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It’s not like cats are good at jumping over things or anything

Marvin, 6/1/13

Marvin’s dad’s brief attempt to interact socially with non-wife-and-Marvin persons ended in abysmal failure when his co-worker Ted clumsily attempted to flirt with bar-ladies in his presence. I guess Jeff had been brought as “wing-man,” since there’s nothing that makes you more attractive to a woman than a dead-eyed friend with a combover? Anyway, Jeff will now briefly enjoy his home life again, at least until the next Marvin-expelled toxic event reminds him that hell is other people, no matter what their age.

Heathcliff, 6/1/13

Heathcliff is taking a little break from its downward (upward?) spiral into insanity to do some classic cat humor — haha, the cat wants to eat the delicious, delicious birds! — but I still have some questions about the context here. Namely, is Heathcliff playing in an all-cat baseball game? It would explain why the outfield fence is only 18 inches high, I guess.

Funky Winkerbean, 6/1/13

Having successfully expelled Frankie from their lives with righteous indignation, Darrin and Jessica are getting back to what they do best: smirking at each other while engaged in passive-aggressive one-upmanship.

Pluggers, 6/1/13

Pluggers would rather spend hours driving around Chicago whining about parking than take the elitist communist L train.

46 responses to “It’s not like cats are good at jumping over things or anything”

  1. Droopy Says
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    I like the heart that floats between Marvin’s parents as they kiss. The black, shriveled heart which reminds you that Marvin’s mere existence poisons all in his life.

  2. The JonBom
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    Man I was really hoping that Pluggers was working in a Mr. Bill joke, but the math doesn’t seem to add up. Then again, it’s Pluggers.

  3. Liberal plugger
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    Actually pluggers don’t take the train because they can’t stand to be separated for very long from their rusty Volvos

  4. Alfred E. Neuman
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    Heathcliff— Now we know that Heathcliff is a southpaw.

  5. Nekrotzar
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers have never even heard of events like Ravinia, but advertise something with ‘food’ in the title and you’ll have a reenactment of the 1968 Democratic convention.

  6. Nathaniel Q.
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    What if the comic strip Funky Winkerbean throughout its entire history has just been one big Westview reality show? Think about THAT, Darin.

  7. carbunicle
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    @Liberal plugger (#3): Are imports of any kind canonical in the Pluggersverse? They seem more likely to purchase vehicles on the spectrum of Suburban to Caprice.

  8. Yahtzee
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    I have to say that any Marvin strip that ignores and excludes the title character is okay in my book.

  9. Charles Solution
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    It’s really not hard to read today’s Marvin as “Marvin’s dad’s attempted gay hookup, which was his wife’s idea, wasn’t fun.”

    Look how happy she is in the first panel. JUST LOOK.

  10. Liam
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox-I spent too much time trying to figure out today’s puzzle that Slylock and Max both drowned by the time I was done.

  11. Hyhybt
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    Add your description of Marvin to Pluggers and you get a perfectly reasonable answer to why they want a parking space.

    The L is other people.

  12. Ned Ryerson
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    I saw Marvin-Expelled Toxic Event when they played last month at the Food Festival.

  13. Nehemiah Scudder
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    Sunday Mark Trail: Antarctica is not a continent anymore?

  14. Indichik
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers need a quick escape route home due to their overactive bladders and/or bowels. So actually, Pluggers are Marvin.

  15. Uncle Lumpy
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean — Darin’s and Jessica’s relationship began when she puked on him and went downhill from there. Quite an accomplishment, really.

  16. Medaka444
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    It says something about me that my first thought about this Heathcliff was scatological in nature.

  17. Calico
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers would rather drive around strange neighborhoods in Chicago getting shot at and robbed.

  18. Joe Btfsplk
    June 2nd, 2013 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers – So I guess pluggers are funny because they’re all too old and/or obese to make it to any event more than a hundred yards from their cars. Ha ha! Funny old fat beast-folk.

  19. Calico
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    YT #190 – yes, quite amusing, and the little duckling does a tiny poop around 1:00. Such excitement for the feathered one!

  20. Will
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    FW: So what’s her dad’s name again, and is he still around? I’m confused. Also, given the whimsical nature of what’s-his-name’s show, I’m surprised the cameraman looks like he’s ready to throw himself in front of a speeding train.

    S4th: Oh for crap’s sakes. Gender is a linguistic term, not a biological one. Also, just drop it already, Sally. What the hell business is it of yours, and what difference does it make.

