54 Comments

  1. I don’t get Eskimo Pie Dogs.

    Pie dogs are mongrel dogs but that’s not a very well known term. Eskimo Pies are delicious but basing a pun entirely on “pie” isn’t worth doing…. I mean you might as well do Pumpkin Pie Charts and no-one would crack a smile….

    So I wonder if I’ll get this the moment I hit POST….

    Eskimo pie dogs…. hmmm…..

  2. The (ancient) term “pie” comes from “piebald“, which meant “checkered”. A black & white mix bears a fleeting resemblance to an Eskimo Pie, at least after it has been bitten into.

  3. P.S. Does “Trix” still advertise with the rabbit? The comic is 5+ years old, but it’s still borderline geezer material, I think.

  4. Pye dogs are semi-feral strays in India. The name comes from a Hindi word that means outsider.

  5. I think they’re trying to say that Alaskan Huskies are known as “Eskimo Dogs.” I have never encountered that phrase, but maybe it’s regional somewhere?

  6. Apologies to Andréa in advance for the following comment:
    @ Carlfink – Besides the fact that “Eskimo” is rapidly becoming a deprecated term, I’m afraid the intended joke may have been based on the word “delicious”, referring to the possibility that under desperate circumstances, sled dogs may end up serving as an emergency larder.
    P.S. @ “Pie” vs. “Pye” – Ooops, please forgive my two cents.

  7. The T. Rex one was a CIDU for me… Trix has not impinged on my consciousness; not even sure if it is on sale in the UK, apart from amazon. There is a Trex foodstuff in the UK, “the UK’s no.1 dairy free alternative to butter for use in baking”, though I gather Trex in the US is “the world’s best high-performance composite decking brand”, neither of which are as snappy punchlines for a cartoon as “X.Xxx is for kids!”.

    T.Rex, apart from being a shortening of the D.Saur’s name, is probably best known in the UK even now as the name of a very successful glam rock band that appealed to teenyboppers and others in the early 70s, fronted by Marc Bolan, who died in a car crash in 1977 a fortnight before his 30th birthday. At one point their output represented 6% of domestic UK record sales, no mean feat in the early 70s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._Rex_(band) Metal Guru! Ride a White Swan! Telegram Sam!

  8. Pied Beauty
    Gerard Manley Hopkins – 1844-1889

    Glory be to God for dappled things—
    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
    Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
    And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

    All things counter, original, spare, strange;
    Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
    He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
    Praise Him.

    This poem is in the public domain.

  9. I can’t now pin down a synchrony item with another Potatoheads cartoon involving removal / withholding of some parts — I think it was mouth. Not actually the Lockhorns of course, but something of their flavor; one spouse doesn’t want the other saying anything.

  10. There were several at the end of 2019; I think I sent them to CIDU Bill for a potatohead collection; I saw my first DEATH comic today.

  11. Aha, these are all from Hilburn / Argyle Seawater!
    Thanks much, Andréa! I guess it was the “that kind of language” one I was thinking of.

  12. @Narmitaj – in the US T.Rex is best known for “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”. Fun fact: Elton John can be seen in the video, though he doesn’t play on the song.

  13. Narmitaj, In the U.S. there is a cereal named Trix. It used to be advertised by a rabbit (animated) trying to get some. He never did, and the tag line was “Trix are for kids”.

  14. It’s a pun on the American Eskimo dog.

    The American Eskimo Dog is a breed of companion dog, originating in Germany. The American Eskimo Dog is a member of the Spitz family. The breed’s progenitors were German Spitz, but due to anti-German sentiment during the First World War, it was renamed “American Eskimo Dog.” — Wikipedia

  15. I named my second cat ‘Pi’, because he was colored in black-and-white patches, and because, like all cats, he was transcendentally irrational.

  16. He never did, and the tag line was “Trix are for kids”.

    Leading to one of those rambling jokes (which I have been informed are NOT “shaggy dog stories”) with the punchline, “Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids.”

  17. Brian in STL:

    Where are you going, bear foot boy with teak of Chan?
    People who live in grass houses should not store thrones.

  18. (Or “stow thrones”.)

    These indeed are not usually counted among the shaggy dog genre. However, as I think of these they are also not generally rambling, but pretty focussed on setting up the conditions for the punning punch line. Maybe a really rambling alternative approach would go with the shaggy dogs.

    And always remember: If the Foo sh1ts, wear it! And don’t let us catch you crossing sedate lions with immortal porpoises.

  19. Well, there are two kinds of shaggy dog stories, depending on your local culture. One kind has a medium-length or longer set-up ending with a series of puns such as “transporting gulls over a staid lion for immortal porpoises.” The other is endlessly long and has a damp squib for a punch line, like “Did you know that dog can talk?” or “He’s not that shaggy.”

