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Eternal smile

Funky Winkerbean, 7/20/08

“Lots of botox,” eh? The terrifying secret behind the endless smirking is revealed! The Funkiverse characters really aren’t the group of smug bastards that they appear to be; rather, misguided attempts to recapture their youthful good looks have left their faces frozen in ghastly rictus grins, despite all the cancerous horror their creator throws at them. It must make their existence extra depressing, frankly.

Slylock Fox, 7/21/08

Answer: Slylock knows that he can get another mouse at the pet store for less than $5. Maybe he can get one like the one with a nice scarf, like the critter drawn by the young man from Terre Haute!

Panel from Mary Worth, 7/20/08

If you’ve read 1984, you probably remember Room 101, the torture chamber where the dictatorial government subjects you to the thing you fear the most. The novel’s hero is threatened with rats, but I’m pretty sure that if I were brought there, I’d be confronted with Mary Worth saying this.

113 responses to “Eternal smile”

  1. Nekrotzar
    July 21st, 2008 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    MORE COMMENTS, MULE!

  2. NotPigeon
    July 21st, 2008 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    As usual, Mary Worth’s face can only be that of an unholy, soul-stealing demon.
    Of course, we already knew that.

  3. Chris
    July 21st, 2008 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    Am I the only one who is beginning to see Mary Worth as a June Cleaver gone very, very, very wrong, as in a black widow who sold Wally and the Beav into Slavery, after chopping Wards body up and serving it in Scampi to the neighboehood Homeless?!

  4. Anonymous
    July 21st, 2008 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    Slylock: That suction cup stick-on stethoscope is freaking me out.

  5. teenchy
    July 21st, 2008 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    Re the current RMMD story arc and today’s strip in particular: Whatever one’s opinion may be about personal injury lawyers, at least Max Mallory is doing. his. job. rather than playing amateur detective and showing up unannounced at potential crime/epidemic scenes. Who’s the real ambulance chaser here, Rex?

  6. DAS
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: I finally placed it. I’ve finally figured out who Slylock Fox is … not Sherlock Holmes but rather Woody Allen’s “Inspector Ford” (in “Match Wits With Inspector Ford” in Without Feathers).

  7. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    Re: Mary: I hear dat.

    7/21

    MT: The lion smells a suicidal half-wit, and internally weighs her nutritional value.

    PBS: Little too much information, Pig.

    Popeye: In the world of Popeye, a baby getting hit in the head with a flying baseball results in “unlimited power” rather than blindness or death. New parents will still face this strip with a degree of angst.

    9CL: Thanks for the tentacle porn, Brooke. Always knew you had a little hentai in you.

    Luann: The deGroots conviction that their new houseguest is the greatest thing since sliced bread is due to end in five, four, three…

    OBH: Warning! Go fishing for insults around Ruthie and you’re likely to get them.

    C-Shaft: For a second I thought Tinkerbelle was wrapped up in the carpet. This is Crankshaft after all.

    S-M: “But, but, in the comic books I just became a superhero too. And even without powers, I’m more impressive than you are.”

    Cathy: Is Guisewite about to start a new spin-off called “Irving the Two-Headed Sideshow Freak”? Dare we hope?

    FC: “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to yak all over this sofa.”

    RMMD: OH! Watch the Margospeak, little lady. There’s only so much the trooper’s virgin ears can take in.

    SFx: And so Slylock brings Weirdly in, having proven that… Actually, he hasn’t proven anything, other than that the Count has some old pictures of the moon hanging in his office.

    BB: Time for our “hike”, nudge nudge.

    GA: Judith Light has fallen on hard times if she’s doing tech work on catfood commercials.

    Big Dog: The last thing I needed to see this morning was Marm’s O face. Owner guy is SO lucky he’s walking in back.

  8. Doug Puthoff
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    So, if Funky and his classmates graduated in 1992, the strip must now take place in the year 2022–suprising, since the world is supposed to end in 2012. And where the fark are the flying cars?

  9. Little A. of The Bronx Jungle Patrol
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    What ‘s in Cathy’s Room 101, a talking scale?

  10. gleeb
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    I’d just like to deliberately note that I am not repeating my comments from the previous posting.

  11. Poppinjay
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    #4, me too. And it seems to encourage kids to play doctor.

  12. Hogenmogen
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Bodily sounds are hilarious: ”He can make his stomach growl in rhythm!”
    “Big deal, I can fart the national anthem!”

    A3G: Eric intends to rescue his brother by wearing a lemon yellow blazer and posing as a Century 21 agent trying to sell the prison to a family of 4 who want a quiet place out in the countryside.

    How, exactly can you be ”alone together”?

    The least competent superhero in the universe makes a rare, smart move. His even less competent spouse negates it by failing to realize that she is not a superhero, but only plays one on TV.

    Stripey Ass: Instead of a pipe wrench, this time I’ll hit them with a rolled up map!

    Mary Whorth: At the angle in the second panel, we should see the horizon. Instead, we only see clouds of smoke billowing from a boat soon to be engulfed in flame. Burn, baby, burn!

    “What is old is new again!” That would include Dr. Jeff’s new non-gray hair. We also see Mary’s trademark silver mane in process of returning to her youthful jet black, so better to reflect the inky darkness of her soul. Soul? What soul?

    The cop is confused because usually when Rex Morgan is around, all they have to do is show up and arrest someone. He doesn’t have the foggiest idea how to put the cuffs on wrestling mats and has no desire to talk about getting down and kinky with Max, Janice and now a grinning Rex Moron, BSMD.

  13. DAS
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    A3G: did Tenzin take a vow of “speak to Westerners in a stereotypically cryptic manner” when he became a monk?

    MW: deserves a degree of snarkiness which I, as a rank amateur, am incapable of delivering … but wow — MW is frightening. Was what happened to Aldo just a taste of the real Mary Worth?

    MT: can someone who knows more about Mountain Lions help me out — would they be attracted to bacon? Bears, yes … wolves maybe even. If house cats are any indication, Kelly Welley might be able to photograph a lynx or two. But would a Mountain Lion go for rotten (albeit in a controlled manner — aka cured) meat?

    RMMD: is this going to turn into one of the plot threads of Babel with Max Mallory’s wife babbling on about mats, the police officer confused and more and more nervous, RMMD starting to be distracted by some twink in the area and eventually it coming to fisticuffs and a shoot-out because nobody calmed down enough to actually communicate what the issue of concern is?

  14. Mac
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    I think that the “we only graduated a couple years ago” comment is supposed to be a little bit of meta humor about this strip’s time jumps. That doesn’t make it funny, of course, but at least it’s not actively depressing, so this immediately becomes my favorite Funky Winkerbean strip since I graduated from high school a few more than a couple years ago.

  15. Dingo
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    Josh, your comments about dear Mar’ are doubleplus good today! Doubleplus good!

  16. Dingo
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    Sorry, it’s been awhile since I read that. It should have been doubleplusgood with no space in between.

    (I really need to begin reading again)

  17. Hogenmogen
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    The Find Six Differences is the weird part to me. Sly’s adventures with Weirdly are only bizarre in that Weirdly has somehow cobbled together a submarine and secret aquatic lair while our heroic protagonist has only managed to strap a tank of oxygen to his back and found a facemask befitting his vulpine features. Find Six Diff’s shows a kid maniacally grinning upon finding out that if you squeeze a bun, the hot dog squirts out into a 20 foot arc, and will soon be gobbled up by an equally manaically grinning life guard who has been neglecting drowning beach goers in the one in a billion chance that some passerby will aim their hot dog and give it a hefty squeeze in just such a manner as to launch it straight at his face. His waiting and scheming has finally paid off!

  18. DAS
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    Spectacular Spider Brick on yesterthread:

    Zits: Where were these girls when I was in high school? Or that whole attitude of “oral sex isn’t really sex”? Or the concept of “friends with benefits”?

    Indeed. — although in my case too my prolonged state of virginity (*) probably had to do with my nerdiness. Of course, people always told me — “you’re a nice guy … when you go to college, the young ladies will appreciate that” … which only gave me a Nice Guy(TM) sense of entitlement and … well, there went my dating life in college.

    Anyway, where I went to school, even in college, there was no such thing as “friends with benefits”. The gals would immediately sort guys (like the hat in Harry Potter) into “friend” and “potential mate” and once you got stuck in the “friend zone”, there were no “benefits” to be had, ever.

    I never understand where people who go off on “those kids in college are doing nowadays”. I was in college pretty recently (when people said that sort of thing) and college life was nothing like what it was imagined to be. Do people really get their ideas about what the kidz nowadays are doing from watching MTV Spring Break specials?

    I guess it’s kinda like how people from outside of So.Cal. get the wrong idea of what it was like for me growing up in OC from that show, The OC. Rich people in scanty clothing trying to introduce you to a life of hedonistic pleasure? More like upper-middle class reactionaries trying to introduce you to Jesus …

    * what was it Michael Moore said about high school being four years of torture where you think you’re the only one who is still a virgin?

  19. wanders
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    MW: I know this is just a little thing, but I thought the whole break up thing was because Jeff wanted to go sailing? Did Mary make him buy a speed boat now, too? (and here’s one more shameless plug for my Mary Worth/Weepies video, for those who like the Weepies.)

  20. Hogenmogen
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    Find 6 Diff’s:
    One real diff is that there is an additional flying blob of mustard in the top panel. There is no further infomation on “additional flying blob of mustard” anywhere on the internet.

    Another real difference is that the kid’s belly button disappears, leaving open the question of Adam’s navel in Genesis.

    Another less obvious diff is that the top panel uses Grey Pupon, where as the bottom is some generic store brand.

    Even less obvious, the woman at the hot dog stand in the top panel – and you have to look closely – is wearing a bikini that is riding up into the crack of her ass. The bottom panel makes no such disgusting display. But by the time you get around to seeing the lower panel, the damage has already been done.

