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Sympathy for the Irving

Cathy, 3/19/08

As you know, I take this blog’s original promise — that I would read the comics so you don’t have to — seriously. Still, sometimes it’s hard for me to read Cathy for you. Not just because I find it irritating almost beyond measure (although I do), but because it just takes so much damn time. I don’t want to sound like some kind of quasiliterate philistine, but every Cathy includes an awful lot of words, which frankly I just don’t care to deal with. And what with a newspaper that comes every day and a New Yorker that comes every week and a whole pile of books that I’m supposed to be reading — well, sometimes all that text in Cathy just kind of get glossed over, you know?

Imagine my surprise, then, when I ready today’s Cathy and found myself quite engrossed as I watched Irving squirm in silent anxiety while he mused on his fate. It made me think about how lucky I am. After all, I just have to sort of make a half-hearted stab at reading the thing once day, which takes up maybe 30 seconds of my time, tops. Irving, on the other hand, is married to Cathy, every second of every day. Not that it’s likely to get me to read Cathy more closely, but it does really sort of put the whole thing into perspective.

Funky Winkerbean, 3/19/08

Hmm, let’s see … Les is already working a demanding and no-doubt soul-crushing job as a public school teacher, and is a single dad wracked with paranoia about his teenage daughter; nevertheless, he plans to give up his weekends to start working for his best friend from high school, who’s been transformed by age, capitalism, and an insatiable and unfulfilled need for sweet, sweet liquor into an insufferable prick. Whee! Good times ahead!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/19/08

Man, June sure looks awfully pleased to be taking the dog to get her shots, doesn’t she? In panel three, we learn why: anything to get out of the house, now that yet another of Rex’s long line of male “friends” is calling to “talk.” Maybe if she shows a little skin to the vet, she can score some of those tasty animal tranquilizers — you know, the ones that keep her feelings at bay.

220 responses to “Sympathy for the Irving”

  1. Rainbird
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    Thank you Josh, for reading Cathy for us. Yes, that is a big help.

    I too felt sympathy for him too, locked into his own version of hell.

  2. Uncle Lumpy
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    What, he’s not getting enough bullying from Bull and Summer? Guy’s a glutton, I tell ya!

  3. monkey.dave
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    It made me think about how lucky I am. After all, I just have to sort of make a half-hearted stab at reading the thing once day, which takes up maybe 30 seconds of my time, tops. Irving, on the other hand, is married to Cathy, every second of every day.

    I think this is the place where you should say something along the lines of “Whereas I, on the other hand, am married to the most wonderful woman ever, who never annoys me with these petty Cathy-like issues, and who brings joy into my life each and every day.” And that will win you enough credit that you can leave the toilet seat up for a week.

  4. Irvingworthless
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Thanks Josh.

    I know that if you don’t comment on Cathy, it isn’t worth looking at and I have five minutes of my life back.

    I could write a book with that time.

    I could compose great music with that time.

    I could discover the great artist in-side of me in that time.

    or I could hit the bottle one more time and slowly let my life rot away.

  5. ThomasKDye
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    It seems that the prospect of taking your dog to the vet turns you into something from a Patrick Nagel picture. Her name was Rio, indeed.

  6. gh
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    Josh –

    And yet, when you do read Cathy, that’s the only time I’m forced to. A conundrum.

  7. ralph
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    Not to be too demanding, but I really hoped that you’d also read Mary Worth and For Better or For Worse today, so I didn’t have to.

  8. Gabacho
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    Cathy then Mary Worth – you see, Josh, it’s the order you read them in. If you had read Cathy first, reflected on the complex, bitter nature of their unspeakable marriage, shuddered a bit and the moved on to Mary Worth, you would have seen that as Mary says, aloud presumably, “Friendship needs no words” and understood that a lifetime of bitterness means never having to say jack about nothin’.

    FooB – yes, Francie, pretend you are a family because you’re not and you never will be. Your father is a douche and your mother doesn’t want you. Learn now from Mary Worth about how to grow up loveless and alone.

  9. kippetje2000
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    “Future”? “Happiness”? Sorry, Irving. You have neither.

  10. Frank E. Bolla
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    If you isolated the last panel of today’s R.M.M.D., you could pass it off as a scene from Mark Trail.

    And also: Thank you, Josh — yes, having someone else to read the comics for me has given me the free time I needed to finally help all those children with cleft pallets in Vietnam.

  11. Pozzo
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    When I first saw that red wainscoting in the first panel of FW, I honestly saw it as Les’ tongue shooting out — whether to catch a fly or drain Funky’s life essences, alien-style, I’m sure I couldn’t say.

  12. kippetje2000
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    Josh: Are you editing Cathy these days? When you readied today’s Cathy… couldn’t you have left a few words out?

  13. DAS
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    If you isolated the last panel of today’s R.M.M.D., you could pass it off as a scene from Mark Trail. – Frank E. Bolla

    And if you isolated the middle panel, you could pass it off as a scene from JP.

  14. AhClem
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    RMMD – How do we know this isn’t a Judge Parker crossover, and she’s talking about Abby Spencer? In that case, taking “Abby” to the “vet” for her “shots” could have an entirely different — and interesting — meaning.

  15. LM
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

  16. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    Let’s go back in time to enjoy this crotchtastic shot of Cathy unearthed by enterprising CC’er Pelagious.

    You’re welcome!

  17. BigTed
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    Was there any reason whatsoever to read “Rex Morgan” today? June gives her itinerary for later on, Rex loads the dishwasher, June picks up the phone and it isn’t even for her, the end! Maybe tomorrow they’ll show us Rex singing along with James Blunt on the radio as he drives to work — or, even better, June “helping Becka with inventory”! After that, if we’re really lucky, a coffee break. Cream or sugar? You’ll have to wait till next time to find out!

  18. gh
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:57 pm [Reply]


    Two days late, but . . .

    “Let’s try some role-play.”

    “It’s simple. If she sinks, she’s a witch.”

    “Please get undressed.”

    “You say he thinks he can walk on water? Let’s find out.”

    “Recent studies have shown that many marital problems stem from a lack of tapioca.”

    “I suggest you try sleeping on a bed of Jell-O.”

    “Diane, I think you’ll agree that David didn’t object when you asked him to ride a greased pig. Now, please, into the mermaid costume.”

    “Susan, as you can see, we’re out of lobsters. But I can probably find some hedge clippers.”

    “Think of the cats.”

  19. Spike
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    #9: Maybe Irving from “Cathy” and Les from “FW” should get together and form their own local chapter of the “He-man Club”. Heck, MW migth even be elected president of that chapter…

  20. Old School Allie Cat
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    I feel the need to admit, with some shame, that for awhile, Cathy was on my daily Chron list.

    But wait – there’s an explanation! We were both getting married around the same time, so I felt a bond with her.

    I cut her loose right after she and Irving tied the aaacknot.

  21. Ukulele Ike
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth in Pants: What better outfit for a 14 year old girl to wear for the Frank Sinatra/Tommy Dorsey Orchestra concert downtown? Rolled Levi’s, bobby sox, and one of Dad’s dress shirts with the tails out!

    9CL: I am lovin’ this week’s strips so far. Brooke’s wordless humor, and putdown after putdown for Lady Edda.

    S-M: Long ago, wasn’t there a villain — wait, PAIR of villains — who had Spidey-like powers because they were a pair of twin circus acrobats? They dressed all in black and called themselves the “Flies” or “Fly Brothers” or something. Or was that just in the 1967 cartoon?

  22. Little Guy
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    Yay! Christian Single Girl is back!

    Brenda Starr: You know there’s some geneologist out there to make a connection.

    9CL: Dr Julii shows her true self. Tomorrow: Thorax exploded the Alpha-Omega Bomb.

    GA: Haw haw! Yale Guy is going to get poop tossed on him while he’s reading! Haw haw!

    Zits: Not a reset, but a decent denouement.

  23. Little Guy
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    18: NYCC – “Excuse me, my artificial kidney needs to be emptied.”

  24. Rhekarid
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    Weighed down by Cathy? Allow me to help.

    1: Cathy cares about her weight.

    2: Nobody else does.

    3: Somebody in this equation does a lot of sweating.

    There, I’ve summarized every Cathy strip that will ever exist for you, so there’s no need to read it. Enjoy your new free time!

  25. Krazy Kat
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    Just wait till you get presbyopia (and you inevitably will) then you’ll look at Cathy and say, screw this, I’m not looking all over the house for my glasses just so I can get pissed off again. Too many words indeed.

    And no, presbyopia has nothing to do with being Presbyterian so if Bill Keane is reading this, don’t even try it.

  26. Wally Limpingbean
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Gosh, you would think that Funky might have a relative who might need a job on the weekend.

    You know, a vet.

    Someone who could use a hand.


    oh my god, it is too hard to fathom…..


    Wally…..*sniff* *sniff* *sniff*……



  27. The Comics Creator
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    Those Kathy strips really hit the nail on the head, dead center.

    Oh, and I adore the art of Funky Winkerbean. :)

  28. bats, junior bridesmaid :[
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

  29. OverCat
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    My paper dropped several comics and added new ones a few months ago. This turned out to be the tough-love I needed to stop reading Cathy. I couldn’t bring myself to pass over it on the comics page, even though I wanted to. Now, I have been blissfully free and better off for it.

    As it seemed to be beyond, or beneath, snark, I I thought it would never appear on CC. Josh, I had no idea that you continued to read it for our sake! Oh, the humanity! I, for one, would be happy to release you from this burden. Yes, you have vowed to read the comics so we don’t have to. But even we must have enough mercy in our souls not to ask this of you.

  30. Patrick
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    My local paper dropped Cathy and I considered it a blessing.Unlike the other train wrecks I still follow, I was able to somehow purge myself of the cathytoxins before the paper was dropped. If there is a strip whose daily installments are foisted upon us by a mildly random plot generator, it’s this one. Tiresome yes, but not enraging like FOOB.

    Irving should pick up a copy of Sartre’s “No Exit” the next he’s at the library or a bookstore. Because any who has ever read it knows, the tagline is “hell is other people”

  31. Patrick
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    What I meant to say was that:

    I was able to somehow purge myself of the cathytoxins before the strip was dropped from the paper.

    See how destructive to coherent thought Cathy is? No wonder Irving contemplates the domestic hell he agreed to participate in silently.

  32. Alt Comix
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan So, while Rex was off in the woods up to who-knows-what, do you think for a minute that his great-looking wife was sitting at home by herself painting her nails?

    I don’t think so!!!

