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Don’t worry, Trixie, you’ll just stay an ageless baby for all eternity

Luann, 9/23/13

Congratulations, Luann: for the first time in years, you have caused me to feel actual empathy for your title character! I worked in libraries for much of my high school and college career, and I always enjoyed those gigs and saw them as a haven from the stressful food service jobs taken by many of my peers. I sure would’ve been upset if I had lost that job because of budget cuts, and particularly upset if I had lost that job because the library decided to spend money hiring H.R. Giger to design ever more elaborately phallic Billy the Bookworm costumes.

Shoe, 9/23/13

Usually when you see liver on a menu you’re being offered some kind of bird liver, right? What I’m saying is that this is another instance where Shoe’s goggle eyes of horror are wholly justified. “What am I, chopped liver? No, seriously! Am I to be this lunchtime’s sacrifice, my gut slit open and my organs chopped to bits and cooked for the culinary delight of my fellow bird-men? Has the day when I become chopped liver finally arrived?”

Hi and Lois, 9/23/13

I’ve seen few things in the comics more harrowing than Trixie’s expression in panel two. Her hands folded in her lap are a nice touch. Pretty sure she’s been sitting there, staring at that leaf, rolling the concept of mortality around in her mind, for several hours now.

Mary Worth, 9/23/13

“Hi Mary … it’s Wilbur! How are you? Are you making a sandwich? Are you making one right now? MY SANDWICH SENSE IS TINGLING”

261 responses to “Don’t worry, Trixie, you’ll just stay an ageless baby for all eternity”

  1. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:55 am [Reply]

    Shoe: Shoe’s on first!

  2. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:58 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: According to Jim Rockford, the sound of one hand clapping is the sound of a slap in the face.

  3. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:58 am [Reply]

    Dennis the Menace: Out-menaced by produce.

    Herb and Jamaal: You know, metaphors are like cheesecake – sometimes they make sense, other times … they are boysenberry.

  4. Anonymous
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:12 am [Reply]

    Shoe Chopped liver is all fine and good, but what does that have to do with wearing a pink sweater vest? I don’t know why that bothers me so much…but it does.

    MW I guess we missed the exciting sequence where Mary gives control of the advice column back to Wilbur when she went on vacation, but thankfully we’ll catch up on that now. Maybe we’ll even hear about how Wilbur’s book is coming along! Oh, the action never stops….

  5. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:13 am [Reply]

    Nancy: Phil wants Fritzi to assume the horizontal, but not for sunbathing purposes.

  6. pugfuggly
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:14 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#4):

    and that was me…..

  7. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    Marmaduke: Hey, remember the eighties? Looking forward to Marmaduke rapping, riding a BMX and holding paws across America.
    Love is: The road to hell.

    BG&SS: The reverend knows it’s an angel feather, because he’s the one who shot it.
    Judge Parker: Curse you Google maps! Why don’t you have properly updated street view in war-torn “Africa”.

    Hägär thë Hörrïblë: Don’t worry, Hägär, those guys are incompetent – you can easily beat them. Running with a lance? That’s just silly, next we’ll have vikings with horns on their helmets!
    BC: Heh, referencing current technology. Well, within the past decade surely.

    Crankshaft: Wouldn’t it be funny if we were led to believe that they wanted to thank one person, but they actually want to thank someone else? That would be so unexepected!
    Funky Winkerbean: This is totally something football teams do. They love losing! So would this be known as “doing something to your face to spite Posey the Nosey?”

    Family Circus: Careful, now. That ponytail will eat you. When did you last see Barfy around?
    Stone Soup: Punchline? You’re no They Do It Every Time, you know.

    Pluggers: “Honey?” What the heck is in those jars? Pluggers “help each other dispose of the body”?

  8. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    MT: Signs that you might be out of touch with contemporary life: 1) Thinking that the local area code shows up when you call someone from your cell phone; 2) believing that being a total dick would make one “not very popular” in DC.

    Okay: 3) Being a devoted fan of Mark Trail.

    Josh, your Mary Worth comment made me laugh out loud.

  9. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    JP – Sunday’s throwaway panels implied that Abby is just humoring the girls and trying to hide the evidence that Thalia is a scam artist from them. I wonder if this will extend to allowing them to order up a Navy SEAL team to search the square mile of buildings that The Driver Group believes harbors the terrorists?

    At least this plot still hasn’t made it clear where it is going. Usually Judge Parker is a series of feints toward a more interesting story, each of which followed by straight-line plodding toward the outcome where everything is handed to Sam without effort on his part.

    Except that now the only way to rescue our precocious, always-right Spencer girls is to have the kidnapping be real, to have a raid mounted on the area Sophie has googled, and to have the hostage be rescued with his fingers attached. Will the strip go this far just to reassure us that Sophie is always right?

  10. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    Hi and Lois: As a baby, Trixie naturally has memories of many a “first robin of spring” to compare this particular event with.

    Mark Trail: Do I know Johnny Walker? Nice guy, sure, but he’s no Jim Beam. The guy _you_ want is known only as Wild Turkey. Follow the feed, Mark. Follow the feed.

  11. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:18 am [Reply]

    Honestly, between 9 Chickweed Lane and Mary Worth‘s phone, does no one think of the children anymore?

  12. tb4000
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:18 am [Reply]

    9CL: Of course he is, Brooke…of course he is.

  13. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:21 am [Reply]

    FW – This is not a game situation, it is a practice – the defenders are also wearing Westview uniforms. They also have a red jersey over their normal game jerseys. This type of jersey is usually worn by the Quarterback, as an extra visual reminder not to touch him during practice. Of course, no coach would be incompetent enough not to drill it into his players that you do not go all-out to bring your own QB to the ground during practice. Why, that level of incompetence would require … oh, wait, nevermind.

  14. pugfuggly
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:23 am [Reply]

    C’shaft I’ve kind of lost track of why this is happening, day after day. Are we establishing Mary’s kind character? Are we creating a sense of tension between Cranky and Mary to set up a later plot? Are these ‘jokes’? OK, that last one doesn’t seem as probably, but I can’t completely dismiss it.

    FW Boy, those players sure have a rotten attitude! Any idea where they might have picked that up, coach?

    MT Mark Trail most searing indictment of Johnny Walker yet: HE’S NOT VERY POPULAR IN THE COMMUNITY!

    SM Our ruse worked, Spiderman!….You can let go of my ass now…”

    FC For a brief moment I thought we were introducing a new character to the circus: the conjoined twin Ma and Pa keep in the cellar.

  15. Frank Vox
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:26 am [Reply]

    That birds eat other birds is no different than humans eating other mammals.

  16. Majicou
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:26 am [Reply]

    MT: “Listen, Mark, I’ve stopped supplying you with booze. You’re going to have to stop calling me and asking about ‘Johnny Walker.’”

    RMMD: Rex can’t face telling his old friend that girls are all one indistinguishable, undesirable mass to him.

    FC: Though its origins are lost to time, the mutual butt-rub has long been a ritual for the determination of maturity among the Keanes.

  17. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:29 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: Thanks to Moon Maid, Hy Pressure becomes FRIED Pressure.

    H & J: I’d like to see Mr. C slam the door on a sensitive part of Jamaal’s anatomy.

  18. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:33 am [Reply]

    9CL – Amos was also a virgin until he slept with Edda. This explains a lot about how the Burber women are able to control their thralls. They haven’t experienced enough to know that sex can be a pleasurable experience for the male of the species, and need not always be a degrading spectacle that leaves them physically and emotionally crippled.

    In our modern era of fax machines and cellular phones and birth control devices and the abolition of droit du seigneur, the notion that sex with a virgin is somehow much more spectacular than ordinary intercourse really no longer makes sense. Especially a male virgin, who has made it clear by his behavior that he would have no idea what to do and would be likely to struggle to remain conscious for the 1 1/2 minutes the whole thing would take. Of course, to a Burber (by proxy), this is not a problem, as the male’s cooperation or conscious participation is wholly optional.

  19. sporknpork
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    Mary might be making the sandwich, but Wilbur’s the one spreading the mayo… on another sandwich.

  20. Majicou
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    A3G: That girl’s gravity-defying wisp of hair makes it constantly look like she’s just whipped her head around to face its current direction.

    Blondie: “Potatoes are what we eat!”

    Hagar: “Begun, the Clone War has.”

  21. Liam
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:37 am [Reply]

    MT-”We prefer Jim Bean.”

    MW-Dawn’s been dumped by the one armed man and is heavily depressed and Wilbur needs help.

    RMMD-Rex doesn’t care. He had his eyes on the captain of the football team.

    Sally Forth-”I can’t believe that with your intense hatred of Ralph that you won’t try and kill the baby.”

    Slylock Fox-Slylock is wrong. Those are artificial plants. The combination was hidden behind the seat cushion. The thief wanted to cut the cushion’s tag and found the combination.

    JP-God! Can we move onto the next part of the story?

  22. Michigan J. Frog
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:44 am [Reply]

    @Ben Wasabi (#y172):

    Gil Thorp: Tall, tan and handsome indicates that his gonorrhea — colloquially known as the clap — was acting up again. So he stayed home. (Maybe that nice Dr. Morgan will fix him up with some ceftriaxone!)

    ♫ Tall and tan and young and handsome
    The boy from Milford High School goes walking
    And when he passes, each girl he passes goes ahah
    When he walks, he’s like a samba
    He swings so cool and sways so gently
    That when he passes, each girl he passes goes ahah ♫

  23. Flonatin of Bologna
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    Lockhorns: So that’s what Bill Clinton is up to these days.

    Heathcliff: Hey, remember that time in B.C. where Johnny Hart’s art was used with Mason Mastroianni’s jokes? Now we have George Gately’s joke with art by Peter Gallagher!

    Blondie: “But we also need lots of vodka because everyone’s going to want to drink to forget that this night happened.”

