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Comics vs. English

The Comics Curmudgeon Spring 2010 Fundraiser

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Gasoline Alley, 3/23/10

For better or for worse, many comics rely on wordplay for humor. Here’s a typical example, in which a simple misunderstanding will launch days and days of escalating overreactions and hilarious hijinks.

We almost lost Old Walt once before. A few years ago, Gasoline Alley ran a sweet story about his impending retirement to an Old Comics Home, where he could reminisce with the likes of Smokey Stover, the Yellow Kid, and other contemporaries (he was “born” in 1900; his son Skeezix is pushing 90). They ended that story abruptly, yanking Walt back here to be neglected by Gertie, mishear and misspeak stuff, and generally be the butt of old-guy jokes. I like to think the Old Comics Home was a kind of Heaven, and that Walt must’ve committed some unpardonable sexual sin during his wait to get in. You go, Walt!

Crankshaft, 3/23/10

Speaking of “butt of old guy” jokes, there’s nothing celestial about Ed Crankshaft’s, um, wordplay. Panel two’s “lukecold” is actually one of his better attempts, although neither Pam nor we can raise our eyes to it from the horror below. But there’s no excuse for “space heater” in panel one. Honestly, guys – “There must be something wrong with the water heater”/”My shower was lukecold!” How hard is that?

Luann, 3/23/10

Quill gives Luann ambiguously phrased, ridiculous singing advice, which Luann first misunderstands for Chinese, then takes to heart. Next week, we’ll all enjoy her solo performance of “Nnnnngh, nnngh, mmmmmmmmf!” sung with no eye contact whatsoever.

Apartment 3-G, 3/23/10

And in other news… OK, I think we can call it official — Armed lunatic junkie skank Bobbie Merrill is Martin Magee’s wife, Gabriella’s rival, Margo’s stepmom, Dr. Papagoras’s lover, and there’s gonna be hell to pay.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Mary Worth, 3/23/10

Hey, remember yesterday when I suggested Mary’s mysterious “return” might be an overdue library book? Note to self: never, ever attempt to out-lame Mary Worth.

Hey, it’s the Spring 2010 Fundraiser — any cash you can spare to support Josh’s work here will be greatly appreciated — thank you!

– Uncle Lumpy

217 responses to “Comics vs. English”

  1. kanomi
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    Good morning!

    Archie: “I purchased this oblong gift object for an indeterminate price from a Herb & Jamaal Commercial Location.”
    Crankshaft: Fortunately, I had just finished breakfast before this monstrously offensive sight gag was employed.
    Mary Worth: Returning clothes that don’t fit in your closet for money, how magnanimous of you, Apple Mary.
    Spider-Man: “Please pa! Don’t kidnap any more dinosaur skulls!”
    Ziggy: Et tu, Ziggy. Et tu?

  2. bats :[
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:08 am [Reply]

    THAT was the pool party? THAT WAS IT?!?

    Cripes. It’s a good thing I did this instead of watching Harry Smith’s colonoscopy on Letterman tonight…
    (’s hosing on me tonight. You’ll have to Supersize it yourself.)

  3. Judas Peckerwood
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    Jeez, Uncle Lumpy, no mention that Mary has clearly take Holy Orders? Her newly sworn vow of poverty is clearly the reason for returning her luxurious mufti wardrobe to “Marcy’s”.

  4. bats :[
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    Other little-known Chinese proverbs:

    “Sing like shit,
    You’ll be a hit.”

    “Tiffany’s hot.
    You are not.”

    “Death to TJ.”

  5. John Small Berries
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    Why does Dick Cheney have a cameo in Crankshaft?

  6. jnik
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    Actually, Skeezix is pushing 90. Walt found him on his doorstep in 1921. With almost 1,000 WW II vets dying each day, Skeez may go before Walt!

  7. unclelumpy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:38 am [Reply]

    @jnik (#6):

    Thanks; fixed!

  8. cj
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:41 am [Reply]

    Of course, she has all the clothes the clothes she’ll ever need, if the monsignor’s upper garment is any indication.

  9. Mibbitmaker
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    GA: I was looking at a book of comics history in the library the other day, and among the many examples of strips was a Gasoline Alley or two from the ’90s — Scancarelli, already — that were already using the Old Folks Home with classic comic strip characters. Apparently, a couple years ago wasn’t a brand new thing.

    Cranky: That guy is at the other extreme in the comics wordplay of the great Walt Kelly. Of course, even way back when Batiuk was still good (he really was), he was certainly no Walt Kelly!

    A3G: The A3G magnum opus is finally coming together! This is the longest I’ve had to wait for info that was already well-assumed to become official since “How I Met Your Mother” was anonymously “on the bubble” a few years ago (The Moonves nearly tooketh away, then he giveth back — asking the youth at CBS was the idea that got HIMYM back to safe status. That was the moment when Moonves stopped being the premier TV Network Asshole he was during the “Joan of Arcadia” fiasco. Even Letterman does well by him now. Besides, it was NBC’s Jeff Zucker’s turn to be the Premier TV Network Asshole, after all. Wait — this isn’t Television Without Pity? …Nevermind)

    MW: “Marcy’s”? Really?? Mare, don’t be surprised if the clerks and cashiers all keep calling you “Sir”.

    Also MW: It’s no wonder Mary’s outfit there resembles a priest or minister’s uniform, since she’s all super-preachy today!

  10. Toby Bartels
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:56 am [Reply]

    Just to be clear: ‘Sing to toes, sing through nose.’ is what you should not do.

  11. Uncle Lumpy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:01 am [Reply]

    @Toby Bartels (#10):

    Sure, but it’s clear as mud from what Quill is saying.

  12. Colin
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:04 am [Reply]

    That was fairly bad singing advice. So you’re supposed to sing through your nose (bad bad bad) and sing facing your toes? I’m very confused. Those are both horrible tips.

  13. Mr. O'Malley
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:14 am [Reply]

    Is Mary conducting the scam where she buys stuff on super closeout at Marshall’s, puts in a Macy’s bag, takes it back to Macy’s, claims to have lost the receipt and returns it for full price? So that’s what she’s been up to.

  14. KarMann
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:17 am [Reply]


    Better Half: Unspeakable filth!
    Blondie: Unspeakable filth!
    Cleats: Speakable filth!

    Crankshaft: DO. NOT. WANT.

    Dinette Set: This was actually the violence to the English language which caught my eye today. “His” and “it’s” mugs? WITH AN APOSTROPHE? Die! Die!

    Doonesbury: BTW, someone made a comment about Monday’s strip that seemed to imply that they thought Trudeau was just making up this bring-your-gun-to-Starbuck’s thing for comic effect. Sorry to say, he isn’t. It’s for real.

    Luann: Not the sharpest ax in the shed, is she?

    MT: Panel 3, between Ma’s balloon and shoulder: Colorists Gone Wild!

    Big Dog: You said it, Hitler, not us! (Well, not this time.)

    MW: I think Mary’s “closet can only hold so much” line is ready for some mash-up with RMMD today. Anyone want to take that up?

    S4th: I like the $20 line today. Not so much the fried onions bit; more “Do. Not. Want.”

    6C: Yay! The straw-feminist is dead, and no longer needs defending! (If only.)

    S-M: If I may backtrack a bit to Sunday’s episode, which bugged me at the time but I never got around to bringing up (but neither did anyone else), since when do newspaper headlines refer to fossils by how much they’re worth? I’d think it unlikely to put a dollar figure in the article at all, but remotely conceivable; but in the headline, never. Maybe “million” might appear in the headline describing its age, but not its supposed value, if one could even be established.</rant>

    Tank: Is this much buildup really needed for a simple “women are too soft to be coaches” “joke”? Go take it up with FW’s Bull.

  15. Mibbitmaker
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:20 am [Reply]

    H&J: ….If you’re Benjamin Button.

    9CL: The late Al Haig sure is pissed.

    Cleats: The last thing he said before falling there was “Oh, shit!”

    Blondie: or, “Why the Charlie’s Angels Model Doesn’t Work in Medicine”

    Curtis: At last! They’ve found the secret of Garfield-style animal-to-human “conversations”! An important find in the comics world!

    “Early Jerk-ass Michael: From ‘Nothing To Do’ to “Nah!’.”

  16. Dee
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:21 am [Reply]

    My interpretation of the supposed Chinese proverb is that if you look down when you sing, you’ll be forced to sing through your nose, which you don’t want. It’s not terribly clear, and I fail to see how it’s particularly useful advice in this context, but whatever.

    As for Mary, forgive me if I’m not overwhelmed by her selflessness.

  17. Mr. O'Malley
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:25 am [Reply]

    Luann: If you want to sing in a Broadway show, why would you follow advice for Chinese singing, which is a totally different style? Why do Chinese sayings rhyme in English? If Quill is half Chinese, is his hair bleached blond?

    No, it’s a lame joke along the lines of “Our first number was a Chinese folksong, Tu Ning”. So much less interesting than all those other possibilities.

  18. This Guy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:28 am [Reply]

    @KarMann (#14): Those mugs in The Dinette Set could just be completely unrelated, and the “It’s” mug is just a tribute to the “It’s Man” from Monty Python.
    Yeah, I don’t really buy it either.

    If you want it to be possessive, it’s just I-T-S
    But if it’s supposed to be a contraction then it’s I-T-apostrophe-S.
    Strong Bad

  19. KarMann
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:37 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#18): I like my own formulation, the short-and-to-the-point “It’s ‘its’, not ‘it’s’,” or vice versa. Doesn’t work so well when spoken, of course. (Also looks somewhat better when I’m not quoting it, so it’s double quotes around “it’s” and “its”.)

  20. Uncle Lumpy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:12 am [Reply]

    @Colin (#12):

    I think the intended meaning is something like “Sing to toes → sing through nose.” But it’s ambiguous in English, and could easily be the imperative: “(You must) sing to toes (and) sing through nose.”

    And jackass Quill isn’t helping any — is it a “vocal tip”, a “proverb”, or statement of a “problem”?

    His advice has simultaneously confused, misled, and embarrassed Luann. Who does he think he is, Mary Worth?

  21. Farley's Revenge
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:51 am [Reply]

    MW: Good grief. Now Mary’s meddling herself. This is what happens when she has too much free time and not enough meddling. Oh, and that was a lame pool party. I wanted to see Iris shove Wilbur’s sandwich up his nose when she found out that he’d been frolicking without her.

    RMMD: They’ve been in those clothes a LONG time. I hope they’re wearing extra-strength antiperspirant.

    Luann: I think Luann should have shot back with “Thanks for the lesson, Placido.” While that would probably kill any chances she has to pretend to have a thing going with Quill, I know I would be happy to see that twerp shoved off his pedestal. He’s beginning to make TJ seem almost human, and that’s just wrong.

    MT: “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!” *BLAM* Then Mark punches the buckshot right out of the air in a display of the Fist O’ Justice that will dazzle the readers. Why, he’ll look like Wonder Woman, deflecting bullets with her bracelets. All he needs is the costume.

  22. The Ridger
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:44 am [Reply]

    You know what? “it’s / its” is a mistake. So’s “you’re / your” and “they’re / their / there”.

    You know what else? It’s a spelling error, or a typo. It’s not really a grammar mistake (I doubt you will ever find anyone who says “you are shirt is pretty” or “they are book is they are”.

    You know what else? It’s really, really easy to do this. Really, really, really easy. MUCH easier than “just remember this rule:” formulas make it sound. People who absolutely do know the difference still do it. (I’ve done it, though I generally (so far) manage to catch it when proofing.)

    And finally, it’s just a spelling error. I honestly do not understand why it keeps getting castigated as “violence to English” or some sort of mortal sin. Why is it worse than Mary Worth putting exclamation points after “I have to return this blouse that I don’t need” and “My closet can only hold so much”?

    And before I get attacked, please note: I didn’t say it wasn’t an error. And yes certainly you’d think a published comic strip would have been proofread, and should have been.

  23. Lucy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:16 am [Reply]

    9CL: After displaying a profound ignorance of military rankings, espionage, and space/time, Brooke reveals he doesn’t know anything about security clearances, either. Here’s a hint, Brooke: you don’t “violate” a clearance, you commit a violation. I cannot for the life of me figure out why lecturing a subordinate (or even a superior) would constitute a security violation, but then again, Brooke likes to bend the laws of little things like “reality” to exalt his own characters. Am I the only person on earth who has not been overcome with love for Edna? I bet tomorrow we’ll find out the captain was really trying to hide his intense jealousy/desire/etc, but he’ll still spend the rest of his life in the gulags for not worshipping a lounge singer.

  24. bullfrog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:27 am [Reply]

    Regarding Luann – he’s propositioning her for a blowjob, isn’t he? Singing to toes would mean her getting on her knees and breathing through her nose, right? And she’s clearly staring at his engorged member in panel 3. I mean, what else could this be?

  25. John C Fremont
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:40 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#2): “Salmon’s Club.” Now that’s funny. (People of a certain age and mental health might now imagine that I’m coughing up boxes of “Grins and Smiles and Giggles and Laughs” cereal right about now.)

    MW – I thought it was Want and Ignorance.

    (I’m just glad Mary’s decided to reestablish her sainthood.)

  26. gleeb
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:47 am [Reply]

    ‘shaft: “I don’t know why he was naked and wet at the foot of the basement stairs, Detective. I had stepped out to pick up a box of milk. I mean a thing of…AHHHH!”

    Pluggers: …are why health insurance costs got so high.

  27. Charterstoned
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:51 am [Reply]

    MW – Marcy’s? What, is that Charterstone’s version of that NY icon? Then, is the Marcy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade a line-up of all the hideous fashions we’ve seen in this strip, strolling down Santa Royale Boulevard, with Aldo’s smashed car as the lead float? Do they watch “Miracle on 36th Street” in which Marcy’s rival is

  28. Mibbitmaker
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:57 am [Reply]

    In the Marcy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, all the cartoon character balloons are of Peppermint Patty.

    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:09 am [Reply]

    ARCHIE: Veronica doesn’t know Archie well? She met him in 1942!

  30. Chyron HR
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:13 am [Reply]

    Dickweeds – “You bullied her and tried to put her in harm’s way. You compromised her reputation and her ability to provide useful information. Therefore, you are a coward.” “That makes no sense.” “SHUT UP, YOU BEEFWIT!”

    Luann – Hah! The Chinese language sounds like “Ching chong wing wong”! CLASSIC.

    Herb and Jamaal – Did H&J just morph into the racist father and son from yesterday’s strip? Bentley is getting into the GOOD stuff.

    Edge City – Here’s your Passover presentation, kid: “BREAD PRODUCTS bread products bread BREAD products bread bread products products PRODUCTS.”

  31. dreadedcandiru2
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:14 am [Reply]

    @Lucy (#23): This only makes sense if you assume that Gran is lying about everything. My guess is that she wants to cover up her “unspectacular” war years that were spent at the Brooklyn Navy Yard builiding Liberty Ships. Rather than cop to being Rosie the Riveter, she instead talked pure bullshit about herself and her dogface boyfriend from Easy Company.

  32. Pozzo
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    “I wasn’t finished — Sing to toes/Sing through nose/Take off your clothes/And strike a pose/While my johnson grows/Like a fire hose…Hey, where ya going?”

  33. Little Guy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:22 am [Reply]

    @Muffaroo (#YY49): Nailed it on Curtis!

    9CL: Yah! Wall of Words! “….and Eisenhower has authorized General Patton to kick your ass.”

    MT: Ma Barker never heard of the Fists O’ Justice, otherwise she would wait for her boys to get beat up and for her to get disarmed.

  34. Mela
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:30 am [Reply]

    9CL: Note to McEldowney – Mary Sue stories, even if they’re original, are not high art. Neither is insulting the British or assaulting comics readers with walls of expository text. Just an FYI.

    A3G: Martin, Gabriella, it’s been very nice knowing both of you. Hopefully, Bobbie will show you some kindness and aim for the head.

    Curtis: I genuinely enjoy when Billingsley gets is Bizarro on with stuff like this (and of course Kwanzaa Kwaziness), but I just wish he’d work on the pacing.

    Edge: Google’s useful & likable, unlike you. (Unless, of course, you have a Passover feast like I suggested yesterday. Gentiles will listen better if you give them food!)

    FW: Failure, public disgrace, and mass suicide of high school girls is looking more & more likely. Just another day in Westview.

    GA: Again, Uncle Lumpy’s assetment that the Old Comics Home was a Heaven eternally denied to Walt to let his life (and this strip) grind on agonizingly as punishment for some unknown sin is pretty much spot on.

    H&J: That third panel has some truly impressive 70s ‘fros.

    Luann: Why can’t this strip take a page from “Funky Winkerbean” and actually shoot for Luann’s failure, public disgrace, & suicide? There, it’s predictably depressing, but here, it’s more than welcome.

    MW: Goddamn, who let Mary watch “Hoarders”? Now she’s gonna get on her neighbors’ cases for having more than three shirts or collecting antique books as being “obsessive”.

    NS: Same with comics, but hey, we’re stuck with your crap.

    Pluggers: Is a “Plugger Clock” one of those extra-large pill cases with a section for each hour of the day? It has to be.

    RwO: Of all the strips today, this one amused me the most. Don’t ask me why – it’s just cute.

    RiR: Whereas, trying to be cute, we get dumb and vaguely alarming. And didn’t this kid have hair before? Who shaves a baby?

  35. smacky
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:37 am [Reply]

    You just know Mary wore that blouse three times before deciding to return it, expecting a full refund. Good luck getting those platitude stains out, “Marcy’s.”

  36. Shawn S.
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:09 am [Reply]

    @bullfrog (#24):

    Yep, Quill is clearly unzipping his pants with a sly grin on his face. Naturally Gunther will walk in on the act, but Luann will tell him a Chinese proverb as well.

    “A person who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it.”

  37. True Fable
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#21):
    Re: Fist O Justice Theater: Yeah, but seeing Mark Trail in a red white and blue bustier and spangled Granny Panties will permanently burn a hole in my corneas.

  38. Bryan
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:27 am [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy: Thanks for explaining Luann today, because I totally didn’t get it. I feel ashamed. But, really, sing through the nose? I know that the Chinese and European styles of singing are different but I can’t imagine “One Hand, One Heart” is going to sound good sung through the nose.

    Mary Worth: You could give extra clothes to charity instead of trying to cadge a refund out of Marcy’s.

  39. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    Wow. I don’t know what Marcy’s is doing but their store is HUGE. Maybe it’s the only store left in downtown Santa Royale since the Wal*Mart built out by the highway.

  40. Chip
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Hey Toots! If you’re short of cash, I’ll bet June needs her garage cleaned!

  41. Mordock999
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    Today’s Luann – 03/23/10

    Luann – “Uh, Quill?”

    Quill – “Yes, Luann?”

    Luann- “Whats that?”

    Quill – “Whats WHAT?”

    Luann – “THAT.”

    Quill – “Oh, that! THAT is My Australian Flutophone! I keep it in My pants…., er POCKET at ALL times. It’ll help you hit those HIGH notes! Here, let me SHOW…,”

    Luann – “Ahhhhh, I gotta go call my Mom! I’ll be right back!”

    [Runs around the corner]

    Luann – “MOM! Quills offering me singing lessons but I think he’s REALLY trying to get me into the sack! What SHOULD I do?”

    Nancy DeGroot – “Oh, Luann dear, I really DON’T have time for this. I’m TOO busy trying to DESTROY your brother’s love life. Use your BEST judgement and I’m SURE everything will be just fine.”

    Luann – “Wellll, okay…,”

    Nancy DeGroot – “And CLEAN-Up your DAMNED room!!!”


    DEATH to TJ!!!

    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Spidey- “HOW did you get that dinosaur head, from on top of that scaffolding next to where the dinosaur head was?” It certainly is a pickle.

  43. Chip
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    DT: “INNOCENT!?!” 100 people saw you do it! Dick SHOT YOU IN THE ACT for cryin’ out loud!

    MW: Mary is trying to rationalize the fact that she bought that blouse just for the pool party and now is taking it back after wearing it once. It was obviously weighing heavily on her while she wore it. I hope the clerk calls her on the pit stains…

    And, hey- STOP picking on my beloved Dinette Set! I’m sure the proofreaders don’t read the T-shirts, posters and coffee mugs. Also- the one I hate the most is when “to” is used in place of “too!”

  44. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    “And while I’m here I might as well pick up a couple of these diner-style napkin dispensers and grated cheese shakers. 30% off-can’t beat that with a stick”.

  45. Chip
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    This may be TMI, but almost 30 years ago, when my wife and I were in high school I made a joke about “singing into the microphone.” It stuck and “singing” became our code word for it. Many’s the time we talked about oral sex in polite company with no one being the wiser…

  46. Steve L
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Dear Gasoline Alley:

    Please kill off Walt Wallet while there is one remaining American World War I Veteran. To have your comic strip feature a character that is a physical impossibility would cause the universe to implode.

  47. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    posted before catching up on posts, sorry for any oversnark.

    TMMB: Epic Bail? I see what you did there. (I wish I knew how to do the mouse-over text stunt. le sigh.)

    HotC and Speed Bump both mine pathos for humor today.

    MC: *snerk*

    NS: oh, if ONLY! (I admit it, I laughed.)

    RwO: of all the places to see a Peanuts ref in, this would be low on my list of expected strips. Well played.

    6C: *facepalm*

    Frazz: win. well played!

    A&J: *snerk*

    Candorville: fan service, yer doin it rong.

    OTH: more win. “pistil-packin’ mamas” is a wonderful pun.

    Lio: *snerk* well done, love the sign in the last panel.

  48. Jeff Lindholm
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    A3G: I haven’t been reading this strip for too long. Can anyone tell me how the folks in today’s episode are related? Margo is talking to someone she calls “Mama,” who says that Margo’s father has asked “Mama” to marry him? Who are these people and why aren’t the woman Margo calls “Mama” and Margo’s father already married? Or were they married before and they got divorced and are now remarrying? Help? Seriously! Please, so I know what’s going on?


  49. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    @Chip (#45): Uh, Chip? We all know. We’re just too polite to tell you.

  50. Muffaroo
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    9CL – The Apotheosis of Grandmary Sue continues, with lengthy violations of security clearance, all necessary to point up what a freaking saint she and Private Larry Sue are, with him being sent off to pretend-die for a while just because, in a wall of text that would make a Dingburger shake his or her tapered head in bemusement and move on to Apartment 3G.

    CrankIf he’ll slip on the escalator steps and hit his head on the cee-ment pond, I won’t make a Dick Cheney joke. [*]

    Curtis – But we already know what people near Curtis are thinking: “Asshole.”

    Garfield – I prefer the classics, like the ancient BC gag where the rooster tried “CRAG-A-BAGGLE-SHEEE!” and others before returning to “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO” and wryly noting that you can’t beat the standards.

  51. wossname
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    @Jeff Lindholm (#48): Jeff, I haven’t been reading A3G nearly as long as some here, but I think I can answer that: Margo was raised by her father, Martin, and her step-mother (who will all fervently hope and believe will soon be revealed to be Bobbie). At some point she found out that Gabriella was really her mother. She’s been hostile toward Martin because she feels that he treated Gabriella badly (I think). Lately Martin and Gabriella have been getting more and more friendly, and that brings us to today’s strip.

    Do I win?

  52. Muffaroo
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    Herb & Jamaal’s version of “Stoned Agin.”

    Judge“I think she might be a keeper! And face it — you need one.”

    Mark – IT IS RUSTY’S CAMERA! And Mark holds it just like Bucky Katt.

    Marfield – Ha ha, deadly sleep apnea! Am I right?

  53. wossname
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    @wossname (#51): “we” not “will” in the second line. I guess I have to deduct points.

    Actually, that reminds me that I wanted to agree with The Ridger #22 about how easy it is to make that kind of mistake while typing. There’s some weird connection between the part of your brain that knows the sounds of words, and the part that operates your fingers on the keyboard.

  54. boojum
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    @Chip (#45): Truly polite company would have offered to, you know, sing into your microphone. After all, Miss Manners tells us, the essence of good manners is “making others feel comfortable.”

  55. Muffaroo
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    Pluggers‘ Little Helpers.

    Snuffy – Loweezy wants to find out if it works for cocks, too.

    Id – In their universe, the police sketch artist probably ends up drawing Mr. Potato Head most of the time anyway.

    @Colin (#12): In China, nose sings through You.

  56. Hibbleton
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    MW: Mary, can we have a look at that blouse before you return it? Anything’s gotta be better than the one you have on.

    JP: Hey, Judge. You might want to change garages. Between today and yesterday, someone stole the vanity plate from the front of your car.

  57. Muffaroo
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:53 am [Reply]

  58. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    So, this Curtis sequence is going to be like that Buffy episode only without any clever dialogue or murderous lunch ladies. Oo-rah.

  59. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    Jumble: Looks like she’s having her hearing tested by a furious gelfling.

  60. skullcrusherjones
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    True, Mary. Closets can only hold so many hobo skeletons.

  61. Jonathan Hamilton
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Here’s hoping Mary gets mistaken for a shoplifter.

  62. TheDiva
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    BRSG: Oh yeah, they’re the ones who painted those murals at DIA, right?

    C’shaft: Please don’t let that towel slip, ohpleaseohplease…

    DT: “I just shot a man in front of dozens of witnesses, but I’m innocent!”

    FW: Freedom is Slavery, Love is Hate, Success is Failure.

    Luann: Really, can you blame Luann’s cluelessness here? What Quill said doesn’t make sense in any language.

    MW: Already I miss the brakeneck pace and shocking revelations of the Wilbur/Kurt storyline.

  63. Tom
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: “space”/”luke” Skywalker? Maybe? Don’t mind me, just passin’ through.

  64. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    let’s see how this works. . . . .

    Tank McNamara’s Muppet Babies [*]

  65. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    @Muffaroo (#57): yayness and stuff! Thanks for the tip.

  66. tb4000
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    MW: Ms. Worth is giving some subtle advice to all you womenfolk apparently with thoughts of shopping for fancy clothing articles. Focus on being the matronly spinster you are meant to be in life, as opposed to buying something nice for yourself.

    S4th: I have enjoyed this strip for years, but I can honestly say it is slowly becoming my favorite one on the page to read.

  67. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    MW: So these are the “returns”? This means that conversation with Toeby is so boring that Mary drifted into fantasies of dealing with department-store customer service while talking with her.

    And Mary, a real shopper knows that “want” and “need” can be easily and conveniently conflated. Amateur.

    JP: Nice product placement on the parking space there.

    SM: “Forget that! Who could be bothered to write and draw a complex heist story in a superhero action comic?”

    MT: I kinda love the idea of Ma Parker on the cover of Wildlife Today, glowering and clutching her shotgun, with the headline “Fun at Fishing Camps!” above her portly, angry image.

  68. AirForbes
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    Space heater? Incomprehensible singing advice? No wonder these guys are cartoonists – they don’t have any knowledge that would get them a job in the real world.

  69. Government Cheese
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Luann: I know enough has been said on this – but what does “sing to toes, sing through nose” mean? I think Quill picked it up from a poorly translated North Korean fortune cookie. In the meantime, I will attempt to follow his advice. (looks down at toes and makes nasal sounds/grunts)

  70. anon
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#13):

    Would they do that? Would that actually work? My 80 year old mom’s hobby is buying “bargain” stuff from Macy’s last chance sales clearance rack. Bringing it home. Trying it on. Taking it back to Macy’s. Hey, it keeps her busy. I’m surprised she isn’t on some kind of list at Macy’s with all those returns, but maybe Macy’s just doesn’t care any more. The place is eerie quiet and deserted weekdays, except for mom and others like her.

  71. FafMor
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    Luann: The only thing stranger than Quill’s suggestion is Luann’s “Oh.” & corresponding facial expression in the 3rd panel, which indicates that she makes sense of it in a way crushes her soul. The most logical explanation is that this is a very roundabout way of Quill saying that he’s gay and in love with Gunther.

