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Prediction: Mark’s gonna do some fist-lobbying

Mark Trail, 9/11/13

MYSTERY SOLVED, everyone! “Senator Mason” is just the evil senator from the last senator storyline wearing an extremely clever disguise (i.e., a fake mustache). He clearly worries that Mark will eventually see through it, though, which is why in panel two he keeps a tight grip on his daughter to keep her between him and Mark’s fists at all times, while she further distracts him with rambling nonsense. How old in Anne Marie supposed to be, exactly? 40? 14? Whatever, she remembers good ol’ Andy. Why didn’t Mark bring Andy to meet with the senator? I genuinely want to know the answer to this question. There isn’t a rapacious politician in the pocket of the oil industry alive who can’t be charmed into environmentalism by a lovable big dog!

Crankshaft, 9/11/13

Last week’s Crankshaft, which featured a pleasant person discomfiting the unpleasant main characters in the strip, was downright cheery, and we can’t let that stand in the Funkyverse. This week: innocent children ask an old lady a series of increasingly rude and awkward questions! By Friday, we’ll get to “So nobody’s ever loved you? What’s wrong with you? Aren’t you sad that you’re going to die alone?”

Heathcliff, 9/11/13

Sure, it’s pretty disturbing that Heathcliff is putting up giant portraits of himself everywhere in order to inculcate a Mao-style cult of personality, but it’s a step up from forcing his minions to carve idols of him out of food and worship him as an actual god.

251 responses to “Prediction: Mark’s gonna do some fist-lobbying

  1. Digger
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    “I remember you…you have the big dog!”
    “Why yes, Andy is a big dog.”
    “That’s not the big dog I mean.” (bow-chick-a-wow-wow)
    “You mean Sassy? She’s not very big, and technically she’s Rusty’s dog.”
    “No I mean….oh crap, you’re stupid.”

  2. Christopher
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: “What happened to Mr. McKenzie? Did he die? Or did he leave you for a younger woman? That happened to a lady down the street. She had a bunch of cats. They ate part of her face when she died. Is that why you don’t have any cats?”

  3. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    The Amazing Spider-Man: Would it be too much to ask that this strip take a few weeks off to follow The Ponytails to the local coffee shop where they pause to regroup, only to discover a new love for one another built on not getting killed while wearing spandex? I feel like it would be too much to ask.

    Blondie: …And 9/11 just passed from actual memory to an excuse to sell appliances. Still, it’s better than Loyalty Day, which is mostly an excuse for Shriners to zoom around in little cars and drink too much. Come to think of it, that’s any holiday, isn’t it?

    9 Chickweed Lane: God, the strawmen in this strip are more predictable than Donkey Kong. Also? The history of the Donkey Kong character is mildly interesting, which is more than we can say for the next six weeks of ha ha women have magical pussy powers that enslave men.

    The Lockhorns: So one of the mottos of the United Church of Christ is “never place a period where God has put a comma,” taken from a letter Gracie Allen left for George Burns to read after her death.[*] So…Loretta is God? This would explain some things.

    Luann: …Greg Evans doesn’t get out much, does he? I mean, what counselor puts a paper name card reading “COUNSELOR” facing away from her office door? (Or “COUNTSLUR” for that matter?) What poor damned soul is Miss Phelps keeping as a gimp beside her desk, and why is Gunther?

    Marmaduke: Speaking of which, late at night, when Josh wakes up in a cold sweat, this is the content of his nightmares. But is he in the doghouse lair of hellhound, or is he eternally condemned to push aside Marm’s monster-sized ass and pick up the remains of whatever condemned creature he’s tortured to death this time? Answers and wacky hijinks in tomorrow’s panel!

  4. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    @Digger (#1): *applaz*

  5. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    Heathcliff: the mouse on the right will nod, and say nothing more, suspecting the mouse on the left is part of Heathcliff’s secret police

    JP: all of a sudden I so want Ross, non-payer of debt, to be the captive of Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez

    9CL: and how long have you been *practicing* large animal veterinary medicine, Fluerrie? a half hour?

    Phantom! well, *that* is an offer no hard boiled crime boss can refuse

    FW: more loathsome losing

    MT: Jack Elrod — the last person in America with no concept of subtext or irony. It’s kind of touching, in a way

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

    A3G: Not only were all y’all mudges correct about what was going on in the next room, but Bolle with a wink and a nod reveals that the young ladies are still in the closet.

    BB: Sarge beat up an officer? Time for some PTSD counseling.

    Blondie: No wonder my boss isn’t here this morning – he’s in the funny pages.

    Curtis: Fat lady panties. Maybe I should just go back to 9CL.

    GT: Carping about Koy. Nice symmetry, Rubin.

    Love Is: Twunk therapy.

    MW: “They come to Pax at different levels of emotional growth.” “Yes, a circumstance echoed by the stunted saguaros that infest these grounds.”

    Pluggers: Drive into standing water. PLEEEEASE.

    Zits: He’s playing an electric guitar? Once he plugs in, try NOT hearing him practice.

  7. Huckleberry Fink
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:30 am [Reply]

    @Odie Odo (#y45):

    MT: Mark looks embarrassed. Probably because Anne Marie blurted out that he has a large penis*.

    *One of “The Top Ten Things a Daughter Should Never Say in Front of Her Father”!

    It isn’t what you think.

    Years ago, Anne Marie saw “Uncle” Mark’s huge schlong when she accidentally walked in on him playing the XXX rated version of Give the Dog a Bone with Andy.

  8. Rip Houndstooth, Man Of Action
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    Edge City: Len Ardin’s ingenious plot to kill his annoying, obsessive-compulsive neurotic wife proceeds apace. I’m rootin’ for ya, Len! Especially if you can find a way to knock off those bratty kids, too.

  9. Kristian
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: don’t understand probability.
    Phantom: “… and if you pledge now, you’ll get this lovely “Good Mark” tote.”
    Crankshaft: Your horrible life becomes a stupid pun! Every day, on Crankshaft!
    Slylock Fox: It’s great when you can use the line “No salad for me, I ate the flowers while waiting.”

    (Don’t most animals give birth to ‘one at a time’? Are there any multi-lane birthing animals?)

  10. Droopy Says
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:32 am [Reply]

    9CL: Did Brooke suffer a major, humiliating defeat in a court case? Please tell me he did. I want to think this courtroom travesty is his tantrum over a devastating loss. If we have to suffer, so should he.

    Gasoline Alley: Idiot Daughter has Guido’s dog. She’s talked with him on the phone. So when do we find out that she’s never met him in person? Come on, Scancarelli, let’s hurry past the Big Surprise and dive into the awkward ethnic humor.

  11. Écureuil Écumant
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    MT: “Why, yes, we are old friends. I imagine Mark still has those photos of me.”

    Funny, the camera-thief-turned-Senator looks like a rightie in that strip as he wields a mean pocketbook, but nevertheless it’s his daughter’s right eye he’s blacked in today’s. Well, if dialogue can routinely eructate from a squirrel’s ass, I guess anything goes.

  12. Kristian
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean: Ah, scary football. Anyone else have Cosby/Hofstra flashbacks? Hey, there’s another man who used to be funny! A long, long time ago …
    Family Circus: Of all the strips I expected this one to have a 9/11 tribute. What do we get? A joke about a fracking NICKEL! Is that what freedom is worth to you, Keane?
    Luann: Halper getting ‘halp’? What is this – counselling for lolcats?

    (And the ‘Countslur’ sign? What the Pythagoras is that?)

  13. Écureuil Écumant
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#9): “Are there any multi-lane birthing animals?”

    If the female echidna is constructed anything like the male… perhaps, just perhaps.

  14. Master Softheart
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    Heathcliff: The depthless eyes sparkling in Heathcliff’s smiling face were indeed always following him, but for the first time there was nothing uncomfortable or oppressive in knowing that. Heathcliff watched all the time for the same reason that mice sometimes disappeared – because he loved them. All of them. Even him. Especially him. That was the moment the Mouston Smith realized that he had always loved Heathcliff, as well. Everything made perfect sense, and he looked sharply at the mouse next to him, sincerity and passion almost making him choke as he pushed out the words that were certainly true – “We have always been at war with Garfield.”

    JP: Thalia was running a good confidence game, even faking knowledge of the locations that the blonde kid was showing her on satellite. But when Steve Shanon convinced his old military intel friends to order a drone strike on the compound that she identified as the place where “Ross” must be imprisoned, killing perhaps a dozen briefly very confused locals, doubt and fear were growing in her. When Sophie arranged a SEAL team extraction only a few minutes later and the President personally called to arrange a time for Sam’s Medal of Honor ceremony and ask if there was anything else he could do to help the Drivers deal with their “little problem,” she knew that the vapid student who could barely puzzle out a few words in French and who absentmindedly left 500 Euro notes on the table at the cafe at least once a week was not the easy mark she had expected.

  15. Voshkod
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    I have not seen a more scathing editorial cartoon on the pervasiveness of the surveillance state then in today’s Heathcliff. Fight the power!

  16. jp
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    I’m not buying the wistful notes of the old crone in Crankshaft. She’d be far more likely to spit out an acerbic, Aged-Maddie-Ross style, “Marriage? I never did have time to fool with it.” But leave it to Batboy to go for the mawkish.

