CSotD: Friday Funnies (Personal Takes)

I was going to post this Mr. Boffo cartoon starring Paul Manafort, but we don’t do politics on Friday. (FWIW, the joke is that he’s completely clear on the concept.)

Instead, here are some strips highlighting a week in which a whole lot of cartoonists happened to come up with gags to which I responded personally.


For instance, this Barney & Clyde made me think of a fellow I knew who actually did, as a young lad, leap out of the hayloft door of a barn clutching an open umbrella.

He broke both legs, which, when World War II rolled around, made him IV-F and left him home working in a tissue plant while the other guys were in Europe and the Pacific.

One of the things that factory did was to make toilet paper for the GIs, which was regular toilet paper, only with the rolls flattened so that they wouldn’t take up so much room in shipping.

Which he accomplished by jumping into the boxes, presumably without an umbrella.


Dog Eat Doug has for some time now been featuring Annie, a pup the family is fostering, and this strip happened to come on a day when I had just been wondering if my dog knows any command words beyond “Here.”

Specifically, I was unloading the car and he was standing in the open kitchen door watching, at which point I told him to “Stay,” which he was already doing because he knows he’s not supposed to come out without a leash or a tie-out or at least an invitation.

It occurred to me that I haven’t really trained him to do anything, but, after eight years together, he reads me well and, if it ever did matter, it doesn’t now.

This in contrast to my previous dog, a retired showgirl who was so well trained that I casually suggested she “stay” one time and, a good 15 minutes later, realized she was frozen in place, awaiting a release command.

With great training comes great responsibility.


I don’t know if it took awhile for Olivia Jaimes to slide into the role of doing Nancy or if it took me awhile to adjust to her vision, but I’ve really come to like this strip.

As it happens, today’s comes shortly after I did a workshop in Denver with my young reporters, in which I was reminding them that, when you do a book report for your teacher, you are required to come up with the moral that the book taught you, but, in reviewing books, that’s not necessary because most books aren’t written with a particular moral in mind.

Except, I said, “follow your dreams” and “believe in yourself,” which got huge laughs from kids who have had that insipid claptrap jammed down their throats since they were old enough to read chapter books.

Incidentally, children’s book awards are voted on by teachers and librarians, and so award-winning books always have morals, mostly about following your dreams and believing in yourself.

My son the fifth-grade teacher at one stage — and I hope “still” — made it a practice to ask his kids to recommend books for him to read.

It gives him an idea of where they’re really at, rather than where they know they’re supposed to tell him they’re at. Plus he gets to read some fun books.

I’m not sure that’s a widespread practice, but one of the best ELA teachers I’ve ever observed in the classroom is Kate Messner, who has since become a popular kids’ author, and wrote this brilliant blog post about summer reading lists.

I’m happy for her success, but I kind of wish she were still in the classroom.


And then I came to this Pajama Diaries and it reminded me of how much I don’t miss scrambling for freelance assignments.

I flat-rated everything I did as a freelancer, in part because I wasn’t generally offered an alternative but in large part because it’s hard to know when you are clocked in.

Jill is right about time wasted or, at best, ill-spent, between 9 and 5, but then you’re walking the dog or taking a shower or going to sleep and you start thinking about the piece and what you need to do with it.

Are you going to clock in?

And if then you start thinking about ducks, will you remember to clock out?

When I was a fry cook, I was, appropriately, paid by the hour, but it’s a damn foolish way to pay for creative work.

The ever-quotable James McNeill Whistler put it right in an exchange with the over-praised John Ruskin:

John Ruskin: ‘The labour of two days is that for which you ask two hundred guineas?’
Whistler: ‘No. I ask it for the knowledge I have gained in the work of a lifetime.’

Whistler not only believed in himself, but he also followed his dreams.

(Here’s a bonus bit of Whistler)


And here’s a Speed Bump I was sure to like, because not only did I do all my procreating before we had the ability to know the sex of a fetus — and even before we had the ability to know the sex of a foetus — but before we thought every moment in our personal lives needed to be shared with the world.

I had to fight my way into the delivery room in 1972 when our first son was born, but, by the time #2 came along in ’76, a father had to have a good excuse not to be there.

Which was a major advance, but then it started to include siblings and then grandparents and best friends until they nearly had to outfit delivery rooms with bleachers.

My general rule is that, if you weren’t in the room when the process began, you don’t belong there at the payoff.

As for gender-reveal parties, I put them in the same category as those silly “Baby On Board” signs, just one more reason to declare yourself Publicly Wonderful.

This link will tell you how to host a gender-reveal party, but nobody can tell you why.

Except Robin Williams.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies (Personal Takes)

  1. I’ve always preferred the Terry Pratchett quote: “If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”

  2. When I was in labor with my son in 1974, the doctor asked if my husband wanted to observe. Simultaneously while he was saying “no way” I was yelling “this is NOT a spectator sport!”

  3. Speaking of spectator sports, when I was in labor at the turn of the millennium, the nurse started to wheel something over: “Do you want the mirror?”
    “The what!!? No need to watch; I’m already fully participating.”

  4. @Tara Gallagher: When I got a vasectomy thirty-five years or so ago, I “got to watch” via a mirror. (I’d can think of several TV shows and movies I might rather have watched, but I was pretty sure this one was never going to be re-run so it was then or never.)

  5. When I was in the delivery room in 1969, not only was my husband not allowed to be there, but had it not been for the mirror, I’m not sure I would have known that my saddle-blocked self had had the baby either. 😉

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