I had a green desk chair once. Been drawing green desk chairs ever since. Haven’t had a green one in 25 years now.
And don’t even ask about Hubris’ shirt. I think I had that shirt when I was eight.
Long story short. Kenosha WI is cool. Dan’s cool. Dan’s got a book full of cartoons. Here’s your chance to get it.
Short story longer: I wrote the foreword to the book. That’s not actually a selling point, but my ego won’t let it pass without a mention.
Brother Jeff interviews himself.
Interviewer Jeff: It looks like you just got back from a bike ride. I can see there’s mud on your teeth.
Biker Jeff: Yes. I tend to smile a lot when I’m cruising down a muddy single track.
IJ: So, you enjoy mountain biking after a rain?
BJ: After, during, before. It doesn’t matter. When the trail’s muddy it seems like a whole new trail. It’s a nice change of pace. You have to change your style. Lean back a bit more, check your speed, stay off the brakes in the turns, anticipate the slide, blame the kids for the muddy footprints in the kitchen when your wife gets home…
IJ: Did you wipe out today? You know, take a tumble, taco a rim, get another concussion?
BJ: Nope. I haven’t wrecked this season except for that one jump at Squilchuck back in August. I had no problem going off the jump, but I must have forgotten to make sure the bike was under me for the landing. I lost a little skin, but I wasn’t using it for anything at the time. And, as for the concussion last year, I don’t think I had a concuss… it was… What was the question?
IJ: I don’t remember the question. I think we were just talking to our-self.
Hey, did you see any wildlife on the trail today?
BJ: No attack-grouse today, and no rattlesnakes on the trail, but the damage from the big boys was all over.
IJ: Damage? Big Boy’s? Did someone attack a Shoney’s?
BJ: No, man, the animals… the deer have been using my trail and tearing it up. Then there are the elk. The only difference between an elk and a furry post-hole digger is that a post-hole digger doesn’t poop while it’s making holes in your trail.
BI: How about bears?
BJ: Funny I should ask me that question. There was a young bear just ahead of me today. I never got a look at him/her, but I heard him/her up in the brush when I got off the bike to take pictures. I accidently chased him/her back in the summer at the same spot (if it’s the same bear). Jet black, small, and really fast – faster than I am on the bike going full speed.
IJ: Aren’t you worried you’ll get attacked?
BJ: No. I don’t think he can ride a bike, and I’m pretty sure the service berries taste better than me. That said, if he ever gets tired of being chased, I’ll have to do some swift negotiation involving peanut butter, ‘cause there’s no way I could outrun him.
IJ: Well, there you have it, folks. That’s all the time I care to spend talking to myself. Until next time, happy autumn trails!
Okay, so some of you know that it’s my brother that’s the inspiration for a lot of Hubris cartoons. He’s more outdoorsy than I am, but he can’t draw for beans. So when I get a chance to hang out with him, there’s usually a good chance that something entertaining is going to happen, and I’ll be the only one with the kind of art skills to exploit it mercilessly.
Northern Wisconsin, on a lovely lake surrounded by all manner of cabins and summer homes and all, he and his brother-in-law decided to find out if you could stand on a SUP and be towed behind a motorboat. They were kind enough to give me a turn at it.
The last time I’d tried to stand on anything being towed behind a boat was nearly forty years before. And before I started kayaking much, I was insanely creeped out by large bodies of water (or, more accurately, by what my imagination filled those bodies of water with). That time all those years ago, I learned to faceplant expertly, but I did not learn to ski.
So the chances that I’d do something worth photographing this time seemed pretty high. I figured I could knock out a tooth or something clever.
As it was, my brother said, “Remember to lean back”, which I also recalled being told when I was twelve, so I leaned back.
He didn’t say to wait for the slack to leave the rope, so I hadda climb back on the damned board. Fine.
I stood up. I leaned back at the appropriate time, and I skied along behind a boat on a SUP. I’m told we didn’t go over about 14 miles an hour. When you’re ON the board, though, and have no idea how long you might be there, 14 miles an hour feels pretty good.
I should have put more effort into crossing the wake, and making a show of leaving the board, but that’s what my brother and Doug were for.
For now, you have to look at photos of me not flying off a SUP and into that nest of Cottonmouths they spooked me with tales of back on that lake in 1977.
Then you can look at photos of my brother doing a wildly entertaining dismount.
Nice, right? Look at that form… that style… that weirdly pained expression on my face.
Now, watch this action… My wife (the photographer on this trip) had worked out with Jeff that he would ‘try to get horizontal before he struck the water’.
Sigh. Another round of testing for the Hubris- Great Stanky Creek OutdoorFest Game has come and gone. Since the previous round, we added a game board, and changed some of the statistics on things. We know more about how long a game can last, and how many rules it’ll take to make it work. Yow.
It’s fun, though. There’s some silly interactions between players that’s built into it now. And there’s some more fine-tuning to do before it goes to some hotshot gamers for an acid test. Cross your fingers for us, and if you have any suggestions, or silly things that you like about games you enjoy, post a comment for heaven’s sake.