We will control the vertical…


I guess this doesn’t really deserve the Geezer tag because, while GoComics ran this today, it was drawn almost 70 years ago.

It’s probably a CIDU for many people without an AARP card, though, so for the sake of you youngsters, television sets used to require frequent manual adjustments to things like the vertical hold.

But that’s not what we’re here to discuss:

Do you think anybody, outside of comics and cartoons, has actually ever been crushed by a falling safe or piano? And if so, would you say safes and pianos are more or less dangerous than banana peels?

And is anybody starting to think my cabin fever as already begun setting in?


  1. The top comment was by someone else called “SingpaoreBill” – maybe that’s why he went into modaretoin. That and all the lynx.

  2. I remember reading a piece that claimed the “slipping on a banana peel” meme dates from the early 20th century, when they first became available in large quantities, but before cities routinely installed streetside trash cans. One the joke became familiar (in vaudeville, cartoons, and comics), it then self-propagated. That latter effect probably also explains the durability of falling anvil, piano, and safe jokes.

  3. Part of my own job has been training people about “drop zones”, because dropped loads (from cranes of various types including bucket trucks/cherry pickers) do most certainly kill people and cause injuries.

  4. I’ve always wondered about the “coin-from-the-top-of-the-Empire-State-Building” because the ESB takes up a whole block, and descends in tiers. And at the top you’re in the middle of the block. To reach the sidewalk, you’d have to throw that penny out 130 feet.

  5. This is why I come back here: Anywhere else, “has actually ever been crushed by a falling safe or piano? And if so, would you say safes and pianos are more or less dangerous than banana peels?” would have just been rhetorical questions.

  6. Someone actually investigated the “slipping on a banana peel” thing. If you eat a banana and toss the peel on the ground and step on it, it’s not particularly slippery. But here’s the thing. First, street sweeping was not always efficiently done in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and sometimes stuff tossed on the sidewalk would stay there for days. Second, as a banana peel rots it gets very slippery. After 3 or 4 days it is made up of just about the most slippery stuff known to man. Step on it and you’re certain to go down.

  7. I considered comparing “death by safe” to “death by coconut”, but it turns out that the mortality rate from the latter cause has been greatly exaggerated. Still, it would seem that there are more documented examples of coconut-related deaths than those from falling safes.

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