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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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34 Responses to 760

  1. Robb says:


    I think that the car is the place where I see “the end” more than anywhere else.

  2. Robb says:

    I now feel so old having said that. Next I’ll be saying “in my day” and “I remember”.


    Actually. Having buried someone last week at 3PM as the secondary school kicked out next to the cemetery, all of the teenagers were respectful. They sounded like teenagers trying to be respectful but they were.

    Lots of “shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” and “be quiet” coming from their peers but it was there none the less.

  3. Robb says:

    Lets see if I get three as well.

    Much nore detailed cartoon Jon :D

  4. jonbirch says:

    robb @ 2… that’s good to hear. to be honest, i don’t think the younger generation are the rudest, my experience tells me that their parents can actually be worse. i’ve noticed more and more road rage… even women now seem to be becoming aggressive drivers. people with push chairs barging around. i’ve held doors open for families and found the children say thank you while their parents ignore you.
    i do think think that pace of life and schedules lead to more rudeness or at least to less thoughtful and more selfish attitudes and behaviour.

  5. Robb says:

    My saddest recent experience was last night in the pub. I made sure that the people before me had been served and then I said “please could I have X + Y?”

    The response was “thats very polite”.

    Please write that on my tombstone:

    Here lies Robb. He was polite.

  6. Forrest says:

    funny how choosy people are about what they’re in a hurry to do – wanna bet blue car person is in a hurry in everything in life except to get into that pretty brown box?

    blue car person’s behavior also carries an air of “I’m the most important person in this picture”

    wonder if that if blue car person knew someone grieving over a lost loved one, blue car person’s attitude about the grieving would be “come on, hurry up and get the grieving over with: things to do! things to do!”

  7. Robb says:

    Sorry – me again…


    When I worked for NRES (talking telephone line for the trains in the UK) I had one guy ring me and shout and shout and shout at me that his train was stopped on the tracks.

    I looked it up on the system.

    A pregnant woman had fallen from the platform. She was bring assisted by the authorities.

    What was the response?

    “This is my journey and I need to be there and you need to fix this now….”

    Erm. No.

  8. Miriworm says:

    Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

    Is that thunder I hear or Elvis kicking the **** of Michael for marrying his daughter! Sorry heard it the other day and couln’t resist :-D

  9. beckyG says:

    I would like to say I am never guilty of “losing it” but that would be a lie.

  10. Forrest says:

    This cartoon brings something I’ve always wondered about language usage: why, when referring to the deceased, do people say his or her name _was_ ?
    Makes it sound like the person’s name changed when they died.

    Then again, maybe the was came into usage to differentiate the deceased from the living?

    Okay, has nothing to do with anything, but these kinds of things get me curious.

  11. Robb says:

    And this is why fish on the back of cars are a bad idea!

  12. crazykites says:

    That one hit the spot, Jon! On a purely technical point, isn’t the hearse up front, usually? Dunno…where are the clergy when you need them?

    Now I’ve finished my feeble attempt at being an arsey know-it-all, this strikes a chord with me. I was watching a TV ad last night – I think it was for a mobile phone or something. Some pretentious bugger at the ad agency thought it was clever to have the tag line, “Impatience is a virtue”. It immediately struck me that this is a philosophy which underpins much of what is unpleasant about modern society. Bring back a time when, though we may have wished otherwise, circumstances imposed a delayed gratification and with it a slower pace of life. Much more satisfying and much more healthy. :)

  13. Carole says:

    Er – comment 12 was actyally me. Sorry, didn’t check the details before posting. :oops:

  14. Robb says:

    I have to say the people on the main road last week all stopped and let the hearse, main cars and even a lot of the people following out.

    That is my only experience though. Not a very good statistical sample :D

  15. Kim says:

    This made me roar with laughter as it actually happened to me. Very sadly a few years ago we were burying our mam, and as the two hearses drove down a dual carriageway to the cemetary, my cousin overtook them in his sports car and roared past us at about 90mph. Ooh my mam would’ve given him such a telling off.

  16. Forrest says:

    hey, Carole, anybody with kites in their screen name is alright by me.
    As a matter of fact, just finished gathering up 3 to take to fly while waiting to get the car fixed.

  17. bubbybird says:

    In our small town the people respect a funeral group and still pull to the side of the road when it passes……until it all passes and not just the car with the Brown box.

    But then our small town has at the high school a candle light service that the kids attend all dressed up. I love little towns most of the time!!

  18. Tiggy says:

    It’s usually said this kind of impatience only happens when people are in cars, but I’ve had it happen while walking. Some guy started telling me to get a move on because I was in front of him on the pavement and not walking fast enough and he was unable to get round me for some reason. I turned round and yelled at him that I was disabled, but he didn’t take any notice. I’m not disabled, but I do have a weak left ankle due to a slight blood flow problem that slows me down somtimes.

    I have a friend who walks very fast and really starts tutting and fuming if she can’t get past people. She also has a go at me if someone behind me wants to get past – as though I’m supposed to have eyes in the back of my head!

  19. JAEL says:

    another brilliant thousand words in a rectangle. Even a brief consideration of this cartoon shuts up my rush. Fantastic!

  20. Danny says:

    Sadly this cartoon is all too real. I have lost count of the number of times I have been part of a cort├Ęge en route to the crem and experienced people hurtling past desperate to get to the junction before we do or undertaking then cutting in at the roundabout… splitting the cortege up or the worst just the other week when someone on the near empty dual carriage way sat on my wing then without warning or reason tried to push in between me and the hearse causing me to break sharply.

