1. There have been a lot of comics following this general format: four panels on a topic with the 1st, 2nd, & 4th kinda normal and the 3rd is the weird one and the joke. To me, this looks like a metajoke referencing those, but not having a specific joke of its own.

  2. “Apropos of nothing” is evidently a cliche used to introduce an irrelevant topic — a google search shows it defined as such. Here it is literalized as non-dental stuff amid dental stuff.

    Recalling a New Yorker cartoon showing a sign reading “No Parking Per Se”, which took an earlier cliche and, not quite as literally, tacked it on.

  3. Drugstore aisle that inserts high-margin, unrelated merchandise in an otherwise boring aisle. Comment on the prevalence of impulse purchase items we’re now faced with on our shopping trips.

  4. I’m not aware of either of the memes mentioned by Arthur or M.A.; I took this to be criticism of the irrelevant marketing ploy mentioned by SingaporeBill. Our local supermarket has crazy bat$#!+ on 5 or 6 of the “end of the aisle” racks. I can deal with the DVDs and Matchbox cars, but one rack has been full of replacement parts for bicycles for at least two years, without the slightest evidence that anyone has bought anything from it.

  5. Kilby, bicycle parts does seem like an odd choice for the end of an aisle, which should be more of an impulse buy location. As far as the comic, if that’s the idea, I would have gone with things people buy more often, like bread, milk, etc. It’s not like everyone buys a new toothbrush every week.

  6. I couldn’t make much sense of it initially either (unusual for Andertoons). But the comments at the syndication site led to something like Singapore Bill’s reading. With the exception that I think it needn’t be selective or high-margin items, just poor planning.

  7. @ L.F. – Perhaps as a subconscious reaction to your avatar’s name, my brain interpolated the article “a” and placed it between “for” and “random” 💩 😉

  8. Minor Annoyance has it. Like Andrea I laughed. It’s simply literally a section Apropos of Nothing which is a common phrase.

  9. Kilby — hypothesis — one of the managers bikes a lot and has random need of bike parts, and so has commandeered an endcap for their own personal convenience. Nobody else in town has ever used it, but said manager can just get their stuff whenever they need it.

  10. really nothing to add here except some trivia…. the “end of the aisle” racks are referred to as “end caps” in the store business.

  11. Further trivia:

    End caps see heavy traffic, so they’re used for “promotional” items, which are not necessarily the things you want to buy, but rather the things the store wants to sell. So it’s where clearance items often show up. If the clearance is a true clearance, and the space where the clearance items were previously shelved is now assigned to something else, the same items may wind up on the endcap for a VERY long time.

    Many chain stores get their shelf plan from corporate overlords, and the endcaps are often left “unplanned”, meaning the local manager can put whatever stock there that they think they can generate the most revenue from… sometimes it’s items that are regionally specific, and sometimes it stuff that is being nationally promoted (the brands pay the store for the endcap placement), and sometimes it’s just whatever didn’t sell last quarter and there’s no room in the warehouse for it any more.

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