Archive for the ‘Toys and games’ Category

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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Bingo!

May 16, 2022

Today’s morning name, which led me back to an onomatomanic Zippy strip from 7/3/21 (yes, I work extremely slowly):


(#1) Zippyesque repetitive phrase disorder, aka onomatomania, fixated on exploding magic bingo bombs

This being a Zippy strip, exploding magic bingo bombs are a real thing; Bill Griffith doesn’t just make up stuff like this.

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Enduring classics

October 10, 2021

Let me slide into this one.

In yesterday’s posting “Gilligan’s aisle”, I marveled at the fact that a profoundly silly tv show from 1964-67 (Gilligan’s Island) was still available enough to the pop-cultural consciousness to serve as the hook for a punning Bizarro cartoon. It’s achieved some sort of classic status.

And then today’s Rhymes With Orange comic turns on a computer game that counts as antique in that world: the computer tiling game Tetris (released in 1984, for the Electronika 60 computer). The comic:


(#1) Incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t know about the game Tetris and how it looks on the screen; otherwise, this just looks like a peculiar depiction of the idiom rain cats and dogs (whose etymology is unknown, though you can find a pile of inventive speculations about it)

But it seems that pretty much everybody knows about Tetris, so the comic works.

Then, as a bonus, it turns out that today’s Rhymes is a re-play of one from 2010, eleven years ago.

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The Zanzibar carnival

March 14, 2021

From the Economist‘s 2/20/21 issue, p. 39 “Tree trade: Coconut shy”, beginning:

Zanzibar: Why palm trees are driving property moguls nuts

The island of Zanzibar has more than 4m coconut trees, and each one has an owner

There’s a simple and obvious pun in this: in the noun nuts referring to plant products vs. the adjective nuts ‘crazy’.  But then there’s the N + N compound coconut shy (a specifically British item that I was pleased to have recognized), which bears every mark of an Economist playful allusion to a carnival game, but with a play on shy (adjective? the aversive verb?) that bears somehow on fruit tree ownership on Zanzibar. Here I can only report that I don’t get half of the joke.

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Smearing and taunting

June 17, 2020

(Adapted and expanded from a Facebook comment of mine a while back. Some coarse sexual language, notably from American newsmakers, but also enough about sexual bodies and mansex from me to make the posting dubious for kids and the sexually modest.)

Every so often, MSNBC commentator Ali Velshi tartly notes — alluding to the Imperator Grabpussy’s smears of President Barack Obama as a Muslim born in Kenya — that he is a Muslim who was born in Kenya (though he grew up in Canada).

There’s a linguistic point here, having to do with relevance and implicature. Why does Velshi say this? Yes, it’s true, but then “The freezing point of water is 32F” is true, but if Velshi had said that it would have been bizarre, because it would have been irrelevant in the context. So Velshi’s religion and nativity are relevant in the context. Cutting through a whole lot of stuff, I would claim that Velshi is implicating something like “Being one myself, I know from Muslims born in Kenya, and I know that Barack Obama is no Muslim born in Kenya”. And THAT brings me to a piece I’ve been wrestling with some time, about Grabpussy Jr. jeering at Mitt Romney, taunting him by calling him a pussy. (I have a Velshian response of my own to that.)

Hang on; this will go in several directions.

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Hung with care

December 24, 2019

Yes, cheap louche wordplay, and for Christmas. Manifested in the playful and deeply carnal CGI artwork of Vadim Temkin, in his alphabet of gay sex, where the letter shapes are formed by men’s bodies and body parts, many engaged in a variety of intense sexual acts.

This material, chock-full of sex talk in street language, is massively unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest, even without the images rife with male genitalia (which are in a posting on AZBlogX, 12/21/19, “Surprise! Vadim’s gay alphabet”).

Then, though the alphabet began merely as a set of 26 images, it came to me as worked into another genre: these images on the faces of surprise cubes, a set of 8 cubes which arrived a few days ago as Vadim’s New Year’s 2020 gift.

But first, the images, especially the one for the letter X, “eXcited Xmas eXhibitionist”, showing a well-hung Santa, with a Christmas wreath hung on his thick, solid erection (fuzzed over for WordPress, but inspectable on AZBlogX), while Santa himself hangs on a St. Andrew’s Cross, welcoming restraint, abuse, and pain. It’s a complex message.

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On the rubber fowl beat

November 22, 2019

In my writing, it goes back a dozen years to a Language Log posting on rubber ducky, with further duck notes over the years; notable from the outset were items like the vinyl rubber ducky, a rubber ducky made of vinyl. And then today Bob Eckstein burst onto Facebook with a new Christmas item from the Archie McPhee company, a rubber chicken Christmas ornament — yes, a glass rubber chicken.

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Monsters and their Peeps

April 11, 2019

Yesterday in the posting “Crunching the festive rabbits” on this blog, Godzilla consumed Peeps. Just as I posted that, the Mental Floss site came through with more thrilling Peepsiana: “Artist Turns 5000 Marshmallow Peeps Into a Game of Thrones Dragon” by Michele Debczak, with a dragon composed of Peeps:


(#1) A Peeps dragon; so far as I can tell, there are no dragon Peeps (that is, Peeps in the shape of dragons, though there also are no Peeps composed of dragons, no Peeps manufactured by dragons, etc.)

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Low back issues

March 20, 2019

… in a One Big Happy cartoon (in auditorium) and in the title of a 1998 movie (the nickname Paulie): in American English, unrounded [ɑ] for rounded [ɔ], collapsing the distinction between the phonemes /a/ in cot and /ɔ/ in caught.


(#1) Discomfort in the low back region: Polly on the left, Paulie on the right

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Roland B. McRiver

March 11, 2019

In my comics feed yesterday (presumably originally in print on 2/11), a One Big Happy in which Ruthie uses a doll to take on the personality of Tina Turner covering the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit “Proud Mary” — “Rollin’ on the River”:


(#1) Ruthie burlesquing “Rollin’ on the River” as “Roland B. McRiver”

Background: the CCR song, the Tina Turner version, Tina Turner herself, the Tiny Tears doll — a ton of pop culture. And then Ruthie’s burlesque, which reproduces, in its mangled way (Joe: “Make her stop. PLEASE!”), all three verses of the original and its chorus.

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