Smile and the world smiles with you…sometimes!

I walk to where I need to go on the FOB for two reasons: 1) I don’t rate important enough to get a NTV (non-tactical vehicle, which means regular vehicle to you civilians) and 2) I prefer to walk.  Really.  I like walking.  It allows me to think without distraction and I organize things I need to do, make observations of interactions around me, and/or think about things that make me either go “Why?” or make me laugh.

I happen to like the comic strip, “Pearls Before Swine” by Stephan Pastis.  It’s my kind of humor and wry observations of everyday things, wordplay, and the essential nonsense here and there.  It’s freakin’ hilarious!  I recommend that all of you reading this check out the Pearls Before Swine strip on, which is free, and Stephan Pastis’ blog on  The link is  Also, if it suits you, become a fan on Facebook.  No, I’m not getting paid to plug his comic strip or point you to his blog or anything!

I got the opportunity to meet Stephan here in Iraq when he and a small group of cartoonists, including Garry Trudeau who created “Doonesbury”, visited the troops.  They spent a few weeks traveling all around the Iraq theater and did the meet-and-greet as well as autographing strips or, for those who had any of their published book-editions of comics, their books.  It was a great, if brief, talk with someone I liken to and enjoy his work as much as Bill Watterson, “Calvin and Hobbes” creator.  That comic, “Pogo”, and now “Pearls Before Swine” are my favorites.  Yes, I enjoyed the wacky humor of Gary Larsen’s “Far Side”, too, but it was a one-panel thing and I like sustained humor with strips that are continued from week to week, even in short “episodes”.

Okay, so there’s the ground work for what I’m thinking about while walking to dinner this evening. I am still reading the earlier strips of “Pearls Before Swine” on and I came across one that just made me laugh.  Hard.  So, as I’m walking, I start to laugh.  I’m behind a couple people and they turn and look at me.  I am starting to laugh harder now, just thinking about the comic.  It doesn’t help that I’m by myself.  The two exchange worried looks and they mumbled something like “Weirdo”.  They were British, so I don’t know if that’s a normal term for them, but that’s what it sounded like.

If they knew that funniness  that is “Pearls Before Swine”, they’d understand.

Here’s the strip I was laughing about:

~ by kyodan75 on March 29, 2010.

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