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Somewhat soapy Monday

Mary Worth, 12/17/12

Oh boy oh boy pool party pool party POOL PARTY, everybody! This is great because (a) it means that the long, eternal slog of Dawn’s Quest For Meaning And Love (But Not Love Like That, Just Friendship-Love) is finally over (I mean, it will only really end with Dawn’s mopey death, but at least we won’t have to look at it for a while) and (b) we get to see a pool party, and those are always awesome. In today’s strip, Mary doesn’t even bother coming up with a specific reason for why she skipped her neighbor’s wife’s funeral. “I had a … thing, you understand, it was more important than your grief. Why don’t you cheer yourself up by gawking at that weird cake over there with everyone else?”

Funky Winkerbean, 12/17/12

To give those of you who don’t subject yourself to Funky Winkerbean daily a vaguely succinct summary of what led to this: Crazy got laid off from the Post Office, and in a desperate attempt to not starve to death decided to sell off his beloved collection of comic books and sci-fi novels to Comic Book Store John, and then Comic Book Store John decided to hire Crazy, to sell his own stuff. Thus “It wasn’t about greed, it was about need,” makes sense if we read it as “He needs an income to live on,” but I think we’re supposed to understand it as “It’s really the emotional satisfaction he’ll get out of seeing his beautiful collection dismembered, that’s why I hired him.” Although maybe it’s more about John’s need to see the citizens of this hell-town that’s always hated him debase themselves for minimum wage, for his amusement.

Apartment 3-G, 12/17/12

Oh man, the story of Evan the Sexual Spy is just getting weirder and weirder! Remember, Evan got Margo to summarily reject Skyler by making her believe that the young starlet was a rival for his affections. So he’s going to send Greg over to Aunt Cathy … how? “No, it isn’t above my skill level! I can do the bisexual jealousy grift! I’m ready for this!”

Hagar the Horrible, 12/17/12

Hagar and his Viking band seem to engage in no productive economic activity of any kind, and instead subsist entirely on the violent looting of a hapless late-Carolingian Europe. Will the fact that this castle is inhabited only by children and an old woman stop their awful depredations? Enh, probably not. Enjoy being sold into slavery to some monstrous Norse chieftain, kids!

Mark Trail, 12/17/12

Mark generally verbalizes literally every thought that passes through his square, immaculately Brylcreemed head, which makes his silent stare in the second panel here all the more hilarious. “Huh, so, cruel leader of a pirate band, kidnapping the innocent and holding them for ransom, ruling this tiny island by fear, tried to feed me to sharks … and ‘strange man,’ that’s all you got? Huh.”

Herb and Jamaal, 12/17/12

You probably think that today’s Herb and Jamaal is ripping off a joke from zany church signs everywhere, but in fact it’s just ripping off a joke from a Herb and Jamaal strip from 2007.

279 responses to “Somewhat soapy Monday”

  1. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    MW-I’m sorry I couldn’t come but I had to reunite a lost couple, free a girl from kidnappers and then arrange a ferry and cruise ship accident so two people could meet.

    FC-We’re putting you down old lady.

    FW-”Is that one of those dark and moody superheroes or he is a light hearted character? My son only likes the dark and moody characters.”

  2. Lurker Bob
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    MT: Odd that panel 2 has no dialogue. I like to imagine that Mark’s stony, glazed silence lasts for 10-15 minutes, while the friendly old man stares uncomfortably at Mark. Perhaps a woodpecker lands on Mark’s head and pecks away. Eventually, the old man volunteers some more information to try and kick start Mark’s cognitive functions. If that doesn’t work, he can stick one of those fish down the front of Mark’s pants and see if the Pelican can wake him up from his catatonic state.

  3. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    Slylock: Jeez, what’s New York of all places come to when a dog-man can’t have a subway quicky behind a newspaper without being accused of robbery by some Stasi fox and a melodramatic mouse?

  4. Little Blue Bicycle
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    MW: There’s so much happening at the pool party. John Dill is having angina. Mary’s blouse changes colors. And only the best pool parties use a cavalry drum as a centerpiece.

  5. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    A&J: another party that they show up late and flustered.

    rCdS: o dear. that is wonderful, and eww, all at the same time.

    Lio: out to prove that everything IS better with tentacles. Eva isn’t buying it.

    SBp: guest-written by one of the 6Cx?

    Zits: ummmm, TMI?

    Bizarro: neither of them should be there, by most accounts.

    GT: CANCER! cancercancercancer.

    PMP: *runs screaming*

    Pluggers haven’t gotten a new screw in decades.

    RwO: /facepalm.

    Retail: already better than MG&G’s effort.

  6. Anonymous
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    It’s just too touching that Crazy felt he had to dye his hair to appeal to the youthful comic book crowd. Or does Comic John insistthat everyone have weird hair just because he does? (lynn again, still proctoring exam; students think I am working on my doctoral thesis.)

  7. CanuckDownSouth
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    When the bakery mixes up the icing colours of your Christmas reindeer cake with the baby shower one, leading to pink pastel reindeer on powder pink buttercream, it’s time to upload some pics to cakewrecks…

  8. endless sky
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    MW: What’s with that cake? I can see the prancing reindeer on the side, but what about the six vaguely people-like objects on the top? Doesn’t look like a nativity scene. Or is it just melting candles? And why six? I hope someone can crack the symbolism code on this. (Does it involve the Mayans?)

  9. Cayuga
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    Kudos to the A3G colorist for cleverly simulating the effect of viewing the strip through a bottle of urine.

  10. Rimpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    MW – Does Mary mean that the others are also glad John Dill came, or that they came?

  11. Squeak
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    I assume the cake is in celebration of some guy’s new job as a merry-go-round operator.

  12. Doctor Handsome
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    “John Dill, eh? Clearly no relation to MINOXI-Dill, haha! See, because you’re balding? Ah, I’m just funnin’ with ya. Sorry for your loss. Try the salmon squares.”

  13. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:08 am [Reply]

  14. terrapin
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    Mandrake: “Mandrake is alone in the great library. The great library which, as near as we can tell, contains at least one bookcase.”

  15. Dono
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean just pissed me off today. Even in the most fantasy-oriented art–be it novel or comic strip–the characters have to say things that make sense within their universe. FW takes place in a world like our own, a world where it makes no goddamn sense at all for someone to say “It isn’t about greed” when talking about a man who takes a menial job just so he can keep on living. Of course it’s not about greed, you ignorant putz! Damn, that’s just lazy writing.

  16. Deb D
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    Okay, I’m genuinely confused. If they’re glad John Dill had his wife for as long as he did, why are they all ignoring him and gathering around the pink unicorn cake? He’s not even standing in the group.

  17. Big Bad Dave
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    This marks the day the Mary Worth cartoonist finally realised he was trapped for life and started pleading with readers to help him. “How can I signal my distress? I know! Mary’s blouse in the second frame should be purple but I’ll make it white instead. And that cake? I’ll make it a repellent pink pony cake, so disgusting that no real human being would use it to celebrate anything. Please someone come save me!”

  18. Alter Ego
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    love is… canning up a big batch of molten Silly Putty. Now we know where baby love-ises come from.

  19. Lowell
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    That Herb and Jamaal just ruined my day. I know that is the goal of the strip, and they usually come close, but this one knocked it out of the park. I’m going back to bed.

  20. Voshkod
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    Panel two of Mark Trail will be perfect for the omnipresent propaganda posters of the dear leader in the new Republic of San Marco Trail. In panel three, a pelican wisely choose to join the winning side.

  21. Chris B
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    I feel like Herb and Jamaal is a 2002 Cosby routine: “The kids today with their fax machines, going beeeep beeeeep beeep. And now they have something called Electronic Mail. Electronic? How do I know I won’t get electrocuted when I meet the postman …”

  22. Doctor Handsome
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    One drop of white-out was all it took for the syndicate to do a last-second bowdlerization of the line, “It was about weed.”

  23. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    MW-”At least they seem to be happy. They look more like they are forcing smiles on their faces all the while wondering when you are going to leave so the real fun can start.”

  24. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    FW-”Does that come in a digital format? We do everything over the computer including our mail.”

  25. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    MW: Panel 2 is full of all kinds of awesome. A cake the size of an oil barrel, the long awaited return of Charlie Smith, with Toeby macking on him, Mary Worth’s doppleganger Apple Mary coming in for a quick cameo, and the everpresent edge-of-your-seat suspense while wondering in what boring direction will this plot develop?

  26. Tim H.
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    HJ: You also get get better results when you proofread.

  27. Cthulhu U
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    @endless sky (#8): It’s obviously a wedding cake. Everyone in Charterstone is wedded to God Mary, and there are six new slaves brides/grooms.

  28. Dono
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    @Tim H. (#26): You not only get get better results, you get get better better results.

  29. Digger
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    MW: Judging from that guy’s birthday cake, it appears he is a six year-old girl trapped in the body of a middle-aged man. Meddle that, Mary! Oh, what’s that? You have a “prior committment?” I see.

    Mary’s “prior commitment” was staying awake round the clock for weeks typing out platitudes for the Ask Wendy column. Presenting yourself as morally superior isn’t as easy as it looks.

  30. Doctor Handsome
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    “I applaud your enthusiasm, Evan, but you’re not quite up to idiot level just yet.”

  31. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    MW: Truth in comics: The Peptol-Bismol icing reflects the nasea that most of us feel while reading this strip.

    If that’s a birthday cake for Jesus, shouldn’t it have about 2000 more candles?

  32. pugfuggly
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    MW “Mourning must be put aside if prior commitments were made.”
    ~Bernard Camus: accountant and brother of Albert

    FW Also, it seems to be about Crazy’s need to hit on all the hot single moms in town. Look at that sexy pose…

    A3G So, if Aunt Cathy is going to be the Bond Girl in this little operation, what should her moniker be? Rascal Rider? Wrinkles Galore? Plenty O’Jointpain?

    MT ‘He is a strange man, isn’t he?’ Mark’s stare seems to say ‘That must be why I find myself with so many ‘strange’ feelings when I’m around him…’

    H&J@H&J Im on twitter; srsly its so much faster this way #modernprayer #badcomics” posted by Jesus H Christ (@The RealJChrist

  33. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    John Dill is missing his late lamented wife so much that his eyes are melting right off his face. He’s not interested in the cake because he can’t see it. Or anything else.

    I suppose we all know the target of Mary’s next meddle?

    About the cake…those are *reindeer*??? I thought they were interplanetary goats.

  34. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    H&J: Is it sadder that the re-ran the same crappy joke, or that I immediately recognized it as a re-run of a crappy joke, or that I thought it was only a few months ago instead of a few years ago, or that I take any particular interest in the pun-ability of Herb & Jamaal’s preacher?

  35. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    Hogenmogen: thee and me both.

  36. LoFoMoFo
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    MT: Yes, you have to wonder about Otto’s motive.

  37. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    MW: I was about to make a remark that Mary must really have hated Mrs. Dill to avoid paying last respects. However, missing an important event in someone else’s life is really in character for the biddy of Chatterstone. If you recall, she blew off Dr. Jeff’s offer to take her overseas to help poor children because she “had prior committments”, which turned out to be pruning her rose bushes and getting groceries.

    “Sorry about your dead wife. Now let’s party!”

  38. Doctor Handsome
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    I don’t get what the joke is supposed to be in Hagar. It’s kind of just really sad when you think through the implications, but on a more basic level, THEY ALREADY OPENED THE FUCKING DOOR.

  39. Getafix
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    MW: Nice Christmas cake, just like we have at home this time of year. With reindeer-unicorns and…um… a nativity scene?

    A3G: I’m sure the biggest star in Hollywood is looking for an elderly woman with yellow dresses, Far Side glasses, and nice file cabinets to be his agent.

  40. bbofun
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    MW- There’s NO ONE at that party who’s happy to see John Dill there. All they’re happy about is the tiny UFO. The teeny aliens are so CUUUUUTTTTEEE!

    MW (alt)-”Holiday” party? Someone alert FOX News! The War on Christmas continues!

    FW- “It was about need- my needs. Everybody in town feels sorry for Crazy harry, but they;re also scared of him ‘going postal”- so they’ll buy whatever over-priced crap he pushes on them.”

    GT- And Happy Holidays from Gil Thorpe, everybody!

    RMMD- Rex is not perplexed at being asked to autograph the surfboards- he’s just wondering why they aren’t just giving them to him.

    RMMD (alt)- Rex looks at the tanned, toned bodies of the young surfers, and feels strange stirrings…

    9CL- We’re still on this? And now we’re back to the dentist who asks “how do you like your smile” a phrase, I hope, that no human being has ever uttered. Lordy.

  41. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    FW: I’m sure your son will love this. It has over sixty pages of foul language, some naked women and splattering gore so vivid you think you’d have to wash your hands afterwards! Plus, the plot involves a morally-conflicted loner who turns to high powered weaponry when he’s upset, so he’ll completely identify. Hey, ma’am, where are you going? Can I interest you in some of our violent first-person shooter video games instead?

  42. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    @bbofun (#40): Oh, yes, the War on Christmas. I forgot. I was so wrapped up listening to Frank Sinatra sing “Happy Holidays” that I completely neglected to burn the CD in angry, offended effigy.

  43. Greg
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    H&J: “Knee Male.” Wasn’t that also a gay porn movie from 2007? Not that I would know something like that……

  44. Cloudbuster
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    FW: Gah! The entire conversation is a non sequitur! Ostentatiously-One-Armed-Girl was paying Pedophile Skunk a compliment for giving Crazy a job. So of course, he has to go full-bore smug, pedantic and self-righteous. Hey, Pedophile Skunk, maybe it’s about guilt because you ripped Crazy off enough on the sale to pay him and still make a profit!

    Feh, with his government pension and unemployment benefits, the last thing Crazy probably needs is some crappy minimum wage job (to cut off unemployment benefits that are probably superior).

  45. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    MW A prior commitment? Really, Mary? For someone who hangs out at her condo pretty much all the time, what is so demanding of Mary’s time that she couldn’t rearrange her schedule and attend a funeral? Handing out magazines at the hospital? Cruising the diner for “no strings attached” meddles? Hey, maybe an important deadline for the newspaper: “Hold the presses! I’ve got a hot new platitude that will blow the top off this town!”

    FW “And *wink* I’ve got something in the back that will I’m sure will appeal to your ‘womanly’ needs.”

    mo’ Mary Odd. That cake… it looks vaguely salmon-colored!

  46. Bobdog
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    Weird cake? No, Josh that is an AWESOME cake — it’s got like unicorns all around it and it’s frick’n huge. What holiday tradition is celebrated with frick’n huge unicorn cakes? Clearly we see the Mary Worth-verse through the eyes of its protagonist and every so often the lost innocence of a little girl breaks through the dominate thread of a universe ruled by her own moralistic autocracy.

  47. TheDiva
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    A3G: Is Aunt Cathy going to try and seduce Greg? The cats-eye glasses and paint smock (with magically changing collar) will no doubt be to her advantage.

    FW: I know I shouldn’t be surprised since it’s Funkytown and all, but that has to be the saddest, dreariest tree in the history of the holidays. Even Charlie Brown’s forlorn little twig drooping under the weight of its one ornament had a certain pathetic charm.

    MT: DRAMATIC MARK! (musical sting)

    MW: Like everybody else in the world, I really don’t know what if anything awaits us after death. But I swear to you, if my wake ever involves a My Little Pony cake with leftover wedding party figurines plunked down on top of it, I will find a way to haunt the people responsible.

  48. Doctor Handsome
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    Every time I give a terroristic guerilla a buck or two at the bus stop, the cynic in me assumes he’s just going to blow it on malt liquor instead of effecting real change in his politically unstable island nation.

  49. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#37):

    “Sorry about your dead wife. Now let’s party!”

    We all assume Mary is referring to John Dill’s late wife. But, with the little information we have, Eleanor could be anyone or anything.”I was lucky to have her as long as I did.” I say that it’s just as likely Jim is referring to his housekeeper, who received her citizenship and the promise of a better future than scrubbing John’s dirty toilets.

  50. Doctor Handsome
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    FAX MACHINES: The fast, modern way to connect!

  51. Mr Foofram
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    MW – The only plausible reason that oversized ‘cake’ is perched on a fabric-draped table is so Kelly Welly can jump out of it.

  52. Hairhead
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Luann: Christ, how many tests has Brad failed?
    1) Fireman’s fitness test. Defeated by a girl.
    2) Ability to defend himself: Punched out by Dirk
    3) Autonomy of body test: Continually cock-blocked by his mother.
    4) Knowledge of US Labor Market (A): when laid off, did not apply for unemployment
    5) Knowledge of US Labor Market (B): when laid off from fireman’s position, did not apply for paramedic’s position, his previous job; then worked for Weenie World
    6) Basic maturity test (A): Squealed at the idea of “using the headset” at Weenie World
    7) Basic maturity test (B): Kept slacking off work, yapping with his friends at the workplace, right IN FRONT of his boss
    8) Basic selfishness test: Was willing to let his girlfriend quit her job as a fireman and destroy her career for him — for no good reason (She was being stupid, too.)
    9) Incredibly basic stupidity test: Calls for Shannon, cannot find her, starts RIPPING APART THE WALLS OF THE HOUSE rather than look carefully for her
    10) Even more Incredibly basic stupidity test: Doesn’t realize that Shannon is not Toni’s niece, but her daughter — cf. the “failing the Dad test” remark Toni just made. That’s a “tell” that she’s working up to inform B-wad of the actual maternity (if not the paternity) of the little troll.
    11) Human Being Test: He lives with TJ — and listens to him!

    And I could go on.

    Brad is a super-ultra-mega failure on SO many levels. It’s a wonder potato-face remembers to breath in an out.

  53. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    MT Panel 1: “He’s a strange man!”
    Panel 2: *silent pause*
    Ah, I get it: It’s irony!

  54. Dood
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: “I’m sorry about Eleanor. However, your circumstances only suggested a modest Level 3 Meddle, which one such as I can only barely subsist on. Salmon square?”

  55. pastordan, snark late shift
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    The Amazing Spider-Man: Maybe I’ve said it before, but it’s time to say it again: the real crime here is those leopard-print Zubas.

    Apt. 3-G: I like to think that Aunt Cathy has a list of manipulation skill levels for which Greg is or is not qualified. Hmm, you did well in your “French Kissing for Fun and Profit” course, but that was only pass/fail. No, you’ll need an A on your Lying: Theory and Practice exam before I let you in on this action, boy.

    9 Chickweed Lane: What is it with this guy and teeth? What would you even call a tooth fetish?

    Luan: Why do I think Toni will take Brad along by phone, and they’ll run into the bowling gang? Hi-larity will result when Shannon beats Gunther to death with a bowling ball!

    Mark Trail: He has some pretty bad characters hanging around with him..this pelican for example. Ever meet a pelican gone wrong, Trail?

    Mary Worth: Holy Mary mother of God! Don’t touch that cake!! It’s for Garfield’s birthday!!! … Are those…goats on that cake?

    Rex Morgan, M.D.: I was just in San Diego at the start of this year. I don’t remember it being the kind of town where everybody knew the local strippers and grandma. They’ve got a nice zoo, though.

    Zippy: Frightened children? Graves in winter time? Somehow, I think Bill’s going to live to regret this one. (Yes, I know he probably made it 2 weeks or a month ago.)

  56. pastordan, snark late shift
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    @Hairhead (#52): 10) is an interesting theory. Had not followed the strip closely enough to consider that…

  57. TheDiva
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#45): Mary had the most important job of all: writing glurgy musings on her word processer tangentially connected to a plot arc she had minimal involvement in!

    9CL: Brooke, do yourself and the world a favor: never, ever, ever write an arc focused on dentists, teeth, or the human mouth in any way shape or form again.

    C’shaft: That’s not a pun. That’s not even really a malapropism, since “kindle” and “kindling” are two different forms of the same root word. Please retire, Batiuk–your heart’s obviously not in it anymore.

    Luann: “Er, I mean, not that Shannon’s my actual daughter or anything, she’s my niece, totally my niece! I’m absolutely not planning on having her live with us when we get married! Oh who am I kidding, I’ll be lucky if we make it to second base before she graduates high school anyway..”

    SM: Okay, Spidey’s caught up with the rest of us, time to move on with the story.

  58. Dood
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Is that Dr. Jeff who’s icing the cake? Is that what they call it these days?

  59. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    @Hairhead (#52):

    … she’s working up to inform B-wad of the actual maternity (if not the paternity) of the little troll.

    Yes. I’m convinced the truth is that Toni is Shannon’s mother. And as we’ve been led to believe all along, it’s also true that Shannon’s father is Toni’s brother.

  60. Voshkod
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    @Hairhead (#52): Nicely summarized. But you fail to give credit where credit is due. He passes the autonomic nervous system test (i.e., breathes, has a heart beat, etc.). And given the comic world in which he is cursed to live, he must have passed some test of will to prevent himself from walking into the next house fire without his rebreather.

  61. Horace Broon
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    BB: “I thought my goal in life came from Harry M. Woods lyrics, not Bernard Cribbins lyrics!”

    (An aside: is the second quote actually a quote? Don’t recognise it, can’t find it on Google.)

    Crank: There’s nothing Lilian likes better than an old-fashioned book-burning.

    HtH: “And the scores of servants required to maintain a castle had a prior commitment!”

    JP: If you’re having an argument with your parents about whether or not you should elope YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

    MW: The group gathered round the cake are clearly thinking “Well, that’s cake … of a kind … I guess”. The guy in the middle is wondering if he’s supposed to blow out the figures on top and make a wish.

    RMMD: And that was the moment when Rex realised that, somehow, he was trapped in a 1960s beach movie.

  62. Cloudbuster
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    QC: It’s reassuring to know that when you search Google for “robot bacon zombie coffee ninja” this lovely lass is on the first page of results (SFW): Amelia Brown …
    Zombie ninja. Entrepreneur. Bacon enthusiast. Web advocate. Coffee lover. Evil creator. Explorer
    .. but then dispiriting to find out that she’s a bot.

  63. Horace Broon
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#45):

    Fifty Shades of Jean Grey?

  64. Horace Broon
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    Oh, hell, I’ve done it again…

  65. Notebooked
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    You didn’t have to tell us the Herb & Jamaal bit was a rerun. Fax machines? Electronic mail? Not even a ham-fisted attempt at nailing it to the Book of Face or the My of Space? (Actually, that sounds a bit like a set-up for a joke. “The preachers use the book of Genesis, the couples use the book of love…but the teenagers use the book of Face.”)

  66. MattF
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    About the Mark Trail story… I think that, in fact, it is going to continue forever. The final panel will be a view of the end of the universe.

  67. greghousesgf
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    I know Funky Winkerbean is supposed to be depressing, but a black Christmas tree??

  68. Nekrotzar
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    E-mail, knee-mail, yeah, yeah. But if H&J can come up with a corresponding joke for SMS, I will be genuinely impressed. I expect we’ll find out in 20 years or so.

  69. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    FW: I’m sure your son will like this. It’s a first-run, true collector’s item, signed by the author. And, we’re selling it for only …. $19.95?? Whaa??? That asshit told me that no one would pay over a buck for this thing! John bought it from me for twenty freakin’ cents!! Help me, lady! My life was sold for spare change!!!

  70. Voshkod
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    Oh, this time you guys have done it. Condemned us to bold lettering and, somehow, renumbered the comments.

  71. [Bold Man] Muffaroo
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    3G“He’s an idiot!”
    Yes, he’s in that strip, and he’s a male, so you’re absolutely safe in saying he’s an idiot, just as you are. Now stand aside and let your Aunt handle things. If you’re hungry, there’s some paste in the cupboard.

    Doonesbury – Boopsie can set them all straight on what the Mayans had in mind. She was there. She probably made the calendar herself.

    Dennis – Today Santa has glasses and a red suit with a black inset in his chair. Yesterday he had no glasses, a black suit, and a green inset in the chair. What do they do, take him to every store Santa in the whole damn town?

  72. Ian Beste
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#63): That is out there somewhere. Rule 34.

  73. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Hägar – “Well, we sure won’t have to break the door down now, will we, kids?”

    Hi has the heat set on Lo. It’s to keep from starving in the street, but his little half smile shows that he’s also enjoying it. Maybe the cold brings out a couple of good points in Lois’s sweater.

    love is… …putting up jars of homemeade ‘wallpaper paste.’

  74. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Marmaduke – Thanks again, coloring crew, for sparing us the real horror of Marmaduke’s oversized bladder.

    Monty – Second reference to hanging pine-scented air fresheners on substandard trees in two or three days. This. Means. Something.

    Spider-Man – “Stupid monkey! I taught you to go out and steal moe money for me, but you keep bringing me chimp change!”

  75. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#y142): …the MW camera…
    I think you’ve hit on something here. Mary Worth seems less like a comic strip and more like a webcam set down in some random godforsaken corner where nothing actually happens, but people spend days on end talking about it anyway.

    Josh – We used to make up radio shows on Dad’s tape recorder. My favorite lame line was one where I got a character (Harry Osborn!) off the stage by saying, “I gotta go do somethin’.” Today, Mary approaches that level of craft. Or maybe cruft.

    Josh [re Smirky Schadenfreude] – We got an idea of how Crazy’s scraping the bottom of his emotional barrel when he accepted John’s offer of work before salary was mentioned, then saying “You mean I get paid, too?” This mirrors the scene, not shown, where Crazy accepted the deal of handing his comic collection over to John, and when John ponders payment, said, “You mean I get money, too?”

  76. agony
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    The economics of the Funkyverse still elude me. I’ve always assumed, because almost everyone in the strip has known each other since high school, that it is set in a small town.
    Now, I live in a small town. There is no possible way that a comic shop in a small town could afford an employee. Even a full bookstore can only make it if they also sell fancy coffee, knicknacks, and vaguely gourmet-ish gift food. And rent DVDs. And rent out the back room on Tuesday nights to al anon.
    Isn’t Ohio in the Rust Belt, a worse pocket in a bad economy? What is this store *really* selling, that it can afford to hire an old guy who knows nothing about manga?

  77. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    @Big Bad Dave (#17): I’m curious as to how the cartoonist came to be embedded in Mary Worth in the first place. Was it a Tron-like situation where he was scanned into a computer (yet no one noticed because he can still communicate via email and sends his work to Karen Moy electronically)? And what does he expect us readers to do about his imprisonment? If he wants out, he’ll have to defeat the Mechanical Artificial Ruminator-Y.

    @Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist (#33): II agree that Chekhov’s Widower is surely in effect (don’t introduce a widower in the first act unless you meddle him in the third), but I have to wonder, what’s to meddle? John Dill seems to have already come to terms with his grief, accepted his wife’s death, and is able to pretend to enjoy bourgeois social functions. What’s left for Mary to do? Is Mary going to meddle Eleanor back to life? Seeing how Mary hasn’t done much of anything lately other than vomit a random strings of aphorisms into Word and call it a column, I kinda think she has to.

  78. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#70):

    OK, bold tag fixed. That comment renumbering thing is weird, though — I saw it in IE, but not Firefox. Everybody remember: “</b>” good; “<b />” very, very bad!

  79. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    @greghousesgf (#67): I’m dreaming of a black Christmas,
    The kind that Westview only knows,
    Where postmen are fired,
    At half-wages then rehired,
    And forced to sell everything they own.

  80. Doctor Handsome
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    Are these dumb, smug thought bubbles part of Rev. Krusty’s actual prayer? If not, who’s he think he’s even being obnoxious to?

  81. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    @agony (#76):

    Having failed utterly in the dollar economy, Westview transacts all business using back-issues of Scrip comics. Comic John is the Ben Bernanke of the scheme.

  82. Old Folkie
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    @Getafix (#39): A3G – speaking of file cabinets, a picture appeared out of nowhere in frame 2 and knocked some of the books off of it.

  83. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    I know God is a bit of a masochist, but you can’t tell me that prayers from the cast of Herb and Jamaal don’t get caught by His spam filter and silently deleted.

  84. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    @Cetacean Love Buzz (#77): Maybe Mary can meddle him a new wife.

    Mary: John, there’s a nice woman your age that I want you to meet.

    John: I appreciate what you’re doing, Mary, but I’m really not ready…

    Mary: Love is the rush of happiness in this sea of madness. Go on and meet her!

    John: Really, Mary, my Elle just passed three days ago. I’m still very busy getting her things in order.

    Mary: Care can be found in the glintest of places, from the peaks of ecstacy to the depths of the human soul.

    John: That may be true, though I doubt “glintest” is even a word. I really just need some time…

    Mary: Time alone can be time wasted if the timer is a-wasting still!

    John: Are you feeling ok?

    Mary: Your wife just died! You NEED MEDDLING! I am chock-full of Biddy-Grade, High-Test Heavy-Meddle Thunder! It needs to escape! Do NOT refuse me! NONE dare refuse me!

  85. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:18 am [Reply]

  86. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    MW: I get it now. Mary says that they are glad that John is there because he brought the putrid cake that they’re admiring.

    I just had an “aha!” moment about divining Mary Worth. Imagine the benefit to humankind if I had invested that power into curing cancer instead. Damn you, Mary Worth. You suck.

  87. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    MW: Good news! We’re away from the pier and at the Charterstone holiday party. Better news! Ernie Kovacs is there. Not-as-good news! He’s still dead and Mary is doing a ventriloquist act with his body.

    FW: Wisely, John only has Crazy Harry deal with adult customers. That “want some candy?” look of his would get the place shut down if he used it on a kid.

