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Awwwww. . . .

Fred Basset, 9/2/07

Comics don’t have to be funny.* I can’t remember ever laughing out loud at Fred Basset, but I nearly always smile. It’s something about Fred’s expressions, the comfortable way he gets along with his human family and canine friends, and his array of British virtues — mostly pluck. I’m a sucker for pluck.

Published since 1963, this strip has been in reruns since 1991, but you’d never know. It’s sweet, and sweetness lasts. Happy Sunday!

* Comics must, however, entertain. So, Mr. Tom Batuik, don’t think you and your dog’s breakfast are getting off the hook on Fred Basset’s coattails. No siree. And yeah, it’s a mixed metaphor. Wanna make something of it?

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– Uncle Lumpy

166 responses to “Awwwww. . . .”

  1. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    Cheers for acknowledging Fred Basset!

  2. The Divine O’F
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    Thanks, Uncle Lumpy (yesterthread)! Especially the Karma part. And thanks for the link to Fred Bassett. That is, indeed, very sweet.

  3. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    Stilted dialogue alert, 9/2/7:

    Hi & Lois: “We have returned from our back-to-school shopping spree.” WTF? Who talks like that?

    “I proceed now to the washroom, where I shall urinate.”

    “Now to open this bottle of beer and situate myself in front of the television set to watch the Major League Baseball game.”

  4. Cambiata
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    Well it is somewhat comforting to know that there’s a few canines in the funny papers who aren’t either enablers to a supposed “menace” or great danes out to destroy all of mankind.

  5. True Fable
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Fred Bassett does bring a smile to the face, but it’s always a very private, very quiet kind of appreciation. At least he’s entertaining. I don’t often find humor in most of the other creatures in the funnies, except Bucky and Satchel and Solange.

    Cat Blue in FW is just a malevolent little S.O.B., isn’t s/he?
    Marmaduke is just a big oaf who rules over the man and apparently does the woman every chance he gets, and that is just plain “eww, squicky.”
    Ruff in DtM is just a big dumb background dog. Nothing special, nothing harmful.
    The animals in FBoFW, like the people there, are mere tools Lynn Johnston uses to dismantle the once-admirable strip into a saccarine-filled mess.
    Abbey the Wonderdog can’t bring the humor because she’s too busy saving the world as a dog. We forgive her for this because in Rex Morgan’s world, somebody’s got to do something. Might as well be the family dog.
    Garfield and his doppleganger Heathcliff are tired and old and need to be put down.
    Daisy in Blondie rarely gets a chance to shine on her own, but her reaction shots are priceless little gems.
    /odd little rant

  6. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Speaking of cartoon canines, I like the dog Chester in today’s Popeye.

  7. joel
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    A favorite from my years-ago! It isn’t run in my new local, so I’ve missed it these last couple of years.

    However, it is still being drawn. Alex Graham died in 1991, and there was a catalog of new strips that lasted for a couple of years or so. Since then, a chap named Michael Martin has done the strips.

  8. Mibbitmaker
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    #5 (TF): …And most of the animals in Family Circus are dead and buried.

    #124, Yesterthread: Nothing to say about this one, just a reminder so it doesn’t get lost to this here new thread (likewise my #127 correction).

    #124, this thread: Nonexistant as of this typing, but I bet it’s great! Or not!

  9. Inspector Dim
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    S-M: Spidey senses trouble! Will he swing into action? Will he get to Los Angeles as soon as he can? No! “We’ve gotta get to a TV set! CHiPs is on!”

  10. Devil in the Drain
    September 2nd, 2007 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    What’s with today’s Curtis? Usually, a visit to Gunther’s barbershop is vaguely entertaining. Today, all of sudden Gunther’s a tree-hugger on a screed about bottled water? Sure, bottled water is the stupidest thing since chicken nuggets, but since when does the barber care? And where’s the funny?

  11. Inspector Dim
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    Comics Odds Line
    For the week of September 2nd

    Let’s take a look at the odds for this week’s comics, shall we?

    2-3: The hybrid will suck and we will all hate it and Lynn so very much. Bah!
    Even: The breasts in Judge Parker and Rex Morgan will continue to be very protuberant indeed. Yowza.
    2-1: Lisa will linger painfully
    3-1: Mary and Drew’s conversation will continue for at least three more days
    5-1: Wednesday’s BB will feature Miss Buxley again
    6-1: Garfield will once again try and find some way to screw up Jon’s love life, but fail
    10-1: Spider Man’s “interesting TV is on” sense will not fail him now
    12-1: Momma will yell at an unshaven, still-in-bed Francis for being a lazy slob. Why he lets her have the key to his apartment is beyond me.
    15-1: We’ll catch a glimpse of Chip’s friend with the sailor hat in Hi and Lois, since it’s back to school week.
    20-1: Legless Chainsaw Accident Guy will be the starting cornerback for the Mudlarks, and Coach Kaz will bury his arm up to the elbow in the face of anyone who says different.
    35-1: Shirley the duck gets bulldozed. Quack! (squish)
    50-1: Lisa will actually die instead of lingering painfully for months and months
    75-1: Curtis won’t have the same big fat teacher as last year, as he is actually moving up a grade for once
    100-1: The word “f*ck” will drop from Jeffy’s mouth, much to PJ’s delight
    300-1: Id is wracked by a peasant’s revolution. Thousands die, and the king is executed to cries of “Down with the fink!”
    A zillion-1: Crock will be well-drawn and humorous

  12. Slither
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    Today’s TDIET really struck home. I once cut myself four stitches worth trying to liberate a Cat 5 cable entombed in one of those impenetrable wall-hanging blisters. Now, before buying something like that, I always ask the people at the store to extract the goods for me in a manner which will render them both usable and returnable should the need arise. They usually cooperate.

  13. Calico
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    #10 – What’s weird is that the subject totally changes but with no connection or segue – what do haircuts and bottled water have in common, really?

    However, styrofoam IS definitely the work of the devil.

    FC – OMG, an insane movie asylum for children only, which keeps showing “A Clockwork Orange” over and over until the kids behave. Love it.

  14. Calico
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    3G – “You can call me whatever you like.”
    Um, what exactly is in those muffins?

    FOOB, again – April, does the new backback have a compartment for Trojans too? Sure hope so, Roadside.

  15. Calico
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    Christ, I meant backPack. Sorray!

  16. bats :[
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    I see Fred Bassett so rarely that I had no idea it was in repeats. Ah, who cares? It’s a pleasant, amusing strip, and I pretty much agree with Uncle Lumpy’s assessment and the other folks’ here ideas on “good” vs. “bad” comic critters.

    FC: the movie theater experience I truly dread. Any particular reason why a skateboard is allowed in? Masks? Football helmets? Just shut up, sit down, and watch the movie, you little gits.

  17. James Schend
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    Wait, whoa, hold up. That Fred Basset isn’t funny or entertaining. (Nor does it make any sense… for Fred to stay in the “frame”, he’d have to basically be hovering about 6 inches in front of his owner, since that’s as far as those two panels extend. Or am I missing something?) It’s a zombie strip. How are we allowed to like it? This should be firmly in the “hate” list. I don’t get it.

    I know I personally think it’s a waste of ink.

  18. Inspector Dim
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    FC: Hmm, strange. There isn’t an adult in sight… huh. On an unrelated note, I wonder what Thel was doing with all that rat poison and popcorn last night?

  19. fluffy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:36 pm [Reply]

    Does anyone else remember when Funky Winkerbean was actually funny, and didn’t rely on Issue Of The Week-based drama to keep people reading? Okay, FW has always had issue-based storylines (most of them centering around Lisa, go figure) but most of the time it was just a vaguely-humorous high school strip. Even when Batiuk did the four-year fast-forward thing and the original cast was suddenly “adults,” it was still mostly just lighthearted stuff.

    But then Lisa got cancer, and Funky got alcoholic, and it’s been nothing but drama-drama-drama ever since.

    (Also, has Funky ever been the main character of the strip which bears his name? It’s always centered around Les as long as I remember…)

  20. Inspector Dim
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:39 pm [Reply]


    That was a LONG time ago, and there’s almost no connection between that older reality and the current world of the strip, except, in a very vague way, the characters.

    I’m actually rooting for Les, in a moment of glorious continuity, to take the machine gun he used as a hall monitor back when the strip was funny, and go up a bell tower.

  21. Gabe
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    Like a lot of strips, incidentary characters become more interesting and take it over from the “main character.” Les replaced Funky as the center withini a few years.

    Sometimes it’s good, sometimes not. I always preferred Milo and Binkley over Opus and Bill myself (though I do love O and B, too).