  21. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth, Portrait of Evil: Where is a good place to see the Sunday strips? Especially this diabolical installment? I asked once before but lost the bookmark. That single panel would make a cult classic t-shirt or cautionary poster to control the masses along the lines of what you would expect to see in Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. You could substitute this line for Mary’s

    “Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.” Or:

    “A still tongue makes a happy life”

    http://prisoner.gigacorp.net/

    The Prisoner is essentially a story about one man to maintain his individuality against a society that would seek to crush his soul. Mary Worth is essentially a story about a woman who succeeds in crushing men’s souls.

  22. Jetsam
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    I’m sorry, I’m not much up on FW — Cindy is a guy, right?

  23. Muffaroo Wuffaroo
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    9CL – After Edda’s behavior towards Seth, this is a case of ‘the biter bit.’ (And hasn’t Little Lulu’s friend Annie grown up shapely?)

    AD – There once was a jerkus named Curls
    Whose sarcasm tickled the squirrels
    He sneered at my verse
    But what was far worse,
    He took baths and talked to the girls.

    (Syllable added in quoted line to make it fit limerick meter.)

    DT – [agree with True Fable @Y177 here]

    FC – Billy will be standing in that exact position, possibly in a puddle of drool, long after Dolly and her ‘maginary friend have gone off to do their ‘maginary laundry. Billy is learning that strong drink is better than ‘magination in this house.

    FOOB – MOO!

    GA – Miss Kitty’s a tom? That’s almost as stunning as realizing that the director is actually Marmaduke’s owner Winslow, with a phony accent and his hair stuffed up into a beret, taking a break from canine capers.

    MF – Oh, Barack-Obama-Caricature! Just don’t “change” your facial expression. That rubber stamp cost seven dollars of potential beer money, and it has to last.

    MT – Soon, the mother cat’s sensitive nose picks up the scent of the meat. Also the bacon.

    MW – “What is old is new again!” …as I was just saying to my friend Lynn.

    Momma – “…when police failed to arrest her son for neglecting her…” her what? No, wait, I don’t want to know.

    OBH – Good comeback, Ruthie, but the crone’s right. I keep looking in my bahroom mirror and seeing Dick Goddamn Cheney. And he appears dismayed to see me.

    Pluggers – Pluggers don’t notice that a new box of crayons smells just like an old one. (And I see an e-mail address and a URL. Brookins is clearly no plugger.)

    Popeye – Popeye’s live! The twenty-year delay is for technical reasons.

    PC – What’s the canine thing doing in the last panel? I can usually guess, but this one is harder than most. He might be shooting marbles, or using a glass cutter, or perhaps wrapping himself in electrical tape. Would it help if the cartoonist had a brighter bulb over the drawing board? And maybe a better light to draw by?

    SFx – Count Weirdly is lying because there is a crescent moon outside, and yet all of his photos depict a round-faced gentleman with a mustache.

    Zits – With a SMUCK like Becker’s, it has to be good.

  24. Hogenmogen
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    Silly Kelly Welly! You don’t need bacon to attract a little pussy!

  25. DAS
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Momma: that isn’t what is on the “news” that people at Momma’s venerable age watch. Judging by the “oh noes, the mall is so scary” and “you know what they said about teh kidz today on the TeeVee?” comments made by people of my parents’ generation and slightly older, the “news” they watch is full of stories about “young males of a darker skin tone gang-banging at your local mall” (as if the people who worry about such things would even recognize gang activity if it occured right in front of them because the only gangs they know from are the Sharks and the Jets) and “kidz are having sex, and for purposes other than providing you with grand-children to spoil”.

  26. kalki
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    FW: I understand that the strip jumped ahead about 15 years, but you mean to say that none of the characters still look youngish in only 15 years? They all look like they are approaching Crankshaft’s age. I think they really shouldn’t have built the school on a Superfund site.

  27. Calico
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    MW – “What is old is new again”

    So Mary got a breast lift!

  28. Calico
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    And right outside that creepy single panel, Mary is holding a white-hot brand and a riding crop.

  29. Dingo
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    Calico, if she did that, I hope she had both.

    If Moy and Giella give Mary Worth another facelift, pretty soon she’ll be sporting a goatee.

  30. Hogenmogen
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    Heathcliff thinks that the electric can opener was invented by Vladimir Lennin. Ha ha ha!

    The manual can opener was invented by William Lyman, which put canning of food into practical use. Shouldn’t it be he who is honored by a three meter bust?

  31. Nekrotzar
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    #6 – How did Inspector Ford know?

    A: Because Saul Goldberg had been overheard saying “If only I had a 75 caret diamond, I’d really be set.”

  32. Hogenmogen
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Patrick – the trick to Sunday MW’s is to go to the Cron.com site and get to MW, then you change the date in the URL to Sunday, in yesterday’s case, it would be http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20080720&name=Mary_Worth

    But here’s a question for you – why torture yourself like that? I mean, Josh reads them so you don’t have to!

  33. Sequitur
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Why is Slylock Fox doing the SCUBA thing in his regular clothes. That cloak would be a major hang- up underwater. And the deerstalker hat makes no sense at all. Shouldn’t he be wearing a foxy Speedo?