    A3G: I’m sorry, are we supposed to be viewing Evan’s daily grovel before Aunt Cathy through a jar of urine?

    MT: Meanwhile, Mark and Ed Asner enjoy their new friendship.

    BH: Why do they need to talk or text? Since both their mouths are closed it’s obvious they have telepathy.

    GA: Hey Scancarelli, if I want to see an elementary school production of “Deliverance” I’ll ask for it, okay?

    H&L: Hi thinks that if he keeps the heat down, Lois will jump his bones to create friction heat. He is very much mistaken.

    Shoe: “That’s why I’m working out, to defend myself during the inevitable attempt on my life.”

    DtM: Dennis the feeder?

    Momma: Sonia is refusing to give Francis money for “floozies”, the latest of whom is dressed like a “42nd St” chorus girl. So, as up-to-the-minute as ever then.

    SFx: So the hillbilly stork is innocent? Didn’t see that one coming.

    Lockhorns: I wonder if there was a time when the sports metaphors for shopping didn’t make Leroy want to brain his wife and/or himself.

  88. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Aunt Cathy’s Collar turned white, just as did Mary’s blouse. Just pointing it out, since two similar things make a trend. Right?

  89. btown
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    MW: Sorry, Dill, I had prior commitments. That Metamucil doesn’t drink itself, you know

  90. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#84): All he’ll need to do is quote verbatim Mary’s various marriage proposal rejections about needing independence, liking things as they are, not wanting to fly too close to his son the sun, etc., and she’ll shut up, especially when she learns Dr. Jeff’s been posting them on Twitter. #MaryIsABitch

  91. Illustrator Steve
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    MT – Today’s panel #2 must be one of those “add your own dialog” panels.
    …That, or Mark is dumbfounded by the mere mention of Otto being labled “STRANGE”, since Mark figured he was a shoe-in for the “STRANGEST MAN OF THE YEAR” championship….for the 60th year in a row!

  92. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    Kath: It’s ok with you that our son gets married alone?

    JP: I’m sure his bride will be somewhere in the vicinity, Katherine.

    Randy: “Our son”? Did I miss something, Katherine? Did I pop out of your hoo-hoo? YOU’RE NOT MY FUCKING MOTHER!

  93. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    @[Bold Man] Muffaroo (#71): Ooh, I had forgotten Boopsie’s Shirley Maclaine phase. Good times.

  94. Mibbitmaker
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    It’s just been an oversnarpologies kind of month lately…

    “How did your wife die, again?”
    “Well, Mary, she…. insisted on squeezing the Charmin! (sob!)”

    A3G: “It’s because… well…. Evan, you’re kind of an idiot, too.”

    MT: The middle panel is just Trail standing there while an echoing sound quietly fills his thought-averse noggin.

    FW: Needing a paycheck just to survive. What blind, mercinary greed!

    H&J: Too late, the Pope even tweets these days. (nobody tell him!)

  95. Illustrator Steve
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    MT – Wearing his work uniform, Pop takes a moment to chat with Mark while waiting on the dock for the next water taxi to take him to his job at Lion Country Safari.

  96. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#61):

    The guy in the middle is wondering if he’s supposed to blow out the figures on top and make a wish.

    It’s a holiday party cake (albeit not of a kind I’ve ever seen), so if he blows out the candles, he should follow up by turning water into wine.

  97. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#88):
    <a href=""Spiderman&quot; features both protagonist and antagonist in the “check out my package” shot. Two similar things make a trend, right?

    I just made that comment twice. Two similar things… never mind.

  98. Brian Weaver
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    I am sorry. I tried to come up with meaningful, philosophically incite for today’s strips, but I, I couldn’t. Since the strips are all so unrelentingly stupid in my opinion, I think I’ll juts sit here morosely drinking that can of rubbing alcohol I’ve been saving for the holidays, and eating gingerbread cookies, like , mom used to make, before she…she…started using the microwave and those cardboard tubes of dough that …she uses now. It tastes OK, I guess, but I don’t know, it’s just not the same.

  99. hogenmogen
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    Whoop. Sorry about the messed up tag.

  100. Will
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    SFx: So that obviously nervous and shifty pig-man isn’t part of the scheme?

  101. Mibbitmaker
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    MW: “John Dill” is really short for “John Dillinger”. Which makes her cause of death much less of a mystery than one might otherwise think.

  102. Illustrator Steve
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    MT – “Pop, do you think Otto and his friends are going to keep the ransom money instead of using it to help the islanders?”

    “No, Mark. Otto wants to help the islanders. He is planning on using the entire $2,000,000.00 to replace all of the dead palm trees on our island, just like that big dead brown palm tree behind us. Otto says the islanders may starve to death but at least they will have pretty green palm trees to look at and they won’t have to worry about being hit in the head by some DEAD COCONUT falling from some OLD DEAD palm tree!”

    “Hmmmm, speaking of coconuts, I wonder how the folks back home are.”

  103. Mr. Mxyzptlk
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    Herb and Jamaal: “Dear God; please send me a joke…”

  104. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    FW I must say I’m surprised noone has commented on the amputee in the room. I guess today ‘mudges are really, really busy… Oh, say… Busier than a one-armed cane hanger?

  105. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    The cake is hilarious. It looks like some overpriced item for an 8 year old from F.A.O. Schwartz, littered with – what? Ponies? Dancing cats? Sheep?

    And why is James Joyce at the CStone party?

    “Bisexual jealousy grift” sounds like an awesome name for a band.

  106. Ross
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    The cake is obviously just there for people to admire, what with no plates or utensils around. Not that it would matter, seeing as the slices would be bigger than a dinner plate.

  107. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @Little Blue Bicycle (#4):
    Is it a Gretsch? (Est. 1883)

    Re: MT panel two, I propose we have stickers of a commentless Mark panel made up – then plaster them everywhere and anywhere possible.

  108. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    MT — I now realize that Pop is carrying a small bucket, not a purse. But I still wonder about his feeding-the-pelicans routine, given that these islanders are supposed to be so desperate for…um…kicky new khaki?

  109. Jerry Fox, from Cleveland
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#41): Mmm…too soon?

  110. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#101): Woah! — Does that mean Charterstone is really where outlaws and bandits go when they die? After a lifetime of freedom, adrenaline and mayhem, I can see why that would be a sort of hell for them — tho’ perhaps its more of a purgatory and Mary Worth née Frith is trying to work her way out by acting as a self-declared demarcator of decency and domesticity.

  111. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    A3G — It’s rather marvelous that someone in this strip finally had the insight to realize that someone else in the strip is an idiot. The danger will be if the insight spreads and increases to the point that everyone in the strip realizes that everyone in the strip is an idiot. Then you’ve got GASOLINE ALLEY.

  112. Shrug, Stripping All the Fun Out of the Joke
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#y135):

    ““Phoenix Riesing” is an awesome stripper name, and Honey and Ginger get to keep their professional handles. . .”

    I don’t recall hearing that anatomical term before, but I guess it makes sense in this case.

  113. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    @[Bold Man] Muffaroo (#71): re doones… Boopsie (or at least “Hunk-Ra”) was probably there and helped in the construction, which explains why the calendar is defective.

  114. Jerry Fox, from Cleveland
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#59): Toni: “She’s my niece AND my daughter!” TJ: “Forget it, Brad. It’s Chinatown.”

  115. Here come the Judge
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I’m getting a kick out of how Evan’s aunt basically treats him crap, and he just keeps coming back for more. Hey, maybe he was the perfect match for Margo after all!

  116. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#94):
    Re: MW – hahahaha! Nice one.
    Looks like a kinescopically recorded ad! Coool

  117. pastordan, is not aware of all internet conventions
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    I want to make it absolutely clear that I have never used that stupid joke about knee mail, not even in a church newsletter. I may have passively tolerated it, but that’s another story.

    Also, in re: yesterday’s 9 Chickweed Lane: the pledge to “obey” is only ever required if you’re using an antiquated rubric from the Book of Common Prayer. McEldowney would know this if he’d ever gotten anywhere near the altar in the past 50 years.

  118. UncleJeff
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    MW: Something tells me Mary’s “prior committment” was a visit to John Dill’s insurance agent to find out the date that the company is paying out on the late Mrs. Dill’s policy.
    The policy that Mary helped secure for the company thanks to her Charterstone territorial rights on convincing elderly residents to take out term life insurance policies.
    All she asked was a small kickback on the premiums, referral fees and the occasional policy that names Mary as beneficiary.

  119. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    @agony (#76): Let’s put it this way… I used to work management for a large customer care company that loved putting call centers in places like Westview/Funkyville, Ohio. High unemployment, low wage-base, desperate population and governments, lax employment and environmental regulation enforcement… . We put scores of call-center seats all over the Rust Belt, and regularly got away with morally reprehensible acts that you just couldn’t do in other places.

    I wonder who Crazy Harry pissed off that he couldn’t get a night-shift position at the local call center.

  120. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    JP — Not only is the elopement being mishandled, but so is the argument over it. When you’re showing the lives of fictional super-rich beautiful people, you’re supposed to embroil them in interestingly horrible situations so the less wealthy and attractive readers/watchers can enjoy some schadenfreude. Either have April unexpectedly burst in with a gun and shoot Katherine, or move on.

  121. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    @Dood (#54):
    Ew, it’s a salmon cake! With anise-flavored icing!

  122. Gringo
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    @Dono (#15): Funky isn’t about writing, it’s about wronging.

  123. Chaze
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    “So, John Dill, your wife died, eh? That’s a heluva pickle (ahem….ahem.). Excuse me, I have to go over and sit on that hideous cake.”

  124. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    @agony (#76): @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#119): I’m surprised that Crazy Harry hasn’t come up with the wonderful and original idea of opening a small second-hand/antique store. I’ve driven through Iowa towns too small to support a gas station, let alone a cafe, but they still have one or two or even three little stores selling old dressmaker dummies and farm tools. I figure the rent for some of those places must be about $60 per annum for them to break even.

