Queuing in Purgatory.

It didn’t take Vladimir Putin to resurrect the Soviet cultural experience. We have it right here in the Metro:

Just another day at the Comcast service center. We were picking up some boxes that would enable our secondary TVs can get more than four channels. Or something. On the Indiana BMV Scale of Existential Misery, it didn’t rate very high — there was a Tigers game on for the line’s viewing pleasure, and I had my phone. And even without it, I’m not a terrible waiter. Those who cannot spend an idle 30 minutes without climbing the walls lack inner resources. I have inner resources in spades (it’s why my butt is so big).

I felt worse for the workers, who toiled inside a bulletproof fortress worthy of a Detroit liquor store. I understand people hate their cable company, and I understand the equipment has some value, but it seemed like overkill for Warren. Note, also, the chartreuse walls of the inner sanctum. Multiply by 40 hours a week. I’d be deploying the escape chute by Tuesday.

Afterward, it seemed time for lunch, and Alan had a suggestion: Lazybones Smokehouse, the best barbecue shack you never heard of. Plunked in a depressing stretch of an ugly road in Roseville, surrounded by machine shops and other places filled with men who think “cilantro” is the dance that took Pam Anderson out of “Dancing With the Stars,” it has the distinction, Alan says, of being “a restaurant where I’ve never seen a woman customer.” OK, happy to be a rarity, then. The building stands out from the gray landscape with a mural featuring pigs pitching horseshoes while cows and chickens watch. It features…where do I start? Every meat you can think of, seven kinds of sauce, combos that either make you smile (“The Hog Trough,” your choice of four meats atop a mountain of fries) or wince (“The Smokestack Lighting,” chopped burnt ends, applewood bacon, cajun sausage, caramelized onions and cheddar on a hoagie bun), but essentially everything that’s worth barbecuing.

We both ordered pulled-pork sammiches with slaw served Memphis-style, Texas spitfire sauce, then sat down to wait. There are two large tables, where you eat family-style. True to form, the only other eat-in customers were men. Young men. Two were discussing dating. One had a night out planned with a young woman, but he wasn’t hopeful, because she didn’t give good text. I think this was an internet or some other sort of blind fixup, and he was, to my mind, unreasonably fixated on the fact she couldn’t summon up witty repartee in 140 characters or so. I weep to think I brought a young woman into this world, who will have to shop for a husband among these scratch-and-dent specials. One arm was heavily tattooed, although the rest of his outfit suggested an office job, one that requires a plastic ID tag in plain sight (i.e., all of them, these days). Again: I weep.

And that’s the sort of day you have when it’s a million degrees outside and even more humid.

I looked at the Rush Limbaugh wedding album y’all were discussing yesterday. Two takeaways: Mrs. Limbaugh the Fourth has an excellent hairdresser, and an even better plastic surgeon. We see so many bad boob jobs, we forget what a good one looks like, and unless I miss my guess, when that lady goes back to the earth she will leave a pair of silicon bags behind. (See no. 16 in this Gawker photo array). Also, ex-squeeze me? He got a military color guard? Does every 4-F Vietnam-era pussy get that? I guess if the check you write is big enough, but I am appalled. I know, I know: Appalling man is appalling. Still.

Speaking of bad boob jobs, Renee, what were you thinking?

I’ve never been a fan of the Huffington Post. Their steadfast advancement of quackery is a big reason.

Writers have elevated procrastination to a high art. As seen here.

Ha ha ha.

And now I’m gone. Gonna go for a bike ride, damn the humidity. The Miley Cyrus tweeting around here has become deafening, and I want to see if she’s drawn a crowd to her set down in the Farms. Wish me luck. I’m taking a camera.

Posted at 10:56 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

74 responses to “Queuing in Purgatory.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for calling out HuffPo on their alt-medicine bizarre bazaar. They get downright scary in a Jenny McCarthy as Dr. Sabin sort of way.

  2. LAMary said on August 12, 2010 at 11:13 am

    The Rushbo’s wedding photos remind me of a comment someone made about Donald Trump’s wedding to Marla Maples. “There wasn’t a moist eye in the house.”

  3. Sue said on August 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

    So Cathy’s retiring. The only question I have is why this comic strip was allowed to hang around so long in the first place. Wasn’t it basically five strips that kept rotating?
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-live-0812-cathy-comic-20100812,0,482840.story

  4. Jim said on August 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Now I’m really curious about the color guard. Who authorized it and why? But a quick check of Army Regulation 360-1 tells me it’s probably legal, as long as they are all volunteers and it doesn’t cost the government anything.

  5. Peter said on August 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

    You’re not kidding Sue: Cathy turned out to be the ’70’s equivalent of The Family Circus.