  24. Morndew
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:52 am [Reply]

    The sandwich is always the tell…

  25. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:58 am [Reply]

    all things being equal, I kind of regret following the link to Gunther’s bookworm costume. that was… bizarre

  26. Chip Whittle
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    Welp, I laughed at Crock today. The world was overall pretty cool, while it lasted, and I’m sorry to see it end.

  27. Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:01 am [Reply]

    Y’know, I used to read Luann regularly back in the day, and I’m as certain as I can be that Luann wasn’t being paid anything by the library. Bwad had made a point of mentioning it when she bought her car and once again afterwards. I’m sorry I remember these details. If I could expunge them from my mind I could. But where the fuck is your continuity Evans?!??

  28. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    A&J: heading a bit for Heathcliff’s hallucinogenic territory

  29. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    Dennis the Menace: Next Alice moves up to razor blades in the cookie jar. Who do you think Dennis learned his menacing skills from, anyway?

    Judge Parker: Somewhere along the Costa Bahia shoreline, a hatless corpse is washing up with two notes on it: one with the location Ross is being held in, and one saying AVENGE ME.

    Mark Trail: It seems like Mark gets all of his information through phone calls on his iPad, as he does today. Yes, because – quite aside from laws prohibiting Senate staffers working side jobs as lobbyists – no representative of the deep-pocketed oil industry could ever be popular. Fuck you very much, Johnny Walker, I’ll just put this check somewhere for safekeeping.

    Marmaduke: I’m not usually one to buy the MARMADUKE, HELLHOUND OF TERROR thing, but in this instance? Yes.

    Rex Morgan, M.D.: Rex’s look of abashment gives it away. He didn’t play “doctor” with the girls in high school. (Hint: it was the football team.)

    Slylock Fox: Bob Weber, Jr., missed an opportunity for historical verisimilitude here: back in the day, pineapples were a symbol of wealth because they cost so much to import. The Lords of the Manor would thus use a pineapple carving as the finial on their banisters. And if you pulled on the pineapple, it might come up and reveal a secret compartment underneath used to store valuables. We actually had a house once with this feature, though the finial was a globe, not a pineapple. I sort of doubt Bob Weber, Jr. could have explained all of this in a brief paragraph or without using Molly’s ne’er-do-well brother Jack.

  30. Mibbitmaker
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:09 am [Reply]

    MW: Wilbur: “I WANT MY COLUMN BACK, WORTH, YOU USURPER!!!”

    MW: Moy: “Stop stealing my Wilbur jokes, Fruhlinger! Wilbur’s a fat guy always seen stuffing his face with a sandwich has been my sight gag for years already! YOU USURPER!!!””

    H&L: Trixie cannot enjoy the leaves changing colors on the trees because the trees in her world just stay black, so she’s just stuck with the leaves falling, already brown and dead.

  31. Kevin on Earth
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    MW: “That’s not ham, Mary…is it? After Charlotte died you made a promise to me…”

  32. bbofun
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    BC- “I can’t feel my sinuses!” Isn’t that a good thing? I would think being able to feel your sinuses would suggest they’re stuffed up, or hurting- isn’t the normal state of affairs to not be able to feel them? It’s like saying “I can’t feel my kidneys!” (Do snakes have sinuses?)

    FW- Aaaaand he has a concussion. Funny!

    MT- I think Jack Elrod (and/or TRMT) are unaware of just how popular a lobbyist with the oil companies would be in Washington. Nearly unlimited funding? Sign me up!

    SF- I have the feeling Ted is just saying something Ces, himself, realized a day or two ago.

    RMMD- Rex doesn’t really remember the girls in his high school? Quelle surprise!

  33. TheDiva
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    Luann: Wasn’t Luann a volunteer at the library? Maybe they just used “budget cuts” as an excuse for getting rid of her, knowing she’d be too stupid to know the difference.

    MW: Mary could just let it go to answering machine and eat her sandwich in peace, but never let it be said she passes up a meddling opportunity.

    Shoe: Yes, that is the most disgusting idea for an appetizer I can think of.

  34. Little Blue Bicycle
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:18 am [Reply]

    H&L: As Trixie’s innermost soul confronts dying and death, I wonder, when did Tom Batiuk start guest-writing Hi & Lois?

    MW: As Mary confronts Wilbur and her white-bread Dagwood sandwich I wonder, when did Karen Moy start reading this website?

  35. aphthakid
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    Luann: You know, it was bad enough when they had the untrained intern giving advice to toddlers (who are in this school somehow) but now she’s giving advice to her peers. Of course, any real school would likely have a list of any available jobs on a web page.

    9CL: This strip is now officially less realistic than Shylock Fox.

  36. Her Father, John Darling
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    Luann. I’m really starting to get worried about how easily Josh can call up past strips about giant worm cocks. I assume he has the site appropriately indexed and all but, really, between the NSA and the telecommunication companies is that really a safe thing given the particular subject matter at issue?

  37. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#33): re: MW – you know what they say, the early biddy gets the meddle

  38. Kevin on Earth
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:25 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark: “So then Johnny, he’s like, he’s like get out of here tree hugger”
    Bill:”Oh my GAWD!”
    Mark:”I know right? So I’m like: Later and then Johnny goes, he goes: we’ll talk to you when WE want to”
    Bill:”Is he cute?”
    Mark:”Oh my god, Bi-ill! ew!”
    Bill:”That’s my mom, gotta go!”

  39. LP2004
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    MW: “Hi, Mary, this is Wilbur!”
    “What can I do for you, Wilbur?”
    “Well, for some inexplicable reason, my 87-part series on the terrifying three hours I spent on a cruise ship grounded two hundred feet off the Italian coast has failed to bring me fame, fortune, and Pulitzer Prizes, so… um, I was wondering if I could have the ‘Ask Wendy’ column back…?”
    “…”
    “Mary?”
    “Don’t make me meddle you into the cornfield, Wilbur.”

  40. Digger
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:29 am [Reply]

    MW: I was going to suggest Mary let the call go to voicemail, but maybe there’s a flashing red light blinking on the other side, indicating this is in fact a call to The Meddler Hotline!

  41. Ratiocinator
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    9CL:

    Why do I read this crap?

    FW: Nice D, guys. I mean “sportos”.

    JP: “And Thalia would never lie to me!”

    RMMD: “Sure, Doris! I remember…lots of rage issues…carried a nail gun with her everywhere…shot somebody with the nail gun whenever she was having a bad day…yeah, very pretty girl, Buck! You’re a lucky, lucky man, and I’m sure you’ll be perfectly safe after you go home to her!”

  42. Dennis Jimenez
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    Luann – Now I don’t follow the strip closely, but is that Bernice acting as guidance counselor? Cuz if it is, I predict a high school suicide spike….

    Shoe – I’m trying to think of some snappy foie gras come-back, with one or all of them restrained and force-fed crap to fatten their livers – cuz that would be hillarious – at least compared to this….

    H&L – Oh, leaf – this was so exciting I just shit my training pants – well, OK – it was on my to-do list to shit my training pants today, anyway….

    MW – Now I could riff on Wilbur and some secret sammich sense, like Josh today, but I’m breaking a different way – it looks to me in panel two that the distraction of the phone has caused Mary to leave her index and middle digits on the plate. But then, classy ladies are imfamous for dining on their snooty finger sandwiches….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  43. anonymous
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    9CL: Oh, dear. Maybe it’s me, but I think any big handsome guy who doesn’t spend several hours a week bobbing and kneeling in a church pew and is still a virgin has something BADLY wrong with him. How does that happen? Why? (It’s like – I know a lot of 20-something young men who not only don’t have licenses to drive but don’t even want to learn, or own a car. In America in the 21st Century. What is with that???)

  44. Lily Sincere
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    The phone rings in the first panel of an already potentially very exciting sandwich storyline and I’m thinking, “Wow, this is gonna be great! Mary’s lunch wouldn’t be interrupted for anything less than something like Aldo calling from Beyond the Grave, right?”

    Wilbur. You interrupted this great sandwich making scene with all this potential for…Wilbur. Thanks, Mary Worth.

  45. TheDiva
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    9CL: So big, beefy Sven, who can’t so much as pick his nose without causing all the women in a fifty mile radius to swoon in a puddle of estrogen, has never done the nasty? Knowing Brooke, this will be an excuse to embrace the social double standard of virginity as some great sacred treasure to be bestowed upon only the most worthiest of human beings (read: a Burber or honorary Burber) and something to be gotten rid of at the earliest convenience.

    A3G: What’s with Tori’s hair? Did she think the hair gel scene from There’s Something About Mary was a style tip?

    C’shaft: I know it’s Crankshaft and I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m still amazed at how casual he is about it. “Yyyyep, I’m pretty much a complete monster. The agony of others is like sweet, sweet candy to me….so, how are things with you? Any chance I can have another go-round at backing over you with my bus?”

    FW: Caaaaaalled it.

    MT: Yeah, if there’s one group of people nobody in Washington likes to hang around with, it’s the oil company lobbyists.

    Marvin: Hey, anyone who can live with Marvin and not strangle him deserves some kind of award.

    SM: And Wolverine’s cosplay dreams are forever shattered.

  46. Marc
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Funky- This is such bullshit. First of all, it’s been established that the football program is now pay to play. Secondly, I’m almost positive that a coach can’t force a kid to play a sport he doesn’t want to as a form of punishment. So a kid who admittedly is already not popular with the “sportos” (another made up bullshit Batiuk word), and hates them back is not only allowed on the team without having to pay, but is immediately handed the starting QB job after throwing one ball in practice.

    Or are we supposed to believe that Posey the nosey is actually going to pay to do something that he hates?

    And of course all of this ignores the he doesn’t know the play book, has never played before, the red no contact jersey he’d be wearing in practice, and all of the other obvious details that I don’t have the patience or thumb strength to go over right now.

    In conclusion, Batiuk; you are a fucking hack.

