Dennis the Menace, 4/7/23
Last month I speculated on Henry Mitchell’s career status, based on my half-memory that he might be an engineer, and readers pointed me in some intriguing directions. In the 1950s/60s TV show, Henry works for Trask Engineering; on the fan-maintained Dennis the Menace wiki, we’re told that he’s a “a workaday aerospace engineer,” whereas on actual Wikipedia it says he’s “a workaday teacher at Dennis’s school,” which is clearly wrong (also I am desperate to understand why “workaday” appears in both those descriptions but I think I need to apply for a research grant so I can fully analyze the situation). Anyway, I’m going to take the preponderance of evidence here and accept that he’s an engineer, which makes Dennis turning to this total stranger for engineering advice all the more menacing, though based on Henry’s sidelong glance I assume these two are coworkers and he’s basically saying “See? I told you what a moron he is.”
Hi and Lois, 4/6/23
When I was in high school, our debate team hosted a tournament one year, and I was in charge of getting the trophies, and the time spent tracking down a trophy store and picking out the design and getting the orders in really rearranged the way I think about accolades like this. You can just buy a trophy or a medal that says anything you want! They don’t necessarily mean anything! Still, I appreciate today’s Hi and Lois as a corrective to this attitude, as it shows that if you get into buying and handing out trophies as a bit, your loved ones will get sick of your shit almost immediately.
OK, fine, usually just slipping “[LATEST TECH FAD]” into a sentence at random and claiming it’s a punchline is something that sends me spinning into a rage, but this one somehow loops around all the way into being funny again. Like I’m laughing just imagining some callow teens that exist entirely in a boomer’s imagination brought to the brink of starvation and sullenly gnawing on their phones. “I love phone,” the teens say, refusing to make direct eye contact with adults in a forthright and masculine way. “Phone good.”