Friday, July 18, 2014

A couple of goats



I'm giving somewhat serious thought to the possibility of reading a book. OK, in reality, probably only semi-serious thought. Actually more of a passing notion now that I really think about it. On second thought, I might not have time.

I haven't read a book in awhile. If I remember correctly, the last one that I did start and finish (after a couple of months,) I really liked. It was a book about this guy named Sam who didn't like the idea of eating eggs and pork-based products that happen to be green in color. He wouldn't eat them in a box with a fox, in a house with a mouse or even on a boat with a goat. He just didn't like them. It was a nicely written piece. The author was a doctor.

These days, I just don't find the time to read. It seems like too big of a commitment. Usually, when I have tried starting a book, I look at the clock, read the first page or two, look at the clock again, check out how many pages are in the book, roughly calculate the amount of years it will take for me to finish the book (adding in time for bathroom breaks, snacks, television interruptions, summer and all months that contain the letter "r") and then I set the book down to get on with my life. Usually with snacks.

Apparently, I don't have the attention span to enjoy a good bo … Hey look! That penny is really, really shiny! That could possibly be the shiniest penny that I have ever se … oh, wait … what was I talking about? Oh yeah … apparently I have a low attention span. Anything with more words than the common mattress tag, takes me multiple sittings to get through it.

Now my wife on the other hand, is what I like to kindly refer to as a power reader. She is one of those people that when she picks up a book, she intends to not put it down until it is finished. My daughter and I know not to disturb her during these sessions. She sits there in a somewhat comatose state for hours on end, just staring, scanning the pages, flipping them every so often. She has been known to start a book early in the evening and read until the sun lights up the pre-dawn sky. During the great Harry Potter binge of a few years back, she subsisted primarily on a diet of Chicklets and Razzles. I wanted to ask when it was that she took her restroom breaks but I was afraid of the answer that I might have gotten.

I was at my parents' house last week when I saw a book laying on the table out on the porch. It's titled "A Nice Little Place On The North Side" and was written by the famous syndicated columnist George F. Will. According to the dust jacket, it's about the history of my "hapless" Chicago Cubs and predominantly about their iconic ballpark, Wrigley Field. "Hapless" was the word the publisher used, not me. I prefer "stinky."

Since I have always been a Cubs fan and also an admirer of Wrigley Field, I was kind of interested. I asked if it was any good. Mom told me to take it home and read it. I gave her one of those, "Awww Mom! Do I have to!?!," looks that I have perfected over the years. Dad said that I would really like and that it contained many interesting items. He also suggested that I take the book with me. I slumped my shoulders, begrudgingly picked up the hardback and gave dad one of my, "OK, if I really have to." looks. One would think that after all this time, these particular people would be much more attune to my "looks."

Well, evidently, 162 games a year of misery and torture isn't enough. I now have a compelling need to expound upon that anxiety by another 194 pages. This composition is now in my possession. It is my sincerest desire at this particular moment in time, to completely read and possibly enjoy this entire printed volume. I have been warned that it contains big words so I'm already leery.

I will warn you, if there is not at least one chapter devoted to 1970s-era, Chicago Cub outfielder Jose Cardenal and his huge afro, I am going to be soooooooooo upset. (You can tell how angry I'll be by the inordinate amount of o's.)

His exclusion from this opus could very likely cause my newly inflamed passion for reading to come to an abrupt conclusion. No, I will not like it Sam-I-am.

Just like the last book I read, and as a lifelong Cubs fan, I'm afraid this book will also make mention of a goat.

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Please be sure to check out my comic strip "Nothing is not Something" on the Go Comics website. You can find it by clicking here. The more subscribers I get, the better. Thank-you in advance.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you get a chance, please check out some of the other stuff I've got going:

"Nothing is not Something" on GO Comics.
"Nothing is not Something" on Facebook.
"Nothing is not Something" on Twitter. 

Greg Wallace Ink on Facebook
Greg Wallace Ink on Twitter.

Sawdust & Paint on Facebook

Technical Difficulties






The image above is how my comic strip was supposed to appear on the GO Comics website this morning.


This is how it actually appeared, complete with the gray bar across the bottom and everything. Evidently, somewhere between the windswept plains of northern Illinois and Kansas City, cyberspace has lost a portion of my work. As usual, I blame Iowa.

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Please be sure to check out my comic strip "Nothing is not Something" on the Go Comics website. You can find it by clicking here. The more subscribers I get, the better. Thank-you in advance.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you get a chance, please check out some of the other stuff I've got going:

"Nothing is not Something" on GO Comics.
"Nothing is not Something" on Facebook.
"Nothing is not Something" on Twitter. 

Greg Wallace Ink on Facebook
Greg Wallace Ink on Twitter.

Sawdust & Paint on Facebook

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sunday, fuzzy Sunday


I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't have seen it. I now know what it's like to have seen Bigfoot. Or maybe a Yeti or even the Loch Ness Monster. Or the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series. You know - crazy, far-fetched, unbelievable events. The stuff that legends are made of.

