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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

We Pause For A Brief Word From Our Ulcer

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, juggling chainsaws
Cartoon by Stilton's Dad!
We're more or less taking the day off because, somehow, ever since The Great Plague of 2020 hit, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. Or, all too often, anything done. Ergo, the whole "juggling chainsaws" thing - although we never need much of an excuse to share a cartoon by Stilton's father.

Of course, there's plenty to talk about in the comments section: the "winding down" of the White House Coronavirus Task Force (just a bit premature in our estimation), the latest information about how the FBI totally boned General Michael Flynn as part of their coup attempt against Trump, and Biden's declaration that he plans to choose a female VP candidate based solely on a "sniff test."

For anyone who doesn't know how to get to the comments section, just click on the title of the day's post and share your thoughts. See you there!

40 comments:

Pat Cummings said...

I had a senior realization moment today. Chatting with my neighbor while her husband and kids were present, I said someone we knew was "about as swift as a one-legged man on a scooter." Blank faces all around. Not only did her kids not realize that "scooters" were once human-powered, pretty much requiring two working legs to get them moving at all, let alone fast, but neither of the parents had that concept in their experience.

I only mention it because I wonder how many of your readers, who I know totally got the crowd at the elevator, have seen similar "Huh?!?" reactions when they referred to things that used to be common parlance, and are now forgotten knowledge...

j said...

Mister STilton J the Sr. has the same delightfully warped sense of humor that I am accustomed to seeing from the younger - so there must be some good genes there!!!
Hope everyone in the family is well/

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Pat: Next time try "one legged man on a Razor scooter". That, at least, is a BIT more recent...

It's also interesting to see obsolete terms still in use. I can dial you up and ask you to tape a movie for me, for example...

Took my annual wellness exam the other week. One of the tests was to draw a clock face on a circle , with the hands pointed at 11:10.

I asked the nurse what was gonna happen when all the kids who never saw a dial clock or watch in their life were asked to take this test. She admitted she was wondering about that, herself...

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Pat: One more tale:

I was in the local bakery outlet, and was chatting about the local train show with the counter lady. I mentioned that I had a 1920s Lionel loco in the car, and went and got it to show her.

At this point, a 10 year old kid came in to buy a couple loaves of bread, came up to the counter and asked what that strange device was. I explained, and let her examine the nearly century-old toy train.

"Wow!" she exclaimed. "Are those REAL LIGHT BULBS? I've never seen one before!"

And thinking about it, she probably hasn't. She's grown up with LED flashlights and CFLs in the light fixtures...

Brie Camembert said...

Ah, nostalgia isn't what it used to be!

Fred Ciampi said...

The virus testers are coming to town today. We have a one o'clock appointment at the high school parking lot. They should have the whole town down in a couple of days. Yay. And speaking of nostalgia, I am forever cramming history down and into my kids, grand kids, and great grand kids. Most of them seem to enjoy it. And all of my light bulbs are incandescent. I have to buy them by the case from other than conventional sources.

pilotlance said...

I think I'll go listen to some music on my 45's...

Anonymous said...

You earned a day off - permission not required - you kids have fun !!

Jess said...

I went to a local fried chicken restaurant, where the young, soft-spoken lady behind the counter was wearing a mask. I couldn't understand her, and kept asking her to repeat what she said. Finally, after my frustration was turning to anger - and she was trying to charge me a tremendous price for my small meal - a manager stepped in to handle the order.

It's all madness. People are wearing masks that wouldn't stop a germ the size of a BB, and behaving like well trained dogs....sit...roll over....wear a mask.

Rod said...

I didn't sleep well last night with all this "stuff" going around in my head. Actually we're able to get along just fine too; lucky. All this is really tough on a lot of folks.

Enjoy your day off. Wife asked if I tried meditative breathing; told her I just focus on the breathing. But that got me thinking maybe there's some local diving without air travel or a lot of people on a boat. Or just get out in the canoe. Either would help. Many people find solace in work; I used to. But right now chores & work are opposites of meditation & sleep.

Cridge said...

Well it should be called The Great Panic of 2020 not the Great Plague. Also living and working as an implement dealer in rural Michigan, I sold a long ton of chain saws. Made sense to me.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pat Cummings- That happens to me all the time; I make a perfectly funny reference but it's baffling to anyone below AARP age. I make such references here on the blog all the time because I think we're all, for the most part, of similar vintage. And your scooter remark reminds me of a Johnny Optimism cartoon in which the one legged kid says it's a great day for skateboarding. "Why?" asks Johnny. "Because it's windy and I might move!" replies the kid.

@j- Genetically speaking, the nut didn't fall far from the asylum (and Daughter J shares what I'll optimistically call "the gift"). And we're all doing fine, outside of giving ourselves jailhouse tattoos.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- I read that traditional classroom clocks are being phased out of schools because today's kids can't read analog clocks. This does not encourage me for the future...

@Brie Camembert- You're right! I find it hard to believe we'll ever be nostalgic for this era.

@Fred Ciampi- I've got no idea when, where, if, or how anyone in my family will eventually be tested. I read that currently our country has the capacity to test just under 3% of the citizenry and few plans to make it more than that. Which is going to be problematic, to put it mildly. On an editorial note, the US has 1/3 of coronavirus cases but only around 4% of the world's population. This is not an indication that we've handled things well.

Regarding light bulbs, I've made my peace with LEDs, but want nothing to do with those goofy curlicue fluorescents which, per regulation, called for a hazmat suit to clean up if you broke one.

@pilotlance- Sad to think that today's kids don't know the simple joy of playing 45's at the 33 rpm setting so that everyone sounds like a brain-damaged frog.

@Anonymous- We did have fun! We shared an afternoon showing of Daughter J's favorite movie, "The Silence of the Lambs." Yep, that's my kid alright...

@Jess- I'm in favor of masks, but they really ARE frustrating and make for difficult communications. Plus, I miss giving and receiving smiles. Sigh...

@Rod- I had the same evening you did; just couldn't get to sleep with worries bouncing around in my noggin. Meditative/focused breathing really does help, and I encourage everyone to practice it. It's the closest we've got to an actual "chill pill." And at night time, I try to push the voices out of my head by listening to old time radio recordings of "Gunsmoke." And it works!

@Cridge- And whether panic or plague, there's nothing "great" about it...we need to say "big" or "huge." And good work selling all of those chain saws. Come the zombie apocalypse, your name will be legend!

Judi King said...

I, too, live in MI and am tired of the excoriating of the protesters that showed up with guns. They are saying (including FNC) that to protest jobs with guns defeats their purpose. It's not only about jobs, it's about the subtle, insidious erosion of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and these people had the courage to say "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore". It tells me that they are ready to fight for this and I am SO proud of some of the people from my state. We all need to fight for OUR Constitution.

jpb252 said...

The previous death forecasts for the Wuhan virus proved to be vastly overstated (by a factor of 10 or 20 times), but we're supposed remain cowering in our houses based on yet another apocalyptic prediction. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

jpb252 said...

@Judi King - on the news they've talked about the Michigan protestors displaying swastikas and made claims that they're white supremacists (yup, the old smear tactic), completely ignoring the fact that the only swastikas to been seen were on signs comparing Governor Whitmer to Hitler. Is it any wonder that "journalists" are held in even lower esteem than Congress. They make me want to puke.

Drew458 said...

Pat - There's a good chance that those people didn't understand you on purpose. You mentioned a "special person"'s "special situation" - a guy with one leg. That is so un-PC that the trained monkeys can't even process the thought. I'm amazed they even acted as if they heard you.

Yes, the mask thing is a bother. N95 - N100 masks will protect you quite well though.

Captain Cook said...

I've learned to not give a younger cashier $5.01 when, for example, the total price is $4.76, in hopes of receiving 25c in return. Also, on the rare occasion I present a $2.00 bill, chaos breaks out.

TrickyRicky said...

@Stilton- Regarding your editorial in the comments:

"On an editorial note, the US has 1/3 of coronavirus cases but only around 4% of the world's population. This is not an indication that we've handled things well."

This assumes accurate infection numbers from around the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. That is quite a leap of faith IMHO.

Paulie said...

