Yeah but really, is it just a rat-race joke? Or just an oddly-executed commentary on human family economics?
I have to say I was a little put off from the whole picture by taking the rack of environments to be a bakery display case. But then what is this place? A lab? A pet store? Neither one should be recruiting their subjects from a handy nearby mousehole!
And as Phil pointed out, Dan Piraro’s blog and/or newsletter contained long and explicit explanations of this cartoon. So it would be best if CIDU readers who have seen those discussions hold off on correcting too soon the mistakes he explains.
My first time reading the word “defenestration” was in the title of a story by Arthur C. Clarke, “The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch”, appearing in the collection Tales from the White Hart. Subsequently, I learned the general uses of this funny word, and in particular in the nickname for some historical events, “The defenestration of Prague”.
My first encounter with the word “quantum” in other than a physics sense was in the title of a story by Ian Fleming, “Quantum of Solace”, appearing in the collection For Your Eyes Only. Subsequently, I rarely encounter any use other than something scientific.
My first exposure to the word “squalor” was in the title of a story by J D Salinger, “For Esmé—with Love and Squalor”, appearing in the collection Nine Stories. Subsequently, my foremost exemplar for the concept of “living in squalor” are the cartoons of George Booth.
This one was sent in by Stan, who says “Here’s one I didn’t get…or maybe it’s an, ‘Is that all there is? But what’s the joke?’ kind of thing. Anyway, I’m guessing she made scrambled eggs for dinner. What’s the joke exactly? Also, what is the cat doing? Is that part of it?”
Okay, “And now you know why” — why *what*? Why you haven’t stopped by in a while? No, it doesn’t explain Baldo’s own actions to himself. It could make sense as why he’s been banned from the shop; or more gently, why Sergio has discouraged him from visiting. But neither degree of that has been conveyed in the earlier part of the encounter.
But anyhow, this little story has the structure of a Turnabout or maybe Topper trope. (Thorne Smith allusions entirely accidental!) Blondie looks shocked in the last panel, as though the mom’s substitution of the iPad as the plaything is even more of a shocking violation than the phone was. But is that so? Or is the mom’s “reasoning” sort of correct, and there is a greater likelihood of the child being able to make some use of a tablet than of a smartphone?
This was a momentary CIDU, for want of a comma. Sent by Boise Ed. Ed did some research on our behalf and reports “If you look in the [GoComics] comments, you’ll see that it caught Mark Parisi by surprise.”
Did the chaplain walk into a pole, and is cursing? Those look more like pain symbols. Or is he known for complaining, and the moment of uplift (hah!) was an interruption of a usually dismal demeanor? But that’s not my impression of him. Still, is there any other good interpretation of the ‘parentheses’ remark?