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Lonnie’s vengeance

Mark Trail, 8/19/10

Oh, look, the hideous little girl in the current Mark Trail plot has named her new deer-pet “Lucky!” I’m pretty sure that most of the wild animals who are taken out of their natural habitat and forced to amuse their hideous human overlords end up being named “Lucky” — there was of course Lucky the Beaver, and I’m pretty sure an injured goose that Rusty adopted was given the same name — because the cruel god of Mark Trail has a nasty sense of humor.

Mary Worth, 8/19/10

Wow, did I ever underestimate this storyline! It seems that Dr. Mike’s dad was could never take Mike’s calls not because he is a sad, shame-filled drunk, but because his mission of savage revenge occupies his every waking moment. I absolutely love his determined striding away from his family in the panel two flashback — “Well, kid, you’ve had eight or so years to help me track down Richie’s killers, and you haven’t done a damn thing. I’m through with you!” His shaking and sweating in panel one is not a result of the DTs, but rather because he can barely contain his anxious need to go to some seedy underworld club and start busting heads until he gets answers.

Pluggers, 8/19/10

Oh, come now, we all know that the only thing pluggers hate and fear more than elitist college education is the Orient.

429 responses to “Lonnie’s vengeance”

  1. Carbunicle
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Was it common knowledge that there is such a thing as Pluggers yung’ns?

  2. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    If that girl doesn’t know the difference between male and female deer, Momma has a LOT of explanations coming up.

  3. JAChicago
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:01 am [Reply]

    I’d have though the terms “plugger” and “college” were mutually exclusive.

  4. Longhorn
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    “Lucky”……an old Kiowa Indian word that loosely translates into “Venison Chili”.

  5. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:03 am [Reply]

    @Carbunicle (#1):

    Technically, they’re called “Pluggers-in-Training”!

  6. Carbunicle
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    I predict that the name of the stepfather will not be uttered until he shares a frame with Mark. Unless of course, Mark is the stepfather.

  7. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Dick – Comic Shop Guy really does let his customers take turns drawing the strip. That’s why the sign on the Police station looks different. Again. (Contrariwise, perhaps America’s love affair with “3-D” lettering has run its course?)

    Gil – “You don’t understand! He’s named after a golf course! If he became a tennis pro, he’d be laughed off the court! What do you want me to do? Change his name to Kit Peake and have him go into astronomy?”

    Mary – “From that moment, finding the slime that shot Richie became a priority even over you and your mother, who I had up to then totally ignored for Richie.”

    Momma – Ah. Momma lives in Czarist Russia. That should explain something, but it just raises more questions. Why would somebody fiddle on the roof?

  8. 150
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:07 am [Reply]

    Josh! Hast thou forgotten Bucky so soon?

  9. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#2):

    “Doe — a deer, a female deer…”

  10. Windier E. Megatons
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    “A plugger’s idea of ‘cutting-edge humor’ is taking a jokey line about college student diets that was old ten years ago and adding the word ‘plugger’ to it.”

  11. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    @Revenge of Chesnut (#30): And if you wear a bullet-proof vest everywhere, button it up!

    Josh – THOR-AX! THOR-AX! THOR! AX!!!

    @Roman Fingers (#56): SFX: Ding dong!
    Kitty: Why, that must be the door!
    Movie Movie

    @Mark55025 (#99): It’s good that Josh did that!

  12. Cooler King
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    MW: Any one of the down-and-out characters that come and go throughout the various MW storylines could easily turn their furtunes around by starting a drywall repair business, because every building in town that isn’t the hospital, Charterstone, or upscale dining establishment Menu looks like an episode of “Holmes on Homes.”

  13. Greg
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    Since when do Pluggers send their kids to college?

  14. Longhorn
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    MW: The original storyline had Mike’s dad wrongly convicted of the shooting. He then escaped prison and was relentlessly pursued by Lt Gerard while attempting to find the real killer. Sadly, King Features requested a rewrite when it was revealed that Mike’s dad was in search of the one-balled man……

  15. Shrug
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#2):

    Momma DOES, however, know how to recognize the sound a doorbell makes, and as a good parent is willing to cease the learning opportunity and share that hard-earned knowledge with her spawn. “That doorbellish noise that we’ve both heard most every day for years now, dear? That’s the doorbell. If there’s anything else you’ve ever wondered about, let me know. As long as it’s not about deer. They’re too confusing.”

  16. Oavis
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    What could the plugger college student possibly be studying? Animal husbandry, perhaps. Anyway, some subject that will prepare him for a lifetime of cultural ignorance and emotional inaccessibility and, finally, a dotage comprised of nothing but watching TV from two feet away.

  17. Ethan Shuster
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Plugger college student? A plugger isn’t an old retired person? What the hell is a PLUGGER? My entire belief system has been shaken! The world has been turned upside down! Help me, Mary Worth!

  18. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:15 am [Reply]

    Ha Ha… Everyone knows PITS (Pluggers-in-Training) subsist on a diet of Hot Pockets and Toaster Strudel!

  19. Shrug
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    @Shrug (#15):

    Agggh. “Seize,” not “cease,” of course. Not enough coffee this morning.

  20. Fanshawe
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    I’m glad they added “college student” into that Plugger joke’s calculus because “A Plugger’s idea of a balanced meal is eating three processed foods with slightly different flavors” would have been just too hard to believe.

  21. fnord3125
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    When did “ramen” become an adjective instead of a noun?

  22. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    MW: And so began Lonnie’s career of walking up to street toughs and saying things like “Go ahead, make my day” or “Do you believe in Jesus? Well, you’re about to meet him.” Soon he was known throughout the underworld as “the guy who gets a lot of wedgies.”

    A3G: Yup, that’s about the definitive Margo moment.

    GT: If Gil now summons the Ghost of Golf Past, the Ghost of Golf Present, and the Ghost of Golf yet to come, this summer just might be salvaged.

    SFx: The guy in the second panel is just relieved not to be a shark’s brunch. The guy in the first panel can’t help but wonder how the chopper pilot yanked him out one-armed.

    MC: So will My Cage eventually become a furry version of The Stand? I’m curious to see how that will work out.

    Momma: In a futuristic hellscape, door-to-door “matchmakers” attempt to force widows into marriage to vagrants.

    S-M: Nazi ghosts? That would account for the lightning swastika forming on the ground.

    FC: The Keane kids are playing a friendly game of “You Have Ten Minutes to Dig Your Own Grave.” Jeffy always gets so excited.

    OBH: Game over, man! Game over!

    H&J: Herb’s rule is that if it falls into the stew, it’s part of the stew. Heart and Soul Restaurant: Home of the city’s latest e. coli outbreak.

  23. Patrick
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:17 am [Reply]

    I have to appreciate how the artists of Mark Trail will lovingly render every vein in a maple leaf that a three-toed Canadian dewdrop frog sits on, but for humans, you get vague, blocky kitchen cabinets that disappear once the scene is established.

  24. rcw3000
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    Mike’s dad has morphed in to Clark Kent in the 2nd panel and I’m certain that he’s looking for a phone booth so that he can start to search for Richie’s killers……unfortunately, the nearest phone booth was just outside Martini’s Bar and we all know how that’s going to end

  25. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    I gotta love that banner ad for the Shoe website that I’m seeing above. “Come visit us” indeed. Meanwhile the assorted cast members look considerably less happy than men who have been breaking rocks in a prison camp for twelve hours.

  26. BringTheNoise
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    So Dr Mike’s Dad is actually The Punisher? This is the greatest cross-over since Archie Meets The Punisher!

  27. bbofun
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    So, Mary Worth is telling the origin story of The Punisher? Can one dream of a Spider-Man crossover?

    No, no, that would be too awesome.

  28. Chyron HR
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    “I went looking for the slime that took Richie’s life.”
    “That’s the doorbell!”

  29. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    AD: squid!

    F-: the local Class A club has a hot dog cannon.

    MG&G: talk about a lame riff on the “In Soviet Russia” meme.

    Tank: well timed.

    Lio: pssst, kid, look for the circle-shaped strip. There’s a better pit to poor that hot tar into!

    Pluggerkits: aka sodium with artificial flavors x3.

  30. Lori
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Lonnie and Richie were “closer than brothers,” a.k.a., gay lovers.

  31. Tess
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    I had previously assumed one became a Plugger only through soul crushing life experience. I find it uplifting to deduce through the existence of college-age Pluggers that it is a hereditary trait, and therefore one which I can almost certainly never acquire.

  32. The Dead Acorn
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    The little girl shouldn’t be expected to know the difference between a girl deer and a boy deer, given that her mother confuses the doorbell with the telephone.

    (knock knock) “That’s the toaster!”

    (meow) “That’s the air raid siren!”

  33. Boris Badenov
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:32 am [Reply]

    I am Vengeance…I am the Night…I…AM…LONNIE!

  34. shermy glamrocker
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    “I went looking for the slime that took Richie’s life. It became my priority over everything … including you and your mother. But first, I needed a little courage from the bottle. Then THAT became my priority over everything. Could I have a couple of bucks for a highball?”

  35. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    Lucky beaver?

    No comment.

  36. BoulderDan
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:39 am [Reply]

    @Tess (#31):

    Unfortunately I think one of the properties of Plugger-ness is the lack of self-realization that you might, in fact, be a Plugger.

  37. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Fashion Police approved lolcat.

    Red Panda .gif squee.

  38. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    Archie: Looks like the AJGLU-3000 has been reading up on nihilism, perhaps out of frustration with not being able to crack the HHC (human humor code), so it has, unrelated to the “joke” in the strip, killed some poor schmuck in the background with a meteor. Just because.

    BC: Wow, this BC was actually relateable and therefore funny to me. We used to let our dog run free when we lived on the water in rural southern MD, and he’d come home cover in sand and swampstink, and not infrequently, a neighbor’s chicken or sometimes a deer head.

    FW: Do it Wally! What’s a war crime in Iraq is a mercy killing in Westview.

    MW: So Mike’s dad is Frank Castle’s older, lamer half-brother?

    Phantom: You know, Phantom, a whole lot of people seem to know about your secret wife and secret children, and you also talk about them a lot, in public, over unsecured phone lines. Maybe you’re not qute grasping this secret identity concept too well.

    RxMD: “Speaking of dope, once Rex starts giving you the good stuff, maybe you could kick a little my way? Help me with these tantrums, you know, take the edge off a bit? Know what I mean, baby?”

    S-M: Why does Spidey jump to the improbable conclusion of mind control rather than some more likely such as, say, that Tony Stark’s gone on a bender?

  39. Dennis Jimenez
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:42 am [Reply]

    MW – Deathwish Too – right? Isn’t that the one Jimmy Page did the score on….

  40. Walker of Dog
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:45 am [Reply]

    A3G: Margo can’t be bothered to hide her disinterest – when you bore her, she will close her eyes, cover her mouth, and say, “Yawn.” Deal with it.

    DT: Dear God, what additional horror awaits Mrs. D’B? Maybe the coroner accidentally tossed her husband’s body into her gardener’s woodchipper, splattering her frolicking grandchildren with gore and blinding them with stray bone fragments. Bummer.

    MT: Hurray! Josh has selected the next victims of his mental vigilante justice. The charge sheet: fawn-napping and clunky dialogue. Open the door and meet your doom!

    GT: I know the summer’s winding down, but isn’t there time for a quick Carl Peake rampage through the pro shop?

    JP: Why the face? Did Sam have some traumatic experience in a hotel? And if he did, can he please keep it to himself? Also: Business plan?

    RMMD: Don’t feel too bad, Rose. If your suppurating eyes are any indication, the Ebola virus will soon move you streets ahead in the sympathy competition.

    MW: Mike’s dad hasn’t let his soul-consuming despair disrupt his daily isometric exercise regimen. It’s good to keep busy.

  41. Carlo
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    In honor of the college-related strip:

    Cracked walls: Mary Worth
    Facial hair: Mark Trail

  42. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    Lio — Tar nation!

    Tundra — It’s the undersea version of Dick Tracy… Dick Tentacle!

    Bizarro — She also has a bee in her bonnet!

    PBS/Shoe/The Pajama Diaries — Two Jacks and a Jill!

    Mary Worth — Here lies… Lonnie! (His story smells worse than Quill’s lyrics!)

  43. Aleit
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:51 am [Reply]

    A biologist in me is surprised by the conveniently designed tail of the deer that successfully and modestly masks its gender from the reader.

  44. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    @Dennis Jimenez (#39): I think Page did the score for the first Death Wish, and then they recycled it for the second. Anyway, this is Mary Worth’s Death Wish, so it’ll be scored by Roger Whittaker.

  45. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (y73):

    To have it come true is like having tomorrows A3G end in a satisfied-looking Margo walking away from a blood-splattered studio, casually shouldering a designer handbag.

    Hell, sign me up!

  46. the good ship thetis
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    9CL: There are no minor industrialists, only minor industries.

  47. Will
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    FW/CS: I think Batiuk needs to up the dose on his antidepressants.

  48. Zaratustra
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    It’s all explained now! Dr. Mike’s family has a history of abandoning women for stupid reasons.

  49. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    @Ed Dravecky (#Y43): My head a-splode.

  50. Mibbitmaker
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    A3G: It isn’t that Margo is groggy, she always sighs indifferently to other peoples’ problems. (Oh, if only Mary Worth would do that!)

    Archie: With all these background gags, Archie is becoming Starchie. Keep going, EAKJGLU-3000 (Elder And Kurtzman Joke Generating Laugh Unit-3000 [*])!

    BF: It’s not a male-bashing joke today — it just reads as if it were.

    DT: THEN WHO’S THE HOMELESS GUY?! You ain’t got the worst of it, Kiesl!

    Bondie: Offering an inadvertant, alternative explanation for the Blago verdict.

  51. Peripheral Visionary
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: I will freely admit that this storyline has succeeded in catching me by surprise, and it has been a pleasant surprise at that. Who would have guessed that what started out as a pleasant Tom Hanks-esque romantic drama would morph into a Quentin Tarrantino-esque tale of savage revenge?

