Part three of our trilogy exploring The Post via 1951 and Joe Palooka is here! And it will both reward your expectations with a women-be-shopping joke:
And also subvert those same expectations with Betty, who is just made of sass. I used some storytelling tricks in the first two volumes, specifically only showing you panels in which wholesome little girl Betty doesn’t talk. I did this to mislead you into thinking Betty was a silent little doofus with a bow in her hair. But ladies and gentlemen, she talks. She is in fact the only person to show any kind of rebellion against Joe Palooka’s authority as information-provider.
That’s right, Joe. Don’t presume to tell Betty how this stuff works. She’s dumbing-down her knowledge to describe things as “cardboard-like material” so you will know what she means. Betty is going to major in mechanical engineering (with a minor in acerbic wit) and get a high-paying STEM job. She knows it, so she has no compunctions about sassing around all these liberal arts majors.
“I could totally do your job, Mr. Coe, and cheaper!”
“Oh, you’re right, you go to see free shows and then give your opinion afterward, LIKE I JUST SAID. I never thought of that. Wait, I never told you my name. Creepo.”
I can’t seem to make this thematically relevant, but there’s also a scene of Tommy (named after his mother) getting really excited about a punchcard machine, particularly how a bookkeeper would feel about it. So far Tommy has only ever expressed interest in being a sportswriter, which makes this kinda odd.
Most likely Tommy is figuring out how to quadruple the Sports section’s budget and make it look like the machine did it. That’s why he has to immediately cover his own interest in the automation by ascribing his feelings to, you know, a bookkeeper, probably. You know, someone into this stuff. Would love this. I was never here.