Harvey Pekar is 70

October 8th, 2009 | Other Projects

A whole buncha cartoonists drew Mr. American Splendor for his birthday. Can you figure out which head is by me?

91 Responses to “Harvey Pekar is 70”

  1. ksbel6 says:

    I’m going with the first row, 2nd from the left :) Sorry about the smiley face hoh, just had to put it in!!

  2. noominal says:

    I got it on the first shot. It’s the eyes.

    http://www.smithmag.net/images/harveyheads/bechdel.jpg

  3. Feminista says:

    I got it,too;just looked like AB’s style.

  4. Kate says:

    Plus, there’s AB’s name on the right edge.

  5. Renee S. says:

    Gotta love the cross-hatching!
    Got it right away.

  6. cybercita says:

    right first time, tra la!

  7. Ready2Agitate says:

    bwannkkknnnnz – wrong. I’m so ashamed… ;)

  8. Acilius says:

    Looking at the thumbnails, none looked very Bechdelian to me. When I clicked on it and got the bigger view, it was obvious.

  9. Pam I says:

    And now I’m 60. From teenager to pensioner in one leap.

    Feels weird.

  10. hairball_of_hope says:

    TOTALLY OFF-TOPIC

    I almost fell out of my chair a minute ago. The breaking headlines from Bloomberg tell it all:

    Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

    I am not making this up. And I am not dreaming.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aSPIBVj3JZvk

    (BTW, Happy Birthday Harvey)

  11. Pam I says:

    @ Hairball – previous winners
    Henry Kissinger
    F W de Clerk

    and then there’s Tony Blair as Middle East Peace Envoy.

  12. Ginjoint says:

    Total FAIL. I so wanted to get it on the first try – “Choose wisely, choose wisely,” I murmured to myself. I agree with Acilius – only when I saw the whole image did it become obvious. Sheesh, and I call myself a Bechdel fan.

    And the tea just about fell out of my mouth when I saw this morning’s headline about Obama.

  13. Kat says:

    It’s ok, Ginjoint, I totally failed, too. Or, rather, I didn’t even hazard a guess. I’ll make excuses for myself: Maybe it’s yet another sign that I need to get to eye doctor.
    “Hi, Doc. I’m here because I can tell that my prescription needs adjusting…..what makes me think that? Well, I had trouble identifying Alison Bechdel’s art!”

  14. Renee S. says:

    ROCK ON BARACK!!!!!

  15. Renee S. says:

    @ Acilius….I love the word Bechdelian!

  16. Re the Nobel Prize: I think the award is mostly for turning the tide of Republican control of our government, which was/is as grave a threat to world peace as Hitler’s rise to power. Defeating fascism in its latest form, in other words.

    In which case, it should go to all of us because we’re who voted the monsters out of office. Obama is no fascist but he’s not the hope of the world, either. I wish they had given it to someone like Barbara Lee, who actually stood up against the insanity when no one else did.

  17. Diana says:

    Took me three shots, but I got it. I just thought back to the American Splendor work you did, and there we were.
    BTW, love the new lead-in page!

  18. Acilius says:

    @ReneeS: Thanks!

    My explanation for the awarding of the Peace Prize to Mr O is that the Norwegian Nobel Committee was afraid that if he would bomb the Moon, he might bomb them next. I ranted about this on my blog, so I won’t go on about it here.

    I will quote Congressman Alan Grayson’s line about Republican opponents of Mr O, spoken last night: “If Barack Obama has a BLT sandwich, they’ll try to ban bacon.” To which my reply is as follows:

    Mmm, bacon…

  19. Acilius says:

    Happy birthday, Pam!

  20. Ready2Agitate says:

    Happy 60th Pam Isherwood!

  21. I’ve been mucking around in my own past all day, and only just read the news. Holy Swedish Fish, Batman!

    And happy birthday, Pam.

  22. Metaphysical says:

    Got it on the first try. Congrats Harvey and Barack.

    (Also, out of curiosity–am I the youngest reader of DTWOF and this blog? I’m 14, been at it since I was 12.)

  23. Lenore says:

    That headhunt took me way too long. (Love the new format, by the way! Especially Moe And Syd under “books.” Too cute!)

  24. Ian says:

    Happy Birthday Pam I! Hope you have/had a splendiferous day! How’re you celebrating the great occasion?

