And so begins our new story. Every Tuesday we’ll update Three Hour Tour, and every Thursday will be more hijinks with the usual Unicorn Soup gang. Three Hour Tour is definitely a darker story, as you’ll see in the next few weeks, so it should provide a nice contrast to our usual goofiness. Let us know what you think!
A few weeks back Jack announced a new feature coming to Unicorn Soup, which will be a sort of serial adventure, updating Tuesdays in this same space. I’ve got about 2 months’ worth in the can, so we’ll start airing “Three Hour Tour” in a couple of weeks. Specifically, Three Hour Tour will premiere on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Jack and I are quite excited to show you this story, and I don’t want to spoil anything by talking about it too much. But I will say that it is a departure from our usual storytelling style, with bit of a darker touch to it. Unicorn Soup isn’t only about diaper jokes and video games (note to self– write diaper joke script), and this is just the beginning. Three Hour Tour isn’t an unlimited series. It has an ending, and once it’s done, we’ll move on to other stories. We’ve got a lot of ideas, and are working hard to find the time to explore them. Stick with us, we’ve got lots of fun in store!
My own children have learned this; if they can’t find a way to share something peacefully, then dad gets it all to himself. I’ve heard them whispering to each other, “My turn!” “I’ll tell!” “Ssshh! Do you want daddy to play Dark Souls all day?” This system works great for other things, not just video games. Desserts, for example.
They should really be playing outside anyway.
Commenting on someone’s weight at work is inappropriate. Most of us understand that. But soliciting comments on your weight or appearance is… reverse harassment, I guess? At any rate, it’s inappropriate as well, at least if it’s a regularly occurrance. If you’re insecure about your appearance, I recommend you follow Stuart Smalley’s lead. And leave me the hell out of it, while you’re at it.
Personally, I’ve only seen about 5 minutes of Game of Thrones, in total. I use my TV as nature intended, for shooting imaginary men in their imaginary faces. Judging from the fact that nobody on the entire internet can effing shut up about it, it must be a very good TV show. That’s nice. Maybe I’ll look at it when the series is finished. But probably not– I burnt out on long-running series back when X-Files started to founder. Actually, I quit that series early because I was still smarting from when David Lynch was forced to wrap up Twin Peaks. And have you seen the end of Evangelion? They had to make two movies to make sense of that, and it’s still incomprehensible.
The problem I have with these longer format stories is that I don’t like the rhythm. The writers are forced to always end with suspense to make sure their viewers come back next week, or next season. It becomes tiresome, and feels more like feeding an addiction than enjoying a story for me. Watching the episodes in chunks after they’ve first aired helps, but the over all rhythm remains unchanged. It’s even worse for shows that break for commercials, because the format requires three little suspense moments every episode. That’s why you can set your watch to an episode of House.
I’d like to see more series that run for one season only– Like Shogun. Tell a story, then stop. Unfortunately, when ratings are high, there is no ‘stop’ for studio execs. That comes when ratings droop, and they force a show to wrap things up. And I can’t think of any examples where that made a show better.
As hard as it is being frightened for your children in an uncertain world, it’s even worse to see that your children are afraid of something you have no control over. You can only protect them so far– confirming a lack of monsters under bed or in closet is the easy part. When they ask the hard questions, it’s hard to answer truthfully.
But I’m convinced that a truthful answer is the best; even if it has some short-term ramifications, such as nightmares. Maybe not the whole truth, but at any rate, no fairy tales. Later, when they learn the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, they’ll learn that you are untrustworthy. That’s bad, m’kay?
Okay, enough with the serious. We’ll be back to our usual inanity next week. Sleep tight!
Jack didn’t really feel like writing something funny last weekend, and who can blame him? So we’ll take this week to touch on some more or less universal parenting truths, and then be back to our usual goofy selves next week.
Every parent has a moment when they’re struck by panic and horror– when they realize exactly how fragile their child’s life is, and how futile it is to try protect them from the world. It’s a terrible feeling, as though the ground were suddenly dropping from underneath your feet. It feels as though it’s easy to slip into paranoia, and become “helicopter parents,” trying to shelter your child from every bad thing on this planet. It’s hard to know when to let go– to find the balance between sheltering and smothering.
News media does nothing to help you find that balance. If you take ‘infotainment’ to be a representative sample, then every third person you meet must be a predator just waiting for you to let your guard down, for that split second.
When my daughter was 3 or so, she took a header out our back door, and slid headfirst down a couple of concrete stairs. Right in front of me. She’d walked down these stairs countless times before– but this time she got tangled up by her own feet. I’ve been in a few situations where my own life was at risk (mostly on freeways in Southern California), but never did I feel the kind of cold panic that gripped me as she lost her balance. She was fine, just some scrapes on her chin and lip– a miracle she didn’t bust her teeth out, really.
And that dread was nothing compared to what I felt when she would ask questions about greater horrors– about what happened to the Indians on this continent when Europeans started setting up shop, or about terrorism. How do you explain that to a young child, in a way that is useful to them and avoids making them feel helpless? Without lying to them? Well, we’ll get to that on Thursday.
Interesting side note: when working on a previous comic that involved a cat, Jack sent me photos of his cats to use as reference. He has 2, the maine coon that is featured above, and a short-haired female with tabby markings.
I was taken aback, a bit. I have two cats (rather, my family is subject to two cats); they are brothers, both tabbys, one long-haired and one short– each the spitting image of their counterpart in Jack’s household. Since you’re reading this, you’re probably a nerd, and probably aware of how big a deal something like this is to cat owner/subjects.
We took it as a sign. Also, it means that all of the stunts were performed not by Jack’s cat, but by his stunt double here in my household.
By the way, our long-hair is named Jack. It’s turtles all the way down, folks.
Sharing Unicorn Soup with your friends has been scientifically proven to prevent your March Madness Brackets from bursting into flames after the first weekend. Seriously, Florida Gulf Coast–who picks a 15 to go to the Sweet 16?
That my dear reader is how I pass as a normal everyday of work. 30 minutes of ESPN radio a few times a week on the way to work and I’m set for my talking points.
Check it out, *ahem*
“So who do you like, Tiger or the field?”
“Yeah, Flacco signed a huge new deal but he won’t see most of that money.”
“The Yankees won’t even finish second the AL East–that division is loaded! Smart money is on Toronto.”
“D’Antoni’s system just isn’t built for two bigs.”
Pretty good right? I actually like sports well enough, but I haven’t watched any regularly for years…it’s just too dramatic. Not good dramatic, more like “Pretty Little Liars” dramatic. Don’t believe it? Just watch any emotionally manipulative ESPN bio piece… or a 30 for 30.
Anyway, it’s best to just have a few stock responses ready and when in doubt, go Jordan and you’ll be fine.
Weekly Soup readers we’ve got some exciting news. In the coming weeks Jim and I will be debuting an entirely new project.
I don’t want to say too much at this point, but it’s an adventure comic presented in the classic style of Milton Caniff‘s adventure strips. The new project will run on Mondays–so hopefully when you roll into work we can help you start your week off right. By “right” I mean sticking it to the man and showing them that you’re not some worker drone, you’re a human being and that means reading comics whenever the fuck you want! The story is already penned, revised, completed–so once we get a comfortable backlog of weekly strips produced we’ll begin releasing them. I’m lucky enough to have seen the first week’s strip already, and I have to tell you, Jim is extraordinarily gifted.
I think we’re all in for a treat.
All that said, have no fear Thursdays will still be reserved for the tomfoolery that you’ve come to expect here at Unicorn Soup. As always, we’ll alternate between what have become our three staples–the parenting and baby humor that my wife loves, the video game humor that she tolerates, and the masturbation jokes that she hates. The poor woman woman, the poor lovely, exceptional woman.