From a Cave in the Woods...


Pibgorn - The Confusion Couch


Back to the Pibgorn Tribute Page

A community of Pibgorn devotees, formerly at the GoComics site itself, exists here. Each time a strip is posted, registered users discussed what's happening and where they think the strip is going; speculate on hidden or overt meanings; share recipes; discuss topics of pragmatic or esoteric nature; support one another in their challenges; rejoice in one another's successes; mourn one another's losses; and generally have a good time. The couch is so named because it's a comfortable place in cyberspace to sit and have good things to eat and drink, and because nobody really knows what will happen next... McEldowney's writing keeps everyone guessing in the most delicious way. Whether you're a plumber or a nuclear physicist, come... join us... don't be afraid!

Many of the posters are gifted in their own right, and prolific to boot.  Poems, parody songs, limericks, higgledy-piggledies, fan fiction and other creations have appeared at amazingly regular intervals.  This is all being gathered for compilation here.  More to come!

The Confusion Couch Gallery: (Currently on hiatus) A place where the Order of the Couch1 can present their true selves to the world (optional)

The Pibgorn Cookbook: Kalahari Night, a loyal member of the OTC, has taken it upon herself to compile all the recipes submitted by forumites to date into a single delightful volume. The link leads to her blog page where she has written a searching essay on the nature of online communities; the direct link to the cookbook .pdf file is here. A huge thanks to her from all of us!

Links from the Couch: Compiled by RockHouse, a list of video links from the last 4 or 5 months of 2009, referenced at some point at the Couch of Confusion.


(Entries in no particular order)

One of our community members, Skulker, posted the following essay on the nature of the Pibgorn community:

In response to a comment by Captain Smokeblower, who said "Be aware this crowd is diverse and the fact we’re Couchites may be significant. We could be someone’s PHD Dissertation in Abby Psych," Skulker responded:

Actually, this very well could happen. Many times I have thought that this forum would make a very nice case study in community building - both online and off. Having created a couple of offline communities, I am still amazed every time I see how diverse groups of people - attracted by a single common interest - come together, bond and form personal connections far beyond the original common interest. This group, which only started last September or so with some sporadic postings regarding Pibgorn, has grown into a true community of hundreds and is now probably approaching a thousand members.

Some attributes that make this a true community of people not just a comic strip forum, IMHO, are:

  1. The topics have expanded to encompass most of real life.
  2. Online connections and relationships have formed and, in some cases, have extended offline into real life.
  3. We are no longer a collection of anonymous avatars but a community of real people with funny names.
  4. In six short months we have shared most of life’s extreme moments - birth, death, successes, and disappointments.
  5. We have created our own unique sustainable ecosystem which is continually growing and already has a tradition and legacy.
  6. We are an anarchy of equals encouraging active participation yet welcoming whatever level of activity is offered.
  7. We have no “laws” but we do have “acceptable rules of conduct” with non-violent enforcement.
  8. We have a “welcome wagon”.
  9. We have a tradition of freely sharing food and drink - the more exotic and tasty the better - as well as ideas and information.
  10. We love to play games - both physical and mental.
  11. We live in peace with the flora and, especially, the (furry) fauna in the neighborhood.
  12. We accept confusion as not only acceptable but as the norm.
  13. We have a flexible growing infrastructure that is multi-faceted, multi-styled and multi-dimensional.

This list is by no means comprehensive and does not begin to address why the group has grown so fast and flourished so well. What I concluded in my previous experiences was that those groups satisfied a common need for connections that was going unanswered. I suspect one part of the “why” for this group is that, in this conflict ridden and seemingly disconnected world, Pibgorn and this community is a safe haven away from conflict and into flights of fantasy that seems more (emotionally) stable than real life. The need for an emotional safe haven seems to be a universal human need.

For me, what I find quite interesting is the unpredictable random turns in our lives. While we may have the illusion of being in control, a chance meeting may suddenly or slowly turn a life into an entirely new direction. A forum such as this creates opportunities for such chance meetings that would never have occurred otherwise. Sorta goes with the aphorism: “A stranger is just a friend that you have not yet met”.

Who knows what the future holds?


Ranma_one_half (aka Joe_Minotaur) says:

Skulker, I think you are sitting too close to the minotaur. Just enjoy the play and don’t mind the naked actors.

