Random Comments, February 2022 Edition

Same as the previous series of Random Comments threads (which have each been closed to further commenting because they’ve gotten too long), this will be accessible from a link in the left sidebar (under “triple-line” icon 1st tab).

Please remember that this is intended for public comics-related (or comics semi-related) comments only: if you want to send the editors a CIDU, or a comic for some specific folder (LOL, Oy, etc), or you want to inform us of a typo, please e-mail us at 4imageonline-co-textimage, or use the Contact Form or the Suggest-A-CIDU Form.

“Comics-semi-related” may in practice include your observations on life and language… But not politics, puh-leese!

However, starting in October 2020, we have been using a second, parallel open comments thread, for a specific area of topics: ideas for how to maintain or develop this site.   Look for the link in the left sidebar (under “triple-line” icon 1st tab).  The head post for the current Site Comments thread is HERE

Also: A list of the site’s most recent comments can be found in the left sidebar (under “folder” icon 2nd tab). A database of all the comments, compiled by larK, is here.

And the site’s FAQ is here.


  1. New Site Comments and Random Comments threads have been started. If you’re interested, please review both at your convenience.

    There are a number of links associated with these changes requiring updates. (Each one points to its predecessor , they each point to each other, and menu items point to the new editions.) Please check these out too. Remaining to update is the Index listed in the menu .

    If you find errors or have suggestions, please either post a comment here, or email to the usual contact address, submissions dot cidu at gmail dot com. Thanks!

  2. Either I misunderstand the intended meaning of the Facebook “caring” reaction-icon, or some other people do. I think it’s for empathy or sympathy or support, when the post or comment you’re reacting to is about something sad (or bad or disappointing or tragic or humorously unfortunate — but always an element of the negative).

    So I get at least puzzled and sometimes alarmed when someone marks the “caring” on what I think of as an entirely positive post. E.g. a video of my cat playing with a motorized toy. If you mark it with the “caring”, while I appreciate what must be a generally positive message, I worry about what it is you see in that which would need consolation. “Gemma, I feel sorry for you that Mitch wasn’t playing with that toy directly and instead left it to a motorized device.” “Mitch, and cat, I’m so sorry you have to live with dirty floors, cluttered with cat toys.” What could they be thinking?

    And on the back-at-cha side, maybe I’m offending people when I use the wide-eye-open-mouth “Wow!” reaction to admire something wild or impressive; and the person behind the posting is disturbed that apparently I’m reacting with horror!

  3. Mitch4, your post reminds me of a lady that said LOL at a Facebook post about someone’s family member who died. She thought it meant “Lots of Love”. Probably elicited some gasps!

  4. Just a reminder, everyone, we always need YOUR selections to refill the queue.

    Actual puzzling CIDU comics especially needed! Always in shortage!

    OY and LOL always welcome, for the weekend collections. As Bill established this practice, anything that strikes you as a groaner (or good word-play), or a good laugh, can be sent in and almost automatically published with almost no editorial scrutiny.

    Eewwww need to be something else as well – funny enough to be Eewww-LOL, or puzzling enough to be Ewwww-CIDU. But please, not just “how emetic can they get?”.

    Synchronicities can be fuzzy about timing, but the similarity of content or theme should be striking, and not predictable by calendar. OR the comics could be good LOLs or OYs or CIDU on their own, worth seeing as such and with the timing coincidence as an added fillip.

    Arlo Award candidates will still be tagged or discussed as such. Full Arlo Page material won’t work, we aren’t managing the separate Arlo Page any longer.

    While we never want to encourage simple bashing of unsuccessful comics, we have been trying occasional collections of comics that seem close to working well, but fall down in some particular and are disappointing. A tag you can use when sending these in could be “Oopsies” or “Almosts”.

    But again, most needed: actual puzzling CIDUs, as daily bread!

    Thanks everyone, for reading and commenting, and also of course for helping supply material for all to enjoy!

  5. I just had to share this. Bliss has dressed up his dog and cat more here than we’ve seen before. And the cat is making itself clear!

