Living Well – Fine Revenge This Valentines By Rick London

Today is Valentine’s Day.

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For many years that day didn’t mean a lot to me, whether I was in a relationship or not.

That may sound like a “call for pity” yet it is just the opposite.  I know now how blessed and lucky I am, not just to have my wife Lee in my life, but both of us understanding with what we deal; autism as well as building our lives together.

Some think I talk about autism too much, and that’s too bad and their issue. Autism is very much who I am, why I do what I do, and how I do it.

For numerous years professionals wondered how I “lived through what I lived through”, and there are times when I did too, yet they never told me what it was in which they were amazed about.

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More than one psychiatrist I told I was hidden away in an attic at age five which lasted my entire youth up until age seventeen and then thrown to the wolves.   I am sure most of them knew what that meant, but maybe most of them felt it was best to tell me I had been severely abused, simply by the act of “residential segregation” and the very different rule structure set for me as compared to my siblings.

They also felt it best that my siblings were quite abusive as well, for the most part of their own survival.  That part I understood and even forgave. One extremely well-versed very well educated therapist told me, “If they’d had a backbone, if they’d had an ounce of good in them, they would have turned off the “hate Rick campaign” and done the right thing, as adults after your parents died, but they were too ambitious to “have their name in lights”.  I could easily see them given that I’d had my name in lights several times (and it was highly overrated). I’d never scapegoat a sibling to do so, nor did I ever.

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So given the abandonment (and even abuse) combined with the autism, it is beyond comprehensible to most that I survived. I did have the wherewithal to continue seeing professionals in an extreme effort to find out what had happened to me.  Remember, I didn’t know I had autism, nor that I’d been severely abused until I was 61. I was programmed not only to fail but to die young.

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And that’s probably why I decided I was not going to die young. In spite of two major heart attacks 3 surgeries and stents, I was determined to discover what had happened and who did what.

Then came Lee.  She loved me and loves me unconditionally.  She helped me in my quest, so that I might not dismiss abuse when it came my way.

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Remember, I never even knew I was “at war with my siblings” (I just felt they didn’t care for me) until age 61.  At age 60 I decided to write one of them to let them know of my autism diagnosis. Also of my vanus diagnosis; an extremely painful form of flat feet, also congenital.  As always, I was dismissed by one sibling by email with a line that read “My spouse’s niece had a bit of autism but is fine now. What will you do for symptoms”. (In other words people live with autism all the time.  Get used to it).

Truth be told, most autistic children do not get hidden away in an attic, scapegoated by their entire family, and never diagnosed.  The difference is apples and oranges (than simply “being autistic”.  I survived a pre-meditated war against me, one I never knew I was in, only to find the real truth, and that the perpetrators of that war were rancid cowards, bigots and haters,  and still are.  Now they will coddle their autistic niece to show “their goodness”.   Educated people expect that and are not impressed…in the least.

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I lost it. I was livid.  Symptoms?  Autism does not have symptoms. Autism is who someone is. It is not something to cure. It is something with which to have compassion because the tools to teach autism are just now coming into fruition.

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I told the sibling a thing or two about symptoms (the only true symptoms of such a condition are hate, prejudice and fear) projected by ignorant people, and I made certain this sibling knew what that meant. I never heard from that sibling again and if I’m fortunate I never will.  I know it sounds erudite but these siblings do not deserve to be a part of my life.

I am not perfect, in fact far from it.  But the torture of another person, especially a child who later becomes an adult, to me falls in the category of serial killers and such.  Before you say, “how crude”, so do a majority of the members of the autism groups which have at least 3.2 million diagnosed members not to mention even more than that that are un-diagnosed.

This feeling is real, and the experience/torture is very much of a similar sociopath nature. Those people need help and need it today.  They will within a few years, most likely, find themselves way on the fringe, at least that is what is being reported by knowledgeable scholars acting within the mainstream autism communities. I believe it wholeheartedly.

