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“Our policy guidelines don’t say what kind of feedback!” Shannon said smugly

Mary Worth, 9/6/13

THANK GOODNESS SHANNON ISN’T GOING TO BE FIRED!!! It seemed that the odds were stacked against her, with the only sliver of hope she had to hold onto being the fact that any threat to her job seemed existed only in her and Mary’s panicked imaginations. My guess is that Aggie only got all this sweet free stuff because Shannon went to beg desperately for her job and her boss, in between the heaving sobs, managed to discern that maybe one of the customers got bent out of shape about dumb crap, let’s waive their bill or something, ugh, get this crying lady out of here, fine, fine, you can keep your job, whatever, just go.

“They’ll most likely caution participants that sharing at open talks may lead to feedback!” is probably the most hilarious sentence you’ll read for the entire month of September, by the way.

Better Half, 9/6/13

The thing I like about this strip is that Stanley is wearing a shirt and tie, which means that it isn’t casual Friday at all, and he’s desperately improvising to excuse whatever horrifying biological noise he just unleashed on the poor client on the other end of the line. This seems much, much more like something you’d get fired for than for providing feedback to someone sharing at open talk.

Crankshaft, 9/6/13

Today’s strip will be Exhibit A in Mary’s multimillion dollar “conspiracy to create a hostile work environment” lawsuit against the school district.

200 responses to ““Our policy guidelines don’t say what kind of feedback!” Shannon said smugly”

  1. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:27 am [Reply]

    Evil Abby Ardin… is eviler than ever. This time Edge City’s shrewish female lead is trying to goad Len into working when he’s not supposed to (what with
    it being Rosh Hashanah and all). And you can bet the farm that EAA is happily taking God’s name in vain whenever she’s shown using profanity.

    For your own sake, woman, stop trying to tick off God. Or He might decide to turn you into a pillar of salt.

    Or send two she-bears to attack you…

  2. KreatureFeatures
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Focus, boys, focus! There’s a criminal with a loaded rifle nearby, remember?

    Family Circus: Billy, in his white shirt and tie, would like to talk to someone about the Pearl of Great Price.

    Gil Thorp: I hate this John Pascoe kid already. Can we just move on to losing the playdowns?

  3. C. Sandy Cyst
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    Doesn’t existing in a Tom Batiuk universe ruin her sunny disposition?

  4. Ratiocinator
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:37 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#y33): No, on this the Morgans have it right. If you tell anybody that their opinions don’t matter at all and always treat them like an inferior, they’re going to resent you for it, regardless of their age. As well they should. I was raised by parents who never told me “Because you are just a child” and who cared about my opinion on things, and I don’t think I turned out horribly. Maybe you’ve had problems with your girlfriend’s son or whatever and think he was spoiled, but you don’t have to raise a kid in an ultra-strict atmosphere–or even a strict one–in order for them to grow into good people.

    Treat people the way they want to be treated, if you can do it without turning yourself into a doormat. Doesn’t matter if they’re 6, 16, 26, whatever.

    9CL: Oh come the fuck on.

    ASM: Oh hey guys, guess what? The brutal dictator is demanding that Tarantula turn himself in on threat of executing his sister, and he thankfully has Spider-Man and Rodrigo to both inform him that it’s a TRAP and that El Condor will do very bad things to him if he surrenders, because otherwise he would think that El Condor just wanted him to visit for an hour and have a tea party with a bunch of stuffed animals or something!

    FW: Much like the strip you exist in: you’re not funny, Bull.

    JP: Well naturally Sam didn’t do any of this investigating himself! For Sam, hard work is moving his mouth muscles to make sounds which communicate to a lackey his desire to have them do something: his secretary, this Steve guy, whoever.

    Luann: “Let’s invite this girl to our party and pretend things are all right between us for one day, only to laugh at her behind her back a day or two later!” That…actually isn’t abnormal for high school in my experience, but it doesn’t change the fact that the people who do it are two-faced asshats and not worthy protagonists.

  5. Chareth Cutestory
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:37 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: I was going to make a joke about how Mary is ripping off Crankshaft’s red clothes/silver hair Santa style. But then I noticed how Crankshaft and his colleague’s motifs look like their own bizzaro imitations of Mario and Luigi!

    Nnnnnnngggg! Oh no! I’m standing too close to a multiverse nexus… The fillings in my teeth are starting to rattle and I can see other versions of Crankshafts throughout the wheels or the universes. Millions of millions of mailboxes smashed then reassembled!

  6. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:42 am [Reply]

    Spiderman-”Oh well. Looks like there is no way I can change your mind. I’ll go see what shows you get down here.”

    A3G-That’s a dress! I thought that was what she always wore.

    A3G 2-How do you not know about the lieutenant governor? You would’ve heard of him on the news. You don’t refer to him as ‘this Calder person’ unless of course you are Margo and if it doesn’t concern you then it’s not worth knowing.

    A3G 3-”Get out of that silk dress.” Looks like Bolle follows the ‘Say Don’t Show’ Method when it comes to everything in this comic. How are we to know that is a dress.

    Crankshaft-You can invoke a bus driver initiation and road haul her.

    FW-If lunch has been cut then what are they eating?

    Gil Thorp-In other words kid you’ve just been drafted to play football. Coach Thorp doesn’t take no for an answer.

    Love Is-And an even wilder wedding night.

    MT-”Don’t start off with punching. Build up to it.”

    MW-Let us warn people that when they are seeking help they will get feedback. You better start warning people now, Mary, when you talk to them.

    Archie-That’s it, Betty, thrust those breasts out.

  7. Mibbitmaker
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:43 am [Reply]

    A3G: “Oh, Margo, I thought you’d never ask!”

    FW: Now do something about Batiuk bullying his audience! (really, everyone talks like Crankshaft in Westview now?!)

    MW: And, of course, people will think it means mechanical feedback, and it’ll solve nothing. Yeah, great work there, Mare!

    Popeye: Um, those aren’t gold nuggets….

    S4th: Baby’s actually punching. Gongratulations, you’re giving birth to a miniature Mark Trail!

    BH: It’s not actually “Casual Fridays”, it’s “Really Grossly Uncouth Fridays”.

  8. Congo Bill Bailey
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#y212):

    Edge City: She needs to go Rosh Hashanah on his ass.

    Actually, Jews aren’t supposed to work during Rosh Hashanah, so maybe Yahweh needs to unleash a plague of locusts on HER ass.

  9. Flonatin of Bologna
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    BB: Also, you’re not on any sort of Gordon Ramsay show, so leave the cacti be.

    MT: Mr. Trail Goes To Washington, coming to a VCR near you!

    S-M: He’s been there, like, twenty minutes, but acts like he’s known Rodrigo his entire life. Are we sure that Spidey hasn’t walked onto the set of Big Brother: Costa Verde?

  10. Gabacho, Aggie's Best Friend
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth – As Aggie’s best friend (former), I need to warn Shannon that this is how it starts. First, Aggie does the explosive verbal diarrhea and the fleeing from the room. Then you invite her back and gently suggest that in future, you might interject something in her monologues. She agrees but never follows through. Finally, you find yourselves on the Real Housewives of Santa Royale with some C-U Next Tuesday named Tobi and her bat guano mama Mary.

  11. Dennis Jimenez
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    MW – Much like SoS John Kerry’s, Mary’s face is drooping with joy….

    BH – And jack off under the desk to cyber-porn – don’t forget that perk….

    Crank – What Choo Talkin’ ‘Bout, Willis….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  12. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    The Amazing Spider-Man: I must give myself up to El Condor. He will probably shave my beautiful moostache and send me home, but eh, it’s for Rosa. [Flamenco guitar trill out.]

    Apt. 3-G: Proof that you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, or a Pepto-Bismol colored blouse, anyway.

    9 Chickweed Lane: I don’t care what Vladimir Putin, the United Nations or the US Congress says, bestiality is a bright red line. Hope Maine is ready for drone strikes.

    They call Dennis the Menace but it’s Margaret who’s the stone gangster. She wants her vig and she wants it now, Dennis. Don’t make her make Joey take his best friend on a boat ride (two go out, one comes back).

    The Lockhorns: Uh-oh. If Leroy starts talking about the 2nd Amendment and black helicopters, duck for cover.

    Mark Trail: Did you know the Lower Forest has about as many residents as Washington, D.C., yet it has two senators and one representative? No? Well, now you do. Also, it’s Wyoming, and they love them some oil exploration out there.

    Shoe: I did not know Loon was a member of the original Patti Smith Band. Ivan Kral? Anyone?

  13. Daniel
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:47 am [Reply]

    Weekly is a little often to be recognizing the best bus driver, especially if Mary’s only competition would rather plan a little In The Company Of Men-style harassment than smile once in a while.

  14. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    @Chareth Cutestory (#5): I saw the best mailboxes of my generation smashed by madness, empty-packaged containers staggering reassembled through the Ohio dawn…

  15. AhClem
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    A3G – If this were any other strip but A3G, seeing Margo ask Luann to remove her dress would have me anxiously waiting to see what happens in tomorrow’s strip.

  16. Jarenth
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    They’ll most likely caution participants that sharing at open talks may lead to people calling you out on your bullshit. Also, to getting burped at by a confused man in an ugly tie.

    Open talks, man. Law of the jungle.

  17. Tom, the Sailor Man
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    Sharing too much about one’s pants may lead to feedback.

  18. The Modesto Kid
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    An alternate reading of Better Half is that Stanley works in an office that does not have Casual Fridays, and is on the phone with someone who just belched and is explaining himself. Not that it makes much more sense that way.

  19. Congo Bill Bailey
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:55 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#y209):

    Better Half: Stanley’s burping is a cover for his flatulence.

    At least his customer* can’t smell the stench of brimstone.

    *Has it ever been established what Stanley does for a living?

  20. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    @AhClem (#15): Underneath the ugly pink dress – another ugly pink dress. It’s ugly pink dresses all the way down, man.

  21. Anonymous
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Love the Hamlet poison-in-ear reference!
    Tina’s Groove: Eh. “Buxomness” instead of fat content. I don’t know. Preferred the old menu with the more honest “Double D-cup cakes” and “Baby got Back grilled cheese.”

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (Y#237): As the sage said “If you don’t like it, go on the internet and complain.” Oh, wait …

  22. Kristian
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    #21 is me.
    I’ll get the hang of this one of these decades …

  23. Mr Foofram
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:09 am [Reply]

    “Tough Guy. Jaw like granite.” So Herbie Popnecker is the 21st Phantom. Who knew?

  24. pugfuggly
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    WARNING: ‘OPEN TALK’ SESSIONS MAY RESULT IN FEEDBACK! GUESTS NOT PREPARED FOR FEEDBACK SHOULD TRY ‘CLOSED TALK’ OR ‘NO TALK’ SESSIONS.

  25. Kristian
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#11): Re: BH. What company do you work for and can I interest you in some firewall/proxy/content filtering services?

  26. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:12 am [Reply]

  27. Receptionist Shrug
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    MT: “Senator, there’s a man named Mark Trail in your waiting room, and he’s on a horse.” “Tell Trail I’m out for the day — wait, make it ‘for the month.’ You can send in the horse, though.”

  28. pugfuggly
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    Stanley calls the worst sex chat lines….

  29. mojo
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    MW: I can’t get over the joy I feel that the retreat center’s warning is apparently going to be “sharing at open talks may lead to feedback” and NOT This talk is being led by our 20-something idiot YOGA INSTRUCTOR, not by a certified mental health professional. Participants may thus be exposed to ‘helpful’ feedback such as “Wow, you’ve got some serious issues, dude! Hope you get some help for ‘em.”

  30. Christopher
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: “I was just kidding and you go and ruin it by taking me seriously. I’d have to give a shit about this job to care about anybody making me look bad.”

  31. pugfuggly
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    Ed’s expression looks less annoyed than determined. ‘By god, I WILL take her out on a date! Let’s see how sunny her disposition isafter the ride home from the Chinese Buffet!’

  32. Shran
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: “Mary is starting to make us look bad.” You know, projecting your inadequacies onto Mary Worth won’t help, Batiuk. You’re the one making yourself look bad.

  33. Powers
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    @The Modesto Kid (#18): Yes, that’s the only reasonable explanation. Stanley just got belched at, which alleviates the concern that he’s still dressed up on Casual Friday.

  34. Horace Broon
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    GT: In the spirit of Crankshaft a few weeks ago…
    Bad Decision 1: “Let’s introduce a character to our static comic strip who only communicates in head movements!”
    Bad Decision 2: “We need to spend a panel conveying that cheerleader guy’s first loyalty is to the gymnastics team, despite the fact that’s already been pretty much implied. Guess we’ll have to cram those head movements into half-panels!”
    Bad Decision 3: “With only half a panel to distinguish between a nod and a shake, obviously the best thing to do is to reuse the same image and convey the difference entirely in barely visible movement lines!”

    HtH: Oh no, all Hagar’s stuff’s been stolen! The stuff, lest we forget, that he gained from bloody raids on the coastal towns of Europe. This is called karma, my friend.

  35. Hibbleton
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    MT: But what about the poachers!? Poachers, smoachers, I have bigger fish to fry. I might get to punch a senator!

  36. Little Blue Bicycle
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    Those are some weird curtains on Mary Worth’s wall in panel 1, but maybe they go with the shag carpet on the walls. All a matter of perspective, I guess.

  37. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:30 am [Reply]

    @Receptionist Shrug (#27): Next week on Mark Trail: Mark punches a US Senator, goes to jail for the rest of his life.

  38. TheDiva
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: No, the fact that you are horrible sociopaths who should never be allowed within fifty feet of a child makes you look bad. Mary’s just benefiting from your gross incompetence.

    I think Batiuk is trying to establish Mary as an annoyingly perfect goody-two-shoes like Ned Flanders (at least before he became a caricature of fundamentalist crazy). The difference is that Homer was an endearing character in spite of his flaws (at least he was before he became an impossibly stupid man-child) and Crankshaft would only be likable in a casket. Preferably a closed one. [*]

    MW: So the resort is out a free trip, plus they have to take extra steps to avoid people getting butthurt during sharing time? I’d have just fired the bitch.

  39. Esther Blodgett
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    FW: Bull knows that the best way to deal with bullying is to retcon it out of existence.

  40. Shran
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:47 am [Reply]

  41. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    @Mr Foofram (#23): That would explain why the 21st Phantom keeps muttering to himself (in the Bandar tongue, of course):

    “You want I should bop you with this here lollipop?”

  42. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    9CL – Could we have just had the cow’s testimony exonerate her a month ago and moved on, without all the nonsense with the stained dress and the dismembered zombie flashing her coochie at the judge?

    Of course, the cow’s testimony won’t address why Fleurry didn’t file a complaint for animal abuse or try to rescue any of the other animals, but just took the cow home and raised it as if it was hers, but we know that no female character could ever end up being in the wrong, so anything that ends this nonsense is fine.

  43. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#26): Awwe!

    // Did you ever hear about the island of tailors, where the inhabitants eke out a precarious living taking in or letting out each other’s pants?

  44. debussy fields
    September 6th, 2013 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    MW– Here’s some feedback, Mary: Your strip has hit rock bottom. The best way to salvage any glimmers of interest for your readers is to create a spin-off: Aggie. An entire strip devoted to Aggie would be enormously interesting, especially when compared to the lukewarm crap we’re getting from you on a daily basis.

  45. Tom, the Sailor Man
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#43): // Did you ever hear about the island of tailors, where the inhabitants eke out a precarious living taking in or letting out each other’s pants?

    Do they have many problems?

  46. TheDiva
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    9CL: Is Fleurrie representing herself now? Sure, why not? Who cares anymore?

    A3G: Wait…that grandmotherly pink blouse is supposed to be LuAnn’s spectacularly stylish date wear? Even by the standards of this strip, that’s lame.

    FW: I hope you all die in a violent school shooting.

    Luann: Isn’t she just such a kind, wonderful person? Simply BURSTING with inner beauty, I tell you!

    Pibgorn: ….God dammit, Brooke, just go into porn already and leave the Shakespeare to people who don’t see a need to shoehorn gratuitous girl-on-girl action into the Queen Mab speech, okay?

    Retail: My parents used to do this. (Then again my brother and I knew enough to not run screaming all over the department, so hopefully the clerks didn’t mind as much.)

  47. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#46): girl-girl action is never gratuitous, with or without shoe-horns involved.

    *whistles innocently*

  48. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    @Tom, the Sailor Man (#45): They have very poor taste. They are all members of a cargo cult, and hence wear nothing but cargo pants.

  49. Little Blue Bicycle
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Mary Marzipan? Kind of sweet? A real honey? A little nuts?

  50. Ratiocinator
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#12):

    Hope Maine is ready for drone strikes.

    Not Maine, New Hampshire! Don’t attack Maine! I mean, that is where Brooke lives so there’s that, but is it worth risking Stephen King’s life too???

  51. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    @Shran (#40): At least he’d have an excuse for not taking Rusty fishing.

  52. Ratiocinator
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    9CL: Bonus snark: I think it would be hilarious if Twinkly chose this moment to take a dump on the courtroom floor. Not just because it’s a cow thing to do, but as her way of saying “Oh, you want to hear what the story so far has been? All right, here you go.”

  53. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Agnes: Isn’t that the tooth?

    Last Kiss: I wish I knew how to quit you, Sheriff Sal!

  54. Not Just any Dipstick
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    @Tom, the Sailor Man (#45): Or problems getting into each others pants? oooh, that could be fun.

  55. Jim in Wisc.
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    Sarah Morgan, Renowned Authoress: Sarah certainly is an “exceptional” young girl, since she’s the first five-year-old I’ve ever seen not flub up at least a little on pronunciation of a word like “exceptional.”

    Meddlin’ Mary: “… may lead to feedback.” What the #&$%!? Does Karen Moy write like this because that’s how she talks in real life?

    Rapey Cancerstrokebean: Shouldn’t that first line be: “Nate [Last_Name], the principal of Westview High School, which is this high school, seems to be following through …”??

  56. Lumaca Morente
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#26): Ha, ha, that’s just how I picture Scudder!

  57. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#47): girl-girl action is never gratuitous

    Well, except when it is more accurately termed girl-on-woman action, given that one of the participants is 14 and the other is an adult.

  58. Lumaca Morente
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Phantom lifts the bad guy’s credit card. “American Express – don’t leave home without it!
    //for those who wondered how he finances the Skull Cave, airplane, feeds the pygmies, etc.

  59. Little Guy
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    MT: “Mister Trail Goes to Washington” — now with Filibuster O’ Justice!

  60. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#56): Nah, Nehemiah has a beard, so he’s really more like this.

  61. Lumaca Morente
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#60): Look out, or you’ll have Scudder venting his spleen again.
    //have you considered using Jedi mind tricks when interviewing? “This is the pastor you want…”

  62. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#61): Ouch! My spleen!

    // Must need venting again.

  63. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    Crank: Sure, just create a hostile work environment, that will work!

    Funk the Stupid Bean: That crappy pun is certainly FOOB-worthy…

    Luann: Hey kid…..your face is right at Tiff’s boob-level……just sayin’.

    MT: “I’m going to visit Senator Mason……and punch him in the dick!”

  64. CanuckDownSouth
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    MW: I can just see the spa’s release forms now. After having you initial bits about overheating in the jacuzzi, risks from deep massage, etc, you reach the paragraph about how talking “may lead to feedback”. And you start to think that this place maybe doesn’t know what the heck it’s doing.

    “Sharing at open talks may lead to feedback” – I should try to think more charitably about that bad attempt at `feedback’ for Aggie, because clearly the characters are hampered by an authour who has been locked away from human conversation for years.

    RMMD: In a better comic, I’d hope that June’s expression was leading to to some soul-searching about how she’s gone overboard on this “treat like an equal” idea, to the point that the 5-yr-old thinks she has to co-parent the baby and bring home income for the household.

  65. Droopy Says
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#57): Except Juliet is really thirteen:

    “She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.
    Let two more summers wither in their pride
    Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.”

    (Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, scene 2, lines 9-11)

    Rereading the play has helped me to hate McEch better.

  66. Illustrator Steve
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:55 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#12): 9CL – I hope Maine is ready for dromne strikes.
    I think 9 Chickweed lane is located in some fictitious part of New Hampshire, so I guess Maine is safe. Besides, as far as drone strikes, those damn drones up here in Maine have been on strike now for over a year and they still won’t even consider thinking about going back to work!

    @Ratiocinator (#50): That’s where Brooke lives, and is it worth risking Stephen King’s life too?

    Hey! How about also showing a little concern for Illustrator Steve? He lives in Maine too, dammit!

  67. seismic-2
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    MW: PAX Wellness Resort is re-writing their “Open Talk” guidelines in light of this experience. They obviously reviewed past interactions for possible causes.

