Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More Phone Follies

Ted's strange use of his cell phone wasn't the only phone tech craziness in Sunday's paper:

Click the image if it is difficult to read.

And to this I say, "???????????????????????????????????"

Let's start with the first panels, and the phone tree's -- heh, heh - phone tree - get it? Like the thing you use to spread the word that soccer practice is canceled? Anyway, the strip begins with the phone tree's Zen wisdom that "Thor cannot be given. He must be acquired." Sort of like Herpes! Ba dum dum.

I almost said sort of like AIDS, which is the ACQUIRED immunodeficiency syndrome, but that seemed tasteless. But, wait . . . is this some sort Johnny Hart-fueled anti-STD thing? He does often leave his strips open to strange interpretation. I doubt that's going on here, but what the heck else does that mean? Is it funny?

Moving on . . . we next get a handful of panels mocking the endless voicemail mazes we often find ourselves trapped in. I tell ya! Technology is DifficultTM! The frustration of automated voice messaging was also covered in Momma in January. HA HA. It's still funny!

But now we get the kicker! If you are dialing from a rotary phone step in your time machine, and join the 21st Century!!! HA HA HA! Rotary phones are obsolete!! That's priceless!! FUN. NY. HA HA HA HA . . . eh . . . wait . . . doesn't B.C. take place, uhm, Before Christ? Wouldn't it be an advance for them to have a rotary phone? Or a printing press? Or an aqueduct? I mean, I "get" the "rotary phones are obsolete" joke, but how does it make sense in a B.C. setting? Why don't we just tell them to join the 21st Century and send rovers to Mars and download some ringtones to their cells while they're at it. And the time machine reference? Is that supposed to clear things up? Because it doesn't.

And does the tree have eyes? Or boobs? What's that about?

While we're on the subject of B.C., Greg R. wrote in with a request to have this one explained:

Greg said, "I don't get it." Well, Greg . . . snakes crawl around on the ground, thereby eating dust for their whole lives, and that bothers the snake. It seems pretty straightforward to me. But I am guessing you want to know what makes it "funny." And that is . . . IN REAL LIFE, snakes don't talk and cavemen didn't provide therapy! HA HA!

No, I don't think that's the joke here. You know, you say someone is "eating dust" when you are "dusting" them, or leaving them behind, as in a race of some sort. So it might be a play on that. Then the snake says, "No comment," which is like. . . oh good grief. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. Anyone?

Is this making fun of snakes? Psychiatry? I mean, geez, it's not as if Tom Cruise has that market covered!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now? Good.

I'm not sure that's clear enough, so I will quote. Ted: "Then there's this one . . . this one . . . another . . . ooh this one's kind of interesting..."
Sally: "Wow. . . I never knew one man could take so many accidental cell phone pictures of his own ear."
Ted: "Maybe if I give each photo a cryptic title I could land a gallery showing."

Anyone here know what the humor is? I am guessing it's the standard "Technology is Difficult"TM joke that often rears its ugly head in the funnies. See, Ted, Dagwood thinks "Technology is Difficult"TM, too. Ah, these damn machines . . . grumble, grumble, grumble.

And I'd leave it at that, but there's just something not quite right about Ted taking pictures of his ear with his cell phone camera. What kind of camera phone is this? I have a camera phone. It's a clamshell design, and the camera lens is on the outside of the top piece. When I flip open the phone, to, for instance, talk to somone, the ear and mouth pieces are (amazing how they design these things) facing my ear and mouth, respectively. The camera lens is still facing outside. The only way to "accidentally" take photos of my own ear with my phone (and every other camera phone I've ever seen), would be to activate the camera function, hold the OUTSIDE of my phone up to my ear, and reach up and, without looking at the panel, click the camera button. How does Ted keep accidentally holding the outside of his phone to his ear? And why?

I have not seen every single cell phone design in existence, so fill me in, someone, if you have a phone that makes accidentally taking photos of your ear a frustrating continuing occurence.

