1. Janek says

    Maybe the guy wished for “squid” – slang for “quid” in the UK? .. its a long shot.

  2. Rob says

    I’ve been reading this blog for awhile now and usually skip over the squid/octopus posts because I don’t get it. Is there an inside joke somewhere or do you just really like squid?

  3. ShadowWalkyr says

    “I know I asked for kinky sex with someone who loved me, but this is not what I had in mind!”

    Beyond that, got nuthin.’

  4. Neil says

    Best I can come up with his his wish included that he would ‘love six quid’ weak but the best I can come up with.

    A fella walks into a pub and puts a little piano on the bar followed by a foot high chap in tails and little white gloves who then starts to play.
    Barman: What’s all that about.
    Fella: Well I meet a hard of hearing genie.
    Barman: Hard of hearing?
    Fella: Well do you really think I wished for a twelve inch pianist.

    Boom Boom, sorry I’ll get my coat.

  5. JackC says

    “Link is broken” comments in 3….2….1…

    Just remove the closing “less than” on the link and the referencing page is fine.

    There, he basically says, he really doesn’t remember what he was thinking when he drew it. Nice cartoon though. I guess. I am kind of thinking maybe a Paul Newman, Cool Hand Luke sort of thing…


  6. says

    Maybe he thought: “I would love some calamari right now.”?

    *I think Janek had it – he’s looking for sick squid to put into the parking meter.*

    Maybe, but there is no car parked at the meter.

  7. Mereel says

    We’re getting closer. I just can’t figure out how to merge a sentence involving “I wish…” with “love six quid (love-sick squid)”. “I’d love six quid works”, but “I’d love-sick squid” doesn’t. If only the wishing verb weren’t subsumed into the misheard premise. I suppose if it were somehow crammed into the past tense we could see the former as “I would love” and the latter as “I had love-sick squid” but even that doesn’t really quite work.

    Onwards reverse-engineering humorists!

  8. recovering catholic says

    What’s that tiny little man with the party hat doing walking in the street by the parking meter? Could this be a clue?

  9. says

    I looked up to the heavens and I wished upon a star
    Though I knew it couldn’t hear, from unimaginably far,
    I wished two arms to hold me, two arms to keep me tight,
    Two arms that I could cling to every second of the night,
    Two arms to keep me safe and warm, two arms to share my fun—
    I meant “two arms in total”, but that star’s a silly one.

  10. Mike in Ontario, NY says

    Maybe he wished for someone to cuttle up with?
    Okay, I’ll get my coat and be off.

  11. Kurt says

    He’s always scowling. It doesn’t mean he’s that unhappy about the squid in particular. Reading between the lines in his description of the cartoon, I’d say that his girlfriend Ellen has her clingy tentacles wrapped around his life, and although he may love her, there are (as with any relationship) compromises that have to be endured. Now, he can’t say that, because Ellen reads his web site and he doesn’t want to hurt her, so he says that the squid represents his passion for cartooning. But come on now–a squid as a metaphor for one’s passion for one’s work? Now that’s just silly! :)

  12. says

    I just assumed it was because he had already given his heart to a different squid. Maybe one of those cartoon-horror squids with only one eye.

    That said, I like cuttlefish’s answer the best. You will be inviting him to join your Unholy Cabinet when you become World President For Life, PZ, yes?

  13. davidstvz says

    #6 Rob wrote “I’ve been reading this blog for awhile now and usually skip over the squid/octopus posts because I don’t get it. Is there an inside joke somewhere or do you just really like squid?”

    If I’m not mistaken, Cephalopods are P.Z. Meyers’ particular area of expertise. So essentially yes, he just really likes cephalopods!

  14. qc says

    Cephalopods are P.Z. Meyers’ particular area of expertise.

    That’s double-wrong.



  15. Stephen Wells says

    Seek back through the Pain’s archives for other instances of cephalopods- I think at one point they were to be dropped on Iraq as terror weapons. Cue befuddled Iraqis staring at a very large, very dead squid and calling for ten thousand lemons and a spoonful of tartare sauce.

