December 27, 2006 12:00 AM
I'm not as excited about this Bowl season as I have been in the past. I think the BCS has given us a matchup that just doesn't do much for me. But it is always good for a cartoon. I love to do cartoons based around family life and how sports impacts us all at home. This is a good example of one of those cartoons. It was a bit of a challenge to draw only because I think I'm getting a cold and it's hard to draw when I'm sniffling.
I love getting your comments on Holiday traditions and favorite gifts. That's the kind of dialogue I have envisioned for this blog so please keep them coming. I also invite you to take a look at my year-in-review package and comment about the cartoons I chose.
I've got a childhood memory that my wife and I were laughing about the other day and I want to share it.
My mother passed away when I was only ten and my father remarried the next year. He married a wonderful lady who had four daughters and we quickly found ourselves under one roof together and preparing for our first Christmas as one family. It was a full house that would include my brother, Gary, and I, the four girls plus my dad and step-mom. Naturally things were a little tight financially that first Christmas so we kept the gift lists to a minimum. I remember getting the Beatles Abbey Road album and the San Quentin record by Johnny Cash. Strange choices for a ten-year old but I was always a weird kid growing up.
Anyway, Christmas morning was quite the scene with a good sized family in a not-so-large house. Early on Christmas morning we heard what we thought were the buzzing sounds of a runaway lawnmower outside that caused an immediate stampede to the front window. There before us, was a neighborhood kid who had received a mini-bike for Christmas. It was a thing of beauty. Red, shiny, and faster than anything any other kid in the neighborhood possessed. We coveted it. And he knew it, which was probably why he was parading it up and down the street at full throttle . We hated him for this, of course. Every kid hated him because he had scored the ultimate Christmas present. And every parent hated him because every kid knew this.
Now don't get me wrong. My parents gave us every thing we ever wanted but the mini-bike would fall under the "more stuff" category. Every kid can have a mountain of presents to open but at the end of the ripping and tearing of wrapping paper it's always the same result. The kid will either (A.) Unwrap all the gifts and end up playing with the boxes, (B.) Have all the great presents in the world but still want "more stuff " or (C.) Do both.
Anyway the mini-bike episode would be one of those defining moments in my childhood. Because now, coupled ,of course, with losing my mother just a year earlier, there was tangible proof that life was going to be grossly unfair. Grossly, grossly unfair.
I don't know if the kid ever wrecked the shiny red mini-bike. But I think deep down inside we all dreamed that he did. At least I'm sure all the parents in the neighborhood did.