26 Comments

  1. Is it possible to understand the extreme odiousness of the earworm in the last strip, even without having experienced that ride at Disneyland? (Nearly as bad as the song itself is the “tick-tock” of the clock heard outside the building.)

    P.S. It’s been nearly 40 years since my last trip to Anaheim, but I can still vividly remember the horror of it all.

  2. Sorry, no, the song is a classic. I can see how it can get a little repetitive after a while, but “extreme odiousness” seems way over-the-top.

  3. It’s a cute take that the earworm is an actual worm, and actually in an ear. So the bird can be helpful by extracting it, and disposing of it as birds do.

  4. Here’s a Bizarro that I still don’t understand, despite seeing that it must be an OY on some familiar expression, not however familiar to me. And despite seeing it on Wayno’s blog. (Where in fact I am linking to.)

  5. While far from my favorite ride at Disneyland (which I visited often in the 60s because my Mom’s family was out there), that “It’s a Small World” had been part of the 1964 World’s Fair (in Queens, NY), which was one of the most wonderful and engaging experiences of my life. I was 8, and a ride where you rode, INSIDE a building, in boats pulled by chains under the water, around curves entering into new scene after new scene keeps giving me a hit of happiness whenever I hear the name.

  6. Regarding the Bizarro: Looking up types of Hesitancy (instead of: hesitancy -vaccine) shows that “vaccine hesitancy” is a current topic that has swamped internet searches for any other kind. I can see how the man’s comments could fit that.

  7. Thank you, Ian and Kevin A, that must be it! I just didn’t remember the expression “vaccine hesitancy”, and probably would never have recovered it on my own as I was looking for some kind of soundalike for “flotation”.
    Come to think of it, could it be “vaccination hesitancy”?

  8. I’m with Kilby and the “extreme odiousness” description, and my experience on the ride is also more than forty years in the past, but the horror remains in my memory.

  9. In my neighborhood there is a restaurant / take-out counter called Piccolo Mondo, which is Italian for small world. They don’t use that song (of course), nor phrases like “it’s a small world”. However, it’s a standard local joke to say it’s where you always find yourself bumping into people you know from some very different context and wouldn’t expect to see down here … and then exclaim “small world!”.

  10. (And if you wanted to say “Wait a minute, I know what a piccolo is, it’s a musical instrument like a flute”, well yes it is — because it’s formally a flauto piccolo, or “small flute”.)

  11. I, too, remember that 1964 World’s Fair ride with horror. Okay, the scenes and the boat ride were very nice, but that earworm has stayed with me all these years. It’s the only one I have ever had, but the mere mention of that song brings it back. AARRGGHHHH!

  12. @ Kevin A

    } Regarding the Bizarro: Looking up types of Hesitancy
    } (instead of: hesitancy -vaccine) shows that “vaccine hesitancy”
    } is a current topic that has swamped internet searches for
    } any other kind. I can see how the man’s comments could fit that.

    Then shouldn’t there be another frame with the boat speeding away and the words “Well &#@!$ die, then” coming from the rescuer’s mouth?

  13. In fairness to Powers, Kevin, and anyone else who may have fond memories of the song and/or the “Small World” ride, I must admit that my first visit to Disneyland was as a college student, so I was probably two or 2.5 times as old as the intended target audience, and correspondingly jaded. We didn’t even have the option of observing any little kids enjoying the experience, because it was one of those “college night” events, so everyone present was (literally) in the same boat: disappointed, bored, and wishing we were back in the massive line waiting to get into Space Mountain.

  14. I have never visited Disneyland nor Disney World and yet I too have bad memories of the song.

    The TV show Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color featured a segment on the ride when it was new. I think the segment must have been as long as the actual boat ride, because it just went on and on and on, with scene after scene of kids in their native costumes singing the song, sometimes in English and sometimes in another language. Regardless of the language it was the same tune over and over. I had a morbid curiosity to keep watching it to see if it actually would ever come to an end.

    Then my little sister started singing it all the time.

  15. Re: the Bizarro – I think “vaccination hesitancy” might have been what they started from; “vaccine” is not very close to “flotation”. But “vaccine hesitancy” swamps “vaccination hesitancy” in Google searches, making it harder to come up with the underlying phrase.

    It is difficult to interpret it as a political cartoon; drowning and infectious disease are not really parallel threats and there’s no concept of “herd buoyancy”. And from his appearance the castaway has survived on the traditional comic strip island for some time. MikeP’s suggestion that someone whose job it is to administer vaccines would wish death on someone who declined, with profanity no less, seems … rude.

  16. The Comics Curmudgeon will presumably enjoy writing about bird-people owning cats as pets. Why are the birds transformed into horrifying parodies of humanity, while felines merely develop sapience and the ability to understand spoken English?

    I’m currently being earwormed by Eurhythmics’ “Talk to Me”. It isn’t “It’s a Small World”, but it’s very annoying.

    The hesitancy comic was instantly clear to me, as a former science teacher. Vaccine refusers do exactly what this character does, denying any aspect of reality that lets them keep their preferred position.

  17. Does Shoe deserve a geezer tag? Sure, the film it references is well-regarded and sometimes considered a classic of its genre, but it’s still a 51-year-old movie. Has it achieved enough cultural osmosis to be recognized by readers under, say, 40?

  18. I was familiar with the phrase but couldn’t have honestly told you it was a movie title.

  19. I admit – I have never been to either Disney Park and may be the only adult/senior American who can say that.

    However, I did go on the Small World ride at the NY World’s Fair so I know it well as we went on every time we went and we went a few times each year. But even worse – my sister (the middle of the 3 of us) always asked for and got souvenirs when we traveled – and she got the record and played it often…… I can even sing the darn song in German! (Though Robert would be sure to mention that when I sing it is NOT singing but some sort of terrible noise as I cannot carry a tune, am tone deaf and have no sense of rhythm (it runs in the family on both sides – but we were always exuberant, terrible singers).

  20. My family wouldn’t have traveled that far and spent that kind of money on anything like Disney. The closest we came was the local Six Flags. I certainly haven’t done it since I’d be paying for it.

  21. While in college I went to Dallas to edit the yearbook for the year before I was EIC – with the editors from that year. The yearbook company rep took us to the original 6 Flags there (the only one at the time I believe). Since I don’t go on the rides – it was more exciting for the other 3 of us than me.

  22. Brian in STL – thank you. I did not that any others had opened that early – this was 1973. The year book company rep made a big deal of it and implied it was the only one. But,then again, he did drink rather a bit – well at least to me it seemed he did.

  23. We moved to the St. Louis area in 1969, so it was a big deal when Six Flags opened.

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