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In some cartoons (Tom & Jerry and The Looney Toons, if I remember correctly), I've seen the image of what seemed to be a baseball or softball along with a screw in a balloon.

If I recall correctly, the balloon appeared near a character who had just been "screwed" by someone else. Even if I can obviously tie the screw to the pun, I wonder how the ball is involved.

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I cannot figure out what image you're trying to construct. But is this even a question about English language? –  tenfour Jul 13 '11 at 11:41
    
@tenfour: What other StackExchange site would you suggest? :) –  jp2code Jul 13 '11 at 21:53
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1 Answer

This is a reference to screwball:

screwball |ˈskruˈbɔl|
noun
1 Baseball a pitched ball that moves in a direction opposite to that of a curveball.
2 informal a crazy or eccentric person.

adjective informal
crazy; absurd.
• relating to or denoting a style of fast-moving comedy film involving eccentric characters or ridiculous situations.

screwball image

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+1. Also worth mentioning that comedies, and sometimes people are occasionally referred to as screwball (as implied by defintion 2 above). –  T.E.D. Jul 13 '11 at 11:48
    
As my eye was scanning down the page, I went "screw... ball... Oh, screwball!" right before I saw your answer. Gave me a bit of a chuckle. –  JAB Jul 13 '11 at 15:29
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