CSotD: Picking Up The Pieces

I often identify with Arlo, but I don’t have to get water down my windpipe to do this. I have a scratchy throat, plugged sinuses and random coughs every spring.

It used to be hay fever. Now, of course, it is Impending Death.

The advantage of living alone is that I don’t have a Janis freaking out over it, though perhaps that would be better than freaking myself out, which I do.

Meanwhile, back in the days when I worked in the newsroom, there was another reporter whose springtime allergies were far worse than mine, and I’d just check with her to see if I was coming down with something or simply reacting to the pollen count.

I suppose with everyone working from home today, I’d have to phone her.


And speaking of comic(s) misperceptions, Pat Bagley is wise to simply note the way fatcats suffer with the collapse of oil pricing.

Several other cartoonists, noting that the price of oil has fallen into negative numbers, are doing gags about people being paid to fill up their gas tanks, which is funny but not how it works.

Negative pricing is mostly about buying up futures, which is to say that, whatever you paid on the commodities market, you’re losing money now.

Like many things driving our economy, it doesn’t really have much to do with the product itself.

Other cartoonists have noted that gas prices are way low just when we can’t go anywhere anyway, and I’ll go along with that.

I drive to the park with the dog each morning and sometimes again in the afternoon, but it’s only a few miles and I’m in a Honda, so I pass the gas station kind of wishing I could take advantage of the price but, alas, with no space in my tank for any more gas.

I know: It’s a sad life indeed.


Anyway, those fellas in Bagley’s cartoon have my full sympathy.



I have mixed feelings about the folks Paul Fell is toying with today.

To start with, the panhandler standing in front of the “Help Wanted” sign on the streetcorner probably has enough mental issues that he couldn’t last in the job. He’s a reflection of our health care system, not our economy.

However, while I have sympathy for people locked out of their jobs, and I don’t know that the meat packers are hiring, they could find work if they wanted it.

Construction is considered essential here, at least, and Dear Leader is apparently carving out an exception to his “I Hate Latinos” policy because born-Americans won’t do stoop labor.

The building next door to me has six apartments and they’re all Section VIII folks who work minimum wage and have to be really hurting right now.

But one of them — father of five little ones — drives for a local towing company, but also buys old snowblowers in the winter and old lawn mowers in the summer, fixes them up and sells them from his doorstep.

Granted, it’s good that he has a skill he can harness, but it’s also good that he does.

Though before we go all nuts over his use of bootstraps, I’d point out that he’s still living in Section VIII housing, like the Red Queen, running as fast as he can just to stay in one place.

But at least he isn’t out making a fool of himself on YouTube.

His five kids will speak of him with pride one day. Not sure the offspring of those anti-science, anti-social demonstrators will do the same.


Still, to be honest, those ignorant loudmouths are hardly the only ones who are, despite Ward Sutton‘s caption here, failing to pull together.

And many of these privileged wankers are, like the aforementioned loudmouths, too ignorant to recognize their lack of social engagement.

If you have some need to induce vomiting, check out this podcast from “Fresh Air,” in which Dave Davies interviews Nelson Schwartz, author of “The Velvet Rope Economy,” which examines the astonishing perks of being wealthy in America.

To be fair, there are those who recognize their place on the ladder.

Houston Texans superstar DeShaun Watson grew up in a Habitat for Humanity house sponsored by an NFL player and sponsors the program himself.

He also gave away his first game checks to some women in the Texans dininghall who had lost their homes in the hurricane, and he’s made significant contributions to the local food bank to help people get through the current crisis.

They say there are no rearview mirrors in Cadillacs, but he knows where he came from, and he’s not the only one.

But there are way, way too many too rich, too blind, too arrogant, and it’s not simply that they don’t pay their way but then they demand lower taxes.

Listen to the podcast. Whatever you think you know, it’s worse than that.

And, in a related comment, I don’t have much to add to Ed Hall‘s latest. I’m not blown away by the “wearing the mask backwards” gag, but I am genuinely impressed with how well he has captured the smug, beaming, self-satisfied, vacuous grin.

“Born on third base and thinks he hit a triple” indeed.


Fan Service

King Features apparently got hung up after the Dec 31, 1959, episode of Big Ben Bolt ran two days ago and has not updated it since.

For fans of the vintage strip, here are a few strips to keep you going until they figure it out:

And don’t think I didn’t pay a price to bring you those.

In perusing the Tucson Citizen from 1960, I came across this ad for a beer I had managed to block from memory.

A decade later, I was living in a house in Boulder with two dozen or so reprobates and, when we couldn’t afford beer, we would buy a case of this undrinkable slop instead.

And drink it. Egad.

It may be the Western Way To Say Welcome, but I promise you, it wasn’t served to the good folks who got waved through those velvet ropes.


Today’s headline was brought to you by this earworm:

3 thoughts on “CSotD: Picking Up The Pieces

  1. My daughter has digestive issues and was advised to drink a plant-based protein drink called Ripple. I immediately had flashbacks to the cheap red wine of the same name, from my ‘70s college years. The college way to say welcome—to hangovers.

  2. Well, Ripple was a plant-based drink. Not sure of the protein content, but if it coated your gut with the same pink protective covering it put on the glasses, it might have some benefit.

    We were Boone’s Farm people, but only the apple, not all the flavors that came along later. Same purist sentiment that makes me insist a martini is, by default, made with gin. Boone’s Farm is apple wine unless otherwise specified.

    Tried it again a few years later and it was like Hostess cupcakes: Made you think, “Did they change the recipe or was it always this awful?”

  3. A friend once told me that he and his wife and another couple stayed in a cabin in some hills for a few days, and nobody had thought to bring any liquor or other recreational substance. There was a brief panic, and they scoured the cupboards, and someone found a bottle of something that said it was ‘Pine Wine.’ Like a certain love potion, it smelled like turpentine.

    And the horror story ending: They eventually managed to drink the whole thing.

Comments are closed.