Jen Bingham

Writer

Month: December 2015

Your Sunday Comic

This is pretty close to what you get if you need a pep talk from me.

From A Softer World

From A Softer World

Alt text: Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side

I didn’t make this cool comic! Click on the art for more.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ayn Rand

I’m turning left off a major intersection near a highway. One of those guys is on the median strip. His homemade cardboard sign says something I don’t bother to read. It’s four days before Christmas, 53 degrees, and raining lightly.

I don’t look at the guy very closely but he looks kind of like a douche and not particularly like he’s missing any meals. He reminds me of a car salesman.

I should mention that I generally consider standing at intersections to be a form of employment. This probably makes me a douche, but I certainly don’t think it a well paying or pleasant occupation. I’m not under the impression that standing by the side of the road nets a person fat cash and don’t think that they are driving away in secretly parked BMWs. I know nothing about the lives of the men and women I see standing around at intersections but they often look a lot more well put together than the homeless folks I see in downtown Indy or in front of the library. Or than some of my neighbors, to be honest.

But as I pull forward to turn, I get a better look at this particular guy and he just looks worn down by life. A little older than I thought. A little bit more like a Vietnam vet. I think about standing in the rain four days before Christmas and the fact that I have a new, safe car. I give him a micronod as I drive past. I think about going to the ATM at the drug store then debate on the logistics of how I’d get back to the intersection. It’s one of those complicated areas and would entail some doubling around on my part.

By the time I walk into the drug store, I’ve forgotten about him.

Then I go home, head out for a walk. It’s stopped raining now, but it’s soggy. I walk past the three car sales lots and the space that has KISMET on the front window with blue tape. It’s supposedly a performance space although I have only ever seen anything that looks like an official gathering once. I remember when I used to go all ages clubs and how annoying that must have been for the old people who lived near said clubs, although I don’t actually give a crap about KISMET. It can’t be worse than the car lots,

I cross the highway and a totally different intersection guy is standing there with his back to me, facing the off ramp, I don’t notice a sign. He might be the same guy that is there fairly often.  I actually only recognize about six of my neighbors so I don’t feel not recognizing this person reflects poorly on my character. Although not recognizing most of my neighbors probably does.

I’m still on the bridge when he turns and walks away from his post, crossing the bridge toward me, headed back into my neighborhood.  It’s just about five p.m. Quitting time. He throws a bag of potato chips onto the ground and starts to talk into a cell phone. He’s unshaven, with dingy brown hair and a ball cap. He looks similar to the very loud men who hang out on the porch two doors down from me. He looks neither put together nor worn down by life.

My eyes narrow a little bit. I feel myself turning ever so slightly more into my Republican uncle.

Your Sunday Comic

Maybe the real comic is  . . . YOUR MOM.

From Poorly Drawn Lines

From Poorly Drawn Lines

I did not make this cool comic. Click on the art for more.

Humble Brags in History

We all know humble brags exist today. But a burning question that now can be answered for the first time is whether they existed before. Short answer: Yes.

Let’s take a gander at the rock classic “I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart.”

Basically Eric is saying:

If you happen to be thinking about boning me, and FFS, of course you are, it’s 1983 and I’m Eric Clapton. Anyway, that sentence got kind of weird. Where was I?

Oh yeah. I need to warn you about something: I’m super cool. Like, I’m not even kidding. I don’t like lame stuff the way normal people do. I am just . . . super cool. Anyway, heads up. I wanted to warn you. I’m super honest like that.

Let’s go roll out in my ’57 Chevy and listen to some screamin’ guitar. Or are you too basic for that?

Your Sunday Comic

Fiction. It’s not real.

From VectorBelly

From VectorBelly

I did not draw this cool comic. Click on the link to see more.

Bread, Man

I stop by the bakery to get a loaf of bread for my friend’s birthday.

I have recently decided to be more friendly and forthcoming to strangers and to try to develop relationships with people in nearby stores instead of being scared of people all the time. In this same bakery yesterday, I bonded with the girl with lavender hair. Today, the girl has dark hair and seems distracted.

She is upset by the weather, she tells me. It’s December 12, about 70 degrees, and we’re in Indiana.

“What bothers you?” I ask. I’m not sure if the unseasonable warmth is bothersome to her because of allergies, global warming, or some other mysterious factor.

She gestures to the outside world.

“It shouldn’t be like this, it’s too warm. And we’re doing it to ourselves.”

“Oh, the global warming thing,” I say.

