Even More Oopsies, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops (6th Series)

Is it just that the guy is so shook up he books three appointments a day? Is that all there is? Is it weird that the receptionist builds on the standard “Your three o’clock is here” instead of, maybe, using his name (which she must be familiar with by now)?

This was going to be a standalone CIDU, with the question-blurb of The slug has eaten some salted snack and is having a toxic reaction?? There was another fly, and the frog scooped him up with his tongue?? Do you have another?

But then I realized the item hanging out of the frog’s mouth is not his tongue (which would be thin and ready to flick) but a wing tip, matching the wings we see on the speaking fly at the left. Well, that answers which of the explanations it was.

But I didn’t know whether to feel cheated of a mystery, or ready to applaud the skilfully delayed punch. Anyway, that landed it here!

“Love” – “Confess” – “Surf”

Those are the titles I can make out among the items displayed at this newsstand.

Okay, the joke is that this soldier (is he “Killer”?) is really just interested in eyeing the pin-ups and girlie publications, while prolonging his visit by asking for various small-town papers the newsstand does not carry.

But why do I feel like that raises gaps in the story that ought to have been dealt with? Like: is he making the towns and papers up, or are they supposed to be real within the fictive world? Is the “Nope” answer the basis for him to keep going, with possible second or third choices? Or might he have gotten them all, if commissioned by several guys back at the platoon to bring them back their respective home-town papers? And does this newsstand in fact carry regular newspapers and general-interest magazines, and the pin-up material is just what gets most prominently displayed? Or is that all they sell?

Hmm, something missing? Oh yes – the generator that would be hooked up so that the exercise bike powers the fan! Or go old style, and show some belts and pulleys making a mechanical connection. Otherwise, what’s the joke?

Here we have just one of those unanswered little mysteries, not any critique. Just what did he mean to say instead, eh?

P.S. It doesn’t answer that question, but the next day’s strip is from the same therapy session, and picks up the theme of slips.


  1. In the first case, note that it is a psychiatrist, this is why there would both the privacy (lack of name) and, assuming a multiple personality disorder, the one person who actually has three appointments. That is my read anyway.

  2. My take is that the first one is just so messed up that he has 3 appointments in one day, and the best way to convey that to us is the way it was written.

    I think the expression on the slug’s face is because he just saw Larry get eaten. I think it’s done well for a delayed punch. I liked it, anyway.

    I think your summary of the Beetle Bailey is right, but I’ve got no answers to your questions.

    The one with the dog is just that dogs like to stick their heads out the window and have a breeze in their face, so that’s what he’s doing, just on the exercise bike, to make it funny/incongruous.

    And I’ve got nothing on the last one. i can’t imagine what he meant to say instead of narcissist.

  3. Instead of Narcissist, he was trying to say “In Hertford, Hereford, & Hampshire, ‘urricanes arldy hever appen”.

  4. “Just what did he mean to say instead, eh?”

    Egoist? However, that’s just as insulting. Maybe ‘individualist’?

  5. “And I’ve got nothing on the last one. i can’t imagine what he meant to say instead of narcissist.”

    Not relevant here, but when did that ever stop me? At one point the WWF (as it was then) wrestler Lex Luger was repackaged as a preening mirror-loving egotist named “The Narcissist.” The original plan was for his name to be just “Narcissus,” but Luger objected because of the “sissy” sound in that version.

  6. Or the guy missed his 9 am appointment, got it rescheduled for 1, missed that, and…it should be, is desperately hoping the doctor will see him at 3 but according to the receptionist he got it rescheduled again. Though multiple personalities…or just extreme anxiety, he needs to see the doctor three times today. Lots of possibilities, just not very funny to me.

    Yeah, the dog in the sidecar would have been more amusing if the exercise bike was powering the fan. As it is, it’s just cute.

  7. The human is red-faced and plewdy because she’s working hard, and because the fan is aimed at the sidecar pooch, not at her. That way he gets a better simulation of a real ride. Pup’s definitely getting the better deal here.

    I agree that the joke might work even better if the fan were plugged into the exercise bike.

  8. As mentioned – (Mental health) therapists are suppose to give clients complete privacy from others (technically they should even have separate waiting rooms/entrances & exits so patients do not see each other – thought they don’t.

    This rule is so strict – that according an article in the regional newspaper – a large scale residential mental health facility which was closed some time ago had its own cemetery. To protect the former patients’ privacy the headstones are marked with the patient’s reference number – not their name – unless the family requested the name be put on the stone. There is a Jewish section which does have names on the stones in it.

    There is now a movement to clean up the cemetery and to put names on the headstones.

  9. As to Beetle Bailey I took it to mean that he does not notice the girly pictures and thinks it is newspaper stand when it is a girly picture stand.

  10. @Meryl, I don’t feel confident about remembering the various soldiers in Beetle Bailey, but if this is the one called “Killer” his nick is short for “Lady Killer” (meaning just that he is always flirting and dating), then he probably is not unaware of the girlie mags.

  11. Yes, that’s Killer. I think the drooping tongue in Panel 2 indicates that he’s very aware of the pinups.

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