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Turns, burns, and spurns

Phantom, 7/1/2008

Joke’s on you, Stripey — this guy’s just as crazy as you are, and has a much better claim to the premises. You two “heroes” work it out among yourselves — just stay the hell off our streets.

Curtis, 7/1/2008

Yup — no stereotyping here.

Funky Winkerbean, 7/1/2008

Les and Santa there look a little too happy about Tony’s return, in a way that can’t bode well for Funky. And from the shaky grasp of the English language betrayed in panel three, things aren’t looking up for author Tom Batiuk, either.

Gasoline Alley, 7/1/2008

Ah, the fog parts and all becomes clear: The Humiliation of Rufus, Part XXVII reveals the futility of his dreams of glory, and betrayal of his unconditional love by the kitten he saved. On the plus side, he’s ready for a major part in Funky Winkerbean or Crankshaft.

Mary Worth, 7/1/2008

In the harsh glare of Mary’s intrusiveness, it’s easy to overlook the soft glow of her unrelenting pettiness. Here, she spurns her new (entirely hypothetical) love interest on the basis of his distaste for her beloved seafood: “Don’t like scrod? Then no, by God!”

Hey, everybody — Josh is back! Look for an “I’m back” post sometime Tuesday afternoon, followed by the generous banquet of the Joshy goodness we’ve all come to know and love. Thanks!

– Uncle Lumpy

193 responses to “Turns, burns, and spurns”

  1. Eridani
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:11 am [Reply]

    Are the bolded words in Curtis supposed to convey a secret message? You eat bad? Probably what that Asian kid’s mother would say if she heard him say he what he said. (It’s my first first post, so gimme a break, but hey, wanted to do it once. I’m here, and there’s no comments yet! :)

  2. Brendan
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    First, what’s that kid doing in summer school?

    Second, what self-respecting Orientalist would give that kid a name like “Andy”? Come on, what’s wrong with “Daisuke” or “Xiaolan”?

    Third, what? Just what? Did he really think Curtis readers wouldn’t cry foul here?

  3. BigTed
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:20 am [Reply]

    The question of what the stereotyped smart Asian kid is doing in Curtis’ remedial summer math class has a simple answer: He’s 5.

  4. Ross
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    Curtis: I have a bad feeling this Andy kid is going to make me miss Gunk’s antics. And I hate Gunk.

  5. BigTed
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    MW: Studies show that fish can boost your mood and may actually relieve depression. Which is why anyone who dates Mary has to eat it constantly.

  6. Bah
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    Mary’s new beau speaks in yellow bubbles? MARY WORTH IS DATING DEADPOOL!

    Of course… it all makes sense now.

  7. Mars
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:29 am [Reply]

    Sally Forth broke the Forth wall? Insanity!

    Is that Chuck Norris in panel 1 of Judge Parker? I think it is.

  8. Ham Gravy
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:30 am [Reply]


  9. Brian
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:35 am [Reply]

    FW: What’s wrong with the English in the third panel? For what it’s worth, it seems like he’s just riffing on the idea of spending the minimum amount of time living in a place for tax reasons, with Tony deliberately spending a maximum amount of time in Florida instead. I mean, wouldn’t you rather be in Florida than Ohio? :)

  10. rainbird
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:45 am [Reply]

    3 big ted
    I think Curtis must be in the wrong summer school class he wondered in to the a.e. class. Or else the kid is loony.

  11. Mibbitmaker
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    Please don’t give up on the comments on the last thread yet!

    I want people to actually see my #18 there, because it’s 18 — 18 and I like it!

    (I also hear that school’s out for summer, but I digress…)

    Not so FAAAAAAST, Lumpy![/Joe Besser]

  12. Tom Bombadil
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:14 am [Reply]

    Why does the mirror on Mary’s wall show Dr. Jeff sharing a drink with Mel Kiper Jr? Does she even know they’re in her house?

  13. athena
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:36 am [Reply]

    Mary seems to be entering a second childhood, or second adolescence: “Let’s go to the Bum Boat so my old boyfriend can see us together and get jealous.”

  14. Firegoat
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:15 am [Reply]

    Thanks for filling our daily comic snarking needs Uncle Lumpy!

  15. Frank Parsnip
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:20 am [Reply]

    Curtis: Andy is also a shitty driver. Make a comic up about that, Billingsley.

  16. Mordock999
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:05 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann (07/01/08)

    Well Luann, its offical. Your Parents are completely brain dead, so you are on your own.

    Have fun fighting off TJ’s advances over the next six months.

    If I were you I’d greet ‘Ole Smilely’ with a knee to the groin.


    DEATH to TJ!

  17. mojo
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:08 am [Reply]

    If ya wanna date Mary Worth, ya gotta love dead fish.

    Somehow I already guessed that.

  18. Nil Zed
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:28 am [Reply]

    My daughter got to experience the incredible differences between school systems and summer schools.

    In city schools back east, she attended summer school, and it was like a prison. sit here, walk here, constant supervision, rigid requirements. She had to go to make up geometry, we thought she might as well take an afternoon class as well, to make it easier on our transportation plans, but no, you could only re-take classes, you couldn’t take a class in order to get ahead. (evidently, the rare child in our area of town who failed a class, made it up with private tutoring and a discreet exam at the beginning of the fall semester, so, no bus transportation was available. from other areas of town, a summer semester was expected for so many students, that they did run busses. sad)

    Anyway, we moved to suburbia on the west coast, and discovered that many, many kids there (many of them Asian, FWIW) take the maximum number of classes in the summer in order to move ahead and improve their GPA. They don’t provide busses at all, but then, they don’t in the winteer either.

  19. gleeb
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:33 am [Reply]

    9CL: Well, that’s irresponsible. And fairly dull.

    ‘bean: Now that the cell is united, plotting against the whiskerless Funky can resume. Oh, and I don’t think it’s any tax thing; Montoni was probably popped for something.

    Phantom: “Whenever I hear the word ‘Justice’, I reach for my pistol.”

  20. Rizbon
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:38 am [Reply]

    To be fair, The Bum Boat is, like, 90% of Mary’s life. Next thing, we’ll find out this suitor doesn’t enjoy Charterstone pool parties, and then there’ll be nothing left.

    (Side note: I’m hugely embarrassed I did not have to look up either of those proper names.)

  21. Pozzo
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:42 am [Reply]

    I know the pizza place is “Montoni’s,” which we see part of in the second panel, but it just seems strange to see “Toni’s” right after Les has greeted “Tony.”

    “Hey, Tony! Great to have you back. Hope you don’t mind we changed the name of the place while you were gone; it just seemed hipper with an ‘i’.”

  22. John C Fremont
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:49 am [Reply]

    # 7 – Yes, Mars, that’s definitely Chuck Norris in Judge Parker, and he clearly likes the ladies. And it’s not stalking. Come to think of it, though, Chuck Norris spelled sideways is Aldo Kelrast, but I’m sure that’s just a happy coincidence.

    Phantom – So he fights for justice, and his weapon of choice is a pipe wrench? Must have picked that up from Wes Studi.

    FW – Did I miss something? Wasn’t Les supposed to be going to New York?

  23. John C Fremont
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:50 am [Reply]

    Oh, and thanks, Uncle Lumpy!!

  24. Saluki
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:56 am [Reply]

    Suddenly Coach Thorp’s team is trying to qualify for the playoffs, not the playdowns. Did their town move?

  25. Saluki
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:02 am [Reply]

    Zits: And so Jeremy’s group started to evolve into a Crazy Horse tribute band.

  26. InkAllergy
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:12 am [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy, you did an exceptionally fine job of sitting in for Josh.

    Kudos to you! Hurray!

  27. Moss_Moses
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:13 am [Reply]

    Kelly Welly went from (intentionally) dropping the bag of kitchen utensils to picking up and pointing the camera in a matter of nanoseconds. Or maybe she had time since Moss rode the horse bucking bronco style a few times before getting tossed on his keester.

  28. InkAllergy
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    As long as Mary Worth continues to wear that pink half-suit or jumper or what-the-hell it is, then I keep thinking she is starring in Pretty Woman II: The Spinster Years. This also dovetails nicely with my belief that Mary is turning tricks on the side. She has to be; otherwise, who would seriously want to go out with her? At least for the money these elderly gentlemen get to make Mary do things with a catheter and a colostomy bag that cannot be printed in the strip. It really shouldn’t even be thought about in any fashion, to be honest.

  29. Tom T.
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    MW: Fish dinners are very important to the elderly for some reason. Who do you think keeps “cod” on the dinner menu at IHOP?

    Luann: #17 has it. The parents won’t “let” their mid-20s firefighter son live with a woman, but they’ll bring TJ into their house with their teenage daughter. Madness…

  30. Ned Ryerson
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:30 am [Reply]

    MW: So Ron’s not a big SEAFOOD fan? How does that play with the Santa Royale voters? Sometimes you’ve got to close your eyes and eat the cod.

    But, Dr. Jeff can eat seafood everyday…mmm he just laps it up. He also likes a nice tossed salad from time to time.

    Mary is torn.

  31. Shoshi
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:31 am [Reply]

    Not only doesn’t Ron like “seafood”, but he also doesn’t want to go to the “Bum Boat”. Yes, Dr. Jeff is definitely a better deal…

  32. Shoshi
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    Ah, I see. Mr. DeGroot wasn’t sticking up for Brad when he asserted, “Brad is an adult.” Actually, he was very put out that they would have him back at home and his complaint is merely that Brad had another offer of a place to stay that he could easily have accepted, instead of imposing on their privacy and routine at home.

  33. Whippersnapper
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:16 am [Reply]

    An early welcome back to Josh and thank you to Uncle Lumpy for taking care of us while Josh was gone!

