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Parental love edition

Let’s start today by taking a step into the past — specifically, yesterday.

Panel from Apartment 3-G, 5/17/09

Margo is about to jet off to China to single-handedly rescue her fiance and force the People’s Bank of China to revalue the yuan in the process, but first she’s stopping off at her mother’s for a free meal. What could possibly be the cause of the girlish glee occurring inside Gabriella’s apartment?

Apartment 3-G, 5/18/09

OH MY GOD, IT’S HER PARENTS! And they’re being all … nice to each other. Surely the last thing any of us want to see is our parents flirting like they’re on a third date and have consumed exactly the right amount of wine for magic to happen twenty to forty minutes in the future; this is especially true for Margo, whose very self-image requires her to imagine the act of her creation as a moment of pure mutual loathing and contempt, so you can imagine her disgust at seeing this happy little tableau here.

(Margo’s creation story is actually pretty sordid, which gives this whole scene a vibe of genuine ick that I’m not sure is intended.)

Blondie, 5/18/09

As panel three indicates, Blondie is under the suffocating, restrictive gaze of her husband at all times, so she’s learned to choose her words carefully so as to avoid his wrath while still speaking the truth. “I thought he was all those things, but boy howdy was I wrong. Look, Cookie, the results of my carefree flapper days should make it pretty clear that bathtub gin dulls both your eyesight and your judgment.”

Family Circus, 5/18/09

Oh, look, the Keanes have apparently acquired a crazed neighborhood enemy! This can only escalate; tomorrow, they’ll presumably wake up to find the words “HUMAN GARBAGE” spray-painted across the front of their house. The real question, of course, why it took so long for this to happen.

Mark Trail, 5/18/09

You’re probably laughing at this because you’re imagining Rusty, dressed in his best khaki paramilitary uniform and his brightest blue kerchief, earnestly showing a college admissions officer his “transcripts,” which consist entirely of poorly lit and composed pictures of those forest animals dumb or ill enough to be lured into the pen behind the Trail cabin. But that scenario, of course, assumes that Rusty has any idea what “college” actually is. Once he’s saved up enough, Mark and Cherry will probably find a glove factory or third-world rebel army willing to accept some cash in return for taking the mutant freak-child off their hands; then they’ll tell him he’s going to Bowdoin or something and send him on his way, never to be seen again.

111 responses to “Parental love edition”

  1. Perky Bird
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    I think someone already spray-painted something unbelievably rude or foul on the Kean driveway. What else could Ma Keane be washing away with such speed that she couldn’t even change out of her housecoat first?

  2. gnemec
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    Keep that driveway watered, Thel.

  3. gnemec
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    Perky Bird did it faster and better. My apologies.

  4. Wasabi Jane
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    Committing blatant acts of vandalism, wearing a salmon housecoat in public, watering the driveway… oh Billy, isn’t Mommy’s cry for help obvious, even to you? Now run along and go contact the proper authorities.

  5. Roto13
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    “I’ll save it for college! Whatever that is….”

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to strangle Rusty more than I do right now. Buy a f-ing DSi or something, you smarmy little brat.

  6. Larrygnu
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    It’s not spray paint she’s washing off, it’s the blood of the local hoodlum who defaced the sign. She lured him up the driveway with promises raunchy suburban desperate housewife type sex and then dispatched him with the deadly skills she honed through years of killing for la costa nostra.

    A show of hands, who here thinks the Family Circus needs more back story?

  7. Dragon of Life
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    Assuming the giant midpanel white space in Blondie is deliberate and not an insult to panel composition, the joke is obviously that in the first two panels Dagwood was trying and failing to smash through the walls a la Kool-Aid Man.

  8. Baka Gaijin
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    Josh, Josh, Josh! EVERYONE knows that Rusty will grow up to be Blaze in Apartment 3-G once he figures out how to match a kicky neckerchief with his outfit or mood.

  9. Rita Lake and the Special Goddesses
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    Mm-mm, it’s dinnertime in the Trail household! What are we having tonight, Cherry? Looks like chicken drumsticks…a plate of fortune cookies…coffee served in dainty little teacups…a bowl of off-color glop sent over by Mary Worth…a jug of maple syrup stolen from IHOP…and a tray of biscuits, fresh out of the oven, that Cherry is holding with her bare hands. I can’t wait to see what’s for dessert! Oreos with butter and oatmeal? Bacon, lettuce, and tomato ice cream sandwiches?

  10. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    No, you do not save money for college. You blow it all on candy. Any kid knows that!

