There was a news item out recently concerning the nature of friendships between humans and chickens. In it, the Center of Disease Control suggested that perhaps, just maybe, the new farming generation should create a more businesslike environment on their small hobby farms. Some people believe that happy chickens produce tastier, more healthful eggs, and seem to think that strong friendships are the key to happy chickens. In an effort to put the chickens at ease, they snuggle with them and apparently give them delicate smooches about the head and beak (and that is all, I hope). The CDC is totally grossed out, and AlexT, Dollissa, and I are OUTRAGED. As usual.

Chickens

 

We don’t know for sure if kissing a chicken will get it to grow a better egg. But we DO know that we are being consumed with jealousy that we don’t have chickens of our own! We like egg-based meals! We like the sounds chickens make! We have watched documentaries about these things! I even have a book about raising chickens! It is a grave injustice that out of the three, zero of us have any chicken friends.

I made a comic out of our conversation, but do not be misled. This is not a comedy chat I have drawn. It is a true modern tragedy.

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Clown Music

Have you been enjoying National Clown Week? We sure hope so! Merry-making and comic mischief is hard work, but we have made a playlist to make things easier for you. Luckily for the world, I have been amassing a Circus Playlist on Spotify for the past four years and I have skimmed some of the circusiest tracks (plus one rendition of that classic song, my favorite song of all songs, “Brazil”) off the top to present to you. Yes, my personal playlist has almost 700 tracks, and yes, I do listen to it on any ordinary day.

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You know how there are words out there for highly specific emotions? Like adronitis, the frustration over how long it takes to get to know someone. Or liberosis, the desire to care less about things. Is there a word for that feeling you get when you believe that there must be alternate realities that exist closely in space to your own reality, so close that they are ALMOST your reality, and that reality is that your real dad is cartoon buffoon Hong Kong Phooey? Does that even make sense? Great.

Well, since I was a very small child, I have had this feeling occasionally. And as I’ve aged, the feeling has lessened a bit, but it’s still there inside of me, shaping my personality to some extent.

Unlike other forms of insanity I probably have, this one can be traced directly to my mother. For as long as I’ve lived, my mother has always told this story about how she and some of the rest of my extended family took my older brother, then an only child, to see a Hanna-Barbera Icecapades show. While there, Hong Kong Phooey apparently took a liking to her and showed his ardor by sitting on her lap and dragging her from the audience to dance with her in front of everyone. She concludes this oft-told story by saying, “And then, nine months later, Amanda was born.” ¬†Everyone laughs. Everyone¬†always laughs. But once upon a time, I believed her. I was too young to understand that my mom might be kidding, but apparently old enough to catch the implication that Hong Kong Phooey was my real dad.

It turns out that if you start life thinking that you are half-cartoon, it kind of sticks with you, there in the middle, for all of the rest of your life. I mean, I know I am not actually a half-cartoon! Don’t send me to the asylum yet. Anyway, it would clearly have been an actor dressed up like Hong Kong Phooey, not the real poorly-animated dog. It would be like thinking that Santa and Mall Santas are the same thing. No! Regardless, in my idle time, I start to wonder what my alternate reality life must be like, the one where HKP was not an absentee father. Let’s look at my art therapy session.

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The exalted humanoid space creature, Benedict Cumberbatch, thrills us today by sitting for a portrait in his natural form. Showing off a super sexy twin-snake headdress made fashionable by the high priests on his home planet, Cumbrachia, the award-winning actor says he is excited for the imminent birthing of his hybrid spawn with new wife, Sophie Hunter, whose current condition is deemed unfit for public viewing.

Benedict Cumberbatch 1 by Amanda Wood