    BH: Contrary to appearances, it is in fact Casual Friday – Stanley isn’t wearing any pants. Happy Ziggy Day, everybody!

  68. Joe Blevins
    September 6th, 2013 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    I have a simple wish for the characters in Better Half: that they be granted eyelids.

  69. Illustrator Steve
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#60):

    Oh, I get it! That little doggie wants to go for a EWOK.

  70. Master Softheart
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    9CL: This plotline has been insisting stubbornly for some weeks now that it is a lighthearted, Alice-in-Wonderland-style comedy of the absurd, where a kind of magical realism and our affection for the characters causes the audience to see the increasingly farcical courtroom procedures as the ratcheting up of the risible and ludicrous antics to a kind of side-splitting, Marx-brothers denouement.

    I must respectfully disagree that this is in fact what is happening, though; watching the characters do increasingly implausible, idiotic and above all humorless things that make no sense even by what one must think of as the story’s own internal logic is simply not amusing. The sexual comedy drifted into the realm of the distasteful at some point early last week, the vague and uninformed jokes about lawyers and the legal system never made much sense as
    parody or social criticism, and – most damningly – the personalities of the cast aren’t well enough developed (or consistently portrayed in cases where they are) to support the attempts at character-based humor.

    Well, except Thorax, whose character traits of being condescending, completely out of touch with reality, and inexplicably infallible within the odd meta-reality of the strip, while definitely well established, do not succeed in generating humor that I personally appreciate.

  71. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#57): nah, they’re both ageless fae, so it’s ok.

  72. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    A3G-Looks like Zoey went to the same design school that what’s his face in Mary Worth went to for cake design.

  73. TheDiva
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#65): She’s a little over two weeks away from her fourteenth birthday, though:

    NURSE
    ….How long is it now
    To Lammas-tide?

    LADY CAPULET
    A fortnight and odd days.

    NURSE
    Even or odd, of all days in the year,
    Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen. (Act 1, Scene 3)

    She never does get around to seeing that birthday, but it’s close enough that I think a little rounding up is excusable. Anyway, this is all beside the point, which of course is that Brooke is a hack.

  74. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#71): ah yes, there is still a trope for that.

  75. terrapin
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    MW: And where would rock and roll be without feedback?

  76. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#66): How about also showing a little concern for Illustrator Steve? He lives in Maine too, dammit!

    You’ll be fine, so long as you live near the mountains. Those slain in Maine will be mainly on the plain.

  77. terrapin
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#50): Not to mention all those yummy lobsters!

  78. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#50): I’m sorry, the coordinates are already locked in. Spot of bother, what.

  79. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#66):

    Hey! How about also showing a little concern for Illustrator Steve? He lives in Maine too, dammit!

    Meh. ;-)

  80. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#76): *fliptake*

    o, well DONE, sir!

  81. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#76): Mass murder and rhymes! Wicked pisser!

  82. TheDiva
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#76): By Jove, he’s got it!

  83. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    MW-”I’m required by law to tell you that anything you share with me will result in feedback.”

  84. Ratiocinator
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#64): If she actually can help and wants to, then there’s no reason for her not to. I mean, it’s better than having a kid who doesn’t want to help with anything, right?

    It isn’t the idea that Sarah seems to be smarter than any five-year-old I ever remember meeting that bugs me about this strip; child prodigies do exist, even if they aren’t the norm. It’s more “You just showed up at our museum one day and told us you wanted us to give you money for your drawings, and we think they’re amazing so we will!” That’s just too unrealistic for me to suspend disbelief, particularly since we have seen what she drew and know that it isn’t anything special.

    There’s also something I forgot to write earlier, which is that Sarah sometimes sounds wrong, not just for a kid her age, but for a human being. Today she says “You will need my help!” when anybody else would’ve used a contraction there. Oh yeah, and when she was at the museum pitching her book she said “You will help me publish it!” (That actually qualifies as her showing signs of letting things go to her head, and if I were June or Heather or whoever was there with her I would’ve said “Sarah, don’t tell them what to do. You don’t like it when somebody tells you what to do, right? Neither do they.”)

    @Illustrator Steve (#66): Oh, you do? Okay, yeah, there’d just be too much collateral damage to justify it.

    (Would it be possible for you and Mr. King to leave the state for a day or two? And, um, to take anything you wouldn’t want drone-striked along with you? Why am I asking? No reason, no reason at all…)

  85. Ratiocinator
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    @terrapin (#77): Damn, how could I forget them? Steve, please take the lobsters with you.

  86. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    Better Half-”We’re also allowed to ask you what you are wearing.”

  87. Illustrator Steve
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    MT – “Good luck, Mark! …um, Mark? I thought it might be worth mentioning to you that you’re heading north towards Canada, but Washington DC is south of here. You knew that, right?”

    “Of COURSE I knew that, Dusty! WHAT the hell kind of idiot do you think I am, anyway?! You see, Dusty, by me traveling north through Canada, over the North Pole, down across Asia to the Antarctic and then up through South America and Florida I can then follow I-95 until the Arligton, Virginia exit on the beltway where I’ll then take the next exit so I can ride my horse, Trigger, right up Pensylvania Anvenue to Capitol Hill and then ride Trigger right up the Capitol steps to Senator Masons office. Yes, Dusty, not only will this make a great statement of my incredible physical endurance for my fans to drool over, it will also allow me at least a full year away from hearing Rusty’s whining about me not taking the damn kid fishing!”

    “You sure are quite a guy, Mark!”

    “I sure am, Dusty! And I’m really organized too! I’ve even got the locations of every Pancake House restaurant around the world written on the back of both my hands!”

    “I really don’t think Rusty will give a rats patooty about fishing with you, Mark. On the way over here I saw Rusty with Ranger Tom Martin and Cherry fishing along the banks of Rhododendron Lake.”

    “Hmmm, I’ll have to have a talk with them when I get back home next year! For all I know they’re probably the ones who knocked those fences down in order to get to the river bank just like I did last month!”

    (Mark and Dusty): *blush-blush!* “Okay, lets make a deal that we both just mind our own business and not talk of broken fence business ever again!”

  88. Frank Lee MeiDere
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#46):

    FW: I hope you all die in a violent school shooting.

    As opposed to a non-violent school shooting?

  89. Kristian
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#50): Well, I’m sure Stephen and the two or three people who are not evil bullies or alcoholics or rednecks or fundamentalists or one of the other King stereotypes … could be airlifted somewhere else for the day.

  90. Illustrator Steve
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#76):
    But, but, but … I checked my area and realized that I am in the plains in the southern part of the state not too far from a nearby ocean in a very popular community where there are no mountains! The mountains are to the west and to the north! Maybe if I stay in my cellar with the lights off I’ll be safe. Just call me Igor … hell, call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner!

  91. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#82):

    I just had a horrible vision of what Brooke McE could do with a “re-imagining” of My Fair Lady.

    The Coming-Out party at the end would look like the Fall of Atlanta scene from Gone With the Wind, with incapacitated males lying in puddles everywhere.

  92. CanuckDownSouth
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#84): Oh, I don’t disagree that it’s better for a child to want to help with a baby than to resent the newcomer. But the whole “I will NEED to help” attitude is worrisome, especially combined with Sawah stressing that she has a *job* and *responsibilities*, and that earlier nighttime worry that she wouldn’t be able to do it all… it sounds like a kid whose parents have been venting too many worries at her, in age-inappropriate ways, so that she thinks that it’s her responsibility to make the family work.

  93. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    @Frank Lee MeiDere (#88): As opposed to a non-violent school shooting?

    There was a horrible shooting just last week at the oddly-named Joseph Stalin School for Non-Violent Conflict Resolution. 14 people were admitted to the free clinic with Nerf darts lodged uncomfortably into a variety of orifices

  94. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#92): the whole “I will NEED to help” attitude is worrisome, especially combined with Sawah stressing that she has a *job* and *responsibilities*, and that earlier nighttime worry that she wouldn’t be able to do it all

    Maybe she just has a martyr complex and feels as if the weight of the world is on her shoulders. Understandable, given that noggin.

  95. Écureuil Écumant
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#6):

    “A3G 3-”Get out of that silk dress.” Looks like Bolle follows the ‘Say Don’t Show’ Method when it comes to everything in this comic. How are we to know that is a dress.”

    And how, forsooth, are we even to know it’s silk? Well, we can go in the next room and fondle it after she takes it off and drapes it on the grand piano.

  96. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#87):

    The Antarctic Pancake House franchise is run by penguins. The pancakes are made from fish meal. Instead of syrup they pour krill blood on them.

  97. Écureuil Écumant
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:47 am [Reply]

    9CL: This gets more like Slylock every day — now with a cow as a witness and a jackass on the bench.

  98. Jake from State Farm
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#86): ummm, khakis”

  99. Illustrator Steve
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#76):

    Actually, I’ve heard that the military is trying to get approval to practice their military drone strikes in the mountainous regions of northern Maine. If that’s the case, I’ll feel that much more safe knowing I’m a flatlander rather than a highlander!

  100. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    Just for queek (and all)…

    Weddell seal at Shannon’s yoga class.

  101. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    a Shiba for Fashion Police.

  102. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#100): d’awwwww!

  103. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:52 am [Reply]

  104. TheDiva
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    @Frank Lee MeiDere (#88): Okay, a more violent than average school shooting then. Anybody know what happened to that old hall monitor machine gun young Les was always posing behind?

  105. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#99):

    Since they closed Loring AFB, there is nothing much to save up there anyways.

  106. Dennis Jimenez
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    @Jake from State Farm (#98): Plaid pants – striped shirt – white belt and white buck shoes….

  107. Écureuil Écumant
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#34) on GT:

    They need to take lessons from the gals in A3G, who have merely to cogitate and their crania start going BOYOYOYOYOINGGG!! like the bobbleheads they are.

  108. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    Why would they drone Maine? All that live up there are loons.

  109. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    Today we find that Zippy left his pants in San Francisco.

    NSFBG (unless he wants to see a clown punching a clown)

  110. Mincemeat
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#95):

    It’s polyester from the 1968 Montgomery Ward catalog, just like everything else in the strip. If you’re going to fondle it, careful you don’t snag your cuticles.

  111. Frank Lee MeiDere
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#93): A similar weapon was used at the Schtroumpfs Seaside Academy by a disgruntled farmer protesting a local baron taking over his land. In that incident the serf nerfed 24 Smurfs by the surf over turf.

    (I’m expecting a visit from Rat and Pig any moment now.)

  112. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#70): to a kind of side-splitting, Marx-brothers denouement.

    This is more like one of those feculent Ritz Bros. alleged comedies.

  113. Cloudbuster
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:15 am [Reply]

  114. Écureuil Écumant
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    @Mincemeat (#110): Jeez! And don’t forget to stand on a grounding mat and wear a grounding strap.

  115. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    MW: Just remember that this ain’t over until the Sunday strip, and some kind of bogus quotation in the first panel.

    // Please, let it be Camus!

  116. Illustrator Steve
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#108): “All that live there are Loons.”

    Hey! I resemble that re-snark! …granted, things aren’t so terrific here in Chester’s Mill until someone figures out a way to get rid of this damn dome over our town, but hey! Besides, we’ve got Mark Trail and his horse checking the dome’s outer perimeter for otter poaching aliens as we speak!

  117. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#116):

    Yeah. The biggest problem with domes is you can’t let the farts out.

  118. Girl Reporter
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Why does El Tarantula bother with the costume? Secret identity, my foot. Everybody knows his name is Miguel. Everybody knows his sister Rosa; she’s just been paraded on live TV. I assume they can figure out his last name from there. Seems like spandex would be an itchy sweaty choice for the tropics – he’s just asking for yeast growth in his pits and groin – unless it’s some kind of spandex with Miracle Wick®.

  119. Lumaca Morente
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#115): As sung by Miss Vicki Carr:
    I tell myself what’s done is done
    I tell myself don’t be a fool
    Play the field have a lot of fun
    It’s easy when you play it cool
    I tell myself don’t be a chump
    Who cares let him stay away
    That’s when the phone rings
    And I jump
    And as I grab the phone I pray
    Let it please be him
    Oh dear God
    It must be Camus
    It must be Camus
    Or I shall die
    Or I shall die
    Oh hello, helloo,
    My dear God, it must be Camus
    But it’s not him and then I die
    That’s when I die
    After a while
    I’m myself again
    I pick the pieces off the floor
    Put my pants on the shelf again
    He’ll never hurt me anymore
    Ow my spleen
    I’ll find somebody else someday
    Thats when the phone rings
    And once again I start to pray

  120. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    @Girl Reporter (#118):

    Yes. This is how tropical superheros dress.

  121. Girl Reporter
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#106): They call that the Full Cleveland.

  122. SurrealKangaroo
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    Maybe today’s better half is talking about what happened last Friday.

  123. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Peanuts-To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

    Wizard of Id-Good grief!

  124. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#109): Who among us has not left his pants in San Francisco?

  125. bbofun
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#73): “Anyway, this is all beside the point, which of course is that Brooke is a hack.”

    Hey, that’s MY line! : )

    ANYWAYS-
    PIGPORN- Hey, Brroke! Yeah- remember yesterday? When you drew Queen Mab/Drusilla in accordance with Shakespeare’s words/ Remember how tiny she was in relation to the nose you drew? Yeah- so guess what’s wrong with your little masterbatory fanatsy drawing today?

    LUANN- The problem is that Tiffany is suppose to be actually attractive and sexy. A 9th-grader being told by a sexy senior girl to pay attention to her? Probably not a problem, other than him having to hold his books in front of him.

    PHANTOM- So, where exactly did the heavy chains and padlock come from? Is he now “Ghost-who-has-interdimensional pockets?”

    FW- “Wedgie issue” is a play on “wedge issue.” A “wedge issue” is one that causes a sharp divide in a community or organization. Is there any real opposition to stronger anti-bullying rules? Oh, i know there’s some- mainly from “it’ll make our children soft” types, whom I suspect are just people who enjoy being bullies. But, come on!

