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This blog is the exclamation point edition which uses up most of them for the remainder of the year! Note: This pales in comparison to the Mark Trail strip by Jack Elrod, where every sentence ends thus “!” if it’s not a question mark. Mr. Elrod needs to go into strip exclamation point addiction rehab. (Note that I exercised more restraint than Mr. Elrod and didn’t add a “!” after rehab.)
Back in October, 2013, I saw no less than three smoking-related cartoons in the St.Louis Post-Dispatch comics page on two consecutive days and planned to post them all on this blog for a laugh. This one, by cartoonist Wiley Miller, was one of them:
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But then I got distracted – a favorite pastime of mine! – and ended up losing the links to two of them.
SIDE DISTRACTION: It’s worth recalling that, despite significant gains in the past several years, those employed in casinos and some bars in metro St. Louis still have to endure secondhand smoke as part of the job description. And St. Charles City and County remain firmly part of the “Smoke-Me State!”
Well, patience (or procrastination) is a virtue because just yesterday I came across a strip and cartoon that are blog-worthy. So here they are, to start off another New Year.
The first appeared in yesterday’s For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston:
This took me back roughly 30 years. I was working at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co., now part of Boeing, and had gone into the very large cafeteria on the mezzanine floor of Building 101 where I had my lab. As soon as I entered I could smell noxious cigar smoke. This was mid-afternoon and the cafeteria was empty save for one individual in the designated smoking section located at the far end. I just turned around and left. Cigars are the worst!!!
Then in this just-received issue (Jan. 6, 2014) of The New Yorker magazine is this highly optimistic gem by cartoonist Farley Katz:
Bingo! I just remembered that one of the two lost cartoons was from the same St. Louis Post-Dispatch issue as the Non Sequitur cartoon above and I believe it was also For Better or For Worse. So I went back and …. well, I was wrong! But it prompted me to search for smoking Phil, who’s the brother of Ellen, the main female character. It turns out that Phil is modeled after cartoonist Lynn Johnston’s real-life brother, Alan. Thus does art mimic life. Here’s the first strip in a hilarious series featuring Phil breaking some news about his smoking: