Thursday, February 26, 2009


I wonder what's on TV...

"Good evening, I'm Edward R. Trudeau, and today my guest is J.B. Snopes, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Smorgascorp, a Fortune 500 company. Good evening, Mr. Snopes."

"Hello, Edward"

"I want to ask you what you thought of the President's speech the other night."

"I didn't think much of it."

"Oh, really? What didn't you like about it?"

"I expect the President to lead!"

"Well, Mr. Snopes, didn't it seem like he was leading Tuesday night? I mean, he wants to solve the health care crises, the education crises, the--"

"I'm not talking about pork spending! I'm talking about the banking crises!"

"That reminds me, Mr. Snopes, you have a bank subsidiary, don't you?"

"That's right. Upper Trust, and we're waiting on that bailout money!"

"And what do you plan to do with it once you get it?"

"I'm going to shore up the bank! Don't you read the news?"

"Well, how exactly do you shore up a bank?"

"The same way you shore up this TV studio."

"Well, um, I'm not entirely sure we shore up this studio."

"You're on the air, right? So, you're shored up. If not, people would be looking at nothing. It's the same principle with banks. Do you want to drive down Wall Street and see nothing? I don't think that would be a very scenic ride!"

"What do you think of nationalizing the banks?"

"Drive down Wall Street and see downtown Havana? I'd rather see nothing."

"But, Mr. Snopes, due to the credit crunch, nothing seems to be what we're getting!"

"That's because you haven't taken the scenic drive down Wall Street. Want to? My chauffeur's waiting down stairs."

"Mr. Snopes, I'm beginning to think you're taking the American people for a ride!"

"So, you're resorting to the old liberal media bias, huh?"

"I--I, uh, don't know what came over me. But, Mr. Snopes, please understand, you've been accused of operating a zombie bank!"

"More name calling, huh? I accuse you of operating a werewolf TV show!"

"Mr. Snopes, this country, perhaps the world, is on the brink of economic collapse!"

"Well, tell the entrepreneurs and small business owners to get their BLEEP together. They're supposed to be the engines of this economy!"

"And what about a big corporation like Smorgascorp, and a big bank like Upper Trust? What roles do they play?"

"We buy up, or buy off, all the entrepreneurs and small business owners, and that way wealth is created. They get wealthy, and we stay wealthy. Haven't you ever read Adam Smith? Unless--heh, heh, it's only us that gets wealthy. Kind of depends on the small print."

"Mr. Snopes, I would suggest we're in this mess because not enough people bothered to read the small print before taking out mortgages from banks such as yours."

"Now, there's where I would disagree with you. My bank is stuck with all these toxic assets because all of a sudden people insist on reading the small print. Who do they think they are reading print in the first place? Don't they know print is obsolete? These people are Luddites!"

"Mr. Snopes, I don't think we're getting any--"

"Look, it's not just me who's disappointed with the President. Look at the stock market. It went down after Obama's speech."

"Well, the stock market goes down every time the President opens his mouth. It may be impossible for Obama to make those folks happy."

"Not true, not true. I have a list of things Obama could say that would rally the markets. Would you like me to read it?"

"I think we have time. Go right ahead."

"OK. Number one: Toxic assets are only called that when banks are stuck with--I mean, own them. When owned by elderly widows willing to pawn their jewelry, they're called nutritional assets.

"Number two: Complaining about how CEOs decorate their office, how they fly from coast to coast, or the size of their, er, retentions , is both class warfare and in bad taste--whichever comes first.

"Number three harks back to what we were saying earlier: The Surgeon General has determined small print causes eyeball cancer. Read at your own risk!"

"Are you telling me, Mr. Snopes, that had the president said all that, the market would have rallied?"

"They would have partied like it's 1929!"

"Mr. Snopes, I think you may be setting your sights a little too high."

"I just want things to go back to the way they were before the meltdown last September."

"Well, Mr. Snopes, you might want to go back farther then that. After all, prior to the melt down, we had a shrinking middle-class; take-home pay--when adjusted to inflation--was lower than it was in 1974; we had a declining manufacturing base; the labor movement was dead, and companies were scaling back on health and retirement benefits"

"I know. The good old days."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Push My Buttons, Will You?!

