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Judy - No Pictures Available

By Carl S ~

One of my better reference book acquisitions is “The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book,” by Bill Watterson. For this application, I'm citing his chapter on “licensing.” The cartoonist shows himself to be a man of high integrity by not selling out his characters, strip, and ongoing story lines for profit, thus avoiding “the corruption of a strip's integrity.” Watterson has never allowed images of Calvin and Hobbes outside of their world in the strip. He tells us, “My strip is about private realities, the magic of imagination, and the specialness of certain friendships.” And although he does not say so directly, there is no way Hobbes could be depicted as a stuffed toy or statuette (as Charles Schulz’s Snoopy is), because Hobbes as we know him exists solely in Calvin's imagination.

Many years ago, my wife asked me how long Judy was in my life before I met her. You see, Judy was sitting on the back seat of my car the first time my wife and I dated. “Less than a year,” I said. Of course she wanted to know the circumstances under which Judy and I met, etc. Now this was 23 years ago, and she's been a part of our lives together ever since. Each day, Judy has a “Word for Today,” and ongoing comments about people, situations, and politics. On the last subject, the words “catastrophic” and avalanche,” have been duly noted. (In private, she told me my wife's church services are “only live theater.”) To extend her vocabulary, she keeps pestering us for a thesaurus. Often our conversations begin with, “Judy says this,” or “Judy said that...” As you can infer, she's quite an interesting character.

As I explained to my beloved, Judy had a “history” before we met at the Goodwill store, where she was found dumped in the donation bin. Judy used to be an unwilling member of a tough biker gang, and saw some hard times at their hands. Naturally, she picked up some foul language, habits, and attitudes. Rarely, these experiences do come to the fore, since you can't keep those thrilling days of yore out of her genes forever, like riding in Harley saddle bags at 60+ mph, etc.

Since marrying Raif though, Judy's softened up considerably and has been much less judgmental under his influence. He's gentle, sympathetic, and takes a leisurely attitude about everything. Raif is, (according to him), the re-incarnation of the British composer Ralph Vaughn Williams, so he's usually found concentrating on compositions, some of which are written for, or dedicated to Judy, which is, according to her, only fitting. Unlike Judy's, his life is not intertwined with ours. She likes it just like that; likes being the center of attention at times.

So by now, you're getting the picture. Judy is quite an interesting person whose experiences and naive but charming takes on life we find amusing and “enlightening.” Judy tells us about ourselves, our thoughts and feelings. She is our spokesperson.

What you don't know is that Judy is a pink stuffed rabbit with floppy ears who, if she were standing (and she can't, she sits), would be only 12 inches tall. Her husband Raif is a gray stuffed rabbit, though a little “taller,” but he too sits, and is so boneless you might be tempted to tie him in a knot. Raif was found by my wife at a thrift store, and he and Judy soon fell in rabbit love. Until now, only we and another couple know about Judy. Her history, her thoughts and personality, etc., all exist in our fantasy imaginations. We can say the same thing about Jesus and God in the imaginations of mystics, theologians and believers. (fyi: Images of the cartoon characters Calvin and Hobbes and Judy and Raif are not available for commercial profiting for millions of dollars, which is more than we can say for the pictures of Jesus and God.)

Don't tell me what Jesus said. That's hearsay.Let me tell you something Judy said a few days ago. But first of all I must tell you: she's a fan of, no surprise, Judge Judy, and pays close attention to her court cases. Judy asked a moral question, and I told her, “Well, you know what Jesus said...” She stopped me right there. Later, I told my wife what her response was: “Don't tell me what Jesus said. That's hearsay.” My wife didn't get it! Now, every time I read a letter to the editor, hear a politician tell us what God wants, I want to respond, “That's hearsay; bring on the God to confirm what you say he said, since he's in the neighborhood, or shut up! Everything we’ve been told “Jesus and God” said IS hearsay, since “they” didn't write anything down, and appear on no video or audio recordings. At least Judy is visible! In any court on earth, “they” or “what they said” is NOT EVIDENCE. What has been taught for two thousand years to be error-free truth is, like Judy herself and her observations, fabricated and embellished for centuries, and has infiltrated social reality, whether we like it or not.

Judy is sarcastic, yes, and sometimes nasty when she doesn't get her way, but at heart, she's well-meaning and always benign. This is more than you can say for the hearsay words of Jesus and God, which are used to discriminate and deny rights to others, often to persecute and kill them. Sure, the “words Jesus and God said” are quoted to encourage doing good, but what the hell! You don't need gods for that.

Judy is with us. She's real and ongoing. If you're interested, I'll try to keep you updated on the latest from her. I think you'll find she's more interesting than what you've heard about Jesus and God and all those other “holy” fabrications. Those are only hearsay.