Friday, July 08, 2005


When it left, it said almost nothing. Not a goodbye. Not a “see you soon.” Nothing. But in its defense, it hadn’t planned on being gone so long. I missed it. I didn’t think that I would. After all, it can be a real pain sometimes. But, to my surprise, while it was away, I felt a strange sense of sadness. I was incomplete.

But now it’s back. And it has a lot of explaining to do.

Of course, the object of this somewhat creepy discourse is the TAM Cartoon. I like to think of it as a person. Maybe the reason I do can be traced to the fact that I’m drinking flat Diet Pepsi. Maybe I’m just a little crazy. Maybe I just like to fill the page with words.

So, as you can see at the top of the page, the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Hooray! Huzzah! Nastrovia!

Enjoy it at your leisure.

Fun Fact: The first wildly successful American “comic strip,” known as “the Yellow Kid” by cartoonist Richard Felton Outcault (of Buster Brown fame), first appeared in New York newspapers on February 17, 1895.

And it wasn’t funny either.

Hey, a bonus! Since it was so well received the first time, here’s another installment of the popular game:

“Who am I and What am I selling?” or “What’s my line?”

Still not very good titles.

Here’s a refresher on the rules. I write the inner monologue of a character in a “popular” (and recent) television commercial. Then you have to guess who I am and what I’m (possibly inadvertently) selling. Got it?

Good. Here:

Something’s not right here. He’s not my son. I just know it. And his relationship with his “mother” isn’t on the level. There’s something sinister at work here.

Am I being paranoid?

Maybe it’s the prescription painkillers that I’ve been taking way too many of lately. Maybe I haven’t been taking enough. But my kid ain’t human, I tell you. I’m the foster father to some kind of oedipal alien invader.

Why do I put up with it?

Because I know that if I tell the truth, he’ll scramble my brains with some kind of unearthly ray gun or something. That’s how these things work.

I’ll just eat my breakfast and pretend nothing’s wrong.

But he’s got his “mother” under some kind of alien sex spell. Look at the way she reacts to his deep throated monologuing. She never eats like that when I talk to her. Even when I talk dirty to her. Usually she just giggles at me and tells me how “ineffectual” I am as a husband.

I need another Vicodin.

The worse thing about this whole messy affair is that she’ll eventually accuse me of invading her brain. Yeah, right. It couldn’t be your Barry White sounding Venus-baby, could it?! Listen, “sweetheart,” if I invaded your brain, you’d know it. First, you have an uncontrollable urge to treat me with a little respect. Then you’d realize that your precious little angel is really a gob-faced creature from a distant galaxy! And then you’d forget all about the week before our wedding when you caught me trying on your bridesmaids’ dresses. You didn’t have to marry me, you know. And I explained to you that I was only trying them on to see if they were going to be perfect for your perfect, perfect, little miss perfect wedding!

I told you that cotton would wrinkle too easily.

Oh, no. Just keep eating your cereal. It’s like nothing’s wrong. Keep your thoughts quiet. I think he can hear them. Can you? Can you hear my thoughts, you little freak? Sure you can. But tell me this, E.T., can you hear me coming with a chainsaw while you sleep?

This thing ends tonight.

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