  22. Zac
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    I think the Fred Bassett is funny, but I’m a sucker for breaking the fourth wall jokes.

  23. js
    September 2nd, 2007 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    YAY Fred Basset.

  24. ratnerstar
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Damn right, James Schend. Sorry folks, Fred Basset sucks. Maybe he displays some British values or whatever, but it must be difficult to suck so hard with a stiff upper lip.

    Just because Uncle Lumpy says it, doesn’t make it true! Take a stand now! A stand against Fred Basset!

  25. queek
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    21: Binkley’s Axiety Closet was always my favorite part of Bloom County. Librarians with axes, One-Horned Purple Snorklewackers and all the rest.

  26. Dingo
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    There was once a review of an Enya album in the Chicago Tribune that dismissed it as “music to stroke the cat by.” For me, Fred Bassett is the comic equivalent.

  27. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    Even if you think Fred Basset sucks, you kinda have to admit that at least it sucks in a gentle way, as opposed to countless dozens of other strips that suck in a hacky desperate trying-so-hard-to-be-funny way.

  28. NotThatGuy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    I really appreciate the Fred Basset shout-out, because it’s one of my faves as well for exactly the reason Uncle Lumpy says: it consistently makes me smile. As well, the Peanuts reruns do the same; the last few months have reminded me what utter brilliance Charles Schulz had.

    As for FW, it’s one strip I simply don’t care about. Assuming the strips that get posted here are the high points vis snarkage, there’s not a there there for me. At best it seems as if Batiuk still hasn’t come to terms with having had cancer, but his strip presentation seems like one long pity-party– and that got old immediately. It brings to mind Garry Trudeau’s series with the death of Andy: consistently amusing right up to the end, which hit the reader in the solar plexus precisely because we hadn’t been beaten over the head with What A Terribly Sad And Unfair Thing This Is Bad!

  29. Uncle Lumpy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    #24 ratnerstar –

    Just because Uncle Lumpy says it, doesn’t make it true!

    Now wait — that can’t be true, can it?

  30. Hector
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    I think Fred Bassett is entirely too British, and really does not work well here. It is carried in the Orlando Sentinel, and I think the space could be better utilized by something else.
    Of course, I don’t like Mary Worth, Mark Trail, Judge Parker, or Family Circus either.

  31. NotThatGuy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Au contraire, Hector, it is exactly the Britishness I love about Fred Basset, rather than the hit-over-the-head-ha-ha-this-is-FUNNY-now-laugh-damnit meme of, say, Garfield.

  32. SecretMargo
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    28: Exactly! Doonesbury has lately acted as the counterbalancing anti-Bean in my head, reminding me that the things Mr. “If You Don’t Like My Strip You Just Can’t Face The Fact That Death Occurs” Batiuk are doing were done before and much better by Trudeau. I get exasperated by the political strips sometimes too, but I’ve always loved his characterizations and the deft deployment of tone he uses when their arcs run into rough ground.

    And I also remember vintage FW, and it had a lovely, unique tone that combined whimsical underdoggery with occasional bursts of manic hilarity (usually at band camp). I’d actually like to read those again, if only to leaven the current resentment I feel now when I read the damn thing. No one with an old collection and a scanner will make those of us with these memories feel less like hallucinating senior citizens trading apocryphal tales of when the Funky was funny and life was sweet?

    And, finally, I’m sorry to say that I simply can’t find it in me to care much about Fred Basset. It always comes off as an inferior Mutts to me. But I’d rather the entire paper be filled with gentle, musing hounds rerun from over ten years ago than have to endure one more awful panel of Crock, however new it may be.

  33. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    FB: Alex Graham has to occasionally tailor Fred for American and Canadian readers. Here is the British and overseas Commonwealth version:

  34. Captain Thunder
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Family Circus provides us with yet another glimpse into the living hell that is Jeffy’s sad, miserable life, a life that will culminate with the police discovering him surrounded by the corpses of his family, their desperate attempts to flee from his axe-wielding killing spree marked out by bloody dotted lines, as Jeffy rocks in the middle in a fetal position, occasionally crying out. “WHERE WERE YOU TODAY, BILLY? WHERE WERE YOU TODAY? IDA KNOW!!!”

  35. bats :[
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    FW: I’ve never liked the little “portrait” Batuik sticks in the banner of the Sunday strip…it always struck me as his saying “You’re pretty darned slow, so this week, we’re going to look at a comic with Les/Funky/Summer/whosis as the main character; I hope I won’t confuse you.”
    I suspect that we won’t see anything like this in early November, even if the great Gordo‘s creator had a good time with that time of year:

  36. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    FB: In England ‘Fetch’ is called ‘Catch the Kaiser’s Dangler’ or ‘Jerrys in the Trench !’.

  37. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    35 bats :[ : Thanx ! I had had perfectly good beer in my mouth. It didn’t go in the prescribed direction.

  38. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 2nd, 2007 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Fred Bassett has no reason to live. It isn’t good by any stretch of the imagination. It isn’t bad enough to engender hatred. It just exists. It doesn’t even bother me that it takes up space a more worthy strip could occupy. It’s completely and utterly neutral, as if printing Fred Bassett in a space in the newspaper made that space disappear. It’s the comic strip equivalent of Zandar, the Cobra ally in G.I. Joe whose super-power was the ability to not be noticed. He didn’t turn invisible; just, nobody paid attention to him unless he deliberately tried to get their attention. I remember once in the comic, Destro tried to sit in a chair he was occupying. Wait, what was my point again? Um, something about a comic strip I don’t remember.

  39. bats :[
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    33. AeroSquid: wow! Fred Basset really DOES lose something in translation, doesn’t it?

  40. Trilobite
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    The problem with Fred Basset is that nearly every strip is completely phoned in.

    Specifically, the “joke” on most days is that Fred narrates his owner’s actions. Just think about that for a moment: here it is, a visual medium, and the only thing the text delivers is a blow-by-blow recounting of what the picture is already telling you. If Fred’s dialogue were in Braille, perhaps it would make sense.

    Now, I’ll admit that it is an extremely inoffensive comic, which I suppose might be considered sweet after slogging through the other travesties on the page. When the choice is between a bland little basset hound who tells you something you can already see for yourself or some glurging dreck like For Better or For Worse, of course the dog’s going to “win.”

    But sweet is not funny. Sweet that repeats itself over and over and over is not funny. And ultimately, the entertainment value of a repetitive, unimaginative comic is going to wane, no matter how innocuous and inoffensive it is. After a few weeks of reading it, Fred Basset becomes the comics equivalent of sytrofoam packaging peanuts: it adds bulk and keeps the other strips from rattling around on the page, but it has no interesting features of its own to recommend it.

    (But I’ll admit that today’s fourth-wall-breaking episode was okay, if only because it’s a welcome respite from “Fred goes for a walk” and “Fred observes his owner talking to a neighbor.”)

  41. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    39. bats :[ the first time I went to London (I lodged in Uxbridge), I dared venture a ride on the Tube. The conversation around me made absolutley no sense whatsoever. I would have faired better in communications with my fellow man as a 4th class rooftop passenger onboard the Bombay Express.

  42. That's The Spirit
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    Lumpy, whenever you sub, you find a few things to be glad about in comics, or point readers with less of a grasp of the history of the medium to some classics. Thanks a lot for this. i wish Josh did it as well every now and then.

  43. Godzooky
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    #34 Captain Thunder re: today’s FC: Actually, I picture adult Jeffy turning out something like this.

    Btw, even at a matinee, would all the kids in the theater be the same size/age?

  44. Poteet
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    MW — Please pardon this question, especially if it’s been covered, but I looked and couldn’t find the answer. What is the “lot” of horribleness that Dawn has “endured in her past”? What did I miss? Thank you.

  45. BigTed
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    I guess it’s not surprising that the only strips that consistently made me laugh — “Peanuts” and “Calvin and Hobbes,” especially — are no longer being produced. Maybe the whole concept of “seeing the world through the eyes of cute kids” is a relic of a more innocent age. I know “Frazz” tries, but sometimes I wonder what people would really think of a wealthy adult who kept his job as an elementary-school janitor for kicks and frequently played alone with eight-year-olds. I mean, it’s sad, but yikes.

  46. Inspector Dim
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    41 AeroSquid; I love the disclaimers (done by John Oliver of Daily Show fame) run by BBC America suggesting that people turn on their closed captioning. Here’s an example.

  47. Trilobite
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    #44 Poteet — Oh, I know this one! Over dinner with Drew, Dawn revealed that as a teenager she was…awkward and unattractive. And I think she gave up riding horses, too; although it was implied that those things were related, they didn’t come right out and say it.

