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Soon: The dirt ménage à trois

For Better Or For Worse, 6/14/06

Oh, c’mon, Jim, forget this “dividing your ashes” stuff: why not just dig up Marian, bring her back to Ontario, get a place with Iris, and then: yowza! Posthumous three-way!

OK, that was in poor taste. But I had to do something to distract myself from Iris’ grim, death-like visage in the final panel. I mean, Jesus, it looks like she’s ready to drag him off to the underworld right now.

Family Circus, 6/14/06

Ignoring the weird jingoism of this panel for the moment, I have to ask: what the hell are these two watching? Is it the Pictures Of Rocks Against A Blank Background With A Little Folded Index Card For A Label Channel? The ticker across the top of the screen would seem to indicate that they’re watching a cable news station of some sort, but surely there’s an attractive white woman missing somewhere that could preempt this crap.

Anyway, Billy, you just wait until Operation Martian Freedom is launched sometime in late 2007. Then you could can buy your space rocks without adding to America’s trading deficit, because we’ll own Mars’ shiny red space ass.

Shoe, 6/14/06

Holy crap, did the crazy roller-skating bird from Shoe just get propositioned? I’m so stunned by this development that I can’t even work up the energy to feel sorry for him because he screwed it up.

Get Fuzzy, 6/14/06

See, this is why we all love Satchel. Because when he wants you to be appear on a game show that he invents, he hand-delivers a formal invitation. In a sealed envelope.

I’m intrigued by Rob’s claim to be a “grown-up.” I’m not convinced, based on the evidence I’ve seen.

They’ll Do It Every Time, 6/14/06

TDIET takes time out from its usual fare — which is to say the insane, petty rantings of octogenarians — to illuminate the deep structural problems in America’s health care system. This is material so politically charged that usually only Rex Morgan dares to handle it, but TDIET discusses the crisis in its own trademark fashion: by ending with “Oh, yeah!”

110 responses to “Soon: The dirt ménage à trois”

    June 15th, 2006 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    Confound you flabby pencil-pushers on the top floor! Grab a scalpel and get down here in the trenches with the real heroes!

    The FC tv set is vaguely enough drawn that I first read it as some kind of a vitrine, as in a museum somewhere. But the implausibilities quickly piled up: are the Mars rocks on public display already? And since when were ottomans placed in front of museum exhibits? It must be a TV . . . I guess.

  2. Mike P
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:42 am [Reply]

    If “They’ll Do It Everytime” ends one more strip in “Oh, yeah!” I think that’s proof that either the Kool-Aid Man or Randy Savage does the strip. Or, perhaps, both. Which would mean that lots of Slim Jims and Kool-Aid are served at the TDIET offices.

  3. Analyzer
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:57 am [Reply]

    FC: I don’t know how old Billy is supposed to be, but however old he is, kids his age simply do not ever speak the phrase “buy American.”

    TDIET: Chicka chickahhhh!

  4. Talia
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:15 am [Reply]

    I’m starting to think FBOFW is setting up to kill off the entire older generation so that Mike and/or Liz can inherit the house.

  5. The Mighty Sam
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    Dammit, now my personal mythology of “Shoe”=”Boogie Nights” is ruined. Rollergirl would not have turned down the secks.

  6. Len
    June 15th, 2006 at 3:41 am [Reply]

    When the Bard sends two pairs of young lovers and a troop of Faeries into the wood, it strains our credulity that they’ll all run across each other, but at least they’re all OUTDOORS. In Pibgorn, the lovers convene in “the Wood” (apparently a nightclub with a hotel above it), and Helena just HAPPENS to lean against the door to the room that Lysander and Hermia checked into, and it just happens that the door isn’t locked, so she falls in?

    About as likely as Father Durley overhearing Edda talking about him while leaning against a tree in the wood… I mean, in Central Park. Too many co-winky-dinks, McEldowney!

  7. Len
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:05 am [Reply]

    Hey! A Mark Trail where all three panels look like they were done by the same artist! Mark’s boss has really weird-looking hair. And doesn’t it sound like Mark’s assignment is going to be to investigate illegal poaching of endangered Bengal tigers, whose genital organs are being used by evil Chinese herbalists as aphrodesiacs?

  8. Mumblix Grumph
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:27 am [Reply]

    Ellie is offering to haul her dad’s ashes!


  9. tefflan
    June 15th, 2006 at 5:26 am [Reply]

    There’s nothing more annoying than having to deal with oldsters. They just hang on, and hang on, and hang on. Then, they either get some kind of disease that sucks the inheritance down the drain before they die anyway, or they leave everything to the “Garfield Home for Abandoned Cats,” at which point you find out you’ve inherited nothing. This, after years of “old person odor,” skanky Depends undergarment disposals, and morning after morning of insisting on tomato juice instead of orange juice with their BREAKFAST, which no one else in the house insists on having every day except them.
    No wonder everyone in FBOFW looks like they just underwent a mortar attack on the Ho Chi Mihn trail.

  10. Hank Kimble
    June 15th, 2006 at 5:26 am [Reply]

    (DT)GT–Really, (DT)GT.

  11. The Paradox
    June 15th, 2006 at 6:17 am [Reply]

    “…yowza! Posthumous three-way!”

    Yowza? Josh, I think the porn music Boww chicka bow bow would be more appropriate here.

    Just sayin’…

  12. Lacey
    June 15th, 2006 at 6:20 am [Reply]

    What’s been making me giggle for the last two days while reading “Get Fuzzy”, is the name of Sachel’s game show. “Ding-a-ling, I knows it”? Priceless.

  13. art
    June 15th, 2006 at 6:42 am [Reply]

    Gee – you think that Robs claims to be a grown-up aren’t supported???
    Could it be because of the panel that directly follows? The one where Satchel uses the childish trick of saying “Bucky said you were too scared…” and Rob responds exactly as predicted, with “oh he did, did he?…Well its on..” etc.
    Anyway, “Get Fuzzy” works with a kind of weird premise, you have to get over the animals that are sort of intelligent, even able to write, dress-up, etc. fantasy…
    And there is an unpredictable quality to each of the three characters – they can be smarter, or dumber (like – one is a dog and the other is a cat) depending on the instance. And each one knows how to get the other one to “go there”, when they are in the mood.

  14. art
    June 15th, 2006 at 6:45 am [Reply]

    oh yeah – as for FBOFW: If they were so in love, why is Marion buried in Vancouver to begin with? And doesnt Jim get the Veterans cemetary if he wants? He’s always going on about that, its not like he ever talks about a job he had or something else.

  15. Editrix
    June 15th, 2006 at 6:48 am [Reply]

    I sort of thought that the thin yellow line on the FC’s TV was supposed to be police tape — though why the Martian rocks are some sort of crime scene evidence, I haven’t a clue.

  16. DrBear
    June 15th, 2006 at 7:01 am [Reply]

    Do we even HAVE rocks from Mars? Or is Bil just reusing a “moon rocks” joke from 1969?

  17. tefflan
    June 15th, 2006 at 7:08 am [Reply]

    Maybe FBOFW could explore the issue of spontaneous human combustion. You know, one day the kids walk into the living room and they find a burned out chair and grandpa’s bedroom scuffs that you get to keep after you are Baker Acted and his glasses. They send half the chair to Vancouver, and the other half to the Chapel Hill. Then all they would have to deal with is grandpa’s second wife, who would no doubt inherit everything and divert the inheritance to HER kids. I wonder if the county coroner would believe TWO cases of spontaneous human combustion in the same house?

  18. Brian Schlosser
    June 15th, 2006 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    When I saw that Family Circus, I thought that they were watching the Home Shopping Channel, and those loud mouth sports card / coin collector guys were screaming about collectible Mars rocks…

  19. TheMagicMel
    June 15th, 2006 at 7:35 am [Reply]

    9CL: As annoying as the father behind the tree schtick is, you have to admit some of the angles in today’s strip are interesting.

    Somewhat off topic: This weekend, my 8 year old nephew was visiting, and Sunday we sat and read the comics together. He was most excited to see Family Circus & Garfield…and he liked just looking at Prince Valient because there were swords. He thereby answered MY question of why in the WORLD some strips still exist. I refuse to read FC, but I suppose I’ll venture back into the realm of the world’s favorite fat cat because of him.

  20. Dan
    June 15th, 2006 at 7:39 am [Reply]

    And speaking of Garfield…… Tiddy Boom?

    W t eff?

  21. Matt McIrvin
    June 15th, 2006 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    Since no sample-return missions to Mars have yet occurred, we can conclude that either this Family Circus takes place in the future, or the rocks from Mars are in fact meteorites identified to be of Martian origin (there are a fair number of these).

    If it’s the first option, then we have to decide whether the rocks have been brought back to Earth, or an astronaut or ingeniously designed robot has carried a glass display case to Mars.

  22. Badly_Computer_Animated_Boy
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:01 am [Reply]

    I don’t claim to know the entire history of newspaper comic strips, but I thought their original purpose was to provide a little levity for readers who might otherwise be overwhelmed by the gloom and foreboding on the rest of the pages. Then, later some cartoonists used their forums to opine on important societal issues that were not getting the attention they deserved. I get that. What I don’t get is what exactly is FBOFW doing?

  23. OnandonAnon
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    TDIET: The “business office” seems to be one from the 1930s, or even earlier. No computers, no telephones, no adding machines even. Just filing cabinets, books and stacks of paper on desks. Which suggests that the cartoonist has never been in a “business office.”
    While I think of it, isn’t “business office” a tautology?

  24. luluchappel
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    B.C. from yesterday (6/14)–Not only does Hart want to revise the history of the world, he’s now taking on U.S. history, by perpetuating the myth of Betsy Ross making the first flag. Good going, Johnny!!
    #14–Art, Elly’s parents lived in Vancouver, and her mother died and was buried there. After Marion died the decision was made to move Jim (grampaw) closer to Elly and family.

  25. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:28 am [Reply]

    MT: I think Buddy Holly is setting Mark up to partake in this new, lucrative field of poaching exotic animals. He’s got the resume for it, having flown in on a giant hawk. Stopping them takes military background, which he simply doesn’t have, and fists-o-justice are a poor defense against poachers with guns. If ya can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Pulling in a few extra bucks might help the magazine’s flagging profits.

