Just Wally

The apocalypse came suddenly. Some kind of worm, virus, trojan -- some kind of Mark Russinovich doomsday scenario. It spread so fast no one had a chance to react. It lit up every computer screen, obliterating every computer user in the world. Every last worker was obliterated, right at their desk. All that remained was a tiny pile of ashes on every seat.

Only Wally was spared. While everyone else was at their desks working, Wally was wandering the halls, holding a coffee cup.

'Just Wally' is a cartoon that removes all unnecessary elements from Dilbert, leaving just the hero himself, Wally, wandering the empty building; holding meetings with himself; filling his loneliness with imagined interactions.

Wally has always been the truest character in Dilbert. I've met a few Dilberts in my time. I've met a few Pointy Haired Bosses. But just about everyone is at least part-Wally. And more than a few have been pure-Wally. You know who you are.

Some people theorize that the true story of 'Just Wally' is that Wally is the one who died. This is his limbo, wandering alone, unable to interact with the living.

Others say Wally has fallen into a coma. This is his extended delusion. He cannot tell dream from reality, sarcasm from seriousness. What exactly is a dream? What exactly is a joke?

The words of JD Salinger are relevant here, as always.

"It isn't just Wally. It could be a girl, for goodness' sake. I mean if he were a girl - somebody in my dorm, for example - he'd have been painting scenery in some stock company all summer. Or bicycled through Wales. Or taken an apartment in New York and worked for a magazine or an advertising company. It's everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so - I don't know, not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid, necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and - sad-making.

And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you're conforming just as much as everybody else, only in a different way."

Tiny and meaningless and sad-making.

Tiny and meaningless and sad-making. 'Just Wally' makes us stop and ponder the futility of everything we do, everything we think and everything we are.

In the style of Garfield minus Garfield, Just Wally plays upon the maxim of my old buddy Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. There is Just Wally."


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