    JP- Isn’t Sam suppose to be the investigator? Who’s this “Steve” guy? Let’s get back to the tough-as-nails, Mike Hammer-esque Sam Driver- the one who dealt with Dixie Julep. Ah, Dixie… and Peaches! Remember Peaches? Wait- Dixie AND Peaches! I- I’ll be in my bunk.

  126. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#124):

    San Francisco. Where pants go to die.

  127. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    @bbofun (#125): LUANN- A 9th-grader being told by a sexy senior girl to pay attention to her? Probably not a problem

    He must be another of those mythical teenage boys who are only attracted to inner beauty!

  128. Amos Snarkadder
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:53 am [Reply]

  129. Amos Snarkadder
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#67): Re: MW. HA!

  130. I speak Jive
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    JP – Yeah, have Steve call his buddies in military intelligence to ask about acquaintances who might be ripping the family off. I’m sure military intelligence doesn’t have anything else to do now.

    Mary Worth – The new leader of the open talk group will be the robot who wrote this dialogue.

    Pluggers – Potato chip flavors (oops, crisp flavours) I saw in England: Roast beef. Cheddar & onion. Lamb & mint.

  131. Amos Snarkadder
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    MT “I’m not letting them destroy this area without a fight!”
    “What are you going to do?”
    “I’m going to let them destroy this area with a fight!”

    A3G Is Margo suggesting LuAnn walk around New York naked? And how can she put her phone in her pocket if she isn’t wearing a dress?
    Yes, you know that dress has pockets.

  132. Seth
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    BH – Am I the only one who thinks that the punchline is what Stanley is hearing, not what he’s saying? He’s not dressed casually, but we don’t know about the other person, and his mouth, to me, seemed to be agape in horror at the teleflatulence just spewed forth from the other half of the conversation.

  133. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#131):

    Yes, you know that dress has pockets.

    Cargo dress!

  134. Amos Snarkadder
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    Traveler’s Tip No. 14: Complain about the yoga instructor and get a free stay at a resort.
    AND, as an added bonus, an apology!

  135. Amos Snarkadder
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#133): Bwahaha! Exclusively by Zoey!

  136. User McUser
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft – Boy, Mario and Luigi really let themselves go. Not as much as Princess Toadstool in the first panel, but still…

  137. A-wel Cruiz
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    Pearls Before Swine: Aha! Well played, Pastis. Well played.

    I also love how Pig is completely nonplussed the entire time.

    Popeye: People have been commenting for weeks how those large brown clumps look nothing like gold nuggets. I think today’s strip proves that Eugene needs a litter box.

    U.S. Acres: Haha! It’s funny because everyone has concussions!

    Oh wait, that is sort of funny.

  138. Pete
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Mary’s previous effort at warning labels graced us with “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”

  139. Mister Moose
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Better Half: I like to think Stanley belched the entire sentence about being allowed to burp on Casual Friday phone calls. I also like to think that he went on to belch the words “Godzilla” and “lumpenproletariat” after draining the beer stein at his elbow.

  140. A-wel Cruiz
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @C. Sandy Cyst (#3): Give her time.

  141. Ratiocinator
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#92): Well yeah, if either one of them has given her the idea that she needs to take on responsibilities that she may not be able to handle (as opposed to her volunteering), then that’s not good.

    @TheDiva (#104):

    …hall monitor machine gun…

    WHAAA???

    *Googles*

    Man, talk about harsher in hindsight.

    @Girl Reporter (#118): Seems impractical, yeah, but it isn’t unprecedented; the Fantastic Four and Avengers have always worn costumes (albeit with none of the FF wearing masks) despite most of their identities being public knowledge.

    There’s a reason for this, but I don’t know what it is, so one of the other comic book nerds here will have to explain it if they can.

  142. Alex Blaze
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    Can they still go back and fire Shannon? Mary isn’t capable of understanding that some people don’t talk to her because they don’t want her nosy advice. That’s why sharing circles usually require everyone to shut up while one person is talking and ban people from discussing what other people bring up, during or after the circle. If she thinks people should be “cautioned” before they share, then maybe she should rethink why they would be afraid and ask herself if it’s all that cool that people are too afraid to share some things.

    I’m not being a stickler for realness here, but more verisimilitude: sharing circle is an actual thing that exists in the real world because of certain very common behaviors that some people want to get over. Pretending like these behaviors don’t exist just makes Mary seem like a dick.

    Seriously, Aggie was the only person in the strip that came close to understanding what it’s about.

  143. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#141): There’s a reason for this, but I don’t know what it is, so one of the other comic book nerds here will have to explain it if they can.

    Merchandising revenue?

  144. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    A3G-”Take off that silk dress because I’m not going to be seen around people who dress better than me.”

  145. Amos Snarkadder
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    MW Please correct me if I missed something, but Shannon hasn’t actually thanked Mary yet for saving her job, has she? My guess is that she’s just waiting to assemble the entire resort staff in the cafeteria for a resounding chorus of “She’s a Jolly Good Meddler!”
    Just like the Golden Corral but sorta “healthier.”

  146. Pete
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    Judge Parker: “Sam, stop being so negative! It’s also possible that Ross has been consumed by flesh-eating bacteria, or that while working in a diamond mine he fell into a pit of sulfuric acid, or that Kurtz has put his head on a stake! His disappearance might not cost us a dime!”

  147. Écureuil Écumant
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    @I speak Jive (#130)on Pluggers: Chip flavors are getting as bad as candle scents. Speaking of which, I can’t seem to find candles that smell like Rafflesia. I did finally locate some kim chi ice cream though.

  148. Pete
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    @Pete (#146): oops, didn’t intend to make that all in bold.

  149. tallyHO
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    And thus begins the most elaborate Dairy Truck Heist in Modern American History.

    To think that such a small frisbee and a mouse wearing a jetpack could even do what they will do to get the truck to stop in the first place.

    Later Heathcliff will be quoted as saying, “The spoils of a good heist are best measured by how much of the take does not spoil!”

  150. Downpuppy
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#125): @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#127): Pretty sure the kid in Luann is not a 9th grader. Most likely he’s the math teacher. When I was in high school, I was in the office one time & they kept a teacher waiting an hour because they thought he was a student.

    Yes, they made students wait just because they could.

  151. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#149):

    The spoils of a good heist are best measured by how much of the take does not spoil!

    Spoiler Alert!

  152. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    JP-”What? Are you insane? This country is on the verge of going to war and you want me to look up a bunch of scam artists. Never call this number again.”

    MT-”Good luck, Mark. It’s going to be a long trip by horse.”

  153. Shrug, with Extra Marx for Penmanship (I Used a Zeppatone)
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#70):

    In 9CL, when it comes to “a kind of side-splitting, Marx-brothers denouement,”
    it’s Zeppos all the way down.

    ///O.K., I feel a bit ashamed of myself, since I actually *like* Zeppo. But he’s a standard-variety snark line, and I’m a standard-variety snarker.

  154. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    RMMD-”You will need me to help you make the baby subservient to us if it’s a male child like we’ve done with Rex.”

  155. Sequitur
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

  156. Baka Gaijin
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    @I speak Jive (#130): Just today I saw mushroom flavored potato chips. Mushroom! Paprika flavor is popular in Europe. I can taste why. Yummo.

    For some reason I can’t fathom, Frito-Lay, makers of Walkers Crisps in England, makes gobs of different potato chip flavors that never make it to the US or any of their other major markets. A few years back it held a competition to choose the next flavor to permanently add to its lineup. Among the contenders were Cajun Squirrel, Crispy Duck with Hoi Sin Sauce, and Ploughman’s Lunch. The latter won. For the FIFA World Cup, they made a flavor for each country participating in FIFA. Weird flavors, Haggis (Scotland), Barbecued Kangaroo (Austrialia), and Bratwurst Sausage (Germany). I didn’t get a chance to try ‘em all; bratwurst killed any further enthusiasm I had.

  157. Lily Sincere
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    It’s totally casual Friday at Stanley’s office, assuming he works swing shift for Jack Donaghy; if it’s after six in the evening and he’s not wearing a tux, he might as well be a farmer.

  158. Baka Gaijin
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    Oh poor LuAnn Powers. She’s the victim of a drive-by Random Clip-Art Rendition in panel 1.

  159. Shrug, Who's Already Spent His Lunch Money, So Move Along...
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#125):

    “Is there any real opposition to stronger anti-bullying rules?”

    Yes. It was a very heated and divisive issue locally in the Anoka County (MN) School Board battles of the last couple of years. (The kids being bullied were mostly gay, or thought to be gay, by some strange coincidence which no doubt had nothing to do with the vehemance of the rules’ purely logical opponents, no doubt, no doubt.)

  160. Baka Gaijin
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one who sees Mary Worth extending her stay until she pushes over the edge meddles “helps” Aglet (Aggie’s full name) into blinding oblivious happiness?

  161. Baka Gaijin
    September 6th, 2013 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    I unironically laughed at Zits today. Jeremy finally got his comeuppance from his put-upon parents.

  162. Shrug, Aging Former Comic Book Sort-of Geek
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#141):

    The Fantastic Four got their uniforms in issue #3; it was Reed Richards’ idea, and as I recall, the idea was just to look neat. (Thing took his off and tossed it away a few panels later.)

    I haven’t followed the Avengers for many years, but certainly in the early days it was *not* the case that their civilian identities were known to the world at large (or necessarily to each other).

    But hey — UPS men and Baskin Robbins ice cream scoopers and so on all wear uniforms too, even though they do not have secret identities (so far as we know).

  163. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @Alex Blaze (#142): That’s why sharing circles usually require everyone to shut up while one person is talking and ban people from discussing what other people bring up, during or after the circle.

    I live a sheltered life, evidently. I had never heard of such a thing before this story, and I’m have trouble understanding WHY they exist. What’s the point of telling a bunch of strangers your troubles if you don’t want their advice, or at least their sympathy? So, how it works is everybody does their monologue, then gets up, and silently leaves, never to speak of it again? Is it supposed to make you feel better through a sort of schadenfreude thing? ‘Yeah, I’m screwed up, but look at these folks. I feel so much better.’

    Obviously this is different from the old Bob Newhart show group therapy thing. It seems bizarre. And going to an expensive resort to do this? Why not just start a blog, and not allow comments?

  164. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Aging Former Comic Book Sort-of Geek (#162): As a matter of fact, I am reliably informed that ALL Baskin Robbins ice cream scoopers have secret identities. Obviously, I can’t tell you what they are — it’s a secret.

  165. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Who’s Already Spent His Lunch Money, So Move Along… (#159): I have heard it seriously put forth that since being gay is a lifestyle choice, and that since such choice is against the laws of God and man (or should be), and is obviously detrimental to society as whole, then peer pressure (or bullying, as you might call it) is a useful tool to prevent people from making that horrible choice.

    // Needless to say, I think there may be flaws in that reasoning.

  166. Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    MW Shannon needs to pay close attention to Mary. As Mary herself pointed out, she’s known for her advice. She’s a great communicator. And her feedback.

    Really, really awesome feedback.

  167. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    Better Half-”But they still make us wear pants.”

  168. Baka Gaijin
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#163): I’m with you in not hearing of sharing circles before and I’ve not led a sheltered life. I’ve eaten more flavors of potato chips than you can imagine, though not so many you couldn’t compute the number with a dual-cursor circular slide rule. Where was I? Yeah, why voice your problems within a group of people if you don’t want any feedback? I guess if you’re an angry selfish narcissist, maybe.

  169. TheDiva
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#141): Yeah, it’s really not a joke that you could pull off nowadays. (Not that Batiuk is pulling off many jokes at all nowadays.)

  170. Liam
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    MW-”Not really. There are so few of us working here. That’s why I’m the yoga instructor and counselor.”

  171. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#160): Am I the only one who sees Mary Worth extending her stay…

    I have a strict personal rule about questions starting with, “Am I the only one…”.
    The answer is yes. Always, ineluctably, yes, you are. — I am not trying to be mean; I just like making people feel unique!

    // It is the Code of the Scudders!

  172. Borborygmy
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#171): Rev. Scudder, am I the only one who thinks that melted cheese, lettuce, and tomato make excellent toppings for hamburgers?

  173. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    @Borborygmy (#172): You know the answer to that! Of course you are, dear boy, of course you are!

  174. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Aging Former Comic Book Sort-of Geek (#162): also, with the FF, there was the whole “unstable molecules” concept, which allowed flaming, stretching, and invisible costumes that didn’t fall to pieces in the middle of super-combat. A lot of the mainstream supers have costumes from the FF, as gifts or purchase, iirc.

    *gaming nerd* Fantastic, Inc does a booming business selling unstable molecule costumes to other supers in many a campaign setting. */gaming nerd*

  175. Lumaca Morente
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Aging Former Comic Book Sort-of Geek (#162): “UPS men and Baskin Robbins ice cream scoopers and so on all wear uniforms too, even though they do not have secret identities (so far as we know).” – well, duh, if we knew, they wouldn’t be a secret, would they?

  176. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#125): Is there any real opposition to stronger anti-bullying rules?

    Well, as usual when a good cause goes mainstream, the definition of ‘bullying’ is expanding beyond all recognition. Nickelodeon is running PSAs that equate “not being invited to the Popular Girls’ Table” with bullying. Being able to claim to have been bullied in school is the Big Thing with young celebrities these days, and in the process “bullying” is becoming the same thing as “not instantly attaining the unconditional acceptance and support of everyone you know”.

  177. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#168): I guess if you’re an angry selfish narcissist, maybe.

    You are talking about me, aren’t you!? I KNOW YOU ARE! Keep it up, and I will demand that commenting be disabled, and I don’t care if you don’t like it!!!

  178. Baka Gaijin
    September 6th, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#175): Take off their dorky horn-rimmed glasses with no lenses. True test of a secret identity. Worked for Superman.

  179. casino LF
    September 6th, 2013 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    9CL: I guess this tral is taking place in a moo court.

    H/t to the show Friends, groan at will, but still would have been a better punchline than whatever’s happening in this strip, ever.

  180. Tom, the Sailor Man
    September 6th, 2013 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one that has a problem with my pants?

  181. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 6th, 2013 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    @Tom, the Sailor Man (#180): Am I the only one that has a problem with my pants?

    Be careful. Sharing at open talks may lead to feedback!

  182. Alison
    September 6th, 2013 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    “Rex Morgan”: What I don’t understand is that apparently Widdle Sarah doesn’t realize her father is rich. How does anyone not realize that, when this whole strip is about how rich the Morgans are? Perhaps Sarah has seen her parents get so many free gifts, she’s gotten the wrong message and thinks her family is so poor, they have to constantly accept hand-outs.

    “Mary Worth”: Aggie gets a free stay just because of what Shannon said about looking for past interactions? Wow. I imagine Aggie is now e-mailing everyone she knows and telling them, “Stay at the Pax Resort on your next vacation, guys. All you have to do is get upset about something really small and they will give you a second trip for free! It’s great!”

    “Luann”: I bet that goody-goody martyr Delta put that poster up.

  183. Cloudbuster
    September 6th, 2013 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    MW: Guests not wanting feedback can arrange for a crowd of low-paid illegal immigrants to just sit there and listen to them rant.

  184. demoncat4
    September 6th, 2013 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    and thus mary has now helped another one and a two fer for not only does shannon keep her job but aggie gets free stuff too. and the guidlines will include that open chat will lead to feedback that will be coming from mary worth.

  185. Dale
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#163):

    Keeping what’s said in the room inside the room makes sense.
    If you want to vent to a bunch of strangers and maybe hear, “Thanks for sharing”, go to an AA meeting. It’s probably free.

  186. Dale
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    @Borborygmy (#172):

    If you think lettuce alone is an excellent topping, you may be alone.
    At least it would be easier to remove than if it’s stuck to the cheese.

    Picking off all those sesame seeds is a real chore.

  187. Dale
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm (#166):

    MW

    If that resort were Government, Shannon would have to write the guidelines.
    She’d also be given a big raise and a private office.

  188. Cloudbuster
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#163): It’s OK. I didn’t know commentless sharing circles were a real thing, either. Oh, if you asked me to consider it, I would probably thought, yeah, there’s certainly enough people who like to hear themselves talk and think it does some good that this is a thing.

    Isn’t that what bartenders are for?

  189. walt d.
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Not a great joke, but pretty good for Batiuk work.

    RMMD: I am thinking about buying into the Sarah-as-alien idea. Her mesmerizing powers would also account for the preposterous way her parents interact with her.

    RMMD: Sarah is going to have to be home schooled, because sustained interaction with other children would soon lead to them taking matters into their own hands. I mean, Sarah is in bad need of an attitude adjustment, and twenty pissed off classmates could certainly provide one.

    Dennis: I’m sure Margaret would accept a kiss in place of the nickel, and that Dennis would let the interest accumulate forever before giving one.

    9CL: I called that a cow would be the next witness. I just had the wrong cow.

    OBH: (Creators) On a playground where recess activity is largely limited to standing around waiting for it to be over, Buggy is again pushing the envelope. In fact Buggy is pretty much telling the powers that be that they can take that envelope. . . In twelve years Buggy and James will tie for “Most likely to be headed for the Big House.” Assuming they can stay IN school that long. As I understand today’s schools, Buggy’s behavior yesterday and today would be pretty much automatic suspension and perhaps expulsion.

    OBH: It’s odd to me that this neighborhood is racially segregated (token nonwhite children in large groups doesn’t count), but economically integrated. There’s a rich kid, some middle class (?) kids, and a trailer trash kid in the same neighborhood. Much the way things used to be (so I hear) in urban areas, where everyone lived in ethnic neighborhoods, including the fairly well off.

  190. Cloudbuster
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#125): Is there any real opposition to stronger anti-bullying rules? Oh, i know there’s some- mainly from “it’ll make our children soft” types, whom I suspect are just people who enjoy being bullies. But, come on!

    Put me on the list opposing stronger anti-bullying rules. The rules are already being used as weapons against innocent people. There are few objective standards as to what constitutes bullying. So, if you are someone, like, say, Aggie in MW, the slightest insinuation that you are not a very special snowflake can constitute bullying.

  191. A-wel Cruiz
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    Because taking all necessary precautions is important, I present to you all this.

    It needs to be on a t-shirt.

  192. Cloudbuster
    September 6th, 2013 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#182): I dunno, when I was her age, I had little real conception of wealth. My own younger children don’t really get it either. The 12 year old was surprised to discover that even though Mommy puts in more hours, Daddy makes a lot more money — she was still under the quaint impression that obviously hard work would pay a lot more than sitting around the house in your grubby old jeans with your laptop explaining boring computer equipment to people.

    I remember not really being cognizant of who was rich or poor among my circle of friends and their parents when I was young.

  193. Alison
    September 6th, 2013 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#192):
    Oh, I definitely agree little kids don’t really understand about who’s rich or poor. I am only making an exception for Widdle Sarah because she exists in a strip where pretty much every detail of life concerns her father being rich.

    Maybe it would help Widdle Sarah if somebody from “Judge Parker” could cross over to her strip. They seem to be a bit more blunt about their wealth than the Morgans are. All Widdle Sarah would have to do would be make one comment about having a job and the JP character would laugh and say, “You don’t need a job! Your family is incredibly, insanely, ridiculously rich, just like me! Hey, is that another free car in the driveway? I call dibs!”

  194. walt d.
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Speaking of the museum, Sarah said, “I’ve seen some of their stuff. Mine’s better.” Speaking of her age peers, Sarah is saying, roughly, “I’ve met other children my age. I’m better.” Unless you are the blindly doting parent, neither of these statements deserves more than a polite noncommittal response. A cynical person might point out that this particular museum seems to be setting an incredibly low bar, but that is more an argument for firing everyone there and attempting to sell off its pathetic contents, than an admission that Sarah’s work is worthy of more than a refrigerator door.

  195. Droopy Says
    September 6th, 2013 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    @walt d. (#189): Sarah-as-alien? Please let her be from Ork, so she can soon die from old age.

  196. Dr. Pill
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee MeiDere (#111): (I’m expecting a visit from Rat and Pig any moment now.)

    We’re sorry, Rat is indisposed at the moment. He was punched out by his creator.

    Now we know the real reason Pastis was doing the penguin-polar bear thing.

  197. Sgt.Stoned
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:27 pm [Reply]

    C’shaft: Yep, sexual harrassment suit, here we come! “Hey, baby, wanna crank my shaft?”

    MW: As soon as Mary goes back to Santa Royale, the 10,000 pound shithammer comes down on Shannon.\

    MT: Yes, Mark, ride off on your blazing white stallion to see Senator Mason or…you could send an email or call his office.

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