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Brave new frontiers of boring

Gasoline Alley, 5/19/06

If you weren’t paying attention (and you almost certainly weren’t), Gasoline Alley had a halfway exciting plotline going on a few months ago: Sheezix and Gertie were in a dark, scary forest, tangling with what they thought was an escaped psycho killer.

Then the supposed psycho killer turned out to be a cop, who was looking for the real psycho killer. Then he noticed that Sheezix’s driver’s license had expired, so Sheezix had to hire Gasoline Alley’s two horsedrawn hillbillies to tow his car home. Then he had to go get his driver’s license renewed, which meant that he had to get info from the Social Security Administration, which meant…

Well, what it really meant was that a storyline that contained suspense and action and the threat of violence was transformed by degrees into a storyline that involved an old man doing battle with surly government bureaucrats trying to get his paperwork in order.

Which brings up a question: Could this storyline be made even more boring? “More boring that the DMV?” you ask. “That’s a tall order!” Well, perhaps. But I’ve got some ideas!

  • On his way out of the DMV, Sheezix has his pocket picked. Now he has to go through all the stuff he just went through to get his paperwork in order again, plus he has to go down to the police station to file a report with a bored desk jockey.
  • On the street, Sheezix bumps into an old friend. “Hey, Sheezix, what’ve you been up to?” he asks. Sheezix proceeds to tell him, in great detail.
  • Sheezix gets home to find that his wife is having the house repainted. “Don’t touch any of the walls until the paint dries!” she says. He sits down to watch and wait.
  • Sheezix dies. His body is embalmed, placed into a coffin, and buried in the soil. Over the course of years, the wood of the coffin rots, and his corpse decays to its organic components, nurturing the soil. Some four billion years later, the Earth’s sun becomes a red giant, and the Earth is destroyed.

Also, in Rex Morgan, M.D., we learned that Dr. Troy likes clown art:

I don’t know what the hell this means, but it can’t possibly be good.

46 responses to “Brave new frontiers of boring”

  1. gnome de blog
    May 19th, 2006 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    King Folderol posted an excellent analysis of Dr. Gay-ner’s taste in art at #46 in the “Let’s Get It On” thread.

  2. Goober
    May 19th, 2006 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    I knew Mutts couldn’t keep from using “dawg” in their “Animal Idol” series. Saving it till Friday shows at least some self-control, though.

    I’ll bet Troy has some “special” clown art in a drawer at home.

  3. Chris Opperman
    May 19th, 2006 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    Actually, the author of the strip probably had a similar experience to me this year. I was pulled over with an expired car registration which led to the discovery that my license had been suspended due to lack of car registration (unbeknownst to me) which ballooned to a couple of infractions plus a misdemeanor that I have yet to go on trial for all to the tune of over $1,000. So the DMV and the CHP can go suck on raw eggs until vomit comes screaming out of their navel for all I care. The DMV is a catalyst for violence.

  4. Ferd Berfel
    May 19th, 2006 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    9CL – Letters to Thorax has been lots of fun for a week, Brooke. Please do try and advance one of your many plots next week, okay?

    A3G – Cheese and Crackers! Can’t we have a Tommie story for once without interruptions? This ‘Lu Ann’s Brokeback Cousin’ plot could be good, but why not wrap things up with Tommie and Lucy the Suburban Psychopath first? I guess Tommie really is the strip’s redheaded stepchild.

    FBOW – First St. Lynn, the Patron Saint of Patronizing, gave us mutlicultural sensitivity lessons concerning the Fuggowee tribe at Miggiewiggiewhizbang and now she’s doing the same with white, suburban, Canadian, males of driving age. For all you saps who liked the ‘Injun’ lessons, how do you like it when the ‘lessons’ are about you?

    DT – Let’s see… Gertie, B.O., and their lottery winnings in a limo driven by a cross dressing agent working for the terrorist mastermind Hassan Ben Soba have crashed into the President’s motorcade? The spirit of Chester Gould is ghostwriting this one folks and he’s taking the good pills too.

    GF – I’ll admit it. My heart nearly broke when I saw Satchel in panel #3. I own a Siamese cat but I’d turn Bucky into an oven mit at the first opportunity.

    MT – It just goes to show, evil makes children ill. Meanwhile, CSI:Lost Forest flopped. Dynamite bits and footprints?. “I have the evidence, your Honor, right here in my pocket…”

    (DT)GT – I know a few sharp eyed folks here have caught the MW ‘artists’ reusing panels, but check out Marty Moon’s last few appearences in this train wreck. Are the lemurs they hired simply cutting and pasting Mr. Moon into new panels?

