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Or flirting with a tall blonde lady, that would work too

Lockhorns, 1/23/13

I don’t like to tell a cartoonist how to do their job … haha, who am I kidding, that’s literally been exactly my schtick on this blog for the past eight and a half years! Anyway, I’m all for just having Loretta telling people about how unhappy her marriage is, right in front of her husband, but maybe this panel would be a little funnier if Leroy were more obviously not paying attention to her? Like, maybe if he were looking at his phone or something. I mean, I guess you could interpret his expression as a thousand-mile stare, a sort of numb mask that settles on his face every time he thinks about how he’d rather be anywhere other than with his wife and do anything other than listen to her, but he pretty much always looks like that so I don’t think it quite drives the joke home the way it should.

Momma, 1/23/13

The first panel of this strip is by far the happiest I’ve ever seen the Hobbs family when they’re voluntarily spending time together. I do have to wonder how exactly Francis “plays” Wheel of Fortune and ruins the experience for everyone else. Does he shout out painfully wrong answers, disturbing his siblings’ and mother’s silent, maniacal grinning? Whatever the case, perhaps he can go commiserate about his banishment with his brother’s wife, who has also apparently been uninvited from Family Game Show Watching Night.

Mark Trail, 1/23/13

“I win because I use the lure that is named after me — the ‘Rod Bassy Killer’! I’m called that because I killed the real Rod Bassy and assumed his identity after selling my soul to the Devil so that he would make me the greatest fisherman alive. Wait, did I say that last part out loud?”

Spider-Man, 1/23/13

Just for the record, since Friday Newspaper Spider-Man has dedicated a single panel to depicting Kraven’s daring escape and 11 panels to depicting these morons standing around talking to each other.

Wizard of Id, 1/23/13

I was going to object that a witch, of all people, shouldn’t need to consult a fortune teller for a glimpse into the future, but then I remembered that I’m already on the record as doubting witchy powers, so well played, newspaper comics industry.

342 responses to “Or flirting with a tall blonde lady, that would work too”

  1. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    AS-M: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas; or in this case, assaulting a police officer happens in Vegas, so J. Jonah Jameson stays in Vegas.

  2. cheech wizard
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    MT – I use a special lure – it’s dy-no-mite! Literally. I just toss in a couple sticks and collect the big ones that float to the surface.

  3. sully
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Only LeRoy gets coffee. The other guy could probably use some. He appears to be dozing off, not surprisingly.

  4. Droopy Says
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#y269) answered my WTF? about Phantom with: The miners want to scare off the tribe so they can do more mining. I’m rather disappointed. I’m nominally left wing, but just once, I’d like to see a corporation portrayed as something other than malicious, evil, duplicitous or avaristic.

    Okay, so there’s a reason for this pussyfooting around with the lion. It’s not much of a reason, and it only makes sense in an incompetent way, but it’s better than Spidernothing.

  5. CowKing
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    I like the second panel in Mark Trail, its like Jack Elrod himself is getting bored with this storyline and it has only begun, “Oh man I do I have to draw Mark and “Rod Bassy” again who are essentially identical except for different colored shirts, I know I’ll draw a… robin, I guess.” Or is this like a Coppolla foreshadowing death with an orange, and robins signify death in Mark Trail, one of these characters will die in a shoot out soon. I’m hoping for Mark.

  6. Pogo the anthropomorphic
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    MW: Is that just a scale model and the actual entry will be suitable for a cheesy bachelor’s party, sans the stripper of course. Then again, the thought of a stripper jumping out of Mary’s cake …..

  7. Sequitur
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:11 am [Reply]

  8. wossname
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    MW – I’m having a strange mix of emotions reading this week’s strip. Gleeful joy (at the prospect of Mary dropping her end of the cake gurney, producing a tsunami of pink frosting) is mixed with deep sadness and resignation, knowing it’ll never happen.

    Phantom – So panel 2 is a flashback, huh? And that’s the lion-trapping cage right there beside the miner-colonialist-evil-bosses? And neither Phantom nor any of us noticed?

    MT – Isn’t the lure supposed to, you know, lure? Not kill?

    Also, that rustic cabin/ palatial mansion/ small town behind the robin who’s talking out his ass today is identical to the rustic cabin/ palatial mansion/ small town that was behind the rabbit sticking his foot in his ear on Monday.

  9. pugfuggly
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Lockhorns “…through the use of powerful hypnotics. Observe….”

    MT This reminds me of an old joke:

    Q:Have you ever seen a red-breasted robin talk out of his ass?
    A: Sure, in Mark Trail

    ASM All this sitting around talking will be worth it if they dedicate the next round of 11 panels to J^3 getting severely beaten by the LVPD.

  10. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    AD: beeswax DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!!!

    GF: *aaaaaggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh*

    HotC: bah. used to do that all the time, never face planted or hurt myself.

    Lio: lil pink sock, the revenge.

    PBS: LOL. Pastis, you rock.

    Bizarro: /facepalm

    JP: Abby’s boobs and a bottle of wine. life is good.

    JUMBLE: “stone fox” doesn’t fit. :-(

    6Cx: points for concept, at least.

    rMC: needs panel 5, Bridget in the shower.

    Retail: “he’s his own placebo” is going into my memory banks for future use.

  11. nescio
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    MT: Snapping turtles have a worm-like appendage that they use to lure fish, so does this guy. “I have nothing to hide” means he gets in the water naked during competitions.

  12. Mikey
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    MW: I find John Dill much more interesting if I imagine he has Tuco’s accent from The Good , The Bad and the Ugly. “I’m pretty strong. What about you Blondie?” Fun fact: Eli Wallach turned 97 last December which is the same age as Mary.

    ASM: Jameson has a seething disdain for Spider-Man for some reason. He can’t quite put his finger on why he hates him so much, there’s just something about him that reeks of failure, boredom, and lack of self esteem.

  13. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    Love Is. . . yes, yes it is.

  14. Froggy
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    MT, panel 4 – “Actually, in my next tournament I’m going to use a new lure that was named after me by a friend of mine who happens to teach Latin. So if I win again you can blame it on the Bassy Nova.”

  15. Big Bad Dave
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    Errr, Mr Trail? As a real life reporter myself, let me tell you that it helps if you actually write down what your interviewee is saying, rather than sitting there clutching a large book and looking goofy. Once he’s read your story and filed a lawsuit, you’re going to need some proof he said what you alleged he said.

  16. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    9CL – “It is remarkable how late in the history of every literature simplicity is invented. The first attempts of any people to be consciously literary are always productive of the most elaborate artificiality.” – A Huxley

    There is a great article in Slate today that includes this quote. I couldn’t help but be struck by the similarities between the turn-of-last-century work of Amanda McKittrick Ros and the author of Pibgorn and 9CL.

    The tortured prose: “She tried hard to keep herself a stranger to her poor old father’s slight income by the use of the finest production of steel, whose blunt edge eyed the reely covering with marked greed, and offered its sharp dart to faultless fabrics of flaxen fineness.”

    The bitterness toward her critics: “(I care nothing) for the opinion of half-starved upstarts, who don the garb of a shabby-genteel, and fain would feed the mind of the people with the worthless scraps of stolen fancies.”

    Working her critics into her ‘art’ to serve as strawmen: For two whole pages, Lord Gifford rages inwardly against the “self-opinionated mortals” of the book-review racket before flinging the magazine into a bush, “to be picked up and deposited in the drossy handbarrow next day by the gardener’s son.” Once unburdened of the magazine, and of his thoughts on the current state of literary criticism in the popular press, Lord Gifford gives the matter “no further thought” and gets back to the business at hand: asking for Delina’s dainty digits in marriage.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/01/was_amanda_mckittrick_ros_the_worst_novelist_in_history.html

  17. Hibbleton
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Quoth the robin: “My Ass!”

  18. Cleve Barrister
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    MW- ‘scuse me, but what’s in that cake that would possibly make it so “heavy” that John Dill even has to note that he’s “pretty strong”?- really? “strength” is now measured in the ability to carry a cake?

  19. Mikey
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark: “Rod Bassy Killer” you say? Hmm maybe I should be try that. I’ve been using a lure called “The Rusty Troll-er”. The damn fish keep kidnapping it.

    A3G: Those sounds and smells are simply Margo re-booting after shutting down for the night.

  20. Mardou Fox
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    Rod Bassy may not have facial hair, but he does have the telltale Bad Guy Broken Nose with Balding Temples. He will be punched.

  21. pugfuggly
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    A3G So Evan got her a mini meth lab in a box? Actually, that’s a pretty good gift for someone who’s equal parts evil and entrepreneurial.

    MW Whatever happened to the smiling, jovial Dill we met back at the inter-plot pool party? Every time I see him now I feel like he’s just about to launch into a maniacal cackle, followed by a “FOOLS! I’ll destroy them ALL!”

  22. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    @Cleve Barrister (#18):

    You try hauling a two-layer cake from one table to the next! It isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s no cake walk, that’s for sure!

  23. bemibet
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    In “Wizard of Id”, is that supposed to be the Wicked Witch of the East? Couldn’t they have given her more obviously striped stockings or something to help out the reader?

  24. cheech wizard
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    @Big Bad Dave (#15): Mark is one of those high-end reporters who’s taught himself to commit the interview to memory without taking notes, sort of like waiters at fancy restaurants, except he gets his attire at Cabela’s instead of Chefware.

  25. Arabella
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    Life imitates Art: Yesterday I attended a gathering where the dessert was a lovely pink strawberry cake decorated with pink frosting flowers, garnished with shredded coconut. I managed to maintain my composure.

  26. TheDiva
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    Lockhorns: What is that half-circle hovering in the upper right corner? It can’t be a lamp; it’s not attached to anything. My guess is it’s the vessel of an advanced alien race who, having observed the Lockhorns, have decided to nuke us into oblivion before we can threaten the rest of the universe.

    MT: Is Rod Bassey related to Miss Anne Elk, by any chance? “I use the lure which is named for me, and which is mine….”

    SM: Spider-Man, Spider-Man, breaks fourth wall like a spider can…

  27. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    MT: “I have nothing to hide!”

    Un-edited 2nd panel: “I dangle my killer “Big Rod” into the water. The lady bass can’t resist!”

    Un-edited 3rd panel: “I made a plastic version for the masses. I call it the Rod Bassy Killer!”

  28. pugfuggly
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    @Big Bad Dave (#15):

    To be fair, I haven’t really heard Rod say anything really worth writing down. His answer to the question on his technique? ‘I have no thing to hide’. Unless he’s talking about gaining the trust of the fish before he catches them, I don’t think that’s an answer at all.

  29. Christopher
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Momma: The selected few of the Hobbs Family who actually enjoy each others’ company then go back to watching Wheel Of Fortune, trying to bury their memories of how it was Momma who wrecked their chances at winning Family Feud with her bizarre answers.

  30. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    FW – I see today’s strip falls into the standard Funky template.

    Panel 1 – Leading question, inquiring as to something that is usually a source of happiness
    Panel 2 – Ashen faced response, “Well, yes, you might think that was something positive, but we soon found that it wasn’t so much (Happy Thing) …
    Panel 3 – “As it was just (Cynically Depressing Thing)”.

    Joy drains from the room. Usually accompanied by smirking, however, which is missing here.

    JP – Abby pops open a bottle and hands Sam a glass of wine literally as he is walking in the door. Sam probably fails 8 out of 10 of those “do you have a drinking problem” items. He is already conducting interviews for the person he will be hiring to attend AA meetings for him.

  31. lorne
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    I must be deep into middle age because Loretta Lockhorn is starting to look kind of hot to me.

  32. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Lockhorns: I suppose the comic would be improved if this group was in a setting to explain why the topic was “in the future…” maybe like a World’s Fair, a science museum or a laboratory tour.

    The way it comes off to me is “in the future” could mean “right now” or “next time we all get dressed up for a cup of coffee and four cookies – except for the hussy over here wearing jeans and a polo shirt”.

  33. Holly Folly
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    I kinda have to question Jameson here. Somehow, I don’t really think shouting at the police like a looney about how they should arrest a grown man that is dressed in a spider costume and keeps showing up at the scenes of crimes in said costume is a sane thing to do. Wait, maybe it’s the only sane thing to do. Either way that police department isn’t winning any awards anytime soon.

  34. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    @Christopher (#29): It’s not that her answers were bizarre, but she wasn’t tall enough to be seen over the little desk in front.

  35. Spunde
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Momma: Ah, now it all makes sense! I’ve long wondered — well, a long time ago, I wondered why her children put up with Momma’s destructive narcissism. Panel 1 explains it. Turns out they’re all imbeciles.

  36. word-doctor
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    ASM: I’m larnin’ my 16 year old to imitate every character on Hogan’s Heroes. May have him practice Major Hochstetter with JJJ dialogue. The cop could of course say “30 days in the cooler” anytime.

    @cheech wizard (#2):

    Remember the old joke? “You boys using dynamite?” [hands lit dynamite to warden] “You gonna talk, officer, or you gonna fish?”

  37. Right Venerable Pasdordan
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    Apt. 3-G: As curious as I am to know what that magical mystery box in Margo’s closet is, I’m more curious as to why Greg appears to have neither dressed hastily nor stepped into the hall. It could be that Bolle and Shulock got their signals crossed, by which I mean Shulock wrote up a narration box and Bolle went and got plastered. More intriguing is the possibility that this strip has given up on reliable narration altogether, just as its readers did ages ago. Now its characters are in open rebellion against the fascist ukases of the narration box and lighting out to find their own adventures, in their goddamn pajamas if they feel like it.

    Archie: Some days I try to imagine what the market is for twenty-year-old fashion and hundred-year-old jokes. All I can come up with is newspapers that exist solely in the waiting rooms of Foofram Industries and cut-rate podiatrists in dying rust belt cities. Also, the checkout lines at grocery stores because why not? Maybe it will stave off the suicidal urges in a way Klondike bars always promised and failed to deliver on.

    Arlo and Janis: You don’t want to know how badly I want this to be true – and for “this guy” to be right.

    9 Chickweed Lane…only makes sense if Brooke has been reading J. Alfred Prufrock as a “how-to” manual again.

    Dick Tracy: Now accepting bets on when Mr. Mole will be diagnosed with cancer. No, wait, this isn’t Funky Winkerbean. How long before Mr. Mole is threatened by some hideous caricature with a corresponding nickname? I give it a week before Rod Bassy shows up.

    Garfield: A good candidate for the next post-apocalyptic version of Garfield Minus Garfield.

    Henry: Can someone please explain today’s strip to me? I have no idea what’s going on here. Does it involve a sex joke? I think it involves a sex joke.

    Herman: I haven’t seen domestic violence and alcoholism mined for such comedy gold since Andy Capp!

    Judge Parker: Oh look, it’s the new girl from the Wendy’s ads!

    Mark Trail: I want to say that if the Real Mark Trail had a hand in today’s strip, it would be less insane and more educational about rhinoceroses or giant, stinking flowers. But who am I kidding? As long as Jack Elrod’s name is on the masthead, this is going to make about as much sense as a talking squirrel can.

    Mary Worth: Question 1: Why does everyone in Santa Royale have blue eyes? Is it actually a secret German colony in the wilds of Argentina? Question 2: How hard is it, really, to carry a 4lb., slightly off-center pink cake, with the help of two people?

    Pibgorn: Dear Mermaid: I will gladly carry you back to the sea, as long as you promise to drag me under the waves and drown me so I can experience the sweet sweet release of forgetting this strip ever existed.

    Rex Morgan, M.D.: At long last, we have an answer to the burning question, “What does it take to get Rex sexually stimulated, anyway?”

    Zippy the Pinhead: No kidding, I want to go find some Spain Hernandez comix now.

  38. Squeak
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    This explains a lot. Mark Trail is caught in a temporal causality loop. Rod Bassy is such a good fisherman, he has a lure named after him, and he got to be so good because he uses a lure named after him.

  39. Right Venerable Pasdordan
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    Yeesh, lots to say this morning. Apologies for the wall of text, folks.

  40. gleeb
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    Spidey: Don’t be too hard on the webslinger. He’s clearly trying to end the story, but the other characters won’t let him.

  41. Illustrator Steve
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    MT – I’ve seen birds build some ellaborate bird’s nests but this wren takes the cake. For it to Build a miniature replica of the state prison like that right there on the tree branch, WOW! …Now, THAT will make a good story!

  42. Ethan Shuster
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    I like the fact that the Lockhorns have come to what I assume is a supposed to be a nice visit with some friends, dressed for a funeral. I presume based on the other woman’s casual dress that this wasn’t supposed to be a formal occasion, but the truly depressed Lockhorns dress as if someone has died, possibly as a cry for help.

    The other man in the scene, perhaps proving that clinical depression is catchy, just muses, “I knew we shouldn’t have invited these assholes over.”

  43. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    “I’ve entered and won five this year!”

    And it’s only January 23?

  44. TheDiva
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    Hey you! New Know the Score is up! The classic kid’s series Fraggle Rock has been around for thirty years, so I talk about its musical aspect.

    9CL: ….What?

    A3G: Evan shouldn’t have bought her that old 1950s atomic lab kit…

    C’shaft: “Plus the extra shipping costs cut more into our budget, and you know how I like to be as big a nuisance as possible.”

    FW: In Funkytown, falling in love is a dreary, depressing inevitability not to be enjoyed so much as endured.

    Luann: Do community colleges even have mascots? And what would it be, anyway? The Fighting Mediocres?

    MW: The strip that dares to ask the question: can Mary carry a cake?

    Pibgorn: So it’s “I Remember It Well,” only not sweet or funny or appealing in any way.

    Pluggers are boring as Hell.

  45. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#8): I could see circumstances in which Mary could demonstrate a brief flash of such human fallibility — for instance, if she dropped the cake and John Dill were to express his disappointment with anger rather than than Christlike forgiveness and Buddha-like calm, then Moy could squeeze another 12-18 weeks out of this story focusing on John Dill coming to realize that the he’s the jerk and Mary’s the victim.

    @Hibbleton (#17):

    Quoth the robin…

    Once upon a midday bleary, while I blundered far from Cherry,
    Learning many a quaint and curious fact of Rod Bassy’s lure,
    While I nodded, my shoulders hunching, pages blank and fit for scrunching,
    Rod’s face cried out for punching, punching, punching and some more,
    “‘Tis an impulse,” I muttered, “Only this and nothing more,
    He hasn’t even facial hair.”

    Take it, somebody!

    @Mardou Fox (#20):

    telltale… Broken Nose

    TRUE! –violent–very, very dreadfully violent I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses –not destroyed –not dulled them. Above all was the sense of feeling acute. I felt all beards in the heaven and in the earth. I felt many beards in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily –how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

    Take it, somebody!

  46. endless sky
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    SF: We continue to explore pre-teen angst while off-panel Sally is experiencing either early menopause or late-life pregnancy. And whatever happened to the Jackie-and-Ralph-try-to-get-pregnant story?

    Shoe: They’ve got it backwards- a wife’s nagging is what keeps many husbands alive. The “joke” is whether the husband thinks it’s worth it.

  47. Tom T.
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Not that either is all that funny, but a day when we get an Andy Warhol allusion in the Lockhorns and a Wizard of Oz reference in Wizard of Id is nothing to sneeze at.

  48. Mikey
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    @Squeak (#38): Thank you Squeak! I had started thinking about that too but before I could comment my brain overloaded like one of Mudd’s Women.

  49. Tom T.
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    “The Rod Bassy Killer” is right up there with “The Hammurderer” in marketing triumphs.

  50. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    @endless sky (#46): Here’s how it’s gonna shake out: Sally will join the band and get her groove back; Nona will donate her ova to Jackie, resulting in Ralph being arrested for statutory rape by proxy; and and Ted will make some Gen-X pop culture references.

  51. Right Venerable Pasdordan
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#43): On Sunday, we’ll have an educational interlude on overfishing of the bass stock.

  52. Right Venerable Pasdordan
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    The Lockhorns: Leroy is breaking bottles and threatening Loretta in his head. Or just flipping her off. Without a soul to speak of, it’s hard to tell.

  53. Downpuppy, Forever
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    @Mikey (#48): Harcourt J Mikey, have you been drinking again?

  54. Cloudbuster
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#44): 9CL: ….What? You beat me to it. I know being beat to a monosyllabic expression of confusion is a pretty low standard. Yet, here I am.

  55. Jon the Red
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    “I win because I use the lure that is named after me–the ‘Rod Bassy Killer’! What, you thought I had some sort of technique, or I had a knack for finding the best fishing spots? No, I just put a doohickey on the end of this rope and fish just line up to bite at it. You’d think that someone out there would have a similar lure and actual fishing know-how, but they obviously weren’t in the five contests I entered and won this year.”

  56. Chareth Cutestory
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    Spider-Man: J. Jonah Jameson demonstrates for us that the best way to treat police officers is to lunge and grab them from behind, then yelling at them how to do their job in a chin jutted out rage. Try it yourself! It only results in positive outcomes.

  57. Nekrotzar
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 describes a society with interactive television, where the viewers and actors speak to one another. Except there isn’t really any fancy technology — the viewers have become so thoughtlessly predictable that the show’s creators know exactly what the viewers will say at any point, and write the script accordingly, and the viewers are completely fooled.

    Momma has entered the same territory, except that the viewer’s responses are limited to calling out things like ‘A’ and ‘Q.’ In a couple of generations mankind will be reduced to grunts and foraging for berries.

  58. Lawyerbob
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    MT: That lure is obviously just a cross-marketing opportunity for his jazz-funk fusion supergroup, “The Rod Bassy Killer.”

  59. NonnyMus
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    I have nothing to hide, either, and I’m not even being interviewed!!

  60. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    @Lawyerbob (#58):

    That lure is obviously just a cross-marketing opportunity for his jazz-funk fusion supergroup, “The Rod Bassy Killer.”

    And I wish them the best of luck! If anyone can knock Mark Trail Punchotronic Blues Sexplosion Project Experience off the college carts (along with that damn ear-worm “It is RUSTY! R-R-R-R-R-R-RUSTY! (The Rusty Song)”), it’s them!

  61. LogopolisMike
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    A3G: f Margo can’t turn this story (the new James Bond saving her from the dastardly plans of the office mole/deranged nephew of he her rival) into a publicity coup for Greg, she’s the worst publicist ever. Um, never mind.

  62. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (Y265): Hey don’t blame Mark for the stupid question. If that pink bird’s cloaca hadn’t butted in, Mark would have said, “You’ve entered five contests this year and won them all. How do you do it, Mr. Bassy?” thereby providing the same exposition in less space and with more verisimilitude.

  63. Old Folkie
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    @Cleve Barrister (#18): John’s secret cake recipe includes concrete.

  64. Dagger33
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    Considering the extent of the literal names in this Mark Trail arc, I’m surprised the lure isn’t named “A Facsimilie of the Prey of Carnivorous Fish, Designed to Lure Such Fish to the Baited Hook, Named for Successful Bass Fisherman Rod Bassy, Whom We Paid Royalties for the Use of His Name, with the Intent of Increasing Sales by Associating the Aforementioned Lure with the Aforementioned Rod Bassy.”

  65. Tim O'Shenko
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    S-M: Looking back at that one panel of Spider-Man wherein Kraven escapes, I came to the realization that this comic is actually a Greek tragedy. We don’t see Kraven’s escape, but rather hear about it from a policeman returning from the scene. Instead, our eyes are trained on two men debating a philosophical dilemma (whether vigilantism is acceptable in some circumstances), which have immediate real-world consequences (will Spidey be arrested?). Kudos to Stan and Lieber for trying to bring an updated version of this classic dramatic form to the comics pages.

    …Too bad this is supposed to be an action comic.

  66. endless sky
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    @Old Folkie (#63): MW: John confused the cake contest with a Mark Trail fishing contest where weight is the winning factor.

  67. someguyinjersey
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    Speaking of “Wizard of Id” did you know that there was a Jim Henson pilot muppet version? And it’s on the intertubes? And once you watch it, you can’t unwatch it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDeAuq44XKQ

  68. Lawyerbob
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    @Comrade Denny (#60): Not to mention “Cherry & Pop”‘s insipid auto-tuned cover of “Touch Me in the Morning.”

  69. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    @Tim O’Shenko (#65):

    …Too bad this is supposed to be an action comic.

    Still, if upon learning that they are father and son, Jameson hangs himself and Peter gouges out his own eyes, you won’t see me complaining.

  70. Old Folkie
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Apt3G: In the box: spontaneous combustion of New Year’s fireworks?

  71. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    @Lawyerbob (#67):

    Not to mention “Cherry & Pop”‘s insipid auto-tuned cover of “Touch Me in the Morning.”

    I concur. I don’t at all like their foray into pop. I much prefer their folk-inflected children’s fare. Their album Pancakes A-Plenty! is a classic!

  72. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    Lockhorns: “But not their own spouse, of course. Speaking of, why don’t we get this key party started?”

    MT: Wouldn’t “the Rod Bassy Killer” be something that kills Rod Bassy? Rod should at least revise the name to “Rod Bassy’s killer”, which sounds like it could be about his penis.

    S-M: “I’ll rub your shoes with my hair. They’ll be ruined, RUINED!”

    Ziggy: Money can’t wait to get away from Ziggy, something it apparently has in common with most people and household pets.

    FW: Ah, so they were never really in love and the marriage has been something of a sham all along. Fred has a good chance of pulling through after all, and being just infirm enough to cause sullen resentment in Ann.

    9CL: The guy who Edda sends flying for making a pass at her looks exactly like Amos, only with grey hair. Best invest in Grecian Formula now, Amos my friend.

    JP: Okay, the answer to the rebus is “wine rack.” Give me a harder one.

    BB: “Now let me ask you something? Have you ever grown a beard, or have you just dated one?”

    Phantom: “I would have looked into them earlier, except that sabotaging your own mining operation with an agitated lion is insane.”

    Shoe: The GP was already going to refer Cosmo to a heart specialist. Now the shrink specializing in deep-seated parental issues gets a piece of the action too.

    Luann: How Tiffany’s reaction to the school colors is supposed to be any dumber than Luann’s gaping “ooh a fair!” escapes me.

    H&J: Jamaal isn’t familiar with that particular Ashford & Simpson song.

    A3G: That’s not smoke, it’s gas. Emeril la Gas, and it’s kicking things up a notch.

  73. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    If I’m not mistaken, Josh’s Mark Trail plays off a reference to the movie “Angel Heart.” Just want to say that if Elrod is now inspired to draw Rod Bassy having blood-soaked sex with a Cosby kid, I will hunt you down, Fruhlinger.

  74. Mibbitmaker
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#44): re: Luann — The Human Beings (Greendale ‘Community’ College)

  75. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#71): JP: “Wine Rack”. Give me a harder one.

    I think that was the intention of the rebus in the first place.

  76. FeralCanadian
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    Is it me, or is John looking more and more like Snidely Whiplash every day? Let’s see you meddle your way out of being tied to train tracks you insufferable old biddy!

  77. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    MT: Face the face facts, people. Rod Bassy is an honest, clean-shaven guy with nothing to hide. Someone is going to kill him over his lucrative fishing lure profits, so that Mark can make puns about it.

    //Oh wait, this isn’t Funky Winkerbean.

    @Mardou Fox (#20): I thought he was African-American but the colorist got the wrong skin tone. They’re in Louisiana, aren’t they?

  78. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    @Right Venerable Pasdordan (#37):

    How long before Mr. Mole is threatened by some hideous caricature with a corresponding nickname?

    Are we thinking a Wind in the Willows theme? “Toad” is out, unless there’s a shocking plot twist on the way.

  79. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    @Right Venerable Pasdordan (#37): Re A3G: He sleeps in fetish gear. Putting on ordinary pyjamas is dressing.

  80. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:24 am [Reply]

  81. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    @Dagger33 (#64): Or: “one of those lures people use when they want to go fishing.”

  82. Shrug,
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    @Holly Folly (#33):

    All I know about the Las Vegas police department is that former WWF (now WWE) wrestler Rico Cosantino was a member before getting into wrestling:

    http://www.obsessedwithwrestling.com/profiles/r/rico.php

    WWF’s gimmick for him was, alas, “flamboyant hair dresser.” I’m sure he could have taken both JJJ and PP with one hand while teasing his locks with the other.

    Unfortunately, Rico never met WCW’s Spider-Man ripff, Arachnaman.

    http://prorasslin.com/2011/05/31/ghastly-gimmicks-arachnaman/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3CMpkybKQE

  83. Austria
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    I’m still trying to figure out BC. So the joke is…that bears like honey…which is made by bees…so they also like beeswax? ……Heh?

    I got nothing.

  84. Mibbitmaker
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    9CL: …..Oh, sorry, I wasn’t paying attention (s.w.I.d.t.?)
    Something about Edda being sex goddess to all? (YAWN!)

    A&J: First, scaremonger, then refute it with an unscrupulous special interest. Okay, resume your lives of abject fear that all you do or don’t do will kill you, everyone!

    Curtis:
    He: His son’s* father, unfortunately.
    *Curtis, that is.
    She: Black Burber, minus the sex.

    MT: All the other fishermen love the idea of a Rod Bassy killer. Particularly a hit man.

  85. billman
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#76):

    Everybody’s got something to hide.

    Except for me.

    And my monkey.

  86. Chareth Cutestory
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    @Lawyerbob (#58):That lure is obviously just a cross-marketing opportunity for his jazz-funk fusion supergroup, “The Rod Bassy Killer.”

    Do fellow bandmates include Strum Guitarry, Bang Drummy, and Mike Vocally? Cause you have my interest.

  87. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#74): Some days I don’t intend to read the comments on CC, but then I see a strip like today’s JP and I have to see the result. You two did not disappoint me.

  88. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#77): well, we HAVE had a DC ref with a certain tuxedo-clad Cobblepot, perhaps a Marvel mutant showing up next?

  89. Shrug, Running It Down the Fishing Rod to See If Anyone Salutes
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    @Dagger33 (#64):

    I was thinking maybe “the Rod Bassy Badassy Roughridin’rod Badbass Ohgodrod Rawbassass Bassyblaster,” but maybe that’s too subtle.

  90. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    @Austria (#82): I was too hung up on why they have paraffin wax to ponder whether bears would pursue the scent of beeswax in search of honey.

  91. Vince M
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#44): re. Luann – ‘Community’ has the Greendale Human Being. in an attempt to come up with something that was both all-inclusive and non-specific they ended up with someone in a full-head/face/body gray bodysuit.

  92. Mibbitmaker
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    @Shrug, Running It Down the Fishing Rod to See If Anyone Salutes (#88): Sounds like a great name for an early ’70s funk band!

  93. Shrug, Just Guessing
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    MOMMA: “I do have to wonder how exactly Francis “plays” Wheel of Fortune and ruins the experience for everyone else.”

    ***********
    Francis has Tourette’s Syndrome. No matter what the partial word looks like, he always guesses things like “POOPY!”

  94. Baka Gaijin
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#10) on Get Fuzzy: Seconded.

    @Arabella (#25): You’re a better man than I. I would have been rolling around on the floor laughing in a puddle of my own humor-induced pee.

    @lorne (#31): That’s something you really should keep between you and your psychiatrist. Really.

    @Right Venerable Pasdordan (#39): You’re a pastor. We understand.

  95. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    Jumble: Loving Heidi’s super-giant feet while I mutter to myself in my own private corner about the difference between a yawnur[*], taxiway and apron.

    Momma: The only way you could spoil Wheel of Fortune for the others would be by being so good at it that you make your family and the contestants they idolize all look like morons.

    MW: Look! Look! Look! They’ve added white icing accents to the pink cake, and made the second tier smaller! This cake is now almost as interesting as the most boring cake I was able to predict at the beginning of the arc.

  96. Aphthakid
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    MT: I use a rod, named after me, Rod Bassy, to catch bass, also named after me, Rod Bassy, using the lure named after me, the Rod Bassy killer. That’s my nickname because only one man can kill Rod Bassy and that’s Rod Bassy.

  97. Baka Gaijin
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#62): Another phrase to work into conversations this week: “If that pink bird’s cloaca hadn’t butted in…”

    @Lawyerbob (#67): Cherry & Pop drool, Gail Martin rules!

  98. Right Venerable Pasdordan
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#77): I for one would welcome such an awesome (and disturbing) twist.

  99. Right Venerable Pasdordan
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#78): “Get Greg.” “Greg’s sleeping.” “Well then, wake him up.”

  100. Ratiocinator
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    ASM: This cop would be tasing JJJ about now…if only Kraven’s chimps hadn’t stolen his taser.

    FW: “We both knew we would never do any better, so we both just said ‘fuck it’ and entered into this loveless sham of a marriage. That’s why we had to adopt, because try as we might, neither of us could muster the tiniest bit of arousal in the presence of the other.”

    Luann: Tiffany intends to pursue the glamorous and lucrative career of professional mascotting.

    Slylock: 4. Some toads are poisonous. Answer: True. You find out if they are poisonous by kissing them and seeing what happens.

  101. Baka Gaijin
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    Francis Hobbs named is penis “Wheel of Fortune.” That’s the only explanation for Momma’s reaction.

    Poor poor Mary and Jim. Yellowcake with pink frosting is not the same as yellow cake with pink frosting. The massively increased density should have tipped them off if the visit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hadn’t.

  102. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#99):

    This cop would be tasing JJJ about now…if only Kraven’s chimps hadn’t stolen his taser.

    That shouldn’t prevent JJJ getting a little “stick time,” or failing that, the police throwing him a boot party.

  103. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    @CowKing (#5): “Oh man I do I have to draw Mark and Character X again who are essentially identical except for different colored shirts, I know I’ll draw … Anmal Y, I guess.”

    FIFY

    You now understand not only this installment, but Mark Trail in its entirety. Know how they say Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings merely as a setting for his fictional languages? Mark Trail exists only to put words in the mouths (and other body parts) of giant foreground animals.

  104. Black Drazon
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    “I have nothing to hide!” is quite possibly the worst answer to an innocent fishing interview question that I’ve ever heard, but it’s going to sound genius when Mark asks about the whereabouts of his wife, his collection of white rhino horns and $3.4 million dollars stolen from National Bank yesterday afternoon.

  105. Uncle Lumpy
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Just Guessing (#92):

    No matter what the partial word looks like, he always guesses things like “POOPY!”

    Worse, he gets his TV games mixed up: “WHAT IS POOPY?”

  106. Marc
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#21): A3G: Well it’s all making sense then. Margo’s next on a whim employment change will see her become NYC’s leading meth dealer.

  107. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    Physics Cat.

    I .gif you, corgi on ice! *d’awwwww*

    meanwhile, in Detroit. /fail. it’s zero freezing degrees in Detroit currently. It’s so cold out . . .

    otter tube!

    snowy fox.

    otter, elderberries and hamsters.

    TDP, yet another retriever mix.

    da-dum . . . . . .

    husky-corgi mix.

  108. Government Cheese
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    Luann: I don’t want to sound overly snobby, but wow, the bar must be pretty low as a counselor at Pitt High. Meanwhile, Delta is at the “Be a President in 30 Days” booth as she has never brought her expectations to ground level after the time she ran into the President and they had a strange conversation.

    Mary Worth: MUST – CONTROL – IBS – WHEN – MOVING – CAKE.

  109. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#104): And they’ll never forget that time he was on The Price Is Right and bid “POOPY!” for everything.

  110. Chip Whittle
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    So somehow, while we were all watching carefully, Apartment 3-G became a more suspenseful and action-packed comic strip than Spider-Man. I can’t wait for Peter and Lu Ann to go off painting South Dakota’s plant life together. “Spidey-sense…tingling…someone…misspelling ‘fuchsia’ nearby!”

  111. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    @Arabella (#25) & @Baka Gaijin (#93): I think I would be forced to bury my head in my hands, restrict my laughter to choking gasps, and then improvise a story about how the cake was so much like a favourite of my late aunt … Mary.

    //The trick is to watch the watch the crowd as you say the last word and you may find someone else who can identify. You might have to explain the shredded coconut, however. No, on further thought, the shredded coconut is a “had-to-be-there”.

  112. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    @Tom T. (#47): Oh, Andy Warhol ref. I get it now. Not at all funny. Taking a 45 year old quote and making a joke isn’t exactly what I’d call “topical”, either.

  113. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    If John Dill were in Mark Trail, would he come to Mark with a problem, get punched, or provide exposition from behind a desk with a telephone on it?

  114. Uncle Lumpy
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    @Comrade Denny (#108):

    … or his guest appearance on What’s My Line? as a toilet tester.

  115. terrapin
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    MT: “I have nothing to hide.” He said, shoving his hands into his pockets as far as he could without appearing to be fondling himself.

  116. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary will successfully carry the cake. John Dill will pull an epic fail. Oh noes! But a female judge takes a fancy to Mr. Dillwhipple and true love is born. Ah! Several weeks of recriminations and platitudes later and we have a Chatterstone pool party with a big, pink cake the size of a water tower.

  117. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#113): And then there was the infamous Dating Game fiasco… “Bachelor #2, if you could do anything you wanted to me on our date, what would it be?”

  118. John C
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Tiffany is on her way to becoming the most successful of the Luann characters: a high-class prostitute who ends up getting strangled by a state senator.

  119. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    y’all may remember the bulldog/beagle Daily Puppy a few days ago?

    well, he also was trying to be a hoverdog. (omg, the extra pics are KEWT!!!!!)

  120. Marc
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    9CL- What? Eh fuck it, I don’t really care.

    A3G- So once this is all over, is Greg going to star in the new hit tv series about Margo’s meth lab, “Breaking Bored”?

    Mark Trail- I wonder if we’ll ever get to see the Rod Bassey killer? I mean if he has a lure that can win 5 fishing tournaments in January alone, it must really be something.

    Mary Worth- Alright, this is really starting to make no sense. Her biggest concern is having the strength to carry a goddam cake? I know her arm muscles are paper thin, but it’s a freakin cake.

    Funky-And that’s when Darrin learned that his parents never loved each other. Tomorrow we’re going to hear about the time they decided they didn’t want him anymore and tried to return him to the adoption agency, but his dad bungled paperwork and they were forced to keep and raise him against their will.

    Luann- So Evans can invent a name for other fictional universities, but we’re still going with “The Local Community College”? Holy fucking lazy batman.

  121. TL
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Pro-tip: If you’ve got some ‘problems’ and you’d like the psychiatrist to give you the good drugs, just select and quote some of the highlights of Funky Winkerbean. You’ll walk out of there with a prescription list a mile long.

    Assuming you’re not put under suicide watch at a local hospital.

    “My husband and I? Oh… we didn’t so much fall in love… sigh… as we just fell into place.” @TL (#120):

  122. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#112): Mark Trail talking to John Dill:
    You make cakes, you say? These are not cakes! They are too tall. Cakes are round and flat and someone puts maple syrup on them for me as they hand me coffee. I have no coffee, Mr. Dill, nor maple syrup. These are not cakes. And they are pink. Everyone knows that cakes can only be golden brown… like clothes! This pink cylinder has no equivalent in nature. These do not belong here, Mr. Dill. Remove them from my Universe at once!

  123. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#119):

    I wonder if we’ll ever get to see the Rod Bassey killer?

    Depends on whether or not Elrod can draw (and the newspapers print) a tesseract powered by a mini black hole.

  124. Government Cheese
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    Luann: I’m also surprised that TJ has not setup a booth rivaling Ann’s WeenieWorld Career Booth.

  125. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#119): Luann: Yeh, especially la-z when it’s already been established that she lives in San Diego. Is Evans under the impression that it will alienate readers if for one strip they forget that Luann doesn’t take place in their home town?

    We had nicknames for our local community college.

    It was in Rockland County, NY; so we also called it “Rockland Tech”.
    Less complimentary, we said “UTR”, meaning “Up The Road”. It was literally 3 miles on the same road as my high school, though I believe it was a downward elevation.
    Even less complimentary was “13th grade”.

  126. Government Cheese
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#124): She lives in SD? I did not know that – when was that established?

  127. Cleve Barrister
    January 23rd, 2013 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#30): Actually, shouldn’t Sam find it disturbing to find Abby preparing to drink alone, as she obviously is caught unawares by Sam as he enters ? (course, living with Sam would drive anyone to drink…)

  128. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    Momma: Does Francis play by badly guessing which letters the contestants choose?
    “C go for C!”
    “I’ll take an F please.”
    “GODDAMN IT! I SAID C!”

    Or does Francis badly guess at which prizes the contestants choose?
    “Go for the monogrammed towel set, rug, toilet cover and magazine rack!”
    “I’d like the china plates.”
    “FUCK! IDIOT! THE BATHROOM SET IS CLEARLY THE BETTER VALUE!”

    Momma: Get out of my house, go through the living room which mysteriously ends with a missing wall.

  129. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#118): Ohmygoodness, look at that face!

  130. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @Government Cheese (#125):
    I think it was when Quill was jetting off for Oz.

    Beyond that, you want research, you gotta pay. I don’t come cheap.

  131. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @Government Cheese (#125): Now, shattered by the realization that it doesn’t take place in your hometown, even though the characters are so lifelike you believed them to be actual people you know, you will never read it again, right? See Marc? Don’t question the creators’ decisions.

  132. Cleve Barrister
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    @Old Folkie (#63): Oh goodie- then when Mary inevitably drops the cake (as this strip is endlessly foreshadowing for us), John can beat her to death with it

  133. Government Cheese
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#129): Can I pay for your research in ham sandwiches?

  134. Government Cheese
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#130): I was always thinking Minnesota or Ohio – maybe based off Gunther’s style.

  135. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    @Cleve Barrister (#126): Right now I’m in training for a marathon, so I’m totally clean. But between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s not uncommon for my wife and me average a glass of wine per hour from getting home from work to bed time. The sound of a cork pop is pretty common that time of year.

  136. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    @Government Cheese (#132): You confuse me with Wilbur Weston.

    What kind of bread?

  137. Right Venerable Pasdordan
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#124): “High school with ashtrays,” we used to say when such schools allowed smoking and were affordable.

  138. Lenoxus
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#28): Everyone knows that fish are drawn to honesty and straightforwardness. That’s why the really good fisherman give themselves names like Marlin Angler and Fishy McFishcatcher.

  139. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    MT-”My lure is to take a person wanting to know how I catch so many fish out into the middle of the lake. I will kill that person and dump their body into the middle of the lake.”

    MW-Is that the final cake design? If it is then there is no way they can lose. Nothing screams nature more than a two tiered generic looking all pink cake. When I think of nature themed cakes the image that says nature is an all pink cake.

  140. Little A.
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    DOONES: Not a single comment about Alex’s pregnancy? Am I reading the same strips as everybody else? Or doesn’t anybody care? We don’t have to snark at everything, do we? We can praise as well as bash, although bashing is more fun of course.

  141. Dale
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL

    The only reason for Bassy to talk to Mark is to promote the sale of lures with his name on them.
    Wouldn’t the competitors know about this by now?
    Even if Bassy’s personal lure dispenses poison, he still has to know where the fish are.
    The judges check for things like: not still frozen, has internal organs, no scrap metal parts.

  142. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    @Right Venerable Pasdordan (#136): Hell, I taught at a high school that had ashtrays (in a just-off-campus open-air pavilion for teachers (and students 18 or over)), and this was less than 10 years ago. (Tobacco was the area’s cash crop and many students grew up growing the stuff.)

  143. Red Greenback
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:36 pm [Reply]

    MT: Maybe Mary Worth‘s “Jim” will enter the bass playdowns. He has a bucket named after himself.

  144. Government Cheese
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#135): I assume you are far more sophisticated than Wilbur “Slappy” Weston. I was thinking these for your services:

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

  145. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    @Little A. (#139): I’m liking it so far; it’s shown as a positive development, and I’m curious about how it will evolve. But I always like his character-driven stories the best.

  146. Mikey
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    @Government Cheese (#125): San Diego? Now I hate the strip even more. How can there be such a bunch of losers living in a great city like that? What an insult to San Diego firefighters, too. Well, at least maybe they can do an arc where Gunther catches the clap on a weekend jaunt to Tijuana.

  147. Government Cheese
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#145): What the strip needs is a cameo from Ron Burgundy.

  148. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman-I’ll write a scathing editorial about you in my paper which is located in New York City and not here in Las Vegas where you shall never be able to read it.

    FC-When the return address is Nigeria you know that it is junk mail.

    Gasoline Alley-The only problem is that the money is tied up at the moment and you need to send some money to get that money untied.

    MW-Nothing says nature more like a multitiered all pink cake.

  149. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    FC-Bill, bill, junk, junk, letter from children’s protective service.

    DT-Who is this mole person and this mother and daughter that is with him? I find this to be one of the sweetest things that I’ve ever read.

  150. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    Momma-”What about the lovely Vanna White? Don’t I get her? If not I’ll settle for Pat Sajak.”

    Wizard of Id-Will it be a gingerbread house?

    MT-I like using the “Fredo” lure. That is where you take a guy fishing. He is saying a “Hail Mary” and then you shoot him and dump him in the lake.

  151. Artist formerly known as Ben
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#87): Could DC do a better job with the Moleman appearance than ASM did?

    Yes, next question.

  152. Calico
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#8):
    What if something happens, like Mary getting a kink in her knee just as they’re about to set the cake down?
    Serious question – in these cakey TV competitions, are they allowed to use rolling carts, or is part of the battle physically getting it to the judging table in one piece?

  153. wossname
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    OMG you guys – alert those kids in Gil Thorp! Their peacock has been found in Oconee County, GA, and is being cared for at the county jail! I wish i could give you a better link, but this is the best I can find. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see it.

  154. Downpuppy, Forever
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy has at least 4 background stories going on – Mole/Toad, Moon People, Vigilantes, Vitamin Flintheart. And that’s assuming that Sweatbox is part of the Lake Freedom story, and we don’t count the escapees from the last big raid on organized crime.

    Meanwhile the real women of Somerville are showing Holly & BW what a melee is.

    Is it too obvious to point out that Rod Bassy is getting bass from Jack L Rod Giant Animal Supply T-Rading Post & planting them in creels before the competitions?

  155. Calico
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#138):
    “All-Pink Cakes, Nature’s finest!”

    @Liam (#149):
    …And then a single lonely cry from a Loon spread over the lake.

  156. Baka Gaijin
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

  157. CanuckDownSouth
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    FW I may have to remove this from my Darkgate, as it’s giving me end-of-FOOB flashbacks.

    @Calico (#151): All the cake competitions I’ve seen have had minimum heights, animatronics, or sugar candy sculptures, and getting it functioning from the work-side of the room up onto a display table is definitely part of the requirements. (No rolling carts in the ones I’ve seen, but they’ve been way too big to fit on a cart in the first place.)

  158. Calico
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#19):
    3G COTW nom.

  159. Mikey
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#151): From what I gather, to increase ratings its actually a hybrid of a Cake Off and American Gladiator. Prepare for the ending when John raises his foam sword in triumph like Arnie at the end of Conan.

  160. Baka Gaijin
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#151): You know Mary’s just itching for an excuse to use her pretty pink tea trolley.

  161. wossname
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    @Little A. (#139): I’m thrilled at Alex’s pregnancy, and I love Doonesbury strips 95% of the time, but I didn’t really have anything to say on the subject beyond that.

  162. bbofun
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    @Right Venerable Pasdordan (#37):”Judge Parker: Oh look, it’s the new girl from the Wendy’s ads!”. Note to self- make sure to see new Wendy’s ads.

    MW- After 2-3 more weeks of Mary worrying about carrying the cake, she’ll remember what Albert Camus said- “To thine own self be true.” She will then meddle the cake to the table.

    FW- “No, we never fell in love- our coupling was required by the grand design of the Creator. We had no choice in the matter. Neither do you. We all serve the needs of the great one! Here, in his temple, the hospital, let us praise his name ! ALL HAIL BATIUK!”

