Grieving For Paris By Rick London

Friends ask me “how are you funny on a day like today?”  Generally they are talking about terrorism or a natural disaster in which people are hurt or killed.

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The answer is simple. “I don’t.”

“You don’t”, some ask rather inquisitively.

“No, not even a little bit.”

“But you’re a humor writer and designer and such and you just leave all that alone?”


The point is, I, like everyone else have feelings.  And my sadness over what happened in Paris,  though certainly not heroic,  is no different than yours.

I feel. I think. I am conscious of events around me.   Today is not only a day I do not plan to “be entertaining, I am going to attempt to lose myself in a book or movie, spend some time with nature, and anything I can do to help stop the hurt.

Hurt?  Yes, it hurts when innocent people are gunned down or blown up, in any case, murdered for no particular reason other than some twisted ideology in which nobody wins.

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I know there are parents, spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends, cats and dogs all wondering what happened to the person whose life means everything to them.

There are people who run small businesses nearby who don’t even know if it is safe to go in to simply make a living to feed their families.  Maybe it is, maybe not. I am sure the law and military is doing all they can to prevent another such tragedy but there are no guarantees.

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All the while, I also realize this is out of my control.  As an “Aspie”, I will reel the whole scenario over and over in my mind to see how it could have been prevented, all the while, knowing that is just an exercise in futility.

I take it personally.  In the days of WW1, WW2, etc., even though it was also taken personally, sometimes our ancestors didn’t know for a long while the condition of their loved ones.

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Today with social media, many of us have friends in France and other friends here in the states that have friends and relatives there.  It’s a global village.  And the global village is grieving.  It will be for a long time.


Rick London is a writer, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons in 1997 which have ranked Google #1 since 2005. He also founded Rick London Funny Gifts in which he creates products showcasing his cartoons.

Why Some Parents Create Identified Patients (Scapegoats/Blacksheep) As A Necessity

(Part of this blog repeats a bit of some past blogs (but has to to tell the story correctly). If so, and you’ve read that part, my apologies. Please gloss over that part and get to the new stuff).  Thanks.  Rick

Fifty years ago last week, I saved the lives of my brother Andy Stetelman and sister Carol Stetelman-Abshire from a raging fire that destroyed our home.  It had started from a lawn mower gas tank that the landscaper left with the cap open next to the hot water heater in the storage room.  My parents were at a cocktail party at the Fine’s house.  It was 6:40 (give or take a few moments) CST on a Thursday night, October 1965.                                   npd trauma 1


The maid/baby sitter had locked herself out of the house and was repeatedly ringing the doorbell.  My six year old brother Andy was paralyzed with fear crying on the couch in the den on the west side of the house closest to the front door.   My sister Carol was in the hall bathroom taking a shower.

My 11 year old aspie mind assessed the situation. I could see it was bad and about to get much worse.  First I ran to the beige dial-up phone under the stairs next to the bridge table and called the fire department which was on a yellow sticker on the phone. There was no 911 in 1965.


I then knocked loudly on the hallway bathroom door to alert my sister who didn’t believe me (at first) but as smoked filled the house, she did and left through the front door.

I then pulled Andy next door to Richard Ward’s house who generously kept him calm there and safe so he wouldn’t re-enter the burning home.

For two weeks I had the role of “hero child”.  It felt awkward as I was not used to positive attention from my parents or family.

How do I remember these lucid details such as times, days of the week etc?  I actually remember much more of that night but no room to include.  Some people afflicted with autism/Asperger’s can remember details of situations as far back as 2 years old, some even further. I remember a lot of milestone details as far back as age four.  The fire is one of them.  I even remember how long it took for the fire department to get there after I called. I remember being nervous and twice having to hang up the phone as I could not dial the number correctly.  I remember how the smoke bellowed from my closet door as the Munsters played on tv.  That was 50 years ago. I was 11.

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Then I was told never again to mention what I had done and they were back to treating me as “the core of all the problems they ever had”.  My father mumbled something about humility and that was the end of the story.  I thought he was doing me a favor, teaching me social skills; but if asked about the events of the fire, which I often was, I simply told people, “I don’t talk about that anymore”.

It ruined my bedroom as well which was in an isolated attic away from the family. For all my childhood, I thought living in an isolated attic was normal. It was not. It was very sick, and often done with disabled children who “don’t fit the family lineage”.

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I don’t bring up this dark time in my life to get a pat on the back or receive the tag of “hero”.  That, of course, is not what I am/was at all.  Any brother or sister, I believe would do everything possible to get their sibling(s) out of harm’s way.

The reason for writing about that event, is what was to follow.  The “erasing of Rick”.  It was already happening, I simply was not aware.  I was an undiagnosed autistic child, barely making it in the world, and punished severely for my behavior.

Joe and Rose Kennedy did this with Rosemary with a lobotomy and an isolated cottage in an institution that Joe had built.  On a much smaller scale, that was basically what was being done to me.  In both instances, lies were manufactured so the public would be assured they were being protected from this “accidental monster they’d created”. My family did it to me on a much smaller scale; but with just as little class as Joe Kennedy. Not much.


In medical/psychological terms, they were creating the “Identified Patient”.  In street terms, the black sheep or scapegoat.  Scapegoats don’t just “happen”, they are created and for a very specific reason (click on link below for article explaining).

Why would any parent do that?  Narcissistic abuse follows one way into adulthood. Siblings and their friends begin to “believe the lies” as to face the truth would make them fall apart, literally.

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I’ve decided this family secret has officially ended.  Whoever believes me or not is immaterial.  I now know what happened and it has been confirmed by some extremely knowledgeable people in the medical community.  And now, of course there are articles and stories all over the media with the Kennedy story being leaked all at the same time.

I am in the process of writing a book, and soon thereafter a film.  I’ve set up a strategy that should something happen to me, members of one of my autism communities will finish both.  Also one member owns a very large film studio. So it will happen whether I’m dead, in jail, or unconscious.  My beloved wife Lee and an autistic group will receive the proceeds of both should something happen to me (I also have congestive heart failure) and active “flying monkeys”, now very angry ones.

These stories need to evolve no matter how scary they are, no matter how much they make waves, no matter how much they disrupt the status quo.  For if they don’t the very soul of this great country is gone.  And it is up to us, the citizens of this great country, to set such stories straight.  Not everyone will believe them and that’s fine.  Those of us who have the epiphany of the real truth is what matters. And if it helps one more person or family, it was all worth it all along.

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Excellent Story On Why Parents Scapegoat:


Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997 and Rick London Funny Gifts.

Old Codgers Like Me by Rick London

Had a beautiful hike early this morning with my favorite hiking buddy, my beloved wife, Lee.  It was overcast and we felt certain it might rain so we decided on one of the shorter trail.  It was rather cool which made it nice.  One problem though. We didn’t realize today must be “National Don’t Wear A Shirt Even If You’re A Bit Pudgy Like Rick Day” so we had a little trouble keeping our trail mix down.

One old shirtless codger did seem to score.  We let him pass us and pretended to view birds in the distance (which weren’t there) but he still attempted to get our, well Lee’s attention to no avail.

He found his mate up ahead about a ¼ of a mile and they traveled the rest of the trail together.  We immediately smelled the scent of deer musk and didn’t know if it was the happy new couple or a real deer which we see more often than “Shirtless Senior Dating”.

It may sound funny, but it is a bit horrifying.  I say not judgmentally as I have mirrors in my home and they scream “Wear a shirt outside Rick…You’re no longer 25).  I guess not everyone has such mirrors.  But it means someone(s) hooked up, and, all sarcasm aside, that can be a good thing.

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FYI, hiking shirtless in the warm or hot summer at any age is socially acceptable as it is not yelling, “Look at me, I’m available”.  It’s hot outside and people don’t want to be uncomfortable.  But hiking shirtless in weather like this truly compromises the immune system.

Lee and I took a few photos of the beautiful leaves changing and that was fun.  We picked up our bottled water and came home.

I promised myself I was going to write on my book, design some gifts, write a blog or two and maybe some cartoons. This time I did all of the above, with my shirt on, and that was a good thing.  Oh and I took a nap.  When I was younger I never used to take naps.

I think that is one of the wonderful things about getting older.  One can take a mid-afternoon nap with nobody asking, “Do you not feel good”?  or “Can I get something for you?”   They expect it.  After all I’m an old codger….with a shirt.  And I just hiked.  I deserved a nap.  And got it.

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Now I’m awake, laying on the carpet watching the game munching on kale chips.  If someone saw me now, they’d have a difficult time keeping their food down.  Glad Lee already ate.  :)


Rick London is an author, cartoonist and designer. He is best known for launching Google’s #1 offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times Cartoons.  He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) of Hike Our Planet.