  72. mav
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    Am I the ONLY one who didn’t find Quill’s comment egregious or stupid? I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure it’s a correct statement that looking down will cause your voice to become more nasal. And, unless you’re singing country music, nasal is bad, so it would be pretty obvious to someone singing in a… you know… musical that Quill was not suggesting that she should sing through her nose. I think it also fits in pretty well with the character of Luann that she would have a tendency to be unassertive and non-projecting on stage (the fact that she would be on stage at all is another matter–I do agree with previous criticisms that this whole plot is unrealistic). And while I don’t disagree with some of the comments about the whole “Chinese proverb” thing, I also don’t find it particularly shocking for a conversation between two HS students.

    I mean we complain about how comics tend to dumb things down too much, but then when a character says something requires the slightest bit of specialized knowledge (like real people would), it gets hammered as making no sense or being confusing. Seriously, Ces gets major props for references in Sally Forth to obscure indie rock bands, but it’s bad when Greg Evans expects his readers to understand that you’re not supposed to sing through your nose?

  73. Walker of Dog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#67): JP: I couldn’t decide if that was subtle product placement by Lexus or an extortion attempt by the artist.

    MT: I will definitely buy a copy of that issue. Hopefully they will neglect to airbrush out the weird shoulder-growth that sprouted in panel 3 (Inflatable backpack? Rampaging goiter? Visit our friendly camp and find out!)

  74. commodorejohn
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    A3G – I dunno about you guys, but I am well and truly ready for the Roaring Rampge of Revenge.

    AS – It takes a special kind of horrible drawing ability to accidentally give Stormtroopers codpieces.

    Blondie – does a little more delving into absurdism. I like it.

    BR – Good to see David Icke finally getting the recognition he deserves, i.e. mockery in a comic strip.

    Curtis – Now if you’re smart, Curtis, there’s any number of ways to make money from this.

    DT – Boy, that’s a nice thing to say, Dick, considering that I don’t think you have the faintest clue what “sorry for the loss of” means. Another day, another stiff, right?

    GT – I like how Steve’s always looking over his glasses. I think he thinks he’s David Caruso.

    H&L – …

    JP – Oh, like you know, Sam.

    Luann – Okay, it’s official: everyone in this strip is retarded.

    MT – Could it be!? I think we may have finally met the one person in the Mark Trail universe who isn’t a blithering idiot!


    MW – Gee, Mary, do you think you could possibly get a little more self-congratulatory?

    Pluggers – Pluggers exist in a weekly cycle of drug haze.

    RMMD – Gee, Rex Morgan, do you think you could possibly zoom in a little closer?

    SF – I love Jackie so very much.

    SM – …

  75. UncleJeff
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Is “torpedo slamming into freighter” becoming the “train going into tunnel” sexual metaphor for a new, better-armed generation?

  76. Binder's Butter Beans
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    You know, just this morning, I was thinking, “I should return this blouse that I don’t need! While there’s sometimes want, there’s rarely need!”


  77. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#74): re Argyle Suckitude[*]: well, it does give new meaning to Leia’s line “aren’t you a little short to be a stormtrooper?”

  78. Walker of Dog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    S-M: Sabretooth’s pathetic bid for attention just shows that everyone in this strip is eventually dragged down to Peter’s level of stupidity. Doesn’t anyone kidnap heiresses or steal nuclear bombs anymore? NEXT: Sabretooth’s relationship with the press deteriorates – “It’s S-A-B-R-E, OK? Forget it – this interview is over!”

    MW: The strip’s most disappointing story resolution is followed by its most disappointing pool party. And now we’re stuck reading about credit transactions with local merchants? When Mary comes down off her meth benders, she sure comes down boring.

    GT: “Hey, that’s Mr. Janitor to you! Oh, wait…nevermind.”

    Phan: Savarna is certainly the showboatingest vigilante in Walker’s social circle. I like today’s cocky pose for the cameras following her no-look torpedo shot – nothing but hull! NEXT: Let’s see her do the Heisman!

  79. commodorejohn
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#77): And believe it or not, I found a cartoon making that exact joke while looking up “Stormtrooper” on Google Image Search.

  80. hogenmogen
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    9CL: “I will now violate my security clearance to tell you how much of a coward you are.” By the end of this story line there won’t be an officer left in the US Army.

    Curtis: Wait, he can hear what Gunk is thinking? Wow. Curtis can read thoughts. If someone nearby thinks something, Curtis can hear it. We need a 5th panel to reiterate that because of the Flyspeck Island peanuts, Curtis can hear thoughts.

    Mary Worthless: “While there’s sometimes want… there’s rarely need.” So donate your clothes to the homeless shelter, you pompous heiress.

    Spiderman: You know that head isn’t real, it’s just a plaster replica, right, Mr. Sabretooth? We don’t put out the real ones because we don’t want to drill holes through them to hand them on a metal framework. Even the 3rd graders we take on tours through here know that. Geez, supervillans!

    So he stole a dinosaur head to get Spiderman to attack him so Spiderman could tell him where Wolverine went so he could fight Wolverine? And why does he need to kick Wolverine’s ass? Does Logan owe him $20 bucks for last weekend’s Kansas game?

  81. Anonymous
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    @Charterstoned (#27): actually, I think they watch “Miracle Whip on 34th Street” (at least Wilbur does).

  82. hogenmogen
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    If you didn’t need it, Mary, WHY DID YOU BUY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

  83. hogenmogen
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    I bet the blouse is that hideous magenta one with the amoeba floating all over it. Yeah, she’s worn it four or five times and it’s a dozen years old. Knowing Mary, she keeps the tags tucked in so they don’t show.

    I used to work for a discount chain. One of our own employees returned a used basketball after baskeball season. It was obviously thoroughly used, and the clerk took it back because there was no specific code against it. I blame Mary Worth for that, too.

  84. bats :[
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    @Pozzo (#32): wonderful! (I don’t know that it would all fit in a fortune cookie, though — the proverb, not Quill’s johnson).

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#42): I think this qualifies as a “Mystery of the Universe.” At least a “Mystery of the Spiderman Universe,” which also contains “My Wife is hot — Why is she still with me?” and “Why is every ancillary character in this strip way more interesting than the title character?”

    @wossname (#51): sorry, you don’t win. Wait…yes, you win. It’ with FW that you don’t win. No one ever wins. Ever.

    @commodorejohn (#74): dammit. Now I have to look at AS and check out the Stormtrooper. My only consolation is that with Passover approaching, I quit reading Edge City about a month ago and am free! FREE!

    @Anonymous (#81): this is me. mr. bats :[ is “fixing” my computer again. He dun did gud. :D

  85. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    For Fashion Police.

    For One-eyed Wolfdog.

    For all the Mom-mudgeons. (better you than me!)

    For the fennec squee!

  86. blackgoat
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    MT: That’s not Ma Parker. That’s Susan Boyle – fulfilling her dream of blowing a wildlife ranger to bits with her shotgun, at a fishing camp in Godknowswhere.

  87. Fashion Police
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#85):
    Thank you for your thoughtfulness. However, if one must wear jeans in public, brown shoes are certainly acceptable.

  88. boojum
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    Jesus tells us that we have to love everybody. Then again, he never had to deal with Mary Worth. (She graduated high school right before his freshman year.)

    Her simpering look of delighted virtue — There! In the second panel! Is that the approving angel chorus she hears? — makes me want to bite, repeatedly. Good grief, it’s a sin to BUY those hideous outfits she inflicts on her sufferers; the only way to atone for such an act is some sort of flame-based disposal.

    I keep thinking of Bailey in WKRP, casually lighting matches and flicking them at Herb Tarlek’s plaid blazer, as he frantically brushes them off. “Does polyester burn…?”

    Long story short: Is it wrong to hope someone will mistake the lines on her outfit for instructions, and gut her like a rotting seal? I was afraid so.

    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    @One-eyed Wolfdog (#59): If she gets it wrong, she gets shocked!

  90. bats :[
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    Real Imperial Stormtroopers have codpieces (scroll about halfway down to see them on a Stormtrooper, a Clone Wars-era Trooper and a biker scout). They’re made out of the same material as the rest of the armor and do NOT look like somebody put his fabric jockstrap on over his gear at the last minute.
    I am such a geek.

  91. Nekrotzar
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    I was kind of hoping that Mary’s concern about ‘returns’ would precipitate 3 weeks of gripping storyline about W2′s and medical receipts, but I guess waiting on line while an underpaid, unmotivated teenager credits her charge card will be an adequate substitute.

  92. Shannon's Puppet
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    The Snoregonian reveals today where Sabretooth sold his dino head. It’s in the witness protection program at OMSI as the head of “Samson”. Now he can afford a P.I. to find Wolverine for him.

  93. Nekrotzar
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#83): Once when we had an appliance delivered from Sears, the delivery team told us that their busiest time of the year, by far, was the week right after the Super Bowl, when lots of people suddenly discover that their newly purchased supersized Plasma Hi-Def TV doesn’t match their curtains.

  94. commodorejohn
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#90): Well, they have crotch armor, but I always that codpieces had to be, y’know, penis-shaped. Maybe I’m wrong, though. Anybody here an armor expert?

  95. Yeah Really
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Luann: What Quill is saying indirectly, I suppose in an attempt to be polite, is not to look down when you sing because it makes your voice more nasal. I don’t think it’s that hard to understand.

  96. Blue Castle
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#90): Psst, Troi married Riker, not Dekker. That must be a typo in your text.

