1. I don’t understand the New Yorker one. I get that the guy is holding a pizza cutter–though most pizzas are delivered already sliced–but other than that…? Is it a robbery with a pizza cutter?

  2. beckoningchasm got the New Yorker one @1 – that’s all there is to it.
    P.S. It took me three tries to figure out what “Botanic Death” is holding. At first I thought it was a vacuum cleaner, then a leaf blower, but now I think it’s a weed whacker (which is OK for “humor”, but it’s certainly not the right implement for “house plants”).

  3. When I worked in a high school library (for 30 years), with 12-foot ceilings and a wall of north-facing windows, folks whose plats had ‘outgrown’ their homes brought them to me. I had so many huge tall plants that an administrator who once tried to hold a school meeting in the library stated, ‘Someone needs to take a machete to this jungle.” Needless to say, this was NOT appreciated, neither by the staff NOR the plants. Unfortunately, when I retired, I had to leave the jungle behind. I sometimes wonder what they look like now, 13 years later; I’m sure DEATH OF HOUSEPLANTS has visited many times.

  4. Andréa, a library near here holds an annual plant sale, maybe they did that. Besides, it sound like they are Plants That Wouldn’t Die.

  5. I thought it was a badly drawn scythe and didn’t give it any thought. As a weed whacker that’s actually very funny…. until you realize a scythe is just a hand powered weed whacker. The analogy is of that death cuts us down as though we were no matter the shafts of wheat (or weeds… makes no difference to the metaphor) so that a Death of X would carry something that kills X doesn’t actually make any sense as the Death of Humans doesn’t carry anything that traditionally kills human.

    The New Yorker… I sort of get it but it also doesn’t make sense. I think the humor is that if you rob a human you use a knife or a gun. So if you rob a pizza you use a pizza cutter…. except he’s not robbing the pizza; he’s robbing the pizza delivery guy.

    I suppose like the death carrying a weed whacker it’s funny on first impression if you don’t analyze. Except you have to get the impression that the guy is trying to rob the pizza in the first place. Which, speaking for myself only, is just too weird and unnatural for me to even think of.

    If anything, my first instinct is a pizza cutter is useful *for* a pizza and something wanted. So putting it in the hands of a robber who should be working against the pizza delivery guy simply made no sense.

    It came across like a mugger trying to mug a vase of flowers with a sprinkling can.

  6. Definitely a line trimmer. You can see the line attached to the head. It’s a bit more wiggly than is typical in my experience, but clear to me.

  7. Yes, I do see that bit of line! So, if its actual, modern mode of operation is line trimmer rather than leaf blower, what is the curved thing mounted on the back/right just below the trimmer head? A shield for the trimmer? Or an element of the costuming, recalling the form of a scythe blade?

  8. “If anything, my first instinct is a pizza cutter is useful *for* a pizza and something wanted.”

    And a knife is used for surgery, and surgery saves lives! So why would a person be afraid of a mugger with a knife?

    The answer, of course, is that a mugger with a knife is not a surgeon, and a pizza-guy-robber is not a pizza-guy, so you shouldn’t expect that a pizza intercepted in the parking lot will NOT be cut correctly. There’s probably just a mess inside the box

  9. Given 5 key details, it looks like a Craftsman weed wacker to me. The segment of a frisbee-like circular thing IS a guard for the trimmer but it should be moved around the tube to the other side to protect the operator (I’ve never seen one oriented like the one in the panel. They’re often not straight back). The only important thing missing in the drawing is the hand grip (around the tube) that butts up against the engine. It was operated with one hand on the loop handle and one hand on the missing grip. There’s a different brand in the our basement that’s never been used since I moved in.

    It only takes a tiny scar from a weed wacker to kill a tree (it does take years for the infection to rot out the center; less time to cut off circulation to a branch or side of a tree. (I used to only be concerned about worms dying from the plastic and therefore not aerating the yard soil. I don’t know if that happens.)

  10. I had a hard time understanding the pizza delivery robbery too. How about a cook being robbed by a mugger with a frying pan? Seems that would be more intimidating.

    All the others were definite lols for me though.

  11. “And a knife is used for surgery, and surgery saves lives! So why would a person be afraid of a mugger with a knife?”

    Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.


    Oh, wait. No, I don’t. It was the other caption I meant to say.

    I said “First Instinct”. And I allowed that others might first instinct that mugger/knife, pizza-mugging/pizza cutter *is* a gut humor connection. Such an other person would laugh. But if like me the connection isn’t there no amount of thinking can explain why a pizza-cutter would work in any way. Unless he’s threatening to cut the pizza into a mess. Which I’ll confess is too *much* thinking for me to have considered. So the cartoon didn’t work for me.

  12. ” The segment of a frisbee-like circular thing IS a guard for the trimmer”

    It’s not there to protect the operator from the tool. It’s there to protect the tool from the operator.
    A string trimmer can handle whipping through grass just fine. But when the string hits a solid object, it breaks. So the guard is there to keep the operator from pushing the front of the tool into a rock, and breaking off the string.

  13. “But if like me the connection isn’t there no amount of thinking can explain why a pizza-cutter would work in any way.”

    Nice pizza you got there. Shame if anything were to happen to it…

  14. Bill – I get invitations from people I know to join LinkedIn. Robert told me never to reply to them as they are not generally sent by the person, but LinkedIn goes through their address book and sends it out. It is actually worse.. Last year I received an invitation to join from my sister. I emailed her back to tell her I had received. She had sent it to me. Why? LinkedIn told her that I am a members – I am not and have never been.

  15. We have a weed whacker that we use to cut the grass in front of the house. (We have a driveway that takes up at least 2/3 of the front of the house so there is minimum grass in front of the house. Robert has killed off -on purpose) the grass at the curb and most of the grass in the semi circle of the driveway – which has our van parked on it and kills it also.) For years he would use the weedwacker and and I would have to have to follow him – my job to keep track of the electric cord so he did not cut it. The past couple of years he is exhausted all the time (we presume related to keeping his blood sugar very low to deal with Diabetes) and in annoyance of listening to him, I have been grabbing it and cutting the grass in front of the house – it is much safer to be behind it using it, than any place else. I used to get hit by barrage after barrage of pebbles and stones when I just helping.

  16. I actually thought that the mugger had ordered the pizza. The humor is that instead of having it delivered at home he had it delivered to his workplace — which happens to be a a dark alley.

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