There were a variety of cartoon candidates amongst this week’s Westmorland Gazette stories. Two in particular exerted a strange, cartoony pull.
In the first, it has been announced that the law has been modified, allowing personal locator beacons (PLBs) to be carried by walkers. Previously restricted for use by those at sea or in the air, this opens up exciting possibilities. Chief amongst them is yet more call outs for Mountain Rescue Teams who have to go recover hapless dolts who have set out into the mountains in shorts and flipflops but who bought a PLB as the latest must-have gadget touted by the outdoor magazines. They already think a battery-operated GPS and mobile phone is a valid substitute for a map and a brain, so I can’t see PLBs improving the situation.
The second story is about a family. No ordinary family but one which is about to appear in a TV documentary. Even that is ordinary these days but this family is appearing in a documentary about big families; they have 15 children. Clearly someone gave them a book entitled the Birds and the Swarm at an early stage in their marriage. Laudably, they are taking part in the documentary to correct the standard Daily Mail impression that all large families are on welfare benefits.
During the course of the afternoon’s cartooning, I sketched away at ideas but always had one particular drawing in the back of my mind. Unfortunately I didn’t have a caption for it. A few generous souls on Twitter offered to crowd source a caption, which was noble but impractical; it would have meant revealing the story on Twitter where it could be snatched away by the Gazette’s perfidious rivals.
I left the drawing until last and, as is often the case, the act of drawing it caused a caption to happen. You can see all the sketches below and click here to discover which one won the prized position on the front page of the Gazette.
“Being the youngest of 15 means all the hand-me-downs have disintegrated by the time I get them.”
“It’s disgraceful, the way these TV companies sponge off large families.”
“It’s a personal locator beacon, so my wife can find me in the supermarket.”
“Mountain rescue? Can you send someone to find my personal locator beacon?”
“We liked the idea of David Cameron’s Big Society so much we decided to start our own.”