The New Yorker turned 75 this week, and all I could think to give it for its birthday was an idea for a cartoon. I assume the New Yorker has already done this idea at some point, but if not — and I could not find it in a cursory search of The Cartoon Bank — here it is:


Drawing: A lot of cowboys milling around a saloon with a lot of guys in turbans

My friend Arthur points out that Indians, in the main, do not wear turbans, and that I should perhaps have men in dhotis and/or women in saris. This is fine with me. We need to allow the artist his space. (Or her space if it’s Roz Chast, but this is not the kind of cartoon Roz Chast usually does, and almost all the other cartoonists are men. Why is that?)

Arthur further points out that “bongs” are not, insofar as he knows, Indian. (Normally I check the dictionary first and only then, if still stumped, call Arthur. Arthur is one of those people blackballed from shows like “Do You Want To Be A Millionaire?” the way card counters are blackballed from the MGM Grand. But this time, having already called him about turbans, I asked about bongs. A quick check of the dictionary led me to hookahs, which are of Near Eastern origin. The Near East is close to India.)

There will be among you several who are either Native American or Indian — or, more likely, neither one, just well-meaning — who will parse the above in search of outrage and insult.

None intended! I just thought it was funny.

But to make amends, I hereby offer . . .


For calls within the 48 contiguous states, just go to and:

1. Click on TalkFree.

2. Click on Click Here to Give It a Try

3. Type in your phone number (once; then it remembers)

4. Click on Next

5. Type in the number you want to call

6. Click on Call

Almost instantly, your phone rings. Pick it up and listen as, a second or two later, your call goes through.

Clear as a Bell.


Keep the window minimized in a corner of your screen and you could actually make a lot of calls like this with little inconvenience, basically just repeating steps 5 and 6.

No more long distance phone charges! And your son or daughter away at college should certainly have no phone bills for you to pay, now that they know about this.

There is a hookah joke in here somewhere, but it’s late and I’m darned if I can find it. (These two hookahs . . . )

Thanks to loyal reader Cory Haney for pointing me to


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