CSotD: Friday Funnies with Amygdagiggles

If you only pick up the funnies every once in awhile, you have no more idea of what the hell is going on than Wallace‘s teacher. And, while I have the greatest sympathy for her, it serves you right, but I’ll direct you back to where this all began and, trust me, the trip will be worth it.

Teachers in comics are generally seen as The Opposition. Even in Mr. Fitz, in which the central figure is an excellent, caring teacher, he’s surrounded by bureaucrats and nincompoops.

Most teachers in comic strips, however, are older women who echo a time two generations ago when elementary school teaching mostly consisted of keeping the girls from going into the boys’ bathroom, keeping the boys from making kilts out of paper towels and avoiding having little pantsless students run screaming home before the final bell.

Getting a teaching certificate in those days did not take four years, much less six, and widowed women who needed work didn’t have a lot of options. Hence we had a lot of older, marginally competent teachers like Calvin’s and like Mrs. Olsen from Frazz.

Some were grumpy, some were kindly, most were focused on keeping order and on instilling us with easily-remembered, exception-filled rules like “I before E,” rather than teaching us to actually think.


Today, as seen in this Classic Frazz, modern teachers have made a conscious, deliberate choice to teach.

A choice Wallace’s teacher may, at the moment, be questioning.


Kids do grow up, and today’s Pajama Diaries reminded me of buying my son his soccer cleats one year — junior or senior, I forget which — a process that, thanks to his size 13 feet, required crossing Lake Champlain to the better-stocked stores of Burlington, Vt.

The store also had a bin of bargain shoes, which was full of size 13 shoes, but the ones he came up with were there not for being an unusual size but for being of surpassing ugliness, a pair of truly ghastly black sneakers with gold trim and gold soles and a markdown price of $5.

He was only getting them to stow in his locker for gym class, but, still, I asked, “Won’t your friends make fun of them?”

“Not when they find out what I paid,” he responded, and I realized my little boy and his friends were now part of the work-world.


Which topic of wise shopping leads us to this Rhymes With Orange, and a problem I should have but don’t.

I’ve been nursing a bum hip for a year or so — this blog will go dark for a couple of days in two weeks while I have it replaced — and since I fly two or three times a year, getting a seat with some legroom, or at least an aisle seat on the right, has been a priority.

But it hasn’t been a problem or much of an expense, since I fly Southwest.

Airlines used to charge $30 or so extra for a seat with leg room on each flight, but, in recent years, they upped that charge by as much as double, and then added more of those $30 surcharges to seats that even hinted at being slightly more spacious.

Southwest gives you the option, for $15 roundtrip, not per flight, of getting on board first and taking whatever seat you want.

I’ll admit there have been times when the right-side exit row or bulkhead aisle seats have been taken, but I’ve never run into a time in the past three years when I couldn’t park my bum leg in a decent aisle seat.

But, hey, your money, your legs.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mother Goose and Grimm)


(Off the Mark)

I’ve had a couple of dogs with tattoos, and if my current pal got one, he’d go to the artist in “Off the Mark,” who has a full selection of good choices.

But of course there is the covered-with-fur issue, which means that dog tattoos are placed in the crotch. That’s a non-problem because other dogs will be checking you out there and so it’s not like they won’t see it.

In fact, I’m curious as to whether a syndicate editor persuaded Mike Peters to change that caption from “Tramp Stamp” to “Tramp Tattoo,” which doesn’t kill the gag but certainly mutes it a bit. And a tramp-stamp in the crotch, well, hence the term.

Anyway, once she got a look at the new, improved, craptastic CGI/live version of what was one of Disney’s sweetest, nicest animated films, she’d be down at the tattoo removal clinic anyway.


Disney+ is, I suspect, going to add a whole new level of mediocrity to “straight to DVD.”


I’ve Half A Mind To Run Another Juxtaposition

(Pros and Cons)


(Speed Bump)


(Strange Brew)


(Pardon My Planet)


(Uppsala University Hospital)

These all ran this morning except that last one, which I was just looking at yesterday as a science brief to add to my weekly kids’ publication.

The 90/10 percent thing in Pros and Cons is mythical, but the persistent tumors in Pardon My Planet suggest a radical procedure called a hemispherectomy, in which the half of the brain where the tumors are appearing is removed.

I ran into this nearly 40 years ago when I was doing a story on a pediatric critical care unit, and it appeared then that the remaining half of the brain could rewire itself.

Now a study of six adults who underwent hemispherectomies as children shows that their brains not only rewired themselves, but created some stronger connections than in whole brains.


Can’t Forget What You Never Experienced

Arlo and Janis are proudly middleaged, but we’re getting into “elderly,” given that JFK died 56 years ago and the median age in the United States is 38.1.

Only a little less than 15% of Americans are 65 or older, which is to say, were eight years old and might remember the day.

Though, if we apply that same age — eight — we find a full third of Americans are too young to really remember 9/11.

Unlike brains, nations cannot completely rewire themselves.



5 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies with Amygdagiggles

  1. And once they’ve gone through the live action remakes, there are already plans for “enhanced animation” versions of the older films, starting in 2021 with Beauty and the Beast.

    I’m not kidding.

  2. I picked up an LP in the quarter bin at one of the thrift shops in Greeley because I couldn’t resist the cover:

    “You’ve heard Gershwin…
    And you’ve heard bongos…

    That’s it? That’s the whole and entire reason this album exists? Just because they could do it?


    Which brings me to Disney. We’ve seen Disney classics, and we’ve seen CGI…

  3. Turns out I took Miss Plainwell’s exact path from Kent State’s journalism school to The Medina County Gazette to teaching sixth grade. I had never seen that early Frazz strip ! Thanks so much for that,

    On the day the Challenger blew up, there was a small but noticible earthquake in our part of NE Ohio. So right there is a bunch of folks who will remember THAT day too.

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