At the Bison Bar

The Bizarro from the 14th:


(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

The Cody mentioned by the bartender is “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the renowned bison hunter, and it looks like he has Jerry, the bison in the cartoon, in his crosshairs. (Since this is CartoonLand, we don’t shrink from the idea of a bison tossing back a drink in a bar.) Two cartoon puzzles: what’s the figure in the foreground doing in the cartoon? And why is the bison called Jerry?

(I waited a couple of days before posting this, hoping that Piraro would blog about it, but so far nothing.)

The pistol-packin’ dude. I’m figuring the guy with the hat, the cigar, and the guns is there to show that we’re in the Old West. Otherwise, we’d have something like the scene in this thumbnail:


Now this could just be a scene in a bison (or buffalo) bar, a drinking establishment catering to bison / buffalo. Like the hippo bar in the Bizarro I posted about on 10/18/14, which is mostly about snowclonet composites of the form X bar.

A bison bar could be anywhere. Indeed, in the real world there is a Bison Bar & BBQ, a restaurant in modern-day Dublin IE, but, alas, its favored clientele are not bison (and, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t offer buffalo meat, only beef):


On Buffalo Bill, from Wikipedia:

William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), in Le Claire but he grew up for several years in his father’s hometown in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory [where they were stigmatized and hounded as Quaker opponents of slavery].

Buffalo Bill started working at the age of eleven after his father’s death, and became a rider for the Pony Express at age 14. During the American Civil War, he served for the Union from 1863 to the end of the war in 1865. Later he served as a civilian scout to the US Army during the Indian Wars, receiving the Medal of Honor in 1872.

… “Buffalo Bill” got his nickname after the American Civil War, when he had a contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat. Cody is purported to have killed 4,282 American bison (commonly known as buffalo) in eighteen months, (1867–1868).

Then he became a showman, with his Wild West shows.

Jerry? Why does the bartender call the buffalo Jerry? It could just be that Piraro wanted to have a name for the character and picked a common name out of a (ten-gallon) hat. But maybe he was aiming for a name associated with buffalo, and there is at least one notable such name. From Wikipedia:

Jerry Ray Hughes, Jr. (born August 13, 1988) is an American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills [since 2013] of the National Football League (NFL).

Of course I could just be over-interpreting the cartoon. But the bison in it looks like he’d make a really sturdy defensive end.

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