Cognac Lawn Pope

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Bizarro is brought to you today by Biblical Fashions.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. Happy birthday dear me. Happy birthday to me.(Sung to the tune of “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”)

Just like the shooting pain in my chest and the numbness in my left arm, I usually ignore my birthday and hope it just goes away. But since the secret is out, I’ll admit that, yes, today is my birthday. Now that I am over 21, I am allowed to drink legally, marry without my parent’s permission, and drop out of high school. That’s some pretty heavy stuff.

And since you and I are best friends and I know I can trust you not to blab this all over the place, I’ll also admit that I’m having some financial problems. So if you’ve got a couple grand in cash lying around that you don’t want to just hand over to some snotty kid at an electronics store, drop it into my “Tips Jar” at right. I promise that I will use it responsibly and not one cent of it will go to some toothless meth-head holed up in a trailer in the woods. Just like PBS, I’ve been entertaining you commercial-free for years. Unlike PBS, your donation is not tax deductible, and you will receive no tote bag.

Something you may not know is that I often will pick a favorite gag to run on my birthday; sort of a tiny, secret gift to myself. It’s meaningless, I know, but so is much of what you learn in school and I did that for twelve years, so what the hell. This year, I chose the butler joke above. It’s sort of subtle, but once you figure it out I think the payoff is worth it.

This cartoon about Herschel the Pretend Pope is sort of an homage to my favorite cartoonist, B. Kliban. His cartoons, which I first came across during my sixteen weeks in college in 1976 (courtesy of my humor-savvy roommate, Richard) were what motivated me to be a cartoonist. He invented this much-imitated motif: someone doing something nonsensical with a caption describing it in a dry, humorous way. Here’s a fun one. And another. If you look at enough of his work, most of which was done in the sixties and early seventies, you’ll also see how much he influenced Gary Larson.

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