"Technology is Difficult"TM is not a funny joke -- normally. But, let's face it, Technology CAN be difficult. My printer seems to jam at the most inopportune times. And at the end of the day, when I'm trying to leave work and catch my bus, my computer seems to find delight in taking FOREEEEVER to shut down. A cordless phone is great, but it sucks when you can't find where you left it. However, holding the wrong side of your cell phone up to your ear and snapping a photo is not an example of "Technology is Difficult"TM -- it's an example of "Ted Forth is a big doofus who doesn't know what side of his phone to talk into."

And was that the only example of telephone technology run amok in Sunday's paper? No, it was not, but because I'm sure I lost most of you once this screed ran past the 3rd paragraph, you'll have to wait to see what else the honchos of humor had in store for us.


Hey, remember that Gil Thorpe example of a "maniacal glare?" I'll refresh your memory:

Uhm, yeah, thanks, guy . . . that's, uhm, verrrry menacing. I'm quacking . . . errr . . . AFLAC! ... quaking. Well, at the time, an anonymous poster said, "The middle guy is making the face I used to make at my little sister to piss her off . . ." Well, Mr./Ms. Anonymous, I present today's Baby Blues Panel 1:

Take a bow, Anonymous, you had the "maniacal glare" pegged. You don't have some sort of "in" with Kirkman and Scott do you? If so, keep up the good work, and if you can interpret any other Gil Thorpisms, help us out. What's the deal with Mandy's hair? And chin?

Another anonymous felt this may have been a "cribbed Calvin," which is a step above a "Cribbed Ziggy," that's for sure, but a "Cribbed Gil Thorpe??" YIKES!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I pity the fool who messes with Gil!

I never meant to harp on the "soap" strips. They aren't SUPPOSED to be funny, and therefore, are outside the purview of this blog. But, I think it's true what they say: "Once you go Gil, you can't go back." (It's also why I watch C.S.I.)

There are just so many things to "like" about this strip. First, we have the Gil Thorpe-sponsored indictment of the continued homogenization and corporatization of radio . . . down to the lack of true local radio. As the fat guy (and I still don't know his name) might say, "Damn you Clear Channel, and all your hizzy rap dawg peeps!" I say if it weren't for the homogenization of radio, I'd get more Tift Merritt and Joss Stone, less Phil Collins.

Next, I wonder what happens to the "But that's cheating!" girl from Panel 2. Did she disappear? Take off her glasses? Change her hair? Why doesn't she appear in Panel 3?

Third, I again wonder why poor Mandy gets her chin cropped in the last panel. Her hair's the problem, not her chin. Poor Mandy's chin, getting the short shrift over and over. Why is this? Fear? The French horn? A combination of the two?

But, what makes this strip sheer genius is Panel 3. The jokey, slo-mo, pause-action wrap up, straight out of a 1980's TV show. It's like an episode of the A-Team. The boys have successfully fought the evil corporate radio station threatening to take over the local station run by a fellow 'Nam vet. As the gang re-groups, Hannibal makes a knee-slapping joke (usually at the expense of B.A. Barracus). Cue the slo-mo as the fellas start laughing. . . slo-mo, slo-mo, slo-mo . . . AND - FREEZE FRAME! Roll credits.

That's what we're getting here in Gil Thorpe. The gang laughs at the cheating episodes that have dogged them all year (I am guessing this has to do with the poker storyline I never really followed). So they laugh, all face forward, and FREEZE FRAME! (sans Mandy's chin) Thus endeth another GREAT episode of Gil Thorpe. Stay tuned for scenes from next week's all new episode.

Next on Big Al's Comic Blog: The madcap telephone technology of the Sunday funnies.


Poor Helga Horrible, she must never have taken Shakespeare 1o1. Well, ignorance is bliss, as they say.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Happy Father's Day (late): The Stats

So I have been neglectful of the blog. Does anyone care? Didn't think so. Good, it's my excuse to be lazy about this hobby from time to time. All right, time to get to how the comics observed Father's Day this past Sunday.

A quick glance at the Mother's Day stats shows that 13 of the 30 comics in the N&O did Mother's Day-themed comics. Now, maybe I'm going crazy (and I have been a bit brain-fried at work of late), but I am only counting 29 comics in last Sunday's N&O comic section. So, it would seem that sometime in the past 6 weeks we've lost a comic?? How in the world did I miss that?? Am I miscounting? Did I miscount back then? Oy veh, I am not to be trusted with this official recordkeeping and stat keeping. Oh wait, there's nothing official about any of this, so . . . I will continue.

For Father's Day we get 14 of 29 comics with a Father's Day theme . . . so the comics think Father's Day is more important than Mother's Day? Interesting. Now, I very much wish I had kept the Mother's Day comics so that I could tell you which did one, but not the other. Again here I am screwing something up. I am on a roll of sucking. Hey! Just like the comics! Sweet.

Now, the standard Father's Day joke is the bad tie. How did this joke get started? Why do fathers get bad ties on Father's Day? I suppose the reasoning is that the mom lets the kids pick out the gift, and the kids pick out a bad tie (or one only little kids would think is cool). But this doesn't make sense. If the mom lets the kids pick out gifts, why would they pick out ties? They'd get something they think is cool, right? And do kids think ties are cool? No. So, if the mom is steering them towards ties, why doesn't she then steer them toward appropriate ties? When I eventually become a parent, I suppose this is one mystery I will figure out.

Surprisingly there are no bad tie jokes in 2005's Father's Day comics! Amazing! Now, an anonymous poster did point out that in Baby Blues, Wanda was preparing Daryl for bad gifts including wallets and belts . . . but no ties. So that's progress.

Other notes of interest:

In Sally Forth, Hilary seems to be fixing breakfast in bed for Ted, but it turns out it was for Kitty's 10th birthday. Since Hilary was using flour, eggs, and milk for Kitty's treat, I think it solves the mystery of Kitty's colon problems . . . and . . . (drum roll) . . . the mystery of Kitty's age!!!! She's 10! Oh, I've been dying to know! Should I debate again the Forths' decisions re: Kitty's vet care in light of this new information? No, I have moved on. But it is fascinating that Kitty and Hilary are the same age, and will be for all eternity, as noted by Ted. Oooh. I noted both of those intriguing factoids in the same post! How grand to solve one of the world's great mysteries! Now, on to the location of Amelia Earhart and . . .

How old is Cathy??? According to the paper, her dad fought in WWII. So, he's my grandfather's age. So, either she's in her 50s or her father was a bit older when she was born. How old is she supposed to be?? I know she's an ageless single gal, but her friend's kids get older (I remember when they were born, and they are teenagers now), so is Cathy in her 40s? 50s?

The B.C. caveman with the peg leg writes that it is easier to celebrate Mother's Day than Father's because of all the nice things Mother did for you while dad gave you noogies, and cuffs in the back of the head!! Nothing like a punchline that ends in child abuse!! Ah, dear old dad, always cuffing me in the back of the head!! Isn't Johnny Hart a Christian?? Isn't that his "thing?" To publicize the risen Christ, proselytize for Christianity, etc. etc.? The more I hear about today's "Christians," the more I wonder. I was raised Christian, consider myself Christian, but don't think child abuse is funny. Hmmmm . . . I also don't think gays will burn in hell, so, yeah, I better stop writing here and get to reading my Bible.

Or what does that mean, "cuff in the back of the head?" Does it hurt? Am I way off base?

WE KNOW HOW OLD KITTY IS!!! Oh, happy day.

(You don't blog for a few days, and there is a new way to upload pictures. Sorry if these are wacky, I'm still learning)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Newest Looks for Summer!

