by Wayno & Piraro
(For an embiggenated experience, hold your breath and click any image.) Bizarro is brought to you today by First Step To Extinction. ThIS week at Rancho Bizarro had its ups and downs with several of my cartoons drawing criticism from readers in both expected and unexpected ways. We'll get to that momentarily but first, I'd like to give a heart-felt shout-out to someone who crosses my mind every Mother's Day––my mother. Thanks for keeping me away from cliffs and preventing wild animals from carrying me off, without a single failure! Your perfect record allowed me to grow up and write this paragraph about how lucky I am to have had such a terrific mother. I am also grateful for your emotional support, friendship, guidance, and delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all the way through elementary schoolLOVE you, Mom! And, of course, happy Mother's Day to everyone else who has helped in raising kids, whether they were biologically yours or not, regardless of what kind of biological equipment you have in your pants, because we all eventually end up at the mercy of younger generations and if we don't collectively do a good job raising them, we end up releasing rotten people into the world and you never know how much trouble they might cause. (See 45th president of the United States.) And now to the week's cartoons... Nowhere in the field of human athletic endeavor is there a greater difference between the professional version and the miniature version of a sport than in golf. It would be as if miniature baseball was played on a field the size of your kitchen and you had to dodge pterodactyls and zeppelins to hit a home run. Or if miniature football were played inside a crowded junk store full of taxidermy bears, hat racks, chandeliers, sofas, and china cabinets. While many may wish that the miniature version of these games was more like the full-size, professional version, my fondest wish is the opposite; that the pro-size become more like the miniature. Would big-shot golfers like Tiger Woods or Greg Norman be as legendary if they'd had to hit through the legs of a dinosaur? Especially an animatronic one that could break your legs with a swipe of its mighty tail? Quick announcement––> WANT TO MEET ME AND MORE THAN A DOZEN OTHER BIG-SHOT CARTOONISTS IN PERSON AT NO COST TO YOU? WE'LL BE SELLING AND SIGNING BOOKS, DRAWING SKETCHES, TAKING PICTURES WITH YOU, AND AUTOGRAPHING NEWBORN BABIES AT THE HILTON EXECUTIVE HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN PORTLAND AT 1PM ON SUNDAY, MAY 28! BE THERE OR DON'T! <–– To my great surprise, I did not get one comment this week about how celiac disease is a real thing and not a figment of people's imagination and how miserable it is and how they are tired of people making fun of gluten sensitivity. That's good. Because I am aware that celiac disease is real and a miserable thing to endure and I'm not making fun of those people. I'm making fun of the 99% of people who only think they are gluten sensitive because the food industry and wack-job, fringe diet gurus have convinced them of it. And, of course, people who think that Wheaten terriers could in any way be involved in that issue. On a side note, it was harder than I imagined it would be to find a name for a pet rescue organization that has not already been taken. "Happy Fur Rescue" was maybe the fourth or fifth name I came up with before I found one that didn't come up on a Google search. I just now thought of "Giddy Mutt," though, and it doesn't show up on Google so I wish I'd used that. Dammit. This nuclear-age cartoon started another political shit storm on my FB page, of course. These days, there is no shortage of people who are willing to argue to the death over whether Trump is the least qualified, most embarrassing and dangerous person to ever hold the office of president of the U.S. (historically speaking, he absolutely is) or if Obama let the entire world shit all over America (historically speaking, he didn't) as they have been told by Fox News. Don't miss the fact that this cartoon doesn't mention any politician or party. This ad is from me... This cartoon got lots of readers asking me what it meant. It refers to the belief that if you travel faster than the speed of light, you can go backwards in time. The actual science behind this kind of thing is far more complex than that, and entirely theoretical since no one has done it since the filming of Back To The Future in 1985. Unfortunately for scientists, the formula for doing so was lost in a studio fire caused by faulty wiring in a Mr. Coffee machine the following year. This penguin cartoon got a few complaints but not from who you'd expect: people who object to the sexual objectification of fowls. No, it was from the ornithologically obsessed who felt the need to point out to me that penguins are hatched from eggs and so they don't have navels. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind those readers that Bizarro is a comic feature and not a whimsically illustrated textbook.  (Here's another thing that never happens to penguins.) I quite like this cowboy/witch cartoon. It's simple, funny, kind of sweet, and it points out a connection between these two cherished subcultures that I'd never considered before. I'd love to be a fly on the wall as they get to know each other further and he mentions that he's a born-again Christian and she counters with her pledged devotion to the Dark Prince. And now we come to the last comic and controversy of the week, which garnered me two angry letters. Here's one of the complaints verbatim but the other was very similar: "Your comic today is tasteless and cold. Do you not remember when Dave Dravecky broke his arm pitching? Later to be amputated because of cancer. You need to apologize to Dave and all SF Giants fans." My response was pretty much the same thing I always say to complaints like this:

"I’m sorry my cartoon upset you, that was certainly not my intent. To be honest, I’m not really a baseball fan and have never heard of Dave Dravecky, so my cartoon was not aimed at him or his story, of course. I often get complaints like this one but if every joke writer of TV shows, movies, late night host’s monologues, stand-up comics, cartoons, etc., had to withdraw every joke that had anything to do with someone’s personal tragedy, there would be very little humor left in the world. In fact, humor is our species’ unique way of dealing with our exceptional brain’s ability to comprehend, anticipate, and fear tragedy, which touches everyone’s life sooner or later. Dark humor is one of our most valuable coping methods."

I believe that and stand by it. The great Steve Allen famously said that tragedy plus time equals comedy. That saying is responsible for the routine reply that stand-up comics utter to the silence an edgy joke will sometimes create––"Too soon?" I'd like to point out that while what happened to Dravecky was certainly tragic, it happened in 1989. Thanks so much for spending this time with me, Jazz Pickles. Until next time, be smart, be happy, be nice. If you like what I do, please consider one of the support options included in this post. You will make those of us who protect Rancho Bizarro from repossession smile bigly!

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