Couture-Related Injuries


(“Click unto me and thee shall find embiggenation,” sayeth the cartoon.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Making The Bible And Science Work Together.

Bible times were hilarious. I should know, I was raised in Oklahoma, the prong of the buckle of the Bible Belt, and a state that has done everything in its power to maintain the atmosphere of the Old Testament well into the 21st century. In small ways they’ve progressed a bit since I was a teenager there, but when I was growing up in Oklahoma, anyone who did not wear the local “uniform” was treated much like poor Kevin of Jericho above. In those days––the early 1970s––the local uniform was a mullet and some form of Confederate flag. Basically, you had to look like a roadie for Lynyrd Skynyrd to keep from being called a “faggot” by strangers on the street, which happened to me weekly, often more than once. I didn’t let it get to me, though. I simply became a widely known satirist and made a living making fun of them in ways they didn’t understand.

I should clarify by saying that not everyone in Oklahoma in those days was a bullying nitwit, which is another important parallel to the folks in the Old Testament. Of the estimated 11,563 characters mentioned in the Old Testament, seven were not vengeful dicks.

As is always the case when I do a cartoon about gluten sensitivity, I got a few angry comments from people who suffer from celiac disease who thought that I was making fun of them. I’m not. This cartoon is nothing more than an exploration of another meaning of “sensitive”.

But since we’re on the topic, if you think you’re gluten sensitive but don’t actually have celiac, keep in mind that lots of qualified scientists have researched this and can’t find any such thing as gluten sensitivity unless you actually have celiac, which only an extremely small percentage of people have. That doesn’t mean you don’t suffer from real symptoms, however. Because of the immense power of the human mind, we are all subject to all manner of psychosomatic illnesses and conditions, many that we don’t even realize. If we can tap into that same power and use it more intentionally, we can also cure ourselves of all kinds of things, too. Like a gifted magician, our brains can convince us of all kinds of things that are demonstrably not true. It is simultaneously hilarious and tragic.

Time for another support group. Perhaps they could call it “Empty Net Syndrome”.

Longterm, romantic relationships between adults are always a challenge––even more so when one of the participants pretends to speak for a doll.

I’m an introvert by nature but I enjoy performing. I’ve done a lot of public speaking, stand-up comedy and singing on stage, but in my private life I’m an introvert and prefer being at home to social situations. It’s a weird kind of contradiction but a lot of professional performers are the same way. The amazing Johnny Carson was a notable example. I have no idea why this condition exists or if it is nature or nurture or a combination of the two. But the fact remains that I sort of have two different personalities and I often worry that my performance side will be seen as obnoxious, probably because often find extroverts obnoxious. Okay, that’s enough psychoanalysis. If I persist, I’ll feel I have to pay you an hourly rate to read this.

I got some angry mail about this pharmacy gag, too, from people who don’t think opiate addiction is funny. Funny thing is, I don’t find it funny, either. I find it as tragic as anyone else who’s seen it in action and that’s why I drew this.  Some cartoons are funny and some are editorial; this one is the latter. The absurdity of pushing dangerous amounts of dangerous drugs on the public but locking people up for using a harmless, natural remedy that nature gave us is beyond idiotic. I am often profoundly embarrassed by my own species.

I am very encouraged, however, by the recent trend in the U.S. to legalize it state-by-state, but worry that this trend will come to a screeching halt under the current “FEAR FIRST!” political administration. (And with just the mention of those assclowns, my embarrassment flares up again.)

Some of you may be saying, “Really? Another buffalos-in-costume cartoon?”  Well, you’re wrong, Mr. Smartypants. The animals depicted here are American bison, NOT buffalos.

Thanks for reading thus far, Pepenillos de Jazz. May I remind you that everything I post on the Internet is free of charge and that I depend on good folks like you to help support my cartoon habit? It feels good to support the arts so please consider buying a few of my new book or clicking this Tip Jar link for a one-time donation or a monthly contribution. If you really want to get fancy, you can grab a limited-edition, signed and numbered archival print of one of my favorite Bizarro cartoons from a Los Angeles art gallery place. They are also selling some of my original art from Bizarro. They’re even having a sale right now!

See you here next week. Until then, be happy, be smart, and don’t be a jackass.


28 thoughts on “Couture-Related Injuries

  1. In response to your introvert/extrovert cartoon: Anyone can be shy and anyone can want to be on stage. The main difference is that introverts gain energy by spending time alone, where most extroverts need to be around people more than not. :-)

  2. Ha ha ha! Oh my god! I grew up in Texas and the first two paragraphs here have me laughing out loud! Well done, sir. Well done.

    Also, regarding gluten sensitivity – you are SO right. The lab that first made gluten sensitivity a thing (with a study of a few college students) went back and did a bigger study of 70ish people where they controlled ALL input (food & drink) for 3 months. They expected to refine their earlier study. Instead, they found ZERO correlation between gluten and any ill effects and had to refute their initial findings.

