I often think of myself as a cartoonist who can't draw and this blog as a series of single panel scenarios, sketched in words, concluding with a pithy punchline in the last paragraph.
If were a clever man, I could transform all my written cartoons into a collection of enlightening aphorisms. What are La Rochefoucauld's maxims, after all, if not a book of po-faced comic strips? Who is Seneca, if not Charles Schulz wrapped in a blood-stained toga?
But I'm not a clever man, unfortunately. If only I'd paid more attention during the weekly art lessons in high school I might be drawing for the New Yorker.
Our teacher once asked the class to paint a picture on the theme of The Rummage Sale. So using the biggest brush available, I covered my paper entirely with yellow acrylic, which I then emblazoned with the memorable statement "Rummage Sale This Saturday 10 am" in blue letters. I claimed to be a conceptualist but still only received a F grade.
They kicked me out of art class eventually and I was banished to the library. This was rather embarrassing as I was already forced to spend the duration of French class in the library, having refused to answer to the name 'Etienne,' which is what the French teacher decided I would be called for that hour.
Describing that bookish exile now, I recall myself as a morose, sailor-suited child, helpless and alone, like a character drawn by Charles Addams or Edward Gorey who doesn't need a caption to explain his amusing plight.