    PIBGORN- Oh, so it’s okay for the mermaid to complain about Brooke’s writing, but not us?

  163. cheech wizard
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    Bigporn – I’ve often wondered about the theology of this strip. We have demons everywhere, side trips to Hell and some early appearances of an entity that seemed to be Satan, but until yesterday, never any sort of allusion to the other side of the coin. It’s not that I’m curious about Brooke’s vision of Heaven, but I would like to see how he would portray God, if for no other reason than it would likely be of a nature that would get him instantly fried by a lightning bolt so we wouldn’t have to deal with his pretentious crap anymore.

  164. Catamite
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    The shock and horror on the bird’s face in panel two of Mark Trail is perfectly understandable. My expression would be similar if a mysterious voice suddenly emerged from my ass.

  165. bbofun
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#151): The “carrying the cake” is, indeed, part of the competition. Other than adding “drama”. I’m not sure why- I understand the idea that the cake should be mobile, but why contestants shouldn’t be able to use carts, as you suggest, is odd (usually it’s about a 10-15 ft. walk for the prep area to the table).

    Of course, that’s in competitions where people are actually making large, elaborate cakes, with multiple tiers, which generally look to weigh in excess of 25 lbs. Unless there’s a LOT more to John’s cake, I’m not sure what the problem’s going to be.

  166. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#162): I’ve always assumed Pigborn is Brooke’s vision of Heaven.

  167. I speak Jive
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    @Christopher (#29): Momma was the only female contestant Richard Dawson refused to kiss.

    @bbofun (#164): The cakes in those competitions often include elaborate and/or fragile sugar sculpture additions, which would be difficult to move without damaging them.

    Get Fuzzy – I’d run, too. That’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen.

  168. flug
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    MT: Can I make the prediction that this is the Lance Armstrong parallel storyline, and Rod Bassy is quite obviously doing some kind of super-nefarious illegal-nasty something to win those prized bass-fishing tournaments. Mark will uncover the horrid truth and the whole episode will end with some very satisfying perp-punching, which has been (sadly) very lacking in the real-life version of this story.

    The only flaw in this theory: Aren’t all comic strips churned by teams of drugged out, overworked comic-writing drones locked in a closet somewhere, at least 9.5 months in advance so that the comic strip syndicates will have plenty of material in case of a comic-strip-drone-drug shortage or some other calamity? So how in the world could we have a storyline so close to actual topical relevance? It’s a puzzle . . .

  169. Shrug, Being the Butt of the Joke
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    @Catamite (#163):

    “My expression would be similar if a mysterious voice suddenly emerged from my ass.”

    Mine would be if any sort of voice thus emerged, “mysterious” or otherwise.

  170. pugfuggly
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#105):

    A3G: Well it’s all making sense then. Margo’s next on a whim employment change will see her become NYC’s leading meth dealer.

    Note to self: write spec-script combining A3G with Breaking Bad. “Margo Magee is a buttoned-down caterer curator publicist who turns to cooking meth she gets cancer gets bored…”

    @Lenoxus (#137):

    Everyone knows that fish are drawn to honesty and straightforwardness. That’s why the really good fisherman give themselves names like Marlin Angler and Fishy McFishcatcher.

    I really hope that’s Rod’s secret. “I just tell the fish my name and the fact that I’m there to catch them and it really just lets everyone relax and get on with things. The fish really feel better being with the devil they know instead of some yahoo named ‘Bluegill’”

  171. Anonymous Botch
    January 23rd, 2013 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    From now on, whenever anyone asks me a question about anything, I will preface my answer with a hearty “I have nothing to hide!”

  172. Shrug, Twin Thoughts from the Twin Cities
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Little A. (#139):

    My first thought was “how can they afford to have and raise twins” — isn’t Alex still in school (grad school?) at an expensive eastern university, while Toggle is gonig to community college and juggling a presumably low-paying partime music tech job.

    Toggle is fatherless and his mother is an impoverished trailer dweller, while on Alex’s side, daddy Mike and his wife live on the other side of the country (so not available for babysitting etc.) and Alex’s birth mother, J.J., (a) lives on the other side of the country also; (b) has probably run through her genius grant money by now and is partnered by an unemployed loser/druggie who’s not bringing any money in; and (c) is going to be seriously freaked out by the realization that she is about to be perceived as a “grandmother.”

    In real life, I’d think Alex’s glow would be tempered with a fair amount of brow furrowing and flopsweat.

  173. Downpuppy, Forever
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#155): I’d never noticed how much Campbell Hill looks like Pikes Peak.

  174. Megan Koumori
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know about the rest of you but whenever “Wheel of Fortune” is on at our house we play along. Same thing always happens too: I get a bunch right, my mother stares at me baffled and wants to know how I do it, then comments I’m just like my Grandma when it comes to “WoF.”

  175. Lanfranc
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    S-M: I’m hoping the next 11 panels will involve that police officer explaining the legal intricacies of the probable cause standard for arrests to Jameson. Hoping, because it’d most likely be more interesting than what’s actually going to happen.

  176. Horace Broon
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Oh no! If Apartment 3G is destroyed by a firebomb, they’ll have to rename the strip!

    HtH: And that’s why most historians today will tell you the Vikings didn’t even wear horned helmets.

    Pluggers: As ever, the best bit of this strip is Roo-Woman’s “Oh, god, I’m married to a Plugger!” facial expressions. In this one she seems to be wishing he wasn’t quite so “vanilla”, if you know what I mean.

    Zits: It’s funny because males never eat salad unless they’re forced to!

  177. bats :[
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#8): MW is so exciting today on so many levels (well, two)…WHITE icing! AND the prospect of Mary breaking a hip as she tries to move their cake entry.

    One word, Mary: Catapult.

  178. Red Greenback
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    I really like this.

  179. mark
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    MT: Wait, has Mark fought Rod Bassy before? He is clearly evil, but he is missing facial hair and already posses a comically broken nose.

  180. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#159): I’d rather see the Santa Royale cake off combined with roller derby, if not Running Man.

  181. Me
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    Wizard of Id: and by crushed I mean you will literally die horrifically beneath a house. So, anyway, how do you like my puns?

  182. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    @Me (#181): “Also, your corpse will be looted and your sister murdered in an attempt to bring your killer to justice.”

  183. Baka Gaijin
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#177): Catapult. For Mary or the cake? What am I saying, either one would be hilarious.

    @Red Greenback (#178): That joke will go over well on this board.

    @Comrade Denny (#180): How about adding Soylent Green to the mix?

  184. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#178):

    Boo! Hiss!!

  185. Gringo
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: That hair, those beak-like lips, that bored, puty demeanor … my god, we now know where Anne Eiffel disappeared to!

  186. Gringo
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @Gringo (#185): “puty” = “pouty”

  187. Gringo
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    MT: Why is that immense bird in panel two so demanding of Mr. Bassy? Surely one who eats worms is not so interested in how to catch fish? Perhaps he just wants to know where Mr. Bassy gets those delectable worms he uses to catch the fish!

  188. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#183): YES! And Nosferatu … I don’t know why that popped into my head, except maybe that I’d like to see Count Orlock rising from a pink cake.

  189. Gringo
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#16): “She tried hard to keep herself a stranger to her poor old father’s slight income by the use of the finest production of steel, whose blunt edge eyed the reely covering with marked greed, and offered its sharp dart to faultless fabrics of flaxen fineness.”

    That’s very Ayn Randian.

  190. Amos Snarkadder
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    MW – Tomorrow, John Dill and Mary hit the Charterstone gym for some weight training.
    NSFW Warning: Panel 2 features a gang shower scene.
    // No, there aren’t enough soap suds to cover everything.

  191. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#178): Hee. Me too.

  192. Majicou
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Oh, you poor bastard. If only you had realized that Burbers indicate sexual interest not by a Mona-Lisa-wannabe expression but by a gaping, toothed hell-maw.

    Archie: “Patient is a 17-year-old male with deep incisions to the scrotum. Implement appears to have been an ice skate.”

    Baldo: “Por que? Why?” Does Baldo not speak Spanish, or did the authors just decide to turn their strip into Handy Manny?

    // I have a 2-year-old nephew. Pity me.

    Blondie: “I also need a new compressor and a loan to pay my electric bill. Do you sell those?”

    FW: No, you see, it’s uplifting! All along, we thought she was despondent that the love of her life should suffer so deeply, but it turns out they just settled for each other, and she doesn’t give a runny shit about him! Emotional distress averted.

    Pluggers fetishize their own resistance to change and adventurousness so much that hobbits would tell them to branch out once in a while.

    // Also, they’re ice cream racists.

  193. Gringo
    January 23rd, 2013 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    Momma: “the Hobbs Family”

    Hmmm … it only just occurred to me that “Hob” is another name by which the Devil is known.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  194. Hyhybt
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Christopher (#29): So… Momma is really Mama of the Harper family?

    It’s funny how a phrase will stick around. Wheel of Fortune hasn’t offered “lovely parting gifts” in years, instead setting a winnings floor of $1000 per player. I don’t think any game show has them anymore, instead giving either cash or nothing at all.

  195. Calico
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    @Hyhybt (#194):
    I actually recall pyramids of canned soup on The Price is Right, many years ago.

  196. Anonymous
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#16): “She tried hard to keep herself a stranger to her poor old father’s slight income by the use of the finest production of steel, whose blunt edge eyed the reely covering with marked greed, and offered its sharp dart to faultless fabrics of flaxen fineness.”

    So… the character sewed her own clothes or something?

  197. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    @Gringo (#189):

    It is! All it needs is a clarification that it is Rearden steel, and that the greed with which it eyes the cover means that it isn’t really rape after all, merely a yielding to superior will and intellect.

  198. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    @Hyhybt (#194):

    Yes, but do they still give the contestants a lifetime supply of Turtle Wax? Has the quantity of Turtle Wax that constitutes a lifetime supply been adjusted for increases in the average life span?

    @Anonymous (#196):

    To a thesaurus, go!!!

    The Creature of Pure Art -> Beefwit translation would be “Not wanting to rely on her poor father to support her, she took up sewing to earn an income.”

  199. Droopy Says
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#149): Dick Tracy’s Mole was a Forties-era villain and psycho-killer. He reformed after he went to prison; Tracy visited him and gave him a Christmas present, which started the process. He now runs his old lair as a homeless shelter. It turned out he was illiterate; he’s been learning to read, and his study buddy is Toad, the little girl at the table (named for the character from The Wind in the Willows). Her mother is Rose Spencer, widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan. Recently Tracy gave Mole a gift certificate for a family dinner at the restaurant, and Mole invited the Spencers to dinner.

  200. Majicou
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#196): According to the Slate article, it means that the heroine did work as a seamstress so she wouldn’t have to live off her poor father. I couldn’t parse the sentence worth a damn either. Notice that the “finest production of steel” is both blunt-edged and sharp.

    And oy, the alliteration…

  201. Stroker Ace
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    Love is… being buck naked but never been kissed.

  202. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @Stroker Ace (#201): Sounds like the plot of a 70s dystopian sci-fi novel.

  203. Der Schnärkïnätör mit Ümläütën!
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    @Mardou Fox (#20):

    Rod Bassy may not have facial hair, but he does have the telltale Bad Guy Broken Nose with Balding Temples. He will be punched.

    So does Doc. We can only hope that he’d get the same treatment!

    // NO! HE’S PROBABLY OUTSIDE!!

  204. bats :[
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    @Comrade Denny (#45): sorry, Comrade. It is a noble thought, but CAKE OR DEATH!

  205. Anonymous
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#198), @Majicou (#200):

    Ah, I started reading through the Slate article and only came across the translation after I posted. I still don’t parse the bit about the “blunt edge” eyeing the “reely covering”. I don’t even think “reely” is an actual word.

    My favorite bit of the article so far, as relates to a critic:

    A 20-page harangue in which she mercilessly attacks “this so-called Barry Pain” for taking it upon himself “to criticise a work the depth of which fails to reach the solving power of his borrowed, and, he’d have you believe, varied talent.”

    I find it too funny that the author was so offended she can’t believe that’s actually his name, and the second part of the quote is so convoluted, a close reading seems to indicate the exact opposite of what the author presumably intended.

  206. exapno
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#195):

    Jeopardy realizes that it is relatively hard, and now gives 1st and 2nd prizes to the runners up. Most of the crummy GSN shows give nothing at all – and most of their prize money is pretty crummy also.

    And on Price is Right, you don’t HAVE to take the prizes you win – especially the cars. They either let you have stuff that adds up to the same value, or take cash.

  207. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#148): re MW: In my meteorology classes, I was told that green was one of the rarest colors in nature. My instructors never saw that pink frosting, however.

  208. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#204): Point taken — I’d forgotten about John Dill’s very particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career, skills that make him a nightmare for people like her, i.e., she’s never going to get VIP treatment at any hotel anywhere in the world ever again — in fact, it’s nothing but jizz-stained, by-the-hour rooms next to elevated train tracks from here on out.

  209. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 23rd, 2013 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    @exapno (#206): Josh never did say what he came home with from his experience on Jeopardy, did he?

    I’m guessing Rice-o-Roni (the San Francisco Treat!) and a case of Turtle-Wax. Plus, the Home edition.

  210. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#209):

    Josh never did say what he came home with from his experience on Jeopardy, did he?

    [Insert Alex Trebek-chlamydia joke here.]

  211. Majicou
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @exapno (#206): Well, Jeopardy! used to give PRIZES as such to the runners-up. Usually, the second-place contestant would get a vacation and the third-place would get maybe some consumer electronics and some random merchandise. Eventually, I guess they realized that was stupid and now they give $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third. This could lead to some odd circumstances if the game is extremely low-scoring after the final–in theory, the runners-up could win more money than the champion, although of course they wouldn’t get the chance to win any more. One nice thing is that even if you go on the show and lose, at least it (probably) paid for your trip to Los Angeles.

    Also, in the latter days of the 5-game limit for champions, they would actually give the 5-day winners a choice of GM cars. One choice was actually a pair of Camaros.

  212. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#209): In 2000, when I was on Jeopardy, they were still giving second and third prizes (I got a pretty nice trip for second; third prize was an assortment of backpacks), and the “lovely parting gifts” were, as I recall, the home edition of the game (on VHS!) and a framed photo of each of us with Alex (mailed later). I think that was it—but I was really looking forward to those Lee Press-on Nails.

  213. Dave Hardy
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    Hey I thought something was familiar about Mark Trail. It’s going to be about hinky goings-on in bass fishing. It will be just like Double Whammy by Carl Hiassen, except without humor, or interesting characters, or a plot. I’m betting Mark Trail will have more pictures than Hiassen’s novel.

  214. bats :[
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#212): What?!?! No case of Rice-a-Ron, the San Francisco Treat? You were snookered!

  215. bats :[
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    Rice-a-roni.
    Sorry, I think I was fixating on Rod Bassy.

  216. Dennis Jimenez
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    First robin of Spring farts the King’s English – film at 11:00….

  217. S. Stout
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#120):

    My guess is that Greg wants to really think the name over because his characters will be spending the next 30+ years there.

  218. exapno
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    @Majicou (#211):

    WoF has a ‘house minimum of $1000, and yes it is basically to help cover expenses for those not in the LA area. I have been able to actually audition for J!, and I tell you, its a year of a) watching the phone and b) Watching the show, and going, “They selected HIM??” or her, as case may be. (not you of course, Josh! :P)

  219. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#199):

    That is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.

  220. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#207):

    Green is rare? I figured with all the leaves and grass that green was more common.

  221. exapno
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    ASM I can see it now:

    JJJ: Parker! Aren’t you going to bail me out???

    PP: Nope – and Im going to use your first class ticket to fly home. YOU can take the bus home

  222. Calico
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    @Comrade Denny (#210):
    Ahhhh, my partner and I were watching, and I knew the answer and was praying for Josh to get it…kept yelling at the TV
    @exapno (#206):
    Yes, it looks quite tough. I’d probably get stage fright too.

  223. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    JP-”Thank god your back. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep my breasts thrust out in anticipation of your return?”

    MW-”How do I let Dill know that my greatest weakness is carrying things? If it wasn’t for my supporting cast to make me look good this comic would have tanked years ago.”

  224. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns-”Have I mentioned yet that I am in a loveless marriage and can’t wait for the moment for my spouse to die?”

  225. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    MT-You’ve entered and won five tournaments but how many didn’t you enter.

  226. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#138): It was the final cake design, and they stated the intention to keep making the same cake over and over again for practice, but the cake keeps changing from day to day even when it’s the same cake.

  227. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman-Sayeth the man with the Hitler style mustache.

  228. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    @Little A. (#140): My first thought was, “Isn’t she in a demanding engineering program at a prestigious university? Does she have no idea how severely two babies will rock her world?” And I was pleased that the strip didn’t milk the announcement or use silly clichés.

  229. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:13 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#149): I don’t know his strip history either, but he seems to be the manager of an underground homeless shelter. If you missed the strips in which he wins a family dinner and, having no family of his own invited those two along, even though he didn’t know the mom’s name. I promise you today’s will soon be at least the second sweetest. Mole is either illiterate or very short sighted and had to have someone else tell him what he had won.

  230. G
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    At first I thought maybe somebody should talk with the Mark Trail colorists which continent this comic is supposed to be set on? But nah, they at least got the GENERAL idea of a Turdus migratorious. At least they didn’t color its belly dark green or something.

  231. Mr. O'Malley
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    As per yesterday’s suggestion of having Jack London write FW, we now discover that socialism will provide just as miserable a future as the iron heel of capitalism.

    Coming soon:
    A magnificent dog is kidnapped, is shipped to Alaska and dies of cancer.
    A prisoner locked in solitary confinement and tortured discovers how to travel in time. He goes back to medieval Korea to buy a comic book. His comic book is taken away and sold by an unscrupulous dealer. .
    An effete literary critic is rescued in a ferry accident by a satanic seal-hunting captain and develops dementia.

  232. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#226):

    …but the cake keeps changing from day to day…

    Maybe John’s take on “the beauty of nature” is mutation/evolution?

  233. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#157) & @bbofun (#165) That kind of makes sense. A decorated cake is to be brought to an event, which might involve taking it upstairs or across a surface not amenable to rolling carts, so if you can’t carry it across the room, you fail at cake. Not as badly as Mary and Dill do, but still.

  234. Shrug, "I see London..."
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#231):

    Jack London’s first published short story, “A Thousand Deaths,” involves a hapless castaway who is rescued by a mad scientist who just happens to be his own estranged father. He is then used as a test case for his father’s experiments in killing and reviving people — or in this case the same person, him — in scores of increasingly painful ways.

    http://www.jacklondons.net/thousanddeaths.html

    So yes, Jack London would fit right in as ghost writer on FUNKY WINKERBEAN.

    Can’t you just see this passage translated into FUNKYspeak?

    “It cannot be said that I participated in this series, nor in the subsequent ones, with much verve; but after two ineffectual attempts of escape, I began to take quite an interest. Besides, I was becoming accustomed.”

    or this one:

    ” The easiest deaths were by asphyxiation, such as drowning, strangling, and suffocation by gas; while those by morphine, opium, cocaine and chloroform, were not at all hard.”

  235. Zerowolf
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    @Hyhybt (#194): Because nothing says, “Loser,” quite like the humiliation going home with a year’s supply of Rice A Roni.

  236. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#229):

    Thanks for that link. Those were sweet. I hope nothing bad happens to these people.

    MT-”I keep a special type of worm in my pants and when I’m fishing I take it out and dangle it over the water.”

  237. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#231) & @Shrug, “I see London…” (#234): Other storylines…

    A timber wolf is gradually domesticated, regrets his life choices, descends into alcoholism

    An aging boxer, craving a piece of steak can only afford a slice of pizza, making him sluggish, is knocked out in first round

    Stranded along the highway during a blizzard, an octogenarian bus driver is too busy making bad puns to notice the way the students are eyeing him, is cut open and used for warmth

    Fearful of being tortured by his capricious and brutal captor, a fictional private investigator tricks his creator into killing him permanently

  238. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#196): Impressive. You got it. I had to go to the article the original poster linked to find the translation. Apparently she wrote a couple of novels full of this, and had a huge ironic following which she completely refused to see as anything other than devoted fans. It’s kind of sad that the nadir in novel writing has fallen from that level to My Immortal. That is, Ms. Ros seems to have had a large vocabulary, the ability to spell, and a basic grasp of grammar.

    Also, if terrible fan fiction is something you like, and you really miss the themes (but not the talent) Dingo expressed here. there’s this, which I found while looking for the above link.

  239. Liam
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    MT-The Rod Bassy Killer on sale now at fine sporting good stores.

  240. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    Has anybody ever, in the history of the universe, ever actually purchased and consumed Rice-a-Roni?

  241. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

  242. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:41 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#240): I have never purchased it, but when I was about 8, my aunt served it to me for dinner. I puked my guts out about 15 minutes later. True story.

  243. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    @G (#230): I read the page history but still can’t believe that Turdus migratorius isn’t just a clever piece of wiki vandalism.

  244. Zerowolf
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#240): As long as there are Pluggers there will be Rice A Roni.

  245. bats :[
    January 23rd, 2013 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    Huh. Just realized that Contest are Everywhere! And what if Mary and John Dill entered a bass fishing contest while Rod Bassy entered a cake-decorating contest?
    No, no mash-up. A minor epiphany, that’s all.

  246. Mr. O'Malley
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#240): Has anybody ever, in the history of the universe, ever actually purchased and consumed Rice-a-Roni?

    It’s certainly no more popular in San Francisco than it is elsewhere.

    Although there are an increasing number of Hawaiian barbecue places where the food is served with rice and macaroni salad on the side.

  247. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#245): Don’t forget Lockhorns’ ongoing “Who Can Give and Take The Most Abuse Before Committing Murder-Suicide?” contest.

  248. MWDG
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    MW: TOP SECRET…Spoiler ALERT…Secret ingredient in frosting for Mary and John Dill’s cake (no, not that) …believe it or not! Dawn Weston’s breast milk! Dawn carried Jim’s baby… and of course the baby was also born with one arm. So…Dawn (per Mary’s sage advice) got rid of that little one-armed baby lickity-split! Dawn produced much milk …Terry Bryson volunteered to help Dawn express the milk…they bottled it and sold some on ebay…the rest they sold to John Dill!

  249. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:12 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#240): My mom would frequently serve it. I avoided rice for years, thinking that “Rice-a-Roni” was rice.

  250. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    PBS: I hear Pastis was terribly mauled by two she-bears after drawing this strip. [*]

    Pluggers: Pluggers are boring.

    Mother Goose & Grimm: Cammy Chameleon. He comes and goes, he comes and goes.

  251. Zerowolf
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#246): Rice A Roni is the San Francisco treat. A San Franscisco trick on the other hand involves a man in assless chaps.

  252. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    @Zerowolf (#251): Not to mention Jack London was San Francisco born and raised.

  253. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    @Comrade Denny (#252): Was he raised on Rice-a-Roni or in assless chaps?

  254. tallyHO
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    Someone needs to defend Rice-O-Roni ™.

    I guess that person is me.

    Ri.
    Ri starts Right On!
    Ce.
    Ce is the sound that starts Supper.

    (If Jesus had Rice-O-Roni, we’d all be eating R-O-R instead of bland Communion crackers. Though we might call is Jesus-O-Scrumptious)

    A
    A stands for…waitasec! An “A”?

    I thought it was an “O”. It isn’t “Rice-O-Roni”? I thought it was the Irish Hangover Treat? Was I wrong all these years? The bells in the commercial didn’t signify a splitting headache?

    Huh. It is the “San Francisco Treat”? That’s a long way from Ireland.
    Suddenly, it seems less exotic.

    Waitasec! It never was meant to be exotic? It is just quick food in a box, divvied up into servings? Yikes!

    The next thing you are gonna tell me is Taco Bell isn’t authentic Polynesian cuisi….What?!? It isn’t even Mexican or Mexican-esque?!!!?