Hey, folks! Are your "cleaning the house" outfits up to par? Do they normally consist of sweatpants or gym shorts and a faded t-shirt from your undergrad days? We here at MenaceTM Fashion say, "Don't let a day of chores be an excuse to look sloppy!" Here, Alice Mitchell demonstrates some of the chicest fashions in our Household Chores line (available in sizes 0-6 -- sorry big girls . . . look someplace else):

First, note Alice's slim fitting cropped pants! This sleek and fashionable look will accentuate your legs, ladies!! You'll be sure to get a va va voom from your appreciative husband. The tapered and cropped leg looks fashionable, and is also functional -- no more getting your hem wet or dusty!

The cropped pants look best with our tres chic black ballet flats. No more cleaning the house in your bare feet, flip flops, or sock feet! The ballet flat looks dressy while still providing much needed comfort.

You'll also note that Alice is modeling a scoop-neck, tight-fitting T. No faded T-shirt from some long-ago sorority charity event for Alice! You will find that those old T's tend to stretch, and their loose-fitting form does nothing to show off your figure! Alice's T provides comfort, flexibility, and that feminine look you always want to have when mopping your floor!

Finally, ladies . . . no more ponytails, please! That look just screams "I don't care!" Instead, find a cute kerchief to tie up your hair. Alice has chosen a plain pink one, but you can look for a cute and kicky pattern to liven up your look. And, as soon as you pull the kerchief out, you hair will fall into its normal cute, bouncy style (try that after your hair has been tied up in a ponytail for a morning!). You may think the kerchief look is too Aunt Jemima for your tastes, but give it a try -- it is only through accesorizing that an outfit can ever be considered complete!

I know that when you're cleaning house now, you are constantly in fear of someone coming to the door or (God forbid!) your husband coming home and seeing you in such a sloppy state of disarray. So toss those sweats and soiled T's away! MenaceTM Fashion's Household Chores line is just the answer to your cleaning the house fashion dilemma! Order today -- we are online at

This is from Friday, and it's only one panel, but I couldn't pass it up:

There's so much to say -- from the constipated look on Gil's face, to the "Bizarre delivery" which looks just like any pitcher not working from the stretch, to "threat of bodily harm" coming from the most wussy looking guy this side of Corky St. Claire. No -- what's worth mentioning is the middle guy's interpretation of a "maniacal glare." This, my friends, is a maniacal glare. What we see in Gil Thorpe is neither maniacal nor a glare. Boy, the more you look at Gil Thorpe, the more you wonder if it's really some kind of elaborate joke perpetrated on the American public.

Yesterday I promised the Fathers' Day rundown. Well, despite Mary Ann's best efforts, Fathers' Day isn't yet a "real" holiday, so I will put that off until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Greetings All

Happy Fathers' Day to the fathers reading.

The comics still aren't funny. Too bad. Life is busy, and I'm in a creative lull, but the stats on Fathers' Day cartoons will be coming. I didn't notice any really bad ties in my funnies this morning. What's become of the world?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Holy crap! Blondie never ceases to amaze me. Check out the fancy spread she's got set up for breakfast! A tablecloth and fresh flowers! I don't even eat dinner in such a fancy manner. And, she's all dressed up with her hair done, a cute blouse, and nice shoes . . . What time do you suppose she wakes up in order to get everything "just so?" What's wrong with her? I know that once upon a time I thought I'd want to marry Blondie (if I were a lesbian, and that was allowed, and she was real; but, I'm not, it's not, and she's not). Still, I wanted to marry her, because it would be nice to have someone just taking care of all my needs like she does.

But I think I've changed my mind. Living with someone like Blondie would FREAK ME OUT. Why is she dressed so nicely so early in the morning? Why does breakfast involve a tablecloth and fresh flowers? If I were married to Blondie, I'd probably be required to speak in the morning. Blondie probably wouldn't approve of my coffee and toast with Nutella breakfast. I bet she wouldn't let me sit on the couch and read the paper. Nooooo . . . I would have to sit (all dressed up) at the table, and eat a hot meal and have a conversation. Dagwood is lucky that his car pool came and rescued him.

