Clangnuts is a cartoonist you may not have visited before, but he is definitely worth checking out. What really struck me is how he alternates between complete randomness and immediately relevant cartoons that mirror daily life. For example, consider the following cartoon …
You are probably wondering (and understandably so), “What establishments do you frequent in order for THAT cartoon to be relevant?”. OK, so I’ll concede that for most of you this probably falls in the ‘Completely Random’ category, but it immediately swept me back to an experience I had back in the late 90’s … it’s actually a pretty funny story:
For about a year, I worked in Beloit, Wisconsin as a consultant. Most people view Wisconsin as being full of cheery folks who have massively expanded waistlines from eating too many fried cheese curds (which I found to be amazingly delicious) and Oscar Mayer wieners. While this appeared to be true everywhere else in The Great Cheese State, Beloit was a different animal (although we did hang out with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile crew one night – you haven’t lived until you see the sun rise over a 12 foot high fiberglass hot dog from your motel room window ;)).
One Wednesday night we went to a highly recommended local restaurant. To my dismay, it was Karaoke night, and the establishment described to us as “The best after work restaurant and bar in Beloit” looked like the perfect setting for a bad Patrick Swayze movie.
We knew something wasn’t quite right when this creepy guy with a greased back mullet and missing upper canine tooth strolled up to us and said “Hey there … see that big red Ford F150 out by the street? It cost me $8,000, but I won’t have any problems covering the payments … see, it cost me exactly what I’ve won from these Karaoke contests … $100 each week for 8 weeks in a row since this place has reopened again … oh yeah.”
We all started snickering, and he made a strange/annoyed face and walked away, completely oblivious. Apparently they don’t teach math in Beloit, as the 6 or 7 others in his posse looked at us as if we were from the moon when we laughed.
Despite the fact that we were constantly being approached by similarly creepy locals with other odd stories and suggestions, what got us worried was that he said “since this place has reopened again”. So we asked around, and finally found someone who told us: “Every few months this place shuts down because of either a stabbing or a shooting, but don’t worry … it’s usually just a stabbing … and usually just because of some stupid argument over who won the Karaoke contest.”
We initially didn’t believe him until a cop strode in later and wearily retold the exact same story … then said “it’s actually really safe, I bring my family here sometimes … just don’t pick any fights.” Great. Not only do I HATE Karaoke at bars, but now the cop verified that we could get killed over it. Coincidentally, as the cop was finishing, two of the rowdy Chicago guys in our group went up to sing Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “I like Big Butts”, which apparently does not go over so well in a country loving Wisconsin bar.
A few jeers and angry looks from the locals was all it took for us to pay our bill and race back to the Holiday Inn Express. We didn’t even cheer our friends as they finished – particularly since the winner each week was determined by the enthusiasm of the crowd … we weren’t about to let our friends be the reason the restaurant shut down the next time.
I hadn’t thought of that story in years until I saw the above cartoon. Thanks Clangnuts for the memories, and for letting me use your cartoons! BTW – here’s another two of his cartoons that I thought were pretty funny:
Have a great day everyone, I hope you enjoyed this post (I know I did)!