    Popeye – A new story arc has kicked off and it promises to be good. First, they named it! Second, it involves Poopdeck Pappy! I loved pappy as a kid. Our local rag reran the Segar “Popeyes” from the 30s and Pappy was everything a child could ask for. He lied, cheated, stole, drank to excess, swore, hit women, and did all sorts of other horrible things. sigh… boy did I miss him!

    RMMD – Sore from the golf game Rex? Yeah, right… Holy Guacamole! Look at panel #2! Hot sweaty men bending over and lifting heavy objects. This strip is gayer than “Fat Free Gelato Nite” at the Wholefoods grocery.

    SF – Well, the big block party has arrived. YAWN Even last week with its two loom jokes read better than this. No Ted in his Carmen Miranda outfit and a bottle of Wesson trying to get some oil wrestling started? And yes, Sally, he is going into your shed and you do not want to know what he’s doing in there.

  5. Marc
    May 19th, 2006 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    RMMD SNIPET: Another reason for kids to be afraid to go to the doctor besides the fact that the doctor enjoys gay bum sex innuendo on the golf course.

  6. Pete
    May 19th, 2006 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    Just a slight nitpick… the name’s Skeezix, not Sheezix. She-Zix is his all-powerful twin sister from the realm of Etheria.

  7. naugahyde
    May 19th, 2006 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    I was just wondering … what’s more excruciatingly boring – going to the DMV office, or reading about it? Next episode, Skeezix goes to the proctologist.

  8. Sheila
    May 19th, 2006 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    Thank you, Pete. I was gonna say.

  9. Occam
    May 19th, 2006 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    #6 Pete and #8 Sheila:

    I think “Sheezix” is a deliberate error, like referring to the title character in “Mary Worth” as “Mary Worthless.” Which is appropriate, as when I do read the boring plots in “Gasoline Alley” (and a couple of times a month is enough to keep me current), I often think “Sheez, how dull can a comic get?!”

    Then I go read “Cathy.” Yep, that answers THAT question.

  10. Moss_Moses
    May 19th, 2006 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    Clown art for ass clowns. Isn’t that the hidden message? Rex better lube his hot dog with more relish next time on the golf course to avoid that morning after soreness.

  11. Monkey\’s Uncle
    May 19th, 2006 at 9:07 pm [Reply]

    In 24 hours Skeezix will have had time to purchase a shotgun from his friendly neighborhood Wal Mart and return to the DMV to give this story line some excitement again .


    In 24 hours Skeezix (who must now be in his early hundreds), will return to the DMV and get his license but not before the folks at the DMV are subject to several looks of stern consternation, and possibly a witty barb.

  12. TDB
    May 19th, 2006 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    “Some four billion years later”… Gasoline Alley is still boring people to tears.

  13. Captain Slinky
    May 19th, 2006 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Skeezix will find a newspaper at the DMV while he’s waiting, and he’ll discover that his entire dilemma has been chrnicled in a comic strip! Cue the 17 weeks of strip reprints with the first panel having a peel-back corner showing Skeezix reading and the caption “Skeezix continues to read…”

  14. Rusty
    May 19th, 2006 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    One smalll point in its favor that FBoFW has over gasoline alley is that Lynn J. aint afraid to kill off the elderly. Jeezus, Skeeziks dad (or Uncle) walt has got to be over 3 digits now. I haven’t read this comic in about 30 years yet it lumbers on.

  15. Shannon
    May 19th, 2006 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    I cannot . Stop. Laughing. Thank you so much, especially for the clown picture-hanging panel!

  16. Jay Nickola
    May 19th, 2006 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    Gasoline Alley — everyone in this strip is now at least 106 years old, right?

  17. Lori
    May 19th, 2006 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one that sees ELMO from Sesame Street in the ‘clown’ pix? I saw Elmo when I read the paper this morning, not a clown. But now you have me seeing a clown. What is this world coming to?

  18. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    May 19th, 2006 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    Wouldn’t it be more fun if Mary and her new friend who’s ever so very boring and stupid would smoke cigarettes while sitting on the park bench? I think so.

    And Tommie’s such a boring character that even her writers got tired of her littel story.

