Dummy Ashes Jowl Reading


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Bizarro is brought to you today by Grandpa Spent Too Much Time Alone in the Basement.


After all these years I still enjoy coming up with a new angle on one of the traditional cartoon cliches. I started with the idea of a ventriloquist’s dummy begging and then my lovely and enchanting girlfriend, Olive Oyl, and I riffed for a bit before coming up with the right line for his sign. I can’t believe this idea hasn’t been done before but I couldn’t find one on the Truthernet, so I did it.







To head off a few of the emails and comments I will get asking me what this second gag means, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just that I thought it would be funny to have a discount crematorium that gives you the ashes in a bag instead of an urn or whatever. Personally, I’d like to be buried (without a coffin or embalming) in a garden to fertilize the plants, but I hear that’s illegal. The strip version of this cartoon has a couple of extra stores which are worth checking out. Click on it to see a bigger image.










My good buddy and fellow NCS member, Dan McConnell came up with this iFace gag. I thought it was both amusing and a valuable cautionary tale. To check out more of his wacky shenanigans and monkeyshines, check out his FB page.




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BIZARCHAEOLOGY: This cartoon from 1997 was written and drawn before I lived in NYC, but after a visit there. There are a lot of odd advertisements above the seats on NYC subways, but this isn’t one of them, as far as I know.


44 thoughts on “Dummy Ashes Jowl Reading

  1. Dan, do a search for green burial, it’s a coming trend. The amount of metal & embalming fluid buried each year is unsustainable.

  2. My favorite story about cremation. Surfers like to have their ashes sprinkled at their favorite surf spot. When the father of a couple of surfers died (the father was also a surfer) they sprinkled half of his ashes at his favorite surf break and the other half at his other favorite spot, Home Depot. I hope this isn’t too common a practice.

  3. Love the Discount Crematorium (and the archive piece at the morgue from several weeks ago). Check out Mary Roach’s book “Stiff” which is a very wry look at the business of dead bodies.

  4. I can only see the dummy’s left hand. Does he need a right hand, or does he need a ventriloquist’s hand in his back to operate the moving parts? This cartoon was obscure.

  5. I really like the “need a hand” comic.

    On a different topic i’ve read that using longer passwords with common unrelated words make better passwords than shorter ones using numbers/letters/punctuation. I just realized that the titles of most of your posts would make great passwords. So a password like “Dummy Ashes Jowl Reading” (the title of this post) is much harder to crack than say “s_6jhy+z”. Just a few of your recent titles (passwords)… “Flying Dead Geezer Brain”, “Watch Kitty Tax Guano”, “Falling Depth Arm Philosophy” and “Moody Warning Congrats Burial” are brilliant and uncrackable. I’m personally going to use “Smiley Fez Icing Smut” but i’m not telling on what account. Thanks Dan. You’re a net security genius.


  6. Dan,

    Check out the Green Burial Council’s website – http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/ You can get planted without embalming!

    On a side note, I had read somewhere that the demand for chin implants is up 50% since 2010, presumably due to people seeing their reflections on their smart phones and tablets. ahahhahha!

  7. Hi, Dan —

    I hope you aren’t presented with this need any time in the near future, but there already are environmentally sensitive options for green burials — no embalming and just a shroud, for example, in parkland. If you google “green burial” you’ll find plenty of data, but here’s a sample link to one that might be vaguely in your area (I’ve got no affiliation): http://www.naturalgracefunerals.com/

  8. Oh, Danny. Jowls happen. God bless you if you’ve remained immune.

    Need a Hand made me snort. It’s not exactly an endearing quality of mine. That cartoon is spectacular, though.

    And sorry, babe, but the real answer to paper or plastic is both. A plastic bag in a cardboard box. I talked to Dad all the way home. It was the first time he’d been in my new car. There are a few burial grounds that let you go in a pine box. I want to be dumped at sea.

    You need to post more than once a month or so. If you need someone to manage your social media, let me know.

  9. Dan, there are “green burial” cemeteries in California, such as Joshua Tree Memorial Park. You can be wrapped in a shroud and laid to rest for the worms to pick at. Personally, I hope there are a lot more such options in the future.

  10. Regarding what you said about how you want to be buried, you might want to check out natural burial grounds or conservation burial grounds. http://www.greenburialcouncil.org has a page on its site where you can enter your state of residence and it will list eco-friendly/green cemeteries and funeral service providers. A friend of mine is buried in a green burial ground in England, where native English trees are planted over each gravesite. Eventually, the cemetery will be a forest. After his funeral (no enbalming, he was wrapped in a 100% linen shroud, and buried in a basket of woven grasses instead of a casket or coffin) I looked to see if such a thing was available here in the US. I was happy to see it was. So while you might not be able to be buried in your own garden, your remains could still help flowers and trees grow.

  11. Perhaps it is illegal in the nanny state of California to have your ashes buried in a garden. That is not the case in Texas. I’ve stated my wishes to have my ashes buried at the roots of a rose bush. My hubby has planted the asked for bush and I’m just hoping he’s not planning on planting me any time soon!

    • Very cool, are you sure it is legal? I can’t say I’ve researched it but my understanding is that burying humans in random places is against the law pretty much anywhere in the U.S.

      • Burials of entire bodies is pretty highly regulated, although state and county rules will govern. Obviously, if you live in a very, very rural county (i.e., in the middle of nowhere) you’d be subject to less restrictions.

        However, once a body has been cremated, there aren’t nearly as many restrictions on what is done with the ashes. Half of my stepfather’s ashes were discreetly scattered on the slopes of his favorite ski area by his skiing buddies. I’m sure plenty of ashes end up in the rose garden without any government agency being the wiser or caring.

        However, reducing a body to ashes does require a lot of energy. And it also means that person is making the ultimate contribution to climate change — very, very literally.

        • All true. For environmental reasons, my desire is to avoid cremation, too. I’m looking to be buried whole, without chemicals or coffin. Several readers left good resources for that.

  12. Dear Dan,

    This is a poem by Lee Hayes (of the Weavers, Pete Seeger, et. al.)

    In Dead Earnest

    If I should die before I wake

    All my bone and sinew take

    Put them in the compost pile

    To decompose a little while

    Sun, rain and worms will have their way

    Reducing me to common clay

    All that I am will feed the trees

    And little fishes in the seas

    When corn and radishes you munch

    You may be having me for lunch

    Then excrete me with a grin

    Chortling, There goes Lee again

    ‘Twill be my happiest destiny

    To die and live eternally

    Lee Hays, 1981

  13. 1) First panel, too damn poignant.

    2) Each state has different rules for disposition of ashes, as others above have mentioned. I have scattered ashes illegally when I lived in another state … and I’m not sorry. :D

    3) If my terrier ever dies I may have a glaze made with his ashes and have made a dish and a coffee cup. Some potters do this … it’s a special technique. However, I am years from having to decide. He’s only 9.

  14. Dearest Dan, again, all above gags glow in your brilliance! Really like your tribute to Olive Oyl’s contribution in your “Paper or Plastic” gag (strip version)! Let’s all be trees in the end! Peace ; ^}

  15. Be aware, Jimmy’s Crematorium charges extra for ziploc.

    Crematorium – possible name for a dairy or coffee joint.

    We’ve gotten very good about taking our own fabric and canvas bags in to get groceries. That’s a good thing as it used to be mildly tormenting to decide if plastic or paper had the worse environmental impact every single time I got the question in the store.

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