MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2004

I was telling the school kids one of my least favorite TV shows is called Cribs where they go to rich slobs' houses and a disgusting brit accented narrator describes: here is his bentley which cost four hundred and sixty-five thousand and that is for the dash alone, then I said, ah, I shouldn't carp, after all our bathroom is huge with a grandiose tub where we all sit and watch TV on the plasma wall with buttons to look in and out around the house and look there goes a squirrel, chased by a crow zooming down to steal a nut, Gotcha Suckah, which engendered a big laugh and the next day whilst sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee, out in the yard came running the squirrel and overhead the crow diving down on him and I spilled the coffee all over my boxer shorts for I had just arisen from bed all agog, wandering if life interviews art or is it the other way around.


By the time I got home from nonstop yaking two high school classes in succession and into my bumaround duds I could no longer remember anything I said but the students wrote me notes that were greatly appreciated and some of them reminded me of stories I related. The classes are reading Kesey's ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and we talked about the book and the movie and I was able to tell them something Kesey told me that never got in the book or the movie:

When he was working at the VA nuthouse in Menlo Park California and working on the novel he would sit at the window looking out over the sprawling lawn and on a particularly lovely sunny day the doors would open and out came the nuts each one pushing an old reel type manual lawnmower and they would take off in all directions, crisscrossing each other's paths, following one another, going in circles and hours later the doors would open again and they would go tearing inside with the mowers and, Kesey said, it was a glorious thing, to look out there and see every blade of grass had been mown.

They called me a tortoise. I said, No, I'm a dinosaur, but they shook their heads and said, He's a tortoise, 'cause he tort us. So I yanked their chains good. Filled their heads with rambles, brambles and gambols, going totally astral, Einsteinian, as per quantum physics, everything happening all at once, ripped their Newtonian lineal minds up one side and down the other roaming through inner and outer space, everything related, synchronisity all around, replete with songs and jokes and tales what lag behind the dog but that is a tail of another wag.


Hey loved ones,
A few weeks back we launched a new feature on the Doonesbury Town Hall called BLOWBACK, which enables me to post some of the constant flow of e-mail feedback we get in response to the strip. This has been particularly useful during the past 10 days, with BD losing a leg in Iraq. I've been posting a lot of very moving letters from all kinds of folks, new ones every day, and I thought I'd mention it in case you want to check them out. Go to the home page and on the left side of the page in the NEW IN THE TOWN HALL section click on "Read the Latest Blowback".
Much love,

The first time B.D.'s hair was revealed in the strip. He went from football helmet to military helmet to CHIPS helmet back to military and finally ...revealed.

Here's our latest FAQ from the site:

I'm shocked by the current storyline. B.D. losing a leg? What was Trudeau
-- Lela A., Portland, OR


This is what GBT told ABC News on 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos'
last Sunday:

The strips are about sacrifice, about the kind of shattering loss that
completely changes lives. In B.D., I've placed a central character in harm's
way, and his charmed life takes a dramatic turn on a road outside Fallujah.
In the opening panels, he's in shock, hallucinating, with voices cutting in
and out. Medics call this time the golden hour, that small window of
opportunity when lives are most easily saved. B.D. is medevaced out, and in
the third strip, the point of view is reversed, revealing just how grievous
his wound really is. We also see his hair, its presence almost as startling
as the absence of his leg.

What I meant to convey is that B.D.'s life has been irrevocably changed,
that another chapter has begun. He is now on an arduous journey of recovery
and rehabilitation. What I'm hoping to describe are the coping strategies
that get people through this. There is no culture of complaint among the
wounded -- most feel grateful to be alive and respectful of those who have
endured even worse fates. But for many, a kind of black humor is
indispensable in fending off bitterness or despair, so that's what will
animate the strips that follow.

I have to approach this with humility and care. I'm sure I won't always get
it right, and I'm also sure people will let me know when I don't. But it
seems worth doing. This month alone, we've sustained nearly 600
wounded-in-action. Whether you think we belong in Iraq or not, we can't tune
it out; we have to remain mindful of the terrible losses that individual
soldiers are suffering in our name.


Here's an interesting story I got today:

little John and father Neal


By Alex Dobuzinskis
Staff Writer

BURBANK -- For John Cassady, the son of a road trip king from the Beat Movement, the trip from the Bay Area to Burbank's Method Fest film festival included a few bumps.

The mobile Beat museum that he and a friend brought to Burbank as a tie-in to festival entry "Beat Angel" was stranded overnight on the road, was evicted from parking near the downtown festival for lack of a permit, and part of the caravan was towed for being illegally parked in a North Hollywood lot.

"This is a great trip. Of course, it's a five-hour drive (that) took us two days," said Cassady, whose father was the late Neal Cassady -- the legendary folk hero of the Beat Movement captured in Jack Kerouac's "On The Road."

John Cassady, 52, of San Jose and his friend Jerry Cimino, 50, of Monterey made the trip in an Airstream motor home pulling a trailer Cimino sells Beat-related books from.

Cimino's 1987 Airstream, which he bought because it resembles a motor home from the Beat era of the 1950s, broke down on the 101 Freeway between King City and San Miguel on the trip south last week, forcing an overnight stay in front of a gas station. Having it fixed cost $567.

