Getting rid of the jokers in the pack

One of the consequences of riding my bike to work is that I have to face the ride home, 2.5 miles up hill, at the end of each day. So I’m acutely conscious of any extra weight in my bag.
Bill Mauldin, Up Front

Sadly, I couldn’t find a Bill Mauldin cartoon I remember from my childhood (so I’ve made do with another). His great creations, Willie and Joe, are slogging up a hill, with their heavy army backpacks and rifles. The caption reads: “I told you to throw the jokers out of that deck of cards.” In my trivial, daily hill climb, I know what Willie and Joe meant.

My father was a captain in the infantry in the Second World War. Among the few visible memories of the war that he retained was a battered copy of Mauldin’s Up Front cartoons. I suspect these cartoons, certainly mostly unknown to my generation and younger, were a common touchstone for those fighting men.

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