit yapping out there and get your head in the game! Who are you even talking to?"

It's time for another Weasels losing season. I can't tell who has had more losing seasons. The Weasels or Charlie Brown's team. I'd lean Charlie Brown but, and here's a fun yet depressing fact for you, The Born Loser has been around and publishing new comics for 53 years while Peanuts stops at just under 50 years. Thank about that. We only have 50 years of Peanuts comic strips but 53 years of The Born Loser and more are coming every day. Think about it. Think about it and weep.

If you would like to support my writing or my research, you can Like our Facebook Page, follow on Instagram or buy a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

He Did Need Socks

I loved back-to-school shopping. That was the real Christmas for me. New pens and pencils, new crayons or colored pencils, new paper. Back to school was when I usually got new clothes and shoes so everything was all about me.

I still like back-to-school time. New pens, pencil, crayons, blah-blah-blah.

Friday, August 17, 2018

His Left Foot

Matching socks is overrated. No one is going to notice and if they do then they better not care. I don't think my son has worn matching socks in at least four years and he's growing up to be a good, middle-of-the-road citizen.

I shouldn't be making jokes. Wilberforce has clearly lost his custom made, medically necessary sock that is used to cover the deformed hoof he calls his left foot.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Flog

I think Brutus just admitted to cheating when he plays golf. Luckily, he's not very good at cheating since he has never broken 100 in golf. To be fair, it's kind of hard to break 100 when the par is 3-4, you shoot six but only remove 1 point.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Da Whitest Guys U Kno

While I do use this expression "If you don't like your job then just quit", but I know that isn't realistic for a lot of people. Most people can't just willy-nilly quit their jobs and if you are one of the few who can quit a job and not have to worry about not getting hired by someone else or having money be tight then you need to check your privilege.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

>

Why is Gladys so thrilled with a flock of geese? Unless they are squawking and waking me up on Saturday mornings or pooping on my car, birds are one of the last things I noticed during the day. Meanwhile, here's Gladys, very interested in the migration patterns of these geese.

Monday, August 13, 2018

How Much Did He Eat?

"Mama, that was twenty years ago."

Brutus already handles the family finances and while they don't have much, he seems to do a decent job keeping a handle on them. I don't see Mother Gargle doing anything to help with the family finances even though it seems she spends 70 percent of her time at Brutus and Gladys'.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tank N Tummy #6

The sun was just coming up over the horizon when there was a knock on the front door. Dominic stumbled out of bed and slowly made his way to the door. Whoever was on the other side kept knocking. “Yeah, keep banging. That’ll make me come faster,” Dominic muttered then opened the door.

“Dominic? Dominic Hall?” a man exclaimed.

“Maybe.”

“I’m Rex Luther, the new owner of the Tank N Tummy franchise,” the man introduced.

“Did you say Lex…?”

“No! I most certainly did not,” Rex interrupted. “I wanted to be the first to tell you good morning and to give you this fruit basket. Mr. Smith,” Rex directed a large man standing behind him to hand Dominic the basket.

“Uh, thank you…?”

“I’ll see you at work, Dominic. Although I don’t like to call it work,” Rex jogged off leaving Dominic standing in his doorway holding his fruit basket.

“What?”

“What kind of boss goes to all his employee’s houses to wish them a good morning and give them a fruit basket?” Dominic asked Ryan as they walked toward the gas station.

“An awesome boss,” Ryan said. “Look, I’m sure this Rex Luther is going to be just like every other boss in the world but any boss is better than Harvey.”

“A dust mop is better than Harvey.”

The two walked into the Tank N Tummy. “Ah, good. Just in time for our first team meeting,” Rex said.

“Team? I don’t like the sound of that word,” Dominic said. “We’re not a team. We’re coworkers.”

“You’re also a family,” Rex said.

“Nope. Don’t like that either.”

“I have an open door policy so if you have any questions, concerns, anything, just come on in. My office is your office. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to order some gas,” Rex got up and went into the back room that had been, surprisingly quick, turned into an office. “No, no, Mr. Smith. I want the same kind of gas that Hitler used,” he said as the door closed.

“Does something about Rex seem off?” Ryan asked.

“He seems like a good boss,” Aaron shrugged. “Oh, I should make sure my time off next month is still approved or if I have to re-put in for it.”

Aaron knocked on the door to Rex’s office. “Come in,” Rex said. Aaron opened the door and walked in. Rex was on the phone. “Just one minute, Aaron. Look, Madame Secretary, we had a deal and if you can’t hold your end of the bargain, then we’re going to have a completely different conversation.”

“Mr. Luther, the United States does not negotiate with terrorists,” the woman on the phone said.

“Well, you better start. Bye,” Rex hung up. “What’s up, Aaron?”

“I was wondering if my time off for next month is still approved.”

“We kept all approved time off and vacation time but if you want to make sure you’ll have to contact HR,” Rex said, turned to a massive computer console.

“Okay. Do have a name or number I could call?”

“I’m the boss, I never have to talk to HR. Part of the reason I became a boss. Mr. Smith,” Rex called.

“Yes, sir?” Mr. Smith was in a far corner with a man in an army uniform. Mr. Smith suddenly twisted the man’s arm, breaking his elbow, and then kicked him in the knee, breaking that as well.

“Can you give Aaron the number to HR?”

“Yes. From a work phone, just dial 1700 and you’ll get right there,” Mr. Smith took the man’s head and twisted it halfway around his neck, the cracks echoing in the corner.

“Thanks. Sorry to bother you,” Aaron waved and turned to leave.

“Not a problem, Aaron. Hey, what state do you hate more? Texas or Florida?”

“Florida,” Aaron immediately said.

“Thought so.”




“Dominic, I need an unbiased opinion,” Rex came out of the back room. On his way to the counter, he grabbed a road atlas out of the rack. “If I wanted to transport something in a large truck without drawing attention to it, which route would you pick?” he threw open the atlas to a road map of Washington, D.C. “The obvious route would be I-395 or I-66 but I’m almost thinking getting off the highways and using surface streets.”

“Yeah, I can see that but a giant truck that usually doesn’t go down side and residential streets would be pretty noticeable. I’m assuming you are thinking of using a semi so trust me, I notice the hell out of semis when they drive down my street.”

“I see your point,” Rex nodded.

“Look at this,” Dominic pointed at the map. “Take I-495 to Bethesda and take Maryland Route 355. That becomes Wisconsin Avenue which takes you right to Pennsylvania Avenue. People expect trucks on that road but it’s not an important trucking route.”

Rex smiled. “Yes. Yes. That’s a good idea. Dominic, when you wake up in the morning, your car will fresh and clean.”

“What?”




Dominic arrived to work the next morning. That morning’s newspaper was in a bundle next to the door. The headline read: “Luther Declares War--Florida Attacked”. Dominic cut the twine and flopped the papers onto the rack then took his place behind the counter.

“Dominic, glad you’re here,” Rex came out of the back room. “I’m afraid that I’m being ousted as CEO and owner of Tank N Tummy.”

“What? It’s only been a day.”

“I know but it’s just some trumped up bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo made up by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

“Pfft. The government. Don’t get me started on them.”

“Tell the other employees for me, will you?”

“Yes, sir.”

The roof to the gas station opened, a man on a rope dropped into the store. A helicopter hovered overhead. “Sir, we have to get out of here right now. A Seal Team is on their way,” the man said.

Rex nodded. “Dominic,” he grabbed the rope. “It’s been a great 24 hours.” The rope was pulled up and the helicopter disappeared.




Epilogue…
“A semi-truck drove into a crowd of people on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House before exploding killing 37. A spokesperson for renowned domestic terrorist and businessman Rex Luther, who is only known as Mr. Smith, claimed credit for the attack on behalf of Luther. Luther was also involved in the series of missile attacks that leveled half of Florida earlier this week. More on this as it develops,” the newswoman finished and turned to her co-anchor. “Dan?”

“Thank you, Harris. Would you like some cat fur in your coffee? A local businessman is opening a coffee shop overrun with felines. Is that a purr-fect business model? We’ll talk to the owner after this.”

He Made a Wrong Turn At Albuquerque

Does Wilberforce do this with every new pair of shoes? That sounds terrible. It's even worse because there's a lightning bolt on the side of the shoes. I'm also confused why Chip made Brutus' expression say "Sorry about my son, he's kind of a moron" instead keeping with the "Why are you interrupting my newspaper time?" face.

I'm working on a lot of stuff--some will pop up over the next few months and some will begin next year. If you would like to support LAMNB, my writing, or my research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Real Housewife of Cleveland, Ohio

I've never been a reality show fan. Even less so when I learned that most reality shows are not true reality. I don't like the sideshow aspect the shows have like we're watching a freak show at a carnival from the 1920s. "Oh, these rich people are terrible. Glad I'm better than them" or "Oh, these poor people are terrible. Glad I'm better than them." I know we already did that before reality shows but now we talk about it during work at break.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Late Night With Losers Are Made, Not Born

Yes, the life a corporate tea cozy magnate is an exhausting one. Clearly the martinis are not working. This strip actually begs the question why Veeblefester doesn't surround himself with competent people to work at his company and instead leaves everything to Brutus who's...let's just say not as competent. Is it because Veeblefester is some kind of control freak who wants to take credit for his underlings hard work?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

That's News?

Thankfully, this 'super duper foods' thing is fake. There are no such things as super duper foods and, God willing, never will be. Jeez, you give the name 'super food' to something and suddenly everybody wants to eat a banana.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Maybe He Heard 'Medication'

Does this take place in an alternate universe where meditation means or can be a reference to alcohol? If not, then I'm confused.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Civic Duty

Brutus is under the impression that there is no election today and that elections only occur in November and then, only every four years. There is a primary election occurring in some places to decide who gets on that ballot in November. Ohio, where The Born Loser is set, is one of those places. It's technically a special election for the 12th Congressional District but if you are registered (and why wouldn't you be registered?) and live in the district, you should go out and vote if you haven't.

Other states are having a primary. Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Washington, you still have time to vote as well so get out there and do it!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

West Union Road #3

Brock softly knocked on the bathroom door with his knuckle. “Does it hurt?” he asked.

“Of course it hurts,” Melissa said from the other side. She sniffed and the toilet flushed.

The doorbell rang. Brock sighed heavily and went to the front door. He opened it and saw Laura. He opened the door and smiled at her. “Hey, Laura,” he said.

“Hi, Brock,” Laura answered. “Is Melissa home?”

“Yeah, she’s in the bathroom,” Brock said. They went down the hallway. Brock knocked again on the bathroom door. “Melissa? Laura is here. I’m gonna head out. I’m meeting some friends. I’ll see you later.”

Melissa sniffed again. The sound of running water could be heard behind the door. “Okay. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, Laura. Bye, Melissa,” Brock said and left the house.

Soon after he left, Melissa came out of the bathroom. “Are you alright?” Laura asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I’ll be fine. Brock’s an ass,” Melissa sniffed again and tried to laugh.

“What did he do?”

“Does it matter? What’s up?”

“I was going to walk to the Cream Cup,” she said. “Do you want to come with me?”

“Sure. I don’t really want to be in this house anymore,” Melissa said. “Let me throw on shoes and we’ll go.”

Almost two years later, Melissa and Laura were sitting in the Cream Cup as freshmen when two guys--seniors--came up to them. One was wearing a letter jacket and actually seemed more polite and intelligent than the other guy who had a stupid smile on his face and kept staring at Melissa’s breasts. “Melissa and...Laura, right?” the one in the letter jacket asked.

“Yeah,” the girls both said.

“The guys and I are having a party out in the country and we would like you two to attend,” letter jacket guy invited.

“Yeah,” the other guy guffawed a couple times and pulled his eyes away from Melissa. “You know where Mitch Hollander lives?”

Melissa had gone down on Mitch back in September and they were at his place. She wasn’t sure if they were hiding the fact that they knew or actually didn’t know but she smiled at them and answered. “Yeah, I know. I’ll be there.”

“Really?” Laura raised an eyebrow.

“It’ll be fun. Come on, Laura,” Melissa goaded.

“I’ll think about it,” she replied. “Thanks for the invite,” and she waved her hand at the boys in an effort to get them to leave. They stood for a few more seconds and then walked off.

“Why don’t you want to go?” Melissa asked.

“They don’t want to hang out with us. They just hope we’ll be drunk enough or stupid enough to take our clothes off. Wasn’t Mitch the guy you…?” Laura loosely held up her hand, moved it back and forth in front of her mouth as she pushed the inside of her cheek with her tongue “He probably just wants to see if you’ll go further with him.”

