A local elementary school (Isaac Dickson Elementary) was vying for (increasingly depleted) county funds to build a better facility to replace their aging current one. While following the reporting of the County Commission meeting on my mobile device (yes, when you need to think up ideas for local cartoons, you have to do things like follow local board meetings on Twitter) I was struck by how the hash tag for promoting the school in favor of the kids that go there looked when spelled out all lowercase with no spacing like this: #dicksonkids and thought I would make a stupid joke about it on a tweet, but then stopped myself and hoped I could turn it into a whole cartoon for that week!

That didn’t seem like enough to go with, but then I saw the reporter’s tweet about who was speaking to the commission next: Principal Brad Johnson. Okay, that’s a funny coincidence, but..nah.. I better think of something else. Then the second speaker took the floor and he was the school superintendent. His name was Allen Johnson. Okay, now it was just a sign from above that some higher power wanted me to do this cartoon joke. I was working on a cartoon to this effect at the same time I got the call from my editor about how much hassle they are getting from the Kmart sign cartoon, so I immediately became a little hesitant to submit anything that wasn’t 100% safe and wholesome. However, after the editor heard my reticence (but still didn’t know what the cartoon was about) she assured me to “not be afraid” and to go ahead, so I did.

The cartoon was rejected. The  excuse I got from my editor and publisher was that they “nixed the Dickson cartoon. Though I understand the continued theme of tragic misunderstandings, it played with vulgarity for no redeemable reason.”

Now, of course, nothing untoward regarding anyone at the school or county offices was meant or implied, it was just another joke about misunderstood words meaning something different than what was intended and that is all. It was just taking off on names that sound dirty. Juvenile, yes, but that’s sometimes the funny way to go for a change. However, I guess I don’t blame them after the heat they took from the tortured misunderstanding of my previous cartoon, so I posted it online instead. Many thought it was funny and didn’t see what the problem was, but I’m afraid they probably made the right call. Maybe we were all a little gunshy at that point.

Cartoon NOT originally published in the Asheville, NC alt weekly paper, “The Mountain Xpress”.

© 2013 – Brent Brown, Brent Brown Graphix