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Mama said knock pluggers out

Pluggers, 4/15/10

Let us pause here for a moment to talk about Mr. James Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J! Do you know when Radio, LL Cool J’s first full-length album, was released? 1985! For you pluggers who are bad at math, this was 25 years ago. (His first single, “I Need A Beat,” came out a year before that! It sold more than 100,000 copies!) To put that in perspective, in 1985, the year Radio was released, Joan Baez celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of her first album. Can you imagine some Reagan-era plugger saying “Wait, Joan Baez is some kind of protest singer? I thought she was your aunt’s hairdresser!” They would be laughed at! They would not parade their lack of pop-cultural literacy in a newspaper comic feature!

And don’t try to say that “Oh, it’s OK for someone to have literally never heard of LL Cool J, because he’s one of those hippity-hop artists, with the baggy pants and disrespectful attitudes.” You know, I’m not an aficionado of, for instance, contemporary country music, and could not identify by name or tune a single song by the band Rascal Flatts (a band whose career is a mere 11 years old at this point). But if in the course of casual television watching I happened to encounter the name of this band, I would not say, “Rascal Flats? Isn’t that the salt desert in Utah where they test the rocket cars?” And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t smugly send this anecdote into some sort of Bizarro-world elitist version of Pluggers; instead, I would be reasonably embarrassed about it.

In conclusion: LL Cool J is a 42-year-old man with a fairly high-profile career that is a generation old. He is so integrated into the entertainment mainstream that he now stars in America’s second-highest-rated broadcast TV crime scene investigation franchise (the ultimate origin of this strip, I suppose). You have in fact heard of him. His name is not the name of a ranch in Montana.

As a side note, this is the same plugger couple we saw yesterday in happier times. Clearly the garage cleaning and/or the post-garage cleaning mealtime and/or “garage cleaning” didn’t go so well, and now we find them in their usual position: bear-husband wedged into his recliner, drunk and belligerent, and kangaroo-wife sticking her snout into a magazine, desperately trying to pretend she can’t hear him.

Apartment 3-G, 4/15/10

Disappointed as I am that this Apartment 3-G storyline seems determined to not end in a hail of bullets (as certain other plots we could mention did), I do have to admit to being intrigued by this twist, in which an exasperated Margo has now been tasked with hiding a major piece of evidence from a crime scene, getting her sexy fingerprints all over it in the process. All indications really do point to the idea that Martin and Margo are so long accustomed to Bobbie’s actual diagnosable insanity that they have just learned to accommodate it and no longer see it as unusual or shocking. Threatening us at gunpoint? Ha ha, that’s our Roberta! No, we don’t want the cops nosing around, because they might start asking questions about all the people that she actually shot, whose bodies we helped to hide.

Blondie, 4/15/10

It’s well known that Mr. Dithers runs his company like an Orwellian police state, where employees are encouraged to constantly monitor one another for disloyalty. Thus, we shouldn’t be surprised that he’s installed spycams in every room of his headquarters. Dagwood’s co-worker, who fears even mentioning the existence of the omnipresent cameras that haunt his every moment, has been reduced to the state of quivering terror expected by his sinister overlord; Dagwood, in contrast, has adopted an air of open defiance, like the true hero of liberty and freedom that he is. We will never forget you, Dagwood, even after you’ve been dragged out back for summary execution!

270 responses to “Mama said knock pluggers out”

  1. Baka Gaijin
    April 15th, 2010 at 2:49 pm [Reply]

    @Len (#Y212): Being this message board, it has to be Inflatable Toaster Tootie™.

    @Jeff Soesbe (yeff) (#Y215): “bear-kangaroo Plugger sex just ends up being brief, messy, and depressing.” There we go. Accuracy in action.

    A Golden Oldie I saw while looking for the Toaster Tootie image.

  2. Jordan
    April 15th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers feign ignorance when they see a black man on TV, lest the High Wizard think that they are deliberately watching a racially impure broadcast.

  3. Shawn S.
    April 15th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Josh, the last time I remember seeing this couple the kangaroo wife was in her robe drinking wine until the pain of her loveless marriage went away. It was on this site, I’ll hunt for the strip in a bit.

    A3G: Luann will have to be shot, right? Someone needs to be shot after this buildup.

    Blondie: Spoilers! Tomorrow Dagwood will be taken to Room 101, where rats will gnaw his face off!

  4. Jose
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:03 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers blows my mind. All pluggers know LL, but they can never speak to each other of Cool J, they just can’t. So, they all assume that every other plugger hasn’t heard of him. They probably won’t even be able to talk to each other about this strip in public, cuz if they get it, it means they are anti-American and non-Pluuger. Maybe, this can be like the moment that a teenage boy realizes he is not the only one who masturbates!

  5. bad wolf
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    Wait, why are all of the Pluggers suddenly writing in from Eugene Oregon? The theory that this is all an elaborate hipster sham by U of O students gains traction.

  6. TheDiva
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers long for the days when entertainers had sensible names like Soupy Sales, Groucho Marx, and Minnie Pearl.

  7. MaryAnnTheRest
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    Josh, your rant on Pluggers today was priceless and simultaneously right on the money. I will have to read it multiple times just to savor it.

    A3G: Did anyone even have Luann on the bet board?

  8. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#1): Toaster Tooties! Toaster Tooties! How happy you make me, Baka Gaijin! I will never forget them, but it’s always good, always good, to be reminded.

    To the proprietor (that would be you, Josh): Toaster Tooties for all my friends!

  9. Uncle Lumpy
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    So the entire seven-month “Crazy Roberta” story was just to put Margo in possession of a handgun. OK by me! But I wouldn’t want to be poor left-for-dead Eric Mills returning with some crazy idea of getting his gallery back. Just sayin’.

  10. Krazy Kat
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    @bad wolf (#5): I was doubtful when you first presented your hypothesis, but I’m starting to be won over.

  11. FlyingFrog
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    What, no mention of the Phantom and his “But it was supposed to be my WIFE left alone and grieving, not me! This wasn’t in the contract!”

  12. Danny B
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    Wait. ZZ Top is not a child’s toy?

  13. Carlo
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    My goal is to refer to “hippity hop” at least three times today.

  14. bad wolf
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    #10-I must credit the original theorist, “Artist formerly known as Ben.” I just lived in Eugene long enough to have sensitive antennae for it.

  15. cheech wizard
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:20 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Josh, you’re assuming that Margo’s holding the same gun Bobbie had. I prefer to think that our Dragon Lady finally got fed up with both of them and shot them in the back as Bobbie was fiddling with her cell phone.

    On Prof. Pappagoras’ end, the converation would have unfolded like this:

    phone: “Tinkle, tinkle”

    Ari: “Oh hi, Bobbie – what do you want?”

    phone: “Bang! Bang, bang, bang!

    Ari: “(groans) Oh, Bobbie – we’ve talked about this – you’re still a married woman. I’m really not comfortable with that.”

  16. Walker of Dog
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    @mustang (#Y220): I think the Westview crowd is more insidious than you give them credit for. Let’s break this down. Why does Mary meddle? Because she has a streak of moral superiority a mile wide? Sure. But the core driver is the fact that she is a lonely widow with too much time on her hands and no ability to connect with other people except through her meddling.

    No one would be more adept than the Batiuk characters at finding these chinks in Mary’s armor. While Mary overextends herself lecturing Funky on sound cash management practices or explaining the importance of anger suppression to Wally, Team Batiuk will slowly wear down her defenses with sad stories of loss and futility. I could easily see Mary winning every battle yet losing the war.

    At least we can agree that story resolutions would be more interesting once they involved ritual suicide-by-drowning at the pool parties.

  17. skullcrusherjones
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:23 pm [Reply]

    Grizzly bears have a 15-20 year life span. Of course, Pluggers don’t know who LL Cool J is. Just like a 19 year old has no idea who Count Basie is (“Is he a vampire?”).

  18. Patrick
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    What in the hell is that gold…thing in the middle of Dagwood’s abdomen? Did he get a belly ring, but wanted to show it off at the office? Is he thumb-tacked to the chair? Is it his “off” button? Please let it be his “off” button!

  19. Baka Gaijin
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed (#8): One day, when life is good trending toward great, Archie McPhee will sell Inflatable Toaster Tooties.

  20. littlestevie
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Oh wait, Steely Dan isn’t a musical group?

  21. Austria
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:27 pm [Reply]

    BB: *insert “safe word” joke here*

    BC: ……I’ve been sitting here staring at this strip for nigh on a couple minutes and it STILL doesn’t make any sense.

    Luann: Evans, if you create a storyline in which Tiffany gets teen pregnant and has all of her hopes and dreams shattered, I will like your strip much more and maybe feel like my enemies got their comeuppance. As stupid as Luann is, Tiffany is far stupider. Make it happen.

    MW: “Yeeesss…yeeeesssss…sweet lifeblood…pour out all your problems to me…YES! I LIVE! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!”

    R=R: Shrink, tree, shrink!!

  22. SF_Reader
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy – Dumb story lines but they know how to use the subjunctive.
    Apt 3-G – That’s no gun Luann. She’s just happy to see you!

  23. MaryAnnTheRest
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#21):

    BC: As much as joke explained isn’t much fun, I’ll give it a shot. The cavemen argue. The vulture inserts a weapon into the argument, hoping it will escalate to violence and he can enjoy the sweet taste of someone’s bloodied body on the ground. You know. Like us with A3G.

  24. odinthor
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    Um, I haven’t ever heard of Mr. James Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J.

    Why, yes—I am the guy who said just the other day that I was that very day at last removing the hard-wired rotary phones from my home. Why do you ask?

  25. Luprand
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    You’d think that Lu Ann’s response wouldn’t be “Margo! What are you doing with a gun?!” but rather “Margo! Why do you only have the one gun today? And why haven’t we seen Tommy today? Ooh, we have new flowers in the living room …”

  26. mustang
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    I love your insightful discourse regarding Mr. Plugger’s confusion. I especially love it because you reference Bizarro World, and I LOVE BIZARRO WORLD! I have loved it since the first time I saw it in a Superman Comic. Its mere mention makes me happy.

  27. skullcrusherjones
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    For Margo, guns are as common as neckerchiefs in whatever hell hole LuAnn claims to be from.

  28. Farley's Revenge
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    @Kanomi (#214):

    Spider-Man: “I’ll bring my camera. My MAGIC BATTLE CAMERA, just like Punchman!”

    Boy. Kodak missed out on a kick-ass(literally) ad campaign when it avoided pushing the company’s weaponized camera capabilities.

    Doonesbury: I liked Roz’s reaction to Melissa’s story. Hoo-ah.

  29. Farley's Revenge
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    @odinthor (#24): We have a landline, complete with Princess corded phone, and I’ve heard of LLCoolJ. I even know what his name means. The dude has been around forever, not just in music.

    Maybe it helps that we had kids who grew up during his career because if it hadn’t been for them I might not be familiar with Mr. J.

  30. Calico
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Gun quotin’ Margo.
    I wanna see her in cowgirl garb, on a horse, a la Dale Evans! Yeeehhhaaaw!

  31. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    #21 – I liked today’s BC a lot, and almost commented on it this morning. I think it would have been better wordless, if they’d managed to suggest a sufficient amount of strife with the art alone in the first panel. But I think it very deftly puts a memorable image to a situation which can be found often, in many guises, in real life. And we aren’t always smart enough to look up, catch on, and walk away. Bundling up an observation like that into a comic image is sharp work.

  32. mustang
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#16): I can see you’ve given this some serious thought and I respect that. And, while your idea about ritual pool suicides is intriguing, I’m afraid you are overly optimistic. The Westviewnians would rather die than commit suicide. Suicide would end their misery, and we know how they feel about misery.

  33. Dragon of Life
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: drawing closer to Elvis every day. That TV has a bullet in its future.

  34. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    I need to say that a little better. For me, that strip suddenly identified a whole class of similar things that I had never consequently recognized as different manifestations of the same underlying phenomenon. And it tagged the whole class with an image which explains better than the proverbial thousand words would have.

  35. Laura Brown
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    Didn’t Sarah Palin (falsely) claim to have interviewed LL Cool J a while back? How could Pluggers not have heard of him?

  36. Terry in Silver Spring
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    Today in The Phantom: Overcome by grief at having forgotten his missing wife while romantically shooting pirates with another woman, the Phantom decides to take to his bed in front of the graves of his ancestors and wait for Jesus to take him.

  37. Chip Whittle
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    @Terry in Silver Spring (#36):

    Today in The Phantom: Overcome by grief at having forgotten his missing wife while romantically shooting pirates with another woman, the Phantom decides to take to his bed in front of the graves of his ancestors and wait for Jesus to take him.

    And then punch out Les Moore when The Ghost Who Makes Unwise Choices finds that mopey loser swiped his spot. Go, Phantom, go!

  38. Walker of Dog
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:55 pm [Reply]

    @mustang (#32): Check and mate. I grovel James Liptonianly before your superior insight.

  39. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#6): Not to mention Rootie Kazootie and Winkie Dink.

    I’m not sure the rant on Pluggers was needed. Don’t we already know that Pluggers don’t know their ass from an aspirin?
    It’s a good thing Pluggers don’t get headaches.

  40. Amateur
    April 15th, 2010 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    @Laura Brown (#35): No, she didn’t. The network was going to use a clip of an old interview in her special, and he nixed it.

  41. Walker of Dog
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    DT: Dialogue ballooning error in panel 3: the Tracy’s house speaks, offering its opinion about the invitation. Conclusion: Dick is way too impaired to be driving.

  42. Dan
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Given BearMan Plugger’s apparent refusal to watch any television show that doesn’t have cowboys on it, I think it’s safe to say that BearMan Plugger’s pop-cultural knowledge essentially ends with the cancellation of “Bonanza” in 1973.

    Given that this is Pluggers we’re talking about, you have to admit, that sounds about right.

  43. Roberta\'s Got a Gun
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    Actually, and I think this may be a sign of the apocalypse, the LL Cool J reference in Pluggers is…man this hurts to type…topical. LL is apparently a current cast member on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” (The only reason I am even remotely aware of this fact is because it came up in the press kerfluffle about LL’s refusal to let an old interview be included in Sarah Palin’s recent FOX TV show. Maybe if it had been, the Cranky Pluggers Bear would know who he is?) According to his wiki, LL “LL Cool J plays Special Agent Sam Hanna, an ex–Navy SEAL who is fluent in Arabic and an expert on West Asian culture.” This single career decision on the part of LL may represent the broadest cultural outreach Pluggerkind has ever known.

  44. Death to the FOOBS!
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    Is that gal in P1 REALLY LuAnn? She looks like she’s about 16…

  45. ms docweasel
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    I love to snark on the funnies as much as anyone, but I think you’re over-critical on Pluggers: I’m not exactly sure who LLCoolJ is myself, I know he’s a black guy, but your thumbnail bio up there told me more about him than I ever knew. I guess you can figure from the name he’s a rapper, only a rapper would have that stupid, idiotic and obvious a name (Cool, Ice or DJ must be included in any rapper name, I guess, just so you will figure out they are “cool”, because you wouldn’t know otherwise).

    Rappers are ridiculous and lame on every level and richly deserve any mocking they get, even lame little semi-puns like those Pluggers delivers. They are a worse self-parody than 80′s hair bands, but no one seems to have the balls to give them the mocking they so richly deserve. Kudos to pluggers for having the testicular brassyness Beetle Bailey and B.C. lack.

  46. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    @Dan (#42): Well, if the Plugger bear just wants to watch westerns, he’s got 172 from which to choose.
    We got a local TV station that shows an awful lot of these. We must have a lot of Pluggers.
    Oh yeah. Reed Hoover lives here.

  47. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    #14 bad wolf,
    I thank thee. My parents moved out to Portland a while back, so I learned a little more about Beaver State culture.

  48. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:11 pm [Reply]

    I suspect that Mr. Bear took a little browse around Wikipedia and discovered that kangaroos don’t really have a ‘garage’ so much as a sort of multipurpose organic storage facility, which houses some things you aren’t supposed to handle with traditional garage cleaning equipment. Hence the hurt feelings and general sullenness.

    @Sequitur (#39): I was going to make an informative comment on the phrase “don’t know their ass from an aspirin”, but I can’t seem to do so without bringing up the subject of “beaver Pluggers”, which I fear would rob the whole discussion of its due scientific gravity.

  49. Charlene
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    I’m becoming very confused by the assumption that because a celebrity has made a name in mainstream American pop culture, everyone in the world naturally knows exactly who he is and what he does and is lying if they say they don’t.

  50. Pozzo
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Should Lu Ann actually be surprised to see Margo packing heat? The only surprising element of this scenario is that it’s not pointing at her.

  51. Paddy
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: “My outrage at not seeing cowboys is such that I must scream at you from two feet away!” Maybe Mr. Bear Plugger is just cranky because for some reason the television is positioned so close that his massive gut no doubt blocks most of the view.
    A3G: “Margo, I’ve been waiting for you. We need to talk about the curator position and how for some reason I appear to be 14 years-old in this panel.”

  52. jzimbert
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    Rascal Flatts sang the cover of “Life is a Highway” in the film Cars. I don’t know where else a normal (i.e., non-country-music-listening-to) person might be expected to remember hearing them, since I am not normal.

  53. Fashion Police
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#30):
    We do not wish to see Miss Magee dressed up like Dale Evans, thank you very much. And we hasten to remind all of you drooling over the potential mayhem promised by her possessing a firearm that her father unloaded it before surrendering it to her care. At best she could use it as a cudgel, as we think it highly unlikely that she stopped by the Saturday Nite Special emporium for a box of bullets.

    aside to Ms. Shuloch: We sincerely hope you don’t presume you are finished. You have some explaining to do, young lady. Aside from the proverbial “gun-on-the-mantel,” you have left quite a number of threads dangling from the hem of your skirt. We expect you to tidy up before you go out. Although not all of us were so fervently hoping for a blood-spattered stairwell, the excellent drama you concocted does demand a more satisfying conclusion. Furthermore, we fully expect that Miss Thompson usefully occupied the time our attention was elsewhere by getting that makeover you, at least by implication, promised.

  54. Brian
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    LL Cool J Ranch Dressing, on the other hand, sounds delicious.

  55. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    @One-eyed Wolfdog (#31): Agreed on the vulture strip. I thought that was fairly deft.

    Pluggers – When you tell a plugger to clean your garage, they assume you want to have debris and detritus removed from the building or extension intended as a place to store an automobile.

    And they think LL Cool J is L.L. Bean’s brother. Probably.

  56. True Fable
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    Dizzy Gillespie is not a medical condition? Dammit, and they charged me $75 for an X-ray of it, too. You kids, get outta my hayfield.

  57. boojum
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    Uh, not to get into it, but LL Cool J has been in more than 20 movies as well as TV. He’s a fine and very professional actor, as well as a positive role model. The fact that he’s made a name for himself in American popular culture does seem pertinent when discussing someone who is depicted as watching American TV.

    Also, I’m a white, 57-year-old Southern male. If I know and like LL Cool J, I believe you can assume he’s known to most folks. Not counting the willfully ignorant, of course.

  58. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    LL Cool J. Is the “J” for “Jello?”

  59. tb4000
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:29 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers. They also remember the old days of the comic pages, when Lil’ Wayne would rescind the advances of Daisy Mae Scroggins and take the Schmoo on random adventures.

  60. gnome de blog
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @jzimbert (#52):
    I really doubt that if, say, Ernest Tubb rose from his grave he would recognize Rascal Flatts as a “country” band.

  61. bman
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    Josh, if Pluggers never sent in anecdotes that they should be reasonably embarrassed about, we wouldn’t have a comic.

  62. Mr. O'Malley
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    It’s a mystery to me how my last comment got posted without my hitting the “Post” button, and the comment still remained in the Preview box unchanged.

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#55): I doubt that Pluggers have heard of LL Bean, or even Mr. Bean. Possibly Orson Bean.

  63. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:32 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#60): Little Known Fact: Earnest Tubb had a cousin named Sincere Vat.

  64. Digger
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    Why don’t they just do a Pluggers’ comic with a caption that says ‘Pluggers are fucking stupid.” Really, they could just run that one every day and save people the trouble of writing in.

    A3G: Margo could have disposed of that gun easily. She brought it home just for the fun of putting even more fear into Luann.

  65. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#58): if so, he could be in ads with Bill Cosby.

  66. commodorejohn
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#21): I don’t actually harbor that much animosity towards Tiffany (in large part because the entire Luann universe does more than its share of hating her,) but I’d have to agree, because Gunther winding up in a paternity suit would be the most perfect thing ever. I imagine he’d probably commit suicide after realizing that his losing his virginity to someone who wasn’t Luann was no longer a secret. And I would laugh.

  67. Mr. O'Malley
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    Now it’s even more of a mystery how a posted comment could appear on the page and then vanish on refresh.


    From the Daily Cartoonist:

    Nathan Cooper’s In the Sticks is going political. As of Monday, the golf themed strip edges right politically.

    I have managed to get along thus far without reading golf-themed strips of any political stripe, and I hope the trend continues.

    But could this portend changes in store for Beetle Bailey?

  68. MaryAnnTheRest
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @boojum (#57):

    Exactly. Characterization. That bear’s a TV addict. He knows who’s on TV all the time. Now if he were consistently shown on the internet dissecting Mary Worth, you could get me to believe he might not be up with popular culture.

    April 15th, 2010 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    So Josh, what you’re saying is ………..
    “What the Hip Hop chefs used to flavor their food.” SALT-N-PEPA
    “The rapper-father used this to soothe his infant’s gums.” ICE ICE BABY,
    are not groovy enough to be current Jumbles? Dang!
    Word to your mother!

  70. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#65): You know, those ads could be very entertaining.

  71. Walker of Dog
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers think the professional football season starts in April.

  72. True Fable
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#60):

    Sweet Fable’s college roommate is a big fan of old-school country music and I’m sure he would agree with you. I do too; it’s not country without a twangy steel guitar wailing the hell out of the background. Then again, even a few old school country guys took issue with Bob Wills’ band. He had drums and ‘way back then, that was dang near city slicker music. Well, screw ‘em: Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys were great.

    …we’ve had a similar discussion about Bob Wills here in the ‘Mudgeon clubhouse, haven’t we? :)

  73. Gulielma
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    I avoid reading Cathy, but having worked for an accounting firm I have to say thatCathy and Irving’s accountant must want to strangle his dipshit clients who don’t even make an appointment to see him until before the week taxes are due.

  74. Len
    April 15th, 2010 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    Come to think of it, isn’t “Tubey” Mary Worth’s blonde air-headed friend? The Toaster Tootie must be named Ian.

  75. Bitter Scribe
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    Wasn’t a Cole Porter the guy who filled your bin with anthracite?

    Wasn’t a Bobby Short an English police car?

  76. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    @LUJBEM FEJF (#69): Nah, you want something along the lines of, “When Matt Ford wiped all the data off his hard drive, it was a    _ _     _ _ _ _ _ _ .”

  77. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#71): one word: Draft Day.

    it’s when the hope starts.

    esp for those Pluggers who are Lions fans.

  78. Bitter Scribe
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:01 pm [Reply]

    @Gulielma (#73):

    Who among those who know, meet or read about Cathy and Irving does not want to strangle them?

  79. SF_Reader
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    A Plugger lady pronounces ‘Aspirin’ as ‘Assburns’. She walks into the Plugger drug store and says, “I’d like some assburns.” The Plugger pharmacist gives her a bottle of aspirins. The plugger lady then leaves the plugger drug store and gets on the plugger bus. On the bus she remembers that she left her aspirins in the plugger drug store and she yells out, “OH! MY ASSBURNS!” The plugger bus driver responds, “You probably left them in the drug store lady.”

  80. Ringo Beaumont III
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#58): Yes. And the LL stands for “Likey Likey.”

  81. Mr. O'Malley
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    @True Fable (#72): To me most modern country music sounds like album filler material from 1970s rock bands. Cowpunk was an interesting trend, but it seems to have fizzled out.

    At least Junior Brown is still keeping the flame alive.

  82. Black Drazon
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    “Margo, what are you doing with a gun?!” is so delightfully open-ended! Is it more of a “Margo, what are you doing with a gun…” “…when you already have so many!” “…when you can explode heads with your mind!” “…when pretty much no one in New York would notice?” I like to think that she’s planning to wage war on mother nature for killing her fiancé, one .44 round at a time.

  83. Farley's Revenge
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    @Charlene (#49): Well, unless you(this is a collective “you”, not “you” in particular) never access the internet, never read a newspaper/magazine, never watch TV, never idly scan the tabloid headlines when you’re in line at the grocery store, and never have to be subjected to the talk of those who are, you might be able to claim you don’t know names from pop culture. That’s not inferring you’re lying. It’s more that you’ve probably seen the names in passing but they don’t really register since you’re not interested in them or their activities.

    In my case, I have a gift-if you could call it that-for remembering odd bits of trivia. Celebrity types abound with the trivial and if I’m unfortunate enough to have something catch my eye, it’s in my head and I’m all set for an evening of “Celebrity Trivial Pursuit”. It’s bad enough that I know the name Ryan Seacrest and that he’s on American Idol, a show I’ve never seen nor ever plan to see but because anything having to do with that show gets the same level of attention as, say, the current wars, I’ve seen that factoid and it’s stuck in my head.

    It’s stuck in the same way the knowledge “LLCoolJ” stands for Ladies Love Cool James stuck, lo, these many years ago…

  84. Violet
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    This is actually a reworking of the original submission, as “Pluggers think Ice-T is that cold tea beverage that you drink, with ice, and not that rap guy/TV sex crimes investigator” was deemed too clunky even by Pluggers standards.

  85. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    Hey Margo, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand
    Hey Margo, I said where you goin’ with that gun in your hand

    I’m going down to shoot my old lady
    You know, I’ve caught her messin’ around with another man
    I’m going down to shoot my old lady
    You know, I’ve caught her messin’ around with another man
    And that ain’t too cool

    Apologies to Jimi Hendrix, et al.

  86. Mysterious Shirtless Lawyer
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    What the Plugger bear is really saying is “Would it kill them to put on someone with a white face once in a while? I swear to God, it’s like every damn show on the fucking TV is fucking Amos n’ Andy these days.”

  87. Walker of Dog
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#77): But Draft Day is broadcast on ESPN. Are you saying that Pluggers have cable TV? That seems too technologically advanced (and therefore evil), but I guess it explains why there are no rabbit ears on top of the set (my most humble apologies if “rabbit ears” is some sort of anti-Plugger slur).

  88. Arik
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    I’m betting that “Dave Taube from Eugene, Oregon.” is in real life a 15-25 year old from New York City pretending to be a crusty 50 year old from Eugene, Oregon. That’s the vibe I got from the plugger’s cartoon.

  89. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

  90. Josh
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    @Charlene (#49): I don’t expect everyone to know the details of LL Cool J’s career (the ones I reproduced in my post were culled from Wikipedia). I just think it’s weird for someone to have literally never heard of him, which is the implication of the Pluggers cartoon. As I thought laboriously made clear in my rant, I couldn’t really tell you much of anything about (for example) Rascal Flatts, but if I encounter their name in the press, I wouldn’t be baffled by seeing those two words in that order.


  91. Sans Sense
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    9CL: If it’s love that the Nazi is trying to describe, why does his face look like Christopher Walken imitating “The Scream”?

  92. Sans Sense
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#90):
    Rascal Flatts? Ain’t that Plugger for flip-flops with skulls on ‘em?

  93. James
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    Herb and Jamaal: Well now little Uhuru is going to do the math and give a report for her class claiming that when she was born her mother was 11 and her dad was 26. Then come the phone calls.

  94. Farley's Revenge
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    BabyBlues: Man, can I relate with today’s strip. The spouse takes forever to come up with a word when we play Scrabble. It would get so bad that I would be tempted to grab him by the throat and shriek “PICK A FREAKING WORD BEFORE WE DIE OF OLD AGE!”

  95. JustMe
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    Apartment 3G: I had always thought I’d be looking forward to a strip where LuAnn asks, “Margo, what are you doing with a gun?!”, but. . .

  96. Calico
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#53):
    Love it!
    How might Margo improve her wardrobe? Is this at all possible, I ask? : )
    She is usually quite austere and needs to freshen her style somehow, without losing her steely edge…

  97. gnome de blog
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:43 pm [Reply]

    @True Fable (#72):
    “You can hear the Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville Tennessee
    It’s the home of country music, on that we all agree
    When you cross that old Red River hoss, it just don’t mean a thing
    ‘Cause when you get to Texas, Bob Wills is still the king.”
    - Waylon Jennings

    It ain’t so much the presence of drums as the nature of the drums that matters. Back in the day there are even those who complained about Ernest Tubb because the Texas Troubadours had an electric guitar. Ernest Tubb is Country, Bob Wills is Country, Country isn’t just one thing. Hell, Willie Nelson is Country even though he’s basically a jazz performer.

    However, Rascal Flatts is a pop-rock band that happens to record in and is marketed by Nashville. Big difference.

  98. Margo's got a gun
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    What about the name “LL Cool J” even sounds like a ranch??? Am I (stupidly) missing some bizarre Plugger punning?

  99. BigTed
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:46 pm [Reply]

    Of course, the “curator position” is the only position Margo isn’t familiar with! Am I right, people?

  100. commodorejohn
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    @True Fable (#72), @Mr. O’Malley (#81): I don’t even like country, new school or old, but it doesn’t take a connoisseur to recognize that most of the “new-school” stuff is just groups that couldn’t make it as frat-boy rock bands and decided to throw in a fiddle and rebrand themselves (although none of them seem to have gone so far as to learn how to actually play the damn thing.)

  101. BigTed
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    Speaking of being behind the times, the “Crankshaft” family apparently uses an Internet service to rent CDs by mail. Think how much happier they’d be if they knew you could get movies that way, too.

  102. teenchy
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    Yesterthread re MT and “Senator Pimphand”: Perhaps the good Senator has taken a page from the Strom Thurmond playbook and taken to dying his hair with Tang.

  103. Mr. O'Malley
    April 15th, 2010 at 5:53 pm [Reply]

    @Margo’s got a gun (#98): If Lazy J is the letter J leaning over, as in italics, Cool J could be in one of those fonts that has snow collecting on top of the letter, like the first font here.

    The biggest drawback would be that it’s hard to get enough resolution in a font that’s implemented by branding cattle.

  104. Zerowolf
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Are the biegish-yellow chameleon people any relation to the blue chameleon people of A3G?

  105. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    @BigTed (#101): I’d cut the ‘shaft family some slack on that one… I’m a network professional with a pipe the size of a Kenworth at home, and I didn’t even consider Netflicks Streaming to be a particularly worthy idea until someone demonstrated it for me

  106. True Fable
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:04 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#97): I never liked the whole Countrypolitan/New Country sound, which is why Randy Travis and Gareth Brooks were such a welcome relief. They had the old Country sound; it’s like the difference between jeans that are honestly worn and faded, and jeans that are stonewashed and stressed in places that simply would not be stressed that way. The only thing more fake than modern country is the cleavage on modern country singers.

    @commodorejohn (#100): I think you’re spot on. I got burned out on country in general and New Country in particular during that dark period of my life known as the State of Marriage, but I once enjoyed it. Now I live in a fantasyworld where New Country does not exist because LimeWire is my salvation, showing the Truth and the Way with old Buck Owens and Marty Robbins downloads.

    I must admit when the Fable boys taught me how to download old music I liked, I think I shat myself out of pure joy.

  107. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only one noticing the new privacy notice (below) that credits Ces for the site logo?

  108. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:06 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#107): Correction: Am I the only one just now noticing…

  109. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#100): Kristofferson, Cash, Nelson, and Robbins are the only ones I can stand listening to.

  110. CitySquirrel
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    What I got from today’s Blondie is that Dither’s is a pervert, and Dagwood is going along with it. But I might need therapy.

  111. OKStan
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised Mr. Plugger isn’t wondering why the TV isn’t on Fox. That way, he can also find out the fair and balanced “truth” about LL Cool J’s “fledgling” acting career.

  112. True Fable
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#108): Half and half: I knew Ces designed it but didn’t realize it was in the credits below. But then, I’ve been keeping an eye on Margo with a gun so I have been a bit distracted.

  113. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#105): “I’m a network professional with a pipe the size of a Kenworth at home”

    the Dingos will be right over. . . .

  114. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:12 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#108): yes. That credit has been there since the format changeover. ;-)

  115. Walker of Dog
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:15 pm [Reply]

    A3G: What kind of batteries does that gun run on? It’s been vibrating for almost two weeks!

  116. Iconoclast
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    I look forward to seeing LuAnn and Margo discuss “The Curator Position.” I don’t know exactly what it is, but in my mind it is similar to the Missionary Position, but it somehow involves two women a gun as opposed to an unarmed man and woman.

  117. Mibbitmaker
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    PBS: Interesting that Rat now has a Tubey, given that:

    So does Television without Pity

    …and so does YouTube

    Good thing Rat’s creator is a lawyer! ;o)

  118. gnome de blog
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#100), @True Fable (#106):
    Oh, those Nashville guys – at least the sessions cats – can play. But it’s all overproduced pablum. All the songs were written by corporate guys and vetted at marketing meetings and overproduced to the point of tedium. Since when does it take a 10-piece band to play 3-chord rock and roll? You see the typical country band onstage and they have a rhythm section, at least 4 guitars, a piano and a keyboard, fiddle, pedal steel, maybe a mandolin or a banjo or even horns, and three backup singers. For what? When Elvis started he had a bass, drums and Scotty Moore on guitar. Elvis changed the world, but back when he started he was a hell of a lot more country than what you see today.

    By the way, I don’t care much for hip-hop. But I respect it. It’s legitimate music done by pros who know what they’re doing. I’m just not much into music that can’t be done without electronics. Some days I don’t like anything written after 1827.

    End of rant. I’m preaching to the choir anyway.

  119. gnome de blog
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @Iconoclast (#116):
    Spew alert! Float-rider for sure!

  120. otl
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    Rascal Flatts may not be the salt desert in Utah where they test the rocket cars, but I’m pretty sure it should be…

  121. Josh
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#107): The text at the bottom of the page is pretty much the same as it’s always been, although when I unleashed the redesign at the beginning of this year, I added credit to Adam (the designer behind the redesign) and Ces (who designed the new logo that came with said redesign).

