Plate Glass Special


(To embiggenate any picture on this page, project it onto a large piece of paper and trace it carefully. Or click the image with your computer’s pointing finger thing.)

Before I say anything else, I’d like to remind you that this cartoon was drawn several weeks ago. When I looked at it this morning, I could not help but see it in relation to the use of an automobile as a weapon in Charlottesville last weekend, and I was sorely dismayed by the idea that some people might see a connection. In simple words, this cartoon has NOTHING to do with that incident.

It does, however, have everything to do with how many of today’s teenagers are much better at video games than they are at real life. Of course, with the direction society is going, once the rest of us are old and out of power, the entire world will exist in virtual reality and the vast majority of the world’s population will be sitting around with goggles on being fed intravieneously. By whom, I’ve no idea.

On to funnier matters: I tried to pack a lot of fun into the art on this one. There are 11 Secret Symbols and if you’re not familiar with what that means, this is a great time to look into it. Here’s a list of the 13 official symbols, a few of which I hide in almost all of my cartoons. And––SPOILER ALERT––if you have trouble finding them all or are too busy to search for them, here’s a version of this cartoon with the symbols circled.

Lastly, if you’re wondering what this diner is called, here’s a closeup of the red menu on the counter in front of the old man pouring coffee.

This cartoon is a public service announcement of sorts, reminding people to be careful with their love butter and not to open their jar for someone without thinking it through. You’re welcome. That said, sex is fun if you know what you’re doing, don’t take it too seriously, always use a condom.

Most of us have worked for a rich asshole at some point in our lives and we currently have the king of all rich, privileged, frat-bro assholes in the Oval Office, of course. When I was young and working “normal” jobs, it often galled me that my hard work was doing little more than buying more sports cars and vacation homes for some random jackass I’d never met. Most of us are in that position most of our lives. I don’t have an answer for it, I just like to complain.

Olive Oyl and I have a pitbull mix (Jemima) who loves to play fetch. She likes to chase a rubber bone-shaped chew toy and we’ve been playing this way for a few years. We recently adopted a border collie mix (Monita) who is not yet a year old but is already taller and longer than Jemima, and she totally changed the game. She doesn’t like to play fetch, but she loves to herd. So now I throw the bone as far as I can, Jemima hauls ass to snatch it in her mouth and turns around to run back to me. Monita crouches as Jemima turns back toward us, trots in stalking fashion toward Jemima, then darts out in front of her to stop her momentum, grabs the bone in Jemima’s mouth and struggles with her until she gets it away from her, then takes a few steps away and drops it. Once she’s gotten it away from Jemima, she doesn’t want it anymore.

For reasons unknown, neither of them have any interest in any kind of ball.

When I was a teen in the 70s, there were rumors that some ice cream trucks sold weed in secret. I have no personal experience to validate it because I was too shy to ask an ice cream truck driver if he had pot, but I believed the rumor and think now that it was certainly true in some places. That memory along with recent changes in the law regarding marijuana inspired this cartoon. It isn’t hard to imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when cannabis trucks will cruise slowly down the street playing Grateful Dead songs and we’ll go running down the block to catch it like we did when we were kids. Another truck will undoubtedly be a block or two behind it selling crunchy snacks.

“…to outlaw (cannabis) in favor of prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is like imprisoning people for possessing plain water and forcing them to drink Pepsi while the population grows fat and sick.”

I’ve expressed my opinion about The Drug War on this blog before but the illegal status of marijuana in most of America and the fact that so many people have been imprisoned for it is one of the greatest injustices in modern history. Cannabis is an extremely useful and harmless, natural product of the planet and to outlaw it in favor of prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is like imprisoning people for possessing plain water and forcing them to drink Pepsi while the population grows fat and sick. And, just when society and the government was coming around to the common sense of treating adults like grownups, the archaic voodoo of the Electoral College has screwed the entire world with this travesty of an administration, and America is heading back to the draconian drug policies of the dark ages with the Keebler Elf who calls himself Jeff Sessions leading the charge. When are we going to wake up as a society and start putting the right people behind bars? These guys would be a great start.


