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Posted at 8:05 AM ET, 07/31/2009

Private Parts: A Laugh Built Entirely Upon Misdirection

By The Reliable Source

The early a.m. roundup of today's toons, from directional abilities to correctional facilities...

'BEETLE BAILEY' (KFS)Enlarge Image

This Riffster comes today not to bury "BEETLE BAILEY," nor to praise it. No, this is just a case of when I find a strip funny only because it reminds me of something funny. Pure tangential, happenstance, even-a-busted-clock-is-right-twice-a-day kind of funny.

Today's "Beetle," y'see, reminds me of the best "Y'Can't-Beat-Schadenfreude-For-Hearty-Yuks" news stories of the week. In case you missed it, it's the tale of the Swedish couple who so trusted their car's navigation system, they missed their destination by, oh, nearly the length of an entire nation. How you miss arriving at an island by a whole country, well -- that's no mean navigational feat.

Mark Twain once wrote in a letter: "The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter -- it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." Well, for this pair of Swedish tourists, the difference between the right direction and the almost right direction was transposed consonants. Having arrived in Italy, they typed in "Carpi" (the grittier Italian industrial town) instead of "Capri" (the picaresque southern Italian hot spot of an island) into their nav system.

Call it the Case of the 400-Mile Typo.

For more on the story, here's the UK Telegraph's account.

'GET FUZZY' (UPS)Enlarge Image

GET FUZZY: Hands (and paws) down, "Tantrum meditation" wins the Riffy for Pun O' the Week. We are at peace with this decision, if not furiously so.


MOTHER GOOSE & GRIMM: The hardest step is admitting it: I'm a sucker for today's strip. It's not the gag, which is as old as adult diapers themselves. It's the fact that the gag has been grafted onto a newspaper-industry premise. Sigh -- my self-interest is too, too easy. Topically, I'm a hot-type trollop. Although apparently, I don't sell myself quite as cheaply as Grimmy...

'PEANUTS' (UFS)Enlarge Image

PEANUTS: In Magic Eye fashion, this strip reads entirely differently if you stop to consider that the TV show actually tltled "Life Goes On" went off the air in 1993 -- about three years before this cartoon was drawn. Just sayin'.


RHYMES WITH ORANGE: Atypically, this joke entirely sneaked up on me undetected. A gag so stealthy, it's criminal. And deft.

By the way, I've noticed Hilary Price sometimes, over weeks, will tease several punch lines out of a similar set-up. So what's that mean for next week? I predict a gag about "file sharing."

Are there any strips you love -- or loathe -- today? Your comments, and links, are invited.

By The Reliable Source  | July 31, 2009; 8:05 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: Best of the 'Gates'-Gate Political Cartoons: Pick Your Fave


I seem to recall someone (Bullwinkle? Natasha?) asking Boris Badenov if he went to school "at Penn State". Boris replied, "No. State Pen."

Posted by: filfeit | July 31, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Does it say something about the state of the newspaper industry, and the demographics of its current readership, that out of all the thousands of consumer products that they could have chosen for advertising "placement", they chose "Depends"?

Posted by: seismic-2 | July 31, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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