Monday, June 30, 2008

Echoes of Eddie -26

Can a dead man reach out from the grave to exact revenge against those responsible for his death? Welcome to the twenty-sixth installment of a story that explores that possibility. If you've not done so, read the story from the beginning HERE.

Jack stood over Steven's limp form on the ground. His brother was face down coughing and wheezing, struggling to breathe.

He was unnerved by an the eerie sense of deja vu. It was an uncomfortable reminder of that best forgotten. The scene had been acted out once before and ironically the cast was the same.

He helped the stricken man sit up and queried, "Steven, are you okay? What happened?"

Steve's eyes widened at the sight of his older brother hovering over him. He was fortunate that his brother had shown up just in time. Had Jack driven his attacker away? Once again Jack had come to his aid.
There was a sudden flash of images in his mind's eye. He had been rendered helpless that night too. He'd had no strength from the beating he'd taken at the hands and feet of his assailants. Tiffany had screamed. She was standing at the edge of quarry where Eddie had disappeared into the abyss below.

Then with the others standing around, Hunter had locked his arms around his neck and had applied painful pressure. Helpless, he had listened and had agreed to the football star's demands. It was then that they had made that damned pact, a pact that none of them had been there that night, and that Eddie must have been there alone.

There it was - the origin of the guilt he had been suppressing for ten long years! It hadn't been the fact that he'd failed to help his best friend. No! He had tried to protect Eddie. He had lived with the burden of guilt because he had not had the courage to speak up, to tell the truth and to end the charade then and there.

Then when they had all dispersed, there was one, only one who had helped him.
Steve tried to push himself away. "It was you!" he exclaimed.

Startled, Jack replied, "Me? What do you mean? You think I attacked you?"

Steve shook his head, "No. It was you ... That night, it was you who helped me." He tried to stand but could not. He stared into Jack's eyes looking for a sign of acknowledgement. "You were there that night! You know what really happened."

"Oh my God!" Tiffany cried out. She looked up from the body next to the disturbed grave. Backing away from the lifeless body she answered their bewildered stares, "This isn't Hunter."

Sam stepped up and looked upon the face of the man. He nodded and glanced at Tiffany and said, "Well, yes ... and no."

Tiffany's mouth and lips formed the questioned word 'what?' but no sound came forth. She turned to each face of those present. Her querulous countenance was met with blank stares of surprise except, for the faces of Sam and Agnes Nolan.

"God almighty, girl," Agnes scolded. "Don't you even know your own father-in-law ... Hunter Jameson ... Senior?"

Tiffany hung her head as she replied in shame, "I ... I never met Hunter's father. He didn't approve of me. I wasn't good enough for his son. Because I was ..."

"Pregnant?" said Catherine finishing the girl's reply. Though she didn't approve of her conniving plans, she couldn't help but feel pity for Tiffany.

"Isn't it true, Tiffany," asked Sam, "That the good doctor, Hunter Senior, was very disappointed in his son's career pursuit? That he wanted Junior to follow in his foot steps and become an optometrist too?"

She nodded in silent defeat. She didn't know how this man knew so much about her and Hunter, but everything he had implied was true. She cleared her throat and spoke as if she were on trial and had been sworn in, "Hunter wanted to play football. He dreamed of playing for Kentucky and going to the Pros. He didn't want to make eye glasses."

Sensing that she was about to burst into tears, Catherine produced some tissues from her pocket book and placed her arm around her shoulder. She hugged her in gratitude and remembering that someone had once told her that confession was good for the soul, she continued, "I only spoke to his father once, over the phone. He accused me of faking my pregnancy ... that I was trying to trap his son into marrying me."

There was disdain in Sam's voice as he picked up her story, "Of course when you and Hunter went ahead and eloped, the good doctor disavowed his son and cut him out of any inheritance."

Sam heard the approaching footsteps before the others were aware of the man's presence. He wondered why the man had waited so long to make his appearance. In any event, he was finally playing his hand.

