Pardon my Protest

Or “demo” for the Brits among us. Or maybe “manifestation” for the Continentals?

But whatever you call what they are doing … what are they doing there? Protesting laundromats in general for the bad practices of customers? Giving our blond regular character (“Norris”?) some advice, in a forceful way? And is the guy in the green turtleneck objecting to himself? What’s up?


  1. Is the ‘joke’ just a play on the relationship between the kind of things PETA protests about, and the common words that are associated with laundry…like ‘trap’ and ‘turtle’? It seems to me that maybe the cartoonist saw a link and ran with it.

  2. It looks like these protesters consider fleas and lice to be innocent animals that deserve protection from a horrible death in the dryer.

    P.S. I have no idea how much lead time PMP has between composition and publication, but this seems to be an outdated reference to a press release from early 2021. Peta seemed to be seriously suggesting that common expressions such as “killing two birds with one stone” represented a serious form of cruelty to animals, and they even offered appropriate “vegan” replacements, such as “loading two peas onto one fork“. It’s unclear whether they really thought that anyone would actually adopt their suggestions, or whether they were merely looking for another non-violent way to get their name and viewpoints into the news.

  3. I think this cartoon is trying to do a joke similar to the one in this Bizarro cartoon:

    (If the link is stale, it shows two picketing protesters, one holding a sign that reads “ANTI-PASTO”, and the other with a sign that reads “PRO-VOLONE”, and the two picketers are looking at each other with distrustful eyes.)

    The first sign kind of makes sense: “Lint traps R cruel.” Some people shudder at the thought of traps, as they are cruel to the trapped animal. But when it concerns clothes, that’s silly — which is supposed to be funny here.

    The second sign kind of makes sense: “Never wear turtle necks.” It’s similar to “Never wear animals” (as in, “Don’t wear animal fur.”

    As for the third: “People for the Ethical Treatment of Athletic suPportErs.” Um… this one doesn’t quite make sense to me. Maybe the joke is just having a slogan that looks like PETAPE’s… I mean, PETA’s slogan.

    As for the man protesting turtleneck sweaters while wearing one: I think this was a mistake in planning, as the cartoon was probably drawn first, and the witty sayings were written in later. Turtlenecks often figure in this cartoon, and the artist probably drew one in without giving a second thought to the fact that, for once, there’d be a character that shouldn’t be wearing a turtleneck sweater.

  4. Thanks for that detailed explication, J-L!

    I do remember that Bizarro panel too.

    On the turtleneck contradiction, I think chipchristian’s suggestion might work as the best explanation.

  5. IIRC, in Britain what we call a washing machine is called a laundromat; a bunch of coin-op laundromats in one building is called a laundrette.

  6. Well, maybe we could replace “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” with “There’s more than one way to peel a banana.” And if you’re an internet watcher you probably already know that “you have been peeling bananas the wrong way all your life” so it makes for a much better saying.

  7. While peeling bananas from the other end is slightly easier, I don’t do either exactly. I peel from the stem end, but after making a small cut with a knife. Of course, I should avoid bananas, as they were once reported to be the “atheist’s worst nightmare”.

  8. As a Brit, I would have said that laundromat and laundrette were synonymous, respectively US and UK, and both are filled with washing machines and tumble driers. On doing a bit of searching, I see Laundromat was originally a US trademark in the 1940s, for a single machine it seems, and later expanded to mean a room full of machines.

    As for bananas, I don’t think I had heard that statement before. I see that apparently “The wild banana is small, seed-filled, and unpalatable. The banana came about through human manipulation of evolutionary mechanisms” and that Ray Comfort, the originator of the nightmare phrase, “was not aware that the common banana had been so modified through hybridization.”

    Of course (Arlo warning) there are other less-modified banana-shaped things in the world that various religions nonetheless rail against us actively, shall we say, “holding in the hand” (and indeed other places), despite the apparent intelligent design making them seem pretty suitable.

  9. The banana thing became a bit notorious after Kirk Cameron created a video with Comfort discussing that. It was the object of much ridicule.

  10. Many qualities of the banana are considered by some to be proof that it was intelligently designed.

    Turns out it was. But by humans, through selective breeding.

    Now here’s my question: If God is infinitely good, why did he not give chocolate to the ancient Hebrews, his chosen people?

  11. Most of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy have been heavily modified through human intervention. The natural evolutionary path for fruiting plants is to use the least amount of energy to attract animals to consume and spread the seeds. That means relatively small amounts of fruit and lots of seeds, kind of the opposite of what we want.

  12. MiB – because he had to wait for white Christians to develop a slave economy which made sugar cheap enough for chocolate to be made edible. Unsweetened cacao may be good for cooking with, but it is a bit grim to eat.

  13. If I recall correctly, the original Hawaiian Punch flavor, a little different from most fruit-based drinks of the time, was distinguished by containing passionfruit.

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