Judge Parker Spoilers
August has been a rather interesting month for me. First, I turned 1,005 years old. Then my new book I Could Pee on This, Too: And More Poems by More Cats came out this week. And starting this coming Monday, August 22, I join artist Mike Manley as the new writer of the comic strip Judge Parker.
Now, since it was announced I was taking over the strip a few people have wondered online what changes might occur. Most of those thoughts seem to involve a Judge Parker/Sally Forth crossover, much like The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, only in this Ted inexplicably finds himself writing Sam and Abbey a six-figure check for a glass of Spencer Farms lemonade, resulting in the Forths having to go on the lam one step ahead of creditors and that pesky news reporter who will be introduced shortly in Judge Parker. See? This is how you launch a Comic Strip Cinematic Universe. Minus the “Cinematic” part. And without Robert Downey Jr to launch it properly.
But people have been making predictions about how things will proceed from here on out. So without further ado let’s address some of those, always keeping in mind River Song’s warning for those who don’t want to know what lies ahead.
• Yes, there will be a car crash. And yes, the survivors will eat the dead. After all, the consumption of protein played a significant role in human evolution and it may be minutes before the band is found. (Let’s be honest here: If the car crashes then people will say, “I knew it.” If the car doesn’t crash then people will say, “I knew it. Nothing bad ever happens to these characters.” And if the car crashes and then explodes after rolling end-over-end into a mountainside orphanage run by an order of Capuchin Poor Clares just as they had told their charges “Yours will be a future as bright as all the stars in God’s firmament” then people will say, “I miss Margo, Lu Ann, and the third one.”)
• It will finally be Opening Day at the factory, and while the press will be there (reluctantly) Abbey and Sam will not. They will be at the morgue. Or maybe a Shoney’s. You know, you can pass that place every day and not think a thing of it. But then one evening in the middle of a long car trip you remember what a great bang for the buck their all-you-can-eat salad bar is. Plus, they have honey mustard dressing! And then you before you know it you’re sitting at a booth with a heap of greens and fixing asking yourself, “How the @$%# did I wind up at Shoney’s?”
• There’s a character named after an Italian sandwich. The police will never, ever let him live that down.
• Will something bad happen to a main character? Depends. Do you think death is a bad thing? The Bardo Thodol speaks of a death as simply the necessary step to our next self. Then our soul is transferred to a prized possession, after which that possession glows red until it is sold to another person in a secondhand shop by a self-proclaimed “Death Merchant.” What I’m trying to say is I recently read Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job and so should you.
• April did a bad thing.
• Hank does indeed leave for Alaska, but only after stumbling upon a horrible discovery. Or horrible self-discovery. Let’s face it, you don’t find you own three Nickelback concert tees—from three separate tours—without learning a terrible, terrible thing about yourself.
• “We’ve been watching you for a long time, Sam. We know you have a family now. And we’re going to take away everything you hold dear.”
• The Spencer Farms horses find they are all inexplicably the offspring of Triple Crown Winners Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and American Pharoah, meaning each now stands to inherit $75 million.
• Alan Parker will never get the hang of Final Draft.