Thursday, September 30, 2010

True Tales of Sketchbook Seven

True Tales of Sketchbook Seven

Reality Spelunking

Recently I was paging through an old sketchbook, and came across three pages that recorded actual true events in my life. Being a lazy fact-checker, I rarely tell tales of non-fiction — I prefer the fiction writer's snug cloak of sanctioned deceit. So naturally, these little kernels of honesty jumped out at me, and seemed like something worth sharing. At the very least, it's a chance to remind people of a time when I would actually leave the house. I really did used to do that, you know.

The Depot of Fun

The Home Depot Clown

Our first tale is recorded on the bottom half of this page, so feel free to ignore the one-off at the top. After all, it's not a true tale, and that's what we're here for, is it not? Now, seeing as the pencil lines used to record the true tale are somewhat faded, I will save your eyes a harsh squinting, and transcribe it for you below. It reads thusly:

The Home Depot, April 3, 2004: The cashier asks us what we're having for dinner for some reason. Kim answers "spring rolls", as I watch a clown walk into the tools section and peruse drills.

I remember wondering at the time what tool-related emergency was so vital that the clown couldn't take the time to disguise himself as a human. My best guess is that he was on his way to a children's birthday party, and was looking for a reliable way to safely and securely pin the tail on the donkey.

The Archiophile

Urinal Archiophile

This next true tale also occurred at a home improvement store. I used to visit these a lot. It was 2004 after all, a magical era when there was no question as to whether a house was a more sound investment than Harry Potter Legos.

There I was in the bathroom at Lowe's, when a man sidled up next to me and said:

You ever see Archie Bunker? He had a sayin' — "The thing about beer... s'ya only borrow it!" (emits a raspy heh, heh)... you drink one, and you piss out two! (heh...) All in the Family was the name of the show...

I remember feeling a genuine sense of respect for this man. His public drunkenness wasn't a source of shame, to be hidden at all costs. It was to be celebrated, and shared with others! Without his sterling example, I may never have gained the "courage" needed to single-handedly ruin a family reunion with nothing but slurred insults and the contents of my stomach.

The Lasagna Kid

The Lasagna Kid

This last true tale takes place in a bookstore. I was just browsing through the aisles, when I turned the corner and there was this chubby little kid sitting in one of those randomly placed chairs, reading Garfield to himself in a most peculiar fashion...

He's reading every comic out loud, using voices for each character. By far, his best voice is the high, pre-adolescent's squeaky-squawk he uses for Garfield's girlfriend. He only pauses in narration to join in for a chorus or two of whatever song is on the radio, or occasionally to sing a song of his own.

This is my favorite of the true tales. Perhaps because I feel a strong connection with this kid. I loved Garfield as a child, and bought every single Garfield collection that came out. In fact, the first thing I learned how to draw was Garfield — I even wrote my own comics! They were kind of a precursor to Garfield Minus Garfield, except mine were all Garfield. Plus some rocket ships, smiley-face suns, characters from GIJOE, and — as I entered puberty — a lot of topless women. Eventually I just phased out Garfield and concentrated on the topless characters, which is probably what scared off King Feature's Syndicate. And of course without them, my circulation was doomed to remain only those few readers who had regular access to whatever material I hid between my mattress and boxspring.

Told Tales Tell No Secrets

So there you are, now three true tales heavier than you were when you started reading. I certainly hope you enjoyed hearing them, because I enjoyed telling them. Especially when you all gathered around in a semi-circle and sat indian-style. That was cute. I didn't even mind when a few of you fell asleep. I was sort of put off by all your fidgeting. And I really didn't appreciate the person who was making fart noises in their arm. Need I remind you storytime is supposed to be a treat? I could just as easily have us spend this period doing math problems. Is that what you want? Hmmm? Is it?

Okay, everyone please take out Adventures In Social Studies and turn to chapter fifteen...

Comments on this Article

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I'll be sure to keep an eye out for Michael Moore at my local Lowes—seems like he tells great stories. (Or for that matter, his kid at the bookstore.)


Wait... that was Michael Moore? No wonder he had me sign Buster up for the army.


Hmm. Not anymore disturbed than I was 10 minutes ago. (It only took me 3 minutes to read it) The other 7 minutes I wondered if you had topless drawings of Garfield. In which case I would be disturbed.


The disturbing part is that a topless cat would have 6 nipples.


Cliener von Cleanskin

I find a clown in a hardware store more than a little frightening. What nasty surprise is he planning for little Joe’s birthday party?

Michael Contreras

Hmm... what could a clown possibly being doing with a power drill and a bottle of lube?


Well, you definitely can't fit 50 clowns in one car without lube.

Russer Butter

Sorry Kev, I just can't believe that anything on these pages is the truth. Mainly because you also drew Mojo changing a light bulb for Lewis, which is clearly something he would never do. I am a little disturbed though by the thought of what Mojo is doing on the second page with a fire behind the urinating drunk.


What if I told you that Mojo was using an old-fashioned, energy inefficient tungsten bulb? Would that make it more believable?

Russer Butter

Now see, with a side note like that, the world makes sense again. Lewis is really yelling at Mojo, not thanking him.

A Clown, with a power drill... I need the time of day, that has the makings for a great movie opener, and I'm not talking Killer Clowns from Outer Space.


oh my word, if i didn't just laugh out loud - really loud - at the six nipples comment...


I can't take all that credit. Mother Nature set up the joke for me.


eerie overlap in our lives, kevin. i, too, was addicted to Garfield and it was the first thing i copied (my father proudly posted my 'i hate mondays' drawing over his cubicle for years). i, too, stood next to a drunk (in a college bar) and the chatty fellow next to me, in much the same garb (but not michael moore) spoke about renting beers (unawares of the AITF reference). and i, I, was that clown. Okay, made that up, but the other stuff is TRUE! Chilling Tales of the Collective Unconscience, Episode IV: A New Fez.


I do need a new Fez. Mine smells like cigar smoke and failed sexual overtures...


So where are all the topless females then? These days all we get is men using urinals.


I'm saving all of them for the "Drawings That Got Me Excommunicated" post.


That should be worth hanging on for...


You should just make a "Drawings that didn't get me excommunicated" post.
It will fit in one tweet.

Colin Gordon

Down with America!

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