  17. TheDiva
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: “That is correct, young female! Now go out there and get yourself a man, lest your womanly purpose remain unfulfilled as mine was.”

    MT: What is her earring attached to? And how? And am I better off not knowing?

  18. Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    Crank: Really?? Are these girls THAT stupid??

    Funk the Stupid Bean: Ah……nice, white, fluffy clouds of……CANCER!!

    Garfield: Just hugged by a stranger………in your living room?

    MT: “That’s riiiight, ‘lil darlin’…..and the Big Dog wants to come out and play!”

    RMMD: “That sounds great, Heather! Now, let’s talk about Sarah’s fucking book deal for the umpteenth time!”

    Love is…: Getting drunk, passing out and not feeding the dogs.

  19. TheDiva
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    9CL: I admit I know very little of keeping livestock, but I submit that a large animal vet who a) thinks this would actually work and b) goes about kissing her clients on the head all the time would not have a very popular practice. But there I go again, trying to introduce logic to a story that is clearly not interested in the acquaintance.

    A3G: “C’mon, if we’re lucky your dad will be into something really weird and we can blackmail him with it!”

    FW: “So, the football team still sucks, huh?”
    “Yes, they really suck!”
    “Oh boy, is their suckiness from everlasting to everlasting!”
    Etc.

    GT: If my parents named me “Koy,” I would have a bad attitude too.

    Luann: Who are we supposed to be rooting for here? And why should we care?

    MW: “I am happy you’re happy.”
    “And I am happy that you have expressed happiness at my happiness.”
    “And now we will engage in human-style consumption of edibles, as humans do!”

    Pibgorn: One wonders why Brooke is bothering to present this story, when he’s clearly not interested in the majority of the characters. “Let’s see, blah blah blah flighting, moping teenager blah blah OOOH! OOOH! TEENAGE NYMPHETTE I CAN TOTALLY DRAW THAT!!! Oh, more boring stuff, blah blah blah, maybe I can throw in some sexy dancing poses to spice things up, OOH SEXY SEXY FAERIE SPEECH! Oh that’s over? Yawn, let’s just hurry back to the nymphette….”

    Pluggers don’t understand meteorology.

    SM: What fellow rebels? So far this entire uprising has consisted of the Tarantula and his close buddies. (And lo and behold, it looks like Suspicious Ponytail Guy and Spicy Latina Girlfriend are moles! Vat a tweest!)

  20. Chareth Cutestory
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Based on her dazzling dialogue so far, I’m choosing to read Anne Marie’s dialogue as delivered by an aloof simpleton. Even more so if she starts delivering intelligent remarks.

  21. Casey, Crime Photographer
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    @Rip Houndstooth, Man Of Action (#8):

    I’m okay with Len knocking off Abby and the kids. As long as he comes up with an ingenious plan to kill his annoying mothers-in-law*, too.

    *The one who looks like Popeye and the one who doesn’t.

  22. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#17): Aw, way to go, The Diva. We were all too polite to notice that, but you…you just had to be different, didn’t you?

  23. K. Ivan Ruppert
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    “Aren’t you sad that you’re going to die alone?”
    “I was, for a while. Then I met Ed Crankshaft and now I relish the idea”

  24. Everything Is Better with Monkeys
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    Pluggers all live in the 1970s, when jokes about airplane food and weather forecasters were slightly less hack than they are now.

  25. CanuckDownSouth
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    ASM: With Tarantula’s level of organizational discipline, why is the dictator worried about the rebels again?

    CS: I’ve seen this ‘joke’ before, but I still don’t believe any human child has actually uttered it.

    Are we really going to revisit the conniving sister’s romance-sabotage again? Have to get the strip’s emotional average back to negative quickly, eh, Batiuk?

    MW: Not only does the smugfest continue, but Shannon noting that she deals with the different emotional stages of Pax customers indicates that she’s not an ill-trained yoga teacher who was dumped in a ‘sharing circle’ room one day. In her area of expertise she managed to neither give people a safe space to vent and get affirmations in response nor to give any useful advice to help 3 different problems that came up. It’s hardly worth coming back to that level of incompetence, so I hope Aggie’s “free stay” was a partia lreimbursement of this trip.

  26. Little Blue Bicycle
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    @Digger (#1): “I remember you…you have the big dog!”
    “No, that’s Rusty, my adopted son.”
    “Kelly Welly hates your big dog.”
    “No, that’s Cherry, my wife.”
    “I remember when you punched the big dog.”
    “No, that was Catfish, a criminal.”
    “Your big dog floats in a ghostly orb.”
    “No, that’s Jack Elrod’s ghostly orb. He created me”

  27. Hibbleton
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    RMMD: Bored to the edge of insanity and wondering if she can still feel anything at all, June is reassured by searing pain as she grasps the hot tea pot with her bare hand.

  28. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    MT – Mark may like being an outdoor writer but when it’s raining I’d think he’d probably want to be an indoor writer.

  29. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    CS – Oh, goodie, another chance to tell a sepia-toned flashback tale of romantic tragedy. Tom only has a few tragic backstories, but he goes back and milks them for pathos over and over and over again.

    9CL – Making fun of the stupidity of your strawmen doesn’t work when every single male character (except Seth) is a strawman. We made fun of the farmers for being stupid. We made fun of the lawyer for being stupid. Now we make fun of the prosecutor for being stupid. Also, we mocked the stupidity of the police, the judge, the other farmer, and Sven. The only characters that aren’t reflexively mocked for being stupid are the female ones. Which is odd, since Fleurry is the only one whose has proved her stupidity by her behavior rather than merely having it be a described attribute.

  30. Casey, Crime Photographer
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Nancy: Garnish and a slice of bologna is rather spartan fare for Patriot Day. Why can’t Fritzi be more like Mr. Dithers? (Can’t believe I said that!)

  31. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    GF: ferrets do indeed communicate via interpretive dance. *dooks*

    LaCuc: *twerk snurk*

    SBp: working backwards from the punchline again, but I’ve seen worse.

    Bizarro: and thus the worship of Pele begain to fade.

    yJUMBLE: *grrrrrooooooooaaaaaannnnnn*

    Mutts: 9/11 ref, or verrrrrrrrrry awkward coincidence?

    SFx: pandasquee!

  32. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    RMMD/JP – Which is more riduculous? Precocious Widdle Sawah’s big book deal, or precocious Sophie’s google maps African rescue attempt?

    It would be awesome to see Sophie learn that the whole thing has just been a scam and learn that she has been tragically naive as well as a megalomaniac for assuming that she could mastermind a rescue attempt with a laptop and an internet connection. But, Sophie is a protected character who exists only to fill the role of precocious, perfect, booted-and-spurred-to-ride elite in the making, so we are unlikely to see that result.

  33. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    Love Is . . . RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROX-anne! (tango scene from Moulin Rouge)

  34. Casey, Crime Photographer
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    @remmy (#y63): Nancy — when did Gilcrest go with the No Comments? Must have been too many remarks about Fritzi or something?

    Comments are still being posted at GoComics.

  35. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    CRANKSHAFT: WHAT year is this strip supposed to be taking place??

  36. k#
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    MT – The Senator isn’t hiding behind his daughter but rather is proffering her in exchange for no beating.

  37. Kevin on Earth
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    ASM:I think after the day Spidey and Tarantula have had, the single costume each and likely not even a spritz of deodorant, I’d bail out of the car the first chance I get too…

  38. Kristian
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    @Joe, the Upper-Evergreen Guy (#18): Crankshaft: Girls? I was assuming at least one was a boy.

  39. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    MT: At the point where surveyors are already at work, isn’t it a little late to *mallet head bang* Sorry.

  40. Ben Wasabi
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    @Casey, Crime Photographer (#34):

    Unless remmy is talking about toothpaste, Guy’s last name is spelled G-i-l-c-h-r-i-s-t.

  41. Écureuil Écumant
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    @Casey, Crime Photographer (#21): “The one who looks like Popeye and the one who doesn’t.”

    We can actually divide all humankind into two neat categories using this metric. It might be useful someday.

  42. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    MT – “Mark, this is my daughter, Anne Marie. I have to admit I must have been pretty open minded the day I allowed her to get that grommet implanted in her neck. She wanted to make her friends envious since all they’re allowed to have are earlobe grommets and can’t blow smoke out of their necks like she can.”

  43. Kristian
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#19): @Kristian (#9): Let’s split the difference and say “Pluggers don’t understand.”

  44. Écureuil Écumant
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#29) on Crankshaft:

    Sam Clemens had a salient take on that topic.

    “Cooper’s gift in the way of invention was not a rich endowment; but such as it was he liked to work it, he was pleased with the effects, and indeed he did some quite sweet things with it. In his little box of stage-properties he kept six or eight cunning devices, tricks, artifices for his savages and woodsmen to deceive and circumvent each other with, and he was never so happy as when he was working these innocent things and seeing them go.”

    Substitute “morbidly aroused” for “happy” in that sentence et voilà! it fits like a rubber glove.

  45. Marc
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    Funky- Yeah Moe, that team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked. I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

    Mark Trail- So Senator Mason Dixon Huddon River is really just Doc/Pop/Evil Senator/guy who got shot by Big Mike Morrison?

  46. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:34 am [Reply]

  47. Mikey
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    ASM- Dammit Lieber et al! Why didn’t you draw the panel where Spiderman yells “Shotgun!” before getting in the car?