"How touching. How quaint and charming all your secrets are," said the man.

"Well, well," responded Sam. "If it isn't Mitchell Alyson, the honorable mayor of Soddy-Daisy himself."

( to be continued ... Echoes of Eddie -27)


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Surviving 1973


Mouse Trap


To some, the second cartoon may appeared to have been drawn in primitive times. The younger readers will wonder about the small TV set with a single wire running from the back and the extended rabbit ears antenna.

Those of us who have been around a little longer will recognize that the panels represent a time before cable television. It was drawn in 1973. During those "primitive" times my wife and I were entertained by a 13" TV, a state-of-the-art color set - for which we had to cross the room to change channels.
Overheard - a conversation between a parent, his teenage son and his 6-year-old son:
A parent: (to teen) "When I was your age, we had to go to the library for research."

Teen son: (to 6-year old) "When I was your age, we had to use dial-up."

Yes, there was Monday Night Football way back then and "Lassie" was still being aired on network stations. (For the record, MNF featured Frank Gifford, "Dandy" Don Meredith, and the verbose Howard Cosell behind the microphones.)

Yeah, 1973 was a simpler time. Not much happened that year either:
  • CBS sells the NY Yankees for $10 million to a syndicate led by George Steinbrenner
  • Elvis Presley concert in Hawaii is viewed by a world-wide audience of over a billion people
  • Miami Dolphins defeat Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl to become first and to date only NFL pefect season
  • Talks begin to end war in Vietnam

  • Richard M. Nixon re-elected to second term

  • Roe v. Wade overturns state bans on abortion
  • First general election in Republic of Ireland
  • Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" released
  • Last U.S. soldier leaves Vietnam
  • Fourth of July - World Trade Center in NYC officially opened
  • Secretariat wins Belmont Stakes to claim Triple Crown of horse racing

  • Battle of the Sexes: Billy Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in televised match at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas

  • Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns
  • Construction of Alaska Pipeline begins
  • Watergate*
  • Nixon: "I am not a crook!"
  • Gerald Ford becomes Vice President replacing Agnew
  • Jim Croce, who had hits with "Time in a Bottle" and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" dies in plane crash
  • Famous landmark, the Sydney Opera House opens in Sydney, Australia
  • O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills becomes first NFL running back to rush for 2000 yards in a season
  • Endangered Species Act passed
Good Grief ! I remember all of that!

I saw a few good movies that year:
  • American Graffiti
  • The Exorcist
  • The Sting
  • Last Tango in Paris
Many of our television sets in 1973 were tuned in to:
  • All in the Family
  • M*A*S*H
  • Sanford and Son
  • Gunsmoke
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • Maude
  • Ironside
  • Flip Wilson
  • Marcus Welby
  • The Partridge Family
  • The Waltons
It is a miracle, isn't it that we survived 1973 ? With no TV remotes, no Internet, and no cell phones, or cordless phones for that matter, we were able to eke out an existence and survive.

In 1973 I had Poodle Doodles to occupy my time when I wasn't watching TV on our five or six available channels. After thirty-five years of sitting in the bottom of a drawer and nearly forgotten, the strip managed to save a few "snapshots" of the early 70s.

*Fred, noted in his comment to the Saturday Poodle Doodles posting the Watergate headline on the newspaper.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stream of Unconsciousness


The Funnies

Sounds in the Night

She was what we used to call a suicide blonde - dyed by her own hand. -Saul Bellow
How's that for a segue into a blonde joke?
A car gets a flat on the interstate one day. The blond driver eases it over onto the shoulder of the road, carefully steps out of the car and opens the trunk. She takes out two cardboard men, unfolds them and stands them at the rear of the vehicle facing oncoming traffic.

The lifelike cardboard men are in trench coats exposing their nude bodies and private parts to approaching drivers. Not surprisingly, the traffic becomes snarled and backed up.

It isn't very long before a police car arrives. The officer, clearly enraged, approaches the blond of the disabled vehicle yelling, "What's going on here?"

"My car broke down, officer," says the woman calmly.

"Well, what the are these obscene cardboard pictures doing here by
the road?" he asks.

"Helllooooooo!!!!" says the blond. "Those are my emergency flashers!"

A guy walked into the local welfare office to pick up his check. He marched straight up to the counter and said, "Hi. You know, I just HATE drawing welfare, I'd really rather, have a job."

The social worker behind the counter said, "Your timing is excellent. We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter. You'll have to drive around in his Mercedes and he'll supply all of your clothes. Because of the long hours, meals will be provided.You'll be expected to escort the daughter on her overseas holiday trips and you will have to satisfy her sexual urges. You'll be provided a two-bedroom apartment above the garage. The salary is $200,000 a year."

The guy, wide-eyed, said, "You're bullshittin' me!"

The social worker said, "Yeah, well...You started it."

A couple had not been married for long, when the husband came home one day to find that his bride had disappeared. He got very worried and gathered up all his friends to search for his wife with no success.

Two days after his wife disappeared the man returned home to find her in the kitchen. He asked her what she had been up to and why she hadn't been home for so long.

She replied: "These four men kidnapped me and had wild sex with me for a week."

The husband answered: "But it's only been two days what do you mean a week?"

"I’m just here to make them some sandwiches."


Friday, June 27, 2008

George Carlin: 7 Words For You

I can say those words on the Internet, right?

Forty-one years ago in my dorm room at Aurora College in Aurora, Illinois, I heard for the first time the voice of a rather obscure comedian, George Carlin. It was his 45 rpm hit recording of The Hippy Dippy Weatherman. (The B-side of the record was titled Wonderful Wino.)

Soon afterward he made a guest appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His career was off and running. It wasn't until his routine, Seven Words You Can't Say on Television, that his career began its meteoric rise.

I wanted to post a tribute to him shortly after I heard the news of his passing, but I didn't know what to write or how to write it. I could have filled a post with quotable lines from some his acts. I could've posted a list of his recordings and TV specials.

How better to pay tribute to a comedian, but to post the text of the routine that got him in trouble with the courts and ultimately made him a household name.

George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words

The big seven words you weren't allowed to broadcast were: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits.

Here is the original Carlin comedy routine that caused the Fracas.

"I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I uh, I think is important. I I say, they're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have really.

We have thoughts, but thoughts are fluid. You know, [humming]. And, then we assign a word to a thought, [clicks tongue]. And we're stuck with that word for that thought. So be careful with words. I like to think, yeah, the same words that hurt can heal. It's a matter of how you pick them.

There are some people that aren't into all the words. There are some people who would have you not use certain words. Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to seven. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous, to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you seven. Bad words. That's what they told us they were, remember? 'That's a bad word.' 'Awwww.' There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions.

And words, you know the seven don't you? Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn't even belong on the list, you know. It's such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. 'Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.' It sounds like a snack doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don't mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can't eat just one. That's true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.

Actually, none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I am not completely insensitive to people's feelings. You know, I can dig why some of those words got on the cocksucker and motherfucker. Those are...those are heavy-weight words. There's a lot going on there, man. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. They're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend with. And those K's. Those are aggressive sounds, they jump out at you. CocksuckerMotherfuckerCocksucker. It's like an assault, on you. So I can dig that.

And we mentioned shit earlier, of course. Two of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. But forget about that. A little accidental humor there. Piss and Cunt. The reason Piss and Cunt are on the list is that a long time ago certain ladies said 'Those are the two I am not going to say. I don't mind Fuck and Shit, but P and C are out. P and C are out.' Which led to such stupid sentences as 'OK, you fuckers, I am going to tinkle now.'

