1. Is this a test of concussion? A common symptom of it is a
    ringing in the ears. Even so, it doesn’t explain the joke.

  2. I understand the eye test the doctor is giving Horton. And I am familiar with Horton Hears A Who.
    (And Horton Hatches The Egg which I’m pretty sure is irrelevant here. And how an elephant got into my pajamas I’ll never know. But I digress.)
    I don’t understand this comic.

  3. My guess: Horton has been hearing things that nobody else can. The doctor is performing a preliminary exam for some sort of brain damage, before ordering a CAT scan or MRI.

  4. Horton has been hearing things that aren’t there. So we’re looking for visual hallucinations, too.

  5. The joke is rather than hearing the faint cries of a miniature civilization, Horton is suffering from idiopathic intracranial hypertension, stroke, concussion, or some other neurological problem.

    Or perhaps the joke is that rather than saving the Whos, a hypochondriacal Horton goes to the doctor instead.

    At my doctor’s office, the waiting room has a TV that shows some “educational” health channel that includes all sorts of warning signs for various ailments. There are also scattered about several Dr. Seuss books. Perhaps Mr. Bliss’s doctor’s waiting room is similar, and in a flu-addled stupor while struggling to come up with an idea for comic before his deadline, Mr. Bliss thought one of the above would make for a funny comic.

  6. I don’t get it. But I have always liked that all the events of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” take place in the dust speck on Horton’s flower 🙂

  7. Let me take a stab at it. We know Horton has excellent hearing. The doctor has used a penlight to check that his pupils contract, and is now checking peripheral vision, and to do so has moved the penlight to the side (notice the dotted line going toward Horton’s ear). The dotted line wouldn’t be there if it were not part of the “story”.

    Horton HEARS the light!

    Perhaps Horton has gone to the doctor because he’s concerned because he’s hearing tiny voices, and now hearing the light is shocking to him, hence the expression on Horton’s face.

  8. Are we overthinking this a bit? His extraordinary hearing ability is why he can hear the whos. If he has developed a slight ringing in his ears, that is a major concern so he has gone in for a physical. The vision test is part of that to check overall baseline functions. The test is usually to focus on a point and indicate when the finger is visible as it comes in from the side. I don’t think the penlight is on, just the point to focus on. I have tinnitus and I can’t hear very well when it is raging…..a slight ringing for Horton would be bad. The joke is the play on what Horton hears, it’s a stretch for a chuckle.

  9. “We know Horton has excellent hearing.”

    But DO we know this? We really only have Horton’s word for this, along with Dr. Seuss’s documentation of the case, but the latter is a known confabulator. We’re supposed to believe that the exact same elephant heard the Whos AND hatched an egg, despite elephants not being known for either one of those things?

  10. What if Horton’s hearing was not quite as good. Instead of hearing the Whos distinctly, he just heard a ringing in his ear?

  11. Yeah, I think John K’s reply makes sense. Horton didn’t go see a Doctor when he heard a voice coming from a speck of dust, but a slight ringing in his ear is cause for concern.

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