Comic Strip of the Day: Too soon old, too late smart

I was just saying to someone last night that I’d like to just comment on a few funny comic strips here like in the old days, but it seems impossible.

However, this developing Edison Lee story arc — that’s yesterday’s and today’s strips — is as political as I’m gonna get today. Promise.

I think that, whether Mr. Blortman misunderstood or not, they’ll likely need a barrel of secret sauce anyway.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a couple of questions, starting with wondering who’s paying for all this travel?

When the president — any president — is out stumping for candidates or for himself, his Party or his re-election campaign is supposed pick up at least a portion of the tab, though the president must be protected and fed wherever he is, so I’m sure there’s a lot of splitting of costs going on.

So when he travels in support of Senator Ottoman, that’s campaigning.

And if he goes to Puerto Rico to throw paper towels at people, that’s an official presidental trip in his role as national leader.

But I wonder what box you put it in when he goes out to West Virginia to make a speech about what a great job he’s doing? Do they analyze his speech to see what proportion is presidential and what proportion is just bragging?

Also, every presidential residence has required security upgrades and retrofits, whether it was Hyannisport or the Reagan ranch or wherever, but we haven’t had a president with so many residences in the past — Trump Tower, Mar-A-Lago and Bedminister, at least.

And presumably the Secret Service has some sort of bunkhouse at Camp David, which this president never visits.

Do they have to pay for rooms at Mar-A-Lago and those other places? Or does the owner comp them because he is determined not to profit from his presidency?

But I’m focusing on comedy, not politics, today.

I just asked about the hotel rooms because I’m sure the answer would make me laugh.

And I know that the president promised to give back to the Treasury any profits that came from his status as president.

But I also know that anyone who ever agreed to a percentage of the net got more of a lesson in creative accounting than an actual payout.


You learn to be cynical early

Illustrator and cartoonist Russ Heath died recently, and various people have remembered him for his work on some classic comics.

But if some people memorialized John McCain as an unalloyed hero while others couldn’t get past his vote on Iraq and his choice of a runningmate in 2008, I’ll admit that I had a bit of a jolt in finding out Heath had designed these familiar comic book ads.

I suppose learning that the ads in comic books were a ripoff poised me to question where the Secret Service stays at Mar-A-Lago.

And knowing that they wouldn’t keep running these ads if there weren’t a solid supply of suckers probably helped me understand other depressing things later.

Still, a buck-ninety-eight was a lot of money to a seven-year-old back then.

I forget who I knew that got the soldiers. Stuart bought the realistic tank that turned out to be a cardboard box and some stickers, and I got the lifelike inflatable dinosaurs that were balloons with dinosaurs printed on them and cardboard clown feet so they’d stand up.

Not even reptile feet: Clown-shoe feet.

The soldiers I saw were Civil War soldiers, so Heath is off the hook for that, and, according to this extensive piece about him at Comics Reporter, he wasn’t intentionally ripping kids off with the soldiers he did illustrate:

I’d never seen the damned things, because they’re like a bas relief or whatever they call it. They’re not fully formed, not three dimensional. It would be flat things that were shaped a little and the kids felt gypped and they figured that it was my fault.

Well, never mind.

But anyone who thinks comic books aren’t educational never tried to sell enough Cloverine salve to earn a pony.


Other things you shouldn’t spend money on

The County Fair is also educational, particularly if you try to make the softball land in the peach basket so you can bring home a giant teddy bear.

(This link doesn’t discuss that particular game but it’s amusing and was illustrated by Ted Slampyak, who I hadn’t run into online in donkey’s years.)

Lola brings up a rule I learned back when I used to spend a full week staffing a booth at the county fair each year, which is to bring your own lunch until the final day.

Then you can enjoy some fair food, because, after the fair is over, you won’t be stuck at the booth and will be able to go to the bathroom whenever you want.

However, when I became an editor, I was invited to be a judge for the pie-baking and I’ve got to say, that was awesome, and I also enjoy watching the horse pull and talking to people who still use them for logging.

You can have a really good time at the County Fair, if you avoid the midway and don’t eat the food.

Which, of course, are the two main reasons people go there.

Which is why Nigerian widows continue to send those emails.


Finally, some nice timing at Retail because I walked by the display of Halloween candy at the grocery store yesterday — it’s actually been up for about two weeks — and thought to myself that it’s not even surprising anymore.

And I’m cynical enough to know that, while it’s not really a ripoff, it’s certainly smart marketing, because the idea that you’ll buy your candy early, put it away and then be ready for Halloween is related to the idea that you’ll toss that softball into the basket and walk away with a four-foot-tall stuffed unicorn.

You’ll not only be back for more before Oct 31, but then you’ll be back again in November when it’s marked down.


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