  6. Slow Food, Slow Travel, Slow Art — the obvious ultimate manifestation of this movement would be the Ur-concept of Time itself — Slow Time!

    Though I’m not sure that making you more aware of all 24 hours in a day is conducive to slowing you down and not making you even more intense in trying to get as muck productivity into a day as possible… We don’t live 24 hour days, we live about 12 hour days, and sleep the rest. Once again the traditional breakup of the day is the one that’s on a more “human” scale…

  7. The “slow” gimmick is not just the 24-hour dial (with midnight at the bottom, and noon at the top), but also that there is only a single “pointer” (no minute, nor second hand), so that it gives an excellent approximation of the current time, but is useless for reading the exact minute.

  8. I misspelled my name in the previous, currently-awaiting-moderation comment. I usually spell it “jajizi”, which is easier to pronounce.

  9. The Arlo & Janis site, at https://arloandjanis.com/ , where Jimmy Johnson used to post older strips and comment on them, has been stuck for quite a while.

    But today there is a picture I can’t parse, and this announcement: “Coming soon! A revamped, refurbished, revitalized, renewable arloandjanis.com”

  10. It appears that when you are apologizing to a dead man, you don’t have to spell his name correctly.

  11. The placeholder photo on the A&J website might be Gulf coast beach sand that has been contaminated by an oil spill and/or hurricane.

  12. I think the A&J photo is a closeup of a wall — or at least a wooden board — that needs a new coat of paint.

  13. Oh yeah, I was wondering! But copied it anyway, not undertaking the due diligence of looking it up or trusting my uncertain memory.

  14. I think the A&J photo is a closeup of a wall — or at least a wooden board — that needs a new coat of paint.

    Jajizi’s idea fits with the page title “Maintenance Message”. Remember when “Under construction” pages were a commonplace, often with a picture of a building construction site or street repair, showing a saw horse blocking the way?

  15. @ Mitch – When I wrote that comment, I was referring only to the artist’s rendition. It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed that you had “corrected” his spelling by adding a “t” to the name, with the amusing result that both spellings are incorrect. The name of the Peanuts author is spelled “Schulz” (with a “c”, and without the “t”). I noticed the deviation mostly because I have relatives who share Charles M.’s spelling (but are not related to him, of course).

    In German the name is very common(†), and can be spelled in a number of ways: with or without the “t”, and the “z” may be followed by an “e”, but the “standard” (most frequent) form has neither extra letter. In America the form with the “t” is probably more common than without it.

    P.S. (†) – The name is derived from “Schultheiß“, a medieval title for a low-level judge and/or tax collector, approximately similar to a British “bailiff”.

  16. P.P.S. Schultheiss is also a Berliner beer:

    We had a few of these mugs in our household that I distinctly remember, because the logo was hand-painted, and varied considerably from mug to mug, while remaining consistent to the archetype. These mugs were “acquired” by my father in his student youth, and to me are a tangible example of the changing of moral standards from the older to the younger generations: “everybody” seems to have engaged in such theft back in the day, and tolerated the excuses that somehow it’s OK if you’re poor and the companies are rich, or other such rationalizations. We also had a collection of pilfered airline spoons much fought over between me and my sister growing up (The Pan Am spoons were coveted, the Loftleidir one was disdained). It seems to me that nowadays such acquisitions would be viewed as theft, pure and simple, and people who engage in it as morally suspect.
    (I had to struggle to form my own morality in my youth: because of the bad example of my parents and their whole generation, there was a strong tendency to want to minimize and excuse such theft, but nevertheless, at the end of the day, it just felt wrong. The one time I remember having to actively engage my morality was sophomore year at college, when someone “liberated” a tray of wine glasses from food services, and “everyone” was happily helping themselves (“everyone” was probably just a couple of bolder souls, similarly raised in an environment where casual theft was winked at, and probably the majority was just silent and uncomfortable), and to my shame, I took a glass. Afterwards I was ashamed, and I kept it as a trophy prize, prominently displayed, to remind me of my folly and weakness; I never used it. I think a sophomore today would immediately label the liberated tray as theft, and not even think about taking one.
    (We used to also “borrow” shopping carts from the local grocery store, but we did at the end of freshman year make an effort to return all such “borrowed” carts, ours and others, and realized the error of our ways…)

  17. lark: I also was known to swipe things as a youth, but decided to leave that behind me, partially as a result of reading and pondering RLStevenson’s “Markheim”

    “It is true,” Markheim said huskily, “I have in some degree complied with evil. But it is so with all: the very saints, in the mere exercise of living, grow less dainty, and take on the tone of their surroundings.”

    “I will propound to you one simple question,” said the other; “and as you answer, I shall read to you your moral horoscope. You have grown in many things more lax; possibly you do right to be so; and at any account, it is the same with all men. But granting that, are you in any one particular, however trifling, more difficult to please with your own conduct, or do you go in all things with a looser rein?”

    “In any one?” repeated Markheim, with an anguish of consideration. “No,” he added, with despair, “in none! I have gone down in all.”

    So I reformed (or at least hope that I did so).

  18. Arggh. Filled in the wrong fields for my nom and my real name, and anyway I see comment is in moderation. No big biggie, but if whoever pulls it out of moderation can credit to my usual “Shrug” it will be a bit of a mitzvah.

  19. We used to also “borrow” shopping carts from the local grocery store

    The supermarket I use most often is part of a strip shopping center whose parking lot borders a small apartment complex. So it was common for many years for carts to collect along the berm that separates the two lots as residents would walk to the store and roll the groceries near.

    A while back, they got all new carts with special wheel that locks up if you get too far from the store. And sometimes while you are in the store.

  20. All German grocery carts work on a deposit system: you put a €1 coin into a slot attached to the handle, which lets you detach the chain from the next cart in the rack. After you are finished, you have to return the cart to the rack to get your €1 coin back. This works perfectly, ensuring that carts never get left around the parking lot. The only problem is what to do if you arrive at the store and discover you don’t have a coin. Many Germans keep a plastic “chip” in their wallet: since it cannot be spent, it tends to stay in the wallet, ensuring that they will always have a “deposit coin” to unlock a cart. I recently discovered that I could buy steel washers at the hardware store that are exactly the same size as a €1 coin, so I keep one in my wallet, one on my keychain, and several spares in our car’s ashtray.

    P.S. For the past two years (because of Corona), our local supermarket decided to unlock about a third of their carts, so that a coin is often not needed. Most German stores have been recommending that customers pay with credit or debit cards, to reduce the amount of hand & coin contact, so apparently this manager decided to make it completely unnecessary for customers to fiddle with coins at all. However, I have not seen this solution at any of the other nearby supermarkets.

  21. carts with special wheel that locks up if you get too far from the store. And sometimes while you are in the store.

    At the Riverfront Plaza on Chicago’s north side, with a large parking lot within 3 sides of a rectangle of shops, I sometimes go to both Micro-Center and PetsMart. But I’ve learned to park within the area closest to the PetSmart, even if I see one close to Micro-Center as I come in. That’s because the carts have that electronic fence feature, and if I try to wheel my cart with the 20lb bag of litter and the multiple 7lb bags of catfood over to my car in the Micro-Center area, the wheels lock up at the boundary, and I am left quietly cursing.

  22. Wow Mitch, that’s a rather extreme form of the hostility stores in the US have of forcing you to drive individually from one to another. I have often noted with frustration the fences and other stupid barriers they erect that prevent you from walking from one store to another, even when they are right next to each other, but on a highway where it is rather challenging and annoying to get out of one parking lot and into another, especially when they are right next to each other (you can’t get to highway speeds..)
    I noted with delight in Europe recently (well, pre-covid recently, so not that recently) that the exact opposite is true: they have actual paths with sidewalks and stuff to encourage you to walk from one strip mall to its neighbor (though of course the proliferation of strip malls in the outskirts of town was a thing I noted with dismay…)

  23. re my: “Arggh. Filled in the wrong fields for my nom and my real name, and anyway I see comment is in moderation. No big biggie, but if whoever pulls it out of moderation can credit to my usual “Shrug” it will be a bit of a mitzvah.”

    It occurs to me that this sounded much more paranoid than I intended it to do. I just wanted to keep all of “my” comments here under a single name for simplicity sake; I wasn’t being stressed out about having my real-life name revealed, and in fact some of the folks here who are also in Comics Curmudgeon may have noticed that I’ve had occasion now and then over there to link to that real name. (And I’m actually uncomfortable with the feeling of “hiding” behind a mask, though I’ve no objection to wearing the mask for funsies.)

    So, if anyone cares (unlikely), my mundane name is Dennis (or Denny) Lien, (And I also sometimes post under that name at CIDU, which discourages use of noms.)

    Reason for choice of nom:


    We now return you to your regularly scheduled Shrug, which has been previously recorded.

  24. @ Shrug – That second comment didn’t sound paranoid in the slightest: I understood right away the advantage of having everything under one label. I’m a little surprised that the mistake went through: usually wordpress objects when the e-mail field does not contain an “@“ sign. Now, as for you first comment: I didn’t understand the Markheim quote at all.

  25. @ larK (re: “Schultheiss”) – That brand is quite prevalent: the name (and logo) can be seen on pub signs all over Berlin. Most bars (and to a lesser extent restaurants) in Germany usually have a “sponsorship” deal with a particular brewery. The establishments may get a subsidized price on beer, tap equipment, and signs (which explains the ubiquitous logos on both of the latter), but they also agree to sell a certain minimum volume per month. This means that many places offer only a few brands (or sometimes only one brand) of beer, so that they can concentrate sales of their “partnership” brand.

    P.S. I’ve never cared for its “mass market” character, but it’s been so long since I’ve had a “Schultheiss” beer that I wasn’t sure whether this was just a prejudice, or based on its taste, so yesterday I picked up two bottles from the grocery store. I discovered that it was not prejudice: Schultheiss is a relatively “light” beer (†), but much too “hoppy” (meaning bitter) for my taste. I can drink it, but I would never order it if anything else were available.

    P.P.S. (†) – Referring to taste, and in comparison to German beers, of course. It has a “normal” amount of alcohol (5%).

  26. P.P.P.S. This is the second time in as many days that wordpress has vanished a comment after requiring a renewed login.

  27. All German grocery carts work on a deposit system: you put a €1 coin into a slot attached to the handle, which lets you detach the chain from the next cart in the rack.

    They have that here at Aldi stores (although it’s a quarter because dollar coins are not really used). Aldi is of course a German chain, although very widely spread throughout the world.

  28. When a comment just vanishes without a notice to you about being held for approval, that often means it was put in spam by Akismet. (Arrgh whenever I see that name I get an ear worm for some songs from the musical Kismet!). I try to look thru the spam and rescue legit comments. But that is not as simple as checking and releasing the ones in Pending (“moderation”). Whenever I log in it alerts me that there are comments in Pending, and how many, and I generally go there first and release them. (Which is why I don’t notice till later if someone has gotten a second try passed and posted) But the system does not tell me “there are 2 comments we have mistakenly put into Spam”.

  29. To a world too prone to be prosaic
    I bring my own panacea
    An iota of iambic
    And a tittle of trochaic
    Added to a small amount of onomotpoea

  30. @ Mitch – Thanks for the rescue(s) – in both cases you freed them before I could turn on my “real” computer to send an e-mail. At the moment I am struggling with wordpress’s refusal to acknowledge (or preserve) a login on more than one system at a time. This browser is logged in and remembers that, but if I try to comment from our iPad or my phone, wordpress refuses to honor the “remember me” checkbox, and requires me to re-enter the password for each and every comment. The solution, of course, is not to make so many comments. 😉

  31. An announcement of a new strip from Sylvia Odhner, creator of Think Before You Think and other comics:

    Drew the Centaur is Here!

    Today I'm launching a new webcomic called Drew the Centaur, about a centaur living in a human world. I've posted the first two comics, and you can follow it on Patreon here, or on my other social media accounts.

  32. @Kilby and @Michael Cook, that’s what I thought too, but didn’t want to be impolite about mentioning other routes for contributing. In a way, “topic drift” has traditionally been able to handle the introduction of a different comic than the post was originally covering. However, that has usually been more of a tangent and less of a non sequitur.

    Perhaps we could clarify a route for readers to post for discussion their CIDUs, other than by mailing in suggestions and waiting; and not forcing a sharp turn in an existing thread about some other comic. I wonder if our RANDOM COMMENTS thread is the right place for that? Or perhaps institute a third continuing thread?

  33. Does anybody know wnything about Crabgrass? The GoComics webpage has a notice that they’re on hiatus and will be back in March. Two months ago.

  34. Taking a break can re-energize someone and they come back better than ever. Other times, they realize, “I don’t miss that.” I used to follow a web comic called “The Non-Adventures of Wonderella”. It used to update every week. Then the developer stated that he was going to update less frequently because he was going to create multi-comic arcs. After that he posted a few random singles then stopped over two years ago.

  35. I think it would be fine to permit (but perhaps not to encourage) CIDU comic submissions here in the Random Comments thread. I do NOT think it would be good to open a new permanent thread for this purpose: first, that would be enouragement, and second, the existing bandwidth in this “Random” thread is low, and third, it’s a perfect location. If a comment come in here with a sufficiently obscure comic, just move the comic to a new post, and copy the comment to be the first comment in that post (preferably deleting both from here).

  36. Technically, there is no easy “moving”. So that’s not going to work out as a protocol.

    At best, there’s “directing traffic” – posting an instruction that some thread should be continued elsewhere.

  37. If you generate a new post with the comic, then delete the comic that appears here in Random Comments, then that would count as a “move”.

  38. That’s fine as far as it goes. But (1) The new post would have to be by an editor, and the contributor’s ID and comment would need to be copied/quoted/rephrased . (2) If there are replies already, they would not transfer to make a new thread – or anyway not organically. Even if the transfer included tediously and carefully recreating the comments and editing in the poster names, the rest of the metadata is not transferrable.

    So far: I agree with the expressed preference to use Random Comments rather than a new permanent thread. (Some work would be needed to figure out how to communicate this.) I don’t agree with — indeed, don’t really understand the reasons for — seeing a comic appear in RC under this protocol and “moving” it. I basically see all this happening in RC.

    Occasionally someone will post something in a comment (under this plan or of course just the way we do now) that is going to be in an editor’s post. I don’t think Bill ever fussed about that, and I wouldn’t much want to either — just let it appear as scheduled and don’t worry about the redundancy.

    Maybe there’s a difference of view that hasn’t been explicitly articulated so far. I think Kilby, and maybe Brian in STL, are seeing this as an alternative way of submitting a comic for editorial posting, alternative that is to submitting by email. I prefer to discuss it as an alternative way of a reader posting a comic for discussion, alternative that is to submitting by email and waiting for editorial scheduling. It bypasses parts of the submission mechanism.

    If a good place can be found for instructions / guidelines, ideally we would encourage the embedded graphic kind of linking; though this would mean a lot of how-to coaching. (It might be appropriate for misfires to get fixed up post-facto [or post-posting! 🙂 ] by an admin-enabled hand.) Ordinary click-to-view links would also be okay, and people are often somewhat willing to do that in order to see something good. An identification without link, as with for instance Michael Cook’s suggestion in the EDM thread that kicked off this discussion, would certainly be allowed; it’s just taking a chance on how many will put in the extra effort. I don’t think that sort of suggestion-post should be understood as triggering an official followup to find and publish the comic.

  39. I wasn’t suggesting that it should be an alternate submission path, but that it might end up that way. One disadvantage of the email system is that the editors might decide not to use it.

  40. (Disadvantage to whom, eh?)

    Actually all of that is fine by me, Brian — except that I’m still cavilling over submission. To me it’s an alternate posting path or maybe publication path. And precisely because of the matter of being subject to rejection or not…

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