It was difficult for me to resist today's Family Circus, wherein little Billy says in what is apparently complete innocence, "Daddy, my pen is stuck in your pencil sharpener." However, 1) I did a FC cartoon quite recently, and 2) that particular comic would make much better fodder for Utterly Filthy Filth for Our Times.* If Chaucer had known what a pencil sharpener was, he probably would have had a field day with this comic.
Luckily, fun stuff is also happening elsewhere on the funny pages. The Apartment 3G monk, identified by me a few days ago as the silent, contemplative Brother Lawrence, is gamely having a go at guessing what women talk about when they are alone together at their secret female bourbon parties. So far, the subjects of discussion have been Alan (a dead man) and Gary (a living man). It seems that once the ladies have drawn the mystic circle and chanted the runes of power, they tend to settle down to good long chats about...men.
Brother Lawrence interacts with women only very rarely. There are a few nuns who turn up at the monastery every once in a while, but he tends to avoid them. Nonetheless, he has a vivid imagination and has often thought about women, whom he regards in the same light as the dog-headed cannibals he has read about in books full of Isidore quotations.** The good Brother does, however, find himself frequently having to fall back on writing about what he knows, and what he knows is the world of men. Of course these women would discuss men. Doesn't everybody? Yet since they are women and thus completely alien, their conversations must necessarily be alien as well; they therefore talk about how frustrating men are, just as men in the same position might talk about how frustrating women were.
A major clue that this comic is the brainchild of a medieval monk lies in Tommie's final statement, which contains a Middle English pun. The word "male" means "male," but it can also mean "evil." Tommie is, in fact, coming out with an antimasculist rant: the very opposite of Brother Lawrence's natural inclination. He really does enjoy getting into the brains of creatures so completely inscrutable. If he knew about novels, he would be thinking about writing one.
*A site that doesn't exist but should.
**The dog-headed cannibals are actually only the tip of the iceberg. Just don't ask about the people with ears so huge they are able to use them as sunshades.