Monday, November 17, 2008

Monk #3 Tells It Like It Isn't

I think it's probably time to name our monks.

If you remember, we have discovered three lonely medieval monks toiling away at newspaper comics. They all belong to the same monastery, but they rarely speak to one another; they are wrapped up in their own imaginative pursuits.

Monk #1, the creator of Apartment 3-G, is called Brother Lawrence. He has taken a vow of silence and spends much of each day sunk in contemplation. His comic-strip specialties are realistic dialogue and human interactions.

Monk #2, the creator of Archie, is called Brother Francis. He was dropped off at the monastery by his young, unmarried mother when he was five days old, and he has lived there every since, never venturing outside the walls. His comic-strip specialties are nubile young girls and their...attributes.

Monk #3, the creator of The Better Half, is called Brother Cuthbert. He is an extremely holy monk who remains always within his cell, only ever emerging to pray with his fellow monks. His comic-strip specialties are marital disputes and references to current events.

Today, Brother Cuthbert is in fine form. Almost exactly a month ago,* he drew a comic dealing with Stanley perpetuating identity theft on his cat; now what has gone around has come around, and Stanley himself is the victim. Brother Cuthbert still has absolutely no idea what identity theft is. He is worried by it--he is sure that it is the work of the devil--but he wouldn't know it if he passed it in the street.** He was, however, a little uneasy about his cat interpretation, and he is taking this opportunity to have another go at a definition. Since he is rather worried by his own deteriorating physical condition, he is projecting his anxieties onto his comic-strip characters.

It's also worth noting that Brother Cuthbert is so modest that he can't bear to draw Stanley with his shirt off. He has thus given Stanley's stomach angular folds that make it look a little bit like a shirt. He has forgotten to leave out the belly button, but let's cut him some slack; he's obviously trying his best.

*I seem to be returning to Brother Cuthbert's work roughly once a month. My theory is that he's actually creating an extremely widely spaced series of thematically related comics, probably because he's bored.
**Especially since he wouldn't be caught dead in the street.


john said...

"Crulle," huh? So that's where the pastry got its name. I do love finding common roots. Even if I have to look at The Better Half in order to do so.

Angry Kem said...

John: Indeed. The cruller is my favourite kind of doughnut. I've heard many Americans don't get them often or at all. That makes me very sad.

john said...

It depends. I dunno about fresh-baked, but boxed crullers aren't too hard to come by, although cake doughnuts are much more common. You just have to know where to look.

Angry Kem said...

I believe it depends on your geographic location; some areas have crullers, while others don't. Canada, on the other hand, is full of the things.

The Prettiest said...

So is "crulle" one of those words that got flopped on the way to modern English? I remember hearing that once there was "drit" and "brid", so I'd not be terribly surprised to learn "crul" had undergone a similar conversion.

Angry Kem said...

The Prettiest: It seems so...according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, at least. The URL doesn't fit here, but the entry reads:

"1447, metathesis of crulle (c.1300), probably from O.E. or from M.Du. krul 'curly,' from P.Gmc. *krusl-. The game of curling is from 1620; curlicue is from 1844, perhaps from the letter Q."

And yes, there used to be "briddes" rather than "birds" and "drit" rather than "dirt."