He got it. I don’t get it.

Cidu Bill on Jun 9th 2017


“Milk, butter, sugar, giraffe, cheese, honey, flour, I think I got everything.”

But what’s the joke?

Of course, the name of the strip, Nichtlustig, means “not funny”…

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor | 29 responses so far

29 Responses to “He got it. I don’t get it.”

  1. Treesong Jun 9th 2017 at 01:13 am 1

    Just incongruity. Could be a mailbox, a hippo, a lamppost, a cement mixer; anything inappropriate for supermarket shopping. The cartoonist just thought a teeny-legged giraffe would be funny and could fit in a shopping cart. Also a mailbox can’t look nonplussed.

  2. Kamino Neko Jun 9th 2017 at 02:35 am 2

    His shopping list has a giraffe on it, and he doesn’t consider this strange.

  3. Lambert Jun 9th 2017 at 02:43 am 3

    the man is totally at ease at having to buy a giraffe, *and* with finding on e in the supermarket.
    Just like a pound of butter

  4. Kilby Jun 9th 2017 at 04:53 am 4

    Just in case anyone was wondering: No, there aren’t any obvious “near miss” words in German that might have made this a case of “misreading”. It really is just a case of one surreal item in an otherwise normal list.

  5. Ian D Osmond Jun 9th 2017 at 07:20 am 5

    I think we’re just at a “How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?” sort of joke.

    (Two — one to hold the giraffe, and one to fill the bathtub with brightly-colored machine tools.)

  6. Bob in Nashville Jun 9th 2017 at 07:21 am 6

    Those before me have it. Standard absurdism of having a giraffe on a shopping list. Was it Dagwood who once received a shopping list with “tomato catsup” abbreviated as “tom cat” and came back with a bag of groceries cradled in one arm and a feline in the other?

  7. Powers Jun 9th 2017 at 08:31 am 7

    A brief Google search would seem to indicate that the Giraffe is a recurring motif in this strip. Or even a recurring character.

  8. furrykef Jun 9th 2017 at 08:37 am 8

    I think it might also be a play on the ambiguity of the term “everything”. The most obvious reading is “Now I have everything on my list”, but he might mean it like, “Well, now I have everything!“, with a sense similar to, “Well, now I’ve seen everything!

  9. Heather Jun 9th 2017 at 09:00 am 9

    Not merely the absurdity of having a giraffe on the shopping list — but that it was available in the supermarket as well. It’s the whole absurdity of the idea of a giraffe being an everyday, commonplace item.

  10. Olivier Jun 9th 2017 at 09:25 am 10

    KN@2 : to be fair, it’s on the list but also available at the supermarket ; stuffed toy ?
    Kid’s birthday ? The giraffe is the present, the rest is for the cake.

  11. ja Jun 9th 2017 at 09:58 am 11

    I liked the comic, but I liked Ian’s light bulb joke even more…

  12. James Pollock Jun 9th 2017 at 10:06 am 12

    He’s just going to get home, and have to turn around and come back for a box of giraffe helper.

  13. Swimming Man Burning Jun 9th 2017 at 11:27 am 13

    He was supposed to pick up some Giraf, the beer. The Frau spelled it wrong on the shopping list. His bad, he should have known what she meant. Must have gotten distracted when he saw the giraffes stocked on aisle 4.

  14. woozy Jun 9th 2017 at 11:57 am 14

    ” “How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?” sort of joke.

    (Two — one to hold the giraffe, and one to fill the bathtub with brightly-colored machine tools.)”

    That’s the elementary school version. The middle school version is

    “How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?”


  15. DemetriosX Jun 9th 2017 at 01:51 pm 15

    Giraffes are inherently funny. That’s relevant here. But this comic generally relies on absurdity.

  16. Jeff Lichtman Jun 9th 2017 at 02:11 pm 16

    What would the giraffe section of the supermarket look like? Would there be dozens of identical giraffes all on the top shelf because of space limitations?

  17. Proginoskes Jun 9th 2017 at 02:49 pm 17

    @ Ian D Osmond [5]: The punchline I’ve heard to that riddle is: “The fish.”

    And speaking of punchlines, I once heard someone (Henry Happ) come up with what should be a punchline but isn’t: “I didn’t even know that sheep *had* motors!”

  18. billybob Jun 9th 2017 at 03:24 pm 18

    “Just like a pound of butter”
    In the rest of the world, finding non-metric units of measure would be as unlikely as finding a giraffe with short legs.

