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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.

258 responses to “Mary gets down to business”

  1. Anna Nimity of the 2010 Jungle Patrol
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:15 am [Reply]

    Bonnie and Ernie look like their Vicodin just wore off. Time to get outta dodge, kids…and leave the tater spread to Mary.

  2. Ethan Shuster
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    The look Bonnie and Ernie are exchanging seems to say, “Oh. I guess we’re going to have to kill her, aren’t we?”

    And looking at Spider-Man, I’m really starting to seriously think that the writer is reading the site and parodying himself in response.

  3. nerowolfgal
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan – He is going to pay $750 to get his garage and basement painted? So if then even Toots gives the money to Blondie, Toots wil still have NO money and will be forced to stay with the Morgan’s forever. Meantime, Blondie (can’t remember her name) and Toots will be in the house eating at least three meals a day. In addition Rex is paying for the paint and brushes.

    I hope Rex is a better doctor than money manager.

  4. Shawn S.
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    S-M: To coincide with the release of Iron Man 2, this strip will eventually become entirely about Iron Man to the delight of readers everywhere.

    Hi and Lois: Lois makes her kids walk 5 miles into town to help carry back books from the library and them comments on how she should have shopped at the corner bookstore? Dot and Ditto aren’t phased at all though, already knowing they’re too poor for shopping and are having a miserable childhood.

  5. Yasmin
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth-It’s so convenient that Mary’s tablecloth appears to be made from a bar code. It’s really a heart-warming metaphor for how anyone who encounters the Mar-meister is a product scanned and utilized based solely on how valuable they are to the strip.

    Also, can we discuss that this woman has two salt shakers both placed AWAY from Bonnie’s husband? “I hope we’ll get to know each other better. And word to the wise, take everything I say with a grain of salt…oh, wait YOU CAN’T! Ha! Ha! HA MWAHAHAHAHAH”
    Move over Dennis, we’ve got a new menace in town.

  6. Tom
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: “Get to know each other better”, is Mary trying for a kinky three-way? You know, a little “menage a trois” action, who knew that about Mary.

  7. imperturbe
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    MW-to me, Bonnie bears a strong resemblance to Mrs. Heslop, Muriel’s mother in Muriel’s Wedding – you know, the depressed one who shoplifted and killed herself.

    ABBA songs and salmon squares – a potentially lethal combination.

  8. 8th Man Fan
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    DT: I called it? Get outta town!

    H&L: To this former assistant librarian and ongoing book lover, this one’s a total fail. Not only because libraries have co-existed with bookstores throughout history, not only because there’s no way the few copies they can order with limited budgets can get loaned out enough to match the demand fulfilled by bookstores, but because people are actually abandoning both libraries and bookstores in favor of what they can get through the Internet, as incomplete, unvetted, and copyright-breaking as it is. Walker and Browne: How about actually reading up on something before you bad-mouth it?

    Marmaduke preview: As it ended, I cried out loud: “Brain cells dying! Why did I watch it? Why?” A pox on all you Marma-linkers. (Oh, wait…)

  9. Little Guy
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:57 am [Reply]

    SFx: Young Moose Miller used to combine his foot fetish with beastiality.

    H&L: Libraries cause book stores to go out of business? I’m more inclined to believe that Edna Burber was a chanteuse and double agent during World War II.

  10. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    For True Fable

    Too small to be in panel 2 of Nature Punchman GO! but hoping for a Sunday appearance.

    RwO: I lol’d.

    Phantom: ok, wait, the Pirates had two choppers on board, and Captain Hottie only blew one of them away? *confused*

    F-: Giant Robo design fail.

    Cleats: I haz an amuze.

    Frazz: I’ve been there.

    Lio: DEFINITELY needs more Buttons.

  11. anon
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    MW: It’s NOT a “nice spread”, it’s an “impressive spread”. There is a difference.

  12. Chyron HR
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Spider-Man – “I have enough to handle right here! Seriously, MJ, you’re huge!” The proportional romantic abilities of a spider! Excelsior!

    Hi & Fail – You know, they’re right. If it weren’t for libraries, that Jack Rowings guy might have made some money off of his little wizard books.

  13. Rita Lake and the Special Goddesses
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    I just got back from out of town…and just got a look at Toby’s horrifying clown painting. Man, I knew that she was supposed to have been a starving artist back in the day, but until now, I had no idea why she was starving.

  14. Lolsworth
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    “I want you to enjoy yourselves! I hope we’ll GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER! I want you to CRAWL UNDER THE TABLE AND RUT LIKE DOGS! EAT! EAT! EEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT!

  15. Lilly
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    Spider-Man: “Let’s hear it for Iron Man!”
    “Yeah, he’s pretty swell, I guess.”
    “Manly, unabashed, non-cowardly Iron Man!”
    “Well, I wouldn’t say-”
    “Sabretooth defeating, proportionately if not more attractive Iron Man! Yeah, let’s hear it for him!”
    “…”
    *THUNK*

  16. Gabacho
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:28 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth – That is the saddest Seder ever. And which one of the plagues is “Mary Meddles Your Ass”?

  17. Perky Bird
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    In today’s Spider-Man, we see why Rex Morgan could never be a superhero:

    Rex Morgan: “Iron Man defeated the bad guy, so I have to stay in and have sex with my hot wife. Curse you, Iron Man!”

  18. Hibbleton
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:32 am [Reply]

    MW:
    Panel 1: Bonnie and Ernie are humoring the nice old lady who invited them over for chicken dinner and has instead served up various concoctions of raw and cooked potatoes.
    Panel 2: They realize that they might have to eat this shit.

  19. Anonymous
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Rex: Dr. Rex, it would be a whole lot cheaper to just give them both $750 then tell them to get the hell out of there. Then hire a pro to do the maintenance. Just saying.

  20. Old School Allie Cat
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Can someone with a better memory than mine help me out? Last year at Passover, we made merciless fun of a strip where a Jewish family on vacation agonized for a week over whether or not to eat “bread products”.

    I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the strip. But here we are at Passover again, and I’m feeling nostalgic.

    RWO Speaking of Passover, this is a winner. She did one many years back about the percentage of Matzoh you eat, versus what ends up on your sweater that was even funnier.

    I should point out that I grew up in a “mixed religion” home, and as a result, I celebrate all holidays indiscriminately – so I’ll eat matzoh and Peeps – sometimes on the same day, though never at the same time.

    Luann – The fact that you identified it not only as red, but also lacy indicates that you examined it for an indecent amount of time. Also, let’s be honest – Tiff’s cha-cha may be the only thing that can save this stinker of a play. Sondheim is rolling in his grave (yeah, yeah, I know he’s not dead, that’s just how bad this production is).

    FW Har, har – Bull Bushka is fat and his girls got eliminated in the first round of playoffs (playdowns?). Har har!

    Gil Thorp – I hope that Milford wins it – so that not only does Ray get put in jail, but Cassie will learn her team didn’t really need her. Schadenfreuede – it’s what’s for dinner!

  21. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:05 am [Reply]

  22. Old School Allie Cat
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:08 am [Reply]

  23. Mibbitmaker
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    S-M: Peter’s brain grew 3 sizes that day.

    I don’t think it’s cowardice so much as his unfounded need to go back based on a non-existent crime wave that, supposedly, was being handled by Ironman and other numbers of superheroes clogging up comic strips comic books NYC, while Spidey, as we know, is utterly useless anyway — or, as Dave Letterman would put it, a load.

  24. Mibbitmaker
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    MW: As we can see by the look on Mary’s face, her internal expression is that of desperation: “I’d like to get to know you! Please! I beg of you, I HAVE TO MEDDLE! It’s in my DNA! PLEASE?! I haven’t meddled for, like, three storylines now! I’m desperate!! C’mon, you guys….?!?”

    Also… they know what they’re in for. They know!

    Fine Ernie, incidentally, is being played by John C. Reilly today.

  25. GotFuzzy
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    @KarMann (#Y38): As Old School Allie Cat reminds us, last year Edge City taught us that Passover is all about “bread products!” Today’s RwO makes a much subtler reference to observant Jews’ avoidance of leavened bread during Passover.

  26. Stella
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    Hi and Lois is about to get a bagillion angry e-mails from Librarians across the country. They’re just pissed that we let people read newspapers for free.

    FEEL THE THUNDER!!!

  27. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    MT: At last we know the purpose of the giant squirrels: They write the narration boxes. (Really, didn’t you always suspect that the narration boxes were squirrel generated?)

    MW: I’m actually relieved that Mary’s roast chicken has been roasted in such a way that the final product conforms to the Charterstone culinary standards: cooked down in liberal quantities of tap water until the bones dissolve and the whole bird is a loose, gelatinous lump of (slightly) poultry-flavored goo.

    Note, though, that Fine Ernie is, as Josh points out, less fine than he was yesterday. Does the fetid, stale air of the Worthian condo unit quickly shrivel its occupants, rendering them decades older in mere minutes? Does this mean that our Mary is, in fact, 24?

    SM: Huh? Peter’s demonstrating logical thinking? Luckily, that moment of common sense is mitigated by the strange, just-in-time-for-crotch-revealing transformation of MJ’s outfit. Unless she always lounges around in blue granny-panties under her nightie.

    BB: Satisfying as Sarge and Beetle’s rough love play may be, it does have its unpleasant drawbacks.

    A3G: Gosh, what red flags? The sudden bursts of unreasonable fury? The manic red-room painting? The precipitous dive into demanding erotic passion? The demands for prescription medication? Walking in front of a bus? Yeah, as a trained psychiatric professional horny, unethical hack, I can see how you missed those, Ari.

  28. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    H&L: Yes, public libraries are responsible for driving corner bookshops out of business. No, this isn’t stupid. Yes, the urge to bang my head against the wall until sweet oblivion takes me will pass.

    S-M: Thank the Lord Mary Jane is turned on by well-developed muscles and a handsome face, and doesn’t care about trifles like courage or moral fiber.

    JP: Bedimpled Abby is gorgeous, but seems to be drawn on a more realistic scale now. She must have had a meeting with the new artist when he signed on. “Hey Manley, could you take ‘em down a notch? My back is destroying me.”

    A3G: Let’s see. Bobbie came in to see Dr Papagoras. The doc wrote scrips for Bobbie, although she probably traded the pills for ammo. So in what sense is she not his patient? Is this just a wink and nod between professional men with needs?

    FW: And so a voice on high was heard to say, “Fine. Stomach cancer it is.”

    FC: A little early for gigolo training, no?

    WofI: Yeah, topicality? Don’t, just don’t.

    Momma: I kind of like Francis’ indifferent non-expression in the last panel. “Poison? Yeah, I think we keep some of that at the pet store. What flavor you want?”

    9CL; What’s that you say, Robert Palmer? You didn’t mean to turn Edie on? Well evidently you did.

    GT: Molly Kinsella converts. She now wants to be known as “Miriam Abramowitz.” It doesn’t really affect the game, but it’s a big thing in the young lady’s life, so the narration box found it worth mentioning.

    Phantom: “Hey, you guys mind if I ride with you a while? If we’re out here a long time and have to resort to cannibalism, I’ve got a hunting knife and some sweet recipes.”

  29. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    @NJP (#y35):

    If Mark climbs a tree on Tuesday, he’ll be shot out of in the tree on Friday.

    Is this like Chekhov’s gun? Of course, the ultimate MT Chekhov’s gun is facial hair: If a character with facial hair is introduced in the first act of the story, Mark will punch him in the last act.

    (But also, maybe Elrod just has a cool “man in tree” drawing that he wants to reuse.)

    This makes me wonder what other Chekhov’s guns there are in the comics…..

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#10): Could you persuade Elrod to do a squee-centric Sunday strip? I like to see Mark lecture us on cuteness, and you could supply the clip art.

  30. JamesMurton
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    S-M: ‘Yes, let’s hear it for Iron Man, whose film series remains commercially viable and has yet to be rebooted! Let’s hope that, if we’re nice enough to him here, he won’t steal my strip!’

  31. Sgt Saunders
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Ernie and Bonnie are grim because Mary’s bare hands, holding a steaming bowl of human foodstuffs without so much as a flinch, reveal her true identity as a Busy Bot, and they realize that their lives are going to be monitored and possibly manipulated by the crafty android so lovingly serving them potato after potato.

  32. Chip Whittle
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Hey, here’s a puzzler for you: who would you rather have as your therapist, Doctor Aristotle “Gee, How Was I To Know Bobbie Was Crazy” Papagoras, or Abby from Edge City? Or would it be better to just hit yourself with a Spider-Brick until you lose consciousness?

    (I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that Aristotle leans on Lex Luthor for advice.)

    Crankshaft just wants to know, if she wants to break up with him, who is she and have they been dating or even talking, or was she just drawn to his plate of spiteful peas?

    Hey, they’re at a restaurant that isn’t Montoni’s or Toxic Taco! How is this possible?

    Judge Parker today serves up the smuggest-looking man I have ever seen to have trouble extracting grape jelly from a full jar of Smucker’s. In his mind, he’s James Bond; in reality, he’s making his family wonder if he’s losing his abilities to judge spatial relationships and manipulate household objects.

    I’m starting to think the Johnsons aren’t even upset about their Worth-ordered appearance at Mary Worth’s, they just want to know why they have to have dinner in a Howard Johnson’s restaurant in 1955.

    (Is that a butter cozy or is it just huge, white margarine?)

    Hey, Pluggers stuff themselves so full they become enormously obese! We haven’t seen this amusing aspect of Pluggerdom in days!

  33. TheDiva
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    C’shaft: Cranky likes a woman with experience. I’m going to go purge my brain of that mental image now.

    FW: Okay, now I’m confused. Didn’t they already lose the tournament? Or are the Cedar girls holding an impromptu celebration for their regional trophy, in order to psych out future opponents? Or have Summer and Keisha given up on fighting the soul-crushing cruelty of Funkytown and retreated, Brazil-like, into their own private fantasy world?

    Luann: Why do I get the feeling Tiffany was originally going commando, and the syndicate vetoed it?

    Pluggers can pack a week’s worth of sodium and saturated fat into a single meal.

    MW: I suspect Bonnie and Ernie are guilty of nothing more than not wanting to socialize with Mary, which is both perfectly understandable and a tragic impossibility.

  34. Steve S
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    Bonnie and Ernie’s glance in panel 2 says “Maybe we should have moved into that apartment where the previous couple was murdered by drug dealers.”

  35. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    JP: I’m a little perplexed by all the bemused looks being cast in Sophie’s direction. Do they indicate, “Heh. Sophie doesn’t know about sex”? Or “Heh. Sophie doesn’t know about prudery and double standards”?

  36. Will
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    H&L (and a great many other comics lately): I know the economy is sucktacular right now. But don’t keep carrying on under the misapprehension that this is the damned Great Depression all over again. And even if it were, how about a little more “We’re in the Money!” and a little less “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”

  37. Uncle Lumpy
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#35):

    It’s because she knows Abby plays out her fantasies through her stepdaughters — in fairness, her only real avenue now that Sultan’s been sold. Sam can posture all he wants.

  38. Mibbitmaker
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    Garfield: Take out the last panel and you’ve pretty much summed up this strip’s last 20 some-odd years.

    GF: What’ll they do for “Code Orange”? (Mibbit getting pelted with iconic fruit)

    GT: Gee, Jeopardy sure has gotten violent lately!

    H&L: Stupid, stupid libraries!

    JP: I don’t know which is more annoying — Abbey’s ‘clueless hubby’ smug look, or Sam’s McEldowney-pretentious, if overly chaste, vocabulary.

    MC: Well, there’ll still be gender — just ask David “Wileycat” Miller and Dave Simian (or their iconic characters DanaeAnimalname and Cerebus, who’s already an aardvark, no animal name needed).

    SF: “…and old movie cliches.”

  39. wossname
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    Congrats to jvwalt and all the funny folks on the float!

    DT – Oh no, this is going to be wonderfully atrocious (or atrociously wonderful). I assume that’s Phil Harmonic at the door, saying the only way for Kid’s legacy to live on is for him to play the (miraculously healed) Strad with the Ringtones. And if that’s right, #8 8th Man Fan, you absolutely did call it.

    On the other hand, it could be Dick Tracy at the door. Or – what was the name of the guy who wired the violin? Low Note?

    JP – Abby still doesn’t look right, but I don’t mind giving Manley a little while to get the hang of it. I do like her snide look, which suggests to me that she agrees with Sophie that Sam is being hopelessly square.

    MT – No, Mark, don’t climb that tree! There’s a giant killer squirrel’s den up there!

    MW – Hey! That’s not roast chicken on that platter – it’s just salmon squares molded into a vaguely chicken-like shape. Accompanied by two varieties lumps of beige stuff, and some green stuff.

    Mutts – I love the teeny tiny exasperation lines over the bug. (or are those supposed to be antennae?)

    Sly – That’s easy. In the first one, there’s a kitty cat watching the bestial interspecies orgy. In the second one, the kitty is gone.

  40. markytom
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    MW: The stunned look in panel 2 is because white fire is coming out of the bowl that Mary is holding – meaning that it’s about 500 degrees and Mary doesn’t need hot pads to hold it. Ouch. Mary also seems to have squashed a square casserole bowl into a round one from panel 1 to panel 2. When I saw panel 2 with Mary scowling and yelling at her guests the image that came into my mind was that of Kathy Bates breaking James Caan’s ankles in Misery – YOU ARE NOT LEAVING HERE UNTIL I GET EVERYTHING I WANT FROM YOU! I’m afraid the bowl of wasabi is going to be used for extra punishment of some sort as well.

  41. Captain Thunder
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: “Great, this old biddy’s going to make us confront our feelings. Doesn’t she know that’s what gin is for?”

    Spider-Man: Okay, this comic is officially the anti-comic book. Spidey actively avoids supervillains, praises other superheroes for doing his job, and hardly ever dresses in his costume, preferring to loaf around in his boxers. Science quiz: so if we brought this strip in contact with the Spider-Man comic book, approximately how big an explosion would result from their mutual annihilation?

  42. Nekrotzar
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    For some reason I’m trying to make sense of the conversation in SM. Apparently, Spidey had to stay away from New York until Sabertooth was captured (I gave up trying to make sense of that.) So when he learns that Sabertooth was captured, he knows he should go back to NY. But it turns out that the capture of Sabertooth also makes it unnecessary for him to return. In other words the capture of the bad guy simultaneously creates and negates the conditions for his return.

    “Look MJ, nobody cares whether I come or go anyway. In the world of superheroes, I’m basically Reeky Rat.”

  43. Nekrotzar
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    @Captain Thunder (#41):
    so if we brought this strip in contact with the Spider-Man comic book, approximately how big an explosion would result from their mutual annihilation?

    A disappointingly small one.

  44. fishmorgjp
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:12 am [Reply]

    H&L: Public libraries cause bookstores to go out of business? Since when?!

  45. Mibbitmaker
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    RMMD: “…into Interesting Side-Character Limbo. They can say ‘hi’ to Cue and Cedric and the others while they’re there forever.”

    Interesting Side-Character Limbo is getting to be a crowded place these days in the Rex Morgan universe, ain’t it?

  46. Dominic
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Bert and Ernie have obviously been warned that when Mary says “I hope we’ll get to know each other better”, it’s like the kiss of death!

  47. Editer
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Josh: That’s one. You still have five more differences to find.

  48. AhClem
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    MW – If Ernie and Bonnie are really attending a Seder at Mary’s place, their facial expressions clearly show that they have their own set of “Four Questions”:

    1. Why are there congealed lumps of … something … floating in my potato-ade? Are they Pesadik?
    2. Where is the horseradish? I need to rub it into my eyes so I can’t see Mary’s death-stare burning into my skull.
    3. Elijah! Elijah! Never mind the wine! PLEASE take us with you!
    4. Can we look for the afikomen now? I think I saw it at a 7-11 twelve miles down the road.

  49. Kristin
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    H&L: Bookstores are closing down because of THE INTERNET, the same reason why newspapers are closing down! Way to throw a public service under the bus for your insecurities, Walker & Browne Humor Inc.