  125. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#119):

    Yes, I remember that the people who started calling my cell phone 3 times per day, seven days per week, starting the first day my wife was late on a $35 minimum payment for her Macy’s card were calling from the Columbus, Ohio area. I made it a practice to suggest other occupations the caller could pursue that might have more socially redeeming value, but never stooped so low as to advise them to seek employment selling used comic books to doting grandmothers.

  126. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#124): well, they could always just take in each others laundry. . . .

  127. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    @Chaze (#123):

    Excuse me, I have to go over and sit on that hideous cake.”

    Oh, thanks: the one thing in all creation that could make that cake more hideous is a Mary Worth ass-dent.

  128. Alice
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Dear God, another Shannon storyline. As always when that grating little hellspawn shows up, I’ll be taking a break from the strip, since I can’t even stomach her ironically. I’d rather have a few weeks straight of Luann/Quill videos.

    …What am I saying?! No, no I wouldn’t.

  129. bobbaloo
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    if I knew how to post an image of this book cover I would, but since I don’t, I’ll have to link to the inspiration of Herb and Jamal:

  130. Marc
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    9CL- The smile doctor should realize that the best way to improve Edda’s smile is to punch all of her teeth out.

    A3G- Aunt Cathy, she of the magically rearranging room and color changing collar, is the only person who has been able to recognize what a complete and utter moron Evan is. Although the thought of her trying to seduce Greg is horrifying.

    Mark Trail- Maybe that pelican will be able to find a way to break up this insanely boring conversation.

    Mary Worth- I’m honestly surprised that there has been a cake just sitting out there in the open and Wilbur hasn’t dove into it face first yet.

    Funky- Maybe a squirrell will jump out of the tree and scamper off with Pedophile John’s hideous wig.

    Luann- Toni is really just leanring that Bwad is a failure now? I mean she’s a horrible white trash bitch herself, but you’d have to be fucking deaf, dumb, and blind to not pick up on how stupid that guy is.

  131. Spunde
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary’s sure doing some balls-to-the-wall neurolinguistic programming on poor John Dill. First, the induced trance by not completing the explanation of why she failed him in his greatest need, then, just for shits and grins, the brutal equivocation, “Others are glad, too!” Not for John, not with him, but just coincidentally.

    And now, when for the first time in decades John Dill is alone, he will feel glad whenever he sees people turning away from him.

    Why, you ask? Why would Mary do this to a harmless, grieving neighbor?

    Two words: Pool party!

  132. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#126):

    … well, they could always just take in each others laundry …

    They’ve done that ever since some idiot smoked the pack of cigarettes they’d been bartering since WWII.

  133. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    Zits: Mercifully, we don’t see how Jeremy uses that amazing below-writst speed in the shower.

  134. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    @Alice (#128):

    Grating she may be, but the good thing about a Shannon storyline is that she can be reliably expected to inflict pain and embarassment on the other characters in Luann. Unfortunately, Puddles the Puppy was the only one injured the last time she appeared, but there is still a good chance that B-Wad or Toni will be hurt.

    Plus, there is always the Damocles’ Sword of her parentage that just might fall someda – wait, this is Luann, where dangling plotlines are held up by steel chains to prevent them from ever advancing. Nevermind!

  135. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    Cake? The cake is a lie. To the swinging Charterstone party John “Dillweed” Dill brought his cremated wife in her favorite hat box.

  136. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#126): Just to clarify, I like small towns and try to patronize their businesses when I can. And there are some nice businesses to patronize. But dang, it’s frustrating to need gas and/or a meal and to look around and realize that I’m in Second-Hand-Shoppeville again and will have to leave hungry and fuel-less. I’ll take a chance on just about any little lunch place, but I can’t eat old aprons:-).

  137. Shrug, Providing Raw Material for the "Piled Higher and Deeper" Part
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#6):

    ” (lynn again, still proctoring exam; students think I am working on my doctoral thesis.)”

    And we’re all waiting for that first doctoral thesis to come out of ‘Mudge snark.

    I’m thinking something on the order of :

    The Economy of Subtextual Discourse: Neoconceptualist Nihilism, Lacanist Obscurity and Discourses of Rubicon Considered as Cultural Poststructural Theory in the Postsemiotic Panel Art of “Marmaduke”

    /// O.K., I gave you the title; that’s the hard part. Now all you have to do is write it.

  138. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#132): “TWO ha’pennies!

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#133): It does explain why Sarah sticks around, though.

  139. Shrug, Sensing a Frosty Atmosphere
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    @Deb D (#16):

    “Okay, I’m genuinely confused. If they’re glad John Dill had his wife for as long as he did, why are they all ignoring him and gathering around the pink unicorn cake?”

    John’s wife made the cake just before she died, dragging herself out of his sick bed to the oven. If she had died earlier, they would have had to order out to the local bakery, and while the bakery’s cakes are better, they would have had to pay for one.

    /// The “pink” part is from her phlegm.

  140. Chip Whittle
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    Apartment 3-G: Aunt Cathy’s comment implies there are jobs which are not above Evan’s skill level. What could those be, apart from “not marrying an Apartment 3-G character”?

  141. Charterstoned
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    MW – This has all the hallmarks of a Festivus Pool Party, what with that pole in the first panel, and the Salmon Cake decorated with leaping…somethings. Excellent. The Airing of Grievances is about to begin.

  142. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Sensing a Frosty Atmosphere (#139): Ewww.

    @Little Blue Bicycle (#4): Cavalry drum. Love it.

    @hogenmogen (#25): I want a cake the size of an oil barrel.

    @hogenmogen (#34): Honestly, the whole situation is pitiable. You need to drown your sorrows with a cake the shape of something between a cavalry drum and an oil barrel.

    @Naked Bunny with a Whip (#83): God has a spam filter? That explains Pluggers.

  143. Trilobite
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    If collectively worshipping a giant pink pony-themed cake is the way the residents of Charterstone indicate that they’re sorry for John Dill’s loss but happy to see him at a pool party again, I can’t wait to see what they’ll do when tragedy befalls one of the four people they actually give a crap about. Quick, someone push Dawn Weston down a well, I want to see how they’ll decorate the giant sandwich they’ll make to comfort Wilbur!

  144. Cleve Barrister
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    JP: Sorry, but can’t the writers recall what they had Katherine saying 2 days ago re “being OK” with all of this? Unless, of course, she’s a totally passive-agressive witch who goes all full-court psycho on Judge Parker to vent her rage (course, as a husband, I fully understand getting blamed for things you had nothing to do with; living with irrationality is just part of the package deal…)

  145. Droopy Says
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    Spiderdick: Captain Obvious here, and I’ve just figured out that Moe the chimp has an alibi: Spider the idiot. When the tiara goes missing, no amount of evidence and eyewitness testimony will pin the blame on Moe, because everyone knows a chimp can’t handle a crime of this complexity . . . but here’s Spiderman, at the scene of a crime in an oddly-deserted section of Las Vegas with the lamest explanation since “I didn’t break the window, a masked man came by and threw my baseball at it, then runned away!” And here’s Jameson to testify that Spiderman keeps showing up at the scene of crimes, and here’s Kraven to testify that Spiderdork has a grudge against him, and here’s a primatologist to testify that chimpanzees are physically and mentally incapable of pulling off a burglary, and here’s a Hollywood animal trainer to testify that the way the movies show complex animal actions is to either use CGI or painstakingly film each act separately, then edit them together.

    Incidentally, Peter Parker is supposed to be some sort of scientific genius. Why does he spend his spare time watching idiot TV shows instead of reading journals, studying textbooks and visiting web sites that involve actual science? As for his theory of the crime, this isn’t the sort of deductive thinking you’d expect from the average high-school science-fair winner. This guy functions at the level of Gunther-the-Worm: he can stitch together his own pathetic costume, then go somewhere and look foolish.

    Family Circus: Remind granny that Xmas is eight days away? Ha, ha, Keane Kid, the Mayan Apocalypse will get you first!

  146. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

  147. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#125): Sorry ’bout that. The company I worked for was an upscale call-management company — meaning “inbound” calls only, never “outbound”. Therefore, I can’t even begin to judge to quality (or desperation) of employees working for outbound centers.

  148. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#130):
    A3G – well, remember the older secretary in Mad Men who died at her desk? Mrs. Blankenship or something? Apparently she was mad into the kink with Roger Sterling, that dirty dirty girl.
    (Actually, when they discovered her at her desk, it was pretty funny to me – does that make me a bad person?)

  149. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#140): Outbound call center employee, Westview Ohio?

  150. Inkwell
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    Is it just me, or did they just slip a SURPRISE LES MOORE CAMEO in today’s Mary Worth? How often does he hold funerals for St. Lisa Eleanor?

  151. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    @btown (#89): COTW-worthy!

    @Chaze (#123): See above. Imagining someone sitting on a cake is inherently hilarious, brought to a new level when said cake looks like the hassock from a fifteenth century harem room.

    @Uncle Lumpy (#127): Newest novel from Ken Grisham: Hideous is a Mary Worth Ass-dent.

    @Marc (#130) on Luann: It’s Toni, not Tommy of Pinball Wizard fame.

  152. Charly
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    “I feel like getting married, or committing suicide, or subscribing to Ask Wendy. Something desperate, you know.”
    ? Albert Camus, A Happy Death

  153. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#13): If that were my dog, his muzzle would be red from freshly-rended clown flesh.

  154. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Sensing a Frosty Atmosphere (#139):
    Did you ever see the film “Tampopo”?
    In one scene, a Japanese woman – wife, mother, is dying – the father implores/forces her to cook one last meal so they can imbibe part of her spirit and existence. She cooks for them (Father saying “eat! eat” to his kids, as they are all crying) and then she croaks. Fascinating film, and perhaps the only true food porn movie.

  155. Danel
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    H&J: Because the only person that he can talk to is God. He has absolutely no one else, in this world or the next.

