Letter of the Law

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

bz panel 11-08-13bz strip 11-08-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Another Fun Funeral.

If I may be so immodest, I’d like to say that I love this cartoon. I’m particularly proud of the drawing of the contrite, partially-clad office nitwit clutching his clothing in shame after what must have been a misguided attempt to make his coworkers laugh. Or perhaps he was caught in the supply closet with an intern. Whatever the reason, this joke floats my boat.

And it reminds me of a personal story. As hard as it may be to believe, I, your Jazz Pickle in Chief, once worked in an office. Once. It was the in-house advertising department of a major national department store. I was one of their ad designers and illustrators, and worked on the top floor of said department store in the very early eighties. While the retail employees of the store were held to a specific dress code (because they dealt with customers) we in the art department could wear whatever we wanted because we had no contact with the public. Makes perfect sense. Perhaps too much sense because some point, some employees in retail complained that we in the art department should be held to the same rules as the rest of the employees, and the management caved in. We promptly received an office memo stating that starting the following Monday, those of us in the art department would also be required to comply with the dress code: women were to wear skirts or dresses, men must wear a dress shirt and tie.

We artsy types were annoyed by this but had no choice but to comply, of course. That weekend, I went to a Goodwill store and bought five of the biggest, ugliest, fat, polyester ties from the 70s that I could find and an ugly dress shirt. I wore the shirt backwards and wore all five ties at the same time, each and every day. I was wearing a dress shirt and tie, as directed, so they couldn’t complain too much, but after a week the VP did call me into his office to chat with me about it. I was young, foolish, and full of high-minded ideals so I stuck to my guns. Soon after, I did not work there anymore. Not as funny as the cartoon above, perhaps, but I still get a chuckle out of it.

REZARRO: In keeping with our theme of literal translations of the law, here is a cartoon I did in 1999 to see if I could get colloquial cussing into the comics. Much to my surprise, none of my client newspapers at the time rejected this cartoon. Childish, yes, but fun nonetheless. Some people just never grow up, I guess.bz 11-26-99 Beavers