“It’s a high school party, Laura. Drinking and sex, sex and drinking. Besides, that one time having sex was enough for me. I’m waiting until marriage.”




By one, most everyone had left the party. Melissa was one of the few who was still there although she had crawled into Mitch’s bed and fell asleep--alone and forgotten. At about two, only a handful of kids remained, spending the night instead of risking a drunk drive home. Mitch and the guy in the letter jacket, Travis, went into Mitch’s room to get more blankets and saw Melissa asleep on the bed.

“Looks like she was trying to wait for you,” Travis said.

“Nah, she just passed out,” Mitch chuckled. “Take these two blankets. We’ll leave this one here.” Travis took the blankets and headed out of the room.

“Great party, man. Thanks for letting us stay here,” Travis thanked.

“No problem.”

“You gonna sleep with her?” Travis nodded at Melissa.

“I’m gonna sleep next to her,” Mitch corrected.

“Whatever, man. Night.”

“Night.” Mitch took his shoes and socks off and then his shirt and pants. He sat down on the bed in his boxers and was about to get under the covers when he corrected himself. He grabbed a pair of pajama pants and put them on then got into bed, his back to Melissa.

He felt a tap on his back. “You should kiss me,” Melissa croaked.

Mitch rolled over and looked at Melissa. “I don’t think that would be a good idea. Besides, it’s late.”

“Come here,” Melissa reached over and attempted to pull Mitch over to her. Mitch moved himself over to her and they began kissing. “You should take advantage of this,” she moaned between kisses.

“I don’t think…” Mitch was interrupted by more kissing. They continued making out. Mitch moved on top of Melissa, his hands underneath her shirt. She helped him get her shirt off and then both of their pants. Mitch stopped kissing and fondling when he noticed Melissa stopped moving. She snored lightly. “Uh,” Mitch groaned. He raised himself up, looked at Melissa in the darkness his eyes had adjusted to and shrugged. “She’s the one who started it,” he said to himself and reached over to grab a condom from his bedside drawer.




“I need a boyfriend,” Melissa said as she and Kyle sat in history class. Kyle was sitting sideways at the desk with his arm on Melissa’s desk. She was using a pen to draw on his hand. “It’s been three weeks.”

“You don’t need a boyfriend,” Kyle said. “You never need a boyfriend. At least not the boyfriends you end up with.”

“What’s wrong with the guys I date?”

“Do you want me to make you a list? You are terrible at dating.”

“How dare you,” Melissa said. “I’m great at dating.”

“You’re great at sleeping with your boyfriends. I’m sure you are a great girlfriend but you don’t ever let that shine. You date a guy a week or two, jump into bed, and then that’s all the relationship becomes.”

Melissa stopped drawing and stared at Kyle.

“Prove me wrong. You’re kind of the class slut,” Kyle took his hand away. He looked at what Melissa drew on him. “What are these? Are these supposed to be penises?”

“Yeah.”

“They look like mushrooms. You have seen a penis before, right?”

“Of course I have,” Melissa began. The bell rang, dismissing class. Melissa stood up and headed to the door. “I’m the class slut.”

“Which boyfriend has a penis that looked like this? I promise I won’t tell.”

Melissa thought about what Kyle said all during her next class. At lunch, with her tray, she went up to Laura and Kyle, still sitting at a table. “Kyle, would you like to go out with me this weekend?”

Kyle stared at Melissa. “Yes, I would love that.”

“Good. I may have asked you but you are the man so dinner, movie, whatever you think would be a good first date. I’ll be looking forward to it.”

“Mel, what are you doing?” Laura asked.

“Proving Kyle wrong,” Melissa replied.

They had been dating a month when Melissa had Kyle over for dinner with her family. After dinner and after watching a movie with them, Kyle and Melissa walked out to his car arm in arm. “I don’t think they liked me,” Kyle said.

“To be fair, they don’t like anyone I bring home. They think teenage boys are sexual deviants who just want to get in my pants. For the most part, they are right but they don’t have to be so obvious about it.”

“You know what you should do to get back at them?” Kyle stopped and took Melissa in his arms.

“Not have sex with you until we’re three months into this thing?” she smiled at him and they kissed.

“Exactly.”

“And you are still okay with that, right?” Melissa asked.

“It’s the same thing I had been doing only now I’m not doing it with a girlfriend,” Kyle replied. “I agreed to it and I’d do anything for you.”

