Just returned from the Laugh
While You Can Tour '05. My colleagues Tom Hart and Jen Sorenson and I
did a series of slideshows and readings in Providence, Boston, New Haven,
New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. I met a number of my longtime fans,
described in the Philadelphia Weekly as "urban fringe people
who come out only at 4 A.M." These all turned out to be eccentric at
best. I acquired new groupies and stalkers, was asked out to lunch, given
two phone numbers, and have received a number of follow-up e-mails. In both
Boston and D.C. crazy ladies asked questions that had no point and no end,
and both eventually had to be shut down by bookstore employees or fellow audience
members. I met Tom Tomorrow and Janeane Garofolo, and neither fought the former
nor asked out the latter. I was issued three parking tickets. My aviator sunglasses
were destroyed. On the last night of our tour, in D.C., I gave an impromptu
speech during the Q.&A. that both Tom and Jen described as "transcendent."
I have no real idea what I said. Luckily Tom taped the whole thing so perhaps
a transcript will soon be available.
It was on the tour that I came up with the idea for this cartoon. Believe it or not, this is the first cartoon I've drawn in a long time that I actually feared might offend anybody. Jen Sorensen told me she received more hate mail over a cartoon making fun of a recently popular baby name (Cash) than she has over any other cartoon. You don't fuck with The Children. Which makes them an all but irresistible target to me. Anything sacrosanct, taboo, or otherwise off-limits to mockery has got to be taken out. I specifically fear offending the following people: Jason and Myla, who hosted me in Brooklyn and have a one-year-old daughter, Zellie, who is as delightful a companion as any one-year-old can be, and Leela, Tom Hart's wife, with whom I got into a disagreement about children over a Vietnamese dinner in Chinatown, the crux of which was that she likes them, whereas I don't. I argued that they were exactly like very boring, annoying adults. Hence this cartoon. Special thanks to Mike Buckley, who not only immediately envisioned Boyd in the title role but also provided the breathtaking title "Babies Are Assholes," which may well be the single most offensive three-word phrase it is possible to construct in the English language.
I would remind everyone that although Jim is now home from the hospital, enthroned resplendently in a vast, plush, vibrating recliner, he did almost die and is still on an I.V. feed-bag diet and about eleven different medications and is facing some major and unwelcome lifestyle changes and he still longs for a new fridge with a crushed ice maker. Thanks to those of you who have already contributed so generously to the fund. The rest of you, have a little pity on the sick and cough up, for the love of Christ. Think of all that Jim has sacrificed for you.