  19. kippetje2000
    May 20th, 2006 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    I do believe that clown art is the outward sign of homicidal maniacs. Extra points if Dr. Troy painted it himself. It’s like he’s hanging out the ole shingle advertising pyschokiller at work. (And don’t get me started on that thing about the crying boy paintings…)

  20. kippetje2000
    May 20th, 2006 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    Dr. Troy’s middle name couldn’t be Wayne could it?

  21. saint ruby
    May 20th, 2006 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    The prospect of the earth being destroyed by the expansion of the Sun is comforting in light of the vacuousness of Gasoline Alley

  22. rich
    May 20th, 2006 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    Next month: Skeezix picks a prescription drug plan!

  23. rich
    May 20th, 2006 at 1:06 am [Reply]

    RMMD: That’s the saddest amusement figure I’ve seen since Fay Begler’s homemade androgynous pinhead doll. He’s not cut out to be a clown — looks more like Homer Simpson.

  24. Suzii
    May 20th, 2006 at 1:24 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail is driving me CRAZY. Since when do roads commissions have public hearings with JURIES and cross-examination? Sheesh(ix).

  25. Firegoat
    May 20th, 2006 at 3:40 am [Reply]

    In Rex Morgan, why is the munchkin bitching about her neck and leg, and everyone is ignoring that dog-head shaped elbow tumor?

  26. tefflan
    May 20th, 2006 at 6:20 am [Reply]

    Uhh…I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s not clown art, it’s a mirror…

  27. Hank Kimble
    May 20th, 2006 at 6:21 am [Reply]

    5/20 H&L–Now see Aunt Loretta’s disappearing sleeves.

  28. Chris
    May 20th, 2006 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    When did Tommie become such a boring milktoast? When I was a kid (and the strip was drawn by its creator, Alex Kotzky, or whatever his name was), Tommie (first name was Abigail, if I remember correctly) was a smokin’ hot, saucy broad, ever ready to smack down Margo for her shallowness, not the potted plant she is today. Margo was much as she is now, except that the art was great–Margo in lingerie got my youthful hormones all atwitter. Luann was always getting into difficult situations, but, again, the full lips, deep eyes, and wispy blond hair made her totally bearable.

    Alex would tease his male readership with occasional shots of all three in either undies or towels, leaving us to imagine the divine pillow fight that would follow.

    The professor was about 55 or older, and about 290 lbs. A purely avuncular fellow, he did have a fling with a full-figured brunette, which scandalized everybody. There’d be extraneous characters every now and then, but the draw was the crackling interplay between the three very hot babes in Apartment 3-G.

    Also, loved it when Tommie would come home in her traditional nurse’s uniform…a classic.

  29. Mibbitmaker
    May 20th, 2006 at 9:04 am [Reply]


    GA: It’s things like this that trapped Tom Hanks in an airplane terminal once!…

    RMMD: Clown paintings, huh? Well, you know how them gay people love their kitsch[/Archie Bunker]

    #4 re:FOOB: Well, *I* never liked the noble savages lesson about Mtigabiggabaggapoop(ew!), so that sure doesn’t work for me (white, male, but not Canadian nor do I drive).

  30. Marc
    May 20th, 2006 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Rich you are correct! That freaky lookin’ doll almost made me drop the paper and run into a fall-out-shelter.

  31. Mibbitmaker
    May 20th, 2006 at 9:28 am [Reply]


    Beatle Bailey: Yeah, when the problem is you look like, say, George Wendt, the answer is to look like Nichole Ritchie.

    Curtis: THERE’s your answer, Sgt. Snorkle: get one o’ those magic reducin’ shirts!

    Adam: Jeez, even planting a li’l tree becomes an iconic ideological issue! Lurchin’ into Duck territory here.

    Non Sequitur: …Also the evolution of religion-haters. Wait’ll both learn that God designed evolution! (The God part should still stay outta public schools, though)

    Classic Peanuts 1993: Stop that right now, Snoopy! Those cookie bits just ain’t funny. (technically, neither is my commentary about it)

    FC: Not if you take lessons from the bears, Dolly.

    Spiderman: Jeez, this is like a comic strip on a tape loop.

    Mutts: I gotta say, this one was worth the rehash of a lame “reality” show homage.

