Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s January 2, 2017, which means that we’ll have to read “President Trump” in the papers—and hear it on the news—in only 18 days. My heart sinks. As for holidays, today’s both National Buffet Day (a good idea, especially if it’s an Indian buffet) and National Cream Puff Day. It’s also National Science Fiction Day, commemorating the birth of Isaac Asimov on January 2, 1920.

On this day in 1967, Ronald Reagan became governor of California and, in 1971, the Ibrox Disaster took place, in which a spectator crush at a soccer match in Glasgow between Rangers and Celtic killed 66 people and injured more than 200 (you can see a one-hour documentary here). On this day in 1999, the Great Midwestern Snowstorm dumped huge quantities of the stuff over this part of the country, including 19 inches (!) in Chicago, with attendant temperatures of -25°C. I remember that well, but don’t want to experience it again. I slogged to work with snowdrifts up to my hips, and was exhausted at the end of what is normally an 11-minute stroll.

Notables born on this day include Barry Goldwater (1909), Isaac Asimov (see above), Roger Miller (1936), Lynda Barry (1956), and Christy Turlington (1969). I’m a Lynda Barry fan, and here’s a typical cartoon:


Those who died on this day include Dick Powell (1963) and Erroll Garner (1967). It was not a notable day for either news or celebrities. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, who has at least a rudimentary political consciousness, is bewailing the dire state of Polish politics:

A: Holidays ended. It’s time to go back to work.
Hili: Don’t tell this to the politicians. They might do it.
In Polish:
Ja: Święta się skończyły, pora zabrać się do roboty.
Hili: Nie mów tego politykom, bo posłuchają.

And in nearby Wloclawek, the Dark Tabby seeks his food:

Leon: Wasn’t my bowl here?15732335_1363888263631771_6826992143669968923_o

Reader Vera sent a video of her cat Grisélidis watching the television show “Game of Thrones”:

And, from reader Ivan, an “Only a dream” meme:



  1. Posted January 2, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Jerry, your Ibrox disaster conflates two incidents. The 1971 Ibrox deaths was at an Old Firm game in Glasgow between Celtic and Rangers. The Sheffield deaths were at an English FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Notts Forest at Hillsborough in 1989, where 96 Liverpool fans died.

    • Posted January 2, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, you’re right. I’ll fix it.

    • jardino
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      You beat me to the correction, Dermot.

      I remember the Ibrox disaster well. Knowing that my brother was at the match, we were worried sick for hours after the news broke.

      Turns out, he’d left by a different exit and went to a pub with his pals, where they sat wondering what all the ambulance sirens were about.

      Of course, as soon as he found out, he called home to reassure us.


      • Posted January 2, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        How dreadful: in the days before mobile phones that must have been excruciating. I remember my mum having kittens the night of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974 as my elder brother was in the city centre. His mate was walking from one of the bombed pubs to the other as the bomb went off behind him and the other bomb went off before he arrived.

        • Glenda
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Having kittens: an expression of anxiety used in the past. When my mom went one level further it was “holy cats and little kittens”. Still reminds me of her and makes me smile.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      I’d never heard of Ibrox, I guess it was overshadowed by Hillsborough.


  2. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I smiled at the Linda Barry cartoon… not because I’m pessimistic but because I have a background script running in my head (a brainworm?). Every time I read that I can change my diet (as reported) to reduce my risk of heart attack by 30% I realise that this will necessarily increase my percentage chance of dying because of something else, like cancer.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Very good that last picture. And the cat watching whatever it is on the tube…better him than me. Love that Barry cartoon.

    Life is hard, especially if you are stupid.

    • Posted January 2, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      I think we have evidence in the United States that life is not necessarily hard if one is stupid.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Yes but we should factor out inherited wealth and dumb luck. When money is present in large amounts it can be tricking and distort the evidence. Money is not a sign of intelligence that I know of, except maybe Warren Buffet and a few other.

  4. Barbara J. Anderson
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Good morning, Jerry. I have been following and enjoying your website for years. Thank you for many hours of intelligent, insightful, witty and useful information and entertainment. I’m posting a comment today because I feel I have an idea to share with your readers. I am very upset that Trump won ( stole, finagled,manipulated, etc.) the election. Yesterday I had a t-shirt made at the local mall with 3 dates on it. 12-7-1941 , 9-11-2001, and 1-20-2017. Self explanatory. If I could afford a billboard in Times square or a full page in the N.Y. Times, I’d do that.

  5. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas: The Trumpkin King’ [ ].

    In color and behavior he does the jack-o-lantern thing really well.

  6. Larry Smith
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Lynda Barry! Been a long time since I’ve seen or thought of any of her stuff. I remember visiting my sister in San Diego and reading the comics in the SD Reader free paper, especially Barry’s “Ernie Pook’s Commeek,” and the pre-Simpsons “Life in Hell” strip by Matt Groening. Thanks for the memory jumpstart!

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    My favorite Asimov novels are
    the first five of his seven Foundation novels,
    the first two Robot novels (The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun),
    his first novel: Pebble in the Sky
    The End of Eternity.

    (There are only two or three I never read).

    • Posted January 2, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Asimov’s short story “The Last Question” is terrific.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted January 3, 2017 at 4:44 am | Permalink

        Your comment intrigued me, as I had only a vague recollection of that story, so I Googled it, and found the full story here. As with all good short stories, it has a cracking ending. Thanks for reminding me.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted January 3, 2017 at 4:24 am | Permalink

      On re-reading some of his early stuff recently, I was disappointed with the poor characterisation, but he grew into it, and I love most of his stuff. A favourite is “The Gods Themselves”.

  8. Zetopan
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    “And, from reader Ivan, an “Only a dream” meme:”

    Shouldn’t that have been “… Only a Nightmare”.

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