Trending At Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons by Rick London: Donald Trump, UFOs and Autism


I like Donald Trump…….

No, no, not personally or even philosophically or politically, but he has to be one of the most generous of all politicians for humor writers, cartoonists, late night talk show hosts etc.

And it’s not that he’s particularly any different than any other presidential candidate, because frankly he’s not.  It would be unfair for me to single him out as “something special” in politics.   Am an Independent and have voted both GOP and Democrat. My party days have been over for a long time.

It’s not just the nutty things he often says……it’s…..the hair.  Face it, I’ve seen better-groomed shucked ears of corn.

The only real difference is, he has something that also belongs to many of us who have worked awhile on the humor side of arts and letters.  That is, no filter from  brain to mouth.  He truly doesn’t say anything that all the other candidates don’t think (but have that invaluable filter so as not to say it)….

Aspies (Asperger’s Syndrome) like me often have that same (filter-free zone in the brain).  So how could we Aspies not love him (at least in that respect).

And of course being on the writing side of the cartoon biz, we almost feel guilty.  Who else so generously would write the material for free, and not pay us?

Donald, you are EVERY cartoonist/humorists Apprentice in our hearts.  And trust me, we’d never ever fire you.

We’ve been creating some “The Donald” cartoon gifts, cards and tees for the past 4 or so years.

If you’re curious,want to buy stuff or just “Windows Browse”…………

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The Moomaid: The Story Behind This Londons Times Offbeat Cartoon by Rick London


“My mind sees in pictures”.  If you’ve followed medical science regarding autism or Asperger’s, you will hear this.  Though I don’t know the exact reason, I imagine it is because many of us have reading disorders, and had to use visuals growing up to learn. I think, read, and even write “in pictures”.

Yes I still see the words, but a visual usually manifests at about the same time.  I guess that is why I used to love those “reading modules” that came out around the mid to late 1960s at school. Each plastic card also had an attractive photograph or graphic that pretty much “told the whole story”.

For instance, when in grades 1-12 when studying, I would first ask a friend to study with me and that was extremely helpful as he/she often would have read the assignment.  It took me a week or two to read what other students often read within an hour or two.

On occasions I was unable to find an available study-friend, I would look at the graphics and/or photographs in textbooks and read the short explanation under it.  That, for me, often “told the whole story”, and to that extent, that’s what I learned.

Needless to say, I did dismally in college in my early years but after several decades of “street experience”, I returned to school and did okay (until health issues sidelined me).  But I had learned to read using a ruler etc.  I had trouble retaining a good bit of it on some days (due to autism) but on others I could focus and concentrate as well as most other students.

There was an upside to my learning disorders and that is, I learned to “put things together” as I was so often “solving puzzles” (that is, life), much of what others took for granted, by putting together pieces of various aspects of a project.

At times this would lead to what some might call “flights of fancy” and, I imagine, the elusive moomaid is no exception for most.

I do love stories (still) about mermaids and other sea creatures and of course I’ve mentioned many times my love of cows (and all animals, really) but cows to me are gentle giants that I could “hang out with” forever.

Finally, I was raised in S. Mississippi very near the Gulf Of Mexico.  The sea creatures were my friend.  I spent hours on the beach or in the tide contemplating life. I still love that beautiful place.

For those interested in seeing the moomaid on some of my licensed gifts…………

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————————————————————————————————————Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and gift designer. He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts, Londons Times Cartoons.






Crawfish Preschool The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

Crawfish 101 The Story Behind The Cartoon

Though I’ve been a vegan for 3+ years, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve had (and made) some mighty good crawfish dishes in my lifetime.  It was probably my favorite food back when I was a carnivore.  I grew up about 100 miles outside of New Orleans and my maternal grandmother was born there.  Her mother was grandmother was French so I imagine we’ve got a good bit of Cajun blood flowing around in us.

They used to say the bravest man who ever lived had to be the first person to eat a raw oyster.   I’m not so sure about that.  I remember when a friend revealed to me at about age 12 or so that the best part of crawfish was sucking the heads (the brains actually).  Though that sounds particularly gross to me now, I’m sure most of my crawfish-loving friends understand that that is truly a fact (though the tails appealed to me more than lobster).

