Active Blather: August 2002

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August 29,2002
Filming continued on the "Single White Vinnie" episode this past Sunday. We didn't film as much as we originally planned, but progress was made. I have mentioned before that this episode is "the episode that refuses to die" and it is still living up to that moniker. 

Sunday did see a historic first for the Idiots : we filmed our first scene with a steadycam! Actually, it was Tim who had to get suited up in the steadycam armament and filmed a scene that involved Arlo running from inside his home to his front yard. Tim had to run backwards for this video jaunt at least four times and got exhausted pretty fast. After seeing all the stuff he had to wear to use a steadycam, that came as no surprise. Pretty heavy stuff. It makes me wonder if all professional steadycam operators have bad back problems and big chiropractic bills.

We were a little worried about the footage during filming (streaky black lines could be seen during playback), but Tim later said everything was fine when he played the tapes in the studio. Yay!

Thanks to Tim, Shushan Richardson, Mary McCammon, Jon Sipes, Bill McIntosh and Matt Ruddick for showing up and making public access magic! And, of course, thanks to Beverly Thornburg for the use of her garage once again!

After the shoot, Tim, Shushan, and I went out to dinner at the Red Sun (a local Chinese Buffet) and had a good time eating Chinese. It was a good way to end a good day.

August 28,2002

Well, my fears about the killer mosquitoes have come true. Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found in Muncie and in Delaware county. In other words, they have successfully invaded my home space!

County officials are taking action by gassing the little bloodsuckers and the public has been told to take precautions. The chances of contacting the virus is slim so I'm not too worried about the skeeters. I have other things to worry about like possible tumors and cancer. My life is full of fun!

Well, I could blame my lack of updates on the deadly, disease-carrying mosquitoes, but that would be 1) a lousy excuse and 2) not the truth. No, my old vice, laziness, is to blame again. Shame, shame!

I did a little work on the site though. I got rid of These Funky Links (the majority of the links no longer worked and I was getting tired of it sitting there doing nothing) and replaced it with The Funky Idiots' Mailbag! Check it out and be amazed (that we actually get letters)!

August 21, 2002
Yesterday, while I was checking the oil in my car, an elderly codger stopped at the edge of the driveway and said "Ma'am, can you give me directions?" Of course, he was talking to me, your very own Webmaster Tommy C! (YO!).


Friends, I may be a lot of things, but I am certainly not a woman. I think you all know that, but for some reason complete strangers believe I am. Not all complete strangers. Not even a majority of complete strangers, but a select few do. Why does this happen? I have no clear answer. Should I blame it on my bushy wig-like hair? Or perhaps on my middle-aged, housewife physique? I have no clue.

August 20, 2002
I am a very lazy man. Did I update the strip this past Friday? No. Did I update the strip Monday? No. Have I been preparing for the next strip? No. 

I'm pathetic.

And lazy. Very, very lazy.

It's times like these when I wonder if I have what it takes to be a cartoonist. Perhaps I should pursue another vocation. Maybe I should become a Christian ventriloquist. From my research (aka "channel surfing"), I have noticed when Christian ventriloquists appear on TV, they usually move their lips a lot. They do this so often it becomes painful to watch. If you don't believe me, flip on TBN (That's the Christian channel that features the woman with purple hair) and see. 

Another thing about Christian ventriloquists is that they have very ugly puppets. Bargain basement, butt-ugly puppets. The type of puppets that seemed to have been cobbled together by limbless, middle school shop teachers (Hi, Mr. Evans!).

Can I move my lips while speaking in a funny voice? Yes. Can I buy a hideous puppet and park it on my knee? Yes. Can I come up with a corny routine that is bland and not offensive to self-righteous fundamentalists? Yes.

Hooray! I am now a Christian ventriloquist!

Now let's all bow our heads and pray (That means you too, dummy!).

August 14, 2002


Today was a big day for my niece, Keeley. It was her first day at kindergarten and the first time she ever rode the school bus. While the thought of her getting on that big, yellow bus for the very first time was daunting for her Uncle Tom, Keeley proved she was made of sterner stuff. She excitedly waited for the bus and didn't hesitate to board it. As she departed for school, she left behind a tearful Mommy, Daddy, and Nana Banana.

Keke boards the bus

According to Carrie (Keke's mom), Keeley had a great first day and really liked her teacher. Her Uncle Tom hopes all her days at kindergarten are just as great as her first!

In honor of Keke's first day of school, here's a poem from my old friend, Job Friday.

Standing in the Driveway

Standing by the mailbox
Carrying too many books
Shifting from left foot to right
Oliver looks along the road
Red lights blink in the distance
Atop the hill
Anthony sighs
He pictures himself still in bed
Grasping his pillow
Grandma's quilt
The sweet silence of slumber
It's getting closer
He hears the whine of the brakes
For a brief moment
He wants to cry
But he doesn't
Those days are over
Oliver leads the way
Anthony falls behind
The yellow bus takes them away

August 8, 2002
I remember a time when I was afraid of killer bees. This was in the seventies, of course, when those killer bees from South America were migrating north to the good, ol' USA. I was a young lad of eight or nine. I remember one day hearing an item on the news about this new threat to humanity and I was scared. Having seen my share of movies involving swarms of bees (Which there was a spate of at the time. It must have been a fad in Hollywood. The eighties had movies about breakdancing, the seventies had movies about killer bees), I was petrified  those nasty stingers were on their way to Muncie (Specifically my house) to kill me and my love ones.

This hysteria only lasted one summer afternoon. I don't remember what soothed my fears, but I haven't thought much about killer bees since then. Until I heard recent news about the mosquitoes and the West Nile virus. Yet another foreign insect threat has invaded our land! Are they on their way to Muncie? And when is the killer mosquito movie coming out?

August 5, 2002
Yesterday was another hot day around these parts. The temperature spiked about 97 degrees. It's been a regular heat wave the last few weeks, the type of weather where you just step outside for a minute and you're coated in a thin layer of sweat. Yum!

Since it was so hot, The Funky Idiots' Players filmed outside yesterday for a few hours. We started work on a spin-off for the Rummage Sale Lady called The Rummage Sale of Horrors. It's basically a Tales from the Crypt-type of show (Please! No groaning!) with a comical bent.

We (Being Tim Richardson, Brad Quinton, Audrea Quinton, and myself) worked on some scenes involving an "actual" rummage sale. I constructed the set myself by grabbing stuff from the garage (We filmed at my house, doncha know?) and placed them around the card table Grandma loaned us (Thanks, Grandma!). Most of the items on "sell" were old props from previous Idiots' episodes mixed in with a few old paintings I painted in college. I caught a glimpse at the date on one of the paintings (It was completed in 1992) and felt very old for a moment.

We only had about three hours to film what we needed to be filmed and we did it! Poor Audrea had to wear her Rummage Sale Lady jacket throughout most of the shoot and she dutifully suffered for her art (Thanks, Audrea, for being a good sport! I promise to get the RSL some cooler fashions in the future!). So while Brad and Audrea acted up a storm, I worked boom while Tim directed. Chuck (You know, Charles Williams?) dropped by for a few minutes and brought a ladder and a wheelchair which we promptly used (Thanks, Chuck! Oh, what the heck! Thanks to Brad and Tim for showing up! There I thanked everybody! Oh, wait. Thanks, Mom! ).

I think it was a pretty good shoot. We'll just have to wait and see.

Copyright 2001-2006 Tom Cherry