18 L 11 / I'm just tired of seeing Arbuckles wrongly accused of murder

The audience isn't shown every last excruciating detail of characters' lives as they watch a television program. It's safe to assume that the people involved in the story get close to eight hours of sleep each day, use the restroom, prepare meals, drive to and from work, et cetera. The sensible, unspoken understanding is that these characters' stories are edited down to just the parts which are entertaining yet still carry a narrative. Sitcoms are basically just sequences of scenes strung together for convenience.

Things deemed to be inconsequential have to be culled in order to make room for the story and the amusing bits. That's it. Just because the viewers neither see nor hear any mention of a character's parents, that doesn't automatically make said character an orphan by default, does it? Sure, half the cast didn't make it to the final season of Family Matters, but watchers aren't expected to assume they all just simply died, right?

So, here is my proposal, having said all of the above: what if Lyman never left Jon Arbuckle's house? What if he was still there that whole time, but he just didn't appear in any of the strips because nothing strip-worthy happened to involve him or take place near him for the last 35 years?

Of course, it is possible that he did actually die and that this was just never related to the audience as it wasn't considered to be suitable material for the strip. An April 2013 installment shows a photograph of Lyman in a newspaper; perhaps it was accompanying his obituary?

Here's a fact for you: Lyman was named for lyme disease. Well, rather, he was named after a tick named Lyman from "Gnorm Gnat", a pre-Garfield strip by Jim Davis.


18 L 07 / Four quick things

A first-season episode of Ghost Writer contained a scene of Jamal and Alex at the library. They are shown looking through a book about criminals, and a photo of John Dillinger's corpse is shown. This was no accident; Alex remarks, "Hey, look! It's John Dillinger! Dead!" This was how the writers decided to sell the concept of libraries to kids: "Go to your local library— they have pictures of dead people!"

I mailed a scrap of paper to myself from a public mailbox this week. The envelope had nothing more than a 9-digit ZIP code as both the return address and the mailing address. It made it to its destination successfully. I actually tried this experiment in 2008 and it did not work.

Bought a vinyl Nabisco Thing wallet online last month. When it arrived, I found it contained two pieces of paper. Here they are: Number 1, Number 2.

These pages haven't been updated in 24 years. Enjoy.


18 K 04 / Killdozer Day

On this, the 14th anniversary of the Killdozer rampage, we finally have footage of Marv Heemeyer behind the wheel of his machine of destruction.

This may not be for the faint of heart.


18 G 23 / Cats' Entertainment

I've never liked Thundercats. It's not my thing. As a kid, I thought it looked boring, and it still doesn't seem like it would have any appeal to me as an adult, either. I'm not putting it down, I'm just saying it's not for me.

And none of that changes the fact that the new Lion-o has fingers the size of Johnsonville brats on one hand and five little M&M's on the other. (You know the picture I'm talking about.) Everything else aside— I don't care about the style of drawing or the pose or the technique or whether it's faithful to the series or whathaveya— just look at the hands. It's an insult to anyone who actually tries and/or cares about drawing.

To be honest, I think that lots of people are WAY too judgemental about cartoons these days. Some of them will nitpick anything less than perfection, even homing in on minor slip-ups and corner-cutting wherever it may be— zooming in on characters in the background which are less detailed than normal, for instance. It seems petty. But if those responsible for the new series are trying to hype it up and get people looking forward to it, are they really telling us THAT'S the best picture they have? Egad, man.

Speaking of cartoon cats, Garfield's fortieth "birthday" is on June 19. But, you knew that.


18 G 16 / IT IS MAY

"Back to school"

"Halloween candy"


18 D 30 / Full of Easter promise

I think we're safe now. The snow seems to have breathed its last, and the vernal season may now begin in earnest.


18 B 01 / Dating game

Here's an idea — go through the next ten checks in your checkbook and write this on the date line:

"    /    /18"

That'll prevent a few reflex-driven slip-ups.


17 V 30 / Happy New Year


17 V 21 / Sitcom inflation calculator

The Andy Griffith Show, The Munsters, The Addams Family ×8
What's Happening!!, Diff'rent Strokes ×4
Newhart, 227, ALF ×2

(Amounts are rough approximations, adjusted for December 2017. Example: If ALF spends $500 on Willie's credit card, it would be about equal to $1000 in December 2017.)


17 V 16 / Is a dog


17 V 14 / The name has been changed to protect the innocent

I work across the street from a deli called "Vinny's Roast Beef". I managed to correctly guess their wireless password on my third try. It's "roastbeef1".


17 S 11 / Proposal

Memo to makers of "industrial strength" Velcro: the glue which holds the Velcro strips in place should be stronger than the Velcro itself.


17 S 09 / All-time low

Record lows for the ninth of November all over Massachusetts today.

Man, winter came late this year.


17 R 12 / Johnny Dreamaway

It's astounding how dreams work, isn't it? I dreamed that my car was stolen, and I genuinely felt a sense of impending doom due to all the paperwork I knew that I was going to have to fill out and all the other general hassle such a situation would cause for me. And yet, the whole time this was going on, it never really dawned on me that I was accompanied by Rerun from What's Happening!! That's the sort of thing that usually does a number on one's immersion.


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