(They who wish to embiggenate these cartoons need only to click the nose of any character therein.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Nativity with Sauerkraut.

I don’t believe in psychic powers but I’m open to the idea that some might exist. I’m fairly comfortable with the notion that the vast majority of people selling themselves as psychics are either charlatans or self-delusional, but it’s always possible that the mind can do things we are not yet able to understand, so I remain sort of barely open minded.

One thing I know for certain is that humans have long had an insatiable fascination with the supernatural, mysteries, and conspiracies. I suspect this is part of our evolutionary track. With our unparalleled intelligence comes an uncanny ability to spot patterns and build stories from them. With this skill we have amassed an enormous amount of scientific knowledge about everything from sub-atomic particles to microscopic biological functions to invisible stuff happening millions of light years away. But that same drive to notice, identify, and explain is also what has led us to religion, belief in supernatural planes and beings, and fake news stories about conspiracies.

It’s clearly a double-edged sword. On the one hand we have all the cool stuff we’ve discovered and invented to make our lives more interesting, on the other hand, we are easy targets for con artists and larger, malevolent organizations that mislead the public into acting against their best interests by following bad politicians. (Fox News, the Trump camp, Breitbart News and their ilk.) Our own genius may prove to be our demise.

The cartoon above addresses none of that, however. It’s just an amusing look at the downside of psychic abilities. Personally, I think the lady in the cartoon is a phony because if she weren’t, she would have known ahead of time that someone who’d seen the movie before was going to be there to ruin her experience.

Would this cartoon have been funnier if the people on the phones had been dogs? Maybe. I’m not sure.

As much as I lament the fact that so many people spend so much time lost in the few square centimeters of their smartphone screens, I’ve come to rely on them, too.  I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my own mobile phone in recent weeks mostly, I think, because it is more than three years old and is designed to self destruct so I’ll buy another. I didn’t address this in the states before I moved to Mexico because I had heard from many other expats that the service here is the same as the U.S. but MUCH cheaper.

So a few days ago I went to the local provider with a translator, the sales person went through the whole rigamarole of options, I chose the one I wanted and got all the way to signing up before being told that they would not contract with me since I don’t have permanent residency status. With temporary residency status (a step above tourist status but below permanent status) you can easily buy a house and get a Mexican driver license, but you can’t buy a phone. Sure. Makes perfect sense.

I’m sure stand-up comics have hit this subject before but seriously, when are they going to stop telling us we can’t smoke on commercial airline flights? Never? Would it strike you as overkill if every time you went through security at an airport the person who is shouting about laptops and shoes were to routinely announce, “Guns and bombs are strictly forbidden on commercial flights. Please deposit your weapons and explosives in the bin before going through the metal detector.”

The never ending stream of weird ways in which we humans find to amuse ourselves gave birth to this cartoon. I can completely see this being a business model for some entrepreneur. Rich people and thrill seekers who’ve done everything else they can think of would be clamoring to have a picnic among grizzly bears. You can already pay to be lowered in a shark cage, can’t you?

I thought this variation on the coming-home-to-find-you’ve-been-robbed theme was kind of fun. When my daughters, Krelspeth and Krapuzar were in college, I avoided the holiday hurricane by spending the holidays in their dorm room with them instead.

I know some people have actual food allergies and sensitivities so if that describes you, this cartoon isn’t about you. If, however, you know someone who just doesn’t have enough challenges in their real life so they begin to micromanage their diet in any number of trendy ways, this is about them. Not you. So when you leave a comment chastising me for making fun of your Crohn’s disease which is real and very much not funny, I’m going to tell you to go back and read this short paragraph. And, if history is any indication, this will happen.

That’s it for this week, Pepinillos de Jazz. I wanted to post some more pics from Mexico and write a bit about our transition but the camera on my phone died last week and I’m without. I could steal Olive Oyl’s pics but that would require time and energy that I don’t have right now. I’ll get to it soon, I promise. If no one is interested, of course, I won’t bother. I don’t mean to presume that you care about my personal life.

Have a great week and be nice to yourself and others.

Here’s a fun gift for yourself or others: My new coloring book which is fascinating and inspirational for humans of any age and which does not require an interest in actual coloring to be worth twice the cover price, which is a ludicrously low $5.99. I suspect the publisher owns a functional time machine because how else could they afford to sell them at that price unless their headquarters is in the past? It’s called “Bizarro Land Adult Coloring Book” and is available at your local bookstore and as well as all the online bookstores. And also here, directly from the aforementioned publisher, circa 1972.

And if you’d rather pay more modern prices, how about a limited-edition, signed and numbered, large, color print of one of my favorite Bizarro cartoons available from an art gallery in Los Angeles? Get those, and even more expensive original pen and ink drawings from Bizarro here.


