Monthly Archives: October 2020

Glad to put another successful Inktober into my own private record book. Had I more sense with this one, I would have used a wet-on-wet inkwash instead of a kajillion squiggles to do the water. Live and learn!



When I was growing up there was a kid who had a Rabbit’s Foot in his pocket for good luck. Horseshoes were put over doorways, but in the U shape, to contain the luck, and not in the upside down Omega shape, which would make all the good luck run out. Seven was considered a lucky number.

And thirteen was considered unlucky. Walking under ladders, spilling salt, breaking a mirror, having a black cat cross your path. And if you stepped on a crack you could break your mother’s back.

Of course, different cultures have different notions. My college sweetheart, of Japanese ancestry, was horrified when I ladled something from the stove onto a plate, and tipped it away from me. “DON’T DO THAT,” she said. “When you do that, you’re pointing at a dead person.” She also told me that for every tsubu (grain) of go-han (rice) I left in my bowl, a child would be starving.

I have my personal superstitions, and I imagine everyone else does too. I have two that relate to oral hygiene. The first one is that I must never run out of dental floss. If I don’t have another dispenser of floss waiting in the wings when the last bit of floss comes out of the dispenser I’m using, it means I will endure poverty in the immediate future. And the second one is that whenever I intend to floss or brush my teeth, or (usually) both, I MUST look in the mirror and say, “Be careful.” If I don’t, something terrible will happen when I tend to my teeth.

It’s silly, but it’s real. We are comforted when we do some of these things, and we are discomfited when certain other things occur. Nor should we stop just because we are being irrational. If it does no harm, it does some good.

When I learned that today’s prompt was “ominous,” the first thing I thought of was the connection to the word Omen. And when I did, a little drama with a “Lady or the Tiger” ending unfolded. And good noticers will see one reason why going for the money might bring Bad Luck.

2020 1030 inktober ominous

How does an Inkster draw Music without relying on easy props like musical instruments or famous musicians? The Inkster simply asks, “What does Music Look like?” and draws what he sees in his mind.


This page is dedicated to my deceased friend Karen Wilkinson, who vigorously and unforgettably fiddled her way through songs like “Angel from Montgomery” and “Queen of the Roller Derby.” She made a different kind of music for the National Public Defender’s Office, writing policy and defending the downtrodden. She was called “A light in the darkness” by one Guantanamo inmate.

Hide nor hair. Tan me hide when I’m dead, Fred. Hide in plain sight, or, if there’s such a city as Plainsight, you could hide there.

Happy Birthday to Amy Ouzoonian, a most talented and charismatic poet in the Valley of the Sun, where I now live. Amy got to see my image before anyone else did; making that happen was my modest birthday present to her.


French speakers know that “Amy” and “St. Rémy” don’t really rhyme, but many Americans, including myself despite two solid years of French classes, mispronounce French words horribly. So please, let’s all pretend that the couplet

Raise a snifter of St. Rémy
To Her Excellency, Amy

rhymes perfectly. 🙂 and I hope you have fun finding hidden instances of Hide. Feel free to post your findings in the Comments.

Today’s Inktober prompt first got me thinking about the celebrities named Buddy that had won my admiration. There was Buddy Hackett, one of the funniest guys of all time. Buddy Rich, the incredible jazz drummer, and Buddy Holly, legendary rocknroller. Jack Nicholson was Buddy Rydell in Anger Management and Jerry Lewis was Buddy Love in The Nutty Professor.

But decent portraits of any or all of them would take hours. I wanted to do something quick, and something original. A lightbulb suddenly popped alit in a thought balloon over my head–the ULTIMATE Buddy would be…a conjoined twin! But what would the other twin be named–Muddy? Cruddy? Spuddy? No. Another lightbulb: SYSTEM! They would share a lower body, and they would walk using…the Buddy System!

And I could use this idea not only for Inktober, but for the Bad Pun Brain Teaser Contest I sometimes inflict on my Facebook readership! And before a lamb’s tail shook twice, I posted this in Facebook:

Friends, here’s yet another Bad Pun Brain Teaser Contest. This one is a toughie. If I hadn’t thought of it myself, I don’t think I would be able to solve it. But many of my readers are smarter than I am, so…

Imagine conjoined twin boys. They share the lower body all the way up to the iliac arches of their one pelvis. The one on the right as you’re looking at them has an unusual name: System. The one on the left has a much more ordinary name, that of a famous actor. What is his name?

Deadline is 3 PM today, Mountain Standard Time.

Winner gets a signed Laser print of one of my Inktober drawings.

Good luck, Solvers!

And in about an hour the contest was won by Brenda Anna of Maryland. She will be getting a signed print of today’s Inktober drawing, which is this:

2020 1025 inktober buddy

An Honorable Mention goes out to my former co-worker Nate Pleger, whose answer was “Joaquin,” after famous actor Joaquin Phoenix. Nate explained that they would need to get around using the “Joaquin System,” and that is a perfect example of a Bad Pun.

Another Honorable Mention goes out to the Funniest Man On Earth, Bill Campana, who just kept throwing out famous actors’ names, and goofed around with a weird blend of names (“rin tin dicaprio” for instance), and almost put me on the floor, crying from laughing. Bill came up with the correct actor, and answer, when he thought of Buddy Ebsen, but he was exactly one minute too late. And my classmate and friend Kristi Whitehurst Beckman also was correct but not in time.

Thanks to all participants!

Friends, this was dashed off in about 25 minutes. It is infested with puns, so please forgive another one: I dashed it off because I’m inspired by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., who was so Dashing.

A bad portrait of him is here, as are bad portraits of Neil Patrick Harris, Al Pacino, Slice Cooper, and Moe and Cirly of the Three Stooges. And those may be Maynard G. Krebs’s hands on the bongo drums. Or Marlon Brando’s.