CSotD: So anyway …

(Ann Telnaes — WashPo)

(Matt Davies — AMS)

We could have a full day of nohting but Cruisin’ Cruz cartoons, but here are two and they pretty much tell the story (nice snow shovels), though it’s important, I suppose, to note:

(A) Cruz lied about having promised his daughters a vacation and simply taking them there and coming back. His wife had texted friends about going in order to avoid the snow and Ted hadn’t planned to come back until next week.

(B) While he was enjoying Cancun and while Republicans were lying about windmills and the New Green Deal, AOC raised a million bucks in donations for Texas (which is out of her district by about 1600 miles).

What a screw-up! (The trip and the guy.)

So anyway, let’s have some funnies:


Okay, one more bit of political commentary from Prickly City (UFS), and I’m sure this was drawn well before Ted Cruise headed for the warmth his constituents don’t have.

Because strips have longer lead times, and because “batty” is too polite a word.

Oh well. Enough politics for today.


Dan Thompson is a relentless punster, and, while a witty play on words is to be admired, there is particular fun in someone going way out of his way to come up with something ridiculous.

It took me a minute to realize the lion in this Brevity (AMS) was declining to put his business in the street, which doubles the gag.

Besides, putting him in uniform with one stripe would be silly, because lions don’t . . . oh, never mind.


In any case, Scott Hilburn enters the lists with his own silly pun in this Argyle Sweater (AMS), and drives home the gag with a well-known line from the movie and one from the group.

Puns in cartoons have to be quick, but my elementary school principal had a wealth of what I think you might call “shaggy dog puns,” because they featured a long, drawn out build up to a ridiculous punchline.

During the school day, he rarely had a chance to really show his stuff, but I remember running into him at the barber shop where he proceeded to keep the entire place in thrall, dragging things out to the bitter, silly end.

I’ve never understood the hostility some people have for puns. I can’t decide if it flows from an assumption that you should never deliberately make yourself look foolish or from a sense that the punster is making some claim of superior intellect.

Either way, it must drive them up the wall to know that Isaac Asimov had an extensive collection of silly limericks.

Assuming they know that.


Speaking of how people’s minds work, this Wallace the Brave (AMS) set off a cascade in my mind, mostly due to my ADD, which I offer as an example of why you should never play Trivial Pursuit with anyone with ADD or ADHD or, fergawdsake, Aspergers.

We connect a lot of things in a very little time.

The initial response is that Wallace has sunk into deep powder, which would be terribly uncomfortable except that there’s a smiley coming out of the hole, which reminded me of playing in the snow as a kid, and, yes, sometimes just lying there checking it all out.

Which made me think of the unique color of blue that filters through deep powder on a cold, sunny day, which I realized was cyan, a color that doesn’t appear in nature all that often elsewhere.

Which reminded me that Cyane (Kyane) was the nymph who attempted to stop Hades from abducting Persephone. He turned her into a spring whose blue water flowed out of the rock to tell Ceres where her daughter had gone.

Which proves to my satisfaction that the learned theory that ancient Greeks could not see the color blue is highly suspect, which I already suspected.

Okay, they didn’t have blue. But they had cyan.

I have no idea how learned people come up with this stuff.

I do think, though, that, if your mother saw you go off the porch rail backwards and you didn’t reappear fairly quickly, she’d race out of the house and completely derail your train of thought.

Well, Ceres would. Even disguised as an old lady, she was pretty compulsively maternal. (Nice illo, Dylan Meconis!)

Maybe not Wallace’s mom. She seems like more of a co-conspirator.


It’s not clear to me whether it’s the pandemic or the continuing takeover of medicine by beancounters, but this Real Life Adventures (AMS) isn’t kidding: It’s getting hard to see a doctor and to be seen by one.

I think it’s a combination of ingredients like a doctor’s prescription, and, boy, are you old if that phrase struck a bell.

I’m not only that old, but old enough to remember going to a doctor’s office in a stately old house rather than at the hospital or at a brick-and-glass clone building nearby.

Having a couple of relatives in medicine, I’m sensitive to their justifiable fear of infection, but, having a couple of relatives in medicine, I’m also sensitive to the amount of cost-cutting and goal-setting that’s going on, and Marcus Welby would get written up for lingering to find out how you’re doing beyond whatever specific thing you came in for.

Assuming he hadn’t fobbed you off with a Zoom appointment.

There are exceptions. I went in the other day for my one-year hip replacement checkup, and the guy who did that is the Regional Hip Replacement Rock Star, so the beancounters leave him the hell alone.

He quickly saw that my hip was fine, but then he and his resident and I chatted about my back pain for awhile. He gave me some advice, then sent in a pair of physical therapists to check me out and suggest some exercises.

It was just like old times.

I got my first shot the other day, and I also got several phone calls about my car’s warranty, my credit card debt and even one about my IRS refund, so this Madam & Eve got a special laff.


Now here’s a Tune for Teddy

10 thoughts on “CSotD: So anyway …

  1. My dad was a master at spinning out what we called “shaggy dog stories.” One of my favorites ended with “I left my harp in Sam Clam’s disco.”

  2. Got this one from Bennett Cerf:

    This scientist was experimenting with sea mammal longevity and achieved positive results from feeding them fresh seagull meet. He was on his way to the testing pool with a cage of live birds when he saw a lion sprawled across the path. This lion wasn’t doing anything, just lying there, completely composed. The scientist decided to chance it and stepped over the supine King of Beasts. Immediately the cops sprang from the underbrush and arrested him for transporting gulls across a staid lion for immortal porpoises.

  3. That day in the barbershop — I was all of 13, btw, and he was no longer my principal — netted me “People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones” and “biggest lamb dyer in the state of Texas.”

    Plus a haircut.

  4. Perhaps, much like puns, I’ve always bee amused by porn films that use titles of existing films then rearrange and add words so their title is more risqué.

    “On Golden Pond” becomes “On Golden Blonde”
    “You’ve Got Mail” becomes “You’ve Got Male Genitalia”

    So when I saw today’s Brevity all I could think of was:
    “Saving Private Ryan” becomes “Shaving Ryan’s Privates”

  5. I come here every day and I love your content. Normal I wouldn’t be a pedant, but I agree with many writers in that the first sentence of any manuscript should be meticulous in its construction. That being said, you misspelled “nothing” ya’ dunce! (I kid)


  6. Huh. I’m not even as old as you, Mike, and I remember a doctor *coming to the house to see me*. Must have been around 1967. I wonder when that stopped, because when I mention it to anyone they act like I said I was in the same Cub Scout troop as Moses.

  7. I hold with John G. Fuller’s view that the longer you take setting up a pun, the less worth it it will be.

    The only apparent exception is the ultra-shaggy dog story, in which as much of the victim’s time is wasted as humanly possible in order to spring a pun that Mr. Peabody would have looked away from. This is The Tisbottle Exception.

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