Normally I would wait for the weekly roundup to talk about this, but I'm getting some awesome Hate Mail, and I can't wait to share it. Here's today's comic: Apparently some people are completely missing the boat on this one. As I write this, it's ten a.m. and I've already had four professors of cleverness write me to inform me of... well, I'll let you read it:
... the author of the next letter was not quite so angry, but a little more smug:
I'm sure I'll get more letters during the day, so I'm going to do something I hate to do. I will explain this joke for all the other smarty-pants out there:
The comic is a play on the old phrase "even a broken clock is right twice a day". The clock the customer brought in is so broken, that it's only right once a day. Get it?
The thing that boggles my mind is that everyone that wrote me is familiar with that old phrase, yet they still didn't get the joke. I could understand someone being confused if they had never heard it, but they all mention it in their letter, as if to say, Here's a little something to help you remember how clocks work! Well thank you, Einstein. Do you have a little phrase to help me understand relativity too?
As a result of these letters, I've decided to add a new feature to F Minus comics: The Big Red Arrow of Comedy. It's intended to help engineers and the like to find exactly where in the comic I am using "humor". On a slightly different note, I've noticed when someone writes me just to tell me I suck and I'm not funny, they don't sign their name. But when they are writing to point out my ignorance, they include their full name, job title, and address. That way I can mail a letter of apology and ask them to be my life coach.
I'll post more funny letters about this comic, if any.
EDIT: Hey, the engineer wrote back...
They test us on all this stuff before becoming cartoonists.
EDIT: The letters keep coming...
Included are my responses in blue. I try to keep my response at a politeness level greater than or equal to that of the letter I received. It's not easy.
Subject: Clock Repairs
National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors . . . memb.#582**
Nope, you weren't the only person to write me. "In fact", many other people misunderstood this comic. You see, the comic is a play on the old phrase "even a broken clock is right twice a day" (referring to someone that is usually wrong, but sometimes has the right idea). The clock in the cartoon is SO broken, it's right only ONCE a day. Of course, this is impossible; hence-> humor.
National Association of Clock Comic Writers... memb.#1
Subject: Oops! You get an F Minus on this one...
A comment about your F Minus cartoon that appeared in the Knoxville News Sentinel on October 10. The cartoon depicts a clock repair shop and the proprietor is saying to a lady "I'm afraid this clock is too badly damaged to repair. In fact, it's only right once a day." Any typical clock with a dial face shows only twelve hours, which means a broken clock will always display the correct time twice per day. My schoolteacher wife says you get an "F Minus" on this one.
Uh, teacher... I'd like to contest that grade. You see, the cartoon is based on the old phrase, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day". The clock in this comic is SO broken it's only right ONCE a day, which is of course, impossible: that's what makes it funny.
If you'd like to stay and study after class, maybe I can give you some extra credit.
Thanks for the email!
A clock that is only, right once a day, must be a 24 hour clock. The back ground shows only 12 hour clocks. A 12 hour clock that is stopped is right twice a day.
Charlotte NC 28226
Yes I know, Guy. The comic is play on that old phrase, "even a broken clock is right twice a day". The clock in the comic is SO broken, it's only right once a day. Of course this is impossible, which is why it's a joke.
But thanks for playing our game!
So this is my day. Tired of it yet? I am.