15 Comments

  1. Three first-class groans, plus a few more when I went hunting for the post in which the first one appeared. I think Bill’s comment about Albuquerque made an indelible imprint in my memory.

  2. Oys are for puns, aren’t they? The Medusa one is a funny idea, but not a pun. Or am I missing something?

  3. Okay, I see pit as in armpit. What’s the other sense?

    I just thought the idea of Medusa’s armpit hair being snakes is funny in itself.

  4. I don’t disagree with the point that “the idea of Medusa’s armpit hair being snakes is funny in itself.” btw.

    The two senses of ‘pit’ are 1) armpit and 2) the formation of the skull of “pit vipers”, with specialized heat-sensing organs in pit-like depressions near the snake’s eyes and nose. Or in the present context, just the existence of the term “pit vipers” and the realization that term isn’t based on where they live, even if that happens to be a pit (or arm pit).

    But you are correct that the operative classification for the OY listings has been migrating towards accepting any good comic that is making use of word-play in a pretty generalized sense, not necessarily classic groaner puns. One result will be that there are many exemplars that could easily go in either OY or LOL.

  5. Medusa is depicted here with a snake tail. Does that have any basis in mythology or tradition? (The Wikipedia article on Medusa doesn’t support that.)

    There is also a secondary word-play in the name of the shampoo, which appears to be Shed -n- Shoulders. It is obviously a play on the shampoo brand name Head & Shoulders, but I am not sure if that is connected in some way to the Medusa theme.

  6. In Ray Harryhausen’s classic 1981 film, “Clash of the Titans”, Medusa was modeled and animated with a snake tail.
    While not ‘mythic tradition’, I’d say that it’s enough of a pop culture tradition to pass.

    As for the shampoo, snakes shed their skins, Head&Shoulders shampoo fights flaky dandruff, and Medusa wouldn’t want dry flaky snakes/hair.

  7. Thanks, I wasn’t familiar with the movie. I was afraid to watch it, for fear I’d be turned to stone, but I guess I’m OK.

    And, nebulousrikulau, that’s a good explanation for Shed -n- Shoulders.

  8. Thanks for that pronunciation video!

    Though tttt* I don’t really hear the distinction he is making for the “van”.

    The main interest is of course on the “Gogh”, and I don’t recall ever hearing about what he says is the Dutch pronunciation. Far more often, discussion and offers to “correct” your “go” pronunciation concentrate on adding a g or ch or x as a closing consonant, what this presenter calls the Brisish pronunciation.

    *Updated version of “ngl”

  9. In the UK it is usually pronounced Van Goff.

    On the vipers… I thought at first it was “pit of vipers” in the cartoon, which sounded familiar as an expression (also den or nest of vipers) and which might have been better. There is a film called Pit of Vipers (seemingly a low-budget 1999 film directed by one Joel Rice, who never directed anything else), and also at least two books with that title: vol 18 of Nancy Drew: Girl Detective, and book 2 of 4 of a series called Sons of Kings by Millie Thom, set in the time of Alfred the Great of Wessex.

  10. Fun fact, Van Gogh worked as a teacher in England for a few years. I live one street over to his old house.

  11. Don’t let it be forgot
    That once there was a spot
    For one brief shining moment that was known
    As Camelot.

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