    MW: Is Mary: a) disappointed because Ron doesn’t share her love of seafood, or b) disappointed because she won’t be able to “accidentally” run into Dr. Jeff while out with Ron at the Bum Boat?
    Answer: c) Filled with murderous rage that Ron actually thought her suggestion was a suggestion. No one questions Mary Worth!

  34. Hogenmogen
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    Q: My wife likes Cajun. Is that grounds for divorce?

    A: Yes. That and her love of Foob.

  35. Kris
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    She is horrid, is Mary Worth!

  36. LurkNoLonger
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: “That’s too bad. I am….. and YOU VILL BE EATINK AT THE BUM BOAT, JA! VAT I SAY, YOU VILL DO!”

  37. TargemQ8
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    A big THANK YOU and kudos to the witty Uncle Lumpy for filling in (I’m already spoiled by the crack-of-dawn postings ,and still reeling from the Fred Waring shout out). Thanks for being the cool substitute for the favorite teacher.

    Aaaand, Welcome Back Josh!

  38. Tweeks_Coffee
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    A3G: But Margo, how can you deny the obvious evidence of Luann’s awesome art? There was really a ghost there by gosh, I saw it with my own eyes!
    CtH: There’s not actually a joke here, is there?
    DT: I know I said that I wasn’t going to read this anymore, but something just occurred to me; Big B is Shirl’s father, isn’t he? That explains the stupid pipe he’s always smoking.
    FC: “…hideously deformed and grotesque!”
    JP: I wanna know what’s going on outside here. Is that blond chick gleefully running away from that apparent stalker? Is he her body guard and she’s the spoiled heiress? Inquiring minds want to know!
    MT: What the hell kind of documentary is this anyway? Is Kelly aiming to make the next Grizzly Man?
    MW: Nice going, Ron, you just blew your chance to get into those Depends because you couldn’t stomach some shrimp.
    Phantom: Tony Stark’s sure let himself go.
    S4th: Not sure why the Forths have to change into goth clothes for a flashback, but okay. Meanwhile, Hilary’s been demoted to pure reaction shots.

  39. Islamorada Girl
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    Judge Parker, first time novelist, thinks he can get a better advance than the one offered by the publisher? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! =choke=HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    On a happier note, thanks Uncle Lumpy, for taking care of us! Your snark has been delicious! You’re the best!

  40. Dr. Dong
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    I hope Ving Rhames and his stylin’ wig can work things out with the Phantom

  41. Harry Worth
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    Mary is such a two-timing bitch.

    She needs someone to come into her life and slap some meddle upside her head.

  42. Hogenmogen, smutologist at large
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    Spiderman: Yeah, Spidey, you give a great interview. Dead air, glowering in silence over your host’s desk. Way to make a nice impression.
    Imagine if he puked inside his own mask? Eeechh.

    MW: I finally got it! Look at the way that “seafood” is in bold in panel 1. She doesn’t really mean “seafood”. It’s an obvious innuendo.
    “So, Ron, I guess you won’t be interested in some tuna a little later, eh? No? Want to squeeze some melons? How ’bout if I just grab your hot dog? Still not interested?” Thinks: But I know a grovelling fool who is!

  43. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    Spam spam spam spam
    Spam spam spam spam
    Lovely spam, wonderful spam!
    Glorious spam, splendiferous spam!

    9DQ: Talk about “hearing what you want to hear.”

    A3G: Mmmmm… lime cake!

    Baldo: When Fergie sang about her “lovely lady lumps,” Beatriz, she wasn’t talking about her face. Get to an endocrinologist. No, seriously. You look like the cross between Penelope Cruz and John McCain. Have you had your MMR booster?

    Curtis: And now, a guest snark from Capt. Louis Renault of Casablanca:
    “I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to find that there is racial stereotyping going on in Curtis!”
    Thanks, Louie. You’re a swell guy.

    (WT)DT: Dick Locher, you are no longer authorized to use simile and metaphor as in panel 2. I am revoking your literary license.

    thorps. Of course, Elmer can’t play next week, because then they’d make the playoffs, and a Thorp-coached team hasn’t made the playoffs since… wait, hold on just a second here… playoffs? Playoffs? I’ll have you know that in the Thorpiverse, the postseason is called the playdowns, mister. Something’s fishy here. I call shenanigans!

    JP: Poor Eduardo Barretto… can’t go three days withouth drawing an attractive woman with a huge rack, even if it’s only an unrelated passerby. It may be an unhealthy obsession, but then again, it is the only thing that keeps me reading this strip.

    MW: Does that circular inset in panel two look like the view through a sniper’s scope to anyone else? There’s a crazed gunman in town, and he really hates Big Mouth Billy Bass! But then, can you blame him?

    And… no. Just no. Don’t tell me that Mary and Jeff are going to get back together because they both like seafood. That is just too stupid for words.

    Stripeybutt: So Mr. Goodwrench here is the self-appointed, oil-rig version of Phantom himself? This strip is based in Africa. Why did we have to go all the way to an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana to meet a black guy who fights for justice?

    6C: Oh, sure, draw round, firm-looking udders on the cow, why don’tcha… I swear, someone from Six Chix reads this blog, and she has it in for me.

    Zits: Funny, when I think “Becker,” I don’t think “attractive, vivacious teenage girl.” I think “Ted Danson past his sell-by date.”

  44. The Hogenmogen who says "Ni"
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    I hate to say it – no, I love to say it – I called it a few days ago. Mom & Pop DeGroot forbade the adult Brad from living with hot Toni, his love interest of the past 3-ish years. Yet, they don’t figure on TJ the hormone fueled pervert hitting on their daughter. No, certainly not TJ, what, with his shit-eating grin and all.

  45. man behind the curtain
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MW — It’s obvious that after the way Dr. Jeff reacted to the photo in the newspaper, Mary just wants to play him a bit more. So it’s off to the Bun Boat where all of Jeff’s friends can see Mary and her new gentleman friend and then report back to Jeff. Mary should know that all seafood restaurants have some meat dishes on the menu. Of course, maybe Ron has other ideas and has alerted the media to the location of his next rendezvous with Mary.

    LuAnn — So how about LuAnn moving in with Toni? And if TJ has no family, who was he living with all of those years?

  46. Elise
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MW: That fish in the third panel is some damn clunky visual exposition. “Look! They were just talking about seafood! And this is a seafood restaurant! As evidenced by the fish on the wall!” As though we wouldn’t immediately recognize the Bum Boat from its bleak wood paneling and the fact that Mary is drinking her bourbon out of a wine glass instead of a tea cup.

    I wonder if it’s an actual fish mounted on a plaque, or just a picture that the Bum Boat keeps around to remind its geriatric patrons what a fish is.

  47. ScienceGiant
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Wow. I was just about to yell at Uncle Lumpy to get back here and explain Mary Worth to me. But then I read Whippersnapper in #34, and it makes more sense now. Thanks, Uncle. Thanks, W.

  48. ScienceGiant
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    Take a tip from Mary Worth, ladies: always base your booty call on the menu!

    (apparently, vietnamise < seafood)

  49. The Hogenmogen who up until recent times has said "Ni"
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    Everyone who is knocking the subtle racial stereotyping seems to be missing the blatantly obvious examples every day in Redeye or Snuffy Smith. When I was a kid, they were throwbacks to an earlier age. Racism, sexism, elitism, whatever, it’s all there – except funny. They frequently miss the funny.

    Foob: After the last panel – Lawrence: I don’t know, they tell me not to practice homosexuality, but my boyfriend says I’m pretty good in the sack!

    That was rude. I apologize.

    Phantom: “I guard it against intruders like you!”
    You might want to arm yourself with more than a monkeywrench, dude. I mean, one chick and a gun could have brought you down.

    Marmaduke wants a bone. Is there a joke? Oh, Marm is a BIG DOG! ha ha ha ha!

    Lockhorns: Loretta’s brother is a prison guard, and a good one, since he was recently promoted. Is there a joke? Where is the dog? The big dog?

  50. gh
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Three cheers for Uncle Lumpy! Yay! Yay! Yay! What a wonderful week it was!

  51. Hogenmogen, worthless dezien of the planet Earth
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Just one more comment, please?

    It’s another one of Slylock’s infamous six differences crapola days. But ignore all that, other than in panel 1 the dog is thinking of crapping on the kid’s head, but in panel 2, he’s thinking of merely urinating.

    But seriously, one of the differences is that the kid’s shadow has moved from panel 1 to panel 2. Never mind that there are no other shadows around, but neither shadow is possible considering the location of the sun.

    Really, do they think these things through?

  52. anonymous
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    Dear Mary Worth:

    I am a bit surprised that after, how many years on this planet, you are not glimpsing the first red flag in your quest to snag yourself a newer, better man. You were dating a comfortable old shoe, chowing down on fish at the Bum Boat, and now you are headed for a confrontation with a smelly old sneaker with this new guy. He is definitely going to take you out of your predictable comfort zone. And I predict he will be a big jerk. He will come off badly compared with your former flame and you will go running back to the latter, realizing just in time that you should really just go with what you know. I look forward to the upcoming display of big-jerkiness.


    A reader

  53. The Obtuse Mind of Hogen Mogen
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    Argyle Sweater isn’t mentioned here much. This one is sort of funny with all the puns. I like “More bargain for your barkin’.” But if they’re talking about some kind of cell phone, I’d like to, you know, see a cell phone.

    A “cell bone”? I don’t know.

  54. Anon
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    Three cheers for Uncle Lumpy! Yay! Yay! Yay! What a wonderful week it was!


    That week went by just like two.

  55. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    MW: Ron doesn’t like seafood. Mary threw Jeff over, and now she finds that her new man doesn’t have a taste for seafood. Come on people, do I have to spell it out for you? Please don’t make me!

    FW: Uncle L beat me to it. Obviously Tony means he has to spend a minimum number of days in Florida. Just like Batiuk needs to take a minimum number of remedial English credits.

    Phantom: There’s only room for one delusional vigilante on this platform.

    Blondie: Dagwood snoring on the couch? Might be a little too arty and Warhol-ish for Elmo’s audience. If he wants a viral video for the masses, wait til Cookie gets out of the shower.

    S4th: Approaching a Simpsonian level of meta here.

    RMMD: Max Mallory has come down with MRSA! Or the Spider-Man “whatever symptoms fit the plot” flu.

    JP: Sam’s making a pistol with his fingers next to his eye. Well, that’s one way to get more money out of the publisher.

    DtM: Margaret is so high right now.

    BB: Biological weapons are banned by international law, of course. So researcher Zero will have to deny all knowledge of the project. That’s where his reputation comes in handy.

    DT: Dick may not have tumbled to Shirl Locke Holmes being a double agent yet, but if she keeps saying things like “We’ve let the banking community down”, he just might put one in her head for being annoying.

    SSmith: “Drop trou, boy. Lessee if you got any whiskers down there.”

    Shoe: In a related story, the police department’s Missing Humor unit was unable to find any trace of a joke in this strip.

    H&J: Aw, I was hoping for a “Doonesbury” crossover, where Mister J was a six-foot talking doobie.

    Marvin: This would work quite well as a “Marvin without Marvin” strip. But once you start down that road, where do you stop?

    A3G: But Margo, what about vermouth? That’s one spirit I’m pretty sure you do believe in.

  56. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    #49 Hogenmogen…
    Is there any continuity on Loretta’s brother being a prison guard? I thought Leroy’s joke actually referred to him being behind bars. Not exactly a kneeslapper, but it would fit the minimum requirements of gagness.

  57. Revenge of Chesnut
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    I like how Mary Worth is having second thoughts about dumping Jeff because he’s apparently the only person she knows who’ll drink salmon smoothies out of wine glasses with her.

  58. Justafoob
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    We need to start a petition so that FBOFW is not sent into eternal reruns come August 30.

    LJ is a genius and we can’t have her leave us.

    Where will we be able to find parenting advice?

    Where will be able to find out how to deal with aging parents?

    And when our neighbor’s kid turns up in an little orchid mini-skirt when he is supposed to be best man, just where will we be able to relate?

    Don’t go Lynn.

    Please, we beg of you.

  59. Batman Beatles
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    Foob: I forgot how much Elly yelled at her kids.

  60. Islamorada Girl
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth just wants to take Ron to the Bum Boat so she can rub her new beau in Jeff’s face. The awful thing is, Jeff’ is such a grovelling masochist, he’ll revel in the public humiliation. Mary knows her man’s secret desires and serves them well. Nothing quite like geriatric S&M.

  61. Helena Handbasket
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    I think Mary Worth is being set up to have her heart broken when she discovers that her new love interest isn’t kept busy by city council meetings, but by the trophy girlfriend he picked up to increase his political appeal.

  62. Art Vandelay
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    Wait a second– I just noticed on the FOOB website (yes I actually went there, mostly to make fun of the Coffee Talkers) that Elly is 56 years old! And she’s retired, and is whining about having to take care of grandkids? Wow, quitting your job at 56 must be nice. She expects to be able to just sit around drinking coffee and puttering around the garden for the rest of her life, and is whining already?

    Newsflash: most people don’t get to retire at age 56, Elly. The ones that do usually don’t complain about spending time with their grandkids, either. But we’ve been treated to a few weeks of reruns where Michael acts like most kids act– actually better than most– and it’s supposed to be evidence of why Elly the saint is so tired of taking care of kids and why she so deserves to retire at age 56 and be free of her burdens. Unbelievable.

    At least her dork husband is 59 and presumably brought in most of the money over the years while St. Elly was burdened with the kids. He is lucky to retire that early as well, but he is 2 or 3 years older, brought in the cash that let them retire young, and isn’t whining about his life.

  63. commodorejohn
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:59 am [Reply]


    Agnes – I wonder if Agnes‘s author lives in Wisconsin, which, we discovered yesterday to our disappointment, has apparently banned bottle rockets since last July, leaving us Minnesotans without the easy access to banned fireworks (the interesting kind.) Bleah.

    A3G – You know what would make a really awesome Apartment 3-G storyline? If this “second sight” actually did pass down to Margo. I have no doubt she’d fly off the handle and start blaming her mother for hereditary mental illness or some damn thing, and it would be glorious.

    BB – Today’s Beetle Bailey hit uncomfortably close to home, as we actually did have two pumpkins next to our front steps that stayed there over the winter and late into spring. It’s like the Walkers have a camera in my house!

    Crankshaft – Actually, apparently his dream is to one day be Norman Rockwell. Hunter S. Thompson seems skeptical.

    Curtis – Hmm, Curtis is elbowing in on Marvin‘s turf.

    DT – “Simple as gulping chocolate.” If nothing else, this strip is worth reading for the lunatic phrasings that no English speaker, native or otherwise, has ever, ever employed.

    GA – Okay, if we’re doing a “loss of innocence in Tinseltown” storyline, I really hope we skip the part where Kitty learns about the “casting couch.”

    GT – Ah, I see Gil Thorp has taken the Spider-Man approach to conflict resolution.

    HTH – Um…did they mispunctuate Hagar’s line (“What do you call this, garbage?”) or did Chris Browne just forget to put in a punchline? I don’t get it.

    JP – Who’s Hobo Dude in panel one? And why does a hobo have a gorgeous, breezy, free-spirited blonde woman for a sidekick? And most importantly, why aren’t we focusing on them instead of two legal bores talking about book contracts?

    MW – Mary remembers too late that one of the reasons she hooked up with Dr. Jeff was because he doesn’t mind the smell of fish.

    PBS – Haha, nice job getting this printed, Pastis.

    PC – Actually, if I were a member of the press, I’d be more interested in the apparent Mr. Fantastic properties of Carmen and Winslow’s arms.

    Popeye – Isopod, Haggy. Isopod.

    SF – I really wasn’t expecting Sally Forth to start tapping on the glass, let alone fully break the fourth wall. Fascinating.

  64. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    Re: last thread. It’s a pleasant surprise that “Mandrake” is still running. The Asian stereotype, not so much. How much trouble would it be to add the word “the” to his plumbing punditry?

  65. Jake
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Haven’t been around here in awhile, so my comments are focused more on the last few days, rather than today specifically.

    Sex Organ: OK, we get it already, lawyers are the evil spawn of Satan and doctors are saints sent from Heaven. Next storyline, please.

    Luann: Could Mrs. DeGroot be anymore domineering over her son’s life? Twenty years from now, Brad will be running a creepy motel after changing his name to Norman.

    Funky: Tony shows up, and from his final comment, can the IRS be far behind?

  66. migellito
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    Mary Worthless – Mary knows, it’s all about the Bum Boat.

  67. Muffaroo
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    My comic comments are, of course, stranded back in the previous post. #31! (he added, helpfully)

    gleeb @19 – “When I hear the word ‘custard,’ I reach for my spoon.”

    Me – I read all the way to the end of the previous comment thread before posting my smutty insinuations about Mary Worth, only to find that I was scooped on them in this thread three ways from Sunday. (Just grumbling.)

    man behind the curtain @45And if TJ has no family, who was he living with all of those years? He was living with his foster family, who recently perished in a mysterious fire, sort of like his birth family.

    Bonus! More similes for Dick Tracy villains!
    • Easy as chewing milk!
    • Easy as shoveling wood!
    • Smooth as a baby’s resume!
    • Fungible as pie!
    • Platitudinous as February 3rd!
    • It was just like driving a train to the dentist!
    • It was just like putting a rubber band around a lava lite!
    • Like sand through the hourglass; these are the days of our lives!

    Big Thanks – To your ol’ Uncle Lumpy! (What, he’s not your uncle? Well, he’s not my uncle!)

  68. migellito
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    commodorejohn, re Judge Parkay:

    It really seems to me that, rather than a sidekick relationship, the bearded man is chasing the blond woman, and she is fleeing in fear. She really does have the ‘oh my god he’s going to assault me!’ look on her face. And all the while, the crime-fighting judge waxes financial.

  69. Black Drazon
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    “You don’t like sea food? I’m sorry, it just won’t work out. I think I’ll get back together with the jealous do-nothing I just broke up with.” See, that’s why I love Mary Worth: consistancy. I still feel like I’m in high school.

  70. commodorejohn
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    #68 migellito – You think so? She looks more like she’s smiling to me; admittedly, the eyes cast back towards Hobo Dude make her look kind of nervous, but I’m seeing it more as “well, come on already, man, we’re going to miss the boxcar if we don’t hurry!”

  71. Donald The Anarchist
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Curtis The joke is that when the Asian kid says ‘math’ he really means ‘poo.’

    FW Rons Rules of Dating:

    1. Always pick the place. Chicks dig decisiveness.
    2. Never let her think she’s too special. She needs to know that the only thing about her that makes her worthwhile is her proximity to you.
    3. Hold political office.
    4. If you’re in a dating slump, ‘accidentally’ bump into Mary Worth and play the pity card.
    5. Don’t fall in love. ‘Cause if you do, you’ll find out she don’t love you.

  72. Walt's Wallet
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Kitty is going down a bad path.

    Next thing you know, she is going to be doing lines of cat nip and having threesomes with Morris and Garfield.

    Stop her Rufus before it is too late.

  73. Muffaroo
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    • If you tighten the tracking in the title, it says “Tums, bums, and spums.” Hope this helps.

