Troubled by a world gone crazy around you? Not sure which way is up? Tired of the world’s major and minor religions, but also turned off by atheism’s dogmatic approach to facial hair? Are you angry at vegans because you know they’ll outlive you AND they act like the moral high ground, but you’re not quite angry enough to spike their food with meat juices and melted butter?
I couldn’t care less. But not because I don’t care — I really do. Just not now. I am just really tired. I don’t know which way is up. Or down. Or left or right. And don’t get me started on anything that’s diagonal or perpendicular.
But I do know I need some quality sleep.
Absurdity Is Up, Sleep is Down
A very large tranche of absurdity has been served to us this past year or so, and we all know the source – Trump’s America. It’s a bad place right now, but having just come back from a vacation overseas to Europe, where people are equally displeased although more demure about it, it did give some distance to think about it a lot less. Maybe it’s European indifference or snobbery. Or the heat. My goodness, the heat! It was as if the Earth has moved 2 miles closer to the sun.
Since it seems the world is on its head now and will stay that way for a long while, maybe it’s time to admit that up is down, and fat is slim. Maybe this summer’s global warming has finally fried our collective global brains. Maybe it’s a time for change. Which is usually a good thing, except in this case where the right and the left hate each other, the people in the middle are seen as weak for wanting — of all things — rational compromise! Scum. Filthy, filthy scum.
So what are we to do about these “divisionary” politics that drive us apart, cause tempers to flare just as the ever necessary moral air conditioning craps out?
How should I know? I am still really tired and I still can’t tell which way is up or down or whatever direction. I need ice cream, and some MAJOR distraction in the form of comics, or morally ambiguous Japanese anime.
Derisively derelict in my duties
Master Sargent Blake Druker
Upon leaving the house, I made sure to pack all the essentials before my self-imposed health walk: keys, wallet, watch, and most importantly, my iPhone with headphones. Made with love and labor in China, where every day is (Hard) Labor Day!
Back to the iPhone. The toy of toys. And just as I was about to leave, I grabbed it with headphones and cable dangling perilously, but being in such a rush it slipped from my hands, not unlike a wet bar of soap in the shower (not prison, so save your rectal-wrecking comments), it popped in the air and then I began what felt like 20 minutes (was 3 seconds at most) of facial, bodily and emotional contortions as I tried desperately to prevent it from hitting the ground, and thusly prevent my toy of toys, my pride and joy (you thought I was going to refer to my kids? really?) from a premature death or dismemberment.
My daughter saw my face and body motions and couldn’t believe the physical lengths I would go to in order to keep The Device from tumbling. (Note: The ‘T’ and the ‘D’ are capitalized because capitalization in English generally denotes that some thing or person is so special, it’s deserving of a visual cue to the reader so you know it isn’t just some common, lowercase lay-about. It’s why when you read ‘Superman’, you think of a do-gooder dude in tights, and not some guy behind the counter at the hair salon who is “just super!” Oddly, words I have used like ‘spouse’ and ‘kids’ remain in lowercase. Go figure.)
Anyways, back to the dynamic action. Being forced to place my muscles and bones in positions usually in the domain of the Cirque Du Soleil pretzel benders, I could actually feel my body and face react like a dyspeptic, apoplectic mental patient losing grip on his favorite stuffed animal, and the earth shattering panic it would cause at not having the thingy in my grasp. (Control issues, anyone?)
In those few seconds I must have done more yoga stretches and danced such a jig of inebriated complication than I have done in years, since I was achy and had back spasms after The Device actually did tumble to the floor, albeit at a decelerated rate of speed thanks to deftly stretching my left leg at a 68º angle, extending my hairy foot at a 45º angle, using it as a cushioning agent so the The Device deflected off it, and then landed several feet away, none the worse for wear. My near cranial aneurysm notwithstanding.
Toys and Rollators
Which brings me to my next point. Assembling toys and rollators for children and parents respectively. Toys for all age groups require some assembly, and I, as a middle aged mensch, need to be able to do this job, lest I show myself to be incompetent to my generational bookend familial attachments. Besides, if I left assembly to my kids, a small war would ensue after ignoring them for a full 10 minutes and checking my Device for non-existent emails.
As for the assembly of the advanced (grumpiness and age, maybe intellect) adult toys for my dad (I never heard the word ‘rollator’ until I saw one with an article description on the side of the box next to ‘Made with the finest prison slave labor in cell block 23 in China’ sticker. The rollator is a slick looking, three-wheeled walker used by spinally reticent and bald men to scuttle about freely in shopping malls and your finer homes. Who knew?
Let’s be honest, what choice did I have about assembling the thing? I couldn’t say no to the man who raised me, primarily on beef, to retain and cherish the phrases “people are stupid” and “my soap is better” (he is a freaking genius!), who bestowed upon me words of filth and Impressionist quality obscenities like a 19th century master would to his eager student, in the name of being able to express myself in meetings, or while hanging with the boys or in front of my children, usually in a car stuck in traffic.
