9 Chickweed Lane, 8/10/16
Sooner or later, courtship plots need to resolve. That’s no problem if you’re writing a book or play – just get your couple to their Big Moment before the final chapter or curtain. But when your TV serial or comic strip is built on romantic or sexual tension and lasts more than a couple years, you’ve got a problem. Recap Dick and Jane playing footsie for the fortieth time and your audience will start to get restless. But resolve the issue in the customary way and your good thing could end faster than you can say “Season 5 of Northern Exposure.”
After fifteen years of footsie, 9 Chickweed Lane finally got protagonists Edda and Amos in bed – technically “on piano” – during an interminable cello competition in 2008. Since then, the strip has dithered around with minor characters, flashbacks, and fantasy sequences, trying to get what it apparently thinks is its groove back.
The solution on offer is to clone the main characters and do the whole damn thing over. So now we’ve got Piano Amos (shaving in the john there) and Chinese Edda, with exactly the same personalities and hang-ups as the originals, going through the same tired will-they-or-won’t-they scenarios. Genius, really – how many instruments are there to rotate through? How many ethnicities to pair them with? How long before Gamelan Amos melts at the sight of Paiute Edda? Tam-tam Amos grovels before Igbo Edda? Bassoon Amos babbles incoherently when a wisp of Pole Edda’s hair brushes his face? It could go on forever!
And every so often they can sneak in a beaver joke.
Luann’s solution to their Brad and Toni problem is to re-create beloved ’80’s sitcom Three’s Company, with TJ in the Suzanne Somers role and Frank DeGroot as the nosy neighbor. Hijinx ahead!
The Crush — Brad and TJ angrily blame Toni for sending them to a nonexistent party, never dreaming that it is the DeGroots’ teenage houseguest who wants them out of the way so he can have Toni all to himself!
The Love Diary — TJ is hired to type up the diary of a mystery person, which contains several steamy entries. Mr. DeGroot sees the diary and becomes convinced that TJ is enamored of him!
The Bake-Off — Brad accidentally eats the pie that TJ was entering in a statewide baking competition, then tries to substitute a ringer from the bakery!
Since Three’s Company did in fact go on forever – the shame of my generation – there are lots of premium plots like these to choose from. And Brad and Toni can freeze their relationship right where it is, to the relief of everybody.
Pluggers and Family Circus, 8/10/16
Coincidence? I think not!
Mark Trail, 7/20/15
Mark works out his resentment of his editor’s new office by abusing his expense account.
Apartment 3-G, 7/20/15
“I mean I’m going to garrotte her in an alley, dissolve her flesh in lye, crush her bones to powder, and dump the slurry in a river. Honestly, mother, sometimes it’s like you don’t know me at all!”
Slylock Fox, 7/20/15 (solution inverted)
Psst, Shady … tell Slylock you cooled them in the stream. Then offer him one, and invite him to sit down and cool his feet. You know how things work around there.
9 Chickweed Lane, 7/20/15
9 Chickweed Lane parodies the eponymous rabbit from Harvey, on the theory that the strip needs a character even more irritating than the regular cast.
— Uncle Lumpy
Beetle Bailey, 7/24/14
Soldiers are entitled to “… confidential, non-medical problem-solving counseling … provided by licensed, certified counselors on demand. Up to twelve (12) counseling sessions may be provided for each issue, at no cost to the Soldier or Family member.”
I suppose Dr. Bonkus can bill Amos and Martha Halftrack because they’ve needed hundreds of hours of counseling to fan this spark of romance from the ashes of their loveless union? Or maybe Bonkus bills them off-books for the use of his office because this is the only place they can get it on?
Alternatively: old-people sex, ew.
Funky Winkerbean, 7/24/14
After months of searching, Holly has at last located Starbuck Jones #115. The find was faked, of course – Comic John bought the comic in San Diego and had his pal plant it where Holly would find it, just as people have patronized and condescended to her at every step of her little odyssey.
No matter, though — Holly has found a way to bond with her son Cory by completing his collection while he serves in Afghanistan, drawing his cherished project to a close.
And this being Funky Winkerbean, somewhere in the hills of the Panjiwayi District, a sniper adjusts his windage. Somebody is going to get an authentic experience out of all this.
In fairness, though, that’s when the washer starts.
In its 30th year, Luann has finally taken the plunge and graduated its cast from high school. Insufferable do-gooder Delta is off to Howard University; second-string ethnic paragon Rosa Aragones spurned Yale for a job mucking out bedpans at her uncle’s clinic in “Peru” with dweeb Gunther in tow; and Bernice, Tiffany, and Quill will attend local “Moony Uni.” So, now, too will Luann herself, on the basis of a previously unseen gift for spatial reasoning, which fortunately requires no knowledge or effort to apply.
Our Moral: don’t waste your time learning and doing stuff — just wait for somebody to reward you for qualities you already possess. Our Motto: Inertia!
9 Chickweed Lane, 7/24/14
What, no chance for a Quigley here?
— Uncle Lumpy