CSotD: Laughing While We Await More Bad News

There are several major news stories going on, but they happened late in the week, so, since only a few American editorial cartoonists post on weekends, we’ll have to wait until Monday or perhaps even Tuesday for commentary on them.

In the meantime, here’s a serious funny piece from First Dog on the Moon, and then we’ll do funny funny stuff.

For us, much of what First Dog is talking about is the Gulf Stream, and climate experts have warned about this for years. As ice caps melt, fresh water could not just “disrupt” but essentially end the Gulf Stream, which warms Europe so that nations on a latitude with Canada’s prairie provinces have climates like the USA’s mid-southern states.

It would be good to lay in some French wine before that happens. There may be other impacts as well, but, as First Dog suggests, personal measures are not apt to forestall it for much, nor are we apt to see the statewide cooperation in moving away from major use of fossil fuels that could buy us time.

So let’s look at some humorous things while we wait.

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow Europe freezes.

There’s nothing groundbreaking in making sport of grammar sticklers, as Rhymes With Orange (KFS) euphemistically terms them, but there’s also no reason to let up on these humorless pedants.

Grammar does matter, sometimes. I hate the ignorance of the difference between “might have” and “may have,” because the former is speculating against fact while the latter is guessing about what did happen. It’s similar to why Tevye sings “If I were a rich man,” which is wishful, rather than “If I was a rich man,” which suggests he has amnesia.

But most of what the grammar nazis complain about is either a shift in a living language or, worse, an example of humorous usage that their literal minds cannot grasp.

Though Betty (AMS) has just spent a week contemplating usage so hyperbolic as to be absurd:

The arc starts here and is worth reading, but today’s episode caps it well: They’ve somehow come across the one person in the universe who actually laughs out loud over on-line humor.

I’ve chuckled out loud over passages in Jane Austen and in Trollope’s The Way We Live Now, and they’re both still extremely funny in some wickedly cruel ways. But even then, I didn’t scribble COL in the margins.

LOL and ROTFLMAO are polite, not literal, somewhat like “How nice to see you!”

And, yes, I still cling to the fading notion that “literal” means “literal.” But I no longer expect anyone else to use it that way.

Insisting that “may have” is different from “might have” is quite enough. Adding more simply waters down necessary objections and turns everything into childish quibbles.

Arlo and Janis (AMS) offers a quibble, but it’s the kind of quibble that absolutely sticks in the mind and spoils a classic tune, adding a heapin’ helpin’ of “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Being the sort of person I am, it sent me first to find out if there is a Reno, California (There doesn’t seem to be) and second to see if Reno, Nevada, is close enough to the dotted line that you could stand in California and shoot someone in Reno, which is highly doubtful but would raise an interesting question of where the crime occurred.

As it happens, El Paso came up on my music in the car yesterday. It struck me that back in the Olden Days, Marty Robbins could kill that handsome young stranger in Texas and simply flee to New Mexico, which reminded me of Bonnie and Clyde (not the real ones; Warren and Faye) robbing a bank in one state and crossing the state line to safety in another.

Which made me wonder if all the states’ rights advocates would like to go back to that system? There are more than 500 banks in Texas, and those state borders sure look open to me.

Though Rabbits Against Magic (AMS) suggests you’d have to hit the sweet spot, after they’ve declared their autonomy but before the razor wire goes up.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Mr. Boffo

Daddy’s Home — Creators

I learned to cook by hanging around the kitchen talking to my folks while Mom made dinner, and my kids learned by hanging around the kitchen while I cooked. Not only did this pass on a valuable lifeskill, but it added up to a lot of good conversation between the generations.

Oh well. I guess we don’t need either. At least, we’d better not.

Though, as Mike Stokoe points out, parents today are being very careful not to let their kids overdo all that on-line business. It is a matter of both preserving family unity and saving kids from frying their brains.

Too late. Joy of Tech took advantage of Valentine’s Day to give us a look at Romance in the Computer Age.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Roz Chast

Matt Percival

Roz gets me and I feel vindicated. The self-check lines in our stores are longer than the attended checkout lines, but they move faster, mostly because people who use them often only have a half dozen items, but also because the people who think exact change is a virtue or who insist on balancing their checkbook in line are busy tying up the attended lines.

I did see one of the self-check clerks explaining the whole system to a guy the other day. I was torn between admiring him for finally giving it a try and wondering if this happened every time he came to the store.

