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The Far Side goes even farther with this second collection of off-the-wall cartoons culled from the bestselling Larson books Bride of the Far Side, Valley of the Far Side, and It Came from the Far Side.
Clarence, my Dad
LT was what you saw on the field playing for the Giants, but at home he was Lonnie. Lonnie was aggressive but lovable. He would do anything for you. Very polite. LT was very aggressive. Wanted to be known as a rough, tough kinda guy. Take-your-head-off kind. In your face.
Iris, my Mom
He was a challenging child. Where the other two boys would ask for permission to do stuff, Lonnie -- his family and friends, we always call him Lonnie -- would just do it, and when you found out about it, he would give you a big story.
Growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia, I always had respect for my mom and dad. I had perfect attendance every year in school, and I was a decent student. When I applied myself, which wasn't all that often. I wasn't what you would call a Goody Two-shoes. Even as a youngster I had a problem with curfews.
I didn't let my children roam the streets. All our boys had curfews. They would come in and say good night and then go to bed. But then Lonnie would go out the window and go to a party. See, I had spies all over Williamsburg and everybody knew my children. One of them told me one time, "I saw your son at a party last night," and I said, "No, it couldn't have been. My sons are home at twelve."
She said, "I don't know exactly which one it was, but he was having a good old time." So I said, "Hmmmm."
I'd normally wake up at three o'clock in the morning and I would go in and do a bed check. I always wanted to be sure my kids were safe. Lonnie must have known that, so he'd come home before three. So I got up at two and went into the bedroom to do my check, and that little rascal was gone! So I waited for him. After a while, he knocked on the window, and I hear him whisper to his brother, "Kim, Kim, open the door."
I said, "That's all right, Kim, I got it!" I unlocked the door and hid. When Lonnie came in, I grabbed him from behind. I grounded him for a week.
Yeah, I guess you could say I had plenty of mischief in me, and sometimes my parents would need to get my attention with a belt -- or a switch from a birch tree. I liked to see what I could get away with.
He was good at conning people. He was a smooth talker. He could talk you out of anything.
One time, when I was eleven, I borrowed my dad's bicycle, which I wasn't supposed to do. I figured, Who'd know?
I bought four bicycles, one for each boy and one for myself. I told them, "These are your bicycles and this is mine. If you break your bicycle you're not getting mine."
I was at work one day and Lawrence borrowed my bicycle and rode downtown. He ran into something and messed it up. He didn't know what to do, so he came back home. I had an old '72 Chevrolet pickup with a manual shift, which he didn't know how to drive that well. He proceeded to get the bicycle, but because he didn't know how to shift gears, he drove it in low gear all the way and messed the transmission up. He got someone with a wrecker to bring my truck back to the house and put it in the same place, and then he wiped out the tracks so I couldn't see that the truck had been moved. He put the bicycle in the trash somewhere, I suppose.
When I went to use the truck the next day, I thought something had just happened to the transmission. Lawrence never said anything about it until years afterward.
So I went from borrowing a bike to destroying it and my dad's pickup. Hmm, I wonder if that was any indication of what the future had in store for me? Anyway, my poor dad thought his bike had been stolen until he read my first book.
My parents had their hands full with three sons. I was in the middle -- it was me, Buddy, and Kim. We struggled a bit financially when I was growing up, but I didn't know too many black families back then who didn't struggle some. But I never left the house hungry. Mom and Dad worked hard to bring us up. Dad had a job in the shipyards at Newport News, and Mom worked low-paying jobs at places like the five-and-dime or the Laundromat. We made out better than most. And if I ever needed some spending money, I'd get creative.
Buddy, my older brother
One time he stole some jeans from Woolworth's. Then he took them back and told them they were too big and he wanted his money back. He got his money!
I'd also borrow money from my mother, buy candy from Happy's Store, and sell it at school for a profit -- sometimes to my brothers. That's why they called me the Candy Man. I'd make out so good I'd lend Mom money so she could go to the movies.
Kim, my younger brother
One day our mother was in our room and Lonnie, who was thirteen or so at the time, said, "Mom, when I become rich, I'm going to buy you a house."
She said, "You don't even want to go to school, how are you going to become rich?"
He said, "Mark my words." We all laughed.
But big was the only way I knew how to dream. It was something I always did with my friends -- D'Fellas. They were my boys and we were tight ...LT: Over the Edge
The Far Side presents life from a different angle. The animals are in charge and definitely find humans entertaining, but not inspiring. It's too bad the Far Side did not enjoy a longer run. The Far Side present the humans as mere pawns in the wider functioning universe. We humans are not always what we think we are. For me, the Far Side raises many questions about our lives on this planet. Peanuts and Garfield are interesting, but the Far Side requires thought to appreciate the other perspectives to life among all of God's creatures as seen through the eyes of Mr. Larsen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 20, 2010
Posted January 11, 2010
My son is a high functioning autistic 13 year old. Every night we read as part of his homework. While he loves the eyewitness series of books, he
wanted something a little lighter. I didn`t realize how much of a sense of humor he has. But he got most of the jokes. So now we read at least 20 pages a night twice a week. It has brought a lot of joy to our evenings. Yee Haa
Posted February 21, 2010
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