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We don’t need no 18th century linguistic engineering

Herb and Jamaal, 9/13/13

OK, everybody, here’s the thing: when multiple negatives are strung together in a sentence the way that our faceless gumbo aficionado has strung them together in panel one, with the intent to intensify the negative sentiment rather than to have the negatives cancel each other out, that’s called negative concord. While this isn’t an accepted feature of high-status standard English today, it was common in old and middle English (and was extensively used by Chaucer), and is a feature of the high-status literary varieties of a number of other languages, including Portugese, Russian, Persian, and ancient Greek.

Now, arbitrary distinctions between dialects are made in every language ever spoken, so I’m not going on some quixotic quest to get negative concord back into standard English or anything, but I do have a gripe with people who pretend that dialectical uses of it are difficult or impossible to parse. People love to smugly point out that “I don’t got no money” logically means “I do have some money” — according to formal mathematical logic, which is very different from the logic that defines the grammar of naturally occurring spoken languages. But I would be very, very surprised if any competent native English speaker ever heared someone say “I don’t got no money” and genuinely believed that the speaker was claiming to have some money.

But (and here is my point) if you are going to go down this pedantic, narrow-minded, wrong-headed road, at least get your pedantry right. A double negative resolves to a positive. A triple negative resolves to a negative. You’re making yourself look dumb, Herb.

Gil Thorp, 9/13/13

Considering that some years the Milford bonfire is restricted to single glorious panel, I’m pretty excited about this fall’s installment being spread over multiple days! Even better is that this extra strip time gives us an opportunity to hear some Milford High students wax rhapsodically about the delightful smell of burning human flesh.

Blondie, 9/13/13

I’d give Dagwood a free sandwich if he showed up in that mask, wouldn’t you? I’d give him whatever he wanted. That thing is fucking terrifying.

223 responses to “We don’t need no 18th century linguistic engineering”

  1. Ben Wasabi
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:23 am [Reply]

    Dinette Set:

    “Dale! Why did you cockpunch Burl?”
    “I was bored… okay?”

    Last Kiss: There’s always the classic “50 Shades of Zip-A-Tone”!

  2. Dennis Jimenez
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:24 am [Reply]

    I took a flight to France once, on the negative concord – I ended up in Singapore….

  3. Ben Wasabi
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:28 am [Reply]

    One Big Happy: The most tragic thing about chickens is that they get made fun of by characters in “Blondie.”

  4. Izzy
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:29 am [Reply]

    September is now Chicken Month? Will this conflict with me practicing Talk Like a Pirate Day?

  5. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:29 am [Reply]

    Marmaduke: You dog!
    Baldo: “Her brother has a beard.”
    Luann: Go Comics commenter Leviticus has been reading this for too long.
    Love is: I’m guessing “Moonlight Mood” or “Indian Summer.”
    Pluggers: Heh, pluggers and fashion in the same sentence. That’s silly.
    Phantom: “This … ain’t … Cops!” Starting this fall!
    Judge Parker: What’s that Sofie? Trouble at the old mill?
    Tinas Groove: Momma Reloaded.

  6. nescio
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:32 am [Reply]

    H&J: Regardless of the triple negative, the customer is being too specific when addressing Herb as “Man.” Try addressing him as “Entity,” “Thing,” or “Object,” or consign yourself to a bit part in another comic strip.

  7. Ben Wasabi
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    Isn’t “Flight of the Negative Concords” a New Zealand-based comedy duo?

  8. Ratiocinator
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    9CL: But…but he isn’t their lawyer, he’s a D.A., and…oh forget it, why am I bothering?

    ASM: Aren’t the people of Costa Verde considerate? Even the villain is speaking Spider-Man’s native language!

    I know this has been done before, like in that one episode of ST:TNG when Riker was serving aboard a Klingon ship and the captain told everybody to speak his language. But using that episode as an example, even though it was one of the better episodes of season two it always struck me as pretty unrealistic. Why didn’t Riker have to learn Klingon? And the Klingons needed Riker to know what was going on in order for him to be useful; here they don’t need anything more from Spidey except for him to sit around immobilized until they shoot him.

    FW: Is my sense of humour deteriorating or was today’s punchline actually sort of clever?

    Luann: There aren’t any guidance counselors who are actually this condescending to students, are there? None of the ones I talked to when I was in school acted like this.

    RMMD: “Happy Otter”? HAHAHAHAHA!

    Well, at least they didn’t name the school chain after a certain other semiaquatic mammal often associated with both Canada and female sexy parts. That’s the sort of thing Jack Elrod might obliviously do, but not Woody Wilson.

    Speaking of Jack Elrod, we now have an answer to that age-old (give or take an age) question “How are the otters today?” Happy. The otters are happy. Mystery solved.


  9. Dennis Jimenez
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    Blondie – I love a strip that celebrate Santeri’a on Friday the 13th! And I love Blondies tits, too….

    GT – I’m assuming this all starts with some sort of Wicker MILF….

    H&J – I agree with the rating – H&J’s Soul Food earns two stools….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  10. Ratiocinator
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    Ignore the Luann one; that’s from yesterday.

  11. Chareth Cutestory
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp 1: I love the smell! I can never get it quite right when I recreate it at home. The mildewed couches and old tires I burn simply never smell the same. Its kinda like when I try to make Chinese food at home, just slightly off the mark.

    Gil Thorp 2: Is the link to everyone who’s ever gone to school here… a link to the eyeless nightmare spectres of students who died before graduation??? Cause now I am super into Gil Thorp!

  12. Dragon of Life
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:36 am [Reply]

    …did I miss the plotline in Gil Thorp where the population of Milford was replaced with aliens desperately trying to disguise themselves as human but just never quite managing to get it right? Or was that just the premise of the strip from day one?

  13. pugfuggly
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:38 am [Reply]

    GT Hey, is that William Baker (AKA spiderman supervillain the Sandman) in that last panel? Is he a Milford alumni?

  14. Flonatin of Bologna
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: “Then Google lobbied Congress to make paper letters illegal. The End.”

    Shoe: Smurf and Turf comes with mushrooms, not potatoes. Duh.

  15. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    Now that you mention it, Dag’s chicken mask does remind me of Horace Greenstein, scary owl lawyer.

  16. Downpuppy of mushroom
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:40 am [Reply]

    I don’t see any postive or negative comment in H&J. The guy ordered gumbo and got potato soup.

  17. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:40 am [Reply]

    JP – “So, they weren’t seen at the checkpoint to the North, so obviously they didn’t go that way. And the checkpoint to the South didn’t spot them, so it is impossible for them to have gone that way. So, having conclusively ruled out every possible direction they could travel, we must conclude that they are still sitting in a ditch by the side of the road waiting to be caught.

    Or, maybe Sophie’s understanding of the terrain, the local inhabitants, their politics, and the possibilities for off-road travel isn’t as well informed as that of the actual local inhabitants. Nah, impossible, I’m sure she read a book about it last night.

  18. nescio
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    Strange that none of the women in Blondie are as cock-hungry as the men and boys.

  19. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:42 am [Reply]

    Hi and Lois: Missing a few panels there. Have managed to recreate these from context.
    (Split into 4 parts.)
    [Part 1]
    Panel 1: “I sold a house!” “Let’s go out to dinner and celebrate.”

    Panel 1-1: “Who on earth can we get to babysit at this late notice?”
    Panels 1-2 to 1-12: “That’s OK, I understand, thanks anyway.”
    Panel 1-13: “Yes, we will pay you double. Thank you.” “We’ll have to get out quickly before she notices there’s a dog as well.”
    Panel 1-14: “Can we still afford to go out after paying the babysitter?” “Yes, the credit agencies don’t update their scores until tomorrow morning.”
    Panel 1-15: “Do restaurants still do this ‘reservations’ thing?” “Not the ones we can afford.”
    Panel 1-16: “Thanks-for-coming-so-quickly, the-kids-are-in-bed, help-yourself-to-anything-from-the-fridge, oh-and-there’s-a-dog-as-well, we-need-to-get-going, BYE!” “Is this how you sell those houses?”
    Panel 1-17: “Darn. Nearly out of gas.”
    Panel 1-18: “Are you sure this is the right way?”
    Panel 1-19: “You know, this tyre feels a bit flat.”
    Panel 1-20: “Yep. That’s flat.”
    [continued below]

  20. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    “Gentlemen, bend over” may be said to represent Brooke McEldowney’s entire theory of cartooning.

  21. Lily Sincere
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    Today is full of ambiguous whatnotall. Herb’s gumbo may or may not be good, I’m not sure if Kelly is agreeing that pre-season bonfires are hokey but she loves them or just plain hokey. As for Dagwood, who in the world pays God-knows-what to rent or buy a chicken costume for a free chicken sandwich? He’s not fucking terrifying, he’s a fucking moron.

  22. Liam
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:48 am [Reply]

    Spiderman-Unfortunately the guards don’t understand English and Condor has to repeat his orders making him look like a fool in front of Spiderman and Tarantula.

    Crankshaft-You should probably make them dig their own graves before you kill them. It’ll save you some effort.

    Gil Thorp-”I love the smell of burning cheerleader. It smells like anticipated victory.”

    MW-”Say, what ever did happen to the fat unpleasant woman who almost made you lose your job? I hope she finds someone to take care of her problem.”

    JP-”And that is the area my squad of Evil Cheerleaders shall strike.”

    Pluggers-Pluggers can’t afford belts.

  23. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    [Part 2]
    Panel 1-21: “The boot looked ‘cluttered’? Tidying? Well, how am I going to change the tyre without a jack? Can _you_ lift this for me? Should only take a few minutes.” “Let’s just call roadside assistance and not argue.”
    Panels 1-22 to 1-28: (Michael Haggins’ “Daybreak” plays.)

    Panel 1-29: “Thank you for coming so ‘quickly’.”
    Panel 1-30: “It’s nice to see a man who know his way around tools.” “Lois, I’m standing right here!”
    Panel 1-31: “So she says ‘I was tidying’. Can you believe that woman?” “Hi, I’m standing right here!”
    Panel 1-32: “Well folks, that should be it.” “Look at that, Hi, isn’t it nice to see a competent male for once?” “‘Competent’ or ‘half your age plus his oversized muscles nearly split his pants’?” “I’ll settle for either!” “Folks, I’m standing right here. And I’m not comfortable with being used as a pawn in a domestic dispute. Or having my appearance commented on by strangers who sexualise and objectify me in an inappropriate manner.”
    Panel 1-33: “… so basically your shoulders and core should be part of every workout. I don’t particularly work on ‘size’ for my upper body, it just turns out that way. Genetics I guess.” “Ooh, feel those pecs, Hi.” “Wow.” “Again ma’am, sir, I was talking about fitness and frankly you are making me feel uncomfortable. I’m just going to take off unless there’s some other problem you’d like me to fix. With the car. A problem with your car.”
    [continued below]

  24. Mibbitmaker
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    H&J: I’m positive you’re right, Josh.

    GT: Folded-armed guy: “I’ve ever gone to school here.” Pause. “Hey, parse THAT, Herb!”

    Blondie: This would only be funny if Dagwood exclusively clucked like a chicken the whole time he was there.

  25. Tom, the Sailor Man
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    I ain’t never had no problem with my pants.

  26. gleeb
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:57 am [Reply]

    I can picture a peculiar context in which “I ain’t got no money” could be interpreted to mean “I have some money”.

    At a counter, a man faces a moody bowl of gumbo. He bemoans his poverty. Being asked how he’s going to pay for the gumbo, he replies “I ain’t got no money,” implying that he has enough for a damn bowl of soup, just not enough to pay his rent, so he’ll be retiring to the heating grate out back after finishing his meal.

    Of course, the context is way too specific for Herb & Jamal, and the tone is more Winkerbean.

  27. Everything Is Better with Monkeys
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    Luann’s guidance counselor is a Plugger. Bernice, however, has already achieved the seventh level of apathy about the job, meaning she now merely needs to defeat the older woman in single combat and devour her still-beating heart. Then she can assume the role and await the continuing of the cycle.

  28. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    [Part 3]
    Panel 1-34: “Well, here’s the ‘restaurant’ you picked.”
    Panel 1-35 to 1-36: (Silence.)
    Panel 1-37: “Are we just going to sit here or would you like to see if it’s any better on the inside?”
    Panel 1-38: “Look, I’m sorry, OK? It’s been a long day.” “I’m sorry too. Shouldn’t have said those things.” “You wanna eat?” “Yeah.”

    Panel 1-39: “You folks ready to order?” “Just give us another moment, please.”
    Panel 1-40: “No, Hi, I’m not saying ‘divorce’, I’m saying ‘trial separation’.” “Fine. Is that what they call divorce these days?” “No, I’m not saying we split up permanently, just …” “Lois, would you stop saying ‘split’, all I can think of is that guys’ … pants.” “Me too, honey, me too. Man, those were some tight pants, and no VPL. More like a very VP, if you know what I mean!” “Sitting right here, Lois.”
    Panel 1-41: “So the _split_ … P … soup, or the porterhouse. Mm-mmm. Love that beef. How about a banana _split_? What do you think, Hi? If a whole one is too much for you to handle we could _split_ it?” “Lois, will you stop saying ‘split’!” “Oookay, I’ll give you guys another moment to decide.”
    [continued below]

  29. Dennis Jimenez
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    @Tom, the Sailor Man (#25): A Ziggy quote, right….

  30. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    Apt. 3-G: “So, be honest: how do you really feel?”
    “Honestly? I haven’t been the same since my face started melting a few weeks ago.”
    “I hear you. I’ve been trapped in a pink frock forever.”
    “Yeah, did it have to be pink?”
    “I know! Right?”

    “So…are you dtf?”
    “Oh, you know it. I need the d!”
    “Wait, aren’t you Cole?”
    “…I suppose I am. Does it matter?”
    [Reaches in purse, pulls out strap-on.] “Not really.”

    Mark Trail: LOCAL PLANT ISO LOCAL ANIMAL. Freaky is okay, so is tiny fists of justice, but must not be wolf, or into obscene piles of cash. I’ve got enough green for both of us, baby. Call me and maybe we’ll find symbiosis?


    Mary Worth: Pop quiz! Will the coming week be about: A. Mary helping Shannon find True Love, B. Shannon getting run over by a bus and/or eaten by a coyote, or C. Self-congratulatory platitudes?

    Extra credit: What are the residents of Charterstone doing while Mary’s gone, and why is it wheelbarrows full of coke?

  31. The Ben
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    So, just to be clear: the fact that Herb is confused by grammatically imperfect sentences being used at his inner-city Soul Food restaurant is a stone cold admission that this place never gets any customers, right?

  32. seismic-2
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    GT: Blondie’s comment in Panel 2 about anticipation and enthusiasm might be more persuasive if the guy standing behind her had been more nearly successful in stifling that gigantic yawn.

    H&J: Here’s an old joke, which may or may not have actually happened. Two experts on linguistics are discussing double negatives.
    First guy: “A double negative can in fact be used to express a positive. In fact, it’s not uncommon. [snicker, snicker] However, the converse is not true – a double positive can never be used to express a negative.”
    Second guy: [sarcasm] “Yeah, RIGHT!!!!” [/sarcasm]

    I suppose you had to be there.

  33. Bill Peschel
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:06 am [Reply]

    Negative concord is also common in pop music, as in the Justin Timberlake hit “Ain’t no doubt about it”:

    And there ain’t no doubt about it
    Girl, the way you move
    And there ain’t no doubt about it
    Hey girl, Baby you cool

    Justin Timberlake: Bringin’ negative concords back along with da sexy.

  34. Dennis Jimenez
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    I ain’t never bemoaned havin’ no pants, until I couldn’t stand to read none of them thar Ziggy strips. (Old Hootin’ Hollar Folk Wisdom Expression)….

  35. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:10 am [Reply]

    Negative Conchords would be a great name for an anti-folk-core band.

  36. Mark B.
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    To be precise, the statement “I ain’t never had no gumbo that taste[s] like that before” indicates that the speaker is unfamiliar with the flavor of the gumbo he is consuming. It doesn’t make a judgement that it’s good or bad. It might mean that he’s never had the Baton Rouge style gumbo that the serve at the Heart & Soul, which is spiced somewhat differently than New Orleans gumbo.

  37. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    [Part 4]
    Panel 1-42: “Actually the ‘trial separation’ is beginning to sound good.” “See, Hi, I told you it was a good idea. Now where did I put the breakdown service number.”
    Panel 1-43: “I should ask if he has a friend from the gym. Or a brother. Or both. Or maybe four guys. Wow, split four ways, now there’s a Saturday night!”
    Panel 1-44: “You know, Lois, custody doesn’t automatically go to the woman these days. I have a reliable, steady desk job. I’m sure they’d be interested in hearing about your long unpredictable hours. Would you be able to check up on the kids during the day if you had to? Oh, and how about that flask you keep in your glove compartment.” “You bastard. You wouldn’t! Would you?”
    Panel 1-45: “I do not have a drinking problem! That flask just happensd to be left there after we went camping! You know that!” “Well, Lois, ‘drinking on holidays’, ‘drinking socially’, ‘drinking to relax’, the judge might think you were _splitting_ hairs.”

    Panel 2: “Actually, it was a condo and we split the commission _four ways_.” “So are we splitting the check?”

  38. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    Heathcliff: is it legit for cloned animals to be ‘couples’?

    Phantom! the mob boss looks a wee bit like James Gandolfini today

    FW: god, this is miserable. Who could be looking forward to reading it?

    9CL: this ending would be okay, actually, if 1) it had ever been established the Smuckling Bros actually did something besides offend “Dr” Spocket for existing and 2) we hadn’t had to sit through the months of generally screwing around to get here

    Rex, MD: my *god*, the Canadians are taking over our child care system!!! hmm. That might be *progress*….

    JP: dunno how to let you down gently, Sophie, but just because the internet says something, doesn’t make it so

  39. word-doctor
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:16 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#8):

    Luann: He wasn’t condescending. But Mr. Olson could only help you if you wanted to join the Navy or attend St. Olaf.

  40. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:18 am [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#38): I think it’s great how the community accepts not only ‘non-human’ and ‘same-sex’ but also ‘identical-DNA’. So how’s the Westfinster Robot Rights movement doing?

  41. Bill Peschel
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#37): Kristian, that was brilliant. It sounded like something Garrison Keillor would write if he was tanked on the Communion wine. (That’s a compliment, really.)

  42. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:23 am [Reply]

    Love Is. . . .street-walking.

  43. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    GT: yup. I expected Josh to go there, and he did.

    mmmm, BBQ. . . . .

  44. Illustrator Steve
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:26 am [Reply]

    PLUGGERS – Oh-oh … if Nehemiah gets a chance to see today’s Pluggers I can see more of those creative problem with pants comments coming before this day is out!

  45. Marc
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft- This is such bullshit. It’s not like the mail has disappeared off the face of the earth. Have these girls never gotten a birthday card? Have their parents never mailed or received any kind of holiday card? If Batiuk expects us to believe that these kids are old enough to have fucking cell phones but no idea of the existence of the mail, he’s even more of a jag off than I thought.

  46. remmy
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    9CL: Consider that 10 years ago here Josh did some semi regular updates on this weird ass comic; for years now it has been bat shit crazy, and we get nary a peep about it, not even a “Sorry I haven’t been keeping you all up to date with the totally bizarre crap going on in 9 Chickweed Lane” (like he does with Gil Thorp). More than ever I am convinced that Josh got a C & D from Brooke and just doesn’t want to admit it.

  47. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    Hreb isn’t dumb, Josh; he’s just drawn that way.

  48. Mibbitmaker
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:32 am [Reply]

    9CL: However conservative Brooke’s politics may seem sometimes, he’s definately way to the left of Patrick McDonnell on “animal rights”.

    BBailey: At least they aren’t wearing chicken masks.

    FW: Funnier if Drawn Like During the ’70s, part infinity…

    H&L: “Let’s just split.”

    JP: “Wow, he’s on your computer thingy?! He must be really tiny now!”

    MW: “Thanks to you, Mary, I can talk in sickening hyperbole all the time! Bless you!”

  49. TheDiva
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    GT: Every time I look at panel one I hear Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” in my head.

    H&J: Herb must not listen to blues music for fear his brain might explode.

  50. Ratiocinator
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    @remmy (#46): I might think so too, if not for the fact that whenever Uncle Lumpy’s filled in for him we’ve gotten a 9CL post or two, which you’d think would violate any C&D since it still appears on this site. I’d say it’s more likely that Josh just doesn’t want to read it and post about it any more. If so then that’s really saying something, since the man reads motherfuckin’ Crock for us!

  51. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#9): Ha. I didn’t even realize it was Friday the 13th.

  52. Morgan Wick
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    @nescio (#6): COTW contender.

  53. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    @word-doctor (#39): My guidance counselor asked everybody the same thing: “Have you ever thought about the Coast Guard? It’s exciting, and if you get into the academy, they’ll pay for your college degree.” Everybody. I swear I am not making this up.

  54. Elk Meadow
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    RMMD My apologizes if anyone already posted this, but I’m sure this will be how Sarah Morgan will be when she is 12, only she’ll STILL be really, really annoying:

  55. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    @Bill Peschel (#41): Thank you kindly!

  56. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    @Tom, the Sailor Man (#25): I’m surprised. Don’t sailor pants have all those buttons in front?

  57. Chrissy the Stooges Woman :-)
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    @Izzy (#4):

    “Arrr … I be a chicken.” Nope, you’re good!

  58. Ratiocinator
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    @Morgan Wick (#52): Agreed! Give this entity a COTW! ;)

  59. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    I have never not been unable to appreciate the jokes here.

  60. Little Debbie
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    @Marc (#45):
    And after I got over having the same feeling as you about the idiocy of the premise, I remembered that Crankshaft is supposed to be about 10 years in the past, so how did this kid have a smart phone to Google anything in 2003? Am I missing something?

  61. Joshua
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    I thought Crankshaft regularly hit mailboxes with his bus, or am I wrong about that? If he does, then even the young characters in his strip ought to know about mail anyway.

  62. Illustrator Steve
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    MT – “Things change, Mark!”

    “Speak for yourself, senator. Things never change for me! Why, just take a look at this coffee colored suit and matching tie … I got this suit and tie when I was just a young fists-o-justice fellow in 1946 and it still fits me today! And just because it’s completely covered with coffee stains doesn’t mean I have to change it or its color corordinated coffee stained tie! …and take a close look at my undershorts, senator, I haven’t changed these under…”

    “STOP, Trail! Would you at least agree to CHANGE the subject?!”

  63. KreatureFeatures
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Stay in school, kids, and someday you’ll have a dignified job, unlike Shannon, who’s making 8 bucks an hour running half-assed yoga classes and amateur therapy sessions.

    Mark Trail: As the unspeakably dull conversation drags on, Mark’s knuckles hear, as if in a dream, the whisper of the senator’s mustache: “Punch me, Mark. I’m like a soft, bristly bulls-eye.”

    Gil Thorp: Is that a bolt protruding from that 9-foot-tall kid’s neck? Apparently the fire has awoken Frankenstein’s monster.

    Family Circus: Sadly, once Billy won the “outgrow my shirt” contest, he could not remove his shirt over his giant macrocephalic head. So the shirt remained until it was sufficiently tattered to be ripped off, Hulk-style.

    Shoe: Those poor Smurfs, once movie stars, now all butchered and cooked.

  64. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Wordless: What madness is this? I get the overall ‘Tooth Fairy’ motif, but the details …
    … a tooth chiselled out of … marble I guess? …
    … laid under the pillow by a _bird_. Who does not have teeth …
    … and the tooth fairy is also provided with an offering of milk and cookies.

    Seems to be missing something. Try cramming in all of the following:
    * “Today you are a man”
    * “Happy Administrative Professionals day”
    * “have a good hajj”
    * and some Diwali playing cards.

  65. Not Worth It
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    ASM: If you want true lingustic confusion, go no farther than the first panel here. “I will speak in English, so that dummy here can follow! Never mind that my guards and I were speaking English among ourselves yesterday, or that you can obviously tell I’m speaking English so announcing the fact is kinda pointless, or that what I have to say – that I accept your surrender, fortheloveofGod – doesn’t convey any useful information and isn’t even traditional bad-guy taunting, or that now my Spanish-speaking myrmidons can’t understand my orders. To English! The language everybody really thinks in anyway, even though they pretend to speak foreign gibberish!”

  66. Johnny LT
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Typical chickens, expecting special rights. First this, next they’ll expect to be able to get married.

  67. Tom, the Sailor Man
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#56):

    I’m surprised. Don’t sailor pants have all those buttons in front?

    THAT’S the problem!

  68. Tom, the Sailor Man
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    MT – “Things change, Mark!” “Why, just the other day I heard you actually took Rusty fishing!”

  69. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:53 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#48): re: 9CL – I don’t think animal rights mean anything to Mc E other than a new way to go through his usual “Genius & Beauty Surrounded by Coarse, Stupid and Mocking People” trope

  70. TheDiva
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    9CL: Does this mean it’s almost over? Finally? Please?

    C’shaft: Divaling Two is less than two years old and he knows what mail is. Either these kids are too stupid to be out without adult supervision, or Batiuk is.

    FW: If it hadn’t been for the two solid weeks of “Boy our football team sure does suck, doesn’t it?” that preceded it, this strip might have been mildly amusing.

    MT: So this is how it’s going to go, huh? “Save the forest!” “No!” “Think of the animals and trees!” “No!” *PUNCH* “Okay, you talked me into it.”

    MW: The praises of the faithful are sweeter than incense to Mary.

    Pibgorn: “No seriously, I have no idea who you’re talking about since the girl you’re pointing to is standing by herself and therefore is not ‘enriching the hand’ of yonder knight or anybody else . It’s like you have no fucking clue what the words coming out of your mouth actually mean.”

    (Also, I suspect McEldowney is trying to make Romeo’s feelings look a little more grounded and less like sudden hormonal infatuation, which is not only not working but also arguably misses the entire point.)

    SM: Oh, just hit him with the butt of your rifle or a brick or something. Much easier.

  71. Odie Odo
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#y252): Gil: Obviously, Gil is watching “Safety Last!” with Harold Lloyd. At least he’s starting off with the best…

    Don’t you get it? Nobody here wants to talk about “Gil” or Harold Freakin’ Lloyd. No,
    it’s much more important that we continue to post rants every day about Brooke McEldowney, Mary Worth’s meddling or Tiffany Farrell’s virtue (or lack thereof).

    Excuse me… I have to go write my COTW now (possibly about Brooke McEldowney, Mary’s meddling and/or Tiffany’s questionable morals).

  72. remmy
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#50): Your answer does have some merit. It could also be that Unc Lumpy may – at that moment – forget (or not been told) about a 9CL C&D and do a posting while Josh is on vacation, only to come back and do a face-palm when he has seen it.

    I also remember seeing a post from Josh within the posts ( I think) where he explained that he doesn’t comment on 9CL often because he doesn’t hate it like the rest of us do. Considering that we got some healthy postings from Josh on 9CL early on… again, this doesn’t ring true.

    Look at any day where Brooke has gone COMPLETELY off the deep end and the comments here will be 1/4 about 9CL, but there will not be anything about it above in the main. Very mysterious.

  73. Pozzo
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    Judging from the counterman’s reaction, I would award Dagwood the Pullet Surprise.

    I’ll be here all week.

  74. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    @Marc (#45): I had a 22-year old student intern who did not know where to put the address and stamp on an envelope. It could be that she had never gotten mail, or it could be that she was just stupid.

  75. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    @Joshua (#61): As far as the kids are concerned, those are roadside birdhouses.

  76. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    @remmy (#46): “Josh got a C & D from Brooke…” Is that what they’re calling it these days?

  77. lynn
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#76): It’s a ‘cease and desist’. I know all about those.

  78. Jack
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    That Herb and Jamal thing is very timely. I’ve been walking around for days saying to myself ” Hey, this ole dime ain’t no good noway, it’s got a picture of DAVE BARBOUR on it!” That’s Merle Travis, Too Much Sugar for a Dime, with Judy Haynes, look it up on Youtube.

  79. CanuckDownSouth
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    JP: Not only is it impossible to travel by any means other than google-mappable roads, there is no way at all that local checkpoint guards could be part of the kidnapping schemes or at least bribeable!

    @Ratiocinator (#8): re:STTNG – wait, what? The show had a frickin’ universal translator built into the technobabble. It’s even portable – in everyone’s ear. They used it to explain talking to previously-unknown species, but not to bridge a local language divide??

  80. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#78): I think, for that episode, it was because they occasionally had the Klingons exchanging a few words in Klingon with one another. You can imagine they might not want Riker wearing a translator, since the Klingons are not exactly trusting souls.
    //I am NOT a nerd, no I am NOT …

  81. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    OBH: I like the way Ruthie’s zinger literally raises Joe from the dead.

  82. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#79): (STTNG universal translator) Darmok. One of my favourite episodes. And one that makes no sense.

  83. Cloudbuster
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    Luann: Are there schools still maintaining voluminous student records on dead trees?

  84. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#80): of course you’re not a nerd. you’re just well-informed on things not everybody else is

    I read a couple of Kinky Friedman’s mystery novels a while back. He quoted his dad as saying, “there is no such thing as trivia”. Always liked that….

  85. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    @Jack (#78): I’ve been walking around for days…

    I’d walk a mile for a Jamaal!

  86. Cloudbuster
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    Pibgorn: Translation: “Dude, that 13-year-old girl over there is smokin’!” I know these are Shakespeare’s words, and in period terms it was fine, but when you redo it in 1920s garb and prominently feature a week of the girl in question clutching her Teddy Bear, it gets creepy. I don’t know why it wasn’t creepy with Leonardo DiCaprio (21) and Claire Danes (16), maybe it just wasn’t played that way — she wasn’t presented as childish.

  87. Justin T.
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:25 am [Reply]

    It’s clear in the first panel of the Gil Thorp strip that the young girl is wearing a mask (see that line going down the side of her “face”?) Thusly, it can be safely assumed this is the nefarious she-demon that requires the annual sacrifice to ensure the football team is … okay … at best?

  88. Jerry Fox, from Cleveland
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    @remmy (#46): I think the answer is more readily that Josh doesn’t find much funny to say about Brooke’s stuff. It is a little like trying to laugh at a rape fantasy some days.

  89. Congo Bill Bailey
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:30 am [Reply]

    @Mr. Yezpitelok (#85): I think you should’ve saved that particular pun for Hump Day.

  90. CanuckDownSouth
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#82): Oh, I remember the Darmok episode. I think they were *trying* to show a logical limitation of the UT, but it contradicted how the UT was supposed to pick up on how information connected in the language, which would have rendered the idioms into something a bit more comprehensible. It’s also best not to think about the one where they’re caught in a time loop, realize it, and these brightest-of-the-bunch officers on the Federation flagship decide to go forward exactly as they would have if they didn’t know about the loop rather than sit still and break the pattern…

    … or in other words, it’s not just *comics* that have serious logic problems :^) Right. More on topic:

    Luann presents the skillionth Facebook joke of the year and shows Bernice to be desperately naive about counselling, if she thinks people usually present an accurate picture of their lives and problems on FB. She is a step ahead of Shannon and Mary Worth though, as these so-called advice-givers barely comprehend that others *have* problems, since they make another’s emotional issue All About Them (when is this preen-fest going to end?)

  91. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#74): I once came across a couple of ‘kids’ working in a hardware store who had now idea what an awl was.

  92. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:34 am [Reply]

  93. Sequitur
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Today’s Garfield has a problem with pants.

  94. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#93): Eighties Garfield wouldn’t have been able to wear those. Looks like the extrapolations are correct.

  95. Droopy Says
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#8): re: Riker on the Klingon ship, and everyone speaking English for his convenience. I thought he was lucky the whole crew spoke fluent English, which for some reason was the same language all humans spoke fluently. What if some of the Klingons had studied Russian? Or got a D+ in English and hadn’t found work on Star Trek: Enterprise?

  96. Voshkod
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    The massive stoic figure loomed behind the girls, the light from the bonfire casting sharp shadows on his craggy face. They had lit the fire, and he had come. These girls understood, the fire was “the link to everyone who’s ever gone to school here.” And they were all gathering in the darkness behind him, everyone who had ever gone to school at Milford, dead of war, disease, suicide, or just old age. Soon the girls would realize it, too; no one who had gone to Milford ever left. They just lurked in the shadows and quiet places, waiting for that one night a year the great fire would be lit and they could, for a moment, feel warm again.

  97. Illustrator Steve
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#56): “Don’t sailor pants have all those buttons in front?”

    13 buttons … one for each of the first thirteen North American colonys. Hell of a thing to deal with when you’ve got to go!

    // Just ask that old salt of the sea, Nehemiah Scudder. He wore that same uniform, eh, Nehemiah?
    ///As for me, while protecting my country I prefered wearing the official US Navy Seafarer bell bottom jeans that had a zipper.
    And, for practical reasons, would usually not wear my 13 buttoned Navy dress blue/black wool uniform pants while on a date!
    Those old wool 13 button pants must have shrunk ’cause they sure as hell don’t fit me any more!

    // My heavy wool Navy peacoat had lots of buttons too! …I still have that Navy peacoat … but, unlike myself, is now missing a few buttons.

  98. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    Aargh, why why why did I let myself get suckered into checking out Pibgorn? Are those supposed to be hands in the last ‘panel’? Is he getting ready to de-skirt her, or what?
    //no, please don’t tell me.

  99. Droopy Says
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#91): Kids these days just don’t give a huut.

  100. Vulpius
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:43 am [Reply]

  101. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#86): DiCaprio at 21 looked younger than Danes at 16. I remember seeing a magazine purporting to have nude pix of DiCaprio, back when Titanic came out, and I said, “I’d feel like a pedophile”.

  102. Holly Folly
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    Dagwood: The day the chickens took over.

  103. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#97): I used to wear my dad’s old WWII Navy pants with that buttoned front panel for Halloween as a kid but as an innocent child of 11 or 12, I had no idea about men’s apparatus and necessities.

  104. I speak Jive
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#74): Seriously, don’t they teach that in grade school any more?

    Judge Parker – Sophie is exhibiting another one of my pet peeves, one that overlaps with real life. Her sleeves. The cuff is covering most of her hand. It was more blatant earlier in the week, but it’s there today. Roll up your damned sleeves already! (This is equal to hair strands over the face in my opinion. I can’t stand it.)

  105. Droopy Says
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#90): I thought their funniest technobabble error was the “Die Hard” rip-off, where they had to degauss the ship’s hull remove the baryons from the ship. I thought the Enterprise would have looked strange minus the neutrons and protons in its atoms.

    (Maybe I’m mistaken and they were removing barryons after a horrific experience in the Manilow sector. Trek’s background was unclear at times.)

    September 13th, 2013 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    DAG-Movie idea… Gulp Fiction …Scene One- Dagwood and Blondie enter local sandwich shoppe carrying brown grocery bags containing chicken masks…. Dagwood: “All right, everybody be cool, this is a robbery!” Blondie: “Any of you effing pricks move, and I’ll execute every mothereffing last one of ya!”
    The script practically writes itself.

  107. Sequitur
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#106):

    “Effing.” Will that word be in a Jumble clue?

  108. KenM
    September 13th, 2013 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    Also, Herb and Jamaal are black (right?). Negative concord is one of the more notable features of AAVE…

  109. Sequitur
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#94):

    That 2040 Garfield will need pants to cover up his balls.

    No, wait. That’s his chin.

  110. Ratiocinator
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#79): You’re right. I can’t believe I never thought of that, since I did know about the universal translator.

    It’s possible that the writers hadn’t thought to mention it and make it a part of canon at that point since it was so early in the series.

    @Lumaca Morente (#80): The weird thing is that whenever somebody wants to say a word in their native language, the translator conveniently doesn’t translate it. I think that translator was a good idea since it’s much easier to believe they invented a machine which translates everything into English (or whatever you speak) than it is to believe that everybody in the universe is an omniglot, but that always puzzled me.

    @Kristian (#82): Kind of a dick move on those aliens’ part, I always thought. “We’re sick of not being able to communicate so we’re going to kidnap your captain and strand him on this planet with our captain! And there’s a monster down there which could kill both of them! We’re doing this because we have this legend where two guys were stranded together and worked together to fight a monster and became friends afterwards, and we have no reason to think that this won’t work out just as well!”

    @Sequitur (#93): *snrk!*

  111. terrapin
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    A3G: “The doctor want’s me to try something new. Though I don’t see how having three rectal exams a day is going to help my depression.”

    FW: Maybe the football team would be better if the faculty would be a little more respectful. A little confidence could go a long way. Where’s the love, lady?

  112. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#107): I know; the language here is getting terrible, isn’t it? Maybe we need some 18th century linguistic norms.
    //lookin’ at YOU, pasdordan.

  113. Ratiocinator
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#95): Yes, that was very fortunate. ;) Although to be fair, the captain says “Speak their language” without specifying which one it is. The official language of Earth could be Portuguese for all we know.

  114. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#96): *golf clap*

    well DONE, sir.

  115. Joe Blevins
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    H&J: So a patron gives Herb a friendly, colloquial compliment on the quality of the food, and Herb’s reaction is to say, “Uh.. OK.” before backing away slowly and panicking in the back room while peeking nervously over his shoulder at the man. This makes Heart & Soul the opposite of the Olive Garden. When you’re here, you’re treated like an untrustworthy and possibly dangerous stranger.

  116. Sequitur
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#112):

    There was a period of time a few years ago where salty language on this blog was used much more then it is today.

    Maybe Cuss Skunk got it out of our system.

  117. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#99): but sometimes, they do give a Hutt.

  118. Jesse C
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    And the link to everyone who has ever gone to school here.

    Including this creepy 30-something who is looking for his next date rape victim.

  119. bats :[
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    In case you were missing our favorite space alien moppet (or, if you have a strip named for a particular character…make sure that that particular character shows up occasionally. Sheesh.)

    Oh, and no noticeable improvement on

  120. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    @Odie Odo (#71): The young, hip crowd here only wants to discuss young, hip strips… like Mark Trail or Funky Winkerbean.

  121. Anonymous
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail, a day late and a dollar short.

  122. Mr K Martin
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    BRUTAL BAILEY: Sarge thought it was funny at first until he took one of the bitches home, only to awake the next morning to discover her gone and “You’ve got parvo” written on the bathroom mirror in toothpaste.

    BLONDIE: Dag, you got punked. Elmo’s laughin’ at you.

  123. But What Do I Know?
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    GT: Is The Bonfire Milford’s version of The Lottery?

  124. Ben Wasabi
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    @Odie Odo (#71): I’m writing my COTW on why Fritzi Ritz is still a virgin after 91 years.

  125. casino LF
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    9CL: Wouldn’t a more effective solution have been to stop the Smuckling brothers from beating the cows and try to show them a more humane and easier way to get the cow to move? Christ.

    JP v. RMMD: Who do you hate more, Widdle Sawah, or Precocious Sophie? Show your work.

  126. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    @Ben Wasabi (#124):

    Fritzi isn’t a virgin. Or she wouldn’t be stuck raising her “niece” Nancy!

  127. Joe Blevins
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    BLONDIE: So they all bought incredibly detailed $40 chicken masks on the off chance they’d be given a sandwich worth $1.75. This is how the debt crisis happened, people! It was chicken masks the whole time.

  128. bats :[
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#121): hahahahahahaha!

  129. Bootsy
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    I stopped reading Pibgorn a long time ago, but recent comments remind me of a Romeo and Juliette parody where Juliette has a Sassy Best Friend. He comes upon her as she is standing over Romeo’s body about to off herself. He persuades her not to by telling her “You’re 14 and you took a roofie from a priest. Look at your decisions. You’re not making good decisions”.

  130. DownInTheValley
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    GT: “I love the pre-season bonfire, Kelly, in spite of the fact the heat is making our hair dye run down our faces.”

  131. bats :[
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    @casino LF (#125): re 9CL: and THEN what would have to have read for the next seven months? Hmmmm?

  132. Winky's Spleen
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    I’ll level with y’all: One of the things that’s brought me back here after a prolonged period of being distracted by non-comics-related things is seeing the current 9CL, wondering wtf, and wanting to see what y’all could make of it. I see it’s not making any more sense to anyone else.

  133. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#112): Who, me? What did I ever do?

  134. odinthor
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    #83. Cloudbuster.

    Luann: Are there schools still maintaining voluminous student records on dead trees?

    [Turns head slightly to look at file cabinet beside desk. Sighs. Begins to type.] Why, yes. Yes, there are.

  135. Victory Garden
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Thorax is about to sodomize the Beverly Hillbillies with a baseball bat.

    Sentences I never thought I’d type for $100, please, Alex.

  136. Shrug -- Who Doesn't Know, Dick?
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#y269):

    ” “There was a clever and rational explanation for this Moon-Maid reincarnation jive, but Dr. Ghote took the secret to his grave, so you’ll just have to trust us that his makes sense!” ”

    It was truly wonderful, but unfortunately the margin of this comic strip was too narrow to contain it.

    ////I say it’s crap and I say the hell with it — Fewmets’ Last Theorem

  137. Anonymous
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#131): Nothing – and that in itself is the beauty of it.

  138. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    @Voshkod (#96): *shivers*

  139. Mr K Martin
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    BLONDIE: That “Eet Mor Chickin” cow is having second thoughts.

  140. Sequitur
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    It seems we may now have EVILSCARYCHICKENMASKS!

    Thanks, Josh.

  141. Bootsy
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    H & J: I’m pretty sure I’ve had gumbo where that was indeed my reaction, though not phrased as colloquially as this customer. “Is that nutria? I’ve never had a gumbo that tasted like this!” I then find a way to decline any more. Life is way too short to waste on bad gumbo, especially if the cook wasted perfectly good oysters by overcooking them.

    Best oyster: perfectly chilled, shucked while I watch, then slid with a dozen of his comrades in the shell across a marble bar to land in front of me and my glass of sauvignon blanc.

    Gads! I’m hungry.

  142. Amos Snarkadder
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#49):

    Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”


  143. Amos Snarkadder
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    @Joshua (#61): YES! Thank you!

  144. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    @Victory Garden (#135): You forgot the *in Sean Connery’s voice* after that.

  145. Not Just any Dipstick
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#133): “that was worth lovin you, or the kindness..” oh, sorry slipped into country mode there…

  146. Hibbleton
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    MT: Things change, sigh. I suppose it was inevitable that TRMT would take the strip in a new direction. Still, Marky T. Dog and his side kick Ice Rusty T., urban street fighters, just ain’t the same. Kelly ‘Illee’ Welly as a crack whore is a nice touch, though.

  147. Typical Chicken
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    @Johnny LT (#66):

    But I have to get married — I’ve already been laid!

  148. Amos Snarkadder
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#119): When I try to go to Flickr all I get is a large picture of a wooden panda and some kid pulling it.
    8 am – what time zone? what day?

  149. casino LF
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#131): Anything, anything but this :(

  150. Amos Snarkadder
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    FC “I bet I can outgrow my new shirt before you can outgrow yours.”
    Ahem… I think the contest is already over, and it’s a tie, Butterball.

  151. Illustrator Steve
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#103): I used to wear my dad’s old WWII Navy pants with that buttoned front for Halloween.

    Those would have been the same as my Dad’s WW11 13 button sailor pants he would have worn before he made Chief. They also had tie-up laces on the back for some reason. (I don’t remember mine having the laces on the back). I guess the laces were used to help hold them snug so they wouldn’t have problems with their pants. That, or to use for tying Rusty Trail up with if he were caught snooping around the ship with his big camera lens.

  152. Cloudbuster
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    @odinthor (#134): Aww. My sympathies.

  153. Marc
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    Funky- Is it still considered “serious art” if you repeat the same half ass jokes every day for two weeks straight?

  154. un malpaso
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    Josh: Word up on the negative concord! Also, you’re right… three negatives make a negative, just like three rights make a left :)

    What else could he be thinking except…

    furry sex with the Pluggers hen-lady?

    Or… is that just me (and every single other reader of this blog, amirite?????)?

    (Also, is it technically furry sex if one of the participants is actually an animal? What if that animal is in a DIFFERENT animal costume? What about sex between two Plugger species, non-human, but they are both WEARING HUMAN COSTUMES??? Would that be called NON-furry? Or… skinny?)

    These are important kinks (HAR!) that need to be ironed out.

  155. Froggy
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    So that’s supposed to be Chaucer sitting at the counter, eating gumbo? I never would have guessed.

  156. seismic-2
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#82): actually, Darmok is usually the best way to make sesnse of Gil Thorp.

    Gil and the students at the bonfire.
    Tip Nunn, when the cheerleader flashed.
    John Pascoe, with arms folded.
    Marty Moon, his flask emptied.
    The season opener, when the Playdowns collapsed.

  157. billman
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#119):

    Read today’s xkcd for a comment on Flickr, not certain it’s specific to the most recent updates or not.

  158. gleeb
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    @Winky’s Spleen (#132): Sorry, but it’s all about Norm Feuti’s Gil now.

  159. Baka Gaijin
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    SPECIAL TO JOSH: You know what’s really fucking terrifying? BOZO TOXIN! EEEEE!!!! [QLUNQ!]

  160. Bill
    September 13th, 2013 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    Herb and Jamaal, 9/13/13 “heared”?!

  161. Amos Snarkadder
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#119): At last, Flickr is back. I have to have my daily bats :[ !

  162. Joe Blevins
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    Click on my name up there to see my minimalist take on today’s Blondie.

  163. Old Folkie
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#119): If they hired you to write this strip, I would pay to read it!

  164. Josh
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @remmy (#46): Sorry to disappoint, but it’s actually “Josh doesn’t even enjoy hate-reading 9 Chickweed Lane anymore and certainly can’t be bothered to write about it.” You can get your fix when Uncle Lumpy guest-hosts, though!


  165. Rusty
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    @remmy (#72): My understanding is that Josh only comments on strips that appear in his local daily paper, out of Baltimore. Maybe 9CL was mercifully dropped from it in one of the frequent downsizings entertainment sections get over the years. Uncle Lumpy may have no such self-restrictions.

  166. Rusty
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#164): This works, too.

  167. bbofun
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    As @TheDiva (#70) mentioned, the only way Romeo’s line makes sense is if Juliet and Paris are actually touching. Instead, she’s several feet away, hiding from him. Also, he’s suppose to be asking the question of a servant, but Brooke’s eliminated them from the play (of course, their function at this point was to act as Shakeaprerean clowns, so so cutting their lines is, for the most part , a mercy). And his next line is the “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright” speech, one of the loveliest in the play, and a great evocation of infatuation. It’s clearly not spoken to Juliet directly, which appears to be where he’s going with this- unless he’s cutting it, or moving it to another place in the play. It’s also meant to be at least partially overheard by Tybalt, who recognizes that Romeo is a Montague by his voice. Of course, why should Brooke follow the play- he’s obviously far more talented than Shakespeare. (Will not let my head asplode, will not let my head asplode, will not let my head asplode!)

    9CL- Oh, what the fuck [HEAD ASPLODES]

  168. Cloudbuster
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#107): So I’m guessing ineffable means a someone you wouldn’t eff?

  169. Liam
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    H & J-”Gumbo? But there is no gumbo on the menu. This place doesn’t even serve gumbo.”

  170. Dale
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#74):

    It seems obvious that the address should be on the outside.
    The stamp goes inside so it won’t get stolen.

  171. Winky's Spleen
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#168): I thought it meant they wouldn’t eff you.

  172. Dale
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @Kristian (#91):

    Did it help when you said, “An awl is kinda like, you know, like an ice pick.”?

  173. Sequitur
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#168):

    Sounds like a word to me.

    There is also “noneffable” as someone you cannot eff.

  174. Majicou
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    Fuck Brooke McEldowney sideways with that baseball bat, his drawing table, and his pens and pencils, if you can get his head out of the way. I can’t enjoy hate-reading the fetid, runny shit he calls a comic strip anymore, either. He is an oozing sore on the taint of the entire medium.

  175. greghousesgf
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#101): I agree with Dan Savage, who said, “I don’t find Leonardo diCaprio attractive at all, to me he looks like a really tall fetus.”

  176. Liam
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey-Dog today is a euphemism for gay.

    Blondie-”Empty out the register now!”

    Dustin-Later that night Dustin found himself out on the street.

    Hi and Lois-Hi, you are paying for the entire meal.

    MT-”But think about this, Mark. Rusty will no longer bug you to take him fishing.”

  177. S. Stout
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Schoo @odinthor (#134):

    It’s probably better that way, considering school databases are notoriously easy to hack into. Also, I think Evans had Facebook described to him once long ago because profiles are mostly locked down now.

  178. Perky Bird
    September 13th, 2013 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    Herb and Jamaal: The customer has never tasted anything like Herb’s gumbo before because most chefs know that gumbo doesn’t actually contain gum.

  179. Sequitur
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @Perky Bird (#178):

    …gumbo doesn’t actually contain gum.

    But it has plenty of bo.

  180. Amos Snarkadder
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    And on another note, did you ever wonder what sleeping bats look like when upside down? No? It seems like something Count Weirdly would do.
    Upside down bats

  181. tallyHO
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    That’s it! [/Charlie Brown to Lucy, literally flipping her out]

    The Blog Headline is a play on that Pink Floyd song, isn’t it?
    The song goes something like:

    “We don’t need no education…
    All we have to know is that Bricks live in the wall”

    //i hate Pink Floyd music; respect the band enough; was okay with the earliest stuff with the cuckoo lead singer from their 1960s period; bad memories of being forced to listen to those songs and albums. That and people who could play Zeppelin songs sadden me from their perch in my memories. They are so stuck off in a corner.

    Anyway, funny reference, Josh!

  182. tallyHO
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#181):

    I should clarify.

    By “people who could play Zeppelin songs” I mean could and would play along on guitar to show they were able to play like Jimmy Page. Bravo, gents! Toot Toot! Hoot Mon! Now play something of your own……

  183. comcis fan
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:15 pm [Reply]

    GT: Is that a bonfire log under your panel three dialogue or are you just happy to see me?

  184. tallyHO
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:20 pm [Reply]


    Oo La La. A trendy eatery which only serve leftovers. It would surprise me if Heath and his squeeze get a table on the roof where they ascend via a jetpack bench built for two and they will dine on their romantic dinner of Fish Skeletons and Chicken Bones

  185. Peanut Gallery
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    “Negative Concord” is an annual punk rock festival held in the New Hampshire state capital. Or so I heared.

  186. tallyHO
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth:

    snf snf! I’m starting to smell something fishy and it ain’t Ziggy’s wet noodle or his dripping noggin!

    I think there was some payola going on with this Yoga teaching Shannon Lady.

    It would surprise me if Mary got paid by her to help stage this display to make Shannon seem like an invaluable asset to the Pax Ranchos Cuervos Camp for the Sweltering.

    Shannon feared being laid off and she heard about Little Miss Ass’t Cake Decorator and lured her to the spa.

    Now I hope the Administration has the goods on Shannon and she gets fired anyway.

  187. kanomi
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    I think the Milford fire serves to burn off all storylines and minor characters who did not survive the pagan new year, so embrace it.

  188. bats :[
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    @Bootsy (#141): note to self: give Bootsy all raw oysters that ever enter my life.

    @Amos Snarkadder (#148): I’ll try it again. If it still doesn’t come up, click my name to my website.
    What? has issues?
    Oh, it’s fixed. Like a male pitbull.

  189. the REAL Mark Trail
    September 13th, 2013 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    some time ago, I posted a comment here about a Mark Trail Sunday page I was working showing Mark’s wife, Cherry in a two-piece. Comic bloggers show a desire to see a more conventional relationship between Mark and Cherry, so, I thought a page with the 2 of them on vacation… say, at the beach would be a good idea. Sadly, the panel showing Cherry in a 2-piece will not make it onto the page and an alternate panel was done… so, I figured I’d post it in my group on Facebook.

    I hope someday to “recycle” this shot of Cherry into another beach related page… we’ll see… I hope you all enjoy!

  190. Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm
    September 13th, 2013 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#188): Thanks! Flickr seems to be back, so I thought I’d add a little something.

    Not only does Sophie have access to all that Driver-Spencer wealth, she’s also quite a brain trust.

    All together, that brain power and technology, gizmos, and gadgets, too!

  191. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#151): Yes, my dad’s had laces. I forgot about that.

  192. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    @Dale (#170): Ah. A stripling youth, I perceive.

  193. Alison
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    “Mary Worth”: Shannon and Mary are going to have to work much harder than this to top massive patting-yourself-on-the-back arc from the Emily From Goleta storyline. It will take much strength and determination, but maybe, if they dream big enough, they can achieve it. Does anybody have a plate of salmon squares for them to munch on while they try to break this record?

    “Luann”: “Here, Bernice. This is where you go if you want private and confidential dirt on another student.” Oh, that’s a good idea, “Counslur”. I’m sure Bernice could never be talked into, say, stealing Tiffany’s file so Luann could use it against her.

  194. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#180): Where did you get pictures of an upside-down bats:[ ?
    //let sleeping bats lie – er, hang.

  195. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    @Alison (#193): Yes, I smell a plot arc coming.

  196. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    @the REAL Mark Trail (#189): Wow. That’s some cheesecake. Please, consider Mr. Elrod’s blood pressure.

  197. Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#194): Upside-down upside-down bats.
    I saw it posted on Facebook, then tried to follow the links back to the original site, but wound up just googling something like “upside down bats turn up.”

  198. Der Schnärkïnätör mit Ümläütën!
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    @the REAL Mark Trail (#189):

    Is there anyway for those of us not on FB to see it somewhere else?

  199. Bootsy
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    @the REAL Mark Trail (#189):

    It wants me to have a facebook account to see it. Sorry, TRMT, not even for you.

  200. Lumaca Morente
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm (#197): He searched on genus Chiroptera/googled mighty Chiroptera/googled for them upside downside/googled them turned rightside upside/did the mighty Amos Snarkadder.

  201. Anonymous
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    @Bootsy (#199): You’re not missing anything. She isn’t even really wearing a two-piece. Mark has the top and is running down the beach swinging it over his head. The cocoanut crab is nice, though, on a nice bed of rice next to the cocoanut shrimp. Definitely not worth joining Facebook for.

  202. TheDiva
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    @bbofun (#167): I really didn’t expect much from the Romeo and Juliet exercise, but I did expect that McEldowney, who fetishizes language more than he fetishizes, well, everything else, would be able to provide a reasonably accurate visualization of Shakespeare’s text. Serves me right for setting the bar so high, I guess.

  203. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @Illustrator Steve (#44): @Illustrator Steve (#97): Those old wool 13 button pants must have shrunk ’cause they sure as hell don’t fit me any more!

    So, um, Steve. Are you trying to tell us you have a problem with your pants?

    // Don’t feel too bad. I have a box in my attic filled with Old Navy clothes that seem to have developed a Gap when I try to button them. I put it down to muscular development.

  204. Marthas Rolling Pin
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @kanomi (#187): Does explain what happened to the Thorp kids.

  205. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#156): Hmm. An interesting format. (Miamoto Musashi) I must study this deeply.

  206. Kristian
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    @Dale (#172): Like, kinda, yeah.

  207. Écureuil Écumant
    September 13th, 2013 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    @Odie Odo (#71): “Don’t you get it? Nobody here wants to talk about “Gil” or Harold Freakin’ Lloyd.”

    I was gonna, I swear it. But then I got sidetracked on YouTube looking at the Texas A&M homecoming bonfire collapse and became lost in a sweet, sweet reverie.

  208. Greg Kuhn
    September 13th, 2013 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Blondie drops a Breaking Bad reference!!!!!

  209. Alison
    September 13th, 2013 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#195):
    The saddest part is, even if Bernice stole the file and Luann leaked Tiffany’s personal information all over the school, it would all somehow end up as Tiffany’s fault. The principal would probably say Tiff was being too sensitive about the situation, or some garbage like that.

  210. Shrug, the Faceless Bookie
    September 13th, 2013 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    @Bootsy (#199):

    What Bootsy said.

  211. bats :[
    September 13th, 2013 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#194): oh, no. No no no no no no. Not me. You’d have to be blind as a…well, anyway, those are all male bats. No kidding. Big ‘uns.

  212. Winky\'s Spleen
    September 13th, 2013 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#192): *sigh* I never stripled when I was a youth…

  213. the REAL Mark Trail
    September 13th, 2013 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#196): THANK YOU!

    @Der Schnärkïnätör mit Ümläütën! (#198): maybe some of the bloggers here that have their own blog sites can “save” the image, then paste it up … I’m not really sure… perhaps Josh can grab it and post it here?

    @Bootsy (#199): Josh has a FB account… hey, Josh… you listening? :)

  214. Anonymous
    September 13th, 2013 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#164): But your supposed to read the comics so we don’t have to – it’s your slogan. It’s on billboards and signs and busses all around Baltimore. I should know – I live there.

  215. messy
    September 13th, 2013 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    What’s this with “Blondie’s bullshit faux holiday crap? I’m still ticked off at the 9/11 celebration a couple of days ago.

  216. ratnerstar
    September 13th, 2013 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    That’s actually the most realistic sounding line of dialogue I’ve ever seen in Herb & Jamaal. Both because a) it closely approximates how people actually speak, and b) everyone knows Herb’s gumbo sucks.

  217. tallyHO
    September 13th, 2013 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    @ratnerstar (#216):

    Now see Herb’s gumbo may indeed suck and it may deserve nothing more than to be evacuated before it is ever consumed. But, that is only because he starts out with the crappy recipe, the ol’ skinflint!

    The main ingredients for Herb’s Gumbo is the gum from the bottom of the dining room tables and chairs. If it don’t kill someone who eats it, it stays with them for a (subjectively) good seven years.

  218. Anonymous
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    @Izzy (#4): Only on the 19th!

  219. Peanut Gallery
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#203): You’ll just have to leave those old clothes in your Foot Locker.

  220. The Ridger
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:52 pm [Reply]

    H&J today hits two of my peeves. One, the pretense that negative concord is outlawed in Modern Standard English because “it’s illogical – two negatives make a positive!” If that were true, then this customer’s statement would be acceptable, and it is not. We simply express our negative concord differently in MSE – using indefinites rather than negatives, which are themselves not allowed in positive (declarative) statements (as “I have ever had any gumbo that tasted like that before!”). And second, geeze Herb, what are you, a robot? The statement in writing is neutral, but I defy any human native speaker of English not to be able to tell from the customer’s intonation and body language whether it was a compliment or not.

  221. Nehemiah Scudder
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:48 pm [Reply]

    @Peanut Gallery (#219): You’ll just have to leave those old clothes in your Foot Locker.

    Don’t be silly! My Foot Locker is Just For Feet. I’m no Casual Male! I’m Sirius!

  222. Peanut Gallery
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:54 pm [Reply]

    @Nehemiah Scudder (#221): Today’s Man thinks he’ll be Forever 21.

  223. DariaFoxendorffer
    September 14th, 2013 at 12:15 am [Reply]

    Blondie: And then (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease) a drunk Peter Griffin walks in…

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