December 30, 2021


Undivided Inattention: A “Zits” Treasury. By Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman. Andrews McMeel. $19.99.

The Scott and Borgman team at Zits
Continues giving readers fits
Of laughter at the daily life
Of teenage Jeremy: what strife
Befalls our hero day by day
As mundane matters take away
The time that he would rather spend
With music, pizza and a friend.
With Undivided Inattention
The humor's far too much to mention
As artist Jim and writer Jerry
Find oh-so-many scenes so merry
That they must give each one a twist
So readers quickly get the gist
Of modern teens who multitask:
Mom Connie needs to go and ask
Dad Walt how Jeremy can stand
To do so much
an extra hand
Or two would seem to be required.
And sure enough, what is desired
Appears in Borgman's first-rate art:
Four-handed Jeremy can start
On chicken, chips and music, work
At reading screens and books, not shirk
The many things he has to do.
He works a real job sometimes, too.
He calls the restaurant a puttock
(Means "bird of prey" and rhymes with buttock)
Because its theme's the Middle Ages.
And readers see, on other pages,
That sometimes Zits turns more attention
To ages past, as with the mention
Of ancient hieroglyphs required
To write for snail mail; and, inspired
By Hannibal in days of old
Are Jeremy and Hector, bold
To trek from distant parking spaces
With snow and wind upon their faces.

Since 1997, Zits
Has shown teens giving parents fits.
But little bits of shared affection
Solidify the strip's direction

As when mom Connie gives a call
To Jeremy, who's super tall,
To say his height is off the chart
But he'll fit always in her heart.
The warmth's a welcome intervention
In Undivided Inattention,
For Scott and Borgman know and show
The easy laugh's no way to go

At least not often. Better far
To show teens angsty as they are:
Exaggerated, it is true,
But teens in Zits are people, too.
And so are parents. All the strife
Of kids and grown-ups comes from life

In which, in any time and weather,
We're better if we stick together.

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