The final collection of Oopsies, Quickies, We-can-improve-its, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops? (14th Series)

Not quite complaining about the friend’s unprompted question — it could happen, though normally you’d expect a context something like “Why won’t you X? What are you afraid of?” The problem, the detail-complaint, is with the form of Pete’s reply-question, which carefully spells out a pronunciation which marks it out as belonging to no actual regional or demographic dialect or slang.

Oops! Got the underlying myth premise precisely backwards!

And here they got the underlying business terms precisely backward. As an excuse for something like a missed payment, someone may plead that their assets are not liquid.

Okay, one joke is that there would be a rap version of a mantra. Or that she has been rapping it, or improvising it, or humming it or something, enough to disturb her friend.

But the bothersome aspect of this is how it seems to buy into some magical thinking. The dark-haired friend is linking her (later) ability to get the good parking space to performing a successful meditation now, undisturbed by intrusive mantra rapping. (Or could it be Nichiren Shōshū chanting?)

This is a perfectly fine little pun! Oh, except that there is no basis shown or hinted for why the new top provides more relief from the heat.

Pardon my 1590 mile displacement

A CIDU (or Ooops!) from zbicyclist, who explains: The line from Folsom Prison Blues is “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”.  So what’s the significance of Kansas City (where everything is up to date, according to Rodgers and Hammerstein)?

Can you advance a principled reason for changing the city? And, more to the CIDU point, how does her “ready for marriage” second sentence relate to anything?

You thought we couldn’t do another collection of Oopsies, Quickies, We-can-improve-its, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops? (12th Series)

Thanks to Dana K for this Today’s Szep. The main joke is easy enough: the mere unlikely existence of this rack and these categories of card message. But what is all that ancillary action supposed to be about? Do these two know each other? Or is the woman just a judgemental bystander? Is she saying something, or just standing there with her jaw dropping?

On the first hand, this seems to me an excellent job of working out a technical experiment in the art of cartooning. Color-coding the speech bubbles could represent an improvement on trying to aim the pointers with precision, or stretching them around, or finding a basis for making the comic multi-panel so the dialogue can be rearranged.

But OTOH, the content of the dialogue is miles away from being at all funny. And is not even folk-wise, in that pseudo-deep way Frazz is so fond of trying.

Here’s a FoxTrot sent in by Kilby for the Oopses list. He says there is a real-world chronology error in showing Alpha-bits cereal in a current cartoon scene. “Alphabits was taken off the market in 2006, and made only brief periodic re-appearances, before disappearing again a year ago (May 2021). [Wikipedia link] The reason I checked is that I was not able to find them the last time I visited Washington. It’s possibe that Bill Amend is writing his strips a whole year in advance, but I seriously doubt it.”

Kilby also presents a judgement dilemma. “When a cartoonist recycles an ancient joke (albeit with ‘improvements’), is it better (A) To admit the crime, or (B) Just pretend that nobody will notice how ancient the gag really is?”



A classic case of “Oops!” from Le Vieux Lapin. Oops, I forgot to draw a cloud that looks like a comma.

Yet-another Oopsies, Quickies, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops? (9th Series)

Okay, many a few people still say they use “tin foil” or may even think they use “tin foil”. (And probably a larger number say “tin cans”.) But is this — stating flatly that they use “tin foil” — an acceptable way of putting it? I wouldn’t think so.

To make matters worse, apparently you can still get actual tin foil, as an expensive alternative or as a novelty. (I’m looking at an E-Bay listing of a roll or sheet of 150mm x 300mm for $18.) No, no no no, that does not justify the caption!

Okay, that seems to be a bad answer. Is there a reason he suggests it, apart from being dimwitted? And can we say what a good answer might have been?

The sender of this Rhymes With Orange points out “a minor, but annoying mistake,” that the central pips on the two of hearts should not be both facing the same way. Ooops! And we might add that Ace here doesn’t look much like a playing-card ace, either — they’ve become more just a business card. Heck, they don’t even have a suit!

Okay, I do get the joke. But can’t stop making a face at the degree to which cartoon physics had to stretch to set this up. Unless someone sees an explanation for the saucer’s crash other than it getting hit by a golf ball.

This looks more like our world than Oz. But if that was an Oz-witch then I guess the susceptibility to dissolving by water came here with her. And if amniotic fluid counts as water (as in saying “her water broke”) then it would be dangerous to her. But … but … but … then how have witches ever survived giving birth?

Hmmm, this may be flipping the sense of the Oopsies category …. I don’t see it as even near funny, but really want to give the cartoonist points for mathematical accuracy. That’s a good rendering of a regular dodecahedron, one of the five Platonic solids. (Though some may have preferred to see the -hedra plural.)

Again with the Oopsies, Quickies, Semi-CIDUs, Mysteries, and flops? (7th Series)

A CIDU-Quickie is like a Minor-Mystery — it seems like it will work out to a good joke, but there’s that just-one-thing we can’t understand. But it’s so close, obviously once someone makes a good suggestion there will be nothing to discuss; so it can’t be expected to be a standalone CIDU to satisfy a whole day’s spot.

Thanks to BillR for this CIDU-Quickie from Bizarro, about which he writes “No idea what the x-balls are.” Well I had an idea – but it wasn’t very good. Then BillR wrote back that his wife had a better idea – and yes it was better. But still not certain. So, what say you?

(Did this already get posted separately and discussed?? I thought so but can’t find it.)

This is a case of what some defined the “oopsie” for – a possibly good joke, but something about the drawing is wrong, or as in this case, tiny, scribbled, and indecipherable, to the extent that the joke is quite lost.

So the anticipated encounter is …. “Hold on! Where are you going with that ape” … “No, this is my kid! Look, here’s our tickets, that proves it.”

More Minor Mysteries, Ooopses, and Not-Quite-Rights

This Wrong Hands is almost a good Oy, playing on “usher” being both a family name and a role in a wedding. But do we make sense of the different kinds of dwelling the two people have?

This Pardon My Planet is not really wrong. But it’s not right, either.

(Not repeating in full the discussion from before on the issues of whether and how to use Far Side comics, but as before this will be not copied nor embedded but just linked.)

Sent in by Max C. Webster, III, who says “I assume Old Jake is the dog, and the familiar sight is his boy, but as for the joke . . . huh?”

This one from Ken Berkun.. The zombie could have said something about “Brains!” and the scarecrow may connect to the Oz Scarecrow who felt the lack of brains. But do those line up right for a “I hear that”?

Wait up, I’m still stuck on “I hear that”. Does that somewhat less common expression offer any advantages (besides maybe shortness) over the more modern / natural sounding “Now you’re talking!” or “You said it!”?

Crankshaft often uses a pun or attempted pun as the punch. Can it be that “processing” is meant to work that way here?

I guess this is meant as a critique of how some people think of the process of teaching and learning?

Minor Mysteries and Oopses

These are non-CIDUs or semi–CIDUs, where the joke or main point isn’t seriously in doubt, but some specifics of the writing or artwork seem somewhat off, or incomplete, or in need of explanation or correction. (Yet we don’t want to get into the territory of mockery or purely complaining.)

This first one is from Chak who calls it an Oops, and comments “The oopsies I’m thinking of are about well-drawn comics that slipped up”. In this Fastrack, the custom paperclip seems to change position without physical cause.:

Here was a Between Friends that seems to be illustrating a familiar saying with a situation that shows something different. In the picture, isn’t it more someone who has gone down and may not come back up?

The Far Side

We have been getting plenty of submissions or suggestions for The Far Side cartoons by Gary Larson, both classic and recent, some scanned from books and some copied off the 2019-established web site. Some suggestions were meant as classic solo-CIDU posts, but others might fit into one of these quasi-CIDU categories.

But there’s a big problem, that Larson has made a public point of his wish to not have his cartoons reprinted without permission and not under his control. There are people who doubt that this would have legal force if he tried to enforce it; but it doesn’t seem entirely right to defy the wishes of someone whose work we appreciate and want to enjoy.

So generally we have been responding to submissions and suggestions with a reminder of those constraints.

But thinking about Internet standards, short of copying and reposting something, and short also of the middle ground of embedding something by link, there is the fundamental WWW action of linking. That is well established as not infringing anything.

It’s also pretty inconvenient! Hard to have informed discussion threads when the item being commented on is not visible in the same window or tab! Still, it’s not beyond our abilities, CIDUers.

Sent in by Findus as an artwork/layout question rather than overall CIDU, this linked Far Side cartoon raises for them the question “what’s with the lovingly executed reflection in the mirror that is not a ‚mirror image‘? Is this intentional?”

And from Brian R we have this linked Far Side cartoon, which he suggested as a CIDU – but then understood fine the next day!

There actually is a certain amount of good sense to the now-classic bit about tech support asking “Have you tried turning it off and then on again?” as made famous by “The IT Crowd”. Now here in Lard’s World Peace Tips, it is cited in the wrong order. Is that the joke? Or was it accidental? Or intentional but supposed to be meaningful here, where the kite in the picture seems to be “off” since it is not flying, so is poised to be turned on, i.e., launched? My gosh that was long-winded!

Down the Garden Path Dept. Can you convince me this Loose Parts does not at all involve people getting squeaky voices from inhaling Helium?