CSotD: Funny stuff, for the most part

We’ll start today with a Free Range (Creators) that doesn’t inspire any Great Thoughts beyond my memories of setting up trade show exhibits.

There was a (thankfully brief) time when trade show booths were stretchy nylon over aluminum frames that, with practice, broke down into components that fit into custom-made rollaway trash bins. After you’d done a couple of shows, setting them up became routine and you’d have the right number of extension cords for the lights and you’d be able to tell the vertical parts from the horizontal parts and they were much less of a pain in the butt than they had been, which was entirely relative.

Some people still use these Erector set nightmares, but most have switched to custom printed tablecloths and stretchy poster thingies so that the whole exhibit fits in a fishing rod tube and you no longer see young administrative assistants trundling trash bins through airports anymore.

However, the development of pop-up trade show booths somewhat coincided with the development of re-configurable cubicles, and the notion of people in ties and jackets carrying cubicle parts on their backs cracked me up.

I may have laughed a little harder for being retired and, thus, far, far away from such things.

Tank McNamara (AMS) gets a chuckle over people who still believe in watch parties.

I don’t mean getting two or three buddies over with some beer and chips, but, as seen here, the elaborate gathering that involves cooking and crowds and is more like a wedding reception than anything to do with watching a game.

Particularly because, as with a wedding, half the guests are only there because they’re married to someone with an actual reason to be present.

Though at a wedding, nobody wanders in during the ceremony saying, “So, are they married yet?” or trying to start conversations that indicate a complete lack of knowledge about, or any real interest in, marriage.

And lest I be accused of sexism, I remember a party that occurred during the Winter Olympics, so that the guys were standing around talking while the women were huddled in front of the TV, watching the figure skating competition and wishing we’d all shut up.

“Watch Party” is an oxymoron. You can watch, or you can party. You can’t do both.

Speaking of weddings, as we weren’t, Thimble Theater is starting a new story over at King Features Vintage, which I’m pretty sure won’t result in Popeye and Olive getting married.

Though I doubt he’ll get out of it as easily as Wimpy just did.

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Dark Side of the Horse — AMS)

(Pearls Before Swine — AMS)

A smidgen of politics in today’s posting, because newly inaugurated Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who does not in any possible way resemble a slightly chunky soccer mom, has announced a ban on the term “Latinx” from official use in the state government.

It’s an interesting move, because — as noted in that story — she justifies it by noting that very few people to whom the term applies use it, which makes it similar to “Native American,” a term very few registered tribal members prefer, which then ties us into these two strips about people seeking things to be offended over that have little to do with their own identities.

Except for their identities as people who enjoy being offended.

But she’s also declaring a fatwa on teaching Critical Race Theory and openly declaring that her intention is to wipe out “wokeness” or, as we call it in English, respect for others.

Which kind of reveals who she is protecting from being offended.

Still on the topic of people seeking reasons to be offended, Matt comments on the continuing outrage over Prince Harry’s book, either by people who haven’t read it or by people who are purposely misreading it, but, in any case, by loyal monarchists who seem to wish they could grind an actual headsman’s axe like in the old days when kings were kings and loyalty was properly enforced.

Harry’s head is on the block, though only metaphorically, for having written about his experience in Afghanistan, in which he discusses the moral dilemma of killing in combat.

As noted previously, much of his prose evidently stems from his therapy sessions, but his reflections as a combat veteran, which you can read about in his own words here, are being grossly misrepresented as “bragging” about killing people.

To which I would add two memories:

One is that I remember when Vietnam vets stopped talking about their experiences except among themselves because outsiders simply didn’t get it.

The other is that I remember when people who hadn’t bothered to read “The Satanic Verses” attacked Salman Rushdie for what they heard second-hand that he’d allegedly written.

As Matt points out, Harry has sold a lot of copies — twice as many in its first week as Rushdie has sold since 1988 — but, while reports of his alleged comments have angered some Taliban, he seems mostly to have aroused the ire of click-hungry royalist tabloid pundits.

As noted, some people seem to exist solely for the joy of being annoyed. Some even make a living that way.

Which is not to be confused with people who seem to exist solely for the joy of being insecure, which is far more amusing, and, in Between Friends (KFS), Susan has spent the week agonizing over having sung along with the Muzak at the grocery store. (Sequence begins here and is worth it.)

The story arc reminded me of when I was dating a younger woman — I was 44, she was 34 — and bought her a 1970s compilation disk as a joke to tease her about the horrible pop music of her time.

However, she was delighted because, though her taste had matured since then, it was still the soundtrack of her teen years.

Which once again justifies this 2007 Tom the Dancing Bug, which I treat as holy writ.

Maeve’s citing of Burton Cummings is almost snotty, since he actually did some pretty good, if not entirely remarkable stuff, back in the mid-70s while the Captain and Tennille were planting ghastly earworms.

But I don’t know if it means Maeve really had better taste, or just that she was a more patriotic Canadian.

(Crank it up.)

13 thoughts on “CSotD: Funny stuff, for the most part

  1. Mike, you inadvertently left out something nice about The Guess Who’s album art, which some may recognize as that of Mad’s Jack Davis. As a longtime 1970’s era subscriber, I recognized it immediately. Jack captured so many reflections of our society in ways that his compatriots couldn’t. He always featured an old lady somewhere in the crowd. She’d be wearing black and have on a hat with a tatty stuffed bird glued to it. When you’re twelve, that’s hilarious.

  2. Looked like Davis and I thought about checking, but deadline was looming so I figured someone would probably point it out if it was. Thanks!

    1. If you look closely at the guy wearing the “Kate” sweatshirt, you’ll Jack Davis’ signature.

      1. Hmm, that could “Kate” be Kate Smith? I wonder if Jack Davis was a Flyers fan?

      2. Does resemble Kate Smith. Most of the guys on the two covers are depicted as Maple Leaf fans; perhaps one was a Flyers partisan. (As it happens the first time Smith performed “God Bless America” in person before a Flyers game they were playing the Leafs.)

  3. I used to do trade shows for a campground that was owned by a home remodeling contractor. I told him we were going to need backdrops for the booth so he constructed three 4 foot by 8 foot walls with 2×4 framing and 3/4 inch plywood front and back. They weighed well over 100 pounds apiece…a true joy to try to set up. At least they weren’t insulated too.

  4. Considering that the Captain and Tenille were the absolute nadir of pop music for the Seventies, I’m surprised she’s not suicidal. I certainly would be if I remembered actually liking those two disgusting ‘musicians’.

    1. Few know this. Before he was “The Captain”, Darrel Dragon was known as The Somber Groover!

  5. Looking at that first Popeye cartoon I see the precursor to Uncle Gabby and Drinky Crow. Was Elzie Segar a big influence on Tony Millionaire?

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