42 Comments

  1. To answer your question I’d have to understand this and … this is a CIDU for me.

    BTW, did an earlier strip deal with the very disturbing logo they have?

  2. In Jeremy’s defense, this was a job interview arranged by his father. He was just going along with it, likely just to keep the peace. I find it totally believable that he doesn’t really expect to get the job, and didn’t do any research on the place before showing up. I’m sure hilarity (after a fashion) will ensue for a while with job-related humor. And when they run out of jokes, he’ll be out of this job like he was with the supermarket one.

  3. I know someone who applied to work at Disneyland for a summer job. Everything was proceeding fine until he found out that working in their “German” pavillion required dressing up in costume, meaning “Lederhosen“. He was from northern Germany, and wasn’t about to disfigure himself with anything that Bavarian.

  4. @woozy, I was initially disturbed by the logo, but I realized the whole “peasant on a skewer” concept seems like it would be highly appetizing to the upper crust clientele.

  5. Just to be the Devil’s Advocate – assuming the restaurant serfs only dinner (haha), and the job interview took place earlier in the day, he STILL may not have noticed the costumes. OR he was looking down, as usual, at his phone and was oblivious to his surroundings. Which seems pretty normal for him; not stupid, just not ‘there’.

  6. How about “surely you joust”?

    Yeah, that’s the title of a Ray Stevens album, but who’s gonna remember that?

  7. There are a number of reasons he wouldn’t have thought he needed a costume. A couple of them were said by Andrea. Seems perfectly plausible to me that the interview wouldn’t be happening during main serving hours, so most of the people might not be in costume yet. And even if some were, he is applying as a busboy, a position that doesn’t include customer interactions and as such might not require a costume. If I were paying someone to clean up dirty dishes and tables and mop floors, etc., I’d probably not put them in an expensive (or even cheap) costume when the risk of contamination is fairly high and that would lead to expensive cleaning costs.

  8. The usage of “thou” seems correct to me (it was originally the “familiar” form for what we now call “you”). The possessive form would be “thine”.

  9. Talking of young people not noticing where they are, a few years ago I saw a local TV interview with an agriculture student who was on a placement dealing with the cows on a dairy farm called Worthy Farm in Pilton, near Wells, here in Somerset. She said it took her some time and only after seeing a large pyramidal skeletal metal structure in one part of the farm, to realise that she was working at the site of the massive almost-annual Glastonbury Festival – an event to which she had recently been.

    The festival has an attendance of about 135,000, more than ten times the population of Wells, a cathedral city a few miles away. But every now and then – 2012, for instance, and this year as well – the festival skips a year to let the farmland recover a bit and to give the cows a break. So it looked like a farm and the student could be forgiven for not recognising it was a festival site (though her boss, farmer and fest-starter Michael Eavis, has a pretty distinctive look about him).

  10. I’d rather use “thee” (“I love thee”): object not subject? “thou” would be subject: “thou lovest me”.
    “knowest” is wrong. “I know, thou knowest” or “ken”, maybe ?

  11. P.S. @ Andréa – The form “knowest” in the third panel seems wrong, that would be 2nd person singular.

  12. @ Olivier – Thou winnest the click race! But seriously, the test for thou/thee is to recast it with the modern pronoun in third person. Would you prefer “It s***eth to be he.“, or would you rather have “It s***eth to be him.” ? I think it’s a hard choice.
    Using first person doesn’t work as a test, because everyone says “It’s me!” rather than the nerdy version “It is I!“. Everyone, that is, except my kids, who both went through a brief phase in which they backtranslated the German phrase “Ich bin’s!” to come up with “”It is I!“, before picking up the colloquial (i.e. “normal”) usage from me.

  13. “Olde” English (as opposed to “Old English” or to the probably-more-appropriate to the restaurant’s supposed medieval period setting “Middle English”) has, verily and forsooth, its own rules, chief of which is that there are no rules other than sticking a random letter “e” on the end of a lot of words and throwing in a bunch of “thou” and “thee” to alert the suckers, er, patrons that this is Thine Authentic Olde English Experience, and they shouldest liveth it to ye fullest by taking pence to Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe posthaste, forsooth, verily.

  14. Wow, I just had my first comment awaiting moderation alert. Possibly the bot felt that ‘forsooth’ was a naughty word?

  15. “You” is different than most pronouns in that it serves for both subject and object. “Thee” and “thou” are the analogs to “me” and “I” or “her” and “she”. “Thy” is the possessive.

    Thou should give to me thy money. Or something like that. The verb conjugation is probably wrong for the period.

    As I recall, like French, use of “thou” etc. is the form for very close relationship or from a socially superior speaker to an inferior.

  16. would be subject: “thou lovest me”.