And I don’t regret writing that. I do not want that kind of “person” in my life, ever.  And though I know they cannot help that they are that sick, they do have the responsibility to get professional help.  After all, I did, and I was not even the one who needed it most. In fact, I am quite at peace with myself most times, knowing that I finally know what really happened to me, and not the “family press release”.

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Yes, I still get the occasional PTSD that I used to get often.  But PTSD is not a character flaw or weakness. It is a healthy response to something very bad that someone experienced or saw.  I can remember having it since age 5 (the year my first attic isolation tank) aka bedroom was built).  Why would a five year old have PTSD?  Child abuse is the reason about 99% of the time. I was part of that 99%.  I survived it and am very proud of that.  Not all do. And that is why I write these blogs.  I don’t believe any of my family will change.  They have too much invested in “the lie”.  But I know others might read it and see hope. I know NPD parents might read it and seek help.  If just one reads it and seeks help, it’s a success.  Torture is torture and if it prevents just one, it proved to be a good thing.

I merely ask you to imagine a 5 year old child alone, isolated in an attic, for 12 years. The first 4 years crying every night to no response (they couldn’t hear me in such a large home and made sure of that).  This causes all sorts of psychological problems, the worst of all chronic insomnia (which is not even allowed in the most brutal wars by the Geneva Convention). Neither is that sort of isolation.  Some parents truly need not be parents.  They are forgiven (by me).  They are also forgotten (by me).   I survived that and I am tougher than I thought.  They are more cowardly than I ever knew.  Sadly, they knew what they were doing.

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The rest of my life went downhill from there.  Until age 58.  That’s when God presented my wife, and there was a definite curve upward.  Beautiful things began to happen.

I realized rather rapidly I was the lucky one by not scapegoating anyone. I was the lucky one for “taking the fall”. I was the lucky one for letting them cast aspersions and tell lies etc.

I  look at my life and I look at theirs.  I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else.    God made certain I would not only enjoy but cherish my 61 year old Valentine’s Day.  We have wonderful friends, most married who share the same affection for their spouses.

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I now am learning how to navigate life with autism. I realize I read and saw and thought everything differently. I also know that was not my fault.  I was not diagnosed purposely for nefarious reasons. Now I am diagnosed for decent reasons and have a beautiful chance to enjoy my life.  Lee and I will only associate with good people who support our relationship.  If you are one of those who find you are not, do not try to be a trickster.  We’ve seen it all, and we fight back. We will defend our love no matter what.

If you and I have been friends in the past, in real life, but you are frightened to express it due to NPDs and their “flying monkeys”, might I suggest those days are over, and they turned out to be wrong.  Very wrong.

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And if you don’t believe me try contacting one of the major Autism associations.   Most of them know me now, know the dynamics happening, and are not happy with it at all.  It’s very nice to have that support.

They will assure you that abuse and prejudice against autistics will be a dark part of American History. Please, consider siding on the right side of history.  Not the side in which someone might throw you a few nickels or “property one day”, or if you’re really lucky “be a part of their popularity circle”.  Just remember how they obtained that popularity.  With torture.   I will not tell you not to be a part of that.  We all have to answer to our God.  You know best.

You might look at my life and think it was quite unfair.  The real facts is that I was dealt a very bad hand of cards (by humans).  When I let God take over, things changed.  Suddenly my offbeat cartoon of which I’d worked on for 8 years was the Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoon and a few years later my designer offbeat gifts also became #1 ranked.  They have maintained that ranking through hard work all the way up until now (2016).  That is 11 years.  I am proud, very proud, but I clearly understand now it is from a Hand Above and from the loving Support of my Wife Lee.  I couldn’t have dreamed of this.

That may not seem like much, but given there are 100,000+ offbeat cartoons and gifts on the net on any given day (am told), I feel pretty good about that.  Had I been treated fairly, that would have never happened.  So I do have the culprits to thank, and thank them forever and ever.  Nobody has been as good to me (but surely not on purpose), and of course my Angel wife Lee who willfully has been good to me, and has showed me the world in a whole different manner.  I will always push to look at it correctly, and not as a “mean ol’ place”.  It’s not a bad place at all, and most the people in our circles are very very decent.

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Scapegoating toddlers who become children who become adults, with a pre-planned “program” to make them the bad guy and then “buy their friends” is not even considered humane in the very worse cultures and societies.

Sadly, it is done quite often in these United States, and most children/later adults never knew what hit them.  My parents never figured I would have the photographic/date/time memory that gave them away the first time they committed such a crime.  They were busted. They just didn’t know it.  It took me this long to figure out just what the abuse was.

It was so subtle, so professional, so well done in privacy with me; not when other siblings or friends were around, you would have thought it was an Alfred Hitchcock film.  But most Hitchcock films offer a bit of grace and negotiation. Mine offered neither.  I believe with the help of God and amazing friends, I lived long enough to figure it out, and have enough life in me to help others who find themselves in similar situations.

I am able to vocalize to them they are not alone. I am able to shout to them to hook up immediately with autism legal programs, autism support groups, and the like.  They can then safely tell their story and if someone interferes, it can easily become a civil rights matter and that interfering person may just find themselves on the wrong side of history, not where they want to be.

Scapegoating humans and torturing them is horrendous. Doesn’t work nor should it.  It’s hate. It’s prejudice and it’s fear.  It’s masochistic and brutal.  To support it is as cowardly as the act itself.  That’s not you I hope, and pray.

Love is truly the answer

The Beatles were right. Money can’t buy that.  It can’t even buy “like”.

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Rick London is a writer, songwriter, gift designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts “Londons Times” LTCartoons.com.  He is married to popular nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who owns nature blog Hike Our Planet and brand store LeeHillerDesigns.com.

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

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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.

Fruited Plane The Story Behind The Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

 

I imagine I am not the only one who heard this as a kid…..I wasn’t sure what “fruited plain” meant, and since it seemed like everyone else did, I didn’t want anyone to think I was ignorant.  So through most of elementary school, I was fairly sure this was to what the song referred.  Sorry. I guess it wasn’t.  🙂 

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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.  He is active in autism/Asperger’s, environment, animal and children’s causes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedtime For Gonzo Journalism The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

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I was a big Hunter Thompson fan, which also means, of course, I was also a big Ralph Steadman fan (the illustrator of his Fear & Loathing Series). 

As mentioned in earlier blogs, I had big reading problems, and never even read a book cover-to-cover until my late 20s.  One of those books was the late great Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear And Loathing In Los Vegas”.  It is an amazingly sardonic satirical piece 

The book is incredible. The film, though,  included one of my favorites, Bill Murray, was disappointing. 

Many “60s druggies” felt the book was glorifying drugs, but actually many scholars believe quite the opposite, that it mocks the very drug culture of which Thompson was a part. And I saw it as that as well.

Though the book is full of mocking; not just the drug culture, but the whole idea of “hippies”, journalism (of which Thompson’s
alter-ego, Raoul Duke who is contracted by “Sports Illustrated” drives with his attorney Dr. Gonzo to Los Vegas.

On the roadtrip, “Gonzo Journalism” is created. Until this day we’re still not positive of what Gonzo Journalism truly is, but we know it may just be a ploy to keep us curious throughout the book, and we discover early on nobody quite knows what the story angle really is (including the journalists). We do, however, stay curious all the way to the end. It has so many discombobulated twists and turns, it’s very difficult not to be at least a bit curious. 

There’s a lot more super hyper action in the book, but nobody bothers to share what it is. We just know the book is about human appetite and instant gratification; Maslow’s Heirarchy Gone Wild, if you will.

Even better news to my friends and fans, other than my reading skills being lacking (and I don’t say that proudly), a lot of heartache would have been saved had local schools and parents known enough or cared enough to help learn of and/or diagnose my condition (autism). But so it goes.

In addition, I couldn’t hear very well…or see very well. I have to hand it to one smart teacher who noticed that (when I was 13 years old) and I
was able to get glasses. But the hearing issues went on and on; and continue to.  I was fairly sure I read, and heard “Bonzo Journalism” for many years. 

And of course we all remember President Reagan’s “Bedtime For Bonzo” film from his early career as an actor. How the Academy overlooked that one, I’ll never know.

Kudos to illustrator Tom Kerr (our collaborations are always special to me) for recreating “a tribute of sorts” to Ralph Steadman.  If I’d not known of our collaboration, I know I would have thought this, in fact, was also one of Ralph’s creations.  

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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 and Funny Gifts which he launched in 1997.  London is also active in various causes including autism/Asperger’s, animals, children, and the environment.

Were My Cow Cartoons Leading Me To A Healthier Lifestyle? The Story Behind This Londons Times Cartoon by Rick London

 

As the years go by, it never ceases to amaze me how much the more things change, the more they remain the same.  The above LTCartoon was created in 2001. Today is the middle of 2015.  

In 2001, I was an avid meat eater, and I do not say that proudly.  I either wasn’t ready to quit, I hadn’t evolved to know the importance of quitting, or “screw it” as I always used to like to say. When I whimper like this, its not about you, it’s truly about me.  

But no matter what my excuse, and this happened often, my consciousness was still at work, even way back then. It knew better (which is obvious by this cartoon), it simply wasn’t ready to act.

I knew deep down inside this was not something I was supposed to do.  Whether it was by a bit of understanding of karma (2 major heart attacks finally took me down as well as a host of other maladies), before I finally decide to go fully vegan and even then it took dramatic changes in my wife Lee, who started this new lifestyle nearly a year before I did. 

Still, I knew and I’m not sure how, that long ago.  I still shake my head and ask myself, “How could you have done that Rick, to yourself and to those animals?”  “You were reading the most current periodicals on animal sciences. You knew cows, pigs, chickens and other farm animal’s consciousness was quite similar to feelings as was their ideas on raising their own families, and lifetime loyalties (often even more so than humans).” 

“You (again talking to self), claimed to love animals, and for most my life had dogs and cats and volunteered to help strays etc. and they were pets and farm animals were food.  

Everyone is ignorant, including me, before they get wiser, so I can forgive myself for that, but not easily. 

Lee and I have talked about it often.  She has similar feelings about it all.  We spent so many years basically ruining our bodies, bringing in a host of toxins from what is now known as “factory farming”, not to mention causing the death to these creatures for our protein, which is so easy to get through plant sources, and now, every bit as tasty if not more so.

Lee not only the one who helped me transition into veganism, but also eventually move all leather products out of the house (we didn’t have any fur products but they’d be gone too if we had).  I still own one item that contains leather, my hiking boots, and the only reason for that is that I bought them when I was still a carnivore, and I’ve not been able to find vegan replacements that work, though am actively looking and plan to before the end of the year.  

In most the old farm animal cartoons, like this one, in which I’ve placed cows in awkward situations, the theme has always been bovine vs. butcher. Keep in mind I ate almost nothing but meat and potatoes at the time, but deep down I must have known.  

I’d volunteered for years helping farm animals. Maybe that started me thinking about their souls.  It didn’t sink in that they were/are very important souls, but at least the seed was planted.

Over the years of recovering from a lifetime of meat eating, milk drinking, etc., I have decided not to beat myself up too badly, though it still happens at times.  I know I’ve caused pain and damage to many of my animal-friends and their families, and for that it is difficult to come to terms.

But I will.  Meantime, I find myself creating much more “in your face” graphic cartoons regarding the importance of veganism.  I’m being much better to myself. More understanding. More caring. One can hardly offer much care for others without taking care of oneself properly. 

