CSotD: Saturday Morning Cartoons

Today’s Pearls Before Swine (AMS) is how we know that Stephan Pastis either (A) is older than we thought or (B) went to a conservative Catholic school or (C) is channeling terrorized older Catholics.

I only had two years of Catholic school before we moved to the wilds and I started going to public school, but in first grade I was indeed taught that, if you were in an emergency situation and didn’t have time to get to Confession, a last minute Act of Contrition would wipe the slate clean.

And that getting hit by a bus on your way out of Confession, before you had a chance to sin again, was a really lucky thing.

In retrospect, I can’t help but think that telling six-year-old children this sort of thing was a good way to avoid heaven yourself. Forty years later, I was on the phone with an educator from my long-ago home town who said she had taught at St. Mary’s, and I said I’d had a crazy, sadistic nun there in first grade, named Sister Theophilus.

“Oh, I’ve heard the stories about her!” she laughed, and I laughed, but it infuriated me because it must have been 25 years later that she was teaching there and heard those stories.

In other words, they’d always known.

Just thought I’d start the day off with a laugh.

I’d have done better believing in an independent Claus, but Non Sequitur (AMS) offers a conditional one, which, under the circumstances, is about as good a deal as you’re gonna get.

BTW, I’ve never had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement, which either means I never had a very important job or else I did pretty well at choosing who I worked for. I’ve heard that Donald Trump insists his employees sign NDAs, but anyone who works for him has already sold their soul, so wotthehell difference does it make?

I gather a lot of NDAs are signed when you leave under less than chummy circumstances, and former Fox employees Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky are fighting to ban the sort of NDA they were required to sign as part of their settlements, as they wrote in a guest column for the NY Daily News.

Hmm. Nope, not laughin’ about that, either.

I can disclose that today’s F Minus (AMS) took me back to a brief job selling vacuum cleaners. The thing came with a shampoo attachment, and the trick was that, if you demonstrated it, you’d end up making a clean swipe down the middle of their living room carpet, which put additional pressure on them to buy it so they could finish the job.

I never used that trick, but not out of any ethical sense. I just didn’t want to have to pack up a wet shampoo attachment if it didn’t work.

The ethical thing that finally stymied me was the realization that, between my commission and my boss’s commission and the distributor’s commission, people could go to Monkey Wards and buy a unit just as good for about a third the price.

I never signed an NDA forbidding me to say so, but I wrote it off as caveat emptor. It was the Great Books of the Western World against whom I ended up testifying in front of the Federal Trade Commission.

Different circus, different clowns.

And a different sort of caveat emptor in this Loose Parts (AMS). I’ve worked at three different county fairs, each of them more than once, plus visited a fourth in my official capacity as editor of the local paper.

Like Dave Blazek, I’ve been astonished at the ingenuity with which food vendors discover new kinds of food that can be deep-fried, as well as the willingness of people to eat the results. This is truly one area in which that thing about nobody ever going broke by underestimating the intelligence of the public is 100% true.

Take it from a pro: If you’re going to have to sit a booth, don’t eat any of that stuff until the last day or you won’t make it through the week. Or possibly the second day.

Lola (AMS), however, demonstrates a diet tip that I hope is not spreading from airports: Places that assume you can figure out their technology and don’t need a waiter or a menu or a clue.

I gather that people who travel a lot get used to airport food places where you sit at the counter, fiddle with your phone and food magically appears. And I gather that these people make up a substantial enough customer base that the rest of us can go to Hudson News and get a cardboard wrap instead.

Last time I flew, I discovered that even the grab-and-go places now make you check out on your own. Constant Readers know I don’t mind self-check, but I do object to having to learn a new technology in every hole-in-the-wall airport kiosk.

One last observation: The Philadelphia airport concessions lineup appears to consist of about 50% bars.

“Brotherly love” my @ss: They’re just all drunk.

Another technological challenge is spoofed in this Brevity (AMS), now that passwords have been declared necessary and insufficient, an illogical logical category. Yes, that includes passwords that include a “special character,” otherwise known as an exclamation point, and even passwords that consist of the name of your dog, your DOB and an exclamation point.