  19. Cidu Bill Jun 9th 2017 at 04:20 pm 19

    Jeff Lichtman’s comment (15) reminds me o when the supermarket down the block was about to go out of business, but they were trying to disguise the fact (even though they were clearly reducing inventory): an entire row of the frozen food aisle was taken up by stuffed Olaf the Snowman dolls.

    Credit where it’s due, though, this was a cool (no pun intended) way of displaying them.

  20. Brian in STL Jun 9th 2017 at 06:07 pm 20

    So “Zuckerberg” means “sugar mountain”?

  21. Ooten Aboot Jun 10th 2017 at 08:06 pm 21

    I think the gag is in the giraffe’s facial expression, as it finally dawns on him (?) that this is a grocery store, not an exotic pet store. The lobsters tried to warn him.

  22. Kilby Jun 11th 2017 at 12:14 am 22

    @ Brian (20) - Correct, and not to be confused with “sugarloaf”, which is called a “Zuckerhut” in German (literally ’sugar hat’).

  23. larK Jun 11th 2017 at 10:15 am 23

    Yeah, everything is “hat” for Germans — Pizzahut, for example.

  24. Mark in Boston Jun 11th 2017 at 09:12 pm 24

    It SHOULD be Pizza Hat. Look at the logo! It’s a hat! Es ist ein hut!

  25. Meryl A Jun 13th 2017 at 01:49 am 25

    If the sugarloaf is or was the same as it was for the English in the 1700s it looked like a hat - it was cone shaped and wrapped in a blue-purple paper (and rather expensive). This was white sugar. Brown sugar was much cheaper and sold loose.

  26. Kilby Jun 13th 2017 at 02:52 am 26

    @ Meryl A (25) - The reason that sugar was (and is) traditionally wrapped or packaged in blue was to disguise any tinge of yellow from any remaining impurities (mostly caramelized sugar). Refining has improved to the point that sugar is nearly perfect, and pure white, but the traditional package colors remain.

    P.S. You can still buy sugar in loaf form in Germany. The only thing I know that it is used for is a traditional “fire punch“. The loaf is placed above the punch bowl, doused with brandy, and ignited. The brandy gets the fire started, after which just enough of the sugar burns to (slowly) melt and caramelize the rest into the punch. As the link explains, the process featured prominently in a 1944 escapist comedy film. The (continuing) popularity of the film may be the explanation why this punch is popular enough to warrant so much loaf sugar in local German supermarkets.

  27. DemetriosX Jun 13th 2017 at 04:47 am 27

    The shape of the sugar loaf goes back to the original refining process. The container the mass was poured into for its final cooling had that shape for some reason. While there probably are a very few grannies who grate sugar loaves while baking, I imagine Kilby is right that they’re still in the market because of the punch. The film (which is fun and very quotable) may contribute to the popularity, but I’d say its popularity is due to 1) it’s really good, 2) the person overseeing the punch gets to play with fire, and 3) it will get you really hammered.

  28. Kilby Jun 13th 2017 at 06:23 am 28

    @ DemetriosX (27) - The only times I’ve ever seen a “fire punch” in operation has been at Christmas markets. I don’t know anyone who actually owns a punchbowl “rack” suitable for holding the melting sugar. And the “hammering” effect is exactly why I’ve never bothered to taste the stuff.

    P.S. The “Zuckerhüte” that are currently sold in Germany are “straight line” cones with a rounded tip, which is merely an approximation of the original “bulging cone” shape used by the traditional refining process. The containers for the hot sugar mass were designed for maximum volume (hence the bulged-out walls), but also to allow the liquid molasses to filter down and flow out of the small hole at the tip of the cone. Another important feature is that when cooled, the form had to release the solid loaf of sugar. The narrowed exit reduced the amount of wasted sugar once most of the molasses was washed out.

  29. Meryl A Jun 20th 2017 at 02:19 am 29

    The discussion on the 18th century civilian yahoo group about sugar loaves recently decided that the color of the paper was to set off the white of the sugar - and that the paper was used for dyeing afterwards.

    When we were kids there was an ice cream parlor (actually a small chain - 3 locations I know of) which gave one a free ice cream on their birthday - popular location for kids’ birthday parties. They would put a sugar cube in the ice cream of the birthday person and light it on fire - I am guessing there had to be some sort of alcohol added to the cube for it to burn. I do remember it added a bad taste to the ice cream. I went to parties at the one near me and Robert at the one near him and they both did the same with the sugar cube. (I did not have a party there, just went once with my parents - would not go with my parents afterwards for my birthday due to the bad taste - and no, it was not the ice cream that tasted bad.)

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