If you don't already love the daily comic "Pearls Before Swine," here's some dialogue from my two favorite strips in this collection. (Actually, here they are whether you like "Pearls" or not, but you know what I mean. I'm trying to lure you to the dark side, is what I mean.)
First awesome strip (which falls on page 29, for the OCD members of the reading public):Rat: You enter this world alone. You leave this world alone.
Pig: But in between, WE'VE GOT DONUTS!!
"Mmmmmmmm...existence goooooood," Pig concludes (correctly) in the last panel. Rat, equally accurately, concludes, "In between, we've got morons." I think the fact that I bounce back and forth between Rat's pure cynicism and Pig's willingness to be soothed by baked goods is a big part of why I love this strip so much.
Here's the other reason: Stephan Pastis understands me, to the point where he may be bugging my house. Evidence? This strip:Goat: Well, guys, I'm off. Today is my family's annual potato sack race. It's sort of a tradition.
Pig: What's "tradition"?
Rat: Tradition is the reason for doing something you can no longer think of a reason for doing.
Goat: I hate it when I agree with you.
Pig (looking stunned): So that's why we still see our annoying family.
Thanks to Stephan Pastis, I no longer have to apologize for my loathing of "tradition." I mean, if something's fun or cool or just plain awesome, you don't need to mention tradition to explain why you're doing it. You just do it, because it's fun, cool, etc. Whereas if you have to cite tradition, you're probably about to go consume canned fruit in Jell-O salad with people you'd never spend four seconds with if it were up to you.
Read this book. Is funny. You need funny.
And thank you for reading this review.