Actually, Douglas Adams and Hunter S. Thompson make good mismatched travelers in a road movie. Hunter insists on driving with the top down, but it makes Douglas’s tea cold, and the direct sunlight washes out the screen of his 16lb portable Macintosh. Douglas starts talking about time travel paradoxes after Hunter took mescaline and causes Hunter to have a bad trip. After several days of squabbling they find common ground and team up against their common enemy: deadlines.
I fully expected to own a sword cane by the time I reached this age, and I’m more offended by the lack of a sword cane in my life than I am by the lack of jet-packs and flying cars. I know, I could just go buy myself a sword cane, but that feels like bad form. A sword cane seems like the kind of thing you either inherit or take from a corpse. Specifically, a corpse wearing a top hat.
The only thing I’m more tired of than zombies, is people taking zombies, making minor changes, calling them something else and pretending they aren’t zombies. Any time the dead are reanimated, and bent on attacking the living, you’ve got yourself a zombie, no matter what you call it.
Deadites are zombies. Shouting threats and wanting to “swallow your soul” instead of eating your brains makes no difference.
White Walkers are also zombies. Yeah, I know, they’re organized, but that just makes them zombies with a boss.
For a few years my Dad lived in a houseboat on the Willamette River in Oregon. It is a time my brothers and I remember fondly, as many of our stories from that period end with the phrase, “And then he fell in the river.”
The reason I bring this up is that while he was living on the river, a museum in Oregon bought the Spruce Goose. They partially disassembled the plane and moved it to its new home. The wings were transported via barge, and parked for the night across the river from my father’s home.
I wasn’t there at the time, and Dad took one picture. It looks like a white wall on a barge. It’s not a particularly impressive picture, but it proves that it happened, and that’s what mattered to him.
Note from Missy: Where do you think the dead link at the bottom of the comic led to, lo these long 8 years ago?
Note from Scott: I’ve wracked my brains, and I have no idea.
Another Note from Scott: It turns out, the link we couldn’t remember was to this website. Thanks to all of the readers who reminded me.
I really like the drawing of me in panel one. It’s a shame I never came up with another use for it. Sitting here looking at it, the several ideas for comics that might have worked are suggesting themselves.
How to pretend to be a party DJ.
How to sneak up behind somebody on a chilly fall day.
How to play keyboards for a band called The Unabombers.
Note from Missy: It occurs to me that every guy in this comic (besides Mustache Boss) is wearing a gray hoodie. Dear Scott, did you choose which coworkers to highlight in this tale for that reason?
Note from Scott: It was not deliberate. Now that I think about it, most of the people who allowed me to use their images for characters in the first couple of years of the strip, except you and me, were sporting the layered look. That’s because the pictures of you and me were taken in our nice, warm home, and everybody else’s were taken in various locations around Seattle.
Later, when we moved to Florida, new characters tended toward t-shirts.
As for the color, one way or the other, every garment everyone in the strip wears is either black or gray.
I think it’s pretty clear that I was feeling down about my artistic abilities that week.
I will point out that you can tell this is Mirror Universe Rick because the usual colors of his shirt and undershirt are transposed here. I might not be able to draw all that well, but I know my way around a bucket-fill!
I don’t think the Invisible Naked Man ever appeared in Basic Instructions again. I guess, technically, he might have appeared in all of the strips. I can’t prove he didn’t.
If I did use him again, I could have maintained the lazy-artist joke by having him attack the Knifeketeer with easily drawn weapons.
“Now I’m going to bludgeon you with this perfect sphere!”
I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to come up with a commentary for this comic. It’s a comic about insulting Rick. What can I say about insulting Rick that I haven’t already said in the commentaries for the hundreds of earlier comics about insulting Rick?
Part of the reason I stopped the comic was I ran out of new, interesting ways to insult Rick. Now I’m running out of new, interesting things to say about insulting Rick. That, my friends, is not good.
I used to share a breakroom with two older men who would play dominoes every day during my lunch. They’d slam the dominoes down as hard as they could and shout at each other when they thought their moves were particularly good, or their opponent’s moves were particularly bad. I used to marvel at how the game would inflame their emotions. The only time in my life dominoes ever got me worked up enough to shout was in that same break room, watching them play, wanting to shout at them to shut up.
If any male somehow defeats or embarrasses another male, any females attracted to the defeated male will then reject him and become interested in the victorious male. Boys believe this from the time they are born right up until the first time they try it.
I’ve mentioned here many times that I used to be the office manager of a medium sized corporate office in Seattle. Really, I was a glorified receptionist, if you consider the title of office manager to be particularly glorious.
The receptionist is, for the most part, the least powerful person in the office. But, whenever an unhappy client visits the office, the receptionist has to deal with them first, even though what they are angry about usually had nothing to do with the receptionist. If the person they are mad at stalls, it’s the receptionist who gets to kill time hanging out with the angry client. If the offending employee is not in the office or tries to pretend they aren’t in the office, the receptionist gets to pass that message along.
Knowing that, I trust that my main character’s position as the buffer between Angry Client and Mullet Boss makes more sense.
It’s eight years later, and men’s deodorant scents continue to be nonsense. I currently favor “Cool Wave,” myself, because who doesn’t want to smell like a cool wave.
Note: they don’t specify what it’s a cool wave of.
Note from Missy: At least guys get scents other than flowers, even if they’re mysterious waves. If you’re a woman who thinks floral scents are disgusting, there are very few options. If someone made a deodorant that gently smelled of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, or Froot Loops, or pepperoni pizza, I’d stock up on that shizz immediately.
I know a few magicians. Once I asked one of them if it’s possible to buy a small smoke bomb that can be thrown at the ground to produce a large enough puff of smoke to give the thrower cover to hide or flee. He said, “Yeah, it’s called a flash pot.”
A flash pot is a device you have to set up in advance, run wires to, and trigger remotely. I explained that what I wanted was a smoke bomb I could carry in my pocket and throw at a random time or place when needed. He said, “no, what you want is a flash pot.”
I thought he was being dense at the time, but in retrospect, I am suspicious that he might have been maintaining a trade secret.
I’d love to tell you that I was asking as research for a book, or because I had some specific purpose in mind, but if the smoke bomb I wanted had existed, I would have just used it to disappear at random moments to freak people out. You know, leaving family gatherings, ending job interviews, that kind of thing.
And yes, I probably would have shouted, “NINJA VANISH!”
I’ve found that most of the time when someone tells me that they thought I was their friend, it’s because I don’t want to do something no good friend would ever ask for.
In high school I knew someone who worked at a restaurant with their best friend. One night, the best friend stole all of the checks in the register instead of dropping them at the bank. This was the second dumbest crime I’ve ever heard of. It’s not like he could deposit them to his bank account or anything.
Anyway, the check thief went to the guy I know, asking for help covering this up. The person I know suggested that he turn himself in, which caused the thief to play the “I thought we were friends” card. In the end, the thief got arrested and convicted, and the person I know, whose crime was not immediately turning their friend in, lost their job.
On the positive side, this was the event that taught me it’s possible to learn from other people’s mistakes, and this gave me an opportunity to learn from several mistakes in one go.
Woodstock took place in 1969.
Kurt Cobain died in 1994.
As of this writing, it is 2019.
Fifty years have elapsed between Woodstock and today, and Cobain’s death is the mid-point, 25 years from each. When I was a kid, Woodstock was ancient history. It might as well have been the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Cobain’s death, on the other hand, feels like it happened a few years ago.
If that freaks you out, think about this. Fight Club, The Matrix, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and The Mummy (The Brendan Fraser / Rachel Weisz version) all came out in 1999. Those are twenty-year-old movies! Do you ever flip through the channels on a Saturday afternoon and marvel at how much more current the movies they show to fill time on basic cable now are than the ones they showed when you were young? Yeah, THEY AREN’T! To a current teenager, the Matrix might as well be The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.
My point is that I’m getting old, and people my age are also getting old. We have to keep that in mind before we try to foist out cultural tastes on younger people.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to explain to anyone who’ll listen why Picard is a better captain than . . . whoever’s captain on Discovery this week.
The film, by the way, was Jean De Florette. Here’s the trailer:
It is, by all accounts, an excellent film, but a bunch of high school juniors from Sunnyside, Washington were not exactly the target audience.
“Oh, that poor man lives on a farm somewhere that it doesn’t rain much. That must be awful.”
(Note, the trailer doesn’t really go into a lot of detail about his crops, but a clip available on YouTube shows that he grew corn, marrows, and rabbits. It’s the thirsty rabbits that really stuck in my head.)
I get the feeling unlimited hydroplane races are sort of a Pacific Northwest thing.
There was a big race in the Tri-Cities every year. People would line up along the banks of the Columbia River to sit in the sun, drink beer, and watch rooster tails in the far distance. This was a welcome change of pace from what they did every other summer weekend, which was to sit in the sun, drink beer, and try not to think about the fact that they lived in the shadow of the country’s largest depository of nuclear waste.
This comic came out right at the beginning of when people started to see how ridiculous the whole sexy-costume industry had become.
Now I think the new frontier would be to take traditionally sexy costumes and market un-sexy versions. Next Halloween, I want to see Harley Quinn fighting a head cold, wearing baggy pajamas, an old stained bathrobe, and carrying a wastepaper basket full of used tissues.
If a young woman wore that costume, guys would still hit on her.