Sunday Funnies – LOLs, September 4th, 2022

To anyone who might have a birthday this year, Happy Birthday!

This is one that takes up a bunch of hyphenate tags. It’s a LOL-Meta-4thWall with a geezerish allusion to a story (urban legend) you just have to know to make it clear….

Would this hyena might benefit from checking Comics I Don’t Understand?

This Rhymes With Orange LOL is from Alan Smithee.


Let’s see if this image is any cleaner


  1. I thought the Bliss panel was just fine without any prior knowledge of an urban legend. If that’s supposed to improve the humor, could someone please identify which legend was meant?

    P.S. If the octopus puts an arm into all eight holes, then I don’t understand how it intends to propel the ball down the lane.

    P.P.S. My first thought was that Bizarro was hinting at a “last man standing” issue, but when I looked it up, I was mildly surprised to learn that 60% of the actors depicted are still alive.

  2. I think it was from a horror movie, where the killer was calling from INSIDE the house. That’s all I remember, and NOT from having seen it. Nope. No way, José. Never. Uh uh. Not on your/my life. Ever.

  3. I wondered if someone here would comment the bowling one was bad because the octopus should have fewer than 8 holes in his ball.

  4. You’d think a chicken of all creatures would realize the real meaning of birthday celebrations. Well, youd be half right.

  5. For anyone attempting to spot the Bizarro symbols in this smudge of a cut and paste, there is a tall K2 to the left of Sulu’s ear and neck.

    Related to that, I feel many readers may not know the reason that the Star Trek portrait is in the LOLs. It is easy to skip by it, so go look again and keep looking until you find it. (CIDKIDG – Comic I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Get)

  6. Yeah, the octopus one didn’t land for me either. By that logic regular bowling balls should have two holes, since we have two arms.

  7. I definately remember it from a movie when I was a kid in the 70s (“Have you checked the children?” a voice keeps saying to a babysitter over the phone, then the cops call to tell her the call is coming from inside the house…or something like that).

    However, even at that young age I realised that you can’t make a call on the same line from inside the house and dismissed the idea as stupid. Then again, maybe the psycho had a seperate line installed. I dunno’. I never saw it. Did anyone?

  8. “However, even at that young age I realised that you can’t make a call on the same line from inside the house . . .”

    Actually, you could. We had a neighbor who would walk by our house and then start conversing with my Mom and. never. quit. I would dial some number or other, making the phone ring, and I’d call out to my Mom that she was wanted on the phone. We had an extension to that line, so I assumed that if she’d picked up the other phone, we could’ve talked to each other. Maybe not. I never tried it ’cause once my Mom came inside, the neighbor left and that was the end of it. For that time.

    So when I heard of this now-trope, I never questioned it. I s’pose it would work today with cell phones, if the perpetrator’s phone was triangulated fast enough, but I don’t think triangulation gets house-specific. Yet.

  9. Kevin A, thanks for pointing out the reduced quality in the Bizarro image. I’ve updated with an image from Comics Kingdom, which may be a little better.

    Also thanks for prompting people to look closely and get the joke; or should we call it a meta?

  10. On Andréa’s point, I recall that local telco installers could tell you one of the ring-back numbers you can dial to have the system do a callback to your number (in a couple seconds, after you hang up). This service was meant for their technicians, but they didn’t mind customers using it for a little self-diagnosis.

  11. I thought the octopus comic was a little off too. There are some very successful two-handed bowlers, but I don’t think the number of holes is any different.

    Rhymes with Orange gave me a laugh. But I don’t understand the extra panel text. He hates basement pool because they use a magic 8 ball?

  12. The second Bizarro is considerably better (more visible). And it was a true LOL for me (even in the smudgy version). Sulu is front right (our right, not theirs), with his hand on the O2 gadget.

    I hadn’t realized, until I looked again, that they’re all looking startled and worried, and looking in different directions. As is reasonable…

  13. @ Andréa – Back when I was a teenager (long before mandatory 10-digit dialing was introduced in the D.C. area), the prefix for the “callback” feature was “966-“, followed by the last four digits of the 7-digit phone number. My brother and I learned about it when someone was sent to fix or install something at our house.

    P.S. I agree that this Bizarro was very probably composed and drawn (long) before Ms. Nichols passed away.

  14. At one time, some households had a second phone line for the kids or whatever. At one point I had two, with one as a data line in the dial-up days.

  15. When I was a kid, some people had “party lines,” i.e. a single phone line shared among several houses. Each house had a different number and a different ring, e.g. two shorts and one long. If it wasn’t for you, you could (but weren’t supposed to) pick up anyway and eavesdrop. If you wanted to dial someone on the same party line you had to dial the number, get a busy signal, listen to it ring, wait for it to stop ringing which meant the other person had picked up, and then pick up.

    So if you had a party line you could dial your own number and hang up and it would ring until someone picked up.

  16. When I was a young lad we didn’t know nothin’ about call-back numbers, but my cousin showed me the trick just described by Mark in Boston. I can’t remember if we had a party line at that particular time. I always assumed it worked because of the time lag between your phone dialing out, passing through the exchange and back. You had to hang up quickly. But that kills the trope of calling within the same house, since the caller has to hang up for it to work. But that is all ancient history, now. No one ever had to ask the question, “Are you at home?” back then, when someone answered their call.

