CSotD: October Fools


We’ll start today with an “I told you so,” illustrated by Wiley Miller, because I had been telling people to get up here and look at the leaves by Columbus Day Weekend.

It was a very good, not quite spectacular year, with a lot of color though a little bit muted. Dr. Johnson said the Giant’s Causeway was worth seeing but not worth going to see, but this year the leaves were both.

And then we began the week after Columbus Day Weekend with a day-long rainstorm that was a constant downpour here but, to the east, included enough winds to knock out power for 24 hours or more. It certainly wreaked havoc on the leaves.

So, at this point, what’s left of them are still worth seeing but perhaps no longer worth coming to see.

Machs nix — most of the little touristy places are now closed for the winter anyway.


Still on the tourism beat, we come to Half Full, where Maria Scrivan bemoans the ridiculous boarding practices most airlines put people through, hoping to lure them into either joining their loyalty clubs or simply overpaying for their tickets.

I’m not going to press this too sharply, because choice of airlines is one of those topics in which brand loyalty makes discussion virtually impossible, but I had a moment of “Do they still do that?” since I began flying Southwest exclusively about two years ago.

For those who haven’t tried it — and Southwest doesn’t participate in those Travelocity/whatever sites — the tickets are generally less expensive to start with, and then, for $15, you get to board in the first or second wave, giving you choice of seats.

I’ve been as far back as 55th, and even into the second wave a few times, but have never had a problem finding a right-side aisle seat for my bum hip.

Which, considering that other airlines sell their “nice” seats for $35 or more, on top of tickets that cost more to begin with, makes a difference to me.

Your mileage probably won’t vary — I dislike sometimes having to stop off in the Carolinas on a flight from New Hampshire to Colorado — but it really is possible to avoid being treated like a kid in middle school kickball.


And also in the category of Unshakeable Pointless Preferences, Mark Parisi shows how you turn a timeworn trope into a fresh, funny panel.

It’s even timely, since several cartoonists have already begun unleashing their Halloween gags.

And it just sent me off to Wikipedia to check the date of the violation of Tut’s tomb,  because I suspected we were closing in on a Century of Mummy Stories.

Of course, the Curse of Tut is like the Curse of Having Worked on ‘The Conqueror,’ in which anyone having died at all is proof that it’s real.

“The Curse of Having Watched the Conqueror” being another matter entirely.

Anyway, the centenary of opening Tut’s tomb will be in 2023, by which time we will have faced down yet another horrible curse, which brings us to our


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Stuart Carlson)

(Jeff Stahler)

Like all curses, a certain amount of luck and circumstance and interpretation go into this one, which is to say that I feel bad for all the cartoonists like Stuart Carlson, who sharpened their pens when Dear Leader announced his plans to stuff his pockets for the G7, because he just announced that he didn’t really mean it.

I doubt Jeff Stahler had time to get this drawn, inked, colored and on-line between the time Trump changed plans and the time I pulled it down at 4 am this morning.

Rather, I’m taking this as a more general commentary on the — to put it politely — mercurial nature of our Dear Leader.


Which should remind us of the conceptual link between Mick Mulvaney and Honey Huan in the last days of Mao Tse-Tung.

I meant this connection. The conceptual one. Not the more direct one.


And I might have juxtaposed Stahler with Bob Gorrell, whose head is surely spinning with the task of defending conservative control of the government while accounting for the shifts, and the shiftiness, at the top.

Trump appears to be losing his grip on all but a small number of rightwing fringe cartoonists, and one does have to wonder how much of his overall grip he’ll have to lose before the GOP Senate follows suit.

I’d note here that it’s easier to cancel a party that hasn’t begun yet than it is to call off an ongoing Middle East betrayal that even McConnell and Graham have condemned.

“I know you are, but what am I?” isn’t going to deflect the curse of those desert corpses.


You have to be carefully taught


Meanwhile, because you can’t start modeling stupidity too soon, Phil Hands notes the case of a security guard fired by the Madison school board for using the N-word.

Which he used in the course of telling a black student to stop calling him the N-word. Seriously. It was a black authority figure lecturing a student on why he shouldn’t use the word, but, since he used the word himself, he was summarily fired.

The case has raised national attention since Hands drew his cartoon, and I’d be astonished if the school board were foolish enough to stand by their idiotic regulation.

Still, I’d like to see a sharp lawyer exploit the fact that they can’t establish what word he used without saying it themselves and violating their no-tolerance, no-exceptions rule.

He called him what? “The N-word”? What word is that?  “Ne’er-do-well”? “Negligent”? “Nervous Nellie”? “Nudist”? “Numerologist”?



While, down in Florida, Andy Marlette is doubtful that simply raising teacher pay is going to compensate for an overall lack of school funding.

I don’t know how they fund education there — presumably they’ve already got fools lowering everyone else’s school taxes. 

But, as Marlette notes, she’ll now have more money to spend on classroom supplies.

Though she’ll still only be able to deduct $250 of it on her income tax.


2 thoughts on “CSotD: October Fools

  1. This is why zero tolerance policies are (forgive the irony) never appropriate. There’s always an edge case where some degree of tolerance can do a lot of good.

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