CSotD: Friday Variety Pack

I like cartoons that make demands on their audience, and Andertoons did a lovely job here of requiring readers to recognize a very unusual name and a key indicator of her voice. If you don’t get it, it’s completely explained in the comments, with a few people taking umbrage at not having been spoonfed but others enjoying the challenge.

My only issue being that I immediately got the name but was never a fan of the TV shows, which came along when I was a shade too old for them, so the trombone took me a minute.

As a reader, I was aware that she changed her name when she got married, but I’d seen enough of the TV versions to realize that continuity was never a big part of the adaptations.

Right? Right!

Mark Anderson earned his laugh. Well played, sir!

Juxtaposition of the Day

Dark Side of the Horse — AMS

Reality Check — AMS

Tough day at the drawing board for two cartoonists who are generally above average. Ah, well, it happens, and this year you get 365 opportunities to hit one over the wall, so this doesn’t even count against your average.

And it could be worse, as seen in our

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Daniel Boris

John Darkow

I put these in alphabetical order by artist, because when I ran into the first one, I thought it was a clever way to play the by-now common image of the matryoshka dolls to portray the inner dolls as Putin’s American collaborators.

Then when I came across the second one, my heart sank because, in the normal run of things, juxtapositions are for relatively obvious ideas, and neither cartoonist deserved to get caught in a coincidence like this.

The other aspect that comes up with juxtapositions is the question of (A) copying and (B) why didn’t a syndicate editor spot it? And when two similar cartoons appear three days apart, it’s fair to ask. I’ve said before that I think cartoonists should do their roughs and then look around to make sure they haven’t been scooped.

In this case, however, they appeared on the same day, proving the wisdom of Cicero, who said Accidit stercus.

Guy Venables also managed to crack a good Putin joke combining Britain’s debate over assisted suicide with the ease with which Russians can self-fenestrate simply by challenging the leadership.

Which reminds me that I had a young friend who did an internship in Moscow during the Wild West period of perestroika and brought home a set of matryoshka dolls that began with Gorbachev, inside of which was Brezhnev and so forth. She said her host family found the dolls to be in questionable taste, and I’ll bet nobody is making them today.

At least not in a factory with any windows.

It is now March, and we’re headed for my least favorite holiday, Steppin McFetchit Day, which began as a holy day, emerged as a defiant civil rights day and then degenerated into a green minstrel show.

Last time I played on St. Patrick’s Day, I offered to play for free if they promised not to serve green beer. They not only agreed, but turned the evening into a fundraiser for the local food bank. It was a very mellow evening.

However, one must always remain open-minded, and, if anyone can make me laugh at leprechaun jokes, it would be Wallace the Brave (AMS), and I think he’s got Harry O’Malley pegged about right.

And if Harry can cover wide receivers, the NFL may have a place for him.

Another piece of seasonal humor, this from Loose Parts (AMS) and wonderfully well timed, because yesterday morning, I saw the first two strings of geese this season headed north.

I’d say they’re early, but this has been a strange year that way: Organizers had to move the pond hockey tournament because Winnipesaukee doesn’t have thick enough ice, and the syrup producers are already boiling sap.

As one of the pond hockey organizers said, “I don’t know what a traditional New England, New Hampshire winter is anymore, but maybe we’ll get back to it one day.”

So I guess the geese know what they’re doing. (Yes, I know those are ducks, but they tend to arrive more quietly, in smaller groups. Seven is an excellent number for ducks.)

Teach Your Children Well

In recent years, Madam and Eve has been focused on various facets of South Africa’s troubling situation, which is very good for South Africa — they need the criticism — but means it isn’t featured here as often as it once was.

But my goodness gracious, this one is universal. Bribery may be more blatant there, but that’s not to say it’s only there, and little pitchers everywhere have big ears.

Why did you tell the theater lady I was five, Mommy? I’m seven!

Why do you have a radar detector in your car, Daddy?

Pickles (AMS) has an arc about colonoscopies, a topic I suspect you wouldn’t see addressed on the comics pages of a generation ago. But it’s a necessary thing and a lot less unpleasant than needing it and not getting it.

I’ve had two so far and not only were they no big deal but I didn’t even mind drinking a bunch of bland stuff the day before.

Nobody gave me photos, but I haven’t sent Christmas cards in years, so that’s okay.

I woke up part way through the first one, still numb below the waist, and so I got to watch on the monitor. It was fascinating, so the second time, I asked not to be totally knocked out, but then slept through the whole thing.

I was a big boy and didn’t ask for a do-over.

I gather, from watching the ads on TV, that routine colonoscopies are on the way out, and that now you can mail in a box with a stool sample, though I’m betting that, if it raises questions, someone’s gonna want to go have a look-see.

Your cat can guide you through this easier procedure, but I’m more concerned with how you answer the question at the post office about whether your package includes any hazardous materials.

“We won’t know until they check it out” would probably not be an acceptable response.

11 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Variety Pack

  1. There’s no way I’ll be able to explain “Steppin’ McFetchit” Day to all the lovely young people at work. I was barely able to clarify a snarky reference to Sadie Hawkins.
    p.s. Poor Richard’s is still hanging in there in CS – I may have seen you there in the ’70s.

  2. Having dropped off one of those “poop in a box” packages, I felt like we all knew what was in the box and that it is gross. I was rather embarrassed, but it had to be done.

  3. You can see 20 Russian nesting dolls in the same week without any of them being acts of plagiarism. It’s an old obvious idea and cliche. The biggest crime with using it is that it’s lazy unless you can find an inventive way of using it. I’m surprised you only found two.

  4. Here is an ancient and obscure (but fun) reference:
    Hans Conreid, as the narrator of Fractured Flickers once said near the end of the show, “In the immortal words of Gypsy Rose Lee, ‘the end is in sight'”

    I hear those mail it in tests are just a bunch of crap. A friend said, “I don’t like the idea of those, as far as I’m concerned you can just cram them up your assets.’

  5. You don’t mail the Cologuard samples back, they go in a prepaid UPS box. (With DeJoy still there the USPS has enough excrement to deal with.) The local UPS store seemed calm about it when I walked in and announced “legally cremated human remains.” (FYI: 24 hour urine collection samples go via FedEx. Apparently the AMA knew there was a limit.)

  6. Such is my loathing for St. Patrick’s Day that when I was living in Johnstown, PA I’d hit the town’s Irish bar about 9:00-10:00 at night and lead the already drunken crowd in toasts to that great Irish Hero, Oliver Cromwell.

    Happily, the St. Patrick’s crowd in Richmond, VA was too intelligent to try that stunt.

  7. Dear Mary McNeil, You Nailed It! There is no joy anywhere with DeJoy still there!

    A friend had to give a urine sample for work. He took a small bottle of orange juice in a coat pocked. In the bathroom he filled the specimen cup with it. The doctor said, HMM, that looks a little cloudy. My friend grabbed the specimen cup back, gulped it down and said, o.k., lets run it through again! The doctor was aghast!

  8. At least Darkow’s nesting dolls actually, y’know, nest. Not sure how the Boris set would work, plus it’s making me feel sorry for Matt Gaetz and no one needs to feel that.

    1. As noted, though I didn’t remember her new name. But, as also noted, continuity isn’t a big part of Peanuts, particularly between its print and video versions.

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