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Dagwood vs. the pack

Curtis, 4/21/07

Congrats to Curtis for making the unpopular assertion that looks and surface appearances do matter. Although this strip doesn’t really seem to have any context to speak of (it’s not like Curtis and his dad were talking about the way those “rap” “artists” dress or anything), it’s good to see someone bucking against the PC “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” orthodoxy.

By the way, I’m pretty sure the fact that the elder Wilkins is drinking out of that prissy little teacup means that he’s on the “down low.”

Update: I can’t believe I almost let slip this opportunity to link to faithful reader Maughta’s blog, Judge a Book by its Cover. Basically, what I do to comics, she does to the covers of paperback novels.

Blondie, 4/21/07

I’ve never given a lot of thought to where exactly it is that the Bumsteads live. I guess I’ve always had the idea that it was somewhere suburban and bucolic. But now that I know that nighttime in their neighborhood is ruled by roaming, unfenced packs of hungry, semi-feral dogs, I might have to rethink some of my assumptions.

Mark Trail, 4/21/07

Wait … Mark returned to the inside of his beehive (note the freaky honeycomb wall design) and just left Dan and Sally “in the hands of” the private employees of a private company, who lack the power to detain or arrest? Does he think they’re just going to patiently wait there for their fate after the horror of being found out by the great Mark Trail?

Actually, they probably will. When Mark Trail punches you, you stay punched.

Mary Worth, 4/21/07

A few people have complained that I didn’t mention Mary Worth this week; this is because I found her dinner with Vera to be crushingly boring (yes, I realize that this is how normal people react to any arbitrarily chosen five days of this strip, but still). This opinion was solidified by the fact that Vera revealed essentially nothing, not even in her thought balloons, so I have no idea what exactly Mary’s so excited about in panel three. The only thing the introverted Ms. Shields mentioned that caught Mary’s attention was that she had a nanny as a girl, so I’m assuming that Mary now thinks that she must be rich and plans on murdering her and stealing her hidden gold.

I’m pretty sure that the dude wandering by in the hallway is Wilbur Weston, desperate for strip time, wearing a baseball hat and a fake mustache.

Crankshaft, 4/21/07

I think I might actually like Crankshaft the strip (if not Crankshaft the person) better if he actually did start clubbing people to death. With an iron bludgeon shaped like a human hand. He’d start with with people who talk out of turn during Garden Club. So watch yourself, ladies.

Unrelated Pibgorn update: Brooke McEldowney has started a LiveJournal blog which will keep you posted on the strip’s new home, once it finds one. There’s an interesting discussion of the editorial back and forth with his previous syndicate, and, in executive summary, the new Pibgorn’s gonna be filthy.

191 responses to “Dagwood vs. the pack”

  1. Shave Ezra
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Who’s the old guy in Mark Trail?

  2. jules
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    Who’s that old man at the Mark Trail Fambly Dinner Table?

    Also, over in A3G, Luann is starting to feel those paint fumes…will Alan save her? Or is he all at sea again?

  3. Financial Panther
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    I think Crankshaft could beat Death. Not escape its clutches, mind you; just beat it with any implement that was near and handy. His mother’s Easter pisanka, his bus, or even his hat, which must be as stiff as iron after years of his clammy driving sweat.

  4. Josh
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    #1/2 Shave/Jules — That’s Doc, kindly veternarian, Cherry’s dad and Mark’s father-in-law. I’m pretty sure that it’s his beehive rough-hewn cabin they live in; in fact, if I’m not mistaken, he may actually own Lost Forest, somehow.


  5. lesles
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    wow! setting a cracking pace, josh.

    Crankshaft: the first rule of garden club …

    Blondie: given the size and semi-mutancy of that pack, the seeming lack of any neighbours, some of their clothes, and dagwood generally, i’m thinking they maybe live in chernobyl

  6. Johnny Bacardi
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    I know we haven’t had any Funky WInkerbean mockery here lately, but I hope those of you who are following that strip will know what I mean when I mention that it won’t surprise (but it will amuse, definitely) me one bit if Jess and Darin turn out to be brother and sister…

  7. Trotzebonnie
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail looks so happy now that he’s back in Lost Forest, out of those city slicker clothes and sitting down to his favorite meal of baked ham with a side of butter.

  8. RaJ
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    I think that in Crankshaft, the old lady on the right has a really cute haircut. Like, it’s really hip, I kind of want it.


    Just kidding. I think Batiuk should hand off writing duties of Crank to Scott Adams. If the tone of recent “Dilbert”s are any indication, he’d be more than happy to take a comic into clubbing-old-ladies-to-death territory, if only someone else had the skill to draw the act to his satisfaction.

  9. PetertheGreat
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Finally! updated!

  10. man behind the curtain
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    MW — Mary sems to be all-knowing about Charterstone as she helps run the place. yet there seems to be a large number of characters who walk through panels woithout any acknowledgment from the queen. And yes, it wasn’t the dinner that was revealing but all of the post-dinner action. Straighten out those cliothes before you leave.

  11. Sheilagh
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    Those splotches all over Mary’s shirt are from Vera hurling pieces of food at her every time her attention was distracted. Butter! Gravy! Ick sauce! Meddle THAT, you old bat!

  12. kingkong
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    MT is drinking from the same cup, if you know what I mean…

  13. Potato
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    Is Mary wearing an action sequence from a campy 1970s television show?

  14. lesles
    April 21st, 2007 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    also on crankshaft, don’t people have to be elected to positions like club president? their success indicating a degree of competency and/or general popularity amongst the membership.

    so how does such a rancid old knob as crank get the gig?

    there’s definitely something quite dark and ugly going on below the dark and ugly surface of this strip. or maybe he got the possy by something dark and ugly coming off … oh dear god, out of the way! quick!

    urrrgh … what a waste of breakfast.

  15. Potato
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    With each passing strip Curtis’ dad becomes more and more like Meursault from The Stranger. First he discovers the world is a baren wasteland devoid of meaning. Then he sees the hypocrisy of the rest of humanity. Next week, I expect to see him killing an Arab.

  16. Derelict
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    To be sure, this week’s MW was pretty much useless filler. Indeed, in some ways it was worse than filler, since Mary and Vera evidently hit it off for no particular reason that can be divined from the content of the preceding five (or eight) strips.

    Maybe ol’ Ella Byrd has gone off and died, and her spirit has returned to dwell within the vacuum that is Mary’s soul. We could be witnessing the rise of the Super Meddler with powers from beyond the grave!

  17. Shave Ezra
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Wow – my first first, and a reply from Josh to boot!

    So I guess I’ll add a few more comments/questions about today’s strips (4/21):

    RMMD – What’s up with June’s claw in panel 2?

    A3G – I’ll tell you what’s happening – you’re wearing the wallpaper!

    BB – Killer has gone from very concerned in panel 1 to rather satisfied in panel 2. Has he never been to a restaraunt before?

    DtM – Actually somewhat menacing there – and with former Speaker of the House Tom Foley to boot!

    MW – Is Mary looking down Vera’s blouse?

    Pluggers – I think a better cartoon would have the plugger actually attached to the chair. I mean, he did actually manage to get out of it.

  18. Bitter Scribe
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    OT, but you’ve got to check out this page on suicide food, which means animal cartoon characters that sell food by demanding to be or reveling in being cooked and eaten. It’s not comic strips but it uses cartoon animals and that’s close enough for me. Plus it’s hilarious.

  19. O’Fogeyette
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for the link to McEldowney, Josh! I’ve gotten quite addicted to this strip. It’s definitely interesting, beautiful, strange, and even intellectual. Sort of the conceptual opposite to any number of the strips we snark.

  20. Michael
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    What on earth is the pig holding in the last panel?

    I’m not thinking I want a piece of that at all.

  21. bats
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    MW: The dude in the hallway….the chilling return of ALDO, incognito???

  22. Porky
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    I never paid much attention to Pibgorn until you mentioned it, so I don’t know its history.
    What little I’ve been able to find doesn’t inspire me to put much more effort into a search.
    Unless someone can provide a link to an archive…?

    I followed today’s link to the Journal, and on reading the latest posting, I think you misunderstood what he says there.
    He seems to be describing the internal dialog he had while deciding on which version of a gag to use; not a discussion with a syndicate editor.
    His text also suggests there are accompanying illustrations: “…three images…” and “…drawings…” which don’t show up on the page I see.

  23. Josh
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    Porky #21 — if you read what it says in the LiveJournal, he’s pretty explicit (albeit a bit elliptical) that versions 1 and 2 were rejected by his editors (emphasis is added by me):

    Number one would have been bounced back by a lot of editors (after copying it to hang in their cubicles), but I could not resist sending it in. Number two is one that most editors would have accepted.