  50. commodorejohn
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    AS – Would you look at that! Today’s Argyle Sweater is actually reasonably funny and not slathered in wholly unnecessary explanation of the joke! The art’s still crap, but even so, this is kind of impressive.

    DT – “And that’s the story of how Electric Light Orchestra was formed.”

    GT – Note how Gil conveniently forgets to mention that the whole thing started when he and Steve barged into the guy’s apartment to harass him and his fiancé. P.S. Ashley isn’t wearing a jumper, stoopid caption box!

    JP – Okay, so the character designs are still getting back up to snuff, but I really like what Manley’s doing with the expressions. Abbey’s wry smile is pretty amusing, and Sam’s expression in panel three is just gold. Also, thanks to special guest star Dean Martin for portraying Sam in that last panel.

    Luann – Because Luann just wouldn’t be Luann without periodic public discussion of teenage girls’ underwear.

    MT – …I’d ask what in the bloody hell Mark hopes to accomplish by going back after he got what passes for evidence of illegal activity in this universe, but I’m afraid that the answer would be so dumb as to cause some sort of reverse enlightenment and I’d forget everything I ever knew.

    MW – I find it interesting that while Fine Ernie attempts a diplomatic approach to giving his opinion (it is impressive, though not in the way that Mary thinks he means,) Bonnie just jumps straight into blatant falsehood. I wonder what that says about them. Also, while we’re well-acquainted with the hideousness of Santa Royale comestibles by now, I have to say that the boxy, pure-white dishes that look like some unholy combination of the ’50s and ’60s schools of kitchen design really complete the effect, in terms of making the whole thing look like it jumped straight out of the Gallery Of Regrettable Food.

    MC – Well doesn’t this just raise a lot of questions about how interspecies reproduction works in the My Cage universe.

    Phantom – Say what?

    RMMD – The hell you don’t have time, Rex! You haven’t seen a patient since what, 1966?

    SM – And let’s hear it for cheesecake, because what the hell else does this feature have to offer?

  51. Islamorada Girl
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    @Kristin (#49):

    Independent bookstores are not being driven out of business by libraries. They’re being driven out of business by the big box chains and amazon. Stick to what you know, Walker and Brown, like golf.

  52. Red Greenback
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    On one of the recent threads, someone (sorry, I forgot who) stated that Dr. P. and Dr. B. were in fact in the same room and passing the same phone back and forth between panels. That cracked me up, and I was sure it was going to make the float! Anyway, it inspired me to come up with this. So thanks!

  53. bman
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    H&L: Actually, from my experience, more and more people use libraries because of the free DVD rentals, CD rentals, and Internet. We’re an illiterate bunch, so maybe the bookstore would have gone under anyway.

    MW: “Get to know each other better?” Why would Mary Worth emphasize this while holding… Ok, those rolls totally have hashish in them.

  54. Robin
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    MW: But they don’t have facial hair, so how bad can they possibly be?

  55. Shawn S.
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    @Nekrotzar (#42):

    Sabretooth wasn’t captured; he threw the dinosaur head and ran away. …I get confused too by how bad this strip is.

  56. MaryAnnTheRest
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    A modest translation of H&L:

    Corner bookstore was doing well until Library moved into town! Next libraries will put Amazon, B&L, and Borders out of business! Then onto the book departments of Target and Wal-Mart! Is your children’s literacy more important than Wal-Mart stockholders? Is it, commies?

    Tomorrow’s cartoon will explain how PBS is making cable TV and Hulu obsolete.

  57. Hibbleton
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    MT: So the law-enforcement official heads to civilization while the civilian goes back to investigate the bad guys. Makes about as much sense as anything else in this strip.

  58. Anonymous
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#27): I like thinking that Mark Trail is narrated by squirrels. It explains so much.

  59. gnome de blog
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    Apparently, there are only three crimes in the Trailiverse:
    1. poaching
    2. dog-napping
    3. Rusty-napping, which some consider a public service

  60. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#59): You forgot crime #0, at the top of the list: Going unshaven.

  61. Little Guy
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @MaryAnnTheRest (#56):
    Tomorrow’s cartoon will explain how PBS is making cable TV and Hulu obsolete.

    Damn, that Pastis is a trailblazer.

  62. Occipital Lobe
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    B.C. – Oh, c’mon Mason, you aren’t even trying!

    Baldo – Somebody remind me again why Tia Carmen is flirting with Walt Disney?

    Beetle – The joke’s on Beetle. Sarge wants him to clean out the garbage cans. (Ba-dum-bum.)

    C’shaft – “I need to date other people, Ed. I only have a couple of weeks left, and I don’t want the last thing I see on God’s green earth to be YOUR ugly mug.”

    Curtis – This joke has already dragged on for too long, and we haven’t even gotten to the first signs of Curtis suffering. But it’ll happen, you know it will happen

    Luann – We’re all thinking it, many of you have said it, I don’t need to say it again. Pervs.

    MW – I thought they couldn’t show spreads in a family newspaper.

    Red & Rover – Oh, yeah. Pick on Schulz when he’s dead and can’t defend himself. Classy.

    RwO – I’m Jewish, and it took ME two or three readings to get the joke. Dunno what that says about how observant I am …

    SF – Ted needs some inpatient therapy. Right NOW.

    Zits – Let’s hear it for Jeremy: he’s got all the instincts of a future Captain of Industry!

  63. Tom Allen
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    “With great power comes great vacations in Miami with your sexy wife.” That’s what you meant to say, right, Uncle Ben? Uncle Ben? Sure, it must have been.

  64. JupiterPluvius
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    @MaryAnnTheRest (#56):

    Exactly, MaryAnn.

    Are W&B really ready to tangle with the mighty Army of Librarians? I THINK NOT.

  65. ElkMeadow
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:39 pm [Reply]

    @nerowolfgal (#3):
    It might explain the health care mess.

  66. mustang
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:43 pm [Reply]

    Mary is a woman of her word, and she has promised her guests more than just a vegetarian feast. I think we all have to admit to ourselves that what Josh has described as “a tray of whipped sweet potatoes” … I’m pretty sure is the roast chicken.

  67. Jamus The Bartender
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#21): yesterthread: I hope everyone knows I was kidding. I honestly think Bob Weber likes to keep me on my toes :)

  68. Carly
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    MW: The second panel in Mary Worth is totally one of those optical illusions. Like the two black-and-white faces that also look like a vase. Look at it one way, and you see a dissatisfied couple trembling at the thought of disobeying Mary Worth. Look at it another way, and prepare to pay the price of DISOBEYING MARY WORTH!

  69. bats :[
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    @Ethan Shuster (#2): homicidal maniacs or frightened captives? You decide!

  70. Jym
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    Hi & Lois: What with the problematic real estate market and all, Lois has had to make ends meet by doing a smear job on librarians. Later, in some back alley, an operative from Amazon.com will give her a wad of unmarked bills.

  71. Jamus The Bartender
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    Also, not much to snark on today, except to say that today’s Luann would have been done better on Sunday.

  72. Crankenstank
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    Hi and Lois actually blew my mind today. The cause of independent book sellers going out of business is…free public libraries? The same public libraries that are cutting back their hours and collections because of budget deficits nationwide? What’s the matter, Walker, Inc., couldn’t figure out how to draw a picture of Amazon.com in the first panel?

  73. ElkMeadow
    March 30th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#37):

    Step-daughters? I though Abby adopted the two girls, a couple of decades ago.

  74. Comcis Fan
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    MW: Ernie looks at Bonnie, his unspoken message: “I told you, the others were right. She’s trying to hypnotize us with the potatoes, `get to know us,’ inextractably insert herself into our lives and turn us into two of her condo zombies.”

    Bonnie’s expression: “I know! I know! You were right. What do we do now?”

    Ernie: “Do NOT — I repeat — do NOT inhale one molecule of spud steam.”

  75. H-Bob
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @Tom (#6):
    That realization (a kinky three-way with Mary) would be the exact moment when Bonnie and Ernie lost their will to live !

    #23 Mibbitmaker: It wasn’t his brain that grew 3 sizes (“Spiderwood, Spiderwood”) !

    #36 Will: “the misapprehension that this is the damned Great Depression all over again” … that’s true, in the Great Depression, the stockbrokers jumped out of their windows instead of giving themselves bonuses !

  76. Comcis Fan
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    @Old School Allie Cat (#20):

    “Edge City.” This year the daughter gets to feel awkward telling her (gentile) class about Passover. I appreciate that there’s a strip about a family that happens to be Jewish. Their Passover strips of a few years ago were better, though.

  77. bats :[
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @Stella (#26): oh, I seriously hope that that’s the case, considering the anger it generated among right-thinkin’ folk here.

  78. mustang
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:17 pm [Reply]

    My name is mustang, and I’m a bookaholic. I take ‘em eny way I can get ‘em. Bought, borrowed, rented, or downloaded. I’ve also spent a good part of my life working in libraries. But, I’m thinking maybe Browne is being ironic in this strip.

  79. Why?Eff.
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    I think it’s time Spider-Man momentarily exchanged Mary Jane Parker for Mary Worth. If ever somebody’s life needed to be meddled with it’d be…well, it’d probably be the Family Circus kids, though, that’s child service’s problem now…but after THAT, it’d definitely be ol’ Peter here. His resume as of late is looking scarcer than Wilbur’s head of hair.

  80. Old School Allie Cat
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    @Comcis Fan (#76): Listen, I’ll read Edge City’s Passover rather than Curtis’ Kwanzaa any day. Although I think it’s nice to see anything different from the Family Circus “Mommy passes out mints in Church to keep us quiet” stuff.

    That said, I’d love to see Ray Billingsley’s take on a seder. Talking lamb shanks, anyone?

  81. Nekrotzar
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    When I took another look at the adoring faces in the second panel of MW, I realized that Mary is serving dinner to the Lockhorns.

  82. Alfred E. Neuman
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:30 pm [Reply]

    Luann— Mr. Fogarty is being diplomatic when he says, “…bright red and lacy.” What he really means is, “…pink and fuzzy.”

  83. Buck Ripsnort
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    Bonnie: “She’s never leaving, is she?”
    Ernie: “And it’s all your fault, Bonnie. You damned extrovert.”

    And Luann gets the booby-prize in todays Shortpacked! http://www.shortpacked.com

  84. Anonymous
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    I was amused by the place settings in MW. Apparently, no beverages will be served. And Bonnie has been given a plate with two butter knives. What does that tell us about the menu?

  85. Kevin Moore
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    As a librarian, I would like to apologize for my role in undermining the economy and capitalism in general. As a cartoonist, I would like to apologize for Hi & Lois. I didn’t draw it or write it, but since we’re entertaining false notions of causality, we might as well go with guilt-by-association. Somebody call HUAC.

  86. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    9CL – Don’t let her get your nose, Kiesl! Her thumb and forefinger are like iron pliers.

    Archie – If it’s “Bang Shang-a-lang,” it took one listen to make me sick of hearing it.

    Crankshaft – It’s a Batiuk strip. She wants to be free to see dead people.

    DickCalled it. Phil Harmonic rocks out. The first hit single for the Ringtones will be “My Son is Dead.”

  87. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    Fred – Every animal in this strip eats Flyspeck Island Peanuts.

    Herb – Ah, it’s the Anytown News-Paper.

    Hi – Damn you, commie libraries! DAMN you! (All the strip needs now is a crying Statue of Liberty in the background.)

    Mary – “You know what, hon? This just isn’t worth it. I’m going back to being the Green Goblin and you can go back to That 70s Show.”

  88. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    Momma – You little kidder, you! Everybody knows you secrete poison from hidden glands tucked in the tiny space between your face and your legs.

    My Cage – Bernie Turkey, eh? I guess they couldn’t say “white meat supremacist” in the paper.

    Pluggers – If he’s not in a hurry, a plugger will actually put his food in a bowl and heat it. BELIEVE IT… or not.

  89. gnome de blog
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#60):
    Facial hair is not a crime, but it’s prima facie evidence of criminal intent. Anyone in the area with facial hair is automatically guilty and subject to punching.

    I’m a little suprised Mark hasn’t taken the obvious next step: pre-emptive punching. It would save a lot of time.

  90. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    @8th Man Fan (#8) (& wossname @39): Called it? Well, yeah. On the other hand, I called it on March 12.

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#27): The manic red-room painting? Even worse, she wrote “REDROOM” on all the mirrors. What would Mr. Finger say?

    @Chip Whittle (#32): Ari knew Bobbie was crazy. As a shrink, he also knows that the crazy chicks give 220% in the sack. The only real drawback is getting away. He can’t shave his beard, because he grew it to hide from the last crazy chick. Now he’s thinking of taking a tip from his friend and shaving his head.

    @Editer (#47): There are five puppies, so Josh’s point is really five separate points. The other is that the cat head on the ground in #1 has been devoured in #2.

  91. Hibbleton
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:53 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#88):
    Momma: they’d have to be very small glands considering she’s only eleven inches tall.

  92. Fashion Police
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:57 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#84):

    We also noted the rather odd seating arrangement. One would have expected to see Mrs. Worth garbed in black with a lace jabot, although perhaps salmon is the judicial color in the duchy of Charterstone.

  93. kanomi
    March 30th, 2010 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for the link yesterday Josh and Uncle Lumpy, and all the kind comments from everyone!

    I am travelling this week with little access online, so no Punchman updates this week or even be able to chat here much. But gives me plenty of Curmudgeons to look forward to reading when I get back!

    bye all :)

  94. blackgoat
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    MW: The couple that communicates: yesterday, Bonnie and Ernie were speaking in unison. Today, their glance in panel 2 says “maybe we should have gone with Tobey and the perfessor to that concert at the Santa Royale Philharmonic.” and “Where the hell’s the roast chicken ?”
    MT: I’m just hoping that Sassy shows up to sit at the foot of the tree and bark as the befuddled Parker Brothers, having lost their way in the 1970s, search for Mark.
    FW: No wonder Cedars trounced Funkyville. Pat Summit is their coach.

  95. Baka Gaijin
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth, panel 2: The looks on everyone’s faces confirms it: this is the start of the Carnival of Death By Meddle.

    Mary Worth, panel 1: “It’s an impressive spread.” I don’t consider a plain white bedspread impressive. Nor would I eat dinner or anything in Mary’s bedroom.

    Cathy: Thanks to Pearls Before Swine, you officially have a superpower. OK, a superpower other than mega-whining.

    Luann: Mr. Boringface, at least the red frilly panties aren’t crotchless. Orrrrrr…ew.

    Garfield: Ha ha! Odie impaled on a toothpick tower. Impressive douchebaggery, kitty.

  96. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#50):

    what in the bloody hell Mark hopes to accomplish by going back after he got what passes for evidence of illegal activity

    Remember that Mark got quite the beat-down from the Brothers Parker. So I’m thinking that he’s going back for revenge—sweet, punchy, facial-hair-flying revenge.

    @Why?Eff. (#79): I was going to wonder how Mary could possibly meddle a mental non-entity like Peter Parker, but then I remembered Toeby. And Adrian. And Delilah. And Drew. And…..

  97. wossname
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#90):

    I called it on March 12.

    Yes you did! But you know I can’t remember back that far. That was way back when Buzz was hitting on Jan, and Margo was meeting with Jack. An eternity ago!

  98. Black Drazon
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    More and more people are learning to use the library after they discover they don’t know how to use their Kindles. Meanwhile, the corner bookstore owner shot himself after falling into a deep depression regarding the glacial crush of an institution that has existed for millenia before that of the corner bookstore.

  99. Jumper
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    Hi & Lois: Four shades of pink per strip. Ha! Beat that, Mary Worth!

  100. brb
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know why, but when I looked at panel 2 of Mary Worth the first thing that popped into my head was “We are from Remulak, a small town in France.”

  101. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#97): Well, the comments were several days apart, and my first one was vague and not terribly memorable, so I see parallel inspiration at work. Especially with Dick Tracy, which repeats itself so much, offering similar stimuli on many days.

  102. AmazingThor
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    Kudos to Marvin for being pretty accurate in their depiction of sleep apnea diagnosing and testing. Of course, being Marvin, I’m sure that next week ol’ Gramps will suffer through a disgustingly accurate prostate exam.

  103. Old Goat
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know if today’s Mary Worth reminds me more of a scene from Sweeney Todd or Arsenic & Old Lace. Either way, she’ll soon have some meat to go with those potatoes.

  104. AmazingThor
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:38 pm [Reply]

    Today’s “phrase the would never be uttered by actual human beings, ever” comes courtesy Dick Tracy: “We made some awesome vibes”

  105. AmazingThor
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    @Old Goat (#103): So those pink squares she always serves aren’t salmon. *shudder*

  106. Darkefang
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:41 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Are we supposed to know who this woman is? I’ve been reading Crankshaft for at least five years now, and I’ve never seen her before, and I had no idea he was supposed to be dating anyone. If he had any kind of romantic interest in the strip, I’d have guessed it was Rose, or whatever Jeff’s mother’s name is.

    Curtis: These stories involving items from Flyspeck Island usually result in unexpected consequences for Curtis. For instance, in this storyline, I expected Curtis to get into some kind of mischief when using his new ability to read minds. I would never have guessed that, instead, Curtis would walk around being boring for two weeks.

    DT: Audiences loved you? Which audience was this? The one that tried to blow you up three minutes into your set and then shot your lead singer? It would pretty much have to be that audience, since that was your first gig. Kudos on all your success.

    GT: I’ll assume I’m not the first to point out that Steve Luhm was in Ray’s apartment uninvited. Or are the local police trumping up charges as a favor to Gil? I guess in the future, people will think twice before fucking with a Thorp-coached team in the playoffs, or face the prospect of being disappeared like Ray Richey.

    MT: Someone took pot shots at Mark last time he climbed a tree. Let’s hope the Parker brothers are better shots.

    MW: I don’t really know what it looks like, but based on the way everyone is grimly eying one another, I can only assume Mary is offering the Johnsons a steaming dish of buttered hemlock.

  107. 11010101
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:46 pm [Reply]

    Foolish Bonnie! That flimsy napkin will do nothing to shield you from Mary’s wrath (and indistinguishable “spread.”) However, your approach is far better than Ernie’s. He’ll certainly get his comeuppance for not keeping his hands where Mary.Bot 2.0 can see them.

  108. OMJulie
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    A3G: I actually rather like the delicate way in which Dr. Bryant suggests to Ari that maybe a career in psychiatry isn’t a good fit for him. “Perhaps you can be more help as a friend than a doctor. And not just for Bobbie – for all your other ‘patients,’ too!” Too bad Dr. P is going to miss this advice just like he failed to notice everything else along his path to the now inevitable malpractice lawsuit.

  109. OMJulie
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    @OMJulie (#108): Well, right now it’s malpractice. In a couple of weeks I bet we’ll be able to make the case for Criminally Negligent Homicide (or at least Reckless Endangerment), considering he’s the one who sent Bobbie into the pill-fueled rampage that is sure to lead to at least one gruesome death.

  110. bats :[
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    Chip Whittle et al.: I tried to resist the urge…Sam’s smug, smug look…Abbey’s knowing gaze…the freakish space-monkey’s arguing… Just too much!

    (size up, please)

  111. Mr B
    March 30th, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Conventional wisdom is that fewer people are using the library than in the past. But libraries and book stores have co-existed for as long as both have been around. People who want to buy books go to the bookstore. This isn’t a high concept.

  112. Hibbleton
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    A3G: so Ari has prescribed a controlled substance to someone he’s not keeping a chart on? I think that considering her mental state if she shoots someone and is investigated he would be more at risk for a long prison sentence than her. She’d probably be sent to . . . What’s that facility the Gumbos reside in?

  113. Vince M
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    @kanomi (#93): Eagerly awaiting your return. Your Nature Punchman epic is…well, epic!

  114. Why?Eff.
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    “More people are using ill-advised conclusions with fabricated foundations these days”
    “That’s because it’s free.”
    It really is the corner book store’s fault when you think about it. Kids these days don’t want no Harry Potter, it’s all about the Ham Rotter.
    Coincidentally, Ham Rotter is the name of the recipe book Mary Worth checked-out prior to preparing her “impressive spread.”

  115. Perky Bird
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    I think I’ve discovered why Mark Trail seems to punch people with facial hair. I’ve never seen him with stubble or chest hair, and we know he’s never seen Cherry nude, so he must be unaware that hair doesn’t have to grow just on your head. He thinks people with facial hair have killed his precious forest animal friends and are brazenly wearing their pelts on their faces. As he punches the bad guys with righteous anger, he says to himself, “This one’s for you, Bambi!”

  116. MaryAnnTheRest
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    What kills me is that Hi and Lois have 4 kids: a teenager with school reading assignments, a toddler (they usually need lots of picture books), and twins about the age of my kids, who burn through 3 books a week apiece. (I’m assuming Hi and Lois don’t read for obvious reasons.) They were buying all their books before they discovered this newfangled thing called the library? Either it was taking up a good chunk of their salaries or damn, those must be some illiterate kids. Also, Fidel Trotsky Tsung gets funnier every time I think of it.

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

    Yes, Lois, go ahead and point out that it’s too bad that the independent bookstore went out of business immediately after you used the very services you’re smearing. You’re not a hypocrite! You couldn’t have possibly have kept that store afloat by yourself; it’s alright that you ignored their $8 copy of “Harry Potter: Unsubtitled” and instead put your name on the no doubt 3-month-long waiting list for the same title instead. Just blame it on the market, honey.

  118. tb4000
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Evans, I can always count on you for the squick. Kudos, brah.

  119. Red Greenback
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    MW:All those potatoes, but no syrup? Heresy!… I get the feeling there will be a post in ALL CAPS coming soon.

  120. Fauxmunculus
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    I can’t understand why they’ve never tried the “Spider-man enjoys an early retirement in Miami” storyline in the comic books. Screw all that “great responsibility” malarkey!

  121. Matticus
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    Hi and Lois: That’s right Lois, it isn’t the rise of Amazon.com and massive chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble’s and Borders that are killing the small bookstore–it’s those socialistic public libraries!

  122. Austria
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    H&L: No, no, NO! Depressing is for Funky Winkerbean! You’re doing it all wrong!!! I’m pretty sure they’ve used that first panel before…and also, please die. All of you. Especially Trixie.

    Luann: At least she’s not feverishly humping people on-stage like at my high school’s musical my senior year. I really, really wish I was making that up.

    RMMD: “He doesn’t have to be PICASSO…it’s just the garage and basement! Look, I don’t care if he’s inexperienced, I haven’t had any action in MONTHS!!

    Zits: Yes, Jeremy. Strategizing. Good luck picking up all of those trash bags at once.

  123. UncleJeff
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    JP: I think Sophie’s just trying to figure out if Neddy and the Frenchie boyfriend aren’t going to share a room together, which of them will “accidentally” show up in her bed, er room.

  124. Poteet
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    LUANN — Apparently the meaning of “full dress rehearsal” has changed since I was in one. And given those high coordinated kicks, methinks Mr. Fogarty has brought in some ringers from an academy for the performing arts to supplement the just-a-dozen students who actually attend So-Called High School.

    Stone Soup — It’s mildly flattering how often Iowa shows up in comic strips, though usually in the context of “an amusing-sounding state in the middle of nowhere.”

  125. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    @AmazingThor (#105): Yes and no. Salmon is a color.

    @bats :[ (#110): That jar-scraping action reminds me of my mom. She could take a seemingly empty peanut butter jar and get, like another quarter cup out of the thing. And no more than a third of it would be, you know, glass shards.

    Hi – Lois seems to have some idea of what’s happening as she and the kids grimly trot home, having already sold the family car to supplement the food stamps that’ll be cut off soon, watching unwholesome porn establishments and drinking saloons take over the recently renamed town of Rotterville.

  126. gleeb
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    A&J: Better than any of the “Crankshaft and the Garden Club” crap we get every spring. And that’s not even counting the fact that you know these two will probably celebrate the fecundity of the season like pagans.

    Rex: Rex doesn’t have time? That’s a laugh.

  127. Poteet
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @8th Man Fan (#8): Yep, you called it. I had the same thought on the same day, but I was not courageous enough to post it. Congratulations on your fearless understanding that no plot development is too bizarre for DT.

  128. Not So Slylock
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    Slylock Fox: To paraphrase Uncle Lumpy “who the hell do you people think you are?” Leave the menacing, child devouring dogs to the folks over at Marmaduke.

  129. Perky Bird
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    My husband and I were at Target the other night, and we spotted a pair of men’s Spider-Man briefs–red with the big black spider logo on the crotch. My husband asked if they would give the wearer the powers of a spider. I said no, but if you wear them long enough without washing them, they’ll stick to the wall.

  130. Amateur
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    Josh on MW: “a tiny square tray of something white (eggs?)” Judging by the shape, I’m going to go with sardines.

  131. Mwuahaha Worth
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    MW: In panel two, it’s worth mentioning that Bonnie’s eye isn’t looking at Ernie, but rather rolling out towards the audience in a desperate plea for help.
    Ah, can’t help you toots. We’d really love to, but after that blouse returning sub-plot, you two have become a sacrifice we’re willing to make.

  132. Hannibal Lecture
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    MW: Love the “Silence of the Lambs” vibe this week’s MW is channeling. “It puts the taters in its mouth or else it gets the mush down south.”
    Ah, classic!

  133. Islamorada Girl
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    The look Bonnie and Ernie are exchanging in MW is that of two serial killers hearing a judge pronouncing a death sentence.

  134. coinstacker
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one who gets it?! The unnatural stiffness, the exchanges of dark looks…Bonnie and Ernie are clearly alien police officers who have come to retrieve Mary Worth and take her back to her home planet, where she can be tried for her crimes of meddling in the affairs of lesser beings. The only question is whether we’ll be allowed to see what she truly looks like under that smug mask.

  135. Gold-Digging Nanny
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    By “impressive spread,” is Ernie perhaps referring to the consistency of the brown goo? Because I too am impressed by the strange consistency of it. I mean, it could be bean dip, but that would suggest chips, and I see no yellow triangle-y things on the table. If it’s not bean dip, I can’t think of another substance that would retain that sort of lumpiness and also be that exact shade of brown; sweet potatoes are, after all, more orange-y. Perhaps it should be studied in a lab. I think Mary would endorse that, as she’s clearly serving GMO lima beans; I’ve never seen any bred to be that size.
    Also, I hope Mary got a priest to bless those communion wafers. I assume grape juice is in the offing, or some of that fuchsia wine that everyone in Charterstone is so fond of. Later, Mary will baptize Bonnie and Ernie at Our Lady of Infernal Meddling.
    You know what else I find impressive? Mary’s bar-code tablecloth. Using your home decor as a satire on post-modern consumer culture? Sheer geniu–wait, those are supposed to be folds? Never mind.

  136. Len
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    #132 (coinstacker) — [musical interlude]

    “Mary Worth, now!
    It’s all over.
    Your mission is a failure,
    Your meddling’s too extreme!”

    Oooh! It’s been YEARS since I thought of Rocky Horror Picture Show! (Imagine Mary as acted by Tim Curry!)

  137. Austria
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    I’m just now noticing that Harry Potter cover. What, is he peeking out from behind a bush? “Harry Potter and the Eternal Topiary”? Does Voldemort’s next diabolical scheme involve herbology? Rise up, Neville!

  138. Écureuil Écumant
    March 30th, 2010 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    MW: Clearly, their dentures can’t handle anything more resilient than roast chicken puree.

  139. Jamus The Bartender
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    I showed my sister the Cassandra Cat story I wrote many months ago about the fiber bars, and she got a real kick out of it. “Hey, this is like Cool World”she said, when she wasn’t laughing.

  140. Artist formerly known as Ben
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    #110 bats :[
    I held it together for most of it. Then I saw Luann, and lost it.

  141. Poteet
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#122): You’ve definitely intrigued this Mudge, at least. What show was your school putting on? Did the humping occur during dress rehearsal?

  142. Nekrotzar
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    @brb (#100):
    Mebst! Mebst!

  143. Pozzo
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    “Impressive spread” are not words I want to hear uttered anywhere near Mary worth, especially when they’re paired with “Looks delicious.”

  144. AhClem
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    @Darkefang (#106):
    Re: Crankshaft — I vaguely recall a Very Special Story from several years ago, about how Crankshaft was illiterate and was trying to learn how to read. I think she was his adult literacy tutor, and they dated a few times after that.

    And, yes, I am thoroughly ashamed that I remember this.

  145. bats :[
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    @Perky Bird (#129): and this is why you have a more-or-less permanent seat on the CotW float…

  146. littlestevie
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    MW: Hey Mary why not throw a salad or a couple of celery stalks or baby carrots in there, you know some fresh greens won’t kill you. That spread you have looks pretty heavy on the carbs and you guests are not the skinniest couple in the world.

  147. bats :[
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#141): I’m guessing that it was “Marmaduke: The Musical.”

  148. LUJBEM FEJF
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    MT- It seems that messing around with Jan Harris (you remember her? The rock diving hottie) has caused Buzz to prematurely gray. Behold…
    Buzz Before
    Buzz After

  149. commodorejohn
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#110): You never fail to delight, bats :[

    @Austria (#122) re: Luann: do elaborate!

  150. dale
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    @Darkefang (#106):

    GT

    A real-life Cassie probably would have said something like, “That’s Steve. Let him in.” But Steve had to know he was on borrowed time, and Ray did tell him to leave.

    Gil, on the other hand, has no business being in Ray’s apartment. Who called the cops, and why? No crime was committed that Gil knew about. Ray’s hitting Steve might be a crime, but hard to prove. Gil did commit battery: he just decided to attack the only person around that he didn’t know.

  151. The "Noodle Incident"
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    I rarely follow Judge Parker, but I followed a link to today’s strip and decided that I’d like to see the strip rebooted as “Waiting for Neddy.” Neddy never shows, the random woman in the background keeps doing busywork (okay, she’s probably a character I just don’t recognize), Sophie keeps questioning her parents’ repression, Abby (or is it Abbey?) keeps smiling slyly, and Sam (?) looks smug, wears a stupid sweater, and struggles in the simple task of spreading jelly on toast…FOREVER.

