CSotD: There’s No Hiding Place Down Here

Today’s Arlo & Janis (AMS) is a bit of a Super Bowl standard: The sports savvy guy and the woman who picks her team by, in this case, colors, or, other times, by ferocity of mascot. The denouement is that her teams wins.

It’s a gag with legs: As Homer wrote, “It’s funny because it’s true.”

For a couple of years, I ran the football pool at the newspaper where I worked. It was simple: No point spreads, just pick the winner, with Monday’s score as the tie-breaker.

The guys in the sports department wouldn’t play, and not because of any sense of ethics. They were all avid fantasy league players during baseball season.

They wouldn’t play the office pool because they didn’t want their deep, professional knowledge of the game shown up by some clerk in the ad department who, like Janis, went by jersey colors.

And there’s certainly a lot of luck involved. One year, I tossed a buck into the pool for the NCAA basketball tournament even though I have no interest in the sport. I filled out my bracket based on who I’d heard of, then forgot about it, until the editor came by with a fistful of dollar bills and told me I’d won.

But it’s not all luck, and neither is it all a matter of comparing statistics and injury reports and strengths and weaknesses, and I will boldly give you my Super Bowl prediction, which is that the California Rams are going to win, and the game may be over by the half.

It’s a matter of history and experience.

Bengals fans have been ecstatic for two weeks over having made it to the Super Bowl for the first time in whatever number of years, the team has been excited, and regional cartoonists have celebrated with mighty growling tigers and suchlike.

Not a peep from the equally bowl-bereft Rams nor their fans nor any California cartoonists.

I’d like to see the Bengals win, and I suspect they’re the better team, but I’ve seen this movie too often.

“Getting to the Super Bowl” is not the goal, and teams that celebrate their Cinderella moment too soon tend to find themselves at kickoff standing half-shod, amid a pumpkin and eight mice.


Bet the farm.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Christopher Weyant)

(Bill Bramhall)

Poor Canada! Living downwind of the United States, with the vast majority of their population within a short distance of the border, makes it hard to avoid contagions, and Weyant might also have shown that fellow dumping money over the wall, because the anti-vax moron parade is being largely funded by rightwing Americans.

As it is, he encapsulates Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s famous quote:

Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.

The beast isn’t all that friendly or even-tempered anymore, and Trudeau’s implied fear of being rolled over on has been visited upon his son.

Well before the elder Trudeau was Prime Minister, I contemplated moving to Canada, in part because it seemed a more civilized, laid-back, globally-aware nation, in part because of Vietnam, but mostly because I was in love with a Newfoundland girl who remains on my very short list of vain regrets.

We broke up, and I never got an induction notice anyway, but I continued to ponder emigration, until the Meech Lake kerfuffle brought out the sad revelation that Canadians could be just as bigoted and hateful as we are, not just against francophones but against, for instance, Sikh mounties.


Proximity, alas, isn’t the only issue in all this toxic hegemony, and Rod Emmerson notes that the pollution has even spread to New Zealand.

I say “even” because many Yanks imagine the place as a safe haven in an ugly world and even a shelter in which to escape the threat of nuclear war up here in the uncivilized world.

But, hobbits not withstanding, there’s no hiding place down there.

We’re everywhere. I remember reading some 40 years ago, how broadcasting American TV shows like “Dallas” in rural Egypt lured young people to Cairo where they found no green lawns or flashy cars and soon became homeless, while, in Malaysia, “Laverne and Shirley” was promoted as a show about two insane women so it would make sense.

Yet there we were. And are. And evermore shall be, I guess.


And, dagnabbit, as David Fitzsimmons points out, you won’t even find a sane shelter from the snow by moving to our own southlands.

Though you don’t have to move to Arizona if the politics there seem more off-setting than the good weather.


There’s always sunny Florida. (Andy Marlette)


Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?


At last, I get to somewhat compensate Roz Chast for stealing that phrase! She’s not only one of the cartoonists represented in Liza Donnelly’s new collection of New Yorker cartoons by women, but she’ll join Liza at Tuesday’s virtual book launch along with Kim Warp, and Kendra Allenby.

Details and signup are here. (h/t to Mike Lynch)


Meanwhile retreating from the horrors of the modern world was a theme throughout the 60s and 70s.

We were all pretty sure that the answer was to Go Back To The Land, and we embraced the Whole Earth Catalog and the Mother Earth News and Living on the Earth, all of which made raising chickens and goats and whatnot seem like a really good idea.

Until we dug in and found out about long hours, no vacations and assorted amateur disasters.

A friend of a friend bought land in southeastern Kansas and a flock of sheep, then discovered that it was too dry for the grass to keep up with hungry sheep, so he made a second major investment in an irrigation system which solved the problem.

Then one of his sheep had a runny nose and, within about 10 days, they were all dead.

This F-Minus (AMS) reminded me of a less grim and even darkly hilarious true story of an idealistic preacher who tried his hand at farming.

Some things never change.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: There’s No Hiding Place Down Here

  1. I’m one o’ those who chose a team square by color of the jerseys, and won $75. I’m also the only one to give the person arranging the pool a tip.

    Having moved to FL without doing ANY research into its politics . . . well, you can imagine how we feel. However, Scott Walker was gov of WI at the time, as well as the rethuglicans having both houses of the legislature, so I don’t think it would’ve stopped us from moving. This was right before the catastrophe of November 2016, and the rise of DeathSantis, taking over from Rick Scott, which was a matter of ‘six of one, half dozen of the other’.

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