Pizza Con Pezzi di Gesso? The Molarity crew should perhaps stick to English…
236. In Rome, often restaurants got nicknames based on some visible feature. This restaurant was called “The Walrus” because the waiter, as you can see, looked like a walrus. One of the joys of the year abroad was dealing with language as more than an academic subject. Our first night in Rome, I had dinner with the late Rich Role. We had made it through the meal with our Italian skills but it was time to ask for the check. We could not think of the word. Rich insisted it was il compito. I was not sure that was right, but all I could think of was il cestino which I knew meant “the waste basket.” Rich asked for il compito and the waiter brought the check. The word we could not remember was il conto. Rich had actually asked for the homework.
237. Looking back at the Observer in sequence, it appears that they started running old cartoons. I know I had produced enough strips. Later I was told they occasionally lost strips that I had sent. (More about that next time!) Ouch. So these next three are cartoons which I know they had but I am not sure if they ran them. For this one all you need to know is that back in the day you only had to dial the last 4 digits of a phone number to get another campus phone. Okay, so this one is not that funny. That may explain why they lost it.
238. In Rome you were much more aware of how the dollar’s value would float. This cartoon makes reference to the Cold War concept of the “domino theory” that Communism would take over the world through small insurgencies one small country at the time. The theory was largely refuted by political experts. They told us there was no “domino theory” when North Korea attempted to get control of South Korea, when Cuba went Communist, when North Vietnam took over South Vietnam, when Nicaragua went Communist, when Grenada went Communist… All right, that might explain why this one was lost.
239. So this Christmas cartoon was to be the last cartoon before Christmas break. In the last millennium, Detex systems were the analog version of today’s door card readers. It was installed on the exterior doors on women’s dormitories as a security measure. It was a system rendered ineffective because we guys would knock on the door and any passing girl would open it for us.
240. For many years, Rome arkies would have lunch at a place we called Pizza Pantheon — not its real name. You could go there and see pictures of each architecture class on the wall and an ND Leprechaun decal on the glass doors. Vittorio and Giorgina would take good care of us. Nothing beat getting four pieces of pizza (due e due) and a liter of cold Coke and sitting on the steps of the fountain in front of the Pantheon for lunch. The cartoon hung in the storefront for many years. There is still a pizza place there but it has new owners and no ND pictures. Hey, arkies, what are your favorite Pizza Pantheon stories?
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.