The lizard and the flag

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with a pun on monitor; and a popular dad joke — even better, a Swiss dad joke, with a pun on plus — retold by Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show yesterday:

The 6/26 Bizarro.

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

A pun on monitor  ‘monitoring device’ or ‘monitor lizard’.

Earlier on this blog, in my 9/10/19 posting “Him wear saurian monitor”, a Scott Hilburn cartoon in whch a monitor lizard serves as an ankle monitor.

Rachel Maddow’s joke. No pretense that it was original with her, just offered as something silly as relief in difficult times. Her version:

Q: What’s the best thing about Switzerland?

A: I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

There are many versions of the joke, differing in small details, but the key point is the pun on plus. From NOAD:

noun plus: 1 [a] short for plus sign. … 2 an advantage: knowing the language is a decided plus.

Here’s a version as a texty, in a Reddit posting:


This just adds the Swiss flag to the verbal joke (which depends on your knowing what the flag looks like).

The joke itself looks like one of those bits of humor that are passed around by word of mouth, in many variants, with no clear original source.

2 Responses to “The lizard and the flag”

  1. Stephen Anderson Says:

    Except the flag in the picture is wrong. Unlike nearly all other flags, the Swiss flag is square.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Yes, of course. I spent an hour or so trying to find an image that had the joke, showed the “big plus” of the flag, and (most difficult of all) didn’t require a payment for use. My image files had a nice Swiss flag, period, but from years ago, and I certainly didn’t pay anyone for it, but I guess I could have used it and paired it with a second image with the joke alone (and used the joke text, typed in, as a caption). I should have noticed that the flag wasn’t square, though.

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