Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #134

Theory 21

Theory 21: Economic Singularity

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Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #133

Evidence Card 0101: Bodyguard

Evidence Card 0101: Bodyguard

Benton pulled the chair away from the table for his new client and scanned the restaurant.  “I had the maitre’d reseat you, sir.  The center table was a little too exposed for my liking.”

“Thank you, Benton.”

Suddenly, Benton swept the elderly man to the floor.  “KNIFE!”

The old man shook him off and struggled to his feet.  “He’s cutting his steak, you idiot!  Get off me!”

Benton helped him up.  “I’m so sorry sir.  I guess I’m a little over-cautious.”

As his client sat down again, Benton caught movement in the corner of his eye.  “GUN!” he shouted, reaching for his own.

“That’s the lady’s purse, you moron!  Now, leave me in peace!  You’re fired.  If I ever see you again, I’ll see to it the only person who safety you have to worry about is your own!”

Benton slunk away and exited through the kitchen.  Near the back door, he brushed past a man preparing an exquisite chocolate mousse.  The two made eye contact as the cook was pouring a small portion of liquid into the mixing bowl from an unlabeled bottle.

The cook nodded, put the bottle in his pocket, then handed Benton a rubber-banded bundle of hundred-dollar bills.

“He’s all yours,” Benton said, pocketing the money and walking out the back door.

Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #132

Evidence Card 0100: Puppet

Evidence Card 0100: Puppet

“Ms. Buchholdt, you have two minutes to reply.”

“My opponent, Mr. Sampson, seems to believe that we need to reign in corporate spending on campaigns.  But I think, if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s the delicious, low-calorie taste of Crystal Light!”

“Excuse me?”

“And what could be more American than a backyard barbecue featuring Oscar Meyer brand hot dogs?  And hamburgers topped with Kraft cheese Single and Kraft Mayo!”

“Ms. Buchholdt, the debate topic was—”

“Why, any of the fantastic, life-altering products sold by that most patriotic of companies, Kraft Food Group Inc.—which is soon to merger with another beloved American brand, Heinz—is more than adequate illustration that corporate spending in our political system is fair, decent, and good for democracy.”

“Um, thank you Ms. Buchholdt.”

“Eat Jell-O Pudding!”

Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #131

Theory 01: Total Media Control

Theory 01: Total Media Control

You have been watching ‘Soldiers: Brave Heroes, Defenders of Freedom.’ And now a message from the Department of Homeland Security.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The Director of the National Security Administration reminds you to be aware of changes in your neighbors’ behavior, appearance, tone of speech or location.  Sudden changes in any of these can indicate treasonous intent and should be reported immediately.  Call 1-888-TREASON to report suspicious activity.


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Please join country music legend Kenny Chesney in reciting the Lord’s Prayer …

GOD BLESS AMERICA (brought to you by McDonald’s, home of the Triple Patty Freedom Burger™)

… and now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Just something I drew: The Grey Gecko!

Many moons ago, I started drawing a comic in (what I thought was) a novel format: each issue was a single piece of paper, folded and folded and folded into a tiny book you unfurled as your read it.  It was something I came up with while working at one of the soul-killing manual labor jobs I was working in Albuquerque.

Due to a combination of the situation (having little energy left over after work) and my own innate inability to stay dedicated to a single project for very long, the idea never saw fruition.  But I’ve got some sketches to show for it, so here they are.

Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #130

Evidence Card 0099: Court Decision

Evidence Card 0099: Court Decision

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?”

“We have, your honor.  On the count of 3rd degree indecent exposure, we find the defendant … guilty.”


“You can’t object during the verdict, Mr. Ames.  The trial is over—”

“Heresay, your honor!”


“Do we have any proof the jury has ruled this way?”

“It’s on this piece of paper in front of me.”

“Anyone could have written that!”

“It’s signed by the members of the jury.”

“Lack of foundation, your honor.  I move for a mistrial.”

“Is this your first defense, Mr. Ames?”

“Irrelevant, your honor!”

“I ask because you keep reading things from a list you’ve written on your arm.”


“Bailiff, I want you to remove Mr. Ames from the courtroom and give him a good, sound spanking.”

“With pleasure, your honor.”

“Any further objection, Mr. Ames?”

“Ooh!  Could I be handcuffed too?”

Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #129

Evidence Card 0098: Dropoff

Evidence Card 0098: Dropoff


“I suppose you think this is funny.”

The voice on the phone was cold, with a hard edge.  Tamara knew right away who it was.

“Did you find the bag?” she asked, face flushed.  “It’s a paper bag, from Trader Joe’s.  I put it in the roof vent like you told me.”

