Comic Strip of the Day: Bully For You

Let’s start with the current Vintage Juliet Jones storyline, in which quiet, submissive Vassily the Exchange Student has been forced to put on the gloves with the Class Bully, and we all saw this result coming and Stan Drake sure dragged it out.

The original ran in 1961, which I mention because there was a time when “putting on the gloves” was still a well-established way to settle quarrels among young boys.

The notion of the vanquished bully was particularly popular with the director of Camp Lord o’ The Flies though, in my seven summers there, I never saw it work once.

I did see plenty of times when two kids who had a brief dust-up in their cabin became a spectacle of tears and snot for the entire camp to enjoy, and several instances of a bully being able to further pound the crap out of his victim in front of everyone.

Never saw the tables turned and the bully flattened, just the times it gave him more exposure and more power.

The only bullies I saw vanquished were sliced up not in the ring but by quick minds and sharp tongues, and I’ve seen some pretty big guys burst into tears under a torrent of verbal abuse and crowd laughter, which ends the reign of any bully.

And if you don’t think this is the start of a theme, boy jayzus, ye’re mistaken.


The problem with verbally slicing and dicing a bully is that it requires the element of surprise or, as kids, the first wisecrack gets a punch in the face and things quickly switch to the physical.

As adults, the bully is sheltered by a crowd of sycophants and collaborators who will gather ’round to  protect him from abuse when, as in this Ann Telnaes cartoon, he’s been caught with his pants down.

The “Vanquished Bully” fantasy relies on the idea that everyone hates the bully and is just waiting for a hero.

But, in real life, he’s surrounded by people who profit from his power and realize that, if he falls, they’ll fall with him.


Matt Wuerker shows what Nixon might have been like with his back to the wall, if he had had Dear Leader’s access to modern social media.

Perhaps, and he’s certainly pegged the desperation of Nixon in what Woodward and Bernstein dubbed “The Final Days.

But, first of all, by that point, Nixon had no more allies.

What caused his resignation was that, having rid himself of Archibald Cox, he found himself facing an even more implacable Leon Jaworski, who had the backing of Judge Sirica, while his former allies had trooped up from Capitol Hill to tell him they weren’t gonna be able to shelter him in the storm that was about to come.

And besides, Nixon had never been a bully. He never even went to a prep school. He was basically a lonely outcast dweeb who wanted friends, as proven in his bizarre late-night visit to the Jefferson Memorial, where he confounded anti-war protesters by trying to talk to them about football.

Mister, we could use a man like Richard Nixon again.


Instead, we get Mike Pence — an unconvincing substitution for  Dick Cheney — announcing the Space Force, and John Branch is not the only cartoonist to present the idea in the form of yet one more empty, unfunded, ridiculous distraction.


And Joe Heller points out that, if you want to start up a new initiative, we’re already under a hi-tech attack and it doesn’t have much to do with rockets and satellites.


While Ed Gamble suggests that we can’t even meet our existing obligations and are hardly in a position to build the Republican deficit any higher.

With, I suppose, that nice little old lady representing the people who don’t realize that America’s credit cards are maxed out and we’ve already got home-equity loans based on market values that have since plummeted.

Also, we’ve been actively pissing off the banker.

There’s nothing at all funny about this latest distraction.


Okay, Theresa Burns Parkhurst found something funny about it. (Nice hair!)


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mike Smith)

(Clay Bennett)

The accusation that appearing before Mueller would be a “perjury trap” is pretty much the same as

Macon “I didn’t know you were the Sundance Kid when I said you were cheating. If I draw on you, you’ll kill me.”
Sundance: “There’s that possibility.”
Butch: “No, you’d be killing yourself!”

Why don’t you just invite him to stick around?

You don’t have to mean it.


CXC Travel Tip

There was a piece posted here yesterday about the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY, that set me to clicking because the only thing I knew about Jamestown was that it was Lucille Ball’s hometown and site of the Lucy/Desi Museum.

Though I knew one more thing about Jamestown, which is that, when I drove to the Billy Ireland’s triennial hoo-hah five years ago, Jamestown was where I dropped anchor for the night, and that the next day it only took about four hours to finish the drive to Columbus.

Apparently, they’ve just opened this big museum dedicated to comedy in a town that’s about eight hours from Boston and six from NYC, and you might have to be really into it to make the trip on its own, though the Lucy/Desi Museum is still there and you can buy combo tickets.

However, it would make a good doubleheader if you’re driving from the Northeast out to CXC in September. The Center is only open from 10 to 5, so it might be better to hit it on your way home — four hours out of Columbus — rather than sliding in at night and then having to wait for it to open in the morning.

But my recollection is that Jamestown is a pretty inexpensive stopoff place, and the Center looks like fun.

It’s changing my plans to fly to CXC, since the cost would be the same and I’d only have to finagle the extra time.