Maybe We Can Ask Mister Know-It-All

Cidu Bill on Dec 2nd 2012

Barrett: What name is Satchel referring to when he calls himself Inspector Pretty Little Find-it-all? It’s an awkward enough name that I assume it’s a play on a real or fictional detective, but I can’t find any name that even comes close to sounding like that.

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Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Darby Conley, Get Fuzzy, comic strips, comics, humor | 16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Maybe We Can Ask Mister Know-It-All”

  1. DemetriosX Dec 2nd 2012 at 02:45 pm 1

    I certainly can’t think of any detective he might be taking his name from. I thought it was just a Satchel thing. I think he’s used “pretty little” for other things and “find-it-all” is a simplistic description of what a detective does. And of course the combination is fairly absurd.

  2. Treesong Dec 2nd 2012 at 06:28 pm 2

    From ‘old contrail, Mount Amy’, I infer that he’s Inspector Clouseau. How he got from there to ‘Pretty Little Find-It-All’ remains a mystery, though.

  3. Mmmy Dec 2nd 2012 at 07:19 pm 3

    The ‘old contrail, Mount Amy’ sounds like Hercule Poiroit, but like the other posters, it is a stretch to get to ‘Pretty Little Find-It-All’ .

  4. Some Old Guy Dec 2nd 2012 at 08:11 pm 4

    Bucky referred to him as Inspector No-Closeau [closer] in one strip in this series, so Treesong has that right, but I’m as confused as everyone else with the pretty, little, find-it-all bit. jolie + peu/petite + ? I got nothing.

  5. Mark in Boston Dec 2nd 2012 at 09:04 pm 5

    Living in Boston (where we know Satchel and Bucky and Rob live) doesn’t help here. There isn’t even a local character by that name as far as I know.

    Unless Robert Parker had a second line of books that I don’t know about.

  6. Cidu Bill Dec 2nd 2012 at 09:15 pm 6

    You mean a fourth line Mark, right?

  7. Morris Keesan Dec 2nd 2012 at 09:37 pm 7

    Well, any regular reader of the strip knows that Satchel isn’t the brightest candle in the menorah, so I wouldn’t expect the name to have any relationship to anything recognizable. I just assumed that it was a name that he made up for himself out of thin air.

    (And, Mark, how do we know that they live in Boston? I’ve never noticed a locational reference in the strip.)

  8. Kelex Dec 2nd 2012 at 10:32 pm 8

    At first I thought “Inspector Pretty” might be Satchelese for Agatha Christie’s “Poirot.” But the hat is almost certainly an (inaccurate) Sherlock Holmes reference.

  9. Jen Dec 2nd 2012 at 11:41 pm 9

    I also thought of Poirot. I’m not particularly well-versed on fictional detectives, but a search of “au contraire, mon ami” and “poirot” yields 600 more results than “au contraire, mon ami” and “clouseau”. Plus, Poirot probably sounds more like “pretty little” than any other famous fictional detective name does.

    Personally, though, I don’t think that Satchel’s going for any one specific character. He’s just mashing together a bunch of detective tropes to make his own character.

  10. Beachfox Dec 3rd 2012 at 12:28 am 10

    Sounds like “Kitty Carry-All”, the doll the youngest Brady Bunch girl lost in that one episode/the movie?

  11. Soup Dragon Dec 3rd 2012 at 04:04 am 11

    Pretty Little Liars?

  12. The Vicar Dec 3rd 2012 at 04:22 am 12

    I’ve been rereading the Poirot books recently (or, at least, a fairly large number of them, since there are apparently a gazillion of them) and although he uses “mon ami” quite a lot he seldom says “au contraire”, and the pattern that Agatha Christie uses for his broken English makes it seem unlikely that that combination would happen — he pops individual phrases of French in, but seldom two in a row. And the instances I can think of offhand, he uses “Pas du tout!” (≈”not at all”) in contexts like this. (Then again, IIRC Sherlock Holmes NEVER actually uses the exact phrase “elementary, my dear Watson” anywhere in the original books, so it’s not like the popular perception of a detective character’s dialog is necessarily very accurate.)

  13. Powers Dec 3rd 2012 at 09:01 am 13

    Am I the only one who finds Satchel’s blinding stupidity completely off-putting?

  14. farmer Dec 3rd 2012 at 11:13 am 14

    @Morris #7,

    Rob is repeatedly shown to be a Red Sox fan; while that doesn’t mean they’re in Boston I’ve always gotten that sense (no references to expat fandom, for example).

    @Powers #13,

    Dunno, I find him hilarious. Then again, my opinions of both dogs and cats pretty well conform to Bucky & Satchel so the characters work for me.

  15. Elyrest Dec 3rd 2012 at 01:26 pm 15

    I have to agree with farmer about Bucky & Satchel conforming roughly with my cat and dog. My dog isn’t as stupid as Satchel and my cat isn’t as evil as Bucky, but my dog is a little “dumb” and my cat is way sneaky.

  16. Treesong Dec 6th 2012 at 01:19 am 16

    One other French thought: maigre = thin, skinny, lean; smallish in a way sorta kinda, so possibly Inspector (commissaire) Jules Maigret? It seems less of a stretch than anything else proposed so far but it still leaves ‘find-it-all’ in the dark. It also assumes Satchel knows some French, but he shows flashes of intelligence now and then. Also, Canadian, eh.

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