  21. Calico
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:08 pm [Reply]

    @Will (#20):
    June Harpy-of-the-month-club members:
    Elinor in MW
    Katherine in JP
    Unfortunately, Sally in Sally Forth

  22. Baka Gaijin
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    I call “Shenanigans” on Pluggers. The “food festival” doesn’t contain “deep fried” in the title. It may have, shudder, fresh vegetables to eat. Pluggers don’t want none of that commie-pinko rabbit food. Except maybe the giant pink rabbit-man.

  23. John C Fremont
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    @Nekrotzar (#5): By coincidence, just a moment ago, my wife mentions that our son-in-law caught a Muskie, and my response was to ask “What about Humphrey?” which, I reasoned, makes me a Plugger.

    Oh, and speaking of Lou Reed recovering from a liver transplant, I have a quote for Karen Moy to work into this week’s Mary Worth;

    “When love is gone, there’s always justice.
    And when justice is gone, there’s always force.
    And when force is gone, there’s always Mom. Hi, Mom!”

    And if she can work the bit about petrochemical arms in there, that’d be even better than giving Beth that cool “Six Finger” toy. Now I gotta go fire up my rusty old Volvo (or US-made equivalent) and head over to that there food fair, already in progress.

  24. notmydesk
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    I love how it took Darin more than a week of strips to tell his dad to go to hell. I accomplish that same thing every week in a five second phone call and can still get to Dunkin Donuts before all the Boston Creams are gone.

  25. greghousesgf
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    does Heathcliff want to be Snoopy or something?

  26. Scott Free
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    “…until the next Marvin-expelled toxic event…”

    Which, of course, was the very next Marvin strip. Though I’m not sure just what form of toxin Marvin expelled this time, given that the clues are both squid ink and warming up the pool. Has Marvin created a whole new variety of toxic human waste?

  27. BigTed
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers aren’t worried about parking itself, so much as the prospect that they might have to walk a couple of blocks before gorging themselves all day.

  28. BigTed
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    Marvin’s dad now understands that life is a choice between getting shot down by beautiful blondes on the “dating scene” or chaining a nice lady to yourself by way of a constantly pooping brat she couldn’t possibly deal with on her own.

  29. $$$Westview Oncologist$$$$$
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Marvin – you know, Maybe a “Marvin minus Marvin” strip needs to be put into the works. A strip about the existential hell that is Marvin’s Dad’s life would be a lot more interesting.

  30. Liberal plugger
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    @carbunicle (#7): Please tell me that you were not expecting artistic accuracy in a comic strip where the creators think that bears kangaroos and chickens wear clothes and only shampoo the fur on the tops of their hands. Josh’s valiant attempt to deny his own aging by casting all pluggers as people of a different political affiliation notwithstanding, Pluggers come in all stripes. The conservative ones drive Fords and Chevys. The liberal ones prefer Volvos and subarus. You can also tell us because we’re the ones listening to prairie home companion on NPR and telling ourselves its cutting edge humor.

  31. Holly Folly
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    I am trying to picutre just how odd the world of Heathcliff is. I can imagine the people; bland, flat characters just mind numbingly living the same day over and over again, only the briefest breaks on the weekend from the drudgery, looking out side to see an all cat baseball game going on and saying to themselves “that outfielder is definitely being distracted by birds.”

  32. bbofun
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    @Will (#20): The sepia-tone on most of the panels is showing that that’s all a flashback. Batiuk’s trying to suggest that John Darling’s show was as bad as current “reality tv”- which, since “John Darling” was suppose to be a spoof of Phil Donahue, Jerry Springer (before the chairs started being thrown regularly) or even early Oprah Winfrey, isn’t a bad observation.

    Of course, this is just an attempt to somehow connect the two plotlines he’s currently working on, about the fathers of these two blond dweebs. It seems unlikely he’ll bring this up again, as I think he REALLY doesn’t want to deal with the whole “John Darling” mess- unless he can somehow tie it directly into the (gasp) shocking revelation of Darrin being the product of a date rape, rather than just a one-night stand.

    Personally, i would love to see Frankie hoist on his own petard- at some point telling everyone about that night, telling it from his POV- how Lisa wanted him, even though she kept saying “no,” and how much she must have loved it, despite her crying, and how it was her fault for getting pregnant. Meanwhile, Lenny, his erstwhile partner, looks on in horror, realizing just how horrible a man Frankie is. He walks away, shaking his head. “Not cool, man- not cool.”

    That ain’t gonna happen, of course- but I’d enjoy it.

  33. flug
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Heathcliff: What I’m worrying about is how he can see those birds at all.

    The birds are clearly back behind the fence and the men, maybe about right above the houses in the background. They’re not above or in front of Heathcliff, or they would be far, far larger in perspective.

    But “above and in front of” are the only two possible directions Heathcliff can see, what with that baseball cap and all.

    So how can he possibly SEE the birds?

    Has this become a comic about a psychic cat and the comic ramifications thereof? Or a cat with eyes in the back of its head and the comic ramifications thereof?

    Either would be a positive direction for the Heathcliff strip to take, so let’s hope . . .

  34. Uncle Lumpy
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @Liberal plugger (#30):

    The liberal ones prefer Volvos and subarus. You can also tell us because we’re the ones listening to prairie home companion on NPR and telling ourselves its cutting edge humor.

    The rich ones tool through university towns in their Saab convertibles with All Things Considered blasting on the radio.

  35. Dave
    June 2nd, 2013 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    Normally I’m with you on Pluggers, but the L is such a grossly inadequate transit system that I can’t fault any Chicagoans for driving, at least if their destination is anywhere other than the Loop. When I lived in Hyde Park, any round trip to the North Side was about an hour shorter by car than by public transit. Also, no one should have to wait 10-20 minutes on an elevated platform during Chicago’s six months of sub-Arctic temperatures.

    I say this as someone who lives in DC, and will soon live in New York, without a car. I love public transit. The problem is Chicago.

  36. jim, some guy in iowa
    June 2nd, 2013 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#34): i find “this american life” really lacks, even when i turn the bass all the way up

  37. SurrealKangaroo
    June 2nd, 2013 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    Unfortunately, I guess I am a Plugger.

  38. NickAtNite
    June 2nd, 2013 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    A “record crowd” of Pluggers are expected at a food festival? Yeah, didn’t need a newspaper to figure that one out.

  39. Francis Hobbs
    June 2nd, 2013 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    The Saturday Pluggers is based on a submission by SNL’s Mr. Bill. Ohhhh noooooooooooooo…

  40. Jocelyn Knockersbury
    June 2nd, 2013 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#32): See, that’s exactly why this reality show situation never made sense. It would be far, far too easy to undermine Frankie because, well, he’s Frankie, and we all know what he’s done. Though I guess it’s been kept from Darrin because of reasons, which I didn’t realize until recently but which makes sense. Still, Les would know the situation and in a real world where people don’t say MY FATHER JOHN DARLING in conversation all the damn time, Frankie would be very easy to dispel.

  41. Damien
    June 2nd, 2013 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    FW – Jessica shouldn’t bother with threats of inflicting pain; regular winkerlife will ineluctably provide.

  42. Revenge of Chesnut
    June 3rd, 2013 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    @Charles Solution (#9): I think she sent Marvinsdad to scout some manmeat for a devil’s threesome. Am I ashamed for thinking about this too much? Not as much as I should be.

  43. Roger Townsend
    June 3rd, 2013 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    Boy, those dense “Plugger” Teaparty types sure are stupid, aren’t they? Don’t they realize that the “Elites” are just Very Smart People who understand literally everything? Look, here’s how easy it is for the Plugger to visit the Food Festival without using a car.

    First, look up the Train Schedule online. That takes about a half hour, because the site keeps freezing and was laid out by a drunken monkey. OK, it’s 11:25, 1;03 and 5;14. Walk twenty minutes to the bus to take you to the train, wait a half hour for the bus. Ride 45 minutes. Walk ten minutes from bus to train station. Wait half hour to buy tickets. Wait 15 minutes to buy tickets, and they check your idea. Miss train because the ticket printer was out of jet ink. Wait an hour and a half for next train. Take an hour and fifteen minutes to ride eight miles. Twenty minutes to get off train, to bus station. Transfer buses three times – say another hour.

    Or you could take the car, and park at the festival’s parking lot.

    Thank God the Elites are so much smarter than I am.

  44. Roger Townsend
    June 3rd, 2013 at 1:24 pm [Reply]

    flug
    June 2nd, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    “The birds are clearly back behind the fence and the men, maybe about right above the houses in the background. They’re not above or in front of Heathcliff, or they would be far, far larger in perspective.”

    They’re birds. They fly. They flew over Heathcliff, then kept on going.

  45. Agoraphobic Turtle
    June 3rd, 2013 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    “Don’t make me come back there and hurt you.” PLOT TWIST: The cancer gets him first. And her. And everyone else.

  46. Poor Thompson
    June 4th, 2013 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    I’m enjoying imagining that “Food Festival Opens Today” is not that particular day’s headline, but rather the actual title of the Plugger’s local newspaper.

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