Once again, this was based on an actual conversation. The guy’s uncle told him to call if he had chest pains and the uncle, who had suffered more than one heart attack, would tell him if he should go to the hospital.
I pointed out that heart attacks don’t present the same way for everyone, but that argument didn’t impress him. I did suggest that before he tell his uncle his symptoms, he should make it clear that his uncle is not a beneficiary in his will, and has no motive to want his nephew to die.
Missy and I went on the JoCo Cruise many years ago. This was back before it got big enough to take over an entire ship, so the JoCo cruisers shared the ship with the people who just happened to have a cruise booked on that ship that week. Many of those people were alarmed to find the ship half populated by young people (forty and under, which, on that particular ship, seemed pretty young) who were celebrating being fans of things they’d never heard of, and proudly calling themselves “geeks.”
One day, Missy and I were on an elevator with a man riding alone and a pleasant older couple. The older lady was dressed very well and fully made up. The older gentleman wore slacks, a golf shirt, and a very expensive watch. The lady asked us what the JoCo Cruise was all about, and what kind of things we were all doing in our private events, and why we didn’t seem insulted by the term “geek.”
Missy named a bunch of things we were all into, and of all the examples, the only thing the older couple seemed to have heard of was Star Trek.
The very first time the doors opened, the man riding the elevator alone got off without saying a word, even though I’m pretty sure it was not his floor. I suspect the main reason he left at that point was that he was Wil Wheaton.
It’s also hard to buy enough ice to fill a tub without raising suspicion. Seriously. If the cashier doesn’t give you trouble, the other hotel guests who see you hauling all of that ice in will almost certainly complain to the lobby about the wild party you’re preparing. I’d bet if any perpetrators have been caught in the act of harvesting kidneys in a hotel, it was by police officers who showed up hoping to nab some under-aged drinkers.
When you work in a place that operates under a ridiculous and byzantine system, there’s a great deal of power in being the person that understands that system. I have, on two occasions, been around when such a system was replaced with a new, much simpler, easier to learn system, and I have seen the people who understood the old system fight tooth and nail to prevent the new system from being implemented.
Of course, they couldn’t really explain why the new system wasn’t as good, but they’d never really been able to explain the old system at all, so that didn’t trouble them much.
Here’s the comic he got out of the conversation.
Notice that he has less text in his entire comic than I do in all but one of my word balloons. It’s almost as if he thinks comics are some sort of visual medium.
The reality show I describe in this comic is mean-spirited, but is The Masked Singer really any better? The premise of The Masked Singer is that they take people who are already famous, put them in mascot costumes and make them perform for our amusement, then, when they are unmasked we act surprised that they were the person who managed to entertain us.
Please, be kind to receptionists.
In my former office job, the one where my official title was “Office Manager,” I answered the phones, greeted guests, and got them any refreshments they needed. If I had referred to myself as “a glorified receptionist” most of my coworkers would have only been surprised that I considered myself to be in any way “glorified.”
I can tell you from experience that the receptionist has to deal with every client, customer, and vendor that calls or comes in, so anyone who is angry at anyone in the office takes it out on the receptionist first. Often, they only take it out on the receptionist, right after the receptionist tells them that the person they want to berate is not available, while that person listens from the next room over.
Once, a long time ago, the company I worked for opened a new facility, and I applied for a transfer to the new place.
To get the transfer I had to sit for an interview. The interviewer asked me what I thought was my biggest flaw as an employee. I said that I cared too much about doing things right, which is about the lamest answer I can think of.
I’m sure my interviewer thought it was self-serving BS. It was an accurate description of one of my issues, but it was not my biggest flaw as an employee. My biggest flaw was that I actively detested a large part of the job I held at the time, the same position was interviewing for at the new location.
Having to lie to work around that fact forced me to admit it to myself, and kept me from being too disappointed when my transfer was declined.
Note from Missy: That said, knowing the company in question, caring too much about doing things right was a very rare trait, and definitely looked down on by other employees, so it’s one of the rare places that it was a legit answer. 🤣
I understand why the police use red light cameras. And I understand why people don’t like them
Police use red light cameras because they generate revenue through fines. They don’t use them because they’re a deterrent. They aren’t. I don’t believe most people deliberately run red lights, and if the few who do aren’t deterred by the risk to their lives, the threat of being photographed dying won’t impress them much.
Citizens, on the other hand, don’t like red light cameras because they don’t want to be fined. They complain that the cameras are an invasion of their privacy. I don’t buy that because I grew up in a small town, and as such I understand that privacy is a myth. Also, if you want to keep something you’re doing private, you probably won’t do it while driving through an intersection.
When I was a kid–this would be in the very late ’70s or very early ’80s (because I am astonishingly old)–I had a toy that I loved. It looked like model of an airplane hangar, except there was an orange handle and a big orange button on the back of the building. When I raised the handle the two doors that formed the roof of the hangar would hinge open and a missile launcher holding a paper glider would rise up like something out of Thunderbirds, or a James Bond movie. Hitting the button would blow a puff of air into the launcher, firing the glider across the room.
Why am I bringing this up? Because I can’t remember what this toy was called, and I can find no evidence that it ever existed on the internet. I’m beginning to think I imagined it. Does this sound familiar to any of my fellow gen-Xers?
I wish I could honestly say that I haven’t lost sleep over this.
NOTE: Two readers, Paul Hauser and Michael Becnel, have written in to let me know that they toy in question was a Mattel product called “Wings Away.” I am grateful to the point of it becoming embarrasing.
This strip contains an inaccuracy. Humans did try to kill Alf. They wrote a season finale cliffhanger where Alf was captured by government agents who meant to dissect him, planning to make Alf fans wait all summer to see how he escaped.
Unfortunately, the series got canceled over the summer. So a show meant for families with small children ended with the title character fleeing for his life only to be captured by military personnel intent on killing him.
They later made a TV movie that explained how he got away and gave him and the family a happy ending. I kinda wish they hadn’t, but then again, I wasn’t one of the children traumatized by the original ending.
Note from Missy: Panel 3 made me remember the ’80s film Earth Girls Are Easy. Now I feel a horrible urge to watch it and see all of the ways where it doesn’t hold up today.
My dad has always had a shed and for many years had a van.
The shed was always full of grimy bolts, rusted bits of metal he thought would be handy, and tools which were both grimy and rusted. He is a tinkerer by nature, and his shed was absolutely vital to his lifestyle, so much so that when he moved into a houseboat he put the shed on some old logs as floats and tied it to the dock. Making the shed amphibious did nothing to help the grime and rust situation.
His van was a phone company surplus model with a weird rack that wasn’t good for anything but telecommunications equipment bolted to the roof. The cargo area behind the two front seats was completely empty. The walls were 1-ply steel with exposed structural ribs and the “upholstery: was a thin rubber mat glued to the floor. When he’d have the three of us boys for the weekend he’d make the back more comfortable by duct taping two lawn chairs together for us to use as a second row of seats.
Note: I said he made the back more comfortable, not more safe.
When I was young, I wasn’t great at taking notes. I don’t mean writing down stuff my teachers said (though I wasn’t good at that either). I mean receiving critical feedback on my work.
When someone would try to give me advice for how to do something better my natural reaction was first to ask who they thought they were. Then I’d ask if they even bothered to look at my work before they expressed their ill-thought-out, nonsensical opinion. After that, I’d tell them that if they thought they could do better I’d like to see them try. When the conversation was over I’d go off, sulk, think about what they said, and usually conclude that they had a valid point.
I’m much better at taking notes now. My process is mostly the same, except I’ve learned to speed through the steps as quickly as possible and not to say anything until I reach the “they had a point” phase.
The name Knifeketeer is, of course, a play on the term Musketeer, which was a person who fought his enemy with muskets.
There were also Grenadiers, who fought their enemies with grenades.
I could have named him the Knifier, but to me that seems similar to a sommelier, a person who, rather than fighting his or her enemies with wine, simply knows everything about wine and shares that knowledge with anyone within earshot.
Actually, The Knifier would make a good enemy for the Knifeketeer. The Knifeketeer would attack the Knifier with a knife, and the Knifier would criticize his blade choice.
“A bowie knife? In September? Don’t you think an imported Japanese tanto would be more appropriate?”
The Knifeketeer would HATE that.
I tried to read the Tibetan Book of the Dead once, a long time ago. I couldn’t get into it. In a sense, I started putting it down the instant I picked it up.
I remember being disappointed that it didn’t seem anything like the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis from the Evil Dead movies.
I don’t buy into the idea that special effects were better before computers. I will say this: special effects were more interesting before computers. It used to be that a documentary about how they did the effects for a movie would involve cool models, explosions, and robotic monsters. These days it’s mostly people sitting at computers looking at wireframes and actors wearing unitards studded with ping pong balls.