  152. Ed Dravecky
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    Don’t leave me hanging, Gil Thorp. “…and Molly Kinsella converts!” Converts what? …lead into gold? …to Catholicism? …into a giant robot? …her body’s matter into pure energy, destroying the tri-state area in a hellish ball of light and fire?

  153. Uncle Lumpy
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @The “Noodle Incident” (#151):

    So, if you don’t follow the strip, how come you know everything about it?

  154. Carlo
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    Look in Panel 1 of Spider-Man. Mary Jane has huge hands, at least as large as Peter’s.

  155. Here Come ole Flattop
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @Len (#136): This my friend is too f’n funny. She’ll have to step up the make-up though.

  156. Écureuil Écumant
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    JP: Sam makes such a fetching moue in panel 3. Is there such a word as “sphincterish”? No? Well, I guess “spinsterish” is close enough then.

  157. ElkMeadow
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#124):

    Stone Soup — It’s mildly flattering how often Iowa shows up in comic strips, though usually in the context of “an amusing-sounding state in the middle of nowhere.”

    Especially when the artist has dropped hints that they story takes place on the

  158. Revenge of Chesnut
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    OMG, I am totally like Spider-Man! I should have a comic strip–it would be just as action-packed (though with significantly less muscle tone):
    “Oh, you emailed me this morning to perform a task for you, but I didn’t reply until 3:30 p.m. because I was sleeping, so somebody else did it instead? I guess I’ll just keep lying on the couch in my sweats, then.”

  159. Écureuil Écumant
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    MT: OK, we already know from previous episodes that whenever Mark ought to retreat, he invariably climbs a tree instead. But at least the last time, he had the excuse of wanting to spot the hitman who had driven all the way from Joisey just to torch his own car and then shoot in Mark’s general direction to scare him. This time, he already knows exactly where the contraband is, and it’s neither out in the open where he’ll be able to spot it from a vantage point, nor is it hanging in the treetops. Elrod really ought to title this one, “Bang the Toxic Waste Drum Slowly”.

  160. doggans
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    I do hope “Let’s hear it for Iron Man” is soon followed up with Mary Jane calling out Tony Stark’s name during the impending sex.

  161. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    @mustang (#78): I don’t think Walker & Browne were going for irony in that Hi & Lois. I think it was an attempt at an allegory for healthcare reform, with the public library standing in for a public option or single-payer system, though W&B would probably set the SOCIALISM!!! bar low enough that the mandate we got instead would qualify. See the rest of my rant/analysis yesterthread.

  162. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 30th, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#161): Truth be known… in my community at least there is a movement to force librarians (yes, they with the Masters degrees) and other knowledgeable library staff (IT techs, purchasers, researchers, etc.) to either become volunteers or to accept minimum wage — because after all, they don’t really do much for the community, and they love their work so much.

  163. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:04 pm [Reply]

    @Old School Allie Cat (#80): I think Barry would demand far more that $1 for the afikomen, then blame it on Curtis. Then Curtis’s piggy cousins would show up and wolf down all the bitter herbs and wine.

  164. The "Noodle Incident"
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#153):

    Ummmmm…I plead the Fifth.

    (Sorry…I’m kinda computer impaired and am not sure how to do the fancy linkin’ to another post.)

  165. Dagger
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    “That’s because it’s free!…Oh wait, we’re supported by the municipal taxes which you little runts don’t pay. Why don’t you get jobs, you little freeloaders?! I hear Threshers and Blades Inc. is looking for small-handed folk to clear out the jams in their assembly line.”

  166. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    @The “Noodle Incident” (#164): (It’s simple. Just click where it says “[Reply]” after the date & time, under the name.)

  167. Vince
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    @Pozzo (#143): I saw that panel, I heard James Mason in ‘Lolita’ saying “Your mother created a magnificent spread”, I ended up crying in the shower trying to scrub my brain.

  168. Aviatrix
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#27): You make a startling point. Mary’s “I hope you like roast chicken,” did imply that roast chicken would be on the table, but there is none in evidence. Perhaps Mary Worth is set in some post apocalyptic future where only white people have survived, and people eat roast chicken-flavoured yeast products.

    @gnome de blog (#59): Chaining a raccoon to a log isn’t a crime? Or is that, like wife-beating, okay if you were under a lot of stress?

    @Why?Eff. (#79): Thanks for giving me the image of Peter Parker lustfully hefting an underwear-clad Mary Worth.

  169. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    DT: “…and then a stack of Marshalls toppled over and crushed them all,” Dick would later recount, as he once again stretched out in his comfortable chair, “so at least that all worked out OK. Is there any of that pickle relish still in the fridge, Tess?”

  170. ElkMeadow
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    More people are using the library now because there are about fifty computers for patrons to use, DVDs, movies, lectures, children’s story times, authors’ receptions, musical recitals, “A Novel Idea” (a community wide book club–ours this year is Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help”), other book clubs, community meeting rooms, study halls, and art shows (of which I have an exhibit gracing a community conference room), gardens, public bathrooms (a real biggy when most downtown business don’t offer any to customers), and children’s community parties (featuring Harry Potter, Curious George, Dr. Suess, etc. themes–not all at the same time, book reading contests, quarterly used book sales, and more.

    Looks like this family stays in the bomb shelter a lot.

  171. Digger
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:56 pm [Reply]

    Damn those new-fangled libraries and their small-business-crushing agenda! Everything was fine for the corner bookstore until those evil librarians came on the scene! If only libraries could use their powers to destroy something malevolent, like the Hi and Lois comic strip.

  172. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2010 at 6:57 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#152): Converts her right arm into a ten foot pole, pretty clearly.

  173. Vince
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    I guess Marmaduke:The Movie doesn’t feature the Really Big Dog doing a rap number wearing a backwards baseball cap and gazing over Ray-Ban glasses at us in a disturbing manner, because if it did it would have been in the trailer.
    Also guessing the plot somehow has Marmaduke foiling the scheme of some real estate speculator-con artist type with a lot of crotch hitting and high-fiving paws. It just looks like that kind of movie.

  174. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    @Vince (#173): Will the speculator call Marmaduke “Queenie”, though?

  175. ElkMeadow
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#162):

    Really.

    Jackson County, Oregon voted their 16 branch library closed a few years ago. http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6435538.html

  176. M.B. Mellay
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    @Old Goat (#103): It looks to me like the meat’s already on the table. From top to bottom on the right I see Whole Brain in White Sauce, Fillet of Lung, and the testicles of every man she’s ever emasculated. Yum.

  177. mary_worthless
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    #80 – Mints? I thought it was Benadryl.

  178. Sans Sense
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    MW: Toby is resident beauty only by default since Tommy is still in the slammer.

  179. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

  180. Johnny Knuckles
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:45 pm [Reply]

    SM: As an ad guy, I see huge potential for Spidey as the web-slinging PR shill for Marvel-Disney Entertaino releases. Until May 7th it’s Iron Man. Then until 2012 it’s Thor, Deathlok and Luke Cage. Throughout 2012 we’ll be treated to Peter getting his chestnuts pulled out the fire by the likes of The Avenger, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Nick Fury and Captain America.

  181. Austria
    March 30th, 2010 at 7:59 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#141): Les Miserables. Dock scene. Now, before you say “Aw, come on, she was playing a whore!” you have to keep in mind that at my high school, half the whores could have showed up in their everyday outfits and still be completely in character. Nobody matched their roles — IRL Javert was actually a pretty nice guy, and IRL Fantine was the bitchiest bitch to ever bitch. IRL Eponine and Cosette weren’t very charming either. Actually, it might have just been our choir as a whole. Maybe 80% of them.

  182. AhClem
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    MW
    “It’s not baked chicken, it’s Soylent Beige! And ah’ helped!”

  183. BananaSam
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:01 pm [Reply]

    The original conceit of Spider-Man was that he would be a character readers could relate to. I guess they’ve achieved it since now Spider-Man is reading about other Superheroes fighting crime instead of actually fighting crime he has just as much impact on the Marvel Universe as I do.

  184. gnome de blog
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:07 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#168):

    Chaining a raccoon to a log isn’t a crime?

    Depends on the facial hair. If the raccoon has a collar it makes it easier to chain him to a log.

  185. Len
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    #155 (…ole Flattop) — “Mary Horror Picture Show” would have Ian and Toby as Riff Raff and Magenta, and is Wilbur Dr. Scott? I’m not familiar enough with Ms. Worth’s cast of characters to make all the associations. But if “Mary Worth” the comic is indeed a “science fiction/ double feature/ whoa-whoa-whoa…” SOME part of that “impressive spread” has gotta be Soylent Green. “Roast chicken?” asks Ms. Mary, “I misspoke. I baked you some CHICK I picked up downtown.”

  186. Len
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    #182 (AhClem) and #185 (Len) — Great minds think alike!

  187. Andy L
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    Today’s comics really made me think. I was planning on going down to the library to borrow some Hi and Lois books, but now I see that — Wait. No I wasn’t.

  188. MikeF
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    MJ’s hand motion in panel 3 makes it pretty clear what she really thinks about Iron Man.

  189. heynoni
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    Satire slowly limped back to life after its near-death blow when Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. But today’s episode of Spiderman has put the last nail firmly in its coffin.

  190. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    @Len (#185): That’s a rather tender subject.

  191. Andy L
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:25 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#161): Oh. I see. That had not occurred to me. Hi and Lois is criticizing a proposed health-care system by comparing it to a successfully run, centuries old institution that has proven to be economically beneficial to both consumers and content-providers. Brilliant.

  192. One-eyed Wolfdog
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    “Mary pushed a neglected dish toward her guests. ‘Please,’ she said. “Have some Meat Loaf.’”

  193. ElkMeadow
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#182):

    Thanks. I spewed when I read that, choked, and now I’ve got to clean up the monitor and the keyboard, and change my clothes.

  194. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    @KarMann (#179): ah, ok. I assumed that her shot on the 19th was into the helo.

  195. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    March 30th, 2010 at 8:42 pm [Reply]

    upon further review, I get it now. Captain Hottie put her shot into the bridge of the Pirate ship, trying to take out the leaders/officers.

  196. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    @Andy L (#191): Yes, it’s crazy… like a fox! Or maybe more crazy like a Dick Tracy villain. Your call.

  197. MWDG
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    MW: Bonnie literally makes me (and apparently Ernie) violently ill. This “woman” is evil and is in emergency need of an estrogen patch. If this strip followed reality, Ernie would slug his insubordinate spouse and Mary would cheer him on. Then Ernie and Mary would make pasionate love and toast their carnal delight by drinking the blood of the deceased Bonnie.

    Honestly, I can’t believe this TRASH can afford to live in Charterstone… please I beg you Karen Moy do NOT mention the recession with this storyline. I don’t want to see Bonnie and Ernie in their swimming attire. BRING TERRY BRYSON BACK!

  198. bartcow
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    So Mary Jane is an “actress” whose costumes consist of lingerie and high heels, with the occasional cos-play thrown in for good measure. No wonder Peter feels emasculated. Suck it up, cry-baby. Some of us are trying to get our jollies over here.

  199. Miss Othmar
    March 30th, 2010 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    @kanomi (#93): It is fun to read the snark all at once when you miss a few days, but it’s also kind of annoying since you think of things as you read the comics (“Hey, look — it’s Walt Disney!” or “I didn’t know that Pat Summit is coaching high school now”) and other people beat you to the comments….

  200. Harry F
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth was just a victim of the Syndicate’s censor. In panel two, she was supposed to have said “Okay, who farted?”

    We’ll see how the censor plays out the story line of Mary’s colon cleansing routine and how she shows the couple the importance of the ‘Last six inches of your large intestine and why it must be cleansed thrice daily.”

  201. zerowolf
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    @Gabacho (#16): ROFLMAO! If not COTW, tha should be on the float!

  202. Here Come ole Flattop
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    @Len (#185): Could you possibly imagine this cast doing “The Time Warp”? Starring Dawn and Kurt (?). Man, it boggles the mind, and I have to tell you, I’m not easily boggled. . .

  203. Poteet
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#181): BWAHAHA! Thanks for a different view of Lez Miz.

  204. zerowolf
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Yes, I can buy her rice pudding.

  205. zerowolf
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    FW: Wow, Hillary Clinton does it all, Secretary of State, coach of the Our Lady of Cedars Basketball team. What’s next, President?

  206. zerowolf
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft: No, she just doesn’t like assholes.

  207. lunarhalo
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    Instead of just mentioning the troubled economy as some sort of wry punchline, Slylock Fox gives us some practical advice: Finding pack of dogs and rubbing a pork chop all over your body is way cheaper than a hooker.

  208. Poteet
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    MW — My speculation now is that Bonnie suffers from the same tragic flaw as Elizabeth The Neighbor in KEEPING UP APPEARANCES, to whit, a complete inability to lie when invited to socialize by the Queen of Hell. Now Fine Ernie is giving his wife the look that says “Why the hell couldn’t you just tell her we’re busy? Every evening until the end of time?” And Bonnie, with her morose inward stare, is thinking “Stabbing myself would have been easier.”

  209. 8th Man Fan
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#90), @wossname (#97), @Poteet (#127) re: the Maestro and the Ringtones prediction: As it turns out, Muffaroo beat everyone to the punch (and the punchlines, too). I stand in awe of his Locher mind-reading prowess (and wit). Maybe I’ll have better luck predicting Pluggers .

  210. MaryAnntheRest
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    @Andy L (#187):

    Yes, that sums it all up right there. COTW for me!

  211. Poteet
    March 30th, 2010 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    @8th Man Fan (#209): Wow. Now I admire both you and Muffaroo. As for me, I haven’t even figured out how to respond with a link to someone on a previous thread.

  212. Walker of Dog
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    @Perky Bird (#115): I think you’re onto something with your hair-based theory of punching. I’ve always assumed that Mark never took his own clothes off, or that if he did, he never looked at himself below the neck. So it makes sense that non-head hair would arouse his suspicion. If only there was some way to trick him into a Russian sauna.

  213. KarMann
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#211): Simple enough, just go to that comment thread, click the “[Reply]” as though you were going to do it there, then copy it, go to the current thread, and paste it there, inserting the appropriate number of “Y”s (as in “#YY129″).

  214. Gap-Toothed Starey "HOOOO" Guy
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary clutches the steaming baking dish in front of her as she talks, as if to entice them to divulge their personal business to her with the promise of its gooey, tan-hued blandness. “Just think,” she whispers, holding it tantalizingly close, and yet just out of their reach, “This reconstituted potato-based food substance could be yours . . . if you tell me everything.”

  215. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:46 pm [Reply]

    The trick is to throw out a lot of predictions, and bet that everyone will forget the bad ones. Mary Worth will spontaneously combust! Wally Winkerbean will have an unpleasant incident involving a semi-automatic weapon at a music store!

    Pro Tip: Don’t date your predictions! I mean, why would you? Just don’t do it.

  216. bats :[
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    @Here Come ole Flattop (#202): hmmm, maybe Dawn and Kurt as Janet and Brad (asshole!). That leaves Eddie and Columbia (or Little Nell — I can’t remember what the character’s name is vs. the actress’ name). Dr. Adrian and Det. Scott? Maybe they’d be better as Janet and Brad (asshole!).
    If that were the case, we’d have Delilah ditch her elderly husband and team up with Charley Smith as Columbia (or Little Nell) and Eddie. Charley’d be a great Eddie.
    Of course, that still leave Rocky. Jeff Cory? Drew Cory?
    I am so ashamed I know so many of the MW characters…

  217. dull_old_man
    March 30th, 2010 at 11:55 pm [Reply]

    I predict something big and wild for Mary Worth. Bonnie and Ernie just got moved to Charterstone in the witness relocation program. [Moving the witness to the witless, of course.] They look so uncomfortable because they know Mary will be able to meddle through their cover as soon as they try to tell the story. Look for the Feds and local cops to show up before it is over.

    I can dream.

  218. bats :[
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:09 am [Reply]

    @dull_old_man (#217): you haven’t seen the Wednesday MW strip, then. Between Mary really splurging and serving Sweet Potato-Ade (“It’s Orange!”), and holding her napkin in her teeth, I can just die happy now.

  219. Poteet
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    @KarMann (#213): Thank you!

  220. Poteet
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    3/31 MW — Bonnie and Fine Ernie, your agony is my joy. MARY WORTH, dedicated to scaling new heights of schadenfreude.

  221. bats :[
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#220): “A thing of schadenfreude is a torment forever.” — Mary Worth

  222. Here Come ole Flattop
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    “The Mary Horror Picture Show.” Rather than having the audience throw toast, yes, Salmon Squares. Replace the newspapers with purple schmatas (sp?). I think we’ve got the beginnings of a show.

  223. True Fable
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:23 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth, the Demon Chef of Charterstone I’d look uncomfortable too if I had to choke down potatoes prepared in every way known, and my hostess resorted to eating the linen.

    Sam Driver, Man of Inaction “Come on, Sam! Tell me what kind of variations they might try that they haven’t done already! Or do you just know the missionary position?”

    Rex Morgan, WoW I love the way Graham Nolan makes his characters look all freaked out, ever since Hugh Avery flipped out over June’s pedestrian wine. Ah memories, and now we have Toots going all bug-eyed at the prospect of spreading paint…. this is going to be a gas.

    Wholesomeann Gee golly gosh, but Gunther sure is a great guy, isn’t he? The way he puts in extra time sewing the sleeves of Luann’s costume… sewing the what, the sleeves?!? Oh come on. Gunther has to be the biggest snore in the world.

    Fist O Justice Theater “I ought to tell you guys that flying in, I saw the biggest damn chimpanzee in the world. Yeah, a big khaki-colored one, and he’s sitting up in the top of that tree yonder.”

  224. KarMann
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    3/31:
    DADT: Even on a date with Miss Buxomley, Beetle still just can’t stay away from the sausage.

    Bizarro: Masky McDeath on Casual Friday.

    Brewster Rockit: If we talk about this “increasing the size of your tentacles” enough, I wonder what kind of spam we’ll attract in this thread?

    Edge City: As a local lutefisk-pusher, I can relate to this one. Please kill me, now.

    FC: Daddy in background: Do. Not. Want. (Though it’s not as bad as Crankshaft was the other day, by a long shot.)

    HtH: You fail Viking-ness forever, Browne.

    HotC: Somebody get those Flyspeck Island peanuts away from Heart’s mom, stat!

    JP: Ooo, I can’t wait to see his comeback to this!

    MW: Hey, Mary, it looks like you’ve got a little something on your chin there. A ghost or something, I think. You’d better brush it off before it slimes you.

    PBS: Oh yeah, he’s ready to take on Spider-Man, alright! Go, Pig!

    Pluggers: Remember it? Hell, St. Patrick’s was only two weeks ago!!

    RMMD: “Anything else we need done” can cover a lot of territory, June!

    Shoe: You know what would have to happen for you to be naked at the computer, Wiz? Go pluck yourself.

    (BG&)SS: Better stay away from those Internets, then, Loweezy, if that’s what cookies do to you! Oh, who am I trying to kid?

    S-M: Yeah, I don’t think any of us were exactly what you’d call panicked over Spider-Man’s hiatus.

  225. Jason1981
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    3/31

    Luann: Riiiight, Luann. Gunther is a genius. Sure. And Spider-Man is a hero. *snerk!*

    S-M: Meanwhile, at work, MJ mutters to herself: “Ugh, why’d I have to pick such a stupid husband? Where’s Mephisto when you need him? I can’t stand one more day of Peter’s whining.”

    MT: I’d say their customers are people who want to buy illegal game meat, but that’s just a wild goose..er, guess.

    RMMD a few days later : *Rex’s voice , off-panel* : “Tony! There’s no toilet paper in here! Bring a new roll!………And wipe my butt while you’re at it!”

    *hands over brain-bleach to anyone who needs it*

    PBS: In the 80s, kids had the Pogo Ball (damn those things were hard to balance on..). Now, Pig has discovered the Pogo Butt.

  226. True Fable
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:33 am [Reply]

    A boy and his dog In perhaps one of the lamest examples of cross-reference, Red and Rover are not only describing something from Peanuts rather than using their own humor, they aren’t even funny commenting about it, thus doubling down on the fail.

