I have no idea why, on the rare occasion that a Monday morning follows a three-day weekend, my brain should be dredging up obscure factual matter. You would think a little gradual acceleration might be called for.
But, no, we hit the pavement full-throttle this morning, with the result that, instead of simply smiling and passing by this unremarkable pun, I instead began to think about Nicholas Appert.
I'm pretty certain that Ralph Hagen was only trying to get people to laugh, not think, but it was Napoleon whose need to help his army travel on its stomach induced him to offer a prize that, in turn, induced Appert to go full-tilt on his research into food preservation, which resulted in the development of canning.
Or, in Appert's case, bottling. And what was a central focus of his experimentation?
Mind you, if he'd finished his research a little sooner, and if toting around bottles of canned peas were a practical solution to supplying an army in the first place, the final portion of Tolstoy's novel might have been quite different.
"People speak of misfortunes and sufferings," remarked Pierre, "but if at this moment I were asked: 'Would you rather be what you were before you were taken prisoner, or go through all this again?' then for heaven's sake let me again have captivity and horseflesh! We imagine that when we are thrown out of our usual ruts all is lost, but it is only then that what is new and good begins. While there is life there is happiness. There is much, much before us. I say this to you," he added, turning to Natasha.
"Yes, yes," she said, answering something quite different. "But peas, properly preserved, can be quite delicious. Much nicer than horseflesh, I think."
"Indeed, that is true!" Pierre responded. "And, after all, if it were not for the many bottles of delicious and healthful peas that Denisov's partisans captured from the French, your husband, Andre, would not be alive today!"
"Alive and well," Natasha agreed, "and looking remarkably like Mel Ferrer."
Too much juxtaposition
Too much juxtaposition
Too much juxtaposition for me to be involved in
And then -- a mere 48 hours after I had referenced bangs and whimpers, I might add -- the classic Richard's Poor Almanac du jour and current Quixote Syndrome combined to turn the comics page into a wasteland.
The problem here being that, between the two of them, they've left very little space for witty commentary, so to hell with it. I'm just going to roll up my pants and go walk the dog.
While I do that, however, and as long as we're ...
Speaking of Frenchmen and canned vegetables
I don't know why Tom Spurgeon linked to this Boulet cartoon the other day, because it's more than six months old, but I'm glad he did because it's the funniest damn thing I've read in a good long time.
Go read the rest. You'll only be a little smarter at the end, I promise.
Incidentally, I reported earlier on a Kickstarter that Boulet was doing with Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, in which they were attempting to raise $30,000 to publish a children's book they were doing together.
They made their goal, and a little over.
About $350,000 over.
I have no idea what they're going to do with it all, but I pledged enough to get a copy of the book and I kind of lost track of the stretch goals that they kept inventing, but I think now I'm getting a copy of the book hand-delivered by a valet who will then read it to me while feeding me peeled grapes.
If you're a cartoonist and you are not currently being buried up to your neck in funds, don't forget that you can register your Patreon or Kickstarter or whatever in the spot on the right.