Is It Just Me, Or Do You Ever Think About Things Like Licorice, Dying, World Domination, Beyond Both Bed & Bath And World Domination (Again)? by Brian Polk | Art by Jason White

Art by Jason White

Is It Just Me, Or Do You Ever Think About Things Like Licorice, Dying, World Domination, Beyond Both Bed & Bath And World Domination (Again)?
By Brian Polk
Art by Jason White
Published Issue 124, April 2024

If I Ever Open A Bar, I’m Going To Replace Eco-friendly Paper Straws With Red Vines That Were Bitten Off At both Ends

I figure this would be a lot less harmful to the environment than plastic straws and more durable than paper straws. And getting to eat the delicious red candy when you were done sipping your drink would be most satisfying. Now, I have anticipated some blowback from the weirdos that prefer Twizzlers to Red Vines. But since both licorices can ostensibly serve as a conduit by which to sip liquids, we could also stock Twizzlers to appease the folks whose taste buds simply do not work. (For those people, we could also stock cilantro as a garnish, since I bet they eat a ton of that stuff too.) Of course, since this is literally the only reason I would want to start a bar, the odds that I follow through on my licorice-as-straws solution is pretty slim to none. So if there are any bars out there who are racking their brains trying to find an alternative to both paper and plastic straws, feel free to steal this idea. 

What Do You Do For A Dying?

Everyone always asks what you do for a living, but no one ever asks what you do for a dying. I suppose that makes sense, since the way it’s phrased, the question could mean a few different things. First, the asker may be curious about whether or not you’ve embarked upon end-of-life planning: do you have a will, estate planning documents, and advanced healthcare directives? Second, the query may refer to what you’re doing to entice death: are you smoking, drinking too much, and not exercising or eating right? Third, I suppose it could be a clumsy way of asking if you’re about to murder someone. Fourth, you may mishear the question and assume they’re asking whether or not you’re going to a “die in” where you plan to “drink the Kool-Aid” (so to speak). And now that I’ve over-analyzed the shit out of this particular question, I suppose it’s far too fraught to bring up in polite society. So yeah, never mind. 

Do You Ever Suddenly Realize That You Haven’t Done Anything To Further Your Goal Of World Domination The Better Part Of A Year?

It’s kind of sad when you realize your sole life ambition has been put on the back burner for reasons you really can’t control. Sure some dreams are worth giving up on, but your goal of world domination used to motivate you to amass arsenals, brainwash acquaintances, and write ever-more wordy and scatterbrained manifestos. And you’re giving all that up because your life got a little busy? Come on, now. That’s not the go-getter attitude that you need to show your adversaries who’s boss around here. You also don’t want to sully the memory of all those Pinky and the Brain cartoons that inspired your aspirations of total subjugation in the first place. So maybe make some time in your life for what’s important. Your friends and family may laugh at you, but they won’t be laughing when you’re the one in charge, now will they?

I Often Wonder If Some Of My More Curmudgeonly Customers Experienced Their Last Laugh At The Age Of 17

At some point during Clinton’s first term, they must have read a Funky Winkerbean comic strip in the paper and laughed for what would be the very last time. And although they didn’t know it at that moment, they would never so much as crack a smile again. How else could you explain the fact that their whole adult lives have been spent making everyone else’s life as miserable as theirs? There’s something particularly pathetic and contemptible about taking advantage of a power dynamic (customer versus worker) in order to unload decades of crushing frustrations and resentments on someone who’s captive and has no choice but to take the abuse. You’d almost feel sorry for them if they weren’t so pitiful. I hope everyone reading this will make a promise to themselves never to become one of these people. There are so many more satisfying and productive ways to live. For example, getting an ice cream cone and tipping the worker who scooped it for you is a good place to start. 

I Was Cleaning And Found A Drawer Full Of 20 Percent Off Coupons To Bed Bath & Beyond

Then I broke down in tears when I thought about all the times I paid full price at that store because I forgot to bring a damned coupon. And now that the retail outlet has gone out of business, I can never redeem myself (or these coupons). 

I’ve Decided That Instead Of Going To My Job Every Day, I’m Just Going To Be Rich So I Don’t Have To Work

Since I don’t want to work anymore, I have come to the conclusion that I’m going to concoct a cunning plan to build a massive capitalist empire. The first step of this scheme is to obtain capital, since capitalists are the ones who own things that make money for them. That way they don’t have to lift a finger in order to pay for their extravagant lifestyles. I figure I would maybe buy a building and have people pay me money every month for the right to live there. Then maybe I would buy a grocery store where the very same people who were paying me for the right to sleep could also pay me for the right to eat. And then I might look into owning some kind of doctor’s office or hospital, so the people that are paying me for the right to sleep and eat could also pay me for the right to be healthy and pain-free. After securing all these money-making operations, I suppose I’d open a factory or retail store where I would employ the folks who are already paying me to live. And they could make even more money for me, and I would pay them a very small percentage of the wealth they created back to them — but not too much! (I figured not only would I not work, but I would also be, like, comically greedy.) And with this money I pay them, they would have no choice but to hand most of it right back if they want to keep sleeping in my building, eating my groceries, and going to my doctors. It all seems pretty simple when I spell it out like that. I wonder if anyone else has ever thought of this. 

What Does One Wear When They Go Shopping For Buildings?

I just realized that I don’t have any nice clothes — much less the duds I imagine are required for building shopping. I don’t think anyone is going to sell me an apartment complex if I show up in my ripped up Alice Donut T-shirt, for example. Does anyone out there in reading land have any suggestions as to the attire one might don whilst completing step one in what will eventually be their massive capitalist empire? If so, send them to:, C/O Brian. Thanks, everyone! 

Brian Polk is a Denver-based writer, publisher of The Yellow Rake, and drummer for Joy Subtraction and Simulators. He’s the author of Placement of Character and Turning Failure into Ideology. He likes writing, muck raking, yellow journalism, zines not blogs, cheap booze and punk rock.

Jason White is an artist living in the suburbs of Chicago. His favorite mediums are oil on canvas and pencil & ink drawings. When he was a kid he cried on the Bozo Show. His work varies from silly to serious and sometimes both. Check out more of his work on Instagram.

Check out Brian’s March issue install, I Have The Mind Of An Ape And So Many Questions That It Can’t Answer, and Jason’s April art piece, or head to our Explore section to see more of his work.

2 thoughts on “Is It Just Me, Or Do You Ever Think About Things Like Licorice, Dying, World Domination, Beyond Both Bed & Bath And World Domination (Again)? by Brian Polk | Art by Jason White”

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