    Interestingly, some people who go gluten-free who are NOT celiac still derive measurable benefit. But it seems the benefit comes from *eating more healthily*, not from eliminating gluten. So I figure that allowing people to be wrong about gluten is a small price to pay if it means there will be fewer illnesses.

    • I agree with all of that. I saw somewhere that folks who react badly to bread is more likely because of the other crap they put in commercial bread now and that old-fashioned, more natural bread doesn’t cause the same problems. Sounds logical.

      Happy to hear I made you laugh out loud, by the way. :^}

      • I (under my whole name) made a comment to that effect on your Facebook column, but would like to give credit where due, to my outstanding general physician — who specializes in intestinal and other digestive disorders. Not unironically her surname is….Colon. She’s a fantastic doctor AND a talented artist. Apparently she wanted to be an artist but comes from a family of doctors, so, after acing med school & setting up a successful practice, she paints (abstract intensely colorful in acrylics) AND exhibits regularly.

      • Some months ago, I heard from a doctor on a radio program or something who was discussing gluten sensitivity. He said there’s research indicating that a lot of people who claim to be gluten sensitive are actually sensitive to the pesticide residue in wheat products, and once switched to only organically grown wheat products their symptoms start to go away. Of course, there are the few who truly have celiac disease, but the majority find that switching to organic wheat has the same effect as avoiding wheat because their sensitivity relates to the pesticide residue in the wheat, not the wheat itself.

  3. “I am often profoundly embarrassed by my own species.” – THANK you, Dan. I need this on a T-shirt. Or, I can see this as a “meme” (what we used to call a “running gag”), just post it alongside the latest picture of one of those assclowns who are always in the news doing/saying the latest assclowny thing that keeps them in the news.

    • Yes! I live in Texas, and first became embarrassed by my own specie when I saw a pick-up truck with fake testicles hanging below the trailer hitch. It took me a minute to process the vision, and when it happened, a feeling of intense sorrow descended upon me.

  4. Interesting note on perceive ‘gluten’ sensitivity. Many people seem to show sensitivity but only a very tiny percentage actually do have it. It may well be a fructan sensitivity. The problem is that one of our major sources of fructans is wheat. It’s hard to separate the two. Is recommend that anyone who thinks they have a gluten sensitivity to check out FODMAP (sometimes called FODMAP diet, though it’s more a way to find out what types of substance you actually react to.

  5. I’m glad that you don’t shy away from topics like gluten sensitivity even if you take some heat for it. I’ve worked in digestive disease research, and people will get quite angry at researchers who suggest that gluten sensitivity probably isn’t an actual clinical entity.

    While it is true that there is probably a large psychological component for some of these patients, it’s also worth noting that people who go on gluten free diets are actually eliminating a number of other substances. These include certain carbohydrates that are known to be poorly absorbed in the intestine. It’s likely that a lot of people who believe they have gluten sensitivity actually suffer from another disorder such as IBS.

    There was a pretty good writeup here:

  6. Regarding the gluten sensitivity thing, mindful eating tends to naturally become healthy eating. That said, there’s at least one other sort of sensitivity to wheat, which is an allergy. Allergies in general range from a PITA to a life-threatening menace, but it’s always worse when the allergy is to something that’s insanely common in our culture, like wheat, peanuts, or soy. (Or when someone is allergic to a lot of things, because of either multiple allergies or one very broad allergy.

    • SO brilliant! Thanks for the link. I’ve not seen The Onion in a while and had forgotten how genius they can be. Signed up for the newsletter. :^}

  7. I miss my gluten fix! For years I had problems swallowing and it wasn’t until I stopped eating foods with gluten that the swallowing issues got under control. I do not suffer from celiac’s but may have an allergy to gluten. My doctor felt it was not worthwhile to test me for gluten allergy as each time I go back to eating bread, pasta, or pizza (all foods I really like) the problems return. It’s possible it’s something other than gluten that is causing the problems. I just know that avoiding it as an ingredient has helped me gain weight which I sorely needed.

    Love the cartoons, even the ones satirizing gluten and/or sensitivity.

    • Thank you, Ken! I don’t know if it’s an allergy, an intollerance, the pesticides, breed of gluten, in my head, or if I am truly celiac (see all comments above), but since I don’t sh** my pants uncontrollably or clear the room with the smelliest gas every 2 minutes when I don’t eat gluten, I think I will remain gluten-free, thank you very much. (I don’t force it on other people, either – note the entire box of regular cereal my kids consumed this morning for breakfast!)

      But I LOVE Dan’s gluten jokes. They’re freakin’ funny. As with all his satirical jokes or editorials, they’re still classy and don’t ‘talk down’ or belittle. Jokes like that I can enjoy, even if I don’t agree.

  8. Your comments regarding “Kevin of Jericho” brought a smile to my face. Growing up in Tulsa during the 60’s and 70’s I experienced much the same. Always enjoy your humor, art and the accompanying commentary.

    • Sometimes when the picture is very simple and there’s no good place to hide them, I leave them out because they distract from the joke, especially for those who’ve never noticed them before. This way, only the truly observant readers are in on the game. :^}

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