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Hillman vs. Hillman

Cathy, 1/10/08

Whenever anyone, usually a woman, in a comic strip, or some other narratively undemanding medium, declares, “I want to talk about us,” it only leads to one place: disputes, anger, tears, madness, and broken lives. The marriage of Cathy and Irving, solemnized in February of 2005, is thus almost certainly on its way out. Will Cathy become more readable (or, really, readable at all) if Cathy is ACK-ing not to her accountant, but to her divorce attorney? Will Irving’s bug-eyed manias be more acceptable if they involve an obsessive catalog of all the gadgets that he brought to the marriage that should by right be his after the divorce? Will I be able to derive sick pleasure from week after week of their bitter, heart-rending, and expensive court proceedings? Will Cathy finally be forced to testify, under oath and before a judge, about why exactly she doesn’t have a nose?

Apartment 3-G, 1/10/08

It’s not clear whether Blaze is actually paying to have his super-cool New Year’s bash catered by Magee Dangerous Emotional Mood Swing Event Planning LLC and Ruby is filling in so that Margo and Eric can have sex, or if he’s just conned Ruby, his sister/cousin/whatever (I believe where they’re from it just all falls under “kin”) into cooking for nothing so he can mingle with the hepcats. On the one hand, Blaze’s last professional dealing with Margo came several years ago, when she was a wildly unqualified publicist rather than a wildly unqualified event planner; he hired her to promote his play and she, like, forgot or something, so you’d think he’d be wary of throwing more money her way. On the other hand, there are some pink, green, and yellow balloons in the living room, and that’s just the sort of half-assed and aesthetically misguided touch we’ve come to expect from Margo’s crack team.

That plate of whole, unskinned potatoes sure looks to be piping hot! Thankfully, Ruby can just set it down on the bottom of panel two.

Gil Thorp, 1/10/08

I don’t really have a lot of dealings with teenagers — they made me anxious when I was a teenager, and I haven’t really seen anything since that’s made me change my mind about them — but the idea of Andrew Gregory desperately texting his ex-girlfriend to boast about his athletic achievements strikes me as a slightly more accurate depiction of the emotional contours of high school life than most things that happen in this strip. Not accurate, however, is the way Andrew’s Vulcan ex is holding her phone in the last panel. It’s like there was pre-existing drawing of her holding a dead fish, and it was reused with just a little redrawing.

They’ll Do It Every Time, 1/10/08

Say, if my records are right, “Patrick Duke” is none other than faithful reader captainswift! Congrats to you, Patrick — but did you send this one to Al by e-mail or real letter? Or by smoke signals?

Bonus Scadutoism: “Fumpher”.

229 responses to “Hillman vs. Hillman”

  1. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    I’d like to talk about why the table’s suddenly huge in the second panel, and why Cathy married an octopus.

  2. cyke
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    Does anyone know when the final TDIET will appear?
    Wouldn’t it be cool if it was a curmudgeon reader who submitted the idea?
    Any word on if the strip will be continued after the final one runs?

  3. saint ruby
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    josh, you got a typo in there – “Andew’s vulcan ex.”

    I’m such a pedant. Christ.

  4. Ron Hogan
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    A Vulcan ex with a weird swivel hinge joining legs to torso, based on the angle at which she appears to be sitting.

  5. Pastor Z
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:29 pm [Reply]

    Margo has a business account at K-Mart. It’s perfect for when you’re hosting a blue-light party.

  6. Lou Shumaker
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Good thing blondie’s brain-dead, because those piping-hot potatos must be scalding her hand.

  7. Craig
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    I think Andrew’s ex has actually been brutally dismembered, then reassembled with an elaborate ball joint system so her friend (read: jealous murderer) can pose her like some “My First BFF” doll. This not only explains the incredibly awkward sitting position, but also why her hand can only grip items like an action figure grips an accessory.

  8. Josh
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    #3 St. Ruby — Fixed! You go right on with your pedantism; somebody’s got to!

    Josh

  9. Rusty
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    Cathy and Irving are slowly working towards consummating their marriage. It’s only been two years, and soon she will be past menopause and safely barren. Every time I think of the money this hack has made producing this offal I get a little depressed.

  10. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    Wait a second — Cathy and Irving have a last name? Or was that an allusion to something else?

  11. GregoryHarbin
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    Glad to see there’s another Charlottean reading TCC. Scaduto should have known that wasn’t a real reader sending in a suggestion, no paper here even carries his strip.

  12. Rhekarid
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    Geez, if I’d wanted to get personal I would’ve married y-OH NO

  13. Mustache Mike
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    I’m not sure if Vulcan ex and her friend are sittingg on a bed or at the beach. Either way, they’re in the usual GT vaccume.

  14. ArbuckleLovesLyman
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    Uhm, I feel there should be a discussion of the bows in Ruby’s hair. Although I think all that really needs to be said is “ew”.

  15. King Folderol
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Balloons? Where Blaze is from, I believes they calls dem “chandeliers”.

    (DT) GT – They’re not Vulcans, they’re men. Men!

  16. KT
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:49 pm [Reply]

    This whole “editing cartoons to make them funnier or weirder” thing is fun!

    http://kinkyturtle.masemware.com/pictures/other/Gil_Thorp20080110-bited.gif

  17. Lord-z
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:52 pm [Reply]

    Cathy: “I am Vishnu, God of useless gadgets. Spread your legs, mortal, for my mighty urinary tract health measurer .”

    Gil Thorp: If they got the artist behind Cathy to draw GT, I think that it would be an improvement. Even if I do like the Fonz.

    TDIET: That… That might be the strangest urge that I have ever seen. That I don’t really see the connection between hating answering machines and sending e-mail, that is another thing.

  18. alamo
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    gt — i just cannot get over how ugly and bizarre the people are in gt. the men look like freaking f-ing frankenstein monsters and the women look like the men only with women’s wigs. my butt is better looking.

  19. Spunky N. Tadpole
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    OK: that pose IS weird, even for Gil Thorp; a strip which has taken considerable liberties with depictions of human anatomy for years. I guess the near-noseless blonde with the fish-lips is meant to be laying on the bed with her legs up (although given the bizarre perspective, most of her lower body seems to be suspended in mid-air) ; while Vulcan Girl is sitting facing us – assuming that that white diagonal stripe at the lower right in panel 3 is supposed to be her leg – what’s happened to her hips? Or don’t they have normal joints on Vulcan>

    @ #6 – Lou S.: Ruby may indeed actually be brain-dead (those bows are a dead giveaway): but she HAS maintained enough wattage to keep her oven mitts on while handling the hot-potato plate. At least I hope those are potatoes.

    Oh and, Josh: I think the late Mr. Scaduto didn’t coin “Fumpher”, but borrowed it from the original Yiddish. But who’s complaining???

  20. KT
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    Prickly City: “Weird weepy Britney defender”? Scott Stantis seems to be suffering from “That Comic About Those Two Black Guys Who Refer To Everything In Generic Terms” Syndrome.

  21. Derelict
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    Lord Z (17)–You beat me to it!

    Dang! Can’t be quick enough around here.

  22. Hank
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    RE: Mary Worth. I seriously think the writer is intentionally doing “stories” now that are so “realistic” as to no longer count as dramatic fiction. Think about it: we had “Dr. Jeff dating two women at once and they got pissed off and dumped him. The End.” Now we had “Mary finds a lost dog, puts up some fliers and his owner comes and gets him. The End.” Next up will probably be plots like “Professor Chinbeard forgets to pay his VISA bill on time and has to call the credit company to get the late fee waived” and “Tobey doesn’t jiggle the handle so they get a big water bill.”

  23. Brick Bradford
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    #23 Mary starts wandering off from Charterstone so they put her in the home. THE END!

  24. Brick Bradford
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:04 pm [Reply]

    ooooops. Meant #22. Maybe I’m headed for the home!

  25. Gandalf
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    Cathy continues to be written by someone who’s never been in a relationship, as evidenced by Irving’s failure to recognize the royal “us” and understand that he is to nod, agree, and stay the hell out of her monversation.

  26. Catbus
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    Cathy and Irving in divorce court? I wish! My worst fear is that we’re about to be in for 9 months of strips about pregnancy. I don’t even want to think about what comes after that.

  27. Larry Muffin Jr.
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    Ever since being introduced to GT, I’ve wondered what’s going on with their hair–it appears to just grow straight out of their head, versus eventually succumbing to gravity and lying flat like normal hair. I knew it kind of reminded me of something, but I didn’t know what until now. I’ve finally figured it out: their hair looks exactly like the hairstyles commonly featured in that semi-creepy musical ‘Cats.’
    http://www.lakeland.edu/UserFiles/Image/Alumni/Cats%20photo%20for%20web.jpg
    Seriously, if any of them were to ever grow their hair out, they’d look just like the guy in the middle.

  28. Kumquat
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    9CL – I don’t think a woman who goes around telling total strangers that her breasts are still perky enough to look halfway decent in an underwire bra has any business looking down on poor Britneigh for having had the bad luck to be named by a fan of Michael Patterson’s baby names book.

  29. Larry Muffin Jr.
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    Especially the blond guy.

  30. Regency Kitten
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    I believe that if you peruse the US magazine photos of Paris Hilton ringing in the Year you’ll find several lackeys with trays of potatoes. Maybe Blaze is where it’s at.

  31. ltrftp Hedly
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    Josh
    Those aren’t potatoes. Those are buffa – loafs left over from the Curtis Kwanza strip. It is the start of a wacky crossover. Curtis is going to move into 3-G to get away from his brother. He will stay until Margo has finished building her cocoon around Eric.

  32. Shlomo
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    I really like how Irving’s rambling put Cathy into a strait-jacket in panel 3. Welcome to our world Cathy. We also go crazy when we read your comic.

  33. Hero120499
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:28 pm [Reply]

    “pink, green, and yellow balloons in the living room” for whatever reason, I read this as being “pink, green, and yellow bananas in the living room” which – come to think of it – are probably something Margot has in storage from her Mistress Margot days. Though, LuAnn would probably try to eat one and end up in ICU again … and though the x-rays might prove interesting…we’d have to suffer through LuAnn in the hospital again.

  34. NightRaven
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    Why does Ruby no longer look like the spry 50-year old she used to look like, instead of this faux-teenager look?

    And when will the Kings Features web update their profile of Al Scaduto? It still says he “lives in Milford, CT. He has two daughters, Patricia Violette and Deborah, and three grandchildren”, kind of disrespectful to his family, don’t you think?
    http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/theydoit/bioMaina.htm

  35. Baron Von Foobenstein
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:32 pm [Reply]

    I sometimes think Lynnuck Johnston and Cathy Guyswipe were separated at birth. Both write a somewhat-autobiographical strip. (Both Cathys married late in life, WELL past their sell-by date.) Both write comic strips that only frickin’ retards would like. Both make men look like douchbags.

    Is Cathy supposed to be an endearing character? She’s not! She’s just annoying. I can’t believe anyone likes this strip or would claim they can relate to it. It’s dreck.

  36. Mariko
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:35 pm [Reply]

    #7 Craig:
    This has probably been stated many times before, but your comment about Generic Name’s ex made me realize that these characters aren’t poorly-drawn– they’re just modeled after action figures! Look at the second and third panels of today’s Gil Thorp, and you can almost imagine the artist setting up his action figure collection just so.

  37. Bobdog
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    #36 – Action figures from the land of misfit toys, apparently.

  38. Poteet
    January 10th, 2008 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    To me, those things on Ruby’s plate look like pigs-in-a-blanket or some other form of a bread-related substance wrapped around a darker,non-bread-related substance. Not that I want to taste one and find out.

  39. Rainbird
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    22 Hank
    I am hoping that something more is going to happen in Mary Worth. There must be some twist. She falls in love, or the dog gets hit by a car, or won’t eat with his old owner, or something.

    Otherwise, as you say, what a waste.

  40. Rainbird
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    Gandalf #25 Actually, the author of Cathy has been in a relationship, or was the last time I read an interview with her. She said one of the reasons she married her off was because she hadn’t been single in a while, and it was getting hard to write. She also is thin, and lost a lot of weight, so hasn’t been fat in a while.

  41. True Fable
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    FBoFW So in other words, in the last panel John IS saying “Yes, you look like your mother” in the same way would-be yentas say, “she’s got a great personality” when you ask them to describe someone.

    And John used to tease her about her ginormous butt. Maybe she really DID pour the hot coffee in his lap at some point, after all.

  42. John E.
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    39 Rainbird

    I feel the same way about Abbey’s damn brownies.

  43. KT
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    “Fumpher”? Wasn’t that a character from Bambi?

    Or maybe the porn version of Bambi?

    (Don’t worry, I’m not gonna draw that!)

  44. SecretMargo
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    38: My thoughts exactly, Poteet: Those are pigs-in-a-blanket, mos def. A perfect accompaniment for the “methadone clinic birthday party” ambiance conjured by Eric’s glary, uneven lighting; Margo’s sparse, sad balloons; Lu Ann’s addled art pieces; and Alan whispering “how bout a blow for some blow” to every guy who enters the stall next to his in the men’s room.

    14: I don’t know who you are, but your nom de blog is awesome.

  45. BigTed
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    I hope Cathy realizes that the main reason Irving married her was so that he’d never have to talk about his feelings again. Anyway, isn’t that what the dog was for?

  46. RaB
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    Why does Blaze have an entire wall of TVs and/or microwave ovens?

  47. bats :[
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:37 am [Reply]

    41. TF re FOOB: yeah, something like that
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/2184933648/

    And in other nooz…

    MW: as everyone watches, Ralphie frolics into traffic and is hit by a bus.

    RMMD: I honestly have no idea what Rex is talking about.

    JP: join us for another thrilling installment of “Nearly Sex but Not Quite”!

  48. captainswift
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    So, here’s the thing. A teen-age coworker of mine was complaining that another coworker she was crushing on wasn’t responding to her text messages. So I said, “why don’t you call him? It’s faster, you can say more, and you have the phone right in your dang hand.” Something like that. Text messaging annoys me, but that’s probably because all the text messages I get are spam.

    Anyway, I concocted my TDIET idea from that. My initial idea was something to the effect of “When people call a business and get a recording or computer, they always want to talk to a real person. But when they correspond with the real people in their own life, do they want to talk? No, they want to text, or e-mail.”

    Sadly, I did, in fact, contribute this by email. But I misplaced his phone number… oh, yeah!

  49. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    “Margo’s crack team”? I imagine Margo’s crack team as sort of the pit crew of Margo’s ultrahyper coked-out life. She’s hired dedicated crew members who specialize in every aspect of the crack experience so she can go from rocks to rocked in milliseconds. Her professional spoon handler’s the best in the biz…and her lighter jockey? Makes Speedy Gonzales look like your great aunt Ethel in the 15 items or less line counting coupons and pennies.

    As for “Cathy”…what is there to say about “Cathy”? As the illustrious Baron (35) pointed out, there are similarities between “Cathy” and FOOB…but the difference is that while FOOB once was actually a good strip, “Cathy” is the suck beyond suck, the crap that crap craps, the outtakes from a William Hung recording session. “Cathy” makes Johnston’s wit sparkle like fucking diamonds; “Cathy”‘s drawing style makes Lynn J.’s squiggles look like Vermeers in comparison; the plotting and characterization in “Cathy” make Johnston seem a veritable Dickens; and the blazing stupidity of “Cathy” makes FOOB read like Thomas Pynchon.

    In conclusion, I do not much care for the work of Ms. Guisewite.

    (Back to the shadows again!)

  50. Red Greenback
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    A3g: Ruby takes her love to town.

  51. Starrynight
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:42 am [Reply]

    #1 Cheeky– The table is suddenly huge in the second panel because Guisewite hired the draw-er (not going to say “artist”) responsible for the incredible shrinking/growing Chester in MW.

    A3G– I never read this strip before discovering CC, but I’m appalled at how consistently bad it is. The bows have to go, as does the poor attempt at using current teenage lingo (“baby girl”).

    I think those potatoes are rolled around bits of Ruby’s famous brownies…

  52. migellito
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    Ah, Ruby got a new hair-don’t. It goes great with those Texas-baked steer eyes.

  53. mollificent
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    Um um um…ok, if Andrew’s ex’s *left* leg is the huge white thing protruding off to the right of the panel, then…

    WHERE is her right hand and WHAT exactly is it doing?

    *brain bleach brain bleach brain bleach aaagggh*

  54. Alt Comix
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:03 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker: Did Sam blow his chance to make Abbey’s day? What was he thinking? What was Abbey thinking?

    Click here to find out http://www.flickr.com/photos/altcomix/2184968284/

  55. SecretMargo
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    44: Oh, [margo], I mistook Blaze’s New Years bash for Lu Ann’s big opening. Scratch that comment then. (Except for the pigs-in-blanket. Poteet’s still correct)

    I’ll just have to content myself with observing that I would like to one day direct a pornographic feature called Blaze Bashes Lu Ann’s Big Opening.

  56. Rainbird
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    Friday’s Crankshaft
    OK, I have never lived in snow country, but is it common to build your snowman in the street?

    Or is it that Crankshaft has driven on this guys lawn? Aren’t the streets plowed?

    I’m so confused.

  57. Rainbird
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:18 am [Reply]

    Friday’s Gasolne Alley

    Who calls license plates license tags? Perhaps that is how the criminal will be caught. He’s been taking Gil Tharp lesson on how not to speak.

  58. mumbles
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:22 am [Reply]

    GT: I bet there are a lot of “TV and study sessions” in Milford. It explains the kids – accidental head-shavers, backyard-wrestling killers, etc.

  59. Freezair
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    Friday’s MT:

    Mr. Elrond, we believe that if we operate using a new proceedure, we may be able to save your strip. It’s called a Shirleyectomy.

  60. Ron Hogan
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:32 am [Reply]

    I’ve decided that Friday’s 9 Chickweed Lane works better as a lesbian vampire movie, a la The Hunger.

  61. Ryl
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:39 am [Reply]

    Friday comics, fresh of the internets!

    9CL: Can the Bulldozer of Death from Dick Tracy come over and visit these two, please?

    DT: Ladies and gentlemen, filling in for Dick in the second panel: a corncob pipe.

    JP: Bwa-ha-ha! You WILL have conjugal relations with your wife, Sam! You can’t get away from her that easily!

    MT: Dr. Mallard saves the day!

    RMMD: If they want to stay out of jail, they’ll stay behind us…where they can get a clear shot at us.

  62. Stu
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    “Who’s” da man?
    NOBODY SAYS “who’s da man?”

  63. Dub Not Dubya
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:55 am [Reply]

    16 kt: good job! I liked all the other Photoshops on this thread, too, but I wanted to give some encouragement to someone just starting out. Do more!

  64. SecretMargo
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:55 am [Reply]

    MW – I doubt many images in the comics today will be as blithely unsettling as the rightful owner of the Pup Formerly Known As Chester casually picking up his newly regained canine and tossing him into a ravine as Mary natters on obliviously in the foreground.

  65. True Fable
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:08 am [Reply]

    9CL Creepy. Is she warning the associate prof about the faculty, or about herself?
    A3G Some day, I hope cartoonists will learn that not everyone who lives in Texas lives on a damn ranch!
    Blondie Nice comeback, Dag. Your pink slip will be included in your final paycheck envelope.
    Cathy (Must Die) I still do not understand why this strip still exists.
    C’haft Jerk. I saw it coming and I take no pleasure in my correct call.
    Crock GOAT!!! :-)
    DtM You know, he’s not actively menacing today but the strip struck me as funny.
    (WT)DT Gee the tension is killing me.
    FC Based on what hallucination, Dolly?
    FBoFW John, no matter what kind of spin you try to put on it, you are married to a frumpy hag with a terrible disposition. I’m afraid you lose coming and going but then, Elly’s in the same boat with YOU.
    Fred Bassett Who the hell is Taffy?! And why is this supposed to be funny?
    FW And Comic Book John is successful, too? Oh wow – that can only mean that (a) someone’s gonna die or (b) someone’s gonna suffer somehow. It’s like a law or something.
    (DT)GT I don’t know what’s going on in this strip but it doesn’t matter. I’ve started reading it backwards and it makes just as much sense.
    JP Don’t tease me, Woody. I’d better see some hot action in this strip this weekend. Meanwhile – dammit, Sam, don’t you DARE answer the phone, call anyone, go out to look at a biplane, read the mail or ANYTHING except jump your wife’s bones in no uncertain terms!
    MT How scientists determined that shouting in a house full of crooks will shorten your life.
    Marmaduke I hate this comic, in all its one-trick-pony glory.
    MW Here’s an idea, Mary: Get a GOAT! Ian will think it’s his long-lost twin, but will be depressed when he realizes everyone loves his cute twin who is much smarter than Ian and loads more agile.
    PBS The premiere GOAT!! comic. Boy, I tell you what, putting more goats in comic strips makes the world a better place. :-)
    Pluggers Oh good lord. I am the Plugger de Jour.
    PreTeena Wait… the bitchy teen’s boyfriend’s name is Johnson? He’d do well waiting a few years until Teena’s old enough to date. Right now his nickname is Limp.
    Quigmans Dammit, this is such a poorly drawn strip. The humor’s okay but the artwork is AWFUL.
    RMMD I have to say, I like Rex’s look in panel one. Seriously. He needs to be miserable, soaking wet and shot at more often.

  66. Will
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    Josh, I think it’s “pedantry” rather than “pedantism.” Not that I am at all familiar with the subject…

  67. Mibbitmaker
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    Friday, Jan 11, 2008:

    Cranky: This is the day Keesterman finally commits murder (He later gets acquited on grounds of “justifiable homicide”)

    S-M:
    Simon Krandis: “I abhor the word ‘force’!”
    Osama bin-Laden: “I abhor the phrase ‘blow people up’!”
    GW Bush: “I ab-whore the word ‘stupid’!”
    Paris Hilton: “I whore up the word ‘useless’! … What? That’s what the President just said, right?”
    Generalissimo Francisco Franco: “I abhor the word ‘dead’!”
    Tom Batiuk: “I abhor the word ‘depressing’!”
    Cathy Guisewhite: I abhor the word ‘hack’!”
    Donald Trump: I abhor the word ‘Trump’!”
    Mibbitmaker: “I abhor the phrase ‘milking it’!”

    FOOB: Oh, God, that’s even worse!

    FW: The comics collectors’ market? I know where it always was: in the pits of Hell! (Did I mention I read indies? Yes, read, Batiuk!)

    A3G: ……..Well duh!

    BBailey: Hell, they’re too lazy to do an actual joke!

    GT: “…and, I forgot to tell you: there was a family of 4 inside at the time! [Anne and friend giggle louder] And… and two of them were little children! [Anne & friend start to laugh aloud] A boy of 5 and -*sob!* – a girl of only 2!! [Anne & pal howl with laughter] Th-their grandmother’s in deep emotional trauma, and… [the two TV-and-Studiers rotfltao!]…. and an uncle’s on the verge of suicide… [the two of them scream in laughter]… What is wrong with you?!! [*click*]

    Buckets: Uh…kid… can you say “Writers’ Strike”?

    Drabble: I think I’ve seen that commercial.

    MG&G: Would it be too unlikely if Mother Goose shows up, repeatedly screaming, “AFLACK!!”?

  68. Poteet
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:41 am [Reply]

    # 44 — BWAHAHA! Thank you, SecretMargo. Your description is excellent. And if any pigs-in-a-blanket are left over after the festivities, they can be carried right across the page into a PLUGGERS panel, where they’ll be the most nutritious food in the room.

    RMMD — Instead of Cape Fear, we get Neckerchief Nervous.

  69. LardashPWellbottom
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:23 am [Reply]

    I find January 11′s Herb and Jamal strip to be perhaps the ultimate example of anti-humor. The joke, ostensibly, is: “What with everything in our society going so fast, everything has to go fast!” My understanding of comedy is that humor usually comes from a twist on your audience’s expectations, but this may well be why I am not a professional comic stripper.

    On the subject of elements of the comics that do not inspire laughter, I find the breakfast-related image in the final panel of today’s Mother Goose and Grimm to be not so much a hilarious visual punchline as it is a deeply disturbing nightmare.

  70. Frank Parsnip
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:52 am [Reply]

    A3G: I guess, fair or unfair, Ruby’s always been seen as being the “star of the family”. Poor Lu Ann…

    Sex Organ, M.D.: Today the role of Rex Morgan will be played by Steven Baldwin.

    Funky Pantysniffer: Well, John, if it weren’t for old one-armed ladies who never throw anything away, I guess you’d be unmarried and childless.

    MT: WHAT? YOU SAY AN OPERATION MIGHT SAVE MY LIFE? WHAT? DAMN, THIS TUMOR MUST BE LOCATED ON THE PART OF MY BRAIN THAT HELPS ME SPEAK AT AN APPROPRIATE VOLUME! GEEZ, I’M TALKIN’ SO LOUD I CAN’T HARDLY HEAR A WORD YOU’RE SAYING! OH, FER CRISSAKE, IT’S ALSO PROBABLY LOCATED RIGHT ON THE PART THAT CONTROLS NONSTOP GABBING! MAYBE I COULD HEAR YOU MORE CLEARLY IF I PLUGGED IN THE PHONE CORD INSTEAD OF SIMPLY HOLDING THIS OLD-STYLE HANDSET.

    Jugs Parker: Today, the role of Sam Driver will be played by Mark Trail.

    MW: No more interest in dogs? Well, at least Mary can go sell all those godawful amounts of doggie snacks, toys and other accessories on eBay.

    DtM: I liked this one today — very meanacing because we all know the next sentence out of his mouth is going to be: “We’re going to have to get that bitch in line.”

    GT: Little known fact is that if you call Anne Mayer’s house you can always reach Maureen Monte to tell her about the numerous vehicle fires that plague Milford. Seja Patel knows this. Lisa Wyche and Helen Marzano missed the whole fire because they had gone shopping for half-empty cans of gasoline to bring home to their loved ones and were, tragically, walking in a direction away from the fire.

  71. Keg of Curd
    January 11th, 2008 at 5:48 am [Reply]

    I really can’t express how unhappy I am that my morning just began with the words ‘urinary tract’ in a Cathy comic.

    Well, I know how to express that sort of unhappiness, but I don’t have that much enriched uranium lying around.

  72. Dub Not Dubya
    January 11th, 2008 at 5:53 am [Reply]

    I just got a Nigerian scam email from Sandra Worth. I was so tempted to write back and ask her if she was related to Mary and then go into boring detail with my opinions of everything Mary’s been up to these last few years. That could be a lot of fun if I felt up to putting the effort into it. If anyone else hears from her, please feel free to take the idea and run with it. In fact, maybe you could just write to her yourself and pretend that she emailed you first. If someone wants to do it, send me an email at [my username] at gmail dot com, and I’ll send you Sandra’s address.

  73. AhClem
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:57 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft – Ha! I called it yesterthread.

  74. Godzooky
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:58 am [Reply]

    #72 Dub Not Dubya: Generally, not advisable to reply to e-mail from spammers/scammers. That just confirms your address is valid, then comes the deluge.

  75. gleeb
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:00 am [Reply]

    Bizarro: As fresh and cutting-edge as last summer’s fish.

    ‘shaft: No one dead. A bad pun. No smirking. Feh.

    Curtis: What, Oprah has to campaign for anyone who’s black? She didn’t come out for ex-ambassador Keyes, either, now that you mention it, Curtis.

    Dick: What Tracy doesn’t know usually ends up hurting a lot of people.

    ‘bean: So, you swindled an old lady out of her valuable possession. Way to go, geek.

    Parker: I like coffee, sweet and hot…

    Phantom: Damned Swiss miscreants! He’s probably got Nazi-seized gold on him right now!

    Sally: Coffee is a flavor.

    TDIET: It’s the question we all must ask ourselves these days: did you frammis th’ bardis on the screed?

  76. Little A.
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    TDIET: I guess we haven’t got too many ‘mudgers who speak or understand Yiddish, because a “fumpher” is somebody who literally talks through his or her nose, or, metaphorically, somebody who doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about but insists he knows what he is saying. And tells you over and over again. Or something like that.

    Maybe Scaduto was Jewish but changed his name, from Greenberg, or Levine, something similar like that. They’ll do it every time, at least in my grandparents generation they did.

  77. smacky
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:26 am [Reply]

    FOOB: “No, silly, you’re starting to look like your father in drag!” (shudder)

  78. smacky
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    RMMD: Geez, when Rex gets wet, he transforms. Any chance he’s part gremlin?

  79. Pozzo
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    Watch it, Cathy! Irving’s been replaced in panel two by the many-armed temple god of Kali!

  80. julienne
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    Cathy, meet Crankshaft.

    #49 Gadge Cubic – Word.

  81. Squid Countess
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:01 am [Reply]

    Today’s TDIET is the first one I’ve read since Al’s death that really does not sound like Al to me. Would Al have Migraina or Catastra say “you idiot?” I don’t think so. Chucklehead, numbskull, birdbrain, doof, half-wit – that’s Al. “You idiot,” I believe, is sad evidence that TDIET has become a zombie strip. =(

  82. Tom
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    Gasoline Alley: Is the mail carrier supposed to be someone? He’s drawn more realistically than any of the other characters.

  83. Pastor Z
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    Me thinks it might be time for a some new gear:
    “Did you frammis th’ bardis on the screed?” would make an awesome coffee mug.

  84. The Photocopiest
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    GT: “He shared an accomplishment with you? What a loser! Next he’ll, like, expect you to go to his games!”

  85. Sheilagh
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    Anybody got any insights on today’s Doonesbury? Definitely a rerun — I’ve seen that exact gag before. I thought maybe the Post-Gazette was just papering over something “offensive,” but it’s the same on the Houston Chronicle site. What gives? Is Trudeau on vacation?

  86. Calico
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    GT – Dead fish? That must be Andrew’s flaccid manhood Ex-girlfriend-thing-student is holding.

    FOOB – One for the road before Vacation in Mexique, eh? A last-minute jab at ex-hubby before Lynn hops on that Air Canada flight to Acapulco or wherever. Ohhh yeaaaahh!
    BTW, I did enjoy the “Elly and John go to Mexico” storyline from about 5 – 6 years back. A sign in the airport said something like “no this, no that, no hotsauce, no fruitcakes.” Nice Mad-type humo(u)r.
    Happy Vacation with your team of Foobites! : )

  87. Calico
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    #70 – MW – Well, at least we can pretty much tell what Mary will be using as filler for her casseroles and meatballs for about 5 months.
    Waste not, want not, Mary!

  88. Calico
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    #72 What a hoot.
    I wonder whatever happened to Fatti Bastardo. Great comedy, really.
    We haven’t received too many 419′s over the last few years, thanfully.

  89. Filthy Assistant
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    Question: Why is Josh so excited about reader-submitted TDIET’s?

    They’re just as shitty, petty, and unfunny as any other ones.

  90. Quix
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    GT – Check out Andrew’s rubber arms in panel two. And that lock of hair? Holy crap it’s DC Comics’ Plastic Man!

  91. Anonymous
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    I thought that John Patterson was a dentist.

    Today we find out he is really a gynecologist.

  92. Red Greenback
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: I think it was mi buen amigo and hermano Truman A. Fable who coined the phrase “Weasel Stew” I just want to thank you from my left ventricle .

  93. AMSTERDANG
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    GT: Wow, at the first inkling of trouble, Maureen is — FLASH! — dressed and on her way out the door. I wonder how Spiderman felt when he read this strip?

  94. AMSTERDANG
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    MW: I’ll bet Mary’s experiences with Chester were, indeed, one of a kind. I’m sure Mary will eat all the extra kibble herself, but what to do with the industrial size tub of Chester’s favorite peanut butter? Paging Dr. Jeff!

  95. Lloyd S.
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    In my family, “to fumpher around” meant something like to stutter, stammer and otherwise beat around the bush. I always figured it was a Yiddishism. I wonde if Sacduto’s familiar with the expression, and if so, then how.

  96. Joe
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    Cathy: I hate that comic. Always have. It’s just pure stupidity. It’s not even worth reading to snark on.

    FC: Here’s hoping that Bill decides to drown them both. Two down, two to go.

    Luann: So, when’s TJ’s smackdown coming for his role in the “Meals for Firefighters” scam?

    MW: Sorry, Mary. That was your last chance to get laid and you blew it.

    SFx: She’s merely practicing for the day when she’ll be sucking on something else behind the fence!

    FOOB: “Stop worrying about the packaging and look at the gift inside”……..HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!
    Jon, we know what you REALLY mean: “SmElly, you’re old. You’re fat. You’ve got a bubble-butt. You look like Grover. You could cut off your nose and use it instead of a basketball. You’re a hot-tuna-mac-grease-dripping-garbage-junk-food inhaler. Your cottage-cheese thighs consist of butter-tarts. You smell, I mean, you smell BAD. You’re an annoying, controlling, screeeching, flattulating stinky old broad. By the way, I’m dumping your ass out on the street and my cute, hot, sexy 25-year-old secretary is moving in. Pack your bags, bitch. Out you go. Mush! Mush! Mush, you mangy old hound!”

  97. jules
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    “Mingle with the Hepcats” would be an excellent name for a band.

  98. Keg of Curd
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth, panel 3: “One of a kind? Oh, no, Mary. If the Kinsey study is to be believed, that’s an experience you’ve had in common with a significant fraction of the rural youth in America.”

  99. Deena in OR
    January 11th, 2008 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    85-Yeah, it’s a rerun. The only reason I know that is because in real time, my kid is an academic year younger than Alex.

  100. dimestore lipstick
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    From Wiktionary:

    to fumfer

    A Yiddish word meaning to “mumble”, most often used to mean to be evasive; can also mean to putter aimlessly or to waste time.

    1. to stammer; to mutter nervously or confusedly;

    Some common spellings: ‘phumpher’ and ‘fumpher’, to a lesser extent ‘pfumpher’ and ‘pfumpfer’, and very rarely, ‘pfumfer’. Never ‘phumfer’. The most common is ‘phumpher’, followed closely by ‘fumfer’.

    My grandma used it in the “putter aimlessly” sense.

  101. Niall
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    A3G: Hmm, Margo does have suddenly far more facial expression. Seemingly, she leeched the capacity off LuAnn, who seems a mask of blank wall now.

    Archie: Obviously the AJGLU3000′s “background” subroutine overheated and broke down. This obviously affected all other routines as the strip is even stupider than usual.

    BB is all Zen now? What?

    Blondie is all Zing! now? What?

    I’m not sure exactly how to respond to Curtis or DtM.

    GT: What the heck kind of hairstyle is that in panel 2?? That looks like it hurts!

    JP: Wilson… stop toying with us! Because we know Abbey really means another actual cup of coffee, and wasn’t giving a coy invitation for sex!

    MT: Shirley Brood Sighting! Wilson gets hope delivered on a wing and a prayer!

    Big Dog: The lack of backgrounds continues. It was already sloppy, not it’s minimalist sloppy.

    MC: Awww, I was hoping for more gym action! Instead we have… actually, something that would get anyone fired summarily. Big Owner is a mallard! Maybe, in his youth, he crossdressed and adopted a stage name of Shirley… :)

    Phantom: Now that’s more like it! Less than a week in and already a gun in drawn!

    TDIET: I never thought I’d see the day that there would be nudity in TDIET! Shocked, shocked I am!

  102. Joe
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    #49 Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener:

    I couldn’t have snarked it better myself. That’s the difference…….FOOB was once good. Cathy sucked ass from Day 1.

  103. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    1/11

    A3G: In the last panel Lu Ann seems to be getting a very important message from Albert Pinkham Ryder.

    DtM: Funny line. That kind of not-helping-yourself attitude could promise more menacing times ahead.

    JP: Uh, Sam? You do realize that “another cup of coffee” is a euphemism, don’t you? Because if you say, “I’ll have the hazelnut creamer this time”, Abbey’s going to put a dent in your skull.

    Crock: Whatever, you’ll still smell like a poorly-drawn goat.

    9CL: Before we’re too hard on Julia, it turns out she does suck up to VIPs. That always makes a character more likeable.

    Phantom: Is Mr. Vanilla Ice Cream here going to have his bodyguard whack the traffic cop? He might not be getting this whole “respect the laws of Bangala” thing.

    C-Shaft: Oh, so it’s not a heart attack. It’s just Fast Ed being a prick. Well, classic Batiuk either way.

    Cathy: Figures they’d have the worlds tritest dogs.

    WofI: Maybe these peasants deserve their king. BTW, if you tasered a horse, wouldn’t it whizz a gallon on the floor, then kick you in the head? Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    OBH: I can’t tell if the kid with the fade is supposed to be black, or just a wannabe. But you know what? I’ll take my racial anxiety where I find it.

  104. teenchy
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    # 35: (Both Cathys married late in life, WELL past their sell-by date.)

    I sometimes wonder whether Cathy mirrors the author’s life as closely as, say, FOOB, or is meant as a slice-of-life targeted toward women who remain single into their late 30s and beyond. To that end I’ve wondered when Cathy (mit oder ohne Irving) was going to adopt a baby. Would it be Chinese like the precocious new baby in Marvin? Russian? Guatemalan? Would we be in for “A Very Special Cathy“? Or has FW pretty much ruined the adoption storyline for everyone?

  105. Josh
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    Re: Fumpher — though it obviously struck me as Yiddish-esque, it probably would have pained my Jewish grandmother that I didn’t recognize it as real Yiddish — not that I ever had any indication that she actually spoke Yiddish herself, beyond the smattering that most Jewish Americans and those who know them know. On that note, Alvaro Scaduto was all Italian, as far as I know, but (like my grandmother) grew up in the Bronx in the early 20th century, and surely encountered his share of Yiddish slang there and then.

    Josh

  106. Randall
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    Cathy is Momma in her youth. She splorts out three goofy kids and Irving dies, escaping her miserable neurotic whining, she then spends the rest of her life making them miserable. If you wonder what happened to make Momma such a poisonous old bag, read Cathy.

    I don’t read either anymore, as they are subtly anti-semetic.

  107. teenchy
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    I should’ve edited my post (# 104) to reflect Luann‘s handling of the adoption storyline in a slightly different way, albeit another one that reflects the author’s life.

  108. dimestore lipstick
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    Starrynight @51

    Ruby’s use of “Babygirl” isn’t the current teen or “street” usage. It’s the “diminutive nickname bestowed by motherly southern women who may or may not be related to you” usage. “Babygirl” is a fine old old southern nickname.
    I use it myself–it’s what I call my nieces.

    Ruby being a big-hearted ole Texas Gal, it seems in keeping with her character.

  109. commodorejohn
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    9CL – Serves you right. If this turns out to be a Very Special Storyline in which Juliet learns that it’s not okay to be a horrid bitch to absolutely everyone not directly related to you, I’ll tip my hat to McEldowney for fixing the single most obnoxious part of his strip.

    A3G – “Second-rate” compared to what? Compared to Luann’s (allegedly, haven’t ever seen ‘em) crazy parents, she’s probably higher up on the scale, but compared to Margo, “second-rate” is a bit of an understatement.

    BBlue – You won’t have to ever be ready for this, dude. She’s been five or six for about five or six years now.

    Crankshaft – Yep, false scare.

    Curtis – Bloom County did a great job on this question back in the day: just because you are black does not mean you are obligated to support a black candidate. Obama (though I can’t say I support him) is at least trying to run on his own merits – compared to race-baiting hucksters like Jackson and Sharpton, he’s freakin’ Martin Luther King, Jr. I suppose the joke here is actually supposed to be Curtis’s notion that Oprah was always the high priestess of self-absorbed, emotion-ruled middle-aged women, but come on.

    DTM – *trying very hard to not read this the wrong way*

    DT – “I don’t get it, Governor! What’s so funny about me having seen a ghost?”

    FOOB – Sorry to burst your bubble, Foobdad, but Elly’s inside is about as much of a “gift” as a flaming bag of dog excrement left on your front porch.

    FW – Uh-oh, someone’s experiencing a modicum of success! Time for Batiuk to break out the smiting!

    GA – And just when you thought it couldn’t get any stupider.

    JP – Abbey goes for a Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas reference – Sam just thinks she’s talking about literal coffee. Poor woman.

    Marmaduke – *head asplode*

    Pluggers – I chuckled at Pluggers. Should I be worried?

    RMMD – This sure was a smart plan, Rex. Way better than, say, keeping Lee at gunpoint and sending Niki in the car to get help. Yep, real bright.

    SM – Mary-Jane is going to wind up being a better superhero than her husband. Again.

    WoI – TASERS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.

  110. Josh
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    #106 Randall — Though Momma’s family (based on their last name and, I think, occasional church attendence) is WASPy, Momma artist Mel Lazarus is himself Jewish, though I don’t know if it makes it more or less acceptible to you that he trades on hoary Jewish mother gags.

    Lazarus always said that Momma is largely based on his own mother, though while the real Momma was alive, she always believed the cartoon was based on one of his aunts.

    Josh

  111. Niall
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    16. KT: Bwahahaha!! We hadn’t seen your… particular sense of humour here in a while, I think. More!

    43. KT: You do not need to draw that. Too many already have. Sigh…

    48. captainswift: Congratulations on your submission being published! It’s a very valid dichotomy. I’m finding that whenever I feel that something makes sense in TDIET, it ends up being submitted by a mudgeon. :)

    49. Gadge Cubic! Step out more often, if that’s what you’re going to regale us with!

    55. SecretMargo: You are forgiven for thinking this was the gallery bash. Who would start a New Year party storyline 10 days into the new year? …other than Dick Tracy who is still on November 1…

    63. Dub not Dubya: KT is not just “starting out” drawing or ‘shopping. Or were you not around for his infamous Fox Detective bit? :) (In which we learned that Mr. Weber has as much class as Scaduto)

    65. True Fable: There’s a recognisable goat in Crock?? I can barely tell the characters are human – and I’m not sure in Grossie’s case! (Oh, and it should be Plugger du jour. :))

    95. Lloyd: Well, considering that Scaduto has been going to King Features meetings for a long time, and met many other cartoonists, I would chance that at least a few of them were Jewish (by sheer stint of so many that he met) and he asked questions or listened. I know a few words from many languages myself from social encounters. :) I even learned how to pronounce Ahmed correctly… you never know when that can be useful. (EDIT: Or, as Josh pointed out, there’s the whole Bronx thing.)

  112. Uncle Lumpy
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Hey! New York Times article on the “Berndt Toast Gang” — Long Island Cartoonists’ Society. Scaduto Quote!

    #111 Niall – I found it Googling “Scaduto Giella” in response to your post.

  113. RichterCa
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Now, I didn’t play basketball in high school, but I’m pretty sure that scoring 17 points is only something to brag about if you’re on the losing team in a girl’s game.

    If he’s the best the best offensive threat Millford’s got, I don’t see how they can be expected to make this year’s playdowns.

  114. Rigatoni
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    I just can’t think of anything funny ideas because Amsterdang took all of mine.

    Also, anyone else feel that the “bite out of Andrew Gregory” comment to be a little revealing in regards to the not-so-subtle homo-eroticism in Gil Thorpe world?

  115. Rigatoni
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    I can’t think of any funny ideas because Amsterdang took all of mine.

    Also, anyone else feel that the “bite out of Andrew Gregory” comment to be a little revealing? Gil’s faraway look and slight smirk seem to suggest that he would indeed like to take a “bite” out of Andrew. Perhaps he can hook up with Judge Parker…

  116. E.G.
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    Cathy may not have a nose, but at least she doesn’t have a penis on her face like her husband does. I seriously do NOT want to know how his urinary tract is configured.

  117. WednesdayNext
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    I just discovered this blog last week, and I think my head will fall off from laughing.
    GT-which I would never even look at if it weren’t on this site, the individual on the left of the first panel looks oddly like someone might draw Katherine Hepburn if they had only heard a description once, and had to do all their drawing with a pencil in their teeth.

    Cathy-the only place I’ve ever seen this comic enjoyed is in the deep nightmare that is cubicle employment. Where sad, desperate women churn away their pre-nursing home lives identifying with Cathy and actually taping the comics to their computer monitors. Until Human Resources makes them remove it, of course.

    Doonesbury-You’re smart, girl, you go to MIT. If you are over 18, what possible reason could you have to spend a day with your mother and her pet loser?

    BabyBlues-what is up with the growth rate? In my old books of the series, the kids were kind of sort of growing up. Maybe an endocrine problem?

  118. fillmoreeast
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    20: Actually, Stantis is showing is a different syndrome from Herb-and-Jamaalism. In HaJ, there’s a concerted effort to conceal details, stemming from a desire not to be sued, to not be an anachronism in 10 years, or both. Stantis’s reference is clear; he’s just too lazy to look up the weepy Britney-defending kid’s name (as am I).

  119. Lindsey
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    I believe those are actually miniature pigs-in-a-blanket, rather than unskinned potatoes.

  120. Mike
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    MW: Now that the dog is back with its rightful owner, Mary, maybe you can go back to your “boyfriend” and apologize to him for being a self-centered bitch. Just sayin’, that’s all.

  121. StrangeRover
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    (DT)GT:
    Gee, I took her for a Romulan, what with th’ haircut ‘nall….

  122. Niall
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    Augh, argh, barf(o): I didn’t know this existed! And if I pain, everyone will pain: A Dennis the Menace Christmas (link goes to the Onion’s AV Club “Commentary tracks of the damned” feature on this crapitude).

  123. Perky Bird
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    Cathy–

    It seems that the only way Irving wants to “swap bodily fluids” with Cathy is by actaully exchanging cups of urine. Irving, Irving, Irving…there are better ways to “probe” your mate than with an array of digital devices.

  124. Thank You for Taking My Call
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    I know I’m late on this, but …
    Phantom (from 1/10) … “Do you know who I am?!”

    “Uh .. Colonel Sanders?”

  125. Gulielma
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    123. Not if it’s Cathy

    Get Fuzzy: All right, already. We get it. The editor cat’s an idiot.

    Lio: Beware the attack Slinky!

    Sally Forth: Yes, there are other flavors besides regular. How about some prussic acid or some cyanide?

  126. man behind the curtain
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    MW — Mary starts to walk away and immediately steps in dog crap. “Well Tobey, at least I’ll always have something to remember Chester by.”

  127. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    #116 E.G.

    Maybe Cathy sometimes has a penis on her face…

  128. gkl
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    MW: Is it just me, or is Mary’s jacket getting brighter and brighter, as if the intensity of its red hue is an indicator of Mary’s sense of self-righteousness?

    GA: Best. Start. To. Awkward. Fistfight. Ever.

    Pluggers: Are there special Plugger thieves who steal Plugger cars? Don’t normal human thieves tend to steal cars that, you know, aren’t crap?

    TDIET: I’m gonna open a bardis frammising business. It’ll be located on the screed, naturally, and we promise top-notch bardis frammising at rock-bottom prices. Why framis your own bardises when you can come to GKL Bardis Framising. Fully licensed and bonded… to the moon!

    MT: Let’s hope Shirley becomes Mark Trail’s official harbinger of doom that under normal circumstances would be cause for celebration. Sort of like Virginia Madsen in A Prairie Home Companion with feathers.

  129. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    #127 SQB,
    Wow. Rule 34 really is all-inclusive.

  130. Pedant Patrol
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    # 89 Filthy Assistant –

    Question: Why is Josh so excited about reader-submitted TDIET’s?
    They’re just as shitty, petty, and unfunny as any other ones.

    Do you have any idea how much work that takes? Plus, receiving a kindly “Thanx” went from ironic to iconic about the same time trolling went out of style.

  131. Anonymous
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Chester is Mary’s new name for her Aldo2000 dildo.

  132. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    #110 Your Holiness,
    It’s funny (not haha), but when I read “Momma” as a kid, I never even knew the Hobbses were supposed to be Jewish. Controlling, guilt-heavy mothers are not an exclusively Jewish phenomenon. Lazy, panhandling sons aren’t even part of the stereotype, far as I know. The daughter dresses like Annie Hall, but she was a WASP from Upstate.

    I’m 37. My guess is that the ethnic part of the humor would have even less resonance for kids now. Assuming anyone under 25 still reads it.

  133. Zamboni_Rodeo
    January 11th, 2008 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    Attention all Chaplin-Voting ‘Mudges:

    It is officially official now!

    Thanks again to all of you!

  134. Lindsey ^_^
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: *SOILERS* (not spoilers, soilers). Luke Wilson is cured of his deadly brain tumor, but realizes that he has a chance to not go to jail. After Mark Trail tells the police about his confession they ask Luke if it is true – but Luke Wilson denies it, claiming that Mark Trail WOULD lie to defend his friend! Oh noes! Luke Wilson’s friend, who overheard the conversation, spends an entire week wondering if he should do the right thing and claim that he heard the confession as well. Eventually he does. Mark Trail congratulates him for doing the right thing and the police apologize for ever doubting Trail’s story.

    You heard it here first.

    GT: Ok, the face in the middle panel is scary as hell.

    WoID: Tazering a horse? This seems a bit in bad taste to me.

  135. Scrog
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    As someone said many weeks ago, this Mary Worth plot so far has been too bland for conversation let alone painstakingly drawn into a comic strip, but I can’t believe it just ends like this. I’m thinking that Chester (that’s the dog, right? Or is it Toby?) runs away again, and goes back to Mary…carrying a severed female hand. I can hope, anyway.

    I have no idea how this Gasoline Alley plot started, but it’s shaping up to be all kinds of awesome. (Or at least moderate kinds of awesome.) You gotta love a comics universe that includes both a tech-savvy pith-helmeted Don Knotts AND two hillbillies in a mule cart.

  136. ltrftp Hedly
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    37

    Bobdog
    LOL
    Thanks!

    49
    Gadge Cubic, Mole

    Good to see you!
    57
    Rainbird

    Uh, I do.

  137. Smokey Stover
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    “Thankfully, Ruby can just set it down on the bottom of panel two.” Tired of having to represent LuAnn’s grade school artwork, the A3G artist gave a shout-out to Caravaggio’s “Fruit Basket”:

    http://tinyurl.com/22qt8w

  138. Brick Bradford
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    Family Circus: After all these years we learn that the Keane Brood lives on the ocean? A place where cruise ships call even though it is the dead of winter? Who knew?
    It reminds me of an episode of “Leave it to Beaver”, from the final season. Eddie has announced he’s going to spend his summer working on a fishing boat in Alaska. He asks Wally to come down to the docks with him while he applies for a job, and we suddenly learn that Mayfield, the archetypal midwestern town, is actually a seaport, with a thriving fishing industry!

  139. Zamboni_Rodeo
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    #132, AFKAB:

    Traditionally, the controlling, guilt-heavy mother/panhandling son has been an Italian construct as far as I know. Speaking as one who’s 1/4 Italian, I can see the controlling mother aspect, but my experience with panhandling sons is rather limited.

    However, I’ve heard stories in recent years that Italy has been facing a population decline, as many men don’t feel the need to leave home and start families of their own. I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of this claim, nor do I necessarily take it as my own.

  140. Lindsey ^_^
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp2: The chick in the middle panel (is that a chick?) looks like one of the aliens from Galaxy Quest. I like to imagine her/him talking like them…

    Seja: Maaauu-reeen-iitts-see-jaaa! Myyy-daad-juuust-ssaw-sooome-juuun-kyyy-ollld-caar-iiiin-frooont-oooof-mrrrr-mmmeeee-chaaa-niiic-

    Maureen: All right, all right, just shut up already! How many charred bodies do you think I can capture in the shot?

  141. ltrftp Hedly
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    130
    Pedant PatrolYou trod upon trolls so I don’t have to! Thanks!

    Zamboni Rodeo

    I voted so long ago I forget the pic. Did we win?

  142. Nate
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    Re: Mary Worth

    Suddenly, Chester-I-mean-Ralphie’s owner is mysteriously killed in a sudden drunk plow over a cliff, which is ruled a suicide. Ralphie goes missing, Mary ends up with a strikingly-similar dog that she names Chester.

    You don’t mess with the Charterstone Mafia.

  143. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    If I recall correctly, the family in Momma has characters named “Francis” and “Jerome”, which almost makes them sound Catholic. (But then again, Jerry Seinfeld is a Jewish Jerome, and there are a few black guys named Jerome too.)

  144. A Monkey's Uncle
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    #49: I had to laugh out loud at your description of Cathy. Even when I was a kid reading the comics in my local hometown paper I would think “Man, Cathy sucks! How did this ever get syndicated!” But truth be told, someone must think its funny, since its still in syndication. Does anyone happen to know how many papers Cathy is actually in?

  145. DAS
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    Anyway, I concocted my TDIET idea from that. My initial idea was something to the effect of “When people call a business and get a recording or computer, they always want to talk to a real person. But when they correspond with the real people in their own life, do they want to talk? No, they want to text, or e-mail.” – captainswift

    Actually, though, one of the reasons why I prefer to contact businesses via e-mail is that way I can just fire off an e-mail while taking a break from work, without having to wait an un-predictably long time to get ahold of a real person. The person/people can get back to my question at their convenience and then I can read the response at mine.

    Text messaging, though, I don’t get. People insist on sending me text messages, even though it’s more expensive than calling and what’s the advantage?

    The one time text messaging made sense was when one of my friends was stuck in the hospital with severe pneumonia: he wasn’t in any condition to talk much, but it was easy enough for him to text away and at least be in touch with friends and family whilst he was half-passed out due to respiratory stress.

  146. DAS
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    Skullturf Q. Beavispants,

    IMHO, Jerome and even better Jeremy are far better renditions of the Hebrew Jer’m’yahu than is the typical Jeremiah.

  147. Solocardate
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    Quoth #65 True Fable:

    RMMD I have to say, I like Rex’s look in panel one. Seriously. He needs to be miserable, soaking wet and shot at more often.

    And once again, we return to the genius of this story arc: it really IS an adaptation of Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”:

    “She would of been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”

    I can hardly wait to see Mary Worth as the mother in “Everything that Rises Must Converge.”

  148. DAS
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    Should finish researching something before I post — evidently Jerome is not even a rendition of Jeremiah, but rather Hieronymus (sp?), which is an entirely different name.

    *

    Anyway, I always thought that Momma was supposed to be Jewish (in terms of the jokes … and Hobbes sounds like the sort of name an Ashkenazic family would have after changing it from, e.g., Hoberstein or something like that), but then they always make reference to celebrating Christian holidays, so who knows?

  149. Little Guy
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    GT: Yeah, I usually would text my girlfriend only when I hit a triple-double.

    BTW, give them props for trying a little JP cheesecake. Key word is “trying”.

  150. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    Re #149 Little Guy — am I a nerd because when I read the words “triple-double” I immediately thought of Scrabble?

  151. odinthor
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    147. Solocardate.

    I can hardly wait to see Mary Worth as the mother in “Everything that Rises Must Converge.”

    And she could follow that with a triumph as Emily in Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” Ah, I can already see her buying the arsenic!

  152. SecretMargo
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    139: You are right about Italy and falling birthrates. Italy and Japan are both going through this, which drove a flurry of comparative research that took place a few years ago. (example)

    Oh, internet. What don’t you know?

  153. schlimmerkerl
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    Why is something hot “piping” hot? What does “piping” (bagpipes, plumbing?) have to do with “hot”? On the other hand, i was talking to my French associates today and mentioned “boilerplate” text/images. Blank stares. After some idiomatic probing, we established that their expression is “hot potato” *patate chaud*. Neither expression having very much to do with standard information that you are supposed to have created just for that project but have, in truth, plucked from the slush-pile folder.

  154. cheech wizard
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: “Silly girl! Bangalla law IS the law of the jungle – they are one and the same!” declares the scary looking white dude, sinking his teeth into her tender brown flesh.

  155. t007
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Jugs Parker: “…another cup of coffee?” Gasp! Do you think that is code for S-E-X? Nah, I didn’t think so either.

  156. Trotzenbonnie
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    MARY WORTH – What the hell?! That’s it? The woman takes in a stray dog for 24 hours and finds the experience so fulfilling that she can’t imagine it being repeated? I call bullshit on Mary Worth. The experience with Chester was one of a kind because she lived with a dog and not once did she ever have to wrap her microscopically-thin plastic bag-covered hand around a warm squishy steaming pile of dog poo.

    That’s when the real bonding begins, right Miss Mollie?

  157. Sarah Marie
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp-
    I didn’t know Superman was such an arrogant prick.

  158. Bootsy
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    #51, Starrynight, “baby girl” is current teen lingo? Really? I’ve been hearing that since I was a wee baby girl. It’s a southern thing, and Bow Head is from Texas.

  159. RoboMax
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    Cathy: I want to talk about why you’re Goro from Mortal Kombat. And how painfully unfunny all of this is. ACK!

  160. queek
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    56: C-shaft backing over Keisterman’s mailbox is a long-running gag in the strip. Every time Batuik runs out of story, he puts in another dead mailbox gag. Varients include Keisterman putting up brick or armored mailboxes and still loosing them.

  161. Chromium
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    #69, LardashPWellbottom-

    Fuck. That is going to haunt my nightmares for decades to come.

  162. Little Guy
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    75: Today’s TDIET and GT need the mashup touch.

  163. AAckTTpth
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    (GT’s art director’s notes to Rubin & McLaughlin)

    I’ve told you a million times: DO NOT DRAW THINGS YOU’VE ONLY READ ABOUT IN BOOKS. Especially books without pictures.

    As for drawing “human beings”, I give up.

  164. Uncle Lumpy
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    #158 Bootsy –

    Bow Head is from Texas

    Hm. So Stern Head is from Rhode Island?

  165. bats :[
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    153. schlimmerkerl: sheer speculation on my part (I can go and look it up in the Oxford English dictionary when I get a chance), but the “piping” in piping hot might come from the noise the dish makes coming out of the oven, with steam escaping. “Bubble and Squeak” is an English sausage dish that gets its name from the it makes.
    I dunno…

  166. Mad Dog Rackham
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    Is anyone else creeped out by the photo-traced artwork which has made a return to Gasoline Alley?

    The old woman a couple of storylines back was worse, but the postman is pretty creepy, especially when drawn next to mysterious-camera-guy.

    I guess it brings back unpleasant memories of 1970′s clip-art (back when you really clipped it out of a book).

    And, yes, people to call them “tags”.

  167. Poteet
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    # 128 — HAR!! I’ll definitely bring my bardis to your shop, gkl.

    # 130 — Thanks, PP.

  168. mere cog in the machine
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Great call John; very insightful. Disregarding the “packaging” (swollen, hairy legs, puffy, discolored eyebags, enormous caboose, genuinely frightening, potato-like schnozz, and hair that would look far more appropriate on a bedraggled, twenty year old flowerchild than on a bedraggled, fifty-something, bloated hag-of-a-hausfrau), what exactly are those wondrous “inside” qualities. Let’s see:

    - a smug sense of superiority
    - a blind, fanatical belief in her own moral compass
    - an overpowering ego, thinly masquerading as
    “neediness”
    - a thoroughly disgusting penchant for gluttony
    - a scarce concealed desire to eat her own young

    Yeah, John; great call. Don’t panic, though! It’s still not too late to feed her into a woodchipper and flee to a secluded cabin in the Yukon with April’s friend Becky, a couple of jars of pickled eggs, a case of lubricant, and a gross of amyl nitrate. Godspeed, Mr. Conductor!

  169. gh
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    SlyFox: Most definitely a story worth telling twice. All the suspense of Stephen King [look at the teeth on that spider!] and whimsy of Booth Tarkington. And the way the action flows from the bottle to the right, up and around – niiiice.

  170. Anonymous
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    #164 That would be Little Head from Rhode Island.

  171. frumpiefox
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    #17: TDIET– I think that’s Scaduto’s polite way of saying “burn him alive.”

  172. mere cog in the machine
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    169 gh: Hmmmm. ‘Tooth Barkington’ would be a good screen name.

  173. Bootsy
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    #153, Schlimmerkerl, I think “piping” comes from when pies are baked with little ceramic birds in them to release steam. I forget what they’re called but my grandmother had them. They are shaped with the head thrown back and beak open in the middle of the pie. I don’t know if the escaping steam actually makes them pipe, or make any other sound.

    Of course, more information can be found on the internet, and you can still buy those little ceramic birds. Don’t eat them though.

  174. gleeb
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    153: Boilerplate is an outmoded metaphor. Like large plates of steel that can be welded together to make a steam engine, so large paragraphs of standard text can be tied together with a few specifics to make a document. Did the francophones explain where “patate chaud” comes from?

  175. Zamboni_Rodeo
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    141, ltrftp Hedley:

    Yes, we did, thanks!

  176. frumpiefox
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    #153: Actaully, looks like it’s about the sizzling noise hot food makes: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/piping_hot

    #173: I love those little pie birds! Pie vents, I think they’re called.

  177. Paperback Rifler
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    It’s just as well that the end of the thread is probably near, as all I have to contribute is the following:

    Hagar: What?! “Arrowitis”!? Well, I guess that if you’re a quack doctor anyway, your made-up diagnoses don’t have to make any sense at all as long as you get paid. I mean, if “appendicitis” is “inflammation of the appendix,” and “tendinitis” is “inflamation of a tendon,” then “arrowitis” would have to mean “inflammation of the arrow”; and that doesn’t make any sense at all. Not a bit. Nope.

    That’s not going to stop me from making stupid jokes about it, though:

    Q: What is an unusual clinical sign associated with “arrowitis”?
    A: There’s a distinctive “arrow-ma”!
    [rimshot]

    Q: What is the most common complaint of patients who have “arrowitis”?
    A: They can’t stop “quivering”!
    [trombone-like "wah wah wah" sound effect]

    Q: Where do you look for “arrowitis” during a physical examination?
    A: You check the patient’s “shaft”!
    [sporadic, polite applause]

    Q: What is the likelihood of completely curing a patient who has “arrowitis”?
    A: It’s a long shot!
    [silence]

    Q: What is an important statistic about “arrowitis” diagnoses?
    A: Virtually all diagnoses of “arrowitis” are “arrow-neous”!
    [audible groan from audience]

    Q: What branch of medicine deals with the diagnosis and treatment of “arrowitis”?
    A: Applied “Arrow-nautics”!
    [rimshot, followed by one audience member shouting, "You suck!"]

    Q: What medicine has been shown in some clinical trials to have a beneficial effect on patients with “arrowitis”?
    A: “Bow-tox”!
    [loud, prolonged "boos"]

    Q: What is the recommended type of exercise for patients recovering from “arrowitis”?
    A: “Arrow-bics”!
    [general uproar as some audience members rush the stage while others rip the place apart]

  178. Niall
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    That would be “patate chaude”, and I confess I never heard the expression myself – then again, I don’t go in design circles.

    I have a Concise Oxford and a Robert&Collins as dictionaries, and neither even mentions boilerplates…

  179. Niall
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    177. Paperback Rifler: Much, much merriment from my end – I could not have done better/worse! (And that’s saying something.)

  180. gleeb
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Ha, I’m lucky I got “patate” right. That’s what I get for trying to be fancy.

  181. cheech wizard
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    174/gleeb: Actually, “boilerplate” arises from old-style printing presses, where items for repeated use, such as advertisements or standard-type notices, were stamped onto single pieces of heavy metal – which resembled the plates of a boiler. “Boilerplate” therefore refers to standard language that is typically included in press releases and other types of documents, such as legal disclaimers, brief company descriptions, cautionary notices, etc. Because they are repeated so frequently and never contain anything new, readers tend to ignore or skip over them, thereby giving “boilerplate” a somewhat broader meaning of something that is standard and dull.

  182. Darkefang
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    A3G: If I was Luann’s parents, I would dread coming to visit her too. Every time I’d look into that vacant stare would be a reminder of the major genetic defects I’d inflicted upon the world.

    Archie: Apparently, when Jughead’s mind is well-rested and focused, he’s managed to access the segment of the brain that controls humankind’s latent telekinetic abilities. Either that, or the artist is too damned lazy to draw something for him to sit on.

    BC: You can’t say “sucks” in the comics, but you can say “poop”?

    Curtis: Is the inference here supposed to be that Oprah should just automatically help any candidate just because they’re black?

    DT: Once again, Dick Locher is stalling for time until he can think up an ending to this story that isn’t completely idiotic. I predict failure, once again.

    GA: Barring the use of stick-figures, these two characters could not be drawn in more different styles. I’m concerned that if they come into physical contact with one another, it could open a rift in the space-time continuum.

    GT: In yet another example of the differences between Milford residents and humans, we find out in today’s strip that people in Milford lack opposable thumbs. And apparently, their ears are located at the base of the skull.

    I can’t quite decide what we’ve seen so far that’s more newsworthy: children riding tricycles in the rain; or old junky cars on fire.

    MW: For the next story, I’m hoping for something less “one-of-a-kind”, and more “interesting.”

    Phantom: In five strips, this policewoman has personally done more to stop crime than The Phantom has in the nine months I’ve been reading this strip.

  183. cheech wizard
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    P.S. – I think it may also arise from the fact that old-style boilers were required to have their specs and other information stamped or affixed to them as a matter of course, so “boilerplate” was a natural term for standard, required language, but I’m not sure about this part.

  184. Anonymous
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    actually, the term boiler plate comes from the time when papers were delivered on sheets of steel. back before paper was in wide spread use.

  185. man behind the curtain
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    FBOW — Obviously, Lyn is only dreaming that this is what her real life husband said to her. Unfortunately, no matter how much she draws from reality, life is not a comic strip.

  186. frumpiefox
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    boilerplate: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=b&p=13 (scroll down)

    then again:
    http://www.takeourword.com/Issue009.html (another scroll down)

    More theories: http://www.groupsrv.com/science/about38252.html

    Meh, pick the one you like, I guess.

  187. Sans Sense
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    DT: I wish the good detective would do us all a favor and place a bullet in that Hee Hawing, melty-faced Governor’s brain. Let God sort out this absurd plot.

  188. Imasmokingjacket
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    My first ever post ever…

    Simon Krandis looks remarkably like Dick Cheney, who I’m sure has used the phrase “I’m not used to being refused” more than once.

    Dennis the Disrespectful Snot deserves a Mark Trail punch in the pie hole. “Your wife is out of control”? I’m insensed.

  189. Sans Sense
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    188. Nice post! I agree with you about Dennis the Nuisance.

  190. Sans Sense
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    But you are “incensed” are you not?

  191. ltrftp Hedly
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Zamboni Rodeo

    Does she get a prize?

    More importantly, Is there anyone else here who needs a ballot stuffed?

    I’ll hang a chad for anyone,

  192. ltrftp Hedly
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    188
    Imasmokingjacket

    Welcome!

    Btw, if you are considering saying “no” to VP Cheney, don’t even think about going hunting with him.

    I doubt if even Mark Trail would do you much good.

  193. Solocardate
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    188 and 190: Ease up, friends! You’re both right! DtM is so senseless that it could incense anyone.

  194. Poteet
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    DT — I’m so glad we’re being given the opportunity to see Dick’s bug-eyed response to the supposed ghost again and again. This will drive off the wimpy sane readers and leave DT to us hard-core masochists.

  195. Gabacho
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth – The best part of waking up, is Laura in her cups. I love Sally’s mom and wish she had her own strip.

    Curtis – What? Oprah did not support Sharpton and Jackson. I wonder if that means that I don’t have to support all white candidates. That would certainly make my voting easier.

    FooB – I was not fast enough. It is well known that the only correct response to “Do I look like my mother?” is “No, honey, you’re more like your father when he got old and would forget to close his robe.” My brother actually said that to his now ex-wife. Although nothing else about the marriage was amusing, that was the funniest line I heard.

    Mary Worth – There are episodes of Teletubbies that had more complex plots.

    Fumfer – Bronx native here! I heard this word a lot when I was a kid, generally from the deaf but mean spirited alter kaker who ran the newstand. And I’m Irish.

  196. Uncle Lumpy
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy — Dick’s climaxes seem to last a very long time. From this and his expression, I suspect amyl nitrate.

  197. mere cog in the machine
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Sally Forth: I am more and more convinced that Sally Forth and Laura Bush are the same person. And I’ll just bet she had that same self-satisfied smirk when she slaughtered one of her classmates at that intersection in Texas.

  198. Little A.
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Well, in Joys of Yiddish (which I recommend to the whole world) Leon Rosten spells it fonfer and his first definition is, talk through the nose, unclearly as if you have a bad cold. But it also may mean: a double talker, a lazy slow goof off, a false promiser, a shady deceiver, a cheater, a false promiser, a boaster, a specialist in hot air. I always think of the noise you make when you blow your nose or the noise a balloon makes when you let the air out slowly. And not the noise from the other end of the body down in the back. That has nothing to do with it.

    In other words, a politician.

    Yiddish is a very colorful language and the same word has very different shades of meaning, depending on which part of the Jewish world the speaker happens to be from, or his relatives are from. But the basic meaning is, the sound made when you talk through your nose or blow your nose.

    Give me a good reason why you didn’t come straight home from school! Don’t fumf at me! a mother might say to a child.

    I saw you flirting with that young lady in your office! Why? Don’t funf at me, I want an explanation! etc. etc.

  199. Anonymous
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    There is going to be a twist in the plot of Mary Worth that is going to be aldorific.

  200. Trotzenbonnie
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    The descriptive phrase ‘piping hot’ was first used in the Scottish Highlands by a few lassies while watching some guys who were playing the bagpipes during a windstorm.
    More information about men wearing skirts but no underpants can be found in the stack of old magazines stuffed under my mattress.

  201. Muse of Ire
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    I only know about A3G what I read on this site, but isn’t Ruby Luann’s aunt or cousin or something? And don’t they, like, share an apartment? So why wouldn’t Luann know that Ruby was catering this gig, and why wouldn’t Ruby know that Luann was going to be there?

  202. Gold-Digging Nanny
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    We have a Finger-Quotin’ Margo sighting … on a blawg!

    http://skellywright.blogspot.com/2008/01/id-inconvenience-and-cost-do-not-trump.html

  203. commodorejohn
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    #157 Sarah Marie – You didn’t?

  204. queek
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    I’ve just read Brooke’s latest LJ post. ‘e’s flipped, ‘e ‘as.

  205. Muffaroo
    January 11th, 2008 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    Cathy – It’s so unusual to be able to say that a character in this strip looks like anything at all, but in the middle panel, Irving reminds me very strongly of the character “Arseface” in DC’s “Preacher” comics. Better than nothing, I guess.

    ps: I’m overwhelmed by, you know, stuff. So my appearances in her will be sparse for a while. Like they’re not already.

  206. Starrynight
    January 11th, 2008 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    #108 & 158– Sorry, guess I was wrong about “baby girl.” I just assumed it was a teen thing because I’ve seen those two words all over shirts, hats, you name it, worn by high school girls.

    The Southern thing I can understand. But the bows still have to go…

  207. Mountain Mama
    January 11th, 2008 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    Oh, where do I start today?

    Apt. 3-G: Echoes of my own life……..God forbid LuAnn go to New York to have her own life. I bet her parents think she rejected THEM by moving away! This hits too close to home. My parents couldn’t be bothered to come to my wedding because apparently it was more than an hour away. I moved and my mother thought I needed to get further away from them….true story.

    Just needed to vent there. I actually feel sorry for our Ms Powers today.

    FW: Thanks to little old ladies???? Little old ladies keep comic books forever? That just sounds….not anywhere close to reality for me. Anyone care to stick up for Batiuk here?

    MW: This storyline is so lame, it makes Tiny Tim look like an Olympic sprinter.

  208. Lord-z
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    201 – Yes, they are cousins and they live in the same building, but Ruby did live in Lu Anns apartment until, like, two or three weeks ago, which is roughly ten minutes in soap time. Ofcourse, Lu Ann was not the smartest creature on the farm, and the braindamage does not appear to have helped.

  209. True Fable
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    # 207 mountain mama

    Apt. 3-G: Echoes of my own life……..God forbid LuAnn go to New York to have her own life. I bet her parents think she rejected THEM by moving away! This hits too close to home. My parents couldn’t be bothered to come to my wedding because apparently it was more than an hour away. I moved and my mother thought I needed to get further away from them….true story.

    Just needed to vent there. I actually feel sorry for our Ms Powers today.

    FW: Thanks to little old ladies???? Little old ladies keep comic books forever? That just sounds….not anywhere close to reality for me. Anyone care to stick up for Batiuk here?

    A3g – I feel your pain, doll. Come here and let me snuggle you up with some red hott Fable love.
    My situation’s the opposite: any time I have faced something terrible in my life, my family’s always been one unreturned phone call away. Then months later I FINALLY get hold of them and they’re like, “hey Tru! Did you ever get (whatever) straightened out?” Yeah, thanks for… hmm.

    FW ME, stick up for BATIUK??!! Oh sweet mama, the only thing I’ll stick up for Batiuk is my middle finger.

  210. commodorejohn
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    #204 queek – In fairness to Brooke, I imagine it must be pretty frustrating trying to deal with people who send out a warning when you use the word “sucks.” That said, yeah, that is pretty stupid.

  211. Ukulele Ike
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    Actually, “boiler plate” is early 20th century U.S. diner slang.

    One could order a “blue plate special,” which included some sort of meat, potato, and green vegetable presented on a divided plate (generally made of a cheap blue ceramic,) or opt instead for the more economical “boiler plate,” which consisted of boiled things on a plate.

  212. Jnoble
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    GT: “You da man”

    Just for this, I hope the guy who writes this strip hits a pole tonight

  213. Jnoble
    January 11th, 2008 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    Correction:

    The quote was actually “WHO’S DA MAN”

    regardless, I still hope he hits said pole.

  214. Keg of Curd
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    #205 – That’s interesting. It never would have occurred to me to even suspect that the characters from Cathy look like anything indentifiable from the real world. But now that you mention it, panel 2 Irving (he’s called Irving? Who knew?) reminds me of what I imagined Ardelia Lortz would look like in mid-transition.

  215. Braniff
    January 11th, 2008 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    Normally I don’t approve of Special Guest Stars, whether they be on TV shows, movies or comic strips. But I’ll make a few exceptions. In the case of Cathy, Cathy should adopt Dennis (The Menace) Mitchell. That would liven things up in her life more than marriage to a gadget geek such as Irving!! (Only thing, how would Cathy’s dogs get along with Ruff?)

    And Irving could get a commission in the military and end up at Camp Swampy. He could marry Buxom, much to the chagrin of General Halftrack and Killer Diller.

  216. Carly
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:04 pm [Reply]

    At first I thought Gil Thorpe was referring to an actual, literal bite. In that strip, it wouldn’t surprise me.

  217. Big Sims
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    188 – Inasmokingjacket –
    Welcome aboard!
    I don’t believe in hitting children, but if either of my boys said “You’re wife is outta control.” well… don’t try me. I reckon the contingency is remote.

    200 – Trotzenbonnie,
    HA! You slay me.

    Bootsy – If’in you’re still up and reading, I had a grand time meeting you, and look forward to more NOLA meet-ups. Endymion on its new/old route? Mardi Gras day? (If we do meet around carnival I’ll get to see two Bootsies! A roundabout way to say I’ll be drinking heavily)

  218. True Fable
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    I liked Dennis the Menace today not because the kid was such a smartypants brat, but because apparently HIS MOTHER OUT-MENACED DENNIS!!

    Yeppity yep yep, that notion pleases me no end.

  219. gleeb
    January 11th, 2008 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    211- Well, I may or may not have been right, but that makes no sense whatsoever. Well done!

  220. naugahyde
    January 11th, 2008 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    JOSH YOU TRICKED ME INTO READING CATHY! I haven’t read it for years. You should have some kind of a warning.

  221. Lloyd S.
    January 12th, 2008 at 12:18 am [Reply]

    Thanks Dimestore, Josh, Niall, Gabacho, and Little A. for the further elucidation on fumfer and Al Scaduto’s exposure to the mamloshen. Seeing it in the comic surprised me because I never really encountered the word outside of my family. We generally used in something like “Stop funfing around and say it already.” I suppose dropping the r and adding the -ing actually made it a Yinglish expression. And I’d have to admit that the u almost umlauted sound was followed by something that could have been an n or an m, but was definitely nasal.

    Aside from the odd word that we all understood, Yiddish in our house is what my parents and grandmother spoke when they didn’t want the kids to know what they were saying. My Newark-born grandmother was fairly fluent, although it was definitely a second language. My Dad was (is) less fluent and my mother even less than him, but they could (can?) both hold a conversation. As for me and my sisters, we’re like Josh and the vast majority of American Jews and know some words and expressions. Verstehst? (pronounce “fishtaste” fast).

    Now knowing more of Al’s history, it seems like he’s practically a landsmann. After a long time in the Bronx (where my Mom grew up), he eventually settled in heavily Jewish Jericho, Long Island, ten-twelve miles from where I was raised. Of course, I don’t remember ever seeing TDIET in Newsday…Oh what I missed!

    Finally, it never really occurred to me that Mother Hobbes was treading on Jewish mother stereotypes. In retrospect, that just shows how dense I can be.

  222. Len
    January 12th, 2008 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    #95 — Scaduto grew up in the Bronx. In the bronx, especially in the years before 1970, Italians and Jews shared the same neighborhoods, and picked up on each others’ slang.

    All my Italian friends knew at least a little Yiddish. And I picked up a bit of Italian/Sicilian.

  223. ltrftp Hedly
    January 12th, 2008 at 8:32 am [Reply]

    GT – I wonder who set the car on fire. NOT!

    JP – Now we know. And it was obviously all because of Elvira’s cataracts. I wonder if they have the same side effect on Elvira that they did on Abbey.
    Fyi. No one with any sense has an everyday tablecloth that long.
    It’s hard to get your legs under the table. Even if it is a drop leaf table you would fold the darn thing. Can the artist not draw floors under tables?

    And the wobbity lines match Elviras chin lines.

    Remember when you could say “He’s got more chins than a
    ____________ phone book.”? Just like chin nuts in the last panel of MT.

    MW – In the most exciting plot point of this strip, Mary is going to sneeze. Discovering that she is also allergic to dogs. She will force Charterstone to adopt a rule change that no dogs will be allowed. And if a dog is found on the property, the security guard will catch it and drop it off the cliff at Aldo’s Point.

    SFx – WTF?

  224. cupotea
    January 12th, 2008 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    Long time lurker, first time poster – in today’s Mary Worth (1/12), she looks like she’s patting her mouth after finishing off a delicious canine stew (in panel 3). Do they serve that at the Bum Boat?

  225. Snark
    January 12th, 2008 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Irving is become Saliva, God of Braindeath. Saliva is traditionally portrayed with an expression of near-total emptiness, with large drops of acid sweat flying away from his head. In his six hands are his traditional emblems: poorly rendered, unidentifiable gadgets and gizmos that symbolize his stereotyped “dumb guy”-ness. He is traditionally accompanied by his female consort, Acky, the Goddess of Overwhelming Confusion.

  226. Snark
    January 12th, 2008 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    Also, in Gil Thorp….can somebody please tell the cartoonist, whoever he is, that arrogant young high school sports punks have not sported forehead curls since roughly 1957? Clearly, the man has not set foot in a high school since around that time – though, equally clearly, he’s spent a shitload of time obsessively staring at his team photos, fondly remembering the pinnacle moment of his life and pondering why he’s never been quite as happy as when he was a middle-ranked sports geek in high school. Ah, memories. But in any case, no teenager has sported a forehead curl for approximately fifty-one years by my reckoning; if the cartoonist wishes to graphically denote douchebaggery, a popped collar or a fauxhawk would be more appropriate to this century.

  227. LanceThruster
    January 14th, 2008 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    I can thank “Heavens to Murgatroid” for linking this site. It is a laugh riot. Many of us grew up reading the comics page first. Now many of us ask “why even bother?” The CC’s slogan could easily be, “We read the comics so you don’t have to!” I think my friend’s 14 year old godchild put it best when she said, “The comics aren’t funny.” I’ll have to send her this site link, they are now!

  228. TripleE
    January 15th, 2008 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    I actually grew up in Midland, MI, which is the hometown of none other than Cathy Guisewite. Apparently she spoke at my highschool a couple years before she graduated.

    So, when you pick on Cathy. . . Well, it’s really damn funny. Keep up the good work.

    Oh, and half the town doesn’t have noses. True fact.

    ~EEE~

  229. Anonymous
    January 15th, 2008 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    Why is it in Mary Worth, so many people are running away from Charterstone in terror? Even the poor squirrel thinks that plunging to his death is a better fate than having Mary kidnap him as a pet.

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