Molarity Classic: 366-370

Author: Michael Molinelli '82

November, 1980: When the Lord’s ways were at their most mysterious.

366. This series of cartoons is one of the most renowned I have ever done. They appeared in 1980, a couple of weeks after Gerry Faust was announced as the new head coach and a couple of years after John Paul I and then John Paul II became pope.

367. The lead story of The Observer featured ace reporter John Higgins’ account of the longstanding problem with Corby Tavern’s liquor license. This was part of an ongoing series of reports John did, paying more attention to his journalism than his Notre Dame studies. The late John Higgins was a very good friend of mine and helped publish my third Molarity book. The owner of the bar was shot execution style in 1984 and the bar closed a year later.

368. This particular Molarity has been reprinted numerous times by the likes of the Los Angeles Times and the Irish football website. When this ran originally, the phrase I used in the third cartoon was “Habemus Coachus.” But a Moreau seminarian wrote a letter correcting the Latin as “Habemus Coachum.” His argument was that coach should have been in accusative case of the second declension (-us, -a, -um.) I thought maybe I could argue “Coachus” was right if it were the fifth declension and in the vocative or genitive case, but I would lose that point. So I corrected it in time for the second book, Don’t Make a Right. Only at Notre Dame.

369. Back then you had to hand your card to the dining room attendant who would swipe them on the magnetic reader. I guess they were so new they did not think the average person could do it for themselves. The Addams family “Thing” gag is one of my favorite reveals.

370. You could do a cartoon like this 35 years ago without having to write a disclaimer such as, “Grenades are dangerous. Do not give a live grenade to a small child.”

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.