1. It’s the indignity of the attacks. They’re annoying enough to
    require reprisal, but there is no honor in using deadly force
    against mere annoyance. They don’t want to ignore the attacks,
    but they also don’t want to shoot.

  2. “Personally, I would prefer to be hit in the forehead with a suction cup arrow.”

    To each his own, I guess.
    Personally, *I* would prefer NOT to be hit in the forehead with a suction cup arrow.

  3. Recalling another Far Side showing the aftermath of a showdown: A gunslinger with pie all over his face and a clown lying dead. The caption was something along the lines of, “Technically it was a draw, but …”

  4. I thought the caption was wrong, but I discovered that I was confusing this one with a different comic. Larson used the suction-cup arrows again on 12-Jan-1993, showing them on a surviving soldier (presumably Custer), who was thinking “Toy with me, will they?
    P.S. The panel shown here was reprinted on 13-Jan-1989 (during Larson’s sabbatical), but I can’t find the original date, making it hard to look up in “The Complete Far Side“.

  5. Striking an enemy with the bare hand or a non-lethal weapon and getting away yourself unharmed was, for some tribes, an honorable achievement (“counting coup”). If the attackers are so close that they can get suction cup arrows to arc that high, with enough strength to stick to walls and/or people, I’d think they must be just a few feet away, so maybe this would qualify as counting coup. (At least for natives of the Silly Party, and possibly even for those of the Slightly Silly Party. Ftwang!)

  6. I think it’s just supposed to be silly. It’s not so much the indignity that causes the displeasure but the annoying silliness of it all. More of a “Aw, Jeez, again?” than an “Oh, ####! Dear mother of God, not again!!!”

    By the way, have any of you *ever* had a suction cup arrow ever work? Or is that just another trauma of my childhood of thinks never going the way they say they would.

  7. @ woozy – I’ve had to deal with a number of suction-cup projectiles in recent months, and I can confirm that they only very rarely work as they are supposed to. The permissible “window” (both in terms of the initial velocity of the projectile as well as the distance to the target) is extremely narrow. My son and I have been able to get them to stick a few times, but only under the most ideal circumstances.

  8. ” only very rarely” is infinitely better than I’ve ever achieved.

    And I’m being literal and technically accurate and not hyperbolic when I say “infinitely”. (Although I suppose “better” may be open to interpretation.)

  9. I can’t speak for arrows, but Nerf darts do reasonably well if shot straight-on at a smooth surface… windows and appliance doors, in my case.

    But, of course, they do MUCH better than BBs ever did.
    (My mom wouldn’t let me have a BB gun because she thought I would use it to shoot my sister. In retrospect, this seems a fairly accurate assessment. But I wouldn’t have shot anyone’s eye out, because that movie didn’t come out until I was older than Ralphie.)

  10. My experience with suction cups in general has been that they don’t work as well as advertised, regardless of how they get to the surface they’re supposed to stick to.

  11. I hope the soldiers are well supplied with those guns that stick out a flag that says “BANG!” Those are the only defense against suction-cup arrows.

  12. Several decades ago, my brother got a bow and suction-tipped arrows set with a stand-up (wooden, easel-like) target. We had no problem getting the arrows to stick to that target. Over time, we did have to lick the suction cups to facilitate their sticking, but still… more stuck to the target than not. My more recent experiences (only a couple decades ago) with Nerf arrows were more in line with Kilby’s, Tree’s, and Woozy’s.

  13. Okay, I have been waiting the last month for a comic with history to use to talk about this. I never plug my reenactment unit’s events as I figure it is wrong, but we are really looking for publicity for this event. If I am going too far Bill, please delete it and forgive me. I know most of you do not live anywhere near here – but wanted to mention this for those who are and might be interested.

    My reenactment unit is doing a new and (hopefully) large event this coming weekend – June 23-24 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration (on Long Island, NY). This is a multi-unit event that we came up with showing Long Island under the Occupation. New York, and more particularly, Long Island, was the longest occupied location of the American Revolution. We have units who interpret British Army Rev war units, ones that interpret Continental (Colonial) Army units and ones like us that are civilian coming to the event. We will be (hopefully) showing what life was like when the local citizens had to deal with the occupying British army.

    There will be a British army camp – with we civilians set up nearby. While there was not really Continental units located on the Island, there were raiding parties which came back from Connecticut to attack the British – so there will be a Continental army camp also – of course not in view of the British camp. There will be ongoing demonstrations of what life would have been like (presuming the “Redcoats” that are at the event are better than ones we had with us at Christmas who knew nothing other than military info) and a battle reenactment each day. On Saturday it will be 1777 and there will be the battle of Setauket . On Sunday it will be 1781 and there will be the battle of Ft. Salongo. These are actual battles that occurred during during the American Revolution by local men returning from Connecticut to Long Island with Connecticut men.

    So please forgive me for this personal post, but this is the most intelligent group I have found online and thought that possibly someone close enough to come might be interested. Thank you all for your indulgence.

  14. Thanks to Bill for the original date (4-March-1980) of the Far Side cartoon shown here. It was interesting to discover that although many of the cartoons in the “Complete Far Side” are later (colorized) versions, this one was still shown in its original black & white.

  15. P.S. And thanks for Meryl A for posting here, otherwise I would have missed Bill’s note. 😉

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