Le journal du phoque d’approbation

… est sur le bureau de mon oncle. Or something like that. Two recent Wayno / Piraro Bizarros: from the 24th, le journal (for example, Le Monde, on sale on the street); from today (the 27th), le phoque d’approbation (and his best buddy, le morse du dédain).

1/24: Le Monde stand. Referring to a sales outlet that looks like a lemonade stand on the street, complete with a little kid as the seller, but selling French newspapers, like Le Monde. (The little kid is in full French artist drag, with beret, scarf, and marinière, aka Breton shirt.) Meanwhile, Le Monde stand for lemonade stand is a clever orthographic pun, though a terrible pun in pronunciation.

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

Not all of my readers will be familiar with the child-run lemonade stand on the street in hot summers, as a matter of youth entrepreneurship or in service of some good local cause; it appears to be very much an American tradition:

(#2) (photo from the site of WBAY in Green Bay WI)

1/27: the seal of approval and the walrus of disdain. Plays on seal ‘a thing regarded as a confirmation or guarantee of something’ (NOAD), as in seal of approval, vs. seal the marine mammal have a long history, but here the

Nconcrete of Nabstract

syntactic pattern of seal of approval is played with as well, with seal replaced by an alternative, the name of a contrasting marine mammal, walrus; and with approval replaced by its opposite disdain:

(#3) (Again, 5 Bizarro symbols)

An earlier pun on seal on this blog, from my 3/30/13 posting “On the complex pun watch”, in a Mother Goose and Grimm with two seals:

(#4) The cartoon turns on the ambiguity of seal — the device or design, or the animal; then it depends on the existence of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval

And then earlier play on this blog on an instance of the pattern Nconcrete of Nabstract: twice ringing changes on Grapes of Wrath.

— from my 7/3/10 posting “The figs of fear”:

(#5) New Yorker cartoon by J.B. Park

— from my 12/8/12 posting “The fruits of abstraction”:

(#6) A Wondermark cartoon; I’m especially fond of The Bananas of Lust


3 Responses to “Le journal du phoque d’approbation”

  1. Bill Stewart Says:

    You are delightfully twisted.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Thank you, but most of the twisted cleverness comes from the cartoonists, especially Dan and Wayno. Well, I’ll take credit for the allusion to the musical La Plume de Ma Tante.

      • arnold zwicky Says:

        Ok, there’s the phoque play, but I got into French with the first cartoon, and bilingual foolishness on the French name of the marine mammal is old stuff.

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