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Aunty Agatha's Understanding Zone

Dear Aunt Agatha,

I found your advice column in the paper yesterday and when I saw you were taking submissions I couldn't prevent my trembling hands from writing out a message to you. I'm in desperate need of help because of domestic problems of my own. It's my son, Jake. My poor, crumpled son.

It started two months ago, when Jake declared he was going to become a political cartoonist. I didn't think anything of it at the time. It felt like an idle expression of intent mumbled through a mouthful of Old El Paso Fajita Meal Kit salsa sachets, which he's so intent on eating between meals. However, over time, this new pastime has me increasingly disturbed.

A week ago I caught him hatched up in his room with the lights off, surrounded by several iterations of a sketch in which Boris Johnson, depicted as an anthropomorphic giant sausage, is being chased by Vladimir Putin - depicted as an indistinct breed of dog, perhaps a Staffordshire terrier - with a speech bubble above the sausage saying, "No Deal is sure going to be a real banger." I tried to talk to him about it, but the conversation ended with him slamming his palm on the writing desk and shouting ,"I'm politically homeless!" with curled, venomous lips.

That has since become a typical evening for us. What am I supposed to do about it? We're all trying to cope in this socio-political upheaval, but what's wrong with stoicism? What's wrong with small-scale community organisation? What's wrong with just moaning about it to your friends and family? Is a five-foot mural of the Monopoly Man - playing a game of Monopoly with all the different flags of the UK as game pieces and an arrow pointing to the Monopoly man saying 'The 45th President of the United States' and another arrow pointing to the hat saying 'Fascism' - really the answer? I just don't get it.

I mean, I do get it. I just don't think it's very clever or helpful or really withstands much scrutiny once you dwell on it for a while. But I'm deathly afraid of saying these words to my son's face, lest I awaken a foul and wretched beast whose wrath cannot be contained in the vessel of mere man or three-panel strip.

Do you have any advice for me? I appreciate this advice column is mainly aimed at teenage girls and I'm 54 and my son is 30, but I'm at the end of my tether. And while you're here, please close all submissions for Cartoon of the Day. It's only fanning the flames.


Bertruce Garner

Sean Morley & Phillip Oke

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