Some things I learned from this book:
1. I really should go ahead and binge-watch Breaking Bad
the way I've been planning to, so I can get all the references on this cover.
2. Stephan Pastis is the only writer I can think of who never makes you sorry you read the introduction.
3. I'm not the only one who finds it blindly infuriating when guests arrive at my house hours
early for dinner or a party. Guard Duck's ideas about what to do to such people are a little extreme, but only a little.
4. I'm also not the only one who thinks our current campaign contribution laws amount to legalized bribery, though I don't express myself on the subject as entertainingly as Stephan Pastis does.
5. Pearls Before Swine
can have actual "aw" moments. As in, you're alone in the house and you still have to say "Aw" when you get to the end of the middle comic on page 59, because if you don't the medical authorities have to check to see if you have a functioning heart.
6. Rat's dream religion is just like mine, other than the beer. (I don't drink. I do want to punch bad people and get spiritual credit rather than demerits.)
7. It turns out that defining manners as "the things we use to hide our real intentions" is not only funny but perfectly accurate -- in fact, Miss Manners, who is mentioned by name in this collection, would heartily agree. (She once advised a young woman not to start a fist-fight with someone who didn't invite her to a birthday party, because the definition of a lady is "someone who wants to punch someone else in the nose, but doesn't." True fact.)
8. I haven't crunched the numbers yet, but I think if I conducted a study of "the amount of time I've lost in my life due to people who don't accelerate at green lights because they're too busy doing something on their smartphone," I'd probably get the same amount Rat did: seven million years. ("There were a lot of people.")
9. Pearls Before Swine
has been around for over a decade, but it's not one of the comics that you read and shake your head and think, "This guy should have retired years ago." Lord willing, it never will be.