I, for one, am totally convinced that this "pandemic" is merely a "Dem panic". While we continue to be fed horrifying statistics about infection and lack of testing, something we don't get is any kind of perspective. E.g.: why don't we get a true breakdown of the fatalities? Why is it accepted as good reporting to list virtually ALL deaths due to Covid 19?Why aren't we told that children are essentially immune from the disease, yet now here in MA we're under edict to mask all kids over the age of 2?
Talk about mad as hell...I'm looking for a protest to attend. This is beyond stupid and has become tyranny, IMO.

Geoff King said...

I really do not believe children should be taught obsolete technology such as how to read an analog clock. Why were we not taught how to install and align a sundial? No need because we had clocks.
Although I can see a problem when the squadron leader comes on the radio and says "bandits at 2 o'clock!", and a millennial pilot looks at his digital watch and thinks "good, I still have an hour and a half".

John the Econ said...

Too busy? Clearly you're not one of those people who are now voluntarily staying home because unemployment now pays better than going back to your daytime job.

Winding Down: Like with much of what the Trump Administration does, I question the optics of doing this now. Yes, the big decisions have been made. But people are still uncertain and concerned.

In Jail like Flynn: Another fine example of how the Obama Administration dragged us down to banana republic status. I can only imagine Nixon looking down (or up if you prefer) and saying, "Damn! Can you imagine the MSM outrage had this been done under a Republican administration?

If they can do this to an aide of President, what chances do you or I have in the face of a shadow government that deems us as "problematic"? Are we all that far removed from being Cuba or Venezuela?

Biden's VP Pick: I got a Facebook ad yesterday from something called the "Progressive Turnout Project", asking if I'd vote for a Biden/Abrams ticket. I'd have to answer with an resounding "YES!". (Stacy Abrams currently thinks she's the governor of Georgia based upon 50,000 imaginary ballots for her that were never counted)

As I have to keep reminding my Democrat friends, the only reason that Trump got to be President in the first place is because of the abject mediocrity of the candidates they keep presenting to the American public. Obama was mediocre, but won because, as Biden once put it, Obama was "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy", the economy had crashed and America was over the Bush dynasty. Hillary Clinton was the Clinton without charm. And now they present us a grabby senile guy.

As for Biden's ultimate VP pick, I can only hope that it's first vetted by a 9-year-old transgendered child, which appears to be the standard now for Progressive electability picks. But we already know that whoever gets the call, it won't be done by Joe, who I seriously doubt can pick lunch from a menu anymore.

Judi King said...

@ jpb252: Agreed. I've watched several video of the two protests in Lansing, MI and saw NO confederate flags or swastikas. More Media BS.

Pat Cummings said...

Idle thoughts that swim to the surface at 3 AM: One benefit of the Grave Panic of 2020 is that it has virtually eliminated the "duck-face" selfie pose. Oh, they may still be doing it—who knows what absurb lip-screwing goes on under those masks? (Who cares?)

Real smiles, on the other hand, are now easier to spot, since they affect the unmasked zone around the eyes...

@M. Mitchell Marmel, @Geoff King: One of the tests for brain function, post-stroke, is the "draw an analog clock showing N:NN time"—Daughter Jarlsberg probably knows about this one. I'm sure they're working on a similar analog image for younger brain-damage victims who were never taught how to read such a timepiece.

@Drew458: I dunno. We've shared non-PC jokes with the neighbors often enough, and they did laugh once the concept behind this one was explained. It was more that the only scooters they'd ever seen had motors in them. The oldest kid even exclaimed, "Ah! Now I get the deal in 'Back to the Future' when Marty breaks the scooter to make a skateboard..."

Colby Muenster said...

First, I must thank Stilton for posting his "May the fifth be with you" graphic Monday after I requested it. Hopefully belated thanks are better than none!

Concerning scooters, clocks and such, y'all sound like a bunch of broken records.

I also worry about Trump pushing re-opening too soon, and end up getting blamed for thousands of deaths, but dammit, our country will (and much to the delight of Democrats) slide into the third world if it isn't done soon. I'm a geezer (you pegged it Stilton!), and will likely die if the virus erupts in a bigger way, but I want my grandkids to live their lives in a free American Republic, not living in the novel "1984." The Democrats claim to desire a Socio-Democratic government like Sweden, but we all know the real vision is a bit more sinister ("You VILL obey!").

