I got home from vacation late Tuesday night and was surprised to find myself sitting at my desk yesterday morning, just hours later, with a deadline hanging over my head. I don't know about you, but on re-entry days it takes me the better part of a day just to go around and turn on all the factory lights, flip the machines on and open the windows. It was midafternoon before I finished reading the newspapers and catching up with vacation clutter.
On normal days I have a dozen topics swirling around in my head, any one of which might pop open to provide the day's cartoon idea. But on re-entry days I'm lucky to have two thoughts to rub together. Yesterday I had the slimmest sliver of a concept -- something about taking down the Christmas tree and the Iowa caucuses.
By now I know to respect that faint sound of a tuning fork quivering in my brain, so I held onto this slight image all day and tried to find the connection. Something about dragging the tree to the curb, the end of the season of good cheer, the beginning of the political season. It came together around 4PM when it absolutely had to.
When I looked at the cartoon in the newspaper this morning I thought it looked more sinister than I'd intended. It may even come off as a shot at Iowans, who I actually appreciate for doing some of the early heavy lifting in the campaign process. Maybe there's too much blackness on the right side of the drawing. Maybe the "Politics" figure should have been walking toward a far-off farmhouse across a comically vast snowy field?