Two cartoons from friends

(Cartoons, language play, food, and humor, but also plain discussion of some sexual practices, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Cartoons come to me via friends on Facebook all the time, but only occasionally are they directed to me specifically, because I would especially enjoy them. Two of them yesterday, however, of very different character (one sweetly silly, one sophomorically crude): a Dale Coverly Speed Bump cartoon from 11/10/10 “Boomeringue” (passed on by Chris Hansen); and a Charlie Higson Heck If I Know comic from 4/7/18 “A Truck” (passed on by Michael Palmer):

(#1)

(#2)

#1 Dale Coverly. Straightforwardly a portmanteau: boomeringue = boomerang + meringue, sharing /mǝrǽŋ/ and conveying ‘a boomerang meringue’, that is, ‘a boomerang lemon meringue pie’. The cartoon shows a guy with his arm out, presumably from having tossed a boomerang, except that he clearly tossed a lemon meringue pie instead, which has now boomeranged back and pied him in the face, as in slapstick comedy.

The artist has made some adjustments. The classic pie in the face is indeed a custard pie — the filling in a lemon meringue pie is a lemon custard — but it has a whipped cream topping (it’s a cream pie) rather than a meringue topping (egg whites beaten until stiff and then baked). Well, it has to have a meringue topping, to get the portmanteau to work.

The parts. First, the boomerang:

(#3)

noun boomerang: a curved flat piece of wood that can be thrown so as to return to the thrower, traditionally used by Australian Aborigines as a hunting weapon (NOAD)

And the lemon meringue pie, from Wikipedia:

(#4)

Lemon meringue pie is a type of baked pie, usually served for dessert, made with a crust usually made of shortcrust pastry, lemon custard filling and a fluffy meringue topping. Lemon meringue pie is prepared with a bottom pie crust, with the meringue directly on top of the lemon filling. No upper crust is used, as in a cherry pie.

… The lemon custard is usually prepared with egg yolks, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and, optionally, starch. This gives it a texture similar to that of a sturdy pudding. The meringue, which includes well beaten egg whites and sugar, is cooked on top of the pie filling. As the meringue bakes, air bubbles trapped inside the protein of the egg white will expand and swell

(A specialty of my Pa. Dutch grandmother, and a food ornament of my childhood.)

Then from my 3/10/13 posting “More sexual terminology”, in a section on sexual creampie and the food cream pie, from Wikipedia on the latter:

cream pie is a type of pie filled with a rich custard or pudding that is made from milk, cream, flour, and eggs. It can come in many forms, including vanilla, lemon, lime, peanut butter, banana, coconut, and chocolate. A constant feature of all cream pies is the whipped cream topping. The custard filling is related to the French crème patissière which is a key component of various French cakes and tarts. It is a one-crust pie.

Cream pies are often associated with comedians who use them as a gimmick in their routines. When used for show business purposes, cream pies are generally mock-up pies made from only canned whipped cream or sometimes the less expensive shaving cream.

More on pieing, from Wikipedia:

A pieing or pie attack is the act of throwing a pie at a person or people. Non-consensual pieing is a punishable offence in criminal law…

Although pieing may be intended as a simple practical joke, it can be a political action when the target is an authority figure, politician, industrialist, or celebrity and can be used as a means of protesting against the target’s political beliefs, or against perceived arrogance or vanity. Perpetrators generally regard the act as a form of ridicule to embarrass and humiliate the victim.

In pieing, the goal is usually to humiliate the victim while avoiding actual injury. For this reason the pie is traditionally of the cream variety without a top crust, and is rarely if ever a hot pie. In Britain, a pie in the context of throwing is traditionally referred to as a custard pie. An aluminum pie pan or paper plate filled with whipped cream or shaving foam can substitute for a real pie.

Pieing and pie fights are a staple of slapstick comedy, and pie “tosses” are also common charity fundraising events, especially in schools. Pieing is also particularly popular in Brazil, where it is known as “torta na cara” and is featured prominently on the Brazilian game show Passa ou Repassaon Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão and Agora Torta(“Now Pie”) as well as in a very large number of YouTube videos (several per day) uploaded by Brazilian channels.

… Beginning in 1913 with That Ragtime Bandand A Noise from the Deep, filmmaker Mack Sennett became known for using one or two thrown pies in many of his comedy shorts. Sennett had a personal rule about who received the pies: “A mother never gets hit with a custard pie … Mothers-in-law, yes. But mothers? Never.”

