Two Hep Cats and the Cool Comma

Punctuation Marks on Beach Trip Holiday

Scamble: I met a comma at the bus stop this morning. … Did you hear what I said? I said, I met a comma, at the bus stop, this morning.

Cramble: Be wary of commas. They’ll be on you like fleas.

-Did you know the apostrophe is the feminine form of comma?

-Band of punctuation pirates, the lot of them. Some witch of an exclamation point once hexed me into a pair of parentheses.

-Yes, life is hard enough without being labeled a parenthetical expression.

-Imagine impossible to break away from the vice grip of your parents.

-The bus stop comma seemed a cool enough little fellow.

-What was he up to?

-Just pausing, to say hello.

-I once dated an apostrophe, a beach volleyball aficionado, as I recall.

-Cool comma wasn’t going to the end of the line, Line 15, though, where the periods have apparently gentrified the neighborhood, the so-called Pearl District.

-No more comma splices. A few fragments, still.

-What’s the point of periods, anyway? We never really stop we get up and go again. He got off at the very next stop, the cool comma did.

-Why I prefer the express bus no all of that stop and go busyness biz.

Punctuation implies patience.

Published by

Joe Linker

"The Coming of the Toads" by Joe Linker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, and Copyright 2007-2020 Joe Linker - author of "Penina's Letters," "Coconut Oil," "Scamble and Cramble: Two Hep Cats and Other Tall Tales," "Saltwort," "Alma Lolloon," and "end tatters."


  1. Just pausing, to say hello :)
    Ha, ha, hilarious. Was reminded of the gently warning loudspeaker voice in the older underground stations in London,
    … Mind the Gap …

    I enjoyed the article in the New Yorker.

    1. Hey, Ashen. Yes, Mary Norris – great article. I will read her book. She’s posted a few pieces to TNY on-line site, but it’s nice to see her get a book out of her experience. Reminded of Janet Groth’s The Receptionist, though the receptionist would appear to be a quite different experience than the copy editor’s. And, yes, “Mind the Gap”; and, “The yellow zone is for loading and unloading of passengers only: no periods!”

    1. Thanks for the visit, Susan. Yes, the skittish often seems the appropriate post form. I don’t know. As my friend Dan said, cartoons, by which he meant, I think, satire, are easily misunderstood. I looked up your book, read through the preview, was interested in the part toward the end about “attitude.” Attitude is not usually included in the parts of a rhetorical situation, but I’m suddenly thinking it might be the most important characteristic, and it’s one’s attitude that is often misunderstood. Thus the frequent response, “Sorry, I was just joking,” but which leaves one nevertheless feeling there is an element of truth in every jest. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

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