I was staring at the screen, trying to come up with something to write about, when suddenly this pops up:

Due to lack of keyboard activity, you will be logged out in 59 seconds.

As you may know, I write this stuff in the library, and they don't want you to just sit there and stare at the screen. I'm not sure why. You're allowed to get a book or a magazine and just stare at it. No one expects you to activate the pages. For that matter, you can get a video, DVD, or CD and just admire the artwork.

Maybe they're worried about people checking out porn sites.

As long as there's still brown paper bags, I can get my porn elsewhere, thank you very much.

Damn, I still can't come up with something to write. Let me just think for a moment...or two...or three.

Due to lack of keyboard activity, you will be logged out in 59 seconds.

Jesus Christ!

All right. If it's keyboard activity you want, it's keyboard activity you're gonna damn well get.



Saturday, February 21, 2009

They Don't Always Have More Fun

Both my two sisters and my brother had blond hair when they were kids.

My one sister is still blond, but both the other sister and the brother are now brunettes.

I, on the other hand, came out of the womb a brunette, and have remained a brunette for most of my life.

Lately, though, I've found that my hair is getting lighter, the reverse situation of my two sisters and my brother. Ironic, huh?

Well, that's enough blogging for today.

I think I'll stop by the drugstore and pick up some Grecian Formula.

Quips and Quotations

You can fool some of the people some of the time, and make a decent living at it.

--W.C. Fields

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Information Tollway

There's been a lot of talk lately that the major news organizations should start charging people for information on the Internet. I think it's a good idea.

From now on, it will cost you folks $15.00 a day for the privilege of reading this blog.

Hello? Hello? Anybody out there?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I walked into the Looking-Glass Cafe and ran into Marty Volare, whom I've known since high school. A couple of minutes later we were at the bar, watching Greta Van Susteren interview Bristol Palin on TV. Bristol, you might recall, is the teenage daughter of Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate in the recent election. You may also recall that her boyfriend got her pregnant, causing a mild scandal. But that's all behind her now. She recently gave birth to a baby boy, Tripp. Van Susteren asked Bristol if she didn't think teens should practice abstinence. Bristol replied she didn't think it was realistic.

At this point, Marty Volare opened his mouth to say something, but as soon as he did, bit's and drops of chewed pretzels and beer poured forth.

It took about a second for Marty to compose himself, and then he said, "I agree with Bristol Palin"

"About what?" I asked.

"Abstinence IS unrealistic. It was when I was a teen,"

"What are you talking about, Marty? You were constantly shot down by girls back then. They wouldn't let you carry their books, much less do anything that would lead to a baby."

"I know," said Marty. "It was unreal!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recommended Reading

Psychiatrists have warned that a bad economy can actually have an adverse condition on your mental health.

Just how adverse, you ask. Well, it can bring on wild mood swings.

You're a Republican, say, and you're normal mood is one of anti-New Deal, anti-Great Society, anti-regulatory, anti-government intervention in the economy.

But under extreme toxic asset-related stress, you're suddenly a socialist!

Mental health officials refer to it as bipolarpartisanship.

But, fear not, there is a cure.

Just try a nice Swedish massage.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last Comic Standing

Some of you reading this--assuming some of you ARE reading this--may know that I'm a frustrated cartoonist (as well as a frustrated writer, and, in general, a frustrated human being.) I'm actually somewhat more successful as a cartoonist than I was, say, working in a "fulfillment center" (inside joke, for those of you in the know.) About four years ago, I had a handful of cartoons published in two different publications. One was a magazine out of Berkeley, California (which made me feel very countercultural) called Laugh Riot, and the other a local newspaper of sorts called Active Voice/Weekly Farce (I was in the Voice section.) In both cases I was paid in contributor copies, but at least I got some sort of compensation. I was now a professional cartoonist! Today Laugh Riot, tomorrow The New Yorker! Well, as it turned out, not only wasn't tomorrow the New Yorker, it wasn't even Laugh Riot. As far as I know, Laugh Riot never published a second issue. And Active Voice/Weekly Farce? Every six months for the last four years I've gotten a letter from the editor (how's THAT for a reversal?) promising another issue eventually. Until that day comes, I have a huge backlog of unpublished comics that I don't know what to do with. Until just now, when I sat in front of this computer.

