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CSotD hits your doggy in the bow-wow-wowels

Let’s start the week with a surprise: They still make Gravy Train.

Well, I was surprised, anyway.

Sherman’s Lagoon has been toying with this little dog shark for several days and it’s been a fun arc, but today’s stopped me, because I thought, of all the time-worn irrelevant references in comic strips, Gravy Train really stood out.

That is, even the most long-lived dogs don’t make 20, and Gravy Train has to be gone far longer than that. I’m not sure how many humans would even remember it.

But, boy jayzuz, it’s still around.

And I was gonna say, “So are Fizzies, if you know where to look,” but I know where to look and, alas, Fizzies are no longer around.

But Gravy Train still is, rocking that one-star rating and, I assume, still turning your dog’s poop red, because food coloring is how it “makes its own gravy, right in the bowl.”

Lousy dog food. Great commercial.

 

 

Speaking of outdated

I’m celebrating the triumph marked in today’s Frazz.

Until I hired a dog walker, who gets a check every Friday, the only checks I wrote were once a month to my landlady. I haven’t received many, either. Money just comes and goes electronically.

I don’t use much cash, either. If I went into the city more often, I’d get a doohickey for my windshield so I could sail through the toll stations instead of stopping at the booth to hand over my dollar, but, if you don’t mind paying a very modest handling fee, you can skip the booth and they’ll photograph your plate and send you a bill.

Which you can pay on-line.

I have a couple of dollar bills that I save in case I ever remember to stop at the bread outlet on Friday when it’s a buck a loaf. They’ve started taking cards, but I feel chintzy saddling them with a bank fee for a dollar loaf of bread.

Anyway, I don’t get the year wrong on things in January, because, in January, I’m aware of it.

I save the error for March, when I’m no longer on the qui vive. And then never mind ending the year with “19,” because I’m lucky if I don’t start it that way.

 

And for something even older, I give you Candorville and memories of the days before the Shah, who didn’t make gravy in his own bowl but certainly stretches the bounds of recall.

Not that there aren’t people still around who were there in 1953, but the ones out in the streets of Tehran — the ones we need to count on to fix this thing — certainly weren’t, and while that means they grew up in an overall atmosphere of oppression and such, I’d suggest that even their parents don’t really remember when the Shah came to power.

I was born during the Truman administration, but for all intents and purposes, Ike was my first president and Kennedy is the first one I remember as more than “that guy on the news.”

My impression is that young, urban Iranians are not bearing a lot of hard feelings for what happened back before their parents were born and would just as soon be our friends, while the conservative backcountry Iranians would probably hate us anyway, for not covering up our women or something.

I do remember taking my son — now 47 — to an anti-Klan rally on my shoulders, which was hijacked by some socialists who led chants of “Down with the Klan, and the Shah of Iran!”

Shortly thereafter the Shah fled and Khomeini took over and I have often wondered how they felt about that improvement in everyone’s lives.

Lemont is right, of course, that our history of messing with Persians goes back to the post-WWII period when we began messing with everybody, and it’s certainly true that if we hadn’t, even earlier, been propping  up United Fruit’s interests in Central America, we wouldn’t have all these people trying to get across our Southern border today, but I’m guessing they care a whole lot more about the current mess in their homelands than they do about how it got that way when their great-grandparents were babies.

And at the moment, we’re doing more to make this place a lousy place to live than we are to repair the places they were born, and that’s on us.

Though admittedly I’m one of those soft-hearted lib’ruls who wishes we’d send our young people to install clean water wells in third-world countries instead of blowing things up.

Can you imagine? Some foresaken little village in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly a bunch of trucks appear, and Americans pile out, distribute candy bars to the kids and then unpack a drill, pop a well and a pumping station into the middle of the town square and then jump back in the trucks and ride off like the Lone-Fucking-Ranger.

And if John Foster Dulles rolled over in his grave, it would just mean that we hadn’t tamped the dirt down hard enough.

 

What kind of wine goes with Gravy Train?

Betty is a font of practical wisdom and she’s right about this, though I’d go farther. Or further.

We had a journalism professor come to a newsroom where I worked to give us self-editing skills, but he was from Georgia, so the lesson on distinguishing “further” and “farther” was a waste of time because we couldn’t tell which he was saying.

However, back to choosing wine, I think it’s a good rule to start by eliminating any wine in which a lot of effort has gone into creating clever names and fancy labels.

I want the stuff where everybody’s best efforts were expended on what goes inside.

 

If all this wasn’t enough, I recommend you check out Wayno’s weekly blog about Bizarro, because his “Why I did it this way” discussion is particularly worth it this time around.

My eyes roll up when cartoonists begin rhapsodizing over nibs, but this is analysis casual readers will (also) enjoy.

 

Preparing us for Orange Sunshine …

 

Community Comments

#1 Peter Kay
January/13/2020
@ 9:44 am

I remember Orange Sunshine. Owsley’s best, good stuff.

#2 Mike Norris
January/14/2020
@ 12:42 am

I never miss CSotD and I cant remember taking exception to anything you have written before until today. Your remarks on Iran are completely amiss Starting just after WW1 Iran was a “British Protectorate.” The British wanted to convert their entire navy to oil from coal. The Brits built and ran the oil fields much like Stalin was running his prison camps. The Iranians received nothing for their oil. Shah 1 the father of Shah 2 took a pittance for the oil and maintained an iron rule. Then the revolution of 1953, lead by a group of generals who took over with the promise of democratic elections….and by god they actually did just that, One of the few times in the 20th century that happened. My Persian friends can tell you that most people in Iran are very aware of their history and it didn’t start. in 1953

#3 Mike Peterson
January/14/2020
@ 3:34 am

I may have phrased it badly — my point carrying over from the other day that, if you want to, you can trace everything back to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, but that it won’t solve the immediate problem.

Specifics of why Iranians have a (justified) sense of being pushed around are less critical at the moment than the dynamics going on between a modern, forward-looking urban, educated group and a less sophisticated conservative rural group.

What the kids in the street remember themselves is that when they were eight or 10, they had a parliament made up of freely elected modern people — and then the Guardian Council began to declare who was “eligible” to run and the forward thinking members of the legislature were no longer allowed to serve.

This then led to fixing the vote count for the people who were allowed to run, which led to the demonstrations a few years ago in which protests were met with gunfire.

I’m not entirely dismissing their grandparents history as a factor, but I’m suggesting that they have a great deal more invested in current matters than they do in a general underlying sense of being mistreated by Europeans and Americans.

And I’d underline that by pointing out that a lot of young Iranians seem quite eager to join the Western world — not without casting off their religion and culture but by bringing it up to 21st Century standards, including that judo medal-winner who defected the other day.

#4 Mario500
January/14/2020
@ 5:53 am

“Can you imagine? Some foresaken little village in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly a bunch of trucks appear, and Americans pile out, distribute candy bars to the kids and then unpack a drill, pop a well and a pumping station into the middle of the town square and then jump back in the trucks and ride off like the Lone-Fucking-Ranger.”

(surprised and saddened by profanity in this part of the article)

#5 Mike Peterson
January/14/2020
@ 7:17 am

I put that in and took it out several times. Finally decided the going-against-all-precedence-and-authoritative-governance facet justified it.

Took the word out of today’s (Tuesday) blog because it didn’t.

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