1. Replacing “Hänsel” with wood is not one of Melcher’s more sophisticated efforts. That’s all there is. Move along, people.

  2. I think to the cartoonist’s mind the image reminded him strongly of Hansel and Gretel and assumed that when he points that out the reader will respond with an enthusiastic “Oh, my God, you are so right! That is *exactly* like Hanel and Gretel!”

    I’m afraid the cartoonist may have a longer wait than anticipated.

  3. I only uncertainly remember when the Kindle device was introduced, and there was some interest in “kindle” as an active (transitive) verb. It is clearly not obsolete, but nonetheless felt disused in comparison to the more frequently seen “kindling”, almost as though it were a back formation. Not so, it turns out. The verb is there in Middle English, from Old Norse; and the -ING form is derived from it, as a conjugation, in just the normal way.

    The noun used for “easily combustible material for starting a fire” was something like a 17th century derivation.

  4. The word “kindle” is (or was) the proper collective term for a multitude of kittens (playing on the sense of “enlivenment”). The term just did not survive into modern (everyday) usage (as did the orthographically anomalous “school of fish”).

  5. Before reading your comments, all that came to my mind was that he was calling Hansel a faggot. (Or calling a faggot Hansel.)

  6. @ Arthur – That’s extremely good, but I think it’s far too obscure to be the intended reading. If the word were in the title, I think it would have been funnier, but that caption would probably seem too insulting, even for a webcomic.

  7. Am I the only one for whom this conversation has evoked memories of Dave Lister’s truly execrable “Indling Song” from the first season of Red Dwarf?

  8. @ DemetriosX – I know I’ve seen that, because I have Red Dwarf on DVD, but I must have suppressed the memory of it (because it is truly horrible, even though that was on purpose).
    P.S. On one of the Shrek DVD’s, there was a comment in the extras about Eddie Murphy finding it difficult to sing horribly on purpose.
    P.P.S. In case anyone is still reading this thread: any ideas about what part of “Hänsel” this girl thinks she is holding?

  9. @Kilby: Patricia Routledge had a problem similar to Eddie Murphy’s as Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances.

    As for what part of Hänsel that is and the general kindling/Hänsel connection, it should be remembered that he does use twigs to convince the witch that he isn’t properly fattened up.

  10. @ larK – Presumably only in the morning.
    P.S. I groaned at the “caboodle” pun, but it inspired me to look in Lipton’s “An Exaltation of Larks“, which lists “clowder”, “cluster”, and “clutter” for “cats”, and cites “kyndyll” as the original spelling of the term for “kittens”.

  11. This is the first Steve Melcher to have me laugh out loud. 🙂 (Up to now, my feeling has been closer to “please, stop”.)

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