  47. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    @aphthakid (#35): 9CL: This strip is now officially less realistic than Shylock Fox

    We’ve established that Sven is so smokin’ hot that he inspires ballerina supermodels to offer to cast aside their fiancee for an afternoon of casual sex with him. He inspires grown, married women with active sex lives to spend days fantasizing about him sleeping on the edge of the couch. So, he isn’t a virgin due to lack of opportunity.

    This implies that he has been saving himself for someone special. Like, say, a quack vet whom he has had one date with, which ended with him seeing her break into someone’s house to scream at them over an issue where she was clearly in the wrong.

    This only makes sense if Fleurry Sprocket is the hottest piece of ass ever seen in North America. The problem is that she is drawn identically to all the other females – chinless, cow eyes, long and skinny with horrible posture and fashion sense.

    How old is she even supposed to be? For her to be a practicing vet with, somehow, a loyal customer base, she would have to be at least in her late-20s. Again, it is difficult to tell because, although her behavior is that of an entitled teenager, it is also behavior common to all the women in the strip, including Edda’s middle-aged mother.

  48. Ratiocinator
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#4), @pugfuggly (#6):

    Chopped liver is all fine and good, but what does that have to do with wearing a pink sweater vest? I don’t know why that bothers me so much…but it does.

    As well it should. SOMEBODY CALL FASHION POLICE!!!

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#9): Sophie isn’t always right, though. Or at least she isn’t always successful. Josh covered a stretch where Sophie, after joining the cheerleading team, decided she wanted to steal another cheerleader’s boyfriend. She was a real bitch about it, like telling the girl to her face that she was gonna do it. Then, as I recall, she began taking guitar lessons from the guy as a pretense to see him outside school. When she finally told him what she wanted he was like “Sorry, not interested.”

    She’s failed once, she can fail again.

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#11): Are you suggesting that Sven’s dick and Mary’s phone are similar? Is Sven’s dick actually a telephone?

    @pugfuggly (#14):

    FW Boy, those players sure have a rotten attitude! Any idea where they might have picked that up, coach?

    “Um…probably violent video games. Yes, those. Definitely not me and my shitty coaching, that has nothing to do with it!”

  49. casino LF
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    MW: Sandwich sense: still more useful than Spidey sense.

    9CL: BLUGGGGG

    RMMD: Are that guy’s brains coming out of his skull?

  50. Oregonian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth – Could someone help me find the six differences in today’s panels? I’m only finding four: The cookbooks move from the left of the sandwich to the right, the sandwich itself moves from a plate to a cutting board, the drawer under the counter changes from having a knob to having a handle, and Mary changes from being left-handed to being right-handed. What are the other two?

  51. Rusty
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    @Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist (#27): The library lost its funding for an after-school program for special-ed students, one of which was Luann. She couldn’t be trusted home alone after school was done for the day, so she was allowed to wander in the children’s section and “assist.”

  52. Ratiocinator
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    @aphthakid (#35):

    9CL: This strip is now officially less realistic than Shylock Fox.

    Sorry to nitpick, but I’ve seen people call it “Shylock Fox” here before (I forget who), and I don’t know if they were making a mistake or changing the name as a joke or what. But if it’s a mistake, the name of the strip is “Slylock Fox”, with an L.

  53. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#13): Thanks for the clarification. Makes more sense as practice. Hell, the new guy is suicidal to even step on the field.

  54. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#52): If you prick him, does he not bleed?

  55. Catondan
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    FW: I would guess that about half of the guys on the football team can throw a long pass and most of them would love to be the quarterback. As others mentioned, there is a bit more to the job than that. The footwork, fakes, handoffs, timing would take a good while to master.

  56. Hibbleton
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    MT: I suppose Cherry tied some kind of sausage meat on a string around Mark’s neck so he wouldn’t go hungry ..because that sure isn’t a tie.

  57. Doyle
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    Luann: Are Luann and Bernice not friends anymore, or does Bernice always treat Luann with thinly veiled scorn?

  58. Ratiocinator
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#54): I’d heard that line many times over the years, but never knew where it came from until now. Interesting.

    @Catondan (#55): Yeah, let’s take a guy who’s already unpopular with the “sportos” (which is totally a word that teenagers use, in 2013), and then give him something they all want and have made more effort to get (thus adding resentment and jealousy to the contempt they already feel for him), and let them literally tackle him to the ground as part of practice.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  59. Winky's Spleen
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#48): Well, if Sven had a phone for a schlong, it would go a long way towards explaining his lack of ugly-bumping.

  60. sully
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    If you look more closely, Trixie is holding her hands between her legs, and looking worried, because she’s about to void her bladder and isn’t wearing a diaper.

  61. Mardou Fox
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    Whoa! Did hearing from Wilbur cause Mary to levitate? She looks like she’s floating a few feet off the ground in panel two!

  62. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#48): re: JP Josh covered a stretch where Sophie, after joining the cheerleading team, decided she wanted to steal another cheerleader’s boyfriend

    As I recall, Sam ended up lecturing her about how sometimes boys just want your money and aren’t interested in you sexually – which seems like a lesson Sam would understand. But, we also learned that Sophie is a guitar prodigy who started playing like a seasoned pro from the first second she touched a pick and who, surprisingly, also turns out to be a gifted singer/songwriter as well. Clearly, Manly doesn’t know how to write an underaged character who isn’t creepily, preternatually gifted.

    With the way that Sam is clearly suspicious, and Abby is determined to shield the girls from any sense of their own naivete, I can see this arc ending with the kidnapping not having been real. It would still be much more satisfying to also have their little google maps rescue exposed and explained as childish and ignorant, with the little girls planning a Black Hawk Down style urban rescue based on “they weren’t seen at the checkpoint, so they must still be hiding in the village where they abducted him!”

    How many strips to date have been dedicated to them explaining that, since there are checkpoints on the road to the north and to the south, the only logical explanation is that they are still in place? You would think that someone would have explained three dimensional geography (even two-dimensional map reading would expose the flaw in their reasoning) by now.

  63. TheDiva
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    @Doyle (#57): “Thinly veiled scorn” seems to be the basic condition for friendship in the Luannverse (see also: Crystal and Tiffany).

  64. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#62):

    “Manley -> Wilson” as “Artist -> Author”. Manly, thankfully, doesn’t know how to draw a female who doesn’t have enormous breasts, and it is Wilson who doesn’t know how to write for a child who isn’t Napoleon, Einstein, and Albrecht Adam all at once.

  65. Pozzo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    Can’t wait until Trixie experiences the first slushpile of winter.

  66. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    Well, it is a word but Batiuk didn’t get it right.

  67. Cra_Mastercra
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    MW: “Why does the phone ring whenever I’m about to eat in order to build up my energy to get down with my dark-as-ebony-yet-paradoxically-radiantly-glowing phallus that I also keep charged and ready on the kitchen counter?”

  68. seismic-2
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    @Doyle (#57): The scorn is not particularly thinly veiled. Bernice frequently insults Luann openly, in front of Delta (who apparently agrees with Bernice’s assessment of their mutual “friend”). Similarly, Crystal loses no opportunity to insult her BFF Tiffany, almost every time they are together. As Bull was telling Jarod about the football team yesterday, raging hostility and abuse is just the way they make friends. Presumably, if they really, really do like you, they shoot you in the forehead with a nail gun, as a special form of “bonding”.

  69. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#58): Yeah, along with Taming of the Shrew, that’s one character/play that either was centuries ahead of it’s time or has not aged well. I know too little to comment on which it is!

  70. Esther Blodgett
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    JP: I think we should talk about where the checkpoints are some more. Because I’m unclear on the whole checkpoint-to-road relationship. So if someone could just once again slowly and carefully go over where the checkpoints are I would really goddamn appreciate it.

  71. Écureuil Écumant
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    FC: Sorry, Billy. You can’t determine age by the diameter of the butt cheeks. You have to crosscut them and count the rings.

  72. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#70):

    There are no checkpoints. They are actually Starbucks.

  73. debussy fields
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    MT– What’s with Mark Trail today? 1) How does Bill know Mark is in Washington? 2) The bed Mark is sitting on appears to be made of concrete. 3) Yes, Hibbleton (#56), Mark’s “tie” does look like a long gray sausage. 4) Mark’s neck in Panel #2 is ENORMOUS. 5) No one–NO ONE!–holds a cell phone like that. 6) “I believe that. Thanks, Bill.” ??? That’s the end of the conversation??? Bill, next time, don’t answer the phone when Mark calls. Make him work to get that vital information.

  74. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    @debussy fields (#73):

    And if that lamp in panel one was that far back on the bedside table, the lampshade would be crushed against the wall.

    Maybe Mark’s cell phone is also a shaver.

  75. Odie Odo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Fred Basset: Maybe he’s auditioning for the Captain’s part on Captain Kangaroo: UK.

  76. Esther Blodgett
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#72): But where are they? And how do we know this map is current? And do they serve Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

  77. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#70): JP: I think we should talk about where the checkpoints are some more.

    8/27 – “They couldn’t risk taking Ross into the city … there are checkpoints on the main road!”
    9/11 – “Sophie thinks there would have been too many checkpoints to get far!”
    9/12 – “This photo is weeks old, but it shows a checkpoint here!”
    9/13 – “Is there a roadblock or checkpoint anywhere?”
    9/22 – “Sophie figured out there were checkpoints everywhere on the roads”
    9/23 – “That looks like an Army Checkpoint up the road here!”

    Because I love being pedantic:

    - Checkpoints are not infallible
    - Roads are not always shown on Google Maps
    - People can travel without roads (don’t tell Liz Warren!)
    - Narrowing the search down to a densely-populated five mile radius isn’t really enough to send in a rescue team
    - Kidnappers usually will have given consideration to escaping/hiding out after the kidnapping while they wait for ransom

  78. bats :[
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    MW: I laughed out loud…and on a Monday, too! This is shaping up to be a great day.
    And boy, do I want a sammich!