  156. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    December 17th, 2012 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    @Trilobite (#143): They appear to be worshiping that cake in much the same way that the Hebrews worshipped the Golden Calf during the Exodus. Too bad there isn’t a band of roving sword-wielding Levites in Santa Royale right now…

  157. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#154): Tampopo sounds like the number 1 rental at the Westview Blockbuster Video, before Blockbuster got cancer and closed down.

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#156): We can always pray for sword-wielding Levites.

  158. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    @Charly (#152): Those 3 choices sound redundant to me. Kind of like committing suicide in Westview.

  159. Jelli
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    No, no, you’ve got the need part backwards. You should read it has “If Crazy can make a mother looked amused instead of outraged by an anatomy-defying T&A laden Catwoman comic, then I need to hire him!”

  160. Irrischano
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    He thinks fax machines are “modern”, calls e-mail “electronic mail”, yet doesn’t refer to cell phones as “cellular telephones?” What kind of out of touch old man is he?

  161. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#154): Tampopo is great, but I submit that Big Night also qualifies as food porn — I’m still trying to find an Italian restaurant in My Fair City that makes timballo.

  162. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#157):
    It is truly a weird film – first time I saw it was in San Francisco in 1988 while visiting friends. Was an artsy little cinema – I believe we saw T and “Goldfinger” as a double feature.

  163. pastordan, snark late shift
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#154): That movie is crazy. Loads of fun, too.

  164. Yahtzee
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    I like the cunning, the cruelty, the sheer amorality of this “Aunt Cathy.” Surely the big reveal will be that “Cathy” is an alias, and this is actually Future Margo, come back through time to take on the only adversary worthy of her her wrath: Herself.

  165. Calico
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    @Cetacean Love Buzz (#161):
    I’ll have to find “Big Night” online or, well, online! : D

  166. Daniel
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    MT I know pelicans, and that big bird’s either gonna beg for whatever colorless gobbet Khaki Guy is holding for him–or it’s gonna go for the whole bucket (I mean, they’re very good at SEEING fish).

  167. Mr Frog
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Yes, Toni, Brad has failed the “dad test”, and — brace yourself, dear, I’d hate to see your pretty little head explode from the startling revelations I’m about to drop on it — I’m willing to bet that, tomorrow morning, the sun will rise! Meanwhile, gravity will continue to pull down, the Earth’s atmosphere will be largely composed of air, and Brad will be a completely-worthless waste of mass-energy by any definition of value you choose to judge him by.

  168. bobbaloo
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

  169. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

  170. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    @Yahtzee (#164): The thing I like about the Cathy-Is-Margo time travel theory is that it solves its own paradox. By destroying her own livelihood in the past, Margo-Cathy creates the future that compels her to seek more extreme sources of revenue. The question remains, however, whether the time travel is accomplished by technological or demonic means.

    Also, one must wonder if Cathy knows she is Margo or if she has amnesia. I’m inclined to think it’s amnesia and that it’s the stress of losing all of her clients right around the holidays (holidays which no one wants to spend with her) that causes Margo to experience a psychotic break so severe as to necessitate the creation of an even more aggressive, abrasive, and abusive identity.

  171. Droopy Says
    December 17th, 2012 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#146): If only the melonheads were as smart as that kid . . . wait, if they were that smart, they wouldn’t be as tragically funny. Some day Billy is going to come home from school and say “Mommy, the teacher keeps saying two plus two equals four, but every time I ask her what she’s counting, she says . . . uh, mommy? I forgot what I’m talking about!”

    Mary Mirthless: I saw the summary and thought “Who is John Dill?” but I’m not going to wade into Atlas Meddled.

  172. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#171):

    I saw the summary and thought “Who is John Dill?” but I’m not going to wade into Atlas Meddled.

    Ah-ha! So the nonsensical string of free-form proverbs, aphorisms and out-of-context song lyrics that Mary’s been dutifully typing these many months must be John Dill’s 384-page speech explaining who he is and why he organized a strike of the world’s meddlers!

  173. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#85): Puppies!

    And a Charterstone pool party, complete with genuine Mary Blather; a pathetic, bereft male; and a large, pink . . . well, I don’t actually know what the hell that thing is, but it’s mesmerizing!

  174. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    A3G-Even, this calls for black belt level manipulation and you are still a white belt.

    RMMD-”You’re going to be mobbed and hung from the tallest lamp post for saving Edna. We don’t take kindly to out of towners saving our elderly.”

    FW-”I’ve also had Crazy change the spelling of his name to ‘Krazy’.”

  175. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Luann – In your Curmudgeonly focus on the negative, everyone is missing the key tests that B-Wad does pass:

    1 – The “too dim to question Shannon’s maternity” test.
    2 – The “too whipped to be upset when Toni gets him fired” test
    3 – The “too clueless to see through the 100th ‘Not tonight, Brad, I have a woman thing going on all month’ excuse” test
    4 – The “too trusting to question the fingernail marks down Toni’s back that appear after every garbage collection day” test
    5 – The “too ignorant to wonder why Toni buys those rubber balloons in individually-wrapped packages” test
    6 – The “too hilarious to learn not to pick up the balloons when he finds them next to the garbage cans, and then tries to blow them up” test

    and finally,

    7 – The “still hasn’t seen Toni naked, thus hasn’t questioned the ‘Property of Dirk’ tattoo just above her treasure trail” test.

  176. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    @Cetacean Love Buzz (#170):

    Also, one must wonder if Cathy knows she is Margo or if she has amnesia.

    Future Margo awakes in the present as Aunt Cathy, her mind and will consumed by a single thought: “… must … kill … Margo!”

  177. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    MW-”I was busy removing some evidence that in no way whatsoever would connect me to Elanor’s death.”

  178. Anonymous
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#84): Good! Now just picture the elf queen scene from Lord of the Rings:
    Mary: All shall love me!!!!

  179. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    Luann-”Sure I like to cum. I like to cum every night.”

  180. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    MW-”Wow! Isn’t this great. Here I am a middle age man and you got me a pink frosted cake with ponies on it. You must have me confused with a six year old girl.”

  181. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    MW-And through the magic of panel break Mary changed from a red shirt to a white shirt.

  182. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#173): “a large, pink . . . ” wastebasket! It’s a wastebasket.

  183. PriceCheck
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    Personally, I think that the second panel of Mark Trail is a reaction shot, like some comedies use to establish that a joke has been made. “I just don’t know Mark, he’s a strange man!” BA DUM TSH.

  184. Mikey
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    It’s very dangerous to have a creature running around Vegas that has the upper body strength of 5 men and the brain of a 2nd grader. The chimp ain’t good either.

  185. KreatureFeatures
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    MW: Stand back everybody, Katie Perry is here!

  186. pastordan, is not aware of all internet conventions
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#169): Really, according to TheGoogle’s dictionary:

    2. A direction in a liturgical book as to how a church service should be conducted.

  187. Voshkod
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    Expeditionary Journal – Day Eight

    When I awoke there were only six of us left, stuck here on this endless pink plain. Sometimes I think I can hear horses, galloping somewhere in the distance, but there’s nothing, just pink. Jones finally broke down, fell to his knees on the pink surface and wailed. He buried his face in it, then laughed, hysterically, saying how sweet it was. We left him there and marched on.

    Carruthers keeps talking about “the big blow,” some apocalyptic wind he fears is coming. He keeps saying “the blow will put us out!” This incessant jabbering is hurting morale. If he can’t restrain himself, I’ll have to deal with him.

    The clouds above seem to resolve themselves into hideous human faces. The wind sounds like an old lady’s voice, offering advice no one wants to hear. Madness is all around this place. Whatever happens, we will march on. We must.

  188. Hibbleton
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

  189. bbofun
    December 17th, 2012 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#42): That’s right! Irving berlin, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire- everyone involved in ‘Holiday Inn”, they were the ringleaders! IT’S A CONSPIRACY, I TELLS YA!

  190. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#182):

    “a large, pink . . . ” wastebasket! It’s a wastebasket.

    Or perhaps… a diorama of the sinking of La Gran Unita! (or whatever that cruise ship was called).

  191. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#180):

    MW-”Wow! Isn’t this great. Here I am a middle age man and you got me a pink frosted cake with ponies on it. You must have me confused with a six year old girl.”

    Yes. Emily Smith. And there’s Rainbow Swirl ice cream, too!

  192. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#180):

    In this week’s Very Special Episode of Mary Worth, Mary confronts John Dill and learns all about Bronies!

    (Fluttershy is his favorite!)

  193. Downpuppy
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#154): @Baka Gaijin (#157): What, Eat Drink Man Woman, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and, of course, Nine 1/2 Weeks are chopped liver?

    The last 2 you’d probably prefer chopped liver, but still, it’s a genre. And the first one is a damn fine movie, even without cherry pie.

  194. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @KreatureFeatures (#185): Ah, Katy Perry cake dive. Well, John’s wife would have wanted it this way. Or at any rate there’s no way we can ask her now.

  195. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    @Downpuppy (#193): If chopped liver is your thing, then I’d also recommend Cannibal Holocaust!

  196. Marc
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#151): Actually I think even Tommy of Pinball Wizard fame would be able to recognize what a dunce Brad is.

  197. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    MW A great big pink pony cake! But you know what this party needs now? A soundtrack!

    Charterstone’s Pool is shining in the light.
    All the sweet pink ponies jumping round,
    Someone left the cake out in the sun.
    I don’t think we should eat it.
    Mary took such pains to bake it,
    But she’ll never share that recipe again, oh no!

  198. These Strange Worlds
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman and Price Valiant axed by Sunday Chron…

    The Houston Chronicle cut out two pages from the Sunday comics yesterday and today they confirmed to me in email that both Spiderman and Price Valiant are gone for good from the Sunday Chronicle.

    Not sure what else they cut. I never saw any annoucement. Since they have disabled comments on “the funnies” it’s also hard to say if anyone noticed or complained.

  199. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    @These Strange Worlds (#198): Geez! They could have at least combined them with another strip. I’d be all over Judge Spider-Prince, for instance.

