Daryl Cagle, he of the political cartoon aggregation site, uses the term "Yahtzee" for the times when multiple cartoonists simultaneously come up with the same idea.
Or, if it is a weeping Statue of Liberty in the wake of tragedy, the same non-idea.
And it is indeed rare that a true Yahtzee -- five of a kind, as defined by the actual game -- is terribly creative. I use the weeping Statue of Liberty because, in the wake of 9/11, I stopped counting somewhere in the low 30s.
So here's a game that is more creative, which I have come to in the 2 years and 360 days of doing this blog: I find myself stringing comics together in my mind and then either deciding which one best illustrates the point, or sometimes creating a blog entry in which I use them progressively.
But I only try that when they truly do fit into a coherent narrative.
Here's an example of when they only sort of do. Constructing such logically tenuous bridges is self-indulgent but also kind of fun.
This one is based on a good friend-and-colleague putting in her last day at a newspaper yesterday, and on the fact that, these days, when you run into a newspaper friend on-line, you have to find a polite way of asking, "So, you still working?"
And then figure out what the appropriate response is when they say "yes," since it is so often followed by a litany of the abuse they are accepting in order to continue paying their mortgage and for their child's braces.
Which brings us to today's Agnes:
And let me assure you, dear friends, that, in terms of wear-and-tear on the spirit, and the aforementioned braces notwithstanding, getting fired is not the worst of fates.
I've been fired twice, once because they were in the process of shutting down the paper, another time because the TV station was under new ownership and new management. The new station manager and I agreed on some things and disagreed on others.
For instance, we agreed that one of us was an idiot. We disagreed ... oh, you got that.
In both cases, things had so degenerated that the final conversation was not only no surprise at all, but came as more of a relief than a blow. In fact, in one of those cases, the effort to get me to quit so they could avoid paying unemployment had degenerated to personal abuse from them and smiling agreement from me.
We are talking about a case of rictus that would make the Joker look like Buster Keaton.
Which brings us to today's "Real Life Adventures:"
When the first cuts came, a half dozen or so years ago, there was shock and incomprehension, especially when the heartless, gutless bastards from Human Resources would set up "safe and appropriate" scenarios.
A colleague who had, over a couple of decades, won national awards for her work at one of the country's largest metro dailies was called into the office for what she thought was a quick, routine meeting, until she saw who was there.
While the meeting was under way, they disabled her email and cut off her phone. She was escorted from the building by security -- "frogmarched," she put it -- without even being handed the traditional cardboard box and afforded the opportunity to collect personal items from her desk, which her shocked friends in the office had to round up for her later.
And, by the way, these days, any content creator -- artist or writer -- who is not taking home his originals regularly is twice as foolish as the person who never backs up his hard drive. They won't let you put those in the box, even if you get a box.
Before I announced my departure anywhere, I took home everything and then scrubbed my computer, but don't wait until you've decided to quit: You genuinely never know when the Turk will knock on your door.
Still, as Darrin Bell notes in today's Candorville, it's not like, when it does happen, you are heading out into unchartered waters:
Now, wasn't that more fun than playing Yahtzee?
Well, okay, it was kind of a depressing topic. But, hey, I work with what I've got, and, these days, that's what we've got.
Here's a more pleasant chain to follow:
This is a 1987 picture of my first ridgeback:
And here's my Facebook avatar:
And here's a book you can pre-order now for March or April delivery:
There. Now you can go about your day with a genuine,
sincere smile on your face!