    Click here to see if he’ll figure out what’s going on:

  33. Stan
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    9CL: The effect of mental imagery on ALL aspects of life seems to be a kick in the teeth for Edda.

  34. The Divine O’F
    March 19th, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    JP: The new, unimproved Sophie is squicking me out, mainly because she now has the face and body of a boy. Could she have studied up on the Internet and performed sex-reassignment surgery on herself? Or outsourced one of her X chromosomes to India? Something is definitely up with that chick.

  35. HeavyTraffic
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    I empathize with you Josh – Cathy has always been the comic strip equivalent of tl;dr (that’s “too long; didn’t read”, for those who don’t read netspeak).

    What has always intrigued me is how so many comics over the years have harpooned lampooned Cathy – she’s apparently hated by other cartoonists. I’d love to find out why, other than the fact that she’s an easy and pudgy target. Google searches: scant results, as it is.

  36. Bryan
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    Today was the first Cathy I’ve read in a long time, too. Usually, I just go “blah, blah, blah, whatever – what’s Crankshaft up to?”
    Family Circus is bad, but it only takes about five seconds (two to read, three to snark) but in Cathy you have to read all of these teeny word balloons. It’s like Zippy, but boring.

    What do you think Irving and Cathy’s sex life is like? I bet it’s freaky!

  37. Violet
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    I suppose the epically poor communication between Cathy and Irving sort of explains why they choose to breakfast not facing each other but staring numbly into the void atop their thrones made of human femurs.

  38. Anonymous
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    MW: The worst thing about this week’s strips is that they’ll be combined and repeated on Sunday.

  39. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    #34 Divine O’F:

    The new, unimproved Sophie is squicking me out, mainly because she now has the face and body of a boy.

    Awww… Ze’s just letting hir freak flag fly. Sophie, mon jeune, you don’t have to pick a side. Just… do us a favor and quit being an insufferable little ponce. ‘Kay?

  40. TheDiva
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    My brother has the same complaint about Cathy. Heck, I’m a librarian, reading is what I do, yet I’m hard-pressed to slog my way through Cathy’s verbosely shallow and self-pitying world on a daily basis.

  41. Bootsy
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    I stopped reading Cathy years ago because she’s a dipshit. Bathing suits! Ack! Diets! Ack! Boyfriends! Ack! It’s an insult to women, hell, it’s an insult to anyone who has a brain, male or female.

    Mostly it’s because I loathe “relationship talk”. My first husband loved relationship talk! I would calm myself down by staring at his forehead and pretending I had psychic powers and could make his head explode, and then there would be blessed silence.

    Hey, I didn’t say it was healthy but it did keep me from killing him. The current Mr. Bootsy hates relationship talk as much as I do.

  42. Brick Bradford
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    RMMD I don’t know who this Andy is, but whoever he is June looks really pissed.

    Y’know, Andy is sometimes a girl’s nickname? An old girlfriend? The receptionist with the low cut tops? The reason Rex goes to so many “medical convention?” His “friend” at the Emperor’s Club?

    Wait–this is Rex. It’s the paper boy.

  43. gnome de blog
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    #6 gh said:
    Josh –And yet, when you do read Cathy, that’s the only time I’m forced to. A conundrum.
    Easily solved. Pope Josh, we are endlessly grateful that you read Cathy so we don’t have to, except that we only have to when you read it for us. Perhaps you could stop reading Cathy altogether, and instead read Brenda Starr so we don’t have to.

    Since I had to read Cathy because Josh read it for me, I noticed two things:
    1) I’m surprised that Cathy Guisewite allowed Irving to think complex thoughts about Cathy’s cereal, since she normally attributes to the male brain no more ability than to string two words together.
    2) Irving wears his robe like a girl,

    which leads to the obvious and inescapable conclusion that Irving is really a woman in male drag and that Cathy is therefore slightly more interesting than I previously thought. Not enough to ask Josh to continue reading it for me, though.

  44. RaJ
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    It occurs to me– and I don’t know why it hasn’t before– that Rex Morgan is best thought of as the world experienced by Katie Holmes. In that former child star’s drug-transformed mind, Tom Cruise IS Rex Morgan: a medical professional with a kicky name who understands psychiatry and has the ability (if little inclination) to heal others. He is also constantly getting into exciting scrapes and kerfuffles, sometimes having to outrun explosions and gunfire and things. Meanwhile, she mopes at home, looking after her freakish moptopped spawn and emptying the medicine cabinet.

    Katie, however, is not so gassed out that she cannot detect that her husband is a homosexual and a pedophile and a tireless prick. She’s a walking coma, not an idiot.

  45. NosferatusCoffin
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    Indeed. Does anyone even read Cathy anymore? She went out with MC Hammer and The Bangles about 20 years ago. I suppose that Creator Cathy takes the same brand of Zoloft that Lynn does, as they both roll out of bed after a Prozac bender and scribble incoherences that somehow make it to the comic page of your local paper.

    That said, I would rather read either one of those on a daily than Zippy. That comic is like a Letterman monologue. As stunningly unfunny as Jar Jar Binks doing Pauly Shore.

  46. odinthor
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:51 pm [Reply]


    1. “But, Mrs. Adams, marriages are built on compromise. Couldn’t you dive into this vat of hydrochloric acid for only, say, three minutes?”

    2. “Now Mr. Halibut will give you some advice!”

    3. “As you know, the human body is 95% water. In fact, there you see 95% of my last 16 clients. Now, if you’ll just remove all clothing, jewelry, and fillings, I will solve your marriage problems!”

    4. “And this is my assistant Dr. Aquo, to whom you should address any questions.”

    5. “Mrs. Peters, that really is an empty fish tank. My training as counselor and food preparation artist at Jonestown a few years back should not concern you.”

  47. Luprand
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    25 Krazy Kat: I’m also presbyopic, actually. I’ve worn bifocals for almost three years now.

    I’m also 22.

    It sucks to be barely an adult and find out I have a condition that translates to “old person eyes.”

  48. commodorejohn
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    #41 Bootsy – It’s an insult to anyone with any number of X chromosomes.

  49. Shoshi
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    1–But in all fairness, Irving’s not much better, himself! If you can ever get through all the words in a strip where he is featured, you find that he’s got his own masculine version of all the neuroses Cathy has. They are a match made in purgatory, for sure.

    Ironically, Tank McNamara is another one with way too many words for me, most days.

    And, to be perfectly frank with what I am sure is an unpopular opinion, Doonesbury also usually has too much text for me to squint my way through!

  50. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    I’m making a screensaver of all my favorite panels from comics from the past few years. One of my favorites is the panel from Cathy where it’s all dark, and Irving is sitting in bed with a horrified look on his face. His thought bubble is, “What was I thinking?!?!?!” I think that every time I read Cathy.

  51. gnome de blog
    March 19th, 2008 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    #47 Luprand:
    I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re at the height of your powers. It’s all downhill from now on.

  52. kippetje2000
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    Does anyone else think that Mr. and Mrs. Cathy look like the Ass Faced People from Southpark?

  53. cheech wizard
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    18/ gh =”If she sinks, she’s a witch” works for me – send it in!

  54. Gern Blandston
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    Irving and Cathy are married?

  55. Old School Allie Cat
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    #45 – NosferatusCoffin – Wait, I still listen to (and love) The Bangles. I got their first album (in cassette form) when I was 14. Yep, that’s 20 years ago, alright.

    I don’t give a damn, though! I’ll walk like an Egyptian as long as I can!

  56. Bryan
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    47: Lupbrand: I wore bifocals from the age of 6 to the age of 15. Amblyopia! Big freaking Buddy Holly horn rims.

  57. LTBF
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    I’m sure all the employees who’ve been busting their butts hoping for a promotion will love it that the boss’ buddy, who has zero experience in running a pizza place, will be the weekend manager.

  58. Frank E. Bolla
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    Hold the phone! What does June mean by “He’s still here”? Where does Rex usually go after he’s done drying the dishes off with his tie? Is this the M.D.P.M. call service I’ve heard about? Are they in D.C.?

  59. True Fable
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    I have long advocated the notion of “Cathy (Must Die!)” and I stand by that 100%.

    I know far too many Cathys. I work with a couple of CathyClones and it’s true, the unrelenting excuses and the weak will and the conspicuous consumption is chronicled in the paper like Gospel.


    No, but like the train wreck that is FOOB, Cathy is one of those dreadful bleeding eyeballs that we just have to glimpse in order to remind ourselves that our society chooses to place a whiny, neurotic, self-absorbed, hedonistic little FUCKTARD on its collective refrigerator every now and then, and indeed people like that exist and that we should avoid them if we can. And if we work with them, turn a deaf ear to their droning and kvetching until we can escape into Pearls Before Swine.

    Cathy Must Die. She must drag her considerable ass off the comics page to the Old Comics Home where she can be laid in a piano crate and buried in the Keane’s backyard.

  60. Frank E. Bolla
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    Oh, wait… I guess this is A.M.
    Damn it!

  61. Jim Murphy
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    Irving is such a wuss…I think he’s probably ‘in the closet’ and his relationship with Cathy is a subterfuge anyway. What the hell kind of man lets his female pour his breakfast cereal for him?. He needs a waffle, some bacon and some scattered, smothered and covered hashbrowns at the local Waffle House to get his testosterone flowing again…

  62. True Fable
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    #28 bats :[ – a day without a bats :[ parody is like a day without sunshine, you clever little minx you!

    #32 Alt Comix – Very nice! I’m going to keep my eye on you.

    #61 Jim Murphy – Waffle House scattered smothered covered chunked & topped hashbrowns! That’s what I’m talkin’ about, yeah boy! There’s a Waffle House not two blocks from where I live. If you’re ever in Greater Metropolitan Roopville, I’ll buy you breakfast there. :-)

  63. Poteet
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    Pedantry Patrol — The intent was to say “once a day” under Cathy, right? Now please excuse me — I need to go dust the top of the water softener.

  64. Steve S
    March 19th, 2008 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    Andy, you idiot! You were supposed to hang up if June answered!

  65. Shoshi
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    61–Come now. Nowhere in the strip does it imply that Irving let’s “his female” pour his cereal! In fact, it doesn’t even look like he’s having any wussy little grain flakes at all. His empty plate suggests that he probably already chowed down a steer or a fried rattlesnake, and is now slurping a big mug o’grog.

  66. Shoshi
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    64–I misread that as “You were supposed to hang yourself if June answered!” I think that would be playing it REALLY safe!

  67. True Fable
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    #66 Shoshi – Rex would probably say it all depends on how he’s hung.

  68. Muffaroo
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    NYCC – I actually looked at it this week and entered: “I see you’ve noticed the Custard Tub of Truth.”

    Archie – Migawd, Jughead’s mouth seems to have individual teeth in it. Well, not just one undifferentiated enamel rectangle, anyway — sort of an intermediate stage in dental fission, let’s say.

    DT – “Yes, a Mr. Cole Lector is one of our prime benefactors. He has a major art collection of his own.” To which Tracy should have asked, “Does he call it Mr. Cole Lection?” (Another missed opportunity, Mr. Car Toonist!)

    FC – “Carrots are good for your eyes…” Seriously, just put them right over those freakish little dots of yours, and you’ll at least look as realistic as classic Orphan Annie.

    FOOB – “Let’s pretend we’re a real family!” Well done, my dear. Tonight’s beating will be short and mild.

    GA – It’s Dennis the Menace’s real dad! And he’s Jerry Lewis!

    JP – The strip has become a mad gallery of floating panels! Sophie’s getting bummed there at the end, having reached a sort of burnout zone of monochromatic cross-hatching in which the most real object is the signature block. Told you not to take the brown acid, Sophieeeeeeeee!

    MT – Speaking of Annie, did they discontinue the strip, or just lay Sandy off? Looks like he’s turned to crime. To think, I used to respect him.

    Marvin – I don’t know what’s more precious: the fact that Marvin can text “incarcerated” without even trying a phony 1337 abbreviation, or that he makes a “text text text” noise while he’s doing it.

    MW – “Love is…” running roughshod through the puny world of normal hu-mans. (Anonymous @38 – Don’t you know it!)

    RMMD – It’s Mark Trail’s faithful dog, calling about a possible crossover and possible escape into the big city, where Mark is unable to follow.

  69. Poteet
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:33 pm [Reply]

    # 29 OverCat — I share your bliss. I too was unshackled from CATHY when my paper dropped it. The sunlight seems brighter now, the flowers more vivid — isn’t it great?

    Now I’m wondering how much comic-loathing I can really stand over the next six months, what with the Foobocalypse being upon us. It may be time for more unshackling. Funky, you’re hanging by a thread.

  70. Starrynight
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    FW- Unless Les has some giant, lingering medical bills, it is highly unlikely that he, as a full-time public school teacher, would take on such a hefty weekend job. I am speaking from experience on this one. An additional job during June and July, possibly. One during the weekend all year round, no way.

    Just another way for Batiuk to inflict misery on one of his characters, I suppose…

  71. Old School Allie Cat
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    #62 – True Fable – oh merciful potatoes! Mr. Cat is out of town tonight. Maybe I need to have dinner at the local Awful Waffle.

    Well, no one “needs” Waffle House. Although, they do a mighty fine job with cheesy eggs.

  72. gnome de blog
    March 19th, 2008 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Les is thinking of getting out of teaching altogether. He can’t stand the strain of watching his daughter actually succeed, so he’s retreating into the gloom of Winkerdom.

  73. True Fable
    March 19th, 2008 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    #71 Old School Allie Cat – Come over to the Dark Side, my dear. And there’s nothing cheesier than the original Waffle House songs on the jukebox, the perfect examples of a waste of space.

  74. Hasty Penguin
    March 19th, 2008 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    I think it’s neat that Rex Morgan has action style panels to make up for the lack of action in every other aspect of the comic.

  75. FOOBed again
    March 19th, 2008 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    FW: Is it too much to hope that Les is planning to get even with Funky in some way, maybe inciting a revolt among his employees? Oh wait, he’d probably just hire more and it’d give him more reason to talk about how you can’t get good employees who want to work 20 hours a day anymore.

    MW: “My friend Cathy used to wear this weird scarf. I knew it was weird, and that the other kids would tease her for it, but I never said anything because I didn’t want to meddle. The other kids teased her so much that she had a nervous breakdown, and I felt so bad. I resolved then always to meddle in other people’s business whenever I see something to meddle about. And I always wear a weird scarf to remind myself.”

  76. LTBF
    March 19th, 2008 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    #70-I don’t know what kind of medical coverage school treachers get in Ohio, but in Alabama it is great. My wife drives a school bus and her insurance is paying for 100% of my current chemo.

    You’d think the malpractice suit filed against whoever mixed up Lisa’s test results would allow him the luxury of not working.

  77. Shermy Glamrocker
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:09 pm [Reply]

    By the way, what the hell is “low-fat ‘girl cereal’?”

    Product 19? Total? PMS flakes?

    As for me, I’d like a big, heapin’ bowl of “Christian Single Girl” cereal.

  78. Braniff
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    Cathy–Irv won’t leave Cathy and he has good reason not to leave. The previous day had Cathy spending lots of time in a “Closet”—that might mean she is in a lesbian affair. Perhaps she is bringing her female partner home to Irving and he is enjoying both Cathy and her girlfriend. Enjoy it while it lasts, Irving!

  79. bats, junior bridesmaid :[
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    Two words: pecan waffles.

  80. trey le parc
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    #26: Cathy’s crotch, albeit imaginary, is one subject I believe we can all agree is taboo. If Cathy senses we’re interested in her crotch it’s an endless series of Monistat and ObGyn jokes, and if you think you hate her now…

    On the subject of Cathy am I alone in thinking that life with, or a date with, or, hell, even a casual encounter with Cathy Guisewite would be comparable to chewing on tinfoil while running a cheese grater across one’s genitals? Irving deserves his torture, he had YEARS to escape.

    FOOB: Oh, God, please let this be over. I’m considering creating my OWN strip, also based in Toronto, right next door to the Patterson compound, and the main characters are a normal, middle-aged couple and their extended family, all living full lives and so offended by the bland, bleached out colorless bleakscape of Foobville that they take on and take out the whole goddam Patterson brood, even April, in a drawn out and lovingly detailed account of their bloody evisceration that will take months to properly document. My normal couple will even exhume Farley beforehand to make battle sweaters from his fur. I guarantee you will LOVE my new strip. It’s going to be called “DIE, Foobtards! Just DIE!!!”

  81. Rusty
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    #16: Thanks for that. I would have bet that Guisewite was incapable of drawing Cathy’s legs separated by any space. I’ve always found it odd that she refuses to draw breasts on the women. Her avoidance of noses is well documented.

    FW: Agree that most public school teachers make a pretty good dime, enough to not need to take on weekend work. Les needs to get out of the house before he makes a pass at his daughter.

  82. Rusty
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    #80: Guisewite was an infrequent guest on Johny Carson back during the strip’s height of popularity, I guess the early 80′s. She was a somewhat attractive woman, but thin to a degree that one would easily label anorexic nowadays. Clearly she has issues with food and weight. I don’t recall her being an incredibly annoying guest.

  83. Buck Ripsnort
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    Usually I can ignore or even forgive FC. Usually. But today’s “gag” reminded me that I heard it first on Gilligan’s Island, of all things. And the fact that I not only remember that, but remember the very episode (the one where the Castaways eat radioactive vegetables, giving them superpowers), only reminds me of how old I am, how much of my life has been wasted, and how the Keane family will thrive long after I and all of us curmudgeonites are dead– THAT I cannot forgive.

  84. Buck Ripsnort
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:45 pm [Reply]

    And since Josh brought it up, Cathy would be at least tolerable if it didn’t look like Guisewhite just dribbles bits of string on the floor and photographs the results. Tank, Doonsbury and even Zippy at least give you a coherent picture to go along w/ the words.

  85. trey le parc
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    #26: Sorry Wally, I meant to reference #16.

    I was momentarily disoriented by the sight of Cathy’s crotch.

  86. trey le parc
    March 19th, 2008 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    #82: I’ve only seen a picture of CG and it was so unflattering that I surmised “Cathy” the comic was probably a fairly accurate self portrait, as I’m sure that’s how Cathy views “Cathy”. I only have time for one imaginary, vindictive comic strip but once I take out Foobtown and the entire extended Patterson cult, I’m gunning for Cathy and her emasculated boy toy next.

  87. Ribinin
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    “If she sinks, she’s a witch.”

    Oh my, I’ve doing it all backwards. No wonder there are so many witches around. I always thought witches floated.

  88. Irvingworthless
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    ummm, just what the hell is low fat girl cereal?

    Do they just sell it at Victoria’s Secret and only to women?

    I smell a sexist conspiracy here.

    And if it does exist, Hilary better start stocking up.

  89. Perky Bird
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    #16– That is the scariest cartoon crotch I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I want any ice cream if it’s served right below a giant cartoon hoo-hoo.

    By the way, did this food complex have the “Patterson Family Buffet”? With all the GLOM CHEW SLORP SLUUURP-ing they do, I would have pegged them to have their own buffet, filled with butter tarts, tuna noodle cassaroles, greasy burgers, and strawberry fudge sundaes.

    But no, we just get Cathy’s giant ice-cream-spewing hoo-hoo.

  90. Godzooky
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    #80 trey le parc re: encountering Ms. Guisewhite: Nothing on YouTube, but this might give an idea of what it would be like.

  91. Perky Bird
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:13 pm [Reply]

    Low Fat Girl Cereal–

    “Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.”

    “For those times in your life when you feel not-so-fresh.”

    “Reduces bloating, irritability, and mood swings”

    “Now with wings!”

    “Lifts and separates”

  92. Irvingworthless
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    “Lifts and separates”

    Isn’t that what a good fiber cereal is supposed to do?

  93. Shoshi
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    Come on, don’t act so baffled about “low fat girl cereal”. It’s freakin’ Special K. Although the vanilla-yogurt-covered Cheerios, or any cereal with pink ribbons on it would probably count.

  94. Irvingworthless
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    Jesus tap dancing christ, I have been eating GIRL CEREAL!!!!!!

    It was on sale at Stop-n-Shop so I bought it.

    I didn’t know it was for GIRLS!!!!

    No wonder why my man-boobs are swollen and tender and I have been crying over episodes of NFL films. It has got to be the hormones.

  95. Godzooky
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    GT: The latest turns in the storyline would have been way more interesting with McLaughlin’s wacky artwork, it’s the end of an era.

    Beyond that, though, what’s the problem with Social Services paying A-Train’s home a visit? The adults are MIA, there are two young children, and the “caretaker” is a 17-year-old who spends the day in high school and spends his spare time participating in team sports and driving around looking for news events to videotape for pin money, effectively leaving the two youngsters unsupervised. This kind of situation is why they have Social Services in the first place.

    I can understand his fellow high schoolers helping him out, but why would any sane adult (I’m looking at you, peeping tom neighbor lady) help perpetuate this neglect-a-thon?

  96. mumbles
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    Josh, allow me and the Gap-Toothed Starey “Hoooo!” Guy join in a chorus inspired by your post title….

    “Hooo! Hooo!”

  97. OverCat
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    #69 Poteet: Yes, every morning seems a little brighter now. But I’m a little scared of your other “kick the habit” suggestions. I mean, I think I could easily let go of “Funky” if it wasn’t for missing out on the full enjoyment of the snark here. Still, do we need to read it to get the joke? Hmmm…

    #70 Starrynight: As it seems many others here do, I misread lines from time to time. And so it is that I read your first sentence as “Les has some giant, lingering medical balls.” Of course, given that it referred to FW, it didn’t even seem far-fetched. Some kind of cancer of the balls, I figured.

  98. Lisa
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    They are afraid they will be separated by Social Services, which is one of the oldest canards in the book regarding orphans. I think Shirley Temple was in a movie like that back when she was 5 or so.

    Re Cathy Guisewhite, I seem to remember that her hands were used in old Jergens commercials, because they were thought to be so beautiful. Not sure what the rest of her body is like, but I am sure that the cartoon Cathy is how she sees herself, which plays into the anorexia scenario.

    I read Cathy when it first came out, but pretty quickly realized how dumb and repetitious it was. My father insulted me by saying he liked to read it because she reminded him of ME! Ack, indeed!

    Re the nose thing, you will notice that only Cathy is sans proboscis. The rest of the characters have ‘em.

  99. Lisa
    March 19th, 2008 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    Overcat, maybe they are medicine balls, that he uses to exercise with or maybe destroy houses with in his spare time?

  100. SamWibatt
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    I take this blog’s original promise — that I would read the comics so you don’t have to — seriously.

    And I’m glad you do.

    Are you allowed to start saying that again now that Scocca and MacLeod haven’t done a “Funny Paper” for four years?

  101. Old School Allie Cat
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    In re: Lowfat Girl Cereal…

    If I’m dieting, cereal is the last thing I’d have for breakfast – no protein. I’d be climbing the walls by 9:30.

    Although, oatmeal keeps me happy til 10:45, so that’s a decent cereal option.

    But if I’m really trying to lose weight, my breakfast is 2 fat-free, all-beef Ballpark Hot Dogs. No buns. (and no, I’m not anti-carb, it’s just that I don’t really like hot dog buns).

    Nothing girly about that.

    In fact, one might call it a Sausage Party.

    I wouldn’t, but you never know.

  102. Brick Bradford
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    Maybe girl cereal is made from……nope, not going there.

  103. Joshua
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    As seen in this picture, Cathy Guisewite looked pretty good. She’s the woman on the left in the blue denim jacket.

    Granted, this picture is a few years old, because the man in the sweater is Charles Schulz. (The woman standing up in the yellow outfit is Lynn Johnston.)

  104. Uncle Lumpy
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    Wait — how could Johnston walk up and do that to a total stranger? Has the woman no shame?

  105. LTBF
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    She didn’t mean to do that. Somebody asked her how many peoplerelly liked her strip and she was answering them.

  106. LTBF
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    oops..should have read “She didn’t mean to do that. Somebody asked her how many people really liked her strip and she was answering them.”

  107. alamo
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    rmmd — what a let down. while rex and niki were cavorting on their little woodland tryst june was going through breast reduction surgery. i am so bummed!!

  108. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    Joshua @ 103 wrote:

    Granted, this picture is a few years old, because the man in the sweater is Charles Schulz. (The woman standing up in the yellow outfit is Lynn Johnston.)

    So Lynn didn’t even wait until her “friend” Sparky was dead before she started disrespecting him. Unsurprising.

    I understand that Cathy Guisewite was all set to introduce an interesting, dynamic new boyfriend character for her comic namesake to fall in love with, but Lynn told her she already had too many characters and Cathy should just settle for Irving, since she’d known him the longest.

  109. OverCat
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    99 Lisa: Oh my god, now I have an image of Les in my head, swiveling his hips and swinging his mighty balls as weapons of mass destruction. Worse yet, said image is combined with the Mary Worth of today due to so much snark about the two girls being gigantic.

    So it’s a giant Les crashing into the Mary Worth scene, leveling the house and whacking young Mary and Cathy in the head with his enormous balls, sending them flying down the hill.

    Man, I am going to have some bad dreams tonight…

  110. The Spectacular Spider-Brick, Decreer of Things (Self-Appointed)
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    RE: Me @ 108… Actually, I didn’t hear that about Cathy and Lynn, I just made it up. But it’s true because I Decree It!

    While I’m at it, I also decree that nobody has to look at that picture of Cathy’s cartoon crotch ever again, because in that sign she’s pointing skyward, and according to the Rules of Cathy, any Cathy drawing in which a character is pointing skyward should be ignored. Admittedly, she’s using a spoon instead of the usual index finger, but for everyone’s health and safety, I decree that’s close enough.

    I also decree that the phrase “Cathy’s giant ice-cream-spewing hoo-hoo” should never again be used in polite company.

    That is all.

  111. dyslexic dog
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:12 pm [Reply]

    So then there’s this whole page of photos of some of our favorite artists at the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards. Included are a fetching Cathy dancing with her dad, Dan “Bizarro” Piraro showing why he and his wife were voted “First Couple”, Bil Keane canoodling with Greg Evans’ wife, Greg Evans himself, looking more anorexic than Cathy, and Mort Walker showing us where he got his inspiration for Sarge.

    Maybe my favorite quote contained therein is “Every year, some fool cartoonist gets the Reuben Award lodged in his nose.”

    p.s. Lynn wasn’t invited.

  112. ScopesMonkey OooOoOo Aaaah here come the Guardian Angels
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    Hey, everybody, I am a backwards upstart and had a question… What does “MT” stand for? I have a hard time scanning the breadth and hugeness of the online comics made available, and I would like to try to keep up with what everybody is in the knowing of.

    Also, I ranted on yesterday’s post, and maybe that’s better because than ripping a black hole in today’s thread… i gotta learn to keep it down to maybe like ten to fifty words tops for more optimalistic jesting, before the dedicated dutiful whipsmart posters’ hands fall asleep dragging on the scrolltime. I may like monkeying, but I am being totally f’ing fucking serious.

  113. bobbaloo (aka bob byrd)
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    in panel two of Friday’s Spider-man, Spider-man’s egg shaped head has attracted the attention of some pretty determined sperm.

  114. Gabacho
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth – even for a plot actually involving Mary Worth, this is moving slowly. It makes the Dawn-Drew-Vera FMF plot look speedy.

    Brenda Starr – I have never wished I was a lesbian so badly as I do right now. I would even settle for being the ignored muscle bound hunk bound to the bed. I love how cousin Pris and cousin Dorita are ignoring him. This comic just gets better and better.

  115. Joshua
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    #112 ScopesMonkey: I believe MT is Mark Trail.

  116. ScopesMonkey OooOoOo Aaaah here come the Guardian Angels
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    Hey, everybody, I am a backwards upstart and had a question… What does “MT” stand for? I have a hard time with (among many other things) scanning the breadth and hugeness of the online comics made available, and I want to try to keep up with what a good ascriber is in the knowing of…

    Also, I ranted on yesterday’s post, and maybe that’s better than ripping a black hole of Cathy’s Dark Side in today’s thread… i gotta learn to keep it down to maybe like ten to fifty words tops for more optimalistic jesting, before dedicated bully whipsmarting posters’ hand and arm tendons fall asleep hemming and scuffling and dragging scrolltime. I may like monkeying, but I am being totally f’ing fucking serious. for reals, I mean, who is i’s, a (yes) mere mortal monkey, or an unfun braassy Overorangutan?

    apologies, to the speed of lightening, and Keanu Reeves.

    Shout-out: Allie Cat, you so made me miss oatmeal. And cheesy eggs. And sausage– well, almost. I never could get over the fennel in it. Herbs like that, I think, belong in homemade liquor. and cf. #20 yeah, uh, when did Cathy get married? I must have been dead at the time

    I better go eat my frozen peas. Mmm love em and no I’m not on a lose-weight diet– it’s more of a pro-phlegmy thing. Yum, that would be a neat diet to see Cathy go on… maybe next Valentine’s Day. (cross fingers, insert fish)

  117. ScopesMonkey OooOoOo Aaaah here come the Guardian Angels
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    #41 I always thought the humor of Cathy was not giving in to the notion that being a woman is an insult to being a woman.

  118. Buck Ripsnort
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    MT=Mark Trail, a “nature” strip about an asexual journalist who punches bearded people– men and women — while doing nothing approaching journalism.

  119. Poteet
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    3/20 MW — I think I finally see where this is going. Overwhelmed by raging hunger, young Mary is going to kill, cook, and eat her little friend. And then start wearing her little friend’s scarf as a memento, the start of her long bad-scarf-wearing career.

  120. Fatty Loon
    March 19th, 2008 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    #44 my gay boyfriend has such a thing for the tom cruise. I say, uguh, let him go, you probably do NOT want to be or be near that man. Unless of course you’re Oprah or a glutton for S&M, wait, what’s the difference? I forgot.

    exit dr. freud, paging dr love– of trickling brooks and winding creeks and baby puffins..

    I think Rex Morgan is a lot scarier than tom cruise… ostensibly. so’s katie holmes, in my book. please allow me to further ostracize myself from the world of the “ostensibly” normal.

  121. Jilliterate
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    68. Muffaroo says: RMMD – It’s Mark Trail’s faithful dog, calling about a possible crossover and possible escape into the big city, where Mark is unable to follow.

    Don’t be ludicrous. If anything, it’s going to work the other way around. Rex Morgan has been busted for…something (perhaps the simple crime of being a facetious moron), and it’s Andy on the phone to strip Rex of his right to practice medicine. With no where else to go, he becomes Rex Morgan, D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), which gives him plenty of time to aid the many animals that seem to be brutalized every time Mark Trail encounters a ring of puppy smugglers.

    …Well, I’ll be jiggered. After checking, the name of Mark Trail’s dog is Andy. Now I don’t know what to think. How that dog learned to dial a telephone is beyond me, and I’m sure Trail didn’t get off his nature-loving ass to teach him.

  122. ScopesMonkey OooOoOo Aaaah here come the Guardian Angels!
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    I’m not intimating that the Guardian Angels are religiously affilitaed. No offense to Curtis Sliwa or Lisa or any of their mostly well-intentioned crew.

