I loved writing cartoon ideas for Strange Brew, a nationally syndicated cartoon panel originated and drawn by John Deering of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. One of my favorites was the cartoon I wrote about Kip, my Brittany Spaniel, attending a 12-step meeting.
After it was printed, a few people I showed it to told me they didn’t get it. And one friend in my writing group said she was getting the same reaction from her friends. I was perplexed. What’s not to get about a dog saying he’s addicted to cats?
As it turns out, those people weren’t reading very carefully. They read Cataholic as Catholic. What? Why would a dog be standing up at a 12-step meeting stating that he’s a Catholic??? I was flabbergasted.
A few days later, Lou Gelfand, the ombudsman for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, printed this in his column:
The aptly named “Strange Brew” cartoon on the comic page Wednesday showed a dog at a dais addressing fellow canines. A wall posted said “12-step program.”
The speaker said, “Hi . . . may name is Kip . . . I’m a cataholic.”
Several readers who may have misplaced their reading glasses lost their intellectual equilibrium. Typical was this e-mail:
“It was offensive, caustic, ignorant and persecuting to even remotely imply that being a Catholic is in any way an affliction or addiction. Another example of irresponsible and unbridled liberalism.
Hilarious! I was curious so I called Lou, told him that the cartoon was my idea and asked about the other responses he had received. He said an irate dentist had called him, fuming about the paper’s anti-Catholic bias. Lou let the fellow finish ranting, then calmly said, “The dog is saying he’s a cataholic, not a Catholic.” Click.
Again, hilarious! Can you imagine that dentist going from outraged to mortified in one second flat? It calls to mind Emily Litella from Saturday Night Live: Oh, that’s different. Never mind.”
I called John Deering and told him about the complaints and he was floored too. It never would have occurred to us in a million years that Cataholic would be read as Catholic. We had a good laugh about it!
What a difference a letter makes!
Click here to see my Strange Brew cartoon about my daughter’s gold medal at the Bedtime Olympics!
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.