    I’m sure a quick poll of funeral directors would reap many similar or much worse stories of people’s impatience and total lack of respect when they get behind the wheel of a car.

  21. subo says:

    how much do we miss in our pressurised world?

  22. Tiggy says:

    Have people heard of the ‘Slow’ movement? It started in Italy, perhaps with ‘slow cooking and eating’ and has progressed to other areas of life as well as internationally. There’s even a slow town in England – somewhere in Gloucestershire or Shropshire I think. I’m not sure what it means in practice, but the people there have voted their town a ‘Slow town’.

  23. Forrest says:

    I’ve heard of it now!

    The Slow Movement aims to address the issue of ‘time poverty’ through making connections.

    This desire for connectedness is not new. Traditionally, in times past, our lives were connected. Most traditional cultures still have these connections.
    These people are connected to their culture, to people, to place and to their lives.

  24. Tiggy says:

    Yes, I like to connect with people who serve me in shops. I felt bad today because a girl said hello to me in the street who had sold me a book in my local bookshop where I sometimes attend events with guest authors and I hadn’t recognised her. It was so nice of her to say hello to me and remember that I’d bought a book on Palestine. I had had three glasses of wine at the bookshop that evening though and some Sangria before at La Tasca – I’d probably have bought anything!

  25. subo says:

    cheers for the reminder about ‘The Slow Movement’,

    – I watched a TV program recently about sustainable food, it was all about noticing how to grow things that worked well growing together, using plants with the ability to maintain the soil quality / nutrition levels, and plants with properties that deterred pests / diseases, along side food producing plants. The resulting farmland became a beautifully array of colour and life, very definitely thriving. It would be nice if we could have a similar broad vision about work/church life, valuing diversity in the same way. (not that I’m grumbling about the wk I’ve had in my workplace, after therapeutically recounting it on the sanctuary blogg)

  26. rockingrev says:

    Having been a Minister both in the Southern USA and back in Scotland I have to say that people in the deep south were much morte respectful of funerals. They always stopped if coming the other direction, when a cortege passed and we always had a police escort to take us through road junctions. Here everyone rushes out of the church to get down to the cemetrary before the cortege.

  27. Tiggy says:

    Isn’t the deep South known for ‘old-fashioned’ courtesy?

    I think what you’re referring to is Permaculture, Subo. Yeah, what a great metaphor for encouraging diversity in churches. :-)

    I’ve just come back from the Pride Day service at MCC Bath and the songs and prayers really celebrate diversity and acceptance. I realised that’s why I go there.

    We even sang ‘I Am What I Am’ from the musical ‘La Cage Aux Folles.’ Very camp, but great lyrics.

    ‘I am what I am
    and what I am needs no excuses.’


  28. Dave says:

    I often say is this The Human Race or A Human Race!

    Think Gary Newman had some thoughts on the car thing…

    Here in my car
    I feel safest of all
    I can lock all my doors
    It’s the only way to live
    In cars

    Here in my car
    I can only receive
    I can listen to you
    It keeps me stable for days
    In cars

    Here in my car
    Where the image breaks down
    Will you visit me please?
    If I open my door
    In cars

    Here in my car
    I know I’ve started to think
    About leaving tonight
    Although nothing seems right
    In cars

  29. Tiggy says:

    Wasn’t Gary Numan great?

    I remember sitting in the Arts Theatre Cafe in Cambridge, with red wine and houmous. The guy I loved was leaving and yet ‘Are Friends Electric’ still brought a smile to my face.

  30. Tiggy says:

    Mmm, I imagine that driver is transporting a huge slab of Galaxy chocolate. Respect!

  31. jonbirch says:

    dave… good quote. :-)

  32. Tiggy says:

    Cars go too fast – they scare me. Why do people glorify speed?

    My friend Mani had the right attitude. He used to say of his 2CV, ‘It’s good because it goes faster than a tractor (he drove one), but not so fast that you miss things.’

  33. jonbirch says:

    crazykites @ 12. ‘impatience is a virtue.’ yup, what a load of old rubbish. samsung mobile are insulting their own r and d department by suggesting that patience wasn’t required in huge amounts to even create that product. impatience is always annoying… whether it’s my own or that of those around me. sometimes i’m impatient for change and find that understandable, but it doesn’t really help. hope and patience need not be synonymous.

    i think there is a place for speeding cars… it’s called a race track. car racing is a lot of fun and great to be a spectator of. people behaving like idiots on the roads is far to common, risking their own lives and worse the lives of others. take their number and dob them in, that’s what i say.

    the cartoon is really just a simple metaphor for how in our haste we lose our perspective. let’s not live our lives at such a speed that we neglect the most basic things that make humanity good.

  34. Tiggy says:

    I know your cartoon is about more than just traffic, Jon, but I just want to mention most people’s attitude to speed cameras. They are treated as though they are the enemy to be tricked and foiled and hardly anyone seems to take speed limits seriously, despite hard-hitting adverts about the consequences. I find those ads difficult to watch and can’t imagine how they could be any more hard-hitting, but they still don’t seem to get through to drivers.

    My parents have been in two serious accidents where it was the other drivers fault through dangerous driving and in both of which they were extremely lucky not to have been killed. I was in the first one and the car was so crushed up that we had to be cut out by the fire brigade.

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