This week went fast. All weeks seem to be going fast, like a podcast on 1 1/2X speed. I tote up what I’ve done at the end of the week and think: hmm. Not enough. Also, didn’t do that thing I meant to do. Ach, totally forgot about that thing I really needed to do. Burdens and duties are minor; how could I not do everything required?

Then I remember: because it doesn’t matter! The grave awaits us all! Whew, that’s a relief. But I’d better mail this bill payment anyway.

Or call the roof guy. We have a leak in the garage, which means another unexpected expenditure, another vision of one’s self wearing a barrel with suspenders. As I’ve said before I understand the image - you’re so broke you had to sell your clothes - but the timeline is never quite exact. Do you make the barrel before you sell your clothes? Do you strip, don the barrel, then go to the store to sell your clothes? Would any shop buy used clothes from a naked man wearing a barrel?

How do we know the person doesn’t just get his kicks from walking around naked in a barrel? I remember being in Las Vegas on Fremont Street, and there was a guy dressed as a baby, complete with diaper and a cap out of a 1940s cartoon, posing for pictures. Oh, you crazy town! But it seemed obvious that this fellow obtained his jollies wearing a diaper in public, and had found a way to capitalize on it.

Turns out there’s a name for the costume, and of course a wikipedia entry: the Bankruptcy Barrel.

It was also used in a 1999 Wendy's commercial referring to the dot com bubble where a destitute dot com magnate is left only with a barrel but can still afford a discounted Wendy's hamburger. However, Wendy's founder Dave Thomas (out of desire not to see him remove the barrel to fish for change) offers to pay for the man's meal.

Ah, Dave. A constant presence on TV, wry, laconic, gen-u-wine. Wikipedia: “In 1982, Thomas resigned from his day-to-day operations at Wendy's. However, by 1985, several company business decisions, including an awkward new breakfast menu and loss in brand awareness due to fizzled marketing efforts, led the company's new president to urge Thomas back into a more active role with Wendy’s.”

An awkward menu? Took me a while, but I found some info: “At the forefront of Wendy's breakfast program are four made-to-order omelets featureing (sic) such fillings as ham, cheese, mushrooms, onions and green peppers.” They also sold French Toast topped with compote, a scrambled egg platter, and a few other things.

Doesn’t sound particularly awkward.

Anyway, the roof's leaking, but I'm going to have French Toast on Sunday, so it all works out.

And now, DEEEEE-TRItus.

Since I watch a lot of Amazon Prime Freevee, I see the same commercials over and over. Familiarity breeds derision. This Swash ad has bored into my psyche and every frame of it drives me nuts.


First, the workplace: look at her handing a piece of paper to someone YASS GIRLBOSS! That look she gives us: yes, I am the sort of person who hands paper to other people. Important papers. Can’t-possibly-be-emailed papers.

Then the gym, where she walks in the door and makes a somersault and everyone is so impressed! Julia! She’s so awesome!

Then “play,” which consists of doing the hawt-walk with a little cozening glance at all available options. The apotheosis of this busy life of super-uber competence? Measured detergent dispensing.

I know I'm not the target audience here, but this just seems like a banal, ordinary life, and one that is not appreciably improved by single-serve detergent options.

Elsewhere in advertising:

  If you're wondering, jaws are continuing to drop, car-wise.

I was looking on Amazon for some inexpensive footwear, and as usual, there's a page from some BS company that doesn't exist.

But is it Chinese?


I think so, yes.

Makes them sound like shoes to wear when depressed.

I cannot tell you how uncomfortable this device makes me feel. It’s like something that flies through the sewers in the Matrix that eats your face.

This graphic should be chronological, but that would be difficult, since the new Star Trek is set in the pre-TOS period.

It has to have that animated character from the comedy cartoon wearing the stupid Dreamworks expression of AMUSED ANGER or whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. Light contempt matched with determination? Eh. And of course it has to center Discovery’s main character, the lodestar around which everything revolves, because she’s so awesome. How do we know this? Because she is! She saved the entire universe in her second season. I think she's, like, Admiral President now.

So who’s missing?

“We couldn’t possibly have fit him in. That would mean taking out one of these other characters who are super-important for Reasons. And we certainly couldn’t do 12. They’d be too small and no one could tell who they were!”

And now, the weekly dream-journal entry, illustrated by artificial intelligence.

I was walking in the old dog park, and came across my wife arguing with a couple. She insisted that their dog was ours. Indeed, he looked identical to Scout. I asked the man when they got the dog, and he said “May,” which settled it. I walked on, and for some reason I was in the car with Daughter and Birch in an old amusement park set in a residential neighborhood with many valleys and hills and spots for dogs to roam free. I couldn’t find Birch, and figured he had run off.

Thought: I really can’t blog about this. No one would forgive me.


I went in the woods, down to the place where we’d seen the dog who looked like Scout, and then I thought I should go down by the river, where there was a large assortment of pinball machines in an old decaying wood structure.

Needed quarters, so I went to a store to exchange bills for quarters. The clerk asked if I needed any stamps for collecting.

“Had enough of Magyar Posta in my youth,” I said, and he was impressed. Then I was home, walking past Daughter’s room; called out for Birch and he sprang from the closet, where he’d been all along. He was happy to see me, and gave me a hug, and I woke with the image of a pink nose in my face.




Rejected pictures follow. The prompt was "amusement part in a residential neighborhood in the style of Norman Rockwell."

General Store Clerk with a handful of stamps in the style of Norman Rockwell:

And again:





The last picture I'll take.

It'sbeen part of the neighborhood for decades. Most recently it's been a welfare motel. Now it's going to be affordable housing, which will be more stable.

Up the street, another:

Same situation. Crappy ownership, troubled tenants, now shuttered. No one's unhappy about that.

"Yes, I know. This one's pathetically easy."

Solution is here.


This year's old newspaper feature: a "social no-no" single-panel illustration. Can you figure out what's wrong?

Speculate on the etiquette foh-paw in the comments; extract any story you wish. Answer on Monday.


Now two ways to chip in!

Was that a bounteous ration? Certainly hoped it seemed so. Have a grand weekend, and we'll start it all up again on Monday. New book in the Gallery, by the way. Was that a bounteous ration? Certainly hoped it seemed so.




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