1. The key to the joke is realizing the woman on the right, the speaker, is to be understood as the mother of the other woman. But at first glance, they looked like peers or contemporaries.

  2. I like how the wafting steam from that coffee cup leads our eye to the guy at the next table back, who it turns out is the regular pov character for the strip as a whole. A stand-in for the cartoonist. So that this turns into a “Let me tell you about the odd bit of conversation I overheard at the coffee shop the other day.”

  3. Targuman, that helps a great deal! So when she says something about “your sister” we realize she means her other daughter, the more-favored one.

  4. I didn’t get that the speaker was her mother either. My first thought was she’s the sister and used that verbiage instead of just “me”. But that didn’t make sense. Now that I know, it certainly seems mean-spirited.

  5. I’m willing to believe that the author may have intended the speaker to be her mother, but I think it works equally well if the two of them are sisters.

  6. I didn’t realize it was a Candorville strip from looking at it, as the drawing of the women is much different than his usual style. Even Lemont in the background looks slightly different, maybe just due to his position.

  7. It’s a lot more rounded – the art, that is. I like this – as an occasional thing, an “overheard” bit would be amusing. Hope he does it some more.

    The SF Chronicle has a regular…not column, just a tiny bit, called Public Eavesdropping. A column inch or so, filled with a line overheard by somebody in large print, with who and where it was heard in very small print. In nearly every case, I can think of a dozen ways the line could have been produced – a dozen stories where that makes sense – but the line itself is just weird. A couple samples –

    It was inconvenient and embarrassing. … This is why I need to buy real shoes.
    -Woman on cell phone on 24th Street in San Francisco
    overheard by Kerry Parker

    California is my spirit state.
    -Customer at Old Post Office Cafe in Carnelian Bay (Placer County)
    overheard by Julie Bianucci

    In this case, the line is weird and all the stories I can think of for it are, yeah, mean-spirited or just plain nasty.

  8. I also had to figure out that the woman on our right is the mother.

    I commented on this over at GoComics, and a fellow commenter noted that the art style is more like Bell’s editorial cartoons than the usual Candorville style.

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