She nods.

“We’re doing it to ourselves,” she repeats. She chokes up a little bit. I look at her smooth, young skin.

I have opinions on the matter, but they’re kind of harsh. Like, I’m very glad that I chose not to have children because I don’t know how long this earth is going to sustain the shit we’re putting it through but I’m also too old to care as much as you do. Like, even if you bicycle to work every day and recycle your bottles, living in Western society is contributing to the problem because we’re taking everything from everyone else, every day. And I can’t even think about the fucking polar bears, not even one little thought.

“It’s an important issue,” I say, very gently.

There is this little pause in the air between us because I can see how sad she is and she knows it and we don’t know each other at all.

The bell on the door rings. A couple walks in. The pause goes away.

“I’m glad they’re teaching the children about it,” she says. “In school. About how to be green.”

“I’m glad too,” I say, but my voice is sad. I look at her carefully and hope she’s okay. “Have a good day.”

“You too,” she says.

I take my loaf of bread and put it in my backpack. I walk home.

Please Do Not Drive After Me to Explain Why I Shouldn’t Have Honked at You

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You are at a red light on a one way street. I pull up next to you. The road we’re on narrows into a one lane street just after the light. You decide not to turn right and put your turning signal on to get into the left lane, without moving.  I am in the left lane.

Your turning signal doesn’t obligate me to let you in, and there is no traffic behind us and no reason you couldn’t wait for me to pass. I honk at you lightly as you speed across in front of me. You are driving a BMW. You have blonde hair.

About a half a block later you put on your right turn signal, but stop in the middle of the road without turning or at least moving out of the way. I honk much more aggressively. You get out of the way slowly. I drive past. You roll down the window of your car as if I’m going to stop to chat about everything that’s been going on between us. I honk some more as I pass you. Honking is a lost art in Indianapolis and should be employed with a greater degree of vigor.

Behind me, I see you whip out into the street again and start to pursue me. I wonder if you have a gun. The traffic light in front of me turns red.

“Welp, this is how I’m going to die,” I think. I’m pretty bummed about it but also have this slight feeling of resignation. This is Donald Trump’s America, after all. Guns are everywhere and death can result from any slightly awry social interaction.

And did I need to honk that much the second time? I have to admit I overhonked. I have ideals, but maybe I don’t need to push them to the forefront at every opportunity.

Nonetheless, I’m annoyed enough by your behavior that I roll my own window down.  And so flustered that I roll down two different windows before I manage to roll down the front passenger side window. You’ve already pulled up next to me at this point.

I just stare at you.

“That was a one way street,” you say. You are not yelling. You have a rat face and look like you live in Brownsburg.  You’re trying to be reasonable. You probably want to tell your therapist about how well you handled this situation and were able to “express your truth.”

Girl, I have been there.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to pretend like you’re right.

“No, it wasn’t.”

“I couldn’t turn because it was a one way street,” you tell me again. “I put on my turn signal.”

“I live here,” I say. “It wasn’t.”

“It was a one way street, you pyscho bitch,” you say, breaking and speeding off.

By the way, I can continue to assure you that Virginia Avenue is not a one-way street.

And no matter what, you could have just given me the finger and left it at that. It’s a lot classier.

 

Your Sunday Comic

Sorry, I’m a day light and a dollar short with Your Narcissistic Sunday Comic.

From Poorly Drawn Lines

From Poorly Drawn Lines

I did not make this cool comic! Click on the art for more from this fine person.

Neko Atsume

Neko Atsume! It’s a game in which you attract cats! To your pretend backyard! It is incredibly static! And for some reason addictive!

Tonight, I found myself staring at the app on my phone. Hypnotic music played. One cat stood on the top of my cat tree. His butthole showed and he did not move. One cat slept next to a revolving cat toy I’d just purchased. Another played with a ball of string. And Snowball slept on the cat bed I’d just put back.

“Snowball really likes me,” I found myself thinking.

I downloaded the game two days ago. SNOWBALL IS NOT A REAL CAT.

Here is everything you need to know about Neko Atsume in just a few screen caps.

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Note that 1,680 edits were made between 11/2 and 12/3. That seems a lot for an online wiki about a cat game, but IDK.

 

IMG_5893

These comments, especially the first one.

 

IMG_5885

“I have gone through and updated everything with the exact English text, including the English names for all the cats.

 

IMG_5649

haha jk these are my real cats. i don’t care about them anymore.

 

 

 

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