(For they whom seek embiggenation, click thee thou pointer henceforthwidth.)

I have wanted a talking parrot since I was a little child and as an adult, I looked into getting one. Since I’m not the impulsive type who runs out and spends a lot of money on an animal without knowing what it would be like to live with, I read a fair amount about keeping parrots as pets before doing anything about it. I’m glad I did because I found out that I would have hated living with a parrot and it would likely have hated living with me. To make the whole thing worse, they live about as long as humans so you’re either stuck with a neurotic, unhappy prisoner for the rest of your life, or you have to look for someone to pawn it off on when you get tired of it, which isn’t fair to the parrot or the person you’re passing it off to.

If you doubt parrots are miserable in captivity, remember that they are designed to spend most of their lives flying and you are denying them that. Then remember that they normally travel many miles daily and you are denying them that. Then remember that they want to forage for food and hang out with many other birds and are biologically compelled to mate and raise young and you are denying them all of those things, too. Your shoulder and reruns of The Golden Girls are a poor substitute for what your parrot needs and wants.

Parrots are also super smart so their imprisonment is made even more painful by their level of awareness. My main point here is don’t keep birds from doing what they’re here to do.

HOWEVER––if parrots could do impressions as well as the one I’ve drawn in this cartoon, I’d probably have one, too.

One thing I’ve learned since moving to Mexico is how spoiled American consumers are. There’s almost nowhere else in the world where you can get anything and exactly what you want almost immediately with just a few clicks of your finger. The most you’ll likely have to wait is 24 hours, but if it is for sale near you and you’re willing to leave your shelter to get it, you’ve got only minutes to wait.

Here in Mexico, and in most of the rest of the world, you can’t just go online and type “me want thing,” then have a map pop up showing all of the places within spitting distance of your home where you can find that thing, plus links to thousands of places where you can buy that thing online and have it brought to your lazy ass’s front door before you even need to take your next shower.

Here in Mexico when you type “me want thing,” you get places in the U.S. where you can find that thing, but that’s about it. Because most stores here don’t have websites and when they do, they rarely tell you specifically what objects they sell in their store or how much it costs, and they pretty much never have a button labeled “buy this now”. Instead, you have to ask around, go to some places, go to some more places because the first few didn’t have it, then finally give up or happen upon something similar to the thing in some variation that isn’t exactly what you wanted but you can live with.

Don’t get me wrong. There are good and bad things about both systems. The current American religion of worshipping material goods above all else is certainly easier and more convenient, but it also leads to more worshipping of material goods. In Mexico, most people are not nearly as concerned with how much crap they own. And it would not be appropriate here to kill someone for breaking into your house and stealing your clock radio. In the U.S., not one of your neighbors would bat an eye if you did exactly that. Well, maybe one would, but he’d be labeled as a bleeding-heart snowflake liberal.

When you live in a society, you assume a lot. When you answer an ad for “piano lessons” you assume the person will be teaching you how to play a piano, not be a piano.  An experience such as Glen’s (above) might then dissuade you from answering an ad for bagpipe lessons. Or, it might do the opposite and set you to looking for exactly that.

These are the kinds of things I’ve thought about since I was a child. I’m just glad I stumbled upon a way to make a meager living expressing them.

Speaking of meager livings, as the newspaper industry shrinks and people read my work online for free, I look for new ways to keep the bills paid. My new store is one way. Please consider having a look at BOTH pages of it. I’ll add more products over time, of course. Here’s a picture of some of the Founding Fathers wearing one of my many fine products.


Here’s another thing I wonder about: why do so many drug names and fictional alien names have one or more “Z”s in them? I say “fictional” because if there really are aliens who are accustomed to naming themselves in the sense that we understand, I’ll bet they aren’t as fond of the sound of “Z” as we think they’d be.

Regarding prescription drugs, it would not surprise me to learn that there is an entire industry of folks who study what sounds people are attracted to when looking for a prescription drug. Folks somehow trust drugs with a “Z” sound in the name over ones that are full of “W”s, for instance. More people will reach for a Xanax than a Womnow. (Note that I said “Z” sound, not an actual “Z”.)

I got one fairly polite complaint about this dog/god cartoon from someone who likes my cartoons but does not like that I insist on making fun of Christianity. I understand that this cartoon does not revere the basic icons of Christianity as much as a particularly superstitious person might want me to, but I don’t think it qualifies as “making fun” of it. It’s just simple wordplay about two English words. Also, this kind of scene isn’t strictly Christian, it also represents popular concepts of the afterlife in Judaism and Islam, which are different arms of the same ancient religion, of course. (It is my firm impression that most American Christians don’t even know that Christianity and Islam grew out of Judaism. Although my blog readers tend to be better educated than the average, so I’m sure that does not apply to the vast majority of you.)

On a different note, I’ve long thought that dogs as a species are much closer to the sort of creatures humans tend to deify. Folks who believe in Jesus, for instance, tend to think he loves us unconditionally no matter how vile we are, will forgive us no matter how horrible our behavior, and will never abandon us. That sounds waaaaaaay more like a dog than any human I’ve ever known.

If you enjoy my cartoons and comments, please consider becoming a patron of the arts by making a one-time donation or a monthly contribution to Rancho Bizarro. If you do, I will like you a lot. You can do it here!

This cartoon addresses one reason why cartoon characters behave as they do. It does not address how they get to the desert in the first place or why they never have shoes. Maybe I’ll attempt that later.

With so many cartoon characters crawling through deserts and stranded on tiny islands, it’s a wonder there’s any room left. Here’s an old Bizarro cartoon that addresses that topic.

First, let me assure you that no animals were hurt in the production of the above cartoon. And furthermore, it is pretty difficult to injure an animal in the production of a cartoon so, in spite of what your mind told you a moment ago, it isn’t something you should ever allow yourself to be concerned with again.

