October 10 – 16, 2011

Thus beginneth Week 4. As I remarked beneath today’s comic, I’ve finished all this week’s strips, so hurrah. I have certainly drawn Casey being mysterious a lot lately.


35 thoughts on “October 10 – 16, 2011

  1. Congratulation on successfully completing the First Two Great WoB Extravaganzas, does this mean from now on when you are slightly late about the comic we can point to that and say “Remember that time when you use to cared about your WoB readership”?

  2. Considering that I’ve kept the comic going for free for over five years now…no…no, you do not get to say that.

    Technically, I won’t have completed Extravaganza #2 until next Sunday, but I know what you mean.

  3. Free? What about all that time that we spent reading it? Time that we can’t get back by the way.

    You should know what it mean, I copy and pasted your own word, I just forgot to include the “28th comic” bit, that was probably important.

  4. Naw, she’s always cared. Sometimes things can be a bit much, though, and lateness happens. Given that this comic is pretty much always the first up for the day out of all the comics I read (and I read a lot of comics), lateness is totally fine. I mean, it’s not like I would update on time if we switched places.

    In response to Thanksgiving tears: That sucks. We’re there with you in spirit, so maybe you won’t feel so alone this year. And if that doesn’t help, I know that my campus Christian group did a low-key Thanksgiving dinner for the international students, who were generally unable to return to their families, who may well have not celebrated Thanksgiving, anyway. Actually, how widely celebrated is Thanksgiving? Obviously it happens in Canada, but where else? Is the traditional Thanksgiving origin story here remotely accurate?

    Anyway, the point above is that although attending that particular dinner is thoroughly impractical, there may be similar dinners in your area. And although I obviously can’t vouch for local results, the group I was with didn’t do any bible thumping, especially at those sorts of events. And I know I’m able to be irritated by bible thumping, so I’m not a completely useless measure. Probably.

    And, of course, I also feel obligated to mention that pie is, in fact, very awesome. I’ve also never been that big on apple and cherry. I’m definitely not allergic to them raw, I’m just not that big on those types of pie. Maybe it’s because they’re left largely intact, and so don’t form one smooth, continuous filling. I dunno.

    And, finally, I get another reminder of how different my eating habits are. When I get a pie, it doesn’t last more than 24 hours. And usually not that long.

  5. I thought you’d be amused that one of the reviewer’s comments I just got back on a paper (in mathematics!) was essentially “You’ve sprinkled lots of impressive sounding but meaningless adverbs throughout your paper. Take them out.” (Both my co-author and I plead guilty. There were lots of other helpful comments, so this is not a rant.)

  6. Heh…the poor, poor adverb. Adverbs are not the devil, but they can be both misused and overused, often simultaneously. Adverbs do add flavour to a work, so they shouldn’t be left out entirely, but neither should every other word in a paper be an adverb.

  7. Actually, ‘nutrition gruel’ is a pretty good way to describe porridge. In a good way, of course. I like porridge. Especially with a bit of apple sauce and some berries.

  8. Ah I see, tasteless white people food.

    Which one is Nico and which one is Basil? Is Nico the one that Marie met while watching TV? They ain’t on the Character page so I have forgotten who they are.

  9. Yes, I need to update the character page. Nico is the TV one, while Basil is the depressed guy from the psychiatric institute.

    I do believe every culture has its “tasteless” food designed to be an easy, cheap way of taking in essential nutrients, so denigrating porridge as “tasteless white people food” may be a teeny bit unfair. Like other relatively bland foods, porridge is at its best when served with flavourful supplements or seasonings. It does not deserve your mockery. Poor, poor porridge.

  10. Yeah I think I am going to stick with the white (hehehe) Congee instead for when I am sick, preferably serve with delicious you char kway (aka youtiao or apparently “Chinese donut”).
    Unfair? You mean that white people don’t actually think that steamed carrot is a bit too spicy for them? (it should be noted that I actually like steam vegetable, preferably with a side of roast beef)

    Oh that guy. You know I actually recall that I complain about having to remember all these new characters, oh the irony… wait that’s not right.

  11. I should mention that I am the type of person that don’t think fruits (or generally “sweet tasting” stuff) belong in a main meal, in dessert, yes the more the merrier, but never as a main course. My stomach just doesn’t agree with it, fruits should go into the dessert stomach.

  12. Yes, Congee is good. However, porridge isn’t for when you’re sick; it’s for breakfast. You know…as ordinary food?

    Considering that most of my friends, white or otherwise, are in love with Indian food and tend to order it as hot as humanly possible, I think you may be indulging in a wee bit of racial stereotyping there. Granted, I can’t handle spices, but I am basically the only person I know who can’t, and considering the fact that I once nearly had to be taken to the hospital after eating a tiny piece of mildly spiced samosa, I’m suspecting there may be some medical issues there. To say that spicy food makes me ill is putting it mildly. I also have to admit that I cannot see the benefit of spicing, say, a piece of chicken into oblivion. If I am eating chicken, what I mainly want to taste is, in fact, chicken.

  13. I don’t do spicy food either Kem, and I don’t have the justification that it makes me sick. I just don’t like really spicy food and find it painful to eat. I enjoy “spicy” food – but at the level where it’s a bit hot but doesn’t make me want to cry. Given that I haven’t grown up eating chilli this isn’t that hot and generally “mild” is spicy enough for me.

    and having seen some sort of weird rice pudding type thing served up for breakfast every day where I used to live – I’ll take boring white person porridge over it any day! at least porridge doesn’t make me feel ill just by smelling it.

  14. Not into spicy food either, without any medical excuse (well, it’s true that my stomach doesn’t handle spices all that well, but I think it’s just not used to them.) I guess it has something to do with having only lived in and/or liking the food of places that tend not to do the spicy thing (the Low Countries, Germany, Russia… even Italy doesn’t have really spicy food.) As a result, the only Eastern food I can happily eat is Japanese. Even stuff that’s not considered “spicy” by anyone else (not even the local folks in my dept) is too hot for me. But porridge is good.

  15. Damn leech blocking software, it’s the clown face entrance to a fun-house, so much for trying to be clever with pictures.

  16. No doubt with a rollercoaster ride to Robot Hell.

    Here is another picture (seem moot at this point but), the similarity is quite uncanny as you can see:

  17. Oh no! But two more days, and all is over 😦 Whatever will we do with our Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from now on? That is, until the next Extravaganza starts, I guess…

  18. Good gracious, here comes the tears again.

    @fan/Stefan – Unfortunately that entrance to Luna Park does not lead to a funhouse/house of mirror, it did used to lead to an old rickety wooden rollercoaster… that was fun.

  19. Are we ever going to actually find out what happened to Casey and what all the Timmy’s donut anniversaries were about? Or did I miss it. Thought I’d kept up.

  20. And one of the best comments I have seen – not on one of my essays, but from a Facebook thread – “random acts of senseless punctuation”.

  21. Mimi: You haven’t been following the comic for too long, so you’re not drearily used, as those you have been with me since the beginning are, to my habit of releasing tiny bits of information in dribs and drabs. I’ll tell you what I told a friend of mine a couple of days ago: Casey being Casey, he is not willingly going to reveal any important information. It’s not clear yet whether he can’t or won’t. He simply isn’t a very communicative person when it comes to the mysteries surrounding him. However, don’t forget that there are now at least three wild cards in the mix: Nico, Basil, and Ursula. There’s also Barbara in her Sherlock Holmes incarnation. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that one of these threads will eventually yield something resembling actual information.

    What we know so far is this: Casey met Ursula at Tim Hortons eight times (if you count the initial meeting). Both Casey and Ursula were in bad situations. They made some sort of deal that involved her wearing his green jacket for seven years. If she failed to hold up her end of the bargain, whatever it was, she would take Casey’s place in his bad situation. She did not break the rules, and at the end of the seven years, she gave Casey the jacket back again, and he disappeared. Marie discovered during the course of the next year that Casey wanted her to find him someone to replace Ursula and assumedly make another bargain with him. Casey has now confirmed that though he made friends with Marie because he genuinely liked her, he did drag her to Tim Hortons for four years running in order that she would eventually investigate the mystery and discover that he needed her to find him a replacement.