    • The more I think about Mary Worth and “seafood,” the closer I get to tossing my chowder.

  74. McManx
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Phantom — Let’s see… Gulf of Mexico… abandoned oil platform… lone protagonist defending turf against intruders looking for justice? Holy crap, this guy is a Katrina survivor who thinks Phantom is either a looter or a FEMA executive.

    MW — Mary’s wasting no time trying to get Ron aboard the “Bum Boat,” but he’s not biting. Either he doesn’t realize this is Mary’s entree for sex, or he objects to the “eating seafood” euphemism. Or maybe he’s just put off by the thought of bedding this wrinkled old bag.

  75. odinthor
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    #43. TSS-B. — I have the same reaction to Beatriz’s appearance . . . but for the “Life is Interesting (at least, more so than the alternative)” file: Once upon a time, I was discussing with a hispanic pal the appearance of a passing chick respected female who looked much like Beatriz—the female did, not my pal—who informed me—um, my pal informed me, not the passing respected female and not Beatriz—that there is a long tradition of that particular look in hispanic culture as being hot, and . . . er, the look is hot, not the long tradition, and not hispanic culture—though of course, hispanic culture is hot, but what I mean is, er, and, um . . . oh, hell, never mind, ok?

    GT — Gil, are you wearing a crotch corset or something? Right, I know that, what with the looks of the gals in Milford, a guy might dwindle away to nothing down there; but, just for appearances’ sake, though . . .

  76. DAS
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:33 am [Reply]

    I mean, wouldn’t you rather be in Florida than Ohio? :) – Brian

    People I know who’ve lived in both places answer “no”. Of course, I’d rather stay down here in FL than live in the Funkyverse, but don’tch’y’all be dissin’ on no Ohio generally-lahk (uh oh … my command of the English language has slipped into Southronese … I guess it’s time for me to get the heck out of Tallahassee).

  77. DAS
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    the “eating seafood” euphemism – McManx

    So I’m not the only one who caught (no pun intended … or at least I hope not) that euphemism? She’s Moy really is taking MW in new directions (c.f. how Ezra Pound, IIRC, pronounced the name of that publishing house … oy, I better stop while I’m ahead … gah! [in Hank Hill voice]).

  78. gnome de blog
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    Ron Schifoso says he doesn’t like seafood? He must have heard about Mary’s tuna casserole.

  79. TeacherPatti
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    The FW tax thing keeps reminding me of a story about Led Zeppelin, who could only spend X number of days in England “for tax purposes”. Robert Plant got in a car crash and had to be flown home, but they couldn’t land because he would go over the allotted number of days. I believe they had to keep flying until after midnight or had to divert the plane.

    While it would be nice to have so much money that you have to worry about things like that, I also wouldn’t want to be stuck on an airplane after I’ve been hit by a car.

  80. fluffy
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    It’s not as if we needed any proof that Gasoline Alley does not happen in the real world, but I have never met a kitten who would be fine with a random stranger grabbing it, putting it in a chair, putting sunglasses on it, and have a mob of photographers start taking its picture en masse. Okay, kittens are certainly more tolerant for that sort of thing than adult cats, but that’d still freak them the hell out.

  81. bats :[
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    GA: You must admit that Rufus’ Kitty is just so gosh-darned CUTE! In spite of the star treatment, you can still see her stubbular tail…awwwwwwwwwwww.

    MW: I’d like to think that Ron is balking at the suggestion of going to the Bum Boat because he has a seafood allergy, and yet he eventually caves to Mary’s wishes and takes her there, hoping beyond hope that his allergy is merely a sensitivity and if he’s hopped up on antihistamines, a little fish won’t hurt…
    Ever see someone react to a seafood allergy? A friend of mine had such a reaction. In our bathroom. It was a good place to have one, I suppose, and the fastest way to get rid of the offending material without anaphylaxis. Drinking the strawberry milkshake with the shrimp was a bad idea, though…

    30. Ned Ryerson: your commentary is wrong on so many levels.
    Please keep up the good work!

    THANKS, Uncle Lumpy! I hope Josh brought you something keen from Italy!

  82. gnome de blog
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    I can hardly wait for Gabriela’s grandmother the Sea Hag to show up in A3G.

  83. Paul1963
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    Why the hell is Judge Parker bitching about an advance for a book he’s apparently already finished writing?

  84. DAS
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:59 am [Reply]


    If “drinking the strawberry milkshake with [the] shrimp” is not a euphemism, it sure the heck oughta be!

    I guess that’s a lesson for us allergic folks, though — if we wanna try something to which we are allergic, we should have it in such a bizarre combination that we’re likely to just throw it up.

  85. Shoshi
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    60 Islamorada Girl — Yes, and Jeff knows his woman’s secret desires for groveling. Break shmeak–this is FOREPLAY.

  86. DAS
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    Break shmeak–this is FOREPLAY – Shoshi

    (C.f. FC’s Jeffy as opposed to Dr. Jeff): don’t you mean “sixtyplay” as opposed to “fourplay”?

  87. Shoshi
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

  88. Uncle Lumpy
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    #85 Shoshi –

    Break shmeak–this is FOREPLAY.

    Yeah, I get an echo of The Hunger — except I can’t see Catherine Deneuve as Mary Worth.

  89. Bootsy
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Do you think Pope Josh got a chance to see the other Pope (Eggs Benedict) whilst in Rome?

    Thanks, Uncle Lumpy, for some nice snarking while the boss was away. Thanks for letting me stay up late, and the cookies you brought us (oh, I’m the only one who got cookies? Never mind, everybody.).

  90. Moss_Moses
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for filling in, Uncle Lumpy. You’ve done an admirable job. Too bad you don’t pick cotw, though.

  91. gh
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    Gosh, was this just the best darndest Mary Worth ever or what? In one fell swoop, Ron goes from potential “friend with privileges” to “friend with shriveleges.” There’s a reason Mary wants you to order the raw oysters, Ron. Actually, a couple reasons.

  92. Anon
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    Sadly we are going from the up to date, posted early in the morning snarkings of Uncle Lumpy Reads the Comics so we don’t have to.


    Josh, who will get around to posting when his busy schedule allows.

    Oh and vacation time too.

    Thanks UL.

  93. T. Chicana
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    Did Mary think Ron would just be exactly like Jeff? Was she just looking for a straight-up Jeff replacement? I mean, isn’t the whole point that she wanted to whore it up with someone new and different, and Jeff objected, and that was what the whole fight was about?
    I think there’s some truth in the theory mentioned around here that a big part of the reason Mary wanted to go to the Bum Boat was so she could bump into a jealous Dr. Cory. She’s such the drama queen.

  94. Wolf Shepherd
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    DT – “Simple as gulping chocolate.” I am getting so tired of that phrase.

    Baldo – And you are such a classy lady… not like someone who would insult and disparage my friends.

    Momma – OMG, another dried up octogenarian prune who has to beat off male suitors with a stick.

  95. Dean Booth
    July 1st, 2008 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Jeff to Mary: “Is that a fish in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?” [/ewwww]

  96. T. Chicana
    July 1st, 2008 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    95 Dean: EWWW ! Brilliant. And sickening.

  97. Donald The Anarchist
    July 1st, 2008 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    OOOPS!! Just realized I put FW when I meant MW. That was a silly mistake. Mary Worth actually makes me laugh.

  98. isrw
    July 1st, 2008 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    Mary chooses between paramours according to their tastes for “seafood” at the “Bum Boat”? The entendres aren’t quite up to double-entendre level, here.

  99. bats :[
    July 1st, 2008 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    98. isrw: yeah, but the entrees at the Bum Boat are probably not up to double-entendre level, either.

  100. Harry Worth
    July 1st, 2008 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    They have double entrees at the Bum Boat?


    No wonder Mary wants all her “dates” to take her there.

    She can eat for a week.

  101. Marthas Rolling Pin
    July 1st, 2008 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    Thanks to everyone’s favorite Uncle for all the primo snark, delivered bright and early every day.

  102. Hogenmogen the Horrible
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    #56 – Ben – I knew what the Lockhorns was trying for. I was deliberately being an asshole because if Leroy’s bro-in-law was in fact a jailer and not the jailed, it could also make sense, in fact, moreso.

    A3G: I don’t know how much “second sight” Margo inherited. She has no idea that her assistant is stealing petty cash for drug money.

    #94 – Wolf – Yeah, I think we need to take “simple as gulping chocolate” and throw it under the bus. Maybe we should taze it, bro. It is what it is, and is it all good? Not so much.

  103. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    Darn, and Mary thought that Ron would be SUCH a good catch when he physically assaulted his brother in a hospital room alongside his dying mother. It’s just a pity he doesn’t like seafood, huh?

  104. gh
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    #100 Harry Worth –

    Maybe Mary is angling for a Ron/Jeff double entrée: “Enough, boys, I’m stuffed.”

  105. Harry Worth
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    Hmmm, gh.

    You think that Mary is holding out for the Viagra DP?

  106. Kevin
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Well played, Uncle Lumpy, my boy! Well played indeed!
    Thanks for keeping us company during Josh’s hiatus.

  107. Deena in OR
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    108 Jamus at yester-yester-thread…I thought that Cassandra got along OK with Ashley while she was temping-or was that just all about the con?

  108. gnome de blog
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    If MRSA is spread by contact, and if (we can assume from all the foreshadowing) Max Slimebag has it, does that mean Rex has been exposed and is going to die, leaving June to man the strip all by herself?

  109. gleeb
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    43, re Phantom: No black man fighting for justice in Africa? What about the President of Bangalla, who personally beats up corrupt public officials?