    The Amazing Pouting-Man I thought the Dallas Morning News went under. But then I’d have sworn that Spider-man would have been dropped from the Chron’s lineup by now, too.

  227. mollificent
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:53 am [Reply]

    @Perky Bird (#129) (and #115) Hey, no fair posting two COTW-worthy comments in one post! How’s a girl supposed to compete with that? ;)

  228. mollificent
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    @Austria (#181): AUGH AUGH AUGH I am so jealous that you got to do Les Mis. I was out of high school before it became available to perform. *sob*

    However, I did sing “On My Own” in a statewide talent competition. Won that sucker, too. ;)

  229. Carly
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    There’s something profoundly awkward about the body positions in panel two of Spider-Man; there seem to be arms everywhere and none of them are quite right. Also, MJ’s hair is doing…something…

  230. Mibbitmaker
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    3/31:

    MW: Those two are giving it away! You FOOLS!!

    S-M: Yeah, whatever, ego boy.

    BBailey: Code for a 3-way with Sarge.

  231. Rhekarid
    March 31st, 2010 at 3:00 am [Reply]

    The small tray of white objects is obviously crackers, which Mary only puts out to be served as dessert when she has company.

  232. Marion Delgado
    March 31st, 2010 at 3:01 am [Reply]

    Spiderman: Peter hits the beach and finds out his gaydar doesn’t work any better than his “spider sense.”

  233. Sheila Sternwell
    March 31st, 2010 at 3:10 am [Reply]

    Peter Parker looks like the bastard son of the Jolly Green Giant and L’il Abner in that 2nd panel. Again, I have to ask myself why I read these strips right before bedtime.

  234. Lucky
    March 31st, 2010 at 3:42 am [Reply]

    B.C. – “I promise you it will make sense in about 150 million years.”

    Family Circus – Ooh, there’s so much going on I can’t decide what to snark about. Bil’s chest is exposed, PJ’s ass is almost exposed, Sam is about to bite Billy in the groin, Barfy is just standing there, Dolly is… doing whatever the hell she is doing, Jeffy is furiously staring at a cereal box in an attempt to make all the morons around him (and the escherian table) disappear and Thel is lacking her usual vacant stare, suggesting that the Prozac hasn’t kicked in yet.

    Herb & Jamaal – Judging from the height of that hole, it wasn’t an ocular eye that stared back.

    Marvin – Ha ha. He said that he’d never do something and then did just that! How come no one has ever thought of that joke before?

    Red & Rover – Peanuts explained… for really slow people, like Peter Parker.

    Spider-Man – Um, they already did and Iron Man took care of it. Face it, they don’t need you.

    Strange Brew – It’s like a better version of xkcd.

  235. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    March 31st, 2010 at 4:10 am [Reply]

    9CL: What the hey? Geoduck mating ritual!

    Marm: Doggie solo car date!

  236. KarMann
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:02 am [Reply]

    3/30 Reality Check: That’s a guest appearance by the janitor from Archie, isn’t it?

  237. KarMann
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:04 am [Reply]

    @KarMann (#236): Oh, I just noticed the fine print, “apologies to Archie Comix,” so obviously, yes, it is (even though I think Svens[oe]n is spelled differently in Archie).

  238. John C Fremont
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:16 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#216): I’d like to suggest Aldo Kelrast as Eddie. No, he can’t sing or ride a motorcycle or pretend to play a saxophone, but he can lie really still under a tablecloth and I’m pretty sure he could be carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey with no trouble at all.

    Oddly, I think Ian Cameron could really, really get into Tim Curry’s role. Not that an audience could watch that without barfing, mind you.

    FC – Speaking of Barfy, there should be no reason for anyone to actually come out and say that Bil Keane should not be drawn shirtless. I mean, that’s just common sense, right?

  239. Kelvin the Clown
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:42 am [Reply]

    Just to be clear, Grandma Chickweed totally fucked that POW yesterday, didn’t she. That’s what hand clasping means in that strip, right?

  240. Braniff
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:04 am [Reply]

    FC: Maybe I’m clueless about what holidays can be celebrated in school but observing EASTER in a public school? Does Billy even go to a public school?? This is obviously a retread–several decades old (appropriate for the year of the Family Circus’s 50th anniversary).

  241. Chyron HR
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:07 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Lois and I aren’t going to be seeing each other anymore.
    Pam: Oh, really… how come?
    Crankshaft: Cataracts.

  242. True Fable
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:12 am [Reply]

    @Braniff (#240): I suspect Billy attends Catholic school, although why they have attractive young teachers instead of stern-visaged gnomes like Sister Anne and Sister Mary Margaret, I don’t know. Sister Anne was a particularly rigid old dear who visited our church every summer and totally awed my children, who did not realize stone talked.

  243. Mela
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    Wednesday stuff:

    9CL: Hand-jive sex – another of McEldowney’s great artistic contributions.

    A3G: Martin wants Margo to be the flower girl at the wedding.

    Archie: Archie here shows the red-hot, fiery passion about condiments that Chicagoans usually reserve only for hot dog toppings.

    ‘Shaft: Lois was born & raised in Westview and knows that happiness is a false, horrible lie.

    Curtis: Curtis discovers that the secret to achieving world peace is mind-reading.

    Drabble: New game – every time someone who is NOT a member of the central family in this strip mugs at the reader to indicate something is supposed to be funny, take a drink.

    FW: How long till someone hangs themselves with that banner?

    Garfield: Hey, it’s Starbucks.

    Luann: Yes, it wouldn’t be a week of Luann without a strip where Gunther has to awkwardly yet lustily fix her clothes in some way. Ew. (She still looks like Peg Bundy.)

    MW: “It’s just… we’ve been here for six days! We want to go home!”

    NS: Ha, ha, ha! Mortgages! Amirite?!

    PBS: He’s only marginally less dignified than Bouncing Boy.

    Pluggers: Pluggers “live it up” by drinking lukewarm Pabst and doing sitcom-cliche stunts in the hopes it might pass for amusing.

    RiR: Soon, that spatula will be Exhibit A.

  244. TGS
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:27 am [Reply]

    MW (3/31/10): After an “impressive spread” of a meal, and large glasses of orange juice for dessert, still the palpable tension between her guests has not dissipated. So Mary resorts to that old standby: hanging a napkin from the chin. Seriously, what is going on in Mary Worth? It never ceases to amaze me.

  245. Little Guy
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:29 am [Reply]

    FW: So, they play the equivalent of UConn in the first round and that’s the tournament?

    Curtis: So, when are we getting to the come-uppance already?

    Lio: “Cousin Bubbles”? From his mom’s side?

  246. LITTLE A. OF THE GRAND CONCOURSE JUNGLE PATROL
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:50 am [Reply]

    MW: I thought Mary was serving roast chicken. Looks like she served her guests Syrup if Ipecac, on potatoes.

    More information about Syrup of Ipecac may be found on the internet.

  247. LITTLE A. OF THE GRAND CONCOURSE JUNGLE PATROL
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    CURTIS: Curtis is going to run into Michelle before the end of the week — and Chutney — and find out what Mrs. Wilson really thinks about him — I don’t need my Verkokte Bronx Crystal Ball to figure this out.

    Stay tuned.

  248. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    9CL – And THAT, my daughter, is how you were conceived.

  249. gleeb
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    Pooch Cafe: Is “shutty” a kind of regionalism that the writer doesn’t realize is a regionalism, like “devil strip” in Crankshaft, or is it just plain made up, like “roadside”?

    Tales from the Squooze Bottle: From now on, Archie is going to be abut condiments. I await Reggie’s soul-harrowing chutney addiction story.

    Mary: That’s a wonderful party trick. I’ve got to learn how to hang a napkin off my chin.

    More Dingburg Crap: See there? He’s literally laughing at us.

  250. Karasu
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    Someone may have already made this comment [I'm sorry. I don't have the time to read through 247 comments right now], but…

    The thing that I find most disturbing in the Mary Worth strip is her carrying an obviously steaming-hot dish bare-handed.

    Surely proof that she is a denizen of Hell!

    [Like any of us doubted that to begin with... XP]

  251. MWDG
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    MW: Some ideas for the Bonnie and Ernie story.

    Bonnie just found out she is having a “change of life baby” and she is not sure who in Charterstone is the father.
    After Mary’s fantastic dinner she shows Bonnie how to do a self breast exam.
    Bonnie gives birth to Ernie jr. on Mary’s dining room table.
    Mary shows a vivid slide show of her colonoscopy
    Mary asks Bonnie to use anatomically correct puppoets to describe her marriage to Ernie

  252. Anson Pants
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    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.

    This isn’t Shylock fox!

  253. Jym
    March 31st, 2010 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    =v= Pluggers: I know I’m late to the party, but the detail that troubles me most is the 39oz can. 39oz? My first thought is that it was a 40oz with a bit spilled into the streets in honor of the homies who could no longer be with us (due to obesity-related illness or prescription pill abuse). Except, you know, pluggers ain’t homies.

    Now I’m thinking the odd size is due to the can coming from some offshored nation that measures things in the local version of a cubit, procured from the discount bins at Sham’s Club. The same place they got their 26-speed bicycles.

  254. bunivasal
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:57 pm [Reply]

    Is Lois renting a copy of “Han Potter” for her children? The book about a rogue wizard smuggler, wanted by Voldemort the Hutt?

  255. nil zed
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:41 pm [Reply]

    “a tiny square tray of something white (eggs?)”

    sliced boiled potatoes, duh.

  256. whitenoise
    April 1st, 2010 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    And all this time I assumed the big box stores were putting independent bookstores out of business. Now I realize that the libraries are at fault. Thank you Messrs. Walker and Browne!

  257. Poor Thompson
    April 1st, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    H&L: The real reason that bookstore went out of buisness is that it was managed by morons. This is evinced by the fact that they felt it was necessary to print up a giant banner that reads “Out of Buisness”, because there is no way customers could figure this out for themselves upon seeing a cobweb-strewn building with a locked door, no lights on, and no merchandise. I have to admit, though, hanging the banner at and angle to make it look more forlorn was a nice touch.

  258. gbeenie
    April 9th, 2010 at 4:02 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox – In other words: Picture A – America’s Funniest Home Videos; Picture B – Local TV news during “sweeps.”

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