1. He said they cleaned it up while facing the other way. She replies that it looks nice and while she is saying that, he turns so she can now see the pile behind her. I have something similar going on at Chez Singapore Bill. My webcam, which is used for conference calls covers a carefully curated corner of things. If I move it have a centimetre in any direction, the illusion is lost.

  2. I think it’s door#2: the pile of garbage is advancing, either because it’s alive or just collapsing.Typical Garfield not-actually-funny, alas.

  3. I’m sorry, are you literally looking at Panel 6 and thinking the garbage should be visible because of how the panel is framed and how close it is in Panel 7?

    You’re overthinking it. It’s not visible in Panel 6 because the artist didn’t want to show it until Panel 7, and didn’t pay half as much attention to the distances as Winter Wallaby did.

  4. It’s just like the Calvin & Hobbes when Calvin shoved all his junk to one side of the bed and had Hobbes take pictures of the clean side

  5. I agree with Powers.

    When I was a kid I read a “Garfield” strip where Garfield was about to clobber Odie from behind with a cooking pan. His arms were stretched high, and all that was left was to bring down his arms, and let the pan do a painful number on Odie.

    But at the last second (panel 2), Jon appeared and snatched the pan from Garfield’s hands. Er… paws.

    In the last panel (panel 3), instead of clobbering Odie, Garfield gets his just desserts by smacking the ground/table with his face. Since he no longer held a cooking pan, there was nothing to stop his forward momentum from hitting the ground! (That was supposed to be the funny punchline.)

    As a detail-oriented kid, I compared the distance between Garfield and Odie in all the panels, and found that Garfield should have been close enough that, even without the cooking pan, he still would have clobbered Odie with his fists. Er… paws.

    That’s when I realized that cartoonists don’t always aim for accuracy, especially concerning distance in three-panel cartoons.

    So the junk pile in this cartoon isn’t really moving. If it were, you’d probably see cartoony movement lines. But even if you interpret it as moving, it doesn’t really change the joke, I wouldn’t think.

  6. My confusion doesn’t just stem from the changing distances. In panel 6 when she says “looks nice,” he’s already turned around from his first orientation in panel 5. So if the garbage was situated anywhere close to where it is in the final panel, she would already have seen in.

    In other words, if you adjust the distances slightly, you can explain why the garbage isn’t visible to us in panel 6, but it should definitely have been visible to her.

  7. It is the standard joke of “don’t look over there”, just not particularly well executed: panel 3, he has the phone properly aimed at the staged area; panel 4, he forgets and relaxes and aims the phone at an unstage4d area — Liz congradulating him come before/as the phone is being moved to the new view; panel 5, silence as it sinks in on everyone of what has happened and what Liz is now seeing; panel 6, punchline, such as it is.
    Really, it’s trying very hard to follow joke telling rhythm, it just isn’t well executed — panel 3 is the straight line, panel 4 is the reversal of expectations (literally reversal in this case), panel 5 is a comic beat, panel 6 is the rim-shot.

  8. But the spelling “congradulations!” is very suited to this time of year, with all the commencement celebrations.

  9. My first take was that all he did was shove the garbage to one side and intended to show her the side without the garbage but accidently faced the wrong way. This of course can’t be because she said it looked nice in an earlier panel.

    So.. I have to conclude the garbage is alive and creeping up… which I guess it sometimes feel like. Let’s see if I can google the Simspon scene of this joke….


  10. Oh, crap. I guess the “Can’t hear you Liz” means he knew what he was doing and it was the shove to the one side and show the clean side. But somehow the strip utterly failed to convey the change of angle which makes the joke…. completely impossible. There could have been a panel where his stumbles and starts to drop the phone and when he picks it up he’s facing the other direction.

  11. Oh… good grief. He does change direction but 1) It’s not explained why 2) She says it looks nice after he changed direction.

    Anyhow… because I’ve posted three times and not added anything here’s a sequence of the Simpson’s cleaning house. Very funny. But weirdly the video starts to repeat and goes through it all 1 2/3 times.

  12. These are a series of stills that are attempting to convey movement. The clue is in the left to right order you read the strip in. In panel 4 he says “Oh, look how clean it is.” He starts to turn because…comedy and she has spoken while he was turning and says “It looks nice” which happens before he finishes his turn (notice the word balloon is over on the left. So, just as she says it, he has moved and the junk pile comes into view and she is speechless. Then the big reveal of panel 7.

    The garbage is not moving because it lacks movement lines, which are required by the Cartoonist’s Act of 1927, to indicate a non-living object is moving.

  13. Movement lines are straight, stinkum lines are wavy.
    Cartoonist’s Act of 1927, Section 3, Part 1.

  14. I used to shove it all under my bed – perhaps Jon could use that hint. (Now I have a lot of closets,file cabinets, drawer units to hide stuff, err, store items away in.

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