The Pause That Refreshes

Stanko & Tibor - Pause From Reality


A PAUSE REFRESHES. SOMETIMES.

Contrary to what most of you think, I have not published anything in months because I was in “pause mode” – which sadly doesn’t mean vacation. I was working darn hard at my job. A job that has me traveling far more than I imagined. So the enforced pause from the world of cartooning, blogging, and as some call it “spewing out crap onto the Internet” has slowed my output of witty observations, crooked drawings and sometimes hurtful commentary.

Did the pause refresh me, recharge my will to cartoon and blog? Did this enforced creative hiatus do wonders for the material I have lined up for future episodes of this crudely crafted comic? Not really. I’m still sleepy and I have gained weight from eating hotel food and indulging in vats, heaps, bushels of chocolate when I was anywhere within spitting distance of a vending machine or airport lounge. But that isn’t such a bad thing because what I saw while traveling the globe, and stopping to eat chocolate bars, made me realize many things about humanity, inhumanity and chocolate.

Cheaper By The Billion

Like the absurdity of repeatedly cleaning the gunk out from between my toes –deemed by international podiatrists as a proper measure of good foot hygiene and a sign of latent pathological fetishes– I saw many absurdities in my most recent travels. Each time I was in a cab stopped at a light (rare in Mumbai – traffic rules are the mere notions of a fevered, frustrated motor vehicle bureaucrat), or driving on somewhere elevated to avoid a local flood due to the passing monsoon, or to swerve violently around a dead animal or injured beggar, I had time to pause and think about what passes for humanity.

One key theme repeated itself as I went east: Life is pretty cheap. That isn’t meant to say human life isn’t important in Asia. Not at all. It’s just as important there as it is here. Seeing how we treat each other, and more importantly, the declining quality of baked goods that use oils and carob to substitute for butter and chocolate, everything and everyone on this planet is a commodity, especially when you’ve got millions and billions of them (or it).

My theory of cheap life is economic in nature. With well over one billion people in India, and China having its 1.5 billion and another half a billion or so scattered in and around the region, when a monsoon, earth quake, volcanic eruption,  maniacal dictator or just a plain old, run-of-the-mill plague comes along, suddenly you’re down a million humans or so. No one bats an eyelash except maybe the media, unless it interferes with the cricket/soccer scores. Someone else will aways come along and fill in the void. When you pause for a moment, especially when you’re trapped in a taxi in a colossal traffic jam, the source of which is most likely someone being stupid enough to cross the road assuming drivers will actually stop, you realize that makes life pretty cheap.

Gay Marriage – The Pause That Refreshes

You know what isn’t cheap? Divorce. Once the Supreme Court of the USA decided to make same-sex marriage legal, that country had to take a pause. Some hugged, some recoiled, some wept, and some rejoiced. A small but I am sure influential group triple rejoiced: Divorce lawyers.

I bet divorce layers across the 50 states of the USA took a moment to reflect, to pause, to opine, to ruminate over the implication that gay marriage, now finally legal, would be the impetus for many costly, prolonged, anger-soaked legal proceedings that will fill the courts and subsequently the coffers of many in the family law community.  Many a golf club membership or over-priced Autobahn-cruising, German luxo-barges –mit Leder– will now be funded due to the legalization of gay marriage in the USA. What horrible sitcom will arise from this that we haven’t thought of yet?

In actuality, the moronic, semi-sentient, troglodytic judges of the Supreme Court got the decision all wrong. They shouldn’t have legalized gay marriage. Sheer and utter foolishness. They should have made marriage, civil, religious or underwater, altogether illegal. Gay or straight. Or hermaphrodite. Your sexual preference shouldn’t determine whether you can marry or not. Marriage should be outlawed. For several shallow yet meaningful reasons (so I can beat a dead horse while I wait for my coffee to steep in the French press).

  1. It would eviscerate the profession of divorce lawyering thus forcing them to get real jobs like a McDonald’s burger-flipper or Walmart greeter. They could be replaced by ice hockey referees who make split second decisions, and are unionized, wear helmets and have blades on their feet so they are less likely to allow fights to linger.
  2. It would virtually eliminate the so called profession of wedding planner. Has anyone ever met a wedding planner they liked? That didn’t overcharge them for something a software program or an iPad app could effectively do for a fraction of the price?
  3. When was the last time you were at a wedding where the wedding cake tasted half as good as it looked? Never, that’s when. Sure, the hors d’oeuvres are tasty, and if it’s an open bar, a wedding can be fun. But wedding cake? The gross overuse of “fondant”, the dearth of real cocoa in the chocolate icing, the millimeter-thin layer of marzipan between the layers of sponge cake. It’s a sham. The wedding cake is the the triple-decker tower of sugary false promise that inevitably is given to the janitor or taxi driver hanging around at the end of the night looking for freebies. Was there ever a greater confectionary deception than the wedding cake?

Conclusions and Naps

So what are you, the reader of this absurdist rant, this fantastical (hey, that rhymes with ‘testicle’) work of art going to take away from this instalment of the irregular periodical visually chronicling the foibles of humans, and its author/creator? Will you pause, for a moment, before hitting the delete key in anger, index finger cocked and ready, and think about what I have said here? Or will you take a vacation hoping that when you come back, I will have come up with something about the financial Greek tragedy that’s the subject for the next comic? Or will you take a nap and wake up refreshed?

Don’t bet on it.

May you never step in elephant droppings,
Mentally Malicious Mogul Druker of Maharashtra

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