Every year around tax time, the folks at Liberty Tax Service do their best to reel in people who have neither the time nor the inclination to fill out their own 1040s. One of the company’s least subtle methods of attracting customers is to take some poor sap, dress him up in a Statue of Liberty costume, and send him out onto a busy street to flag down passing cars. The felt get-up resembles the chicken costume in panel three of this strip, and with Liberty storefronts all over Chicago, these mini mascots are almost impossible for me to avoid. This particular tax preparer also places giant balloons atop its roofs to draw attention to itself. Needless to say, I’ve always chosen to have my taxes done elsewhere.
Archive for February, 2010
Before my fiance and I moved into our house, we took a trip to the hardware store to pick up a few of the tools that every homeowner needs. First on our list was a relatively cheap, but absolutely necessary, snow shovel. We knew the days of rolling out of bed on snowy mornings and knowing the sidewalk had been cleared by the building manager were numbered. But what we didn’t count on was the sheer level of exhaustion brought on by constant shoveling. It’s been years since I’ve had to remove snow and, apparently, I’m not quite as up to the task as I used to be. That’s why I’m determined to save up for a snowblower, regardless of the cost.
Kudos to Frazz for getting off its high horse and giving a voice to the lazy, for once. The strip usually goes out of its way to lionize athletes, what with its healthy main character running, swimming, and bicycling through dozens of panels each week. On the other hand, the strip’s chubby characters are either treated with gentle derision or used to illustrate the dangers of fast food. The point is well taken, but it can also seem preachy at times. So congratulations are in order on the one day Frazz decides to make its athletes seem loco. I’m no couch potato, but if I was asked to choose between climbing a 30,000 foot mountain, swimming a 350 mile channel, and reading a book, I would opt for the path of least resistance.
It’s that time of year again, when All-Stars, bench warmers, prospects, burnouts, steroid junkies, and other characters all report to spring training in the hopes of winning a World Series. Late February tends to be a magical time for me, but this year’s spring training seems tinged with sadness. That’s because, for the first time since 2001, the New York Yankees will open the season as defending champions. For eight glorious years, non-Yankees teams prevailed at the end of October. That all came crashing down last year, when the senior-most team from New York bested a very good – but perhaps a bit too cocky – Philadelphia Phillies team. And now the Yankees are one month away from claiming their championship rings. Ugh.
Sometimes I read a comic strip and think of the missed opportunities, the subtle touches that could have transformed it from a decent strip into an instant classic. Unfortunately, today’s Brewster Rockit seems to fit that mold perfectly. The expressions worn by the human crew members in panel two are inspired, and deserving of a better punchline. My preference would have been a silent third panel, showing an ominous set of closed elevator doors. That would have left things to the reader’s imagination, and while it may not have been funny, perse, it certainly would have been memorable.
In less than a month, I’ll be a married man. This comes after seven years of courtship, and as someone who has been with the same person for so long, I can’t fathom jumping back into the dating scene. Creating a user profile on Match.com? Sitting though insufferably long dates with people who don’t share my interests? Struggling mightily to find a (romantically compatible) needle in a haystack? My fiance and I have often told each other how lucky we feel to have sidestepped all that. A deep, mature, loving relationship is something to cherish and infinitely preferable to sitting across the table from a stranger and asking, “So, what kind of music do you like?”
As a child, I heard story after story about the U.S. space program. From grainy moon landing footage to astronaut ice cream to the awesome allure of Space Camp, my friends and I were inundated with pro-NASA propaganda. And we loved every minute of it. But for all the hoopla surrounding the space program, I don’t ever recall seeing a man land on the moon. Hopefully we can return there in the not-too-distant future, if only to see how Neil Armstrong’s American flag is holding up.