Dan said...

@Pat Cummings -- yup. Smiles can still be seen and shared even if wearing a standard face mask.

Regarding socializing, fortunately, since both the Mrs and I are "of age" one or both of us gets to get out every day. Either the leg checks and wrap at the clinic, allergy checks across town, steroid shots in the ankle, maybe some eye-operation prep in a month or so. Just a social whirl! Plus, even though I've lived here in Georgia for over twenty years now, in my heart I'm a Texan so I've pretty much ignored all this "stay in your house" nonsense.

Oh -- the bug guy came by the other day. When he came in he had to put on his mask before starting to spray. Something his company had never required before. But when he went back outside he was able to take his mask off before he started using the high-test stuff to spray around the slab.

Finally, yes it's true. Stacey's election as VP would be a great loss to us folks living herein the State of Georgia. More of a loss to the country as a whole, though.

Whatever.

REM1875 said...

Your Dad is always right on .... and on a lot of dayze I feel I am juggling chainsaws and even worse I finally just got em all to run.

This CCP 19 is killing me. I am so sick an tired of hearing about it I just want too ....

But to be truthful I am retired, slothful and a Grinch so not much in my life has changed at all ........

DougM said...

Stealin' jokes from Johnny Optimism again?
Proudaya, son

Your ol' Dad was a pretty good cartoonist.
My ol' Dad did pretty good caricatures.
Creation by mere pencil still amazes me.

NVRick said...

Many years ago, a good friend (are there any other kind?) and I drove a car from WI out to CA to give it to his son.
While there, we went to Venice Beach where we actually watched a guy juggling three running chain saws. Near as I could tell, he still had all his limbs and digits.
We also saw a guy who broke a whole lot of bottles and then proceeded to jump from a chair onto the broken glass.
And we also saw another guy actually eat glass.
Weird place, California.

Gonz'57 said...

I still can't wrap my around all the hype about wearing masks and "Stay at Home" bs. The "experts" tell us we need to develop a herd immunity to Covid or any other viral disease. Herd immunity means somewhere in the vicinity of 75% of the population needs to be exposed. So, how is this supposed to happen if every one is wearing masks and never leaving their house? Does this mean that there would probably be more deaths? Most likely. On the other hand, if the population does not reach herd immunity are we looking at a raging comeback of Covid next fall/winter? What will happen if our inglorious leaders shut down the economy again and bolstered by how easy it was to disregard our Constitutional rights this time around what other abuses can we look forward to the next time around?

Testing everybody makes no sense either. What does a test tell you? That you do or do not have Covid. Testing does nothing to change treatment options if do have Covid and the symptoms become serious enough to warrant medical attention and possibly hospitalization. You could get tested today and be clear but be infected tomorrow. Testing is useless. Showing symptoms, stay home. Symptoms get worse, call your doctor. Treat the symptoms.

And now for something completely different (Homage to Terry Gilliam).

AOC made a statement re: Tara Reades' sexual assault allegation against Mr. Biden. Here's an excerpt - "I think a lot of what we can look for is, look at the aims that the survivor is asking for. And while a lot of folks, again, are trying to jump to the political implications, she has never explicitly said, 'don't vote for Joe Biden,'" Ocasio-Cortez said. "She hasn't explicitly said anything in terms of a political remedy that she wants. If anything, it sounds like she simply wants to be heard." Astonishing! Words have meaning. Notice AOC uses the word "survivor" which would mean that Reade really was assaulted in AOC's opinion. Apparently the post #metoo belief in the Democratic party is that you can sexually molest a women but if she still might cast a vote for you then it doesn't really matter. Democrats, what a bunch of two faced bastards. The whole lot of them.

John the Econ said...

@Gonz'57, the unfortunate fact is that we still don't know what we still don't know. For example, it's still not clear that having had the virus and developing antibodies for it protects you from suffering from it after subsequent exposures. That right there is the big deal, and renders "herd immunity" non-existent if you can catch it again after already having or being exposed to it.

