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A Great Piss in the Dark

A Great Piss in the Dark

There was something different about this Pissing Calvin. Yes, it was on the back windshield of a black Ford truck. And yes, this truck was in the Midwest, home to both the sensible and the senseless. But this Calvin…something was missing. “Pissing Calvin” is a decal that can be found on a surprising number of

There was something different about this Pissing Calvin. Yes, it was on the back windshield of a black Ford truck. And yes, this truck was in the Midwest, home to both the sensible and the senseless. But this Calvin…something was missing.

“Pissing Calvin” is a decal that can be found on a surprising number of pickup trucks in these United States of America. While the origins of this trend are a bit murky, one intrepid researcher traced the first sighting to Florida, because of course. The decal is an illegal adaptation of the beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and while the creator and his publishers have fought for years to stop it, the piss remains.

There’s a lot going on here.

Here’s the thing about Pissing Calvin: He’s usually pissing ON something. A Chevy symbol, a Ford symbol, your rival sports team’s mascot, “Lawyers,” or “City Boys,” as illegal and ill-advised as Pissing Calvin is, he almost always has purpose. There is meaning and even passion behind his urination. We will no doubt question his methods, but Pissing Calvin is expressing himself (along with his bladder).

But the one adorning this black Ford truck…was pissing into thin air. There was no symbol, no mascot, no group, or even concept beneath Pissing Calvin’s stream of loathing. There was only the piss. The owner of the truck and the decal had chosen to infringe on a copyright (and decency) to express¬†nothing. This was a Pissing Calvin robbed of his purpose, doomed to forever urinate into an endless void.

This Calvin hates…not being exposed to lead poisoning!

To most humans, there is little more terrifying than to be useless. This is, to some extent, the driving force of our species. We need to do something, see something, build something, create something, and we need these somethings to have been for something and to be remembered by someone. Our social structure is built on this need, and its absence might result in “no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

It’s difficult to imagine that this Ford owner read Hobbes – either the stuffed tiger or the English philosopher – or that they might ponder the implications of a figure pissing into nothingness for eternity. It’s difficult to imagine anything about this person, as even their sole attempt to express themselves is devoid of expression.

Then again, maybe they really enjoy pissing.

Alex Rhoades
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