There's definitely someting wrong with her. If I ever went through so much trouble to have a nice breakfast, and then my husband jetted out, and ATE MY BEGONIAS, I wouldn't take it with Blondie's sangfroid. I'd be pissed! Blondie went through all that effort . . . My guess though is that she puts in this effort every morning, and so it's no big deal. Again: she's a FREAK.

Could "He even ate my begonias" be sort of euphemism? Hee hee. "He even ate my begonias."

I am going to start up some sort of wacky comic conversation:

It's not fear . . . it's the French Horn

He even ate my begonias.

It's lunch time. (BWAH HA HA)

These are all part of the dialogue, but I don't have a "plot" yet.


Odie on the addictions of your favorite characters. (Nermel -- who would have guessed??)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Hat Dating Methods of the Saggy Boobed

So I ask you, just how long do saggy boobed hillbillies wear hats anyway? I'm not much of a hat person, but I'm sure I could scare up one or two that I've had for a good long time. As far as I can recall, Loweezy only has one outfit: black skirt, red shirt, apron, and black kerchief. So, she doesn't seem to be the sort of person to wear things just once. What I'm saying is -- she could have had the hat in question for something like 15 years. Or more.

Now, this Marge "wif hubby number six" . . . that's a lot of hubbies regardless of Loweezy's hat dating method. So, I'm not doubting Loweezy's sentiment: Marge goes through husbands quickly. I'm just questioning Loweezy's semantics and choice of metaphor. Then again, Loweezy uses the word "ain't" on a regular basis, so if I get into criticizing her use of the English language we could be here for awhile.

There seems to be more to Loweezy's sentiment than just "Marge goes through husbands quickly." In panel one, Loweezy says that "it ain't fair" that Marge goes through them so quickly. So, she isn't criticizing Marge's prediliction for marriage -- she envies it! Or, she envies the fact that she's not with each hubby for very long. I guess if I was married to Snuffy Smith, I, too, might envy someone moving on to greener pastures.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Gil in Three Parts

That's right, brah! It's some more pimped out whack talk from Gil Thorpe's resident rap dawg. The fat white guy, of course.

We get Gil in our paper, but I generally don't follow. So I'm not sure why the team needs a killa 2B. or what makes Mandy a potential killa 2B. The fat white guy should say, "Cause, shorty, I like the way you pivot, yo!"

What's the fat white guy's name? I went to "About Gil Thorpe," but the only characters it told me about were Gil and Mimi. Oddly, it listed their ethnic origin. Like, why do we care? The hell?? Is there any reason for this to matter? I mean, in the comics, Gil and Mimi look white. Are we supposed to care that they are perhaps Irish, German, or French? And, even MORE ODD, their ethnic origin is listed as AMERICAN. Now, what? They are Native Americans? I think not! WHAT THE HELL???

So, before I get too wrapped around that axle, here's today's Panel 2:

HEE HEE! "It's not fear . . it's the French horn." HA HA HA! I tell ya, if I had a nickel for every time I used this excuse . . .

One wonders how the Great Depression may have been different if at his first inaugural, FDR had said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself . . . and the French horn."

I realize, of course, that she is not saying that she FEARS the French horn. Rather, she is saying that she is not AFRAID of being a killa 2b -- it is the French horn which somehow prohibits her from realizing her dream of being a plucky middle infielder.

In panel one, the stone wall was to their right, but now it's to their left, so are they pacing back and forth? Or stuck in a maze of some sort? That's tight, yo!

YEEEE-IIIIKES! Nice artistic choice to frame this so her chin is cut off. All the better to focus on her hair. Is it a chia pet? An afro? A punked-out spiky do? I'll probably never know. If only there were some way to know her ethnic background.

