Shoe, for April 2, put Walla Walla in a spotlight of sorts.
Posted online by special permission of King Features Syndicate, Inc.
WALLA WALLA — The Shoe has dropped on Walla Walla, but does it fit?
After having its name used over the decades in gags no less than by Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck — and even The Three Stooges — Walla Walla is once again in the news. Or at least on the funny pages around the nation, thanks (We think.) to the comic strip “Shoe”.
Wednesday’s strip, drawn by Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly, had two of its principal characters — a pair of avian newspaper people, no less — discussing a recent trip.
The title character Shoe, whose full name is P. Martin Shoemaker, the gruff editor of the Treetops Tattler, asks his recently-returned reporter-columnist, Perfesser Cosmo Fishhawk, “How was Walla Walla?”
“Boring, boring,” Cosmo replies.
Published by King Features Syndicate, the strip ran nationally in daily newspapers and was also posted on numerous websites, where comments flew thick and fast. Among them:
“Boring? No, no ... Boring is a town in Oregon.”
“IS there even anything IN Walla Walla?”
“Onions ... big, sweet onions.”
“The place so nice they named it twice.”
“Should have gone to Wagga Wagga.”
“Didn’t Jack Benny tell the story of a man who contracted beri beri in Walla Walla?”
“Doing a column on the Wishy-Washy Washing Machine Co. of Walla Walla, Washington?”
Asked for comment about the cartoon, Walla Walla Mayor Jerry Cummins, with tongue in cheek (We think. Hope?), told the Union-Bulletin: “Obviously, they must be referring to our local newspaper.”
Said Ron Peck, executive director of Tourism Walla Walla: “Considering that Cosmo is an overeducated, underachieving professor, he’s obviously not our market.” People who appreciate fine wine, gourmet food and Walla Walla’s other attractions, on the other hand, are, he said.
Peck also said he would like to invite Brookins and MacNelly to come visit.
“I’d love to have him here,” Peck said.
Brookins said today the Walla Walla reference was not generated by anything specific.
“We’re just trying to come up with funny stuff all the time,” he said, and the name Walla Walla fit the bill. He was also surprised to learn there’s a Boring, Ore., as well.
A resident of Richmond, Va., Brookins said he’s never visited Walla Walla. The closest he’s come has been flying over Washington state on his way back from Portland once.
As Walla Wallans well know, living in “The town so nice they named it twice,” as singer Al Jolson once said way back when, requires a sense of humor when it comes to people poking fun at the double name.
And our sympathies to Cosmo. If he had a boring time here, he obviously didn’t get to the right places.
Andy Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8318.