CSotD: Comics I get about things I don’t

Apparently, the little old lady in Guy Venables’ cartoon is taking Israel’s side in the current scuffle, which wouldn’t be clear if she were considering a boycott of falafel, a dish claimed by both sides.

Hummus is of Arabic origin, though, as the son points out, it’s widespread enough that you needn’t boycott it on political grounds.

As it happens, I was looking for pico de gallo the other day and realized that the store had a much wider variation of hummus in the cooler, nearly all of which came from Sabra, an American subsidiary of Pepsi with roots in Israel.

The pico I ended up buying was from Cedars, which has its origins in Lebanon, a cultural bazaar that tells you nothing about religion and not much about politics.

Boycotts can be tricky business and that’s as political as we’re going to get today.

Instead, I’ll point out that the son is toting up Mum’s purchases on a scanner that will get them through the checkout system that much faster. Let the self-check haters feast on that British concept.

On accounta it’ll be here soon enough.

I’ve got plenty of my own issues, and today’s Pardon My Planet (KFS) brings one to the surface: People who drive as if they were still in drivers ed and being graded.

This mostly comes up at left-turn lights, in which eight or ten cars are hoping to get through on the green arrow, but there’s that one person who sits until the car ahead is several car-lengths ahead before easing cautiously out into the intersection.

And lord help everyone behind them if they ever have to make a left turn where there isn’t a light. You might as well bring a book to read.

Granted, my boys had to reprogram me for driving in Montreal. They used to pop up there in their high school days and so they knew how much being polite screws up the traffic flow. Just get your nose in there and hit the gas, ferchrissake.

Drive the way people ought to drive, not the way they’re taught to drive.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Real Life Adventures (AMS)

Ali Solomon — the New Yorker

Two different approaches to something of the same issue.

If the New Yorker is, as has been said, looking for a younger audience, the distinction here is telling, because the wife in the first cartoon is nagging while the wife in the second cartoon is negotiating. Also, in the first cartoon, she wants to go now, while, in the second, she offers the entire weekend as a possibility.

Now, if the guy in the first cartoon wants to watch football all weekend, college and NFL games, regardless of whether his favorite teams are playing, that marriage may be irretrievable and they likely deserve each other because who else would have them?

The younger couple, however, is still trying to make things work and if they’re not careful they could go on like this indefinitely.

It’s like the difference between the Lockhorns and Arlo & Janis, and I know which of those marriages I’d want to be half of.

Besides, if you go apple-picking, you wind up with apples to eat. If you go to the craft fair, you wind up with a basket of cute little soaps that nobody is allowed to use.

We’ll stick with New Yorker cartoons a little longer here, because Sarah Lautman offers a Halloween gag that pokes fun at a degree I once contemplated when I couldn’t get a job that didn’t involve spatulas.

Though, if they just hand you one free, you won’t have (A) found a place to hide for two more years or (B) met people who could help you get someone to read your manuscript.

It raises a question I’ve posed here before: “If MA stands for ‘More Academia,’ what does MFA stand for?”

Not that undergraduate degrees are necessarily all that credible either, as Deflocked (AMS) points out.

I had a friend who taught at a couple of colleges in Japan, where, he explained, it really was a place to hang out for four years meeting the people you’d be working with later. It took him a few tries to find a place where the kids took class seriously, but maybe they were just more out front about things than we are here.

It’s not that you can’t get a good education in college, but a lot of people manage to avoid it.

For my part, I considered it a four-year seminar only part of which took place in classrooms, but I was there at the tail end of the Civil Rights Movement and in the midst of Vietnam, and there really was an intense seminar going on 24/7, though not everybody took part.

Some were just there for the II-S.

But there were collegiate screw-offs before Vietnam.

Animal House is set in 1962, and the older I get, the more I am confounded by people who think the Deltas were heroic rebels rather than privileged preppy slackers running on a mix of alcohol, racism and misogyny.

I greatly suspect that Dean Wormer couldn’t kick them out because their fathers were major donors.

Of course, it was a work of fiction. Nothing like that could happen in the real world.

Speaking of movies, I’d say Joe Martin has given up watching them on regular TV, judging from this Willie ‘n Ethel, and why wouldn’t he?

Willie’s fantasy channel isn’t so far from the real thing, where the commercial breaks are so long that you can take the garbage out or go make the bed and not miss a moment of action.

And they’re frequent enough that you’ll run out of chores before the end of however much of the actual movie they’ve decided to show you.

Finally, in today’s collection of head-scratchers, Betty (AMS) is taking on the lottery this week.

