23 Comments

  1. My recollection is that it was always Rodney who directed the soldiers to defend against the Huns. I don’t remember anyone other than the King giving him orders. So I guess 2 is yes?

  2. What other knight do we ever see talking to the king every day? Rodney is the one the King gives direct orders to, so he must be the highest-ranking officer.

  3. I’ve forgotten his name, but I thought the good-looking knight had a higher rank than Rodney.

  4. The good-looking one is a… Baron? Earl? Higher ranking than Rodney, yes, but not in the line of command. I don’t think we’ve ever seen him on the battlefield – Rodney, rarely the king, and lots of grunts is the usual cast there.

  5. “Even in the context of a comic strip, I’m not sure how we can accept both that and the fact that Id still exists.”

    There was a very early strip where the punchline was Rodney on the gallows about to hanged and begrudging the fact that he didn’t know where his grandmother was buried. In the context of the strip I had to figure either that the strips are not told in chronological order and that was actually the last strip with Rodney because after that Rodney was dead. Or that there was some rescue or reprieve which he author simply chose not to tell which is weird because it would be very compelling; more so than the stuff *actually* depicted..

    My point being that in the context of a strip we just *have* to accept logical inconsistencies for humor. We must accept that Id is utterly incompetent and barely surviving being outnumbered on all sides by adequacy. So, yes, Rodney, pathetic though he is, is the top ranking officer and … that’s really pathetic. Id survives but its amazing that is so. Because it is funny how incompetent it is.

    as for 1) if you’ve *ever* been on a boat for a stretch of more than two days you’d know first hand that is extremely common.

  6. What Id depends on for defense, mostly, is that Id is a very unpleasant place to live. Everyone who CAN choose to live elsewhere does so. Over the history of the strip, we’ve seen lots of people, both from Id and from other places, work very hard to get out of Id.

  7. Recall Dave Barry used “ralph” as the verb for upchucking. He claimed it was college thing to refer to “talking to Ralph on the big white phone”.

  8. In some Australian comedy movie we saw in the early 1970s at the Mini Cinema (a college student aimed theater where one did not need to smoke their own marijuana to get high) the term used was “shouting Ruth”.

    Robert suffers from motion sickness – he has to drive in the car, generally he can put up with a very short subway/train ride (but not on the green line in Boston which is a diesel train and the portion we were on was underground) but no planes, buses, boats or longer train rides.

    A friend of his at work (whose wife was independently wealthy) owned an ocean going sailing yacht. They really wanted us to come on the boat. He convinced Robert to come and see it. Once there, he convinced Robert to sit on the deck while it was moored. The fellow was an RN and had brought Scopolamine patches for Robert. One was put on him and we headed into the harbor “just to go around a bit”. Then we were heading out to sea. We had to turn back shortly after – Robert ended up with 3 patches on him holding a container from a deli salad and LITERALLY turned green. We had a lovely lunch on the boat at the dock and later when he felt better , Robert had lunch standing on the dock. I was upset that he was okay, but a bit amused that this could happen.

    That night in bed – the bed was moving – up and down to the right and left. I was nowhere near being ill, but it did feel terribly uncomfortable and I considered it payback for how amused I had been.

  9. Minor and Meryl, going by Barry Humphries’ Adventures of Barry Mackenzie, chundering is a sport in Australia and has a ton of synonyms: having a technicolor yawn, praying to the porcelain god, throwing one’s voice, etc.

    I’ve had liquid laughs in bars and I’ve hurled from moving cars
    And I’ve chuckled when and where it suited me
    But if I could choose the spot
    To regurgitate me lot,
    then I’d chunder in the old Pacific Sea

  10. @ Treesong – The verb “chunder” is exclusively Australian slang, but “technicolor yawn” and “praying to the porcelain god” were both common in college slang, at least in southern California.

  11. @woozy: ‘My point being that in the context of a strip we just *have* to accept logical inconsistencies for humor.”

    Just so. My favorite ‘have to accept’ moment comes from another comic strip, though. The current Classic PEANUTS rerun has Charlie Brown’s baseball team on the verge of winning their game — “if I get this guy out, we win” — and there have been other stories in which this is possible (“if I can steal home we’ll win!” “if Charlie Brown can get a hit, we’ll win!”) which have to be assumed to somehow occupy the same universe as all of the PEANUTS stories in which his baseball team constantly loses by scores like 180 to zero.

  12. I had a work-friend who, despite having been an art teacher, said he had not for a long time understood that “puce” was a genuine and respectable color word — he thought it was a euphemism for “puke”.

  13. ” a long time understood that “puce” was a genuine and respectable color word — he thought it was a euphemism for “puke”.

    I briefly did that!

    There was a Pogo strip where Basil McTablism drinks some coffee and said it was terrible and Churchy points out that is wasn’t coffee! It was paint! Red Paint. And Basil comments that it is actually more of a puce.

    My sister insisted the joke was that he had thrown up in the cup. I assumed she was correct even though that seemed a little low-brow for Pogo. Somehow since then I always assumed puce was a sickly green color.

    Instead it is a very dark red; “the color of a flea’s blood”. I actually frequently use the username fleablood. I made it up because of the color puce and the description of it as flea blood.

  14. Do you remember Peter Bagge’s “Vomit Glossary”? A classic 12-panel page. It includes “Driving the Porcelain School Bus.” That’s when you’re gripping the sides of the fixture with both hands like the horizontal steering wheel of some school buses.

  15. “which have to be assumed to somehow occupy the same universe as all of the PEANUTS stories in which his baseball team constantly loses by scores like 180 to zero.”

    There’s “you’re an all-star, Charlie Brown”, in which CB’s team was on the verge of not just winning a game, but of winning a championship.

    Figure that a lot of CB’s baseball strips involve playing Peppermint Patty’s team (because they live nearby) and PP’s team is 180-0 better than CB’s team, even though the actual league he’s in has teams that are roughly equivalent to CB’s team. (Note that the SS/2B combo of Snoopy and Linus is actually pretty good.)

  16. Rodney is generally portrayed as a coward, an idiot and held in contempt by all of his men, so why is he the highest ranking officer?

    Is the lyric all the Japanese with their yen; the party boys call the Kremlin; and the Chinese know (oh whey oh) they walk the line like Egyptian about mal de barquement at various ports?

    There is a fun song, Down Under about chundering and other stereotypical Australian activities. Monkey Island’s them song is a blatant ripoff of it.

  17. @ “Puce” – There is a joke in Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” about the color. I’ll have to rewatch the scene, because I don’t think any of the forms in Sullivan’s hands match woozy’s description of the color.
    P.S. I previously thought puce was a light purple, but I see now that I was wrong all along. I had similar identification problems with “chartreuse”.

  18. Rodney is generally portrayed as a coward, an idiot and held in contempt by all of his men, so why is he the highest ranking officer?

    He could still be the best available. At least he hasn’t gone AWOL.

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