And of course the word Fuck. The word Fuck, I don't really...well, this is some more accidental humor, but I don't really want to get into that now. Because I think it takes too long. But I do mean that. I mean, I think the word fuck is an important word. It's the beginning of life, and, yet it's a word we use to hurt one other, quite often. And uh, people much wiser than I have said, I'd rather have my son watch a film with two people making love than two people trying to kill one other. And I of course agree. I wish I know who said it first, and I agree with that. But I would like to take it a step further. I would like to substitute the word fuck, for the word kill in all those movie cliches we grew up with. 'Okay Sheriff, we're gonna fuck ya now. But we're gonna fuck ya slow.' So maybe next year I'll have a whole fuckin' rap on that word. I hope so.

Uh, there are two-way words, but those are the seven you can never say on television. Under any circumstances you just can not say them ever, ever ever, not even clinically. You can not weave them in the panel with Doc and Ed and Johnny, I mean it's just impossible, forget those seven, they're out.

But, there are some two-way words. There are double-meaning words. Remember the ones your giggled at in sixth grade? 'And the cock crowed three times.''Hey, the cock the cock crowed three times. It's in the bible.' There are some Two-way words, like it's okay for Curt Gowdy to say 'Roberto Clemente has two balls on him.' But he can't say, 'I think he hurt his balls on that play Tony, don't you? He's holding them. He must have hurt them by God.' And the other two-way word that goes with that one is prick. It's okay if it happens to your finger. Yes, you can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick. No, no."


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting Antsy

Do Ants Get "Peopley"?

Or Get People in Their Pants?

Two ants were in a sand trap watching a duffer flailing away.

"Quick," said the one ant to the other. "Get on the ball before he kills us."


This elephant was walking through the jungle one day when she got a thorn in her foot. The further she walked, the more sore it got. After a while she started to limp. After a while, this ant walks up and asks, "Hey, what's the matter?"

The elephant answers, "I've got this thorn in my foot and I would do anything to get it out."

The ant says, "Anything? Would you let me make love to you?"

The elephant thought about it for a minute and decided what the heck. How bad could an ant be? So she agreed.

The ant started pulling on the thorn and sure enough, he got it out. True to her word, the elephant laid down on her side and moved her tail out of the way. The ant crawled up and started loving on her.

This monkey was up in a tree watching this. He couldn't quite believe his eyes. He started laughing and rolling around in the tree. Then he knocked a coconut out of the tree that went down and hit the elephant right between the ears.

The elephant moaned loudly from the hit,"Awwoooohhhhh!"

The ant yelled at the top of his voice, "Take it all darling, take it all!!"

The Ant and the Grasshopper


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit, the Frog, appears on Oprah with the
grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house,where the news stations film the group singing "We shall overcome."

Al Gore exclaims in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share".

Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act", retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful

Cave Ants

There are two ants living in a girl's pair of panties.

One day they decide to go exploring in the caves. They said to meet back in the same spot in and hour.

So, one ant went in one cave, and the other ant in a different cave. After an hour went by, the two ants met back up.

One ant was covered in brown, sticky, smelly stuff. "Eeew!, What was your cave like" asked the other ant.

"It was nice at first, but it soon became really smelly and the walls were all dark and sticky" replied the ant. "So how was your cave ?".

"Well" he said, "It was lovely at first, all pink and warm, but then this bald guy started head butting me and then spitting on me."


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The 5th of July


I Want You To Bare All

Loyal Americans, you will be celebrating our Nation's birthday next Friday, the 4th of July. Enjoy yourselves and be responsible.

I am proud to announce our country's first celebration of the Fifth of July.

Mark Your Calendar For Next Saturday!

As many of you may already know, it is a sin for a Muslim male to see any woman other than his wife naked, and that he must commit suicide if he does.

So next Saturday at 4 PM Eastern Time, all American women are asked to walk out of their houses completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists. Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist effort.

All men are asked to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their houses to prove they are not Muslims, and to show support for all American women.