    FC: Thel gave Dolly a broken watch. Hilarious!

    Balllard Street: Incomprehensible as always. I thought for a minute that Martin was pulling multiple boogers out of his nose, but I think it’s supposed to be a flower. See, boogers would be funny.

    Dinette Set: Again, not at all funny in the least, and I don’t understand how there are all these lists in the background that are written in such a way where all the words are visible, working their way around the head of one of the characters. That’s just piss-poor artistry. Plus, we have the added bonus of the label on the box “Electric DVD Player” – instead of those new-fangled nuclear powered options they have these days, eh?

    DT: Those freakin’ cars are still crashed and on fire? How many times are we going to see that panel? How long (in DT time) has it been since the crash? BO and Gertie and transvestite have walked completely out of town and into the suburbs, so it must have been several hours.

    GF: Who is Rob looking at in panel 3? Can heads actually twist that far around?

    Mallard: Does this mean that if you let a kid watch a lot of TV, that they will grow up watching a lot of TV? Wow, Tinsley, I didn’t know that. I don’t know if I can give credit to you for resisting a divisive political (but also quite unfunny) strip. Here’s to diminished expectations!

    Pluggers: She didn’t wait for the beep, dammit!

    Quigmans: I’m just curious, how DID they get Humpty Dumpty back together again.

    RMMD: Skanky Irrelevant is holding some secret over Troy. Yet he knows that she is guilty of murder. I think that’s a good defense against blackmailing, turning the tables on her. My bet is that is how this drawn out story will end. I guess that’s the problem with Rex and some other strips, but especially Rex. The lead up is so tedious and plodding, then the end is tightly wrapped up in a neat little ball in some sudden scenario where the cops come and the bad guy/girl is never heard from again. I mean, think about how long it took for us to get here. Weeks of Troy asking Rex to come golfing. Then Rex at the driving range. Then came the golf game that lasted a month. You know Skanketta is headed for the clink and June will rush in and say that little Saraugh’s tests will show no JRA. To us readers, it will be all in the same week, the same amount of time Rex spent looking for his golf clubs.

    After such a long sermon, I just couldn’t let it go without TDIET. How the does commercial for Blisto Oil make the coffee explode?

  26. Sean-o
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    TDIET – why is the “business office” blue? Lack of lighting? A gas attack? A miasma of depression? Weird…

    FOOB – What the hell is with the creepy eyes? They appear to have cooked up an’ consumed a bad batch of crystal meth…

    FC – I thought for awhile this was a diorama. Also, sad that NASA budget cuts apparently force the use of paper labels for the “Mars” rocks.

  27. BigJoe
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Crock: Two days in a row this one is comment worthy. Okay, he has some kind of teleporter on his back. What does he call it? “A space machine.” Wow, what a highly imaginative and descriptive name for it. Oh, wait, actually the name makes 100% no sense.

    And you thought FC was out of touch.

  28. David V. Matthews
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    Re. #7: ALL THREE PANELS of today’s Mark Trail look recycled. No primitive, timorous art from Jack Elrod or his assistants.

    I hope this new storyline ends with Mark yelling “SURPRISE!” and kicking butt.

  29. David V. Matthews
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:54 am [Reply]

    Re. #27: I like the sound effect PRESS in today’s Crock. Other great comics sound effects:

    TYPE TYPE TYPE in Peanuts (though TICKETA TAP TAP, etc., in For Better or for Worse does has its charm)

    BARGE! in one of Peter Bagge’s mags (either NEAT STUFF or HATE)

    SET, BRUSH, UNDO, etc., in various Chris Ware comics

  30. Seaweed
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    1 & 2: I have only encountered TDIET on this site, and, perhaps because I live on the east coast, I cannot think of any verbal inflection for “oh, yeah!” that would make sense in this context if said by a human. So I just imagine the Kool Aid guy. Can’t you see it? Crashing through the wall of the blue-mired business office?

    Does anyone know anyone who talks like the narrator in TDIET?

  31. BigJoe
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    Preteena: Ah yes, a typical 8th grade class schedule. English, Social Studies, Math, Science, French, Reading. Wait, what? She’s taking a class in Reading?

  32. Jives
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    foob: Death is a great way to solidify a flaky plot. With mountie guy in Mishimiguna land, some band playing some kind of music, some moustachioed eunuch weeping in a gas station … things were falling apart. Readers began to wake up. Lynn had to throw some shiny, universal plattitudes about mortality into the mix so elderly people could clip the strip, put it on their fridge and remind themselves why they read it every day. I bet the next couple days will be all “Well I’m glad we’re alive together now,” “Me too, thinking about being buried makes you glad not to be burried,” kinda thing. Enough. We get it, you’re chicken soup for the canuck soul, Lynn.

  33. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    #26 – Sean, yeah, the way Johnson draws people with glasses looks as if they’re in a hypnotic trance. Grandma’s stare directly at the reader kept me mesmerized for like three hours. I vaz getting verrry sleeeepy….

