The Long Hello

(Warning: after the McPhail, there will be some tasteless jokes, including two sexual ones)

By Will McPhail, a delightful Ascent of Man (in this case, a self-possessed young woman) cartoon in the latest (9/18/23) issue of the New Yorker:

(This blog has a Page on comic conventions, including cartoon memes (like Ascent of Man); and also a Page on Will McPhail cartoons)

So: the cartoon meme, plus a joke meme that plays on liking long walks on the beach as a stock sentiment in American personals ad (I don’t know the history of the formulaic expression).

The stock sentiments of personals ads. The foundational text in this domain is the refrain of Rupert Holmes’s 1979 “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”:

[And in the personal columns
There was this letter I read]

If you like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like makin’ love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape

[Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Write to me and escape]

It happens not to mention enjoying long walks on the beach, but then you can’t expect the whole inventory of personals sentiments to get crammed into the chorus of a song.

The joke meme. Edgy, sometimes dirty, sometimes nasty, personals-column jokes that use long walks on the beach as a lead-in to various surprise tastes. Three examples from e-cards:


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Simple bathos in #1 and #2. But #3 has the downshifting sandwiched in the middle, in between the long walks and the fried chicken.


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