Sometimes you’re the rat catcher , ferreting out your prey .rat catcher and ferret

And sometimes ……..

2 mice cartoon

I once drew a cartoon of a conference table ; various faces around the table ; a mouse walking away from the table . Above the mouse was a dialog balloon : ” Well , Dan , you’re out of here .”

I was experimenting with drawing cartoons at the time . The faces around the table were all of the faces that I could draw . I’m not sure about the mouse ; not sure it made any sense . Maybe Freud or one of those guys could figure it out . Drawn on a piece of cardboard cut from a box , I put it up high on the wall  in the teacher’s conference room at the grammar school where I was teaching at the time . My idea was to , possibly , stimulate some interest in cartooning . Maybe some of my colleagues and I could get the kids interested and we could develop a school-wide project . Could be fun .

I hadn’t mentioned my plan to anyone . Somehow I imagined that curiosity would slowly develop . Where’d that cartoon come from ? What’s it all about ? There’d be buzz around it . Then , at some appropriate point ,when enough interest had developed ,  I’d spring my plan .

But , inexplicably , my cartoon drawn on the piece of cardboard vanished from the wall . I asked the school secretary about it . She was the person who spent her days near the room where the cartoon had been . No , she knew nothing about the disappearance .

The next day the principal sent me a  ” See me ” note . So , I showed up to her office after school .

” Close the door , ” she said . I heard the ominous tone of her voice and wondered . Something serious . ” Sit down ,” she said , with a cold stare , and pointed to a chair . I did . There was only one choice of chair . There was no bright light shining down on it ; but there could have been , by the look of how it was placed . She slowly sat down behind her heavy desk . Suddenly I was the nail waiting for the hammer . But , why ? I felt like  the mouse noticing  just a moment too late the trap springing shut  .

There were then a few choreographed  moments of silence as the principal  stood . From behind her back she suddenly took my cartoon and raised it above her head . Her voice had risen in volume : ” What is this ? ” she demanded . She held the cardboard high in both hands .

How should one react ? I didn’t have any idea . I suspected that had I unwittingly taken that bait a swinging metal arm would have  swiftly snapped my neck .

” A cartoon ,” I said . What else would one say ? It was a cartoon .

” I know some of the people but I don’t know everyone , ” she said . Had she hissed those words out from between clenched teeth ?   I think so . She was trying to control her rage  .

All that I could think to say , in my astonishment , was , calmly as I could : ” Who are they ?”

” There’s me !”, she said , pointing to one of the faces . ” And there’s Reynold .”     Reynold was the vice-principal of the school .

” They’re  nobody ,” I said , as soothingly as I could . ” They’re just faces .”  Unless you count the mouse , I thought , which had my name written all over it  ; but I kept quiet about that .

” And I’m not sure of some of the others , ” she said .

If she were a cartoon , I suppose smoke would have been coming out of her ears at that point  . I sat there wondering how best not to provoke any more paranoia . Should I tell her about my idea for a school project ?  I guess I did . Maybe I didn’t . I don’t remember . I remember the feeling I had at that moment , though .  It was like talking to a patient in a mental ward , trying to sound calm and reassuring in the face of a breakdown . Trying to sound like : It’ll be alright . It’ll be alright . Just take a deep breath .

I still have that cartoon cardboard somewhere in my garage , I think . I gave up my plans for a cartooning project at school , though .

Be careful of cartoons . gentleman reading cartoon


Filed under humor

6 responses to “cartoons

  1. No sense of humor! She had obviously been a principal for far too long!

  2. “But if I really say it, the radio won’t play it
    Unless I lay it between the lines”

  3. I hope you dig out the cartoon and post it.

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