1. Suppose the puddle weren’t there. Then we wouldn’t know to oddly literalize the saying , and it would probably seem to mean something in the course of business, maybe some missing funds – or a similar problem, of which we are only seeing a small part so far.

    But no. It’s not that familiar figure of speech. It has to be a literal berg of water ice, and we see the melted tip as the puddle.

  2. It’s odd. The ‘tip of the iceberg’ is normally the start of a bigger problem, so people would rarely refer to it as ‘only’ and not much to worry about. And having no one notice it’s missing would lead to even bigger problems, as there would be no indication at all that this larger issue is looming.

    I suspect Mitch is correct, that it’s an attempt to take a common idiomatic phrase used in business and make it literal to comedic effect. But as the meaning of that phrase has been undermined by dismissing is as no big deal, the joke doesn’t work.

    Good try, but it seems to me that this is a face plant.

    Unless I’m missing something. I await a better explanation.

  3. It doesn’t help, but whatever it was that melted the ice, you can see that the three employees are feeling the heat: they all seem to be sweating.

  4. If you slice off the tip of an iceberg visible above the waterline in order to carry it away and melt it, by the Lore of Physick the iceberg bobs up slightly so that a new appropriate amount of ice appears above the surface.

  5. These look like executive types, so surely they should not be allowed to accept tips? Even from a client who’d be pretty chill about it?

  6. Stan – I think the joke is exactly the use of a phrase which is almost always intended to mean impending trouble, in this case means no big deal. Not a laugh out loud joke, but I’ve seen far worse. I think the joke wasn’t to make a common phrase literal, it was to completely turn the implications of a phrase around.

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