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Artist's Commentary
The Real Classics

"When lift plus thrust is greater than load plus drag, anything can fly." What does it mean? I don't know. Is it true? Gotta be? That's how the flying nun explained her ability to fly. It may make about as much sense as "fall down go bump", but everyone who ever went to Catholic school knows that a nun's explanation is usually backed up by a vicious knuckle rap with a wooden ruler. So I'll just take her word for it.

For all of those cultural illiterates out there who don't remember The Flying Nun television show, what can I say? When you waste your youth either playing outside or reading books like Little Women or whatever highbrow classics have a habit of gobbling up kids time, don't come crying to me when you don't understand edgy, sophisticated, commentaries which reference our American TV heritage.


Published August 20, 2007

















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Artist's Commentary
The Coconut Trio

In 1986 three scientists at Northwestern University, Dr.'s. Lynn Halpern, Randolph Blake and James Hillenbrand, did a study of sounds that annoy the heck out of us. Their work appeared in the Perception and Psychophysics journal. Turns out that nails on a blackboard are one of the most annoying of all sounds. After all their study, they concluded that the sound very closely mimics the warning cry of the macaque monkey. Blake wrote in Psychology Today that, "we speculate that our spine-tingling aversion to sounds like fingernails scraped over a surface may be a vestigial reflex". Thus, our loathing of nails across a blackboard is an evolutionary response. However, a very wise fellow once concluded that by using that logic most people have brown hair because that was what made it easier for monkeys to hide among the coconuts.

P.S. We here at Pippin and Maxx are aware that many of you are not bilingual and therefore do not speak bovinese. We are also painfully aware that a shocking number of you have never been invited to participate in one of America's finest institutions of tolerance and acceptance for divergent social and economic classes. And sadly, you have never experienced its long tradition of kegger perspicacity, nor stood side by side with its toga clad warriors standing in the vanguard for the defense of moral purity. I'm referring, of course, to our nation's college sororities and fraternities. I will therefore translate for you. The letter in the above cartoon is, of course, the Greek letter "mu". For those of you who are just plain ol' dense, the letter is pronounced "MOO."

Published August 27, 2007





Artist's Commentary

Truth is like a watercolor on parchment which fades in the bright sunlight. It should only be brought out and observed on those rare occasions when it is absolutely necessary.

Saying from Annonimus, a thirteenth century Grump mystic.

Published September 3, 2007


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Artist's Commentary
Cotillion, Anyone?

Pippin and Maxx Entertainment in no way endorses the habit of spitting without a wad of tobacco or a dip of snuff firmly wedged between cheek and gum. Spitting is a dirty and foul habit only brought up to social acceptability when accompanied by the sweet aroma of a cup filled with expectorated tobacco products.

Published September 10, 2007

Artist's Commentary
Mystifying Pertubations

The beautiful thing about oriental philosophy is the more convoluted it sounds, the more profound people believe it is.

Published September 17, 2007









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Artist's Commentary
Big Shoes, Red Nose Disambiguation

Laugh therapy should not be confused with clown therapy. Among grumps laugh therapy is designed merely to find humor in other people's problems. Clown therapy, however, is a highly respected and skilled profession whose goal is designed to ensure that little kids grow up to need intensive psychotherapy. I'm convinced a leering clown is lurking behind virtually every neurosis, psychosis and whatever other osis one can come up with.


Published September 24, 2007

Artist's Commentary
Grammie Opines

This sort of serves Maxx right for violating one of the key tennants of Grump social consciousness, increasing, not decreasing, the poor. Maxx's maternal grandmother, Grammie Grump (the same grandmother who gave us P.E.T.A., People For the Eating of Tasty Animals) was also very philanthropic when it came to the poor and always tried to set a fine example for all the little grumplets. "Widers 'n orphans," she always opined. "There ain't enough of 'em." And every spring thaw when the feuding and fighting season began in earnest, she entered the battlefields to help fill their ranks armed with her trusted rolling pin Bertha Skull Basher.


Published October 1, 2007



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Artist's Commentary
The Fate of Phillip Sparrow

If you think idioms are painful, just try your hand at a dirge (a brief funeral hymn) or an elegy (a melancholy Greek or Latin poem in alternating dactylic hexameter and dactylic pentameter lines lamenting its subject's death, but ending in consolation). About the only consolation I could think of with that is actually learning how to pronounce dactylic.

Or, you could be asked to solve the perplexing doggerel:

Who put the bomp in the bomp-shu-bomp-shu bomp?
Who put the ram in the rama-lama ding dong?

Alternatively, you could be asked to ponder the moving epitaph:

I poorly lived,
and poorly died,
And when I was buried,
nobody cried.

Of course, there's always flyting, which is an invective poem whereby two speakers attempt to out-humiliate one another. Since it can get a bit bawdy, I'll just tell you American street rappers have taken up the mantle dropped by the fifteenth and sixteenth century Scots and let your imagination take you where it will.

I'm sure you all remember Harry Graham (1874-1936) who popularized the Little Willy verse. This is usually a quatrain revolving around the gruesome fate of Little Willy, Billy or some other unfortunate figure. An example is:

Billy, in one of his nice new sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burnt to ashes;
Now, although the room grows chilly,
I haven't the heart to poke poor Willie.

(The Norton Book of Light Verse, ed. Russell Baker [New York: W. W. Norton, 1986]: 304).

And let's not forget, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Browning, two poets who favored Sick verse. Examples of their works would be respectively: "The Raven", and "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came". And if your mordant curiosity is getting the best of you, Robert Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee" should either whet your appetite, satiate your ghoulish hunger, or sour your roiling stomach for Sick verse.