  48. Pozzo
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    The eyes in the picture appear to be closed, so I’m not sure how they can be said to be following you all over the room. Unless the lids are closed because the eyeballs have leapt out of their sockets and are literally following the mice all over the room. Hurry and finish that cheese-idol guys, before the eyes report you back to the Master.

  49. the REAL Mark Trail
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    I gotta admit, I like the “BIG DOG” line… thought it was funny as Jack and I discussed it.

  50. The Ben
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    I’m not fooled – that little kid clearly came up with that pun in advance, and led into it deliberately. By William’s Rules Of Punsterism, this means the resulting pun is null and void, and the old lady gets to make two at him in turn. So… it’ll be a long week, is what I’m getting at.

  51. Mibbitmaker
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    Crank: She continued, covering for the real reason for being mateless, “Besides, I was born well before feminism, and cannot accept the freedom and automony of my life’s situation”, which only confused the dumb-as-taffy child.

    Heath: “…And not just his eyes, but his digestive tract, too!”

    MT: What is it with this strip and sufficating close-ups of (more or less) attractive females, anyway?! I’m getting flashbacks of Dick Locher’s Dick Tracy (which made A3G seem panoramic by comparison).

  52. Mibbitmaker
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    *suffocating!

    I *KNEW* I should’ve previewed!

  53. Kristian
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#46): As action figures go, this one might be worse.

  54. Ben Wasabi
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Hägar: Mangled corpses aren’t noted for their ladder-climbing skills.

    Lucky Eddie must have the healing factor of Wolverine. Or Wiley Coyote…

  55. terrapin
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    MT: Even if “big dog” is a metaphor, Mark is never going to get it. He still thinks Cherry has her “hair done” twice a week.

    RMMD: “He OD’d on hairballs? That… that’s just gross!”

  56. Congo Bill Bailey
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    @Ben Wasabi (#54): Or Beetle Bailey.

    (By the way, it’s Wile E. Coyote!)

  57. bunivasal
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    “The Eyes” are actually a band of volatile pro-Heathcliff rebels that enforce the strict edicts of the Terror of the Neighborhood.

  58. bunivasal
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    “This is my daughter, Anne Marie. The ‘Marie’ stands for ‘marionette’. Because she’s a life sized puppet, see? Look upon her grim visage and her badly permed 80s hair, ye mortals, and tremble.”

  59. Mikey
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    MT- Now I can finally complete my list of Great Outdoor Writers!!!

    GREAT OUTDOOR WRITERS
    1) Patrick McManus
    2) Mark Trail
    3) ….??

    Um, A little help here!

  60. rendovis
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    I live in a town full of outdoors-y types, and I am one of about five people with a small dog. People give this soft, disdainful chuckle when they see me and my twelve pound mutt walking down the street, like it’s cute yet pathetic that I pretend he’s an actual dog. What I’m saying is, I doubt anyone in Lost Forest has a small dog. Not the real outdoors-y types. I never thought I’d say this, but today’s Mark Trail lacks verisimilitude.

  61. Odie Odo
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    Dogs of C-Kennel is the last strip where I’d expect to find Japanese erotica.
    (Sherman’s Lagoon is the first!)

    Spoiler: There are tentacles involved.

  62. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#5):

    Heathcliff: Would the secret police be called the Kittystapo, or, the Meowsi? (respectively, “gestapo” and “stasi”). Or, did they result from the Catnip Revolution? (on a related point, I’m oddly comforted when I find out someone named their cat: “Chairman Meow”. It makes me chuckle)

    @Dale (seems like only yesterday but it was this morning#57):

    I see 10 year olds wearing hats of the kind that –quite frankly– long dead old cuban men and 1940s era black men once wore. Who are those kids fooling?

    As it goes, I don’t mind the ballcap/trucker cap aspect.

    At one point in time, years before I existed, hats were common for men. I guess the same was true with beards, and once in a while, with goiters. ( i keed. for the luvvagod, I keed)

    There are older people who wear caps practically and there are those who try to be “hip” about it. If have to wear a jacket and tie to work, rush to make a game after work, I can wear a team t-shirt beneath all of that. But, the cap is crowning touch at a game. It helps you identify people with whom you have a common interest. That identifier aspect carries over elsewhere, too.

    In short, the sports licensing industry filled the void for how our society changed. Once men wore hats often and women mainly wore dresses. Kids wore sneakers and maybe dress shoes that could be trashed.

    To complain about older folks dressing young is valid, especially if their target age is like a contemporary youngster (that’s creepy) (very).

    But, caps are low on the totem pole in my eyes. Behavior and language usage would drive me battier that what’s on someone’s heads. I even accept those weird Andean pointy stocking caps as “Whatever” material. But, if someone age 30-70 acted like a teenager or 20 something person, that would rankle, that would dismay, that would perturb.

  63. Beetle Bumstead
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    MT: Of course you had to include the beaver shot in panel 2 from the last senator storyline. Panel 2 of today seems to have the senator holding up a rubbery sex doll bookended by the 14 and 40 year old Anne Maries. My guess is that the sequence has Panel 1 as fantasy, Panel 2 as current reality, and Panel 3 as a flash forward of the fantasy by 25 years. “My, what a big dog you have, Mr. Trail.”

  64. Congo Bill Bailey
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#62):

    One chuckle coming right up…

    http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1262/607383501_5fde3bbc7a_z.jpg

    “Kids, don’t try this at home!”

  65. Tom, the Sailor Man
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#62):

    That’s an awful lot of sharing – I hope you’re prepared for feedback.

  66. Ben Wasabi
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    @Congo Bill Bailey (#56): My mistake. I keep confusing Non Sequitur’s Wiley Miller with Wile E. Coyote for some reason.

  67. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MT – “How’s the outdoor business, Mark?”

    “FINE, Senator!”

    “That’s good,Mark!”

    No, Senator, I mean FINE … As in, I am serving you with this summons along with a $500.00 FINE for surveying this federally owned land for your own personal gain, not to mention my personal fences I had onthis federally owned land that your men busted down!!”

    “Can’t we discuss this over a plate of nice fresh PANCAKES, Mark?”

    “PANCAKES? Hey, I’m easy to get along with … sure, why not!”

    “Anne Marie? Take this summons to the document shredder and then please escort mister Trail to the pancake buffet.”

    “Pancake buffet?”

    “You know, Anne Marie … the pancake buffet … (whisper) inside the meat cooler!”

  68. Joe Blevins
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MT: At first, panel one of Mark Trail was delightful to me because I thought the Senator had greeted Mark while wearing his jammies. Panel two does not exactly disprove that theory. In the world of Mark Trail, it is not inconceivable that men might wear belted trousers to bed in order to prevent any pesky intercourse. (And thus, prevent children like Rusty.)

  69. Ratiocinator
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    9CL: You see, this guy has to be a moron and a bad guy because he’s doing his job, which is prosecuting people who commit crimes, which Fleurrie has done. *sigh*

    Plus, a lifetime or two ago when the cow theft actually happened, weren’t people here with actual cow experience saying that sweet-talking them doesn’t work and that the effective, non-painful way of motivating a cow to go to a certain spot is by putting food in front of it? I’m pretty sure that’s what was said, but not 100%.

    ASM: You know, I like to imagine that the car was moving when What’sherface and Rodrigo both decided to jump out and run off to do whatever, and that Spider-Man is casually asking who should drive while the vehicle careens wildly down the streets of Costa Verde.

    Garfield: If you were a pickpocket and you actually gave your victim a hug while lifting their wallet instead of pretending to accidentally bump into them, wouldn’t there be like a 50/50 chance of them calling the cops or security or whatever over you just doing that?

    Luann: Pretty sure that no guidance counselor anywhere acts like this.

    JP: “If only there were military checkpoints all over this country too! Then everybody would be much safer from terrorists.”

  70. Baka Gaijin
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    Ces, you hit one out of the ballpark with Ted Forth’s take on the beginning of childbirth, but I have to protest today’s Smosh. The fifth item. EEEEE!!!! EVILSCARYCLOWN!!!! EVILSCARYCLOWN!!!! EEEEEE!!!!! [QLUNQ!]

    Link is NSFA (Not Safe For Anyone). You’ve been warned.

  71. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    @Tom, the Sailor Man (#65):

    OhhhhhNOooooooo!

    No one said this was an *gasp* an OPEN TALK!***
    (***has anyone commented on the fact that Mary seems to be drinking alcohol? I can’t think of many non-boozey beverages served in fluted glassware. I also can’t think of another time in my life that I’ve type “fluted glassware”. It all goes full circle, ya know? Anyway, it seems like reading this part of MW requires making her and Shannon sound drunker each day. It’s funnier. )

    //i guess part of what gets me about condemning older dudes for wearing caps to hide baldness is that when I was 18-25, I knew several guys who went almost totally bald. And, a little later, by age 30, I knew at least two guys who went grey. That “premature” mature look had to suck for them. (especially my friend’s younger brothers. How odd that genetic fluke was to see someone younger than you look that much older.)

    I can’t begrudge someone in their middle age or older for hiding it with a cap…nor for that matter, can I castigate someone for shaving their heads bald. Vanity and self-esteem are demanding things in context to how we appear to others.

    However, I would both chuckle and righteously scorn someone wearing a toupee that is held in place by duct tape and a yarmulke (especially if he isn’t Jewish!)!

