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Important teen life lessons, presented in a medium no teenager reads

Gil Thorp and Funky Winkerbean, 5/21/12

So it looks like the cross shape on Tasha’s neck that I dismissed as a shadow a few weeks back is … an elaborate cross neck tattoo after all? Which I find just a touch unrealistic, as it seems to me that any parent who thinks that “teen mother bringing her child to important events in her life” is the moral equivalent to “whore-monster seducing innocents to sluttery” wouldn’t be particularly high on her own daughter getting a large, highly visible tattoo, even if it celebrates the Lord. From this strip it looks like it might be just a big chunky earring, but take a look at the strip from a few weeks ago and explain to me how it’s supposed to be attached to anything but her neck.

Still, as ham-handed as Tasha’s mother’s disapproval is, at least the student at the center of this teen-morality plot has a name and personality and is in fact at the center of this teen-morality plot, unlike the poor gay teens of Funky Winkerbean, who exist solely to help Becky’s dad finally stand up to his wife and life companion of many years, who is awful and everyone hates her. Congrats, nameless gay teens! You may have briefly been the target of unjustified opprobrium, but you suffered that criticism to help prompt the straight father of a straight main character find his voice, and use that voice to yell at his wife in front of everyone. Savor this victory, none will be sweeter!

Mary Worth, 5/21/12

Oh, man, Mary’s world tour of self-congratulation is in full effect! Here’s Howie and Carm, whose problem wasn’t even interesting enough to merit a Mary Worth plot (and let that sink in for a second) but who have apparently popped up to make it clear that, even though we readers aren’t necessarily privy to all of Mary’s comings and goings, we should rest assured that she’s selflessly helping others at all times, even if we can’t see her.

If this were an ancient Greek tragedy (and given that most ancient Greek tragedies ended in horrific carnage, I dearly wish it were), all this Mary-congratulation would only be serving to reinforce her hubris. This would be followed by atë, the action taken by the hero that leads to her downfall. In this case, Mary, drunk with power and believing her meddling to be infallible, will run eagerly into the immovable object that is Dawn Weston’s love life.

254 responses to “Important teen life lessons, presented in a medium no teenager reads”

  1. Dave
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    The happy Howie in Mary Worth makes me think that this is a computer simulation that Mary forces people into and only let’s them out when they accept her meddling.

  2. tb4000
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    MW: The news that someone has taken her meddling to heart is whiplash-inducingly good, I see.

  3. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    Crock: The first day of reruns serves to remind me that 22 years of waiting for Crock to reference Humpty-Hump have been in vain.

    DtM: DIY Dennis sez, “Don’t fall for the capitalists’ scam that says you have to pay money to exercise in a prescribe manner in a prescribed place; rather, do as the children do — play free and wild in what public spaces that remain.”

    GT: So Darby’s “promoting teen motherhood as a good thing” how exactly? By being a happy, loving mother?

  4. Honey Badger, Does not give a shit
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    MW: It looks like we’re in for a parade of vignets of the meddlees thanking Mary.

  5. Hibbleton
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    MT: “Did you have your rifle? No, It’s hard to punch people carrying a rifle, and I punched him real good. Real, real good. [zip], uh, it’s okay Mark. In prison you can masturbate in public. “

  6. Dono
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth, panel 2: Who’s the guy taking a whiz on the window?

  7. TheDiva
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    FW: Week One: Four days hating on strawperson, two days dealing with the characters we’re actually supposed to empathize with.
    Week Two: More hating on strawperson.
    Week Three: Vague message-related platitudes, plus a little more hating on strawperson for good measure.
    Week Four: Back-patting for being so tolerant and understanding, and for hating on strawperson.
    Not since Angels in America, I tell you…

    GT: “What business does Darby have trying to be a good parent? She should be abusive, neglectful, and miserable to show the world what a mistake she’s made!”

    MW: If Emma Woodhouse had never gained any self-awareness, she’d have probably grown up to be Mary Worth.

    9CL: I’m not. Edda and Amos strike me as exactly the sort of people who should not be having a kid, the kind who think they’d be wonderful parents but have never considered what they’d be getting into. They don’t really want a messy, complicated, surprising child, they want an adorable, unconditionally loving miniature of themselves, a kind of cross between an exotic pet and those dolls that can be customized to resemble their owners. Things like tantrums, potty training and school troubles never occur to them, because their perfect little offspring could never be troublesome. This is indeed the happiest possible outcome, as the doctor said.

    A3G: Scott, meanwhile, is exactly the sort of person who shouldn’t get married: the kind who is surprised to realize other people have feelings that are justifiable and understandable.

    C’shaft: Okay, that was kind of funny. Blind pigs, broken clocks, and all that.

    Luann: Ha-ha, that Ann is going to be beaten to a pulp! But it’s okay, because she’s pretty evil and she deserves it!

    MT: “Didn’t we have this conversation already?”
    “I think so.”
    “Oh. So…sodomy, then?”

    PBS: It’s not a proper junk drawer without an Amish man.

    Pluggers are in a state of advanced denial.

    SM: It’s the pornstache. Chicks dig the pornstache.

  8. LP2004
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    MW: “And do you have any other good news for me, Howie and Carm? I’m still waiting for that first-born you owe me.”

  9. Chareth Cutestory
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: The thing I enjoy here is the artist’s inclusion of a motion line swoosh to show that Mary is totally whipping her head around. As soon as someone even starts to thank her for her meddling, she is on the alert.

  10. sporknpork
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Tasha, your chest hair is showing!

  11. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    MW-Nothing starts Mary’s day better than receiving a big ol’ slice of praise. It is better than coffee.

    FW-”I suspect Dad may secretly be gay.”

  12. jp
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    FW: Yes, why waste panels featuring the gay couple as real characters with identities when Batuik can just draw a rear view of yet another middle aged butt! Because no one does butt-sag like Batuik.

  13. wossname
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    I knew it, I knew it! On those mornings when Josh doesn’t post by 9-ish, and we are all waiting, not wanting to be thread-jumped, the thing that inevitably produces Josh’s post is when queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando and I both get tired of waiting and go ahead and throw our snark on the old thread. I knew it.

  14. Horace Broon
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#7): MW: If Emma Woodhouse had never gained any self-awareness, she’d have probably grown up to be Mary Worth.

    I’m nominating that for COTW.

  15. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    What medium don’t teens read? Online comics?

  16. Ed Dravecky
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth has meddled NFL vet Howie Long into a long-term relationship with a post-op transgendered NBA star Carmelo Anthony with bland “it gets better” platitudes? “Things are much better now,” indeed.

  17. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    MW: So it begs the question of what advice Mary thrust upon this young couple. “Follow your dreams”? “Show respect and respect will be shown to you”? “Lubricate your anal dildos”?

  18. White Rabbit
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan, MD. Notice that Iris, though she’s from out of town, still figures that Rex hangs around the mortuary enough that he knows the location of the ladies’ rooms. And she’s right, he’s there planting patients most days.

  19. Downpuppy
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    FW – Doesn’t Batiuk get some credit for working in the World’s 3rd Oldest Joke?

    When their little boy didn’t speak, mom and dad took him to the doctor, who was also baffled. Finally one day the boy said, “My soup is too cold.” His parents were ecstatic. “Why haven’t you spoken to us up to now?” “Because the soup was never too cold before.”

  20. Chyron HR
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    Luann – F’ing DROPPED. Better luck next life, Evans.

    Funky Winkerbean – And you’re on notice, Batiuk.

  21. pugfuggly
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    @Downpuppy (#19):

    I had always heard that one in the context of making fun of germans: a british couple adopt a german baby who doesn’t talk until one day he complains about his food, and when they ask why he hadn’t spoken until then, he replied ‘ Up until now everything had been satisfactory.’

  22. Stev0
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    I bet next Aldo will thank Mary from beyond the grave.

  23. Chip Whittle
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane: I’m looking forward to Edda checking back in at the ballet company and finding her role’s been taken over by Laurel Hardy.

    Heavenly Nostrils: I’d be interested in Marigold actually delivering on her promise here.

    Crossover potential: Heavenly Nostrils and Agnes. Fanfic writers, make me proud!

    Herb and Jamaal: Jamaal is just embarrassed that he’s remembered for doing a specific act of kindness this one time, rather than being vaguely a celebrity sometime.

    Wait, Jamaal’s name is Jamaal J. Jamaal? Did Herb and Jamaal cartoonist Herb And Jamaal Cartoonist work this superlative genericness into the foundations of the strip? Has he been laughing at us all the time for, yup, we noticed he deliberately made his strip like that?

    Mac: Hey, look, it’s what Pluggers read in their funny pages!

    Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Wait a minute, platypuses are cyborgs? This changes everything!

    Shoe: Ha, ha, That Bird Guy Who’s In Every Strip Even Though He’s Not Actuall Shoe thinks he could better himself! We’ll teach that loser-boy to lose!

  24. tb4000
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    9CL: Normal people don’t act like this. NORMAL PEOPLE DON’T ACT LIKE THIS.

  25. Illustrator Steve
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    MT – “Look at things this way, Gene. IF you hadn’t KILLED the widow Chavet’s husband IN COLD BLOOD, I wouldn’t be together with you in this hot, steamy, musky smelling prison cell, where I have discovered having these strange feelings for you, Gene. Why, I feel so adjusted to prison that I have even removed my jacket and, as you can see by the way I have my hand on my belt, I am now about to remove my pants for you, Jean!”

    “It, GENE, Mark. NOT, Jean!”

    “Whatever you say, Jean honey, whatever you say!”

    “GUARD? GUARD!!!”

  26. Spiff Bereft
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    MW: I’m thinking Mary was brusquely brushing past Howie and Carm because she recognizes no one once they’ve gotten off their knees and stopped seeking her advice (her perception; in reality they were crawling away hoping to escepe her notice). It’s only when she heard, “Thanks for the great advice you gave us!” that her head whipped around with a deafening crackle of dried cartilage and gristle. Those people prostrating themselves in their hospital beds, pleading for her advice will have to wait!

  27. seismic-2
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    FW: In an amazing display of timeliness, Batiuk has managed to create a prescient tribute to Robin Gibb, who died yesterday, by having the kid in the tux in Panel 1 show up with a truly impressive 1970s disco hairdo. Either that, or Batiuk is basing his art work on photos of his own senior prom, since that was the last time he ever encountered an actual high school. But how will they be able to pull off the “Camelot” theme in Panel 3? After all, Prince Valiant is launching a new adventure in his own strip, and Robert Goulet has a gig in Spiderman this week. Oh, I know – to celebrate the Middle Ages, they will burn Becky’s mother at the stake as a witch. That will show just how tolerant the kids really are!

    MW: Is this strip following Crock into retirement? Will we spend the whole upcoming year watching victim after victim beneficiary after beneficiary of Mary’s meddling now make the pilgrimage to Charterstone to worship at the Shrine of St. Mary and partake in the obligatory communion with potato-aid and salmon squares?

  28. Nekrotzar
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    Mary should go visit the family of the kidnapped girl she saved, so they can thank her, because, really, she has never received enough appreciation for that selfless act.

  29. Matthew
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Obviously, Mary is dreaming this parade of praise. Before long, Aldo will be showing up to let her know that he’s in a better place now and to thank her for her help getting him there.

  30. Digger
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    @Dono (#6): Actually, that guy saw Mary on the prowl for a fresh meddling victim and he wisely turned his back to her, as he knows that once Mary makes eye contact with you, you’re finished.

  31. ScienceGiant
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    If Mary Worth were an ancient Greek tragedy? Tragedy tomorrow – COMEDY TONIGHT!

    Someone to meddle,
    In this hospital,
    Something for everyone:
    A Comedy tonight!

  32. Downpuppy
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#21): In NE Ohio it was an Amish boy. The original joke was probably a Hittite.

  33. Dono
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Also, Jamaal, you’re not a former “NBA center.” You might be a former center for the [fictional] “NBA Phazers,” but even then you probably wouldn’t need to say “NBA.”

  34. Vinnie
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    FW: You know, when I read a story like this, all I can think of is the writer saying, “I don’t care to know what I’m being moralistic about, just gimme the damn Pulitzer!”

    Seriously, this consarned storyline pisses me off. Ignoring the fact that the gay couple got, like, three strips of screentime, or that Roberta never even tried to explain why she felt repulsed by homosexuality, or even the solution amounting basically to some warped version of rules-lawyering, the simple fact is, Batiuk doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Batty seems to believe that all gay-bashing-related problems in school can be boiled down to “they can’t go to the prom without parents complaining”. Mind you, that’s a prt of it, but there’s so many other intriguing aspects of the whole thing he could have talked about: the bullying of gay – or precieved-to-be-gay – teens by their peers, the way ideals of masculinity and “proper relationships” influence these prejudices, the mindset that leads people to become homophobes, the actual struggles of these gay teens whose names Batiuk didn’t even bother to tell us…

    I’m not asking you to be Tony Kushner, Tom. But, please, do stick to your stuff: misery and smug pretention.

  35. Illustrator Steve
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    MT – “I appreciate your concern, Mark. But, before I am permited to tell you anything else, I will first need to see some documented proof that you are registered in the southern part of the state as a private investigator and that you are licenced to practice law and to provide legal consultation to accused murderers.”

    “I know nothing of permits and all that documanted paperwork nonsense, Gene. My Fists-O-Justice ™ are all the documented proof I need to leave a lasting impression on who asks!”

  36. geekwhisperer
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    MW- What we’re seeing is simply an extension of what’s going on in every entertainment medium. The proliferation of channels means viewers won’t wait around fo the setup anymore. So sports has become all action and replay, news has become infotainment, porn has lost any pretense of storyline (so I am told, ahem!) and Mary Worth has gone straight for the “money shot”, as it were. Just the post-meddle adulation with none of the time-consuming foremeddle.

    It’s sad because young people who have only been exposed to meddling through Mary Worth are going to get into relationships where they may have meddling expectations that are not matched-up with reality.

  37. Mibbitmaker
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    Archie: Is she drunk, high, or in love? None of which makes sense with a teacher in class criticizing a student, except as a contrivance for her penmanship to be bad. Since she couldn’t all of a sudden be a medical doctor….

    BBailey: Evolution took a decidedly weird turn that day….

    9CL: That’s so effectively moving — because they FINALLY TOLD US!
    To be fair to those two, not being pregnant is still the predominantly happy outcome (for them AND humanity), but a feeling of loss for what might’ve been (from their perspective) is still understandable. The same idea was used in M*A*S*H when Margaret thought she was pregnant, and quite effectively (I thought).

    GA: Not in this day and age, Slim (generally).

    JP: Please, ma’am! This is a family newspaper!

    Luann: But Shannon — and by extention, Toni — IS a bully! She — oh, I forgot: never argue with idiots or misguided cartoonists.

    Mutts: It was, however, a poster once.

    MW: We hereby dump the dumb storyline started last week for more religiousy worship of Thy Holy LOOOVE Advisor of All Humankind, Mary Worth (bless her name)!

  38. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    MW: Dawn Weston! So nice to see you! What? Your love life is sour? WHAT? After I meddled with you not once, but three times you hopeless loser! This is why you can’t keep a man: You’re a pathetic, clingy whiner who still sleeps with a goddamn teddy bear! Grow the fuck up and put out for once!

  39. Comrade Dread
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    If this were an ancient Greek tragedy (and given that most ancient Greek tragedies ended in horrific carnage, I dearly wish it were), all this Mary-congratulation would only be serving to reinforce her hubris.

    I’m going to go with Mary’s plane crashed, she’s unconscious and slowly bleeding out or dying from smoke inhalation, the wedding was a product of her unconscious mind and the next few years will be full of little appearances of all the lives she thinks she made better congratulating her for her meddling skills as she slowly shuffles off the mortal coil.

    The following strips will deal with her giving love advice to Satan, improving the overall morale of hell with regular pool party mixers, telling the demonic torturers how to do their jobs better, and boring historic figures with all of her ideas on how to do things better.

  40. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    @Downpuppy (#19):

    They used this joke in the final episode of ‘Newhart’, in which one of the Daryls finally speaks, and explains that he never had anything important to say before.

    What is important isn’t that the gags be funny, but that we take the time to congratulate ourselves for being more tolerant than that hateful old woman with wrong ideas who needs to be locked up somewhere where the tolerant people won’t have to tolerate her.

  41. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    @Stev0 (#22): For those of you who came late, this was Aldo.

    However, I’m still holding out for Aldo to return à la Darkman.

  42. The Fake Macoy
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    MT – Wait a second, he actually brought his gun specifically to the meeting? What’s his excuse going to be? “Well your honour, I did bring my rifle and I did consider shooting him, but it must have been someone else who actually shot him.”

  43. Comcis Fan
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    MW: From the looks of it, Howie and Carm were dealing with a delicate sexual problem and Mary directed them to the appropriate medical intervention, all the while using terms such as intercourse, coitus and engorgement. Mary and her authors determined this plot was too adult, and interesting, for publication.

  44. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    FW: Apparently, “Hey, sorry about your arm,” didn’t need saying.

    MW: Okay, are we supposed to know these two dingleberries? Or is it just assumed that anyone who approaches Mary and speaks to her has already been subject to her healing touch?

    Ziggy: It’s a stealth Love Is installment, and Ziggy and the daisy are married.

    MT: How awesome would it be if Mark said, “I’ll agree with you there, Gene. Oh well, good luck on the trial.” Okay, it would be a standard Spider-Man move, but in context it would be funny.

    ReCrock: I thought “mad hump disease” was better known as syphilis.

    Archie: Add Miss Grundy’s spacy smile and the asterisks floating over her head, and it’s obvious she just washed down a couple of barbiturates with a glass of sherry. So she’s not being hypocritical. Archie’s got lousy penmanship, and she’s got compromised muscle control.

    JP: Peaches is a little teapot, short and stout. Okay, medium height with a big rack.

    RMMD: Okay, so Iris will chug vodka in the loo because it has no smell? Or will she just count on the Morgans not caring.

    Drabble: Speaking as someone who has himself lost quite a bit off the top, I have no idea why Ralph is going to a place called “Trendy Cuts.”

    GA: It depends on which funnies, Slim. Quality over quantity. None of this is getting through, is it?

    HtH: Considerate.

    DT: Thinking back to the Dagwood-Smithers theory Josh floated over the weekend. Mumbles is as much of an incompetent in his field as Dagwood is in his, if not more so. He’s even got the fried hair/bowtie combo. Yet he never gets fired or eliminated, and doesn’t spend much time in prison. Whose son is he, anyway?

    6C: Twitter still not the comedy bonanza cartoonists keep thinking it is. Cute monkeys, though.

    FC: Wrong time to ask pointed questions, Dolly. Or as Thel would put it, “Oops, dropped the groceries on my daughter’s head.”

    Luann: Set up a meeting between Ox and Shannon. Given the chance maybe he’ll see that she actually is a bully.

    S-M: How to explain this to you, Peter? You see the mustache on Jericho’s face? Well, he’s usually got a beard to go along with it.

    S4th: How ‘bout mixing it up with Randy Newman’s “Story of a Rock ‘n Roll Band”?

    SFx: Aw Shady, you don’t have to make it that easy for them. You’re already sitting in the electric chair before you’ve even been arraigned.

    Lockhorns: “I’m not entirely sure what SEAL Team Six is, but I’m sure it will be a hilarious reference.”

  45. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#41): “I’ve learned to live with a lot of things.”

  46. Esther Blodgett
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    FW: This has been Apathetic Hack Theatre. Thanks for coming! Veal, etc.

    Luann: Ox smash. Please.

    MW: We don’t need to be told what advice Mary gave these two. Everyone follows the exploits of Carmowie on Santa Royale’s version of TMZ – the Total Meddle Zone.

  47. Anonymous
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    @Dave (#1):

    Infocom presents A Mind Forever Meddling, in which you play as the Multi-Response Interface (MRI) from Worth Industries, a supercomputer built to run simulations of the world before and after your computerized meddling. Can your meddling create a better world for all mankind, or will you merely simulate a closed community of white people dealing with their petty problems? The choice is yours.

    Reference for those who didn’t obsessively play Infocom text adventures as a kid:

  48. pugfuggly
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    @Downpuppy (#32):

    I think it was the second joke out there after “Assyrians ride their chariots like this, but Hittities ride their chariots like this! Am I right folks? Am I right??!”

    @Dono (#33):

    Of course, in this case NBA stands for ‘Nigala IV Basketball league’, since I’m pretty sure the ‘Phazers’ would only exist in some kind of special trekkie league.

    @The Fake Macoy (#42):

    Wasn’t that Andy Dufresne’s defence in The Shawshack Redemption? I guess we won’t be seeing ol’ Gene until he manages to tunnel himself out of Lost Forrest State Pen….

  49. Ian Beste
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:36 am [Reply]

  50. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Brewster Winkerbean: Because in the future, misery will be considered funny.

  51. bats :[
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#27): re FW: I think ol’ Batiuiuik has his Broadway musicals mixed up. It was “Once Upon a Mattress,” not “Camelot” that had a mousy husband (the king in OUAM) finally shout down his bossy wife and tell her to shut up. She was struck dumb as a result.
    OTOH, burning Becky’s mom at the stake is probably more exciting than anything at the prom, other than the chaperons on the look out for teens grinding against one another as they dance.

    PLUS! “The Long Arm of Mary” knows no bounds (other than not to quote living authors)

  52. scoofers
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    Am I the only one who didn’t realize Dawn even had a boyfriend?

  53. Ian Beste
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#48): “And Babylonians…c’mon man…you’re in the fast lane, drive that chariot like your conquering Ninevah!”

  54. Voshkod
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Oops. Anon at 47 is me after a cookie-clearing session.

  55. Ian Beste
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Ian Beste (#53): “You’re” … I knew that.

  56. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    @Spiff Bereft (#26):
    “deafening crackle of dried cartilage and gristle”

    You just about made me literally laugh my guts out at that one.

  57. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    @The Fake Macoy (#42): “Additionally, your honor, bringing my gun with the intention of shooting him but not shooting him only demonstrates that I am at heart a good person and therefore unlikely to have been the murderer. What’s more, I’d like the court to note that I came to this hearing with a bomb strapped to my chest but I have yet to blow you up, further demonstrating my good will. Finally, if it please the court, I would like to note that Mark Trail, whose fists are registered weapons of mass destruction, is in the gallery, ready to effect my escape should you rule against me, and surely, it would be a gross injustice for Mr. Trail to become a fugitive from justice.”

  58. Pozzo
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    Mary’s so anxious to hear unsolicited praise that her head is about to do a 360. Can spewing pea soup be far behind? (Or at least salmon croquettes.)

  59. TheDiva
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#37): During the party to celebrate Ann’s bloody pummeling, Ox will ask Shannon to share one of her potato chips. Since it worked out so well for her last time, Shannon will bite him. Ox will realize the error of his ways and, Sampson-like, will atone by using his massive strength to demolish the house and crush everyone inside.

    ….And then I’ll wake up.

  60. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#48): “And what is the deal with Gilgamesh! All the other demigods are 1/2 divine, but that’s not good enough for Sumerians — no their demigod has to be 3/5 divine! How does that work?”

  61. lorne
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    Are they winding up Mary Worth?
    The world tour of self-congratulation is starting to look a lot like a victory lap. I suspect they’re building up to an announcement that the Mary Worth Registered Trademark License-Holders will be packing it in soon. (Though why would anyone wind up something as fabulously profitable as a daily newspaper soap cartoon?)
    Hopefully the final announcement will go down the same way Crock did it, following a last-minute well-deserved takedown on evil Josh Freerloiter.

  62. Gringo
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    Nothing on Crock as it marched off into the sunset of its final Lost Patrol?
    I like to think that yesterday’s last panel, with Crock waking up in bed, was a Bobby Ewing-type sendoff — “Ah, it was all a dream!”

  63. Mibbitmaker
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    (Next scene: the hospital. A doctor is talking to TJ, Brad, and Toni)

    DOCTOR (glumly): “Miss Eiffel suffered a concussion. She also has a few fairly severe internal injuries requiring multiple surgeries. Her chances are fair at best right now to avoid a coma. She may never walk right again, even with extensive physical therapy. And her face was damaged so completely that plastic reconstructive surgery cannot return her to her normal appearence completely. And that recent bite injury was badly reopened, but we may stem the onset of a severe infection. The woman was really messed up. Uh… I’ll be back in a moment…”

    TONI: “Yes, of course.”

    (doctor leaves. The three of them take a subtle look at one another, then erupt in gleeful high-fives all around.)

  64. nescio
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: While Slylock focused everyone’s attention on Shady Shrew’s word games, the rabbit managed to grab the cop’s key and escape to commit another multiple homicide.

  65. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#3):

    GT: So Darby’s “promoting teen motherhood as a good thing” how exactly? By being a happy, loving mother?

    Exactly. It’s her duty to neglect and abuse Jaxon – beyond misspelling his name, of course – to the point where social services has to take him away.

  66. Fashion Police
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    We are not so well-acquainted with appropriately woodsy apparel, but we are skeptical that someone like Mr. Trail would even own a white shirt, except the dressy one he wears with his ill-fitting sports jacket when he goes to town.

    We are, however, relieved that Mr. Trail is astute enough not to pair his purple trousers with his salmon-pink shirt. It is also interesting to note that, sartorially at least, he appears to be moving in a more sensitive direction. One does hope it will not compromise his punching power when he turns up in a paisley polyester disco shirt and gold chains.

  67. geekwhisperer
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    MT- Mark Trail is not faring so well as Mark Trail, PI. He goes and investigates the victims wife and discovers: Well…nothing really. Jack shit. He reveals he’s the presumptive murder’s friend and the widow asks him to leave. Not exactly Hercule Poirot, is he? Now he’s back in the jail asking the same question he had an answer to days earlier- the gun was in the boat.

    Mark apparently subscribes to the “Slylock Fox” school of suspect selection. That’s: “See who looks suspicious and go with it.” If I were Gene’s lawyer I’d be using phrases like “avoiding a lengthy trial” and “temporary insanity” and “plead our way out of the chair” because you know THE STATE WE ARE IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF has capital capital punishment, you can bet your khakis on that.

  68. Santa Royale With Cheese
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:52 am [Reply]


    Wait, WHAT?! Now there’s a “ReCrock” to go along with “ReFOOB”? SRSLY, do people just not make comic strips anymore?

    It’s like the corporate CEO retiring, and being replaced by re-runs of every memo he/she ever commissioned.


  69. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#44):
    She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah
    It takes control and slowly tears you apart

    Isn’t that right, Aldo?

  70. Santa Royale With Cheese
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#60): Re: how 3/5 divinity works, the sum of the angles of that rectangle is just too monstrous to contemplate!

    Er… I was told there would be no math.

  71. Señor Tortilla
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    FW: The sad thing is that the gay couple never knew what happened. Jinx sold the tickets, didn’t she? Ms. Strawman let off some steam, but never attacked them personally. For all we know, Keisha and the Specialist Snowflake were the only people who saw Ms. Strawman and her small band of followers outside the school. And wasn’t Mr. Blackburn out there with the protesters, fiddling with his camera? How is he the hero now, again? Seriously, all this storyline has done is “outed” Tom Batiuk as a terrible hack writer.

  72. The Mighty Untrained FOOZLE
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    I’ve always contended that Mary has long ago retreated into an inner world where imaginary people shower her with praise everywhere she goes, since no one in the real world will. Now she can add paraphasia to her list of brain disorders, indicated by her sudden exclamation of “carm!” in the middle of a sentence. I mean, surely that’s not supposed to be someone’s name, is it?

  73. Cloudbuster
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    Amos: I’m sorry you give dumb blondes a bad name.
    Edda: I’m sorry I’m the most clueless girl on the planet.

    MT: I can’t wait for the revelation of Gene’s innocence, because I know it will be as full of holes as it is improbable, yet everyone will believe it, and the real criminal will give a complete confession.

    Luann: Ann is so screwed, because she lives in a universe where a vengeful, capricious god can make you act in ways counter to your own good judgment and self-interest. Ann actually has a good case. Why would she screw it up by soliciting someone to perjure themselves? The bite wound is self evident. Hopefully she had a doctor examine it promptly. She should just put TJ up on the stand and invite him to perjure himself by denying it. Trying to take the crown back is not an “attack” and biting Ann’s finger is in no way “self-defense” on Shannon’s part. Shannon’s guardians and their insurance company should at least be liable for medical bills. This sort of thing comes up in traffic accidents and personal injury suits all the time.

    RMMD: You know, sometimes people drink a lot when a family member dies. This is not surprising. Where I come from it’s called being Italian and Catholic. I think the Irish kinda enjoy it, too.

  74. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    A3G-Ever since you caught Nina in bed with another woman she feels like she can’t trust you.

  75. Thursday Next
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    When I read the morning funnies over brunch at my local egg & bacon joint, I thought I’d see something about Gil Thorpe, and even the tidy wrapping job on Funky StupidBean, but I was certain I’d see a comment on little baby Marvin whose dog-designed tattoo will say “Toxic Waste Dump.” Because nothing’s ever funnier than a neglected infant left to stew in his own excrement.

    And Batuik–you know, I don’t know the guy (even if what little I can surmise, I don’t like)–so I can’t wish him real harm, but why can’t he get a terrible case of carpal tunnel or better yet, focal hand dystonia, the thing that makes musicians unable to play? Just to positively contribute to the amount of real joy in the world?

  76. odinthor
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    Frazz — Maybe it’s because the batting coach coaches all the players on the team, but only one did well.

    GA. — Hmm. Define “funnies.”

    JP.The stewardess has a wonderful future as a game show’s lovely assistant beckoning.

    The stewardess has beckoning a wonderful future as a game show’s lovely assistant.

    The stewardess has a wonderful future beckoning as a game show’s lovely assistant.

    A wonderful beckoning future! Such is the . . .

    Never mind.

    Love Is . . . — . . . Telling her once again that you forgot your wallet!

    WoI. — (25 points) “My cow has gone missing” vs. “My cow is missing.” Discuss.

  77. Cloudbuster
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    MW: The ultimate horror would be this strip taking a cue from Pibgorn and chewing up a year or more in a massive orgy of Hail Marys (don’t bother to pardon the pun. I’m guilty as hell).

    It could go all the way back to the ’30s “Remember when you pushed around that Apple Cart during the depression? I’ve never forgotten the advice you gave me then! I invested in AT&T! Thank you, Mary, full of grace! Thank you so much!”

  78. Thursday Next
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#65): Most damningly, she has failed to sew the required A on all her clothing.

  79. pugfuggly
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @Ian Beste (#53): @Biv Alves (#60):

    “Do we have any Akkadians in the house tonight? Ok then, I’ll talk slower! Heh heh, just kidding, you guys are alright…”

  80. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    @The Mighty Untrained FOOZLE (#72):
    Refer to Edie Falco’s first famous character! : )
    That’s it, Mary is stuck in a Sopranos fantasy, replete with pool, hospital, angry people, jilted and used women.

  81. geekwhisperer
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#79): “So I said, Phonecian? I thought you were the real McCoy! Ha ha! Tip your waitress folks, seriously. Hammurabi’s Code demands it, or they chop your hand off.”

  82. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#77):
    Well, the Meddler Goddess better not suggest that anyone purchase Facebook stock. My SB advised me weeks ago that it would NOT be in my best interest to purchase it, and I do believe he is 110% right.

    (Tech stock is iffy-it’s almost like investing in a ghost or “cloud” product, instead of material goods or energy/utility services)

  83. cj
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    “Darby Kiser is an unwed teen mother! Her very EXISTENCE is a crime!” Gee, Tasha’s mom must be a hit at the neighborhood get-togethers.

  84. bats :[
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#37): everyone is so quick to think this is the pre-Memorial Day Parade o’ Mary Worth Devotees…I think you may be wrong.
    Well, I hope you’re wrong.

  85. Mibbitmaker
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    …Almost forgot…

    Today’s Pop Culture’s Kids is up!

    100th online PCK!

  86. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    @Stev0 (#22):

    “Oh thank you, Mary. If it wasn’t for the actions of your friends then I wouldn’t be dead.”

  87. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#45): Oh, to see Mary plunge from atop a skeletal construction site, perhaps to land impaled upon the Bum Boat’s mainmast. Oh, to dream…

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#65): I think TheDiva captured Tasha’s mom’s unspoken attitude rather well.

    @pugfuggly (#79) & @geekwhisperer (#81): “So I ran into Mursilis the First on his way back from sacking Babylon — what too soon?”

  88. Charterstoned
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    MW – Howie and Carm are not the story. As Mary whipped her head around, her right eyeball went all over the place and that’s when she saw the guy in the coat who seems to be contemplating jumping out the window. Praise and thanksgiving are all very well and good, but Mary’s got work to do, before it’s too late.

  89. Spotts1701
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    9CL: We’re all sorry – sorry that we have to listen to this mendacious twaddle and pretend to care.

    FW: If this were a sitcom, the Full House Music would be playing right about now. And I think even those hacks could’ve handled this a whole lot better than Batiuk.

    Luann: Mongo Ox just pawn in game of life.

    Garfield: I would agree if the first person I met had the type of grin that screams “serial killer”.

  90. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    @Charterstoned (#88):
    LOL, or he’s thinking “pleasepleaselpease don’t stop and talk to me please.”

  91. Droopy Says
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    Luann: TJ is going to intervene and save Anne, isn’t he? Because Evans has written crayoned himself into a corner with this “TJ avenges Piggyface by working at WeenieWorld” arc and can’t think of how to end it.

  92. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#44): Whose son is he, anyway?
    I think he’s Marlon Brando’s father.

  93. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

  94. Government Cheese
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    MW: “Thank you for the advice Mary! Now that I have started wearing her underwear, all my chafing has disappeared!”.

    Luann: OX smash! But maybe Ox no smash if Miss Ann takes clothes off.

  95. tallyHO
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    @Dave (#1):

    So, Mary is actually indulging herself on the Meddle-deck?

    “Computer, set up a congratulation tour of Places I’ve been. Stardate: 1975.”

  96. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#36):
    We used to wait for it
    We used to wait for it
    Now we’re screaming
    Show that grovel again

  97. commodorejohn
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#7): They don’t really want a messy, complicated, surprising child, they want an adorable, unconditionally loving miniature of themselves, a kind of cross between an exotic pet and those dolls that can be customized to resemble their owners.
    But TheDiva, what is a child for if not to be molded into a mini-me of those perfectly perfect beings, the Burbers? Surely you don’t intend for the little beefwit to exercise some kind of will of its own!

    6Chix – That’s it. We need an official, syndicate-imposed moratorium on Twitter “jokes” in the funnies.

    9CL – My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

    Agnes – My God do I love this strip.

    Crock – Oh dear. Oh dear. It’s going to keep running?

    DT – Jeez, keep it down! Joe Staton and Mike Curtis over in the next apartment are trying to sleep!

    Dilbert – You’d think an engineer would have enough experience with tech failures to never want anything to do with cybernetics. I mean, I only lost five hours of work when Audacity crashed on me Thursday – what would happen if my eyes conked out at an inopportune time?

    FW – “Oh hey, are those some actual seniors enjoying the actual prom in question over there in the background?” “No! Screw them, they’re not important. Let’s talk some more about how great adults are for finally putting a stop to that whole mess after ignoring it for two weeks and two full-fledged protests!”

    JP – *dreamy sigh*

    Luann – Everyone in this strip is a fucking idiot except the idiot. But hey, I can’t wait until we get to the part where Evans punishes the Bad Awful Lady by having the aggravated Ox here beat her to death. That’s appropriate, right? If you don’t think it’s appropriate, it must be because Evans hasn’t done enough railing about how Mean And Awful she is! Oh if only you knew!

    Mandrake – So fissures in the earth just close right back up when they’re done?

    Monty – *snrk*

    Phantom – It’s Richard Scarry’s Best Crime Book Ever! Where’s Officer Flossy when you need her?

    RMMD – Okay, I have to give Nolan credit here: the very subtle but noticeable expressions of haggard drink-needing on Iris and wary drunk-anticipation on June in panel two are absolutely terrific. You can feel the repressed anxiety as they try to make their plans without letting on to the general attendees at the funeral that they’re feeling anything other than solemn, respectful quietude.

    SF – Now just a God-damn minute here, there is not one song on that collection from Time! How can they possibly advertise it as “the very best?”

    SM – “Well, guess it can’t be helped, then. Back to single livin’. I wonder if this is contrived enough to satisfy Joe Quesada? Maybe I can ring him up after Donahue.”

    Ziggy – Flowers help make up for all the ugly in the world! Here’s one little flower striving mightily against a great ugliness!

  98. BigTed
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    Mary clearly doesn’t understand young people’s sarcasm: “Thanks for the GREAT advice you gave us. Things are MUCH better NOW. We really LOVE it when old ladies butt into our lives. Now we want you to have REALLY NICE day, and we REALLY DON’T hope you get hit by a BUS when you go outside.”

  99. Girl Reporter
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Camelot? Really? How did the kids come up with that theme?

    My prom was on May 4, 1980. I suggested Four Dead in Ohio, but those kill-joy nuns nixed that.

  100. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#95): Ah, good old Star Meddle — “To mouldly go…” — Unsurprisingly, the United Federation of Fusspots has no Prime Directive banning undue interference in others’ affairs.

  101. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#92): Marlon was very much a mother’s boy, but I guess he picked up something from his old man.

  102. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    Maybe instead of the musical Camelot, it’s a tribute to the Kennedy Dynasty. Dead, dead, dead. Perfect for Westview.

  103. seismic-2
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#87): “You want to talk about ‘annoying’? Now, you take my seventh, tenth, and fourteenth wives – PLEASE!!!”

  104. Marc
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    Funky- Among the many things in this hackjob of a storyline that Batiuk omitted is what Mrs. Becky’s mom’s objection to the gay kids going to the prom actually is. All we know is that she flipped shit about them being allowed to go. Granted, there is no defensible reason for her actions but a semi-competent writer might want to at least mention why his strawman is what it is.

    Luann- Now here is an example of a dumbshit writer who has actually made his strawman the sympathetic character in the strip.

    9CL- Seriously, this whole storyline was such a wate of time. Words can’t even describe how much I want to see Brooke torn apart by feral cats a la the thugs in Curtis.

    Mary Worth- Maybe Mary will meddle Howie and Carm into inviting Dawn for a 3 way to make her feel better.

    Mark Trail- I can’t wait until we get to Mark on the witness stand despite his having no connection to the case other than his ad libbed “investigation”. A couple weeks worth of Mark on the stand not directly answering questions, discussing his and Gene’s fishing excursions, and his heart felt belief that the man who brought a rifle to meet with a fishing camp rival that he assaulted, would never kill somebody.

  105. Mysterious shirtless lawyer
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    Love Mary’s head swivel, which should be accompanied by a “Whaa the faa … Oh, hi kids” thought balloon.

  106. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#103): “I just rode in from Samarkand and boy are my hooves tired! Say, do we have any eunuchs in the audience? Come on, show of hands… hey waitress, get these guys some nuts! I kid, folks, I kid. So, what was the last thing Oedipus said to Jocaste? ‘I’ve only got eyes for you!’ HEY-O!”

  107. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#97):
    I know, RM is turning into an ep of “Intervention.”
    So Iris must have shoved those minis in her purse and she’s going to get tanked in the Powder Room. I think she only had coffee before leaving the Morgan abode as well, and her dinner the night before was a piece of cheese a mouse would laugh at, and some stale Triscuits ™. This is getting better by the second.

  108. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#97):
    I was a mega-ELO fan during high school, but didn’t like anything after the double LP from the late 70′s (Out of the Blue), when Lynne fired everyone and he was fighting with Bevan.
    Dammit, now I’m going to have to listen to “The Whale”, something I haven’t heard in 30 years. Thanks, Ces!

  109. Bill Peschel
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    “So I says to Jesus, ‘Hey, J.C., I can see your house from here!”

    Too soon?

  110. tallyHO
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#100):
    It surprises me that the United Federation of Fusspots has ever held a meeting because you would think the members would be too busy meddling to make time to attend.

    The most common excuse: “Something came up. _________ needs a good talking to.”

  111. Shrug
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#23):

    “Wait, Jamaal’s name is Jamaal J. Jamaal?”

    It’s a legacy strip. Started in UK newspapers around the turn of last century, being written and drawn by Jerome K. Jerome and Ford Maddox Ford.

  112. pugfuggly
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#81):

    ok, one more….

    “So I said ‘Sumer? I hardly know her!’ Thank you folks, I’ll be here until the next crescent moon!”

  113. Rob
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    Not to mention, that if Tasha were in the Funkyverse the shadowy shape on her neck would be melanoma.

  114. Girl Reporter
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    So in addition to all the TV watching, Peter Parker keeps up with the gossip rags. What a catch.

  115. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    Ziggy: “Flowers help make up for all the ugly in the world.”

    Uh…no. They don’t. Hell, they don’t even make up for Batiuk and McEldowney.

    Arlo and Janis: As I pay more attention to this strip, I find I actually get the jokes on an increasing number of occasions.

    This isn’t one of those occasions.

  116. UncleJeff
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#115): This one refers back to strips last year where Gene decided to quit college just short of graduation to work with his girlfriend in her father’s restaurant and start remodeling a farmhouse for their home.
    Janis was mad, then changed her mind when she met Gene’s intended and now is mad that Gene has abandoned what’s-her-name (sorry, can’t remember it) and now wants to go back to finish college.

    GT: It looks like the moms of Milford want to replace the letter “M” on Darby’s jersey with a big ol’ Scarlet A (that’ll teach ya for not having that secret abortion!)

  117. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#112): “What do you call ten thousand Romans buried under ash and lava? A good start! Thank you! Try the ox!”

  118. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#116): Thanks.

    Uncle Jeff — he keeps track so we don’t have to.

  119. Gringo
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#69): And therein lies the genesis of Mary’s peculiar powers of meddle …

  120. commodorejohn
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#108): I’m actually not especially familiar with ELO, but Time is well worth the listen. At the very least, catch “Twilight” and enjoy some incredibly nerdy animation while you’re at it.

  121. commodorejohn
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#120): Shit, that one’s out of sync. Here we go.

  122. Old School Allie Cat
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    @Girl Reporter (#99):

    The theme for my prom, May 14 1993 , was “I Will Always Love You” – both the Dolly and Whitney versions.

    In my case, “Always” worked out to about 10 months post-prom, give or take.

    I have since noted that a more accurate theme would have been “I Will Always Facebook Stalk You”. Since while I don’t *love* Todd any more, I can tell you where he’s living, who he married and how many kids they’ve had.

    I’ve already said too much.

  123. Shrug
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    Yesterday someone pointed out that Blondie’s orignal last name was Boopadoop. I knew that (though I’ve never spent sufficient time shuddering about that knowledge), but only now did it occur to me that we apparently have never found out what her legal first name is. I mean, “Blondie” has to be a nickname, right? What sort of parents (even parents with a last name like Boopadoop) would decide to name a presumably-hairless just-born infant “Blondie” — and if they did, what are the odds she’d grow up to be so very blonde?

    By the same token, presumably “Pigpen” in PEANUTS has some other legal name too, but I’m pretty sure we never heard it. This opens up all sorts of cans of corn.

    “What Song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling Questions are not beyond all conjecture”
    –Sir Thomas Browne

  124. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    Luann-Wait until Ox catches the way TJ sells items to people.

  125. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#121):
    Their other excellent instrumental “Fire on High” was used during ABC sports shows in the 70′s. A nice little monetary perk.

  126. Little Guy
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    Joshism: Ah, yes, the Yosemite Sam Corollary to the Teddy Roosevelt Axiom: “I speak LOUUUUUUUDLY! And I carry a BIIIIIIIIIGGER stick! And I use it too!”

    “Gil Thorp” will complete the trifecta of “Dealing with Bullies/Strawpeople With Contrary Ideas”, started with “Luann” (use physical intimidation and threats against your Strawbully), and continued with “Funky Winkerbean” (shout down your opposition into submission). I expect the Lord God Coach will use both methods on the StrawMoms.

  127. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    @Gringo (#119):
    Yes, that would be right!

    Hey, does anyone know if we can still order Mary Worth swag from Café Press?

  128. Gringo
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#123): presumably “Pigpen” in PEANUTS has some other legal name too

    I may be mistaken, but I believe it’s Ron McKernan.


  129. Downpuppy
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#117): Quiet down back there, or Josh will stop this galley & go all Tilgath Pileser on us.

  130. Rixtremism in the Defense of Libertines
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    MW I have this really creepy feeling about the “advice” that Mary gave Howie and Carm. They look too, well,… too fulfilled, as if they are having the best sex of their lives. And they owe it all to Mary. Exactly how? Nooo… can’t let that thought continue!

    FC Thel, you can lock her out of the house, and none of us will object.

  131. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#97): what would happen if my eyes conked out at an inopportune time?

    Reboot, of course.

  132. Cloudbuster
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    GT: Fake Australian Tattoo artists with their faux-bootleg DVDs, teen mothers, Aspergers boys allowed to play football, Milford is a cesspool! That harlot shouldn’t be allowed to show her face in public!

  133. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    @Gringo (#128):
    Hahaha! Good Ol’ Cowboy Pigpen, Mr. Hard to Handle

  134. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp-The mother’s aren’t upset that Darby is promoting teen motherhood but rather that she is promoting the idea of sex as a pleasurable thing.

  135. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    @Rixtremism in the Defense of Libertines (#130): “OK, Carm, now hold it firmly … like so … don’t worry, you’re not going to break it …”

  136. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

  137. UncleJeff
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#123): But Blondie makes such a great name to scream out in passion!
    Like Arthur Lake in the 1940s serials….and also Eli Wallach in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

  138. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    FC-Mommy’s OCD is acting up again.

  139. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#138):
    Then she’ll have to touch the doorknob 35 times before she can open the door.
    Now THAT’s something for Mary to meddle!

  140. LogopolisMike
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:59 pm [Reply]


    You may have briefly been the target of unjustified opprobrium, but you suffered that criticism to help prompt the straight father of a straight main character find his voice, and use that voice to yell at his wife in front of everyone. Savor this victory, none will be sweeter!

    Haven’t you been paying attention to anti-gay rhetoric to what’s on the gay agenda? We ARE trying to ruin marriage. If we can’t be given the rights to do it ourselves, we’re just going to have to settle for busting up one old half-bigoted couple at a time.

  141. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#73):

    “Ann actually has a good case. Why would she screw it up by soliciting someone to perjure themselves? The bite wound is self evident. Hopefully she had a doctor examine it promptly. She should just put TJ up on the stand and invite him to perjure himself by denying it. Trying to take the crown back is not an “attack” and biting Ann’s finger is in no way “self-defense” on Shannon’s part. ”


    I can’t decide whether it is written this way purely because Greg has decided it is time for Ann to be punished and slink off into the sunset, or if there is also some autobiographical component to the episode. TJ’s furious insistence that “You tried to take away her crown! It isn’t assault if you were taking away her paper crown!” is so out-of-character and flat-out wrong that I can’t help seeing an author avatar seeking revenge on the mean lady who sued him/his friend/a family member for a similar incident.

    I guess if he has Ann be caught trying to incite perjury and be fired as a consequence, it will be the former. If the case goes to trial and the Judge rules: “You can’t sue her! You were trying to take away her paper crown! The precedent in Crown vs. Burger King clearly applies here! Case dismissed! Ann, meet me in my chambers and we will discuss how appropriate your mini-skirt and low-cut blouse are as court apparel.”, then we will know it is a revenge fantasy.

  142. tallyHO
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    @LogopolisMike (#140):
    Wait a second! Hold the horse! Stop the bus! Put the parking brake on!

    Are you saying the agenda, this Conspiracy of Dalliances, is directly competing with the same strategy employed by Nola Wolverson, The Former Mighty Morphin’ Power Hussy????

    Well, with her out of the picture, there is less competition. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. Just be forewarned: Mary Worth is on a self-esteem building parade and is likely walking across the country meddling along, singing a song, by and by. Once that lady starts getting into others’ business, there’s no telling how much progress she can stop.

  143. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    “Hey everyone, it’s great to be Here…odytus. I just ran all the way from the defeat of the Persian invasion. Fought all day long, then had to make it to Athens in time for my set – what a Marathon, I tell you.

    I kid, I kid. I just got her from Sythia, and let me tell you. They may be 10 feet tall and born on the back of a horse, but they’ve got nothing on the Spartans. Spartans are born on the back of a teenage boy! Woah there!!!!”

    “You suck!!!!”

    “What was that, a heckler? Where are you from?”

    “Just outside Macedonia!”

    “Well, then let me re-state my jokes in terms you can understand! BAR! BAR! BARBAR!! Where the Greek women at? ….. I kid, I kid, we love all kinds here, as long as they have a sense of humor about themselves, and don’t throw spears at the stage the way you appears to be about to ….. OK. I think the audience are the ones who are suppost to bust a gut laughing. This, this is going to hurt. My father’s ceremonial bronze helmet is ringing to the ground, my blood flowing freely from the wound into the dust, and the light going out of my eyes. Tip your waitress!!”

  144. CanuckDownSouth
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    GT: It’s not unrealistic that the teens couldn’t convince their mothers that Darby’s not glamourizing teen parenthood, how many at 15-17 would be able to put together a coherent argument off-the-cuff to your mom? They may have the sense that she’s not promoting having a baby before finishing high school, but I doubt the girls could list point by point on the spot just how much they see Jaxon’s grandma helping Darby, how even with that Darby has had great difficulty getting on the team, scheduling practices, and really never has time to hang out afterward, etc – and that this demonstrates the enormous difficulties of parenthood.

    However, I doubt we’ll get some reasonable parent or coach discussing the issue in terms of “demonstrating that this is tough isn’t making it seem glamourous” rather than “quit hatin’, you bigots!!” or “she’s not actually Australian, so she doesn’t have to go ho- — wait, what?”

  145. This Guy
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Yeah, why can’t that awful bitch trust that she didn’t really see her husband drunkenly snogging her friend? What’s the world coming to?

    Archie: Those little marks over Ms. Grundy’s head are usually the Bursting Bubbles of Drunkenness, which seems to indicate that she needs to get completely tanked to make it through a school day. With those kids, I can’t blame her.

    @commodorejohn (#97): [SF] Yeah, I was just thinking how he doesn’t even mention “Twilight.” As a nerd anthem, that song is ideal for Ted!

    @pugfuggly (#112): “But oy, does my wife love to talk. I tell ya, she thinks ‘Babylon’ is a command!”

    “You ever notice how guys from Upper Egypt drive a chariot like this, but guys from Lower Egypt drive a chariot like this?”

  146. The Ridger
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

  147. The Ridger
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#146): Er, order from Cafe Press, that is

  148. Dale
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail

    I don’t think we know that Gene took his gun to a meeting with Al.

    Gene had his gun in the boat when he went to the trading post.
    Gene ran into Al, they argued, Gene hit Al, Al left. X killed Al. Gene left.

    For this to work – X had to know that Gene’s gun was in the boat and that Gene would be in the trading post long enough for X to kill Al and put the gun back.

    Detail – X had to know that the gun was loaded, or that ammo was in the boat or what kind was needed. So far, Mark hasn’t asked about any of this.

    X is the trading post stock boy. His family used to own all the land in the area.

  149. hibbleton
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: if this leads to Iris barfing in the casket, drinks are on me.

  150. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#147):
    Hahah! Got it!
    (No, I’m not Rosie the Riveter, but definitely not a Tool Virgin either)
    Thanks very much! I feel like I need a MW shirt and coffee mug.

  151. Foster's Corpse
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @hibbleton (#149):

    No, if it leads to her barfing into the casket, drinks will be on me!

  152. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @Santa Royale With Cheese (#68): I’m with ya. Foob had its fans who couldn’t get enough of the sappy Universe that Johnston created. Peanuts is an iconic part of Americana. Crock is/was badly drawn, not widely distributed, and the punchlines were/are between forgettable and inexplicable and most often a generous helping of both.

  153. Shrug
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    @Foster’s Corpse (#151):

    Hence the expression “I need a good stiff drink.”

  154. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#152):

    I can remember being a pre-teen in the late 70s, and sneaking into my uncle’s room to read his compilations of “Crock”, “Wizard of Id”, “Hagar the Horrible”, and “Family Circus”. Why, some of those Family Circus comics were the same ones that ran in the paper just last week! And now, I can never again hope to open a newspaper and be comforted to read the same old crock that I didn’t find funny in 1979.

    My parent’s compilations were limited to Peanuts and Doonesbury collections, which makes for a good case study in nature vs. nurture for good taste in comics.

  155. Foster's Corpse
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#153):

    The barf may be on me, but the joke is on her! She needed a stiff drink, and all she got was a drunk stiff!

    Truth be told, I’ve not been able to get stiff while I was drunk for a long time now, so this comes as a relief!

  156. seismic-2
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#143): “So, why did the Kura-Araxian chicken cross the road? It didn’t, because they haven’t invented either roads or agriculture yet! What a bunch of rubes! And why does the fireman wear red suspenders? He doesn’t, because how dumb would that look with a white tunic? And did you get a load of that bunch of ‘Vestal Virgins’ at the Temple yesterday? Boy, if you believe that, then I’ve got an aqueduct in Caesarea I’d like to sell you! But seriously, folks…”

  157. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#154): Crock is a poor man’s Wiz of Id, which is of itself a poor man’s Hagar, which isn’t all that funny to begin with.

  158. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    @Dale (#148): Al was obviously killed by his wife. Just look at that hussie. She’s obviously a Soviet-era spy who still wants capitalism to fail. When she learned that her husband was attracting business by underselling the competition, it was the last straw.

  159. KreatureFeatures
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    True story: Talk show host Howie Mandel had Carmen Electra on his show. He is germaphobic and she had been sick, so Howie refused to greet Carm with a kiss. Perhaps Mary saw this, and recommended a klunky haircut for Carm, and a blonde buzzcut toupee for Howie, as a way of repelling germs. Mystery solved! Now let’s move on to lonely sandwiches and unrequited love.

  160. Poteet
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    GA — Hilarious comment about cats, Slim. Yeah. And you are the substance I had to scrape off my shoe yesterday.

  161. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    MT: Yeah, the discussion with the widow didn’t go well. I asked if Al had any enemies, and she said “Yeah, this guy Gene kept complaining that Al was stealing his business. And there was this guy Gene who punched Al in a public place. Oh, and then there was this guy Gene who shot my husband with a hunting rifle. Does that answer your question?”

  162. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    Ballard Street — I’ve never seen three dogs riding a bicycle, but I have seen a single dog ride a horse:

  163. Poteet
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    MT — I’ve been carping about the description of Mark as an “avid environmentalist” by Comics Kingdom. It occurred to me today, however, that in the interest of fairness, I should check the CK descriptions of several other comics. After reading what CK had to say about RMMD, JP, A3G, and MW, I will not carp about MT’s writeup anymore. Instead, I will hire CK to write “About Poteet.” It will start “Known for her striking Nordic beauty…”

  164. terrapin
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    @Old School Allie Cat (#122):I recently, on Facebook, found the girl I had a crush on while a senior in high school. She looked to be about 200lbs. I felt bad…honest.

  165. geekwhisperer
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    Knock Knock

  166. endless sky
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    FC: Am I missing something here? Like some sort of joke? Can Thel really not distinguish her house key from the others on her keyring? But you can hardly blame her for being discombobulated — she spent the last two weeks at Blessem Mall with the brats. And wait til she sees this month’s cable bill! All those pay-per-views on the Playboy Channel from Bil’s soft porn marathon.

  167. Poteet
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    9CL — Bleeaaargh.

  168. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#165): Who’s there?

  169. Gabacho
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth – No, no, Josh and other people. Everbody’s wrong but me. Mary is so horrified by thought of that “God Help Us All” Dawn Westin seeking her advice, which would have to be honest – “Dawn, nobody will ever love you. Ever. Stop trying. Just stop it.” – and not hopeful.

    So powerful is this conflcit that in Mary’s head, hallucinations are popping in to thank her and reassure Mary of her high regard. First, it’s Howard and Carm. Next it will Charles and Camilla, then W and Gorby. But what’s real is Dawn is crying on her bed and Mary will have act like it matters. Let’s all enjoy the delay whilst we can.

  170. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    The cops figured out that the bullet came from Gene’s gun but they didn’t bother taking fingerprints off the gun or anything that tech-savvy.

    This is a story line from several detective/lawyer shows. The evidence against the protagonist’s client mounts, and then there is a miraculous last minute breakthrough and the defendent is found innocent. In the hands of a good writer, it is a road already well traveled. In the hands of Elrod, it is a ponderous, inept slog full of inconsistencies and actions by the characters that are contrary to widely known legal procedings. The mere fact that most of Mark Trail’s adventures end with assault and battery is just another hole in the Swiss cheese plot.

  171. Hogenmogen
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @Girl Reporter (#99): We had an Old English theme. Camelot in Yarmouth.

  172. Baka Gaijin
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    Dawn Weston’s future love life will be a pathetic series of serial marriages to serial killers on Death Row and a turbo-boost handheld shower massager.

  173. Spotts1701
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#170): Wait, there’s a plot? I thought it was a random encounter table run by a DM who had suffered one too many blows to the head.

  174. geekwhisperer
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:41 pm [Reply]


  175. yaoi huntress earth
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    FW: This has to be Batiuk’s greatest attempt at attention-whoring since the cancer-play. It’s amazing how he went to trouble to get the attention by alerting the newspapers, but put so little effort on the kids involved themselves. It’s like trying too hard and not at all at the same time.

  176. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#174): Kebechsenef who?

  177. geekwhisperer
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    If you don’t kebechsenef you’ll be cut from the team.

    Hello? Hello? Is this scribe on?

  178. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#174): Kebechsenef


  179. seismic-2
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#174): Kebechsenef
    I’m glad someone else got the same answer I did for last week’s Jumble

  180. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

  181. greghousesgf
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#108): Dances around like loonie to “Mr. Blue Sky”.

  182. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#177): So a group of Etruscan merchants travelling down the Apulian coast. As they entered the Ionian sea, they noticed a group of Greeks building houses along the shore.

    “You!” said the Etruscans, “Why are you building those houses there?”

    “Tarentum!” said the Greeks.

  183. Shrug
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#177):

    Four thousand years from now Laurel Hardy will do the same joke. No one will laugh then either.

  184. Shrug
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#182):

    They added that they could have gotten the local overlord to force his slaves to build the houses for them if they’d paid him a bribe, but they were the Greeks barring grifts.

    (Yeah, I know, Laurel Hardy won’t get a laugh with that one either.)

    I’ll be here all week — I have to be; there’s plague raging in the city.

  185. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    @Biv Alves (#182): If Henny Youngman were a pelecypod amellibranch, he’d be you. (By the way, Phra the Phoenician says “hello”!)

  186. Buckmode
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    Tasha’s mother told her she could make one stupid teen mistake–have a baby or get a tattoo. Thankfully, Tasha chose the tattoo.

  187. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    @Buckmode (#186): Which is a shame because what Tasha really wanted was to tattoo a baby.

  188. Alison
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    “Mary Worth”: Today’s strip should be re-run over and over until the end of time, with different, random characters filling in every day. “Mary gets thanked because her advice is terrific” is how all the plots in this comic end anyways, so why not just cut to the chase?

    “Thanks for your advice, Mary! It was great!”
    “You’re welcome, Cassie!”

    “Hello, Mary! I took your advice, and now I’m happy!”
    “I’m glad, Ben!”

    “Hi, Mary! Your advice sure helped me!”
    “That’s wonderful, Sarah!”

    Etc etc etc.

  189. Dale
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#158):

    Al’s wife could have easily kept Gene preoccupied in the trading post while X went out and killed Al.

  190. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    9CL: And here’s where McE’s aversion to editing and editors has proven his downfall. What could have been a tight, and even moving, story has instead become an exercise in irritating the reader.

    If edited, it would have gone something like this: ballerina gets modeling gig, begins to wonder about whether dancing is a career she indeed wants to pursue; said young woman has a pregnancy scare, and turns to her mother and lover for advice; they tell her to pee on a stick and make sure; she finds out that she’s not pregnant, but realizes that this incident has made her reevaluate both her professional career and her relationship with her lover. That’s not a bad story to tell, at all, and it has the potential to be actually moving, instead of crassly (and ineptly) manipulative.

    Instead, we have weeks of Edda being a total ninnyhammer, risking both her careers and mistreating and misleading friends and family while she revels in being the center of all the drama. Simultaneously, her creator revels in what he thinks is a work of genius, but is in fact an incoherent, sprawling mess, because he has no perspective on the flaws in his own work, or any sense of how people actually behave, and actively resists any attempts to enlighten him.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why this strip frustrates me. It has potential but its creator seems bound and determined to undercut it at every possible opportunity.

  191. Biv Alves
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#188): Sound like those herbal “male enhancement” commercials, but with Smug Mary instead of Smilin’ Bob.

  192. tallyHO
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#188):

    Someone with some gumption and spare time should make a generic template of today’s strip. Simply replace the couple with white silhouettes with a dashed line around them.
    Clear the word balloons for them, and, maybe clear the ones for Mary. Then everyone can thank Mary Worth.

    For instance, “Jared” from the Subway commercials can be shown in his fullest glory of his pre-pitchman days. He could be thanking Mary for realizing that he can just be how he feels and not what others expect from him.

    Or, the faces of the couple could be whited-out and replaced with faces of other people.


  193. Austria
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    FW: I sort of thought the storyline would end with Becky’s father revealing that he is, in fact, gay. Either way, 10 Internet dollars says we won’t see Nameless Gay Couple at all, and if we do, they’re either going to have two lines of dialogue or Batuik is going to draw them in every panel and beat the horse until it’s cold in its grave. “HAHA, I DREW GAY TEENS! AT THE PROM!! FUCK THE POLICE!!!

    Luann: I like to pretend that’s Ox’s dainty hand in the second panel.

    MW: Rather than “the immovable object,” I submit that Dawn’s love life is more akin to the tale of Sisyphus.

    PBS: I can appreciate this.

  194. True Fable
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    I followed Gil Thorp much better back when it was a poorly drawn, wretched hot mess of a comic. I mean, I once spent the better part of my comics time trying to paste together a plot of some kind out of three seemingly unrelated panels. Now they seem still unrelated but they just don’t translate from Stupid well enough to make the leap into plausible storyline.

  195. Cloudbuster
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#170): “The mere fact that most of Mark Trail’s adventures end with assault and battery is just another hole in the Swiss cheese plot just adds to the awesomeness.”

    Fixed that for you.

  196. Droopy Says
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#170): Thanks, I was trying to figure out the difference between Mark Trail and Angela Lansbury on “Murder She Wrote.” That difference is, the crimes happen before Trail shows up. Otherwise, we’ve got an asexual old nuisance who has good, if accident-prone, friends everywhere, and is a professional writer who is never caught doing any actual writing.

  197. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    MW — HOWIE Long is a former football player (Oakland Raiders) and CAM* Newton currently plays for the Carolina Panthers. I’m assuming Mary’s advice was for one of these gentleman to receive sexual reassignment surgery.

    *Yes, I know it’s “Carm” in the strip, but I was never one to let an “r” ruin a joke.

  198. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    MW-”You were right, Mary. It was easy to make his death look like an accident.”

    MW 2-”You were right, Mary. It is better to buy low and sell high.”

  199. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#188):

    (Thursday): “Fuck you, Mary. I took your advice. I quit my job but I wasn’t able to find another job and now I am turning tricks on the street corner.”

    “You’re welcome, Nola.”

  200. Carly
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    Why is it that the only strips that do extreme facial closeups are the strips that have no business doing extreme facial closeups? It’s like the artists are compensating for something.

  201. gnome de blog
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    @Girl Reporter (#99):
    I haven’t read all of the last 100+ comments, but I hope you got due credit for the brilliance of your prom theme suggestion, humorless nuns notwithstanding. Black humor at its best.

  202. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    MW-Now if you will just step to the side there is a long line of sycophants behind you who want to thank me and sing my praise.

  203. gnome de blog
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#134):
    I think the mothers are all bent out of shape because Darby was too timid to pitch high and inside, and left it up to her catcher to retaliate in a way that got her kicked out of the game.

  204. demoncat
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    mw howie and carm now that if they do not track down mary and thank her for her help she will come and find them again and meddle again. as mary keeps her tour of power going getting the energy she needs for dawn her next target . fw. becky is still in shock that her father finaly had enough of her battle ax of a mother and said what she and every one else wanted to say for so long but also that two students who just wanted to make a prom memory were used to cause that.

  205. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    @geekwhisperer (#165):
    Get off of my property, you! LOL ; )

  206. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug (#184):

    That was awesome. You went a long way to get there, but it was worth it.

  207. Jamus The Bartender
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    Luann: I’d kinda like to see Toni and Ann Eiffel ( an eyeful. Yeah, I get it. I only just got that a week or two ago) settle their differences in the squared circle. Or in a back alley somewhere. In their underwear. Using nails and teeth. It wouldn’t teach us that bullying is wrong or any of that Mister Rogers stuff, but it sure as hell would be fun to watch.

  208. Calico
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    @Carly (#200):
    Make that grotesquely overcompensating!

  209. BeckoningChasm
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    Panel two of Gil Thorpe looks A LOT like the image used for Robert Evans’ “The Kid Stays In the Picture” though I can’t remember if it was used for the book or the DVD.

  210. MWDG
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    MW: some radom thoughts….

    Mary in panel one looks like a bull dyke on the prowl at a Junior Achivement Awards ceremony….oops Carm and Howie busted her move. Guess Mary will come silthering back to Terry Bryson’s condo…another night of Anne Murray CDs, Cagney and Lacey DVDs, Colt 45 and Sloppy Joes.

    I guess Mary just shows up for her volunteering whenever she feels like it. Perhaps Mary can get Dawn to get up off her lazy ass and volunteer at the hostpital where maybe she can at least snag a husband.

  211. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#207): Ann Eiffel was named after French engineer Gustave Eiffel. His Compagnie des Establissments Eiffel was responsible for the design and construction of the Eiffel Tower.

  212. TheDiva
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#207): Greg Evans has actually drawn Ann and Toni cat-fighting (it’s somewhere on his blog, which I’m not motivated enough to visit right now). This has provided more insight into what motivates his artwork than I ever, ever wanted to know.

  213. Alison
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#192):
    I love it! How about a photo of Harry Truman inserted into the strip, saying, “Thanks to your great advice, Mary, we’ve won the Second World War!” (Hey, everybody already treats Mary like a big hero anyways, so I think this would fit right in!)

  214. commodorejohn
    May 21st, 2012 at 8:58 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#212): This. I might’ve been mildly amused by such a thing, until I actually stumbled upon it and realized that this was exactly Evans’s line of thinking all along, and then I just felt like I needed to go shower in boiling bleach.

  215. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    @Old School Allie Cat (#122): I was once junior-class adviser, and the prom committee wanted that year’s theme to be “A Night for Knocking Boots.” This was pre-internet, but it still didn’t take me long at all to figure out what “knocking boots” meant and put the kabosh on that theme. I thought it was kind of catchy, but I wanted to keep my job.

    To all DC-area ‘mudges: Just a reminder that wossname will be roaring in on her Harley next week, and so if you’d like to get together for dinner on 5/30 or 31, please email me at (my account was deactivated at some point, so I no longer have any of the email addresses from the big meet-up two years ago).

  216. seismic-2
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#212), @commodorejohn (#214): Remember that the animosity between Ann and Toni was triggered by rivalry over Brad. Yes, Brad.

    Ox, see that name written right above your head? “Greg Evans”? He’s a bully.

  217. Sgt. Stoned
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    @Comrade Dread (#39): MW: But her last vision will be that of Aldo Kelrast who will personally lead her into the infernal regions and gnaw at her liver for all eternity.

  218. Mcbain
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: You know, I’m starting to think Iris might have a bit of a drinking problem. It would certainly explain why she decided to cut her hair during the car ride to her father’s funeral.

    S-M: Uh-oh! Looks like Hardy’s going to make everyone rue the day..oh who the hell cares?!

  219. Peanut Gallery
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#92): “M gnna mkm n ffr ecnt refz.”

  220. tallyHO
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#213):
    Well, if you are gonna go there:

    Neil Armstrong, in full space suit says:
    “Before I went up there, I was scared of moon monsters. You talked me out of my fears!”
    “That third step was for you, Mary!”

  221. tallyHO
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth:
    “Neal, you made my day even better than when
    I vanquished the moon monsters by meddling back in the late 1700s.”

    ^@tallyHO (#220)

  222. tallyHO
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth Cut and Paste To Prove Your Worth ™:

    The last surviving Moon Monster, a.k.a. Ziggy:

    “I hate you!”

    Mary Worth:” Why can’t you see the brighter side of life? After all, you are no longer alone on the moon, your amongst friends….right?”

    Ziggy: “I hadn’t thought of that way. Thanks, Mary!”

  223. Liam
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#213):

    Jesus Christ, “Thank you Mary for dieing for our sins.”

  224. Sequitur
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    Moon monsters?! Dang it, Mary. Now you made them MAD!

  225. Peanut Gallery
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#120, #121): Thanks for those links! I have a really crummy VHS copy of that animation, and I never got around to looking it up in YouTube.

    In return, here’s a link to my favorite humorous anime music video.

  226. Artist formerly known as Ben
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#212): I’ll stick with, say, Batgirl and Harley Quin catfighting. A random DC Comics scribbler will likely invest their characters with more dimension than Evans has with those two.

  227. Doug Puthoff
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    5-21 GT Dan Quayle is now a middle-age African-American woman.

  228. Droopy Says
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#226): They have dimension. Those beak-lips jump right out of the page.

  229. Poteet
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#212): Amen. I tried to forget that artwork, but it is seared into my brain along with Rusty’s face and Gina’s ponytail.

  230. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    Sam & Silo

    Acme was never able to help Wile E. Coyote with his Road Runner problem, so the mayor is probably wise to dispense with their services:

  231. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#229): bats :[ or someone needs to take last Saturday’s Piranha Club and paste in Toni and Ann’s heads:

  232. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    @Doug Puthoff (#227): You mean he hasn’t always been?

  233. Alison
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#223):
    LOL. You know what, I can picture that!

  234. Rocky Stoneaxe
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#231): Last Friday AND Saturday to get the full effect!

  235. Frank Lee Meidere
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:17 pm [Reply]

    Ah, prom memories. None of which I have because I didn’t go.

    By the time I was finished with high school I was pretty disgusted with the way education was going (if I had only known how bad it was going to get). I declined to attend my graduation, too, which meant I got my diploma mailed to me. I opened it before my mother got home and tried to figure out the best way of showing it to her. I discovered that when I folded it in half lengthwise it was the same width as toilet paper, so I tore off a foot or so of paper from the roll, attached the folded diploma, wrapped it around the roll, then attached the piece I’d torn off and wrapped that around so it all looked fairly normal. (Not perfect, but who really examines the toilet paper?)

    My mother came home and I played it cool. I knew she’d found it a while later when I heard a sudden burst of laughter from the washroom.

  236. commodorejohn
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:41 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#224): With special guest appearance by the Giant Gila Monster!

    @Peanut Gallery (#225): Yeah, it’s a classic. A bunch of people have done re-edits with CD rips of the music, but that’s the only one I could find that (A) was uploaded after YouTube enabled HD (Halfway Decent) audio/video quality, and (B) didn’t have a massive synchronization gap for some stupid reason.

  237. tallyHO
    May 22nd, 2012 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    MaaaaaaAAArrry! Worth.

    An alternative for Funning up today’s MW strip is to replace “Things are much better now.” with another line, such as:
    “Thinking of you is an aphrodisiac!”
    “Swinging is awesome!”
    “We’re lubed right now and ready to go!”
    “We want you to join us, Mary!”
    “Now we hang out at hospitals, too!”
    “Now we are stalking you, using your patented
    Meddling Methodology.”
    “You should know, we sent you the Gina-Signal in the sky.”

    etc. clickity clackity…dotdotdot

  238. Droopy Says
    May 22nd, 2012 at 12:36 am [Reply]

    The A-snoozing Spiderman: Okay, Peter, you struck out with Captain America, so maybe your wife is safe from Generic Brand.

    Windy Winybean: No, all the principal did was play dead when the old hag entered his office, ignored a demonstration outside his school, then parroted the rules to a captive audience when the students almost embarrassed him with a walk-out. It’s the husband of the straw woman who actually did something.

    Mock Trail: I’ve heard gunshots. They are loud. If Johnson had been inside the trading post when Chavez was shot, everyone in there would have heard the rifle shot. And whoever shot Al Chavez (either his wife or her boyfriend) must have done it very close to the trading post, because there wouldn’t be time to grab the rifle, carry it a mile away, shoot the man, then return it to the boat.

  239. Spiff Bereft
    May 22nd, 2012 at 12:36 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#56): Then it was worth it! Thank you!

  240. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    May 22nd, 2012 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#235): The yearbook from my senior year in high school has endpaper artwork of some floating scrolls which, no doubt, represent diplomas. In my copy, and any others I got my hands on, I drew perforations on them, dividing them up into squares.

    I didn’t go to Graduation. I was thinking I might be out of town already, so I spoke to a counselor about it and was referred to the Dean, and then to the Principal. He chatted with me briefly, spoke of days to come, then handed me my diploma and shook my hand. As I went out of the office, it occurred to me I had just had a private graduation ceremony. It was the first year of the school’s existence, too, and sometimes I wonder if I was the first graduate of Rocky Mountain High.

  241. Girl Reporter
    May 22nd, 2012 at 1:18 am [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#171): Was Mary Jo Kopechne crowned your prom queen?

  242. Dr. Weird
    May 22nd, 2012 at 1:47 am [Reply]

    @Austria (#193):

    Either way, 10 Internet dollars says we won’t see Nameless Gay Couple at all, and if we do, they’re either going to have two lines of dialogue or Batuik is going to draw them in every panel and beat the horse until it’s cold in its grave.

    I say you’re wrong, that Batuik doesn’t have enough interest in teenagers to draw the prom itself for long (he certainly didn’t bother putting anyone recognizable in the background today). Which of the teenage cast showed any interest in the prom at all? I’ll bet Hateful Old Woman and Camera Husband will get more on-panel time at the prom, rubbing her nose in it than the gay students or any students at all!

    Though with Tuesday’s strip, I was only half right.

  243. seismic-2
    May 22nd, 2012 at 2:08 am [Reply]

    @Dr. Weird (#242): But surely the Specialest Snowflake has to be crowned Prom Queen, if Westview HS has such a thing, doesn’t she. But is she even there? Who’s her date? The guy we saw hitting on her in the previous text-messaging-doesn’t-work-that-way thread? Did even Jinx go, who was selling the tickets? As you say, this event has attracted much more interest among the adults than among the students, so maybe the gay couple who dare not speak their name didn’t even bother to go, after all.

  244. John C Fremont
    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:23 am [Reply]

    Today’s Lio did not make me cry. I just, uh, had something in my eye, that’s all.

  245. Dale
    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:32 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#238):

    Mock Trail or mock Elrod?

    A fundamental question is: How did the shooter know how much time he would have before Gene returned to his boat?

    If the shot was heard in the trading post, seems like there might be someone to say, “We heard a shot, Gene was here”.

  246. Droopy Says
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:29 am [Reply]

    @Dale (#245): That’s some of the many baffling things here. How many people were at the trading post, how long was Gene Johnson inside, and how far was his boat from the post? Somebody should have heard a gunshot while Johnson was in the post, if he’s telling the truth. Why didn’t Trail go there and ask around, instead of going straight to one of the obvious suspects? (Obvious to me–I think Trail won’t get a clue until someone pulls a gun on him.)

    Although maybe the details of the post don’t matter. Maybe the scenery moves around like the abandoned cabin in the Blind Butch story.

  247. Hogenmogen
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:57 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#246): And after Al was dead, how did he take his boat home? I’m thinking it was the wife.

    I assume that Al (or his wife) took his boat home, since Gene said that he saw Al’s boat leave before his. Mark never asked where the body was found, so we don’t know where it was found.

    I’ve done research, and in the Northern Part Of The State, it is in fact accepted police practice to inspect the crime scene with the alleged perpetrator.

  248. Horace Broon
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    Blondie: It’s a joke about brand new jeans that look all ripped up! That never gets old!

    FW: Oh, we’re getting a week of everyone patting themselves on the back about how awesome they are for sorting out a problem they didn’t actually do much to sort out. What is this, Mary Worth?

    MT: Appart from all the nonsensical details others have pointed out, “the sheriff and I have already done that”? Do sheriffs normally invite the chief suspect to have a look round the scene of the crime and see if there’s anything that might exonerate him?

    MW: “Dawn! You’ll excuse me for moment, but we’re about to do it right here on the floor of the supermarket”

    SH: Samantha, how would you feel if you were stuck as a cat? Would you care if it was an attractive female cat? Being human is only awesome to humans.

  249. Horace Broon
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:01 am [Reply]

    @Hogenmogen (#247):

    Ah, postjumped on the “why was Gene examining the crime scene” thing.

  250. Dale
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    The prison cell moves around. Watch which side the door is on.

    Or it’s a 4-man cell. Gene answers a question and moves to the other side, like a Truth Teller/Liar puzzle.

    If Gene has the cell to himself, why do all the bunks have bedding on them?

  251. seismic-2
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    @Dale (#250): If Gene has the cell to himself, why do all the bunks have bedding on them?

    When Mark Trail shows that Gene is in fact innocent of killing his fishing-camp competitor, the Sheriff will be so impressed that he will drop that little cannibalism charge.

  252. S. Stout
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:19 am [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#207):

    Evans already drew that scene on his website. I only went there because “Hey Boy” enraged me so much I had to tell him how awful he was.

  253. Joe King
    May 22nd, 2012 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp, ripped from the headlines? Or is life imitating art?

  254. giraffe-o
    May 22nd, 2012 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    FWbean : Whoa, how daring of Mr. Batiuk to defy narrative convention and break the 180 rule in that final panel. I just assumed it was poor continuity by the colorist : “Eh, put one woman in a brown dress and one in a black. It doesn’t matter which. In fact, put that dialog baloon anywhere, that doesn’t matter either, no one will pay attention long enough to get to the third frame.”

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