Cidu Bill on Aug 31st 2017


Filed in B.C., Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor | 15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Deterrent”

  1. Arthur Aug 31st 2017 at 12:45 am 1

    The suggestion is that Clumsy is ugly enough to turn away

  2. Ted from Ft. Laud Aug 31st 2017 at 01:45 am 2

    Is “deterrents” really the word he wanted - rather than “defenses”?

  3. John Small Berries Aug 31st 2017 at 02:02 am 3

    “Deterrent” is a perfectly cromulent word in that context.

  4. James Pollock Aug 31st 2017 at 02:36 am 4

    “Is ‘deterrents’ really the word he wanted - rather than ‘defenses’?”

    I don’t see any reason to doubt his choice of verbiage.
    “Deterrents” and “defenses” don’t completely overlap… there are some defenses that aren’t deterrent, and there are some deterrents that aren’t defenses (though this is the much smaller group.)

    It might seem more natural and obvious to talk about defenses, but it isn’t wrong to speak about deterrents, instead, especially if he actually means deterrents, which we can’t judge because we don’t know what they were talking about before, or what natural objects might have prompted this discussion.

    I mean, deterrents works better for the joke.
    (Way back when I was in the military, those of us who needed them were issued prescription eyeglasses. They were SO VERY unattractive that they were called BC glasses. (BC not referring to the coincidental comic strip that has prompted this recollection, but rather meaning “birth control”. Yes, they were that unattractive.) Fortunately, the AF issued us glasses, but allowed us to wear the ones we got as civilians.

  5. Arthur Aug 31st 2017 at 02:38 am 5

    Ted, “defenses” wouldn’t have worked with his punchline.
    And I agree with JSB.

  6. Stan Aug 31st 2017 at 04:04 am 6

    “…or what natural objects might have prompted this discussion.”

    Isn’t it that thing on the back of the lizard that prompted this discussion? Aren’t those type of things there to make lizards look bigger and frighten off predators, although they’re not really that effective if they were attacked. More of a deterrent than a defence when it comes to physical battles.

    (I’m sure it’s got a name and someone here will know it, but “thing on the back” is clear enough for now, I think.)

  7. Ignatz Aug 31st 2017 at 08:33 am 7

    Hands, Clumsy, you moron. We have HANDS.

  8. ja Aug 31st 2017 at 12:48 pm 8

    Defenses save you when you are attacked; deterrents keep you from having to fight in the first place. I think Clumsy prefers the latter.

    The choice of a dimetrodon in the first panel is probably not just a random ancient critter: while theories abound on the purpose of the sail, one possible purpose is simply intimidation.

    FWIW, while the coexistence of man and sauropods as frequently depicted in this strip is anachronistic, the coexistence of dimetrodons and sauropods is equally so…

  9. billytheskink Aug 31st 2017 at 01:35 pm 9

    Nice dimetrodon

  10. Kevin Aug 31st 2017 at 04:21 pm 10

    So does a skunk have a deterrent or a defense?

  11. James Pollock Aug 31st 2017 at 04:23 pm 11

    “FWIW, while the coexistence of man and sauropods as frequently depicted in this strip is anachronistic”

    I’m not sure we can pin down the timeframe of the last of the gronkosaurs with that kind of precision.

  12. Mark in Boston Sep 1st 2017 at 12:08 am 12

    Oh, deterrent. I thought he said detergent.

  13. ja Sep 1st 2017 at 10:02 am 13

    >>So does a skunk have a deterrent or a defense?


    The spray is a defense: in addition to the intense (and highly memorable) odor, the smell can can cause temporary blindness and make a predator ill.

    The pre-spray posturing, the lingering odor, and the warning coloration are all deterrents.

  14. turquoisecow Sep 1st 2017 at 12:24 pm 14

    His being unattractive deters any women from selecting him as a partner. Thus, he will not reproduce and pass on his genes. If this is extrapolated to the entire species, humans will eventually die out. We don’t need any natural predators, we’ll just stop procreating.

    As an insult, it’s humorous, but as actual genetic science it doesn’t seem to make sense. He’s implying that not only is Clumsy hideous, but every *other* male human is, including himself. Which seems unlikely, just from a mathematics perspective.

    *disclaimer - I am not a mathematician, nor even very good at doing math without a calculator.

  15. ja Sep 4th 2017 at 09:59 pm 15


    I don’t think there is supposed to be any genetic science involved here. If someone claimed, “cows are not turquoise,” all I would need to produce is a single turquoise cow to refute the claim: from a logic standpoint, the most straightforward way to interpret the sentence is “ALL cows ARE [not turquoise].” Similarly, Clumsy is saying “ALL humans HAVE [no deterrents],” or at least that is how Peter is choosing to interpret his statement. Peter then proceeds to intentionally conflate two different meanings of “deterrent” (”feature that intimidates predators/enemies” vs “unattractive feature that drives off the opposite sex”) as a rebuttal to Clumsy’s claim, pointing out that at least one human seems to possess deterrents. If ONE human possesses deterrents, it is sufficient to disprove the claim that ALL humans lack them.

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