  200. Mr K Martin
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    YESTERDAY’S BETTER HALF: (Sorry I’m late) I can kinda sorta understand the continuation of certain legacy strips. People love old characters and can’t seem to let them go. Say what you will of Beetle, Snuffy, Mary Worth and the rest, but if you liked them before they still look like their old selves. Yep. That’s our old sandwich-eating friend Dagwood all right.

    But “The Better Half”? How many people still know (or care) about the old Bob Barnes one-panel item? Not that it was especially bad, but how big a fan base was there in it’s glory years? I don’t remember Harriet and Stanley having distinct personalities, but they at least had recognizable appearances. Now those are gone and they don’t even look like the same characters.

    In fact, this looks like what would happen if Olive Oyl married Ziggy.

  201. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    December 17th, 2012 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    @Cetacean Love Buzz (#199): Aleta and Valeta with huge knockers, and Prince Val sitting in front of a TV doing nothing but racking in the cash. My kind of comic.

  202. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#157): re: Tampopo: Some of the stories/vignettes are actually quite funny, and there’s a whole running Western-style plot about noodle houses, but it really kicks into gear when the guy starts eating food off the woman’s stomach.

    Chocolat has its sexy food appeal, I think, and I suppose that one might argue that Padma tasting anything on Top Chef would count.

  203. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#201): I’m just looking forward to any scene featuring King A. Arthur Utherson.

  204. demoncat
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    mw sorry i could not come to your wives funneral had to convince a friend to give a potential one armed pycho and her future killer to give him another chance. besides soon i will find you your new mate.

  205. SF_Reader
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    MW – I’m sure Dill, as in John Dill, is short for Dildo. And oh god, please, let a naked Dawn jump out of that cake!

  206. gleeb
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    Slylock: And a poor unfortunate four-armed bear-man is needlessly harassed. Are you proud of yourselves? Anyway, folks, if your family nae is “Swipe”, just change it; it’ll only end in a life of crime.

    Barney Google: Handcuff whippings are up 15% this year alone in Hootin’ Holler.

    ‘bean: Entering our fourth week of this saga, it certainly wasn’t about speed. Anyway, Crazy Harry will make a fine addition to the staff of the Komix Korner, because John has a hard time communicating with anyone but 14-year-old boys. See, a happy ending!

    Battle of the Parkers!: Randy’s plan is falling into place. Having stepped into his old man’s job, he will now destroy Pop’s marriage, and eventually his life. There can only be one Judge Parker at a time!

    Mary: That’s OK, Mary, I’m sure Mr Dill appreciates that you have to spend weeks at a time sequestered away managing Dawn Weston’s life and writing her dad’s column.

    THRex-1138: Rex is confused that he is no longer in San Diego, but in a featureless void, trapped with two surfer dudes.

    Baldo: The fire inspector shook his head. Another family needlessly dead because some fool put a dry sisal welcome mat by the hearth.

  207. Peanut Gallery
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    MW – Even if I had known there was such a thing as a “sorry your wife died” cake, I never would’ve imagined it looked like that.

  208. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#40): a phrase, I hope, that no human being has ever uttered.

    Actually, it was one of the first questions on the intake form for my new dentist. (Basically, they want to know whether it’s worth pestering you about things like Invisalign and tooth whitening.)

  209. Peanut Gallery
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    @Chaze (#123):
    “Don’t worry, Mary, everything’s kosher. I’m cool as a cucumber.”
    “Good. Well, I’ve got to go mingle; these pool parties are my bread-and-butter.”

  210. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#209): “Sweet.”

  211. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    @agony (#76): I suspect that manga doesn’t exist in this world, for the simple reason that the cartoonist has his head stuck in the world of silver age American comics.

  212. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @Chaze (#123), Peanut Gallery (#209), and @Cetacean Love Buzz (#210):

    You guys are just gherkin our chains.

  213. Zerowolf
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    MW: What is with all the tiny people on the top of the cake? Is Charterstone really a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Later Day Saints compound and this is a wedding reception? If so, is that Charlie and his adoring brides?

  214. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#187): HAR! And thanks for the memories of Twain’s cheery epic THE GREAT DARK. Scarred me for life at the age of twelve, it did.

  215. Zerowolf
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    FW: Nothing says Christmas by decorating the black pyramid of despair.

  216. mr12ozcan
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    mary worth- at the angle that mary is standing next to john dill in panal one with her hands not being shown . could she be holding john dillls pickle ? kiss my canadian ass if you dont like what i have to say . tata for now

  217. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#212): Oh, don’t be such a sourpuss.

  218. This Guy
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    @Irrischano (#160): “Oh, my cellular telephone is ringing. Ahoy-hoy? Oh, I’m sorry, you’ve caught me just as I was about to send a message to Prussia on the fax-trola. Then I have to put on a dinner jacket so I can receive an electronic mail from the King of Siam!”

    @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#211): Wasn’t there some storyline in Funkytown a while back where someone (probably John the Comic Cornerman) was tried for allegedly selling h-manga to underage persons? I recall reading about it on ANN, but that was before I discovered this site. I don’t remember the year.

  219. Zerowolf
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    JP: What’s the use of all this wealth if we can’t flaunt it by having a wedding so lavish as to make the Windsor’s look like a trailer-trash backyard shotgun affair?

  220. Zerowolf
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: When did Johnny and Edgar Winter become surfer dudes?

  221. Flonatin of Bologna
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    MW: Based on the cake-topper, I assume that someone at Charterstone is moving to Utah.

  222. Cetacean Love Buzz
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    @Zerowolf (#219): No wedding is so lavish that the next one won’t be even more lavish, and then who ends up looking like they were trailer-trash shotgun married? But if Randy and April have a super-secret CIA wedding (news of which they strategically leak to certain un-invitees in advance), they make everyone else look like a bunch of nouveau riche vulgarians! Plus, they can still indulge in some conspicuously inconspicuous consumption by constructing a secret subterranean marriage lair complex and hiring Blackwater Xe Services Academi to provide security.

  223. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 17th, 2012 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    @pastordan, is not aware of all internet conventions (#186): Yes, I got that too. But I read it as a heading, not the specific words, the text or body of a specific service. Etymologically, it refers to the red-letter section heads, I’m sure you know.

    I suppose you could extend it, technically a synecdoche, a kind of metaphor where the part is used for the whole, or vice-versa. And evidently, you do.

    // I didn’t call you on it just to be dickish. I just hadn’t heard it used that way before.

  224. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 17th, 2012 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    @gleeb (#206): And a poor unfortunate four-armed bear-man is needlessly harassed.

    Well, he was fore-warned.

  225. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    December 17th, 2012 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    I was considering starting a second strip about a dentist…after all I am one…called Down At The Mouth, maybe. But after today’s 9CL I had second thoughts.

  226. Eric
    December 17th, 2012 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    I wish that speech balloon wasn’t jutting into Mark Trail’s second panel, so we could admire an entire panel of just Mark’s face, doing nothing.

  227. I am Jack's username
    December 17th, 2012 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    So the priest in H&J is saying he gets the best results when he blows Christ?

  228. tallyHO
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#224):

    Yeah. And, that was two weeks ago so he should have known better.

  229. Liam
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey-Sorry Beetle but you have to keep digging holes for the guys who made the world a better place.

  230. tallyHO
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#228):

    I was a’ for that quip before I posted it. Now I’m against it.

    //the pun was messed up. fortnight…two weeks.

  231. AndyL
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    “Looks like the others are also glad you could come. I can tell by the way not one single person is looking in your direction. “

  232. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    @Zerowolf (#219): Good point — I’d like to see an Official JP Overpowering-The-Windsors Wedding Dress. I suspect amazing new feats of mammary projection might be involved.

  233. AndyL
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    “He asked for manga? I’ve got something better. I’m sure your son will love to own this antique comic book, priced at collector’s prices. I recommend not letting him take it out of the plastic.”

  234. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#230): Ah! Fortnight! The scales fall from my eyes – tho’ it’s hard to see how to work the pun in right. Best to break out ol’ Clement Woods, open a 4th fifth, and work it into a song!

    // There’s a largish bank in the Midwest, called the Fifth Fourth National Bank. It was formed by the merger of the Fourth National Bank, and the Fifth National Bank. The Fourth was the larger institution at the time of the merger, so it should have been called the Fourth Fifth Bank, but it was felt by those involved that that name sounded more like a good party, than a financial institution.

    True story.

  235. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#187): Long form COTW!

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#190): The wreck of the Hesperus maybe?

    @Marc (#196): Helen Keller could recognize what a noodge Brad deGroot is, and she’s been dead for a few decades.

    @Mr K Martin (#200): Much like lean finely textured beef, The Better Half is a cheap filler. (AKA “pink slime”)

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#202): Hmmm.

  236. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#232):

    Should be an impressive jut-fest:

    Matron of Honor – Katharine Parker
    Maid of Honor – Abbey Spencer
    Bridesmaid #1 – Gloria Sanchez
    Bridesmaid #2 – Godiva Danube
    Bridesmaid #3 – Neddy Spencer
    Bridesmaid #4 – Sociology Hooker
    Bridesmaid #5 – Dixie Julep (in memoriam)
    Flower Girl – Sophie

  237. Peanut Gallery
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#223): If you put six of them together you could make a rubric’s cube.

  238. Jamus The Bartender
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: If it’s a New York City subway, I usually ask myself “What Would Rorschach Do?” Then, proceed to break fingers, while asking, “I’ve just broken this gentlemen’s little finger….where are Sam Swipe and Horace Hood?”
    Oh, hey, there’s Carla Cat. It’s been a while….damn.

  239. Peanut Gallery
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#189): How nefarious! That settles it, this year I’m going to watch “Best Western” instead.

  240. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    @SF_Reader (#205): AAAHHH! I’m blind, I’m blind!

    @gleeb (#206) on Slylock: I wonder what Dingo would say about a four-armed bear-man?

    @Peanut Gallery (#209): Ha ha. I see what you did there.

