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Burn baby burn

For Better Or For Worse, 12/19/06

Betting on what this smoke portends shall now commence! Here are your odds:

  • The apartment building is on fire: 2 to 1.
  • The fire was started by one of Mr. Kelpforth’s aromatic cigars: 4 to 3.
  • Mike’s horrible novel only exists in that paper manuscript and on that laptop: 3 to 2.
  • Mike must choose between saving his horrible novel and one of his horrible children: 3 to 1.
  • Mike realizes that he has two kids but only one novel: 5 to 1.
  • Mike must carry a sleeping child to safety: 2 to 1.
  • Mike must carry a sleeping Deanna to safety: 3 to 1.
  • Mike must carry a sleeping Lovey to safety: 4 to 1.
  • Mike must carry a sleeping Kelpforth or two to safety: 10 to 1.
  • Even after burning down the house and being saved by Mike, the Kelpforths are still insufferable: 4 to 1.
  • Lovey plotzes: 3 to 1.
  • Deanna’s awful mother attempts to force them to move in with her: 5 to 1.
  • Mike and Deanna actually end up back at chez Patterson while their digs are being reconstructed/they search for a new home/indefinitely: 3 to 1.
  • Friction among the siblings occurs, but the true meaning of Christmas is learned by all: Even.
  • Liz sees Mike and Deanna’s strained, child-ruined, sexless marriage and realizes that Anthony is The One: 7 to 6.
  • Mike’s manuscript is thought to be lost, but is eventually recovered miraculously on Christmas day: 3 to 1.
  • Mike’s slightly charred manuscript is snapped up by Canada’s biggest publisher and becomes an instant best-seller and critical darling: 2 to 1.
  • Mike and Deanna continue to live with his parents anyway: 5 to 1.
  • The house isn’t on fire at all; the smoke is from the massive bong hits Deanna needs to keep from murdering her husband and children: 100 to 1 (but it would be awesome.)

Slylock Fox, 12/19/06

Wow, Slylock Fox’s “six differences” is exceptionally grim this week. I wonder if earlier versions featured a cat instead of a fish, or perhaps a baby, and had to be ratcheted back a little bit so as to not traumatize all the youngsters who read this feature. Still, Mr. Jones’ look of total devastation belies the notion that this is just some cartoon fish that we don’t have to care about: it was clearly his only friend, which may explain why he’s been in denial about its deaths for the weeks it would take to skeletonize.

My favorite difference between the two panels is the rabbit’s facial expression in the background: at left, it just stares forward with numb incomprehension, while at right it gives a sidelong glance to the viewer, establishing a rapport in which both cartoon bunny and comic reader share a moment of awful comprehension of their own mortality.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/19/06

Now I know why June keeps up this loveless sham of a marriage with Rex: he’s such a colossal prick that she actually seems to be capable of a shred of empathy by comparison.

Mark Trail, 12/19/06

Yes, the beavers are excited about being with each other. I could not make this stuff up if I tried.

363 responses to “Burn baby burn”

  1. carla
    December 19th, 2006 at 9:49 pm [Reply]

    Those birds are probably excited, too.

  2. UncleJeff
    December 19th, 2006 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    Beaver Love! All this week on the Discovery Channel!
    Put me down for a sawbuck on poor ol’ Mike saving wife & kids but losing the Great Canadian Novel to Kelpfroth’s cigar fire.

  3. Dean Booth
    December 19th, 2006 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    RMMD, last panel: It’s Gary Owens from Laugh-In!

  4. Joe
    December 19th, 2006 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    This MT is a complete ripoff of Farley, which had a beavers-in-love plot thread earlier this year. Man, plagiarism sure is nicer in the Great Outdoors, isn’t it?

  5. Rebecca
    December 19th, 2006 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    What’s with the expression on Rex’s face and the wierd gestures? Not only that, but he seems to have been struck with some sort of unnatural greying patterns in his hair. That can’t be reflection – no one’s hair is that darned shiny.
    Oh, and I’ll take every bet. This is going to be as melodramatic as Farley, I can tell. Maybe Lovey will rescue the kids and expire with nobility. Maybe Mike will. Please.

  6. Randy S
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    I suspect that Elrod is a big Captain and Tenille fan, and was listening to the song Muskrat Love over and over again all weekend, which inspired him to create the aforementioned strip.

  7. yggdrasil
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    I’ll take Aromatic Cigar to beat Miraculous Recovery, but I want a margin of 11-and-a-half.

  8. King Folderol
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    Mike runs into the bedroom to find that the smoke is coming from Deanna’s clitoris…she’s rubbing herself so hard because Mike’s Mommy taught him that sex is for making babies only and she hasn’t been serviced since Paul Martin was Prime Minister: even.

  9. Randy S
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    Re: Slylock…
    Granted that Mr. Jones has serious emotional problems if he’s been in that deep of denial about his dead fish, but is it really any worse than the doctor placing his stethoscope into a rancid fishbowl in order to detect the “heartbeat” os a collection of dessicated fish bones?

    (Yes, rancid, because the fish didn’t merely have to skeletonize, but all its flesh and guts would also have to decay, rendering the water pretty putrid)

  10. dave3544
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    Thank you Josh. Thank you.

    Just-completed manuscript…smell of smoke. Pure, pure cheese.

  11. Sam L.
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    Panel 3 of FBoFW: Mike looks like a girl.

  12. Uncle Lumpy
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    I like how June slips out of Patrick Nagel mode in panel three, and becomes Gunk.

  13. Summerhouse
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Theodore the beaver looks like he’s going to have to live in a pen forever, with mutant-head Rusty taking candid photos of him night and day, then suddenly he’s back in the forest with a chance at love. Hell, that’s more interesting than my life.

  14. Red Greenback
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    Holy Schlitz! I just noticed the young beavers in love are strolling down May Roth’s gigantic submerged head! Another superpower May attained from the freak methlab explosion???

  15. Steve S
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:17 pm [Reply]

    #11: That’s funny, because in panel 3 of RMMD, June looks like a boy.

    I think that rabbit is looking to the left in panel 2 because it wants to escape from Slylock Fox and go get some action with the Mark Trail animals. Or at least go be uncomprehending with them.

  16. Sam L.
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    And – what’s with the emphasis on “see” in Rex Morgan panel 3? “I ‘see’ where this is going?” What are you trying to clarify, that you don’t smell where this is going?

  17. Jeanne
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    You forgot to include:
    Mom and Pop Patterson buy the great little house with two lots for Pop’s train set up so that Mike and Deanna can HAVE Chez Patterson, thereby throwing Liz into the arms of Anthony when she has nowhere to live, the new ‘little place’ having only enough room for Ma, Pa and the little ‘un, April.

  18. FREE HOWARD NOW
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    I got 5 of the differences without peeking at the answers!! I’m on a roll.

    Lucky just might be the best Mark Trail character of all time. Other than the big guy, of course.

  19. Ten Day Dinosaur
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    Things I Want for Christmas:

    Longer days, blast it! I miss the sun.

    Jack Elrod to admit he’s just toying with us, by means of an impossibly well phrased beaver innuendo.

    Whatever Margo’s doctor proscribed her.

    To know why Abbey suddenly was drawn in a different style in that last panel. Maybe she’s trying to escape RMMD…

    To kick Michael Patterson’s pretentious tuckus all over Canada. You see that fourth panel. Not even The Mighty Thor sounded that stupid, in his glory days of verily and smote. That’s saying a lot. (That smoke is clearly Literary Hell, come to claim the eldest scion of the Pattersons. Not a moment too soon.)

  20. Ten Day Dinosaur
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:22 pm [Reply]

    … And, by Abbey, of course, I meant June.

  21. devushka
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:23 pm [Reply]

    >>Deanna got tired of her loser husband Michael to “come to bed” and has settled for a more fulfilling sexual life with a cigarette smoking lover and poor, sad Michael walks in on ‘em. The smoke is a metaphor for his life’s sorry destruction. hmm, judging on the nature of FOOB’s inspirational fuzziness, I’d say the odds are 10000 to 1, but that would be freaking awesome.

  22. devushka
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    sorry, I should have said tired of waiting for her loser husband.

  23. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    There’s a seventh difference: in the first panel, the fish fetishist is packing a condom underneath his belt buckle. He’s hoping Vet Shoulderhugger notices. (Yes, that’s a bizarre place to keep one’s condoms – not very good for their survival either – but you tell me what that is then.)

  24. Red Greenback
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    June looks like Rusty in panel 3, and Rex looks like he’s doin the “I said SEE…hello, is this thing on???” schtick, …and gay.

  25. Charlotte
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:33 pm [Reply]

    Anthony’s house undergoes some type of renovation and he and his hell spawn also move into chez Patterson. 13 to 7

  26. Awfulart
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:34 pm [Reply]

    In today’s GAGA (God Awful Gasoline Alley) it’s a tad bit confusing how Walt does a 180 going down the stairs.
    GA could also be “Grand Ave”.. GAGA&GA would be (God Awful Gasoline Alley & Grand Ave).. Actually my blog is God Awful…!!!

  27. macb
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:38 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Josh, I can’t believe you forgot e. coli-saturated “Ned.” Mike will carry out his precious laptop, his old college “mascot,” and perhaps the paper manuscript; Deanna, kids, Lovey, and Kelpforths (Kelpfroths?) will have to fend for themselves.

  28. Ehme
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    The entire country of Canada bursts into flames taking the entire For Better or Worse family with it. Ehme mourns. Or not. 2:1

  29. Elizabeth
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:49 pm [Reply]

    Secret to “find the difference”: Cross your eyes so the two panels become one. The differences will shimmer.

  30. Johnny Q
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    SLYLOCK FOX: I’m lame. I could only spot two of the five differences, and there were one or two differences I couldn’t perceive even after reading the answers!

  31. Red Greenback
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:53 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy, can I adopt you as my own uncle? If so (or even not), there is a place of honor for you at the Greenback family Christmas Feast featuring every “holiday” food Tinsley hates.

  32. dramashoes
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:55 pm [Reply]

    you walk into the room/ with your fishbowl in your hand/ the doctor points to you and he says, what’s that man/ you try so hard/but you can’t understand/ just what you will say to your fish bones/ because six things are different here/ but you don’t know what that is/ do you mister Jones?

  33. mooselet
    December 19th, 2006 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    Maybe the fire was started by some spontaneous Kelpforth combustion and we’ll be treated to the charred leg remains of Mr. Kelpforth sprawled out in his lounge chair with greasy soot marks on the wall behind him. That would totally rock.

    Of course, instead we’ll be treated to the Patterson meaning of Christmas where we’re all lucky to have our health and our families… I feel sick all of a sudden, like I had bad turkey.

  34. Harry Paratestes
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    Oh, come on, Josh, you know that the odds of #1 through #18 all happening is approximately 1:1; we can smell the stench of the plot from here.

  35. Harry Paratestes
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    On the other hand, maybe the smoke is coming from Deanna’s smokin’ hot little grille…I think maybe some man-rape is coming, as foreshadowed by panel 1

  36. FSogol
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    Wow, Change Lucky to my name and there you have the story of my life in college.

  37. Harry Paratestes
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    #25
    I’m hoping that Michael, Deanna and the spawn move into the little concentration camp in Granthony’s basement, though I interpret the odds as (9*pi):1 against.

  38. DrBear
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:10 pm [Reply]

    What this MT needs is a Phantom tag line in the last panel:

    “TOMORROW-BEAVER ON BEAVER ACTION!”

  39. kara
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:11 pm [Reply]

    God, Ned, quit setting buildings on fire.

  40. cinephile
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    Oh, was that *smoke* in FOOB? I thought it was the rancid stench of Mike’s manuscript. OR maybe the rotting corpse of Granthony’s manhood.

  41. Artist Formerly Known as Ben
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:16 pm [Reply]

    #32, that is a beautiful ballad.

  42. Da Scrodfather
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

    I don’t mind Beaver-On-Beaver action– in fact, I encourage it. But the way MT “innocently” pans from the beavers to the ducks is going to keep me up all night. WHAT DO THE DUCKS SYMBOLIZE? Yes, it’s a sex thing, but what KIND of sex thing?

  43. Red Greenback
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

    I spotted 3 more differences: (1-a little bar under the bereaved’s belt buckle (2- ©2006 king features syndicates,inc. World rights reserved weber 12-19 under left panel, and (3- upside -down words under the right panel

  44. reader-who-posts
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    MT: Of course the beavers are excited about being with each other. Mark Trail doesn’t want them around anyway.

    RMMD: Mark’s expression in the last panel couldn’t be more gay if he was wearing a pink boa.

  45. reader-who-posts
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    oops I mean Rex’s expression. duh

  46. Andy L.
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:33 pm [Reply]

    I’m pretty sure that in the second panel the fish is only pretending to be dead. Can I count that towards my quota of six diferences?

  47. Daniel
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    June seems so taken back by Rex’s reaction that she’s turning into something from anime. She’s got the dot eyes, showing comic realization or terror, so all she needs is a gigantic sweat drop next to her head and she’ll be set!

  48. BewaretheCreeper
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:38 pm [Reply]

    Rex Morgan does have a point. What about all of the OTHER Katrina victims who dont have to steal or do drugs. I see how this is going to head. Victimhood is so appealing these days.

  49. Black Card
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:41 pm [Reply]

    Ah, so Katrina is the reason Meth-Mom and her Unnecessarily Fey Son have hair like that. It’s storm damage.

    They applied to FEMA for money to reconstruct their hair, but they’ve been tied up in red tape for months now.

  50. Red Greenback
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    #5 Rebecca- The Morgans had their hair chrome-plated at a very weird “marriage encounter” retreat.

  51. Harry Paratestes
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:45 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: I like how Niki is announced as the bastard spawn of TWO hair rockers: Nikki Sixx and David Lee Roth. I don’t even want to imagine the conception scene, though I imagine it involved gallons of Alberto VO5.

  52. joeyjoejoe
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    Do comics writers ever actually read the dialogue they write before it goes into print? Notice where I put the emphasis in that sentence, Woody? If you had taken three seconds to proofread your strip, you would have immediately seen that Rex’s speech in panel three is completely awkward and wrong.

    No one, ever, in the history of time has ever emphasized a sentence this way: “I see where this is going,” unless they are a blind person or making a joke about blind people, or somehow, for some reason, drawing attention to the fact that the seeing is the most important part of the sentence. See, that’s what emphasis is for: emphasizing the important words in a sentence, those that, for some reason, warrant extra attention. “See” is not one of those words in this sentence.

    The proper emphasis is as follows: “I see where this is going.” Because Rex is aware of June’s penchant for stupid ideas, and this one is going to be exactly like all the others.

    Arggh. Now I’m angry that I wasted so much time making such an obvious point. And Woody probably isn’t even the offender. He probably just text messages the dialogue to his assistant from his beach house in Costa Rica, where he lives off his fat Rex Morgan loot and doesn’t even read the newspaper.

  53. treedweller
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:50 pm [Reply]

    I want a side bet that Michael’s copy of the novel is lost, but Elly was over tidying up while the kids were out one day; she made a backup when she saw how lax M was being with it (it’s a miracle the kids haven’t flushed it already–or Deanna, for that matter, since she’s probably read it). It was for his own good, and soon we will all be able to see that.

    Another five on the longshot that the last few pages all say “All work and no play make Shelalegh a dull boy.”

  54. Poteet
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:51 pm [Reply]

    While many here are snarky and some astoundingly so, no one beats the Pope when he’s on a roll. That betting list rocks.

    And if any here think that perhaps some of us are being a wee bit hard on Michael and his very first novel, read that December letter of his. Read it, I tell you. As some clever CC suggested in regard to Poopy Ned, that manuscript shouldn’t just be burned, it should be hurled into the core of the sun.

    And Michael, don’t blame Calliope or Melpomene or whichever other unfortunate muse you have in mind. You google-eyed dork.

  55. The Mighty Sam
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    Josh, the Laying of the Odds is an instant-classic CC moment. Nicely done.

  56. Uncle Lumpy
    December 19th, 2006 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    #54 Poteet -

    Mike can’t have Calliope – she’s mine, dammit! Mine!

    He can have Polyhymnia – dare we hope? God knows Thalia ain’t comin’ round.

  57. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here…(1500-1 odds). Kelpfroth was igniting his Kokanee farts.

  58. Rudy the Ape
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    Rather in poor taste for the vet to mount a rabbit corpse-head on a checkerboard methinks. Gluing the lil’ paws to the board is a cute touch, however.

  59. Rusty
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    That smoke is coming from Elly flapping her nightgown during one of her hot flashes. We haven’t been blessed with that visual for a while, has she finally gotten through menopause?

  60. mumbles
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:09 am [Reply]

    RMMD: I love that after weeks of June Morgan channeling Bill Sikes or some other Dickensian baddie, she’s now being portrayed as an ole softie.

    FOOB: Why are the Deanna and the kids wasting valuable scurrying time putting on their coats? I have a feeling things are going to be awfully warm fairly soon….(Also, Widdle Wobbin looks, like, an adolescent now.) And good ole Mewidith is now associating Santa with home-ruining, daddy’s-dream-destroying, fire. Does Canadian socialized medicine include therapy?

  61. Aaron
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:14 am [Reply]

    “Bad news, Mister Jones… I’m still going to bill you for this.”

  62. Johnny Q
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:19 am [Reply]

    Free advice for Mandrake the Magician: When you’re driving along a road in the middle of the night and a giant laptop materializes out of nowhere, it’s usually better not to touch the keys.

  63. Giacomo G
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:21 am [Reply]

    Dunno about you, but I’m pleased as punch that the Lucky the Beaver interregnum is about to segue into a new MT subplot involving new mulleted bad guys with room temperature IQs. I sure hope Kelly Welly returns soon!

  64. aaron
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    #52:

    I can imagine that emphasis. Although I’ve been frustrated by comic strippers’ dialog many times, this is not one of those times.

    First of all, there are geographic and cultural differnces in speech patterns. For a bunch of people with nothing better to do than reply to blogs at 11:17pm on Tues. night, we would be MIGHTY presumptuous to question Rex Morgan, M.D. He’s an M.D. for chrissakes!

    Second people are stupid as hell and don’t think things through when they’re talking. I’ve put the wrong emphasis on words many times in my young life. Writing your strip’s dialogue between shots of whiskey at the local Elk’s Lodge makes these strips live for me.

    One time I saw Jello Biafra judge a bikini contest in a Bush mask at an Elk’s Lodge. True story.

  65. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    This FOOB thing got me thinking; What if Michael is acutally typing ‘TICK-TAPPITA-TICK-TAPP-TAPPITA TAP-TICK TAPP-TICK-TAP, TAP-TICK” over and over again…. like in “The Shining” …That would be AWESOME!!!

  66. Derelict
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    Personally, I’m looking forward to a week worth of two beavers getting wet, cavorting, playing, maybe working on some big wood, and…and…

    Wait. MT is a comic strip, right?

  67. MonkeyHawk
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    #64 — aaron:

    If 500 monkeys typed at 500 typewriters for an infinite amount of time, they might come up with Shakespeare, but they’d never come up with, “I saw Jello Biafra judge a bikini contest in a Bush mask at an Elk’s Lodge.”

    Then again, neither would they create, “It is done, fair muse! Oh, that I should inhale the sweet smell of success!”

    I suggest professional counseling. For both of you.

  68. Ubiq
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    His first real manuscript? Is that an unintentional admission of plagiarism? Because he’s written articles before and accepted money for them.

    Anyway, I bet fifty quatloos on the cause of the fire being the Kelpfroths, who’ll learn a valuable lesson about what really matters in life or some damn thing.

  69. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    WTF???? “ACUTALLY” I used to excel in spelling bees, Damn you Altzheimer, you cruel mistress!

  70. SugarFemme23
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    So, I read about the lovely beavers that are so glad to be together, and directly underneath it bold letters state there have been 69 comments. Someone is trying very, very hard to make me go blind…or grow hair on my palms. Something like that.

  71. Da Scrodfather
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:15 am [Reply]

    Isn’t Hemmingway supposed to have thrown his first novel overboard, because an author should never publish his first work? There’s your answer–Deanna is saving Michael from himself.

  72. Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:29 am [Reply]

    #54 Poteet: “Pope on a roll”? (Homer Simpson voice) Mmmm….Pope on a roll…

  73. Snicker
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:35 am [Reply]

    Six differences in Slylock Fox:

    1. In the left panel, the veterinarian’s certificate is real. In the right, the signature is forged.

    2. In the left panel, the gentleman is planning on suicide, his fish being the only that gave him reason to live. In the right, he is simply depressed.

    3. The left panel holds a tuna skeleton in the bowl. The right holds a bass.

    4. In the left panel, the veterinarian is checking the fish at exactly 12 noon. In the right, it is 3:30 Los Angeles time.

    5. In the left panel, the doctor is reaching into a bowl full of water to check the fish. In the right, the bowl is dry, but made of coloured glass with a ripple drawn on it.

    6. In the left panel, the ear portions of the doctor’s stethoscope are cold oh god somebody kill me kill me now.

    On an unrelated note: check out http://www.shortpacked.com this week for a familiar face…

  74. SugarFemme23
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:36 am [Reply]

    Ok, I’ve looked and looked. I can’t see the difference in the skeletons or the ties. I’m not sure what’s more maddening…that I’m stumped by a kids strip, or that I’m admitting it to strangers.

  75. Donald The Anarchist
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:39 am [Reply]

    FBFW What odds can I get on: Michael dies of smoke inhalation, but his book lives on. Dee is so desperate for someone to help raise the kids that she practically abducts Anthony, who has no ability to say No to any woman. Elly convinces Dee to let her do a Morvern Calver and has the book published under her own name. She then proceeds to write a series of bland mysteries starring a woman who owns a bookstore and her train-loving husband. Elly lectures Elizabeth on letting a good man go and as punishment decrees that she has to be a spinster for the rest of her life. The End

    RMMD Why is it in the first panel, June looks like she’s afraid of Rex? Has he ever hit her before? Is this why June feels sympathy for Niki?

  76. Kate
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    GAHHHHAAAAAH!!!!! ‘Oh that I should inhale the sweet smell of success’ IS NOT A SENTENCE! IT ISN’T IT ISN’T IT ISN’T!

  77. Adah
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    How many moments in peril have the Patterson children had now? April almost drowned about ten years ago. Liz had a guy assault her, and now Michael’s apartment is about to go up in flames, with his wife and young children inside. God is trying his hardest to ensure these genes do not get passed on. Clearly there is something evil and unclean here. Maybe we should start telling Anthony to run away from Liz.

  78. Mike P
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    They’re eager beavers. Eager to make lots of little beavers.

  79. Kate
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:49 am [Reply]

    Oh fuck. I just saw the latest Luann. Puddles is going to learn the meaning of Christmas first if the Pattersons don’t look lively.

  80. bup
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:50 am [Reply]

    I have nothing really bitingly humorous to offer, but I must note how falsely FBoFW rings – nobody ever judges that they are ‘one more hour’ away from finishing a novel. Nobody ever just needs to type in those last ‘tik tappita tappita tik’s as fast as I’m typing this bilge to round it all out, and nobody ever ever EVER says ‘one more hour’ and then types in that pesky last two pages at 80 words a minute and then PRINTS OUT the whole damned thing (how many times did he change the printer cartridge?) and ‘thump thump’s the pages into neat alignment because they came that way out of the HP all-in-one and didn’t save it off to CD and e-mail it to a couple of different addresses for safekeeping.

    They DO utter ‘It is done, fair muse!’ as they present down the stairs nursing their retracted misshapen leg, however.

    2 to 3 that the older kid learns that Santa’s not real, but at the same time, HE IS REAL.

  81. Crankenstank
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:12 am [Reply]

    Oh no, odds Mike and Deanna and kids are going to end up back in the Patterson household are better than even, it’s a dead certainty. Mrs. Crankenstank and I came to the same hot caffeinated beverage-spewing conclusion this morning (it was a wonder she could still read the paper, I’d sprayed it so hard.) Lynn is getting the whole family back together for one last round of loveable shenanigans; it’s more certain that the nearly certain “very special wedding episode” for Liz’s wedding to the Schlamiel King of Canada, it’s more certain than that you’ll have to pay taxes and will die some day. Oh yes yes indeed that is happening. Burn baby burn! FBoFW will be over soon! Long live FBoFW! IT’S A BRAVE NEW WORLD!!!!

  82. Mibbitmaker
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:15 am [Reply]

    Above: RMMD: Rex is sneakily whispering to us in the last panel, snarking June. That’s it! The makers of the strip know about this blog! And Rex wants to be a Cardinal!

    12/20:
    A3G: “Why am I such a fool!” Well, Margo, we don’t have enough bandwidth to go into that!

    Adam: The woman’s bothered by the flagpole scene?? I’ll bet she’ll faint when it gets to the scene where Ralphy bloodies the bully’s nose.

    FC: I dunno, Billy. If P.J. were Jesus, I think he’d have worse problems than sleeping in a manger… like… oh, I don’t know…being nailed to a CROSS, maybe??

    FOOB: Yeah, kid, Santa usually does come around to the sound of a long beep and billows of rancid cigar smoke (okay, maybe the smoke part…)

  83. Crankenstank
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    #64 — I think Aaron’s been hitting Deanna’s bong, to have seen such a sight.

  84. aaron
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    #67:

    They would if they were drunk (on mead or power) or if they saw Jello Biafra judge a bikini contest in a Bush mask at an Elk’s Lodge during SXSW.

    Then again, living in Ausin circa SXSW will do some crazy things to you (last year: free boat ride followed by 11 block walk to Wu-Tang Clan then accidentally miss the Beastie Boys for Knife Skills, then Blackalicous, Spoon, and Echo and the Bunnymen OR two years ago accidentally catching Duncan Sheik [midgets wrestling Tom Arnold on cable TV above the bar] while trying to tell a family friend that my grandfather was dying.)

    SXSW is like doing drugs on drugs?

    Monkeys cannot type as fast as me.

  85. Boomer
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:23 am [Reply]

    # 71 – Ernest Hemingway also blew his head off with a shotgun…. so maybe Michael could give that a whirl also.

  86. Jonathan Bogart
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:25 am [Reply]

    #74. SugarFemme:

    The fish skeleton is missing the final cross-bone in the tail and the tie is shorter in the right-hand panel.

  87. lascauxcaveman
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:35 am [Reply]

    Regarding Slylock Fox and ‘Mr Jones’ with his dead fish:

    I can’t believe the artist of this feature would come up with such a fanciful, clearly made-up name such as “Mr. Jones,” I mean, even Scaduto couldn’t have come up with that. I could maybe believe a name like ‘Kelpfroth’ or ‘Santorum’ or something, but ‘Jones’?

    C’mon, man…

  88. Alex
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:12 am [Reply]

    All good theories regarding what is to come in FBoFW, but there is something more than a fire going on here. There is clearly some kind of time burp happening because that is the only explanation for why Mike suddenly reverted to his 12-year-old body in panel 4.

    It may not even be smoke – you see those slashes across the last panel? I think there’s something more epic at hand here, the collapse of the strip’s very universe in protest of the impending marriage of Elizabeth and Anthony. The characters will all begin to randomly shift between their various forms from past years as the strip’s space-time continuum tries desperately to prevent this outcome before the integrity of the very panel outlines fail and they all fall into nothingness, or maybe into “Brevity” which would amount to the same thing.

    Oh wait, that wouldn’t happen because it would make FBoFW the first comic strip to resemble a Kurt Vonnegut novel – that would be something interesting.

    On the other hand, at least it’s not doing an endless Christmas fantasy like Luann with toy poodles wearing lampshades.

  89. Sjofn
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:26 am [Reply]

    I am so pleased Michael had a line in the comic that was even half as annoying as any given sentence in his godawful monthly letters. That’s right, Michael! Anthony or Liz ain’t taking the “Character Sjofn Hates Most” without a FIGHT.

  90. MonkeyHawk
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:26 am [Reply]

    #84 — aaron:

    Okay, South by SouthWest does skew the odds, I guess.

    I have a pal in Austin and have always thought there’s nothing wrong with the town execpt it’s surrounded by Texas.

    I’ve checked with the monkeys and so far they’ve come up with “I saw Bush in a Jello mask judging elks in a lodge in Biafra.”

    So close.

    No cigar.

    Damned monkeys.

    They should stick to their day job: writing and drawing (DT)GT.

  91. MonkeyHawk
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:42 am [Reply]

    Tick-Tappita
    Tick-Tapp
    Tappita
    Tap-Tick
    Tapp
    Tick-Tap
    Tap-
    Tick

    Could there ever be a finer conclusion to the Great Canadian Novel?

    And now it is done, fair muse!

    Oh, that I should inhale the sweet smell of success!

    (And by the way, kill me now.)

    (Please)

  92. Binky Betsy
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:47 am [Reply]

    #54 and everyone: If you want the full horror of Mike’s “first real manuscript”, go back to JULY of this year. Watch it evolve, month by month.

    #74 and #86: SF is a bit presumptous, methinks, asking people to notice stuff that in any other strip would be chalked up to simple artist’s error. Or not even error: just not being a bot.

  93. Archie
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:51 am [Reply]

    FBOFW: I am assuming that as Lynn wants to end the family antics sometime next year, then this is the last Christmas strip?

    So they all have to move in together over at Ma and Pa Canada for the family photo-op. Liz is obviously going to have New Year’s for her “event”, but the Christmas “event” is for Mike and his family. April gets important “birthday” event. Ma and Pa get retirement.

    In terms of the odds, I do not wish to picture Michael having to give mouth to mouth to any of the house inhabitants, but it is probable as he has to be a hero…

    It certainly is all about being baptized by the elements, getting all water and fire on the readers: The dumb kid stuck Michael’s ridiculously dumber “NED” doll down the plumbing and caused an issue with water. They find “NED”, only to deliver him to his fate, melted by fire. NED is perhaps short for “No Escape Deanna”.

    Michael loses novel to the fire. He realizes his family and plodding away at a stupid magazine is more important to him than the risk of having a really serious career.

    On the other hand, he could also make some money by suing his landlord, who should have had smoke alarms in the house, as required by law from all places that rent rooms.

  94. Mr. O’Malley
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:29 am [Reply]

    MF: Tinsley really needs to read “Uncle Lumpy’s Guide to Scansion”. He can’t even do a limerick right.

    And how is this Number 40? This series of insults to the food of America’s Heartland hasn’t been running since mid-November. That was when he got so carried away with fruitcake that he forgot to support the troops.

    Oh I see, his numbering system starts with 32 back on Dec. 11. Don’t tell me he does this every year.

    Oh well, only a few more weeks until Mallard Fillmore Classics starts to run…

  95. Mr. O’Malley
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:44 am [Reply]

    RMMD: No, Rex, one FEWER purse snatcher on the streets–because “purse snatcher” is a countable noun!

  96. Robert Whitaker Sirignano
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:46 am [Reply]

    The boids are Mallard Fillmore and wife, ready to be shot down.

    Many years back, I tried to follow JUDGE PARKER, and failed after a few weeks. Aside from this determined crew, who reads it?

    When you “Dick the doorbell” it creates a alternate universe of strange sounds.

  97. Mr. O’Malley
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:57 am [Reply]

    32. dramashoes, great Dylan parody!

  98. Mr. O’Malley
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:05 am [Reply]

    FOOB: When you write a novel, you generally go through a number of revisions to improve your original concept.

    The only kind of novel that is complete when you have finished typing it in for the first time is a porn novel. That’s because the amount of money you get for writing a porn novel is so small that only very skilled typists could possibly find it worthwhile.

    Tick-tappita tick-tapp tappita tap-tick tapp tick-tap tap-tick…

  99. yellojkt
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:30 am [Reply]

    I’ve got a suitcase full of money I found in a burned out meth lab and I want to buy the board on the Michaelagh novel. Some winnings will sooth the unending agony of knowing that pile of literary vomit is going to see print.

  100. Mr. O’Malley
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:32 am [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy, I would like to let you know that as a one-time Greek scholar, I appreciated the start of your Illiad parody in the previous thread.

    Myles na Gopaleen, in addition to his brilliant take on Gaelic Revival literature, An Béal Bocht, and his many hilarious works in English, is said to have composed an epic pornographic parody of early Irish literature, written in Old Irish. (He uses Old Irish in one scene in An Béal Bocht.) Rumour has it that copies still circulate around academic circles in Dublin.

    Such kudos could be yours.

    Meanwhile, “Margo virumque cano”…

  101. Sjofn
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:42 am [Reply]

    Oh man, I just read Apartment 3-G and, as I feared, Margo is now beating herself up over ever thinking she and Eric had a real thing goin’. She looks so SAD in the last panel, when she should be working up a good righteous fury! With fist shaking!

    Seriously, I want to give her a hug.

  102. Mr. O’Malley
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:55 am [Reply]

    Check out the skeletal anorexic celebrities in Brenda Starr!

  103. Mr. O’Malley
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:57 am [Reply]

    Looks like comics crossover in Brewster Rockit!

  104. Loppie Scaduto
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:07 am [Reply]

    RMMD: has Rex ever looked more flaming than he does in this third panel?

    [if I may quote teacher Bernie Kropp in The Incredibles]:
    “I think not!!”

  105. Pinback65
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:22 am [Reply]

    Boy, that Johnny Hart show is a razor-sharp satirist. Can’t wait for tomorrow, when he fearlessly takes on the Whigs.

  106. Whatever
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:23 am [Reply]

    Comics Curmudgeon can be full of crap when it comes to FBOFW: 3 to 5.

  107. Pinback65
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:24 am [Reply]

    Um, I meant “sure” and not “show”–and I previewed it first! Too early for this sort of thing, I guess.

  108. NJrzgrl
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:27 am [Reply]

    Oh come on, the Mark Trail is rather touching. Please note that in the middle panel Lucky seems to be trembling with some sort of unexpressed but powerful emotion (passion? rabies?). Meanwhile, he and his beaver bride are reaching out to each other with their adorably stumpy little beaver paws–so stumpy, I might add, that they could not possibly successfully embrace each other, a truly bittersweet realization. And the final panel, in which they frolic together down the side of their beaver lodge in domestic bliss is fairly heartwarming.

  109. tubbytoast
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    But are the fish’s earrings cold?

  110. The Photocopiest
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    MW: Wait did… did they just wrap up a storyline in line two weeks? So according to the rules of time in soap opera strips, from Dewey’s initial visit to Mary’s legal smackdown took place in .00001 seconds.

  111. Allie Cat
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    FW- Oh, poor sweet John – cut him some slack Becky – of course he doesn’t know about baby-making stuff – you dumped him for Wally before he could gain entrance to your “lucky”…and given the insanely small population of Winkerville, I doubt he’s gotten “lucky” from any of the other 12 women there.

  112. Rifleman
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:14 am [Reply]

    RMMD: June knows that paying the rent or calling the cops will not get her “basement painted”. And we know that Rex sure as heck wont do it!

  113. Summerhouse
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:21 am [Reply]

    Just when I thought today held nothing for me, Dr Froid’s head hits the floor with a “THUQ!”

  114. True Fable
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:30 am [Reply]

    So Michael is going to be a hero, and although he will lose his sure-rie hit manuscript in a fire, he will clammily reflect on the more important things in life, like saving his Ned doll. Oh, and Dee and the kids too, yeah.

    Yep, it’s going to be one of those “be thankful for everything you’ve got, and for Pete’s sake go screw your wife when she asks you to, you pinhead.”

    ~ I just read Mike’s monthly letter on the Foob site, and the basis of his “book”. Oh My God, is Lynn serious?!?! That is Mike’s “Great Canadian Novel?” More like, What a heaping steaming load of shit!

    I’ll give you some odds, boys. I say the odds are better than even that it will be revealed in the Canadian media that Lynn Johnson is a certified gloom and doom hack who couldn’t write her way through an open doorway.

  115. Squawk
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:32 am [Reply]

    FBOFW: Give me a break, what kind of pretentious twit of an aspiring writer says something like, “It is done, fair muse! Oh, that I should inhale the sweet smell of success!”??? He sounds like some useless unemployed English major imagining he’s the next Keats. Get a job, you dink.

    SF: The bunny’s expression in the second panel is priceless: like he’s eyeing the audience in sarcastic empathy as if to say, “What kind of idiot has to take his fish to the vet because he can’t figure out it’s dead?” I must say, though, it’s nice of the vet to try to assuage the dick-nosed gentleman’s grief by breaking the bad news to him as tenderly as possible.

  116. Krazy Kat
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    FOOB odds: Mike has been given an experimental drug and everything in FBOFW has been the fevered, unwinding memory of his life as he lay dying in a hospital in Vietnam.

    1,000,000:1

    but it’s early here and I’m a little high

  117. JEdens
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:35 am [Reply]

    RMMD – Is Rex talking to us?!

    Apt 3G – Bye bye happy maniac Margo – hello drowning her sorrows in Christmas egg nog Margo.

  118. Justafoob
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Odds that I will lose my lunch over what happens in the Fooberverse, a lead-pipe cinch.

  119. Sheilagh
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:39 am [Reply]

    So Deanna is capable of sleeping RIGHT THROUGH the smoke alarm, but wakes when Michael shakes her? What, does she wear earplugs to bed? (The tickety tappety tick is getting to her, maybe?)

    And the kids associate a shrieking smoke alarm with Santa, for some reason?

    Hello? The whole point of smoke alarms is to wake people up and scare them. This one seems to be defective.

  120. LynnyM
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    I am disturbed by today’s FBOW. I suppose I typically disturbed by it, but this time my concerns lie in the technical workings of the family. (Not that that’s any different, either.)

    Why is Deanna telling the children to get their boots and gloves and other cold-weather clothes on? Does she have any idea how much time that takes? That apartment may very well be burning to the GROUND, and every second counts.

    I can think back to the occasional times when, as a small child, an emergency situation came up. My parents got me out of the house in the blink of an eye, sometimes violently, shouting, yelling, and grabbing to save my hide. Once I was taking a bath when an electrical problem arose from a lamp in the hall. Did it matter that I was naked? No, what mattered was I got out and away.

    You know, Deanna, you can grab boots, gloves, even blankets, and run out of that place with the children in tow. You have no idea how severe that fire is; perhaps it has already clogged the halls with smoke and blocked all easy exits!

    Oh hell, I hope it smites every last one of them. Take your time, Mom.

  121. QLUNQER
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Thuq!!!???

  122. Shave Ezra
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    #114: I just took a look at Liz’s letter, where she wrote:

    “I just want to stick my fingers in my ears and sing LAAA LAAA LAAA until all the din swirling around in my head goes away.”

    That’s amazing – it’s the same thing I want to do when I read the strip!

  123. ENTflack
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    Finished manuscript… The holidays… Fire in the basement. Dreams up in smoke…I’m guessing this is the “… For Worse”. Unless Ned turned Chucky on us and is spreading holiday cheer by roasting the neighbors over an open fire. Good times.

  124. King Folderol
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    My favorite thing about today’s Slylock is how the doctor is earnestly sticking his stethoscope into the water, like the pile of fish bones isn’t a pretty decent clue that the fish is dead. Did you go to Hollywood Upstairs Medical College, too?

    Is Rex harrassing June for being such a soft touch? This coming from the guy who spent three months looking for Jack the Iraqi vet because he had a gambling problem?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Jack Elrod is ready for the crayon ward…he’s tired of recycling stories about Mark and the latest hillbilly threat on Lost Forest, so he’s going to write about these Beavers until the folks at King Features pull the plug.

  125. man behind the curtain
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:03 am [Reply]

    FBOW — After making several dashes into the burning building to rescue his family, Lovey, the Kelpfroths, and even Ned, Michael makes one final dash into the flames to rescue his manuscript. Tragically, both he and the manuscript sre destroyed. In the final panel, as the firemen carry out his charred remains and the ashes of his novel are floating in the breeze, we spy Deanna holding a cigarette lighter and the CD Rom backup of Michael’s book . She lives happily ever after fianlly free of the patterson family influence.

  126. Loppie Scaduto
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:06 am [Reply]

    A3G: do snowflakes drown out head bobbles?

    MW: while the strip is plumbing new depths of dialogue awfulness these last couple days, I offer this riddle [feel free to play along at home].

    Ella says “I didn’t tell your wife about your affair!” Is her next line:

    A) “Even though now I just told everyone else!”
    B) “And if you ever feel like gittin’ it on, I won’t tell her about us!”

  127. ZacWilliam
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    Help. I see all the other differences except “tie”. I’ve staired at that tie far longer than is healthy and nothing. Nothing!

  128. TheMagicMel
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Please forgive that I haven’t yet read everyone else’s comments since I’m at work & have a short amount of time, so if this has already been said I apologize. Anyway.

    Is it wrong that in my fantasy world Deeana & the kids would get out, but Mike would go back in for the manuscript, fall over from the smoke, then Granthony would follow to rescue him (because he’s always around to cherry pick), who would then also succumb to smoke, then they both die in a pyre of self-righteousness? Then Weed will throw Ned on the flames to wrap up that annoying story line & Liz can have dodged that bullet. Ah, bliss.

  129. Dennis Jimenez
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:13 am [Reply]

    12.20.2006 – Luann – Puddles learns a very important Christmas lesson from Santa – This strip sucks!

  130. Calico
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    #5 – I think Dr. Rex is taking dancing lessons from that penultimate Bee Gees fan, Gary Dent.

    Josh – “Liz sees Mike and Deanna’s strained, child-ruined, sexless marriage and realizes that Anthony is The One: 7 to 6.” Priceless.

  131. comicsn00b
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    102: I was checking out Brenda Starr just yesterday. I found it at TheComicsPage.com, which also has “Love Is” in English AND in Spanish.

  132. Basil Wrathbone
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:21 am [Reply]

    What’s up with the ducks in MT? They are back again today. They just keep circling, and circling, and circling. Why are ducks always flying over the action in MT? Are they different ducks? Maybe they are always the same two ducks. They are two weird ducks that are everywhere. They are the “ubiquiducks.” Run for your lives, the ubiquiducks are here.

  133. King Folderol
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    12/20/06
    FW – What kind of sex ed are they teaching at Westview High that Becky would expect John to know all of the intricacies of labor and childbirth? Yeah, I learned where babies come from in health class, but I didn’t really get the graphic blow-by-blow of childbirth until I knocked my wife up and started going to childbirth classes with her.

    FC – Family Circus continues its slow decent into hell. So Jesus’s birthplace isn’t good enough for you Billy, huh? What’s next? Planning on spitting out the communion wafer? Rejecting the Nicean Creed? Believing in evolution? It’s a slippery slope, my little friend. Best stop making comments like this while you still can, before God smotes you.

    BC – I don’t get or understand it, but I guess that’s nothing new.

  134. Lyman Returns
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    Slylock Fox-Ever been in a situation where you go along with a customer/client’s insane demands because you’re going to be paid? I think that’s where the vet is coming from, there.

    FBOFW 12/20-Deanna, if you’re worried about your kids being cold, just get in your @#$% car and wait for the fire department to show up. Screw the coats and boots and FLEE FOR YOUR LIVES! Can’t Michael call 911 (or whatever they use in Canada) while running down the stairs with a little kid under one arm? Does calling 911 really require so much of his attention that he can’t help get the kids out of there? Michael is such a tool.

    FBOFW 12/19-Who wants to smack Michael upside the head with a baseball bat in panel four? Wow, that’s a lot of hands. This entire strip makes me believe that Lynn Johnson has never written a novel, she has never been around anyone writing one, and hasn’t done the slightest bit of research about it. Michael, you twit, you’re not done yet. I highly doubt you’re somehow better than the thousands of other writers out there who need to go back and revise, proofread, and review their manuscripts. However, this being the Foobiverse, where failure is not possible for a Patterson or any of their allies (seriously, go the FBOFW webstie and read the bios of the various characters-even the minor characters who haven’t been shown in 75 years are all huge successes in their fields-not only has Lynn Johnson never been around anyone writing a novel, she’s also never been around anyone who failed or struggled, either, apparently), Michael probably busted out the perfect novel on the first try and will never need to look at it again. Maybe he has superhuman writing powers, and his invoking the Greek Muses of old in the fourth panel is no mere jest. The burning smell is actually a burnt offering Deanna is making to the Muses on Mike’s behalf.

    Wait a minute…hardworking dad and aspiring novelist gets his manuscript burned up as soon as he finishes it? What is this, Funky Winkerbean?

  135. Baby D’oh
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:26 am [Reply]

    After moments on end of intensive staring at that FOOB, the following disturbing aspects of the 12/19 cartoon have come to light:

    1. In the second panel, Michael’s computer appears to be communicating with him. Fun Fact: “Tick-Tappita Tick-Tapp Tappita Tap-Tick Tap-Tick-Tapp Tick-Tap Tap-Tick” is computerese for “Keep Michael away from me”. Of course, the language barrier leaves poor Mikey in the dark.

    2. In the third panel, Michael appears to be Elizabeth.

    3. In the fourth panel, Michael appears to have replaced his head with a sliver of his head.

    4. In the first panel, Deanna appears to want Michael to come to bed.

    5. “Excited Beavers” would be a great new name for Mark Trail.

  136. Saxman
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:29 am [Reply]

    Shylock Fox: Gratuitous dialogue.(with apologies to Monty Python).

    I’d like to return this pet fish.

    Why? What’s wrong with it?

    It’s dead!

    No its not.

    Yes it is! I can see the bones.

    You just haven’t been feeding it enough.

    If it was any deader there would be something rotten in Denmark.

    (Takes out stethoscope) I can hear its heart beat.

    That’s your foot tapping. I’m telling you, it’s dead.

    It’s just pining for the fjords.

    (Tomorrow, stay tooned for Apartment 3G gratuitous dialogue in the theme of “Ministry of Funny Walks).

  137. Keith
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    “And yet, the beavers don’t stand a chance against the enormous GEESE FROM SPACE!!!”

  138. True Fable
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    WTF happened to Judge Parker’s artist? 12/20 was…underwhelming.

    MW “you want to tell me how unwholesome my life is?”
    “No! I want to gloat a little longer, since I have my peeps to get my scrawny little back!”

    FC True, PJ’s not in a manger but that’s not to say there’s plenty of dung available.

    RMMD What happened to my bitchy, snappy, growling, menacing June? She goes home to Rex and all of a sudden she turns into Wimpy Simp? Goddam it, June, put your balls back on and take a swing at him! You were tough on a teenager, but you’re going to let a large foppish man wag his finger and scold you?
    I am soooo disappointed in you, June.

  139. Calico
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    #77 – time to head to Lost Forest, Anthony!

    What about Weed and Carleen – don’t they live in that old rat trap as well? What will happen to his photos and such? They have sh*t-covered Ned too.

  140. Dennis Jimenez
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    12.19.2006 – Slylock Fox – See this is why I don’t work on this strip. I’d have left the vet’s fingers off fish mongers shoulder in panel two, signifying that he’s masterbating under the table.

  141. Concerned Citizen
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:42 am [Reply]

    Oh, Foobana – 1000000 to 1that it is the newspaper burning and Mike will realize that all of their existence can be used to line bird cages, cat boxes, and to start BBQ fires. Wait…I smell smoke…OH SHIT!

    MT – June married him because she thought he HAD a big prick not that he WAS a big prick. Sure it’s an old joke but it will go well with exagerated exasperated expression he’s developing for his Borscht-belt routine. It’ll slay ‘em in the Poconos.

  142. bob3
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    Okay – evil fantasy – outside is Aldo – not quite dead as they say, shotgun in one hand, bottle of Johnny in the other laughing as the fire he built builds. He intends bad things for all the Patterson’s who he has discovered are distantly related to Mary Worth.

  143. hogenmogen
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    The comics today:

    Mallard Sh!tmore rhymes. Whoop de friggin do. Non-dairy whipped topping comes in non-fat varieties, too. Try that with real cream, you waterfoul. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s continuing saga of what foods Mallard believes only Pluggers and the Dinette Set eat these things at Christmas (although he caves to the liberal connotation “Holiday foods”).

    In an unrelated incident, I got a gift basket of chocolate with “Intense Dark Twilight Delight” and “Intense Dark Sunset Citrus”. Um… Twilight and sunset are not “intensely dark”. I grant you that they’re sort of dim, but maybe “Midnight Delight” would have been a better moniker.

    Phantom: I bet the secretary is in on the scheme, and is only egging on the Prez to kill her boss so he can’t name her as an accomplice.

    Gil Twerp: Is this yet another story line being introduced this week? Maybe GT should be three unrelated story lines every day, with the first panel of Monday corresponding to the first panel of Tuesday, first panel Wednesday, etc. That way, the casual first time reader would be subjugated to incomprehensibility and could only admire the artwork style lifted directly from those classes advertised on match book covers.

    JP: With Neddy and Reddy going to gay Pari, who will mind Sophie, the mischeivous kid with so much allowance that she outsources her homework? And, I’m gathering from the conversation that Neddy still hasn’t left yet?

    Spiderman: Out of webbing on your right hand, but what about your left? Genius. Also, remember your last encounter with Doc? You more or less had him whooped without using any webbing at all. Except JJJ had to pose himself as an attractive target for kidnapping, which of course he seems intent on running as a candidate for once again. Oh Lord, please stop me before my brain implodes!

    Mark Trail: If I were writing an awful parody of Mark Trail, I would create a saccharine story line comprised entirely of wild beaver love. Of course my story would end with a forest fire wiping them all out, but that’s just me.

    And finally, BC, which stands for “Beyond Comprehension”: I think today has some reference to the walls of Jericho, where the Hebrew army under Joshua (Josh for short) blew trumpets around the city, and the walls supposedly collapsed. The History Channel theorized that some soldiers snuck in with the help of a prostitute and opened the gates from the inside, but obviously that is pure blasphemy in the eyes of Johnny Hart.

  144. True Fable
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    #134 Lyman – No kidding. I write, rewrite, set it aside, go back in a month and groan and feverishly edit and rewrite and revise. Always tweaking and tuning a manuscript.

    Another reason Lynn Johnson annoys me. She has no friggin’ idea what life is really like among us common mortals.

  145. jules
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    (DT)GT: Are those…drunken bubbles issuing from Lisa and her coach (whoever it is)? Imagine high-school athletes drinking. This belongs in the “What’z the world comin’ to” dept. – ohhh-h ye-e-e-eah….

  146. Tak, the Hideous New Girl
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Considering the monthly letters and the line, “It is done, fair muse! Oh, that I should inhale the sweet smell of success!” I think that Lynn is really saying that Michael *deserves* to have his home and life’s work go up in flames.

    Pluggers: The resemblance between today’s Bionic Plugger and a Furry George Will is really freaking me out.

  147. hogenmogen
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:54 am [Reply]

    #127 – Zac: Give up on the tie. The real difference is in the way the doctor uses subtle inflection to convey a feeling of sincere regret for Mr. Jones in panel 1. The tone of voice in panel 2 is more mechanical, as this is an especially bad vet, and he is inured to the feelings of his pathetic clients to the loss of a close pet.

    #124 – K. Folderol: “Is Rex harrassing June for being such a soft touch? This coming from the guy who spent three months looking for Jack the Iraqi vet because he had a gambling problem?”

    Good point, but recall how much Rex hated that assignment and procrastinated profusely with his four servings of mac & cheese. He hesitated, demurred, dreamed about past gay lovers as he stared out the window in silence, wondering what might have been if Jack hadn’t been injured, because Rex doesn’t boink cripples, even if they are pirate-patch patriots. Only after being pushed out the door by June did he take any action at all.

  148. HammerGirl
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    #32 – I love a Dylan reference in the morning. :-)

    Yeah, the Mike Pattersons are defintely moving back into the original family homestead a la the Royal Tennenbaums:

    “That night, Etheline found all of her children living together under the same roof for the first time in years”.

  149. hogenmogen
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    #135 – Baby – you missed the bit in panel 2 where the keyboard is really just a mass of pasta.

  150. roydrink
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:59 am [Reply]

    What’s with Sally Forth?

    http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20061220&name=Sally_Forth

    Do they have identical twins?

    Why is everyone else a ghost?

    Can anyone else sing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” besides Meat Loaf?

  151. Justafoob
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    The cost of a working smoke detector… $12.95 (Canadian)

    The cost of a laptop computer …. $900 (Canadian)

    The Shiellaylee (pardon my Sascratchiwanese) manuscript goeing up in flames…. PRICELESS (Canadian)

  152. Allie Cat
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    What I love about this site is that people invoke Monty Python, How I Met Your Mother, and the Royal Tennenbaums.

    I’m waiting for an Arrested Development reference. I figure it’s only a matter of time.

    I also love how mean and catty everyone is – it warms the cockles of my heart.

  153. Irina
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:05 am [Reply]

    If you translate “Tick-Tappita Tick-Tapp Tappita Tap-Tick Tap-Tick-Tapp Tick-Tap Tap-Tick” into Morse Code, defining the “i” vowels as dots and “a” vowels as dashes, you get the following:

    “Dot- DashDotDash – DotDash – DashDotDash – DashDot – DashDotDash – DotDash – DashDot.”

    … or “. / -.- / .- / -.- / -. / -.- / .- / -. ”

    Translated, it says “bookisbad” !

    Okay. Maybe it doesn’t, but wouldn’t that be cool?

  154. The Ray
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:08 am [Reply]

    #11:
    “Panel 3 of FBoFW: Mike looks like a girl. ”

    Panel 4 of FBoFW: Mike acts like a girl.

  155. hogenmogen
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    On the obviously awesome Foob manuscript (really, take Mike Patterson’s word for it): I’d love it if it said over and over again “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy all work and no play… ”

    But anyway, there is an old addage that you have to write about what you know. So somehow Mike Patterson, suburbanite dad in the 21st century relates on a spiritual level with Sheilaugh, some WWII era farmer in Manitoba? He didn’t even have an ending when he started, signifying its meandering lack of focus. I told my wife that his novel would suck, and being a big Foobfan, she had to defend it. I dropped the conversation in the interests of sanity, as arguing about the merits of a fictitious character’s fictitious novel would prove to be the final straw that causes my brain to unravel.

  156. Foobaphobe
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    I am wallowing gleefully in the FBOFW hatred. Once again, I feel like that amorphous alien creature in the original Star Trek, who fed off the hatred between the Klingons and the Enterprise crew. Let it fester, let it grow, let all the accumulated disgust with Anthony, Michael, Lovey, Elly, Iris, and dim-bulb Liz grow and grow until it reaches a white-hot intentsity. Then watch for tomorrow’s strip, as LJ gives us even more reasons to despise the Pattersons and their foobish friends. Ahh, sweet muse of puerile prose, I worship thee!

  157. hogenmogen
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    I’d laugh like hell if Kelpfart was watching the house burn down with Mike Patterson and said something to the effect of “Remember all that work you did repairing the front porch for free? That was a waste.”

  158. Emma
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    Although I must say in Rex’s defense, it would incredibly annoying to live with someone who ended every sentence with an exclamation mark! Like June does! Even if her motives are pure! Her obvious psychosis is really no excuse!

  159. mattt
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    MT – Around the country old Cold War weapons-making facilities are being cleaned up and turned into nature preserves. Given the giant ducks and tiny bears and other freaks of nature to be found there, I believe this is where Lost Forest came from.

    Man, Jackal Rod does like the ducks, don’t he?

  160. Stephen
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    I love the SF 6 differences panels. You just cross your eyes and the differences jump out at you.

    It would be really cool if they were drawn in 3d this way, but then there’d be all of these minor differences and people’s heads would explode.

  161. Dingo
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    Michael Patterson is not William Styron. Therefore, it’s not a Sophie’s Choice he must make but a Hobson’s Choice: either to let the novel go up in flames or allow his offspring to survive and continue the spread of the Patterson malaise. Choose the novel, Michael! A reputable publisher will kick it to the curb!

  162. treedweller
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:41 am [Reply]

    130 C’mon. I don’t care for the BeeGees personally, but they’ve got to have more than two fans left.

    157 hogen I’m just going to stop reading the Foobs this week and pretend that’s what happened. First laugh I’ve had at this strip in years.

  163. roydrink
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:50 am [Reply]

    OK, here’s my guess on how FOOB wraps up and finally ends. It’s saccharine, but it would satisfy mainstream readers. I know it’s not going to satisfy anybody here.

    Michael, Deena & the kids got out safely with the “manuscript”. Of course Elly and John gift them the house as they move to the nearby cottage. Paul shows up for Xmas and Elly likes him again, and John shuts up about Granthony. Mike’s manuscript gets bought by a publisher, and does moderately well and gets them some money.

    Meanwhile Howard, out on bail, realizes that his life is ruined and finds a gun. He goes to Granthony’s house and shoots him dead (yay!). He then goes to the Pattersons gunning for Liz, but Paul the Mountie gets the drop on him, and shoots him dead. Then after a short amount of time, Liz and Paul are engaged and get married later next year.

    Since Granthony is gone, the evil Therese has to come back for Francie. Since she doesn’t want to ruin her career, she lets Paul and Liz adapt Francie, and sells them the house cheap.

    April having some talent (I know I’m stretching here) gets a scholarship to a famous music school that Uncle Phil has arranged.

    So now that Micheal’s family is safe, Liz is married and has an adopted little girl, and April is in college, the strip can nicely end.

    Sickening isn’t it?

  164. cheech wizard
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    I’m a little late to this party, but just wanted to say that Uncle Lumpy has shown again why he is definitely the poet laureate of the CC community. And no doubt has already wrapped up Cow of the Week honors. Which is good, because with Christmas at hand, I really shouldn’t be spending much time on this stuff. Thanks, Lumpy, for putting that out of reach and allowing me to focus on my holiday shopping and preps instead. Oh yeah, and work as well. Can’t forget that.

  165. Dicky
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    112 – But Rex should want to paint the basement. I mean, what better excuse to invite over a few guy friends for some beer and manual labor while under the influence of paint fumes.
    Cleaning out the garage might be actually. Bigger jobs mean more guys~

    You’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill housework, are you?

  166. Ian Cameron, Ph.D.
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:03 am [Reply]

    Foob: 2 to 1 Michael leaves his wife for Lawrence the Landscaper.

  167. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    I was so hoping it was Deanna enjoying a fine post-coital cigar with Mr. Kelpfroth.

    If I were to kill someone (and this is completely hypothetical– I have not killed anyone, honest) I would not try a telephone cord, as Dr. Froid is trying with Detective Tracy. I think I’d clobber him with a 100+ lb. briefcase of $100 bills. I am so disappointed, I thought finally we had the ultimate criminal mastermind, but he’s just as dumb as Jake ‘n Snake.

  168. AhClem
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:18 am [Reply]

    A3G – Margo is walking the streets of NYC, and nobody is paying attention to her. A few weeks ago, Tommie was walking the streets of NYC, and everybody was looking at her.

    Margo, if you want to be noticed, be like Tommie and don’t wear any pants.

  169. Frothy
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:27 am [Reply]

    #21 devushka –

    Deanne got tired of waiting for her loser husband to come out, too!

  170. Ford Dent
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    What about the odds of Mike perishing in a roaring inferno? Because that is what I really want to see happen.

  171. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    Foob — Thanks to those (Mumbles was first?) who have pointed out the weirdness of Dee’s behavior. I believe the official advice of our rural fire department is to get the hell out out of the smoky building ASAP, near-naked if necessary, go quickly to a neighbor’s, and call 911 from there. I’ll bet some emergency-maven CC knows definitively what should happen.

    Also, Dee is the mother of young children, and most such people sleep lightly, some for the rest of their lives whether they want to or not. I find it hard to believe she’d sleep through a smoke alarm, and if she could, it’s badly placed.

    I could agree to try not to endlessly gripe about this fiery melodrama if only that manuscript would burn to a crisp with no surviving copies. But I bet Lynn won’t let that happen. After all, as has been noted, the damn thing printed itself instantly, like magic. It’s probably an evil entity out to kill people, like Chuckie the Doll. I know that reading bits of it in Michael’s letter has already caused severe pain to some of us.

  172. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    FC — Geez, I’ve never had kids and even I know that you’re not supposed to put babies on their stomachs in cribs, nor are you supposed to put soft possibly-smothering objects in the crib at all, let alone plunk the baby’s head right on top of a squishy pillow. Maybe someone is hoping PJ will shut up and take a dirt nap.

    A3G/Luann — To prevent further confusion, let’s agree to try to remember that in the comic strip named after her, the perpetual teenager Luann is called Luann, while in A3G, the blonde temptress is named Lu Ann, two words. As proof, I offer the website below, though the artwork is kind of unnerving. This earlier Lu Ann looks kinda like Peggy Lee after a really bad night.

    http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/apt3g/charactMaina.htm

  173. Ian Cameron, Ph.D.
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    Foob most loathsome:

    John 10 -1
    Connie 15-1 (when with Elly, 5-1)
    Weed 17-1
    Grampaw 9-1 (when bitching about Iris, 35-1)
    Iris 6-1
    April 8-1 (when she finally goes
    roadside, 20-1)
    Gordo 8-1
    Uncle Phil 10-1
    Paul 20-1
    Becca 6-1
    Deanna 10-1
    the Spawn 3-1 (collectively)
    Liz 4-1 (when drawn from behind, 2-1)
    Anthony 3-1
    Elly even money
    Michael 1-3 (his monthly letters put him
    on top)

  174. insolenttomato
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:40 am [Reply]

    I know that I came late to the CC game myself (the tale end of Aldomania, in fact; I was the annoying guest who comes an hour before the party ends and drinks all the leftover booze) but, because Josh suggested it, and I have no life, and the temp agency hasn’t called, I figured I shall try my hand at:

    CONDO BOARD RULES: THE MUSICAL!!

    Lyrics by insolenttomato, Music by someone with more of a musical background that insolenttomato, hopefully.

    Dramatis Personae:
    -Mary Worth, Freelance Meddler
    -Ella Byrd, Spiritual Advisor
    -Ian “Chinbeard” Cameron
    -Toby “Chippie” Cameron
    -Gary “Philanderer” Dent
    -Mrs. “Does she have a first name?” Dent
    -Concierge

    Setting: Charterstone, an upper mid-range “city beautiful” condo complex in Southern California.

    ACT I: Charterstone’s Lobby
    Ella Byrd, Spiritual Advisor, enters Charterstone’s lobby, suitcase in tow. She is a small, spry woman straddling the fence between late middle age and seniority. Timorously, she approaches the front desk and hails the Concierge.

    Concierge: May I help you?
    Ella: Um . . . yes. My name is Ella Byrd and . . . um . . . I’m a new tenant at Charterstone. I believe that . . . um . . . I’m scheduled to move in now?

    As Ella is speaking Company, who have been generally milling about in the Lobby, take an interest in the conversation between Ella and Concierge, and inch closer. Meanwhile, the Concierge flips through a ledger.

    Concierge: Ah yes! Ms. Ella Byrd; move-in appointment, 11AM Friday. Welcome to Charterstone!

    Company: WELCOME TO CHARTERSTONE!

    SONG ONE: CHARTERSTONE (Company)

    Company: It’s wonderful at Charterstone!
    Elegant, eloquent Charterstone!
    You can settle in then meddle,
    As your tea brews in the kettle,
    At our very own Charterstone!

    Ian: If it’s the last years of your life

    Toby: Or if you’re some blowhard’s trophy wife

    Company: Annihilate a stalker
    Who’s harassing a mall walker
    At your very own Charterstone!

    Mary: So if you’re of a “certain age,” and Miami Beach just seems too strange to gauge

    Company: We’ve zoned away the Jews and gays
    The “ethnics” know to stay away
    From our beloved Charterstone!

    Mary: So come along to Charterstone! Dry out an alcoholic at Charterstone!

    Rehabilitate a tweaker
    Smash his crystal-brewing beaker
    At a biddy’s heaven; CHARTERSTONE!

    Company: WELCOME TO CHARTERSTONE!

    Ella is carried out, smiling, seated atop her suitcase

    CURTAIN

    I didn’t want to clutter up the comments with too overlong a comment, so if you have a buring desire to view the rest of the musical, hop on over to http://www.insolenttomato.com/?p=518, if you like.

  175. MossMoses
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    The Patersons will be fine. Foobs don’t die in fires. They and their saintly pets die performing heroic and heart warming feats of bravery. Evil anti Foobs like the Klepfroths may end up extra crispy, though. The more likely scenario is Foob heroism, saving the very neighbor who dares criticize a saintly Patterson or their equally saintly landwench.

  176. Widdle Jeffy
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    “Just be glad you don’t have to take your nap in a manger, PJ.”

    Just like I did, because I am Billy The Christ!!!!!

    Bow down before me you heathens and great un-washed. I will arise one day and smite down all you sinners.

    Yes you, the one reading this comment right now, you are the worst sinner of them all. You know in your heart of hearts what you have done and have not atoned for. Hell has a place all warmed up for you.

  177. Non-Shannon
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    #32 dramashoes:

    Brilliant! COTW!

    Yes, the only time I comment anymore is to nominate a comment of the week.

    Oh, and for the occasional perfunctory shout-out to Shannon.

    Yo, Shannon!

  178. Squawk
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:47 am [Reply]

    Just thought of something sweet: If the building does burn down, Michael will have paid that $400+ plumber’s bill for nothing! Awesome!

  179. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    JP — Okay, maybe I’m losing it, but it seems to me that Marie in the second panel of today’s strip looks a little like a black-haired Poteet Canyon or Summer Canyon, sort of a mini-homage to Milt Caniff. I ask those in a position to know (I’m trying not to say “other older Curmudgeons”) to tell me if I’m hallucinating, please. You can be frank. But actually, now that I just checked again, Marie is reminding me just a little of the very old Brenda Starr, so clearly I’m suffering from brain damage caused by Sheilagh’s Curse, which happens when one deliberately reads Michael’s letters on the Foobsite. So never mind. Thank you.

  180. comicsn00b
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    insolenttomato: well done! I take it that there will be a number with synchronized tuna casserole tossing?

  181. Tabby Lavalamp
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:50 am [Reply]

    In the first panel, the vet is about to lose his license due to the apparent onset of dementia and will be spending the rest of his life in a home. In the second, he is under investigation for practicing without a license (that Photoshopped job we see behind him is obviously fake) and will be spending several years in prison where he will need to use a stethoscope to figure out he’s been shanked.
    Sometimes I think Slylock Fox is way too complicated for its target demographic.

  182. mattt
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    A3G characters – “http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/apt3g/charactMaina.htm”

    Wow, does that need an update. Margo the talent agent? Tommy (I thought Tommie) began her career as a nurse? What does she do now? Lu Ann with “a craving for experiencing life to its fullest”? (Lu Ann?) And the Perfessor is getting younger

    Actually, what do Lu Ann and Tommy do for a living? Margo is the only one who actually seems to work.

  183. Concerned Citizen
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    One thing that isn’t different in SF, the vet’s name looks like Leon Spinks.

  184. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    50:1 – Smoke odor is really an olfactory aura preceding Mike’s first grand mal seizure that reveals a congenital temporal lobe anomaly which rapidly incapacitates him, precipitating round-the-clock feeding and care that emotionally exhausts and financially bankrupts the family, causing his wife to sell her organs and forcing the children into prostitution and rat eating.

    Oopsy, I think I’m confusing FOOB with Funky Welbutrin.

  185. Chromium
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    OK, I actually have to defend Michael Patterson here (shut up) from the people criticizing him for celebrating having finished his novel. Yes he’s acting like an 8 year old girl, but come on, it must feel good to at least get the first draft out of the way. He’s not DONE done. He even says in his monthly letter that he needs to go back and revise it (although that’s apparently going to take only “a couple more weeks”).

    I also feel a strong need to point out that one of the characters in his novel has the same last name as Luann from “Luann.” I’m not even sure how I know that.

  186. insolenttomato
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    comicsn00b: Thank you! In the expanded version on my shamelessly self-pimped blog, the tuna casserole/yellow cake/kitty litter does indeed make an appearance. Indeed, how could it not?

    By the way, the fact that I wrote a five act Mary Worth musical makes me hip and ironic, not pathetic, right? RIGHT?

  187. MossMoses
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    179. Poteet, this new artist is really screwing things up. Marie had freckles before but she used to be an adult French maid and she looked really good in that standard issue French maid frilly apron.

  188. Concerned Citizen
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    Wednesday’s MW – The look of smug satisfaction on Chinbeard’s and Mary Meddleworth’s faces tells me that Dent is going to be the Charterstone Inquisitors’ next victim. Ella splashes gas on the fire by declaring Dent’s trangressions loudly for all to hear. With Ella on the team, no one will be safe from their righteous wrath. Even thinking non-Charterstone thoughts will be detected and dealt with pre-emptively. The Apocalypse is upon us and, yea, Aldo’s gulley will be piled high with the unWorthy and the moustached (a heinous tresspass, note Ian’s careful chinbeard). And the Toeby broke the Seventh Seal, spewing pestilence all over the condo complex. My advice to Dent: get a chess set before it’s too late.

  189. Old Fogeyette
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    I can’t help it. This time of year I just have to be in a happy Christmassy non-snarky mood. So that leaves me nothing to comment on but MT. First, thank you NJRZGRL (#108) for your lovely tribute to Theodore and his new love.

    I think the storyline is adorable and interesting, and better than anything else currently in the comix, except for Brewster Rockitt. Also, the ducks appear to be refugees from MW, where pigeons used to fly around in pairs to indicate love.

    Oh, all right: FOOB: I don’t care about the coming conflagration. I just don’t care. It cannot compare with Beaver Love, and Beaver TRUE love, at that.

    Same for Slylock, which I just can’t read. My own life is too much like “What’s different about this picture”?

    As for JP–Abbey has transmogrified into an alien from a science-fiction graphic novel, and I don’t understand how. I think she may be a cat-person now, or possibly reptilian.

  190. Da Scrodfather
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    #132– like I said earlier, the “ubiquiducks” (I’m so stealing that) symbolize some kinda sex thing. I just don’t know what exactly.

  191. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:21 pm [Reply]

    Yikes! Two words: A. Tergo.

  192. Josh
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    mattt (#182) — Tommie really is a nurse, still. She is occasionally seen in her uniform, of the type that is generally only seen in fetish movies; see here for an example (scroll down):

    http://joshreads.com/?p=581

    Lu Ann supplements her starving artist lifestyle and also gets to spend time with her mental peer group by teaching art to elementary school kids at some kind of snooty private school.

    Margo seems to be largely self-employed, though many of her jobs seem to of the sort that in real life you would need to be part of an agency to do. Before she had her recent epiphany and decided to become an event planner for events that never actually happen, her last gig that I remember was some kind of publicist; she was supposed to be doing some publicity work for a play that Lu Ann’s bolo-tie-wearing cousin Blaze was involved in somehow (as a producer or the playwright or something). She utterly flopped at this because she totally failed to actually publicize it in any way — I forgot why, exactly; I think she was distracted by something shiny. Anyway, “talent agent” fits in with the typical pattern of jobs for her, which is “big city jobs suited for amoral attention whores who like to hang out with the rich and powerful” and “jobs most people really don’t understand how they work so we can portray them however is convenient for the plot.”

    Josh

  193. Howard Erk
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:23 pm [Reply]

    #189 Go [MARGO] yourself.

    Bah, Humbug!!!

  194. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    108, NJRZgrl, beavers can get rabies, as all mammals can. But they’re a major reservoir for Giardia. Regardless, we just have to love those beavers.

  195. Poppinjay
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:27 pm [Reply]

    Ithink the fire being started by Kelpfroth’s rancid Ass Sweat CigarTM are even. And the odds that all will be goggle eyed when the fire inspector reports it are even better.

    What falls then is the fallout. Will the Kelpfroths be angrily evicted? Will they come up with some eeeevil explanation that somehow ensnares the saintly Pattersons in a never ending legal battler?

    And will Weed make it out of the attic where he was mysteriously beamed into during the Ned episode?

  196. Mountain Mama
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    I nominate “Your vendetta against me is baseless.” for the Stilted Dialogue Hall of Fame (Shame?). It’s almost up there with “I refuse to believe that you prefer to be alone!”

  197. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    Nice sublimation,Dick! It looks as if Spike Lee is moaning “PHUQ” with his erect tie providing the exclamation point.

  198. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:41 pm [Reply]

    # 186 — Insolenttomato, I enjoyed your musical, and thank you for providing it. And OF COURSE you are hip and ironic. Never question that again within this hallowed site. We are ALL hip and ironic here for as long as we want to be. Pope Josh has decreed it.

    # 189 — Fogeyette, I am also greatly enjoying beaver true love, even though I am a known Grinch when it comes to Christmas. I hope Elrod will give Lucky and Theodora a few more days of castorial happiness before beginning his next MT catastrophe.

    Hey, I just got it! Castor and Pollux! That’s why another clever CC wanted to name the female beaver Pollux! And it only took me about four days! Perhaps the Sheilagh Curse hasn’t destroyed as many of my brain cells as I thought, though it’s obviously too late for Michael.

  199. Anonymous
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Wizard of Id. 12/20
    For cryin out loud, but some darts sticking out of the man’s ass.
    Then we would have a strip.

  200. insolenttomato
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    #198 Poteet: I appreciate the validation. Never again shall I doubt the ex cathedra edicts of Pope Josh. Also, you’re far from alone in having a delayed reaction to “Castor and Pollux.” A Gemini friend of mine had to point it out.

  201. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:50 pm [Reply]

    # 189 — And Fogeyette, I can’t resist adding that on my small creek at this very moment, there is a small partial beaver dam, though I’ve never seen the beaver. Given what happened to the beavers on my neighbor’s land, I hope that Partial-Dam Beaver has moved on to a safer area where beavers are welcome and can build ginormous dams with no interference, and there is lots of beaver romance.

  202. Old Fogeyette
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    Poteet (201) Good golly! Do you suppose it could be Theodore himself? (I’m feeling very meta today.) That would certainly explain the hostility of your neighbors, which I am sure the beaver, whoever she or he is, doesn’t understand.

  203. Old Fogeyette
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:55 pm [Reply]

    Josh (182): I’m pretty sure that when the strip started (and I was there at the founding) Margo was a “private secretary” to a wealthy and handsome man that she always was angling to marry.

  204. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    #143 (Hogenmogen) The History Channel theorized that some soldiers snuck in with the help of a prostitute and opened the gates from the inside, but obviously that is pure blasphemy in the eyes of Johnny Hart.

    I remember an engineering study that concluded low-frequency vibrations generated by the marching of Joshua’s army caused liquification of the sand resulting in a breech of the walls. Assuming of course that the whole story isn’t apocryphal. I suppose angels could have been involved, but last time I checked, we’re kinda having a rough time solving differential equations for angels (uniqueness isn’t a problem, but existence is a bitch – heh heh, little joke for the math majors joining us today).

    And while I’m being all pedantic-y, today’s WTF reminded me of a lesser-known factoid about the Wright Brother’s initial flight. If there hadn’t been a crash on the fourth flight of the day that damaged their plane, they were planning on a fifth flight to buzz the coast guard station on the coast (no, seriously!). Flight time really isn’t a problem in experimental aircraft, assuming you can get airborne and control the thing. Hardly any test pilots go for distance anymore.

    PS: Count me in on stealing “ubiquiducks” at earliest opportunity, and Red Greenback (#65) currently has my vote for COTW (aside from Lumpy’s epic poem, which is of course COTY).

  205. Dingo
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    The only conclusion that can be reached in Mark Trail is that these are Santa’s all-knowing, all-seeing spy ducks that hover over Earth and keep a watchful gaze upon all that happens so the Big Man can make his list (and check it twice). Sigh… if only they were allowed a flight path over the White House.

  206. Dingo
    December 20th, 2006 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    Damn. COTY? Have I been forgotten so soon? You take off the pearls, you put the top up on the convertible and suddenly you’re Peggy Lipton.

  207. Kate
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:06 pm [Reply]

    I hate Lynn. I hate her. Hate her. So many people take that strip seriously, and here she is showing how NOT to escape from a burning building.

    WAIT! I’ve got it! Howard Bunt has set the fire, thinking that Liz is living there! So Deanna, by keeping the children inside where the flames can get to them, is craftily protecting them from the sight of someone who would try to sully a Patterson! Better to die pure than to live defiled by proxy.

  208. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    #152 (Allie Cat) I’m waiting for an Arrested Development reference. I figure it’s only a matter of time.

    Marry Me!

    (heh heh)

  209. MaryAnnTheRest
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:09 pm [Reply]

    You are all on fire today! On fire like a Patterson!

    As for “your vendetta against me is baseless,” vendettas need bases? Since when? I thought the whole point of a vendetta is that it’s baseless, thus distinguishing it from the feud. Or is the difference between vendetta and feud a socioeconomic thing? Are feuds transformed into vendettas at Charterstone’s gates?

    152: My bet for FOOB: As teary-eyed Michael pushes his children out of the way to watch his attic burn, the fire marshal shows up, empty smoke-bomb carton in his one hand, and says “And that’s why you make backup copies!” (You requested an Arrested Development reference, right?)

  210. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:10 pm [Reply]

    Dingo…OH, BWA HAHA…(GASP!)…Ferchrissakes!,… Peggy…ha ha..HAW![MARGOIN'].Lipton. (Choke, snort)…HAW!… Oh, shit! …someone…CALL 911!

  211. andreavis
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: I am torn. While I would reeeeaaaally like to see Michael’s novel go up in a puff of Kelpfroth-induced smoke, I also dread that outcome. I know in my heart it would be better if Michael’s book is destroyed– humanity would be spared his turgid prose, and the thought of watching him whinge over the manuscript’s ashey remains while his children stand by, neglected, it fills my heart with Christmas joy. But really, how long could we stand to put up with the complaining, regrets and recriminations? Worse yet– what if he emerges from the tragedy STRONGER, more determined to rewrite his novel and make it a success? There are no winners, only losers and foobs. I need a drink, anyone got a Molson’s?

  212. ridge
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:12 pm [Reply]

    MT: I’d say the ducks have to represent “orgasm(s).” Which makes a Freudian interpritation of MT especially creepy, given how unpredictablly and how often they appear.

  213. the mad punter
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:14 pm [Reply]

    Shouldn’t the beavers build the excitment with a pillow fight or some hair pulling first? That’s the way it happens in the, um, movies…

    In all honesty, the internet exsists to provide more information on excited beavers.

  214. AhClem
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    MT – Considering the constant size shifting of the animals in MT, I’ve concluded that Theodore’s girlfriend isn’t a beaver at all, but is actually a shrunken Molly wearing a strap-on beaver tail.

  215. LittleGuy
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:20 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: Is it evil for me to say I was expecting the secretary in Panel 2 to say “And this is bad, because…..?”

  216. Patrick
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    I have written three books. Here’s what I know about finishing a book.

    1)) You don’t say “I have finished my book” until it’s in the mail. You say “I finished the first draft. I finished the second revision. I finished the third revision.” The reason for this is the inevitability that someone will say “can I read it?” and you’ll be forced to show them an early draft or admit that it’s not *really* finished.

    2)) Writing a first draft, for me at least, takes about two or three months (I do it in the summer when I don’t have classes). Revision takes a year or more.

    3)) I keep four backups of everything, including one I email to my mother’s house in another town. I also keep one on disk at work. This way, if my house burns down, I still have the book.

    4)) I’ve never said a damned thing to my muse and have no intention of ever doing so.

    5)) The mention of “the sweet smell of success” is a stretching attempt to achieve a joke that’s just — not — even — clever. Unless he’s a particularly olfactory thinker, I can’t imagine why he’d say “the sweet smell of success.” How about “I’ve seen success!” Or “I’ve achieved success.”

    6)) By the way — no he hasn’t. As I’ve said, I’ve written three books, and my last royalty statement was a *negative number.* Merely writing the book ain’t success. (Of course, to be fair, I’ve only published one so far)

    7)) I hope the Christmas tree is on fire. Or better yet, a drunken jilted stalker has just crashed his car through their picture window, knocking over the tree and starting a fire. That’d be pretty cool. Not much to do with finishing a book, but — it’d be cool.

    8)) And when one finishes a book, one doesn’t go to bed. It’s required that the author party.

  217. gh (FW free for [5] days)
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:32 pm [Reply]

    When I read yesterday’s A3G I ducked behind the blast screen, giggling in delicious anticipation of the eruption of Mt. Margo, and today all we get is self-doubt? What happened to the Margo whose hostility-toward-us-we-do-not-understand (yet savor, oh yes, savor indeed)?

  218. HBGlord
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    #198, 200: I didn’t think it was possible to go over the heads of the most erudite posters on any earthbound blog with my mythological/astronomical reference. I’m especially honored to have stumped you, Poteet. You bring the clever regularly — and bring it hard!

    And to adress the subject at hand, i just love-love-love how the hit-and-run anti-Curmudgeon curmudgeon (whose dubious presence i will not dignify with a post number) just added more fuel to the anti-Foob fire (pun semi-intended). But then, i have a DhP in Reverse Psychology.

    The Foobs — the Foobs — the Foobs are on fire!/We don’t need no water/Let the maple suckers burn!

  219. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:44 pm [Reply]

    #214 AhClem-More information about strap-on beaver tails can be found on the internets…Sorry, friends, but that was a big pinata waiting to be hit without a blindfold.

  220. Calico
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    Michael Foob, note to self – watch the movie “Sideways.”

  221. HBGlord
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:47 pm [Reply]

    “address” (my first typo in several posts)

    #198 — Also, to paraphrase Rudolph the Reindeer With Rosacea: “She thinks i’m clever!”

  222. gnome de blog
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    Poteet (#172, 179, etc.) – You were right the first time. The New Marie resembles a black-haired Poteet Canyon.

    I’ve been a faithful Judge Parker reader for most of the last 50 years, and this is the first time Marie’s being more than background noise. They’re turning her into Abbey’s gal-pal as well as her servant. It’s too bad they never showed the scene where Abbey explained: “Yes, Dear. You have to wear the uniform ALL THE TIME!”

    As for A3G’s Lu Ann, she was supposedly modelled on Tuesday Weld.

    I think Margo is more fabulously successful than she is shown to be. Given Tommie’s and Lu Ann’s limited earning potential and that they seem to live in a pretty tony Manhattan neighborhood, Margo’s picking up most of the rent.

    I also think Tommie is Mary Worth’s long-lost daughter, so what do I know?

  223. jules
    December 20th, 2006 at 1:59 pm [Reply]

    #136 Saxman – beautiful! Can we get Mary Worth set to “The Fish-slapping Dance”? I just wanna see Perfesser Ian Cameron take a salmon to the schnoz. :)

  224. anti-FOOB
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:02 pm [Reply]

    I kind of want to see the Sheliagh manuscript survive, if only to see a later comic featuring a Patterson getting smackdowns from publishers right and left.

  225. Allie Cat
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:06 pm [Reply]

    #208 and #209 – Oh, I really am the luckiest girl in the world!

    Comics Curmudgeon is making this holiday season the best EVER!

    Well, and the fact that Lynn Johnston’s about to burn down Lovey Saltzman’s apartment building. I’ll bet she spends Christmas with the Pattersaints, even though she’s Jewish. It’ll be multi-culti-tastic!

  226. Holy Prepuce
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:08 pm [Reply]

    May I just reiterate Josh’s suggestion that you read Shaenon Garrity’s essay Why I Hate Anthony? It is a meticulously supported, 4000+ word exposition of the author’s personal animosity toward the mustachioed one.

    Of particular quality is point 8, in which Garrity exposes the character of Therese–who continued to work in finance after getting married, did not want children, and expected her husband to play the dominant role in childcare when she did have a child–as a straw villian in Lynn Johnson’s anti-feminist psychodrama.

    Also worthy is point 9, in which Garrity taps into Johnson’s take-home message about youth: that “fulfilling work, . . . exploration of new places and cultures, [and] sexy boyfriends” are mere diversions along the road to “‘real’ adult life: a life as much like her parents’ as possible, complete with prefab house, prefab toddler, and a husband picked out by Mom and Dad.”

  227. jules
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    PS I meant Mary’s cohort Ian Cameron, of course. I wouldn’t care to see our fellow Curmudgeonstani Ian Cameron, PhD, take a salmon to the schnoz.

    Could we get the whole Patterson clan smacked upside the head with a big ole fish?

  228. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:18 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Walter Brennan lookalike, running around feverishly shouting “LUKE THE BARN!, LUKE THE BARN! Sorry, the ol’ snarktrophy is actin’ up again. Will post after it runs it’s course.

  229. willowbarcelona
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:22 pm [Reply]

    #14–Multiple bow downs and scrapings for “Holy Schlitz!”
    #55–Gold, frankincense and myrrh for “The Laying of the Odds”
    #183–Hosannas for “Leon Spinks, DVM”
    and
    #132–Praise Jesus for “ubiquiducks.”

    Santa comes here every day.

  230. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    #205 (Dingo) Sigh… if only they were allowed a flight path over the White House.

    They did, and Cheney shot Rudolph.

  231. Islamorada Girl
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    Foobook: It’s not a fire, it’s the cliched hackneyed prose of Michael’s novel stinking up the joint so intensely it set off the smoke detector.

    I’ve published forty books. some of them real potboilers. Believe me, badly written dreck is noisome enough to set up an alarm. And from what I’ve sampled of Canada’s Sufferin’ Sweetheart, the stench of really, really bad writing is enough to set Oprah’s hair on fire.

  232. man behind the curtain
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:32 pm [Reply]

    A3G — I think about the small things like how long is Margo going to wander the streets of NYC during a blizzard without a hat? And while they’re all out wandering around, who’s taking care of the Xmas party? And is the Professor really away for the holidays or is he just using that as an excuse to get some uninterupted sack time with the lovely Gina?

  233. Justafoob
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:35 pm [Reply]

    mmmmmmmm

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmaybe …… they…….. won’t ……….. hire…………SSSS SSSSSS SSSSSSHHHH …………. Shannon …….. to ……… watch………. the …………. boilers………………. again………………

  234. Harold
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    The Luaga-Denton battle is still raging in The Phantom! Is there some sort of record for the longest sustained fistfight in a comic strip? I want to see Luaga lay A Very Special Beating on Denton next Monday!

  235. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    A Plugger Backup: “BEEP!-BEEP!-BEEP!”

  236. Calico
    December 20th, 2006 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    #234 – Dent…Denton…
    Hmmmm.

  237. Harold
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    #152 Allie Cat, the Arrested Development reference you are waiting for was made by Mibbitmaker yesterday on the “Slo-mo” post:
    http://joshreads.com/?p=880#comment-124348

    Perhaps a “Mibbit” is “An Arrested Development reference”?

  238. Grackle J. McBittern, Esq.
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    #234: Yeah, the fight in “The Phantom” is almost reaching the epic length of the one between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David in “They Live.”

  239. hogenmogen
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    I read the new issue of Time Magazine last night. The “Person of the Year” is … YOU! I mean, collectively, we all are “Persons of the Year”. After that yawn-inducing premise, I have to admit that they did a pretty good job explaining themselves and providing examples of how various user-content web sites have grown and altered the course of events (bearing some rehash of the 1000′s of articles in the late 90′s blathering on about how the internet was going to change my life blah blah blah). But the reason I’m posting this was that in their myriad of shout-outs to various web-sites, I was half expecting this site to have received some kind of write up. No. Josh, you wuz robbed. On the lighter side, we’re still gleefully cult-ish.

  240. Plugged Nickle
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    Top ten Pluggers of 2006.

    Shoot me now.

    Please.

    Just shoot me.

    Before the top ten Mallardisms are published.

  241. hogenmogen
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    #234 – Harold – leave Phantom alone. The fights in Spiderman are lamer, run longer and frequently end with no resolution.

  242. bitter law student
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Why does June’s face turn into a stunned Peanut’s character in panel three? Could it be shock at Rex slapping himself across the face (you know, just to feel SOMETHING) so hard that he’s falling over?

