Further adventures of Oopsies, Quickies, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops (10th Series)

In the lane of “I guess I get the intended joke point, but the execution is unsuccessful” we have this “powdery math” example from zbicyclist. “I’m lost here. He’s eating one donut, and has another on his plate. That’s two donuts. So how is it 50% less sugar than two donuts?” I guess the *one* donut Leroy is waving around does have 50% less sugar than the two he has altogether, since it’s 50% less donut.

I thought at first it was going to be the funnish kind of percentage mistake coming from inconsistent base. We’re going to increase your supply of widgets by 10%. But now you have too many, so we’ll reduce your supply by 10%. That should put you back where you started …. eh?

Why even begin to use the Jeopardy setup? Then not use their layout? And if we grant that eating triple bacon cheeseburgers presents a risk to a heart, does that require that answering a question about them also does?

The main-punch of this charming joke is clear enough — curiosity may be fatal to cats (as in the common saying) but not to these patients. But what is it that the vet has diagnosed as a case of curiosity? And is it supposed to be clear why he speaks in the singular, and which one of the dogs is the patient?

I dunno, maybe the problem is that the top section looks like a “throwaway panel” but actually it’s essential that it appear right above the scene with the cars. Because it’s the upper-storey window and sign for the gym? But we still have to pin down the connection between weight-lifting and how that extra car got where it is.

If your thing is to visually or linguistically play off some familiar phrase or saying that almost everybody surely knows …. there’s going to be trouble when you use some that nobody knows. (All right, I know about “disruptor”. But that’s about it.)

Okay, let the anatomists explain from the configuration of fingers (and additional hand in panel 2) that the hand doing the artwork in panels 2 and 3 has to be Nancy’s. Even so, what does it get her? And if it could possibly be Fritzi’s own, does that mean her panel 1 nag about “the expression on my face” was just a fancy prank setup?

26 Comments

  1. “We’re going to increase your supply of widgets by 10%. But now you have too many, so we’ll reduce your supply by 10%. That should put you back where you started …. eh? ”

    Actually no – it leaves you with fewer widgets than you started with.

    “And if we grant that eating triple bacon cheeseburgers presents a risk to a heart, does that require that answering a question about them also does?”

    I read it as actually taking a physical burger, not a question on one.

    “Okay, let the anatomists explain from the configuration of fingers (and additional hand in panel 2) that the hand doing the artwork in panels 2 and 3 has to be Nancy’s.”

    They can’t explain, They can’t be her hands. They are not her hands.

    “And if it could possibly be Fritzi’s own,”

    They can only be his.

    “does that mean her panel 1 nag about “the expression on my face” was just a fancy prank setup?”

    No, it just means that she’s saying to use the expression on her face as an indication of her level of disappointment so he makes the expression on her face one of pleasure/amusement.

  2. Mike: The editor is aware of the Widget math; that’s why it says “the funnish kind of percentage mistake coming from inconsistent base.”

    I’m not sure why you don’t think the hands could be Nancy’s. I also have no idea who the “he” you refer to is.

  3. Mike P, in case you’re not so familiar with the Nancy comic strip, both Nancy and her Aunt Fritzi Ritz are female. The original creator many years ago, Ernie Bushmiller, was male. The current writer/artist has a hidden identity but goes by an apparently female pseudonym, Olivia Jaimes. The face in this strip belongs to Aunt Fritzi, and she is apparently speaking to her niece Nancy. Nancy either does not appear at all here, or else just as a hand, perhaps.

  4. Nancy: I view that as Nancy’s hand. Aunt Fritzi is scolding her for allowing the bathroom to steam up and thus steam her glasses. Nancy responds by drawing a smiley face on them. In panel two we see both hand rising up from in front of AF, then in the third Nancy’s right hand is withdrawing, having drawn the smiley on the cranky AF’s glasses.

    Dogs: I don’t think we know “what” the curiosity was, but I took it that this is the equivalent of a married couple in the doc’s office to get the results of a scan, etc. One is the patient (I think the one on the left) and the other is the partner/spouse/whathaveyou.

  5. Re: Curiosity; evidently you’re not of an age where you go to the doctor with your spouse so there’s a chance that between the two of you you’ll remember everything you wanted to talk about and everything they tell you. The doc will still typically talk to the “patient” in the singular.

  6. I agree with Mitch and Targuman that the (smallish) extra hands are definitely Nancy’s.

    P.S. I assume the source of MikeP’s gender misidentification was the (male) name “Fritz”, but what is really amusing is that “Fritzi Ritz” (just like “Blondie” and “Daisy Mae”) was originally intended as a play on the “flapper” or “pinup girl” stereotype: just as sexy and seductive as the comic strip censorship standards of the day would allow. Stretching across the years (and authors/artists) she has mutated into a frumpish librarian.

  7. P.P.S. What I find even more offensive than “borrowing” the “Jeopardy” name and then completely choking on the layout is that the artist also “borrowed” Alex Trebek’s name, nearly a year and a half after his death. That’s just not kosher.

  8. The gym one is like the old Mentos commercial where a woman’s car is pinned in by a jerk in a suit so she seduces 4 burly workmen into carrying it out of the trap. I.e. the weightlifters from the gym stacked the cars.

  9. Gym: Do you see those vertical broad stripes descending from the top of the semi-panel and reaching the car? (A similar color to the off-greenish-grey of the tires.) since they don’t go down to the floor and are not visible thru the red car’s windows, I figure they’re attached to the body of the car, at the underside on some strong metal arms. So the car is hanging from them, and not just supported by the adjacent cars?

    Further, if those bands go up into the gym proper, could they be part of a lifting setup? Lift this bar here, the weights are unseen below?

  10. I think you’re overthinking the gym/car joke.

    The ‘top panel’ isn’t a separate panel. It’s the gym’s marquee. Poor art doesn’t make that clear.

    I think the joke is simply that someone has fit into the tiny parking space by parking their car upside down. Just a piece of absurdity. It doesn’t really work.

    It might work better as a multi-panel joke. 1) Driver drives up to the parking spot. 2) Driver looks at narrow space. 3) Driver walks away from upside-down car with smug expression. Other people stare in astonishment.

    I don’t think there’s any significance to it being a gym. It could just have easily have been a supermarket, florist, or a burger joint, but the artist had to choose something, and chose a gym.

    The two vertical bars are the window frame.

    The mentos advert is interesting, but I don’t think it’s a deliberate reference.

  11. Kilby, I can’t say I was offended by the reference to Alex. I think “I’ll take xxxxxxx for $100, Alex” is a common saying to make a humorous point. If someone were to declare their wish to jump over a canyon on their motorcycle, a friend might say “I’ll take Dumb Things Done by my Friend for$1000, Alex.”

    I agree with Mitch4 on the Brevity. I’m not familiar with any of those 3 expressions, if that’s what they are. Assuming the guy is her boss, try to motivate her?

    If Aunt Fritzi is that disappointed over forgetting to turn the fan on, I hate to see her reaction if Nancy does something really bad.

  12. I agree with MikeP that the heart is asking for a cheeseburger, not for a question about a cheeseburger. But shouldn’t it be the stomach that wants the cheeseburger?

    Nancy figures that Fritzi can’t see what she’s doing, so she is entertaining herself. She thinks she can get away with it because this is not Bushmiller’s Fritzi, who would have turned Nancy over her knee.

    And I agree that the vertical bars on the gym are the window frame. We ought to be able to see them through the car windows, but this is cartoon art, not a photograph. We can’t see the curb through the car windows either. Maybe the windows are steamed up. Someone should draw a smiley face.

  13. Yep – I am utterly unfamiliar with Nancy & Fritzi. And I misread the latter as “Fritz”, hence “he”.

    Plus if they are the hands of someone facing the crosspatch (who I assumed was Nancy because of the same gender confusion), then their left/right orientation and position make perfect anatomical sense, and as I had the characters transposed, I couldn’t see how any anatomical explanation could ever make them belong to the character who I thought was Nancy.

    Some memos-to-self here, methinks… 😳

  14. Mark M says (re Brevity): I’m not familiar with any of those 3 expressions, if that’s what they are. Assuming the guy is her boss, try to motivate her?

