25 Comments

  1. I know that this is the joke, but I don’t find it funny that Janis is upset that her current figure pleases her husband, and that the figure she can’t get to (and is probably unhealthily underweight) doesn’t.

  2. @ Arthur – Quite true, but this strip was drawn over 20 years ago, before our society had a chance to develop such an enlightened philosophy. 😉

  3. Neither do I, however, it is a classic and well (re-)told. I had a similar discussion with another woman. Neither of us was happy with what our bodies were turning into with age, and neither of us could see anything wrong with the other person, judging by the compliments.
    …Oh, to be a cat!

  4. Cats of course can be overweight (and we even have a standard phrase for that), and I might maintain they can in some ways be aware of that. Needing to use the cushion steps instead of just jumping up onto the furniture. Not fitting on top of the printer, when their little “sister” still does. Granted, they probably don’t get self-conscious about it, or have “body-image concerns”.

  5. Oh just put the darn pencil shavings in a shaker, it’s really not more flavorful when you grind them fresh onto our plate.

  6. The Professor in the Larson cartoon (imprinting experiment gone wrong) could also be called
    “A Strange or Odd Duck”
    strange duck: A rather unusual, strange, eccentric, or peculiar person

  7. Arthur, I read that as Arlo appreciating the shape she was, not criticizing the shape she wishes she were. Janis’s body image issues are her own.

  8. The pencil shavings cartoon is no joke; there have been reports of “100% parmesan” being adulterated with cellulose from wood pulp.

  9. B.A., you might be right. My thinking was colored by some comics dad who prefers zoftig women (maybe from Rose is Rose?).

  10. My dictionary shows both spellings, but the “o” is listed for North America (where I live).

  11. Yes, zoftig hit my eye wrong. But it’s Yiddish, so spelling in English isn’t the be-all end-all. (I have frequently expressed my delight for zaftig women, to my spouse’s amusement.)

  12. Google ngrams shows zoftig at about a tenth the rate of zaftig. I will consider changing my usage.

  13. Brian, I do enjoy BCN! But really all I was saying was that there is a reason “fat cat” is such a familiar expression.
    I was a little saddened by this retrospective. My vet’s office changed the owner-portal provider and format, and when I next logged on to it there was a list of not just the current cats but every cat I have ever had and taken in to them.

  14. Daniel J. Drazen: Not just reports. Look at the ingredient list on your jar of Kraft Parmesan Cheese. It’s in there.

  15. There’s a good reason why the spelling with “a” is more common: the term is derived from the German word “saftig“, which means “juicy”. The initial “z” is an adjustment for English speakers, it preserves the correct pronunciation of an initial “s” in German.

  16. Since we’ve had some mentions of Carol Lay, here is her current issue, with some reflection on the popularity of zaftig vs thin goddesses.

  17. Doesn’t “zaftig” come to us by way of Yiddish? Yiddish is a dialect of German but it is written with Hebrew characters, so the word as we know it is more likely to be spelled as we hear it than with the German spelling. Similarly, “Oy vey!”

  18. And Rosten, in Joys of Yiddish, does spell it with an “a”. He’s not an authority on orthography, but he’s sufficiently well-known for my tastes.

  19. @ MiB – I wasn’t suggesting that the “Z” was “wrong”, I was just pointing out where the sounds came from (and therefore that the “a” is more accurate).

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