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More Mudlark despair

Gil Thorp, 7/8/10

“Oh, hey,” you are almost certainly saying, “What’s going in Gil Thorp?” (Yes, you are definitely saying this, in your minds, don’t try to deny it to me, I know you too well.) Well, Milford’s star pitcher Slim Chance’s band got the “chance” to open for their alt-country heroes, Backyard Tire Fire (they are a real band who actually exists, and who apparently have spent some extremely ill-conceived product placement money), which gig happened the day before Slim was supposed to start in the team’s opening game of the playdowns, but the team van broke down on the way home, and Slim had to take a cab the last 150 miles, and he arrived just as the third inning was starting, ready to be the hero…

…and he lost, terribly. This is one of the reasons why I like Gil Thorp. It isn’t afraid to have plots that fly in the face of the sort of narrative arcs you’d expect! This is especially the case when such contrarian plotting ends with the Mudlarks having their hopes and dreams ground to dust.

Beetle Bailey, 7/8/10

The soldiers at Camp Swampy have any number of good reasons to hate and loathe Sgt. Snorkel (mostly involving their relentless physical abuse at his hands), but it does seem kind of cruel of them to mock the broken shell of a man that he’s become, thanks to his harrowing food addiction. “Oh, God, a delicious brown blob of some sort, right there on my tie … uh, it doesn’t count if I don’t use my hands, right? Come on, tongue…”

B.C., 7/8/10

There are a lot of puzzling concepts in today’s B.C., but let’s start with the most obvious: the phone, built into the tree. I guess much of the visual humor of the strip comes from putting modern things in ancient settings, but the tree-phone is a really baffling mishmosh. I mean, I get why you have to build it into a natural feature, I suppose, but why do the phone-parts look like they’re from the early 20th century? “Oh, they’re in caveman times, so it would make much more sense to have a phone that’s from 9,900 years in the future rather than 10,000 years in the future.”

Then there’s the question of whose phone-tree this is. The Cute Chick and the Fat Broad (gah, I know their names, their terrible, offensive names) just seem to be casually strolling by it when it rings. In this primitive era, did people not “own” phones per se, but rather just answer the ones that were scattered around the landscape, or, if they were feeling sassy, pick one up and dial a number at random, then start talking dirty to whoever picks up at the other end?

Mark Trail, 7/8/10

In addition to having a mustache and threatening cute animals, our current Mark Trail villain appears to be a dirty communist, or at least that’s my assumption based on his complete inability to understand basic market economics. Sassy only has value as a beloved pet to a lonely, malformed orphan boy; but the baddie’s “What he’s offering may not be enough” implies, wrongly, that there is some kind of market demand for this irritating, mewling pup. Someone is about to be very disappointed by the results of an eBay auction.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/8/10

With Toots and Brook’s problems solved by a little TLC and karate, we can at last move on to the next plot, which should be hilarious, as we find out how Rex’s “be a supercilious dick to everyone” bedside manner works out when he has to drop the c-bomb on the mayor. Whether you’re powerful and influential, or have a serious illness, or both, Rex will be a jerk about it, and by “it” I mean “pretty much everything.”

286 responses to “More Mudlark despair”

  1. Luke
    July 8th, 2010 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    BC: Also, why does the Fat Broad (I feel awful just typing that) look like some sort of malformed Muppet thug in panel three?

  2. Hi There
    July 8th, 2010 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    “No water?” asks Old Funky, wilting from the heat. “Well, how about a forty of malt liquor?”

    “A ‘forty?’” replies Young Funky, amused by this homeless man. “And just what is a ‘forty?’”

    “Don’t play dumb with me,” fumes Old Funky. “A forty-ounce bottle of malt liquor. Just the sort of thing to settle a man’s mind.”

    Young Funky rubs his chin. “I’m aware of the healing powers of malt liquor. But you can only get it in quart bottles.”

    “Ah, shit. Well, get me a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade than, and be quick about it.”

    “You want lemonade? The church has a lemonade stand across from Montoni’s”

    “Dammit, that’s not what I meant. Why don’t you go to the liquor store and get me a bottle of cherry-flavored vodka?”

    Young Funky stifles a giggle. “Listen, old man. Vodka is tasteless. You can’t smell it on your breathe. That’s one of its chief attractions.”

    “Ah, shit. Well, how about a Zema?”

    “What’s that?”

    Old Funky sighs. “Do you have any Icehouse? Red Dog? Any IPA’s? Bud Ice? Rolling Rock Light? Molson Ice? St. Ides? King Cobra? Haffenreffer Private Stock? Midnight Dragon? Power Master? Hurricane? Phat Boy? Night Hawk Ice? Big Jug? Boomerang Vodkice? Brick House? Vice Tea? Busch Ice? Camo? Colt 45 Dry? Dogfish Head? Evil Eye Sour? Genesse Ice? IC Light? Labatt Dry? Max Vibe? Milwaukee’s Best? Molson Dry? Mustang Melon? Night Hawk? Old Milwaukee X-Dry? Old Style Ice? Schaefer Malt Liquor? Schlitz Bull Ice? Smirnoff Ice Triple Black? The Beast? Tornado Long Island Ice Tea? Steel Reserve?”

    “I know not of what you speak.”

    “How about Viper HG? Wild Bill Hickok? Natural Ice? Keystone Light? Bud Dry? Big Bear? Plank Road? RR Extra Pale? Land Shark? Drooling Moose? Polar Ice? Cirrus Vodka? Zodiac Vodka? Grey Goose? Brewhouse? Black Bull? Camo? Crazy Horse? Dakota Kick? Green Lightning? IC Dry? Old Milwaukee Black? Prime Time?”


    Defeated, Old Funky puts his head in his hands and weeps. He had forgotten how much the 1970s sucked when it came to alcoholic beverages. Nothing to drink except Miller and Bud and that stuff gave him the squirts.

    Suddenly, he jerks to attention. “You hicks got any Champale?”

    Smiling, Young Funky gives him the thumbs-up. “Now you’re talking. Let’s get ourselves a case and go down to the ol’ swimming hole.”

    Shaking, Old Funky follows Young Funky and Crazy Harry. For a moment, the three of them look like a modern day recreation of ‘The Spirit of ’76.’

  3. DairyStateDad
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    GT: I have two questions: 1) Has any team that Thorp coaches EVER won its league/division/whatever championship? 2) What’s Bryce’s beef? If Slim hadn’t played the band date, they would have lost the night before!

  4. bats :[
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    B.C.: mmmm…..tree boobies.

  5. MaryAnnTheRest
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Oh thank you so much for featuring Mark Trail today, Josh! All I could think upon reading it was, “Enough for what, young Burt Reynolds? Enough for what?”

  6. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#y278): & @Ed Dravecky (#2y80): Is it weird that I enjoy the squee here as much as everything else on this site? “The Comics Curmudgeon: Come for the snark; stay for the squee!”

  7. Subway Duck
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    RM: So Rex is treating the Mayor of Westview?

  8. PeteJayhawk
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    I used to hang out with Backyard Tire Fire back at Illinois State whenever they played in Bloomington/Normal. Great band.

    As shocking as their appearance is, I’m mostly mystified by the foreign, little-known term “playoffs.” Are those anything like “playdowns?”

  9. Mac
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    Too bad Rex voted against the city’s bond issue last year, and the Mayor doesn’t have HEALTH INSURANCE anymore. Well, it’s not Rex’s problem, really.

  10. thehollis
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, but the next storyline in Rex Morgan M.D. will not focus on the mayor’s diagnosis, but on Rex’s blatant disregard for HIPAA law. Someone write Rex a prescription for STFU, stat.

  11. ArchieNemesis
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail is going to punch all the facial hair off that guy including eyebrows.

  12. Blue O'Clock
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    RxMD: You don’t need to worry about doctor-patient confidentiality when you’re giving a false diagnosis. The only reason Rex “has” to tell the mayor he has prostrate cancer is because he needs to raise a quick hundred grand. It a month or two (i.e., 18-28 months our time) Rex will tell the mayor that his cutting-edge saline-chelation-radio-magnetic dildo therapy has cured his prostrate cancer. Of course, by then, it will have caused it.

  13. captainswift
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    “In fact, I’ve known about the Mayor’s cancer since his appointment two weeks ago. I’ve just been saving this for exactly the right dramatic moment.”

  14. commodorejohn
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    Someone is about to be very disappointed by the results of an eBay auction.
    Oh, not at all. He’ll just pick a ridiculous figure out of thin air (like $300 for software for a no-longer-extant online service,) set the auction as a reserve-price or buy-it-now, and keep relisting it until some really stupid person comes along to buy it at the inflated figure and keep the fucker in business.

    Not that I’m bitter.

  15. Brian Steinberg, Comics Examiner
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

  16. Merf
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    Old-timey phone in BC = excuse to draw strange, breast-like phone bells and enter the world of dirty cartooning that The Artist doesn’t get to explore fully with the ladies’ skin-tight, curve-hugging mini-dresses alone.

  17. dodoman1
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    Sarge must be a pretty hungry guy; he ate his trademark single tooth between panels one and two!

  18. Ed Dravecky
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    In today’s Pibgorn, our blood-soaked title character, a magical fairy, is soaring out of the atmosphere with a baseball bat clutched in her left hand with her right gripping the left hand of her alien-built robot duplicate.

    Why, you ask? This robot was sent to Earth to seduce a human male and collect his sperm but she fell for a vampire, humped him to death, and returned only his dead seed to her alien masters. Her mission a failure, the aliens plan to destroy Earth and all of its inhabitants. An angry Pibgorn escapes captivity and beams down with the robot and an unexplained plan to save the world that involves only the vampire’s severed head (now cradled in the robot’s right arm) and that baseball bat. They’re on their way back to the spaceship now.

    Yes, really.

  19. zenvelo
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    @ArchieNemesis (#11): I don’t think we’ll see Mark Trail punching. I think he’ll sic a rabid Rusty in tears after him.

  20. Calico
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    BTF sound kinda like Son Volt – not bad!

  21. zenvelo
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Someone is about to be very disappointed by the results of an eBay auction.

    So you’re acknowledging my speculation yesterday that the “old lady” is Meg Whitman?

  22. Dragon of Life
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    Is this Christmas?! ‘Cuz I can’t imagine how any other occasion could justify Mark Trail’s inevitable fisticuffs with Snidely Whiplash!

  23. Darkefang
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    @DairyStateDad (#3):

    “GT: I have two questions: 1) Has any team that Thorp coaches EVER won its league/division/whatever championship? 2) What’s Bryce’s beef? If Slim hadn’t played the band date, they would have lost the night before!”

    1) Milford used to win a championship in one sport or another every couple years. They also used to have an athlete or two every year that was being scouted by either college coaches or pro scouts. I guess Rubin felt that was too unrealistic, because whenever he took over the strip, Milford’s sports teams have been in a talentless, winless drought. I think it’s been about 2002 or 2003 since they’ve won a championship in anything.

    2) Rubin probably read somewhere that conflict makes drama interesting. He apparently skipped the part that talked about there needing to be some reason for that conflict. Bryce is just kind of a huge dick to everyone for no particular reason. And it never really seems to advance or add to the plot. The dickishness is just there.

  24. Ned Ryerson
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    MT: What does Dr. Rawl Withers want with that little dog?

  25. BananaSam
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    Mark Trail is a reasonably successful writer, and one who apparently lives of the land with no real expenses. and the reward is for Sassy, one of God’s beloved creatures, instead of say, Rusty. Mark is probably offering every penny he has ever earned, plus interest. this whole thing will probably wrap up amicably tomorrow, or in another week at most.

  26. Krazy Kat
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    “What’s he’s offering may not be enough?” So true. I’d pay a lot of money for a dog with a convenient neck handle.

  27. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    In addition to everything else, the tree in BC appears to have breasts. You can say that’s the ringer, but you know what it looks like. So I’m thinking this tree-phone is set aside exclusively for horny lonelyhearts calls.

  28. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    @DairyStateDad (#3): yes, actually, but not recently.

    The Mudlarks used to be good for a trophy in at least one sport a year, back in the day. However, when one of the new writers took over (wiki says the “Left Behind” dude, iirc) it was decided that was unrealistic, and the Mudlarks have been missing it by THAT much! ever since. My personal interp is that Milford used to be the biggest school in the area, but the others caught up and/or Milford’s population went down. Being the only Class B school in a district of Class C teams gives a heck of an advantage, after all. (translation, having three or four times as many students as the other schools in the area.)

