2003 called, and asked why Santa is in this comic at all

Cidu Bill on Dec 20th 2013

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Filed in Argyle Sweater, Bill Bickel, CIDU, Dick Cheney, Santa Claus, Scott Hilburn, comic strips, comics, humor | 19 responses so far

19 Responses to “2003 called, and asked why Santa is in this comic at all”

  1. J-L Dec 20th 2013 at 12:40 pm 1

    Santa Claus is in there because they’re… um… all fictional characters?

    (It sounds like it could be a political jab, but I’m not sure how.)

  2. Don Dec 20th 2013 at 12:47 pm 2

    I’m not getting this one at all. The jab at Dick Cheney is that he’s heartless (wow, what a topical reference!), and combined with the tin man needing a heart you have the beginning of a joke. But did Dr. Frankenstein have to find a heart for his monster? (I thought he just needed a brain). And Santa Clause just doesn’t fit at all.

  3. Bill A Dec 20th 2013 at 12:56 pm 3

    Santa needs a heart to make a flush (poker hand). Cheney (heart attacks/ heart replacement surgery) and the tin man (if I only had a heart) make sense to me. Frankenstein’s monster is made from multiple bodies, but Don (#2) is right, the monster needed a brain, not a heart. Still I got it and thought it was worth a smile…

  4. J-L Dec 20th 2013 at 12:59 pm 4

    Bill A, the question is why is Santa Claus in there? I mean, how is he associated with hearts, other than playing poker (which, to be honest, isn’t often associated with Santa Claus)?

  5. Brent Dec 20th 2013 at 01:20 pm 5

    Maybe this is some fancy Christmas variant of poker where you say a list of the cards you want? Because announcing things like “I need a heart” to the table has to be one of the worst poker faces ever.

  6. Sue Dec 20th 2013 at 01:41 pm 6

    My guess is he felt he needed a comic with Santa in it since it is December and wanted something different and this is what he came up with. Maybe he saw it as a twist on kids asking Santa for the things they want.

  7. Ian Osmond Dec 20th 2013 at 01:50 pm 7

    Santa is actually talking about his cards. Nobody else is. Except maybe Frankenstein’s Monster. Cheney and the Tin Man both think he’s just making conversation.

    Why is it Santa? Because he’s really, really bad at poker. “Hey, everybody! I’ve got a one-in-four chance of making a flush! Everyone bet accordingly!” But I guess that makes it fair, since he always knows if his opponents are being naughty by bluffing or nice by not doing so.

    I bet it would have worked better with bridge, having him bid one heart, and having everyone else agree that one heart would be a good thing to have.

  8. Ian Osmond Dec 20th 2013 at 01:51 pm 8

    I’d also like to admire the telekinesis that everyone, but especially the Tin Man, demonstrates in keeping their cards hovering in the air.

  9. Brent Dec 20th 2013 at 02:20 pm 9

    Ian (7): Actually it makes more sense if it isn’t fair and Santa can’t read bluffing with his naughty/nice ability. In that case, it would be the other three arranging a game of poker with Santa who is really bad at poker, and has “lots of heart” for them to win off him.

    (And, yes, the trope with Frankenstein’s monster is looking for brains… but he seems to have one right now, and he’s not magic, he has a heart from a corpse and I can see it as maybe needing to be replaced.)

  10. Judge Mental Dec 20th 2013 at 03:45 pm 10

    I remember when this one was on comics.com the question came up as why Santa was one of the four players. It started to bug me that the prevalent “explanation” was that Santa already had 4 hearts in his hand.

    The “why Santa?” question is not why does Santa need another heart (we all get that), but why was Santa Claus chosen to be the fourth. Tin Man and Dick Cheney are readily identifiable as germane to the joke. While the Frankenstein’s monster reference is sort of a misfire, you can still sort of see where Hilburn was going, despite the flawed thinking.

    But Santa Claus seems just so arbitrary. If he simply wanted a Christmas personality in order to be timely, The Grinch would have been a better choice, as while he had a heart, it definitely was faulty. My guess is that Santa Clause was one of the easier choices to draw and be easily identified.

  11. Elyrest Dec 20th 2013 at 05:26 pm 11

    Judge Mental - You are right - the Grinch would’ve been a much better choice than Santa. He would’ve fit right into the group with the heart comment too.

  12. jjmcgaffey Dec 20th 2013 at 07:46 pm 12

    Maybe because Santa does have a heart, in the sense that the others are taking it, so he must be talking only about the cards? Weak, but I think plausible.

  13. PepperjackCandy Dec 21st 2013 at 12:36 am 13

    Worst. Poker night. Ever.

    Particularly since they are clearly playing “Go Fish.”

  14. Kamino Neko Dec 21st 2013 at 01:50 am 14

    Re: The topic line - Cheney’s had two major publicized heart surgeries in the last 4 years - in 2010, he had a Left Ventricle Assist Device implanted (which meant he no longer had a heart beat, since the LVAD continuously moved the blood through his body) and last year, he had a heart transplant. The first was in the news because it was a HUGE technology leap, and the latter, because there was some debate about whether he should have been prioritized over others waiting for transplants. (Both, of course, were perfect fodder for Dick Cheney Has No Heart jokes.) So, it’s not as dated as you’re saying.

  15. Powers Dec 21st 2013 at 08:45 am 15

    Also, someone needs to learn the order in which people read speech bubbles. If you want something up top to be read first, you’ve got to put it farther above the other bubbles than that.

  16. Brent Dec 21st 2013 at 10:08 am 16

    PepperjackCandy (13): And Santa apparently has no idea how to play that either.

  17. mitch4 Dec 21st 2013 at 12:12 pm 17

    I mostly agree with Judge Mental #10 on the “why was Santa chosen?” issue — he’s not identified with any other, punning, sense of needing a heart. But I don’t think there is a more-specific basis for him in particular beyond topicality.

  18. Lola Dec 22nd 2013 at 02:02 pm 18

    Yep, Grinch would have been better unless there’s sub-joke in here that we’re all missing. Maybe he was afraid of being sued by Dr. Seuss’s estate.

  19. furrykef Dec 24th 2013 at 07:22 am 19

    I don’t like the word balloon placement. I actually read Santa’s line third instead of first.

    As for Go Fish, you realize players are trying to match ranks, not suits, in that game. You can’t ask for a heart; you ask for a king or a ten or something. Granted, announcing what your hand is before the showdown in any form of poker is always a very bad idea (and nowadays it’s against the rules in most cardrooms, though of course casual games may differ).

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