    I think the one about moving the needle must derive from looking at a gauge or maybe a speedometer (older analog type) — the needle (pointer) moves to a higher value when you have some increased activity. The disturbing thing about it, though, is that actual needles are used to take blood; and apart from inserting and then removing the needle, you really don’t want to have it moving around!

  15. Pete says: I think you’re overthinking the gym/car joke. The ‘top panel’ isn’t a separate panel. It’s the gym’s marquee. Poor art doesn’t make that clear. I think the joke is simply that someone has fit into the tiny parking space by parking their car upside down. Just a piece of absurdity. It doesn’t really work.”

    I can go along with your point that the upper part is their canopy, and that the vertical bars need not be seen as anything besides a part of the building, like the sides of the window. That helps, thanks.

    I don’t think there’s any significance to it being a gym. It could just have easily have been a supermarket, florist, or a burger joint, but the artist had to choose something, and chose a gym

    Oh gosh, I think it’s essential to the joke that this is a gym. And it’s not just any gym, this one emphasizes weight-lifting in their sign. So some form of weight-lifting has been required to elevate the car into that position!

  16. Maybe the two dogs are of the same sex and the curiosity is bisexual curiosity.

    If it was just pointing out the advantage cats have over dogs – relax, curiosity won’t kill you – then the cartoon would only need one dog.

    The problem is that the vet seems only to be talking to one animal – if my suggestion is correct, then he should have said “the good news is, you’re not cats”.

  17. Is that how they’re drawing Aunt Fritzi these days? She used to be a real hottie, and now she looks like a stereotypical librarian type.

  18. The cornered panel:

    The tragedy of looking for a job when you spent your youth playing Tetris.

    Cur the electronic Russian music.

  19. Mark M : “I agree with Mitch4 on the Brevity. I’m not familiar with any of those 3 expressions, if that’s what they are. Assuming the guy is her boss, try to motivate her?”

    I think the idea is the manager of the BLOOD bank is behaving like the manager of an INVESTMENT bank, using management speak, and seeking return on investment, He’s using words that would normally mean ‘go and make some money.’

    I agree, though, that none of the three expressions are particularly well-known. The creator probably just typed “management-speak” into a search engine, and picked some that could be blood-related at a stretch.

    And can anyone explain the blood-related meaning of ‘disruptor’ because I’m not seeing it. .

  20. The problem with Jeopardy, is that they don’t have a single host currently. I haven’t heard for sure whether the current tag-team of Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings is meant to be permanent. There was of course the disaster around the original successor selection.

  21. The new Nancy strips have adopted a spare drawing style that some fans hated and some where okay with. It’s probably the plainest depiction of Aunt Fritzi, especially compared to the previous strips by the Gilchrists.

    Several strips have changed cartoonists recently. There was probably less pushback on Nancy than Mark Trail (which reads like a parody) and Heart of the City. The latter has a completely different drawing style, Steenz made no attempt to copy Tatulli and there’s been some change to the characters with several new ones added. After two years, people still whine in the comments wondering why they can’t get the original guy back. Apparently they don’t understand the phrase, “he quit.”

  22. ” She used to be a real hottie, and now she looks like a stereotypical librarian type.”

    I just doublechecked by looking in my mirror, and I still look nothing like Fritzi. But then, I’ve been retired from the library for several years now, so maybe the curse has been lifting.

  23. Just to illustrate the main characters in the current style, today’s strip shows Aunt Fritzi as she generally looks these days (thus, without steamed glasses), as well as Nancy tho not in close up.

    BTW, I didn’t entirely get it. Is the joke just that she has cleverly found a way to continue playing with her friends despite coming indoors and engaging with the trombone? But is it clear to anyone just how the instrument gets employed in their play? Is Nancy getting some advantage by reaching out with the slide and pulling aside that nearby leafy branch?

  24. The ball is caught in the tree. Nancy is using the trombone as a hook to pull back a branch so it will spring over and knock the ball down. As soon as they retrieve the ball, she will go back outside.

  25. Thanks, jajizi. I was thinking Nancy was still in a competitive mode regarding her friend, so couldn’t see that this part at least would be a cooperative action to get the ball back.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s