1. This is a bit of a stretch, This is what a lady of the night should say when cancelling an appointment, not an office worker.

  2. FBS, I take it you’ve never had a cube job in a multi-billion dollar corporation. If you had, you’d know that there are many days when a noose seems a necessity. Personally, I was more inclined toward applying toward management rather than myself, but horses for courses.

  3. Of course that’s the joke. What’s with all the posts lately where there’s an obvious, if minor, joke and Bill has to ask “what’s the joke?” It’s right there. It’s described in the title.

    I agree with Mitch4; literalizing idioms is one of the most ancient forms of illustrated comedy. What’s not to get?

  4. Pretty straight forward: Regardless of how he got into the situation, now he can’t get to his next appointment. It would be too long / embarassing / inapropriate to explain, so he tells his colleague to use an excuse. The first excuse he thinks of is strangely not a lie at all.

    The absurdity of the situation got a chuckle out of me.

  5. Now that the joke has been explained, let’s proceed to the next riddle: figuring out the guy’s name. I’m sure it won’t take most of you more than a second or two.

  6. In this case, I’d give Bill a pass if he’s not from an office and business background. Here’s what I think: The topic/context of “Cornered” is office work (as in “corner office”). To really laugh at this panel, a person has to have the experience of “I got hung up …”, in the business context, deeply embedded in their brain and belly from years and years of exposure and/or usage. “I got hung up …” is a common phrase in nearly the same order of magnitude of occurrence as “I’ll get right on it.” “I’ll get right on it” is a business phrase. People at home used to say something like “I’ll get to it right away.” “I got hung up” and “I’ll get right on it” have made it into the TV-watching segment of the general populace, but they may still not have the deep gut sensation of the two phrases.
    (If you don’t have a deep gut sensation at hearing either of those, then you are not likely to have the laugh I had at reading this panel the second time*.)
    *sometimes, I have to sit for a moment, with a comic I DO understand, before the laugh spontaneously pops out.

  7. Kevin A opines: The topic/context of “Cornered” is office work (as in “corner office”)

    I agree, and would add that those times it goes outside, the setting is very often a street corner.

  8. Wasn’t there a Charles Addams one with the butler on the phone and only the lower legs and shoes of the hanging one? “So sorry, I believe he’s been hung up”. Or something like that. Funnier, anyway.

  9. Chak, once you write “Charles Addams already did it,” do you really have to add that his was funnier? His was always funnier.

  10. I thought the Charles Addams one wasn’t a pun on hanging but simple the butler was showing proper decorum of saying his employer, how had just existed the mortal existence by his own hand, was otherwise engaged without going into details.

    Or maybe I’m confusing it with the woman in an armchair and a smoking revolver and her husbands body on the floor, speaking on the phone and explaining her husband would not be able to attend a dinner party that friday.

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