Monday, July 3, 2017

Praise We a Brat and His Furr-Ball Buddy

I don't say this lightly, I'm not well-known for my humor, but Bill Watterson's birthday which is this Wednesday, 5 July, should be a(nother) national holiday. Watterson, the genius responsible for the world's most wonderful comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, never failed to amuse and amaze on a daily basis for the ten years and six weeks he shared his creation with the world.

One of the nice things about being somewhat advanced in years, and slightly mentally encumbered, is not remembering if I cried when the comic strip came to an end, but I suspect I did. I had and still have, a large number of the C & H books, which were compilations of the daily strips.

At various times one and/or the other of our children, for reasons entirely their own, have borrowed and enjoyed them as much as I still do and (at least in theory) have returned them to where they found them. Just as their father, a role model in everything even vaguely connected to doing as I say and not as I do, has always returned (nearly) everything he has borrowed to its proper place.

That's actually an inside joke. When I wash the dishes, my wife gets to play 'Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?' with a surprising assortment of implements and kitchen objects, ranging from the mayonnaise knife through the plastic microwave splatter guard to the small chopping block, because her husband of nearly forty years just moved into the house they share and has no idea where she keeps any of these items.

Yeah, to some extent, I do resemble Calvin's Dad (mostly at the hairline), who, like Calvin's Mom never had a name in the comic strip. Calvin's classmate and occasional nemesis, sometime victim, and often object of unwanted attentions, Susie Derkins, went Calvin, himself, one better in that she not only had a first name, she had a last name as well.

You didn't need to know that Watterson had named his two characters for John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes, two more disparate souls you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere, with or without Carmen's assistance. The comic strip is marvelous without ever even understanding the irony of their namesakes and their respective attempts to petition the Lord with prayer.

Me, I tread lightly on the subject because my own relationship with a Supreme Being has been, shall we say, somewhat uneven for a number of decades, but I'm fascinated when, while channel surfing, I come across any of the televangelists toiling in the video vineyards in His Name.

I didn't even know there was a GodTube but I'm not surprised. After all, why not and does it stream to a smartphone? If so, I guess my first prayer is for patience (and an aisle seat in the back). Praise the Lord and pass the extra couch cushions. After all, a progress boink is, in its own way, a revelation. Can I get an Amen?
-bill kenny

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