    FOOB: After this, John the overgrown teenager gets out of the car and does a Stepin Fetchit dance. Oh, and is that some dude in the background operating his cellphone like a gun? Well, that’s it for now; I gotta go drive competitively in a gas-guzzling testosterone car and shoot someone with mah cellphone. Yee-haaaaa![/Lionel Jefferson mocking Archie Bunker]

  32. Jim Bim
    May 20th, 2006 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Well it is a children’s clinic, so I guess creepy pictures of clowns would be appropriate.

    Josh clipped the other part of the frame where Rex says he’s still sore from their game yesterday.

  33. derbs
    May 20th, 2006 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Clearly, Dr. Troy plans to call his new facility “The John Wayne Gacy Klown Klinic for Kids.”

  34. messy
    May 20th, 2006 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Okay, Skeezix is 89, Walt is 104. Everyone else of those generations are for the most part dead.

    Jim Scanerelli is not a very good successor to the other three guys who did the stirp over the years.

    Dik Moores put Skeez and Walt in the background to some extent and concentrated on the hillbillies, Slim and Clovia.

    Rover arrived for a while and we had something like a modified kid strip for a while.

    the kids grew up and the next generation actually could have had some umph, but Scanerelli didn’t have the gusto.

    Eve, the little moppet from the ’60s, returning as a biker chick was a great idea, but was a wasted effort.

    It’s time to start killing the rest of the original cast off.

  35. Moss_Moses
    May 20th, 2006 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    What became of Hoogie Boogle? There was a time during the Rover period when Hoogie and other strawberry shortcake kids made their appearance in GA.

  36. Woodrowfan
    May 20th, 2006 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    every single person in Gasoline Alley need to have their plug pulled. There is no excuse for this strip any longer. It should have died with Calvin Coolidge, or at least with Herbert Hoover…

  37. Mike
    May 21st, 2006 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    Hey! I’ve got an idea! If we end every sentance with an exclamation point, maybe it won’t be so friggen boring!

  38. ltreaderftcommentator
    May 21st, 2006 at 12:37 am [Reply]

    Put yourself in that position in panel one. Does “Glory Hole” ring a bell?

  39. Joe Griffin
    May 21st, 2006 at 1:58 am [Reply]

    Never mind about “Gasoline Alley”, what’s happening with “The Phantom”? Did Dianna get out of the pool bare-ass nekkid, or what? I’ve been waitin’ on the resolution to this for TWO @#*&%!! WEEKS, now, and NUTHIN’!!

    (And anyway, Skeezix is 85, as he was a baby when he showed up on Walt Wallet’s doorstep in 1921!)

  40. music maniac
    May 21st, 2006 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    You’re right. That Gasoline Alley cartoon is incredibly dull. Reading about frustrating things that happen in daily life is not what people are hoping for when they pull out the comics.

  41. treedweller
    May 21st, 2006 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    “’Hey, Sheezix, what’ve you been up to?’ he asks. Sheezix proceeds to tell him, in great detail.”

    I had to wipe spittle off the monitor. Thanks, Josh. Not only do I get to enjoy GA a little (which I never would have imagined being possible) but I don’t even have to read it myself to do so.

    As for MF, WTF? I thought I hated the endless commentary about them damn librals, but at least there was a point. “Looks like a ‘Bob . . .’.” “Mr. ‘short, chubby, big-nosed guy . . .’.” Now that’s comedy!

  42. Hogenmogen
    May 22nd, 2006 at 8:31 am [Reply]

    RMMD: I mean, give it a break with the clown picture. It’s a CHILDREN’S clinic. Get it? What should he hang pictures of? Rembrant doing nudes?

  43. Anonymous
    May 22nd, 2006 at 11:26 am [Reply]


    Anne Geddes. Little babies in buckets, little babies dressed as peas, little babies dressed as sunflowers, a row of toddlers in tutus, all adorable, all a bit on the chunky side. I hate those pictures. Especially after contemplating them for hours waiting on the pediatrician to spend ten minutes with my child. I would rather see a clown painting in the waiting room, I could focus my anger and frustration better on a creepy clown than a fat baby. Props to Troy!

  44. King Folderol
    May 22nd, 2006 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for bringing my clown comment front and center, Josh!

  45. Kasey Kite
    June 29th, 2006 at 3:34 am [Reply]

    as i read that post, i began to laugh harder and harder, and in a more sickly manner, until by the end i was crying and coughing my lungs out onto the floor

  46. Roger M. Wilcox
    June 27th, 2013 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    We’re safe. The sun won’t swell up into a red giant for FIVE billion years.

    And you thought we only had four billion!

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