47 Comments

  1. This might have worked better if there was some sort of visible distinction as evidence of Timmy’s maturity (such as if he were the only passenger wearing a mask), but as it is, it’s just a piece of silly incongruity. In practice there are rules against assigning passengers who are incapable of managing the emergency doors to an exit row.

  2. I think this is a comment on all the belligerent activity that has been taking place on airlines recently with mask mandates and the like. The child is more mature than the adults and is the only one that can be relied upon to act in a sensible manner.

  3. Maybe it is a reference to all those recent stories of air rage, which as far as I can make out always involve adults, leaving kids to be models of decorum and good sense.

    My father was an airline pilot with Kuwait Airways 1956-1974 and took newspaper clippings after one of his colleagues suffered a dangerous air rage incident on a Cairo-Beirut flight in July 1964, involving blades and a fight that continued in the airport terminal on return to Cairo. See http://nawaller.com/gallery/airfight.jpg

    Incidentally, Captain Deakin and his wife were looking after me some time in 1959 when my parents and older brother went up to the mountains (in Lebanon) for a spot of skiing, and so they were the ones to witness my first walking steps.

    http://www.nawaller.com/BCSBeirut/Aroundleb/pages/c4_FirstStepsN.htm

  4. If Timmy is so mature, how come he keeps falling in the well and needing Lassie to rescue him?

  5. SweeTea, my Service Dog, was acting like a Lassie a few days ago, pestering me and barking at me whilst I was on the computer. I finally followed her outside, only to find my my ‘Timmy’ (a/k/a Hubby) ON THE ROOF with a wet/dry vac, cleaning gutters. She was NOT happy about that at all. Once she had me out there, watching out for him, she went back inside.

  6. I think that won’t trigger it per se. (The specific setting is at allowing 6, which really means 3 on input since each gets copied somehow.) But your comment is live now, whatever the reason for landing in Pending; sorry for that.

  7. @shrug, yes it does seem confusing to name him Timmy and thereby invite thinking in terms of the Lassie/Timmy/well meme.

  8. @Stan &narmitaj, yes the “air rage” trend does seem like a plausible explanation. The difficulty I see there is that it is typically about mask mandates, but in the comic we don’t see any masks on.

  9. NO WAY would a ‘normal’ airlines let a child sit near the exit doors. I get the joke, but then . . . I don’t. Frankly, I’d let Lassie sit there before I’d let Timmy do so.

  10. The airplane comic about maturity seems straight forward to me: All adults behave like spoiled children, so while searching for someone to be trusted with something important, they had to rely on the only actual child in the airplane, even if he does seem to fall into wells from time to time (this gag is worth one “so true” comment, but it might fetch a mild chuckle with the right audience).

    I believe the author didn’t include masks to keep the joke generic, so someone might chuckle in a few years time, after the pandemic is over (yeah, I know, but think about the next generation reading old comics, or the one after that).

  11. @ Narmitaj – Those pictures from Lebanon reminded me of a roommate in grad school who came from there, and was able to dispel at least some of my ignorance about the country. Even before Corona made travel impossible (or at least inadvisable), I always felt it was a real shame that there are (or were) innumerable beautiful places on the planet that are simply not that safe to visit (because of the instable political situations).

  12. @Kilby: What browser is that? Every browser I’ve ever used has ignored extra slashes. Weird.

    Agreed, this is all about the current adults-acting-like-children on planes (I’m not willing to call it “air rage”, as that implies that there’s some justification).

  13. The exit row is desirable because it has more leg room. So, of course, they’re giving it to someone who doesn’t need the leg room.

  14. @ PS3 – You’re right: when I checked it with Chrome/Win, the URL resolved down to a single slash just fine. However, because of logistics and inertia, I do almost all of my comic browsing on an ancient PPC Mac (the old version of Safari can still do a number of things with RSS feeds that have been removed from more modern versions).

  15. @Kilby: Gotta love how newer versions “improve” things like that. Ya never win somethin’ but that ya lose somethin’ dept.

    FTR, it wasn’t Andrea’s fault: if you navigate to any current comic and then use the button to the left of the date to go back, it puts in the double slash. E.g., picking a comic at random: https://comicskingdom.com//dustin/2022-04-21

    Good luck getting that fixed. I don’t have the wherewithal to try to explain it 174 times to various support folks, none of which will (a) believe it or (b) see the problem, since they won’t have your ancient browser. It’s wrong, but not wrong enough.

