Aw, rats.

Nassau County has put the management of their sewer system out for bid to private operators in an attempt to save money and narrow the budget gap. What could be better for satire than sewers and government together, right? I really liked the idea of drawing that big pipe with muck flowing out of it and crocodiles, but the vote at the dinner table clearly favored rats (and fishbones).

I started sketching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t like the rats in the sketch, the above floating one was a second failed attempt. So, I drew rats until I liked the ones at left.

 

Then, I added the new rats into the sketch and did a final drawing in ink, cleaning things up in the process.

Once that was done, I scanned, colored and added the witty caption.

Done, right? Nope. Now it’s time to run it past some editors. In this case, they all rejected it. (It wouldn’t be much of a story if it simply ran as-is, now would it?) Basically, no one got why the rats would be right for the job. My thinking was, as rats, they’d be uniquely qualified to deal with sewers and government besides being natural managers. But, what I think doesn’t mean much if the folks paying don’t like it. It was time to figure out what went wrong.

Since the rats were the sticking point, they came out and these guys were drawn, scanned & “Photoshopped” in. Suits are just as funny as rats anyway.

The question now became why are these two, the guy on the far left was abandoned, standing in front of a huge sewer pipe?

It seemed to me, they were talking about the issue in front of them, the sewer and how to save money. What was the decision process that led them to bid the operation out? What else could they do? What would anyone do?

This version passed editorial muster. The kids still like the rats and want me to print them a poster of the first version, without the caption. They just like the rats.

 

Where do I get my ideas?

I found out, through public records, that the Rocky Point School District’s Superintendent has stipulated in his contract, aside from a pretty decent salary, free internet access and his own private bathroom. Considering this is the same district that has been lobbying for two years or so to have legislation passed restoring state aid that they lost by missing the filing deadline, and is causing a kerfuffle by putting out next year’s bus contract to (the lowest) bid instead of re-upping the usual suspects, that he gets to drive around in a car on the taxpayers dime seems a bit much.