“To err is human,” Professor Plum announced as he walked into the mail room. “To really screw up, you need a committee.”

He read the mail. (More)

Professor Plum and Ms. Scarlet then left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, to spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor was shining his buffer when he took a quick peek at the Ace and Ten of Hearts. He raised and was not unhappy when Chef called. He was even less unhappy when the flop brought the Ace of Clubs and the King and Nine of Hearts. With a pair of Aces and a flush draw, he set aside his buffing cloth and counted out a pot-sized bet. Again, Chef called. The turn brought the Five of Hearts. The Professor of Astrology Janitor once again offered a pot-sized bet. This time Chef raised. Confident he had the best possible hand, the Professor of Astrology reraised all-in.

“Call,” Chef said, turning over her Queen and Jack of Hearts.

“Aha!” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said, showing her the Ace of Hearts and….

“Oh dear,” Chef said as she saw the Ten of Diamonds.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor stared at the card. “But … it was a Heart when I looked. I’m sure of it.”

“To err is human,” Chef said as she dealt the final card. Out came the real Ten of Hearts, rescuing his Ace-high flush. Chef shook her head. “To forgive will require your help in the kitchen.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling as they left to make Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

On Friday, we posted a Gary Varvel cartoon at IndyStar that offended a wide group of readers.

Many of them labeled it as racist. Gary did not intend to be racially insensitive in his attempt to express his strong views about President Barack Obama’s decision to temporarily prevent the deportation of millions of immigrants living and working illegally in the United States.

But we erred in publishing it.

The cartoon depicted an immigrant family climbing through a window of a white family’s home as Thanksgiving dinner was served. I was uncomfortable with the depiction when I saw it after it was posted. We initially decided to leave the cartoon posted to allow readers to comment and because material can never truly be eliminated once it is circulating on the web. But we are removing the cartoon from the opinion section of our website, as well as an earlier version posted on Facebook that showed one character with a mustache.

The illegal immigration issue evokes strong opinions and emotions. And it’s important to encourage a vigorous public debate on issues of this magnitude, but with respectful discourse. That is what we believe at IndyStar and that is what we will continue to do – to publish views from all sides as we explore the important issues that will define the future of our nation, state and city.

Jeff in IN

Dear Jeff,

We agree that you erred in publishing this cartoon:

You say you left the cartoon up, even after you recognized it was racially incendiary, “to allow readers to comment.” Your editorial staff are surely aware that comments boost page views and page views drive ad revenues. Thus “to allow readers to comment” really means “to milk obviously offensive content for as many page views as possible.” That may be a good business model, but we suggest it’s disingenuous to present it as a high-minded effort to “encourage a vigorous public debate” on “important issues that will define the future of our nation, state and city.” Instead, we suggest you simply admit that you trolled your readers with racist click-bait and were embarrassed by their reactions or – we dare hope – were disappointed by the number of canceled subscriptions.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Y’know, if the cartoonist changed the family at the table to Native Americans and the people at the window to Pilgrims, that cartoon would offer a worthwhile take on “important issues that will define the future of our nation, state and city.” I’m just sayin’.

Also, how do I make those Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes?

Immigrating to Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Immigrating to Breakfast,

We agree with your proposed revision. As for Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes, first whisk 2⅓ cups of pancake mix together with 2½ Tablespoons of white sugar, ⅓ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger. In a separate bowl, beat together 2 eggs, 1¼ cup of milk, ⅓ cup of canned pumpkin, and ¼ cup of vegetable oil. Then stir the mixtures together until the dry ingredients are moist, and ladle the batter onto a hot, buttered griddle, flipping when the sides firm up and cooking until both sides are golden brown.

Chef tops her Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes with Nutmeg Whipped Cream. To make that, pour 1 cup of whipping cream into a chilled bowl, add 2 tablespoons of white sugar, ¾ teaspoon of vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Whip with a mixer, using chilled beaters at medium-high speed, until soft peaks form. Bon appétit!



Jeff in IN; comments boost page views; page views drive ad revenues. (H/T Talking Points Memo)

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pancakes.


Happy Sunday!