I couldn’t figure out why, when I booted up my computer this morning, it kept shouting “1968’s Calling! 1968’s Calling!”

Cidu Bill on Jan 11th 2013


And I don’t really get the joke either, unless it’s “if you understand this as all you’re old, ha ha!”

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Hey Geezers! Comics!, Hilary B. Price, Rhymes With Orange, comic strips, comics, humor | 33 responses so far

33 Responses to “I couldn’t figure out why, when I booted up my computer this morning, it kept shouting “1968’s Calling! 1968’s Calling!””

  1. Lisah Jan 11th 2013 at 01:54 pm 1

    Yep, it’s the opening lyrics for the Glenn Campbell (minor) hit: “Lineman for the County”. I suppose the joke is that he could put his words to music and live his dream. You can probalby substitute most any first-person lyrics with the right character. Not hilarious, but…

  2. Blinky the Wonder Wombat Jan 11th 2013 at 02:02 pm 2


    I wouldn’t call Wichita Lineman” a minor hit; it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  3. Judge Mental Jan 11th 2013 at 02:06 pm 3

    He laments that he doesn’t have anything to write about, but not only does he have something to write about, it has the makings of a hit single.

    As Lisah points out, you could probably do that with most first person lyrics, but I am sure the Price was thinking if ever there were an occupation that you *couldn’t* glamorize in song, it would be a “Wichita Lineman”.

  4. Lisah Jan 11th 2013 at 02:09 pm 4

    Blinky - you got me there! In my defense, in 1968 my music genre of focus was children’s songs :-)

  5. Kilby Jan 11th 2013 at 02:15 pm 5

    There’s one I too much in that headline, Bill.

  6. mitch4 Jan 11th 2013 at 02:20 pm 6

    [kilby #5] .. but not as the pronoun.

  7. John Small Berries Jan 11th 2013 at 02:35 pm 7

    Yeah, I agree with Lisah and Judge Mental. You can write a song about pretty much any profession, even the ones that aren’t terribly exciting. In fact, the boring nature of your job can even be your burden, if you’ll pardon the pun.

  8. Keera Jan 11th 2013 at 04:06 pm 8

    One of my favorite songs. Classics are still familiar, and this is a classic.

  9. Narmitaj Jan 11th 2013 at 04:23 pm 9

    Yeah, me and my mate would like to write songs but if you have to write what you know who’s going to be interested? And we’re busy all the time carting domestic goods about from place to place - we’ve got to install microwave ovens, custom kitchen deliveries, we’ve got to move these refrigerators, we’ve got to move these color TV’s.

  10. fj Jan 11th 2013 at 05:04 pm 10

    When Jimmy Webb wrote “Wichita Lineman” he was all of 21, and already the hottest songwriter in the country. He never was a lineman, and, in fact, never worked a non-music job. Against his father’s wishes, he dropped out of college to become a songwriter, and within two years was a millionaire.

    Since the guy on the left couldn’t possibly be Jimmy Webb, I assumed that the longhaired guy on the right (see http://media.ticketmaster.com/dbimages/38763a.jpg ) was Webb, and that the joke was that he stole the idea for the song from an actual Wichita lineman who thought it was a lousy idea for a song. Which was actually sort of funny… But then I noticed that “Jimmy” had boobs…

  11. Elyrest Jan 11th 2013 at 05:15 pm 11

    fj - Hillary Price always has strange “boobs” in her comics, but these particular ones are really strange. The size and shape aside - they are above her armpits! That’s really jackin’ those puppies up. And you’re right about looking like Jimmy Webb.

  12. greg Jan 11th 2013 at 06:41 pm 12

    Glen Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and this comic is, obviously, meant as a tribute to him. There have also been several nice tributes at country music awards shows. Further, he is doing a farewell tour while he is still capable.

    The diagnosois also goes a long way towards understanding his drunk driving run-in with the police a few years ago.

  13. Blinky the Wonder Wombat Jan 11th 2013 at 08:42 pm 13

    I grew up on Rock and love Punk/new Wave, but I am also a huge fan of glen Campbell’s takes on Jimmy Webb songs. “Witchita Lineman” is hauntingly beautiful.

  14. Another BR Jan 11th 2013 at 09:03 pm 14

    Johnny A does a great guitar cover of Wichita Lineman. It’s probably out on youtube.

  15. Joshua Jan 11th 2013 at 09:04 pm 15

    Actually, I would say that the lineman character is correct that he has nothing to write about, because if he wrote about being a Wichita lineman, Jimmy Webb or his publisher would sue him for copyright infringement.

  16. Bob in Nashville Jan 11th 2013 at 10:28 pm 16

    Everyone’s overthinking it. He didn’t have anything to write about, but just stating his occupation was the start of one of those songs everyone over 40 gets stuck in our heads from time to time.

    That was the joke, for what it’s worth as one.

  17. George P. Jan 11th 2013 at 10:31 pm 17

    I’ve heard Webb say that the label liked the city name after Campbell recorded his “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, so he wrote “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston” for them.