    I gotta go sit down.

    Now I wish someone would make me a two layer cake. One layer just won’t do.

  255. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    The ads I’m being served just switched from male catheters to wedding gowns. Do you think it was my interest in Rice-a-Roni or assless chaps that caused Adsense to recalculate my demographic?

  256. Mr. O'Malley
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    I guess the thinking is that San Francisco has a lot of Italians and also a lot of Chinese, so naturally you would want to combine pasta and rice.

    San Francisco also has a lot of Irish, so it’s a lucky thing they didn’t try to stick potatoes in there as well.

  257. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#256): This discussion prompted me to google Rice-A-Roni, and you know, a page of image search results evokes exactly one thing: the “cuisine” of Mary Worth. So many beige, gloppy lumps….

  258. Comrade Denny
    January 23rd, 2013 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#256): True fact. Rice-a-Roni was invented by an Italian who moved to California.

  259. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:05 pm [Reply]

    @G (#230): I’ve seen robins and I don’t think that looks like one. I did a google image search for the panel featuring it and while it didn’t turn up an identification, it did reveal a drawing of a Kiwi bird punching out a fish, so it wasn’t a total loss.

  260. Calico
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    I found this cake disaster from a few years back – go to 2:29
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgonlrB2VJY

  261. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    MW Hey! Nothing says “the beauty of nature” like a cake that walks itself from the work table to the display. So slap some legs on that pink sucker!

    FW “… although maybe we didn’t fall in love so much… as we just fell into place… although maybe we didn’t fall into place so much… as we just fell into a ditch and couldn’t get out. We were drinking a lot back in those days.”

  262. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    @Comrade Denny (#258): From where? A Siberian labour camp?

  263. The Ridger
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    @exapno (#206): Jeopardy used to give nothing to the runners up because they didn’t want to encourage safe betting in the Final. You still have to pay your own way (transportation and hotel), so if you come in third, depending on where you came from you might end up paying for the experience.

  264. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#256):

    San Francisco also has a lot of Irish, so it’s a lucky thing they didn’t try to stick potatoes in there as well.

    Growing up in the SOUTHERN PART OF THE STATE, it seemed like we ate rice almost every day and with everything. Stewed tomatoes, beans, or peas are not so usual. But when there were boiled new potatoes dressed with cream and butter, I would pile those potatoes on the rice. That is still powerful comfort food for me. But, hey, I am a starch freak.

  265. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    A few years ago in A3G, Margo’s “Dios Mio” bio mom had visions that Lu Ann was in danger, and rescued her from some noxious gas coming from a busted pipe in an old building. Fast forward, and she has no idea that her own daughter’s murder is being plotted and carried out. Dios Mio! She has the proportional foresight of a spider!

  266. The Ridger
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#259): Even in the b&w print that bird doesn’t look like a robin. I think it’s meant to be a hooded warbler, but the colorists did what they pleased, as they do. Remember the brown geese with the green faces?

  267. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#262): Life is grimmer than snark: it seems that the other partner in the invention was a survivor of the Armenian genocide.

  268. hogenmogen
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    Who says Sunday Mark Trails need a little punching up?

  269. Mr. O'Malley
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder, CQB (#264): The Mission burrito, including rice and beans on a tortilla, is a popular San Francisco invention. Thankfully the tater tot burrito has so far been confined mostly to the Midwest.

  270. Majicou
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    @exapno (#218): Yes, I’ve auditioned for Jeopardy! too, and I entirely concur.

    @The Ridger (#263): I was reading on ‘kipedia that in the Art Fleming version of Jeopardy!, all the contestants got to keep their winnings (unless they had $0 or less in the end.) This, apparently, led to people who’d decided they’d won enough money to just stop ringing in and people just not even trying on the Final if the leader was too far ahead.

    @Aviatrix (#238): I’m 95% convinced that My Immortal is a troll-fic. At least, that’s what I choose to believe in order to keep from tipping over into a pool of despair for the future of humanity.

  271. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#266):

    Even in the b&w print that bird doesn’t look like a robin. I think it’s meant to be a hooded warbler, but the colorists did what they pleased, as they do.

    He’s super cute and the black cowl is spot on, so I’ll overlook the fact that the bird that wants details on Rod’s fishing derby record seems to have a longer beak than the hooded warbler. Perhaps it’s evolving into something that can more easily extract meaning from the narrow crannies of Elrod’s mind.

    Remember the brown geese with the green faces?

    With fondness and facepalming.

  272. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    @Majicou (#270): I try to discount My Immortal too, closing my eyes to the existence of others’ work that is close enough in quality that My Immortal had something to parody, and that makes the former’s status at all controversial. Personally, I choose to believe that both Ms. Ros and Ms. Gilesbie were capable of clearer writing and chose to seek fame at the bottom rather than the top of the stack.

    I always wonder when I see terrifyingly illiterate writing: if that person’s grasp of their nominally native language is that poor, how do you they get though life? I don’t mean job interviews or testifying in court. I mean preparing Rice-a-Roni according to the instructions, ordering at a drive through, or passing a roadside sobriety check.

  273. Amos Snarkadder, CQB
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#269): For a few years I lived and/or visited northern New Mexico on business. That became my standard for comparing southwestern/Mexican/etc food.

  274. Calico
    January 23rd, 2013 at 8:57 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#266):
    And why does it look like the “geese” are flying North, at this time of year?

  275. Sequitur
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    Late to the parade today so all I got is a glob of Ripley’s!

    WOODPECKERS can peck trees up to 20 times per second and 12,000 times per day!

    Man, that’s some pecker.

  276. Peanut Gallery
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    @Cleve Barrister (#18): “Aye, he was a giant among men, was old John Dill! ‘Twas said he had the strength of ten cakes in him!”

    @Baka Gaijin (#97): “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for that pink bird’s cloaca!”

    My unscientific poll currently indicates 83.6% of all commenters on this board have auditioned for or appeared on Jeopardy!.

  277. Sequitur
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#254): My favorite Rice o Roni pic.

  278. yaoi huntress earth
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#163): Pibgorn’s sister comic, 9 Chickweed Lane, has shown God in the form of a middle-aged white man named, Morty. He’s just as pretentious as his pal, Thorax.

  279. cheech wizard
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    @yaoi huntress earth (#278): Oh, that’s right. So where’s the lightning?

  280. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    @Majicou (#270): They’ve gone to flat-rate 2nd and 3rd prizes now. My sister was on it after me, and they were giving cash for 2nd and 3rd.

    (Yes, for us, it’s a family tradition: My cousin auditioned, and my sister and I were on it. But she’s the only one who got to fulfill my dad’s dreams: We’d watch as a family, and when someone got the Double Jeopardy, my dad would say, “Bet it all, baby!” So when my sister landed on DJ, guess what she said, in honor of our dad?)

  281. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#276): I could never get over the invariantly dull “What is ANSWER” or “Who is ANSWER” answer-in-the-form-of-a-question. I wanted to see dialogue of the form:

    Host: “This man was re-elected President of the United States in 2012.”
    Contestant: “What father of two daughters lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?”

    Host: “This ungulate native to Finland is the only species whose females have antlers.”
    Contestant: “What species is traditionally credited with providing propulsion for Santa’s sleigh?”

  282. Peanut Gallery
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#281): I agree, the whole answer/question thing on Jeopardy! always irritated me, and you’ve hit upon an excellent of way of demonstrating that their so-called answers are really questions! But once I agreed to ignore that, I got hooked on the show.

    Another of its idiosyncrasies that can be annoying is the way they dress up simple questions as complicated ones. As in, “[Some obscure thing no one would know] in this capital city of Austria was the first [some obscure thing no one would know].” In other words, “What’s the capital of Austria?” After watching the show for several years, I’ve started trying to concentrate on absorbing the obscure fact, just to keep it interesting. (I still haven’t memorized the world capitals, though.)

  283. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    Whatever the case, perhaps he can go commiserate about his banishment with his brother’s wife, who has also apparently been uninvited from Family Game Show Watching Night.

    Francis, you rascal, you!

    http://images.moviepostershop.com/my-brothers-wife-movie-poster-1966-1020435984.jpg

    Probably NSFW…

  284. Majicou
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#281): It’s true that the Jeopardy! “clues” (as they’re officially known) are almost never the kind of answers you would give to the questions the contestants are meant to ask. It’s also true that the whole notion is a little bit contrived as a way of making the show stand out from the many other quiz shows that were around when Merv Griffin created it. Thing is, though, these days (I can’t speak to any earlier days) it’s the only TV quiz show that’s worth a damn. On Jeopardy!, the contestants don’t jump around and scream. There aren’t terrible fake pauses or over-dramatic music before Alex reveals whether someone was right. The audience keeps their fucking traps shut, applauding only when appropriate. And perhaps most important, it’s not horrifyingly dumbed-down with multiple-choice questions or elementary-school bullshit. You have to pass two written tests to get on the show.

    Hell, it can be a struggle not to answer in the form of a question at bar trivia nights or when listening to other quiz shows (NPR’s Ask Me Another is pretty excellent.)

  285. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#282): Those wordings are actually one of the things to attend to if you’re on the show. You want to learn those sort of faux complexities, along with the wordings that provide hints. There are a few little wrinkles that go beyond “how much trivia do you know?” (The buzzer timing is a whole different issue; that was my biggest challenge!)

  286. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    Wednesday’s Archie comic strip harkens back to the very first comic book cover from 1942:

    http://toronto-antiques.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Archie-1-410.jpg

  287. Miss Othmar
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    I was not on Jeopardy, but my college roommate was. We sat in the audience — the studio is way smaller than it looks on TV, and Alex makes weird jokes in-between takes. Roomie won two games, and even ran a category (you can hear me whoop in the background when she gets the last one correct). She won two games — $30K. I was so proud.

  288. Nehemiah Scudder
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#286): Say, what ever happened to Cubby the Bear, Judge Owl, Squoimy the Worm, and Bumble the Bee-tective?

    I remember when you couldn’t swing a brick at a dead cat without hitting on one of those jaspers!

  289. SPG
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    BC – This has probably been pointed out, but it was the Witch of the East (Nessarose) who was crushed by the house, decidedly not the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba). Unless the point of the comic is that fortune tellers aren’t super accurate.

  290. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    @Majicou (#284): I definitely agree that the questions on Jeopardy tend to be more challenging than on other shows. Are true questions as answers at least allowed? From my own quiz show experience I know that just remembering to press the buzzer and wait to be called by name can trip people up. I imagine many contestants lose based on neglecting proper answer format, like an overenthusiastic child granted three giant steps in Simon Says, but if you feeling sharp, or even if you knew exactly who it was and lots of facts about him, but couldn’t remember the person’s name, you should be allowed to be creative. Obviously they would have to outlaw questions of the form, “What is the question Alex just asked me?” but the contestant in this exchange should get extra points:

    Host: This integer, frequently used the Austrian capital, is neither negative nor positive.
    Contestant: Alex, what results when one is added to the value of e raised to the power of i times pi?

  291. Aviatrix
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#286): Unsupervised teenagers skating on thin ice accompanied by liquor kegs. I guess it’s changed a little over the years.

  292. Cammy Cameleon
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#288): That’s Squoimy the Woim! Not “worm”.

    // It comes and goes. It comes and goes.

  293. Majicou
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#290): In the Cheers episode where Cliff appears on Jeopardy!, he dominates the first two rounds (the categories all happen to be in his wheelhouse), but he responds to the incredibly abstruse final, which was just three names, with “Who are three people who’ve never been in my kitchen?”

    I don’t know about Euler’s formula. It’s certainly not in a contestant’s interest to take more time than necessary to answer, since answers are time-limited and so are the rounds. Like I said, that format is admittedly a contrivance, and the show wouldn’t be much different if it just used regular Q-and-A, but you just get used to it and don’t really notice, like the word “said” in a book.

  294. Rocky Stoneaxe
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:00 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#288): They’re probably in the same place as Rang-a-Tang and his owner Hy Speed:

    http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Rang-a-Tang_%28Earth-MLJ%29

    MLJ/Archie definitely featured some weird critters in the 1940s. (I’m talking about YOU, Super Duck!)

