A what in the what?

Cidu Bill on Oct 18th 2017


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Gasoline Alley, comic strips, comics, humor | 35 responses so far

35 Responses to “A what in the what?”

  1. Stan Oct 18th 2017 at 02:15 am 1

    Wow. I can’t see the point of this at all. To me, it looks like this cartoonist had no plan, unlike the Panamanian chap and his canal.

  2. Brent Oct 18th 2017 at 02:21 am 2

    If the question is why it’s not just “need in a haystack”… it’s so that the rhyming couplet at the end scans.

    A few words forward and a few words back
    It’s like looking for a needle in the ol’ haystack.

  3. Stan Oct 18th 2017 at 02:41 am 3

    Brent is right, there is a rhyming couplet there, but what has that got to do with palindromes other than you learn about both in English class? Also, looking for a needle in a haystack isn’t simple, as the intro to the couplet suggests.

    (PS Before people bring it up, I’m aware that it wasn’t a Panamanian who came up with the plan for the canal. I just wanted to make the reference clear. Apologies in advance.)

  4. Kilby Oct 18th 2017 at 04:34 am 4

    It’s not supposed to make sense, or be funny, it’s just supposed to be “cute”. In which it quite unfortunately succeeds. Ugh.

  5. Ignatz Oct 18th 2017 at 08:19 am 5

    I’m more interested in the fact that it implies that those two kids made up those old palindromes on the spot.

    A Toyota’a a Toyota.

    Go hang a salami; I’m a lasagna hog.

    I just made those up. Really.

  6. Kilby Oct 18th 2017 at 08:31 am 6

    @ Ignatz (5) - I assume that you are not aware of this book, or any of the 147k hits for the expression?

  7. Kilby Oct 18th 2017 at 08:48 am 7

    P.S. Perhaps that was just sarcasm @5. There’s also the song “Bob” by Weird Al Yankovic, which contains both lines.

  8. Mitch4 Oct 18th 2017 at 09:25 am 8

    Since the letters of TOYOTA in caps are individually symmetrical across a vertical axis, if you are viewing the front of a vehicle of that make in your rearview mirror, it will be labelled with well-formed and legible text. Sadly, they don’t include an indefinite article ;-(.

    Tho not perfect with reversible letters, a SUBARU nonetheless gives a useful message - - U R A Bus!

  9. Winter Wallaby Oct 18th 2017 at 11:22 am 9

    Kilby #6: I’m pretty sure that Ignatz wasn’t seriously claiming to have just made up the palindromes. I think his/her point was that the comic is pretty unrealistic, in that it shows kids just coming up with fairly long palindromes on the spot, one after another.

    I would be happy if I found the comic “cute.” But it just seems like a bunch of random palindromes to me.

  10. Winter Wallaby Oct 18th 2017 at 11:23 am 10

    Stan #3: “Roosevelt, a plan, a canal, pa Tlevesoor” just doesn’t scan as well.

  11. larK Oct 18th 2017 at 11:26 am 11

    Kilby @ 7: WOW!!!! I’ve had one of those moments where life is suddenly multifoldinously richer than you think. Thank you!!! Especially by linking only to the words, so I failed to recognize the song. I knew the song, I saw the video way back when, I JUST NEVER REALIZED IT WAS ALL PALINDROMES!!!

    The video was a pitch perfect parody of the Bob Dillion one for me, it didn’t need anything more. To discover it IS ALL PALINDROMES is just wonderful!! “Bob” — I GET it!! Weird Al is even more a genius than I thought (and I already thought he was a genius — his video for “Amish Paradise”, for example…). I’ve had a crazed happy grin on my face since connecting it all!

    :-) :-D 8^D

    I man, am regal, a German am I!

  12. fleabane Oct 18th 2017 at 12:10 pm 12

    I’m with Stan 100%. As a huge palindrome fan, I was just *stunned* is to how utterly pointless and off the mark all of this was. Honestly floored.

    Ignatz, I can buy stumbling across stressed - dessert by accident but simply making up phrases and asking *later* “do they work”, not so much. And they had to be well-known ones? No-one makes up well-known ones.

    But…. maybe … I just thought of something… I’ll make it a separate post.

  13. fleabane Oct 18th 2017 at 12:17 pm 13

    ALmost certainly *not* the intent, but *maybe*:

    They are taking well known ones and either changing the middle odd letter (so “rat” becomes “cat”) or adding a superfluous odd letter to a well-known even lettered one (adding “I” to “Ten animals slam in a net”).

    So *literally* “how do they do it”. Well, they look in the haystack (a well-known unoriginal palindrome) and seek the needle (a lynchpin center letter to be modified).

    But I doubt that was the joke. I think the joke was a rhyming couplet because … you know… word play is word play and rhyming couplets and palindromes are basically the same …..

    To which I say …. oog…. (or is it …. goo?)

  14. Scott Oct 18th 2017 at 01:52 pm 14

    Another book which we’ve had for a long time is “Rats Live on No Evil Star.” The books by that name on Amazon are novels and not the book I mean.

  15. James Pollock Oct 18th 2017 at 02:01 pm 15

    Anyone familiar with “The Lego Movie”?

    Go back and pay attention to the prophecy (it’s right at the front of the movie).

    Too much work? OK, fine. Here it is:

    (The LEGO Movie Prophecy)

    One day a talented lass or fellow,
    a Special one with face of yellow,
    will make the Piece of Resistance found
    from its hiding refuge underground,
    and with a noble army at the helm,
    this Master Builder will thwart the Kragle and save the realm,
    and be the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times,
    all this is true, because it rhymes.

