This is the “Semi-CIDU” marked for this post. It’s Cynthia’s friend who says “Lots of firsts that day” but mostly it was Cynthia herself experiencing those firsts.
BTW, what do you think of the drawing techniques used to show us the girls are their younger selves in the last two panels?
[This was a Friday strip. The Saturday strip that follows continues the flashback, and gives an explicit answer to the Semi-CIDU question we posed; so we’re withholding that one until people have had a chance to comment on this post, and then will put it in comments.]
Bonus Barney. This is the “CIDU only because of a cultural reference you may not already know” marked for this post.
If you’re familiar with the story of Boggs, do you think the summary in the fourth panel is seriously in need of some amplification/clarification?
Citizen Kane took me a moment! The Old Yeller I don’t get, but I don’t recall much about the movie. Maybe my favorite here is Vertigo.
I’m recalling (but not its name) a comics-page feature which used photos of everyday household objects manipulated and posed, to fit a comic caption. I can imaging them trying to do this same thing with real paper clips. But probably the drawings are a better way to go.
WP tech check. L:et’s see if a WEBP image works in a WP post. It’s a bit tiresome converting them.
Darren notes that only one subpanel is CIDU-level puzzling. “Friday’s Wrong Hands is pretty straightforward to me for all the elements except for xenon. I know of xenon used in lamps and as spaceship fuel, neither of which would seem to hide an elephant. Is there a pun or a pop culture reference that I’m missing?”
And while that was indeed the Friday Wrong Hands on GoComics, their own newsletter had a different cartoon on Friday, which as it happens is also pachydermic.
From chemgal, who indicates that she *did* get it (tho it took a moment). But she calls it CBWU and explains “It took me a moment to get [Friday’s] Arlo and Janis. Given it’s a cat comic, I’m pretty sure that Bill would not have understood it.”
However, the premise is not quite up-to-date. Nowadays, it would be more likely an email.
Is it just that the guy is so shook up he books three appointments a day? Is that all there is? Is it weird that the receptionist builds on the standard “Your three o’clock is here” instead of, maybe, using his name (which she must be familiar with by now)?
This was going to be a standalone CIDU, with the question-blurb of The slug has eaten some salted snack and is having a toxic reaction?? There was another fly, and the frog scooped him up with his tongue?? Do you have another?
But then I realized the item hanging out of the frog’s mouth is not his tongue (which would be thin and ready to flick) but a wing tip, matching the wings we see on the speaking fly at the left. Well, that answers which of the explanations it was.
But I didn’t know whether to feel cheated of a mystery, or ready to applaud the skilfully delayed punch. Anyway, that landed it here!
“Love” – “Confess” – “Surf”
Those are the titles I can make out among the items displayed at this newsstand.
Okay, the joke is that this soldier (is he “Killer”?) is really just interested in eyeing the pin-ups and girlie publications, while prolonging his visit by asking for various small-town papers the newsstand does not carry.
But why do I feel like that raises gaps in the story that ought to have been dealt with? Like: is he making the towns and papers up, or are they supposed to be real within the fictive world? Is the “Nope” answer the basis for him to keep going, with possible second or third choices? Or might he have gotten them all, if commissioned by several guys back at the platoon to bring them back their respective home-town papers? And does this newsstand in fact carry regular newspapers and general-interest magazines, and the pin-up material is just what gets most prominently displayed? Or is that all they sell?
Hmm, something missing? Oh yes – the generator that would be hooked up so that the exercise bike powers the fan! Or go old style, and show some belts and pulleys making a mechanical connection. Otherwise, what’s the joke?
Here we have just one of those unanswered little mysteries, not any critique. Just what did he mean to say instead, eh?
P.S. It doesn’t answer that question, but the next day’s strip is from the same therapy session, and picks up the theme of slips.
Okay, sometimes CIDU comes down to “I don’t understand how one cartoon can make that many mistakes”.
Carl Fink sent in this Loose Parts and says:
1) I for one read right through the joke on the first pass. I’ve been reading numbered lists for so long, I don’t actually notice the numbers any more.
2) Counting is not arithmetic!
And Carl also on this Off The Mark:
Painting with … antigravity pigments?
So would a real painter glue the palette to his hand and then hold it vertically like that? Wouldn’t the paint run off it? I say “glue” because he clearly doesn’t have a thumb on the other side, so he can’t grip it.
Also, why is he wearing a lab coat? That doesn’t look like an artist’s smock to me.
This Reply All Lite could probably count as Unintentional Arlo Award. Either the artist does not know a very widespread vernacular sense of Johnson, or does not think her readers would make that association and attribute it to these characters.
Pardon my objectionable sick joke! (Which may not be instantly evident, thus the semi-CIDU category.)
This Argyle Sweater is from BillR, who joined with your editors in debating what is going on in the absence of a typical Hilburn Oy.
Their name could suggest they are of Polish extraction. And the weather suggests a northerly climate. But that wouldn’t be enough for a map to show the home as “North Pole”. Is there anything beyond red herring to noting they are at a mailbox and there is a tradition about letters to Santa getting delivered to some place the USPS designates as North Pole? Or … what?
This was a quite good three-panel joke cartoon. And then …
Hard to put a finger on it, but something about the “deflation punch” in this Brevity seems off. Like offers advertised as “BOGO” and you wonder is that a hip way of calling something Bogus? If CONVO means conversation, and RECCO means reccomendation…
From Chemgal, who says “I thought the highest possible GPA was 4.0. Are they using a different scale in Zits?” She mentions she can think of a possible explanation, and I think I know what it is too, but even if it’s not a full CIDU there may be enough uncertainty for people to discuss as a Semi-CIDU.
This Beetle Bailey is from 1965-05-17, and appeared in ComicsKingdom retro series recently on Thursday 2021-12-02. I wasn’t aware that spray-painting would be part of helmet maintenance, but I guess why not? But what exactly is going on in the aftermath scene that is puzzling the General? Has the grass in general been painted an odd color, but not inside the helmet outlines where it was shielded? But those patches don’t look like they’re supposed to be natural grass. Or has the procedure somehow damaged / killed off the grass inside the helmets, and left it normal outside?
We all know one of the standard time-travel puzzlement plots involves killing Hitler young. But what are the stories about smuggling him away in your luggage?
Call me hidebound and oldfashioned, but I don’t always think open-ended and unresolved are better. MAYBE someone with a lot of insight into snoring does have a principled way of matching these up. But without that, or an official answer key, you have to resort to “Oh, just posing the question is funny, and gives us a chuckle about how much snoring goes on and how bad it is.” But is that really enough?