    Number three is the one that actually ran, so we are left to assume that #2 was also rejected.

    The images are being a bit intermittent, but it’s the dialog that’s important (the picture is the same in all three versions).


  24. samstylites
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    Almost certainly, the dogs that appear at Dagwood’s door have eaten Daisy, and showed up not because they understood the words ‘doggie treat,’ but because Dagwood made the mistake of alerting the Pack to the presence of one more living human family to subsume. Dagwood is indicating that this is worse than the movie ‘Halloween.’ Of course, no telling if he means that the situation is worse than that of the victims in ‘Halloween,’ or whether this is a snipe directed at the strip’s author.

  25. Josh
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    Also, his opening says:

    Here are three images of some interest, as they relate to recent events at “Pibgorn” headquarters [presumably a reference to why he left the syndicate]. The first image is a detail from the original Pibgorn installment for 4/13. The second is the one I revised in response to editorial concerns, and the third is what I ultimately disgorged to quiet continuing editorial concerns.

    I suppose it’s possible that the “editorial concerns” were in his own head, but why would he quit the syndicate then? Even if he was self-censoring because he was worried about what his editors would think, it still seems pretty clear that, without those editors, he’d be free to get lots smuttier.


  26. Randy
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    MT–As long time readers of Mark Trail know, after he decks the bad guy with a single punch, Mark never sticks around to make sure the authorities take them into custody. I think he’s afraid of what will happen if he’s called to testify at a trial.

  27. Chesnut
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    I just want to know why that young blonde is at the Garden Club. Is it some sort of cruel, cruel neighborhood punishment that involves hanging out with old people and wearing hideous be-flowered hats? Or maybe she’s the young human sacrifice to quell Lord Crankshaft until the next time he gets angry with those pruners. I guess we’ll know the next time they have the Garden Club.

  28. Reuben
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    14 Lesles – Maybe it’s a rotating presidency like the European Union or the UN Security Council?

  29. SecretMargo
    April 21st, 2007 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    re: Pibgorn — I have to say, though I object to censorship masquerading as “concern,” the 3rd version is actually better than the first two. Maybe editorial concerns provide a needed pressure for him to think over and tweak his prose? God knows his unfiltered livejournal is twee enough to suggest this to be true.

  30. fluffy
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    I always figured that Pibgorn was McEldowney’s thinly-veiled masturbation material anyway, so this new relatively-filthy direction doesn’t surprise me at ALL.

  31. Islamorada Girl
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    After seeing the walls behind Mark and Cherry Trail, I think they’ve given up log cabin living and moved into a Bucky Fuller 70′s era geodesic dome. Which sort of fits the time warp of LoFo.

  32. PeteMoss
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    I remember Doc. Not too long ago he shaved a beaver called Lucky.

  33. Lynngineering
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    MT + RMMD = walls, lots of walls lately. Yesterthreads comments that I barely posted before this started, was on the wall behind June, and their (alleged) Victorian Porn collection. Now we see emphasis on MTrails walls, which are not full of potential but severe angles, perhaps recalling the 60s, if optimistically viewed, yes, the 60s like Marks clothing and haircut -no hippie, that Mark. And Cherry is going to need a better bra to keep up with June.

    DagWOOD: Dag, if that is all you have to do to keep you pleasured at night, yelling into the cold, starless, empty night in order to give your dog a bone… then Blondie must be working another latenite catering job, if you know what I mean.

  34. Hysterical Woman
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    I never liked the pharse “Don’t judge a book by its cover” because you can judge a book by its cover. If the cover says “Modern Finace in Portugal” its not going to be an erotic thriller, while “A Bosom Too Deadly” isn’t going to tell you how to start a business in Lisbon.

  35. Lynngineering
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Oh wait – there ARE stars in the night, well, THAT changes everything. Yell on Dagwood, yell on.

  36. Islamorada Girl
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    And while we’re on the subject, Pippi Hipsterstocking over there on Pixelgirl is scaring me.

  37. stinky pete
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    People were getting a tad cranky with our friend John a few threads back. Can’t we all just get along???……..

    Things have come to a pretty pass,
    Our snarking is growing flat,
    For you like this and the other
    While I go for this and that.
    Goodness knows what the end will be;
    Oh, I don’t know where I’m at…
    It looks as if the group will never be one,
    Something must be done.

    You say Gil Thorpe and I say Gil Thorp,
    While Gadge Cubic says Gilles Theaurpe;
    Gil Thorpe, Gil Thorp, Gadge Cubic, Gilles Theaurpe!
    Let’s call the whole thing off!
    You like Chennux , Monkeyhawk says he sucks,
    You hate TDIET, I think it’s a riot;
    Chennux, he sucks, TDIET, a riot!
    Let’s call the whole thing off!

    But oh! If we call the whole thing off,
    Then we must part.
    And oh! If we ever part,
    Then that might break my heart!
    So, if you like PBS and I like Curtis,
    I’ll read PBS and give up Curtis.
    For we know we need each other,
    So we better call the calling off off.
    Let’s call the whole thing off!

    You like Lois, and I like Hi,
    At least we all agree that Cathy must die;
    Lois, Hi, Cathy must die!
    Let’s call the whole thing off!
    You like June and I like Blondie,
    You, Cherry Trail but I like Abbey;
    June, Blondie, Cherry, Abbey
    Let’s call the whole thing off!

    But oh! If we call the whole thing off,
    Then we must part.
    And oh! If we ever part,
    Then that might break my heart!
    So, if you go for Get Fuzzy and I go for B.C.
    I’ll read Get Fuzzy and cancel B.C.
    For we know we need each other,
    So we better call the calling off off!
    Let’s call the whole thing off!

  38. Mooncattie
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    If we judge a book by its cover, then what are we to make of little Sarah Morgan, who is sitting in the background quietly staring at a book with a blank green cover while June yammers Rex’s cellphone battery into submission?
    (Longtime fan of this site, hazarding a toe into today’s Snark Soup!)

  39. Blynneda
    April 21st, 2007 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    I second the kudos on Maughta’s blog. It’s a blast. What’s even better is you don’t actually have to read anything foul…you just look at pictures.

  40. John C Fremont
    April 21st, 2007 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    # 20 – Looks like a lava lamp to me, Michael.

    # 17 – Shave Ezra, sounds as though you’re on the verge of making fun of June Morgan. Please don’t make fun of June Morgan. I love her. And by “love” I mean lust, and by “her” I mean the results of ink applied to paper, scanned, and loaded onto the Internet (which is not a truck, but a series of tubes) but the point is, please don’t make fun of June Morgan. Or Abbey or Neddy. Or any of the 9CL women. On the other hand, it was a funny comment. But still.

  41. Trotzebonnie
    April 21st, 2007 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    #37 – stinkyp
    I say Zippy and everybody says “I don’t get it!”
    But I still love y’all.

    Thanks for the sanity check, s.p.!

  42. pesch
    April 21st, 2007 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    For god’s sake, I hope the green book Widdle Sawah’s reading is not the same one Vera Miles picked up before she discovered Norman Bates’ mama in “Psycho.”

  43. Moon Mullins
    April 21st, 2007 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    #38 Mooncattie, welcome to toe-dipping in the snark soup. Hope it felt OK.

    By the way, are we related?
    We seem to have similar moons.

  44. Allie Cat
    April 21st, 2007 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    FOOB- I think the fact that Liz looks just like Elly is a foreshadowing that Liz is going to end up just like dear old mom – bun, fat butt and feckless husband.

    Anthony is spiffing up his basement now – which is similar to cleaning out a workshop.

  45. Allie Cat
    April 21st, 2007 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    FOOB- I think the fact that Liz looks just like Elly is a foreshadowing that Liz is going to end up just like dear old mom – bun, fat butt and feckless husband.

    Anthony is spiffing up his basement now – which is similar to cleaning out a workshop.

  46. Mechanist
    April 21st, 2007 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me or has Crankshaft turned into Edward Scissorhands today? Good old Edward was known for his topiary… should be interesting to see what Crankshaft’s look like.

  47. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    You’ve started me wondering whether Fast Eddie Crankshaft is really in a garden club at all. Could this just be an elaborate brainwashing exercise by the Pavlov Institute?
    He is about the right age for Korea.

