No doubt this escaped your attention, but the author(s) of Ziggy have lately become delusional over the idea of inanimate objects talking to us. This has had the unintended consequence of making the comic strip interesting for the first time in decades, possibly ever.

Often it’s a computer doing the talking (Figure 1). These are actually not that interesting. Where it gets weird is when other objects use computer terminology (Figure 2). I simply cannot understand these at all. If these are meant as commentaries on how technology is controlling our lives, how does a seashell fit in?

The talking toilet (Figure 3) represents the most extreme example of the genre. What can this possibly mean? That there is too much inanimate chatter out there? Talking appliances have been around for decades, and have mostly been commercial flops. Recall the 1970s Buicks that warned you when a door was ajar, or the short-lived talking alarm clocks.

I thought perhaps it could be a statement on how AOL stock has gone down the toilet, but that isn’t consistent with the overall pattern of comics. And why not say “You’ve Got Mail”? You don’t get to be willfully obscure and indulge in cleaning up grammar at the same time.

Finally, and I really hope I’m wrong here, I thought it might be some inscrutable reference to being “regular”, the sort of thing that only someone over 75 would understand.

Any insights from the readership would be welcomed.

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