Like most American holidays, today will be marked by schools, banks and the post office being closed and everyone else going about their business as usual. We don’t have as many holidays as other countries, and we barely keep the ones we have.
Caulfield is young enough to be puzzled by how long it took to proclaim the holiday, and perhaps to have a naive belief in the value of the Nobel Peace Prize, though it did seem to loom larger back in the days when Dr. King won it.
But it seemed more surprising that we declared the holiday at all than that it took so long, because not everyone embraced King or his message at the time, and it was an open fight, not simply a matter of foot-dragging.
Murphy is not the only cartoonist to note that we celebrate the day by quoting things we don’t live up to the rest of the year, in a sort of a “Some of my best friends” nod to the day but barely to the man.
And, of course, I use the word “we” in the sense of “the default person” and the default person in “our” minds still doesn’t look a whole lot like Martin Luther King, Jr., despite the holiday.
Can’t we talk about something more frivolous?
Frivolity? Sure! Here’s a language note, courtesy of The Other Coast (Creators).
That final panel is something of a contradiction, because, while casual (i.e., careless) writers have, in recent years, begun using “gourmand” and “gourmet” interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing.
Here’s a well-reasoned rant on the topic, and a more definitive explanation from Merriam Webster, but the dog manages to stretch the distinction.
A gourmet knows, and cares deeply, about good food. A gourmand likes food but is not as fastidious as a gourmet, though it’s perhaps using a broad brush to say, as the dog does, that he is “more into quantity than quality.”
I suspect he is admitting to being a glutton: Someone who doesn’t care at all about quality and just shovels it down.
Merriam Webster also recognizes “foodie” as a word, defining it as “a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads,” which is why we periodically get buried in ecstatic references to things like tiramisu and crème brûlée, which are certainly delicious but no moreso than other delicious things that have not been featured on “Sex and the City.”
The other distinction between foodies and gourmets being that gourmets do not use the word “Yum” when speaking to anyone older than three.
Getting back to the cartoon, some dogs are gourmands, most are gluttons and cats fancy themselves gourmets but are really just foodies.
I leave it to you to decide whether it is gourmets, gourmands, foodies or gluttons who delight in everything bagels, but will hint at my own opinion by saying I consider this Reality Check (AMS) to be, well, a reality check.
Juxtaposition of the Day
As long as I seem to be in complaint mode, a word about parking lots: I have enough of a bum hip to find mobility a challenge, but not enough to get a handicap placard for my car.
Until recently, this only put me a few paces farther from the entrance to the store, but, since the pandemic, we’ve also got parking spaces reserved for people who don’t want to go in at all.
As a marketer, I’d question letting people call in their orders, because they’d very likely spend more if they came inside rather than having only the things they knew they wanted brought out to their cars. But it made sense for awhile, it still makes sense in a few places where the virus still really flourishes and I suppose it’s better than quarreling over masks.
But I’m seeing stores where they’ve set aside so many special parking spaces that simply walking into the store from a non-assigned slot is pretty good exercise.
I don’t begrudge the handicapped spaces, mind you.
But the only reason for those “Bring It To Me” spots being so close to the door is to cut the cost of paying employees to lollygag around outside, at which point I think we’re dealing with the kind of penny-pinching corporate fat cat Jen Sorensen portrays here.
Who, instead, ought to be agonizing over the loss of revenue from all the junk food, gum, sodas and celebrity magazines that aren’t being purchased by shoppers who don’t come inside.
Juxtaposition of the Afterlife
Cohen offers a thought-provoking laugh, because, as noted here the other day, some people seem to view their lives in woulda-coulda-shoulda terms while others are more at peace with how things have gone so far.
I take some comfort in one of my father’s few memories of a massive heart attack that nearly took his life. He said the hospital’s chaplain asked him if he was alright with what seemed the endgame.
He said it occurred to him that there were all sorts of practical things he should probably be worried about, but that, to his surprise, he was cool with it being his time, if that was the card being dealt.
For my part, I don’t worry much about the afterlife, though I’ve long taken this 1998 Arlo & Janis (AMS) as expressing my opinion on the overall topic of life and death and youth and old age.
And I certainly don’t believe in harps and halos, but, then again, if they’re really up there, I wouldn’t mind if the system included a little of the divine retribution Dave Coverly suggests.
As for getting to the afterlife, I admire how Ivan Ehlers laid out this cartoon, because the point of the caption only becomes clear as your eye scans the panel. It’s a funny enough gag, but the layout is absolutely brilliant.
Might as well have a laugh. The overall topic, after all, falls under the old saying, “What can’t be cured must be endured.”