  48. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    41: Inspector Dim: Like in ‘European Vacation’ when Clark had to use a cheap pocket translator to figure out what the hotel clerk was saying. “He’s speaking English, Dad.”

  49. Lynngineering
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Wha..?Fred Basset? Well…(buying time, double-checking url for correct site) oh.. ok… I can go there I guess..let’s see: the ‘off-frame’, yeah that’s always good for a smile I guess. Fred B.,as in B-string, never a star but certain likeable qualities. Durable. Dependable. Disguised downer-humor: “The world is going to always be like this, just enough and never more than that, so let’s proceed shall we?”

    But, now as for “throwing things out of the comic strip frames plus animals” that would be a good theme book, just collecting all the different strips that do something with that combination. Starting with bricks and going from there..

    Anyway, I think one Fred Basset post gives me the right to draw on a yesterthreads catchup, Sunday confusion and all. Excuse the mashup of different concepts and posts, but it’s fast and furious here.

    In terms of hunks vs babes in comics, I was thinking about how the “Wonderwoman” success was always an issue for its publishers and authors, chronicler Trina Robbins suggesting none of those guys thought to follow the logic that there must obviously be a female readership at work. I think, in general, that mindset still operates and extends to newspaper comics. My search would begin somewhere with the world of “Love and Rockets”, I just love the feeling of the lines, both drawn and delivered.

    and my last sensations from yesterthreads:
    the Harvey Birdman mentions – he is a wonderful character in the Adult swim comic/cartoon roster, the history book, the re-animation philsophy that was used, etc.. It came to mind with all the cc comments – it would be great to have those same people behind HB, take a chance to go away from the now well-mined memories of Saturday Morning superhero irony biz (the Venture bros already made a next step) and try their twisted hands on re-animation reflection of older, classic newspaper comic, like A3G. It wouldn’t be MAD style, but something else, and maybe that would be nice. The scripts would probably would read something like the CC snarks though…

  50. bats :[
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    43. Godzooky: looks like Bonsall’s life jumped the shark just as his character’s introduction to “Family Ties” helped it do the same thing.

    44. Poteet: sorry, but it’s just too horrible to mention.
    (That, or she saw something nasty in the woodshed…)

  51. dimestore lipstick
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    Did anyone tell the Countess her number came up ?

    Wait…if it’s four-day-old leftovers, do we get to count it twice?

  52. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Somehow I expected something better from Lynn today for her last “real time” strip. I guess after this week’s slipshod treatment of April’s trip to the farm, I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up.

  53. Hooah Heel
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Fred Basset is nothing but the cuddly reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.

  54. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    Touching on something referred to in the last thread, I’m suprised Batuik hasn’t had Lisa use marijuana for medical reasons, given his political leanings.

  55. Lynngineering
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    FBOFW: Whether or not this is the last Lynn-real-time strip, it sets up one point 4evah: April will always be carrying heavy baggage around with her, wherever she goes, whatever she does…

  56. Uncle Lumpy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    #53 HH –

    Fred Basset is nothing but the cuddly reincarnation of Adolf Hitler

    Oh, here we go!

    What is it with these comic snarking sites that think they can make fun of any sacred thing? Nothing better than a bunch of Nazis!

    And the British kicked their asses in WWII, remember!

  57. SecretMargo
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    51: Dude, that is a Scadutological Smorgasbord!

    Squid? check!
    Goulash? check!
    “Oh Daddy…what you said!”? check!
    “Falvio Pepperoni singing ‘La Pizzarino’”? check!
    Yoyoitis? check!
    Black sweater vest? check!

    All that’s missing is a good, unimaginable “urge” and a CC contributor amongst the panels, and it would be suitable for bronzing!

  58. Dean Booth
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    I couldn’t resist Trilobite’s FC idea from yesterthread: Hieronymus Keane.

  59. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    58: Dean Booth: You even included the tiny ‘Traffic Cone’ kid !

  60. Dean Booth
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    AeroSquid, I also made sure to include Daddy Keane, as “flowerboy!”

  61. Spotted HØrse
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    #58 Dean Booth: Delightful! and somehow more disturbing than PJ the Facehugger.

    FC: Geezum, a pastiche of apochryphal nostalgia plus cutting edge technology! Behold ye olde Kiddie Matinee, as it purportedly existed, what, 50 years ago… where kids shoot suction-cup-tipped arrows at one another, and play the mouth harp for a quick cell phone camera photo. Where are the coonskin caps? What the Margo are they watching?

  62. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    What’s this kids story ?

    Bil needs to use him more. Make him a Keane Kousin that never leaves.

  63. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    61 Spotted HØrse: It’s a double feature. Last Tango in Paris and Midnight Cowboy.

  64. bats :[
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    58. Oh, Dean, that’s just awful!

    62. AeroSquid: a friend once told me that it’s not a good night out unless you come home with a traffic cone.
    It sounded odd at the time, but I think the Keanes have demonstrated the rightness of it all.

    Aha! This undisputable law of the universe comes from “Red Dwarf”: “It’s not a good night unless you get a traffic cone.”

  65. Dean Booth
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    #62 AeroSquid, is this the hat he’s wearing? Or this?

  66. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    64/65: Wait ? What ? There’s a whole subculture connected with traffic cones ? Conies ?… Furries, only they wear….Cones ?

  67. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    65: I would go with the first one: Big Purple. It’s daring.

  68. Gabe
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    My friend Rose is obsessed with taking pictures of traffic cones in odd places.

    Not in that way, you perverts.

  69. Spotted HØrse
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    #63 AeroSquid: Actually saw an hour or so of Midnight Cowboy for the first time last night. Looks like it’s a helluva flick!

    I enjoy your mashups. And I also wonder about Traffic Cone Kid. That mass on his head… is it nutrient rich?

  70. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

  71. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    69: Spotted HØrse : Thanx. Midnight Cowboy was the only (correct me if I’m wrong) X-rated movie to have a top 40 AM hit on the Philco Wireless set.

  72. Uncle Lumpy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    #64 bats :[ inter alios

    It’s not a good night unless you get a traffic cone

    Grandpa Lumpy always wanted to knock over a traffic cone just for grins. He thought it would bounce off his bumper and “sail right out there”, in Milton Berle’s words from MMMMW.

    One day he tried it. The cone jammed under his big Buick and was forced backwards to the muffler, where it started to melt and threatened to burn. In the middle of Milwaukee’s 6th-street viaduct during morning rush hour.

    He managed to back up enough to get the cone away from the muffler, fished the melting mess out by hand, and drove the rest of the way to work — and for the rest of his life, never tired of telling that story, or pretending to swerve toward every cone he passed.

  73. Helena Handbasket
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    The traffic cone thing may relate to the Scottish habit of getting drunk and putting traffic cones on statuary, like this.

    In the online game KOL, if you get drunk enough on Sneaky St. Pete’s Day, you can end up with a traffic cone in your inventory the next day.

  74. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    Spotted HØrse: Strange…I use the phrase: ‘nutrient rich’ several times in my manuscript:

    We, as humans, instinctively shy away from activities that involve interaction with disembodied, steroid augmented kitten brains suspended in a nanobot populated, nutrient rich fluid, hooked to a blindingly fast AI BioGel Core Processing Unit. That’s human nature and BOB in a nutshell….a static resistant box really. Pretty disgusting, huh ? This is why, through the miracle of some incomprehensible process, BOB has been granted the ability to communicate through the N-Link and appear as any type of avatar designed to make the user feel better about talking to a floating kitten brain.

  75. TargemQ8
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    “I’m a sucker for pluck.” would make a fine tee-shirt.

    Also, THANK YOU Uncle Lumpy for filling in the last few days, ably preventing we strip junkies from going into painful withdrawl.

  76. Spotted HØrse
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    #74 AeroSquid: Wow, great stuff! I must now consider what type of avatar would make me more comfortable talking to a floating kitten brain.

    I don’t know why the phrase “nutrient rich” came to mind, exactly… I was halfway considering “calorie dense”, but the thought never really came together. Probably it has something to do with an earlier comment to Trilobite about chasing grubs in the Patterfoobs’ fridge.

    Write like the wind, AeroSquid!

  77. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    76….Think Cassandra Cat…..or one of those anime cat girls.

  78. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    Spotted HØrse : Clink my link for the rough manuscript. It’s 500 pages of funny roughness.

  79. Islamorada Girl
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, but I can’t see that a floating kitten brain would be much of a conversationalist.

  80. AeroSquid
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    79 : Islamorada Girl : Actually it can be pretty snarky when it’s attached to your cerebral cortex.

  81. otherwise a lurker
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    I agree with #42!

    FW: You know what would be a tasteful thing to do at this point? Jump the story ahead here to after Lisa is gone. We know what happens, so there’s no need to drag out a grim death, especially when the writer has no ability to rise above the subject (as the Trudeau comments above point out). But I’m guessing we’re gonna watch Lisa waste away in real time.

    And by the way, I don’t think FW was EVER what you’d call funny–unless by “funny” you mean “less obsessed with disease and death.”

  82. spinster with cat
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    I keep Fred Basset on my Houston Chronicle Comics page just because I like the drawings. I don’t think I ever read them. I think, “Look! A doggie!” and move on, every day.

    But I’m simple-folk.

  83. True Fable
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    No Foob letters for September so far, but I imagine the minions are enjoying the Labor Day weekend for all they are worth before going back to the glurge mines.

  84. unclelumpy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    #83 TF –

    No Labo(u)r Day in Canada, eh?

    Maybe the letters aren’t part of the post-freeze FOOB? I’d love to know the organizational implications of the so-called freeze, since they’ve been back-pedaling on everything else since they first announced it.

    It’s why Canada lost the Moon race, eh?

  85. fizzy logic
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    True Fable – I posted this on the yesterthread before I realized that you probably wouldn’t go back to read it. CrabbyGenes might, but if she doesn’t she and Poteet might want to go look at other article about the goats too. No comic snark today, even though it really deserves it – (boy is Sophie short and flat for a 13 year old – obviously she didn’t get any of the taa-taa genes), because eh! why bother….

  86. True Fable
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    #83 unclelumpy – That’s Fete du Travail in Canada, my pardon.

    I’m curious to know what’s going on up there, too. I have to hand it to Lynn, no one has ever done this in comics before so it’s *sigh* another groundbreaking feat. What I’m really wondering is, are they going to go ahead and use the old panels to tell the stories, or are they going to update them somehow? That may seem like a no-brainer, but although it would be less work to simply run the old strips, the glaring contrast between her early artwork and now would look very awkward to me. It’s not as large a difference as Cathy (good lord that comic’s early days make me shudder just to think about it) but I guess that will just add to the ‘fond memories’ aspect of it.

    The letters, though – they’d have to pretend time hasn’t stopped, so someone would be finger-flipping the canon like crazy. Lynn, whoever is doing the letters is doing a piss-poor job. Just to let you know where I stand, baby. This also would leave room for Michael to put his “novel” on screen, and omg we can’t have that. Glurge City. ugh.

    # 85 fizzy logic – thank you so much for the wonderful goat stories! I want to move to Washington state now, I’ve heard many good things about it here. Of course, the Discovery Channel unnerves the beejesus out of me with their “earthquakes and volcanoes will destroy Washington” programs.
    Eh, I’d rather believe a ‘Mudgeon anyway. :-)

  87. Herro!
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    Probably way off-topic, but I was reading through the old FOOBs and actually got teary-eyed when I got to the point where Jesse found Shiimsa. I just can’t hate those strips. I liked the Paul strips too, so I think I can’t hate FOOB anytime before Liz pulled the wool over Paul’s eyes. After that, it’s fair game. But jeez, that kitten is just so freakin’ cute. Johnston can’t draw attractive Patterbutts, but she can sure draw cute kittens!

  88. SecretMargo
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    84: Actually, we do get “Labour Day/Fête du Travail” off up here, and Canada characteristically claims to have started it. It’s the U.S.’s fault it’s not on May Day like everywhere else, though. Naturellement

    Half the people around here seem to call it Le Jour de la Rentrée though, since it signifies the beginning of school, and after all, if it matched the rest of Canada, it means the Ontarians have won!

    Now quit bogarting the tarte au sucre, Thérèse!

  89. queek
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    87: I shall leave it to better ‘shoppers than I to come up with Pattersonian lolcats.

    “canz be glurge tiem naow?”

  90. fizzy logic
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    #86 – True Fable – Earthquakes, yes, volcanoes, yep, but no hurricanes. Well, we do have winter wind storms that knock the power out for days, and sink our floating bridges, come to think of it, but they don’t cause the tidal surges. Tsunamis, yes, we do get those. Hmmm – we don’t get the awful summer storms with the lightning and tornados. That’s good. Most of our rain is in the winter, which means it’s the really cold kind. Down in Portland they have freezing rain, which results in thick layers of ice everywhere, but we don’t get that – we’re a couple of degrees more moderate either way up here. When it snows, you’d think god had forsaken us, the city completely panics and we act like a bunch of beetles that have all been flipped over on our backs.

    The earthquake thing is like a car accident. You know it will happen someday, you just don’t know when. And you hope if it’s really, really bad – boom – out go the lights. Figuratively speaking. And the volcanoes are pretty to look at – until they erupt. Just don’t live in the path of any flows and you’ll be fine – lahars are your biggest concern around here.

    C’mon – you’d love it here, although I know you’d never leave Roopville. But you should come visit sometime. In the summer, definitely – you’d be amazed at the lack of humidity. P.S.- Skullturf can vouch for how amazing Victoria and Vancouver are. While you’re visiting, you shouldn’t miss those incredible cities.

  91. CrabbyGenes
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    #85 fizzy logic. I did read both articles and enjoyed them. Thanks!

    Ever since a Mudgie railed against necro-posting (can’t remember who), I’ve been taking care to go back and check the ends of older, supposedly-dead threads. (They’re kind of like turned-off faucets that keep dripping now and then.) On that note, if you are reading this Baka Gaijin, go back a thread to #145 (I think that’s the number, anyway). I left a response to your comment.

    Interestingly, the CHEESECAKE thread is still growing slowly. Beefcake, or lack of it, in the comics is something a lot of people have opinions on.

    Thanks all, for the Krispy Kreme opinions!

  92. Bunnë
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    I didn’t say anything before, but I never liked Fred Basset either. It didn’t bug me, most of the time, but it never made any sense to me. I just never GOT it.

  93. Tabby Lavalamp
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    I admit it. I laughed out loud at today’s Family Circus.
    Not because of the joke, no. Of course not. It was completely at the expense of Adult Jeffy’s purging of his dark, tormented psyche.

  94. CrabbyGenes
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    And, for Uncle Lumpy (who had forgotten what mares eat), and for other goat lovers…..

    Mairzy doats and dozy doats
    And liddle lamzy divey
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?
    Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
    and liddle lamzy divey
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

    If the words sound queer
    And funny to your ear,
    A little bit jumbled and jivey
    Sing “Mares eat oats
    And does eat oats
    And little lambs eat ivy”

    Oh! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
    And liddle lamzy divey
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

  95. Jamus The Bartender
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    94. Last time I heard that, Leland Palmer was singing it. His hair was white and he was going apeshit nuts.

  96. Spotted HØrse
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    #78 AeroSquid: Thanks! I’ll have a gander.

    #90 fizzy logic: Love the imagery of all you northwesterners/Seattlites forsaken by Gawd and flipped on your beetley backs! Truman A., if you’ve never seen the majesty of the Pacific Northwest, I heartily encourage a looksee.

    #91 Crabby Genes: A cruddy diner I used to occasion (as opposed to frequent) during my five year stay in Richmond, VA, featured a grilled donut dessert. Their execution was unfortunate, but I took the concept home and created a Krispy Kreme version, carmellized in butter, and served with vanilla bean ice cream.

    Probably sounds horrible, but it was good, although it made the roots of your teeth, if exposed, scream “MOMMA!”

  97. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    Crabby Genes @ 91: That was me. But I didn’t rail, I pleaded. The difference is pleading is much less strident, and relies on guilt for its effectiveness.

  98. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    I read somewhere she’s going to start by “flashing back” to how John and Elly met. So that would still be original material.

  99. commodorejohn
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    A3G – I don’t buy this “Eric” line – Margo’s clearly giving all her love to that lucky muffin. Still, if both Nora and Margo are falling for Eric, that means we get to watch Margo wipe the floor with the weepy Mrs. Mills, which is okay by me.

    Crankshaft – Um, what?

    Curtis – Brought to you by the Tap Water Comission and the Ad Council.

    DT – I love the vaguely-related-to-the-story “Crimestoppers’ Textbook” bits.

    DTM – That I hang out in the wrong communities was conclusively proven by my reaction to Margaret’s wish for a “cowgirl outfit.”

    FC – It’s wonderful to see any strip, even The Family Circus, taking advantage of the Sunday-strip format like this, but the thing I find the funniest is the kid in the upper-right proclaiming his brand loyalty in condom choices.

    FOOB – Why do I get the feeling that this whole strip was a set-up for a panel of frightening FOOB sound effects and April’s cheeks bulging out like she’s been eating Elly’s cooking?