    Pluggers: Oh, please. Everyone knows that a true aspiring Plugger would never waste money on those ridiculous Cup-o-Ramens when the bulk ramen packages are a fraction of the price.

  52. Mimi
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    MT – This family won’t commit to anything.
    “I *think* it’s a boy deer. But I’m not sure. That thing dangling between its rear legs sure looks like a penis, but I just can’t be certain.”

    “I *think* I’ll name him Lucky. But I dunno. What do you think of Spotty? Or Brownie? Or LoveBug?”

    “Do you *think* my stepfather will like Lucky?”
    “I’m not sure. He might. It’s hard to tell. Usually he likes deer, but he doesn’t like the cat. Or you. So it’s just an open question right now.”

    You’d think the mother would be relieved to be sure about something, i.e. “That’s the doorbell!” but she looks, if possible, even more depressed. Maybe because the doorbell signals a new bout of indecisiveness.
    “I *think* I should probably open the door, but what if it’s your stepfather with a gun? Or the mailman?”

  53. Carlo
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    FW: When is Batiuk going to get over his Vietnam War wet dreams?

    Luann: That was a great career move when Aaron Hill walked off the set of the strip. He actually had some dignity.

    PBS: The gaming board needs to investigate Rat’s casino. You only deal one card at a time on a “hit”.

    Archie: The joke is stale, but you really have to admire the background art in today’s strip. Are they playing on some kind of anarchistic course where the rules of play don’t apply and anyone can hit the ball at any time? Sign me up!

    Strange Brew: Was this joke constructed in 1968, when smoking actually was allowed on airplanes in the U.S.? Or is this a joke for them foreign types?

    Pluggers: Speaking of foreign types, I thought Pluggers distrusted brown people more than Asians.

    Cleats: As someone who used to surf, I can relate somewhat. But we most likely would have brained the kook who said “insane-awesome”.

  54. UncleJeff
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:04 am [Reply]

    MT: Why, it’s Buck Deer – Tracer of Lost Fawns! What brings you here, deer?
    FW: I’m sure there’s a clown nearby who has an assault rifle in his gear. Find him, Wally. It’s time to lock ‘n load!
    JP: Oh, oh. Looks like Sam is about to be tapped for cash by Jules the Pathetic “French” Shoemaker (who’s looking more like Shaggy of “Scooby Doo” every day).
    MW: “And then I found out the man who killed my best friend was YOUR MOTHER!”

  55. UncleJeff
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Hey, Mr. President! The Cobra is locked away in one of your prisons! What’s the point of being the dictator of a small country, er duly elected president if you can’t have a little random extrajudicial execution once in a while?

  56. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:13 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#y73): “To have it come true is like having tomorrows A3G end in a satisfied-looking Margo walking away from a blood-splattered studio, casually shouldering a designer handbag.” Made from Kit-Kat’s skins, natch!

  57. cheech wizard
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:14 am [Reply]

    MT – I’ll bet the doorbell is a pissed-off Mama deer, come to collect her offspring. Better yet, it’s Dr. Mike’s dad, who’s been hired by Mama deer after becoming a professional assassin in order to fund his mission of vengeance, willing to carry out any killing for 500 gold pieces. Of course, that means he’d be pushing Mike around in a baby cart, so maybe it’s just the deer after all.

  58. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:15 am [Reply]

    Honey/Sweetie’s mother must have been listening to Judianna Castle’s “Cuppycake” song when she was trying to come up with a name for her daughter:

    You’re my Honeybunch, Sugarplum
    Pumpy-umpy-umpkin, You’re my Sweetie Pie
    You’re my Cuppycake, Gumdrop
    Snoogums-Boogums, You’re the Apple of my Eye

    I’d type more, but I’m flirting with a diabetic coma as it is!

  59. Brian
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    That’s ludicrous. College students don’t eat ramen. They eat pizza and sushi on mom and dad’s dime. Ramen is for AFTER you graduate, and are working as a minimum wage barista and trying to pay off your student loans.

  60. Walker of Dog
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    @BoulderDan (#36): Sounds like we may need to buddy-up and watch each other closely for the first signs of Pluggerness. Also, we can never fall asleep again.

  61. Mibbitmaker
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    Doonesbury: Mr. Overkill? Really? Please, Trudeau, leave the anvils to Wiley. (On the plus side, I do like to think of Stan Flagg as a relative to Sam Flagg — Col. Flagg of M*A*S*H fame)

    JP: Sam: “How dare you leave me, you two-timing…”

    MT: Lucky? I have a more suitable name for him: Abducted. It’s like a Lifetime TV movie for deer, but with the humans’ punishment being stuck in a featureless void with doorbell sounds haunting them from nowhere (Door? HAHAHAHAAA!), forever!
    And I so want it to be the mama deer, pissed off and ready for a fight, but that ship has apparently sailed. (*sigh!*)

    OBH: Whatever you do, kids, don’t let PBS’s Guard Duck near you during this!

    PC: Too late for an Eric Massa joke, I’m guessing.

    RMMD: Aw… that’s more like it.
    Still, though…. WHAT ABOUT THAT PHONE CALL?!??!?

  62. The "Noodle Incident"
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    BC: I actually found this amusing…always a shocker with this strip.

    Cathy: Ew.

    HotC: Win. I grew up with cats, and I always envied them this.

    MC: Forget the so-called superheroes…THIS is the battle I want to see.

    PBS: Just for the record, this is my favorite currently running strip. (My favorite past strip is in my screen name.) I love Pastis.

    Pluggers: That student’s not a Plugger. Too thin.

    Zits: Reminds me of my bookbag in eighth grade…as in I’d put it on and stagger backwards from the weight of all my textbooks.

  63. The "Noodle Incident"
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    @Brian (#59): Too true.

  64. The "Noodle Incident"
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:20 am [Reply]

  65. Perky Bird
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    I thought all Ramen noodles were, by default “Oriental.” So what differentiates “Ramen Oriental” from the rest? Does it have chunks of actual Asians in it?

  66. Scott Bot
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    MW – I have two words for you, Lonnie – ‘Police Department.’

  67. cheech wizard
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    9CL – Ok, I can accept that the newspaper botched the obit – BUT WHO BOTCHED THE NAME ON THE TOMBSTONE?????? Otherwise, how did the Burbers ever find the grave? Remember, they were looking for Pietre Kiesl – not Johann. The cemetery manager would have told them he had no recent burials for a Peter, only a John.

  68. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    9CL – And, of course, this just wouldn’t be 9 Chickweed Lane without giant honking walls of text. But that’s okay, it’s a perfect opportunity for me to play Dissociated Chickweed again!

    A3G – Wait, when did Luann and Margo take on the roles of Binkley and his dad?

    Blondie – I still hold that Ozy & Millie did this joke best, but this is good too.

    BrS – Whoa. Brenda’s pullin’ an Abbey there.

    Curtis – If Curtis is going to have a natural-disaster apocalypse, I for one would be totally supportive of that.

    DT – Ooh! D’Buckworth accidentally cloned himself, and now his clones are all turning up dead!

    FC – …It’s happened. The Family Circus is finally becoming self-parody.

    FW – Ha ha!

    GT – “My mighty loins cannot fail to produce mighty golfers, and I will prove it!”

    JP – “…it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it.”

    Luann – Funny, I thought he’d already been excised from the Luann universe for being too great a threat to Gunther.

    MT – Oh, stepfather. Now we know who gets punched! Of course, since it’s the little girl keeping the deer, we won’t get anything so hilariously stupid as the spectacle of a man thinking he’s being cuckolded by a yearling buck, but at least we won’t have the uncomfortable spousal-abuse bit.

    MW – In the movie, Lonnie will be played by ’80s Mel Gibson.

    Momma – “He’s been around for a long, long time, stole many a man’s soul and faith.”

    MC – Oh hell yes.

    OBH – Is it me, or is One Big Happy turning into Aliens?

    Pluggers – Fortunately, while I am an avid consumer of vaguely-Oriental packaged noodle products, (Maruchan FTW!) my diet as a college student consisted of sitting around hungry for six hours a day, wondering when the food service I was forced to shell out for would provide a meal that wasn’t lukewarm, soggy, and generally inedible. I’VE ESCAPED YOUR CLUTCHES ONCE AGAIN, PLUGGERS!

    RMMD – Why do they have a print of the EarthBound title screen on their wall?

  69. Chyron HR
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Quill: Who’s Aaron Hill?
    Luann: Oh, he was the blonde Miguel.
    Quill: Miguel? Who’s Miguel?
    Luann: He was the Spanish Stuart.
    Quill: And Stuart was…
    Luann: He was like Ben, but a lifeguard.
    Quill: Croikey, who’s BEN?
    Luann: He was the American Quill.

  70. mvg
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:37 am [Reply]

    Oavis (16): “What could the plugger college student possibly be studying? Animal husbandry, perhaps.”

    My vote is taxidermy.

    9CL: The grave’s not nearly as crowded as that third panel.

    Will (47): “FW/CS: I think Batiuk needs to up the dose on his antidepressants.”

    I’d say the whole bottle at one go oughta do the job.

    MW: A theory to posit: The drive-by shooter was in fact Mary, who in her younger days inflicted random traumas all over town in order to ensure a healthy crop of meddleworthy victims for her declining years.

  71. BeamStalk
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#9):

    I thought it was the Classic Simpson’s of:
    Homer: D’oh!
    Lisa: A deer!
    Marge: A female deer.

  72. Nekrotzar
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    @bbofun (#27): That would be perfect. Dr. Mike’s Dad can go out and capture the bad guys while Peter Parker stays home and watches TV with the young Dr. Mike. That way everyone can focus on what they do best.

  73. Nekrotzar
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#2):
    I first parsed this as asking whether the animal was a “girl,” or was it a “boy deer.” Which meant that she lacked the mental capacity to distinguish bipeds from quadrupeds. And I thought: We’ve found Rusty’s life partner!

  74. blackgoat
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    back to school ?
    MT: All the women in Mark Trail get their hair done at the 1940s School of Hair Design.

    MW: Mike’s dad must have gone to the OJ Simpson Killer Tracking School.

  75. Jym
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:52 am [Reply]

    =v= MT: I’m glad to see a storyline in which female people adopt wild animals and strays and male people disapprove. We haven’t had enough of those this year, or last, or the year before. I presume that the surname Butler or Hill will figure into things, as well.

  76. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#57): y’know, I had a Lone Wolf and Cub snark floating around my noggin recently, but never put it to post, and now I can’t remember what strip inspired it. ah well, such is life in the snark lane. Much like I-75, do 15 over or get run over.

  77. odinthor
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:53 am [Reply]


    This reception is cooling my desire to conquer earth.

    A phrase I’ve said to myself nearly daily for over twenty years!

  78. Red Greenback
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    That’s the doorbell!… I think I’ll name it Dick!

  79. Mark D. White
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    Why didn’t Dr. Mike’s dad just become a costumed vigilante like everyone else? Geez… it’s like he never even read a comic book.

  80. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:01 pm [Reply]

    What sort of classes do they teach Pluggers at college? “TV Remotes 101″? “Advanced Pill Sorting 415″?

  81. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    Little does Dr. Mike’s dad know that Mary Worth meddled that gang into the electric chair years ago.

  82. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    @Nekrotzar (#73): NO! They might procreate!

  83. BRWombat
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:06 pm [Reply]

    Forget the stupid deer. What about the freakish physiology that causes Mom’s head to expand to twice its normal size when the doorbell rings?

  84. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    @Naked Bunny with a Whip (#80): Textbook: The Wit and Wisdom of Reed Hoover.

  85. Big Daddy
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    Little Dr. Mike looks awfully happy that Lonnie is leaving in panel 2. Maybe home life with Lonnie wasn’t all about frolicking and show tunes.

  86. cheech wizard
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#76): spoken like a true Michigander.

  87. Stroker Ace
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers ~ Milk-fed Ramen Lucky beats Ramen Veal every time.

  88. tommypaul
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    I finally figured out why Mark and Cherry never had children of their own: No contractions.

  89. cheech wizard
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#76): P.S. I always thought Christopher Lloyd would be an awesome choice to play Retsudo Yagu in a LW&C major motion picture.

  90. mvg
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:18 pm [Reply]

    @Nekrotzar (#73): “NO! They might procreate!”

    Are you kidding? They’re both so dim they can probably barely manage to defecate on their own.

  91. Carlo
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    @blackgoat (#74): That OJ comment made me laugh loudest so far this week.

  92. BoulderDan
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    @Walker of Dog (#60):

    Yah! BoulderDan has people friends!

    I’d rather be Pig than a Plugger any day…

  93. Austria
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @The “Noodle Incident” (#62): re Zits: I can one-up you there. I used to literally fall over backwards from the weight of my books.

    Arch: The only thing keeping me from hating this strip due to the GOLFING GOLFING WHY IS IT ALWAYS GOLFING AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH is the poor hapless soul in the background getting beaned by a wayward golf ball.

    Luann: Whoa, continuity! You blew it, Luann. You’ll never get any Aussie action now.

    MC: WHOA! Norm-baby vs demon-baby?! The battle of our times! I approve wholeheartedly.

    Pruggs: Wait, a Plugger college student? *double-fisted desk pound* That’s a contradiction!! A contradiction I’m not sure I like. I only eat ramen occasionally, but am I a Plugger now regardless? ?_?

  94. Uncle Lumpy
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy’s Ramen Lunch:

    1. Package Ramen noodles – throw away the terrifying “flavor” packet.
    2. 2 cups chicken or beef broth.
    3. 1 chicken or beef bouillon cube.
    4. 1/3 cup or so leftover chicken or steak.
    5. Hardboiled egg, sliced.
    6. 2 tsp. ginger, minced.
    7. 1/4 cup nori (toasted seaweed) strips.
    8. 1 tbsp. soy sauce.
    9. 1 scallion, chopped.
    10. 1/4 tsp furikake (rice seasoning).

