Jokes from an Abandoned Journal

My diary-keeping seems to have reached its zenith during 2008, that annus mirabilis, when just about everything worked terribly well for except work itself. I lost a long-time job and was seemingly unemployable afterwards. Early in the year, when I had been laid off but still had weeks and weeks of gardening-leave pay and benefits until the actual termination date, I didn’t do any job-hunting at all. I worked out daily and went to track meets, in Boston, New York, and Clermont-Ferrand. I archived all the graphic work I had done over the years, arranged several online portfolios, rewrote my resume several times, started many new blogs, tried to give my mess of a novel its final heave into organization, and otherwise tried to get my life sorted. I did not succeed but my efforts, as demonstrated in Diary 66D (January to July 2008), were brilliant. Well I’m impressed anyway, and that’s unusual for me.

One very useful project in the archive-and-organize venture was my cartoon-gag concordance. Over the years I’d roughed out cartoons, or written ideas for cartoons, or ideas for ideas for cartoons. Mostly these were in earlier volumes of my journals. On or about 11 February 2008 I “harvested” the most promising ones under the title Master Captions. Usually noted is a location for the original rough, a diary or scrap folder. Some of the descriptions are so skeletal they suggest neither humor nor sensicality, and I have to go back to the original notes to find what is supposed to be happening…

“We don’t actually believe in Santa Claus, but we regard him as a great prophet.” — Mother with child at Santa Claus queue.

“So who’s been telling you life is supposed to be interesting?”
“I see you’ve got those new slippery chairs.”
early ’04 – 59

“I never write on spec.” — Bum on park bench.
Amateur prizefighter. Book 49A
Willy the Worm. Book 49A, p. 29.
(See p. 20 – 40A for forced incongruities)

“to me, all women are either moppets or strumpets.” 49A

James Earl Jones. 49A p. 4

Fashion designer, harridan 49A

Judges — “Shake the hand that shook the hand that shook the hand of Learned Hand.” p. 93 62B, p. 22 62

“Devil I know” (bar) 62B
“Fresh fish” Tattoos 62B

“I work in IT so i don’t have to care how I look.” SCRAP (bums on p b)
“You look kinda old for a ‘Josh.’ – SCRAP
“You have a skill set? You mean you can buy a whole set?” SCRAP

WHAT WOULD NAPOLEON DO? – SCRAP

Give me six vodka gimlets and I care not who makes the laws (barfly an E H Shepard king) – SCRAP

Hi Honey I’m Elwied (???) SCRAP

You must be Aladdin. You have such swell legs. SCRAP

BULLFROG’S MONOPOLY – scrap – just an idea

Unsex Toilet 37, book 53

L’esprit d’escalator (Rego, 2000)

And for dessert may I suggest a cognac, served up w/ nicotine gum? p. 60 Book 65

(buffalo gals) Book 62 p 22

“There’s a gentleman here to see you.” (slattern secretary, schlump boss, Knut w/ cane)

Two cats at restaurant table: ‘Basicaly I’m an ovo-lacto vegetarian, but I also eat mice.’ p. 59 Book 62

Naturopath store. “This one doesn’t do anything either but it’s three dollars cheaper.”
“They threw me off the hay truck around noon.” p. 42A [Drunken man arrives home?]

TBC

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