Here’s some fun with stupid red hats that champion idiotic, phony ideals. One good thing to come out of the strife in Charlottesville last week is that people who are capable of understanding reality have been shown unmistakingly that racists have been voting Republican since The Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964, and the Republicans have been actively courting them for their votes for decades. Trump was not the first to embrace these mentally-deficient monsters. We’ve also now been shown that a Nazi sympathizer and white supremacist is in the White House and has several more on his payroll, all of whose salaries we pay as American taxpayers. Tens of thousands of good Americans died to defeat these bastards in WWII and now they run our country. What’s wrong with this picture?

Let’s end today’s rant with a fun little comment on Internet rating systems. If you’ve not seen a TV series called “Black Mirror,” I highly recommend checking it out on Netflix. Each episode is a different story with different characters, Twilight Zone style, about what kind of dark things can (and probably definitely will) happen with the Internet in the very near future. Since there is no need to watch them in sequence, start with the episode called “Nose Dive”. It’s super chilling and I’d bet good money that something very like it will happen in your lifetime. A few of the episodes are a bit “meh,” but most of them are very compelling. I’ve no idea why this show didn’t do better and last longer except for the obvious fact that it is smart and most viewers are not. (For evidence, measure the ratings of Black Mirror against The Apprentice.)

That’s all I’ve got for this week, Jazz Pickles. Thanks so much for joining me and have a good week. Till next time, be happy, be smart, keep your head down, and fight fascism. 


42 thoughts on “Plate Glass Special

  1. I’m a big fan, not least because you willing to take so much flak, but mostly because of your remarkably fertile brain. Thank you.

  2. Regarding your comments: “When I was young and working “normal” jobs, it often galled me that my hard work was doing little more than buying more sports cars and vacation homes for some random jackass I’d never met. Most of us are in that position most of our lives…”

    In 1991, I went to work for Transamerica Worker’s Compensation Insurance in Concord, CA. A few years later, due to a variety of issues, Transamerica sold off this division to two Texans, and we became TIG Insurance.

    Rumors started immediately about future layoffs. At this time, the company had 4,000 employees spread across the nation in 24 offices.

    The two Texans flew out to Concord for our first “big meeting.” They talked about our new “Mission Statement,” for the company. Then they mentioned that they had just purchased a box at the Dallas Cowboys, to entertain customers. And oh, they really didn’t like to fly commercial, so they had just purchased a new jet to fly around the country, to meet all their new employees.

    And, then they mentioned that layoffs would begin shortly. One employee spoke right up and said that their jet and box seat the Cowboys came at the expense of our co-workers. The Texans were not amused. (The employee was in the first group to be laid off.)

    I survived 12 rounds of lay offs over the next three years. They would schedule layoffs every quarter. Soon, whole offices were gone. Our Concord, CA inherited the work from the Oregon office. The Oregon office was gone, but the company still had to honor the insurance that was en force.

    I was never so relieved when I was finally laid off in 1996.

  3. Pot from ice cream trucks? I wouldn’t hold my breath (pun intended). I’ve been waiting for the cocktail truck a long time. So far, no luck. I wonder what kind of music will play from the cheesy PA system of a cocktail truck?

  4. Thanks, dude, your blog is always something I look forward to every Sunday :) Love the big panel – got 10 symbols, had to check the list and realized I’d forgotten about the shoe! The cartoon kinda reminds me of something from 70’s Mad Magazine – maybe it’s the wonderful diversity of the characters in the diner – I’d be the read-head with the patched jacket lol Hope you have an exciting week!

  5. In regards to the cartoon of the car driving thru the window, two incidents like that have happened this week in the area where I live.

    One was a guy trying to elude police who were chasing him in the early hours of the morning. He took a freeway offramp, lost control of his car at the intersection at the end of the ramp and crashed straight ahead into a “convenience” store. No one was in there so no one else was hurt except this driver.