  29. BenBen
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    I really liked today’s Hi & Lois. Based on the self-assured and generally badass appearance of the babysitter, and the look of genuine admiration on the delivery driver’s face, it seems that the Flagstons have called in the child care equivalent of The Wolf from Pulp Fiction.

  30. Larry Fine
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    Today’s guest writer for Rex Morgan MD: Tom Batiuk!

  31. Darkefang
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#28):

    “The Mudlarks used to be good for a trophy in at least one sport a year, back in the day. “

    If you count Mimi, they won a championship pretty much every year. My recollection is that it would alternate: Gil would win one year, Mimi the next.

  32. Baka Gaijin
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    Rose is Rose: Pasquale has the “I made a boom-boom in my shorts and am damned proud of it” look on his face. Rose looks like she found the super-powerful water jet.

    One Big Happy: “The jazz hands. Hot-cha-cha!” Nuff said.

    Sherman’s Lagoon: Surprisingly full of win today.

  33. DairyStateDad
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

  34. Black Drazon
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    I’ve also got to like Gil Thorp’s sticking it to unreasonable narrative norms in the name of realism, even if the final panel decided to throw an aesop on this year’s storylines: “Everyone you know will betray you and leave you a failure!” And then you’ll end up working a legacy strip!

    BC’s tree phone was originally meant as an absurdity. In the strip where it was introduced, Peter announces it to be the first phone on earth, only for someone else to point out that means it’s utterly useless. The next strip, to his confusion, it rings anyways and it’s sort of been ringing ever since. I don’t mean to be the nerdy guy explaining the joke, I just like the surreal feeling I get when I act like BC used to be worth reading.

  35. ArtisticPlatypus
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    I haven’t really followed the mark trail storyline, but judging from this strip, it seems quite interesting..

    Mark trail has, for some reason, grown a mustache. Due to the neurotoxins produced by all facial hair in the mark trail universe, his mind has been twisted into villainy, and he is just coming up with a phony excuse to punch Sassy in the face.

    Did i get that right?

  36. Pozzo
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    I think that tree’s eyes are bulging in horror at being that close to FB’s snatch.

  37. Dude...wait...what?
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    Sassy is receiving the same care from this mustached villain as she does from a crazy woman hoarding animals in her back yard and a deformed troll. It may look like Stockholm syndrome, but I think Sassy has found her new home

  38. cheech wizard
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#18): Don’t worry. They’ll all turn out to be demons. Everyone in Pibgorn turns out to be a demon.

  39. ElkMeadow
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    Sorry, Josh, but you’re about 40 years late on those questions about the telephone in B.C. I’ve been waiting that long for the answers. Only back in the day, as I recall, it was an actual old fashioned phone box, with everything together in one place. Why the bells are on the bottom of the tree and the phone itself is in the middle are the questions now.

    MT is now ripping off RMMD and we know our Cue, sir, and that villian is no Cue.

  40. Écureuil Écumant
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#27):

    I’m thinking it may have been set aside for Killer.

  41. Anon
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    As a doctor, I appreciate Rex’s willingness to spill sensitive patient information to whomever might be standing around. Screw patient privacy! Now that’s my kinda doc!

  42. vanya
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#18): Do I even need to point out that your description makes Pigborn sound far more coherent and logical than 9CL? It’s obvious which strip is getting 90% of Brooke’s attention these days.

  43. seismic-2
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    GT: I can hardly wait for the other guys in Slim Chance’s band, who all pitched in and paid for a 150-mile taxi ride for him just so that he could pitch in the big game, find out that they sacrificed all the band’s earnings for the past year so that Slim could be the loser pitcher in a 13-3 blowout. They will stage their own backyard tire fire, with Slim wearing a Firestone around his neck.

  44. Josh
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    @thehollis (#10) and @Blue O’Clock (#12): I love a good HIPAA joke as much as the next guy, but to be briefly and pointlessly serious, it may not apply here for two reasons. One, June and Rex are married, and sometimes married people are considered a single person before the law? (For instance, courts have interpreted the 5th amendment right to not be compelled to testify against yourself to also mean that you cannot be forced to testify against your spouse.) And two, more importantly, June is a nurse practitioner at Rex’s practice, and may well be helping with the mayor’s care at some point, so she’s probably in the right to know category.


  45. Chyron HR
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    In today’s Gil Thorp, the part of Bryce will be played by Geordi LaForge.

  46. ArtisticPlatypus
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    Also, backyard tire fire are quite enjoyable. Alt-country is an underappreciated genre.

  47. Sequitur
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    I’m back from vacation and wanted to say “Howdy, Ya’ll!”

    No snark here but I am glad to see that Sassy has a handle. It makes her easier to, well… handle! And by the look on Sassy’s face, she’s loving every minute of it.

    By the way, I spent much of my vacation in Fredericksburg, Texas. True Fable would like it there because of all the goats!

  48. MikeP
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    Why does Sgt. Snorkel lick the food off his tie?

    Because he can.

  49. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    RMMD — When did Rex get an Ohio medical license?

  50. Thomas B.
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    BC- I know there are plenty of trees with nuts, but this may be the first one with testicles.

  51. seismic-2
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    @Black Drazon (#34): Remember, too, that the phone-tree opens up so that B.C. can use it as an old-fashioned phone booth when he steps into it and changes into his Midnight Skulker costume, which he used to do a lot more often when Hart was still alive. OK, the phone is actually on the outside of the booth, but still.

  52. Thomas B.
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    MT- What sort of idiot steals something without first knowing its value? For all he knows, the “reward” could be an akward, loveless hug.

  53. Harland
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    Slim may have gotten “rocked” after pulling an all-nighter moonlighting as a musician, but the true sports-hero’s-downward-spiral narrative comes with Mark Trail, as a closer examination of the dognapping neighbor reveals him to be former Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez.

  54. SteveC.
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    “If he doesn’t offer a big enough reward to make it worth my while, I’m sure I can get some kid to trade me his pocketknife for this little guy.”

  55. Buck Ripsnort
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#39): Yeah, the Phone Booth Tree! The Midnight Skulker used to leap out of one every now and again.

  56. Buck Ripsnort
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    Did the Peanuts kids grow up to play for Milford?

  57. numbskull72
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    BC Panel 3: Apparently, trees had boobs in caveman times.

  58. AmazingThor
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    The author of Rex Morgan, MD has apparently been stealing ideas from the cult film “The Room.” Namely, the idea of having a character randomly (and offhandedly) throw out a cancer subplot that never gets mentioned again.

  59. CleverNameIsaac
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    Look at the first panel of Beetle Bailey. Now look at the first panel of Mark Trail.

    Are Killer and Mustachioed Villain not the same person?

  60. cheech wizard
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    BC – No, no, no! Look at panel 1! Trees don’t have boobs! But apparently, this one has nuts.

  61. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    @Buck Ripsnort (#56): Mimi could only wish she had Peppermint Patty on her softball team. Patty, of course, plays for the other team. [*]

  62. Business Pyjamas
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    Loud, monotone speech, as evinced by exclamation points tacked onto impossibly unexclaimable sentences and a surprising absence of random bolding… frozen, clenched fist grasping random prop… my God! This villain is just a young, puppy-snatching Bob Dole!

  63. AndyL
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#18): Man! Pibgorn sounds awesome! But you know what would really spice it up? A flash back to world war two.

  64. Mr. O'Malley
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    I spent a little time reading the poetry of Harry J. Couchon, and I have decided that the theory that he is a pen name for Lynn Johnston is unlikely. Despite a style that sometimes calls to mind the work of the celebrated William Topaz McGonagall, he exhibits more emotional depth than we see from Lynn Johnston. Case in point: his lament for the loss of his first love, his Gibson SG.

  65. AndyL
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know which is more ridiculous, that Mark Trail took out a huge half-page lost-dog advertisement in the local paper and didn’t specify the reward, or that this month’s generic dog-napper went to all this trouble without first verifying that the reward was worth the effort and risk!

  66. AndyL
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    I suppose that building tree-phones has its own unique set of engineering restrictions, but why would you build the phone’s ringer so close to the ground? Real phones have never been built like that.

  67. AndyL
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    You’ve got to applaud the Dog-Napper’s use of props in his monologuing : “Time to find out what [Lifts dog into shot.] [i]this mutt[/i] [Puts dog back down] is worth!”

  68. bats :[
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:44 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#6): there are a lot of cwt sites out there. I think has been able to distill the very essence, the creme de la squee, with the postings here.
    I think Mark Trail needs to do a Sunday meditation on squee.

    @captainswift (#13): “In fact, I’ve known about the Mayor’s cancer since his appointment two weeks ago. I’ve just been saving this for exactly the right dramatic moment.”

    “Yep. I got nothing else to do on my calendar. Might as well go to the office and polish the old sheepskin.”

    @Sequitur (#47): I love the goats standing in the bluebells (bluebonnets? we usually call them lupines around here). Frederickburg is a little treasure — we accidentally found it on a trip out to Austin/Houston, and it was GREAT!

    @AndyL (#63): ‘cuz everything’s better with Nazis!

  69. Frailin Fool
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#18): The vampire’s head looks like Keisel’s. But all of Brooke’s men look pretty much alike. Perhaps that’s why the 9CL plot won’t die? Get James Woods NOW. “Die, you fucker!” – Vampires

  70. Walker of Dog
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    @Subway Duck (#7):

    RM: So Rex is treating the Mayor of Westview?

    No, the mayor of Westview is a tumor. (The assistant city clerk is a cirrhotic liver, but that’s another story.)

  71. curlyfries
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#44): Josh, you’re confusing spousal immunity with marital communications privilege. Regarding spousal immunity – the law doesn’t see it as two-two-two-people-in-one; it’s not, and never was, a Fifth Amendment right. The Fifth ensures due process for, and prevents legal abuses against, a single person, not a husband-wife team.

    Spousal immunity comes from common law, dating back to when your wife was considered your property and couldn’t testify against you even if she wanted to. That slowly evolved into a “marital” privilege, which deemed marriage is sancrosanct and neither party could not be compelled to sully its bonds by the state. That’s being challenged in many states, like Texas, when it comes to domestic abuse cases, i.e. forcing a wife to testify to abuse when the state has clear evidence of an assault. (*) A husband/wife can testify against their spouse if s/he wishes, although his/her lawyer may be able to prevent it.

    Marital confidences refers to privileged communication between husband and wife, and is just as binding as other privileges that involve confidentiality, such as attorney-client privilege, clergy-penitent privilege and medical professional privilege (and we know how well that does here, right?). Privilege basically allows you to exclude evidence on the grounds that it would damage a fundamental principle or relationship if it were disclosed, but legally (like all privileges) it’s conditional; it’s not a right. Self-incrimination is also a privilege under common law, and it’s the only privilege here that is a right under the Fifth Amendment Prior to that, common-law privilege against self-incrimination was the only defense you had against torture to extract information and a confession, and it was routinely flouted.

  72. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#47): Those are some noble-looking goats!

  73. Kym
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    Okay, so, I’d only heard of Backyard Tire Fire before, not actually heard their music, and in fact I’d never heard of “alt-country” before, because I live in a cave or something, but I just went to their website and listened, and let me get this straight: “alt-country” is just alternative with a Southern-ish accent? Or am I missing something?

    [I'm under 30 (only just), but I still refuse to call something "country" if it doesn't include steel guitar and/or violin]

  74. BigTed
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:00 pm [Reply]

    Rex always looks like he’s getting a prostate exam — do we have to see him giving one?

  75. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    I’ll be hearing Sam Watterson’s voice whenever I read a curlyfries post from now on.

  76. bunivasal
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    I’m surprised at how egalitarian the Mudlarks are, giving their star pitching position to adorable lesbian Chance, with her pixie haircut and numerous tank tops.

  77. DairyStateDad
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

  78. curlyfries
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#75): Oooh, can I get you to put this in first?

  79. Snuggs
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    I like to think that the villain in Mark Trail is talking to our titular hero in a girlish falsetto, since Mark would never suspect a woman of pet thievery. Okay, maybe a woman with a beard, but that wouldn’t be obvious over the phone.

  80. Peanut Gallery
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#Y266): Some of Ogden Nash’s poetry might fit rather well with the sense of humor on this site. For example:

    The Purist
    by Ogden Nash

    I give you now Professor Twist,
    A conscientious scientist,
    Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
    And sent him off to distant jungles.
    Camped on a tropic riverside,
    One day he missed his loving bride.
    She had, the guide informed him later,
    Been eaten by an alligator.
    Professor Twist could not but smile.
    “You mean,” he said, “a crocodile.”

  81. Steve S
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    God, why doesn’t Rex Morgan move to Westview? Given how much he likes diagnosing cancer and being a smug dick, all he’d have to learn would be bad puns.

  82. zerowolf
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    FW Just wait until he tries to pay for something using a 2010 bill and is arrested for passing counterfeit money:

    Funky: That’s real money. Honest
    Cop #1: Yeah, right Real money dated 2009?
    Cop #2: Next thing you know he’s going to tell us a black man is President.

  83. Fashion Police
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:31 pm [Reply]

    We are intrigued by the juxtaposition of Herr Keisl in evening clothes and Miss Ernst’s more informal attire. One presumes this is intended to portray Herr Keisl’s devotion to form and honor compared to Miss Ernst’s less hidebound approach to life.

    We are further intrigued with way Mr. McEldowney juxtaposed the rather distateful attempt to display passion in panel two and the masterful foreshortening Miss Ernst’s torso in panel three, which lengthens the line of her dress without making her look grotesque. One wishes his storytelling was similarly foreshortened of its pompous and rather vulgar pretentiousness.

    However, we must give him what credit is due. He has made it clear to the reader without actually saying so that both Miss Ernst and Herr Keisl are aware that this is their last day on earth together, and that their brave protestations to the contrary are but a shadow-play required by the formal courtesies implicit in Herr Keisl’s dinner-suit.

    One concludes that both Miss Ernst and Herr Keisl have knowledge that is as yet unknown to the reader, perhaps that the odious Colonel Yancey has threatened to expose Herr Keisl’s sinister past unless he stands down. We also know that Miss Ernst has, again through the machinations of Colonel Yancey, learned something from Mr O’Malley’s file that she has not shared with Herr Keisl.

    Far from being a victim of the Colonel Yancey’s manipulations, we suspect Miss Ernst has used him to further her own ambition to hold both Mr. O’Malley and Herr Keisl in thrall to her exalted self. We would not be shocked to learn that Miss Ernst has set herself the task fo bearing Herr Keisl’s child, and through the fortunes of the moon and deux ex machina she will be rewarded. She will hold Keisl’s affections through his child, raised thousands of miles away. For O’Malley, the price for her will be acceptance and fostering of said child, even thought the War has left him as the simulacrum not of Rick Blaine but of Jake Barnes. Miss Ernst is determined to have her cake and eat it, too – despite the cost to the two men in her life whom she supposedly loves equally. We have no doubt that at the end of the tale the wizened Mrs. O’Malley will exhort her daughter to seek out the pathetic and bitter husk of Herr Keisl to twist the knife a little further.

    If one expected to see such a stilted contrivance of a plot through the medium of the characters’ clothing, one should find Herr Keisl in full Viennese court dress, and Miss Ernst as some Disneyfied princess, dancing across the lawns of Central Park in the moonlight. It makes one appreciate the romantic subtleties of Mary Worth.

  84. zerowolf
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:38 pm [Reply]

    Casali slipped “Love is… …tossing her salad” past the censors!

  85. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    @Steve S (#81): I don’t recall Rex ever smirking, though…

  86. Old Goat
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    RM: So how did Rex make this diagnosis? A family physician such as Dr Morgan would refer a patient with an abnormal digital exam or an elevated PSA to a urologist. The urologist would then perform a biopsy and contact the patient for follow-up. Rex would find out when he got the consult report from the urologist.

    And poor Dr Morgan is feeling so sorry for himself about his rough morning in the office. Imagine how the mayor will feel when he finds out that his remaining days will be filled with incontinence, impotence and chemical castration.

  87. Citric
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Mustache McVillain will get his reward, he’ll be paid hand over fist into face.

  88. Sequitur
    July 8th, 2010 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#68): Those would be Bluebonnets. The state flower of Texas. Oddly, Texas A&M University developed a white Bluebonnet.

    Actually, it is quite legal. Part of the confusion may stem from illegal activity associated with the picking of the flower, such as parking along busy highways or trespassing on private property.

  89. Sequitur
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#72): Noble Goat. This will be a new character in Gasoline Alley.

  90. seismic-2
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    @Old Goat (#86): And imagine how the Mayor will feel when he learns that the cancer could have been caught in time, but the first set of lab results were wrong, because they got mixed up with the lab results for some Les Moore guy.

  91. Digger
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:11 pm [Reply]

    What exactly will mustache-man do with Sassy if Mark doesn’t offer enough? He doesn’t seem like the type who would want to have a pet dog for himself. Will he be cooking up a nice Sassy stew?

  92. gnome de blog
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:15 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#90): Doc Morgan got the test results last year just before departing on the Cruise to Nowhere. However, he was afraid that if he told the mayor he would have to postpone the trip, which would make his wife angry. You don’t make June Morgan angry…

  93. littlestevie
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:16 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Not that cancer of the prostate has a super fast metastasis rate, but when was Rex last in the office? Before they went on their trip and picked up that orphan kid? Wasn’t that last year, Hmmm nice continunity of care Rex?. Not to defend Rex and June, but isn’t she a P.A. and she works in Rex’s office? Can’t they discuss patients

  94. Dewey's Coffee
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    @Kym (#73): Alt-country is similar to what they used to call “roots rock.” For further information you can educate yourself by going to youtube and watching videos by bands like the Jayhawks, Son Volt, and the Bottle Rockets.

  95. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    @Digger (#91): Well, this is where Sassy’s resemblance to canned tamales might come in handy—for Mr. Pencilthinstache, at least.

  96. curlyfries
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#90): Except that I’m not even sure Les Moore has a prostate in the first place. Even if he does, actual impotence due to cancer or surgery would sort of go unnoticed, right?

  97. Dewey\'s Coffee
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:18 pm [Reply]

    Does the universe love us enough to make Funky Winkerbean the mayor of Rex Morgan’s town? Because I smell kickass crossover potential here.

  98. Elboo
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    Looking beyond the tree-phone thing, B.C. just doesn’t make sense.
    Shouldn’t the punchline be “It’s for me.” ?

  99. gnome de blog
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    Sad to see that Brook and Toots have disappeared into the dustbin of the Woodyverse. We’ll never know if they really do get back together, or if Toots goes on to a career tagging bridge abutments with murals of whales and spiders.

    Oh, well, they should at least have a little fun with Fence Post Frank, J. Elhew Bisbee, Cue, Starfish Boy and his mom Skankarella (ahd her sister Skanky Skankington, who we left in the hosptial with gunshot wounds), Oakey Merlot, Pus Boy and his Dad, Knox Headley, “Dr.” Troy Gainer, Mrs. and Mr. Agnes Dunsmore, and so many others.

    What about it Woody? Why don’t you start an ensemble strip with all your cast-off characters. They’re almost always more interesting than the regulars.

  100. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:32 pm [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#78): “doink-doink”

    @Dewey’s Coffee (#94): listening to the vid that Josh posted, BTF sounds sort of like early John Cougar, with more twang.

  101. Peter
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    The telephone in B.C. has been around for decades. Thor announced that he had invented it, though he couldn’t call anyone with it as he only made one. As he was walking away from it, it rang – indicating he didn’t invent it after all. He then attempted to call the apparent inventor back… only to find that the line was busy.

    Anyhow, the reason the phone looks that way is because it hasn’t changed its appearance much since Johnny Hart first invented it, back when that was the typical idea of a cartoon phone.

    Also, the “fat broad” hasn’t been called that in years. Back when Hart was still alive, she started to be referred to as “Fats,” presumably in response to numerous complaints.

  102. bats :[
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:40 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#92): I’m just recalling some comment about the prostrate gland can be imagined as a donut around one’s urethra, and when it becomes enlarged, it squeezes the urethra, restricting the flow of urine.
    Then I thought about the Morgans and their three-day tour. And the Donut Kid.
    I feel woozy…

  103. dreadedcandiru2
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#83): Your premise is something that I have long feared. Therefore, it must be correct given McEldowney’s need to overwhelm his critics with sheer horror and wanton hatefulness.

  104. curlyfries
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:41 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#100): Oh, thank you – I feel so validated!

  105. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    I feel sorry for Rex. There he was, twisting his finger inside the mayor’s ass, listening to the man’s subtile, stubborn moan as he glanced over his prostate to get a sampling, knowing that he could be doing this every night with a young ship’s steward if not for a tow-headed tot left astray. Make a decision before retirement, Rex. Your heaving manbosoms won’t bring you the dates on the internets.

  106. Anonnn
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#44):
    Hmm, maybe Shadowfax can weigh in?

  107. curlyfries
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#102): Prostate. Prostrate is what you get when you squeeze it too hard or think about the Morgans’ sex life and doughnuts too much.

  108. Monica
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    @MT: And what, exactly, will he do if the reward money IS “not enough”? There are only two reasons to turn down reward money: either he wants to keep the dog (unlikely) or…I’m trying to think of a nice way of saying he’s a complete imbecile.

  109. skippykawakami
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:02 pm [Reply]

    An example of Rex’s “rough morning” ahead: Panel two shows bracelet-and-dress-shirt-wearing thug punching Rex into unconsciousness, right in the middle of his attempts to spend as little time with his wife as possible. Luckily Rex doesn’t need to be awake in order to continue being coldly dismissive of his marriage, his mayor and prostate cancer in general, because he is a sleep-dick (or as doctors call it, “somndouchealism”).

  110. Poteet
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:07 pm [Reply]

    GT — I suppose there’s no use asking why one alleged human being in the third panel has a dramatic gash running down his face, and the other has apparently borrowed her left hand from a Na’vi.

  111. gnome de blog
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    @Kym (#73):

    [I'm under 30 (only just), but I still refuse to call something "country" if it doesn't include steel guitar and/or violin]

    Your point is well taken, although if it’s Country it’s a fiddle, not a violin. It is possible to do Country without either (Johnny Cash comes to mind), but it isn’t easy.

  112. Poteet
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    GT — The pitcher in the first panel appears to have long dark waving tufts of hair growing right through the top of his baseball cap. I’m afraid to look at the second panel.

  113. Farley's Revenge
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#47): Well, hell. If I’d known you were in F’burg, I could have joined you for lunch. Showed you some sights. Watched as you hiked to the top of Enchanted Rock. Taken you to Luckenbach.

    In short, we coulda had a meetup of sorts. I’m not all that far from Fredericksburg, after all, and I love going there.

  114. Poteet
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#99): Maybe we could send a petition to Woody. I’d sign it.

  115. teddytoad
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:18 pm [Reply]

    @Josh (#44): Pretty sure it’s a HIPAA violation still, albeit the most hilarious HIPAA violation I’ve ever seen in the comics. (And I’m not being ironic – several have been documented on this blog.) The old coverture laws considering spouses to be one legal person are long dead, and the spousal privilege just means that June won’t have to testify against Rex in his inevitable federal prosecution. Her being a nurse in his office makes the sitch less clear, but I’m still fairly certain there has to be a good reason other than idle chatter to talk about someone’s private med condition.

    Anyway, I’m also pretty sure today’s Beetle Bailey panels were mistakenly recycled from one of Mort Walker’s pornographic sketches. Probably B.C. too, to be honest, although what sick private gag involved a tree with b00bs I won’t try to guess.

  116. Lawyerbob
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    @MikeP (#48): That’s not his tie that Sarge is licking. “There once was a man from Nantucket . . . ”

    MT: Bad guy looks weirdly like Keith Hernandez, one of my idols from his days with the Mets and guest star of a great Seinfeld episode. Which fits, since he’s showing his smooth fielding of Sassy. He’ll probably ask Mark to help him move.

    RMMD: In panel two, Rex is displaying the fist that launched a thousand prostate exams.

  117. ElkMeadow
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#83):

    Aw, crap. You made me look.

  118. commodorejohn
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#114): I would sign the hell out of that.

  119. bats :[
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

  120. nescio
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:32 pm [Reply]

    @Elboo (#98):
    “B.C. just doesn’t make sense” is a quote that can be posted over and over again.

    Yesterday I was trying to figure out how you could build up static electricity while touching someone, then separate, then shock the other person/bird. (#Y20) H.L. Jenkem came up with a logical explanation.

    I didn’t get a chance to post while I was at work today, and today’s strip has already been heavily discussed. But I was going to say:

    Old B.C.: Clams got legs!
    New B.C.: Trees got breasts!

  121. tb4000
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    GT: Bryce is just pissed because Lebron isn’t replacing his hated teammate. Wait, what?

  122. Saluki
    July 8th, 2010 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    Reprint from the end of yesterthread.

    It’s only fitting that Gil Thorp is syndicated by Tribune Media Services. Coach Thorp’s teams win about as often as a certain Chicago National League ball-club did during the quarter century that the Tribune owned them.

  123. sugarpie
    July 8th, 2010 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    MTrail Despite the stealing of nasty old Sassy and plotting to extort a few bucks for her return, Mr. Pencilthin has some awfully nice manners: “Hello, may I speak to Mr. Trail?” It’s like Bruno Hauptmann saying “Hello, May I speak to Mr. Lindbergh?”

  124. Écureuil Écumant
    July 8th, 2010 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    @116 Lawyerbob said:

    That’s not his tie that Sarge is licking.

    Yeah, and that’s not food he’s licking off it.

  125. Old Goat
    July 8th, 2010 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    @littlestevie (#93): Indeed, prostate ca can be indolent and screening remains controversial as the treatment is often worse than the disease. Talking to the mayor about his cancer should cover options from watchful waiting to a radical prostatectomy… but Rex is old school — “if in doubt, cut it out.”

  126. mr 12 oz can
    July 8th, 2010 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    mark trail- i call bullshit you know mark doesnt have a ansewering machine and if andy ansewers the phone whats he gonna say that slim stache will understand
    maryworth- karen moy says only serious moonlight will due
    rex morgan= i just got the feeling back in my index finger a hour ago the guy has to have prostate cancer
    top chef- they gotta get rid of the creepy guy with the glasses not chef tim and the spanish guy who almost got chef kenny kicked , plus chef spanish guy who wins alot your a dick your going down

  127. Walker of Dog
    July 8th, 2010 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    @Snuggs (#79):

    …Mark would never suspect a woman of pet thievery. Okay, maybe a woman with a beard, but that wouldn’t be obvious over the phone.

    You don’t think Mark Trail can hear facial hair? Guess again.

  128. PTPundit
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    @Lawyerbob (#116): MT: Mr. Dognapper seems to have grown a second moobie pocket on his shirt sometime between panel one and panel three. Is his body, in anticipation of receiving all that reward money, sprouting extra storage space to store it? Maybe its just for his mustache wax, trimmer and comb. Either way, Keith Hernandez has sure fallen far since 1986.

  129. Anonymous
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    BC: That tree has boobs!

  130. Austria
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    Arch: Spoilers, he’s talking about The Last Airbender. This may be the most relevant the AJGLU-3000 has ever been!!


    BC: I don’t know if it was like this in anyone else’s paper, but in mine the color of the Fat Broad’s dress switched back and forth from panel to panel. Confused me greatly.

    FW: ………….So……….when did bottled water become widely available? I thought it’d always been around. This strip is reeeeeeeeeally making me show my age.

    MT: Is it bad that I find that first panel absolutely hilarious?

    RMMD: …..Prostates. Prostates. Are you serious? Prostates.
    Ladies and gentlemen, we are in for a whole crapton of gay subtext.
    We have a urologist in the family, so I know way too much about this stuff. What I’d like to know is, when did Rex become a urologist? Or is he some sort of…anything-goes doctor? Pokin’ up butts one day, cleaning out earwax the next?

  131. Toby Bartels
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    @Kym (#73):

    Alt-country is any contemporary music sung with a southern U.S. accent that doesn’t suck.

    (Well, obviously this depends on your taste. But if you find that mainstream country music sucks, then, ….)

  132. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    hey, Austria, I’ve been meaning to ask about your nick. right ballpark? *curious*

  133. Red Greenback
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    B B: I have the feeling that the dialog was much funnier before it was translated to English.
    B C: That tree is obviously a titwillow. *ducks*

  134. Old School Allie Cat
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:43 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#129): Good! I thought I was the only sick individual who saw the tree-teats.

  135. Old Goat
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    @Austria (#130): Or is he some sort of…anything-goes doctor? Pokin’ up butts one day, cleaning out earwax the next?…
    Hope he changes specula between exams… or at least his gloves.

  136. Joe Blevins
    July 8th, 2010 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: “Mayor, I’ve got great news. Remember that expensive, grueling re-election campaign you said you were planning…?”

  137. Red Greenback
    July 8th, 2010 at 11:32 pm [Reply]

    I hear “Old Messy Sarge” can also suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.

  138. mon-ma-tron
    July 8th, 2010 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    Never mind the oldey-timey phone handset. Why does the tree have BOOBS?

  139. Izzy
    July 8th, 2010 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    Those can’t be breasts on the tree – being located so low, I’m forced to assume that they’re testicles with a single, prominent mole on each.

  140. Andy L
    July 8th, 2010 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    If 9CL’s current plot line ends with a plane crash I’m going to laugh and laugh. … Not with the author, mind you, at him.

  141. This Guy
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    H&J: Neither of those was the ‘L’ word I was going to suggest.

  142. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    AD – There was an anecdote that Brother Tom tried to put over when he was being kind of an apprentice pastor at the old Northside Baptist Church. Told in his slow, wondering way, this was about a little boy who got his first pair of glasses. And as he went outside with his dad for the first time, he stopped and said, “Look, Father! That tree has leaves!” I’ve used that anecdote dozens of times in the intervening years, always in a slow, wondering sort of voice that gives my friends several seconds to dread the inevitable almost-a-punch-line. Well, now I’m tempted to use something like it again each and every time someone here gets that all-too-familiar look in their eyes and says, “Hey, you know what that looks like…?”

    @zerowolf (#82): Cop #2: Next thing you know he’s going to tell us a black man is President.
    Dr. Emmett Brown: And who’s the Vice President? Sammy Davis, Junior?

    @Digger (#91): “I’ll convert you / Into a stew! / A nice little, beige little / Cookie-dog stew!” –T.S. Eliot, “Fragment of an Idiot”

    @Elboo (#98): Looking beyond the tree-phone thing, B.C. just doesn’t make sense.
    Shouldn’t the punchline be “It’s for me.” ?

    No, F.B. is appropriating the hot-hot-hot self-description of the caller unto herself.
    Or, to put it in terms of a cartoon I drew back in the 90s (with Max Headroom as Magic Mirror) “F-f-fairest of them all? S-speaking!”

  143. DairyStateDad
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:17 am [Reply]

    GT, 7/9: Oh, cool! Mean Mr. Mustache can throw his voice miles away and make it sound like the deer’s talking!

  144. DairyStateDad
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:18 am [Reply]

    GAH. That should have been MT! Time to go to bed

  145. NoahSnark
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    The mayor has prostate cancer? How will he give his next election speech?

  146. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:23 am [Reply]

    @Izzy (#139): I suppose now would be the time to tell you that you should look up “bell ends” in the British slang dictionary.

  147. Rocky Stoneaxe
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:25 am [Reply]


    by Hairy Crouchey Jr.

    In these parts I’m known as a man with class
    For both friend and foe know I’m no ass
    I carry my spotted handbag with me to impress
    The teeming masses with my sheer awesomeness

    Perhaps you’re wondering why I call my handbag “Sassy”
    It couldn’t possibly invoke the memory of some lassie
    For I think you’ll agree — yellow skin and black spots
    Could never belong to any lady for whom I’d have the hots

    Before Sassy was a handbag, she was a dalmatian puppy
    Separated from her true master, a mere lad named Rusty
    I took Sassy into my home after I rescued her from Sally
    A notorious pet hoarder and the scourge of Hogan’s Alley

    I tried to reunite Rusty with the little dog he so tragically lost
    But no one ever returned my calls, and it was starting to cost
    A small fortune for me to keep Sassy, so I hatched a desperate plan
    To hunker down and await some kind of response from Rusty’s clan

    When six months passed without a word, Sassy was sent to the tanners
    A purse she would be, a handbag befitting a man of my fine manners
    While I’ll always recall with fondness my time spent with Sassy
    I’ll never give up my spotted handbag — because it’s soooo classy

    2010 Hairy Crouchey Jr.

  148. Poteet
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#147): Well, that’s gonna sing through my dreams tonight.

  149. Poteet
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:38 am [Reply]


    JP — Jules, you’re such an unattractive whiny mope that the real question is who in their right mind would build a storyline around you. I say it’s past time to cut to Abbey in the bubble bath.

    MW — I am agog. On top of her other dark powers, it seems Mary’s hair grows long at night and shortens again before dawn. This is the stuff of scary tales around the campfire.

    S-M — Please just hit each other and don’t talk. No good ever comes of these conversations.

  150. bats :[
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    Oh, noes!!!1!!1 Just when things were going so well!

  151. Poteet
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:44 am [Reply]


    A3G — Omigawd, they’re going to try to bring Margo onstage? I can’t look. Tell me when the bleeding and screaming stops.

    DtM — At the point when your “menacing” little protagonist starts to obsessively worry about whether he’ll have the funding to attend college, it really is time to hang it up.

  152. Poteet
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#147): Now that I’ve recovered, I say congratulations on your clever versification! Sorry, I had to work through my Cruella deVille issues first:-).

  153. Walker of Dog
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    July 9 strips –

    A3G: “Well let’s see, Lu Ann is that cute little angel trying to figure out why she can’t plug her curling iron into the armrest. Poor thing. And next to her is Margo, our little spitfire, sharpening a big ol’ double-edged axe. She looks a little put-upon, bless her heart.”

    JP: So many strips about shoes and moping… Unless Jules is conning Sam into investing in his “business”, this plot thread must die. I’m so bored I find myself wondering what Mark is up to. Mark, for crying out loud!

    MT: “Not to change the subject — and I know you can’t see me — but what do you think of my new hairdo?”

    MW: I am always creeped out beyond reason when they show Mary with her hair down. It makes her look just human enough to trigger an Uncanny Valley repulsion response.

    Phan: Kit is now hungover every morning, and all that boldface talk isn’t helping.

  154. True Fable
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    Pretty People Posse! Just ONCE I’d like to see Sam Driver lose his cool, and this would be a good time to do it. “Holy crap, Jules! I didn’t break your neck when you came here even though I know you’re tapping my daughter; I kept you from potential lawsuits by getting you to test your stupid looking shoes; I even helped you fix the damn things! I’m given you encouragement AND I’m married to a very very wealthy hot-looking woman who for some reason loves me and would do anything I ask up to and including, invest in a dense whiny would-be shoe designer! But if all you’re going to do is whine and pity yourself and insist that you don’t know what you’re doing even after I’ve offered to help you set up your business and practically hold your fucking hand all the way to the bank, then piss off and don’t look back. You’re a waste of time. Why couldn’t Neddy have brought home a nice confident butler?”

    June Morgan, MILF Day Two of We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Privacy Laws!

    Mary AAAAAAAGGGGHH ! Mary, do NOT wonder how two fumbling singletons are doing on their date while you are gazing at yourself in the mirror! And where’d all that hair come from? Oh LORD do not tell me we are going to be in for several days of Mary Worth flipping her hair around like a wind-up Cher doll.

    Apartment of Doom and Humiliation Meanwhile, Tommie should be sneaking offstage and running for the exit. But Tommie isn’t the brightest crayon in the box so she’s probably still standing there wondering if Ruby can possibly be any more accessorized.

    The Amazing YOU! I’m not buying that Spidey has super hearing since villains are getting the drop on him like ALL THE TIME, so I’m wondering how he’s able to hear Tony muttering while he’s swinging through the air several hundred stories up without any visible means of support around. Of course, nothing in the Spiderverse makes the least bit of sense. Personally, I think Stan Lee should just take his trophy for Most Outstanding Hugh Hefner Look-Alike and go home to call it a day. Even the inclusion of the late great Yul Brennar in panels one and two doesn’t help this strip at all.

  155. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#147): Judging by that first stanza, I’d say the real author is not Hairy Crouchey. Jr,. or even Lynn Johnston – it’s Brooke McEldowney.

  156. SpiffBereft
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:10 am [Reply]

    MT: Hard times indeed when Slim Whitman is reduced to ransoming puppies.

  157. Farley's Revenge
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:28 am [Reply]

    MW: Look at the reflection in that mirror. The reflection is less a reflection and more evidence of a dimensional portal where another Mary is also brushing her hair. All we need is Rod Serling standing in the background intoning a welcome to the Meddle Zone and I’d be set for nightmares for a while.

    FW: Yeah, most guys discuss their BPH with strangers.

    9CL: Ugh. They’ve gone from hand sex to oral hand sex. I’m not seeing much improvement.

    MT: Oh yeah, McPencilstache is really jonesing to meet the Right Fist O’ Justice ASAP. At the very least he should be exposed to Rusty’s “sad” face for a half hour. Or would that be too cruel?

  158. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    9CWL You knw,I could have lived the rest of my life quite happily without seeing that tongue of Edna’s. And as usual, Brooke completely reworks history so he can get that tongue *shudder* into the mix. Ice cream comes to us from Europe (Thomas Jefferson learned how to make it from the French and served it at state dinners) and the English were enjoying hokey-pokeys from street vendors in Gilbert and Sullivan’s day. Waffle-type ice cream cones were a big hit at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, but edible cones were available in England before that, and paper or metal ones to hold ice cream were also common. So to presume international opera star Peter Kiesl has never sampled ice cream in cone form is just beyond ridiculous – much like that damn tongue. He didn’t grow up in a cave, fer chrissakes, but is supposed to be from a very cosmopolitan city. If Brooke is going to have Edna introduce him to Sachertorte by lifting her skirt, I just don’t wanna see it.

  159. Churchy
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    I’ve obviously missed something or am still missing something, but is Chance a transsexual? The character seems to be wearing earrings and bracelets, and has a marked bosom, yet is referred to as “he” in the comments.

  160. Farley's Revenge
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#147): I see I wasn’t the only one who likened Sassy to a man-purse. You, however, did so with much more flair.

  161. True Fable
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:34 am [Reply]

    9 Dickweed Lane Juliette, Please. You’re the one who sat there while Mother recounted her many handbanging sessions with Herr Hornytoad, so don’t start protesting now about a little finger sucking.
    Oh shit I feel so dirty.

    Dennis This is the most menacing we’ve seen from the Kid in years! Look at the way he’s tormenting the piggybank, who is keeping a brave face despite Dennis’s cruel will-he-or-won’t-he-break-me game? You’re a sick individual, Dennis. Keep up the bad work.

    I really don’t care about Dick Tracy Well where else would Dick be, but in the nearest vicinity of a dead body done in by the most bizarre unnatural means possible?

    Drabble Drabba Doo Drabble will be drawn today by Six Chix, Sylvia, Close to Home or any other comic that looks like shit. Except that Drabble knows what it’s doing.

    Children of the Circle Dolly’s got the patter of a future mob boss down pat. “I need you to… take care of this little matter, Tony.”

    Canadian Zombie Mike Patterson is having fits. Yep, that’s Elly’s boy. The weird one no one in town likes to play with.

    Scenes from Suburban Hell If smelling like summer includes rolling around in your sheepdog’s poo because I’ve never seen any of them scoop up after him, then yes. Ditto and Dot smell like summer.

    Luannadana So Shannon’s not all that different from any of Luann’s other bitchy friends. No wonder they’re getting along after a fashion.


    SFx What the hell is Slylock doing with those geese? Fighting a tornado? Whatever the case, I want whatever you’re taking, Bob Jr.!

    IFHZ Gag.

  162. This Guy
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:39 am [Reply]

    9CL: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *brain reboot* Okay, so… I’m not sure what to say about this. In a situation that bore even the silghtest resemblance to reality, Juliette would long ago have walked out of the room, left the hospital, taken a bus across town, and started listening to speed metal at max volume just to silence the horrible, endless words. That’s at a bare minimum. More likely, she would’ve just smothered the old bitch. It’s mind-boggling when we sit around making these snide remarks, and then the artiste does exactly that. And then he pitches a fucking hissy-fit about all the filthy-minded beefwits who dare–DARE–to imply that anything sexual might be going on in his innocent, chaste, pure-hearted comic.
    I don’t have a gospel choir handy, but I’ll say it anyway: Brooke, go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself sideways with a claymore.

  163. CanuckDownSouth
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    At this point the only thing that could redeem the saga of Jules, Aspiring Shoe Designer, would be if he’s actually running a scam to get money from Neddy and/or Sam & Co. Unfortunately, a strip whose idea of realism includes an unathletic former nerd studying cheerleading moves instead of practicing them, then winning tryouts and becoming wildly popular probably thinks this is the way Manolo Blahnik got his start.

  164. Sister Sestina
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:56 am [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#113): Well, double hell! I was in Fredericksburg too (husband doing the war museum, me tearing through the boutiques) on route to Dallas to see the “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman” musical. Small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it.

  165. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:12 am [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#163): LOL! Except that running a scam requires an actual plan – we’ve seen that it takes all of Jules’ meager resources just to get out of bed in the morning and remain relatively bipedal throughout the day. *sigh* So of course, as you predict, he’ll be ripping them all off and jetting his way to Milan any day now.

  166. Mordock999
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    Yesterday’s BC – 070810

    Well, doggone it, if a modern day ficitional spy can have a phone in a shoe, then I suppose a comic strip cavewoman can have a phone in a tree.

    Today’s Luann -070910

    “Oh HERE’S your DAMNED ice cream bars, Shannon. And ENJOY them WHILE you can, because come Monday the lady from Social Services will come for YOU and hand you over to Foster Parents who DON’T believe kids should ever have sweets, or watch tv and who should spend their FORMATIVE years locked in a cold, dark, closet.” – Luann

    DEATH to TJ!!!

  167. Thomas B.
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:18 am [Reply]

    MW- At m-Harmony Mary connects you with your ideal mate based on the 39 dimensions of compatibility that matter most such as: (1) violating a client’s privacy, (2) flirting between bites, (3) indoor pyrotechnics, (4) talking into your drinking glass, (5) hallucinogenic drug consumption, (6) impromptu dancing, (7) outdoor pyrotechnics (8) kissing without your lips actually touching, and of course (9) more hallucinogenic drugs. Log onto m-Harmony today, because really what other choice do you have?

  168. Thomas B.
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:28 am [Reply]

    MW- Mary’s backwards reflection got me thinking that maybe on the other side of the mirror there is a bizzaro Charterstone where food looks like food, people have fashion sense, Wilbur is a tennis instructor, shadows stay where they belong, Mary keeps her opinions to herself, and every Sunday strip starts with a shot of the inside of the complex. What a wonderful world that would be.

  169. Thomas B.
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:35 am [Reply]

    FW- BPH, really? I already can’t sleep Batiuk, why make me nauseous too?

  170. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:52 am [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#169): Time to make the enlarged prostate donuts!

  171. JustMe
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:54 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail-It seems like the current Mark Trail villian really IS a dirty Communist, or at least subscribes to Ricardo’s theory of value, not because he doesn’t understand the free market, but because he rejects it, believing that Sassy the dog has, instead of just an exchange value, an intrinsic value. You know who else had facial hair? Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Castro, that’s who.

  172. Thomas B.
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:55 am [Reply]

    MT- So Batiuk steals from a popular 80s movie (Back to the Future) while Elrod steals from an unpopular 80s movie (Ruthless people). Makes sense.

  173. Mibbitmaker
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:10 am [Reply]


    BEST: Doonesbury, for “bitch”.

    WORST: Dilbert, for…. yecccccchhh!!! (runner-up: Zits)

  174. Mr O'Malley
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:12 am [Reply]

    @Austria (#130): Carbonated mineral water, often with flavoring of some sort (not sugar), in a glass bottle, became popular in the U.S. around the middle 1980s. It’s kind of hard to find nowadays.

    Perrier was probably available in the US for a long time before that, but they started advertising more heavily in the late 1970s. But it took a while before it lost its elitist image. I remember the original SNL making a joke about a Perrier tanker running around and thousands of volunteers going out to squeeze lemon juice onto the beaches.

    Bottled still water in a plastic bottle didn’t become common until the later 1990s. Until people got used to drinking carbonated water, it would have seemed ludicrous to pay for something you could easily get for free.

    Water in containers of a gallon or more has been available in supermarkets for a long time. Sometimes distilled water to use in steam irons, or drinking water for people to take places where otherwise there isn’t water, like when going on a picnic. But it was never a major industry.

    The NY Times estimated that 200 billion bottles of water were consumed globally in 2008. At $1 a bottle, $200 billion dollars would go a long way to providing clean drinking water for all the people in the world who don’t have it.

    In 2002, 93 billion plastic water bottles went into landfill in the US, enough to go to the moon and back 38 times. (The recycling percentage for plastic bottles is much lower than glass or aluminum.)

    Before the bottled water marketing blitz began, most people didn’t really find it necessary to carry a bottle of water around with them all the time. If you were thirsty, you usually drank from a drinking fountain. It may be more healthy to drink more water, but I’m glad to see more and more people using reusable stainless steel bottles for this purpose.

  175. Josh in Japan
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:20 am [Reply]

    Seeing Mary in the mirror like that reminds me of the woman brushing her hair in the video in the Ring. Only scarier.

  176. Fata Morgana
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:49 am [Reply]

    MW: Kissing on a first date?! Whores! Whores and scandal! No wonder Mary’s legendary reflection, Bloody Mary, has appeared, without even bothering to match Salmon-square Mary’s movements! A stoning at the hands of both Marys is sure to follow.

  177. Aleit
    July 9th, 2010 at 5:38 am [Reply]

    @9CL Maybe, just maybe, Kiesl never eats ice cream because he’s a singer and has to be careful and protect his voice, while Eva, of course, doesn’t give a damn. (which makes little sense, unless he’s been singing since age five and kept off ice cream, sunflower seeds and stuff ever since).
    Which doesn’t get us away from the horrors on the panels two and three, and hooray! we still have the loving details of the visit to the mental ward to look forward to in the next few months.

  178. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 6:12 am [Reply]

    @Aleit (#177): Dairy products and nuts are to be avoided right before a performance due to excessive phlegm production and small particle irritants, respectively, but there’s no reason why they would be verboten for all of Kiesl’s life until now. And I’m not even sure that anyone would have been aware of why they should be avoided back in the ’40′s/’50′s. Caruso was a heavy smoker, and he swore by whiskey to relax the throat before a performance; most singers today realize alcohol and nicotine have an adverse affect on small blood vessels, leading to dryness and irritation in the vocal chords.

    Do you know of a good Burber-free asylum that has room service?

  179. John C Fremont
    July 9th, 2010 at 6:25 am [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge (#157): @Thomas B. (#168): Also notice that the “other” Mary is smiling ever so slightly and seems, if you will, “prettier.” My take on this is that she’s actually gazing at a portrait of herself. A portrait of herself brushing her hair. Mary’s kinda messed up, is what I’m saying.

    MT – I like how the deer’s ears perk up as Cherry says “young spotted female.”

    RMMD – At first, I read “corner” as “coroner” and was hoping for another visit from our good friend Count Morgu. (I know he isn’t actually the coroner, but he hung out in the morgue, dammit, so that’s good enough for me.)

    JP – Back to those – those things on their heads. Those aren’t just safety goggles, those seem more to be welding goggles. What the hell kind of shoes were they making on that new-fangled “stitching machine?”

    (A quick pre-post search told me that Hibbleton made a similar observation the other day. Great minds, right? Right?!)

    Pluggers – Holy effing crap, the damned spotlight’s on Reed Hoover again! Hey, where the hell are my tennis balls?

    And now that I know that trees really do have breasts, I plan on spending much of my weekend in the woods, uh, “communing with nature.” I’m a bad, bad person.

  180. Mr O'Malley
    July 9th, 2010 at 6:43 am [Reply]

    This seems to be evidence that ice cream cones were on sale in Austria as far back as 1905. Which would not be too surprising, as it was about the same time that ice cream cones appeared in many other parts of the world.

    Perhaps Keisl’s family believed that eating ice cream cones was undignified? I’ve read American commentary as late as 1970 stating that eating ice cream cones in public was a disgraceful transgression of social norms.

    @curlyfries (#178): I’ve heard professional singers say that drinking red wine can impair one’s performance the next day. I’ve also heard professional singers say that a shot of whiskey will help you get over minor coughs and rasps in a pinch. I think it is probably useless to expect professional singers to give consistent advice on such matters. Despite the example of Caruso being the greatest tenor of his generation, being a heavy smoker is probably not a good idea for a singer. Or anyone else, really.

    Although I might stretch the point to consider that Funky might chose to relax with a pack of good old Marlboros. Plus his chemotherapy-wracked cancerous body might cause him to lose plenty of unwanted pounds.

  181. Ed Dravecky
    July 9th, 2010 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    Love is… …neatly summarizing the last eight months of 9 Chickweed Lane in one tolerable panel!

  182. DairyStateDad
    July 9th, 2010 at 7:42 am [Reply]

    MW: It’s obvious that Mike and Jenna aren’t kissing. What do you suppose she’s whispering in his ear? Whatever it is, it’s left him limp and exhausted — he can’t even open his eyes!

    And that must be Mary’s evil good twin staring at her through a window, since it clearly doesn’t match up to be a mirror image.

  183. Little Guy
    July 9th, 2010 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    @Darkefang (#23): So Milford are the Celtics of the 90s and early 2000s. Will Gil call in favors to get a star player for a one-time trio?

    Luann: Kid, you got served.

  184. Rusty's Ghost
    July 9th, 2010 at 7:58 am [Reply]

    I think the guys with the sticks and no faces made Winky Fingerbean go back to where he went wrong so he died. I only had to go back to before we got Sassy.

