And the “Rat Saga” goes on. Looking at all your posts from earlier this week it seems to me that snakes are almost a bigger problem than rats. EEEK! I have never had one in the hangar or inside an aircraft but I did almost get bit by a rattler in Nevada when I was reaching underneath the helicopter to unhook the Bambi bucket. It had curled up on the control head of the bucket in the shade underneath the aircraft and was only inches away from my hand. Never rattled actually, just lunged. It did occur to me that I wasn’t sure who would fly ME out of the desert if I was bitten. We were in the middle of nowhere. Believe me, I was way more vigilant for the remainder of the season. After all that is yet another thing they don’t teach you in flight school …
I am actually not sure we have had Chuck and Julio encounter snakes yet. But it does seem like there might be some potential for a comical situation if they do. Any ideas?
Those of you who are old enough will probably remember a time before Google, when there was a plethora of competing search engines such as Yahoo, AltaVista, Infoseek, Netscape search etc. One of those search engines was called “Ask Jeeves”. It was the first time I came across the name of Jeeves, and I thought it was a really stupid name for a search engine. It was many years later that I stumbled across the writings of P.G. Wodehouse and his stories about Bernie Wooster and his butler Jeeves, and I enjoyed them so much, that I think I read about every Wodehouse book multiple times. Next to Terry Pratchett, he’s my favorite humorous author!
The only drawback for a non-native speaker is that I tend to unconsciously incorporate the language that I consume into my personal repertoire. When you use a phrase an early-20th century butler would use in normal conversation, it does not always help the conversation.
By the way! I hope nobody will take offense in the word “poppycock”. It is a perfectly acceptable English word, which (according to Merriam-Webster) apparently derived from the Dutch dialect word “pappekak”, which means “soft dung”. So it’s rather close to the American “BS”. I only mention this, because one of our (probably former) readers once got upset with us for using the word “dumbass” and accused us of using foul language. Even though the word refers to the donkey, not the body part, and is probably acceptable in children books and movies.
That’s a whole new tangent I could go off on. You wouldn’t believe some of the critical feedback we (fortunately only) occasionally get. One day we’ll compile a list and make an extra page about it, we promise!
It’s always fun, with the benefit of hindsight, to analyze predictions from the past about today. And it looks like the prediction of the “paperless office” was about as wrong as you can get. But, on the other hand, maybe the content of that prediction is not wrong, but only the timing! I’m sure we will reach that stage at some point, but it just will take its time. Technology can advance in leaps, but societal, cultural and economical change needs time to run its course.
I still do almost all of my accounting in paper format. But I’m getting more and more digital receipts etc. that I’m sure I’ll get to the point of not even bothering to print them anymore. Coincidentally, exactly while doing my accounting, I came across the line “think about the environment before you print” that gave me the idea for today’s strip …
The first couple of sentences in this blog are just to avoid using the words that would give away the punchline. If you have already read the strip, you can continue reading… So, overworked and underpaid. Aren’t we all? I’m sure there are a few people with cushy jobs and even some who are happy with their salary, but I don’t really know that many. Or maybe it’s because nobody likes to admit when they’re not working hard. At least I can’t complain about being fed cheap coffee. Not that it wouldn’t be on the cheap side, but as I said before, I’m a bit of a philistine in that regard.
So, anybody in here who’s NOT overworked and/or who feels paid well? Wait, that’s not the right way to get a discussion going. I can already hear the crickets and see the tumbleweeds!
Hans is continuing his thorough investigation into Chuck’s drug habits. I wonder what dark secrets he will bring to light in the end! And although in this context it isn’t meant in that way, I’m sure “going down in flames” is code for something to do with drugs. I don’t even know half the language for that stuff in my mother tongue. But I can vividly remember the day when I was offered “a slow one” and “a fast one” on the same day in a, back then notorious, subway station in Vienna. I still don’t know what they were trying to sell me.
Well, when it comes to walking into a room and then trying to remember what you came in there for, or what you were planning to say, Hans is in good company. A company of billions, probably. I think the only people who don’t have that problem are those who don’t have rooms to walk into.
Ha! We drew this strip right before I went to Greece for the fire season and right when I got to the helicopter fire base the internet was down for two days. Boy, was the helicopter and the base clean after those days! Could we possibly predict the future with our comics?
On the same token I couldn’t help but wonder the whole time if the crew chief didn’t do to us what Hans did to Sally. As I am writing this blog I am actually starting to wonder if we should even publish this strip since my boss might be reading it as well. But Stefan is on vacation and I can’t make the changes so I will have to live with the consequences I guess.
When I was young, we only had two TV channels. On one of those channels, they were running a repeat of an old TV show from the Seventies, called “The Good Soldier Švejk”. It’s the story about a Czech soldier going through various adventures in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. Soldier Švejk distinguishes himself by being almost absolutely useless. He always seems well intentioned and eager to please his superiors, but somehow always fails, because of his dumbness and clumsiness. By acting that way, nothing can be held against him, but he avoids being tasked with any difficult, taxing or dangerous missions or jobs. All the while, you never know if Švejk really is dumb, or is only playing dumb.
While we were watching, our father said to us: “I want you to pay good attention to this, my sons. That’s how you behave in the army! If you’re too eager, not only will your superiors dump more work on you, but also your comrades will hate you for raising the bar for everyone. Keep your head down, don’t mouth back, and don’t show how intelligent you really are. The only thing to do differently than Švejk is to make no waves, positive or negative. Basically, make it your mission that on the day you leave the army, your superiors aren’t even sure who you are.”
That was great advice! I sailed through the army like a breeze (more or less). It probably depends on the type of army you are entering, but here in Austria, we have a general draft, so there’s a widespread culture of “let’s get this over with” among the recruits. If you voluntarily sign up for the US Marine Corps, for example, and want to make a career in the military, I would assume that a totally different strategy would be advisable.
When I’m hungry, I can turn really, really grumpy. So I feel for Hans in this strip! Anyway, I think “going on a diet” is the wrong approach anyway. The best thing is to “change” your diet. It’s amazing what bad habits you can develop over time. But that’s a long discussion for another time.
I wanted to give everybody a quick reminder that I will be at the Comic Con Austria in Linz this weekend! It’d be great if anybody would come and visit me there! I’ll be sitting at an artist table, probably also on a special diet, namely coffee and chocolate bars.
Back in my younger days, while working for the volunteer fire department, they would put on classes for people in bigger companies who were slated to become the new fire prevention or safety officer. One of my favorite jobs there was to fog out the hallway and stairways right outside the classroom with the machine we had for training while the trainer inside was teaching about fire and safety. Then, when they would break for lunch, the first person to open the door would find nothing but smoke outside where the hallway used to be. They did this to see how people would react to what they think is a real emergency (an ironic one it would seem, having the firehouse on fire). I was always amazed how many of these office workers would completely freak out and panic even though they just spent all morning learning about fires, safety, and what to do in an emergency …