Now everybody sympathize your watches!

Because when the clock strikes three, we will have the Big Synchronicity Roundup!

First up, Andréa was struck by the treatment of the old Goofy/Pluto problem, in Pearls Before Swine and Strange Brew:

Next up, Jerry found the focus on Feng Shui in Bizarro and Pickles:

Finally, BillR was seeing jigsaw puzzles all over the place, or at least in F-Minus and Rhymes With Orange:


  1. The “zoom service” throwaway got the biggest chuckle from me. (But I quite enjoyed the time-saver puzzle as well).

  2. That “sympathize our watches” line feels familiar, but I can’t come up with what it was.

    But I do remember those “synchronize our watches” moments from movies with commando or elaborate heist operations. And I didn’t understand what they were supposed to be actually doing. Yes, setting the minute hand to the designated time, and on “Mark!” pushing the stem back in. But second hands weren’t settable from the stem/knob, so if the operation depended on to-the-second timing weren’t they going to have some of the squad a little off?

  3. Woops, sorry, there may have been a genuine comment mis-classified as Spam by the automatic tool (NOT just held in Pending), that I deleted from Spam list while scanning them for items to save out. It didn’t have a distinctive avatar, which is often the clue I need to slow down and look again, as some regular commenters do get thrown into spam by the Akismet algorithm, and seeing for instance the green skink alerts me to slow down. Anyhow if you were commenting with remarks that started something like Remember the MAD Magazine parody "Mickey Mouse" please give it a try again.

  4. I don’t know about sympathizing watches but I know about syncopating watches.

    Here is an excerpt from “That’s Me All Over, Mable” by Edward Streeter. It’s letters from a soldier in World War I back to his girlfriend.

    While we was firin at the range the other day I was sittin on a hill with the fone takin messages from another hill. I was thinkin of you an gettin kind of dopy when some one says over the fone “This is the General.” I says “How do you do sir.” Curteus. Thats me all over, Mable. I guess he didnt here me though. He says “Were going to syncopate our watches.” That was a new one on me Mable. I was goin to tell him that mine didnt need it. Its the one your father gave me an its been runnin in ragtime ever since I got it.

    Then he says “When I say check its ten fifty five (10.55).” I thought he was exceedin his authority but I didnt say nothin an when he said check I just passed it over. He waited a minute and then he says “When I say check its ten fifty seven (10.57).” It struck me that I might have worked that out myself but I didnt say nothin. Then he says after a minute. “When I say check its ten fifty nine (10.59).” Then just to save him trouble I says “I got a watch myself sir. And as a matter of fact your five minutes fast.” I guess I was slow. But as I say bein in arrest aint no disgrace like bein in the city.

  5. So does the Goofy/Pluto disconnect actually confuse anyone or do people just like to pretend it’s disconcerting.

  6. Woozy says So does the Goofy/Pluto disconnect actually confuse anyone or do people just like to pretend it’s disconcerting

    Huh? No, neither!

    Nobody has been confused about it. And nobody is pretending anything.

    People for a long time have been noting, amusedly, that there is a disparity in the handling of these two characters, seemingly members of the same species. There’s no confusion and there’s no pretence and nothing is said to be disconcerting.

  7. I can’t speak for all types of watches, but way back in high school when I actually had a watch, one could synchronize with others down to the second by pulling out the stem, setting the minute and putting just enough backward torque(?) on the stem to “hang” the second hand without moving the minute hand. Push the stem in on the mark and you were synchronized to within at least one second, depending upon your reflexes. I imagine this would be even easier today with digital watches.

  8. Thanks, guero. That speaks precisely to the objections I felt in my youth to those “synchronize your watches” scenes. Though I suppose there could be a subsidiary gripe that, since you still can’t set the second hand, some members of the squad could have up to a minute of waiting time while their second hand advances to the hold point.

  9. I recently read a collection of old MICKEY MOUSE newspaper strips and in one Mickey (I think in a supposedly haunted castle or something) is confronted by a horde of “normal” (realistic, non-sentient) rats.

    And Horace Horsecollar is a sentient horse in the MouseUniverse — talks, walks on two feet, etc. — and I’m sure I’ve often seen stories there with wild west plot and the like involving people riding normal, non-sentient horses. And so on.

    (I imagine a non-anthropoid alien intelligence, watching scenes on earth, would wonder why ‘humans’ seem to be (sort of) intelligent and ‘apes’ are considered animals.)

  10. Before I scrolled down to the caption, I was certain that the FBF was the Federal Bureau of Fashion (the fashion police).

  11. The official word from Disney is that Goofy wears clothes. An animal without clothes on, like Pluto or a horse Mickey rides, is just an animal.

    That doesn’t work for Warner Brothers cartoons. Tweety and Sylvester and Bugs Bunny don’t wear clothes. But on the other hand they don’t exactly live as humans. Tweety lives in a nest or a cage, Sylvester is a pet, and Bugs lives in an underground burrow.

  12. For Donald, I guess one or two articles of clothing are enough. Anyway, pants look ridiculous on a duck.

  13. “So, if clothes are the dividing line, Dr. Manhattan of WATCHMEN is classifable as an animal?”

    Depends. Is WATCHMEN Disney or Warner Bros.?

  14. Watches? That reminds me – one day I will have to wear mine again when I start leaving the house and will need to know the time while out (leaving the house right now is lunch, errand, home or pick up Chinese food, home no need to know the time). My watch battery died sometime in 2020 and I convinced Robert it was a waste of money to replace it right away. He has more recently bought a battery for the watch and they are sitting next to each other until I feel I will be out long out to need a watch again.

  15. If Dr. Manhattan puts on a watch, is he truly naked? And if he doesn’t, is he truly a Watchman?

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