    @Zerowolf (#215): Damn! I could have saved so much money this holiday season by getting a Black Pyramid of Despair instead of this live Christmas tree.

    @Zerowolf (#219): I have a feeling we’ll be seeing this comment again at the end of the week.

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#234): Isn’t that the Fifth Third Bank based in Cincinnati? I had to get an account there just because of the name.

  241. Anonymous
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    MARY WORTH: In panel two, Dill has a stroke while Mary turns into a young girl with a bleached short & sassy hairdo!

  242. tallyHO
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    @Flonatin of Bologna (#221):

    I know what you are getting at.
    It was just a hop, skip and a jump to realizing that if that is the case then that is the Great Salt Cake.

    //doo da doo da

  243. tallyHO
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#234):

    yeah. Some forays are hoary and should be avoided. I just had that quick thought that it was “fore-night”…instead of “fortnight”.

    As for the Fifth National Bank. That sounds about right. I’m sure I’ve seen something along those lines back before every thing merged and broke everything else.
    //Ah, yes, I remember it well!

  244. cg
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Josh, Your prodigious memory for 5-year-old lame comics punchlines/storylines/copied imagery or characters never ceases to amaze me. What if you used your power for good, like remembering my grocery list? My wife would appreciate it.

  245. Baka Gaijin
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    I know what it is. It’s a pink tabletop tribute to the Lipizzaner Stallions of Austria. Strange, you’d think the horses would be white. That’s those wacky coloring monkeys for you!

    BREAKING NEWS: Heathcliff movie is casting.

  246. tallyHO
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#245):

    soundtrack prediction:

    “Bad to the (Fish)Bone”

    You heard it here first!

    //though, it would be pretty cool if the band Fishbone was on the soundtrack, too. Sorta. I don’t know if it would be good for the band or a sign that not much has gone well for the band.

  247. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    Luann — Assuming “Aunt” Toni is, in the great comics tradition, really Shannon’s mother, is Jonah her ex or her brother? ‘Cause if it’s “brother”, I’ll forgive this strip everything except Hey Boy and the GoComics comment thread.

  248. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#192): yay.

    @Baka Gaijin (#235): “On her back is the Battle of Waterloo
    Beside it the Wreck of the Hesperus, too”

    @tallyHO (#242): it’s just a jump to the left . . .

  249. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#173): aren’t those just the kewtest potatoes?

  250. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#240): Isn’t that the Fifth Third Bank based in Cincinnati? I had to get an account there just because of the name.

    Ouch! You are right, of course. Fifth Third it is!

    // Guess I shouldn’t have started that fourth fifth!

  251. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#248): You CAN learn a lot from Lydia.

  252. Alice
    December 17th, 2012 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#247): So, you’ll forgive “I’m a Snot?”

  253. Uncle Lumpy
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    @Alice (#252):

    For a “child of incest” plot? You betcha.

  254. pastordan, snark late shift
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#223): Yup, no worries. Synecdoche is about right. If you want to be real technical about it, the rubric is just the instructions to the presider: face this way, lift your hands here, bow. The liturgy is the part people say back-and-forth, so it wouldn’t be wrong for me to have said “an outdated liturgy.”

    But “rubric,” if I’m not mistaken, takes in both the liturgy and the mandates that go along with it: when you use this liturgy, you tell the bride to “obey” and “cherish.” That’s the part that really changes, even if most of the liturgy doesn’t: what used to be mandatory is now an option.

    (You know, I could get up and go across the room, pick up a goddamn BCP and tell you exactly what’s different from when, but I’m on a comics site, not the Anglican worship forum. Damn Brooke McEldowney, anyway.)

  255. Poteet
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#236): Wow. The mind boggles.

  256. Lael
    December 17th, 2012 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    I guess the Mary Worth colorists think that when things are farther away, the color fades away. Yes…this is true in many paintings in the history of art as things move toward the horizon (example: Botticelli’s Adoration of the Magi). But, not just a portion of one figure who is standing 8 feet away. Doesn’t work that way.

  257. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#236): I can haz Bea catering the reception?

  258. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:10 am [Reply]

    @pastordan, snark late shift (#254): You know, I could get up and go across the room, pick up a goddamn BCP…


    // Have I ever mentioned the first edition of Newman’s Apologia I picked up for free awhile back? Gloat.

  259. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    You know, this site turned into the Anglican worship forum so gradually…

  260. tallyHO
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#258):

    Have I ever mentioned the first edition of Newman’s Apologia I picked up for free awhile back?

    Paul Newman apologized for how expensive his Oreo knockoffs are? It’s about time!

    //they are tasty though, for what is worth….which is way too much!

  261. tallyHO
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    Missing Panel Three:
    Mary’s thought bubble, as she smiles with that vacant-eyed thousand mile stare:
    “And it has always been my dream to be sculpted in buttercream! That would be the icing on my cake!”

    And, the wind/

    Slylock’s Outdoors Funhouse Mirror: The Winter Edition
    That’s Shocking!
    //but at least the snowman’s happy!

  262. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#260): No, Newman’s point was that according to the 1559 BCP you could wear a stole, chasuble and cope when serving Oreos, but only a surplice, according to the 1662 version. Or maybe it was the other way round. Because of King Edward VI, who was very fond of Chick tracts, because he liked chicks.

  263. Droopy Says
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    Spiderdick: I’m prety sure that whatever the monkey plans requires both human-level intelligence and a certain amount of dexterity, which leaves Parker screwed (what, you thought I was talking about the chimp?)

    Fat Failure Funky: As Skunk Boy succumbs to McEclowney’s disease, he halfwittingly reminds his recovering-alcoholic friend of drinking.

    Phantom: Kit, just because you fake immortality doesn’t mean the lion does it.

    Pluggers: That’s . . . actually good advice, because anyone who would choose to watch Lawrence Welk is already badly disturbed. (Realy, Brookins, is there anyone outside a nursing home who still watches Lawrence Welk unironically?)

    Mock Travail: Otto, thank you for giving Trail a clue. The betting, however, is heavily against him ever figuring out that armed kidnapping is a bad thing.

  264. Droopy Says
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:39 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#259): I don’t worship Anglicans, at least not since the blessed discovery that Arthur C. Clarke was an atheist.

  265. Nehemiah Scudder
    December 18th, 2012 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#264): Sorry, you’ll have to take that up with the Right Venerable Pasdordan, I’m an acolyte of the Blessed Christopher Hitchens, myself.

  266. Frank Lee Meidere
    December 18th, 2012 at 1:24 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#259): Next Sunday’s Gospel reading includes Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, in which Elizabeth gives her benediction to Mary. I just thought members of this site might be interested to know that new documents unearthed by biblical archaeologists show that Mary also presented Elizabeth with some underclothes she’d woven at home. Elizabeth was overjoyed, saying: “”Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your loom.”

    The theological implications of this addition are not great, but… Hold on. Who’s Mark Trail? What’s a Crankshaft?

    Wait a minute! This isn’t the Anglican worship forum!

  267. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    December 18th, 2012 at 1:27 am [Reply]

    Otto: you know that I’m not going to use the two million dollars to help the people?

    Mark: I suspected as much. You’re still going to let me go, though, right? I saved you from sharks!

    Otto: Yeah, yeah. So listen, are you going to make a fuss about me not using the money to help the people?

    Mark: Well, what were you planning to do with the money?

    Otto: Well, I WAS going to put about a million and a half bucks in a Swiss bank account, and use the rest to improve my house, but now I see that I should put a million in the Swiss account, spend 500 grand fixing up the place – I was thinking of a badminton court- and put the other 500 grand into an account in YOUR name.

    Mark: How will that help the people?

    Otto: I’m thinking that a few relaxing rounds of badminton every evening will make me a more relaxed, and therefore a less vicious and sadistic leader.

    Mark: Make that 750 and you got a deal.

  268. seismic-2
    December 18th, 2012 at 2:15 am [Reply]

    A3G: “There goes ol’ Cathy Windwood! Good ol’ Cathy Windwood… Yes, sir! Good ol’ Cathy Windwood… How I hate her!” – Li’l Shermy Evan

  269. Ed Bob
    December 18th, 2012 at 5:02 am [Reply]

    Anyone else having trouble getting Times Union comics page?

  270. zerowolf
    December 18th, 2012 at 5:35 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#240):

    What ever Dingo would have written, one thing is certain: It would make “The Aristocrats” look like wholesome family entertainment.

  271. Liam
    December 18th, 2012 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    @Ed Bob (#269):

    Do they do stuff with Comics Kingdom? I’m having trouble getting to that site.

  272. Liam
    December 18th, 2012 at 7:40 am [Reply]

    MW-For a cake that gaudy looking you would expect a stripper would jump out of it.

  273. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 18th, 2012 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#272):

    That is still the plan, and she is still hiding in the cake, they just have to wait for Rex Morgan to show up and resuscitate her first before she can jump out.

  274. Anonymous
    December 18th, 2012 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    MW: Can a comics character win COTW? If so, then ” I’ve always dreamed of becoming a professional cake designer!” will win, hands down, or up, or whatever.

  275. Little A.
    December 18th, 2012 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    The previous comment was me, or I.

  276. LurkerMan
    December 18th, 2012 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    Remember, kids: even when facing violent home invaders, politeness counts.

  277. Owen
    December 20th, 2012 at 4:07 am [Reply]

    Others have already noted the anachronistic reference in Herb & Jamaal to fax machines being a “modern” way to connect, but what gets my goat the most is the reference to “electronic mail” in panel 1. The punchline relies on a pun on “email”! You can use the fricking word as part of the setup! If you think it’s unacceptable to use a contraction of “electronic mail”, your punchline should be “knelectronic mail”. It would probably be funnier.

  278. BGodinov
    December 22nd, 2012 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Mary never ceases to amaze! In the space of a single frame she manages to drop a few pounds – not a bad idea, assemble a new crowd around the cake (or whatever that thing is), and change her blouse. Eat your heart out, Mandrake.

  279. fatburner
    September 10th, 2013 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    I love to read

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