Memic dummies at home

Today’s Bizarro shows a domestic scene with car crash dummies:

(#1) Yes! An instance of the Car Crash Dummy meme, one of many instances (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are, wow, 10 in this strip — see this Page.)

Yet another meme turning on a specific pop culture character: Potato Head, King Kong, Waldo, Godzilla, Batman (to mention some that have already appeared on this blog). Well, the crash test dummies are pop culture characters, but they’re also significant technological figures.

From Wikipedia:

A crash test dummy, or simply dummy, is a full-scale anthropomorphic test device (ATD) that simulates the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body during a traffic collision. Dummies are used by researchers, automobile and aircraft manufacturers to predict the injuries a person might sustain in a crash. Modern dummies are usually instrumented to record data such as velocity of impact, crushing force, bending, folding, or torque of the body, and deceleration rates during a collision.

(#2) The car crash dummy gets the giant roadside attraction treatment; from the Baltimore Sun site, “Giant crash test dummy statue in Glen Burnie draws stares” by Erin Cox on 11/20/12

Prior to the development of crash test dummies, automobile companies tested using human cadavers, animals and live volunteers.

Another cartoon treatment of the gag in #1:

(#3) Tim Whyatt cartoon for NobleWorks Cards

Then a Mark Lynch with a cute play on crash:

(#4) From NOAD on the verb crash: … 6 [no object informal go to sleep, especially suddenly or in an improvised setting: I’ll crash in the back of the van for a couple of hours

One more. From the great New Yorker cartoonist Leo Cullum, a combo of Car Crash Dummy + Psychiatrist that I can’t show you here because the owners of the cartoon demand a fee. But the therapist is asking the car crash dummy on the analytic couch: “And you’re certain these are accidents?”






5 Responses to “Memic dummies at home”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    Tim Whyatt’s “Daddy’s home!” cartoon contains another cartoon meme – the knitter is knitting with the points of the needles down. Two master knitters, either of whom could probably knit underwater, have told me it’s completely impossible to knit with the needles point-down.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Well, not a meme, which viewers can be expected to recognize as a familiar form or pattern — but apparently a common error in representations of people knitting. (I assume you are *not* saying that cartoonists communicate some meaning via point-down knitting. Gang signs or whatever.)

  2. Stewart Kramer Says:

    I’m amused that two cartoons have pictures of brick walls (“attractive” targets for crash tests).

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Definitely a conventional element. Actual crash tests use what are in effect plain blank walls, but they aren’t visually distinctive or interesting, so many cartoonists use brick walls instead.

  3. Bob Richmond Says:

    The error in depicting knitting is extremely common in cartoons. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a carton knitter with correctly positioned needles – I’ve seen this error many times, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the needles positioned correctly in a cartoon.

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