Sunday Funnies – LOLs, November 29th, 2020

First appearance of Crabgrass at CIDU.

Can’t remember, has this really not been used? It’s so good!

And a special late-for-Thanksgiving quasi-synchro section of Pilgrim-hat-buckle jokes!

Contributed by Andréa:


  1. I’m perfectly aware of the “enlightened” effect that the colorist was trying to achieve on the kid’s palms in the “Crabgrass” strip, but using the same sunburned pink that the redhead has all over looks very unnatural.
    P.S. There have been some very good jokes about this topic.

  2. CaroZ, I think it’s just that the first panel is revealed as an illusion — not in our space, in reality, but in their portrayed world. He seems too be standing in front of a large yellowish background on which some sheet music is printed. Or it is supposed to be just a printing background not a big physical one. Then the second panel reveals that it is after all a real physical scene in their world. And furthermore that the yellowish background and the musical staff and notes are separate physical pieces. And that the musical staff is actually a set of horizontal wires.

    So, basically just an “I fooled you!” . Or “I fooled everybody!” which should keep that message from being mean-spirited.

  3. My father was taught to fly during the war, then he became a flying instructor. Later, he trained other pilots to be flying instructors, so was an instructor-instructor. I don’t know who taught him the ropes to achieve that skill, and indeed who trained the guys who trained them. I guess with flying it is instructors all the way up.

  4. In case any non-geezers are not familiar with the saying “it’s turtles all the way down” (which underlies the Crabgrass joke, and narmitaj’s amusing comment) here is an overview from Wikipedia:

    I was interested to see the passage “The linguist John R. Ross also associates James with the phrase:” . I first came across the story in connection with my teacher Jim McCawley and the “Generative Semantics” or “Semantic Syntax” movement (an early heretical offshoot by several of Chomsky’s early generations of students from the standardizing form of Transformational Grammar), which McCawley and J. R. “Haj” Ross were prominent in. For some reason the “Turtles all the way down” was associated with GS, and they even had a lot of in-jokes based on “Are you a turtle?” and little turtle lapel pins.

    (Warning: Ego anecdote.) I had a good interaction with “Haj” Ross at a “regional meeting” of the Chicago Linguistics Society. He was giving a talk on an interesting tangential topic, linguistics in literature and particularly poetry. At one point in his talk he projected, and in part read aloud, the first 5 stanzas of Blake’s “The Tyger” (the 6th and final stanza is a repeat of the first) and talked a little about the sentence structures and how they differ from straightforward prose, of our era or his. Then he asked — and waited for an answer from the audience — which of these stanzas has a different kind of pattern from all the rest. After a pause when nobody was responding, I called out the answer. And was right! This left me with a good feeling!

  5. He seems too be standing in front of a large yellowish background on which some sheet music is printed.

    I think it was supposed to be the equivalent of a word balloon for the music he’s playing. Then it’s revealed to be something else altogether.

  6. I agree with Brian, in first panel the notes are not in any way physical, they are there (seemingly) to represent the musical sound that would accompany the picture. And the color background could be simply the panel background, or as Brian suggests something like a word balloon. Then in second panel both are revealed as physically real.

  7. I wondered if the joke was somehow that he stopped playing when he got to the hard part. That’s some fancy finger-picking on the right.

  8. To clarify, I thought just the music was the equivalent of the word balloon, and the yellow just the panel background.

  9. It’s the first line of “Yankee Doodle”. The second half is almost the same as the first, with a G inserted after each note.

  10. @Dana K – The first panel has the melody matches the part of Yankee Doodle Dandy that starts with “Yankee doodle went to London riding on a po-.” (“pony” is cut off) Not every singer drops to that F# on the last syllable of London;
    I believe that when horse plays it, it’s too guitar-like for him, so he plays a ‘B’ in-between every melody note to show off his finger-pickin’. It’s a drone-like note that people either love or hate. Early in my adult life I went to a live intimate indoor performance of an Indian couple in Harvard Square where the man played sitar and the woman played a drone. (my body is doing a little gentle screaming in delight at the memory.) So I appreciate the repeated note in a song. I don’t really know any standard Banjo picking practices so I can’t say whether this will cause weird chords. B is in the key. Holy Christmas, I went to check on the demeaner or tone of Yankee Doodle and Wikipedia has the sheet music and the history of the tune going back centuries.

  11. @ Kevin A – Under other circumstances I might wonder whether Horace’s sudden musical cessation was some sort of protest against equine suppression.

  12. Why did the Pilgrims wear buckles on their hats? Because suspenders wouldn’t have worked.

    On a more educational note, the hat-buckle thing apparently comes from 19th century interpretation and not actual history.

    For those not familiar with Dark Side Of The Horse, Horace’s amusing musical musings are a regular recurring feature. He often plays guitar or other instruments with a tinted background and with musical notation above him. All sorts of crazy 4th-wall breaking happens.

  13. After thinking about the second comic for a while, I was surprised to discover that Wayno did his homework; that is a fairly impressive likeness of Rodin:

  14. I also meant to mention that the colored background in the DSoTH comic appears to me to be a “seamless backdrop”, as used in photo or video studios, with the musical notation seemingly mounted as a prop above him as the viewer would see it.

  15. just noticed the stick of dynamite with a lit fuze, on the ceiling above the statue in Bizarro….

  16. “The second half is almost the same as the first, with a G inserted after each note.”

    Which makes sense on the banjo, since the fifth (top) string is a G, and whacking it regularly with your thumb is exactly what you do to get the “gallop.” (Maybe the joke is connected to the fact that it’s called a “gallop”?)

  17. Dark Side of the Horse, I’m trying to figure out why a volleyball net (besides serving as a scale bar). Also, maybe the background is giant flypaper for some reason?

  18. @Voodoo, it didn’t occur to me until your comment that the strings serving as musical staves were anything other than clotheslines. But you’re right, if volleyball or badminton net that would explain the multiple lines better. However, then there should also be more verticals to make the netting. It’s a …. toss-up.

  19. The cartoon with the stone word balloon was funnier than it should have been.

    (That is, it made me laugh-out-loud, when it shouldn’t have.)

  20. @ignatzz Wish I’d taken another peek and seen Ken the tutor’s comment.
    I cannot believe how many times I counted lines and came up with ‘B’ every time.

    The only thing I know internally about notes on the staffs is that middle-C is half-way between the 2. So I always count from there to get me started on the piano. (I really only play guitar.) But this strip has around 3-or-more times as many notes between the staffs as, I think, all the sheet music I’ve held.. So I probably got the London note wrong too. I was so careful to say “drone-like” because I knew the 5th string drone was usually(?) ‘G’. And the key could have been G Major but my ‘B’ confused me. I glad I at least said the ‘B’ might be weird.

    (It seems I shouldn’t comment on music when I’m in the office at my software job.)

  21. You need to get all the way down to the image. With FireFox PC, that’s a right-click and View Image in this case:

  22. just noticed the stick of dynamite with a lit fuze, on the ceiling above the statue in Bizarro….

    The piece of pie on the floor didn’t bother you? As noted, secret symbols. The number above the signature lets you know how many.

  23. Sure. Of course, I followed it up with busted HTML. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if someone fixed it.

  24. @ Boise Ed – Do you have your browser set to clear out old cookies when you close the program or shut down the PC?

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