CSotD: Cartoons that may only amuse me

I know I got a bigger laff out of this BC (Creators) than I should have, because it happened to me and a very young son while fishing off opposite sides of a canoe. There was much shouting of “Dad! I need help!” and “Not now! Not now!” until it turned out we didn’t need a bigger boat because our common quarry was about a three-inch rock bass.

We all went away grinning widely over the event, but particularly him.


Which was the second day in a row this week BC (still Creators) had made me smile, this time with a well-timed gag, since I’d just heard an NPR reporter say car dealers had to raise prices because of increased demand.

The joke being that journalism schools need to require economics courses. Supply-and-demand is an optional aspect of pricing. Dealers raised prices because they could, not because they had to.

Funny in a cartoon, not so funny in real life.


Still in the microeconomics world, this Mr. Boffo threw me back to my days in TV advertising, because people always complained that the commercials were too loud, and there was an explanation: TV programming varied in volume, with lower tones for conversations and louder tones for exciting explosions, gunfights and suchlike.

By contrast, everything in a commercial needs to be exciting! They ran at max volume throughout, no louder than the gunfights, just the conversations.

I think the problem has since been resolved not by lowering the excitement factor in commercials but by the development of TV shows that consist mostly of gunfights and explosions.


And F-Minus (AMS) brings back the last time my investigative reporting involved an actual Woodward-and-Bernstein session of poring through written records, admittedly without the crane shot. Dweebing your way through Google isn’t nearly as dramatic.

The case involved a pet store that wanted us to do a story about a baby wallaby they were selling, which they insisted was the Pet of the Future. However, my spidey senses suggested “Exotic Pet That Should Be Protected By Law,” and wallabies can develop “lumpy jaw” without a specialized diet, plus captive wild animals, even the gentle ones, tend to reach a point in maturity — if they live that long — where they don’t like being told what to do and can resist violently.

The folks at the Department of Conservation agreed, but told me NYS only had exotic pet laws in some cities and was otherwise governed by the Endangered Species Act, which didn’t include wallabies. However, they said there used to be a state law, and after many hours in the university library, I found it was still on the books and did cover Macropodidae, which is kangaroos and wallabies and some other things that go jump in the night.

DEC was thrilled and brought charges, but the judge dismissed the case because, in the meantime, the poor animal had been purchased by a couple who promptly shipped it off to a refuge in Texas. So the wallaby was safe, but the pet store was getting off by virtue of DEC not being able to produce the physical evidence.

Offering me a memorable moment to write a column of far more snark than Ben Bradlee ever would have been let his boys write, and which concluded thus:

Judge Mitchell was not amused, but, then, amusing Judge Mitchell had not been my goal.


One more technological-changes gag, this from the Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee (KFS). It’s funny on that level, but the greater, grimmer humor is remembering walking the aisles and repeatedly having the same damn conversation:

“You go ahead and pick. It’s your turn.”
“How about this one?”
“Seen it.”
“Okay, how about this one?”
“This one?”

Repeat until divorced.


This Rabbits Against Magic (AMS) took me more than a minute, because Jonathan Lemon does enough social commentary that, at first glance, I thought it was about changing tastes. However, I sure haven’t seen evidence of people deciding not to draw all over themselves, which made me pause to take a second look.

Which it shouldn’t have, given my editing background and the number of sites dedicated to incompetent skin art. But the delay only made the gag funnier.

An apostrophe would have ruined that surprise.



The Lockhorns (KFS) has been pretty up-to-date lately, but here’s a throwback. I remember those long, lingering, exploitive shots of NFL and college cheerleaders, but it was back in the days when TV producers were struggling with how to use instant replay and before they were able to leap to clips of other games in other cities.

Today, cheerleader shots are five-second cutaways to commercials, and Leroy — who is usually more foolish than this downright pathetic — would need the remote in his hand to pause things if he really wants to ogle the girls.

However, he could still look them up on the team websites, since the tradition of exploitation does continue, sometimes well beyond reasonable bounds.

I have no idea what actual function cheerleaders currently serve in those megastadia where, from the majority of seats, they appear as tiny, distant dots.

Dagnabbit, I remember when they really led cheers, in front of the student section, in smaller stadiums, in more modest apparel, in a more civilized era.

And the Leroys of this world stood no greater chance with them, either.


