This isn’t hospitality, this is animosity

Today’s Wayno/Piraro collabo, on the opposition of hospitality and animosity, which I take to be an homage to Terry Jones (of Monty Python’s Flying Circus), who was released from life’s afflictions three days ago:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 7 in this strip — see this Page.)

Wayno’s title for the cartoon is “Putdown Service”, a play on turndown service, and that‘s an allusion to the hospitality industry.

(As far as I can tell, there is no organized enterprise called the animosity industry, but the expression certainly is available for fresh metaphorical use — for reference to organizations promoting racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia, groups for which hate industry is sometimes used, though that label now seems to have been pre-empted by far-right commentators to refer to groups organized to combat hate groups, like the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

The hospitality / animosity thing. To start with, from NOAD:

noun hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

noun animosity: strong hostility: he no longer felt any animosity toward her | the animosity between the king and his brother | the five decided to put aside their animosities.

These are contrastive, but not quite opposites. The adjective hospitable has as possible opposites inhospitable and unwelcoming. These have no corresponding one-word noun versions, however, and the best we can do in that department would seem to be unfriendliness, which is too broad; animosity, on the other hand, while in the right neighborhood semantically, is too strong. But it will have to do.

But why hospitality? Back to NOAD for a domain-specific use of hospitality that will take us to a hotel:

adj. [that is, noun used as modifier] hospitality: relating to or denoting the business of housing or entertaining visitors: the hospitality industry.

And then Webster’s New World College Dictionary (5th ed.) gets us to a hotel and a conventionalized highly context-specific N + N compound:

noun hospitality suite: a suite or room, as in a hotel during a convention, rented by a corporation or organization as a place for potential clients or members to socialize, view sample products, etc.

Wayno’s play. In his title, Wayno has managed to put together animosity — as expressed in a put-down — and hospitality, in the turndown practice of the hospitality industry:

noun put-down: informal a remark intended to humiliate or criticize someone. (NOAD)

In the hospitality industry, turndown service refers to the practice of staff entering a guest’s room and “turning down” the bed linen of the bed in the room, preparing the bed for use. In multiple countries, an item of confectionery such as a chocolate or a mint is sometimes left on top of a pillow on the bed that has been turned down. (Wikipedia link)

This isn’t hospitality, this is animosity. You’re in the wrong room, buddy. In the original model: this isn’t argument, this is abuse.

They have rooms where you can pay for arguments by the minute? Rooms where you can buy lessons in being hit on the head? Well, there are hotel suites where organizations will offer you hospitality, maybe there are some where you can get animosity. The world of commercial practices is wide and multiform.

From the script of Monty Python’s Argument Clinic sketch, originally broadcast on 11/2/72:

Man [Michael Palin]: (Walks down the hall. Opens door.)

Angry man [Graham Chapman]: WHADDAYOU WANT?

Man: Well, Well, I was told outside that…

Angry man: DON’T GIVE ME THAT, YOU SNOTTY-FACED HEAP OF PARROT DROPPINGS!

Man: What?

A: SHUT YOUR FESTERING GOB, YOU TIT! YOUR TYPE MAKES ME PUKE! YOU VACUOUS TOFFEE-NOSED MALODOROUS PERVERT!!!

M: Yes, but I came here for an argument!!

A: OH! Oh! I’m sorry! This is abuse!

M: Oh! Oh I see!

A: Aha! No, you want room 12A, next door.

John Cleese awaits in that room, to engage in pointless argument with Palin; Palin eventually leaves that room in frustration. Then, in rapid succession, from Wikipedia:

In the version as originally broadcast, Palin leaves for Eric Idle’s room to complain, only to have to listen to him ranting about his shoes; he moves on to Terry Jones’ room, where Jones hits him on the head with a large wooden mallet, and instructs him on how to properly receive the blow. Jones clarifies the room that Palin just entered does not house the complaints department, but “being-hit-on-the-head” lessons. Soon enough, Inspector Fox (Chapman) enters to arrest both of them for participating in a strange sketch. A second policeman, Inspector Thomson’s-Gazelle (Idle) then arrives to arrest the entire show on three counts: being overly self-referential, saying “[name] of the Yard?!” every time a policeman enters, and repeatedly getting out of sketches without a punchline by having a member of the forces arrest everybody. Inspector Thomson’s-Gazelle himself is arrested by a third policeman (Cleese) for the latter crime, who is then arrested in turn by a hand (presumably belonging to Terry Gilliam)

(Some discussion on this blog in my 3/19/10 posting “It all depends on your definition of …”)

Terry Jones. And then a little bit about Jones the Python, from Wikipedia:


(#2) Jones at work in 1974, in a script conference for the BBC’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus (Chris Ridley — Radio Times/Getty Images)

Terence Graham Parry Jones (1 February 1942 – 21 January 2020) was a Welsh actor, writer, comedian, screenwriter, film director and historian. He was a member of the Monty Python comedy team.

After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in English, Jones and writing partner Michael Palin (whom he met at Oxford) wrote and performed for several high-profile British comedy programmes, including Do Not Adjust Your Setand The Frost Report, before creating Monty Python’s Flying Circus with Cambridge graduates Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and American animator/filmmaker Terry Gilliam. Jones was largely responsible for the programme’s innovative, surreal structure, in which sketches flowed from one to the next without the use of punchlines. He made his directorial debut with the team’s film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed with Gilliam, and also directed the subsequent Python films Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

… Jones wrote books and presented television documentaries on medieval and ancient history [notably on Geoffrey Chaucer].

… After living for several years with a degenerative aphasia [first diagnosed in 2015], he gradually lost the ability to speak and died on 21 January 2020 from frontotemporal dementia.

Smile in his memory. (Or risk being repeatedly hit in the head in the animosity suite.)

2 Responses to “This isn’t hospitality, this is animosity”

  1. waynocartoons Says:

    We uploaded this panel 10 weeks ago, long before Terry Jones passed. The timing was purely coincidental. That said, I adore Python and Terry Jones, and without a doubt their influence is in my comedic DNA.

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