Her phone buzzed.  She’d gotten a text.  Clicking away from the call, she saw a photo attachment and opened it.

A brown paper bag was torn open on a table.  Inside were two sandwiches, a fruit cup, a Little Debbie snack cake and a juice box.

“Where’s the money, Sanchez?” barked the angry voice.

Well, she thought in a moment of unnatural calm, little Manny is going to have a surprise when he opens his lunch today…

Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #128

Evidence Card 0097: Strange Bedfellows

Evidence Card 0097: Strange Bedfellows

Washington D.C.—A major scandal appears to be brewing over an anonymous video purporting to show senators Burgess Coleman (R-Ky.) and Timothy Orinthal (D-Me.) sharing a bed in an Atlantic City hotel.

In the video, Coleman, a decorated Vietnam veteran and staunch advocate for the coal industry, can be seen spooning naked with Orinthal, an environmentalist and vocal critic of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, calling the 62-year-old “sweetie”, “love bucket”, and “my chunky little piggy pie.”  After exchanging terms of endearment, the two feed each other Ferrero Rocher bonbons and kiss repeatedly.

While the authenticity of the anonymous video has been questioned, the New York Times refuses to reveal the identity of the person who provided it.

Both senators have declined to comment.

Project: Map redesign (Brief History of the World)

Since I became addicted to playing the iOS version of the deceptively simple world conquest game A Brief History of the World, and because the tabletop version of the game has been out of print for almost eight years, I’ve begun designing a custom version to have printed so I can share the game with others.

The first part of the redesign I’ve undertaken is the board, which is a unique polar projection of Earth.  Because the game spans almost 5,000 years of history—beginning in the ancient world with the likes of Egypt, Sumeria and the Aryans, and ending in the early 20th Century with modern Britain, the United States and Japan—I wanted to give the map a more antique look than the print version’s somewhat gaudy colors and textures.


Brief History board

The original map.

My reimagined version, in progress.

My reimagined version, in progress.

Conspiracy! Card-a-Day #127

Evidence Card 0096: Big Payoff

Evidence Card 0096: Big Payoff

Grace and Matthew weren’t sure why little Abbie had called the family meeting, but they assumed it had something to do with bedtimes or allowances, so they weren’t prepared for the microphone, laser pointer and Powerpoint presentation.

“Mom and Dad, thank you for coming.  Shall we get started?”

“Abbie,” Grace said, “why are we—”

“I’m sorry, Mom: we have a lot to get through, so if you could hold your questions until the end, that would be fantastic.  Okay?  Great.”

The first slide came up.  It was titled, “The Dover Household: Strategies and Efficiencies for Maximum Productive Output.”

“As we’re all well aware,” 9 year-old Grace began, “I won the Pretty Powderpuff Princess Million Dollar Sweepstakes two weeks ago.  In the interim, I’ve taken the time to examine my role in this household, and I’ve identified some key areas where I think better management—i.e., my own—would benefit not only the general prosperity of this family, but society as a whole.”

Her parents were momentarily silent.  The only sound was the cat licking himself in the corner of the room.  Finally, Matthew said, “honey, if you want to talk about allowance, I—”

“Now, Dad,” she interrupted, “while I appreciate your reaching out to me on this issue, I’m not sure you’re still the best qualified person to be making decisions about compensation.  If you’ll just look at this chart—”

She clicked her remote.  “—you’ll see a comparison of earnings over the last six months.  I’ve broken things down by department, and, while you’ll see your line is steady, it just doesn’t reflect the growth in my line here, which shot up a mind-blowing ten-thousand percent!  I extended the graph out six months in the future to illustrate potential revenue growth.”

“Now, I know what you’re going to say,” she said, pacing the living room like a TED speaker.  “‘Abigail Dover, you don’t have the experience to run a seasoned organization such as this household.’  To which I reply, haven’t we had enough stagnant earnings?  Haven’t we had enough staycations?  Haven’t we had enough boring frozen dinner entrees and basic cable?  Yes!  What this family needs is the vision and the courage to invest its newfound capital in bold new ventures.”

The projector clicked through a slide show as she spoke.

“For Mom, our new Director of Operations, a workout room, spa, and personal trainer to improve general health an wellbeing.  For Dad, our new Chief Financial Officer, a shiny red convertible for travel to and from vital meetings with support personnel.  And finally, for our new CEO, a horse paddock and special Powderpuff Princess dream cottage.  We’ll get into the numbers later.  Any questions so far?”

Matthew raised his hand.

“Can I have black interior instead of white?”