Lightning Round (Strike Two)


Are you one of those people who can't help but associate the Coast Guard admiral serving as National Incident Commander of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with the leader of Bill Cosby's Junkyard Gang?

Image © 2010 CBS News.

Whenever he's shown or even just mentioned on the news, I'm possessed by the nearly uncontrollable urge to shout, "Hey hey hey... It's
Thaaaaaaad Allen!" Google says I am not alone there.

Images © 1984 Filmation Associates and William H. Cosby Jr.

Quick momentum-killing note to those of you with little to no awareness of Cosby's 1960s stand-up or Saturday-morning TV in the '70s & '80s or, I guess, just general American culture: "Thad Allen" sounds like "Fat Albert" (and vice versa), the latter being the star of a long-running cartoon produced by Filmation that was adapted into a live-action film a few years back. Now get off my blog, Mr./Ms. Stick-in-the-Mud Fuddy Duddy!

sigh...

I'm sorry. It's just that I have lingering exasperation over the fact that these "Lightning Round" posts were begun more than two weeks ago, yet my oft-referenced lousy Internet connection has been sapping my enthusiasm along with my actual ability to engage in online activity as surely as the humidity and constantly shifting barometer have been sapping my physical and mental energies. One post got published while I was visiting my dad, but it was excerpted from a much larger catch-all smorgasbord post that's been hanging around, constantly shifting, since comments on the Tonys were relevant and the Phillies were visiting the Red Sox. If my Father's Day Siteseeing survey and supernatural-summer Screen Savor reviews (more of which are on their way — eventually) hadn't been more time-sensitive, this might have gone up sooner, but now it probably holds the record for most-rehashed post in my queue; as it was, those other posts didn't exactly get published on schedule, the latter taking so long that I couldn't even in good conscience backdate it to when it was supposed to go up.

So this post is heavier on kvetching and lighter on anecdotes or other potentially interesting content than it was at first pass. The whole "Lightning Round" thing was initially just a cute double entendre playing on the fact that it was a collection of quick hits on various topics actually composed while thunderstorms danced through the area. Some of the topics were callbacks or follow-ups to previous posts that had accumulated, while others, as noted above, were reactions to more current happenings; some, like the quip that led off the previous "Lightning Round" post, more-or-less occurred to me as I wrote.

Date and copyright holder of strip unknown

The above is an example of the latter. When I was in second grade, visiting the third-grade classroom during Reading (as it was a small school with no breakdown of students into groups by ability), we had workbooks that featured a character called Uncle Funny Bunny — whom an old owl in the forest, hard of hearing, called "Uncle Fuddy Duddy". Jerry Beck has examples of an Uncle Funny Bunny comic strip at the Cartoon Brew blog, including the above, culled from elementary-school magazine Weekly Reader — but it doesn't look at all like I remember it; of course, the differences could easily be due to different creative teams or editorial bents and/or the fact that the Uncle Funny Bunny material I remember was long-form stories done specifically for the workbooks we used, although I can't find any images online to back up my recollections.
[to be continued]

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