Sleeping Beauty


Prompt: Briar

Hello Wednesday!

When I was a kid, fairy tales elicited the kind of reaction that they must have done hundreds of years ago: fear and awe. We had books and books of fairy tales, telling of children lost in the woods, evil wart women, betrayals and punishments, violence, trickery and lies. Disney could not completely muffle the dark underside of these stories, and so I found many of the tales disturbing enough to require a night light.

What did I think a night light accomplished, I wonder? Prevent an evil witch from entering the room? Repel impossible creatures, like dragons and malicious plants? Keep not just the strange little men from entering, but also the handsome prince, whom I did not know and didn’t want to be kissed by?

A favourite though was the tale of a young girl (a princess, I think) whose six brothers are cursed by their evil stepmother and transformed into swans. She can only break the curse by weaving each of them a shirt made of nettles, and she toils away in some anxiety because the shirts must be made within a certain time– and she doesn’t quite finish the task before the deadline. So while five of her brothers are rescued, one has a swan’s wing in place of the arm she was unable to sew in time. …So exciting! I wonder if I craved to be a heroine in the eyes of my two brothers? Anyway Disney hasn’t ruined this one for me, yet.

In the spirit of fairy tales, briars, prickles, and thorns, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?


Sweet dreams and smooth sailings!

Love,

~FP

Middle Class

Prompt: Etiquette


Dear Wednesday, a little late,

Dammit and bloody hell! I know this is not a polite way to begin a post, but WordPress is giving me grief by trying to force me to switch to their “new” block editor despite my resistance, and I am currently writing in some kind of Frankenstein classic editor hybrid, which is random and fickle and well, dammit and bloody hell! 

So how are you? 

I like today’s prompt, since it gives me a platform to promote my belief that most of the world’s ills could be solved if we all of us had good manners. Good manners means putting others at ease while still maintaining dignity yourself—imagine if politicians took up the banner!

People might say, Excuse me, sir, you look hungry and cold. Let me do my best to ease your suffering, since I am warm and well fed and understand that I am part of the same community as you! Madam, you are going to bring a newborn child into our community? Let me help you gain access to the best care possible, since resources are abundant and should not be withheld! Child, you look neglected and confused. Perhaps a humane safety net and access to a fine education can prevent tragic consequences in our community down the road! May god bless you, whether you believe in god or not, I respect your choices!

Kindness matters with regard to monumental issues as well as with small gestures. Everyone take a deep breath— a healthy breath behind a mask if need be—and go forth and save the world with good manners!

Now here are a few of my favourite cartoons, very loosely related to today’s prompt, “etiquette”:

 

 

Blame WordPress if this post is a dammit bloody hell mess, and have a happy week! 

~~FP

Uncle Peter

Prompt: Sesame


Greetings Wednesday,

We had a visitor last weekend who is seriously gluten-intolerant, which meant I stocked up on rice crackers and corn pasta. She is not a gluten-intolerant wannabe—she actually gets physically sick if she ingests wheat products. I suppose she is the envy of a new kind of hypochondriac: the gluten-free-for-no-reason club at one end, and the vegan-because-I relish-the-cure-being-worse-than-the-disease at the other. I believe the only reason (besides mild masochism) for folks to aspire to a restrictive diet is for bragging rights, unaware that the brag is incomprehensible to most rational people. I don’t mind their fantasies of dietary superiority at all; I just wish they could be brief about it.

“They” say allergies are rampant these days because children lead such protected, antiseptic lives. This could be true: I know as a child I ate dirt and played in muck and came in contact with unimaginable contamination by today’s standards, yet suffer no allergies at all. Still, a friend I played with in the muck is lactose-intolerant, and also vegetarian, but since she eschews bragging rights I know her preferences are either necessities or have justifiable reasons behind them. She and I once hitchhiked to a campsite, and one of our rides was in a cattle transport truck which stopped at a stockyard, where cattle prods were used to hustle the animals out of the truck. That was unpleasant, and she says the start of her vegetarianism. Understandable, yes?

Meanwhile I am enjoying a plethora of sesame rice crackers, deliciously crunchy morsels that go well with the cheeses my vegetarian friend gifted us: pesto cheddar, chili pepper cheddar, and smoked paprika gouda. With some cabernet Italian salami, a few plump olives, and some gently pickled cucumber ribbons we have ourselves a summer afternoon feast.

I think Covid-19 serves as a reminder to appreciate those small, more intimate moments with friends and family. And of course the family dog, or in our case, giant toddler puppy with no manners. … But that’s another story.

May I now present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is related to today’s prompt, “sesame”?

cartoon open sesame

cartoon military badge

cartoon uncle peter


 

As always, stay safe!

~FP

For the Love of God!

Prompt: Titanic


Dear Wednesday,

It’s so hot here at the moment that the thought of running into an iceberg is almost appealing, if only for a limitless supply fresh ice in my lemonade*. But no, the Titanic was an avoidable disaster, and like most interesting and intriguing mediations, the themes of hubris and excess were superseded by the presence of the embodiment of hubris and excess, with the added spice of stupidity.

Yes, sorry not sorry, this is the first passage that came into my mind with today’s prompt, an unattributed composition that is meant to be humorous and satiric, but these days, with this man, nothing really is:

If Trump was the Captain of the RMS Titanic

There isn’t any iceberg.

There was an iceberg, but it’s in a totally different ocean.

The iceberg is in this ocean, but it will melt very soon.

There is an iceberg, but we didn’t hit the iceberg.

We hit the iceberg, but the damage will be repaired very shortly.

The iceberg is a Chinese iceberg.

We are taking on water, but every passenger who wants a lifeboat can get a lifeboat, and they are beautiful lifeboats.

Look, passengers need to ask nicely for the lifeboats if they want them.

We don’t have any lifeboats, we’re not lifeboat distributors.

Passengers should have planned for icebergs and brought their own lifeboats.

I really don’t think we need that many lifeboats.

We have lifeboats and they’re supposed to be our lifeboats, not the passengers’ lifeboats.

The lifeboats were left on shore by the last captain of this ship.

Nobody could have foreseen the iceberg.

See what I mean about this being more depressingly true than funny? Still, I did laugh, since I am a sad clown in a black velvet painting now.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons relating to “Titanic” that are not meant to be satire but just… jokes, I think?

cartoon titanic he's new

cartoon titanic bottle

cartoon titanic open mic


*Not necessarily lemonade.

Peace, love, and ice in your drinks,

~~FP

Imagination

Prompt: Arctic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to imagine the Arctic cold when it’s 32F and there are waves languidly lapping the sand. Just as it’s difficult to remember the feeling of a hot sun on your skin on a frozen winter day.

Or a teenager utterly unable to relate to an older person; and an older person critical of the young, having lost the memory of being young themselves.

Or a conservative trying to understand a liberal; and a decent, progressive human being trying to understand a Trump supporter.

(That last one doesn’t really work.)

Empathy, which requires imagination and good intentions, seems in short supply these days. That’s why there are such unnecessary divisions in the world: From politics, to art, religion, and generational, environmental, cultural and gender issues.

Trump supporters skew older, among other things, and like Trump, they often resemble the stereotypical angry old man ordering the kids off his lawn. They also tend to be culturally isolated; i.e. live in white communities with very little interaction with Black or brown people. They have a strong sense of entitlement and are hostile towards those who have more than they do— more money, maybe (but America worships the rich in general) but also in terms of education and status. They tend to favour authoritarianism, which is obvious not just in their blind support for Trump, but for their steadfast believe in a God, no matter how outlandishly her commandments are misinterpreted. But mainly, they lack imagination and good intentions.

It’s hard to imagine creatures actually suffering from the effects of climate change. It is much more convenient to side with those for whom the truth is too frightening to consider. It feels better to believe the authoritarian figures —not scientists, but politicians and religious leaders— who soothe their fears about horrific truths at the same time as they stoke fears about imaginary enemies, all the while being manipulated into accepting attitudes and policies that are damaging and harmful to them but which serve the wealthy elite.

Whew. I had no intention of dragging Trump into this post. Let’s step away from the Tr*mp, and browse a few of my favourite cartoons relating to the prompt, “Arctic”:

cartoon arctic american

cartoon eskimo

cartoon dog sled


Stay safe, warm, and imaginative!

~~FP

Disappointment

Prompt: Disappointing

trump van

Hello Wednesday,

Disappointment. Wouldn’t you love to go back to the days when disappointment was a terrible, even heartbreaking feeling, instead of living at a time when rage, frustration, cynicism, and fear are the dominant emotions? I should be disappointed in myself for writing such a depressing sentence, but no, I’m angry and frustrated. Grrr on me.

But look at that Trump campaign van pictured above. Full of rage and stupidity, with “Make Liberals Cry” the policy statement. I suspect the van was so embarrassed it blew out its own tire. Which disappointed the team inside, who no doubt had lots of creative and colourful ways to demonstrate their ability to make liberals cry. I’m kind of disappointed that I don’t get to hear their exact message. I need a laugh today.

Why? I guess we all need a laugh. We all need to flip this dark coin over and relish the light side again: love, hope, respect, humour, and energy. Let’s yank ourselves out of this black and white movie and shift into technicolor. Let’s listen to birdsong, breathe fresh air deeply, feel the potent silence of a dark night, rejoice in small pleasures so we have all the practice we need to rejoice in the big ones. The big pleasures, the changes, are coming, I promise.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons relating to today’s theme?

cartoon pitcher disappoints

cartoon big apple

cartoon fallen


Love and hope,

~~FP

Good Bones

Prompt: Place


Hello Wednesday,

Have you ever counted the number of places you’ve lived in? I wonder what the average is? I mean houses, in whatever location: would the average be about four? six?

I know I’ve lived in 12 different abodes, including this one, in five cities and one tiny town. I’ve packed more boxes than I can count. Gone house hunting so often that now that I am relatively settled I am a Househunters (TV show) addict, particularly Househunters International. I know it’s completely fake, rigged, and laughably predictable, but it’s still fun to mock the unbelievable clueless house hunters, their sleazy realtors, and the appallingly inappropriate homes.

Househunters is a TV show gasping for a drinking game. So gather your loved ones of drinking age around you, set out the wine and beer, and take a swig anytime one of the following happens on Househunters:

  • One wants city, one wants country.
  • One wants modern, one wants traditional.
  • One is adamant about the budget, one who doesn’t care a whit.
  • The music for International is hopelessly clichéd (Oompah soundtrack in Germany, for example).
  • In any large city where the couple are shocked their $600 rental budget isn’t enough.
  • Someone crawls into the bathtub.
  • Someone enters the shower and comments on the height of the shower head.
  • Someone criticizes a light fixture in a million dollar home.
  • Someone expresses shock that: the toilet is in a separate room from the bathtub.
  • Someone expresses shock that the clothes washer is in the kitchen.
  • The couple is adamant about an outdoor area for their dog but settle on an apartment.
  • A parent frets that a child will fall off a railed landing or balcony.
  • A “joke” is made about a closet being large enough for the woman only.
  • A “joke” is made about the closet only large enough for the woman’s shoes.
  • Someone blathers on about “natural light” when they mean “this room has windows”.
  • That frequent Paris realtor talks about “good bones”.
  • The buyers complain the oven is too small for a Thanksgiving turkey.
  • Someone says “I can see us drinking coffee/sipping wine on this balcony”.
  • Someone bemoans lack of privacy instead of remembering curtains can be closed,.
  • They insist on a heart-of-the-city apartment then complain about the noise.
  • They insist on extra bedrooms for “visitors” who many come once a year for a week.
  • They faint from horror at the sight of a popcorn ceiling.
  • The shots of the previous location is all snow and ice if the couple is from Canada.
  • The realtor tells us that the housing market has has a recent uptick and finding a place will be “challenging”.
  • The realtor shows them a pile of rubble and asks them to see the potential.
  • The realtor shows a couple with four children a two-bedroom home.
  • The after picture looks exactly like the before picture except for a new cushion,
  • They pick the worst option by far.

I’m sure there are many more. I’ll make a game, print sheets, and send them out to other fans. Contact me!

Meanwhile may I present a few of my favourite cartoons also related to today’s prompt, “place”?

cartoon socialist wasteland

cartoon oz or kansas

cartoon great screen japan


Stay safe!

~~FP

 

They Know Me

Prompt: Purpose


Dear Wednesday,

There are some things that should not be controversial.

Don’t wash whites with colours. Don’t leave a dog in a hot car. Clean water is a right. Wear a mask when you cannot keep a safe distance during a deadly pandemic.

Yet for certain segments of the population, especially in a once-great nation, a basic safety precaution recommended in certain circumstances by every reputable doctor and expert has become a political issue, a freedom football.

The virus is spread in the air, via droplets in our breath. Many people who have the virus are asymptomatic. So to protect others, a non-medical mask is sometimes necessary. It’s part of living and surviving in a community.

So when people of astonishing ignorance and gullibility shout (don’t shout, it spreads germs) that wearing a mask is a freedom issue, then the rest of the world, the sane ones, react with incredulity, revulsion, and anger. Does astonishing selfishness and shortsightedness always accompany ignorance and gullibility? It’s as if they think that they are the only ones tired of this pandemic; of not being able to see loved ones, having our movements limited, losing jobs and livelihoods, feeling exhausted and lonely.

I mean we have other issues to concern ourselves with. Bigoted, racist heads of state, lawmakers, and peacekeepers. Karens and Donalds and Vladimirs. But masks? Little bits of paper or cloth that we wear over our mouth and nose to protect the most vulnerable in our society—temporarily, until this crisis is over? Should not be given a second thought. Not controversial.

We know people of astonishing ignorance have existed among us, and should not be surprised, in this climate of ignorant populism, that they feel confident enough to shout out their nonsenses. But I am surprised. And angry, that they truly can’t seem to comprehend that their “freedom” does not include the right to endanger other lives.

Related to none of the above is the following small collection of some of my favourite cartoons. Enjoy!

cartoon hows the squid

cartoon what I saw

cartoon they know me


Peace and love,

~~FP

Sky Raisin

Dear Sunday,

There’s something about a global pandemic that makes me lose track of time. The only thing that keeps my days structured are twice weekly Zoom meetings. I know today is Sunday because I host my family– we call it Appy Hour. Mid-week is friends Zoom, which is a bit like sitting out on the deck with them with a glass of wine and completely frivolous conversation.

Otherwise I’m at a loss. I’ve pretended, quite convincingly so far, that all this isolation and social distancing has not been a hardship for me, since I learned a long time ago to be self-sufficient to the point of hermitry. I can entertain myself. I don’t need (nor do I want) constant communication with people about every little thing, I don’t rely on my acquaintances for validation (whatever that is).

But I miss people. I miss people I like and even people I don’t like. I’m tired of being cooped up with only the voice of Trump saying increasingly stupid and scary things day after day. Tired of partner, of my demon puppy, of this beautiful house, of floors, walls and windows. Tired of weeds and rain and morning headaches. I miss you!

Did you know there is a Text Crisis Line for those of us who feel isolated, depressed or just lonely? If you are in Canada, the US, the UK, or Ireland, visit this site for more information.

M e a n w h i l e . . . May I brighten your day with a few cartoons from Drawtism that brightened my day?

IMG_1171

IMG_1173

IMG_1172

Demon puppy used to be partial to The Egg, but now shamelessly sleeps like The Sistine Chapel.

Peace and love and virtual hugs!

~~FP

Fear Gas

Dear Friday,

Wednesday asked me to write to you, since Wednesday is struggling a bit with some difficult life circumstances but we both feel that cartoons need to rise above our personal challenges.

I think we are all experiencing our own individual psychic breaks during these times— or is it just me?

Funny thing is, where I live it is verdant and peaceful at the moment. Spring is lush and fresh. The people in my community are rational and caring, for the most part, and our government is dealing with this health crisis responsibly and armed with facts. We are safe, my family is safe. We see friends from a cordial distance, and we zoom with family.

But how can anyone not be distressed at witnessing the collapse of a society that was once a beacon of democracy (however flawed), a world leader and influencer, a country full of contradictions that were inspiring and bold and infuriating? I lived in the US for many years, I have an affinity for the place despite its fumbling tolerance of the intolerable. American people are nice.

I understand what prayer is now. Even in a godless world, it is a fervent hope for change. Hope, we are learning, is not quite enough. We need to act.

Without further ado, here are some cartoons that reflect my distress in the only way possible to cope—- with dark humour, but followed by an image of a cute baby animal, just for balance.

cartoon bible

 

cartoon enablers

 

cartoon fear gas

 

piglet


Be kind.

~~FP