  295. Poteet
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#276): I never auditioned or appeared, but a good friend was on J. She was tripped up mostly by not having good buzzer reflexes, but she said she had fun. I see the show when I visit my mother, and have the impression there are more questions about pop culture now than in years of yore, and on those I bomb. But if botany or English lit happen to appear, I shine:-).

  296. Poteet
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:17 pm [Reply]

    @SPG (#289): It’s possible that the strip is based only on the movie, which never showed the skin color of the deceased witch. All we saw were her stockings and slippers and the way her stockings and feet, after the slippers were removed, creepily curled up and slid back under the house. Nice minor-nightmare fuel for a young Poteet.

  297. Dove
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    But what is happening on Apartment 3-G? I tried googling “is margo on fire,” “secret firebomb picnic basket” and “who is the next james bond? is it some guy named greg” but nothing came up.

  298. Sequitur
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#286): In 1942 you could see more Veronica, if you know what I mean.

  299. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:45 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#295):
    Yeah Baby! /Austin Powers

  300. Poteet
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#271): Yes, I think it’s a hooded warbler that is trying to evolve into a thrush. Decades ago when I was about twelve, I lied to a teacher and told her I had seen a hooded warbler because I wanted to impress her, which I did. The guilt has never really left me, and now I will be haunted by a mutant pink hooded warbler with a freakish beak and talking ass. Never lie, children! It doesn’t pay in the long run!

  301. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    Juggs Parker – She could poke an eye out with one of those titties!

    // What a way to go!

  302. Sequitur
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    @Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör (#301): Yeah, but who can open a bottle of wine with one of those Jack Lalanne openers in mid air? Hmmm?

  303. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:01 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#302):

    Love your not a website!

  304. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#300): Yes, you must find her or her final resting place and make restitution or be forever dogged by that horrific apparition. Also your dry cleaning will be often ready late.

  305. Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#300):

    Well, you just need to read Mark Trail!

  306. Poteet
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#304): How did you know??

  307. Poteet
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:10 am [Reply]

    @Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör (#305): Yes, watching Mark for the next few weeks as he dimly begins to comprehend that cheating might be involved should certainly count as some kind of penance.

  308. Droopy Says
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:20 am [Reply]

    Spiderdick: There must be a point at which someone will realize how ridiculous this is and pull the plug on this story.

    FW: Well, Echo, if you’re lucky Narcissus will pine away and you can fulfil your ambition to write bleak, despairing stories–oh, crap, Creepy Les already took that niche. Maybe you can become Dead Fucking Lisa’s avatar.

    FC: “Pssst! We’re goin’ over the wall tonight! Pass the word!”

    Mock Travail: Coyly, Trail drops hints . . . depth, and lures, and slick, wriggling fish . . .a tumescent Rod Bassy reveals his aroused fist, eliciting a smile from his reclining guest . . . Bassy lets an abashed smile slip as Trail expertly angles to reel him in . . . and Trail erupts in joy, for Bassy gives good interview!

    Phantom: Then Lion #4 appears out of nowhere, attacks the two men, kills hem and eats them. The immortal-ghost-lioness charade collapses for want of schemers. The End. (I can dream, can’t I?)

    Pluggers: Insert Doggy Houser joke.

  309. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    @Majicou (#293): The time limit does explain it.

    @Poteet (#306): I made a bizarre typo while googling “hooded warbler” and found a site that explained it all. I bookmarked it, but when I tried to go back to get the link for you, all I got was a cascade of porn pop-ups. I hope your teacher wasn’t eaten by bears or lost at sea.

    @Der Kömmëntätör, Herr Schnärkïnätör (#303): Is there some point to the little box underneath? I tried writing a Harry Potter fanfic in it, but it cut me off before my protagonist even made it onto the train platform.

  310. crazy fungus
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    Re 67/some guy in a peyton manning jersey-
    The king looks like WILFORD BRIMLEY with orange hair
    Little known fact known by everyone: said WB was once howard hughes’s BODYGUARD

  311. Poteet
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#309): Thanks for driving that weird pink warbler right out of my mind:-)

  312. bats :[
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:36 am [Reply]

    @Zerowolf (#251): clapclapclapclapclap!

  313. Poteet
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:37 am [Reply]

    FW — “As I sit here reflecting at length on my dreary depressing loveless futile life, which is a subject I know you both want to hear about at this particular moment, I realize that the last thing I want to do with the rest of my sorry existence is waste my time helping that brain-damaged loser try to regain his health. So I want both of you to go in there and while one of you distracts the nurse, the other one can smother him with a pillow. He doesn’t have much life insurance, but I’ll give you each a thou if you do it right.”

  314. crazy fungus
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:39 am [Reply]

    Re 251/zero woofs: I knew an ass-less chap once… but I think that was due to ramen noodles, and not riceroni

  315. crazy fungus
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    divide my last comment# by 100 so I can have a life

  316. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    Thursday’s FW: We thought this strip was predictable. Okay, it is, we knew there would be misery, but about her repressive marriage?

  317. Mr. O'Malley
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    Going back to the original Momma strip, I frequently have the experience of trying to do a puzzle while constantly being bombarded with guesses whose content shows that the guesser doesn’t even understand the format of the puzzle.

    Like say the Jumble:

    #1: Hmm, how about NOYRED?
    #3: Satellite! Locomotive! Cauliflower?
    #2: DRY ONE?
    #3: Submarine! No, no, catapult!
    #1: That’s two words.
    #3: Quarterhorse! Giraffe? No, no, I’ve got it now. Cuttlefish!
    #2: How about DRONEY?
    #3: Aha! I’ve figured it out! Balustrade! Or … trombone!
    #1: DRONEY? Is that even a word?
    #3: Now I think I see it. Cantelope!
    #2: Sure it is. The music that college radio station plays is very DRONEY.
    #3: Juggernaut! Astronaut! Nautilus!
    #1: I don’t think DRONEY is a real word.
    #3: Why are you ignoring me, I’m trying to help you!

    It’s really extremely annoying.

  318. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    @crazy fungus (#315): Sorry, you already divided it by zero. There’s nothing you can do to save it now.

  319. Poteet
    January 24th, 2013 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    CRANKSHAFT — As a former fanatic gardener of a certain age, I think I may be the intended target audience for this storyline. I do feel as if the strip is shooting at me.

  320. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#317): That’s a stunning account of your Jumble experience, but the contestants on Wheel of Fortune can’t hear the inane guesses television viewers are making.

  321. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 1:13 am [Reply]

    JP: Hey, Manley, where the contract says “artistic composition must always afford a clear view of jugs,” it’s not talking about the ones in the refrigerator.

  322. Mr. O'Malley
    January 24th, 2013 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#320): Yes, but the other viewers in the same room with him can hear them.

  323. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 1:36 am [Reply]

    I am not worthy to snark on Thursday’s Mary Worth.. Also I’m laughing too hard. It is no longer a matter of speculation: this strip is definitely written for two different audiences, and we are privileged to be one of them. I can offer up only my thanks and awe.

  324. Aviatrix
    January 24th, 2013 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#322): But they’re only there to gain a smug sense of superiority when a contestant misses a question that Momma and her viewing companions could have answered if they’d thought about it more. Francis’ idiot interjections will only enhance their feeling of adequacy.

  325. Mr. O'Malley
    January 24th, 2013 at 2:23 am [Reply]

    MW: Is there some rule at these cake competitions that the contestants have to stand on a turntable while icing their cake? Because those cabinets are in the same place while everything else has rotated about 60 degrees.

    If they really wanted to go for an Extreme Cake show, they could use one of those big shake tables they use to simulate earthquakes.

    “Weighty but delicate”? Do you by chance have any glass swans?

    Do they have to provide music for carrying the cake? A tango would be nice. But with that much pink, perhaps something a little more Viennese?

    Is he wearing his apron backwards? Most aprons protect the front of your clothing because you normally work facing your project. But if he’s going to be leading the carrying of this cake full of lead ingots while doing the Lambeth Walk, maybe he’ll need an apron on his back.

    @Aviatrix (#323): If this story keeps on like this I won’t complain if it runs for a few months. You can have your ferry accidents, your kite-flying therapy and your Italian helicopter rescues, but nothing has you on the edge of your chair like a good cake story with all the trimmings.

  326. Dale
    January 24th, 2013 at 2:48 am [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL (1/24) actually asked reasonable questions.

    Rod’s initial reaction is a clear admission of cheating. Unless he’s really tired of people suggesting he cheats, when he’s just a better fisherman than they are.

    Any chance Mark’s camera is a recording device? Why does he carry it like that? It’s inconvenient, uncomfortable, and he doesn’t need it in Rod’s hotel room.

  327. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    January 24th, 2013 at 3:58 am [Reply]

    @bbofun (#165): I suspect that “drama” is the main reason, but there’s also a practical precedent: bakeries doing wedding cakes or other fancy cakes have to get them to their venues intact. So knowing how to transport a large and unwieldy dessert is a good skill to have.

  328. Ed Bob
    January 24th, 2013 at 5:37 am [Reply]

    A3G–Ye olde fire extinguisher.

  329. Liam
    January 24th, 2013 at 5:38 am [Reply]

    @SPG (#289):

    In the book was there a description of what the witch looked like before she was crushed by the house because in the movie all we saw was a pair of legs.

  330. gleeb
    January 24th, 2013 at 7:04 am [Reply]

    3rd Floor Hallway: Greg, the man (or as close as we get in this strip) of action, pooh-poohs Ari’s need of proofs. He wants to chop and will not be stopped!

    ‘shaft: Ed plots to poison the local water table.

    ‘bean: When Fred kicks, she’ll be free, and now it’s too late. Ha, ha, ha, ha! The gods look down and laugh. And you know what hidebound infantilizers gods can be.

    Sam Driver, master chef!: Sam’s preparing his famous seltzer and frozen spinach for supper.

    Phantom: The most action we’ve had in a week or two, and it’s a false hypothetical.

    Archie: The rich don’t need to rationalize.

    Thorp: BOW BEFORE YOUR GOD, MIA!

  331. CanuckDownSouth
    January 24th, 2013 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    FW: I call BS. She was already working at a school, part of the union because of the strike. That wasn’t a stepping stone to a sportswriting career. She’d given up – or never tried to do any journalism – but wants to blame her marriage for it.

    Luann: What is it, Bovine Excrement Comics Day? A huge university … that has one generic course on all theatre history – and another for all of theoretical physics! Forget Ivy League, Rosa’s parents just want her to go somewhere with a good selection of accredited major and minor programs.

    MW: sooo …. why not practice carrying the practice cake??

  332. Comcis Fan
    January 24th, 2013 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    MW: So this whole cake contest is just an elaborate excuse to practice matching their rhythms, rip their aprons off and squeeze each other’s frosting bags. Am I right?

  333. Comcis Fan
    January 24th, 2013 at 8:18 am [Reply]

    FW: “And then we adopted you and I saw my dream slip even further away.”

  334. hogenmogen
    January 24th, 2013 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#331):
    FW: I suspect she wanted to be the Marty Moon of Westview. Get into the world of sports journalism by printing or broadcasting demands for nothing less than perfection from coaches and players, while her attention is interrupted by bouts of alcoholism and gambling addiction. And grow a beard.

  335. greghousesgf
    January 24th, 2013 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#240): i like Rice-a-roni, I don’t eat it all the time, though.

  336. Marmaduke Franz Ferdinand
    January 24th, 2013 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    I would have gone with “Rod Bassy Bass Rod” but then what do I know, I’ve got a warehouse full of unsold Mark Trail Trail Markers. Also, that is a legitimate business and I have no secrets

  337. SPG
    January 24th, 2013 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#329): I’m working with source material from the novel “Wicked.” I have, to my shame, never read “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

  338. Morgan Wick
    January 24th, 2013 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    I can’t help but think that Momma joke was originally intended to be “Jeopardy!”, but was changed at some point along the way for some reason.

    Wizard of Id really is the poor man’s B.C., isn’t it?

  339. Hyhybt
    January 27th, 2013 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

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