    As far as celebrity couples go, I’d say those two may be riproaring whoa-there over the edge, but at least they are freakishly mild and doting, in the totally insane kind of way where you almost look forward to seeing them in matching tracksuits. Somewhere far from you, preferably. Probably.

    I had a Guradian Angel offer to walk me home once, and I instead politely ran (luckily I had been jogging, and therefore was provided with my plausible alibi for doing so) so he didnt find out where I lived.

    A strategy some of you may wish you had been smart enough to employ.

  123. Oddball Turkeypanties
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:17 am [Reply]

    It doesn’t matter if the “real” Cathy is fat or thin or good-looking – what matters is that she never develops in any way. Things happen (she married Irving after 20-odd years of dating or whatever) but she never grows as a character. I realize it’s not really “that kind of comic”, but I think that’s the big difference between something like Cathy and something like Foob.

    I don’t read Cathy, but when I do, I don’t feel offended so much as surprised. “Hasn’t she gotten OVER that yet?”

  124. Poteet
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:24 am [Reply]

    RMMD — For one wild moment, I was afraid Rex might actually have to practice medicine. What a relief to see that he’s being called to a morgue.

  125. Lisa
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    Oddball, yeah, I agree…. that’s what made me stop reading it. It’s like an endless loop or a timewarp. Nothing changes, nothing happens. No Exit in girl form.

  126. Farley's Revenge
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:32 am [Reply]

    /foob: Yes, every woman just lives to slap a ring on her finger so she can feel possessed by the human equivalent of plain gelatin.

    That little scream you may have heard was the final heartrending death cry of Elizabeth’s spirit. Once upon a time is was a fine spirit, a spunky and adventurous spirit but in the end, though, it fought for nought(AKA “Anthony”).

  127. Farley's Revenge
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    Hmmm. An extra slash somehow made its way into my post.

  128. Jilliterate
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    RMMD (3/20): I’m predicting that Andy’s “serious problem” is that he’s got a dead body on his examination table. A dead body in a County Morgue — what on earth would it be doing there?! It boggles the mind! And of course, Andy, straight thinker that he is, decides to call in his old chum, Rex Morgan, M.D., rather than a forensic pathologist, who might be more suited for the job. Rex chats with June about the mystery for three strips, monologues to himself in traffic for another two, and arrives just as the dead body is starting to stink up the joint. Using his advanced medical expertise, he concludes that the body is, indeed, a dead one; he and Andy congratulate themselves on a job well done, and I die a little inside.

  129. bats, junior bridesmaid :[
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    Thursday observations:

    FC: seriously. W. T. F.?

    Mrs. Thomas: “Why, yes, Mr. Trail — Madeline is home. She’s bed-ridden — has been for the past year, when she was only wheelchair-bound. And she’s deathly allergic to all kinds of pet dander.”
    Mark: “Oh. Crap.”

    MW: Oh, good lord! Mary is going to kill her little friend Cathy and EAT HER! Maybe her mother will realize how worthwhile her daughter is!
    At least they’ll have some Mason jars full of Cathy goodness to put on those shelves…

    RMMD: 5 AM?!? No wonder Rex ‘n’ June never get it on..they’re both too damned tired!

    FOOB: and maybe, Elizabeth, in the far, far distant future, Asshathony might even say “I love you.”. A token that says…well, not a whole lot, coming from blubber lips and all… Well, I guess if he kisses you, a few years after that, it’ll all be worth it.

  130. True Fable
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:52 am [Reply]

    Yay, it’s Snark Time!

    Cathy (Must Die!) Me me me me me. Broken fucking record, chick.
    DtM Alice is only pretending she didn’t hold the little bastard under.
    FC WOS. Waste of Space. Honestly, is this supposed to simply be Cutesy, like some sort of hideous Precious Moment on Steroids?
    FBoFW Give her something shiny and it will amuse her for hours. Now she’ll be able to show everyone that she’s validated by a man. BARF. So much for being a ground-breaking comic strip.
    FW Dude, tell her about Scholarships and Pell Grants. What are you spending all your money on, anyway? Smirk cream?
    GA “You can tell a Yale man, but you can’t tell him much.”
    GF & GT The Spectacular Spider-Brick is getting a lot of guest star gigs lately! Hey everyone, drinks are on Spider-Brick!
    Scenes from Suburban Hell Good GOD, woman, calm down! Five extra pounds on you is not going to matter. It’s the 150 extra pounds on Cathy that we fear.
    JP Biff, Dick Cheney looks mighty pissed off in panel three.
    MT Good LORD, how big is that van?! She’s got to be at least ten feet away from him.
    That, or she’s meeting with Third Rock from the Sun’s Big Giant Head.
    Marmadick He’s got a strangely laissez-faire, some might say disturbing, attitude about the neutering.
    Marvin Yeah, but your comic strip still sucks ass.
    MW Not even a single dented can of corned beef, or a leaky bag of cornmeal? That’s the cleanest poor house this side of TV.
    MG&G Continues to delight.
    OBH The Pattersons need to see this expert in the Catholic Glare at work!
    RMMD You’ve infected half the town, Rex!

  131. Moon Mullins
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:58 am [Reply]

    #111 dyslexic dog:

    Wow, Bil Keane looks about 105 years old in that photo. As of now, I’m not snarking Family Circus any more. I’m amazed he can lift a pencil.

  132. Moon Mullins
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:01 am [Reply]

    Thursday A3G:

    It is truly difficult to see Alan come to terms with his tampon addiction.

  133. True Fable
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:01 am [Reply]

    #131 Moon Mullins – Yeah, but Jeffy Keane is fair game.

  134. bats, junior bridesmaid :[
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:06 am [Reply]

    Oh, well, it rambles, but at least there’s some possibility for speculation (as opposed to Lizardbreath’s march down the aisle of doom):

  135. Mr. O'Malley
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:10 am [Reply]

    I’m afraid you people are being too harsh on Cathy. Several interesting things have happened during the last 25 years.

    Sally had a man-hating feminist friend who was always telling Cathy to dump Irving, and then overnight she transformed herself into a yuppie soccer mom. (I speak figuratively because I don’t remember her child ever getting any older than an infant.)

    One strip sticks in my mind because it was actually funny. The baby is crying and the parents are saying things like “She’s crying because we’re playing the opera in English instead of the original Italian!” Then Cathy’s mother burps the baby. I suppose it doesn’t sound that funny to read about, but actually the strip was pretty good.

    And Cathy and Irving broke up and Cathy dated some other guy for a while.

    I actually don’t read Cathy unless someone leaves a newspaper lying around, because whenever I see a comics page I have to read every one. Luckily I don’t have the same problem online.

    So if I can remember two interesting things happening in Cathy, a real dedicated Cathy-reader could probably remember several more.

  136. Mr. O'Malley
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    129. bats, junior bridesmaid :[ says:

    And she’s deathly allergic to all kinds of pet dander.

    So it’s great news that hypoallergenic cats are now for sale.

  137. True Fable
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    #134 bats, junior bridesmaid :[ – *applaudes* Give yourself some credit, babydoll, your strip was much more entertaining than RMMD and FBOFW combined!

    I’m your devoted fan. Beat me, whip me; make me write bad checks! :D

  138. Tats
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    A3-G: Alan’s drug of choice appears to be undeveloped film. Frankly, I’d buy it (no pun intended) — it’s about the most hardcore thing I can see any of the 3-G squares partaking in, and besides, maybe when you develop the film you see trippy pictures of Albert Pinkham Ryder.

    DtM: So, it finally happened: Mrs. the Menace finally snapped a la Andrea Yates and drowned her son. The cops are gonna have to close down the party at the old Wilson place tonight.

    FBoFW: “A ring — the token that says I’m no longer a person, I’m a possession!” Next step: Mom Jeans.

    MW: Wow. Mary actually is Old Mother Hubbard. She has the empty cupboard and everything.

    S-M: The daring Spiderman of comic book, television and film would probably attempt a daring entry to the house via skylight or ventilation duct. Comic page Spider-Man is content enough using the front door. He’ll probably use the door bell, go home when no one answers, and leave a little “sorry I missed you!” note taped to the door to let Krandis know he was in the neighborhood.

  139. Moon Mullins
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    Thurs Funky Winky:

    I just figured it out!! “Montoni” is Italian for “Monotony” — the subtitle for this strip.

    Batiuk is making a dramatic statement: that nothing in our lives should be more uplifting than a middling public school teacher needing a second job scrubbing pizza plates to make ends meet. Sort of a “Les Mis” in process-color ink. But occasionally — with infectious humor!

    A few years from now, the kid will get a college basketball scholarship the same day Les dies from exhaustion (and trichinosis from undercooked pizza sausage), making the money he made from all the work that killed him meaningless.

    Summer will go on to basketball stardom, and her biopic on Lifetime will be
    “Summer’s Fall: When Dad Couldn’t Spring for Winter Semester.”

  140. Trilobite
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:18 am [Reply]

    So, let’s look at the comics Thursday has in store for me:

    A3G: Alan contemplates transitioning from drug user to drug retailer — and in the land of the soap strips, this can only end in prison. Maybe he’ll get to bunk with Tommy the Tweaker from Mary Worth!

    Gil Thorp: Nearly everyone in Gil Thorp looks like they’re at least 35 years old, so why is finding someone who can pass for Andrew Gregory’s dad supposed to be such a major crisis?

    Incidentally, let’s hope that Andrew doesn’t go with the mysterious 40-year-old dude in the Miami Vice ensemble who appears out of nowhere in panel 3. A dad who looks like Don Johnson circa 1985 is not something that screams “stable home environment” to the typical social worker.

    Mary Worth: Wow, Mary’s really fixated on that empty cupboard. Is it supposed to be allegorical or something? The barren, empty shelves of the pantry represent the icy wasteland that is her heart, perhaps? Or is this just foreshadowing the moment when she lures her friend into the basement, bashes her head in with a rock, and finds a way to fill those empty shelves (with the help of a sharp knife, a canning kit, and a little ingenuity)?

    Rex Morgan: Oh man, tell me Andy’s not staring at his pants and saying that he has “a SERIOUS problem down here!” And in a morgue, no less!

  141. Trilobite
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    #129 bats :[ — Aw, you beat me to the “Mary slaughters and jars her friend for food” joke. Props to you.

    It does seem like Chekov’s Empty Pantry, though — why return to the image of young unhappy Mary staring at barren shelves if something isn’t going to be done with them by the third act? And who can honestly believe that Mary’s childhood friendship can possibly end well, given the horrible people she pals around with today?