    It was quite easy to find out which was AB’s Harvey Head – when I scrolled over the grid of heads the name of the artist popped up! I have to say though that I’m not entirely sure I would have guessed otherwise.

    It was quite funny about Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize. I’d just finished saying “so basically he got it for not being George Bush” to a pal when the pundit on Radio 4 news said exactly the same thing! That, not putting missiles on the Russian border after all and presumably not planning to bomb Iran!

  25. Xena Fan says:

    I failed. It took about seven tries to find AB’s work.

  26. Jean says:

    Don’t be hard on yourself, Xena. I gave up and just started at the top and started shuffling through them(1 click) to find the AB one. Then I moved on and was awestruck by the number of contributors.

  27. Kat says:

    So…..what confuses me is that the nomination process for Nobel prizes began just 2 weeks after President Obama took office….so at that point, what had he done? Is what Ian says, and the prize is for not being Bush?

  28. Kat says:

    Is *it* what Ian says….oops.

  29. Pam I says:

    Thanks all for the good wishes – I failed to arrange a suitably spectacular single event for this b’day so have five different mini-events with different friends, inclusing one restaurant on the top deck of a double-decker bus. Calorie intake about 50,000 by Monday.

    60 is weird, has the most cultural baggage so far, 50 just seems kind of half way. 60 should mean big changes, retiring, but I’m not, it all goes on as ever. But I do have a delicious new Freedom Pass, ie all my travel on all systems in London is free. And all buses are free nationwide (a recent innovation). There are some great stories emerging of old ladies like me travelling cross country on a string of little local buses. Maybe next year.

  30. Ginjoint says:

    Hey, happy birthday, Pam! I’m very glad you’re here. And Metaphysical – yeah, I think you may be the youngest. Fourteen. Jesus – I could, technically, be your grandmother, and I’m 42! (And three quarters.) Speaking of which (time getting away from us, that is), check out the latest xkcd strip:
    http://xkcd.com/647/
    I often wonder what other cartoonists think of the success of that strip/site. It has the most primitive drawing style, and yet it’s so popular. Obviously, the intelligence behind it is a huge draw (har!), but it must be frustrating for those cartoonists who have vastly more artistic talent but a much smaller audience.

    I’m still reeling over this damn Obama thing.

  31. Ellen O. says:

    I like that Alison has at least three distinctive styles
    1. classic DTWOF style
    2. photographic rendering style, as seen throughout Fun Home
    3. quick sketch style

    Not sure which one of these to look for, it took me three guesses. Though the third one felt the most right when I saw the image larger and away from the rest.

    Cool project.

  32. Acilius says:

    @Ginjoint & Metaphysical: I thought of that xkcd strip too! I teach in a college. So my students are “permanently 18,” as Ginger said of her students in a DTWOF strip that probably came out when they were being born. I’ve had the same job for the last 13 years, from the age of 26 to my current age of 39. So it’s hard not to feel like they’re Dorian Gray and I’m the portrait. Anyway, glad you’re here, Metaphysical! You fit in very well.

  33. Alex K says:

    @24: Ah, Ian. Yes. A pat on the back for not being George Bush.

    @16: Maggie, thank you. I don’t come up with some aspects of the bigger picture myself. Not sceptical enough, not thoughtful enough. But your comments often set me back in my chair, thinking: Well, I missed that, yet… of course!

    Friends in Hungary commented: Some prizes you have to be clever enough to turn down.

  34. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Alex K (#33)

    “Some prizes you have to be clever enough to turn down.”

    There is only one person who turned down the Nobel Peace Prize, Le Duc Tho. He was jointly awarded the prize with Kissinger in 1973, but he declined it because there was still no peace in his country.

    Of course, along with the list of undeserving winners that Pam listed above is the glaring omission of Gandhi as a winner.

    Interesting read on the first 100 years of the Nobel Peace Prize here:

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/articles/lundestad-review/index.html

  35. hairball_of_hope says:

    Re: xkcd

    I like the mouseover comments on xkcd. Sometimes they are funnier than the comic itself.

    Case in point, the Vista mouseover comments on the Linux user implanted USB port strip:

    http://xkcd.com/644/

  36. Kate L says:

    I thought that I was posting here, but I posted on Alison’s last blog that my friend does NOT have cancer. She got the good news this week after getting to worry about it for days (and all last weekend). I know Ginjoint saw my original post (thanks for your kind remarks, Ginjoint), but I wanted to make sure that everybody saw it.