  34. Emily
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    The little doctor’s stethoscope sure does look like it’s penetrating her patient’s chest cavity.

  35. Little A. of The Bronx Jungle Patrol
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:35 am [Reply]

    I just figured out why Popeye is named Popeye This only took me about 55 years. I am not a quick study.

  36. WarOfTheBees
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox’s nurse ss just checking heartbeats, but if you glance at it, it looks like her tube is entering that young man’s chest through some type of empty cavity, and the same with her ears. It’s like an H.R. Giger painting.

  37. hobbit
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    #33 Sequitur- Gah!! Thanks for the image, my mind is officially blown. No, literally! It’s going to take hours to clean up the splatter.

  38. PeteMoss
    July 21st, 2008 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    7/21 FOOB – Lynn J. seems to be straying into Zippy the Pinhead territory today.

  39. Calico
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    #38 – Today’s FOOB really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, unless Gwampa Jim wants to become a meddler like Mary. That woman can smell a meddle coming on, even with all those fishy odors.

  40. Paul1963
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    FW: Isn’t Cindy some kind of on-air newscaster-type? If so, I sure hope she opens her eyes more than that on the air. She doesn’t look her alleged age of 46 in these strips, but she does look like she’s on her third day with no sleep.

    I initially had something here about how I thought Funky and his contemporaries were supposed to be in their fifties now and should be heading for their 40th reunion, not their 30th. And then I went back to funkywinkerbean.com and checked, and saw that they are indeed supposed to be 46. Man, Funky really has gone to seed if he’s only a year older than I am and looks like he does…

  41. Tuna
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    mary worth uses botox. kinda obvious

  42. Hubris
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    That Mary Worth panel is the most disturbing use of a POV shot since the night-vision goggles perspective in The Silence of the Lambs. Please God, let the perspective shift before they disrobe, or perhaps the Kubrickian trick could be further utilized by viewing Jeff’s (our!) hand move toward a helping of painkillers before the strip mercifully fades to black.

  43. Smarmy Duke
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:29 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke 7/20: Wow, the forced crossdressing fetish made it’s way to the sunday funnies. Next week, Dilbert will discover he’s into infantilism. Will dominatrix Cathy be far behind? Mark Trail and pony girls? Mary Worth and…well, she’s already a freak.

  44. Gatorman
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    I think Curtis (http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20080720&name=Curtis) and Slylock Fox shop at the same hat shop, their specialty being hats that not only stay on underwater, but retain their exact, land-based shape.

  45. Joe, Upper-Evergreen FOOB-hater
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    FOOB:

    I really really really really hate this comic in a very Canadian sort of way…..

  46. Cousin Pookie
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    Re: Funky Winkerbean …
    Cindi’s profile in the 2nd panel was difficult to take first thing in the morning.

    I think the poor thing is suffering from acromegaly. Could this be the next big medical trauma suffered by those unfortunate enought to be loved by Les?

    No, wait — she has that same problem that Rocky Dennis had.

  47. AhClem
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    #43 Smarmy Duke -
    “Will dominatrix Cathy be far behind?”

    There needs to be a restraining order that prevents “Cathy” and “dominatrix” from ever coming within 1000 words of each other.

  48. John C Fremont
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    MW – Watch out for your combover, Jeff.

  49. Poteet
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    MW — Re Josh’s comment, I remember “Room 101″ all too well. And speaking of which, I have a very bad feeling about that “singing duo” that Mary “has wanted to see for a while.”

  50. Anonymous
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    You know, if For Better or For Worse had not announced it is going to pasture, people wouldn’t be hammering it so hard.

    Everyone wants to get their licks in before it is totally retro.

    Lighten up and have a Molsen’s.

  51. trey le parc
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft and FW: I don’t read these two strips any longer. I just scan them briefly each day to confirm the characters are still smirking.

    Why only the smirking? Why not grinning or smiling or frowning or (as is my wont, when perusing this strip) yawning? What was happening in Batiuk’s life on the day he missed the art class that discussed facial expressions? Or did he have a visionary premonition that someday a mutated form of botulism would be injected into peoples’ faces thus sparing him the effort of attending class that day to learn how to draw a properly emoting human?

    Why do I care? Damn you, Batiuk! Damn you to HELL!

  52. commodorejohn
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    9CL – Been inspecting Japanese comic art, eh, Brooke?

    Curtis – If he starts talking about how math gets him all hot and bothered, I’m outta here.

    FC – Sure, Dolly’s “imaginary friend” seemed like any other kid’s…at first.

    FOOB – um what

    FW – I’m not sure what’s more appalling here, the idea that Batiuk is going to inflict another stupid, tragedy-prone relationship on his characters and readers, or Cindy’s hair-ection in panel two.

    H&L – That’s why they’re soundproofed, dimwit.

    JP – …did Abbey just add a ponytail to the she-mullet?

    MW – “Mary and Jeff enjoy a ‘mini-cruise’ on his ‘boat.’”

    NS – Wiley will you FUCK OFF ALREADY cripes we GET IT THAT YOU DON’T LIKE HUNTERS so could you just SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT

    Popeye – Well, it’s nice of them to get the pointless, unnecessary moral out of the way right now.

    SF – hahaha WIN

  53. man behind the curtain
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    MW — “What’s old is new again” refers to Dr. Jeff’s “dinghy”after taking viagra.

    GT — A contract with the Kalamazoo Kings might get Elmer back into the USA but it may not let him stay here. Especially since they are an independent team with no major leaguer affiliation. When the season is over he may have to go back to Mexico and then reapply for a visa in order to return for next season.

  54. trey le parc
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    Anonymous: You know, if For Better or For Worse had not announced it is going to pasture, people wouldn’t be hammering it so hard.

    Everyone wants to get their licks in before it is totally retro.

    Lighten up and have a Molsen’s.

    TLP: FBOFW is a smarmy and wretched strip in both concept and execution. The creator long ago ran out of original, humorous, insightful, poignant or sentimental material, and just gets by one three or four repeating gags. It’s just dreck, immature and manipulative. LJ’s been coasting on fumes for years and the resultant stench hangs like a pall over the rest of the comics.

    I’ll take you up on a beer, though.

  55. PeteMoss
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:07 pm [Reply]

    Archie, 7/21 – It’s nice to see that The Archies are still together. I have to admit that I can recall some breakfast cereal printing a 45 rpm record on the cereal box with a recording of “Suger, Sugar” by The Archies. Those were my innocent days! I had no idea that Jughead was strung out the whole time on Crack, and probably Snap & Pop) the whole time he was playing all of those legendary drum solos. I heard years later that Kieth Moon avoided hanging out with him ’cause Jughead was so damn crazy.

    Anyway, I tried to start my own rock band called The Petes, but nobody was interested.

  56. Poteet
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    MW — And come to think of it, how long have these two lovebirds actually been apart? In supposed real time, I mean? A couple of weeks at most? What’s with the “everything old is new again”? Ye gods, if there’s one thing I’m learning as I get older, it’s that time speeds along faster every year. Given that Mary is about 120 years old, she and Jeff have been having a tiff for maybe a (perceived) hour.

    Also, Mary’s combination of dark brows and white hair might ordinarily mean a greater risk of diabetes, according to a recent news article. But of course Mary, being a soul-sucking demon and all, needn’t worry.

  57. man behind the curtain
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    GT — Rather than play for the Kalamazoo Kings, Elmer is chosen for the Mexican Olympic Baseball team and his game winning hit defeats the USA and wins the gold medal for mexico, making Elmer and national hero and celebrity so he can have a hotter girlfriend than Branden.

  58. hobbit
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    FOOB- Poor Grandpa Jim. Little does he realize that with the power of prescriptions, the walls can talk. The trick is getting them to shut up. My God, they never shut up!

    Skylock- Judging by the inky blackness of the water, I would say that S. Fox is a little deeper than he should be with his present equipment. I wonder if foxes are susceptible to the bends? Hopefully the good Count has a decompression chamber somewhere that Skylock can use.

    MW- Ha ha, Josh. Now imagine Mary Worth trying to gnaw your face off like WInston Smith’s rats. Now that’s a scary thought! Doublepluscreepy!

    Is it just me, or does Mary bear a passing resemblance to Big Brother? It seems to me that all she would need is a mustache and she’d be all set to rule Charterstone with an iron fist.

  59. little red-haired girl
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Kelly Welly pinched the slab o’ bacon with her bare hands. Kelly Welly’s hands are now greased with the porcine aroma of bacon. Will the hungry puma be able to tell the difference between the bacon and Kelly Welly’s hands?

  60. Mibbitmaker
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    #21 (Patrick…): That saying (“Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.”) was also likely a message by the producers to the viewers about the show itself.[/satirical digression]

    FOOB: If only the walls could talk, they’d say, AAAAAAAAAAAAUUUGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

    Soon, Grandpa’s going to be used as an endtable supporting a vase and the telephone, with a fancy tablecloth covering his head.

    Garfield: Cats wearing boots??????? Gee, remember when this strip was based mostly on actual cat behavior (plus or minus a lasagna or two)? Well, at least we now know what his godawfully ridiculous huge feet were for.

    FW: Just figured out the timeline thing: In 1992, the continuity reverted the then-current stuff back to 1988, making the new 1992 four years after the now-1988 graduation. Since the flashback in today’s strip is apparently c. graduation time, and we also add the new 10-year fast-forward, it makes it 30 years ago (adjust for New Years then – July now {or July 10 years from now}).

    I feel like Radar O’Reilly relaying that!

  61. Poteet
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    # 40 Paul — Funky is only 46 and looks like that? Thanks! This is one of the few times ever that anything about FW has made me feel cheery.

    # 52 commodorejohn — Thanks for reminding me of one reason why, since NS went out of my dead-tree-paper life, I miss it even less than I expected.

  62. kippetje2000
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    Foob: Luckily, confused gramps hasn’t noticed they’ve taken him down to the morgue level. For a second I thought they were just going to push him into an empty elevator shaft and be done with it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbJTBBoDFH0

  63. PeteMoss
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    Slylock – I love it when Weber shows us Count Weirdly’s place! I wish he was my neighbor. Slylock is standing in a puddle that has eyes and smile! It might be Mary’s left-over scampi. Also very cool: The arms reaching out of that barrel of black goo. Shouldn’t Slylock be investigating what happened to that poor soul rather than worring about Weirdly’s obsession with photos of people watching TV?

  64. Poteet
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    # 60 Mibbitmaker — BWAHAHA! Your Gwampa prediction was quite excellent.

  65. essteess
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    #11 (re the “Which two scenes are alike?” feature) And it seems to encourage kids to play doctor.

    Yes, the boy somehow seems to have a rather, um, eager look on his face, somehow.
    Might change if Little Nursie does the “turn your head and cough” examination.

  66. Little A. of The Bronx Jungle Patrol
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:36 pm [Reply]

    MT: We all know that the bacon is going to attract some vicious wild animal, a bear at least, maybe a mountain lion, and that Cherry is going to save Smelly Elly or whatever her stupid name is from danger or maybe Belly Belly will save Cherry from great danger or maybe Mark will arrive at the last moment and punch the liion in the snout (after all, mountan lion have whiskers), or something. Forget about seeing blood or severe injury, even though Telly Yelly deserves to get her head bitten off, at least.

    And Josh, her camera is not 40 years old, it’s a World War II model, that she has to crank up before she shoots any action. It’s so old, it ws made in the United States.

    Just a few thoughts.

  67. PeteMoss
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    Bacon! Bacon!Bacon!Bacon!Bacon!
    Cats just love the taste o’ bacon!

    MT – At first I was concerned about what Cherry and her crew was going to have for breakfast now that the bacon’s gone, but the fact is they’ll probably not have much of an appetite when they wake up and find Kelly Welly disemboweled and covered with flies and crows.

  68. DAS
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    H&L: pace commodorejohn, they oftentimes are not soundproofed all that well — especially if you’re going to the kinds which you can afford on a student’s (or Realtor(R)’s, given the real estate market these days) budget. OTOH, what I want to know is who is that man with Gen. Halftrack’s wife? Does Gen. Halftrack know about this?

  69. Sequitur
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    #60 Mibbitmaker – FW: Thanks for explaining the time line. It’s just so clear now. Makes me ashamed I didn’t think of it myself.

  70. Red Greenback
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    Try as I might, I just couldn’t make that Mary panel creepier, although the “Zombie Mary” one is close to acheiving the creepiness factor. Because zombies scare me. I don’t deserve to lick Joe Giella’s golf shoes

  71. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    #32 Hogenmogen: It’s sickening to watch, but sometimes you have to see the train wreck for yourself. The look on Jeff’s face is not a man happy to have “won” his lady love back, it’s the look of a man who is trying kid himself that he hasn’t made a horrible irretrievable mistake. Mary’s demeanor and expressions are that of someone who can barely hide her cold disdain but for some reason decides to continue her control over him.

    What Jeff did is particularly nauseating, but I’ve seen it happen often enough in real life. The end result is always disastrous. The ease with which Jeff trashes his self respect over something where he was not in the wrong has not gone unnoticed by Mary. She will use it against him in much the same way I observe really nice people who get into relationships with manipulative control freaks.

  72. Ginger Yellow
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    Josh almost has Slylock Fox right. The actual answer is that Slylock takes the rope off the sub, ties it to the novel species of vampire toothed octopus, sells it to an aquarium and buys a replacement mouse with the money.

  73. dimestore lipstick
    July 21st, 2008 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    Anonymous: You know, if For Better or For Worse had not announced it is going to pasture, people wouldn’t be hammering it so hard.

    Everyone wants to get their licks in before it is totally retro.

    Not, in fact, true. I have an active antifoobist for several years, at a number of sites. The old Fametracker Forums FOOB thread, for example, was established long before LJ decided to take her prolonged series of final bows.

  74. strawberrymom22
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    MW: Ok, I just want to know – who talks like this? Who? “familiar but yet so fresh” ??? I am really at a loss this time.

    BTW, Mary, what’s old is still old; don’t kid yourself.

  75. Baka Gaijin
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:08 pm [Reply]

    #56 Poteet: If I remember correctly (and I’d be insane if I did), they were apart 2 or 3 days. The first day was the one where Mary got on her high horse and pushed Dr. Jeff out the door with her ten foot pole just for having feelings like a normal person. The next day she was on the phone like a 16 year old girl (bleargh!) in her pinkish romper that everyone hated, trying to get a date with Councilman Pussy Tease, who promptly blew her off with some lame excuse about a city/town council emergency. The next day Mary spent a week screening Dr. Jellospine’s extremely wussy pleas for forgiveness, then she called the councilman who again blew her off again but not in the way she wanted, thank God, and ended the conversation with a “Population of Dumpsville: You!” At this time Mary’s high horse turned into a puny pony so she got off but not in the way she wanted and either called Dr. Scampi-brain or he called her and they ended up in her place eating orange glop.