At least a half dozen films have been made incorporating extended pie-throwing battles…

There are many instances in the Looney Tunes series of cartoons where characters “pie” each other in the face…

(#5) Bugs Bunny pies Elmer Fudd

Many comedy routines have used a pie as a gag, including ones performed by Soupy Sales and Monty Python, and those of clowns in many circus performances.

#2 Charlie Higson. This one is obviously crude and intentionally so. The last panel, showing four library posters for kids these days, is the payoff. Michael Palmer sent the strip to me because of the last of these posters, with its fisted by a truck; he assumed that the verb   here was the contact-action verb fist, roughly ‘punch’, and that the cartoonist was unaware of the sexual practice of fisting ‘fist-fucking’.

Other readers maintained that Higson knew exactly what he was doing, and there’s evidence in favor of that idea: the artist is a young man who sometimes presents himself as aggressively crude.

But first, the verbs to fist. From NOAD:

1 [with object and adverbial of direction] hit with or as with the fists or a fist: a fastball he fisted into left field.

2 (also fist-fuck) [with object] vulgar slang penetrate (a person’s anus or vagina) with one’s fist. [AZ: a minimal definition; for more detailed discussion of the practice, or ritual, of fist-fucking, see my 3/24/17 posting “The invention of the X job”.]

GDoS has senses of the noun fist pertaining to violence (e.g. fist sandwich = knuckle sandwich ‘a blow from a fist, esp. to the mouth’). Plus the verb idiom fist one’s mister ‘to masturbate’ — a third verb fist. GDoS has the verb fist-fuck (also fist) in sense 2 above, but also in sense 3, ‘to masturbate’. This sense doesn’t fit well in fisted by a truck, so I will now disregard it here.

Now to Higson. First, there’s the stance he takes on his website, which opens with the confrontational:

Heck If I know comics is made by me, Charlie Higson. Lets all try and have a nice day you assholes.

Later we learn he’s British and, from this, probably young:

I’ve been making the series ‘Heck If I know comics’ since about mid 2014, though before then I made a completely different series under the handle ‘Successburger’. I started doing infrequent comics around 2011.

His cartoons are sometimes sophomorically crude, but often just wry and rueful, and sometimes sweet (though possibly mockingly so; it’s hard to tell).

Now go back to the “posters” in the last panel of #2:

Read until you pee (toilet humor)

Books take you places! Like straight to Bone Town!

Libraries are for everyone! (showing a skull-faced skateboarder)

A good book is like getting fisted by a truck

and focus on the second. I was unaware of BoneTown, but I’m innocent no longer. From Wikipedia:

(#6)

BoneTown is an adult adventure video game developed and published by D-Dub Software and released for the PC as a digital download in 2008. The game follows the player as he completes missions and has sex with various women

… The premise of the game is that as the player completes more missions, his testicles become larger; the player is able to have sex with more attractive women as they become thinner.

The character wakes up to a fraternity brother urinating onto the player’s face; the game then begins with a tutorial explaining how to beat up the brother. A blond woman explains to the player that the point of the game is to have sex with as many women as possible, and then performs fellatio on the player character. After finishing, a man in a suit approaches and explains that he is part of an organization called “The Man”. He warns the player that public indecency is illegal and if the player is caught, he will be arrested. The player goes through the game completing missions for various individuals in a style reminiscent of the Grand Theft Auto video games; missions include participating in pornographic films and beating up someone who believes they are Jesus.

The player explores the game’s locale, Bonetown, and its various neighborhoods which are sexual puns, such as “Missionary Beach”. Women are scattered throughout the city, and the player is able to have sex with any of them; sex can either be for the player’s enjoyment, or to recover in-game health, depending on the positions selected. The game requires the player to match the desires of the woman in order to last as long as possible. Temporary power-ups are given through recreational drug use.

The game has not been well reviewed.

Meanwhile, the jury is out on the understanding of Higson’s fisted, though I’m now inclined to see fist-fucking in it.

One Response to “Two cartoons from friends”

  1. astraya Says:

    The kangaroo can jump incredible.
    He has to jump, because he’s edible.
    I could not eat a kangaroo,
    But many fine Australians do.
    Those with cookbooks as well as boomerangs
    Prefer him in tasty kangaroo meringues
    – Ogden Nash

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