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Seriously, Sign up for TSA Pre-Check

Posted in Uncategorized by cesco7 on October 15, 2017

Let’s not kid ourselves (or, given how obvious it has always been, I should stop implying otherwise)—Ted Forth is for the most part just a whiter version of me (even in winter, when my skin turns from brown to olive to a lighter shade of Gamora). Sure, we don’t have the same number of siblings (I have one, who moonlights as Alice’s youngest), we don’t live in the same proximity to our parents (I’m just an hour away by LIRR and happened to be at my folks’ house when the rehab center called about my dad), and we don’t dress at all the same (about 98% of my wardrobe consists of hoodies and graphic tees…oh, and pants, in case that needed to be said).

But these are all superficial differences. And sure, the similarities can also be described as equally superficial (love of Star Wars, Micronauts, kaiju, 70s Saturday cartoons, holiday TV specials, and, well, that list can go on and on). But both of our thought processes are sifted through pop culture or at least some sort of media. After all, I’m working through the pain of losing my father by way of a comic strip (hijacking newsprint space and reader’s time and/or patience in the process), which is certainly self-indulgent but absolutely necessary for my grieving process. And in the coming days Ted will take a similar approach to address his own loss. So there is no denying Ted is essentially me. And the fact that Ted is, well, not exactly a strong role model (or to some even an adult) is a deliberate decision (or an unconscious and inescapable one given my own level of “maturity” that I will pitch as “deliberate”). I don’t like perfect characters. And I (this is where I will try to be delicate but no doubt fail spectacularly) do not care for avatars that are essentially the writer wanting all the hurrahs, all the achievements, and all the allowances that in real life would have caused someone to bitch-slap them a long time ago.

But let’s conclude on a far more important note—I greatly appreciate all those who have bravely shared their own stories and pain with losing a loved one, both here and on Facebook. We all need a community, we all need to know we’re not alone, and we need to know that someone is listening. You have been exceeding generous to hear me, in these posts and in the comics, and I will always listen to you.

Oh, and really, if you travel more than once a year sign up for TSA Pre-Check. You go through the line so quickly you realize you didn’t have time to shove your phone, keys, and for no reason the $4.27 you have entirely in pennies into your carry-on before hitting the airport scanner.

PS: For those wondering, yes, the Forths are allowing Hilary to skip school for a little while (it will feel like several days but will be a week in “real comic time”). But when she comes back to class her fellow students will have moved on to multivariable calculus and partial derivatives, causing Hilary to have to repeat the seventh grade for what will feel like the eighth year in a row (really, it took forever to even get out of elementary school).

4 Responses

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  1. Thumper said, on October 15, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Yes, pants needed to be mentioned… 😉

  2. Bill said, on October 16, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I admit I smiled and almost laughed out loud about avatars being the writer wanting all the hurrahs, etc. One strip immediately came to mind and let me say, you’re telling a story in a way certain others have tried and failed spectacularly. The story you’re telling and the way you’re telling it has happened to us all. Others told a sad story because they wanted to be rewarded. Thank you for your emotional honesty. I remain a fan.

    • cesco7 said, on October 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you very, very much, Bill.

  3. maradanto said, on October 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm


    So sorry to hear about your dad. Thank you for giving us a window to your grieving process. My folks are each pushing 80, and I know the day is coming far too soon when I’ll have to say goodbye as well. I don’t doubt that your experience (and Ted’s) will help a lot of us to gain perspective on our own.

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