  37. Ian says:

    Oh Kate L, that’s very, VERY good news! The relief must be so great! Always good to hear that someone’s well, even if it’s somebody I don’t know.

  38. Ted says:

    Ginjoint, you’re still a kid! I’m old enough to be Metaphysical’s Grandfather. As a matter of fact I am attending my 50th High School reunion this Saturday. Lots of lies and faulty memories. One of my classmates is the lead lawyer on the suit to overturn Prop 8 in California and has not lost a step.

    Metaphysical you write well. A rare commodity on the interwebs these days. This site being an exception with some very well written people. By the way are you a private school kid?

  39. Ali says:

    AB – I love portraits so thank you very much it was a real pleasure to see such a plethera of works.
    It was like a wonderful exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery – my favourite!
    I love your different styles and this had a softness about it. I am constantly amazed how marks on paper can communicate so much.
    It almost inspires me to blow the dust of my sketch pads and charcoal and create. The issue I have is it is a definite thing – in days of word-processing CAD and digital images – to commit yourself to that mark on that page seems too fundamental somehow – sounds like I should stop analysing and get sketching!!

  40. Pam says:

    Alison, you were mentioned in a review in the Forward of Robert Crumb’s illustrated Book of Genesis: http://www.forward.com/articles/116232/

    Specifically: “In terms of sales, his work is dwarfed by the superheroes and, in comic art prestige. Art Spiegelman, and a short list of others including Alison Bechdel and Marjane Sartrapi may have displaced Crumb.”

  41. Ali says:

    Which are your favourite pekar portaraits? Obviously taken that Alison’s would be top. How about we say which ones we like and why? I’m going to click there now and then put my two penneth worth. I will be expecting input from Ian with his Art History hat on!

  42. Ali says:

    Ok not so easy – bearing in mind it takes me months to decide to pick up a piece of charcoal – it is going to take me a while to choose which of many many portraits are my favourite – let alone why. I can say the ones I don’t like but that is just not positive enough – so the challenge is out.
    Which are your favourites AB and why?

  43. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Pam (#40)

    Ach, Der Forvertz… once upon a time The Forward (Der Forvertz) was The Jewish Daily Forward, and it was a daily Socialist-leaning newspaper published in Yiddish. These days, it is a weekly newspaper published in English, with a mostly conservative political theme that is so far removed from its original roots as to be unrecognizable as Der Forvertz.

    The miracle of the Internet allows for a Yiddish online edition (yiddish.forward.com), but a quick trip to Google’s translation services shows how different the Yiddish content is from the English webpage. Much more right wing on the Yiddish side, and the English side is plenty right wing on its own.

    The English version still has some vestiges of its social justice roots, however. Note this article on how Jewish communities are debating how to deal with the Phelps wackos:

    http://www.forward.com/articles/116261/

    Der Forvertz also owned a Yiddish-language AM radio station in NYC, WEVD (call letters were for the first Socialist US Presidential candidate, Eugene V. Debs). The radio in my grandparents’ apartment was always tuned to WEVD.

    Forvertz memory…

    I recall a day nearly 40 years ago when my family was in the back office of the cemetery monument salesroom, selecting a stone for a grave. The ancient-looking salesman noticed my aunt staring at his copy of Der Forvertz on the desk, and they started talking about the paper (in Yiddish, of course). He was quite pleased to find someone under the age of 50 who could read Yiddish (my aunt was the only one in the family who had attended Yiddishe schule (Yiddish school).

    He motioned us to the rear of the office, where there were rows upon rows of file cabinets, each filled with back issues of Der Forvertz, probably all the way back to the 1920s. He pulled an old yellowed copy at random from one of the cabinets and asked my aunt to read it. Her halting schoolgirl Yiddish came through, and she passed the test.

    As a teen, I would occasionally buy a copy of Der Forvertz and read it while transliterating in my head, so maybe I understood about a quarter of what was on the page. I had hoped this would give me some ability to speak Yiddish beyond the baby talk, counting, and basic words my grandparents taught me, but alas it did not.

    De-clique-ification note to non-Yiddish speakers/readers: Yiddish is a Germanic language most closely related to 16th century High German. It has borrowings from Hebrew and Slavic languages, and was the language of the Jewish people who lived in Europe (except the Iberian peninsula) until the mid-20th century. It is written in Hebrew letters, from right to left. Nearly all European Yiddish speakers were wiped out during WWII. These days, the remaining Yiddish speakers tend to be Chasidic and Orthodox Jews in the US and Israel, thus the rightward shift in politics and the coverage in The Forward.

  44. Metaphysical says:

    @Ted: Thanks! Writing is definitely my thing (that and theater). And no, I’m a proud public-schooler.

  45. Jenna says:

    Got it on my second guess! Yay!

  46. Pam I says:

    @ HoH #43 re the Phelphses – i love the idea of using them for fundraising – people pledge $$ for every minute the nasty ones stand outside with their placards. Neat. Could be applied to other ‘free speech’ type dilemmas.

  47. Ian says:

    @Ali (41): Don’t take the mickey! I’ve only just started!

    I have to say that apart from AB’s head, naturally, I’m most drawn to Tom Galambos’ and Dov Torbin’s portraits. Galambos seems to capture some geniality and empathy in Pekar’s face, as well as being a very skillful drawing. I actually would’ve picked Dov Torbin’s as AB’s believe it or not. There’s something about the dissatisfaction in the mouth that I’m sure I’ve seen in AB’s work. It reminds me of a Mo frown.

    AB’s portrait reminds of her earlier work, and the two strips she illustrated for Harvey Pekar printed in the Inedible Alison Bechdel, before AB started using thicker outlines for her characters.

  48. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ian (#47)

    “…printed in the Inedible Alison Bechdel…”

    Inedible? My, what an interesting Freudian slip.

    (… goes back to wondering who swapped the Tabasco sauce for Higgins ink…)

  49. Ready2Agitate says:

    >>I actually would’ve picked Dov Torbin’s as AB’s believe it or not. (Ian #47)

    Yup – embarrassing, but that’s the one that I first picked at AB’s (albeit I was internetting very quickly at the time and all…)

  50. Ready2Agitate says:

    (they may change places, but it’s one of the very last Pekar-heads : )

  51. Ted says:

    #50 R2A, Tres droll pun, I am ROTFLMAO.

  52. Ian says:

    @HOH (48): AB once sent herself up in her own strip, by calling her own Indelible AB title the “Inedible Alison Bechdel” on the cover of one of the books on the bookcases in Madwimmin that you always used to see. The little spoof titles were one of the features of the strips I liked best. So when AB put “Inedible” in the strip, it just stuck in my mind and I automatically use that instead of the book’s proper title.

  53. Andrew B says:

    Ian, I thought that must be what you were referring to. The book titles were always fun, as were the newspaper headlines. Another favorite book title was something like “Anthology Squared: The Best Selections from Other Anthologies”. I don’t think I have the title exactly right but that was the idea.

  54. Ready2Agitate says:

    I remember when she spoofed her own title.

  55. Ali says:

    Talking about mixing words up for amusing puns… I have dysphasia and today I asked someone if they had safely removed their dick from my hole. Mixing up stick and disk as in memory stick. I suppose it equals when I was in bed and asked my partner to pass me the cucumber meaning newspaper. I will not be allowed to forget either!!??!!

  56. Acilius says:

    We’ve certainly drifted far from what we all know to be Topic A on every thread around here, which is bacon. To remedy this, I link to an argument against putting bacon on doughnuts.

    http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/2009/10/dessert.html

  57. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Acillius (#56)

    Very interesting article, and of course it’s a maple-glazed bacon apple doughnut, so the underlying food themes of this blog, maple syrup and bacon, are taken care of in one bite.

    But for my edification, nothing beats this little bit of TMI contained therein:

    “Chinese dates with ‘snow frog,’ ??. Snow frog is the poetic name given to frog fallopian tubes, an ingredient which, you’ll be happy to know, is not nearly as disgusting as it sound, mainly serving to provide a little texture.”

    Having dissected my share of amphibia over the years, I can’t even imagine how many frogs it would take to make this dish. Frog fallopian tubes are quite small. How much texture could they add, for all the work required to get a decent-sized quantity, that couldn’t be had with some less exotic piece of a larger animal?