I wrote a lot of the Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons way back in my twenties and saved them in a shoebox in case one day I might use the writing for something. I didn’t have a clue as to what, but thought maybe tv or radio.  And though I worked in both, never once was there a demand for my “little captions.

One might think the topic of crawfish would be one of those captions but alas, I didn’t realize until about 2006 that I didn’t have one crawfish cartoon in my arsenal of work, and even then it took another 5 months for the artist to get around to it.  I’m glad he did as, though it is not necessarily one of our more popular offerings (a lot of the world still doesn’t know what a crawfish looks like much less tastes like), most of my friends back home near New Orleans often ask for this particular graphic.  Happy haute’ cuisine, Hebert!

To see this cartoon image on Rick London-designed products…….click on the blue box…….

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————————————————————————————————————Rick London is a songwriter, author, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best-known for his launching of Google’s #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts. He is active in autism/Asperger’s, animal, childrens, and veterans causes.


Drones Are Wrong (Parody Song) To The Tune Of Stephen Bishop’s On And On by Rick London

Drones Are Wrong by Rick London c2015 (To the tune of Stephen Bishop’s On And On)

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A pilot faker and a piece of tin, a drone takes off like an old spare part,
Planes are in queue, can take down a jet like a battering ram,
Can even cause fighter pilots to scramb-le
Drones are wrong,
And destruction they bring

Litigation files,
One just hit the jet’s wing,
Drone’s owner is dumber than a benzene ring,

Drones are wrong, Drones are wrong, drones are wrong.
Should be a detainee because he’s just not alright.
His film won’t be featured at Cannes,
We need no more overflies,
He might as well fly a pie in the sky,

Drones are wrong,
Could be people dying,
They fly for miles,
And a safe landing they’re trying,
Drones are wrong, drones are wrong, drones are wrong.

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There’s a reason it’s a bad crime,
It can change the planes rad,

And if your drone hits,
You’re the one they will indict,
The plane is low altitude and it has to land,
Your drone is needless it ain’t nothin’ grand,
You got no friends and you don’t have no fans,
So you endanger people for your testosterone and adrenal glands,

Drones are wrong,
Is that your brain that’s frying,
My frequent flyer miles,
I don’t feel like dyin’,

Drones are wrong, drones are wrong, drones are wrong,
Drones are wrong, drones are wrong, drones are wrong,
Drones are wrong, drones are wrong, drones are wrong.

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Rick London is a songwriter, author, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons And Funny Gifts.  He is active with Autism/Asperger’s, animal, environmental, childrens, and veteran causes.

Autism, Scapegoating And That Which Is Revealed by Rick London

It is said that if you are patient, especially regarding an issue that has been bothersome, “more will be revealed”.

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I decided, for the first year to alert my contacts in the autism network regarding my entire story, so that if anything happens to me, the story will be written.  The whole story. Not just the very late discovery of the condition, but the scapegoating, the being hidden in an attic for 12 years, the current flying monkeys, etc.  So the world is aware.

(For those who aren’t aware flying monkeys are generally low self-esteemed persons recruited by narcissists, who often give the FMs money or material goods or both and pretend to be their friends), in trade to do “their bidding” and purvey lies, rumors etc about the scapegoat in their family-of-birth. This can, and often is a “lifetime friendship”.  Flying monkeys can also often be narcissists as well).  Though most are unaware of “their roles” they’ve been given,  many are aware and enjoy further damaging the real family victim to receive favor from the narcissist.

The second year, I plan to get more formal education on the topic and write a book, and the third year release a film.  I don’t feel those are lofty goals, and I will have more education at that time to temper my knowledge with more researched information, making for a better film.


But back to the people with whom I cyber-associate.

For the several years I’d looked up to one, given that he has a descendant in his family with autism, and he showcases her, especially regarding her accomplishments.  That made my heart flutter; to see a family that embraced the condition, and is actually quite proud of it.

I posted an Anne Lamont meme, one of her famous cynical quotes regarding “If you wanted me to write nice things about you, you should have behaved better”.  I didn’t say I was going to follow that “order”, I only posted it.

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This kindly grandpa (and good man) wrote under it,  “Oh so now you’re going to write about them”.

Am not sure what he meant by that.  I am in hopes he was just having a bad day rather than projecting double-standards; that it would be okay for me to be abused, but not his own.   Those things happen.

