A shmoo is a fictional cartoon creature created by Al Capp. They first appeared in his comic strip ‘Li’l Abner’ on August 31, 1948, and quickly became a postwar national craze in the USA. Shmoon reproduce asexually, require no sustenance other than air, make good pets, are delicious to eat, and are eager to be eaten. Their pelts make perfect boot leather or house timber, depending on how thick you slice it. They have no bones, their eyes make the best suspender buttons, and their whiskers make perfect toothpicks. In short, they are the ideal herd animal.

In the comic strip the frolicking of shmoon is so entertaining that people no longer feel the need to watch television or go to the movies. It’s been used in discussions of socioeconomics, for instance, a widget is any material good which is produced through labor from a finite resource. In contrast, a shmoo is a material good that reproduces itself and is captured or bred as an economic activity.


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