The Clam Chowder Incident
I had a lot of fun at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus this past weekend! I got home this evening and immediately started getting ready to head down to New York City for New York Comic Con later this week. On Friday (October 5th) I'll be signing books at the Penguin booth (2204-H) from 2 - 3 pm. Come say hi if you're at the convention! I'm *pretty sure* we'll have some early copies of Caveboy Dave 2 available! 

Anyways, here's something a little different for you: I've been working on putting this together as a little zine for a while now. It's a short story with a few little spot illustrations. I originally wrote the story in 2012 while living in southern California. It was first published without illustrations in AHOY, BOOTY!, a zine put together by Em Partridge and Lainey Diamond. The illustrations were created VERY slowly over the last couple years in between working on other projects while living here in Syracuse, where I am now. The new illustrated zine version is pretty much done, all I need to do is draw something to go on the cover and print it up (Grand Poobah Postal Club level supporters will definitely be getting a copy in the mail as soon as that happens and supporters at all levels will get a PDF version). Until then, here it is for you to enjoy!


I decided to have butt surgery after the local newspaper ran an editorial piece suggesting that my perfect posterior was dangerous because it had caused at least six car accidents.

My entire life I'd had a magnificent butt. It's the one thing that people would always remember about me. Not my face, not my name, not the fact that I'm awesome at Monopoly or that my favorite color is "eggshell." Just that I had the most perfect butt in the state of California, possibly even in the entire world.

I still don't think my butt was to blame for that first accident. A car crashed into a coffee shop, plowed right through a mailbox and into the front of the building. Luckily no one was killed except an old guy who witnesses said was "really coughing up a storm" and "was probably going to die soon anyways." The driver later admitted to being "really stressed out" and also "full of margaritas." The driver's lawyer claimed that my perfect butt had distracted her client, causing them to drink several margaritas while driving and to not see the coffee shop directly in front of their speeding sport utility vehicle. But I bet they would have crashed right into that coffee shop even if I hadn't been dancing along the sidewalk that day, listening to Elvis Costello songs on my iPod. 

The second accident was probably my fault, I'll admit. I bent over right in the middle of a crosswalk to pick up, not just any old coin, but a commemorative bicentennial quarter. You don't see one of those every day and I couldn't just leave it there. I know I would have found myself full of regret later if I hadn't stopped to pick it up. Anyways, there I was, bent over in the middle of a busy intersection, my glorious butt sticking right up in the air. You've probably already guessed what happened next. That's right: a five-car pile-up. Again, that one is on me and I'm truly sorry and feel especially terrible for the baby who was in the back seat of that Ford Taurus who now has to go through life without a nose and for the wealthy business man who, because of the accident, was late to his very important meeting downtown at the Hard Rock Hotel. 

The third and fourth accidents may or may not have been my fault. No one can prove for sure that they were caused by my rump, but there wasn't any evidence that they weren't either. I'd spent a few hours at the gym and made the mistake of using one of the elliptical machines that backs right up to the big window facing out onto Fifth Avenue. So there I was with my iPod, butt facing the window, sweating along to Jamiroquai's Greatest Hits. Apparently two separate accidents occurred just outside the gym in the twenty minutes I spent working my unbelievable glutes. I had no idea! I was totally in the "interplanetary good vibe zone," working off all of my "Canned Heat."

By the time the fifth accident happened the local authorities were starting to get pretty suspicious. The fact that I was present at so many accidents just seemed really fishy, I guess. Anyways, I was riding my bicycle down University Avenue and the chain popped off. So I was bent over, trying to get the chain back on without getting too much dirt and grease on my hands. And then BAM, a big old truck smashed right into the back of a bus that was stopped. The only person that was hurt in that accident was the truck driver, and the truck was covered in anti-gay marriage stickers so the driver was probably some senile old bigot who shouldn't have been driving anyways. But of course my butt was blamed for everything after everyone on the bus admitted that, much like the truck driver, they too had been watching my butt as I struggled to fix my bicycle chain, forgetting about any previous engagements they might have had and hoping the bus would just sit there forever. 

The sixth accident was terrible. Just thinking about it makes me want to puke. It was a Sunday, which is laundry day for me. The washer and dryer are in a little shed out behind my apartment complex. All of my pants were in the wash, of course, so I was wearing the gym shorts that I always wear when all of my pants are in the wash, which is fine. So laundry day was going very smoothly until I spilled clam chowder all over myself. "FUCK," I shouted, because it was hot and because I really like clam chowder. 

I took off my shirt and my gym shorts even though all of my clothes were out back in the laundry shed. But I thought there was a chance that maybe some of the stuff in the dryer might be dry enough to wear. So I wrapped myself in a towel, thinking that it would only take me thirty seconds or so to run out the back door and into the laundry shed where I could put on some dry or, at worst, slightly damp clothes. But when I got out there I discovered that someone had stolen all of my clothes from both the washer and the dryer. The only articles of clothing I had left were covered in clam chowder and also inside of my apartment. So after a few moments of screaming and crying I held the towel tightly around myself and dashed out of the laundry shed and straight back to the back door to the apartment complex. It was at that point that I realized I'd forgotten to prop the door open and that I'd also forgotten my key. 

I had two options. The first one was to run around to the front of the building and hope that, through some miracle, I would catch a neighbor entering or leaving through the front door. My second option was to remain in the laundry shed and resume my screaming and crying. I went with the first option. Unfortunately, no one was entering or leaving through the front door. So after a few awkward minutes I began screaming and crying right there on the sidewalk in front of my apartment complex. And then things got even worse. A jogger came rushing past and their watch snagged a loose thread on my towel and ripped it right off of my body. I was as naked as the day I came into this world. My entire situation was right there, perfect butt and all, totally exposed for everyone to peep at. I started banging my fists against the front door, screaming, hoping some kind neighbor would hear me and rush down to let me in. I don't know how long I was out there, naked and crying and banging my fists against that door. All I know is that everyone walking or jogging or driving by could see my breathtakingly perfect naked butt and that they were all so enchanted by it that none of them were paying any attention to each other and thirteen people ended up in the hospital and the local authorities pointed their fingers at my butt and said that it was a menace to society.

The editorial piece in the newspaper was the last straw. Suddenly every single person in town knew about my awesome butt and they all hated it. Three weeks later I went under the knife and had my beautiful, perfect butt altered. Now it's just a normal butt. 

Last week I came home and was surprised to find a flat, rectangular box leaning against the door to my apartment, wrapped up like a present. It was a Monopoly set. 


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