Who’s Driving?


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Bizarro is brought to you today by Knowing Who’s Driving.

The year was 1604 and the Viceroy of Klobsovelkä, Finland was spotted having a meeting with Russians in a teahouse just over the Finnish/Russo border in a town whose name cannot be typed with an English keyboard. The majority of Klobsovelkiäns already did not like or trust their Viceroy and the revelation that he may be colluding with their enemies made him even less popular. He had, in fact, lost the popular vote but was installed in office by means of a little-understood and archaic system of vote counting that was set up in the 1200s to help balance the power between educated people in the towns and villages, and the mostly too-cold-to-think-straight snowbillies who lived in the hinterlands and subsisted on a diet of snowballs shaped like vegetables, frozen sticks, and vodka.

Most of the town-dwelling Klobsovelkiäns were ready to toss the Viceroy out of office but many were hesitant because power would then go to his Vice Viceroy, whom many thought to be an even more bumbling boob than the Viceroy.  The Vice Viceroy was also a devout Saälmvradranskæn and, as such, believed that people who engaged in sexual congress more than once annually, or without blindfolds and heavy woolen mittens, were instruments of Hiisi, a malevolent and hideous creature they believed dwelled in forest caves. The people of Klobsovelkä were in a tough spot between an untrustworthy lout and an idiot.

The subsequent months were very tense for the Klobsovelkiäns as they launched an official investigation into what the Viceroy was discussing at that meeting over the border. The definitive answer came the following summer, though most of the residents never knew it. While they slept one balmy, nearly-above-freezing August night in 1605, the Russian army dug up the entire town of Klobsovelkä and threw it into the Baltic Sea to be used as landfill in a spot where they intended to build an airfield should planes ever be invented.

The only survivors were the Viceroy, his family, and a few hundred snowbillies who lived outside the town. Most of the snowbillies also perished soon after when they went into town to buy condiments for their snowballs and fell into the big hole that was left by the Viceroy’s sale of Klobsovelkä to the Russians.

The moral of this story, and the racehorse cartoon above, is that you’d better be damn sure you can trust who’s driving or you might crash straight into a wall. Or be thrown into the ocean or fall into a hole, I guess.

Sometimes puns are fun but when they are too easy, as these are, I sometimes put a handful together in one cartoon to give you, the reader, more to chew on. I find it is also a fun way for folks to chime in with puns of their own in the comments section. If you have an auto-related pun you’ve been dying to unleash on the public, now’s the time.

Plenty of people have already told me that the character in this cartoon is holding her knitting needles wrong, so no need to repeat that in the comments section. Now watch a few people tell me the exact same thing in the comments section because they don’t actually read the stuff I write between the cartoons on this blog, they just skim the cartoons. That’s why I pack in loads of fascinating historical information like that story above; to reward the “real” readers.

I grew up in Oklahoma, which, for my foreign readers who are not intimately aware of where specific states are in the U.S., is just above Alabama and below Arkansas on a list of worst states for education for under-privileged kids, which puts it at 42nd out of 50. In such a place, one often hears people say “muriel” instead of “mural,” “liberry” instead of “library,” and “Trump is the best president we’ve had since Hulk Hogan”. True story.

Vincent Van Gogh was a complete financial failure as an artist because he only sold one painting in his lifetime. He was poor and underfed and became mentally unstable. Legend has it he cut off part of his ear and mailed it to a woman he was in love with. That aside, I posted this cartoon on social media with this comment: “How people announced their mental disturbances to the world before Twitter.” Some people got mad at me and told me to stop attacking Trump. Go figure.

Frogs are endangered these days, as are bees and a climate we can survive in, so I say let’s stop doing the stupid shit we’ve been doing like poisoning frogs and bees and electing people who think science is make-believe.

Also, statistics show that more than half of all marriages to royalty have ended in being killed by an angry mob of peasants or photographers. When will we learn? (Answer: Never)

I got plenty of corrections on this cartoon, too. According to some, the canals in Venice are too deep to push a pole against the bottom so those sticks are actually very long oars that they sort of waggle and row. I argued that “born to row” isn’t a very compelling slogan for a leather motorcycle vest, although “born to waggle an oar” would most certainly have worked. If you’re tempted to add a comment to today’s blog saying you imagine the front of his shirt saying “If you can read this, the bitch fell out,” save your effort because that has already been suggested by numerous commenters on FB. Of course, somebody who skims the cartoons here and doesn’t read the copy with do exactly that. Just watch.

Thanks for reading this far, Jazz Pickles. I cherish our friendship and hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s graphic nonsense. Till next time, be happy, be smart, be nice.


50 thoughts on “Who’s Driving?

  1. Some years ago I considered moving to Klobsovelkä to be able to make jokes about the Viceroy. But now I don’t have to.

  2. Re: Knitting. This happens very often. Illustrators draw knitting “upside down”. There’s even a blog post about all the illustrations in books with the
    pointy-uppies. I read another article about it several years ago that maintained that the illustration is easier to draw and *get the point across*. So you’re not the first person to be hounded about it and I’m guessing you won’t be the last.

    Thank your lucky crafting gawds you didn’t call it “crochet”. Identifying the wrong craft brings out red eyes, pitchforks, and torches.

