Zip gun

I’ve posted this cartoon before, but that post has a dead link so I think it’s okay to revisit now. Last time I posted it, I noticed something that was possibly offensive but now I’m not so sure. Maybe it was something I ate that day. Maybe it’s still offensive but things have gotten so much more toxic that in the grand scheme of things this doesn’t even register anymore.

But anyway, the thing I noticed the most about this cartoon upon watching it again this morning is that there are some delightful sound effects at about 2:14. Enjoy. This transfer isn’t the greatest but it’s the best I could find.

L’air du printemps

I might be speaking too soon, but from the weather forecast it looks like Persephone has returned from the Underworld. Welcome back, lady. I hope those pomegranate seeds were worth it.

Etiquette & superstition: pearls

When I was in high school in the ’80s I asked my dad if I could wear his old Air Force overcoat, and he said, “Sure.” I took a string of fake pearls and looped it around the epaulet strap in place of decorative braid, and I wore the hell out of that coat for a while. My dad was much slower with his “sure”s after that.

ETIQUETTE: Geez. You look up “pearl etiquette” on the internet, and you have people asking, “Can I wear pearls after 5?” “Can I wear pearls before 5?” “Can I wear pearls at work?” “Can young people wear pearls?” What is with all the pearl anxiety? I have a feeling someone’s parents or significant other didn’t want to or couldn’t buy pearls for a young lady who wanted them, made up some story about how they were inappropriate for the young lady, and then all the other parents or significant others saw how well this worked and they ran with the concept, tailored for their own situations.

Look. You can wear pearls at any time of day, at any time of your life, and for any occasion. Even the fuddiest duddiest etiquette book says you can even wear them for funerals. They are the most versatile, non-flashy, elegant balls of irritant in the world. If someone gives you pearls, wear them happily and often. And don’t rub them across your teeth to see if they are real… at least not in front of anyone.

SUPERSTITION: Be careful with pearls. It’s unlucky to get pearls as a gift unless you are a baby. If you wear pearls and they turn white, everybody will know you are evil. If you wear pearls on your wedding day, your marriage will be full of tears. But on the other hand, a pearl under a pillow will help a couple conceive a child. Pearls protect the wearer against fire and shark attacks, and powder made of burnt pearl will cure insanity, jaundice, and snake bites.

Photo by antinea…hereandzere on Flickr

Pumps the old bazoom

A couple of years ago I found myself taking elementary school spring photos on St. Patrick’s Day. As luck would not have it, I had forgotten to wear green. Most of the kids were pretty cool about it but there was one little second-grade girl who kept hissing at me, “I’m gonna PINCH you…”.

I didn’t say anything, but her teacher overheard and said to me, “Oh, that one. She is driving me insane. The other day I caught her making out with a little boy behind the garbage cans.” I restrained myself from braying, “Oh, she’s a right high spirited lass,” which was maybe good because the teacher had an Irish surname and probably wouldn’t have appreciated it.

Kiss all the boys today if you feel like it, little girl. Just don’t drink any green beer.

Foiled again

Well, here we are. As of today (or maybe tomorrow; that first post wasn’t much), I’ve been writing Fancy Notions for ten years. A ten year anniversary is typically celebrated with tin or aluminum, but I had really wanted to make myself an elaborate smorgastarta, which is

a savory sandwich cake, frequently made with shrimp and eggs but mainly just whatever you feel like would be good in a sandwich cake. Ham slices, radishes, chickpeas and beets… with frosting made of cream cheese and maybe some ranch dressing. Yes.

But it’s Wednesday, and I’m tired. And it’s also Pi Day. A pie tin would work with both aspects of the day, but there’s no way I can bake a pie right now. If only there was one of those pecan pie vending machines nearby. Who’s in Austin and can ship me a celebratory pecan pie? I’ll owe you a smorgastarta.

And don’t worry. I may be tired, and I may not be able to go on forever like pi, but I will keep this blog going for as long as I can possibly handle it. Thank you very much for your support through the years!

Photo by Pomax on Flickr

Inspiration date

I’m glad Fancy Notions’ ten-year anniversary is tomorrow (or maybe even Thursday) and not today because today I am pooped. Toby Rix and his toeterix are making me feel a little guilty about being exhausted when all I did was sit in a chair and type and go to the file room and then the copier and then back to the file room et cetera et cetera, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Maybe if I keep watching him I will get energized:

Nope. I might be a little more exhausted now, even. If I weren’t so close to expiration I’d call you an inspiration, Toby. I’ll try to get it together by tomorrow.

via Rare and Strange Instruments
Published in: on March 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tried and trusted cure

At first I thought, “Why would a person need a remedy for a bump on the head?” but then I realized that was my cultural bias. People living in Cartoon Land are always in desperate need of a remedy for a bump on the head. Heal up quick, Farmer Al Falfa.

Published in: on March 10, 2018 at 11:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Etiquette & superstition: hiccups

Benny had a health scare recently, namely a 24-hour bout of singultus. Also known as yox, hickot, hickock, hitchcock, and hiccough. He has since recovered, despite his refusal to drink water upside-down, which is a tried and trusted cure in my family. I think he just doesn’t know how to drink water upside-down and he’s embarrassed to admit it.

ETIQUETTE: As far as I have been able to determine, there is no culture that has any sort of reflexive “bless you” or similar response to the hiccups, but here in the West there does seem to be an automatic response of “Oh hey! You know what cures hiccups?” One of the hardest things to do if somebody around you has the hiccups is to refrain from offering unsolicited advice about a tried and trusted cure. But refrain you must, and ignore the hiccups as best you can.

If you have the hiccups and you don’t have a tried and trusted cure for them, it is recommended that you leave the room and get yourself a little privacy for a few minutes until the bout (hopefully) takes its course. You will be helping the person who so desperately wants to give you their tried and trusted cure and knows they shouldn’t, and you will be helping yourself, because you will eventually want to sock the person who won’t take no for an answer about their cure, and if you’re in a public place you’re likely to get in trouble for being publicly intoxicated if you’re hiccuping and throwing punches and all.

SUPERSTITION: Oh hey! You know what cures hiccups? Holding your left thumb with your right hand. No, wait. Hold your chin with your right hand while somebody sings a church hymn. No? Think about where you put that horseshoe that you found. You don’t have to get it or anything, just think about where you put it. Wait, wait. Tie a key to a piece of red string, tie it around your neck, and throw the key over your shoulder. Okay, but hold on. This one really works. Spit in your right hand, make a cross on the toe of your left shoe three times, and then say the Lord’s Prayer. Backwards. Tried and trusted.

Photo by Smokey Combs on Flickr

Theology and ichthyology

I’ve been reading about the blobfish today. A thing I just learned about the blobfish is that when he’s alive and swimming around, he doesn’t look like that cartoony big-nosed lumpy dude that we picture when we think of a blobfish. True, he doesn’t have much in the way of muscle mass, but he actually looks more like a regular sort of fish when he’s down in the high pressure of the deep water where he lives. When he’s brought up to the surface quickly, some decompression damage occurs and that’s when he gets all sad and bulbous-looking.


I wonder if this guy at Botanica Udalu was brought up to the surface too quickly.

Photo by Benny
Published in: on March 6, 2018 at 9:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Late to the party

I was going to do a few posts this week with the theme of “late to the party,” because I recently found some things that some people on the internet already jumped on and shared even though they were new for me. However, things got a little complicated and overwhelming outside of Fancy Notions this week so I had to postpone that idea.

My new intention is to do that this week, but if I fail, I will at least know I posted one thing with that theme. Last week a lot of people were talking about Lotte Reiniger, but they kept posting a video tribute to Lotte rather than one of her actual works. Allow me to fix that with one of her brightest, and remember to wash your hands.

Published in: on March 3, 2018 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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