  34. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    Mary Worthless: “You invite me over for dinner and all you’ve got is yard clippings? I went and made you two tubbies roast duck and low fat versions of potatoes au gratin topped off with pecan pie, for God’s sake! What have you got for dessert, seaweed?”

  35. LTC
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Shoe is a shameless ripoff of the Naked Gun.

    Priscilla Presley: Would you like to come in for a nightcap?

    Leslie Nielsen: No thanks, I don’t wear them.

  36. MotoMike
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    Re: Get Fuzzy – today has a truly beautiful quote: “… you’re about to get your @#$ kicked in the form of a question!”

    And today’s Mallard Fillmore – Holy Jumpin’ Jehosaphat, is Tinsley dispensing parenting advice? Does he really really want to go there? Speaking as a parent myself who thinks it’s the most difficult things I’ve ever done (and my kids are excellent), the last thing I would ever, ever do, in a context like that, is give parenting tips or comments.
    At least he could’ve consulted an authority that would have some solid experience, ideas, and temperament for the job. Say, Ann Coulter?
    To end on a lighter note, Dilbert yesterday – Dilbert’s destination: “Fecalruba”. Say no more.

  37. Tom
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    Here’s the thing: I am not at all convinced that hospitals with too few nurses on duty will pack thier business offices eighteen to a room every time. And if, in fact, they’ll not do it every time, well, I mean to say, what’s left?

    MT: Do you suppose Mark read those articles on the Internet?

  38. Pelagius
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    Do we even HAVE rocks from Mars? Or is Bil just reusing a “moon rocks” joke from 1969?

    “Rocks from the moon? I bet I could brain a filthy hippie with one.”

  39. AirForbes
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Don’t sweat it Josh, this whole Elly-plans-to-bury-her-family series has been in poor taste.

  40. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    I think I know why the business office in TDIET is overstaffed. None of the desks have computers or phones. See, phones are this invention where you are able to talk to someone without them all being in the same room. Computers do things like add up columns of numbers so you don’t have to count on your fingers. I found that and some other pretty amazing stuff “on the internet”. Yeah, it’s out there if you’re not such a plugger that you can’t accept new technology (like answering machines).

  41. James Schend
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    Holy crap. I thought the antique vacuum-tube radio in TDIET was terrible, but look at the hospital! Not only does it predate transistors, it predates *typewriters!* Honestly, I’m amazed the filing cabinet isn’t made out of whalebone or some crap.

  42. Captain Wrong
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    #2 – Could be Duff Man as well. Reading TDIET in Duff Man’s voice makes it much funnier.

    Hmm…that seems to work for 99% of written things though.

  43. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    TDIET: Nurses haven’t worn those funny hats in 40 years. I also like the way the office men are wearing ties and vests. What’s that on the desk? A quill pen and an inkwell?

  44. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    TDIET: I notice that the object thought to be an inkwell was in fact a coffee cup. However, upon even deeper unnecessary review, I notice the complete absence of writing implements of any kind, pens, pencils, crayons or typewriters (#41 – thanks, James). Even deeper analysis shows the majority of these people are sleeping. All of this indicates to me a rather bloated payroll that can be replaced by a laptop. So, the complaint in TDIET is accurate. OH YEAH!!

  45. Proteus
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    Oh no! I just got it and, folks, you better be sitting down. Because I think this current Foob arc is meant to set up Lynn’s next strip. Look at everyone’s eyes in today’s strip. Then think about the final line that comes after “… for better or worse.” That’s right. Next up: Till Death Do Us Part (TDDUP), a heartwarming and illuminating mélange of traditional zombie family values and the complex, dilemmas of real death in the modern world. These are zombies you can relate to as they grow old, dealing with decay, disinterment and disrespect. Watch as each new generation joins the family ranks! Cheer as each Foob flatlines and becomes a Teedup! Even the pets will join them in their unholy afterlife!

    Of course, first we may have to live through In Sickness and Health, To Love and To Cherish, and For Richer or Poorer. But judging from those zombie stares, we’re going straight to the dark side here.

  46. BassoGap
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:28 am [Reply]

    No, Hogenmogen (#34), what they have is sharp knives at the ready and a copy of the book “To Serve Man”. After dinner entertainment is a double-bill of “Eating Raoul” and “Soylent Green”.

    GF – Having been on the receiving end of Alex Trebek’s answers, I think the “about to get your @$$ kicked in the form of a question” from Bucky is one of the world’s great taunts.

    Foob – Oh, for the love of MacKenzie King…just die, Canucks, DIE!!!

    Frazz – Yikes…maybe I’ll use that trip as a threat when my kids complain they have nothing to do this Summer.

    (DT)GT – Is the artist under the impression that catchers’ chest protectors are vests? (panel 3) The first two panels just aren’t worth comment today.

    9CL – Love the flattered/Gehenna comment. Great artwork.

    SF – Hilary’s about to make someone cry…it won’t be pretty.

  47. Holy Prepuce
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:34 am [Reply]

    Why is Billy’s first thought about these rocks that they were purchased from somewhere? At least in small quantities, rocks are mostly free.

    And why does Mark Trail have to fly all the way to New York to learn his next assignment? Clearly there are telephones at Lost Forest.

  48. King Folderol
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:37 am [Reply]

    TDIET – The guy in panel two today (6/15) doesn’t have the words “Urge To Kill” written next to his misshapen head, so how do I know if he’s really steamed or not?

    FC – This ties in with my theory from yesterday. The Keanes are such fundamentalist whack jobs that they don’t HAVE a TV…they just have a box that looks like a TV. Daddy changes the picture every now and again to make it look like they have a TV and the neighbors don’t think they’re such freaks.

    Billy must have made the oddly xenophobic comment because Daddy had pasted a picture of Ann Coulter on the screen for a little too long…

  49. David V. Matthews
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    The staff of Horsechester Hospital:

    Dr. Dobbin, Dr. Seabiscuit, Nurse Secretariat, Dr. Barbaro, Nurse Applemuncher, Dr. Barfo.

  50. Gershwin
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    9CL: Had to look up “Gehenna,” but that’s all right.

  51. dlauthor
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    36: Yeah, it felt to me like today’s strip stepped over a line, even for Tinsley. It’s one thing for him to assume he knows better about how to handle children than the entire American education system, but when he starts picking on mothers (I doubt it even crosses his mind that _fathers_ should spend time with their kids), I think he’s going way to freaking far. Has this guy even procreated? Married? Gotten laid? I have trouble imagining any of it.

  52. bootsybooks
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    Since I’m pretty new to this, it seems all I have today are questions, some I admit are purely rhetorical.

    GT: Why does everyone look like a slab of rock with a face?

    Herb and Jamaal: How do you get your chest hairs caught in the zipper WHEN YOU’RE TYRING ON A JACKET? That just creeps me out.

    JP: Is that redhead always standing in a stiff breeze? Even indoors?

    MW: Salad? Salad? that’s it? WTF?

    Phantom: OK, this one has become a favorite (yesterday’s stripey butt perspective one reaason). Today’s great line: “I like apples! Guess that puts us in conflict”. I intend to use that one. See, cuz I like apples too. Anyway…

    Kool Aid will be the bane of W’s new immagration policy once Mexico gets him to crash through the new border wall. Minutemen, prepare to have your thirsts slaked!

  53. Lyman-Returns
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    #25-I had wondered the same thing. Then I contemplated the panel in question and wondered if the artist was showing that Rob looked over one shoulder to look at Satchel, but the dog avoided his gaze and dodged to his left. But I still looks really weird.

    SF-Looks like Hillary is just as passive-aggressive and non-confrontational as her mom. What’s with those pigtails, anyway? How old is she, four? And what happened to the Ralph/Sally co-managing the office storyline?

    FW-My word, this fill-in writer is terrible. How long did it take him to plan today’s strip? Somewhere in the 5-10 second range?

    TDIET-I am soooooo glad this doesn’t run in my paper. I would have to commit seppuku. Whoever writes TDIET, I bet they watch a lot of ‘Matlock’ reruns.

  54. OnandonAnon
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    FC: Many people are puzzling over what the rocks are being housed in. It can’t be a TV, because the rocks and their display card appear as viewed looking down and to the right, the same perspective as the rest of the cartoon. Images seen on a TV would appear to be pointing (projecting?) directly at Billy and Daddy.

  55. mere cog in the machine
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    It is always intersesting to read a comic (or anything for that matter) written by someone who has simply stopped noticing the outside world at a given point in time. For the pathetic hack who pens TDIET, this point looks to be some time during the Kennedy administration. I am fascinated by the white cap on the nurse and the black rotary phone on the desk in the background. Our beleagered nurse also appears to be toting medicine (ether? chloroform?) in one of those ancient, brown-glass bottles that I have not seen at an actual nursing station since, well, never. And the business office; well my goodness. It seems to be comprised solely of late middle-aged men and women, all of them sitting zombie-like at what appear to be children’s school desks, complete with textbooks. The lone, aged file cabinet and the utter lack of computers complete our timeless tableaux.
    In a way, I suppose I’m just jealous. It must be strangely comforting to be esconced forever in a simpler time, protected from the modern world’s viscitudes and uncertainty much like Jonah in the whale’s belly. Rock on TDIET. Oh Yeah.

  56. GodWithFire
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: None of my instant messaging involves an email address either… Not an @ sign to be found in any of the handles I use or see.

    Mark Trail: Does Mark’s boss have x-ray vision?

    TDIET: What just fell into this fellow’s coffee? Rocks from Mars?

    Oh Yeah!

  57. Da Scrodfather
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    Could someone explain today’s (6/15) BC? It’s shaped like a joke, it’s supposed to be a joke, but is “No kidding — it must have worn off” referring to the Man of the Year award, or the Handsomely Rewarded bit?

  58. Badly_Computer_Animated_Boy
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    #30 – Quagmire on ‘Family Guy’. I think he says “All right” and not “Oh yeah” but it’s not much of a stretch.

    Giggity giggity.

  59. Mountain Mama
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    “Or is Bil just reusing a “moon rocks” joke from 1969?”

    And we have a winner!!!

  60. brendan
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:51 am [Reply]

  61. Drakee
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    I find it amusing that all the female birds in Shoe have that sort of white-trashy, jaded, hard-smokin’, hard-livin’, Jersey girl look. Oh yeah!

  62. treedweIler
    June 15th, 2006 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    Scrodfather, probably that was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer just in case:
    I understood it to mean the dumb blond chick–I mean hot chick–heard “handsomely rewarded” and thought he was rewarded with handsomeness. Since he was clearly not handsome, she figured it must have worn off.

    I don’t know if she was being clever and taking a shot at him, or if she was really supposed to be that clueless, or if Johnny is really that clueless. I really don’t know. Really.

    But, in case you missed it a few days ago, I’m reposting the link to a hilarious interview with him:

  63. Pozzo
    June 15th, 2006 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    Actually, “Ding-a-Ling, I Knows It” sounds like it should be a public radio game show on Saturday afternoons.

  64. brendan
    June 15th, 2006 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    from the same interview linked above:
    Johnston: Right. But my mother’s philosophy was, the harder you beat them, the more they’ll realize that what they’ve done is wrong. She would hit me until she was exhausted. She would use brushes, broomsticks, anything she could wield. I could look at the different bruises and tell what she had hit me with. If it was a black bruise with a red stripe down the middle, it was a piece of kindling. If it was a brown bruise with a certain shape to it, it was a hairbrush. If it was perfectly round, it was a wooden spoon. I used to go to school with bruises from the middle of my back to my heels.

    Is this week’s series Johnston getting back at her now-deceased mom through her strip?

  65. mere cog in the machine
    June 15th, 2006 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    #64: It’s nice to know that someone, at least, had the good sense to beat Lynn Johnston daily. I know, I know – that’s just wrong. I take it back, but I’d still like to beat her myself, metaphorically at least.

  66. yellojkt
    June 15th, 2006 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Would Mallard let kids watch Veronica Mars?

  67. JEdens
    June 15th, 2006 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    FC – Maybe they aren’t looking at the ‘Mars rocks’ on TV, but instead are surfing e-bay where some NIgerian scam artist is attempting to sell fake space memorabilia to unsuspecting folks who don’t realize that no rocks have been brought back from the Red Planet.

  68. michael
    June 15th, 2006 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    I’m with Talia (#4). Gramps and his lady action will go naturally, in that it is natural to die by being smothered with a pillow, one by the other, with the remaining one taking pills. Then Dad will run his hotrod over a cliff, probably taking several cute teenage boys with him. Then big-assed mom will simply, quietly get into her sensible economy car and drive away without a word to anyone, leaving nothing behind but the burning wreckage of her late husband’s train set.

  69. Carlye
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    MW: C’mon, don’t we all want this boring old story to end? Bring back Ritzilla, the HouseGuest from Hell!

  70. Dennis Jimenez
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    Why not grandpa Jim, mummified Marion, Iris and the sarcophagus of her insignificant other – then it would be a ménage a’ quatre.

  71. arto
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

  72. Goober
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    MW: This “wrap-up” dinner should take about two weeks as they endlessly rehash the “plot.” Hopefully, Lou and Kelly have adapted their feederism to their new healthy lifestyle (yesterday’s corn cob incident [cornholing in the most literal sense] makes it seem likely). Mary’s first hint of how they intend to use the salad will be when she notices that the oil in the dressing heats up on her tongue.

    9CL: Durly is tormented by the sudden realization that he can have sex with males over the age of ten.

    Dinette Set: Those proles and their meager possessions – how simply horrid their lives must be!

    Pluggers: Not understanding things is noble.

  73. Fred P.
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    I guess that I’m not the first here for whom “Oh Yeah!!!” conjures up images of Kool Aid Man. But I’m far more disturbed by the other mental image TDIET evokes- namely the skeleton crew of nurses. Because having the sick tended by the animated remains of the walking undead, their bones clattering away behind closed doors, bellowing for the one living nurse to come and satiate their unholy craving for fresh brains, well, that just seems kind of wrong. To me at any rate.

  74. TheMagicMel
    June 15th, 2006 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    #20: I read ‘tiddy boom’ as a rim shot to a joke.

    mere cog: I laughed at your comment, so I’m evil, too.

  75. PJ
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Note to Billy: Generally speaking, you don’t have to BUY rocks.

  76. Frankie
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    Lynn Johnson really needs to be told that old people discussing the division of their ashes, and being interred with their children, is NOT funny. “COMIC Strip” Lynn Johnson. If I wanted to read obituaries I’d read the obituaries.

  77. MaryAnnTheRest
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    When, oh when, is Mary Worth going to get back to the drug addicts and alcoholics that made it great?

    Seriously, we don’t have rocks from Mars?

  78. BigJoe
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:15 pm [Reply]

    #56 – Pluggers – That email address comment struck me as odd too, of course a real Plugger wouldn’t know how it works anyway, so I guess being wrong actually makes sense.

    But what I don’t get is that the strip is implying that Pluggers leave messages the “old fashioned” way…and that’s on an answering machine? Isn’t that too technologically advanced for a Plugger? Shouldn’t the lady bear dog whatever-the-hell-she-is be yelling over the fence to “instant message”? That seems more in line with how the strip normally goes.

  79. dlauthor
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    76: Hey, since a lot of papers put certain strips in more “appropriate” sections (Doonesbury in Op/Ed; Tank in Sports; Dilbert in Business; Pluggers in the advertising circular for the Piggly Wiggly; Mallard Fillmore ripped out entirely, burnt, and the ashes mixed with holy water and buried at a crossroads in the moonlight), perhaps they should take their cue from this week’s morbid Foob arc, and shift the strip to the actual obits section.

  80. Badly_Computer_Animated_Boy
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    #29 – I remember an issue of The Tick where “RENDER INOPERABLE” was used.

  81. MaryAnnTheRest
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:23 pm [Reply]

    I was inspired to research the webternets. Look, we do have rocks from Mars.

  82. jonnya
    June 15th, 2006 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    BB- who is that Blonde haired Afro GI that Sarge is “training”? Is he special reserve? Did the regulars at Camp Swampy finally get sent to the Mid-East?

    Blondie- Very contemporary with the computer stuff. I really like Dag’s one-button all in one bow tie/shirt combo. I guess it’s the office equivalent of his skin toned surfer shirt from last year. How does he get those things on?

    Curtis- is he going with the racial thing or the deaf dumb and blind thing? There’s really no way to tell.

    Foob- I like how grandpa’s half-pun us so wacky that Elly has to cover her mouth because of the wackiness of it all. I only wish that John were doing a Jerry Lewis (get well soon) spit-take to boot. Btw- is any body else getting creeped out by Foob’s general overuse of silhouetted figures in the background?

    FT- Peter is a stoner!

    GT- Yesterday the conversation was in Gil’s office. Today it’s by Gil’s car. Gil can’t believr that the kid wants to skydive his future away. Sheesh.

    H&J- Let’s see. I’m a 6’7 former NBA player. I give my warm up jacket to my 5’4 friend and it it’s so snug that his chest hairs get caught in the zipper? This will not stand. H&J is becoming my new favorite “forced joke” strip. I’ll be watching you H&J. You’ll see.

    JP- If my 10-year-old kid said things like “the quest for higher knowledge clouded my judgment” I’d be impressed. Heck-I’d be impressed if a 40 year old were that eloquent. Raju is worth his $300.

    Marvin- the “thinking/saying” balloon thing drives me nuts. In panel two the kid’s mouth is open and forming words, but it’s a thought balloon that Marvin is receiving through telepathy. Plus it’s not really a joke. Next time be funny please.

    MW- Dang. It’s getting closer to the end. I don’t want that. I want it to last 4eva.

    Pluggers- Where I come from Plugger’s don‘t own or know how to use answering machines either. Take that! You’ve just been un-plugged! Spit take.

    TDIET- The fact that a TV commercial isn’t up to date with his local weather forecast is so confounding that Barfo’s coffee is doing a spit take and his wife’s head did a 360.

  83. MossMoses
    June 15th, 2006 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    Dennis the Menace’s little sycophant, Joey (if he ever grows up), will probably end up looking something like this:

  84. njkayaker
    June 15th, 2006 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers 6/12 (yes, it’s old).

    I defy ANYBODY to prove that anyone has ever really worn (outside of a “joke”) an “beanie copter” (a term no one else uses for “propeller beanie”, I think)!

    The joke of “propeller beanie” vastly exceeds the “reality” of them.

  85. BassoGap
    June 15th, 2006 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    I hereby nominate njkayaker for the Finger Quotin’ Margo Award for superfluous quotations.

    Do I hear a second?

  86. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: What if the terrorist pulls a gun and says “Eat this! Now, how do you like THEM apples, bro?!?”

  87. MossMoses
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    86: It doesn’t work that way. Phantom sneaks up behind people. They never sneak up behind him. One might wonder how a well guarded terr’ist safe copter’s security perimeter could be breached so easily. One might also wonder why Phantom bothers with the wisecracking apple joke when he is surrounded by evil terr’ists who hate Bangalla’s freedom. Given his stated predilection for apples, perhaps it would be applealing for he and the terr’ist to espouse their core values…

  88. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    #82 – Jonnya – Yeah, that is an interesting observation about H&J. What bugs me is that in panel 1, he’s wearing a shirt buttoned up with no chest hairs visible. So, what, did he take his shirt off to try on a jacket? That doesn’t make much sense. Oh, it would all be funny if only Herb was wearing a “wife-beater t-shirt”.

  89. Hogenmogen
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    87 – Moss – appealing, core values. I got that.

  90. Len
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    #71 — Is Monte Wolverton the son of Basil Wolverton? The cartoonist of early MAD magazine and EC comics, who drew very silly-looking monsters?

  91. monkeyhawk
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:46 pm [Reply]

    “Core values”

    Pretty saucy, if you ask me.

    Where does such stuff stem from?

    This group is going to seed.

    I preferred it when comments were limited to people who would pan dowdy characters like Wary Mirth and St. Lynn (who’s looking more and more these days like my Granny Smith).


