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Len Deighton wrote a short story titled "Bonus for a Salesman," about a travelling British armament dealer who lands in a banana republic in the middle of a revolution and accidentally becomes the new "President for Life." I woke up at 2:00 a.m. with a premonition that these two slackers, with The Red Rascal in the lead, are fixing to be the new rulers of Berzerkistan!
I was laughing out loud at these strips even before the Red Rascal recruited Zipper. Now it's the greatest series since the last time Honey was around. I start laughing each day even before I see the strip. Thanks. Keep it up. Before it's all over I hope you bring back Honey to save the day.
I know Zipper is an airhead, but he's a good-hearted airhead -- and unfortunately easily led. I hope that the equally airheaded but narcissistic and selfish Jeff isn't going to lead him into real harm.
The Berzerkistan storyline -- from Duke and Earl to Redfern and Harris -- just keeps getting better and better. I gleefully await the outcome!
1) Check chopper hoist motor
2) Test Zipper to ensure he knows which switch makes the hoist come up
3) Test Zipper to ensure he knows which switch makes the hoist come up
HAVE TO WONDER
Call this episode Dumb and Dumber Save Dumbest. You almost have to wonder how two people with such a long history of stupidity are still alive and in the position they occupy. It's most likely the same cartoon trope ("They couldn't possibly survive, but they do") that has kept Garfield out of the pound and Dennis the Menace out of boarding school.
Jeff and Zipper in Berzerkistan: Life follows art. Art is usually way ahead. My best example is Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood, where she describes the events leading up to the Grenada invasion a year in advance of Reagan's war.
What? A slacker, recruited into manly mercenary employment? How can this be? But wait! It's a fictional character. No blood, no blood shed. I can't wait for the next installment of this story. Why not get Toggle's advice? Toggle would know an M60 from a MoDus. Oh yeah, doing all that stuff -- at a decidedly non-mercenary rate -- is what got Toggle his wounds. So, how fictional is this going to go? I wonder if Redfern will ever get his 'Red Badge of Courage.'
I cannot wait to see this Red Rascal-and-sidekick episodic adventure play out. Just want to say thanks, as well, for all the years and amazingly engaging characters and storylines. A modern cave painter extraordinaire is GBT.
GETTING IT SPOT-ON
I have to gush about GBT's knack for getting it spot-on -- sometimes, apparently presciently. I only discovered Doonesbury in the late Eighties, when a South African newspaper featured the strip for a few years, but am now ploughing through the full archive on gocomics.com. It's fascinating to see GBT's enlightening spin on what was "impenetrable adult news" when I was a kid...
ON THE OTHER SIDE
Taking Zipper to Berzerkistan is too, too dumb, even for Jeff. Talk about pushing one's luck. To quote another fictional adventurer, "I have a bad feeling about this." Perhaps they will encounter their opposite number on the other side -- a feckless airhead with a tenuous grip on reality who fantasizes that he's striking a heroic blow against American imperialism by offing them.
AN ELBAISTIC FATE
I recommend an Elbaistic fate for the Berzerkistani dictator. He should be exiled to an island -- a remote atoll in the Pacific where he could rule over a court of lizards and talking birds would be ideal. Sometime in the future, perhaps, a tramp steamer whose navigational equipment has gone haywire will inadvertently put in at the atoll...
Waaay back in the dark ages of the 1970s, Mark Slackmeyer said those magic words -- "Guilty, guilty, guilty!" -- that catapulted Doonesbury out of the cartoon pages, onto the editorial pages, and maybe into the league of Nostradamus. I have witnessed time and again Trudeau's amazing timing, that always leaves me wondering how he knew in advance what was going to be in world headlines right now. This Berzerkistan storyline was always a great one, but to have His Excellency scrambling for a grand exit right now -- funded of course by unfathomably large offshore bank accounts, as is always the style of ruthless dictators who gain asylum and live out their royal lives as guests of other ruthless dictators or sympathizing oil-guzzling countries -- is nothing short of omniscient. C'mon, even Trudeau could not have predicted that after Tunisia, Mubarek would be forced to escape from his own Egypt, followed close on his heels by Gaddafi… or could he? I know our leaders read Doonesbury. Maybe they could get a copy a few weeks in advance and be a little better prepared to respond. It's the least a cartoonist could do for his country, don't you think?
CAN SEE IT
"Can I bring a sidekick?" Whoohaa! Oooh, I can't wait to see how this turns out. Red Rascal and Zipline! -- I can see it already.
THE PUBLIC'S "EYE"
I want to thank you for you the 2/20/11 Sunday strip about Autism and immunizations. Too many people are looking for a simple cause and simple fix. I am a member of the Portland Aspergers Network, a mother and wife of family members on Spectrum and along with other Oregon Autism organizations we are working to get our state to require insurance coverage for people of all ages on the Autism Spectrum. The immunization debacle has made it difficult to get the coverage families need for their children. It was only after the research was proved bogus that parents have been able to fight and receive the medical and mental health care needed for our children to become contributing members of society. Thank you again for putting this in the public's "eye."
Jeff Redfern gets himself into deep schlock. Repeatedly, but not mindlessly. He then, against all odds, manages to at least survive, even in the face of monumental screwups and nearly certain death -- only to come around and do it all again. There are several people in my family, across four generations that I know of, that possess that "Why is he/she still alive?" luck. We've decided it's genetic and probably involves quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, it still doesn't get any of us a Megapower winning lottery ticket. It's just that kind of luck. I look forward to seeing if Jeff actually grows as well as survives. Some of us do, some of us don't.
HEADING TO BERZERKISTAN
With the Red Rascal heading to Berzerkistan, this is now officially my favorite Doonesbury storyline in all the 22 or so years I've been following the strip. A book on this could be titled Popcorn Popping in Berzerkistan.
Thank you for today's strip publicizing the misinformation about the non-relationship between autism and vaccinations. While I understand the need of parents who are looking for an answer to this troubling condition in their children, this flawed and misreported research study has created a scary scenario of caring parents not protecting their children from illnesses that are easily transmitted and that may have severe or even fatal results.
Your statement in today's strip that Jenny McCarthy has "popularized a bogus vaccine-autism link" is bogus. I knew vaccines were behind my daughter's autism before Jenny's son was born. Look at the stats for the numbers of kids with autism, asthma, ADD, ADHD and mental disorders. Our kids are poisoned, and vaccines play a role in that. Stop attacking and start helping.
WE NOW HAVE TO SHOUT
Thank you so much for your strip about Jenny McCarthy. Thanks to her we now have to shout above the din to get the truth out about science-based medicine. I hope this comic strip may change the minds of people who don't vaccinate but do enjoy Doonesbury, and perhaps didn't know everything about the manufactroversy.