Sunday Funnies – LOLs, February 27th, 2022

When I was growing up, and my dad and uncles were into car repair, front-wheel-drive was relatively rare, and most American cars had front engine and rear drive wheels. There was a very important part called the “differential” which sat at the rear end of the drive shaft and connected also to both sides of a rear axle and the drive wheels. The informal term used for the differential was “rear end”.

Since “rear end” was also an informal substitute for “butt”, there was occasion for many a scene just like the one in this cartoon.

This is inflation on count-to-ten.

Jane: I once went on holiday and pretended to be twins. It was amazing fun. I invented this mad, glamorous sister and went around really annoying everybody. And d’you know, I could get away with anything when I was my crazy twin Jane.
Sally: But you’re Jane.
Jane: Kinda stuck. It’s a long story.

And there was a sequel:

Link only, to a Far Side that shows the prequel to an iconic Meryl Streep line. (The link may not last long.)


  1. The The Far Side panel has nothing to do with Meryl Streep. The film was based on a real incident in which a baby was taken by dingoes, and the situation in the comic is an obvious (and horribly insensitive) allusion to that.

  2. Powers, it strikes me as a bit hypercritical to say the dingo line “has nothing to do with Meryl Streep.” Yes, there was a real incident, quite notorious at the time, which the film is based on. But acquaintance with the story, and the line, in modern times is largely via the film, even for those who know it was based on a true story.

    For that matter, I keep saying the incident and the line as it’s my impression a good many people have seen clips of Streep uttering the line, or have seen parodies of her rendition, who may not have seen the movie, and may not even be able to name the movie, let alone know about the underlying actual incident. For this wide group, the line is entirely a Meryl Streep thing.

    Your reminder about the underlying true incident is a useful contribution. But I wish you had seen a more constructive way to make your point.

  3. “Jane: I once went on holiday and pretended to be twins. It was amazing fun. I invented this mad, glamorous sister and went around really annoying everybody. And d’you know, I could get away with anything when I was my crazy twin Jane.
    Sally: But you’re Jane.
    Jane: Kinda stuck. It’s a long story.”

    Now I want to read that story.

    @Dana: I had no memory of the Streep movie, but I knew the real story. You might possibly be generalizing your own reaction to everyone, when it’s really a subset of everyone.

  4. @Carl, I don’t think Jane ever told that story. But actually I haven’t watched the whole run of Coupling.

  5. My father (who had nothing to do with car repair) always used “differential” as a euphemism for derrière, rump, backside, sit-upon… whatever else you want to call it. As a youngster, I probably assumed that that is just what the word meant. When I came to understand what an automotive differential was, I saw the connection.

    Later, when I was a college student studying physics, Dad recounted with great amusement, that my uncle (his brother-in-law, who was an engineer) had taken a graduate school course called Differentials of a Complex Variable. Dad thought that was hilarious.

    (Perhaps I should mention that another use of the term “differential” refers to a fundamental concept in Calculus and other higher branches of mathematics.)

  6. I’ve been reading Far Side for a while now, and it just seems … not as good as it used to be. Am I just being crabby?

    As for Jane, I’d tell her that she is that interesting twin sister of hers. She just needs to do it.

  7. Yes, it’s an actual line from Coupling. Very funny britcom series, but very British, i.e. maybe too explicit for some Americans.

  8. Chak, if you have another look at that quoted dialog from Coupling, it seems to be on point that Jane has already acted on your advice. In the show, she is known as Jane by name, and has the “mad, glamorous, … annoying” manner she describes. There were no twins. For a moment she is speaking from the perspective of her earlier self, apparently a comparatively calm or strait-laced woman, whose original name we are not given.

  9. The Nav{a,e}l Observatory is a very very old joke (or joking remark) ; but it’s still fairly fresh to have someone go there and pose in the right place with the right presentation.

  10. Woops, wrong place. I barely noticed in time to avoid commenting that most of these LOLs seem more like OYs, and why are the editors blurring those categories? ; -))

  11. Seems to me that Jane has already related the essentials of the story, and that it turns out its not as long as she thinks it is…

  12. Thanks, deety. I don’t watch tv any more, except for YouTube pimple videos. Out of touch, I am. And happy about it, i am.

  13. I’d never read about the complete story . . . very interesting.

    I met dingoes in Australia, never realizing they could be dangerous. To me, they were just dogs . . .

  14. Andréa! 👏
    You missed the panic about the URL but we’re glad to see you found CIDU again.

  15. Differential slang -in the UK, amongst used car dealers, a rear window wash/wipe is known as a bidet.

    PBS – sad but true:

    Funny but truth unknown – I read a story once of a head-of-department lecturer/teacher who in a performance review of a member of the department criticised him for being a pedagog. Much fuss ensued, with the school/college/university admin launching an investigation into this appalling situation. When the actual meaning of the word penetrated the admin brains, the department head was reprimanded for not using every day language that might be found in newspapers, for example. He resigned in protest, composing his resignation letter using words cut out from newspapers, a la ransom note.

  16. @Mike P, there is a terrible old joke based on the misunderstandings like that in your story (which I have incorporated). It’s a list of community complaints against the local coeducational high school. Most of these are completely dated by now! But anyway:

    Did you know they will have boys and girls matriculate together?!
    And they will have to share the same curriculum!
    We know for a fact that the drama teacher is a Thespian.
    The gym teachers include several practicing kinesiologists.
    And the teacher roster includes many, many pedagogues!

  17. Don’t forget the case(s) of college students getting people to sign a petition demanding an end to female suffrage, where in at least one instance the petition organisers were sanctioned because of the ignorance of the people signing the petition(s).

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