I realize that the title of Tuesday’s strip was ‘Winning’ and I apologize if anyone misconstrued that as an indicator of a potential Charlie Sheen joke. There will be no Charlie Sheen jokes in Dodge the Bullet.

Why? After all Rick Dodge has made fun of tons of musicians and celebrities, why would he pull his punch in this case? Partly because he’s primarily concerned with musicians, and partly because Rick really does believe that his jokes at their expense serves a purpose beyond making his audience laugh. If he can make you see how absurd and pretentious the artists can be then maybe you can look past the artifice and see the art. Or lack thereof.

Mostly that’s just rationalization. He tells the jokes because people laugh. So, if he was given free rein, he probably would tell a Charlie Sheen joke. Though, knowing him as I do, it wouldn’t be making fun of Sheen, it would be making fun of the furor around Charlie Sheen.

But that is one hell of a narrow beam to balance on and in the end I decided it wasn’t worth it. Rick Dodge won’t tell those jokes because I won’t put those words in his mouth.

I used to work at a place where we would offload a ton of trailers on Sundays and because the cargo was heavy and had to be stacked on pallets we would get a couple of day laborers to help us unload. Most of them were okay workers, some were absolute crap, and a few were really good. There was this one guy in particular who was one of the hardest workers I’d ever seen. Pounding out trailers in half the time of anyone else. So good that I couldn’t figure out why he was homeless because any company would love to have a worker like that. He’d be sent out every few weeks and we’d get out of there early when he came. Then a few months passed without seeing him and I’d thought he’d moved on but he came around again, still a hell of a worker but he looked about ten years older, clothes very messy, hair sticking out, five day beard, deep hollows under his eyes. He drifted away and I saw him again six months down the road. Ragged. Burnt out. Mumbling to himself. Nearly spastic in his movements. He was under thirty and he looked sixty. Still a hell of a worker but he looked like any day could be his last one. Any breath. Any moment.

Do I feel sorry for Charlie Sheen? No, he’s got money. Seems to have had himself a fair amount of fun over the course of his life. Scoreboard Charlie. But this whole circus atmosphere is like a celebratory death watch, as if people are cheerleading his fall from (what’s the opposite of grace?), not only hoping that he’ll die but hoping to be there when he does.

I didn’t think that daylaborer’s descent was funny. I can understand where the humor lies in Charlie Sheen’s various rantage but I just can’t tell those jokes. This isn’t a moral stand, nor a principled one, it’s just a… queasy feeling I got after seeing one too many articles, hearing one too many jokes.

Normally I end my posts with a joke mocking what’s come before but today I have no joke.

I’m sorry.