  48. Andrew Leal
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: The man in panel one caught my eye two. However, I don’t think it’s Wilbur Weston. Considering how dull this storyline has been so far, in contrast to the giddy Aldo days, this man must be the anti-Aldo. Meet Kel Rodastal, unassuming teetotaler who always minds his own business, respects peoples’ privacy, and has no interest in Mary whatsoever, clearly expending most of his energies on waxing that moustache.

  49. Mooncattie
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    All Liz needs now is Elly’s Edison Light Bulb nose – then they’ll be twins! This “uprooted” business, as mentioned in another thread, is also very irritating. Nobody’s uprooting. They’re just spreading out, not very far out at that, and acquiring more property to Foob on.

    #43 Moon Mullins, thanks for the welcome! My handle’s origin isn’t as exciting as, say, a Charterstone Pool Party. I recently vacationed in Hawaii for the first time, and when co-workers found out I was going, they laughed and called me Moondoggie. As I have a cat, I decided on a slight alteration.

    Upon reflection, if I had spent the holiday inside the hotel room with the shades drawn, watching The Weather Channel, it would have still been more exciting than a Charterstone Pool Party.

  50. Jamus The Bartender
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:12 pm [Reply]

    Elly Patterson desperately looks like a woman in need of a bedsheet to shave. Her family is slipping out from under her thumb and she knows it.

  51. Malkith
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    Judging by how the house, grass, and all immediate surroundings in Blondie are colored fully, and how there seems to be a cutoff after a few feet to nothing but blackness, I’d rather say that the Bumsteads live in outer space.

  52. PeteMoss
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    In the Fooberverse, a young woman first grows lips when she reaches the age of sixteen and keeps them until she’s in her mid to upper thirties.

  53. PeteMoss
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    I think Cherry Trail is serving her famous talking potato and milk dish again.

  54. William Sommerwerck
    April 21st, 2007 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    Mr. Fruhlinger, I’m not going to insist on political correctness, or ask for an apology, but your comment about the coffee cup in “Curtis” sounds disturbingly Imus-ish.

    What makes you think that gay men are automatically “feminine”, or like to drink out of “prissy little teacup[s]“? The cup is hardly a demitasse — it’s size and shape are consistent with those of common coffee cups.

  55. Tweeks_Coffee
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    (DT)GT: Good to know that Clambake isn’t gone and forgotten. Though what the heck is with that random guy in the third panel? It reminds of something you’d see in a Mark Trail Sunday strip. “More info about old black men and clambake can be found on the internet”.

  56. Tats
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:04 pm [Reply]

    MW: So how old are we saying Vera is? When she first appeared, I figured late twenties, early thirties. By the pool party I was saying mid-thirties, and now she’s gotta be at least forty-five. Maybe Von was a jilted gypsy who cursed her with a “Thinner” style aging curse?

    A3-G: Luann is totally that girl in high school who falls down drunk after a third of a beer.

    TDIET: Maybe Yorick is concerned about the sanitation of his food, judging by Mom’s apparently excessive drooling problem.

  57. Cerebus
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    #20 Michael, I think it’s supposed to be a champaigne flute in keeping with the glassware motif.

  58. SecretMargo
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    54: Insightful! Terry McMillan should have hired you as a private detective before she got married.

  59. flotsam
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    Why would the coffe pot know, rusty? Have you ever met one that passed the bar?

  60. Heckler123
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    #54, William Sommerwerck – Everybody knows real men drink out of chipped mugs with Nascar motifs painted on the side. And being on the down low doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gay – he could be AC/DC.

    MW – As far as Mary Worth thinking that her dinner with Vera was “revealing”, I’m thinking maybe she has a bit of “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” in her past. Perhaps she, too, was a vengeful nanny at one time. She does look a bit like Rebecca DeMornay, come to think of it… an old, withered, sexless, meddling Rebecca DeMornay – full of bitterness and regret, with just a touch of whimsy.

  61. Rusty
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:36 pm [Reply]

    Hah! i posted in the original Pibgorn moving thread that the creator just wanted to go for the full frontal nudity. There’s a thin line between artist and dirty old man.

  62. Charles
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:49 pm [Reply]

    What Mary Worth learned over dinner: Vera is still a very private person, but likes pie. Because her nanny used to make it for her in her not-Beverly Hills mansion years ago. That certianly would make me excited as well! Or perhaps MW was expressing glee that Vera showed a hint of a smile. Whoever Von was, he definately took away all of her emotions except “5th-year-chronic-depression-sadness.”

  63. True Fable
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    I always thought Curtis’s father drank out of teacups because drinking straight scotch from a shot glass was not appropriate for a family comic strip.

  64. MrP
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    The ladies in Crankshaft are somewhat justified. I can’t think of any reason why the other club members would stand around watching the ‘shaft himself furiously cut some damn bushes unless he told them that he’s the damn president so they’re damn well going to stand and watch him cut these damn bushes!

  65. Jameson
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    The Mary Worth writers must be in on the joke, right? I mean, there’s no way they’d stretch this Vera Shields non-reveal out over – what has it been, four weeks? – with so very very little information in service of what is apparently suspense unless they were just pulling our leg. Anyone who began this plotline with a remote interest in whatever Ms. Shields isn’t talking about has long since given up, forgotten, or passed away. The rest of us have concocted far more interesting backstories than what will ever be revealed (if anything).

    Every time I glance at Mary Worth, I’m reminded of this exchange from an old “Golden Girls” episode:

    Rose: blah blah blah Mary Worth.

    Blanche (or someone): Oh, I haven’t read Mary Worth in 15 years! What’s happening?

    Rose: Well, it’s later that afternoon…

  66. True Fable
    April 21st, 2007 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    Blatant shoutout to wille: I found the shirt waiting when I got home from the concert. I wish I could have worn it in place of my shirt AT the concert, a black t-shirt would go so well with a black tuxedo, especially with the electric orange print.

    It looks fantastic! Margo!Boxcar! Saturn!

  67. Porky
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    More about Pibgorn
    Josh, I agree the Pibgorn journal entries are elliptical. But I still think he was self-editing and and assuming what an editor’s reactions would be to his three efforts.
    Not knowing what went on previously between him and his editors doesn’t help to decipher what he means there.
    Anyway… is there a link to some internet archive of Pibgorn? The “archive” link on the journal page only goes to an archive of journal pages.

  68. Ribinin
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    Less about Pibgorn

    Apparently the images are pretty bad since my computer will not allow me to see them. I just get dotted lines.

  69. SecretMargo
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    67: I realize this is petty, but what part of “I could not resist sending it in” is even … well, even “elliptical”? Anyway, I think Josh used that term to avoid that more apt description of that livejournal’s prose, which seems to be maddeningly superior and condescending.

  70. ThisWas
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    Before I began reading CC, I had no idea what a “pibgorn” was.
    Today I wandered into the MFA ( that’s the “Museum of Fine Arts” if you’ve never been in Boston) and there in the Musical Instruments room I found a fine example of a Welsh pibgorn.
    No one else shared my great excitement.

  71. Dean Booth (Bid Page)
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    #18. Great link, Bitter.

  72. etho
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    I for one vote for a t-shirt with a picture of Mark Trail delivering one of his trademark right hooks, framed with the words “When Mark Trail punches you, you stay punched.

  73. Maughta
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:39 pm [Reply]

    Wow, thanks so much, your holiness! I’ve had more people visit my blog in the last few hours than have visited it EVER. A testament to your popularity. I simply have to say that I am not worthy.

  74. Albtraum
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail – I think I see now what’s been going on.

    The masculine punchfest fantasies, the talking beavers and flying squid, the transcontinental rides inside of giant geese — none of that really happened. Mark Trail has never been outside in his life.

    He’s in an asylum, with hexagonal foam walls. In the first panel we see, more or less, the real world. Then we smash-cut to Mark’s giant head, signalling that we’re going inside his madness.

    Then, in the final panel, we see Mark’s world. He believes the coffee pot to be a large dog, and that Rusty is a ham. Look at the way the table’s angle has changed between panels — that ham is sitting precisely where the kid was. I can only hope to G-d that Mark follows kosher or halal dietary rules, or hallucinated ham-head Rusty is headed for trouble.

  75. nsr
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    Love the way Mary Worth’s pumping her fist in that last panel– “Revealing! Yes– power!”

  76. Thadd
    April 21st, 2007 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    Did anyone else notice Beetle Bailey has Beetle ordering a BLT, but strangely enough, their is no lettuce (he specifies the B and the T, but not the L) he also adds onion! This is not a BLT it is clealy a BOT!!!

  77. Harold
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Judging by the orientation of the Moon, the Bumsteads live somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Or they are about 15 days out of synch with the real world, and Dagwood has waited until the pre-dawn hours to express any concern about his missing dog.

  78. True Fable
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    #72 That would be a great shirt, etho. The only drawback is the copyright fees Elrod’s estate would expect for the use of Mark Trail’s image.

    Which is odd in a way because something like a MT tee shirt would give the strip more advertising legs than their comics pages ever would.

    #73 Maughta – You have some funny, funny things to say on your blog. Thank YOU for writing it!

    #56 Tats – You nailed TDIET on the head. Spittle is seldom a plus when serving food. Yorick could send in a suggestion of his own, about people who spray it when they say it.

  79. Maura
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    #18 – that is the most disturbing website I think I have ever seen.

    I am also disturbed by Vera’s hair. I can see where lazy artwork might account for her ponytail moving up and down her head from panel to panel, but how exactly did she manage to sport a *cylindrical* coif?

  80. Josh
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    #54 William-

    The whole point of my joke is that Curtis’ dad tells his son that it’s OK to make huge, sweeping assumptions based on people’s appearances and superficial details, and then I made a huge, sweeping assumption about him based on a superficial detail. I thought that was kind of obvious. Maybe it’s not?


  81. andreavis
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    YaaaaY my [Margo!Boxcar!Saturn!] tee has arrived today! I’ll be the hottest soccer mom at the park tomorrow, yepperdoodle. Thanks willie!

  82. Captain Thunder
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    Everybody slams on Curtis, but personally, I think Curtis’s Dad may be my favorite character on the comics page. He’s gruff, knows what he likes and has little to no tolerance for “modern” stuff, whatever that stuff may be, smokes like a chimney, takes no crap from his kids–he’s pretty much an unrepentant asshole, and I think he’s the sort of man Crankshaft wishes he was. He’s sort of the greatest.

  83. dead yooper
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    MT: What the hell is Mark doing? Filing his finger nails over his scarambled eggs? Is that how he gets his punching poweer?

  84. Rusty
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    #80: Josh, if someone has made up their mind that they are offended, there is little to be gained by pointing out the obvious. great joke, by the way.

  85. queek
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    61: “There’s a thin line between artist and dirty old man.”

    and its usually inked. (no tracer jokes, please.)

  86. andreavis
    April 21st, 2007 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    #83 I like to think Mark Trail is picking his fingernails with his knife, like some badass action hero. Too bad the effect is spoiled by the magical talking coffeepot!

  87. Emily
    April 21st, 2007 at 11:19 pm [Reply]



    Christ, don’t you people watch movies?

  88. Shave Ezra
    April 21st, 2007 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    My dad and both used to read the comics together. When I got into this site, I tried to tell him how it could be funny to make fun of some of the strips. I mentioned FBOFW, and he said, “There’s always too many words. I can’t read a comic with so many words in each panel.”

    It sort of made sense, but I didn’t realize just how true it was until today (Sunday, 4/22):


  89. Maughta
    April 21st, 2007 at 11:31 pm [Reply]

    Hey Clambake is back in (DT)GT. And this time, he’s really black.

  90. True Fable
    April 21st, 2007 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    JP Well, props to Neddy! She is probably the only comics character in the history of Ever, not to go rushing out just on the word of a voice outside a door that is sheltering her. She used caution. I think Abbey’s just ready to go knock a few heads in with that lead pipe, but Neddy’s used her beans and that’s saying something.
    That missy denied. heh.

  91. Lord Haw Haw
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    MT: “I don’t know, Rusty…” Well of course you don’t. You’re a coffee pot. Why is Mark always standing when he should be sitting? At the table, in his car, etc. I think the poor bastard has a case of the ragin’ ‘roids.

  92. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    Sunday Pluggers: This scene might look innocent (ha!) to some. But look at the sweaty excitement that the dog is exhibiting. And consider the source. The dog could be bear-man’s wife! Did the local blockbusters just get a new copy of 9 1/2 Weeks?

  93. Squid Countess
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:44 am [Reply]

    Moon Mullins and Mooncattie! – You dip your toes in the snark pool. You dip a ladle in the snark soup. God. Now what? I can’t throw it out – it’s Italian Wedding soup. I spent hours on those little meatballs.

  94. rich
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:00 am [Reply]

    Waitaminute, is that a beehive Mark Trail lives in, or one of the hatches from Lost?

    82, Capt. Thunder: I agree, Curtis’s dad is a great character. He’s sort of the younger brother of John Amos from Good Times.

  95. CrabbyGenes
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    Well, here’s a comment or two on comics that aren’t often commented upon:

    DOONESBURY (Sunday). This rant of Boopsie’s would be more convincing if Boopsie didn’t look as though she were still in her twenties! Johnston of FOOB fame may not age her characters the way we like, but at least she does attempt to age them.

    STONE SOUP (Sunday). I liked this one because I sometimes get into similar funks and stupid-thought-modes when I’m alone at home. The dog in the last panel gave me a chuckle.

  96. rich
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    That weird guy in Saturday’s Mary Worth:

    Paul Maguire? Or Joe Kerrigan?

  97. Octal
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    Love the book cover blog! I made an LJ feed for it just now. :D

  98. rich
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:42 am [Reply]


    “Teenager Yorick eats fast food because – - – well, it’s fast – - – no waiting for him – - –

    ‘AA – - burger and fries – - yum-e-e – - – yum-m – munch – - m-munch-h – crunch – - c- crunch – -’

    “Distracted thus, he is soon killed in a fiery car wreck… They’ll do it every time!

  99. Mrs. Erin Hill
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:51 am [Reply]

    Now I am no avid follower of MW, but after watching “Notes on a Scandal” tonight, I can’t help but notice the eerie similarities between Judi Dench’s character and MW, which, I can only fear means that Vera will be playing the same role as poor naive Cate Blanchett.

    Vera, it’s never too early to start thinking about a restraining order.

  100. Steve S
    April 22nd, 2007 at 3:00 am [Reply]

    All the speech bubbles coming from appropriate objects…no giant talking animals…the Jack Elrod ball isn’t doing anything particularly notable…this is not the Mark Trail I know. An otter should be pushing the Elrod ball with its nose as the ball says “I don’t imaging they’ll be planning any trips soon.”

  101. Steve S
    April 22nd, 2007 at 3:00 am [Reply]

    Sigh…imagine, dammit.

  102. Non-Shannon
    April 22nd, 2007 at 3:49 am [Reply]

    What, nobody hangs out here at 3:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Oh well, I’ll talk to myself.

    BB: Why hasn’t Zero made some sort of comically fatal blunder by now? [BOXCAR], that kid is dumb. Oh, by the way, Wille, the shirt is awesome!

    Blondie: Don’t the throwaway panels usually have their own little joke? Actually, almost every panel in Sunday’s Blondie is completely worthless. Who am I kidding? It’s Blondie.

    Bizarro: This comic isn’t always that funny, but things like the lovingly detailed beard in today’s strip keep me coming back for more.

    BR: Is awesome.

    FOOB: I would actually be interested to hear a song titled “I Seen You Sweatin’.” On a different note, Liz is a prudish, self-important, uppity bitch.

    Also, Peanuts and Big Nate both have real, written-out music in them today. I always appreciate a little extra for those of us who can read it. In addition, Big Nate rocks.

  103. Andy
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:10 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean: “Frogs don’t possess the intelligence to realize when they’re being boiled alive. And neither do we. Enjoy your breakfast. While you can.”

    How did this bleak tragic comic get the awesomely fun and whimsical name “Funky Winkerbean” anyway?

  104. magic8ball
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:26 am [Reply]

    To those of you who doubt Mark Trail’s wisdom in leaving the miscreants in the hands of the insurance company’s investigators, all I can say is, you must never have dealt with an insurance company that didn’t want to pay for a claim. Dan and Sally will probably wish Mark had turned them over to the cops by the time it’s all over. Heck, they’d probably rather get turned over to the Spanish Inquisition than the insurance investigators.

    #80 Josh: I got it! It was funny.

  105. MonkeyHawk
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:32 am [Reply]

    #80 — Josh:

    Don’t worry about it.

    Some people wouldn’t recognize subtley if it slapped ‘em in the face.

  106. The Eleusinian
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:41 am [Reply]


    It’s actually a reference to Apartment 3-G. I’m paraphrasing here, but it’s something like:

    Blanche: I read my comics every day. Marmaduke and Apartment 3-G!

    Dorothy: Wow, I haven’t read Apartment 3-G in twenty years.

    Blanche: Oh, well let me catch you up! It is later that same day…

  107. Shave Ezra
    April 22nd, 2007 at 5:15 am [Reply]

    #103 – Does the frog have cancer? Missing legs? If not, then it’s a bit too upbeat for this strip.