I have never understood the appeal of the lottery. As Betty says, the odds are ridiculously against you.

I wrote a column about the “stupidity tax” 35 years ago, and it was funny then but has been said by so many people so many times since that the only wonder is that the pigeons still line up to be plucked.

And yet they do.

19 thoughts on “CSotD: Comics I get about things I don’t

  1. I saw Guy Venables’ cartoon as the mother confusing hummus with Hamas, in the tradition of Emily Litella.

  2. I first saw the self-scan while shopping thing years ago, in a Stop & Shop in Beverly MA. Currently the Rochester-based (but conquering the world) grocery chain Wegmans is experimenting with a camera-equipped setup that is supposed to identify products as you put them directly into your shopping bags.

    1. Totally like the self-scan arrangement, always use it, it’s in both the large economy shopping chains here in Iceland. But I sure wish we got a Wegmans up here! Visited Rochester in the summer and was blown away, the only food stores I’ve visited that are compatible are in the Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Kaufhof des West in Berlin (and those were quite a bit smaller but with similar amazing food stuff).

    2. I shop at Sam’s Club regularly and they have an app that let’s you scan as you go and checkout on the way to the front. Frankly, can’t imagine it any other way at this point.

      1. BJ’s Club has the same kind of app. I used it for the first time on our visit last month, and it was a revelation. Having discovered the ability to buy our monthly staples via their website and have someone bring it out to my car (motorcycle accident this past spring kind of incapacitated me for a few months), and now this, I’m totally stunned. And shopping differently.

    3. We’ve got an Amazon Go store. Just put in your basket and walk out. Only had two issues and they were both in my favor.

      1. The scan and go stuff reminds me of a late 1930s attempt to automate checkout — Keedoozle. Shoppers carried a “key” with them and stuck it into a slot next to the display of an item they wanted. This was encoded on a punched tape. At checkout their bill was totaled automatically and, in theory, their goods were automatically collected for them.


  3. Hands at “10 to 2” was good for a Model T, and for just about anything built before the 1970s, but it’s definitely not a good idea for any car equipped with an airbag in the steering wheel. The “modern” recommendation is usually “9 and 3”, so that in an accident, the expanding airbag will not fling the driver’s hands into his (or her) face.

    1. I also suspect that before power steering was common, 10 and 2 was more necessary to get the leverage to turn the steering wheel. I usually go for 4 and 8, because my arms are less tired than at 9 and 3.

  4. As to the lottery, I occasionally play when it gets near a billion, because, you know, $40mm isn’t nearly enough. And there are only two outcomes…you win, or you lose. Thats 50/50, right? So the fact that I haven’t won yet defies the odds at an astronomical rate.

  5. And of course, nobody was surprised when Trump referred to Hamas as “hummus”

    And yes, TV is unbearable these days. 5 minutes of program followed by 10 minutes of commercials.
    And 90% of those commercials are for obnoxiously unfunny insurance companies and prescription drugs with increasingly ridiculous names.

  6. “…but there’s that one person who sits until the car ahead is several car-lengths ahead before easing cautiously out into the intersection.”

    I always assume the person is texting or checking their social media feed, then realizes the light has changed and still looking at their phone while finally going through the intersection.

  7. Is it my imagination, or is there an extra “play” in the first panel in Betty? Or is this some sort of psychological test that was put in there for us anal people to pick up on (I work for a company where anyone who needs a proofreader comes to me, as I’m known for my eye going right to the error / issue as soon as something is put in front of me [a great talent to have]).

    Also, thought exactly the same thing that Fred came up with, but when I got down to reading the comments, I saw he got there first…

    1. I saw the “play play” immediately, as I have the same “curse” of spotting typos, etc. It’s quite aggravating when I’m just trying to read for pleasure.

  8. Actually, there has been a boycott of Sabra hummus going on for the past several years, due to the company’s ties to the Israeli military. So the little old lady might not be taking the side you think (although I’m guessing Guy Venables wasn’t aware of this, since the existence of an *actual* boycott kind of wrecks the joke).

    I grew up not eating grapes because of the UFW boycott. To this day, grapes seem like an exotic treat.

  9. I’ve always considered the lottery to be cheap escapist entertainment. I can spend $15 or so on a movie to sit in a dark room for 2 hours and imagine that I’m an action hero or tragic Romeo. Alternatively, I can spend $1 or $2 on a lottery ticket, and then for the next week or two I can imagine that I’m a multi-millionaire. It costs much less than a movie, and the escapism lasts much longer.

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