Monetary Value of Children: Low ROI?
Which brings me to the last point in this sleep-deprived diatribe: Kids. Should we be having them intentionally or not? How do they stack up in the “value vs efficiency” equation? Can you see where I am going with this? If you can, that means my blinds are open and you have very good binoculars, and you can see me strut around the house barely clothed, you filthy pervert. You sicken me. But I digress.
So do children test the theory of “are they really worth the money?” But the same can asked of smartphones, 2-seat convertibles, motorcycles, maple fudge, 300-watt car stereo systems, high-priced prostitutes, high-priced designer clothing that isn’t marked down more at least 45%, politicians, gluten-free baguettes and several other objects I can’t think of without another beer or a good night’s sleep. The answer is a clear ‘yes’ – I’m referring to the things that aren’t kids, the jury is still out on those little rodents. If you can develop and emotional attachment to it, replace it, get a guarantee on it or have an irrational, vein-in-brain-busting fit if it breaks (especially the politician), then of course it’s worth the money.
The kids, well, that’s a bit of a crap shoot. Homosapiens generally aren’t really good long-term thinkers. We really don’t consider the costs, consequences, ulcers, medical bills and trips to Ikea and Costco that comes with children. We can’t give them back, we get no guarantee, and if you leave them in the parking lot, the police eventually find you even after you have grown a beard and dyed your hair.
What does this have to do with this installment of the comic listed in the Oxford Companion of Deviant and Defamatory Literature Not Worth Wiping One’s Gluteal Cleavage With, Vol. 6? If I knew, I’d bottle it and sell it as a baldness cure or a sexual stimulant and make a killing. But I am not that enterprising, it would seem.
Witchingly and itchingly yours,
Sifu of Seafood (not) Jonathan Izuki Druker
As the weather heats up and my brain melts down while sitting in the sun, I am given to thoughts of laziness, intractability, wearing shorts, eating chips and drinking beer. And the combination of those aforementioned states of being is a perfect segue for this installment of Stanko & Tibor, the illustrated societal chronicle that has influenced a generation of musicians, poets, legal scholars and proctologists, and has led many of them to drink excessively. Especially the proctologists.
When people in society feel they have been wronged or cheated, they can do one of several things. They can protest, be it constructively or in some cases, destructively (like the sub-mental Quebec students I’m forced to avoid on a weekly basis). They can retreat to their iPads, computers and cannabis-laced joints and avoid reality and view it from a hazy distance (unless it’s that new iPad with the crazy sharp screen). Or, the smart ones take control and go into business for themselves – or let others go into business and then the really smart ones with no compunctions regarding killing and violence join the Mafia and live like leeches off the good people of society and eat a lot of pasta and veal.
So you ask yourself, why – on this long weekend in Canada, where we celebrate a day off in the name of Queen Victoria for reasons that largely escape me but also allow me to sleep in unless my daughter is having a sleep-over and there are a bunch of screaming girls making my life a living hell – do I take my precious time to bring you comedy, philosophy and art in the form Stanko & Tibor? It’s not because I love you. Which I do, but I display it differently than most people. It’s because I want to warn you of the ills of organized crime and taking the easy road. And maybe have a laugh as you read this and spend time with your family or at a bar and enjoy yourselves.
Lord knows I have.
Keep focused, never stray, remain sharp. And eat a whole bag of chips.
This episode of the oft-criticized, regularly maligned, fervently attacked by the Left and the Right, most dangerous and subversive comic within a 3 mile (5 /km) radius of our favorite bagel store is a shout-out to one Lesley Trites, a soul-filled colleague of mine who has had or is having her book of poetry published shortly. (I asked for a free copy and she made a 1-fingered gesture considered rude at social gatherings and leading to violent escalations in traffic situations and told me to get in line like everyone else.) Congrats, Lesley, I’ll be at the poetry reading even if you have me on the do-not-admit list.
As you can well see, there is little topical in the way of this comic, and that is because I am too tired. Work, charity, kids, blogs, comics. Forget it. I need a break. Now to take 2 weeks off to do much of nothing.
It’s hot here, sticky humid, and I have got the A/C cranked as any good North American with full disregard for the environment and a ballooning electricity bill would do. Well, if I weren’t so fat and hairy, I might not suffer as much, but the short-term solution of man-made cooler air really appeals to me more than losing weight and waxing my body. My god, I would need a candle factory’s worth of wax. Still that would be less than what my brother-in-law Sparky would need.
I promise many a fun-filled episode to come in the future and I will devote more time to the comic that ruins your inbox so that more humor, mayhem and guffaws make their way out into the world. And as a thank-you, maybe you could by a t-shirt or a tote bag from me?