Since Islam also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack at your side is further proof you are not a Muslim. President Bush appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this patriotic anti-terrorist activity.

As an act of American patriotism, the bill for this holiday was approved by the members of Congress with only one dissenting vote.

The name of the dissenting Senator will not be publicly revealed, but her husband, the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, has endorsed this special act of unified patriotism.

Said Clinton, "This is single most important piece of legislation to come out of Washington since the repeal of Prohibition!"

In a show of bravado he added, "If it were up to me, this patriotic act would be extended another day through Sunday. Just think of it, the 4th, 5th and 6th of July - now that's celebrating with a bang!"


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Googling For Giggles

In addition to the "Poodle Doodles" comic strip (see the two previous posts) I was drawing, I also dabbled a little with a strip based on an office setting. In an upwardly mobile environment, Herbie was a downwardly inert office worker who never quite got things right at work or socially.

For example, there was the time he tried to improve company working conditions:


After a 2 year study, the National Science Foundation announced the following results on the American Male's recreational preferences:

1. The sport of choice for unemployed or incarcerated people is: basketball
2. The sport of choice for maintenance level employees is: bowling.
3. The sport of choice for blue-collar workers is: football.
4. The sport of choice for supervisors is: baseball.
5. The sport of choice for middle management is: tennis.
6. The sport of choice for corporate officers is: golf.

Conclusion: The higher you rise in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become.

The New Office Secretary

Two guys were discussing the new secretary at their office. John to George: "Man, I dated her last Tuesday and we had wonderful sex. She's a lot better in bed than my wife!"

Two days later. George to John: "Well, I dated her too and we had sex as well, but I still think your wife is better in bed!"

Sex Schedule

A young couple was married and they were having sex all the time during their honeymoon, but when the honeymoon was over they had to adjust their sex schedule to their work schedule.

So every day the husband would get home at 5 o'clock, and every day they would go to bed at 5:15. In the door at 5, in the sack at 5:15. This went on for months, never missing a day until the wife came down with the flu and went to the doctor to get a flu shot.

The shot killed all the germs inside her except for three, and these three germs were huddled together inside her body talking over their survival plans.

One germ said, "I'm going to hide between two toes on her left foot, I don't think the antibiotics will find me there."

A second exclaimed, "I am going to hide behind her right ear, I don't think
they'll find me there."

The last germ said, "I don't know about you guys, but when that 5:15 pulls out tonight, I'm gonna be on it!"


One day a little boy woke up and sat down at the table expecting breakfast. However, his mother says, "You don't get any breakfast until you do your chores."

A little pissed off, the boy goes out to do his chores. When he goes to milk the cow, he kicks it. When he goes to get eggs he kicks a chicken, and when he goes to feed the pigs, he kicks a pig.

When the little boy sits down his mother gives him a bowl of dry cereal. "Where is the bacon, eggs and milk?" asks the little boy.

His mother replies, "I saw you kick the cow, so you don't get any milk; I saw you kick a chicken so you don't get eggs; and I saw you kick a pig so you don't get any bacon!"

Just as she finishes saying this, the boy's father comes down the stairs and kicks the cat. The little boy looks up at his mother and asks, "Do you want to tell him, or should I?"

The Eyes Have It

There was a world famous painter who, in the prime of her career, started losing her eyesight. Fearful that she might lose her life as a painter, she went to see the best eye surgeon in the world.

After several weeks of delicate surgery and therapy, her eyesight was restored. The painter was so grateful that she decided to show her gratitude by repainting the doctor's office.

Part of her work included painting a gigantic eye on one wall. When she had finished her work, she held a press conference to unveil her latest work of art: the doctor's office. During the press conference, one reporter noticed the eye on the wall, and asked the doctor, "What was your first reaction upon seeing your newly painted office, especially that large eye on the wall?"

"Thank God I'm not a gynecologist."


