A while back I was approached with a question. This dude asked about Johnny’s defining feature (his identity really), his red tie.
“Mr. Bramwell, oh wise and awesome sage.”
The guy addressed me something like that. I don’t remember his exact wording – it’s not important.
He asked, “Why a tie, and why red?”
Aghast, I was like, “Uhm, what? You question the tieness and the redness of the Johnny in one flippant breath!?!”
As you can imagine it was quite difficult to do anything but sock this chap in the schnoz. It’s with a balanced sense of humilified pride that I report I resisted the urge. I fought back the primal passion that was welling up within my artistic bones and did what any upstanding cartoonist would do. I politely answered his question explaining what’s behind that which I like to call Johnny’s Red Tie of Power.
Here’s the basic run down of what I told him. “Sir, I appreciate your forthrightness in asking such a valid question (I was puking a little in my mouth). Do you know of any other color on that fantasmo-matic wheel of color that would appropriately express the wherewithal of a character such as Johnny Scribble?”
He stared at me blankly.
“Do you, Sir?” I repeated insistently, but I didn’t wait for a response. Instead I reached into my pocket to retrieve my wallet. From within my awesome homemade duct-tape billfold I removed a collection of photographs. To avoid any confusion as to whether or not first is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with a polka-dot dress let me emphasize that they weren’t in any particular order. I showed him one.
“Do you see the man in this picture?”
“Yes.” He said, all full of arrogance and Cheetos.
“That, my friend, is Carlos Irwin Estevez! As you well know, he played the coolest pitcher to ever toss the ball for the Cleveland Indians (or any ball club for that matter), Ricky “the Wild Thing” Vaughn.
As I shuffled through the pictures to find one that corresponds to Vaughn’s, the inquisitor started running off at the mouth.
“Charlie Sheen? Isn’t he a drug abusing drunk who likes paying for….”
I turned his filth tap off lickety-splilt.
“What color is his tie?”
“You’re darn right it’s red!” I found the the accompanying picture and handed it to him. “And what color do you see on that delightfully spherical ball dressed ever so confidently in it’s chic pre-PC Indian feathers and Wayfarer sunglasses? The Mohawk! What color is it?”
“That’s right it’s red. Red is bold. Red says, “Even though I’ve changed my name in a way that hides my ethnicity and completely obscures any connection to my Brat Pack brother, Emilio who is a star in his own right though seems to have fallen off the face of the earth, I’m not afraid to play an incarcerated pitcher who has a loose but wickedly fast canon of an arm.” Red says, “look at me atop the round whiteness of a baseball, don’t I look good? Don’t I stand out, and not in a bad way that demeans an entire race of people but calls upon their vigor and warrior awesomeness and celebrates the ability to look good in a classic pair of shades.” Red. Red is bold!”
I grabbed another photograph and pushed it under his chin but before I had a chance to reveal the next facet of the complexity that is Johnny’s Red Tie of Power the answer seeker put the kibosh on our momentum.
“Mr. Bramwell. I appreciate your passion and oddly convenient photographs but if you’d excuse me for a few minutes, I need to visit the head.”
I looked at him curiously, unsure of his bladder control issue. “Okay.”
…To be continued.