CSotD: Personal takes

A personal chuckle from The Other Coast (Creators), because he’s right that dog owners are more observant of the scoop laws than other users seem to be of the littering laws.

There are, of course, times when a dog poops while the owner is engaged in conversation and doesn’t notice, though when there’s a group, someone will point it out. And there are other times when someone will leave a bag on the trail meaning to pick it up on the way back and then forget and end up on a circle route instead.

As they say, nobody’s perfekt.

But this cartoon drops just as we got a catastrophic dowsing that brought back memories of Tropical Storm Irene, the 2011 storm that wiped out our local dog park, built on the flood plain of the White River.

With the park itself not just erased but its remains sodden, we started walking our dogs at a much larger, wooded, unfenced park nearby, and, in addition to carrying poop bags, some of us began bringing grocery bags to fill with trash. One of the women specialized in broken glass and would fill a grocery bag nearly every morning.

Our increased traffic had an impact on another form of trash as well: I haven’t seen a hypodermic needle or crack vial on the ground there in years and, judging from the lack of beer bottles and vomit, the kids seem to have found other places for their drinking parties.

The result is not only a cleaner park but one in which the cops tend to wink at off-leash dogs, giving out verbal warnings but nothing more stringent despite the occasional inevitable complaints from the occasional inevitable complainers.

They know that dogs, and their walkers, are a park’s best friends.

But you should still watch where you step. We can’t get all the broken glass, after all.

Red and Rover (AMS) elicits another localized response, but this one’s not as cheerful. We’ve had an ice cream place for years that has opened a week or two before Memorial Day and stayed open until Columbus Day, the normal summer season hereabouts.

But this year, it’s only open a couple of days a week and for fewer hours. It’s just one of several businesses that can’t deal with a 3.6% unemployment rate, and, even with school out, the ones that rely on high school kids seem to really be taking a beating.

No politics today, but I would suggest that people need to stop reading bumperstickers and start looking around at all the help wanted signs and places that have gone on restricted hours. I guess you can still hate Joe Biden, but do it because it’s harder to get an ice cream cone these days.

Which is pretty ironic, given that liking ice cream is one of the bizarre, empty insults thrown his way. (Contextual Note: All presidents have been on record as liking ice cream.)

Juxtaposition of its own self

I noted the other day that Zits (KFS) seems to be shifting Jeremy from being a stereotypical teen slacker into more of a Dobie Gillis character, and it seems to be continuing. As I said then, not only have we run out of slacker jokes, but insulting teenagers is so common in the funny pages that it’s not funny anymore anyway.

In that first strip, his parents note that he is becoming responsible, and I’d echo it: If nothing else, my boys did a better job of shoveling the driveway once they had cars parked in it. I’d get up in the morning and find a high school senior up ahead of me and the driveway cleared.

The standing joke among my fellow parents was that just as they started heading out of the nest, the kids were becoming worth having around.

I liked Dobie Gillis, and, thanks to Maynard and Thalia Menninger and Chatsworth Osborne, Jr., he found a lot of ways to get into trouble. Yes, mostly because he never listened to Zelda and it would have been an even better program if she’d come out of the closet.

Similarly, the most memorable Leave It To Beaver shows came when Wally was in high school and, like Dobie Gillis, had friends with whom to have adventures. In Zits, Jeremy’s friends have always served that role, but Hector has been the rock-solid best buddy, which neither Wally nor Dobie ever had.

Additionally, this may be the first time we’ve really seen Hector Garcia’s last name come into play, and it seems like another clue that the strip may be shifting into a more productive, inventive format.

Fingers crossed.

Poor Spud runs aground once again in his crush on Amelia in this Wallace the Brave (AMS), and it reminded me of a first date with a girl I took to the coffeehouse in town. We were early and so the owner/MC greeted us, handed her a long-stemmed carnation with a gallant, pretentious flourish, and then began to talk to me about something or other.

I noticed that he seemed distracted and so I glanced over at my date and saw that she was peeling the petals off the flower one-by-one and eating them.

He was deflated; I was in love.

Buy This Book

I’d have more to say about Darrin Bell’s The Talk if, as I had expected, it were just about how he had to have The Talk with his young son. But the book was far thicker than I’d expected, at 352 pages. I couldn’t imagine how he could take so long to discuss something so simple.

But it’s not simple. The book is a memoir of growing up in a mixed-race family in a world in which any bit of black makes you Black, and therefore not simply subject to The Talk but to one after another reminder, one after another incident, some scary, some depressing, some infuriating, all seemingly inevitable and unavoidable, all your life.

Usually, I’d review a graphic memoir with a few sample pages, but The Talk is so brilliantly interwoven that no single page captures a part of the whole, and viewing one page, or a half dozen pages, would not just over-simplify the whole but would seriously misrepresent it.

You need to read the whole thing. You really do.

No matter who you are.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Personal takes

    1. This particular panel from Wallace the Brave pointed out how important the gull is to assist in carrying the story. It’s eye pop in the third panel was perfect.

    2. I bought The Talk a couple of nights ago at Politics and Prose in DC. I’m looking forward to reading it… sort of.

      1. No, of course I don’t know that. How could anyone? But she obsessed over Dobie, showed no interest in girls, and in a later television movie, she and Dobie were married.

        Something that was really surprising to me was that she was in only 33 of the 148 episodes. She really had an impact when she was in the show.

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