Rabbits Underfoot

A few months ago, on one of my morning walks, a rabbit hopped across the sidewalk as I was approaching and disappeared into the shrubbery surrounding a flower garden. “Good morning, Mr. Bun,” I said, drawing upon Calvin and Hobbes terminology. I saw another rabbit, or perhaps the same one, on a walk about a month later, and occasionally spotted Mr. Bun on later walks, too.

But on a recent walk when I saw what appeared to be Mr. Bun, I noticed another Mr. Bun, and another, and another, and another. There were a total of five rabbits in close proximity, and I realized that one of them probably had to be Ms. Bun. A single rabbit might be cute, but when you see five rabbits hopping along together you realize that the rabbits are probably starting to breed . . . well, like rabbits. And when rabbits put their minds to it, they can be pretty prolific.

It’s the kind of concern that caused Australia to build its famous “rabbit-proof fence” to try to keep rabbits that had spread across the eastern part of the country from devastating the farms of western Australia. We’ve got a rabbit-proof fence of sorts, in the form of a sturdy, solid wooden barrier, around our backyard, and I don’t grow any vegetables, anyway. But I’m going to keep my eye on the rabbit population, and tell-tale signs of rabbit munching on the gardens and plants in the neighborhood. With no natural predators in the vicinity, except passing cars, it’s not hard to see the rabbit population growing exponentially, until German Village is hip deep in cute furry creatures.

Comic Relief

In the midst of a cold, dreary winter and a continuing pandemic and quasi-lockdown, I really enjoy a good laugh now and then. So lately I’ve been trying to use Facebook to join groups where the posts are likely to give me a smile.

My two favorite comic strips, ever, are The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes. That opinion apparently is shared by many people out there in social media land, because there are lots of Facebook groups just for fans of those classics from days gone by, where the participants can post favorite selections from those legendary strips. By joining the groups, I now get a regular feed of Gary Larson’s takes on cows and dogs and insects and scientists, and Bill Watterson’s treatment of Calvin’s Mom and Dad and disgusted friend Suzy again. And a recent post made me remember how much I enjoyed the Calvin snowmen strips like the one above — which seems apt, right now, with those of us in Columbus being in the middle of a frigid, snowy period.

Social media obviously has some pluses, and just as obviously has a lot of minuses, too. I figure it makes sense to reorient and exert some personal control and direction over the whole Facebook experience, mix some humor in with the politics and the ads, and try to put the social media world to better use.

Return Of The Far Side

Here’s some very welcome news — it looks like The Far Side may be returning to the funny pages.  (Well, perhaps not to the physical funny pages, because it looks like any new panels apparently will be offered online only, but you get the idea.)

gary-larson-far-sideGary Larson’s The Far Side was unquestionably one of the most original — and funniest — cartoons ever conceived.  It ran from 1980 to 1995 and brought a daily chuckle to millions of fans, including me.  When it ceased its run we groaned, but clung happily to our favorite Far Side offerings.  But recently The Far Side‘s official website posted a new cartoon, featuring the familiar Far Side cows, dogs, and women wearing cat-eye glasses being blowtorched out of an iceberg.  Under the drawing was the announcement: “Uncommon, unreal, and (soon-to-be) unfrozen. A new online era of The Far Side is coming!”

I don’t think you can overestimate the significance of bringing a smile to people’s faces, especially in this era of so much rancor and discord.  It would be a great thing if The Far Side made its return to brighten our days,  Then, we could all start lobbying for a return of Calvin and Hobbes, too, and all would be right with the world.