1. I think “blueberry” was added as an amusing garnish; “pumpernickel” and “scone” are already fundamentally incompatible bakery products. The gentleman is attempting to place an unfulfillable order, so that he will count as a “customer” (and be allowed to use the bathroom), without actually have to pay for anything.

    P.S. German facilities are very often “pay as you go”, many restaurants will ask non-customers to cough up 50 cents, and even department stores have a change dish in front of the door. This generally does not apply to any place that you have to pay to enter (such as movie theaters), but the custom is still very annoying (“Pecunia non olet !“).

  2. P.P.S. The missing article in the second panel (“…a blueberry…“) might be a simple typo, or it might be an intentional slip that indicates that this guy has no idea what he is ordering.

  3. @ Targuman – I may have explained most of it, but I’m just as clueless as everyone else when it comes to the third panel. A shot of the cashier thinking hard would have been better. I also don’t understand why the customer’s mouth stays open for two more panels, even after he’s through talking.

    P.S. @ Andréa – That might work using the plainer “Americanized” version of pumpernickel, but with the “original” recipe it would produce something about as dense (and as edible) as a paperweight.

  4. @Kilby, I too was bothered for a while by the omission of the article, but finally ignored it as just accidental. If taken seriously it suggests he was taking “scone” as a “mass noun” (contrasting to “count noun”), as though you could order “some scone please” and it would come out of a tap.

  5. You’re right; the pumpernickel ones I’ve seen here – Bagel Brothers shops – are the ‘Americanized’ version, I’m sure.

  6. Or the customer could, somewhat more innocently, be just hurriedly making up something he thinks might be a valid order (without consulting the menu board), with the genuine intent of picking it up and paying for it. On the way back out.

  7. @ Targuman – Or in his case, it would be the classic “eyes-raised-waiting-for-response” coupled with “mouth-hanging-open-waiting-for-flies-to-come-in-and-roost” expression.

  8. @Kilby: ” The gentleman is attempting to place an unfulfillable order”

    Yes, but then the customer looks surprised, and the server says “nice try”. Why?

    I think the implication is that they actually HAVE got a blueberry pumpernickel scone. Or at least the server says he does.

  9. @Pete: The “nice try” could be “nice try at disguising your ploy as an actual order”.

  10. Kilby’s explanation has some holes:

    If it’s not traditional pumpernickle, it doesn’t have to be dense. And blueberries would be an odd, but not implausible choice of fruit filling.
    The strip takes place in the US, at a bakery in a strip mall. You wouldn’t have to wait for scone order to be made. They would either have it or not. There would be no time for him to use the bathroom before the cashier realized they were out.

    I still have no idea what’s happening here. Do you ever think comic authors make deliberately confusing strips, just to toy with us? 😛

  11. @ saneharry – If this is set in America,† then the customers may have no idea what a authentic “scone” is supposed to be (nor how it is supposed to be pronounced). Nevertheless, I have no intention of trying any product that claims to be both of those things at the same time. Scones are supposed to be flaky and tender (using baking powder as a leavening agent), whereas pumpernickel is leathery and durable (and uses yeast).

    P.S. The “wait and get it on the way out” was Dana’s idea, not mine. Maybe that was his intention, but the cashier has to accept it as an order first.

    P.P.S. † – That building looks like a standalone shop in the middle of nowhere.

  12. Hey Kilby: Standalone but in a comic strip makes a “strip mall” apparently. Well played. What if it’s Arlo’s shop?

  13. Ordering something they don’t have doesn’t really make you a customer. You could just as well order a roast-beef sandwich.

    As far as pronunciation, I don’t think Americans are particularly confused. Almost everyone I’ve heard says it like “stone” without hesitation.

  14. A friend from Scotland (now living in England) pronounced it to rhyme with ‘gun’, so that’s how I pronounced it. Haven’t had to do so for over 10 years, altho she gave me a recipe for making my own.

    And speaking of making bagels . . .

  15. I explained this when the strip posted on GO Comics: “In the original 2013 strip, the guy says “hold the blueberry and pumpernickel” and in the fourth panel, he says “make it no-carb”. Weird that was left out of today’s reprint.” You could make a lot of CIDU if you leave out dialogue.