Oh, Mandy. You came and you gave without taking.


Management advice from Mr. Dithers.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Well! I didn't see this one coming!

I did promise no more about the Kitty story, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity. Last week, the vet gave Sally a strange estimate saying the cost would be between two and three thousand dollars. Specifically, $3,400. That confused me, to say the least -- and you can read why, here. But, I would like to highlight something I said at the time:

"This is the joke -- typically made of mechanics, home repair men, and doctors -- they give you an estimate, but when you get the actual bill -- it's HIGHER THAN THE ESTIMATE! HA HA HA! That's always a good one. Here, the twists are that: a) it's a vet -- not a typical member of the "over-the-estimate" joke club, and b) he's actually being up front with her about the final cost (which must be why vets aren't a part of the club -- too honest?) Of course, he's saying $3,400 BEFORE the surgery, so I'm guessing it's still an estimate, and he could end up charging more than that anyway. And if he does, it will be soooooo funny."

Here's yesterday's Sally Forth:

Hey, look at that! Isn't that funny? I said if he charged more than $3,400 it would be funny. And it's $3,900, so . . . HA HA HA. How funny, and not at all predictable. And, it turns out that, at least in the Forths' world, vets are even worse than mechanics at estimates. Remember, the very first dollar amount he said to them was two thousand dollars.

This makes that earlier strip even more confusing to me. Where did he get $3,400? Why did he quote a specific amount to Sally? His initial "between 2 and 3 thousand" WAS an estimate. An incorrect one, but an estimate nonetheless. $3,400 is rather specific, and it turns out to be incorrect as well. Oh well, our point isn't to parse comic semantics. Our point is to discover what makes them funny, and again, charging over the estimate ALWAYS MAKES ME LAUGH. It's not quite as funny as men who can't cook or big slobbery dogs, but it's funny just the same!

This is what I like to call a Cribbed Ziggy. I guess the reason it gets repeated over and over is because it's so funny, right?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Men are from Mars, Anthropomorphic Birds are from Vegas

Here's another strip I don't QUITE get:

Hmmmmm. . . it seems to be a joke about the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus school of thought. But the point of that book isn't that men actually LIVE ON MARS. The point is that men think, process, communicate about things one way, women another way. Sometimes their communications are so strained, it's like they're from different planets. But, don't let the title confuse you -- we are all Earthlings.

So when she says "Barry moved back to Mars" does she mean that he has given up trying to communicate with her in a language they can both understand? Or does she mean he moved away? To where? Mars? Really?

I mean, I doubt he actually went back to the red planet. They don't have birds there.

Come to think of it, though, we don't have birds like the Shoe birds here on Earth. Well, maybe we do. I've lived most of my life on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, but I've also traveled to many parts of the globe. From my observations, we do not have birds that visit diners, drive old jalopies, raise nerdy nephews, or write newspaper columns. Another thing we don't have here is drunken bird Senator press conferences. This type of bird could be like that ivory billed woodpecker they just re-discovered in Arkansas. I will keep an eye out for sassy diner waitress birds.

Anyway, it's entirely possible that these birds live in a whole other dimension, and Barry DID move back to Mars (or their version of it). But what's funny about that?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

OK, That's Enough

They are going to pay for Kitty's surgery. I have officially grown bored of the Kitty-Paris-Colon storyline now that they seem to be going in the expected direction. I'm sure the rest of you grew bored ages ago. So, unless there are major developments in this story, we'll leave it, thus ending my longest streak of following a single comic.

My "find a comic to complain about" muscles have atrophied. So, we'll just go with this one, suggested last week by Jacey, who called it, "dumber than usual," and asked, "How much money did Dagwood put in the machine?" Without further ado:

OK, he bought every stamp in the machine?? Really, how much money did he put in there? I think the joke must be that he kept shoving in bills until the machine was empty. Why is this funny? Because machines are difficult!!!!!

