Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, August 2001
Speaking of not much new, I was going back through my cartooning archives for another project and happened across this comic. Back in the olden days (pre-2004), I used to send my comics and comments as an email with attachment. This is one of them. I was struck by the similarities between today’s economic conditions and then. Comments from the email are below:
Our daughter, Natalina, is prone to carsickness. Or, in her lexicon, “sometimes I puke in the van.” Of course, she doesn’t like doing this. We can hear the tremor of fear in her sweet six-year-old voice when she feels it coming on. And yet, she’s absolutely fascinated by it. We’ll be hopping in the van for a trip across state, and she’ll wonder aloud, “Hmmm, I wonder if I’m gonna puke.” And we’ll say, “Natalina, don’t think about it. Let’s talk about something else.” And she’ll give you that patented Natalina smile (cheeks way up but no teeth) and a blink of those beautiful eyes to make you think that she acknowledged what you said, and she’ll continue on, “Last time I puked on my penguin blanket. I had Cheerios for breakfast. Some of ‘em weren’t even chewed up….”
She just can’t let it go even though talking about it is just going to hasten the event. The other two aren’t any help, either. Elisira: “No, last time you puked on the floor and Mom’s hands.” Atticus: “I want some Cheerios! Momma, can I have some Cheerios?”
I was thinking about this (I don’t know why) as I read an article in Newsweek gleefully listing the reasons why a recession is imminent, and it hit me: Those in the business of talking about business seem to be fascinated with our economy puking. I don’t think things are so bad. I think there are a lot of positive economic things going on. But lately there seems to be no end of pundits who delight in describing sauerkraut ice-cream and then asking us if we’re feeling queasy.
All I want to say is, “cut it out!!!” They’re playing with my life here. I know certain things aren’t going well. I know there’s a definite chance that we could slide into recession. But, geez Louise, if all we do is talk about how consumer confidence is the firewall between us and financial hardship and that consumer confidence is slowing, dropping, waning, failing, tanking, dead, DEAD, DEAD!!! — what do ya think is going to happen? And who’s happy except the economists who get to say “I told you so” as they clean out their desks and head on down to the breadline….
The real truth is, Jane and I are strongly considering adding on to our house, and I don’t need any more fuel for my worry machine, thank you very much. So, please, think positively, buy something with that refund check, and don’t think about throwing up….