I did have the Star Trek red alert klaxon as my ringtone, and I did get rid of it because it was too startling, but not because it only startled me. In the one day I used it I panicked my coworkers and several people on a downtown Seattle bus with it. I don’t know if it sounded too much like a real alarm of some sort, or if several generations have been conditioned to associate that sound with impending attack by Klingons, but either way, people found it nerve-wracking.
If anybody reading this knows anyone who works on The Good Place, I’d happily sign over the rights for this idea of an exhibition of tarps, podiums, and velvet ropes for use as an art installation by the character Kamilah Al-Jamil.
If you aren’t watching The Good Place, you should. You MUST begin with the first episode, though. You can’t just jump in in the middle. The show starts out very good and slowly becomes great. There have been things in this season that were so funny that Missy and I stopped and reran them like we were analyzing the Zapruder Film.
In high school I worked in the kitchen of a Pizza Hut. A coworker got fired for throwing a knife at me. Now, in fairness, it was a butter knife. I didn’t demand that he was fired, but I did complain that my coworker had thrown a knife at me, and the manager took it seriously enough to fire him. I can’t say I blame her.
What I did blame her for is that she called a three-person meeting for her, me, and the knife thrower, wherein she told him that he was being fired, specifically because I had complained about the knife throwing.
It was one of the less pleasant meetings I’ve attended.
For the record, I definitely believe in luck, but I believe it can only be seen in retrospect.
Say you and I flip a coin, and the person who wins the flip gets the coin. There’s no way to predict who will win. It could just as easily be you or me, but it will only be one of us. We flip the coin and I win. I didn’t do anything too cause this result. A random event fell in my favor and I profited because of it. We need a word to describe this sort of situation, and that word is “lucky.” The word for my opponent’s situation, where a random event didn’t fall in his favor and he lost out, is “unlucky.”
Luck definitely exists, but by definition it is not something you can count on in advance, nor is it something you can manufacture for yourself. People often claim that they make their own luck, but using cleverness or hard work to create favorable conditions is not luck, it’s effort paying off. These people aren’t making luck. They’re making me crazy by mischaracterizing what luck is.
Things like this have bothered me since I was a little kid.
No, I was not popular. Why do you ask?
Having my tonsils out as a middle-aged man was not fun. It turns out the older you are, the more tonsil removal hurts. The doctors explained it as having something to do with life being unfair.
Anyway, I used to get strep throat twice a year, every year. I haven’t had it once since having my tonsils out. So it was worth the pain.
Of course, I was told that while recovering, I could eat all the ice cream I want. There are two problems with that. One was that it hurt to swallow, so you don’t want to eat anything, even ice cream. The second is that as an adult I can already have all the ice cream I want. I could go to Baskin Robbins for dinner if I want.
Suddenly, I want to do exactly that.
Note from Missy: I’ll get my shoes on, fellow adult.
I have two brothers. That’s three boys, all teenagers at the same time. We didn’t have a VCR, so when a show like Star Trek: The Next Generation or something similar would go to commercial, it was not uncommon for all of us, and a friend or two who might be over, to have to go to the bathroom at the same time. We lived in a house with one bathroom, but the nearest neighbors were a quarter mile away.
All of this explains why there was a bush near our back door that did not look healthy.
Wait a second. Murderous robots who look like attractive blonde women . . . THE CURRENT WESTWORLD IS A PREQUEL TO BATTLESTAR GALACTICA!!
This means the Yul Brynner Westworld was a prequel to the Lorne Greene Battlestar Galactica!
It really is true, “This has all happened before. This will all happen again.” That’s from Battlestar Galactica . . . the Edward James Olmos version. It was said by a Cylon that could see the future. It lived in a vat of goo. OH NO! MINORITY REPORT IS MIXED UP IN THIS TOO!
It’s interesting, in fiction when a woman pretends to be a man it’s usually to fight in a war or support her family. When a man pretends to be a woman, it’s to get an apartment in an women-only building, or to sneak onto a lifeboat. The only semi-honorable example of a man pretending to be a woman in a book or film I can think of right now is Mrs. Doubtfire, where Robin Williams wanted to be closer to his kids, and even then he sabotaged his wife’s opportunity to date Pierce Brosnan, which I think we can all agree is a terrible thing to deny her.
The symbol on Omnipresent Man’s shirt is the place marker from Google Maps. If memory serves, Mr. Everywhere’s symbol is the place marker from MapQuest.
It was only after I’d introduced Omnipresent Man and featured him in several comics that I realized that I needed to flip the shadow on the symbol when he faced the other direction. By then I had flattened the art in a way that made it difficult to manipulate. Also, the way the shadow interacted with the thumb of his left hand gave me trouble.
You wouldn’t believe how much work I did to get out of having to actually draw my comic strip. I think one of the most important moments in my life was the day I realized that laziness actually leads to more work.
When I worked in theme parks, the new-hires would mock me for keeping my phone in a Ziploc bag.
The funny thing about Orlando in the summer is that most days it rains violently for about twenty minutes in the afternoon.
I’d rather look like an idiot using my phone through a plastic bag than look like a jerk replacing my smartphone because it got wet again.
Panel one is a joke from my old stand-up act. It was one of my favorites, because when it really hit you could tell from the sound of the laugh that the audience didn’t want to laugh at it, but couldn’t help themselves. There’s no greater feeling as a comic than forcing someone to laugh against their will.
When I was fifteen, the three coolest cars I could think of were the Camaro Berlinetta, the Subaru Brat, and the Pontiac Fiero. The Camaro’s stereo was mounted on a swiveling stalk that came out of the center console. The Brat had two hard plastic seats in the truck bed that had handles to hold on to instead of seatbelts. The Fiero had speakers built into the headrests.
I look at the cars for sale now, and I don’t see any of those features being offered. Its almost as if I fifteen-year-old me wanted things that weren’t actually good ideas.
In the hands of a pre-teen boy, everything becomes a weapon. I had a toy Saturn 5 rocket that had a little spring-loaded crew capsule on the end. I launched Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on many a dangerous mission to one of my brothers’ heads.
I had never heard the old “our boss treats us like mushroom” joke. (They keep us in the dark and cover us with s#!t, in case you haven’t heard it.) The coworker who told it to me just said that our managers treated us like mushrooms, laughed hard at his own wit, then refused to elaborate. It was like he didn’t understand that a joke has two parts. Instead of trying to explain the joke to me when I didn’t get it, he thought he could make me get it by repeating what he’d already said only louder and slower. It gave me insight into what it must be like to speak a foreign language and have to communicate with an American tourist.
We don’t hear much about Zuckerberg killing his own meat anymore. Maybe because one or more of Facebooks publicists got him to understand that when you publicly proclaim that you kill your own meat, many people will find it disturbing, and a sizable percentage of those who don’t will still laugh because they perceive it as a masturbation joke.