55 thoughts on “Ruined

  1. Regarding the smoking announcement on airplanes, if it is not announced, someone will invariably light up, because we all know that smoking is a right, not a privilege. It goes along with the warning labels that have to be placed on everything (knives are sharp, fire is hot, ice is cold, etc.) for the generally clueless and to avoid the inevitable lawsuits that would be forthcoming should these common sense-challenged individuals NOT be warned. For those of us who are fortunate enough to actually have some common sense, such announcements are inane and quite sad, but that’s what happens when it becomes necessary to always cater to the lowest common denominator on the mentality scale.

  2. I don’t believe you’ve ever been to a movie theatre with just a handful of people in the audience. If you had you’d know that no matter how many empty seats there are always people who will sit either directly in front of or behind you,
    And stop pre-emptively apologizing. The people who get upset at you WANT to be upset. What they don’t want is a rational explanation.

  3. I think the woman in the first comic is a mind reader, not a psychic. If she were a psychic she would have seen this coming, as you point out. But as a mind reader, one could suppose that the talent requires some proximity to the mind being read, so she inadvertently reads the mind of a nearby theater goer who has already seen the film.

  4. I very much enjoy seeing your cartoons on FB as well as your thoughts and inspirations behind why you drew them. I would very much like to see more pictures of your hacienda, the town where you now live and read about how you are getting on with life living in Mexico. That is what you were modestly asking in the last two sentences before “Have a great week…” was it not? I ask with a smile on my face….ciao

  5. Wait! Where are the other comments? I can’t believe that I’m the first. Are comments no longer published? Or have your fans abandoned you since you moved out of the US? And now that Facebook is supposedly cracking down on “fake news” which I always assumed was satire (nobody is really that stupid to believe such nonsense), how will the Facebook authorities interpret Bizarro? Will every cartoon be required to include a disclaimer?

    • Sorry to startle you, Scot. I have to review and post each of the comments that come in and I was out all day yesterday, unable to do so.

  6. maybe see about buying a used phone that will work with the local carriers. Since everyone here thinks they need to have the newest and bestest phone every time they come out, there are plenty for sale on FleaBay.

    I leave my house looking ransacked so if I get broken into again, the dirtbag will think he already missed the good stuff and move on

  7. What do you think of this, King JazzPickle? The reason for the season is Jesus. Historians have determined that Jesus was born “while shepherds watched their flocks by night.” The only time of year the weather is favourable to watch flocks by night in Israel is late September. So if you take a date like September 25 and count back 9 months you can quite possibly arrive at Jesus’ CONCEPTION DAY, which would be—December 25 for the very beginning of the life of The King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Prince of Peace. Merry Christmas to You and Olive, love, Mark Brown, Winnipeg.

  8. I’ve noticed that the time is listed on this forum as 7:33pm. This is double-dumb, but I’ve come to expect such things from The Great Americans. First, you have ‘am’ and ‘pm’. What the hell do you need the damn ‘m’ for? How long have you been using up printer’s ink with this nonsense? Then, why the hell not just go to the 24 hour clock and 7:33 is when the birdies are chirping and 19:33 is when you are relaxing with a stupid sitcom on your mind numbing television set instead of reading a book. Twenty four hour clocks now and forevermore! What could be easier to co-ordinate people to flight schedules, graveyard shifts, firefighters and cops, court cases, ET CETERA! I’m quite sure even Trump Supporters can subtract 12. And then go Celesius, ‘Murica! We Canadians can help you: +30 is a hot summer day, +20 is a pleasant spring day, +10 is a need a sweater fall day, at 0 water freezes, -10 is a chilly day, -20 is a coldish winter day, -30 is a need a good parka, leather mittens, and good boots day. WHAT. COULD. BE. EASIER? WHY. ARE. YOU. ASSES. SO. STUBBORN? Notice I didn’t even go into the full Metric System. I know I’ve already given some Donald Fans a headache and a need to shoot something innocent. Enjoy your wall.

  9. A real post came through! Cheers all around. “Nothing to see here – move along, move along” was starting to worry me.

    Glad to have you back.

  10. A few years ago I was caring for a neighbor who lived a few blocks away who was very ill and had become essentially bed-ridden. One night I was awaken by a dream where I saw my neighbor fallen out of bed. I felt like going back to sleep, but just in case my neighbor really was in danger I decided to get up and drive over to my neighbor’s house. Sure enough, I was stunned to find my neighbor on the floor at the side of the bed exactly like I saw in my dream! My neighbor had been praying for me to come. Now I really am quite the skeptical, scientific sort of person, but that event proved to me beyond a shadow of doubt that perception exists beyond that which is normally defined. After all, I vividly saw in a dream something that was happening about a mile away!

