Wrecking the joke

Dirk the Daring sends in this one noting that the corner panel doesn’t seem to have much to do with the rest of the cartoon.

Should I schedule this for next week, but mentally plan for one panel to show up then, with the rest of the comic to come at some unspecified “soon”?


  1. When is “next” week? Have we landed in Alice’s Wonderland? (“Jam tomorrow, but never jam today.”) Or, as George Allen once said, “The Future Is Now!

  2. I think the panels go together OK – the couple’s modelling budget includes destroying the existing house and building a new one, clearly. But it is no doubt cheaper if the demolition team can fit in knocking down the current property when convenient to them, perhaps while travelling between other jobs, instead of being contracted to a dedicated day of work. As it happens, unfortunately, the wrecking ball peeps can fit in the job right now, before the couple have moved out.

    I have a friend and former colleague, Helen, who knocked down an old house in Cornwall and built a new one, with the project accepted into RIBA* House of the Year competition 2016 and the process thereby filmed for a TV show called Grand Designs. However, they never lived in the old house (they had a place in London) and had sufficient budget so did not suffer the cartoon fate. (Sadly, Paul in the film died a couple of years after the programme was broadcast).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZPCuziFdsU is the 8 minutes of the episode spent on Helen’s house.

    *RIBA being The Royal Institute of British Architects, who do an annual competition “awarded to the best example of a one-off house designed by an architect in the UK. The award celebrates excellence and innovation in home design”.

  3. Maybe you all are too clever for me, but isn’t the joke that the folks in the panel in the corner are those inside the house? And that the “remodeler” has arrived with a wrecking ball?

  4. Huh! I’d like to claim some sort of priority but my comment was sent to moderation. It even included an example – with youTube video of a TV show – of a friend who indeed wrecked down one house before building another on its ashes in a similar extreme case of remodelling.

  5. This comic is a continuation of a storyline. The story started a week or so ago and it continues every few days.

  6. @ narmitaj -Three or four decades ago, there was a medium-sized mansion on a major D.C. traffic artery that the owners wanted to demolish and rebuild, but the local zoning restrictions did not allow that. They proceded to “renovate” the entire exterior with a new stone facing and windows. After the first “renovation” was complete, they then proceeded to “renovate” the interior, basically hollowing out the entire shell, and replacing the house from within. It took longer and cost much more than “destroy and rebuild” would have cost, but at least it was “legal”.

  7. I guess that’s why it didn’t work for me. Not only is there a scheduling problem, but a “remodel” wouldn’t start with a wrecking ball. (although I see narmitaj’s comment).

  8. @narmitaj, thanks for that very interesting video. I like how halfway through, they snuck in the point that just a little ways downhill there is a famous modern classic home, and the architect had to think about “fitting in with it”.

    I live about a mile from Robie House, one of the landmarks of Prairie Style, and one of few FLW buildings in the city of Chicago proper. For a while it was used by the University of Chicago for offices of one or another arm of the institution (including the Alumni Association), while they also ran tours for visitors. Now it is an official Historic Landmark and is used just for tourism, not quotidian office activity. Between 2002 and 2019 it underwent some restoration. …. What I wonder about, but haven’t seen reported, was whether the architects for neighboring buildings which were demolished and replaced felt they had to take into account how their new building would look alongside (or, specifically, across the street from) the Robie House.

  9. Maybe they didn’t intend to demolish the house, but the cheap contractor is starting out the easy way.

  10. I have heard (with the usual caveat about urban legends and such) that in some localities you can tear the entire house down except for part of one wall, and rebuild as a “renovation”.

    The knock-down/rebuild is fairly common in California as I understand it, and even happens here in St. Louis. The somewhat fancy suburb of Ladue has some modest houses on large lots that are the subject to this on occasion.

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