CSotD: Personal takes and square deals

Who says comics can’t be educational?

Today’s Andertoons (AMS) sent me scrambling for the googles, where, by yompin’ yiminy, I discovered that, indeed, wombats poop cubes.

Which sounds like a barroom expression: “I was so scared, I was pooping cubes!”

Which it could still be, mind you.

But the interesting thing is that the Science article is headlined “How do wombats poop cubes? Scientists get to the bottom of the mystery,” which rockets us right past “They do what?”

Apparently, we all knew that wombat poop is cubic. Well, of course we all did. We just didn’t all know how they do it.

This being the cue for some humorless twit — possibly Gervais Brooke-Hamster himself — to point out that dung beetles fashion their dungballs themselves and so it doesn’t matter what shape the stuff is to begin with.

Anyway, I usually count on Frazz (AMS) to send me to the googles for that sort of trivia, but not on April 1.

While I’m quite willing to believe Robert Frost said that, I’m also quite willing to believe it’s just a trick to get me to look it up.

Yes, Gervais, thank you. I realize he really said it.

It was a joke, like pretending that “gullible” is a real word.

Speaking of cubes, Pickles (AMS) demonstrates a level of corn that made me laugh despite myself, in part because, in my time, I’ve initiated a number of conversations with that phrase.

Also because, looking back, very few of them were worth having, and also in partes tres because it reminds me of people who would answer the phone “Ace’s Pool Hall: Cue-ball speaking.”

Which I never quite got. At least “It’s your dime: Start talking” made sense, until local calls went up to a quarter.

As for the original phrase under discussion, I had the advantage of being a rookie in my talk radio days, so I never had the experience of the veteran jockey who, while balancing a cigarette, a cup of coffee and his next commercial break, would inadvertently welcome a caller with the station ID of the last place he worked.

However, I did pick up the kitchen phone one day and say, “1300 KVOR; you’re on the air,” which I wasn’t doing to be clever, though it gave my family quite a laugh.

Betty (AMS)‘s been serving up another blast from the past this week, as Bub took Junior out to drop some quarters in a batting cage.

The ex signed up our eldest — then about 12 — for Little League. He’d been playing soccer since he was as tall as the ball but had never tried baseball and the poor kid had the great misfortune to land with a coach who made stars of his good players and only allowed the others their required appearances.

I don’t know if he yelled at them, but he didn’t coach them, which became apparent the first time I saw my son and heir step into the batter’s box.

Having grown up with the game, it never occurred to me that you wouldn’t naturally know to bend your knees and lean slightly into the plate.

I promptly took the kid out to a batting cage and, in his next game, he popped one into shallow right field for a single. It wasn’t a homer, but it was respectable, and all he had needed was to have somebody — even a soccer coach — show him how.

Youth coaches should be rotated, so that, if your team goes 12-2, the next season you get an entire team of kids who’ve never played the sport.

Then we’d find out what kind of genius you really are.

My coaching days are over, but I still cook, and Moderately Confused (AMS) reminds me of some of the ghastly things I served up to then-wife in our first year together. I got better and my kids are excellent cooks, so, like batting in Little League, it just required time and experience and a few humiliating strike-outs.

Just as some people never learn to hit the ball, some people never learn to cook. But, at this stage, I’m more forgiving of them than I am of the people who persist in photographing and posting their meals.

If we were able to shame teenaged girls out of making duck-faces, why can’t we shame people out of posting food?

Dear Elon: If you want $7.99 a month, don’t offer me a stupid blue check. Offer me a filter that eliminates all photographs of food. And I’d pay an additional three bucks a month if you add a filter that deletes responses that consist of animated GIFs.

This is on my mind because it’s the first of the month, so all the people I snoozed for 30 days are showing back up in my feed again.

They only think that I spent March drooling over their chicken tetrazzini and chuckling at Spit Take Girl.

Rob Harrell has compiled enough kids’ book credits that he can let Adam@Home (AMS) have some fun with the genre.

Kid Lit is a lively area in publishing, and several cartoonists have expanded into it, some with great success and others who have to ask if “Flarmphch” is funnier than “Schplopple.” (If you have to ask, you ain’t never gonna get it.)

Professional cartoonists seem to have avoided the delusion that ensnared a whole lot of celebrities who leapt into children’s books a while ago, under the impression that all it required was to come up with silly words and sing-song rhymes.

Which yielded the cloying drek that drove poor Calvin’s Dad to despair.

Harrell has set up this plotline by establishing Adam’s overall mediocrity as a writer and, more recently, positioning his wife as a good writer with a successful book on the market.

She’s kind and he’s impervious and the kids function as a sort of Greek chorus, commenting on all the hubris bubbling beneath the surface.

This whole thing, BTW, is a reminder to wander through the kid’s section of the bookstore and keep your eyes open for familiar styles. If you like the comic strip, there’s an excellent chance your kids will like the book and that you won’t feel like Calvin’s Dad when you read it to them.

Meanwhile, here’s one for Ron DeSantis.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Personal takes and square deals

  1. Adam: At least we know where Don Martin’s soul went.
    Calvin: Those titles seem like fun wordplay to me. Maybe Watterson’s just too clever for his own “bad”.

  2. Mike – Your reference to duck-faces prompts me to offer my origin story of the pose. It comes from Ben Stiller acting as Derek Zoolander in “Zoolander,” perfecting his signature look: Blue Steel. So in my mind, the pose is not a duck-face, but a Blue Steel. Here’s a link to a GQ article on the look: https://www.gq.com/story/blue-steel-zoolander-selfie-culture

    I only know this because my daughters were pre-teens/teens in the early aughts and I have numerous photos of them doing the Blue Steel. Best regards. Terry

  3. In re: kids books. Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” started out pretty funny (especially to us Grade School teachers who recognized the principal) but by vol 3 all the poop-farts had gotten pretty old. He never rode “Dogzilla” or “”Cat Kong” to death, thank goodness.

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