    Maybe the screening on her many answering machines occured on the second day. It was painful enough to remember this much. It just seems like weeks because, well, time flies when you’re having fun, so that must mean…fruit flies like bananas.

  76. Farley's Revenge
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    From #21: “A still tongue makes a happy life”

    Not necessarily.

    ‘Nuff said.

  77. Baka Gaijin
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    #128 Brick Bradford yesterthread: Yup, I have a filthy mind, too. See comment 70 yesterthread. I even used the word “ejaculating!”

    #154 Dingo yesterthread: This pairing just looked right for Charterstone.

  78. PeteMoss
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m usually not the one to point this out, but….that cop in Tyranusaurus Rex Morgan, MmmmD, is wearing a white shirt today, but I think he had a dark shirt on last week. Maybe he’s now playing the part of the paramedic. Also, I think last week there was a story of some sort being advanced where as today, it appears to have been halted and the characters are stuck having same conversation over and over again.

    My local paper, desperate to increase readership and reduce cost, has promised color daily comics on a smaller sized page! Everyday will seem like Sunday…and like I’m growing larger and larger!

  79. Calico
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    #53 – Oh God – I can see the Viagra ring on Jeff’s hand now.
    Someone throw me off a bridge, now. Please.

  80. Calico
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    #67 – Kelly – it’s what’s for breakfast.

  81. Pozzo
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    “At least you’ve done something with you life…unlike me, who considers a class reunion to be the high point of the decade.”

  82. Jay
    July 21st, 2008 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    Honestly, I don’t think Batiuk can draw women to show any age between 20 and 60. Cindy’s aging makes her look sleepy and disheveled, not like she’s really much older.

    Maybe if he made her go bald like he does with all the male characters….

  83. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    #76: Farley’s Revenge–

    The saying ” A still tongue makes a happy life” is the unofficial motto of my workplace, but in the TV show The Prisoner, it was on posters all over the Village where secret agents who knew too much would be kidnapped and imprisoned. The idea was that once they broke you you were well advised to keep your trap shut unless it suited your captors otherwise. Number Six, aka The Prisoner was much in agreement with you.

  84. dailycomicsreviewer
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    Even buckets of botox can’t explaing aware the glazed, dead-behind-the-eyes expressions of almost every Funky member over the last few years. Heavy prescription drugs abuse on the other hand….

  85. spike
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    #82 Jay: Since Cindy is a television reporter, it’s safe to assume that the hair is dyed and the face is botoxed–only her personal trainer knows for sure! [For once, Batiuk gets it right.] OTOH Cindy was starting to look a lot like Harry Dinkle in profile in some panels over the weekend, so your snark is on point.

  86. Poteet
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    # 75 Baka Gaijin — You made me laugh so hard my cat fled the room. It’s moments like this that justify the existence of MW. Sort of.

  87. aleksmakk
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    I thought the Find Six Differences contained thinly veiled homoeroticism.

    Thank goodness that the Match Two Scenes at the top depicted heteronormative behavior, else I would have gotten my right wing band of itinerant protesters together to rally against Slylock Fox (affixing his “hose” to another man’s “sub tail” indeed!)

  88. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    #DAS, SSB: For those who navigated, as I did, the doldrums of protracted virginity, I recommend Paul Feig’s excellent autobiography, Superstud: Or How I Became a Twenty Four Year Old Virgin. It’s amazing what this dude commits to paper and public record. As for Jeremy’s new girl, I take solace in the fact that although she’s both spirited and giving, Becker looks like Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

    MT: Kelly Welly’s making her art house debut with “Fat Back on Black Rock”… eight full hours of cholesterol and nitrates in nature.

  89. Niall
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    70. Red Greenback: guuuuh! I was simultaneously repulsed, revulsed and made to be very giggly by what showed up when I clicked that link. #1 is still the most disturbing for me. The last one looks suspiciously like Jay Leno or Jimmy Carter.

  90. Cranky
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    In advance I’d like to apologize for this…
    Separated at Birth?

  91. AhClem
    July 21st, 2008 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    FW – I really, really want to like this story line.

    The idea of two somewhat nerdy people who felt some kind of spark in high school, went their separate ways, and then meet up umpteen years later and realize that the spark is still there, can be a very sensual and poignant story if handled with care and sensitivity.

    Unfortunately, Batuik’s heavy-handed approach, 24/7 smirk-a-thon and the black cloud of doom that follows these characters everywhere they go makes that impossible. Instead of compassion and happiness, I feel despair and loathing.

    Thanks, Tom.

  92. Sequitur
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    FW: Actually, if I remember correctly, Cindy was the most popular girl in school. So popular that guys were afraid to ask her out. Les, of course, was the ubernurd and thus without a date. That’s how they ended up with no date on New Year’s eve and meeting in the cafe-lke place. Am I wrong?

  93. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    #70 Red Greenback: Hahahaha! I think I like panel 1 best. She looks sort of like an upside down Professor Chinbeard.