Don’t get me wrong.  People evolve at their own pace, and some never do. I know many will always eat meat, drink milk, and think of farm animals as our food and/or source of entertainment..and dogs and cats as pets (as I did for many years..so I certainly cannot be judgmental and am not).

 That is them, not me.  The best I can help them realize there are other much healthier alternatives that are every bit as tasty, will help them live much longer and improve their quality of life, and if they care, will reduce their carbon footprint, therefore doing their share to help the planet. 

Enjoy. Have a good laugh, and stay healthy.   

Many like this particular cow scary mooovie cartoon on various products at my RickLondonGifts.com shop. 

To see it on numerous gift items, collectibles, and tees click on “Shop Now”……………..

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Sincerely,

Rick London

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

& Funny Gifts in 1997, which have been Google #1 ranked since 2005. 

 

 

Can’t Beet Some Movies Or Music The Story Behind This Londons Times Offbeat Cartoon By Rick London

Words.

English language.

Don’t ask me what it is that fascinates me so much with the English language but it is more like “a friend” than “a thing to speak”.  Why is that?  I’ve theorized numerous reasons.

I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that when working in the arts, language is one’s finest arsenal.  The ability of ones work has a direct correlation with ones ability to master the English language (if the artist/or writer lives in America). 

I’d every bit as much enjoy spending a night reading a thesaurus or dictionary than Fitzgerald or Faulkner.  

The English language is extremely generous in its flexibility, its puns, its double entendres, etc.

Why does that fascinate me?  When I first began to learn the “cartoon business” if one can call it a business, I contacted some of t he greatest cartoonists on the planet; Charles Schulz, Dave Coverly, Leigh Rubin etc. I guess my autism came in handy in that I didn’t realize one was not supposed to do that.

I also contacted some others who were not quite as far up on the ladder wrung as they were. Most of them wouldn’t give me the time of day.

But Schulz, Coverly, Rubin, Jon McPherson and a few others chatted for hours with me.  How did I find them?  With some it was not easy. With others, their friends “gave them up” but it took some time talking to them before they came to the conclusion I was no stalker or worse. I simply wanted to learn the business. 

All of the great ones had vocabularies similar to Shakespeare.  I wanted that for myself.  They taught me that reading, (even dictionaries) was a way to accomplish that, or not necessarily accomplish it, but get better at it.  And if one was better at it, one had a leading edge over the competition in cartooning. 

I didn’t realize how important that was until I learned that on any given day, there are approximately 100,000 cartoon properties on the Internet competing with each other. 

So, though I can draw (a little), I cannot draw to the level of what I wanted my cartoon to be.  Sparky (Schulz) told me that about 30% of all the cartoons we see in papers are team efforts, and suggested I write them and “blueprint them”, that is, explain them in detail to the team artist.  If that team artist is good, he/she will understand your vision.  I went through about 100+ illustrators the first few years.  It went from “artistic differences” to “I want to own the entire cartoon; you only write it” etc.  But my mentors suggested I carry on and continue finding talent.  They told me the more cartoons I had, the more likely I was to find better talent.

And that became the truth.  

A funny thing.  Dave Coverly is syndicated by Creators Syndicate and considered one of the best if not the best offbeat cartoonist who draws his own cartoon (in the world). I always got along with Dave; and he knew I had launched Londons Times in an abandoned tin shed in my own hometown because nobody would rent or sell to me.  They thought I was nuts (and starting a cartoon at age 44 didn’t help deter that theory).  Dave didn’t care.  He loved talking about things I also loved to talk about….creative ideas, cartoons, humor, dogs, cats, nature etc.  We could chat forever it seemed.  

About 2 months ago, a familiar name appeared on Twitter.  It was Dave. I’d not talked to him in about 18 years.  We chatted online a bit and I told him about “Useless Humor” (our 18th Anniversary book) which contained quotes and cartoons I’d written.  On a whim, I asked if he’d write a testimonial for me to use on the book.  He wrote a beautiful quote which is on the cover.  

One of my favorite of our cartoons is “Beets”, not because I like beets so much, but because there are so many ways to use the word, which is what I demonstrate in this cartoon (above at the top).  I hope you enjoy it. 🙂 

SO……….Not bad for a tin-shed cartoonist who didn’t know better how to do it right (or wrong) who recruited several teams of some of the best cartoon illustrators available anywhere.  I still think that.  

Or better yet, there is no right or wrong way in cartooning.  Just stay the course, keep the faith, and never give up.     You will want to many times.  Just don’t. 

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts which he launched in 1997.  It has been Google #1 ranked since 2005 and Bing #1 ranked since 2008.  

Heart Surgery, Leaving My Body, And The Making Of “Complex Carbohydrates” by Londons Times Cartoons

It Took A Heart Attack For This One……..Really

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It was September 2001.  I was home in Hot Springs, Ar. about 8pm when I noticed I was beginning to panic.  I’d had one or two panic attacks in the past, and they’d always passed so I really didn’t think much of it, cooked my dinner (of unhealthy foods including fatty meats, canned veggies and cow’s milk); a typical meal for me at the time. Within an hour I was in full panic mode.  Nothing externally was scaring me.  My dog was there by my side, nobody was trying to break in, I was just frightened.  My chest did not hurt but my breathing was heavy and I could feel some pain in my lower back.  

Finally I called an ambulance. Glad I did. I had suffered a major heart attack and before I knew it they were performing angioplasty at National Park Medical Center. I was not put totally under but enough to (allegedly) not be able to think very well.  

My body/soul did one of those things I’ve read in books and magazines but never really took too seriously.  It left my body and I was floating around the room looking at my limp body.  I could see a tunnel in the ceiling and decided to visit whatever was there.  I had enough sense about me to know very well this could be some kind of hallucination, but I decided to try it anyway. After all, I’d heard so many reports over the years that near-death and post-death experiences might lead one to heaven and even “visitation rights” to all past loved ones/family members etc. 

But my visit through the tunnel was nothing like that.  It was a huge meadow full of wildflowers with stained cedar picnic table full of all types of healthy looking foods (and some pie and meat).  The dominant food was raw and lightly-cooked veggies.  I wondered if the universe was trying to tell me something.  I “sat” at the table though my body floated a few feet above the bench. I watched and listened as the food had conversations with each other.  It was fascinating enough to stick around. 

It didn’t take long before I could see a cartoon in this picture so I “returned to my body” as the doctors and nurses were performing surgery and I asked one of the nurses for a pen.  She asked why I wanted a pen and I said I had a great idea for a cartoon but needed to write it down so I would not forget it.  She said it was “against the rules” to write cartoons during surgery but if I would remind her after the procedure, back in my recovery room, she would surely give me the pen.

I am sure she felt I’d forgotten about it but I didn’t.  When I finally awakened and shook off the anesthesia, I asked her, “Well where is it?” (She’d obviously forgotten).  “What?”  “My pen. I need a pen to write the cartoon concept”.  Rather than have me write it, she took out a notepad and pen and asked me what to write.  I dictated it to her as I was in agreement I was probably too weak to write out the concept (which was often a page or two of description and a caption).  She did and left it on my night stand. 

Five or so days later I was released from the hospital.  The nice nurse came in to tell me goodbye and reminded me to take the cartoon concept with me and let me know how it turned out. I collaborated with my associate and the cartoon was complete.  A month later I took a copy back to National Park Medical Center and took a signed copy to the medical team.  They all got a good chuckle out of it and that made me happy. 

Complex Carbohydrates has been a popular image over the years on gifts, aprons, Tshirts, greeting cards and a lot of other things. 

To see the entire collection……

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Londons Times Cartoons “Unfinished Business From College”

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I actually enjoy when people ask “What made you think of that cartoon?” I don’t always know (or even remember as 17 years and 4500 cartoons, I can’t remember every little spark in my poor brain). But occasionally I can (remember the impetus that sparked it), and this is one of those cartoons.

