1. Amelia wants to set up an “acid camp”, so the studious Rose is amused by the punny opposite: “base camp”.

  2. I didn’t understand the groaner in panel five either (until someone else pointed out the crucial hint‡), but I still liked the punchline in the last panel, possibly even more than after I figured it out. Not getting the joke made Spud’s comment seem like a personal invitation.

    P.S. ‡ – The relevant hint is to carefully study panel three.

  3. I thought about submitting this as an oy when I first saw it. I think it was created backwards, starting with the acid-base pun, and looking for a use of ‘acid’ in a summer camp setting. It works extremely well with the Wallace cast.

  4. P.P.S. @ Darren – Besides making the pun in the 5th panel too easy to figure out, I think the main reason that Will Henry avoided the name “acid camp” in the strip’s dialog is that it would have conjured up completely different associations (more appropriate to a period either 50 years before, or 10 years after the setting in this comic).

  5. Or if you’re a computer geek, you might (as I did, after a quick glimpse where the word “Camp” and “Acid” impinged upon my consciousness), assume it’s going to be about some kind of computer camp with special focus on the Acid Test

    Kilby: I don’t see the hint in panel three…

  6. @ larK – Merely to refocus on “acid“. I got distracted by the actual meaning of “base camp”, and was wondering whether the map of Snug Harbor included any significant mountains (no, it does not).

  7. I don’t get the post’s title. What does “wiffs” mean? Is it just another spelling of “whiffs”? And does it similarly mean something about catching a bit of an odor in a breeze? Is she “catching a whiff of” the imagined acid bath??

  8. Dana, I think the “wiffs” is indeed another spelling of “whiffs”, but with a different sense of the latter than you suggest. In baseball a batter can get a strike counted against them by the umpire’s call based on the path of the pitched ball; or by an outright “swing and a miss!” The latter can be called a whiff. — I suspect it shares some origin with your sense, as the swinging bat is being likened to a fan creating a breeze.

    So then in a baseball sense, “Rose whiffs” means Rose makes an attempt but fails to connect, which is the plot…

  9. @ Dana K – I’m sure that “wiff” and/or “whiff” was intended to mean both the sensory exposure to the (strong-smelling) acid in the third panel, as well as the onomatopoetic sound of a “swing and a miss” in baseball, referring to the failed joke in the fifth panel.

  10. I deleted my wordpress login cookies from all of our iPads, because of the irritation of wordpress only allowing 2/3rds of a line for viewing and editing comments under iOS.

  11. @Dana K: Alternate spelling.

    Urban Dictionary: Wiff Wiff To just barely miss the intended goal. To make a mistake, but being very close to actually achieving the intended objective. I wiffed the shot

    I see now that whiff is a more common spelling, but I’ve always spelled it wiff, as in wiffle ball.

  12. @ zbicyclist – Imagine my surprise: I always thought that it was spelled “Whiffle Ball“, but a quick search revealed that the trademarked name is spelled without the “h”.

  13. The idea of an open barrel full of acid, and kids playing around with it, is just terrifying! Is the kid who suggests it meant to be a very dark character?

  14. @Danny Boy, I would say “chaotic” rather than dark. She finds school boring and is likely to be in trouble by pulling the fire alarm at school for the excitement, or for throwing watermelons off the roof.

    Her imagination of the event involves safety glasses, so she’s just thinking about the “fun” of destroying stuff in a way that is not available to her, not about the potential hazards of such an activity.

  15. Of the original CIDU? There is no punchline in the last panel, it’s more of a falling action to resolution. The Punchline, if any, is the use of “base camp” in contrapositon to “acid camp”, base camp being real thing, but not having to do with alkalines. Nobody gets this pun, so the last panel is about nobody getting the pun, and a little bit of character development with Spud commiserating with her, though whether Spud himself got the pun or not is not clear; he does get the feeling of not being understood.

  16. It’s like Charlie Brown saying, “My stomach hurts” in the last panel, after Lucy has given a particularly typical egregious over-the-top wrong-headed explanation or opinion in the previous panels.

  17. Which last panel? The “nobody gets my jokes” strip or the one where she’s sitting outside the Principal’s office?

  18. To borrow a phrase from Walt Kelly, the CIDU of the day is half-base and half- …


  19. which in turn becomes half-assed

    I think, considering the time and mores of the source, and the alliterative, half-baked is much more likely…

  20. I was referring to the original CIDU. I would agree there’s no punchline in the last panel except that someone (Kilby, second comment on the page) explicitly referred to one.

  21. @ Powers – I was referring to Spud’s final comment, which probably only works for those who are already familiar with the character. Spud’s only real interest is (fast) food, and he occasionally encounters a hideous (imaginary) butler who brings him sandwiches. Despite his friendship with Wallace, he is usually trying to avoid whatever predicament in which Wallace is trying to get him involved, and imagines surreal dangers that are much worse than anything that could really happen. Therefore, it’s perfectly understandable that his jokes would be just as obscure as Rose’s nerdly pun.

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