Budgies on the roadside

Two cartoons from March — I keep telling you I’m not on top of anything in my life — a One Big Happy from 3/3, about Ruthie and the name budgie; and a Zippy from 3/25, with “On the Roadside”, a burlesque of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

Budgies and budgets. Ruthie rolls on, finding familiar words in unfamiliar ones. Ths time it’s the bird name budgie, in the title of the (invented) children’s book Murdock the Pudgy Budgie:


Ruthie’s heard about controversies over the budget  (pretty clearly echoing complaints from adults around her), but of budgies she knows not.

From my 10/15/14 posting “No stinkin’ budgies”:

you also need to know that budgie is an informal term for budgerigar, which is ‘a small gregarious Australian parakeet [Melopsittacus undulatus, family Psittacidae] that in the wild is green with a yellow head …, is popular as a pet bird[,] and has been bred in a variety of colors’ (NOAD2)

On the Roadside. From Dingburg’s Beatnik District comes hip goofily crossed with Zippyesque popular culture (Taco Bells, bowling pins, and of course roadside Muffler Men):


There are in fact two Jacks represented here. The first panel alludes to Jack London’s 1913 novel John Barleycorn, or, Alcoholic Memoirs:

in imagination I lived my years to come and rocked over the wild, mad, glorious world

While the other panels are riffs on passages from Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel On the Road:

— panel 2 : My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it’s bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.

— panel 3: the only people that interest me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing ..  but burn, burn, burn like roman candles across the night.

— panel 4: And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach and which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows

Panel 4 in the original goes on darkly into those timeless shadows:

and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the Angels dove off and flew into infinity.

Not a place where Zippy goes.

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