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Single-payer health care is his madeleine

Rex Morgan, M.D., 3/19/06

For once, I’m not going to use a discussion of Rex Morgan, M.D., to impugn the title character’s heterosexuality. Instead, I want to draw your attention to the good doctor’s facial expression in the second panel of the second row. Have we ever seen Rex look more melancholy than he does at that moment? The ellipsis between “about” and “universal” seems to speak volumes. What’s going on behind those troubled, blandly handsome features? Is he thinking of a better world, where medical costs are controlled by social contract and doctors can pursue their calling without worrying about the profit motive? Is he thinking of all the patients who get inadequate care because they aren’t fully insured? Uninsured patients like a certain sexy blond archaeologist … who needed help with his hand, and then his head … and then his heart … and who just left like he was never there, unmarked except for the terrible emptiness he left in Rex’s innermost soul …

Oh, wait, I said I wasn’t going to talk about this, didn’t I? Sorry about that.

I’m beginning to wonder if Dr. Troy is less medical socialist and more golf shark. After all, Rex was wiping up the links with him until he dropped the UHI-bomb, which got Rex all agitated — as it would any doctor, no matter what his stance on it. I would have started with malpractice insurance premiums and not gotten to wholesale reform of the medical profession until the back nine, but that’s just me.

Dr. Troy appears to be the master of psychological warfare, actually. All he had to do was say “tree line” and he gave Rex (in panel two) a case of the shakes as bad as a poker junkie desperate for his next fix.

37 responses to “Single-payer health care is his madeleine

  1. Jake Boone
    March 20th, 2006 at 3:46 am [Reply]

    Dr. Troy is a hit man! Look at those last two panels… I think Rex just got “whacked.” So who’s bankrolling the hit?

  2. Monkeymail
    March 20th, 2006 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    I want to invent a word. Can we say that this strip is “ellipsirific”? Ellipsistastic? Ellipsistacular?

  3. ISBN
    March 20th, 2006 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Okay, so I am new to Rex Morgan MD, courtesy of the curmudgeonly one. So my quesiton is…is it NORMAL that the characters ALL have their mouths closed while speaking?? What the–?

    And I still think Troy is dragging the good doctor deep into his lair–of global coverage despair. And of course, sex.

  4. Chris
    March 20th, 2006 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Commie homo golfshark…Brokeback Morgan gets more bequiling all the time.

    Meanwhile, Mary Worth and Toby seem to have bought their power walking outfits at Penny Day at K-Mart…but who’s the hyperventilating woman just ahead who will bore us to tears?

    Michael in FBFW used to pick up girls? In what alternative universe comic strip?

  5. Chris
    March 20th, 2006 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Oh, and by the way, RMMD has trod this single payer, Hillarycare path ages ago…Rex’s weirdo buddy Keith, the doctor with the goatee, was literally beating the table about “throwing the money changers out of the temple”, i.e., doctors’ and pharmaceutical companies making profits.

    This was back in the days when RMMD was drawn more “realistically.”

  6. BillBrasky
    March 20th, 2006 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    “420 Yards?” “Universal Health Insurance?” My worst nightmares are now the truth – Rex Morgan MD is a pot smokin’ Canadian hippie!

  7. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    March 20th, 2006 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    Back in the good old days, perhaps last year some time, Rex attended a conference on the health care crisis and found himself on skis, pulling a terribly sick friend behind him on a sled through the worst blizzard that New York has ever seen. This was shortly after the famous June in the bathtub scene, as I recall.

    Now, they’re just putting.

  8. andrew
    March 20th, 2006 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    If Morgan were really a pot smokin’ Canadian hippie, it would be 420 metres, not yards.

  9. Sturgeon General
    March 20th, 2006 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    As for Monday’s RMMD, Rex is asking Dr. Troy “What is on his mind….”

    Too bad they didn’t have room for one more panel because I am sure his response would be something along the lines of “Wow, what a nice wiener, can I have a bite?”

  10. Matthew
    March 20th, 2006 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    Whoa. Yet another ass-grabbing in FBORFW.

    And, uh, daughter wants Daddy to kiss her the same way he kisses Mommy? Ew.

  11. chopper
    March 20th, 2006 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    Is it just me or has Rex’s wiener gotten bigger from frame 2 to frame 3 ??????

  12. Uncle Lumpy
    March 20th, 2006 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    Sure, Josh – no way you’re impugning anybody’s heterosexuality with a Proust reference in the title.

  13. BillBrasky
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    #8 –

    Actually, Andrew, Canadian golf courses list distances in yards, not metres.

    Rex Morgan MD is Canadian – end of story.

  14. Canaduck
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Nice Rogue-hair on Dr. Troy there.

  15. BigJoe
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    MW: I like how the other walker they are encountering was able to dye her hair and change her outfit in the minute or so “real time” that elapsed between Sunday and Monday’s strips. Nice continuity.

    I believe she shed quite a few pounds as well. I never knew power walking burned such a huge amount of calories.

  16. Fred P.
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    #3- I’ve been puzzled by that closed-mouth dialogue thing as well.

  17. BigJoe
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    MT: I can’t believe Mark is totally oblivious to the danger they’re in, living in the Land of the Giants. As if the 6-foot ducks circling them aren’t bad enough, check out that moose. It’s the size of a brontosaurus. It can swallow the two of them without even chewing.

    BC: I’m afraid to say that I thought today’s strip was rather clever. I’m so ashamed.

  18. Canaduck
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Now I see why Rexy was so shaken up by the “tree-line” comment…

    …the pine tree in the first panel has disappeared in the third. Hey, I’d be a little weirded out by that too.

  19. Howard Erk
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Mike is glad that he can still pick up girls in FBOFW. He has been spending so much time at the bookstores, bathhouses, and the like picking up guys he was trully worried that he might have to turn in his bi card and divorce his bearded wife.

  20. BigJoe
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    #11 – The other thing is, why in the comics do they always hold the hot dogs “the long way”. How the heck are they eating those things, biting the middle part first? A bit difficult.

  21. Hogenmogen
    March 20th, 2006 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    Rex and Troy holding weiners – doesn’t that strike anyone as being a little “too” obvious? They’re toying with us!

    Also, I pick up my daughters and tell my wife that I can still pick up the babes. She tells me that I’m not very funny. Put it in to a FBOFW strip and suddenly she thinks it’s comedy gold.

  22. Abbey the Wonderdog
    March 20th, 2006 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    I can’t wait for Rex and Troy to go at their weiners with relish.


  23. andrew
    March 20th, 2006 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    #13: My mistake. I should’ve known, given that Canadian football also uses yards.
    Fortunately, I’ve now read the entire Wikipedia “Metrification in Canada” article, so I’ll never make such a foolish mistake again… I love that I always end up learning something from coming to this site…

  24. BillBrasky
    March 20th, 2006 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Andrew – Yes, I was thinking of the CFL as well. Fascinating game!

    BTW, if anyone’s intrested…

  25. Sturgeon General
    March 20th, 2006 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    I bet that Troy can take every millimeter of Rex’s 30.48 cm long dog.


  26. Hogenmogen
    March 20th, 2006 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    #15 – How astute an observation that the out-of-breath stranger has dyed her hair and changed outfits. However, may I point out that Mary and Barbie-the-Power-Walker have also changed clothes? Perhaps all that passing scenery and changing clothes is what is leaving the ever delightful Ms. Worthless very winded.

    My own theory on the new stranger is that she is really two people. There was the scene on Sunday of a very destitute, unkempt, disheveled, creepy and miserable looking woman staggering down the street. The scene on Monday involved a woman who looks as if she is channeling Johnny Carson as the Great Karnak. Two different people. The plot line will undoubtedly continue with the clean and far more socially acceptable woman, although she seems to have fewer problems than the refugee from Rita’s battered woman shelter.

    Since this is supposed to be where we talk about RMMD, let me say that I had a discussion with a friend. I said that as lame as Rex is, at least he will eventually have a real “adventure”, like finding a dead body in the rough, or maybe someone will have a massive coronary on the 4th hole. No, it turns out to be about health care coverage and other arcane medi-political points that would even put John Kerry to sleep.

  27. Goober
    March 20th, 2006 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    GT: Blatant drug deal going down right behind Moon in panel 1. The guy with the glasses is saying “Are you sure that’s a quarter?”

  28. King Folderol
    March 20th, 2006 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    You got to get up pretty early in the morning to make the first joke about Rex’s wiener, apparently. Nuts.

    MW: Forget about all of the other inconsistencies; the poor use of perspective makes this woman in the last panel look like she’s eight feet tall.

    One Big Happy: Scored with me today. I’ve had plenty of battle axe teachers in my life that I would’ve loved to say something like that.

    Overboard actually made me laugh, too.

    Perhaps both these strips were funny because I’m in a bad mood, and like to see old people suffer and sailors get eaten by strange monsters. Dunno.

  29. BigJoe
    March 20th, 2006 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

  30. meagan
    March 20th, 2006 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    They would be eating hotdogs now, wouldn’t they? So much for subtlety.

  31. Non-Shannon
    March 20th, 2006 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth Character Synopsis
    …so apparently ol’ Chinbeard is really “a gentle teddy bear” at heart.
    Yeah, I’ve been lurking around here for quite a while now.

  32. Sassy_Rocks
    March 20th, 2006 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    Non-Shannon, Ian Cameron imho is not a teddy bear. What he really is is a pompous, gossiping, insecure geezer with a trophy wife, a fat gut and chin hair. He has even less redeeming characteristics than Wilbur Weston. One can only assume he’s hung like Steve Stallion for a hot young thing like Toby to marry him.

  33. David
    March 20th, 2006 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    31. And we’re told that Ian is a “Scottish-born victim of ‘The Hemingway Complex’”

    I thought that was a propensity to shooting yourself in the head. Am I wrong?

  34. dimestore lipstick
    March 20th, 2006 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    We spend a lot of time snarking on bad strips, but when a strip is good, it also bears mentioning. And today’s PBS is golden.

  35. CHA5NCE
    March 20th, 2006 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    Hot dogs. Thank you comic strip gods for this small, but significant sign from above.

  36. Mysterio
    March 21st, 2006 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    The streak of white hair makes Rex’s golf buddy look like an older, worse drawn version of Dr. Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap. Which makes the whole thing weirder.

  37. Mibbitmaker
    March 21st, 2006 at 3:16 am [Reply]

    Yeah, I’ve been seeing Sam in Dr. Single-Payer alot in this series. I wonder where hologram Al is?

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