Cidu Bill on Nov 15th 2012


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Six Chix, comic strips, comics, humor | 28 responses so far

28 Responses to “CIDZU”

  1. Kilby Nov 15th 2012 at 12:19 am 1

    Two reasons that this may be a CIDU for some folks:
    1) The phrase “be here now” is just poorly written, it’s intended to mean “stay right where I am”.
    2) Kudzu is either infamous or utterly unknown, depending on where you live. It’s a weed that swamps over everything in its path. The junk covering the exit sign is a pretty good rendition of kudzu.

    The driver simply does not want to drive off into the jungle.

  2. Kilby Nov 15th 2012 at 12:25 am 2

    P.S. This reminded me that there used to be a pretty good comic strip called “Kudzu”. I just discovered that the reason it no longer exists is that the author died in 2007.

  3. Jeff S. Nov 15th 2012 at 12:53 am 3

    I would be hard pressed to find a comic with worse phrasing than this one.

    I miss the Kudzu strip. I Googled it, and I discovered the author died from an automobile accident. How sad.

  4. Arthur Nov 15th 2012 at 01:08 am 4

    In addition to the bad phrasing, there’s also the red herring
    of the kudzu-coverd sign with the arrow showing. At first I
    thought the arrow had some meaning in the joke. But I agree
    with Kilby about what joke was meant.

  5. James Pollock Nov 15th 2012 at 01:45 am 5

    It’s not that those of us who live in non-kudzu-covered parts of the country don’t know what it is (a fast-growing vine imported from Japan to help with erosion control). It’s just that OUR parts of the country are habitable by human beings during the summer months, so we’re actually able to move and not just sit there sweating when a plant tries to swallow us up.

    Of course, the kudzu vine does come from the same place as Gojira, so you never know.

  6. Mike Nov 15th 2012 at 01:52 am 6

    Actually I think “be here now” may be deliberate and not just bad phrasing. To me “be here now” is a sort of hippie zen thing that translates to “live your life, be in the moment, the universe will provide” and other such things. The joke is that he’s interpreting the sign that just has an arrow to be the road sign equivalent of “just be, man” (or that since the sign is covered with kudzu, the sign is just kudzu pointing at kudzu, which is also sort of zen). I’m not saying it’s a good joke, but I think that was the intention.

  7. jjmcgaffey Nov 15th 2012 at 02:32 am 7

    Yeah, “be here now” is a familiar phrase to me. Not sure I’d have applied it the way it is in the cartoon (as Mike says), but it didn’t strike me as incorrect grammar. My memory puts it in the same sort of category as “Tune in, turn on, drop out” (which also makes little sense in words).

    Apparently kudzu is edible, at least by cows. They just can’t eat it fast enough in parts of the country that never get cold enough to kill it. Above the Mason-Dixon line it’s sometimes grown for summer fodder - but it dies in the winter, so doesn’t get totally out of control.

  8. Proginoskes Nov 15th 2012 at 03:11 am 8

    @ jjmcgaffey: A graduate student at Emory University came up with some recipes which use kudzu.

    (And I think Bill is a Yankee …)

  9. Cidu Bill Nov 15th 2012 at 03:44 am 9

    I do know what kudzu is. Didn’t help me with the comic, though.

  10. Nebulous Nov 15th 2012 at 03:46 am 10

    If Kudzu’s such a problem, what they really need is someone doing research in how to turn it into a biofuel.

  11. mitch4 Nov 15th 2012 at 08:49 am 11

    The license plate looks like it’s from New York. Does it make any difference to the joke if they’re visitors to the area?

  12. Elyrest Nov 15th 2012 at 09:02 am 12

    I’m feeling my age a little that “Be Here Now” is not instantly recognized. It’s the name of a well-known, to some, book by Ram Dass. It was published in the early 70’s and was a touchstone for many students of that time. I had a copy myself in college and I still remember the purple cover and interestingly drawn pages. Ram Dass’s original name was Richard Alpert and he was a cohort of Timothy Leary.

    The comic is saying - stay the course.

  13. Morris Keesan Nov 15th 2012 at 11:38 am 13

    jjmcgaffey #7: Kuzu is edible by people, as well. It’s a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine, used as a thickener, similar to the way that corn starch is used in American cooking. I’ve never figured out why and how its name gained the “d” sound when imported into the US.

  14. MikeK Nov 15th 2012 at 11:56 am 14

    Elyrest: You’ve inspired me to see if I can find my old copy. I think it’s stored in a box somewhere….

  15. Chakolate Nov 15th 2012 at 12:13 pm 15

    Kilby @1 has it almost right, but it looks to me like the kudzu is actually covering the exit ramp, thus preventing (sort of) an exit.

  16. Inkwell Nov 15th 2012 at 12:57 pm 16

    This discussion was super helpful. I’ll admit I had no idea what kudzu was. (Although I’m sure I’ve seen it. Everything grows on everything where I live.)

    The more you know!

  17. Paperboy Nov 15th 2012 at 03:41 pm 17

    We used to call him “Rammed Ass” and the book, “Beer Now”.
    It seemed funny at the time.

  18. Bob in Nashville Nov 15th 2012 at 07:03 pm 18

    Just a little bad wording. Probably trying to say that the stuff covering the exit wants me to be here now instead of there, and the thought failed to translate to words right.

    What Kilby said @1.

  19. Elyrest Nov 15th 2012 at 08:58 pm 19

    MikeK - Thank goodness at least one person knew what I was talking about. I haven’t seen my copy in eons and have no idea what happened to it. I think I might have passed it on to someone who had never heard of it before.

  20. chuckers Nov 15th 2012 at 10:02 pm 20

    @Morris #13

    More than likely the word was transplanted from the Hepburn trans-literation of the word: くづ (or クヅ)which, to type in romaji henkan, is done as KUDU but has a ZU sound in it.

    Of course, now that I have checked my dictionary, I find that it ISN’T transliterated that way. It is くず (クズ)which sounds the same the same but written differently.

    So I guess I don’t know either.

  21. Morris Keesan Nov 15th 2012 at 10:44 pm 21

    All of my Japanese dictionaries are Japanese-English or English-Japanese, and only one (Kenkyusha’s New Little J-E) has an entry for kuzu, but it agrees that it’s クズ (and the kanji is sufficiently obscure that I can’t find it in Kodansha’s Compact Kanji Guide), hence my questioning. And to my ear, ヅ (DZU) and ズ (ZU) don’t sound the same, when pronounce by Japanese people.
    Interestingly, Jeffrey’s Kanji Lookup and my Kenkyusha dictionary both describe kuzu as “arrowroot”, although according to, kudzu is Pueraria thunbergiana and arrowroot is Maranta arundinacea. But arrowroot is also “any of several other plants yielding a similar starch” or “any of several other plants whose rhizomes or roots yield starch”.

  22. mitch4 Nov 16th 2012 at 12:11 am 22

    Morris and Chuckers — Since /d/ and /z/ have the same “point of articulation” (in the somewhat old-fashioned expression), it wouldn’t be unusual for English speakers to turn a sngle cnsonat into the affricate /dz/ — entirely without regard to the word’s origins in Japanese or anywhere else. It probably would have been easier given /kudu/ and the release from the /d/ if continued with some friction and voicing would become /kudzu/; but it could go backwards from /z/ also.
    (Examine how you say “tree” … it may be like “chree”.)

  23. CaroZ Nov 16th 2012 at 12:13 am 23

    I believe the “dzu” is an obsolete 19th century transliteration that only survives in a few proper names and loanwords (there’s a “Shimadzu” company for presumably the same reason). Another such historical transliteration is “ye” as seen in yen, Inouye, Yebisu… but that Japanese sound is rendered in all modern transliteration systems as “e.”

  24. DPWally Nov 16th 2012 at 02:24 pm 24

    The kudzu on the sign is carefully arranged to cover all the sign text, including whatever’s right next to the arrow, but not the arrow. That’s too tortured to be an accident, so it must mean something, but I don’t know what.

    Anyway, it’s not the kudzu that’s telling him to stay put, it’s the traffic. He’s not going anywhere, no matter what the weeds say.

    The lines on the pavement are yellow, so half those cars are going the wrong direction.

    Given the level sloppy drawing it’s possible Chakolate #15 is correct and the curve of leaves on the ground is meant to be the edge of a weed-covered exit ramp. That would require several more drawing errors.

  25. DPWally Nov 16th 2012 at 02:25 pm 25

    I should re-write my last sentence.

    To accept that interpretation I’d have to assume several more errors in the drawing, but it’s not unreasonable to assume there are additional errors.

  26. Phred Nov 17th 2012 at 04:24 am 26

    Chakolate has it right. The driver may WANT to take the exit ramp, but the kudzu has completely overgrown it to make it clear that it does NOT want him to take it.

  27. George P Nov 17th 2012 at 11:00 am 27

    Kudzu is heading north, so you all may see it eventually. Just this summer huge patches of it showed up in the Fort Knox area (which is closer to Chicago than to Atlanta). I also saw some in southern Illinois this summer.

  28. Isabella Jan 20th 2015 at 10:53 pm 28

    OK, I guess with this one, I am showing my age. Where I live, part of the decline in infrastructure means all kinds of vegetation covers important signage. So, the GPS - representing the technocratic mode of guidance, is instructing the driver to take the exit, but “nature” overtaking the signage, implies that the driver should just relax, enjoy the journey “Be Here, Now” - as the hippies used to say, and not worry about the destination.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply