Burn, Baby, Burn, Comics Inferno

2,500 newspaper slots is a lot of newspaper slots.

That’s the number of newspapers Jerry Scott is in.

Jerry writes the comic strips Zits (1,600 papers) and Baby Blues (900 papers).

And newspaper slots are hard to come by these days.

So I devised a plan.

It began with a “family vacation” to Morro Bay, California.  That’s not too far from where Jerry lives.

I did everything I could to make it look like a regular vacation.  Even took photos with some of William Randolph Hearst’s sculptures at Hearst Castle.

Then I set the plan in motion.

The first step was to call Jerry’s wife, Kim, to invite them to dinner.  They were hesitant.

“Jerry’s really busy,” Kim said, “He’s got to go somewhere the next day and –”

“Come on over,” I said.  “We’ve rented a great beach house.  You’ll love it.”

I hung up before they could say no.

A few hours later, they begrudgingly arrived with wine.  That was the deal.  They would bring the wine and we would buy the take-out food from a Mexican restaurant they recommended.

As it turned out, we had no cash.  So they had to buy the food, too.

So far, I was up big time.

1) Didn’t have to drive (saved $ on gas).

2) Didn’t pay for the wine.

3) Didn’t pay for the food.

Then I asked them if they wanted to roast marshmallows.  Told them we had this awesome fire pit in the backyard composed of nothing but broken glass.  All you had to do was light a match, and WOOSH, you had a Flaming Pit o’ Glass.

So we all went out to see the flaming pit and roast marshmallows.  But it was cold and windy.   The Scotts looked like they wanted to go back in the house.

“C’mon,” I said, “We’ll just roast a couple.”

So we all took our places by the fire.

My kids, informed of the scheme, took the seats I told them to take.  As did my wife Staci.  Leaving Jerry with the seat I wanted him to take.

So there we sat, all happily roasting our marshmallows by the fire.

Except Jerry.

His side of the pit didn’t have any fire.

That’s something I learned about the fire pit in my experiments before the Scotts’ arrival.

The fire didn’t come out of the Flaming Pit O’ Glass evenly.  It only rose from spots where you dug little holes in the glass beforehand.

And that made Jerry and his marshmallow sad.  Because all the fire was on the other side of the pit.

So he did what anyone would do in that situation.  He reached across the pit.

With his drawing hand.

And this is where I’ll share a little secret with you that I didn’t share with Jerry.

Just because fire didn’t come out of your side of the pit didn’t mean it could NEVER come out of your side of the pit.

And so he reached.  And a huge flame engulfed his right arm.

And that’s where I made my only mistake.

I had estimated that Jerry had the reflexes of a 90 year-old man.  He’s slow and quiet, so it’s a natural deduction.

But no.  Jerry had the cat-like reflexes of a Kung-Fu master.  Think of Grasshopper grabbing those pebbles from the old man’s palm.  Only faster.

“Owww, my hand!” he yelled, yanking it from the fire.

“You okay?” I asked, feigning care.

“Yeah.  I think it just burned off the hair on my wrist.”

“Oh,” I said, disappointed.

And that was that.

His right hand was still intact.

No end of Zits.  No end of Baby Blues.  No free newspaper slots for Pearls Before Swine.

And that wasn’t even the worst part.  The worst part was this:

I had to pay for the marshmallows myself.

39 thoughts on “Burn, Baby, Burn, Comics Inferno

  1. Valiant attempt: Next up, Darby Conley. Love that guy and “Get Fuzzy”, but a Stephan’s gotta make a living!

  2. You should be nominated for a pulizer prize or the cracker jack prize, but either would would be awesome and you could display it on your self, if you have one and if not, just carry it in your pocket or if you get the decoder ring, wear it on a finger or toe.

    You are my favorite color-tunist.

  3. You can be so naughty, but those dang marshmallows can come back to bite you in the worst way. Rat would’ve known this ahead of time and made a better plan…next time, consult with him first before getting burned…

  4. You are a sick and twisted human being! I’m glad your little plot failed, because next to PEARLS and LUANN, ZITS & BABY BLUES are my favorite strips!

  5. Glad to to see you are home…thought you were still in prison over Rat doing Family Pearls…..now get back to thinking up ways to get more newspaper space…you really do not need it though, you are by far much more popular then the others, the newspapers just have not realized it yet.

  6. When you mentioned you might be headed to Portland, I sent you an email offering a tour of my office or to come over for dinner. I’m rethinking that offer. I appreciate that, much like the negative Star Trek universe where Spock has a beard, you must assassinate your comic strip competition, but why not take out the children and grandchildren of comic strips that should have died with their creators? I can send you my list.

  7. We were just at the Hearst Castle and Morro Bay. Where was my dinner invitation? Sure, it might be more useful to fry up the competition. But I’m very useful when it comes to ideas on how to dispose of bodies…

  8. Dear gods Pastis. I work in construction and I know just the glass by itself in a small fire pit can run upwards of $800. They’re not really meant to roast marshmallows with. Anyway, way to stick it to The Man and their fancy vacation fire pits….and Mr. Scott’s arm hair.

  9. Heh. My local paper runs Zits, Baby Blues, AND Pearls Before Swine. So your nefarious scheme would not have profited you at all.

  10. Pingback: Stephan Pastis tries to knock off Jerry Scott The Daily Cartoonist

  11. I love all three…I hope you give more time to the crocs, Larry and Bob are my most favorite characters of yours, along with Larry’s wife and son…they make me laugh out loud! Pig is pretty adorable, along with the Guard Duck and goat, but Rat isn’t so nice…you’re latest “family friendly” strip is pretty lame…you’re funniest with the characters

  12. What you didn’t count on in your evil plot was that Borgman and I have a plan to collaborate on both Baby Blues and Zits should Jerry ever have an “accident.”

  13. I get all three in my paper, but “Zits” and “Baby Blues” are both on the front page of the comics and “Pearls” is stuck inside…I smell a conspiracy.

    Actually, I like it that way, it makes it easier to read “Pearls” last. I always save the best for last.

  14. I didn’t know there were 2,500 newspapers left! By the way I love that your “blogroll” lists only three sites and all of them feature your own stuff.

  15. Maybe next you could hatch a plan to shoot microwaves at Bil Keane’s brain, causing him to produce panels with lame jokes based on typical family dynamics from the 1950s . . . oh, wait . . .

  16. Wait, isn’t Jerry Scott just the writer though? Wouldn’t he still be able to write without his “drawing hand”?

  17. Rat would have been proud of your plan Stephen. I know I am, keep up the good work and try to get the children in family circle to create room for you…….

  18. I always knew there was no real Stephan Patsis. “Pearls” is conceived, written, and edited by Rat, under the pseudonym, “Stephan Patsis.” Wonder who the guy posing in those fale Patsis photos really is?

  19. Did you know MS Outlook spellcheck wants to replace “Pastis” with “pasties?”

  20. Knowing the way luck goes, you’d have been successful and the papers would’ve picked “Dustin” and “Monty” instead of Pearls.

    Can just imagine Zits written by Kirkman and Baby Blues by Borgman. Still waiting for my locals to pick up Pearls.

  21. ROFLMAO!!!
    So very wrong Stephan.
    Bad cartoonist!
    (The autocorrect on my phone keeps changing your name to “Arrogance.” …Wow! It really is a smart phone.)

  22. At least he won’t have to shave his wrist for a few weeks. Wait-men don’t shave. You guys are weird.

  23. Pingback: Fire Pits: Perfect Option for Winter Months | Portable Fire Pits Deal Grabber

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