Hope springs eternal. This Friday, at 1:20pm, the Chicago Cubs will take their 103rd crack at breaking the longest championship drought in professional sports. Could this be season the Cubs finally win the World Series, their first since 1908? The team’s starting rotation looks solid, if not spectacular, and its bullpen seems capable, if not particularly dominant. Even the Cubs’ rookie manager, Mike Quade, appears to be knowledgable, well-liked, and committed to those oh-so-important fundamentals. But the offense…oh boy. Unless, I’m missing something, it seems like this year’s Cubs are destined to lose a lot of 4-3 games. Hopefully, I’m mistaken. Hopefully, the offense will score runs in bunches. Hopefully, the team will end its infamous streak at 102 years.
Archive for the ‘Sally Forth’ Category
Two days ago, my wife endured a long, snowy commute to work while I stayed home, my office closed for a second consecutive day because of snowy, impassable roads and icy, lollygagging trains. Needless to say, I was bored. Fortunately, my boredom didn’t last long, seeing as there was snow on the ground that was just begging to be played in. I grabbed my wife’s bicycle (yes, it’s a girls’ bike, but it has wider tires than mine) and went for a joy ride around the block. The snow was too heavy for me to ride in the street, but I did manage to bike my way through the alley without falling on my bottom. I considered that to be a major accomplishment.
Days like today make me thankful I’m not a bus driver. If I were, I’d have to navigate near-white-out conditions on the snowy streets of Chicago in order to shuttle snow-caked passengers from one end of town to the other. Chicago is currently enduring a blizzard. Flights have been canceled, roads have been closed, winds have been whipping, and people have been grumbling. Of course, blizzards are nothing new; Chicago has endured them in the past and will endure them in the future. Still, as I stare out the window and see light snow traveling horizontally through the air, I’m glad to be indoors. (Who knows, maybe I’ll become bolder and go for an ill-advised, but undeniably adventurous, bike ride later. I’m seriously considering it.)
Monopolies are bad because they encourage price gouging, right? Well, let’s consider some real-life examples. The gas I use to heat my home comes from a single, monopolistic entity. Surprise, surprise, my gas bill is exceedingly reasonable. The gasoline I use to fuel my car is sold at any one of a dozen service stations. All of them charge a hefty amount. I have one option for electricity and it’s cheap. I have five options for cable and they’re expensive. Water? I’m stuck with a single provider, but only pay a pittance. Mobile phone service? I have all the pricey options in the world. I’m not saying options are a bad thing, but they sure aren’t cheap.
Some comic strips exaggerate their characters in an effort to suggest certain personality traits. Other comic strips, like Sally Forth, cast their characters in a realistic mold. That’s what makes today’s installment so unsettling. The woman in this strip resembles a real person, but she comes off as extremely unpleasant; repulsive, even. I’m particularly creeped out by the subtle horrors of panel three. Her figure and expression in that panel remind me of a toad, or the boss Kraid from the video game Metroid, or something else slimy and amphibian and better left to the imagination.
Once again, I’ve allowed Halloween to creep up on me without choosing a costume. My wife asked me what I was going to wear last week and the only thing I could think of was, “I dunno.” I realized that wasn’t the answer she was looking for. She was probably hoping for something clever, but having put zero thought into a costume, I had nothing. The options in this strip are pretty good, but they’re not really my style. Mega Man comes closest, but only if I could create a Mega Man / Blue Man Group mash-up, and that sounds complicated. (Maybe Mega Man could shoot marshmallows from his cannon?) Of course, Mayor McCheese is a pretty good option. Hmmm…
As a new homeowner, I understand the subtle way in which this strip pines for a simpler time. Instead of saying, “Remember when we moved into our first house?” the man in this strip asks his wife, “Remember when we first moved into our house?” The notion of owning the same house for life sounds quaint in an era when widespread flipping of homes has given way to widespread foreclosures. Hopefully, our collective experience with out-of-control real estate prices will inspire us to see houses as dwellings first and long-term investments second. Hopefully, the jacked-up market of the past 15 years will go down as an aberration never to be repeated again.