• Steve and Melissa Burnett

When UPS Delivers your Peg-Leg to the Wrong Address


Good Monday, with snow on the ground and a high of 28 brrr. My day job week is one of those that is at the least unpredictable. I am on-call this week so I am covering all of West Texas if there are any pipeline leaks, from El Paso to Abilene and the Oklahoma Panhandle to the Rio Grande, ugh That can be fun.

This COVID stuff can be serious so take the precautions. I have to admit since I have been working all over the state as an essential worker, thanks to Homeland Security I had started to think maybe it is not such a big deal. I did lose my sense of smell one weekend and felt tired for a few days so I thought oh well that must have been it. However my perspective has been changed. Recently my sister and her husband caught it and both in ICU and he passed. What a shock and sadness. He had no preexisting condition and was under 60 years old. They were both getting the best health care in West Texas. She is getting better but still in ICU. Wow I am stunned, so you can bet I will be back to the extremes on the caution side as I tour Texas in my day job.

This cartoon was based on a cartoon I had seen. I really do not like to steal others work unless I can add my own spin to it. The cartoon was a cop and a person telling them "there had to be a thief since they did not get a birthday card." So I did what I always do when I have an issue and need some advice. I went to my business partner, whom is the real brains of this operation, my wife. She suggested we add some contemporary terms to the cartoon, like, "porch pirate" and the phrase "this century" which makes sense since everything is online these days. So I thought great idea, and then she mentioned a random peg leg laying around. Now the thought of a random peg leg laying around actually had me chuckling when I thought about it. I also remember her mother in St. Louis recently getting a random package from UPS of a sailors hat. We had joked about some poor sailor having to go out on his boat without his hat. So I started thinking what if the UPS delivered the peg leg to the wrong house, and what if it was to an old guy who thinks someone has been stealing his mail since he no longer gets birthday cards. See how twisted my mind can be. So that was my take on the cartoon. However, after looking at it I am not sure that message comes across. I am a prop illustrator and like to tell stories with my cartoons, but sometimes I put too many props in my work. This can be detrimental to an an eight second bull ride-cartoon which is basically what a newspaper cartoon is. I have eight seconds to tell the cartoon story. That and the UPS tag does not come across. In my cartoons I am wavering between what size to illustrate the characters. Sometimes I think they are too big and thus restricting the area I have left to add props to tell the story and in this case they might have been too small and giving me too much area to overdo the props. Anyway, I wanted the old guy to live in the country which adds to his isolation about not receiving birthday cards. So as my mind was spitting out ideas from the merry go round of props, I decided since he was out in the country I needed a sheriffs deputy taking the report, and since I live in Texas, it had to be a Texas sheriffs deputy. Props props props, so there comes the goat and the snake and did I mention I love illustrating old barns. I also had to add the South Plains College logo to his hat. South Plains College is where the late Professor Don Stroud motivated and trained me for my love of watercolors 43 years ago. To this day watercolors are still my preferred medium. Of course I also like to sneak in a big S for Sundown the big metropolis I was born and raised in. And the goat, well I have heard people refer to me as the old goat Anyway that is my story and I am sticking to it. So if you have any complaints call the sunmesastudios.com complaint department and ask to speak to Rufus.

RIP Tony Dill, you were a great man and will be forever missed. Heaven gained a truly trusted and faithful servant.

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