    There’s one other aspect of which you may not be aware because you haven’t been following my readers’ conversations for very long. I wouldn’t reveal this if people hadn’t already figured it out, but…the meetings between Casey and Ursula conform to a particular folk tale. The Brothers Grimm wrote down a version called “Bearskin” (hint: figure out what “Ursula” means), which you can read here. In it, a down-on-his-luck former soldier makes a deal with the devil, portrayed as a stately-looking man in a green jacket, identifiable as the devil because one of his feet is actually a hoof (a common folkloric identifier of the gentleman in question). The devil gives the soldier his green jacket, which apparently has bottomless pockets filled with money, and a cloak made from the skin of a bear the soldier has just killed; the solider must wear them at all times. The devil also outlines several taboos (the solider must not wash, cut his hair, say the Lord’s Prayer, etc.) and explains that if the soldier dies during the next seven years, he will go to hell. If he survives, he will be free. There’s more to the story; suffice it to say that the soldier survives for the full seven years, but events he sets in motion ensure that the devil does get two other souls instead.

    Knowledge of this folk tale may give you some idea of what MAY have gone down at the Tim Hortons. It is possible that someone will eventually confirm or deny it, but it is likely that it won’t be Casey himself.

    Re. “random acts of senseless punctuation”: yes, indeed. I am also fond of telling students that commas are not the chocolate sprinkles of written language.

  22. Hmmm I thought adverb was the chocolate sprinkles.

    I actually remember watching that story being told somewhere in a televised series or something when I was young (I remember it being really good), didn’t realise it was call “Bearskin” although that Ursula reference was a Major (hehe) give away even if it was such Minor (hehe) detail.

    Regarding today comic’s alt-text: Is a sponger anything like a moocher? Cause Urban dictionary apparently has it as a Bodyboarder, which add to more confusion when you read the rest of it: They are able to launch later, ride deeper and catch higher airs then anyone with a board longer then 48″.

  23. Adverbs are more like really fancy and unnecessarily sweet icing.

    Re. “Bearskin” on TV: I was wondering if you were referring to The Storyteller (a great series, by the way), but a glance over the episode list reveals that the programme never covered that particular fairy tale (I hadn’t seen it in years, so I’d forgotten). Unfortunately, the presence of the devil in the story has ensured that it isn’t told very often any more, mainly due to the twin erroneous modern beliefs that 1) fairy tales are for children and 2) children can’t handle scary stories.

    As far as I’m concerned, a sponger is basically a moocher, though while a moocher will ask for favours, a sponger will simply take them on the assumption that he or she deserves them. I’ve never heard the word applied to bodyboarders, but then, I don’t really engage in conversations about bodyboarders much. It could be that “sponger” as equivalent to “moocher” is Canadian slang. Thoughts, Americans, Brits, and Australians?

  24. When I saw you wrote The Storyteller, I thought that’s it that’s the show. But when I looked at the episode list, I realise I must had been thinking of “The Soldier and Death”. I know there is an old animated version but I am pretty sure the one I am thinking of is live action cause I remember how he look after years wearing the bearskin and not grooming himself. It might had been from the show From the Brothers Grimm: Bearskin:

    It doesn’t look like what I remember, but you know how is it with early memories.

    I have heard moocher being use here before but bludger is probably more “Australian” although it’s more a lazy person who live off others and don’t do any work.

  25. Then I would say a sponger is equivalent to a bludger.

    Re. the video: that’s certainly the right story, though it’s been compressed quite a lot, and there’s no green jacket. It’s kind of too bad The Storyteller never covered “Bearskin.” “The Soldier and Death” does bear (no pun intended) some similarities to it.

  26. A new employee sent me an email with a terrible, punctuation-less run-on sentence the other day, and it was all I could manage not to respond with “Have you heard of commas? Or periods?”

    I did get to review a supervisor’s memo and mark it all up with red pen though, which made me simultaneously frustrated and satisfied. She’s the sort of person who writes, “The boy entered the room. The boy sat down. The couch was green,” instead of thinking of a way to compress her thoughts into something readable. Oh, the lot of being surrounded by the non-literary minded…

    Kari, as an English lecturer I thought you’d understand. 🙂

  27. Earthgirl: it is quite possible that I have occasionally come across some soul-destroying writing. I’m actually PLEASED when I get to critique students’ sentence variety; many of them have such serious writing problems that sentence variety is waaaaaay down the list.

  28. Well, ursine is bear-like I believe so that would be a clue. I’ll check out the link. I haven’t kept up at all with the comments, just started reading these quite recently. I did read through the whole comic from day one, in bits and pieces over the summer, but still I guess that keeping up with the comments reveals more to the plot than I would pick up just scanning the years of strips in that one month period. I am starting to get the sense that there are more layers to this than meet the eye. Oh yes!

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