Archive for the ‘Mascots’ Category

Penguin suits

January 3, 2023

(On the personal background, see my Zardoz posting; the posting below is one I started yesterday but was unable to finish. Hard days.)

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange cartoon shows a collection of (apparently all male, to judge from the prickly body hair) penguins putting on their (tuxedo-like) overcoats for journeying home after a winter party:


(#1) Translation between worlds: the characters are all penguins, but they are also human beings in a modern social situation

These penguin suits are overcoats (somewhat resembling tuxedos); in the classic penguin-suit cartoon, however, the suits are actual tuxedos.

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Zwicky logos

November 3, 2022

Return with me now to the middle of June, when I was impelled into the world of Zwicky logos, including not only ones for prominent Swiss commercial enterprises in grain, sewing thread, and real estate (the grain company is where it all started on 6/14), but also for beer (in Colorado), hair styling (also in Colorado), car repair (in Canton Aargau in Switzerland), and astronomical surveys (in California).

The original impulse came from Kyle Wohlmut, posting on Facebook on 6/14 “at Zwicky Areal”, with this photo taken from his commuter train:


(#1) KW > AZ (about the gnome in the logo): I don’t think that’s a very good likeness…

The logo in question:


(#2) The gnome is indeed not a good likeness of me

There ensued a confusion that turned out to have to do with the word Areal, but eventually it was established that the gnomic logo in #1 and #2 is for the Zwicky grain company (Schweizerische Schälmühle E. Zwicky AG), headquartered in a corner of Canton Thurgau; while the Zwicky sewing-thread company (now merged into the German company A&E Gütermann) and the real-estate company (Zwicky & Co AG, headquartered in the Zürich suburb of Wallisellen) base their logos on the Donald Brun silk-cat poster of the 1950s (which I’ve posted about repeatedly).

But Kyle’s note sent me on a search for Zwicky logos, which took me immediately to the 4 Noses Brewing Company in Broomfield CO, makers of Zwicky P (a Pilsner-style lager) and on to all the rest.

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The Sprinkles carrot cake caper

September 8, 2022

As reported in my 82nd birthday posting “Three greetings for 9/6/22”, while I was holed up at home in severe and debilitating heat misery on the day, some friends e-mailed me delightful greetings — visual, verbal, and musical — and a hundred or so of them wished me a happy birthday, mostly via Facebook. Meanwhile, I ordered up some coffee gelato (it was also National Coffee Ice Cream Day, and that’s my favorite ice cream flavor) and a carrot cake (which is, well, cake, but very flavorful and chewy and not terribly sweet, and it comes with a lovely cream cheese frosting, all of which suits my tastes). I found no way to honor the Marquis de Lafayette (born 9/6/1757), though here I’ll give my summary from the Lafayette section of my 9/7/19 posting “Big sexy prime birthday gay ice cream”:

A man of enormous physical courage who took up the family military career at the age of 13 and later pursued an extraordinary public career devoted to advocating for democracy and human rights in two countries [mine and his], and managed somehow to live to the age of 76.

Then on the day after came sweet messages from people apologizing for having missed the day itself. But as I said to one of these (an old friend, an admirable person, and one of the small core of my regular readers — so someone whose good words were especially important to me):

I’m inclined to view my birthday as a fairly large region in time, not just one day. The net congratulations largely achieve the purpose of maintaining and reinforcing relationships, and that doesn’t have to happen on just one day.