Monday, June 23, 2008

Echoes of Eddie -25

Can a dead man reach out from the grave to exact revenge against those responsible for his death? Welcome to the twenty-fifth installment of a story that explores that possibility. If you've not done so, read the story from the beginning HERE.

The retort of the gun shot and the sudden pain in his right temple were instantaneous. Stunned, he rubbed his fingers against the source of pain as he fell to his knees. His eyes widened in shock at the sight of the crimson substance dripping from his fingers.

"I ... I've been shot?" he muttered to himself. "Who ... Why?" His vision became blurred and he fell forward face down onto a clump of grass.

Sam tensed and looked about, his countenance cold. He glanced at Agnes and gave her and Catherine a knowing nod as Tiffany and Marjorie came running to join them near the grave site. He avoided their eyes; those of Tiffany asking if Hunter was dead and Marjorie's imploring stare.

Something was wrong, Sam thought to himself and Marjorie knew it too. She like he, was listening for the second shot, a second shot that should have been heard within seconds of the first. The second shot was supposed to have been an alarm to bring all the parties together in one spot. Something had definitely gone wrong.

"Where are they?" Marjorie finally managed to ask aloud. "Where is Jack and Steve? Where is David?"

There was a sudden rustling from the underbrush behind them. David emerged and stumbled in their direction. There was a confused worried look on his face. The butt of a pistol was clearly visible stuffed into the front of his slacks.

He looked first at Sam and then Marjorie and shook his head. "Someone jumped me ... hit me from behind ..." he mumbled. "That shot ... it wasn't me. I never got to fire the gun at all!"

Catherine jumped between them and demanded, "A gun? Why did you have a gun?" She looked back and forth into the faces of David and Sam. "...And just who were going to shoot, anyway? Jack? Steven?" she asked nearly hysterical.

"No one, Catherine," Sam shouted. "This gun is loaded with blanks!" he exclaimed grabbing the pistol from David's waist.

Catherine grew calm for a moment. "Then who's out there? Who fired the shot we heard? Where are my brothers?"

Agnes stared at the cold steel gun in Sam's hand. It was an all too familiar image. Once before, so long ago, Sam had been standing up there at the quarry with that same gun in his hand. It had been loaded with blanks even then.
Having no way to have known that the baby was safely tucked away in Sam's car, George Cooper had driven up to the old quarry in search of his six-year-old son. Agnes had been there before him, having tossed the infant's cap and shoes into the water beneath the old tree.

She had known that her actions were well beyond the realm of the law, but she had decided once and for all that George Cooper had to be taught a lesson. Sure, she and her estranged husband Sam had been guilty of kidnapping. All they had intended to do was to bring to an end his abuse of both Catherine and Marjorie by confronting him and threatening to report him.

At that point in time, their dirty little secrets of whom had fathered whom had not been important. The abuse had to stop! George, ever the stubborn domineering brute that he was, had denied her charges. He had then grown physical and had struck her knocking her to the ground.

It was while George was flailing his fists against her that Sam had arrived on the scene. He had been wielding a gun. George had turned ghostly white when he looked up and saw that Sam was pointing the gun in his direction. Then there had been the loud crack of the gun. One moment George had been kneeling over her, and the next moment he was clutching his chest and gurgling sounds were sputtering from deep within his throat.

George had not died from a gunshot wound to the chest that night. George had succumbed to a massive heart attack instead. Sam had scared the life out of him. Fearing more harm than good to the two families if the truth had come out that night, she and Sam had hatched a plan.

While she was returning to her home, Sam had dragged George's body to the edge of quarry waters. Somehow he had hoisted the man's body by the rope swing and had left him hanging there from the tree limb, his feet dangling above his son's cap and shoe floating in the water.
Agnes turned her eyes away from the gun in Sam's hand. Even though they had been separated, Sam and Agnes had worked as a team to to keep the reputations of the both the Cooper and Nolan families as clean as possible.