    The second incident was a woman in her 70s accidentally stepping on the accelerator rather than the brake while parking her car at a hardware store in a small local town. The car crashed throught the windows and wall. There were customers and employees in the store at the time but, fortunately, none were injured.

    In a “small world” moment, a few days later, my husband and I chatted with a couple of men whom we met while eating lunch in a diner in that town. During our conversation, we discovered that one was a fire fighter who had responded to this accident and the other was a son of the driver.

    • A year or two ago, one of my neighbors drove her car into the front of her own house. Given the layout for these townhouses, we’re lucky she didn’t wreck the gas stove and take out the whole row!

  6. If they do start selling cannabis out of trucks like ice cream, they’ll have to go extra slow so all those aging Deadheads can catch up with them. Seriously, however, there are people like my 70-year-old landlady who uses pot as a palliative for back pain, which is so severe she can barely walk. (That’s what spending 30+ years as a line cook in a restaurant will do to you.) Fortunately we live in CA where it’s long been legal to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Given how the feds would raid the clinics, she was afraid the FBI would break down her door someday and put her in prison. It might seem laughable to some, but we live in a neighborhood where the police routinely “sweep” the streets and arrest people for growing pot in their garage or backyard. The new state law that allows recreational pot use has simply put local codes into limbo. You apparently can smoke a joint in your home, but you still can’t grow it or give it to your friends or family.

  7. Great comments buddy.
    I can agree with every line.
    Coming to Tulsa anytime? Let me know. I’d love to see ya!

  8. “Sometimes you need protest in order to heel, & we will heel,”
    Given yesterday’s tweet from the orange guy (excerpt above), perhaps “Make America Grate Again” was the original slogan, but the hat company corrected it.

  9. Dan, did you ever write about your decision to move to Mexico and how it has worked out? If so, can post a link? If not, I’d love to hear about it.

    Rob Jacklin
    Mill Valley, CA

    • I’ve written from time to time about it but can’t remember if I ever talked a lot about it in one post. Basically, we were sick of the materialism of the U.S. (we lived in the LA area which has to be the American capital of conspicuous wealth) and the political insanity fostered by Faux News and its ilk. With power shifting towards bigoted rednecks and corporations, we’re convinced America’s heyday is long gone and were ready to say goodbye.

      At the same time all of that was brewing, after a long court battle with my ex-wife, I’d finally gotten my money out of the place we owned together in Brooklyn and wanted to reinvest it in real estate. I quickly found that I could not afford to live in any U.S. city I would want to live in (we were looking for mild weather, liberal politics, and a rich arts and culture community) so we turned to Mexico.

      We’d been visiting a small town in the mountains of central Mexico off and on for a few years and we looked into moving here, liked what we found out, and did it. We bought our house with cash (foreigners can’t get mortgages in Mexico) so we’re living debt free. It’s a beautiful town, a beautiful area and a beautiful country with a far lower cost of living. The folks here mostly are much more into family than they are money; they work hard and don’t complain that they don’t have the latest gadgets or a new car. The kids and teens here are, for the most part, happy and polite, as are their parents. We really love it so far. Been here 8 months and have no interest in going back.

        • I get my news from NYTimes and Washington Post online, so there’s been no interruption. I’ve no idea how anyone else is covering it down here.

  10. I’m glad I only get to see your cartoons once the prophecies they contain have already happened. Otherwise I’d be nervous all the time. What if you draw one showing a giant meteorite strike or something? They have this tendency to come true the moment they are published, but as far as I know, not after.

    Anyway, I like the guy taking the selfie in that first cartoon. It is not clear whether he just happened to be taking it when the car hit, or whether (and this is much worse) he is having fun with an accident scene. Perhaps you should do a “selfie series” showing people taking selfies at inappropriate times, like a cartoon of prison guards taking selfies with the guy strapped into the electric chair in the background, or something like that.

    Because that’s the kind of stuff people do in this age of the selfie.

        • And I am now reminded of one of Dan’s more memorable cartoons in which a guy about to be executed is asked whether he has any last requests. His answer: I want to update my Facebook status. :-)

  11. When I Tweet about our simpleton president, I’ve recently started to refer to him as the man in the Offal Office. This gives me great pleasure.

    However, I now wonder if I should amend it to Offal Orifice.

    Please advise.

    Or consent.

  12. When I read the Mr. Peanut comic, I thought of the unholy alliance that is Smuckers’ Goober and Grape. The days I’d open my sack lunch at school to find a Goober and Grape sandwich, my heart sank. I started fishing quarters out of my Dad’s change box for lunch whenever Mom brought it home from shopping.

  13. When I was a line cook back in the eighties, the restaurant bought big wheels of Parmesan and shredded it in the prep kitchen. I used to have plastic buckets of it on my counter. It was heavenly. Screw grating it. I used to eat it wrapped up in a fresh basil leaf like a joint, with a little garlic-herb butter.

  14. About Black Mirror: originally you made it sound like the series had already ended. I don’t know if that’s the case or did I misinterpret it, but if it was, I have some good news for you: season 4 of Black Mirror is currently being filmed and might already be out this October: . Oh and thanks for the weekly chuckles and giggles!

    • That’s terrific news! My understanding was that they did three seasons about five years ago and it was over. Either I was wrong or they’ve decided to revive it. Either way, I hope the new season is as good as most of the past episodes!

      • You were (fortunately) wrong. It was a British series, hence the two short seasons (or series as the Brits say), before Netflix bought the rights and made the third (and upcoming fourth) season. I don’t believe it ever even aired in any way in the US outside of Netflix.

  15. When I saw the ice cream truck cartoon, I thought you must be thinking of Cheech and Chong’s Nice Dreams.
    Like most of their movies, it was extremely stupid but also (especially at the time) pretty funny.

    I loved the rich guy meeting cartoon. That is why I work for people in academia who are doing wholesome things. At a 50% discount of course, but worth it. I can, however, see the property managers of the huge apartment complex I live in having this meeting.

  16. Once again I just have to mention how I love the realistic vehicles in your work. This week has two fine examples. Also gotta love the expression on the dog’s face. I’m not a pet person, but I have often thought about what dogs and cats must think about some of the strange things we humans do.

    Finally, one of your cartoons reminded me of an interview with Penn Jillette, of Penn & Teller fame. I couldn’t find the original text, so I will do a brief (and bad) retelling here. In their career together Jillette and Teller, while on the road, have had to regularly eat in many many restaurants. Some how an informal competition developed where one would try to sneak the garnish from his plate on to his partner’s without him being aware of it At first it was a matter of waiting for the right moment. But eventually they would try and actively distract the other in order to make the move. Of course as time went on there was a gradual escalation in what they would do to furnish the distraction. One day they were dining in a restaurant with a large storefront window facing a parking lot. A car from the lot crashed through the restaurant’s window. Neither one looked.

    It was then that they mutually decided that they needed to put an end to their little game.

    • Great story. I’m a big fan of theirs and have emailed and chatted in person with Teller a few times. Super nice guy. I met Penn once but I’m sure he doesn’t remember me.

  17. I just wanted to say once again how much I appreciate all of the detail you put in your drawings. I spent a bit of time admiring the Sunday panel (after embiggenating, of course). My favorite bit is the stack of pancakes, with perfect syrup spillage down the sides and pat of butter on top. You have to love what you do to put so much time and effort into details that most people would never notice.

    • Thanks for your words, Kathy. I do enjoy the details of my drawings and love putting small surprises in the more complex ones. When someone like you notices and appreciates it, it makes it all the more fun!

  18. Point 1: While I generally agree that criminalization of pot is stupid, I’ve seen too many patients in my emergency department because of the actual effects of marijuana to agree that it’s harmless.

    Point 2 [Secret Symbol Spoiler Alert]: Always love the details in your comics and the secret symbol hunt. Given your love for detail, I was expecting the K2 to be reversed, in the nature of the street address painted on the transom.

  19. Ha! Before I read your notes, I had zoomed into the menu to read, found the 11 and love that wee tub (basin) of oleo/butter left for whissing away by coffee dude named Mel I assume.

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