  16. Troublesome Frog says

    I highly recommend a trip through the artist’s archives. He has done some really brilliant stuff on politics and culture as well. Kreider brought us Science vs Norse Mythology and Our Electoral Process. His rants that go along with them are pretty good. In his statement attached to the cartoon Enough Local News, he writes this about the depressing news around the world:

    What do you think the big headlines were in 1666, the year Newton posited gravitation as a universal force, discovered that white light was composed of the colors of the spectrum, and invented differential calculus, or in 1905, the “annus mirabilis” when Einstein confirmed quantum theory by analyzing the photoelectric effect, introduced special relativity, and proposed the formulation that matter and energy are equivalent? The Great Fire of London and the Anglo-Dutch War; The Russian Revolution and the Russo-Japanese War. The posturing and squabbling of politicians and the exchange of gunfire over issues that would be of little interest or significance to anyone alive now. In other words, ephemeral bullshit. These insights and discoveries are the real history of our species, the slow painstaking climb from ignorance to understanding.

    Tim is the man.

  17. ThirtyFiveUp says

    Brian Coughlan #18

    “Cuttlefish. How do you do that?
    … and so freakin’ FAST!
    Yours, In persistent gobsmacked awe, bordering on worship.”

    What he said.

  18. bigjohn756 says

    The guy is in typical cartoon flasher clothing and posture. I suspect that he flashed the squid and she fell in love with his ‘tentacle’ and he isn’t happy about it. I think flashers expect their victims to scream and run away.

  19. John Phillips, FCD says

    mikespeir, I think most of us share Brian’s awe of Cuttlefish. I always have his book at hand so I can have a quick perusal whenever I need a lift.

  20. John Phillips, FCD says

    Rob, cephalopods are sort of PZ’s hobby study subject whenever he wants to get away from Zebrafish for a while.

  21. Kraid says

    He wished for new adventures in his love life, and all he got was one of those tentacle monsters that’s always molesting anime girls? *shrug*

  22. CrispyShot says

    I just figured it was the squidita doing the wishing, not the human. She was pining for love, and then this loser slumps into her life. She’s hopelessly smitten, and he obviously doesn’t appreciate her.

    At least, that’s what I thought before I read Cuttlefish’s response. FTW, indeed.

  23. Quiet_Desperation says

    It’s not a scowl. He’s concentrating all of his telekinetic abilities to keep the squid afloat in the air.

  24. Cat of Many Faces says

    I think it’s pretty obvious why he’s scowling.

    Obviously the squid only sings showtunes when no one is around.

    Still cooler than a frog.

  25. the other adam says

    That’s Chris Hitchens, isn’t it? I don’t think he needs any particular reason to scowl.

  26. rijkswaanvijand says

    “Artist’s Statement

    Kind of a Golden Age Tim Kreider cartoon here, like something I might’ve drawn ten years ago. (A decade’s worth of these cartoons are collected in my first book.)

    With my political cartoons, I can often write an accompanying essay that goes off on a tangential theme without explicating the cartoon in a reductive way that does a disservice to the art, but in the case of a drawing like this I think I’d better revert to my old policy of saying as little as possible about its intent or meaning. I remember grabbing a piece of paper and hastily doodling it in a hilarious little fit of inspiration at my girlfriend Ellen’s apartment while we were in the middle of a conversation, though I can no longer remember what we were talking about that might’ve prompted such an image.

    This is certainly not what I was thinking of when I drew it, but what comes to mind for me when I look at this cartoon now (which is, of course, no more valid that whatever may come to your mind when you look at it) is that this is what my passion for cartooning has turned into.

    Our donation button directly below.”

    So there you have it, even the artist is totaly clueless..

  27. sparkomatic says

    Oh sure…the squid thing would seem great at first, but then you realize they’re just so…clingy…

  28. says

    Cuttlefish, that poem is excellent. I’m thinking you should forward it to Tim.

    Kreider’s a cartoonist in the mold of B. Kliban – there’s no gag per se, just a lovingly illustrated slice of absurdity presented for appreciation and digestion (“Eggplant Parmesan? I thought you wanted some Toyota headlights!”)