  110. teddytoad
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    I love that, in order to express “enjoying seafood with Dr. Jeff,” Mary Worth’s imagination summons up, not a platter of broiled salmon or a tray of succulent oysters on the half shell or even a steaming pot of bouillabaisse, but a scene of her and Jeff swilling wine and talking while looking at seafood mounted on a wall. Charterstone just out-Charterstoned itself.

  111. The Sparrow
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    Welcome back Josh, and thanks to Uncle Lumpy for his outstanding snark-fest this week! I enjoyed every minute of it. Now, on to today’s victims…

    OBH: I normally loathe this strip, but today was good enough for a chuckle, because I can see kids actually doing this. Hehehehe. Monkey pirates.

    MF: Just substitute “gin” for “coffee” and the premise remains pretty much the same.

    FC: Yes Jeffy, it’s time we told you why you’re a malformed, moronic little cretin with two left feet…

    JP: I still can’t get over the name “Cheatham House”… *chortle, snicker* Some jokes never get old. For some reason I imagine the Three Stooges as employees. Maybe the judge’s book also features the crime-fighting stylings of “Cess, Pool and Drayne, Attorneys at Law.”

    Momma: Ew. What the heck is that guy wearing, anyway? A kilt? Some kind of dumpy housedress?

    BC: Waste of spaaaace…

    PBS: Aww, it’s cartoon Ling Ling’s birthday! I have to say I was happy to see this strip, because today also happens to be my birthday. ^_^ A nice coincidence (and pretty decent punch line, too). Okay, enough celebrating, time to get back to the salt mines…

  112. Brian
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    #76 DAS – I didn’t really mean to be dissing on Ohio – I’m a midwesterner myself (from a state near Ohio), but I know that during the winter, I’d rather be someplace warmer, and given the choice between retirement here and retirement tropical, I don’t really blame Tony.

  113. man behind the curtain
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    MW — Ron wants to dock his dinghy but not at the Bum Boat. Actually, Ron is showing Mary who’s in control. First he broke the date, now he’s telling Mary that he can reschedule but at the restaurant of his choosing. He’s difinitely the anti-Jeff. And Mary loves it. He’s reeling her in like the fish he claims to despise. I can’t wait until they’re alone.

  114. Little Guy
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    19: Phantom: So, ‘Justice’ is the Safe Word for the Palmers?

  115. Uncle Lumpy
    July 1st, 2008 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    #109 gleeb –

    Fightin’ President Lamanda Luaga and his fightin’ secretary!

  116. Hogenmogen the Horrible
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: “You’ll never stop my fight for justice!”

    Actually, when he kicked your ass, he kind of did.

  117. Hogenmogen & Jamaal
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    Spidey: “I just remembered something funny!”

    Pull my finger!

  118. ar_d
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for everything Uncle Lumpy :)

  119. Poteet
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    GA — So much for my secret hope that Kitty was the only sane character in the strip.

  120. Mibbitmaker
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:30 pm [Reply]


    We’re grateful that the great Uncle Lumpy kept things smoothed out until Josh could come back and josh with us once again.

    This has been a wordplay alert. We now return you to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress…

  121. Skylar
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: If you go to Youtube and actually search for “Mr. B’s snorefest”, this is what comes up. It was apparently uploaded a few hours ago.

  122. blackgoat
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Mary: ” You haven’t tasted seafood until you’ve tried ‘The Bum Boat’s – I’ve been going there for years to get scrod.”
    Ron: ( pink bubble thoughts) ” To think I never knew the past tense of that verb.”

  123. Vakar
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    Thank you, Uncle Lumpy! When I need a laugh in the morning, you always have brand new post in my RSS! Now if you could get my coffee for me, too… And change my kid’s diapers… How ’bout some pancakes for breakfast?

  124. Tonio
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    Luann – Offstage conversation between the parents:

    Mr. DeGroot: “I can’t believe you, woman! Your son has landed a turbo-hottie who’s smart and funny! The last thing he needs is his mother cock-blocking him!”

    Mrs. DeGroot: “Oh, please! This isn’t about Brad at all. When he brought Toni home, it wasn’t just your chest swelling with fatherly pride. This is just your way of bagging Toni by proxy, Mr. Midlife Crisis!”

  125. Calico
    July 1st, 2008 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    Yes, I echo a collective TY to Uncle Lumpy.

    And to all Canadian snarkers –
    Happy Canada Day!

    Big celebratory week – C Day today, 400year aniversary of Quebec City this Thursday, of course USA’s B-Day this Friday, and I heard on CBC radio that British Columbia will turn 150 this week as well.


    Now, I wonder why our favorite biddy at Charterstone isn’t getting involved? Is there simply to much to meddle in, for once?

  126. gnome de blog
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    125 Calico said:

    Now, I wonder why our favorite biddy at Charterstone isn’t getting involved? Is there simply to much to meddle in, for once?

    Mary already rebuffed Tobey’s puny attempts to meddle her. She will probably end up meddling herself, though there is some hope a guest meddler will come set thinks to right. Ella Byrd, perhaps, or Thorax.

    Thorax vs. Mary Worth for the Platitudin’ Heavyweight Cham-peen-ship of the World. So horrible to contemplate, but impossible to look away.

  127. bats :[
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    125. Calico: well, you’re taking into account not just a yearly celebration in Canada and the U.S., but also a huge-o anniversary for an entire city and a biggie for a whole province!
    Of course, Mary *could* do it, but she has her loyalties, and her first one is making sure that the Charterstone 4th of July picnic and pool party is Just Perfect. And that means potato salad, and red jello salad, and cole slaw, and German potato salad, and green jello salad, and three-bean salad, and the other red jello salad…

  128. Red Greenback
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    A little song parody to the tune of “Ruby” by the mighty Kenny Rogers- *ahem*

    You’ve linseed oiled your lips an polyurethaned your hair.
    Mary are you contemplating going out somewhere?
    You’re two hundred years old and still trying to sew your last wild oat-
    Oh Mary
    Don’t go to the Bum Boat

    It wasn’t me that took those scand’lous photos
    But I blew a gasket when the paper printed those
    And yes, it’s true that I sniveled like a big baby..
    Oh Mary, please don’t leave me all at sea.

    Its hard to love a man who only likes to dine
    On seafood that’s proccessed and re-formed, served with beige colored wine, Mary I realize,
    But yo, ho, ho and ahoy, sailor. Please dock your dory
    Oh Mary
    On the shores of Doc Cory

    That Ron Amalfi’s a landlubber, the man’s got no sea legs
    He don’t dig calamari even dusted with flour and eggs
    And if it was legal I’d keelhaul him and send him to Davy Jones
    Oh Mary
    Be careful of the bones
    Oh Mary
    I wanna jump your bones

  129. Harry Worth
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    Holy Crap, Batman.

    The 4th of July Charterstone Picnic and Pool Party.

    Is Mary going to make it this year, or is she going to be still listening to all her voice mail messages.

    Too bad Aldo Kelrast (the stalker) didn’t know that Mary loved phone sex over being talked to personally. Had he just had aural sex with her she wouldn’t have had the Charterstone Goon Squad put on an “intervention” and he would still be alive.

    Alive and still dialing Mary’s number and. . .

  130. Calico
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    Ha, Gnome and Bats!
    I wonder if Mary has ever tried Poutine – if Ron Amalfi doesn’t like seafood, he’ll be sure to love this artery-clogging dish. Eurk.

    If you don’t know what this is, it’s a really kind of icky combo of fries, gravy, and cold cheese curds on top.

    Lipitor, anyone? : P

  131. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth:Mirror Universe Saga–Who needs Star Trek to see the Mirror Universe unfold when we have Mary Worth? I hope her journey over to the dark side continues… least from the bedroom to the living room. Maybe if she’s lucky, she can reach the Great Temple of Culinary Darkness, the Bum Boat. In this universe, Mary can meddle others, but she can’t meddle herself what she wants. Ron definitely has control of her vertical and her horizontal.

    Rex Mortuary, Killer of Brain Cells: Geeze, this is unfolding just as I and other mudges called it in the previous threads. Only Rex Mortuary can save him now with a furrowed brow and yell the magic word Stat! Or is it Staph! Oh, the predictability!

    Dick Tracy, Impotent Fist Clencher:Where’s Fearless Fosdick when you need him? Right now, Tracy is out foobing the foobs.

  132. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    #130– Perhaps you mean Roto Rooter, anyone?

  133. Anonymous
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    #55 Artist…Ben: You HIT it on the HEAD! Spiderman has MSRA! It explains so much! Of course it could be “Yuppie flu”… or maybe he’s worried his wife’l behead and eat him after coitus. He is part spider, right?

  134. Anonymous
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary really suggested the Bum Boat? Knowing Jeff or his friends might be there? That is WICKED WICKED WICKED! She JUST BETTER get some comeuppance for this, I mean it! !!11! I think: A front page photo of Dr. Jeff and Ron, each with a blond bimbo on his arm. OR: Heh. Dr. Jeff & Ron in a passionate embrace…

  135. BigDave
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    I can’t wait to hear what interesting messages were left on Mary’s kitchen answering machine – something to do with alternate uses for Tartar Sauce, I bet.

  136. D. E. I.
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    How does a kid who loves math so much ends up in summer school? And who the hell says, “I do! I sure do!”? If Curtis were a spread it would be mayonnaise.

    Speaking of which, why are all these guys dying to take Mary Worth out to dinner? That comic strip has gotten too bizarre.

  137. gh
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    #125 Calico –

    Now, I wonder why our favorite biddy at Charterstone isn’t getting involved? Is there simply too much to meddle in, for once?

    [Rumination triggered by #126 gnome de blog]

    Can Mary create a problem so huge that even she can’t meddle it away? Heavy.

  138. Sandy Eggo
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    Oh I am SO glad to find fellow Mary Worthless objectors!!!

    Can we PLEASE get rid of this pious, hypocritical, self righteous bitch???

  139. bats :[
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    136. D.E.I.: I think that Mary is the only single, “available” woman in Charterstone, nay, the entire Santa Royale metropolitan area, aside from Dawn Weston.

  140. Baka Gaijin
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Wait a minute right here. In panel 1, the cake is barely bigger than a cupcake, but in panel 2 a slice is about a quarter of a full-sized cake. What gives? I know Jesus did something with fishes and loaves, but He’s like, you know, a God or something.

  141. cheech wizard
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    Phantom – oh – so the Big Black Dude is waging a lonely battle for justice on behalf of large oil companies? In that case, the Phantom has a commission in the Jungle Patrol he’d like to sell you, pal.

    Tell you what – if you’re really so gung-ho for justice, why don’t you swing that pipe wrench at a few oil company executives and OPEC sheiks until they bring down gas prices?

  142. Baka Gaijin
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    #28 Ink Allergy: Ewww. Just stop it. Ewwww.

    #55 Ben: No, PLEASE don’t spell it out. You may do worse than Ink Allergy.

    And now I stop reading this thread for fear of seeing something else that’s going to give me nightmares. And daymares. And old grey mares.

  143. FOOB-ery
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    Dear Ms Johnston,

    We are a group of online FOBFW readers and we wish to submit to you a joint reply to your statement released to Coffee Talk on Wednesday _____
    Most of us are long-time readers of your strip but we are united in our dismay and disappointment at the degradation of the strip over the last five years or so. In our collective opinion, For Better or For Worse is a mere shadow of its former self and although you thought fit to explain certain decisions you have made in character and format of late, we readers wish to address these decisions and explain to you why they do not excuse away the lax writing, poor character development and nonesensical plotting this strip continues to display.

    Your first statement outlines the supposed difficulties in conveying detailed character development in the space of a strip that will only be read in thirty seconds. This is by far the most fallacious, hypocritical argument in your entire statement.
    We understand that space in a comic strip is very limited and must be used carefully, only showing what is MOST important to the plot at hand. Why then, if this space and time is so valuable, have you wasted weeks on reruns which serve no purpose to the plots you are trying to tie up before the strip ends in September? What possible purpose is an entire week of Elly back-patting herself on her (dubious) parenting skills supposed to serve the CURRENT narrative?
    What’s with the reruns that serve no function other than make John look like a selfish jerk and paint Elly as a long-suffering martyr? This kind of relentless self-pandering is quite frankly insulting to your readers, most of whom are FULLY aware of the personal connections to your real family the Pattersons represent. Using your public comic strip as private therapy is extremely unprofessional and self-indulgent and wasting undeniably valuable strip real estate on reruns is treading a very fine line with readers’ tolerance.
    The argument that “well, we can’t see what they are doing off-panel” or “I only have a 30-second panel to work with” does NOT win the debate. These are comic strips; we are SUPPOSED to see the key points in their lives because we CAN’T see off-panel. Anything that needs to be told, needs to be told ON PANEL, just so there is no mis-interpretation of intent.
    Show me what I need to see, don’t tell me in some stilted exposition-riddled strip that by the way, does NOT have to end with a weak pun. You wasted so many strips that could have advanced the story, but instead showed re-runs that only made the characters look bad, piddly scenes of Elly’s middle-aged pity party and Eva shopping for belts. If time is so very precious to you, then STOP WASTING IT.
    And don’t put ANYTHING in a silly on-line “letter from the character” that isn’t shown in the strip, that is insulting to the readers who don’t have internet access, or can’t figure out how to surf the web and find the website. There are people like that out there, whether by situation or by design, and it is THEY who lose out the most in this “30 second window” of yours.

    Your next argument was that you feared that showing intimacy between Liz and Anthony would risk ‘turning on the treacle’. Another completely false assumption. ‘Turning on the treacle’ is using a lame, flaccid epigram or weak pun in place of a real punchline, a feature you utilise CONSTANTLY in FBOFW. No fear of treacle, this strip is already awash in it.
    We’re not concerned about the things we are not seeing, we are concerned about the mishandling of things we are seeing. It’s not that we haven’t seen Liz and Anthony being affectionate, it’s the times when they were on panel and COULD have been affectionate that they weren’t. Substance speaks more than subtext. We don’t want to see a bunch of sloppy kisses, that’s not the point and you should know it. We’d like to see SMILES on the faces of this supposed in-love couple; we’d like to see held hands and cheerful conversations, and it wouldn’t hurt for one or the other to use an endearment like “honey” or “sweetheart” or that seemingly impossible word, “love”. Instead we are treated to a conversation between two insurance underwriters.
    The reasons you list for why Anthony is indeed the Right Man for Elizabeth caused mass jaw-dropping among us.
    Ms. Johnston, your defense of Anthony’s “rightness” for Liz would make a much better argument for Anthony marrying John and Elly, not Liz. You talk about how long they have known him, how involved they are in the business where he works, how highly they regard him. But one might expect that it would be rather more important what Liz herself thinks of her prospective partner, and that appears on your list only after what her parents think.
    Let’s be blunt: Anthony is far from faultless in the failure of his marriage. He married Thérèse while obviously carrying a torch for Liz, and he all but declared his love for Liz while still married (moreso, within an hour of Liz having been assaulted and almost raped, which is simply appalling). Furthermore, he and Thérèse’s parents collaborated in pressuring her to have a baby she didn’t want and wasn’t ready for, and expected the baby to somehow transform her into someone she wasn’t. It requires very little reading between the lines to see that Anthony could never forgive Thérèse for not being Liz.
    People do, of course, make mistakes, and with luck learn from them and grow. Perhaps Anthony has faced his failures with Thérèse and acknowledged that he bears much of the blame for the disintegration of their marriage. Perhaps he has become a better person for it. But if so, nothing that we, the audience, have seen would indicate that.
    Everyone around Anthony — especially John and Elly, whose opinion weighs so heavily with Liz — casts him as the victim in that story, and almost a saint for undertaking to raise his own child.
    This is all based on the story that you have told, Ms. Johnston, in the way that you chose to tell it. Clearly it has been your desire to portray Anthony as a “great catch” — strong, gentle, honest, kind, wounded yet willing to take a chance on love. But it would seem that, against your intentions, a different Anthony has come forth; a passive-aggressive Anthony who plays the eternal victim to the problems that he creates for himself, careless of the wounds he inflicts on others as he goes.
    That paragraph should have started with a long list of reasons why Liz loved him that didn’t involve middlemen. You even list his personality as the last characteristic on the list of things Liz is familiar with. Nothing you have written proves, nothing shows that there is anything about Anthony himself that isn’t enhanced through the filter of other people. Everyone else has said Anthony is a great guy to be with, but we as the readers have seen almost NOTHING of that. Show, don’t Tell.
    Also, being a successful single parent only means that he is a successful single parent. It does not imply anything, negatively or positively, about someone’s ability to maintain an honest and open relationship to commit to an lasting relationship with another adult. It only means that they are committed to their relationship with their child.
    The major issue with your rationale in 2008 is that it’s simply not valid anymore, as a societal concept. It assumes that the woman is a trite, silly, feeble little critter who must needs be guided by the Strong and Wise about her. Don’t really have to go into why this can’t be considered as anything but a harsh betrayal when applied (especially by a woman author) to a modern-day female character, do we?

    In regards to your argument that the static comic image cannot convey emotions with the subtlely of film or animation, there is a wealth of evidence to the contrary, foremost among which is your own friend and mentor, Charles Schulz. Peanuts was revolutionary for its minimalism and yet through body language, careful dialogue and a firm grasp of who the character was, Sparky created some of the most enduring, loved characters in the world. There is AMPLE room in a comic strip to convey emotional nuance in gesture, eye contact and small vignettes which may not be the focus of the strip in question, but which readers WILL pick up and store away as another facet of that character. Two other giants of the genre, Walt Kelly and Bill Watterson, never wasted a single stroke and showed everything about a character’s thoughts just by the way a character stood or rolled their eyes. The default attitude of the typical FBOFW character is a deer-in-the-headlights ‘gobsmacked’ stare(optional coffee mug), which is neither natural nor endearing for a strip supposedly based in real life with real people.
    Elizabeth is a young, pretty woman and it’s nice to see that you listened to the complaints and took out her awful unflattering Elly-bun. Now, how about giving her an expression other than ‘mopey cocker spaniel’? This is supposedly a woman in love, yet she always looks like someone ran over Shiimsa. There are countless amateur web-cartoonists who could draw-act circles around you, how about putting the effort into your work that your vaunted syndicate position dictates?
    Incidentally, there is not a single cartoonist among us who was not insulted by your lofty challenge to ‘knock you off the page’. Who do you think you are, Marie Antoinette? Some of us HAVE pitched to syndicates, sometimes multiple times, but unfortunately it is no longer the mid-seventies and syndicates will not just drop a contract in our laps just because we happen to be a woman. Sound familiar? The industry has changed substantially, the field is VERY crowded and it is far easier for syndicates to just milk long-running strips – no matter HOW dead or humorously-obsolete – than take a risk on new ones. If you have any respect for comic strips as an art form, you would tell the syndicate to end FBOFW at your retirement, period. No reruns, but encourage them to find a new, young cartoonist with a fun, fresh new strip to entertain the world and carry on the legacy. Because as long as syndicates take the lazy route and indulge retired (or DEAD) cartoonists who are unwilling to lose their meal ticket but no longer work for it, the next generation of cartoonists don’t have a hope.

