I guess the only thing I don't mind about the holiday is seeing leprechauns. (no, not actually seeing leprechauns - seeing pictures of them) Don't get me wrong. Leprechauns are creepy, scary things, all orange hair and smiling when their eyes aren't smiling and that whole shilelagh business.
Those dudes could lay you out if they wanted.
But seeing leprechauns brings back good memories. They are one of the reasons I became an artist.
My sister used to eat Lucky Charms every morning. Lucky Charms are nasty. Let's see, you have both dry, tasteless, bleached out rodent pellets and colored chalk bits all in the same box?
There are several breakfast foods that are far superior to Lucky Charms. Such as -
- Captain Crunch
- Quisp (and Quake, they're the same thing so who do they think they're kidding?)
- Fruit Loops
- Count Chocula
- Rice Crispies with about a cup of sugar dumped over them so you're left with the bonus suger sludge at the bottom after they're gone
- Pop Tarts
But the final product would be worth it. Yet another leprechaun drawing for my portfolio. And I didn't stop there. The "are you an artist?" ads in the back of the tv guide and on matchbook covers were a source of wonder. Would it be the pirate they wanted me to draw this week? Or Bambi? Or maybe, just maybe it would be the pretty lady in three quarter profile with the upswept hair. I loved her.
I loved something else more and some people had a problem with that.
I wasn't allowed to have them but the girl who lived across the street's big brother was. I would pretend to want to play with her just to get at that stack of contraband. Before long I was in a corner rendering a fair copy of Spy vs. Spy. I then moved on to Al Jaffee's twistedness and Don Martin's pop-eyed, long chinned and extremely large breasted cartoons.
It was when I was busy making sure I got those extremely large breasts just perfect on the drawing I working on rather than my spelling that I got my first adult audience.
My third grade teacher.
Her hand snaked out. Where was St. Patrick then? She grabbed my drawing and held it an arm's length from her face. Her questions flew at me. What had possessed me to draw such a thing? Had I seen something like this? Who had shown it to me? Was I happy at home? Our class had visited a farm earlier in the week. Couldn't I have drawn some cows? Or chickens? Something more appropriate?
But there weren't any pictures of cows or chickens on the cereal boxes at our house. There weren't any on the "are you an artist?" ads either. I couldn't say for sure if there were any in the Mad magazines but I could find out.
I was going over to my neighbor's later to "play".
No - to become an artist