A few weeks ago, I came down with a run-of-the-mill cold. My head didn’t hurt, my throat wasn’t sore, and I wasn’t particularly congested, but I did have to blow my nose almost constantly. I filled wastepaper baskets with wadded-up bits of tissue paper, and grew paranoid about washing my hands after each expelling of snot. A soon as I felt better, I washed my bedsheets so I wouldn’t have to stew in my own germs. Not once did I consider fouling my sheets by using them as a makeshift handkerchief. In fact, the thought of pulling a set of mucus-encrusted covers up to my chin, even while sick, makes me want to reach for the antibacterial soap or, better yet, the bleach.
Archive for the ‘Red and Rover’ Category
If your vacuum cleaner is on the fritz, a hungry dog might be willing to eat whatever crumbs you’ve let fall to the floor. A cat, on the other hand, would probably sniff those crumbs and then saunter over to a sunbeam. But don’t assume the dog would be doing you a huge favor by sucking up small bits of food. Sure, he’d keep edibles off your floor, but he’d also shed like nobody’s business, even more so than his feline brethren. Whenever I vacuum my rug, I find huge clumps of cat hair in the bag at the end. I can only assume those clumps would be worse if I had a bigger, less meticulous, mutt.
When I read this comic on the train, it didn’t make much of an impression on me. I thought the rhino was impressively large, with curiously placed hind legs to boot, but nothing else grabbed me. Then I noticed my wife, who was reading over my shoulder, stifling a laugh. She muttered “Rumpabuttamass” under her breath while she jabbed at the newspaper with her index finger. Pretty soon, she was fanning herself and wiping tears from her eyes. I love hearing my wife laugh, and now I have a foolproof method of provoking the giggles: whispering “Rumpabuttamass” in her ear.
I spent the better part of this weekend gutting my basement, a project made urgent by the discovery of mold. When my wife and I first saw our house, we took one look at the wood paneling and carpeted bar that dominated the downstairs and thought…not our style. But we figured we would do minor projects upstairs before tackling the basement. That assumption was blown to smithereens when we discovered a persistent water leak along with a thin trail of mold that crept along much of the western wall. So this weekend, we covered our washer and dryer in clear plastic sheeting and started tearing up the joint. We got a lot done, but it’s still daunting to think of the many workdays (not to mention the many expenses) that lie ahead.
If I were a young boy, the idea of a huge dog standing at the foot of my bed and staring at me while I slept would make me ill at ease. In fact, the notion of a creepy, nocturnal dog monitoring my sleeping patterns gives me the willies even as an adult. My cat is five times smaller than the dog in this strip, but if I ever woke to find him standing at attention, studying me at my most vulnerable, I would be very concerned.
Although I’m a fan of Red and Rover, I sometimes think its vision of middle America is…well, dated. Today’s strip does nothing to disabuse me of that notion as it shows a young boy citing well-known figures from the 40s, 50s and 60s, all of whom are deceased. This dialogue would have fit perfectly in an episode of Leave it to Beaver, but it seems out of place in a contemporary comic strip. Were there no living notables who delivered papers as a child? Barack Obama? Lance Armstrong? Susan Boyle? There are more celebrities than ever before, and the odds dictate that some of them must have flung newsprint at front doors during their salad days.