As someone who reads, but never really gets, Cathy, I have to hand it to today’s strip for its many virtues, all of which are atypical. For starters, Cathy’s common sense outweighs her insecurities in the final panel, something that almost never happens. And while the text is plentiful in this strip, it doesn’t overpower the drawing like it usually does. In fact, the image of Cathy bundled in her new scarf is downright expressive, and more comical for its poker-faced silliness than any of the hyper, harried panels that typically dominate the strip. Finally, the punchline is clever and understated, a precious rarity in the “ack”-saturated world of Cathy.
Archive for September, 2008
I’m not sure which city this train is supposed to be rumbling through, but it sure isn’t Chicago. One telltale sign is the friendly conductor, whose job would have been cut by the Chicago Transit Authority years ago. But an even more obvious clue is the clarity of the speakers. The boy in this strip is able to repeat the announcer’s message verbaitim, which would be impossible if he were listening to gibberish like, “aatnghn custhymers, thye reghd lyylne whilgh bheee rhunninhgh awhn thehe elelvahhatted tratacks thhish whiwkkinhd” over Chicago’s antiquated public address system.
While it’s true that all beauty is fleeting, you never expect it to be thrown in your face in such a vulgar way. Of course, the truly disturbing part of this strip is not the fact that Barbie has grown old (as the lucky among us eventually do) but her irrational attempt to fight the aging process through the use of blonde hair dye, gloppy mascara and excessive rouge. Nothing ages a person quite like the quixotic attempt to look young again.
Two things…first of all, this is a child who browses for music exclusively on the Internet, and would never even think of stepping foot in a record store. That’s sad, given that record stores are a perfect place to make unexpected musical discoveries. Secondly, Hot Buttered Soul is readily available from legitimate websites. A search for the title on Amazon.com reveals nothing dirty or illegal, just a quick link to the mp3 download of the classic album.
I have to hand it to Dagwood for the quality of his procrastination. Whereas the average employee might hope to tackle his long-term projects in due time, Dagwood feels confident that those papers will sit on his desk in perpetuity. He even stares directly at his boss and extends his index finger while making the claim. If that’s not authority, then I don’t know what is.
Maybe all of the government regulators got trapped on the thirteenth floor of these financial buildings, because they’ve certainly been missing in action these last few years. Who else might have been lost on this phantom floor? How about those lonely individuals who voiced concern when banks started issuing home loans that could never be repaid and then selling those same loans, in bunches, to large financial firms? I’m sure those voices of sanity were out there somewhere, but judging by the current mess we’re in, they may as well have been lost between twelve and fourteen.
A few years ago, my girlfriend’s mom became fond of referencing the Muffin Man in everyday conversation. She kept it up for a few months, and would always mention the character in threes, like in the nursery rhyme. My girlfriend got tired of this refrain rather quickly, but it always gave me a chuckle. I even got a chuckle remembering it today, after reading this strip.