My initial response to Clay Bennett (CTFP)’s cartoon is not “maybe it’s me” but “yeah, it’s definitely me.”
I was thinking that because you can declare an Ace to be 1, he still had a straight flush, J-Q-K-1-2. I’m less embarrassed by thinking a flush could — how you say? — go around the corner, than I am by how long it took me to realize that, of course, it can’t.
Pretty good cartoon, BTW, taking advantage of both the importance of the vote and the number of people who made it fail.
But we’re doing personal quirks today, not politics.
For instance, still on the topic of games I know how to play but don’t, I got a laugh out of this Steve Cousineau panel.
There’s absolutely nothing at all wrong with enjoying Wordle, though I’m not a huge fan of word games.
I know how it works, I’m confident I could do it, but — though I’ll (successfully) play along with Will Shortz on Weekend Edition if I’m in the car when it comes on — crossword puzzles and anagrams and such are not my thing.
But what is really not my thing is compulsive gushing, whether it’s about Wordle or Downton Abbey or crème brulée or selfies with duck lips. Right now it’s the daily posting of everyone’s Wordle scores.
Oh well. This, too, shall pass.
A bit of housework
Tank McNamara (AMS) is once again looking for nominees for “Sports Jerk of the Year.” It’s like the Oscars in that you’re more apt to win if you showed yourself in December than way back in January, but there were plenty of deserving candidates last year.
Next item: If you’re identified on social media as interested in comics, you’ve probably seen this. It’s definitely worth clicking on, because the Humble Bundle is offering 24 graphic novels for pretty much whatever you’d like to give, their suggestion being $25, which they are pledging to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
There are also bundles of games and software, but the Abrams collection includes one of the John Lewis books, a biography of Nellie Bly, two by friend-of-the-blog Brian Fies: A Fire Story and Whatever Happened To The World of Tomorrow, and some truly fine other work besides. You really should go have a look!
And a very small note on Buz Sawyer (Vintage KFS)‘s latest exciting adventure: “Tubad” is an awesome name for a fictional Middle-Eastern capital.
Now watch me turn something trivial into a full-throated rant.
Yes, maybe it’s me.
Juxtaposition of the Day
One of the staples of Commedia dell’arte is Zanni/Truffaldino/Arlecchino — the Wise Fool — and Clyde serves that function in Candorville.
Today, his “Incredibly Bad Advice” is exactly what Jeremy needs to hear in Zits, because, if he’s not careful, the poor kid is going to grow up to be yet another of those hapless comic strip buffoons who can’t remember anniversaries, never takes out the garbage without being nagged and screws up the simplest of home repairs.
While his wise and capable wife patiently leads him around by the nose.
They’re also a staple of TV sitcoms — Ralph Kramden was only one of many pathetic, pudgy losers with a hot, smarter wife.
Though, whether life imitates art or art imitates life, they have plenty of real world models. I remember a next door neighbor asking if he could clip some lilacs from our bush for his wife, which seemed like a nice gesture until he added, with conspiratorial glee, that he would surely be rewarded with sex.
I thought was the saddest goddam thing I’d ever heard, mostly because I knew them both and had no trouble believing it.
Mind you, cartoonists also get laughs out of women’s insecurities, as seen in today’s Speed Bump (Creators), which I can turn from a simple joke into a philosophical reverie by pointing out that, if you’re going from a caterpillar to a butterfly, turning into your mother is not the worst of transformations.
For them, it’s an inescapable result of biology. For us, it’s at least potentially avoidable.
But you won’t get much help from the psychiatrist in today’s Brevity (AMS).
In any case, there are worse things than being abandoned by your girlfriend for failing to come up with an appropriate birthday present.
For instance, not being abandoned by her, and living in a relentless cycle of trying to please her and failing for the rest of your life.
You won’t fix that with a sprig of lilacs.
Man Overboard doesn’t even try to make it seem humorous.
This might be a good place to point out that I like women, I’ve had some dynamite relationships and I realize gender-bashing falleth upon both men and women.
Still, we’ve pretty much dropped the Dumb Dora cartoons that were centered on a foolish woman’s inability to balance a checkbook, drive a car or cook a decent meal.
Granted, Loretta Lockhorn does all those things, but Leroy is an equal opportunity nitwit on the male side, so the strip has balance and they deserve each other. It’s also a whole lot less hostile and a whole lot more affectionate than it was a decade or so ago.
The greater point being that, in recent years, we’ve seen a number of more thoughtful strips emerge in which modern, loving couples have modern, realistic flaws, and the comedy is based neither on hostility nor stupidity.
I had to go look to see when “For Better or For Worse” and “Arlo and Janis” first popped up on the scene. FBorFW was 1979, A&J was 1985, so Johnston holds a six-year lead over Johnson, but there are many others that have followed, like Between Friends, in which, hey, people have their off-moments and idiosynchracies and things happen.
But it’s funny, not hostile. (Harvey went back to the bin and pulled out Susan’s mail. As he would in the real world, one hopes.)
All of which is to say that Jeremy should listen to Clyde and run like hell before he finds himself turning into his father.
Because Mama’s advice works for guys, too, even in the comics: