Donut alliteration

Today’s Zippy takes us to a perished donut shop (in Niceville FL), which gives him play for his well-known fascination with the sheer sounds of words:


In panel 1, it’s alliteration with /d/: defunct donut dispensary with dismay. In the other two panels, with /ɛks/ (or with a more reduced vowel): examined the extent of extinguished excretions … not exasperated but exuberant. (In the latter case, the choice of vocabuary items is seriously strained, to get alliterative words.)

First, there is indeed a defunct donut shop in Niceville FL:

(#2) Donut Shop No Longer, Niceville, Florida, a photograph by Kay Brewer, uploaded on March 17th, 2018 (photo link)

Note from Wikipedia:

Niceville is a city in Okaloosa County, Florida [well northwest, in the Panhandle], United States, located near Eglin Air Force Base on Boggy Bayou that opens into Choctawhatchee Bay.

Then, Zippy’s parting words: “When one donut dies, a thousand holes blossom”. This looks like a Zippyesque mélange of several sources, one of which came to me immediately.

— first idea: Chairman Mao. From Wikipedia:

The Hundred Flowers Campaign, also termed the Hundred Flowers Movement, was a period from 1956 to 1957 in the People’s Republic of China during which the Communist Party of China (CPC) encouraged citizens to express openly their opinions of the communist regime. Following the failure of the campaign, CPC Chairman Mao Zedong conducted an ideological crack down on those who criticized the regime, which continued through 1959. Observers differ as to whether Mao was genuinely surprised by the extent and seriousness of the criticism, or whether The Hundred Flowers Campaign was in fact a premeditated effort to identify, persecute, and silence critics of the regime.

During the campaign, differing views and solutions to national policy were encouraged based on the famous expression by Mao: “The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom [or blossom] and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science.” The movement was in part a response to the demoralization of intellectuals.

This is commonly misquoted as a thousand flowers.

— second idea: doors closing and opening. When one door closes, a thousand other doors will open, a saying attributed to Imam Ali, a central figure in Shia Islam. I haven’t tried to track down the original. (There are a lot of rabbit holes here.)

— third idea: one falls, and many more arise. The powerful image is related to the legend of Cadmus and the sowing of dragon’s teeth; see my 3/26/16 posting “Monsters of vegetative spread: dragon’s teeth”. The image turns up in a collection of (vaguely snowclonic) stock expressions of the form:

When one falls, a thousand more … take its place / rise /  step forward

These are even harder to track down, and I’m in no position to even try to do the job; though someone with better resources and more time than I have might find the task rewarding.

In any case, it looks like Bill Griffith has managed to evoke at least these three sources (and maybe more I haven’t thought of).



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