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July 9, 2007


Filed under: art, Bill Bickel, Boston, cars, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor, One Big Happy — Cidu Bill @ 11:06 pm


Rick Detorie is clearly thinking ahead: Anticipating the probability that many people won’t get the joke and will end up sending it to me, he had Ruthie explain it to us. Sure glad I didn’t have to bother putting it on the page.

This one, on the other hand, I’m not entirely sure what he’s getting at:



  1. In the second one, she raised her price and is counting on the illiteracy of her target market to not realize that she’s done so. The only witness to the skullduggery is incapable of exposing her as a fraud.

    Comment by Dave Van Domelen — July 11, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

  2. I always thought Khakis were pronunced like the first syllable rhymed with hack. I’ve never heard anyone pronounce it otherwise.

    Anyone, I just call ’em pants.

    Comment by Krusher — July 11, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

  3. “Hack” is pretty much consistent with the stereotypical Boston pronunciation of “car keys”

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 11, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

  4. I’ve always wondered when and how “Khaki” changed from a color to a style…

    Comment by Brian Leahy — July 11, 2007 @ 9:43 pm

  5. In Boston, the vowel “a” in “car” is not at all the same a as in “hack”. “Car” has the same broad ‘a’ as those in “park” or “yard”, or the first ‘a’ in “Harvard”. “Hack” (and “khaki”, in my own Boston idiolect) has the short ‘a’ sound of “happy” and “cat”.

    Comment by Morris Keesan — July 12, 2007 @ 9:25 am

  6. It’s very funny. I’ll have to ask my Boston friend to pronounce “Khakis”. Thanks.

    Comment by liliane — July 12, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  7. Hmmmmmm — Morris may be right about the reality of the pronunciation in Boston, but the perception is that people there will say things like
    “Where did I pak the cah”

    Comment by Nicole — July 12, 2007 @ 10:52 am

  8. I pahked the cah in Hahvahd yahd.
    I packed my khakis and played hacky sack.

    Can’t say I’ve heard khakis ever pronounced to sound like cah keys.

    And the point of the joke is not that Bostonians pronounce the type of pants as a homonym for what they use to staht the cah … It’s that his misbegotten pronunciation could be mistaken for same.

    Comment by Charles — July 12, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

  9. I’ve seen Khakis/Car Keys a few times before, and the Car Talk Guys (from Cambridge, MA) have talked about it. I’ve also seen a reference to Australians (strines) using ‘khakis’ to start the cah. For the argument about exactly how Bostonians pronounce things, see the following article from the Boston Globe, by the author of the Boston Dictionary, in which he directly refers to ‘khakis’.

    Comment by David Skaar — July 13, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

  10. I don’t know how Bostonians pronounce the word “khakis”, but I can tell you that in Australia it’s pronounciation certainly does rhyme with “car keys”. You’ve no idea how bizzarely funny it sounded the first time I heard a reference to “khaki” (rhyming with
    “lackey”) pants on an Amercian TV show: because in this country “cacky/kacky” means filthy, or covered in excrement (for example-a “cacky nappy” is Australian for a soiled baby’s diaper). Back in the 60s, the lline “See the man in khaki pants” (on a cop show) had my family laughing for days!

    Comment by Kerrie Dougherty — July 16, 2007 @ 12:13 am

  11. Aussies laugh even harder when we Yanks “root for the home team” – right, Kerrie?

    [Note to fellow Yanks … look it up.]

    My favorite ever Australian joke, “Why is an Australian man like a wombat? Answer: Because he eats, roots, and leaves” has been turned into a really lame American joke about a panda with a gun.

    (Apologies to everyone who thinks the panda joke is uproariously funny. If you’d heard (and understood) the Aussie version first you’d probably groan too at how contrived and compromised the “remake” is.)

    Sorry for dragging this off-topic, but I couldn’t resist responding to Kerrie’s “cacky nappy”/”khaki pants” amusement.

    I’m sure they say things that sound equally silly to us – like removing pencil marks with a “rubber”.

    – Wendy (naturalized Aussie / dual US/Aus citizen)

    Comment by Wendy — July 16, 2007 @ 10:07 am

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