CSotD: Thoughts in a humorous vein

Dan Rosen echoes a gripe I’ve gone on about before: Don’t ask me to pay your staff.

And, if you don’t pay your staff adequately, don’t ask me to believe you would distribute tips honestly. Nearly every business in town has “help wanted” signs out. Get your act together.

But this cartoon hit at a different moment, because two days ago, for the first time, I used a checkout screen that asked me if I wanted a receipt. Not if I wanted a paper receipt or an email receipt but any receipt at all. And since I was buying a breakfast taco and a drink, I didn’t.

Unless you’re traveling on business, you can’t write off breakfast tacos and beverages on your taxes.

I don’t ever want a receipt, except when I get my car or dog taken care of, because they are detailed and help me keep track of what’s been done and when. Beyond that, my credit and debit card statements are sufficient.

But until two days ago, our coop was the only place I know of that had their cash registers programmed not to print out a receipt unless you wanted one. I don’t know what it costs to adjust a chip and have it do that, but the piles of paper in wastebaskets outside the store ought to tell them something.

Joy of Tech must be watching the news, because the Federal Trade Commission is after Amazon for making it nearly impossible to cancel Prime. And this is a marvelous maze, because I think that, to get to the end, you really have to go through every one of those barriers.

I’m not trying to get out of Amazon Prime, but I suspect that’s a rural thing. The chains have pretty much driven all our locally-owned stores out of business, so giving money to Amazon is no worse than giving it to Walgreens except, admittedly, for preserving crappy minimum wage jobs.

Even our chain stores aren’t that great: They’re smaller than they’d be in the city so the selection is mediocre. They can special order for you, but then you wait and how is that different than Amazon?

I avoid the house brand stuff at Amazon, which undercuts other manufacturers, but I listen to the music, I watch the movies and I use enough free shipping to justify the cost.

I grant that this is very much a case where your mileage may vary!

Let’s talk romance, sort of

Maeve is in the unusual position in Between Friends (KFS) of being taken to task by her ex, who used to be pretty worthless and anchor-free but now has a solid second marriage and a grasp on reality. And some insights into his ex, who continually screws up otherwise promising relationships.

My father often said, “If you don’t want to hear the answer, don’t ask the rebbi.”

Simon’s hardly a great teacher, but he’s got this lesson pegged.

To put it politely, Vic Lee rarely takes the woman’s side on relationship jokes in Pardon My Planet (KFS), but this is a pretty good take on toxicity.

It’s a joke, of course. It never goes like this. But it is a pretty good rule in general that, if you’re quarreling over leaving the cap off the toothpaste, that’s not what you’re quarreling over.

And in the dying days of a marriage, there is often a repeated chorus of “If only you’d …” from the person who wants to bail but can’t say so.

And so, over a period of months, the other person makes one change, one concession after another, including always, invariably putting the goddam cap back on the goddam toothpaste.

Until it gets down to, “I think I know what you really want.”

Which is true, though, strangely, it often comes as a surprise to the other person.

Today’s Reality Check (AMS) adds a little more fuel to the fire. When things come to the “Calm down” point, it’s time to get out of the building, if not the marriage.

Well, that got dark in a hurry, but as Macanudo (KFS) puts it. some people take shelter from the rain and some people bring the rain with them. You can feel sorry for them, but there comes a point when you can’t do anything for them.

And as Ken Kesey said to Pancho Pillow, “Why should I take your bad trip?”

But there is hope, and this Real Life Adventures (AMS) brings it up without solving it.

I get the feeling that neither of these women have been married, or why would they be concerned about this? I was divorced at 34, which is pretty young, and I didn’t run into a lot of available women who hadn’t been married.

However, I wasn’t trolling for 23-year-olds, and, yeah, I’d be a little cautious of a guy who was.

That’s when you really want to check under the hood.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

In case you didn’t know, xkcd points out that we’ve still got some extra sunshine to enjoy, thanks to the precision of the epileptic or the 23 degree tilt in the access or whathaveyou.

Anyway, the solstice isn’t where it used to be, despite all the dolomites through which it shone yesterday.

Hey, I may be faking my science, but I’m right anyway.

And I’m going to try to forget it next December, because extra darkness is another bad trip I don’t feel obligated to take.

Anyway, school’s out, even in NYS where we had to hang around taking Regents Exams.

I graduated 56 years ago and, while I don’t have the Student Dream Caulfield mentions in Frazz (AMS), I have a different recurring school dream, of having to clear out my locker at the end of the year and not being able to find it and also not knowing the combination if I did.

Far better to celebrate the start of summer, as long as you don’t get caught. There’s a lot to love in this Wallace the Brave (AMS), particularly since his mother already warned him that this tradition was over, which explains the red in her eye.

But the faces of the kids when she explodes onto the scene is stunningly accurate. Watching someone else get chewed out left you with no idea of what you should do yourself.

Beside squirm.

Ah well. Some traditions are worth it.

21 thoughts on “CSotD: Thoughts in a humorous vein

  1. Regarding the top cartoon, I recently blogged about the over-tipping that is going on in our society these days. It’s everywhere for everything. Now some of the self-check outs ask for a tip. I’m not sure who you are tipping, are you tipping yourself for checking yourself out?

  2. WtB – I’ve been a little puzzled by this arc. Especially after Wallace demonstrated to her that the shoes are not shoes anymore. It would help to hear something reasonable from Mrs. McLellan; I’ll evev take “Your father’s a lobsterman! I don’t wNt to eat anything that ate those!”

    1. Throwing shoes into the sea (or whatever body of water that may be) is not an acceptable means of disposal regardless of how well they can perform the job of ‘shoe’ anymore…

      1. Wallace accepts it. And shoes float, so this is obviously fiction.

        As Aristotle wrote, “Repeat to yourself its just a comic strip, I should really just relax.”

        But, on a scientific note, you shouldn’t probe too deeply into what lobsters eat, and particularly how they are baited.

      2. (replying here since the nesting only goes three-deep)

        Mike, I hope you understand how worthless the statement “x person, who has repeatedly been shown to have poor judgement, thinks y action is a good idea” is, though I’m not sure being contrary for the sake of it is all that much better.

        Second, I’m more annoyed by your assertion that I was mad at the comic than I was at actually mad at the comic – I have no issues with a depiction of a kid tossing his shoes in the ocean and immediately getting busted by his mother, because that’s pretty realistic on all counts and amusing. My objection was with the implication from Rich (as should have been clear from me replying directly to him) that Wallace’s mother shouldn’t be mad because the shoes aren’t wearable anymore, which somehow makes throwing them in the ocean ok…?

    2. It’s the other kids’ comments in the 2d panel that especially appeal to me. Will Henry is wonderful at adding those little details that lift the strip to a higher level.

    3. This has been a tight rope I’ve been trying to walk for the last few years. When I first started writing Wallace, he threw his shoes into the bay to symbolize the start of summer and it received a great reaction from the readers. The more I got to know the character of Wallace I realized he probably wouldn’t be someone who litters. But, he is still a kid. And sometimes the right thing isn’t the most exciting thing for kids. I’m trying to balance that childhood excitement of the moment while the mother pushes the point that it probably shouldn’t be done. Maybe Wallace will learn his lesson after this……or maybe he won’t

      1. Your “tight rope” reminds me a little what Charles Schulz brought on himself with kicking off the football season with Lucy pulling the football away when Charlie Brown tried to kick it. It was one of the most popular things with readers, so felt compelled to do it every year, finding it harder and harder to come up with a new angle for the same gag. I think you’re up for it with this tradition.

      2. On the one hand, angry moms are scary. On the other hand, it is not for nothing that you have given him the epithet “the brave.” That rope is taut indeed

  3. “Anyway, school’s out, even in NYS where we had to hang around taking Regents Exams. ”
    Seattle public schools are in session until June 30, but there’s a one-hour early dismissal (whoohoo). Making up for days missed during a teacher strike.

  4. The solstice (longest day) is right where it always has been. For the next six days, the dawn’s getting later at a faster rate than the dusk is getting later, so the daytime is shortening, even though the dusk is getting later.

    1. “The solstice is right where it has always been”

      Yes and no. The date is the same, but the precise time of day in which the solstice occurs (the sun is at absolute maximum) does shift.


      For example, solstice this year occurred at 14:58 UT. In 2000, it occurred at 01:48.

  5. I always get a receipt after a friend of mine paid by credit card at the gas pump but apparently it did not register as paid inside the station when he pulled away. He was tracked down by police about not paying for his gas, but he did not have a receipt to prove it. He had to go back to the station to work out the issue with the payment. Not fun.

    1. I’d have been okay. Both credit and debit charges pop up almost immediately on my computer. Unless it didn’t register, mind you. The law is that if the pump and the cash register don’t match, the pump is considered correct, but I don’t know how you’d prove it.

  6. This is late in the day, but while the information about the solstice is precise, the phenomenon is the precession, not the precision.

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