  16. @ PS3 – To be perfectly honest, that ancient version of Safari is virtually dead as a normal browser, I use it ONLY for its RSS features. Since it no longer is able to resolve a current certificate, it cannot connect to any website that uses HTTPS. The browser that I do (still) use on that Mac is TenFourFox, which up until the end of last year was a pretty well-supported Firefox clone. It is also on its last legs. mostly because of websites that insist on verifying whether the user’s browser is “current” (and admissible to their narrow-minded programmers and/or advertising moguls). In some cases it is possible to fool the website by specifying a customized return string (faking the presence of a current Firefox or Chrome), but another difficult issue is the ridiculous amount of Javascript that some websites spit out, which the clone cannot process fast enough.
    P.S. I would not even dream of asking any website operator to waste even a minute on supporting either one of those systems; I crossed that bridge of rationality long ago, when I gave up hope on the use of OS/2.

  17. Narmitaj,

    Thank you for sharing your album. I hope you don’t mind that I looked through some of the photos. I never knew Lebanon had a history of terraced farming!

    A little less fun was the article about rich guys slicing each other up then spending the night, not in jail, but in a hotel. The rich are the same the world over. (<– sweeping generalization hazard)

  18. Thanks, Kilby and Chak. My album is now a little out of date in that I put the site up in 2006 and scanned the photos back then to fit the kind of monitor and spare disk capacity I had at the time… I should have scanned bigger. One day I will update with much larger images. I also need to get my father’s 16mm movies digitised properly before it is too late (if it isn’t already).

    It was a great time to be in Beirut as an expat kid – we were there 1956-1970, though I wasn’t born until a couple of years after my parents moved there, and was sent off to boarding school in the north of England in 1968. It would have been good to have experienced Lebanon as a young adult too, but you can’t have everything. There are various groups on Facebook where old expats from all nations and Lebanese who were young at the time too reminisce about the old days before the civil war kicked off in 1975, and also post paintings from the 19thC and photos from the early 20thC too.

    I am perfectly aware, though, that my family and I were privileged – there were plenty of Lebanese at the lower end of the economic scale not so fortunate, and extensive Palestinian refugee camps, one of them only a few tens of metres from the last apartment block we lived in.

  19. @ Boise Ed – I came in too late for the VHS/Betamax conflict. By the time our family decided to invest in a VCR, the issue had already been decided (and just like Windows vs. OS/2, offensive marketing beat out superior technology).

  20. Windows users: have you noticed that Character Map, until a month or two ago, gave you both the “Character Code” and the “Alt Code” for a character you select? When I want to type something like “Andréa” I find the character, click it, and then hold down the Alt key and type the code such as 233. But now, suddenly, the Alt code is gone from Character Map! You can copy the character to the clipboard but when you paste it it’s usually in a different font from what you want.

  21. @ MiB – You might want to try the “U,S, International” layout, which permits composing diacritical characters. For an accént, you type an apostrophe, and the the vowel, or for Umläuts, type a quote, and then the vowel.

  22. I’ve fallen into the moderation trap a couple of times when I wouldn’t have expected it, and come to the conclusion that an http URLs rather than https is the trigger.

  23. I ate once at a Lebanese restaurant near where I live, and got chatting to the owner. Turned out he was Syrian. Even in the restaurant business, Syrians were meddling in the affairs of Lebanon.

  24. @ Mike P – There are a few specific words in a blacklist that will trigger moderation, but other that that, CIDU Bill (Bickel) always maintained that the WordPress filter was capricious and unpredictable.

  25. Filters, autocensors, etc, always are. It is inevitable, given the richness of the English language, aka a thicket of obfuscating homographs even when considering only formal meanings, let alone layering changing slang on top.

    What did “gay” and “queer” mean 100 years ago?

    A bird watcher might say “I was looking at a pair of great tits yesterday” and not require censoring, but another sort of watcher might. And 50-60 years ago in the UK he might also have been looking at birds.

    O tempora! O mores!

  26. We have a bird here in FL called the Tufted Titmouse. Because it’s related to the Chickadee and it’s in Florida, I prefer to call it a Flickadee. My understanding is that in England, ‘tit’ means small and ‘mouse’ means bird (or did at one time), so the unimaginative naming of this bird as ‘a small bird’.

  27. “What did ‘gay’ and ‘queer’ mean 100 years ago?”

    “Gay” could have a sense of being somewhat sexually overactive, usually for the opposite sex. “Queer” meant strange or unusual.

    “How pleasant to know Mr.Lear
    Who has written such volumes of stuff
    Some think him ill-tempered and queer
    But a few think him pleasant enough…” — Edward Lear, not admitting to being gay.

    In the 18th century, “merry” meant “drunk,” as in Purcell’s song “I gave her cakes and I gave her ale … and we were wondrous merry.”

    100 years ago “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality” were both pathological conditions. Heterosexuality was excessive promiscuity with the opposite sex; homosexuality was excessive promiscuity with one’s own sex.

    Remember when “intercourse” meant simply “communication?” “And as for Scrooge, he had no further intercourse with spirits.” Wait, what? Let me go back and read the book again. I think I missed a part.

  28. You’ll notice that in the poem “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” we heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.” Even as late as the 1830’s, “merry” meant “drunk”, and the poet wanted to be sure nobody would mistakenly think he was inviting them to drink a lot.

  29. Apparently (per learned in reenacting) Merry stopped being used for Christmas during Queen Victoria’s reign. She thought it terrible to tell someone to have a drunk Christmas. (Not sure of the veracity of this, but have heard it from several sources.)

    On the other hand, our unit (1775 except for July and August when we are in 1776) says Happy Christmas not Merry Christmas when we are at the big Christmas event we do at the local restoration village. The rest of the village is set in various 19th century time periods so the village itself considers their time period to be late 19th century.

    The house we interpret for them for the event (and some other times during the year) was originally built in 1740 and then expanded twice in the 1700s. So we stay with Happy Christmas even though it actually too early for same as a way to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the village – we are British subjects celebrating Christmastide in 1775.

    On doing research on the house – our unit actually knows more and more correctly the more modern history of the house before it was moved to the village for preservation and restoration and those currently involved with same are long gone from the village – we found that the house became part of one of the “Gold Coast” mansions on the Island – and nothing of how it looks again was visible in that fancy house. (The owner of the house in the 1770s would have been considered the equivalent to one of the Gold Coast homeowners – he was a wealthy man.)

    They must have done a major amount of work in restoring it, though it is not correctly restored. Unless they intended this (and again those who did the restoration are long gone from the village) one side of the house is restored to the 1740 appearance and the other side is restored to it’s 1760 appearance. They call the work area room of the house – the kitchen – when the actual kitchen was a separate building (extremely common then) and was reached by an “extra” door in that work area.

  30. As to the use of Timmy – it is by sound and usage a boy’s name not an teenager’s name or a man’s name. (At least I think of it as same.)

  31. @ Mike P & Andréa – Some years ago a story went around about an ornithological website that experienced a sudden increase in user traffic. They were initially pleased to have more vistors, until they figured out that it was all related to misguided (male) searchers looking for “tits“. I wasn’t able to find confirmation (at Snopes or anywhere else), so I’m pretty sure the story is apocryphal.

    P.S. Those actually interested in ornithology might want to try “Bird & Moon“. It’s in reruns at GoComics, so I pointed the link to the beginning of the feature.

  32. Continuing the ornithological theme,

    Does “shag” have the same slang meaning in the US as the UK?

  33. @MikeP: You mean ugly carpet from the 1970s, with its connotations of free love? /s

    I don’t know the answer for sure. I sure know what it means, but I grew up in Canada with multilingual parents and have read/watched a ton of British TV. As a result, I still–after 35 years back in the U.S.–get an odd look at least once a year when I use some British or Canadian term without even realizing it’s not universal.

  34. Some Americans know the meaning you are likely alluding to, but mostly from seeing UK TV shows and such. For the most part, “shag” is not used as a verb in the US and the noun uses are of the “shaggy” derivation.

  35. Andrea – True, but in my head I hear “Timmy fell in the well” and Timmy! from South Park.

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