Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 5, 2004

    The legend about going down for the third time is used in both Aloha Hooey (Avery/Clampett, 1942) and Fresh Airedale (Jones, 1945). The characters who are going under signal with their fingers the number of times they have come up, and then make a gesture, either waving a would-be rescuer to them or waving good-bye. Cecil Adams, in his book The Straight Dope, indicates that the legend is untrue, and makes a sardonic reference to its use in animation, noting that “cartoons... are not normally regarded as a source of reliable medical insight”.

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