27 Comments

  1. Could it be a reference to her using her sexiness to lure a man to fix it for her? That would explain her posture.

  2. Mark H., could be, though that seems a little out of character. I took the posture as more “Ha, even our son has more confidence in my changing a tire than you”.

    As for the joke, this strip’s humor is more cutesy than deep. So I’d say yes, it’s treating a car like a human patient.

  3. Is this a genuine Dennis and not some sort of parody / satire site?

    Well, I guess since it is signed by Hamilton and S. Ketcham it might be the genuine article, from a post-Hank Ketcham era. (BTW your tag “Scott Ketchum” misspells “Ketcham”.)

  4. my first instinct was to agree with beckoningchasm… there’s a certain whiff of Arlo in it…

  5. “You just put your lips together and blow” – Lauren Bacall as Slim in “To Have and Have Not.”
    I wonder if Dennis has been hiding in bedroom closets.

  6. If’s a weird one. I agree that it feels like it should be an Arlo.

    But if you think she’s impressive with a tire, you should see what she can do with a trailer hitch, Dennis.

  7. Is it just me, or is the caption maybe the bogus part? Resolution isn’t great, which might be leading me to a false conclusion, but that might explain it.

    Ah HAH–a few minutes with Tineye and Google Images convinces me it’s bogus, possibly from the get-go.

    Tineye finds ONE copy, at https://safr.kingfeatures.com/api/img.php?e=gif&s=c&file=RGVubmlzVGhlTWVuYWNlU3BhbmlzaC8yMDIwLzA5L0Rlbm5pc19UaGVfTWVuYWNlX3NwLjIwMjAwOTEyXzE1MzYuZ2lm and in Spanish. Same caption, though.

    Google Images finds several copies at snarkitupfuzzball.nexiliscom.com, but they all lead to bogus pages. The cached result is at
    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2cSyx_TkPtEJ:https://snarkitupfuzzball.nexiliscom.com/%3Fsu003dhah%26paged%3D10+&cd=12&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    and whie it’s the same, Mrs. Menace has exaggerated lipstick and the rest of the cartoons on that page have clearly been messed with (though I kind of like the one above the Dennis the Menace, with Trixie saying “b****fest”).

    The fact that even the image doesn’t get matched much makes me think it’s bogus, possibly a single frame from a weekend strip that got recaptioned. And looking at the Wayback Machine, that’s what this site did/does: take strips and replace captions with “clever” ones.

    The CIDU part for me remains in the effort required to have done this–it’s just not that funny?!

  8. To me, this seems to be a caption mix-up. Kind of like when Dennis was eating a sandwich and said, “Oh, man! Not hamsters again !”

    But instead of swapping the caption with one of Gary Larson’s “Far Side” cartoons, it was swapped for another “Dennis the Menace” cartoon. (At least, the caption’s font looks consistent with the strip.)

    The cartoon appears to be from Saturday, August 22, 2020, but the Internets won’t let me go back that far to verify. So I have no way of telling if the caption is the correct one for that day’s cartoon.

    Perhaps the cartoon that the caption belonged to was a cartoon of Dennis’ dad pulling a fallen cake out of the oven. Dad is understandably a bit miffed, but Dennis knows that his mom can fix something like this. “Mom can bring it back to life, Dad. Just watch her operate,” says the young child to his not-quite-a-five-star-chef dad.

    So if that’s the case, what’s the correct caption to the above cartoon? I can only speculate. Maybe it’s: “See? Mom told’ya that you should always kick the tires before you buy a used car.” That would definitely explain Mom’s smug expression.

  9. Obvious to me – Mom can do anything as far as Dennis is concerned.

    I have a husband who thinks this way about me. During our time home during the pandemic I have taken in his jeans (we actually lost weight, at least at the start of the pandemic as we were trying to extend the food in the house as long as possible) and then I had to let out one side of his jeans and not the other (after we started eating normal again). I have sewn a cover for the new bedroom a/c we had to have put in as when winter came we realized that there were no louvers and the cold air from outside freely came into the room.

    i have come up with ways to stretch the food we have in the house. I have come up with holiday meals even when we were not going out shopping yet. I have figured out how to consistently have milk in the house for cooking (a voice instead my head said “canned evaporated milk stupid”). I have figured out how to adjust meals to use up leftovers in recipes which don’t use the food in question (as opposed to his idea of following the boiled dumplings from the Bisquick box – what a mess!).

    I even managed to come up Christmas gifts for him that I made without him seeing me do so (as I did not know he would order things for him).

    I have juggled our money so all bills are paid on time – even if don’t get them on time or at all.

    He just presumes I can figure out how to do it – whatever “it” is. Obviously Dennis feels the same way about his mom.

    Oh wait – I remember I couldn’t do – after not driving since March 8, 2020 this past winter when we picked up our car from the mechanic (3 blocks away) in mid winter, I was driving our van (we went there in same) in the middle of the night and not only could I not get the van onto the 4 blocks in the front semi-circle of grass where it is kept, I got stuck it in the mud that was the semi-circle – and I was driving it as I am the better driver – what a mess. He just assumes I will do it better than he will.

  10. I’m thinking Meryl A has the answer, but it seems to me it could have been made more obvious. Like if Alice was carrying a bunch of disparate things, indicating a jack of all trades.

    Jokes should be understandable fairly quickly. At the very least, one would want the response to one’s joke to be a polite smile, rather than a puzzled frown.

  11. “Jack of all trades”? No no, they just need the JACK of lifting a car corner so a tire can be changed!

  12. It’s fun to fantasize that this was a result of a students assignment to build an artificial intelligence program. The student feed 10,000 Dennis the Menace cartoons and wrote an algorithm so that if you feed in a picture it will churn out a caption.

    So this his the tropes. Dennis dad has a problem and fails as a manly father to fix it directly. Dennis in blithe and cheerful ignorance makes comments that serve to point out how emasculated and incompetent the father is without getting the social pride and embarassment he feels. There’s hints that other aspects apply in other situation (Dennis mom can fix things with a “stand back and watch me operate” stance) that aren’t appropriate here. There is an implied double meaning like the Dennis the Menace cartoons where Dennis repeats things to company his parents said (“What’s it like living over the hill” “I thought you’d blow air bubbles into the glass cause you drink like a fish” or “Dad, why to take Mom to my biology class; she keeps talking to her friends on the phone about how you never bring her to organisms”).

    But it this case it’s an AI program and it just never clicks. Just feels like it’s supposed to.

    …. That’s obviously not the actually story but…. it feels like it.

  13. woozy, I like the way you think!

    In fact, your idea gave me the idea to feed the picture into my own AI and have it generate a caption. This is what it came up with: “When the killer robots rise up and conquer the world, they’ll make her their leader!”

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite fit, as it makes no mention of the flat tire, or why exactly Dennis’ mom is so highly esteemed among killer robots. But it’s amusing all the same.

  14. “I see it here at a newspaper with that caption, so I think the caption is correct.”

    You’ve come forward with evidence that the caption is the original one But that doesn’t make it “correct”.

  15. “I think this is a case where authorial intent counts.”

    Well, what the authorial intent actual the eff is is certainly in question.

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