  20. I’ve never understood why some people consider feghoots a form of shaggy dog stories as they’re quite different.

  21. So many consider and refer to feghoots to be Shaggy Dog Stories that I’m not sure we can insist that the we are correct in the difference. Although I sure wish I could! Although they are both long rambling stories the humor of a shaggy dog is the it’s astonishingly lack of humor at the end; a feghoot is the end is seeing to torture construction that went into.

    It’s funny. St. Wikipedia makes the distinction between the two in their entries. And in Feghoot they mention two short stories by Asimov; “Death of a Foy” and “Battle-Hym”. But in Shaggy Dog they mention Asimov’s story “Shah Guido G” and fail to mention that it is actually a feghoot despite every other example and the definition they used is clearly the Shaggy Dog.

    It’s immodest but my favorite feghoot is one I made up that ends with “The Frog comes in on little chapped feet”. I won’t say my favorite but one of the most anti-climatic and wet squibbest of Shaggy dogs is the one that ends with “F### you, Clown!”. Actually, I suppose the quintessential Shaggy Dog story is the “Tibetan Peach Pie” story (“Okay, how about apple”)

    Sadly, for the confusion of the people who refer to feghoot as “Shaggy Dog” they often cite as the origin of the Shaggy Dog as the feghoot that ends with “I wouldn’t send a Knight out on a dog like this”

    My favorite (correct) usage of Shaggy Dog story is in the strip Barnaby where Gorgon, the Shaggy Dog, starts taking to telling Shaggy Dog story (“so if you know anyone who is in the market for and egg shaped fur-lined pool table I know where he can get one cheap”)

  22. I still don’t think either “Eskimo Dog” or “Pye Dog” are well-known enough to make a pun on them work.

    Eskimo Dog/Pie is particular weak as the connector of Eskimo is just too obvious to make it impossible for anyone to think it was clever. One might as well make a joke about the Leaning Eiffel Tower of Pisa. (Then again I think the same think about Apple Pi which, for reasons unfathomable to me, most people find hilarious.)

    On the other hand most folks I’ve asked are familiar with the term “Pye dogs” (I wasn’t) so that could be a *fantastic* pun if only “Pye dog” were a term common to me.

  23. I can’t say I was familiar with the term “feghoot”.

    Would you guys consider Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” to be a shaggy dog story?

  24. “Alice’s Restaurant” a shaggy dog story? Not at all, no more than “Tristram Shandy”. There may not be a punch line to “Alice’s Restaurant” but there’s lots of funny stuff along the way.

    I think the shaggiest of shaggy dog stories was the one that was told here a few months ago, that ended with “Patience, jackass.” Or is that a different thing altogether?

  25. My favorite self-invented tortured pun story, which I guess by these definitions is a Feghoot, involves an sf author trying to sell a story about the invention of a murderous weapon powered by dried grapes. His agent worried that while the writing was good, the basic premise was flawed, as no publisher would buy into the story’s raisin death ray.

  26. I would definitely consider both Alices Restaurant and Tristam Shandy Shaggy Dog Stories. Actually Tristram Shandy is a Shaggy Dog Story *and* a feghoot.

    Funny and amusing thing can happen in a Shaggy Dog story and the better told shaggy dog stories will have lots of diversions.

    I suppose there can be a few sub genres of the shaggy dog story; one in which the audience isn’t expecting a joke and a punchline so much but a point that is never actually met through the meandering; one in which the side rambllings are a lot more interesting then the intended story; a third could be where the intended subject (“Remember Alice”) is never met.

    These are all *slightly* be not very different than the true shaggy dog story that stays on point but takes a long time to get there but it’s always a clear goal that when it finally comes is horrifyingly anti-climatic (often being that the characters in the story turned out not to care much for the point after all).

    Actually, I guess that is “quite” different from the rambling story. I change my mind “Alices Restaurant” and Mark Twains “The Grandfather’s bully old ram” are not shaggy dog stories after all.

  27. Can’t say I’ve ever heard the term feghoot (and I note my spell check doesn’t recognize it, either.). I did once come up with (in my mind) a great punch line – “The mass is always leaner on the udder hide of the sheep.” Unfortunately, I could never come up with a good story to go with it.

  28. It was not all that long ago that I first came across what may be now my favorite non-pun laborious story. (Not sure it’s shaggy dog.). It’s about laborious preparations for going to a prom, and at every step you detail the delay in terms of waiting in a line. There’s the ticket line, The formal wear rental line, eventually the entrance line. Finally you’re at the event, and when your date asks for refreshment, surprisingly it is very quick and to get some drinks. You know why? ….

    No punch line.

  29. ” “The mass is always leaner on the udder hide of the sheep.” Unfortunately, I could never come up with a good story to go with it.”

    Oh, you probably just didn’t try hard enough.

    So Old man Johnson was a long time sheep farmer when the Tuberculosis epidemic of 86 broke out. Three years it took before it was brought under control. It was never completely eradicated but it was brought to standards that the government found tolerable. After all what else could the government do? If they declared all sheep unfit for consumption the economy would collapse so the farmers did there best; they imported in fresh stock and isolated to worst cases but it was decided sheep with minor tumors would be acceptable for eating but those with massively large tumors would have to euthanized and their bodies burnt.

    Old man Johnson did his best to comply but times were lean and this was his livelihood so if he hid the stock just shy of the regulations rather than loose large amounts of his equity it can be understood if not forgiven.

    But by 92 it got serious that nearly all his stock hand some tumors and some quite massive so every day he’d inspect his sheep and separate them into pens based on the tumor size. Over the years he got quite a bit of data. He found that his breeding male stock tended to have fatty massive oozy tumors, but if he keep the young isolated for the breeders they would still have tumors but they’d be leaner and not as hazardous to the health of the consumer. However best of all was the condition of the sheep he reserved for dairy. He found that frequent milking kept the tumors, although still an annoying intrusive, taut and supple. The more he milked the leaner the tumors.

    Soon he was milking his ewes six times a day which wore the skin near the teats chapped and leathery. But all in all, he figured this was the best practice because….

    ….

    And there you have it.

    See, I think anyone could have done it. But those who care about the well-being of humanity would resist. (I unfortunately have no such scruples.

  30. “So, what is this . . . a feghoot? Or something else?”

    That was a yarn. It’s close to a Shaggy Dog story. To be a true Shaggy Dog the punchline should have been a little less funny.

    It had a few feghoots along the way to the end though. (“First man to wire a head for a reservation” is excellent.)

  31. Nice try, woozy, but you fall into the same trap my attempts all seemed to hit up against. Namely, the story always seem to have some sort of ‘ick’ factor that, in my opinion, makes the joke somehow… unpleasant. Maybe it’s just me.

  32. I think the shaggiest of shaggy dog stories was the one that was told here a few months ago, that ended with “Patience, jackass.”

    Those are ones that require audience input. There’s a similar one one with the punchline “Shut up fool, I know what I’m doing.” Those are tough if the audience has heard it or figures it out, so that the teller is left twisting in the wind.

  33. “Those are tough if the audience has heard it or figures it out, so that the teller is left twisting in the wind.”

    Serves him right. They’re mean trick.

    “Namely, the story always seem to have some sort of ‘ick’ factor that, in my opinion, makes the joke somehow… unpleasant. ”

    As I was coming with it I had to admit it got grosser and grosser … but I just flowed with it. I figure it might say something about my post holiday mood. Not sure an ick factor need negate it.

    But there was this town with two churches both dedicated the symbolism of the Lamb. One church was dedicated to the idea of God as a warrior and decorated their pews with ram’s skins and bedecked their altar with ram horns. The other church was dedicated to the idea of God as nurturer and mother and decorated their interior with ewe’s skins and filled their chalices with ewe’s milk. However the services of the church with the rams skins were always more popular and heavily attended to than the services church with the ewe’s skin.

    So the mass is always leaner on the udder hide of the sheep.

    ….

    Okay, that’s kind of icky too. Just the mood I’m in, I guess.

  34. Hmm, I don’t respond much to some of these, not because of some “ick factor” but just at what you might call a technical level – – my expectations of what the wordplay could be like don’t seem to be satisfied by some parts of these. How, for example, does ‘mass’ stand in for ‘grass’? It’s just a rhyming word, where I was expecting a homophone, a near-homophone, or best of all a Spooner transform of several words.

    Not saying you can’t do it that way, or can’t enjoy it that way. Just that it doesn’t do it for me.
    🙆‍♀️

  35. How about something with ‘cleaner’ instead of ‘leaner’. Or using ‘leaner’ as ‘one who leans’?

  36. Hmmm…. the challenge I rose to was the claim one had they line and the person who had made the line liked it. And my challenge was to come up with the story. I didn’t think it’s really pertinent (or polite) to critique the quality of the line itself.

    There’s one I came up with were I really liked the story– a very plausible and natural sounding story about the pitfalls of ecological engineering of sensitive biosystems in light of increased human activity– but I didn’t like the clunky and ill tripping line; you can’t bleach an old bog’s new ticks.

  37. Woozy, I’m sorry my expression of a rather particular dissatisfaction came across as an impolite critique. Really I did want to be, and try to be, polite.

  38. Football coach walks into a bar; seeing him approach, the quarterback, fullback, and both halfbacks (knowing they are breaking training) run and hide in the guys’ toilet. Coach, who has seen them but is inclined to be merciful once, is asked by the bartender what he’d like to drink, and says “Nothing for me — but see what the backs in the boys’ room will have.”

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.