    Heat 3, 4, 6, and 8 in 2 to boil; add 1; simmer 3 minutes, add 5, 7, and 9; simmer 45 seconds; pour into bowl; sprinkle with 10. Mmm!

  95. Austria
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    oh goshdarnit the face screwed up

  96. OKStan
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    MT: “That’s the doorbell!” No, dear, that’s the Jack Elrod Ball.
    MW: Dad had black hair, and Mom was a blonde, so OF COURSE Dr. Mike would be born with perfect blue hair. Thanks for the genetic lesson, Mary Worth.

  97. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#89): True Fable would approve of the Usagi Yojimbo version as well.

  98. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#94): Wow! That looks good.

    But you’d never get a Plugger to do all that work to eat soup.

  99. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#82): Fear not! They’d have to be able to figure out what goes into where first.

  100. ScienceGiant
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    @Peripheral Visionary (#51):

    Imagine the look on Mary’s face when she learns that Mike can’t bring himself to love anyone… BECAUSE HE MUST JOIN HIS FATHER’S VIGILANTE QUEST TO TRACK DOWN RICHIE’S KILLER! That oughta wipe the smug off.

  101. Pop Goes the Weasel
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    SM: One thing puzzles me about Puppetmaster’s plan to have Iron Man destroy Stark Industries…. isn’t Puppetmaster IN the building he wants destroyed?!

  102. Daniel
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    Sure, the 20something (or 40something) Plugger seems currently svelte, especially in comparison to the strip’s usual Snorlax-physiquèd fare. But look at him: eating nothing but processed food for several years and already developing a hunchback. Of course, Brookins can’t draw microwaves at arm level either, so his characters must hunch over even though he’s in complete control of their Stantis-level world.

  103. bats :[
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#37): omg, the jumpin’ panda! Looks like our fat cat!

    @Carlo (#53): re Luann: speaking of dignity, or lack of it

  104. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    MW — So, is it a rule in Santa Royale that only Charterstone and the hospital get decent drywall? Everywhere else, it seems, only gets peeling/cracking plaster.

  105. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#99): That’s true. We know Mark won’t tell them how to do it and Cherry has probably forgotten.

  106. Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#94): Sounds good. I will try it for lunch today.

    BTW, I eat the flavor packets “dry”. Is that a bad thing?

  107. Little Guy
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    MT: From Anthony Joseph “Fist O’ Justice” Reali – odds that the stepfather has a hirsute face.

    9CL: The balloon in the last panel is expanding its frontiers for an Anschluß of the strip below.

  108. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @Al of the Christian Singles Jungle Patrol (#104): Some time ago, some ‘Mudgeon proposed the theory that Mary Worth exists in a post-cataclysm world and that Santa Royale is humanity’s last refuge. That might explain the drywall shortage.

  109. Lloyd S.
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    I’m quite sure that if there were any plugger spawn in a college, they would be in the closet about their origins.

  110. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#94): the QG has also been known to add hot bean paste or sarachi to her raman. I am not a fan, I’ve seen the nutrition stats.

  111. Uncle Lumpy
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    @Pop Goes the Weasel (#101):

    … isn’t Puppetmaster IN the building he wants destroyed?!

    Alas, the Puppet Master is wracked by self-loathing and despair. The only way he can get out of bed in the morning is by coaxing a doll of himself out of its doll bed.

  112. Izzy
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    And the award to the most overused verb in three sentences goes to… THINK! We should think of some ways to celebrate its special day… at least, I think so.

  113. bats :[
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#58): I *guess* it’s a real song.
    Crap. Quill and Luann’s ventures don’t seem so bad now.

    @commodorejohn (#68): no, I just like to imagine that Mommy achieved her hat-trick (plus two)…a truly excellent vacation!

    @Perky Bird (#65): we will occasionally succumb to the high-sodium siren song of ramen. Word to the wise: avoid the Chili Lime Shrimp flavor. Spicy going in…hell going out (at least according to mr. bats :[ ).

    @tommypaul (#88): hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    @Uncle Lumpy (#94): oh, yeah, ramen can be saved, it just needs some creativity. Then again, we were talking about Pluggers. (“‘Nori’? Ain’t that what those weird people up north call a big windstorm?”)

  114. This Guy
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    9CL: While you were blathering on, five more similarly-named guys kicked the bucket. Good luck untangling that.

    @Perky Bird (#65): Maruchan and other companies sell ramen that’s just labeled “Oriental flavor.” As my friend said, “How do they know what we taste like?”

    @Uncle Lumpy (#94): That does sound good… my best do-it-yourself ramen so far involves tossing the flavor packet and draining the noodles after cooking, then stirring in some Chinese hot mustard and some duck sauce.

  115. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#111): Wow. That’s a really evocative and beatifully sad image you put in my head. You just made me feel something of the Puppet Master’s pain and angst—not to mention genuine human sympathy toward a Spider-Man character.

    I shall never forgive you for this.

  116. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#94): After college, when I was dirt poor and doing temp work, I survived on discounted frozen bean/potato burritos and store-brand ramen. So although that recipe looks pretty tasty, I still have to stick to my vow: As god is my witness, I’ll never eat ramen again.

  117. greghousesgf
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    Perkybird (65) “Oriental” in this context means MSG-flavored.

  118. Uncle Lumpy
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#116):

    Substitute Chinese cellophane noodles and reduce the cooking time!

  119. howie
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    FW: Wally took waitress Rachel to the county fair
    Excitable Boy, they all said…

    Apologies to the late Mr. Zevon.

  120. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#116): *weeps for mental picture of bb,u drinking Olde Bourbon*

  121. tb4000
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    I wasn’t aware that Pluggers went anywhere for school other than Agricultural based universities, but that would imply that they would actually go somewhere that involved book-learnin’, which as we all know is nothing but the devil’s handiwork.

  122. Calico
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#78):
    “Sweetie, the doorbell!”

  123. McManx
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers — I would think “plugger college student” is somewhat of an oxymoron like “jumbo shrimp.”

    Mary Worth — I can’t tell if Dr. Mike is amused or touched at his father’s melt-down. Perhaps its more like “Oh boy! Wait til I tell the guys about this down at the Psychological Society meeting next month!”

    Mark Trail — “R-i-n-n-n-g”? Door bell? I would have thought the sound effect would be more like “ding dong.” But then this comic has enough ding dongs in it already.

  124. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#116): I feel the same way about Spam. And not the email kind.

  125. Old School Allie Cat
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    I ate a fair amount of Ramen in college until I read the back of the packet. Last year, when I had my tonsils out, there was a week where all I could was Ramen, sans “flavor” packet, and with a splash of olive oil or butter so they’d slide down the little red lane more easily.

    I graduated to Easy Mac, powdered mashed potatoes, then eventually back to real food.

    What I’m saying is – if you’re 35 and they tell you the tonsils need to come out, prepare for a week or two of culinary Pluggerism.

  126. McManx
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#94):
    No offense, but I’d be suspect of any recipe with the word “Lumpy” in the title.

  127. Carlo
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#116): I’m 100% with you on the boycott of Ramen. I also steer clear of white rice for many the same reasons.

  128. Carlo
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    @howie (#119): That’s ironic; I just heard that song on the radio this morning. RIP Warren Zevon. My favorite Zevon song is his last cut.

  129. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    9CL — So Peter Kiesl is a verbose superior person surrounded and afflicted by unworthy idiots, just like Juliette. Yep, he’s definitely an official 9CL character now. I can hardly wait to learn about his imaginary secret identity. Superlative Hun?

  130. Jose
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers hate their kids so much, they refuse even get the names of the food the kid eats to survive right. Kids today with their rice fried, drink energy and pie pizza!

  131. Scott Bot
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    FW – ‘I almost killed a kid! With a teddy bear! See the teddy bear there that he’s holding to make the moment even more heart wrenching???’

    Luann – ‘Who’s Aaron Hill?’ ‘Oh, he’s the reason for the restraining order folded up in the notebook there.’

    HotC – My cats do this to me all the time.

  132. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    @McManx (#123) re MW: I’m very much looking forward to his upcoing paper, “Grief Recovery and While Male Vigilante Power Fantasies: A Case Study in Why My Dad’s A Total Ass.”

  133. Buck Ripsnort
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    FW: We’re going to feel awfully silly when Wally gets through this week without bloodshed. Kill-teased again. Darn you Batiuk!

    MT: Because of a print error, I read than Dinnng! as a BANNG!, which is probably how step-dad will react to find a wild, smelly animal in his home. Not to mention the deer.

    MW:Mike’s Dad apparently sought the killer in the tropics, where he caught that case of malaria we see in the first panel.

  134. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    MT — I can sort of accept, albeit sullenly and reluctantly, that Freakish-Looking Mama would be dumb enough to take the alleged “fawn” home, in spite of the fact that most sane rural residents know not to mess with young deer from the time they are toddlers. And I sullenly and reluctantly accept that this “fawn,” possibly due to some hideous hormonal experiment performed on its mother, is ginormous.

    But keeping the creature in the bleeping KITCHEN?!?

  135. Buck Ripsnort
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    Preview, dammit. And learn to close them HTML tags!

  136. Calico
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    @Carlo (#128):
    I can’t even listen to this song anymore – I just bawl my eyes out.
    Apparently a lot of the musicians with WZ were in tears while recording this. : (
    Gone too bloody young.

  137. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    I wonder if Mary Worth eats ramin? That actually may be a vital part of the salmon squares.

  138. Paul Healey
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: A plot so thin, you can read the comics through it!

  139. Calico
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    @McManx (#126):
    In Maine, many favor mashed potatoes “with lumps and skins.”
    I prefer the smooth mash, myself…

  140. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#134): Well, you have to prepare venison somewhere.

  141. AMC
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    Dr. Mike’s dad + OJ = Awesome finding the real killer adventure!

  142. Professor Fate
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    FW: I can’t decide if Wally is distressed because of his memories or that there are all these children dashing about and he’s unarmed.

    MW: So Dr. Mike in the intervening years forgot a) the drive by shooting of his father’s best friend (and a family member) and b) the subsequent transformation of his dad into Captain Shaky Vengence? If so, his abandoment issues are not his biggest problem.

    9CL: Well I see Batiuk lent a hand in the scripting today. What next does the Austrian Goverment cut off his pension now that he’s dead?

  143. spike
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#129): Make that “Superlative-Opera-Man-Hun” and you’ve got a deal!

  144. BananaSam
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    Dear Pluggers,
    On behalf of College students everywhere, don’t you dare drag us down with you.

  145. Dog
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    This Mary Worth storyline is so awesome, it has finally made me transition from just reading the site to actually posting. It is my fondest wish that it turns out Lonnie is some Worthverse version of Frank Millers over the top vicious Batman, and the story culimantes with his son joining him as Robin, then the two go an a absurdly violent adventure.
    It is also my deeply held hope that the Worthverse Joker who executed the drive by is none other than Margo Magee, who will kill both of them.

  146. Renee
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    No no no, Pluggers, “Plugger College Students” (which actually do exist – I knew a few) spurn ramen because it isn’t ‘Murican enough. They prefer easy mac. Or better yet, bringing tupperwares into the dining hall and sneaking out all the pizza, stew and bananas they can carry.

  147. Digger
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:26 pm [Reply]

    Richie’s killer will turn out to be none other than…..Mary Worth! It was all part of an elaborate scheme so that she could do some super-meddling on Mike decades later.

  148. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    The online version of Time has a photo-article on “Top Ten Things Today’s Kids Will Never Experience.” Surprisingly, “a funny Cathy” didn’t make it in.

  149. un malpaso
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    I think the deer should be named “Lymey” instead. Better check the kids for ticks before bathtime, Mom!

  150. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    @Digger (#147): If so, she would truly be a master of meddle. Your average psychopathological meddler would go for the boy’s father, but Mary knows it would be too easy for the boy to fully grieve and obtain closure for the loss of his father, however sudden, violent, and senseless his death. On the other hand, a father who has left for no seeming reason and is tantalizingly alive in the world makes for a much better object of neurotic, life-destroying fixation. Plus you get two meddles for one. Too bad she can’t let either one live once they learn the truth, but, again, she still has Jenna for dessert. “It was so tragic, Jenna. Just as he confessed his love for you, he was shot in the face. It looks like a professional hit. You may never find love again, but perhaps you can find vengeance…or forgiveness…or something. Whatever it is, I just want you to know I’m here to help you find it. Whether you like it or not.”

  151. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:51 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy — Either that’s another entrance to the PD… or someone keeps stealing the “Police” sign off the building!

    Wizard of Id — Shrink rap!

    Oh, Brother! — I haven’t figured out if Bud’s at the top of the food chain… or the food chain’s at the top of him!

    Red & Rover — Raisin hell!

    A3G — Margo’s only on one side… her own!

  152. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    MW — Wow. I can really see how this story will enable Mike to love again.

  153. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#137): I’d put my money on the little msg-packet as being an important ingredient in salmon squares.

    No, wait, I take that back; they’d supply too much flavor for the Charterstonian palate. Those taste buds, atrophied from years of beige, bland food, would convulse in shock if they encountered an actual “flavor,” no matter how artificial it might be.

  154. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    B&C: Look, it’s Danae! Because what the comics really need is more Danae.

  155. Hank
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    @howie (#119): Warren Zevon is the man!

  156. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    LUANN — Please, Greg Evans, in the name of sanity itself, do not force us to read any of Luann’s poems. Please.

  157. Carlo
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#148): That list looks like it was written by a Plugger, and I’d probably refute half of it (the irony of a dinosaur magazine proclaiming the death of books is rich).

    “Remember when MTV played videos?” Yes I do. Remember when that joke was relevant or funny? No, and neither do I.

  158. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    @Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™ (#148): I thought it was a fairly sad list of mostly pop culture ephemera. And it was missing “freedom.”

  159. Snuggs
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    Finally, Mary Worth tackles issues that the public can relate to! I’ll never recover from the time my dad took on a full-time career as Charles Bronson, but reading about it in the paper like this is the cathartic release I’ve been looking for all these years! Thank you, Mary Worth, for informing others about the oft-overlooked downside to vigilante justice!

  160. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:08 pm [Reply]

    Between Friends — I don’t get it and I don’t want to. And at this point, if Josh wiped out the entire cast with another drive-by shooting, I’d dance a little.

  161. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    @Carlo (#157): The premise of the list (and others like it) is so silly; there are plenty of things that even the oldest among us never experienced because they’d faded away before their time. Oh, poor me—I never got to experience starting a car with a hand crank!

    And including “real books” on there? I sort of hate the assumption that “everyone” uses e-readers when they’re so far out of the price range of so many people.

    And, um, yeah, something about comics…..

  162. Off-the-wall Fly on the Wall
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    Josh, can you resurrect as well as kill comics characters? Because as fun as Mary Worth is right now, it’d be even better with zombie Aldo.

  163. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    FC — It’s obvious that Dolly has talked Jeffy into trying to find out how deep the sand is and is waiting to bury him alive as soon as he digs deep enough. But that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is what kind of strange seven-year-old comes to the beach and wears a fireman’s helmet while pushing around a toy fire truck and kneeling right next to his mom in her smokin’ black bikini.

  164. Rana
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    @Windier E. Megatons (#10): Well, yes. Even Plugger humor has that whiff of stale desperation about it.

    Though I must say, I’m oddly cheered by the thought that Plugger-dom is something one gets from one’s parents, rather than something one inevitably acquires as one ages. There may be hope for me yet.

    Re: Luann. Here’s something I simply don’t get. Why, on earth, would any girl looking to have a relationship with a guy show him that she once wrote over 200 poems about some other guy? One, it suggests that she’s not really over the first dude (making the second guy leery of being the consolation prize), and two, it implies that if he’s not careful, she’s going to be that obsessive about him as well. Oh, and three, it’ll make him wonder what happened to said guy, that he’s not around any more. Run, Quill, run!

  165. Rana
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    @Greg (#13): Ah, see, this poor young creature (can’t call him a man, no) is trying desperately to avoid the fate that awaits him as he gets older. Hoping against hope that a college education will save him from Pluggerdom, he has enrolled in the local community college and is working nights at BurgerFlip in order to escape. Poor soul, he has no idea that being a Plugger is genetic. All he will accomplish is to sow the seeds of future bitterness when he thinks about what might have been.

  166. Rana
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    @Tess (#31): Clearly our minds have run on parallel tracks on this.

  167. True Fable
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#97): GOAT! Goat manga! MUST HAVE!!!!!

  168. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    Did you know that “salmon squares” spelled backwards is “nomlas serauqs?”
    Sounds kind of Latin. I’m sure Mary Worth uses it in her mantra.

  169. Edgy DC
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    Dr. Mike is sporting a fine royal blue Mets hat as his dad storms out on him. Clearly his dad is a Yankee fan and is looking to fuck some people up Roger Clemens-style with a jagged bat fragment.

  170. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:46 pm [Reply]

    MT: Really, who is at the door? The stepfather would just come in with his key. The Trails can’t get in, thanks to the giant chain link fence. The doe would be too much to hope for. Is it one of her husband’s business clients? A neighbour from the non-fenced side coming to borrow a cup of sugar? A stranded motorist? An escaped felon? Who comes by and rings the doorbell when you live in the Lost Forest?

  171. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:47 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#168): nom nom nom.

  172. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#170): The Grim Reaper?

  173. Dark Corner
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    9CL: I’m disappointed by this undead windbag’s lack of initiative. (Now if he had found new happiness as a rappeling, unlicensed outlaw duct-repairman, that would have made a story).

  174. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:03 pm [Reply]

    @True Fable (#167): True Fable, that’s an arc in the beyond excellent “Usagi Yojimo” comic by Stan Sakai. Amazon has details, as does teh googles. It’s a well done arc, from what I remember of it.

  175. littlestevie
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#35): Not in Mark Trail land. Cherry’s never gets lucky.

  176. Alison
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Young Dr. Mike looks like a smurf! Even his hair fits.

  177. bats :[
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    @Digger (#147): great minds think alike.
    Even though I thought it might be for different reasons entirely.

  178. Tim O'Shenko
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    MW: Please tell me we are witnessing the precise moment this strip is passed on to Dr. Mike & Lonnie the way “Judge Parker” has been handed over to Sam Driver. I would be unspeakably thrilled if we were to follow the hapless adventures of The Revenginatorist and Psych-out Boy from here on out. Watch out, Spiderman, you’re not the only hopelessly inept superhero in town anymore!

  179. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    @Tim O’Shenko (#178): It would be more like Barney Google being handed over to Snuffy Smith.

  180. Mysterious Shirtless Lawyer
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    “Do you think my stepfather will like Lucky?”

    “Sure he will, honey. He loves venison.”

  181. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    @Mysterious Shirtless Lawyer (#180): Lucky Venison. A good name for a new action hero.
    And with is sidekick…Veal Behomsoon!

  182. Tim O\'Shenko
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#179): This is true, though the elder Judge Parker has all but vanished from his comic as well. At any rate, I think now’s as good a time as any to make the transition from salmon squares and pool parties to father/son bonding over bloody vengeance.

  183. SamECircle
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    @BRWombat (#83):

    And if you look closely, her head is fused to her shirt!

  184. Violet
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    I’m with those who think Mary is the likely culprit in the drive-by shooting. She did have a life before Charterstone, you know. I envision her as the leader of a formidable gang known as the Intrusive Crones whose sign sketched a compassionate but claw-like hand placing a death-grip upon an imaginary shoulder.

  185. Scott Bot
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#181): Lucky Venison would also be a good name for a rock band.

  186. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#185): “Lucky Svenison” for a Swedish death metal band, in particular.

  187. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    @Violet (#184): I shudder to think what their hazing rites are.

  188. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#186): Wouldn’t that be Lookie Svenison?

  189. JamesMurton
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers are just every stereotype imaginable, then. Tomorrow’s Pluggers: “An English Plugger likes drinking tea and watching soccer, which he calls ‘football’.” The day after: “You know you’re a Russian Plugger when you keep vodka inside a Russian doll! P.S. Are there any new Redneck jokes we’ve not heard?”

  190. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#188): I’d follow upsala on that one, but I don’t know how to do the funky lettering to mess with Lookie or Luki with umlauts and slashed o’s and stuff. *cries*

  191. Anselm
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    Looks like Hagar the Horrible decided to make a cameo in Hi and Lois.

  192. Anselm
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    My bad, that was Tuesday’s strip. I have been reading them out of order.

  193. Shiai
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    So, am I to be made to understand that Dr. Mike’s dad is, in fact, the Batman?

    And you just know you want the mystery drive-by assassin to have been Mary Worth.

  194. Ringo Beaumont III
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    @Aleit (#43): A biologist in you? Do you currently have more than one in you? And if so, why are you all discussing Mark Trail?

  195. cheech wizard
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#163): Is that a bikini? I thought it was just the censorship bars the paper has been placing over her naughty bits now that new generation Jeffy has decided to get all “arty” with the strip.

  196. Bmrr
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    Late to commenting on Josh’s thoughts in yesterday’s thread. If you’re going to kill off characters with your mind could you at least let them go happilly? Unlike a certain other writer in the comics?

    At the very least allow Brad to go out like the Sarge on “Hill Street Blues”. Not only will it be a happy ending (for a death scene) but it would finally bring some satisfaction to all readers of Luann, especially those here.

  197. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: Why is everything but the college Plugger skewed to the left?

    Oh, I know. The college Plugger is actually skewed to the right and they tried to make him look normal by skewing everything to the left.

    Nice try Plugger artists but uh-uh.

  198. But What Do I Know?
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    MW–So the guy that Lonnie is bunking with is the killer–driven by remorse to befriend the man he wounded so terribly so many years ago . . . I see the plot heading there and am attempting to head it off at the pass, since the MW writer(s) obviously seem to be reading this site.

    It’s a stupid idea!!! No one will believe it!!!

    /Calmer now

  199. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    @Ringo Beaumont III (#194): I’ve known a couple of biologists that I’d like to get into, but that’s a different story. . . .

  200. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:37 pm [Reply]

    @Tim O’Shenko (#178): And then, like the judge, will Mary be relegated to harmless cameos at the occasional (pool) party, trophy spouse by her side?

  201. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    @A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa (#187): Mary: “Go on—do it. That woman over there is perfect. Don’t be chicken! C’mon, get over there and do it!”
    Meddle-novitiate: “O-o-o-kay….. Excuse me, dear, b-b-b-ut you look like you could use some advice….”

  202. Mr. O'Malley
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    10 things I will never experience:

    Hand-cranked movie cameras
    Phones that require you to ask the operator for a number
    Newspapers printed with moveable type
    Navigating with the aid of a sextant
    Your Hit Parade on television
    Vaudeville theater
    The glory days of Milton Berle
    Coca-Cola with real cocaine
    The Austro-Hungarian Empire
    Eva Tanguay, the I Don’t Care Girl

    (Now waiting for my check from Time.)

    Their “Top 10 Long-Running Comic Strips” is wrong, Annie ended recently.

  203. Aleit
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    @Ringo Beaumont III (#194): The biologist in me, I suppose, yes. Thanks for pointing that out. And Mark Trail is often very impressive for any biologist, trust me on that.

  204. Walker of Dog
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#202): That’s just what those crafty Habsburgs want you to think.

  205. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#201): “All right! Now sock’er with the salmon squares! Right in the kisser!”

  206. zerowolf
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    Am I the only person who wishes Wilbur to be the mystery assassin?

  207. Jason1981
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    S-M: Spidey, as slow as you are, you’ll NEVER figure it out. Some superhero. Batman would’ve figured it out before Puppet Master even decided to plan all this. Hell, Mark Trail would’ve solved this already.

  208. Jester
    August 19th, 2010 at 5:59 pm [Reply]

    There is no way that is not Rusty in a Marlo Thomas wig. Who’s that girl? It’s Rusty.

  209. littlestevie
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:01 pm [Reply]

    MT: I really don’t get why the Johnson gals want to protect the fawn. What harm could that deer get into? Don’t they have a huge fence around their property? Wouldn’t that fence keep out any predator that would want to make Venison McNuggets out of Lucky? I have not looked at the 1970 Mark Trail archive to see where this story is going, but the only thing that makes sense is that Mr. Johnson is going to have a caged hunt. Some facial haired hunter will blast Lucky’s mom and lots o’ punchin’ ensues. Only after Mark finishes his stack o’ pancakes.

  210. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    A Plugger of breeding age? Aw hell naw.

  211. Iconoclast
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    Please tell me that Mary Worth is going to get involved in this murder investigation! Nothing would make me happier than to see her track down an aging killer and meddle him to death. Before she sends him to death row, he can enjoy a last meal of orange cubes with a glass of ketchup.

  212. Iconoclast
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    A few Pluggers manage to make it to college, but they still aren’t among our nation’s brightest young minds. For example, this one seems to think it’s a good idea to put the styrofoam ramen container in the microwave.

  213. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    @But What Do I Know? (#198): That’s genius! Fred, with his red can beer, cracked lath and plaster, and sprawling posture is so clearly the grown up result of a teenhood spend speeding through the Santa Royale neighbourhoods, shooting frolickers thourhg the passenger window.

  214. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    @littlestevie (#209): You’re looking at the size of the animal in that kitchen and reasoning that it’s almost full-grown and thus can fend for itself. But in the Mark Trail world o’ mutants it’s actually a newborn (I’m not making this up). The girl found it in the woods and as she could not see the doe, convinced her mother that the fawn would starve to death and that they must rescue it.

  215. Jeremiah
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    MW – I like Dr. Mike’s expression in panel one. Either he doesn’t believe this story or he’s thinking, “what would Mary do to exploit this situation?”

    FW – Kid: “Geez, I hate it when people talk about me like I’m not in the room.”

  216. Anonymous
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    Fun fact: One of the most common names for Roman slaves was Felix – “Lucky”.

  217. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    @Jeremiah (#215): And the least likely thing for Dr. Mike to say next: “Dad, I’m a professional psychiatrist. I can help you.”

  218. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    MT: The little girl will raise the deer to be tame and darling to all. But then Rusty, perhaps guided by a malign deity (but really by his stupidity), will the shoot the deer, starting a feud between the Trails and the Johnsons, which will end with Mark dragging Mr. Johnson’s body seven times around his chainlink fence.

  219. Anonymous
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    So Herr Kiesl went to visit Herr Keisl’s grave at the exact same time Miss Burber chose to to the same thing, assuming it was Herr Kiesl’s? Since it is well-known that Miss Burber isn’t the highest heel in the collection, she can be forgiven for mistaking the spelling. However, we still fail to understand why Mrs. Burber was not the one keeping the vigil. Nor do we understand why Miss Burber was dressed in her grandmother’s clothes, as if she expected to meet Herr Kiesl all along. The only plausible reason is her strong resemblance to Miss Ernst as he last knew her. Clearly, Miss and Mrs. Burber knew that Herr Kiesl was living and set out to trap him for some nefarious purpose. One would think the poor man had suffered enough at the hands of Miss Ernst without having to fall into the snares of her offspring.

  220. Fashion Police
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:52 pm [Reply]

    We are responsible for #219. We regret our failure to post proper identification.

  221. Rusty
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers only attend community colleges or other commuter schools. For a semester until they drop out to work at the local grocery store.

  222. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:57 pm [Reply]

    @Anonymous (#216): Oh, and that’s the name of Pozzo’s slave in Waiting for Godot, isn’t it?

  223. Black Drazon
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:09 pm [Reply]

    Poor Doctor Mike, all the answers he’s been looking for for years are right in front of him and he’s succumbing to House Syndrome. “It looks like he’s suffering from a shortlist of three possible diseases, each more horrible than the last! The only possible way for me to work this out is with either radiation or judicious bloodletting. Now where’s my penknife?”

  224. Rana
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#202): Oh, I don’t know. Both vaudeville and navigation with sextants are still around.

  225. Government Cheese
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    MW: Dr. Mike’s dad looks like he’s decided to poop in the park like the birds. Dr. Mike, with his thoughtful expression, is considering joining him.

  226. Buck Ripsnort
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#202): Throw in slavery, polio and radio drama.

  227. nerowolfgal
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:50 pm [Reply]

    True Fable, calling True Fable!

    Must see Goat Bridge. What cracks me up is how solemn the goats are.

  228. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    @Buck Ripsnort (#226): Radio drama is alive and well in Canada. I think you can even get Afghanada on iTunes.

  229. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#228): Outside our Charterstone-like bubble, polio and slavery haven’t gone away either. It would be nice if kids today could grow up in a world without either, but they aren’t.

  230. Push Trot
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:10 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#190):

    That would be Lycke S:son. But it’s a name better suited for a 60′s folk singer[*].

  231. Uncle Lumpy
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#229):

    Smallpox! We got rid of smallpox, didn’t we? I remember a picture in National Geographic from the ’60′s showing a pockmarked old Ethiopian man, over a caption that said he was the world’s last known case.

    Tell me it’s true — I’m afraid to look it up.

  232. Uncle Lumpy
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    He looked suspiciously like Lonnie, now that I think of it.

  233. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#231): The Russians and the Americans have the only known samples of it, but while there have been no new cases, the World Health Organization worries about it being reintroduced through a research accident. (Apparently they’re cross-breeding it with other viruses and making it glow green and stuff. Or I’m getting mixed up with the Batman and Robin movie).

  234. Packherd
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    While his long lost father is clearly having a heart attack right in front of him, Dr. Mike just watches curiously, stroking his chin. Are we sure he’s actually a doctor?

  235. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    @Packherd (#234): He went to the same medical school as Rex Morgan.

  236. Bummer Magee
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Lumpy (#231): Smallpox still exists in a laboratory somewhere, just in case Batuik runs out of new ways to afflict his characters.

  237. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:39 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#235): “Doc, a finger-wave is NOT an appropriate way to take the patients temperature, much less to check their pulse!”

  238. Alex
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    Is that strip implying that some pluggers go to universities?

    I would think most of them would work at GE or somewhere for a while and then get a couple of welding credits at the community college when they’re forty.

  239. Emily K [Riff Chick]
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    MT: Gee, thanks for clearing that up, lady. If I’d confused that “Ring” for the phone, I’d be utterly lost, groping in the dark for the plot.

    Exposition: the multi-tool of the lazy.

  240. Mr O'Malley
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:55 pm [Reply]

    @Rana (#224): There may be sextant-users around but the likelihood that I would encounter one is pretty low. And vaudeville that you might see nowadays is really revival vaudeville. I don’t think that’s really the same experience, nor is watching old vaudeville acts on TV.

    @Buck Ripsnort (#226): Slavery I haven’t encountered, but that’s not to say it doesn’t exist. You’re probably right that I’m not likely to see it in my sheltered life. I’ve known people from third world countries who had suffered from polio, though. I’ve heard radio drama in other countries, and I’ve heard vintage American radio drama over the air (there’s a station here that broadcasts some every week), but maybe that doesn’t count. There was a religious broadcaster that kept doing radio drama in the US into the 1980s, anyway. I still listen to radio drama now, but I’m more likely to download it to my MP3 player. The BBC does quite a lot of it.

    @Uncle Lumpy (#231): I was vaccinated against smallpox, so that’s some kind of an encounter.

  241. chrishocker
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    Jeffy looks so angry in FC today. “There sure is a lot of sand down here!” And his sister is over there cowering. Maybe he killed his parents and plans to bury them.

  242. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    @Alex (#238): The young Pluggers take a semester at the local community college in gunsmithing or auto repair before dropping out to work at NAPA to help pay for Mom’s triple-bypass. This strip isn’t actually set in a dorm, it’s in the student lounge at Bumfuck Community College, where the young Plugger is making dinner before his 9:00 P.M. night class.

    August 19th, 2010 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#235):

    dr. hammy with hands so clammy, let me check your prostate now

  244. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:20 pm [Reply]


    1. An age where you’re not expected to be reachable 24/7.
    2. Concerts by the good lineups of most of my favorite bands.
    3. The premiere of a truly good Lucas/Spielberg movie.
    4. The period in history when you actually had to know a little bit about how a computer worked to use one.
    5. New arcade games that aren’t racing games, lightgun games, or ticket-dispenser shit. [*]
    6. Computers with drum memory and paper-tape I/O.
    7. Watching a human being set foot on an extraterrestrial body for the first time.
    8. The Internet, pre-AOL.
    9. Popular music being notable for its heterogeneity rather than its homogeneity.
    10. A practical-FX revival in filmmaking.

  245. Paddy
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    I must say, considering Dr. Mike’s earlier histrionics he’s taking his father’s revelations with an alarming nonchalance. “So your best friend was brutally murdered in front of your very eyes and you left mom and me to go on a bloodthirsty campaign of vigilante justice? Fascinating, please go on.”

  246. This Guy
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    @Mr O’Malley (#240): There’s still a bit of radio drama being produced here in the US. “A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. On the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life’s persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.”

  247. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:37 pm [Reply]


    (just some late evening silly-cute)

  248. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL! (#243): and here I thought you just wanted to examine the nutz.

  249. AhClem
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#244): I learned to program FORTRAN on a teletype machine linked to a mainframe through a 110-baud acoustic coupler modem, with paper tape I/O. Trust me, you’re not missing much!

  250. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#246):
    Hey, Lefty. Let’s say we saddle up and get ourselves into town.

    Why the seems to be an excellent idea, Dusty. I sure could go for a crisp glass of chardonnay.

    Char-dough-neigh?! Isn’t that some sort of sissy wine?

    Well, actually I prefer to think of it as sophisticated.

    August 19th, 2010 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

  252. mr 12 oz can
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    mark trail- the lifetime channal has bought the latest storyline because when frank gets home the abuse begins. by the way there will never be mention of the fence again.
    mary worth- mike will agree to pay some of lonnies bills they will have dinner once a month and richie will never be mentioned again.
    gil thorp-it will soon be football season and the peake family will never be mentioned again

  253. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#249): I know, I know, but still, I would’ve liked to be there for that period in computing history. (Well, I guess actually I’d settle for core-memory machines like the PDP-1, but eh. Details.)

  254. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#244): As a side note to your #4, and speaking as someone who knows practically nothing about computers, I believe life would be easier if I DID know more about them. Unfortunately, my brain keeps telling me that it’s not that kind of brain.

    For what little it’s worth, I’m old enough to have been forced to take, er, involved in some weird computer class that involved lots of manilla cards with punched-out openings. I never understood what the hell we were doing, but fortunately I was working with another student who did.

  255. CanuckDownSouth
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#244): Waitasec, if you’re young enough to have missed #1 and #8, surely you can live long enough for a Martian #7?

    Someday I’ll be telling the younglings about websurfing without images using Lynx…

  256. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    @HAMMY THE SQUIRREL (#251): racing stripes.

    that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  257. AhClem
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#253): When I was learning FORTRAN, in the late 1960s, we were linked to a GE-430 timesharing system.

    It’s scary to realize that your average cell phone has more computing power that that entire room full of machinery.

  258. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:57 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#249): and @commodorejohn (#253): I remember back before we had electricity and we had to stoke up the old computer with coal. To make our connections in order to see we had to use a candle or a whale oil lamp. And the connections. Ha! They were so big the cable to the CRT (made out of clam shells) was the size of your thigh. The memory was only 2 bytes so we had to be super creative with our programming. Oh, yeah. Those were the days.

  259. AhClem
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#258): In my day, computers used only zeroes for binary data. Ones hadn’t been invented yet.

  260. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#259): Oh, man. You remember the excitement when Gog invented the one?

  261. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#195): I like that idea.

  262. This Guy
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#253): Stone knives and bearskins, man. I don’t regret missing that era of computing any more than I regret missing, say, wax cylinder recordings or kinetoscopes. Or walking to school uphill both ways through the snow.

    @Sequitur (#250): Exactly. I’d bet that if you add together the sketches they do each week, it probably comes out to at least 30 minutes.

  263. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#255): Well, I’m not all that young; I was around for the tail end of #1 and #8, but too young to have a chance to appreciate them. And I suppose #7 is certainly possible, but I don’t know how likely it is, given current attitudes…

  264. AhClem
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#260): He later invented the first search engine, which worked very well for the six web sites that were in existence at the time. He called it “Gog’s Great Linking Engine”, or GOGGLE for short.

  265. Miss Othmar
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#257):

    It’s scary to realize that your average cell phone has more computing power that that entire room full of machinery.

    It’s scary to realize that your average cell phone has more computing power than the rocket system that brought human beings to an extraterrestrial body for the first time (see @commodorejohn (#244) — I love tying two posts together!).

    MT: Since when does a child refer to “my stepfather” when speaking to her mother (his wife)? Wouldn’t she say “Steve” or “Dad-equivalent nickname”? Oh, I forgot — these bots really haven’t perfected their language subroutines yet….

  266. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#254): Ah, Poteet. Your brain is just fine. Why without your brain where would we find someone who can get really exasperated with Mark Trail?

  267. Sequitur
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#264): Oh. Yeah. Too bad we didn’t have video at that time. I bet ol’ Gog could have done some real bitchin’ graphics.

    Gog was always encouraging us by saying things like “the future of computing is in your hands.” And, “Man, am I horny!”

  268. Petal Metal
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    MW: Hey, Lonnie, instead of abandoning your family, did you ever consider just calling the cops?

    Pluggers: No, Josh, the only thing that Pluggers hate and fear more than an elitist college education are Africans!

  269. Erin
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    MT: Do you think stepfather will like Lucky? Do you? There have been so many “Lucky”s, and they have all had their blood spilt on the altar–but maybe–just maybe–this will sate him! Stepfather hungers!

  270. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#267): “and now you know why Net was born!”

  271. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#246): Garrison Keillor, right?

  272. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#254): Yeah, I suppose. But you’re at least the kind of person who understands and admits to not knowing everything about them; the people who inspire that sentiment in me are the ones who not only don’t know but are actively uninterested in being told. You know, the kinds that think the Internet is comprised of YouTube and Facebook.

  273. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    @Miss Othmar (#265): Maybe we’ve underestimated this storyline altogether. The little girl and her mother once escaped the controlling clutches of the man who built the fence, and mom remarried a loving man whom the little girl was happy to call daddy. But her biological father could not bear that his wife had betrayed him in such a way and abducted them both, taking them to Lost Forest where he knew that as long as you weren’t poaching, no laws apply. He flew into a rage the first time the little girl asked for her daddy, telling her that that man was her stepfather, and only to be referred to as such, but preferably not at all. The woman is allowed out to do grocery shopping and other women’s work, while the little girl is kept at home as a hostage.

  274. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#229):

    There’s also been a resurgence of bedbugs in the US. A news segment I saw on TV today said a movie theater in NYC just reported an outbreak. Not only are they sleeping in our beds, but they’re watching our films, too!

  275. Joe Blevins
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    Uh, Mary Worth, I hate to keep harping on this, but wasn’t the whole point of this storyline supposed to be that there was some kind of vague, ponytailed woman — brunette, I think, this time — swigging Chianti at one in the afternoon because the doctor wouldn’t return her incessant phone calls? Then it was supposed to be about the doctor connecting with his father. Now it’s about the father tracking down his friend’s killer. This isn’t a plotline. It’s a Matryoshka doll!

    The only way for this to make sense is if the killer turns to be the compulsive shopper lady from the previous storyline, i.e. the storyline that segued into this one.

  276. This Guy
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:54 pm [Reply]

  277. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#275): You aim too low! This will be the story arc to end all story arcs, connecting every meddlee ever., the philosopher with the idiot savant child bride, Charlie, the drug dealers in the SantaRoyMart warehouse and of course Aldo will all feature. Every bizarre thing that has ever happened in Mary Worth, every cross-eyed glance and seemingly odd art choice will settle into one shimmering whole, and Mary Worth will become the first comic strip to win the Nobel Prize for literature.

  278. Aviatrix
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:02 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#274): Eww, bedbugs. There’s no way I can blame that on parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated, is there?

    Is there any word on what kind of movies bedbugs prefer? I was thinking porn, what with all the beds, but maybe I’m stereotyping.

  279. commodorejohn
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#275): It’s a recursive storyline!

    @Aviatrix (#277): Toby is less “savant” and more “idiot,” really.

  280. Roman Fingers
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:08 pm [Reply]

    @AhClem (#259): You had zeros? Geez, we had to use the “o” key.

  281. Red Greenback
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#279): No, that wasn’t Toby, that was Delilah Jonis. Still, not much savantage in either case.

  282. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#278):

    Bedbugs prefer to feed on human blood, so I’m thinking anything with vampires!

  283. Marion Delgado
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    Luann and Quill are going to call their act “Foobistank Down Under.” Luann is going to hire a Canadian girl she met via MyFace, who writes songs about her dead dog Farley. They’ll be “joined” by the girl’s uncle who plays the beer bhong.

  284. Alfred E. Neuman
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#277) said: “…and Mary Worth will become the first comic strip to win the Nobel Prize for literature.”

    If that happens, Batiuk and McEldowney will kill themselves, so keep your fingers crossed.

  285. Rana
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    @Paddy (#245): Paddy, I figure that his professional training has finally kicked in.

  286. Rana
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:37 pm [Reply]

    @CanuckDownSouth (#255): Oh, god, Lynx. I knew the world had changed when I started not only seeing [Image] appearing on my browser, but pages telling me that I had to click on part of the [Image] to get to where I wanted to go. How I was supposed to do that, with the old gray screen computer I was on, I did not understand.

  287. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#266): Thank you kindly. I have to give credit for that to the Elrodball of Extreme Provocation.

  288. Poteet
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:52 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#272): You mean those folks don’t know about CC and Google:-)?

    Actually, having trouble understanding computers helps keep me humble in some situations, such as encountering someone whose eyes glaze over when hearing the most basic facts about hydrology. Different brains have different problems.

  289. Aviatrix
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:00 am [Reply]

    @Red Greenback (#281): I’m not going by what I saw in the strip, but I’m sure there was something in the backstory about her being super smart.

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#282): Another reason not to see twilight, but if the bedbugs learn to bite for the neck, they could enhance the experience for the tweens.

  290. Aviatrix
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    @Rana (#286): I never used the Lynx browser, but I gophered on a green glowing WYSE terminal. I remember when Hotbot was the ne plus ultra of search engines, and any search, any search at all was guaranteed to get you porn in the top ten.

  291. Comcis Fan
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:18 am [Reply]

    Sally Forth: Jackie is so in love she’s writhing in linguine. She’s also serving Ralph’s secret fetish for whacking through hair and jeans with big old zigzag shears.

  292. Farley's Revenge
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    I was at a fabric store today and picked up a piece of fabric covered with happy, smiling clowns in an all-over pattern. Without even thinking what I was thinking, I dropped the fabric like it was smallpox infested and said(aloud, even), “Whoa! Baka Gaijin would hate a quilt made with this fabric!”

    I’m not sure what that says about me, beyond I didn’t buy any clown fabric. Baka can rest easy that a clown quilt is not in the making, at least by me.

  293. CanuckDownSouth
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:21 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#290): Hotbot? Never tried it. I’m not sure I did more than e-mail, newsgroups, and direct checking of URLs before Yahoo started.

    Someday I will tell the students that I navigated Mosaic with the “load images” off because my university internet was so dang slow, and then I’d click on individual images I wanted to load.

  294. Comcis Fan
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    BB: Am I just imagining that Sarge’s hand disappeared under the desk when Beetle flirtatiously mentioned his date with Miss Buxley — and the prospect of sharing details? Add to this the fact that Sarge has never shown the least bit of sexual interest in Miss Buxley, against the backdrop of his sadistic relationship with Beetle, and, well, is this really a scene for a family newspaper?

  295. Beetle Bumstead
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    Yesterday’s Mary Worth snuffs out the joy of frolickers. Today’s disheartening Pluggers acknowledged as its inspiration one “Al Froelich” — obviously a pseudonym for one who menaces “froelichers” everywhere. Coincidence? I think not.

  296. Poteet
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:31 am [Reply]


    A3G — I don’t watch reality shows, so for all I know, this is how they really work. I like the drinking and chagrin.

    FW — I’m thinking the Tunnel of Love or the Funhouse, and I’m thinking disaster.

    MT — Oh good. The freakish-fawn story is coming to a mercifully quick conclusion. If only Mark would always show up so quickly.

    MW — Nicely done, Moy and Giella! I’m sure some readers will stare at the faces in Panel One and then at the completely different faces in Panel Two and think “damn, I really do need to get sober.”

    RMMD — “Now let’s head for our twin bathtubs! Because I’ve still got my prostate and I’m in that kind of mood!”

  297. Poteet
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:41 am [Reply]


    SALLY FORTH — Please pardon if this has been said before, but I don’t know why Sally has been so unglued. If Jackie and Ralph stay together, it’s Ralph who will be hit up for those never-to-be-paid-back “loans.” And if they break up, Sally will have the satisfaction of thinking “I told you so.” Either way, she apparently doesn’t have to know what’s going on unless she insists on it. If only all unwelcome situations were so easy to ignore.

  298. Rodeo Clown
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    Not only is this an example of the rare “single occupant drive-by shooting”, but if we compare the car position in 8/17/10 and 8/18/10, the driver was actually moving in reverse! Dr. Mike’s dad should check out the Cirque de Soleil for suspects.

  299. Red Greenback
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#289): Ah, yes, right you are. I seem to recall the “prodigy” title being bandied about. Now you’ve got me dreaming up insane M. Night Moy-style plot twists as to who shot Richie. So following that formula, the shooter would be either Overbearing Skater Pop Frank Griffith or the Veterinarian who treated Chester/Ralphie.

  300. Poteet
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:48 am [Reply]

    8/20 PHANTOM — “Besides, I’m kind of surprised by how little I miss the kids! Would you like to adopt them?”

  301. Jenna M
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:54 am [Reply]

    “Follow up question: Do you think my stepfather will wonder how you found out that Lucky’s a boy?”

  302. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    Hi & Lois — Chip Bunk!

    Hagar the Horrible — Keg o’ My Heart!

    Mother Goose & Grimm — Babar the Elephant meets an untimely end!

    Mary Worth — Lonnie trades his suit for a lead on Richie’s shooter!

  303. bats :[
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:07 am [Reply]

    MW: I have to admire a man who is so obsessed over one aspect in his life that he’d abandon his family in his relentless, decades-long pursuit, but still endeavor to look good while doing it.
    HEY! Isn’t that the current Phantom story?!

  304. Poteet
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:09 am [Reply]


    DT — Wait, wait, don’t tell me — he gave a lot of money to a strange raggedy dude.

    LUANN — Greg, I begged you not to do that.

    OBH — I usually like cats in comics, but this theme bothers me somewhat.

  305. Aviatrix
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:21 am [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#303): I’m saving my favourite comments for an addendum to Josh’s COTW and so far they are almost all about Mary Worth. I can’t believe I used to skip the soaps as unfunny.

  306. Citric
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:35 am [Reply]

    When Pluggers try to hang themselves with their tie it breaks under their sheer girth.

  307. Anonymous
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:39 am [Reply]

    9CL: I didn’t think anything could make me wish that this bloated saga was stretched out even longer, but that last Zeppelin of a word balloon should have been assigned a day all for itself.

    MT: She has to know whether it’s a boy deer before it can be called “Lucky”? I was going to scream misogyny, but now I think it’s naivete: poor girl, she’s destined to discover that in Mark Trail, nobody “gets lucky”.

    P: I remember my boyfriend #2, whose culinary range consisted of what he called “the three Ts”: tea, toast and Top Ramen.

  308. Byeynyn
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    @Joe Blevins (#275): It’s like you’re completely right, and yet I can’t remember at all what you’re talking about. I wanted to say this comic was supposed to be about some meddlesome older lady, but now I just don’t know. Next week we’re going to have yet another backstory, this time for the gunner who secretly works for the Fashion Police.

  309. Aviatrix
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:43 am [Reply]

    Crankshaft: Aww, I did miss a possibility. Their teammates’ oratory skills *in the Bandar Cuban tongue* quell the riot.

    MT: I’m holding my breath here to see if Mark actually does know anything about the situation. I’d love to see him tell them what idiots they are for removing it from the wild, but maybe he’ll recommend giving it chocolate milk and cookiesdo. Perhaps he’ll go into the bedroom to see the dog bed they have set up for it, just as Mr. Johnson gets home, and there will be punching!

  310. ElkMeadow
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:53 am [Reply]

    I vaguely remember seeing this memo when I was a cashier at Fred Meyer.

    I doubt very much that the doe went sadly into the forest. Does have a way of punching the snot out of others. We had a doe that died in our neighborhood. I called Fish and Game, etc. to find out what to do about the fawn. You do NOT pick it up, pet it, etc. We never did find the fawn, but a neighbor a mile away saw a doe go by that had had twins, but now had a third fawn following her. Besides, every five or ten years Mark has a “don’t touch the deer” Sunday lesson. But you all are right–step-dad’s going to be the latest punching bag.

    Helen Clark, is this you?

    It’s my birthday on the 20th, and there isn’t anything funny in the funny pages for the day. /whine>

  311. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:55 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy — “Signs point to yes” (Tracy’s Magic 8-Ball is just out of sight!)

    Strange Brew — Lucy doesn’t work for peanuts, y’know!

    Rose Is Rose — Where’s the rest of the SWAT team?

    The Argyle Sweater — At least the killer didn’t swallow him!

  312. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:11 am [Reply]

    This storyline has all the cohesion of a game of Mad Libs.

    We need a name, a name, an activity, an occupation, a name, a noun, a verb, a name, a title, a location, a verb, an event, a verb, a name, a verb, and an adjective.

    Mary sends Jenna on a date with Doctor Mike where they enjoy fireworks and impromptu dancing until Mike needs to met his father in a park . Where they talk about the drive by shooting that caused Lonnie to shake uncontrollably.

  313. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:15 am [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#312): the last one should be an adverb, not adjective. forgot to change it. If I make the float (big if right) feel free to edit that.

  314. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:20 am [Reply]

    MW- Did Lonnie just swap clothes with that guy? I think he did and it seems the guy is none to happy about it. “Hey man you paid me for sex, I never said you could take my clothes. Hey man, come back here.”

  315. Roman Fingers
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:21 am [Reply]

    A3G: It’s hair Lu Ann. Even you’re smart enough to grow hair. I think.

    Cranky: At least Batuik didn’t send us scrambling for Babelfish.

    DtM: It’s the same question you mother asks herself every single day.

    DT: Yes, all clues point to his death…including the positive ID you got on the body. That’s some first rate sleuthin’, detective.

    FB: My neighbor used to have a dog that actually would ride a skateboard. He was lousy at doing tricks on it, though.

    Lockhorns: The better question is when did they start?

    Luann: OK, McCartney, you’re so good at coming up with good rhymes, let’s see what you can do. Oh, right, you showed us already.

    MT1: “Really? Based on that large badge you’re wearing, I thought your name was Jack Elrod.”

    MT2: “Mark Trail, Prime Minister.” “Yes, I know who you are.”

    MT3: For the love of God, punch her. PUNCH HER!!!

    MW: “But no matter how often I switched jackets with someone, I never could find the killer.”

  316. ElkMeadow
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    I love it. I go to preview my comment, lose the page, and @Thomas B. (#314): and @Roman Fingers (#315): get in their comments about the clothing trade off.

    “Tell me about who shot Richie, or I’ll trade clothes with you.”
    “Hey man, blue is NOT my color. I swear I don’t know anything.”

  317. Mr O'Malley
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:33 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#246): I thought about that, but I figured someone would complain that it wasn’t SERIOUS drama.

    @Aviatrix (#277): I recall hearing an interview with John Updike in which he said any SERIOUS work of literature had to have several levels of flashback in it to qualify. I think one of them had to be a vampire hanging upside down from a tree. So we’re partly on our way! Maybe we could work in the bedbugs somewhere.

    I believe at the time he’d just come out with a novel that started off with someone finding a floppy disk in the sand at the beach. Maybe Dr. Mike will find one in the pocket of his orange suit. Then he’ll have to drive up to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to find a computer that can read it.

  318. Aviatrix
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:34 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#316): No mind! I’m killing myself laughing at every comment on the topic. I thought bats:] had done something sneaky to get the colour change in the mashup, but they really do switch outfits. That is the funniest colourist error I’ve ever seen.

  319. ElkMeadow
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:48 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#318):

    Maybe the colorist did it on purpose? For a while there, Wilbur’s eye color changed practically every other panel.

    Some dude or dudette is out there, going “no one notices, no one complains to the boss, who cares? The cartoonist sure doesnt’. Let’s see if anyone will say anything if I do this….”

  320. Alfred E. Neuman
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:00 am [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#314): @Roman Fingers (#315): @Aviatrix (#318): @ElkMeadow (#319) Re MW:

    The continuity of this strip is completely unsuitable.

    Yeah, I know. I’ve got nothin’ tonight.

  321. Steve the Pocket
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:54 am [Reply]

    Baldo: Making random references to Google that don’t make sense in context is so in! Maybe in another decade we’ll get a Twitter joke!

    Curtis: That Wilkins kid been hangin’ out with those two guys What’s-His-Name and You-Know-the-Guy again.

    Dilbert: Wait, what?

    Funky Winkerbean: Just a friendly reminder from your friendly neighborhood Tom Batiuk — war ruins you for the real world, forever.

    Heart of the City: Hi kids! Take a picture; it’ll last longer.

    Luann: On Wednesday I was thinking how Evans deserves credit for making the best of the whole “song lyrics in a comic are always lame” thing. Now I’m having to take it back. Bad writer! No cookie!

    The Argyle Sweater: Wait, are those both Doublemints?… OMG TWINCEST!

  322. jnik
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:05 am [Reply]

    This Mark Trail story is going through its third recycling to my knowledge. The deer will grow up, get horny (in more ways than one), hurt the child, then be killed by a car.
    Next up: unwanted beavers being a nuisance by building a dam, then prove their usefulness when the backed – up water is used to put out a fire.
    Dodd&Elrod aren’t even trying to write a story anymore, if in fact they ever did.

  323. Dr. Weird
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:14 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean

    WHY is Wally having immersive flashbacks to his actions in the war? He was a hostage for TEN YEARS after those times, kept in cramped, dark conditions, not knowing if he would live or die, probably subject to mock executions on a regular basis. That sort of trauma is going to weigh a lot more heavily and be a lot more fresh than a couple of tours of duty in Baghdad or Mosul.

  324. Aviatrix
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:15 am [Reply]

    @jnik (#322): Could you please hide spoilers? We know that the stories are recycled, but I’m seeing the story for the first time and I don’t really like being told the ending.

  325. Ash
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:20 am [Reply]

    MW: Oh wow, they couldn’t even keep the colours straight for one strip. Stellar work colourists.

  326. mouseshow
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:45 am [Reply]

    BB: It’s cruel of Beetle to tease Sarge about his date with Ms Buxley, but even more cruel to throw “don’t ask don’t tell” up in Sarge’s face. Fortunately, Sarge is enjoying this switch-play.

  327. John C Fremont
    August 20th, 2010 at 6:16 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#310): Happy birthday! Many happy returns of the – Holy crap! Lonnie’s wearing some bum’s leisure suit!

    I honestly thought Giella had drawn the glasses on the wrong guy at first. I felt every bit as confused as the bum in the second panel.