  11. Baka Gaijin
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Ha ha! A gallon of ice cream is one serving for a Plugger and Southwest Airlines charges Pluggers for 2 seats. Are those facts correlated somehow?

    Garfield: I laughed at Garfield again. Swallowing bees is better than grinding them but not as good as a football in the groin.

    Marvin: Ever done it doggy style?

    Marvin, part 2: He’s gonna regret not wearing steel-belted Pampers tonight.

  12. Wasabi Jane
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    #10 Cheeky Wee Monkeys Hey, Rusty may be smarter than he looks. Why waste it on candy now when he can save it for cheap beer and weed later?

  13. Joey Chicago
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    I’m going to take a risk and comment on today’s Mallard Fillmore. Not the politics, mind you, but analyzing the humor.

    I actually thought that today’s was pretty funny. If you haven’t seen it, it says that Obama could end up naming four or five Supreme Court justices. Mallard then remarks that this is two or three more than the average American knows. I laughed. It’s a pretty good indictment of how little the average American knows about today’s political figureheads.

    Then I was crushed. Right next to the aforementioned punchline, the writer actually cited his source. As in, it leads us to an article about the average American only knowing two Supreme Court justices. Mallard Fillmore had taken a pretty good joke and crushed it by the fact that, well, it was a fact. The artist could have easily not cited his source (No! The average American surely knows more than two Supreme Court justices! You’re a liar!) and created a pretty good comic strip, but he decided to throw it in there.

    Hopefully, the lack of punditry towards either the right or the left in today’s Mallard Fillmore will help me be forgiven for talking about this strip, but if some argument somehow bursts out (I have no idea why this would happen, but it’s the internet), I hope that I am not blamed, as I have remained more civil than is natural in my commentary on this particular strip.

  14. P
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    A Judge Parker Riddle:

    Q: Where do all the woman in Judge Parker bank at?
    A: BB&T


  15. hogenmogen
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, Rusty really earned that reward money, all right. He broke in to the robbers’ hideout to steal a camera. He bravely got himself kidnapped in the process. He escaped, and then for some rationale based in absolute stupidity and resolute disregard for his own safety, willfully returned to captivity (without having freed Sassy in exchange). Yeah, if it weren’t for ol’ Rusty those robbers would have escaped to do… whatever nefarious plans they had in mind, like grow a moustache or something.

  16. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    13 – Joey — I don’t think Josh will (or should) drop the ban-hammer on you. After all, this is the kind of high-brow, ironic comedy that we’d come to expect from such great strips such as Marvin or The Lockhorns.

  17. David B
    May 18th, 2009 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Family Circus doesn’t need any more backstory, because the backstory is us. How else to explain the unitard Billy’s wearing, except to posit that the strip is set sometime in the future, when we don’t need cars in the driveway anymore and little kids can safely stand in the streets because everyone has their own personal helicopters?

  18. hogenmogen
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    #13 – Joey – So is citing your facts worse than Dick Tracy’s idiot box pointing to a card game being played by one person? Did the strip really need a diagram to indicate that the game was SOLITAIRE? Dick Tracy defies logic, reason, spacial relations and warps the very fabric of time itself, but it can NOT take liberties by allowing second guessing which single person card game was being laid out upon the table in panel 2.

  19. cj
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:02 pm [Reply]


    How does Cherry maintain her figure if she’s never allowed out of the cabin? I know there’s no exercise machine because that would require electricity, which would require money to pay the bill, and we all know Mark’s “articles” can’t possibly earn more than a few hundred a year (if he’s lucky). Maybe she only gets to eat what’s left, like John Goodman’s family.

  20. hogenmogen
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Garfield was a perfect candidate for Garfield minus Garfield, as Jon wallows in the infinite lonliness and despair that is his hermit life. He ventures out of doors and is immediately punished by Mother Nature.

  21. Larry McAwful
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    Rusty provides more evidence that Mark Trail is stuck in 1955. Time was you could sock away money for your own college education, when you could scrounge enough from a summer of busing tables to pay for at least one semester. If Rusty’s reward is in the neighborhood of $20,000, and if he invests it wisely, he’ll be able to pay for most of his freshman year when he gets to college in seven or eight years, or whenever he’s going.

    Buy the Playstation PSP, Rusty. Or a Wii. College will plunge you into debt until you’re forty or something, at least. Unless you manage to score a high-paying nature magazine writing job like Mark Trail did.

