Burning Desires


bz panel 08-16-13bz strip 08-16-13Bizarro is brought to you today by WILF.

I’ve had this gag on deck for months but resisted drawing it because it is so labor intensive. I’m glad I finally did, though, because I really love the gag.

I sat on a jury once in a civil trial where a guy who was barely tapped in bumper-to-bumper, rush-hour traffic was trying to get money for whiplash. It was a comically clumsy, sit-com attempt to cash in on a very minor traffic accident. One other juror and I voted “not guilty,” but the others wanted to give the guy in the phony neck brace the money. Some of the memorable quotes I heard from three other jurors while deliberating follow: “I think he’s lying too, but when you make a mistake, you gots to pay.” “He might be lying but I was taught it is wrong to judge.” “Aren’t we bound by law to believe everything he says under oath?” This is a true story.

If these jurors are typical, I hope to god I’m never on trial because this was most decidedly not a “jury of my peers.” I don’t hang out with people that stupid.

This cartoon also reminds me of the modern witch hunt that some of our more primitive fellow Americans are engaging in toward homosexuals. The more things change, the more they remain the same, I guess.

bz panel 12-10-07 steroidsDEJA VIEW: For today’s Bizarro from the past, I’ve chosen this one from 2007 about another jury of fools that I hope never to face.



22 thoughts on “Burning Desires

  1. As a “foreign object”, or – living outside of USA – this frankly scares me. I honestly don’t like the whole jury thing, just because of what you say. Who are they to judge, having no professional training in law or justice whatsoever?

    That will just make trials a “convince the jury of rabble”-game, rather than being about convincing trained judges.

    • Yes. And that’s exactly what happened in the O.J.Simpson trial. He was dead-to-rights guilty and there was more than enough clear evidence to convict. But a flashy lawyer made an uneducated jury believe that one of the investigating detectives was a racist and Simpson (literally) got away with murder. It was a travesty.

    • A friend of mine is a lawyer who doubles as a traffic court commissioner; he had jury duty once and the judge made him swear that he would not use his legal training during the trial, which made for awkward discussions in the jury room, and odd looks from the lawyers when the jury asked for clarifications on point of law.

      I’ve been called a number of times, but once either side finds out that (a) I’m a professor of Political Science, (b) I know a number of lawyers and police, (c) I used to work for an ADA, and (d) I intend to use my critical thinking skills [that last part is usually the problem], I’m excused.

      Oddly enough, the rabble was never intended to be on a jury. The phrase, “a jury of one’s peers” stems from the Magna Carta; the nobility demanded that the king give them fair trials in which they would be judged by members of the peerage. For the serfs, the judgement of the local lord was all they got.

      • Thanks for that clarification. I’ve been called a dozen times in my adult life and was only chosen once. I’ve always had the distinct feeling that voir dire is for choosing the jurors with the most easily malleable minds. I quickly learned that if you want to get released from duty, just show that you have a mind of your own.

        • Another way to get out of it, if you have any kind of hearing problem, is to say you can’t hear the judge and lawyers.

          By the way, when I lived in Seattle I always wished Gary Larson would draw a cartoon of the slugs jamming I-5, heading south for the winter. I met him in a bookstore once but he was not amused.

          Love your stuff!

        • Could be worse; when I lived in Colorado for grad school (episode 1), there was a report there that one day no one showed up when called for jury duty, so the judge issued a blanket bench warrant authorizing the “LEOs” to grab anyone without kids walking into the nearest grocery store, and Presto! they had a jury pool. Oh, and warrants were issued for those who were called but didn’t show up.

          On the subject of burning witches, there’s an interesting story involving a reinterpretation of the bible. The original text stated that one should not suffer a poisoner alive, but the Church’s fear of women (known as witches, stemming from the Gaelic for wise woman) who offered medical herbal help outside of the Church’s official God Cures Through Prayer doctrine were deemed heretical. The negatively connoted term, witch, then was expanded to any free thinking woman. So the bible wording was changed from poisoner to witch, to reflect the new interpretation.

  2. Another snort-milk-out-your-nose funny. Of course I learned long ago not to drink milk when reading Bizarro cartoons. There are indeed very few cartoons out there today that manage to elicit so much as a chuckle, let alone actually being literally laugh-out-loud funny. Being consistently funny is not an easy business.

  3. Hi – I have an idea for a comic you could publish. Is this where I should post it, or do you have an email address where I should send it? Please let me know. Thanks.


    Green Bay, Wisconsin

    • Well, that sucks. Sometimes a paper will use my vertical panel version for years, then suddenly switch to the horizontal strip version and fans think I’ve been canceled. You might try looking around some more to see if that happened. If it still can’t find it, I may have been canceled. If that’s the case, COMPLAIN TO THE EDITOR! Thanks. :o)

  4. I’m with you on the WILF.

    I have a summons for jury duty coming up in January (they let me defer from June, which would have been very disruptive — FYI anyone, just call the clerk of courts and be nice, they may just be nice back to you). I’ve always wanted to do jury duty at least once, and this is my first summons. I hope it’s a good experience — we live in a rural county now though, so I had never thought of that angle on who might comprise the other 11 angry men.

  5. ✧ I used to watch Bewitched reruns as a young boy and apparently I had a huge, massive, monster crush on Elizabeth Montgomery, though I didn’t quite understand why. This was, you see, before puberty — or as I like to think of it, the witching hour.

    • Me too. I was hot for Cher (The Sonny and Cher Show), Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Elizabeth Montgomery before I even knew what sex was. Of course, this was before right-wing Christians realized that we all “choose” our sexual orientation, so it was undoubtedly a fluke. :o)

  6. “If the glove does not fit, you must acquit!” (So- we are letting you off, this time, Dan). Just remember that part in the bible- where the crowd is stoning the prostitute? Jesus walks into the crowd, and He said: “Let you who is without sin, cast the first stone!”

    A wizened old crone burst out of the crowd, and smashes a brick in the hooker’s face!?!

    Jesus said: “Mother!!!!”

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