33 Comments

  1. From Wikipedia, s.v. Pemmican

    Pemmican is a mixture of tallow, dried meat, and sometimes dried berries. A caloric rich food, it can be used as a key component in prepared meals or eaten raw. Historically, it was an important part of indigenous cuisine in certain parts of North America and it is still prepared today[…]

    Traditionally, the specific ingredients used for pemmican were usually whatever was available. The dried meat is often in the form of large game meat such as bison, deer, elk, or moose, but the use of fish such as salmon, and smaller game such as duck, is not uncommon.

  2. I thought the “pemmican” was out of place until I looked it up and discovered that it can be made from a variety of meats (including moose), and not just bison. It instantly reminded me of “Tumbleweeds” (R.I.P. – Tom Ryan deserves high praise for preventing the zombification of his strip).

  3. Please forgive my non-north-american-upbringing ignorance, but should the store / squirrel / name remind me of anything?

  4. @ Markus – It’s based on a classic cartoon series from the early 60’s, called back then “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show“. There was a live action movie twenty years ago, but even massively improved animation technology wasn’t able to hold up to the classic scriptwriting of the original series.

    P.S. Bullwinkle was a moose, and the presumable source of the three products named in this comic.

  5. Rocky probably should have been recommending his wares to a customer, saying “now here’s something we hope you’ll really like”…

    I actually liked the Rocky and Bullwinkle film, though it wasn’t as sharp as Jay Ward’s cartoon ever was (if it had just moved through its gags faster it would have improved a lot). The new series that Amazon produced isn’t bad either, but maybe I’m just a sucker for cartoons where Mark Hamill plays himself.

  6. @ billytheskink – I “really like” that suggested improvement. Even though it was five years ago, what a pity that Hilburn didn’t think of it.

  7. Rocket J. Squirrel, “Rocky” and Bullwinkle the Moose were best friends. Rocky and Bullwinkle had adventures together from 1951-1964.

  8. We had a very diverse work group and every year we had a Christmas pot luck where people were encouraged to bring ethnic dishes or traditional fare served at Christmas. One year Nigel, from England, brought his Spotted Dick while Minna, from Finland, brought canned moose.

  9. Jay Ward had a story about network censors objecting to natives preparing to cook our heroes. There was a rule against cannibalism. Ward pointed out that humans eating a moose and a squirrel was not cannibalism.

  10. A squirrel in the comics again, I see.

    I don’t see why it had to have ended this way. Wouldn’t “Bullwinkle J.’s General Store” be just as likely? But then there would only be enough squirrel for one customer.

  11. @ Carl Fink – That “theta” (θ) is supposed to be a lowercase “e”, so they are “moose pies“. I hope this was intended as a wild variant of a (British) “chicken pie”, and not as a reference to “cow pies”.

  12. I also read that as “moose pies”. That made me think of Utah Phillips’ classic “Moose Turd Pie”.

    In Sweden, tourist places sell moose turd earrings. They lacquer and paint moose droppings, which are roughly walnut sized.

  13. I’m not sure I understand the Betty comic. Is she not sure if her friends hunted the moose or got it from somewhere else? Is she calling her friends liars? Is that the ‘joke’?

  14. Stan, good question. There have been a followup or two, which someone might want to post, or I can after I get to a real computer.

    But my take on it when I had only seen this episode is that she was still feeling surprise that any of their friends were people who were likely to go game hunting.

  15. Oh, I forgot to post the followups to this Betty, as I half-promised this morning. Okay …

    (1/24)

    (1/25 – the one we used in this post)

    (1/26 – Note the coworker explanation tucked away in here)

    (1/27)

    (1/28)

  16. I was going to post that hunting would be an expensive way to obtain moose meat, but a short internet search seems to indicate that you can’t really buy it.

  17. “who gave it us to for me”?? Does that scan for anyone here? Is it a typo, wit the the us and to reversed?

    If it were “who gave it us for me” I could see it as a dative construction used in the north of England, but as it is, it does not compute….

  18. Quote: “In Sweden, tourist places sell moose turd earrings. They lacquer and paint moose droppings, which are roughly walnut sized.”

    An artist in Maine has been offering similar novelties as well.

  19. I agree with Brian in StL that “…us to…” is a typo for “…to us…”, but it sort of reminds me of odd word syntax sometimes heard in Pittsburgh and other parts of Pennsylvania (like a carpenter calling up to his partner, “Throw me down a hammer…“).

  20. For a while I couldn’t even find the bit you’re all mentioning. Finally saw it in the 1/26 Betty. Perceptual automatic correction is pretty amazing!

    As Brian points out, it is obviously a word reversal typo, “gave it us to” for “gave it to us”.

    The “for me” isn’t really in any way a part of the problem, except that it makes it seem like a bunch of prepositions and pronouns clustered and ready to get in each others’ way. But actually the “for me” is completing “thank” from considerably earlier in the sentence. Thank [them] for me.

    Kilby, I don’t get it how “throw me down a hammer” might seem at all nonstandard. What do you see it as replacing?

  21. P.S. Someone mentioned Dative, and I was at a loss for why a Dative construction couldn’t work here. (After correcting for the word order typo, that is.) The answer I guess is that you can promote (move up, or rather, left) the Dative (indirect object) pronoun only when the accusative (direct object) is a full Noun Phrase and not just another pronoun.

    1. gave us the meat
      • gave us it
    2. gave it to us
      4.? gave it us

    Here 2 is the (failed) Dative promotion. I was thinking this is allowed or forbidden depending on the verb; but then couldn’t think of a verb that allows it. So maybe it is always blocked when the accusative is a pronoun.

    (My spell checker seems to think that word should be accusstive.)

  22. Your 4., denoted with the question mark, is the usage I was referring to from Northern England. They say stuff like “Give it me” (eg: Lee Mack on Not Going Out). Betty from the comic looks like Sarah Millican to me, so I could hear them all talking in Geordy accents…

  23. Oh, sorry! I see now that my manual numbering got converted to automatic numbering, which in turn got suppressed. Bah! Let’s try a pre or code.

    1. gave us the meat
    2. * gave us it
    3. gave it to us
    4. ? gave it us

    The asterisk and question mark are acceptability judgements, respectively unacceptable and dubious.

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