CSotD: Winter Fantasies

Today’s Zits struck home because it’s not only true but something I hate because (A) I think the people doing it are idiots and (B) that makes me feel like a cranky old man.

And while I think Jeremy’s mother is in a state of perpetual over-reaction to things that don’t matter, I’m with her on this one.

The flip-flops are comic exaggeration. My impression is that flip-flops beyond summer are a girl thing, only they don’t wear them in winter either because they put on their Uggs about the end of August.

Bearing in mind that horses sweat, men perspire and women glow. If the guys were wearing Uggs at the end of summer, even Ryan Zinke would declare an environmental catastrophe.

But the footwear thing is balanced by Jeremy’s shorts being Jeremy’s size.

The ones I see on nitwits in the snow are those balloon-dimensioned nylon types, a sort of lightweight kilt with a crotch, where you can practically feel the wind whistling up them from across the street.

I’ve told this story before, but I don’t think it’s changed much: I was at a school board budget meeting when the topic of utilities came up, they being an item the board can’t really budget for because costs change.

A board member asked the high school principal why she kept the thermostat cranked up so high, and she replied that it was because the kids refused to wear sweaters.

There followed a little discussion of parents leaving for work before their kids left for school, and seeing kids without coats waiting for the bus in zero-degree weather.

But there was also a suggestion that she turn the heat down to 68 degrees and see if the little fashionistas could figure out a solution.

Which sounds a bit like Scrooge’s heartless crack about decreasing the surplus population, but it seemed to make sense to me.


Elsewhere in the Nitwittery

Mike Thompson on the appointment of a Fox spokesmodel to the UN Ambassadorship, a move that makes me wonder what Arthur Goldberg or Henry Cabot Lodge would have looked like in four-inch heels and a tight dress.

There are those who adamantly defend the appointment, and they’re not all tweeting in from Petrograd.

I can’t help but suspect that the people who believe a reality-TV con-man should appoint a blow-dried airhead to that position are likely the same sort of people who wear voluminous nylon shorts when it’s cold enough that a brass monkey would know better.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Daddy’s Home)


The cell phone has killed off a lot of plot twists in thrillers, though you can always have someone drop their phone in a river or simply not charge it. But the days of not being able to warn your hero that a villain is waiting for him are pretty much over.

And one my young writers was mystified by “Sylvia’s Mother” because she couldn’t grok the concept of not simply calling your girlfriend direct. This also knocks out “Memphis, Tennessee” and “It Must Be Him,” the latter being no great loss.

However, you can alter lyrics to songs like “Build Me Up Buttercup” to overcome the change. Just sing, “I’ll be home, I’ll play the xylophone, waiting for you.”

In any case, both strips require a bit of interpretation. For Daddy’s Home, you need to believe he shouted “Somebody get that!” and didn’t have the phone in his pocket in the bathroom.

While, for Candorville, it requires believing that a guy who lives alone would have a corded phone at all, except that Lemont has custody of his son.

It makes some sense that he’d have a corded phone so he could contact the babysitter without knowing a half-dozen cell numbers.

I guess.

But the next generation isn’t gonna understand any of this stuff.


Timing Is Everything Award …

… to Mother Goose and Grimm for inadvertently hitting on National Ridicule Stephen Miller Day.

The punchline being, to paraphrase Lee Marvin and Ralph Bellamy,

“Son of a bitch!”
“Yes, Sir. In Grimmy’s case an accident of birth. But you, Sir, you’re a self-made man.” 


Speaking of National Days, follies and timing

Speed Bump got an extra laugh by hitting on the morning after I heard a public radio program — which I can’t find now, but this article will fill you in — exploring the bizarre world of “National” days, specifically “National Splurge Day.”

The bottom line is that there are people who invent literally hundreds of faux holidays — some as paid flaks for companies, others out of an odd sense of funny hobbies — and then send the best of them in to Chase’s Calendar of Events and hope they’ll bite.

And, as Dave Coverly suggests, there are people doing the same with fake traditions, just tossing them out there to see what catches on.

As it happens, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” was first broadcast in 1951, the same year “Little Drummer Boy” was recorded.

We watched Amahl every year as part of Christmas, and the idea of a kid with a crutch journeying to Bethlehem is schmaltzy but sweet.

But wake up, Joseph! Having been the father of a newborn — and, more to the point, the husband of a post-delivery mother — twice, I’d have spotted that kid with a drum coming and sent him off to serenade the sheep.



Moderately Confused got a chuckle because I remember being concerned, at about four or five, that our chimney went into the furnace, not a fireplace, and wondering how Santa would deal with that.

My mother asked me what I thought and I don’t remember what I came up with, but she was wise to let me work it out.

When kids start asking those questions, you don’t have to fill them in completely, but neither should you turn innocent fantasies into outright lies.


Unless you’re intent on teaching your kids to live in a police state. (Better fingerprint them, too!)

One thought on “CSotD: Winter Fantasies

  1. My personal favorite “Day” came from our Junior High Librarian:

    “Change of shows at Foom’s Dime Museum.”

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