Matchstick Cats the webcomic by @NeaLireland - MatchstickCats.com IYH BLOG: Sitting on the Fence | Matchstick Cats the webcomic
IYH BLOG: Sitting on the Fence | Matchstick Cats the webcomic

IYH BLOG: Sitting on the Fence

I always like to sit on the fence when contemplating issues of great controversy. For one thing, I find that it toughens up my thigh muscles, as well as my ability to endure pain. Endurance is very important in a world where you could at any moment inadvertently switch on the channel that shows Judge Judy. Anyway, it seems to me that there are two sides to everything. I discovered this to my cost yesterday morning, when I got out the wrong side of my bed, which I now know has two sides. The window was open at the time, and I fell out of it and landed on the fence, in a sitting position, and that’s how all this started.

Recently my country had a referendum on whether or not it should be illegal to steal things from sweet shops. We’re a rather old fashioned and conservative nation, so everybody voted yes. But anyway while we were all debating the issue in the run-up to polling day, I agreed to take part in a televised debate in which I represented both sides of the argument. It was rather tiring, running from one podium to the other every time I switched sides to argue against myself, but apart from that it went fine, thanks for asking. I successfully argued that anyone who pilfers a fizzy cola bottle should be hung, drawn and quartered, then I ran over to the other side of the stage and criticised myself for being an extremist.

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I suggested that rather than fighting the crime, we should fight the causes of crime, and examine why people feel the need to take fizzy cola bottles from their fellow human beings. After that I rushed back to my original seat and branded myself a “ninny”, saying that this was political correctness gone mad. The audience applauded warmly. They love when you show the other side up as a complete idiot.

Anyway the outcome of all this was that it’s still illegal to steal sweets in this pathetic, backward little place in which I live. So we all have to make our own. We do this by removing cake decorations and stamping on the cake until it becomes small enough to be called a sweet. It works very well so long as you don’t go too far. If you do, the cake becomes so dense that a black hole is formed. Even then, it’s probably going to be fine because with a bit of luck the universe at the other side of the black hole will have recently liberalised the sweet laws and you’ll be able to go over there and score yourself some Jelly Babies.

Just be careful that you don’t wander into the universe where cats have become all-powerful and omnipresent. Because then you’ll get caught, and despite the fact that it’s not illegal to steal sweets there, they’ll extradite you to your own universe and plant some fake evidence on you. They won’t mean any harm by it. Cats just like being playful with you. I myself once had a cat who liked to play drinking games with me. Strip poker was his particular favourite, but he always lost instantly because he didn’t have any clothes to begin with.

Cats don’t like to wear clothes. They find them very restricting, particularly when they’re trying to pee. Dogs, on the the other hand, love to dress up in fancy outfits. But don’t give them anything that you might want to wear again, because they’ll get dog hairs and crumbs all over it and you’ll have to take it to the dry cleaners and you might accidentally leave a fifty euro bill in the shirt pocket and it’ll get destroyed in the cleaning process and then you’ll be fifty euro short for the rest of the week and you won’t be able to afford any popcorn when you go to the cinema and you’ll be starving by the time you get home, so much so that you’ll eat the mouldy bread that’s in the cupboard beside the damp patch where you spat a few days ago when you couldn’t get to the spit-bucket in time, and you’ll get food poisoning and end up sharing a hospital ward with somebody who isn’t afraid to steal sweets, and then you’ll have to testify in court or possibly on the Judge Judy show and you’ll be a national celebrity and you won’t ever have any privacy again, at least for three days and during re-runs, and you’ll become a pale shadow of your former self, who hangs around in bars waiting for the price of beer to collapse, and let me tell you you’ll be waiting a hell of a long time, given the current economic climate.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

(First published on one of my old websites)

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