The Mishmash Whisperer


zitscolor16.3.14Ed M. sent us this great email:

After spending 2 1/2 years “decoding” a large group of family letters (702 to be exact), I couldn’t resist attempting to transcribe the overlaid text in the first panel of today’s strip. I’m also fairly certain that I’m not the first to try this, as most people, including me, are nosy about what’s in a message they can’t read. I’ll say that compared to some 150–year old letters, it was still hard to read. And, shucks, no secret message! Just to be honest: HOT DATE WHICH EMILY THOUGHT WAS REALLY RUDE AND I TOTALLY AGREED HE WAS OUT OF LINE I MEAN JUST BECAUSE HES A SENIOR DOESNT GIVE HIM THE RIGHT TO BE OBNOXIOUS

I’m not going to try the third panel, but am just curious if you have a following that regularly transcribes these tangles? I always enjoy your strip, even with no teens in the house. Best regards and keep up the good work!

Ed M.


Hi Ed,

I just love your letter — it still has me smiling! No one has ever contacted us to say they’ve decoded my mishmash, so I thought maybe the only person who ever tried was our editor Evelyn at King Features Syndicate, whose job is to make sure we don’t sneak anything inappropriate onto the comics page. I delight in making her brow furrow, and suspect that many of her gray hairs have my name on them.

Glad you spent your efforts on this particular example of harmless garble, but I’m not promising they’re all so innocent!

Jim (and Jerry)


9 thoughts on “The Mishmash Whisperer

  1. Just tried to at least find the beginning and end of a word in the third panel. It was hard and it took me a heck of a long time, but the only words that I could spot by analyzation were:

    She supposed
    Ringing And
    If You’re Even One
    Missed The


    That’s it, that’s all I could get from that strip. I completely failed to decipher your rambled words, bruh. MAKE IT EASIER! My nerve endings were shrieking in agony at my eyes which were pressed the computer screen.

    Actually. . . .just scramble them more. I like the challenge.

  2. Hi guys – we recommend your strip to everyone we know who has teenage boys or teenagers period since you’re so right on the mark with attitude! (Actually I thank God He sent me girls!!) Anyway, my main comment is that the sentence in Jim’s reply which states how he enjoys making Evelyn’s brow furrow and how many of her gray hairs have his name on them answered my question of who Jeremy is patterned after! Obviously Jeremy’s behavior isn’t far from Jim’s! (perhaps as a teenager?) Or maybe still?

  3. I am shocked as much as surprised to find out there was a real set of words in those? Amazing. How in the world did you decipher those? Please don’t give up on that third panel, though – now I am curious but there is no way I can do that…

  4. I haven’t had a teen in my house for decades and my teen son will be 45 this month, but I still love Zits! I just found the link to this place to comment when a friend had copied a strip to his Facebook page. Our son could completely devour an extra large box on cereal (20 servings) in 2 sittings. Thanks for making me laugh all week.

  5. I ran the strip through an Online OCR and this is what came back.

    l“p( ‘p‘ rt! ‘s‘

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    ‘x‘ \ LE, 45. ‘ flail’i Egg? ::.¢’ 11
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    t” am 5 2 “at? ’ .”F” A” “a”; ‘E§$,23’f’i:4i’fl“” 3
    A x ‘ @V 3 ,, ct “AA 0 ‘ ‘ J “9 ifiiflflfl‘f?mimbgfofifl
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    Most enlightening, no?

  6. Will the full scowl poster ever be published. I know a few high school teachers who would use it in their classes.

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