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Mary gets down to business

Mary Worth, 3/30/10

Longtime readers know that, while I may dabble with your Luanns and your Blondies, my heart belongs to Mary Worth above all. Thus, the beginning of any new storyline in this strip is a moment of great giddy excitement for me, even though “Wilbur meets his bastard not-son” will be hard to follow up. So far, we’ve gotten Mary foisting her friendship onto a pair of standoffish neighbors with her patented brand of hospitality. (I’m referring specifically to Patent No. 3087330, “System and method for establishing interpersonal relationships via taupe, oblong food-like products.”)

Bonnie and Ernie seem happy enough in panel one, contemplating the “nice spread,” the hilarity of the constituent shapes and colors of which I cannot emphasize enough. Who wouldn’t be all smiles when confronted with a big bowl of whipped potatoes, a tray of whipped sweet potatoes, a bowl of steaming whole unpeeled potatoes, another square tray of unpeeled potatoes, a tiny square tray of something white (eggs?), and a bowl of some mushed up vegetable of some sort? Mmm mmm good! But in panel two everyone’s facial expression has suddenly taken a turn for the grave, as if “getting to know [other humans] better” is something Bonnie and Ernie simply don’t do. Why? What terrible secret do they hide? This is why Mary Worth is so exciting! Because someday, in the next six to ten weeks, we’ll find out, and it will be blander than we can possibly imagine!

One sort of delicate point that I feel compelled to bring up is that Mary’s new friends are both pretty profoundly unattractive, even by the standards of a feature in which ol’ cross-eyes is the resident beauty. Since this strip is about as subtle as a frying pan beating you about the head and neck, forever, obviously their appearance reflects badly on their character; they’re no doubt going to be revealed to be perverts or scam artists, or monsters pieced together from human corpses and reanimated by a crazed scientist eager to play God.

Hi and Lois, 3/30/10

It’s all too appropriate that our blue-haired librarian is wearing a pink scarf. Thanks for destroying everything that’s good in the world with your terrible library, Fidel Trotsky-Tsung!

Spider-Man, 3/30/10

“And let’s hear it for lounging around the house in your underwear and high heels! And for cowardice! Sweet, sweet cowardice!”

Slylock Fox, 3/30/10

In panel one, a delightful band of puppies wants nothing more than to frolic and play with this laughing child. In panel two, the lad is about to be torn limb from limb by a vicious pack of feral dogs.

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