1. It was a common thing to call a close friend of the family, one that’s trusted with the care of children (especially a god-parent) to be called “Aunt” or “Uncle” followed by their first name (it has to be the whole thing).

    I had a host of them (god parents and neighbors), plus, possibly not-a-relative, my “Auntie Tid”, who I only knew by the birthday present (usually clothing) that she’d send me yearly when I was young child. I had no memory of actually meeting her, but my mom would make sure I sent her a thank-you note (this was after my parents’ divorce, so…?…)

  2. Greg Evann’s acknowledges he completely blew it with old “uncle” business. He had a brain fart where for some reason he thought that technically the husband of your aunt was not an uncle. He has since acknowledged that of course the husband of your aunt is your uncle and he has no idea why he thought otherwise.

    Kevin A. That’s all well and good but Brad’s wife is the sister of the kid’s father. He is *not* a close friend of the family. He *is* the family. Specifically, he is the kid’s uncle.

  3. Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott did something similar several years ago, though they were a bit more explicit in admitting their mistake. A few months after penning a strip that referred to turtles as amphibians, they made one where Zoe and Hammie ask Darryl whether turtles are reptiles or amphibians and then laugh at him when he answers “amphibians”.

  4. Don’t overthink this; it’s an Earth Day cartoon. Though the President of the moment probably won’t recognize the typo before sending someone out to get him a hamberder.

  5. Thanks Woozy! (I erased my opening disclaimer that I all I knew about Luann, I had read here. I’d recognized mid-dissertation, and in a midnight post-Mass.-Pike-creeping-return-home stupor, that I had no idea what the Uncle Brad controversy was.)

  6. Kevin A.

    There was a Sunday Strip where (recalling from memory) the kid Shannon who lives with Brad and his wife, Toni, was prattling off questions such as “Aunt Toni, you are my dad’s sister. ANd my dad is your brother, and you are married to Brad, and Brad is your husband?” and Toni answers “Yes” and “So the rumor goes” and “yes”. And then the kid asks “Does that mean Brad is my uncle?” and Toni answers straightly “No, Brad isn’t your Uncle” and then Shannon ask “Then what is he?” and the final panel is some sweet bonding moment.

    … and the internet discussion was …. what does she mean ‘No, Brad isn’t your uncle’? Was she lying to the child? Was it a joke? Did he think spouses aren’t uncles/aunts? Do some Americans not consider uncles by marriages legitimate?

    The upshot was simply the cartoonist blew it.


  7. Woozy
    Hah! I remember laughing at CIDU Bill’s heading for that January post.
    It seems I forgot part of the “all I knew about Luann, I had read here”.

  8. Woozy, I still think the “not your uncle” statement by Toni is clearly a joke. When Shannon asks what they are doing in the first panel, Brad says they are “exercising” when they are clearly vegging on the couch. When Toni asks Brad what he is and he says “lucky”, it is a reference to Toni having a similar sense of humor to make the not your uncle joke.

    I regularly try to communicate with family members that do not have similar sense of humor, it is frustrating and even depressing at times. I have given up trying to joke with them. Brad is lucky.

  9. Well, I’d accept that except… 1)”No, he’s not your uncle” is not very funny and IMO somewhat undermining to a child’s security and development when it was a sincere are serious question (although Shanon is clearly a more secure child than I ever was) and 2) Evvan’s *did* acknowledge he had “gray matter splat”.

    Yeah… I understand your sense of humor and had this been just a *bit* more quirky I’d have accepted.

    “they are clearly vegging on the couch” I thought of it more as gentle but amorous cuddling.

  10. @ B.A. – Actually, I was quite thankful that Daniel provided that crucial detail. Without it, one might think that Greg Evans is just as clueless about current (political) events as he is (or was) about family relationships. The “Earth Day” connection restores sone of the “timeless” or “generic” quality to the office. This is one strip that will play better as a decade old rerun than it did originally. I would like to hope that the editors will manage to correct the typo before then, but they probably won’t.

  11. P.S. @ John K. – In that earlier strip, I thought “exercise” was a euphemism for activity that should not be explicitly explained to a niece that young, and that “lucky” described his future (rather than his current) condition. In other words, Brad was hoping to “get lucky”.

  12. “I would like to hope that the editors will manage to correct the typo before then, but they probably won’t.”

    What typo? Shannon’s a child. For comic strip purposes she supposed to misspell words.

  13. Well, I got the vegging on the couch from the TV remote that Brad was holding. Looks like they are settling in to watch TV for awhile. And yes, I agree that the humor used on Shannon is probably not the best but she has a history in the strip for being a little belligerent already so it has gone back and forth. And I don’t think Brad was referring to “getting lucky” or “exercising” as a euphemism for hanky panky in that uncle piece. I guess I don’t have the same sense of humor….duly noted…

    I do have one more question to CIDU Bill on this strip, did you omit the 3rd panel where Brad comments on Shannon’s letter or is it as you saw it? My Sunday paper had that 3rd panel where Brad says “OK, First the good news: This is a very nice letter.

    Brad could be commenting on her spelling, but I suspect it is a comment on the current President’s opinion on Global Warming.

    Just curious if your source cut it.

  14. John, I left off the third panel because it was both political and completely irrelevant to the point I was making: that Evans finally figured out what my 2-year-old understood when his Uncle Dave married Judy.

  15. Bill, could you please (serious request) mention when you are not presenting the full comic in future? For a lot of comics, I only see them here (Luann case in point), and it distorts my perception of reality if you are editing them when I assume I’m seeing them in full…

  16. Fair enough, larK. I will make every effort to remember.

    One caveat, though: I don’t always save the extraneous panels of comics that have them, unless it’s a CIDU and said panel might help to explain it.

  17. Oh yeah, I thought this was the full comic, and thought “wow, just preachy, not even trying to make a joke.”

  18. Oh…. I assumed this was the full strip. I thought the joke was “how sweet”. Actually if I saw the third panel I’d absolutely not get it at all.

    So this “typo”….. That’s Shannon’s spelling of “gobal”? So is this Evann’s way of covering? If people accuse him of being political he’d just say “oh, no. He’s referring to the misspelling”? Hmmph, In my opinion if you are going to be political you ought to just do it. If you feel you need a cover then… you shouldn’t be political.

  19. Maybe a fun activity for Bill could be to post partial comics, or put together unrelated panels of comics from different days, without telling us that he’s edited them. Then see how we interpret them, and what convolutions we go through to make sense of them. 🙂

  20. WW There was that weird arlo and janice where where janice appeared to be squatting in the garden to pounce on the cat and intercut with arlo saying something irrelevant.

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