Even More Minor Mysteries, Ooopses, and Not-Quite-Rights

Did they slip up here on legal knowledge? Is this a criminal or a civil proceeding?

Why do I want to call this an Oy that almost works? The fact that there really is something called a hiatus hernia (or apparently more officially a hiatal hernia) does not, for me, make this a success — it’s too much “on the nose” and not a typical Crankshaft malapropism. And I don’t know if it helps or hurts that, as a little medical googling seems to reveal, bad lifting is more likely to result in an  inguinal hernia  than a hiatus hernia.

But the main issue is casual acceptance of hiatus as a general synonym for time during the covid lockdown. I don’t doubt some people use it that way, but mostly it seems restricted to an organization or project where some ongoing process had to be suspended.

This Bizarro from Boise Ed is a semi-CIDU. We agree the nickname mentioned must be “BigFoot”. But then how have normal size eight footprints been called Big for these many years? Or is he just among the first of his species to accept socialization with humans, and is younger or simply smaller than most of them? Does he always go on TV in the nude, or is that just to display his b̸i̸g̸ ̸f̸e̸e̸t̸ normal sized feet for discussion?

P.S. Later (how time flies), Wayno’s blog for that week has appeared, and this is what he had to say: “If Sasquatch were being completely honest, he’d admit that he’s an eight extra wide.”

And more: Dan Piraro, on his blog, comments “This one left some readers scratching their heads and asking what it meant, which made it all the more satisfying for those who got it by themselves. If you’re having trouble with it, it’s probably because you think it’s a monkey. It’s actually Bigfoot, who is not as tall as we’d assumed.” Hmmm, not entirely explained; or is it?

For me it was a mystery who/what that Thing is, but getting an answer turned out too easy to let this be a standalone CIDU. But after answering that, there wasn’t much of a joke, and asking for explanations didn’t promise a long or interesting discussion thread. (But I did toss it into an old Sisyphus thread.)

So the cave painters recorded the story of a hunt; and also one of the cave dwellers being felled by a falling stalactite. Oh look, there it is, the base still hanging from the ceiling and the fallen point still lying on the ground. And undisturbed after all this time – while the probable skeletal remains have been scattered or swept up. So the joke is what?

And here’s one from Le Vieux Lapin, who asks “Adam?  What am I missing here?”. Did the writer just get Noah’s name wrong? Nobody could do that. And Todd is no better a name for a scene like this. Just sayin’, It’s not canon!

And finally, let’s circle back to Pros & Cons:

(All right, I didn’t know their names but looked them up.) In the 2nd panel, when Samuel the lawyer calls himself a canary in the coal mine, is he using the image / metaphor correctly? I think basically yes, even if not entirely. (Does he expect to succumb to the dangerous outgassing sooner than others, and thereby provide a warning to all? Not exactly.)

And in the final panel, when detective Stan tries a twist comeback, does it work? Well, we get what is probably his point — *everybody* exposed to social media is already suffering from the dangerous atmosphere. But does that mean they/we are all canaries? Or that it’s too late for a canary-warning and it’s already hurting the miners, which is all participants. In the story of the traditional practice, even if you are a bird lover, the canaries are the sacrificial population and the miners are the protected population; if the gas is getting to the miners, the warning system has already failed, which I take it is most of Stan’s point.


  1. The cave man wasn’t killed by the stalactite, he ran into it and broke off a piece. The drawing was intended as a warning: “Beware of low hanging rocks!

  2. Yeah, the law above makes zero sense. There’s no plaintiff in a criminal proceeding, and no bail needed in a civil one. (One presumes US law.)

    The Adam thing is indeed mystifying. Noah and his sons were already married. Even if it was a name confusion (which, as you say, would be incredible already), the Book of Origins is very specific about all the males having wives before the trip and not getting any more (polygyny being legal at that time) during the voyage.

    (I have arbitrarily decided to translate “genesis” into English when referring to the ancient holy book of my ancestors from now on, when speaking English. Or writing it, I suppose.)

  3. Yea, the Noah one is a mess. I think it’s kind of obvious what he was going for: Noah picking up only pairs, and Eve picking Adam instead of Todd leading to the famous coupling we know today. But the two stories are so far apart chronologically (over 1600 years according to biblical scholars) that it would be difficult for even the most sympathetic of Christian humorists to make sense of it.

  4. I think the Noah one is that he is supposed to collect a pair of each animal – since humans are animals he needs a pair of them too. Somehow he collects Adam and Eve to mix the two stories?

  5. The timing on the Noah comic doesn’t bother me. What seems off to me is that it appears that Todd is the common “guy on a desert island with one palm tree”. Why? Or did he make it to the highest area and now the surrounding area is flooded? But if that’s the case, why are Adam and Eve just now getting on the ark? It would seem the flooding is over.

  6. I think the Bizarro is just pointing out that Bigfoot may not have exceptionally big feet, it just looks like that because he’s so small. Size 8 seems huge on him.

  7. As a person who DOES hasve a hiatal hernia, I don’t find Crankshaft’s usual garbage mouth that far off. Nor are they necessarily a minor issue… Just sayin’…

  8. In the Pros & Cons about bail. if the defendant’s mother was the one who filed criminal charges against him, she MIGHT be considered the plaintiff.
    I don’t really know about legal terminology, but that situation would put her in the same position as a plaintiff if the case were a civil one.

  9. I looked beyond the syndicator’s site finally, and found a long bio in the About section of the artist’s private site. (Not at hand to post, but can try to remember to do it later.) Turns out he’s English by birth, and Scottish and Irish ancestry. So he might not be working from an American perspective.

  10. Okay, there’s 1) the Comics Kingdom “About” page, at https://comicskingdom.com/pros-cons/about , which does have a substantial “Author” section on the page, below the illustrated layout of the leading characters. I had never noticed the Author section before!

    Also there is 2) the Meehan Cartoons “About” page, perhaps defunct, but archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20080914011908/http://www.meehancartoons.com/about.html in what was probably a 2008 snapshot.

    The bio at (1) makes it clear he lives in Glasgow, and says nothing about a connection to North America – apart from crediting the late Comics Kingdom editor Jay Kennedy with working with Meehan on getting the strip started. Perhaps Kennedy, in providing helpful input, cast matters legal in U.S. terms. The very long autobiographical essay, in rather small type, at archived site (2) is more detailed than the summary at (1) — but I still haven’t read the whole thing.

    Now, we never see them wearing wigs in the courtroom scenes, or references to solicitors and barristers. But maybe the Scottish courts do not use all the stylings of the English system. And maybe the business about plaintiff in a criminal proceeding makes sense there. OTOH, Ms. Jaggers seems to be called District Attorney, and not generically Prosecutor, let alone something like “for the Crown”. Is “District Attorney” only used in some U.S. states? And not in the U.K. So we may not have advanced the solution much.

  11. Ay ay ay! Further correction.

    The MeehanCartoons site is not defunct, or anyway not 2008-defunct. At http://www.meehancartoons.com the Blog and the Daily Comic Strip seem to have material from June of the present year. (I had the link to the archive site from Wikipedia..) And the main focus of the current MeehanCartoons site seems to be the serialization of graphic novel “Supposed a Knave” which was published as a book in 2013.

  12. No, the one who reports the crime is not the plaintiff. The person may be arrested and held until trial, but the process requires that either a grand jury issues an indictment, or a government prosecutor issues an “information” or criminal complaint. His mom didn’t file the criminal charges unless she is on the grand jury or is the district attorney or other official, and if she is, she’s the prosecution, not the plaintiff. Once things get going, the one who reported the crime is pretty much out of the picture except for appearing as a witness.

  13. I’ve mentioned before that I have been following some videos that are live-streams of a district court in Michigan. They use the term “complaining witness” for those cases where an individual has initiated charges.

  14. I think the Noah cartoon is just – three people on the island, the Ark comes by, but can/will only take one man and one woman. One of the men has to stay behind. I’d say the author made a bad choice naming the man who’s going Adam – that’s got way too much resonance in a (different) Bible story. Or possibly they don’t know that those two stories are so far apart – no idea if they’re Christian or not.

  15. Is it a painting of a cave dweller being felled by a stalactite?

    Or is it a painting of a cave dweller shining a torch upwards?

  16. @Mike P, I definitely at first viewing thought there was an intentional echo between the cone of light and the cone of the crashed stalactite. But couldn’t make out what it was supposed to mean, if not just happenstance. But if it strikes others like that, we could hopefully find a way to take it into account.

  17. I think the broken stalactite confirms that it was a recording of one the cavemen walking into it and breaking off the point. And not doing anything good for human.

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