Gold Star for Dilbert


I have two favourite comic strips which I look at every day, either in a newspaper or online. They are Calvin and Hobbes (by Bill Watterson and Jenny Robb) and Dilbert (by Scott Adams).

Yesterday’s Dilbert strip (double-size because it was Sunday) was about doctors being replaced by computers. In the last frame a nurse appears, armed with a syringe with which to stab the doctor if he tries to do more than read the diagnosis on the computer screen.

“Hello,” I thought, “that’s suspiciously like a joke I heard and re-told a few years ago about Airbus pilots, with a dog instead of a nurse.”

Then I noticed a little note underneath the final frame: ‘Adapted from an old pilot joke.’  It’s not plagiarism if you acknowledge your source.  So Dilbert and his creator, Scott Adams, get a gold star from me for reinvigorating a good joke by recycling it in a fresh context, with an honest citation.

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