CSotD: Fear and Hygiene in the Friday Funnies

Thanks, Greg Cravens.

It’s always particularly nice when a cartoonist puts one of the things you’ve thought to yourself into graphic form, and even nicer when it’s a wise-ass observation.

And even nicer than that when it’s a wise-ass observation you never get to share because it occurs to you when you are, if not alone, at least in a place where the Rule of Guys tends to squelch conversation.

It’s all lawyer-talk anyway; one of those things that is absurdly unenforceable but that can be trotted out as a defense in a lawsuit.

“We told them to wash their hands!”

I suspect the really good diseases don’t respond to hand-washing anyway.

There’s been a lot of hepatitis in the news, and, while it’s true that washing your hands is key to not spreading it, I don’t think they mean the kind of “washing” you do with those automatic faucets that begrudgingly dispense a trickle of water you can mix with the generic foam stuff in the dispenser.

I think they mean a serious surgeon up-to-the-elbows scrub, which ain’t happening.

Still, all the paranoia on the topic reminds me of 1979 when Skylab’s orbit began decaying and there were people who were mortally afraid the thing might hit them in the head.

Which, y’know, it could have. And you could win the Powerball, too. You could win the Powerball and then get hit in the head with Skylab, though it would require a little time travel.

But you get the point.

Or you don’t.


And here’s Greg Cravens and the Buckets again, on the same theme of fear and hygiene.

I’m used to the idea that the country can be a scary place for city folks, especially since it’s not very well lit.

To me, that means you can see the Milky Way but, apparently, to city folks, it means you can’t see a goddam thing.

At a conference in Lake George, I met a teacher from a magnet school in Harlem who admitted she’d had her room changed from facing the forest to facing the parking lot because the darkness on the woodsy side of the building was freaking her out.

I’ve also met a lot of city people who won’t pick raspberries or blueberries in the woods because, I dunno, a deer or a raccoon might have peed on them.

They prefer the ones in the grocery store, which have only been handled by a guy with Hep A who sorta kinda washed his hands first maybe.

But while I snicker at Panel One above, I’ll confirm Panel Two. Years ago, we were told that clear, free-flowing water was safe, but I learned the hard way that water can flow free and clear after it’s left a beaver dam.

Making you pretty free-flowing yourself.

As for Panel Three, I’m going to assume that even city folks understand the power of nature’s call.

Though I suppose if they can wander around cities where there’s no place to poop, they can wander around the woods avoiding the inevitable.


Meanwhile, the Buckets aren’t the only folks playing Daniel Boone, and this Pickles reminds me of the summer I was eight years old and Keith and Bobby and I chose a particular tree in the woods to pee on when nature called.

It was about three inches in diameter, so hardly a forest giant but not a seedling either.

By the end of the summer, it was dead.

Interesting lesson in ecology, no? I mean, it’s not like we diverted an entire septic system that direction.

Though beavers are a lot smaller than eight-year-old boys, and we’ve already discussed their power to rearrange somebody’s biome.


Let’s try a change in topic

Mr. Boffo pegs the success of the Pork Council or somebody in selling the concept of bacon.

I like the taste of bacon, but we avoided it for years because of the fat, sodium and nitrates which I think is about 90% of its contents, except for the pre-cooked kind, which is 40% cellophane.

However, while I don’t think a couple of tasty rashers with your eggs in the morning will kill you, I don’t think it needs to be in absolutely everything.

This appears to be a minority opinion and the notion that the Pork Council’s promotions have reached out into deep space doesn’t seem all that absurd.


Juxtaposition of the Week



It would indeed be unfortunate to spend a bunch of money having a mahogany-pedi, only to have the ship’s dog gnaw upon it.

What I particularly like about this juxtaposition is that they both treat the topic so matter-of-factly.

Normalcy is kind of the point of the Bizarro panel, but, if Bliss showed that pirate responding at all, it would break up the juxtaposition.

Of course, there’s quite a distinction between their personalities, since one is rather a dandy and the other couldn’t care less.


And speaking of dogs, the Duplex plays upon the fact that the dog food wars are really, um, beefing up.

I particularly like the ad where they compare the ingredients of their overpriced stuff with the ingredients in the most cheap-ass level of food from a major brand and ask which one sounds tastier?

I’ve seen some of the things that my dog considers tasty. Try another approach.

The real laff is that the brand with the most outrageous commercials — which explain that they formulated their dog food in order to keep their beloved dog from dying and that, unless you want your dog to die, you should buy it — is on the list of premium brands that the FDA warns may have a link to a type of canine heart disease.

The FDA doesn’t say those expensive bistro brands will actually kill your dog, only that they lack some nutrients found in less exotic brands.

Though I suppose that, if you’re going to lard up (literally) everything you eat with bacon, there’s no point in extending your dog’s life and leaving the poor thing an orphan.

None at all.


Frabjous Day!

Madam & Eve, dropped by the Mail & Guardian, have popped up again in the Daily Maverick.

Aside from the importance in terms of South Africa’s political dialogue — and Zapiro has also made the leap — this matters worldwide because the Daily Maverick is on-line only and seems quite successful.

If they can do it, why can’t others? We’ll see.