But much more important are the positive aspects of learning of this condition and how to deal with it.  It is part of life. It is biological. It is inherited. It is not something I necessarily wanted.  But it is something I ended up with.

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I learned that the woman I chose to be my wife is the best wife anyone could ever have.  She is not deterred in the least by the condition. If anything, she is my greatest advocate.  We both make fun of, and laugh at “some of my little rituals”, mainly because they are, indeed funny, and it’s fun to laugh at that kind of silliness with someone I love dearly.  I like to scrape paint off our walls (really); even in my sleep, I occasionally flap my hands, and other funny things.  Really.

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Also, emails and messages have come in almost weekly, many from my hometown who have told me they have children or other family members with autism, and discrimination is alive and well there (in Hattiesburg).  In fact, they still “eat their young”.  That is sad to hear, but really not so surprising.  Hopefully the next generation is ahead of us in such ignorance and will do the right thing.

I also have received emails from scapegoats of NPD (narcissist personality disorder) families in which they are just now discovering what happened to them, why they are not liked, why the lies have spread to everyone except them, etc.  That is also alive and well.  NPD is a disorder (not a condition like autism) that is addictive and people with it are in denial.  If they are parents they tend to “triangulate” their children creating a “golden child”, a “scapegoat” and often on that overlaps (or leaves) who is the “lost child”.

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They often don’t help their own, yet are hyperactive in community affairs, doing far more than anyone else in charitable work, but of course it is all a show.  They almost always have “to advertise” all the good that they’ve done.  True charity is very quiet.  NPD charity is fired with a cannon.

Those of us who are survivors of both autism and NPD families will continue to pray for them.  Miracles do happen. People do get better. But only if they want to.


Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts.  He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who is best known for her popular hiking blog

My Old Friend Aqualung The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoons by Rick London


I loved Jethro Tull…..and I still love them, though I’ve not heard them in quite awhile; though I did listen to “With You There To Help Me” on iTunes yesterday, just because I like to hear some of my favorite old JT songs every now and again.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who, upon first hearing of the band, though for sure that guy with the flute’s name was “Jethro Tull”.  I later found out it was/is in fact “Ian Anderson” and felt like a nut for many years….okay still do.

And I just learned today how they got the name “Jethro Tull” straight from the horse’s mouth…okay flutist’s…Anderson says, “Our agent, who had studied History at college, came up with the name Jethro Tull (an eighteenth century English agricultural pioneer who invented the seed drill). That was the band name during the week in which London’s famous Marquee Club offered us the Thursday night residency.”

What was it about Jethro Tull that was so special?  They used phenomenal engineering to enhance the music, though it was not only engineering. I noticed upon seeing them in concert several times that the music was every bit as stylish and listen-able as it was in the studio.

I also remember the novelty of when I first heard Blood, Sweat, And Tears and Chicago and their risk-taking adding brass to their repertoire.  The same is true of adding wind instruments (flute) to Jethro Tull. It was new, it was different, and the fact that they made music, a lot of music that remained classics makes me still want to listen to them.

And why this cartoon?  Well the entire song is about being good friends with an inanimate device, an aqualung (used for deep-sea diving).  I imagine it is probably symbolic for someone who provides oxygen but that’s only a guess.

In any case, I envisioned what it might be like if the two ever parted.  And this was the result.

To see (or buy) this image on over 100 items such as tees, cases, mugs, home decor, and much more…..

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts.

Spam Spam Spam The Meaning Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London



spam FB


Before my discovery of the Internet, television was one of my greatest escapes.  I even worked in that “industry” for a decade or so.  For those who have not worked in it, please take my word, it is nuttier in real life than it appears on the tube.

But occasionally, there is a moment of sanity.  A slice of solace. A bit of serenity; that is, a part of television that not only mocks the industry itself, but all authority and anything of arrogance.

That something for me, in my young adulthood, was Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  To me, John Cleese was a genius (and still is).  In his prime, during this production of his show (and subsequent films), nobody could do it better.

Even Lorne Michaels, producer of SNL gives Cleese and Monty Python credit for being “the trailblazer to the absurd. Perhaps one of Cleese’s most popular sketches (aside from dead parrots and wearing women’s clothes) was the Spam Spam Spam skit.

And though his version was decidedly about the atrocious meat called spam, this cartoon attempts to take it a step further; predicting his behavior upon receiving unwanted email.

Hope you enjoy.


Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer. He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons And Funny Gifts.