Frankie Tomatto's - "Pataphysical Attraction" - Markham, ON
N 43° 49.171 W 079° 20.910
17T E 632809 N 4853153
Quick Description: Zippy explores issues of personal and national identity at a suburban theme restaurant.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 5/7/2010 9:08:08 AM
Waymark Code: WM8RGT
In today's strip, Zippy is confronted by a tiny doppelganger located atop a scaled down version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He forced to ask himself whether the version of himself that he sees is real. As real as the meal he just ate at Frankie Tomatto's? Or as real as a piece of music that must by its very nature be ephemeral?
He tries to avoid the issue by claiming he is "not French enough to handle that many levels of unreality". But why would the act of being born in France allow him to handle more levels of unreality than he already can? After all, he did not flinch from the simulacrum of an iconic Italian symbol that he (if it is indeed he) is standing on. And the reader, viewing the story at an additional level of removal, cannot forget that Zippy is a cartoon character. He himself is not real in a strict ontological sense, yet the comic strip exists so Zippy is real in at least an abstract sense.
And if we accept the context of the strip as being real on its own terms, we still have to confront the fact that the titular character rejects this reality. Or does he? The "Zippy" who stands on the tower does believe everything is happening exactly as it is described.
Our only way out of this paradox is to consider the title of the strip -- Pataphysical Attraction. Wikipedia tells us that pataphysics is "a pseudophilosophy dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics. It is a parody of the theory and methods of modern science and is often expressed in nonsensical language."
So perhaps the joke is on us and perhaps Zippy understands his world at a deeper level than we can comprehend. Or perhaps it's time for lunch.
Frankie Tomatto's is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant with an Italian theme. Prices range from $10.99 to $18.99, depending on the day and time you visit. Further information is available at Frankie's web page at frankietomatto.com (warning: sound).
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