Cartoon Time

I did that thing again, where I have a great idea for a story repository post, but by the time I get to a computer whoosh it's gone. Whenever it happens, I think about the first time I can remember it happening. One night during my junior year of high school, I had a dream about a cartoon. It was an amazing cartoon, really, and even in my dream state I wondered if I'd really come up with the idea myself or if I'd perhaps seen something similar somewhere else. At any rate I knew it was worth saving. When I woke up, I ran to the bookcase in the hall where a pad and pencil sat next to the phone extension (you youngsters probably didn't understand a word of that sentence) and sketched out the cartoon as well as I could remember. Then I showered and went to school. Now, I wouldn't say I obsessed exactly, but the cartoon was on my mind all day, and I couldn't wait to get home and see what I had sketched out upon waking. No after school detours to downtown or Buttons arcade on that day - I went straight home and ran upstairs. And, as you've no doubt figured out by now, the cartoon I sketched out made absolutely no sense at all. It was a cat (sort of, I had just woken up after all) falling from the ceiling toward the floor. And on the floor right where the cat would land was a sign that said "back off". Yep, that's my classic cartoon for the ages, the panel I thought so witty that it was inconceivable that I'd thought of it on my own. It was a hard blow, but I walked over to my desk and crumpled up the envelope addressed to the New Yorker. There was another time, years later, that I got up the nerve to actually submit a cartoon, though it wasn't to the New Yorker, it was to the Bingo Bugle. The Bugle was sort of a family joke at the time, and if you've ever perused its pages you'll know why. My comic showed a guy sitting at a table covered with bingo cards, dauber in hand, and his thought bubble said "come on, free space!". They never printed my cartoon.

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