The background story is hard to explain (especially as I have barely followed it myself). Suffice it that — due to some repairs or renovations on their house — this family has been living outdoors in an extended backyard for a long time, variously in tents, or in this treehouse, or in the scrub with local wildlife.
And Yay! to the cartoonist for that “Ring Ring Ring” in the first panel! I completely accepted it as a drawing device to indicate the electro-mechanical sound of a phone ringing. But no, it was the wife just saying the words “Ring Ring Ring”. Good job of surprising us with a defeated assumption!
But then tut-tut on showing the string just drooping there slackly! As of the day following the GoComics appearance of this strip, some ninety percent of the comments there are devoted to pointing out that for a “tin can telephone” to work, the string has to be pulled taut between the cans, essentially in a single straight line. (And secondary to this, the attachment of the string with a piece of tape, shown in the first panel, is a rel;ated part of why this setup wouldn’t work — to get the vibrations to transfer, the traditional setup is to punch a small hole in the base of the can, thread the string thru the hole, and tie a knot on the end so it can pull taut.)
Hard to guess whether the cartoonist just didn’t know; or knew but just didn’t think it would matter; or knew but built in an excuse, that they can quite easily hear each other by the sound carrying in the open air, and the tin-can-telephone is just their little joke!
Okay, the general line of the joke is clear enough. But what really are the respective methods they are using, and contrasting? Is Arlo using Shazam on a laptop? Using the laptop to view the radio station’s website to find their “now playing” widget? Or is that laptop doing the streaming and he is checking the streaming service? Is Janis using anything besides Google and Wikipedia? How did she know what to look up?
One difference is in the balance or proportions between the “Hey, it’s a holiday! Stores should have sales! Let’s go have a picnic!” aspect, and the comparatively somber commemorative and remembrance aspect — the “memorial” part.
From maggiethecartoonist we have this Real Life Adventures, which takes a focus on the holiday picnic (or rather, barbecue) aspect.
On the Remembrance side of things, another regular reader suggests this one:
If you’re thinking “Didn’t we just see this same joke?” you may be remembering this Life On Earth we posted recently. (Hey, that was in Sunday Funnies – LOLs, May 7th, 2023 . How come the Farcus today goes in the OYs?)
Found on Facebook without good information. We’ve tagged for “Frank Svoboda” based on the (c) line; but searching that name finds someone who was a collector / dealer / agent but doesn’t say he was also a creator, and those roles could fit with copyright holder. So maybe the writing on the side of the bar is the signature? It seems to say “Phranque” and while there is a band with that name I didn’t find any cartoonists or illustrators. And maybe that brings us back around to Frank S, who could have liked stylizing his first name.
A suggestion from Maggiethecartoonist:
Discussion among Maggie and the editors suggested that there are several informations perhaps not immediately known to all readers, which are useful to unpacking the multiple jokes/OYs here. So something of a semi-CIDU.
Thanks to Philip, who sent this in and suggested a better wording for the punch line. … Which we’ll print below the cartoon image, so you have a moment to comment with your own suggestion first, if you like.
As Philip asks, Wouldn’t this be better as “Making a cool car is hot work.”?
I think we have established pretty confidently that Baldo is done in English first then translated for the Spanish edition; so missing the pun-portunity in the English is not likely explained as translation problem from the Spanish original . Nonetheless, for whatever light it may shed, here is the Spanish version: