Jef Mallett actually sent this one directly to me before sending it to his syndicate, just to save time

Cidu Bill on Sep 19th 2012


Okay, not really. But he should have. “Raspberries”??

(and yes, I know what “blowing raspberries” means. Doesn’t help)

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Frazz, Jef Mallett, comic strips, comics, humor | 28 responses so far

28 Responses to “Jef Mallett actually sent this one directly to me before sending it to his syndicate, just to save time”

  1. The Bad Seed Sep 19th 2012 at 08:36 am 1

    The answer for the easy part is that Methodists have no pope, although they’ve been considering electing a quasi-Pope from the Council of Bishops. Sounds like their charter specifically prohibits that, though. I guess the second half of the “joke” is that chickens don’t have lips so they can’t blow raspberries? So they’re both things that don’t exist?

  2. fj Sep 19th 2012 at 08:45 am 2

    I loved this one.

    The whole strip is based on those stupid cliches people use instead of a simple yes or no answer.

    A recurring meme in Frazz is Mrs. Olsen asking “Any questions?” and Caufield responding with a question unrelated to the subject at hand that usually involves some sort of word play. Here, he is riffing off of the old question “Does a bear defecate in the woods?” However, he twists it, and asks what non-bears do (although his information is dated, as giant pandas (as opposed to red pandas) are back to being classified as bears, much to the chagrin of the racoon family).

    For once, Mrs. Olsen matches him wit for wit, and answers “Go ask a Methodist Pope” (a play on “Is the Pope Catholic?”), which, given that there is no such thing, is an apt reply to his question.

    Frazz’s reply is based on “Does a chicken have lips?” Catholic popes come from cardinals (birds). The non-existent Methodist popes come from chickens (bird) who don’t have lips, but nonetheless can blow raspberries.

  3. Bob Ball Sep 19th 2012 at 08:46 am 3

    There are times when I think he’s writing for a “wait … what?” response rather than a fully logicked one, but that’s probably my inability to follow it through. Raspberry, I remind myself, is Cockney rhyming slang short for “raspberry tart” = fart.

  4. Bob Ball Sep 19th 2012 at 08:48 am 4

    What fj said.

  5. Quacki Sep 19th 2012 at 08:52 am 5

    I think I can help here. Look up urban dictionary and then the phrase “does the pope shit in the woods?”, which might be a variation of “does the bear shit in the woods?” (A sarcastic reply to a question with obvious answer). If I try to reconstruct the joke, then it goes like this: Bears shit in the woods, so not-bears (pandas and coalas) have no place there. The methodist pope seems to be a play on the variation. The last sentence then is just absurd (I guess because of the methodist pope).

  6. Jeff Sep 19th 2012 at 09:03 am 6

    Actually, giant pandas ARE bears.

  7. Judge Mental Sep 19th 2012 at 09:28 am 7

    fj is spot on. When I read it yesterday, I knew this one would show up here. I admit it took me a while to decipher the chicken part. It would have been more straight-forward if Frazz had just said a “chicken with lips” or the more oddly phrased “lipped chicken”, but this was probably more fun for people who like their comics a little more oblique.

  8. fj Sep 19th 2012 at 10:31 am 8

    When Jef Mallett was in elementary school, he probably was told that giant pandas were not bears, but racoons. Then again, he was also taught that Pluto was a moonless planet and that Saturn had three rings.

  9. Keera Sep 19th 2012 at 11:00 am 9

    Thanks, fj! Though I doubt raccoons can ever be chagrined. ;-)

  10. Chakolate Sep 19th 2012 at 11:12 am 10

    fj, you did an amazing job on this one.

    I thought this was one of the funniest comics I’ve read in a long time.

  11. Inkwell Sep 19th 2012 at 03:55 pm 11

    fj’s makes sense. It’s pretty funny once it’s explained, but knowing nothing about Catholicism, it took me a while to understand Frazz’s comment.

    The “Methodist pope” thing is pretty funny.

  12. mitch4 Sep 19th 2012 at 04:28 pm 12

    fj’s full elucidation deserves applause!

    I would add only a note making it explicit that “cardinals” is playing between the birds (thus as noted before, in contrast to the chickens) and the position in Church hierarchy.

  13. Inkwell Sep 19th 2012 at 07:22 pm 13

    Yeah, I had no idea that was a position in the church. I’m non-denominational and super uneducated.

    It’s funny when it’s explained, but the fact that it needs to be explained is a strike against it.

  14. fj Sep 19th 2012 at 08:41 pm 14

    I would suggest, if I may, Series 1, Episode 3 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which will not only introduce you to the concept of a Cardinal as an official of the Catholic Church (and Cardinal Richelieu in particular), but also help you to learn “How to Recognise Different Types of Trees From Quite a Long Way Away.”

  15. Robert Sep 19th 2012 at 09:06 pm 15

    Quacki: “does the Pope shit in the woods?” is a combination of “does a bear shit in the woods?” and “is the Pope Catholic?”

    Better: “Is the Space Pope a lizard?” :D

  16. James Pollock Sep 19th 2012 at 09:45 pm 16

    The… Larch.

  17. Cub Sep 20th 2012 at 12:54 am 17

    I also observe that raspberries are red…so if a chicken blows raspberries, I imagine he will get red, and look more like a cardinal. (Not THAT kind of blow! XD)

  18. Kilby Sep 20th 2012 at 05:05 am 18

    All this discussion about ursine epistemology reminds me of a classic Far Side cartoon, in which one bear says to the other: “Is it true? Is it true? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear… well, I know you do, Angelo…”

  19. Soup Dragon Sep 20th 2012 at 07:07 am 19

    Let us not forget the cardinals Ximénez, Biggles, and Fang.

  20. Daniel J. Drazen Sep 20th 2012 at 09:56 am 20

    You mean the school library doesn’t even have a reserve copy of “Everybody Poops”?

  21. DPWally Sep 20th 2012 at 10:39 am 21

    “Does the Pope sh– in the woods” is a deliberately silly combination of “does a bear sh– in the woods” and “is the Pope Catholic”, both cliche responses for certainty. Which brings us back to fj’s answer.

    I haven’t heard “does a chicken have lips”. Does that mean “yes” or “no”?

  22. mitch4 Sep 20th 2012 at 10:49 am 22

    DPWally #20 — I also don’t think I’ve ever heard “Does a chicken have lips?” as a fully-formed sentence or as a question. But the phrase “chicken lips” does occur often enough to be familiar, to indicate a nonexistent object. Sort of like saying “horsefeathers!” (though I suppose that has an additional dimension of substituting for “horsesh__”).

  23. fj Sep 20th 2012 at 01:11 pm 23

    It may be a regional thing, but for me (in Michigan, like Mallett) “Does a chicken have lips?” (and the answer is no) would be as familiar as “Is the pope Catholic.”

  24. Ooten Aboot Sep 20th 2012 at 07:15 pm 24

    Frazz doesn’t have the theological fortitude to explain the Pope joke to Caulfield. Instead, Frazz compounds Caulfield’s confusion. That’s not a father figure’s job.

  25. Marie Sep 20th 2012 at 09:47 pm 25

    There’s another joke. It’s a series of rhetorical questions with the parts mixed up, like this:
    Does a bear quack?
    Is a duck Catholic?
    Does the Pope [defactate] in the woods?

    By the time you get to the Pope, you realize what’s coming. I sometimes shorten this to: Is a duck Catholic? It evokes the whole series. When I saw the Frazz comic, I knew which direction he was going, but I’d not heard the chicken with/out lips version, so the ending confused me.

  26. fj Sep 20th 2012 at 10:08 pm 26

    And then there is this little, uh, gem…
    The chorus includes
    Does a chicken have lips?
    Does a rattlesnake have hips?
    Can a elephant make a living
    Blowing bubbles through his nose?
    If a blind man can stare
    Can a bald man comb his hair?

  27. Mark in Boston Sep 20th 2012 at 11:20 pm 27

    Sometimes I think Mrs. Olsen is not the brightest knife on the tree.

  28. Steffen Sep 22nd 2012 at 12:41 pm 28

    Ooten: that’s exactly a father’s job. You’ve never heard of dad trolling/dad jokes?

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