    You go on to claim that your characters end up with childhood sweethearts because, for some reason, to be worthy of marrying a Patterson, a character must have a detailed ten-year history. This is apparently your rationale for discarding Warren and Paul as suitors for Liz. This is, again, a creatively specious argument.
    Warren and Paul being fun to be with could have been all the springboard you needed to build good characters out of them. What car they drive and the house they live in is irrelevant. If you truly believed as you once asserted that your characters tell YOU what to write, then Paul and Warren could have been effective characters worth keeping, had they been given a chance. But instead, you forced your outdated attitude that urban security + parental endorsement = Mr Right on Liz and now we have a thoroughly confused, insecure, MISERABLE young woman who COULD have had a fulfilling, interesting life in Mtigawi, but instead comes across as desperately trying to convince herself that she made the right decision in coming home to Elly’s all-controlling bosom. It may not have been your intention, but we see a very different story in Liz’s perpetually wistful expression.
    By far, one of your best strips was the Canada Day Sunday strip where Liz and Paul go hiking. It struck the perfect picture of a young couple happy together, sharing a hobby and looking to the future – and all using nothing but the two characters and a nice view. You COULD do this once, Ms Johnston. It just staggers too many of us how far you have lost that skill now that you are coming to the most important wrapping-up period of your life’s work.
    Sometimes knowing too much about a character can work to the character’s detriment. The characters of Constable Paul Wright and Warren Blackwood may have only been new and attractive and fun and not much else; but unlike the character of Anthony Caine, they did not ask their ex-girlfriend, just after she was nearly raped, to wait for their marriage to end so that their 5-month-old daughter could have the ex-girlfriend for a new mommy. The devil may be a consistent “actor” we know something about and we’ve known for awhile; but you don’t want your daughter to marry him.

    There are many other issues with FBOFW that have also demonstrated your singular lack of basic research and respect for your readers.
    Michael’s meteorically-fast rise to fame as a writer is as ridiculous as it is implausible. He is what’s known in writing circles as a Mary Sue – the perfect person who never does anything wrong and upon whom Dame Fortune casts an eternal downpour of riches with nary a single hint of obstacle or challenge to his goal. Grandma Marian’s wedding dress has changed in appearance at least three times and in none of those instances has it ever even remotely resembled anything worn in the 1940′s, when she married Jim. Not to mention, there’s no WAY a 60-year-old wedding dress stored in a damp attic crawl-space would survive without expensive restoration, not some quickie at the dry-cleaners. In addition, despite all the oohs and aahs from the Patterson bretheren, Liz really hasn’t ever looked very HAPPY to be wearing the thing – once again, the collective will of senior Pattersons takes precedence over anything Liz might feel. April’s fashion sense looks like she’s wearing Liz’s 1991 hand-me-downs – Teen Vogue or Cosmo Girl costs a couple of dollars, how about buying one sometime? All of these things would take only a couple of minutes to research online and get right and you wouldn’t have to defend charges that you live in a fantasy bubble world with no real idea how young people think, look or act. You cannot afford that attitude when your strip is supposed to resonate with real people and real lives. As it is, all you are indulging are the same Boomer-vintage readership who, like you, prefer to live in some Hallmark-tinted reality where no one ever complains and bad parenting is held up as the epitome of wisdom for the young.
    A common theme has emerged in this comic strip: with the glaring exception of the Blessed First-Born Son, you are only a decent person if you suffer. If you have no legitimate reason to be miserable you must do stupid things to complicate/worsen your life until you become miserable. Or you must make molehills into mountains (“Oh my god, this vacuum is hard to use! THIS IS WORSE THAN THE HOLOCAUST.”). But you should suffer quietly. Unless you’re Elly.
    Anybody who actually enjoys life and want to do something that’s exciting is portrayed as a villain in this strip. Love music and manage to make a living off it? You’re a bitch. Like being a cop/helicopter pilot, doing brave, awesome things? You’re selfish. Have passion in romantic relationships? You’re a philanderer. Like to smoke cigars? You’re an arsonist. Enjoy your job? You’re a greedy ice queen like Therese or a nut like John’s coworker, whatever his name is. Like technology? You’re a whippersnapper, a young punk, part of the downfall of civilization and social barriers. Like shopping and clothes? You’re frivolous. Like to party? You’re an alcoholic like whatsisface, Liz’s date for Shawna-Marie’s wedding. Like to talk to people? You’re a teeth-baring social weirdo like Julia. Even hobbies, like John’s fondness for model trains, are treated not as pleasant pastimes but as deranged fetishes.

    We are writers and cartoonists – professional, aspiring and amateur. We are teachers, parents, teenagers, baby boomers and generation Xers. We are the ones living the lives, telling the stories and carrying the relationships that the Pattersons, under your hand, are consistently failing in.
    It is YOUR responsibility to tell a visual story concisely within the limited framework of your craft, and if you cannot manage it then prepare to be knocked off the page.

    We wish you the best of luck in your retirement and hope you find fulfillment and happiness in a life after cartooning.

  144. gh
    July 1st, 2008 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    #143 FOOB-ery –

    Wow. And I don’t even care about FBoFW. Kudos.

  145. Wolf Shepherd
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    #141 – “…why don’t you swing that pipe wrench at a few oil company executives and OPEC sheiks until they bring down gas prices?

    No, no, no, it’s the speculators that are driving up the price. Didn’t you get the talking points memo? Well, I guess it’s okay, as long as you don’t connect price to supply and demand. We don’t want people thinking rational thoughts.

  146. Eric the Baker
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    #143: I can say nothing but…. BRAVO!

  147. DAS
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    I guess it’s okay, as long as you don’t connect price to supply and demand. We don’t want people thinking rational thoughts. – Wolf Shepherd

    Dare I start an economic/political flame war and ask about whether people who go on and on with “rational thoughts” about supply and demand ever consider thinking “emperical thoughts”?

    “What evidence is there for speculation driving up prices?” one might ask? Well, what evidence is that the prices are adaquately explained by a demand curve that ignores speculation?

  148. bats :[
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    140. Baka Gaijin: wow, I want to be invited to one of Margo’s soirees if the petits fours grow to the size of petits fourteens! (I think Alan’s been putting “something” into the batter…)

    143. Foob-ery: I know that FOOB HQ would never print this (“it’s just too darned long” would be the most convenient of excuses), but I’d be happy knowing that you submitted it to Coffee Stalk anyway — hey, at least you’d be in the running for the monthly mug (and you’d make me feel all warm and squishy inside). This pretty much deconstructions every excuse, alibi and whinge LJ wrung out in her little literary tantrum.

  149. Uncle Lumpy
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    #145 Wolf Shepherd –
    #147 DAS –

    Yeah, nobody wants a flame war. FYI, economist Martin Feldstein connects speculation with supply and demand in a reasonable-seeming op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

  150. Uncle Lumpy
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    #149 me –

    Oops — I meant today’s Journal. (I get my copy a day in advance. Very helpful, but confusing sometimes.)

  151. Mountain Mama
    July 1st, 2008 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    You know, I like it when Margo’s nice to Gabriella. I’d be just as happy if 3-G were just about those two. The wacky sort-of-psychic mom and the tough-as-nails daughter having zany adventures together! Yeah!

  152. Red Greenback
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    151-Mountain Mama. Great idea! Maybe Judge Parker can write it.

    143- FOOB-ery. Wow!, just WOW!

  153. cheech wizard
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:12 pm [Reply]

    145/ Wolf Shepherd: We don’t want people to start thinking rational thoughts.

    Given that, based on this and other posts, you seem to be a right-wing apologist, I can understand that sentiment.

    BTW, oil sheiks have a lot to do with the “supply” end of the equation, and oil execs have a lot to do with the reason we don’t have more refineries to process the stuff – it would be hugely profitable for them to do so, but they’d rather hedge their bets and hold out for relaxed environmental standards so they can make even more dough. Meanwhile, the rising price of gas makes their existing refineries even more profitable without added investment, despite rising demand.

  154. Uncle Lumpy
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    Hey! Play nice — no ad hominem stuff, m’kay?

  155. PeteMoss
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    MW – Any moment now, that fish in panel three will turn it’s little head towards Jeff’s and Mary’s romantic scene and start singing, “Hooked on a Feeling,” or some other bad pun-related song, and then Mary will realize mercury poison has so affected her brain. Maybe Ron is right and the Bum Boat is a dump.

  156. Dingo
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    All that’s missing from today’s Mary Worth is Mary up on the examining table with her feet in the stirrups and her gynecologist commenting on the smell of fish so that good ol’ Mar’ can remember Dr. Jeff dressing up as Colonel Lingus and giving her the Southern charm and then some.

    Remember, Mary, you better have good definition in your biceps before you hoist your own petard.

  157. Constantine
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    Is Mary Worth getting some kind of kickback from the phone companies, because seriously this strip hasn’t featured another human being in weeks. Either than or they’re going to great pains to prove that it doesn’t take the internet for a person to become a socially inept human being.

    Oh, wait, Mary Worth. Duh.

  158. MrsIrB
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    143 – (blinks) I’ll echo everyone else here. Wow.

    MW: You know, it’s kind of scary the things that come up in a budding relationship that should warn people off, but doesn’t. Doesn’t want kids, but you do. Commitment issues. Drug problems. Moving across the country in a month. Probably an alien from outer space.


  159. Red Greenback
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    155-Pete Moss: I like the way you used “bum boat” and “dump” in the same sentence. Puts me in mind of the ol’ “Stumpy Floater”

  160. gnome de blog
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    137 gh said:

    Can Mary create a problem so huge that even she can’t meddle it away? Heavy.

    Well, she meddled Aldo into a fiery grave, and didn’t lose any sleep over it either.

