An important part of my weekday morning routine is The Reading Of The Comics, an activity that runs concurrently with The Eating Of The Cheerios (Or A Generic Cheerios Knock-Off), unless I’m out of either Cheerios or milk, in which case TEOTC(OAGCK-O) is replaced with The Anger About Being Out Of Cheerios Or Milk.
Why yes, I DO multi-task!
I generally don’t sleep all that well, waking up every few hours or so, awash in sweat, knowing that it was real, certain that the beast was really in the room this time, frantically flipping on the reading light to look for the trail of vile ooze that would be left in its wake* as it crept slowly towards me whilst I slept.
Sometimes I just wake up to get a radish to snack on. Still kind of scary, though.
In any case, I find that reading the online funnies is one of the better ways to shake off the predawn scaries and start the day; at least those days when I’m expected to show up at work on time and not drunk. Having to walk outside to find a street sign to figure out where you are? Ok on Saturday, not so much on Monday. Plus, as Reader’s Digest says, “Laughter Best Med.” Wait, that’s Reader’s Digest Digest. Reader’s Digest says “Laughter, The Best Medicine.” At least, I assume it still runs that feature … I cancelled my subscription when they moved the table of contents off the front cover. Bastards. I’m sure the publishers think that whole brouhaha has long since faded away, but I’m still biding my time. The restraining order expires in just two years, and let me tell you, my story-shortening, tome-trimming friends … it’s not over. Not by a long shot. Or, in this case, not by a somewhat-less-than-long-but-still-containing-all-the-critical-elements-of-being-long shot.
My current lineup includes (read in this order) Frazz, Get Fuzzy, and Pearls Before Swine (links to all can be found over on the right). Get Fuzzy was once brilliant, but seems to have been in a rut for a spell, and I’m starting to think Darby Conley may need a few months’ sabbatical. I’m not one to forsake someone when they’re down, though, so Get Fuzzy stays in the number two hole. Frazz is consistently funny, and is also an elegant commentary on the priorities we set in our lives and the ways that happiness can be found anywhere if perhaps we just discover where to look.
Pearls Before Swine, though, is truly on a different level. The Stephan Pastis story is a gooder, and I would not hesitate to place PBS in the pantheon of comicdom alongside Calvin & Hobbes and Willy’n’Ethel. The child-like naiveté of Pig, the cruel cynicism of Rat, the endearing oafishness of the Crocs (with the tear-jerking backstory of the croc son who, while not having inherited the debilitating idiocy of his father, loves him unconditionally despite his many, and obvious, failings. Hmm … I wonder why I like that part of PBS so much …) – the world of PBS is truly a beautiful place.
Had I written that last paragraph yesterday, it would be as true as an arrow shot from Cupid’s bow. You know, the shots Cupid takes when he’s not all lit up on peppermint Schnapps, not the ones he takes that make you fall in love with that girl three barstools down ‘cause you think it’s awesome that she can take her glass eye out and waterfall three shots, the last one being on fire, without spilling a drop.
Today, though, everything has changed. I think a few pictures will explain it all:
Above: Grey Ghost**, Exhibit A.
Above: Grey Ghost, Exhibit B.
Above: Today’s Pearls Before Swine.
Oh, it’s on, Pastis. It. Is. ON.
* Yes, I know a slow-moving nether-beast on a hardwood floor will not leave a "wake." I couldn't think of the word I wanted. You want precise and well-thought-out writing, with a tad fewer hyphenated words? Get off the fucking blogs and go to the library, lazy-ass.
** For readers outside of the four square-block area to which I attempt to limit my driving, the Grey Ghost is my chick-magnet of a sled.
Dead Acorn Action Item: If your local newspaper carries PBS, or any other comic strip you truly enjoy, please send them a note/email telling them that it really is the one thing that keeps you from ending it all, and that it should be continued. If it doesn’t, please send them a note extolling its brilliance (the comic's brilliance, not the paper's - the paper has already exposed its lack of brilliance by not carrying the strip in the first place, duh) and request that it be considered for inclusion.
4 weeks ago