1/20/17

TV Listings

The Wizard of Oz (8-10 p.m., TCM) Concussed girl dreams of a world filled with colors, especially emerald.

1/19/17

Zen Garden, Beach Style

The redone beds on either side of my front walk,
after making a few trips to the local beaches.

1/17/17

Continental Drift

I wasn't sure what to call this painting in the headline, then
I noticed I'd titled it on the back of the canvas; Feb. 15, 1987

1/16/17

Wait, Which Do I Click?

This pop-up window appeared when I
went to cancel a doctor's appointment:
"Ok" turned out to be the right choice.

1/13/17

Footnote Fiction: The Ugly Truth

Five years ago, I tried to overthrow the government and was arrested. The police said it was because I was revolting. I was given a trial and found guilty, but my lawyer told me not to worry. He said I would be appealing soon.

It didn't work. The judge said he never wanted to see my face again, then he threw the book at me. That really hurt, but it also opened my eyes. It forced me to take a good, hard look at myself. It was then that I realized I couldn't go on like this.

When I got to prison, I sent a letter to the warden describing my problem. He wouldn't even look at it; he said he found my whole case too disgusting. I wrote my lawyer. He said he was appealing, but that in all honesty it didn't look hopeful for me.

I didn't know where to turn. Finally, in desperation, I went to the pastor in my cellblock. He listened attentively and then gave me this advice: "Keep your chin up, try to put your best foot forward, and keep your nose clean." I told him if I could do that I wouldn't have a problem in the first place.

And then I met her — the prison nurse. She looked up from her newspaper, straight into my eyes, and told me it was love. "Love?!" I said, barely able to control myself. "Yes," she said, "17-Down, a four-letter word meaning deep affection." She wrote in the letters. "Now, why such a long face?" she asked.

I managed to regain my composure and told her the truth. "I need your help," I explained. "I was revolting and they arrested me."

"That's horrible!" she said.

"I know how it looks," I said. "All I ask for is a second chance." Seeing how desperate I looked, she decided to help. We talked it over, and she figured if the warden could only see me in a different light, it might chance his view. As it turned out, she was having a candlelight supper with the warden in the staff dining hall that very evening. By using her pull, she got me in the door. Finally, face to face with the warden, although in that light it was kind of hard to tell.

"I've heard that since you've been here in prison, you've kept your nose to the grindstone," he said.

"That's just the way I was born," I replied.

"But if I were to let you go tomorrow, would you still be revolting?" he asked.

"No!" the nurse broke in. "I could get him a job with a doctor I know who could see to it that he wouldn't be."

"In that case," the warden said, "I'll see to your release. Just promise me one thing."

"Anything!" I said, barely able to believe my ears.

"Just promise me I'll never see your face back here again," he said.

I did, and the next day I was let go. Since then, I've gotten a job with that doctor, and in his spare time he's really straightened me out, to the point where I can go out and face people with a new-found confidence that I'm not crooked anymore. I've also had some time to think about what happened to me during those years and have come up with two theories.

The first is that if you're revolting, the only way to keep people from turning their backs on you is to keep them in the dark.

The second is that if you just wait long enough, you'll find someone, somewhere who is willing to look beyond the surface and see you for what you really are.

As to which is right, I don't know. I still can't see straight.


From The Gadzooks Gazette, No. 7, Vertical Edition, 1987


1/12/17

1/11/17

New York City Stores

Great artists never die, they just become names of businesses:
From The Gadzooks Gazette, No. 7, Vertical Edition, 1987

1/10/17

Nuckl For President

From The Gadzooks Gazette, No. 7, Vertical Edition, 1987

Representative Ross Nuckl, Democrat from Oklahoma, ended the speculation about a possible presidential run when he officially threw his hat into the ring last night. The hat, a red and white fedora, was reportedly caught by a bald-headed man in a dark green windbreaker who quickly disappeared into the crowd.

Nuckl campaign spokeswoman, Lydia Daily, asks that anyone with information as to the hat's whereabouts please contact her at Nuckl headquarters immediately.

Representative Nuckl has been a member of Congress for the past 16 years, the last five of those as chairman of the Public Service Commission. Before that, he spent six year in the Oklahoma State Legislature, four years as a judge on the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, and two years as a Amway distributor. Nuckl also likes dogs.

Despite that long public record, most people know very little about Ross Nuckl. Our correspondent, Rita Harry, caught up with Nuckl on the campaign trail in Texas to try and get a better idea of where he stands on the key issues facing this country.
Harry: Mr. Nuckl, where do you stand on the key issues facing this country?
Nuckl: Perhaps if you could be more specific.

Harry: Alright, let's start on the domestic side. There has been increasing concern in this and other parts of the country about unemployment. As president, what steps would you take to help the jobless?
Nuckl: My philosophy on that is very simple. I feel that everyone with less should get more. The jobless should get jobs, the homeless should get homes, and the helpless should get help. But let's not stop there. Let's get cares for the careless, lists for the listless, and tires for the tireless. Only then can we say we've done our job.
Harry: And yet federal funds aren't limitless.
Nuckl: When I'm done, even the limitless will have limits.

