I’ve long thought that “This Time It’s Personal” should have been a category in Jumping the Shark, a point at which you knew the writers had given up and the show was over, like the time on ER when Julianna Margulies became a hostage in a store that was being robbed and we were treated to an hour of something that had nothing at all to do with the premise of the show.
But in comedy being personal is necessary, because the laugh comes from the absurd extension of our own experiences, and today’s Wallace the Brave (AMS) touches on all the ridiculous things I told my boys in jest that I later discovered — sometimes to my amusement, sometimes to my horror — they took seriously.
Which becomes twice as relevant this time of year, given that, while only a few of us have told our kids that there is a mutated goat-boy in the attic, plenty of us have spun tales of a jolly old man who slides down chimneys.
My reaction to this strip being less about Santa than about the time my son asked, in all seriousness and several months after the story was first told, if I had really saved the life of the King of Squirrels and thus been given the ability to know all their names and to have extended conversations with them. In front of him.
At least he was skeptical enough to ask.
One of my sons grew up to be a sailor and acquired from a shipmate an appalling Turkish wall hanging of the classic Dogs Playing Poker — specifically “A Friend in Need” — as seen in today’s Lockhorns (KFS), only as interpreted by a clothmaker with only a faint grasp of the original.
In other words, it was based on the original but far more tacky.
His wife wasn’t having it in their house, so I ended up with it, and hung it up in my office as a one-day joke, except that my assistant thought it was so funny that she talked me into keeping it on permanent display.
In case you’ve ever wondered why some men leave their wives and marry their executive assistants.
More workplace folly from On the Fastrack (KFS): I’ve read about year-end bonuses but only worked one place that had them, a radio station that gave everyone a gift certificate to a local jeweler, which they got as a trade-out for advertising, which made it a win-win, since the jeweler exchanged our certificates at retail which gave them their ads essentially wholesale.
Though it wasn’t called a bonus, however, newspapers also had a tradition of offering a grocery store — a different one each year, to be fair — a full-color, full-page ad in return for hams and turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Same deal: A nice morale booster for the newspaper’s workers, a cheap ad for the store.
Until Corporate decided nobody should do trade-outs, which didn’t induce the stores to buy expensive ads but was the end of holiday turkeys and hams, which induced the staff to recognize how very little Corporate valued morale. Or them.
Dethany, BTW, definitely deserves a bonus for saving Ms. Trellis from crypto, but I’ve never worked in a place in the real world where good advice was valued, much less rewarded.
Bizarro (KFS) riffs on the declining meaning of the word “literally,” which once meant “not figuratively” but was recently changed so that it now also means “figuratively,” putting it in a category with “flammable” and “inflammable” of words that mean whatever you’d like them to mean.
Though, to be pedantic, “flammable” means able to be burned, while “inflammable” means prone to bursting into flames, a distinction I just invented, but which matters a great deal for about half a second if you’re standing in the wrong place.
Such as the time at Camp Lord O’ The Flies when the Council Fire went out, or appeared to have, and a counselor started to re-light it by pouring in a can of gasoline.
Fortunately, as he ran screaming from the circle, Squagonah Who Keeps The Gate took off his blanket, threw it over him and wrestled him to the ground.
The gasoline was inflammable; Sid was flammable.
Anyway, the Oxford Dictionary has declared “goat mode” the Word of the Year, (Update — “Goblin Mode” — see comments) and it’s all tied in together, because, a few years ago, you’d have been correct to point out that “goat mode” is literally a phrase, not a word, and that’s still true, but only if you accept the new meaning of “literally.”
And that a point in every direction is the same as having no point at all.
I certainly take Moderately Confused (AMS) personally. I mailed the last of my Christmas presents yesterday, cleverly mailing them from the small post office by the park where I walk the dog rather than from the main post office which I can see from my window as I write this, because, while there’s never a line at the small one, there often is at the large one and the staffing is the same at both.
I found the scissors, but I’ve given up on tape and feel buying tape is much like changing the batteries in your smoke detector, only instead of doing it whenever you switch to and from Daylight Saving Time, you do it once a year just after Thanksgiving.
And this note: You can buy Scotch Brand Cellophane Tape at the Dollar Store, but you have to buy the boxing tape at a real store, because the kind at the Dollar Store is welded together at the factory.
When I went to the Dollar Store this year, there was a very long line at the cash register behind a fellow who was spending $95.
I like First Dog on the Moon’s work so much that I feel guilty over reproducing the whole thing here as often as I do, so I’m sending you to the Guardian to read the rest of this handy dandy checklist for assessing public transportation.
I’d point out that he neglected to include the category of which modes of transit keep a-rollin’ all night long, but I can fix that: