When the temperatures get above 100 week after week, when walking the dog makes me realize it’s going to be another 2-shower day, when I can pick fried green tomatoes right off the vine, already fried and I find myself smack dab in the middle of another blistering Kansas summer, I like to kick back and enjoy the silence.
When I got out of bed this morning, our dog Lucy did her usual dance of jubilation. Her front paws shot up in the air repeatedly, making a mockery of gravity, and she wiggled all over, enthusiastic at the sight of my awakening—sighing and huffing, then pouncing about and just making a general spectacle of herself.
Have you ever tried to play a violin? It’s crazy hard. There are no frets on the fingerboard, so you have nothing except your ear to tell you whether you are putting your fingers in the proper places. Meanwhile, your other hand is sawing the taught, stretched horsehairs of a violin bow across those very same strings. Horrible, shrieking noises ensue for the first few weeks, or months, or—sometimes—years. The closest thing to that sound I can think of might be something like what would occur if a high-pitched dentist drill was being applied to the teeth of a cat in heat.
All the talk lately about the Rapture that didn’t happen has put me in the mood to remember a rapture that I used to experience repeatedly: The last day of school before summer break. I remember how delicious that day was. Going to school on that day was a hollow formality. Mostly, we just picked up our report cards, fidgeted our sticky legs in our wooden desks for a few moments, and popped out of that school like tightly wound little springs—all joy and expectation.
Man, talk about irony… there’s been enough irony in the air lately here in Wichita that they should be running crawls across the bottom of our TV screens: “Warning! Heavy irony in Wichita area atmosphere. Please wear protective head gear especially when in the vicinity of the Wichita City Hall.”
Are you as excited as I am about this royal—yawn—wedding thing? Brother. I’m sorry, and maybe it’s a guy thing, but weddings of any sort have never really done that much for me.
I view the royal wedding about the same way I view NASCAR. It’s not really the sort of thing I can get into, but I’m glad it’s there for all those people who seem to enjoy it so much—they’ve got to have something to do. Come to think of it, that’s probably what a lot of folks say about banjo playing, I guess.
I joke around a lot during KMUW’s pledge drives with my little song parodies and twangy banjo riffs. As a cartoonist, I guess I’m used to making light of serious issues. That’s what cartoonists do, after all.
But don’t let my silliness obscure the significance of public radio’s economic plight. Recessionary pressures affect us all, including this radio station. What if they had to lay off Click and Clack? What if Sylvia Poggioli or Garrison Keillor found themselves in line at a soup kitchen somewhere?