  16. Wendy Oct 18th 2017 at 02:13 pm 16

    Well, I think it would have been much better if the author had come up with a palindrome to finish off the comic, instead of a rhyming couplet. Not that I can come up with one, mind you.

    James Pollock, I’m quite familiar with the prophecy, but what’s that got to do with this comic, except for the rhyming?

    And Kilby, thanks for the link to the book. It seems that author has several books on palindromes, plus at least one each of anagrams and tongue twisters. I love word play, so I may have to collect them.

  17. James Pollock Oct 18th 2017 at 02:39 pm 17

    “I’m quite familiar with the prophecy, but what’s that got to do with this comic”

    It points out how much emphasis people put on things that rhyme.

  18. Treesong Oct 18th 2017 at 02:56 pm 18

    If you’re really interested in palindromes, you need Howard Bergerson’s Palindromes and Anagrams, from Dover. It doesn’t have the funny illustrations of Rats Live on No Evil Star; I Love Me, Vol. I; If I Had a Hi-Fi; Madam I’m Adam and Other Palindromes; or Lid off a Daffodil. But it has more palindromes.

  19. Boise Ed Oct 18th 2017 at 03:16 pm 19

    Kilby [6]: It could be that Ignatz [5] had heard those palindromes long ago and his subconscious brought them to the fore. That has happened to me, thinking that I had some original thought only to find that it wasn’t.

    And it’s hard to think of palindromes without remembering Haydn’s Symphony No. 47.

  20. Mark in Boston Oct 18th 2017 at 07:49 pm 20

    Mr. Praline: I understand this IS Bolton.

    Owner: (still with the fake mustache) Yes?

    Mr. Praline: You told me it was Ipswitch!

    Owner: …It was a pun.

    Mr. Praline: (pause) A PUN?!?

    Owner: No, no…not a pun…What’s that thing that spells the same backwards as forwards?

    Mr. Praline: (Long pause) A palindrome…?

    Owner: Yeah, that’s it!

    Mr. Praline: It’s not a palindrome! The palindrome of “Bolton” would be “Notlob”!! It don’t work!!

    Owner: Well, what do you want?

    Mr. Praline: I’m not prepared to pursue my line of inquiry any longer as I think this is getting too silly!

  21. Stan Oct 19th 2017 at 12:36 am 21

    WW# 10 Ha, ha! However, although the canal was suggested by others earlier, according to the fountain of all accurate knowledge Wikipedia, it was an Italian who came up with the actual plan. “During an expedition from 1788 to 1793, Alessandro Malaspina outlined plans for its construction.”

    That’s not much help though. “Alessandro Malaspina, a plan, a canal, pa anipsalam ordnassela!” doesn’t scan much better.

  22. James Pollock Oct 19th 2017 at 01:57 am 22

    The original plan was for a canal through Nicaragua.

  23. Kilby Oct 19th 2017 at 05:13 am 23

    @ JP (22) - There were new plans to build that canal, but they seem to have stalled (and the article is outdated).

  24. Powers Oct 19th 2017 at 09:46 am 24

    I’ve never been satisfied with palindromes that ignore spaces and punctuation. “Madam, I’m Adam” is particularly infuriating in that regard, though I admit being charmed by the Panama Canal one. “Able was I ere I saw Elba” and the “Rats Live On No Evil Star” one are much more pleasing to my eye.

  25. Dan Sachs Oct 19th 2017 at 11:33 am 25

    I think everyone knows it took more than a man and a plan to build the Panama Canal. In fact it took:

    A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again (or a camel), a crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal – Panama!

  26. zookeeper Oct 19th 2017 at 12:02 pm 26

    with apologies -
    I think too much, It has been said.
    I think too much inside my head.
    Head my inside? Much too think I;
    Ben Said has it: much too think I.

  27. fleabane Oct 19th 2017 at 02:16 pm 27

    @26 okay, but:

    Smile wavering wings
    Above rains pour,
    While hopefully sings,
    Love of shorn sure,
    Sure shorn of love,
    Sings hopefully while,
    Pour rains above,
    Wings wavering smile.

    Is still better.

  28. Brent Oct 19th 2017 at 03:05 pm 28

    @fleabane: Shouldn’t you have said “Better still is” instead of “okay, but”? :)

  29. Winter Wallaby Oct 19th 2017 at 05:42 pm 29

    Stan #21: I guess it depends on what you think the relevant “plan” was.

  30. Dr. Shrinker Oct 20th 2017 at 05:02 pm 30

    This seems appropriate: https://youtu.be/-gW513E8_6I

  31. Stan Oct 20th 2017 at 09:09 pm 31

    WW #29 I was just trying to join in the fun you started. That’s all. You can have Roosevelt if it’s that important. Sorry.

  32. Mitch4 Oct 21st 2017 at 09:40 am 32

    There is a bar (I think they call it a nightclub) in Chicago called evilOlive. I’ve never actually been to it, but noticed the name passing by it many times.

    Some years back I looked up their web site, and the menu online was totally charming in featuring palindromic names for many of the food and drink items.

    Later yet, I looked again and all that charm was gone. All they seem to feature now is the expensive vodkas.

  33. Mark in Boston Oct 21st 2017 at 07:10 pm 33

    Pointlessly long palindromes can be found at http://longestpalindromes.blogspot.com/

  34. Brian in STL Oct 24th 2017 at 07:09 pm 34

    Mythbusters did “needle in a haystack”. Turns out that if you don’t mind destruction of the haystack, it’s not that hard. One way was to burn it and sift the ashes. Only worked with metal needles though.

  35. James Pollock Oct 24th 2017 at 08:10 pm 35

    My first inclinstion to find a needle in a haystack involves powerful electromagnets. Like that one Wile E. had that time he faced off against Bugs.

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