Cidu Bill on Aug 9th 2017


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor | 18 responses so far

18 Responses to “Shark”

  1. James Schend Aug 9th 2017 at 12:19 am 1

    Wants to find out if it’s actually a harmless dogfish before getting wet? I dunno.

  2. Arthur Aug 9th 2017 at 12:28 am 2

    The guy’s being eaten by a shark, and the lifeguard is getting
    bogged down in petty details.

  3. James Pollock Aug 9th 2017 at 12:47 am 3

    It’s such a long ways down and a long ways out, the lifeguard wants to make sure it’s worth the effort.

  4. fleabane Aug 9th 2017 at 01:07 am 4

    Is this a New Yorker cartoon?

    I think this is supposed to be vaguely therapy. “I feel X”. “I see. Could you describe X?” Or how this flows into general modern communication. In writer’s groups we get a lot of “Can you redo do this to make me *feel* it? Can you describe it.” and in online discussion “you need to describe the phenomenon rather than just dismissing it”

  5. fleabane Aug 9th 2017 at 01:16 am 5

    … or tech support….

  6. Kilby Aug 9th 2017 at 03:43 am 6

    fleabane beat me to the question @4. It’s not just that it’s drawn in monochrome, it also has that inscrutable, slightly elitist tone.

  7. Winter Wallaby Aug 9th 2017 at 04:14 am 7

    I thought this was pretty funny. Arthur has it.

    To elaborate, if you report to the police that, e.g. your wallet was taken by a mugger, the police will ask you if you can describe the mugger. Here, the person is reporting that they are getting eaten by a shark, and the lifeguard is treating it like he’s going to fill out an incident report, rather than rushing out to help.

  8. DemetriosX Aug 9th 2017 at 05:55 am 8

    Actually, I think fleabane might be closer @5. This feels like tech support going through a script to resolve a problem.

  9. Mitch4 Aug 9th 2017 at 08:09 am 9

    H. Bliss does sometimes appear in the NYer, but also has a daily syndicated panel. I must have signed up at his own site, as I get the panel in a separate email every day. I may be just confused, but I think I recall seeing a monochrome version in that email and then the same cartoon on the site in color. (Which on further thought would be a poor way of rewarding his own fans.)

  10. Mitch4 Aug 9th 2017 at 08:11 am 10

    Hmm, I thought of it in terms of the police interviewing a witness or even the victim.

  11. Mitch4 Aug 9th 2017 at 08:19 am 11

    (As WW said at 7)

    The tone or maybe milieu that Kilby and others cite in terms of the New Yorker, seems to me real but resembling Nick Galifianakis sketches… which turn out to be connected with the Carolyn Hax advice column… So with the Bliss panels I keep thinking I want to read whatever piece of writing this was drawn to illustrate.

  12. James Pollock Aug 9th 2017 at 11:20 am 12

    “This feels like tech support going through a script to resolve a problem.”

    Not at all. Tech support asks you specific questions with definite answers, not open-ended ones like this.
    I mean, that’s what they do if they’re any good at it.

  13. Kilby Aug 9th 2017 at 01:55 pm 13

    @ mitch4 (11) - The neat thing about Galifinakis’s “Nick & Zuzu” is that (roughly) 99.44% of his panels are funny and stand on their own(*), but in addition they work to compliment Hax’s column. In contrast to that, I cannot recall ever noticing a connection between any one of the New Yorker’s cartoons with the surrounding article. The panels always seemed singularly random and independent both in theme and tone. In any case, they were always the primary reason that I ever bothered to flip through an issue.(**)

    P.S. (*) The remainder show up here, of course.

    P.P.S. (**) There used to be a (lost since discontinued) feature that I really miss in the New Yorker: the little text items occasionally used as filler at the end of various articles. In many cases, these were funnier than most of the cartoons, and they were always more entertaining to read than the article preceeding them. Maybe that’s why they were dropped.

  14. Kilby Aug 9th 2017 at 01:56 pm 14

    P.P.P.S. That “lost” in the P.P.S. was supposed to be “long”.

  15. MikeK Aug 9th 2017 at 02:54 pm 15

    Back to the cartoon, I think it’s the lifeguard’s way of saying “You want me to come out there and fight off a shark? Are you nuts??”

  16. John Small Berries Aug 9th 2017 at 03:16 pm 16

    Tech support asks you specific questions with definite answers, not open-ended ones like this.

    Although my job isn’t tech support, I do occasionally have to support end users directly. And about 95% of the time they start out with a description so vague that you do have to ask some “open-ended questions” to help narrow down what the actual issue is. For example:

    “My computer has a problem.”
    “Okay, what kind of problem are you having?”


    “The internet is broken.”
    “What do you mean by ‘broken’?”

    You don’t start right away with “Is your computer plugged in?” or “What’s your IP address?”, because there are a LOT of things that can go wrong, and many of them can produce similar symptoms - so even if you do get a more specific complaint, you often have to drill down from general questions to more precise ones to figure out the actual root cause.

    If you’re very lucky, you get something right off the bat that you can ask a more focused question about, like:

    “I got an error message on my computer.”
    “Okay, what exactly does the message say?”

    (In that particular example, though, most of the time the answer is “I don’t remember. I didn’t write it down, I just clicked ‘OK’.”)

    Even when support techs are working off a script, they usually do have to ask a few general questions at the beginning to help narrow down which section to go to (it does nobody any good to waste time asking a bunch of network-related questions when the problem’s with the user’s display hardware). Being “any good at it” doesn’t generally include reading minds in order to immediately know the issues faced by users who aren’t computer-savvy enough to begin with a specific complaint.

  17. Brent Aug 9th 2017 at 06:24 pm 17

    Clearly the lifeguard wants to know if it’s Skoora, the Gentle Shark. And how Skoora is taking it.

  18. Meryl A Aug 15th 2017 at 03:10 am 18

    I had the same thought as Mitch4 - crime scene question.

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