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.
In the foreword to one of my books I referred to Ric as having a defeatist attitude. Ric was offended, and immediately called me to defend himself. He said, “I’m not defeatist! I’m just profoundly negative.”
Anyway, this comic is all true. He said every one of these things to me. If memory serves, the story that involved panel three almost ended in a fist fight.
I stand by this comic, and every word printed in it. If you’re a man with a comb-over reading this, please take it in the spirit it’s intended, not as an insult but as brutal honesty. If you have a comb-over, you’re not fooling anybody but yourself. Like ripping off a Band-Aid or jumping in a cold swimming pool, just shaving it and facing life as a bald man will be difficult at first, but far easier in the long run than any of the alternatives.
Now, as for the president, there’s some reason to believe that his—let’s be honest—ridiculous farce of a comb-over isn’t just hiding a bald spot. It might be hiding the scar from a procedure called a scalp reduction surgery.
If true, in my opinion, this speaks not only to his vanity, and his belief that the rest of us are easily fooled, but also to his complete lack of foresight, because the only way a procedure such as this can possibly be effective in reversing hair loss for any period of time longer than a few months is if the patient lost a bunch of hair, but can expect to not lose any more, ever, for the rest of their life.
That is not how male-pattern-baldness works.
Here’s an interesting data point. Missy and I have lived in Seattle, Orlando, and Phoenix. Between us, during our marriage, Missy and I have had five vehichles totaled in non-at-fault auto accidents and one vehicle stolen. Here’s the most interesting part: all of the accidents and thefts took place in Seattle. All of them! Not Florida, not Arizona; Washington. And four of the five were when we lived on Queen Anne Hill, a really nice neighborhood.
It suggests that either we’re all being unfair to Florida and Arizona, or Seattle has been getting off easy.
It occurs to me that Rocket Hat never starts the trouble. These encounters always begin with the Emperor of the Moon arresting and threatening Rocket Hat. And no matter how badly it works out for the emperor, he always tries again. He is both proactive and tenacious. It would be really inspiring, if it weren’t so pitiful.
I once read an article somewhere about movies aimed at teenagers. It seems the prevailing theory in Hollywood is that pre-teens and tweens will go to movies aimed at teenagers, but teenagers will not be caught dead going to a movie for pre-teens and tweens. Also, it’s believed that teenage girls will go to movies aimed at teenage boys, but teenage boys will refuse to go to any movie aimed at teenage girls. Therefore, the soundest business strategy is to mostly make movies aimed at teenage boys.
It’s interesting that teenage boys act the way they do out of a wish to appear strong and mature, but the entire industry has been warped by their crippling insecurity.
Growing up, I had several strategies for winning at Monopoly. None of them could counteract my brothers’ and friends’ counter strategy: refusing to play.
My younger brother had an especially diabolical variant of this gambit. He would agree to play if I would set up the board, then, when I was finally done counting out all of the bills, he’d say “I don’t wanna play,” and walk away laughing.
Monopoly is truly a cruel, cruel game.
When I worked at Walt Disney World, the last thing I’d do every day before getting out of my car to walk in to work would be to remove the makeshift Elizabethan neck ruff of blood-soaked paper towels I had sticking out of my collar. One costume I had was maroon, and hid blood stains pretty well, but all of the others I wore were white, pastel blue, or mint green: colors that not only show, but often clash with blood stains.
For the record, these days I use a Panasonic electric razor on both my face and head, and am very happy with it.
It is true that one Christmas my older brother asked for, and got, a sort of more complicated alternative to the Big Wheel called the Green Machine.
It is also true that the same Christmas I got what we ended up calling the Batman Machine, which was mechanically identical to the Green Machine, but Batman themed. It was, objectively, better in every way, but Mark specifically asked for a Green Machine, so that’s what he got, while I accidentally got to be Batman.
Our younger brother got no Machine, because he was a toddler. Though, in a sense, he ended up getting both of them, because we’d both outgrown ours by time he was old enough to use them. That argument didn’t seem to make him feel better at the time. That’s the problem with toddlers. They lack foresight.
When I worked at Walt Disney World, I encountered a few celebrities. The only time I made a legit fool of myself was at one of the hotels. I was working the front desk early on a Sunday morning. I had ducked down to organize some of my forms or something, and I became aware that someone was standing in front of the desk. I stood up, started to say good morning, and froze up when I saw that I was face to face with a very famous woman whose work I happen to admire a great deal. My mind ground to a halt, and I stammered at her for what felt like a half hour.
The hope is that someday she’ll want to make a TV show out of one of my books, and we can share a laugh about it. That’s highly unlikely though, and if I did end up in a meeting with her I’d probably just start stammering again.
There is no reason to believe that the famous chemist who developed “The Meyer Method” was in any way related to me. In fact, there’s ample reason to believe that he isn’t, simply because he was famous, and a chemist.
There are many spelling variants of what is, phonetically, the same last name: Meyer. There’s an old legend that all Meyers used to be part of the same family, but the many Meyer brothers got into a terrible fight and all changed the spellings of their names as a way to disown each other.
It’s just an old legend, and probably isn’t true. But, having seen the way my father and my uncles deal with their differences, I can believe it.
Yet another comic based on a real conversation with a coworker. He bought his girlfriend a bottle of perfume he selected because it was the largest bottle for the lowest price.
This was in Orlando. There are a lot of strip mall perfume stores in Orlando, most of them called “PERFUME.” They’re usually next to stores called “LUGGAGE,” “ELECTRONICS-SONY,” and “T-SHIRTS.” For some reason, tourist destinations seem to draw certain kinds of stores, even if they don’t fit the area’s primary draw. If you’re on a romantic trip to the Bahamas, perfume makes sense. Same goes for Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas, I guess. But if you’re going whale watching in Juneau, or spending a July day at Universal Studios Orlando, the last thing you want is something that will make you smell more.
This strip was written about the show Castle. The basic premise, a crime fighting novice with a seemingly unrelated skill set teaches an irritated cop how to do his-or-her (usually, on these shows, her) job, is so widespread now that I’ve heard it referred to as “The Castle Formula.”
They’ve announced a new Star Trek series following the life of a now much older Captain Picard. As I said on Facebook shortly after the announcement, I sincerely hope it follows the Castle formula. I’d call the show Murder It So.
If I were writing it, there’d be a retired Borg who lives nearby, and Picard would always try to pin the murder on him at first.