1. There is a brand of gum called Wrigeley’s Extra. It’s their sugarless gum. I guess the cartoonist saw a pack of that and then thought of how annoying he finds the sound of gum chewing and then imagined that it was not extra flavourful (which is what I think they want you to think of) but just extra loud chewing.

    And maybe I am the only one, but on first glance I thought these guys were air traffic controllers.

  2. I thought they were sports writer, probably baseball. And I agree with SB that it’s a riff on louts who smack their chewing gum.

  3. P.S. I think the only possible joke that could be rescued out of this revolting scene would be in the panel that Parisi forgot to draw, in which the man on the left commits some sort of violent retribution with that cup. The laptop(*) on the right is already covered in drool, a little coffee won‘t damage it any more than it already is.
    P.P.S. Judging from the laptops, “sportswriter” seems more likely, and looking at the calendar, Boise Ed is probably right with “baseball”, especially considering the number of those players that chew (gum and/or tobacco).

  4. @ B.A. – Considering how fast Slim was shoveling the food in, there wasn’t any chance for anything else to come out of his mouth, no matter how wide open it was.

  5. And adding to the list, I also thought air traffic control. But then realized they have fancy permanent consoles, not little laptops like these guys. So, more plausibly the press box at a sports event.

  6. @ Olivier – Ooops. My mistake, it’s not baseball, unless one counts the publishing lead time following the World Series. This panel was published on November 9th, which probably means that they are watching a football game. It’s just barely possible that the “chut” is meant to imitate a quarterback’s signal calling: the “ch” could be an obnoxiously aspirated “h” in “hut”. That still doesn’t qualify anything about this as “funny”.

  7. @Kilby, I didn’t think Olivier was getting into what sport it is, but just kidding on “Wrigley” being a name associated both with a sports venue and chewing gum.

  8. “That is probably the biggest pack of gum I have ever seen.”

    And that sent me down the wrong path ,for a while, looking for the meaning. I thought it might be the box his chiclet keyboard came in.

  9. Kilby: Considering how fast Slim was shoveling the food in, there wasn’t any chance for anything else to come out of his mouth, no matter how wide open it was.

    Very good point.

  10. If these are sports writers or air traffic control, why does the guy in the left have a Windows desktop?

  11. Olivier/Kilby/Mitch4 – And in case you didn’t know, both the gum and the field are named for the same man, William Wrigley Jr.

  12. B.A.: Desktop? It looks like a laptop to me. Oh, but you were problem seeing the little squares on the screen and thinking they’re Desktop icons. They could be buttons for a scorekeeping program. Anyway, baseball writers — and probably most football writer, these days — typically sit in a glassed-in press box either atop the stadium or hanging off the edge of the upper deck (as in Wrigley Field).

    That very long view from the tippytop can really gum up the works.

  13. B.A. Taking notes on the game for their story? (I don’t particularly think they’re sports writers; but the computers don’t seem a reason to decide that they’re not.)

  14. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect about this panel is the minuscule (virtually nonexistent) ration of “cartoonist composition time” vs. “reader analysis effort”.

  15. Ah, forgive the error. And to compound it, it turns out Sterling Morrison also spelled it with an ‘E’.

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