All of which your computer offers to remember for you, up in the Cloud, where nothing can go wr go wr go wr go wr.

No danger of wandering into serious territory with this Pardon My Planet (KFS).

I’m not sure how effective this would be as a self-defense technique, but there’s plenty of evidence that it works.

I’ve often said that, in a good cartoon, a particular gag can only work with a particular set of characters, but that’s doubly true in Wallace the Brave (AMS), where the characters are distinctive but retain some depth rather than simply being one-dimensional stereotypes.

Rose is right, but she’s also wrong: It doesn’t state he’s an egg because it’s an old-fashioned riddle, so stating it would be an obvious spoiler.

Ub Iwerks did a Humpty Dumpty cartoon, but it’s not outstanding.

Here’s a classic about an egg which is:

13 thoughts on “CSotD: Saturday Morning Cartoons

  1. Oh, the Rev. R. Kenneth Smelser of the Babdist Church in my hometown could give Sister Theophilus a run for her mission to scare the hell put of little kids and even teen-agers.

    I haven’t been in an airport — much less eaten in one – in several years, but your observations explain why David Brooks could write a column featuring his $79 burger ‘n fries. And drinks.

    Dual passwords ? Since I do not have a SmartPhone I am unable to check in even for medical appointments much less rate my satisfaction with their services. (Yes – I have a perfecty adequate flip phone for calls and texts and a laptop for all else.)

    1. Since Mike didn’t explicitly mention it, I want to be sure we’re all getting the joke here. It’s “duel” passwords instead of “dual,” as in you have to answer a question about a duel to pass. I thought it was a pretty funny gag.

    2. For years, until recently, I had the type of phone you mentioned; whenever anyone asked if they could send a text message, email or picture to my SmartPhone, I told them that I didn’t have a SmartPhone, that it was a DumbPhone (my partner, who’s on my phone plan, has a DumbPhone as he only uses it for emergencies and doesn’t need it to be very Smart–just to make calls if needed).

      I believe the world would be much better off with more DumbPhones.

  2. I knew Humpty Dumpty was not explicitly an egg but did not know until five minutes ago that the rhyme had musical accompaniment (per the Wiki article you linked to)! I didn’t know it was a song and am sure I’ve never heard that tune in my life. You’ve changed my life today, and so early in the morning besides! Take the rest of the day off, you earned it.

  3. OK, I just can’t resist any longer. One of the things I love about WtB is that it is very actively not Peanuts.

    Pondering imponderables while leaning on a wall is Peanuts trope. You have your characters talking, bodiless heads over a wall. The wall is red brick in PbS and it is an apartment building parapet in Candorville. We have the wall in WtB here, but it’s NOT the Peanuts wall. It is an interactive piece of scenery being at once lounged on, picked out and enthroned upon.

    Candorville and PbS are in some ways footnotes to, or mirrors of Peanuts. WtB’s debt to Schulz is much smaller, and much better leveraged.

  4. O.K. you asked for this . . .
    As the old comedy routine goes: ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men ate omelets and egg sandwiches for a week.’
    It’s a bed yolk. Don’t egg me on! I’ll just find the exit on my own, thank you.
    And, speaking of walls. . . don’t forget all the recent mess in Aridzona with the ex-governor’s cargo container border wall that cost all us taxpayers a fortune. I only wish it had left more egg on his face, permanently. (note to self: no more egg references)

  5. On a more serious note, the never-ending battle to create a ‘secure login’ is a huge exercise in futility. Passwords, special characters/caps/numbers, thumbprint readers, facial recognition, two-part authentication. . . and just wait for the next ridiculous whiz-bang b.s. the technodweebs come up with. The only real result is the frustration of the people inconvenienced by this endless churning. Schneier on Security is an excellent source of computer sanity.

    Mike, you keep hitting such pertinent points. Thanks.

    1. Actually, I’d pulled that one out, but it didn’t quite make the cut. In other words, it was on the practice squad, but not quite a starter. That strip is often very hip.

Comments are closed.