CSotD: Pooey to Them from Me

That photo of people on Mount Everest seemed familiar, because it looked like this picture of people going over Chilkoot Pass between Alaska and the Canadian Yukon during the Klondike Gold Strike.

They didn’t all make it, either, and that fellow at the lower right is apparently carrying a boat, which seems foolish but at least shows that he knows what happens on the other side of the pass: You need a boat to go down the Yukon River to Dawson City.

I know this because one of the three guys who built Dawson City was from Schuyler Falls, NY, and so I wrote about the Klondike and his role in the gold rush when I was working in nearby Plattsburgh.

From which I learned that you don’t get rich in a gold rush by digging for gold.

You get rich by selling shovels.


Signe Wilkinson makes a similar point, that there is good money to be made by exploiting wealthy tourists on the mountain, though it should be noted that the Sherpa have lost some people because of the temptation to cater to fools. A few years ago, they shut things down temporarily while they restructured their trade.


Mike Smith turns the mockery on the tourists themselves, and I laughed at this one because of a cold moment when I was interviewing a fellow who had climbed Kilimanjaro, which is similarly popular with adventure tourists but not quite as demanding.

In that case, I mentioned the benefit of adventure tourism to regional economies and he said, yes, local men flocked to be porters, even ones who didn’t have proper clothing for the trip. And he added that two of them had died on his venture, with a casualness that he might have used to say how many pairs of socks he’d gone through.

At which point I began to think that, while there is a difference between adventure tourism and ecotourism, even ecotourists should check themselves to make sure they are not playing Bwana.

As for those who travel to prove something rather than to learn something, pooey to them from me.


And pooey to the phony Christians depicted in Joel Pett‘s cartoon.

As someone raised Roman Catholic, I was taught that staying in a state of grace is a continual, imperfect process.

Catholics need to go back to confession regularly because it is considered inevitable that human frailty will lead them into sin, though sometimes that sin is so trivial that priests have described hearing the heartfelt confessions at convents as “being stoned to death with popcorn.”

However, I’ve just begun reading a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor executed for his resistance to Hitler, and, in the forward to the book, there is a discussion of what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace,” a sense that “God forgives; that’s his job.”

This stands in absolute contrast to a more active sense that, when one achieves grace, it is transformative, not passive.

Unfortunately, there was then, and remains now, a substantial body of declared Christians who believe in a cheap grace that allows them to live however they want, secure in the faith that God is busily forgiving their sins as fast as they can pile them up.

Pooey to them and pooey to the tyrants they enable.


And pooey to liars and gossips, including Facebook, which will quickly take down a picture of a nursing mother because, y’know, tits, but is helpless in the case of proveable falsehoods and slander.

Jen Sorensen suggests a world in which Facebook has always helped spread falsehoods, and while I think it would have been hard to announce that the Berlin Wall was higher than before, deliberately misinterpreting the Gettysburg Address is conceivable, as is missing the clear evidence in Vietnam.

Such frauds have been with us always, but there is some starting point at which somebody deliberately invents them, making a statement they know is a lie.

In a small town, people know who the gossips are, and they know that some of them simply spread truths that are intrusive and hurtful, but that some of them spread outright lies.


I don’t know how anyone in that latter category can wind up in the White House, and Bill Bramhall wonders, too, at the cosy relationship whereby Trump offers a backrub and sniffs the hair of a dictator while trashing American leaders in public.

It used to be, in more decent times, that “politics end at the water,” even if that also meant that, to echo the British saying, “The wogs start at Calais.”

Pooey to a president who believes the “wogs” live among us, and who has no loyalty when it comes to putting family business in the street.


His irresponsible foolishness makes us pawns, as Bob Englehart suggests, in a long-running rivalry that wiser presidents — a rather large category — have been careful to either play carefully or avoid entirely.

And, as with adventure tourists who run with the bulls or climb dangerous mountains, it makes you wonder if the fellow is a daredevil or an idiot.

There are, after all, people who train carefully for adventure and pursue it responsibly and with grace and daring.

And then there are idiots who simply blunder into disaster.


Mike Thompson depicts a bizarre, disloyal crew, in this not all that exaggerated cartoon of a gangster allied against the laws of his own nation, and who defies and slanders those who would uphold and defend the Constitution.

I laughed, because the alternative is despair.

Pooey to him and pooey to those who aid and abet him in his cheap grace and his equally cheap and phony patriotism.


And Pooey to Comics Kingdom from me

Vintage comics fans discovered this morning that King has lost track of Thimble Theater for the next couple of days.

But CSotD readers need not suffer. Enjoy these and we’ll join their regularly scheduled program in progress. (Try a right-click and “open in new tab”)

And as long as I’m playing around in magical places, here’s a Sunday bonus from Dec 29, 1935:



6 thoughts on “CSotD: Pooey to Them from Me

  1. Yeah, it looked like Chilicoot pass to me too.

    Years ago, Dad splurged on a pair of Morse Code keys that activated a buzzer or a little light bulb, perhaps trying to recapture his youth, when he and his brother had something similar. Each had mastered exactly two phrases: “Bob/Don is a sissy” and “Pooey to you from me.”

  2. Inconceivable!
    Not that the King Features archives didn’t have the strips, but that the staff couldn’t be bothered to dig up the missing strips from elsewhere (as you did), clean them up, and post those.

    During Popeye’s 90th year celebration (and Thimble Theatre’s 100th) they couldn’t expend a minimal effort?
    I mean, C’Mon!
    Fantagraphics’ Popeye Volume Five, pages 29 and 30.
    It took me all of one minute to find those strips, and they are already cleaned up!

  3. As for Morse Code, it was, in my youth (50s/60s) something Scouts rattled on about for reasons I couldn’t quite grasp.

    Later, however, I realized what a part of 19th Century job training it was — Edison was partially deaf because he was supposed to be on a train doing code, was late, and his boss yanked him aboard by his ears. He was reportedly a master coder.

    More fun than that was that every office boy knew code, so that, when McKinley came into office, his staff realized that the place where the reporters waited was within hearing of the White House telegraph, and many of those reporters had previously been office boys and knew Morse Code very well. They were picking off messages that came in to the president!

    The telegraph was moved to a place where reporters could no longer hear the dots and dashes. Or, in other words, Pooey to them from William McKinley.

  4. Since they gave the date, it took me two minutes. Just went to newspapers.com, and typed in the date+”thimble theatre”.

  5. Thank you sooooooooooooooo much for posting the missing Popeye strips. I’m really enjoying this story!

Comments are closed.