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Comiconomics

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/30/10

Snuffy is admittedly improvising under pressure here, but I’m a little disappointed at his excuse-making’s failure to cohere into a satisfying whole. Since he was questioned about his intentions for that sack full of live chickens, surely all concerned could better pretend at the virtue of the situation had the subsequent bribe been offered in chicken form. Indeed, I’ve assumed that poultry is more or less the main currency in Hootin’ Holler anyway, a suspicion that is confirmed by the somewhat dodgy appearance of the note Snuffy is handing Sheriff Tait. It certainly doesn’t resemble a U.S. greenback, which makes sense as those probably haven’t been seen around town since the local TVA office closed down. My guess is that this is a piece of scrip issued by the operators of the nearest coal mine; though the mine and the accompanying company store have also been shuttered for decades, Hootin’ Holler residents still atavistically ascribe value to the crumbling pieces of paper.

Crock, 5/30/10

I’m also interested in how exactly the local economy works in Crock. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of permanent settlement associated with the strip’s Foreign Legion outpost, just a series of isolated retail establishments created as needed to support the lame joke of the day. I guess it’s understandable that the employees of “Dress Shoppe,” having no competition in the clothes trade, lack any sense of customer service. Maybe the next shop will do better, now that Grossie has destroyed this one.

Panel from Mary Worth, 5/30/10

EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! THE INDIVIDUAL KNOWN AS “BONNIE” (indicated) HAS HAD HER SOUL COMPLETELY DEVOURED BY MARY WORTH! SUGGEST IMMEDIATE MERCY TERMINATION OF HER UNDEAD CORPOREAL FORM!

43 responses to “Comiconomics”

  1. Tmdess
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    Even with Josh’s comments, I don’t get the joke. Does that make me incredibly stupid or incredibly smart? BTW — does anyone know the last time Barney Google actually appeared in the strip? Since no one under the age of 102 could possibly remember B.G., why is his name still on the strip? Just wondering.

  2. Sheila Sternwell
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    Not feeling too sorry for Bonnie here, since everyone else in the vicinity had the sense to run like hell when Mary bared her teeth and her eyes started to wobble. It’s a tough lesson, Bonnie, but a necessary one.

  3. An Unfortunate Comment
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    Ahem…I hate to be That Guy, but…

    It’s “corporeal.”

    Sorry.

  4. Sheila Sternwell
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    @Tmdess (#1): Which joke, the Snuffy Smith strip? It’s not funny, so there is no shame in not getting said “joke” (which, I think, is that Snuffy is really lucky the sheriff will take a bribe and let him walk off with a sack o’ chickens. Oh, my sides.)

  5. Fountain Mountain Dew
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:39 pm [Reply]

    It appears we’ve had a solid 1-2 weeks of extended happy ending on Mary Worth. Yep, all the loose ends seem pretty well tied up. Bonnie’s recovered from her compulsive shopping and hoarding, Ernie’s comin’ back to Charterstone, Mary’s aglow in meddle-essence . . . I’m so delighted that I won’t even mind the remaining 3-4 weeks of happy ending to this plot.

  6. Farley's Revenge
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    MW: Mary looks like she has the starring role in “Day of the Undead Meddler”. Or she has an IV pole up her ass, inserted by a patient desperate to get away from her another one of her soul-sucking platitudes. Either way, her expression is creepy.

    And Bonnie needs to lay off the prescription meds. Srsly.

  7. curlyfries
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    Mary’s fixed reptilian gaze and rictus grin, coupled with the forward thrust of her neck and jaw, suggests the franchise is not yet dead and Alien: Meddletime is in the works. In Charterstone, no one can hear you scream.

  8. curlyfries
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    @An Unfortunate Comment (#3): Yeah, I always knew Bonnie was only a Private. And not even a PFC at that.

  9. Carly
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    Mary looks like she’s gritting her teeth at what she’s saying. Or she glued her dentures together. We can only hope that she’ll have to meddle through gritted teeth in the future.

  10. Tmdess
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for the reassurance, Sheila. Maybe Barney Google in 1925 was funny? Things were so much easier back when it was OK to laugh at poor mountain people’s misery and squalor!

  11. Steve S
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    Man, look at that guilty grin and flop sweat in panel 2 and tell me Snuffy Smith isn’t Curtis’ long-lost uncle. And wouldn’t that make for one twisted family tree?

