CSotD: Friday the 13th come on a … never mind

Pros and Cons offers some math problems as well as questions of age. Samuel wants to be a kid, but this is a fairly simplified version of “Mr. Green lives in a red house” puzzle, given that 10 years ago he was 30 and now he wants to be 23 years younger.

Which would make him 17 and holy Peggy Sue Got Married. I had a really good year at 17, but I don’t think I could enjoy it much with an adult conscience. A lot of the good times then depended on being really unaware.

Which is why (A) I’m sympathetic to how #MeToo impacts people that age of both sexes who get themselves into idiotic situations and also why (B) we send 19-year-olds into war, knowing they’re dumb enough to storm pillboxes and whatnot.

Our state house just approved a bill to raise the legal marriage age from 16 to 18. I’m thinking it should be 28.

Meanwhile, according to the news story, “Opponents feared it would prevent a young couple from getting married after the girl became pregnant.”

Because that’s such a good idea.

Anyway, it takes even less math to know that the fellas here are around 40, and if I had my druthers, that’s the one I’d go back to: I was still in good physical shape, I knew which end was up and the decade was bracketed with the two best relationships of my life, either one of which I’d take more of, thanks.


So here’s Pardon My Planet with a commentary on those extra years you get for taking care of yourself.


While, in Moderately Confused, Jeff Stahler echoes an opinion I’ve had for about two decades, though my version of it is a little more cynical, given that, as I’ve said before, I think it would be cool if they got together for a reunion concert but that would require that they had broken up when they should have.

However, I got off the bus when Brian Jones left in 1969, so I’m probably not the right person to judge this.

But if the Animals got together again for a night, I’d go to that.


Meanwhile, as DD Degg has chronicled elsewhere on the site, Al Jaffee turns 99 today, and here’s a cartoon he did for “Yank the Army Weekly,” back when he was about 19 or 20, in lieu of storming pillboxes, or possibly besides.


Also more-or-less on the subject of mortality, Mr. Boffo brings to mind the time, shortly after my cancer disappeared, when I was recruited for a study of radiation therapy.

The idea was to see if moderate levels of radiation therapy would keep the cancer from returning, and so I asked, if I were in the control group, they were going to just stand behind the chair and make buzzing noises.

Turned out the control group didn’t have to do anything, which sounded like my kind of experiment, but then it turned out that the active group didn’t have to do anything, either, because the study didn’t get funded.

So I don’t know which group I was in, but so far, doing nothing seems to be working.


Andertoons offers a variation on doing nothing, which is Waiting for a Sign.

I’ve never simply quit, but I’ve certainly hoisted out lifeboats or built rafts or somehow found a way out of a bad situation.

At the moment, people are about to start losing jobs they like, because you can’t sell hot dogs in an empty stadium nor can you broadcast games that aren’t being played, but that’s a temporary bump and it sucks if you’re in a position where it hits you hard, but, as Kid Shelleen said, “The blood don’t matter and you know you’re gonna live.”

Bottom line is this: Happiness matters, and it’s okay to stick in a job you hate while you wait for your high-school kid to graduate or for the coronavirus crisis to pass, but at some point self-respect needs to kick in.


Juxtaposition of the Week

(Barney & Clyde)



You would expect a comic strip co-written by Gene Weingarten to have a little intellectual heft, and Barney and Clyde does.

Bizarro pursues things a little more indirectly, often having twists that require some mental agility, but not necessarily a huge backlog of, for instance, Greek mythology.

I don’t know how many people think Jason and Medea is simply about gaining the Golden Fleece but don’t know what happened next and, for that matter, I don’t know how many even know that first part.

But, as Jim Lehrer and Cynthia say, you should assume you have an intelligent audience, and Wayno and Piraro not only make that assumption for Bizarro, but keep blog posts explaining their choices.

Wayno’s discussion of this particular cartoon more than suggests that good, smart gags don’t just fall out of the sky in one piece and his notes on development of the piece is worth a read. (Scroll down)


Juxtaposition of Changing Times

(Brewster Rockit)


It’s hard to come up with a fresh “kids staring at their phones” gag, but Brewster Rockit cracked me up with this one, mostly, I think, because it carries forward into laughing at adults as well.

Simple flip phones left us not knowing anyone’s number, and smartphone GPS will leave us not knowing where anything is, but, mostly, when I see people walking around staring at their phone or yakking to someone, I wonder if they’re going to forget how to simply walk around thinking about stuff.

Meanwhile, I tell my young reporters to check their email because it may not be hip, but it’s how grownup jobs work. And I copy their parents on everything on the off chance that they still look at it from time to time.

At last week’s workshop, Sylvia’s mother put “Sylvia’s Mother” on her name tag because I’d previously had to explain to her otherwise brilliant daughter why Shel Silverstein didn’t call Sylvia directly and why he had to keep paying money.

I have heard the mermaids texting, each to each.
I do not think that they will text to me.