    And Nancy, you’re not kidding about the lines. When I was a lad my mom took the kids to the Old Countries to visit the relatives, and I noticed the long lines in Romania to get anything – milk, bread, meat. They don’t have lines over there anymore, but just try to get something over here. Until the City of Chicago put in a computer reservation system, I would have to get to City Hall by 6:00 a.m. to get to see someone in the Building Department by mid afternoon. Great use of my college education.

    And speaking of education, did you see the video of Snowzilla confronting the lady who put up the big banner declaring She-Who the worst governor ever? Turns out the lady is a schoolteacher, and she was calmly, coherently, trying to enlighten the snowbilly, just like she tries to enlighten her students, and with the same result.

  6. Sue said on August 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

    When I saw the color guard yesterday, I assumed it was fake, people in costume who were part of a theme, along the lines of what Michael Jackson used to do with his fake military uniforms.
    Perhaps this is the high-end version of camo tuxes and bridal veils.

  7. LAMary said on August 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Sue, was it five? Maybe three?

  8. Jeff Borden said on August 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

    While El Rushbo does not deserve a military color guard –those darned anal cysts preventing him from kicking serious Viet Cong ass back in the day– I found it rather charming. This was one, big, over the top marriage ceremony by one, big over the top radio entertainer. When you have a modern-day Liberace in Elton John entertaining your guests, why not have a color guard? Hell, go rent the USC Marching Band. You can afford it.

    Post-nuptials, I’m interested in the over/under on how long this particular marriage will last. El Rushbo is not a young man and he’s going to have to step up big-time if he is ever to reach Mickey Rooney or Liz Taylor status in multiple matrimonies. I’d always rather hoped Rush would wed Ann Coulter, if only for the Jack Sprat jokes they would inspire, but alas, she is now far too old for the big man.

  9. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Nancy typed y’all. It’s a singular, useful and wonderfully inclusive Southrenism and it should be part of the English language. Useful (and why doesn’t useful have a second l?)

    There’s y’all and all y’alls friends. Everybody? This is usually accusatory. Friendly. All of y’all. Useful and concise. Like “All of y’all morons that deny climate change with no science and a wealth of political baggage”.

    Before I went to JSchool, I was an English major. The English language is astounding, like poisonous trigger frogs in the Amazon. Strange. Changing momentarily. But “y’all”? That’s functional.

    On huffPo: Why in the world would anybody take this Bimbo seriously? Sometimes, she sort of knows what she’s talking about. Mostly she used to make a living as an idiot doll for the right wing. She’s a Bush bunch right winger that suddenly got Gospel.

    And before anybody says anything about saying Bimbo, sorry, but she defines the term. She belongs on Nip/Tuck.

  10. Sue said on August 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Comics Curmudgeon has always been reliably anti-Cathy, and as usual it doesn’t disappoint:
    http://joshreads.com/?p=7250

  11. Dave said on August 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I saw a recent political cartoon showing Newt Gingrich and Rush standing together. Newt says, “Same sex marriages will ruin the sanctity of our seven marriages.” Rush says, “And the next seven, too.”

  12. Jeff Borden said on August 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Stephen Colbert was on fire last night about the Esquire profile of Newtie that includes some great dishy stuff from ex-wife No. 2. (She was the one who did NOT have cancer when the gentleman from Georgia sought a divorce.) As Colbert says, “Newt loves marriage so much he can’t stop doing it.”

  13. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Cathy: lame and tired. Better to end it than what For Better of Worse did, which is to start running all the old strips over from the start. They are soooo dated.

    Dave, I saw that cartoon a few days ago and thought it was brilliant.

    Renee Zellwegger must have some serious self esteem issues. Very sad.

  14. Jeff Borden said on August 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    As much as I miss “The Far Side,” I respect Gary Larson for walking away from the brilliant strip before he fell into the category of lame and tired. We have the bound copies of every cartoon he ever penned and they never fail to elicit a laugh.

    There are some interesting comic strips out there still, but man, they are overwhelmed by the yawners. And the good, old Chicago Tribune decided to kill “Get Fuzzy,” which did provide regular amusement, and several other strips in a revamp of the comic pages. The newcomers –“Pickles,” “Prickly City” among them– don’t hold a candle to “Fuzzy.”

    I spent enough time in features to know that the hoary old strips have their defenders and any attempt to torpedo, say, “Blondie” or “For Better or Worse” is going to bring a boatload of phone calls from angry readers. So, bland rules the day.

  15. Deborah said on August 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Jeff, I read that Esquire piece about Newt. His second wife says she had just found out she had MS when he told her he wanted a divorce. And of course the first wife had just had surgery for ovarian cancer. I wonder if wife number 3 will turn out to have health problems?