  22. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    15 – hogenmogen — Out of curiosity, I decided to look up on the Interwebs how much of a reward ol’ Rusty could expect to score. The “I’m Feeling Lucky” results weren’t promising:

    The “Four Musketeer Bandits” Bank Robbery Series (5 banks) — $22500

    The “Motivator Bandit” Bank Robbery Series (3 banks) — $2500

    This probably wouldn’t pay for Lost Forest Community College. So I looked a little further. Turns out, for every “high” dollar reward (5 or 6 figures) there are around 6 “low” dollar rewards (3 or 4 figures). Maybe it depends on how much was actually stolen or how many banks were actually robbed by the criminals.

  23. Alan's Addiction
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    I see that Margo’s parents have discovered her only weakness, true love, and are using it to drive her away. I hope they remember not to overdo it, lest Margo feel overly threatened and do something desperate and violent.
    The obvious (and funny) punchline in today’s Blondie, after that set up of describing young Dagwood as “handsome, charming, intelligent, caring, and funny” would be, “What happened to him?” But I’m glad they went for an obscure, obtuse reference to the illegal wiretapping performed by the previous presidential administration; that works, too.
    Apparently, it’s part of the Keane’s religion to perform mundane yard work while in one’s robe and pajamas.
    Cherry’s unspoken ending to today’s statement is, “That would be smart… That’s why I’m sure you won’t do it, Rusty.” Anyways, I’m sure that Rusty doesn’t need fancy book-learning for his future career as man-child protector of the Lost Forest. Mark is carefully grooming the boy to take his place, and the most important part of that training is teaching Rusty to think with his fists, not his anemic brain.

  24. Muffaroo
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    …those forest animals dumb or ill enough to be lured into the pen… (I tried to post this an hour ago, and the system choked on it.)

  25. Patrick
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    Thel’s just following the comics trend of watering an empty driveway.

  26. Angry Kem
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    Crock isn’t terrible; it’s just medieval allegory. Yes. Yes, it is. Really. I swear.

    I have never wanted to slap Rusty so much as I do right now. “Gosh, Surrogate Mother Figure…how perfectly splendid that I have accidentally apprehended two desperate criminals! I shall use the reward money for Good, not for Evil, since that is what Nice Little Children should do! And I shall save some for you, Surrogate Mother Figure. What larks we shall all have during my long and exciting childhood!”

    Meanwhile, little Billy is dressed in prison duds. As his other putrid siblings are not in sight, I presume he has killed them all and been tried as an adult. Any minute now, his mother will cry aloud, “My God, Billy…how many guards did you murder this time?” Then we will hear the theme from Psycho

  27. Pozzo
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    I was actually at a party last night with Craig Bowman, writer of the Archie comic strip (and the Jughead comic book). Nice guy, with an appreciation for the movie “Spider Baby” that makes him okay in my book. He didn’t get my AJGLU-3000 reference, though, leading me to believe the shout-outs that occasionally appear in the strip are the work of the artist.

    Incidentally, the artist is no longer Henry Scarpelli, though his name continues to appear on the strip. Scarpelli suffered a heart attack back that left him incapable of drawing the strip (though he attempted to do so, with lamentable results). Kind of takes the fun out of snarking on it, so forget I even mentioned it.

  28. BigTed
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    Seriously, what did attract a gorgeous blonde with fantastic cooking skills to a lazy, weird-haired, strange-dressing middle manager with narcolepsy and an eating disorder? Listeners to the 1930s radio show Philco Presents The Adventures of Dagwood the Pick-Up Artist really want to know!

  29. Dingo
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    Forgive me. I’m at work and don’t have time to peruse the comments to see if this has already been said.

    Mark wants Rusty to get the reward money. The last I remember, Rusty was given $500 cash for his camera. Rusty pocketed the cash and then attempted to retrieve the camera from the ne’er-do-wells’ cabin. Now, Rusty is to receive the reward money. What lesson is Rusty supposed to have learned from all this? This kid is gonna skip college and go straight to Wall Street. Who needs a new CFO?

  30. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    and send him on his way, never to be seen again.

    Rusty will escape the Mark Trail strip? He’s so lucky!

  31. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    #18 – Hogenmogen

    Ok, rereading today’s Dick Tracy, I get the point. Crime-doing Guy is complaining that he has to do everything himself. While playing Solitaire! A game where you do everything yourself! Hilarious!

    So it is a case of the author making a bad joke even worse by having to explain the joke, rather than just a completely random narration box. Of course a better illustrator would simply draw a clearly recognizable game of standard Solitaire (seven piles with descending cards, four top piles), and then the reader could snicker when/if they got the joke, made almost funny by not needing to be telegraphed.

  32. Josh
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    #13 Joey — I’m not going to unleash the banhammer this time, but … just don’t, OK? Just … fucking … don’t. No good comes of discussing the Duck, ever.