  79. Écureuil Écumant
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    RMMD: At last! The long-awaited moment when Rex first manifests signs of Alzheimers.

  80. Shrug, Who Has an Ex-Syndicated-Cartoonist Friend
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#y159):

    “There are still plenty of artists who could do beautiful work in the comics space. It’s just a matter of who’s available and willing.”

    And doesn’t care about things like eating and scraping up the rent…?

  81. Joe Blevins
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    SHOE: This is a theme restaurant where the theme is low-key hostility. For breakfast, I’d recommend the Be Careful Not to Spill That Overpriced Orange Juice and the Oh To Hell With It I’ll Just Have Oatmeal.

    MW: This strip raises an important, existential issue about its title character: was meddling the life that Mary chose or was it the life that chose her?

  82. Uncle Lumpy
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#78):

    Our long national Wilbur-drought is over at last!

  83. Odie Odo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Scary Gary: It’s a good thing Gary likes his toast extra crispy.

    Mark Trail: Sarge called, he wants Beetle’s mattress back! (See today’s BB…)

  84. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    @Esther Blodgett (#76):

    Just walk down the road and you’ll bump into them.

    Oops, that one’s a Walmart.

  85. Uncle Lumpy
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#81):

    … a theme restaurant where the theme is low-key hostility.

    The menu reads in part:

    Make up your mind, already:

    1. I said Black that means no cream.
    2. What do you mean you don’t have Froot Loops.
    3. Can I get some service here.
    4. Gee thanks big spender.

  86. Liam
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    MW-”Please forgive me, Mary. Money’s been a little tight lately and I’ll make you an offering as soon as I can.”

    MT-That’s so cute. Mark’s talking into his wallet and thinks he’s talking to a real person.

    Shoe-I’m sorry but you don’t look like you are forced to live in a small box being forced fed so people can kill you and eat your liver. I wish you were though.

  87. aphthakid
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#52): Whoops, purely a brain f@rt there.

  88. Master Softheart
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    FW: I like to think that, perhaps unintentionally, Batiuk is in fact venturing into a kind of homage to the Jeeves and Wooster stories. The thin, balding, bumbling miscreant is trapped by social obligation and his own ineptitude into participation in an outrageously dangerous sport where hijinks are bound to ensue and at some point Harold Pinker manages to woo Stephanie Byng. Coach Bushka makes a physically degenerate but passable Roderick Spode (or at the very least I am more amused by the thought of him being an incompetent fascist and secret lingerie designer than I am by the character as written). Les himself could play the role of Sir Roderick Glossop, and if we can’t manage to find at least one Fink-Nottle and a wandering Bingo among the barely distinguishable high school characters, then we are exerting as little effort as the author.

    Of course, with no Jeeves to save him from his own idiocy, I fear that indeterminately aged Bertie is going to end up hospitalized with broken bones and internal injuries, which brings us right back into the Batiuk universe. Of course, if the football team is too incompetent to even maim an unprotected and completely untrained middle aged man standing a few feet away, I suppose I will owe coach Bushka an apology for his contempt toward them.

    JP: Congratulations, Mr. Wilson! You have created a situation where every possible outcome is so ridiculous and awkward that I honestly have no idea what is about to happen.

    PHANTOM! There are few finer things than watching someone who truly loves his work. How any of this will relate back to the immortal, time-traveling, or possibly ghostly underage balloonist who was inexplicably fighting against the Hun in 1919, I have no clue. But Kit is so cool that I don’t really care.

    RM:MD: This is going to be one of the strangest afterschool special message comics ever.

  89. Checkpoint
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    Papers, please!

  90. Écureuil Écumant
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    A3G: Capturing the very essence of teenage girls’ heart-to-hearts.

  91. Vince M
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    @Frank Vox (#15): I saw a video online where a pelican in a park gobbled up a pigeon – the crowd reaction was one of sheer horror. (Come to think of it, I bet it was a link from here after another Shoe/Pluggers incident).

  92. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: Now Slylock can go out and arrest the Sea Hag. She found the gold with the help of the Jeep.

  93. bats :[
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:25 am [Reply]

  94. Écureuil Écumant
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#93): …And after that, no mere woman can hope to satisfy me.

  95. Little Guy
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    Luann: It’s Tiffany’s fault, right. Because she has money and Luann doesn’t. Or did Evans get turned down by a comptroller?

  96. Horace Broon
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    A3G: The fact we seem to go instantly from “Just listen!” to “Did you hear?” really hammers home the fact there hasn’t really been an opportunity for either of these girls to hear any of LuAnn and Cole’s conversation.

    Retail: This guy doesn’t give up; he did exactly the same thing in Saturday’s strip. The bit I don’t get is why she doesn’t recognise him.

  97. Liam
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    Luann-”And I’ve called the appropriate authorities as soon as you stepped in here so you can get the help you need.”

    JP-Let’s hear some more about these checkpoints. You haven’t gone into great detail about what they look like.

  98. Irrischano
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    “Why does the phone ring whenever I’m about to cut my thumb off? Better cover my blood-soaked hand with one of these dinner napkins in case the person on the other line senses something is amiss.”

  99. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#88): FW: I like the way you think! Suggest the ghost of Lisa as aunt Agatha.

  100. Poteet
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    MW — *continued from last night* So maybe that thing in Mary’s left hand in the first panel is actually a pickle, not a knife. A gray pickle. A long narrow gray pickle. That’s stupid. I think it’s a knife. A small knife. With no handle. Held using a hand position that makes no sense. So I’m back to the pickle. But if it’s a pickle, it *mallet head bang*

  101. Markmarkyg
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    It took a couple days to figure out why Jarod looks so familiar. It’s DOUG FUNNY gone bad!

  102. Poteet
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    LUANN — Bernice is in for a shock when she finds out that most high schools have more than a dozen students and that most guidance counselors don’t get to spend their afternoons alternately napping and playing Tetris like her current mentor.

  103. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#100):

    At least it’s not a pickle.

    Or is it?

  104. Poteet
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#103): I’ve decided it’s an alien knife-finger. Mary allows small parts of her true body to extrude temporarily when she’s alone in her apartment.

  105. Mooncattie
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Hi and Lois – Just wait ’til Trixie figures out that Mr. Thirsty next door looks a lot more like her than Daddy does. And why Mrs. Thirsty is always so irritated. And why Mommy is so flat.

    MW – One of Ivan Pavlov’s lesser-known experiments involved Wilburs, and their responses to telephone ring tones. Answering the telephone would be followed by an invitation to eat a sandwich. The lack of Wilburs (and, indeed, sandwiches) in the early years of the Soviet Union led to the experiments being abandoned, and of course, now in the more enlightened 21st century, we view it all as time-wasting nonsense.

  106. Poteet
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    MT: Um, Senator Mason? It looks kinda bad when your chief of staff is still officially an oil-industry lobbyist. In D.C., you’re expected to be a little more subtle than that. Not much, just a little.

  107. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#104):

    Of course. And in panel two, Mary didn’t answer the phone, it merely came out of her wrist.

  108. bats :[
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    How boring is the current JP storyline? When I pay more attention to the wine bottle…

  109. bats :[
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#107): kinda like Spiderman shooting out webs! Of course a Meddler like Mary would have all the devices of her trade at her fingertips (pun not necessarily intended, but it works here)!

  110. Cloudbuster
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#9): Is this another service that will be provided gratis to the Driver Group, just because?
    Will the strip go this far just to reassure us that Sophie is always right?

    You’re on a rhetorical question roll! One more and you win the Judge Parker Triple Crowne! Unfortunately, you get nothing if you win. But the Parker/Drivers all get brand new private helicopters with free fuel for life. Sophie already knows how to pilot one. She became an expert through the use of flight simulator apps on her phone.

    Hey … stop crying!

  111. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#109):

    Mary’s got meddle sense. Her butt starts itching.

  112. bats :[
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    And how could I let this expression slip past?

  113. Northern lurker
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    MT: and so what would unusual about JW not being popular in Washington? Does anybody in Washington actually like anybody else in Washington?

  114. Baka Gaijin
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Today’s Family Circus is what happens when sex ed doesn’t.

  115. Northern lurker
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    MW: is hello often stated as a question ?

  116. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    @Northern lurker (#115): pre-caller ID, it was. still is, a lot of the time – force of habit

  117. Johnny Q
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    One more reason for Spiderman to feel inadequate: while his alter ego is a wimpy photographer, Tarantula’s alter ego is Frank Zappa!

  118. Cloudbuster
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    FW: Google tells me that Jarod is not popular with the shoes.

    @Ratiocinator (#48): Sophie isn’t always right, though. Oh, Sophie’s not through with guitar-boy. Of that I’m sure. She’ll be making him pay. For a long time. It will be like Biff’s fate in the closing timeline of the first Back to the Future. Guitar-boy will suffer. It won’t be over quickly. He won’t enjoy it. She is not his cheerleader.

  119. bats :[
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#114): I thought it was just a usually badly-time response to Miley Cyrus’ little twerking episode, as interpreted by the Kids.

  120. Her Father, John Darling
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:49 am [Reply]

  121. Baka Gaijin
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#10) on Hi and Lois: Yes, babies have so many memories of the past. So. Many. Memories.

    @Raghead the Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist (#27): The continuity is, “Tiffany is a slut and should be shamed at every turn because she makes the effort to work towards her goals and she’s hot and is a slut…”

    @TheDiva (#33) on Mary Worth: Who do you think she is, Dagwood?

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#37): Ha ha HA!

    @Lily Sincere (#44): COTW contender!

  122. James D.
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    MT: Nevermind that … what do you know about this Jack Daniel fellow?

    FW: Forget cancer … concussions are where the funny’s at!

  123. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    @Kristian (yesterday (but to me she’ll always be first today!)#173):

    Holy Mackeral and Macaroni!

