Two Zippys

Two recent Zippys, yesterday with the existential pleasures of an empty diner and today with a fantasized Zippy Mart, but both with ambiguities in their titles:



The main content of these strips is familiar Zipsurrealism. Here I’m all about the titles.

The ambiguity in #1 is a simple lexical ambiguity, of stool: ‘a seat without a back or arms, typically resting on three or four legs or on a single pedestal’ or ‘a piece of feces’ (NOAD2). These are given as two subsenses in a single entry, though you might have expected them to be separate and unrelated items — but they turn out to have the same historical source, in the ‘seat’ sense. A crucial clue is provided by the idiom at stool ‘when defecating’.

From Wikipedia:

A close stool, used from at least the sixteenth century until the introduction of indoor plumbing, was an enclosed cabinet or box at sitting height with an opening in the top, which might be disguised by a folding outer lid. The close stool contained a pewter or earthenware chamberpot to receive the feces when the user sat on it to evacuate. It was sometimes called a necessary stool or a night stool.

So we get the stool on which you sat while defecating to the product of this act. It would be hard to make this stuff up.

The ambiguity in #2 is constructional, accompanied by two lexical ambiguities. In one construction, the title is an imperative sentence with the BSE verb duck and with an accompanying vocative NP Donald (a name — here interpreted in context as referring to Donald Trump). In the other construct, the title is an NP name, with FN and LN inverted in the order used in one type of list.

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