  58. Ted says:

    Do any of you watch Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on the food channel? The comet cafe in Milwaukee WI serves bacon with everything. On Sundays you can spend $2.50 on drinks and get a free bacon basket!

    thecometcafe.com

  59. Ready2Agitate says:

    oh my, Ali, I am laughing hysterically! :)

  60. j.b.t. says:

    Did folks see the Rachel Maddow bit on Obama and the Nobel prize? Enlightening and positive. Ginjoint – check it out – it may help you get your head around it. It helped me. Plus Rachel is so hot…

    Re Obama: my brain keeps thinking the words “eyes on the prize!” Ha!

  61. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ali (#55)

    You must be communing with the author of xkcd… check out today’s strip:

    http://xkcd.com/649/

  62. Ali says:

    @hoh Not sure I get it but it sure seems funny. How are you my dream woman of pratical goddess poportions?

  63. Ali says:

    No it is not my dysphasia – just my bad typing
    HOH is of course a practical goddess not a pratical one

  64. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ali (#62,63)

    (…blushes sheepishly…)

    Uh, I’m no goddess. More like a god-damn-mess. Still in job limbo, waiting to hear on my latest attempts to hang on to a paycheck, while the countdown clock is ticking away.

    The xkcd joke refers to the antistatic wrist strap worn by folks who work on sensitive electronic gear. For very sensitive equipment, there’s a whole range of stuff that tech folks use, including conductive floor mats and table surfaces, grounding straps that run from the heel of one’s shoe to the conductive floor surface, and the ever-present ESD (electrostatic discharge) wrist strap that has one and sometimes two conductors to ground (with a 1 megaohm resistor inline for safety) literally tethering the user to ground, with an assortment of conductive testers and gizmos to ensure that static doesn’t zap the electronics.

    Linguistic note: UK and Commonwealth folks would call it earth and earthing, not ground and grounding (two peoples separated by a common language), but it’s the same thing.

    Anyhow, the idea of confusing two different types of protection (condom and ESD wrist strap) had me in stitches, and it seemed so much like the functional equivalent of your dysphasic malapropisms.

    Of course, if I were in bed with someone who asked me to pass the cucumber, no telling what might have happened. Definitely I wouldn’t have been wearing antistatic gear, so the sparks would have flown. ;).

  65. hairball_of_hope says:

    Ok, here’s one for the UKers…

    I’m reading this article about a Parliament panel investigating pay disparities between women and men in the financial services industry.

    The deputy chair of Credit Suisse blames it on employment laws that exist to protect women (e.g. 52 weeks of maternity leave, and unlimited penalties for sex discrimination) which supposedly scare off employers from hiring women, and on the choices women themselves make in their careers.

    Quoting from the article:


    Nichola Pease, deputy chairman and former chief executive of the division of Credit Suisse Group AG, said companies are scared away from hiring women because penalties for successful sex discrimination claims are unlimited and the U.K. offers 52 weeks of maternity leave compared with 12 weeks in the U.S.

    “A year maternity leave is too long, and sex discrimination claims that run into 10s of millions of pounds are ridiculous,” Pease told the Treasury Committee, a cross-party panel of lawmakers overseeing economic policy.

    The committee is investigating why women in the financial services industry earn less than men and gain fewer executive-level jobs.

    A report in April for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said the pay gap between men and women working in fund management, stock broking and futures trading is as high as 60 percent, with a 79 percent difference in bonuses.

    The kicker? The deputy chair of Credit Suisse making these claims is herself a woman.

    Why hasn’t she been run out of town on a rail?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=axq3ov2ElRV0

  66. Kat says:

    Hi all,
    Please lift up good vibes, prayers, whatever you’ve got to Maggie Jochild. She was admitted to the hospital quite suddenly and will be needing surgery in the next couple days.
    Details have been posted to her blog.

    Donations are also hugely appreciated.

  67. Ian says:

    @hoh (65): Because the woman’s been hired in order to make the boys look good and so the companies concerned can have a woman saying these things. I thought maternity leave was 6 months, not 1 year. Shows how much I know! The City (we call the banking district “The City” pretty much like you refer to “Wall Street”) is still VERY much an old boys’ club and naturally very conservative.

    @Kat (66) I’m really sorry to hear that. Sending positive healing vibes through the ether as we speak.

  68. Ginjoint says:

    OMG, Kat! Thanks so much for the info – I went to her blog for more info. This looks quite serious. Yeah, if anyone here can spare some coin, Meggars needs some help.

  69. Acilius says:

    @Kat: Thanks for the info! I’ll see what I can do, Paypal @ MetaWatershed-wise.

    @h_o_h: “The deputy chair of Credit Suisse making these claims is herself a woman.

    Why hasn’t she been run out of town on a rail?”

    Well, I don’t know. While it may be true that the laws in question were written by people who intended to protect women from discrimination, there’s nothing to guarantee that a law will have the effect its drafters intended. I suppose we can all think of laws that have had effects opposite to those which were intended by their framers. So for all I know the antidiscrimination laws she’s criticizing may in fact have made discrimination worse.

  70. Martha says:

    On behalf of Maggie Jochild, Metawatershed and the Group News Blog gang:

    Maggie is having major emergency surgery Friday 10/16. The outcome looks good, but recovery will be difficult. Details and updates available here:

    http://www.groupnewsblog.net/2009/10/maggie-jochild-in-hospital-for-major.html

    http://maggiesmetawatershed.blogspot.com/

    Hold her “in the light” or whatever is best wishes for you.

    Her long-time best pal, Martha

  71. Pam I says:

    @ HoH – somewhat disingenuous claims re maternity leave. The employer pays 90 per cent of earnings for the first six weeks, then up to £123.06 ($200) for 33 weeks; they can reclaim most of this from the state. Mother can take an extra 13 weeks unpaid, ie a year in all. There are proposals to make the last six months transferrable to the father. (Don’t quote me, I jsut looked this up as I had no idea of the current state of the art – my priority now is pensions info.)

    Cases paying out £millions are – um – unheard of, except where there was much more than sex discrimination going on.

    I wonder if those bankers are grateful that their mums took a few days off from the salt mines to pop them out?

  72. Mentor says:

    [Note to Martha#70: In case you were wondering what was going on, I saw that you sent a couple of versions of your note, the earlier version exceeded the “one URL” limit imposed by WordPress. It appears that you then resent the message with one of the URLs remove, and this message was accepted. I’ve gone ahead and approved the earlier, longer message and “unapproved” the later, shorter version. If you see an issue with this, please let me know.]

  73. Kate L says:

    Woah! I’m just getting over three days of the worst flu I’ve ever had! I think I was really getting woozy during the worst of it, too. Yesterday afternoon, I was at home watching the cable news networks, and most of them seemed to have continual coverage of a runaway ballon. The other cable news network that I get had on a man in a buzz-cut who was crying for the “good old days” in America. But as every American who lived through the 60’s knows, the good old days weren’t always so good. As evidence of that, I present this link to a blast from the American past. Just because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that the states cannot deny a marriage license to interracial (heterosexual) couples doesn’t mean that there still are not judges who try to do just that. I think that this Associated Press news story from New Orleans shows that even once a civil right is won, it can still come under attack.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091016/ap_on_re_us/us_interracial_rebuff

  74. Acilius says:

    @Kate L: Glad you’re feeling better!

    That Louisiana story is amazing. Here’s the funniest thing I’ve seen anyone saying about it so far:
    http://tinyurl.com/yzpr5l7

  75. Renee S. says:

    Just read the Louisiana biracial marriage story.
    WTF?

  76. rinky says:

    I thought I was pretty damn clever getting it first try but looks like a lot of us have got an eye for Alison’s style. At first I thought it was going to be difficult though because it wasn’t obvious.

  77. Kat says:

    Yeah, I posted the biracial marriage story on Facebook, with a “How the hell is this still happening in the year 2009″ reaction.

    One guy responded “No worries. They’ll win tons of money in the lawsuit.” Seriously, dude?? Perhaps I should rethink our facebook friendship….He tried to explain his way out of it, but I’m not convinced.

    If you haven’t checked Maggie’s blog today, it appears that her surgery went well. *exhales*

  78. Ian says:

    I just checked in here to see if there was news of Maggie. That’s good if surgery went well. I’ll head over to her blog to see the latest.

    Something to cheer people up: has everyone seen the Cat Genie?

    http://www.catgenie.com/

    In my experience, most cats would see it churning and never go near it again!

  79. Pam I says:

    @ Ian, that cat thing is grotesque. $400 for the deluxe version, produced presumably in China for all those squeamish Mercans who can’t deal with body fluids. If you want a cat and keep it indoors, you deal with its waste. Otherwise, get a budgie.
    I prefer the litterkwitter: http://www.litterkwitter.com/en/index.php . Don’t look if you’re about to eat.

  80. Kat says:

    The Cat Genie thing looks like it would just fling the litter backwards, arcing over the machine and all over the place…..

