Marma Duke and Parpa Baron
Last night, at dinner with our good friend and Newsletter Contributor Jesse Aaronson, a bomb dropped. My co-author, Nabeel Chollampat, a man I explicitly trust to be my guide through the mucky swamp of pop culture, a man who can normally emerge from the gloom with a creaky wan lantern and beckon me behind a mossy curtain to discover some heretofore unknown cultural Eden, that Nabeel—well, he showed his entire ass hole last night at dinner, and seismologists are working around the clock to understand the impact of what he said.
What did he say, you must be thinking, if you didn’t stop reading immediately after wondering why you subscribed to this newsletter at all. Fear not, dear reader, for I shall reveal all in the next paragraph.
You see, our conversation led to a particular place… I cannot trace back the conversation thread that led here, but I, at some point, made reference to the common West African Muslim name “Mamadou.” Nabeel chimed in with a hilarious “Marmaduke,” leaving us all inert and helpless with laughter for minutes on end. Only God knows how long we laughed, how long we lived in bliss before the fateful words were spoken…
That’s the movie about the dog, right?
Part 2: Or: The Movie About The Dog: The Second Part of a Two Part Story
Dear readers: I shan’t blame you for not knowing this, but Marmaduke is also a long-running comic strip. It’s not something I would expect any given person to have knowledge about, but the fact that Nabeel, a man so deep in culture that he hasn’t seen the sun in years, missed this common knowledge… yeah, you could say that gleeful smiles split our cruel visages as we hurled taunts, teases, jabs, and jibes his way… you could say that… because it’s true…
All of this fun teasing comes with a broader weight, of course. We’re all getting older, Jesse’s starting his first job on Broadway (#StoppardGang), I’m busier than ever with work, and Nabeel is leaving for grad school tomorrow. I hope you, loyal subscriber, forgive me my small indulgence here. I’m quite sad about not living with my best friend anymore, and I wanted to commemorate a small fun moment in the newsletter we write together.
I can only hope that all of you are lucky enough to have friendships that make you laugh as hard as Nabeel makes me laugh. It is truly the stuff of life!
Damn, they used straight up Marker Felt on this poster. Hey, let’s get another SNL Avatar Papyrus sketch about this, huh?