This drawing appears alongside a NYT Opinionator Draft essay by Henry Hitchings about the use of nominalization in writing. One type of nominalization is the appropriation of verbs as nouns, leading to attention-grabbing (and annoyance-inducing) phrases like the ones found in this comic. You can also see the illustration and article in print in the March 31 NYT Sunday Review. Thanks to AD Matt Dorfman for the gig!
This comic peripherally references Life in Hell, the great and recently-concludedweekly comic strip by Matt Groening. The overmatched protagonist is wearing a Bongo costume. After I drew this comic, I found out that Groening's strip was ending its 32-year run.