    Or are you referring to the link to the privacy policy? That policy too is not new, though the link used to be in the left-hand nav bar rather than along the bottom.


    April 15th, 2010 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    @One-eyed Wolfdog (#76): ??? Don’t tell me. I’m still trying. Oh who am I kidding? If I haven’t got it by now, I’m not gonna get it. What’s the answer?

  123. Buck Ripsnort
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#83): Hell, I’m in my mid-forties and Entertainment Tonight seems to have my hippocampus on speed-dial. I don’t WANT to know who Bombshell McGee and Fawn Hall and, God help me, Rascal Flatts are, I just DO. How do Pluggers manage it? Hit themselves w/ bricks? Massive drug use? Reading Cathy and Luanne until their brains turn to guacomole?

  124. Mibbitmaker
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:28 pm [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#117): The second link isn’t getting the image I found. There’s some YouTube app thingy that’s also called Tubey (which I found out while looking for the TwoP version).

    Not a country music fan, with a few exceptions from ’60s-’70s top 40 mostly.

  125. Dagny
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    What the hell? No blood, no bullets flying? Martin keeps his stupid hair? Lame ending to what would have been an excellent story.

  126. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#121): Silly me… I’ve been so busy trying to get on the float that I haven’t even noticed the site redesign…

  127. Sans Sense
    April 15th, 2010 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    Margo: It’s not a gun Lu Ann, it squirts mouthwash. Try some…

  128. bats :[
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    What? WHAT? LL Cool J does NOT stand for “Ladies Love Cool Josh”?
    I’m devastated.

  129. Poteet
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#83): Thank you — that describes me. I have seen the name LL Cool J in passing, and if cornered, I would have said that he’s probably a rapper. But until I read Josh’s description, that’s all I knew. I’m not proud of it, but frankly, there are other things I’m much more embarrassed about, like my inability to name the leaders of various countries at any given time. My pop-culture ignorance will have to go to the back of the embarrassment line.

  130. Écureuil Écumant
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Margo can’t seem to get a real ring onto those ringless, naked fingers of hers. Well, a trigger guard is the topological equivalent and she seems willing to settle.

  131. bats :[
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    And on another popular culture/behind the times note, I’m beside myself that today where I volunteer (our local Friends of the Library),I found a VHS cassette of Adam Ant’s music videos!
    (I’m also a fan of Lady Ga Ga, which pretty much means I’m a sucker for the strange and weird and bright and shiny…)

  132. Jamus The Bartender
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    Doonesbury: I don’t want to condone violence or anything, but I have to admit, I like the way Roz thinks. She’s a good friend.

  133. Jamus The Bartender
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    reFOOB: I gotta tell you, Elly, Sybil Fawlty would NOT let Basil get away with half the shit you let John get away with. Close off ALL of his avenues of pleasure. Take away the trains. Sell the stereo. Have him stage fire drills with the kids ” because I said so !!” and go all gorilla cookies on his ass. I’d say withhold sex, but that’s pretty much a given….

  134. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#131): *inserts obligatory “Stand and Deliver” reference here.*

  135. Jamus The Bartender
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Yeah, like I said before, Tiffany’s kinda mean, but at least she’s honest, unlike “Fingercuffs” DeGroot, your West Side Story ingenue.

  136. Anonymous
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    Moreover, there’s currently a roughly 5′x8′ painting of LL Cool J in the National Gallery of the United States.

  137. Jamus The Bartender
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    Spider Man: “Will you wear your costume under your clothes in ninety degree humid weather in Miami? Will you wear this scroto-clamp? This would please me.” No wonder people think superheroes are fucked up.

  138. wossname
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:23 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#129): I think I’m pretty much in the same boat with Poteet and Farley’s Revenge on this question, except that I pride myself on not knowing anything about some of the most egregious exemplars of pop culture. I worked for months at not knowing who Jon and Kate were. (Although I admit at this point, I could probably give you a working definition.) Certainly couldn’t distinguish between Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton in a lineup. (Although again, I fear I would know Britney Spears if she were there.)

    On the country music question I’m with most of y’all – I love the old stuff like Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Webb Pierce, ET, Bob Wills, Merle, Buck, Kitty Wells, Patsy (altho she had a bit of a pop edge), Loretta, etc. etc. etc. And the newer stuff that sounds like older stuff, e.g. Dwight Yoakam. At some point, I’d say in the 70s or 80s, country went mainstream and began to suck.

    But I also love Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Sex Pistols, and the Mendelssohn violin concerto.

  139. Jamus The Bartender
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    FC: I gotta go along with Billy on this one. Why DID you wait until the last minute to do your “homework”. What makes it worse is the fact that you made me defend your boy !!

  140. Mooncattie
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:29 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps the saddest part of Pluggers for me is the notion that baby Roo grew up and married a much older Winnie-The-Pooh, who in time became a Stupid Old Grouch of Very Little Brain who watches television all day in his pajamas. On second thought, perhaps that notion makes Pluggers much more fun to read!

  141. Len
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    Buggy Crispino is no child. I’m betting he’s an oversexed midget, who formerly dated June Morgan. He’ll shortly be asking Ruthie’s mother if her garage needs cleaning.

    Herb (of Herb and Jamaal) named his daughter Uhuru? Is this ’cause he flirted with Black Power in his youth, or because he’s a Trekkie?

    Interesting. Archie’s hair turns to foofy angel wings at the thought of a passing grade, while Dilton’s hair turns straight as sticks when he thinks he’s flunked. What would make Jughead’s felt crown leap up and spin, I wonder?

  142. Len
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    #138 (wossname) — I’m recuperating in a nursing home, and at mealtimes they play rather “old timey” music, ostensibly to please the many elderly folks here. I’ve grown rather fond of a CD they play with the “best of” Miss Patsy Cline (“I go a-walkin’/ after midnight/…”).

    The old codger who shares my dining table was listening intently to Patsy while chewing his institutional cuisine. He turns to me and says, “The music in this place is just like the food…

    “Pure crap!”

    (True story.)

  143. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

  144. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:43 pm [Reply]

    The only black people pluggers have heard of are Alan Keyes and the scary socialist who is going to death panel them.

  145. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    Way to bitch up the tags, me.

  146. Nick!
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    Coming from the other side of the cultural divide then…why the hell would one think that LL Cool J is a ranch in Montana?

  147. A New Day
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    @Luprand (#25): My thoughts also ran along these lines, i.e., that the rest of LuAnn’s statement was: “Margo, what’re you doing with A gun, and where are your usual collection of Glocks and AK47s?” Then this made me ponder what we’ll see if the fictional New York of A3G enacts open carry laws. Margo in a coffee shop with a bazooka under each arm, I hope.

  148. wossname
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    @Len (#142): I disagree with his musical taste but I love his attitude.

  149. Écureuil Écumant
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    Baby Blues: In an amusing and apropos Freudian variation of the familiar “two faces or a vase” figure-ground reversal phenomenon, panels two/three show us “two faces or a uterus”.

  150. Forrest
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    The Pluggers punchline doesn’t even make sense. LL is on “NCIS:Los Angeles,” not a show named “LL Cool J.” Even if a Plugger could proudly admit to ignorance of a fairly high profile celebrity, to admit to formulating a schematic expectation of the plot of a TV show based solely on the name of one of the actors in said TV show would require a psychotic break from all forms of rational thinking. Which, I suppose, is the hallmark of any true Plugger, anyway.

  151. Fashion Police
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#96):

    Miss Magee isn’t quite such a disaster as Mrs. Powers or Miss Thompson (Mrs. Powers is a very pretty girl, but she really oughtn’t look like a freshman at the convent school), but she should look like she burns a candle every August 5 in honor of Coco Chanel instead of looking like she shops at Maisie’s. She needs a little quality time on Fifth Avenue.

  152. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#131): Then you must love David Bowie.

  153. Perky Bird
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#103): Maybe the “LL Cool J” ranch’s brand would be two L’s, with a J standing farther away, because it’s too cool to be seen hanging around those dorky L’s.

  154. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    mmmmm, Bowie. . . . .

  155. gnome de blog
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:17 pm [Reply]

    @wossname (#138) said:

    …and the Mendelssohn violin concerto


    And it’s a damn shame Nashville tried to turn Patsy Cline into a pop singer.

  156. curlyfries
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    #45 Uh, would be a waste of time to suggest that you not try to generalize an entire musical genre like that unless you want to be mistaken for Crankshaft? If you want to come off as being in the same camp as one of those smug ingoramuses who dismiss every piece of abstract art since Kandinsky as “stupid” and “something my kid could do”, you’re succeeding. Funny, those are also the guys who constantly whine about how no one has the guts to call out the entire movement as an emperor with no clothes; they’re convinced it’s a giant scam perpetrated the critics on the rest of us sheep. Actually, I think it’s a very plugger-like smug-in-my-Ludditeness attitude.

    So unlike them, could you ever consider having the testicular fortitude to accept or admit that while rap or hiphop’s just not to your taste and you’ll never get it, that doesn’t mean there might not be something to it? There’s no disgrace to not getting it, btw. Most movements in art or music that are trendy, but soulless or superficial at heart, crash and burn soon enough because they don’t evolve, there’s nothing to sustain them. Most 80′s hair bands aren’t around for a reason. Rap is – and you might want to ponder why. Anything that has spoken to so many people for so long can’t be so easily dismissed or mocked, any more than an uptight parent in the Eisenhower era could successfully dismiss that disgusting Elvis Presley and mock that pernicious rock’n’roll. Still doesn’t mean you have to like it, of course, but to have such a pronounced vendetta against all artists of such a widespread and influential crossover movement suggests a slight problem you may want to consult someone about. NOT Mary Worth.

    And, btw, I’m white and over 50 – I like Gnarls Barkley and Run DMC but never cared for Ice-T much.

  157. boojum
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#156): Pssst! I think it might be significant here that rappers are, in general, uh…. Caucasianally challenged. You may have noticed that there’s a definite edge to the vitriol. Not the first time, either.

  158. boojum
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:43 pm [Reply]

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear there, curlyfries: I wasn’t talking about your comment, but an earlier one.

  159. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#83): Yep, me, too. I have a brain full of superficial facts, celebrity names, and other cultural detritus. I don’t watch TV entertainment shows, and I don’t read gossip mags, so god knows how all that stuff got in there.

    It does come in handy professionally, though: I pretty much always know what my students are talking about.

  160. Uncle Lumpy
    April 15th, 2010 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    I know who Ani DiFranco is, but that’s pretty much it.

  161. gnome de blog
    April 15th, 2010 at 9:03 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#159):
    I still know the names and the nicknames of all the Spice Girls. I have no idea what four of them look like, and no idea what their music sounds like.

  162. corinthian
    April 15th, 2010 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    The look on LuAnn’s face seems more like disapproval than shock. “Margo, what are you doing with a gun?! Everybody knows they deprive you of the cathartic sensation of caving in a skull that a hammer or mace provides!”

    April 15th, 2010 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    Josh, don’t you get it? Pluggers is like some hot tub time machine.

  164. curlyfries
    April 15th, 2010 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    #157 Yeah, I sorta picked up on that, too. It’s pretty freakin’ ironic that the URL linked blogsite boasts that “docweaselblog is the shiznit” – my God, a direct link to a hippity hoppity rappy-type term!! I haven’t kept track of Cranksh this particular poster’s offerings, so thanks for the confirmation. Your observation and the site (“our team includes college students, parents of small children, blue collar workers, professional political activists, IT workers, professional musicians and unemployed slackers”) goes a long way towards explaining the “poor misunderstood pluggers” stance.

    Somehow I’m not believing that “professional musicians” are really part of that team, are you?

  165. NoahSnark
    April 15th, 2010 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    Margo handles every lethal object in her life with the casual indifference of a woman who knows Death is too much of a wuss to claim her.

  166. curlyfries
    April 15th, 2010 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    #165 And here I assumed Margot’s insouciant familiarity was just because guns are shaped like Tubey and…uh…other tube-like things. I thought that also neatly explained Lu Ann’s horrified recoil, but then again I may have been reading “Phallic Cymbals and Other Musical Instruments” way too much.

  167. Poor Thompson
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: I recall that in the novel 1984, a particularly stubborn enemy of the Party would be sent to the infamous Room 101, in which he would encounter his greatest fear, which of course varied from person to person, so it would be customized accordingly. I wonder would this would be for Dagwood. Ideas, anyone?

  168. Zerowolf
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary has no tray, wrappings or napkins in front of her. Was she carryng the burger around in her purse?

  169. commodorejohn
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    @Poor Thompson (#167): Easy. Vending-machine sandwiches. The kind that come in petrified Saran Wrap and have been sitting in the same spot since the Carter administration.

  170. Judo Throw Toy
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    The way they keep flashing that gun around, I suspect there’s still at least one bullet inside. The question is, however, who is it meant for? Lu Ann? She’s so dumb no one notice if she were brain dead from a gun shot to the head. Tommie? She’s such a non-entity no one would even notice if she were dead. Margo? She’s the only reason the strip is still around, so they can’t off her. If only Sally Forth could wonder unexpectedly onto the scene and startle Margo, wearing that damn smirk on her face. BANG! And Ted Forth would finally be a man again.

  171. Mr. O'Malley
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#156): I guess I agree with you, in the sense that, while collecting up a month’s worth of garbage instead of putting the bin out at the curb is something that almost anybody could do, convincing a prestigious gallery to pay you 50,000 quid for it should be considered a work of art of some kind.

  172. Zerowolf
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: I figured Pluggers would think LL Cool J was a new flavor of Jello.

  173. Walker of Dog
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    @Poor Thompson (#167): An empty room. On the floor is a plate. The plate holds nothing but two bare slices of bread. And 2+2=5.

  174. Joe Btfsplk
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    Somebody gave Margo a friggin’ GUN?!

    OH. MY. GAWD. Don’t you understand what this MEANS?!

    Now Tommie will get “CLEAN GUN” and “POLISH BULLETS” added to her list of chores! Doesn’t the poor thing have enough to do already?

    Yeah, I know a thousand or so potentially exciting storylines radiate from this plot point, but I also know better than to expect this strip to follow any of them.

  175. This Guy
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: I think one thing that might be missing here is that Pluggers are so unbelievably primeval that they think there are shows on TV today about fucking ranches. Bonanza ended almost 40 years ago, animal-people. This is the 21st century. Deal.

  176. Aviatrix
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (Y202): On the topic of spinoffs, I have a need to report that I was in a video rental store today and they were selling Twilight socks. Three different patterns.

    And I’ve heard of LL Cool J, but if Josh had explained that he was a five time National Rodeo champion from Wyoming, I would have taken his word for it. But then I like country music yet thought “Roscoe Flats” was a performer, not a band, and couldn’t name any of their tunes. Maybe I’m a future plugger.

  177. Sequitur
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Pluggers are the normal ones and the rest are….

  178. Joe Btfsplk
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    @NoahSnark (#165): The inverted Margo Grip is twice as badass as the sideways Gangsta Grip.

  179. Master Softheart
    April 15th, 2010 at 11:22 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Without intending to or even noticing as it happened, I more or less seceded from popular culture in the previous millennium when I began my Ph.D. program. Television went first, then radio – closely followed by contemporary music and concerts. Eventually my perception of clothing styles dimmed as well. Even having finished a few years ago, I remain kind of cultural time capsule from the late 20th century.

    But I categorically refuse to accept that this makes me a Plugger.

  180. Toronto
    April 15th, 2010 at 11:34 pm [Reply]

    Rascal Flats are what you get when you drive your personal mobility scooter over goat head thorns.

  181. curlyfries
    April 15th, 2010 at 11:39 pm [Reply]

    #171 Regrettably, sensation and money hype are everpresent when it comes to art (or music). Marketing’s entirely responsible for giving us Jeff Koons, thanks very much – but if you allow a price tag to be the sole criteria of what is and isn’t art, you’ll end up looking a fool in the long run. You really should put the price tag out of your head when you consider any work because it will only get in the way of any understanding or appreciation – or valid criticism. Art and music are subjective, like anything else, and putting a monetary value on the hyped up, fashionable sensation of the moment can persuade many people that crap of the moment has merit – see Patrick Nagel, Milli Vanilli and Thomas Kincaide, for example.

    My feeling is if you don’t like something and can really explain in a rational manner why you don’t – without using the terms “stupid” or “something anyone could do” – then your opinion probably has merit. Jackson Pollock’s art was tagged with the “my kid could do that” label for years – so where, I wonder, are all those genius tots and their undoubtedly multimillionaire parents today?

  182. curlyfries
    April 15th, 2010 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    #179 Nah, you’d only be a plugger if you attempted to make your voluntary(?) secessionist-lifestyle into some kind of a virtue. Those of us who opt to have a television machine know that that way usually lies Kaczynski, rather than Thoreau.

  183. Comcis Fan
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    @Poor Thompson (#167):

    Dagwood seems pretty fearless. If I had to guess, though, I’d say his biggest fear would be lack of access to luncheon meats.

  184. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#175): I can see Bonanza on TV every day if I want. More than once. Lord help me, I’ve watched it within the last year.

    Pluggers probably pay for the second tier of cable mostly so that they’ll get one station — and for them, it’s the one with Bonanza on it.

  185. True Fable
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:24 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth, the Demon Meddler of Charterstone “The problems that Ernie and I have are nothing for you to worry about.” WOW! Methinks Mary just got a pushback and down! Mary got PWNED! It was nice knowing you, Bonnie.

    Rex Morgan, FOOB Behold the new Michael Patterson. I mean come on – she didn’t have to even look for work, it was found for her; doesn’t have to fill out an application, they just snapped her right up without even checking references; now she doesn’t even have to pay booth rent. If her mother turns out to have an unflattering hair bun, bulby potato nose and a muppet mouth, I think we can all celebrate Mike’s emergence from the closet at last.

  186. Mibbitmaker
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    ……….. Funky Winkerbean…Friday, April 16, 2010 ………………………

    DAY TWO: Not only do they bring back the bag lady from the first Time Jump to give us unlikely co-inky-DINK, but now Batty’s pulling out an old Cranky storyline to co-co-inky-DINK all over!
    It’s called writing — BAD, corntrived, retconned, gee-ain’t-I-literary “””””writing””””” (only one set of quotation marks just won’t do!)! Batty thinks he’s making Great Literature here, alright — but heisn’t even making great litter! Kitty litter, maybe (Death Cat litter?).
    Mikey Patterson’s Impossible Book deal? — You’ve been topped! At the bottom….. of the barrel.

    As Mr. Horse would say: No, sir, I don’t like it!
    (/Rant. This one needed a rant.)

  187. True Fable
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    Sam Driver, Pretty People Inc. I don’t expect Sam to understand the phrase “maybe Neddy always rides on top” given his traditionally apathetic response to the world around him.

    Funky WHAT Who the hell is Chris Crankshaft? I thought Ed only had Pam for a daughter. But then I try not to get involved in that old bastard’s life. @Mibbitmaker (#186): What you said.

    The Amazing Carnyman The first place people in Miami go to find someone is the local carnival. Riiight.

    I Fucking Hate Zits Somebody hit him with a hammer.

    S4th Dream on, Ted. The Village People might need another biker, plus a pasty-faced small-handed pencil pusher.

  188. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#19): Until your post, I was not familiar with Archie McPhee. Now I know where to go for Handerpants, which I see impress you perhaps as much as I.

  189. Mibbitmaker
    April 16th, 2010 at 1:14 am [Reply]


    MT: Talking animal genitals?? NO!!!

    JP: Nyehhh, COULD be! (WB cartoon fan. Couldn’t resist)

    A3G: The 3 Gs, back together at last! ~ Anyway, let’s see what hijinx are happening with the professor and still-on-the-loose Roberta…….. What?……….. not even tomorrow? ………well………

    Look! All 3Gs!!!

  190. Walker of Dog
    April 16th, 2010 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    MW: Bonnie’s been touched by God. That explains not only the halo, but the fact that Mary couldn’t reach over and rip out her heart after her shocking impudence. Telling Mary to butt out and coming out alive – somebody’s clearly a member of the Elect of Heaven.

    Mary’s last line is priceless: “I guess that’s what love’s all about. Or so I’ve been told. How the hell would I know, anyway? Souls are for eating, not playing footsie with.”

    Phan: C’mon, Big Red Circle of Off-panel Communication, dish the celebrity dirt on Diana’s stay at that white-collar, “country club” penitentiary. Is she marking the days of her incarceration on the wall, or calculating her agent’s cut on her upcoming book deal? Is that lovely black tile marble or polished granite? And most important: Diana, that smock looks fabulous – who are you wearing?!

    S-M: Supervillains like… The Tentacled Gherkin!

    FC: “Or maybe that’s the backwash of stomach acid, bile and blood I triggered when I swallowed my butter knife. Did I mention that I also swallowed my butter knife?”

    RMMD: “And honey, it’s fine for today, but next time leave the whore-pants at home, okay?”

  191. Kanomi
    April 16th, 2010 at 1:50 am [Reply]


    Gil Thorp: Welcome to Milford, where high school sports come first. And second. And third. Non-sports related happiness comes in at a distant twenty-fifth.

    Love Is a backdoor man?

    Momma: It was long past time for fresh ideas. Let’s welcome ‘GIANT HAM-HANDED NARRATION BOX’ to the cast of Momma.

    Pluggers: That’s one angry, sweeping denunciation of technology there, Pluggers. Satan only wants to let you know your table’s ready.

    If Ziggy‘s hard drive crashed from boredom, one must suspect it is full of Ziggy comic strips.

    Zippy the Pinhead: There are many definitions of poetry, but graceless, self-indulgent rambling is not one of them.

  192. Mr. O'Malley
    April 16th, 2010 at 1:51 am [Reply]

    JP: Is that a pumpkin on the sideboard? Hallowe’en was over months ago!

    MW: There seems to be only one hamburger between the two of them. I guess Mary took it back in the second panel since Bonnie’s hands are empty and there’s nothing to put it down on.

    Pluggers: You mean those fancy flashing vibrating gadgets that they have down at the local barbeque joint, the New Orleans po’boy shack and the Indian takeaway, to avoid having to pay someone to bring my food to the table? Well, that just makes me feel like a real city slicker. I suppose in Plugger restaurants you just march into the kitchen and fill up your plate. I thought Pluggers only ate at fast food chains, but I guess that was a couple of weeks ago.

    RMMD: If we have to watch while she does 15 manicures, it’s going to slow things down a bit. Maybe we could cut over to Toots and his exciting adventures in the garage.

    SF: Sally … I think Ted would go for the black leather and chains even without the motorcycle.

  193. Danno
    April 16th, 2010 at 1:53 am [Reply]

    Alright, I’ve read this blog for a little while now but have never contributed. But I had to jump in today because of The Pluggers strip. I still don’t understand. Josh, I like your analysis just fine, but why would the phrase, “LL Cool J,” remind anybody of a ranch? Is there some sort of Western cowboy ranch naming system that us liberal yanks in the northeast are unfamiliar with? I’m just baffled, honestly. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  194. Mibbitmaker
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:07 am [Reply]

    DT: Curtains don’t work that way!

    ReFOOB: John — Go, grab your dental hygenist, and get the hell out of there!

    HotC: No, the current story in 9CL is more than enough!

    Popeye: First, she dreams of dancing for joy at her boyfriend’s funeral, then going to his sworn enemy for help on the matter? Yep, you’re really batting .1000 there, Olive!

    S4th: Ted, ever see Rose is Rose? Her biker chick persona? Yeah, I’d rethink the “awesome” thing there if I were you, Ted.

  195. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:11 am [Reply]

    Between Friends: Holy crap, I had no idea just how detestable this strip is. Unsightly mugs, abominable behavior. Today’s offering makes me hopping mad. Panel 4 makes me Yosemite-Sam-tantrum-level hopping mad. OOOOOOooo!

  196. Sheila Sternwell
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:37 am [Reply]

    A3G: “Apparently Ari — who, may I remind you, holds an advanced degree in psychiatry — has been dating Bobbie for months. I know, right?”

    DT: Dick is jolted out of his reverie when a melba toast comes crashing through the window!

    MT: The less you think about where that final thought balloon is coming from, the better.

  197. curlyfries
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:38 am [Reply]

    Funky Cancerstank: Yeah, because God knows it’s only money that keeps the homeless mentally disturbed from taking their “medicine”. Batiuk knows as much about psychosis – and psychotics – as he does about soldiers and VA policies. Or about NY cops that make mail drops while on duty – is “3rd bench from the end, Central Park” written on that envelope? Of course, it’ll contain a check…that’ll be so supereasy for a homeless person to cash because even in her delusional state she’ll want to buy and take her meds! Yeah, Tom, I know, it’s called “writing”. Maybe some day you can actually do some.

    9 Dickweed Lame Oh, honestly, after reading yesterday’s goopfest I figured it was no wonder that Germany lost the frigging war. Unfortunately, it now seems we deserved to lose it, too.

    Mary Worth of Clan McMeddle Like hell, you didn’t mean to pry, Mary. So maybe you can explain that 10 inch cat’s paw and claw hammer in your purse. Bonnie looks like she’s literally seen the light of Bobbie of A3G’s philosophy: “Men, can’t live with ‘em; can’t shoot ‘em”.

    LaxOrgan, MD Is it just me, or is this setup just too damn easy? Berna arranges this interview and Brook is hired by some salon owner who looks just like a jail matron and won’t take a cut for the “house” (for now) … all without even demonstrating a preliminary hangnail removal? I suspect someone’s being groomed for a lesbian threesome.
    P.S. You’re soaking in it.

  198. Lucky
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:43 am [Reply]

    Baby Blues – I believe the word you were looking for is narf.

    Beetle Bailey – Always wear protection!

    Fred Basset – Um, Brits, you’d better return those Crown Jewels. You don’t deserve them if you consider Fred frigging Basset a national treasure.

    Garfield – Tomorrow it won’t be funny. Then it will be funny again. Can’t say that about Garfield too often.

    Get Fuzzy – *adds ‘furry basher’ to a growing list of Bucky’s despicable traits*

    Marmaduke – Marmaduke took a huge leak in Mr Hitler’s bed.

    Pluggers – Echoing what Mr O’Malley already said, the only place I’ve seen those gadgets is in a burger joint as a means of not having to serve food to the tables. I guess places like Hesburger are too high-end and snobby for Pluggers.

  199. Master Softheart
    April 16th, 2010 at 3:06 am [Reply]

    SF: Ted just climaxed – it’s kind of tragic that Sally didn’t even notice.

    SM: Between the piling up of mind-numbing stupidity and the overlapping waves of staggering coincidence, something is bound to happen.

    Phantom: Sure, prison is awful, but Diana is rocking the Sinead O’Connor look.

    JP: Abbey… a Romulan?

    MT: Mark’s nose in panel 1 brought to you by G.B. Trudeau.

  200. Sister Sestina
    April 16th, 2010 at 4:23 am [Reply]

    @Danno (#193): Cattle get branded with distinctive owner marks that are commonly based on letters. The letters can be modified various ways; for instance a J that’s turned 90 degrees so it’s horizontal would be termed a “lazy J”. A ranch would often get called by the description of the brand. “LL Cool J” sounds like it could be a brand, ergo also a ranch name. And I’d give the Pluggers cartoon some slack — it’s not a bad play on words, really, and if they used a name that wasn’t as well known then that many more people wouldn’t have appreciated the joke.

  201. Sister Sestina
    April 16th, 2010 at 4:48 am [Reply]

    As to what a “cool” J might look like I don’t know — maybe drawn wiggly as if it were shivering? Or maybe any J that has to exist in a Montana winter could be described as “cool”.

  202. JamesMurton
    April 16th, 2010 at 5:14 am [Reply]

    @Lucky (#198):

    As a Brit, I think we’ve started to overuse the phrase ‘national treasure’. We’ve confused ‘No-one says a bad word against them because everyone loves and admires them’ with ‘No-one says a bad word against them because we completely forgot they existed, then when we remembered and decided to be snide, it all seemed too much effort and a little too obscure for the majority of people to know what we were on about, so we just got back to mocking the Royal Family and taking the route into town that avoids the dentist’. Take a wild guess which category Fred Bassett falls into (alongside Andy Capp, for that matter).

  203. Ace
    April 16th, 2010 at 5:18 am [Reply]

    I get the feeling Margo’s just stowing that piece for personal use.

    By this I of course mean that the ultimate answer to “What would Margo Do” is in fact “shoot you in the face, preferably with bullets from a gun.”

  204. castielatthedisco
    April 16th, 2010 at 6:00 am [Reply]

    I have lurked and lurked and lurked and I’m finally breaking if only to say forget about pop culture references and whether it’s plausible that someone doesn’t know who LL Cool J is; what I don’t understand is why LL Cool J is supposed to sound like a ranch in Montana. Is “NCIS” some secret cowboy code? Is there actually a ranch in Montana named Long Lonesome Cool Johnny Ranch? Is it supposed to evoke thoughts of Cool Ranch Doritos? I’ve looked through the comments and found no help. Am I missing some obvious piece of cultural information? Is it something even more obvious than who LL Cool J is? I’m left wondering if there’s some well known Montana Ranch out there that I should know about. Thanks for that, Pluggers, you’ve broken me.

  205. ms docweasel
    April 16th, 2010 at 6:47 am [Reply]

    #157 Yeah, because if you don’t like rap, you’re a racist. The women of Morehouse college must all be racists, they expound on the evil of rap regularly. Typical libtard, if you disagree with me, you must be a racist, right?

    #164 one of our bloggers plays professionally for the Tampa Bay Bucs organization. I’ll send you a link to his band’s website if you email me, I’m not going to post it here. Or, you can just apologize for calling people liars when you don’t know wtf you’re talking about. The “shiznit” line was a quote from the blog it says it’s quoted from.

    Just because someone is a comic fan shouldn’t necessarily mean they are illiterate, but I guess you’re the exception.

  206. The Grandstander
    April 16th, 2010 at 7:00 am [Reply]

    S4th: C’mon Sally…be a real biker chick..leather chaps with no pants and a rockin’ tattoo on your tit!!

  207. idathefossil
    April 16th, 2010 at 7:18 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: Pluggers believe non-whites with names other than Kaylee (sic) or Brandon should be kept behind barbed wire on ranches in the American plains and western states.

    Blondie: I can’t help but wonder at Dagwood’s cool, come hither demeanor on camera. It’s almost as if he’s used to having his every movement watched by people via a small camera attached to a computer–oh God I just threw up in my mouth. A lot.

  208. Mela
    April 16th, 2010 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    I honestly didn’t know LL Cool J was on a TV show right now, but maybe it’s because I avoid crime dramas like the plague.

    So, Friday:

    9CL: Is it too much to hope that an overzealous Nazi hunter mows them both down?

    A3G: Meanwhile, Margo stashes the gun in her room… just in case.

    Baldo: “Let’s consecrate our bond of patient and free nursing care… I mean, husband and wife.”

    BB: Unspeakable filth.

    Cleats: I get the feeling Bud will later be arrested for opening fire at a game.

    ‘Shaft: The dangers of letting jackasses watch “Hoarders”, vividly illustrated.

    Curtis: For some reason, Curtis’ maniacal glee in the third panel just made me smile. Well done, Billingsley.

    ReFOOB: For the love of God, KILL HER!

    FW: Wait, wait, wait, someone in the Crankshaft family actually did something nice?! No wonder you never see that daughter. And again, I’ll point out that schizophrenia doesn’t work that way, but that’s like shouting at the wall at this point.

    H&J: “Gathered”? Since when do you “gather” Easter candy? I’m used to this strip bending over backwards to keep even the most innocuous subjects needlessly vague, but you should at least keep your holidays straight.

    Luann: Tiffany – the last woman alive capable of not falling for that Nice Guy crap.

    MT: Nice of the deer’s penis to suggest who should be going.

    MW: “Didn’t mean to pry”. A true sign of a sociopath is when you can say a bold-faced lie and mean it.

    MG&G: If I knew who John Daly was, would this be funnier? Or would this be another “cartoonists love golf” thing?

    My Cage: Funny!

    NS: Making Danae look pleasant? Not funny.

    PBS: Funnier!

    Pluggers: Pluggers will eat at any old greasy spoon so long as they send out coupons, fearing all chain restaurants with their adherence to “hygiene” and “quality” and other elitist concepts. (Or, goddammit, again, my father’s a Plugger.)

    R&R: Someone please call child services.

    6Chix: Funnier than it should be, I think because of the kid’s face.

    Speed: … What? Is the fact he’s alive the joke?

    Argyle: Somehow both a pretty blatant “Far Side” knock-off today and soon to be a greeting card.

    Zits: Today’s guest author is Lynn “All Men Are Evil Children” Johnston.

  209. James D.
    April 16th, 2010 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    DT: Hmmm, a rock thrown through a window. Wonder if Tracy will call on Coach Kaz to solve the crime?

    MW: Mary’s quoting Michael Bolton song lyrics in the last panel. Run, don’t walk out of this strip, Bonnie!

  210. Rob
    April 16th, 2010 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    My first thought on seeing A3G was that Margo had her fingers *away from the trigger* and the gun wasn’t *casually pointed at someone,* and I felt a little happy inside.

  211. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 16th, 2010 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    OBH: OMG, talk about getting Crap Past the Radar!!!!!

    SF: Sally in Biker Rose’s outfit?!? o_O Not sure if want. . . . .

    MT: panel 2 features the rarely seen Odeerkapi in its unnatural habitat.

    HotC: if Angelina starts doing a McEldowney, I am so out of there.

    Haven’t gotten to the dead tree comics yet, so possibly more snark later. Posted prior to reading, so apologies for any oversnark.

  212. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:01 am [Reply]

    @Kanomi (#191): I quit following Love Is. . . for snarking purposes when I realized that about half of them could be re-captioned “Surprise Buttsecks” without a problem.

    @Mela (#208): re MG&G. maybe and yes, respectively. John Daly is a golfer who has been battling alcohol problems for years. Watching someone have a DTs fit on national TV during a match was particularly unpleasant thing, even more-so as it was being shown on HCN as a sports highlight.