    That guy selling Sassy on eBay better not take a picture, cameras don’t get fooled. Awww, Too Late!

  185. Vince M
    July 9th, 2010 at 7:59 am [Reply]

    @Ned Ryerson (#24): Yay, SCTV reference!

  186. FafMor
    July 9th, 2010 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    It would be awesome to have a Funky/Mark Trail mash-up. Funky, in a daze, wanders back to the spot in the road where he thinks his car will be; Sassy escapes mustache-man and coincidently winds up on the outskirts of town as well. Recognizes a similar suffering soul, Sassy leaps into Funky’s arms just as Funky’s head jerks to see the 18-wheeler barreling down on top of them both. Both strips could end with a final all-black panel.

    The next week, we get to see the doggy version of Masky McDeath.

  187. Rocky Stoneaxe
    July 9th, 2010 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    Lio: It would have helped the joke immeasurably if the vet wasn’t a doppelganger for Lio’s DAD. (A rare misfire!)

    Dilbert: Scott Adams, don’t ever show us Asok’s stomach lining again — or any other character’s stomach lining for that matter! (Unless you want your artistic license revoked!)

    PBS: I wonder what’s REALLY in the zeeba… er, zebra… meat being sold by Rat. Are there any characters who haven’t appeared in the strip lately?

    Bizarro: I’d much rather see two snakes post-coitus than the two kids making out in Zits! (Speaking of the latter, am I the only one who thinks their “water break” should involve taking a LONG, COLD SHOWER?)

  188. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    July 9th, 2010 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    MT: As Pencilthin Villain’s dialogue becomes less polite, his hair grows longer. Yes, this one will soon be punch-ripe.

    SM: I guess like any other kid with an action figure, Puppetmaster likes to bend Ironman’s legs backwards.

    Baby Blues: Hammy, I think your friends would be plenty grossed out just by those huge, floppy, misshapen donuts you call “ears.”

    Bl: And speaking of huge, floppy, misshapen body parts….. Even creepier, perhaps, is the loving detail lavished on those teeny-tiny crop pants.

    A3G: Wait, they’re going to surprise Margo by dragging her onstage, too? Nice knowin’ ya, Ruby.

    MW: “My seagull minions tell me that my little playthings are dancing… and now they’re… they’re kissing? On a first date? Alert the sand crabs! We must put a stop to this immediately! But first, let me retract my hair ….”

    Curtis: Yes, what a good son you are, Barry, assisting your father in the habit that will likely not only take his life but that of your mom, too. In the meantime, you can enjoy your life of asthma, ear infections, and strep throat! (Why, no, I haven’t dealt with my issues regarding my chain-smoking mother. Why do you ask?)

  189. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 8:46 am [Reply]

    @Mr O’Malley (#180): Rather than subscripe to the notion that Kiesl’s family was completely bereft of Wiener Geselligkeit, and was so hidebound and proper that they echewed the eating of ice cream in public (yet somehow raised a son who was a professional musician), I’d sooner believe Brooke McEldowney is an uninformed idiot. He may or may not believe the Viennese only eat strudel, because all he really cares about is creating a preposterous situation so that he can have an excuse to showcase that hot Burber lapping tonnnngggue and a man holding onto a dairy product imitating meltdown/ejaculation. Far from the erotic masterpiece he imagines it to be, it’s just … blugh. As far as I’m concerned, Brooke just won himself the not-so-coveted 2010 Bonerkiller Award – with Oak Leaf Clusters.

    So go ahead, McEldowney – lambaste us all by telling us that it’s perfectly innocent and our prurient minds are entirely to blame for seeing suggestions of oral sex that were never ever there. I can wait. I’ve got a scoop and a quart of Breyer’s Dark Chocolate Velvet here and I’m not afraid to use them.

  190. Rocky Stoneaxe
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Hi & Lois: The little “stink lines” you’re emitting would indicate otherwise, Dot and Ditto. Apparently, you rolled in the same spot where your family dog likes to take a dump!

    Pickles: A & J’s Ludwig is the comics’ coolest cat — and Muffin is the meanest!

    Holy Mole: If you’re the killer whale from Seaworld, then you’re a lover AND a killer!

    Candorville: It’s still an honor to appear on the same stage as Stephen King — even if it’s just to refill his water glass!

  191. Ned Ryerson
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:14 am [Reply]

    FW: Can’t you just say “bathroom”, you tool?

  192. UncleJeff
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    BB: That panel of Sarge and his tongue is going into the “EEEK!” Hall of Fame along with the panels of Archie’s Coach Cleats (“wop wop wop wop”) and, of course, Rex Morgan’s “drive-by prostate exam” face (thanks bats:{!)

  193. UncleJeff
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    MT: And doesn’t that middle panel of Evil Mustachio remind you of Hedley Lamarr: “Why am I telling this to you?”

  194. Écureuil Écumant
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    MT: And of course, as Cherry once again enters the frame, we see that upon her return from the hair salon there’s no fucking difference. Of course, to be fair, it has been two fucking months. [*]

  195. flora
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    It looks to me like Rex’s next plot will be about him losing his job for that little HIPPAA violation. Can’t wait to see the look on his face when he finds out he’s being denied unemployment.

  196. TheDiva
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:44 am [Reply]

    9CL: Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.

    Cathy: Ha-ha, women and shoes, am I right?

    C’shaft: Ha-ha, New York traffic, am I right?

    FW: Batiuk has all the time travel tropes, but he forgot to write a story around them.

    reFOOB: Did…did Elly just seriously tell her kid to go play in traffic?

    MW: How long will it be before Mary realizes she’s trying to comb her hair while looking into her Glamour Shots photo?

  197. spike
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#169): Just be glad that Batiuk didn’t whisper into your ear that you have cancer as well. And avaoid seeing Dr. Morgan for the time being as well.

    @Mr O’Malley (#180): Ice cream cones are not unddignified in Europe–just expensive, by American standards. [At least that was the case the last time I was there.]

    @curlyfries (#189): ROTFLMAO!!! Thanks!

    JP: Wow! The only thing missing from Jules’ forehead is a big red “L” tattoo. When Sam shares this conversation with Neddy, Jules will be out the door and replaced by Mark.

  198. Mibbitmaker
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:57 am [Reply]

    A3G: Former friends, you mean.

    DT: Not exactly Wizard of Oz, is it?

    FW: “And your strip will suck starting in about 20 years.”

    JP: ……………(the sound of crickets)………..

    Love is… (see Les & Lisa, gender-reversed)

    MT: Since Snidely’s phone cord broke loose, Cherry needed to relay her part of the conversation by sound waves from a deer’s ear.

    RMMD: Yeah, but think of the sympathy vote!

    9CL: “Dammit, daughter, if I want to traumatize you with raw details of my sex life, I damned well will!” …I guess….

    ReFOOB: Good for Ellie! That stupid brat. Nice “Keep On Truckin’”, though.

    GF: Bucky’s supposed to be ignorant-ass wrong this week — but he really isn’t this time. But, then again, I’m not much of a sports fan in general, so factor that in…

    NS: ….Then again…
    Screw you, Wiley! (Yankee fan, perhaps?)

    H&J: Victor Hugo?! Looks like someone’s cheating on Lang-ston Hu-u-ughs!

    OBH: Go ahead! Run from your future, Ruthie!

  199. teenchy
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    @curlyfries (#158): Given that Sachertorte originates from Vienna’s Hotel Sacher, shouldn’t it be Kiesl who introduces the chocolatey delight to Edie? Maybe while she’s tossing his salad?

  200. Bicycle Girl
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    9CL: Well, everyone wanted more hand sex, right? Er, right?

    I’m not sure why we keep looking for any hope of sanity in this unending plotline. I suspect that Juliette is hanging on at this point because she has to find out that she’s the Nazi’s daughter.

    It’s all pretty ridiculous.

  201. Poteet
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#196): Well said. And 9CL being what it is, this charming public scene is probably taking place near the stand where the ice cream was bought. What we aren’t being shown are the expressions of disgust, distaste, nausea, and disbelief on the faces of passersby. From what I remember of the Fifties (hell, from what I know of today), most of them are NOT thinking (sorry to burst your little bubble, Brooke), “oh, how wonderfully erotic, and if only it were me!”

  202. Rocky Stoneaxe
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: Cassie is using her viselike fingers to throttle Bryce! (You’re doing the world a favor, Cassie, so squeeze him — squeeze him like a lemon!)

    Gasoline Alley: That’s either Rufus or his twin brother Magnus! Let the poison pie fight begin! (In the immortal words of Curly Howard: “Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!”)

    The Flying McCoys: No, what’s seriously funny is that you apparently have your ass on backwards!

    Love is… playing bedroom bondage games with your boyfriend!

  203. Old School Allie Cat
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    A3G – I hope that this means what I think it means – MAKEOVERS FOR EVERYONE!!!!

    Let’s face it, Margo, LuAnne and Tommie are all sort of dated – and by dated I mean, they all dress like it’s the late 70′s/ early 80′s, and not in a fun retro way, but like “extras on the set of 9 to 5“.

    Who wouldn’t love to see Tommie with an edgier hairdo? Currently she looks like she goes to the Beauty Hut every Saturday for a “wash, set and comb-out”

    And Margo, I know you love your tight bun, but you need to let that inner vixen loose. And enough with the turtlenecks – show some neck… we dare you!

    Finally, LuAnne – well, you know, a nice smoky eyeliner, some kicky heels and a mini-dress and you’ll be “Little Hottie from the Prairie”.

    And Ruby? You’re perfect just the way you are. Never change!

  204. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:19 am [Reply]


    DT: “… and the other one is the consistency of Hunt’s crushed tomatoes, at least above the legs.”

    Blondie: This customer worries me. All the weight seems to be going to her knockers, and while that’s fun up to a point, that point is well and truly in the past. Seriously, how does she remain a biped?

    C-Shaft: Apparently all the exploding Hibachis have destroyed his hearing, unless fire engines are a lot quieter in New York.

    JP: Is this the part where they kiss?

    9CL: Even though “lack of boundaries” is pretty much the defining trait of Burber women, Juliette finds her gag reflex being tickled. And because I’m a gentleman, that’s all I’m going to say about gag reflexes for the moment.

    EC: Wife swap just hit a snag.

    SSmith: You don’t know who to trust when polyamory hits Hootin’ Holler. In Eldon’s defense, the Hawkins twins are known to be the hottest ewes in the county.

    SFx: Hold on tight. Desmond forgot to push the button.

    MW: Oh, Jenna and Mike are doing just fine on their date. Aside from the seagulls getting stuck in their hairspray, that is.

    OBH: Having a dog does give you a handy excuse to leave, doesn’t it?

    S4th: I guess that would make you Rose, wouldn’t it?

    Lockhorns: Okay, so Leroy got thrown out of a moving vehicle, and that’s cool. But why didn’t we see it?

  205. Robin
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    Apparently in the world of RMMD, doctor-patient confidentiality doesn’t exist…

  206. spike
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#150): I like it, but I’d like it better with the sound effects of today’s Cul de Sac’s first panel and a candle on the table.

    @Bicycle Girl (#200): At this point we’re all in search of an exit from this one.

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#204): Juliette could’ve smothered Edna/Edith weeks months ago and we all would’ve cheered. And didn’t we endure a similar scene like this just a few weeks ago?

    SF: Is Nona Ted’s daughter from another marriage?

  207. Robin
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    Sorry for the double post…

    @58 AmazingThor
    The Room=funniest bad movie ever. “Everything goes wrong at once. Nobody wants to help me…and I’m dying.” “You’re not dying, Mom.” “I got the results of the test back. I definitely have breast cancer.”

  208. Darkefang
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    @Kym (#73):

    “Okay, so, I’d only heard of Backyard Tire Fire before, not actually heard their music, and in fact I’d never heard of “alt-country” before, because I live in a cave or something, but I just went to their website and listened, and let me get this straight: “alt-country” is just alternative with a Southern-ish accent? Or am I missing something?

    [I'm under 30 (only just), but I still refuse to call something "country" if it doesn't include steel guitar and/or violin]“

    Alt-country is the country music equivalent of indy-rock. It just means that their records are published by an independent label. Neko Case and Steve Earle would probably be the most well-known alt-country acts.

  209. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    @flora (#195): Oh, thinking that is good for a larf. But I’m not sure Rex is actually violating HIPAA. June is a nurse, and she generally works with Rex. Ergo, the mayor may be her patient as well, in which case he’s sharing needed information with a colleague.

