Two portmanteaus

Today’s Rhymes With Orange and Zippy the Pinhead, both with portmanteaus:

Doctor + octopus. But notice that the creature in the strip is apparently a heptapus, with seven arms/feet rather than eight. As a matter of fact, there is a seven-arm octopus. From Wikipedia:

The Seven-arm Octopus (Haliphron atlanticus) is one of the two largest known species of octopus and based on scientific records has a total estimated length of 4 m and mass of 75 kg. The other large existing octopus is the Giant Pacific Octopus of the species Enteroctopus dofleini.

The Seven-arm Octopus is so named because in males the hectocotylus (a specially modified arm used in egg fertilization [i.e. a cephalopod penis]) is coiled in a sac beneath the right eye. Due to this species’ thick gelatinous tissue, the arm is easily overlooked, giving the appearance of just seven arms. However, like other octopuses, it actually has eight.

The genus name Heptapus has been entertained for the creature:

The genera Alloposina Grimpe, 1922, Alloposus Verrill, 1880 and Heptapus Joubin, 1929 are junior synonyms of Haliphron.

The sad diner + dinosaur (plus Lithuanians, who come up often in Zippy; French dip, which made a recent Zippy appearance in this blog; and the movie Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia combined with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen). Others have coined the portmanteau. Here, for example, is Wayne Gayla on his Jersey Bites site on 2/24/11:

A Diner-Saur Classic in Wall [NJ]

While our beloved drive-ins and neighborhood theaters are all but extinct from the American landscape and experience, there are a few survivors to testify to a mainstay of Jersey life, from the 1930s through the 60s. The Roadside Diner is one of those survivors.  Perhaps that is the message they are sending with the  bright green sculpture of a dinosaur who shares their space on Route 33 and 34 in Wall.

The Roadside Diner is the epitome of the classic, shimmering, stainless steel prefabricated units that punctuated two lane highways of the 30′s and 40′s and 50′s.  It was built in Paterson, NJ, by Silk City, in the 1940s and brought to Wall in sections, then reassembled on a foundation.

True to original design, it replicates an old Railroad Dining Car, which once caught the imagination of the American traveler. Narrow interior with tight booths and a long polished Formica counter, set with chrome stools padded with red vinyl. The walls sparkle with the red and white checkered ceramic tile walls. In short, there is no painted surface to upkeep; everything was created for endurance and easy maintenance, right to the chrome window frames and door sill.

… Apparently, I was not the first to discover The Roadside Diner. Bon Jovi’s album cover for “Crossroads” was shot inside the diner. Bruce Springsteens’ video “Girls in their Summer Clothes” was filmed in part at the diner and John Sayles’ movie “Baby It’s You” was shot in part there, also.

The diner in this strip is not the same one as in the French dip strip, nor does it appear to be the Roadside Diner in Wall:

Eventually, the place will be identified in the “Where’s Zippy?” feature on the Zippy site, but at the moment those archives are only up to early 2007, so it could be some time. The drawing in the strip — virtually a generic diner, and nameless to boot — doesn’t give you a lot to go on.


3 Responses to “Two portmanteaus”

  1. Repurposed comics « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] searching through the Zippy archives (in connection with this posting), I came across a series of strips in February 2007 that repurposed either the text or the graphics […]

  2. On the octopus watch « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] on this blog: in 2010 and 2011, references to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus; and then in 2012, a Rhymes With Orange with the portmanteau doctopus (referring to a cartoon creature that is […]

  3. Body language and Lithuanians | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] the Lithuanians. Last year (in “Two portmanteaus”) I noted that Lithuanians come up often in Zippy, and back in 2010 (in “Savoring […]

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