Since a neckline that covers only the mouth is a fairly poor excuse for a disguise, especially when this is somebody you supposedly know well and is talking to you, I’m reading this as a break-the-fourth-wall reference to the fact that other than Caulfield, the children at Bryon Elementary are literally interchangeable and even Frazz can’t tell them apart.


  1. I’d think it’s more that Mallett wasn’t sure that the Cuba line was a good enough punchline by itself. Plus Frazz always has to have the last word.

  2. Could be. My impression was also along the lines of breaking-the-fourth-wall, but specifically acknowledging that the comments seem unlikely for a kid, so who is the actual adult source of the fund of info.

  3. Mr. Hemingway lived in (and visited) many places a warm sweater would be needed. For example, my previous home was about three blocks from the apartment he lived in here in Toronto, Paris, London, Idaho, China, and, I’m sure, many I left out.

    Furthermore, I’d say that this type of sweater is minimalist in that it consists of nothing more than is needed to fulfill its purpose. Of course, in today’s Internet culture, “minimalism” is now an obsessive mental illness as severe as hoarding.

  4. I took Frazz’s comment as sarcasm, based on the bulkiness of the sweater. If it’s a fourth-wall thing, I think it is more that regular readers would expect such a line would come from Caulfield.

    Even if we assume that Bryson elementary is home to more than one literarily precocious third-grader, it is difficult for me rationalize that such a child, growing up in Michigan, would associate Hemingway with Cuba and be unaware that Hemingway spent a significant amount of his youth and young adulthood in northern Michigan. Hemingway (as a boy) and his family annually traveled fairly near where where Frazz is set on their way to the family’s summer home near Petoskey. Hemingway often used Michigan as a setting (e.g. the Nick Adams stories). And trust me, a sweater can be quite useful in upper Michigan.

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