  142. Moon Mullins
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    Thurs Mary Worth:

    “I was starving and the cupboard was bare —
    and the supermarket wouldn’t extend us credit.”

    “Curses upon you, Von’s!”

  143. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    #132 Moon:

    It is truly difficult to see Alan come to terms with his tampon addiction.

    Yeah, yeah yeah. You just think you’re riding the cotton pony. Then you wake up one day to find out that it’s riding you.

  144. Moon Mullins
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:37 am [Reply]

    Just in case #142 didn’t make any sense to anyone:


  145. Uncle Lumpy
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:47 am [Reply]

    So Mary was so desperately needy that there was literally nothing on the pantry shelves. So what did she eat last?

    My list:

    1. Finish off the nutmeg and salt
    2. Still a little Crisco left? Score!
    3. OK, that’s it — I’m not touching the Marmite!

  146. Jilliterate
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    143. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed says: Yeah, yeah yeah. You just think you’re riding the cotton pony. Then you wake up one day to find out that it’s riding you.

    …I think you just broke my brain. Seriously, you’re my hero now. That one’s going to be sending me into hysterics all the way into next week. Which is good, because the faux-melodramatics of Apartment 3-G rarely draw more than a blasé yawn from me.

  147. GROAN..
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:56 am [Reply]

    Though I’m sure other CC’ers have doubtless reinforced this general sentiment better than poor me could express, and though it’s not a new thought by any stretch of the imagination- “They’re called ‘TESTICLES’, Irving. Though Almighty Guisewhite may never allow you to apprehend genuine maleness, beyond lame jokes concerning gizmo-fascination, (among other cutting-edge stereotypes), it may amaze you to learn that there is more to life than capitulating to the insanity of those closest to you. Go ahead, keep telling yourself it’s worth it, Captain Smoothbore. FOOBthony has more gumption than you. Enjoy yourself, you human self-flushing toilet.”

  148. True Fable
    March 20th, 2008 at 2:29 am [Reply]

    Whee! A spark of inspiration, a whiff of time to kill, andn voila! Another installment of MarkTrail Theater (Mark IV Part 1) in the Long-Form Stylings in the Forums!

  149. Dynamite XI
    March 20th, 2008 at 2:35 am [Reply]

    Whenever I read Cathy nowadays (which is rare, as my paper no longer carries it), I can’t help but remember Mad Magazine’s parody of the strip as a Frank Miller graphic novel, in which a post-apocalyptic Cathy rips out Irving’s heart.

  150. Mr. O'Malley
    March 20th, 2008 at 2:44 am [Reply]

    A-3G: No wonder Alan likes to buy his illegal drugs from Jones. He’s the only drug dealer in Manhattan who throws in a cute plastic bottle like you get from the pharmacy. Alan, you are so dumb you will inevitably try to sell drugs to an undercover cop. Give them to Haley in return for sexual favors, and all you will get will be some kind of disease.

    Now if FW were set in California instead of Ohio, this would all be perfectly credible. Les has just received his pink slip from the Governator, and he has a huge balance on his Officemax account for school supplies he’s been buying for his classes. He has already applied for a weekday job and a night shift job, and if he gets this weekend job as well, he may be able to hang on to his house. Summer is going to have to join the Army and do alternate semesters in Iraq if she wants to go to college.

    The Lockhorns must have gone to Paris, they’re being robbed by a French mime.

    I see Mary Worth developed her taste in colors early in her life.

    RMMD: Who wears a tie at 5 AM? And what problem could they possibly have at the morgue that wouldn’t involve human biology in any way? “Rex, I hear you have a pretty good knowledge of refrigeration equipment!”

    Safe Havens: I only clicked on this by accident. It’s going a bit close to the edge.

    ZtP: The last few weeks have been pretty grim, but today’s makes up for it.

    BC: Because they’re cavemen. I suppose it’s amusing. Did Hart ever do anything so self-referential? With this strip, self-referential is probably the road to the future, though. It doesn’t have that realistic quality found in Alley Oop.

    GA: If there were any realism in this strip, the cat would be sitting on his magazine.

    Luann: I don’t get why Brad’s parents are always so worried that Brad might get laid. They are portrayed as former hippies (although that now stretches the timeline a bit), and Brad is an adult. It’s not a religious household. I think most parents in such a situation would be glad if their son found a nice girlfriend.

    Pluggers: I wonder what Mrs. Butch Mumma, of palindromic Ada, would have to say about that?

    Preteena: I think this is funny, but the SPP doesn’t add much really. Just fills out the required space. Some kind of mental image (like yesterday?) could have improved things.

    BS: Cratchet pie? Yes, I’d like a piece!

    FBOFW: And so it starts—the Foobelungenlied. Tomorrow Anthony goes to visit Alberich the Dwarf to obtain a ring, thereby setting in motion the inevitable series of events that will culminate in the Fooberdämmerung.

    Only a few short months until we hear the song of the Humbermaidens (have we established that Millborough is in the western suburbs?) as the waters rise over the roofs of the Pattersons and the world enters a new era.

    PBS-Dilbert cross-over! I rather liked the beginning of the current Dilbert sequence, and I’m trying to work “You have written humanity’s final chapter!” into as many conversations as I can.

    I’m looking forward to hearing “You have written the Pattersons’ final chapter!” as well.

  151. kippetje2000
    March 20th, 2008 at 2:54 am [Reply]

    Elizabeth: You Foob. To some people a Ring!! is the token that says failed marriage, bitter late night loneliness and a crushing feeling of regret until some other loser comes to pick up the pieces.
    I don’t know if Coach Thorp (Gil, not Jim) is any good at reaching out, but he’s certainly got a good grip on his own chin.
    That’s not an empty cupboard, that’s Mary’s bed. There’s no positive proof that Mary is a bona fide American, who knows what her name was before reaching Ellis Island?
    Jumble: You know you know you’re stuff, when your awarded prizes for mounting Pluggers.

  152. arik1969
    March 20th, 2008 at 2:55 am [Reply]

    If you isolated the last panel of today’s R.M.M.D., you could pass it off as a scene from Mark Trail. – Frank E. Bolla

    And if you isolated the middle panel, you could pass it off as a scene from JP. -DAS

    And if you isolated all of them, you might be able to keep the damn thing from spreading.

  153. Mibbitmaker
    March 20th, 2008 at 2:58 am [Reply]


    A3G: Yeah, right, Alan. The way to improve your miserable drug-taking self is to — sell drugs??? Otto in today’s Beetle Bailey is ashamed of you!

    FOOB: No, Lizard. A ring says “I’m Tolkien”. Then you’ll be the Lord of the… aw, you know. Hey, though, with the posession ring, at least maybe all those furshlugginer suitors will finally just GO AWAY. Now, if only we can think of a way for Blandie to do the same…

    Monty: Can you blame him?

  154. LightSyrup
    March 20th, 2008 at 3:07 am [Reply]

    FOOB: *barf*

  155. kippetje2000
    March 20th, 2008 at 3:16 am [Reply]

    Speaking of rings…Single Christian girl is sporting one…
    The Middle Finger Identity (a little knowledge I picked up on the web)
    The second finger is the identity finger. This is the finger most often used in obscene gesturing when one wishes to express an offense to personal dignity… To somehow bind this finger adds to those innate restrictions and announces a definite confusion or disappointment with the sense of identity and role in life…A ring on this finger can announce that the person is unsure of personal roles or a place in society.

  156. Jym
    March 20th, 2008 at 3:28 am [Reply]

    =v= Cathy: Cathy Guisewite is actually quite attractive.

    I have a technique for spending as little time as possible reading this strip. The format is always the same: three panels to develop a thought, and a fourth panel to deliver one of a small number of punchlines (“I’m so fat,” “I like to shop,” etc.).

    Sometimes the first panel is an unnecessary introduction. The third panel is the culmination, although (as National Lampoon pointed out in the 1970s) it may just be the words “Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!” or “Ack! Ack! Ack!.” So what you do is, you read the second panel. You can usually deduce which punchline it’s headed for, so you can skip the fourth panel, as well.

  157. Kurdt
    March 20th, 2008 at 3:56 am [Reply]

    Okay Mary Worth, we get it: You were poor, had no food, and felt worthless, for the love of criminey get on with it!

    That said, thanks to this inane and nonsensical storyline I am now addicted to Mary Worth. I now have to check it every day. Is there rehab for Mary Worth addicts?

  158. Shoshi
    March 20th, 2008 at 4:58 am [Reply]

    “Cathy Guisewite: I have had that same feedback that the character needs to evolve. My response is that she HAS evolved. Every human I know still struggles with food issues, still has the same fight every morning about getting up and exercising, still turns into a 5-year-old when dealing with their Moms, still wrestles with money problems, still faces the same power struggles at work, still faces the same infuriating fashion expectations. If Cathy suddenly was blissfully in a relationship and toned and trimmed and proud of everything in her life, there would be nothing to write about.

    ” get way more feedback from people who say that they love Cathy because she’s not afraid to admit that she doesn’t have it all together every day, and in this world of ever more perfect role models for women, who are doing everything, they say it’s refreshing to read Cathy and know that there’s somebody else out there who’s still hauling around a 40-pound purse full of dreams.”

    So I guess the reason “Cathy” is so repetitive is that it is a reflection of *Cathy*, who also hasn’t evolved much.

    In the interview she also totally deflects the anorexia thing…

  159. Shoshi
    March 20th, 2008 at 5:23 am [Reply]

    155–I think Christian Single Girl is already shrieking confusion with her role in society. Didn’t need to check her ring to “finger” that out!

  160. Shoshi
    March 20th, 2008 at 5:28 am [Reply]

    FOOB–The excitement and passion continues!

  161. Shoshi
    March 20th, 2008 at 5:42 am [Reply]

    From a NY Times article about “Dining’s Double Standard”:

    “For some people, eating desserts in public is impossible because they imagine that their dining companions will be silently criticizing their lack of willpower. Cathy Guisewite, the creator of ”Cathy,” a popular syndicated comic strip about the tribulations of a modern single woman, said she orders broiled fish and salads with no dressing in restaurants and confines her dessert-eating to home.

    ”A Sara Lee cake is perfect,” she said. ”You can buy it and pretend you’re going to keep it in the freezer for company.” Actually, she said, she eats the cakes herself, straight from the freezer.”


    OMG. Pretty classic eating disordered thinking and behavior. If Cathy Guisewite wrote the strip about the *actual* pitfalls of a dealing with compulsive behavior, rather than all those cover-up words about the irony of life, I think it would be a lot funnier! Well, maybe “funnier” isn’t the right word–I mean it could become funny.

