Again with the Oopsies, Quickies, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops? (7th Series)

A CIDU-Quickie is like a Minor-Mystery — it seems like it will work out to a good joke, but there’s that just-one-thing we can’t understand. But it’s so close, obviously once someone makes a good suggestion there will be nothing to discuss; so it can’t be expected to be a standalone CIDU to satisfy a whole day’s spot.

Thanks to BillR for this CIDU-Quickie from Bizarro, about which he writes “No idea what the x-balls are.” Well I had an idea – but it wasn’t very good. Then BillR wrote back that his wife had a better idea – and yes it was better. But still not certain. So, what say you?

(Did this already get posted separately and discussed?? I thought so but can’t find it.)

This is a case of what some defined the “oopsie” for – a possibly good joke, but something about the drawing is wrong, or as in this case, tiny, scribbled, and indecipherable, to the extent that the joke is quite lost.

So the anticipated encounter is …. “Hold on! Where are you going with that ape” … “No, this is my kid! Look, here’s our tickets, that proves it.”


  1. Historically in comics/cartoons, Xs as eyes indicated a dead character. If the doctor is replacing his eyes with Xs, that means he’s dead, so the doctor is reassuring him.

  2. Nothing is wrong with the drawing and the dialog completely describes the coupon.. The ladies have a coupon for a specific meat special. The expired coupon is so old that the waitress feels she cannot get the kitchen to prepare it because the meat no longer exists.

  3. And the third one is already explained. Looks like we’re done here, boys.

    I will say it would have been nice if Tina’s Groove had come up with an actual extinct animal to request.

  4. Powers, I agree about the Tina’s. But KevinA apparently can make out that it says “Breast of Passenger Pidgeon, Florentine”.

  5. However, Powers, IDU your comment that the Herman is already explained. Do you mean by the sarcastic editorial suggestion??

  6. My feeling about the coupon is that EITHER it should be legible (and show something like Powers or Dana K are suggesting), OR it should be facing away from us or otherwise be hidden.

    This is in line with my ruling on showing phone screens on camera when a TV or film character is receiving or sending texts. Do not point your video camera fleetingly at the phone screen! Either we will get the gist from the plot and dialog, in which case you should not have the phone screen even visible to frustrate us. Or else keep the messaging visible long enough for us to read; and preferably don’t do it by photographing the phone (in hand or on table) — instead, represent the phone screen onto the video screen, flat-on and large.

    A few movies have done this right, but since they were comedies or very pop-culture based, that may have given the picture-plane treatment of phone screens a bad name for drama directors.

  7. As is often the case, the artwork in Herman made it difficult for me to understand it. That’s a kid in the drawing?

  8. “Passenger Pigeon” would work on the coupon, but I would have gone with “Quagga,” just because it’s more fun to say/write. Quagga. Quagga quagga quagga. “Yipes, Stripes, Quagga’s Got’em!” (geezer reference)

  9. I thought the same as Mark M. It almost looks like the smaller figure is the grandpa, not the ‘kid’.

  10. Apologies if this is a repeated comment but I agree with Mark M. The ‘kid’ looks more like the grandpa. And he’s fresh out of prison, at that.

  11. I don’t have any problem with the coupon in Tina’s Groove. Whether it’s not shown or illegible is not enough of a difference to matter. And trying to come up with a common restaurant animal that’s extinct would probably be worse.

  12. The extinct animal joke is like the old one about a restaurant bragging about having all types of meat that ends
    “I’m sorry sir, but for one steak we cannot kill the elephant”

  13. @ Downpuppy – There was a pre-unification “shortages” joke featuring the East German president in a similar restaurant. He proceeds to order “Elephant ear with onion sauce”, and a short while later hears rumbling and trumpeting sounds of an elephant from the kitchen. An hour later the chef appears to apologize that they cannot fulfill the order, to which the president exclaims, “But I thought I heard…“, and the chef interrupts him to say, “The elephant was no problem, sir: the thing we couldn’t get was the onion.

  14. Yes, I was implying that the comment underneath the Herman panel was sufficient explanation of the joke.

  15. I agree that the explanation is correct, but Unger’s drawing doesn’t seem to give the kid a sufficiently “animalistic” appearance to justify the caption. Long scraggly hair might have been just cause for such a comparison in the late 60s or early 70s, but it seems quaintly anachronistic now.

  16. I guess my problem with it wasn’t clearly stated. Granting that the boy might look animalistic enough to raise a problem at the gate on the way out, what good would it do to show a receipt for two tickets? The second one could be for anybody. To verify the boy you would need something like a school registration with picture ID.

  17. Good story, Kilby, but it was a little hard to process for me since there is a decorative plant widely called “elephant ears” and I didn’t get when to stop expecting those to show up and start concentrating on a putative actual elephant.

  18. @ Mitch4 – Blame that on my translation (from memory). At first I had written it as “Ear of Elephant with Onion Sauce“, but that seemed a little too awkward (or Germanic), so I slimmed it down.

  19. Then there’s the recipe for elephant and rabbit stew. Use equal parts elephant and rabbit: one elephant and one rabbit. Or better yet zero rabbit because some people do not like to find a hare in their stew.


    Elephant Stew
    1 Elephant
    200 c Water
    700 ts Salt
    Pepper, to taste
    650 (10 oz.) cans brown gravy
    2 Rabbits (optional)

    Remove tusks; wash well; cut into chunks – takes about 2 weeks.

    Place meat in large kettles; season with salt and pepper. Cover with water and gravy. Cook over kerosene fire at 455 degrees for about 4 weeks, or until tender.

    This amount should serve 3,800 people; however, if more guests are expected, you may add 2 rabbits the last hour of cooking, but do so only if necessary because most people do not like to find hare in their stew.

  21. @ MikeP – I’ve heard of shaggy dog stories, but that is one shaggy rabbit recipe. Four weeks at 455 degrees should be sufficient to render everything to black ash.

  22. For literary amusement over recipes and cookery, it would be hard to beat “Country Cooking” by Harry Mathews (whom I mentioned the other day as the American “member” of OULIPO). Included in this book: . For me the key moments in that are the retrospective new instructions, like “Six hours earlier, you will have started boiling the stock in the larger pot..” (Not a quote, just an illustration of what I mean by retrospective instruction.)

  23. “Do not like to find hare in their stew” Heh heh heh!

    The evil wizard told the hare “Obey or I will turn you into a goon!”. The hare shrugged it off. “Oh well, hare today, goon tomorrow.”

  24. @ Mike P – If it were 455 Kelvin, it would be a relatively normal baking temperature (although still not acceptable for four weeks).

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