    RMMD – Awww…

  328. gleeb
    August 20th, 2010 at 6:47 am [Reply]

    ‘shaft: So, the prospect of a nasty racist getting a comeuppance is snatched from us and replaced by this praise of solidarity. Feh. These teammates of Beanball’s have known the man for how long? This tastes thin and weak.

    Gas: Rover finally got something right!

    Pluggers: …don’t know enough to get shirts that fit properly.

  329. Alfred E. Neuman
    August 20th, 2010 at 7:56 am [Reply]

    @gleeb (#328) Re: Crankshaft— What Beanball’s teammates are saying is, “If anyone is going to beat up this piece of shit, it’s us!”

  330. Chyron HR
    August 20th, 2010 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    Stephen Bentley: “Okay, Creators Syndicate, I’m going to write a brand-new Herb ‘n’ Jamaal, and it’ll be the funniest ev-” (beep beep beep) “Uh-oh… omigoodness, I’ve gotta go!”

    Editor: “Wait, why did you just hand in another rerun?”

    Stephen Bentley: “The golf course just had a cancellation!”

  331. smacky
    August 20th, 2010 at 8:05 am [Reply]

    SF: Why is Jackie lying on a bed of pasta?

  332. Bryan
    August 20th, 2010 at 8:07 am [Reply]

    9CL: “What are these hard chunks all over it?” “They’re my…tears.”

  333. Anonymous
    August 20th, 2010 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    FW: Rachel. You can’t see that Wally is having a total flashback/panic attack/FREAKOUT?! Where are you going to take him? Look, just go sit at a booth in Montoni’s. It’s the ONLY SAFE PLACE.

  334. T. Chicana
    August 20th, 2010 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    Whoops that was me!

  335. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 20th, 2010 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#310):

    You’re in distinguished company since you happen to share a birthday with George “Inky” Roussos (b. 1915). Roussos (a/k/a George Bell) was one of the most prolific inkers in the history of comic books and comic strips. The latter includes work (uncredited) on Judge Parker, Phantom, Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon and many others. Feel better?

  336. Andrusi
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    In the academic world, pluggers are the same as everybody else! Haha, equality! Hilarious!

  337. Scott Bot
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    FW – Despite being in the war and being a prisoner for years, I would think the worst trauma that he would spend his life dealing with with was the fact that someone actually named him Wally Winkerbean.

    MW – This makes no sense. If I abandoned my family to seek out my best friend’s killer, you can bet that the next panel would show a picture of my wife, questioning the same people I had, trying to figure out where the hell I took off to.

  338. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    Soup to Nutz — It must be an Armour hot dog he’s using as bait! (The dog kids love to bite!)

    Nancy — Kudos to the cartoonist(s) for fitting poet Carl Sandburg, Baskin-Robbins AND Fritzi Ritz into the same strip!

  339. Buck Ripsnort
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    MW: “To catch a murderous bum, one must THINK like a murderous bum. So I found a seedy ex-con and switched clothes w/ him! And the bugs in that jacket are what gave me malaria!”

  340. Scott Bot
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    JP – Try as I might, I can’t seem to find a ‘bleep bleep bleep’ ringtone for my cell phone. This sucks.

    Archie – Nothing to comment on about the strip, per se, but just wanted to mention the fact that whenever I read it, the song ‘Everything’s Archie’ goes through my head.

  341. commodorejohn
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    On the webcomic front, Hark! A Vagrant is made of so much win today.

    9CL – …wait, when the hell did this storyline decide to become funny?

    Agnes – I love this strip.

    A3G – Oh come on, Luann. We all knew that the way to Margo’s heart was by giving her things. A wardrobe won’t get you nearly as far as, say, a human sacrifice, but it’s a start.

    AS – Today, on Comics That Require Absolutely No Dialogue But Have It Anyway…


    Crankshaft – What’s with the nose and widow’s peak? When did Beanball become a Jack Chick villain?


    DT – “On a related note, you know those zoo pandas they’re trying to breed?”

    FW – HA HA HA!

    GT – What’s all this “what golf is about” stuff? Is there something in the ancient Scottish Charter of Golf (Edinburgh, 1501) along the lines of “Verily, cheating at golf is a worse betrayal of the spirit of the game than in any other sport existing at this time or yet to come?” Do you have to read it in a comical accent?

    JP – “If she’s turned out like Sophie says she’s turned out, well…let’s just say she can work it like a claw and call me ‘Randy!’ Heh heh!”

    Luann – Hey, has anybody seen my ritual-suicide implements?

    MT – And by “I see Cherry occasionally at the market,” she of course means “I am Cherry with a different hairdo, and you still won’t notice me.”

    MW – …what do you even say to this?

    OB – I love the occasional dark turns. It’s like a throwback to before Dennis The Menace was completely insipid.

    PBS – I love this strip.

    Phantom – Ooh! Ooh! I know! It means that you’ve spent months on friggin’ MONTHS dicking around while we wait for the plot to progress and your WIFE wonders where the HELL you are!

    Pluggers – A Plugger wear a tie from time to time, under the impression that it’ll make a better impression on the jury.



  342. Uncle Jeff
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    FW: I was so hoping or the old Lone Ranger & Tonto joke executed so well by Jay Silverheels on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.

    “What do you mean WE’RE in trouble, paleface?”

  343. Dingo, the Essence of Purity and Virtue Incarnate™
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    Now, I’m from north-central Illinois and maybe these parts of the country are different than Lost Forest but we, yes, we actually know our neighbors. Sure, you might not see them that often and you hope they’re not home when you decide to make mad, sweet, buttfuckin’ action beneath the clothesline on a hot, steamy July afternoon but you don’t have to introduce yourself again when you stop by to ask about a fence. Just how large a parcel of land do the Trail’s own? Is it like The Village out of a particularly bad M. Night Shyamalan movie (wait, that’s all of them)?

  344. TheDiva
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    FW: Wally’s lucky to have found someone who finds his PTSD to be a turn-on.

    Luann: ….These are better than Quill’s lyrics how, exactly?

    MW: Even the bums wear sports coats in the Worthiverse.

    PBS: Been spending a little too much time on Avenue Q, Oscar?

    Pluggers: Nuh-uh. No way is the Nostalgia Critic a Plugger.

  345. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    PBS: I’d thought of mentioning something about “raeping your childhood” but then I saw MG&G. Now THAT is going to hurt my brain for hours.

    NS: just took the prize for Worst Golf Joke EVAR!

    RwO: I giggled at the concept.

    SF: Ces, you magnificent bastard. The “Love Boat” theme just made the strip.

    CdS: yay for fish-slapping bears!

    (sorry for any oversnark.)

    August 20th, 2010 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    Does it really matter if it is a girl or boy deer? Aren’t the private areas of all mammals in Lost Forest as smooth and useless as a Ken doll’s?

  347. spike
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#341): RE: 9CL
    Are you suggesting that the “Fun Factor” can be increased exponentially once Edith/Eva is thrown into the Edda/Juliette one-upmanship contest? Good possibility, since Brooke will probably drag this out at least until the end of the year. Herr Kiesl will be greatly relieved not to have married Miss Ernst once he meets her again.

    Phantom: Poor Savarna’s crying. She already knows how this story ends.

  348. Howard
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Funky becomes Cranky, and vice versa:

    Since I began pondering the interplay between these two strips, and the Batiuk verse in general, he has thrown me a few curveballs. I admit that the once neat theory I posited–that the darker the once-light Funky gets, the lighter the once-dark Crankshaft becomes–has been shot to pieces. Not least by days like today.

    However, there’s still something to see here. Take a look.

    In Funky Winkerbean the long-tormented Wally is inches from snapping and killing a civilian. But he is unable to save himself, so this savior, who has already admitted to liking violent men, self-destructive men, even perhaps men who would beat her, intervenes, telling him she knows a special place.

    In the Funkyverse, she can only make things worse, not better.

    In Crankshaft the most racist character and one of his victims are about to be pummeled in this Communist place. Suddenly others, those that they scorned, those Beanball specifically scorned, step forward to protect him. Suddenly this storyline is about Beanball learning a valuable life lesson, not Jefferson. This is about the day that changed Beanball… forever.

    Okay, I admit it. I’m stumped! Both of these strips are teasing us now, hinting of a better world, of a conclusion that is not violent, when they were teasing us with violence a second ago. Perhaps tomorrow or Monday this will all make sense…

  349. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:12 am [Reply]


    Lockhorns: Don’t look now, Loretta, but your feet are melting.

    A3G: Aw, Margo’s hair will just grow right back the way it was. Ever see Interview with the Vampire?

    BB: Beetle plays on Sarge’s morbid fascination with the mating habits of breeders.

    RMMD: Proving that this family just can’t catch a break, now is the moment when Rose spontaneously goes blind.

    S-M: I freely admit that I don’t know much about hand-to-hand combat. How effective is it to adopt a mid-air crucifixion pose?

    DT: Nice. Dick drops her husbands death on her, then starts berating her. You can read all about this method in “Push Til Something Snaps: A Guide to Bloody Shoot-Outs” by Richard M. Tracy.

    H&J: Doctors like golf? You’re kidding me! Not well, mind you, but you are kidding me.

    M-Dawg: “Haha! That’s my husband Howard, all right!”

    DtM: That joke is so old a draft copy was found at the Olduvai Gorge. Still, Dennis earns a little menace back every time he takes a swing at his father’s pride.

    FW: Now Rachel wants to ditch the fair and go with Wally to her favorite nightclub. It’s called “The Minefield.”

  350. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#297): You see, the problem is that Sally has been married to Ted so long she’s developed a vivid imagination. In her mind’s eye she can see her sister and Ralph in a bedroom and… a naked Ralph. NAKED RALPH! UNSEE MIND IMAGE! THINK PUPPIES, KITTIES AND QUEEK SQEE! THERE IS NO NAKED RALPH! AAAAHHHHH!

    See. That’s Sally’s hangup. And I sympathize with her.

  351. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    3G – Cut Margo’s hair? To what? A crew cut with butch wax? Maybe a mohawk? A tonsure?

    Archie – The swastika in the kitchen is a new kind of retro. I doubt that it will catch on, though. Even Phil Winslow doesn’t seem to care for those old symbols.

    Beetle – Sarge is thinking that if he doesn’t ask Beetle about his date with Miss Buxley, he won’t tell.

    Dick – Whenever the MORGUE sign shows up in the strip, the dialog is suddenly drowned out by a blast of hot jazz from Henry Mancini.

  352. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:21 am [Reply]

    PBS: Excuse me, I speak Grouch.

    “Fuck you, shit-for-brains”

    Ooh. Dat guy reelly ees a grouch.

  353. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    Dick (cont’d) – …Luckily, there’s always tomorrow and the next couple of weeks to catch it on the reruns.

    Family“Hey, Messiah-Boy! Your dotted line just sank.” [*]

    Hägar – “Ol’ Thirsty’s probably eating his own liver from jealousy right now. He can’t even smoke a cigarette, and we’re tapping a keg of the hard stuff!”

    Herb – A doctor who plays golf? OW! MY SIDE HAS LITERALLY SPLIT!!

  354. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:24 am [Reply]

    @cheech wizard (#67): Kiesl! Keisl! Geezi! Geisel!
    Let’s call the whole thing off.

    @A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa (#205): “All right! Now sock’er with the salmon squares! Right in the kisser!”
    No, no! Sockeye salmon!

    @Mr O’Malley (#240): There’s lots of radio drama and comedy at I like the Lux Radio Theater, myself.

    @This Guy (#262): My mom rollerskated to school, about a mile a day. When I came along, her feet were still kind of messed up from it.

    @ElkMeadow (#316): Eh, at least your comment takes it in a different direction. Mine was so similar to Roman Fingers, I just had to cut it. Broke my damn heart, too, I tell ya what.

  355. Poteet
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#350): Yeah, I see your point.

    Unfortunately, now you’ve got me trying to figure out which of my family and friends I WOULDN’T mind picturing naked and getting it on, and…arrrgh! arrgh! arrgh! arrgh!

  356. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#355): Ooh. That’s gotta hurt. Hope it doesn’t leave a mark.

  357. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    Priorities, we laks dem. No kidding, who gives a rip about some drunken fight attendant?

    Pluggers go here.

    More childhood memory raepage.

  358. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    PBS — He’s actually saying: “Tell ‘em Groucho sent you!”

    Tundra — Chad Carpenter speaks directly to his readers!

    Pickles — Couch Cat is watching you!

    Holy Mole — King Kong makes Godzilla his Queen! (Wait… aren’t they both GUYS?)

  359. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#318): Lonnie had to bail on his clothes. There is no way he could infiltrate the seedy underbelly of East Santa Royale dressed as Principal Seymore Skinner.

  360. Mibbitmaker
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#304): re:DT: “Congratulations, Poteet, you win Carl Kassel’s voice on your home answering machine!”

  361. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:01 am [Reply]

    There used to be a small shopping center in a town about 13 miles from where I live that had an interesting group of four stores. And I, for some reason, always thought that Pluggers must use this place. When you drove by you would see a large sign proclaiming:


    I never stopped.

  362. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    The clothing swap is just a comedy gold mine. The comments are killing me. I don’t know how Josh is going to pick one or two of the best; they all are great.

  363. A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#277): I love that idea. The drive-by shooting is the loose thread that allows Mary to unravel the tapestry of lies that is Santa Royale, leading to a frightening confrontation between Toby and Mary. “Who are you, Toby? Who are you?!?” “I’m your daughter, Mary!” SLAP! “I’m your sister!” SLAP! “I’m your daughter and your sister!”

  364. Just Call Me E
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    Look out! New Plugger animals are taking over Bizarro!

  365. Calico
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    MW – What Th…?
    This is making me feel a little…dizzy…

  366. Calico
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#357):
    Haha, those wacky “video” games, helping to prepare the next generation of juvies, bullies, and serial killers!

  367. Scott Bot
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    @A Single, Fateful Note Played On The Biwa (#363): ‘Forget it, Lonnie…it’s Charterstone…’

  368. bats :[
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    @Aviatrix (#318): no, I just added narration boxes and a speech balloon. The color monkeys were on their own.

    @Alfred E. Neuman (#320): good lord, the secret is out!

    @Thomas B. (#312): oooooooooh, I like this game, Thomas B.!

    Mary sends Jenna on a date with Doctor Mike where they enjoy fireworks and impromptu dancing until Mike needs to met his father in a park . Where they talk about the drive by shooting that caused Lonnie to shake uncontrollably.


    Bekka sends Rex Morgan, M.D., on a house call with Mayor Stu, where they enjoy small talk and impromptu biopsy results until Stu’s wife Rose needs to meet that night’s dinner in the kitchen. They blather on about the misbehaving prostate that made Rose to call Rex’s diagnosing ability into question.

  369. ElkMeadow
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

  370. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#368): I’ve got to slow down my reading.
    Where you wrote biopsy results, I first read it as biopsy bits.

  371. ElkMeadow
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#335):

    I do feel better–thank you!

  372. Jessy
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    If doorbells in Mark Trail followed convention and said “ding-dong” instead of “rinnng,” the artist might not have to waste a whole panel having a character announce, “That’s the doorbell!” Oh wait . . . maybe that was the point.

  373. ElkMeadow
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know if anyone else has called this, but I call that Mom is terrified of her current husband. I agree with others who have posted that the fence is to keep them in and away from society. (Although Cherry, Rusty, etc. wouldn’t be what one would call “society”. Unfortunately, domestic violence is handled at MT about on the same level as FOOB, where today Elly throws a coffee cup at the back of John’s head.

    And at Candorville, I am so relieved that the strip switched back to the vampire/lawyer. If I’d paid to see Stephen King, I’d be ticked to have to put up with Lemont’s ceaseless lecturing. I’m sure that Stephen King would have had to go pee a few weeks ago, and I still haven’t found any place where King kinew/discovered he would be in the strip. (I would LOVE to see Stephen King in a PBS strip!) But then, I’m the only one reading Candorville, so it would seem.

    Top Ramen: Cook with frozen green peas. Add chopped green onion and shredded med. cheddar cheese.

  374. Walker of Dog
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @Roman Fingers (#315): Are we absolutely sure that is Mr. D’B body on that slab? The ID seemed to be based only on a similar build and a butterfly tattoo. There could be dozens of people with the same tattoo – it might even be a membership requirement for some really intimidating biker gang.

    @ElkMeadow (#310): Happy Birthday, ElkMeadow – hope you get to “touch a deer” to celebrate. I would wish you many more, but you compared Helen Clark to a doddering centenarian. You are so dead.

    @Ash (#325): I don’t see the problem. Blue on the left, tan on the right, in both panels.

  375. bats :[
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#370): yeah, that “reading for comprehension” always trips me up. I first thought that Elkmeadow was celebrating her 20th birthday.

    While this is probably a “dream on” sort of thing, Happy nth Birthday, Elkmeadow! Best wishes for a snark-filled day (and year!).

  376. bats :[
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    MW: I’d like to have a little insight on the two guys in the back in Panel 2. Brothers? Lovers? Possibly both? Fashionistos? Freddy Mercury (on the right)?

  377. Calico
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#310):
    Happy Birthday! Have a good day and hope you can find something funny in the comics.
    The suit-switch in MW today got me going. Too weird.

  378. Ned Ryerson
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    MW: “So then, Mikey, after I’d exhausted every lead, I was walking past this building that was being demolished and I found a box, and in the box was….you’ll never believe this….a frog that could sing and dance!”

  379. Ned Ryerson
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:49 pm [Reply]

    MW: “Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP LONNIE! What about mom and me, sitting under a bare lightbulb, eating Wheat Cheapies from a cracked plastic bowl?!”

  380. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 20th, 2010 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#373):

    There was a short-lived TV sitcom called “Homeboys in Outer Space” (1996). The stars were a couple of black comedians, Flex Alexander and Darryl M. Bell. Flex looks like a young Lemont and Candorville’s Darrin Bell has the same last name as Darryl. Is there a connect between the two? Since you seem to be the only other Candorville fan here, I was wondering if you might know the answer!

  381. [Old Man] Muffaroo
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#361): Or you could visit my old neighborhood, and have a couple of slugs.

  382. Walker of Dog
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:05 pm [Reply]

    FW: Go ahead and barf, Wally. It’s the only way you’ll be able to end this Date of the Damned.

    MT: Panel 1: Mark and Mrs. Johnson once had a fling. Mark is trying to play it cool by pretending they are only acquaintances. Mrs. Johnson found the encounter awkward and unsatisfying and doesn’t care who knows it.

    …and Panel 3: Mark spots the She-Rusty and thinks, “Oh crap, am I the father?! After all, I didn’t keep two feet on the floor. Damn those unruly urges from my smooth area!”

    MW: Lonnie, it’s fine to take advantage of whatever suit-swapping opportunities come your way; who among us doesn’t exchange clothes with seedy strangers from time to time? But a suit lapel is not a jacket collar, and shouldn’t be forced to mimic one.

    S-M: All that time watching “Fame” reruns finally pays off for Peter.

    A3G: Margo’s not sweating a possible haircut. If she doesn’t like it, she’ll make herself a fashionable wig from Kat’s hair (and scalp).

  383. Push Trot
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    FW: The way she leans in and coos in his ear… is she trying to give him a surge?[*]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#349): It’s sad Luann doesn’t get Margo’s analogy about crossing running water. She might as well have said, “sure I’ll let them cut my hair. Just after I’ve licked this crucifix.”

    @commodorejohn (#341): Sex and Crock? All right, you’re on. Ahem:

    ‘Part-time doorman’? Yeah right, if you mean standing around half the time working the knob.

    Thank you.

  384. bats :[
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#380): 1996?!?! Geez, I wonder if my VHS tapes of the episodes will still play (yes, I taped all of them). I also wonder where the tapes are, come to think of it…

  385. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:16 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#381): Yeah, I’ll take a shot or two.

    I always meant to take a picture of the place I described but never stopped to do so. Now it has changed hands and it’s a real estate office, a chiropractor and a laundromat.

  386. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#375): Sometimes a misreading can have dire results…

  387. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:34 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#368): ROFLMAO. You always do it better than I good sir.

  388. bats :[
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#387): eh, you were the inspiration, though!
    Come on — somebody!– doesn’t anyone want to take on Mark Trail?

  389. Uncle Jeff
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#361): And outside of River Falls, Wisconsin there used to be a store with a rooftop sign proclaiming: “Taxidermy & Cheese”.
    No, I never stopped there either.

  390. Scott Bot
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    RMMD – If he starts singing show tunes, I’m gonna barf.

    Luann – ‘I wrote that in a “I hate boys” phase.’ ‘Really? Did you like girls then?”

  391. Uncle Jeff
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:56 pm [Reply]

    @[Old Man] Muffaroo (#381): “Hey! It’s Hard Liquor and Handguns Night at the ol’ ballpark!”

  392. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:00 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#388): What? And get hit by the Fists of Justice?

    Oh, wait. I don’t have a beard or moustache.


    Mark Trail sends Rusty on a Snipe Hunt with Sassy where they enjoy running across highways and impromptu death scenes until a guy with a moustache needs to meet his cohort in a swamp. Where they console each other about the beating that Mark gave to them.

  393. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    @Uncle Jeff (#389): That is so wrong.

  394. gnome de blog
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:13 pm [Reply]

    I know I’m a day late here, but I laughed out loud at Blondie yesterday. A jury of Dagwood’s peers rivals a jury of fish-slapping bears.

  395. cheech wizard
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    I can’t recall who it is, but the third panel of Thursday’s MT looks like it was done by the artist who does all those weird, creepy doll-like figures that Boing Boing always features. The one with the rabbits and Abe Lincoln figures. L’il help here on the name?

  396. cheech wizard
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    GT – “You don’t understand what golf is about! It’s about drinking beer, skipping work and fart jokes! You’re trying to turn it into some kind of…of…competition!”

  397. Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth: What Dr. Mike also never knew that with a single pair of sunglasses, his father took on his secret identity that of the legendary Roy Orbison. Hence his lonely quest to avenge his murdered friend…

  398. gnome de blog
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    I can’t wait till Lonnie gets to the part about the cocktail waitress in the dockside dive and raising a second family in the slums of Bakersfield, then leaving her, too because he thought he heard someone mention Richie’s name. That other boy turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole. No one could steer him right but Mama tried. She tried to raise him better, but her pleading he denied. That leaves only him to blame ’cause Mama tried.*

    So get a grip Mike. You’re a friggin’ doctor and blaming your poor old dad for your shortcomings. That other boy rotting away at Folsom takes responsibility for his own actions. What kind of shrink are you, anyway?

    I’ll admit I wish I’d done for you what I intended, but I didn’t have the nerve. You’d probaably be a man instead of a snivelling little weasel if I’d named you Sue.**

    *apologies to Merle Haggard
    **thanks to Shel Silverstein

  399. Scott Bot
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    GT – ‘You don’t understand what golf is! It’s not a game, it’s…well, hell, I guess it is a game. Never mind.’

  400. carbunicle
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#129): I’m thinking Banger of American Sluts, but in German.

  401. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    “Step Father” eh? I’d like to think that he is the bad guy of this story but his lack of facial hair leads me to conclude that he is involved but not the master mind. I’m thinking his “business deal” was to fence a portion of the property and then rent it to a group of bearded trappers. He will find redemption when his step child (Rustina?) plead for the life of Lucky or Lucky’s mom.

    Not bad eh? I’m just a cape, a magnifying glass, and a mouse wearing pink underwear from being Slylock Thomas.

  402. carbunicle
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:00 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#361): That’s really only two things each with two names.

  403. Scott Bot
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#401): And you would get the femme fatale, Cassandra Cat.

  404. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    @Push Trot (#383): The merciful thing is that if someone ever were playing with themselves in Crock, the art is so sketchy you’d be blissfully ignorant. Well, as blissful as it’s possible to be while reading Crock.

  405. commodorejohn
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    @Thomas B. (#401): I vote we adopt “Rustina” as Sweetie’s official moniker until even if a proper name is provided.

  406. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    @gnome de blog (#394): I’d go with the fish-slapping bears.

  407. bats :[
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#405): I’m sure Rustina is somewhere in the mix (Sweetie Katie Rustina Johnson)…like Kiester’s full name, Petr Johann Martin Dummkopf Kiesl Keisl.

  408. Thomas B.
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:31 pm [Reply]

    @Scott Bot (#403): Until she gets a razor, no thank you. I’m sorry but that is one *ahem* pussy that really needs a shave.

  409. Farley's Revenge
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#341):

    MW – …what do you even say to this?

    *disbelieving stare*You are batshit nuts, old man! You need therapy by a competent psychiatrist. Here, let me give you the name of this woman I know…Her name’s Mary. She can help you. No, no, don’t thank me. It’s the least I can do, after all she’s done for me.

  410. Farley's Revenge
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    @Patrick, Interlibrary Loan Lending Division (#397): Which was tough since he(“Roy”) also had to pretend he was dead for the last 2+ decades. That could explain the shakes, however. Muscles atrophy when not used regularly and just a stroll to the park would cause a weakened body to tremble from exhaustion.

  411. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    MT: I feel sorry for the want-to-keep-a-deer-in-the-kitchen family. Their only piece of art on the wall is a picture of a big heaping pile of steaming crap.

  412. commodorejohn
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#411): …is that supposed to be a painting of a cabin? Why would people living in a cabin have a painting of a cabin? Can you see a painting of another cabin through the window of the painting-cabin, ad infinitum?

  413. Ned Ryerson
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:22 pm [Reply]

    MT:Here’s the first rule to raising a young deer: Stop yelling.

    Okay, there are four animals in today’s Mark Trial. There’s an oafish, khaki-clad lunkhead who’s barely sentient. There’s a dim woman with voice modulation issues lacking the sense of a marmot. There’s a woodsy smelling young mammal who is currently befouling the carpet and then there’s the young deer.

  414. Baka Gaijin
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    Cathy: This week, has anyone noticed that absolutely no one wants to actually see Cathy’s pictures, just talk about the technology surrounding them? Except for that one disgusting day where the girls looked at her fat rolls as she described meals she ate. Hannibal Lechter would be licking his chops, assuming he was an actual person and alive and all.

  415. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#412): Kind of like taking a studio camera and turning it on a monitor.

  416. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#414): Who wants to see 2,000 pictures of Irving followed by 2,000 pictures of Cathy?

    Of course if Cathy knew you were looking at the pictures, she’d put a picture of a clown in there too. Cathy’s like that.

  417. Baka Gaijin
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#416): Yeah, see, the thing is, all Cathy would have to do is put a picture of herself in bicycle shorts or a tube top to get me running screaming into the VW Bug full of clowns to get away from that awful visage.

  418. Sequitur
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#417): And you especially don’t want to see Irving’s “director’s cut” photos of Cathy in the nude.

  419. Hank
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    @ElkMeadow (#373): “But then, I’m the only one reading Candorville, so it would seem.” They still publish Candorville? Seriously, between the stupid “I Married a Vampire” storyline and the way the creator had been whining on his blog about getting canceled if we didn’t send him money I kind of figured that the strip had been quietly put out of our misery months ago.

  420. The "Noodle Incident"
    August 20th, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    Hagar: So this is how the strip ends…with Hagar and Eddie succumbing to alcohol poisoning.

    Oh, I only wish.

  421. Robin
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    I like that there were 420 comments when I checked them. Because sometimes the only way these comics make sense is through drugs.

    Anyway, just wanted to point out that the “deer” in the first panel of MT is clearly some kind of horrifying genetic experiment involving a donkey, a deer, and possibly Rusty.

  422. Chris Opperman
    August 21st, 2010 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    Never thought I’d see the day where we got more action from Mary Worth than from Spider-Man!

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