Chasing Pants

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(To embiggenate the cartoon below, strike it solidly in the middle with your cursor.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Running Apparel. 

If you are a person with at least one eye that works in the usual fashion and you have the average amount of observational skills, you may notice the difference between the cartoon I’ve posted above and the one that appeared in your local newspaper’s funnies today or at the top center spot on today’s Bizarro.com homepage. The one in newspapers and on Bizarro.com’s homepage is the one I submitted for publication four weeks ago––the one in this blog is one I took from my computer and posted here moments before I typed this sentence. Sometimes when I look at a cartoon four weeks later as I prepare to post it, I see a way to improve the gag in some small way and so I change it. That’s the reason for today’s change. I think this version sells the gag a little better than the original one. (I’ll tell you the difference at the end of this blog post in case you can’t spot it.)*

For decades I’ve thought that certain jogging apparel looks a bit like underwear and I’ve amused myself by imagining the jogger is chasing the person who stole their clothes. That occasional fantasy was the simple genesis of this gag.

Once, however, when I lived in Brooklyn, I saw a heavy-set woman of about 40 jogging down the street between the parked cars and traffic around lunchtime actually in her underwear. She was wearing a large, longline, white bra, a mid-thigh-length, pink slip, pantyhose, and running shoes. My guess was she was in the habit of jogging during her lunch hour at work, had forgotten her jogging outfit and just figured “what’s the difference?” Or, perhaps she jogged that way every day because, in truth, what is the difference?

I’ve also long thought it was funny how most of us will appear in public in swimwear but would be mortified to be seen in public in our undies, in spite of the fact that they often cover more of us than the swimwear. It’s more about context and looking out of place than it is about modesty.

Based on social media activity this week, most people seem to enjoy the ridiculous nature of the above cartoon but a few folks left comments about not understanding it. I’ve always had trouble relating to people who don’t understand absurdist humor. How someone can tolerate this utterly surreal existence we humans have built for ourselves without a sense of humor about the absurdity of it all is beyond me. Most days, it’s the only thing that keeps me from jumping off a cliff.

This cartoon is something of an illustrated history of human religion. This dog worships the entities who are responsible for his food and shelter in the same way that early humans assumed that the good and bad that happened to them was the result of some bigger, more powerful being(s). Long after our species has proven where things like weather, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, famine, floods, and diseases actually come from, most of us humans still worship imaginary entities in an effort to keep our luck falling on the “good” side.

This is also a big part of what’s fun about having a dog; you get a taste of what it is to be a god. They worship and fear you and you control their lives. With my dogs, I perpetuate this idea by dressing as Zeus and threatening them with a large, cardboard lightning bolt.

Wouldn’t it be nice if combating the ravages of old age was as simple as injecting peanut butter into your wrinkles? People with peanut allergies could use cream cheese.

I’ve been on a Medusa kick lately. Not sure why. I’ve done a few about her over the years but my favorite one (below) was never published in Bizarro. It appears in a book of mine and was published in Scandinavia years ago but it is too racy for American newspapers. We can elect a narcissistic, racist, adolescent maniac to the most powerful office in the world but to publish a drawing of a butt in the funny pages might cause western civilization to collapse. Makes perfect sense. Laugh at it or jump off a cliff, I suppose.

My feelings would be a lot less hurt if you’d drop by my store and check out the new shirts, totes, mugs, and stuff that I’m selling. There are various designs, styles, colors, etc.. so dig around. Below are some pics of a few of the offerings. There are two pages, so don’t miss the other one.

If I may be immodest briefly, I’m pretty happy with this Bigfoot for president cartoon. With America’s current embarrassingly ludicrous choice of a childish, lying, con-man, TV gameshow host, carnival barker, how far behind can an imaginary redneck icon like Sasquatch be? I guarantee he’d do a lot less harm than the Cheeto Mussolini.

Speaking of shirts, I’m working on a campaign poster T-shirt for Bigfoot. (Based on this idea but not this cartoon on the shirt.) Sign up to receive an email each time I post on this blog (right now, right margin, under the FEED THE BUNNY logo) and you’ll know when I’ve added it to the store. Or “follow” my Bizarro FB page here.

I’m trying to decide if his campaign slogan should be “Make-Believe Leadership for a Make-Believe World” or “From Tiny Hands to Giant Feet”. Let me know which you like best.

In case you’re not aware, “Fashion Week” is actually a thing in New York City. Once a year, gobs of models and designers and buyers and fashion industry folks descend on NYC for a week of runway shows and all that. I don’t know what time of year they do it now, but in 2001 it was happening the week that the planes hit the World Trade Center on 9/11. According to someone I used to know in that business, a number of the models at one show believed Fashion Week was the target of those attacks. You see, to be a model you have to be pretty. Nobody asks your I.Q. and you mostly don’t need one.

That’s it for this week, Jazz Pickles. Until next time, be smart, be happy, be nice.

*THE ANSWER TO THE DIFFERENCE MENTIONED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH IS the runner’s shoes. I originally thought dress shoes were better for the gag but now think that running shoes make it less obvious until you’ve read what the man is saying. Delayed punch lines are always the best, I think.

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48 thoughts on “Chasing Pants

  1. In the jogging cartoon it say 6 secret symbols. I can only find 5 — Dynamite, K2, O2, Pie, eyeball. I only saw the shoes when I was trying to decide if a pair of loafers counted as a lost loafer (probably not).

  2. The nude beach Medusa cartoon is both funny and creepy. I suspect the newspapers find the naked butt less objectionable than the pubic snakes.

  3. I found the difference between the two Chasing Pants cartoons much faster than it took me to find the 6th secret symbol. I was wondering why Dan didn’t have the bunny somewhere in there. Until I found her hiding place.

    I vote for the “tiny hands to giant feet” campaign slogan.

    • The webcomic “Evil, Inc” did a dialogue joke to that effect — Commander Heroic (Captain H’s father) told a “war story” about his old group facing down Medusa. This was well before the Ruby-ofRagnoor Reboot thing.

  4. Bigfoot will trump Smallhands every time. Just ask the ladies.

    Dan, this is why I love you:
    “How someone can tolerate this utterly surreal existence we humans have built for ourselves without a sense of humor about the absurdity of it all is beyond me.”
    Of course, being vegetarian doesn’t hurt. (that’s a pun, for those of you who understand it)

    I posted (link to) the Dogma joke on FB with the following caption:
    “What does God’s wife ask him whilst they gaze upon Humanity?”

    PS: I think you should sell the Medusa beach bum on a t-shirt. (You’ll strike it rich and start a trend) I want one. … no.. I want two!

  5. You say “rural voter” as an insult. I guess people to don’t live in big cities don’t deserve a voice in our elections?

    • Well, I don’t think the cartoon’s mention of “rural voter” is derogatory per se. In the context of the fact that uneducated, white, rural men were primarily responsible for Trump’s “election,” there’s plenty of room there for criticism. If our country abolished the electoral college and elected presidents by how many people voted for them, rural votes would be just as important as any other kind. As it is, however, they count for more than votes in big cities, which is how Trump lost the vote but won the office. And, yes, that’s a bad thing.

      • I also found that cartoon offensive – and I’m not one who’s easily offended. Dan, I’ve been reading your comic every day for the past 3 or 4 years at least. While I happen to be a rural voter, I’m not stupid as you implied – I do not exactly believe in bigfoot* and I most definitely did not vote for Trump. Your lumping together all rural voters in this manner is very insensitive, prejudicial and divisive.

        Sure, you despise Trump. No argument there – I don’t like him either! But don’t you see what you’re doing, and why it’s so unacceptable?? Try substituting the word “gay” for the word “rural” in the word balloon, read it back, and maybe you’ll get it then. It’s unacceptable to talk that way about the LGBQ population, and it is also unacceptable to talk that way about those of us who happen not to live in the city.

        *(True to the scientific method, I have no reason to believe in bigfoot without material evidence, but I also don’t rule out the possibility that undiscovered bipedal primates could exist – remember, coelacanths were believed to be extinct.)

        • I understand your concerns, John, and I appreciate your taking the time to write to me. My cartoon does not say that all rural voters believe in Bigfoot, nor that all of them voted for Trump. But statistics show that most of Trump’s voters were “uneducated, rural, white males” and he’s in the White House despite all odds against it, so to say that “rural voters can put a candidate in the White House” is fair, I think. It is also fair to estimate that most people who believe in Sasquatch and the like are also uneducated rural people.

          I fully understand your point about substituting the word “gay” but I assure you, if gay voters had been the primary force to put someone like Trump in office, I would most definitely hit them hard in as many comics as I could in a (probably completely vain) attempt to wake them up to the severe degree to which they were lied to by their candidate.

          I am happy to hear you did not vote for Trump. As such, you can rest assured you are not the subject of this cartoon. Regarding Bigfoot vs. coelacanths, (sounds like a sci-fi movie!) this is something of a false equivalency. It is exponentially easier to hide from humans in the ocean than it is on land. If there were anything remotely resembling a Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti, etc., much more hard evidence would have been found. People are prone to myths and myths actually serve a psychological purpose for many, and I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Bigfoot is firmly in that category.

  6. My English niece, majoring in textile design at Brighton University in the U.K., currently has a six-month internship at designer Marc Jacobs in NYC. She’s working her little butt off doing last-minute hemming, embroidery, fittings, and more at NY Fashion Week. Next week starts her REAL work with fabrics and textiles. So proud of her. And I’m sending her the Yankees cartoon. I know she’ll get a big kick out it.

  7. Dan,

    You said: “I’ve also long thought it was funny how most of us will appear in public in swimwear but would be mortified to be seen in public in our undies, in spite of the fact that they often cover more of us than the swimwear. It’s more about context and looking out of place than it is about modesty.”

    I’m reminded of a Dave Berg strip in Mad Magazine decades ago — The Lighter Side of Something. A girl comes into a room in a two-piece and says, “Thanks for letting me borrow a swimsuit.” Her friend says, “That’s not a bikini, that’s underwear!” Girl covers herself and runs out shrieking.

  8. The original runner with dress shoes and socks was quick to get because it made (cartoon) sense within itself. Seeing him in athletic shoes and white socks, a reader has to come up with a more complicated and less likely back story. Let’s see – he either takes off his shoes last (changing into his work clothes), or puts them on first (changing for the gym)? Worked better with the discrepancy – which I noticed immediately – than with the “order of operations” puzzle.

    • I think the issue here is that the two versions went from one premature breakdown of ambiguity to another.

      In the original cartoon, the loafers were clearly inappropriate for running, so Dan replaced them with sneakers… but the dialogue still provides a “jacket”.

      Now, technically “shirt, jacket, and pants” could be casual clothes, but then the “jacket” would be a light coat. Unfortunately, both the scenery and the woman’s clothes clue for short-sleeve weather, and that would make the jacket part of a “suit”.

      • Wow, think of the possibilities for a whole block of oxymoronic storefronts! Kind of makes me think of trump’s cabinet appointments; that is he picks the person who most wants to get rid of their own department…

  9. Re the running gag… and the woman jogging in her underwear, we have an old bloke in our rural community who regularly runs in his Y fronts!

  10. They did a variation of the underwear-in-public gag in the movie “Never say never again” when 007 and his CIA sidekick had to make a discreet getaway.

  11. Definitely, “From Tiny Hands to Giant Feet” is my choice!

    And personally, the original shoes were better in the running gag. Really, that MADE the gag. Loved it!

    Thanks for your stuff. I’m a happy bunny-feeder!

    Yer pal Mikey

  12. Add me to those who preferred the original dress shoes on the runner…
    (And, for once, the difference leapt out at me. Feeling quite chuffed about that!)

  13. Dan, I like “From little hands to big feet” BETTER. I really can’t like it best, because you’ve only given me two choices. 😊

  14. One vote for “Make-Believe Leadership for a Make-Believe World”
    (If I may suggest, “…for an Unbelievable World”).

    I see that my choice is losing the popular vote, but I assure you that I have more electoral college votes so I’m looking forward to winning.

  15. Ha, I don’t remember Americans saying “undies” but it makes me happy you do :)

    Also, the Medusa comic slayed me… brilliant :D

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