  72. Ratiocinator
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#3): I’m old enough to have played the original Donkey Kong back when he was the villain, but didn’t know that the idea for him came from Popeye. That is sort of interesting.

    @Écureuil Écumant (#6):

    BB: Sarge beat up an officer? Time for some PTSD counseling.

    Yeah, he needs to stick to beating up people he outranks.

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#32): The book deal. I can buy that somebody in their teens could research something on the internet and notice something helpful, but not that a museum somewhere which is also apparently a publisher has obscene amounts of money to throw around and chooses to throw it in the direction of a five-year-old girl for her horsey drawings while trying to lock her into a contract to produce more of the same.

  73. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#41): “First they came for the people who did not look like Popeye, and I did not look like Popeye, so I said nothing…”

  74. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @the REAL Mark Trail (#49): Did you think it was funny for the same reason we thought it was funny? o-0

  75. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @Congo Bill Bailey (#64):

    I can’t imagine pulling that off in real life. And by that I mean, carrying a cat with the intent of using it for sound effects generation.

    If it were socially acceptable, I always keep a kitty in the pocket.

  76. Illustrator Steve
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    @Mikey (#59): “GREAT OUTDOOR WRITERS … Um, A little help here!”

    William Boyce
    John Muir
    Lord Baden Powell
    Steven Foster
    Donald Baxter MacMillan
    William Green Bar Bill Hillcourt
    James C. Halfpenny
    Larry Dean Olsen
    Theodore RooseveltRobert Falcon Scott
    John Hillaby
    Dian Fossey
    Mark Wagstaff

  77. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    @Odie Odo (#61): mmm, tentacles.

    it’s just Japan’s way of saying “hello.”

  78. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    @Mikey (#59): Jack London? Ernest Hemingway?

  79. Jurgan
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Senator Mason is played by Wilford Brimley. This is what I’m going to be hearing in my mind.

  80. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#75):

    I would always….

    Currently, I keep a gaggle of them in a carry-on, along with my money, so that I can sell them to people prone to spend money due to cuteness attacks.

    So, yeah. That’s my thing: I’m a Kitty Pusher.

  81. Amos Snarkadder
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Luann Boy, am I conflicted. Who should I dislike more: Bernice for her lack of respect and dishonest exploitation, or Mrs. Phelps for her general dimwittedness and demeaning attitude?

  82. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#76): And I think William Golding used to sit outdoors when he wrote.

  83. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    @Tom, the Sailor Man (#65): Do you think he carefully examined his interactions with people wearing caps?

  84. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#75): “I always keep a kitty in the pocket.” – and we thought you were just happy to see us.

  85. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#80): “I keep a gaggle of them in a carry-on, along with my money” – in case they ask if you’re paying with cats or credit.

  86. Amos Snarkadder
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    A3G If Tori is going to figure in this story line, can Bolle and Shulock please take a panel or two to explain what is going on with her hair? Really, it couldn’t slow things down at all.

  87. pugfuggly
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    MT I’m used to the excessive bolding in Mark Trail, but what’s with all the ellipses today? I guess it’s good for an elected official to think before he speaks, but a long pause between each and every sentence just makes the senator sound like he’s stoned or something.

  88. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#85):

    If they are open to Feline Tender then I’m alright with spending it.

    I can go around saying that I gots lots of scratch!

  89. Chip Whittle
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#81):

    Who should I dislike more: Bernice for her lack of respect and dishonest exploitation, or Mrs. Phelps for her general dimwittedness and demeaning attitude?

    Before you judge Mrs. Phelps too harshly you should remember she had to spend like twenty years with nothing to do but have Luann describe her problems to her. Mrs. Phelps is doing very well not to be wielding an axe and shrieking at floor tile.

  90. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#88): could be used to pay the bar tabby.

  91. pugfuggly
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    MW “Unfortunately, my suggestion to assess the emotional growth level of guests upon arrival and to segregate potential ‘Aggies’ into special ‘No Talk’ zones was met with some resistance by management.”

  92. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    Love Is… quite the workout, or so I’m told (wink wink nudge nudge).

    (Are those shake-weights? They look like shake-weights.)

  93. pugfuggly
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    ASM “And I have to go to…um…to the…crap, this is hard. I guess I’ll just drive us to our deaths then….”

  94. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    @Mikey (#59): @Illustrator Steve (#76): Thank you! I’ll add Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Sigurd Olson.

  95. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#94): would Edward Abbey count?

  96. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#69): re: 9CL. yeah, putting something tasty in front of a cow will work sometimes. But when you have 75 or 100 animals to move through for vaccination, and the vet was a half hour late because of an emergency call (and has gotten 2-3 calls since they came to your farm) you can’t afford to fuck around all day waiting for the cattle to go through when they feel like it. So you have to make them, and that isn’t always going to be pretty. A baseball bat might be used (though I never have). There is a line between motivating a 3/4 ton animal and abusing it, and most all of us try not to cross it. And a real vet would know the difference; abused livestock is never as healthy looking as “Twinkly” and her calf.

    I’ve been around livestock since I was a little kid – I was taught to respect it and take care of it – and I just resent the living shit out of this storyline in this comic. I do usually try to hide it better than this

  97. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    9CL – Cats will often rub their head against things (known as “bunting”) because they have glands in their head that allow them to leave a scent that way. It may be a sign of affection or trust, or they might be marking something as “safe”.

    What I’m trying to get at is that COWS AREN’T JUST BIG CATS.

    (Also, blah blah strawman blah blah insufferable bints blah blah just launch the courtroom into the sun or something.)

  98. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    Heathcliff-Heathcliff is watching you.

    Spiderman-You can add driving without a license to Spiderman’s list of charges.

    A3G-”Meanwhile, in Marty’s room…We’re saying that it’s her room even though due to the artist’s limited drawing ability it could be any room.”

    A3G 2-Marty’s dad is in the closet?

    Crankshaft-”You’re a sweet kid. Would you like your lemonade in a glass or on your head?”

    MT-Dong is what I think she meant to say.

    MT 2-”No that’s Rusty. He’s my ward. Sure the kid is ugly but he isn’t a dog.”

    Gil Thorp-”I just want to take him into a back alley, shove a rag into his mouth, and dissect his brain.”

  99. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    Even if I bothered to try and make it, I doubt I’d get around to showing it…

    a guy with a duffle bag that is over-brimming with kittens.

    Underneath it it would read:
    I’m the Purrfect Meowmeow-innaire!

    Bonus if he’s holding multiple kittens in his hands like he’s showing off money.

  100. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#59): Bill Bryson!

  101. greghousesgf
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    that was me who suggested Bill Bryson….

  102. Gary
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    In any other context, a shapely woman saying to a man “you have the big dog” would be a euphemism if not a come on. In Mark Trail’s world, where nuance and subtext are not allowed, it means he owns a big dog.

  103. Droopy Says
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#98): Spiderman isn’t driving; El Tarantula is in the driver’s seat in the last panel (in the first panel, you can see that what’s-his-name has his hand on the steering wheel, such as it is). El Tarantula had enough sense to grab the wheel before Spiderman could take it. However it won’t surprise me if they spend a few days arguing over who drives.

  104. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#90):

    You only live once so I will write this just once:

    [voice of Simpson’s cartoon cat, Itchy]:

    You haf ta mind your purrs and cuties.

    //ok. that’s done. let us never ever speak of it again.

  105. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

  106. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    @Gary (#102):

    If this were a bit from a 1930s-40s flick, someone like May West would say:

    “I remember you. You have the big dog.”

    A really cool, suave actor playing Mark Trail would say,

    “Its bark is worse than its bite.”

    May West character would say:

    “No worries. The last time we met, you left the barking and the biting to me!”

  107. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#81): Fortunately for you, with fragmentation grenades, you don’t have to decide!

    [*]

  108. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#106): Mae West would never say something as jejune as “No worries”.

  109. Marthas Rolling Pin
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#94): Robert Ruark, when he wasn’t cranking out great clunky novels.

  110. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#108): *channels Mae West* “Mmm, tall, dark and handsome. You look like you need a kennel for that big dog of yours…”

  111. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#96): I resent it too, and my only connection with livestock is knowing a couple of farmers who have it. I think your extensive background and experience fully entitle you to the extra dimension of resenting the living shit out of it.

  112. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#110): Don’t blame me, blame Mae.

  113. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#70): AAAHHHH!!! WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN???? WHY WHY WHY

    (Man, Willard Scott hasn’t changed a bit, has he?)

  114. Lumaca Morente
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#94): Izaak Walton. James Audobon.

  115. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#108):

    You’re probably correct….though, I thought my only mistake *might* be mis-spelling her first name. Looks like I whiffed twice, while trying to hit it out of the park.

  116. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#94):
    Good. You included Henry David Thoreau.

    Not many people know this but he used to write the ant gags for “BC”.

    Fer Realz!

    Child ant, running towards father and pointing behind him, says:
    “Daddy! Help! That tree scares me!”

    Father ant:
    “No worries, son. That’s only a dogwood tree. Its bark is worse than its bite!”

  117. Pornstache
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: We worked this “meet my skanky blonde daughter” scenario all through the 70s. Good times.

  118. Ratiocinator
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#96): Thanks for the answer, but I’d prefer not to get into what does and doesn’t qualify as abuse. I just wanted to know whether Fleurrie’s approach would actually work in real life, and what the non-”come here sweetie”, non-causing-the-cow-pain way was.

  119. Mikey
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#68):Pretty close, but Joe, you forget that Rusty was the result of a genetic experiment gone wrong and was not the offspring of any human on this earth. LoFo legend says it was an attempt to cross simian DNA with that of an otter to create a creature that could swim and glide through the trees with equal ease. It is said that the petri dish was inadvertently contaminated with some mole rat DNA, and…well you know the rest.

  120. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    MW-Mary is eying the possibility of franchising her meddling operation out her in Arizona with Shannon in charge of it.

    Henry-Henry, you can’t drown your sorrows in ice cream sodas.

  121. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#118): Understood. Didn’t really mean to go there myself.

  122. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    MT-Mark, has anyone told you how much you look like the Senator?

  123. Mikey
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    MW-Jeeezzuss Chrii… Shannon acts like she’s a counselor at an inpatient heroin rehab.

    Shannon: ” We once had a guest who was distraught because he could only afford a 335i BMW and not a 535i. Of course I counseled him to safe place, but I wonder to this day if he made it.”
    Mary: “blah blah blah blah, Shannon!”

  124. Mikey
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    @Pornstache (#117): Somewhere, in a parallel Universe, this identical strip is the culmination of some sort of roll playing sex game.

  125. TheDiva
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#96): Hell, my entire experience with cattle in their pre-processed state is limited to occasional visits to the stock show and my great-aunt’s ranch, and even I know you’re not going to get a large, intractable animal to do what you want just because a pretty girl bats her eyes and asks nicely. I think Brooke wants us to believe this will work on the cow because it works on the men in the strip, and he’s incapable of admitting a cow might be smarter and more self-possessed than his avatars are.

  126. Alter Ego
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#92): love is… Oh, you beat me to it. But at least I can supply the video.

    (Also, what’s with the hand-drawn capital L in today’s caption? Did they run out of the real ones?)

  127. Mikey
    September 11th, 2013 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#94): @Illustrator Steve (#76): Yes, Yes I get your point. All literary geniuses in their own right, yet none of these people every wrote regularly for an Outdoors Magazine. Clearly this is required to achieve true literary greatness. That and punching. Just ask Senator “What’s His Name”…

  128. Mibbitmaker
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    re: Nature Writers
    Did Euell Gibbons ever write anything? Or did he eat the paper it was written on?

    Yes, I’m living in 1974.

    And when is President Nixon going to take the hint already…?

  129. The Ridger
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#118): Food will work. If you have halter-trained the cow, you can halter and lead it, much as you would a horse. A dog will work, if you have one – a heeler or something. Poking it with something (the ‘somethings’ vary widely) will work. But let’s face it: if a 1200-lb cow doesn’t want to walk, making kissy faces at it is certainly not going to change its mind.

  130. Horace Broon
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    ASM: I can’t believe I’ve only just noticed that Rebel Guy Whose Name I’ve Forgotten But Is Probably A Government Spy has the same head-handle as Waitress Whose Name I’ve Forgotten Who Married A Soccer Player in Mary Worth.

    A3G</b: …Although if there's a competition in the comic strip world for who can draw the most ridiculous ponytail, I think we have a winner.

    Pluggers: Pluggers’ grasp of probability is that >50% chance = won’t happen and <50% chance = will happen.

  131. I speak Jive
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#29): Re: Crankshaft – I think you mean bathos, not pathos.

    Spotts1701 (@YY171) – I read that letter, too. I can’t remember in which newspaper I read it. If it is a paper that publishes three days a week, we read the same local paper. Nothing like two-days-old “news.”

    Pluggers – GAHHH! I hear this rant from Mr. Jive nearly every single day when the local weather is on TV. It isn’t any more fun seeing it in a comic strip.

    Sally Forth – This is absolutely true.

  132. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#96): It’s OK. Sometimes you have to let it out. My outrage at this 9CL travesty hasn’t lessened, but I’ve moved into such a long, slow burn of disgust that it really takes something extraordinary to register enough of a peak on the dial.

    Maybe I’ll comment some more later, after I’m done beating my cows. Just because.

  133. The good ship thetis
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    What about Grey Owl, the fake Candian Indian?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Owl

    According to the article, he wrote for Country Life.

  134. The good ship thetis
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, Canadian Indian…

  135. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#70):

    I think Gaylord has been playing the XXX rated version of “Give the Dog a Bone” with Mark Trail.

  136. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#86): I like to fill in the blanks myself. I like to pretend it has something to do with that hair gel gag in There’s Something About Mary.

  137. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#127): His literary greatness is accompanied by his amazing ability, also demonstrated in previous stories, to drop in on people unannounced and be welcomed with open arms. Instead of being punched himself. Which would definitely be a risk if he dropped in unannounced on some people. “Some people” meaning “me.”

  138. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    9CL – It is one thing when Brooke lectures the beefwits about classical music. That is an area where he presumably has some expertise, and if he wants to make a strip about inside jokes related to the performers and their pecadillos, then there is probably an audience who will appreciate it.

    However, not content to be smugly condescending about areas in which he has some background, he has now chosen to smugly condescend to people concerning topics in which he has no expertise. “See, you stupid farmers, you are a bunch of stupid dumb-dumb heads because you beat cows with bats, when you should be able to lead them around by cooing at them. I saw it happen once in a movie! A movie from the 1950s, of course, back when all movies weren’t total crap.”

    Now we get the equivalent of the three weeks of Hail Mary’s at the end of any Mary Worth plotline. In 9CL, this involves exposing all the male characters as total morons incapable of anything but being obedient thralls to the irresistable sexual magnetism of Fleurry the Vet.

    The only fun part is that, in mocking all the people around her, he doesn’t realize that he has portrayed her as a horrible vet and an even worse human being.

  139. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#128): Oh yes, he wrote. Two books at least. I used advice and recipes from his books during two summers working as a nature counselor at a camp, and I hereby attest that cattail pollen is not always as easy to gather quickly, in quantity, as he claimed. Also if you try to do the collecting in waders, you may find that the muck through which you are slowly squelching smells like a million farts.

  140. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#129): The problem with food is that it’s kind of indiscriminate. Stand out in the pasture with a bucket of feed and nothing between you and 50 hungry head of cattle. And please video it — for the Darwin Awards. (I mean that “you” rhetorically. Not “you” you! Actually, not anybody!)

    I nearly got mowed down one day just by the goats trying that trick. Usually I can get away with it, but this was a bigger than normal group, and really hungry for morning feed. I thought “Hey, they’re small and friendly, it’ll be OK … and .. Oh God … such sharp hooves and horns! I’m going under!”

  141. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#138): Yeah, what you said!

  142. wossname
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#130):

    Although if there’s a competition in the comic strip world for who can draw the most ridiculous ponytail, I think we have a winner.

    Have you already forgotten Gina of MW fame?

  143. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#128): “Many parts of a book are edible!”

  144. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 11th, 2013 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

  145. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#132):

    after I’m done beating my cows

    Is that what the kids are calling it today?

  146. LP2004
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#145): As Sigmund Freud (or was it Albert Camus?) once said, sometimes beating your cows is just beating your cows.

  147. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#127): Ed Zern.

    next thread, learning to deconvolute Pibgorn plots using the Solunar Tables!

  148. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#145): If I could have wagered my life savings on that joke being made about that comment…. I could spend the rest of my life staying home all day and beating my cows.

  149. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:14 pm [Reply]

    (oversnarpologies)

    Dear Baldo Writers: Here’s how you come one step closer to making this “joke” work. Write the sign as follows:
    FISH STICKS
    PIZZA
    CH1CKEN

    Because, see, that way they will have legitimately run out of the letter “i” instead of not having any “i” letters in the first place.

    No, it’s still not funny, and it’s still painfully forced, but at least it makes some kind of frigging sense.

    You’re welcome.

  150. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#142):

    That’s her first name! Duh! I got that wrong.

    I thought her first name was Madge and her last name was Guyna or something equally naughty.

    Seriously though. The fact that Mary relates to so many people who are not her age still creeps me out. Stop the posing, Mary! The Ol Gray Mare Ain’t the Aldo Killer That She Used Ta Be. I don’t want to check into the next story line and find out that instead of Mary fighting the Devil, Mary is at Burning Man doing ecstasy and mumbling meddle oriented, mushmouthed Mary-isms.

  151. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#148): It was necessary. Oh, wait. No it wasn’t.

  152. wossname
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:28 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#150): Are you sure there’s even going to be a next story line in MW? We seem to be permanently stuck on Post-Meddlegasm Glow with Saguaros.

  153. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#150): The fact that Mary relates to so many people who are not her age still creeps me out.

    Indeed! Let’s keep the elderly segregated away in retirement communities and nursing homes, where they belong!

  154. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    I absolutely love the huge Supreme Leader portrait of Heathcliff.
    Kimchi and delicious cheese for all!

  155. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    MW: Frankly, I don’t know how Mary has restrained herself from meddling the hell out of Aggie. Inappropriate public outbursts? Check! Poor self image? Check! Lonely? Check!

  156. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    YT #65 – If that was you, Illustrator Steve (Anonymous), I am very sorry for the loss of your cat.
    18 is a fine fine run, but that does not make it any easier to say goodbye. My condolences to you.
    >^^<

  157. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#155):
    Oh, she’s got time. She had to meddle/flirt with Shannon first.