“Mm. You make it so hard to keep this agreement.”

“I try,” they continued kissing.

Melissa looked to the side and saw her dad staring at them from the front door. Upon seeing his daughter look at him, he turned and shut the door. “I gotta go in. I’ll see you at school.”




“I can’t believe this,” Laura said, pacing in front of Melissa. “He’s going to be devastated.”

“I’m devastated, too,” Melissa said. “I finally get this relationship thing figured out and I go and screw it up again.”

“You aren’t screwing it up. When did you know?”

“I’ve thought it for awhile, since my first boyfriend, but I can’t keep faking it. It’s not fair to the guys I date or me.”

Laura nodded. “Are you really going to break up with Kyle because you’re bisexual?”

“I need time to deal with coming out. I told my family and they are taking it as you would expect so I’m thinking I need to spend time with them to acclimate them to the idea that I am the same person but I like both men and women.”

“I can’t wait until you graduate and can get away from those people,” Laura sighed.

“Me too.” Melissa paused. “Do you think Kyle will handle it all right?”

“I’m fine,” Kyle said when Melissa told him later that night when they were out having dinner. “I’m just glad I got to have that time with you.”

“Why are you taking this so well?”

“Because I love you and I want you to be happy,” Kyle said. “I get that you probably haven’t heard that a lot.”

“I’ve been so worried that you were going to freak out or something.”

“The break up hurts but I understand,” Kyle looked at the time on his phone. “Almost ten. Ready to go home?”

“Yeah. I may be bisexual but I still have a curfew,” Melissa said and slid out of the booth. They walked hand-in-hand to Kyle’s car and he drove her home. They stood outside the car for a minute before she made the walk to the front door. “I guess I will see you later.”

Kyle suddenly hugged Melissa. She hugged back and rested her head on his shoulder. “If you need anything, I’m always there for you.”

Melissa sighed. “You are making it really hard to break up with you.”

“Enough for us to get back together?”

“Now it’s ruined,” Melissa broke off the hug.

“I figured it would be. Still gonna be there for you though.”

“I know. I’ll see you later.”

“Love you,” Kyle waved as she walked up the slight hill to her door.

She turned when she got to the porch and waved back.

Another Birthday?

Yesterday, I got a tour of the Jayhawk Theatre here in Topeka. After being closed for 40 years it is working on, once again, becoming a premiere destination for citizens and visitors of Topeka. Check out some of the pictures on Instagram.


I return back to work this week so posts will start appearing later in the afternoon. If you would like to support Losers Are Made, Not Born, my other writings or my research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi. Thank you to those who have and tell your friends about this site.

Holy crap what a terrible person. Not that I think Brutus getting a new driver will improve his golf game so why waste money on it but why does Gladys have that look on her face? Even Wilberforce is kind of like "Wow, you're kind of a dick, Mom."

Is anyone else getting tired of birthday strips?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Remember When It Was 100 Degrees and We Had a Drought?

Ohio weather is different than weather in Kansas. We don't have giant lakes to create the kind of moisture needed for giant snowstorms and our weather can be blocked or weakened by the Rockies but even during our worst weather we rarely get news coverage but every year there's news coverage on the northeast and their snowstorms and blizzards that happen EVERY YEAR. It even happens in the summer. No one commented on the midwest heatwave in early June but once that heatwave got to New York, it was all anyone could talk about.

What are we talking about? Oh, the mediocre summer we've been having that may or may not get worse. Let's talk about the spring we didn't have. Will we go from 100 degree weather in September and October to 30 degree weather in November and December or will winter just be in the 50s the whole time? I want snow days, dammit!

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Gambler

🎵You got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run

You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done.🎵

Yeah, he was playing the slots but I didn't have anything else.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

I Do Not Think He Knows What That Means

What?

What?

I wish I had Brutus' confidence(?). Why would anyone be embarrassed to buy their clothes at a big and tall store? I know many people who shop at big and tall stores. Some are big, some are tall, some are both. They have decent, well-made clothing at more than normal prices. That extra fabric ain't free!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

GladysMD

Gladys doesn't seem like the kind of person to diagnose herself using the Internet. Brutus does, but not Gladys.

That is entirely too much skin. And what's wrong with her arms? Gladys has many more problems the doctor should be focusing on than whatever fake thing she made up.