CSotD: Friday Funnies — Lockdowns and Lovers

A slight departure from Friday Funnies, but, while Joe Heller is a political cartoonist, this one is more about life itsownself.

I was never particularly thrilled with school, but it was like a job that pays reasonably well and doesn’t suck.

Except a few years when it did: If you got a toxic teacher in grade school, you were stuck all day for the year and it was like a foreman who makes your life miserable — you have to adapt and just carry on.

We were lucky in that room assignments were done at the end of the year, so that your last report card would tell you who you had the next fall.

My kids had to wait to read class lists on the doors in September to find out if they’d won or lost in the mean-teacher/nice-teacher lottery.

In any case, like the girl in Heller’s cartoon, we wanted to be in school, because, given that our rural district stretched 30 miles down the state highway, we had friends there that we weren’t gonna see anywhere else.

Two further thoughts:

Just as it’s fashionable but disloyal to complain about your spouse, people have been whinging about having their kids at home during this lockdown.

Putting your kids down in public is not only shamefully disloyal but reflects on your abilities as a parent and your decision to have kids in the first place.

On a more positive note, the lockdown has resulted in “quarantine puppies,” as families take the opportunity to adopt a dog while they have time to deal with all the housebreaking and other training.

We’ve had a pair of teachers who bring their puppy, and their seven- and four-year-old daughters, to the park regularly, and those little girls are building some great memories: Not only do they have a hilarious, sweet puppy to play with, but they know all the grownup dogs’ names and our dogs absolutely adore them.

And starting next week their parents won’t have to keep swapping off to go do distance-learning and teacher Zoom-meetings.


Which is a segue to Reply All, in which Lizzie deals with working at home and with on-line meetings, and, as someone who worked from home for about a third of his career, I got a laugh of recognition.

When you work in an office, you know that your breaks are basically just screwing off. When you work at home, you can pretend they’re productive, because, yes, you’re Doing the Dishes, which, by golly, matters.

My theory being that the real time-waster in offices is conference calls, making me doubly glad I got out before the lockdown.

I never got anything out of a conference call that couldn’t have been conveyed in a 75-word memo, particularly since “What do you think?” is boss-talk for “Guess what I’ve decided.”



Progressive has been all over this.


If you missed DD Degg’s announcement elsewhere on this site, here’s a must-read article about whether comic strips should reflect the lockdown with a number of cartoonists interviewed.

Vic Lee wasn’t one of those interviewees, but this Pardon My Planet is a good example of reflecting the times without committing to a level that could leave you out of date if things change.

Being behind on rent is both universal and immediate, so he gets a laff regardless of lead time.

Note that, if he had them wearing masks, it would anchor the strip more firmly in the quarantine.

It would also be silly, since they (A) are outdoors with no-one else around, and (B) live together.


Alex Hallatt was interviewed, but suggested that Arctic Circle is immediate enough, given its focus on climate change and the environment, that she could blend in the coronavirus rather than having to change directions.

Last Sunday’s strip, for instance, addressed a whole other issue, which is that Elon Musk is in the process of launching thousands of little (570-lb) satellites into geostable orbits so he can sell high-speed Internet access and other services.

The problem — aside from adding to an already serious space-junk issue — is that the reflective nature of these satellites is interfering with earth-bound observatories.

So he put a dark prototype into his next satellite-spew.

One. To see if it works. No conclusion, but lots of launches.

If you saw it in any other comic strip, you would think it was an attempt at hilarious exaggeration.

Except that Musk is getting a little hard to exaggerate.


And now for something completely different

BC refers to one of my pet peeves, which is jungle/adventure movies in which people go through incredible dangers to reach their goal, whereupon they are, in the next scene, back at the bar in Nairobi or Calcutta or wherever.

It never shows how, having cut the bridge down to foil the angry natives chasing them, they got over the chasm on the return trip.

Or how they avoided the even-more-angry natives who knew they had to return at some point.


Zits reminds me that, to launch a flood of stories, you just have to say the words “Hometown Honey” in a group of college graduates.

I served at both ends: My GF junior year was a senior who went off to Buff State, at which point there came the classic series of letters to her HTH, starting with going to a concert with a guy who is just a friend and so forth, though we lasted long enough for her to come home for my prom in February.

Made her own dress, too. Brilliant, beautiful, talented and looong gone.

Whereupon I started dating a sophomore who, as graduation loomed, begged me to stay home and not go to college, which — given that the options at home were the mines or the mill — made me run like a rabbit.

All she really meant was that she was going to miss me.

I eventually figured it out when she married a young English teacher who came to town some time after I left. They’re still back home, closing in on 50 years.

As the Pennsylvania Dutch say, we grow too soon old and too late smart.


8 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies — Lockdowns and Lovers

  1. Great. You had to go and make that Pennsylvania Dutch reference. Now I’m hungry for Lebanon bologna and sourdough hard pretzels.

  2. I highly recommend “dutchy hors d’oeuvres” — smear Lebanon boloney with Philly Cream Cheese, tightly roll and then slice into quarters and spear with a toothpick. Serve with Gherkins.

    Dutchy is a slur we can all get behind.

  3. Please note Bologna and Boloney are both acceptable spellings for the spiced meat, but it must be pronounced “Leb-a-nin” not “Leba-non”

    Now — go forth and feast!

  4. Been enjoying your writing for many years now!

    Regarding the Starlink satellites, you mentioned ‘geostable’ orbits. If by this you meant ‘geostationary’, like the TV and weather satellites we’ve had since the 60s/70s, those are up at 22,000 miles high.

    The Starlinks are down in low earth orbit, about 370 miles up. That reduces the round trip signal lag so that real-time communication works. It also means they swing across the sky relatively fast and often. And that makes it even worse, vis-a-vis the astronomy interference.

    Elon Musk is indeed ‘incredible’ in various ways, both good and bad as it is turning out….

  5. Thx George. Also, I suppose, puts us in a good news/bad news bind, which is to say they’ll be that much closer to the ground when they destabilize and fall out of orbit.

    I have no idea how far 12,000 satellites of 570 pounds each have to fall to burn up completely, but I hope it’s a lot less than 370 miles.

    A constant lightshow could be cool but a firey hailstorm not so much.

  6. Which reminds me of a woman my then-wife worked with who was afraid to go outside because Sky Lab was coming down and we didn’t know where.

    We decided it would not be helpful to tell her that, even if she were indoors, she’d be pulverized.

  7. Thanks for the fascinating info there, George. We have some very clear skies here in New Zealand and I’ve heard a lot of my friends being freaked out by the sight of these satellites. I haven’t seen them yet, but I don’t like stargazing in the cold!

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