24 Comments

  1. The latter image is of demented glee because, my wife and daughter tell me, it infuriates women that their dresses so often do NOT have pockets.

  2. It’s not a literal reference to Cards Against. It’s a metaphor. Stage Left Woman thinks she has won with her ace – that is, a metaphor for a really cutting implied insult. However, (this is apparently bridge) Stage Right Woman is trumping the ace with an even more impressive comment that completely changes the power dynamic.

    I can barely play bridge, but my grandmother and my sister have won duplicate tournaments. Surprise-trumping an ace is a huge adrenaline rush for a bridge player.

  3. “Tho I’m not sure either the “stage” or the “house” terminology fits real well here. Since we don’t have a proscenium stage so much as theatre-in-the-round.”

    Yes, I think you can do without either. Only the top panel has two characters, and they could be just “left” and “right” if you don’t want to venture descriptions. Or if there is something wrong-feeling about just the directions without categorization, then maybe “page left” (and right), or “screen left” (and right).

    I also remember a previous discussion, but maybe not the one Mitch4 links to. The one I half-recall would have been more recent, and I think may have involved a “police lineup” or “identification parade” — where there is a genuine temptation to, say, compare one guy with “the one to his left” and then we genuinely need a modifier to disambiguate.

  4. I agree with Carl Fink that it seems to be a tricks-taking game. There are versions of Honeymoon Bridge that involve drawing, and we see on the table here a draw stock and a discard pile. Also Pinochle can be played by two. Of course it wouldn’t be standard Contract Bridge, and I’m not sure if Hearts or Spades are viable with just two players.

    If the joke involves Carl’s idea that first player thinks her ace is a winner but second player steals the trick with a trump (can we write that word now?) , I agree that’s a quite good parallel to the contest of the conversation! However, it would depend on sharp observation of the ace, and making an inference about the card played in the lower panel.

  5. Then there’s the Editors’ suggestion, in the title, that it could be a Rummy-family or melding game. I kind of doubt it, as the role of the triumphant reply card is unclear. Maybe gin rummy or related game, where the second player is announcing Gin or “playing out”.

  6. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Unless they’re playing some variant of strip poker, and Reddish Lady is about to acquire said pocketful dress.

  7. The left offers a compliment on the rights dress. The right is very happy as she throws out the winning card. The reference to “pockets” is that she cheated. Notice the card backs are the same color as her dress. She had slipped the winning card out of the pocket of her matching dress. The humor is that the cards are having the conversation and the lady that lost is unaware of the cheating.

  8. I agree with Carl Fink and any others who think the drawing / action is mostly metaphorical. And I mean that in a fairly radical way: we can take it that these two characters are having a conversation, and what they say is transcribed literally in the speech bubbles (or card-thought-square-bubbles or whatever those count as!).
    BUT what they are physically doing during this conversation is unknown. Maybe they are walking along, maybe they are sitting at a cafe table, maybe whatever — but not literally playing cards. The card-playing in the drawings is only metaphorical, and indicates how the conversational parrying feels, in … wait for it …. an objective correlative.

  9. I wonder if it is simply a question of comparing two emotional arcs. The feeling of having a dress with pockets is similar to the feeling of being able to overtrump a play. Just the same overwhelming feeling of victory and superiority.

  10. Targuman,

    Not just dresses, pants of all kinds, too. And the ‘skinny’ jeans these days don’t have much of a pocket, either.

  11. I’d agree with ianosmond about the metaphorical nature of this one, but this is not a great execution of the joke. Chak is so right about pockets being an issue in any women’s clothing. Even blazers/suit jackets. I mean, seriously, I shouldn’t have to check if the pockets are real or fake in every piece of clothing I buy, yet the fact remains that I do. On the other hand, I bought shorts for my son the other day, and out of habit, kept checking for pockets. Every single pair in the men’s section had pockets. Even the swim trunks. Here’s a few more posts that show women want pockets, some including better-executed comics: https://www.boredpanda.com/women-demand-pockets-memes/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

  12. I love this comic. They are really playing cards, and on the surface they are friendly with each other. But underneath they are very competitive, whether it’s in their card-playing, their clothes, or whatever. Pockets beats no-pockets.

    It actually reminds me of something I’ve seen before on TV or in a movie. But after wracking my brain, I can’t come up with any specifics. It could have been a comedy routine or a scene in a comedy. I hate getting old!

  13. I always thought it was a joke when Snagglepus said “Exit, stage left” and ran off to the right. Then I found out that he really was going off stage left.

    Oh, yeah, the comic. I read all the comments and I still don’t get the joke.

  14. “I read all the comments and I still don’t get the joke.”

    Yep, me too.

    John comments that “It doesn’t help that the cards appear to be speaking,” but I assumed they were supposed to be speaking. It doesn’t seem like a mistake – both word bubbles go directly to the cards.

  15. And the words are encase in quotes, as well. As if this is what’s written on the cards (like a fortune cookie, or Eno’s Oblique Strategy cards), though we can see they’re regular playing cards.

  16. Well, at least we don’t have any snarky comments about it not really being a CIDU!

  17. More overthinking: Since agreeing or expanding on a compliment is generally regarded as vulgar and rude, some minor form of self-depreciation is often the required courtesy. Thus the usual response is along the lines of “Oh, this old thing?” or “It was on sale”, leaving the first woman one-up for generously offering praise while the second woman is forced by convention to declare the praise as somehow undeserved. Instead, the second woman in the cartoon replies by mentioning a feature that makes the dress even better than the first woman’s statement, but is of a nature that can’t be clearly read as crude bragging. She wins.

  18. The process described by Minor Annoyance reminds me of how I learned the Yiddish loan word schmata. The official translation I think would be rag. But it showed up in my experience when my mother and some aunts (say) would get together, and someone praised another’s dress or other clothing, maybe asking “Is that new?” – and the response would often be “What, this old schmata? I just had it sitting in the closet forever.” So I picked it up not quite as “rag” but more “that self-deprecating dismissal thing you say.”

    (Nor do I know the official spelling, in Latin alphabet. But when I first ran across the word schemata , a learned plural of schema in the sense of “pattern”, in some assigned reading, it wasn’t until somebody spoke it in class the next day that I realized it wasn’t as I first took it a very weird deprecation.)

  19. Targuman, Chak – I wear jeans 97% or better of the time. My regular slacks are the same cut as my jeans. I like having pockets – beyond holding my wallet (a men’s wallet), cell phone, keys, pill box (for meals out), a space pen, a small spray bottle of alcohol, and a small squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer, now that NYS has gotten rid of plastic shopping bags and stores are allowed to (so they do) charge for paper bags in area of the state which do not require a deposit on paper bags – I can fit 2 folded up plastic shopping bags in each back pocket of the jeans. ( I wear old jeans and tee shirts to sleep in.)

    Long before our current pandemic I was carrying my pen (as Robert does) as so that when needing to write or sign something while out I don’t have to touch a pen that others have been using – some years ago read this helps prevent getting sick. Since we had bed bugs around 10 years ago I carry the spray alcohol for situation where I have to sit down in a public place – I spray the seat first to make sure if there any bedbugs on it they die – but has new uses now. I have short arms, so anytime I wear a long sleeved top or dress and have to wash my hands – the ends of the sleeves get soaked, so I have been carrying the hand sanitizer for at least the same 10 years to use when using “the ladies” in public places to avoid needing to use soap and water after and this past year plus – it has been used much more often when in a hand washing situation.

    When I wear a skirt or dress it either for work – I have my brief case. Or if going to a wedding, bar mitzvah ,first communion, funeral etc – i made myself a modern version of an 18th century pocket. In the the 18 century ladies would wear large tear shaped bags hanging from a waist band under their petticoats. There was a slit in each of the two side seams of the petticoat to access the pockets. (They work really well, mine are smaller than the pattern and I can put a folded fan in one and sit down without damaging it as the pockets fall to one’s side when sitting, as well as fitting in a good assortment of modern and reproduction items.) The modern pocket version I came up with is black, I set it up to close around the waist with “Velcro”, but that has not worked well, so I safety pin it closed instead. I don’t wear tight clothing so it does not show. I access it through the waistband of my modern skirts.

    If I don’t carry a purse – I can’t leave it anywhere by mistake.

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