  3. This week’s favorite for me was The Van Gogh Show. I’ve started burning art that doesn’t sell because I’ll be damned (more than likely anyway) if it gets valuable after I’m DEAD. Meanwhile, the news that people who voted for Trump got the joke is perhaps a sign of hope?

  4. I love how you develop the characters physically. The hands on your Van Gogh, the look of sheer guilt and horror on the frog-kissing princess. Even the impeccably attired gent adorning your website.

    As much as I love Gary Larson, You are my favorite cartoonist – especially now that he’s retired. I have a Jazz Pickle t-shirt so friends can know my weirdness. Hope you and Olive Oyl are supremely happy in Mexico.

    Susan on Getchell Hill

    • Well said. My Dad was also a cartoonist, among many other things but not nearly as funny as Dan, nor as off-the wall. Gary Larsen and Bill Watterson are in the top 5 for me, but DP nails the top spot for me also. Keep on keepin’ on.

  5. At first I thought that your horse-dummy cartoon was going to be about how some people use a dummy in the car in order to drive in the car pool lanes.

    Maybe that would be an idea for another cartoon. You could have a cowboy on a horse in the old West being stopped on a trail for just have one person on the horse in a car pool lane.

  6. Proud to be a “real reader”!

    With regard to drawings of a princess, a frog and a royal buss, is a secret symbol still secret when it forms part of the narrative?

  7. I DID read the article, but I’d like to point out, anyway, that her knitting needs are held wrong, and the Angel of Venice should have “If You Can Read This, My Darling Wife Fell Out” on the front of his T-shirt.
    You’ll thank me later – or probably not ;-)

  8. I am proud of my Klobsovelkiän heritage, and resent the condescending way you disparage our traditional cuisine. My great great great great great great great great great great great (or was that great great great great great great great great great great great great) grandfather Gdrnänfstkpvy was one of those who climbed back out of that pit and went on to sire a line of progeny that includes….well, lots of excavators & ladder makers. We still observe “The time that grandpa clambered over the bodies of weaker souls so he could get out to spread his seed” day which translates in our native tongue to Nzpkt. Granted, since it happens in August, we “eat” our snowballs through a straw, but we chase it with vodka. We hold our traditional stick roasts in the evening after a day of snowball sipping, and it always provides much merriment like when Aunt Beulah (she married into the family) gets her entree sticks confused with those we are burning and tries to eat live coals. Ahh, the memories.

  9. Do you know about the Lamaze instructor whose name is Bertha Payne? If you like that and want more, I have a list of over 200 “fake people” whose names and occupations are pretty good puns.
    From your mom’s exercise buddy.

  10. Your comics are so wonderful and repeatedly make my day. Among my favorites: the Venice cartoon above, the protesting Buddhist monks and the clown in the hospital/Dr. with a sense of humor. Please keep up the excellent work – and social commentary!

  11. Oh, I simply look forward to your weekly email so much, and to the cartoons, and searching the cartoons for symbols, and to your commentary, and the whole darn thing. My late husband was a cartoonist and I loved the little jokes that could be found in the details, and the puns in the dialogue and character names (Judge Gordy N. Knott, e.g.). Thanks for the joy of your work. All the best to you & Ms. Olive.

  12. Perhaps you could knit the biker that t-shirt, if you knew how to hold them.
    Real close and tender, the bikers, that is.

    Hmm. That’s all I got. I guess that’s why I don’t make funny for a living and you do. Thanks and keep it up, Dan! I am encouraging your behavior!

  13. “I posted this cartoon on social media with this comment: ‘How people announced their mental disturbances to the world before Twitter.’ Some people got mad at me and told me to stop attacking Trump.”

    They were simply announcing their mental disturbances to you. Guess they’re not much into Twitter.

    BTW, I enjoyed reading your true historical account of the Klobsovelkiän peoples. Good allegory and also fun to read.

  14. The windows are winded but the automatic windows are automated. The doors are adored. Anyway, good ones for another week. My regards to you in SMdA. My friend Lee Veal lives there full time and has for a number of years. I hope you run into him. He’s a great guy.

  15. OK – ya got me! I don’t get today’s cartoon. The defendant pleads insanity/
    Is that a turtle before the bench? Is it McConnell?

  16. Today, I read Bizarro, thought for a few seconds, then laughed out loud. I read the comics every day. I only get a LOL about once a year. Thank you

        • The “sports bra” cartoon was published online and elsewhere on Aug 3 and should have been the main image on the homepage here all day yesterday. I also posted it on my FB page and Twitter. I’ll post it again in my weekly cartoon blog this Sunday with all of my cartoons from the past week plus commentary about each. To see it now, just go to the calendar function below the main cartoon image on my bizarro.com homepage and hit Aug 3. Thanks!

  17. The cartoon of the man asking for a single cup bra???
    Is it for his big nose?
    My first thought was about a woman who had a mastectomy, which isn’t funny.

    • I usually go for the surreal read and in terms of “the better angels of our nature.” I can’t reason Bizarro producing that picture. But, because I recently watched the movies Lincoln and Little Nicky my thoughts went toward a little “tit for tat,” so to speak. Uh oh, Cassius escaped from hell. ;) Good thing Dan’s driving.

  18. Imagine if the Hells Angels of Venice show up this week in Sturgis, SD for the annual motorcycle rally. Boats on wheels should be allowed.

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