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The smut that isn’t

Luann, 3/10/10

I have emphasized repeatedly that I find the Brad-Toni relationship gross, but I do feel a need to mention now and again that I also find aspects of it — in particular, the weird ultra-chastity in practice underneath the layers of innuendo — baffling. Not necessarily because there aren’t young adults out there who for whatever reason hold back on the sexing, but because their relationship isn’t treated as unusually chaste; in fact, it’s treated as some kind of dangerous, smoldering time-bomb of lust that could destroy the world if not carefully monitored by Brad’s mother. Take Toni’s dialogue in the first panel today: “Don’t tell your mom I’m here! She’ll think I hang out!” Not … hanging out! Is there really a parent in America today whose adult offspring must hide the fact that his or her significant other is spending time at said offspring’s own house in what appears to be the middle of the day? Does Mrs. DeGroot expect that Brad and Toni will be interacting solely at church socials and via long, flowery letters up until the day they marry?

The thing is, I honestly don’t believe that anyone involved in the creation of the strip — not Greg Evans, and not his syndicate — thinks this is how humans in 21st century mainstream America behave. But there must be some kind of editorial edict handed down from on high that declares any mention or hint of sexuality between non-married people be completely verboten. But Evans seems to really want to do “Mrs. DeGroot is threatened by Toni’s sexual interest in Brad,” for some reason, which, taking those restrictions into account, ends up as “Mrs. DeGroot is threatened by any contact between Brad and Toni of any sort.” It just reads as … off, which is not really what you want in a comic strip, I don’t think.

Meanwhile, if we’re looking for things that are gross, let’s take note of the almost invisible musical “Hi honey” coming out of Brad’s phone in panel three.

Mark Trail, 3/10/10

And yet Mark Trail, of all strips, has no apparent qualms about depicting raw sexuality out in the country, with a sexy ranger and sexy backwoodsman’s daughter sexily sizing each other up, for sex. Buzz offers the most hilariously nonspecific and uninteresting explanation possible of his presence in her neck of the woods in panel three, and Jan’s reply that this mushy amalgam of vagueness “sounds interesting” indicates that she isn’t even listening to the blah blah coming out of his pretty mouth; she’s more interested in getting into those electric blue jeans and finding out if the carpet matches the drapes. (It doesn’t, if the eyebrows are any indication.)

Meanwhile, in the background, Mark appears to be on the verge of humping a Ski-Doo. Hey, man, whatever floats your boat! Literally!

Hagar the Horrible, 3/10/10

In other cartoon sex news, Hagar is supposed to be a sympathetic viewpoint character, despite his attempts to cheat on his long-suffering wife with ladies in Viking bars. The really weird aspect of this is that this is actually more or less a repeat of a four and a half year old joke, right down to the strip’s composition, and yet it’s been somewhat rewritten and apparently completely redrawn. Why not just take it to its logical conclusion and just run the damn thing again?

255 responses to “The smut that isn’t”

  1. Muffaroo
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    AD – No doubt that dinosaur ate the tiny bobsled team, though how that gives it the ability to talk is unclear to me.

    Beetle – By the bye, according to the 1958 Beetle Bailey book, here are some first names I don’t hear often: 2nd Lt. Sonny Fuzz. Capt. Sam Scabbard. Pvt. John D. Cosmo. Gen. Amos T. Halftrack. Sarge’s name is given as Orvie Snorkle. Also Cookie and Zero have no additional names, and the book’s introduction (written by Halftrack) says they have no record of Zero’s existence. And Otto is sometimes shown with a uniform shirt on, sometimes not. It seems to depend on whether he’s on four legs (good) or two (better).

    Dick – Ironically, Pop’s going to take the bullet for his son, thus failing utterly to kill him, even by inaction.

    Smirky – Footnote: ‘Funky’ is slang for something that smells bad.

  2. Muffaroo
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Smirky – Footnote: ‘Funky’ is slang for something that smells bad.

    Mark – “…In my pants!”
    “That’s what SHE said!”

    Marmaduke – “Hey, Thag… Wall of dog bigger today?”

    Mary – “I wish she’d come to me, though. I would have driven her to the clinic!”

    Pluggers – A plugger wears the daily crossword to prove he’s still got his original fashion sense.

  3. Muffaroo
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    R=R – Another tragedy that could be avoided if the authorities would only issue crossing guards with signs that say “SPEED UP! NOW!!”

    Slylock – Snowflakes have six sides? What about the front side? What about the back side?

    @BigTed (#y238): That’s pretty much what you said. And I said it was on in the 60s as well. To answer your question, I don’t know. Maybe, like me, they’re 53.

    @Anonymous (#y255): I weel not buy thees perfume. Eet ees scratched.

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#y270): An extra day with your pet. I gave my cat several extra pets in her honor, which she accepted as her due. She didn’t know why, but I did.

    Josh, supra – Mark isn’t really humping that Ski-doo, he’s… uh… portaging it! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  4. Thomas B.
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    I’m looking at Mark’s position and I have one question: Where is Ben Harris? Actually, I think I already know.

  5. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:44 am [Reply]

    MT: Actual dialogue: “Would you like to caress my inexpertly rendered torso?” “Why yes! But let’s get me out of these jeans first!” “Sounds interesting!”

    MW: Dawn’s got a death grip on that sandwich; if she squeezes it any harder, she’ll be cleaning mayo out of the popcorn ceiling with a toothbrush.

    DtM: And that was the day that Joey finally snapped. Now there’s a new menace in town.

    JP: Sam: “Well, that’s all very impressive, and yet I’m still a smug dick.”

  6. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#y270): queek, I’m so sorry. I’m sending all my warm wishes your way. Please do send us updates as you can; I’ll be thinking of you lots to day.

    True Fable: I had a dream in your honor last night: I was in a laboratory, and it was covered with bees. And the folks in the laboratory were grinding the bees. (And let me tell, you it’s a dusty, messy process.)

  7. skullcrusherjones
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    Panel 3 would have shown Hagar treating the mouthy strumpet like his Viking hoards treat coastal villages: not well.

  8. skullcrusherjones
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    Luann: Toni’s wording in the 1st panel makes it sound like something is hanging out of her. This is the grossest romance this side of a Cronenberg film.

  9. skullcrusherjones
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    MT: No, Jan, whatever the hell is going on in silhouette behind you is interesting… and illegal in most states.

    March 10th, 2010 at 10:56 am [Reply]


  11. Cooler King
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    Hear ye hear ye! Mark here and I are here to check on some problems near here that we heard about, ya hear? “Hear hear, Buzz!”

  12. Walker of Dog
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    RMMD: It must be getting close to mealtime at the Morgan place: June has exposed her baleen. I would have figured her for a carnivore, not a filter-feeder. I guess when she tears the flesh from her victims, it’s just for fun, not sustenance.

    GT: Awkward situation on the court: the separating arm-seams indicate that the Milford player is entering her molting cycle. Substitute!

  13. brian
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    Because of the change in the second panels, the two Hagar strips couldn’t be more different. In the earlier one, the redheaded tart’s reply causes our Viking friend to stare out into the metaphysical void, pondering his own existence. “Am I really such a simpleton?” he wonders. “Rape, pillage…is there nothing more to Hagar?”

    In today’s, he responds to the blonde by just doing a simple camera take, as if to say, “Zing.”

  14. Hibbleton
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Mark is so worked up by the sight of these two young aryans in their pre-mating ritual he’ll hump anything with a hole in it as Jan’s pet poodle will soon find out.

  15. PoeWar
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    The VA was inefficient and unresponsive until a scathing expose by Funky Winkerbean scared them straight!

  16. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    “What’s a wildlife ranger doing in this area? I can’t see any reason you’d — hey, look out, you almost got hit by a goose!”

  17. wossname
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    Queek Y222 and Y270 – I’m so sorry to hear about Dewce. It sounds like she had a good, long (for a ferret) life, and is leaving it without pain or fear, so that’s good, as far as it goes. But I know you and QG will miss her a lot.

  18. wossname
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (#10): No, HAMMY! Please!!!!! No “Trolololololo”! Have some nuts… fill up your mouth… good.

  19. William Shatner
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (#10): bastard! Now I’ve got…that..”Trololololo” song stuck… in my head.
    I’d jump… out the window to… end it… all but I’m on… the first floor.

  20. Dan
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Does Toni have a facial expression other than “about to unhinge her jaw and swallow a sheep whole?”

    March 10th, 2010 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#18): DHHLAHOLAHOOO! nuts a spewing

  22. PoeWar
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    So I’ve read this Luann more times than it deserves, and I am under the impression that Toni stormed out in a huff because Brad told her he wished she was around more. That was his crime, wanting to spend time with her. So of course, her response is to leave. I think I finally agree with Ma Degroot. Toni sucks (and apparently that’s all she does). Brad should dump her.

  23. wossname
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (#21): I don’t know why I’m asking — masochism, I guess — but are you wearing the suit and the facial expression of Trololololo-guy in the video?

    March 10th, 2010 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    @Dan (#20): WOW! A WHOLE SHEEP!!!

  25. drinksnob
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    Finally, Mark Trail becomes the adult movie from the 70s it’s dreamed of being all along.

    March 10th, 2010 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#23): THE SUIT GOT DESTROYED IN THE BLAST!!


  27. Obi-Haiv
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Is it me, or did Savarna age about 50 years between panels 2 & 3? Maybe it’s the constant spray of salt water, maybe it’s the gun powder residue wafting in the gentle ocean breeze. Maybe. My money, though, is on the lack of a good botox rep on the high seas, and life as a vampire pirate hunter is suddenly rearing its ugly head.

  28. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    Queek, I’m very sorry about your ill ferret. I hope she’s not in any pain.
    Dealing with this is never easy.

  29. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    I always like the appearance of Viking bar woman. She reminds me of a drawing in my father’s old Playboy magazines. But now, Mark Trail looks like it’s going to turn into one of the $9 European “art” magazines involving a sauna, nakedness amongst blondes, and enough lube to slosh the entire Mormon Tabernacle choir.

  30. sloopygoop
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    I think that is the best Hagar the Horrible I’ve ever read. Honestly, I love it. Nobody does end-panels of stunned silence on the comics page!

  31. ElkMeadow
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    No, Brad, you set up for your first argument. Since becoming a firefighter, what on earth have you done with your life?

    You never have visited Toni’s place, you’ve never met her roommates or her siblings (we saw her brother-once) or her parents. You either go to work or you sit around your place or your parents place. You have six people in your life–3 family, one roommate, the captain and Shannon. Seven, counting you, but I don’t know if you qualify as a human.

    That Toni is finally waking up to the fact that you have no future, no life other than work is not your mom’s fault. You’re an adult–you can take off your own damn diaper and get some big boy pants on. T.J. cooks your food, cleans your house, pays the bills and does the shopping while you just sit on your butt and watch television. Maybe Toni can finally see that those will all be her “jobs” if you get married.

    I’ll even bet that your mom bought all of your clothes and still buys your socks and underwear You probably still have your mail delivered to your parents’ house so that your mom is always bringing it over to you.

    Run, Toni, run!

  32. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    For The Didactic Duo.

    today’s Lio was daaaaaaaaark.

    HotC is in reruns, I remember today’s strip from the last Winter Olympics.

    Mutts: guest starring Hammy.

    MC: I didn’t notice where Norm’s bill was at first, and I was thinking “saucy!” but alas, its just Norm being dumb again. As a wise Bartender put it, “dude, do NOT screw this up.”

    Ghost-Who-Fends-Off-Pirates-and-Advances: Nothing says “love” like high explosives!

    SpeedBump: ewwwwwwwww!

    March 10th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

  34. Steve S
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    Wait, their first argument? Hasn’t every Brad n Toni plot ever involved them arguing? Doesn’t every one of their encounters climax with a hot, throbbing disagreement, their words thrusting wildly against each other? Not that I’m saying anything about sublimation here…

  35. Professor Fate
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    MW: In the first pannel, it looks like Dawn is shielding her sandwich from a grab by Wilbur. And the second panel – well it’s a face that wants to be in nightmares.

  36. Walker of Dog
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    @Obi-Haiv (#27): I noticed that too. If Savarna’s eyesight is fading as fast as her looks, it would explain her poor marksmanship in panel 1.

  37. Here Come ole Flattop
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    FW: (me, Y132). See, I told you. He’s got his head so far up his anal orifice that it would take a bulldozer to pull it out. I quit.

  38. AhClem
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    Luann – Toni hasn’t been herself ever since she had surgery to graft Tennessee Tuxedo’s beak onto her face.

  39. Phred22
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    How is it Mark Trail shows no interest in the evidence of climate change all around him, namely that it’s never wintertime wherever he goes? Even in Florida it should be chilly for swimming this time of year and Mark’s definitely not in Florida right now (no alligators).

  40. Marion Delgado
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    No one thought Dennis Mitchell was particularly menacing at the time … 10 years later when Joey McDonald got out of the Marines and went up on the tower with his sniper rifle, things changed.

    “Strikes … are … a GOOD thing … in this game … DENNIS!”

    We couldn’t run it in the paper, but my friend in Homicide said it was amazing that Dennis and Margaret Mitchell had enough blood in them for Joey to write the manifesto they found on their living room wall Thursday.

  41. Shawn S.
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    Toni called Brad’s bluff…obviously Brad has no other obligations other than the T.V. He’s a lamer version of Peter Parker, which is incredibly hard to pull off.

  42. Baron Bizarre
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    The Phantom: Yeah, I can’t imagine why The Ghost Who Blasts Varmints wouldn’t want to get romantic with a woman who just morphed into the Sea Hag.

    March 10th, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#38):

  44. Boophilus
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    Luann: I think this strip was edited. It would make so much more sense if you substitue “sleep over” for “hang out” — the pitch black background suggests late evening or night. It would also give a more plausable reason for Toni to worry about Nancy’s opinion. Basically, I’m saying I can’t imagine this is the original dialog — it makes no sense.

  45. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    You know, I have been remiss in not following Ripley’s Believe It Or Not over at It was over two years ago that I first read the sublimely wonderful sentence “Leopard slugs mate in mid-air – dangling from a rope of mucus!“, and I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up then. Ah well, better late than never.

    BrS – Okay, how many guys with ’70s hair and Hawaiian shirts are there in Brenda Starr, anyway?

    DT – Psst, Locher, we’re pretty much taking Conductor Guy’s murderous rage as a given at this point. You don’t really need to keep restating it.

    FC – “Taboo?” Dolly’s perfume is called “Taboo?” C. Sandy Cyst is going to have a field day with that.

    FB – Well, I have to hand it to Fred Basset. It’s not every strip that can come up with such moderately clever political satire eight years late.

    FW – Admittedly, I have never dealt with the VA before, so I don’t really know for sure how much more wrong this could possibly get. However, based on Batiuk’s track record in making his ludicrous tragedies correspond to anything in the real world, I’m going to guess the answer is none. None more wrong.

    GT – Brenda better be careful; she’s coming apart at the seams.

    Love Is… – casting your flouting of near-universal sexual mores as a fight against the establishment, man!

    Luann – Every day I read Luann. Then I pray for sweet, sweet nuclear apocalypse.

    MT – Yow. This is the sexiest Mark Trail has been in…ever, I think.

    MW – I’d try to type up something sympathetic for Wilbur and his regrets and the fact that even his beloved sandwich isn’t bringing him any comfort, but I’m too busy laughing.

    Phantom – I love this strip.

    Pluggers – Pluggers think that a command of obscure vocabulary and random trivia is the surest proof that they are of sound mind.

    RMMD – Today’s Rex Morgan is pretty great. From Rex’s comical gesticulations in th first panel to the minimalist portrait of an irritated but calm June, it’s pure enjoyment. Brooke better fear the shadowy, sinister Sarah, though.

    SM – “Also, my thumb is conveniently covering up the distinctive web-line he is grasping, so as long as I don’t let go of these my secret identity should be completely safe. You can work with that, right?”

    Edison Lee – I hate you so much.

    WoI – I think The Wizard Of Id forgot what its joke was.

  46. Marion Delgado
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:14 pm [Reply]


    This is OT, but one of your advertisements is actually totally spot on. If you do graphics or need to vary your mouse routine to avoid carpal tunnel, etc. then using a graphics tablet and pen as a mouse is totally worth it. The familiarity you get with the pen as a mouse helps your drawing tremendously.

    It’s easy to type, still, too, because you rest the pen on the thumb you mouse with and use the other thumb for the space bar.

    i use the Intuos, a bigger tablet than the Bamboo and more pressure sensitive in the pen, but a Bamboo is great for packing with a laptop.

  47. Écureuil Écumant
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @1 Muffaroo said:

    Beetle – By the bye, according to the 1958 Beetle Bailey book, here are some first names I don’t hear often: 2nd Lt. Sonny Fuzz.

    “Sonny Fuzz”, huh? Well then, judging by his name and the color of his angular forelock, I guess his carpet does match his drapes.

  48. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @Marion Delgado (#46): I’ll chime in on that. Drawing in particular, but any graphics work is a million times easier with a tablet. I got mine for Christmas a little over a year ago and it’s been absolutely wonderful.

  49. Edgy DC
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    “Mark and I here to check on some problems near here. That’s why I’m here. Which is a place I totally have a reason to be. Here.”

    Way to cover convincingly for your obvious jerking off, you jerk-off.

    Oh, and if the size of Buzz’s badge is any indication, Jan is in for a disappointing night.

  50. TimSquare
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    Did you ever give someone a comeback that was a little lame but it was all you could think of at the time? Then later you think of a better comeback. Well, it took Chris Browne 4 1/2 years but he thought of a better comeback. I can’t wait to see what zinger he thinks up for this strip in 2014.

  51. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    HtH: Married Hagar tries to pick up a girl at the bar. Of course, judging from her electric salon perm, she’s a time traveller from somewhere between 1978 and 1982. No surprise that she’s heard better lines.

    Marvin: If there are three things that Marvin doesn’t need, it’s “wee”, “willie” and “winkie.” Talk about coals to Newcastle.

    Phantom: Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there are better times to have the “I just don’t see this relationship going anywhere” conversation than when your admirer is holding a bazooka.

    FC: Dolly may be rummaging through mommy’s drawers all day until she finds perfume Jeffy will actually drink.

    MW: Okay Giella, this is not the time to play with your new zoom lens. Seriously.

    DT: Oh yes, Phil Harmonic is still blah-blahing about how he’s going to kill his son. But said son has a better chance of actually being killed by Virgil Ohso. And if that happens, I have a feeling that Dick may be looking on with stony indifference at the most hideous Pieta scene in history.

    S-M: “Great! Do you have any upgown shots? You see we’re not so much a newspaper per se as we are a fetish site.”

    DtM: Dennis taunts Joey secure in his own mind that there’s no retaliation coming. If I were him, I wouldn’t be so sure. Joey may be the archetypical wimpy kid, but he’s got a little timebomb ticking in him, and he is the one holding the bat.

  52. wossname
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#45):

    “Leopard slugs mate in mid-air – dangling from a rope of mucus!“

    I read that with “slugs” as the verb and “mate” as the object of “slugs” — which is even better than the original.

  53. BowToTheBard
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    A full reading of Mark Trail’s second panel: “Thank you Buzz . . . what’s a wildlife ranger doing in this area?” “Jack Elrod.”

  54. Shawn S.
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    @Marion Delgado (#46):

    Google’s AdSense will display ads according to the website’s page content as well as the user’s geographic location and search history. Odds are you’ve looked at tablets online at some point and that’s why you’re getting targeted ads.

  55. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    #40 Marion Delgado,
    Okay, that’s a lot better than what I had.

  56. Marion Delgado
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    Shawn S: And still cooler than Gunther!

  57. Marion Delgado
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    AFNA Ben:

    Well, in fairness, he DID use a bat on the Mitchells. How’d you know?

  58. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#52): Oh man, that is pretty great.

  59. Patrick
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    I welcome the trend, starting in today’s Hagar the Horrible, of pushing all the dialogue into the first panel and then leaving the characters to hang, wordlessly, for the rest of the strip. Eventually, we could remove the dialogue from even that first panel, then the characters, and then the backgrounds, until the comics page is nothing but one soothing grid of one white box after another.

  60. AirForbes
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    Who would have thought the filthiest strip on the comics page would be Mark Trail? And it’s not the four legged animals, either.

  61. Joe Blevins
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    Apparently, even Hagar the Horrible gets sick of being Hagar the Horrible occasionally. Why it would pretend to be Shoe is beyond me.

  62. Aviatrix
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    @Labdad (Y275): You’d think it would be simple to depict Wilbur’s sandwich with progressively more bites taken out of it from frame to frame and strip to strip, but whenever you have anything being consumed on camera it introduces potential for continuity problems. You can’t expect the comic actors to actually eat the sandwiches, take after take.

    March 10th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @AirForbes (#60):

  64. mollificent
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    xkcd: I can’t believe I didn’t see the joke coming until the last panel. *facepalm*. Even sadder, I wouldn’t have gotten the joke at all if it weren’t for “Glee”. I’m so tragically unhip…

  65. Perky Bird
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    Unfamilliar with human mating rituals, Mark eagerly looks forward to seeing Buzz present Jan with a dead mouse, and Jan preening Buzz’s plumage in acceptance.

  66. ElkMeadow
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    @PoeWar (#22):

    If Brad wants to spend more time with Toni, he can go over to her house, help her with her obligations. His only obligations are to himself.

  67. mvg
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    ElkMeadow (66): Thanks, I really don’t wanna picture Brad “obligating” himself. Yech.

    Phantom: Walke, Walker.. You do NOT wanna have the “There is no us” conversation w/a woman holding a loaded RPG.

  68. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @mollificent (#64): Not as unhip as I am, at least; I’ve never even heard the song and didn’t even know who it was by until I read the alt-text.

  69. teddytoad
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Just another one of Hagar’s visits to the vaudeville brothel, where sex is initiated by certain key set-up lines. In the other room, Lucky Eddie is leading with “I just flew in from destroying the abbey at Lindisfarne…”

  70. Little Guy
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    MT: Age Check in Aisle 9!

    Luann: Brad and Toni are so gonna get married. His mom is already is prime Mother-In-Law mode.

    Meta: Mark Trail and Peter Parker — take note about paying without ‘paying’.

  71. Red Greenback
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#45): Thanks for that. “Dangling from a rope of mucus!“ is now officially my new fortune cookie saying addendum.
    PS., back in 2000, I spent an absurd amount of $ on a 15″ Cintiq and haven’t regretted it one day.

  72. Aviatrix
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (#33): What? You think Mormons depended on skillful foreplay to stimulate natural lubrication?

  73. Digger
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    MT: I expect to see Mark talking about Jan in an upcoming Sunday strip: “The scantily-clad female is one of the most dangerous predators known to man. If one attempts to touch you, the best defense is to make your body go completely rigid. Basically, just do what I do when Cherry’s around. Then make your escape by telling the female you have an important assignment you need to work on.”

    March 10th, 2010 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#72):

  75. Darkefang
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    JP: Is it just me, or did every character in this D’Vito murder storyline contribute in some way to solving the case except Sam? Henry pointed them to some clues. Steve found the note. Lt. Yelich ran various forensic tests, tracked down suspects and followed leads. Stella found the account numbers, figured out who the real killer was and gathered evidence against him.

    And what did Sam do? He condescended to the police, told Steve to tamper with evidence, tampered with potential witnesses by fraudulently posing as a life insurance representative, and cashed a $100,000 check which he probably won’t even share with Steve and Gloria.

    MW: Hey Wilbur! Dawn may not want to hear about how much you regret the events in your life that led to her birth.

  76. kkarenb
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:21 pm [Reply]

    9CL – Darn it! I was so looking forward to seeing what Eisenhower looked like without a chin.

    Pluggers – If it’s the New York Times crossword, I bet he can’t finish even Monday’s puzzle.

    March 10th, 2010 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#76):

  78. ElkMeadow
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    @Darkefang (#75):
    MW: Hey Wilbur! Dawn may not want to hear about how much you regret the events in your life that led to her birth.


  79. bunivasal
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Oh, that’s not Mark’s silhouette, that’s Jack Elrod’s way of subtly telegraphing exactly what Buzz is thinking about, which explains his fumbled “Mark and I are here to check on some problems near here.”

  80. Foolkiller
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    Spidey: Who is that needing pictures, Roberto Robertson?

  81. Muffaroo
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#48): Thirded, except that tracing complicated outlines for masking purposes is easier by using a mouse to shift-click from point to point. The mouse is even easier than a trackball, for which reason I replaced an ailing Kensington trackball with a mouse — very reluctantly, as I loved that thing. I had an 8-ball in place of the beige ball that came with it. (The guy at the pool table supply asked if I was going to put it on a gearshift.)

  82. remarkablyadept
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    Are we sure Toni isn’t the problem here instead of Brad’s mom? Perhaps Toni suffers from a hernia, or that disease that causes people’s insides to expell from her body at random and unpredictable times.

  83. Écureuil Écumant
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @51 Artist formerly known as Ben said:

    Phantom: Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there are better times to have the “I just don’t see this relationship going anywhere” conversation than when your admirer is holding a bazooka.

    Yeah, I guess stripey-butt never saw “Blues Brothers”.

  84. Walker of Dog
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @Hibbleton (#14): Worked up, but not in a good way. Mark is distressed by the obvious sexual attraction between the comely Aryans and the disturbing sensations it has triggered in his forbidden zone. He is going to punch himself in the crotch with a boom box.

  85. Edgy DC
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    “Don’t tell you’re mom your penis is grinding into my butt, ‘kay?”

  86. Edgy DC
    March 10th, 2010 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    And, with correct spelling:

    “Don’t tell your mom your penis is grinding into my butt, ‘kay?”

  87. Buck Ripsnort
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    Since I almost killed the yesterthread, let’s try it again:
    9CL: The Germans were NOT “our boys”, dammit!

    If my memory has failed during this War&Peace-length epic, and she IS, in fact, singing to “OUR boys”, well — well then, I’ve just given it more thought than it deserves, as usual.

  88. Écureuil Écumant
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    JP: Y’know, there’s just somethin’ about Sam that causes women who really know their missing guns to “take a shine” to him.

    Because we’ve seen this specific plot twist before — and the, er, exposition was better!

  89. Mr. Paul Maul
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    Technically, he would have to DRY hump a Ski-Doo.

  90. Poteet
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    MT — If there really were “wildlife rangers” in this country, which there aren’t, what the hell would be unusual about two of them visiting this remote lake of the damned, where hospitals sometimes have to be reached by boat? And if this is supposed to be a large deep northern lake, which I suspect is the case, what time of the summer is it? Those deep northern lakes stay mighty cold for a mighty long time, and Jan should probably be doubled-over and shivering.

  91. Baka Gaijin
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: For a look at Wilbur’s life without the prism of nostalgia, today’s Luann documents the day when Abby walked out of his life for good. I can’t be the only one thinking Brad’s 3 sandwiches away from a bad combover and boring reminiscing about things that tangentially happened to him at varying indeterminate times in the past.

    Pluggers: A plugger does the crossword in Highlights to prove his compos mentis at his intellectual age.

    Blondie: At first I was surprised Dagwood uses an iMac, but it makes perfect sense: it has only one button on its mouse.

    Mother Goose and Grimm: Surprisingly entertaining today.

    Cow and Boy: I didn’t see that coming.

    Pickles: What is this, “Inappropriate Locations for Cats’ Asses Week?” Yesterday it was Pluggers on the bath towel, today it’s Pickles on the dinner table. Tomorrow: Cathy, a cat keister on her kisser. Friday: Mutts, a dozen synchronized feline anuses flapping.

  92. Poteet
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    @Buck Ripsnort (#87): I think she’s just been singing to Allied troops, but she spent most of this story singing to German troops, so your confusion is understandable. At this point, I think we’re supposed to feel an upwelling of deep sympathy for this innocent child with the beautiful voice, trying to navigate her way through the local politics of a brutal war and forcefully persuaded to destroy her own reputation in order to find out a few of the favorite foods in the hometowns of a few highly-unimportant German prisoners. Poor thing. *eye roll*

  93. Poteet
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    Luann — Maybe “hang out” is code for “show you my naked tits.”

  94. Ed Dravecky
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Is this strip assembled using Colorforms? There’s no way Dagwood could sit like that in an Earth-gravity environment.

    Dick Tracy: I am still unclear about Phil Harmonic’s intentions towards his son. Could somebody get Locher to clarify that for us? Thanks.

    Jumble: Yes, it is quite shrewd how the money flows like a brook from the secretive organization known as The Family to various Senators, raising the roof of the C Street house at below-market rents. Well played, Knurek.

  95. TheDiva
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    C’shaft: Only Crankshaft would believe that a pot of water is refusing to boil just to spite him. In his case, he might actually be right.

    DT: Why is a yam wearing sunglasses aiming a gun at us in the second panel?

    FW: TL;DR

    Lio: I guess they weren’t kidding about that “we’ll eat you up, we love you so” thing.

    Luann: I think I’m most amused by Nancy’s sing-song “Hi, Honey” over the phone in the last panel. I think she just overheard this conversation and is now gloating that she has her baby all to herself once more.

    MW: Wait, Wilbur doesn’t have teeth–he has baleen! He must have to eat his own weight in krill sandwiches every week.

  96. Ed Dravecky
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: June Morgan’s fingernails: have they always been black or is that a side-effect of the neurotoxin she secretes to paralyze her prey?

  97. Black Drazon
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Was Toni lying down on top of her coat, ready to fling it on at a moment’s provocation? That’s a good sign that you might have relationship issues, is all I’m saying.

    Looking at this Hagar reminds me of Zits. Zits constantly repeats jokes, but always with different phrasing and loving rendered piles of crap on Jeremy’s bedroom floor. So while most syndicated strips can’t come up with new jokes or plotlines and just recycle new ones, when Scott and Borgman can’t come up with new jokes, with God as their witness they will waste effort creating them anew!

  98. Thomas B.
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    You people do realize that “TROLOLOLOLO” is an anagram of ” o’ Troll lol o” He’s telling you he is a troll and laughing about it. Wake up people, wake up!! How could you people find these antics amusing? Oh nevermind, I’ll just have some nuts. (munch munch). Hey, you know maybe that HAMMY is on to SOMETHING. NOW that I HAVE these NUTS I CAN’T SEEM TO STOP TYPING IN ALL CAPS. EVRYTHING FEELS BETTER. MORE NUTS TROLOLOLO!!

  99. NSP
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    Man if Mr. Furley finds out that that chick was hanging out at the Regal Beagle with a Viking, he’s gonna be pissed!

  100. Mars
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:40 pm [Reply]

    The threat of “hanging out” aside, that’s the fastest fight I’ve seen in a while. Toni went from zero to sixty in mid-sentence.

    In weirder news, check out today’s Adam @ Home for Adam’s furious rage against…well, you’ll find out.

  101. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    I have no snark today, so I’m going to ask a question a la Dagwood and Hagar:
    What is the weirdest or most unhealthy thing y’all enjoy eating?
    My horrible vice is Hamburger Helper, Cheesburger Macaroni “flavor.”
    My partner calls it “poison.” LOL
    The second? Stuffed/loaded potato skins.

  102. mvg
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    remarkablyadept (82): “that disease that causes people’s insides to expell from her body at random and unpredictable times.”

    Would that be sea-cucumberitis? (Or, if it’s OTHER people’s insides that are being expelled from her body — the indigestible remains of her kills, not unlike giant economy-size owl pellets — perhaps she’s of the same predatory species as June Morgan & Mary Worth. Ah, Mary, Wilbur is just about ripe enough to finally dispatch — so stuffed full of white bread & processed meat byproducts, so painstakingly fermented by defeat & ennui. You’d better strike quickly, Mary. It looks like, Dawn, a young alpha-aspirant, is aiming to hunt on your territory.

  103. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:42 pm [Reply]

    That would be Cheeseburger…sorry.
    (In paradise)

  104. Bizarro Stormy
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    Silly woman; the last time something sounded interesting in Mark Trail, it was the sound of a storefront window breaking.

  105. seismic-2
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:53 pm [Reply]

    Toni is right, Brad – you don’t have any other obligations, because you’re a huge, annoying, lethargic parasite. It’s time for you to get off the couch and finally make something of your life! Fortunately, today’s newspaper has a want ad that presents a great opportunity for you:

    Wanted: Useless slugs

    Candidates are invited to apply for positions in failing to provide emergency services. Applicants must show willingness to rush to burning building and stare at them. Experience in whining and complaining is a must. Applicants must pass a test in bemoaning about how hard it is to raise a ladder, how long it would take, and why there’s no point in even trying. Indifference to human suffering is a plus.

    Send resumes to: Miami Fire Dept., c/o Captain Mustache

    Sounds right up your alley, Brad!

  106. The Ridger
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    Let me get this straight: The firefighters couldn’t get their ladder to the fourth floor in time, but Peter had time to (a) verbally note the situation (b) listen to the firemen (c) angst (d) run down the street (e) break into a store (f) comparison shop (g) change clothes – completely (h) run back up the street (i) set up his camera (j) stick his camera up on a wall opposite and (k) climb up to the fourth floor?

    Worst Fire Department Ever. EVER.

  107. spike
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: Margo would never use “Drat!” as an interjection. For those of you who needed a change of earworm, I guess that Sarvana is obviously a Nora “Chasing Pirates” Jones fan. *Ducking*

  108. Josh
    March 10th, 2010 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    @Buck Ripsnort (#87): Much as I hate to (a) stick up for a 9CL storyline that has become insufferable as they all inevitably do and (b) admit that I’ve dedicated valuable brainspace to its details: The story began, a seeming eternity ago, with Edie as a USO singer performing for Allied troops. It was only upon seeing her sexy skillz and using his secret spy powers to determine that she was fluent in German that Bill recruited her to use her virginal sexiness to extract war-winning intel from the random grunts the POW camp. In saying “All I ever wanted to do was sing for our guys,” I’m assuming she’s reflecting back on the impulse that got her over the the UK in the first place, as in, “I came over here to sing for our guys, and now I’ve gotten myself mixed up in this crazy scheme where everyone thinks I’m a Nazi-fucker.”


  109. Bitter Scribe
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    The Brad-Toni relationship is on a par with Luann-Aaron, Gunther-Luann, and pretty much every other relationship in the strip: Endless teasing and stringing along by the pursued, endless emotional frustration for the pursuer. Apparently this is a never-ending source of humor.

  110. Thomas B.
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    SM- Now Peter is selling the photos to a totally original newspaper editor in chief who is probably named G. Gordon Garrison. You’d think someone might ask “Who, the hell are you and how did you get in the editor’s office?” Of course, if I wanted to read something that makes sense I’d read Mary Worth, Gil Thorp, Mark Trail, Kafka. Yes, I’ll just read Kafka.

  111. The Ridger
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#91): She wanted to sing for “our boys” but the mean old officer who’s now about to shtup her forced her to sing to the Germans so she could be a spy. Or so unpopular that he’d be her only recourse.

  112. The Ridger
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#111): Oh, damn. Clearly I clicked on the wrong “reply” link. That was meant for #87

  113. kkarenb
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    I knew you weren’t a Plugger!

    @Calico (#101):
    Raw piecrust dough.

  114. The Ridger
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    PS – that editor so forcefully pounding his desk and wishing for photos better hope the MFD doesn’t see to it that the Globe-Record has a little accident…

    March 10th, 2010 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#98):

    March 10th, 2010 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#113):


  117. wossname
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): There’s a local fast food chain (Debidawg and True Fable will know I’m referring to The Varsity) that has wonderful extremely crispy battered onion rings dripping with grease. Seriously, it takes a stack of napkins to blot them, and they’re still greasy, but so good. Yum yum yum! Serve with a small burger made with mystery meat, topped with pimento cheese and the whole thing squished under the grill, and a slaw dog with yellow mustard, and you have a meal fit for a, uh, Plugger. (Not that I accept that designation.)

    But most of the time I’m an almost-vegetarian, honest!

  118. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#105): Now that’s hardly fair. Slugs at least have the desire and know-how to mate*, which Brad has yet to demonstrate.

    * Dangling from a rope of mucus!

  119. spike
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @ 111 The Ridger: Naw, I think that Lt Kiesl was about to ask Dear Edith/Eva to marry him just before she pulled the ruse that would raise questions about her loyalties/virginity. Poor Edith! Kiesl would’ve been the better chioce, given the fact that he was from Vienna, as were her parents.

  120. Baka Gaijin
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#112): Whew, thanks. I don’t need to buy an iPhone then Irving’s brain builders.

  121. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, Josh, that’s what I got from the MT strip, too.

  122. Comcis Fan
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    MW: It seems that Wilbur is wishing he had lived the life of Les Moore.

    Dilbert: Funny.

  123. Violet
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    Truly, the power of all things Brad-and-Toni to repulse beyond human endurance is quite remarkable. I find myself thinking, hey, what’s going on with that West Side Story love tetrahedron or whatever it is at this point, or even—god help me—I wonder what TJ’s been up to lately?

    I actually welcome the introduction of Mrs. DeGroot into these storylines. Not because it doesn’t make things grosser; it unquestionably does, I’m just thankful SOMEONE is trying to put a stop to this.

  124. Crankenstank
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    How is it that Hagar the Horrible, Ninth Century Viking, has been transported to a fern bar in the 1970s, complete with white-wine-sipping faux-afro plastic-beaded-necklace-wearing-Helen Reddy listening-yet-singles-bar-hopping-in-your-face-single-woman? Is this a new crossover strip — Hagar:SG1?

  125. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    Final Dewce update. We took her to the vet this afternoon, and helped her over the Rainbow Bridge. She’s buried in a T-shirt that she often slept in, along with her favorite toys, next to her cagemate who passed on 9 days shy of a year ago.

    Thank you all for your earlier kind words, and my apologies for the OT. I now return you all to your regularly scheduled snark.

    March 10th, 2010 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#94): Jumble: The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is on Fire! We don’t need no water……..

  127. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:32 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#45): yes, you’re watching the ominous background figure, too, huh?

  128. Little A and his Verkokte Magic Ball
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): I would have teo say. the Chinese Hot and Sour soup that is typically served in the Chinese restaurants in New York City. This is true mystery food. I enjoy it, most of the time, but I am afraid to ask what it’s made from/of.

    Recycled floor wax, maybe.

  129. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#88): now you’ve got me all misty-eyed (or something) about how beautifully illustrated and colored that JP Sunday strip is. Even without the two hotties, it’s pretty darned sweet.

  130. wossname
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125): Awwww, queek, I’m sorry. Now I’m crying at work.

  131. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    #117 and #128 – I love onion rings, and had some amazing Thai H & S soup in NYC about 7 years ago. My favorite Onion rings are Fat Daddy’s at the Champlain Valley VT Expo/fair.
    Whatever was in that soup recipe, it was very tasty!

  132. Bootsy
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101):

    The fried pickles at Liuzza’s. There. I said it.

  133. Thomas B.
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    MT- Buzz: “So Jan, you are at least 16 years old right?”

  134. latenac
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    A3G I love how James Lipton is the lawyer. He even brought a set of note cards to accurately recount Bobbie’s career in being bitterly married. I can’t wait until he asks her about her tattoo and then brings his wife in so he can point out even bitter married women who are having affairs while stalking their husbands get tattoos, why can’t he get one?

  135. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125):
    Oh, Queek Family, I am sorry.
    Dewce had a wonderful time here on earth with you, oui? Sharing lots of love and fun times, I would suspect…! : )
    You sound like wonderful animal parents.

  136. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125): warm wishes to you and your family. Our kittehs are buried in an assortment of mr. bats :[ old Hawaiian shirts in our backyard, with a variety of shrubberies marking them (two rosemary, a rose, and a prickly pear cactus — go figure).
    Dewce is definitely one of the Best Ferrets Ever. :)

  137. Bootsy
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125):

    Hugs and condolences to you and QG.

  138. seismic-2
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): Montoni’s pizza w/ sausage, pepperoni, & melanoma.

  139. AMC
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    MW – Wilbur is the inspiration for a Kim Carnes comeback song: “He’s got verklempt puggle eyes”.

  140. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): Oh, no question. There’s this little pizza place in my hometown that makes the best thin-crust pizza in the entire world. It’s loaded down with cheese and the biggest sausage chunks I’ve ever encountered, and it’s so greasy my mom has to take a napkin to each piece before she eats it. SO good.

  141. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#138):
    And an extra topping of eternal misery.
    Was this comic strip ever funny?

  142. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#133): Is 16 the age of consent in Lost Forest?

  143. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): My vice, which I’m enjoying right now, is as follows:

    2) McDonald’s Double Cheeseburgers, sans pickle
    20) McNuggets with ranch
    1) small fry with ketchup
    1) small “coke”

    Yes, my wife is a dietitian. Why do you ask?

  144. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): I don’t know why they call this stuff “Hamburger Helper”; I think it does fine all by itself!

    –Cousin Eddie, National Lampoon’s Vacation.

  145. Baka Gaijin
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125): If I’ve learned anything about death from Mary Worth, it’s that I can’t say anything to bring Dewce back or make the pain go away, but I can say, “After he was gone, I realized what a GIFT I was given.”

  146. cj
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    This is the closest this strip has come to porn, and yet Mark would rather violate watercraft than experience human intimacy. Maybe the ensuing burning sensation in his fuel-soaked naughty parts will change his mind.

    The Brad and Toni Show:
    Toni’s porn-friendly lips have been carelessly rendered today. As one can see, they seem to have been edited into the already-drawn panels one and three, and both are poorly drawn, the upper in the first and the lower in the third.
    As for the “content” of today’s strip, Mama deGroot could care less about Brad. Toni is implying that she doesn’t want to feel pressured into a long-term relationship, but Brad, blockhead that he is, takes her statements at face value and creates an argument. Way to go, moron!

  147. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#144):
    “Hamburger Helper helps her hamburger help her!”
    Or sumpin’ like that.

  148. ElkMeadow
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @AMC (#139):

    I was thinking of “And don’t it make my brown eyes blue…and brown…and blue…and brown…”

  149. Jeff Soesbe (yeff)
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    I think if *my* significant other’s ringtone for his mother was indeed his mother saying “Hi Honey!” and not, for instance, a quote from “Psycho” or the song “Mother” by the Police, I’d run for the hills too.

    Of course, in the latter case I’d probably consider running for the hills as well, knowing that a Crazy Psycho Mother-In-Law was only a wedding ring away…

    - yeff (Jeff Soesbe)

  150. Baka Gaijin
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): Faggots followed by a spotted dick. Yummers.

  151. Muffaroo
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#91): Dagwood: Ook ook! [*]

    @Poteet (#92): …in order to find out a few of the favorite foods in the hometowns of a few highly-unimportant German prisoners. Poor thing. *eye roll*
    The Germans ate eye rolls? Man, they deserved to lose!

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125): No apology necessary. Sympathy.

  152. Thomas B.
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#142): Jan: What’s a wildlife ranger doing in this area? Buzz: Mark brought me up here to check out some beaver.

  153. Hibbleton
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:52 pm [Reply]

    @Boophilus (#44):

    Luann: yes, substituting “Sleep Over” for “hang out” makes it work. A young couple arguing over sex or lack thereof is totally believable. I hope that Evans just made a bad choice of euphemism. I hate to think he’s that cynical.

  154. UncleJeff
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#127): Oh gawd, bats:} The perfect-looking June and the perfect snark.
    Are you sure you and the folks behind “Judge Parker” are working together now?

  155. UncleJeff
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    I meant AREN’T working together

  156. Écureuil Écumant
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    @139 AMC said:

    MW – Wilbur is the inspiration for a Kim Carnes comeback song: “He’s got verklempt puggle eyes”.

    Geez, you folks are being awfully rough today on Wilbur and Abby’s eyes. Their eyes do too point the same direction. They just happen to be in two different heads.

    Also …

    Canned tamales.
    Spam musubi.

  157. aerocline
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    Meanwhile, in the background, Mark appears to be on the verge of humping a Ski-Doo… No, wait a minute. That’s actually one of the giant geese from Panel #1.

  158. Thomas B.
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    HtH- The strip is incredibly similar to the one from 2005. Each time the woman’s word ballon drifts into panel two, her drink matches the color of her hair, Hagar’s beer is spilled somewhat in panel 2 each time. The better joke would have been:
    Hagar: My wife doesn’t understand me.
    Woman: Look buddy, I didn’t care 4 1/2 years ago and I don’t care now.

    PBS at least takes note when it recycles a joke.

  159. UncleJeff
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    Love Is: being her bitch for a change.

  160. UncleJeff
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    FW: Please, Dr. VA Psychiatrist…have Funky arrested and confined in the psych ward. I saw “Shutter Island” last week. People confined against their will are lotsa laffs!!!

  161. Calico
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#150):
    Or how about some Bangers and Mash, or some Menudo?
    (Not the boy band)

    Seriously, I am wondering if the not-so-nice term for a gay man (or woman) came from the French word for Cigarette, or from these meatballs. It could be a hybrid term…

  162. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#161): “Faggot” in its original sense was a Middle English term for a bundle of sticks (and you’re half-right, it did derive from the French fagot, meaning the same.) Given this, the etymology for “fag” as a slang term for cigarette is pretty obvious. I’m not 100% sure, but IIRC the use as a pejorative term for homosexuals has to do with the whole burning-at-the-stake thing (so the story goes.) I have no idea how or why it became the term for a kind of meatball, though.

    March 10th, 2010 at 6:03 pm [Reply]



    March 10th, 2010 at 6:05 pm [Reply]



  165. Baka Gaijin
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#161): Bangers and mash? Feh. Bashed neeps and tatties? Yeah, but they’re not a guilty pleasure.

  166. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#45): leopard slugs aren’t the only thing.

  167. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): I haven’t had ‘tato skins in ages. They certainly would count as a guilty pleasure. mmmmm, bacon. . . .

    mozzarella sticks probably count. deep-fried cheese, FTW!!!

    March 10th, 2010 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

  169. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#166): Can’t argue with that! :D

  170. Muffaroo
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

  171. Brad the Fireman
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    Mummy is DeGroot of all evil.

  172. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#167): hmmm…mozzarella sticks.
    Mozzarella: milk-fat.
    Deep-fying: more fat.
    Served with ranch dressing: more fat.

    It’s a Hat Trick of Bad-for-You! YAY!!!!

  173. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 10th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#172): marinara sauce for me. :-)

    but otherwise, spot on!

  174. Vince
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#118): I knew this looked familiar – it’s one of those MAD magazine cartoons by Sergio Aragones where someone’s shadow depicts their inner thoughts!

  175. Vince
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    re. 174: Oops, wrong ‘reply’ button – that was meant for bats:[ at 121.
    Curiously though, this is the second time this week I’ve heard about slugs mating on a rope of mucus.

  176. Vince
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): The barbacoa burrito from the El Taco Veloz chain is a regular thing for me – I try to at least go long intervals between return trips.
    That and Cap’n Crunch cereal – I was hooked at an early age.

  177. Pete
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    Go to 4:33 to see an animated Marvin attack Mr. Wilson as Hagar looks on:

  178. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    9CL: “Can we still go hear Caesar sing?”
    “You bet.”

  179. Comcis Fan
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    Luann: These people with little charm and even less of an unconsummated relationship may be headed for a breakup. It makes Anthony and Elizabeth seem almost … interesting.

  180. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:20 pm [Reply]

    Archie: I like Mr. Svenson’s new cell phone. Jack Bauer doesn’t have that kind of response time.

  181. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:27 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Wow. I hate to admit this, but Nancy DeGroot just might have a point. Brad points out that he wishes his lady could hang out with him more. She gets all defensive and mentions other “commitments” and “obligations”….a certain Cat I often write about had the same issues….hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…
    Okay, Brad, here’s what you do. First, check for little baggies lying around. Ask around the fire department if anyone’s got those little DNA doohickeys and have them check for coke. Also, take down the serial numbers of your electronics.
    I’m saying all this somewhat tounge in cheek, but….damn, Toni couldn’t get off that sofa fast enough, could she?

  182. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Also, a Plugger will do La Macarena and guzzle down lots of Coronas to prove he’s living La Vida Loca.

  183. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail: Mmmmmm….Jan, Jan, Jan.

  184. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    FW: I’m starting to see why Wally is prone to going all Deer Hunter on us this month. My neck is all sore from reading today’s offering from Mssr. Batiuk. Grr….

  185. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    DtM:”Fuck it, Joey….let’s go bowling.”

  186. mustang
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    I finally figured out that the dialog in Mark Trail is written by a third grade girl. I’m not sure why this is happening, but it is. Maybe she doesn’t charge much.

  187. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#31): Yes. Yes. Thank you, Elk. Very good points. I still think Toni might be on the nose candy, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t take a powder.
    So to speak.

  188. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:47 pm [Reply]

    @Boophilus (#44): True, true, but ….i’m thinking, to Brad, a “sleep over” will involve sleeping bags, tents, popcorn and ingredients for S’mores, not bottles of gin and other grownup accessories.

  189. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#106): I think we’re seeing a Luann/Spider-Man crossover here. And a competition to see who has the most useless boyfriend slash husband, Peter or Brad DeGroot. As Flo Capp once said, “Listen, Ruby, they’re both idle enough as it is, let’s not be starting any contests.”

  190. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

  191. Mooncattie
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125):
    I’m very sorry for your loss today. Thank you for being so kind to your pet. I’m off to give Jane the Maine Coon a pat or three.

  192. Sisi
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    @aerocline (#157): MT– Perhaps practicing for the hideous Belgian festival of “goose riding”:

  193. Aviatrix
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): Chocolate amaretto icing, straight out of the bowl.

  194. The Ridger
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:19 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#189): I’m still trying to decide why Peter feels he just has to earn some money. Sure, he invited himself to Miami, but won’t MJ spring for his meals out of her salary? A.though … if it means he has to back to his “job” in NYC, I fully support her decision.

  195. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125): I’m so sorry, queek. I’m sure it must have meant a lot, though, to do this final kindness for your friend.

  196. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#32): Ooh. Nasty. I’m sharpening the Pencil of Punishment right now.

    @Calico (#101): I started my list with canned tamales, and then “beef” tacos at Taco Bell, and then any kind of raw cookie dough, and next, Peanut M&Ms…. And then I began to disgust myself, so I stopped.

    @The Ridger (#114): But all that desk pounding has given him one mighty editorial forearm!

  197. Zla'od
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    Here here–if “Luann” is supposed to be so goddamned educational (remember all the hoopla when she got her first “.”) then why can’t it discuss sex and relationships in a plausibly adult fashion?

    The “Luann” storyline could still come out a winner. First, it’s obvious that Toni is just not good relationship material. People in abusive relationships don’t magically get better once they meet their handsome prince (such as he is)–more likely, they end up crawling back to Dirk, who gives her what she needs. As for Brad, this may be his first actual relationship, which says a lot about him right there.

    I propose that Brad should be revealed to actually be gay. There is very little evidence to contradict this. Perhaps he likes the idea of marriage, and has been indoctrinated into believing that this is the only path to true adulthood. What he needs is a passionate kiss from long-suffering “roommate” TJ to change his mind.

    Anyway, this would make up for that time when the strip backed away from revealing what’s-his-name–that pretty-boy Luann had a crush on–to be gay. (Instead he was sleeping with an older woman, which is apparently less offensive to the sort of people who write complaining letters to the comics editor.)

  198. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    @Sisi (#192): while that’s a pretty barbaric “game,” (ask me someday about what used to be done to chickens on the Feast of S. John the Baptist here in the southwestern US), the huge draft horses in the photos are gorgeous.
    And it seems if Mark’s practicing up for “goose riding,” he’s doing it wrong. (Like he’d be doing it right…)

  199. Melch Melch
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    @Obi-Haiv (#27): No, she totally did. Either that or she’s actually some kind of troll-monster whose “hot lady” glamor is wearing thin. Hurry Captain! Eat Kit’s face before your magic is completely dispelled.

    Luann: ‘hang out’ sounds like it could be some kind of lewd Shakespearean pun. Maybe the part of Luann is being played by a man and “hang out” is some kind of meta-theatrical reference to her penis.

    Mary Worth: I’m beginning to think those aren’t sandwiches at all, just decorative plastic props akin to wax fruit.

    Spider-Man: Peter Parker’s done pretty well with the incognito thus far, but I’m concerned that his natural ineptitude will have to take over at some point: “He looks like some clown wearing fake wings and a sheet…although, I have to say, if I had that kind of splendid musculature in my upper thighs, I might wear a sheet around too…is it getting hot in this office, or is it just me?”

  200. bats :[
    March 10th, 2010 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#196): re: various and sundry bad-for-you foods.
    All mixed up in a bucket, and don’t skimp on the pate’.

  201. Muffaroo
    March 10th, 2010 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    @Melch Melch (#199): And I was thinking “hang out” referred to having an inadequate gauge of brassiere.

  202. Kevin
    March 10th, 2010 at 9:18 pm [Reply]


  203. Joe Blevins
    March 10th, 2010 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    MT: I’d like to propose a new theory that the events of Mark Trail are seen through the eyes of a slightly hyperactive child who has trouble focusing on the human characters whenever animals are in sight. “Yellow-haired people talking… OHMYGOD! GEESE! I LOVE GEESE!” I say only “slightly” hyperactive because the kid is obviously still focused enough to at least keep the talking, yellow-haired people in frame.

    The dialogue in this particular strip reminds me of that Saturday Night Live skit with Joe Montana as a dimwitted guy whose internal monologue exactly mirrors his spoken dialogue. I guess Buzz reminds me of Joe Montana from that skit. Most guys, seeing the dripping wet and scantily-clad (by Mark Trail standards) Jan, would be thinking something unprintable. But I’m guessing Buzz is thinking: “Her name is Jan. I saw her diving. She is very good.”

  204. Walker of Dog
    March 10th, 2010 at 9:23 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#166): Sometimes suspended mating can be a beautiful thing.

  205. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 10th, 2010 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#203) said:
    “MT: I’d like to propose a new theory that the events of Mark Trail are seen through the eyes of a slightly hyperactive child who has trouble focusing on the human characters whenever animals are in sight. “Yellow-haired people talking… OHMYGOD! GEESE! I LOVE GEESE!” I say only “slightly” hyperactive because the kid is obviously still focused enough to at least keep the talking, yellow-haired people in frame.”

    Are you implying that Mark Trail is written by our very own HAMMY THE SQUIRREL!?

  206. Poteet
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#125): Oh, queek.

    I am thinking of you and Dewce tonight.

  207. Aviatrix
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#205): Does Hammy ever use RANDOM BOLDING? The strip does provide evidence that squirrels are omniscient enough to serve as narrators.

  208. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    Archie— Are they still having knife fights over in the South Corridor? By now Mr. Svenson is an expert at getting blood stains out of his overalls.

    Crankshaft— “This is like watching grass dry.” So Ed grows his own. That explains a lot.

    FC— Jeffy’s gone up a couple of notches in my book. Anyone who appreciates the wonders of nature’s perfect food, the chocolate chip cookie, is OK with me. Of course if he only prefers to smell like a chocolate chip cookie and doesn’t like to eat them, then he loses his notches and returns to his usual megadimwit status.

  209. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#207): If there was anyone who would resort to RANDOM BOLDING, I imagine it would be our HAMMY!

  210. Jamus The Bartender
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): Well, there’s a barbecue place that does racks of ribs American and Asian style. Whole racks with two sides for just over 25 bucks. Which is a great deal. I took my sister there and she thinks the owner has a crush on me, but I just don’t see it.

  211. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#208): Chocolate-chip cookies = pure win. It also helps that my family has the best recipe for them I’ve ever tasted…

  212. zerowold
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Cranky’s going to be waiting a long time since the dial that is turned corresponds to the front left burner and he put the kettle on the rear left burner….

  213. zerowold
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    GT: An Amazon with rectangular arms what will they think of next. Not that anyone cares since it’s Gil Thorpe.

  214. zerowolf
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    Ugh, I hate when the anti-virus clears all the settings and then I misspell my own nom de snark. This is worse than being stuck in June Morgan’s basement

  215. zerowolf
    March 10th, 2010 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Bobbie Merrill may be a drug popping, psychotic slut, but she’s really in touch with her inner Margo

  216. zerowolf
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

  217. WJS
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    What’s a wildlife ranger doing in that area with a little blond hottie walking towards him? Obviously he’s going to “Jack El(the) Rod”

  218. wattersonprotege
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:21 pm [Reply]

    Haggar: I think this is just another look into Haggar’s attempts to cheat on his wife. Fortunately for her(mayhaps not?), he’s been using the same terrible line the entire time.

  219. wattersonprotege
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and @ #215 zerowolf: How do you think Margo got to be who she is today? Bobbie Merrill created her, for which we shall all be forever grateful and fearful, much like Dr. Frankenstein created his monstrous namesake. Margo just happens to be an attractive ambitious Manhattanite.

  220. Chip Whittle
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    I just realized: the current insane 9 Chickweed Lane storyline got started when Brooke McEldowney didn’t get to go on the cool cartoonist USO tour that Stephen Pastis and Garry Trudeau and others did and he started sulking.

    What’s going to happen if McEldowney doesn’t get invited to the last Space Shuttle launch? The secret history of Mom thrusting hips at John Glenn so he’s motivated to not die in a tragic heatshield malfunction after all?

  221. FOOBed again
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

  222. Farley's Revenge
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

  223. commodorejohn
    March 10th, 2010 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#220): I dunno, I think Brooke probably considers the space program lowbrow because it happened after 1949.

  224. Old School Allie Cat
    March 11th, 2010 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    You know, I recently gave my sister a hard time because she told me she was going to try to hook up with my husband when he came to town on business (she didn’t mean it *that way*).

    Maybe I should send her a clipping of today’s Luann suggesting they just hang out instead.

    FW – Again, Mr. Batuik, dealing with PTSD and the red tape therein has been chronicled well and realistically by your colleague Mr. Trudeau. Can you maybe just revert to one of those old school strips where two leaves on a tree exchange puns?

    A3G – Can you please tell me again why I should give a shit about Bobbie Merrill? Just because she and Dr. Greekopolis are “hanging out” (sharing pudding, as it were), doesn’t mean I care about her forking divorce or lack thereof.

  225. Joe Btfsplk
    March 11th, 2010 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    Hagar – I learn so much about Viking culture from this strip. Like, how Vikings never wash their socks; they just keep wearing them until they’re too crusty and stiff to put on any more, and then they stick them on their helmets.

  226. Aviatrix
    March 11th, 2010 at 1:22 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#211): Is it secret, or will you share? I’ll trade you for my macaroon recipe.

  227. Donkey Hotey
    March 11th, 2010 at 1:39 am [Reply]

    @The Ridger (#106): Hey, wait…is Brad DeGroot a Miami firefighter? THAT would make sense.

  228. Poteet
    March 11th, 2010 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    RMMD — As long as you’re officially taking command of your feckless cousin, June, please force her to put an “e” on the end of her goddamn name.

  229. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 11th, 2010 at 1:50 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#211): If it’s not a secret family recipe, and if it won’t get you killed to reveal it, please consider publishing it here. I’m sure that I’m not the only Mudge who appreciates a delicious, nutritious chocolate chip cookie recipe.
    (I see that Aviatrix already has posted her request @226. As to a trade, I can offer a hamburger on Tuesday for a recipe today.)

  230. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 11th, 2010 at 2:08 am [Reply]

    I have a question for bats :[. This evening I was watching a program from the series, “The Desert Speaks” on the HD Theater channel. It was all about the bats (without the :[) of Arizona. Did you have anything to do with this program? If so, you might want to give your fellow Mudges a heads-up the next time that it airs, because it was very interesting.

  231. Donkey Hotey
    March 11th, 2010 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    Attention B. Racoon: I thought you might like this.

  232. Steve the Pocket
    March 11th, 2010 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    Dennis the Menace: Kid, by the time that happens, I doubt your mother will be able to remember much of anything. Buh-ZING!

    Get Fuzzy: I guess this is supposed to be a cat joke? I dunno.

    Herb and Jamaal: Apparently the writer looked at Funky Winkerbean and decided that if death is funny, Hell must be hilarious. Either way, Batiuk has been one-upped.

    Hi and Lois: Dot is lucky this isn’t college, where a rolling bag is one of the Automatic Signs of Dorkdom.

  233. Farley's Revenge
    March 11th, 2010 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    MW: Wow. Dawn’s revelation has stunned Wilbur to the point he actually put down his sandwich! I may have to fan myself with a napkin, the shock of seeing such a thing was so great.

    MT: Mark’s thought balloon, consisting of a simple “?”, demonstrates his utter lack of understanding of the concept of “banter” in the mating dance between male rangers and female swimmers. Either that or he was so horrified that anyone could be thinking about sex instead of geese and canoes that even his thoughts were speechless.

    RMMD: Y’know, I’ve never seen anyone ask for a glass of milk in a menacing way until I read today’s strip. That little kid gives me the creeps. I suspect she’s really a very short hit woman who’s in the witness protection program because she rolled over on her bosses. Toots better watch out or he’ll end up bricked in that little room where he’s hiding, just because he annoyed Sara.

    Okay, I’m a fairly gentle person but I’m beginning to develop a longing to take a chair to Brook’s head. She broke into a house, trashed said house stole money, lied, and currently has her boyfriend/BFF hiding in the Morgan’s basement. All of that pales by comparison to her snotty attitude. What’s it going to take to have Rex and June kick her to the curb? When Brook hits on Rex(although I think that would make for some fun strips, as Rex runs and hides in the closet, curling up in a fetal position because some female has designs on him).

  234. commodorejohn
    March 11th, 2010 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#226), @Alfred E. Neuman (#229): Nah, it’s no big secret. I’ll type it up for you tomorrow.

  235. Mibbitmaker
    March 11th, 2010 at 3:09 am [Reply]

    I fell behind on today’s (Wednesday) strips. I’d at last discovered through the last Metapost that I could see old newspapers via Google. This allowed me access to old Don Wright editorial cartoons I hadn’t seen before — a very long overdue opportunity since I started enjoying editorial cartoons back in 1975. His were some of my favorites, along with Oliphant, MacNelly, etc. And my favorite period, drawing-style-wise, was c. 1972-6, so I’ve been like a kid in a candy store the last two days! Oh, all the Wright Nixons I’d been deprived of until now!

    I sure lucked out that Google has the now-defunct Miami News in its quasi-microfilm collection. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I used library microfilm to search one of my local papers that used alot of MacNelly cartoons during that same era. In that case, I could photocopy those; I can’t with the Googled Wrights. I can see those right at home any time, however.

    Anyway, I missed the Wednesday strips until late, too late to say anything about the FW offense or the A3G/Phantom crazy lady antics. I’ll check the new ones out and get them on here during the day.

    Really, for me, this Google deal has been like a cartoon TV Tropes!

  236. bunivasal
    March 11th, 2010 at 3:31 am [Reply]

    Do you ever watch television,as a characters lips move one way, and a voice actor who is most definitely not Keanu Reeves says something about “giving you the flipper”?

    I feel like this is the experience we’re having with Toni. Her word balloon says “hang out” but her lips say “fornicate enthusiastically”.

  237. Echo
    March 11th, 2010 at 3:42 am [Reply]

    I have the disturbing feeling that Greg Evans and my father share part of a brain. I once told my dad I was going to hang out with a male friend, and he flipped out about me “hanging out” with a married man. He very obviously thought “hang out” was a euphemism. Thanks for bringing up squicky memories, Mr. Evans!

    And even if Toni had said “she’ll think we’re having sex,” the strip would still not make sense. I don’t think it takes place in 1953, does it? Though I sure wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was having sex with someone like Brad, either.

  238. Jason1981
    March 11th, 2010 at 3:59 am [Reply]


    Luann: “No, Mom, I meant I’ll call you back in 16 YEARS, you controlling , hypocritical b*tch! ”

    Curtis: Curtis, you will NEVER be a man…you’ve been 11 for how many years now? Brad will have sex and get married way before you ever age.

    MT: Wow, that ranger sure works fast. “Hey, after dinner, wanna have sex? …. I wasn’t asking YOU, Mark. ”

    S-M: At least Jameson doesn’t suck at his job, Parker!

  239. KarMann
    March 11th, 2010 at 4:09 am [Reply]

    A3G: Look Bobbie, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

    Bizarro and Boffo make a nice combination today. (Not exactly a rare theme, of course.)

    Crankshaft: With emphasis on the “moron” part, of course.

    Curtis: Umm, wut?

    ReFOOB: So, umm, try shopping at a different time instead of whinging endlessly about it? Too radical?

    GA: Was that supposed to be a “calling your grandson chipper” joke? Really weak, because even if that’s what Walt thought he heard, his “why?” would make perfect sense, and the caretaker would’ve just answered why she was calling on the phone. Duh.

    GT: Gee, what a surprising coincidence! I suppose now, it doesn’t even matter if it’ll be a road game or not.

    MT: “Or maybe we could have breakfast. How do you like your eggs?” “Poached.” (Alternate answer: “Fertilized.”)

    MW: Circumstances Wilbur couldn’t control? Things he wasn’t aware of? Inconceivable! [*]

    S-M: Umm, who snuck into panel two there? That guy with the beard?

    Argyle Sweater: Does Typos play a part in the origin story of the
    Didactic Duo?

    WoI: Mediæval coffins. Fancied up. One in the shape of a hot rod. FAIL

  240. KarMann
    March 11th, 2010 at 4:10 am [Reply]

    P.S. And yes, I’m adopting the clever habit of marking my comments with mouseover text. Hover away! And thanks to… whoever it was that got that idea when the underlines went away?

  241. Mr. O'Malley
    March 11th, 2010 at 5:45 am [Reply]

    @Calico (#101): My vice: sausage rolls. Luckily you can’t get them here. (Angry Kem’s neighbourhood has them.) Also dog’s eye with dead horse. The closest we have is the Vietnamese ones, but they’re a little too French to really qualify.

    FC: Grandma channels Joni Mitchell. “Late last night I heard that screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi came and took away my melon-headed clan.”

    JP: These monotonous prison expositions could be livened up, a la Mark Trail, with a giant rat in the foreground.

    Luann: Now Nancy is whistling on the phone to get Brad’s attention? Maybe she is doing bird imitations? “Brad? Buff-collared Nightjar! Cu-cu-cuc-cuc-uh-chee-ah. Take your hand off her breast!”

    MT: “Underage girl, let me take you to a restaurant that can only be reached from here by taking a canoe through Dead Man’s Rapids. The owner spends a lot of his time in our nation’s capital, instead of taking care of his business, so it must be good.”

    This plot is so malformed that I was thinking of giving up on the strip, but the day-to-day lunacy just keeps me reading!

    MW: The Mauve Decade was back in the 19th century. And even then, I doubt that mauve curtains were paired with mauve curtain rails. Could there be a worse color scheme than mauve and orange? Not to mention the purple and lime green clothing. I only hope that that UFO is going to beam Wilbur up for some anal probing and temporarily remove one color from the mix.

    OBH: Funny. And with a touch of Frank Zappa.

    Phantom: Looks like Savarna is getting some Bandar tongue.

    I wonder why we’ve never had “Pluggers wear suspenders because they are too fat for belts to work any more”, which is something that can be observed in real life. Or possibly “Pluggers grow beards to disguise the fact that their chins are lost in their neck fat”. I’ve seen a cartoon on that subject, but it was a different cartoon—possibly Tom the Dancing Bug?

    SlyFo: How about botella, ancla, esqueleto y calavera de pirata? (There’s a street near here named Calaveras; I often wonder if the people who live there know what it means.)

  242. stopdropreload
    March 11th, 2010 at 6:37 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#162): According to my mother* the pejorative “fag” actually comes from the now obsolete practice of “fagging” that took place at all-male British public schools, wherein an older boy would choose a younger boy from the entering class to essentially act as his personal servant. The main duty of the younger boy was to fetch the bundles of wood – the “faggots” – needed to light the daily fire in the older boy’s room. In exchange for the younger boy’s loyalty, the older boy would smooth his social passage and prevent him from being bullied (by anyone other than himself). Because of the fairly rigid authority in terms of social power the older boy enjoyed over the younger boy, the younger boy was expected to acquiesce to all of the older boy’s demands, up to and including sexual favors. It was not at all uncommon for the older boy to use the younger boy for sex; the older boy was insulated against any reproach due to his higher social standing and status as “instigator” of any sexual activity. (Historically speaking, the stigma of homosexuality attached itself more firmly to the “passive” or “receiving” partner in sex, while the “active” partner often faced no penalty – this is because the active partner was typically an older man of a higher class, whereas the passive partner would be younger and usually of a lower social order, such as a servant or a working class boy.) The younger boy would have had little recourse even if he had not been a willing partner: since homosexuality was at that time taboo, if he had reported such activity to the school authorities he himself would have been disciplined.

    It was a homosocial relationship that could be compared to sexual relations in prison when the new or weaker prisoner submits to being the “bitch” of a stronger, more experienced prisoner in exchange for protection. Once everyone pulled their collective heads out of their asses regarding homosexuality – and such topics became acceptable to discuss – it was recognized as an institutionalized form of sexual abuse and summarily stamped out. The use of the term “faggot” or “fag” to refer to someone engaging in such homosexual acts remained, however.

    My mother summarized this explanation with “And that’s why for a long time the British ruling class was really fucked in the head.”

    And hey! Knowledge that I possess became useful to a discussion on Comics Curmudgeon! Awesome. *resumes lurking*

    *She is a fount of information such as this. I tend to trust her because of that whole PhD and college professor thing, as well as owning a bookcase full of books on sexuality studies. Also I was leery of typing the word “fagging” into Google search.

  243. stopdropreload
    March 11th, 2010 at 6:39 am [Reply]

    @stopdropreload (#242): And wow, I really didn’t intend for that to morph into a lengthy diatribe. Yay knowledge?

    Right, I’ll just scuttle back into obscurity now….

  244. The Ridger
    March 11th, 2010 at 7:10 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#228): Like McEldowney?

  245. mr 12 oz can
    March 11th, 2010 at 7:23 am [Reply]

    maryworth- dawn i would have tried to help abbey but i dont know if would have worked because the what would jesus do bracelet hadnt been invented then
    mark trail- buzz wants to take blondie on a rocket ride

  246. Bryan
    March 11th, 2010 at 8:06 am [Reply]

    B.C.: There a hoary old comedy trope: All men hate opera. I guess that pertains to male ants too.
    Fast Track: Good Lord, “Fast Track” has more interesting action than the last week’s worth of “Spider-man.”
    Rose is Rose: Isn’t Pasquale about four years old? Well, everyone in this strip is about four years old, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

  247. John C Fremont
    March 11th, 2010 at 8:10 am [Reply]

    @Old School Allie Cat (#224): “Sharing pudding” made me laugh.

    @stopdropreload (#242): Yes. Yay, knowledge. But with great knowledge comes great, uh, something-that-Peter-Parker’s-uncle-said-before-he-died. (Well-obviously-he-had-to-have-said-it-before-he-died-because-unless-you’re-into-that-whole-John-Edward-business-wait-what-was-I-talking-about-anyway-?)

    @Mr. O’Malley (#241): Dag nabbit, you took my Joni Mitchell joke. In the words of Carol Cleveland, “But it’s my only line!”

    My point is, I hate them Melonheads! And I don’t want to hate Joni Mitchell, but if she’s the grandmother of them there Melonheads, well, I guess I hate her, too! There. Happy, Joni? ‘Cause I’m not!

    Crap! Late for work! Something about waitresses and veal.

  248. gleeb
    March 11th, 2010 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Brenda: Someone’s looking to pollinate.

    ‘bean: Social engagement? He hides in an alley when he’s not washing dishes or enjoying cheap beer, teevee dinners, and cradling a gun in his dingy room. Still, he’s got Creepy Les beat, because there’s no imaginary blue talking cat.

  249. Squid Countess
    March 11th, 2010 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    MT – As Buzz talks to Jan, we see his badge is the size of a postage stamp. Tomorrow, Buzz sees a moose and his badge swells, turns purple, and pops off his shirt. THAT’S the wild life of a Wildlife Ranger.

  250. bats :[
    March 11th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#230): if it’s the particular episode I’m thinking of, no I didn’t have anything to do with it. However, one of the “regulars” on the program, Yar Petresyn (now the Curator of the Mammal Collection at UA) was a graduate assistant when I took Mammalogy; our class field trip that year (1986) was to the Petrified Forest to do a mammal count (which hadn’t been done since 1931), and someone found a new species, a shrew. Yar is a tres cool guy, lots of stories about bats and other things (like himself — his parents were Ukranians and were incarcerated in a German labor camp, where he was born right after the liberation).
    Anyway, I’m glad you’re able to watch “The Desert Speaks” — it’s a little gem that the KUAT-TV has been producing for years.

    @Donkey Hotey (#231): What a nice site! I love the early 20th C artwork found on produce labels (with or without raccoons).

    @stopdropreload (#242): yay, Dr. Mom, PhD! (especially with the “fucked in the head” comment ;)

  251. Mr Foofram
    March 11th, 2010 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Brad’s ringtone is the voice of Cruella DeGroot singing “Hi, honey”? Get out, Toni, before it’s too late.

  252. Charles
    March 11th, 2010 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    Luann: I find it hard to believe that I’m the only one who’s noticed that Brad holds that phone up to his ear for three panels, but he answers it in the third. What the hell.

  253. Hoseki
    March 11th, 2010 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one who thinks that Toni’s line makes sense if you replace ‘hang’ with ‘put?’ As in, ‘put out?’ As in, “Brad, your mom will think I’m naught but a pox-ridden whore if you tell her we’re chastely sitting together on this couch?” Because… that actually makes sense, in a newspaper-comics kind of way.

  254. Ginger Yellow
    March 11th, 2010 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    MT: I guess this is what passes for flirty innuendo in Elrod’s sexually repressed world. Suggested fourth panel dialogue: “Yeah, there’s a couple of *problems* I’m looking real hard at.” Alternatively: “I’m pretty good at *diving* too.”

    Also, that’s no ski-doo Mark is getting ready to hump. It’s a dolphin. Swim away, Flipper! Swim!

  255. DavidMac
    March 13th, 2010 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    @Bitter Scribe (#109): I agree, but the thing is that after the money shot, the story is over.

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