One Too Many Leunig Cartoons

This morning did it,
pushed me over the edge;
one too many Leunig cartoons.
There it was in the paper,
another picture of
a duck in a teapot
up a tree
looking at a sunset
while a sad-eyed little man
with a big nose danced a jig
to a fiddle while reciting
a whimsical piece of doggerel.

I threw my cereal at the cat
leaned out the window and screamed:
God forgive me
but I can't take any more Leunig cartoons!
I've had enough of his quirky melancholy!
I'm done with his didactic winsomeness!
Tired of his poignant piousness!

Okay, I don't hate Leunig,
not like I hate Zucchinis or Baz Luhrmann.
To hate Leunig would be wrong,
like hating Mother Teresa or Flipper ...
But you know how things build up?

Take his character Mr Curly.
God, he's depressing! -
always moping about,
weeping into wheelbarrows.
If Mr Curly really wants to escape the world
he could start by quitting my newspaper,
just fuck off and lock himself away
in a bric-a-brac shop in Berrima.

I'd like Bill Leak to draw Mr Curly
on a Harley, with a pack of Gypsy Jokers.
I'd like to give Mr Curly a good slapping,
take him to a loud club and get him drunk,
scream at him: listen Mr Curly,
I know life's a confusing maelstrom
of pain, loss and loneliness,
but there is joy amongst the cracks,
there are kicks to be had,
just get over it!

Now you may say that the man
who is tired of Leunig cartoons is tired of life,
a cheerless grinch,
a daisy trampling killjoy
numb to finer feelings.
But I've been moved by the sublime.
I've choked on sunsets,
felt profound sadness seeing
barmaids pour buckets of
beer dregs down drains.

And I even feel guilty for
disliking Leunig cartoons –
that's the effect the bastard has on you!
But it's something to do with the
hectoring holier-than-thouness.
Jesus could forgive Leunig
but could Leunig forgive Jesus?

Yes, Leunig, I know television's bad,
but, hell, I like it!
And yes, Hollywood is a moral cesspit,
and yes, societal values are shredded,
and yes, we probably are
petty, mean, vain, consumerist dupes
who should embrace Zen frugalness
and meditate upon
the silent spaces in our souls ...
Yes, yes, yes, all good stuff,
and I'll get around to it ... eventually

All the same, I kind of enjoy my anger,
love a good healthy surge of adrenalin.
We weren't bred to be calm animals,
we were bred to hunt and club things,
to eat red meat and watch action films,
and, okay, to compose the odd symphony
and fall in love along the way,
but mostly hunt and club things.

And speaking of love,
it was you, Leunig, who recently
blew things for me.
I'd just met this girl,
she was pretty and smart
and I could forgive many things,
like her Shania Twain CD.
I could forgive her windcatcher
and dolphin tattoo.
I could even forgive her poster
of the old Indian chief with the quote
about not being able to eat money.
What I couldn't forgive was
the Leunig cartoon on her fridge.
I said sorry, babe, gotta split.
Irreconcilable differences.