Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I am an unapologetic fan of Calvin and Hobbes, the comic strip created by Bill Watterson and one published by The Jamaica Observer. Whenever I happen to take a copy of The Observer in hand, if I read nothing else, I must read Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin is a six year old going on sixty and Hobbes is his stuffed tiger who goes on these amazing adventures with him as well as helps him with his home work. Calvin and Hobbes never fail to tickle me and set me green with envy that I wasn’t the creative genius that invented them.
I take Calvin and Hobbes more seriously than I do the current and the most recent former Prime Ministers. The current Prime Minister just gave the police (and is about to give teachers) a 15% raise in the first year and 7% raise in the second, after a 57% rise in the cost of living. Yes, I admit, this is a personal grudge, for I am a teacher. Also, among his other foul-ups, while claiming to be tough on crime, the PM recently held a welcome home ceremony for Usain Bolt, at which a dancehall artiste who is a known gunslinger and a glib promoter of violence was a performer. The former Prime Minister pronounces the word ‘athlete’ as ‘aflete’, is rather cantankerous, and she believes that God voted her Prime Minister and will soon ‘restore’ her to that position, so how can I take her seriously? I prefer Calvin's version of reality.
Calvin and Hobbes are also more interesting than the news and commentaries. The news invariably goes something like this; “The murder toll has risen by four”, “The road toll is to be raised” or “Corruption is taking a toll on Government”. The news commentaries basically add up to this “tut-tut, things are really getting from bad to worse”. The Observer is not worse off than its competitor The Gleaner, but it does have the distinct advantage of carrying Calvin and Hobbes.
Therefore when I take up The Observer, if I have plenty of time, I browse, stopping to peruse an article of interest here or there, and I top it off with a leisurely read of Calvin and Hobbes. If I do not have plenty of time I simply head toward the back and read my favourite comic strip, yep you guessed it; Calvin and Hobbes.
It rained yesterday and as our roof leaks, I got me an old copy of The Observer to place at the spot where the water is dripping before placing a basin there to collect the drops. Of Course I flipped through to see, if nothing else, what my friends Calvin and Hobbes are up to. Are they getting into that transmorgrifyer of theirs to be launched into outer space or back in time? Are they pulling some prank on the babysitter, or subjecting Dad to a gruelling interview?
This time Calvin is telling Hobbes about a report he did in class that day:
Calvin: Boy you should’ve seen the sparks fly when I gave my half of the report. I’ve never seen Susie so mad. She accused me of not doing any research and claimed I made up the whole thing.
Hobbes: Did you?
Calvin: Heck no. I took a few creative liberties.
Hobbes: And they called your mom over for a few creative liberties?
Calvin: You think Susie was mad...