    I honestly mean it. DON’T.


  33. Ichi
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

  34. Nate Fakes
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    Lol. I’m sure it is a garbage sale at the Family Circus. All those damn old kids toys that place must have!

  35. bartcow
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    Oh yes, Cookie, respecting my privacy is your father’s most important attribute. He gives me the time and space I need to jill-off in the bathtub, and I pretend not to notice the come stains on the pickle jar.

    There, I did it. You’re welcome.

  36. Rusty
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    You can see the Lost Forest from Bowdoin.

  37. Uncle Lumpy
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    It is generally a poor idea for children to save money for college if there is any possibility the family will qualify for financial aid. Most colleges claim 100% of the child’s savings before staking out the parents’ assets, from which they exclude certain items (house, often car[s]) and claim a lower percentage of others.

    A far better approach is to make the child responsible for the expenses he or she controls (gas, some clothing, cell phone, entertainment), with the expectation that most of their earnings will have been spent at aid time.

    If you shift $1000 of expenses to the kid now, you’ll get to keep, say, 40% of the savings. Have the kid “save” $1000 while you pay their bills, and the college will take all of it, and then come after you for “their” 60% of your financial assets (diminished, of course, by the $1000 you spent on the kid).

    I don’t think this system is unfair at all, and I’m a huge fan of the Financial Aid departments of major East Coast universities. But it really helps to understand how the system works.

  38. FOOBed again
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    Why is Mark Trail filing his nails with a baseball-bat shaped file at the dinner table?

  39. Mibbitmaker
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    True Fable:

    You’ll definately want to watch “How I Met Your Mother” tonight. I happen to think everyone should watch it all the time, but this one (foreshadowed a number of times) is prime for some Roopville viewing. (CBS, 8:30 Eastern)

    MT: Maybe Rusty will grow up to join the JUNGLE PATROL!

    Blondie: Dagwood — the Ken Starr of Husbands (your actions speak louder than your words, Daggy)

  40. Stroker Ace
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    FC – The Keanes are selling out & joining a cult. The strip will be renamed “Heaven’s Gate”.

  41. Steve S
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Maybe we’ll be treated to a week of one-letter defacings by the neighborhood terror. Look, in the Keanes’ missing-dog flyer, he changed “Barfy” to “Barfly”!

  42. Zach
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    Does that shrink ray have a reverse function, and if so, will they use it to return Billy to his actual size before they sell it to a boy genius and an albino at the garage sale?

  43. Pippy the Ziphead
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    That Family Circus “Garbage Sale” gag is another repeat. I distinctly remember seeing an almost identical FC in 1980s, when I was in elementary school. I haven’t been able to look at a garage sale sign since without thinking of it. It pains me to see it rehashed.

  44. Mr. Peabody
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    #14 – P

    I thought they banked at Chest Manhattan…

    Wouldja believe titibank?

  45. Mr. O'Malley
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    9. Rita Lake and the Special Goddesses. IHOP doesn’t serve maple syrup, except in the one IHOP located in Vermont, where it is available for an extra charge, because Vermonters won’t put up with artificially flavored corn syrup. The CEO of IHOP stated that she’d never tasted maple syrup but “most people find it way over the top”.

    19. cj. I’d guess that Cherry is allowed out of the cabin as far as the woodpile, where she maintains her figure by chopping the wood that she uses for cooking and to stoke the mighty fireplace that Mark likes to sit in front of.

    FC is really annoying today. Bil Keane lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Jeff Keane lives in Laguna Hills, California. Both areas are suffering through a multi-year drought and are on the verge of water rationing.

    Yet not only is the Keane’s house located today in a neighborhood of water-wasting one-acre lawns, Thel is HOSING DOWN THE DRIVEWAY!

    I don’t care if this is a recycled cartoon from twenty years ago, publishing it now is the height of irresponsibility. There must be hundreds of other cartoons in the back catalog that don’t feature drinkable water being dumped directly into the storm drain.

    As they used to say in Pogo, “If I could write, I’d write a letter to the editor, if he could read!”

    PS I’ve noted the ambulatory nature of the Keane’s house before.

  46. LittleBigBlue
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    I hate to call Gabriella’s ethnicity into question once again, but I’m pretty sure a native speaker would say “un momento,” not “uno momento.” This is by far the most use I’ve ever gotten out of my Spanish degree.

  47. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    May 18th, 2009 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    Is “watering an empty driveway” a euphamism for something naughty? I sure hope so…

  48. thurston unger
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    FW: Everyone in this strip was born under the same zodiac sign, the one that guarantees a cheerless life drawn entirely with gray crayons.

  49. Baron Bizarre
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Big Ted @ 28: I think it may have had something to do with Dagwood’s family having shitloads of money. The plan fell apart when they disinherited him, of course. Perhaps she thought they’d get over it.

  50. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    37 – Lumpy — I’m with you on that. I gave up on the whole financial aid thing for myself when I was an undergrad after I figured out it was putting me into deeper debt than I would have been otherwise. Graduate school was an all-cash proposition (at a time when my family was about “this close” to living on the street — long story).

    Right now, I’m helping a young lady get into nursing school. The best financial advice I could give her was to go buy a decent car — because cross-border matriculation agreement tuition was going to end up being cheaper than the in-state tuition at the school down the road.

  51. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    My way-too-detailed dissection of FC:

    Thel seems to have been cut and pasted either at a bit too small a scale (this would explain the relative maybe 11-foot height of the garage door) or pasted a bit too far to the right. Correct either one of those and she is watering the bushes and not the driveway. Still probably an unneeded task due to their relative lushness (the bushes, not the Keanes) and the above mentioned water issues.

    Notwithstanding a possible similar scale discrepancy, Billy appears to be holding what by its bulk would have to be a Sunday newspaper under his arm. That would set the scene at sunrise Sunday, meaning that theoretically at least some prospective shoppers would have visted the previous day. Thus the sign defacing is probably less a random act of graffitti and more of a review.

  52. Little Guy
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Too bad her parents weren’t in a “Rex Morgan” intimate moment (like the one the little twerp interrupted with her door knocking. Then again, I don’t want to see her mom in a June Morgan bikini.

    (looks again)

    Nope. Do not want.

  53. Clint
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Today’s Family Circus was charmingly mean-spirited, and it’s the first time I have ever laughed at it.

  54. spazmodeas
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    #43 Pippy the Ziphead says: That Family Circus “Garbage Sale” gag is another repeat….It pains me to see it rehashed.

    It pains me to see it at all.

  55. Amateur
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    It’s Indiscriminate Italics Monday!

    A3G: They’ve got “Martin” italicized along with “Uno momento.” Since when is “Martin” a Spanish name?

    Curtis: Instead of “You boys stop that!” which would be overdone but still make sense, we have “You boys stop that!” Are we to assume that they’re to stop certain aspects of the fighting, such as the eye-gouging and the “BICKER!”ing, but not others? Or are they to stop this particular fight so they can save their energy for the fight that Curtis, with elaborately awkward syntax, explains is coming later? So many possibilities?

  56. Amateur
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    (Make that “so many possibilities.” Apparently Curtis’s syntax is having an effect on my punctuation.)

  57. Dr. Weird
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    43 Pippy the Ziphead – Yes, this is a recycled FC I recall reading it in a collection back in the early 80s. It was part of a week-long garage sale plotline that even carried over to the Sunday strip showing the sale.


    The message is “Your successes will be followed by mistakes.” The subtext seems to be “Best to avoid it then.” I could see something like “Mistakes are the currency you buy wisdom with” as a positive message, but what she’s saying is an invitation to despair. Or, in Funky Winkerbean land, “Hello.”

  58. Josh
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    #55 Amateur — I’m ashamed to admit that I actually gave this some thought even before I saw your comment. I’m guessing that the italics are meant to indicate that she’s saying it like “Mahr-teen.” Those sassy ethnics!


  59. Muffaroo
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    BBlues“You want some dessert now?” Dessert? Like after a meal? What meal? He has his hand in the…

  60. Mr. O'Malley
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:42 pm [Reply]

    59. Josh. Wouldn’t it be clearer to spell it “Martín” the way they do in Spanish, if the italics are supposed to indicate she’s speaking Spanish? I guess I should count my blessings that it didn’t come in finger-quotes.

  61. Kam
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    Should I even ask why Ma Keane is outside in her bathrobe, watering the driveway? If the answer is “no,” I have no problems accepting that.

  62. Mr. O'Malley
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    45. Whoops, it was actually IHOP’s corporate spokesperson who said he’d never tasted maple syrup.

  63. Randy
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    I recall the FC joke being used in BC many years ago, when it was still funny. There, however, the gag was more clever: one character studied a “garage sale” sign for the first panel, then informed the other that he “forgot the ‘B’.”

    It made me think, whereas FC just makes my head throb.

  64. hogenmogen
    May 18th, 2009 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    #55 – Martin is a Latino name, ala Ricky Martin.

