The Most Wonderful Thing In The Comics And Outer Space Last Week


So in 1961 Flash Gordon was all about the exciting stuff we’d be getting up to in space in the far-distant year of 1971. And, really, every story is this glorious experience of soaking in late-50s Man Will Conquer Space Soon vision. Lots of people in giant spaceships and space station pausing between space collisions just long enough to do jobs that you’d think could be done on Earth with a lot less hassle, like, growing vegetables. And then came this, the start of a new storyline, the last panel on Wednesday:

Meanwhile On Earth: 'Hello, Louie's Delicatessen! Yeah, what'll it be today Mr Owl? Ahuh ... OK, got it! Of course, you get it right away! I bring it up in my own personal rocket!'
Panel from Dan Barry’s Flash Gordon from the 7th of October, 1961. Rerun the 24th of August, 2016. 38 cents a pound seems like a good price for hot dogs, although what do I know about the cost of Space Living in Space 1971? I would unless Louie’s got a lot of deliveries to the same space station he’s losing money on the delivery, though. Maybe it’s a gimmick he uses for the publicity. But in that case he needs a catchier name for it than “My Own Personal Rocket”. We’re talking about Space Weinermobile technology here. Granted Louie maybe was born before World War II and grew up a square but if he’s hit on the idea of Space Deliveries for publicity he can get a catchy but dumb name from somewhere. Of course, here I am not suggesting anything.

It’s easy for a story strip to start strong and peter out into boringness. And the story is still in its first week yet. But it’s starting really great, with Louie not just delivering his Space Pork Roll and stuff by rocket, but by recklessly driven rocket. Saturday they even had a Space Fender Bender, with cans of soda and a chain of sausage links spilling out into orbit. It’s been a long while since I was this happy with this much nonsense.

'Rocket on collision course! Full braking jets!!' (They collide, spilling meat and soda into space. Louie pokes his head out to Space Yell.) 'You BUM! Watch your driving! Look what you done to my merchandise!'
Panel from Dan Barry’s Flash Gordon from the 11th of October, 1961. Rerun from the 27th of August, 2016. I appreciate that in the heat of the moment Louie may feel the need to act rather than just scream, but stepping outside of your rocket to Space Yell at someone is no more effective than just staying in your cabin where it’s comfortable and Space Yelling at them over the Space Radio. So how long do you suppose those Space Doughnuts remained in Space Orbit?

In Actual October 1971, the United States launched the ITOS-B weather satellite, which didn’t work. Also some spy satellites which did.

In other comic strips news, my mathematics blog did the usual Sunday sort of thing yesterday, which was Sunday as I make these things out. If it wasn’t Sunday we can just re-check everyone’s work and start again.

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The Delivery Respiral


I just realized I never gave an update on that dolly my father-in-law was having delivered somehow. Sorry. It turns out that he did get it, but there was some kind of problem and he had to ship it back. I was all ready to delight in working out how you re-deliver a dolly and it turned out that he got into some kind of dispute with UPS or an equivalent group over whether the returned dolly needed to be packed in a box or not. He’d gotten assurances that it should be returned un-boxed, and the UPS store was none too sure about this, and I can only say I am so very sorry that I didn’t get to see this scene, though I’m not sorry that it wasn’t me having the dispute about boxed dollies, and I’m even less sorry that it wasn’t me next in line while all this was being sorted out.

The Delivery Spiral


My father-in-law mentioned, with an appropriate amount of pride, that he was getting a dolly delivered in the next couple days. I wondered how they’ll deliver it.

The obvious answer is on a bigger dolly, but then, how did the delivery people get that dolly delivered to them? The result is a recursion problem, and results in questions like “could God create a package so large that even He couldn’t get it delivered?”, which is the sort of thing I was wondering about just before they told me I didn’t have to go to CCD anymore.

I’m still kind of sorry I won’t be there to see it delivered.