    I agree with Pam, get a budgie.

  81. Renee S. says:

    Will the Cat Genie give us 3 wishes?

  82. Ian says:

    @ReneeS: Yes, it will. You’ll wish your cat would use it; you’ll wish it would work properly, and you’ll wish you could get your money back when it goes haywire and starts firing cat litter all over the bathroom!

  83. Pam I says:

    Allow me to introduce – the pet buggy

    or if you’re off fell walking, see also the alternative – the pet sling.

  84. hairball_of_hope says:

    The granddaddy of self-cleaning litterboxes is the Littermaid:

    http://www.littermaid.com/

    I think many cats would be spooked by some automated litterbox gizmo. My cat certainly would have.

    My late feline had very simple tastes in litter and litterboxes – clean and cheap. He didn’t care for any of those fancy cat litters made of alternative materials (buckwheat husks, corn cobs, recycled newspapers), and definitely did not care for any perfumed litter. He would indicate his displeasure with the litterbox by using the floor right next to the box. So I stocked up on cheap generic clay cat litter, mixed in a little baking soda, changed it twice a week, and we were both happy with the arrangement.

    I can’t imagine sharing the toilet with the cat. What if you both have to use it at the same time? And won’t it smell like cat piss? Yuck. I suppose folks who have multiple bathrooms can dedicate one to the feline(s).

    I knew a woman who had trained her cat to use the tub. She put some shredded newspapers in the tub for poop, and the cat pissed in the tub. Totally disgusting. She had only one bathroom, which reeked of cat piss and vinegar (her idea of cleaning the tub involved rinsing it with white vinegar).

    Really, how hard is it to scoop a litterbox daily and dump it once or twice a week? Perhaps if one is disabled or infirm, one of these alternative litterbox things might be useful, but for the vast majority of able-bodied persons, this is just more overpriced unnecessary crap that we import from China.

  85. hairball_of_hope says:

    Those of you who haven’t made it over to Maggie’s blog for an update really should click on the link in post #70. According to the nurse Jesse spoke to, Maggie put in her own NG (nasogastric) tube. Wow.

    If you’re not familiar with the NG tube, this thing is about two feet long, threads through one’s nose, down the back of the throat, through the larynx, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. Patients usually gag when the tube goes down the throat, and I am TOTALLY blown away that Maggie inserted this thing herself.

    I think she has a new career of sword-swallower in her future.

  86. Ian says:

    @HOH: I too am blown away and amazed. However, the news did ever-so-slightly put me off my morning crumpets … (It’s 8:45 am here in the UK).

  87. Pam I says:

    To close off any further catpoop discussion before lunchtime – the cat who flushes . All gone.

  88. hairball_of_hope says:

    I’m convinced that the bathroom is the great feline playroom.

    Felines are often fascinated by watching water swirl down the drain, so a cat entertaining herself/himself by flushing the toilet seems like a natural extension.

    My cat never flushed (and I always kept the lid closed), but he did think it was great fun to unroll the entire toilet paper roll into a pile on the floor, shred it, take a nap in the pile, and then carry toilet paper shreds all over the house.

    And for some reason, cats like to sleep in sinks.

    http://www.catsinsinks.com/

  89. Kat says:

    “My cat never flushed (and I always kept the lid closed), but he did think it was great fun to unroll the entire toilet paper roll into a pile on the floor, shred it, take a nap in the pile, and then carry toilet paper shreds all over the house.”

    Funny….the 3 year olds in my class do very similar things if we don’t monitor bathroom time.

  90. Darren Zieger says:

    re: the news from Louisiana: I caught a segment on that last night on CNN, and my jaw dropped so hard I nearly dislocated it.

    On the bright side, no one seems to be arguing in favor of the Jerkoff of the Peace’s right to be such a flaming bastard.

    Also, this seems like the perfect opportunity to (as I often do, here) promote the amazing songs of Roy Zimmerman.

    Summer of Loving” commemorates the historic “Loving v. Virginia” decision that put an end to the last of this country’s miscegenation laws, and ties that great moment in civil rights in with the current struggle for same-sex marriage. It’s both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply moving, and it is by a wide margin the best “Mamas & the Papas” pastiche I’ve ever heard.

  91. Ready2Agitate says:

    HoHope, I think your cat was reincarnated right here in my own home. Nellie-boo is her name… ; )