A PoliCartoon by Becky Hawkins and I!
If you like these policartoons and would like to help us make more, go join a secret government facility where you’ll go through intensive training to become a highly effective and remoseless assassin. Be prepared to have your current identity wiped out and your fingerprints burned off. Be prepared to show you’re serious by killing your junior high school principal. Then, once you’re fully trained, break out of the facility, leaving bombs behind to wipe out your trainers and all the other assassins, then go on a killing spree murdering all political cartoonists aside from me and my collaborators, so I’ll have no more competition. You better make all the deaths look like accidents, though, so no suspicion falls on me. That would be really helpful, thank you in advance.
For some reason, I read this script and immediately decided it takes place in a food cart pod. We’re still having pleasant weather in Portland leading up to the rainy season, so I guess sunshine and picnic tables are on my mind. Also, it makes sense as a place where a child might be unattended for a minute, while the parent is waiting for the food to be ready.
Barry’s stage directions in panel 4 say, “The girl’s parent shows up. There’s a few ways to take this – one is having the parent be a big, intimidating looking guy, maybe like a biker.” I modeled him after a coworker at my day job, because when I think of a combination of “nurturing” and “could probably wrestle a bear”? Children’s theater stage crew!
I thought about defining “food cart pod” for those of you who don’t live in Portland, but then I realized there’s no need: Becky’s drawing makes it perfectly clear what a food cart pod is. I don’t know how many food cart pods are in Portland – dozens – but they’re wonderful. Like mall food courts but with better food (more variety and almost all independently owned) and your foodie friends won’t refuse to go.
It always frustrates me when I hear pro-lifers make the “what if your mom had aborted you argument?”
Partly it’s that obviously, if my mom had aborted me, I would never have known or cared. That’s what never existing means.
But also because most people who have abortions are also parents (either currently or in the future). For many, they’re not choosing never to be parents; they’re choosing to control when they become parents.
Two people I love – probably more than two overall, but two that I know of – would never have been born if their mother hadn’t been able to control the course of her life by having an abortion.
Sure, any aborted fetus might have grown up to be a wonderful unique person. But any aborted fetus could also mean that a different but also wonderful person will be born later on. Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t see any reason to consider one potential life more valuable than another.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows the same scene: A bright sunny day, a seating area with several round picnic tables with attached seating, and in the background many brightly colored food carts. In the foreground, a little girl – to me she looks about nine years old – is sitting at a table, talking with an adult man with orange hair, who is carrying a sign that says “PRO LIFE.”
The little girl is sitting facing a table, but turning around to face the pro-life guy, who is earnestly talking to her.
PRO LIFE DUDE: Have you ever thought about if your mother had an abortion? The wonderful, unique person who is you wouldn’t exist! Isn’t that sad?
Now the little girl is earnestly talking to the pro-life dude, who listens, surprised by what she’s saying.
GIRL: Years before I was born, my mom did have an abortion. That’s why she could go to college and meet my dad. I exist because mom got that abortion!
The girl, smiling, waves one arm enthusiastically and points to herself with her other thumb. The pro-lifer grows angry.
GIRL: So since I’m a wonderful unique person, isn’t it good that my mom had the abortion?
PRO LIFE DUDE: NO! No one should ever have an abortion!
A huge man – he’s very tall and also has very thick, strong-looking arms, and has a thick beard all the way down to his broad chest – is walking up to the table, his arms laden with food from the food carts. He’s smiling amiably. The little girl has turned to the huge guy and is shrugging. The pro-lifer is smiling as best he can but also comically trembling with fear.
HUGE GUY: Hi Munchkin! Who’s your friend?
GIRL: I dunno, but he was just saying I should never have been born.