Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today's Hi and Lois

Today's Hi and Lois: where to begin?

With the Slylock Fox angle. Kids, can you find five differences between the two panels? (There are at least five, possibly six if you're a stickler.)

The semantic comedy reminds me of The Honeymooners episode "Head of the House," in which Ed Norton tells the Questioning Photographer that he is "an engineer in subterranean sanitation." Norton's joking; he helps out the mystified newspaperman with "I'm a sewer worker!"

But here the punchline is unfunny, partly because such a course would indeed likely be called "Suburban Archaeology." A slightly better punchline: "Yeah, but his students call it 'Garbage.'" Or "Otherwise known as 'junk science.'" Note that the punchline supplier appears to be carrying garbage toward the Flagston house. That's funnier than his punchline, and funnier too than either of mine.

The punchline supplier's name, by the way, is Fitch. The man in blue is Abercrombie. These terranean sanitation engineers have always had these names. Given what's become of the clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch since Hi and Lois began, it seems best that these men now work in the strip in relative anonymity.

Yes, terranean is a word.

Related reading
All Hi and Lois posts

comments: 6

Jai said...

Ooh, I want to play!

1. Lois' hat loses its print.
2. Abercrombie's glove loses its back stitching.
3. The windowsill loses its dusting of snow.
4. The garbage can's indentations turn into full stripes.
5. The lumps of Abercrombie's hat have been configured differently.
6. There are no gaps in the snow covering the bushes. I think this is the one for sticklers.

Hm, I wonder why Mr. Fitch is delivering a giant brick. I also wonder if Lois keeps going outside when the garbage men arrive just to hear what new outlandish story Mr. Abercrombie has come up with. Garbage days must be awfully dreary, she had to dress up for the snow and is grinning rapturously at Abercrombie's outlandish lie (Although, in the next panel, Fitch has dimmed the mood considerably for her with his attempt at cleverness).

Michael Leddy said...

Jai, you did good! I missed the lumps but had the changing relation between glove and sleeve. Thanks for the term "back stitching" (I would have said, more crudely, "the lines on his glove"). My stickler was the cigar, which seems to appear out of nowhere, but could be in Abercrombie's left hand, out of sight, in the first panel.

Lois' meet-the-garbagemen routine makes her one desperate housewife. But considering Hi's recent rage, she needs all the kindness she can find.

Anonymous said...

I have to confess that I read the second panel as "lol" instead of 101. Yikes?

Michael Leddy said...

Yikes. : )

When I first saw this strip — in print, no color — I thought that the ill-formed trash bag was an ink blot.

Jai said...

Ah, I completely missed that the glove starts off overlapping the sleeve and ends up beneath it. That's a good one.

The doorway in the second panel of this dark episode of Hi and Lois is fairly mysterious. After all, it's revealed to not be a doorway and is constructed either impossibly or as an optical illusion to entertain the house guests. It's the most interesting part, I'm afraid, although our society is the punchline (Unspoken, of course. The actual strip has no punchline) and there's a fairly ordinary Hi and Lois magical box.

Michael Leddy said...

Very observant about that door. I was wasting my energy trying to figure out the dresser's relation to the wall.

Doors are a challenge, as in this strip. My favorite optical illusion is this hot dog stand: Hi and Escher?