  210. Walker of Dog
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:43 am [Reply]

    @Fata Morgana (#176): I hadn’t even noticed how badly they messed up the mirroring routine. Evil Mary, please watch Harpo and Lucy for a lesson in proper technique. Same goes for you, Other Mary in the Mirror.

    @UncleJeff (#193): Hedy? That’s Hedley!

    @Old School Allie Cat (#203): If some stylist is about to touch Margo’s hair as part of an unsolicited makeover attempt, I think we’re watching “Dangerous Jobs”.

  211. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    SF: the make up sex will be worth it, whether Nona is involved or not.

    Zits: yay for passionate make-outs. dialog, not so much.

    SFx: have we ever seen Sly without his hat before?

    RwO: me likey.

    NS: *snurk* hey Boston, send it to Cleveland when it’s done, ok?

    MG&G: *snurk*^2.

    F-: Somewhere A Palaeontologist Is Crying.

    Cleats: LOL!

    9CL: my response to today’s strip can be seen in Dilbert.

    CdS: I don’t really want to think that he meant nosebleed in this fashion.

  212. Renee J
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    FW- Maybe Funky will right all the wrongs that happened in the strip. Like, he’ll prevent Wally from driving drunk or tell Lisa to get a second opinion when she gets a clean bill of health. Then, when he wakes up from the coma or whatever and finds out it was all a dream, he’ll be even more depressed.

  213. Sequitur
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    MW: I know this is suppose to be a “drama” strip (Ha!) but they missed a chance at putting in just a little bit of humor [*]. When Mary says “I wonder how Jenna and Mike are doing on their date?” she should have said, “I wonder how Jenna and Mike are making out on their date?”

  214. TheDiva
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:56 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#201): Don’t forget the added squick of this being a story told by an elderly woman to her daughter. Yes, the evidence is pretty clear that our parents must have had erotic adventures at some point in their lives. No, no remotely sane and well-adjusted human being ever wants to hear their parents discuss said event in lurid (or indeed, any) detail, or thinks their children need to hear about it. What color is the sky in Brooke’s world, anyway?

  215. Walker of Dog
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    Hilary Price of Rhymes with Orange is doing a webchat this morning on the Washington Post website.

  216. Darkefang
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    RMMD June’s right. It is really inconvenient to get cancer right when you need to start campaigning for re-election. Having cancer is also fairly inconvenient at pretty much any other time.

  217. Krazy Kat
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    I can’t believe Milford is blaming their playdown loss on Chance! If the team took even the briefest of moments for a little self-reflection, I think they’d realize their real problem stems from having the Phantom of the Opera on their team. He may play a mean organ, but he plays a shitty second base. A terror in the shadows, maybe, but a terror on the base paths? Eeeeh… not so much.

  218. Hi There
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    FW: The foliage in Friday’s strip really freaks me out.

    In the first panel, the tree immediately behind Old Funky looks like it’s a participant in the conversation, actually leaning in as it tries to solve the mystery of this befuddled old man. However, it soon gets bored and is seen ambling over the hill towards the back of the second panel. Replacing the tree is a bush, which moves into panel two from stage right. The bush parks itself behind Old Funky to offer a consoling branch for him to cry upon.

    I say the foliage deserve names for their crucial role in this unfolding drama. The retreating tree should be called the Fickle Sapling and the bush should be known as the Vacuous Shrub.

    The park bench should be ignored, though. Any inanimate object that allows Old Funky to sit on it for more than two seconds doesn’t deserve to be anthropomorphized, especially given that Old Funky must be swimming in ball soup by now.

  219. Lurker Lee
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    9CL: Bloooooooooooowjob!!!

  220. Mela
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:17 am [Reply]


    9CL: Normally, I’d feel bad for any comic artist who got his strip dropped because of readers’ lewdness complaints, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case.

    Baldo: Dammit, we spent four hours lovingly rendering this stripped-down car, so we’re gonna use it!

    Ballard: I actually work with Carl’s skinny cousin. That’s startlingly true to life.

    BB: Let’s see… dog turds, cap guns, tanks, useless officers, slack-jawed grunts. Wow, that’s actually a pretty accurate warning about the camp’s contents.

    Blondie: Thank you for rendering the ‘fat’ lady as being top heavy instead of morbidly obese.

    Curtis: Curtis belched out the last of his teeth?

    ReFOOB: And whatever you do, if a Mountie asks your mom’s name, say you don’t have one.

    FW: Ha, ha! It’s funny, because advancements in identifying medical conditions so they can be better treated instead of wasting away meaninglessly from something easily treatable are modern & stupid!

    GA: Dammit, if you promise us vomitting, you must deliver!

    H&J: For those of you suffering through a heat wave, we present this winter rerun to make you even more resentful about the heat.

    Luann: No court would convict you, Shannon. Really.

    MW: After lasting over a year, Mary finally remembers that she, like, totally fixed them up and hopes they’re okay. Also, we’re reminded that Mary’s hair is entirely too long for a woman her age.

    MG&G: Cute… if it was 2000. Even your grandma knows those chain letters were crap.

    MC: Just take down the dude who tries to turn every discussion into a private consultation. Trust me, Norm, you’ll be a hero.

    NS: Wait a sec, that was actually… funny!

    6C: Ha, ha! It’s funny because real women never eat actual food!

    Speed: Again, don’t read this if you’re sick of the damn heat.

    Zits: I’m reminded of “Manos” and the couple in the car. “Still kissing? Seven straight hours?”

  221. wossname
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:25 am [Reply]

    DT – Wait – a plot twist??? A mysterious body under the plane besides Anja Nue’s? An unexpected development that piques our curiosity? Who are you and what have you done with the real Brozman?

    JP – Good! Go back to France today, and let’s get back to some of the more interesting threads we’ve been neglecting, like Sophie on the cheerleading squad, or whatshername – April? – the CIA chick who’s flirting with whatshisname – the guy who’s not Sam.

    MW – EEEK! Panel two is as scary as any Rusty-filled panel this year. I thought we’d seen the last of Mary’s long hair after that weird panel a few months ago where she was half-morphed into Toeby. I thought wrong.

    MT – Hmm, how long til the punching starts? Tomorrow Cherry will name a reward figure and McNasty will say “That is not enough, I am going to KILL your little dog! Ha ha ha ha!” Now, if only cell phones had been invented, Cherry could call Mark, who’s presumably still next door at Sally’s, and we could hope for punching by Tuesday or Wednesday. But given the limits of Trailian technology, it may be another week and a half.

    A3G – Ooh – I think all the Mudges who have been hoping for Margo to be humiliated on stage and to respond with Margovian rage are about to be very happy.

    Crank – Outta the way, cabbie – they’ve got to get to the Luanniverse where, as predicted, Shannon has set the house on fire.

  222. Écureuil Écumant
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    RMMRSA and FW: This highly suspicious synchronous eruption of prostate-related humor in these two particular strips, coupled with the normal lead time for same, offers only one possible conclusion: they’re shout-outs to the late Dr. Timothy Leary (d. May 31, 1996) and the villainous organ that felled him (and Frank Zappa too, though the date is off).

    Just ponder it for a second, willya? It explains so much.

  223. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    9“Well, I’m telling you anyway.”
    And there it is, in five words. The motto of 9 Chickweed Lane and its creator.

    A3G“Let’s ask your friends, Ruby. Where are they?”
    Yes, Ruby, where are they? Kat is less two-dimensional, now that we know she’s capable of maintaining a look of polite feigned interest while delivering a blast of searing, withering sarcasm.

    AD – I’ve figured out what’s a little bit off about the art these days. It’s drawn for 4:3, and printed in 16:9.

    Close – Like I always say, there’s nothing like the white smile you get from a nice blast of “Gwp Lha Oin Stn Set.”

    Crock – Say, how do you write out the sound effect for “unamused trombones”? I keep wanting to use it.

    Dennis – “Okay, little bank. I’m gonna make you squeal like a piggy!”

  224. The "Noodle Incident"
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    FW: Can this plotline please please PLEASE be a major paradox (as Doc explains in the “Back to the Future” series) that destroys the Funkyverse?

    Yes, I know that in “Back to the Future II” Biff interacts with his younger self and creates a hellish alternative reality rather than destroying the universe.

    But this is Funky. It can’t end that well.

    7/9 reFOOB: Oh, if only Michael had taken Elly up on her suggestion! The literary world would be a far better place.

  225. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    Dick – Chief Collig is completely nonplussed: after someone was killed on stage and a one-sided gunfight with live ammo (detectable by the sound) broke out, chasing Dick first in and out of the U-505 and then a Stuka, which crashed on top of an ugly (and therefore criminal) stage director. “What in the world are you doing there?” she asks Dick. To which the only possible reply would be: “ACK-ting!”

    Family – “Okay, we gotta get our stories straight. You’ve been at the playground since 10:30, and I been at the Millers’ all morning. And for god’s sake, wipe the wallet down before you lose it in the woods.”

    Gasoline – Now I suppose ipecac pies are going to become hugely popular, and Gertie will follow her success with the invention of ipecake.

    Herb – So… Jamaal assumes Herb’s wrinkles, molds himself to his deformities, and… urk… gotta stop.

    Mark – Woodland creatures to the rescue! “You hear that? Quick, tell the squirrels. They’ll tell the birds, and the birds will tell Mark!”

    Momma – Don’t listen to them, Mrs. Hobbs! After all, if they were smart, they’d be as old as you are.

  226. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    Pluggers – All of a plugger’s balls are low to the ground.

    Rx – Bad news for Hizzoner. I hear that kind of cancer can give you electile disfunction.

    Slylock – Without his deerstalker, Slylock looks evil. Hence the look of alarm on the goose’s face!

    Spidey – Damn, missed my chance to use the line “There’s a maniac up there! And he hates this sidewalk!”

    @teenchy (#199): Sacher tortes during sex? How about something nice from Sacher-Masoch?

  227. ElkMeadow
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#196):

    I was wondering what type of mirror Mary Worth had, where left is left and right is right. Which could explain a few things about her universe.

  228. AMC
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    MW – Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s left arm is rightest of all?

  229. Dicky
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:09 pm [Reply]

    9CL: To be perfectly honest, I have used ice cream cones as sexual analogy, but then I knew my audience and I went there knowing their mind was going to go there.


    Luann: One of them is going to end up dead or in critical condition.

    Zits: Why have they not explained why Jeremy is again exchanging bodily fluids with Sara? Didn’t they “break up” a few years ago?

  230. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    @spike (#197):

    The only thing missing from Jules’ forehead is a big red “L” tattoo.

    No kidding. Geez, Jules, with your slumped posture, hangdog look, and constant fucking whining about how everything sucks, I can’t imagine why no one’s invested in you—you’re the very picture of an entrepreneurial success story!

    @Old School Allie Cat (#203):

    but like “extras on the set of 9 to 5“.

    Maybe Nona from SF can stop by and pinpoint what classic TV show the A3G gals look like they should be on.

    @Walker of Dog (#215): And Michael Cavna also has a short interview with Trudeau about the background for today’s strip.

  231. Fashion Police
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    We cannot imagine someone of Herr Keisl’s breeding and background wearing his white dinner jacket in the daytime. If Mrs. O’Malley’s memory is faulty on this point, one wonders what other little inaccuracies have crept into the narrative.

  232. bats :[
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    Honest to gosh, I went back to 9CL and looked at it again, and I got kinda queasy. Maybe not this bad, but still…

  233. Uncle Lumpy
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    Oh looky: on July 16, the USPS will issue a set of 5 44¢ stamps based on newspaper comics: Beetle Bailey, Calvin and Hobbes, Archie, Garfield, and Dennis the Menace.

    I wonder how they picked these?

  234. Sequitur
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#232): Oh, bats :[, now you made me do this…

  235. Rocky Stoneaxe
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    Nein Chickweed Lane: “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of Juliette’s pop?” (If you’re too young to remember the original commercial, then get off my lawn!)

    Funky McFly: Benign prostatic hyperplasia? Hey, I resembles that remark!

  236. Sgt Saunders
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    FW: This whole ordeal is just Funky’s dying mind trying to make sense of his life. Interesting, though, that he sees himself as Summer Moore in a fright wig.

  237. Fashion Police
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    @Old School Allie Cat (#203):
    It is our view that the prim, buttoned-up look suits Miss Magee’s hard edge quite nicely, although we agree that turtlenecks are a shade too casual for real effect. Tailored skirt-suits (pantsuits would work too, as a change of pace, as long as they were properly feminine), starched collars and neckties ought to be her basic wardrobe – reminiscent of Liz the Policewoman before her promotion to Chief.