Now, if you’re the sort of person who worries that my publishing this cartoon will give some sicko the idea to feed part of his cat to a piranha, you should take a deep breath and realize that psychos don’t need or use cartoons to get ideas for horrible things to do. Historically and statistically, they’re far more likely to use the Bible, the Koran, something they heard on Fox News Channel or a tweet by the regrettable current president of the United States as inspiration to behave badly.

That’s all for this week, Jazz Pickles. Thanks so much for reading this far and good luck in the coming week, especially if you live in the U.S. under the fascist regime of the Cheeto Mussolini. Until next time––be happy, be smart, be nice.



38 thoughts on “Parroting

  1. Love the ‘dog’ vs ‘god’ one. My daughter-in-law has a framed quote in her bathroom that says ‘Dog Bless You’.

  2. Your cartoons, and blog, make me laugh every day. There’s nothing better these days than a good laugh. Thank you. :)

  3. You identify as a cartoonist but I think that you are one of the most articulate and eloquent writers that I read every week. Perhaps it’s just because we have similar political views and it’s confirmation bias, but keep up the great work (writing and drawing).

    • I realize that now because people keep pointing it out to me. I don’t think I’d seen it. It’s definitely one of those ideas that occur to many people independently, however. Professional cartoonists run into this all the time.

      I’ve lost track of how many have published a gag about a polar bear on a commercial airline with a punch line about being “bi-polar”. I’ve seen many but none that predate mine so I think I might have published that one first.

    • I have to confess I don’t know who Virgil Price is. I googled it and found a producer with that name but I’ve not seen the movies he’s worked on. Is that who you’re talking about?

      (Added later:) Went back a second time and realized you’re talking about Virgil PARTCH, who went by “VIP”. Thanks for the compliment. :^}

      • Yes. Partch. Of course.
        Memory, how does that work?

        I used to have an unexplained access to “True” magazine which featured the sorts of things that made a kid’s mind go off at an entirely new tangent.

        I just read it for the VIP cartoons. Believe me.

  4. The piranha comic reminds me of of a old Far Side comic where a cat is over looking the fish bowl and has two peg legs up front. LOL!

    • People starting sending me that cartoon after I published my version. I’d not seen it, or at least not remembered it if I had. It’s one of those ideas that will occur to lots of people independently.

  5. What do you get if you combine an agnostic, a dyslexic, and an insomniac?

    A person who lies awake all night wondering if there is a dog.

  6. Funny, Funny, Funny and, to the point. Enjoy your commentary as well as the great artwork. I think Parrots are pretty but I would not want one in my home. Have a Great Week.

  7. Gotta say today’s blog is great. Welcome to the “third world,” without saying that the “first world” isn’t a f**kng MESS and worse. Even in a town of 150,000 in the PH, hearing aid batteries were impossible to find for two weeks, and just about everything is in Cebu, a million people, distant by one half-hour ferry and a three hour drive or a 6 hour drive, depending on whether you make it at 5 am or 10 am.. You can order by catalog (probably easier in MX than the PH), however trying to get ribbon belts would be $140 for two, 2/3 of which is shipping…. Will just have them made for $10.

    Less crime here than in San Francisco, except the opposing drug dealers (which Duterte figured out how to reduce), wives shooting husbands, even police husbands, for fooling around, and occasionally, a family will knock off the honky pedophlle for doing their 14 yr old daughter. And don’t get me started on the hypocrisy of the US “rights activists” who bitch about 5,000 dead drug pushers, when there are 66,000 drug deaths in the US last year alone… Take care, maybe there is a “house parrot” rescue center. We got our 7 yr old doberman from a rescue and he’s so happy to see real grass (after LA and SF), he still runs circles and rolls in the grass like a puppy)..

    • Great to hear about your various experiences, Ed. I’m sure we’d have a lot to talk about along those lines. For the overwhelming majority of the time, we really enjoy the differences and far prefer MX over the U.S. Even visiting there for a few days has been a challenge.

      Regarding your comments about 5K dead drug pushers in PH verses the tens of thousands of drug deaths in the U.S., don’t get me started. People ask me if we feel safe here (they’re obviously thinking about cartels and such) and my answer is a resounding ABSOLUTELY. There are no mass shootings, no domestic terrorists, and I never fear being accidentally gunned down by a four-year-old who found mommy’s pistol in her purse.

  8. I’m watching your store every week for the return of the Bunny’s Pie Repair shirt! Missed out on it when you made it last time.

    • I’m going to post that again one day but thought I might redesign it. It didn’t sell all that well and I was never really happy with it. Are you hoping for that exact design I posted before, or would some other version of Bunny’s Pie Repair be as good? Let me know your thoughts.

  9. “An experience such as Glen’s (above) might then dissuade you from answering an ad for bagpipe lessons.” Sorry — but that reminded me of one of my favorite jokes. Why do bagpipe players walk while they play? They’re trying to get away from the noise.

  10. What happened to the “Bizarro is brought to you by…” link at the beginning of your posts? Were they wiped out by those recent quakes? I miss them.

    • Thanks for your note, Ivan. I just kind of got out of the habit and nobody complained so I ignored it. But since you’ve asked, I’ll get back to it. :^}

  11. Hi Dan – another typo report: you omitted the ‘in’ in “…with spitting distance…” I know you *want* these reports, otherwise I’d pass on ’em. Terrific week o’ ‘toons, thanks!

  12. Sorry for my tardiness, I’m behind a bit.

    About the piano gag, my mind went straight to a guy standing with his arms up with strings tied between his fingers correlating toes holding a bucket between his thighs. Tell him to stretch!
    Bonus: Make him naked and strum himself!

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