  12. Dan C
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know why Grossie is offended by “Pleasingly Plump.” I would have thought anything better than “Horrifically Obese” would be received as a compliment.

  13. Rusty
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    MW: Are we certain somebody didn’t hustle Mary’s body out of the morgue and propped it up against a wall? She looks deader than tonight’s special at the Bum Boat.

  14. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    Mary is feeling her intestines bound up from eating too much unidentifiable greyish goo. She used to spend hours on the toilet, trying to squeeze it out, but this cut into her volunteering time. So she’s switched to using depends and can get out and about. But this doesn’t make the poops come any more easily. No, she still needs to spend several hours a day desperate squeezing her bowls, trying vainly to force anything out.

  15. Thomas B.
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    Mary’s expression does not match her statement. It looks like she should have said: “Yes, Bonnie that’s great but I really need to find the triage nurse. I won’t go into detail, but if Ernie ever says he wants to “go to the Bum Boat”, he isn’t just talking about the restaurant.”

  16. Thomas B.
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    The only way Snuffy could look more the part of the thief was if he had sideburns. Wouldnt it be great if Sassy was in the bag? Yes I know, but still.

  17. curlyfries
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:28 pm [Reply]

    @Les of the Jungle Patrol (#14): And ewwww. But it sure beats visualizing Mary making that face and squeezing just to tone her Kegels.

  18. Harold
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    Oh, no! Mary is “one in a million”? Doesn’t that mean there are currently 6,823 other people JUST LIKE HER?!

    (Data from http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html . Joke from Alfred Bester’s “Time is the Traitor.”)

  19. Josh
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    @An Unfortunate Comment (#3): Corrections on misused words/typos need no apologies! Though it’s faster to just email them to me (at bio@jfruh.com).

    Josh

  20. Poteet
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    Since this has quickly become a dead thread, I will complain just once more about Bonnie’s continuous morphing. I really don’t care if she’s pleasingly plump or merely curvaceous, but please, Moy and Giella, make up your minds already.

  21. Dragon of Life
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    The other people in the hospital have the right idea. “LOOK AWAY! It’s too late for that woman, but we can save ourselves if we just don’t make eye contact!”

  22. Thomas B.
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    So with the arrow through the head gag from last week, Mary honors a 70′s stand up gig. This week we see a tribute to an 80′s cult comedy; that’s right people, it’s “Weekend at Mary’s.” She may be dead but her advice is alive as ever.

  23. Thomas B.
    May 31st, 2010 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    For the love of God Bonnie, run! Mary didnt just have a Botox treatment; you’ve got 5 seconds-10 tops-before “The Bum Boat” sets sail again.

  24. Jason D.
    May 31st, 2010 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    I always assumed that the citizens of Hootin’ Holler used what they would no doubt refer to as “good ol’ confed’rit dollars”, as the Confederate States of America is the only government they consider legitimate.

  25. Dancing Bear
    June 1st, 2010 at 12:14 am [Reply]

    Hey, by the way, what is that THING in the background to the right of old Snuf? Might be a decrepit chicken shack, but it looks more like the S. S. Minnow somehow got washed up along the Hootin’ Holler creekshore.

  26. JB
    June 1st, 2010 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    I still don’t quite get Snuffy Smith’s “in luck” about…. The fact that he had actual currency to bribe the sheriff with? The fact that Tait felt like taking a bribe and not further toying with his prey, whose subsistence lifestyle has come to rely on theft of livestock, presumably to offset his own livestock being stolen by other thieves bribing corrupt officials? The fact that the revenooers aren’t in town, so Tait can run his “law enforcement ball” racket without interference?

    Also, assuming there’s an actual ball behind the extortion, why does Snuffy only buy one ticket? Presumably he’s going to send Loweezy alone to be humiliated in front of the other couples, while he stays home and sleeps.

  27. Ed Dravecky
    June 1st, 2010 at 2:50 am [Reply]

    @Dancing Bear (#25): Those are the Vasquez Rocks, a famous rock formation near Los Angeles that has been featured in countless television and movie productions, most notably the original Star Trek as the site of Captain Kirk’s battle with the Gorn. More information about the Vasquez Rocks can be found on the internet.

  28. dale
    June 1st, 2010 at 3:21 am [Reply]

    Aren’t chickens now legal currency in Nevada?

  29. teddytoad
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:32 am [Reply]

    Yikes! “And you, Mary, are Frank Langella!”

  30. Cletus Forrester de Rothschild
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    You’re all wrong, Mary Worth just decided to do an early tribute to the late Michael Jackson and the even later Ayn Rand. Don’t worry, it’s not part of the canon in the Worthiverse.

  31. The Big Swerve
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    @Tmdess (#1): The Big Swerve doesn’t know the last time Barney Google showed up, but The Big Swerve remembers a strip back in the ’80s (the 1980′s that is) that featured him and his horse, Fireplug.

  32. marlowe
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:08 am [Reply]

    Mary kind of looks a lot like Leslie Neilsen’s portrayal of Dracula in “Dead and Loving It”.

  33. A Fart in the Wind
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    Interesting Beatles references in MW:

    Bonnie going to/ being pushed to go to “Dr. Robert(s),” being the first. According to the much-maligned Wikipedia (and, let’s be honest here, am I really going to put serious research skills to work all in the name of MW?), John Lennon reported that “Dr. Robert was himself” and that ‘[He] was the one who carried all the pills on tour … in the early days.’”

    As well, the whole “getting by with a little help from my friends” business from Sunday’s panel?

    Drugs.

    No matter how you slice, rice, flambe or dice it–drugs.

    The next line is:

    “…I get high with a little help from my friends…”

    So, thanks Mary for offering further clues as to the provenance of your glassy stare and sometimes wild-eyed look…

  34. Brian
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    Snuffy may be paying off the sherriff in Confederate currency. News of the outcome of the war probably hasn’t reached Hootin’ Holler yet.

  35. Mad Groundhog
    June 1st, 2010 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    re Crock: um… sounds a little odd. Shouldn’t that be either “untie this tape measure FROM AROUND my neck,” or (to eliminate ambiguity) “untie this tape measure that’s around my neck?” For that matter, why “tape measure” (suggests the retractable metal builder’s tape” and not “measuring tape,” which seems to be the more accurate term for a tailor’s item?

    Never mind, actually. Seeing as these are supposedly French and/or north African employees, the broken English is inadvertently one of the most accurate things about Crock.

  36. StoutHearted
    June 1st, 2010 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    We know that’s Robot Mary talking, not by the strange facial expression or stiff posture, but because it is offering praise instead of judgement. Mary is currently sleeping off a three-wine-spritzer hangover from the Bum Boat and sent out her mechanical doppelganger in her stead.

  37. Rumon
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    Mary is no longer looking at Bonnie, no. Her pupils dilated, her voice monotone and automatic, she has spotted her next meal among the mortals suffering in the ER, which explains why everybody is fleeing in terror.

    Come to think of it, the ER would be a prime habitat for Mary.

  38. Crankenstank
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    Snuffy needs the chickens to pay for his upcoming liver transplant. The hooch is a little rough.

  39. Robin
    June 1st, 2010 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    I’ve read the Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z and seen the first three Romero films…but even I don’t know how to deal with an obviously zombiefied Mary and Bonnie.

  40. The Ridger
    June 1st, 2010 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    @Jason D. (#24): I have to point out that, assuming Hootin’ Holler is in Appalachia, those folks were not Confederate sympathizers. Sure, their descendants tend to be cranky xenophobes, with a special hate on for the revenuers, but they didn’t like those aristocratic slave-holding SOBs in the Deep South, either. Kentucky and West Virginia didn’t secede, and Tennessee sent as many men to the Union – from the East – as went to the Confederacy from the West. (Yeah, Tennesseans just plain love a fight…)

  41. Doug Starr Twinkle
    June 1st, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    I’ve really no time to chit-chat, Bonnie. I need to get this Alexander Haig costume back to the novelty store.

  42. Doug Starr Twinkle
    June 1st, 2010 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    Seeing the wall behind Bonnie gave Mary an idea, and just days later she would proudly be wearing her “I’m with emergency ——->” t-shirt.

  43. Ned Ryerson
    June 3rd, 2010 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    Q:Can you recommend a good wine to go with purloined chicken?
    A: Of course, Two Buk Cluck.

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