Between rustiness, lack of time, and a frustration with the tedious nature of it, the cartooning aspect of this blog has grown increasingly hard for me to do.
This is part of the reason I go months without posting.
Some things just work so much better when there are pictures with them, but I sit down to draw and suddenly feel like a flat sack of flatty flat flatness.
Even now, I can barely manage to eke out these doodles on the most basic of Paint programs.
Writing is just so much faster, and easier.
It takes me two seconds to tell you that one of my new students is like a nearly blind, always angry J.J. from Good Times.
But it takes five hours to draw it:
Anyways, JJ can't seem to remember my name.
First he called me "Bro", then "Dog". He tried "Rob" for awhile, but he could tell something wasn't quite right.
At last he settled on "Brob", which is not even a name.
It just seems kind of forced, with pictures for no reason. Are you trying to be funny?
I don't know. I want to get the mania back, the rapid fire creative thinking that inspired my posts from four years ago. It's been gone so long and I miss it. Now I barely manage to post twice a year.
The smaller the grape, the sweeter the wine, as they say.
I don't want to be a sweet little grape. I want to be a giant disgusting watermelon that leaves a puddle of red water all over the kitchen counter.
Hmmm. You can't make these things happen, but you can be ready and waiting, primed for the lightning strike of a creative thought. Have you primed for the lightning?
Well, I started a journal with ideas for things to post on Twitter. Because Twitter is the home of witty banter and clever discourse.
I think you need to search your wheelhouse for another kind of jam.
Argh. I tried really hard. But the only tool in my toolbox is a very round knife made specifically for playdoh and people who can't be trusted.
We need to stop using management metaphors we hear in teacher inservices.
Help me! How do I get funny again?
You must go back to first principles. Has anyone around you farted recently?
I accidentally farted while walking around the block with JJ.
And he did something really strange. He bent down behind me and vigorously swirled my buttocks with his hand. I got the impression that he was trying to get the fart back in there.
He also said, "You nasty, Brob."
That's kind of funny, I guess. Anything else happen?
Not much. We passed a really big loading dock for like truck deliveries or something, and he got all excited, saying "Damn, that's a big garage. I gotta get my stuff over there and have me a garage sale."
See, now that vignette I would think of as mildly amusing, not really "funny" funny. Tell me more about JJ. Maybe once I have a better contextual understanding of the subject, I can appreciate your little stories a bit better.
Ok, let's see.
"Though he frequently gets angry, JJ is actually very good natured, and presents a child-like curiosity about the world around him."
That's how his paperwork describes him, anyways.
When we get new students, all we learn about them beforehand comes in the form of a few pieces of paper.
These "reports" are often vague, inaccurate, or from twenty years earlier, when the student in question was a toddler.
We must rely on our own experiences to fill in the blanks.
What the report on Ezra neglected to tell me was that, within the My Little Pony fan community, there are several subsets, one of which took a good hard look at the ponies and decided, Damn, you all horses is fine.
They fetishized elements of their horsiness; gave them heavy, swinging breasts and a cavalcade of genitalia.
The act of self-husbandry that invariably culminates the viewing of these saucy horses is referred to as "clopping".
Ezra is a devout clopper, an observation I will be adding to his paperwork. Then I'll write, see below, and include this picture:
Did you draw all that horse anatomy from memory?
Her cleavage doesn't line up with her udders.
They're not udders; they're teats. Horses have teats.
JJ's paperwork left out some important details, too.
Like the fact that he compulsively steals objects of marginal value.
I was on my way to the bathroom, whistling and doing a little soft shoe routine like I always do before having a BM, when I came upon JJ filling his silver parachute pants with as many toothbrush holders as he could fit in there.
Before I'd said anything, he bolted. Toothbrush holders spilled out over the top of his elastic waistband and slid down the legs of his pants. They clattered onto the floor.
I blocked the doorway with my body, but JJ did not even try to get past me. Laughing maniacally, he held his hands straight up in the air and yelled
"I STEAL THINGS BUT I BRING THEM BACK! I STEAL THINGS BUT I BRING THEM BACK!"
"Are you supposed to take things that aren't yours?"
JJ often does an about-face when he answers questions, usually signified by an abrupt shout of WAIT! or HOLD ON.
"Do you have any brothers or sisters, JJ?"
"Naw, man-WAIT!-yes I do. Contagia, Melanomia, Arijuana, and Ridge,"
"They live at home with you and mom?"
"Yeah-HOLD ON-no-WAIT! Sometimes they is living there."
I explain to JJ that he cannot steal. He nods agreeably, and a few minutes later steals a business card and a bottle of whiteout. A search of his backpack reveals he has also helped himself to a pair of broken sunglasses and a small spool of dental floss.
On one of our regular walks to the nearby park, I ask JJ why he steals so much.
"I don't know-WAIT!-I forgot." He seems lost in thought for a moment. Then he asks me if I am a good "holdhander."
"What do you mean?"
He scoffingly clicks his tongue, a reflexive reaction he has whenever he can't believe how stupid I am.
"You know what I mean, dog," he says, giggling conspiratorially. "Are you good at holding hands?"
JJ carefully enunciates each word, his voice almost at a whisper, then suddenly snatches my hand.
He has wide palms and long fingers that reach near to his knees. In order to hold hands comfortably with him, I have to cant my body to the right.
We walk along the sidewalk for awhile, thus entwined.