CSotD: Seeking Your Bliss or a reasonable facsimile

Jeremy Banx gets the only coronavirus cartoon today, because it made me laff.

It’s annoying that hand gel is probably a good idea, because it provides cover for the germaphobes who compulsively wipe down everything for no particular reason.

I’m not going to fret until the disease gets a little closer, but that’s not the same as being in denial. It’s simply a matter of knowing the difference between vigilance and panic.

For the moment, I would suggest that, if you get trapped in the snow and a dog comes up with a keg of brandy, splash some on your hands before you take a drink.


But that’s enough about the coronavirus and instead let’s watch Kim try to come up with a blog posting in Between Friends.

Can’t be insecure about how other people will respond to your brilliant idea, Kim. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough and, doggone it, people like your blog.

And if they don’t, to hell with them.

Besides, as everyone who does this sort of thing for a living knows, you’ll labor over something absolutely brilliant one day and get no response, and then, another day, you’ll just toss something out to fill the page and people will explode with rapture.

There are two directions to take that: One is to do whatever you want and not worry about public reaction. The other is to produce more of the stuff people like, even if you don’t.

Hans Christian Andersen hated writing fairy tales, but apparently he hated being hungry even more. So it goes.

Still, if you’ve always dreamt of being a lumberjack, you shouldn’t settle for cutting hair.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Speed Bump)


There’s a place in the next town over that serves good coffee and light fare and happens to be just down the street from the Center for Cartoon Studies but for some reason is not overly infested with creative types. A few here and there, but not a mob.

But someone opened a coffee place just down the street that is very small and seems always to be full of people with laptops, which makes me wonder why they aren’t either working at home or maybe in the library.

Going to get a cup of coffee is supposed to be a break. You work for a while, then you go get a cup of coffee to relax before returning to work. You might even call it a “coffee break.”

Hey, I don’t make up the rules. It is written:

When you write, you shall not be as the hipsters, for they love to sit and write in the coffee shops, that they may be seen by men. Verily, I say to thee, they have had their reward.

But when you write, go into your room and shut the door and write in secret, and your editor, who reads in secret, will publish you.

I don’t know how much Andre charges for Adam’s bottomless cup of coffee, but he can’t be making much more profit than the guy who owns the shop where the hipster in Speed Bump is making his own.

There might even be an argument that you’re better off having them bring their own. Coffee costs money.


Anyway, real bohemians take pride in the number of saucers that stack up on the table.

Except Jake Barnes, who was, after all, being paid for his craft and only hip in his spare time.

We went down the stairs to the café on the ground floor. I had discovered that was the best way to get rid of friends. Once you had a drink all you had to say was: “Well, I’ve got to get back and get off some cables,” and it was done. It is very important to discover graceful exits like that in the newspaper business, where it is such an important part of the ethics that you should never seem to be working. 


Maybe sitting around coffeeshops being a writer is a subtle way of bragging that you’re not one of those Millennials who needs three jobs to get by.

Non Sequitur notes the lack of opportunity, though I faced roughly the same thing when I got out of college in the early 70s.

There didn’t turn out to be a lot of openings for Philosopher Kings.

I tried selling books and then selling vacuum cleaners and then working a grill, which last one I really enjoyed, but the pay didn’t support the family.

As for my writing, it’s good it wasn’t happening at a trendy coffee shop, because my first few paying gigs paid five bucks each.

But at least I didn’t have student loans hanging around my neck. If we’re going to demand K-16 education, we should pay for it.

Until that happens, however, be sensible about how deeply you go into debt for a degree in philosophy or poli sci.

What saved us was that my then-wife not only had a journalism degree but had worked multiple internships and was able to get a job that didn’t involve spatulas or paper hats.

Or five-dollar book reviews.

Oh, and a word to that kid in Wiley’s cartoon: McDonald’s has installed kiosks where people can order their food themselves, so you don’t have to ask if they want it super-sized.

Just hand it over and then go clean the fryer hoods.

And wish you’d wandered over into the Voc Tech building when you were in high school.


Spring is icumen in, loude sing froggie

John Deering lives down in Arkansas, so today’s Strange Brew probably isn’t jumping the gun where he is.

It’s a little premature up here and moreso in my old hometown, which just notched another two or three feet of snow the other night.

However, spring is officially less than three weeks away and it might even look like spring by then.

And sound like it. If you’ve never heard spring peepers, here’s your chance.

(Witness the patience of an old dog at 1:20)

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Seeking Your Bliss or a reasonable facsimile

  1. My dad sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door for a couple years. That was with Electrolux.

  2. I forget the name of the comic who came up with the observation, but he/she remarked that all those peeps, croaks, and sounds of the night was “all of Nature trying to get laid.”

  3. That’s what all my peeps and croaks and sounds in the night were.

    I sold Kirbys. We didn’t mind the Electrolux people, but the Rexair Rainbow people were our sworn enemies. I didn’t stick around long enough to figure out why.

  4. Off-topic:

    Does anyone know why the “Retail” strip has totally disappeared from the Comics Kingdom site? I am aware that the strip ended on February 23rd, but I got behind on my daily comic reading, and when I went to catch up, the strip and its archives were completely gone (unlike say, “The Pajama Diaries”, where the archives are still available).

  5. You’d have to ask KFS, although the fact that Norm Feuti held the copyright may have something to do with it. (On the other hand Terri Libenson appears to hold the copyright to The Pajama Diaries, which went straight into reruns on the CK site after she ended the strip.)

    He’s “currently exploring options for a place to read the Retail archive online” according to http://www.normfeuticartoons.com/retail/

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