19 Comments

  1. Some dogs are really mistrustful if they can’t see someone’s eyes because of sunglasses. Usually it’s strangers though. Also that doesn’t explain why the dog is talking, but it’s all I can think of.

  2. You think the dog isn’t going to answer because dogs can’t talk. But it turns out the dog isn’t going to answer because it’s mad about something. Somewhat weak in the “amusing subverting of expectations” department, since in comics I don’t have a strong a priori expectation that dogs can’t talk. But still mildly amusing for me.

  3. Hmmm.. I thought the them/they referred to the sunglasses. But may the them/they is being used in the singular?

  4. Perhaps the dog is lying on the sunglasses? Punishing the standing-up sheet of paper for some transgression.

  5. I share in Folly’s thought that the dog, as well as the seated person who is conversing with the dog, are both referring to Honey with the they/them singular.

  6. I initially read this much like Winter Wallaby. Moreover, I interpreted the seated figure (who appears diminutive) as a child and the figure looking for the glasses as a parent. So more than just subverting the expectation that dogs don’t talk, I thought the comic was subverting the trope of the cartoon dog that communicates and/or participates as an equal when alone with children, but is a normal dog when adults are present. This turned the strip into a sort of wall-breaking acknowledgement that both non-canine characters were aware that the dog would only talk to the child. I thought this was a great setup for the final frame where we learn that the dog isn’t talking to the parent because it only talks to kids– rather, the dog won’t talk because it is angry at the parents. As far as the “they” was concerned, I thought it referred to both parents. Not only did I find this funny, I thought the whole thing was rather clever.

    Then I read the comic again, and realized I had missed “Honey,” What kid calls a parent, “Honey?”

    So now I guess that makes this a CITIUBNINSS (a comic I thought I understood but now I’m not so sure) for me.

  7. I laughed. None of the apparently confusing bits seemed confusing to me. Singular “they” makes sense to me — the gender of the person who is looking for their sunglasses isn’t relevant to the joke, so it’s not specified. The seated person is the partner of the the person looking for the glasses. I and my wife both ask the cats for help looking for things, so I get why someone would do that; they never help because, whether or not they understand English (they totally do), they don’t speak it.

    In this case, the reason the dog won’t answer the standing person isn’t because the dog can’t talk: it’s because the dog is mad at them.

    I thought it was funny.

  8. This form of the talking dog joke is at least 90 years old. When I was a wee tad, back in the day, it involved a guy trying to sell his dog as an act by asking a bunch of questions whose answer always sounded like “Ruff”.
    After they get tossed out, the man chides the dog for his performance, and the dog replies “You were asking the questions.”

  9. Downpuppy, I remember that joke ending with “Ruth!” as the dog’s answer to who is the best ball player ever. Then after getting kicked out, the dog says “Maybe I should have said Dimaggio.

    As far as the comic, I agree with WW’s assessment. I thought it was pretty funny.

  10. I wondered if the apology was needed for a little surgical op the dog went through. If that happened to me, I’d be mad, too.

  11. ianosmund: ” I and my wife both ask the cats for help looking for things”

    I ask our (presumptive) house elf or elves, and always take care to add that hiding it was a very good joke, but I would appreciate it now if it could after all be returned. And it almost always is.

    (Yes, I really do this; I don’t claim to actually *believe* in their existence, but as a good Fortean I don’t disbelieve either, and it doesn’t cost me anything to give it a try.)

    I don’t think our cats would help. I mean, I like cats, but house elves are more reasonable if you meet them halfway.

  12. MarkM/Downpuppy: The version I know goes like this: A man walks into a bar with his dog. The bartender says, “We don’t serve dogs”. Man: “This dog is special: he can talk!” Bartender: “Sure he can. Tell you what: convince me he can talk and you can stay.” Man turns to dog: “What does sandpaper feel like?” Dog: “Rough!” Man: “What’s on top of a house?” Dog: “Roof!” Man: “Who was the greatest ballplayer who ever lived?” Dog: “Ruth!”

    And the bartender throws them out of the restaurant.

    As they’re walking down the road, the dog says, as Mark recalls, “Maybe I should have said Dimaggio?”

    I love that joke.

  13. Coincidentally, I was just thinking of the gag in a W.C. Fields movie when Fields sells his dog.

    He goes into a bar with his dog.
    Fields, to the dog: “What will you have?”
    The dog: “Milk, in a saucer.”
    Fields, to the bartender: “The dog wants milk, in a saucer.”
    There ensues some discussion of the talking dog, and eventually Fields agrees to sell the dog for a lot of money.
    As the buyer goes to lead the dog away, the dog says to Fields, “Did you just sell me? Just for that, I’m never going to speak again.”
    Fields mutters to nobody in particular, “He means it too.”

  14. beckoningchasm – Because up to now everything was fine.” But I heard it about a child who refused to talk not a dog and he was talking about his dinner.

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