Is That a Banana In Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to Hear From Your Editor?

Just got a call from my editor telling me I could not use the word “banana” in a comic strip.

Well, to be fair, this is the context in which I used the word (Click on it to enlarge):

I argued that there were a lot worse terms I could have used for a Speedo, such as “grape smuggler.”

That didn’t persuade him.

I told him he was the first editor to ever censor the word “banana.”  That didn’t persuade him either.  He said he would censor that word each and every time it referred to a penis.

We went back and forth arguing about penises, the argument getting a bit loud.

I was just pleased that somewhere in the New York office of my syndicate, all the people around my editor’s cubicle kept hearing him yell the word “penis.”

I told him that I had now lost 6 of these arguments in a row with him.  He told me that the next time we have one of these debates, he’ll let me do what I want to do.  I said, “Great.  Next week I’m going to put the word m#therf#cker in a comic.”  He said that would be a no-go.

The long and short of it is that when this strip appears in a few weeks, you will not see the word “banana.”  Instead, you will see the phrase “man thong.”

So yes, we have no bananas.

What I’ve Learned from the World Cup

I’ve been watching a lot of World Cup soccer.

Whenever there is a close-call involving contact between two players, both players roll around on the ground holding their shin.  The guy who does the most convincing job of this gets the call.

This bothers some people.

Not me.

I find it inspirational.

So yesterday, when my wife Staci told me I was supposed to pick up our son Tom from basketball practice, I told her she should have mentioned it to me earlier.  She says she did, but I wasn’t listening.  I said she never told me.  She said I never listen.

So I dropped to the kitchen floor and started rolling around holding my shin.

She said, “You are so strange,” and left the kitchen.

Maybe it only works in soccer.

I Had Her at Bucky Tu

I work a couple days a week at Charles Schulz’s studio in Santa Rosa, California. One of the people I work with is named Becci (pronounced “Becky”).

Only I don’t call her Becci.

I call her Bucky Tuna.  And usually I don’t even say that.

I say, “Bucky Tuuuuuuuu.”

I think I got the nickname from Bucky Katt in Get Fuzzy (Bucky likes tuna). But it’s been so long I really don’t remember.

All I know is that as I saw her walking across the parking lot at work recently, I yelled, “Bucky TUUUUUU!!!”  It was very loud.  And very obnoxious.

The good thing about Becci is that even though the nickname is kind of stupid, she never says anything.   She doesn’t even seem to mind when I yell it at her across the parking lot.

Except this time.

This time she stopped walking.

This time she just stared at me.

Because it wasn’t her.

Mortified, I didn’t even try to explain the situation to the scared woman who looked like she was about to mace me.

Which made it worse.  As though “BUCKY TUUUUUUU” was my standard greeting with strangers.

There was only one way to play it off.

Act like it was a foreign language she didn’t understand.  I even changed my walk slightly to include a limp, as though people from my country walk funny.

“Bucky tuuuu,” I mumbled as I went past her.

As though the same word that meant “hello” in my language also meant “goodbye” or “fare thee well.”

Which worked perfectly.

By which I mean she didn’t mace me.

Bucky Tu.

The Best Lecture Ever

I’m on the plane from San Francisco to Newark and the flight attendant is giving the whole back of the plane a lecture.

Some man has put his bag in the overhead bin incorrectly and she doesn’t like it.

“Whose bag is this??” she asks.

No one answers.

“Whose bag is this??” she asks louder.

“It’s mine,” a guy in the back mumbles.

“This is not how you put your bag in the overhead compartment,” she says.

“Sorry,” he says.

But she’s not done with her lesson.

“What you’ve done is put your bag in the small space between the bag that’s already in there and the compartment door. So it’s hanging right on the edge of the compartment.”

He says nothing.

“So if the bags move around mid-flight and someone opens the compartment door, your heavy bag is going to hurt someone because it is going to fall right on this poor gentleman’s head,” she says, holding the bag above the man sitting in the aisle seat.

Only she didn’t quite say the word “head.”

Because right in the middle of her saying the phrase “this poor gentleman’s head,” she dropped the bag.

Right on the poor gentleman’s head.

The man grabbed his head with both hands and started rubbing the top of his head. Proving that when it came to the falling of that heavy bag, she was at least right about one thing.

It would hurt.