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Uncle Art’s Funland, 9/5/04

One of my favorite words in the English language is “avuncular.” It literally means “in the manner of an uncle,” which, since a substantial majority of males in this world are uncles, can denote just about anything. Usually, an avuncular person is like one of your fun uncles: pleasant, funny, maybe a little bit corny, but generally indulgent.

But some uncles, especially those who don’t have kids of their own, don’t really know what to do with children, and often come up with misguided ideas of what fun is for their nephews and neices. That, I’m afraid, is the kind of uncle that Uncle Art is. The “Riddles ‘n Giggles” are mostly execizes in cruelty, and the “Memory Game” is a collection of random, unrelated objects that Uncle Art presumably likes to draw. The contest, in the lower middle panel, is the final insult, though. As if the solution weren’t obvious enough, the feature’s tuxedo-clad mascot is holding the writing implement in question mere inches from the jumbled letters. Hey kids! The answer is “pencil!” Now let’s hope that the flood of correct answers in to Uncle Art’s Funland teaches him to make things harder next time.

Actually, I just noticed that the small print indicates that responses to this six-letter word jumble are judged on originality before accuracy! So maybe there’s more to this than meets the eye. Is Pilnec the brand name of a perscription medication they’re giving to kids with ADD these days?

As a final note, I’m wondering now if that dapper gentleman in the contest panel is supposed to be Uncle Art himeslf. Does he really work on this strip wearing a top hat and tails? God, I hope so.