Behind the Moroniverse – Pearl Jo Hurlbutt

Back in 2017, I wanted to create a character inspired by my parents’ elderly neighbor who would call them several times a day, asking for favors, not taking no for an answer. Her original name was “Katy Scary.” However I felt the need to make some changes as the neighbor had gotten ill and sadly passed away. 

Instead of modeling the Hurlbutt matriarch after my parents’ neighbor, a former co-worker came to mind who fit the personality and loo of the character I was developing..

Some time ago, I had worked in a call center. If you had to call T-Mobile and were greeted by “Rep 12-3456”, that was me, and yes that was my real ID. Seated to my left was a young male who told tall tales of going to Afghanistan over the weekend and coming back to work on Monday. Seated to my right was this lady who wore muumuus to work every day, until our supervisor complained about her violating our already casual dress-code. 

This 55-ish slovenly lady asked me for help with her workstation and her calls. I have always loved to help people, however I felt this woman took advantage of me by asking the same questions repeatedly without showing her appreciation. At this call center, we could all relate to the challenges working with our customer base and would go up to a random representative in the break room and vent. However, the main inspiration behind PJ seemed like she was uncut for the job due to her poor emotional range. She had no regard for boundaries, just randomly talking to people bugging them, even if they had made it clear they were busy. 

Back in 2019, I parodied the Peloton bike ad which raised controversy from its sexist overtones. I drew her son Damien dreaming up the idea of buying one of their bikes to help his mother lose weight. 

Of course, her next-door neighbor Sybil Kibble thinks PJ is great, because she is just as moronic.

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