  16. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes–why is it the great ones leave and the moldy ones stay? There was also a cranky old lady that was great, and another that I think was called Agnes–a very cynical little girl. My current favorite is Zits, about a 16 YO named Jeremy and his middle-aged parents. I would swear the cartoonist has a stealth camera in our house. I really love comics and cartoons.

    I

  17. Deborah said on August 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Regarding pencil sharpening, that link reminded me of a woman at the architecture firm I worked for previously. She had been charged with teaching us how to do technical drawings (before the computer). For the first lesson she took 20 minutes showing us how to sharpen our pencil, using sandpaper! I kid you not. I thought I would lose my mind. That was the last class any of us attended.

  18. Colleen said on August 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Nance, you’re going to have to find a different way to gauge horrible waiting…the DMV in IN now has its act totally together. Last two times I went, I was in and out in less than ten minutes. No need for the thousand yard stare, no need to steel oneself, just go in and do your business. It was pretty amazing.

  19. brian stouder said on August 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Prospero, forget about offending the bimbos – you gored (so to speak) my ox when you said

    She’s a Bush bunch right winger that sud­denly got Gospel.

    Guilty! I was an irrationally exuberant Reagan backer, and thought Jack Kemp was just it, back in the day.

    In fact I recall inviting a local newspaper columnist to a party once, many years ago (I think Reagan was still in office), and very proudly showing her my full bookshelf of Conservative Book Club books. Jeane Kirkpatrick’s Dictatorships and Double Standards was surely up there in a place of honor, along with Chambers’ interminable Witness, and who knows what else (there was probably an R Emmett Tyrell book or two up there, but I’ll deny that, going forward)

    It was all so much simpler, then…

  20. Dave said on August 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I see there’s another Dave, I can’t take credit for being the one to find the Newt/Rush editorial cartoon.

    Actual, I think Pickles is very funny, it must be my advancing age.

    Poor old Cathy, the cartoon, was old a long time ago, I didn’t realize until reading the links that Cathy Guisewite and I are the same age, I am certain I remember seeing her more than once on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, she was a lively, animated guest, as I recall.

    The Far Side and Calvin are both missed but how many ideas can one person have. I also find Zits amusing, as the father of three, but in all this time, he’s aged one year, recently getting his driver’s license. I would think that his creator, Jim Borgman, a longtime Cincinnati Enquirer editorial cartoonist, would be approaching burnout, too.

    Why can’t actresses leave well enough alone?

  21. Sue said on August 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine and Mutts for me. I hear you have to go online for good comics these days.
    Kate Burton’s history comics:
    http://beatonna.livejournal.com
    Achewood, for weirdness and very few boundaries:
    http://achewood.com
    And one I won’t post out of respect for some of our commenters, Jesus and Mo.

  22. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t much take a look at the comics in the paper these days, although I was an enthusiast in the paperboy days delivering the Chicago Today (weekday afternoons), Chicago Daily News (Saturdays) and Chicago Tribune (Sundays) back in the mid-70s. I always loved the old Peanuts strips; we even had books of them. I also liked the Wizard of Id (still going strong, I see), B.C. and other strips that depended on stupid one-liners, which is why also also loved The Far Side. There’s a guy in the Sun-Times sports section that does what appear to be a sports-related Far Side. Eh. Wouldn’t ever read any of the serials — Dick Tracy, Brenda Starr, Gil Thorpe or any of that.

    My wife likes Real Life Adventures, which is in the Chicago Sun-Times.

  23. nancy said on August 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Gene Weingarten, longtime comics enthusiast and smart observer of same, has a new strip: Barney & Clyde. I have to get into the habit of reading it; can’t judge it yet.

  24. nancy said on August 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Oh, and Colleen’s right about the Indiana BMV, and it’s been fixed for a while. However, remembering it in its Orvas Beers days, I still feel entitled to use it as a misery scale.

    Online renewal is, indeed, the greatest thing to happen to license plates.

  25. Colleen said on August 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    OH god. I remember the old office on Maiden Lane. HORRIBLE.

  26. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    J-Bo: I know you hang at Wrigley mostly, but you might enjoy Carl Skanberg’s two strips, “Smells Like Mascot” and “Saltwater Pickle Company”. Carl can really put out some A-1 zingers.
    http://www.smellslikemascot.com/

  27. beb said on August 12, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Maybe Renee Zellwinger is incubating some of those Gulf Coast sea turtles.

    Detroit Liquor store? That’s how a Detriot post office looks like.

