Show of hands, did the term “body shop” make you think of lotions and scents, or crumpled fenders?
A couple of maggiethecartoonist suggestions:
When BillR sent this one in, we all racked our brains for common sayings, or notable events, or famous stories, involving tomatoes and lemons …
… but then it dawned on us that there is a traditional remark about comparisons, and it involves apples and oranges. So this could be a joke about literalizing that idiomatic remark, thrown into confusion by a colorist’s error! (Subsequently we found it discussed at the Comic Strip of the Day site, and there also attributed to colorist error.)
Here’s one spotted by Usual John at Comics Kingdom. It feels eerily like something we just recently saw, and discussed, with remarks about how it could stand in for a motto for CIDU. But then again, there’s today’s date, 5-31, right there in the panel; which makes it less likely this could actually be an oldie that CK happened to replay today.
Update! We put the above questions to an expert archivalist, who came thru with answers!
First of all, yes this was a rerun; but because the previous Comics Kingdom appearance was exactly a year earlier, on 2022-05-31, the date “5-31” embedded in the artwork for panel 3 does not mean this comic was actually new this week; nor does it make that date a paste-over job. (Though the syndication copyright notice running vertically between panels 1 and 2 does have the current year inserted.)
Also, it did appear at CIDU, and get discussed, on its publication date last year. Which is not really “just recently” as suggested above, but also is not absurdly far off.