At an age when many young men are setting out to begin their climb up the corporate ladder, Dustin Kudlick lives at home with his parents and younger sister. At 23, Dustin is unmarried, unemployed, and unable to see any of that as a problem.
Dustin rejects the nine-to-five grind, insisting that in the long run, one of his natural talents will prove more lucrative. Maybe he'll pursue his gift for stand-up comedy ("Seriously, Dad, I'm like four Viagra jokes away from a spot on The Tonight Show"), or take his yet-unrealized golf prowess to the professional tour ("All I need is a high-dollar endorsement deal. How about if I wear a visor with 'Mom and Dad' printed on it?"). Or perhaps Dustin should simply patent one of his inventions and let the royalty checks pour in ("You just press this button and it makes the sound of a doorbell. So when you’re stuck on the phone with a telemarketer, or Aunt Darla...").
Dustin"s father, Ed Kudlick, is a lawyer who handles everything from criminal defense to divorce. "Oftentimes," he notes, "it's hard to tell the difference." Practical and thrifty, Ed is at constant odds with his fashion-forward wife, Helen, who hosts a popular radio talk show. A local celebrity, Helen never misses an opportunity to update her wardrobe. "How much does the newspaper subscription cost you?" Dustin asks his father one day. As Helen peruses department store display ads, Ed responds, "About $800 a month, but that's just a guess."
As unlikely as it seems that Dustin will leave the nest anytime soon, his teenage sister cannot wait for her chance. Megan Kudlick is on a determined trajectory for success. A precocious, straight-A student, she is intent on taking her rightful place at Harvard and then on somebody's corporate board.
Until he strikes it rich, Dustin is dispatched on part-time assignments for Turbo Temps, an employment agency operated by Simone Fontenot, a businesswoman who keeps Dustin around mainly as a punching bag for her acidic wit.
Maybe someday Dustin will grow up. Maybe he'll get married, buy a house and answer to a wife, an alarm clock and a boss like every other guy. But until he does, Dustin is one very good reason to keep calling your comic pages The Funnies.