  108. Christian
    April 22nd, 2007 at 6:13 am [Reply]

    The man in MW looks like ‘Mr Funhouse’, the child molesting serial killer in the the ‘Cereal Convention’ arc of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman

    i’m just sayin

  109. True Fable
    April 22nd, 2007 at 6:58 am [Reply]

    FBoFW zzzzt! – wha? oh!~ I swear, I thought Elly had pawned all of John’s train paraphenalia and used the money to get a facelift and a nose job, so she could teach school. Blah blah blah blablablah…. That freakin’ bun is driving me insane – what young teacher wears them day in and day out?
    Now, I am absolutely certain that this Sunday’s Foob will be cut out and pinned up by every freakin’ teacher who sees it – probably even laminated, and most likely put in a place of honor in the classroom or at the least, on the refrigerator. And that is what Lynn planned all along. Screw the average reader, she just wants the prime ‘fridge spot. Toss out that old Cathy and Ziggy, hip happenin’ Mom. Today’s is a sure fire winner!
    *hack, choke* damn, it’s getting harder and harder to write irony without choking on treacle.

  110. True Fable
    April 22nd, 2007 at 7:06 am [Reply]

    And I don’t know which is worse (cause it sure isn’t better) – knowing “I seen you sweatin’” is a made up Lynn Johnston song title (knowing she wrote the lyrics on April’s birthday song, as you recall) or the unnerving realization that OmiGawd, it kind of DOES sound like a song title.

    Hear that whirring sound? That is the sound of Tupac and Biggie whirling in their graves over the comparison.

  111. willethompson
    April 22nd, 2007 at 7:21 am [Reply]

    Wow! Not only is Josh dropping posts like Paris Hilton drops boyfriends, he’s TALKING with the MASSES! This is like Benedict wandering thru a Sistine Chapel tour, grabbing a Japanese tourist by the shoulder and pointing up, saying, “Und das one? Das ist mein Gott und Adam!”

    RMMD: Nothing signals incipient jerkdom like using a cellphone during the landing of a 747. Rex needs to lose this guy in the wilds of Spittle County, STAT!

    GARFIELD: Hey, Dean Booth! Here’s the proof that Jim Davis just photoshops lasagna-breath! The throwaway panels are the LAYERS! The only think missing is that checked background for transparency! I almost expected to see the activated PATH LINES with a tolerance of ZERO! You think he’s working in websafe gif of using all the crayolas in jpeg? *chortle* I’ll bet he’s only running 6! On a PC!! BWAHAHAHA! (Right now, Dean and I are laughing ourselves silly.)

    JP: Cedric. Most. Bipolar. Character. Ever. “So, you feel lucky, punk? I’m broiling rack of lamb! Would it be as funny with 9mm of lead in your skull? We’re having crepes for dessert!”

  112. True Fable
    April 22nd, 2007 at 7:38 am [Reply]

    Curtis No wonder she didn’t believe Curtis about the jackass in the classroom. The kid is a compulsive liar and he’s trying to cure himself. Yeah…with a comic book. That will only work if Neil Gaiman writes it, kid.

    (#108 Christian – word!)

    MT No, the best part about yesterday’s strip wasn’t the talking coffee pot or the Honeycomb Hideout in which they live. It’s those tiny little dot eyes on Andy’s adoring but gigantically huge face in the last panel, and the slight smile on Andy’s face that says: “Mark, I licked your food when you weren’t looking.”

    In the interest of diversified snarking:

    OBH I looked at this Saturday’s installment but for the life of me I can’t snark it. Ruthie reminds me of… of me, dammit! ME! And I’ve already used up my self-loathing allowance for the month. April is the cruelest one, you know.

    Monty Well, the joke is interesting but vague, but the thing about Monty is, it reminds me of what a Gahan Wilson cartoon might look like in a reverse funhouse mirror, and I still feel dirty when I see it.

    Pardon My Planet This is really too good a comic to snark. See, you really need to have something dumb and obviously wrong to snark on, and when you get well-drawn, witty stuff like PMP offers, well… you turn to Mary Worth and Mark Trail for the yucks.

    Sylvia Okay, dammit, WHY is this comic still running? It has maybe one or two really shittily drawn figures in it at a time, and the rest of composed of badly written words that blah blah blah. Honestly, I have tried to admire and respect this strip for years and it still looks like the Slut of the Comic World to me.

  113. AtomicDog
    April 22nd, 2007 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    77- Yeah, if the Bumsteads are in the Northern Hemisphere, I estimate the local time to be about 4 am.

  114. Dennis Jimenez
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:09 am [Reply]


    “Teenager Yorick eats fast food because – - – well, it’s fast – - – no waiting for him – - –

    ‘AA – - burger and fries – - yum-e-e – - – yum-m – munch – - m-munch-h – crunch – - c- crunch – -’

    Middle-aged Yorick sits in the hosipital emergency room for two hours waiting to see someone about his clogged artery heart attack… They’ll do it every time!“

    Alas poor Yorick, we hardly knew ye.

  115. Wake Up
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:10 am [Reply]

    The dogs in the Blondie strip seems to represent dogs from other comics strips. Marmaduke and Ruff (from Dennie the Menace) are clear, althoigh I can’t place the others.

  116. Kenny
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    #34 – It’s too bad, you know? I really try and be a good person, but I did pick up “A Bosom too Deadly” and thought it would help me learn to master XHTML. I didn’t read the cover, I just went blindly into the bookstore and grabbed the first bound collection of pages I found… to be non descriminatory of course. Imagine my surprise when I sat down at the PC yesterday morning.

  117. Dennis Jimenez
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    MT – If only Elrod had another panel today. I’d like to see how Andy uses his knowledge of Earth Day to keep their canoe from careening down that cateract.

  118. Edelweiss
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    I’m so ashamed to admit that I didn’t see any mention of the “item” “dangling” between Curtis’ legs. I only skimmed the comments, though. Maybe there were some subliminal uber-threads about That Other Leg that I missed.

  119. calico
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    #87 – Vera is the Valerie Plame of the comics pages. And Mary is a caffeine addict, as is Toby “do-nothing” Cameron.

    #111 – Cedric rocks! A 007 dude in a tux who can cook and who packs real Euro-heat. I’ll have dinner with him anytime, as long as he serves champs in proper glasses.
    I though Mark dressed nicely in order to bestow his Hook of Justice, but Cedric gets the GQ award this week, Mark a close second. And as a bonus he’s a lefty (like yours truly)!

  120. SecretMargo
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    108: Come to think of it, didn’t Aldo look like him too (even more than Mr. Kangaroo)?

  121. Len
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    Hey, Josh! When you guys make Curmudgeon merch, what rules are there about copywrite infringement? I gues you are discouraged from copying artwork directly from the strips. BUt how did you get away with the multiple images of Finger-Quoting Margo? Oh, shhh! I see, I think…

    Good lawyers, eh? Frank Bolle and Andy Warhol VS Curmudgeon Enterprises?

    I STILL want an “Urk?! A talking potato!” “Yipes?! A talking Cherry!” tee!

  122. queek
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    thanks to Slylock Fox, I will have “hello my darlin’, hello my ragtime gaaaaaaaaaal!” running through my head all day.

    Lio goes to Paris, and gets more things done in one Sunday strip than Neddy and Abby have done in MONTHS! (or at least weeks.) No super-butlers with Lugers and an attitude in Lio, though, so I guess it evens out.

    MT: awwwww @ Earth Day strip. Love the eagle. A&J and C&B had somewhat less subtle Earth Day strips.

    SF: oh yeah. bow-chicka-bow-bow. Get rid of the kids, and break out the leather teddy, Sally.

    GF: I laughed. Been ages since we’ve seen the “Bucky wants to eat a monkey” trope.

    Rhymes with Orange: the QG is an accountant, so I got a kick out of this one as well.

    F-: the dark side of plushies. This strip is WARPED!

    Lockhorns panel 2: good lord, a pose to match June Morgan! How come its never a redhead? Lockhorns needs more redheads.

    Opus: Ann Coulter EATS PUPPIES! (and punches clowns.)

    PS: has anyone actually seen the pics on the Pibgorn LJ? they’re still down for me. :-(

  123. Pinback65
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    MT–Somewhere, Iron Eyes Cody is still crying.

    Foob–I really didn’t think I could hate this strip more. And yet I do.

    BC–Johnny Hart (or his shadowy acolytes) making fun of somebody for making an outdated reference? My Irony Meter is at about to explode!

