2 and done, Monday afternoon bonus

The “1 and done” panel comic is not quite new to CIDU, but pretty rare. Here are two of their entries from a recent week. In the first one you can sort of make out the text in the manuscript, and it incorporates the important discovery that this draft was done in (Modern or Early-Modern) English! And on the meta plane, to boot, the caption launches with the same opening words.

This one is also a LOL, but something of a CIDU into the bargain.  We get the idea of a joke, the mismatch between the grandiosity of the way he expresses it and the mundanity of the task. BUT why does he look like Moses? Is he delusional? Does he just like to dress up? Or maybe this is Moses, thrown into modern life?


  1. In case my remarks about the manuscript being in English were unclear — because the manuscript is unclear! — I’m reading it as the “In the beginning” from Genesis, not from John, thus saying something like “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (But not showing all those words.)

  2. The caption identifies him as Moses — so what’s the confusion? If the caption says it’s him you just kinda have to go with it…

  3. Does the caption identify him as Moses? The caption is in quotes, so I read it as a a quote from the character talking, rather than the omniscient narrator.

  4. Does “one and done” here just refer to it being a single-panel comic (not rare on CIDU) at all, or something else?

  5. The robe, kippa, hair, beard, and sandals (not to mention the parting gesture and the caption) add up to fairly conclusive proof that the artist intended the character to be the historic Moses in a modern setting.
    P.S. This joke has been done before. I’m not going to insert the image link here, but if you look, it’s pretty easy to find Larson’s drawing of “Moses parting his hair”.

  6. Honestly, I think it is Moses, but to play Devil’s advocate: A delusional person dressing up as Moses would also have a robe, kippa, hard, beard, and sandals, and would also make such a parting gesture.

  7. Ah! I didn’t recognize it as the name of the comic.

    I’m with larK and Kilby: it’s actually Moses, using his famous stuff-parting abilities in a mundane situation. I do like the use of the dramatic lighting, which is of course also completely mundane after about a second’s thought.

    The “initial cap” is more original and (to me at least) funnier.

  8. In the top one, is that the tip of his tongue sticking out at the left, thru some of the beard? Like a studious person concentrating and unconsciously exercising that habit. The angle doesn’t look perfect for it, but the perspective is a bit off anyway so it could be.

  9. When I re-tested that link to the “Far Side” images, I discovered that Larson also drew “Moses as a kid” (parting his milk).
    P.S. @ Mitch4 – Yep, that’s a “concentration” tongue.

  10. Even if it is a delusional guy narrating his actions to himself, I still think you have to give credence to the caption — if it says it is Moses doing the thing, you have to go along with it, at least at first, on the Charity Principle, if you are trying to understand what someone is trying to communicate. So, if it is a delusional guy, humor him and see what he is trying to say: Moses walks up to the fridge, he parts the condiments… OK, with you so far… you’re Moses, you can part things, no matter how grand, no matter how trivial… Does it really matter if he IS Moses or if he thinks he’s Moses for the purpose of the joke, that Moses could part trivial, funny sounding things like “condiments” that has that funny “k” sound? I don’t think so.

  11. Long before Gary Larson, Don Martin showed Young Moses thwarting his mom by parting the waters in the bathtub so that he could take a bath without getting wet.

  12. Looking at other “1 and done” cartoons, it does seem to be a consistent practice to use quotation marks to indicate that a caption is spoken by a character in the cartoon.

  13. Sometimes books have an illustration of something that has taken place in the story. To make it clear exactly what the illustration is depicting, they take a section of the text and put it in quotations below it. To me, anyway, that seems to be what’s happening with the quotation marks…we are to assume that this is an illustration from a book.

  14. If I remember correctly, first B. Kliban and then Gary Larson did the thing of writing a caption as if the cartoon were an illustration from a book.

  15. In the first panel, obviously the universal translator or the gift of the Timelords renders what God is writing into what we think is English.

    I first hought the quotation under the second panel was to indicate that a narrator was doing a voice over. But maybe it is the guy who looks like Moses who has gone crazy from frustration over finding the condiment he wants and is now pretending to be Moses and parting the condiments to find the one he wants. (Either he realizes this did not work and suffers even more, or he pretends to himself it did work even though it has no effect,, or he always chooses the visible condiment in the middle in order not suffer the cognitive dissonance of failing at parting condiments.) Joke is that the condiment you want is always way at the back and hard to find and you would need the miraculous parting ability of Moses to deal with.

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