Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Say What?

If there is any argument to be made in favor of "legacy" strips, continued many years and decades after their original creator has passed, such an argument almost surely would have to focus strongly on Blondie. Sure, it's undoubtedly nowhere near as good as it used to be, as these things go, but it's still consistently funny. I would argue that Blondie is one of the best strips on the comics page, almost solely because whomever is writing the strip these days is a very talented gag writer. It may not have anywhere near the biting social commentary or virtuoso linework of the original Blondie, but it makes me laugh. Which is more than I can say for most everything else on the comics page.

But today's Blondie . . . I don't get it. There are two possible interpretations: one, Dagwood didn't rinse the "toothpaste" from his teeth and has the hiccups; two, Dagwood swallowed his toothpaste and is farting soap bubbles. Neither answer is really adequate in the face of the mental leaps required to get from point A - brushing his teeth with shampoo - to point C - sitting in his office with soap bubble in the air around him. Most people rinse their mouths pretty thoroughly after brushing their teeth, because toothpaste is generally rather nasty, mint be damned. Also, no one in their right mind swallows their toothpaste. You're not supposed to. The best proof of this is the fact that they make children's toothpaste that is OK to swallow - it's not hard to infer that swallowing normal toothpaste is Not OK.

So which is it? Neither answer is satisfactory. Is there a third option - does Dagwood just like blowing bubbles in his cubicle as a means of alleviating the soul-crushing boredom of his cubicle drone existence, and isthe punchline merely a non sequitor intended to mock the audience's gutter-minded expectation of easy fart jokes? This is seriously bugging me here.

No comments :