Come to Funky Winkerbean for the mesmerizingly inane plot, stay for the intense first-person envelope stuffing action! And in such detail! We almost get to see what the ingredients of Montoni’s famous salad dressing are. Alas, all we will know is that it contains ‘< of 10 em WWWW’.
Cute pun too. Nice to see that the salad dressing gift was really a prop in service of a sentiment. Provided Donna likes salad dressing, this is a perfectly adequate anniversary present for an older couple living off of the income of a single part time job at a comics shack. Certainly better than an IOU for a trip to China that is quickly forgotten.
‘Salad Days’ is such a weird idiom though. We’ve become so removed from the concrete meaning of the metaphor, that usage of the phrase keeps sliding further and further away from it’s genesis in Shakespeare. Nowadays it generally means a worry-free and pleasant time of life. Either youth, or retirement. But that’s only after evolving more times than a Pokémon.
Of course, I fell down the internet hole again on this one. It’s my specialty.
‘Salad days’ comes from a line in Shakespeare’s 1606 play, Antony and Cleopatra. But like a lot of popular Shakespearian idioms, the turn of phrase didn’t get pulled out as a stock phrase until the mid 19th century. Initially salad days was a somewhat negative expression, meaning a time of ignorant indiscretion in youth. You’re green, and cold, and will soon wilt, and so do stupid things. Like get a Star Wars tattoo or seduce Julius Caesar.
Which brings us to the origin of the phrase in the play. In Act 1 Scene V of Antony and Cleopatra, Cleo is gushing about Marc Antony, her hunky Roman boyfriend, and preparing to send dozens of messengers after him like the first century equivalent of blowing up his cell phone with texts. She asks one of her servants if she ever loved her old, now dead, Italian dressing, Julius Caesar so much.
So, you know, if Batiuk wants to go with this original allusion that’s fine. It’s nice to think that Crazy Harry and Donna will grow to disavow this time in their lives, and see themselves as stupid for ever feeling this way. And if they want to finish it all off by dying of snakebite, so much the better.