#VegetablesForBroccoli: Turned Earth by David the Good

Mild-mannered soil scientist Jack Broccoli is an unlikely candidate for James Bond-esque action hero. But double-digging turnip beds has toned his physique. The Filipino Butcher Masters martial arts exercise video series has honed his warrior mindset. So when Jack is targeted by the sinister agents of F.A.D.A.M., he’s ready:

As he day-dreamed about fighting off a horde of ninjas with a spading fork, Jack suddenly heard a click at the window of the room. Then another, followed by a scratching sound, as if the glass were being cut. Then a piece of glass fell to the carpet, and the window swung open through the curtains.

A man stood in the room with him ….

The man was the same size as Jack, but he had a defensive stance, which made Jack wonder if he was overmatched. Maybe he just came to take the TV. The man said something through the mask to Jack in badly accented English. It sounded like “Ukon wis mao”.

“I’m not sure what you said, “Jack replied, as his eyes darted around the room, looking for something he could use as a weapon. “Do you want to take the TV?” The man shook his head and took a step toward Jack.

“UKONWISMEAOW!” he commanded.

“Yukon whiz meow?”

The man ripped off his mask. He must be Korean, Jack thought, though to his undiscriminating eye, he might also be Japanese, Laotian, Cambodian, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Tibetian, Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Pacific Islander, or Cherokee.

“You come. With me. Now!”

“Out the window?” Jack said incredulously.

“No, out the door!” the man snapped.

Okay. Maybe not completely ready.

If you read just one hilariously epic gardening spy thriller this year: Read Jack Brocolli #1: Turned Earth.

Addendum: Despite the heavy-duty action scenes and ancillary Bond babe hotness, this is a book you can give to your 14-year-old daughter. Ours loved it.

Punishment.

Original fairy tales mete out the very best punishments for character flaws.

In The Three Little Pigs the first two pigs import cheap Chinese building materials with which they build their houses. They get eaten by the Great Canadian Wolf, ravenously unhappy with ongoing NAFTA negotiations. The Wolf, thinking the third pig has foolishly imported bricks from Mexico, is eventually trapped in an American-made cast iron pot and is himself devoured. Lesson: Don’t be a glutton. When it comes to bacon, leave the third pig for someone else.

In the original Rapunzel, a nameless Prince climbs the tower using the hair of the woman he loves. As he ponders why he didn’t use the stairs, Dame Gothel leaps forth from behind a curtain:

“Your Rapunzel was rescued not an hour ago by Prince Chad! But I would be thrilled to be your rescue–ee, sweetie!” Wink. Wink. Cackle-Flem-Hack. Big Toothless Grin.

Nameless Prince leaps from the window, landing in a tangle of blackberry bushes. Thinking it will ease the misery of seeing the hideous crone without her makeup, he blinds himself with the thorns. As he staggers off into the wilderness, he now ponders why he didn’t drink a bottle of cheap scotch instead. Lesson: Sometimes the second mouse gets moldy cheese.

The most valuable life-lesson comes from CinderellaAschenputtel, in the original German – by the Brothers Grimm. The eldest step-sister (let’s call her “Allison”) has a college education and reads the most fashionable magazines. She knows what she likes, and she likes fancy dresses, fancy shoes, fancy mansions, and flawless maid service. She knows how to coerce others to provide those things for her and she deserves them. Isn’t she the one atop the highest pedestal?

Allison manipulates her mother, her poor migrant step-sister, and the prince  who’s selling expensive glass slippers. The prince negs her by mocking her gigantic cloven hooves. She shows him!  Grabbing an axe, Allison chops off her toes.

“Hah! The fresh blood will provide the lubricant I need to slip these past my misshapen Cuneiform bones!”

It doesn’t. Lesson: If you want to end up completely crazy, go to college.

In the spirit of these old tales, we’ve come up with an old-school punishment for our miscreant cartoon characters: the Weed Killer Stick. We’re not sure what the poor radish in today’s comic did to deserve his suffering, but rest assured it tastes terrible. It is also perfectly safe. Neither the FDA, the EPA, nor CIA would ever approve of a product for use by the public that wasn’t fully tested, vetted, imported, and marketed, would they?

He is also building up his immunity to the poison.

Astute readers may have spotted a contradiction in our Weed Killer Stick. You are clearly not Churchians.

–> Quizzer

The Snottening Strikes Back

I’m not a particularly superstitious spork, but clearly a curse is afoot.

It started in mid-April when The Snottening rampaged through our household. As the sole bastion of health during that incursion, I made sure the cold medications stayed in good supply and the Kleenex-to-trash conveyor belts were oiled up. Squeaky belts are not conducive to sleep when the coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and other assorted biological sounds that accompany a Snottening outbreak are already on the clock.

Oh, to return to those halcyon days…

The first week in May, with perfect Spring weather growing our meadow by at least a foot daily, the mower decided that forward was not a direction it was willing to travel. The last repair place left it in worse shape than when it entered, but it was the only place I could find at the time. You’d think “riding lawnmower repair” would be a thing, but apparently it’s some kind of Illuminati underground cabal working silently in the background. They probably have to dodge assassins in the employ of Big Lawn Care.

Alas, it turned out not to matter. The very next morning I was hit square in the lungs with The Snottening, v2. There are only so many bodily orifices that can produce mucus, but I assure you they were all clogged and thus I was sweating the stuff. By the time it got to my eyes, and no, I’m not making that up, the doctor believed that it might not be viral in nature.

Fast forward four blissful anitbiotic-swallowing days and I’m somehow feeling alive once again. We’re not sure how tall the lawn is, it’s certainly higher than the roof, but we’re now in the process of dowsing for a repair person whose technique involves tools rather than checking fluid levels and alternating bouts of swearing and prayer.

Alas, The Churchians was scheduled to begin on June 4. Not gonna happen. Too many heart attacks, illnesses, and broken machinery got in the way. The new date is July 8. We could probably start on the 1st or 4th, but nobody will be around that weekend. We’ll continue to post as we can. If we resort to an exorcist or a safari expedition to clear a path to the street, we’ll post pictures.

Otherwise, Codex has promised to post the Mother’s Day card Glyph drew for her, which caused some much-needed laughter yesterday afternoon. Look for it sometime later this week.

–> Quizzer

Kuru and the Snottening

Everyone here is in various stages of sick, getting over sick, or coming down with sick. We call it “the Snottening”. That may be why Q decided that this new character I wanted to draw should be called “Kuru”.

Well. That and the merch opportunities. Wouldn’t he make a great plushie? You could purchase one and tell everyone, “Hey guys, I have Kuru!”

~ Codex

Treenagers

This comic was solely written and drawn by Glyph, and is presented without comment. We’ve been undergoing something I call The Snottening, and Glyph was quite a trooper because she pulled this off despite being one of the afflicted.

–Quizzer