  16. If it were in a strip mall, there wouldn’t even be a way for a customer to get to the bathroom. Customers who need to use the bathroom are supposed to go to the supermarket next door.

  17. In this episode, or whenever we get an outside shot, it seems to be sitting by itself at the crest of a hill:

    For that matter, the one in this CIDU post has an outside shot in the first panel, showing it alone on a curving driveway.

  18. Mark in Boston: Even tho the picture of the video is bread, the first part of it is ‘rainbow bagels’.

  19. @Brian: Americans may all agree, but the Brits themselves don’t

    I understand that. “Lost in the Pond” mentioned the subject once. Perhaps I misunderstood the post here, which to me indicated that Americans don’t to pronounce it correctly.

  20. P.S. A rhyming demonstration from the previous pronunciation link:

    I asked the maid in dulcet tone
    To order me a buttered scone;
    The silly girl has been and gone
    And ordered me a buttered scone.

  21. P.P.S. It also shows that the missing “a” in the second panel was intentional. I have no idea why the idiot responsible for editing this re-run would think that removing two panel’s worth of dialog and changing his hair to orange was supposed to produce a better strip.

  22. P.P.P.S. @ Andréa – I made it to the end of the “rainbow bagel” segment, but those 12.5 minutes were just as irritating as the last time I watched one of those “Korean food videos”. They have the oddest mix of brilliant ideas and large scale mass production, but seasoned with labor intensive, micro-managed OCD steps. In this case, the “facepalm” moment was when they weighed every single segment and readjusted some of them by cutting off an additional three grams of dough. It would have been more sensible to have evenly spaced marks on the table so they could cut off the exact same length each time.

  23. I agree; one of the others I watched had a pallet-full of eggs, all of them hand-cracked and emptied. HUNDREDS of ’em! OTOH, they have to give their workers SOMEthing to do; imagine the unemployment rates if machines did it all, and then they couldn’t claim their goods were ‘hand-made’.

    Annoying as these can be, they are great to watch just before going to bed; they ease the stress of the daily political scene. AND I’ve actually gotten some ideas from them that I’ve incorporated into my own baking projects. On a [much] smaller scale.

    These videos also tell me that the S. Korean economy is flourishing; SOMEone is buying and eating all these baked goods. In fact, I would say there are two populations: those who MAKE the street food, and those who EAT it.

  24. @ Grawlix – I agree with your transcription of the pronunciation, but that’s Michael Palin doing the singing.

  25. That’s how I pronounce it.

    He’d love it in our neighborhood, Tarpon WOODS, where neighbors are busily playing lumberjack, making this soon-to-be Tarpon PRAIRIE. Hurricane Ian must’ve put the fear of wind into ’em.

    I watched Eric Idle on Graham Norton’s show a few nights ago; he survived pancreatic cancer, which is quite uncommon.

  26. As for the baking/cooking/etc. videos, this is their point . . .

    Ironically, because I have misophony, I usually have to turn off the sounds during the baking shows; the sound of the plastic piping bags is like nails on a chalkboard, let alone all the other sounds. I s’pose I’d call it ASMR for the eyes.

  27. “Americans don’t to pronounce it correctly.”
    Any time two people pronounce (or do) something differently, each thinks the other does it incorrectly.

  28. One advantage to traveling in an RV is one has an alternative to a bathroom while on the road if one cannot find one.

    Though using the toilet in our Class B while in transit is a problem as we has to stop and park and have to close the curtains in back to not be visible through the rear windows. (Good thing we are very comfortable with each other as an even better view of person on the toilet is available from the bed as the bed is on the inside of the curtains in the rear section of the van.

    For those who might not know what a class B is it is a van converted to a rather compact RV. Newer ones seem to have an actual separate closet for the toilet which also serves as the shower. (In ours, one takes a shower in the aisle – metal piece lifts off the floor and the drain is under it.) It is our solution to having had bed bugs and being able to feel comfortable enough to travel.

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