    Lazybones. We discovered the place one noon while I was being shown where to drop and pick up our daughter from summer classes. The route took us past a BBQ place and suddenly I had to have BBQ for lunch. We circled around back then foought for a parking spot. Seems on Wednesday they have a buffet. You buy a styroform carton and stuff as much food into it as you can. The menu changes each week but usually theere’s two meats, two sides and two salads. The day we went in they had smoked chicken that was to die for. And all reasonably priced, too. But it is like Nancy says, a hole-in-the-wall store amidst truck stores and warehouses.

  28. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Try Frog Applause.

    The greatest Far Side had a bunch of sharks and bobbing human limbs. In the distance was a sinking ship labeled Acme Manequinn. The sharks looked exceptionally distressed. The caption: Is this some kind of cruel hoax?

    Try Frog Applause. Kinda self-important, referential, post-modern.

    I love every DeLillo novel, although Great Jones Street is far and away the best, and they are almost as good as Idoru

    . And I think Tom McGuane and Thomas Pynchon are the key to the universe. Perfect writing? Every one of those guys did that. Margaret Atwood might be the most superb writer that ever typed, but there’s Peter Carey. T. Boyle. Ishmael Reed, Walter Mosley. Bolano. And Kavalier and Klay Every book I read is excellent. Well, I’m picky, but this makes me think there’s hope for a sadly-conflicted and afflicted mankind. I know Nancy likes Laura Lippman, but compared to Dave Robicheaux, we’re talking Travis McGee.

    Comic strips made me think of this. How does Gil Thorpe not get fired for never even getting to the playdowns, and what in the world are playdowns? I’m an ex-aathlete and we went to playoffs (and won them. usually). So what’s this playdowns shit?

    Anyway, listen to this:
    astounding guitar playing.

  29. Jakash said on August 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Loves me some Ballreich’s potato chips, but I gotta say, (and I know this may be a bit too PC for a comment about a POTATO CHIP), they’re among the few chips I’ve found that haven’t either figured out a way or chosen to remove the trans-fats from their product. Them and Jones, both. Oh, well, hardly ever get to have them, anyway.

  30. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    My most recent BMV experiences have still featured long lines, but I do appreciate online plate renewal. This year they didn’t even mail a notice; it came via email, which makes a lot of sense to me.

    However, if anyone has been to the Verizon store by Glenbrook, you know the meaning of purgatory. For some reason, most account changes that require paperwork have to be done at that location. I’ve never been out in less than two hours.

  31. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I used to read the comics in five daily newspapers. When newspaper coin boxes were yanked, the local newsstand closed, and we no longer could get anything but the Toledo Blade, Defiance Crescent News, and the local, I just gave up, and read comics online for a couple years, then slowly just quit that, too. And I love the comics , but a lot better on paper for reasons that make no sense.
    I was really disappointed when the Detroit News as well as the Freep quit sending papers out here. I read them both for years. Shit. It still pisses me off. I got a ChiTrib in Indiana every day, too. I had a lot of ass-time to read papers on some days while sitting atop my lift-truck. I got all those papers for the columnists, mostly. Hard news I read from one paper, then I hit the comics, sports and the editorial page and lifestyle columnists. Now I might read Will Durst and Andy Borowitz . What a change.

    Ohio used to have the deal where the courthouse would sell license plates once a year, and we had to line up for hours, sometimes like four hours, to get our plates. Now I can get them all kinds of different ways, online, snail mail, physical appearance at the DMV…I live close and I time it to get there ten minutes before closing and I am always squeezed in and I get rapid service cuz they want to get the hell out of there. Sometimes they scold me, “We’re getting ready to close”, I give them my puppy-dog confused look and they say “c’mon, lets try and get you through!”.
    It’s just my little game. Very little waiting. that way. Of course, our renewals are staggered around the 12 month calendar, too. Mine are due in 5 weeks. I will wait until the next -to-last day.

  32. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    prospero: Good One! I remember it well, the mannequin-shark Larson.
    My fave was the airline pilot in the sky, eyes extra-open, screaming “The fuel light’s on!! We’re ALL GOING TO DIE!”
    Next panel: “Oh, my mistake…it’s the intercom light!”—and we see straight-upright wide-eyed passengers with horrible facial looks, frozen in absolute terror.

  33. Rana said on August 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Definitely have to second Kate Beaton’s work. It’s almost always amusing, and often genius. I particularly love her knack with capturing expressions and inanities. (“Sometimes I pretend to be Neptune!”)

    Other comics I’ve been enjoying: My Cage, Medium Large (done by the person who writes the dialogue for Sally Forth, which is also good), Wondermark, PhD Comics, xkcd, Monty, Curtis, and Piranha Club.