    When traveling, my dad has a handful of times felt uncomfortable about the regular route and opted to take a detour, and after coming back home we saw on the evening news that there was a horrible accident at the same time that we were on the road. He had a sixth sense for these things. That has happened to me a couple times too, but the experience with my neighbor down the road was the most incredible extrasensory experience I’ve ever had.

    • If I’d ever had an experience like your dream, I’d have a much more open mind about these things. I’d really enjoy that and hope it happens one day.

      • I might never have an experience like this again, it was so freaky mind-blowing I’d never forget what happened. At some point you very well might experience something like this, who knows, the circumstances would have to align just right. I think while asleep the mind has greater powers in certain directions. Personally, I’ve composed beautiful songs and poems while asleep that I could never even begin to do when awake. Unfortunately when I wake up they vanish from my mind before I have a chance to write them down, and I don’t know how to write music anyway. So I think in sleep there’s greater potential for telepathic ability if the circumstances are just right, but for obvious reasons (the need to be asleep for one) it’s next to impossible to reproduce this for science.

        Do you ever get inspiration for a new Sunday panel or artwork in your sleep? This whole strip looks like something out of a wacky dream. Stereotypically, that is. My dreams are always extremely realistic except for my powers of flight and psychokinesis which disappointingly disappear when I wake up, but I hear bizarre dreams are more common.

        • My dreams are often about insanely complex, chaotic situations that I can’t escape from. I can occasionally fly, but other than that, not much of interest happens there. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a usable idea for art or comics from my dreams. Those all come to me when awake.

  11. Suggestion for some kind of comic: What if the rock and role instrument of choice back in the day had not been the guitar but the accordion? Punk polka? Mick, Keith and co playing Lady of Spain?

  12. That psychic would not only have known that someone who had seen the film would be in the audience, but also what he had seen the previous time he was there. You can’t win if you’re psychic. Perhaps she is just being nice to her boyfriend. What with her being able to read his mind, we must conclude that he’s a nice guy, or she would know of all the ways in which he is going to hurt her in future.

    Incidentally, if you do a Google search for “psychic show cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances” you’ll see some funny posters… :-)

    Of course, we know psychics don’t work like that. If you asked her to tell you something about the guy in the audience who is ruining it for her, she would say something like “I see the color red, and a name beginning with a G. Or perhaps a C? Does that ring a bell for anyone?”

    It is less likely that she’ll say “Its’the guy in with the red underwear sitting in D-6. His name is George Carson and he likes chess, bowling and chamber music when he’s at home at 23 Bizarro Street, Boondock City. At least he does those things when he is not looking for his cell phone, which he accidentally misplaced in his basement, on the shelf with the cans of paint and the Superman action figure.”

  13. First of all, I cannot unsee that nativity scene with bacon and sauerkraut. Second, brilliant work this week. I actually do have Crohn’s, and found the last one very funny. I have to eat a sugar-free, salt-free, gluten free diet- it sucks, so yes, I found the last one funny- because squash gets old. Take care in your Mexican adventures. I loved your phone story.

  14. Fabulous post. I especially laughed at the cartoon about the aliens nabbing people with their cell phones. These phones, while they are very handy – are addicting. I’m one of the few people on the planet who no longer uses them. It is possible to survive in this world without one! No sure how long it will be possible, but at the moment it is. LOLOL……..

    I look forward to seeing your photos of your new life there in Mexico. You left at the perfect time to avoid the madness in Washington……….however the Trump Effect will no doubt be felt worldwide.

    Merry Christmas!

  15. Psychic powers, like most myths and legends, are based on human experiences which are “always happening”, that is they happen to folks in every time and place. But then, humans, in every time and place, can be surprisingly bad at figuring out what’s really going on! See also: stage magic, conspiracy theories, Trump campaign. (But I repeat myself… ;-) )

  16. A couple of years ago you used to have an App for the iphone which gave us the daily comic and then it stopped working. Is there a new App or have you become “App Free”? I loved it because I could take a screen shot and text the daily comic to my friends.

    • Thanks for the question, Todd. Sadly, the app is dead. King Features paid a lot of money to develop it but after one year it had a glitch that made it impossible to resubscribe (or something like that. It was a few years ago.) The company that developed it had gone bankrupt and King Features determined that since it hadn’t gotten as many subscribers as they’d hoped, it would not be worth the additional thousands of dollars to fix it. I couldn’t afford to fix it, either, so it’s gone. The whole story gives me a sideways sad face. :^{

  17. Yes, Dan, please tell us about your and Olive Oyl’s personal lives! Some of us are living vicariously through you. We do care. Bizarro is the reason some of us manage to stay off antidepressants!

