So, who are these guys, anyway?
Etaoin Shrdlu was born in the back room of a small Bohemian printing company in Prague, Nebraska. As the poor grandson of an immigrant linotype operator, the smell of hot lead was never far from young Shrdlu’s nostrils. At 16, Shrdlu graduated from the Svate Jan Nepomuch College of Journalism in Stinking Water Creek, Iowa. Despite his humble beginnings and ancestral roots among a vowel-impoverished people, Shrdlu eventually wrote for many news outlets before returning to academics. He currently serves as President of the Liberty Valance School of Journalism in Gasbag, Montana. Motto: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
At the back of the Batman comic book there were advertising teasers that launched a career: “We’re looking for people who like to draw,” it said. There was a turtle and a pirate you had to draw to do the correspondence course in cartoon art, and after 16 years of perfecting turtles and pirates, Tom Kerr finally graduated and gained employment as a painter with the Roads Department along I-95. He specialized in dashed lines at first, then honed his craft to double yellow, then the tricky dash and straight line combo which most consider the most challenging. His stretch between Fredericksburg and Chevy Chase is considered by many to be his masterpiece.
Abandoning his straight line phase in 1994, he started experimenting with curves and zig-zags along the north/south route which led to his next creative phase: unemployment.
It was during his visit at the creative salon of Shrdlu sucking on Bratislava’s finest suds, that Shrdlu and Kerr forged a pact to expose and vilify the very people that haunt and defile our existence. Perhaps not hung, drawn and quartered, but at the very least, drawn.