    MT – Senator is actually the dearly departed Jack Layton, head of Canada’s NDP until he fell ill a few years ago.

  158. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#125): My working theory is that Brooke’s entire knowledge of animals is based on owning a cat or two, and whatever he reads in PETA leaflets (I suspect PETA because the same level of stupid is on display – I’m in favor of animal rights, but PETA has demonstrated too many times that they do not actually understand the nature of actual animals. Plus their sexual and racial politics are unpleasant.)

  159. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#148):

    Just be careful. I’ve heard tales of a milking machine that won’t stop milking until it has extracted at least five gallons.

    Unfortunately, Edda and Juliette are behind the other two holes in the barn, so you will probably take less damage with the milking machine, and have less chance of being reduced to nothing but a puddle on the floor by morning.

  160. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    MT-That’s good to know that’s your daughter, Senator, because judging by the way you are holding her I assumed that it was a Real Doll.

  161. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#140): Oh, man, goats. I like goats, but I always forget just how freakin’ strong they are (I’ve helped friends wrangle theirs a few times, and there’s nothing like dragging an unwilling goat by its horns to appreciate how tough the little buggers are.)

  162. Baka Gaijin
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#107): Fragmentation grenades you say. I wonder how effective they’d be against you-know-whats…

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#113): I TOLD you! EVILSCARYCLOWN of the first degree with tiny anti-gravity EVILSCARYCLOWNS. I’d expect to see something that evil and scary in the bowels of Hell. Or the SantaRoyMart.

    @Ratiocinator (#118): The approach you seek is twofold: first you hold up a McDonald’s hamburger to the cow’s face. If that doesn’t scare it down the ramp, you show it the fifth video on this page. I’m surprised that video isn’t banned under the Geneva Convention.

    @Mibbitmaker (#128): Euell Gibbons. I wonder if Marlin Perkins, in any of his many adventures throughout the world, ever found Mr. Gibbons eating tree bark au naturel. Al fresco? I can’t remember which.

  163. Ratiocinator
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#129):

    But let’s face it: if a 1200-lb cow doesn’t want to walk, making kissy faces at it is certainly not going to change its mind.

    I believe it, and that’s another reason the story is so painfully stupid.

    It’s like if I wrote a story addressing an issue like, oh, let’s say pollution. In the story, the main character would be opposing the owner of this factory that kept on spewing CO2 out of a big smokestack and calling that person irresponsible and evil, and when somebody asked the main character “Well, how are we supposed to manufacture anything without polluting?” the character responded “It’s easy, you just do what I do: moonwalk ten yards to the east, bang your head on the ground three times, and recite something by Edgar Allan Poe. That makes the goods magically appear in front of you, and there’s no pollution!”

    Since that doesn’t work in real life, the story wouldn’t do anything to convince anybody that real life factory owners are being irresponsible and/or evil, because there’s a high demand (if not a necessity) for the things made in factories and I wouldn’t have proposed any realistic alternative.

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#145): *snrk*

  164. Ratiocinator
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#162): *Warily clicks on the play button…*

    [QLUNQ!]

  165. bats :[
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#46):AWWWWWWWWWWWW….babee tapeer!

    (they really *don’t* have action figures like, do they?)

    @Pozzo (#48): I have a Jesus picture whose eyes open when you take it into a darkened room. You can imagine how many times I’ve done that, not particularly wanting to have the bejabbers scared out of me.

  166. Baka Gaijin
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#130) on Pluggers: Pluggers don’t believe in percentages. That’s science, science is eeevil, eeeeeeeevil.

    @Mr. Yezpitelok (#135): Um, ew? Once I got to the fifth item on that page, any squick from previous commercials were gone, gone, GONE out of my head.

    @Poteet (#139): Slowly Squelching Smells. New J-Pop group or room deodorizer from Airwick? You decide.

    @Cloudbuster (#140): I’d love to read Dingo’s take on your last sentence.

  167. Baka Gaijin
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#152): I think I saw Post-Meddlegasm Glow with Saguaros as a 200-level course at UA-Tucson.

    @Cloudbuster (#153): May as well. They’re too old for Soylent Green.

    @Ratiocinator (#164): Did you notice that McDonald’s sales skyrocketed after they stopped running that commercial? Can you guess why? Scaring the shit out of your prime customers is not a sustainable business model.

    @bats :[ (#165) on Pozzo: Do the eyes glow or something? How can you see ‘em in the dark?

  168. Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    CS Living next door to Crankshaft, Miss Lillian McKenzie is, no doubt, used to rude and awkward questions. She could easily brush these off with a droll put-down.

    But there’s a terrible, terrible price to pay for making bad puns.

  169. Alex Blaze
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    Judging from the super zoom-ins we’ve been treated to these past few days, the senator’s daughter is probably responsible for the poaching/pollution/tax evasion/whatever Mark is investigating. Talking to Mark about his dog was the first step in distracting “the authorities”; now she just has to ask him if the animals of the Lost Forest are happy and he’ll jibber-jabber away while she throws him in the wood-chipper.

  170. yaoi huntress earth
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#158): Opps. PETA was founded in 1980, he’d want nothing to do with them.

    Luann: Does anyone think Miss Phelps looks like a bad female impersonator?

  171. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Born Loser: We certainly have a winner with MY new design, available now!

    I suddenly feel very dirty.

    Dennis the Menace: The educational system has failed Dennis, and Louis Pasteur is spinning in his grave.

    Family Circus: The only reason the Keane children aren’t wearing helmets at all times is because they can’t find any to fit those enormous heads.

    Lockhorns: I figured Leroy would be thankful for Loretta’s lack of periods.

    Marmaduke: Another day, another infant sacrifice.

    Marvin: Marvin’s in love because they’re both loathsome and disgusting? It all makes sense now!

    Pluggers: Funny, I was wondering the same thing about Gary Brookins.

    Shoe: Doesn’t sound like it’d be an issue for a bird.

  172. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#162): “You-All Gibbon” wouldn’t be caught dead eating tree bark:

    http://www.lambiek.net/artists/image/s/shaw_scott/shaw_pigfoot1977.gif

  173. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#14): Re: Heathcliff – Sounds like a COTW candidate to me!

  174. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    @Marc (#45): Gotta go, my damn wiener kids are listening.

  175. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    @yaoi huntress earth (#170): Luann: Does anyone think Miss Phelps looks like a bad female impersonator?

    An impersonator of bad females? Does she do Toni Daytona?

    And, if so, has Evans drawn private sketches of her doing Toni Daytona?

  176. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @yaoi huntress earth (#170): Hah. I bet you’re right. He probably thinks of them as hippies, if he thinks of them at all.

  177. Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#70): Egad! Why did all of those commercials seem like snippets from the twilight zone?
    The only one of those toys that I remember was the dog. In other words, if I hadn’t opened the link you posted, I might have made it through life without any awareness of the other five.
    How, oh, how can I properly express my… um… gratitude?

  178. Amos Snarkadder
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @A-wel Cruiz (#171):

    I suddenly feel very dirty.

    Nah. All of us are in the gutter… but some of us are looking at triangular warning signs about feedback in open talks.

  179. tallyHO
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#152):
    I suppose there could be some time loop she is stuck in.

    @Cloudbuster (#153):

    Oh, I wouldn’t go as far to say that she and her kind should be segregated. However, only strips like “Gas Alley”, “Funk Disasterville” and “Family Sequestration” deal honestly with the aged. Mary is hanging with a crowd which seems a bit out of her league and as a result there is not a bunch of fun-loving young folks but instead is pent up energy slathered in tar and affixed in one spot for too long.

    I get that Mary keeps active and “stays young” as a result but give me the movie “Cocoon”. I guess what I’m saying is Mary Worth, don’t bogart that Fountain of Salmon Juice you seem to be sucking on.

    She won’t though. She just won’t hang with people her own age because one or more of them will put Mary in her place and the meddling would be put to an end.

    It would only take one sassy former redhead to tell Mary to “Step Off!” and Mary will realize that maybe it is time she, not Wilbur and daughter, should be on an old person’s cruise to the catastrophe. Maybe she would be taking the adventure of a Winter Wedding where she exalts in connubial bliss once more and plays Bridge with folks who just love playing Bridge.

    Do I believe people want to be entertained by a revised MW? Short of getting a “Helper Spider-Man” to assist her and act as a dinner companion, I dunno. I just don’t know. So consider this musing to be spitballing, throwing it out there for consideration.

  180. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @Kristian (#9): Pluggers: don’t understand probability.

    Very true. But this is an old canard anyway. Weathermen nearly always get it right, anymore. Up to about five days, anyway. After that, that ol’ butterfly in China starts to mess the computer models up.

  181. Shrughorne Clemens
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#44):

    And as I’ve noted here before, the same Twain essay also provides an excellent summary of the reader’s reaction to the characters of Batiuk (and McEldowney and Evans and . . . ):

    http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/projects/rissetto/offense.html

    The rules of literary art “require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the “Deerslayer” tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.”

  182. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#81): It’s Luann. Is there a single likable character to being with?

  183. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#178): I’d rather they were wearing them. Hint hint. ^_^

  184. Shrug, the Fool in the Forest
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#59):

    “GREAT OUTDOOR WRITERS” :

    Orlando in AS YOU LIKE IT?

    O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books
    And in their barks my thoughts I’ll character;
    That every eye which in this forest looks
    Shall see thy virtue witness’d every where.

  185. Shrug: Tilt the Machine and You Might Get Two
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#80):

    “Currently, I keep a gaggle of them [cats] in a carry-on, along with my money, so that I can sell them to people prone to spend money due to cuteness attacks.”

    You’d never make a living that way in Japan; I imagine they have kitten vending machines for that purpose. (Baka?)

  186. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    @A-wel Cruiz (#182): I meant, “to BEGIN with.”

  187. Shrug of the Sierras
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    @Mikey (#124):

    “Somewhere, in a parallel Universe, this identical strip is the culmination of some sort of roll playing sex game.”

    Leisure Suit Larry?

    (When ported to the Mark Trail universe, it’s known as Khaki Shirt Kooky.)

  188. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    @A-wel Cruiz (#173):
    Now whenever I see hot dog buns in the store, I think of Heathcliff.

  189. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#159): I cringed when I read your first paragraph. Then I read your second paragraph and hid in a corner and cried for a little while.

  190. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#179): “Fountain of Salmon Juice” would be a great name for a Santa Royale bar band. The Bum Boat social calendar: “Every Thursday is ladies night! All ladies with an AARP card have no cover and half price drinks!” “Every Friday, rock to the sweet, sweet seaside sounds of ‘Fountain of Salmon Juice!”

    Also, I am the proud younger relative to a couple sassy former redheads, and, wow, do I know what you mean!

  191. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

  192. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#75): If it were socially acceptable, I always keep a kitty in the pocket.

    It … it’s not socially acceptable?

    // Surreptitiously covers pocket. No, of course those aren’t muffled ‘meows’ you’re hearing!

  193. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#192): Gosh, if they don’t want you putting them in your pockets, why do they sell them in vending machines?

  194. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

  195. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @A-wel Cruiz (#171): We certainly have a winner with MY new design, available now!

    Can I get it on a kitten?

  196. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#193): I didn’t know you lived in Japan. They sell everything from the vendos!

    // Hey while you’re out, pick me up a cold shochi, and a hot can of corn chowder. (I’ll gladly pay you, Tuesday… )

  197. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    Spiderman-To shore up the rebels’ courage Rodrigo is going to have sex with her.

    Crankshaft-Now tell them about how you were a Madam.

  198. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    MW: I have had a lot of conversations in my life. I’ve had conversations while distracted, pressed for time, and stressed out. I’ve had conversations while under the influence of alcohol and post-operative painkillers. I’ve had conversations while half asleep and while peppy with caffeine. And every single one of those conversations sounded more naturally, normally human than this one.

    Hell, I’ve had conversations with my dog that sound more normally human than this one.

  199. Dale
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL

    The girl could have a childhood memory of meeting a “Mark Trail” but mostly having the piss scared out of her by a gigantic uncontrolled dog.
    The owners thought it very amusing.

    Now that Anne Marie knows who Mark is, she can get even. Johnny Mopper and his associates will capture Mark for business reasons. If we’re lucky, they’ll beat the crap out of him as a courtesy to Anne.

    —————-

    Isn’t Bill Clinton known as “The Big Dog”?

  200. walt d.
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    MT: I don’t remember the blog name of the person who is always posting this, so I’m sorry I can’t give credit, but I can’t resist. “So, is that what the kids are calling it these days?

    MT: What generation is this young person supposed to be, and is it one that came after WWII?

    MT: Good old MT. Poor drawing, poor writing, poor color. As they say over at Jack Elrod LLC, “Thank God for MW.”

    RMMD: Let’s have a nice cup of tea and badmouth people who use herbal remedies.

    RMMD: Perhaps we can have a medical emergency in Europe and have a story damning or praising European health care. We’ve already had a taste with Milton’s rather casual diagnosis in London.

    Crankshaft: Does this fall under the “No good deed goes unpunished” rule? Invite the neighborhood children in for lemonade and they badmouth you for being old and single?

  201. cheech wizard
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: You agree to cooperate with police. In exchange, you never have to meet me.

    This would work a lot better in Mark Trail, with Rusty on the line.

  202. Cloudbuster
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    @walt d. (#200): MT: I don’t remember the blog name of the person who is always posting this, so I’m sorry I can’t give credit, but I can’t resist. “So, is that what the kids are calling it these days?

    Hey, I don’t want to call anybody out, but I’m thinking of a name that rhymes with “NASCAR fan.”

  203. bats :[
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#167): in a darkened (but not completely dark room)…like one with a nightlight. I think it’s some sort of phosphorescent paint. The whole card is made like a tryptych, with the front looking like a double-door to a church or chapel…open the doors and there He is!

    (And if you really want to know how old it is, it’s from the little chapel built on the grounds of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park CA before it became a fast-ride amusment park.)

  204. bats :[
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:35 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#203): here’s more than you might ever want to know on this topic. There is a distinct possibility that Jesus could be scarier than a clown.

  205. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#191):
    Just don’t stick your hand inside!

  206. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft-”Due to certain legal issues I can’t talk about Mr. McKenzie.”

  207. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft-”Well aren’t you cute, Miss Face on a Milk Carton.”

  208. seismic-2
    September 11th, 2013 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#142): One of those twin girls in today’s Crankshaft has a hairstyle that is perhaps categorized as a “reverse Gina”.

  209. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#208):
    And I think the naughty chick in 3G has a “Barbara Eden” gone seriously wrong.

  210. José Jiménez
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#y54): DtM — corny, but kind of cute.

    “Cute” isn’t the word I’d use. After Dennis gives Joey a half-chewed (by Ruff?) cookie,
    he gives himself SIX cookies.

    Joey deserves a better friend than “Dennis the Greedy Menace”!

  211. messy
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

  212. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#29): The female characters cannot be mocked because they are not human beings, but goddesses. Worship from male readers, envy from female readers, that’s the plan.

  213. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    @messy (#211):
    Yes, it is at the least very inappropriate.

  214. Calico
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    @José Jiménez (#210):
    Anyone know any Louis Pasteur jokes?

  215. seismic-2
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#214): Presumably they would start off with Louis Pasteur walking into a bar, because he developed his theory about the effect of microorganisms in order to prevent the spoilage of beer, not milk as many people believe.

  216. Peanut Gallery
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#194): “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they give you unwelcome feedback at open talks. Then they spend the whole next week gloating over how superior they are to you. Then they put you on a T-shirt and sell you on CafePress. Then you get a kitten.”

  217. Baka Gaijin
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug: Tilt the Machine and You Might Get Two (#185): Nope, no kitten vendos in Japan. Come to think of it, I don’t recall ever seeing a Hello Kitty vending machine. Hm. Something to investigate next visit.

    @Cloudbuster (#191): Sadly, no kitties out of that machine. I think it sells slippers you use in the cat cafe it sits in front of, in Seoul, Korea.

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#198): Human-style interaction in Mary Worth? Bwah-ha ha ha.

    @walt d. (#200) on Mark Trail, version 2: She’s from the pre-Toni did-it-myself home-perm-and-screwed-it-up generation.

    @bats :[ (#203): Thanks. I can sleep easier knowing.

    @bats :[ (#204): Um. Yeah. That’s not scary at all, nosiree.

  218. Peanut Gallery
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#214):

    “Knock knock.”
    “Who’s there?”
    “Pasteurize.”
    “Pasteurize who?”
    “Pasteurize is your nose.”

    You didn’t say it has to be a good joke.

  219. Liam
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    MT-No that’s Marmaduke you’re thinking of. Does Mark like Mr. Hitler to you?

  220. José Jiménez
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

  221. Uncle Lumpy
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#219):

    Does Mark like Mr. Hitler to you?

    Mark Trail/Adolf Hitler slashfic. We have officially arrived at the End of the Road.

  222. seismic-2
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#209): IMHO, the Senator’s daughter is trying not such much to be Barbara Eden as to be Stevie Nicks.

  223. Poteet
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:09 pm [Reply]

  224. Northern lurker
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    MT; I used to work at a small town newspaper. In that capacity I got to know elected officials. And I had a friendly relationship with most of them. But I would not call them friends in the truest sense. And I would never have popped in on them at home or interrupted any dalliances with young supporters.
    Jackelrod doesn’t seem to know the real world.
    RMMD: please find your way out of this plot
    JP: I’ve always believed in working on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Intelligent plots are not the strengths of this strip. Lets see, what are its strengths? Oh I remember bewbs.

  225. Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    Hey, you lot, I’m back. There were…things…going on the last few days which precluded my spending much time comic-ing. Now those things have been put on hold by virtue of a so called gaffr.

    Anyway, here I yam, I yam.

    Did anyone miss me? No, I didn’t think so.

    So…I was just getting my masochism fix with 9 CL. I’m at the stage where if I were a psychiatrist I’d be writing a thesis on Brooke. It should probably get me the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

  226. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    @Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist (#225): Welcome back. Have you seen the new t-shirts? ^_^

  227. A-wel Cruiz
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

  228. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#223): you’re welcome!

  229. Morgan Wick
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    Seriously, Crankshaft, I expect puns like that out of the Family Circus.

  230. Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    @ 227. A-wel Cruiz

    The backfeed is backing up!

  231. Northern lurker
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    MT: my all time favorite book title is A Scent of New Mown Hay. It’s about a Cold War era experiment gone awry which sees human beings turned into ambulatory fungi.
    I just realized that explains Mark and Rusty too.

  232. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    MT: You’re right that Mark is associated with a big dog. Which one owns whom is a separate question.

    C-Shaft: Are these kids assholes, or are they just really slow?

  233. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    MW: Yes, yes, not everyone you meet has achieved the level of spiritual evolution enjoyed by you and the Meddle Queen here, but somehow you cope.

    9CL: It’s just getting embarrassing now, you mean?

    Archie: Dilton is envious of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players because he’s never gotten to appear in a Bee sketch.

    BB: The general’s plan to look better by dragging in the guy who woke up two cots over in the same drunk tank is… probably not going to work.

    GT: It’s been a while since I was in high school, but I believe these days saying anything about dissecting your classmates will get you a suspension and a mandatory psych consult.

    Shoe: Yeah, walking out of an in-flight movie would be a pretty big deal if you didn’t have at least rudimentary flying power on your own, but since you do…

    SSmith: “So anyways I’m gon’ stand here an’ watch dogs fuck. Care t’join me?”

    S-M: Yeah, Ponytail Guy is pretty slick. “I have to go not report your movements to the junta and not act as a mole in any way.”

    H&J: When I take a cab to the airport, I assume the driver will get there in a possible rather than an impossible way, but that’s me.

    Lockhorns: Nobody asked if your wife was still menstruating, Leroy.

    A3G: You know, for all the justifiable criticism Bolle gets here, he proves adept at drawing a shitfaced teenager.

  234. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    @Northern lurker (#231): There’s not mushroom for a fun guy like me.

  235. walt d.
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:04 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Maybe I should read this for a while for the entertainment of guessing the girls’ ages on any given day. Marta looks 14 and11 today, and “bad girl” looks. . . Well, stoned, actually. Like every other day.

    A3G: Now that is an apartment with thin walls. The straightforward reading is that there is a closet in between the kitchen (?) and the bedroom and that the people in the two rooms can still hear and possibly identify the people in the other rooms.

    Crankshaft: Probably not a good idea to tell these two about the real reason there’s no Mr. around, but there is some thought that that is exactly what’s going to happen. Please stop milking your old stories, Tom. Your strips are dismal enough when they deal with present misery. Or maybe a deal: you can refer to this story once a year if you’ll just bury Lisa forever.

  236. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#29): The next Crankshaft collection will be titled “The Dry Teat of Tragedy.”

  237. Lily Sincere
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    If I’m going to be Big Brothered by anyone (assuming I turn into a mouse), better Heathcliff than Marmaduke.

    I haven’t read all the comments, but either I am a sad, lone pervert or at least one other person saw the “Mark Trail” headline and their minds immediately pictured an activity more along the lines of, say, what Lois does to Hi on a typical Thursday night. Sure, it involves fists and cuffs, but not fisticuffs in the Trailian sense.

  238. Gladly, the cross-eyed bear
    September 11th, 2013 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    @José Jiménez (#220): The (apparently accurate) reference to Wizard of Id as “most subtle” in any regard confuses and frightens me.

  239. Casey, Crime Photographer
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    Marvin: Bonnie Boo Hoo isn’t interested in someone who carries a lot of baggage around… in his diapers.

  240. Droopy Says
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    Spider and Spiderer: Have you ever seen so many bricks in your life? Spiderman is doomed!

    You Don’t Know, Dick: Tuesday, Dr. Ghote was about to explain things to Diet Smith. Maybe. Today he’s about to enter the office. This arc has not only slowed to a standstill, it’s made time flow backward.

    Family Circus: Bil had no idea that moving to Stepford could have such drawbacks.

    Funky’s Flunkies. The team has no dimensions at all? Okay, what makes them different from anyone else in the Funkyverse?

    Jugs Parker: Somebody has an interesting idea of how often Google Earth updates its satellite imagery.

    Mark Trail: Careful, Senator, or Mark will go all Teddy Roosevelt on your ass!

    Phantom: Keep talking, Kit, who needs the element of surprise?

    Pluggers question the hidden generosity of people who leave recyclable material lying around for Pluggers to redeem.

  241. Casey, Crime Photographer
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    Gil: Most eight-year-old boys have never heard of Harold Lloyd. Or Norm Feuti. Or Gil.

  242. Droopy Says
    September 12th, 2013 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    9CL: At least Brooke has stopped asking the readers to bend over. And now, Brooke, FFS, have one of your characters fall out of bed and wake up. Shakespeare never ended a story that way, so you’ll be able to tell yourself you’re more clever than Shakespeare.

  243. Poteet
    September 12th, 2013 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    MT — Wait, I thought this “wilderness area” adjoined LoFo. Or was part of LoFo. And is it an officially-designated federal wilderness area? If so, there are federal regulations that would prevent *mallet head whack* Sorry.

  244. Anonymous
    September 12th, 2013 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    On what I wrote up here—@tallyHO (#179):

    I was mostly joking, if that wasn’t completely obvious. I wasn’t joking when comparing how certain older characters are portrayed in other legacy strips though.

    In comparison to those older characters, it seems like Mary Worth avoids associating with people her own age (whatever type of -generian she is.) Just once I’d like to see her deal with an associate who is her age and really having problems and whose circumstance is making it difficult for their family (the younger ones). In fairness, even “Funky Winkeredout” will explore that situation.

    The older, bitter woman who denied her daughter a good relationship until a medical mishap made her see the light…that one situation….that doesn’t count. She was very cognizant of her actions and was just being difficult. Well, if she weren’t aware of what she was doing then that’s real, too.

    To me that is why Mary seems a little bit too neat and spotless to be real. Don’t get me wrong, if she were some sort of guru who had a posse or an enclave of followers, that would be entertaining. Instead she does what people who try to remain relatable to younger folks do, a sort of cultural slumming that almost completely ignores people with whom she has much in common.

    That John Dill, Cake Decorator/Widow/Mr. Whipple Look-a-like doesn’t really count. He was a widow who was dealing with loss. Well, so was Blonde-donis Bachelor whom that former Spinster-in-Training fell for.

    While I’m sure if Mary hung around with those her own age, she’d start up a Meddler’s Club of Hoverround Drivers and Blue-Bird Special diners, that might be entertaining if they decide to Occupy Fast Food/ Homestyle eateries, like Denny’s or IHOP. Their elite forces would be the BINGO Brigade, led by Brigadier General Chinbeard—whose wife looks soo much younger than he does. Yet, she and Mary hang and rap all day long.

    bleh! Anyways, I don’t mean to diss the older of us. I was going for the jugular of cartoon/comic strip seasoned comic strip characters.

  245. Poteet
    September 12th, 2013 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    @Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist (#225): Welcome back! And yes, of the strips I follow, 9CL definitely the best choice for masochists. A potential altenative thesis could compare the attitudes toward women portrayed in 9CL, LUANN, and FW, but writing it might make one’s brain explode.

  246. Dale
    September 12th, 2013 at 1:19 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#243):

    MARK TRAIL

    This is another case where LoFo means either the national park or just the Trail Family Compound. I wasn’t a Lit. major, but a total lack of specificity doesn’t seem like good writing.

    I’m thinking – Surveyors are working outside the park. The elk are scared so they break the fences while getting into the park. (Mark didn’t bother to look.)
    The surveyors shoot the elk so they won’t talk.
    There are no poachers. If there were, they would be outside the park where the elk live.
    Dusty may not be retired, but he isn’t a Ranger. Did you see a badge or uniform?

  247. Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    September 12th, 2013 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    Wizard of Id: Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the cheesecraft Camembert, on its kamikaze mission – to smash down on Id and steamroll Rodney flat; to crumble into a cheese avalanche as no cheese has crumbled before.

    Luann: Is Evans in a contest with Brooke for Most Bafflingly Mindless Storyline? If not, what the hell is this? And talking of Brooke-

    9 C L: I’ll settle for basball bat anal rape if it ends this idiocy.

  248. ristian
    September 12th, 2013 at 3:46 am [Reply]

    @Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist (#247): I think you may be confusing 9CL and Pibgorn …

  249. gleeb
    September 12th, 2013 at 5:56 am [Reply]

    ‘shaft-It sure is nice for Ms. Whatsername to invite these brain-damaged sisters into her home for lemonade and stupid questions.

    ‘bean-In fact, gamblin’ Bull and his team are dimensionless, like a bad comic strip. Ugh. I hope Batiuk finds some “message” to beat to death soon. Without misplayed dudgeon, he’s terribly dull.

    Mark-Careful, he’s not afraid to punch a senator.

    June Morgan, RN-This personal betrayal will not go unpunished.

    Spidey-Why are they speaking English? Everyone knows that Spanish is spoken in angle brackets.

    Dick-Hang on. You skipped yesterday, but we were about to learn what the hell Moon Maid is. Don’t try to pull this, Dick Tracy writers!

    Thorp-Toss another sophomore on the bonfire!

  250. CanuckDownSouth
    September 12th, 2013 at 7:04 am [Reply]

    Clearly, the DT team has moved from its tribute to classic Tracy to its homage of the Locher-era’s insane time sequences.

  251. Marion Delgado
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    A rewriting shows the meaning: “I ain’t, never, had me gumbo, none, that tastes that good!” It’s mostly commas.

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