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Raging Pencils by Mike "Lefty" Stanfill

Last stripper pole next 300 miles.

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Raging Pencils is a cryptic conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
IllustrationFlash AnimationWeb Design

Today's mystery web comic is:

start rant

Ramblin' Guy

electric mowerBeloved girlfriend's city-owned electric company recently offered a hefty rebate on electric mowers. Basically, the first 2500 citizens to show up at Sears with an electric bill and picture ID got themselves an electric mower for $30. BG was one of the first in line.

BG has a tiny back yard, barely room enough to swing a cat, but the reel mower I'd been using was a chore at times. Especially when a long spate of rain resulted in foot-high grass.

So the electric mower was a welcome relief, so much so that I went and bought one for myself even though my yard is much, much bigger. I'm sure many of you are just dying to know about these devices so this is my short review and recommendation.

The Bad: You have to lug around a cable, the cut is comparably narrow (18") and the final product can be a bit ragged in places. If there's any question that you might run over the cord then you probably will, but it's drama-less. Trust me (blush). Basically, be careful.

The Good: No gas or oil needed, no blue fumes at start-up, turns on and off instantly (Kewwwl!), very lightweight, relatively quiet. If you have electric-powered weed-whackers or edgers (I do) then you don't have to drag out extension cords just for them. Best of all, your smugness Level goes to 11.

The Recommendation: A small-to medium-sized yard with only a few trees is ideal for one of these. As for the extension cords, if you like puzzles you'll enjoy the process of thinking ahead in order to use the cables as efficiently as possible. It's now end-of-season so you might be able to find a bargain at the local big-box store.


pepper gumI'm a Tootsie Pop-a-holic and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Instead of traditional sweet treats after a meal I always have a couple of Pops to satisfy my confectional urges. Compared to cake or cookies they're ludicrously low in calories plus they last a long, long time. They also make an easily-concealable treat to carry along to the movies.

Best of all, there's that final, satisfying crunch. (Oooh, I get moist just thinking about it.) My only complaint is that we're stuck with the same six basic flavors in a world gone mad with variation.

My current favorite are the Easter Tootsie Pops as they're egg-shaped and noticeably larger. I recently found these at a local dollar store at half-price and basically bought the place out.

This dollar store also carries a varied assortment of confections from around the globe, much of it from Mexico. I simply cannot pass the tri-colored coconut bars or the pecan pralines without taking a few home.

However, this past trip I saw something new... a sort of Mexican Tootsie Pop made by Pulparindo. The bag had four flavors of pops - pinapple, guava, mango and apple - and promised a "tamarind filling". It sounded intriguing so I took a bag over to Beloved Girlfriend's house and we cracked it open as we watched March of the Penguins.

Let me stop for a moment to tell you a quick story... I'm a prankster. I can't help myself. It's genetic or something. One weekend, many years ago, I'm taking care of my niece and nephew, 8 and 7 respectively, while their parents are out of town. After awhile they start bugging me for candy as their parents restrict their diet in that regard. I didn't have any sweets around the house that evening but I did have pepper gum.

You remember pepper gum. It was sold in Spencer's gifts next to the folding penny and the fly-in-the-ice-cube. I had bought a pack years before on a whim but since everyone I knew was too smart to fall for that old trick I'd tossed it in a drawer and forgotten about it.

However, to my niece and nephew this was candy. It said "Gum" right on the wrapper. I'll never forget the look on their rapidly-reddening faces as they chewed this "yummy" treat with mucho gusto.

Those faces came rushing back to me the moment I popped one of these Pulparindo's in my mouth. At first, there was this blast of sweet, delicious mango, followed seconds later by a karate chop to the adam's apple by something fiery. It was then we looked closer at the bag and found that the fourth ingredient used in making these things was... chili powder.

Yes, chili powder. Sterilized chili powder.

Do Mexican kids really like this stuff? Really? Well, they're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

To her credit, BG worked hers all the way down to the tamarind filling, of which I gave a tentative lick. (Oh, so that's tamarind.) I hate to sound like a pussy but I think I'll stick to good old American Tootsie Pops for awhile.


end rant

Bonus Animation
This animation is by Ryan Larkin.
You can see an Oscar-winning animated story about him here.
His famous "Walking" can be seen here.

Extra Deluxe Duplicitous Bonus Fabulousness

buddha pear
This answers the question: "Can you make a pear look like the Buddha?"

Raging Pencils salutes the Mystery Reader of
Funchal, Madeira
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my fermented little 'toon.

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Today's Google Chow.
American Southwest. Billboards reads: "Last Stripper Pole next 300 miles."
Man to wife: "Okay, Margaret... you get your g-string, I'll get the camera."