ICYMI “tuna fish” is looked down on by some language peevers as an example of eliminable redundancy. If the joke is that only someone as dim as Zero would make this error, what side of the dispute does this come down on?
Okay, what are they all grasping? Is this the line for going into the mess tent? So the info on what is being served gets passed back — that makes sense. But why would the warning about the maple syrup get passed forward? And finally, what exactly is that warning all about?
From larK: “I mean, I understand the whole setup and expected punch-line, I just don’t understand the actual execution of the punch-line: ‘now I need oxygen’? As opposed to fresh air? Huh? How does that tie up the I went-out-to-cheer-myself-up-but-got-even-more-depressed-instead gag the strip is going for?”
Does anyone here know the joke about the bashful gorilla? I don’t, and can’t find it upon (an admittedly desultory) search. …
Next question: Did the audience in the 1950s know the joke? Or did some yes but some no? Edit: No, some site said these reruns were from the first two years of the comic strip, hence 1950-51 roughly. But a bit of digital magnification shows the blurry info at the left of the last panel includes what looks like a “1964”. It doesn’t matter much here, but was significant for the “Viet Nam” strip a couple weeks ago.
Next: Or was there never even a particular joke? Was it simply a tease all along? And would that matter? Would the comic strip gag work anyway, and would it be enuff?
Camp Swampy may not ever have been a fighting base, but as this shows, they were not entirely outside a world where military conflict was a reality. And we can count all who served as veterans, whether or not they were in active combat or even in a war zone.
This strip seems to be dated 1964, and early enough in that year that “Viet Nam” did not yet mean all of what it would soon take on. Still, isn’t it a bit shocking that this might strike some of its audience as simply funny?