    Mutts–Sappy, but still sweet. I love Mutts, dammit!

  124. Len
    April 22nd, 2007 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    “Stop! I can’t breathe!”

    Poor Luanne! Ghostly A. P. Rider has (dead) body odor? Or bad breath? Locked up in close quarters with a stinky ghost? Phew!!!

  125. Lurker
    April 22nd, 2007 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    Long-time lurker, hello all.

    FBOFW- No it will not be cut out by every teacher and laminated, because

    1. It is a perfect example of really, really bad teaching. I don’t even know where to begin. But all of Liz’s teaching is bad, it’s all examples of stuff I can only hope hasn’t happened in classrooms in 50 years.

    2. The last panel makes the point that any linguist would have made– there is no “correct English” anymore. English is a world language, equally owned by anyone who speaks it.

  126. Mooncattie
    April 22nd, 2007 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    Meanwhile, the Mallard Fillmore expose on the real cause of Global Warming continues. To recap:
    On one side of the issue – every genuine scientist on the planet.
    On the other side – a poorly drawn duck.

  127. Smokey Stover
    April 22nd, 2007 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    Is there some trick to opening the McEldowney page? It makes my Opera 7.54 crash, and the pictures will not load on my IE 6.

  128. Dean Booth (Bid Page)
    April 22nd, 2007 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    #111 Wille, I bet he has some kind of paint tube tool that he used to squirt out Garfield faces. And perhaps even dialog.

  129. yellojkt
    April 22nd, 2007 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    Just in case any of you have been waiting with bated breath, the final results in the National Coolest Comics Character Contest are up and I am taking votes for Best of Show.

  130. John C Fremont
    April 22nd, 2007 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    # 104 – I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition.

    # 124 – No, Len, he’s not a stinky ghost. He’s carbonated. In fact, he’s downright effervescent!

    Next: Chonicles of the 2nd Phantom, 1566 – 1604. This is gonna be good. No, I’m serious. I expect to thoroughly enjoy it. Well, not in an Abbey and Neddy way, but – anyway, the point is, it should be good.

    MW – I tried to hold my coffee cup exactly the way Mary does in the last panel and almost spilled it on my keyboard. How does she do it?! Oh, and Mary? Leave that poor girl alone.

    RMMD – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; Rex Morgan is a dick.

    JP – So, 40 year old French punks crackin’ wise? That’s entertainment. And now that Abbey and Neddy are free, maybe they’ll do some clothes changin’ before dinner. Now THAT would be entertainment!

    Maybe Barreto should freelance at the new Pibgorn site once it’s up and running.

    Hey did Randy Parker win that election? Not that I really care.

  131. Josh
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    #130 John C. — re: Randy: I believe that last we saw, Reggie Black had withdrawn from the election in disgrace. Thus, the good people of, um, wherever the hell it is they live had no choice but to vote in the son of the incumbent, which of course is how democracy ought to work.


  132. Moon Mullins
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    #125 Lurker: I’m confused. Has deconstructionism won? Should I tear up my old English degree? (not that it was really worth that much anyway)

    So, from what you are saying, if a student says “Me like she,” he is OK, because there is no correct English anymore? Does this applying to spelling as well?

    Please explain. And yes, I will be grading on grammar.

  133. Buck Ripsnort
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    Well of COURSE MT left Dan alone after punching him. DAN OFFERED MARK A MILLION DOLLARS TO GO AWAY! Mark obviously invested the money in the Honeycomb Hideout. He’s a big ranger and he wants a big cereal!

    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:26 am [Reply]


  135. queek
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    130: I noticed that on the Sunday Phantom as well. Obviously, we’re going to get a “Arabian Nights” style tale of ol’ stripy butt, the early years, as retold by Mozz, instead of a sexy concubine.

  136. dimestore lipstick
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Those insatiable Forths are at it again.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
    But watching Sally and Ted repeatedly ignore their daughter in favor of hot monkey love is more fun to me than counting squid.

  137. PapaFrita
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    I have a bad memory, so could someone remind me what law Dan broke in MT?

  138. John C Fremont
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    # 131 – Thanks, Josh. It’s been so long, I’d forgotten everything between “I’ll deny you, Missy!” and the trip to Paris which, I guess, wasn’t much.

    # 129 – Yellojkt, I completely enjoyed the NCCCC, but I just couldn’t bring myself to vote. Sure, there’s June Morgan (complete with the breasts-pointing-to-the-heavens panel) and Edda Berber, but no Abbey or Neddy. BTW, I have no need for a Neddy Spencer becomes legal countdown clock. Besides, I’m pretty sure she’s of legal age in Paris. Who says I live in a fantasy world?!

  139. Dean Booth (Bid Page)
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    #129. Well done, yelojkt. btw, I voted (for Bucky) and the results reported 0 votes for each contender and 1 total votes had been cast. Is that a sign of a technical problem?

  140. Kate
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    Today’s FBOFW is stupid. Yes, it’s always stupid, but today’s is stupid without any stupidity that pokes its head up above the horizon to have its hat shot off. There’s no stupidity prominence; it’s stupid to the flat, vast horizon. Like an Oklahoma of stupid.

  141. Francis
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    When I saw the “nanny” revelation, I imagined Mary Worth’s mental response to be, “Aha! She’s a daughter of privilege! Now I must use this wedge of information to PRY HER APART.”

  142. Dingo
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    Today’s For Better or For Worse needed a better example. Perhaps Liz could have diagrammed the sentence “Listen, foob, I’ll pop a cap in yo’ ass if y’don’t get the shit to me by midnight.” for her students.

  143. O’Fogeyette
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    DT: What part of “desert” do the creators of this strip not understand? Deserts are dry. Out here in Tucson we truly appreciate our rivers, unlike the folks in the east and midwest: we do not cover them up with water. Desert Diamond Casino, my boxcar.

    129 yelojkt: I voted for Bucky, of course. But if Cedric the Canadian James Bond Butler had been included, he would have garnered my vote. He is the coolest comic character ever. I hope he becomes the main character in the strip. Maybe Abbey can leave Sam and shack up with him.

  144. dreadedcandiru2
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    FBoFW: I said it before and I’ll say it again: Liz Patterson needs a good slap in the mouth. Is the school board that hard up they have to unleash that prissy fraud on innocent children? Little Miss “Watch-me-talk-down-to-my-imbecile-students” Patterson’s teaching skills are so awful, they should be banned by the Geneva Convention. I’m pretty sure she thinks the people of MtigigatingCircumstances mourn her abscence instead of celebrating the disappearance of a bloated incompetent.

  145. Suicide_Blonde
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    In Sunday’s Mark Trail, Elrod left out Iron Eyes Cody weeping. I’m undecided if this was a good or bad thing.

  146. Junior Tracy
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    I think the MT wall design may be due to (a) the fact that the Trails live in a rugged log cabin; and (b) Jack Elrod’s inability to render same using proper perspective.

  147. lesles
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    #111 wille – some of us only got PCs … grumble margoing grumble smug boxcar mac users … least i’m running CS. but the rest – tee hee.

    Phantom: what would they have done for lycra in the 16thC?

  148. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    #129, yelojkt,
    I just voted in the Best of Show (Bucky, natch.) I see June Morgan won the CILF in a walk. Many would-be garage-cleaners out there. (Neddy Spenser countdown clock, good one.)

  149. True Fable
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    #140 Kate – Oklahoma is only flat west of Chandler. It’s green and hilly in the eastern third of the state. Just an FYI. I’m from Oklahoma and that’s no fable.

    FBoFW is stupid, yes. But more obvious in today’s strip, it’s boring. It’s like looking at a Sylvia cartoon with better artwork (see my above fume over Sylvia above) Yes, Elizabeth is a teacher, we get it. Maybe Lynn is going to reveal that Elizabeth is a Canadian version of Mary Kay Letourneau Hey, wouldn’t that be interesting! Creepy, but if Lynn’s going to throw her at Granthony, creepy is key.

  150. Eric B.
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    I know I haven’t been keeping up with the comments as much as I should have, so somebody might have already pointed this out, but I did spot a very important revelation in this week’s Mary Worth — at least twice (most significantly in the last panel of last Sunday’s strip), Vera was shown cutting her food into half-portions and eating one half while setting the other half aside. This is a common prison survival technique. I hope Vera is revealed to have done time for something really hardcore, instead of something prissy and white collar, like tax evasion, which I’m sure is what it’s going to wind up being.

  151. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    Re: BC, “sez who/sez me” is even more old-timey than “hubba-hubba.” The irony is compunded.

  152. Dingo
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    Okay, folks, I’m going to actually do two things I had planned to avoid: come to the defense of Liz Patterson and tell you what happened to me a month ago. My snark in #142 was aimed at the sentences that Liz put on the board. But… I would have given anything for a classroom such as hers. In December, I received my MA. A few weeks before graduation, I accepted a job at a community college in the western suburbs of Chicago. It was for teaching one course and the pay was $103.80 per week. I earned enough money in the two and a half months I was at Wal*Mart that I was able to leave and live off of that money for the semester (yes, it was that bad of a job that I left entirely instead of switch to part-time). Before the semester began, I put together my syllabus. When I showed it to them, I was told it was too hard. A staff worker at the school who had taught the course two years before showed me his two syllabi. The first was similar to mine; the second was vastly simplified with no assigned dates for reading or assignments. I reconfigured my syllabus to make it easier but kept the dates. When the semester began, I read the syllabus to the students and mentioned that on page 2 I noted that there would be no quizzes unless the students didn’t do the assigned reading. Four weeks into the semester, two of the twelve students are reading the chapters but the others are stating that I’ll go over it anyway in class. So… surprise quiz. Next to each of the ten questions, I put the page number from the chapter that was assigned and from where I had taken the question. A student saw that and asked why they couldn’t use their books on the quiz if I was going to show them where to find it. Two weeks later, I handed back the quizzes. Almost everyone had failed. The very next day, the dean of my department was given a letter stating that I constantly used profanity in the classroom, taught through fear and intimidation, didn’t know how to use a video camera or editing software, and made students feel unsafe and uncomfortable in the classroom. The highlight was of the two students who wrote this letter (one male, one female), the male included a paragraph in which he stated that I asked to hold hands with him. He had done a good job on an assignment and I attempted to shake his hand. The dean said that she would be attending the next session of my class. She came and things seemed good. At break, before leaving, she spoke with the male student. I didn’t hear anything for three days so I called her to see if all was fine. On break, he complained that I had not shown the class an example of their assignment done at another school before they did theirs. He said it was unfair. I told the dean that he received a score of 100 out of 100 on the assignment. She said that he was still unhappy and wanted his money back from the school. So… she offered me the choice of resigning or being fired. I resigned. Once I officially resigned, she told me that the students in the class thought I was asking too much of them to read two to three chapters per week. They thought I should allow each project to be a team effort instead of individual. She said that community college was only one step above high school and my expectations were too high. I have since talked to people who live in that area (I don’t) and have discovered that teachers in the local high schools are constantly before the school board due to parent complaints about their precious children receiving a “C” on a paper. The person who took over for the last half of the semester has made all projects a group effort.

    I have attempted to find a lawyer to file a defamation suit against the two students who wrote the letter. When you currently are not working, lawyers aren’t too happy to take your case. I have a job interview at a community college in Nevada next month. Will they coddle their students the same way or expect them to actually do the work? At the least, I get a vacation for four days in Reno.

    Maybe Ontario is different. Maybe Lynn Johnston is out of touch. But… I’ll give her credit for at least commenting on the state of education today. I just wish she’d go further.

  153. Jym
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    =Curtis= I think dad’s supposed to be a strapping hunk of manhood whose hands dwarf his coffee cup, but it’s hard to tell because proportions are always a little off in this strip.

    =Blondie= I think this joke is a rerun. Dagwood once went out and caught a mess o’ fish, and since it was during the Depression, Blondie cooked some every night for the next week or so. Dag was followed home by a herd of feral cats.

    =Crankshaft= He’s using hedge shears on what’s clearly not a hedge. I hope legions of real garden club presidents write in to demand the use of bypass pruners.

  154. True Fable
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    DT WHAT is Dick Tracy doing in the last panel for Sunday? He’s waving his hand around and the big fat diamond is leaving it in a little mini-Family Circus trail of dashes. Is he re-creating Picasso’s experiment with moving lights and art? Is he signalling for aircraft to land? Is he a mime trying to get out of the invisible box, what?

    Poteet, my Queen, where are you? Perhaps you and other Tracy tenders can shed some light on this.

    One more thing: Today’s CrimeStoppers Textbook page says “Someone picking a fight? Leave the scene to stay healthy.” Dick Tracy doesn’t even follow his own advice.

  155. Dean Booth (Tyler Bid Page)
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    MW: I couldn’t resist doing a pic of ever-optimistic Vera and her nanny.

  156. Dean Booth (Tyler Bid Page)
    April 22nd, 2007 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    DT: When I was around 10 years old, I read a Dick Tracy Crimestoppers tip, “You can put your car window down half-way to make it more difficult for people to recognize you.” Decades later, even though I never read DT again until I came to CC, I think of this tip whenever I put down my car window half way. Old jungle saying: The mind is a strange thing.

  157. Mike
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    Today’s FOOB newsflash — Ebonics hits Ontario; Canadians at most incoherent level since Snow released “Informer.”

  158. Steven
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    For shame, sir. Why, do you not recognize the man passing Vera and Mary in the hall as the Bluth family’s faithful, beleaguered private investigator, Jean Parmesan, as portrayed memorably by Martin Mull? He is more chameleon than man!

  159. Harold
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    I wonder if Larry Niven is aware that Dilbert has invented a droud?

  160. Bunnë
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    MT: OK, back to the random guy in the first panel of Mark Trail… we see, what, less than half of his head, in profile, on the edge of one panel. The only explanation I can think of is that the writers want to remind us that this guy is still around. So we can say, what ever happened to so-and-so? Oh there he is, sharing in a meal of ham steaks and butter with the rest of the Mark Trail family-style unit. Only no one seems to know who he is.

    OK a little research reveals him to be Doc Davis, as explained on the characters page for the strip at King Features’ site:

    Also, apparently Mark is 32. I don’t know how I feel about that. It feels wrong.

  161. whoamItoday?
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    why is Crankshaft president of the garden club? given the usual F:M ratio at that age, each of the old girls voted for him in hopes of getting in good with him.

  162. Sheilagh
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    Dingo — sincere condolences. That sucks.

    I can’t believe your department head wouldn’t back you up any better than that. That REALLY sucks.

    Good luck with your next venture.

  163. Dingo
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    Thanks, Sheilagh. I have to look at it positively. Everywhere that I’ve taught, the department was there for the instructor and the aim was to serve the student and community by teaching. This was the first time I’ve ever encountered a school that believed in the show up and get an ‘A’ syndrome. Plus, no one in the department asked for me to demonstrate my skills with the equipment; the word of the student was immediately accepted. If given a choice of staying or leaving, that meant leaving.

    To me, the best comic dealing with the educational system is Frazz. Most characters have a life outside of the school. Even the teacher that everyone hates has a yard that she loves and she paid one of the students to tend it during the summer. The payoff was that they got along outside of the school but couldn’t let the others know. Plus, that principal is one hot, li’l bear.

  164. Dingo
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    On another note, what has happened to Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener? I haven’t seen a snarking post on here from him in quite some time. Was there a name change?

  165. Mike
    April 22nd, 2007 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    #152 – You made the right choice by leaving, without question. Hopefully it won’t be raining here in Reno when you come here (as it is today).

    Assuming you’re talking about Truckee Meadows Community College, my understanding (from when my wife took classes there) is that the teachers are actually expected to teach, and the students are actually expected to learn.

  166. blase
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    Funk-y: Well, that metaphor pretty much sums up the entire strip. “We are doomed, we are doomed…” (Are teachers allowed to do that by the way? Boil frogs alive?)

  167. Uncle Lumpy
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    You never hear about all the frogs that jump out of warm water for no reason at all.

  168. Lynngineering
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    FBOFW: It always makes it a little bit easier to take, when you realize it’s all Michael’s dream. He’s the author you know, language is a gift he has received, he makes money from it as a soon-to-be bestseller, so of course, he wants Liz to be reminded that in his fantasy, she suffers while he lives it large: “YOU sis, have to teach it to kids, and everywhere you go, you will be reminded it’s all UPHILL”.
    Michael of course, will just exploit it for the good times he has ahead. He will be interviewed on those radio shows, speaking like all kinds of stuff.
    And the best is, he will be reminding LIz whenever he can invite her over for dinner at HER PARENTS OLD HOUSE. “Hey Liz, your old room? Yeah, the dog’s use it now…”
    Liz, little left for you in Michael’s Fantasy Foobian world – your thumbs hurt when texting to your “boyfriend”, your schoolkids all can’t stand you, and you look more and more like Elly. Anthony…Michael’s calling you up soon, await your cue.

