This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

We own a home in White Bear Lake and as I mentioned before, I love where we live.  We’re kind of tucked away, off of a side road that is off of another side road.  It feels kind of isolated here but I like that.

Nothing too exciting happens around here which is a good thing.  Well, a few years ago someone got real drunk on Memorial Day and took out some mailboxes with their truck and we talked about that for months but for the most part it’s pretty quiet around here.

I’m not going to get into the specifics, but two weeks ago my bike got stolen and the next day, my wife’s bike, Ryan’s bike and Sophie’s bike were stolen as well.  My bike was kept outside, tucked in between our house and our neighbor’s house, so I was kind of courting fate by doing that, but the other bikes were taken by someone entering into the garage.

Which was…just unsettling.  It felt violating and suddenly paranoia just spiked.  Did they try to get into the house?  Was someone watching our home?  Will they return?

We filed a police report, Sophie’s grandpa bought her a new bike and things settled back into normal.

But I was angry.  I always felt safe here and I still do, but more than bikes were taken.  A sense of security was taken.  I’m paranoid and my heart jumps at every sound at night, but it’s always the stupid cats getting into trouble as opposed to someone trying to get in. Thank God.

What does this have to do with comics?  After I took in the news about the bikes, I instantly remembered the story line that Bill Watterson did in ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ where someone broke into their house.


The above panel completely summarized my thoughts at the time.  I was amazed at how this panel, a panel I hadn’t thought about in decades popped into my head as clearly as it did.

As the next few days played out, more strips from this story line swam back into my head.  The strip below nails my thought process as I tried to fall asleep that night.


Once things calmed down we realized how lucky we were that it wasn’t worse than it was.  This moment was a good reminder of how fortunate we are.  One of the final strips in this story line did a perfect job of capturing this.


I took a lot of comfort in the strips Watterson did as we sorted through this event.  From the first thoughts as we processed what happened, the aftermath and ultimately the acceptance and moving on.

These strips are a testament to the power of comics, particularly to ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ and ‘Peanuts’.   When I was a kid I laughed at the silly things Calvin and Snoopy did, but as an adult I relate to different themes of these two comic strips.  I knew ‘Peanuts’ was funny, but melancholy was not a word I knew then.

Anyway, I don’t know if anyone else has comic strips pop into their head for the first time time in years when something in real life happens, but that’s what my brain is like.  It’s kind of annoying but this time it was a comfort.



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