I’ll be the first to admit (okay maybe the last; my former professors will be the first) to admit, I was not a great student.

Ironically in some of the classes I loved the most, I made the worse grades, and the ones I loved the least, I sometimes aced. This behavior followed me far into adulthood; even upon returning to college at age 48; where I aced advanced math, and did dismally in English. Go figure.

But what stumps me the most, still, is that at institutes of higher learning, something happened to me, and I wonder if it did to others as well.

And that was “unfinished business”. I’m not talking about fast-track romance and fast cars, and strange spring breaks waking up somewhere in the panhandle of Florida.

I mean thoroughly studying a topic, and walking away feeling I had less knowledge about it than when I first approached it.

One of those incidents was trying to learn Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs.
He pretty much summed it up on a pyramid.

maslow-pyramid

Sure, as a generalization, Maslow is right on target. But take it a step further and on any given day all of mine can change. I pointed this out to the professor who (by the way hated questions of which he didn’t have answers hence added me to his hate list).

Maslow was not my only “unfinished business of academia”. I “learned” a lot of things that, last I remembered, someone else was doing (and doing a lot better than me).

Hence, I’ve taken Dr. Maslow to another realm; the realm of baking. I love good baked food and my wife Lee is one of the best bakers on the planet. She makes an art of most things for which she has a passion. And upon eating her challah, my kneeds are met.

Mayo Clinic: The Story Behind The Cartoon by Rick London

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I love the English language. And though I’m not certain other languages offer the same kind of slang, puns, etc, for now the English language has plenty of content to keep me happy.

So many words not only sound like other words, many of them synonyms, many of them actually are the same word.

There are a few research hospital’s websites that are full of excellent information in the way of research, and even documenting experiments and clinical trials of alternative medicines such as herbs etc.  I do believe in allopathic medicine, but I also believe there are some herbs with very healing alkaloids for post traumatic health events and even to prevent them.

Apparently in agreement with me are MD Anderson,  Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins and many others, and though not their primary source of medical treatment, many of these herbs are so at their peers in Europe, Australia and several other regions.

About 2 years ago I received a call from Mayo Clinic. The librarian saw several of my cartoons featuring Mayo Clinic.  As it turns out, the founder of the Mayo Clinic library, Dr. Lucy, was a big cartoon fan, and collected cartoons that contained Mayo’s picture, name or both.  They wanted a signed copy of both of mine.  I gladly agreed, and within 3 days I received a thank you note from Mayo, that the cartoons were now showcased in the library. I felt so proud.

About two years later I received an email from Mayo’s lawyers that they noticed I had cartoons up with their client’s name and to cease and desist immediately.  I was livid.  Was this a joke?  The librarian was out of town for a week.  I told Mayo’s legal department to talk with the library, that they the hospital was perfectly happy with the cartoons, and apparently they, the legal department was not quite doing their job; and I contacted the hospital to let them know what had occurred.

The hospital was quite embarrassed, and I never heard from them again.  But it was a valuable lesson that no matter how big a company becomes, their departments need to keep in touch with each other, so as not to embarrass each other.  Am sure Mayo can afford the very best of attorneys, yet on that day, they seemed as if they’d not even passed the bar exam.

In addition, it was parody, protected by the Fair Use Act.  Even if Mayo had not had my toons on their wall, I clearly billed them as cartoons, and not trying to confuse anyone that “this was real” and I was a “part of their medical establishment”.

Some of the biggest lawyers have done this; and then backed away when they realized the creator understands the protections of parody when it comes to the Far Use Act. 

I still love Mayo and their site; in spite of their less than pristine legal department. 

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Rick London is an author, designer, songwriter and cartoonist.  He has created cartoon gifts featuring this Mayo Clinic Cartoon.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons, Londons Times (or LTCartoons.com) and number one funny tees and gifts.