  17. Even with just a single external (conventional) phone line, both American and German houses are (or were) often wired with multiple phone sockets in various rooms. In America, these interior sockets are normally all wired in parallel, so that it is easy to “listen in”, much like with the “party lines” that Mark mentioned†. In contrast, German telephone wiring standards require the sockets to be wired in series, with a extra “control” line. This means that as soon as anyone answers a call on one phone in the house, all the other phones are “locked out”, making it impossible for anyone to listen in on the call.

    P.S. † – Party (usually “dual”) lines were still used in East Germany all the way up to German unification. However, the circuitry included the same control wiring used in German interior sockets, so if the line was in use in one house, the line to the “other” house would be shut out and dead. The resulting privacy normally meant that neither of the houses using the same line had any knowledge of which house had the “other” half of the party line. It could be another apartment in the same building, or all the way down the street.

  18. Speaking of image quality, the Dick Tracy strip has been having an interesting situation with the Sunday strips. Sometimes, by the time one is published, at least online, the color will be somewhat muted from what the colorist produced. The one of the creative crew will put a link in the comments to the original. Today was another (I don’t know if the FB one with embed):

  19. @ Brian – WordPress refused to embed the second image because of all those parameters following after the “.jpg”, but the URL does not work correctly without them.

    P.S. It appears that whoever is writing “Dick Tracy” is still resentful that they were not selected to write “Buck Rogers”, and has decided to ignore the strip’s title and just write anything they want.

  20. @Mitch4 – Even with perfect clarity and a 1/4 inch type size, I believe I would have read “captain” and never looked back.

    It was only the question, in the comments, of which cast members were still alive, and a trip to Comics Kingdom for the high resolution image, that had me looking around long enough to notice my mistake.

  21. I agree with Mark M – the Rhymes With Orange strip is good, but the “bonus” joke in the title panel doesn’t make sense. Anyone have a clue?

  22. This is probably a reach, but I took it to mean he dislikes playing pool in someone’s basement rather than a bar/pool hall because there are a lot of distractions lying around in the form of old junk that people often store there…in this case, a magic 8-ball that one of them thought would be funny to play with rather than concentrating on the game itself.

  23. Well, Chester Gould, Dick Tracy’s originator, may also have been unhappy with not writing Buck Rogers. He was the one who came up with the two-way wrist radio and wrist TV, Moon Maid, and the magnetically-levitating police vehicles.

  24. P.S. It appears that whoever is writing “Dick Tracy” is still resentful that they were not selected to write “Buck Rogers”, and has decided to ignore the strip’s title and just write anything they want.

    You mean the Moon People? That’s of course an old old theme.

  25. When it’s hard to adjust one of those recalcitrant URLs, I’m getting pretty good results with Postimage to take and upload a region screenshot. Use the upload button, and then select the bottom URL field — the upper one tries to take the reader to your Postimage gallery page, and wants them to sign on. But the bottom “direct link” one works more or less how we want for WP comment embedding.

  26. Brian in STL – When my dad shut down his office he had his office line transferred to his home address. Similarly for awhile Robert and I had a second line installed when I started running my accounting office (formerly dad’s) from home. Yes, sometimes in those days before cell phone I would call him if he did not hear me from one phone to the other.

  27. As to the Doug Savage – I have argued for years with Robert that it is ridiculous to celebrate a day just because one happened to be born within that 24 hours – another 2 hours and I would have a much better birthday as it would have been the normal day of Nov 1 instead of Halloween. If his mom’s doctor had induced labor the day before his birthday would be a day earlier, if the next day – it would be a day later.

  28. I have a friend who was born on December 25 and I made up a joke just for her.

    What did each Wise Man say as he presented his gift to Jesus?

    “Here, kid. This is your birthday present AND your Christmas present!”

  29. Mark – My sister got stuck with Dec 23 for a birthday. Discounting that it was generally too close to Chanukah for her to get distinctly different gifts, the big problem with this date is that either it was the last day of school before the Christmas vacation or it was during same. So almost all of her friends would be away by then a holiday trip with family. Those who were not often were sick with whichever illness was going around that winter. One party there were 2 children then other than her, me – and in later years – our baby sister.

    Baby sister was born just before – yes – Labor Day. So when her birthday came around friends were either still on summer vacation/at summer camp – or all were preparing for school to start again.

    Mom was born on Easter Sunday (even though we are Jewish).

    Dad was born on May 27 – often Memorial Day weekend.

    Robert was due to be born on April 1 – but he did not want to leave home and was born a few days later – they had to induce labor – he never has liked leaving home.

    All in all – I rate Dec 23 as the worst of all us.

  30. A long time ago, I attended a birthday party in July, but later discovered that the host had actually been born in January. This was a major eye-opener. Even before my son was born in late December, I decided that we would celebrate his half birthday instead, exactly six months offset. This worked perfectly. We have a small “family” celebration in December, but hold the “party” in June.

    P.S. I later found out that this is a royal tradition. The Queen was born in April, but the “official” festivities were always held in June or July, when the weather was better.

    The moral of the story? If you find your birthdate inconvenient, there’s no reason not to pick a different date for the party.

  31. Just imagine the birthday catering/entertainment/cake businesses panicking if everyone’s bday was on the same day!

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