    By doing the moonwalking, Heathcliff is apparently turning back time! What was once the Elite Fish Market is now just Fresh Fish. The employees don’t even realize that they are no longer standing around and doing nothing in the 21st Century. How could they realize anything that is sensible? Heathclff’s Time Manipulation skills are so subtle that no one would notice how effective they are.

    But, questions remain, What’s Gotten into that Cat? What’s his game? Does he know something about today’s Fish in comparison to fish from 40 years ago that the rest of us don’t know? Will he only stop once he’s wearing spats, a monocle a a waist shirt and a top hat? Does he know the best era for fish that is both “fresh” and “elite”?

  124. Dan
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    “Phone’s ringing! Uch, it’s probably Wilbur, isn’t it? I’ll just take a minute or two to move this sandwich to a cutting board, and… still ringing? Okay, let’s see. Wash my hands? Yeah, he’s still going. Reorganize my cookbooks on the opposite end of the counter, and… wow, he’s not giving up. Screw it, I’ll just answer. This better not be about wanting his stupid column back, though.”

  125. The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#48): Sven’s dick might be more useful as a phone, yes.

  126. Baka Gaijin
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @Oregonian (#50): Her nipples. In the first panel they’re hard in anticipation of the meddle potential on the phone and in the second, they’ve deflated to their normal size after Wilbur crushes her meddle-buzz.

    @Doyle (#57): The latter. Stupid Luann doesn’t realize she’s being scorned. Funny, let me tell you.

    @Sequitur (#111): Hee hee hee.

    @bats :[ (#119): The younger Keenes, “bumping uglies.” Really. That’s what they think the phrase means.

    @Dan (#124): COTW-worthy.

  127. Northernlurker
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#116): Actually my elderly mother-in-law used to sound like death warmed over when she answered the phone. But as soon as she found out who it was on the other end of the line, she sounded happy, cheerful and energetic.

  128. seismic-2
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    Wilbur will be heart-broken to ask for his column back only to learn that when Mary said she had written all the “Ask Wendy” columns in advance of her leaving for the resort, what she really meant was that she had submitted a detailed life-plan for the next 5 years for every single individual living in Santa Royale.

    Except of course for Wilbur, since he shouldn’t be alive.

  129. yaoi huntress earth
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    9CWL: Given how Sven freaks out when touching women’s panties, it’s no wonder he’s a virgin.

  130. Liam
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    FW-Take that, Mr. Smoking in the Boy’s Room. How dare you show us up by trying to be a better football player than us.

    Dennis the Menace-That’s not very funny, Mrs. Mitchell. If you took a shit in the cookie jar now that would be funny.

  131. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#47): Well, this is also the man who freaked out at the mere sight of a woman’s underwear, so I think he has more issues than that.

    (By the way, can I just say that I loathe, loathe, loathe the “adult virgins are weird and dysfunctional people” trope? That is all.)

  132. Shrug, Running Off at the Keyboard
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Oversnarkapologies; haven’t had time to finish reading the posts yet…

    LUANN: “I need help. Fashion help. I don’t think horizontal puple and black stripes sufficiently bring out my inner beauty.”

    MARY WORTH: “Why does the phone ring whenever I’m about to cut off all the fingers on my right hand? I’ll never get my Fan-Tan debt paid off at this rate.”

    ARLO AND JANIS: A little-known fact is that Arlo’s cheap dime-store mask makes him shunned even by his fellow furries.

    BEETLE BAILEY: Sarge would be happy to see Beetle with a *double* bed, but the sight of Beetle with a triple causes him to worry about their relationship.

    FLYING McCOYS: “I’m sorry. It’s your funny bone. At least it wasn’t something that you’re likely to ever effectively use in this strip.” (Also, NSFBG)

    CRANKSHAFT: I can’t even snark on this. Stockholm Syndrome usually just means you may buddy up with your mere kidnapper, not with the guy who just effectively tried to murder you. Seriously vile.

    JUDGE PARKER: “That satellite image isn’t real time! Divert a few of our private spy satellites over Africa and update it!”

  133. pugfuggly
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    @Ratiocinator (#48):

    “Um…probably violent video games. Yes, those. Definitely not me and my shitty coaching, that has nothing to do with it!”

    “Or, you know, the endless insults I throw in their direction, right to their ugly faces at practice, or indirectly by badmouthing them to friends, family and local media. Right, you losers?”

    @seismic-2 (#128):

    Mary was so close to her perfect society she could almost taste it: a solution to every personal problem, a partner for every lonely heart, and not an ounce of potential wasted in a single individual. There was only one loose end before her utopia could come to pass, but it was easy enough to solve. As she walked back up to her condo, she worried for just a moment that someone else might discover the specially-prepared sandwich she had left by the patio, but decided not to deviate from her plan. ‘Besides’, she thought ‘who else would eat an entire sandwich they found lying in a public place…?’

  134. Alison
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    “Mary Worth”: Mary does not realize that “Wilbur” is actually Aggie, impersonating Wilbur. She’s already killed him and she’s going to kill Mary next. Somebody must pay for Shannon’s insensitive comment at the group sharing circle, and since it’s not going to be Shannon, it’s going to be Mary! She is going to lure Mary out into the open and then she will strike!

    …No, actually I’m pretty sure this is the start of a long and drawn-out story about Wilbur eating sandwiches while Mary talks about the Pax Resort again. Carry on.

    “Luann”: I see from reading the comments that Luann was never paid for her services. That makes it very funny that she just lost her job because there was no money. It would be fun if this dawned on her. “Hey! Wait a minute. You said I had to quit because the library has no money!” “That’s right, Luann, what a shame.” “But you don’t pay me!” “Well, yes, but…Oh crap. Just leave, would you?”

  135. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

  136. aphthakid
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    MW: While it’s rarely mentioned in the strip, Mary is Wolverine’s grandmother, with a knife blade that emerges from her left palm.

  137. Liam
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    MW-”Why does the phone ring every time I’m about to cut myself.”

    MW 2-”Well I was about to cut myself to make me momentarily forget what it’s like living amongst a mouth breather like you.”

  138. Liam
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Luann-”You think you have problems. You should hear about my problems. I’ve been stuck in high school for thirty years now.”

  139. sw2boro
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    That Shoe cartoon…chopped liver…where I live, if you’ve seen a woman’s chopped liver, you’ve seen the lot. That’s not a thing in the US? Man, that saying just wouldn’t work here.

  140. TheDiva
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    @Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket (#131): Preach it. I was a virgin for longer than average, and the more I think about it the more I find the preoccupation with the state and its absence to be very perplexing (and a bit of a no-win situation: if you’re doing it, you’re a slut, if you’re not doing it, you’re a weird repressed loser). The prospect of Fleurrie obsessing over Sven’s “uncharted territory” for a week almost makes me want to go back to the courtroom drama. Almost.

    (On a related note: since sex, like any other physical activity, is something that improves with practice, I have to wonder where this “first time is an unrivaled magic experience” idea cropped up.)

  141. Odie Odo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    Todd the Dinosaur: Liar — you deliberately made yourself a hamster and cheese sandwich.

    Slylock Fox: Slylock should start by telling Sir Hound of the Baskervilles to upgrade his home security system — that window is wide open.

  142. Frank Vox
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    @Vince M (#91):
    Nature is red in tooth and claw.

  143. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    9CL – Next Week: Sven’s claim is disputed, when Twinkly’s calf begins to show signs of being intimidated by women’s underwear. Sven’s comments about getting his milk for free fail to defuse the situation.

  144. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    (i mistakenly posted this in yesterday’s thread and am repeating it, slightlly altered, here where I had intended it to go)

    To: Calico and others from Yesterday’s discussion about the decline of art in Apartment 3G….?

    I mentioned how just having the three A3G girls together is rare…
    Here’s three days worth of A3G from 2010 where all three girls are together
    http://joshreads.com/images/10/07/i100711a3gpanels.jpg?
    http://joshreads.com/images/10/07/i100712a3g.jpg?
    http://joshreads.com/images/10/07/i100713a3g.jpg

    At least Margo is defensive about the way she looks.

  145. Dennis Jimenez
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    @aphthakid (#136): And a Palmaide comb-back coif, to boot – I never thought of it before, but now I can definately see it….

  146. sighing maiden, still sighing
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

  147. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#144):

    And in 2010 I did a mashup of that 2nd 3G panel.

  148. Mr. Yezpitelok
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Yezpitelok (#5): Nancy: Phil wants Fritzi to assume the horizontal, but not for sunbathing purposes.

    Just so we’re clear: Phil Fumble wants to KISS Fritzi. The old Phil (before Gilchrist doubled his height) was a dwarf, and he couldn’t kiss Fritzi unless she was sitting or lying down.

    It ain’t easy being a Casanova when you’re only 36 inches tall!

  149. The Ridger
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#116): If you’re on Bluetooth. If they’re not in your contacts and you don’t have their number memorized. If they have their ID blocked. If you just don’t look…

    Or, as you say, because you’ve been doing it for dozens of years.

  150. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Yezpitelok (#148): It ain’t easy being a Casanova when you’re only 36 inches tall!

    I understand that it is also very difficult when you are 36 inches long, albeit for different reasons….

  151. fiercebadrabbit
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    While it’s true that from the mammal-centric position where we tend to start, birds are birds, the avian branch of dinosaurian archosaurs is one of the most diverse tetrapod taxa, and an eagle eating a chicken is no more horrible than you eating a nice chunk of cow.

    Which is not to say they won’t cannibalize their own species or, indeed, their own eggs, because birds are jerks and want you to know it.

  152. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    @fiercebadrabbit (#151):

    Stupid birds.

  153. Baka Gaijin
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#144): Ha ha ha! “The Flaming Hot Mess!” Ha ha ha!

  154. Calico
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    It’s been three years since Billy the Schlong appeared? Tempus Fugit!

    MW – yay, Wilbur is back!
    I was thinking the other day why Mary doesn’t read the local obituaries, as that would give her plenty of meddling fodder (i.e. grieving family members, like June at Pax)

  155. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

  156. Cloudbuster
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    @Her Father, John Darling (#120): I love this in the comments section, “Aw man. The Bugle was right about him all along.”

  157. Cloudbuster
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

  158. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    @fiercebadrabbit (#151): the avian branch of dinosaurian archosaurs is one of the most diverse tetrapod taxa

    Shhhh! If word gets out that not only do dinosaurs survive, but they are thriving and live all around us, people might overreact.

  159. Cloudbuster
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#157): …and no I don’t mean “tacky chrome rims.”

  160. Calico
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#144):
    Haaaaaa, thanks!
    LuAnn looks so pissed in the second strip, like someone took away her teddy bear.
    “Flaming hot mess” – I had forgotten about that.
    Kind of like Blair Brown back in the day.

  161. Calico
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#114):
    The description of the strip includes “gentle humor.”
    Now how many times have I witnessed these kids threaten each other emotionally and physically, come back home beaten to a pulp, and be yelled at by an understandably stressed-out mother of 4?

  162. Lumaca Morente
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#157): Please do not tell Brooke.

  163. Calico
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    @Kristian (#10):
    I’ve heard that Jack Daniels is a pretty good fellow too, but you’ll have to confirm that with Lemmy Kilmister.

  164. Cloudbuster
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    @Lumaca Morente (#162): Actually, I think he authored the first entry.

  165. Cloudbuster
    September 23rd, 2013 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#163):

    I can confirm that he’s very popular around here.

    The other day I got invited to a party
    But I stayed home instead
    Just me and my pal Johnny Walker
    And his brothers Black and Red
    And we drank alone, yeah

  166. Odie Odo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Yezpitelok (#148): Who says Guy Gilchrist stopped at doubling his height? There’s a reason Fritzi now refers to him as “Long Dong Philbert”!

  167. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#157): This probably explains why the Burbers lust for the Generic Beefcake males but end up with the Nebbishy Geek models. If the anatomy is in proportion, they would risk being split in half.

    Not for the first time, one has to question Brooke’s sense of perspective. Fleurry is drawn as a lanky, long-legged hottie most of the time, but becomes a petite spinner when Sven is nearby.

  168. Baka Gaijin
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#161): “Gentle humor” is butt-humping your sibling?

  169. Johnny Walker
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @fiercebadrabbit (#151): Stupid wildlife. Nuke ‘em all.

  170. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#168):

    “Gentle humor” is butt-humping your sibling?

    Is that a tee shirt?

  171. Amos Snarkadder
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    Active3Gel with Kerato-Stiff for extra hold! Tori’s bad influence on Marty is even worse than we imagined: Cigarettes, booze, foul language, and now Marty is starting to wear her hair over her right shoulder. What will this come to: A single stiletto strand straying off her temple?

  172. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#163): Can’t believe I forgot Jack!

  173. Calico
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#165):
    Also, one bourbon, one scotch, and one beeeerrrrrr
    (If that were me, I’d be up close and personal with Mr. Elgin the porcelain king)

  174. Baka Gaijin
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#170): Could be. I haven’t been to a Spencer Gifts in a long time.

  175. Amos Snarkadder
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    FC Jeffy, you may not be quite as old as Dotty, but you’re twice the woman she’ll ever be.

  176. Kristian
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#123): Looking forward to the cats in the spats. Best I can do at short notice is huge moustache

  177. Amos Snarkadder
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#14):

    MT Mark Trail most searing indictment of Johnny Walker yet: HE’S NOT VERY POPULAR IN THE COMMUNITY!

    Yes. That would never happen in Canada, where even the bad guys are very popular in the community!
    Well, except for the VILLAINOUS WOLVES!

  178. Écureuil Écumant
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, Running Off at the Keyboard (#132): “Sarge would be happy to see Beetle with a *double* bed, but the sight of Beetle with a triple causes him to worry about their relationship.”

    Sarge, Beetle and Otto. Sounds like a cozy ménage à trois, but Otto’s not talkin’.

  179. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder (#177):

    Stupid VILLAINOUS WOLVES!

  180. demoncat4
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    mw oh wilbur how nice of you to call are you going to say you want your colum back or you need my advice some more and nice to call while i was a bout to eat . luann. not only does Luann now have to look for a new job but she has to get advice from bernice can she sink any lower.

  181. Écureuil Écumant
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#158): Probably right. I don’t think I’d be very popular in my community if I went around complaining that dinosaurs are always shitting on my car.

  182. Écureuil Écumant
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#167): “If the anatomy is in proportion, they would risk being split in half.”

    “Split like a planked shad”, I believe the expression goes.

  183. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#181):

    Stupid pterodactyls.

  184. Johann Sebastian Cock
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    I wonder if Miss Halper is any relation to Santos L.

  185. Keith Richards
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#173): > one bourbon, one scotch, and one beeeerrrrrr
    AKA “breakfast”.

  186. walt d.
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Luann: I click on CC and what’s the first thing I see? Luann? Yuk! In the end, despite being it one of the world’s oldest jokes, I laughed.

    Zits Episode 42 of the proposition that Sara is emotionally sophisticated and Jeremy is emotionally stunted, completely ignoring the more plausible idea that Sara is a self-absorbed airhead who can’t stop talking about herself, whereas Jeremy is just throwing in uh-huhs when she pauses for breath.

    Zits: Some might fall into the trap of thinking that since Sara is showing emotional sophistication by endless nattering on about her feelings, Jeremy should show his by nattering on about his feelings. Wrong. He is supposed to natter on about her feelings, giving her an alternative way of trashing him for not understanding her. It’s a losing game, Jeremy. I’d just stick with the monosyllabic answers.

    RMMD: “Well, Buck, you seem fine, it’s been fun, folks are waiting, see you at the 50th. And if weird stuff starts happening, you might see a neurosurgeon rather than a GP.”

  187. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#183):

    Unlike dinosaurs, pterodactyls went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period.

  188. Sequitur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#187):

    See, they are stupid.

  189. seismic-2
    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#187): As did all dinosaurs that weren’t birds.

  190. Boophilus
    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    @Doyle (#57): Yes, Bernice always treats Luann with veiled scorn. That is pretty much her whole purpose. Maybe my memory is selective, but I don’t ever remember her supporting Luann or respecting her. Yeah, I know it’s Luann, but if you’re her friend shouldn’t that happen sometimes?

    Oh wait – I guess it does happen. But the only times they seem to support each other is when they mutually rag on Tiffany.

  191. Odie Odo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    MT: Jack Elrod recycled the art in today’s strip from the last “Mark Trail Goes to Washington” storyline. That’s why the middle panel features Mark’s head on Karl Rove’s body.

  192. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    ahhhhh, back home.

    my bookmarks and Mozilla were missed.

    srsly, Safari, no right-clickage? lame.

    normal squee and snark resumes tomorrow, and perhaps a pic of Tui and Hans together.

  193. Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm
    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#4):

    Oh, the action never stops…

    Really. Mary prepares a sandwich… how boring is that?
    Please just give that woman a hobby, something, anything to make her more interesting. If she’s stuck in the kitchen, at least come up with something clever she can use it for.

    How about a home coroner kit?

  194. Calico
    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    @Kristian (#176):
    Google “Colonel Meow” – this cat is amazing

  195. Garrisonskunk of Foofram Industries
    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Do I want know where Earl’s honey came from?

  196. Joe Blevins
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    As Mary prepares lunch for herself… – That narration box is as exciting as anything that’s happened in Spider-Man in the last five years.

  197. Shrug, More of a Troll-Type Himself
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. Yezpitelok (#148):

    “It ain’t easy being a Casanova when you’re only 36 inches tall!”

    I suspect many of us were immediately reminded of Terry Pratchett’s great-lover-dwarf character, Casanunda.

    http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/Giamo_Casanunda

  198. Birds
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    @fiercebadrabbit (#151):

    “birds are jerks and want you to know it.”

    Big brave rabbit. Stick your head out of the burrow and we’ll shit on it.

  199. Pterodactyls
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    @Calvin’s Cardboard Box (#187):

    That’s what we *wanted* you to believe.

  200. walt d.
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    Zits: I’m fairly sure that a survey would confirm that most women believe that most men talk endlessly about themselves, and show little interest in what they, the women, have to say. And that most men believe that most women talk endlessly about themselves, and show little interest in what they, the men, have to say.

    Crankshaft: Really? He practically kills the woman, and it’s no big deal. Hell of a union at that school. I admit to disliking Mary about as much as I dislike Ed. No one acts like Mary unless they’re on meds. On the other hand, lots of people act like Ed, with no need for medication influence. They’re called assholes.

    FW: Well, hell. If I were the coach, the “offensive line” would be running laps in full gear until the sun went down, today, tomorrow and the next day. Draft the girls’ volleyball team to fill in at practice for a couple days. If I were the sort of surly delinquent Jarod is presented as, I would hunt a couple of those SOBs down and leave them bloodied in an alley. Put the fear into the line, and then they’d block! It wouldn’t make any difference though, because I’d also quit. Why interfere with people who are content going 0-11 every year?

    FW: The problem with a “new guy winning the respect of the team” line is that their respect isn’t worth having. They’re losers. No wonder the cheerleaders want their pictures taken with members of opposing teams.

    9CL: If you look at the old strips you’ll see that Bloom County and its successor did a lot of off-putting sexual repartee and display. The effect was more humorous than 9CL largely because the characters involved were nearly always unattractive.

    9CL: So is Sven trying to say that he’s a virgin or that he’s a eunuch?

  201. Dinosaur
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#189):

    Except for the ones that hid behind Dilbert’s couch.

    (And me. I was hiding behind his toilet.)

    If I had it to do all over again, I think I’d prefer to go extinct.

  202. A Taste of, uh, Honey?
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    @Garrisonskunk of Foofram Industries (#195):

    The same place the “honey” came from in that classic NARD ‘N’ PAT comic story?

  203. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm (#193):

    Not only does Wilbur have her kitchen bugged with cameras (Just look at that giant, elongated phone in front of Mary)

    But, I think there is a good chance Mary already has a hobby that Wilbur helps her with, as The Wilburator!

    What this involves is beyond my understanding. I’m just that dense. On the surface, The Wilburator doesn’t sound challenging nor does it sound interesting to me. However that doesn’t mean that to Mary’s ears it is beautiful music. I’m sure probing deeper would yield more accurate results.

    But, again, I don’t even pretend to understand why after months of Wilbur not being around, he suddenly calls her as a sandwich is sliced in two.

  204. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    @walt d. (#200): re: Bloom County vs 9CL – myself, I’d say the difference is that Berke B knew how unattractive his characters were, and Brooke McE believes his characters are Beautiful

  205. Dale
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    MARY WORTH

    Do people keep their cookbooks in the kitchen (counter or shelf)?
    If I had a cookbook, I’d keep it someplace where it’s convenient to read.

  206. UncleJeff
    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    re: Luann. Josh, you missed bats:} classic treatment of the Billy the Bookworm costume.

  207. El Correcto
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

  208. moss_moses
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    I do not think this Bill on the phone with Mark Trail is MEAWAWM, Mark’s editor at Woods and Wildlife Magazine, Bill Ellis. This Bill is ALTDCR (a long time DC reporter). If it really is MEAWAWM Bill, that may explain his knowing Mark’s whereabouts, but I suspect it is yet another Bill friend of Mark’s.

    Explanations for Bill Knowing Mark Is in DC
    1. Bill assumed Mark would not bother to call him if he is not in town.
    2. Mark purchased a cell phone the last time he was in DC, since they are unavailable in LoFo, thus the 202 area code that Bill noticed.
    3. It was a headline in the Washington Post that Mark Trail is in town.
    4. Sophie figured it out and told Bill.

    “Why does the phone ring whenever I’m about to eat?”
    1. People find it easier to get a word in edgewise, since Mary won’t talk as much with her mouth full.
    2. Mary eats constantly.
    3. Mary’s phone rings constantly.
    4. People know her schedule and are intentionally calling her during meals just to piss her off.

  209. Calico
    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    @Irrischano (#98):
    Or, just leave the damn call to the answering whatever.

    OMG Moss! Was wondering where you have been. Seriously! Hope all is well with you.

  210. Dr Pill
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    @Horace Broon (#96): Evidently there was a mistake in the postings. I remember this strip from Saturday, too, but now there’s a different comic for that day, one that finishes the previous week’s Josh-is-jerk plot line. (That’s a different Josh, BTW, no one we know here.)

  211. JanC
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    Hello Mary. This is Wilbur. I want my column back!

  212. Neigedens
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:32 pm [Reply]

    Whenever I’ve seen liver on a menu at a restaurant, or heard about my grandparents cooking it, it’s always been beef liver. But having tasted said liver myself, I think the Shoe goggle eyes of horror are an appropriate reaction anyway.

  213. Scaramouch
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Sven is naked in the water and Fleurrie is staring down at the unfortunate side effect of all those steroids he took to build up that huge muscle mass in his chest and shoulders. Even the magnifying effect of water can’t make that shriveled tool look up to the job she envisions for it.

  214. Peanut Gallery
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    @The Rt. Venerable Pasdordan (#29): The pineapple is also a traditional symbol of hospitality. Storing your valuables in a secret compartment under a wooden pineapple was a way of saying, “Welcome! Come on in and help yourself to some of my valuables!”

    But as for today’s Slylock Fox, my guess was that the combination was hidden behind the other picture. Because there’s a pleasing symmetry to that, and it’s the just the sort of place that charming old dotard Sir Hound would pick.

  215. greghousesgf
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    @Master Softheart (#88): Batiuk doesn’t have the wit to appreciate the greatness that is Wodehouse.

  216. Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#203):

    … probing deeper…

    You actually used the words “probing deeper” in the same post with the names “Wilbur” and “Mary.”
    You monster!

  217. Fat Chance
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    MW: Hello, Mary? This is Wilbur. I need a woman. NOW! Get your buns over here!

  218. Peanut Gallery
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#123): I can hardly read “Fresh Fish” without thinking of this Laurel & Hardy video.

  219. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    @Amos Snarkadder DBA Curmudgeon Farm (#216):

    Oh.
    Get your mind out of the gutter.
    I only meant it from the standpoint that Wilbur has a version of the Star Trek Mission plastered on his bedroom ceiling that says, quote unquote:

    Mary Worth,
    The Final Frontier.
    These are the rendezvous of the
    Justenough Space Bed Boomshikkawow.
    Its mission: a series of five minute adventures, discovering a way to get a life that is acceptable to civilization, filling it with excitement and with exotic, salmon colored delights. To boldy go where no Wilbur has gone before.

    That’s all. Nothing naughty.

  220. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#147): @Peanut Gallery (#218): @Kristian (#176):

    I hadn’t seen any of those before.
    They are all funny.

  221. Baka Gaijin
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

  222. Huckleberry Fink
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:15 pm [Reply]

    @Shrug, More of a Troll-Type Himself (#197): Far from being the World’s Second Greatest Lover, Phil is fated to die a virgin. Even Wilbur Weston has a better chance of making it with Mary Worth than Phil has of bedding Fritzi Ritz. Let me put it this way: Fritzi has had scores of lovers since 1922, but Phil wasn’t one of them. And never will be.

  223. Liam
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    MW-”Hello, Mary. I’ve heard how you have fallen in love with the desert. Perhaps we should drive out to the desert and talk about the status of the ‘Ask Wendy’ column. Just you and me the only two people for miles around in the vast huge desert.”

  224. Odie Odo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    @Huckleberry Fink (#222):

    All Mary has to do to attract Wilbur is to dab a little mayonnaise behind each ear.

  225. Odie Odo
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#204): There’s a nice symmetry to the names “Berke B” and “Brooke McE.”
    Which reminds me: Berke B, Brooke McE and Louis C.K. walk into a bar…

  226. Skemono
    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    The window of the Flagston house is pitch black, clearly signifying that it’s abandoned. Apparently Hi and Lois managed to sell off the older children before fleeing moving to Tahiti; Trixie, whom no-one was willing to pay for, has been left to die in the yard.

  227. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    Luann: You know, there’s a chance I might care about this if there were any reason for me to remember Luann worked at the library.

    MW: Wilbur’s sandwich sense was tingling, obviously. Damn you, Josh.

  228. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    MT: Mark hears that Johnny Walker is Not Very Popular In The Community, and that’s all he needs to know. Follow-up questions are for suckers.

    FW: The team regulars Bull hates are hazing the goth quarterback he suddenly decided he loves? Who could have seen that one coming? (Gil Fucking Thorp, for one.)

    9CL: Yeah, in fact it’s always better to look at the part that’s not facing cold water shrinkage.

    JP: A bottle figures prominently near the laptop. I’m guessing this theory does go better with a belt of something.

    RMMD: “Very pretty girl… I guess, if you’re into that sort of thing.”

    GA: When the Village People get bored, the construction worker trades costumes with the policeman.

    GT: I guess if we’ve learned anything so far from this storyline it’s that cheerleaders make needy lab partners.

    SSmith: “Fallen angel, that is. Dang ol’ Lucifer was supposed to meet me for lunch.”

    S-M: “Am I slurring my words, señor? I usually get somewhat tipsy when I take in so much whine.”

    H-Cliff: Either Gallagher has a reeeeaaaal long lead time on this strip or his friends just now worked up the nerve to tell him the King of Pop had passed on.

    A3G: Wait, did Janeane Garofalo just get roped into playing Marty? Eh, still better than “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.”

  229. Sgt. Stoned
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    DTM: Ha-ha. Alice the Menace. Kinda has a nice ring to it.

    MT: Mark Trail investigative reporter in action. Calls a journalist friend in DC and after two sentences hangs up and without any verification or corroboration or further digging decides to whole-heartedly believe a rumor.

    DT: The Wrath of Moon Maid. Awesome!

  230. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#140): (On a related note: since sex, like any other physical activity, is something that improves with practice, I have to wonder where this “first time is an unrivaled magic experience” idea cropped up.)

    My theory on that is that the more experienced partner doesn’t want the virgin partner to know how bad a lay (s)he is, coupled with abstinence-only education. So they tell virgins that first time sex is the same as amazing sex, knowing that they have no basis for comparison.

  231. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    @moss_moses (#208):

    1. People find it easier to get a word in edgewise, since Mary won’t talk as much with her mouth full.

    So their only other option would be to call while she’s going dow—You know what? I don’t want to finish that any more than you want to hear it.

  232. bats :[
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    @UncleJeff (#206): gosh, you remember that? I had to go scrounging, but here they are (and I love love love Josh’s Giger comment). Would it be so awful if *gasp* Luann continued to volunteer at the library, and her cheap-ass parents might cover her lost wages a little with an increase in her allowance? Wasn’t her father a dentist when we last gave a rat’s ass about his occupation?

  233. Artist formerly known as Ben
    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    @walt d. (#200):

    9CL: If you look at the old strips you’ll see that Bloom County and its successor did a lot of off-putting sexual repartee and display. The effect was more humorous than 9CL largely because the characters involved were nearly always unattractive.

    It was also helped by Berke Breathed knowing how unappealing this behavior was. When Edda gives Fleurrie obnoxious dating advice you’re supposed to go “oh how wonderful.” When Steve Dallas hit on anyone the only conceivable reaction was “oh gross.”

  234. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#231):

    Let me finish that for you:

    So th[ere is] only [one] other option [which] would be to call while she’s going dow—

    doubtlessly into a comatose state. That way there are no negative reprucussions involving her asking too many questions of you. Nor would she admonish you for asking anything untoward to her. Say, for instance if you asked her:
    Say, Mary! Want to go down on me? I’ll meetcha half way!

    A coma eliminates any of those things from happening. Whew!

  235. Lily Sincere
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#121):
    That’s kind of you to say, and gave me a bit of a lift, but I’m still pretty bummed that it was Wilbur on the other end of that call.

    I mean…it’s Monday, OK? The days are getting shorter in my hemisphere. The new fall shows are not that promising. I need more from Mary Worth than…Wilbur. Even a call to tell her she’d won a cruise would’ve been cool; I’d’ve been thinking it was totally legit and she could meddle in the lives of some bewildered Carnival guests while the ship breaks down around them and anarchy reigns….

    Forget it. I obviously need to take matters into my own hands and write MW fanfiction.

  236. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    @Lily Sincere (#235):

    but I’m still pretty bummed that it was Wilbur on the other end of that call.

    Who were you expecting?
    Ricardo Montelipbaum?
    Justin Beeberz?
    Donny Osmosis?
    Former Prime Minister Tony Bleeeh?
    Tarzan, The Attache to the Duke of Dork?
    Santa Claus’ All Star Reindeer, Ruldoph Glowenstein?
    Or, Santa’s Salaried Lead Reindeer, Dasher?
    gasp!

    You were expecting The Ghost of Aldo, weren’t you?
    Oh.
    Wow.
    I can totally see how Wilbur would be a letdown from that.
    Sorry for asking.

  237. Droopy Says
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    Spider and Spiderer: And, um, exactly why are you two returning to the prison? Did you forget that you just rescued Rosa?

    Family Circus: Just how big is that kid’s ass?

    Funky’s Flunkies: “I’m not so good with plans.” Words to fill Coach Bushit’s soul with dread. The kid is fully qualified to take his job, and for a starting salary less than the coach now makes.

    Jugheaded Parker: Aside from the oft-pointed-out absurdities of this analysis, why don’t you geniuses use your comput3r skillz to make sure Ross was in that country in the first place? You know, make sure he didn’t enter the US recently?

    Mark Trail: Can’t wait until Cherry gets the inevitable 8×10 glossies of their meeting. What will upset her more: Mark dining with a strange woman, or Mark not eating pancakes?

    Pluggers: Chicken Lady makes spaghetti sauce out of rats? Pluggers are really hard on their minorities.

    Phantom: Old New York saying: “He survived all that? I’d better reload!”*

    (* in de Brooklyn tongue, youse mooks!)

  238. Poteet
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    9CL — Just saw the Monday strip. Oh, ick.

  239. Poteet
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    MT — I didn’t ask to contemplate possible sexual blackmail, but when a senator is being pressured by his own chief of staff, I sort of have to consider it. Eww.

  240. Poteet
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:40 pm [Reply]

    MW — So Wilbur is going to say something Mary won’t like. Whether he ends up as a small smoking pile of ashes or Mary shows visible discomfort, I say yay Wilbur.

  241. tallyHO
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#240):

    In all seriousness, he probably intends to tell her that he wants his column back from her.
    In a perfect worlds, he will also probably ask for his balls back, too. But, he doesn’t have the balls to ask.

  242. Lily Sincere
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#236):

    I know, I know, it was a long shot at best. Really, I should’ve set my sights much lower, like say maybe hoping the caller was the account manager at the Bum Boat with some questions about Mary’s ongoing tab. Or the health department with warnings for frequent Bum Boat patrons. Even so, I’d’ve been disappointed when it was Wilbur instead.

    I’ll have to look elsewhere for compelling narrative entertainment, I suppose. I thought I’d read all of Joyce Carol Oates’s to-date 2013 releases, but since that was only three books, that means I’ve probably overlooked at least one short story collection and two novels.

  243. Majicou
    September 23rd, 2013 at 11:52 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#181): But think of how much more interesting life could be. Grabbing your binoculars to spend a day with the dinosauring club! Heading to the store to by dinosaur feed! Roasting a large, weirdly-proportioned dinosaur for your annual Thanksgiving feast! Shooting people the dinosaur in traffic! Everybody says that the dinosaur is the word…

  244. tallyHO
    September 24th, 2013 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    @Lily Sincere (#242): The bit about Oates: that’s funny.

    I did just hear she has something new out.

    Well, I am not sure if this amongst your usually reading materials, but I did just read that the strip “LuAnn” is getting a new writer. All in the family, of course.

    On “Mary Worth”, I guess the call could have been one which put some starch in her dress. I hadn’t considered a non-paramour. Or a non-joke.

    Hell, she could have been invited to jump out of a award winning cake decorators cake at his bachelor party. It could have been anyone besides Wilbur.

  245. tallyHO
    September 24th, 2013 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    My final words for the night:

    “Get along, li’l doggies!”

    //who knew beagles were such pests, such cute, adorable, cuddly pests?

  246. Farnsworth
    September 24th, 2013 at 12:44 am [Reply]

    “Usually when you see liver on a menu you’re being offered some kind of bird liver, right?”

    No.

  247. seismic-2
    September 24th, 2013 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#244): I suspect the reason that Luann is finally a high school senior is that Greg Evans wants to retire when the kids graduate. As for whether Brad and Toni will be married then – well, I have my doubts that the wedding will happen for years yet.

  248. Dale
    September 24th, 2013 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    MARK TRAIL

    How did Anne get Mark’s cell phone number?

    Delighted! I’m a married man from out of town. You are engaged and young enough to be trouble.
    We could pretend that you are my niece. Nope. Been used too many times.
    You are a reporter, and I’m important. Nope. We’re unknowns in DC.
    Got it! This is DC. I’m a politician and you’re a hooker. This will explain our very public meeting, except to your father and Johnny.

  249. Dale
    September 24th, 2013 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    @Farnsworth (#246):

    LIVER

    I agree. I wouldn’t expect to see “liver” without some kind of qualifier. Unless it’s from a rodeo bull, it would be “calves liver”. I’ve seen “chicken livers” (note the plural). If it’s “pate [need some kind of diacritical marks], they don’t call it “liver”.

  250. seismic-2
    September 24th, 2013 at 2:01 am [Reply]

    Usually when I see “liver and onions” on the menu, it is without any identification of the beast from which the liver was extracted. I would hope it’s calf’s liver rather than pork liver or horse or possum or…, but it could well be a case of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

    Goes well with fava beans and a nice chianti, in any case.

  251. Kristian
    September 24th, 2013 at 2:47 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#194): (Colonel Meow) Fluffylicious!

  252. Kristian
    September 24th, 2013 at 2:53 am [Reply]

    Did the GoComics just go really weird with unusable navigation etc?

  253. Dale
    September 24th, 2013 at 2:55 am [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#250):

    “Calf” could be in the descriptive words under the listing. The way I understand it, if you need a knife, it shouldn’t be called “calf”.
    Pork liver is what’s used in liver sausage. That makes sense. While you’re cutting out the liver, score some lard, the other main ingredient.

  254. John C Fremont
    September 24th, 2013 at 4:44 am [Reply]

    Mmmm. Liver and Guinness. Gorgonzola sammiches. Can’t wait for Bloomsday. (Insert Homer Simpson drooling sound here.)

  255. Kristian
    September 24th, 2013 at 5:43 am [Reply]

    @John C Fremont (#254): And kidneys soaking in their own “juices” if I remember the short extract we were made to read.

  256. gleeb
    September 24th, 2013 at 5:53 am [Reply]

    Thorp-“Oh great, I’m being cartooned.”

    ‘shaft-Ah, it’s good to see Ed cowering in fear, one of the few emotions he can still understand.

    ‘bean-“Gee, I had absorbed some plans, but they just got knocked out of me, along with my lunch. Are you even watching this practice?”

    Neddy’s Checkpoint Checking!-Sam, like the others, has been hypnotized by the map. Meanwhile, the steaks Sam was grilling have been reduced to flaky chunks of carbon.

    Mary-The call of the sandwich! But what’s Wilbur’s news? Has he convinced the Pennysaver editor to make Mary’s column all Mayo, all the time?

  257. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 24th, 2013 at 6:48 am [Reply]

    MT: I worry that Mark’s going to get confused and eat the phone

    FW: either there’s backstory Batiuk can’t be bothered to tell or he knows *nothing* about football. ’cause I know damn little, but I do know you just can’t walk in off the street and be qb, even of a charlie brown-esque football team

    JP: as the Spencer Driver Group (gimme some lovin’!) huddles round the computer, Thalia packs her bags and heads off in search of easier marks

    Rex, MD: my, but he looks disgusted at the idea whatshisname got married so quickly “three weeks? you can’t do a thorough financial check on someone in only three weeks!!!”

  258. jim, some guy in iowa
    September 24th, 2013 at 6:52 am [Reply]

    hm. the Spencer Driver Group’s hit was “gimme some money”

    and I’m
    so glad you got it
    so glad you got it
    you gotta
    gimme some money
    gimme some money
    gimme some money every day

  259. Kristian
    September 24th, 2013 at 7:05 am [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#81): (Continuing Shakespeare month) Some are born to meddle, some achieve meddling, some have meddling thrust upon them. (Twelfth Night, apparently.)

  260. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    September 24th, 2013 at 7:08 am [Reply]

    @jim, some guy in iowa (#257):

    JP: as the Spencer Driver Group (gimme some lovin’!) huddles round the computer, Thalia packs her bags with the Spencer silverwear and the Free Gas For Life Card and heads off in the Road Queen in search of easier more interesting marks.

    FTFY

  261. Lily Sincere
    September 24th, 2013 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    @tallyHO (#244):

    Thanks!

    Even though you were directly responding to something I wrote, I’ve slept since then and while I’m not quite Guy Pearce from “Momento” I am pretty slow in the mornings, because at first I thought “I made a Hall and Oates joke?” Sadly, that is not an attempt to be funny; that was my actual thought process.

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