And you are right about the "Testing! Testing! Testing!" refrain that Progressives mindlessly repeat in chorus. Until the reinfection question gets answered and antibody testing becomes widespread and available, the only point of testing is in aiding health care professionals in determining possible treatments for people who are currently presenting symptoms. If you are not currently presenting symptoms, then testing does very little for you at this point because you can't act on it. If this were a more common virus like with the common flu or cold and you've already been exposed but are otherwise healthy, you could get on with your life. But we don't yet know that with COVID-19. So if you're in one of the "vulnerable" category, you are still stuck in lockdown.

#DToo!: It is refreshing to see the uncommon honesty among Progressives regarding Biden & the Tara Reade issue. Basically, they've all conceded to that which we've known all along; that #MeToo was nothing more than a Progressive power play, and #BelieveAllWomen only applies to those accusing conservatives.

Basically, they're saying that "Yeah, Biden's a cheat, corrupt, and likely a rapist, but hey, he's still better than Trump!"

As I've said many times here, organized Feminism committed suicide 20 years ago when it went all-in to save the Presidency of the ultimate misogynist pig, Bill Clinton.

If you can defend the Clintons, what won't you defend?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Judi King- I support the right of protesters to carry guns, but in this case I think the heavily armed guys were showboating and didn't do their cause any good. I agree, though, that we need to fight for our rights if and when it comes to it.

@jpb252- I believe the original projections were based on doing nothing to prevent the spread. Sheltering in place brought the number way down for now, but it's not a strategy that can last forever. When people try to go back to normal, we're going to see the death numbers rising - so for now, I'm not sure how far off those initial estimates will be. Maybe a lot, maybe not.

And I completely echo your feelings about "journalists."

@Drew458- You're right, people probably tuned out as soon as their brain registered that it was a joke about someone with special needs. People who, I daresay, would not much enjoy Johnny Optimism (grin).

@Captain Cook- I have the same experience with cashiers! If you try to make it easy for them to give you change, you only baffle them. Thanks, easily accessible calculators!

@TrickyRicky- A fair point! But right now, I don't have much faith in data from ANYplace (including the US) so just have to muddle through with what stats are currently considered official. That being said, I still think the US has largely done a poor job of dealing with Covid19 to date. The White House may boast of doing "twice the testing of any other country," but that's highly misleading - we don't do near the testing per capita of other countries that have a better handle on things at this point. That needs to change and, sadly, I'm not seeing much impetus from on high to make it happen.

@Paulie- The information we're receiving is chaotic and frustration is a natural response. Regarding masking kids, I'm guessing it's because they can be asymptomatic carriers who might infect others. Also, in NY there are a growing number of cases of kids coming down with weird coronavirus-related conditions. We still have very little idea what's really going on.

@Geoff King- Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, but I think kids should learn analog clocks because of the mathematical underpinnings of understanding and visualizing the relationship of the hands to the whole of the circular clock face. It's a very basic concept but I think it's important in the underpinnings of many math concepts.

@John the Econ- Fine remarks throughout!

@Judi King- Question: is "media BS" a redundant term these days?

@Pat Cummings- Be watching for "duck lips" masks to be a stylish thing soon.

@Colby Muenster- Well put. I personally thing there's going to be havoc upon reopening which will last a long time, but we're out of options. Temporary safety doesn't make permanent societal collapse acceptable.

@Dan- Yep, being "of age" does require us to get out and interact with the medical professionals tasked with keeping us going. Happily, our experience in that regard has been really positive around here, with people taking excellent precautionary measures.

@REM1875- I'm sick of all things Covid19 too, but we're sort of stuck with it. And I, too, already tended to spend most of my time in the house and at my desk. But knowing that the outside world is in such a meat grinder (and that it's the world my daughter is now inheriting) ups the stress a lot.

@DougM- The line between reality and Johnny Optimism's world has gotten pretty damn thin lately. And good on your Dad for doing caricatures! One of the things I like about my Dad's cartoons is that he'd scribble them quickly with the minimum amount of line work to get the idea across. That takes artistry! Personally, I like to draw but wouldn't inflict my efforts on others. I'm really impressed by the actual cartoonists I know.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@NVRick- So were those entertainers, or is that just what Californians do for fun?

@Gonz'57- Herd immunity is indeed desirable...but we still don't know that it can be achieved, even if everyone gets the illness. Ordinary flu kills hundreds of thousands around the globe annually because we don't develop herd immunity to the shifting strains. We don't know with certainty that the coronavirus will create immunity in those who have had it nor, if it does, how long such immunity will last. Also worth noting, it's considered quite possible that a coronavirus re-infection will be more devastating to someone who has had it before and, as a bonus, people who do survive a nasty bout of Covid19 may remain impaired (in multiple organs) for the rest of their potentially-shortened lives. All of which is a solid argument for caution (not cowardice), and "testing, testing, testing" until we really know what the hell we're dealing with.

And regarding "treating the symptoms," this is as good a place as any to mention that the enthusiasm over Resmedivir is entirely unwarranted. It may help reduce the length of recovery by several days, but has no effect on death rates - you're just as likely to die with it as without it. At $1000/dose, I'm not sure we're getting bang for our buck. Especially since Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, and Azithromycin - all affordable - actually DO reduce deaths and have significantly greater positive impact than Resmedivir. Something stinks about all of this.

As for AOC, well, to hell with her (grin).

@John the Econ- Good points about Covid19. I could have saved myself a lot of typing (above) if I'd read your comment first! And it's interesting and appalling to hear Democrats declaring that sexual assault is no big deal if the perpetrator is politically useful. We've always known that's what they think, but I honestly didn't expect to hear them admit it.

Judi King said...

@ Stilton: Yes, redundant.

DougM said...

Stilt,
My youthly cartoons were all Don Martin (Mad) derivative,
but the jokes were lame, mainly puns.
Wait, hold on…
[rifles through old file to find the Lunar-landing-finds-bleu-cheese or the Noah's-arc cartoons]
Ah, good.
Can't find 'em

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@DougM- Don Martin did enormously silly cartoons and I loved them. And I similarly loved his gift for creating descriptive sound effects; in Johnny Optimism, the surgeon character makes a "sklitch! sklitch!" sound when cutting, which is a shout out to Don Martin. I was a big fan of Mad magazine back in the day, then National Lampoon. And of course, I'm told there were a lot of great cartoonists represented in Playboy.

Liberty Card said...

Wow, lota comments. Here's my fun time. I get campaign mailings from The Dimorat Party and Sleepy Joe due to my deceased stepdad's address being changed to mine when he passed.

I always open it, stuff all their propaganda into the postage paid envelope that they mark with an arrow and a note that a stamp will save them campaign funds, which I note with "Good" on the arrow pointed to the wish.

I also resonde to their appeals that always start with "Are you with us" which I answer "No, I am voting for Republicans in every office on the ballot" in huge letters. And for the different levels of support, I scratch out them all, and place in the "other" box "$0.00" On the latest one they sent me asking for a donation to Sleepy Joe's campaign, I wrote "No, I don't vote for lying women molesters. BTW how many times do I have to tell you dopes I'm voting for Republicans?

They must have a machine opening, but I get some satiation out of giving them my opinion.

JustaJeepGuy said...


@Stilt, your comment

"And of course, I'm told there were a lot of great cartoonists represented in Playboy."

reminded me of one cartoon I did see in "Playboy": at what is obviously a political convention, Diogenes is there with his lamp, and a security guard tells him, "Beat it."

Of course, it is assumed that the reader knows who Diogenes was, and that he carried a lamp and why...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Liberty Card- I salute your efforts to annoy the Democrats and waste their money!

@JustaJeepGuy- Playboy had wonderful cartoonists. And I like the Diogenes cartoon (and even sort of remember it), but it would probably draw a lot of blank stares these days.

JustaJeepGuy said...


@Stilt,

If I'm not mistaken, the Diogenes cartoon was in an issue from 1972 but it might have been '68. Some election year, for sure!

Yes, I'm sure lots of blank stares and "I don't get it" went around even then. Nowadays? Probably not 1 in 100 people would get it now without an explanation, sadly.

piraz34 said...

Pilotlance mentioned listening to some music on his 45's. Hmmm; all my 45's sound exactly the same, " bang, bang, bang ".