1. I think Bill understood that ancient(*) gag perfectly well.
    P.S. This strip was originally published on Dec 2nd, 2010. The Dec. 12th date is probably from whatever year in which it was most recently re-run.

  2. I’m afraid this will keep happening, because I seem to be incapable of accepting “take a random phrase and draw it literally” as an entire gag.

  3. Bill, I think that a long time ago you said something along the lines of, “At CIDU we can help find the gag, but we can’t necessarily help find the humor in it.”

  4. An anthropologist from Mars attempts to write a joke…. It ought to work, the pay is so tiny it actually shrinks the checks… Logically that ought to be a joke, right? … So we aren’t you laughing? I guess the anthropologist for Mars is just too complicated for you?


    FWIW, I think there is a subtle difference between us thinking the pay is minimal and finding it’s actually the check in physically small; and the pay is so small that it literally makes the checks turn physically small. I think the cartoonist meant the latter. I think the latter makes the joke closer to being acceptable but… it still fails.

  5. I don’t think I have ever got a pay cheque as such, which I would have to take to the bank and pay in personally. In early more temporary weekly paid work in the late 70s I got a little brown envelope with a clear window containing the week’s cash and a thin strip of paper with some details of amount and deductions – the wage slip. For my first salaried job in 1982 the dosh was just inserted into my bank account, but we were issued a monthly personal statement of the kind of data on the old wage slip. (I have, though, had to pay for certain small bits of freelance work that I have invoiced for).

  6. I got paper checks for decades, on and off. Usually in my experience in the 21st Century, when you start a job you are initially paid by check until they can set up direct deposit. Mind you, I haven’t been hired for 10 years, what with keeping the same job.

  7. During my training period in Clemson in 98, I had paychecks I would cash at Wachovia, because I was not going to open a bank account for 3 months.

  8. “had to pay for certain small bits” – had to pay IN CHEQUES for certain small bits

  9. @Mitch4: 😉 but the ‘ch’ in Wachovia was halfway between ‘k’ and the Spanish ‘j’.

  10. Woozy, when they they cart in one of those enormous checks for a lottery win, or a notable donation, does that indicate the amount is also large?

    Hmm,maybe you have a point…

  11. At MegaCorp, we didn’t get direct deposit until into the 90s. Normally I procrastinate on things, but I was filling out the form for DD immediately. I had a problem with paychecks piling up until I made a bank run.

  12. My first job was in a pool hall next door to a laundromat, both owned by an old guy as his “retirement”. Every Friday he would pull out the business checkbook, calculate my hours, dutifully look up my SS withholding (it was always $2.00, but he looked it up every time) and write my pay check. My second job actually had computer printed checks. The interesting part was that the company required the supervisors to personally hand deliver the checks to the employees. I suppose there was some psychological reasoning behind that, but frankly, as long as I got paid, I didn’t care who gave me the check. Everything since then has been DD.

  13. Here’s another way of doing that gag:

    At the beginning, he’s complaining about the end of the month happening every month.

  14. Good one, Olivier.
    Convenient for him the checks seem already mostly filled out, needed only his signature.

  15. When I was working I always paid by check when I was an employee – supermarket cashier, jewelry salesperson, accountant. When dad died and I took over the accounting firm, I was no longer an employee and I would deposit the checks from clients in my own bank account. Robert also was always paid by check including when he was executive director of a children’s mental health agency, his final job. Oh, wait, he does online mental health counseling and is paid through a company similar to Paypal which direct deposits into one of our accounts – but that is not pay, as he is not an employee of the company he works with. (Social Security we get direct deposited.)

    Robert’s older niece is working for Wendys and we were curious so he asked her. She could have the money deposited to a bank account, but she prefers a check and they pay with her same, so at least some places still issue paychecks.

    Since not everyone has a bank account this makes sense. I had figured they might be deposited the money if one does not have a bank account to a debit card, which may be available, but there is a huge number of “unbanked” people who would need to be paid other than by direct deposit to a bank account. Some of the unbanked are same due to not being able to legally bank accounts and for some bank accounts (by which I also include accounts at credit unions and such) are too expensive for them – if one needs all of one’s paycheck one cannot afford to keep a balance in the account for free account or pay the fees on it. Even a savings account might have a minimum required balance and then one would have to go to the bank for their money instead of cashing it (on employers time) at the employer’s bank or even better, being paid in cash. I had one client who would write a check for the net payroll, pay the employees with checks and then cash the checks for them from the cash he had taken from the bank as they did not have bank accounts.

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