  213. Mela
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#212): Seriously, a man having the DTs was considered a sports highlight? I honestly don’t know whether to be upset about this or consider watching more golf.

  214. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    I may have discovered the root of Baka Gaijan’s fear of clowns. (a trifle naughty)

  215. Poteet
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    LUANN — Wow, that cafeteria is incredibly uncrowded. Supposed High School must have wads of cash. Some school districts in my area would love to have that kind of funding.

    A3G — The blonde’s name is actually Lu Ann, two words. But I find it very appropriate that she’s been given a name that will almost never be written correctly. Ha ha, Lu Ann, the universe laughs at you again!

  216. anon
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    @MaryAnnTheRest (#7):

    My mom doesn’t recognize these names: The Dave Clark Five. Keanu Reeves. The Mario Brothers. Ralph Fiennes, Emma Watson, or Daniel Radcliffe. The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, The Avengers. Scarlet Johannson, Benicio Del Tores, Taylor Momsen, Heidi and Spencer, Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh. the list can, literally, go on FOREVER. She’s just out of touch with popular culture, and if they aren’t on the cover of Star magazine with a scandalous story inside – mom “just doesn’t know/care who these people are.”… That happens when you get older, the latest big noise, the newest celebrities just aren’t that important to you, because other things (cancer, deaths in the family, losing jobs) take precedence… I am not one whit surprised the Pluggers don’t know who LL Cool J is. *I* myself have heard his name, but I don’t think I would recognize his music or know who he was on a TV show that I didn’t watch. Entertainment Weekly is full of people/TV shows/music/movies I don’t recognize… No, Josh, not EVERYONE is familiar with LL Cool J. I give the Pluggers a pass this time.


    A Plugger :(

  217. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    MW: Love is all about… having a hard time living with each other? You must be quite the relationship catch, Mary!

    A3G: So is mental-health professional Dr. Aristotle Papagoras treating her, or is unethical horndog Ari Haveapillgorgeous “treating” her?

    BB: You should listen to Sarge, Beetle; after all, last week he discovered your genital warts.

    MT: Mark and Ranger Miller should be, um, there? Okay, but that deer might object.

    And isn’t poaching a crime? And when crimes are committed, don’t most people involve law enforcement? Or is the usual course of “action,” upon discovering illegal activity, to schedule a meeting and call in a nature writer?

    JP: Who mentioned Abby’s flat hair? It’s starting to bug the hell out of me, too; I want to yank her out of the strip and get her to a salon for a good wash and blow dry.

  218. One-eyed Wolfdog
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: How do Pluggers even know about those things? Somewhere, at some point, some maître d’ has commited a grave error in judgment.

    Luann: The past couple of days have been great, and if this week finishes with someone hanging Gunther up on a coat peg by his underpants, the strip will have reached its zenith.

  219. anon
    April 16th, 2010 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#175):

    It may be the 21st century, dude, but if you look at the program guide on your teevee on a weekend afternoon, “Bonanza” is, sadly, often the only thing on worth watching. 500 channels and nothing on, indeed. … Twenty years ago my mother in law called me up on a Sunday afternoon. I asked what she was doing, she said nothing, she had turned on the teevee, and said “it’s sad, but “Bonanza” is the only thing I’d consider watching , and I’m not THAT desperate yet.”

  220. Sequitur
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#192): JP: That’s not a pumpkin. It’s a giant scrotum.

    Speaking of scrotums, why did someone throw one through Dick Tracy’s window?

  221. blammers66
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    FunkWit: So if the ten-or-twenty year time shift forward happened in the Funkiverse and not the Crankisphere, does a Funky flashback today equal a Canky present tomorrow? Or, if we carry the two and divide by depression, we should get … a Lynn Johnston-eque situation where one person is a famous photographer, one person is a successful literary agent and another is an up and coming author who is soon to be published? I need to drink more …

  222. Sequitur
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#214): The other question is will Baka find other beings who are not clowns scary? Such as a Creepy-Janitor-Guy.

  223. TheDiva
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    FW: I think Funkytown is the inverse of Omelas, and Apple Annie’s improbably good fortune is the thing that makes everyone else’s perpetual misery possible.

    reFOOB: And once again the question becomes not why Lynn’s husband left, but why he stayed for so long.

    Luann: “You fool! Can’t you see the proximity of our outfits will rip a hole in the very fabric of time and space?”

    MW: Oooooh, BURN!

    Pluggers don’t eat at places that require waiting for a clean table. Or indeed, places that require clean tables at all.

  224. Sequitur
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#217): JP: If Judge Parker and Rex Morgan M.D. are companion strips than Abby can go to Brook’s salon. She could get her nails done too (if she doesn’t mind bandages on her fingers).

  225. Aviatrix
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#190): Thank you for that. I was trying to figure out whether Brook was wearing only panties and a garter belt below the waist, but thought it must be some trick of the light.

    @Danno (#193): In addition to the “Double LL” style of naming a ranch after its registered cattle brand, how about “Cool Hand Luke” (he was a gunslinger, no? With my cultural acumen he could be another rapper).

    MW: Wouldn’t it be funny if Bonnie and Ernie’s problem was completely unrelated to shopping and that Bonnie’s overconsumption in the shopping mall was as unrelated to the story as Wilbur’s overconsumption of sandwiches?

    MT: We have a talking deer udder. Thank you Elrod. I think that’s a first.

  226. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#225): Cool Hand Luke was in for taking the heads off of parking meters.

  227. Comcis Fan
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    S4th/Edge City: It must be visions-of-middle-age-suburban-working-moms-in-black-leather week at the funnies.

    Cathy: Ah, yes, the Dance of the Six-Armed Accountant.

    BB: The closeted Sarge is angry and mortified that Beetle wasn’t more discreet about the hickey. If it isn’t about this, what is this episode about? There’s no lazy-Beetle setup, after all, or, after 60 years, are we just to assume Beetle was loafing and that Sarge’s drubbing requires no explanation? This strip gets more warped by the week.

    FW: Just letting you know she’s “the well-known photographer,” in case you didn’t know about her.

    RMMD: Next, “I was once in your shoes,” followed by mother-figure bonding, personal growth, hugs. (Maybe some shame from June, for not taking the Mrs. Roberts role herself?)

    Love me some vintage “Peanuts.”

  228. Hank
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    RE: Pluggers-LL Cool J. Ironically, as others have touched upon, LL is currently starring in the CBS drama “NCIS: Los Angeles,” which is quite possibly (given the network and the premise) the most “Pluggeriffic” show currently on the air. So if there is a rapper that a Plugger has heard of, it’s him. If anything, the caption should have been “You’re a Plugger if you think LL Cool J was an unknown before he got a cop show.”

  229. steve
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    I’m quite sure that “Pluggers” would recogonize LL Cool J, what with his profile on Sarah Palin’s television show and his speech at the RNC in 2008.

  230. Comcis Fan
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    MW: Bonnie is brilliant in her Miss Manners-perfect statement that her marital problems “are nothing for you to worry about.” Mary must be mentally snapping all the plastic forks in Maisie’s. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry.” Does Mary have a PR background? Meanwhile, in panel 2, Bonnie reveals herself to be Roma Downey. “God luvs ya, Mary, and He wants me to tell ya ya down’t have to be a miserable meddler, because he loves ya.”

  231. Amateur
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    It’s unfortunate that the “Pluggers” joke seems to have brought out a bit of the ugly “not liberal or up-to-date on pop culture = automatically racist” meme. Especially since we’ve been asked to keep things apolitical around here — and especially since Josh never said any such thing in the original post. Thank you for that, Josh.

  232. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    9CL – How much longer do they keep talking about each other as if they weren’t there? “I wish I could tell him right now to keep doing that thing with his hand… yeah, that’s the one. He’s doing great! He should keep doing it while I fold the music rack down!”

    A3G – Nothing surprises Margo any more. “Apparently, monkeys are now flying out of my butt. Tommie! …monkey me!”

    Baby – Since they’re dumbing down Scrabble, any word you can think of is probably the name of somebody in show biz. Cool way to get rid of, say, three Ls and a J, eh? I suppose the final arbiter will now be Google or Wikipedia.

    Fred – He’s not one to blow his own trumpet? I thought that was the biggest advantage to being a dog.

  233. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    Smirky – “Then, in my spare time, I murdered this guy named John Darling. Nobody knew it was me. I’m kind of proud of that.”

    Hägar – Say, I’ve heard of [eating in bed], but this is RIDICULOUS!

    “My boyfriend’s back pains are just imagination
    (Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend’s back)
    So I’m not worried about the situation
    (Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend’s back)”

    Mark – I think, for variety, the omniscient camera should pull back even farther, so we might see a peccary, tapir, or yak feeding happily while the speech balloon comes in over the distant horizon, or perhaps straight through the earth.

  234. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    Rx – Well. For a prison matron, Mary Worth’s sister seems like a nice person.

    R=R – Anybody have a pruner? I just thought of a clever variation of “Whack a Mole.”

    Spidey – I’ll bet Sabretooth was a real hoot on the bus ride down from New York. “I am riding on a bus! I will go to Florida! I see an orange tree! I’m sitting down next to you now, because the last guy just mumbled something and ran off the bus!”

    Momma is timeless and eternal, existing in all ages. She’s really a misshapen Venus of Willendorf, with no head, just exaggerated secondary… oolp… characteristics and protruding… gok… belly, which… ghag… gotta run.

  235. Sequitur
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#232): “Monkey Me?” Isn’t that Dr. Evil’s pet monkey?

  236. Calico
    April 16th, 2010 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    @Judo Throw Toy (#170):
    I cringe to think of what 3G would be without Margo.
    I get the feeling that watching corn grow would be more interesting. Or watching the NYC Xmas yule log video, over and over.

  237. mustang
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:05 am [Reply]

    Who the hell is Chris Crankshaft?

  238. Artist formerly known as Ben
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:13 am [Reply]


    A3G: Come on, Shulock. Throw us a bone here. At least Margo repeatedly slamming Ari’s head into a wall.

    MT: The deer’s vagina has spoken!

    MC: Ashley is a little mistaken here. A serial killer is a subtype of mass murderer. When she says “mass murderer” I think she means “spree killer”, and they have their own union and everything. Still funny, though.

    SFx: The caveman has the same consistency of hair all over his head and body, which is a little creepy. Kate Crawford does a nice Laura Dern, though.

    S-M: Just go on your idiotic quest and leave the fourth wall alone, Sabretooth.

    RMMD: Hey, could this hair salon possibly be a front for a brothel? No, we’re probably not that lucky.

    OBH: Buggy done R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

    BB: It’s a little worrying that Sarge doesn’t even recognize his own hickeys. Rash indeed.

    DtM: Dennis doesn’t realize that Henry doesn’t intend for it to be a round trip. Not for Dennis, anyway.

    Luann: Looks like Gunther is drinking prune juice at lunch. I wouldn’t want to sit next to that either.

    Garfield: As we knew, Garfield has fingers. As we didn’t know, Jon has nipples, albeit tiny ones.

    S4th: Don’t be so sure of its awesomeness, Ted. You ever read Rose is Rose?

    Shoe: Umbilical cord? Further proof that the creators of Shoe have never seen a bird and don’t believe they ever existed.

  239. aloha_breeze
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    @Danno (#193): Maybe because ‘L L *Cool J’ kinda sorta looks like ‘J J J’, a Montana Ranch?

    *Since Pluggers have never been “cool,” I am assuming they would glaze over that word.

  240. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Is it just my eyes or is June’s niece wearing an outfit of black panties covered by fishnet leggings with a swatch of black leather at the upper calf? Isn’t this more appropriate for church?

  241. commodorejohn
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    A3G – “This is what comes of not keeping everyone you know under constant surveillance, Luann. Come here, I need to punch an RFID tag into your ear.”

    Crankshaft – …I’m sorry, was that supposed to be funny? Because no. There are perfectly good non-asshole ways to make a request like this, but that was not one of them.

    DT – Normally this would be a rock thrown by some damn cop-hating hippie subversive, but the attention given to the star-filled sky in panel two leads me to believe that it is in fact a meteorite. The question is, is it one of those meteorites imbued with mysterious powers? What superpowers would Dick need to be gifted with, considering that he’s already pretty much invulnerable and every one of his adversaries ends up dead by the end of the storyline?

    Dilbert – Thank you, Asok. That was refreshing. (Though, admittedly, critique of patently ridiculous things like homeopathy is a little harder to swallow in a strip featuring a psychic Indian engineer and occasional guest appearances by Satan Phil.)

    FW – So…has Crankshaft’s other daughter ever appeared in either strip before, or was this just another thing Batiuk pulled out of his ass?

    GT – Man, could panel one be emphasizing Cassie’s isolation and rejection any more? This is the kind of thing supervillain origin stories are made out of. Say it with me, girl: “I’ll show them! I’ll show them all!

    HOTC – You can talk about courtesans in the funny pages? I can think of quite a few strips that could benefit from this knowledge.

    JP – Sam, it’s not that difficult to figure out what “my back hurts, I need to lay down” means. Don’t you and Abbey have your own couple code-words? …oh, right. Never mind.

    Lockhorns – “House shoes?” Huh?

    Love Is… – vile filth.

    MT – Mark gets advice from a doe’s thigh. Nobody is surprised.

    MW – Has there ever been a more hilariously blatant lie than Mary Worth saying “I didn’t mean to pry?”

    OBH – I love this strip.

    Phantom – Say, Phantom, you better not go promising a Diana Walker prison-break if you’re not going to deliver. We will hold you to this. (Seriously, there’s just not enough stories out there where the hero arrives at the villain’s fortress just in time to meet the heroine walking victorious out the front gate.)

    Pluggers – “Pluggers don’t need one of those fancy, flashing, vibrating gadgets…” I’m not touching this one.

    Popeye – I have to admit, I like the notion of Popeye’s mortal enemy living within rowing distance and running a business out of her home.

    SF – Ted’s right. That would be awesome.

    SM – This is either going to be completely retarded, or completely awesome. Of course, this being Spider-Man, I know what my money’s on.

    WoI – Why someday? Now would be fine.

  242. Nekrotzar
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    “Why aren’t there any cowboys?”

    And while we’re on that topic, what’s with all the Indians these days? Why do none of them wear feathers and carry tomahawks? And their skin tone is darker than in the John Wayne movies. And that the hell part of a buffalo is a ‘paneer’?

  243. jdinan8271
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Here’s an article on Chris Crankshaft becoming a “recurring” character in the strip nearly two decades ago…,142573

  244. Calico
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    I wonder if Pluggers know about “Blazing Saddles.”

    : D

  245. mustang
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    @jdinan8271 (#243): So, is Batiuk so distracted by the chat black, or whatever it’s called, that he can’t remember which strip he’s working on?

  246. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @jdinan8271 (#243): Great find; also by all means scroll down from the Crankshaft item to the Alex Thien column just below. It’s comedy gold I tell ya. Miss that kind of stuff in the papers these days.

  247. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @Uncle Ritzy Fritz (#246): I also read the Alex Thien column. Gold. You don’t find writing like that except in Thrifty Shoppers and bad truck stop porn novellas.

  248. Sequitur
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    @jdinan8271 (#243):
    @Uncle Ritzy Fritz (#246):
    I liked picture article about the couple that ran half the Los Angeles marathon, got married then finished the race together as man and wife.

  249. gnome de blog
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#217), @Sequitur (#224):
    If Brook’s salon is so low-rent that June hadn’t ever set foot in the place I can’t imagine Abbey would even drive down the street. Too bad. There ought to be a way to engineer a Brook/Jules/Neddy/Toots four-way.

    @Aviatrix (#225) said:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Bonnie and Ernie’s problem was completely unrelated to shopping and that Bonnie’s overconsumption in the shopping mall was as unrelated to the story as Wilbur’s overconsumption of sandwiches?

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the whole story was about Mary’s compulsive need to meddle, and eventually Bonnie gets so tired of her prying that she and Ernie flee to Enid, Oklahoma and we never find out what this “problem” is?

    I still think Karen Moy is messing with us.

  250. vanya
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    @Amateur (#231): What’s political about pointing out that the Pluggers joke is racist? When the joke boils down to “Ya sure can’t expect down home Americans to recognize those goofy negro names”, that’s basically racist. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly virulent or evil form of racism, but still.

  251. MaryAnnTheRest
    April 16th, 2010 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    @anon (#216):

    Uh, I’m sorry you were offended by me expressing appreciation for the article Josh wrote?

    Look, nobody’s forgetting names faster than I am. I call everyone on TV “Oh, that guy I’ve seen before” and I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m calling my kids “you there.” So no offense was meant to your mother for her pop culture recall, and I have no idea how much TV she watches in comparison to Plugger Bear. I still think the joke makes no sense and doesn’t hold up to even casual logic. I’m sorry if anyone read any politics into that.

  252. Amateur
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    @vanya (#250): I don’t mean to get all deep and profound about a “Pluggers” joke. :-) But as Josh seemed to interpret it, and I did as well, the whole thing was about not being up to speed on pop culture. It was a “goofy names” thing, not a “goofy negro names” thing, as you put it. It was only certain commenters who started introducing the racial element, and then the “conservatives=racist” element. (Note that Josh used the examples of Joan Baez, a white woman, and Rascal Flatts, a bunch of white guys, in coming up with equivalents. This makes no sense if the joke is meant to be race-related.)

    I’m only asking that we all try to be as classy as our host.

  253. Amateur
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    (Or technically, a half-Hispanic half-Scottish woman. Sorry about that. But the point still stands.)

  254. They had faces then, so I smacked them...
    April 16th, 2010 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    I said it! Lu Ann’s gonna end up getting shot in A3G…she just HAS TOO! She knows too much!

  255. Sister Sestina
    April 16th, 2010 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    @vanya (#250): There’s a legitimate play-on-words as to why LL Cool J might sound like the name of the ranch, since a lot of ranch names are description of cattle branding marks which use letters and adjectives like “lazy” or “rocking”. Just like “Eminem” could be a candy and “Vanilla Ice” a popsicle in the minds of a Plugger who naturally tend to reference food…

  256. Aviatrix
    April 16th, 2010 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (Y226): Really? You could get a MW storyline worth of bee-grinding out of assuring me that familiar names are attached to increasingly bizarre people and I might never twig.

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#238): I suppose it could be the deer’s vagina speaking, just throwing its voice around the front to the udder. It’s as likely as anything else in Mark Trail.

  257. Aviatrix
    April 16th, 2010 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#249): Wouldn’t it be funny if the whole story was about Mary’s compulsive need to meddle, and eventually Bonnie gets so tired of her prying that she and Ernie flee to Enid, Oklahoma.

    Yes! I will hope for that.

  258. July Jonez
    April 16th, 2010 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    I like to imagine that Margo is going to go toss the gun into her bureau. She’ll open a drawer to reveal the now forgotten implements of Bobbie’s prior attempts to “get the rat”–various pistols, knives, sticks of dynamite, a few coconut cream pies, and one of those extendo boxing gloves.

  259. anon
    April 16th, 2010 at 8:07 pm [Reply]

    @Sister Sestina (#255):

    Loooooong ago, only once, I actually bought and ate a white vanilla popsicle. I’ve never seen another since and wonder if I actually imagined it…but I DID SO have one!

  260. anon
    April 16th, 2010 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    @MaryAnnTheRest (#251):

    Aw, I’m not offended! I just hooked on to your comment to get into the conversation. I do see your point, though, the joke doesn’t make sense. But it’s Pluggers! Most of the jokes in Pluggers are really stretching the limits of “funny”. here we all are arguing over LL Cool Jay and Pluggers!

  261. Parmalat Loire
    April 17th, 2010 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    The April 17/2010 Luann is about Tiffany having either a vibrator or an inflatable doll as a lover. And not in a subtle way. An amazing leap of sexual openness from the strip that won’t let Toni and Brad think about chaste kissing without implying heavy sin.

  262. Sylocat
    April 17th, 2010 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    There are two possible explanations for this Pluggers strip:

    1. Pluggers are so old that they have been self-righteously shunning modern culture for over a quarter of a century.

    2. Pluggers are so desperate to avoid watching shows with “ethnically-challenged” people that they put on this melodramatic show of “never even HEARD of this guy” whenever one comes on.

    Either way, I think this strip is the most ageist work of fiction ever to sully the comics page.

  263. Lolsworth
    April 17th, 2010 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    A better question would surely be “Margo! What are you doing without a gun?” asked at all other times. Or not, because it will almost certainly turn out that she does have a gun, strapped to her thigh, which she will then use to shoot you in the kneecap.

  264. mdhughes
    April 17th, 2010 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    Despite being a former DJ and following new metal, industrial, and pop music, I have never heard of “Rascal Flatts”. If you don’t live in hicksville, you won’t hear country music on any non-country radio station, and they don’t promote country music in cities. I presume the same is true for hip-hop in rural areas; pluggers who’ve spent their lives in backwoods Oregon (and who are, let’s face it, not the most racially diverse or tolerant group) probably have never heard of LL Cool J.

  265. black dracula
    April 19th, 2010 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#9): That’s the first thing I thought: “Oh, ok, so now Margo has a gun. super.”

  266. Personal Mobility Scooter
    April 23rd, 2010 at 3:42 am [Reply]

    This material stands apart from everything else I’ve read on the subject. The treatment will benefit anyone trying understand the topic whether they are new to it or have been around it for years. Personal Mobility Scooter

  267. Scott
    April 23rd, 2010 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    Are you sure you’re not confusing LL Cool J (featured on “NCIS: Los Angles”) with Ice-T (on “Law & Order: SVU”)?

  268. Dave Taube
    April 26th, 2010 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    Hi there. I’m Dave Taube from Eugene, OR, and I’m the guy who sent in the caption for the LL Cool J Pluggers cartoon. I hadn’t seen the cartoon, so I googled Pluggers and my name and found this website. Just to clear the air, all I sent in was the caption, “Pluggers think that LL Cool J is a ranch in Montana.” I didn’t send in a drawing of Pluggers watching T.V. or make any suggestion as to the context of my quote. I’m surprised that some of you found a racist twist to the caption. This certainly wasn’t intended. My whole point is that Pluggers are so out of touch with modern culture that they have no idea who LL Cool J is. Pretty simple. They also have no idea who Slash is and they think that “The Boss” is their wife. Come to think of it, that’s a great idea and I think I’m going to send that one in.

    Sister Sestina (#255) hit the nail on the head when she noted that the caption is a legitimate play on words since LL Cool J sort of sounds like the name of a ranch.

    Arik (#88), sorry but you lost your bet. I’m not a 15-25 year old from New York City pretending to be a 50 year old from Eugene. I’m a 54 year old from Eugene. How much did we bet?

  269. Capers
    April 28th, 2010 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    I laughed really hard, but then I remembered I really do have an Orwellian spy cam pointed at my desk. Bummer! Better stop reading this at work, actually.

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