Friday, 2 June 2006

Worth a thousand words

Some of James Thurber’s cartoons don’t actually need the drawing: the caption on its own tells the story.

Examples are:
“Well, if I called the wrong number why did you answer the phone?”
“It’s our own story exactly! He bold as a hawk, she soft as the dawn.”
“What do you want me to do with your remains, George?”
“I thought you’d enjoy Miss Perrish, darling. She has a constant ringing in her ears, too.”
“I wouldn’t rent this room to everybody, Mr Spencer. It’s where my husband lost his mind.”
“You wait here and I’ll bring the etchings down.”
“I can’t get in touch with your uncle, but there’s a horse here wants to say hello.”
“What do you want to be inscrutable for, Marcia?”
“I was voted the biggest heel in school, Mamma!”
“What do four ones beat?”

……though perhaps this only works for those who know the drawing and can bring to mind the grumpy, dismayed, angry, lecherous, drunk, tearful or simply blank expressions he drew so brilliantly.

Others, including most of the famous ones, mean nothing at all without the picture:
“You and your premonitions!”
“Perhaps this will refresh your memory!”
“What’s come over you since Friday, Miss Schemke?”
“Ooooo, guesties!”
“Have you no code, man?”
“What have you done with Dr Millmoss?”


"I come from haunts of coot and hern!"

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