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CSotD: Funny/Not Funny

Betty (AMS) has never been terribly specific about what she does for a living, but her current mood matches mine, which makes this a good day to dip into the funny pages.

 

Meanwhile, this Bliss (AMS) reminds me of Frank Zappa’s comment, “If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they’ll murder you in your sleep.”

Though I have to say that the cat is probably not as shocked as the dog, and that, as long as the food keeps coming, we can maintain the pretense.

 

Although, as Half-Full (AMS) suggests, there may be limits to how much foolishness even our Faithful Dogs will put up with.

My dogs have run a gamut from tolerating clothing to absolutely hating it, but their solution to being cold has unanimously been to go back inside, which seems sensible to me.

My current pup doesn’t care one way or the other, but her form of play involves enough rassling that it seems unfair to give her pals any extra ways to latch on.

Canine MMA has a rule that, if you bite too hard, the other dog yips and then you have to break and start over, but most dogs learn that, if you grab the collar, you can jerk and pull as hard as you want.

The trend towards harnesses adds to the target area, but sweaters and jackets make you completely vulnerable, the saving grace being that, if somebody starts yanking you around by your $30 sweater, your human will step in.

There are certain breeds that do need a little help in the winter, but, just as most dog training is really owner training, most of what we do for dogs in cold weather is for our comfort, not theirs.

 

Speaking of unsolicited concern, this Between Friends (KFS) reminds me of something we were taught in a Chamber of Commerce French class when I was living near Canada during the Great Crossborder Shopping Spree of the late ’80s.

Our Quebecois teacher threw in a few cultural tips as well. One of them was that asking a Quebecois shopper if she needed help carried an implication that you thought she was incompetent.

“Puis-je vous aider?” was for someone whose car had broken down, not for someone looking through sweaters. The proper approach, she advised us, was not “May I help you?” but “Isn’t that lovely!” which would start a conversation in the course of which you could discuss other colors, sizes and styles.

This isn’t the first time Susan has resented intrusive sales clerks, so maybe it’s not an exclusively francophone thing among Canadians.

Or, y’know, people.

 

By the way, I’m aware that Facebook went down yesterday, but my life went on nonetheless. On the other hand, the resulting shock and awe adds an extra chuckle to this Speedbump (Creators), which had run just a few days earlier.

I had pulled it out and planned to use it with some comments about children and screen time, but it’s even funnier as a commentary on human evolution. We’re nearly there.

 

Also on the topic of human evolution, this Pearls Before Swine (AMS) is an interesting counterpoint to the various Bambiphilic cartoons that pop up this time of year.

I grew up among hunters, though my folks were transplants and didn’t own guns, much less shoot anything. But a very large number of the people around me were multigenerational hunters and the “circle of life” was in their DNA.

I certainly understand people who don’t get it. Personally, I favor people who hunt in their home territory rather than driving 300 miles to shoot a deer they’ve never met.

It’s kind of like the etiquette Alice encountered at the banquet in Through the Looking Glass, where it was improper to eat a roast to which she hadn’t been introduced, but impossible to eat one to whom she had.

 

But, like Neighbor Bob, and like the father in this 2001 Shirley & Son (AMC), I have some questions for those who think the stuff in the styrofoam containers simply falls out of the sky like manna.

Vegans and vegetarians, of course, are free to object to the whole concept.

 

Life and death issues also surface in this On the Fastrack (KFS), and I’d note that not all tombstones are granite. Many around here are slate, which splits over the years, and limestone, which is subject to acid rain, so “permanence” is relative. (Discussions of digital permanence being for another day, but I have quite a collection of home tapes and super-8 movies.)

Some years ago, a school district I worked with got a grant for cross-curricular local history projects, many of which were taken up by social studies classes. But one music teacher had her students explore the cemetery and then write songs about the people they discovered.

The highlight of the project was a series of songs about causes of death, which required some labored rhymes for “dysentery.”

But reading gravestones can touch off some more serious reflections.

Wandering through old cemeteries, you often see family plots with a man, two wives and several children, and, by comparing dates, realize that his first wife’s death had left him with young kids.

It’s easy to imagine that, in those days of woodstoves, hand laundering and such, a man who worked 12-hour days and six-day weeks at the local mill badly needed someone simply to keep the kids fed and the house running, while a widow with few job prospects beyond washing and mending needed more support than that.

It sounds cold today, but it was perfectly normal then, and I imagine love came into it far more often than not.

 

The Lockhorns (KFS) remind me that I haven’t heard much Boomer-bashing from the Millennials lately, which I don’t think means they’ve forgiven us, but that, as they’ve grown older, they’ve become distracted by life itsownself, just as we did.

Meanwhile, I’m taking heart from the Gen-Z’s who are raising hell and demanding change, just as we did.

Though, unlike the kids Jagger and Richards wrote of, they know it isn’t new.

Hey, we asked Benjamin Spock and Bucky Fuller all sorts of questions, and they were our grandparents’ age, too.

 

Community Comments

#1 Theophylact
October/5/2021
@ 6:12 am

Tom Lehrer, “In Old Mexico”:

“We ate, we drank, and we made merry/And we got typhoid and dysentery.”

#2 nancy o
October/5/2021
@ 10:26 am

Something else to observe in old cemeteries is how often a child’s birth date is followed by the mother’s death date a few days or a few weeks later.

Google “puerperal fever” if you want any details, but not unless you have a strong stomach (and a stronger heart).

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