(NB: This is the origin of any inside jokes pertaining to minotaurs)

Skulker says:

Alright, UncaAlby, let’s all act as adults and arrest this allusion of animosity, alienation and acrimony, alleviate any attempts to argue about accuracy and actually agree to aspire to accentuate agreement and amity, accumulate appealing attributes of acceptance, affection, affable appearance and accommodation, applaud achievements and accomplishments, arrange actions to accrue accolades and acclaim, and ardently appeal to associate alliteration to archives and move on to onomatopoeia

bigchiroal says:

Oh-h-h-h
Pibgorn had a Llama
Pibgorn had a duck
She put them on a table to see if they would…

Oh where is Pibgorn?
Oh where is Dru?
Now that Inky’s rent ‘em asunder
What next will McE do?

Oh-h-h-h
Pibgorn had a Llama
Pibgorn had a duck
She put them on a table to see if they would…

Yes Luciano was a bigish fly
Who took a blast or two
Now he looks like King Kong
Will Pib play Fay Wray too?

Oh-h-h-h
Pibgorn had a Llama
Pibgorn had a duck
She put them on a table to see if they would…

(Sung to the tune of that dirty old ditty “G. B. Rosie”)

Frida Bonita says:

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As Luc flies by.

And when two lovers woo
They still say, “were is Dru?.”
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
Luc will be our fly!

Moonlight and monitor zaps
Never out of date.
Roger full of passion
Jealousy and hate.
Lena needs her mom
And Geoff must have his mate
That no one can deny.

It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers as Luc flies by……..

UncaAlby says:

Ah-ah Don’t touch that dial!
 
I must offer to you a confession
I like movies that give me a fright (AAAAAAAAAA!!!!)
If the subject is horror
I’ve got to see more or
I won’t be contented all night
 
You may call it my ghoulish obsession
It’s a subject on which I get chatty
But the worst one it seems
Haunting all of my dreams
Was the cockroach that ate Cincinnati
 
I’ve seen ghouls and hobgoblins and witches
And some moth-eaten werewolves with fangs (owooo!)
There were creatures that chattered
And others that clattered
And Japanese monsters with bangs (Ha-so!)
 
Frankenstein gives me the shakes
And Count Dracula’s driving me batty
But they’re not on a par
with the worst one by far
The cockroach that ate Cincinnati
 
Oh he must have needed a seltzer
It’s amazing how much he got down
For lunch he’d just chew
up a suburb or two
And for dinner he at the whole town (burp!)
 
Willard just sent me out laughing
I thought Ben looked a little bit ratty
But they’re not half as bad
As the worst scare I’ve had
“The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati”
 
Oh my heart nearly stopped
He will never be topped
The cockroach that ate Cincinnati… Olè!
(Olè? That’s dumb!)

ccdesan says:

There was a cartoonist named Brooke,
Who audacious liberties took,
With curvaceous lines
Which this reader opines
Are worth look, after look, after look.

Ranma_one_half says:

Skulker, I think you are sitting too close to the minotaur. Just enjoy the play and don’t mind the naked actors.

Skulker says:

Alright, UncaAlby, let’s all act as adults and arrest this allusion of animosity, alienation and acrimony, alleviate any attempts to argue about accuracy and actually agree to aspire to accentuate agreement and amity, accumulate appealing attributes of acceptance, affection, affable appearance and accommodation, applaud achievements and accomplishments, arrange actions to accrue accolades and acclaim, and ardently appeal to associate alliteration to archives and move on to onomatopoeia

ccdesan says:

The Cyber Troll

(with sincerest apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien)

Occasionally a troll pops up on a discussion board. These are individuals who write inflammatory or disparaging posts, hoping for a flurry of outraged responses which they can then refute with further insults.  These attention-whores have come be known at the Pibgorn forum as BSS's, or "Bridge Substructure Symbionts", as so named by Brooke himself - although not with this kind of troll in mind. From Wikipedia comes the most sage advice: "Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore him or her, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts — hence the often-seen warning: "Please do not feed the trolls".

 

Troll sat alone in his filthy home,

He had no reason outside to roam;

His pimply face was a sore disgrace

And friends were hard to come by.

Done by! Gum by!

In a filthy home he dwelt alone,

And friends were hard to come by.

 

He'd surf the net, always on the watch

For nasty pictures that would tickle his crotch

But the thing he loved best was to curse and swear

And act like a total retard.

Bombard! Blackguard!

He'd yank people's chains for laughs and lulz

And act like a total retard!

 

'Ha ha!', said Troll, 'I pwn your soul.

So why don't you shut your old cake hole?

Your posts are lame and I take control

Of your blog, you stupid loser!

Boozer! Schmoozer!

I can drool and spit and you can't do squat

'Cuz I'm safe from poor old loser!

 

But the folks whose paths he tends to cross

Have naught but contempt for this pile of dross

So they simply pretend that he isn't there

And Troll gets all the madder.

Sadder! Adder!

When poor old Troll doesn't get results

He just gets all the madder.

 

'For a couple o' pins', says Troll, and grins,

'I'll swear so much you'll think I'm twins.

I'll make you see you've got nothing on me

And your base belong to me now!

Hee now! See now!

I'm king of the world, bow down to me,

All your base belong to me now!

 

But just as he thought his victim was caught,

He found his hands had hold of naught.

The blogs were locked, and Troll was shocked

That everyone ignored him!

Bored him! Floored him!

He'd been dismissed, and was mighty pissed

That everyone ignored him!

 

But blacker than coal is the heart of Troll

Whose life is as barren as the Kansas dust bowl.

He'll just move on to greener fields

Where folks will rise to his baiting.

Hating! Grating!

Old Troll laughs, when he hears folks groan,

And he thinks he's won with his baiting.

 

But the folks who win, to Troll's chagrin

Are the ones who learn the rule herein;

Ignore the Troll with the heart of coal

And he'll quickly travel elsewhere!

Nose hair! Hot air!

His world's so sad, but we don't care

As long as he's flaming elsewhere!

 

Ranma_one_half (aka Joe_Minotaur) says:

In Suzerain did Lena Egg
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Igor, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.


Many apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

maeverin says:

abridged, to the tune of Donald (traditional Scottish song)

Roger and Lena are stuck inside the game,
Spitcock and Inky are one in the same,
Luc could eat an entire passenger plane,
What is this world they call Suz-erain?

What will happen next we think, persistently
Comments and guesses now continually–
As I sit too close to the minotaur, my brain explodes consistently!
Here’s to Pibgorn and to Brooke McEldowney!

I know, the meter is off. PS: The rendition I know is by the Glengarry Bhoys.

Frida Bonita says:

If you’re Dru and you don’t know
where to go to why don’t you go
where demons sits
Puttin’ on the Spitz
Different types who’s magic come from fay
Roger sin pants with Lena run away
Were Dru sits
She’s puttin’ on the Spitz
Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper
Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
Come let’s mix where demons zap and twix
walk with scimitar and satori
in their mitts
Dru’s puttin’ on the Spitz

UncaAlby says:

“One morning I shot a minotaur in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.”

Gweedo Murray says:

I remember Hugh Laurie from Black Adder. Is this the same guy?
Since he’s not here today I think I can sneak this in

We’re so sorry UncaAlby

but we haven’t had a bloody

post awhl day.

We’re so sorry, UncaAlby

but the model T

needs washing
and we’re so eezly cawhled away
(Gets hit over the head with the snatching cane)

 

Part II

 

We’re so sorry UncaAlby.

We haven’t had a bloody

post awhl day.

We’re so sorry, UncaAlby

but the model T

needs washing

and we’re so eezly cawhld away.

(Gets hit over the head with the snatching cane)

tallwoman41 says:

Dru and Spinky rolled in the flames,
in Spitcock’s technical dreamspace.
Then Roger came in and not with a grin,
He reacted with an about-face.
Was it against the law?
all natural laws?
What Roger saw…
Was it against the law?

ForeverAllstar says:

Speculate, Speculate,
All of you gather,
Talking, and talking, and talking,
Such blather.
Catch 22,
I say to you.
Why manifest a plot,
When a writer knows true?
Because no matter what, neither bodes well for you.
Correct to guess,
The surprise has died,
If you are wrong,
Disappointment collides.
So much script,
From pages once ripped,
Just enjoy the show,
Move with the flow,
In the end, they are pictures on a page,
Do not fry your brains,
Add wrinkles to your age.
Speculate if you must,
But remember,
In the McEldowney we trust.

Frida Bonita says:

a bottle of white
a bottle of red
maybe a glass of green fairy instead
We’ll meet on the confusion couch each day
debating the story of our favorite fay……

maeverin says:

flames swirl around her,
she writhes in pure ecstasy,
Satori’s jealous.


Footnotes:

1. So named by Brooke McEldowney