    We wholeheartedly concur with your recommendations for Miss Thompson and Mrs. Powers. We generally agree with your view of Miss Wright (“don’t change a thing”) as well, although one keeps expecting gingham and ruffles.

  238. Carrie at the prom
    July 9th, 2010 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    FW: Thanks for sharing, old Funky. That’s exactly the sort of thing I want to read about while I’m eating breakfast. If this is your approach to warning the younger selves of everyone of the misery in store for them, I have to say there is room for improvment.

  239. Calico
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @AMC (#228):
    Awesome catch!
    Take that Giella! : )

  240. Calico
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    Maybe Mary really is an octopus…

  241. MaryAnnTheRest
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#168): Ha ha ha! Mary’s mirror is the gateway to Bizarro Charterstone, where the only platitude Mary knows is “Live and let live.” Toeby can’t even get her advice on what to do about her handsome, freeloading husband. Mary and Aldo meet for Happy Hour every Friday. Jeff practices medicine. What a crazy world!

  242. mollificent
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Omigodomigodomigod. Are they going to try to give Margo and Lu Ann makeovers too? Ohhh, this is going to be good. Let me just put on my apron…I don’t want to get blood on my good pajamas.

    JP: A French farce? Qu’est-ce que c’est? Seriously though, Jules, STFU. Right now. I want to punch you SO BAD.

    H&J: And speaking of Frenchmen…hands off the Hugo. I mean it. Don’t make me come over there, boys.

    xkcd: The Count’s been listening to Music With Rocks In. “One!…Two!…One! Two! Many! Lots!”

    @This Guy (#162): “Go fuck yourself sideways with a claymore.” Awesome. Can I steal that? I can think of a number of situations where it might come in useful. ;) The Highland Games are just the beginning…

  243. commodorejohn
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:18 pm [Reply]

    DTM – Dennis torments his piggy-bank with the simultaneous inevitability and uncertainty of its future. That’s menacing, I guess.

    DT – The sight of Dick clutching his head in pain reminds me of this immortal wisdom from Predator: “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” You know what we have to do, guys.

    FW – Funky Winkerbean: dedicated to taking the piss out of nostalgic warmth with the misery of the present. Ha ha!

    JP – Are you really gonna do it, Woody? Are you going to take all our jokes about Sam and Jules finding comfort in their mutual passion for women’s apparel and make them official? Because, uh, it sure looks like that’s what you’re setting up here.

    Love Is… – not one bit creepy and horrifying.

    Luann – Shannon, I have three ice cream bars. But one thing first: there’s a tire iron in the deGroot’s garage. You know what to do.

    MT – So many crazy things to love in today’s Mark Trail (not the least of which being Pencil McMustache’s suddenly sprouting a mullet,) but my favorite has to be Cherry’s line in panel one. Look at the dead-eyed, Lockhorns-esque disdain on her face; how often has she said these exact words? “Oh, you’re calling for Mark. Again. Just like everyone else. Does anyone even know I exist, or am I just his damn secretary? Anyway, he’s not in. He never is, don’t you people get that already? He’s barely even around enough for me to get an occasional feel of the forbidden fruit, dammit!”


    Monty – That’s not a power of two!

    OBH – I love this strip because everybody is at least slightly insane.

    Popeye – I’ve been trying to not think about the current plot in Popeye, but after today’s strip I can’t help but conclude that Popeye’s distinctive punch will serve as a sort of glass slipper and link “ugly bride” and “Popeye” even in the minds of the incredibly thick characters in this strip. I mean, that has to be why today’s strip is written the way it is, right? As to where that will lead, I have no idea, but I’m certain that it will be baffling, frustrating, and probably unsettling, because this is Popeye, after all.

    RMMD – Ooh! More Woody Wilson election fun? Who’s going to get attempted assault with a microphone this time?


    SFx – Slylock named the duck Shirley, for his ex-wife. Max and the log with the rabbit in it have a bit more complex of a relationship.

    SM – Wow. Today’s Spider-Man reads so much like a brief excerpt from an exciting, well-written yarn of wit and adventure that it’s pretty depressing in context.

  244. Ned Ryerson
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    9CL: She’s about a quart low. Zing!

  245. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    @Calico (#240): or something from the Outer Dark. . . .

  246. Thomas B.
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#167): Oh and the best thing about m-Harmony is that Mary signs up for you.

  247. Sister Sestina
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    BC: Trunk call.

  248. Hysterical Woman
    July 9th, 2010 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @Hi There (#2): You know a frightening amount about booze. I’ll assume you just remember the names from the time you passed by the liquor store on your way to the church social.

    Plus, I swear I’ve seen that Rex Morgan strip before…like earlier this week!

  249. ElkMeadow
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#231):

    We cannot imagine someone of Herr Keisl’s breeding and background wearing his white dinner jacket in the daytime. If Mrs. O’Malley’s memory is faulty on this point, one wonders what other little inaccuracies have crept into the narrative.

    One little inaccuracy seems to be that Keisl had a job as an opera singer. Maybe he quit. Or was fired for not showing up for rehearsals.

  250. Hysterical Woman
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:05 pm [Reply]

    Oh wait, I did see it earlier this week. Yesterday. As a layabout I have a bad sense of time.

  251. littlestevie
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    FW: Ha! Ha! Ha! Even LeBron James wants to leave your cancer infested swamp of northern Ohio. Just another thing for the fine citizens of Westview to get morose about, not that you are already there.

  252. Hi There
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    Double-posting, baby!

  253. TDRL
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    That’s a HIPAA violation, Doctor!

  254. littlestevie
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:48 pm [Reply]

    JP: now that i looked at a couple of strips, all I have to say is: Jules why don’t you move to Westview Ohio, you’ll fit right in.

  255. Fashion Police
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:52 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#249):
    It is possible that Herr Keisl’s New York performances are finished, and he had a few days before he had to return to Vienna.

    We were thinking more along the lines that the whole narrative was stitched up out of whole cloth as Mrs. O’Malley’s age-addled self-justification for the unnecessary and far-too-late confession that her daughter is a bastard. There are too many inconsistencies and dangling participles. Portraying Herr Keisl in evening clothes in the middle of the day sort of speaks to all of them. One would almost thiink Mrs. O’Malley dressed him in the dark.

  256. Poteet
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#232): BWAHAHA! Thanks, that was therapeutic. Since this Glorious Final 24 Hours of Looove is just beginning, please keep your graphic genius on standby.

  257. Carlo
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    I doubt Hippocrates had Rex Morgan in mind when he developed the medical sciences. But maybe there’s something in the Hippocratic Oath that says “Doctor shall be a super dick and blab to everyone about others’ private afflictions.”

  258. spike
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#255): *Zing!* Point, set and match!

  259. Écureuil Écumant
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    @154 True Fable said:

    Tommie isn’t the brightest crayon in the box so she’s probably still standing there wondering if Ruby can possibly be any more accessorized.

    I don’t think Ruby’s fully accessorized. She seems to be missing her crevice tool.

  260. Poteet
    July 9th, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#255): Please keep giving us your special perspective as this saga grinds slowly toward the inevitable hideous finale. As I reluctantly and briefly consider what they’d probably be doing if they were naked, I’ve never been more grateful for clothes.

  261. Carlo
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    FW: Is Funky leading up to a PSA about getting your prostate checked? Didn’t they have prostate exams in the 1970s?

    (I apologize if someone brought this up already; I didn’t see it in the comments yet.)

  262. Komerade X
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:14 pm [Reply]

    (on the cell phone) “Hi, Mom! Has Grandma died yet?”
    “No, dear, she’s up to the ice cream cone stage… she still has a ways to go.”
    (in the background) “Funny, it didn’t *taste* like fish?!”
    (on the cell phone)

  263. Rocky Stoneaxe
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:15 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#233): I’m not sure what to make of the fact that Archie is making goo-goo eyes at Veronica, but Betty is the one with the little hearts floating above her head. Also, why isn’t Dennis doing something menacing on his stamp? When did zombie Hank Ketcham change the name of his strip to Dennis the Runner?

  264. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:19 pm [Reply]

    @Fashion Police (#255): “You mean he raped you?”
    “Well… at first…”
    –Monty Python’s Life of Brian

  265. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    Carlo @261,
    I can’t think of a better idea than walking up to your teenage self and saying, “Kid, let me tell you about your prostate.”

  266. McManx
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Gil Thorp — This sports comic has begun to read like a ancient Greek drama, which is probably why Bryce is wearing the mask of tragedy in panel 3.

    Rex Morgan — So much for HIPPA confidentiality rules.

    Beetle Bailey — I just yakked up my breakfast.

  267. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#265): Oooh, oooh, I have one: “Kid, let me tell you about erectile dysfunction”!

  268. Amateur
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    @Hi There (#218): Fear not till Birnam Wood do come to Funkytown . . . wait, that doesn’t sound quite right.

  269. Black Drazon
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#51): Oh man, I remember that! The costumed hero never had a name in the collections we had when I was a kid but the inverted phone booth certainly had its charm.

  270. Artist formerly known as Ben
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    #267 bb, u
    Ooh. You’re good at this.

  271. ElkMeadow
    July 9th, 2010 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    @The “Noodle Incident” (#224):

    7/9 reFOOB: Oh, if only Michael had taken Elly up on her suggestion! The literary world would be a far better place.

    Since reFOOB is back to the past, it would make for a better time-line, were it in other hands.

  272. curlyfries
    July 9th, 2010 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#214): I have no idea what color the sky is, but I’m willing to bet there’s at least two suns on that planet (*). Look, normal children don’t want to hear blow (sorry) by blow descriptions of their parents doin’ the nasty any more than normal parents want to hear about every single inch of friction-y pipe their children are current laying. All I can say is two things: one, family dinner conversation at chez McEldowney must be something else entirely; and two, this is why putting an elderly parent in a home and then running like hell is not necessarily A Bad Thing.

  273. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    July 9th, 2010 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    Safe Havens — You don’t think the governor has cancer, do you? Or perhaps, he’s just disgusted how his new wife just humped his leg…

  274. Sequitur
    July 9th, 2010 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#267): That’s not funny.
    It's hilarious!

  275. Baka Gaijin
    July 9th, 2010 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    Jump into the new, despair-filled post right next door!

  276. Tube sock
    July 9th, 2010 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    MW: S o m e o n e i s g o i n g t o g e t l a i d. Actually two people

  277. SkippyUp
    July 9th, 2010 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    Does it make me a bad person if the last line in Rex Morgan had me giggling hysterically?

  278. fluffy
    July 9th, 2010 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    Nice HIPAA violation, Rex.

  279. jaybrrd
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    With that insane betrayal of doctor/patient confidentiality, it is now clear that the M.D. stands for Major Dickhole rather than any indication of medical prowess.

  280. Ms. Quasimodo
    July 10th, 2010 at 5:40 am [Reply]

    Does not patient confidentiality exist in Dr Rex Morgan’s medical universe? The constant violations of federal HIPPA confidentiality rules and lack of lawsuits brought against him and his weird associates by patients astounds me. I yearn for a story arc where the Joint Commission flying monkeys finally catch up with him and in lieu of suing his ass and closing down his practice, they bind, gag, and torture him alive, to the death, in the manner of Ye Olde Englande, in the public square. A public Olde Fashioned flogging, disemboweling, and flaying would teach the public about the mysteries of human anatomy, live! No comic character would ever again dream of talking about other people’s personal medical information amongst all story characters, and that would be the death of stupid medical serial comics everywhere. Yes! Also.

  281. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    July 10th, 2010 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    If phones ever become advanced enough for people to punch through them, Trail’s enemies are boned.

    Oh, they’re probably boned anyway.

  282. Chris 3rd Baseman
    July 10th, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    MT- How old is Sassy? hasn’t she been a puppy for about a decade now? She must be a true mutant canine. How about the extra large heads on the other dogs at the recue ranch? Are mutant dogs worth something? Give one to Margo over in A3G. The bitch needs a mate of her own species.

  283. Renee
    July 10th, 2010 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, I see where all the people who claim that the phone tree has boobs are coming from.

    But what it really looks like to me is that the phone tree has eyes, and is bugging them eyes out in fear because it saw things that it made the mistake of looking up FB’s skirt.

  284. Multigrimble
    July 11th, 2010 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    Although of course the Mark Trail dognapper is evil, I just can’t bring myself to hate him. Look at how eager he is as he clutches the phone, nearly shouting that he is “Calling about a lost dog!” I imagine this ham-handed extortion is the most human-contact he’s had in months. Ever since Sheila left… sigh.

  285. Daniel
    August 4th, 2010 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey – Hehehe! That’s not food sarge is licking up from his tie… XD

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