28 Comments

  1. The trouble with the Andertoons is that “slotted spoon” does not seem entirely safe to me — I think it might have seen use as litter box sifter. Still not as worrisome as a sword, but not entirely negligible danger.

  2. Re the New York one:

    Because of the way the ceiling is drawn, it looked at first as though that was a speech bubble rather than a caption.

    In the Philly area, there are train stations where the train won’t stop unless someone wants to get off, or someone at the station signals for the train to stop. So, for me, it’s not as silly a gesture as it probably seems to many others.

  3. The line of the Metra system that I sometimes ride on also has Flag Stops. If you’re waiting at the station where there is an optional stop and want to board, you should be visible on the platform and, informally, need to look like you want to board. The waving is not mandated, but that is what many passengers do.
    If you board elsewhere and want to get off at a Flag Stop, tell the conductor! Plus, you must get on designated parts of the train, generally the first two cars. (The Flag Stop station has a shorter platform than standard.)

  4. >Agreeing with Arthur, I’d say the guy is assuming train drivers work like taxi drivers.

    That doesn’t make the joke any less funny. You learn pretty darn fast the trains don’t work that way in New York.

  5. @ Mitch4 – My objection to “slotted spoon” is that the term is unnecessarily awkward. Omit the lines from the drawing, and it could have been “The Ladle of Damocles“.
    P.S. Either way, it’s still an invitation to ask “Who were you spooning with?…

  6. If a slotted spoon is too iffy, why not hang a potato over him and title it “The Spud of Damocles”?

  7. I got a chuckle out of the Damocles one, until my ridiculous brain started analyzing (if you could call it that) it too much. A sword is a weapon, a slotted spoon is a serving utensil, not really similar at all. If they couldn’t stay in the same family, at least use an object that rhymes with “sword.” Although how one would illustrate the Fjord of Damocles is beyond me…

  8. I was at first puzzled then linguistically intrigued to see that our building engineer and the plumbing contractor were saying “we have a spare spud I can put in here” with reference to the main, bottom part of a flush toilet ceramic unit — the part with the bowl and the s-curve drain, but not the water storage tank and/or Regal-style pressure valve.

  9. In high school I was on the Debate team (which was also a class credit, so we had lots of prep timre). Each year there was a main national topic for the NFL (that’s National Forensic League – now reorganized as NSDA), and early on there would be a set of quotations and arguments that affirmative teams liked to use over and over again.

    I don’t remember which year it was, but one year the topic was “Resolved: That an international organization should control nuclear weapons”. From the beginning of the season, everyone glommed onto JFK’s speech invoking the “nuclear Sword of Damocles”. By the end of the year, you could get a whole auditorium of kids at a tournament to chant it out in unison with the speaker. 📢🗡⚔ ” It is the nu-cle-ar sword of Dam-o-cles that President Kennedy warned against!”

  10. Even if it’s a flag stop, sticking your arm and head in front of a moving train is generally inadvisable.

  11. Perhaps it could be a bag of gold – The Hoard of Damocles. That and the Sword of course hang by the Cord of Damocles.

  12. If you have to go with an eating utensil, why not “The Spork of Damocles”? It shares the five letters of “Sword,” has two of them in the same position, and mentions a “spork,” which is always a guarenteed knee-slapping funny reference . . . er, O.K., but still, two out of three isn’t bad.

  13. In Nashville, there are a couple of limited stops bus routs with special shelters at the stops they service. Those shelters are equipped with buttons that you used to be supposed to push if you want to get on the next bus to come along. The busses would in that window of time only stop at a shelter if either someone had signaled to get off or someone had signaled to get on the bus there whether there was someone at the shelter or not.

  14. The gourd of Damocles is hanging over my head
    And I’ve got the feeling, with some spice, it will go well on bread
    Then, add some brie,
    A bit, but not too much ghee
    And, then you’ll see
    That this is the start of a pretty good sandwich

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