    #28 – Big Ted – When Blandie met Dag, he was enormously wealthy. His family disapproved of the blonde bombshell and cut Dag out of the fortune when they married. Though the family was never heard from again, I’d like to imagine that they went bust in the 1930s. The male heirs all died in WWII, leaving Dag to carry on the Bumstead family name all alone.

  65. BillCinSD
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    A3Gs big reveal tomorrow — a few large blue pills hidden in plain sight on the coffee table, followed by Margo’s father thinking he should have gone with Cialis, so he could choose when the time was right.

  66. Poteet
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    # 45 Mr. O’Malley — Thank you for saving CC from my rant about the same subject.

  67. cj
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    Re: 45 O’Malley:

    Never had maple syrup? That’s unpossible!

  68. Little Guy
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    #15: MT: But…. but…. but…. Post Office Posters! The Post Office doesn’t lie!

  69. Admissions Dept., Lost Forest State University
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    Dear Rusty:

    We thank you for your interest in LFSU and the Department of Animal Science in particular. We will, however, require an official academic transcript; the department has indicated that they cannot accept, even with Mr. Trail’s signature attached, your “Chronological List of Sheep I Have Inseminated”.

    Cordially yours,
    F. S. Lohere

    PS, you do mean “artificially”, right? Please?

  70. Captain Thunder
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    Margo: “Damn it, now I have to go see a therapist again. And I just finished burying the last one!”

  71. Comrade Baxter nee Denny
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    # 6 LarryGnu: I’d think La Cosa Nostra would be a bit too “ethnic” for Thelma, unless Thelma was really born Telma. (And some cursory research indicates that the real Thelma Keane was born Thelma Carne – an Italian-ish enough name.)

    Anyway, all this contradicts my deeply held prejudices about and against the Keanes, so I think it’s more likely that she fought for the Contras – Sarah Connnor-style – back when she thought Billy was humanity’s only hope against the machines. Regardless, I agree that she’s hosing the vandal’s blood off driveway.

  72. Uncle Lumpy
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    Maybe she’s washing down the driveway in anticipation of the big Garage Sale? Not impossible!

    Also, I think Gabriella is Generic, not Hispanic. So “uno momento”, and for that matter, uno memento”, are perfectly grammatical.

  73. Mollyscribbles
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    I’m positive that the Family Circus strip is at least 20 years old; I went through a period in my young childhood when I collected Family Circus collections and snipped the one-panel ‘gags’ from the paper.

    I remember this one, as well as another that took me at least a decade to realize was a Ray Jay Johnson gag.

    And, to be fair to the non-rationing world of 20 years ago, it’s probably a good idea to rinse the driveway off before a garage sale when you consider the various debris that two cars, four kids and three or more pets would track over it.

  74. Esther Blodgett
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    #28 BigTed: Well, in my personal situation it had a lot to do with the size of his sandwich. ;)

    (For all you know, I could be a gorgeous blonde with fantastic cooking skills. I could!)

  75. Joolz
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:51 pm [Reply]

    MW: Such fretting about meeting Dr. Cory (the Younger)’s date! In panel one, Dr. Cory (the Elder) has a white knuckle grip on the bannister, and Mary’s hand-to-pearls gesture is worthy of Ted Forth. And my goodness, the innuendos in panel two! I can’t wait to see how these two grill the detective.

  76. Captain Thunder
    May 18th, 2009 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    I’m sorry, is Cookie actually more stacked than Blondie? It sure looks that way from today’s strip. Not that I’m complaining, of course.

    It’s possible she’s angling for a promotion to Judge Parker.

  77. gnome de blog
    May 18th, 2009 at 6:16 pm [Reply]


    Can’t say what the littlest big city in the world is, but in the U.S. I vote for New Orleans – the smallest city with multiple major league sports teams.

  78. Digger
    May 18th, 2009 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    Evidently the Keanes are selling all of their clothes at the Gar(b)age Sale, as they are out in the street in their sleep wear. Good job, Thel. You need a clean driveway if you’re going to attract customers.

    Rusty should use a little bit of the reward money to buy himself an outfit that doesn’t make him look like such a little wiener.

  79. druidbros
    May 18th, 2009 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    MT – I hope Rusty was honest and gave back the $500….or maybe just put it on the jailed crooks account so he can buy cigs in jail.

    MW – Mary is sooooo pissed she missed out on the fireworks, now she is going to question the veracity of the detective and be bitchy about Adrian maybe having sex too. I think she’s just jealous.

  80. odinthor
    May 18th, 2009 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    Just for the record, I recall from quite some time ago (and I mean decades) an Archie which also made use of the FC “Garage/Garbage Sale” jape. Soon the joke will have been sufficiently exhausted of any humorous content to qualify for Fred Basset.

  81. True Fable
    May 18th, 2009 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    # 39 Mibbitmaker – How I Met Your Mother – OKAY, I admit I cheated and went to the website to get a hint and instead saw a tantalizing clip – yessssss


    Mibbitmaker, I owe you one! I would have been in the middle of watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the only old goats he shows are members of Congress. But now I shall watch HIMYM and revel in the wonder of it all.

    o happy day! *dances the Dance of the Happy Goat*

  82. Rusty
    May 18th, 2009 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    FC: Hosing down the driveway is a time-honored tradition of old folks around my neighborhood. It is almost as satisfying for them as voting against all town budget increases.

  83. wagmore barkless
    May 18th, 2009 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    MT: Sure, Mark, go ahead and sit there all smug within your revisionist history, buttering your fingernails. Mark stopped the car, Rusty gets the reward, Sassy was saved…aren’t you forgetting someone? Someone who might have finally grown tired of saving your sorry ass every freakin time, never getting so much as a fortune cookie… NOW, ANDY!

  84. Charterstoned
    May 18th, 2009 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    #9 – Rita, thanks for the menu idea! I’ve just been puzzling over what to serve the lads for dinner!

    #37 – Uncle Lumpy, the financial aid thing has left me in the dust. I’m still trying to figure out where they think I have the income to cover 100% tuition??????? ARRRGHHH!

    #55 Amateur and #58 Josh – “Martin” in italics might mean that “Martin” is not the guy’s real name. Then, who is he, exactly? An imposter? In which case Gabriella and “Martin” are pulling the wool over Margo’s eyes yet again. And I especially like that in this particular strip, you can convert all the italics to Margo finger-quotes!

  85. Talking Squirrel
    May 18th, 2009 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    FC: Thelma is sanctifying her driveway; yea, verily, she anointeth and abluteth it to cleanse it from the foul emissions of their metal steed. Her hose runneth over.

    However, hubby still gets the chore of cleaning her garage. Where’s the Christian charity in that, eh?!?

    Actually, that’s probably him lifting up the corner of the window scrim and peeking out. And he’s pondering, “Y’know, I bet that hose’d be a good quick way to clean that garage of hers too…”

  86. Uncle Lumpy
    May 18th, 2009 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    #84 C’stoned -

    If you think I might be able to help, drop me a line:

  87. darwiniac
    May 18th, 2009 at 8:40 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: If there is sufficient crossover between the Funkyverse and the Crankenrealm, her poor grades are probably due to a brain tumor. Although at my high-school graduation, 164th in line for valedictorian would have been pretty good, but then again we had a graduating class of 900-something.

    Speaking of Funky Winkerbean, does today’s installment strike you as almost self-parody as far as the depressing tone goes?

    S4th: No longer able to even try to lead others in competition, seeking a good cry, Ted has been perfected as a totally emasculated man. Sally has done her job well.

    Pluggers: It always vaguely disturbs me to know that Pluggers is made (manufactured? Summoned?) just to the north of me. I wonder if I could drive a few short miles and find myself in a land of fat rhino-men and depressed, elderly kangaroo-women.

    Marmaduke: The apology comes too late. The disguise has already been procured, the infiltration must begin, and then… the reaping.

  88. D. Moe
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    I apologize if this has already been posted.

    Local man has saved every Rex Morgan for 61 years:

  89. Black Drazon
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    I sort of like the idea that Margo was walking off On A Mission! when she heard the sound of distant laughter and had to turn about to hunt it down and destroy the source. Judging by the look on her face, the fact that it’s coming from her parents has not only not dissuaded her but has not even delayed her scoping out the room for the nearest flammable object.

  90. Mibbitmaker
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    TF: Sorry ’bout some of the goat fight stuff on HIMYM. Recomended sight unseen.

    But, for those of us that’ve been watching the series since the beginning, the ending was beyond awesome.

    I only wish my dial-up, 9-year-old computer didn’t get all wonky around Television Without Pity (and I can’t get to the library computer until the 2nd half of tomorrow) — the show thread is probably already jumpin’ (no pun intended)!

    Seriously, Tom Batiuk the storyteller isn’t even in the same galaxy as that show![/blatant on-topic reference]

  91. LaziestManOnMars
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:43 pm [Reply]

    This affront to the Keane Compound is almost as bad as the time someone spelled out “Melon Heads Go Home” in burning gasoline out on the front lawn.

  92. Old School Allie Cat
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    #80 – Odinthor – Not only did Archie use that gag before, so did Family Circus. That’s a moldy oldy from my childhood in the 70′s -and somewhere I have one of their old collections with that one in it.

    I mean, come on – I can get away with repeating a day I had back in 1979 and get away with it!

  93. jo-se bach
    May 18th, 2009 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    #76 – Cookie does look unbelievably busty today. But there are days when Blondie’s rack is so huge she makes Cookie (even today) look like a boy. Nobody can measure up to Blondie in the rackage department.

  94. Old School Allie Cat
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    Family Surplus – The more I think about this, the more pissed off it makes me.

    I mean, at least with Lynn Johnston we KNOW she’s phoning it in because she told us she was before she started doing it.

    With the Keanes, they’re phoning it in and relying on the ‘mudges to keep score.

    And keep score, Keanes, I will.


  95. Old School Allie Cat
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    #90 – Mibbitmaker – You and I seem to have the same taste in TV – I have HIMYM on my DVR – I was in Zumba class – and I am holding out watching it until I get done with some work on my computer.

    I recall that we’re also mutual fans of another little show I like to call…Arrested Development!

    Can’t wait to watch, but I have five more training classes to load for a customer first!

  96. mollificent
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    #69 Admissions Dept.: Purely awesome. :) Thanks for the laugh.

  97. Jonn
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    “Stay away from/jazz and liquor”…

  98. Donkey Hotey
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    #87 darwiniac – Wow. There were 53 in my graduating class. =)

  99. Joe Btfsplk
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    Crock – I don’t get the joke, as it is. Now, replace the SPLAT with FART, and it becomes funny.

  100. M
    May 18th, 2009 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    Kudos on changing the RSS format so that CC plays nice with my Google Reader! Cheers Josh

  101. Soccerhead
    May 18th, 2009 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    GIL T: I have no clue what that thing is in panel 3.
    PLUGGERS: Oh, wow, a Plugger eating ice cream out of the tub. That’s turning into a semi-regular feature. It oughta have its own category in “Plug It

  102. Crankenstank
    May 18th, 2009 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    Hey, Remember, Blondie married into Dagwood’s money. Before he got disinherited because his parents disapproved of her slutty manner and working class sheen. There’s plenty to be bitter and controlling about. It’s just amazing one or the other of them hasn’t landed on the 11 o’clock news as the lead story and the other as the prime suspect.

  103. Crankenstank
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail: true story – my five year old the other day was off on one of his amazingly meandering (endearingly so) rants/stories about this that and the other, and mentioned that all these odd things would happen when you go to college. I asked him, “What do you think you do when you go to college?” He said, “it will be the same as pre-school, except I’ll sleep late.”

    As the potential payor of his tuition, I am terrified to admit he probably has it about right.

  104. Chicago Bob
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    103 Crankenstank: Nap time is a very important part of college. Although as I recall there was some show & tell too.

  105. Sparky AKA Able Bodied Seaman Craggy Fjord
    May 19th, 2009 at 3:47 am [Reply]

    @ Pozzo – I think Boldman got his writing chops doing Cherry Poptart …

  106. Danny Lilithborne
    May 19th, 2009 at 6:18 am [Reply]

    “Mark Trail”: I read “Sassy” and “Babby” and imagined the kid going on a “how is babby formed” rant. x_x

  107. Paul1963
    May 19th, 2009 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    Glad to see some other ‘Mudges remembered that Dagwood was rich at one time.

    Sparky AKA Able Bodied @105: Craig Boldman also wrote some Superman comics back in the mid-80s, shortly before the reboot, if I remember correctly.

    Dick Tracy: Man, this horribly-staged and badly-drawn fight is going on forever.

  108. cchan8
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    According to wikipedia, Rusty first showed up in Mark Trail in 1999 and hasn’t aged at all. So I don’t think he will ever make it to college.

  109. JohnnyB
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    Mama, Keane, under the effects of the drugs she ingests to tolerate her brood, wanders outside in her nightgown and unsuccessfully tries to water the plants. “Just act normal. Just act normal. Oh God, make a car come along and smack that kid.”

  110. anon
    May 19th, 2009 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    It was probably Dennis, in a rare act of menacing, that put the B on the Keane’s sign.

    Who know he was so skilled with wordplay?

  111. Crunchy Frog
    May 20th, 2009 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    Steve S. @ 41 — “Maybe we’ll be treated to a week of one-letter defacings by the neighborhood terror. Look, in the Keanes’ missing-dog flyer, he changed “Barfy” to “Barfly”!”

    But that would make the name less repulsive.

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