The Barn (Creators) gets today’s Excellent Timing Award for a piece done, no doubt, weeks in advance but that happened to hit just as a substantial portion of the country fell into a Frosty Bombalooza or whatever they’re calling it these days. We used to call them “cold snaps” but perhaps we were being too stoic or else not sufficiently engaged in marketing the weather.
I’m not insensitive to the plight of those without homes and people who have lost power, but, on the whole, these bitter days come and go fairly quickly and most places have anticipated them and made arrangements, while, for the average person, it’s a privation to be remembered with a combination of perverse pride and nostalgia.
Once it’s over.
I was caught up in Buffalo’s 1977 Blizzard, for instance, and, while you might think everyone would want to forget it, my folks had a set of these commemorative glasses from the Courier-Express and you can find plenty of them on Ebay along with other memorabilia of the disaster.
And still on the topic of things that could be worse, xkcd points out that, while covid is a very serious disease, it’s not the only reason you might be feeling punk this time of year.
We’re in a relatively low-risk area, but a few people here and there still get covid and while it’s not absolutely necessary to mask up, it’s certainly necessary to respect those who do, since you don’t know their vulnerabilities or the situations of people near them.
On the other hand, it’s also possible to simply get a case of the sniffles and I’ve had some kind of sinus-something for a week or so.
The strip reminds me of when I had the Hong Kong flu in 1968, which was sure nothing to take lightly. I spent a week in the ward at the campus infirmary with a dozen other sufferers, one of whom not only wanted his mother but was repeatedly unable to make it to the bathroom in a timely manner.
I’m not the type to dwell upon the virtues of manliness, but I did that week, as did the nurses. Compassion has its limits.
Which brings to mind the sudden surge in Manly Manliness emanating from the far-right fringes, what with Josh Hawley and others directing their followers to go forth and be fruitful and raise up a new generation of whiners. And another case of good timing, as this Super-Fun-Pax-Comix (AMS) panel reminds us how very unlikely that is to happen.
People on Twitter have been having fun retweeting the opinions of people who seem to alternate between describing themselves as “alpha males” and as “incels,” and, of course, Ruben Bolling’s joke is that Bob is the only person who thinks his secret is a secret.
Bob isn’t the only wanker that Ruben Bolling went after this week, as Tom the Dancing Bug projects a vision of the perfect world as designed by Elon Musk. I’ve said before, and I still maintain, that there is so much actual absurdity in the real world that it’s becoming difficult for cartoonists like Bolling to satirize it, but, in this case, the volume of nonsensical ideas pouring forth from Musk offer a number of solid toeholds for ridicule.
And a little more semi-political commentary, this from Ed Hall, marking the fact that cryptogenius Sam Bankman-Fried has been released to the custody of his parents, albeit on a quarter-billion-dollar bond, presumably in real money.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a young rebel sent home with his folks, but, then, what else can you do, send him back to the Bahamas?
Maybe we need a chart showing how much you’re allowed to steal at what age.
I’m far more touched by the plight of these young men, as Jeremy and Hector cap off an ongoing story arc in Zits (KFS).
I’ve had good cars and not-so-good cars over the years, but the only one I really miss is my 1971 VW Camper, and I imagine Jeremy will miss his bus even more for its having been his first car.
I particularly loved this 2009 strip, because (A) it’s true and (B) it’s why I had to give up my camper when I moved from the mostly-desert climate of Colorado to often-snowbound Northern New York.
There was already something impractical about going down the highway at 60 mph with the only thing between you and oncoming cars a pair of cookie sheets, but, yes, it also handled on ice like an elephant on skates, plus the heater, such as it was, had no fan, so you couldn’t clear the windshield in icy weather to see where you were going, will-ye or nil-ye.
Some guys keep a Miata in the garage for summer driving, but I never had a midlife crisis. I often wish, however, that I’d been able to hold onto that camper.
Maybe I had my midlife crisis a few decades early.
Juxtaposition of the Day
I’m willing to concede the fruitcake issue. When I was a little kid, I didn’t much like the dark, dense cake, though, as I grew older, I acquired the taste. Meanwhile, however, the makers of fruitcake tried to widen its appeal by making it lighter and brighter and sweeter, with the result that people who didn’t like fruitcake still didn’t like it, but now the people who liked fruitcake didn’t like it anymore, either.
Egg nog, however, remains a mystery. We were always given some — alcohol free — as kids, and it was like a milkshake, to which I would add that the obsession with pumpkin spice should make it irresistible.
Well, maybe it wasn’t offered to little guys, so that, by the time it was, they’d learned to be finicky and to reject the unknown, especially if it had a funny name.
Or maybe their parents tried to make their own and followed Moondog’s recipe, which would put anyone off the stuff.
Anyway, it’s a mystery and a damn shame.
Though, as my mother would say, “More for the rest of us!”
Finally today, the Lockhorns (KFS) offer an alternative to Christmas schmaltz with, instead, a prompt for some Mose Allison: