22 Comments

  1. When people are out walking their dogs, and they spot a congregation of geese, they often wonder what the geese are doing there. Did they get lost while migrating?

    And their dogs make a lot of noise, too. But the geese just ignore the dogs and the humans, and go on their merry way.

    It may seem like the geese have given up on migrating, but they’ll get there eventually, and in their own time. In the meantime, they’ll just ignore the gawkers and the barkers.

  2. I don‘t think that this has anything to do with geese, they just happen to be the characters that Gilligan used to make the point of his allegory. In real life, they could have been (*) blacks, gays, Jews, Latinos, women, or whatever minority group might elicit such aggressiv and intolerant behavior from a group of mainstream (white, heterosexual, male) idiots in a bar. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really make any of this funny. I just like the way the three ignore it all and go along their own way.
    P.S. (*) – To avoid giving any one group priority, I put them in alphabetical order.

  3. I agree with @J-L, it’s at least partly a reflection of how domesticated dogs will frantically bark at things, but actually be harmless–all bark and no bite.

  4. “Don’t be such a silly goose!” But they are the calm, collected ones. As has been noted.
    Do people join Kilby in seeing this as a bar? I rather thought coffee bar. Any customer seen drinking seems to have a mug, not a glass. Though hard drinks could explain some of the behavior, granted.

  5. Geese are often quite aggressive and attack people. The dogs should be less complacent, or one day they might find themselves in a world of pain.

  6. I think the comic is partly about the crowd of regulars being bored and with nothing to say to each other, only waking up when Strangers from Outside show up and give them something to unite against. But the Strangers from Outside are just passing through from the big diverse wide world and soon leave, continuing on their enormous, risky and interesting transcontinental adventure, leaving the bar regulars stuck in Nowheresville gazing into their mugs like every other day, year and decade. The bullying, unfriendly talk of how a bunch of dogs is a big threat is mostly empty hot air.

    This interpretation would be more plausible if the first panel had been identical to the last, though.

  7. @ Mitch4 – I saw it as a bar, but then it is called Pooch Cafe so I guess it is supposed to be a coffee place.

    As for goosing – which seems to have a ton of different definitions, some quite rude, I should think using your hand to prod someone between the legs is called goosing because geese are 1) liable to attack and 2) of such a height and with such long, arm-like necks that their beaks are naturally liable to whack you in the groin-buttock interzone area.

  8. We have some family history with geese.

    I’ve always wanted to go up to a flock of geese and say “My name is Bill Bickel. You attacked my brother-in-law. Prepare to die.”

  9. @ narmitaj – “This interpretation would be more plausible if the first panel had been identical to the last…
    I think your explanation works fine. Except for the geese entering, the scene in the first panel is identical to the last.

  10. That’s racist of you, Kilby. Only white, straight, males behave like that when faced with “an other”? I’m sure a group of black men would behave the same if a Latino showed up in their favorite hang out. I stopped in a market near work, in the Hispanic part of town, and got the same treatment from at least one other customer. And I guarantee black and Latino straights would be just as bad, probably worse, as white straights if a group of obviously gay men came in.

    And it’s sexist, too. How do you know that known of these dogs are female?

  11. @Todd: I’m 99+% positive that all of the dogs (regulars in the strip) have been repeatedly identified as male over the years, for what that’s worth.

    More generally: I think bringing up human-type racism/sexism/etc.analogies as an overt intention is overthinking this one. Poncho and pals (even the wimpy little purse-dog Poo-Poo are bored and decide to build street cred (sniff cred?) with each other by hassling strangers, who (unlike real-life geese of my acquaintance) are placid and self-assured enough to ignore them as all bark and no bite; this depresses them as they realize they are not even good at being threats to outnumbered outsiders.

    Said strangers could have been cats, squirells, birds, veternarians or mailmen (all of them generally antagonists to the dogs in this strip) Geese just perhaps seemed funnier and fresher to draw. I don’t think we have to assume a one to one analogy of geese equaling gays/Blacks/women/Moslems/FreeMasons/whatever to get a very mild smile out of a slice of very mild daily dog life, promoting a very mild smile.

  12. No, at least two are female. Droolia, the bull mastiff, lusts after Poo-Poo the tiny Bichon Frise. One of them, I think Boomer, turned out to be female when she had puppies (to the surprise of everyone).

  13. @ Todd – Yes, racist behavior can occur in any direction, but having defined the potential minorities on one side, I needed a typical majority for the other. Having never read this comic (outside of CIDU), I had no idea whether any of the dogs were in fact female (or black, or gay).

  14. @Brian in STL: I meant to specify that all of the dogs depicted in the Cafe in this one particular Sunday strip are male. You are correct that Droolia (not in the Cafe today) is female, and I recall at least one or two other female dogs showing up for a one-off gag (something about Poncho’s having been neutered) a year or so ago; there may be minor instances I dont remember.

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