Some Positives

More upbeat this morning on account of my finally taking the plunge and swapped out my keyboard.

After slightly obsessing over it after last week’s post, I took the opportunity of a payday to buy a mechanical one and, since it arrived, I’ve never been happier. I adore it. I am now actively looking forward to sitting down and writing. The sensation of the keys under my fingers is a genuine pleasure. Unless you spend long hours writing, it’s hard to explain the connection between the keyboard and the brain. I was brought up on the BBC micro and then the old IBM keyboards that you could make sing. They could take so much hammer, which suited me since I’ve always been a slightly heavy-handed typist. Ove the years, that style of keyboard was gradually replaced with the type with awfully soft and smushy keys. Every cheap keyboard you buy these days probably use a small rubber cap under the key. It’s a cheap mechanism that has absolutely no aesthetic feel. This new keyboard is mechanical and has springs under the keys. This is the first keyboard I’ve owned in decades that I can make sing. Can’t rate it highly enough.

The other reason for the better mood is that, unlike Ross Kemp, I’ve managed to get rid of the wasps without ending up in hospital looking like a goldfish that’s been botoxed. It took a while. Spraying the entrance hadn’t worked and neither had spraying foam through the hole. Yesterday, I found a long extendable branch cutter and, from a distance, slightly enlarge the hole aka ripped a panel off the shed so I could see deeper into the hollow. Then, last night, after dark, I went out and filled the interior with foam. This morning, not a single wasp, which I hope means I can finally open my windows again.

It’s a podcast day today but, before then, I also plan to publish Volume 3 of the cartoons. I still can’t get over the fact it was only two weeks since I published the second. I don’t know what I’ll do next. If I can maintain these surprising levels of productivity, should I do more cartoons? Should I write something (the keyboard says “yes”)? I have ideas but not sure how much motivation I have to carry them through. One idea I have is to do a book of cartoons around a theme or perhaps even a single figure…

Not that I have any indication that any of these will sell even a single copy but perhaps that’s not the point. I’ve been entertaining myself as much as anything. Not every cartoon is an absolute gem but there are a few in this book that make me happy.

I was thumbing through a book of cartoons by one of the UK’s most well-known gag cartoonist yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised at how many cartoons I disliked. That sounds mean of me but this is about my own quality meter. It cheers me to know that I’m not drawing purile 1970s style jokes, which rely entirely on an attractive woman saying something that some pitiful man interprets in a sexual way. It’s the “Ooh, Mr. Frobisher, my intray is well stacked” school of humour that I’d never draw. Others were simply really bad jokes, the sort that I probably wouldn’t even write down. Let me think if I can come up with one now…

Okay. “Looks like the dog wants to go out,” says the wife. The husband looks towards the dog who is already wearing a hat and coat. Terrible joke. Probably done a thousand times and not funny.

That’s not saying I don’t succumb to some obvious or even bad jokes but I’m always searching for the El Dorado of weird humour: the stuff that Kliban found when he drew his Pork cartoon — a man opening a bottle, which reads “Pork 1945” on the label. The cork popping out makes the noise “Pork”. I know it’s funny. I can’t explain why it’s funny. Those ideas are one in a hundred, perhaps even rarer, but when I find them… Well, I guess they’re the reason I stubbornly keep going.

2 thoughts on “Some Positives”

    1. I did but when I said that, we’d had weeks of cool weather. Then, one hot day on Friday (32 degrees) convinced me that I needed to be able to open my windows. Since you said the foam worked and it was only a fiver of Amazon, I thought it worth it. Seems to have worked. A few knocking around this morning but I understand that often happens, even if the bulk are destroyed. I’ve just given it another blast now and will do it again tonight. Just hoping there isn’t a second nest.

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It’s a cool domain name and it was available. Yes, I know. Available. Crazy, isn’t it?


Yes. It also helps that it’s also my favourite satire written by Alexander Pope, one of the most metrically pure English poets who also knew his way around a crude insult or two. If you’ve not read it, you should give it a try.

So this is satire, right?

Can’t deny it. There will be some. But it’s also an experiment in writing and drawing, giving work away for free in order to see how many people are willing to support a writer doing his thing. It’s the weird stuff that I wouldn’t get published elsewhere in this word of diminishing demands and cookie-cutter tastes.