CSotD: National Funny Stuff Day

As I comment on today’s Ben (MWAM), it is minus-7 F (-22 C) outside, but the good news is that the massive snow will not arrive until Monday. The better news is that I don’t much care, because, like Ben and Olivia, I’m retired and don’t have to go out anyway.

“Retired” being relative these days, mind you. I still put in nearly 40 hours a week doing this.

Besides, I telecommuted a more full-time gig for a decade, up until 2020, so it’s been some time since I have had to leave the building if I didn’t want to.

And, trust me, sub-zero weather and serious snowfall are each enough to make me not want to.

(I wish I lived with Olivia, so she could take the dog along on her walk, but, fortunately, the dog is also willing to join me in a nap.)


On a related note, Alex riffs on people who only go to lunch for business reasons and perhaps not even then.

I don’t know how British regulators track such things, but here we underfund the IRS enough that you’re far more likely to get in trouble with your own company than with the law.

Which reminds me of a story I’ve told before but am about to tell again, about how my sales manager and I used to go off to those three-martini lunches people used to have but which we weren’t supposed to be having with each other. At the end, he’d say, “Who do you want to be this time?” and I’d pick some client name out of a hat and he’d write it on the chit and turn it in.

This being during the Bicentennial, one day (perhaps after a four-martini lunch), I said, “James Madison, Virginia Legislature” and he wrote it down. And then our TV station was sold and a new general manager arrived.

At their get-to-know-you meeting, Larry told me he glanced at the new boss’s desk and saw Madison’s name sticking out of a stack of receipts. He waited for the appropriate distracted moment and disappeared it into his pocket.

As one would.


Speaking of unwelcome embarrassments rising into view, Graeme MacKay notes the defenestration of HRH Randy Andy and his subsequent exhibition in the “House of Cads,” which, if it existed, I would visit in order to hear all those amusing tales of people given lavish public budgets upon which to charge their illicit excesses.

Though it’s not all men: I remember when Princess Margaret — another dependable source of royal embarrassment — sat next to Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne at a dinner and confided to her that the Irish were pigs. Her honor being of Irish extraction, the observation did not go over well, though the mayor didn’t push a plateful of food into the royal face.

It did, however, inspire my Irish pub band to wear T-shirts to our next gig proclaiming “Princess Margaret Eats Bacon” and sing a ditty suggesting the same, to the great amusement of our largely ex-pat audience.

The song was forgettable, but I recall another that was more sympathetic to the heir-apparent’s child bride — even a bit prescient — one verse of which went

I’m gonna walk on down to the bridal shop
And find a gal who’s half my age!
Gonna walk on down to the bridal shop,
Put her in a golden cage!
Oh, Lady Di! Lady Di!
Jug-eared Charlie’s such a lucky guy!
Gonna walk on down to the bridal shop
And buy a little Lady Di!

That song was a lot funnier before it became obvious that it wasn’t.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Agnes – Creators)

(The Barn – Creators)

I don’t know if Creators sends National Day calendars to its cartoonists, but this genuinely is “National Hat Day,” which is every bit as much fun as Agnes and Trout declare it to be.

Every day is National Something or Other Day, and we used to get press releases requesting — sometimes demanding — coverage of National Whatever Day, which we treated with appropriate gravity, i.e., somewhere between hydrogen and helium.

It’s related to the sad fact that there is a flagpole at the Capitol upon which they raise and lower flags throughout the day so that senators and representatives can give constituents “a flag that once flew over the Capitol.”

Meanwhile, said congresscritter is inside proclaiming a national day in “Special Orders,” which are those inspiring speeches in which the only people present are impatiently waiting to rattle off their own list of perfunctory, inspiring speeches to an empty chamber, after which they’ll mail out a couple of flags.


However, let us take the day seriously enough to chide Ralph Hagen on a point of accuracy: That was clearly Hoss Cartwright’s hat. Matt Dillon’s hat has a relatively low crown.

Trust me. I lived in Colorado for nearly 20 years.


It’s easy to have good timing if you’ve got a National What Day Is It Calendar, but Wiley Miller gets a special award for dropping this Non Sequitur (AMS) story arc just as a gigundus asteroid was spotted, heading for a collision with the Earth.

Or nearly so, anyway.

Actually, it was spotted back in 1994, but only announced two weeks ago, because while the asteroid is somewhat large, the threat is not.

It will pass by Tuesday night, and you can have a look with a small telescope, but don’t bother wearing a helmet because it is only going to be close in space distances: Something in the range of a million miles away.

I suspect our near-constant fretting over Earth-bound asteroids has more to do with our growing ability to track them than with any increase in actual peril.

It’s similar to the horrific discovery of arsenic, mercury and various other scary toxins in our food: They’ve always been there and they still don’t matter, but now we can detect them and respond appropriately to the threat.

(If the planet is, in fact, obliterated Tuesday night, I will print a retraction the next morning.)


Finally, Deflocked (AMS) provides a segue to our (self-proclaimed) National Song of the Day, which I’m pretty sure has never been flown over the Capitol.


2 thoughts on “CSotD: National Funny Stuff Day

  1. Google fills my feed with what it thinks is astronomy-related material. Warnings about oncoming asteroids come at a rate of about two per month. Alerts regarding some sort of extra special full moon run about one every two months. Some news feeds use these notices as fill; wish google supplied the equivalent of a do-not-call function that gave each one of us a filter that blocked sites that are sources of useless bs.

  2. Lather: Probably Jefferson Airplane’s most underrated song. Admittedly, it hit a lot harder back in 1970 than it does today.

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