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Raging Pencils by Mike "Oblivious" Stanfill

So smart we're dumb.

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Raging Pencils is an asynchronous conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
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Today's mystery web comic is:

start rant

Best Boy

richard brautiganI see they've dug up John Dillinger's corpse again in order to make a few bucks off popcorn and soda. Which is fitting, in a way, as he was killed while leaving a movie theatre. In other words, he robbed banks to watch movies and they made movies of him robbing banks and getting killed in movie theatres.

I'm not planning on seeing this, the 4th major iteration of his life (yawn). I only mention it in passing since, while re-reading Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing In America, I chanced upon an amusingly surreal short story that referred to Mr. Dillinger. And here it is.


Prologue To Girder Creek

Mooresville, Indiana, is the town that John Dillinger came from, and the town has a John Dillinger Museum. You can go in and look around.

Some towns are known as the peach capital of America or the cherry capital or the oyster capital, and there's always a festival and the photograph of a pretty girl in a bathing suit.

Mooresville, Indiana, is the John Dillinger capital of America.

Recently a man moved there with his wife, and he discovered hundreds of rats in his basement. They were huge, slow-moving child-eyed rats.

When his wife had to visit some of her relatives for a few days, the man went out and bought a .38 revolver and a lot of ammunition. Then he went down to the basement where the rats were, and he started shooting them. It didn't bother the rats at all. They acted as if it were a movie and started eating their dead companions for popcorn.

The man walked over to a rat that was busy eating a friend and placed the pistol against the rat's head. The rat did not move and continued eating away. When the hammer clicked back, the rat paused between bites and looked out of the corner of its eye. First at the pistol and then at the man. It was kind of a friendly look as if to say, "When my mother was young she sang like Deanna Durbin."

The man pulled the trigger.

He had no sense of humor.

There's always a single feature, a double feature and an eternal feature playing at the Great Theatre in Mooresville, Indiana: the John Dillinger capital of America.


Yeah, that's Rich all right.

Brautigan's life and his books would have, in my most humble opinion, resulted in a much more entertaining, and deserving, feature film than one about Dillinger and his short, violent, one-dimensional life. But gobs of money is made endlessly sating the public's unending need to see blood gush and objects explode, so fat chance of seeing "Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork" at the local googol-plex anytime soon.


PS, and don't forget Trout Fishing in America.

end rant

Bonus Rats
The Sadies, from "Tales of the Rat Fink".

Extra Deluxe Rodental Bonus Fabulousness

rats by candle-light

And just because....
In a former web existence I used to berate Mallard Fillmore
comics on a daily basis because it was (A) Fun and (B) Easy.
I don't bother any longer, for a varriety of reasons, but this recent
one I just had to share with you because it's a doozy. Can you even
imagine how stupid this joke would be if Mike Doonesbury hurtled the
subtext and flat-out declared how scared former quisling George Bush
is of him? It's almost impossible to conceive, isn't it?
Bruce Tinsley... what an self-aggrandizing asshole.

Raging Pencils salutes the Mystery Reader of
Kranj, Slovenia
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my crappy little 'toon.

Still hungry for real news and analysis? Try our selection of progressive nosh:
DailykosCrooks and LiarsThink ProgressTalking Points Memo

Today's Google Chow.
Three hikers on a ridgeline.
Hiker One: "Do you realize that if we were only marginally less intelligent as a species we could never have developed the internal combustion engine or nuclear technology?"
Hiker Two: "In other words, we evolved to be just smart enough to drive ourselves into extinction."
Hiker Three: "See? I told you there was a good reason for television."