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No. 41: An inconvenient booth. You can't handle the booth.

An inconvenient booth. You can't handle the booth.

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Strip by: Ian Boreham

{A scene at a carnival. To the left, children queue for the roller coaster. To the right there is a "kissing booth".}

Sign at roller coaster queue: You must be at least this tall to ride on the roller coaster.

Sign at the kissing booth: You must be at least this attractive to visit the kissing booth.

{The sign has an image of a handsome man.}


The author writes:

Well, I surprised myself by drawing a strip about that bizarre American institution, the kissing booth, which I am mostly ignorant of, and which is a major cliche.

When I was growing up in Australia, we would sometimes see American comics or TV cartoons in which teenage or even younger girls would set up a kissing booth to raise money for something, and hilarity ensued. And then there was Revenge of the Nerds, in which the mean beautiful people had a kissing booth but refused to kiss the nerds, or something like that. All the while I wondered if there really was such a thing, since we never had any here.

I'm still kind of confused. There's a Wikipedia page about it, but it's quite stubby, so I still don't have any idea whether kissing booths have ever been much of a real thing.

That page also suggests that most real kissing booths found today involve animals, for humour. I realise that there are plenty of people who kiss their pets on the mouth (sure, you're probably less likely to catch something from a dog's mouth than from a human's, but have you seen what dogs do with their mouths??). So, do those same crazy pet-lovers go and smooch a strange pooch on the lips, or is it a cuddle-and-kiss-on-the-cheek-while-laughing-because-it's-embarrassing kind of thing? I need to know! I don't think I'm going to like the answer, but I can't help it.

Google-imaging the kissing booth suggests that it is either a halloween costume or a stand with a wrinkly dog.

Or possibly something involving drunk university ("college") students.

Now that I've brought that up, I'm seriously tempted to start asking about all those American college-related words that we hear in Hollywood movies, but (a) I'm asking enough questions in this annotation already, and (b) I think I managed to work it out a few years ago, anyway, by watching movies and being exposed to the internet. "Freshman", "sophomore" and "coed" all mean drunk (and possibly naked) university students, right? But coeds are only female, and sophomores are a bit older. And "sororities" and "fraternities" are places where you find drunk university students. Probably naked, or perhaps "necking", whatever that is. Sounds like something giraffes do. Perhaps at a kissing booth.

So, can somebody please tell me the truth about the booth? (I expect many Boothans will die to bring me the information.)

Drawn in Krita and Inkscape.