CSotD: Which Reminds Me …

They Can Talk provides an excellent starting point for contemplating cartoons that remind me of other things, because, by playing on the social tendencies of cats and dogs, it mirrors those tendencies within ourselves, which is how good comedy works.

It’s allied to the half-empty/half-full glass trope, except that that classic division between optimists and pessimists assumes half measures, while the game of what-if can be played by anyone, whether their glass is brimming over or completely dry.

I remember the father of a junior-high friend explaining to me why he had chewed him out over a bad report card. He told me that he’d had a scholarship lined up and lost it because he failed social studies his senior year. But for that, he’d have become a high school coach and they’d have a very different life.

Given that they were on welfare and in a constant state of chaos, I sympathized with his broken dream, but I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d have still been a hopeless alcoholic who drank up his paychecks and beat his wife and children.

You can achieve a comfortable middleclass life and be equally a failure, though I guess if you’ve got a nice house and car, you can avoid facing your shortcomings. Plenty of people do.

Anyway, I’m with the dog on this one. They’re both well-fed, sheltered and protected from harm, and he knows it, while the best that can be said for the cat is that perhaps vain regret is the spur that will drive him to greatness.

Though the notion of a driven, highly-motivated cat seems a bit of an oxymoron, absent the presence of a small, helpless bird.

If you like where you’re at, you ought not to despise the road that got you there, and, if you don’t like your situation, you should look a little deeper than a blown scholarship to explain things.

And don’t mistake a symptom for a cause.


Speaking of college, this Non Sequitur (AMS) reminded me of a long-ago tale of a similar proposition, which sent me to the archives to dig up the tale, which I think suggests that Wiley was overly optimistic in his presumption that the other people in the life raft would have swarmed Bob.

Perhaps they’d have begun beating the crap out of each other:

And while we’re on the topic of college, or more or less that demographic, here’s a

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Lars Kenseth – New Yorker)


(Pearls Before Swine — AMS)

I used the musical chairs metaphor once in writing about the sudden spate of weddings at the end of my college days: Circle all and marry whoever you’re dating when the music stops.

And lord knows the Dating Game made a profitable mockery of the choices, with people making decisions based on what sort of tree some unseen guy said he resembled.

Then again, I married at 21, so what do I know?

BTW, I would note that a fellow who performed on “Bachelor in Paradise” is suing because, he says, the program made him look like a jerk. Or possibly a dork. I haven’t read the legal paperwork.

Seems a bit like suing North Woods Law for making you look like a game warden.

However, some people are not so protective of their public reputations, as seen in this second

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Stephane Peray)


(Cornered — AMS)

This pair might only seem related in my mind, but Peray’s comment on Musk’s attempt to get out of his commitment to Twitter hit at about the same time as Baldwin’s joke, both of which hit at about the same time as we learned that Elon had had twins with an employee at about the same time he was having another baby with his wife, which hit at about the same time as his old man confessed having had a baby with his stepdaughter.

Keep it up and they could run for the Senate.


On a significantly less fraught level, Crabgrass (AMS) has begun its run at GoComics and is off to a strong start.

I got a laugh out of this one because one of the revelations I had early in my marriage was that you don’t have to boil vegetables into a state of mushy limpness, and I don’t think it was anything any of us learned from our mothers, unless we were Chinese, in whose cuisine crisp, cooked vegetables are a staple.

Though I suppose that I’ll have to apologize for saying that, given that Jill Biden had to apologize for suggesting that Spanish-speaking people in Texas eat tacos.

But I used to chuckle at the “just like Grandma used to make” commercials when my kids were little, because the rise of convenience foods after WWII turned out a whole lot of grandmas-to-be who opened cans and thawed things and cooked the living crap out of it all.

However, we’ve reverted a bit, dividing the nation into people like Mrs. Wallace who grow their own veggies and then cook them carefully to bring out their flavor and texture, and others who raise their children entirely on chicken nuggets, Go-Gurt and Tater Tots.


Another generational shift in Daddy’s Home (AMS): Elliot may be responsible enough to have a paper route, but I don’t know if any newspapers are irresponsible enough to give him one.

It’s been a couple of decades since newspapers, or their lawyers, realized that sending small boys out in the predawn was one helluva liability, and a couple of decades since we had very many afternoon papers to deliver at all.

Which is aside from the question of how many papers have enough subscribers-per-mile to make delivery by bicycle or on foot practical.

And enough pages to toss it from the curb to the porch without it simply fluttering to the ground at your feet.


Edison Lee (KFS) is on vacation in a huge borrowed RV, which reminded me of 1970, when a bunch of us went to Yellowstone, parked in our assigned slot and discovered ourselves stuck between trailers with blaring TVs.

We snuck out to find an illegal but much quieter place to hide our cars, and ourselves.


7 thoughts on “CSotD: Which Reminds Me …

  1. Some years ago I had a short run doing newspaper delivery for a reasonably large distributor. Houses were close enough that I probably could have done it by bike, except for that the distribution center was a good five miles from the actual neighborhood, and I would have needed a pretty sturdy bike to hold that many papers, and that would have been a pretty miserable experience at 2 in the morning in the dead of winter regardless…

    I appreciate the efforts of the people doing it, but I called it a short run for a reason. While the pay would have been about right for a teenager with no bills or other financial obligations (which I believe Elliot falls under?), the work absolutely was not.

  2. In the mid 80s I had a short stint cooking in a London pub.

    I had to teach my assistant that not all the vegetables (boiled, of course) needed to leave the kitchen with the same mushy consistency and pallid color.

  3. The nice thing about canned green beans is that they already have the living crap cooked out of them, so you just have to warm them up.

  4. A while back my mother mentioned that she didn’t like broccoli or asparagus. Turns out that yes, her mother boiled them to mush. I call that method British or Southern style, but it’s not exclusive to either. I’d bring up the traditional British dish mushy peas, but I think I’ll save that for later.

    And speaking of canned vegetables, our local Costco got hold of a pallet of canned broccoli last year. I bought a case of it for a local food pantry, but ate one can because I don’t donate anything I wouldn’t eat myself. It was, umm…, well, edible.

  5. I would note that the canned vegetable space in most grocery stores has gone from an aisle when I was a young father shopping to about a third of one side of an aisle today.

    We used to get canned spinach at school, but they’d have a cruet of vinegar on the counter, which does make it at little more edible, even a comfort food for some folks, I suppose.

    And this: I was an adult before my mother pointed out that we only had stewed tomatoes on evenings when my father had Lions Club or some other reason not to be home for dinner. They kept this very well hidden.

  6. My Mom went down to visit her Dad and pick up his laundry every couple of weeks. She always cooked him a roast that he could warm up (this was in the 50s so he had to use an actual stove.) Like many folks his age, he had lost all his teeth but never gotten false teeth,( or probably had them and never had a pair that fit ) I was in college before I encountered any beef that was even medium rare..

  7. That Three Dog Night should be buried very deep. Otherwise, my parents would boil veggies so much I would physically gag trying to eat them.

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