    There’s good stuff out there, but, alas, so little of it is in the newspapers available here.

    Regarding The Far Side, there was a point in my life when I not only could come up with one applicable to almost any situation, but could “quote” it verbatim (i.e. describing both text and image).

  34. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Detroit liquor stores. Beb? If you could reach to put the money on the counter. Colonel Leverts. If you could reach the counter. We used to buy pints of Ancient Age to pass up and down the bleacher rows. About $1. 39. Endless baseball wisdom. And Willie Horton was probably my favorite Tiger, but Ron LeFlore was clearly the best not named Al Kaline. Jim Northrup, hit grandslams. Mickey Stanley, the Freddy Lynn of his time. You crash the fence. For a while, Mickey Stanley was a defensive outfielder about as good as Ichiro, and that’s so good it’s ridiculous.

    Oh, and Denny McClain and Mickey Lolich were pretty good. Used to be on Seven Mile, Detroit rocked.

  35. LAMary said on August 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I remember a Far Side from the eighties with two cowboys sitting at a campfire. There’s a coffee pot on the fire and one cowboy is saying, “Latte Jeff?”

  36. brian stouder said on August 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I like the Far Side one where two guys in lab-coats are working on a very large bomb, while a third lab-coat guy stands off to the side with a smirk on his face, and with an inflated paper bag he’s about to explode

  37. Colleen said on August 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    “School for the Gifted” is probably my fave. The gifted kid is trying to get in the building by pushing on a door clearly marked “pull”.

  38. Joe Kobiela said on August 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Big Pearl before Swine fan, Love Larry the crock. Favorite far side, Two airline pilots flying through some clouds, one looks at the other and says, hey what’s that mountain goat duing in these clouds, wife and I say that every time we go into a cloud.
    Pilot Joe

  39. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    For sneaking into a sports event, the half-pints of choice depended on the weather. Extra cold football games required ginger brandy, while regular-cold games inspired the use of that sugary blackberry brandy.
    Baseball games inspired us to drink 15 or so beers, and if we did sneak in a half pint, it would be some kind of cheap blend like Kessler’s or VO or CC or if I bought it here in Ohio, I’d buy a fifth of Old Sergeant, $4.35 for a 750ml, and pour it out into saved empty JTS Brown bourbon half pints. It was all planned in advance, drinking was as much a study to plan as it was in the carrying out.
    Prospero, I was never a Bleacher Creature in the wild 1970s when beer vendors would be shoved down the steps just for kicks; we sat in the grandstand in those days, and in later years I moved to the $4 Tiger Stadium bleachers, top row, where between innings I could look over the wall and watch the city life unfold. I would go to the local stadium-area bars, too, and at Hoot Robinson’s I noticed that the Detroit version of the boilermaker seemed to be a shot of vodka and a Labatt’s Blue. I never could understand that…a full bar, plenty of Wild Turkey back there, and a guy pays top dollar for a shot of potato drippings? Uh-uh…I had the Turkey…and until 1984, a Stroh’s Bohemian. Later, when Stroh’s shut down the fantastic I-75 brewery, I would just drink Bud at the games. About 1985, somewhere about then, Tiger Stadium switched to L.A. beer by Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company. It flopped huge. One year.

  40. Dorothy said on August 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Don’t any of you read “Baby Blues”? That’s one of my must-reads on the comics page, along with the aforementioned Zits. Which happens to be a collaboration, not a Jim Borgman solo effort. (Jerry Scott is the other guy). Maybe Jim B. avoids burnout by sharing ideas with Jerry and vice versa.

    Did y’all know that Borgman and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes artist) are Kenyon grads?

  41. Dave said on August 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I believe Borgman used to do it himself,IIRC, he lost his wife at a relatively young age to cancer, he took on the partner sometime after that. OTOH, I could be completely wrong and he had a partner all along.

    Yes, I forgot about Baby Blues.

    I liked the Far Side where it showed a dockside bar with bodies, tables and chairs strewn about the place and the caption was something like, “All at once, this guy ate a can of spinach and this weird music started playing and you can see what happened”.

  42. Jeff Borden said on August 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Some of the best “Far Sides” were those that were wordless. I’m thinking of a leopard on a hill, with a herd of gazelles below, and the leopard is pulling on some sneakers.

    Or the rescue pilot circling the stereotypical desert island, where an emaciated figure is frantically waving his arms and has written something in the sands. The pilot says something like, “Oh, never mind. My mistake. It says HELF.”

  43. B ryan said on August 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    My first encounter with the the misery of the lines at the Indiana BMV was in 1989. I was accustomed to living in “anything goes” Illinois: the only time you stepped a toe into the DMV was when you had to take a driving test. For plates and titles, any notary public could handle that, and I bought mine at the local sporting goods/hardware store.

    Imagine my shock, though, when I entered the main BMV office in Fort Wayne. Teeming multitudes doesn’t even begin to describe the number of folks crammed into the stuffy and overheated waiting room. To make matters worse, though, I spent three hours waiting in line only to be told that I didn’t have all the needed documents to ditch my Illinois plates (we had two) for the single Indiana truck plate. Would it have killed them to have an information desk?

    Later I discovered that the New Haven BMV was virtually a ghost town and began using it whenever I needed to renew my plate. I think I may have been forced to wait 5 minutes there once. The clerks always seem thankful for the company.

    The Virginia DMV gets a bad rap for long lines, but its a cinch compared to Indiana. And they even have an information desk so you don’t have to wait in line to ask a question.

    Does Indiana still make folks go to the local police station and have the officers run a vehicle’s VIN number to make sure it’s not stolen?

  44. alex said on August 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    How­ever, if any­one has been to the Ver­i­zon store by Glen­brook, you know the mean­ing of pur­ga­tory

    Amen, hallelujah. Even if all you want to do is ask some simple fucking question you’re put on a waiting list. I prefer to deal with Verizon directly or online, not at that crap-ass store.

    Some of the best “Far Sides” were those that were word­less.

    The fat lady looking for her little lost dog (it’s stuck in her butt crack along with the hem of her house dress) comes to mind.

  45. moe99 said on August 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Dexter, most vodka these days is from grain not potatoes.

    Bought the extra large complete version of Calvin and Hobbes for my youngest at Xmas two years ago. It is a family favorite. And yes, I was aware that Watterson was a Kenyon grad given that oldest son went there a year. But didn’t know about the artist.

  46. Dorothy said on August 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    You guys are making me laugh so much at these recollections of favorite Far Side cartoons that I’m going to go home tonight and get out some of our books and put them in the library (i.e. bathroom) so they are within reach for a quick read. We have a lot of Calvin and Hobbes books, too. They never get old, but I don’t need to tell you guys that.

  47. ROgirl said on August 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Renee’s boobage has offset the kewpie doll lips.

  48. Rana said on August 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    ROgirl, I have to say I had much the same reaction.

    I think my favorite Far Side is one of the wordless ones. We have a view of a runway, from the end, and the belly of a plane filling the top of the panel. Mid-panel, with legs outstretched and a panicked look on its face, is a frog hanging from its tongue.

  49. Crabby said on August 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    The Rush Color Guard are Navy and Marines, no Army or Air Force members.

    Regards
    Crabby, ex-Army

  50. LAMary said on August 12, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I have a coffee mug of the School for the Gifted cartoon.

  51. MichaelG said on August 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    The bride is an attractive looking woman. But a color guard? At a wedding? How about the marching band? Did the attendees do the wave in church? Star Spangled Banner before the preacher said ‘I now pronounce you …”? Honor guard outside the bedroom door. EEEWWWW Time to stop.

  52. Jeff Borden said on August 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    MichaelG,

    I think the wedding of El Rushbo and Number Four is the very definition of “nothing exceeds like excess.” This doesn’t approach the multi-million-dollar bat mitzvah at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan thrown a few years ago by a defense contractor –remember entertainment included Aerosmith and Jay-Z– but it’s pretty gaudy for a guy who hasn’t had the best luck at marriage.

    As noted, he’s loaded with cash an can afford this kind of party. I just hope he tipped the help well afterward

  53. moe99 said on August 12, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    one of my fave cartoons from a Seattle cartoonist, Lynda Barry:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68319844@N00/279609646/

  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Our office has at least two renditions about of the “Crisis Center” Larsen, with aforesaid placarded building on fire, cracking in half, and about to go over a waterfall.

  55. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Young (33) Ben Quayle has called Obama “the worst president in history.” HAHAHAHAHA!!
    That’s a good one! As if it wasn’t Bush who emptied the US Treasury into wars, as if it wasn’t Bush who was in charge in 2008 when the well-orchestrated “financial coup d’etat” (from the M. Moore docu about capitalism) was being organized, ending up with Goldman Sachs passing around multi-million dollar bonuses to their goons, all the while Bush patting old Henry Paulson on the back in cheerful triumph.
    No, Ben Quayle, you punk-ass motherfucking asshole, you watch your mouth and read a goddam history book. Take a minute away from your crooked investment company (it just has to harbor questionable activity, I’m just guessing here)
    and go back and look at how Bush 43 laid claim to that title of worst president ever. Bush broke it so badly that Obama just can’t fix it. It’s broken too severely, it seems.