OK, machines can be difficult. Sometimes your bills are too crinkly, and sometimes you only have 20s, and the machine takes 20s, but you only bought a 37 cent stamp, so you get a butt load of change. There are all sorts of problems with machines. None of these problems are particularly funny, mind you, but I don't know that anyone has the problem of buying every single thing in the machine!! Why did he keep putting his money in there? Did he just start by putting a $500 bill in?

The one postal employee says that some guy just bought every stamp in the machine AGAIN. I get the sense from Dagwood in Panel 1 that he hadn't used the machine before. So there's another person dumb enough to just keep putting money in?

I guess an alternative explanation of this "joke" is that the post office only puts 2 stamps in the machine. Ha ha! The laziness and incompetence of civil service employees is FUN-NY! I don't think that's it, though.

You know, you can buy stamps online. He should try that. But it's good to see this strip branching into some mailman humor, beyond Dagwood crashing into his mailman at the front door. Where does Dagwood live that the mailman still delivers door to door, anyway? Is that a small town thing?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Wild World

I knew it! I knew this was coming down to Paris (not Hilton) vs. Cat (not Stevens)! I'm too lazy to look it up, but wasn't Sally the one convincing Ted to go to Paris? Or was she just convincing him to bring Hilary along? Now Ted seems to be very pro-Paris. And pointing his finger at Sally in a threatening manner. What's that all about?

And I know they're whispering, but can Hilary not hear them?? Maybe when you are being nuzzled against Sally's breasts, all sounds are muted.

Like Jacey said, Sally and Ted do seem slightly bemused. Sally, especially in panel 3. Of course, we don't get her reaction shot when Ted sticks his finger up in her grill.


Looks like Miss Buxley may be worried that someone somewhere is reading her post slightly critical of the administration. Don't worry, Miss Buxley! We know you are a true patriot!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

It Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Well, I do declare! This strip leads me to believe that Ted and Sally have told Hilary they can't afford Kitty's surgery! I can't believe it! I know I said earlier that I was hoping the strip would take this direction, but seeing poor heartbroken Hilary really makes me wish they would save Kitty! Awwww . . . she'll sell her bike! PLEAAAASE pay for Kitty's operation.

I wish they would tell us how old Kitty is. Like, "Hilary, Kitty's 13 now, and she's lived a long life." That would make their decision OK. What would also make their decision OK would be if they really couldn't afford it. $3,400 IS a lot of money. But, since we know they are planning on a family vacation to Paris, the Forths aren't exactly pimping out Hilary to support their crack habit.

But what makes this even more intriguing is that the characters aren't aging in this strip. However old Kitty is, she's been that same age for years and years. And since she doesn't die every June, I don't understand why she has to die this June.

To help explain, here is a part of today's strip:

I think that's hard to read. Sally says, "Then before we know it, all of our friends' children will be getting married. . . not to mention Hilary." Ted replies, "Hilary's only ten." Sally: "Well, yeah, now, but I'm talking about . . ." Ted: "She's only 10, Sal." Sally: "Ted, there's a reason the phrase healthy denial is not in common use." Ted: "What's to deny? She's ten. End of story."

The joke, of course, is that Ted doesn't want to think of his little girl, all grown up, getting married . . . But the joke is on us, because that's not really what Ted means. He means just what he says: "She's ten. End of story." Hilary will always be 10. When I was 10, Hilary was 1o. Now I'm 32 and Hilary is . . . 10. Assuming that both Hilary and I continue to age at the same rate (me aging one year for every Earth year and Hilary aging zero years for every Earth year), when I am 64, Hilary will be TEN.

So, this isn't denial (healthy or otherwise) on Ted's part. It's just the truth. I wonder why Sally doesn't "get that" but Ted does. Sounds like Sally's the one in denial. Ted realizes they are stuck in the same year over and over, but Sally's blissfully unaware. She thinks Hilary really will grow up! Of course, Kitty will age and die, but not the humans . . .