Because of the overwhelming evidence and circumstances, the county coroner had determined that no autopsy was needed. So it had been recorded that a distraught father had committed suicide upon discovering his son had drowned in that quarry.

He cautiously knelt before the man who had been shot. The man was still alive but his breathing was heavy and labored. He rolled the man onto his back and looked at his head wound. The man had been lucky, the bullet had only grazed the side of his head.

His eyes widened when he recognized the man. What was he doing up here? Why was he not in uniform? It was the same policeman who had pulled him over not forty-eight hours before. It was the same man who had warned him to watch his back. Who shot him and why?

He felt suddenly ill. Was it he and not the wounded man before him, who had been the shooter's target? He grew tense and looked up toward the crest of the hill. The shooter might be still hiding somewhere up there. He swallowed hard at the thought that he could be in someone's gun sights at that very moment.

It was obvious to him that he couldn't remain where he was. He was out in the open nowhere near any cover. He began to reluctantly crawl in the direction of the tree line to his right.

He heard a twig snap nearby. It might have been behind him. Before he had a chance to react he was grabbed from behind. A pair of powerful arms locked around his neck. Their stranglehold began to tighten. He was finding it difficult to breathe as the arms applied pressure on his windpipe.

Steve was beginning to lose consciousness ...

(To be continued... Echoes of Eddie- 26)


Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Whole New Ball Game

Today was a busy, hectic Sunday for me. I finally got to do some yard work this morning. It seems that if on the past several weekends it wasn't Memorial Day, my anniversary, Mother's Day, or Father's Day - it was raining! Today it wasn't supposed to rain until the evening and in the afternoon we were going out to an Outback Restaurant (her choice) to celebrate my daughter's birthday.

It should not have come as a surprise to me that the dark clouds of a thunder storm rolled in at about 1 pm. Within five minutes I was scurrying to put away my yard tools as the sky opened up ... At least I was able to trim the hedges and bushes and cut the grass in the front yard - not so the back yard - before the rains came.

By the time we returned from our meal, including a Bloomin' Onion, it was 6:30 pm and the rain had finally subsided. Oh well, half a yard completed was better than no yard completed.

I may have been deluged by rain earlier, but by that time I was not deluged with ideas for a post for today. So I started playing around with my new toy, the scanner. I looked for some of my old notebooks of drawings and sketches. I couldn't find the ones I wanted, but I did find one with drawings from my days of wood crafting and tole painting. Unfortunately most of the sketches were of the holidays, i.e., Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


I did find the above "Cottage Mural" drawing in those notebooks. This picture is just one of eight drawings I used to paint a mural on a friend's kitchen walls. For an idea of the scale, it was 1 to 36 (one inch = three feet). There were seven different shades of green used in the finished mural. It took me three weekends in September of 1975 to complete the job.


As a kid Marvin the Martian was, and still is, my favorite cartoon character. The sketch at the right was never finished and it never saw the light of the day since until I scanned it for this post.

Marvin's purpose in life seemed to be centered on blowing up the Earth because it was blocking his view of Venus. Invariably however, either Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck as "Duck Dodgers," would appear and thwart his plans.

The little Martian as well as many other cartoon characters were featured on wood cut to the form of the character during my crafting days. Wood cutouts of Marvin the Martian, Betty Boop, Miss Piggy and the Smurfs were the most popular and my best sellers at craft shows.

Now that I am comfortable using a scanner, I am anxious to start drawing again. Until I do, I will occasionally post some of my old drawings. With yesterday's post, Poodle Doodles, I have decided that I will feature the comic strip on the weekends, both Saturdays and Sundays.

For today, here are the first three cartoons I drew of POODLE DOODLES:





Saturday, June 21, 2008

Poodle Doodles

Sometime in 1972, I started doodling images of my wife's dog, Missy. She was a pedigree poodle which grew to about the size of Labrador, forgetting she was supposed to be a miniature. Per her papers, her full name was Michelle Francois Duboise - thus "Missy."

It wasn't long before my doodles turned into a "strip" and on and off for several years I was drawing them in a sketch book. The image above left was drawn on the inside cover of the sketch book. You can see the smudges and yellowing from the passage of time as it sat untouched in the bottom of a dresser drawer for twenty some odd years.

Thanks to a Father's Day gift from my daughter and son-in-law, I recently replaced our original printer with an HP "all-in-one" (printer-copier-scanner) desk jet. I will now be able to begin to fulfill my desire to scan and post some of my own original artwork.

From the sketch book I selected five of the strips to post here today. (To read the text and to better view the cartoons, you will need to click on the images to enlarge them.)





I realized after I began scanning that the sketch book is wider than the glass surface of the scanner which resulted in portions chopped off of the cartoons. I will have to allow an inch margin in future drawings, or to use a narrower sketch pad.

What do you think? Should POODLE DOODLES become a regular feature here at "It Occurred To Me?" Of course, if I were to resurrect the strip, I would have to find the time and incentive to start drawing again. However, if I posted two cartoons a week, I have enough to cover 52 weeks - a whole year.
Missy was poisoned by some weed-killer sprayed along his side of our fence by a neighbor. She suffered a slow death and gave up the spirit a month later. For obvious reasons it was then that I stopped drawing the strip.

I have thought about drawing the strip again as there have been plenty of pets, dogs and cats, to come along since. Perhaps by sharing them here, I'll use more and more of my own original art instead of "pilfered" Internet images to enhance this site.

The cartoon strip "Poodle Doodles" and the images of the same are my personal work and are sentimental to our family. Please do not copy or display it anywhere else without my expressed written permission. Thank you.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Putting the Error in Terror

(I "borrowed" the following text from Mushy and then added some graphics.)

Everyone seems to be wondering why Muslim terrorists are so quick to commit suicide...Let's see now...
No Jesus
No Christmas
No television
No cheerleaders

No Nude Women
No car races
No football
No soccer
No golf
No tailgate parties
No K Mart
No pork BBQ
No hot dogs
No burgers
No lobster
No shellfish, or even frozen fish sticks
No nachos
No Beer nuts
No Beer!!!!!!!!

Rags for clothes and towels for hats.
Constant wailing from the guy next-door because he's sick and there are no doctors.
Constant wailing from the guy in the tower.
More than one wife.
You can't shave.
Your wives can't shave.
You can't shower to wash off the smell of donkey cooked over burning camel dung.

The women have to wear baggy dresses and veils at all times.
Your bride is picked by someone else.
She smells just like your donkey.
But your donkey has a better disposition.
Then they tell you that when you die it all gets better!

I mean, really, is there a mystery here?


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Once Upon A Time ...

...And They Lived Happily Thereafter ... Death!

Rewriting the Fairy Tales so that they become relevant:

Hear about the reunion of the M*A*S*H cast to film an updated sequel? It'll be called: H*M*O.

What if everything that could go wrong, hasn't happened yet?
Jack Sprat could eat no meat,
His wife could eat no mush;
You see she voted Democrat
And he voted for Dubya Bush.

Jack and Jill went up the street
To fetch a measly gallon of gas.
They cried, 'cause there was no laughter
They couldn't afford what they went after;
Big Oil had shoved it up their ass.

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to her bank's board
To get her poor dog a loan;
But when she returned the dog was gone.
The dog house had been boarded closed;
On poor Rover the bank had foreclosed.

There was an old woman who lived in a clodhopper;
She had so many children her cash went down the hopper.
To keep her kids warm she had to toil,
And 'Cause Social Security gave no raises
She had to had to set fire to all the laces,
It was winter and she couldn't afford the oil.


I don't watch a lot of Network News or particularly care for most of their journalists, but I did like Tim Russert.