I Broke It. You Fix It

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 15, 2007

I just came across a great comic that satirizes the Republicans and Democrats on Iraq. It's clever, but a six panel comic strip must necessarily overgeneralize.

Feeling somewhat perverse, I decided to re-cast it as a familial argument, while filling in the rhetorical gaps in the analogy.

R: This vase makes our living room look like crap. We need to get rid of it.

D: It's an ugly vase, but I'm not sure we should just throw it out.

R: Oh, you love that ugly vase, don't you? You'd rather protect that ugly freaking vase than take care of our living room. You hate our home and want it to look ugly!!

D: No, no, that's not true! I hate the vase too. It's a rotten vase. In fact, I hate it more than you do - you're the one who bought it in the first place. If it were up to me, we'd have a beautiful vase.

R: Well, I'm going to throw it out. Are you with me or against me?

D: I just want what's best for the house. We shouldn't throw it out unless we're sure we can replace it with a nice vase.

R: We can! Look at all these advertisements we've got for nice new vases.

D: Gee, those kid of look like the kids drew them with crayons.

R: You calling me a liar? What, you think our kids can't make professional advertisements? Why do you hate our kids?

D: No, no, I'm sure the kids make great advertisements. I'm just not quite sure that they refer to real vases we can buy.

R: Of course they do! Can't you see how well they stay in the lines? Plus, I've got all these other advertisements as well, which are even better, only I can't show them to you.

D: Why not?

R: Are you questioning my authority?

D: No, no, it's not that. I just want us to be sure we're doing the right thing.

R: What, you don't trust me?

D: Well...

R: Oh, you just hate me, don't you? You would like nothing more than to see me fall on my face. How dare you not support me in this difficult time! While we're wasting our time arguing, that ugly-ass vase is still befouling our living room. Well, screw you. I'm throwing it out. Anyway, you already agreed so too bad!

[Vase is knocked over and smashes all over the floor.]

D: What the hell did you do that for? Now we've got no vase and there are pieces of glass all over the floor!

R: No there aren't.

D: Yes there are. They're right there!

R: What, there's maybe a piece or two. It's no big deal, we can clean it up.

D: It's not just a piece or two. It's all over the friggin' place and it's getting ground into the carpet!

R: Why are you so negative all the time? You always focus on the bad stuff. What about this spot of floor over here? It doesn't have any glass on it.

D: Are you kidding me? I just cut my foot there.

R: You didn't cut your foot on the broken vase. Pieces of glass from the window we broke earlier are going all over the floor.

D: Those aren't from the window. They're not even the same type of glass!

R: They all look the same to me. Glass is glass. We need to clean it up.

D: Why do I need to clean it up? You're the one who wanted to break it.

R: Hey, you supported me, so it's your fault, too! Are you gonna help me or are you just gonna keep whining at me? Admit it: you'd like nothing more than to see me fail.

D: You idiot! You've already failed. We'll never get this cleaned up now.

R: You give up too easily. This is why I need to be the one who makes the decisions around here. You haven't got the guts to make the tough calls.

D: Your decisions got us into this mess. You need to start listening to me.

R: Heeeeeeey - what's this? Another ugly vase, right next to the one we just threw out. We need to get rid of this one as well!

D: !!!

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By BrianE (anonymous) | Posted February 16, 2007 at 08:55:38

I know this is the internet and nobody can hear or see what I'm doing right now so I will tell you. I am standing clapping my hands in a standing ovation to Mr. McGreal for summing up such a complicated situation so beautifully in only a few lines of dialog. Bravo!

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By sleepingwithanelephant (anonymous) | Posted February 16, 2007 at 11:40:49

"you're the one who bought it in the first place."

Classic! Brilliant post!

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