August 19th, 2007

The Zombie

I Went to Work The Day The World Ended

August 18 -  Stuff.  Lots of stuff...

1) So, I suppose I should start with "I'm still here."  For those of you who are not from our area, I should also tell you that we all have been hit with another, much wider spread flooding disaster overnight.  As of right now, at least four people have died when their cars were swept away by waters that raised as much as six feet OVER flood walls.  Little local Wisconsin communities, like Steuben and Gays Mills, are effectively wiped out, with residents being rescued from trees and rooftops by boat.  Virtually every highway is flooded out in neighboring Houston County, Minnesota, and Highway 35 between us and La Crosse is closed because a house was swept right on top of it in Vernon County.  Marquette and McGregor, Iowa, had repeats of the crazy flooding that I talked about a month or so ago, and many streets here in Prairie du Chien were washed out.  And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  This flooding, all of it, happened away from, and independent of, the usual culprit, the Mississippi River.  Some places, like Steuben, aren't even anywhere near a river.  This is all just the result of a crazy, An-Inconvenient-Truth-sized downpour that socked us in just a handful of late-night/early-morning hours.  And it's still raining.

2) This reminds me of a dream that I had recently.  I don't remember all of it, but the core of the "story" was that I was promoting a play, based on a book that I had written.  Both the show and the book were called I Went to Work The Day The World Ended.  The gist of the plot was that, in spite of the obvious cataclysm going on all around me, I felt obligated to punch in on time at my dread "real" job...in spite of the fact that my particular job would be of no use to anyone whatsoever at the end of the world.  Although a comedy, the play/book also brought up questions of blind dependability, foolish commitments, and, especially, wasting one's life.  When I woke up, it really hit home.  First, there is little doubt that I would, indeed, go to work any day that I was scheduled, unless someone called me off.  That's just how I am.  I don't skip out of my commitments.  I may forget them, but that's another story.  Also, my dream brought back into focus my self-made predicament; I can't quit the dumb "real" job because I have no stability, and even less confidence, in myself as a working artist, and II can't just quit trying to be a working artists because then I'd be...I'd be.....I don't know what I would be, but I wouldn't be me anymore.  Neither choice seems viable right now, but, well, time will tell...assuming that the world doesn't end.

3) And here's a good example of some of that.  Yesterday (it's just after noon on the 19th as I type this), I did, indeed, head out for the Fennimore Fun Fest in the midst of all of that rain.  When I arrived, it turned out that 99% of the events had been canceled.  No tractor pull.  No dance.  No talent show.  No BMX racing, face painting, carnival rides, vintage car show, nor parade.  Nothing, except the adult league kickball tournament...and me.  So, there I sat, wind and rain slapping at me from the edge of the concession stand shelter, as I drew the school-age children of the kickball competitors.  During the four hours that I stuck it out, I did draw about thirteen kids (nine of whom paid me), then, when the tournament ended at about 3:15, I packed up and left for home.  It wasn't a disaster of  a day for me or anything, but it surely wasn't great.  All in all, I did enjoy talking to the people I met there, and I did make a little chunk of money (enough for dinner and a movie with The WOMP Staff).  And, even with the wind and the rain, it was better than pretty much any day I've had in five years at the dread "real" job.

4) Can you make friends with someone without ever talking to them?  If so, I think that I've added another O.F.O.WOMP to the growing (groaning) list; Nathan DeHoff.  Mr. DeHoff wrote the story "The Red Desert of Oz" that I illustrated for the 2005 edition of Oziana.  I loved that story, and told him so in a letter way back then.  Recently, I've discovered that he had a LiveJournal blog, much like my own WOMP-Blog Archives, so I added him as a "friend."  Later, he did the same.  Since then, I've read his journal entries several times a week, and have come to think of him as something like a "kindred spirit" (which, by the way, is, like, the artsiest-fartsiest thing I've ever said).  I especially enjoyed his recent response to one of those ubiquitous on-line questionnaires.  When asked "You + alcohol = ?," Nathan answered "Youcohol?"  Anyway, he has sent a comment about a Mystery Theme character;

Sideshow Bob never lived in a cave, but his brother has been in a cave on Mars for the past ten years, with his eyes shut and his fingers in his ears. {g}

Thanks, Nathan.  I'm not saying that I have any idea what the heck you are talking about, but I really appreciate the comment.

5) Speaking of which, O.F.O.WOMP Marcus Mebes floated this guess;

Hi John,

How about this: At one point in their existence, they were a supporting character, and at another point they've moved into the spotlight.

Nope.  Sorry, MM.  That's not it.  So, what is it?  Well...

6) Here are some more clues.  The following characters can not be on the Mystery Theme list: Bart Simpson, Solomon Grundy, Captain America, Aquaman, Jonah Hex, and the "SHAZAM" Captain Marvel.  Need another clue?  OK...

7) Here is your Mystery Theme Comic Book Character of The Day - Captain Atom!