  169. Vince M.
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    94: Mark Trail lives in the Honeycomb Hideout (that’s probably been said here before – hopefully not today.)

  170. One_Radish_Sobs
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    164- Dingo- a couple of yesterthreads ago there was a cryptic message transmitted in 1337, apparently from Gadge, claiming he was being held hostage by the Galactic Emperor and forced to do lots of work. He begged to be rescued.
    However, very few of us are fluent in 1337 so he remains unrescued — and is being made to work over the weekend too it seems

  171. Dub Not Dubya
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    152 Dingo, sorry you had to go through that. Sending you positive vibes for your next venture.

    155 Dean Booth, that was awesome!

  172. SecretMargo
    April 22nd, 2007 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    Dingo — As a son of teachers and aspiring one myself, I feel for you completely. You should also explore suing for discrimination — that seems to be the primary reason why the admin would use such a slanted, specious reason for termination. Oooh, it makes me angry when my Dingo is abused (uhhh … everything I say on this site comes out so dirty / cranky. Sorry.)

    Although, to be cranky for a second more, FBoFW exemplifies an indeed terrible way to teach grammar, primarily for the assumptions her instruction relies on pertaining to the “correct” grammar the students have been exposed to. “Take away the ‘and I’…” — tests like that, which depend on being able to discern grammatical propriety by whether it “sounds” right privilege students with the most rarefied backgrounds while alienating those less advantaged (with less educated parents, for example) even more! C’mon Liz, did the only thing all that time with First Nations folk teach you was that First Nations people are inscrutible and treacherous and that children would be easier to deal with if you could just unscrew their heads like pickle jars and rearrange the contents? Oh, right. Well, carry on then, I guess.

  173. Squid Countess
    April 22nd, 2007 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    I hate that chick in the Shop Indie ad, “Shanna Logic.” Jesus. Can she not go away? I hate her hideous necklace. I hate her pink lip gloss. I hate her god-damned pigtails. I hate her nasally voice and the fact that she’s a PETA member that has eleven different leather handbags. I hate that she talks about “being one with the universe” and “having no worries” while her parents pay her health insurance. I hate that she has sex regularly but has never had an orgasm. I hate that she’ll go to a 3 hour performance-art piece about domestic violence but she won’t donate clothes she no longer wears to a women’s shelter. I hate her. OK, some of the above I extrapolated from her picture, but you know I’m right.

  174. Poteet
    April 22nd, 2007 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    Foob — Today’s strip inspired an extended groan, partly because the “punchline” could be seen wearily chugging into the station from several miles away. But not because I don’t value the (intelligent, effective) teaching of grammar. This site is replete with good writing. As someone whose brain hurts when reading bad writing, I feel safe here.

  175. Poteet
    April 22nd, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    # 143 — O’F, good point. Although I suppose the river makes about as much sense as anything else in this storyline.

    # 154 — Sir Fable, my True Knight, I’ve been waiting for that diamond to take a dive ever since Queen of Diamonds placed it where she did expressly for that purpose. I’m just a little bitter because if QoD and Dick don’t want that diamond, I’d be happy to give it a good home. It’s kinda cute in a grotesquely expensive way.

  176. willethompson
    April 22nd, 2007 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    #164 Dingo – My wife teaches sophmore HS English and I feel your two-degrees-removed vicarious pain. Still, under the nonfunded No Child Left Behind mandate, she still manages to turn out the occasional literate student, despite having to teach the EOC test and not the subject. At least her admin supports her in the face of weirdo allegations. Of course, she documents kids sneezing.

    I have it on good information that Gadge took last week off, but there was a cryptic communication that seemed to be from him that referenced GEChennux a few threads back. Weird.

  177. bats
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    143…..a fellow (or fellowette) Tucsonan?!?
    So this really is the Desert Diamond Casino (an enterprise of the Tohono O’odham Nation?)?
    Sorry, the commercials just all sort of run together…

  178. King Folderol
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    Curtis – Well, it is a crappy lesson. The father still should have told Curtis it’s a bad thing to do, yet people do it. The implication is that people do it and it’s OK to do.

    MT – Mark most likely expects the “insurance investigators” to have the same violent decorum that he does. For every thousand dollars swindled, Dan’s going to get punched. He’s going to look like some 1940s boxing film paluka when all’s said in done but, tragically, this will only happen in Mark’s mind, where violence is the only way to resolve your problems and a court of law is like the gym from Rocky and not like the courtrooms you see on TV.

  179. Buck Ripsnort
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    Yo, Dingo!
    Me Mum was a college Writing-Across-the-Curriculum and I B.A.’d in English Lit. Whenever anyone asked why I wasn’t teaching, I’d tell them some of her faculty horror stories– and now, yours.

  180. Kate
    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    #149, True Fable — I’ve driven through Oklahoma (and lived next to it for years) but obviously I didn’t see any of the parts that didn’t make me want to kill myself. My bad. I should have said “Like an Oklahoma that I have seen of stupid,” except that wouldn’t have been funny. Of course, what I said wasn’t very funny either, so it’s a wash.

    Dingo, I’m really really sorry. FWIW, I taught for a few years and I’m lucky I didn’t get slapped with the kind of letter you did. They LIED about you? Yeah, I would love to sit on THAT jury.

  181. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    April 22nd, 2007 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    Here is a Language Log post that’s relevant to grammar education, prescriptivism vs. descriptivism, and all that.

  182. Captain Thunder
    April 22nd, 2007 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    #161: Thanks a whole lot, whoamitoday. Now I got the image of Crankshaft getting busy stuck in my head.

  183. Reid
    April 22nd, 2007 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    I look forward to the day when Dagwood’s long-earned vacation nets him a trip to Europe, but he crashes short of the destination and winds up eaten by the natives.

    I’m a big fan of irony.

  184. Jym
    April 22nd, 2007 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    =Foob= Perhaps Elizabeth should turn that “rap” junk down.

    =F.W.= What is bizarre about this whole thing is that Al Gore did the “frog unaware of being boiled alive” thing, connected it with global warming, and gave it a happy ending. So Batiuk resurrects it, connects it with global warming, and it’s all doom and gloom. Why?

    =Arlo & Janis= Today’s Earth Day strip is the best of the day.

  185. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 22nd, 2007 at 11:41 pm [Reply]

    #152, Dingo.
    Sorry, that really does suck. I’m sorry that teaching experience didn’t work out for you, and hope you try again.

    The dean might be interested in knowing that a junior college doesn’t have to be just a step above high school. I have a friend who got his associate’s at a two-year school, transferred to a four year college and now teaches at RISD.

  186. Frank Parsnip
    April 23rd, 2007 at 6:05 am [Reply]

    54 — Why do you think that it’s a “coffee cup”? Curtis’ dad goes over to a teapot that’s right on the counter and then returns back to his seat. Absent other evidence that the dad likes his coffee put in a teapot for drinking in a teacup, I’m going to have to support the idea that he prefers a very dainty way of drinking tea.

    For more information on the differentiation and field-identification of coffee and tea cups, check out the following link:

    One could suggest that Josh’s way of pointing out Curtis’ dad’s “prissy little teacup” was just another case of “calling a spade a spade” but that might run afoul of the PC police who might jump at any opportunity to push for offense. While appearing to be a crime of Imusian proportions (or even run-of-the-mill Hal Turneresque activity), such an expression has more innocent origins.

    For more information on the origins of “calling a spade a spade”, check:

  187. Teem
    April 23rd, 2007 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Cherry Trail’s coffee pot is talking. That is the most realistic thing I’ve ever seen in MT. My coffee pot talks to me every morning. Mind you it usually says pretty much the same thing.
    “Mmmm hot and dark. You need me. You need me. Let me love you.”

  188. britbike
    April 23rd, 2007 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    #152 Dingo–

    Let me chime in with my sympathies, but not surprise. I worked in the bookstore of Houston Community College for several years, and often helped our student workers with papers (I majored in Eng Lit, which explains in part the great job). Basically, they got A’s for crap. I have a niece teaching English in a San Antonio high school–she’s been told that she can’t grade past the third mistake on a student’s paper–it’s bad for their self esteem.
    It’s all over, it seems, but not everywhere, I hope. Very good luck to you!

  189. Babraham Lincoln
    April 23rd, 2007 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    We may not have learned much about Vera this weekend, but we now know that notwithstanding Charterstone’s semi-tropical environment, Mary is deep in the tank for the Buffalo Sabres. How else can you explain her bizarre blue and yellow face paint scheme?

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  191. Beetle Bumstead
    November 24th, 2012 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Where’s Marmaduke when you really need him?

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