Cidu Bill on Jul 17th 2017


Are these ghosts of particular people we’re supposed to recognize?

Filed in Barney & Clyde, Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor | 35 responses so far

35 Responses to “Ghosts”

  1. Terrence Feenstra Jul 17th 2017 at 07:45 am 1

    I think not. But then I’m often wrong. But never in doubt.

  2. Terrence Feenstra Jul 17th 2017 at 07:52 am 2

    Message for James Pollock if you stop by here: Are you the James Pollock from Pierre, SD?

  3. mitch4 Jul 17th 2017 at 08:27 am 3

    Is this any more than a silly marriage-is-bad (or marriahe-is-a-bad-deal-for-the-man) joke?

  4. padraig Jul 17th 2017 at 08:38 am 4

    The Irish call that little voice “The Imp of the Perverse,” but I don’t know what he’s supposed to look like.

  5. John Small Berries Jul 17th 2017 at 09:05 am 5

    I thought from the outfits that perhaps the dude was supposed to be one of the Romantic poets (Shelley, Keats, Byron, etc.), but Google doesn’t turn up either “eternal shout” or “shout of despair” in their works.

  6. narmitaj Jul 17th 2017 at 09:11 am 6

    I don’t suppose the ghosts are meant to be Thomas and Jane Carlyle, as images of Thomas usually show him in a beard and Jane with straight hair, but they had a troubled marriage which allows me to report what Samuel Butler once wrote: “It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable and not four”.

  7. Freezer Jul 17th 2017 at 09:39 am 7

    Going by the comments, they’re existing characters that haven’t been seen in a while. I recall a similar confused kerfluffle a few years ago on 9 Chickweed Lane, where Juliette’s brother Roger hadn’t been mentioned in so many years, half the readers thought he was a new character.

  8. DemetriosX Jul 17th 2017 at 10:04 am 8

    So, did this strip give anybody else an earworm?

  9. larK Jul 17th 2017 at 10:36 am 9

    Not till you mentioned, thanks… :-/

  10. Kilby Jul 17th 2017 at 11:00 am 10

    I don’t think Freezer’s suggestion (@7) can be right: not only have I been following the strip for several years, the period costumes suggest historical figures, or possibly previous residents of the house. The closest I could come (to an alternative solution) was the German word “Attrappe“, which means “dummy” in the sense of “mockup” or “replacement”.

    P.S. @ Terrence (2) - We can’t all have an IBB to call our own. JP is a resident of Oregon, and I think he’s a native one at that.

    P.P.S. @ JP (not here yet) - Since I can’t travel to McMinnville this year, please go down next month and see the eclipse in my absence (yes, I’m jealous).

    P.P.P.S. @ DemetriosX (8) - Hasn’t hit me yet. Which song are you referring to?

  11. larK Jul 17th 2017 at 11:21 am 11

    “Hasn’t hit me yet. Which song are you referring to?”

    Kilby, haven’t you learned your lesson from the Karma Chameleon? (Ugh, now I got that back in my head…)

  12. Kilby Jul 17th 2017 at 11:48 am 12

    @ larK (11) - I had no idea what the “Karma” pun related to until I saw that thread here. I’ve heard the song, of course, but I never understood what they were singing, and had no inclination to spend even a nanosecond parsing the lyrics.

    P.S. If you like random misheard lyrics (and can read German), I recommend “Der Weiße Neger Wumbaba“.

    P.P.S. And I still have no idea what song you and DemetriosX are bandying about.

  13. DemetriosX Jul 17th 2017 at 12:17 pm 13

    @Kilby (12): The phrase “caught in a trap” doesn’t trigger anything? You can actually read it without hearing Elvis sing it?

    “Suspicious Minds”. Elvis’ last #1 hit. And looking at the Wiki article on the song, it’s been covered a billion times.

  14. Pete Jul 17th 2017 at 12:17 pm 14

    The ghosts are occasional recurring characters in Barney and Clyde. I don’t think they’re anyone specific, just the former owners of the house, a hundred years previously.

  15. fleabane Jul 17th 2017 at 12:22 pm 15

    Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds”???? That’s a heck of a reach. Otherwise I have no idea what song anyone is talking about either.

    Although what I find *really* confusing is how a person can say “I have no idea what song you are talking about” and another will simply not believe or understand such a simple statement.

    My first thought of the ghost was Oscar Wilde but … that doesn’t add anything to the strip.

  16. Bob Jul 17th 2017 at 12:24 pm 16

    A wedding ring might not be a trap, but the diamond engagement ring is a (De Beers) con. Looks like she has a combination engagement/wedding ring.

  17. fleabane Jul 17th 2017 at 12:38 pm 17

  18. fleabane Jul 17th 2017 at 12:40 pm 18

    “Tobias and Elspeth — the Haunts who inhabit the antique furniture in Barney’s palatial home. We like to think of them as the ancestors of George and Marian Kirby. “

  19. Brent Jul 17th 2017 at 01:09 pm 19

    I went: Trap => It’s a trap => Admiral Ackbar => Star Wars. Then “earworm” got mentioned and triggered “Empire Today”. It’s much better than the theme from “Nella the Princess Knight” which I found in my head this morning.