Meanwhile, I have completely gone to Kindle for books and I’ve been reading newspapers and magazines on-line for about 20 years, but I’ll admit that the cat sitting on the newspapers in Percival’s cartoon is likely more comfortable.

I’m not unreasonable.

Ben (MWAM) points out something I noticed a little while ago, which is that, while the cereal boxes are still the same height and width as before, they’re losing depth at such a rate that, if they get any skinnier, they’re going to have to start inserting the Cheerios sideways with tweezers.

It’s not just groceries. Patty Duke’s father has bad news for this couple …

12 thoughts on “CSotD: Laughing While We Await More Bad News

  1. Long term fan of self-checkout here, who cannot get the current tempest in a teapot over supposedly being a shill of the big nasty corporations for using one. Like the cartoon says, there are times I don’t like personal interaction, self-checkout is a lot faster for me (especially when I’m in a line with a few people ahead of me), and I prefer to pack my own grocery bags. The wife and I are incredibly anal on the last point and have it down to an excruciatingly detailed system.

    Now, I do get pissed with the mandatory exit checks of your receipt. I figure that if the store can count on me to do the work, they can bloody well trust me that I did it honestly.

    1. And most places have a clerk watching the self-checks who should notice if you’re shoplifting anything substantial. None of our grocery stores check receipts, nor does Target or Walmart here. However, I do note that BJs checks all receipts and I think most warehouse stores do, whether you self-checked or went through an attended line. Seems fair, I suppose.

      1. BJ’s doing it doesn’t bother me, because we knew it was part of the process when we took out the membership. And were still willing to take out the membership.

        In Richmond, it WalMart that’s gotten ballistic on this.

    2. Plastic bag waste is another big reason why I prefer self-checks. I always bring my own bags.
      If you go through the manned checkout, the person bagging usually puts maybe two items in each bag, so even though you bought ten things you end up with five bags.
      Even so, I still have a bunch of plastic bags that I either use as trash bags or have just not gotten around to putting them into the bag recycle bin yet.

      And in all the times I’ve used self-check over the last two decades, I’ve been asked to show my receipt on maybe 5 occasions. If that.
      I guarantee most of the bored, underpaid employees just don’t give a $#!*

  2. I always thought the Reno murder was simply Johnny’s initial step over the line when it came to being a completely unrepentent convict, not what put him in Folsom. He’s explaining why he’s feeling lonesome when he hears that whistle, but he’s not claiming it was the only reason he’s in there.

    Though I MIGHT be wrong.

  3. Mike writes about the gulf stream debacle, ‘It would be good to lay in some French wine before that happens.’
    Which reminds me of an hilariously (does that make me a grammar pedant?) sad TV commercial. (Jim Bakker eat your heart out). These clowns are selling ‘doomesday prepper survival bunker food packs’. But, when you are in your survival bunker with very limited clean water and minimal electrical energy, you have to use massive amounts of water to re-hydrate the stuff and then use all your electricity just to cook it! ROFLMBO (that’s my cool new AI meme: rolling on the floor laughing my brains out)

    When I’m in the checkout line I’m packin’, too. (but only packin’ the food in bags)

    HELP, AI has invaded my brain, I can’t stop writing this horrid stuff!!!

  4. Regarding grammar, what gets me is when people say “can I” instead of “may I”

    I’ll admit to being of those “I don’t know, can you?” types. No regrets.

  5. For another LOL moment, find an old James Thurber book with his ‘The Night the Bed Fell ” story.

  6. Well last October, Texas did put up razor wire on their border with a US State, New Mexico. Still up the last I heard. I guess it didn’t make national news? I’m not sure how long it is, other than not too long. It’s at the town of Sunland Park (you need a map to see that it is across the Rio Grande, south of Texas!). Plenty of joke potential, NM has a long running joke about “no passports needed”, and a few souls have stated they hoped the razor wire would keep Texans at home.

  7. Re: “Grammer Sticklers” – After decades working as a proof-reader/copy-holder, I genuinely try to be on board with the whole “English is a continuously evolving language” ethos, but I confess to struggling with seeing “alot” appearing ever more often as a single word. I suppose it’s part of the same evolution as “insofar” and “inasmuch” but…

    And don’t even get me started on “should of” vs “should have”! Now it’s off to Room #9 for me.

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