Piers Morgan explains:
America’s new President-Elect, Joe Biden, has a framed cartoon strip on his desk. It features Hagar the Horrible, the red-bearded Viking character created by American cartoonist Dik Browne, stranded on a rock in a violent storm as his ship sinks, lashed by thunder and lightning.
‘Why me?’ he shouts up at God.
And God replies simply: ‘Why not?
I know how much Biden values this cartoon, and the message behind it, because he told me about it during an extraordinary phone conversation we had a few days after the tragic death of his son Beau in 2015 from brain cancer.
It was then that Joe mentioned Hagar, who was a ferocious warrior but also a devoted family man. ‘I have on my desk right now a cartoon that my father gave me after the car accident,’ he said. ‘He could sense I was beginning to lose my faith for the first time in my life.
‘But he wasn’t going to let that happen to me. So, he went to one of those Hallmark card stores and bought a rectangular frame with this cartoon in it. It shows Hagar the Horrible being blasted in a boat by a storm and he shouts up at the heavens, ‘Why me?’ And God replies, ‘Why not?’
‘My dad was always saying to us when we were down about something, ‘Where is it written that the world owes you a living, pal? Get up.’ This cartoon was his way of saying there is no way to rationalise what has taken place. It can happen to anyone, at any time.
‘But if you don’t get up, it will crush you. I didn’t fully appreciate the cartoon’s message at the time, but it’s become such a valuable one to me, especially after Beau died.