  94. Photon
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    Will dominatrix Cathy be far behind?

    Haha, can you just imagine the string of endless, unfunny comics in which Cathy tries on all the latest harnesses and latex suits and then bemoans how fat she looks in them?

    and by, “can you imagine”, I do mean “don’t actually try and picture this.” I wouldn’t be able to sleep knowing I put that thought in anyone’s head.

  95. bats :[
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    70. Red Greenback: YAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! If one Mary weren’t enough, several addled ones are worse! And the last one looks like she must be related to Jay Leno…

    Then again, I just look for snark where I can, and when Mary plays out like a tired marlin, I go elsewhere:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9545446@N07/2690420892/sizes/o/

  96. Baka Gaijin
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    #86 Poteet: I live to serve you, my queen! I take your cat-scaring as a compliment.

  97. Deena in OR
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    #94 Photon:

    Kinda like Dana Delany in “Exit to Eden” ?

  98. teenchy
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    ## 91-92: I can see newly hip and self-condifent Les texting Funky: “I’m in ur Montoni’s, bangin’ ur ex-wife.”

  99. Duckman30
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    MW – Bad scan of the poster, but I had no idea that Mary Worth was a “Red”:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/28205019@N02/2689709485/

  100. teenchy
    July 21st, 2008 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    …and with that typo, my own self-condifence slips just a notch. <:-0 .

  101. Burning Prairie
    July 21st, 2008 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    FW-Wow, it’s even worse than I thought. Apparently Les has decided to play the oh-so-successful “I’m just a big loser, please love me, I beg of you.” Let’s hope Cindy likes beta-males.

  102. Sequitur
    July 21st, 2008 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    Typos are fud, er, fun.

  103. astroboy
    July 21st, 2008 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    FW – I thought Cindy had worked her way up to some national anchor position. Are we to believe that a nationally famous newscaster can only seem to hook up with loser after loser from Funkytown?

    Perhaps Cindy lost her national gig during the 10-year speedup, no doubt as a result of media ageism, and cannot set her sights any higher than Creepy Les now that she’s covering local PTA meetings.

    Or maybe there’s just something horribly wrong with her, like cancer. Yeah, that’s probably it.

  104. strawberrymom22
    July 21st, 2008 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    #99 – She looked better in that picture than she has in weeks

  105. strawberrymom22
    July 21st, 2008 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    #70, #93, #95 I think the first panel looks like she could be the mother of that kid on Family Guy with the upside down face. The news reporter’s son…

  106. Christastrophe
    July 21st, 2008 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    Holy smokes! As a former singing waiter in Ellen’s Stardust Diner, I’m amazed at the level of detail Batiuk is giving it in FW, right down to the placement of the milkshake blender behind the bar and the depiction of a waitress in a poodle skirt standing on a table to sing. The layout and decoration are painstaking.

    That being said, working there was an existential struggle against rude tourists, abusive management, finger-pointing humiliation, and near-constant misery. So it makes perfect sense that the Funky Winkerbean Parade of Doom would pull up and order a burger and fries.

  107. Photon
    July 21st, 2008 at 6:04 pm [Reply]

    #97

    Pretty much yeah.

    Actually, having thought more about it, I totally think Cathy and Irving should delve into the world of BDSM. Not only would there be ball gags to put an end to all the chatter, but a lot of photo development places won’t develop pictures of a sexually explicit nature- which would be the death knell for all those “Cathy is bitching because she has so many pictures to organize” gags Guisewite can’t seem to get enough of.

  108. cheech wizard
    July 21st, 2008 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    That panel from Mary Worth reminds me of the “good citizenship” posters they used to plaster all over my junior high and which made me resolve to turn into a dope-smoking fiend as soon as I could find some friends with weed.

  109. DaveyK
    July 21st, 2008 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    Forget count Weirdly’s pathetic kidnapping scheme. I want Slylock Fox to solve the mystery of why Octopi have grown fangs. Preferably before they come to the surface an exsanguinate us all.

  110. Hawkeye
    July 21st, 2008 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    MW: I want to say that Mary is looking right out of the page and daring the reader to take Jeff’s side and find fault in her behavior, but that would be ridiculous. No, she’s looking right out of the page and into your very souls. Brrrr.

  111. Paul1963
    July 22nd, 2008 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    Bonus Arrested Development reference time!
    Jeff drops Mary off after their date, receiving his customary chaste kiss on the cheek at her door, and thinks, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

    I feel kinda bad for Irving in Cathy. After all, he ended up married to a woman with no nose, no breasts, no self-esteem, no organizational skills and some pretty heavy-duty neuroses related to shopping.

  112. Galatasaray
    July 26th, 2008 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Very good.

  113. Erik
    August 28th, 2008 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    Dear God. The creepiest thing in that “Find the six differences” puzzle is not the child with a ridiculously enlarged pot belly, (or is it a beer gut?), nor the suspicious set of eyes in that completely pitch-black bucket, (which is odd considering the sun should be able to reach at least part of the pail), but is actually the freakishly albino lady ordering hot dogs from an apparently empty freakishly albino shack.

    Oh, and the vulture who apparently managed to snag a fish in mid-air and is feeling delighted by it. That other vulture on the roof clearly left in the second panel to grab a fish of its own.

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