1. Ignoring the fact that Clement Moore may not have written the poem at all, I don’t understand why the swamp creature makes that panel an “Oy”.

  2. What is that jujube stuck to the edge of Santa’s mouth? It certainly doesn’t look like a tongue.

  3. Kilby, Moore says “not a creature is stirring,” but he couldn’t have been more wrong.

    That either amuses you or it does not: either is valid.

  4. Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, a creature was stirring … a pot of stewed mouse.

  5. Well, when I submitted it, the chaos engendered by the drones at Gatwick Airport hadn’t happened yet. Now, it isn’t as ‘Oy-able’, nor as funny, as it was previously.

  6. The joke is that the Salvation Army also has a Salvation Air Force. That’s it.

    Of course, you shouldn’t donate to the Red Kettle Campaign because the Salvation Army has a history of proselytizing and demanding religious activity from those who need their help.

  7. @Singapore_Bill, you can’t infringe a trademark if you’re using the mark to refer to the actual item that it is licensed for. Referring to “Heinz” when you’re talking about Heinz Ketchup is proper use of the mark. The law forbids using the mark in a way that would confuse the reader (or hearer) about the meaning of mark, for instance by using “Heinz” when talking about a tomato-based sauce (or any sauce) from another manufacturer.

  8. The Salvation Army one could have used one more touch, the drones should have been carrying bells. If someone came up to me and said “Salvation Army drone” I would look at them weird and back away, but I would also imagine a drone with a bell attached.

  9. “Kilby, Moore says “not a creature is stirring,” but he couldn’t have been more wrong.”

    Oh! I thought it was surreal Mr. Magoo type of interpretation. He thought he saw St. Nicholas coming down a chimney and filling stockings when what it really was was the creature from the black lagoon raiding his kitchen. Why the creature from the black lagoon rather than, say, Cthulhu or a Herman Munster? I thought it was just cartoonist’s prerogative.

    Which is to say…. I just plain didn’t get it. But I still liked it.

  10. This cartoon could have also been geared to people who watched movies in the last 20 years, instead of people who watched movies 50+ years ago, by using Kreacher from the Harry Potter movies..

  11. ” The law forbids using the mark in a way that would confuse the reader (or hearer) about the meaning of mark, for instance by using “Heinz” when talking about a tomato-based sauce (or any sauce) from another manufacturer.”

    That’s a bit of an overstatement. Trademark law has two purposes… first, to protect the public, so they aren’t defrauded, and second, to protect the mark’s holder’s economic interests, particularly in their reputation. This means that some aspects of trademark law are implemented by police (in criminal court ) and some by the mark’s holder, (in civil court). While the Xerox corporation might prefer it if you did not call a photocopier a “Xerox machine”, the police will not be breaking down your door to arrest you for continuing to do so. If you are gluing your own stripes on shoes you had manufactured for you, and selling them in boxes with the word “Adidas” on the side, however, you may well get that knock on the door.

  12. “That seems like some trademark infringement with the Salvation Army.”

    Now on to this one. A trademark is infringed when it is used to indicate goods’ origin in a way that is not accurate. So, (sticking with athletic footwear), when Niki sticks a swoosh on the side of their shoes, the trademark isn’t infringed, but when a protester puts the swoosh logo over a photo of sweatshop laborers and walks around in front of the store, that isn’t trademark infringement either, because infringement involves placing the mark on goods.

    But wait, there’s more. Some trademarks are ALSO protected by copyright. So, if you use a copyrighted trademark, you can be in violation of the copyright even though you haven’t misused the trademark (as a trademark.) This means that if you want to make a keychain with the Ferrari logo on it, so you can impress people who don’t recognize the Honda keys on your Ferrari keychain, you may be violating the copyright in the trademark, and that’s why your fake Ferrari-logo keychain doesn’t like QUITE like Ferrarri’s.

  13. “Woozy, as opposed to Cthulhu or Herman Munster, the Creature goes by “Creature.””

    I know. I’m saying I didn’t get that it was a reference to “not a creature”. I thought it was just a surreal, what could be more *un*like Santa Claus that the creature from the black lagoon.


    “The last one is a geezer. I doubt that anyone under 40 is familiar with diagramming sentences.”

    Diagramming sentences is a big thing in Internet Memes right now. People have very fond nostalgia for them.

  14. ” People have very fond nostalgia for them.”

    I find that very unlikely.
    There’s a Far Side where the guy is in Hell and all the books are “Story Problems” Larson could have substituted “Sentence diagramming” for “Story Problems” for the same effect, I think.

  15. There are people who love story problems too.

    I personally love both.

    It basically began with this book Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey. The book was very popularly received (pretty much by the same people who made knitting “cool again” and for the same reasons).

    It is now “a thing” pretty well-known and the idea of which (albeit *not* the actual doing of) is very well-liked and thought about by *both* people who remember it fondly, *and* by those who fondly remember hating them.

    [I think people strongly underestimate the power of fond nostalgia of things *disliked*. The feel all the better for having suffered them and having it over and feel the memory of having done it is worth the unpleasantness they had to endure doing it. It’s a … badge of recognition and handshake into a special group of people who think like you. Very seductive impressions.]

  16. Powers, please do not spread misinformation. The USA branch of the Salvation Army has been hijacked by zealots who preach discrimination but it is an organization of integrity and inclusiveness and integrity elsewhere. I don’t know the circumstances in every country but I know the Canadian Salvation Army is noting like that. They have responded to allegations of discrimination in these statements:



    The UK branch also categorically denounces discrimination, saying there is “no scriptural basis for it”.

    I’d encourage anyone considering donating to a charity to look into the organization and find out how it spends donations and if it aligns with your values.

    So, again, please do not spread misinformation. This site has an international audience and, as far as I know, this bigotry is limited to the USA. Just like Boy Scouts in other countries aren’t homophobic organizations.

  17. I apologize. I admit I thought the Red Kettle Campaign was purely American, but I also didn’t really consider other countries’ branches of the Salvation Army.

    Regardless, the name itself is enough to put me off donating.

  18. @Singapore_Bill; good info about the non-US Salvation Armies. Like Powers, the name (and overtly Christian nature) of the organization is enough to keep me from donating, even if I were not actually in the USA. Also the UK branch is wrong, there’s plenty of scriptural basis for discrimination, notably Paul’s letters (if they want to ignore the pre-Jesus parts of the Bible). What they mean is, “We disagree with scripture in this case.”

  19. @ Powers and carlfink: I am an atheist myself and don’t much care for religious charities. That said The Salvation Army, at least in Canada, does a great deal of good. It directly provides services to many of the most needy and destitute, the ones that are “glamorous” charity cases, like junkies and dirty, smelly street people. Nobody has to sit through sermons to get help, though I’m sure they’ll tell you about Jesus if you’re willing to listen. My dad told me that when he was a young man and in trouble with the law, The Salvation Army were the only ones there to help him when he got out of prison. He said they didn’t judge him or look down on him, they just helped him. He went on to five decades as a hard-working, tax-paying father and husband. The Sally Ann may have made all the difference in that. He was a non-believer but had great respect for them through his life. If they spend a bit on religion stuff, I’ll tolerate that. They are on my giving list because actions speak louder than words.

  20. “James, I for one realy enjoyed diagramming sentences.
    And really, how is this any odder than doing crossword puzzles or sudokus?”

    No one ever made me do a crossword or sudoku when I didn’t particularly want to.

  21. “Boy Scouts in other countries aren’t homophobic organizations.”

    The BSA are largely captive to the Mormon church.

  22. There was a close relationship with the BSA, but “captive” is a little strong, and anyway, that’s all in the past. Seems the BSA has become too liberal for the LDS folks. I’d provide links, but I can’t figure out how to cut and paste on this iPad. Google is your friend.

  23. Actually, James, nobody ever made me diagram a sentence either: it had apparently fallen out of favor in my city’s school system.

    We were, however, forced to ckmplete a crossword puzzle once a week in fourth grade. A fourth-grade level puzzle, of course.

  24. There was a big thing a few years ago about the Salvation Army not allowing gay volunteers and having a a homosexuality is sin stance and big into conversion therapy. It was easy to believe but it was pure and total lies. They aren’t a gay rights organization but they incorporated a specific anti-discrimination toward gays relatively early (80s ish– not newsworthily early but respectable… beat depictions on Star Trek by *two* decades so….) and conversion therapy was never a policy.

  25. “There was a close relationship with the BSA, but “captive” is a little strong, and anyway, that’s all in the past”

    I’ll concede that my connections to, and interest in, either organization is pretty diffuse.

  26. It’s been about 5 decades since I diagrammed a sentence, so I may be misremembering, but shouldn’t the vertical line between “been” and “bad” be slanted since “bad” is used as an adjective?

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