    FW – Nice try, Batiuk. You can hang a mask of whimsy and droll humor over it if you like, but underneath your strip is still the dispassionate, skeletal grin of the Reaper.

    GA – Nice “topical” excuse for not drawing a crowd.

    H&L – You know, I really don’t try to be dirty-minded, but the only computer activities I can think of that would be disrupted by the arrival of family members are dirty picture-related.

    JP – Ah, now the Magical Not-Negro Not-Mexican Obese Slightly Tan Lady comes through with some homespun old-country legal wisdom!

    Lio – o_O

    MF – Ah, the rare Mallard Fillmore I agree with/am amused by.

    MT – Raccoons are always awesome, but they become even more so when one reads about how the Nazis unleashed a raccoon plague on an unsuspecting Germany.

    MW – “Mary’s meddling powers change the wavelength of pink light to blue…”

    NS – Please, please let this be the herald of a non-Danae storyline that doesn’t suck.

    Pibgorn(WTF) – WTF. Also, more nude crystalline fairy torture bondage. WTF.

    PC – I really can’t disagree. The absolute worst thing to come out of the 2000 election fiasco is this damned perpetual campaign process.

    RMMD – Peter The Coffeemaker confirms it – Alan Harrington is a playa. The entire PRC in bed with him…yeah, there’s only one guy I know of who could possibly top that, and he’s off empiring the galaxy…

    SFx – It’s not that today’s strip itself isn’t cool (no fish skeletons, but I do like the little bonsai just sitting out in the middle of the desert,) but this is all overshadowed by the text below the solution: THE SLYLOCK FOX PUZZLE COLLECTION IS HERE. I repeat, the Slylock Fox Puzzle Collection is here.

    SM – I know I’ve been beaten to it, but seriously, Peter Parker is revealing the full depth of his couch-potato syndrome. And it’s beautiful.

    Edison Lee – doesn’t even seem to have a ludicrously untrue/inaccurate point this time, just a general expression of hate for corporations and the stock market in general.

  100. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:09 pm [Reply]

    87-I started hating Foob when Liz moved in with Eric and kicked the rent paying roomate who was on the lease out on the street so she wouldn’t have to sleep with Eric.

  101. Spotted HØrse
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:11 pm [Reply]

    #97 SSB and #91 CrabbyGenes:
    to rail = vinegar = catch few flies (vinegar-lovin’ variety)
    to plead = honey = catch more flies (all other flies, plus many of the vinegar-lovin’ variety)
    to butter tart = ‘shoo fly pie = catch almost all flies (leaving picnic almost entirely unmolested)

  102. CrabbyGenes
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    #97 SpiderBrick. Thanks for the clarification! I think it worked. I haven’t seen too many necroposts since then.

  103. CrabbyGenes
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    #98 LTBF. I’m not so sure. I have all the books with all the comics from the beginning, and they start when John and Elly are already married, and Michael is about 5 or 6 and Elizabeth is a baby. I think the strips involving Elly and John courting that we are going to see will have to have been drawn by Johnston recently.

    Which puzzles me because, in the way of most cartoonists, her drawing style has changed somewhat since the strip began. I confess, I am kind of curious about what the next few weeks will bring.

    And, as other Mudgies have noted, I have real doubts about her (eventually) integrating her old material with her current material. The discrepency in quality is going to be GLARING as far as I can tell, since the strip used to be genuinely good.

  104. King Folderol
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    Hey Uncle Lumpy!

    Thanks for the shout out to Fred Basset. I’ve always felt that Fred was always what Marmaduke tried to be but never could…a humorous profile of a kick-ass dog, for lack of a better explanation. He was just funny in his way, punchlines aside (as you point out). It’s hard to explain, but sometimes that’s just the way it is with certain things in life.

  105. Fat Charlie
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    I’m sorry, but there has not been nearly enough Fred Bassett hate. Even the haters pulled back at the last minute, and pardoned it as merely bland. Fred Bassett is not just bland, it is yet another incarnation of the Family Circus “so wholesome it’s like choking on white bread” school of humor. Spending any time with either of these strips is like one of those tortured dinners with a family you didn’t know was religious until it was too late, and then suddenly they’re singing grace and now it’s too late to leave and you’re consigned to an evening of saccharine cheer with children that won’t stop smiling and talk about buying “Teen Bibles” and the family jokes all revolve around their ancient dog (who is of course named something torturously unimaginative, like Rover), but even then they never go so far as to tell just one joke about stepping in dog shit, because that would be too much for the children and OHMYGOD I hate Fred Bassett.

  106. andreavis
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    I’m glad to see the Fred Bassett love. I actually laughed out loud at Wednesday’s strip. He’s pleasant, like vanilla pudding or smooth jazz.

  107. Slither
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    #43 Trilobite: Your analysis of Fred Basset is spot-on. Particularly, the part about it being a “sweet” comic. I feel much the same way about The Family Circus. It’s intensely saccharine quality has worn off, at least on me, decades ago. The only residual entertainment value it offers comes from the snarkage it inspires.

  108. Mibbitmaker
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    #87, 100: My point was during Eric-stalks-Liz/Liz-and-Tina-beat-the-lousy-cheater-with-no-regrets… or Ellie selling out her victim daughter (April) to evil Kortney while Ellie’s heart bled in glaring, quisling naivete, whichever came first. Fonzie’s approach to the ramp, though, began, imho, with the bad sitcom-style first monkey wrench thrown into Liz/Blanthony, the moment I hated that storyline forevermore, at least.

  109. SecretMargo
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    103: Didn’t she say something about “retouching” her old artwork? As if it didn’t sound like horrible enough an idea already.

    And I concur with you, LTBF: what kind of weirdo ends her prodigious run of real-time, original-content strips with filler-style throwaways about butter tarts and back-to-school fashion? I know everything won’t be frozen come Monday, so I wasn’t expecting the plot threads to be tied together in some sort of extravaganza or anything, but even a little wistful acknowledgement of the milestone, with a tableau of the family in colour on Sunday or whatever, seemed in order. Or was that what the pig-out in the backyard supposed to be? If so…blech.

    Well anyway. Colour me nonplussed at her choice. Better than livid, perhaps, though I’m not so sure. This just seems so…meh.

  110. Harold
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    Did anyone else think that Sunday’s Blondie was exceptionally well-drawn? There’s a level of fine detail I don’t remember seeing in the comics yesterday.

    Speaking of such thing, the image of Bucky Katt getting bonked with the squash ball in the Sunday Get Fuzzy made me howl with laughter.

    Even Garfield was entertaining today, with a rare crowd shot!

  111. bats :[
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    The Future of Foobery: if LJ was on the ball (or at least wanted entertaining reruns), she’d court the Curminions here to furnish new captions for her previously-drawn work. I’m sure that we’d work cheap (well, getting paid Canadian and/or in Tim Horton’s gift certificates guarantees that) and that we’d make her recycled strips exhilerating and very interesting. Right?

  112. unclelumpy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    #109 SM –

    Johnston has been backing off from her original “freezes in time” position from the moment she first announced it. Pressure from her syndicate, staff, and “public”, I’m bettin’.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised to see new Sunday strips along with climbdowns in the dailies, along with postponement of the “real” 2008 deadline, etc., etc., etc.

    Film, as they say, at 11.

  113. Mibbitmaker
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    #103: Well, One of the big anniversary megacollections (the second one, I believe. I have it somewhere) has prose giving all sorts of background on the Patterson clan’s history. That was released when I actually thought FOOB doing extended storylines was cool (it was then, at least …I think…). No so much now, eh, ‘Mudges?

  114. unclelumpy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    #113 Mm –

    Well it was cool, but also risky, and some of those rolls came up, er, boxcar.

  115. Mibbitmaker
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    In #113, I intended to go on, thinking Lynn would draw upon that material to do the early retro-storytelling.

    Jeez, it’s taking Lynn longer to get to the once-meant-to-be-this-month non-end of FOOB proper than it is to get to the end of this presidential campaign (you know, the one that isn’t even supposed to start yet!).

  116. Slither
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    #105 Fat Charlie: LOL you stole my thunder even as I was composing it! But I know precisely where you’re coming from! While I have nothing against faith, I have a lot against religion. And The Family Circus is The Official Comic of the Roman Catholic Church. As a born-and-raised Catholic, who had my “religion” beaten into me by sexually frustrated nuns, and who was made to feel inadequate and undeserving of any sort of positive reinforcement of my self-esteem, I turned in to a rebellious youth and a reactionary adult. I not only hate The Family Circus, but I hate what it represented in my life — a life where someone’s idea of “religion” was more important than developing my intellect and character as an individual. I’m sure God never intended that to be, and even though I remain a faithful Christian, it is not because of my “religious” upbringing, it is in spite of it.

    I know that the Catholic Church and it’s parochial schools are no longer the torture chambers they were in the ’50′s and ’60′s, but I think they have a lot to answer for with regard to the way they scarred a generation of “born” Catholics who are now largely absent from the pews on Sunday. Every time I read The Family Circus, I want to throw up at this endlessly sugar-coated drek which is aimed directly at little old grandmothers and retired Nuns who never missed Mass a Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation in their lives. May God have mercy on their witless souls. I’m sure they also love Fred Basset.

  117. Mibbitmaker
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    #114: Right on, UL.

  118. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    I put the word flashback in quotation marks to indicate it really wasn’t a flashback. Sorry if my intent was misunderstood. I was trying to point out it seems like she’s going to use new material, but not advance the timeline.

  119. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    I’ve never heard of Fred Basset before. While this one is mildly amusing, it certainly isn’t anything I’d want to read on a regular basis if this is as funny as it gets.

  120. Old Man Muffaroo [Inka Dinka Kip W]
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    The phrase finder you (UL) link to calls VIZ a scurrilous comic. Seems rude and uncalled for, especially with the yeoman job they’ve been doing for the last several years with the ongoing “Roger’s Profanisaurus” series, cataloguing (and no doubt making up, or at least encouraging others to) the most hideously creative series of creative ways of saying narsty things. It’s done wonders for my vocabulary.

    Just had to vent.

  121. Old Man Muffaroo [Inka Dinka Kip W]
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    Oh, by a coincidence, the latest issue of VIZ to come to my mailbox has a “Dead Basset” strip on page 10. It compares favorably with the version that appears in my newspaper each day.

  122. Slither
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    Luann: OK, now I’m confused. I thought Luann was already in school, and had already flunked her first test due to the cryptic reading assignment on the blackboard. Now, we’re back to the Last Day Of Summer Vacation, and Luann The Omnipotent is ordering the Sun to halt it’s rise into the heavens, ostensibly to make the day last forever — or as long as she wants it to. Oh well, just another day in the funny papers!

  123. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    I’ve always imagined Sunday strips running in some sort of parallel universe with the weekly strips, one where events don’t always match up.

  124. Spotted HØrse
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    #118 LTBF:

    I was trying to point out it seems like she’s going to use new material, but not advance the timeline.

    Well, if that’s Lynn’s plan, it strikes me as not much of a retirement, dynamic or otherwise. Hey LJ, geez, why not just bring in a writer to take on some of the load, eh? Boxcar!

  125. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 2nd, 2007 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    OK, at the risk of having this buried and forgotten in an hour when Uncle Quick Draw posts the Monday thread, and then because of my own plea and pledge be unable to necropost it, here’s an essay question:

    If Cartoonist X (whoever) died, and it was revealed in his/her will that he/she was a CC lurker who either A) admired your honest criticism of his/her work on this board or B) thought “let’s see the little shit do better,” and left control of the strip to you in their will, in what direction would you take it from then on? (Assume there are already art gnomes on staff to handle the drawing, and just discuss the scripts.)

    For me… If Lynn Johnston left me FBOFW: I would ditch the lame puns and smirky humor completely, and turn it into a straight-up soap strip. Let the characters continue to age in real time, and let them face real-world problems like they used to, but let them handle them as real people would, not solving everything with a smirky pun or a butter tart or an impassioned yet implausible cafeteria-table speech. No JP or RMMD-style bizarreness, just the travails and growth of real life. Let Elly and John help Iris with Grampa Chinnuts in a heartfelt and humane way, and eventually, deal with his death. Have Michael’s book flop, and strain his marriage by having circumstances force him to take a job he hates just for the money. Let Liz and The Philtrum get married, and watch them slowly come to realize what a mistake it was to base a lifelong commitment on a long-distant high school crush. Follow April to college and watch her deal with her estrangement from her parents when she realizes she’s vegan, or gay, or atheist, or Bloc Quebecois, or all of the above. Howard Erk’s release from jail might provide some real drama a few years hence, too.

    So… what strip would you like to inherit out of the blue, and what would you do with it?

  126. Poteet
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    # 47 — Thanks, Trilobite. Poor Dawn. I’m stunned with horror.

    # 50 — An interesting idea, bats. Actually, the whole idea of anything traumatically nasty happening around Charterstone is interesting.

    9/3 Foob — The sensation I get from Monday’s strip is like that Poe story “A Descent Into the Maelstrom.” It’s like I’m going round and round at the very edge of a ginormous whirlpool with no saving cylindrical objects in sight, knowing I’m doomed to go down, down, down, and that it’s going to take a helluva long time, so I’ll be constantly veering between horror, fear, and utter boredom.

  127. CrabbyGenes
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    Baka Gaijin and Jana C.H., please check #150, previous thread.

  128. unclelumpy
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    #125 SSB –

    Uncle Quick Draw

    Ole, Kabong, Baba Looie!

  129. Spotted HØrse
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    #125: Lemme think about it, SSB… may I say I love your plans for FBOFW? I immediately like the characters a lot more, or at least, I don’t hate them anymore.

    …plays the Jeopardy thinking cap song….

  130. lettuce
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:06 pm [Reply]

    Many years ago, a colorist friend of mine allowed me the honor of coloring Fred Basset’s hindquarters throughout an entire Sunday strip. I keep it with me in a scrapbook to remind myself that, no matter what happens in my life, I once got to color Fred Basset’s butt. Some say reality never matches one’s dreams, but as look as that scrap of comic holds up, I’ll always disagree.

  131. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    *gulp* I just realized, upon re-reading my fantasy plans for FBOFW, that it seems I plan to turn that strip into another FW.

    May Monty have mercy on me.

  132. lettuce
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    look=long. It’s hard to type while wistful.

    I also got to spend Passover with the cast of “Saved by the Bell.” That was almost as cool as the Basset butt coloring, but mostly due to Mario Lopez’ bon mots throughout the service.

  133. Poteet
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    # 103 — CrabbyGenes, what I’m most curious about is what Elly’s nose will look like when she and John are courting. Will it be her ancient normal nose, or a mini-version of her current facial potato? On the other hand, if for some reason Foob suddenly ended for good and I never found out, I could live with the mystery. Oh yeah.

  134. LTBF
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:12 pm [Reply]

    The first of the new era of Foobland is up on Yahoo and it says a story of John and Elly meeting is coming.

  135. ralph
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:12 pm [Reply]

    5. True Fable, don’t forget Andy, the MT dog who might be a St. Bernard, if you squint really hard and don’t know what a real St. Bernard looks like. I like how he solves crimes, though.

  136. Slither
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    Lio: I wonder how the little girl next door is going to respond when her “teddy bear” starts getting frisky with her?

  137. CrabbyGenes
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    #106 andreavis. I love that strip you linked to!

    And to UNCLE LUMPY: I would never have imagined that this little one-comic post that you put up for your ravenous Mudgie pups to chew on would have inspired such strong feelings. For my part, I’ve never read Fred Basset, but I liked your comic and andreavis’, so I may start doing so.

    #133 Hi Poteet! Yes, I have wondered about that potato nose too. Time will tell.

    Last night I had to go to bed; today I have to go out. See you all later!

  138. fizzy logic
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    #125 – Brick – Ooh! Ooh! I have an idea for YOUR strip, which sounds so much better than Lynn’s. Have April fall for a gay guy, instead of being gay herself. Or mine first (for her own pain and growth), and then the other (for her parents’ pain/estrangement and growth).

    I’d take Funky Cancerbean and give it a heart to go with its spleen. I’d take away the smirking, and the causes. I’d let the people live real lives, which may or may not include death. I’d let them express love to each other, and affection, and have real conversations. If there was comedy, I’d try to make that more apparent than it currently is. I’d take away the imaginary cat with rickets. It wouldn’t be saccharine, but it would be sweeter than it is now; now it’s just bitter. I’d muss up Les’s hair. I’d comb Jessica’s. I’d give Darrin a nose job. I’d try to give them all more than the one-dimensional lives that they are currently living (cancer patient! alcoholic! adoptee! amputee! soldier! hard-luck comic book guy!) I’d have everybody LIGHTEN UP!

  139. CrabbyGenes
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    #137 me. AAUUGGHH!! And just as a new thread goes up!

  140. SecretMargo
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    SSB: (BTW — I think your plans for FOOB are fantastic and not FW-y at all. Maybe FW thinks it’s doing, but that’s a different story…)

    Well, I think no one would be surprised that I would like to take over Apartment 3G.

    As much as I would love to add random international intrigue into it, the recent “China” storyline and RMMD in general are proving that this would be ill-advised. So, considering it a bit more seriously, I think what I would do would be to give the girls an actual New York, with recognizable New Yorkers, to interact with. I thnk the archetypes are ripe for exploitation as they are (callow Lu Ann, retiring Tommie, steely and selfish McGee), but at the moment they’re in a complete vacuum and don’t have anything to really bounce off of, which is why they end up vibrating in tableaux.

    So I’d give them a few friends and settings that are at least kind of contemporary, even if in a stereotyped way: creepy bisexual boyfriends, a smack addict ex who keeps asking to stay on the couch “’til he’s out of the woods,” a fetching fellow female nurse whose advances confuse but tempt Tommie, an art world full of conniving power players that Margo helps Lu Ann navigate and manipulate, ridiculous club openings that the girls get invited to through Margo’s connections, and so forth.

    So yeah, kind of “Sex in the City”-ish, but with higher stakes, less smugness, and harder drugs.

    Plus, imagine Margo with a sarcastic gay sidekick to cackle/compete with. Can’t you hear the air around you start to snap with electicity?

  141. Mibbitmaker
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    Labor(ed comic strips) Day:

    FOOB: For a strip that isn’t going to start the retro-forever era till at least ’08, it sure looks like they’re starting the retro-forever era today.

    “I’ve got time”? I hope you’re quoting from the Beatles song “I Want To Tell You” (1966, Revolver), kid, ’cause if you aren’t, that sounds like a threat.

    FW: Tearing it down?!? Boy, that Batiuk doesn’t miss a depressing beat, does he? I hope Crazy (?) can make this one funny or cool this week — unless “going commando” is said in Seinfeldese, which’d make no sense whatsoever. My kingdom for a nesting, egg-laying duck!!

  142. fizzy logic
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:31 pm [Reply]

    #140 – SecretMargo – Sex in the Apartment 3G! Love it! If only you could take over that strip, and Brick could take over FOOB. If only!

  143. Frank Parsnip
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    A3G: “The night for WHAT?” And at this point, we have no choice but for the borrowed voice of Lemony Snicket to intervene. For if you were expecting Margot to have a night of mind-blowing carnal experiences of the sort to leave her panting and heaving on a sweat-soaked mattress and a thousand-yard stare on her unbelieving eyes, then I am sorry to have to write that this is exactly what she is not going to have. It is my tragic fate to have to set down in words that Margot shall neither ride the baloney pony (“ride the baloney pony” here means for Margot to climb on top of a giant blood-gorged love sausage and ride her man in a way worthy of the pages of the innuendo and allusion-filled Penthouse Letters that are published by a curly haired tan man with more than a passing resemblance the leader of Libya), nor shall she find happiness and satisfaction in a life partner. For her true love will soon depart for a country far away in an adventure that will involve much heartache, a deflated truck tire, and a pair of very angry fraternal twins.


    Mary: “Or better yet, just show up at her apartment in person wearing that nasty bilious green suit. Perhaps it would be easiest for all concerned if you can work it so that she dumps you!

    Dr. Drew: “Oh, Mary, you’re a genius! And I thought your meddling wouldn’t be worth it! By the way, can you give Vera a few tips on how to please a man? My dad tells me you were able to rock his world with that ‘Cleveland steamer’ technique last week… ”

    RMMD: How much money would it take for Peter to enjoy that cup of coffee? Man, look at the wince on his face in panel 2 — apparently the cabin was only stocked with Asswell House “bitter to the last drop” coffee with no milk or sugar.

    Peter: “Heather, I live in a world of black and whites.”

    Heather: “You talking about moral absolutes or the fact that I’ve got on a red dress and a blonde wig, while you look like a ghost.”

    Peter: “Yes, it’s that Pleasantville effect. If only I had some money, I am sure I could get this cured. I could have a real life. Hell, even those guys in ‘Crock’ get colored.”

    Heather: “Oh, Peter, all you had to do was ask. You don’t need money or fame… or anything, really! Here, let me apply a little foundation makeup and some rouge…” (reaches into purse)

    MT: It’s a bit odd that the boss’ son would turn over a reporter (even one bizarrely dressed in a tan-colored Sturm Abteilung uniform) to talk to a malcontent employee like Homer instead of offering up a few reassuring sentences about how “ConstructoCorp. cares greatly about the environment and at all times takes efforts to ensure that its polices are in compliance with all federal, state and local laws. However, we do expect to be able to complete this shopping project on-time and on-budget.” However, it’s becoming more and more clear that Homer is just using his “environmental” concern as a drivetrain for his bigger effort to get back with his ex-wife separated wife, much in the way that a properly motivated preppy boy can don tie-dyed T-shirts and feign interest in the environment to get laid with the neo-hippie chicks… or that nearly any guy can feign interest in Godly matters for the 10 minutes necessary to overcome the lax “religion” defenses to premarital sex offered up by hot Baptist babes and cute Catholic chicks. So Homer, who has probably done his share to help “Pave the World” by putting countless endangered species under 4″ of burning-hot asphalt, now finds his softer side coming out now that his apartment is floor-to-ceiling in pizza boxes, empty suitcase-packs of Bud and dirty underwear covered in blow-flies.

    Jugs Parker: To make up for the lack of sweatermeat, the strip has been in overtime mode with Busty Duncan leaning in, leaning over, standing in front of a window. Almost makes up for Rosa’s libido-numbing intrusions.

    Foob: Actually Sunday’s comic was pretty interesting. I know a person stateside whose kid actually got back problems from lugging massive books back and forth from school — kid now uses a little luggage cart.

  144. commodorejohn
    September 2nd, 2007 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    #116 Slither – I never had any problems with the modern Catholic Church until a couple family friends converted to Catholicism. There was no warning, no gradual questioning of Protestant doctrines, it was just suddenly “oh, we’re Catholic now,” like the Body Snatchers got ‘em. It was weird; they were the same people they had been, except they wanted to talk about Mass and praying to the saints and etcetera, when we just wanted to visit with them like we used to. Then their daughter fell in love and got engaged, and she and her fiance had to convert, because if you’re not married by the Church you’re living in adultery, and…they did. And I was thinking “um, how can you do that, change your beliefs just because your parents say so?” (along with wondering, faith-mechanics-wise, how you even can go from Protestant to Catholic,) but naturally I didn’t say anything. Then their other daughter converted, simply because they wanted her to…it was creepy, it was like a Borg thing. (Fortunately, their son, the oldest of the three, got married before this whole “we’re Catholic and we want you to be too” business, and remains an unassimilated and totally cool guy.)

    So I guess what I’m saying is that, while I never attended a Catholic school and don’t hate The Family Circus so much as consistently fail to get it, I understand your dislike of the Catholic Church.

    (No offense intended to any Catholic Curmudgeons, as long as you’re not injecting Catholicism-inducing nanites into friends and family like the couple I know.)

  145. commodorejohn
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    #125 The Spectacular Spider-Brick – I like your ideas, but April can’t be lesbian, because thenshe’d hook up with whatever the female equivalent is of Doesn’t Just Look Gay Other Anthony. Eugh.

    And your ideas aren’t Winkerbeanish because you’re trying to write realistic stories, not continually torment your characters.

    #141 Mibbitmaker – Revolver = YES.

  146. Rainbird
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    3 Skullturf Q. Beavispants What I found odd was that the Dad in H&L was that surprised at the cost of school stuff. Heck, the kids go to a public school, and they need all that stuff. Try going to a private school, just as greedy, and just as many supplies.

    #40 Trilobite I like Fred Bassit, but it is just a happy sort of strip, not something to laugh at. Of course, I also like British stuff in general, so that might be my problem.

    But talk about phoning in, that would have been Andy Capp. Which is not unlike the way the Wizard of Id, and Mamma are these days.

    BC, on the other hand, must have been taken over by a broken version of the AM3000, that worked fine for Archie, but is having trouble with the post-apocalypse world of BC.

    #98 LTBF What is interesting about her revisitng how Elly and John met is that she knows their back story. She said so in one of her books, where she goes on and on about how much she knows about all the characters and hasnt’ been allowed to write. So, perhaps that is why she thinks this will be so easy.

    CrabbyGenes #105 OK, that’s it, I’m going to look for the book. The lives Behind the LInes is the name of the book, and she goes into all the things we never saw, which is where the new stories will come from. Interesting book. It was there that she first mentioned, at leas that I saw, that she wanted to end the strip.

  147. Trixie Belden
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:21 am [Reply]

    # 140 Secret Margo – I Love It!!!!. Can you draw? If not, maybe you could hire an artist and just work out the plot and write the dialog? Somehow, we’ve got to make this happen!

    Re: Fred Basset – C’mon people! Fred Basset is really quite well done and enjoyable in a sweet, whimsical fashion. There’s got to be a place for well done whimsy in the comics.

  148. Slither
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    #144 commodorejohn: Let me clarify something: I don’t hate the Catholic Church whatsoever. I dislike what it was and what it did to me during my formative years; but I recognize that it has changed. To my knowledge, there is no more torturing of innocent young boys by Nuns anymore. Yes, there have been many scandals concerning priests and young boys, I never saw anything remotely like that personally, but I’m sure it happened. It always mystified me why any religion would want to have a clergy consisting of men forced to assume a totally unnatural lifestyle. Seems to me like a natural breeding ground for pedophiles. Anyway, while I’m not the world’s best church-goer now, when I go to church, it’s a Catholic church I go to, if only out of force of habit. However, I’ve reached the decision that faith comes from a personal relationship with God, which I believe I have, and that “religion” is a man-made thing and subject to man’s imperfectiion. Enough of that, gotta check out the new thread.

  149. Captain Thunder
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    #144: commodorejohn, how do you know about the nanites?

  150. Frank Parsnip
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:10 am [Reply]

    Just to be clear, my comments on the easy morals of so-called “religious” girls from the Baptist and Catholic churches has no connection to any real scarring or to the other comments with regards to the Catholics.

    I joined the Catholic church in my 20s because they had a good priest in the town where I lived and because good Catholic priests can be good at helping you come to grips with the thinking out of one’s faith. Rabbis can do the same thing. Unitarian ministers also, like Catholic priests and Rabbis, tend to be a bit on the well-educated side of things — although Unitarians are hit and miss because it seems a good percentage of their congregations are atheists trying to hang out together. I was raised Unitarian in a great church — but ones I’ve visited have sometimes been painful to attend.

    So, how can somebody become “Catholic” all of a sudden? Basically, once you realize the church’s traditions are a rather thin and amusing veneer over a bunch of stuff that may make you (or may not…) make you a better person, then it’s rather pleasant if you’ve got the right priest. If you have the wrong priest, that’s a whole other matter. I haven’t really gone to Catholic church since I saw the piss-poor way they handled the child-abuse scandals — it’s simply not a place where I think I can further my own goals of being a better person.

    So I’m a former Unitarian who approached the Catholic Church and who has now backslid deliberately.

    Having lived large chunks of my life overseas in Asia, I don’t really worry myself about burning incense and ghost money at the Buddhist and Taoist temples, or the occasional Shinto shrine I’ve come across. I try to use my prayers to ask for peace, health and the good of my loved ones and for others and don’t really care whether or which God or Gods answer. My thinking is that, for now, I become a better person by thinking of others and thinking of how to help others instead of spending the next few decades fruitlessly trying to get the Catholic hierarchy to acknowledge the vast violation of trust that has taken place under their stewardship.

  151. Frank Parsnip
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:12 am [Reply]

    Technically speaking, you don’t really burn “ghost money” at Shinto shrines… but I suppose you can toss coins into those neat grated boxes.

  152. Skulking on the Outskirts
    September 3rd, 2007 at 1:21 am [Reply]

    CommodoreJohn, Slither, I was raised Catholic, but it didn’t take. So I’m not offended by your view on the whole thing, I agree with it. And now at the risk of igniting a real boxcar storm, I’m going to say that I think religion (in general, not just Catholicism) is a lot like alcohol and other drugs. Some people can take it and be safely moderate with it, and some are going to fall straight into the abyss of addiction with their first taste. If there was a way to identify people who were going to go crazy with it, they should be warned that they can’t handle religion like regular people and should leave it alone. Like if alcoholism/drug addiction was common in your family, you’d know you might have a predilection toward it yourself.

    (Puts on flak jacket and helmet and hunkers down into trench)

  153. Fat Charlie
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:04 am [Reply]

    Catholic religion blah blah blah. Fred Basset still reeks of a mothballed Pat Boone sweater.

  154. Herro!
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    #100, 108: Okay, it sucked before Shiimsa. But that cat is ADORABLE! I can has place to live and luving home pleeze?

  155. Loopina
    September 3rd, 2007 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    I want FOOB! I can’t draw for boxcar, but I could definately come up with stories. Actually, I posted my ideas on the discussion board, but here’s a synopsis:
    Liz is alone with Francie at Anthony’s house, Therese shows up unannounced. She’s been living it up in Montreal. She and Liz have a few awkward moments as Francie happily introduces her mom to “Daddy’s special friend”. Therese mentions that she and a friend (a rather boring red-headed nurse) have a great 3BR apartment but need another tenant. They need a sweet, simple-minded blonde teacher to rent the extra room.
    April applies to vet school in Guleph. She doesn’t get in, but on the sly she’s also applied – and been accepted to – the Univ. of Florida (I have to get her out of that house). She dreads telling her parents.
    But at the same time, Iris has finally realized that Jim’s medical problems are leaving her frustrated and isolated. The two of them buy a nice condo in Florida. Iris invites April to come live with them, and April happily agrees, especially after she meets the Cuban homecare nurse named Eduardo who has been hired to tend to Jim.
    2024: Wedding – Robin and Francoise.

  156. True Fable
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:28 am [Reply]

    I’ll just stay quiet about my faith, thank you, except to say I am Roman Catholic. I don’t agree with the Church on a couple of issues but on the whole I’m okay with its teachings. I don’t push my faith on anyone because I wouldn’t care for anyone to push theirs on me. I’ve had nothing but the good fortune to have wonderful parish priests everywhere I have gone.

    Sorry you guys got a bum deal. I’ve never had the kind of trouble you have had, so I can’t very well fault you for your views. Peace.

  157. Skulking on the Outskirts
    September 3rd, 2007 at 3:59 am [Reply]

    And amen, True.

  158. Baka Gaijin
    September 3rd, 2007 at 7:23 am [Reply]

    #127: CG-Necroposts acknowledged. Kanbanwa!

  159. CrabbyGenes
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    #143 Frank Parsnip. Your Lemony Snicket style is incredible! I’m still laughing! Bravo!

    (I have a vague memory of possibly complimenting you on this before in another thread, but I just HAVE to say it again.)

  160. Slither
    September 3rd, 2007 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    #152 Skulking on the Outskirts: Our views on religion seem to be identical. I describe myself as a person of faith, notreligion. That works for me. If anyone is happy being Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, whatever, then fine — as long as they aren’t forcing their views on anyone else. It’s when people get really “fundamental” that the bomb vests start getting produced. Our brains are pretty much designed to hold beliefs such as faith in God and other deities. My belief is that God made us that way. However, I hold no belief that my beliefs are the only ones possible, or even correct, so I go my own way and allow others to go theirs. I think that if more people thought that way, perhaps they wouldn’t be killing each other so much.

  161. Non Compost Mentos
    September 3rd, 2007 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    150 Frank Parsnip: I think you’re right that, depending on the congregation, Unitarian churches/fellowships can sometimes seem more like halfway houses for people on their way out of other churches (raises own ex-Catholic hand). Boise has a pretty good congregation, and the minister, Rev. Elizabeth Green, is just about everything one would want in a Unitarian pastor. (Plus, she’s a good link for playing “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” since her mother, the late Peg Phillips, played Ruth Ann on Northern Exposure. According to the invaluable Oracle of Bacon, Phillips was in Dogfight (1991) with Brendan Fraser, and Fraser was in The Air I Breathe (2007) with Kevin Bacon, thus giving any congregant at the Boise Unitarian Church a low-ish Bacon Number of 4.)

  162. Fat Charlie
    September 3rd, 2007 at 6:59 pm [Reply]

    Whoa! NC Mentos, I don’t know if you realize this, but depending on one’s definition of “degree,” you may have just inducted all the Curmudgeons into the hallowed 5th degree away from Kevin Bacon.

  163. Tommy Smarts
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    CrabbyGenes: Thanks for the kind words and greetings from rainy Taihoku!

    NonCompostMentos: I had a wonderful one growing up at North Shore UUS on Long Island, only famous for the Veach fund but not for any actors. Billy Joel had a membership card that sat unused there all the years I went.

  164. Frank Parsnip
    September 3rd, 2007 at 9:35 pm [Reply]

    CrabbyGenes: In the office now — T.S. is the name that comes up when I use my mobile phone to check the thread on the subway heading to work.

  165. MoxRavager
    November 30th, 2007 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    I hate fred basset. It’s just not funny.
    What I really hate is how it was voted best comic in my newspaper

  166. bolrok
    August 28th, 2013 at 1:10 am [Reply]


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