    I’m wondering if she can mess up her own life so badly she can’t meddle her way out of it. But that’s kinda what you said, ain’t it?

  161. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    teddytoad @ 110 wrote:

    I love that, in order to express “enjoying seafood with Dr. Jeff,” Mary Worth’s imagination summons up, not a platter of broiled salmon or a tray of succulent oysters on the half shell or even a steaming pot of bouillabaisse, but a scene of her and Jeff swilling wine and talking while looking at seafood mounted on a wall.

    That’s not wine. That’s the Bum Boat’s world-famous Vessel O’ Vichyssoise. Mmmm, cold fish soup in a cup! Also try the Beaker O’ Bass, the Tumbler O’ Turbot and the Goblet O’ Grouper.

  162. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    The second graf above was my reply. Damn that Preview button for not being clicked by me.

  163. El Santo
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    I’d like to say I’m Asian, and I totally hate math.

    However, *sigh* I AM actually pretty good at it. So I’m at least half a stereotype.

  164. spike
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for your time, UL.

    125 Calico: You’re quite a diplomat. Thanks for being one.

    126 gnome de blog: Re: Mary meddling herself. Think she can handle that? While the return of Ella might be interesting, I find your MW/9CL crossover suggestion fascinating. Figure a way to incorporate PBS in as well, and you’ve got a deal.

    127 bats :[ : You forgot about the casseroles! :-)

    143 FOOB-ery: “Wow!” from this corner of the world as well.

  165. Islamorada Girl
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    143: Bravo! Or brava, as the case may be.

  166. gnome de blog
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    151, Mountain Mama:
    A3G should be about a succession of dewy-eyed ingenues who come to the big city, move in with Margo, get chewed up and spit out like so many broken teeth, and move on, sadder but wiser.

    LuAnn should marry some electric-blue suit with money and move to Stepford, Connecticut, never to be heard from again.

    Speaking of which, I’m really disturbed that none of the A3G suitor-clones wears a necktie any more. It clashes with the 1962 vibe. But I digress.

    Tommie should disappear and be replaced by the real Tommie, the old tough-as-nails glam redhead who was the heart of the strip in its glory days. She can help with the chewing and spitting.

  167. gnome de blog
    July 1st, 2008 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    165, I-Girl:
    It’s bravi (or brave – 2 syllables – if they’re all women), since there appear to be more than one of them.

  168. AhClem
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    #128 Red Greenback -
    Good and bad news:
    The good news is that your song parody was brilliant and cleverly crafted.

    The bad news is that it deals with Mary Worth’s sex life.

    At least I’ll have something to hum while I’m shoving red-hot needles through my eye sockets into my brain to try and burn away certain memories. Brain bleach just won’t cut it this time.

  169. Dean Booth of the Affect Ad Patrol
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

  170. Dingo
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    FOOBery, I just read #143 and… well… if I hadn’t just washed my hair, I’d be kissing you right now with a passion only known in The Phantom.

  171. slant rhyme
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    Never posted here before, but –

    Uncle Lumpy – Thanks for being a great sub while Josh was away. I especially appreciate the consistent early-morning posts.

    143 – Wow. And yeah.

  172. Red Greenback
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    AhClem- I am sorry about that: Was it the “linseed oil” part? Yeah, that’s gotta be it. Okay, how ’bout this alternate verse: “You’ve saddle soap’d your lips and polyurethaned your hair”

  173. Luke Hansen
    July 1st, 2008 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    Curtis using racial stereotyping for a cheap laugh? Oh how the mighty have fallen! O tempora, o mores!


  174. Red Greenback
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    The comic strip “Curtis” has a history of stereotyping. I mean, remember how the telepathic otter was portrayed with circles emanating from his head? Very demeaning and insensitive to telepathic otters everywhere, Good lord, it’s 2008 not 1949! Everyone knows they’re wavy lines.

  175. Lisa
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    143- Go ahead and submit it to Coffee Talk. If they don’t print it (probably not), at least someone there will have read it…..

  176. Norm
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    A3g: I’m hoping that Margo discovers latent psychic abilities in the next few strips, and the whole comic changes from a soap strip to a psychic detective story.

  177. True Fable
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    #143 Foob-ery – now THAT is a rant! Good job!

  178. Little Guy
    July 1st, 2008 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    #143: I think we have a worthy successor to Shaenon Garrity’s Granthony tome.

  179. Ethan Shuster
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    Hahaha! This comment section is meant for sarcasm and witty cynicism, but I’m sorry… that Mary Worth comic is just hilarious! “He doesn’t like fish like Jeff! How could I ever love him?” Hahaha… The writers of Mary Worth just have to be kidding.

  180. Mamzelle Hepzibah
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:41 pm [Reply]

    Thanks Uncle Lumpy! May you never, ever meet Jeffy, Dolly, Billy, or PJ in a dark alley, or a well-lit one, either.

  181. Aesop
    July 1st, 2008 at 11:45 pm [Reply]

    Ron is rather harsh to Mary. “Let’s NOT!”

  182. Trixie Belden
    July 2nd, 2008 at 12:10 am [Reply]

    #143 – …..but.. but..who was that masked stranger? Foob-ery, come back! We need you to fight for truth, justice and the fooblotharian way!

    P.S. Thanks a million, Uncle Lumpy! I’ve been enjoying all your posts.

  183. yeff
    July 2nd, 2008 at 2:15 am [Reply]

    I, for one, am thrilled to see “The Phantom” taking on a faithful reenactment of the Battle for the Principality of Sealand.

    And just how many hearts will be laid waste by Mary Forth’s capriciousness? Jeff, Ron, Ron, Jeff – by gods, woman, must you play with the feelings of these men so cavalierly?

    - yeff

  184. The Restless Mouse
    July 2nd, 2008 at 5:24 am [Reply]

    I will be seeing that gigantic kitten with the “star” sunglasses in my nightmares

  185. BakNBlack
    July 2nd, 2008 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    Curtis: Andy? What the hell? Was Ping Pong taken or something?

  186. BMFMichael
    July 2nd, 2008 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Don’t know if this has been said yet…

    Luann: Ya’ll do realize TJ is gay right? Thats why it’s no real issue for him to stay there.

    MW: Please God, let #43 be right and it is a sniper scope. Jeff has finally had it and is seeing one last fleeting glimpse of happy times with Mary. Then he will adjust it 3 feet to the left, account for wind resistance geantly squeeze, not pull, the trigger. One can only hope.

  187. Hogenmogen
    July 2nd, 2008 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    #143 – FOOB-ery – You raise some salient points, but some I’m not sure I can agree. John’s train hobby really is a fetish. A grown man wearing a choo-choo hat. Do real train workers still wear that thing? I wouldn’t know.

    I halfway see the point of the flashbacks. They only show how long suffering Elly was because the whole strip from its inception has only shown the subtle misery that is suburban life. Every joy has its comment or thought balloon to turn it ugly. She’s running the reruns because she’s going into retirement. All those years of pumping out gloomy humor takes its mental toll. Plus, its an advertisement to the newer readers that they should buy the archive compendiums. But you mention Peanuts as an example of how to do a comic strip right, and these days its ALL reruns.

    On the other hand, there is a valid point about Lynn’s refusal to show any of the plot developments, and complains that the medium doesn’t allow her to. If we have a 30 second window into the day of a character, make it the pivotal 30 seconds, not some lame conversation where Elly is planting flowers with Connie.

    You’re also being too pleasant about Anthony Caine. He is a woos, and Lynn’s story lines and punch lines surrounding him are inevitably woosy.

    Like the insufferable two weeks that Anthony drove Liz to the trial of that rapist guy. Liz says something like “I’ll put my stuff in your trunk.”
    Normal guy thinks: “I wanna put MY stuff in YOUR trunk, heh heh.”
    Lynn Johnston’s version: “One day you’ll put your stuff in OUR trunk. La la la, I’m such a sap in love!”

    So, FOOB-ery, did you really send that manifesto or what?

  188. Anonymous
    July 2nd, 2008 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    And so the Boston cabdriver says (when asked where the passenger can get scrod) “yes, but i’ve never heard it in the pluperfect subjunctive before.”

  189. Lamb Cannon
    July 2nd, 2008 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    And so the Boston cabdriver says (when asked where the passenger can get scrod) “yes, but i’ve never heard it in the pluperfect subjunctive before.”

  190. DAS
    July 2nd, 2008 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    #153, Cheech Wizard: oil execs have a lot to do with the reason we don’t have more refineries to process the stuff

    Conservatives blame environmental regulations for the refinery shortage.

    #149, Uncle Lumpy — WTF?!? I am in agreement with a WSJ editorial … and written by Martin Feldstein of all people? Either the world is coming to an end, or I need to surrender my dirty hippy status and turn in my patchouli.

    BTW — I know we ought not to make ad hominem attacks, but can we make ad homonym attacks? what about ad homophone attacks?

  191. Paul1963
    July 2nd, 2008 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    #143 FOOB-ery: If I weren’t at work right now, I’d give you a standing ovation.

    #189 (and, I’m guessing, 188 as well) Lamb Cannon: And I’m suppressing laughter at work right now. I couldn’t define “pluperfect subjunctive” at gunpoint, but that’s a great gag.

  192. Shmork
    July 2nd, 2008 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    I’m hoping Curtis will turn into a totally racist version of Wee Pals. It’ll make it more interesting, and a little more equal-opportunity with its stereotypes than it currently is (which focuses primarily on shiftless, rascally Black kids who love their hip-hop, and now, apparently, a math-loving Chinese kid).

  193. Uncle Lumpy
    July 2nd, 2008 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    DAS #190 –

    I know. Patchouli bin is back by the loading dock. Don’t confuse it with the bin marked “Potpourri” — that’s for Catholics only.

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