CSotD: Friday Funnies, Philosopher King Edition

I don’t necessarily like “Ain’t it the truth?” comics, because they tend to harp on worn-out topics that haven’t been the truth for a long time, or at least, have stopped being innovative and funny.

The archetypal “Ain’t it the truth?” jokes start with “And what about airline food?” which might still be funny if airlines hadn’t quit serving food to the peasants several years ago.

All an airline food joke means today is that comedy must pay pretty well, since Somebody is flying first class, where there is food, and it’s reportedly pretty good.

I wouldn’t know. I’m just a peasant.

The kind of peasant who, like Betty (AMS) and Bub, keeps falling for no-brainer bargains that really are, it turns out, no-brainers.

Ain’t it the truth?

Because after you sign up for a few of those bargains, you find yourself overwhelmed after all.

Though that dilemma can offer its own solution, because, if you pick up on enough on-line bargains, sooner or later you’ll get a message from your credit card company asking if you just spent $500 on the other end of the country.

You say no, they cancel the sale and issue you a new card number. Last time that happened, the card company offered to update my regular creditors and subscriptions with the new number, which is very handy.

Howsoever, if you update by hand, and if you ignore some of those messages that say, “Your most recent payment was rejected,” well, then, what do you think’s gonna happen? You think somebody is going to show up on your doorstep with legal papers because they didn’t get their $10 monthly subscription fee?

Hey, it’s a no-brainer.

Though that approach reminds me of junior year, when I rented from a local mafioso and then spaced out the rent one month. Late at night, knock on the door, and there’s Pauly Walnuts and Bobby on my front porch.

I’m sure they weren’t sent specifically for that reason; I imagine they were running more important errands and picking up my check just got added to the list. And they weren’t threatening about it. They just said he wanted the rent.

But you can bet I quickly found my checkbook.

And some clean underwear.


A later memory, as seen in Zits (KFS) is the point at which “hooking up” went from “getting together” to “getting it on.”

I don’t think it ever meant putting little hardware hooks on shelf bottoms, but it would have required a Sunday strip to set up a longer, more accurate gag, involving a conversation in which the old folks agreed to meet later at a different location.

Which is how most of us in the parental generation learned that the meaning had changed and I would add “for no discernible reason.” The innocent meaning made more sense, and came up more often in conversation, at least in terms of something that might actually happen.

Same thing happened to “making love,” which once just meant courting, though the song “Making Whoopee” dates back to 1929 and it’s pretty clear that “whoopee” meant more than holding hands in the parlor.

Then again, people have dirty minds and there are plenty of folks who insist that “Wake Up, Little Susie” is about a couple who have done what the song explicitly says they didn’t.

It works both ways: I can’t remember whether my sister used the term “bitchin'” at the dinner table meaning “really cool” or “complaining” but I remember my parents falling out of their chairs and giving her a lecture on language and decorum.

Chill, people. Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar.


And speaking of Freud — or, in this case, general psychology — Pros and Cons (KFS) cracked me up with a bit of dialogue that could have come from Socrates or Confucius.

What a wonderful world it would be if shrinks really did hand out such well-considered philosophy, but even Socrates and Master K’ung specialized in leading people into saying foolish things and only then making them look silly, my favorite being

“Tzu-kung said, ‘What I do not want others to do to me, I have no desire to do to others.’
The Master said, ‘Oh Ssu! You have not quite got to that point yet.'”

Made me laugh, anyway.

Hey — guilty laughter counts.


I even laughed at this Macanudo (KFS) which also serves as a grim example of philosophical comedy.

It might have been juxtaposed with Pros and Cons, except that the guy is bald and has white hair, so, whatever his life was like, we can presume that it was not short.

Though I suppose it probably felt that way.

In any case, I assume that James Joyce wrote in his own copybook what he depicted his doppelganger as writing:

Stephen Dedalus is my name
Ireland is my nation
Clonglowes is my dwelling place
And heaven my expectation

And if, like Dedalus, you change expectations several times along the way, you really can’t blame your Eternal Positioning System for where you end up.



Maria Scrivan offers this Half Full (Tribune) which I suppose applies to corporate Zoom conferences, but struck me in particular as a television thingie, because I always scan the books behind the experts. It’s as if they posted their resumes.


I suppose part of it is how you want to present yourself, which is particularly interesting on the NFL Network, where the guys all have autographed footballs and sports books behind them, while the women reporters — who also talk knowledgably about who’s playing well, who’s injured, what teams have the best prospects ahead — tend to display a much more interesting and diverse set of titles.

As this early Tank McNamara suggests, you have to have a pretty strong ego to date a woman that good-looking, intelligent and well-informed. The girls at college weren’t kidding when they said you’d be surprised who stays home on date night.


And as shown in this Duplex (AMS), it’s not their fault that so many guys ain’t got no couth.

Better get some. Smart women make smart choices, eventually, if not sooner.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies, Philosopher King Edition

  1. I always notice the bookshelf, too.
    A commentator on PBS after the Trump-Biden so-called debate had a framed photo of Gwen Ifill on her bookshelf, which I thought was quite nice. After the Harris-Pence tete-a-tete, I couldn’t help but notice that the Ifill photo was missing.
    I’m sure lots of these TV commentators carefully select what’s on the shelf behind them.

  2. Somewhere in this enterprising nation of ours there are folks offering Zoom backdrops filled with erudite book spines and carefully eschewing titles like Atlas Shrugged, The Pearl and The German Ideology.

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