Cidu Bill on Dec 23rd 2013


Filed in Bill Bickel, Bizarro, CIDU, Christmas, Santa Claus, comic strips, comics, humor | 33 responses so far

33 Responses to “236”

  1. Richard Dec 23rd 2013 at 12:43 am 1

    In the stone age, all the gifts were heavier because there were all made out of stone.

  2. chipper Dec 23rd 2013 at 12:48 am 2

    Yes to Richard #1… as well as the sleigh itself.

  3. guero Dec 23rd 2013 at 12:51 am 3

    Because all the toys were made of stone? I don’t know. But isn’t this venturing into the same anachronistic universe as B.C.?

  4. Proginoskes Dec 23rd 2013 at 02:52 am 4

    But there were fewer people around in the Stone Age, right?

  5. minorannoyance Dec 23rd 2013 at 03:13 am 5

    Yeah, stuff made of stone makes sense.

    I was trying to find something connecting to old-school muscle cars.

  6. Brent Dec 23rd 2013 at 03:32 am 6

    guero (3): This would be the same universe as The Flintstones. The B.C. universe is so broken that it onlt makes sense as a distant post apocalyptic future, with B.C. referring to the character, not the time period.

  7. Kilby Dec 23rd 2013 at 06:31 am 7

    It took me a long time to get the sixth Easter egg. I saw the dynamite in the trees, the deer licking pie, K2 on the upper left corner of the house, bird under the sleigh, and the spaceship in the upper right corner right away, but did not see the eyeball in the trees until just now.

  8. Olpera Dec 23rd 2013 at 08:35 am 8

    The elf who’s strapping the sack to the rear has an interesting resemblance with some German sort of gentleman - or not.

  9. Bob in Nashville Dec 23rd 2013 at 08:38 am 9

    Thx, Kilby. I saw the eyeball yesterday but gave up on the K2 until I read your comment.

  10. Sili Dec 23rd 2013 at 08:54 am 10

    The eyeball took me a while, too.

    What lovingly drawn reindeer buttholes, by the way.

  11. chuckers Dec 23rd 2013 at 09:02 am 11

    I understood this comic as “back in my day I had to deliver toys uphill, both ways, in the snow!”

    But heavy stone age toys works as well I guess.

  12. wkiraly Dec 23rd 2013 at 09:28 am 12

    Man, stone legos and dolls were really heavy!

  13. mitch4 Dec 23rd 2013 at 09:34 am 13

    There’s that odd system of giving weights in units of “stone” — I think largely in Britain and largely for people’s body weight, but maybe not exclusively.

    But I don’t know the conversion factor. Would 236 stone be a specially notable weight of something?

  14. Morris Keesan Dec 23rd 2013 at 11:07 am 14

    One stone is 14 pounds (avoirdupois), so 236 stone is 3304 pounds, not particulary notable, except that I’ve only ever heard stone used as a unit of weight for people, and a 3304-pound person would be quite remarkable.

    When I saw this yesterday, I understood the joke, and didn’t find it particularly funny. My immediate reaction was to think that, in the stone age, Christianity hadn’t yet been invented, and I think it was at least a thousand years after that before the “Santa Claus” character.

  15. The Bad Seed Dec 23rd 2013 at 11:16 am 15

    But - in addition to their being a whole lot fewer people back then - you could give a stone-age child a couple of pebbles and he’d be entertained, so a smart Santa wouldn’t have to weigh down the sled too much.

  16. User McUser Dec 23rd 2013 at 12:05 pm 16

    Given that there were apparently 300 million people* on the planet in 1AD (this isn’t “the stone age” but arguably you can’t have Christmas without a Christ…) and assuming that 100% of these people were “good**” and Santa brings them each a 10 lb rock-based gift, that’s 3 billion pounds.

    Flash forward to 2013 with ~7 billion people on the planet. Again assuming 100% goodness**, if Santa brings each one a 1 lb plastic toy, he’s still carrying more than 2x the load than he did 2012 years ago.

    *”But User McUser,” you’re probably shouting to your monitor right now, “Santa only delivers to children!” To which I reply; we’re all somebody’s children. Also, shut-up. :P~

    **While there’s no accurate historical data on the percentage of nice -v- naughty over time, we can probably safely assume that naughtiness has either remained constant or has decreased with time. Therefore as population goes up, the number of gifts in the sleigh must also increase.

  17. Morris Keesan Dec 23rd 2013 at 12:34 pm 17

    But Nikolaos of Myra (later “Saint Nicholas”) wasn’t born until 270 CE (per the Catholic “Book of Martyrs”, as cited by Wikipedia), and probably wouldn’t have started magically delivering toys in a flying sleigh until after his death in 343 CE and subsequent elevation to sainthood, so the population in the year 1 CE isn’t really relevant. And even if Santa delivers to adults, he still only delivers to Christians (or people who are sufficiently Christian to do the gift thing on Christmas), and there weren’t any Christians until after about 30 CE, and even then they were a tiny percentage of the population of Earth.
    I don’t have figures for religious population in 2013, but my 2013 World Almanac has estimates for mid-2011, showing about 2.3 billion Christians in the world, not 7 billion.

    None of which argues against your main point. If we take the number of Christians in the world in whichever year it was that the then-Pope decided to graft Christmas onto Saturnalia, and therefore that shepherds must have been outside at night with their flocks in December, contrary to all prior and subsequent sheep-tending practice, there are still enough more Christians now than then to suggest that Santa’s sleigh is carrying more weight than before, even with lightweight plastic vs. rocks.
    (Wikipedia suggests that a December 25 date was probably settled around the late 4th century CE, after the death of Nikolaos, so that would be a reasonable time for “Santa” to have started delivering gifts, even though he wasn’t “Santa Claus” until the late 18th century).

  18. Brent Dec 23rd 2013 at 02:02 pm 18

    But User McUser (16)! That’s not what I’m yelling about at all. I’m yelling that you don’t need Christ for this at all! Santa Claus is already an amalgam of various traditions of gift giving strangers… if he’s saying he was delivering presents in the stone age, than who’s to say what form or name he was doing it in then… even now, he turns into an old woman to deliver presents to Italy. And he does that for Epiphany! And these different versions of this iconic being also originate and are based from different locations, and are carried on different modes of transportation. So this can’t be said to be a single trip for the entire world either… this is an icon with multiple bodies delivering presents in different ways, some at the same time, others on different days entirely.

    Besides, there’s no way that the presents would ever fit on the sleigh without him extensively using bags of holding, which reduce the weight of the toys to zero. The only thing that would be an issue would be the weight of the stonepunk sleigh, and whether or not it had a hole in the floor for footpower assisted takeoffs.

  19. Morris Keesan Dec 23rd 2013 at 02:14 pm 19

    And, by the way, how many pigs pull the Hogfather’s vehicle?

  20. erikau Dec 23rd 2013 at 02:44 pm 20

    Morris Keesan, isn’t it 4? Tusker, Rooter, Gouger and ??

  21. Pinny Dec 23rd 2013 at 03:28 pm 21

    I interpreted it as an observation of how much more HP (RP?) the current flying reindeer have than the earlier models. 10 current reindeer have more pull than 236 of the earlier models. (And they have new safety features to, like a red safety headlight.)

  22. mitch4 Dec 23rd 2013 at 04:54 pm 22

    While there’s no accurate historical data on the percentage of nice -v- naughty over time, we can probably safely assume that naughtiness has either remained constant or has decreased with time.

    Ahem, are you overlooking the 20th Century?

  23. Boise Ed Dec 23rd 2013 at 06:31 pm 23

    Pinny [21], I love it!

  24. Treesong Dec 23rd 2013 at 10:40 pm 24

    mitch4, in The Better Angels of Our Nature Steven Pinker argues (persuasively, to my mind) that we really are getting nicer. On a per capita basis–which is what we’re talking about with percentages–WWII’s death toll of 55 million comes in 9th in a list of ‘(Possibly) The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other’. Mao Zedong comes in at 11, Stalin at 15, WWI at 16. The murder rate in the worst countries in the world is small compared to that in tribal societies; Western Europe is probably the safest place to live in the history of mankind. Slavery is officially banned everywhere, though the crime of human trafficking is alive and kicking. Torture is generally agreed to be a Bad Thing; if you do it, you have to pretend it isn’t torture. In the 68-year Long Peace since 1945, there have been no wars between developed countries (which were standard until the 20th century) except the 1956 invasion of Hungary, and no uses of nuclear weapons. And so on.

    A few years of massive crop failures from AGW-induced droughts and floods could reverse that trend decisively, but so far so good. I expect to be dead before they kick in.

    And I agree with Pinny: we have much higher-horsepower reindeer nowadays. JATO assists also have good effects.

  25. Brent Dec 24th 2013 at 01:55 am 25

    Maybe we should check the yellow stains on the roof for performance enhancing drugs?

  26. mitch4 Dec 24th 2013 at 10:46 am 26

    Treesong #24, indeed, even while I was posting #22 which you responded to, I had the thought “This will appear to fly in the face of Pinker”… (And actually that is a book I have seen reviewed, interviewed, and debated, but have not read.)

    But is his argument that progress has been monotonic? Would he — would you — accept that it has been largely upwards but with downturns and [the inverse of] blips? Then I would still submit that the roughly 100 years (overlapping calendar 19th and 20th centuries) of 1848 to 1952 were pretty much bad news in at least the West. … With some awfully good literature and music!

  27. Treesong Dec 24th 2013 at 10:31 pm 27

    mitch4, Pinker certainly doesn’t claim progress has been anything like monotonic; almost all his graphs of wars, genocides, etc. are quite jagged. But the trends are clear. I would countersubmit that the years 1930-1960 were horrible worldwide, with totalitarianism seemingly marching to triumph throughout Eurasia, but before that things only look like really bad news compared to the present. In the West there were wars between Napoleon and WWI but they were mild compared to what came before and after.

  28. Mark in Boston Dec 24th 2013 at 11:34 pm 28

    Those ARE JATO assists, not buttholes.

  29. Brent Dec 25th 2013 at 10:52 am 29

    Mark (28): Can’t they be both?

  30. harise Dec 30th 2013 at 07:16 pm 30

    easter eggs. I had no clue, I almost wore out my back button looking at each thing you mentioned, had to go twice for the eye and thrice for the k2. at first I thought Kirby had posted in the wrong thread.

    is it just this comic or others that will now be driving me crazy.

  31. Jeff S. Dec 30th 2013 at 08:06 pm 31

    harise, Piraro usually includes some easter eggs in his comic, Bizzaro. You can see how many are in the day’s comic if you look at the number above his signature.

  32. feuerstein Jan 5th 2014 at 07:50 am 32

    Regarding Santa Claus delivering gifts…

    I think he primarily delivers to whites in North America on Christmas.

    In many parts of Europe, the christchild delivers on Christmas eve. And St. Nikolas brings treats near the beginning of December.

    Ok, the delivieries have been spreading outside of North America, but that doesn’t make any less of a North American cultural tradition.

  33. Kilby Jan 6th 2014 at 04:58 am 33

    @ feuerstein (32) - The excessiveness of Santa Claus-onomics is very much “North American”, but the tradition goes back a lot farther than that; parts of it were imported by German immigrants. St. Nikolas always shows up precisely on the morning of Dec. 6th (his feast day). The treats are usually deposited (unseen, like the American Santa Claus) into shoes or boots left near the door (kids are normally required to give their shoes a thorough cleaning on the evening of Nov. 5th).

    In contrast, many German families engage a relative or a college student to show up costumed in full “Weihnachtsmann” regalia, to deliver the presents in person on the afternoon or evening of Dec. 24th. Other families arrange it so he “arrives” while the family was taking a walk, or during the kid’s naptime, leaving the bag on the doorstep.

    The “Christkind” (Christ Child) variation is also known in Germany, but is more prevalent in the south.

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