CSotD: Friday Funnies Droning On About the Past

I know I was supposed to laugh at today’s Arctic Circle, but my response was “That would have been so cool!”

I think, had Alex Hallatt had the drone say something like “Don’t pick your nose!” or “Put your gloves on,” she’d have gotten the intended response, but “Come home now!” unleashed a flood.

A substantial part of my very young life was spent in a neighborhood that consisted of two nearby spots of a combined 17 houses surrounded by forest, but all the action was in the lower part and we lived in the upper part, such that calling kids home for dinner was a thing.

Our family was large enough that we were deputized to go round up our siblings.

Stuart’s family would go out and beep the car horn. Everyone had a creative solution that didn’t involve an adult having to go walk around the place, though there was some straightforward bellowing of names.

Nor did it end then. A generation later, I’d call my boys home with an ear-piercing whistle through my fingers, in the notes of a bosun’s pipe. All their friends knew it and, if they didn’t hear it, one of their buddies would say, “Your dad wants you.”

But flying a drone would have been epic.

Not to spy on your kids as seen here, and, in fact, I can think of a couple of parents who, had they owned a drone, would have destroyed all our fun.

One was a very nice lady who was a worry-wart and would have halted anything interesting, while the other was a gossip and a tattle-tale and we already knew not to play anywhere either could see us out their respective windows.

And I’ll admit that my kids are, in their 40s, apt to tell me hilarious stories of their youth that I’m glad I didn’t know about then.

But to go find them and call them home? Oh, yeah, I’d have loved a drone for that!


And speaking of things you don’t tell your parents about until a few years later, this Speed Bump reminded me of getting busted in Montana for fishing without licenses, which I didn’t.

I was at our campsite, too hungover from the night before to go out in the boat and try my luck, but not too hungover to chat with the Ranger and help him pick up all the beer cans when he stopped by.

And then, once we had the place cleaned up, the other guys were coming back to shore and he greeted them and asked for their licenses and then we all went down to West Yellowstone because they didn’t have any.

There was some yukking it up with the deputies there, because my buddies asked if, instead of paying the fine, they could work it off in jail, and the deputies assured them they could but they’d have to cut off their hair. But it was all teasing and laughing and then we went into the courtroom to wait for the judge, this being a Sunday.

Then this cute young woman came in and started shuffling things around on the judge’s desk, so the guys began joking with her, too, and kind of flirting with her.

Until the moment she slapped the gavel down and called the court to order.

Thank god the fines for fishing without a license were fixed, or they might have gotten those haircuts after all.


1970 was also when I thought, briefly, about getting a tattoo, but gave it up when I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to live with for the next half century or more.

I knew, for example, that, while the ZigZag Man seemed like a great tattoo at the moment, it was not something that was likely to age well. It also would have become a horrendously embarrassing cliche, but I couldn’t foresee that. Or at least I didn’t.

And I was also self aware enough to know that, however cleverly I expressed it, the philosophy of a 20 year old was probably nothing to declare visually for all times.

But xkcd has some interesting options. All of which I’m glad never occurred to me at the time.

(To be fair, if I can look back with amused, affectionate nostalgia on getting busted in Montana, I could probably take the same attitude towards a tattoo acquired in the same morn and liquid dew of youth, whatever contagious blastments might have intervened.)


A related aspect of that being expressed in Existential Comics, with a very funny takedown on how Stocism appears to people of passion, which I think we all are at 19 or 20, which was when we first read Epictetus in college.

Stocism was appealing because that was also an age and a time when we fancied ourselves able to sit quietly chanting “Om” and contemplating the eternal, even though the only omphalos I really contemplated was Colette’s, since she invented ultra low-cut jeans before anyone at Levis considered making them that way.

I think it is necessary to outgrow a fair amount of passion before you are prepared to become a Stoic. Which I did, as I proved by leaning on it when I went through cancer.

However, it’s probably easier to be a Stoic if you never knew anyone like Colette, although perhaps it means more if you have to make that effort, praying along with a young St. Augustine, “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.”

Such that later, you may agree with that other Colette, when she observed, “I love my past. I love my present. I’m not ashamed of what I’ve had, and I’m not sad because I have it no longer.”

Go read the rest of the cartoon, since I think that’s the point, only funnier.

For my part, I’m gonna spend a little time now contemplating, as I have before, why it took a pair of women to perform this song in a manner that always makes me think not of Epictetus, but of Colette:


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies Droning On About the Past

  1. I don’t think my parents ever had to summon me. My best friend and I, though, usually wanted to be sure it was worth crossing the Emerson pasture to go visit. I used the phone, but he used to stand in his yard and shout. I remember my sisters coming in from tetherball and saying “You should see what Scott wants. He’s hollering for you.”

  2. Funny how I’d forgotten about that. I can still hear the parents calling their kids home for supper in our cul-de-sac neighborhood! My parents somehow got the idea to be original and bought a large cow bell. We’d hear that ringing and knew it was time to head home!

Comments are closed.