Friday, May 12, 2006

One Saturday At Tom's

I was in the mood for some B. Kliban today.

Way back in the mid-80's, back before all this bullshit was happening, or maybe at the start of all this bullshit, back when I was young, there was this one Saturday afternoon at my friend Tom's house. He lived in Melville, Long Island, NY. He had a perfect house for parties, with a built-in pool, a picnic table, a gas grill, and a refrigerator stocked with beer. Sound was there that day, as were our future ex-wives.

I really miss those days sometimes, except I was with Stella instead of the Viscountess. Stella was like a backpack full of asphalt.

Never mind that though.

On that day, after some delicious grilled country ribs courtesy of Sound, a few beers and probably a joint or two, Tom said, "You guys want to see some B. Kliban Cartoons?"

"B. Kliban?"

"Wait right there!"

Tom went running into the house. Sound must have lifted an eyebrow. Stella sat there looking bored. In a flash, here comes Tom rushing back to the picnic table with a stack of paperback books in his hands, already laughing. Tom's laugh itself is funny. His laugh makes everyone else laugh, regardless of how funny (or unfunny) the original impetus to the laugh may have been. When Tom starts laughing, the party kicks into interstellar overdrive.

He flips open the first book and shows us this cartoon:

... and waits for a reaction. As I start to chuckle, Tom falls into a serious guffaw, laughing as he inhales so he can laugh louder on the exhale. Sound and I start to laugh, which makes Tom laugh even louder, which makes us laugh even louder, while our perplexed future ex's exchange looks that range from mild amusement, (Mrs. Tom) to annoyance, (Mrs. Sound) to sleepy (Stella.)

For the next hour or so, this continues non-stop. I still can't find my favorite from that day. It was a picture of long, single story frame house. On the roof it said, "Fred's House." I can't remember exactly, but I think right next to the house was a creature shaped exactly like the house, and "Fred" was written on him in the same handwriting. We must have laughed for 5 minutes straight over that one.

Anyway, it's Friday. I hope these bring some amusement to the beginning of a safe and enjoyable weekend for all.

More here.


Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

How odd. Must be a B Kliban kind of day. He came up in conversation this morning in my daily coffee/breakfsat group at work.

Thanks for the cartoons. I can't find any of my books. Must get unpacked.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Gray Lensman said...

Love to eat them mousies.
Mousies what I love to eat.
Bite they little heads off.
Nibble on they tiny feet.

B. Kliban

10:29 AM  
Blogger isabelita said...

That was one of my all time faves, too, GL. The blues-playin' cat...

Ah, that maze is about my speed lately...

1:34 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Cherfas said...

Omigod. Kliban came up for me too, two days ago, when a very old friend (who I think I turned on to him) sent me links to the site. I haven't replied yet.

And mousies was one of my favorites.

But then there's also

Squiggly, wiggly
Bird bath pie
Cat hips, fish lips
Poke you in the eye.

But I can't find it ...

3:25 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

Funny bit of synchronicity - I hadn't thought of him for quite some time. I don't what made me think of him, or that story...

3:57 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Beautiful. Kliban, along with Roz Chast, is one of the few cartoonists that I can't improve on.

We've all had a Stella, man.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Decatur Dem said...

Sometimes, when dining at a nice restaurant, Mrs. Dem and I will place our order and then, sotto voce, mutter "and some shit for my fly". It always cracks us up, but waitstaff just wouldn't understand, I fear.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous cali said...

"Stella was like a backpack full of asphalt."

I haven't had a Stella, but what a great line.

12:52 PM  

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