Once in town, the trailer was towed after Cimino and friends parked it and an SUV in the lot of a bank in North Hollywood. Cimino had to pay $267 twice, once for each vehicle.

In Burbank, the duo had to give up a prime parking spot on the Palm Avenue walk near the AMC 16 Theatre because they did not have a permit to be there.

"The road trip's fun," Cassady said. "It's an adventure. Actually, it was expensive for Jerry."

Cimino is still glad he made the trip. He quit his job in sales for American Express to run a museum about the Beat Movement in Monterey and tour with the mobile beat museum and book store.

"I'm just getting started, this is my shakedown run," he said.

Neal Cassady, who died in 1968 in Mexico, was a master of the road trip. In the 1960s, he drove the bus for psychedelic experimenter Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whom Tom Wolfe wrote about in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."

Son John Cassady has been on a few road trips himself, although until he was laid off from his job as support engineer in the high-tech industry, getting time off could be tough. Cassady said that now that he is older, a trip in a motor home is more his style.

"When you're 22, you can take a Volkswagen to Houston and run it all the way on three cylinders," Cassady said.

She was a strict observer, for self and servants, of Lent and Spring and all fast days and holy days; and the maid having fainted and needs be carried, in order to keep soul and body together, we put a morsel into her mouth, balm which grows easily in the garden and is very good for reviving a maid from a swoon in that it expels melancholy vapors, but first mix the decoction with honey for the plant's lemony smell is nicer than its taste.

-- Book of Days


Yas, that invigorating time of year when the drapes get pulled closed, the door slammed, the night lights lit, the program booted up in the computer, the tables strewn with receipts, cancelled checks, rolls of calculator paper, the ol' capn hunched over the keyboard, pencil bit in half, scowling at the screen, muttering, spits out the pencil shards, leaps up, shouts, "I hate this shit!" gets calming balm from assistant, MisSkypMam, cookies and warm milk, cool towel to the forehead, press on; two weeks to go.

MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2004

Lost: One Flying Pig
On Saturday March 20th tragedy befell Wiess College. Some malicious bastard cut the War Pig free and sent our giant, goldenrod symbol of all that is Team Wiess flying into the great beyond. If you know who did it or if it lands on you car/trailer/cow please email Team Wiess:


One large inflatable balloon in the shape of a pig with tusks. Color: Goldenrod or yellow. Markings include the words "TEAM WIESS" on the side in black block lettering. The pig was tied up at Rice University in Houston, TX. It's filled with helium and we're hoping that when it eventually leaks out the pig will fall back down without hurting anyone or damaging property, though "Trailer Crushed by Flying Pig" would be a fantastic headline.

SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2004


 Life is lush, life is rich,
life is springing ahead
with mirth, song and
protest and support
and basketball
and rockets
and daffodils
and speeches
and everyone getting with it,
for it and against it,
involved and aloof,
and meanwhile it rains.
Tears of a clown.
send in the clowns.
bomb them with feather dusters.
 acrobatics, best form of therapy
for all that ails, got us by the tails,
tales told by yiddiots
full of zounds and furious rantings
of evildoers getting comeuppance
and do-gooders getting come downers.
don't forget the stink bombs.

The steeper the prow the deeper the thrust or something like that
closed the channel fishing grounds. what will the anti terrorists think of next?
Lotsa wobblies in this yere logging camp. let nature rule. let doofs drool.
Went home and got plastered. plaster falling from the walls. plaster casts on legs. plaster casters laughing. we wander the trenches skulking and miserable. dreams trashed. longings thrashed. bubble up oh swamp gas and vent my mire.

I broke my leg right above the knee playing football my sophomore year in high school and was on crutches for six weeks. most embarassing moment was when I was coming down the stairs at school (we had a two story high school) and dropped my crutches and was left hanging onto the rail. then my girl friend happened to appear at the bottom of the stairs and brought me my crutches and I was so mortified she was no longer my girl friend.
I hope this doesn't conflict with the old adage it takes two rites to right a wrong. Or is it the other way around? I can never remember which so I don't try, I meander on.

Everyone find ten people who didn't vote in the last election and get those ten people registered and make sure they vote. Everyone do this, George the W is history.
Send this to everyone on your email list with the admonition they send it to everyone on their email list.
I knew that line wasn't right but I couldn't come up with the right line for the right time and that is always a pain in the behind.

--Capn Skybard


FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2004


John Swan does. His band, The Revelators, opened for Bo Diddley and then was Bo's backup band for the rest of the show. Lucky Swan we calls him becuz he got to talk to Bo and accompany Bo and exchange licks with Bo and to get to know Bo. So that the way it do go. Doncha know.

another myth debunked

We've all heard that one of the things on earth that can be seen by orbiting astronauts is the great wall of China. Turns out that isn't true at all because although the wall is long it isn't wide, and skypilot Gallagher relayed the info that, whilst traversing outside the atmosphere, he couldn't see the wall at all. As a result of this new information replacing old misinformation, all the schools in China and all the textbooks no longer teach the myth but have replaced it with the TRUTH. Will wonders never cease or will wonders always tease? Nothing like muscling in on the subject.

-- Capn Skyp.