  162. lynn makes me barfy
    March 20th, 2008 at 5:51 am [Reply]

    Taken for a token?
    Man, the white slave trade, just ain’t what it used to be.

  163. gleeb
    March 20th, 2008 at 5:56 am [Reply]

    Candorville: Nice shout-out to Thomas “That THAT, Tweed” Nast today.

    A3G: Soon, Alan will learn to leave drug trafficking to the pros.

    Curtis: Gunther a Paulite? But he never talks about returning to the gold standard.

    Luann: Papa Degroot struggles to keep his adult son from getting laid.

    Duck: This “gag” is completely tone-deaf. Brucie doesn’t really understand what unions do, does he?

    Popeye: I see the Sea Hag knows her Homer.

  164. Niall
    March 20th, 2008 at 6:21 am [Reply]

    Thursday, still sick…

    DtM: If this strip were to end, this would be the perfect ending strip. PLEASE.

    DT: Ummm.. lady cop (not waitress)… aren’t you the law??

    Edge City: Again, as someone said, this is completely impossible due to the fact that there would be, oh, I don’t know… guards around to avoid this?? Being, ya know, jail and everything?

    FC: From now on, the Keanes will only document the siblings’ growing dementia and brain damage. There is no joke today. It’s not even cute. It’s nothing. Please let it return to nothing. Spare us.

    Garfield: Just like Dennis, could this be the setup for the quick end of the strip? Please?

    GF: Way overlong joke. Past the point of diminishing returns. Mind you, being a dily strip, Conley pretty much has to reset the joke every day. I’m starting to wonder if he wouldn’t do better in a weekly, full-page style of gags, not having to repeat the setup so often and having the freedom to pace things more properly, because his actual payoff/punchlines are frequently funny, but dragged on for too long to reach them.

    GT: In panel 3, why is one of the Beatles talking to Clark Kent?

    H&L: Continuing the trend to find something depressing in every silver lining.

    Big Dog: “…and then he wants to eat you.”

    MC: Just so people don’t think I’m a sycophant, I don’t really care for this week’s gags. But hey, it’s personal. I’m still glad to see them try things different enough it can reach to different people. :)

    Pluggers: Okay, this one is more specific to Pluggers… but.. “Butch Mumma”?? I really, really don’t want to know.

    RM: Hey, who was it who called it about the morgue? Collect your prize!

    SFx: Just.. just what is that horse doing? Licking the moon?? Bob Weber introduces children to the joys of psychedelia!

  165. man behind the curtain
    March 20th, 2008 at 6:27 am [Reply]

    CSI-RMMD — A call from the morgue at 5AM. Couldn’t it wait? It’s not like it’s going anywhere.

    MW — Now that’s one BARE cupboard. Perhaps the explanation is that Mary’s mother moved and didn’t tell her.

  166. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 20th, 2008 at 6:45 am [Reply]

    MW: “The bare shelves were crying to be filled, and I swore that they would be. With the bones of the innocent.”

  167. Brick Bradford
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:05 am [Reply]

    #150 Actually, given Lynne’s latest scheme to “rework” old strips, this is sort of what she has in mind–only without the redemption by love and all–oh, and without art, either.

  168. Whippersnapper
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    Foob: Again with the taking it slow! Most people I know don’t get engaged until they’re ready to start planning the wedding. Apparently, Lynn thinks “engaged” means “going steady.” Elizabeth thinks they’re going to look for an engagement ring, but Granthony really means he’s going to dig out his old high school class ring for her to wear.

    FW: This can only lead to cancer of the pizza.

  169. GotFuzzy
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:16 am [Reply]

    I?GT: At least we had the helpful “Coach” pullover to give us a clue when the Bolle-ified Coach Kaz showed up this week. But who the hell is talking to Spitcurl in panel 3 today?

    FOOB Gah! Could this get more tepid and demeaning? I fear that the answer is yes, but I fail to see how.

    ‘shaft: It’s spelled “ewwwwwwww.” You think Batiuk would know that one.

    9CL: Now, I don’t read this one all the time, owing to my No-Thorax policy and my impatience with Brooke’s juvenile notion that woemn are fixated on undergarments and talking dirtily. But these two are a couple, right? So how does this make sense? Why do I even ask?

  170. GotFuzzy
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    I mean “women.” I’m not trying to introduce some new spelling.

  171. Lolsworth
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:30 am [Reply]

    The thing is, by FW standards, this probably is “good times”

  172. man behind the curtain
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:32 am [Reply]

    A3G — Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

  173. Josh
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    Ah, Cathy, Cathy, the strip where things change and yet still stay the same.

  174. Weaselboy
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    MW: “At home I faced cold, hard reality: people had stolen all the food from our cupboard and signed their names when they were done.”

  175. smacky
    March 20th, 2008 at 7:55 am [Reply]


    Kill her, kill him, send the kid to the fat car dealer friend of Mike’s, then come back and kill me. I’ll be weeping silently in the corner.

  176. Wally Limpingbean
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:00 am [Reply]


    How long has Les been teaching?

    He must have tenure by now.

    I bet he is way up the pay scale.

    The public school teachers around here who have been on the job more than ten years really start to make a decent living.

    He has only one child too.

    And if the foob didn’t sue the pants off the doctor for her “oopsy, my bad” diagnosis he doesn’t deserve a job delivering pizzas, much less managing the whole pizzeria.

    Money should not be a problem.

    Funky, take my advice. If you have to hire a Moore, hire Summer. She has drive, initiative, and something her dad lacks, BALLS.

  177. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    Die Lynn Johnston Die!

  178. Superfecta
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    Today’s FOOB reached a new low. It may well replace current over-the-counter emetics.

  179. smacky
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:10 am [Reply]

    FW: How ’bout an athletic scholarship?

    Or the life insurance from your dead wife? What? You never bought life insurance? And you never sued the hospital for negligence, even though by telling Lisa she was cured and halting treatment they robbed you of at least five more relatively healthy years together? And to keep that quiet they would have given you at least $2 million without going to trial? (John Ritter’s widow received $17 million from the hospital and Lisa’s case was much more blatantly due to negligence.)

    Then I guess it’s your lot in life to get shot in a funky-style weekend hold-up your first day on the job.

    Enjoy your final days on Earth. Keep smirking.

  180. AirForbes
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    FW: This weekend job thing is just laziness on Batiuk’s part. It’s just a handy way to keep Les around Montoni’s all the time so the strip is easier to write. In FW, all roads lead to the pizza shop. Let’s look at what happened to other characters:

    Becky: future world-class violinist
    Fate: waitress at the pizza place

    Lisa: teacher turned lawyer
    Fate: waitress at the pizza place

    Kahn: saved Wally’s life in Afganistan
    Fate: waiter at the pizza place

    The sad thing is, I’m sure I’ve missed some. It’s not a restaurant, it’s a plot device.

  181. Marked Trail
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:25 am [Reply]




    Just what kind of van are these people driving?

    Clank Clank, I am a Tank.

  182. Jaime M.
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    9CL: Yes, Amos, I can see your point. It’s often very difficult to view someone that you’ve known since you were a child as a sexual being.

    It’s also very difficult when you are *gay* and *don’t like women.* And can only arouse a passionate response when thinking about Antonio Banderas or, even worse, *shudder* George Hamilton.

    Good night, I say, sir. Good night.

  183. MinorAgentOfChaos
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    #87 Ribinin: Oh my, I’ve doing it all backwards. No wonder there are so many witches around. I always thought witches floated.

    No, if they float, they’re made of wood and we can build a bridge out of her. Now if she weighs the same as a duck, THEN she’s a witch.

    FOOB: OKAY, Lynn, OKAY, I’m BARFING already, you can STOP.

    GT: And we were so worried that the new artist would mean the end of the totally out-of-whack drawing style. HAH!

  184. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:30 am [Reply]

    Archie: Human measurements of time are incomprehensible to the AJGLU3000, which measures it in thousands of clock cycles per second. That’s why Betty and Archie can stroll from the library where Dilton is studying to the theater lobby where Jughead is in the space of two sentences. Either that, or maybe that black wave behind Archie in panel two is the special effect of his teleportation ability.

    BB: “Look at what’s going on! War! Corruption! Murders! Drugs!” Otto must be reading The Daily News-Paper, favorite periodical of Herb & Jamaal.The Daily News-Paper: Bringing Non-Specific News to the Tri-County Area for Quite a Long Time Now.”

    MT: When women think of Mark Trail, they touchthemselves.

    MW: “The magical tunafish had told me that when I became a worthy person, food would appear in the pantry. I knew then I had to help other people!”

    Popeye: WTF?! If Sea Hag can do actual Magick, why doesn’t she just “Zap!” Popeye?

    RMMD: I love the way June gets on her knees to hand Rex the phone in panel one. But I could do without the phone.

    Shoe: Apparently, it’s Shoe’s turn to provide the comics page’s Wednesday Unfunny Golf Joke this week.

    6C: Not a snark, but a serious question: Didn’t I see this exact punchline in a different strip just a few days ago? Or is this a repeat strip? Anyone else remember this?

    S-M: Krandis has already tried to blow you up by remote control once this plotline. Maybe your Spidey-sense tingling is a sign you should go in another door. Or find another line of work.

  185. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    Special Bonus Snark!

    FBOFW: Now, if only they’d find the “Ring” from that Japanese horror movie. And show it to all their family and friends.

  186. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:40 am [Reply]


    Marvin: Is Armstrong abandoning the idea of Marvin being a lazy toddler moron? Not that I object. Marvin the hieroglyphics savant would be a distinct improvement.

    Archie: So who has the teleportation powers, Archie or Betty?

    C-Shaft: Yeah, I’m with you, Goldilocks.

    DT: Uh-oh, Cole Lector’s go-between just dropped the “or else” bomb. The hostages are really in for it now.

    A3G: Oh yes, Alan, do try selling it. *chortle* I don’t see what could go wrong.

    FW: “Okay, so this is how you make an elephant appear. Watch out, here comes the trunk.”

    Luann: Wow, I actually laughed at this one.

    GA: Sturdy is obviously an expert in using polysyllables to make rubes think he’s smart. Guaranteed he’s got a copy of “Barely Legal” in that “Science” cover.

    GT: Milford has a House Elf? Maybe he can help.

    BSt: No, sorry, seeing a dog hang by the neck sort of kills the humor.

    Lockhorns: The mugger’s from a ’40s cartoon, Leroy. He knows nothing of frequent flyer miles. Or Visa cards, for that matter.

    Phantom: Phantom lives to make gunrunners his bitch–Old jungle saying.

    RMMD: “And when I say serious problem, I mean I woke up naked next to a cadaver. And not the one I’m married to. Bada bing!”

  187. Old School Allie Cat
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    FOOB – You just know that Lynn/Liz has been storing that little gem to use for YEARS!

    Personally, my phrase of choice when I got my ring was “carbon collateral”. But then, Mr. Cat and I also toyed with the idea of having “No Refunds” engraved on the insides of our wedding bands. Maybe we’re just cynical.

    You know that the FOOB Coffee Blog is going to be en fuego today.

    MW -”You see, Toby…Papa was a rolling stone. Wherever he laid his hat, was his home…”
    You know Mary, everyone has a past. And if you’re going to talk about yours ad nauseum, at least cut to the good parts…like, I don’t know, the part where you did hard time in juvie.

  188. smacky
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    GT: Why is Jim Carrey circa “Dumb & Dumber” offering to help Andrew?

  189. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    184 Spider-Brick,
    That joke from 6Chix seemed very familiar to me, as well. It’s a simple enough turn of phrase, and I’m not sure where I saw it. It would be weird if it were a repeat from just a couple of weeks ago.

  190. Bootsy
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    RMMD Rex’ face is huge! He’s like Slabface McBrisket.

    Spidey Next! Wipe your feet!

    # 43, Gnome,”He wears his robe like a girl”? What, closed?

    # 80, trey el parc, “battle sweaters” made me snort coffee. thanks!

  191. Matt
    March 20th, 2008 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    What’s with all the “BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP” in the second panel of Rex Morgan? Is it possible that Rex is cursing up a storm, only to be censored by the FCC? Why is he swearing? As we see in panel one, it’s obviously because he is unsuccessfully trying to slit his wrists with a dinner plate. It’s a cry for help, Rex. And a pathetic one, at that.

  192. TGrum
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    I remember seeing Cathy Guisewite on the Johnny Carson show. Though I found her looks fairly attractive, I though that she was as neurotic as her comic strip character, which made me hate the strip even more.

    Cathy is one I usually pass up, but every so often, in a need for self-loathing or just punishment, I take a look at it. And as usual, it’s the same as the last time I glimpsed at it. I just happened to read the strip that Josh commented on yesterday, so there was a double dose of torture.

    As for Special K, I mean “girl cereal,” I have eaten it, the stuff with dried strawberries is pretty good. But it’s non-filling and I could eat a half a box or so of the stuff before my appetite was satiated. I guess maybe the cost of the cereal helps one to follow the recommended serving size.

  193. Shoshi
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    192–Now you understand why women eat so much! It’s HARD to fill up on “girl food”!

  194. Darkefang
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    A3G: The US prison system is full of people who sold it “just once.”

    Crankshaft: Four years of undergraduate pre-med classes. Four years of medical school. Two years of internships. Ten to 20 years of brain research.

    That’s what it’ll take for me to be able to locate the part of my brain storing the image inflicted by today’s Crankshaft. Then I can begin the work of digging that piece of brain out with a rusty spoon.

    DT: “You’re holding us hostage! The law will soon take action!”

    “This is very risky, is there any other possible plan?”

    Allegations of plagiarism can destroy a writer’s career, so they shouldn’t be thrown around lightly. That said, I’m positive that the above two sentences from Today’s Dick Tracy have been lifted directly from the bestseller The Big Book of Things Nobody Would Really Ever Say*.

    FC: Well, that bird’s no melting clock, but it’s a good first attempt, Jeffy.

    Foob: Elizabeth isn’t in love with Anthony. She just wants to deflect the attentions of all the men lusting after her. Hey Liz, if you want to kill off any interest men might have in you, you don’t need an engagement ring: Just show them this week’s strips.

    * – Editors note: I’m pretty sure I plagiarized that joke from someone else.

  195. rich
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    Cut to the chase, Mary Worth, it’s clear where this is heading. Mary will offer some “helpful advice” to Cathy, leading her friend to drunkenly drive her Big Wheel off a cliff.

  196. Bryan
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan – I’m betting they’ve got Nikki down at the morgue.

  197. Brick Bradford
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    Followup to Mr. O’Malley #150 If it is Fooberdammerung can we hope to see Lynn’s studios going up in flames in the background as Elly sings her immolation scene aria?

  198. Mariko
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    DtM: So, is drowning in your own bathtub menacing?

  199. Shoshi
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Lockhorns–I’m intrigued by that robber’s delicate leg positions.

  200. rhymes with puck
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    MW: This does explain a lot about Mary – most murderers had difficult childhoods.

    FW: Les is worried about sending Summer to college? Didn’t he see my COTW?

    MT: I’m impressed at the way that the drawing of the van has somehow managed to look nothing like any van ever made.

    GT: Is that a blow-up doll holding a book?

    Fred Bassett: Fred is going to use Yorkie as bait. Alas, poor Yorkie!

    FBOFW: Liz will get the best steel/cubic zirconia ring money can buy!

  201. Cereal Killer
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    Characters who eat the recommended serving size on the low-fat “girl cereal” in the morning:

    Mary Worth
    Liz (the vet in Garfield)

    Characters who eat the entire box of low-fat “girl cereal” (and then go for a slice of chocolate cake):
    Liz Patterson
    Elly Patterson

    Characters who eat the entire box of low-fat “girl cereal” (and then go throw it up ):
    June Morgan
    Alice Mitchell
    Lois Flagstone
    Deanna Patterson
    Rex Morgan

    Characters who would love to even have a morsel of the low-fat “girl cereal” or even a taste of the cardboard box that it came in:
    Widdle Sawah Morgan
    Francoisetrainwreck Caine
    Jon Arbuckle.

  202. Calico
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    Mary, darlin’, just eat your words and I promise you’ll never, ever go hungry again.

  203. Kilgore T.
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    MW – Worst. Flashback. Ever.

  204. Dr. Mabuse
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    FBOFW – We Christians have this concept called “cheap grace”, and that’s what FBOFW is starting to remind me of. It’s salvation without having to change or make an effort. That’s all that happens in FBOFW now. Difficulties are raised, only to be magically batted away. An ghost from Elizabeth’s past life appears (Warren), threatening her present happiness. But in a matter of seconds, the angst just magically disappears in a puff of smoke. There’s no possiblity of depth – Elizabeth doesn’t experience any ambiguous feelings; despite the author apparently setting the stage for it, we don’t even get a HINT of drama. Elizabeth doesn’t experience even a moment of doubt, a realization of unresolved feelings, a questioning if she’s on the right path – nothing. Then a secondary drama appears to be forming – will Anthony think she’s unfaithful? Sure enough, that too evaporates in a matter of seconds.

    Now we’ve got all the ingredients of what in real life would probably be a messy situation: broken family, alienated ex-wife and mother, emotionally damaged little girl, and…POOF! Ten seconds with a doll’s teaset and the whole thing is fixed and settled. I feel cheated at being set up to expect problems that would take a lot of time and work to overcome in real life, and then find that none of the rules apply, and it all vanishes like magic. You just know that Mary Worth would have stretched each of these difficulties over MONTH’s worth of strips.

  205. Shoshi
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    Wait a minute. Maybe there has been some kind of error. Maybe it’s not “low-fat girl cereal” but rather “low fat-girl cereal”, for the immoral, full-figured gal? In that case, it’s not Special-K, but, like, Count Chocula?

  206. Calico
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    #201 – Marmaduke saves a step – he waits for the box of cereal to be consumed, and then consumes the person who ate it.

  207. Laura c
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    A3G: At last we glimpse what Alan is addicted to. I’m betting it’s baby aspirin.

  208. Calico
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    …And for you Cathy-haters who have not yet seen this (it’s about 11 years old but still mighty relevant), eat up and enjoy!
    (NSFW, really)

  209. rhymes with puck
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:13 am [Reply]


    Characters who put low-fat girl cereal in a sandwich:


    Characters who eat low-fat girl cereal lasagna:


    Characters who are afraid to eat low-fat girl cereal:


  210. Loopina
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    #204: Being that this is FOOB, wouldn’t the proper term be “cheap grease”?

    I’m not a victim of presby or any other sort of -opia, but I misread Irving as commenting on Cathy’s fat-girl cereal. Would that it were so…

    Curtis: Look at the barber with the funny head getting all political! Personally, my fave at this point is the “old white dude”.

    Even if his tax plan resembles Cathy: flatter, lower, and simpler.

  211. Spike
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    #157 Kurdt: Welcome to the Dark Side! Snark away and enjoy!

  212. z
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    oh, i discovered you can save quite a bit of time by just reading the last panel of cathy. over a few weeks, it really adds up.

  213. Bootsy
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    #207, Laura c: baby aspirin! And the day after the feast day of the saint who invented baby aspirin, St. Joseph. Really. Look it up.

  214. mattt
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    S-M So his Spider Sense works for crap when he’s about to be hit on the head with a brick, or a stick, or a pole, or a club, or a… But by golly it’ll tell him when someone’s home. Man, Spider-man sucks.

    Site ads Am I the only one getting fed the ad at the top of this page? I think the copy is wrong. It should actually read “Meet Hot Christian Singles with Big Boobs in Your City” shouldn’t it?

  215. bats, junior bridesmaid :[
    March 20th, 2008 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    196. Bryan: oh, please, NO! (Really. That would be too much for me.) OTOH, I was thinking that it might be Niki’s mom.
    Which would leave Niki an orphan. Which means that Rex might be able to remodel the garage as a place for Niki to stay. While Niki clean June’s garage.

  216. kingklash
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    If you say the right enough things about your wife, she’ll leave the toilet seat up for you.

    I don’t read the weekday FW, because the paper only runs the Sunday ones, so I was really surprised that when Winkerbean said, “Hello, my name is Funky….,” that nobody here snarked, “And I am Prince!”

    Or, someone did, and I missed it.

  217. Bitter Scribe
    March 20th, 2008 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    In today’s Cathy, Cathy Guisewhite achieves the seemingly impossible: She has her comic avatar say and do nothing, and still makes her into a hysterical ninny.

  218. Mountain Mama
    March 20th, 2008 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    #205–Shoshi, I prefer Cocoa Pebbles.

  219. Talking Squirrel
    March 22nd, 2008 at 6:44 pm [Reply]


    Why do they have to bleep out June’s ringtone? Did she download one that goes “Horseshit! Horseshit! Horseshit!” ??

  220. lpjigynjvgfft
    February 9th, 2009 at 12:16 pm [Reply]


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