And from one of the Aging Life Care of California folk (who, among other things, take me to medical appointments, of which I have a great many), who recently began reading this blog. Full of apologies for having missed the actual day, which I countered with the Region Theory of Birthday Time (above), and then bearing a gift box of four Sprinkles muffins, from the company’s Palo Alto store (in Stanford Shopping Center). A box notably including

dark chocolate (Belgian dark chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting, in curls)

carrot (walnut-studded carrot cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting)

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Breaking through the wall

August 30, 2022

Today’s Piccolo / Price Rhymes With Orange strip is a play on specific American tv commercials (with some gentle old-age mockery folded in), so will be baffling to any reader who doesn’t recognize the Kool-Aid Man mascot or know the wall-breaking “Oh Yeah!” tv ads featuring KAM:


(#1) There is, however, a hint to the reader in the “So not kool” (with kool instead of cool) in the title panel; note also the generational disparity reinforced by the GenX so there (see my 11/14/11 posting “GenX so“)

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Three peanuts meet in a bar

August 18, 2022

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, requiring a boatload of popcultural knowledge to understand:


(#1) The easy part: these are three anthropomorphic peanuts, M, M, F from left to right, and they are sitting at a bar, with drinks in front of them (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Somehow the meeting of these three exemplifies the N1 + N2 compound N wingnut / wing-nut / wing nut (which has 4 senses in NOAD, plus a bunch more you can imagine). But how?

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From the annals of commerce: Doggie and Whippy do it in a leather bar

June 18, 2022

(This is obviously going to go where no kids or sexually modest people should go, and it’s going to get there fast.)

The commercial names Doggie Diner and Mr. Whippy, both surely conceived in all innocence, but, to the prepared mind, easily evoking sexual images (as it happens, my mind is prepared for man-on-man sexual images, so that’s where I’m inclined to go): the doggie / doggy position for anal intercourse; and a leatherman master whipping a leatherman slave.

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The heifer executive

May 17, 2022

Yesterday’s wry Rhymes With Orange strip, wordless and spare-looking, but packed with tons of meaning on two fronts, the dairy and the managerial; meanwhile, it presents a challenging exercise in cartoon understanding.


(#1) If you see that there’s something sweetly funny about a dairy cow managing a business, well, that will do — but the pleasure of the cartoon is in the details

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Magritte’s #9 Son

February 25, 2022

(Somewhat astonishingly, this is going to end up in over-the-line raunchy territory — not for kids or the sexually modest — with a celebration of a character who’s both a feminist and a dirty slut, who deserves the right to fellate men “in the bathroom at Acme on a Wednesday” (from Rolling Stone). I’ll issue a warning when it comes up.)

It starts with today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with yet another cartoon riff on Magritte’s painting The Son of Man:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.) That’s a green M&M candy where Magritte’s painting has a green apple (so the doctor’s message is that the Magritte character has been consuming too many sweets, like that piece of candy, and needs to substitute fresh fruit, like an apple)

Two things here. Thing one, this is (by my reckoning) the 9th cartoon riff on Magritte’s painting that I’ve posted about. Thing two, about M&Ms, and the green one in particular, which has its own life as a character in ads: a life as a sexy, seductive woman. So M Magritte (the cartoon character) might well desire to take her body into his mouth and, figuratively, eat her.

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Royal Melchior

January 7, 2022

A day late for the occasion — Epiphany, 1/6, the Feast of the Magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) —  an occasion in which I have a personal onomastic stake, as Arnold Melchior Zwicky, named for my father, who was named in honor of his father (Melchior Arnold Zwicky), who was, with two of his brothers, named after a Magus: Melchior, in one tradition king of the Persians, the bringer of gold to the Christ child, and the oldest of the three.

All of this was brought to my attention again yesterday, in a Facebook posting by Bert Vaux, which included this vintage advertising poster:


(#1) The Magus Melchior, roi des Perses, serving as advertising eponym and mascot for Royal Melchior vin mousseux (sparkling wine), in a poster (undated, but from early in the 20th century) by Leonetto Cappiello (sadly, this brand of sparkling wine is apparently no longer produced)

Now: refresher notes on Epiphany; and an appreciation of Cappiello.

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A jointed-limb portmanteau and a sugary front-clipping

March 18, 2021

Two recent Wayno/Piraro Bizarro strips, from the 15th and (for St. Patrick’s Day) the 17th, both of linguistic interest: among other things, the portmanteau arthropodcast in the first; and the front-clipping ‘shmallows (for marshmallows, of the psychedelic sort) in the second:

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