I can't put the actual cartoons on this blog. As you may know, I use the computer at the library, and there's no scanner or whatever you use that could accomplish that. So, what I've decided to do instead is convert the cartoons into a prose format. Here, then, is the first of hopefully many more to come.

PANEL ONE. This big, fat guy with a big, fat stomach, big fat arms, and big fat legs, walks up to this sexy girl in a bar.

"Miss Monroe," the fat guy asks. "Will you go out on a date with me?"

PANEL TWO. "I'm sorry, Mr. Arbuckle," the sexy girl replies. "But I don't date fat men."

PANEL THREE. The fat guy then asks the sexy girl, "Well, Miss Monroe, suppose I go on a diet and lose two thirds of my present weight. Will you go out with me then?"

PANEL FOUR. "Yes, Mr. Arbuckle," the sexy girl answers. "If you can lose two thirds of your present weight, I will go out with you."

PANEL FIVE. A clock with legs is running along, indicating the passage of time.

PANEL SIX. The phone rings in the sexy girl's home. She moves toward it.

PANEL SEVEN. The fat guy's voice is coming out of the receiver. "Meet me at the beach tomorrow, Miss Monroe, and you'll see I'm two thirds thinner."

"OK, Mr. Arbuckle," the sexy girl replies. "I'll be there"

PANEL EIGHT. They're both at the beach. The sexy girl is wearing a bikini, the fat guy trunks. The fat guy has thin, spaghetti-like arms, and thin spaghetti-like legs. His stomach, though, is still big and fat. Even though the sexy girl looks reluctant, she says, "Well, yes, Mr. Arbuckle, I have to admit, you have lost two thirds of your weight."


You don't get it?


Monday, February 9, 2009

Recommended Reading

News got you down? Need a little escapism? Fantasy? How about a nice, little fairy tale?

Archival Revival

This Thursday is Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, which I've already addressed.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Corrections and Retractions

A couple of weeks ago--on the day Obama was inaugurated, in fact--I wrote of driving down Bagley Rd in suburban Cleveland, and seeing some guy--it may have been a girl, there was a snowstorm--standing on the side of the road dressed up like the Statue of Liberty and waiving a cardboard torch. At the time, I thought it was some nut--I mean that in the best, possible way. I voted for Obama, too-- celebrating the peaceful transfer of power. I thought wrong. It had nothing to do with the inauguration. It was actually an advertisement for a tax preparation service. "Liberty" is the company's name.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled earned home investment equity tax credits
Yearning to breathe free...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kirk is

going to stop off at the hardware store and buy a--

Wait a second.

This is Blogger, not Facebook.

Excuse me, but this whole Internet thing gets a little confusing at times.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Random Thoughts About a Random Act of Violence

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think Oswald acted alone.

Other times I wake up and think that it was either the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, the military-industrial complex, or some combination thereof.

Then there are the times I wake up in the morning and wonder:

Why the hell am I thinking about the Kennedy assassination? Don't I got enough problems in my life?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Born to Run the Clock

Man, did you see Springsteen on the halftime show last night? He jumped, skipped, danced, shimmied, duck walked, dropped to his knees, slid crotch first into a camera, got back up from his knees, hovered over the audience, let the audience hover over him, used his guitar as a hula-hoop, did a time check with Steve Van Zandt, got flagged by a referee, and announced he was going to Disneyland. He also sang three classics ("Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" "Born to Run" "Glory Days") and one new song ("Working on a Dream"), which, thanks in part to last night's performance, may someday end up a classic.

Not bad for a guy pushing 60.

Or maybe the prospect of turning 60 is what pushes him.

Glory days
Well, they'll pass you by
Glory Days
In a wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days

Well, they certainly haven't passed the Boss by yet. That young girl's eye must be epoxied shut!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quips and Quotations (Super Bowl Edition)

"Players come and go, and coaches come and go, so what you're really rooting for is the laundry"

--Jerry Seinfeld