  18. jjmcgaffey Jan 12th 2013 at 12:19 am 18

    Thank you (collectively)! When I saw that comic, the words were _almost_ coming out as a song in my head - but not quite, and I couldn’t track down enough to Google it. Now I can.

  19. James Pollock Jan 12th 2013 at 06:09 am 19

    I see it as he has only a limited number of topics he can write songs about, because you have to write what you know. He’s working as a lineman for the county… and that song’s already been done, so he’s got nothing LEFT to write about.

  20. Ooten Aboot Jan 12th 2013 at 07:05 am 20

    Maybe if, instead of driving, he walked the line . . . .

  21. mitch4 Jan 12th 2013 at 08:20 am 21

    I miss the point of all the rights-and-permissions discussion. I assumed this was set either in the past, or in present-day of an alternative world in which the song had not been written already. (Just as Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and stories do not exist in the worlds of the modern-setting British TV series “Sherlock” or “Elementary”.)

  22. fj Jan 12th 2013 at 09:52 am 22

    I was looking through yesterday’s paper this morning, and saw the strip as printed there. It has a little entry panel that is missing above:
    See http://rhymeswithorange.com/comics/january-11-2013/

    I believe that the first panel is a reference to the song “Truckin’” by the Greatful Dead, although the phrase in the song is “busted, down on Bourbon Street.” Anyway, although it doesn’t (at least to me) make this strip any funnier, it does work with either James Pollock’s explanation, or Bob in Nashville’s…

  23. fj Jan 12th 2013 at 10:05 am 23

    The “Truckin’” reference majes this a circa 1970’s calling comic, btw.

    I still think its funnier if Jimmy Webb is the character in the right…

    Alan Jackson has a funny story about the song “(I’m in love with you baby and) I don’t even know your name.” His brother-in-law came up with idea, and Alan didn’t think much of it. After a couple of years of his BIL harping on him, he finally wrote a song using the concept. Then one day, while prepping to record and album, his producer asked if he had any other potential material for the album. He played “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” almost as joke, but the producer love it. It became a #1 hit on the country charts. Jackson says the bad part is now every time his brother-in-law has an idea for a song, he has to listen to it…

  24. Mark M Jan 12th 2013 at 10:24 am 24

    The funniest part to this strip is how Hilary B Price draws boobs as C’s. This woman would be happier if they were at least as big as her nose.

  25. Mark in Boston Jan 12th 2013 at 03:18 pm 25

    If a city doesn’t have a song, you can write one with the city name in it, and soon it will be the city’s official song, so that’s at least some guaranteed sales. It will be played at baseball and football games.

    I think Boston’s official city song is “Charlie on the MTA”. Am I right, Neal in Bawston (did I spell that wright?) and Bob Near Mark?

  26. Cidu Bill Jan 12th 2013 at 04:45 pm 26

    My son’s a Bostonian, so now I’ll have to ask him about that.

  27. Arthur Jan 12th 2013 at 08:51 pm 27

    Continuing the tangent:
    I find it hard to believe that the fare card for the Boston
    subway (the T) is officially called the Charley Card.

  28. Cidu Bill Jan 12th 2013 at 11:46 pm 28

    Well, Charlie Ticket technically, but I’ve never heard it called that.


  29. Lola Jan 13th 2013 at 10:50 am 29

    If you ever need one, be sure to pronounce it correctly … they will let you know you didn’t get it right. It’s Chahlee Cahd.

  30. Mark in Boston Jan 13th 2013 at 08:27 pm 30

    Yes, they are Charlie Cards and Charlie Tickets. You can’t use tokens or cash anymore. You have to start by getting a monthly card, or going to a machine and putting in cash or a credit card to get a ticket. The cards and tickets expire, so if you go into Boston infrequently you may find that the ticket which had value on it the last time you used it will not now be accepted. Out-of-towners are a good source of revenue for any city.

  31. Mark in Boston Jan 13th 2013 at 08:29 pm 31

    “Charlie on the MTA” is not nearly as bad a choice as McDonald’s use of “Mack the Knife” in their “Mac Tonight” commercials. A song about a thief who kills his victims with a knife does not give me an appetite for hamburgers.

  32. Morris Keesan Jan 13th 2013 at 09:44 pm 32

    You can still use cash on the buses and commuter rail. The fares are higher on buses and “rapid transit” (subway and streetcar) if you’re using cash or the paper Charlie Ticket instead of the plastic Charlie Card. And the card doesn’t have to be monthly; my Charlie Card is a “stored value” card, because I don’t use it enough to make it worth paying for the monthly unlimited pass. And if your card or ticket expires, you can retrieve the value — I had this happen to a Charlie Card, and just took it to the customer service desk at a nearby supermarket, where they transferred its residual value to a new card.

    And even though the Charles River (whose name, as far as I know, was not in any way the basis for the name of Charlie in the song) is a lot cleaner than it was in 1966, I still think that “Dirty Water” is a better candidate for Boston’s official song.

  33. Cidu Bill Jan 13th 2013 at 10:13 pm 33

    Mark, how do you think I came to have a Charlie Ticket to take a photo of?

    My card is good through November of this year; so since I’m planning to be back in Boston this summer, I’m not too worried about my $6 investment.

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