I think this counts as a pun, even without doing a pun-joke.
The above sent by Andréa, who particularly notes Tom Waits getting mentioned, saying “Never thought I’d see HIM in a comic – made my day!”. And one of your editors had the pleasure of taking a couple classes from Professor Lance Rips, who liked to point out that his name constitutes a complete sentence.
Meant to post this earlier.
I learned the word prodigal in the context of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and thought it meant something like all the characteristics of the guy in the story – wandering, absent, returning after a long absence and acting all entitled, etc, all packaged in that one word. Only much later did I start seeing contexts that wouldn’t support all of that meaning, and learned the base sense spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.
And then discovered that was what it meant in the Parable, too. But there had not been enough help from the context to make that choice clear! And this fits the philosopher’s point that, if your informant points to a rabbit and says gavagai, maybe they are telling you the word means rabbit — but maybe it means finger.
Funny just for the absurdity of it.
K and I were in minor disagreement over whether the word-play element here is pun-like enough to count as an OY. “Neg/Q Scope Ambiguity” is certainly there potentially in the 3rd panel; but it’s not clearly intentional, and even less the point of the gag.
This Moderately Confused sent in by Rob is in what we might dub the “foibles funnies” genre:
Out of season
Two funny bits that seem like they might belong more to winter publication. The Kliban of course is a reprint from ages ago, so that makes sense. And the Liz Climo is funny any time. Also noticed by Andréa and used in a comment!
(If you think the Carolyn Hax column where this appeared might explain it, you can try this freebie link and read it for yourself. But I thought the connection was barely discernible.)
Afterthought. — This had already been in the queue for about a week, with the title “Whatting their whats?” as still shown, when I happened on this Frog Applause and wanted to postscript it for the wording.
Home, sweet home
Thanks to Andréa for this subtle groaner:
Sources say that either the exclamation “Great Scott” is not attached to any particular person with that name; or else may be associated with Sir Walter Scott, or with U.S. General Winfield Scott. But here, with the talk of Antarctica and the South Pole, surely they intend some kind of glance at famous and unfortunate polar explorer Robert F Scott?
And another from Andréa, who calls this “Barely an oy”. Also fodder for you dialectologists out there.
I did literally LOL! But filing it with the OYs for the word play.
Now the rainman gave me two cures Then he said, “Jump right in” The one was Texas medicine The other was just railroad gin An’ like a fool I mixed them An’ it strangled up my mind An’ now people just get uglier An’ I have no sense of time
Writing prompt: That’s a *winch*. Why is that a better pun than a *wrench* would have been?
Well, there’s a good OY on the left, and a good LOL on the right, and I’m feeling too lazy to get out the cropper, so let’s print it twice, once today, and once yesterday or tomorrow.
Not a huge LOL, but Tiger and Punkinhead here are reproducing a classic problem in the literature of logical representation, going back to Bertrand Russell.
An Arlo-LOL from Divad who says “I’ve got a pretty good guess what was on Arlo’s mind (in general), but I’m trying to not picture what he’s specifically thinking.”
“Zzz-mailing” makes it worth it…