CSotD: Laughter is the Best Quackery

Yes, it’s Bastille Day, and Arlo & Janis are celebrating in their backyard, which is where everyone celebrates these days.

However, Arlo treads a fine line in saying “No one actually knows” if French fries were invented in Belgium, because the Belgians not only know but if this lockdown ever eases up, you can go to le Musée de la Frite and see for yourself.

Best part being that I can’t tell if this is actual historical proof ou si ils tirent nos jambes.


I’m also not entirely clear on how you would get around the EU’s current restrictions to fulfill Martyn Turner’s recommendation for easing the crowding in Irish pubs, but in any case the whole world is watching, and, apparently, laughing.


Though, if Andy Marlette’s vision were a little more practical, we could ease Florida out into the Gulf Stream and it would wind up bobbing off the Irish coast, or possibly in Norway (I’m not quite sure), but that’s part of the EU (Update — no, it’s not. See comments) and they’d find their way to the pubs somehow, because that’s what infectious people do. (Update: Indeed it is.)

Except in Texas, where the GOP’s cunning plan to have all their bigwigs gather in Houston was thwarted by a judge who told them to stop being idiots and threatened to whack them on the head with his gavel.

Though I’ve been to conventions and I’ve been to pubs, and the difference is mostly a matter of dress codes.

And that, in a pub, there’s a point at which they stop serving you.


And if we may switch from Guinness to VB’s, apparently Australia is going back into lockdown, which seems ironic given that the Kiwis have just announced a wipeout of the virus, but however it looks on the map, there’s a substantial stretch of ocean between the two.

In any case, First Dog on the Moon has advice for Australians in their second lockdown that could be helpful for Americans, or at least it could be if we attacked it with science instead of attempting to lobby it out of existence with stubborn politics.

It’s a blend of practicality and hilarity that I will leave you —  and urge you — to go discover on your own.


Nothing very hilarious in our cunning plan to offer our children as a human sacrifice to the Covid God, but Fowl Language offers the gallows-humor viewpoint.


While David Fitzsimmons cuts to the chase.

It brings to mind a bit of text that, IIRC, was on the cover of Frank Zappa’s first album, which read “If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they’ll murder you in your sleep.”

Back then, it didn’t seem as likely that they could get off on a plea of self defense.

They appear to be figuring it out. (You might want to turn your speakers down a bit.)


Over at Non Sequitur, Wiley Miller makes it seem that inspiring contempt is inevitable, but there is always the rule of not saying stupid things in public even when there are no cameras rolling.

Which could also cover those times when there are.

I think it’s related to that old advice about how, if you don’t lie, you don’t have to worry about keeping your story straight.

Of course, the Bobs of this world will never quite figure that out, or think it applies to them, or realize how easy it is for stupid things to become public.

Granted, the pendulum at the moment is at a high point in its arc and innocent people are occasionally getting clipped for things that were either inoffensive to begin with or could have been resolved with a quick word or a quiet conversation.

But there are some stupid, clueless people out there and they received a lot of tolerance and even protection back when the pendulum was at the other end of the arc, recent events at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund being a stark example.



This, by the way, is not limited to people who scream about their right to go unmasked or who insist on putting their hands where they don’t belong.

Lalo Alcaraz replies to the CEO of Goya Foods, who could have attended the party in the Rose Garden without stepping up to praise the bigot who has spent three years insulting and abusing the Hispanic people who are Goya’s customer base.

The guy is now claiming “free speech,” by which he apparently means that, it’s not fair to hold Goya responsible for what he said while appearing at a public gathering as their CEO.

I once interviewed Hal Kennedy, the longtime local anchor at KKTV in Colorado Springs, who said that, while he enjoyed being recognized in public, it came with some burdens.

As an example, he said he’d been repairing his hot water heater recently and needed a part, which meant he had to shower and change his clothes to run to the hardware store, because, otherwise, someone would see him and say, “I saw Hal Kennedy the other day. I think he’d been drinking.”

Which sounds silly but some years later, I had a college intern who returned from spring break in Mexico to report that she’d run into our local news anchor (different market) who was very drunk and tried to hit on her.

Fortunately for him, she thought it was more funny than offensive.

And smartphones hadn’t been invented yet.

As the referees say, “Protect yourself at all times.”

As the cowboys say, “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”


Too late for this guy. I got a message from Amazon this morning that my copy of Mary’s new book has been delivered to my Fire, and, as Adam Zyglis suggests, it’s only one in a flock of tell-alls.

Though, as he also notes, it’s not like Dear Leader will read any of them, and I don’t know that Bolton has revealed much that several earlier books didn’t tell us. We’ll see how Mary did.

Still, a major part of Trump’s success lies in denying the obvious and ignoring the rest.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Laughter is the Best Quackery

  1. Fine point: Norway’s not in the EU – the 1994 referendum failed – although they do have a nearly-free trade agreement. Restrictions on non-essential travel to and from most of the EU (including Ireland) expire tomorrow.

    And you nailed the Freak Out! quote, which is attributed as follows: “Our closing message to the tourists at the Hollywood Whisky A-Go-Go, December 1965.”

  2. The key to using old beat up clothes as work clothes, when heading outside the home, is having ones that look like work
    Oil stains and plenty of paint splatters are good!
    Before that point, one just looks like a slob…

  3. Gack — the Norway reference was one that I meant to check but didn’t stop to do it at the time because I was on a roll.

    There’s something wonderful about a job in which you find yourself correcting a comment on the potential results of Florida drifting across the Atlantic Ocean on the Gulf Stream, because it needs to be factually accurate. It’s like working in the White House.

  4. Appearances matter. Too much, in fact. I used to take a nap every day after lunch, off the clock. I started out taking it at my desk, which was comfortable, but then people walking through the office thought I was snoozing on company time and felt obliged to tattle on me, so after that I always just sat at the break room table and snored away. People could have spared themselves the sight if they’d kept their mouth shut, looked at my time card, or both.

    Ha! Throw those books at him. And a bunch of others!

  5. Hey, I kinda like that idea of the big float. I mean both Florida and Ireland are pretty flat, but if they joined up, we could maybe get a Western Tibet, or something like that. Just think of what happened when that big chunk of land that’s now India divorced from that other one that’s now Australia, and after eons of drifting and searching decided to get hitched to Asia.

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