What makes Agnes (Creators) work so well is that Agnes and Trout really are like Lucy and Ethel: They come up with some outlandishly bad ideas, but their hearts are always in the right place.
Their poverty helps: While Lucy wanted the spotlight down at Ricky’s club, Agnes is trying to climb out of the hole she and Trout share at the bottom of everybody’s pecking order. That’s a big difference, and, while Agnes often, innocently, makes impossible requests of her grandmother, she’s pretty hip to the possibilities and the barriers.
As seen in this strip, and often enough to counter the pranks without becoming soppy and sentimental.
That is, Agnes is a handful without ever being a burden.
Edison Lee (KFS) is more of an infant terrible, mostly because his dreams are not only more outlandish than Agnes’s, but have a pattern of coming close enough to happening that they pose a hazard.
Fortunately, his family is in a position to be more resilient and hence more indulgent.
Another major difference is that, while Agnes and Trout live largely in a fantasy world, Edison has, from the very start of the strip, had a strong grip on reality, even if his plans for dealing with it verge on the farcical.
Here, we see a problem, coupled with a solution that probably wouldn’t work but is at least worth a shot.
Whatever the lead time for the strip, it strikes at a good time, because we’re seeing both reports of discarded masks in the water as well as hearing complaints about masks as litter in parking lots.
But Edison is not joining the self-righteous chorus about what slobs and pigs other people are; he’s simply observing that the problem exists, and I agree with his approach.
Disposable masks are practical, but they’re very light and small. Like plastic grocery bags, their presence in the wrong places is less about intentional littering than about their nature.
That is, you don’t see cloth masks lying around on the ground, and I think it’s because if, for instance, you are taking your car keys out of your pocket and your cloth mask falls out, it’s bulky enough that you’re likely to notice. A paper mask, you might not.
And let’s be practical in our judgment: The slobs who would throw them on the ground are probably not using them in the first place.
Specific barrels for disposable masks seems like a good idea, even if they only served as a reminder to secure yours.
Also, a little more generosity of spirit on social media would help stem a different sort of unnecessary garbage.
Which ties into this Wumo (AFS) delightfully.
I recently got into a back-and-forth on the value of YouTube’s premium service, my point being that I have a limit to what I can afford to pay for and I don’t use it often enough to make it worthwhile.
But YouTube disagrees and has begun loading two ads in front of each music video and another after, while longer vids are laden with constant interruptions.
I think they’re trying to tell me something, and it feels like they’re saying “We don’t want to just make enough money. We want to make tons of it.”
My response being that I might drop Netflix for Hulu but YouTube wouldn’t even be a bridesmaid.
On the other hand, sticking in ads before GIFs would be more in the line of the extra taxes on cigarettes, since, like cigarettes, animated GIFs are a toxic plague and therefore anything to discourage them is beneficial to society.
People who comment with animated GIFs are like those little kids who raise their hands but don’t actually have a question. They have nothing to say but desperately want to be called on.
Which reminds me of the best question ever, at a lecture at Plattsburgh State that I was covering: “I came in late. Who are you?”
(Insert GIF of girl in turquoise doing a spit take.)
Sometimes, however, stupid questions aren’t so stupid, and this Free Range (Creators) reminds me of one.
If you call Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a recording will tell you to call 911 in an emergency and then discuss your various options at great length before giving you their fax number and then finally — finally — ringing through.
Medical people like to fax things. Be grateful they don’t still like to apply leeches.
Nobody else uses fax machines anymore.
A decade ago, I edited a small paper where, every night, the fax machine would spring to life and reel off several pages of police and fire reports, which our newsroom clerk would then type into the system.
Which caused me to ask, “Couldn’t they just email us a spreadsheet you could cut-and-paste?”
Which they could.
It wasn’t a stupid question. But the fact that I was there for three months before I asked was stupid.
Ornithological Juxtaposition of the Day
Adrian Raeside cartoons the eagle’s point of view and Maria Scrivan picks up the story at the other end.
I’m sure commercial migratory destinations object to this sort of thing, whether it’s a nest-swap or Airbirdnbird, but there are other reasons this juxtapostion struck home.
Yesterday, as we were watching our dogs play, we heard a loon call, and, looking towards the Connecticut River, saw an eagle swoop up from the water.
The loon may have been sounding a warning, though eagles don’t take waterfowl very often and certainly not something the size of a loon, though two eagles could take one if they had a strand of creeper.
Eagles, however, are not migratory. They shift south as the water ices over, but that’s not the same thing.
But loons are migratory, and the real problem is that our river hasn’t iced over yet, which we guessed was why the loon was still here when she shouldn’t be.
Unsuccessful nest-swaps are funny.
Climate change isn’t.
Finally today, Bill Whitehead strikes a second time with something that is funny: A guy stuck out on the sidewalk without his housekey.
How funny? This funny: