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Mark goes back … to the PRESENT

Mark Trail, 5/7/12

It looks like Mark is running out of excuses to avoid his oft-postponed fishing date with Rusty. Ha ha, “check my e-mail,” does Mark even know what e-mail is? He probably overheard some teens talking about it down at the general store once and is now using it as a desperate ploy to avoid spending quality time with his hideously ugly ward. “Uh, sorry Rusty, I talked to my e-mail and it told me that there’s some Indian artifacts being smuggled in the southern part of the state! I need to go find the smugglers, so I guess that fishing trip will have to wait until next month, or something.”

It’s pretty well known that current Mark Trail storylines are pieced together from old art, with dialogue spottily updated to reflect technological advances. This has given us such hilarious moments as Rusty claiming his old-timey camera used a “memory card,” so I look forward to Mark “checking his e-mail” with what is clearly a CB radio.

Hi and Lois, 5/7/12

“I thought it was just a whimsical name, but I can’t seem to hold down any food and I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last three days, so I guess it was made of some kind of deadly poison.”

Gil Thorp, 5/7/12

OK, this is the day when I finally manage to work myself up to get excited about the Gil Thorp spring storyline. Yay, we’ve got … a loss and a rainout? Aw, nuts.

358 responses to “Mark goes back … to the PRESENT”

  1. Honey Badger, Does not give a shit
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark, now that your drug suppliers are in jail, what are you going to do? I could ask around school.

  2. endless sky
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    MT: Has Andy become a dalmatian in the third panel?

  3. btown
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    why is Mark carrying a Rusty ventriloquist dummy in Panel 3?

  4. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    MT-Rusty, Mark is always fishing with you. He promises to take you fishing and then leaves on some last minute adventure.

    MT 2-Sorry, Rusty, but I can’t go fishing with you. I just received an email from Nigerian prince who needs my help. I don’t know anyone in Nigeria but I must go there to help this prince escape revolutionaries.

    A3G-Dying in childbirth is so Nineteenth Century and here we are in the Nineteen Seventies. We are in the Seventies right? I think it is the Seventies with our dress and social attitudes.

  5. Elmo
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark is really checking to see if there’s a hot email from Kelly offering to meet him at the Teepee Motel (where all the guest cabins are concrete cones with bizarre paint jobs that look like 19th century Apache graffiti). The part about drug smugglers is just a ruse to get him there where they will engage in hot monkey innuendo by telephone.

  6. benro
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    MW – I’m struck by Gina’s expression in the second panel – “What do you mean, for richer or poorer? Poorer is not an option!”

  7. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    CS – Please, Foreshadowing Fairy, don’t disappoint us. Ed feels happy and is actually commenting on his good fortune. Reel him in, and pull no punches!

  8. Setec Astrology
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    At least there’s a typo (“aborbs”) in Gil Thorp–maybe it’s an Easter egg?

  9. Mibbitmaker
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    New Pop Culture’s Kids is up! And it’s Parody Week!

    To (Old Man) Muffaroo: This is what I referenced in “PCK Field Trip #5″ comments. Nice timing, wasn’t it?

    Also…. I keep hearing that early ’60s instrumental “Java” for some reason. Hmmmm…. must be childhood memory or something…..

  10. pugfuggly
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    MT “Gee Rusty, I’d love to go fishing, but apparently I can increase the length and girth of my penis by sending away for this magic cream, so I haven’t a moment to lose..!”

    BTW, I’m also pretty sure that ‘e-mail’ in this case is mail delivered by eagles, or possibly elk….

    H&L Hi and Lois keep their scale in the living, just to remind themselves and their children of the horrible shame of weight gain.

    FW “Ok, Mr. Batiuk, here’s your delivery of 12 bales of straw. Now what would you like us to build that into?”

    MW First gasps, and now vows done completely in concert. I can’t wait for the reception when the maid of honour and the best man stand up and deliver a 20-minute speech in unison.

  11. Mark B.
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    Well, some days you lose, some days you get rained out, and some days your star pitcher slowly dies of cancer. No, wait, that’s the Tom Batiuk version.

  12. LP2004
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    9CL & FW: Oh, joy. What a week this will be, as the two most pretentious artistes in the business simultaneously take on Big Issues with their characteristic subtlety. Good luck dodging all those falling anvils, folks.

  13. Holly Folly
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Isn’t it sad that Lois apparently keeps the scale in the living room? So she has to see it constantly. Did she move it out of the bathroom to fill some terrible compunction to weigh herself after every meal. Now I feel kind of bad for her.

  14. pugfuggly
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#4):

    Crud, scooped on the MT…!

    As for A3G, I think it’s pointless trying to date this strip in our timeline, since it obviously takes place in an alternate history where the sexual revolution never happened, and New York banned all immigration of non-caucasians in the 1950s.

  15. Chareth Cutestory
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: Congratulations if you just googled “ABORBS” to figure out if it was a real world. We’re equally idiotic!

  16. Dennis Jimenez
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    MT – You’ve got to hand it to Elrod – nobody scripts for an armpit or belly, like our man Jack….

    H&L – Is that a portrait of the Grim Reaper? Baby he’s your man….

    GT – Ida Know… I think Elrods talking cabin scripts, just ring so much more authentically, than this school house window drivel….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  17. Mibbitmaker
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    @endless sky (#2): Omigod, you’re right! Turns out, Mark Trail has become such a parody of itself that it’s literally become an old MAD comics satire, this time drawn by Will Elder. The sudden dalmation is just “chicken fat”!

    H&L: I think you mean “dieting”, Lois.

    GT: Monday is now Friday?! This strip sure is confusing!

  18. UncleJeff
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    GT: Good thing the baseball team at Oakwood has a domed stadium so they can get in games despite the unpredictable spring weather.
    It just goes to show what a competent athletic director can do with supportive boosters and a keen eye for finding the coaches who can develop winning teams.

  19. Pozzo
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    I tried Death by Chocolate, but it only made me stronger.

  20. Lurker Bob
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark and Rusty seem to be violating the very laws of space time. Check out how quickly they change positions between panels one and two during the middle of a very brief exchange. Mark goes from sitting with his hands between his knees to some sort of come-hither pose, while Rusty goes from being on the stairs to sitting on the porch. Meanwhile, Andy magically appears, asleep, on the porch between the two. Of course, from panel two to panel three, they relocate to a completely different part of the yard and Andy magically transforms into a dalmatian.

    This means on of two things: 1) Mark and Rusty are changes poses as fast as they can while sprinting around the yard, or 2) There are long, uncomfortable pauses that are up to minutes-long between each panel. Either way, I would like to see it in real time.

  21. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    MT – I think some extraterrestrial aliens must have abducted Rusty while Mark was in the woods smoking pot during his little boat ride.
    Either those aliens did some serious cosmetic operations on Rusty or they replaced him with some normal looking kid. I mention this because he no longer seems to have the mutant face we’ve all seen way too early in the morning.

    That, or maybe I’ve gotten to the point where I look past Rusty’s hideous deformity because I feel sorry for the poor lad.

    Nah, must have been aliens.

  22. Mibbitmaker
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail, the character: “What is this newfangled ‘CB Radio’ you speak of, Mr. Freerloiter? I never heard of it, nor, I bet, has dear old president Eisenhower. You must be mistaken, fellow!”

  23. Berber Dan
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    Pluggers-So, you’re a plugger if you suffer from bowel or bladder incompetence?

    MW-Margo’s look and ponytail are both deflated at the mention of the word ‘death’. Perhaps, she knows she’ll a poor widow very soon?

  24. malignoramus
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    Apparently, Gil Thorp burned through its “r” quota in the first two panels.

  25. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    Aw, nuts.

    Actually, it’s pitcher “Numbnuts” Derek (Jeter) Tolan (Nolan Ryan) throwing
    (for lack of a better word) a (sketchy at best) fastball at a certain Baltimore, MD comics blogger (initials “JF”) with a big head (estimated hat size: 22 5/8) for having the cojones (estimated size: refuse to speculate) to criticize Gil Thorp (a presumed “comic” strip). After Kevin Rechin’s opening salvo yesterday, the battle is joined!

  26. sporknpork
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    When I saw Mark’s missing hand, I was hoping he’d teach Rusty a valuable lesson about marijuana à la Arrested Development.

  27. Little Blue Bicycle
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    MT-”Sorry Rusty, a Nigerian diplomat is in trouble and needs cash fast. But don’t worry, pretty soon I’ll be taking you fishing in Cabo!”

  28. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    Doones – “This is Band Relations. You want the Paternity department, I’ll transfer you.”

    MW – After not seeing or communicating with each other for 10 years, they met for dinner, were engaged two strips later, and now are getting married. Everyone agrees that the relationship is perfect, with no conflicts or adjustments needed for their perfect love. There is a lot to be said for being too stupid to not be shallow. Although it makes for an incredibly boring story.

    I want to hold back on the rant about this plotline and just leave it on the too dumb to have any depth line for the characters. But I can’t leave all the fun of igniting stawmen to Batty and McE this week. If you want a strip like Sunday’s, full of platitudinous assertions about perfect love, you have to EARN it. You can’t just show two tertiary characters together for fewer that five strips and have all the background characters assure us that is it a perfect, uncomplicated love, and expect your readers to sit back and drown in the glurge. If we had seen these two actually interact as a couple, in ways other than standing together and affirming their love, there might be some emotional resonance. As it is, noone cares. All you are doing is making us root for Bobby’s revelation that his days as America’s most famous soccer player have led to him bearing six children with seven different women (don’t ask – it involves a three-way and siamese twins), and that the mob and CPS are both closing in on him for failing to meet certain financial obligations…

  29. LP2004
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    GT: I’m not surprised that Milford lost; from that first panel, it appears that Derek Tolan throws with about the same force I used to use playing catch with my daughters, back when they were four years old.

  30. cheech wizard
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    MT – “No, no Rusty, the drug guys aren’t in jail. They’re still tied up to that tree where we left them. Have you ever dealt with the federal government? No, they won’t be in jail for two or three weeks, assuming they survive that long.”

  31. endless sky
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#21): I agree that Rusty looks less hideous today. Someone just joining us would wonder about his being described as such. (assuming that they had never seen the strip before) I like the alien abduction theory, but maybe the “artists” just found a better looking clip art selection.

  32. Chyron HR
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    Hi and Lois – Ah, the “Roaring 50s”–That magical age when Americans did the “Duck and Cover” to the melodic crooning of Bing Sinatra, the Philcovision was just a twinkle in the eye of Alvin Edison, and no middle-class housewife would be caught dead without a stylish bathroom scale in the middle of her living room.

  33. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    Dilbert: *snurk*

    CdS: I do so enjoy the playground equipment strips.

    IP: good on’ya, Cap. well done, and thank you.

    Lio: I’m still laughing at panel 3. *gigglez*

    Zits: nicely arted.

    JP: the last time I saw a gag drawn out this long, it was “Sam will kill him”.

    PMP: heh. nice.

    RwO: that’s why I avoid the celery and leave it on the plate.

    6Cx: guest-written by Wiley Miller, in drag?

  34. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    Love Is . . . little white lies, leading to buttseks.

  35. Dennis Jimenez
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    @Berber Dan (#23): A plugger always has the same response on the question boxers or briefs? Just Depends….

  36. Brian
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    I hope Gil Thorp gets side-tracked into justifying the lettering typo (lypo?) in the second panel. There will now be a birthday party for somebody on the girl’s team in which all the girls jump out and yell “Surpise!”

  37. seismic-2
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    Crank: Does “riding the wave” mean “phoning it in”? If so, then yeah. This strip has given up on trying to rival even the madcap humor of Fred Basset.

    A3G: “Do women still die in childbirth in this day and age?” The American health care system has sunk to the point that it’s relying on the likes of Tommie Thompson as midwives. You do the math.

    Also, there are women give birth in Westview, Ohio. Again, you do the math.

    MW: When this ceremony began, Gina was reciting a couple of words per panel. Now she and Bobby are reciting whole chunks of their vows in each panel – in unison. Based on Panel 2, it seems they really needed to speed things up so that they can finish before Bobby transforms into a fish.

  38. Jon
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    “Surpise”?

  39. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    MT (Panel #3): “Hey Rusty, when I left this fowl place last month that corral fence was broken and seriously in need of repair. HOW did that fence get rebuilt and painted without me being here?”

    “Oh that, Cherry had a stranger fix it for her. He was a handsome fellow who was passing through the southern part of the state and happened to be in our area. Cherry paid him to do things around the house for her and he took me fishing many times. Oh, I almost forgot, she must have needed a lot of work done in her bedroom because she had him stay in there with her for an entire week. Oops, Cherry told me and Doc that we weren’t supposed to tell you that part!”

    “I may be leaving again later today, Rusty, and this time I may not be coming back. And as far as you wanting to go fishing, well, you can just go find that handsome fellow to take you!”

  40. Charlene
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    @Chareth Cutestory (#15): Anyone notice “surpise” too?

  41. Marc
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail- Gee Rusty I’d love to take you fishing, but according to email an Iraqi dignitary who shares THE SAME LAST NAME as me, died unmarried and without children in the war. He left me his vast $30,000,000 US fortune. All I need to do is send Barrister Frederick Johns a copy of my motor vehicle operator license, social security card, press credentials, and $10,000 transfer fee, and he will wire us the money. Wait until I tell the fellows at the magazine about this! This will make a good story!

    9CL- No human beings in history have ever had a conversation sounding anything like this. I guess it wouldn’t be artistic and sophisticated enough for that old Nazi banger to just say “I’m here to help my dipshit granddaughter. She may be pregnant but is too goddam stupid to take a pregnancy test.”

    Funky- The only people who couldn’t see this coming are the blind. And that’s only because Funky Winkerbean in brail is still in the prototype phase. It should be out by the fall though. Just in time for the “Summer goes off to college, gets drunk, has unprotected sex, and contracts syphilis” storyline. So fear not blind Funky fans, old Tommy B saved something special for you.

    Mary Worth- I see Bobby has nearly completed his transformation into the Joker while Gina is losing her hair in random clumps.

    Luann- The world’s biggest Charlie Brown fan at the register must be braindead if he really believes that the damn 1940′s cash register just told him what store sold to the millionth customer or that what he buys has any correlation to what number customer he is.

    A3G- So pretty much confirming what we already knew; Margo gets off on other people’s suffering.

  42. Mark B.
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    @Charlene (#40): Here at Gil Thorp industries, we’d like to announce that we no longer give a shit. In fact, our give a shitter done gave out about a decade ago, but people just haven’t noticed.

  43. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    MT – Did Mark just pop a Jack-Elrod-bubble-fart out of his bluejeans in panel #1?

  44. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    MT: You know, this used to be funny, but now it’s just cruel.

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#28): re: MW, I suspect that Moy believes she’s created some stirring romance, in which readers were gripped by the suspense of Gina’s search for Bobby, the tragedy of their lost young love, and the joy of their eventual reunion—a love story for the ages, a la Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, but with ponytails. And now we’re supposed to be teary-eyed as we witness them vowing their love for each other—as well as, of course, so so grateful to Mary for all her hard work bringing them together mentioning, you know, the internet.

    Instead, because of all the flaws you note, we mock her ponytail and fantasize about a Kill Bill-style finale to this wedding ceremony.

  45. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    if Poteet did the Lockhorns, it would look something like this.

    o deer.

    Love Is . . .enzymatic.

    gamer girls. bless’em, every one. (sfw)

    Miyazaki cosplay.

    a little sassy turtle for Poteet.

    otterly trying for beads.

    resistance is futile. (boop!)

    a corgi response to today’s CdS.

  46. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    MT – (Panel #2): I see by the expression on Andy’s face that he’s still stoned from the time he spent digging around the marijuana grove in his area.

  47. Little Blue Bicycle
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:40 am [Reply]

  48. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    MT – The trouble with Mark’s parenting skills is that he never lets Rusty add his own comments. Such as in today’s panel #2 where, according to the placement of the word balloons, Mark is the only one doing any talking about going fishing and then he goes and adds his own comment ontop of that.
    No wonder that poor kid always seems so mixed up!

  49. Phred22
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    MT: Uh-oh, someone is warning me about illegal ‘phishing’.

  50. seismic-2
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    MT: Who’s the Guest Dog in Panel 3? Did Butch regain his eyesight and come to pay a visit?

  51. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    Regards to my comment #48 above, where I said Mark made his own comment ontop of that. Well, at a closer look, Mark actually made his additional comment BELOW it, not on top of it.
    (Well, I thought it seemed funny, oh well. Have a nice day.)

  52. Esther Blodgett
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    MT: I can’t keep up with the latest trends in coded sex-talk. I mean, I know what Mark’s “rod and tackle” are, and I suppose I can guess what “checking my e-mail” refers to, but “it’ll be fun, I’m looking forward to it”? I’m Catholic, help me out here.

    FW: Batuik is comfortable doing a story about how Some Folks Don’t Like Gay People, because really there’s very little difference between gay and cancer: Neither can be prevented, they both make people angry and sad and confused, and of course, there’s no cure. Get ready for a story arc in which Westview’s most prominent citizens come down with gay, one by one.

  53. LUJBEM FEJF
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    Marky Mark Trail- I believe “e-mail” is the mail the Eskimo’s deliver Mark. And that “memory card” that Rusty had, is the note card he uses to scribble down thoughts that make his pupils dilate.

  54. TheDiva
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    H&L: “My weight has fluctuated two pounds. Clearly this is a sign I am on a one-way route to morbid obesity and heart disease.”

    MT: After clearing the Lost Forest of pot-smoking hippies, Mark turns his attention and fists to the internet porn industry.

    9CL: This is such clumsy and heavy-handed sermonizing, even by the standards of abortion debates, that I can’t even summon up the energy to be irritated at it. So congrats, Brooke–you fail at Very Serious Issue strips even more than Tom Batiuk.

    A3G: I’d ask if anyone is really this ignorant and dismissive of anything that exists outside her tiny self-centered universe, but you know, Margo…

    FW: I’m pretty sure that, especially post-Columbine, barging into the office of a school and yelling for the principal is not going to get the desired results. However, if this is the stupidest thing to come out of the gay prom mess, we may count ourselves lucky indeed.

    Luann: “It’s also counterproductive in the long run and probably illegal, which gives me more than enough incentive to be rid of you. Don’t let the door hit you in the permagrin on your way out.”

    MW: Today the role of Bobby will be played by a caricature of 1950s-era Marlon Brando.

    Pluggers are homeless.

    SM: Don’t most Broadway actors do their own makeup, unless they’re playing the Elephant Man or something like that? (Then again, given the average level of competence in this strip MJ would probably poke herself in the eye with the mascara wand.)

    (And be sure to check out the all-new Musical Hell review, Lost Horizon!

  55. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    FW: …….Enter the old bag…

    MW: This Mary Meddle wedding thing was even dumber than the FOOB and Deathy Cancerbean……..damn that Bobby looks so creepy in panel 2………he’s obviously eyeing the hot redhead in the second row..

    RMMD: Two sexy ladies in bathrobes, one tipsy on bourbon in her coffee in an emotional state, the other a controlling, manipulative shrew…..this could be good!

  56. KreatureFeatures
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    I was about to mock Mark Trail for his inevitable abandonment of Rusty when I felt a sharp pang of regret for the times when I left my son alone playing video games and took off on my own solitary adventures. Damn you introspection!

  57. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    @Marc (#41): re FW, I’m still hoping for Summer contracting Restless Leg Syndrome from Keisha.

  58. Rob
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    @Charlene (#40): I like it, actually… the Gil Thorp Lette-O-Matic is testing your powers of obsevation. It deliberately mispels “aborbs” in hope that you would then fail to recogize the miselling of “suprise”.

    Ouch, that hurt to type.

    As to the typos getting through? The newspaper industry has finally fired everyone who could have possibly fixed the problem before the strip was distributed. There’s nobody left but the CEOs and the delivery drivers, and as soon as the newspaper vans can be driven by robots, that’ll change…

  59. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#50): I was thinking it was Sassy, but he’s not that strange cookie-dough color, so I’m not sure.

  60. another brian
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Serves you right for indulging yourself, Lois! Maybe you can work off some of that disgusting neck and arm fat by making your slob husband a humongous sandwich.

  61. Señor Tortilla
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    FC – OH SNAP is that a General Cinemas styled board? That just made my day!

    FW – Remember when Cayla had a character? Even emotions? I swear, Les did something to her. Maybe it was when they had sex. Since then, Cayla has been a bit zombie-like.

    MW – No one says vows simultaneously, do they?

  62. Santa Royale With Cheese
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    MT: Nooooo! I wanted to see the fishing! Not phishing!

    Silly Mark Trail… don’t you know that deviating from an agreed upon course of action (today: fishing) will only result in wacky (mis)adventures? Sighghghghhhhh.

  63. Dood
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    Has Sassy run away — unleashed — lately? This could be a major upcoming plot point.

  64. Dood
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Hey, Oakwood Tires has the same font-family “S” as the Milford Swif-T-Mart. Conspiracy!

  65. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#59): Surely that must be Sassy because Jackelrod only has two types of dogs in his clip art, the Saint Bernard and the Dalmation. Any other canines Elrod has stashed in his filed clip art are all VILLAINOUS WOLVES.
    I stand corrected. There’s also that big female dog that Andy ran off with in Canada. You remember, the dog that belongs to his friend the Canadian mounty who is very popular in his community.

  66. poke salad annie
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#46): Andy is so stoned that he thinks he’s a dalmatian.

  67. NoahSnark
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Is Mark Trail pooping a Jack Elrod?

  68. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    @Rob (#58): Monday’s strip is simply setting up the “surpise” appearance of Thor villain The Aborbing Man in GT. (Hey, something’s gotta “aborb” all that rainwater or the “laddies” will drown!)

  69. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#65): “Surely that must be Sassy”.

    “That may be, but don’t call me Shirley!”

  70. Esther Blodgett
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#59): Mmmm…cookie dough dog. Don’t let Sassy near the drug guys, man. When the munchies hit, anything goes.

  71. debussy fields
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    MT–Mark, you sadistic son of a bitch.

  72. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    @NoahSnark (#67): “Is Mark Trail pooping a Jack Elrod?”

    Close, but Mark Trail is farting it, not pooping it.
    If you don’t believe me, check comment #43 posted earlier today.

  73. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#14):

    Your Mark Trail comment is just as good. There is lots of junk email out there to make fun of.

  74. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    @Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy (#55): MW: Bobby looks creepy and when they start talking of death, Gina looks like she just had a change of heart. Mary sees the uncertainty and pounces for the kill! Full-bore-meddle-rama!

  75. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#70): If those pot-smoking-UPS guys would get the munchies when they see Sassy’s COOKIE DOUGH color then my Siamese cat would REALLY be in big trouble around those guys because of it’s PANCAKE color!

    Mmmmmmm, PANcakes!

  76. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    MT-Poor Rusty. He thinks that being cheated out of another fishing trip with Mark is fun.

  77. Mibbitmaker
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    The Turgid Adventures of Batiuk & McEldowney, Alienation Experts

    Today’s episode: Tommy Boy recreates a ridiculously overblown strawbiddy (not Mary Worth) to pummel his point home with smug extremes and righteous asshattery, making one need to vehemently disagree with him, even though he’s actually correct on the overall issue, the self-important bastard.

    Meanwhile, Brooke tries his very best to make both pro- and anti-abortion people extremely uncomfortable, and succeeds beyond his wildest dreams. He dares the pro-choicers to agree with Glasses Woman, and pro-lifers to agree with Gran (well, us far more moderate ones, at least).

    Next episode: David “Wiley” Miller expresses his extreme jealousy, while Brooke next takes on euthanasia, guns, war and the death penalty, and Tom decides to give Gay Marriage commentary a whirl, with predictable results (see above).

  78. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    MW-Till death do us part. Hopefully not death by Mob rub out.

  79. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    MT – Riddle:
    How many Mark Trail’s does it take to take a Rusty-the-mutant-kid fishing?

    Answer: One to make the offer of taking him fishing, one to pretend he’s listening to Rusty’s excitment about the upcoming fishing trip, one to leave Lost Forest inexpectedly for months and one to fall through the rotted fishing dock he never got around to repairing!

  80. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#57):

    I read the fine print in an ad for a drug that treats Restless Leg Syndrome. It contains the warning: “If you experience symptoms of gambling or sex addiction while on this medication, consult your physician immediately.”

    I presume this is so that the physician can help you place your bets, or serve as a hook-up.

  81. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    Butthead: Uh, huh. Huh. Huh-huh. Mark Trail said “rod”.

    Bevis: Yeh. Henh heh. That was cool.

  82. Hibbleton
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    H&L: Lois’ only regret seems to be that she’s not happy with the headstone she’s chosen. It does look a little small once she’s standing on it.

  83. erdmann
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    MW: In my day (and thank you for reminding me that I have had my day), a bride and groom took turns saying their vows. Do couples recite them in unison now? Or are Bobby and Gina so eager to consummate their perfect love that they’re racing through the ceremony? Perhaps Bobby will take Gina right there on the altar.

    9CL: “An unplanned pregnancy, eh? Kill it! Kill it now! Kill! Kill! KILL!!!!”
    “Uh, actually… I think she might want to keep —”
    “No! The thing must be destroyed NOW! Tell me who she is and I will tear it from her body MYSELF!”

    JP: Oh, come on! It’s been eight days now. Secretary girl looks like she could have potential, but you block our view of her figure. Curse you, Manley, you tease!

  84. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    MT: Did no one notice that Andy turned into a dalmation from one panel to the next?

  85. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    MT: Come on, Mark, admit it. You don’t like to fish. It’s okay not to like fishing. Say it out loud. “I don’t like to fish.” Feel better? Don’t worry, there’s lots of guys that don’t care for fishing. We’re pulling for you, dude.

    Of course the rest of us aren’t outdoor journalists…

  86. Señor Tortilla
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Given that this happy matrimony happens at the beginning of this MW storyline, there’s always a chance for something to happen. Maybe the mob finally catches up to Gina (the ponytail is a giveaway) and shoots Gina. Mary then consoles/meddles Bobby as Gina lies comatose. It’s like a gender-reversed version of the SantaRoyaleMart story.

  87. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    If Mark Trail were truly in the 21st century, he’d check his email on his smartphone while fishing. That way he can give the little cretin what he wants and yet ignore him at the same time.

  88. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Love Is-staring at her ass for hours.

  89. seismic-2
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    Tomorrow in the long-awaited Mark Trail / Gil Thorp cross-over, the fishing trip gets rained out.

  90. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    @Señor Tortilla (#86): But even after his new bride is shot and left for dead, Bobby refuses to make peace with the Mob. The next morning, he wakes up to find the decapitated head of his beloved Gina (the ponytail is a dead giveaway) in bed with him.

  91. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    “What are you going to do now that Ranger Tom Martin has put the drug guys in jail?”

    “After chasing down criminals for the past few weeks, my editor might want me to take a break from that and actually do my job.”

  92. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    MT – Today’s Mark Trail is proof that Jack Elrod not only reads our comments but also enjoys toying with us!
    Elrod, you sadist! Maybe this time you could at least let Rusty get his line in the water long enough to get a nibble or even CATCH A FISH before Mark inevitably runs off and abandons him again!

  93. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    @endless sky (#2):
    I think that’s the other ignored Trail pet (other than Rusty) – it’s name as I recall is Sassy.
    I really like the “Endless sky” in the background of panel 3, though! Rather ironic.

  94. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Has anyone else noticed the Foob index page art?
    Liz is going Aldo with Grampa Jim, Grandma Marion, and April! The steering wheel is on the “British” side as well! Does Wiz think she’s Helen Mirren in “The Queen” or something?

  95. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#17):
    MT – Schmaltz, indeed! Yep, that’s Mark Trail.

  96. Hibbleton
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    MT: If you’re going to reuse clip art in panel three, try not using one that involved a trip to a stable with a white corral. You may also want to take the extra five minutes to paste Andy’s head over Sassy’s (or Rusty’s, who could tell?).

  97. Fashion Police
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    We know that Miss Glasses portrayed Death in Pigporn, but what role does she play in 9 Chickweed Lane? We do like her suit, except that the skirt should be below-the-knee instead of mid-calf. Better proportions.

  98. Cloudbuster
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    MW: One week from now….

    Bobby: What do you mean you only like it in the missionary position, in the dark?

    Gina: What do you mean you want to watch me make out with a hooker and snort blow off her stomach?

    Bobby: What do you mean you don’t like me being off traveling for half the year. I’m a soccer player, it’s what I do?

    Gina: What do you mean, “I spend money like it’s water?” You’re a rich soccer player, right? We have all the money in the world?

    Bobby: What part of “U.S.” and “Soccer” don’t you get? We’re not exactly the NFL. We’re not even the NHL! I travel on a bus, sleep in cheap hotels, change in smelly locker rooms, play injured half the time, because it’s that or get my contract terminated, and the booze, drugs and floozies are the major job perks. Now you want me to give them up?

    Gina: What do you mean, “lose the retarded pony tail?” That’s it! I’m done! I’m going back to Santa Royale.

    Bobby: Fine! I’m telling the Gottis exactly how to find your loser family!

  99. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    April is going to join the family like Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman in The Firm. Steve wants to be a young Wilford Brimley as the company enforcer.

  100. Mibbitmaker
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#97): Arguably, she’s still playing Death.

    BBlues: 9CL is a TV show now? Funky Winkerbean? Mary Worth? Reply All? Marvin?…..

    Doonesbury: Early happy Mother’s Day, everybody!

    JP: Great job, Barney Fife!

    Luann: Oh, NOW Smileyface feels bad about being devious?! Just because the strawmeany likes it?
    That did it! Someone’s got to take Greg Evans over to Characterization School. He seems to lack the basic skills.

    MG&G: ….and specieshood!

    MW: “By the power invested in me by Moy & Giella, I now pronouce you Who and Cares. You may bore the readers…”

  101. Cloudbuster
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#92): I think the slow, cruel crushing of Rusty’s hopes and dreams is about all the edginess that the Trail team can actually slip by the non-ironic fans at the nursing home. They have to have some way of relieving the tedium, I prefer to think they do it through little moments like these, and through the hilariously self-parodying dialogue. And the speech balloons from giant animals. They have to be in on the joke, don’t they?

  102. bats :[
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    Where would I be without Illustrator Steve, Sequitur, queek, Poteet, gnemec…the list of certifiable funny folks is endless here! Of course, you all know that!

  103. Fashion Police
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    @erdmann (#83):
    “Secretary Girl,” as you put it, is none other than Judge Parker’s longest-tenured supporting character, Miss Gloria Sanchez. Neither of Mr. Harold LeDoux’ successors have figured out what she looks like, so she’s become a shape-shifter. The glasses, we believe, are a recent addition. Of late she has mostly displayed a size 2 wardrobe on a size 4 body.

  104. sldawgs
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    Luann: Charlie Brown had thought he had outgrown people taking advantage of him, what with the Rogain treatment and the porn ‘stache but it looks like TJ can see right through him to the inner lughead.

  105. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    MT – Yes, Rusty, we will embark on a fishing trip the likes you have never seen…..WAIT a second, Rusty, there is a telephone rcall coming in that I must answer. Hello? WHAT?! a hillbilly was shooting at some food IN MY AREA when WHAT came up was-a bubbling crude? THIS is serious! I must travel through my area immediatly to explore this latest crisis envolving the environment in my area!

    “WHERE exactly IS “your area”, Mark?”

    “No time for questions now Rusty, it’s somewhere in the southern part of the state!”

    “CAN I come with you, Mark?”

    “I’m afraid not, Rusty, YOU stay in YOUR area and let me tend to what’s going on in MY area! And if you don’t like it you can pack up your little spotted dog and your fishing pole and leave home, which come to think of it, i think is also somewhere in the southern part of the state! Hmmm, ain’t THAT the darndest thing you ever…. well Rusty, I guess you CAN come along with me, seeing as we are already there!”

  106. Cloudbuster
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    Maybe we can set McE’s strawman up on a date with Batiuk’s strawman! They’ll get along, right? The gay-hating prom organizer and the aggressive abortion advocate — opposites attract, I hear.

  107. Baka Gaijin
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Elmo (#5): Hot Monkey Innuendo by Telephone. Newest Christian Rock gold record.

    @Illustrator Steve (#43): OMG! He did!

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#44): I haven’t seen Kill Bill. Did the finale involve snatching a scruffy ponytail off some broad’s head and placing an aged biddy amongst a Jerry Springer audience with the threat of death if she lifts even one meddle-finger?

    @erdmann (#83) on Mary Worth: And then Mary offers helpful suggestions for increased erotic satisfaction, thus deflating any fun that may have happened.

  108. Cloudbuster
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#102): I’m putting panel 4 on the ceiling over my bed … and I’m a straight male. Josh’s raw sex appeal is that powerful.

  109. Chip Whittle
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G: “Do women still die in childbirth in this day and age? Heck, does anyone know what day and age this even is?”

    Funky Winkerbean: I wonder which Mopey Cancer Legatee is going to get Dad’s videotape there.

    Judge Parker: After all this talk about whoever them are not daring to elope I’m ready to elope. This is how people wake up married to Olive Oyl, you know.

    Mark Trail: Who e-mails Mark Trail? And what for? I thought squirrels were all on Twitter anyway.

    Popeye only has 46 cents and three fish hooks because Bud Sagendorf hoped we wouldn’t remember when he had that attic full of bags of pirate treasure a couple stories ago.

  110. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    @Hibbleton (#96):
    I love the idea of going to the MT art offices, grabbing a dogeared manila folder, and having all sorts of little clip art characters and scenes fall out everywhere, like the paper dolls I played with as a child. It seems rather charming in a way.

  111. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    Baldo – I’m pretty certain that isn’t booze in that flask. However, it may contain:

    a) Ayahuasca
    b) Some other herbal tonic she concocted, having learned the recipe from her Great-Aunt
    c) Holy Water, or water from Lourdes
    Any other ideas?

  112. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    Based on what Josh has said, this may be the actual unretouched photo of him chopping wood.

  113. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#102):
    Oh, Wow! Josh the Mighty Highlander!
    Amber, look out! ; )
    (And I’m a gal who generally likes other gals!)

  114. geekwhisperer
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    MT- We’re already onto the next adventure- or will be once Rusty gets his tackle box? How is it we spent month after endless month trying to figure out the mystery of the legal bird banding operation, but the pot guys get a quick smack to the head and we’re done?

    MW- Now Mary knows how to drag something out. We’re now back to the endless Bobby and Gina storyline. I feel whole again. Perhaps now we’ll get resolution over the wrong message bellhop mix-up! Please, that whole episode couldn’t have been just a pointless waste of everyone’s time, right? There will be resolution!

  115. Little Guy
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    MT: Tomorrow, LORD GOD COACH Thorp bursts into the offices of The Weather Channel and berates Jim Cantore.

  116. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#Y230): I think this is McE’s way of telling us that when he’s in the mood, he can create strips of such utter teeth-grinding obnoxiousness that they outdo the work of Batiuk. The ghastly consequence is that Batiuk will now try to prove him wrong. It’s Moralizing May and time to stock up on whatever helps us retain our sanity!

  117. Cici
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Edda can’t be pregnant by virtue of the fact that the gestation period in 9CL is three years and that’s far too long for Brooke to go without weeks of panels of hypersexualized contortions of his monkey-faced protagonist.

    At least we’ll get weeks of hamfisted anti-abortion strips, because that’s exactly what we need.

  118. S. Stout
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    Luann: In a perfect world, Charlie Brown would sue and T.J. would go to jail after the F.B.I. investigates how many people he defrauded.

  119. Little Guy
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    yCrock: Even without the in-joke, “Moving to Blatimore and starting a blog” isn’t a bad punchline in and of itself.

    And there was an extra burn, too.

    At the end, Crock “Yanked” the plug, which made the patient…. the “Yank-ee”.

    A bit of pinstripes servitude.

    yRMMD: Enough with the crying. Drop the robes and get with the sexy. Sheesh. It’s a good thing this isn’t on HBO or I’d be dropping my Triplecast so fast….

  120. TheDiva
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#106): If nothing else, they can bond over the aggravation of being forced into the strawman role. “I keep trying to argue my position in a rational manner, but every time I open my mouth indefensible rhetoric spews out!”

  121. GeoGreg
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    @Señor Tortilla (#61):

    FC: I’m pretty sure the movie theater depicted in today’s panel has been closed for at least a decade. A cinema triplex almost certainly can’t survive today. The script lettering of the “Blesse[d?]” Mall sign indicates it was erected around 1970, I would guess. That, combined with the dated look of the cars in the parking lot, tells us that this is the “old mall” where 90% of the storefronts are closed. The only remaining businesses are nail salons and dollar stores. Faced with the harsh economic realities of raising 4 melonheads in today’s economy, Mommy has taken them on a trip to find cans of potted meat food product and other “bargains” in a desperate attempt to put off the move into Grandma’s basement. The chain-rattling and moaning by Grandpa’s ghost would only add to the horror.

  122. Little Guy
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#119): Moving to Baltimore…..

  123. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#45): Soooo much cuter than the Lockhorns. Thank you.

  124. Gringo
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    Mark Travail: “… now that Ranger Tom has put the drug guys in jail”

    Last I recall, the drug guys were left tied to a tree in the forest, no doubt to be devoured by giant beavers or WOLVES!

  125. Marc
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#85): Mark may be an outdoor journalist, but when is the last time he actually wrote a story? I can’t believe the guy is even still employed.

  126. Baka Gaijin
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @Gringo (#124): VILLAINOUS WOLVES!!! Villainous wolves.

  127. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#102): BWAHAHA!

  128. Craig Horner
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

  129. endless sky
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#116): “Moralizing May” — sort of like sweeps month on TV? But there the goal is to increase ratings, not piss everyone off.

  130. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#125): One of the running theories around here is that Mark was actually conked on the head by a large falling tree back around 1972 and that what we’ve been watching ever since are his coma dreams. That would explain a lot.

  131. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#125): It’s hard to write about something when you know nothing about it. Of course that hasn’t stopped Batiuk.

  132. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

  133. bunivasal
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    There’s no way Mark Trail is pieced together from old art. If it were, it might actually be rendered competently.

    Oh, shit, I was supposed to say something funny. Uh… how about that there Jack Elrod’s method of signing his name to his comics? Pretty unusual, right?

  134. Marc
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#130): That would definitely make sense.

  135. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#101): MT – I agree with you, but I think Jackelrod and his staff, not the fans, are the ones who have been committed to the nursing home.

    “Come on people, we will now spend the following hour ding arts and crafts. Today we will have fun by coloring, clipping and pasting the pictures that we have found. And remember, people, when you use your crayons please try your best to stay within the lines of the picture!”

    “Oh, nurse?”

    “Yes Jack?”

    “Does this beaver picture I clipped from the magazine look big enough when I paste it next to this tiny house?”

    “Whatever turns you on Jack, what ever turns you on. (Nurse Ratchet thinks to herself): “Thankfully my shift is over in ten minutes and I could give a rats patooty!”

  136. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#112): WOW! Besides the shirt, relaxed stance, appearing human by working up a sweat and having a genuine smile and realistic haircut, I’d say that’s gotta be a dead ringer of Mark Trail standing there at the wood pile!

  137. Hibbleton
    May 7th, 2012 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Love is…not wearing your contacts.

  138. Santa Royale With Cheese
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    FW: Sorry if I missed this upthread, but who is filming Angry Lady in the background and why?

  139. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#130): In other words, WHAT we have been forced to look at every day since then is Elrod’s attempt at doing his own stupid dreamed up version of the TV series LOST, with the same frustrations of unanswered questions and grabbing- at-straws type of writing and everything? GENIUS! Pure GENIUS!!

  140. Mumbly_joe
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    The dialogue in that last Mark Trail panel pretty harrowing; I mean, can’t really fault him if Mark Trail wants to wind down from his awesome marijuana bust with some celebratory internet-porn-fueled-masturbation; on its own, it’s perfectly normal to want to want to check one’s own area. But, forcing Rusty to watch, and pretend to enjoy it?

    This is a dark, dark, revelation that Rusty’s adoption wasn’t the end of his abuse, but rather, merely the beginning of a second act.

  141. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#112): Say, ……isn’t that the unibombers cabin in that photo?!!

  142. endless sky
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    @Santa Royale With Cheese (#138): Apparently it’s her husband (Becky’s dad). Becky remarked last week that he records all the family activities instead of participating in them.

  143. wossname
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    I’m catching up on comics after four days without computer, so please allow me to bring up something in Sunday’s comics that I don’t think has been addressed: Is DT doing a bit of hommage to Terry Pratchett by having a character named Mr. Teatime? Or is that another old-school DT character?

    Since I haven’t read the last four days worth of comments, I’m just going to assume that there has been abundant discussion of (a) in JP,the fact that Katherine’s opposition to an elopement has been mentioned so many times, we are pretty much guaranteed an elopement and (b) in RMMD, the matter of Mr. Waxman and his ear problems.

  144. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#132): WHOA! He looked better as Augustus.

  145. greghousesgf
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    maybe Andy’s put on a Dalmatian mask because he’s going to audition for the latest version of 101 Dalmatians?

  146. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    MT – “WHAT are we going to do now that Ranger Tom has put the drug guys in jail?”

    “WHAT?! The drug guys are in JAIL?!! WHERE did you hear that?!! WHY didn’t anyone tell me about this?! Geesh, And after I left the dinner table with one and a half cold pancakes still on my dinner plate just so I could give that so-called two-timing friend of mine, ranger Tom Martin, a boat ride all the way back to get his boat and check the bindings on those UPS drug guys. No wonder he told me to leave him there. THAT was so he could get all the credit!!! I tell you, Rusty, I am so upset by this information that I am going to pack my napsack and LEAVE this place for at least the next three months. AND DON’T TRY AND STOP ME!”

    “Be sure not to call or write, Mark.”

  147. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#120): “And it’s never anything a normal person would ever say!” “And it is generally couched in phrasing that, typically, an ordinary individual would be unlikely to employ.” “Oh, f*ck.” “[something involving beefwits]“

  148. Ranger™
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#146): “Please come home, Mark. ALL IS FORGIVEN.”

  149. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    MT – “WELL, YOU’VE BEEN YAPPIN ABOUT GOING FISHING….I THOUGHT THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD TIME TO GET OUR GEAR AND GO TO THE LAKE TO DO A LITTLE CASTING!”

    “Sorry, Mark. But, with your poor track record as a parent, I am afraid the only thing you would end up CASTING is a shadow over my desire of ever actually going fishing with you!”

  150. Arabella
    May 7th, 2012 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    MT: ~”Cat’s in the Cradle” playing softly in the background~

    Will an aged Mark ever call up adult Rusty to go fishing, only to be told that he (Rusty) has too many other things to do, that they’ll get together “real soon?”

    NAHHHH! ~record scratching to a halt~

  151. Chip Whittle
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: I didn’t even know Gil Thorp coached the spelling bee team.

    Herb and Jamaal: Hey, it’s a Herb and Jamaal definitely written this year! And…it has…Ezekiel hanging a hoodie up on a coathanger. I imagine if I wait long enough I’ll see him ironing his sweatpants.

    The Lost Bear: See, this is why I don’t buy marshmallows. I don’t want mice having indecent relations with them in my sleep. Even less when I’m awake.

    Pluggers, unsurprisingly, mostly talk about marking territory. Well, anything as long as they don’t have to go to the bathroom at home.

  152. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    MT – “Hey Rusty, HOW’s about you and me getting our gear and going to the lake to do a little casting?

    “No way, Mark. The LAST time I went to a waterfront area with you I got trapped under our old station wagon while the tide was coming in. Sassy kept yapping her darn head off at me while I almost drowned as you tryed to lift a 4,000 pound car off of me with a tire jack that you foolishly placed on the loose sand! WHAT the heck were you thinking, Mark? Besides, I don’t want to end up abandoned again by you while I stand on an old dock for months waiting for you to return from some darn wild goose chase!”

  153. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    GT: Get used to it, fellas. Your going to “aborb” a lot more losses if you intend to blow the playdowns again, as you must.

    MT: Since it’s pretty obvious that Jack Elrod has no idea what a post-ENIAC computer would look like, I look forward to a scene of Mark checking his e-mail on a Franklin stove.

    MW: Somehow what was a ridiculously boring wedding in panel one becomes a same-sex wedding in panel two, and hence marginally less boring.

    9CL: I know “House” is ending this month, but I’m pretty sure Charlyne Yi can do better than turn her Dr Park character over to Brooke for strawwoman purposes..

    Agnes: Love “go virile.”

    BC: And here’s how and why prosthetic hands were invented. Granted, it was just a stick tied to BC’s wrist.

    Baldo: Nah. If Tia Carmen were a closet alky she’d be more the type to add food coloring so everyone thought she was drinking lemonade or iced tea.

    JP: Is “elope” today’s secret word? Because I’m very close to screaming real loud.

    RMMD: Iris, to put it in Yakov Smirnov terms, dog need hair of you.

    Drabble: God help me, I always warm to Drabble when it turns to Norman and Echo.

    GA: Pissing off both your companion humans on a regular basis is a great way to get put down by animal control.

    PBS: Inevitable, really, but I still laughed.

    A&J: Arlo’s meta-ness approaches Ted Forth levels.

    H&J: Bentley doesn’t exactly wear “topical” well, it turns out.

    Pluggers: I know Piggly Wiggly is a supermarket seen throughout the South, but isn’t Wriggly Piggy a sex club for the obese?

    DtM: Am I the only one getting Midnight Cowboy vibes here? If Margaret yells “I’m walkin’ here” at a passing station wagon, the image will be complete.

    SSmith: In Hootin’ Hollers arcane barter system, you get to house your mother for a week provided that you’re willing to let your husband bang the next door neighbor. Presumably Lukey is getting an almost-new fishing rod out of this.

    SFx: Count Weirdly’s latest diabolical scheme entails sending two volleyball teams into a sneezing fit. He’s going to get one of his clips on America’s Funniest Home Videos if it kills him.

  154. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    @Arabella (#150): Yeah, I don’t see Rusty starting a family of his own. Not unless he sees the Log Lady about adopting some cordwood.

  155. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    MW: I, for one, am enjoying this story line. When we last left Gina and Bobby, it was all too abrupt a farewell. They SAID that they would get married, but we didn’t SEE it happen. And what of the titular protagonist? If someone of her social stature isn’t invited to her waitress’ wedding, well, that would be a gross insult, of course! I’d vote to keep this saccharine, climax-free love-fest going for another 3 weeks at least! A week should be spent cutting the cake alone! Another week for Bobby and Gina trading sappy mantra ripped off of “Love Is” while writing “thank you’s” to their guests! Yes, yes and YES!

  156. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    @Arabella (#150): Will an aged Mark ever call up adult Rusty to go fishing, only to be told that he (Rusty) has too many other things to do, that they’ll get together “real soon?”

    According to his official King Features website Mark is always 32, so no, it ain’t gonna happen.

  157. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    BB: I think I know what horrifying TV show Wren is watching. (SFW)

    Luann: For a cartoonist who spends so little time on scripting and drawing, Evans sure puts a lot of effort into making sure both of Ann Eiffel’s breasts are rendered with perfectly uplifted curves. Not complaining, just saying.

    PC: Stantis attempts to put off for another week the readers’ discovery that he hasn’t actually come up with a backstory for Winslow yet.

    TAS-M: “While MJ is acting opposite a new leading man, I’ll just do a little exposition tonight.”

  158. Johnny S
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    Is it me, or does that dog turn from a St. Bernard in panel 2 into a Dalmatian in panel 3?

  159. Illustrator Steve
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    MT – “I am excited to FINALLY go fishing with you, Mark! WHEN will we go?”
    “As soon as I CHECK MY EMAIL, Rusty. But first I had better CHECK MY AREA. Then I will have to CHECK THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE STATE. After that I will CHECK THE ENTIRE CANADIAN BOARDER. After that, if it’s not to late in the season to fish, I will CHECK THE FISHING RULES with ranger Tom Martin. THAT reminds me, I should also CHECK MY PLANTS in the undergrowth along the river. Then after I take a second to CHECK WITH CHERRY I may be ready to go fishing with you! That is, if the SuperHero-Markphone doesn’t ring first and if a spotlight beam with the image of a giant beaver isn’t shining on the clouds in the sky, THEN I will go fishing with you, Rusty!”

    “Don’t bother, Mark. I’ll ride my bicycle into town and go smash a window down at the fish market so I can snatch up some of their catch of the day. It will be a heck of a lot easier and lots more fun than waiting around here for your sorry ass!”

  160. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    @Johnny S (#158): The dog in the last panel is Sassy, Rusty’s own very special dog who is allowed to run free in the wilderness and get into all sorts of trouble as part of Mark’s plan to teach Rusty the secrets of Irresponsible Dog Ownership. I’m surprised he doesn’t teach a master class in IDO.

    Meanwhile, Andy is probably still lying on the porch remembering the magic moment when Mark ordered him to attack a perp who was holding a loaded gun. I’m hoping Andy is plotting some kind of revenge that involves a large quantity of potent laxatives.

  161. bats :[
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#108): don’t thank me (well, other than to make known to the whole CC populce your redecorating ideas, which are swell!), thank gnemec!

    @Chip Whittle (#109): I thought the squirrels were all on Chitter. We’ll have to ask Hammy.

    @Sequitur (#112): HERESY!!!

    (Poor Josh…who knew the Crock slap would have such implications, and among your friends and fans, too!)

    @Craig Horner (#128): have you ever had a hunch that maybe you were a twin? The similarities are uncanny!

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#132): I think shopping there would be kind of fun, although the Muzak is always CRANKED UP REALLY REALLY LOUD!

  162. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#157):
    Oh, nice! I really like Baby Blues – it’s right on the edge without ever really becoming (*oh dear!*) offensive to the masses.

  163. Arabella
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    Jump Start: “All bubbles are not created equal” See also today’s Mark Twain.

    Drabble: Love Norman/Echo. So glad they finally found each other. But will the path of true love run smooth? Surely there’ll be some obstacles in the way ( a dead battery, maybe?) And don’t call me Shirley.

    Scary Gary: wins award for “Best Ensemble of Comic Characters”

    Baby Blues: comments here today suggest that Wren is watching TV, but that’s not what my newspaper strip shows. I believe the TV bit was last week. Am I time-tripping again?

  164. Arabella
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    @Arabella (#163): That should of course be Mark TRAIL. (classics are often confused)

  165. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

  166. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Happy birthday, GABBY HAYES:

    http://images2.furycomics.com/viewer/e9/e9d45e730fdbaf2f8ad03ae9ce5c55ba/0.jpg

    P.S. This one’s for True Fable!

  167. Shrug
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    @Arabella (#150):

    As it happens, I did a “Cat’s in the Cradle” MARK TRAIL song back during the Great Goose Band Mystery adventure. From the CC for October 17, 2011 and/or the very rare album SHRUG’S GREATEST HITS:

    “And the Giant Squirrel’s in the Cradle”

    Rusty arrived in the strip one day
    Appeared on the scene in a hideous way
    But Mark had geese to chase and Cherry to shun
    Rusty had to make his own sad fun
    And he was ugly and we knew it, and as dumb as a rock
    He’d say “We’re going fishing soon, Mark
    And you know we’re gonna fix the dock!”

    And the dog’s Up North and so is Trail,
    Little boy left with epic fail,
    “When you comin’ home Mark?”
    “I don’t know when, but we’ll fix the dock up then, son,
    You know we’ll fix the dock up then.”

    The boy cheered up just the other day
    He said, “Glad you’re home, Mark, and gonna stay,
    Can we fish together?” Mark said “Not today,
    Off to Canada,” he said “That’s okay”
    And he walked away but his smile hid a snark,
    And he said, “I’m gonna be like you, Mark,
    Yeah, you know I’m gonna be like Mark.”

    And the dog’s Up North and so is Trail,
    Little boy left with epic fail,
    “When you comin’ home Mark?”
    “I don’t know when, but we’ll fix the dock up then, son,
    You know we’ll fix the dock up then.”

    Mark’s still Up North, and the kid and all
    Are still back home with the Jack Elrod ball,
    And the sunken dock with the broken logs,
    And the mutant fish and squirrels and frogs,
    And the magazine check that’s overdue,
    And they all wait around for you, Mark,
    And the readers have to wait around too.

    And the dog’s Up North and so is Trail,
    Little boy left with epic fail,
    “When you comin’ home Mark?”
    “I don’t know when, but we’ll fix the dock up then, son,
    You know we’ll fix the dock up then.”

    And Andy stops to sniff a tree,
    And McQueen’s well-liked in the commun-itee,
    The fish are biting off Johnny’s pier,
    And Kelly sees Mark and starts to leer,
    Are you ever gonna get that article in?
    You know the plot will have to end right then, Mark,
    Since it will be the End Times then.

  168. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    LUANN – I have to grudgingly admire the attention to detail here. Even the plot holes have plot holes!

    The main plot hole in this week’s arc is, of course, the idea that Ann, a manager of a national fast-food franchise, has thrown out the standard employee agreement and allowed TJ to substitute his own set of rules. Ann allows this, at considerable cost to her dignity, because TJ is the world’s best fast-food upseller.

    Today we see his upsell patter. “Better upgrade – you just might be the millionth customer!”. The customer is all in. No uneasy questions, such as:

    “Aren’t I already a customer? Why must I upgrade my order to qualify?”

    “Well, since your mechanical cash register with no connection to the outside world tells you exactly how many customers the franchise as a whole has ever served, and since I missed the cut, can I just order what I wanted in the first place?”

    “If I wanted to be subjected to obvious lies and disseminations designed to extract more money than I wanted to spend, I would become a used car customer, or a taxpayer! Good day, sir!”

  169. commodorejohn
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    Hey, looks like ComicsKingdom stoped printing out the colored versions onto butcher paper and then scanning them back in before posting!

    9CL – Is that the Anvil Chorus I hear? (Anyway, it’s awfully funny of these people to be bickering about Schrödinger’s Pregnancy when nobody’s even peeked in the “box” yet.)

    A3G – “Er, wait, when is this day and age? Did we ever nail that down?”

    C&B – It’s glorious American tradition, after all!

    Curtis – But Gunther, now we have twenty-four hour news stations! Instead of having a moment of real concentrated coverage at specific points in the day, that same volume is spread out vapor-thin over a whole twenty-four hours, so you can tune in at any point you want and get the same vapid, meaningless drivel, and also now it has to compete for ratings with other channels! What a deal! [*]

    DT – “But does he have ‘Safety Dance’ and ‘Disco Inferno?’ Or ‘Tubthumping?’ Get me a catalog of his collection, I want to know what other inexplicable ’70s-’90s Billboard hit references we could be up against!”

    Dilbert – The Story of Windows 8!

    Luann – Everybody is horrible, I hope they all die.

    Mandrake – GET ON WITH IT! God, I’ve seen gastropods that move faster than this storyline.

    MW – …of course, this storyline, though actually shorter in number of strips, drags on into downright geological time-scale. Is this what porn for 90-year-old women looks like? I hope not, for their sake.

    Monty – See if Pat McManus has a story, he’s always good.

    PBS – That’s exactly what I thought, Pig. We should start our own toast club.

    PC – I see Prickly City has adopted the 9 Chickweed Lane approach to storytelling.

    RMMD – June, shame on you for being so judgemental. Get the lady some damn bourbon!

    Ripley’s – I’d make a snide remark like “because that’s all there is to do in Saskatchewan,” but I can’t. That is totally awesome, needs no justification, and I will say no bad thing about it.

    SF – Well she is Ted’s child.

  170. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    MW — Any guesses regarding the heartwarming music that has been playing as Gina and Bobby tie the knot? I doubt if it’s anything more current than, say, 1983, so here’s a chance to remember some wonderful old earworms!

  171. The Fake Macoy
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    MT – You know, it would be funny if the real twist was that Rusty finally gets to go on his fishing trip.

    9CL – Has anyone ever actually expressed the viewpoint that being pro-choice means thinking all unplanned pregnancies should be terminated regardless of what the mother thinks? Is this what McEldowney thinks the pro-choice side believes?

    FW – The only curiosity I have over this storyline is how Les will get to act like a smug dick about everything at the end.

  172. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#153): “A&J: Arlo’s meta-ness approaches Ted Forth levels.”

    Very true. And he has inoculated the strip against any criticism from here.

    // The artwork is as good as it needs to be, so…

  173. Irrischano
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    “Fishing, eh? Well that’s one way to combat pier pressure!” Mark’s totally thinking that right now. Look at the grin on his face. He doesn’t want to say it but he has no choice. He’s about to crack.

  174. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170): “At Last” by Etta James.

  175. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#167): Wow, impressive! I hope Shrug will continue to share his talents.

  176. Calico
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#174):
    Yes!
    Also, I would hope, “Little Red Corvette.”

  177. Arabella
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#167): Wonderful!! I had missed this the first time around. Thanks for re-posting.

  178. Dood
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    First Mark has to check his e-mail and then get his rod and tackle? What the hell is he doing online?

  179. Baka Gaijin
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#153) on Pluggers: Yes on both accounts. [shudder]

    @Arabella (#163): A dead car battery. A deserted stadium parking lot. Norm’ll get to at least first base. Granted, it’ll probably be when they’re both talking and leaning over and accidentally shove tongues in each other’s mouths. It’s further than Piggyface has gotten in, how many years has he been almost getting it on with Luscious Lips o’Loveliness?

    @Poteet (#170): “MacArthur Park,” the Richard Harris version. You just know that the caterer left the cake out in the rain. And he’ll never have that recipe agaaaaaain.

  180. bats :[
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#167): May I repost this in my blog, Shrug? It is fabulous (I loathe the Chapin song, so this is a gazillion times better)!!!

  181. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#169):

    Re: 9CL – ” it’s awfully funny of these people to be bickering about Schrödinger’s Pregnancy when nobody’s even peeked in the “box” yet”

    I wonder … when the storyline inevitably reboots with the news that she wasn’t actually pregnant to begin with, will anyone lampshade the ridiculousness? “Wow, you could have saved the price of two round-trip tickets to Vienna if you had checked first! That’s a lot of money on an ex-ballerina’s salary!” or “What do you mean you only thought you were pregnant? You didn’t bother to check before you set off all this? Were you just being coy with all the “get used to the idea of being pregnant” and “adjust to the idea of an unplanned pregnancy”.

    Or will be just pretend that this is normal behavior? Oh, Superlative Girl, you are the most self-absorbed thing ever!!!

    However, if -three years later – Edda gives birth to a healthy, nine-pound-six-ounce Idea, it will surely be her first.

  182. commodorejohn
    May 7th, 2012 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @The Fake Macoy (#171): Has anyone ever actually expressed the viewpoint that being pro-choice means thinking all unplanned pregnancies should be terminated regardless of what the mother thinks? Is this what McEldowney thinks the pro-choice side believes?

    Not to get too down and dirty with the topic, but while I’ve never heard anyone express that opinion generally, I have heard a few nitwits express moral outrage over teenage mothers who keep their babies. Of course, they’re hardly any kind of majority, but then when has that ever stopped Brooke from constructing a strawman?

  183. commodorejohn
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170): Shangri-Las, “Leader of the Pack.”

    I’m hoping.

  184. Peanut Gallery
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    @Setec Astrology (#8): I didn’t notice that typo, but my excuse is, my brain was too busy trying to “aborb” the peculiar metaphor. Is “absorb a loss” a thing they say on the sports pages??

  185. yaoi huntress earth
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @LP2004 (#12): Unless the two get into a slap-fight over who’s more profound, this is going to be painful.

  186. Droopy Says
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    @Charlene (#40): I didn’t see GT’s “aborbs” and “surpise” until they were pointed out. Somehow I mistook the strip for FW (well, it’s what FW would look like if Batiuk learned how to draw a straight line). “Aborbs” are little round decorations on your abs. You get them at the tattoo shop. “Surpise” is like a slurpee, only with carcinogenic flavors. You got to Monotony’s, show Funky your aborbs and hope he hasn’t sold out of surpise today.

  187. Baka Gaijin
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    Judging by Nina’s face in panel 2, the judge just cut a silent but deadly.

    Um, yeah, Slylock, a much easier way to tell if there’s liquid inside a hollow sphere is, wait for it, to shake it and listen for the sloshing. Can I get anyone to join me in a “Like, duh”?

    I nominate The Duplex for today’s “Award for Best Sound Effect in Humorous or Semi-humorous Comic.” DINK! indeed. Runner up: One Big Happy for “SWAK!”

    I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! Women trap men with those “no right answer” questions.

  188. Shrug
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#180):

    Of course you may; I’d be honored. My blushes.

  189. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    @The Fake Macoy (#171): One of the best, and most humorous treatments of the abortion debate I’ve read was in Anne Tyler’s Breathing Lessons, in which a woman accompanies her son’s pregnant girlfriend to an abortion clinic in order to talk her out of the abortion. When they arrive, they’re met by a crowd of pro-life protesters. As they battle their way through, the mother is simultaneously arguing with the girl about not getting an abortion while telling the protesters that she can bloody well get an abortion if she wants.

    Much better in the book than it sounds here. But then, Anne Tyler is a talented writer, whereas McEldowney is a shallow, sanctimonious narcissist with delusions of intelligence.

  190. CanuckDownSouth
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    @The Fake Macoy (#171):

    *sigh*

    OK, all this discussion of 9CL sent me to see what the strawwoman is doing. And I agree that no matter what your convictions are, we can all see that McE is portraying sheer lunacy… But.

    But at the start of grad school there was a post-orientation dinner / social hour, and a guy from India started going on about how he didn’t understand why there were single mothers in the US – why aren’t ‘they’ told* they should have an abortion and get on with their lives? (* might also have been ‘pressured to understand’ or ‘they have to be persuaded to’).

    Please note that this came out of the blue – there hadn’t been any discussion of single parents (I don’t think there were any amongst us), dealing with babies vs grad school, or even any stories of single-parent abuse or neglect in the news – the guy acted like this was small talk. I was dearly glad that the guy was nowhere near my department and I didn’t have to interact with him throughout grad school.

    So all I can say is that lunacy does sometimes exist. But that doesn’t excuse putting it in a comic as if it isn’t lunacy!

  191. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#85):

    Come on, Mark, admit it. You don’t like to fish.
    But, in panel two, his stomach says otherwise.

    @Arabella (#164):

    I can only hope that a character named “Mark Twail” shows up to intentionally add confusion, instead of the accidental addition of confusion that normally appears in
    the strip.

  192. Peanut Gallery
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#44):

    MT: You know, this used to be funny, but now it’s just cruel.

    Agreed, but the one saving grace is that Rusty is apparently too stupid to remember all the other times this happened.

  193. yaoi huntress earth
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @Señor Tortilla (#61): Maybe Les in an @Fashion Police (#97): Either that or Brooke sucks are making characters that don’t look totally alike.

  194. Charterstoned
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    MT – What is up with Mark’s shape-shifting body today?? Is he wearing a down-filled shirt in the first panel, or does he inflate like that when he breathes, or is that sporadically huge torso of his just some kind of instinctive defense mechanism that he employs to ward off his ward?

  195. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    off the MarkTrail

    Seriously, in panel three, how hard would have been to ink in Andy’s ears? The fact that he is smaller, well, that could be overlooked because he further away from the front. But, the ears?

  196. seismic-2
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    Well, in honor of what brought Bobby and Gina together in the first place, let’s hope they have their first dance at the reception to Sidewalk Surfin’ by Jan and Dean.

    Then a Mafioso with a machine gun bursts out of the wedding cake. And the hits just keep on coming.

  197. Señor Tortilla
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    9CL – I am “pro-life”, and against abortion. That being said, I don’t trust McEldowney to handle this, not after the crap he’s pulled over the last past few years.

  198. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    JP-Join the family? Is this like “The Godfather”? “April, don’t ask me about my business.”

  199. Peanut Gallery
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#122): But “Blatimore” was funnier!

  200. Señor Tortilla
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#52): On the other hand, if everyone in Westview became gay, that at will least stop them from reproducing (in theory, anyway).

    @GeoGreg (#121): That may be so, but it’s always neat to see a place like this in fiction. The local mall that resembled this was torn down about 10 years ago.

  201. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    MT-Fishing? Why would I want to go fishing? I’ve been saying fisting. Damn this stupid lisp.

  202. aprilglaspie
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    And Brooke McEldowney goes stridently pro-life after a career of comics porno with characters that fornicate like bunnies. Good Lord, what a travesty.

  203. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#48): I’m sorry, but no sentence should ever begin with “The trouble with Mark’s parenting skills…” Rather it’s “One of the innumerable troubles with Mark’s parenting skills…”

  204. Alfred E. Neuman
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#102): Great “punchline”! Or “punchpanel”! It rates a hearty Padumpum!

  205. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#192): I guess you could imagine Rusty being like Dory in Finding Nemo. You could even use Ellen DeGeneres’ voice for him if you like.

  206. Peanut Gallery
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170): Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, “This Girl is a Woman Now”.

  207. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    9CL-She has the choice to abort the baby or to abort the baby.

  208. Arabella
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: Me too, Gunther! Even the Weather Channel has to interrupt the forecast to see what folks in Omaha are saying about it on Twitter and Facebook. I find this trend especially infuriating. (My paper has recently dropped Curtis, so I read it infrequently now. I hope some kindly Mudge will mention it on here if the Cousin Andrew story is ever re-visited. I’ll not hold my breath)

  209. Charterstoned
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    MT – You know, if Jack Elrod had pasted Cherry in there instead of Rusty, the dialogue wouldn’t even have to change so much. Substitute “sex” for the word “fishing” and the whole thing makes perfect sense, with Mark suggesting some naughty games at the lake once he checks his email and gets a fresh pair of underwear. Either way, it’s not going to happen.

  210. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170): I’d go with “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead.” That ought to make Mary nervous.

  211. Peanut Gallery
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @The Fake Macoy (#171):

    Has anyone ever actually expressed the viewpoint that…

    Apropos of your pseudonym, I once saw a political cartoon by Glenn McCoy that expressed something very much along those lines.

  212. endless sky
    May 7th, 2012 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170): Camptown Races (doo-dah) Didn’t the wedding begin on Derby Day? Will it be over by the Preakness? (swish of ponytail)

  213. Arabella
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170): A Horse with No Name

  214. Shrug
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170):

    “Proud Mary” ?

  215. pugfuggly
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#206):

    I was about to correct you on the title (wasn’t it “Young Girl”?), but google told me that they also recorded “This Girl is a Woman Now”. So I guess anything by GP&tUG would probably be appropriate for this occasion.

  216. Baka Gaijin
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#210): Best song yet!

  217. Slug
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Count Weirdly is shooting a volleyball up with drugs. The results are… underwhelming.

  218. ArchieNemesis
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    I went on a quest to locate the last time Mark Trail used the Sassy/Rusty/Mark artwork in today’s third panel. I was unsuccessful, but I’m back to report that the “Sassy Runs from a Bath with Rusty” storyline lasted from April 2010 to July 2010 – nearly four full months. Also, ducks use a one-legged stroke to swim in a circle while sleeping at night.

  219. Little Guy
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    @Slug (#217): “Sadly for Sherlock, Dr. Weirdly used an airpump full of his sneezing gas to inflate the balloon. All the players start to sneeze, and when they go to their nearest pharmacist for pseudoephedrine products to alleviate the sneezing, they are all unable to produce the Federally-mandated ID and are carted off the jail. Dr. Weirdly laughs maniacally.”

  220. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Mark is wearing the same outfit that he wore while busting the drug guys. So, he wears the same clothes day after day, or he has a closet full of identical pink shirts, or the Earth has stopped spinning on its axis and this day will never end.

  221. Jane
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    9 Strawman Lane: because Brooke wasn’t insufferable enough before, apparently. This is going to be excruciating.

  222. Little Guy
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#y238): Again, we follow Evans’ Strawperson Avatar of Past Personal Injustices, and the Prim Glasses Chick is the nurse that persuaded McE’s mom not to abort.

  223. endless sky
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#220): There’s still some drug residue on the clothing. That’s the reason for Andy’s blissful smile, and Mark’s still getting a whiff or two himself. This outfit will never see the laundry.

  224. Hogenmogen
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    @Little Guy (#219): Yeah, I’m still having trouble spotting Weirdly’s profit motive here. But, I’m also confused as to how this raggedy group of beach volleyball players deduced that the ball with the sneezing solution would explode, that Weirdly put that particular item in the ball, or even that sneezing solution exists. I think they saw a heckling green-faced freak behind the tree and let their imaginations run wild. “He turned me into a NEWT!”
    “You were born a newt.”

  225. Chip Whittle
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#224): I guess I’m just thinking Slylock Fox could throw the ball right at Count Weirdly and see if it explodes as a way of seeing if it explodes, but I maybe don’t have a sleuthing mind. I got today’s Inspector Danger right today but for the wrong reason too.

    Would Max put on a shirt if it got him off of the “skins” team?

  226. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    I’m completely flummoxed by Non Sequitor today. I get the basic idea: the recession is so bad that authors have to hold down “real” jobs (as though that hasn’t been true of most authors ever since Gutenberg’s time). What I don’t understand is why the author’s supervisor would be there. What does this mean? Surely it can’t be that the author was unable to attend because the company he works for wouldn’t give him the day off, because in that case they’d hardly be likely to send a more senior employee in his place — even if the place he works for is a fast food joint, as is indicated here.

    So…what? I’m lost here.

  227. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    Damn! Sequitur. Sequitur.

  228. Mibbitmaker
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#186): Since, in this case, “aborbs” is a non-keyboard typo (NOW who’s being pedantic, Mibbit!), readers should not tolerate it.

    Yes, there should be an “aborbs” shun.

    Right, like there isn’t enough of that in the comics lately!

  229. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    slylock foxy detective
    The bird in the tree Weirdly is hiding behind looks like he sees through the delusion that is the result of Weirdly’s fevered, addled mind. He just sees a green-skinned man hiding behind a tree for no reason unaware of the hallucination that is playing out before Weirdly’s masked, beady eyes.

    So the bird doesn’t see:

    The volleyball playing alligator looks pleased, very pleased, ball-lickin’ pleased.

    Meanwhile, Yicky Mouse looks like he is prepared to draw his gun and take out the alligator. The idea that he may packing heat still doesn’t explain his clownish, pink derby, but, at least the hat matches the shorts.

  230. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

  231. Cloudbuster
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    @aprilglaspie (#202): I’m not sure he’s done messing with us yet. The strawman is almost too obvious — it’s a liberal’s parody of what a liberal thinks a conservative thinks pro-choice people are like (get all that?), so that if/when it gets demolished, Edda will be able to have an abortion without seeming like the villain.

  232. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    slylock, continued

    I believe I’ve cracked the riddle of why Slylock rarely looks where his nose is pointing:

    he’s sly like a fox.

  233. Master Softheart
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    9CL: In the former Soviet Union, abortion was very widely used as a form of birth control and generally came to be seen culturally as non-controversial (some interesting articles on this history have appeared in the journal “Studies in Family Planning” and a few comparative sociology journals). Colleagues and friends from these countries, in my experience, consider laws restricting abortion for any non-medical reason to be somewhere between evidence of insanity and and a distasteful religious holdover from the medieval world. For some people with this cultural background, the default assumption would in fact be that pregnancy for a late teenaged or early 20′s ballerina would constitute career death and that America’s anemic welfare state would condemn an unemployed single mother in New York who had lost any chance of following her professional dreams to a life of destitution and misery (or dependence on her family for child care and basic necessities, at best). Such a person might well feel that it is irresponsible for a young woman in that position to carry a child to term and try to raise that child without support.

    The woman in the comic, however, seems not to be from a cultural background that would make this attitude plausible. She also does not seem to have reasoned her way to an opinion about this case based on anything at all. Instead, she seems to be someone who simply believes that pregnancies should be aborted. Oh, and she seems to have no clear understanding about widely accepted American cultural norms regarding privacy (Mary Worth excepted, of course) or respect for widely current ideas about individual autonomy.

    So, really, I’m not able to defend any aspect of this heavy handed straw-woman excursion. I guess I’ll just imagine that the comic would be kind of neat and fairly realistic (while accomplishing what I assume is the author’s artistic goal of social relevance) if the woman had been a visiting ballet person from Moscow or something and offered a well reasoned but radical critique of the entire abortion debate based on a completely different set of cultural priors.

    I admit that this might be a bit much to expect of someone whose storytelling talent generally runs to using his characters for several weeks to model clothes and thinking himself exceptionally clever for circumventing censorship for sexually explicit content through the patented use of humping hands. But it is better to live in hope than to dismiss a comic entirely.

  234. cheech wizard
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    MW – “Till Death do us part.” This is what is known as foreshadowing. I guess those mobsters are still around.

  235. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#225): If the ball is filled with liquid, why can’t he just shake it and see if it sloshes? And if it’s completely filled up and doesn’t slosh, then it would be so heavy that the weight alone would give it away. Right? And while I’m hardly a sports expert (it turns out Tiger Woods isn’t the name of a misconceived subdivision in Asia), I’m pretty sure that volley balls don’t tend to explode no matter how hard you hit them. I mean, they’re kind of made for that specific purpose, aren’t they?

    As for motive, I suspect that Count Weirdly was trying to induce a massive sneezing fit in order to avoid the all-but-inevitable carnage that was bound to occur by pairing an alligator and a rabbit on one team, and a dog and cat on the other.

  236. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#230): Just testing.

  237. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    a3g
    Appropos of nothing, Tommie and Margo are derobing, playing the slowest game of strip poker ever.
    maryworth
    I’m on the record about where I wanted this storyline to go. Happily ever after wasn’t the ending I was wishing for the title character.
    Seriously though, how many weeks have passed in the lead up to this surpise wedding? Given what has and is transpiring, wouldn’t a phone call to Mary been enough?

    If there is anything going on during this ceremony it is that the bride is slowly losing her ponyboner.

  238. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    @The Fake Macoy (#171): Apparently so. He had a rant about it at Pibgorn a couple of weeks ago.

  239. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    @aprilglaspie (#202): He’s not pro-life. He’s pro-Burber. Heaven forfend any of those precious snowflakes ever come to harm.

    The rest of yous? Meh.

  240. Arabella
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    I’ll briefly interrupt the snark to thank the posters here for their reasoned and civil comments on the 9CL Very Special Storyline. On many forums this topic would bring out ranters on both sides, since most people have a definite opinion on the subject and aren’t looking to be convinced otherwise. I’m really glad that I found this haven of humor and respect.

    Now….How about that Mark Trail? Isn’t he a hoot?

  241. Señor Tortilla
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#231): I don’t think so. “Clever subtlety” and “9 Chickweed Lane” aren’t on speaking terms.

  242. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    Here’s McE’s motivation, such as it is. (As I said, it’s not really about abortion, nor taking a side on it. It’s about pissing people off and cackling about it.) Entertainingly, he seems to think that straw people and Burbers represent engagingly flawed characters, instead of the virtuous insufferables he claims to want to avoid.

    Of course the irony is that in making all these in-comic digs at his critics, he’s made them a key part of his work. You’d think, given how highly he holds the latter, and how much he despises the former, he’d be better off just ignoring them.

  243. un malpaso
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    Fun with metaphors… Death By Chocolate is MUCH funnier when it involves actual death. Hahahahahaha, chuckle, snort! Even though this gag was already old when “CSI” used it five years ago. But in comics, shelf dates don’t really matter, do they? Five years is super-fresh for a comics gag!

    “In a world… where 150-year-old-jokes… never die… one man… will take a stand.” Josh, I see your destiny with hope, and I rejoice as the Crock creator cringes in fear: Shaker of ancient thrones… destroyer of bad puns and eternal storylines. Seriously, this humor laziness deserves all the ridicule we can give… and more.

    Sorry, was just having an anthemic moment

  244. Chip Whittle
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#235):

    If the ball is filled with liquid, why can’t he just shake it and see if it sloshes? And if it’s completely filled up and doesn’t slosh, then it would be so heavy that the weight alone would give it away. Right? And while I’m hardly a sports expert (it turns out Tiger Woods isn’t the name of a misconceived subdivision in Asia), I’m pretty sure that volley balls don’t tend to explode no matter how hard you hit them. I mean, they’re kind of made for that specific purpose, aren’t they?

    Well, how much he injected and how much the sneezing gas weighs, so, Weirdly gets a pass on that.

    Same with the exploding. I took the phrasing to mean, it’s possible the sneezing gas will explode, not the volleyball itself. Imagine it being filled with cartoon nitroglycerine.

  245. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#244): But it’s not gas. It’s liquid. It says so right in the comic. Twice. It says it twice. I’d have given gas a pass (inadvertent joke there), but it specifies liquid!

  246. UncleJeff
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#235): This is beginning to sound like the “Mythbusters” episode where Jamie and Adam inflated footballs with helium to see if they would fly farther than footballs filled with regular old air out of a compressor.
    The verdict: not really.

  247. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    @Arabella (#240): Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m afraid I’ve got to speak up on this one, and to do so without couching it in the politically-correct language with which we so commonly address it. As perilous as it may be to my reputation, I refuse to temper my language. I will speak without equivocation — a word, interestingly enough, from the Greek, meaning “the fallacy of using a word in different senses at different stages of the reasoning”.

    But on this subject, no equivocation can be allowed. And certainly we want to avoid the near-surrealistic nonsense it can lead to, such as that which occured during the impeachment hearings for Bill Clinton:

    It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.

    And that was simply in answer to the question, “For the record, what is your name?”

    Naturally, I’m not without sympathy for those who engage in such verbal gymnastics. With the whole world monitoring our every word, ready to pounce on any insult (real or imagined) with all the ferocity of a wolf pack descending upon a visiting grandchild, it’s only natural to become overly cautious. Still, when peace is called “pre-hostility,” software bugs are promoted as “undocumented features,” and missiles that kill innocent civilians are passed off as “incontinent ordnance,” it is well past time we put a stop to pussyfooting around the real issues.

    Especially ones as far-reaching as this particular topic.

    I am determined to speak plainly about the matter in an unambiguous vocabulary, unlike those feel-good and utterly meaningless platitudes that have taken the place of analytical thought. “Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you,” says Dr. Wayne Dyer, the Lex Luther of self-help gurus. I guess all those dudes objecting to Nazism were just mucking about in their own negativity, is that right, doctor? Or should I say, “doctor of education”? — a degree which has been given out for such momentous topics as bulletin board design (no, really).

    But this is not a topic about which we can afford to indulge in the meaningless doublespeak and jargon so popular among the more cowardly of today’s commentators, or to fall back upon the ofttimes subversive platitudes of positive-thinking guides. This issue must be faced squarely and spoken about without fear of reprisal.

    And if I’ve offended anyone in doing so, I’m sorry — but it had to be said.

  248. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#246): I remember that one! I love the Mythbusters — and I’m really proud of NCIS for featuring them on occasion.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that Count Weirdly filled the ball with liquid!

  249. commodorejohn
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#247): While we are taking a stand for clarity, I’d like to note that you probably intended to refer to Lex Luthor, Brilliant Evil Capitalist and arch-enemy of Superman, where you instead referred to Lex Luther, who…I dunno, probably led the Reformation against the Church of which Superman was the Space Pope, in an alternate universe or imaginary story, or something.

  250. Chip Whittle
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#245): But how much liquid? (Yeah, I was focusing on it releasing the sneezing gas.) Five ounces? Sure, no passing that off in a normal volleyball, which comes in at between eight and a half to ten ounces. But a quarter-ounce? I can buy that not drawing any attention, certainly not by weight, maybe not by sound either, especially since there’s a pond immediately nearby to add confounding splashing noises.

    With the setup not being specific about how much liquid was in the supposed injection–and it doesn’t say Count Weirdly filled the ball, just that he supposedly injected something into it–we can suppose that it’s whatever is needed to build up the plot.

  251. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#170): There’s also “Gina” by Johnny Mathis.

  252. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#233): Most thoughtful comment I’ve seen on this yet. The Soviet Union had a great deal of influence on the non-religious technocratic population of India.

  253. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#231): For those of you who are at home or don’t work for companies with Draconian IT Departments (r), do a Google search on the terms “The Onion, abortion”.

    This is where I think McE is getting today’s fodder. Maybe Edda can take a visit to the Oklahoma AbortionPlex! Hopefully, she’ll take the time to visit Rep. John Fleming while she is there.

  254. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#247):So, how do you feel about whiskey?

  255. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#250):
    What’s the worst part of the scheme? Is it that sneezing gas will be released or that the ball will explode? It seems like a balloon popping and releasing this so-call gas would be less of a problem. But, a volleyball? Someone might get spiked?

    oh.
    wait.
    did weirdly “spike” the ball?

  256. Here Come ole Flattop
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#233): I believe to attribute sanity to anything the former Soviet Union did is questionable. They really weren’t THAT progressive, you know. . .

  257. Peanut Gallery
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#247): Why do you hate America?

  258. Peanut Gallery
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#257): (Does it have anything to do with “A Horse With No Name”?)

  259. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#249): Now see, that post (yes, I plagiarised myself) will have been on my blog for three years this coming July, and nobody ever noticed the misspelling of Luthor’s name — but within eight minutes of it appearing here, a correction is posted.

  260. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#242):

    Interesting link. Not the bloviation about whether readers feel Edda should “avail herself of an abortion”, but the continued use of the construction that she is grappling “with the idea” of an unwanted pregnancy. Clearly, he is going to take the coward’s way out in the end and hit reset on the idea that she might be pregnant.

    Everyone knows that their favorite comic strip or sitcom is almost certain to resolve this week’s dilemma by hitting Reset and pretending it never existed (Sgt. Armin Tamzarian FTW). But you need to show some craft in designing the reset. In this case, it is so obvious that it takes over the whole storyline. None of these months of soul-searching or globetrotting touch a nerve, because it is impossible to get over the need to shout “get a damn pregnancy test!”.

    For someone who prides himself on his vocabulary, he can at least find expressions other than “the idea of being pregnant”. He needs another obfuscation. Obviously, “ovulatory obession” offers opacity.

  261. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#254): Just as strongly, and willing to say so without flinching.

  262. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

  263. cheeky wee monkeys
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    I think Lois simply got tired of everyone and secretly released a terrible plague upon humanity for kicks.

  264. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#258): That would be an exceptionally good reason.

    // “For there ain’t no-one for to give you no pain, la la la la…”

  265. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    Answers to Sunday’s Soup to Nutz:

    1) Mort [Bazooka Joe Gum]
    2) Waldo [Where's Waldo]
    3) Charlie Brown
    4) Mickey Mouse
    5) Fred Flintstone
    6) Elroy Jetson
    7) Marvin the Martian

    http://www.gocomics.com/soup-to-nutz/2012/05/06

  266. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    @Here Come ole Flattop (#256):

    “Sanity” and “competence” are two different concepts, however. The Soviet Union ran on the idea of maintaining a certain minimum level of competence underneath the insanity. Just enough to get by, without being so competent as to be dangerous.

    They did achieve a minimum level of competence over time in reprogramming their victims with entirely new cultural expectations that happened to be more in line with the demands of a totalitarian state. Their abortion policy is a good case study of this. It also fit in well with their pre-existing overall agenda of secularization.

  267. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#261):
    Most commendable. “Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders.”

    // That explains your Luther obsession. Some might call it ichy, but I admire you for it.

  268. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    Shoe: Has anyone else commented on the fact that not only does Skyler’s desk grow by a good eight inches between the first and last frame, but that Shoe has also apparently eaten his cup after finishing his coffee? No? Probably not worth mentioning then.

  269. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#267): “Tuttavia, si muove.”

  270. commodorejohn
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:29 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#264): God damn it.

    *hums the impossibly catchy twangy guitar solo, FOREVER*

  271. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#269): So, we’ve gone from a diet of worms, to vermicelli, eh?

  272. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#271): You say that like there’s a difference.

  273. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#272): Couldn’t resist the opportunity of making a pun in three languages in one sentence.

    // Ouch! Damn! Strained my arm patting myself on the back! AGAIN!

  274. Droopy Says
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#266): Huh? I did a lot of Sovietology in college, so I’m perplexed by this. The Soviet leadership could be competent when they felt like it, which admittedly didn’t happen often; their only agenda, as near as anyone could tell from reading the tea leaves, was “the purpose of power is power.” If they’d been any good at reprogramming people’s beliefs and expectations, they’d have stayed in business a lot longer. They made abortion freely available, but they also offered the Mat’ Geroina medal (Hero-Mother of the USSR) and other inducements to any woman who had ten or more children. The inducements weren’t adequate, but the policy was more in line with totalitarian behavior.

    Okay, Josh, that’s all I’ll say about this. Unless it turns out that Lost Forest is actually Trofim Lysenko’s long-lost handiwork.

  275. K^2
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers go from store to store defiling bathrooms with their horribly irritable bowels.

  276. Jon
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    @Chareth Cutestory (#15): Guilty as charged! But I’m not an idiot – just open to the possibility that there are crazy- and/or incorrect-sounding words that I don’t know yet.

  277. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#273): And I just realized the full significance of that whiskey reference. Damn! I’m starting to repeat myself. I don’t mind when I do it on purpose, but when I don’t realize I’m doing it, it makes me feel like I’m mumbling in my sleep.

  278. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    MT-Uhm right jail. That’s where the drug guys are now they’re in jail. Yep locked up safely in jail and not left out in the woods to die.

  279. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#277): I like to think of it as a chorus: the best part of the song.

  280. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft-Ed Crankshaft is also riding the white pony.

  281. dofnup
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    I’m sorry, but all I saw after reading the second panel of the Gil Thorp comic was “OK, this is the ABORBS when I finally ABORBS to work ABORBS up to get ABORBS about the Gil ABORBS spring ABORBS. Yay, we’ve got … ABORBS and a ABORBS? Aw, ABORBS.”

  282. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox-Slylock will demonstrate today’s solution on Max. He will hold Max’s head underwater until the last bubble pops.

  283. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorpe-Milford aborbs a loss the way nature aborbs a vacuum.

  284. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    @Jon (#276):”…open to the possibility that there are crazy- and/or incorrect-sounding words that I don’t know yet.”

    Absolutely right, sir! There are, never doubt it. The English language is so vast and amazing that you can always find something surprising.

    // That’s why I never liked “sniglets”. There are so many groovy real words out there, making silly new ones up is just being lazy.

    // Not that I googled “ABORBS”. That was obviously fatuitous.

  285. JennyGee
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    Hey, remember when 9cl was actually kind of funny?
    http://joshreads.com/?p=557#comments

    Well that’s over with.

  286. Liam
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    MT-In the last panel Rusty is not commenting on the soon to be cancelled fishing trip he is commenting on the next several days of Mark checking his email.

  287. cheech wizard
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    9CL – I have to think that the uptight scold is based upon Brooke’s email correspondence from readers, who have been urging him to have Edda get an abortion because they cannot abide the idea of another Burber woman coming into this world. They’re saying “This is about Choice – because if I have to contend with another self-righteous, eternally indignant, fascist female – one who will shortly be in her Terrible Twos, no less – I will choose to never read this prancing pile of pretentiousness again!”

    And it will be a female, because the Burber uterus is toxic to masculine life. This explains why Kiesl has lived in contented chastity these past 60 years, Juliette bore only one child with her cowering husband and Amos is such a choir boy – a 17th century, Venetian choir boy.

  288. commodorejohn
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    @JennyGee (#285): …

    =O

    How are there that few words in the strip? There’s actually white space in some of the panels!

  289. seismic-2
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#270): It really needs a Bender Blaster.

  290. Ursula
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#106): Well said! I was just thinking that 9CL glasses woman was the perfect definition of a straw man.

  291. Trillian
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    9CL: “TERMINATE it now, before it grows up, moves to Baltimore, and starts a comics blog!”

    Luann: Ah, this poor weenie customer must be Charlie Brown and Marcie’s son!

    FC: “Blessed are the cinemas, for they shall show “The Ten Commandments” at 1 and 3 this afternoon.”

    Genuine LOL’s at Dilbert, PBS, and Sally Forth (My daughter is a bit oblivious like that. Maybe we’re just characters in her comic strip.)

  292. Trillian
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:45 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#287): If Amos is a eunuch, then Edda can’t be pregnant!

  293. Écureuil Écumant
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:45 pm [Reply]

    GT: Art by Rod Whigham … lettering by Marty Moon.

  294. cheech wizard
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    @Trillian (#292): Only takes once… for both.

  295. cheech wizard
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:51 pm [Reply]

    Actually, 9CL would be so much more believable and more internally consistent if Edda had simply ripped his head off and devoured it the first time they had sex. The same with Kiesl and whatshisname – Mr. Juliette.

  296. Écureuil Écumant
    May 7th, 2012 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    MT: Andy’s obviously enjoying dragging himself along that bearskin rug.

  297. Dr. Shrinker
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    I think the typos in GT are just demonstrating that the alien infiltrators who write it are slipping up. We’ve known for years, with their “playdowns” and such that no HUMAN could be writing this strip. And has anyone ever used the term “absorb the loss” when referring to sports? Ever? You might need time to “absorb the loss” of a family member, but even then it sounds gross and wrong.

  298. Écureuil Écumant
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#59): You sure it’s not cookie-dough dog with vitiligo? What was that doofus’ name again, “Pancake”? Or was it “Flapjack” — or “BumperJack”.

  299. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    @Dr. Shrinker (#297):

    Count Weirdly could only be so fortunate to have such a swinging theme song
    like you do, Doc.

  300. Señor Tortilla
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    @JennyGee (#285): Or “padding things out”, even. I swear, Mary Worth moves at a faster pace.

    @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#242): Well, that’s disappointing and relieving at the same time. It’s worse than Batiuk’s stance on his issue, which is less “LGBT people have it tough in this world” and more “Please give me a GLAAD award, my ego needs fluffing”

  301. SurrealKangaroo
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    I am sure this has already been said 100 times but, why does Lois have a scale in the living room?

  302. Écureuil Écumant
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    MW: I’ve seen plenty of characters’ eyes bug out in concupiscence or fright. Not until Bobby, in the second panel, have I seen eyes shrink away and retreat back into the skull in cringing horror. Gives him sort of a Cretaceous panache.

  303. cheech wizard
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#302): They really don’t look like a couple reciting their wedding vows, do they? More like they’re mindlessly chanting an invocation intended to bring the dead staggering from their tombs. Of course, Gina already summoned Mary from California, so it would be somewhat redundant.

  304. bats :[
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    @Trillian (#292): my thinking is that the Burber women reproduce by parthenogenesis (aka, “virgin birth,” essentially cloning themselves — the result is always female offspring). This is a good option in hostile environments when there’d be a lot of stress or energy expended in trying to find a male for sexual reproduction. One common example in the deserts of western AZ/eastern CA is whiptail lizards, although I’ve learned recently that Komodo dragons can also reproduce parthenogenically! Huh!
    Now, the downside of this is that asexual reproduction doesn’t allow gene mixing, which is very important if the environment changes and organisms have to adapt to these changes or die out. Of course, the Burber women only live in perfect environs, and things Wouldn’t Dare Change, would they?

  305. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#yy262):

    Probably the tamest Art Frahm artwork I’ve seen anywhere:

    http://s001.radikal.ru/i194/1103/39/de80734a8de0.jpg

    (Safe for work — and everywhere else!)

    P.S. On “Free Comic Book Day” last weekend, I picked up a doozy: Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley by Crockett Johnson, which reprints strips from 1942 and 1943.

  306. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    @SurrealKangaroo (#301): Because one weighs less in a larger room.

  307. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#304): Nice theory — even if it doesn’t explain Uncle Roger.

  308. Red Greenback
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    @SurrealKangaroo (#301):
    According to Lois, it’s the “dying” room.

  309. Écureuil Écumant
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    @erdmann (#83): “MW: In my day, a bride and groom took turns saying their vows. Do couples recite them in unison now? Or are Bobby and Gina so eager to consummate their perfect love that they’re racing through the ceremony?”

    And the ironic thing is the one solitary phrase they left out: “To love and to cherish”. Without which it ain’t worth a bucket o’ warm spit.

  310. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#174): @Calico (#176): @Baka Gaijin (#179): @commodorejohn (#183): @seismic-2 (#196): @Peanut Gallery (#206): @Sequitur (#210): @endless sky (#212): @Arabella (#213): @Shrug (#214): @Rocky Stoneaxe (#251): Thank you all for a truly inspired musical lineup. As your highly appropriate and varied musical numbers play through my brain, it’s as if I’m actually there, standing at the scene, watching Gina and Bobby get married, and thanking God that a fellow victim, er, guest just whispered to me that the reception will feature an open bar.

  311. Nehemiah Scudder
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#305): “Probably the tamest Art Frahm artwork I’ve seen anywhere”…

    Except it seems to have been signed by an “Andrew Loomis”.

  312. Sequitur
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#310): You poor dear. At least a toast can be made at the open bar.

  313. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    I’m horrible with math however after doing some quick calculations, it seems “Hi & Lois” can become 10% funnier if wacky neighbor Thirsty McGlugglug appears in the gag panel laughing so hard his tongue is lolling, a la LOLing Snuffy Smif.

    Math is fun! I’m horrible at having fun.

    But, seriously, H&L should pivot a bit on the depression-era middle class humor. It could be funnier without invoking death, spousal abuse and luddite melancholy. Turn that frown upside down, Hi!

    For instance, in today’s strip:

    Panel One, Lois on scale weighing herself as Hi looks on, says:
    I splurged and had “Death By Chocolate” cake for lunch.
    Panel Two, Thirsty stands next to Hi with hand extended awaiting the “Hi Five!” while his tongue is lollygagging and Hi delivers the gagline by saying, in his best Tracy Morgan impersonation:
    I’m gonna get me some o’ that sweetass for dinner!

    Your welcome, Walker Offspring!

  314. Baka Gaijin
    May 7th, 2012 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    Gina and Bobby’s wedding needs an exploding volleyball filled with sneezing powder right about now.

  315. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    May Third’s Hi & Lois, the one with the reading glasses

    Panel One, close up of scene.
    Lois:

    Those are my reading glasses.
    Hi, holding reading glasses says:
    How many pairs of glasses do you need?
    Panel Two, wide shot of scene.
    Hi, Lois and Thirsty in living room where pairs of drinking glasses sit on all surfaces, some half empty, most of them empty. Thirsty, tongue a’lolling says,

    It’s only a problem if she tries to hide it!

  316. Dewey Bunnell
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#264), @commodorejohn (#270): Yeah, but the heat was hot, man! I’m just sayin’…

  317. Trillian
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:25 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#304): I always knew there was something reptilian about the Burber family…

  318. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    April 24, Hi & Lois in Down Real Estate Market Funnies

    Panel One,
    Hi and Lois in front seat of car driving along. Hi says,
    Doesn’t the real estate market heat up in the Spring?
    Lois says,
    Usually.
    Panel Two,
    Wide shot revealing the scene with the addition of Thirsty in the back seat, head hanging out the window like a happy dog. Thirsty says,
    My arsonist-for-hire business is smokin’!

  319. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

  320. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    H&L Coupon Clipping
    In this one, replace Chip with Thirsty and have Lois clipping out coupons as shown.
    Panel One, Thirsty says,

    Why do you clip coupons?
    Lois says,
    I can save a lot of money on things.
    10,20 even 50% off

    Panel Two,
    Thirsty leans over Lois and is buck naked, with a beer can covering sensitive parts. Lois has shocked look on face as she glances over her shoulder. Thirsty says,

    Lois, love is free!

  321. Miss Priscilla Smoot
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#320): Well now you’ve gone and done it, Mr. TallyHo (if that’s even your real name!) You’ve taken that sweet, innocuous, bland, suitable-for-shut-ins comic and turned it into something SMUTTY and DEGENERATE. I suppose next you’ll have Trixie thinking filthy thoughts! I DEMAND to see the responsible adult here.

  322. Dr. Erector
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    @Miss Priscilla Smoot (#321): Excuse me Miss Smoot. Your enema is ready.

  323. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#311): Oh, my stars and garters, you’re right! And here’s a not-so-tame MERMAID by Andrew Loomis:

    http://anillustratorsinspiration.blogspot.com/2012/01/andrew-loomis-mermaid.html

    (This one’s NSFW!)

  324. tallyHO
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    @Miss Priscilla Smoot (#321):
    Tut, tut, Miss Smoot.
    I failed to mention that it would cease to be a family strip and would be a one about a young middle-class couple that has no kids. That’s where the insertion of the ever present Wacky Neighbor, and the occasional, Wacky Neighbot ™ ©, would allow the mirth making to breath deeply and allow the strip to entertain an even larger audience.

    Surely, you can understand why this is needed. The strip comes across as trying to be a salve for those experiencing difficult times in these trying economic times. While being relevant will help ensure the strip makes some connection and enable to the strip to become a cultural artifact in the future, my proposed changes will lift up the spirits of the downtrodden and make them laugh and laugh now, and not just laugh now in nervous recognition of “the truth” that things are so difficult.

    Granted, I have no sway whatsoever in the Snuffy Smiffication and Love-is-iation of Hi & Lois. So this is at best an un-commissioned experiment.

    So sorry to have shocked you so that you felt compelled to write a letter. I do thank you for your concern.

    Tally ho!
    TallyHO

  325. Santa Royale With Cheese
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    @Trillian (#291): It only took 291 comments to get there, but COTW all the way for the 9CL remark.

    As for Brooke McStrawman, you’re all forgetting that he went to Joo-lee-yard, and therefore is operating at a level that few can surpass, or comprehend. Then again, Christopher Reeve went there too and who doesn’t love Christopher Reeve? (RIP, but still.)

  326. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 7th, 2012 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    Sorry if anyone else has posted this, or rather credit where credit is due. It’s a MacLean’s blog entry on this past Sunday’s Crock and its swipe at Josh. Basically telling Kevin Rechin everything his inner wise man should have told him before he sent the damn thing in.

  327. Poteet
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#312): Thanks! You have an uncanny talent. I talked with that dude and it turns out he hates Gina’s ponytail almost as much as I do.

  328. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#314): Liquid! It was sneezing liquid! Weber points that out. Twice!

  329. Baka Gaijin
    May 7th, 2012 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#328): Powder aerosolizes better for more full coverage of the wedding attendees.

  330. Der Schnärkïnätör
    May 8th, 2012 at 12:17 am [Reply]

    MT – Phone call? Bet he never gets to the pot bellied stove to “check his email”.

  331. Droopy Says
    May 8th, 2012 at 12:26 am [Reply]

    The Amusing Spiderman: What a shame that MJ has the proportional observation and reasoning skills of Inch High Private Eye.

    For Better Or For Wankerbeat: Oddly enough, “Low battery reading” applies to the typical FW personality.

    Family Circus: Blessem Mall? I called that one yesterday, and Vera Lynn hasn’t spoken to me since.

    Pluggers: A paradox: I’m old enough to be a Plugger, which means I’m old enough to remember when Lakewood, California called itself “The Friendly Caucasian City.” Remembering a flaw in a lovely Plugger neighborhood means I’m not really a Plugger, doesn’t it?

    Mock Trail: Trail was really in a hurry to answer his e-mail, wasn’t he? And what a surprise he gets a phone call instead. I guess Elrod couldn’t find any clipart of someone opening an e-mail envelope. Once again Rusty loses out!

    Beetle Bailey: Team Squiggle, this is the way for a legacy strip to express itself: come right out and say you’re afraid of being ignored!

  332. Poteet
    May 8th, 2012 at 12:56 am [Reply]

    5/8 S-M — Wow, look at the deep apprehension on the faces of the audience. It has become very clear that desperate vulnerable people are being recruited and paid to attend this ghastly production, and they’ve obviously been warned by previous attendees that although the male actors are horrendous, MJ, who is about to appear at any second, is far worse.

  333. ElkMeadow
    May 8th, 2012 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    RMMD This arc is taking as long as “Berna won the lottery.” However, there is eye-candy this time, while last time, there was only on panel of pie.

    MW Is Bobby turning into a vampire in that last panel? Is that why Gina looks scared?

  334. Poteet
    May 8th, 2012 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    5/8 GA — Lovely. To go along with the irresponsible dog ownership portrayed in MT, GA continues to show us How Not To Be A Good Cat Owner.

  335. Poteet
    May 8th, 2012 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    5/8 A3G — Waaaait a minute. We were distinctly told, weeks ago, that Nina did not want to have a baby in the first place and was pressured into getting pregnant by her idiot husband. Obviously she shouldn’t have given in to him. Her fault. But if the idea here is to conflate two situations and imply that women who don’t want to have children are just putting up a shield against fear and loss, I am going to have to do an extended rant again, and we don’t want that, nonono.

  336. Dennis
    May 8th, 2012 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    Ranger Tom put the drug guys in jail? Umm Noo the “clean-up crew” put them in jail. The only things Ranger Tom did were spend the whole time tied up and scoot off for pancakes after he got rescued. He’s Lost Forest’s answer to SpiderMan.

  337. Droopy Says
    May 8th, 2012 at 1:37 am [Reply]

    Bigporn: Gosh, Mr. McEclowney, you use your tongue purtier than a twenty dollar whore. Especially when you’re describing the esthetics of a crotch shot.

  338. bats :[
    May 8th, 2012 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#326): nice, succinct explanation there — I wonder if the Crock folks read it. Or if someone emailed it to them.

  339. tallyHO
    May 8th, 2012 at 2:20 am [Reply]

    Things I will likely never quite understand:

    —whether or not Miss Smoot was joking or was truly offended my slightly edgy reconstruction of Hi & Lois using the Bob Newhart Show template.

    —why so many indulge in the chickwood lane comic; it just seems to frustrate the readers.

    —and, if the soccer hooligans are under strict orders to moderate their drinking at the wedding reception of Mr and Mrs. Count Soccula. Will Mary Meddleworth have the wherewithal to keep the hooligans from rioting? Or, will the sheer boredom of the strip cause it to mysterious cease getting included in the newspaper?

  340. Mr. O'Malley
    May 8th, 2012 at 3:38 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#331): I suppose it’s a motto that could still be used by Tbilisi.

    If you read Pluggers from 1950 it would probably have captions like “Pluggers remember how their drinking water got muddy every time it rained because their well had no casing”.

    However I call bogus on the “Pluggers ride fixies” from a few days ago. There is a fixie shop near here, and there are never any Pluggers there.

  341. Droopy Says
    May 8th, 2012 at 4:43 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#340): I looked at Pluggers again, and the idea came from someone in Lakewood, Colorado, not Lakewood, California. It’s the California one that let you know it was lilly white. CA, not CO. You’re a plugger if you remember when you didn’t need to squint. Or you remember when they were Calif. and Colo.

  342. Vanya
    May 8th, 2012 at 4:47 am [Reply]

    I will say it again. I see no evidence that McEldowney is “pro-life”. He’s “pro Burber life.” I suspect he has no problem aborting beefwits and would probably encourage it. Just to invoke Godwin’s, the Nazis encouraged pure blooded German women to have as many babies as possible, and it was a crime for German woman to abort their German babies, but no one would accuse the Nazis of being “pro-life”

  343. Mr. O'Malley
    May 8th, 2012 at 5:11 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#341): I think there’s a Lakewood in every state. Just down the freeway from Springfield.

  344. Jocelyn Knockersbury
    May 8th, 2012 at 6:46 am [Reply]

    So this is how the comic strips celebrate the week leading up to Mother’s Day: Schrodinger’s Pregnancy as a vehicle for an anti-abortion rant, evil moms who hate gay people, and totally unreasonable moms-to-be who don’t like their drunk husbands kissing semi-murderous brunettes. Gee, that’s swell.

  345. Ranger™
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:22 am [Reply]

    @Dennis (#336): Who, me? I resemble that remark.

  346. Little Guy
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:25 am [Reply]

    @Jocelyn Knockersbury (#344): *tosses beads*

    @Arabella (#240): It helps that, even with this Very Cockpitty Subject, Mungeons are able to focus their vile and wrath properly. Not on each other, but a McCommonFoE.

  347. Anonymous
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    Doc: Phone call for you, Mark!

    Mark: Thank you, sweet Jesus! First, Rusty is pushing for that fishing trip, and I’m so out of lame excuses that I start making stuff up about some kind of “electronic mail” that I have to check, and then Cherry gets all woman-y on me. Doc, it was a nightmare! Thank goodness the phone is bolted to the wall, or I’d have to associate with those people when there aren’t even any pancakes to stuff my mouth with.

  348. Hogenmogen
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    Whoop, that was me at #347

  349. Hogenmogen
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    Being married to April will be interesting to say the least. To say the most, it will rain money and gifts and yet still be stiflingly boring.

  350. Little A.
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    LUANN: As is well known, Nancy started out as Fritzi Ritz and Nancy soon took over the strip and Aunt Fritzi was relegated to the background. Maybe Luann is going to be taken over by TJ! Or Brad! Or that little creature from hell, what’s her name. Whatever happens, the strip has certainly improved over the past several weeks without Luann in it. Relatively speaking.

    Forgive me for this sexist comment, but does everybody notice how, in the last panel, Ann is thrusting out her ample chest at TJ? If she finds HIM sexually attractively, she REALLY has problems. Maybe she likes his white teeth, He has 42 of them.

  351. Hogenmogen
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:50 am [Reply]

    A3G: Here I was thinking that Nina was being practical and didn’t want to change crappy, smelly diapers, handle tantrums, midnight feedings, lose her figure and get no help from that bozo husband who can’t even paint a playroom by himself without getting drunk on the job. But no, it’s really all about some psych voodoo about a shield from fear and loss. Yeah, let’s go with that wounded inner-child thing, Margo. It makes much better copy.

  352. gleeb
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    ‘bean: This simultaneously manages to be a Big Serious Thing and “dang these newfangled gizmoes”.

  353. CanuckDownSouth
    May 8th, 2012 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#351): Yup. Plus I know reactions to grief vary, but isn’t this the kind of fear that would make Nina paranoid about dying herself, hence ultra-worried during pregnancy, instead of her husband having to call in help to get her to pay any attention to her prenatal health?

  354. Illustrator Steve
    May 8th, 2012 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#310): How about if they play Tammy Wynett’s #1 all time greatest hit, D.I.V.O.R.C.E. ?

  355. Brian
    May 8th, 2012 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    Have we grown so cynical? Clearly, “Gil Thorp” is introducing a speech-impaired omniscient narrator to teach us important lessons about acceptance of both 1) those different from us, and 2) our existential fate in an indifferent universe where losses are simply aborbed, and rainouts come as no surpise. Oh, and one where Mark Trail has e-mail.

  356. Der Schnärkïnätör
    May 11th, 2012 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    “demonically possessed ventriloquist dummy”

    Spot on Josh!

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