  92. Len
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    Why are the FOOBS cremating AND burying their elders? Jews, Christians and Moslems tend to bury their dead. Hindus and Buddhists tend to cremate — and scatter the ashes! What half-baked New Age premise buys in with the expensive American (and Canadian, apparently) way of death, paying for expensive grave plots and headstones over tiny urns of cremains?

    Elly will not be able to “see” her lovely gravesite buried “face-up” as the funeral director man suggested, if she’s burned to a crisp.


  93. MossMoses
    June 15th, 2006 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    What happens to chin scrotums when we die?

  94. tefflan
    June 15th, 2006 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    Yes, we do have Mars rocks. They are the ones with the little petrified worms in them.

    Moon rocks, on the other hand, go “beep beep beep.” I know this is true. I saw it on “Green Acres” once.

  95. tefflan
    June 15th, 2006 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    MossMoses: They embalm you, and you get to look like an idiot for all eternity.

  96. Hysterical Woman
    June 15th, 2006 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    #71: Well, there is Broomhilda, so that one out of three. That comic will burn in Hell for making the occult arts look so attractive!

  97. Da Scrodfather
    June 15th, 2006 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    #62–Belated thanks for explaining BC’s “joke”. Now, if only someone could explain the meanng of “Joke” to Hart.
    Seriously, the guy’s religion and attempts to proselytise bother me a LOT less than his lame strip. Not just today’s train-wreck, but Wiley’s Dictionary, his lousy golf gags, etc.

  98. saint ruby
    June 15th, 2006 at 6:03 pm [Reply]

    “we’ll own Mars’ shiny red space ass” is the best sentence in the english language.

  99. GoBobbyGo
    June 15th, 2006 at 6:07 pm [Reply]

    #46: Re: You’ve had to ask Alex questions, too? when?

    For the record, some Instant Messaging services (MSN Messenger, for example) DO use email addresses.

    79: For the record, the Chicago Tribune puts GT in the sports section

  100. Braniff
    June 15th, 2006 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    Here’s my interpretation on the Family Circus cartoon posted above: If NASA or any of the other space agencies should mine and bring enough rocks back to earth, will someone think of reviving the 1970s Pet Rock craze, only with Martian specimens?

    Should that be the case, The Family Circus might not only be excused for being out of date, but be considered amazingly prophetic.

  101. J. Jones
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised the “grim, death-like visage” isn’t discussed more often, as it seems to be included in every panel, in every strip, on every character (even animals) of For Better or For Worse.

  102. Frank Drackman
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    I love how in “They’ll do it every time” the Nurse is wearing a uniform from the 1950′s, and no one in the business office has a computer.

  103. Fred P.
    June 15th, 2006 at 9:32 pm [Reply]

    152- completely unrelated to your post, and well okay, maybe I’m not quite up to speed here, but when I first heard of “They’ll do it Everytime”, I thought it was about people who were, you know, “doin’ it”. How intriguing! Can they really print such material in the paper? What would loyal “Cathy” readers think? Oh, the letters to the editor that would flow! I had to know more! So you can imagine my crushing disappointment to discover that instead of some cheap lascivious jollies, _this_ is what TDIET is all about.

  104. Zorba.the.Geek
    June 15th, 2006 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    #84, re: Pluggers. This strip bothers me even more than Mallard Fillmore, if that’s possible. Sure, the “good old days” of the 50′s. Listen, I’m old enough to have been alive then (albeit a child), and they weren’t such “good old days” if you were not white and middle class (and even not then, for many people). Segregation was still thriving, wife abuse was not taken seriously by law enforcement (and, for the most part, neither was rape, particularly “acquaintance” rape), it was considered “normal” to pay women less for the same jobs as men (when women could get them), child abuse and child molestation were pretty much swept under the rug- I could go on and on. Give me a frigging break. America was in a complete dream state, which too many people now idealize as some type of “golden age.”

  105. Lupin the 3rd
    June 15th, 2006 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    I laughed out loud at today’s Garfield, since I always do the “remove Garfield’s dialog” trick I was shown here. Truly surreal.

  106. Jnickola
    June 16th, 2006 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    #80 — another great sound effect from The Tick: “CONTEMPLATE!”

  107. njkayaker
    June 16th, 2006 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    104: Zorba.the.Greek

    I agree: there’s a big problem with any sort of nostalgia not merely that for the 50′s.

    Nostalgia for propeller beanies is just plain fake.

    Interestingly, coon-skin caps are real: my brother had one.

  108. Carrots
    June 21st, 2006 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    I really really like this new vaccuum cleaner child in One Big Happy. I hope he sticks around.

  109. Randy S
    July 15th, 2006 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    In regards to #54 (and others)
    If it’s not a TV or monitor image, it couldn’t possibly be anything else, because…
    If you’ll notice the corner of the blue wall background inside the case, the line extending to the right from that corner should meet up with the lower right hand corner of the display box itself, if it was an actual physical part of the box.

    As for the perspective, if it’s a TV image this would depend a lot upon the exact angle in which the camera was positioned, no?

  110. ??????
    January 13th, 2014 at 5:32 am [Reply]

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