Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 3/13/02

Artist's Statement

Thanks to Dave Israel, who also runs this website for me, for the idea for this cartoon. He visited me here at my winter headquarters in Manhattan last weekend, when we had many a misadventure on the New York subway system, which is always an object lesson in the difference between the way things are supposed to happen (the 1 and 2 trains stop at all local stations) and the way they actually do (except on weekends, when due to construction the northbound trains suddenly skip everything between 34th and 96th). Also we were trying to make logistical plans, which also always end up being a compromise between what's supposed to happen (he'd leave fairly early in the afternoon on Monday so as to get back to Baltimore in time to find a cab home from the bus station and pick up his dog at his mother' house) and what you'd like to have happen (just stay in New York and drink all day)--that compromise, of course, constituting what actually happened (he went home on a later bus drunk). The whole notion of making plans has become a running joke between us, since we both know that capricious Circumstance and our own inherent dereliction and overruling love of beer will inevitably conspire to put our most foolproof plans to ruin and force us into some ill-conceived, last-minute backup contingency.

Life in general is basically a compromise between what's supposed to happen and what you'd like to have happen, and the end result usually falls not anywhere between them but turns out instead to be some third, utterly unforeseen, and much worse thing. Although I would hope that this problem is a universal one, I will conform that all examples drawn here are autobiographical. I am not married and dote pathetically on my cat; I haven't had a job since 1991 and have, admittedly, drawn a cartoon of a carrot up a man's butt (see archives, December 19, 2001); and the last ugly scenario has played itself out more times than I prefer to remember. And it's usually Jim Fisher's fault, too, feeding me one too many pitchers when he knows I'm supposed to meet Allison and go to a Bosnian puppet show about the atrocities of war at the Lincoln Center later that night. I was actually given an excuse note written on a cocktail napkin once (by Dave Israel, the last time he was in New York) but was so drunk I forgot to present it. Not that it would've helped, probably. Although it was usually my girlfriend Allison who was disappointed to see me turn up trashed beyond recognition on these occasions, in this drawing I have substituted the face of my friend Carolyn, because she looks much funnier when she is peeved. Allison didn't look very funny at all. I stopped ever letting this happen after the Bosnian puppet show fiasco.

In short, my choices in life have led me to become an undependable drunkard who draws carrots up old men's asses for a living and is in love with his cat. I am sorry for everything.