The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cartoonic Themes

Hello, my name is Joe and I'm a cartoonaholic. I have always had an obsessive need to read cartoons, no matter how badly drawn, written, conceived, etc. And the a-number-one enabler of my sickness this quarter is my newly-acquired copy of The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, published at $100, and now widely remaindered. The thing with this baby, see, is that it's not just a vast, big honkin' book, but also a pair of CDs, chock full of every damn cartoon they ever published, up through 2004. All of 'em. Every one. All 64,000-plus of 'em. And like the guy who read the whole OED, I'm gonna have to read every one of these, just because I do. And that means you're going to hear about it, occasionally.

As a start, here's a list of themes that I've noticed cropping up again and again, some of them obvious, others more surprising:

Crawling through the desert, with or without mirage
Desert island castaways
Therapy patients on the couch
Predatory older men and / or younger women
Asking for a raise
Ordering the daughter and her illegitimate child to leave the home
Juries, trial attorneys, and defendants
Pan handlers

Those are pretty unsurprising, but I was puzzled to find lots of panels on these topics:

Women buying liquor and being clueless about it
Cubism and modernism in art, in general (Henry Moore really knocked 'em dead)
Arabs on flying carpets
Muslim women in burkas
Arabs with multiple wives and the hilarious consequences thereof (no mention of Mormons at all)
Losing boxers (fighters, not shorts)
Visualizing members of the opposite sex without their clothes
Perfume counter sales people and customers
Gypsy fortune tellers
The love seat (the now-vanished S-shaped settee for two)
Sandwich board ads and the men wearing them
Convicts saying something ironic
The high cost of groceries (especially prevalent in the WWII and post-war years)
Housing Shortages

Who'd of thunk that a moderately well-dressed women wondering "how many slugs" a bottle of booze contains would be such a hoot?

Anyway, don't be surprised if you get more of this sort of thing -- I'm pretty pathetic when it comes to this.

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