Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baffling New Yorker

These days I measure how much brain power I’m losing by the number of New Yorker cartoons I don’t get.  And we’ve set a record -- hit a new high, or rather a new low, with the current issue.  Take this one:  the men on the left-hand bench are having no luck trying to feed the ducks, who scurry to the bareheaded man on the back bench.  Caption says “You can't compete with a retired pharmacist.”
In the past, when I still had all my wits, I’d assume a puzzling cartoon probably referred to some current Manhattan situation.  After all, when they named that magazine The New Yorker, they weren’t thinking about Buffalo.  So maybe there’s a scandal in Brooklyn about a retired pharmacists who’s dealing drugs?  Would someone let me know?
But with this issue I set a record.  Take this next one;  Evidently the Bogeyman has a shrewish wife,  whom we can’t see, and she’s complaining that he doesn’t run the vacuum.  But why is she upset about that,  when that bedroom is in perfect order?  Why are we in a bedroom altogether?  Can someone please explain?
Seventeen pages later, we find ourselves on a subway train.  Husband says “Everyone just relax while my wife figures out what’s in her eye” and indeed she is poking at an eye.  Oh – wait a minute!  It's hard to tell -- has the husband has just pulled the emergency cord?  And is that the joke?  Do you suppose?
Then on page 110, we find this one – “Steve invalidates his wedding vows through the clever use of homophones.”  That one, of course, sent me to the Internet for a definition of homophones, and we do see, if we look closely at that whispered caption, that Steven's response is "Eye dew."
So nu?

And on page 126, the most baffling one of all.  These creatures are dismantling what?  A tank?  Why?  Or is it a Moon Rover?  They’ve set it up on cement blocks and they’re stealing the metal tires?  Are we on Mars?  I'll bet this one really IS a Manhattan reference.
Maybe Upstaters aren't meant to read that magazine at all.


  1. The Bogeyman (or boogeyman) lives under the bed in many children's imaginations - or fears. Mrs. Bogeyman is complaining about the dust bunnies found under so many beds.

    As to the creatures dismantling the Moon Rover, it's a reference to unguarded cars that are stripped of everything while parked on a street. The car is often seen up on cement blocks so the wheels can be stolen. It's supposed to be amusing that this would happen on the moon, or Mars, etc.


  2. Okay, thanks -- the dust bunnies explains it nicely. And I guess I had finally figured out the Moon Rover one, though that sort of thing doesn't happen around here. But now what about those ducks?

  3. My best guess about the ducks and the retired pharmacist is that the RT is feeding the tools of his former trade (i.e., various pills) to the duckies, and they're greedily devouring the Valium and so on. Big-city ducks.

  4. The vehicle is one of the Mars rovers: