Sunday Funnies – LOLs, January 29th, 2023

There are likely some Jeopardy fans here. Isn’t is a great feeling when you get Final Jeopardy right, and none of the contestants do?

Chemgal notes that Bug Martini has been very sporadic of late, but this one brings a chuckle.

Hey, doesn’t the layout of the sticks and their backings look eerily like a face? Two eyes, round button nose, wide mouth …?

Okay, it’s nerd-amusing rather than outright hilarious …. But what a good excuse for posting a song!


  1. I agree about the “face”, but is there a funny story to be associated with the Bliss comic? Unless it was just a “slice of life” smile, it’s a total CIDU for me.

    P.S. That “Randolph” panel makes me itch. One major plot hole in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” is the idea that “all drains lead to the ocean“. While I have been in a couple of otherwise “idyllic” vacation spots in which every bathroom had a trashcan and a sign warning “don’t put toilet paper in the toilet” (to prevent it from showing up on the beach), the fact is that all dentist spittoons are equipped with a special trap to keep the heavy metals from getting into the sewage lines. This means that the prospector is unnecessary and that Nemo would not have survived.

    P.P.S. Calling Bug Martini “sporadic” is being very charitable. There have been a grand total of four daily strips in the last six months. Even worse, there’s now a bug in the website’s encoding, so that I cannot see the newest material unless I do a forced reload in Firefox. The combination was simply too irritating, so I dropped it from my daily lineup.

    P.P.P.S. Nice to see that Tom Toro spelled “centimeter” correctly.

  2. I can’t remember the last time I was at a dentist who had a spittoon; they all have extractors now. I did, however, have several gold crowns removed when I had my entire mouth ‘redone’; who knows what happened to those.

  3. But all I see is Dennis using a shovel! 🙂

    I’m not near my computer right now, so I’m hoping somebody can look up the actual origins of “call a spade a spade”. I was quite misled about it growing up, as I thought it was about the playing cards suit. When I later learned it was about digging tools, I still wondered why people would be urged to use this quaint and infrequent word instead of the everyday “shovel”. Only as a delayed final step did I gather that “spade” was used for digging graves in particular, hence the popular aversion. But is that true?

  4. Yes, it seems to have been about digging tools. is…a bit overwrought about “spade”, presents no logical reason that it’s racist other than that people might think it is and doesn’t even quite say that. is more measured: while acknowledging that it isn’t inherently racist, it notes that we might should avoid it because people think it is. Of course one might argue that believing others are inherently that ignorant is being niggardly, but that likely proves the point!

  5. My regular dentist has spit basins. The most recent upgrade was to stop wasting water on a constantly running stream and instead have a control you push when needing a rinse.

    A while ago they sent me to an endodontist for some specialty work. They gave me a little cup of antiseptic mouthwash to swirl and spit; and I was already done and ready when I noticed there was no chairside basin! The assistant noticed my distress and said “Open” and put in a sucking instrument.

  6. When I was on Jeopardy neither of us got the Final Jeopardy question right. (The third contestant had negative money and didn’t get to play it.) So no. But the NY Times runs the question every day.
    I don’t watch any more – being on removes the fantasy aspect.

  7. <<Hey, doesn’t the layout of the sticks and their backings look eerily like a face?>>

    A corpse face, with eyes and mouth stitched shut, maybe.

  8. There are many kinds of shovels; a spade is just one type. To call a spade a spade is to properly identify the tool wanted.

    I always thought a spade had a square end; apparently, I was wrong. I don’t use shovels in my daily life, so the only other kind I know is the scuttle.

  9. “it isn’t inherently racist, it notes that we might should avoid it because people think it is.”

    A word puzzle I frequent is overly sensitive about such things. It disallows “fag” (British word for cigarette), “tit” (a bird like a chickadee), “goy”, and some others I can’t think of just now.

  10. Lost in Anne Arundel, you’ll remember that a spade is pointed if you think of the cards suit. Which were at some time styled after the digging tool.

  11. Boise Ed: I might know the game you mean. Also doesn’t allow one of the anagrames of “reap”. It USED to, which makes it particularly confusing.

  12. “Tit” in Old English means ‘small’ – as in Tufted Titmouse (bird here in FL, cousin to Black-Capped Chickadee), and titbit (a small piece of something).’The Tufted Titmouse’s name derives from the Old English words “tit” and “mase,” basically meaning “small bird.” The word “mase” eventually became obsolete and this part of the name morphed into the familiar word “mouse,” . . .’

  13. phsiiicidu: It’s called Word Wipe. And yes, sometimes formerly accepted words become verboten. Also, sometimes the plural of a banned word is accepted.

    Andréa: Thanks for the etymology.

