Molarity Classic: 160-164

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Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Lions and tornadoes and ruby Adidas! Oh, my!

Molarity 160

160. Since I came to Indiana from the northeast, the prospect of tornados meant only one thing: The Wizard of Oz. The cover of The Observer had an article about President Jimmy Carter visiting the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant, which had a cooling malfunction causing a partial meltdown of the core. This issue also contained the annual April Fool’s Absurder issue which featured Similarity, a Molarity satire by arkie classmates. That cartoon can be viewed on Jim Mole’s Facebook page.

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161. The good Dean of the North is a light caricature of James Roemer, Dean of Students. I never heard if he liked this portrayal any better than Dean Rover, a bulldog, in the Noddy strip. In The Observer, Walsh Hall was celebrating its 70th anniversary. Walsh was the dorm home of Knute Rockne, George Gipp, Father Cavanaugh and Father Hesburgh.

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162. Most of the images for this strip were created from memory as getting pictures (in the pre-Internet world) was difficult. These days I could get a slew of images and design the panels to mimic the movie and the characters much more closely. The Observer headlines note that the incident at Three Mile Island had passed the worst point and a cold shut down would be possible.

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163. In the second panel, the Tin Man tells Jim to “avoid all maid jokes!” At Notre Dame, the only time I got something akin to hate mail was from a maid after my “come lay with me you feisty wench” cartoon, so that was an inside joke with myself. The physical plant at ND during this time was not as pristine as it is today. Many of the sidewalks were cracked and had puddles in them, and after a good rain, scores of worms would seek the high ground of the concrete sidewalk for refuge.

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164. I might need to explain this gag. In the first panel the student is asking about check cashing. Long before ATMs were common, the Bursar’s office in the Ad building was the only place to cash a check so you would have the money you would need for the entire weekend. That meant every Friday afternoon the line to cash a check would stretch outside. It was not unusual for University President Father Hesburgh to be off-campus on various semi-political missions. I culled the punch line from an informal talk Hesburgh gave on-campus which he ended by saying something about having to go meet with “Fritz Mondale.”


See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.


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