I can’t believe it’s not a synchronicity!

From Andréa, who points out for the synchronicity inspectors that although the Knight Life is a rerun or classic, its appearance on GoComics was 2022/11/08, same as the Candorville. The Candorville is a pretty good LOL at the end, too, despite edging up kinda near to partisan politics.

(Post-posting edit: As noted in comments, the following was the intended Knight Life, which actually uses the phrase “I can’t believe”.)

And for some additional fun on the “Can’t believe it” topic, Andréa also sends a link for this scene from The Vicar of Dibley. Impressive memory and facility from Emma Chambers, playing Alice.


  1. P.S. At GoComics, Candorville is included in the menu of “political” cartoons, but it has not been assigned a “slant”, so it only shows up if you select “all”.

  2. I don’t see the synchronicity: the first strip is not “I can’t believe”, it’s “how could you”; the structure of the joke and set up are also not parallel: one is a moral outrage vs cynicism, the other is farcical wordplay. The only synchronicity I see is the visual similarities between the two actors, especially the second, non-straight-man one, who are both “thug”ish, with dark shades, and a touch of red. But given the serious disjoint in the theme and style of joke between the two, to me that just comes across as coincidence, not synchronicity….

  3. I agree with larK: if there is a similarity between the two strips, it must be rather esoteric, such as “selling out ethical principles for short-term economic gain“.

  4. Yikes! Woops! Sorry!

    It’s my fault. I posted a different Knight Life than the one Andréa intended (from the previous day). Here is the one it should have been, with an actual “I can’t believe”.

  5. … And I’ve retroactively edited it into the post. But did not remove the other one, to preserve the context for the comments on the failure to match.

  6. And I’m glad I waited before feeling bad and/or apologizing . . . I hadn’t looked at CIDU yet so didn’t realize the incorrect comic was up.

  7. And I feel silly for not figuring it out when I went back and checked the last three days of both strips at GoComics. There it was, plain as day in the first panel, and I missed it completely!

  8. I was wondering if a vicar should be saying, “sod off.” I gather from reading that it’s not considered too vulgar these days.

  9. On the “Little Einsteins” animated show (on Disney some years back), that my kids wanted to watch, one of the characters had the catchphrase “I cannot believe it!”, used at a critical point of plot development in each episode. I reached the point of responding along the lines of “That demonstrates a lack of mental flexibility on your part”, especially given all the trippy adventures he’d been on.

  10. @ Brian in StL – The phrase is still vulgar†, but it has lost a lot of its shock value due to frequent repetition. In addition to the Vicar of Dibley (in which it was frequently used for massively incongruent comic effect), there was also “S.” (for “Sod off!) Baldrick, in all of the Blackadder series.

    P.S. † – The “sod” has nothing to do with “grass”, it’s a reference to “sodomy”, the phrase is therefore effectively equivalent to “Get f…ed“.

  11. I recall a friend of mine, while discussing The Pogues’ music, saying that “I really like RUM, SODOMY AND THE LASH,” to which I replied “Well, now we know what to get you for your next three birthdays.”

  12. I can’t keep track of what is or is not vulgar over in England. It appears that the British version of “pulling your leg” is “taking the piss” and I’ve heard it said by people who are not in the habit of vulgarisms. But I haven’t heard anyone from England say “taking a piss” when they mean “pointing Percy at the porcelain.” On a rerun of an old “My Word” radio show, I did once hear either Denis Norden or Frank Muir ask about a certain phrase by saying “Is that the same as ‘pointing Percy at the petunias?'”

  13. “I can’t keep track of what is or is not vulgar over in England.”

    This was in my feed today . . .

    . . . which illustrates something I’d been wanting to add: I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people use the word ‘bgger’ without actually knowing what it means. Mostly, when I’ve informed someone who uses it, s/he has quit doing so (using the word, I mean).

  14. @ Andréa – Both the etymology and regional usage of the word “bugger” indicate that it not always connected to the profane meaning that the term definitely does have in the U.K.

  15. For that matter, my Australian friends raise an eyebrow at the word “root” (obscene there), which makes it difficult for me to offer them root beer or ask what team they might be rooting for.

    Sometimes a word is just a word, at least in most countries. I’m aware of the naughty meanings in other cultures for several words I encounter regularly and use sometimes myself, but being aware of same won’t keep me from using them. (Though I may giggle a bit when I encounter things like the British use of “knocking someone up” in a context where in the US it doesn’t sound so innocent. Just a bit, though.)

  16. My favorite sf writer, Jack Vance, published a novel called SERVANTS OF THE WANKH. In his book, that was the name of an alien race, and he apparently didn’t know how much amusement it would provide to his British audience. (I’m told that someone saw a copy displayed in the window of a UK p0rn store, but that may be just a legend.)

    I also recall someone in an Agatha Christie novel referring to (I think) Miss Marple as “an old pussy,” a usage (presumably meaning quiet and domesticated etc.) that I’ve also seen in other British prose.

    “There’s naught so queer as folk” (which, for that matter, also resonates differently these days).

  17. In the 1970’s there was a British television show “Are You Being Served?” that specialized in double-entendres. Mrs. Slocum was talking on the telephone to someone who presumably was going to take care of her cat while she was away. “I would like you to peek into the mail slot in my front door, and if you see my pussy [long pause for audience laughter], put a couple of sardines into the slot.”

  18. Mark in Boston, I sensed that the conversation was heading towards the unforgettable brilliant low comedy of the (several episodes) in which the issue is raised of who is to look after Mrs Slocum’s pussy while she is on holiday.

  19. Sure, but in ARE YOU BEING SERVED? the “pussy” references were knowing double entendres, played for laughs, whereas in Christie etc. the “old pussy” was just an innocent synonym for “little old lady.”

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