I’ve begun a monthly feature on the A.V. Club where I do a comic based around a notable object from pop culture. The first is up now. Read and be amazed by close-enough-to-be-recognizable-in-context depictions of Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood.
It was a blessedly warm and spiriting day in Minneapolis today. Staying inside wasn’t even a consideration given the fascist regime of winter, where even a glance outside was met with a crack across the face and a hard admonishment to remain indoors.
But there were still some barriers to enjoying the day to its fullest. Well, for some. The tiny creature on my back, mounted like an Emir in her elephant’s howdah, seemed happily unconcerned.
I love this old picture of me, because I think it’s the platonic ideal of a teenager. While the details are era-specific, I think the whole thing communicates the intrinsic state of pubescence since humanity began. I can just imagine some paleolithic kid responding with the same can’t-be-bothered snide look when asked to help cure the mammoth pelt.
Like the laziest of O. Henry-scribed ironies, it turns out the only thing worse than losing the Street Fighter competition is winning.
After dispatching a feared warlord and being reunited with a long-lost mother, what could possible follow but fortune?
As it turns out, being a savage jungle man with no marketable skills other than mastery of a school of self-taught swamp Capoeira places one pretty low on the hireability index.
Endorsement deals are surprisingly difficult to land. I mean, it’s not like they put the champions of brutal, amoral fighting tournaments on the front of the Wheaties box. I know this because I called and asked. That’s specifically what they told me.
So what, then? Move to the US, try and break into film. Get a decent role as Moss Man in the big-budget Masters of the Universe movie. Land the lead in the gritty, urban How The Grinch Stole Christmas reboot. Watch it go down at the box office as ignobly as if it were pile-driven between Zangief’s meaty thighs.
The drinking, already…excessive… gets worse. I’m no longer capable of controlling the electrical powers I learned from the eels. No, I’m still not explaining how I learned it. Yes, I know how ridiculous it sounds. I am a pariah, shunned both socially and physically. Since I exude a dangerous electrical halo and because I’m a belligerent drunk.
But then Allan finds me. We worked together on my cancelled project, Gumby Unleashed. He says he’s no stranger to the drink, and maybe, if I’d like, there’s a place I could go with him where I can begin putting my life back together.
It’s a little strange here. I don’t like these low, church basement ceilings. They make me claustrophobic. But Allan is being very kind and everyone here is being very kind and there are cookies.
If this doesn’t work out, Dhalsim has told me I could join him for a cleansing Yoga retreat at any time I feel ready. It’s a kind offer, but I’d rather not. Ugh. That guy…
From Ryan’s post: Blanka from Streetfighter at his first AA meeting.
Friend may be the closest descriptor, lacking an etymology for their actual relationship; which is really just two species who have neither the need nor want to eat each other.
Talk is chatty, furtive; as both are inclined to leave off without word.
They talk about finding food and mates. Maximizing conquests and minimizing defeats.
They talk about eggs and how they both enjoy seeing them vibrate excitedly before some new life breaks forth.
They talk about the ubiquitous green algae like a curdled skin over the lake. How it eats up all the sunlight and returns nothing but a simmering, rank august stink.
They talk about mollusks. Mollusks, right? Oh, I know it. Mollusks, heh…
They talk about the alto whine of the wind when dipping through the sky and compare it to the echoing, bass thrum of every movement made when sheathed in such a great pool of water. And how the two would sound good together.
They talk about circles, and how they move in circles, and think in circles, and live in circles and maybe all these concentric circles spiral down into a point, but they’ll be damned if they know what that point is.
From Lois’ post: A loon and a walleye at night in a lake
Lasagna is nobody’s first choice, but also no one’s last. While never transcendent, it is also never bad. It is the meridian, the middle path we must all walk in life to attain balance.
It is built as a home, layered and structured. It is the modest split-level for our souls.
I am certain I have tasted of bad lasagna.
Then you’ve tasted a heretic’s lasagna. One who’s fascination and hubris of their own craft superseded the purity of God’s trinity- Sauce. Cheese. Noodle. I’ll bet it had carrot in it, didn’t it? Some people have the devil’s breath humming in their ear, sibilantly insisting carrot is good in lasagna. Shut out the deceiver’s voice and all his putrid talk of root vegetables.
I dunno. Lasagna, really?
Here. Come over here. Taste this. Good, right? There you go. Take a big slice. And I’m going to go ahead and wrap the rest of this up for you to take home. It’s even better the next day.
From Cameron’s post: “On a coworker’s recent fb post, somebody commented that they misread something as saying “lasagna priestess” — I was trying to imaging such a thing, but I bet your take would be much better.”
“So.” Domino asks, all offhand-like, as if the question doesn’t come with maddening, torturous regularity. Like it’s not the same question he’s brought up a thousand times. Maybe ten thousand. “Tell us, Rosco, how’d you end up down here, anyway? Eat one too many slippers?”
Beaner pipes in, “Yeah, you chase too many mailmen?”
Chloe’s turn. “Couldn’t stop makin’ it on the carpet, I bet.”
Every week I’m asked. Every week we repeat the same stale topics and rip the scabs off the same tired arguments. I mean, it is hell.
And every week I deflect the question the same way.
“Naw, Domino. Once I just jumped too high going for a Frisbee and ended up pullin’ an angel straight outta the clouds. Apparently salvation’s withheld to them that eat one of God’s beloved heralds and servants. But it was worth it. That was the best meal I ever had. Better even than squirrel.”
They laugh, I laugh. I throw another pointless chip on the pile. What’s betting five years of perdition when you know you’ve got an eternity? Still It’s the only thing we have to offer up.
“That was a pigeon if it was anything, you muffinhead.” Domino chuckles.
But how could I tell them? You’d think of all places, hell would be the one place where crime loses the capacity to startle. The things I’ve heard other dogs did would give me goosebumps, were that I still had skin. But how could I tell them? That every time I look at the backs of those playing cards as a hand is dealt out to me; Those cards branded “Devil’s Own” so you never forget for a second what you’re playing with and who you’re playing for; Those cards bearing that diabolical likeness on each one, with those long whiskers, crescent eyes and great purring grin… that reminds me of her.
How I’d stay out all night just so I could be with her as she walked the neighborhood.
How she’d bring me mice and birds and I was happy to take them, though I couldn’t stand ’em.
How she’d curl into a ball, bury her little nose into her belly and sleep right up next to me. And I’d try and fail to not wag my tail so hard in happiness.
No. Even in hell there’s no way to tell another dog that.
From Joel’s post: Dogs playing poker. IN HELL
The first entry in the Popular Illustration Project. My interpretation of a comment left on my Facebook page reading:
“…a hunting dog impaled through the torso on a silver rod, hanging limply, with a duck hanging limply in its mouth.”
I’d like to do this every week, so stop by my page and leave your suggestions. The chosen entry gets the original drawing mailed directly to their place of residence. Or P.O. Box. Or power of attorney.
Trick-or-treating with my daughter last night impressed upon me the less than optimum conditions for being outside in the thinnest of synthetic fabrics for the purposes of eliciting candy from strangers.