For my family and friends, and those of you who might be casual readers of this column, you are probably aware that my father-in-law has a history with squirrels. As a recap for those of you who don't know, during the early 1980s or late 1970s (legends can be rather sketchy), my father-in-law had an incident involving a silver-colored Ford Granada and a squirrel-colored squirrel. Following an unsuccessful swerve attempt to avoid the aforementioned beast, a tow truck had to be called to pull the wrecked Granada out of the ditch. As bad as the car was, the squirrel was worse.

This event occurred several years before I ever became part of the family. But I think that I was informed of it the first time I showed up at the house. I have also been reminded of it every time I enter my in-laws domicile. Over the years, he has literally received hundreds of items of squirrel-related paraphernalia. There are squirrel statues, squirrel posters, squirrel T-shirts and sweatshirts, squirrel Christmas ornaments, stuffed squirrels (fake and real), squirrel underwear, etc. …

It used to be that it was a small feat to find a picture of a squirrel on any kind of a greeting card, but now it's like you can't swing a dead … well ... squirrel around without finding one. My father-in-law, I believe, is responsible for all growth in the squirrel-related greeting industry. The card racks are full of them. Many involve the hilarious use of the word "nuts." Tee, hee, hee, hee … nuts. (I am actually giggling while writing this.)

Up until now, for me, the squirrel story has been merely a tale of lore. Something that I have heard about many, many, many times, but I never had any real, concrete, personal connection to the story. Until last Sunday.

That was the day that he offered to take me fishing in his boat. As we eased down the driveway to leave his house that sun-drenched afternoon, he stomped on the brakes. I looked at him to see what was the matter, he had a visage of panic upon his face. He told me that his steering was acting funny. He inched forward a few more feet and stomped on the brakes again just as we were about to enter the roadway. He said that he had no power steering whatsoever.

At that point, we exited the 2003 midnight-blue Ford Ranger to see what the problem was. At first we checked out the tires to see if we had a flat. They all looked fine. It was then that I popped the hood. I noticed some fur floating in the summertime breeze.

I'll never forget what my father-in-law said next. He said, "Oh shucks! It's a squirrel!" or something to that effect.

Evidently, the unlucky critter had crawled into the motor compartment of the truck and got caught up in the serpentine belt which powers a whole host of things on the vehicle including the power steering. The belt was knocked off of the pulleys and the squirrel … well, it did not survive. Fortunately, I think that the end came rather quickly.

It was somewhat surreal as we started cleaning up the mess and figuring out how to put the belt back on. All I could think amongst the fumes of singed fur coming off of the manifold was that I finally had my own connection to the family legend. I had seen Bigfoot. Well, actually a little foot and part of a tail, but you know what I mean. It was just like 30 years ago, a deceased member of the tree-dwelling rodent family and a Ford that didn't operate properly.

It was then that my father-in-law looked directly at me, and again, he had an ashen look of sheer panic on his face. He said something to the effect that this happened in front of the wrong person. I asked him what he meant by that. "I'm afraid this is going to end up in the newspaper," he said in a trembling, fearful voice.

I told him in my most reassuring, comforting tone, "Don't be afraid. Of course, this is going to end up in the newspaper." He said, "Oh shucks!" or something to that effect.

I'm sure that the poor guy will hear about this incident for some time to come, and for that, I feel somewhat sorry. However, I consider myself to be the official chronicler of this ongoing epic saga, and it would be a travesty for me to not tell this story.

To be completely realistic about the whole thing and to put it in the proper perspective, apart from any animals bagged during his numerous squirrel hunts, these are the only two documented squirrel deaths attributed to my father-in-law that I am aware of. Two over a 30-year time period isn't too bad. I'm pretty sure I've got more than that under my belt.

As a side note, this Monday happens to be my father-in-law's birthday. So if you see Dave Schindel around this weekend, wish him a happy birthday.

But if you're a squirrel, you might want to hide your nuts. Tee, hee, hee, hee …
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Please be sure to check out my comic strip "Nothing is not Something" on the Go Comics website. You can find it by clicking here. The more subscribers I get, the better. Thank-you in advance.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you get a chance, please check out some of the other stuff I've got going:

"Nothing is not Something" on GO Comics.
"Nothing is not Something" on Facebook.
"Nothing is not Something" on Twitter. 

Greg Wallace Ink on Facebook
Greg Wallace Ink on Twitter.

Sawdust & Paint on Facebook

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another Box





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Please be sure to check out my comic strip "Nothing is not Something" on the Go Comics website. You can find it by clicking here. The more subscribers I get, the better. Thank-you in advance.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you get a chance, please check out some of the other stuff I've got going:

"Nothing is not Something" on GO Comics.
"Nothing is not Something" on Facebook.
"Nothing is not Something" on Twitter. 

Greg Wallace Ink on Facebook
Greg Wallace Ink on Twitter.

Sawdust & Paint on Facebook

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lewis Flyers


Here are some bag boards that we recently completed at Sawdust & Paint.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Please be sure to check out my comic strip "Nothing is not Something" on the Go Comics website. You can find it by clicking here. The more subscribers I get, the better. Thank-you in advance.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you get a chance, please check out some of the other stuff I've got going:

"Nothing is not Something" on GO Comics.
"Nothing is not Something" on Facebook.
"Nothing is not Something" on Twitter. 

Greg Wallace Ink on Facebook
Greg Wallace Ink on Twitter.

Sawdust & Paint on Facebook

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tyler John






Here's a commemorative box that we recently finished.

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Please be sure to check out my comic strip "Nothing is not Something" on the Go Comics website. You can find it by clicking here. The more subscribers I get, the better. Thank-you in advance.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you get a chance, please check out some of the other stuff I've got going:

"Nothing is not Something" on GO Comics.
"Nothing is not Something" on Facebook.
"Nothing is not Something" on Twitter. 

Greg Wallace Ink on Facebook
Greg Wallace Ink on Twitter.

Sawdust & Paint on Facebook

Friday, May 23, 2014

The cow goes moo


On Tuesday of this week, I started out the day thinking that I had seen my future career. By three in the afternoon, that dream had been left in the dust on the side of the road.

That morning, as I was pulling into town and getting close to the office, I just happened to glance over to my right at the parking lot of a major fast-food franchise. There it was. Possibly one of the most beautiful vehicles I have ever seen. It wasn't a charcoal gray, convertible 911 Porsche Targa with a new set of Pirellis, but it was possibly the next best thing.

What I saw was an older model, stretch limousine painted to look like a black and white spotted cow. But wait, believe it or not, it gets better. On top of this vehicle, were a running duck (which looked like a penguin), followed by a sprinting pig, followed by a large galloping cow. To enhance the realism of this barnyard scene, there was a white picket fence attached to the trunk. And also, behind the cow, was a large pile of, well … a pile of what cows do best.

Pulled up beside this beautiful automobile, was a truck full of guys taking cellphone pictures. I thought that was something that I should be doing because I had no idea when or if I would ever see this breathtaking sight ever again. However, I was already in the lefthand turn lane, and I soon resigned myself to the fact that this car and I were merely two ships passing in the night. Or, the early morning, in this case.

As I sat there at work that day, I couldn't get that car out of my mind. I have always had an infatuation with any kind of vehicle that has a large representation of a cartoon animal on top of it. I have always thought it would be awesome to cruise around underneath large fiberglass creatures. As Greg Brady would say, "I'll bet chicks dig that."

Speaking of chicks, if you ever have an occasion to visit Rock Falls or Dixon, Illinois, be on the lookout for a car with a huge chicken on it. A fried chicken restaurant uses this exquisite automobile as one of their main forms of advertising. I can't think of the name of the restaurant right now, so maybe the advertising isn't all that effective, but man, that car is cool.

As morning turned into afternoon, I kept thinking about how great it would be to drive around that cow limo all day long. You can probably imagine my excitement when one of the reporters hung up her phone and announced that my dream car was on its way to the newspaper office. I was positively giddy.

As the limo pulled up, I exited the building to make sure that I got my photo. The car had a speaker blaring some 1980's party music, and the chauffeur was saying clever, witty things and making "moo" sounds over the PA system. And then something even more magical happened. The cow blew a puffy white cloud of smoke out of its posterior. The flatulent bovine was the cherry on top of the cake. Simply hilarious.

The chauffeur then stepped out of his magnificent chariot to talk to our intrepid reporter. As he stood there, I couldn't help but wonder if he realized that he possibly had one of the world's best jobs. I was envious and was wondering if he was possibly hiring.

And then the back door opened.

Out of that auto stumbled seven female former high school classmates who had rented the limo for the day to celebrate the fact that they were all turning 60 years old this year. There they were, dancing and laughing, hootin' and hollerin' at a rather high decibel level in front of our place of business.

To me, these ladies looked like nothing but trouble. Loud, ornery trouble. In fact, while the chauffeur was standing there talking to the reporter, one of these women hopped behind the wheel and attempted to commandeer the car. After the vehicle was stopped, and the lady removed from the driver's seat, she said with a giggle that she wanted to see what it was like to drive a limo just once.

When they were ready to go, and as the exasperated driver pushed the last of his partygoers into the backseat, I started to realize that maybe there is no such thing as the perfect job.

Sure, you might have the privilege of driving around a fancy-schmancy, exotic automobile with a massive fiberglass cow plop on the trunk, but then again, you might have to put up with a 60-year-old customer who uses her boisterously loud friends to act as decoys as she attempts to commit grand theft auto. Isn't life funny that way?

All that being said, I still want to drive a car with a big chicken on it.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Please be sure to check out my comic strip "Nothing is not Something" on the Go Comics website. You can find it by clicking here. The more subscribers I get, the better. Thank-you in advance.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you get a chance, please check out some of the other stuff I've got going:

"Nothing is not Something" on GO Comics.
"Nothing is not Something" on Facebook.
"Nothing is not Something" on Twitter. 

Greg Wallace Ink on Facebook
Greg Wallace Ink on Twitter.

Sawdust & Paint on Facebook