  14. I only know the etymology because when I moved to FL and had this bird frequently (in flocks), I didn’t like the name, so, as it was related to the chickadee, I now call it the FLickadee. (I also think ‘little bird’ is not a very original name for a bird, but that’s another issue.)

  15. @ Andréa – That “Dennis” strip is a revamping of a very old single panel gag, which happens to be one of the few “Dennis” panels that ever really made me laugh. I’ve never been able to find it online, but it showed Dennis and his father in the bathroom, with the caption “Boy, goldfish sure don’t get much of a funeral.”

    P.S. I also remember an exchange in a Pogo story arc about digging tools, in which the final reply was “On days when I calls a spade a spade I’m too lazy to dig.” Just like the Dennis panel, this Pogo sequence is not archived online.

  16. I’m reminded of the old story of the contractors who started several days of sewer-pipe work just outside the convent. After a day or two one of the nuns went to Mother Superior to complain about the workers. “They use such vulgar language! It’s upsetting to hear them speak.”

    Mother Superior said “They are honest workmen and good laborers. It’s just that they call a spade a spade.”

    The nun said “But that’s the problem! They don’t! They call it a ‘f*****g shovel!'”

  17. Years ago, there was a picture in the newspaper with one of those ground-breaking ceremonies using gold-plated digging implements. The caption said something like, “Ceremonial spadework”. Now, it happened that all the people in the picture were Black. So this caused a bit of a kerfuffle.

  18. I’m with Kilby on the Bliss comic. Ok, it looks like a face, but what is the humor about the story behind the “mouth” stick?

  19. This will be two levels of Geezer-hood I think:

    Danny Kaye singing “Inchworm” on The Muppet Show (late ’70s):

    Danny Kaye singing “Inchworm” in Hans Christian Anderson (1952):

  20. Thanks for the Bug Martini. My old laptop died a year or so ago, and I was trying (often unsuccessfully) to remember all the tabs I visited each day. I toadally fergot Mr. Bug.

    But I also found that the site has an RSS feed, so I’ve spent a very happy hour going through the old strips.

  21. @Kilby: Yes, I was being charitable. I only check Bug Martini about once a week now, and am often disappointed there is nothing new.
    You’re mistaken, however, about the correct way to spell centimetre – at least for most of the world. This is one place the American spelling bothers me. I realise Americans realize and we honour your honor, but since we regularly actually measure in centimetres, I think everyone, including Americans, should spell it the original way.

  22. Thanks! I was almost going to use the one from the movie instead. Or else this other one, with even sweeter singing of the song. It did provide the “featured image” for this post.

  23. Brian, I don’t know who Dick Cavett’s hip guest was that identified himself as a “spade cat”, and Cavett mentioned that the old lady who was his neighbor in the apartment building was living with a “spayed cat”.

  24. @ Chemgal – I generally try to keep an open mind about linguistics, but on this issue I am an intolerant neanderthal. The “…tre” suffix is a perversion that is only proper in French orthography. When importing the unit, all other European languages converted the ending of “meter” to match their own spelling, and (British) English should have done that, too, just like it is in German. Of course, Britain didn’t “import” French, they had it inflicted upon them by conquest, but that should make it only more logical to uphold a sense of local orthographic pride.

  25. The Bliss panel doesn’t have a specific funny story in mind. It’s just what hunters stereotypically say to each other about their trophies.

  26. Thanks, Powers, that was the direction I was meaning to get at with my Thurber comment.

    Also it is nice that the trophies are sticks, and not for instance squirrels.

  27. Mitch4: Ye Olde Metrick System wasn’t there in 1066, but “centre” and friends were. Though given English spelling in general, I find the idea of “orthographic pride” unlikely!

  28. It was Noah Webster who “Americanized” spelling, changing “centre” to “center” and “theatre” to “theater”. Do the English really spell it “centimeter”? As in “The rose-coloured window in the centre of the theatre is 90 centimeters wide”?

  29. Mark in Boston –

    Thank you.

    Robert does not generally find comics or whatever else I read him from online funny. The nun joke actually made him laugh out loud! You have redeemed my time spent reading comics online with him.

  30. We were at one of the early NJ casinos once and they had a computer setup to people to try out for “Jeopardy”. What a take down to do as poorly as I did.

  31. The nun joke actually made him laugh out loud!

    You could try him with “Five dollars, same as in town.”

  32. Well, I’ve always wondered about the song’s secondary lyrics, that run through some powers of two. In a peculiar way, though it has nothing to do with inchworms directly, it does relate to inches — traditional rulers or tape measures divide the inches in halves, quarters, eighths, and maybe sixteenths. (Yes, I have seen rulers that divide the inches into tenths.) So, are the lyrics with the arithmetic alluding to that?

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