Still on the topic of salacious, pathetic old farts, we won’t name names but I suspect one of them is the anonymous client in this on-going story arc at Non Sequitur (AMS), and I would encourage you to go back and read it from the start at GoComics.

Given Wiley’s lead time, there was some risk in taking this up, but the risk was that, in the meantime, the Mystery Client would come to his senses. It was a risk worth taking.


I suspect most folks are like me and have been hearing this buzzword without knowing — or much caring — what it meant. So here’s what it means.

Now I know, but I still don’t care, but here’s your earworm of the day, courtesy of Cornered (AMS), and you only have to replace “so beautiful” with “non-fungible” to make it work.

You’re welcome.

16 thoughts on “CSotD: Cartoons that may only amuse me

  1. Still don’t ‘get’ the tattoo comic, if it’s anything other than a change of one’s mind. I thought over mine for two years before getting it, and haven’t regretted doing so, not for a moment.

    Re: fungible. Learned of this word back in 1980’s, when I read something about couples being ‘fungible’ in their share of household expenses. Hubby and I (not yet married) decided to keep track of each one’s $$$ for a week (or a month?) and found that we were, indeed, fungible . . . we’d spent exactly the same amount on household expenses, without actually having kept records of such. We’ve now been together 44 years, and we’re still ‘fungible’ ‘-)

  2. When I was a teen (decades ago), there was a circuit in Radio Electronics magazine to detect louder TV commercials and mute the sound. Today I use the mute button on the remote.

  3. I assume the joke in the RABBITS comic is that the guy who provides a “tatoo” doesn’t even know how to spell “tattoo,” and therefore probably is incompetent on other spelling issues, so people who used his services need to have their goofed-up tattoos removed.

  4. The rabbit cartoon took me more than a few seconds, and not only because I’m at the vet’s and reading this on my iPhone. Hint: take a good look at the signs.

  5. Back in the day of the video store Arlo & Janis used to do a number of great cartoons with them visiting the store. My favorite was Arlo being distressed over the store having many, many copies of some awful new movie, all of which had been rented out.

  6. Check out Crankshaft with non C characters.
    Ok I thought I saw a second such. But Now I can not find it.

  7. Well of course the car dealers had to raise prices.

    Any time a business gets less than they could have, it is a case of having *lost money*!

    Could result in loss of bonus, firings, stock plunges, all sorts of terrible outcomes.

  8. I was using non-fungible as “Irreplaceable, or one in a million.”
    From this site: https://nerdschalk.com/what-does-non-fungible-mean/
    I got this definition:
    “Now, anything that cannot be so easily replaced is nonfungible. Real word objects that cannot be replaced with other items are nonfungible…. Basically, nonfungible is just a high-brow word for something that is unique and thereby defies easy interchangeability.”

    What made the gag work for me, was imagining how happy the deceased would be knowing he missed out on having to hear the latest annoying tongue-twisting trendy term to those of us not in on the latest efforts to create something out of nothing. Using a buzzword instead of plain English to tell someone how much they will be missed struck me as funny too.

  9. Finding the video tape or CD or DVD or LP you want to play can take some time if you have a large collection that is not well-organized. But once you find it, you just pop it in and there you are.

    All the streaming services are indexed so that you can easily find what you want to play after about 10 minutes of trying the different ones to find the one that has it, then finding none of them has it so you give up and decide to listen to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony instead, and then trying to figure out which “Beethoven: Symph…” is the fifth and whether the conductor is Karajan or Bernstein or Marriner or Himmel von Oygevalt. So you finally pick one and it plays the first movement and then plays the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata because it’s “similar.”

  10. I just assumed non-fungible meant mushrooms and mildew would not grow there. Like -” I wish my basement was non-fungible.”

  11. The “Rabbits Against Magic” strip was done decades ago in Dr Seuss’s “Sneeches.”

  12. There was nothing wrong with the stars being put on Sneetches, only the motivation behind it. Had he promised stars and, instead, put squares on them, it would be a similar story. But this is a completely different take.

  13. Oh, for Pete’s sake – I didn’t even SEE the misspelling on the sign. NOW it’s funny; thanks for the ‘splanation (I’m supposed to have cataract surgery but won’t because of COVID – that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!).

  14. I remember seeing at a car dealership a line on a car sticker that just said: “Extra dealer profit:”. Points, I guess, for the honesty.

Comments are closed.