CSotD: Random Laffs at Wiley’s Expense

I rise to a point of personal privilege this morning to join Wiley Miller in celebrating his 20th anniversary with Andrews-McMeel and Non Sequitur’s 28th overall, though we don’t really celebrate anniversaries that are not at least divisible by 5 and preferably 10.

Though, in fact, I’ve known Wiley long enough to remember when he switched syndicates.

Non Sequitur has the advantage, as the name suggests and as Wiley intended, of being open to randomness, such that, while he specializes in one-shots, he’s been known to go off on extended story arcs and has, in recent years, done a lot of week-long arcs with established characters.

Which is to say he keeps the strip fresh by pretty much doing whatever the hell he wants, though the strip has a well-established voice and tone that carries forth throughout.

A major reason that Wiley is one of my oldest actual acquaintances among cartoonists is that he was one of the professionals who used to hang out at the Usenet group, rec.arts.comics.strips and interact with the fans.

He has, however, since soured on social media and pretty much given it up.


More successfully, one might add than Pam in today’s Brewster Rockit, who more mirrors my style. Wiley really has walked away from it all, which is enviable.

He’s also gone vegan and dropped a bunch of weight, at least when I saw him last.

The man is in danger of becoming a paragon of virtue, which I would think could seriously limit his effectiveness as a graphic curmudgeon.


He’s also a champion of dog rescue, which brings us to Dogs of C Kennel, which is about a group of dogs awaiting adoption.


Dog Eat Doug has also become a dog-rescue themed strip, but with an emphasis on fostering dogs while they await placement, as seen in Tuesday’s exciting adventure.

What I like about today’s Dogs of C Kennel is that Kenny is at least indifferent to cold weather, if not in love with it.

Too many canine adoption agencies — and dog experts in general — have a one-size-fits-all view of dog behavior, which includes a lot of breezy generalizations, but this is an easy one to deal with: Despite all the pathetic pictures, some dogs indeed enjoy being out in cold weather.

My ridgebacks have all hated it. My current lad will happily go along if a bunch of his friends are out running around, but he’ll hold his water for 24 hours in bad weather rather than just go out for a potty break.

But my son’s husky mix would stay out for two or three days in the most outrageous snow storms, entirely by his own choice.

Making hard-and-fast rules for all dogs is like making hard-and-fast rules for all kids: You’re better off paying attention and having no rules than blindly assuming that the rules you’ve read about are the right ones every time.

There’s a hard-and-fast rule for dog owners, though, and it’s relatively new, at least for those of us who don’t live in cities.

Even in the city, a generation ago, the rule was “Curb Your Dog,” which could mean training your dog to poop in the gutter or just kicking it there yourself so it would be caught up by the sweeper or go down the gutter.

In the country, we assumed it would revert to nature on its own.

But as Sheldon suggests, the world has changed and you’ve got to scoop the poop.

To which I would add that Dave Kellett is a pug owner while my dog weighs 90 pounds, which isn’t as much as a Great Dane but does mean I don’t spend half my outdoor time searching in the grass like the owners of those minipoopers.

For most dogowners, it’s no big deal.

Sheldon seems a bit coprophobic, though, and I thought I was making up that word but apparently not.

In any case, he may be fussy, but he’s hardly alone, and towns that will allow cats to wander around killing songbirds and spreading toxoplasmosis throughout the community not only have strict leash laws for dogs but additional poop-scooping laws as well.

There’s even a market for DNA testing of unscooped poop, which for practical reasons is currently confined to apartment complexes so the dogs can be swabbed and registered when they move in.

But as more dogs get on Facebook, y’know, it’s gonna be easier to track them down.

In fact, Zuckerberg looks like a coprophobe to me and he’s probably already working on it.

The real problem with unscooped poop is that, if some clown goes tearing down Main Street at 20 miles over the speed limit and glass-pack mufflers blaring, he’s an annoyance for about 30 seconds and then life goes back to normal.

Some fool fails to scoop and it’s there for a week, right next to the candy wrapper, the pop bottle and the McDonald’s bag that doesn’t stir anyone’s phobias.

And I’d make a comment about snotty-nosed children on the playground equipment but it would probably result in cities installing glove dispensers at all the playgrounds and fining people whose children didn’t use them.

And people wonder why American kids are allergic to everything.


Watch me nail the segue …

I can tie this all in with Wiley and dogs, because my first serious girlfriend had a dog who stole an entire box of AYDS and not only was there not enough chocolate in there to hurt him but while the stuff was sold as an appetite suppressant, it didn’t suppress his in the least.

Probably because he didn’t have the hot drink to go with it.


And while I have no doubt you’ll believe me about the dog, I’m not as confident you’ll believe me about the product if you’re not old enough to remember it.

Not only was it real but it was everywhere.

In any case, I continue to dread the end of Retail, but it’s winding down with both class and humor and a little bit of closure, too.

Meanwhile, Cooper’s signage gives me an opening to post a really good earworm that I’m looking forward to carrying around today:


2 thoughts on “CSotD: Random Laffs at Wiley’s Expense

  1. Good ‘un today. I’ll add my congratulations to our mutual racs friend Wiley, whom I first met circa 1978 when he was staff cartoonist at my hometown newspaper and I was a dumbass kid. I’ll bet he sees your post, though he may maintain plausible deniability. Twenty/twenty-eight years is a great run.

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