Thursday, June 02, 2005

le chat mort

Ah, now we see where they've been heading all along: Save Kitty or go to Paris? Quite the dilemma, no? Sacre bleu! Look at Ted, it's as if, in the face of his 10 year old daughter's near hysteria, he's thinking the trip to Paris may still be nice. Now, on one level, I gotta agree with tully monster, who wondered why ANYONE would even debate this. Well, there are people who don't like cats, I guess. So, anyway, yeah, it's the family pet, and as I look over at my sweet sleeping kitties, I can't imagine this being a dilemma, either.


The part of me that knows that neither the Forths nor Kitty are real hopes they let Kitty die! Oh, that sounds terrible, but think about it. I am sure what will happen is that they will contemplate the decision, forgo Paris, and give Kitty the care she needs. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Think of the possibilities if they let Kitty die and decide to go to Paris instead! Hilary will become sullen and dress all in black. Maybe in Paris she will take up smoking. Instead of the standard comic strip vacation (here's the Eiffel Tower! Look kids, Notre Dame!), we will get moping Hilary contemplating death at the Louvre. Maybe she will look into this. At some point they will go into a souvenir shop and see a poster print of Toulouse Lautrec's Le Chat Noir. She will break into tears and consider a life of self mutilation upon return to the States.

Now, I guess you wouldn't necessarily consider any of this "funny," but at least it's not boring.

And before anyone sends me any nasty emails, NO, I don't really think pet death or preteen self mutilation are funny, and they aren't joking matters blah blah blah. I'm just pointing out a different direction for Sally Forth.


Mary Ann posted this interesting article about possible racism in B.C. on her blog today. My opinion is posted in the comments on Mary Ann's blog. I think it's an interesting question, and would be interested to hear what people think -- comment over at Mary Ann's if you're interested.


Going through some recent posts, and I just have to post this again, because it's the funniest thing in the comics since I've started blogging:

Man oh man, I get a kick out of that! Later peeps!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

James Herriot would NEVER overcharge

Idiot that I am, I first took this strip seriously. The vet says it will cost between two and three thousand dollars. When asked to be more specific, he says, "$3,400." I said, "Huh?" I tell you what, you can't put one over on me. I was like, "Now wait just a rootin' tootin' minute, there, Mr. All Creatures Great and Small! If I remember my numbers correctly, 3,400 is NOT between 2,000 and 3,000!" I got out my calculator, and determined that $3,400 is actually between three and four thousand dollars.

To say the least, this confused me. Was it a mistake by the artist? Or was there some sort of play on words that I wasn't getting? "Between two and three thousand dollars." Is there an interpretation I'm not getting? Hmmmmm. . . my brain gears grinded over this for awhile.

Then it hit me. I think this is nothing more than a cleverly disguised Cribbed Ziggy. This is the joke -- typically made of mechanics, home repair men, and doctors -- they give you an estimate, but when you get the actual bill -- it's HIGHER THAN THE ESTIMATE! HA HA HA! That's always a good one. Here, the twists are that:

a) it's a vet -- not a typical member of the "over-the-estimate" joke club, and
b) he's actually being up front with her about the final cost (which must be why vets aren't a part of the club -- too honest?) Of course, he's saying $3,400 BEFORE the surgery, so I'm guessing it's still an estimate, and he could end up charging more than that anyway. And if he does, it will be soooooo funny.

So, it's a Cribbed Ziggy. And it took me a good while to figure that out. Well played, Sally Forth. Well played.

You may be thinking, "They found Kitty. Why doesn't Big Al drop this and move on to something else? Like Dagwood buying every stamp in the stamp machine?" Because I'm tenacious that's why. We're seeing the Kitty Saga through to the end! Also, I'm lazy, and it's not always easy to figure out what to post. The Kitty Saga is easy.


Odie's innocent little piece from yesterday has turned into quite the barking match.