    Elvis didn’t stand a chance against this level of cheese:

  20. fleabane Jul 17th 2017 at 01:41 pm 20

    I guess I’m showing my age but I never got the General Ackbar “It’s a trap!” line joke. I mean…. it’s just a line. And a perfectly natural one. I’ve said “It’s a trap” thousands of times before the film and thousands of times after.

  21. James Pollock Jul 17th 2017 at 05:37 pm 21

    “‘Suspicious Minds’. Elvis’ last #1 hit.”

    Elvis’ last #1 hit was “A Little Less Conversation”.

    “I went: Trap => It’s a trap => Admiral Ackbar => Star Wars.”
    “It’s a trap!”, like “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”, is spoken by multiple Star Wars characters.

  22. Kevin Jul 17th 2017 at 06:40 pm 22

    “We like to think of them as the ancestors of George and Marian Kirby. ”

    George and Marion Kirby were the ghosts in the movie Topper played by Gary Grant and Constance Bennett.

  23. fleabane Jul 17th 2017 at 08:25 pm 23

    “The phrase “caught in a trap” doesn’t trigger anything? You can actually read it without hearing Elvis sing it?”

    Um… Yes?…. I’ve caught lobsters in traps. I’ve stepped in bear traps. I’ve seen Lynx caught in traps. And I’ve caught rings in traps. And I’ve heard that Elvis song. I don’t see why any one of those should be more prevalent then any other.

    And as far was earwormability “Suspicious Minds” is very hard to sing or hum or remember if you aren’t actually listening to it at the time. The star-spangled banner or the overture of the Marriage of Figaro has more worm potential.

    ” You can actually read it without hearing Elvis sing it?” Very, very, very, VERY easily.

  24. Mitch4 Jul 17th 2017 at 11:50 pm 24

    Besides the movie, Topper was a book, and later a television series. I was acquainted first with the TV show, and didn’t yet understand that various sources can make up their own ontology and rules for imaginary beings - - so confused for quite a while about how they could be invisible to everyone except Topper, but then shut him out too by “dematerializing”.. But other ghost stories didn’t know about this ability, how come?

  25. Mitch4 Jul 18th 2017 at 12:02 am 25

    The book was by a writer called Thorne Smith, apparently popular a couple decades earlier and considered somewhat racy. Among a dozen or so titles, I know I read The Glorious Pool and Turnabout.

    So there were a couple subterranean connections between Topper and later pop TV comedies. One was the actress Courtney Thorne-Smith, who I could not manage to prove must fade been

  26. Mitch4 Jul 18th 2017 at 12:08 am 26

    [sorry, keyboard problem]

    must have been named after the author Thorne Smith in some fashion.

    The other was the given name Cosmo, which I had never heard of except for this one person. Later I got to know Chicago artist Cosmo Campoli, a striking and eccentric figure, so the name was still special. And then out of the blue they used it for Kramer on Seinfeld.

  27. Winter Wallaby Jul 18th 2017 at 01:29 am 27

    fleabane #23: I don’t think it’s that there’s anything unusual about the line. It’s just that the way he says it is very distinctive.

  28. Boise Ed Jul 18th 2017 at 01:51 am 28

    Just this week, I saw a news story about a guy named Cosmo something. I thinkhe shot someone.

  29. Kamino Neko Jul 18th 2017 at 03:24 am 29

    Courtney Thorne-Smith’s parents are named Walter Smith and Lora Thorne. Which is the usual way one ends up with a hyphenated name.

  30. James Pollock Jul 18th 2017 at 05:01 am 30

    “Which is the usual way one ends up with a hyphenated name.”

    Except in Hollywood, where your name depends on the whether or not someone else with the same name is already in the union, or on your publicist’s opinion as to the marketability of the name your parents thought up before they even knew what market demographics you’d want to appeal to..

  31. Kilby Jul 18th 2017 at 05:37 am 31

    @ DemetriosX (13) - Thanks for the explanation, but no, I’ve never liked Elvis at all. I can recognize his voice when I hear it, but I wouldn’t be able to identify more than a few of the titles he has sung, and that would require more effort than I am willing to expend on the project.

    @ In addition to the German word (@10), I was also reminded of the Star Wars meme, but I couldn’t think of a plausible connection for it.

  32. Mitch4 Jul 18th 2017 at 08:49 am 32

    KN #23, thanks for filling in the facts. Obvi she wouldn’t really come by her hyphenated surname by combining some guy’s first and last name. Still, I couldn’t shake having that as a not really supportable feeling. ;-)

    And after all, maybe the parents were planning how to combine names, and said “oh let’s go with Thorne-Smith, it’ll remind people of the author of Topper.”

  33. Mitch4 Jul 18th 2017 at 08:50 am 33

    Thanks also Ed, yes the name Cosmo is not as rare as it seemed to me at one time. And wasn’t there a big fact based TV series… Cosmo’s?

  34. Derek Walsh Jul 19th 2017 at 06:50 am 34

    I don’t know the strip, but the husband is already on thin ice here, having failed to perform one of the simplest manly tasks. So while his wife is already thinking how nice it would be to have a real man around the house (and has spent a few minutes getting used to not wearing a wedding ring) he decides to make a stupid anti-marriage joke?!
    He’s clutching his pillow in the last panel which presumably means he’s been banished to the spare room, and of course is the sort of person that needs his own hypoallergenic pillow.

  35. Olivier Jul 20th 2017 at 09:14 am 35

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