Ï (For they whom seek embiggenation, click thee thou pointer henceforthwidth.) I have wanted a talking parrot since I was a little child and as an adult, I looked into getting one. Since I'm not the impulsive type who runs out and spends a lot of money on an animal without knowing what it would be like to live with, I read a fair amount about keeping parrots as pets before doing anything about it. I'm glad I did because I found out that I would have hated living with a parrot and it would likely have hated living with me. To make the whole thing worse, they live about as long as humans so you're either stuck with a neurotic, unhappy prisoner for the rest of your life, or you have to look for someone to pawn it off on when you get tired of it, which isn't fair to the parrot or the person you're passing it off to. If you doubt parrots are miserable in captivity, remember that they are designed to spend most of their lives flying and you are denying them that. Then remember that they normally travel many miles daily and you are denying them that. Then remember that they want to forage for food and hang out with many other birds and are biologically compelled to mate and raise young and you are denying them all of those things, too. Your shoulder and reruns of The Golden Girls are a poor substitute for what your parrot needs and wants. Parrots are also super smart so their imprisonment is made even more painful by their level of awareness. My main point here is don't keep birds from doing what they're here to do. HOWEVER––if parrots could do impressions as well as the one I've drawn in this cartoon, I'd probably have one, too. One thing I've learned since moving to Mexico is how spoiled American consumers are. There's almost nowhere else in the world where you can get anything and exactly what you want almost immediately with just a few clicks of your finger. The most you'll likely have to wait is 24 hours, but if it is for sale near you and you're willing to leave your shelter to get it, you've got only minutes to wait. Here in Mexico, and in most of the rest of the world, you can't just go online and type "me want thing," then have a map pop up showing all of the places within spitting distance of your home where you can find that thing, plus links to thousands of places where you can buy that thing online and have it brought to your lazy ass's front door before you even need to take your next shower. Here in Mexico when you type "me want thing," you get places in the U.S. where you can find that thing, but that's about it. Because most stores here don't have websites and when they do, they rarely tell you specifically what objects they sell in their store or how much it costs, and they pretty much never have a button labeled "buy this now". Instead, you have to ask around, go to some places, go to some more places because the first few didn't have it, then finally give up or happen upon something similar to the thing in some variation that isn't exactly what you wanted but you can live with. Don't get me wrong. There are good and bad things about both systems. The current American religion of worshipping material goods above all else is certainly easier and more convenient, but it also leads to more worshipping of material goods. In Mexico, most people are not nearly as concerned with how much crap they own. And it would not be appropriate here to kill someone for breaking into your house and stealing your clock radio. In the U.S., not one of your neighbors would bat an eye if you did exactly that. Well, maybe one would, but he'd be labeled as a bleeding-heart snowflake liberal. When you live in a society, you assume a lot. When you answer an ad for "piano lessons" you assume the person will be teaching you how to play a piano, not be a piano. An experience such as Glen's (above) might then dissuade you from answering an ad for bagpipe lessons. Or, it might do the opposite and set you to looking for exactly that. These are the kinds of things I've thought about since I was a child. I'm just glad I stumbled upon a way to make a meager living expressing them. Speaking of meager livings, as the newspaper industry shrinks and people read my work online for free, I look for new ways to keep the bills paid. My new store is one way. Please consider having a look at BOTH pages of it. I'll add more products over time, of course. Here's a picture of some of the Founding Fathers wearing one of my many fine products. Here's another thing I wonder about: why do so many drug names and fictional alien names have one or more "Z"s in them? I say "fictional" because if there really are aliens who are accustomed to naming themselves in the sense that we understand, I'll bet they aren't as fond of the sound of "Z" as we think they'd be. Regarding prescription drugs, it would not surprise me to learn that there is an entire industry of folks who study what sounds people are attracted to when looking for a prescription drug. Folks somehow trust drugs with a "Z" sound in the name over ones that are full of "W"s, for instance. More people will reach for a Xanax than a Womnow. (Note that I said "Z" sound, not an actual "Z".) I got one fairly polite complaint about this dog/god cartoon from someone who likes my cartoons but does not like that I insist on making fun of Christianity. I understand that this cartoon does not revere the basic icons of Christianity as much as a particularly superstitious person might want me to, but I don't think it qualifies as "making fun" of it. It's just simple wordplay about two English words. Also, this kind of scene isn't strictly Christian, it also represents popular concepts of the afterlife in Judaism and Islam, which are different arms of the same ancient religion, of course. (It is my firm impression that most American Christians don't even know that Christianity and Islam grew out of Judaism. Although my blog readers tend to be better educated than the average, so I'm sure that does not apply to the vast majority of you.) On a different note, I've long thought that dogs as a species are much closer to the sort of creatures humans tend to deify. Folks who believe in Jesus, for instance, tend to think he loves us unconditionally no matter how vile we are, will forgive us no matter how horrible our behavior, and will never abandon us. That sounds waaaaaaay more like a dog than any human I've ever known. If you enjoy my cartoons and comments, please consider becoming a patron of the arts by making a one-time donation or a monthly contribution to Rancho Bizarro. If you do, I will like you a lot. You can do it here! This cartoon addresses one reason why cartoon characters behave as they do. It does not address how they get to the desert in the first place or why they never have shoes. Maybe I'll attempt that later. With so many cartoon characters crawling through deserts and stranded on tiny islands, it's a wonder there's any room left. Here's an old Bizarro cartoon that addresses that topic. First, let me assure you that no animals were hurt in the production of the above cartoon. And furthermore, it is pretty difficult to injure an animal in the production of a cartoon so, in spite of what your mind told you a moment ago, it isn't something you should ever allow yourself to be concerned with again. Now, if you're the sort of person who worries that my publishing this cartoon will give some sicko the idea to feed part of his cat to a piranha, you should take a deep breath and realize that psychos don't need or use cartoons to get ideas for horrible things to do. Historically and statistically, they're far more likely to use the Bible, the Koran, something they heard on Fox News Channel or a tweet by the regrettable current president of the United States as inspiration to behave badly. That's all for this week, Jazz Pickles. Thanks so much for reading this far and good luck in the coming week, especially if you live in the U.S. under the fascist regime of the Cheeto Mussolini. Until next time––be happy, be smart, be nice.