  97. ElkMeadow
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#14):

    Doonesbury: BTW, someone made a comment about Monday’s strip that seemed to imply that they thought Trudeau was just making up this bring-your-gun-to-Starbuck’s thing for comic effect. Sorry to say, he isn’t. It’s for real.

    I’m expecting to see news reports now of “Oregon boycotts”. It’s how displeased customers don’t complain, picket, get media attention–they just doesn’t go there. It’s a term from “Oregon shopper”, where, when a shopper has an unpleasant experience in a store, they don’t complain and they don’t return. No filling out those customer service forms, either.

  98. brooklyn_codger
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    where the hell is mary supposed to be standing in panel 1?

  99. Fashion Police
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    Yes, Mrs. Worth, you have “enough” clothes, if by “enough” you mean “a closetful of unattractive garments in ghastly colors.” One hopes that in the weeks ahead you will give them all away and start all over again.

    You’ll never be a California girl, Mrs. Worth. Mid-calf skirts, sensible shoes: frumpiness done well is the highest of style.

    (And a whisper to the wise, Madame: the pompadour makes you look like a Wayne Newton impersonator).

  100. Uncle Lumpy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    @brooklyn_codger (#98):

    Athwart history, crying “stop!”

  101. H-Bob
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @Charterstoned (#27): Don’t forget the Giant Sandwich Balloons in the Charterstoned Parade !

  102. BigTed
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    While she can’t quite remember the correct lyrics to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” it still runs through her head whenever she thinks about drugs.

  103. Fashion Police
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#14), @ElkMeadow (#97):

    Perhaps Starbucks could compromise by banning camo and “plumber’s butt” jeans.

  104. ElkMeadow
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#82): @hogenmogen (#82):
    If you didn’t need it, Mary, WHY DID YOU BUY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?


  105. ElkMeadow
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#103):

    Wish someone would.

  106. AhClem
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    MW – Mary is returning all her clothes to Marcy’s, because she realized she can get the same stuff at half price across town at SantaRoyMart. The blouses with red blotches are on clearance this week.

  107. Aviatrix
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    @tb4000 (#66): You mean “buy anything you feel like; you can always take it back later.”

    I didn’t get Luann on first reading either. There are a few parts to getting it.
    Imagine he says, “sing tau tose sing true nose” with a Chinese accent and random tones on each syllable, so that she at first thinks he has actually spoken in a Chinese language. Then it dawn on her that he has simply spoken English with a silly accent. Presumably she does know enough about singing to understand that the instruction means “If you sing to your toes (i.e. look down), your singing voice will be nasal, and that’s bad.” Hey, at least he didn’t use his fingers to pull out the corners of his eyes while delivering the advice.

  108. skeeter
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    What there’s really no excuse for is the gratuitous shot of Crankshaft’s ass crack.

  109. Perky Bird
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:36 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Crankshaft really has been trying to heat his bathwater by placing a space heater next to the water pipes in the basement. Someone should put him out of his (and our) misery by telling him to move the space heater into the shower with him. That’ll certainly warm the water, though in a way he might not expect.

  110. gnome de blog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    @Jeff Lindholm (#48), @wossname (#51):
    Gabriella was the Magees’ maid. Martin knocked her up. Martin and Bobbie raised the child. Margo didn’t discover Bobbie wasn’t her mother until after she grew up. Margo has a certain amount of respect and love for Gabriella, but none at all for either Martin or Bobbie. It’s not clear whether Martin truly loves Gabriella, or he intends to marry her only as part of his campaign to win Margo’s affection.

    Bobbie is evil and demented, but she has also been severely wronged. She may in fact be evil and demented because she has been wronged. She raised another woman’s child, albeit lovelessly. Now, 30-odd years later, she’s about to get dumped for that same other woman…who is largely innocent. If anybody deserves getting shot, it’s Martin.

  111. bats :[
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    @Blue Castle (#96): oh, right. (Who the hell is Dekker? Or am I thinking of Deckard in Bladerunner? My lack of ST fannishness is showing. Troi made me itch with her “feelings” — I found them as fake as, um, Mary Worth’s…)

  112. gnome de blog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    That would be the best Crankshaft ever.

  113. UncleJeff
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    MT: Mary is trying to put a stop to the economic recovery. Getting stuff we don’t really need is a far greater stimulus to the economy than “cash for clunkers” ever was.

  114. Bitter Scribe
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    In the world of Family Circus, Crankshaft, Get Fuzzy and others, any malapropism is a good malapropism.

  115. Uncle Lumpy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#110):

    If anybody deserves getting shot, it’s Martin.

    Works for me — fewer guys to tell apart.

  116. Nekrotzar
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#107): And he didn’t introduce the advice with ‘Confucius say’. Be glad for small favors.

  117. Baka Gaijin
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#Y46): “Erk. I assume you mean, no one ever wants chocolate after that…..

    And, uh, what kind of deep discount are you getting on anal beads that this makes financial sense? Or does one want to know?”

    No deep discount; you only need to buy 2 sets before everyone turns tail and runs, then realize what they’re doing and turn around and back away. Reduces the demand on chocolate, too.

  118. Not Dead Eric
    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    Looks like a couple folks got Luann. If you sing shyly, face downward, it compresses your vocal cords and makes you sound nasal. Look up, damn it all to hell, and see the glory of Quill’s mime eyes!

  119. BowToTheBard
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    Chinese food: 30% off and still shoots through you just as fast!

  120. Shawn S.
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    Quill seems to have the same skill T.J. has, being able to talk through his teeth while grinning. Wait, did I say skill? I meant “incredibly creepy trait from Hell”.

  121. Red Greenback
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    ‘Shaft: “There must be something wrong with the tobacconist in the basement. The water in the shower is scratched.”

  122. Pointy-Eared Dork
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#111):

    Decker is the odd guy with the bald girlfriend from Star Trek I.

  123. Bryan
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#111): oh, right. (Who the hell is Dekker? Or am I thinking of Deckard in Bladerunner? My lack of ST fannishness is showing. Troi made me itch with her “feelings” — I found them as fake as, um, Mary Worth’s…)

    Are you thinking of Commander Decker from Star Trek: The Motion Picture? He was the guy who was supposed to take over the Enterprise except Kirk snatched command back and he finally went to live in the V’ger cloud with that bald lady who was also in Warrior of the Lost World.

  124. yaoi huntress earth
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    9CWL: Man, go to Hell Brooke McEldowney. That officer had every right to call on her: he was told nothing except to accept things, she was risking giving the Allies misinformation while giving secrets to the Nazis, acted like a tart around a Nazi when she was supposed to be a good, sheltered Catholic without caring to the point of trying to suck face with him in front of everyone. Anyone would be suspicious of a trampy girl who was willing to act all nice, spend time alone with them and slutty towards the enemy for her own petty desires (not to mention she assaulted him before).

    He is an opposite of a coward. He stood up, refused to kiss Edna’s ass and let things fly because he cared more about the cause than letting some Mary Sue have her way.

  125. Baka Gaijin
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: Is it the blouse that’s coming out of Mary’s closet or her sexuality?

    Sally Forth: Jackie, “smelling of fried onions” could indicate liver or kidney disease or maybe clupeotoxin poisoning.[*] Oooh, that’s a panty-dropper.

    Pluggers: “Hundreds and Hundreds” of Pluggers measure time passage by the medication ingested. This is about the most pathetic Pluggers ever.

    Garfield: If the dog Trololo’d it’d be timely instead of just repetitive.

    PS: Ewww. I grossed myself thinking about Mary Worth’s sexuality.

  126. This Guy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#111): Also, Decker and his love interest Ilia can be seen as a major inspiration for Riker and Troi in TNG. Both Decker and Ilia were created for the Star Trek: Phase II series that was supposed to be the follow-up to the original, but Paramount scrapped the series in favor of a movie while it was in development. In 1988, when there was a Writers Guild strike, TNG used a Phase II script, “The Child,” for an episode with Troi in the role originally meant for Ilia.

  127. wossname
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#110): Good, that’s a more clear and complete explanation than mine. gnome de blog wins (whatever it is).

    So there is no doubt in your mind at this point that Bobbie is Mrs. Magee? I still have a .0001 fear that Shulock is going to pull the rug out from under us. (And since I’m sure there are people here with advanced degrees in statistics, I’ll just stipulate in advance that that’s probably the wrong way to express degrees of certainty.)

  128. mojo
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    How kind of Mary Worth, who I don’t think has actually WORKED a day in her life beyond “volunteering”, to throw her easy financial situation in the readers’ collective face during these times of economic strife. Yep, must be nice to have a dead stockbroker husband who left you well set-up, my dear Mare. It turns shopping from a penny-pinching search for necessities into a fun game of buying things and then frivolously returning them. With extra points if you can get the minimum-wage salesperson FIRED at some point in the process.

    Oh, and kudos to Mary for somehow making the connection between a loved one returning from an extended trip, and returning CLOTHES. Because, ummm, they both have the word “return” in them, evidently. Yep. Them’s good writin’s.

  129. Anonymous
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#125): Well, crap: Now you have me pondering the nature of Mary’s closeted sexuality. It’s certainly not her meddle fetish; that’s right out in the open.

  130. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    129 was me. Stoopid new security software.

  131. Mardou Fox
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    I know it’s hoping for too much, but I hoped this might be the start of a Mary Worth storyline where we see her secret shame: compulsive shopping. She buys like crazy, then has to return things when the “high” fades and she realizes she couldn’t afford and did not need the merchandise.

  132. Ray Jay
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#9): [cue Rick James funk beat] She’s a super-preach…super-preach…she’s super-preachy!

  133. gnome de blog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#127):
    I’m content to “win” the satisfaction of providing a service for my fellow Curmudgeons.

    At this point, if Ms. Merrill isn’t Bobbie Magee, Margaret Shuloch wins the McEldowner Award for shoddy and deceitful writing. I like Ms. Shuloch’s work. I would be hugely disappointed if she lets us down.

    Aside to Ms. Shuloch: This is excellent work. There’s real conflict among characters who are flawed enough to be real yet outrageous enough to be funny (and the funny doesn’t detract from the drama). Now if you could only get Mr. Giella to follow Fashion Police’s advice and give everybody (except maybe Bobbie) a makeover!

  134. beetnemesis
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    For better or for worse, many comics rely on wordplay for humor.”

    I see what you did there.

  135. bats :[
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#14): okay, here you go.

  136. gnome de blog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#129):

    Mary used to be a professional dominatrix. Now she meddles. Dr. Jeff “Bum Boat” Cory likes to wear high heels and handcuffs. So does Wilbur Weston, but he has to pay her.

  137. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    FC: Explain the geometry of that room to me. Really. Go ahead. Oh… is that Professor Minkowski raising his hand? Do speak up, Professor, I’m sure we’d all like to hear.

    H&J: Rather nice, actually.

    MT: That’s going to be a tricky obituary to write. “Eye-witness accounts suggest that Mr. Trail, 42, met his demise while attempting to photograph a primate house escapee wearing a pink dress. He is survived by his wife, Cherry, 36 — who was “pretty sure” she recognized the remains — and by something of indeterminate age which Mrs. Trail identified only as “Rusty”. The funeral home has indicated that all of Mr. Trail’s friends are welcome to attend the viewing this Saturday, but due to regulations, pooping on the floor will not be tolerated.”

    @queek, name tl, dr (#85): Very cute, but a bit demure – I really go for an outgoing, ears-up look. And the rather thoughtful expression seems at odds with the pidgin English – I would expect nice complete sentence and a good sense of narrative from this dog.

  138. Ned Ryerson
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#123): Warrior of the Lost World

    Right, right, right….with the guy from The Paper Chase

  139. Chip Whittle
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    So, what have we learned from this Dick Tracy adventure? Is it that rock-and-roll kills? … Is it that classical music kills? … Is it that violin-based bombs kill? … Is it that gunmen proclaiming flatly “I’m innocent” kill? … Is it that there’s no pun weakly enough constructed that it can’t kill? … Or is the moral simply, “Don’t read Dick Tracy“?

    Family Circus meanwhile shows Billy and Mom warping the laws of perspective, dimension, and relative sizes. Who’s been breaking the fabric of spacetime?

    Marvin: “When you stopped snoring, you stopped breathing!!! And our pact says clearly we have to die together! Now strangle me before you suffocate already!”

  140. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#136):

    So does Wilbur Weston, but he has to pay her.

    So that would make the “used to be” incorrect?

    I wondered how she was supporting herself in such high style; those fuschia and salmon outfits don’t grow on trees, you know.

  141. Austria
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    BC: First iPad pun – bearable. The next thousand won’t be.


    Luann: Is anyone else really, really bothered by Luann’s breasts? And, for that matter, the breasts of every other female character in this series? Either it’s a case of You Fail Anatomy Forever or everyone in the Luanniverse wears some INSANE push-up bras.

    MW: I feel gypped.


    Zits: HAHAHA OH US KIDS AND OUR TECHNOLOGY AMIRITE? No, seriously, though, it’s not funny anymore, especially when there are many adults that utilize the same sorts of things. This is why adults shouldn’t draw strips about teenagers — it ends up being more about the parents.

  142. mustang
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    They really want Josh, but he’s on vacation, so here’s a fun activity for us!

  143. AhClem
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#125), @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#129):
    In the name of everything righteous and good, please don’t use the words “Mary [Worth]” and “sexuality” in the same sentence ever again.

  144. Crankenstank
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    Ha ha, well, Walt Wallet will soon enough find his plug pulled by one of Obama’s death panels! So Gertie will be proved right, and Satan can finally collect Walt’s soul.

  145. Austria
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @ Mustang 142: I think that top one is Pickles.

  146. Baka Gaijin
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#143): How about JACKIE and RALPH having HOT MONKEY SEX! [*] Remember to mouseover, AhClem.

  147. Little A and his Verkokte Magic Ball
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    GA: All right, will somebody please tell me why so many of you are picking on poor old Walt? Just because he’s been around so long?

    The strip is very well drawn, frequently amusing (yeah, I know, sometimes exasperatingly dumb, but Slim and Joel don’t showup that often), and there is a real affection between Gertie and Walt.

    Lay off! There are MUCH BIGGER TARGETS to snark at!

  148. Little A and his Verkokte Magic Ball
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    Let’s see what happens. I wasn’t trying to be funny, or facetious, I am serious.

  149. Anonymous
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#145): Oh yeah! You’re right. I knew it looked familiar.

  150. Comcis Fan
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    I get an uneasy, national-time-warp of sacrifice feeling from Mary Worth. Not that I’m unwilling to, or don’t need to, sacrifice my personal material desires. It’s just that I have a feeling Charterstone will soon be organizing a victory garden committee, a savings club and a scrap metal drive, and that Mary might require Wilbur to give up his computer and grow his own sandwiches.

  151. Buck Ripsnort
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    What does it mean when a “soap” strip (A3G) has a better punchline than most of the “funny” strips today?

  152. kanomi
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#28):

    In the Marcy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, all the cartoon character balloons are of Peppermint Patty.

    That made me smile!

    @Tom (#63):

    Crankshaft: “space”/”luke” Skywalker? Maybe? Don’t mind me, just passin’ through.

    You can hear cartoonist gears grinding here: “Why is ‘lukewarm’ a word but not ‘lukecold’? I can make a joke out of that.” He draws Crankshaft running out of the shower, but thinks, “That’s not much of a joke. I know, I’ll jam in a Star Wars reference by changing ‘Hot Water Heater’ to ‘Space Heater’ – ha, ha, comedy gold! Hit ‘send,’ then hit the links.”

    A better Star Wars joke might have been: “The water in the shower is lukecold!” / “You mean lukewarm?” / “No, I mean Luke freezing to death on the ice planet Hoth!” / “Want me to slit open a taun-taun for you?”

    But you need the right kind of characters. Old cranks shouldn’t drop Gen X movie refs while streaking through a kitchen.

    I don’t want to even try to parse the logic behind today’s Luann gag, but judging from the volume and tenor of the comments here, we’re all a little more baffled and saddened today. May I humbly suggest this remix? :

    Luanne: “How’s my singing?” / “Like a shoegazing Bob Dylan.” / Luanne: “Is that bad?” / “That’s bad. It means you stare at your feet and sing through your nose.”

  153. Master Softheart
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    SF: When reading the first strips featuring her, I assumed that Sally’s sister was just a foil for the otherwise rather bland, smirking title character – another zany, wacky person for the strip’s only sane person to react to. Then for a while I began to think that she was intended more as a psychological projection of aspects of Sally’s character, intended primarily as a mirror for developing personality conflicts within Sally that she was unable to express otherwise. I thought that was fairly interesting. But I’ve just realized the truth. Jackie is Brad Pitt to Sally’s Edward Norton. I just know she’s going to end up talking about Ralph: “Man, you’ve got some f****d up friends, I’m tellin’ ya. Limber, though… ”

    I’m not yet psychologically ready to explore the implications of this revelation for Ted and Hillary…

    GT: Steve the slacking, snarky janitor has grown on me. I want to see him in a spinoff strip. Maybe he and Marty Moon could fight crime together…

    Phantom: Nothing, I mean nothing turns on Savarna like watching a ship full of people dying slowly between burning to death and drowning. Kit, on the other hand, is ambivalent – he only really gets excited from more personal violence… if it doesn’t leave a skull-shaped mark permanently embedded in some thug’s face, it isn’t really justice.

    I reiterate – Savarna really needs to go have an affair with Dick Tracy.

    FW: To quote the wisdom of Joel Robinson: “Can you imagine if you were the kind of person who found this funny?”

  154. Not Dead Eric
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#141): Jeez, maybe in Austria the girls sag at 16. I tend to doubt it. Youth has it’s pleasures, and the rest of us succumb to gravity.

  155. Baka Gaijin
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#2): Orthopedic panties? I guess that’s better than orthotic skivvies.

  156. Écureuil Écumant
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    @mustang (#142):

    One would immediately suspect the Washington Post. “Pickles”, however, is below the fold. And the splash of red in the large panel in the lower right looks suspiciously like DTM’s red overalls, but our Sunday DTM is a strip, not a single panel — and it’s in the inside part of the section. There seems to be a white cloud covering up the inner section of the above-the-fold strip. None of the last six weeks of the Post’s Sunday comics section match any of this, but of course we don’t know the date of the picture. So, I got nuthin’.

  157. Gabacho
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth – That’s why they interrupted the pool party? So Mary could return an impulsive purchase? This better result in some new character that Mary meets in the department store and meddles to death or I for one am going to refuse to get excited about the new plot! So there!

  158. This Guy
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    Spider-Man: Does Magneto have a school for evil mutants? I think Sabretooth here could use a refresher course in hostage-taking. Rule 1: Try not to choose a hostage that has been dead for millions of years.

  159. Muffaroo
    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:58 pm [Reply]

    @hogenmogen (#80): So Sabretooth stole the plaster fake dino head. He’s working his way up. In the 90s, he was stealing VHS boxes with those foam slabs inside from his local video store. In the 00s, he stole the cardboard home entertainment centers the furniture store used in displays. He’s ready for the big time. [*]

    @Nekrotzar (#116): “‘Ancient Chinese secret,’ huh? Some hot shot!”

  160. Poteet
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    9CL — So now we find out that Officer Beatenup was a creep. Am I the only one who somehow missed the earlier part of the story where that was explained? Put an end to this stupid mess and bring back the unicorn, that’s what I say. The unicorn was utterly obnoxious, but at least it was entirely fictional and McEldowney could make up his own rules for its behavior without causing military molars to grind.

  161. gnome de blog
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#140):
    Whew! I’m glad it’s you and not your alter ego questioning my verb tenses.

    Mary indulges Jeff’s tastes because it’s the best way to get what she wants from him. In Wilbur’s case she’s bestowing a favor. Making him pay keeps her square with her professional ethics. Besides, it makes him feel squirmy. Technically, she might be acting in a professional capacity but she isn’t regularly practicing her trade.

    I think back in the old days she managed to offshore enough of Black Jack Worth’s money before the Feds caught up with him to keep her in salmon and fuschia for the duration. She only took up a trade for the power trip, but gradually lost interest as she discovered meddling was a far more subtle and effective way to crush egos.

  162. seismic-2
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    C’shaft: Maybe the wording is correct. Perhaps Jeff and Pam force Crankshaft to take his showers in the basement, using only a garden hose with a space heater for warmth.

    I know I would.

  163. Bryan
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#141): Luann: Is anyone else really, really bothered by Luann’s breasts? And, for that matter, the breasts of every other female character in this series? Either it’s a case of You Fail Anatomy Forever or everyone in the Luanniverse wears some INSANE push-up bras.

    It was especially obvious today. Luann was positively thrusting at Quill. Crikey!

  164. zerowolf
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    MW: In Mary’s defense, she did try to donate the blouse to a charity Thankfully she saw the sign and left otherwise the sanctimony would have reached critical mass, sucking the universe into a black hole faster than Wilbur eating a sandwich.

  165. Master Softheart
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:14 pm [Reply]

    @Not Dead Eric (#154): Having attended high school in Vienna, they, um, don’t. Oh dear Lord, they don’t.

    And while a gentleman would not expand on this point in unseemly detail, comparing the malformed, simian blow-up dolls in Luann with the young women of Austria is so ludicrous as to not even be insulting – in contradistinction to 9 CL’s portrayal of Leutnant Helmut von Schutzstaffelnutz of Vienna, which I must admit carried just enough plausibility to be quite insulting indeed.

  166. zerowolf
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Not nearly as awkward as Quill’s attempt to get Luann to give him a blow job.

  167. zerowolf
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    BG&SS: Sorry Loweezy, it only works on hens, not cocks.

  168. zerowolf
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#162): That still leaves unanswered the question: “Why do they let him out?”

  169. Jamus The Bartender
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    Doonesbury: While growing up, I was exposed to many kinds of firearms, usually shotguns and the occasional handgun, as The Bartender family was really into hunting. Me not so much, as it involved me getting up at the proverbial ”ass-crack” of dawn, as some Pluggers might say, just to shoot some birds or whatever…..
    The point i’m trying to make is this. On the short list of places i’d have expected to have to carry a firearm to, Starbucks was SO not on that list.

  170. Bryan
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#169): On the short list of places i’d have expected to have to carry a firearm to, Starbucks was SO not on that list.

    Didn’t Starbucks decide recently not to have a “No guns on the premises” policy? I figured that’s what this strip was about.

  171. Dagny
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    I woke up this morning and hit the comics page and immediately got preached at by Mary Worth. Not a good way to start the morning.

  172. Anonymous
    March 23rd, 2010 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

  173. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#172): was me. darn cookie monsters.

  174. Festooned Dragoon
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    @mustang (#142), @Écureuil Écumant (#156): I suspect the Jan 31 Pickles. That week’s DTM doesn’t fit, even if they ran the panels vertically.

  175. Jamus The Bartender
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    @Bryan (#170): I believe it did, yeah. That’s my point, though. Of all places on the planet one might want to bring a firearm of some kind to, why did Starbuck’s have to be one of them? I mean, I go there to drink coffee and flop out on their couches. It’s great. No shooting. No guns at high noon or anything.

  176. Bryan
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    Oh, well some folks like to RKBA everywhere. I know a guy who carries his gun everywhere he can and, given that this is Vermont, that’s lots of places.

  177. Jamus The Bartender
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Okay.
    I just re-read the entire Edie Ernst saga, from beginning, to today. (Did you know that started November 16? Wow…) It’s actually not too bad if you read it in one sitting. But there was something that had been bugging me the whole time, that I didn’t realize until now.
    Why WASN’T Colonel Nasty Horrocks informed by MI5 of Edie and Bill’s mission? As a camp commandant, he’d have every right to know…..
    …..unless MI5 had reason to suspect HIM of being a “person of concern”.

  178. The Ridger
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    You know, I think no one should blame Cassie for skipping out on her team. Just like her parents, she obviously had no idea a Milford team might be still playing this late in the season…

  179. The Ridger
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:38 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#111): Ummmm Dekker is the guy who chased the A-Team in Seasons 2-4…

  180. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    um, just wow. not so little kitty

  181. Mr. O'Malley
    March 23rd, 2010 at 7:58 pm [Reply]

    There’s an Open Carry movement that seeks to make a point by carrying guns wherever it’s legal, which now includes national parks.

    However, you’re not allowed to carry loaded guns, so cops are making a point of checking out every single gun-toting person to make sure the guns are not loaded.

    Some examples:

  182. Old School Allie Cat
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#177): November 16th? Really? That’s months of my life, minutes at a time that I’ll never get back. I still say at the end of the saga, she’s going to die (think Benjamin Button) Well, a girl can dream.

    I think the Chinese have an applicable proverb here. “Tell long story, start to bore me.”

  183. Farley's Revenge
    March 23rd, 2010 at 8:48 pm [Reply]

    @Muffaroo (#57): “Placebo Domingo”…I like it! I also wish I had thought of it, but that’s what I get for attempting to be clever at 0-dark-hundred.

  184. dale
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    You might not need a gun at Starbucks or the opera. A problem with no guns on the property is that you might need a gun when you leave.

  185. Anonymous
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    Hey, Uncle Lumpy! Thanks for posting the site for looking up all of the banners. I’m a third of the way through, and I’m enjoying every one of them!

  186. Poteet
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    ReFoob — I had annoying habits as a child, but complaining about “nothing to do” wasn’t one of them, and the reason was simple. I loved to read. And that is typical of future writers, I’ve been told. But considering the kind of putrid prose Michael ended up writing, *shudder* I guess I’m not surprised that he was no bookworm as a child.

  187. Poteet
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, Uncle Lumpy. The banners are faaaaaabulous.

  188. nomuse
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Well, if you are singing in classic Chinese opera, “sing through nose” is about what it sounds like to my Western ears. But I don’t get “sing to toes” — unless he means sing to to the toes of the person doing a split-kick over you while waving a ten-foot long prop sword.

  189. Citric
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    Here’s something interesting, Crankshaft is one of the rare comic characters with nipples.

  190. Jeff
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    Wait… did Mary materialize in the Marcy’s air conditioning closet a-la Aunt Clara? This explains her need to get her money back for that blouse – she’s up to her ears in warrants for stealing door knobs.

  191. Poteet
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    @Jamus The Bartender (#177): Ah HAH! Thank you for confirming that Horrocks was not informed. And I think you are being very generous to the story. Your stories are far better. Also, when I read your stories, I don’t find myself trying to decide which character I dislike most.

  192. Jamus The Bartender
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#191): Thank you very much :) Yeah, I don’t know if Brooke McE is gonna pull a rabbit out of his hat at some point with Col Nasty, or if this is just bad writing. I’m betting the latter. I’m also thinking about improving on his story a wee bit….

  193. IronMouse
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    [quote] Quill gives Luann ambiguously phrased, ridiculous singing advice, which Luann first misunderstands for Chinese, then takes to heart. Next week, we’ll all enjoy her solo performance of “Nnnnngh, nnngh, mmmmmmmmf!” sung with no eye contact whatsoever. [/quote]

    Smart people already avoid eye contact with any character in Luann…so no problem there

  194. Jamus The Bartender
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    Luann: “Well, the musical was mostly okay, but for some reason, the actress portraying Maria, one Luann DeGroot started reciting a children’s schoolyard rhyme in the middle of “I Feel Pretty”. The one about being Chinese and going to the bathroom into someone’s Coca-Cola ™.I have no idea why she made this choice, but this one goes into the ‘What Were They Thinking’ file. For Milford’s Culture Minute, this is Marty Moon.”

  195. dull_old_man
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    The way I interpret the Chinese proverb in Luann: If you want to sing to your toes (that is, not have your voice carry), then sing through your nose (that is, not from your diaphragm). And since no one wants to sing to one’s toes, then one should not sing through one’s nose.

    He’s telling Luann to project better.

  196. kkarenb
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#186):
    I learned very quickly that if I said I had nothing to do, my parents would find something for me to do which usually involved chores of some kind. That’s when I learned to love to read.

  197. Farley's Revenge
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#196): We must be related. My parents did the same thing. I caught myself doing the same thing to the offspring once, when they whined about being bored. I think that response is genetically encoded in all of us, waiting to be released when the proper cue is given.

    Speaking of Cue…FREE CUE NOW!

  198. Old School Allie Cat
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    MW – I wonder of Marcy’s ever has any Won Day Sails?

  199. Earthgirl
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    @Chyron HR (#30): I know, right? None of those things makes him a coward. An asshole, maybe, but those are not the same thing. Unless picking on a woman makes him a coward, a line of logic I can at least follow.

    Also, someone mentioned earlier “I will now violate my security clearance to tell you…” and I thought they were being satirical. I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

  200. Poteet
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    @kkarenb (#196): A truly excellent idea. I have wondered before why comic-strip parents who hear whines about “nothing to do” don’t use it automatically.

  201. BananaSam
    March 23rd, 2010 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    so what do we think? does Mary encounter an old acquaintance at the mall who’s in need of a good meddle? or is this the set up for a cautionary tale about the various injustices of corporate return policies?

  202. un_malpaso
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    MW, Mary is more likely quietly returning the blouse that was involved in that unfortunate “incident” in her attic a few days back, reasoning that nobody would ever suspect a meddling spinster of murder by machete, and also expecting that the clerk at the Sears returns counter won’t have immediate access to a fluoroscope to detect the semen stains.

  203. Poteet
    March 24th, 2010 at 12:28 am [Reply]


    FW — I don’t know which cedar species Batiuk has in mind. But the Easter Redcedar, which I’m pretty sure is the most widespread native conifer in Ohio as well as Iowa, is a small tree. “Really tall” it ain’t.

    MW — I wouldn’t put it past Mary to deliberately buy clothing she doesn’t need and then return it just so she can hunt the malls for people to meddle with. Her latest victim is marvelous. I can’t decide if I’m most enamored with her shape-shifting botanical blouse or her hair.

    RMMD — Is it just me, or has Toots been getting uglier in the past few days?

  204. Poteet
    March 24th, 2010 at 12:39 am [Reply]


    MT — It is now clear that the Miscolored Giant Duck is Mark’s totem animal, appearing at moments of supreme terrifying crisis. No doubt a couple of them flew overhead on his wedding night.

    S-M — And believe it or not, Mister Museum Director, the reason that Daggerfang made off with the skull is because he thinks that doing so will somehow bring Spider-Man back to town, and the reason he wants to bring Spider-Man back to town is because he thinks Spider-Man knows where Wolverine is, even though he, Spider-Man, has no idea. We have yet to meet a super-hero or super-villain in this strip who doesn’t have the intelligence of a large raisin.

  205. Mr. O'Malley
    March 24th, 2010 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#200): In fact, you wonder why they pass up the opportunity to do a little promotion. “Here kids, read this comics collection!” Next panel: happy kids on floor, laughing and pointing to comics collection and drinking milk in front of a cosy log burning in the fireplace.

  206. Charles
    March 24th, 2010 at 1:13 am [Reply]

    MW 3/24: Oh man, it is totally not nice to see you, Mary. Your sartorial choices have blinded me!

    Luann 3/24: If Luann was singing hunched over like that all along, how on earth did she manage to win the lead role in the musical? Oops, applied logic here and blinded myself again.

  207. bats :[
    March 24th, 2010 at 1:18 am [Reply]

    MT: Oh, yeah, Mark, that’s the way to do it! And if you’re really crafty, you’ll hit ol’ Ma Parker on the backswing, too. Quack, ahh…
    (Note that Mark remains polite through the whole encounter.)

    MW: oooh, maybe Mary can exchange her blouse for one like Bonnie’s wearing! It would be ever so seasonal and springlike!

    Mutts: I like the big fat bear butt.

  208. Anonymous
    March 24th, 2010 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#205):

    Heck, that’s what we used to do all the time. My grandmother was the best snarker ever (present company excluded, of course), and that was back in the ’60′s and 70′s.

  209. Mr. O'Malley
    March 24th, 2010 at 1:35 am [Reply]

    MT: Mark has the world’s only SLR camera with a non-interchangeable lens.

    MW: If those two bought their outfits at Marcy’s, it’s hard to imagine the place staying in business very long. The banana leaf airplane propellers almost make Mary look … no, they don’t. Nothing could.

    I suppose the next day’s comic will set the upcoming tone: “Ernie is tired of life and its vain but shallow pleasures.” “Ernie is sending emails to people he met on the internet.” “Ernie ran off with a tattooed stripper.” “Ernie got a job with a Mexican drug cartel.” “Ernie is working as an undercover health inspector and is heading for the Bum Boat tonight.”

    6C: It’s corn-fed beef that makes cows gassy (and causes other health problems), because their stomachs are designed to eat grass, not corn.

  210. True Fable
    March 24th, 2010 at 1:55 am [Reply]

    Cocktease 101 I agree with Charles: How did Luann get the part if she can’t sing well? I mean other than the “this will simply KILL Tiffany” angle.

    Mary Worth, Hellspawn After a brief but snarkable Pool Party, we now find Mary prying into the life of another soon-to-be guest star. Are we finally going to see Mary giving some hard-won, excruiatingly sage and bafflingly off-topic advice? I’m getting pretty tired of the Guest Stars or Second Bananas doing all the work. We pay big air for you to strut your stuff, Worth. Get the lead out.

    Slylock P.I. GOAT! Goat in Slylock! Yay!

    The Amazing Sabretooth None. Of. This. Makes. Sense.

    IFHZ You know, ‘way back when, the village elders used to leave kids like Jeremy out in the wilderness to cull out feeble-mindedness. I don’t think his condition is simply “selfish teen”. The boy is dense through and through.

    Fist O Justice Theater The Camera of Righteous Living hits its target! but where’s the rifle shot? If she was holding the gun on him, wouldn’t the impact of the camera jar her enough to accidentally pull the trigger?
    Oh, never mind me, I’m just dreaming of seeing logic in Mark Trail.

    Sam Driver Ned-DY! Ned-DY! Ned-DY!….

    When Good Things Happen to Bad People Burton gets his comeuppance, day 3!

  211. dale
    March 24th, 2010 at 5:35 am [Reply]

    @True Fable (#210):

    Will Mark announce to the world that it was safe because she didn’t cock the gun after firing the warning shot?
    Of course, if it was safe, why didn’t he just grab the gun? He’s going to need the gun when the brothers show up. IF he could hit the gun with the camera, hard enough to knock it out of her hands, it may well end up in the water.
    Did Ranger Buzzy think to bring his own gun (in a magic floating holster)?

  212. True Fable
    March 24th, 2010 at 7:08 am [Reply]

    @dale (#211):

    Mark, being of little brain, did not think this thing through. Mark was probably busy humming to himself, usually the National Park Service Hymn, and relied on his “fight or flight” instinct when sensing danger. In Mark’s case it is a “punch or prance” but it does show he is adaptable to his environs.

    Mark Trail’s needs are simple. A little granola in the morning followed by rooting around the woods for trouble, followed by a hearty lunch of whole grains and some afternoon grazing and punching and paddling boats around; then dinner consisting of Ginormous Squirrel Surprise and an evening of “guess the size of Rusty’s head” and Mark’s least favorite activity, “Avoid mating with That Icky Gurrrl”, ending up with hibernating until morning.

    With all that activity, Mark has very little time to “think”. He does have time to groom his rigidly tamed head fur and is often heard to beatify a specific type of fish when he is startled.

    – from “Studies on the Ageless American Nature Lover”

  213. MWDG
    March 24th, 2010 at 7:18 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: I finally thought we might meet a major character in MW that was of color…this may be politically incorrect but with a name like “bonnie Johnson” I thought we might have Charterstone’s first African American resident but alas Bonnie adds no ethnic diversity.Therere are some hints in her appearance that she may be “open minded” and open to exploring with Terry Bryson. To spice things up at Charterstone here are some plot ideas:
    Mary gets a weave at Marcy’s
    Bonnie reveals is Aldo’s sister
    Bonnie comes on to Jeff and accuses him of rape
    Toby eats a whole bag of potato chips and purges
    Wilbur lures some teens into condo.
    Mary opens a credit line at Marcy’s
    Mary suggests to Bonnie that she start an internet site where she “performs” for cash.
    Toby says she won’t hang out with Mary if Mary hangs out with Slob Bonnie
    Bonnie and her four identical quintuplet sisters get a one bedroom condo at Charterstone.

  214. rhymes with puck
    March 24th, 2010 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    I’d like to thank the Chinese for making sure that their proverbs rhyme when translated to english.

  215. Edgy DC
    March 24th, 2010 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    People say a lot of things about Tom Batiuk, but no other comics creator has the stones to to give us the crack of Dick Cheney’s ass. “There it is,” he says, “Deal with it, people.”

  216. TIM
    March 29th, 2010 at 2:11 am [Reply]

    I haven’t kept up with Rex Morgan, MD is quite a while, what happened to
    the juvenile delinquent Rex & June were taking under their pretentious wings?

  217. cuberham12
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Greg Evans really makes her look stupid sometimes!

    Apartment 3-G: What is with this comic? All they talk about is getting married at 40 years old and people cheating on their spouses!

    Mary Worth: Seriously? Mary is shopping at the mall? Are we going to have a month-long story about Mary trying to decide whether or not to return a blouse? That’s how long all their stories are!!!

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