Harry: Let's move on. I'm sure you're aware of the large imbalance of trade, especially with Japan. What do you think needs to be done to reverse this situation?
Nuckl: The last thing we want to do is reverse the situation. On the contrary, I think we need to encourage this as much as possible. Let the Japanese send us their cars and compact disc players and TV sets. Because sooner of later they're going to run out of those things, and when they do, we've got them. Sure, they'll have all our money, but what do they do when they get up for breakfast and want a piece of toast? We've got all their toasters. And their juicers, coffeemakers, and frost-free refrigerators. And then who's got who?
Harry: Whom.
Nuckl: Them.

Harry: You were quoted last week as saying you could endorse covert military actions taken against foreign governments if it served our national interest. At the same time, you call for world peace. How do you reconcile these two seemingly contradictory views?
Nuckl: Well, I want world peace, but only for our country.

Harry: I see. One final question, Representative Nuckl. Before entering the race, you consistently trailed Dewey Needham in the preliminary polls by about 30 points. How do you plan on bridging that gap?
Nuckl: Good old hard work. I plan on going state to state, town to town, and street to street, taking my case to the farmers, housewives, and businessmen who make this country great. And I'll do it because I believe in those people — the kind of people who'll open their doors and look you straight in the eye when you ring their doorbells. I realize it won't be easy, but then I just said it wouldn't be. If it means shaking every hand and kissing every baby in this country, then I'll shake every hand and kiss every baby. Even if it means missing meals, going without sleep, and standing out in the cold and rain for hours, I'll find someone on my staff to do it, because what that effort will ultimately mean is having Ross Nuckl elected and sitting in the most powerful seat in the free world — President of the United States of America.
Harry: And then what will you do?
Nuckl: I don't know.

1/9/17

Fill 'er Up 2

Your task: Fill the crossword grid following the requirements listed below.
1. Place OBAMA, ROSIE, and TRUMP at 1-, 6-, and 7-Across (you decide which goes where).
2. Enter two of the names as usual, reading left to right, but one of them MUST read right to left.
3. The five Downs that are formed must all be common entries.

Answer: CLICK

1/6/17

Cross(word) Dressing

Join the glamorous world of fashion, where supermodels get to wear dresses and fascinators made out of newspaper crossword puzzles!

1/5/17

Cr-a-a-a-ck!

MAD Kids magazine ©2006 by E.C. Publications, Inc.

12/31/16

2017 Mouse Calendar

Every year tens of people anxiously await my mouse calendar. And here it is, just in time to start the new year. As usual, there are two PDFs available for download: LARGE (7" x 10") and COMPACT (5" x 7").

• Download the LARGE calendar here: CLICK
• Download the COMPACT calendar here: CLICK
Or CLICK HERE to go to the calendar download page.

Although this post is appearing on Saturday (to get it up before the year ends), it's actually the Monday post.

12/30/16

No Thanks

Actual quotes from rejection letters I've received over the years:

Ominous openings:
- We regret to inform you …
- We appreciate your interest …
- Due to current commitments …
- Please forgive this form letter …
- Dear writer …

The bottom line:
- It’s not right for us.
- Your work has not been chosen for publication.
- It is not a book we could take on at the present time.
- In the end, it wasn’t something we felt strongly enough about.

At least they’re paying attention:
- Thank you once again for submitting …

The diplomatic approach:
- I think it’s wonderful, but I don’t see how it would work in our hands.
- Our editorial board does not think we could do justice to your efforts.
- Though your ideas are very interesting, we feel we must pass on this.
- This is a delightful book that I don’t have a clue what to do with.

Deflection:
- I’m sure by now you’ve made a deal elsewhere.
- We encourage you to continue submitting this package to other companies.
- I have no doubt you’ll find someone else to publish it.

More direct:
- We just didn’t find it catchy enough.
- I’m afraid I did not see the material clearly.
- I just didn’t respond emotionally to this story.
- Your submission was not considered particularly humorous by our personnel.

How about something with mice?
- I really like the little mice, but we have had no success with rodents.

12/29/16

Graphics Quiz

What does this graphic (seen on an airplane) represent?
1. It faces right and is a flashlight.
2. It faces left and is a nuclear missile.

12/28/16

The MAD Wall

The artists' wall at MAD magazine (photo by The Hundreds). My contribution is just NW of John Caldwell's Nixon drawing, appropriately on the far right.

12/27/16

Sunday Solving

Back in the days when solving on paper was the only option, and the Sunday edition of The Times required heavy lifting ....

12/26/16

Alternate Crossword Clues

APP: Roach prefix
DOS: Nut-free donuts
CITE: Average student
ODED: Asner's rehab nickname
HOWE: Ye Olde Tepee greeting
STOOD: Father Ood, after being canonized
ADHOC or ADLIB: Deuce follower, in a Hoc vs. Lib tennis match