Archive for the ‘Memes’ Category

The Long Hello

September 15, 2023

(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).


Sausage juice

May 27, 2023

(this posting descends fairy rapidly to discussions of the male genitals, and of man-man sex, in street language, so it’s not for kids or the sexually modest)

From Michael Palmer on Facebook yesterday, this memic marriage of image — smiling man holding a small can of vienna sausage (tipped to suggest he’s about to drink from it — and text — snarkiness about sausage juice:

(#1) As with so much memic material, the ultimate sources of the image, of the text, and of their conjunction are all unknown

From NOAD:

compound noun Vienna sausage [AZ: sometimes vienna sausage]: a small frankfurter made of pork, beef, or veal.

Now: some notes on the disgust factor here; and then on the compound noun sausage juice ‘semen’ (based on viewing sausages — and all sorts of Würste — as phallic symbols, leading to sausage as slang for ‘penis, dick’); and on to the attested compound sausage jockey ‘male homosexual’ (imagined demurral: “No chicks for me, dude, I’m a sausage jockey”) and the entertaining potential compound sausage jockey ‘man who enjoys the rider role in Cowboy-position anal sex’.


But wait! There’s Balthazar!

January 6, 2023

(Definitely a Mary, Queen of Scots Not Dead Yet posting, signaling that I’m still here, after several deeply awful days of medical afflictions — an experience I’ll record in a separate posting, rather than get in the way of an egregious pun for today’s celebration of the Three Magi.)

To get the joke in this Epiphany texty circulating on Facebook (hat tip to Evan Randall Smith) you have to supply background from two (unrelated) domains of cultural knowledge — (A) the Christian mythic tale of the Three Wise Men and the gifts they bring to the baby Jesus; and (B) the pop-cultural splendor of the Boardwalk product pitch famously used by tv adman Billy Mays:

(#1) To understand the thing at all, you need to know (A); but if you don’t know (B), there’s no joke, just a flat-footed recital of the Wise Men’s gifts


Follow-up: things that make the world go ’round

June 12, 2019

My 6/6 posting “What makes the world go ’round?” looked at the catchphrase, or saying, Love makes the world go ’round, with
comments from the American Dialect Society’s lexicographers John Baker and Peter Reitan tracing the expression, with love as the subject, in several variant forms (including It’s love that makes the world go ’round and ‘Tis love that makes the world go ’round), back to an old song in English (early 19th century at least), and that from an older song in French. Now Peter Reitan has unearthed a late 18th-century playful variation on the formula, in which it’s drink, not love, that makes the world go ’round.

Meanwhile, in the modern world, playful variations have abounded, to the point where it’s reasonable to posit a snowclone X Makes the World, conveying ‘X is very important’.


Dramatic exits

May 31, 2018

A Leigh Rubin cartoon from the 22nd, illustrating an exit and a dramatic exit:


First, this is a play on the ambiguity of exit, as a N referring to a concrete object (a door, used for exiting) or an act (of exiting). Then there’s another ambiguity, in the  sense of dramatic in the nominal dramatic exit: it could be taken literally, as ‘pertaining to a play’, but here it’s used with a figurative sense ‘melodramatic, stagey, flamboyant’ (note the man’s gesture). In its second use, dramatic incorporates a figurative sense of the N drama seen also in the (originally US gay) slang compound drama queen.


Haiku Robot

March 25, 2018

An Instagram site that searches for posted material that can be treated as a haiku (a 3-line poetic form with 5, 7, and 5 syllables in the lines). Recently, the robot took on sex between men (not at all graphically).

An example of a found haiku, based on a posting that went:

I suppose ant-man’s boss could be considered a micromanager

— to which the robot responded with the 5-7-5 version:

i suppose ant-man’s
boss could be considered a


SuperCamp penguins

October 22, 2016

I’m preparing to scan in a set of penguin-themed thoroughly XXX-rated collages in relatively large originals, but mixed in with these in my files are two entirely R-rated collages, SuperPenguin and Potpourri, which I’ll report on here.


Punch in the presence of the passenjare

May 15, 2016

About the British humo(u)r magazine (my cartoon/comics library has two anthologies from the publication; the second has the Ed Fisher cartoons I posted about yesterday) and about its long history (going back to 1841). The magazine was given to plays on the word punch, but so far as I can tell, not involving the quotation in the title of this posting — a 140-year-old meme, but a North American one.

To come: the magazine; uses of the word punch; and “Punch in the presence of the passenjare”.


Be like Schwa

February 1, 2016

From Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, who got it from the All Things Linguistic site (maintained by Gretchen McCulloch, who’s appeared several times on ths blog), this punning instance of the new Be Like Bill meme:



Autumn, Halloween, and Death

October 17, 2015

Offered to me recently, from different sources, two cartoons on the season and death (or Death, the Grim Reaper). Two cartoonists new to this blog, as well.

Passed on by Juan Gomez, the 10/15 Take It From The Tinkersons, by Bill Bettwy:


And from several Facebook posters, this direct confrontation with the Reaper in a Jim Benton cartoon: