The Latest Rumor

Last week, I made my way to McGee’s Annex in Nevada City to indulge my weekly ration of alcohol. (One Bailey’s and coffee. That’s my limit.) I ponied up to the bar and ordered my beverage, and noticed a stranger sitting next to me with a puzzled look on his face.

“Excuse me,” he said. “Do you have a brother?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Is his name Bob?”

“No. My brother’s name is Bill.”

“Gee,” he said, looking a little relieved. “You know you look a lot like a guy named Bob Crabb.”

“Uh, yeah. Actually, I am Bob Crabb!”

The color drained from his face. He inched back from me a ways and said, “Really! I heard that you had, uh, passed on.

“Not hardly,” I replied, smiling. “As Mark Twain once said, ‘Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.’

The stranger was clearly embarrassed. He fumbled around with an apology, and over the course of the next hour, sought me out to repeat it.

It’s not the first time I’ve been taken for dead, or dismembered. In the same bar back in the eighties, another patron had heard I was mauled by a grizzly bear during a trip to Alaska. That one was unfounded as well, although I admit I was more than a little nervous during a salmon fishing expedition out in the bush during my first trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun. I had trouble unhooking the beasties from my line and reeked of fish. Any bear that might have come along could have easily mistaken me for lunch. Fortunately, I didn’t encounter any.

Actually, I feel pretty good right now. I am in the final stages of finishing my two-year long project, a graphic novel. Of course, the hard part comes next: I have to sell the thing. In today’s publishing world, it will be a challenge. Still, I’m optimistic.

Which means that those of you out there who have chastised me as a “dying breed” will have to wait a little longer to break out the party favors. (Sorry, Jeff.)

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16 Responses to The Latest Rumor

  1. George Rebane says:

    Where do we place our orders for the book Bob? I want my Crabb collection to remain comprehensive, complete, and current.

  2. Todd Juvinall says:

    When I had a radio show on KNCO back in the 90’s has became a hit with about 6 people in the county. After a couple of years, one day one of those fans saw mew in the market and rushed up to me with a look of wonderment on his face. He said “OMG!, I heard you were dead and I reported that to my Rotary meeting this morning”. He than went on to say how all those grown men started crying. Anyway, to this day I think it was some sort of liberal plot. LOL.

  3. Robert Lovejoy says:

    I, too, had someone tell me that R.L. (The Earl) recently has died. I said that was just a rumor. Mr. Crabb is not nearly as dead as he looks. Can’t judge a book by its cover.

  4. Since your name is prominently displayed in The Union at least twice a week, there are two possibilities:

    –The people who know you don’t read The Union;
    –Nobody pays attention to by-lines unless it’s story about them they don’t like.

    I vote for the latter.

    • rl crabb says:

      You’re assuming that people read my comics. Some just look at the pictures and make their own interpretations as to the meaning. It happens all the time.

  5. Why would anybody subscribe to a newspaper it they’re too lazy to read the dialogue in one of your cartoons? Maybe they just look at the pictures in the paper.

  6. steve cottrell says:


    The only time I was ever worried about your premature death was during your automobile repo days in the early 90s. That was a helluva lot more dangerous than smelling like fish with grizzly bears lurking in the Alaskan wilderness.

  7. Brad Croul says:

    Dude, you need to get out more!
    Throw on your “Going Ape in NC” t-shirt and rouse some rabble!

  8. Bob, were you really a repo man? I find this hard to believe given your seemings mild demeanor
    and your (shall we say) less-than-robust physique. Since you made it out alive, you must have
    been the sneakiest repo man in the history of the business.

    • rl crabb says:

      George – I was twenty years younger. I wouldn’t think of going back into that profession now. Anyway, once my book is published, you’ll be able to see how I did in my short stint in the car theft business.

  9. rl crabb says:

    Looks like book publishing isn’t quite dead yet…

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