1. The facial expressions show that they are angry, and the hats indicate that they are western bumpkins, both of which add up to “cross country”. Besides that, the short, curved skis seem more appropriate for downhill, but that’s hardly a reliable indicator.

  2. The skiers from the country are feeling cross. Once I got it I thought it was mighty cute!

  3. I’m with Snickers on the skiing one, and would remark that Kilby may be allowing too much doubt in downplaying the form of skiing — it’s not just the size and shape of the skis that says downhill as against cross-country, it’s where they are (on a slope) and what they’re doing.

    That’s part of what makes the joke work. It blocks the reading of “cross country” as giving the kind of skiing, so that we need to go to the separate alternate readings of “grumpy” for “cross” and “honky tonkers” for “country”.

  4. It’s a matter of concern that she “seems to be getting a little behind” because all the adults have very big behinds. But I’m not sure if that’s meant to be flesh or inflation.

  5. Skiers – What everyone else said, but they are definitely down-hill skiing. Those boots with the clamps are made for downhill.

    Student – She’s not ‘getting’ a little behind, she ‘is’ a little behind. Apart from the intended comic’s joke, I wonder if there’s a second, more subtle joke here. Is the teacher calling her an a$$?

  6. The skier one reminded me of something from S J Perelman in Acres and Pains. He opens the door to see a couple of sweaty hobos with grumpy expressions.
    “Who is it?” his wife asks.
    “Just a couple of hot cross bums.”

  7. The writing on the window says: “School for the Flatulent”. It appears the girl needs some help with her tooting.

  8. Is that the school where you learn the skill or do you already have to be good at it to get in?

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