Following up on one of the Grim Reaper cartoons in my “Death at play” posting (“Relax, I’m only here for your hair”), John Lawler has passed on this John Caldwell cartoon:
It turns out that “I’ve (only) come for your X” (often preceded by a reassuring “Relax” or “Don’t be alarmed”) is something of a cartoon formula. Here’s a Jerry King cartoon used in a captioning contest (I haven’t found the original, captioned, cartoon), for which one contestant suggested “Relax, I’m only here for your worm”:
Arnie Levin has used the formula at least twice. From the New Yorker cartoon bank:
Note the variations in the figure of the Grim Reaper:
And one poster uses the following tagline:
“Relax! I’m only here for your hamster!” – Death
So, don’t be alarmed; I’m only here for your toonclones.