(April 1, 2012)
Well, I am going to do something I should have done a long time ago. I am going to admit that I am . . . I’m a flying, flaming, standup comic/cartoonist wannabe! Whew!!! Boy what a relief!! That’s a load off my mind! I can’t tell you how liberating that feels. But I guess that if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you picked up on that. I mean the signs were all there. The bad jokes, the amateurish drawings, the weird postings. How could you miss it? I can only hope that my wife and our children will understand. But then, I guess they knew all the time but just didn’t want to say anything that might hurt my feelings. Thank you guys for your undying love and support. I would never do anything to hurt our family’s name. I used to think that I would rather tell you that I was a piano player in a house of ill repute than a comedian/cartoonist!
THE FIRST SIGNS
I first noticed that I was different from the other kids back in grammar school. When they were agonizing over arithmetic and science, I was drawing stick figure cartoons and pretending that I was Henny Youngman. Once when my fifth grade teacher, Sister Hotlipps (not really her name, but I fantasized what she would look like in a bikini rather than her habit) called on me and asked, “What were General George Armstrong Custer’s last words to his troops before the Battle of Little Big Horn?”, I automatically blurted out “Look at all those @&#)( $% Indians!!!!!!” * My fellow classmates lost it. However, I guess Sister and the principal didn’t appreciate the humor in the situation.
By the time I got to high school I had somewhat honed both of my hidden skills and continued my career as the “class clown”. I had advanced my graphic abilities beyond stick figures by trying to emulate the incomparable talents of Mad Magazine’s resident cartoonist, Don Martin. My comedy was a combination of too much Texaco’s Star Theatre starring Milton Berle, Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows and the Jack Benny Show starring Jack Benny. OOps! How could I forget Red Skelton and his menagerie of screwball characters and Groucho Marx and his brothers. I’m sure that there were others along the way, but who’s keeping track at this stage.
MY RADIO DAYS
When I dropped out of college in 19(mumbled numbers) I got a job working for a radio station in New Orleans which gave me a springboard for the next eight and one half years in broadcasting. I went back to college after a stint in the military where I worked briefly in Armed Forces Radio. In college I pursued a career in broadcasting, graduated with a BA in Radio and Television Production, and attempted to make my way in the world. Did I mention that I was also a Millionaire wannabe? Yep, making money was my only motive. People love comics but unfortunately the cashier at the supermarket was not so amused and wanted cash! I was forced to give up my dream and get a real job
FAST FORWARD ??TY YEARS
“So, what’s this all leading up to?”, you might ask? Well, after my time in the business world in a job I abhorred, I retired. I should have done it earlier. But that same cashier at the supermarket checkout stand, (or was it now her daughter?) still wanted cash. Now you, my captive audience are stuck with me. All of the above brings me to this, my next post . . . a cartoon strip about the Styckz family. I plan to invite them into your computer periodically, I mean that is if you don’t mind, and only hope that they will one day make you laugh. If not, I have a link to Stephan Pastis’ “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip over to the right of your monitor screen. If you do choose to go there, please tell Rat hello for me. Thanks.
Now without any further fanfare, I give to you the “Styckz Family”.
(RAUCOUS APPLAUSE FOR ABOUT 15 SECONDS)
THE STYCKX FAMILY LINEAGE
State Senator River Styckz: One of his philosophies is “Keep ‘em stupid and they’ll vote for you forever!” A veiled reference to his policies of not adequately funding state education. His reasoning, “. . . educated kids grow up to be educated voters and educated voters can see right through ‘tinhorn’ politicians (Politicos who make a lot of noise blowing their own “tinhorns”) and vote them out of office if they are not doing a good job”. He is a very ethical politician, and says that he cannot be bought. However, he notes that he is available on a long term lease!
Rosewood Styckz: The senator’s only wife for 19 years. Rosewood is a homemaker, mother of two and caretaker of the family dog Barky. She drinks heavily. She rarely addresses her husband by his first name, opting instead to call him “Senator”. It shores up his ego.
Lipp Styckz: The 17 year old teen aged daughter of River and Rosewood. She’s a flippant high school junior, who can’t decide whether she wants to be a “Goth” or a debate team star. So she dresses in grey and uses grey makeup.
Chip Styckz: The 15 year old teen aged son of River and Rosewood. He’s into rap, hip-hop, skateboarding, smokes dried parsley (marijuana is too expensive) and hangs with his buds Tirk and Raymona.
Mother Styckz: Senator River Styckz mother. A widow once married to the senator’s father, Match. Match unfortunately met an untimely death at the hands of a jealous husband when he was caught having a hot, torrid, love affair with his exotic dancer wife “Redd Hott” Flame. Mother Styckz shows up periodically for an extended visit, which is part of the reason Rosewood drinks heavily.
Barky: A designer dog, Dalmatian/Dachshund, or a Dachsmatian (if you want to call him a Dalshund it’s okay).
Ebony Wood: Lipp’s African-American female high school friend, confidant and stylist.
Tirk: No apparent last name as his family is not sure what their heritage is.
Raymona: He has a last name, but refuses to disclose it to anyone. It’s rumored that he is part Kazakstanican, part Hispanic, part Tahitian etc, etc. etc. Apparently his ancestors got around.
A family portrait:
- THE STYCKZ FAMILY PORTRAIT
THE FIRST INSTALLMENT
Our first installment of the Styckz family finds River getting ready to go to the Senate building for opening day:
Well that does it for this edition of cONTEMPORARY mUSINGS . I’m so glad we had this time together. And as always “keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down!”
*NOTE: To comply with the Federal Truth In Comedy Act, I am required to explain that I didn’t tell you that I still imagine myself being on stage on the Ed Sullivan show following Steve and Eydie and tend to embellish the truth a whole lot. Any resemblance to any person living or dead mentioned or referred to in this blog is purely co-incidental and would surprise the heck out of me. No disc jockeys or politicians were harmed in the writing of this blog. The management of this blog is not responsible. Please blog responsibly.
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