    Except “This meal loves me not” is acceptable tudorian english to mean “I do not love this meal”

    And similarly the german folk song “Du, Du, liebst mir in Herzen, Du, Du liebst mir in Sinn, Du, du machst mir viel Schmerzen; weiss nicht wie gutt ich dir bin” translates literally as: “You, you, love me in heart; you, you love me in mind; you, you make much pain for me; don’t know how good I am for you”.

    Clearly “Du” the subject, doesn’t love “mir” the object. Obviously it is the other way around. And we can tell that because “mir” is dative and the not accusative. “Du liebst mich” means you love me. “Du liebst mir” means “You evoke love by me” means “I love you”.

    English dative and accusative are the same for “me/me” so

    But “thou lovest me” may also mean “I love you”. Which is … confusing.

    …..

    Just tossing it out there.

  17. If this wasn’t a strip where every character was an unobservant idiot, I’d wonder if perhaps he thought that the busboys weren’t required to costume, because they’re supposed to be more in the background. But that’s not how Zits works.

  18. Kilby: why didn’t they back translate it “I am it”? (And conversely, why isn’t it “Es ist ich” in German?)

    Woozy: the version I know is “Du liegst mir im Herzen” (You lie in my heart, with an extra reflexive in the German, You lie me in my heart — but since in German there is a distinction between the accusative and dative “me”, it is clear that you are not laying me in your heart, but that you lie in my heart.)

    The verse that threw me until I thought about it is “Doch, doch, darf ich dir trauen, dir, dir, mit leichtem Sinn?” (Yet can I trust you, you, you, with a light heart?); I at first thought the light heart belonged to “you” and not the singer, and couldn’t fathom why “dir” was used (it’s used because it matches the repeating pattern already established in the song, ie: it’s decorational, whereas I was expecting it to be functional, the start of a new thought — Can I trust you; you, with the light heart?)

  19. “Does anyone know enough about Olde English to verify that this dialogue is correct, or not?”

    It should be “I know” just like modern English, but that wouldn’t be funny, and why would Jeremy know correct Elizabethan grammar, anyway?

  20. “Thine” is A possessive form, but not the only one. A quick dictionary check shows that it is used in two cases, the equivalent of “yours” (obviously not in this example) or when used with a noun beginning with a vowel. So, thine eyes and thy nose. I’m guessing but no bothered to look that it’s the same usage as “mine eyes”.

  21. larK

    You are correct. I am wrong. 37 year old memory failed me. And …. completely decimates my argument. (And makes a lot more sense!)

    It also explains why when we dissected it in high school it made sense, but when I was trying to dissect it two months ago I go confused and the sgnother suggested spanish passive voice but as I know no spanish and she and I had english taught by conflicted schools of thought we only confused each other but she convinced me “the meal loves me not” was fine and this was the samething and in my woozy way finding an explanation that fit when others didn’t I pushed thing into entrenchment.

    And it was dead wrong.

  22. Despite living in Germany for decades, the song didn’t seem familiar, but it turns that I have heard it multiple times (at least thrice in the USA), because Madeline Kahn sung it in “Blazing Saddles”.

  23. They are speaking modern English, as spoken around Shakespeare’s time.

    Here is a sample of Middle English:
    Bifil that in that seson on a day,
    In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,
    Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage
    To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,

    Here is a sample of Old English:
    Nu scylun hergan hefaenricaes uard
    metudæs maecti end his modgidanc
    uerc uuldurfadur sue he uundra gihuaes
    eci dryctin or astelidæ
    he aerist scop aelda barnum
    heben til hrofe haleg scepen.

  24. @Kilby: to me, “It s***eth to be him.” is the obvious answer but in French, we say “C’est moi”(=It’s me) so I’m probably biased. Apparently, anything goes: “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together”. 😉

  25. “Despite living in Germany for decades, the song didn’t seem familiar, but it turns that I have heard it multiple times (at least thrice in the USA), because Madeline Kahn sung it in “Blazing Saddles”.”

    Was a huge standard in my High School german class (That and the ear-worm like phrase “Ich kann meine Schlussel nicht finden”). But… 37 year old memories are 37 years old.

  26. @ woozy – My high school didn’t offer German. I wish I had been able to take at least one class before coming here: it would have warned me about the importance of memorizing the gender with every new noun. At the time, my foreign language experience was limited to Spanish, in which the word endings are so reliable that it is almost never necessary to worry about which article goes with a noun.
    P.S. Another possible motto for this restaurant: “They also serf who stand and wait.

  27. Excellent Kilby! (Or should that be “excrement”?) Although that sounds more like it should be the motto of a surf shop…

  28. Let me understand this. You want me to sew 18th century clothes for us – when I have not sewed people clothes since junior high -only doll clothes and dolls don’t do this (bending over at the waist right and then left) or do this (raise arm). And then you want me to wear them in front of people – and we will buy me a set of stays (because it is beyond my ability to sew) and I will have to wear them? And you think that this will be fun? September 1995.

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