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Naturally, I haven't neglected everyone's favorite, John Skelton (1460 -1529), who used short verse in variable length stanzas in a form now appropriately called Skelton verse to opine such heart rending dramas as the loss of a sparrow named Phillip. For the literarily illiterate, if you can decipher the old English and have any clue to the mythological Greek references, here you go.

Of God nothynge els crave I
But Phyllypes soule to kepe
From the marees deepe
Of Acherontes well,
That is a flode of hell;
And from the great Pluto,
The prynce of endles wo;
And from foule Alecto,
With vysage blacke and blo;
And from Medusa, that mare,
That lyke a fende doth stare;
And from Megeras edders,
 For rufflynge of Phillips fethers,

The poem is called "The Book of Phillip Sparrow" and if you have a box of tissues handy, you're welcome to venture into this tragic and melancholy tale.

Lastly, I won't even begin to opine on the Spasmodic School. I start thinking about spastic colons and... well, you get the point, poetry and poetic language, far from being the benign, sedate, cerebral activity you thought it was, is actually a full contact sport not for the faint of heart.


Published October 8, 2007





Artist's Commentary
The Unreported Facts

For those of you who are worried, let me put you mind at ease. Dorf is very lucky and suffered only a minor eye injury. Other people are not so lucky though. In excess of 11,000 incidents of partial to total blindness occurs every year from unreported cases of toothbrush eye gouges. Ninety-six hundred cases of ligature strangulation from improper use of dental floss also go unreported each year. Finally, there are an estimated 2,200 people each year who suffer from frontal lobe bruising due to toothbrush penetration of the nasal cavity. Of those, nearly a third prove fatal as the penetration reaches all the way to the occipital lobe.

These and other fun facts can be yours with the purchase of my upcoming book, The Journal of Unreported Facts. This book is chocked full of equally delightful facts and would be great fun for the entire family. But, it is also indispensable for all those who have political or social agendas and need unreported facts right away to support their arguments. For instance, ever wonder where all those facts come from like, x number of crimes go unreported each year? We'll, we've got the scoop. Or, have you ever needed to know just how may people over the age of 26, but under the age of 27 are fatally injured in pogo stick accidents due to negligent bubble gum mastication? Well, you need look no further. Virtually any axe you have can be successfully ground with the unreported facts gleaned from this exhaustively researched book. And the beautiful thing is, contradictory or mutually exclusive facts are absolutely compatible with one another thus allowing you to successfully argue both sides of any argument with cold, hard, irrefutable, unreported facts. Just send any debit or credit card to Pippin and Maxx Entertainment and as soon as the book is published, or we're through with them, whichever comes first, we'll send them back to you.


Published October 15, 2007




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Artist's Commentary
Hazardous Ruminations

What could be worse than being a paranoid figment of a solipsist's imagination?

Published October 22, 2007



















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Artist's Commentary
The Phonetics of Female Behavior

The three fastest ways of communication: telephone, telegraph, tell a woman. Let's face it. Women have many faults. Not the least of which, they're chatter boxes. It's a scientific fact. Why, if you go all the way back to the Greeks, you find that the echo is named after a female nymph of the same name with a propensity for jabbering. The story line varies, but the one that's probably most accurate is that Juno cursed her with always having the last word, but never being able to initiate her own, because she blabbed one time too many.

One of the greatest musicals of all time, My Fair Lady, puts the situation with women and their overall behavior into perspective as Professor Higgins opines to Colonel Pickering,

Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;

(This is why men are usually not very good lawyers or used car salespersons.)

Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.

(Ever seen a man throw a fit over loosing a silly ball game? Ever seen a man become irate over a little friendly competition?)

Well, why can't a woman be like that?
Why do they do ev'rything their mothers do?
Why don't they grow up- well, like their father instead?

(With impeccable table manners and an appreciation for the finer things like theatre {A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.}, opera {as in the Grand Ole}, and good literature {Sports Illustrated, Hunting Illustrated, actually anything illustrated, Spiderman and the Victoria's Secret catalogue).

Men are so pleasant, so easy to please;
Whenever you are with them, you're always at ease.

(How many men are hard to please. Take the dinner table, as an example. The average fellow will eat most anything set before them and usually go out of their way to do the dishes afterwards, because they appreciate all the hard work that's already been put forth on their behalf. )

One man in a million may shout a bit.

(If that. It's been my experience that shouting, like cursing, is an extremely rare trait in men.)

Now and then there's one with slight defects;

(True, very true, but men are always willing to own up to them and seek guidance and counseling for them.)

One, perhaps, whose truthfulness you doubt a bit.

(But you usually feel guilty about it later.)

But by and large we are a marvelous sex!


Men are so decent, such regular chaps.
Ready to help you through any mishaps.
Ready to buck you up whenever you are glum.
Why can't a woman be a chum?

(Talking things out, sharing their feeling with one another, that's what keeps men so psychologically stable and such all around easy going fellows.)

All in all, Professor Higgins was quite an insightful fellow and if you ever wish to learn from his insight into female psychology and his overall wisdom towards life, I recommend you check out my favorite musical, My Fair Lady.


Published October 29, 2007










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Artist's Commentary

What our woodchuck forgot to take into account is Maxxism #1:

If brute force isn't the answer, you've asked the wrong question.

Published November 3, 2007


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Artist's Commentary
Marshmallows and Old Boots

It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we do know that just ain't so.

  Artemus Ward

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it is also more nourishing.

H. L. Mencken

Published November 12, 2007