  56. beb said on August 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Favorite Far Side: We have a small poster of it. “Why the dinosaurs went extinct.” The pictures shows them smoking.

  57. coozledad said on August 12, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Ben has been building up some impressive conservative bona fides over the years, writing for online titmags and banging hookers on his business partner’s refrigerator, but what I wan’t to know is, does he have the international experience of a Jack Abramoff? How many teenage Thai prostitutes has he discussed rates of exchange with? The Republicans have thrust the open door policy of sexual tourism into the political limelight and they’ll be wanting a candidate who can walk the walk, or at least gracefully slide under a glass-topped coffee table. His hair’s pretty good, but that Paul Ryan’s hair’ll bitch slap Ben’s any day. It IS Reagan’s hair, oozing down the browline and threatening to overrun the limited expanse of forehead. And speaking of Paul Ryan, he already has has the endorsement of the Bush clan, which means the critical “foreign policy” assessment of brother Neil.

  58. Deborah said on August 12, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Did any of you see Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach on Rachel last night? His photo is also up on Talking Points Memo. It sounds like he has a good case, but doesn’t the cleft in his chin look fake? It does to me. Is that a surgical procedure you could have done if you wanted?

  59. brian stouder said on August 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Deborah, I saw Rachel’s show (gotta love her!), and the chin made no impression on me at all; what struck me was his somewhat owlish eyes; very wide open.

    I suppose to be a good fighter pilot, one would need to have eagle-eyes, and he definitely has those. (I recall reading that Chuck Yeager was always the first to spot enemy aircraft, in the days before fighters had radar, or guided missiles)

    His case against summary dismissal sounds like the best case anyone could possibly make, what with 2000 flight hours (and 500 combat flight hours), plus the respect of the people he serves with.

    Plus, I thought I heard Rachel say he has 19 years of service in, which made me think that one of the goals might be to whack him before he can retire. In my soft-clothes, ground-pounding civilian life, an employer who would do that would quickly draw (and probably lose) a civil suit.

    But indeed, this ain’t a civil matter, but instead a military one. And the president has to be very careful in his handling of such matters – as any president would…..so I’m braced for an unhappy ending

  60. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    School for the Gifted is a favorite Colleen. We hung it on our cubicles for architects in big trouble, but we restated the theme: No Brains, no service.

    Victor Fehrenbach and DADT amount to one of those things Progressives feel let down about. Obama was left with an unseemly and astounding mess. Actually, a mess that engulfed everything a president needs to deal with. Think about it. FUBAR. How the hell does a reasonable person think it was going to be fixed overnight with a nuclear option Senate and assholes like McConnell and the Oompa Loompa around? If the shitheels won’t vote for anything including climate change legislation, how would you expect them to vote to repeal DADT? His left of center backbiters think it should have been cleaned up already. Instant gratification.

    All Things Must Pass. Get out the vote and push the Senate past 60-40, and more will be accomplished. Whining because the President couldn’t do magic is counter-productive. What’s been gotten past those aholes is fairly remarkable, and if voters vote for obstructionist idiots, we get the government we deserve, I guess.

    Who signed TARP into law. Really. You all said Obama. As W said, it made a lot of sense and he was a black fella way bigger than me and my Segway that already whupped my ass. Not enough and at gunpoint, but I rest my case. About voter stupidity, lying Republicans, and the sad, moronic state of political reporting these days.

    Oh, and on climate change? It’s actually best that Congress doesn’t get involved. The President runs the EPA.

  61. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Oh, Christ, just when ya thought it was safe to…
    http://www.grindtv.com/surf/blog/19715/california+surfer+films+great+white+sharks+circling+his+board/

  62. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    So. We’re disenchanted with the politics of hope. So, because the magic wand didn’t work, let’s just hand everything back to Contract On Americans.

    Hell, we can all sit on our asses and make more money on unemployment. Every single Republican is signed on to the idea that Americans receiving unemployment benefits do so because it’s easier and more profitable than working. Boner and Newt think so. Do any actual Americans believe this isn’t bullshit from privileged jerks making cash for denigrating people in hard straits? Maybe, if you serve your cancer-stricken wife with divorce papers in the hospital, you get a lifetime pass to belittle the small people. But aren’t those the same people that staple teabags to their straw hats? I’d bet ;ots of them are unemployed. And they don’t get this? Mindlessness of American voters could fill the Grand Canyon.

    How does anybody vote for one of these assholes, or claim there’s no difference between the parties. Is it optics, like Maureen Dowd said? Far as I know, optics has to do with science and cameras, so she’s acting like an idiot. Aside from all that, one of two parties will fill every House and Senate seat next time around. Republicans are a lock to fuck over normal people in the interest of Big Bidness and the WWE. Your vote. Your decision.

    This mosque crap? When I was a little kid living in Memphis, I was told by camp counsellors that the church I went to Mass at had a secret basement with guns and bombs stashed. Those good Babdiss believed that for sure, while they tried to diddle us.

  63. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Anchor babies? McCain was born in Panama, you idiots. And current law says you have to be 21 to do anything whatever about citizenship for your parents. This is way looney, anti-christian, whack. Decidedly Republican. Excuse me but I’m going off to toke up and worship Aquabuddha.

  64. Jolene said on August 12, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    moe, one of my friends owns the original drawing for the Lynda Barry “Poodle w/ a Mohawk” cartoon. Bought it directly from Barry. Does she still publish? I haven’t seen any of her work for a long time, but then her cartoons mainly appeared in alternative newspapers, which don’t fall into my hands as frequently as they once did.

  65. nancy said on August 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I read a story about her a while back, which emphasized that she’s not exactly a recluse, but is very introverted person who lives kind of far out of the mainstream. ONly a small handful of papers still carry her comic, but she plugs away on it relentlessly, and isn’t very interested in any sort of delegation that would make it easier. An odd duck, but a very creative one.

  66. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    I never looked into it, but I always thought Lynda Barry was copying Robert Crumb’s style. I am not alleging it, not saying it, because I never got into any possible Barry-Crumb connection, but if their art is truly two separate entities, I still think there is a spiritual connection. Not a mainstream topic, sure, but does anyone have any enlightenment for me?
    And baby, a weirder duck than Robert Crumb is a rare bird.

  67. Denice B. said on August 13, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Here in the wilds of Indiana, I have yet to find a decent BBQ joint. I think I’d have to wander into downtown South Bend for decent fixin’s and ribs. Nancy, I think of you every time I see commercials touting the huge amount of fun I can have in Fort Wayne!!! It’s apparently a super vacation destination! According to the ad. Is it, really??

  68. brian stouder said on August 13, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Denice – a family can have a marvelous day at Fort Wayne’s zoo. The revamped African experience is very, very cool – with lions and hyenas as the star attractions, along with an impressive sky ride on cable cars; and then all the other good stuff at the Australian veldt (especially including the coral reef aquarium), and of course the tigers and orangutans and so on. (the lemurs almost always stop the young folks in their tracks, with all their activity)

    Aside from that, a second day might include stopping in at the various museums downtown, and topping the day off with a Tin Caps minor league baseball game (they have a genuinely marvelous downtown stadium, especially on “dollar night” for food and soft drinks)

    Just sayin’

  69. Deborah said on August 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Dexter, I don’t see any similarity in Crumb and Barry’s drawing style. Barry is much more crude, but purposefully crude. Crumb is actually quite refined in his drawing technique in comparison. They may have similar themes (although I’m not sure I’d agree with that either). They are both decidedly counter-culture. And both seem pretty odd and eccentric. I have a couple of Crumb’s books. While Crumb’s work is often humorous there is often a deeper meaning about culture. He recently illustrated the entire book of Genesis, which is amazing.

  70. judybusy said on August 13, 2010 at 10:15 am

    All this talk of comics tickled my brain to remember this fun publication, to which I used to subscribe to many moons ago. Nice to see they’re still around.

    Also, I’ve plugged her here before, but Alison Bechdel is an amazing graphic artist. She wrote the Dykes to Watch Out for comic for around twenty years, then moved on to memoir. There is a lively community on her blog, too.

  71. Peter said on August 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Deborah, I have Crumb’s Genesis book, and it’s AMAZING.

    And Brian, you know which fighter pilot really had good eyesight? Ted Williams. During the Korean War, Ted’s co-pilot was none other than John Glenn, who said Ted would see the targets and tell John to start bombing away John would look out and not see a thing.

  72. nancy said on August 13, 2010 at 10:48 am

    The tales of Ted’s eyesight are legendary.

  73. joodyb said on August 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    My all-time fave Larsen is the panel depicting the fires of hell, with two guys sitting on a bench, and the one says to the other, “I hate this place.”

  74. prospero said on August 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    rand Paul didn’t actually get his name from his daddy, he made up all by himself. So guess what, he made this bizaarrw shjit up himawllf.Creepeier than anybody thought. He named himself after an horendous writer> Does anybody think Ayn Rand is a remotelely decent writer? Sorry. Really bad. She wrote those bosom rippers. She was an absolute idiot.

    You want to listen to an idiot? You should be banned from ever voting again. You voted for =piece od ahit rhR