  18. I feel like the phrase “sort of barely open minded” from your opening paragraph should be on a t-shirt or something. Maybe we could make a fortune selling bazillions of them at Trump rallies?? On second thought, nah. That’s too liberal for them. But there’s got to be a Bizarro-level gag to be had out of that phrase…

  19. Of course, your loyal Jazz Pickles want to see some photos from Mexico. Nice cartoons this week and this year for that matter. Maybe you can buy a burner phone or something like that at a grocery store where you pay by the number of minutes that you want. Or get someone to buy one for you in the US and ship to you. Technology who knew it would be hard to adapt to cross-border rules. I guess they think you might be one of those illegal alien US citizens escaping the US because of the election of Donald Trump. I have several friends currently contemplating a move to Mexico too. I would probably go to Mexico City, because even though I don’t speak Spanish, I have a few friends and relatives there. I’m a Texan but my family was blended American and Mexican in the early 1900s by my grandparents from Boerne TX and Mexico City.

  20. Whut?? First time ever I hear someone is denied to buy a phone based on his or her immigration status or even asked about it whatsoever. Burner phones and SIM chips are available everywhere from convenience stores to the telecoms themselves. Telecoms of course would love to sell you a phone with a plan but nobody’ll object if you want a burner or prepaid phone. That said, how come you didn’t learn spanish before moving to mexico, If only to make life easier (and not getting stiffed for something minor as well)?

    Vaya con Dios and thanks for your cartoons. Been following you ever since you appeared in the MSNBC comics section.

    • I’m learning Spanish online and taking classes here in SMA, and, of course, I learn from the people I attempt to speak to around town. Olive Oyl speaks much better than I do and most of the tradesmen and shopkeepers here speak decent English so it isn’t hard to get by. I’m determined to learn it and be conversational, though.

      Regarding the phone, I found out I can buy a phone and load it up with prepaid minutes (which is what I’ll likely end up doing) but the local telecoms don’t want to enter into an agreement with foreigners. A two-year phone agreement is essentially a credit deal and Mexico won’t lend money to foreigners. (I had to pay cash for my house, for instance.) U.S. companies won’t enter into a cell phone agreement with me because I live in a foreign country, so it’s kind of a Catch-22.

      • It’s something I was not aware of since I never had use for an agreement… I favor cheap phones and I’m almost always near a landline so it’s not really worth paying for a plan for the dozen or so calls I happen to make a month from a cell phone.

  21. Regarding food alergies – I’m the odd one out much of the time, thanks to hitting Peanut (sorry, no Charlie Brown for you!) and Dairy (there go half the Far Side comics, too) alergies announcing their presence in my early 40s. Add to that I’m vegetarian and many restaurant menues are a stroll down Memory Lane of things I can’t have anymore. Moving to coastal California has helped as there are many foods on the shelves and menues from cultures and lands where Meat, Cheese and Peanuts did not figure prominently. Visits to the interior of the country are usually met with “well, we do have the salad.” Do my ears look long? Did I wiggle my nose? Oh, yes, I’m certain you are World Famous for your peanut butter, steak and cheese sandwich. Well, I get by, mostly by bringing my own food. :)

  22. Every cartoon this week was a hit.

    The woman in the movie theatre cartoon was claiming telepathy. In ESP circles, knowledge of the future is precognition. The third major form of ESP is clairvoyance.

    Belief in ESP is no more (or less) delusional than belief in a supreme being. A lot of what is called ESP is real, but has a logical explanation, so it isn’t ESP.

    Predictions of the future based on knowledge of the past and present isn’t ESP, though psychics may make that claim. At best, the predictions are educated guesses.

  23. I have a gripe about FB. It has cornered the market on the freedom to make nasty comments on a lot of internet articles, among other things. Some of us, for various reasons, do not belong to FB. Perhaps there are too many skeletons in our closets and we don’t want different aspects of our lives converging… Some don’t like the high school competitive aspects, or the waste of time that could go to Youtube cat videos instead, or online scrabble addictions. Whatever the reason, we are shut off from a big chunk of WWW culture. Sorry I won’t be able to see your Mexico pictures!

  24. I am loving your blog, your stories about moving to Mexico with your lovely lady, and the pictures. And of course the comics. That’s what brought me to the blog in the first place. Merry Christmas and never apologize for your art. :)

  25. I just saw Nov 11 blog photo… You Are pretty handsome.
    Your cartoons are fantastic. I’m going through archives right now. I may not agree with some of your views ( smoking? Weed?) but I’m going let you go since you now have an interesting (?!) president to deal with…

    Merry Xmas.

  26. Just for future reference, edible forms of cannabis take quite a while to kick in – as much as an hour or two. But this cartoon is still funny; after all, we laugh at Wile E. Coyote standing in thin air after running past the cliff edge. We know it’s impossible, but that doesn’t kill the humor.

  27. In response to your distant family members….
    How is it both could take up the same space at the same time?
    Your suggestion that we’ve evolved is what’s really bizzar!
    What happens when you acknowledge a creator?
    Might have to come into the Light. Well come on in the “water’s
    Just fine”
    Merry Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *