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Ista quidem vis est!

Marmaduke, 2/2/08

In the aftermath of the assassination of Julius Caesar, the great orator Cicero became the most important figure in the Roman Senate; after a brief period of political truce, he began a series of increasingly bitter public speeches against Marc Antony, Caesar’s political heir. While these speeches — the so-called Philippics — are regarded as masterpieces of oratory, they also goaded Antony so much that the fragile political peace that held in Rome collapsed; in the ensuing brief but nasty civil war, Cicero was captured and killed by one of Antony’s soldiers. His severed head and hands were displayed in the Roman forum, but legend has it that first Antony’s wife Fulvia berated his head and pricked his tongue with needles as revenge against the invective he had hurled against her husband.

This is a roundabout way of wondering why the hell we can see Marmaduke’s owner’s legs under the table but not Marmaduke’s. My guess is that the family has finally risen up against the tyrannical monster that has ruled their life for so long, and that the matriarch can now say everything she ever wanted to say while he was alive to his enormous, lifeless, detached skull.

Shoe, 2/2/08

I’m guessing Skyler is less than keen to hear about the young, vigorous body you once had, Perfesser. In fact, seeing as I’ve always pegged him as being somewhere in the 10 to 13 range, he probably is less than keen to get bedtime stories from you at all. However old he is, it’s good to see in panel three that he’s already mastered that heavy lidded, life-has-crushed me look that his uncle presents so regularly.

Since we only hear the beginning of this story, the mystery of what happened to Cosmo’s 28-inch waist will probably remain ever mysterious; I wonder if his reluctance to get out of his chair and actually walk to the child’s bedside to read his bedtime story is contributing factor to the loss of his slender middle or a result of the same.

Wizard of Id, 2/2/08

Earlier this week, the Wizard of Id did a particularly egregious variation on its long-running “torture is hilarious” theme, but for some reason I found that less troubling than this strip, in which it’s posited that the best way to end poverty is to physically assault poor people. We can see the unconscious (or possibly lifeless) body of the medieval hobo in the background of panel three, so obviously our brave hero hasn’t taken things to the logical conclusion and eaten him.

Luann, 2/2/08

Well, sure, dad, but you could be terrified and then crushed, which could cause permanent paralysis. Honestly, this is basic first aid that Brad should have learned in his fireman’s training.

185 responses to “Ista quidem vis est!”

  1. Gagott68
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Paralyzed just goes on and on. Like this stupid Brad and Toni story line.

  2. Calico of the Mary Worth Snow Patrol
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    ID-Ow!
    Shoe-Ow!
    WOI-Ow x2!

  3. Jonathan
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    I think you got “bedtime” and “bedside” flip-flopped, there. Oh, and shouldn’t we be seeing chair legs in Marmaduke too?

  4. Uncle Lumpy, Praetor
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    I will pass by those many acts by Marmaduke against sanitation workers. You shall hear nothing from me of his offenses against the meatmonger. And I consider not his shameful treatment of every gentle person of the city’s Animal Control Department, whom he has treated shamefully!

    But in the matter of those many poodles, females all, and tiny, I must speak.!

  5. essephreak
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    Hope this isn’t a segue into a storyline about how Mr DeGroot copes with ED.

  6. Big Sims
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    Bard and Toni are never going to hook up – all right! We get it. Like this story we’re all crushed and paralyzed. I’m surprised I even have the strength to write this.

  7. Big Sims
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    I mean – Big Sims Praetorian Guard. Whew, almost forgot my purple robes!

  8. flimflam
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    Wait, wait, wait. Perfesser is reading from a bound volume. Which means he either has a fancy looking journal where he writes about his flabby body OR someone published a book about his bloated bird behind.

    And the worst part is that the latter can’t be easily dismissed when we live in a world where Dog the Bounty Hunter is a NY Times bestselling author.

  9. Gagott68
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: The rise of the insufferable prick continues.

    MT: Maybe, just maybe, Mark has drowned and the strip can continue with Andy in the lead. Just too good to be true, no?

    S4th: Werewolf songs! Werewolf songs! More, more werewolf songs!

    Zits: Romantic waffle maker? Does it vibrate?

    Curtis: Based on the look on Curtis’ face, I don’t think Chutney kicked him in the knee.

  10. Red Five Standing by
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    Wouldn’t Wizard of ID have been funnier if it featured one of the main characters? Like the King, or the drunk jester, or the wizard’s wife (Blanche! I just remembered her name.)? Someone previously established as being cruel, or at least heartless, so the act of beating on the poor and defenseless would at least be in character.

    I should write “funnier” in quotes, of course, “funnier” being a relative thing in the world of ID. Or in most comics as a whole. Hence the birth of this website, I suppose.

  11. Crankenstank
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:32 pm [Reply]

    Now we know how Brad and Luann’s parents hooked up in the first place. Some sort of S&M deal.

  12. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    This Wizard of Id reminds me of a (cleverer) quip attributed to George Bernard Shaw:

    “I hate the poor, and look forward eagerly to their extinction.”

  13. Kumquat, Citrus Fruit of Emperors
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    S4th – Please oh please, let there be a romantic werewolf ballad in honor of Valentine’s Day.

    MW (yesterday’s) – Vera’s boss/boyfriend and his “enlightened” policy on dating underlings reminds me of this white guy I know who says we need to “reclaim” ethnic slurs so that white people can say them without getting beaten up (or, in Baldo-land, glowered at menacingly for three or four days and then shoved). It’s not a step forward, guys.

    9CL – Edda, dear, your double-standards are showing.

    FW – feels like it should be a Pluggers entry. You know you’re a Plugger when your muscles are so tense they defeat the masseuse.

  14. Weaselboy
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Dumping a patient head first in to a waiting vehicle with a breezy “watch yer feet.” I can only wonder what breezy remark will accompany his removing a patient from life support.

  15. jayjaybear
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    Weaselboy: I can only imagine that it would involve the announcement that the Batiukiverse is undergoing trans-strip normalization and the patient being unplugged should just thank his lucky stars he’s the one who’s getting off easy.

  16. Old Goat
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    Shoe: 28-inch waist on a bird? Wow, that’s a big bird.

  17. kippetje2000
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    I want a shirt just like Pa Degroot’s. One with exact parallel line-up no matter how I move. If his taste in clothes is in any way indicative of Brad’s sex appeal, there must be some deep dark secrets in Toni’s fashion past.

  18. Mr. O\'Malley
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:57 pm [Reply]

    13. Kumquat, CFE. There’s Maria Ouspenskaya’s big hit:

    Even a man who is pure in heart
    and says his prayers by night
    may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
    and the autumn moon is bright.

    Songs about moonlight are always so romantic.

  19. Scherzo (Lorem Ipsum)
    February 2nd, 2008 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke needs to be cropped at roughly the level of the top of the plant. The composition works much better that way. Too bad that’s not their standard size and aspect ratio for their one-panel feature.

  20. Mr. O'Malley
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    166. Last thread. Eric the Baker.
    Thanks. We are using some of those. The Neapolitan one is particularly good.

  21. Mr. O'Malley
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:05 pm [Reply]

    Josh, making a link between the fate of Cicero and Marmaduke is one of your best efforts yet.

    Now if only someone would rid us apostrophe users of those turbulent backslashes. I meant to preview my last post but I hit the wrong button.

  22. Old Goat
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    And while we’re on the subject of decapitated orators and comic strip characters, check this out:
    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5494832469489844003

  23. little red-haired girl
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:29 pm [Reply]

    Is that a beaver lodge in the first panel of Mark Trail? What’s a beaver lodge doing in a lake rather than a stream? Will Mark save himself by swimming into the lodge? Can a human fit into one of those things? Will Lucky the beaver return to save the day?
    In Sunday’s Slylock Fox, Rat and Pig, of Pearls Before Swine fame, make a guest appearance.

  24. Dave Mac
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:34 pm [Reply]

    All this time time, I thought the problem was with Marmaduke’s writing, but now I realize it was really with me; I finally get it.

  25. Vince M
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    12: WHAT do you mean by that!?
    - Urmmm, that was one of Wilde’s!!!

  26. myeviltwin
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    The Cicero bit was truly inspired. I don’t usually expect to see historical references on this site. Now that’s what I call edutainment!

  27. Tats
    February 2nd, 2008 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    Man, look at Old Man DeGroot trying desperately to get out of hearing Brad’s dating woes in panel one. He’s no more interested in his idiot son’s hapless miscarriages of romance than the rest of us. I think he’s my favourite character in Luann now, which is not unlike choosing your favourite carcinoma from a smoker’s lung.

  28. Brick Bradford of the Space Jungle Patrol
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    Brad, Toni is a goddess. You look like what Beaver’s friend Larry Mondello turned into when he grew up. Do the math. There’s always internet porn.

  29. Sophist, FCD
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    What disturbs me most about that Wizard of Id is that the sign is a sandwichboard in the first panel, and a broken protest-type sign in the last panel. I can think of two explanations: either he hit that hobo so hard he knocked him into a parallel universe, or drawing the Wizard of Id is so soul-crushingly, mind-numbingly boring that by the time you get to the second panel your brain has already jettisoned all knowledge of the first in an act of self preservation.

  30. Rhekarid
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    #29 – you forgot the third explanation: that the broken wood is the remains of a club he used to beat the homeless man so savagely it shattered.

  31. Josh
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    #3 Jon — Ooops, quite right! I fixed.

    Josh

  32. Gal Friday
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:27 pm [Reply]

    #21, #26 ditto! Wow, Josh, first the reference to Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire a few weeks back (was that in Hi and Lois?) and now Cicero and Marmaduke!

  33. kilter
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    #29 – Actually, I think the scariest part of the Wizard of Id is the dark cloud of birds that appears on the horizon in the third panel. I assume they’re scavengers, come to rid the kingdom of its new corpse, but you never know — maybe they were sitting on the dark tower in the first panel, but because it has disappeared they’ve flown off to find a new place to roost.

  34. Peter the great
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    Why, I might ask, could shoe now fail to fit into a pair of jeans with a 28 inch waist considering he is A TINY BIRD LIVING IN A TREE. For that matter, I might ask why birds have jeans at all. Oh well.

  35. Charlene, Arctic Jungle Patrol Waitress
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    Brad is white?

    Brad is straight?

    This week has confused me too much.

  36. Charles
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    I know I am a little late to the party, but I just read Saturday’s comics and am very troubled by Crankshaft. Not only is there a lack of humor (dark or otherwise), it is seemingly just a display of one man’s willingness to cripple and incapacitate another. It is Darwinian politics on display in the most frightening of ways, even for Crankshaft.
    Goodness, I just wrote all that about Crankshaft. :(

  37. Rainbird
    February 2nd, 2008 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    But Josh,

    If the phrase means “but this is violence” or something like that, because of course, I had to look it up, then why didn’t you include all the strips with violence in them. Surely there is more fun slapstick out there, just waiting to be described, such as todays Crankshaft, and potentially, tomorrows Rex Morgan.

  38. Les
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    Coincidentally, that’s not just the Wizard of Id’s response to poverty, but also racism, sexism and homophobia!

  39. BlinkAndItsOver
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    “Crushed,” “terrified” and “paralyzed goes on and on” … what, is Batiuk ghosting Luann now?

  40. Quäsenbo Pan
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: I would be astonished if no one has already pointed this out, and I apologize if I am repeating the obvious: but isn’t it hilarious to assume that the otherwise unrendered portraits that are causing so much distress in the recent final panels are, in fact, perfect replicas of the preceding panel? How very meta of Dick.
    Then again, they might just be a mash-up of contemporary Gil Thorp. Six of one…

  41. Buck Ripsnort
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    Wiz of Id: MAD‘s Don Martin did a quicker, better-drawn (of course!) and funnier version of this w/ his “STAMP OUT ACNE” poster in the 70′s.
    FW And at the end (Please, God?) of his Massage arc, Batiuk shows Harry Dinkle knows the only REAL “Happy Ending” possible in the Beanerverse: Punching out the masseuse.

    Cicero: Hell, the only thing I remembered about him was that “Delenda Est Carthago” stuff. Literally nagged the Romans to war.

  42. Rusty
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Mr. Degroot is wearing a shirt patterned after that grid on Archie’s haircut.

  43. Phil, Marmaduke's Owner
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    Part of why I hate / love Marmaduke, besides the fact that it taes place in a remarkable inconsistent fantasy universe:

    I HATE WHEN HUMANS TALK TO DOGS IN ENGLISH!!!

    I was recently at a vet’s office with a friend who was waiting on her dog. A middle-aged woman was sitting across from us, whose small dog was — understandably — yapping. The woman was giving pantomiming shushing motions to the dog, and telling it in measured tones to quiet down by repeating–

    “Shh! This is a place of business!”

    Do YOU, at least, anonymous blog-readers who I don’t know personally, know what I mean???

  44. Gagott68
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Gunther’s shirt and Papa DeGroot’s shirt are both cut from the same impossibly plaid cloth, so to speak. Are we talking Electra Complex here?

  45. Godzooky
    February 2nd, 2008 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    #40 Quäsenbo Pan: I like your guesses. Yesterthread, I theorized the paintings are actually normal, Rembrandt-style portraits (sort of like that “Eye of the Beholder” Twilight Zone episode). Your post suggests another possibilty: Mirrors.

  46. Kathy
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    Prowling thru the MW archives, I found that Vera & Ben met in March 07. In fact it is Ben who called Mary to get Vera an apartment at the Cornerstone or whatever that place is called.

  47. Sharona
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    16, 34, I’m surprised at you people. An inch is simply 1/12 the length of a foot, which originally was literally the length of a man’s foot. Presumably birds use their own body parts as a standard of measure, so to Cosmo, an inch would be about the length of one talon. Duh.

    Now, if the birds were using the metric system, that would be fucked up.

  48. Karen El
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    So Spidey and MJ are still married in the newspaper strip?

    That must be the only place left. For the benefit of those that don’t read the comic books, due to heavy-handed editorial mandate, Spidey made a deal with the devil to have his marriage never happen in order to save Aunt May’s life. It’s as bad as it sounds.

  49. Kumquat, Citrus Fruit of Emperors
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    #43 Phil, Marmaduke’s Owner –

    I understand perfectly, and yet I do it myself. I don’t know why I talk to dogs and cats as if they could understand English. My current theory is that it’s like kids who talk to imaginary friends; there’s nobody there who can understand and respond, but it feels good to pretend.

  50. Kumquat, Citrus Fruit of Emperors
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    #48 Karen El –

    Of course newspaper Spider-man and MJ are still married – anything else would require drama. The closest thing newspaper Spider-man gets to drama is almost missing the Dr. Phil show, but making it to the couch just in time.

  51. BigTed
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    I think that I might look askance
    Upon a birdie wearing pants –
    And if it squeezed him just to try it
    The last thing he would do is diet –
    The skinniest folk (from what I’ve heard)
    Are those who eat just like a bird.

  52. Jei
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    I think the *exciting* MT storyline is getting to me. Last night, Andy was in part of my dream. He escaped the house where we were at, so I had to run and bring him back in. It was an odd dream…

  53. Poteet
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    # 43 Phil — I believe that talking to my cats is a private act that should never be inflicted upon strangers. Also, that way, no one can disprove my conviction that they understand what I tell them and agree with every word. Except as regards some of their personal habits.

  54. Tlachtga
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    Cicero: Hell, the only thing I remembered about him was that “Delenda Est Carthago” stuff. Literally nagged the Romans to war.

    Actually, I think that was Cato the Elder and the Third Punic War; Carthage had long been subdued by the time Cicero was around.

    (long time listener, first time poster, former Latin student)

  55. Tats
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    46, Kathy: If Vera was introduced in March of 2007, that means it’ll have been almost a year since America’s least favourite market research / corporate climber was introduced to our lives — assuming she makes it to March of 2008. I guess what this post boils down to, then, is an impassioned plea for Karen Moy to kill off Vera before the end of the month, ideally by pulling an Aldo and hurling herself off a cliff in an Oldsmobile Aurora.

  56. Jana C.H.
    February 2nd, 2008 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    #41: Buck Ripsnort: It was Cato the Elder who nagged the Romans into war with the “Delenda Est Carthago” stuff, not Cicero.

    I was going to say something about Demosthenes having composed the Phillipics against the threat of Phillip of Macedon to Greece, but fortunately I looked it up and discovered that two of Antony’s speeches were also called Phillipics because they were modeled on those of Demonsthenes.

    Other useless information about Greeks and Romans can be found on the internet.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Will Cuppy: I forget exactly why Rome fell. It was probably just one of those things.

  57. Luprand
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:03 am [Reply]

    Anyone wanna bet that DeGroot Sr.’s first name is Stan?

  58. bats, Avian Division of the Jungle Patrol :[
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    Stupid, stupid Martians…they deserved to die, for not killing Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning…

  59. Spunky N. Tadpole
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:14 am [Reply]

    # 57 Luprand: No bet: Luann and Brad’s parents are Frank and Nancy: http://www.toonopedia.com/luann.htm

    # 43: Phil: Well, it’s passably normal that Marmaduke’s hapless owners speak to him in English – the really disturbing thing is he apparently can speak to them, as well. Or maybe they just imagine it. Dunno who, in that scenario, is more disturbed….

    Oh, and Josh: thanks for the classical references: it’s one of those little things that makes reading CC worthwhile. Well, that and all the delicious snark.

  60. Hasty Penguin
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    Luann:

    Brad’s dilemma reminds me of that episode of Doug where he had a pimple and was too embarrassed to dance with Patti. This problem was common amongst young teens, but Doug avoided the problem altogether by wearing a mask to a Hallowe’en Dance, so the viewers learned nothing about acne except maybe to wear a mask when you have it. So basically, I think this comic is going to do the same thing by somehow making them constantly miss the opportunity or end up accidentally kissing while a building burns and they rescue a dog from it or something so that no asking whatsoever goes on or she already has another guy interested in her, like TJ or whatever. I hate when a comic makes me think about useless knowledge.

  61. Charles Brubaker
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    The last TDIET daily is up
    http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20080202&name=TDIE

    But wait! That’s not all. There will be one more Sunday strip in Feb. 10. Then that’s it, the comic is officially over after 79 years and 5 days.

  62. bats, Avian Division of the Jungle Patrol :[
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    Sunday Funnies:

    FC: um, hey, jackass Billy…didn’t God make make in His own image? Doesn’t God have a mirror, or some sense of where His own eyes, nose and mouth are? Or maybe the angels just like to screw with Him and tell Him that the nose goes on top. And there are three nostrils.
    Bob Weber, Jr. does this with a lot more style and humor, Keane boys. Hang it up.

    JP: oh, no! Not with the coffee again! Sam, kiss that chopped liver on rye goodbye (unless, when Gloria gets back to the office at 4:30, you can accost her with that old tried and true, “What am I? Chopped liver?” comment).
    Meanwhile, Steve’s mother has fallen, and she can’t get up.

    MW: “Dawn….oh, yeah, Dawn…I wonder if she wants to go out for a little nookie nosh tonight.”

    RMMD: oh, wow….the colors….and more sinister pics of Lee to boot! (Which kind of makes up for the dialog: “He took my favorite gun!”? What kind of gun is that? My favorite killing innocent people gun? My favorite pistol-whipping gun?)

    FOOB: please, April, take a bullet for all of us…drive off a cliff with Elly!

  63. odinthor
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    Philippics — And for those mudges wondering why speeches by Cicero about Marc Antony are called “Philippics” instead of, um, Ciceroni, Marcatoni, Macaroni, or Antonioni: Michelangelo Antonioni, an Italian film director who co-scripts all his own films, largely jettisoning narrative in favour of vague incident and relentless character study. In his first film: ‘Cronaca Di Un Areore’ (1950), the couple are brought together by a shared irrational guilt. ‘L’Amico’ followed in 1955, and 1959 saw the first of Antonioni’s world-famous trilogy, ‘L’Avventura’ – an acute study of boredom, restlessness and the futilities and agonies of purposeless living. In ‘L’Eclisse’, three years later, this analysis of sentiments is taken up once again. ‘We do not have to know each other to love’, says the heroine, ‘and perhaps we do not have to love…’ The ‘Eclipse’ of the emotions finally casts its shadow when darkness descends on a street corner. Signor Antonioni first makes use of colour to underline…um, well, and so forth. Cicero’s efforts were so called because of their likeness in spirit to the original Philippics, a series of speeches delivered by the Athenian Demosthenes against the Macedonian Philip, who by a strange coincidence was called Philip of Macedonia, and who spent some of his spare time, but not very much, becoming the father of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great was the famous Italian director of such movie classics as ‘Ossessione’ 1942, ‘La Tetra Trema’ 1948, and ‘Bellissima’ 1951 – a satisfying ironic slice-of-life drama. 1957 brought to the silver screen his ‘I Bianche Notre’ adapted by Dostoyevsky, a mannered and romantic melancholy of snow and mist and moonlit encounters on canal bridges. ‘Boccaccio 70′ followed five years later and the following year saw ‘The Leopard’! But, I digress . . .

    Oh, dang! –On previewing, I see that Jana C.H. (#56) beat me to the punch about “Philippics.” Sigh. Back to mourning TDIET . . . never again to see young Hekkie . . . nor hear of Lula Patoot . . .

  64. Lindsey ^_^
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    Some people seem to be confused about [b]Mary Worth.[/b] Vera’s current boss’ name is Ryan. He is NOT the same boss who hired her a year ago, whose name was Ben. They look exactly alike, but they aren’t the same person.

  65. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    RMMD — I’ve always hoped I’ll never encounter any crazed killers, partly because it would be so socially unpleasant and partly because I figured I’d never be able to figure out a good plan to escape and/or fight them off. But compared to Rex Morgan, Supreme Tactical Idiot, I feel like James Bond.

    MW — “THAT was painful!” Geez, I never thought I’d agree with Dr. Drew. Just seeing Vera’s bizarre expression in the fourth panel was like hearing squeaky chalk.

  66. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    Frank deGroot’s facial expression here very much undermines the fatherly wisdom angle. It looks too much like Thaddeus Venture and thus starts me wondering if this is really Brad or some clone that dad put away for emergencies.

  67. Rainbird
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    <b.43 Phil, Marmaduke’s Owner I was going to make a joke about how if not English, what language do you want to use, but I know two people, at least, who talk to dogs in their, the humans, first language, one German and the other Spanish, so it is a bit universal.

    Although they don’t say things like “You must be quiet because this is a place of business”. It is more like ‘sit, treats, stay” that sort of thing.

  68. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:54 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Actually, since “big-screen” TVs nowadays mean HDTVs and the major networks are already broadcasting in HD, all Ed has to do is get an indoor HD antenna and he’ll have as good a picture as with cable.

    If his TV somehow isn’t HDTV-capable, he just needs a digital TV converter box so he can use the HDTV antenna…Oh, wait, those aren’t available yet. But the government has a coupon for them. (Our tax dollars at work)

  69. Alfred E. Neuman
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:07 am [Reply]

    Phantom– “And I’m a waitress!” Just the words to assure anyone a job offer from a paramilitary organization. DePaul and Ryan must be writing this stuff expressly for us here in Mudgeworld. I thank them very much for thinking of us.

  70. Joe Blevins
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:11 am [Reply]

    Panels one and three of “Wizard of Id” sort of look like one of those “Hocus Focus” comics in which you’re supposed to spot the six differences. Let’s see: (1) sandwich board sign has become hand-held protest sign; (2) grey building in the middle has mysteriously vanished; (3) pointy building in background has mutated somehow into a skinny little tower even though our perspective has changed only slightly; (4) word “poverty” no longer underlined (5) M-shaped birds have materialized out of nowhere, possibly to eat dead homeless man; (6) homeless man is dead.

  71. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    63. …and Phillip means “horselover” which is why Philip K. Dick had an alter ego called Horselover Fats because Dick is German for “fat”…

    and then “Flying Fox of the Yard?”

  72. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:29 am [Reply]

    I talk to dogs and cats all the time. I might as well since none of the people I talk to understand what I’m talking about anyway. (see post 71)

    I think you’re still having a conversation, but part of it is in catese or doggish.

    Little known fact: Irish-speaking people talk to animals in English because “it’s good enough for them”.

  73. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    FW: Batiuk’s (or ghost artist John Byrnes’) depiction of a Cirque du Soleil show makes it look almost as drab and lifeless as his depiction of New York City’s Halloween Parade. According to Vegas.com, “O” looks more like this. And, for the record, the Parade looked more like this.

  74. Tats
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    64, Lindsey: “They look exactly alike, but they aren’t the same person,” incidentally, is the longtime motto of Apartment 3-G.

  75. Josh
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:46 am [Reply]

    #37 Rainbird — I was actually just looking for keen quotes about Caesar’s assassination — according to one source, “But this is violence!” was what he said after the first of the assassins took a swipe at him with a dagger. I liked it because it actually sounds like the sort of shocked, semi-coherent thing you’d say when you realize that a bunch of people, some of whom you thought were your friends, are about to kill you, rather than the over dramatic “Et tu, Brute?” (itself a Shakespearean invention). I know it didn’t have much to do with the post…

    #43 Phil — I talk to my cat in English all the time, not that I expect her to understand me, really. Dogs and maybe cats probably do pick up a few words that are important to them, but in a larger sense I think they understand the emotional content of what you’re trying to say to them, just as you can generally tell when an animal is pleased, scared, angry, or what have you from the noises they make. And it’s pretty much impossible for people to convey that emotional content without talking in their language of choice. That’s my theory, anyway.

    #67 Rainbird — I lived in Germany for a while with my then girlfriend, and we brought her cat over from the US with us, who singularly failed to get on with the other cats in our apartment building despite his sweet, nonaggressive nature. Our theory was that he didn’t speak Cat German and thus couldn’t communicate properly with them…

    Josh

  76. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:52 am [Reply]

    JP: Finally figured what Gloria’s constant eye-closing (panel 3 today) reminds me of: Mariah Carey’s mind-numbing, eye-blinking, eye-closing, constant-looking-down-at-the-floor performance in “Glitter.” (I still want my money back on that one)

  77. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:59 am [Reply]

    68. Godzooky. Just what I need, coupons for something that isn’t available. I might as well just print my own to save myself the trouble of sending away for them.

    And even though I live in the middle of the city, apparently we would need a roof antenna, whereas I can pick up the 2 PBS stations that are the only thing that we watch with rabbit-ears. So it seems to me that this whole HDTV thing is not exactly an improvement.

    Who decided on this? Did you ever hear anybody say “You know what the problem with TV is nowadays? The image resolution is too low!”? If you were to ask any of my friends they would say “The programs are all garbage!” If it wasn’t for the British shows we get and some of the PBS docos there would be no point to it at all. Ernie Kovacs in black and white is better than anything the US networks have done in the last 25 years. (I’ve been staring at the screen considering that statement for a few moments, but I think I’ll let it stand. Except maybe The Simpsons—the only show that gives a realistic depiction of life in the US.)

    So I’m tempted to give up on it. Between youtube and DVDs of entire seasons of shows from the library, who needs it? The last time we had people drop over to hang out, we ended up watching 3 episodes of Lovejoy from my laptop onto a larger monitor, and then I showed them Solid Potato Salad.

  78. Skulking on the Outskirts
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:00 am [Reply]

    53, Poteet–I’m with you there. I have conversations with my cat all the time, but I live alone except for her.

    God, I just admitted to being a middle-aged cat lady, didn’t I?

  79. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:46 am [Reply]

    I clicked through Karen El’s link at #48 and I ended up reading an entire year of her comic before I could stop myself. (I stopped myself for the same reason that you tell yourself you shouldn’t eat an entire bag of cheese puffs at one time.)

    Karen is a really talented comic artist. The strips are quirky, maybe not for everyone, but the artwork is terrific.

    If people complain about how comics today aren’t as well drawn as they used to be (despite the nude lady, A-3G is only a shadow of its former self), I suggest Planet Karen.

  80. Luprand
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:48 am [Reply]

    #59 Spunky: Well fine, then. Ruin my fun. (It’s probably his middle name, then.)

  81. Carly
    February 3rd, 2008 at 4:17 am [Reply]

    I never really thought about whether the Shoe birds were bird-sized or human-sized. Until now.

  82. Phil, Marmaduke's Owner
    February 3rd, 2008 at 4:51 am [Reply]

    To all who responded — thank you. Yes, there is some value in talking to animals in one’s native species’ tongue [likely human]. I think my only real point is that this too is vanity and a chasing after wind, and that I personally am incapable of love.

    DAMN YOU, MARMADUKE!!!

  83. Baka Gaijin Kusamuru Keiei
    February 3rd, 2008 at 5:07 am [Reply]

    Sunday Snark:

    Mary Worth: 2 things. Last panel: WTF??? Dawn? Are you completely blind? Do you realize you were just humiliated in public by Vera? Vera, the blonde, over legal age woman, not Dawn, the brunette jailbait?

    Other thing: Why is Ryan administering CPR to Vera in panel 5? He got the head tilt right; I never could.

    A3G: Gabriella is looking somehow younger and hipper today. Oh, no, was that her lipstick on Interchangeable Blond Guy #2′s glass? Ewww!

    Slylock Fox: It was Tyler from Gil Thorp! He’s the only comic strip character with experience beating people with a branch. Granted, it was beating himself, but still.*

    FOOB: Missing 11th panel: April squeals out of the garage in reverse while pushing the butter-tart eating, nightgown flapping, overbearing harpy of a mother out the passenger door while Edgar looks on with his ears raised. Panel 12: Edgar lifts his leg on Elly’s broken body. Panel 13: April’s car squeals to a stop in front of Howard Bunt’s house, knowing he’s always up for “going roadside.”

    Get Fuzzy: Someone with better diction will explain how great today’s strip is.

    Buckles: Continues Get Fuzzy’s tradition today of doing painful things to owners.

    Pluggers: Honestly, that second speech balloon could be used on every Pluggers. Honesty, sometimes I’m embarrassed to read Pluggers.

    Garfield: Liz is more menacing than Dennis. Far more menacing. And it’s not her mutated lips, either.

    Brevity: The right lane should include most of the cast of Funky Winkerbean and Dr. Drew and Dawn. Vera squeaks into the left lane by having that creepy relationship with toaster tooty eating Ryan.

    Frazz: Starbucks addiction is a painful thing.

    Cathy: Her insanity is catching. Missing 10th Panel: Her husband, arms thrown into the air saying “AAAACK!” Panel 11: He’s complaining about how swim suits fit. **

    Doonesbury: Ha ha, George Bush is out of touch.

    Arlo N Janis: Ha ha, cats are stupid.

    Blondie: Ha ha, women overspend their husband’s money. ***

    Drabble: Ha ha, Drabble overate to illness.****
    ______________________

    * So who does Mr. Weber Jr. say is the assailant? I can’t read the small print. If it’s not Rat from PBS, I’ll be disappointed.

    ** I can’t remember his name and refuse to look it up.

    *** Even more stupid since Blondie presumably has her own money from the catering business. She’s spending her own money, you misogynist cheapskate!

    ****I hope footnotes are allowed in CC.

  84. Trilobite
    February 3rd, 2008 at 5:12 am [Reply]

    Sunday’s comics — and They’ll Do It Every Time is still there! I guess there’s still another week left to run? Al Scaduto really was a workhorse, wasn’t he?

    Anyway, there are a few bothersome comics alongside it that I could’ve lived without:

    A3G: Boring repeated panels which will probably be repeated again on Monday…and then a shocking revelation. I have a hard enough time believing that in a stressful situation, Margo would actually seek comfort from her mother…but now she’s willing to accept solace from religion, too? I call bullshit on that. Most people in the world of A3G probably pray to god to keep them safe from Margo!

    Judge Parker: Hold up there, Steve-o…what’s with hitting on the secretary at your new job, before you’ve even shown up for your first day of work? This isn’t some degenerate ad agency in California — this is, um, whatever city it is that Judge Parker takes place in! They have STANDARDS out here! Not to mention the fact that your new partner is so firmly opposed to dating (intradepartmental or otherwise) that he won’t even have sex with his wife. Start getting used to cold showers, in other words.

    Mary Worth: I honestly have no idea what the point of Vera’s meeting with Drew actually was. “I missed you and I think we need to start with a clean slate, except that we’re not going to be starting anything, because I’ve already hooked up with my boss. So basically, I just wanted to tell you that we’re still not going to be seeing each other, ever. …Whew! Mary was right, I do feel better! As someone once wrote, ‘Some trainers believe that negative reinforcement can be the most effective tool in curbing unwanted behavior — if you rub their noses in it and scold them, they will learn to avoid similar offenses in the future.’ Anyway, thanks for the lunch!”

    Sally Forth: As her clothing demonstrates, Jackie is calling from the 1980s.

    Slylock Fox: Oh, Slylock, have you learned nothing from Gil Thorp? It’s patently obvious that Ronny Rabbit hit HIMSELF on the head with that barky stick.

  85. True Fable
    February 3rd, 2008 at 5:25 am [Reply]

    MW So is this the Lesson Learned, or is this just a Mini-Lesson of some sort? Why even bother when it’s just going to get The Mary Treatment the second he gets to Charterstone anyway?
    RMMD If I stopped to list all the things Rex could have/ should have done to circumvent all this nonsense, then we’d have had a much better story than this “ooh Rex must have a sixth sense or something!” deal. What, you couldn’t have waited around the side of the cabin and got the drop on him? You couldn’t have SHOT the guy? You couldn’t have put him under while you treated his shoulder and then tied him up with the adhesive tape – oh dammit. Just… bring on June’s rack already.
    JP How romantic. Yeah yeah yeah. I want sweaterpuppies by tomorrow dammit.
    FBoFW WHAT A FUCKING NAG. I wonder if Lynn hates her characters as much as she’s getting US to hate them. You’re slow, Lynnie – I’ve hated Elly for years now. But I do like the expression on April’s face in that last panel; sort of speaks for us all.

  86. Baka Gaijin Kusamuru Keiei
    February 3rd, 2008 at 6:23 am [Reply]

    #85 True Fable: Take a look at my FOOB missing panels in post 83, April Gets Revenge. Were I artistic, I’d do something, but, alas, I’m not.

  87. TB Tabby
    February 3rd, 2008 at 6:59 am [Reply]

    I never get tired of the shout-outs to other comics in Slylock Fox. I hope tomorrow’s Pearls Before Swine has Rat hiding a pair of oversized shoes in a closet.

    In other news, readers who’ve been paying attention to Popeye may be surprised to learn that he used to be HARDCORE.

  88. Old Goat
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    FOOB, last panels:

    Elly: “April, slow down! You’re doing 120!”
    April: “Yes, Mom.”
    Elly: “You’re going to hit that tree!”
    April: “Yes, Mom.”
    Elly: “You’re going to kill us both!”
    April: “No, Mom. I have a driver airbag.”

  89. Old Goat
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    88: Oops — forgot to add the “scrunch” at the end… or perhaps that would be an “oooffft”. Oh, well.

  90. And The
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    DT: Looks like a great, absurd start to another moronic storyline. I can’t wait to see what kind of “brilliant” scheme our evil mastermind uses to kidnap his victims. Will it be as clever as the schemes found in the terrorist and haunted house plots?

    GF: What, is this Get Fuzzy or America’s Funniest Home Videos? Crotch punching this early on a Sunday morning is a bit much.

    Crankshaft: Just karma getting a bit warmed up. Too bad the son-in-law has be punished for Ed’s deeds, but he should have considered the in-laws when he chose the spouse.

    S-M: Gee, Spider-Man, did you predict *this* in your cunning scheme? As I recall, you aren’t resistant to knock-out gas. How’s the reckless endangerment plan working out for you?

    JP: Like others have said, I hope Sam wasn’t actually hungry.

    MW: Apparently, karmic retribution is a theme this Sunday. It certainly appears that it has led Drew to a much better place. He looks youthful and as serene as a yogi in the final panel as he wisely contemplates his past misdeeds.

    Popeye: The Sunday artist can’t draw Castor Oyl worth a damn. I couldn’t figure out why Wimpy shaved off his mustache until I saw Castor’s name mentioned.

  91. Calico
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    MW – yes, here cometh another poor-me dinner for Drew at the Bum Boat with Charity-Dad and the Biddy. Is it the twelfth round yet?

    FOOB – (Sound of large horse whinnying)
    You’re right on, True, I think even Lynn hates Elly’s guts now. Just pull an Aldo, Apes, and all will be well.
    And speaking of “famous” bullshitters…why can’t we please see Mike Patterson’s severed head on that table?

  92. gleeb
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Dick: Wow, straight off a Governor taken hostage, and now public officials are being abducted. I might make for exciting newspapers, but this kind of thing has got to play hell with good governance. I’m giving up any hope of seeing the “disgusting” art. Either I’ll never see it, or it will not be very disgusting.

    FBoFW: 8-10 wordy panels to tell us what Zits regulary shows us in half the space. Way to rest on those Order of Manitoba laurels.

    ‘bean: Like a cheap music box, Harry Dinkle has only one response to any stimulus, and it always has to be about the damn band.

    Steve ‘n’ Gloria: I suppose there’s no plausible way they could have made this a moonlit summer night, but that’s all that’s missing.

    Luann: Again with the Aaron Hill? You spent that dollar already! The hole gag is pretty amusing, but why not use Ben, the handsome vet?

  93. Calico
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    #87 – Wow.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UjM9UI40jk
    A real blast from the past!

  94. Michael
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    My God! That Marmaduke/Cicero thing was the funniest thing I’ve read for a while — inspired!

  95. John C Fremont
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    SFx – I say Pig did it. And why is Slylock chatting on his iphone? Is he using one of his lifelines? (Hey, two, count them, two outdated pop culture references! Yep, here I am, on the cutting edge!)

    MW – The third panel. They guy in the blue sweater. The one making off with Felix’s Bag of Tricks. He looks more like Ryan than Ryan in that panel. His slacks even match Ryan’s jacket. Great Caesar’s Ghost! This donut shop must be some sort of weird Aryan gathering place full of inbred blonde people. I’m scared!

    “We’re marching to a faster pace.
    Look out, here comes the Master Race…”

    MT – Wait a minute. Is that the Big Dipper or the Little Dipper. These things matter.

    RMMD – Hey, Niki’s got a bald spot. Maybe that goofball hairstyle of his is just an elaborate comb-over.

  96. Dean Booth of the Affect Ad Patrol
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    #87 Calico — great cartoon!

  97. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    #77 Mr. O’Malley re: The upcoming switch to Digital TV: Now that I’m awake and ready to un-seize the day:

    1. Who asked for this? Follow the money. The F.C.C. is currently auctioning off the UHF and VHF parts of the broadcast spectrum that the broadcasters are releasing. With digital signals, broadcasters can “multicast” channels (i.e. one for weather, one for news, one for regular programming, etc.), which multiplies the ad time they can sell. This article gives an overview.

    2. Due to the nature of the digital TV signal, there’s a good chance it can reach an indoor antenna better and with less degradation than an analog signal. This means a chance that an indoor HDTV antenna, plus the converter-to-come, can get you more than the two PBS stations you get with the rabbit ears. If nothing else, the PBS stations should look better.

    3. Those converter boxes have to be available soon. The switchover is supposed to hit in exactly one year (if it’s before Super Bowl Sunday, there might even be a run on converters).

    4. As for the state of TV programming, I have to agree. I’m in New York City, with basic cable, and, between the usual crap and the writer’s strike, it’s either one of the PBS stations or I just keep it off. (Hey, “Bob The Builder”‘s on PBS Kids! Time to go…)

  98. Calico
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    I’m not so good with Latin so am wondering if someone could translate “Ista Quidem Vis Est.”

    Something like “If only it were like that”, but not sure.

  99. Calico
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    #87 A real oldie, eh? Glad you enjoyed.
    There are others, including a WW2 propaganda Popeye (Not posting it here because it’s really insensitive, but interesting nonetheless, from a different mindset in a tough time. I kinda see where Parker and Stone’s “OBL Has Farty Pants” was inspired.)

  100. Calico
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    Shit, I was #93. Tabby actually started the Popeye postings. ; )
    Must…drink…more…coffee…
    But in the meantime, More Zippers, Mules! (Really!)
    http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=7810527

  101. Dean Booth of the Affect Ad Patrol
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    #100 Calico — I think I’m the one who needs more coffee. I meant #93 in my #96. :)

  102. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MW: That last panel is proof this strip is written by a woman. That would NOT be a guy’s first thought after getting punked by his ex.

    JP: Keep consuming all that coffee, Gloria, and you may end up looking like this guy.

  103. Hank
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    RE: FOOB. I actually liked today’s strip. It reminded me of when my mom taught me how to drive. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that it’s pretty typical parental behavior during a lesson.

    RE: Mary Worth. So basically, this entire luncheon was Vera playing a mindgame on Dr. Drew. Man, that bitch is cold.

    RE: Spiderman. Gas? Not to fear. As long as Stan Lee’s ghostwriter remembers that our hero has superpowers, including the ability to withstand knockout gas, there’s no problem. Oh, wait….he didn’t? Sorry, Peter.

  104. Conan the Grammarian
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    The biggest problem with the Wizard of Id is that the “joke” belongs to Crock.

  105. The Man
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    PBS: Yes! The return of Angry Bob!

    FC: Oh, what I would draw on there if I could send it to Keane.

  106. Vulpes Niger.
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    Enim, canis magnissimus est! Hui! Ex satis rideo, sed intus lacrimo.

    Tamen, crustuli parvi feminae placent.

  107. Jamus Of The Jungle Patrol
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    FOOB: I remember the first time Dad took me out to give me driving lessons. Now keep in mind he’s the reason I didn’t know that the cup holders in cars are not SUPPOSED to be “beer can holders”.
    Anyway, we’re tooling up the road, heading to Gramps’ house. I think Dad was looking forward to me getting my license so I could drive him around and he could drink as much as he wanted to. He had me make a turn, and it never occured to me to slow down. He later said he wondered if it was a good idea for me to drive that day when I said something like “Holy shit, i’m actually driving”.
    I turned onto a country road, but didn’t make it….slammed into a street sign instead, the sign went pinwheeling like a helicopter, so i’m told….we skidded into a wet parcel of cornfield, the Chevy Suburban was never the same after that, and we had a good laugh…at least Dad did.
    I didn’t have a point here, but i’m guessing I had more fun driving with my Dad than April is with Elly.

  108. Flipper
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: I think #84 Trilobyte is onto something regarding the self-inflicted noggin whackin’. According to the solution, the only footprints at the scene belong to Ronny Rabbit’s alter-ego “Randy Rabbit.”

  109. Shermy Glamrocker
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    Dr. Drew’s plan, in his internal voice, which sounds a bit like Vincent Price, even though his external voice is probably a cross between Pee-Wee Herman and Buddy Hackett:

    “Well, I’ve certainly learned an important lesson here. As soon as I get out of here, I’m going to call Dawn Weston and set up a date to meet her in a diner that serves orange doughnuts.

    “Naturally, Dawn will think I’m wanting to get back with her, which is undoubtedly what’s she’s been longing for.

    “Then, I’m going to grab the first bimbo in that long line of women waiting to go out with me and arrange for her to show up at the diner right before Dawn expresses her undying love for my, and pretend we’re in a ‘serious’ relationship, thus sending Dawn into a bottomless pit of despair.

    “That will teach her to not toy with the Casanova of Santa Royale. And I’ll probably get some nookie from Girl No. 1!

    “Thank you, Vera, for teaching me a valuable lesson.”

  110. Shermy Glamrocker
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    “Undying love for ME, that is.”

    Or I suppose my (fill in the blank) would work, too.

  111. Rainbird
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    #77 Mr. O’Malley Yes it it weren’t for BBC America and PBS, I doubt I would watch American TV at all. Wait, none of that is American.

  112. Rainbird
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    Flipper 107 I looked at Shylock Fox and felt the same thing. If it was Rat you would have at least seen his footprint inside the rabbits. Even birds leave some mark when they walk in snow.

  113. Rainbird
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    #75 Josh
    When my mother was in Germany as a girl she couldn’t get any of the cats to come to her, until her uncle taught her to say “Oh, bisdu sherna” (which I’m sure I’m not spelling right). Then, the cats would come.

    You would think, if it is just the sounds, happy or sad, that cats would understand no matter what language was being spoken.

  114. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    FC: Hey, maybe panels 1 & 2 are creationist and sexist (“God created”, “He had to decide”), but Keane balanced it out with a blasphemous panel 3. (“Wanna help [i.e. be God]?”)

  115. Flipper
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    I agree, #112 Rainbird, Rat would leave tell-tale tracks. If this foul play isn’t just a lame insurance fraud attempt by Rabbit, I would indeed suspect those with smaller feet, but not those who have no hiding places for a stolen wallet because they’re naked!

    That leaves just one suspect. Lift up that bowler, Mr. Mouse!

  116. Tracer Bullet
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    MW: Call the police? He’s breaking Vera’s neck! He’s trying to kill her! He . . . What? Really? Like that?!

    JP: This park would be a hell of a lot more peaceful if you two halfwits weren’t screaming at the top of your lungs.

  117. Spunky N. Tadpole
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    Sunday snark:

    SFx – My question is, who is Slylock calling on his cellphone? Bob Weber, or Stephan Pastis? Looks likes someone forgot to slip Sly a copy of the script today!

    Curtis – Or, Curtis, maybe she just doesn’t want to go out with you because:

    a) you tend to spout a lot of egocentric blather lot at high volume.
    b) she’d be ashamed to be seen in public with anyone who goes around wearing a canvas bucket on their head.

    MC – Bravo! Two levels of comics meta- in one strip!

    MW – “That was painful!” Yeah, and judging by her expression, that lock-jawed kiss in panel 5 was painful for Vera, too. Wonder how long it will be before she can open her mouth more than half an inch?

    9CL – clever, but would have worked better without the captions. Just like most 9CLs, come to think of it!

  118. Bob Weber Jr
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    Rainbird #112
    Ronny Rabbit’s weight crushed the snow under his steps to a hardness that would prevent light-weight Rat from leaving a clearly visible print.
    Anyway … as Stan Laurel says to his rifle-toting wife in “Sons of the Desert” — “That’s my story and I’m stuck with it”.

  119. Fritz Holznagel
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    Nice Cicero tie-in!

    I hope it’s not shilling to mention that Cicero and a few other headless wonders are mentioned in our feature Heads With a Life of Their Own.

    Well, it IS shilling, but I hope it’s legit shilling.

    Here’s hoping for more Romans-comics tie-ins; Dagwood and “I, Claudius” might make an interesting match. I see him passing away after ingesting a suspicious pepperocini on a midnight sandwich.

  120. Inspector Dim
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    So Spider-Man’s great plan was set bait for the Persuader, then just sort of play it by ear from there? That’s it? Even for Spider-Man, that’s incredibly stupid. I hope that gas is fatal.

  121. queek
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Sunday non-snark:

    The awesome and win of Rat and Pig in SFx has been duly noted.

    What I really liked about both Zits and PBS today was the artistic details. Pierce having an envelope labeled “Lunch Money” pinned to his jacket, and who noticed the martini’s going down in PBS over the course of the strip?

    Since Dingo probably won’t be here to say it, Skymir sure cleaned up well in today’s Prince Valiant!

    Lio: awesome beyond words.

    F-: I almost laughed. At least he got some bikini-action out of it in the middle of winter.

    and, against my usual pledge, but Wiley, you are no Watterson.

  122. Buck Ripsnort
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: I’ve deliberately blacked out on most of my driving lessons, but I DID learn never to let your father teach you to drive in a stick-shift– especially when you live at the bottom of a hill. You ever see a panicky teen try to go from clutch to gas without spilling Dad’s coffee or stall the car, WHILE said car is damned-near vertical?

  123. gkl
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: So much effort to avoid walking. Welcome to America.

    FC: Billy’s got a wee bit of a God complex there, eh?

  124. bats, Avian Division of the Jungle Patrol :[
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    77. Mr. O’Malley: preach it, sir, preach it! I love how the ads for HDTV are touting it as “it’s so good, it’ll be the only way to get TV from 2009!” Excuse my French, but f*ck me…the only reason we’re going to be stuck with HDTV is because the government wants the existing bandwidths.
    Then again, if this was the reason that was given on the ads, it couldn’t be classified as “advertising”; it’d be the truth, and gosh knows, we can’t handle the truth…
    (Mr. bats sent off for our two coupons, but I’m with you…poop on it all. I have more DVDs than I can shake a stick at, and doodling around on the Net has severely impacted my interest in television for the last few years.)

    78. Skulking: ONE cat? You, madam, are no cat-lady (maybe middle-aged, but I’m not going to ask to see your driver’s license).

    84. Trilobite: I like to think that Al is transmitting the latest TDIET’s from the Great Hereafter.
    And today’s NYTimes crossword puzzle has a few interesting comics tie-ins, a reference to Big Daddy Bil Keane, and a subtle reference to Al Scaduto (okay, this was all in my mind), in which the clue is “impulse” and the answer is “urge.” Then again, one of the legimiate answers to a clue was “spaz,” which can apply to a whole slew of strip characters.

    Also with your comment and TF’s about Mary Worth’s lack of plot: maybe it’s like the Simpsons episode in which one event melts into the next. Mary reunites dog with owner in park; in the same park the Manwhore jogs along. The Manwhore gets a call from the ex; they meet in a cafe, where he is summarily dumped.
    Neither story arc was especially exciting. Perhaps the next tie-in is that the Professor is seen exiting the cafe with a bag of donuts; he never makes it home, as on the way there, he asphyxiates when shoving his head in the bag to inhale the sweet donutty goodness and his respiratory system is overwhelmed by powdered sugar. That ought to be good for another three weeks of strips.

  125. schlimmerkerl
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    It took me a while because, when you google “Ista quidem vis est!”, the first thing that comes up is… this entry at ComicsCurmudgeon! Nevertheless, when Caesar was murdered in the Forum he first cried “Why this is violence!” You’re welcome.

  126. kippetje2000
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    #87, #93: That Popeye. “Every inch a sailor man.”

  127. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    Observations:

    S-M: In panel 7, Godero’s so upset about Spidey’s stupid “plan,” he’s lost his toupee.

    9CL: Too Much Coffee Man‘s cat takes a more direct approach.

  128. Bunnë
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    113, Rainbird
    I think what your mother learned to say was “Wo bist du schoene?”, which means “Where are you, beautiful?”

    But then, my German grammar is crap, and I may have missed a nuance. (By “I” I mean of course “BabelFish”.)

  129. bats, Avian Division of the Jungle Patrol :[
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    As another MW plot limps to its pachyderm necropolis, I’d like to remember the Sunday newspaper when it had a whole section dedicated to the chic and trendy. Thank heavens, the Santa Royale Kazoo-Toot still has one:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/2239159737/

  130. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    2/3

    MC: Oh, so very true, Norm.

    H&L: Case in point. Although you could be charitable and say that this one could fill four panels.

    H&J: And on top of everything, the doctor is cockblocking.

    MW: Vera and Ryan knocking chins together? That does look painful. Could also cause some gum bleed.

    Lockhorns: Could the fifth one-panel gag be anything other than a premature ejaculation joke? That’s all I can find. And by the way, you’re welcome.

    DtM: “Shit, now the little bastard tells me.”

    FW: “I’ve got two words for you, Becky. Water. Sports.”

    Momma: Really, the less said the better.

    Big Dog: Three minutes, tops, before Marmaduke starts humping the snowdog.

  131. Tamex
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    FW: Hey, I’ve been there!

    For all the criticism that Batuik deserves, he’s not a bad artist. I especially like the detail of the Bellagio’s ceiling in the title panel.

  132. Bunnë
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    Shoe really reminded me of my own childhood bedtime stories, when I would stand listlessly by my father’s easy chair and listen while he made crap up.

    Seriously, if you’re going to follow the old cartoon trope of bedtime stories, you might also follow the trope of involving a bed somewhere.

  133. commodorejohn
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Margo’s real name is Margarita!? Wow, as if we needed another reason to love her.

    Crankshaft – I love that expression of pure, undistilled hate on Crankshaft’s face in the final panel. I love it, ya hear?

    DTM – I know this is probably a reference to The Sims, but I’m going to take advantage of the first-person description to imagine that Dennis has discovered Second Life and is about three hours from wandering into the wrong area of the server and discovering things that probably wouldn’t ever get printed in a newspaper but are far more menacing to the sanity than anything he’s ever done.

    FC – Translation: “Damn it all, tee time’s in half an hour, and I haven’t come up with anything for Sunday!”

    FOOB – We feel for you, April. We’d have that look too if we had to deal with a nagging cow like Elly.

    FW – This is going to be the stupidest Funky Winkerbean plotline in all of ever, but at least the art is nice.

    GA – What’s creepier here: the ad being played on the TV, or the fact that it’s a literal plasma TV?

    H&L – Rock on, Lois. Rock on.

    JP – So they teach astral projection in the military? I never knew.

    Lio – Genius. Sheer genius.

    MW – When Drew says “that was painful,” he’s referring to the previous panel, which features the most awkward pseudo-kiss in world history.

    Momma – AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Opus – Oh, preach it, Breathed.

    RMMD – Lee is now my second-favorite character in the strip (behind June, of course.) Now I’m really hoping Rex and Niki die. And hey, with Rex’s brilliant plan of “go back out into the storm so we can nearly get hypothermia again,” I might just get my wish. Of course, I’d rather we go the DOOM route and see Lee take them out with a shotgun blast to the face, but anything that results in their horrible deaths is okay by me.

    SM – Criminy, even the Persuader is trying to get things over with so he can go veg out. What is it with people in this strip?

  134. Davis
    February 3rd, 2008 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    Jana C.H. #56: I was going to do the same thing. Thank god, or somebody, for Wikipedia.

    Josh, you have some great fans. Not just Cicero and Demosthenes, but Maria Ouspenskaya in the comments!

  135. Bobdog
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    It’s things like this that remind of the value of a Classical education — the great stories you can tell at parties. Though for some reason, most of them end in decapitation or someone getting run through with a sword.

  136. Bobdog
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    Oh yeah, and the stupid arguments. Let’s not forget the stupid arguments.

  137. commodorejohn
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

  138. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    133 commodorejohn,
    Re: Margarita inA3G, Yeah, tequila, salt and artificial coloring. Could there be a more fitting name?

  139. Mars
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    Wow, Dilbert set an absolute record for depression this morning. It’ll be hard to out-gloom that one, but I guess Adams can try.

  140. Trilobite
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    #108 Flipper —

    You’re right! I hadn’t even noticed that in the puzzle, it’s [i]Ronny[/i] Rabbit who got mugged, but [i]Randy[/i] Rabbit’s footprints lead up to the door. It’s that scene from [i]Fight Club[/i] all over again.

  141. LTBF
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    This may be taking Shoe too seriously, but I’ve always imagined them living in some parallel universe where birds are the top creatures on the food chain (the ones with the brains who act insane).

    Anyway, in my mind they are all the same size as humans. I can relate to the Professor’s plight. I wore 29 inch jeans when I got married in 1994 and now wear a 38. Why the jeans industry changed the measurements they use is beyond me.

  142. Vince M
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    87,93: I need to put in a plug for the Popeye DVD collection released last year, covering the very best of this series in its early days. Hard to pick a favorite among them, but mine may be the one where he goes through some really brutal means to keep things quiet for a sleeping baby.

  143. Canuckguy
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    Now we know who does Wizard of Id after Hart’s passing, the same blokes who are now doing “Andy Capp” after Smythe’s passing. (Except the homeless man and his assailant aren’t married. No, none of that same sex stuff in Wizard of Id! That type of smut is only for the likes of FBOFW!)

  144. Tabby
    February 3rd, 2008 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    I was once married to the person who invented road rage. It was sometime in 1982 in Atlanta, and this guy pissed off so many people that one day somebody got out of their car to threaten him, and it just sort of rippled out from there. The rules just did not apply to him – traffic lights, stop signs – those things were for other people.
    The only way to be in a car with him was to do all the driving myself, and steel myself to his endless advice about how I could/should behave as badly as him, so even all these years later, I am not really comfortable in a car unless I’m the one behind the wheel. So when the time came for my poor oldest boys to learn to drive, they had to learn to tolerate me & my invisible accelerator & brakes in the passenger-side floor boards. I didn’t shriek like elly, but if I could not use my invisible stuff, I really did/do get very uncomfortable. I have to be careful riding with friends, ’cause you can inflict this sort of thing on your kids, but other people, not so much. Carpooling with me would be hell!

  145. Honeypot
    February 3rd, 2008 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    Luann – far be it from me to do anything but sigh wearily with the rest of you over Brad’s dilemna, but Papa Degroot actually DID give him good advice, and had the wisdom to be stunned by it. Action is almost always preferable to whining and dithering. Kind of like just going and getting it over with and throwing up when you feel sick, instead of putting it off as long as possible and still puking after a long, long period of nausea.

    Get Fuzzy – Rob has a dick?

  146. name
    February 3rd, 2008 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

  147. Calico
    February 3rd, 2008 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    #137 – Hahahaha!
    Billy the kid, morphing into Lucifer.

  148. Mibbitmaker
    February 3rd, 2008 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    #77, et al: Let’s see… TV in the last 25 years….

    Cheers
    Hill Street Blues
    Late Night w/ David Letterman/Conan O’Brien
    Moonlighting
    Quantum Leap
    NewsRadio
    Early Edition
    The West Wing
    Arrested Development
    Joan of Arcadia
    Veronica Mars
    The Office
    My Name is Earl
    30 Rock
    And that’s just the cream of the crop (IMHO) that I can think of on the top of my head. Keeping in mind individual tastes, of course. There is more crap on TV in this decade, but the ’80s-90s weren’t half bad, TV-wise.

    Yeah, this digital signal business seems a bit much, and it is all big biz and the almighty $$$, naturally. Oh, well, I already have digital cable anyway.

  149. Mibbitmaker
    February 3rd, 2008 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    Zits:
    HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!
    JOY! JOY! JOY!

    Mark Trail animal: Dipper.
    Mark Trail: Dip.

    Garfield: Much as I dislike all the trite spider-squashing strips, I’m inclined to agree with the furball. One caveat: Liz is a veterinarian. Isn’t she kinda breaking the rules here?

    H&L: I’m not much of a sports fan (other than rooting for the breaking of “curses”, and perfect seasons for the home team. And seeing a hockey game once and a blue moon with my dad). In fact, I rather resent football overtaking the local classic rock radio station once a week, often screwing up “Little Steven’s Underground Garage”, and generally don’t share my gender’s obsession with all those children’s games to such an extreme degree.
    …..And even I thought that was cold, Lois!

  150. And The
    February 3rd, 2008 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    #133: S-M: I don’t think there’s much of a mystery as to why characters in Spider-Man don’t enjoy their jobs and can’t wait to get it all over with so they can just go home and watch TV. The author follows the rule: write what you know.

  151. Doug Puthoff
    February 3rd, 2008 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    2-3 FC–My response to Billy: “No, that would be playing God.

    Dilbert–No wonder he’s such a loser. His mother doesn’t give him any support whatsoever.

    Rhymes with Orange–For some reason I’m envisioning Mr. Magoo as Don Corleone. “Mr. Magoo’s Godfather” would be way too cool.

  152. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2008 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    # 144 Tabby — Sympathies. And hey, I think I might have seen your ex in action the last time I visited my parents near Detroit. He seems to be running a large driving school in that area, and his graduates were everywhere. The Detroit area has its charms, but when it comes to driving, I almost weep with relief when I get back to Iowa.

  153. Buck Ripsnort
    February 3rd, 2008 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    Well, at least Get Fuzzy understands the Iron Law of Comedy– when all else fails, hit a guy in the crotch.

  154. Tabby
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    Poteet, we live out in the country where people still wave to you as you drive by and even when we get into town (Savannah, GA) it’s usually not too bad – but for years, we’ve greeted marked rudness/stupidity with “They must have graduated from M******’s School of Driving”!

    I wish I knew he had branches all the way to Detroit when AL Scaduto was still around – I just know he could have made some kind of TDIET out of it. . .

  155. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    # 154 Tabby — HAR! Yes, there are lots of branches of that driving school, and I’m not claiming that Iowa is free of the graduates. But driver dumbness here is generally less aggressive than what I experience around Detroit. And given that the Detroit area has far more people driving in a much smaller region, I guess that’s not surprising. In my rural gravel-road area, the general driver greeting is one or two fingers lifted off the steering wheel, sometimes with a slight smile. It took me awhile to learn that waving is considered a bit flamboyant:-).

  156. Tabby
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    I’s not really from here, and I may be a bit flamboyant!

  157. Kathy
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:48 pm [Reply]

    MW: When I mentioned that Vera & Ryan met in 3/07, I wanted to suggest folks here check it out– very funny, with Vera covering her crotch, kind of like Botticelli’s Venus.

  158. Alfred E. Neuman
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    Phantom— The Phantom has found a jungle on “Abu Adi Island, north of Jubail, Saudi Arabia”. Does the National Geographic Society know about this?

    #139, Mars said— “Wow, Dilbert set an absolute record for depression this morning. It’ll be hard to out-gloom that one, but I guess Adams can try.”

    Let’s let Batiuk give it a try. I’ll bet that he’ll not only out-gloom Adams, but he’ll do it with a smirk.

  159. Daktari
    February 3rd, 2008 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    I just wanted to let you know that “PuppyBowl IV” is on the Animal Planet Network. Much more enjoyable than the StupidBowl on Fox. If you have a chance to change the channel or get to another TV, check it out. I’d rather watch the puppies romp, than succumb to the hype that is thrust upon us every year at this time. But that is just me.

  160. Kathy
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    You know what Rhymes with Orange? DoorHinge.

  161. Whippersnapper
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    FW: And so we begin the long, slow, boring buildup to the band’s horrible drowning this Fall.

    MW: Yeah, a guy in this situation might say that. Or he might say, “This margo saturn boxcar bitch dragged me here just to throw her margo saturn boxcar boyfriend in my face! I’ll show that margo saturn boxcar floozy- I’m getting back together with Dawn!”

  162. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    160. Kathy. The University of Illinois school song is:

    Hail to the orange, hail to the blue
    Blah blah blah probably something about forever true

    but under your guidance it could be rewritten:

    Hail to the blue, hail to the orange
    Always I remember my Alma Mater’s doorhinge

    I think there are 3 words in English that have no rhyme—orange, month and I forget the other one.

    For people who pronounce it “ornge” there may be a rhyme.

    Somebody wrote a poem rhyming “month” with “millionth”.

  163. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    148. Mibbitmaker. Actually now I see that I didn’t say exactly what I meant to say at #77. I meant the on-air networks, not including cable networks. That got lost in the revision process.

    Comparing shows to Ernie Kovacs is setting the bar pretty high. I would rate him right up with Chaplin, Tati and the Marx Brothers when it comes to comic genius.

    There have been a few shows that aren’t bad but there’s an awful lot of trash, and it seems to be getting worse.

  164. Spunky N. Tadpole
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    #162 – I think the third non-rhymer in English is “silver”.

  165. Godzooky
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    #157 Kathy: Here’s Vera de Milo. That’s from before this site got me to start checking out MW. Now that I see this, I’m convinced that Ryan is actually supposed to be Ben. Ms. Moy probably had this plot point in mind for a while, but took so long to get to it, she forgot his name and made up a new one.

  166. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    “Purple” and “wolf” are supposed to be other common English words with no rhymes.

  167. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    I guess a few ordinal number words, like “fifth”, “sixth”, and “twelfth”, probably qualify too.

  168. Artist formerly known as Ben
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    #166,
    You mean “schmerple” isn’t a word? There goes my scrabble score!

  169. Poteet
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    # 165 Godzooky — If you’re not right, you should be. And now I’m torn between anticipation and fear lest some demented Mudge find a way to photoshop Vera into Botticelli’s masterpiece. On one hand, I’d have to look and shriek with laughter. On the other hand, given how much I like Botticelli, the subsequent years of therapy could be very expensive.

  170. Rainbird
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    118 Bob Weber Jr

    Thanks. Shows how much I know about snow, that you could do that, (crush snow so other imprents don’t show up.)

    So, who is Shylock calling on his cell phone?

  171. NightRaven
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    Phil, Marmaduke’s Owner:
    Well, I think it’s just common courtesy to speak in a proper way to a dog, I don’t talk to my dogs in English though, but I talk to them in Norwegian.
    They’ve actually done research on this, to determine how large a vocubalary a typical dog has, and I can’t remember the exact number now, but you’d be surprised at how much they understand (if they’re smart, and have been exposed to “proper” language since they were small)
    After all, they have a brain like us, are capable of analytical thinking and problem solving, so it’s not that strange that they will pick up the language of the other species they’ve lived with for countless of generations.
    Just because they can’t speak (they haven’t got the right vocal chords) doesn’t mean they can’t understand you.
    They can’t understand abstract thinking and words though, but they understand most verbs and subjects and some adjectives as well.
    It’s just like with kids, if you speak to them in silly “baby babble” they will take longer to develop proper language skills, but treat them with respect and speak properly to them and they will learn to speak properly much faster.
    So, to me it’s all go to do with respect. It’s much nicer to tell my dog: “Mac (his name is Mac, after McGyver), I’m tired, it’s time for bed” than just “Mac. Come.”
    And they listen in to human conversation as well, when we start planning a trip to our cabin for instance, the dogs will get up and be restless and whine at the door the whole day before we leave.

  172. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    February 3rd, 2008 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    Rainbird @ 170: Slylock is calling Stephan Patsis to come and get those criminal PBS characters out of his strip.

    Speaking of which, on NPR on Friday I heard an interview with a football analyst named, as best as I could hear it, Stephan Patsis. Is it the same guy? How many of those could there be?

  173. Comic Connoisseur
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:02 pm [Reply]

    I thought the Sunday Mark Trail’s weren’t supposed to have anything to do with the rest of the week. Perhaps there are parallels that are usually so subtle as to escape detection. Today’s spotlight on the Dipper is a bit too coincidental given Mark’s dive into the water to escape the “North By Northwest” plane attack last week. I just hope we never have to find out what gland Mark uses to coat himself in oil to make himself waterproof.

  174. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    There’s also a Stefan Fatsis who wrote a book about Scrabble and who I once assumed was the same person as the Pearls Before Swine cartoonist, but is not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Fatsis

  175. Frank Parsnip
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    Sunday notes:

    TDIET LIVES!! OK, despite what it says on the Wikipedia site about Feb. 2 being the last TDIET, they got in a Feb. 3 comic. Let’s see if they can run out the strip until they reach Al’s final sketch book pages — he emailed me that he was “working up” one of my ideas and this is really my only chance. Please, please, please… (hands held together in respectful prayerish pose)

    Jugs Parker: Looks like it’s not just MW’s Ryan and Vera who are getting some office action. Despite the Hemingwayesque world-weary postwar lack of care for consequences, Steve ought to keep in mind that the cardinal rule of many law offices is that you “don’t dip the pen in the firm’s ink.” Lawyers, of all people, ought to be aware of the sexual harrassment risks of an intra-office romance. A point often forgotten by literature professors is that in “The Sun Also Rises,” pretty much the sun is the only thing rising.

    MW: Panel 5′s awkward kiss between Ryan and Vera is painful enough for all of us. But by the final panel, at least we know that Dr. Drew is thinking of Dawn already. Although there was a vas deferens between Vera’s and Drew’s expectations for this luncheon, Drew knows how to make his sorrow work for him. He neither cries on the inside or from the tear ducts, allowing the gentle weeping of his penis to take on that role.

    MT: In the final panel, the “dipper” bird just missed an opportunity to grab a “Jack Elrod” campaign button sitting on the streambed. Sadly the bird is too small to assist in retrieving Mark’s dropped rifle.

    I, too, was wondering about the significance of showing a diving bird instead of a piece on Mark’s own diving abilities. Perhaps it would have been more suitable to profile the homo iter itineris misellus, who is capable of reaching back behind his glans to scoop out lots of oil that he can use to make his skin waterproof.

    Sex Organ, M.D.: I am wondering how many cabins Rex is going to have to visit before he gets it right. As we learned from Heather in the previous story plot, the best way to deal with a cabin captor is to whack him upside the head with a nice hot skillet. However, despite the boiling water being put together for the gunshot surgery, Rex never got around to poaching/blanching Lee. So Rex and Niki were in their third cabin in so many days (in RMMD time but probably something like 3 or 4 months of our time), sitting by a hot stove and instead of clockin’ Lee upside the head with a frying pan, they’ve run out into the rain and wind again.

    MF: Unfortunately for Tinsley, the Colts didn’t make it into the Super Bowl. Still, with all the partying going on, let’s hope someone holds onto his car keys for him.

  176. Ed Minchau
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    #162: rhythm?

  177. Gold-Digging Nanny
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    Catchup time!

    Six Differences with the Gold-Digging Nanny

    Tuesday’s SFx is like shooting fish in a bucket.
    http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20080129&name=Slylock

    1) The man in the panel on the left took a huge dose of sleeping pills in his coffee right before settling down to fish. He was fishing all of 30 seconds before he fell asleep. That’s why his coffee is still steaming. The cat has stolen someone else’s fish, since the fisherman in the left panel never had the chance to catch any. The cat on the right is stealing the fish from the fisherman shown in the panel on the right when the angler fell asleep after having fished for hours. The cat had the decency to top off the angler’s coffee.
    2) The worms in the panel on the right will make a break for it, but will come to a slow, sad, frozen demise on the ice.
    3) The pelican on the left is shocked that the cat is breaking their deal and taking all the fish for itself. The pelican went to all that trouble to slip the sleeping pills into the angler’s coffee, and now he’s being cheated out of his fair share.
    4) The ice fisherman on the left is dreaming of swimming in a giant vat of watermelon Jello. The fisherman on the right is dreaming of Angelina Jolie performing dental surgery on him.
    5) The cat on the right will make the fish into a chowder. The cat on the left will fry it up with panko crumbs.
    6) Dingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingding! The fish skeleton on the right is the 1,000th fish skeleton to be featured in Slylock Fox.

    This episode of Six Differences with the Gold-Digging Nanny has been brought to you by Fred Meyer, where I saw worms on clearance a month ago.

  178. Ryan W. Mead
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:28 pm [Reply]

    I’m guessing that Rat and Pig’s guest appearance in Slylock Fox is Weber’s way of returning the favor for that very funny Sunday PBS a few weeks back.

  179. Helena Handbasket of the Jungle Patrol
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:39 pm [Reply]

    #171 NightRaven: Actually, studies seem to show that speaking in “baby language” actually helps children acquire language more quickly. I believe the research was prompted by the fact that in nearly every language and culture people speak to babies in a simplified style with exaggerated pitch.

  180. sonneta
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    Re: Caesar: According to Suetonius, Caesar said “Kai su, teknon?”– Greek for “And you, Child?” (Which naturally brings up questions about Brutus’s parentage.)

  181. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    171. Nightraven. Parrots and ravens also use language.

    Parrots can mimic more than they can say, but they do use language to mean something. I have a friend whose parrot says “Ginger ale!” to mean “I enjoy the taste of this beverage” or “I want a nice tasting beverage”. Another friend of mine tried to discipline his parrot (a challenging task) by saying “Bad bird!”, and the parrot started saying “Bad bird!” to him whenever he did something that the parrot didn’t like.

    Not too many people keep ravens as pets but they are very intelligent, good mimics and can use language on this level as well. Crows have a large vocabulary in their own language, but as far as I know they don’t mimic.

    Cats also understand some human speech, but not as large a vocabulary as dogs. Being cats, though, they don’t feel obliged to repond if they don’t want to.

  182. Helena Handbasket of the Jungle Patrol
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    #131, Tamex: As far as I’m concerned, the ceiling of the Bellagio is the only reason to even go to Vegas, but then, I’m a big sucker for Chihuly.

  183. Mibbitmaker
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    #163 (Mr. O’M): I made sure I listed broadcast network shows. I had to leave out gems like Mr. Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and rebroadcast British shows like the original Office and Life On Mars.

    Kovacs is vital. His stuff influenced Laugh-In, SNL, and Conan, among others. It’s like how some of my favorite cartoonists are influenced by Ronald Searle.

    Yeah, TV’s been in a big downward spiral this decade (Thanks for nothing, “reality” shows!), with the best of the 2000s dying too young – many on my list, alas. And the way TV is presented is far worse.

  184. Mr. O'Malley
    February 3rd, 2008 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    #176. Algorithm. Logarithm. Too close?

  185. Illinois Property Tax Appeal
    April 9th, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    I think this is one of the most interesting and informative articles i have read on Thursday while searching for illinois property tax appeal.

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