    Analyzing this sort of thing is rather like trying to dissect a balloon, but forging ahead regardless, it struck me as being a reflection on the fulfillment of wishes made when we were young and foolish – and the fact that nothing, no matter how wonderful, ever seems quite as great when you’ve actually got it in your hands. Lots of kids want ponies, few of them get what it means to feed and house and care for one. (Tim, of course, would never have wished for a pony. Hence this cartoon.)

    Looking at it through the lens of my own personal experience, I’m reminded of how at the age of 13 I literally fantasized about owning a computer even a hundredth as powerful as what’s available now (this was at the tail end of the Commodore 64 era – anybody out there remember Commodore GEOS?) – and now I’m surrounded by the goddamn things 24/7 and, uh, not so grate, akshually.

  29. Sili says

    It’s obviously and imposter! Who’s ever heard of a cephalophod with nine arms?!

    I’d be pretty miffed about getting cheated like that, too.

  30. says

    Am I the only one not seeing anything here?

    I mean I can see the post title (“Why is this man scowling?”), I can see in the post the words “I just don’t get it.” (in plain text, not a hyperlink) and I see…

    …nothing else! Seriously that’s all that’s visible in the post as far as I can see – and yet you’re all talking as if there was some picture or cartoon or something here.

    What’s going on here!?

  31. Marc Abian says

    It’s straight-forward enough. Obviously the squid should have wished for a more fun-loving partner.

  32. Muffin says

    Well, he clearly is disgruntled because he only got ONE squid even though he wished for TWO!

  33. E.V. says

    Imagine a pen and ink drawing of a lovesick giant squid floating in air behind a sad-faced man wearing an overcoat walking down an empty sidewalk. That’s it.

  34. says

    I can see it perfectly well in the link Cath the Canberra Cook provided – but still not on this page.
    I don’t even get that sort of box with the ‘X’ in it which normally denotes a picture that won’t load – just nothing.

    hmm… I’ll see if opening this page using Internet Explorer makes any difference.

    Is nobody else at all getting this issue? I normally have no probs at all viewing images on Scienceblogs.

  35. peter says

    He is scowling because there is a big squid hitting on him, but he is not a cephalosexual. It is how I feel when homosexuals approach me in that way.

  36. Ladywolf says

    bigjohn756 has it!

    The squid liked the flasher’s “tentacle” and he’s unhappy about her positive reaction.

  37. says

    Sorry if someone’s already said it, but I’m too lazy to read all the posts. That guy would “love six quid” for the parking meter. (lovesick squid)

    Har, har.

  38. nick nick bobick says

    “lovesick squid/love six quid” works great, but being the dirty old man I am, my guess is that he wished for some “beautiful quim” to fall in love with him.

  39. David White says

    This guy is scowling because he knows that if you give in to an amorous squid it might just bite off your pharyngula.

  40. Colonel Molerat says

    Aw, poor chap. He just wished somebody would love him, but forgot to specify the species…
    Or at least that’s my take on it.
    I do like the artists’ motive (as quoted by rijkswaanvijand #46) – jsut draw an appealing image and let the reader attribute what they want to it.
    I do so like the ‘sick squid’, ‘huge tentacles’ and ‘two arms to hold him’ (Cuttlefish – as has been said: so fast!) interpretations though.
    I’ve only dashed through these comments, I’ve got a lot of Pharyngula to read in just a few minutes…

  41. Colonel Molerat says

    Although I half think that Prof. Myers doesn’t get the joke not because he can’t see the point, but because he can’t understand why anybody would scowl if they had the luxury of a giant squid following them around…

  42. Wayne says

    He looks just like Michael Ignatieff, the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (the man, not the squid). Perhaps it’s a comment on Canadian politics.

  43. says

    He’s wondering where the feck his car went, is very annoyed that he can’t new recall any of the Squidsqueak we was forced to learn in school, and is wishing he’d followed his mother’s advice and become a heart surgeon. And he’s got to find the nearest loo…