  243. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    #239 (hm) I read the new issue of Time Magazine last night. The “Person of the Year” is … YOU!

    That is so going on my resume…

  244. Dennis Jimenez
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    A plugger looks at Time magazines person of the year every morning as he brushes his tooth.

  245. Heckler123
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:53 pm [Reply]

    Uncle Lumpy has inspired me to plagiar…uhm, compose a poem. While I cannot hope to match his aptitude at verse, I tried my best.

    The Ballad of Rusty

    Once upon a cold night dreary, while I traveled, tired and weary,
    Over many a quaint and rutted trail carved out in days of yore,
    While Mark drove the road before us, suddenly in the Lost Forest,
    Was a beaver (perhaps napping?), napping on the forest floor.
    “‘Tis some rodent,” low I muttered, “lying on the forest floor.”
    Just some beaver, nothing more.”

    But this Castor Canadensis seemed to be hurt, almost senseless.
    By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
    “Though thy paw be torn and bloody, thou,“ I swore, “shalt be my buddy.
    Chased by lynx, injured, and muddy; yet I see thine eyes implore.
    Tell me, beaver, shall I give thee rescue from the forest floor?”
    Quoth the beaver, “My foot’s sore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
    “Doubtless,” said I, “this poor creature’s few words hint at something more.
    Cast out by his heartless mother, spurned and harmed by many others,
    Yet I’ll keep thee warmly covered, ‘til the vet checks out your sores.
    ‘Tis just a flesh wound, nothing more.”

    So the beaver, started feeling better each day, quickly healing.
    Mark and I were pleased to see him gaining strength and doing more.
    “Lucky beaver,” said I, grinning, “This will be a new beginning.
    I’ll release you – you start swimming, toward the beavers on yon shore.”
    Yet I wonder, shall he seek me, as he did in days of yore?
    Quoth the beaver, “Nevermore.”

  246. comicsn00b
    December 20th, 2006 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    I just learned that the Pluggers guy did illustrations for Bob Woodward’s book about the CIA, as well as for “A Cartoon History of the Reagan Years” and “A Cartoon History of US Foreign Policy”. I’m sort of doubting his commitment to the Pluggers lifestyle now.

  247. Basil Wrathbone
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    I think that Baseless Vendetta would be a great name for a Siouxsee and the Banshees cover band.

    I’m honored that people want to steal “ubiquiducks.” Please do. I’m still not sure if they symbolize orgasm(s) or “some sex thing.” I’m thinking they are an indictment of modern society and individual reluctance to get involved in the lives of others. Either that, or Elrod just really likes to draw ducks.

  248. Uncle Lumpy
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    #245 Heckler123 -

    Lovely!

    And a most excellent Monty Python shout-out!

    But beware! You have chosen a path that leads to a 4 AM bourbon-and-No Doz®-besotted stinking funk as you agonize over the right preposition to link “crocs” and “zebras” in the middle of a torrent of drivel that just will – - not – - end!

    Not, of course, that I would know anything about that.

  249. Harold
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    #234 – hogenmogen, I mean no disrespect to Lee Falk’s creation! I’m lovin’ it, and I always have! (Even during the bizarre “Adventure in America/Back to Bangalla for a day to find nothing’s happening/Back to America for another adventure” storyline a few years back.) I hope this fight goes on, and on!

    But are we seeing a new trend in comics where the lead character is stepping to the background and letting secondary (or lower) characters carry the story? The Phantom has become Lamanda Luaga’s Fists of Justice, Mark Trail is now True Beaver Romance Stories, Luann is Little Puddles in Slumberland, and Mary Worth has become Ella Byrd, Psychic Meddler. Rex Morgan, M.D. is making his first appearance in his own strip in weeks, and I don’t even remember the last time I saw Apartment 3-G featured! (Or was that just the other day?)

  250. Gal Friday
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:10 pm [Reply]

    #79 and #129 yes, key point: which comic character will learn the true meaning of Christmas first?

    Puddles?
    Gary Dent?
    Michael of FOOB?
    Margo?
    Rex Morgan?
    The Beavers?

  251. Gal Friday
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    #182 A3G When I began reading A3G in the 70s (I was a kid!), Tommie was a nurse, Lu Ann was a teacher and Margo was an executive secretary who later became a talent agent. And my mom told me that Lu Ann was once married to some guy who died–is that true?

    Where is the Professor these days?

  252. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    Heckler- Well done, well done, indeed Sir! “Theodore” would have worked nicely in there somewhere, but still, I give you an A.

  253. Marion Delgado
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    As you know, http://www.geocities.com/marion_delgado/foob_backstory.gif , I maintain that April and Liz have been molested constantly by “Trainman.” This, Liz will finally realize, is why she can’t have a relationship with a man at this point in her life, if at all.

    Hence, my money is on newly-widowed and obviously bi Deanna and Liz relationshipping. Lynn abandons all resistance to feminism and even Therese comes back, kills Anthony, and becomes the antihero of the closing weeks of FBOFW.

    For better!

  254. zeeba
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    179 (Poteet). Actually, I think the new Marie in JP looks like Bitsy Beakman (or Beekman) from Steve Canyon–the girl pilot and she had freckles across her nose. Did Poteet Canyon have freckles, too? I’m not remembering. I know Summer Canyon did not.

  255. Marion Delgado
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    By the way, foobsters, I claim dibs on calling Dad Foob “Trainman” and on calling April’s band “Foobistank”

  256. Marion Delgado
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:25 pm [Reply]

    btw what do people think of this (found through google ads)?

    http://www.thebook.co.za/cgi-bin/home.cgi?josh

    weird is what methinks.

  257. Howard Erk
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    #256

    Oh great, a plug for a homosexual bible.

    Thanks.

  258. Josh
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:30 pm [Reply]

    #251 — yes, Lu Ann is a widow. Her husband was a fighter pilot and was killed after being shot down in the Vietnam War. This means that she probably has some kind of military pension to supplement her meager artist’s income. It also means that, at minimum, she is 53 years old.

    Josh

  259. MossMoses
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:37 pm [Reply]

    The Charterstone hallway board meeting reminds me a lot of this image from the first ChiComm reader I had when I started studying Chinese. Picture Gary Dent pointing a rifle rather than his finger and Professor Ian Cameron and Mary Worth as the proud, defiant villagers. I would photoshop their heads on it myself if I knew how…

    http://www.casagrau.org/~mondalep-phd/MaryWorth/CharterstoneStandoff.jpg

  260. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    #256 Marion Delgado: What is Longstreet without James Franciscus?

  261. Len
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    Lucky Beaver’s chosen life-mate should be called Castoria. When she has kits, the eldest will be Waldorf.

    Those sexual ubiquiducks are freaking me out. But perhaps they’re related to Mallard? If the beavers were being observed by RAVENS, we’d know that they were the objects of Odin’s attention, and Lucky/ Theodore would break into Wagnerian song periodically. Kill the dragon, li’l beaver!

  262. Saxman
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    258

    #251 — yes, Lu Ann is a widow. Her husband was a fighter pilot and was killed after being shot down in the Vietnam War.

    Riddle me this.

    If the strip debuted in 1961, the pilot couldn’t have been killed in Vietnam (hmmm, unless he was *French*). Or was he originally a Korean War vet or something. Maybe the whole strip has been retconned several times and he is now a Gulf War vet. Possibly when they got the makeover and stopped showing so much lingerie.

    In a fit of Christmas cynicism, I can’t help taking this line of reasoning to the ultimate conclusion and wondering if the strip is still around in 20 more years, will he be a vet killed in the Second Venezualean War or something.

    Anyway, this musing is all just a prelude for my latest theory, which is if Ms. Powers is really in a haunted apartment, maybe this is the set up for the ultimate seance with Ryder as the spirit guide while she tries to contact her husband.

    Now that would be entertainment!

  263. HBGlord
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:53 pm [Reply]

    #260 — Answer: A damn sight worse!

    I’ll let myself out.

  264. Wheeliedude
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    And I see that Michael is eating Insta Soup.

  265. Steve S
    December 20th, 2006 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    I can’t believe it took me two days to notice that Michael has no legs in the final panel and is a floating torso in the doorway.

  266. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:05 pm [Reply]

    I once met a man from Lost Forest/
    Who’s sole intention was to bore us/
    He sat down to chat/
    In some fresh beaver scat/
    “I’m inane, yes indeed, but you cannot impede/
    …Oh, shit, I can’t find my Thesaurus!

  267. Dean Booth
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:09 pm [Reply]

    FBOW: A few years ago at work we had a meeting to decide on the destination of a department outing. Someone suggested a comedy club, and Chet, an aspiring novelist, tried to veto the idea because the comedy club was “too blue.” He later relented, saying “Maybe I can use the experience in my novel!” …I think that’s the kind of writer Mike is.

    Also, I bet they have those special holiday smoke alarms that go “Ho, ho, ho!” when they detect a fire.

  268. HBGlord
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    #267: …or the presence of Rebeccccccah.

  269. Mushuweasel
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    #29 Elizabeth:

    Damn you. Now I’m going to have to find a reliable Slylock archive and waste the rest of my afternoon. My manager thanks you too… Did Christmas come early at your house?

  270. Old Fogeyette
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    heckler123 (245): Great POEem! Thanks from all us Theodore fans.

  271. Len
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:45 pm [Reply]

    In “Ink Pen,” the mischievious Moxie is sent for retraining… and her teacher is… Leapin’ lizards! can it be?

    http://www.gocomics.com/inkpen/2006/12/20/

  272. HBGlord
    December 20th, 2006 at 5:55 pm [Reply]

    #271 — I’ll answer your question with a question: Who has one student but no pupils?

  273. AhClem
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    #250 — Add the kids in “Stone Soup” to the list of those learning the “True Message of Christmas.”

    http://www.gocomics.com/stonesoup/

  274. Charlotte
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:02 pm [Reply]

    From wikipedia (re: Lyme Disease): “The disease varies widely in its presentation, which may include a rash and flu-like symptoms in its initial stage, followed by musculoskeletal, arthritic, neurologic, psychiatric and/or cardiac manifestations.”

    Margo – spotted, moody and looking slightly palsied in today’s comic

  275. Victor Von
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    When I saw “Mark Trail”‘s third panel, I literally thought pterodactyl sized ducks were swooping down to devour the helpless beavers. God help me, I actually thought that was the next dramatic turn.

    Accurate? No. But awesome? Oh yes, awesome.

  276. queek
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    209: “vendettas need bases?”

    “all of your vendettas are belong to us”

    (sorry, but someone had to do it. . . )

  277. Gatormom
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    FOOB and the “Why I Hate Anthony” essay:
    One of the salient points is that Lynn apparently thinks working women are evil. Shame on the career woman.

    Note, however, that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in her blasted studio is … FEMALE. What’s she do, fire them when they get knocked up?

    http://www.fborfw.com/behind_the_scenes/studio/

  278. Gal Friday
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:47 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: Does “THUQ” rhyme with “MARGO”?

    #258–thanks, Josh.

  279. Gal Friday
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:49 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: I think the Michael-manuscript-burning is LJ’s sly way of distracting us from the coming sucker punch that will be Granthony proposing to Liz and her accepting.

  280. Ribinin
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    The ubiquiducks are actually the newest model Predator drone operated by the CIA. There is a terrorist training camp somewhere in Lost Forest.

  281. Scurvy
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    Once the smoke clears, and Michael examines the charred ruins of his former life (Deanna and kids grinning Foobishly) he will begin the downward spiral into alcoholism and severe disapointmen thus causing him to “pull a Hemingway”

  282. Professor Membrane
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    FBOFW: Of course the smell of smoke and the shrieking fire alarm means Santa’s coming! Santa rides a chariot pulled by fire breathing dragons, don’t you know. Oh, wait. That’s Medea.

  283. Gal Friday
    December 20th, 2006 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    #282 If only Michael would eat his young ‘uns!

  284. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    # 202 — Old Fogeyette, a kind thought, but I’m certain our beaver isn’t Lucky Theodore. MT says that Lucky and his bride have found the perfect place, and our land is a small native-ecosystem island in an ocean of corn which would thrill only an insane beaver. I’m sure the newlyweds are in a much better location, and I hope Elrod will leave them there in peace.

    # 217 — gh, how are you feeling? Any shakes, lightheadedness, or other withdrawal symptoms? Any regrets? Or an enormous feeling of joy and relief? Or both? Inquiring CCs want to know!

    # 218 — Thank you, HBGlord, and I’m glad you saw my belated head-slap-of-revelation. Please continue to give us the astronomical/mythological point of view — this blog is amazingly educational.

    Come to think of it, maybe there is some unfortunate goddess/muse amid the mythological panoply whom Michael intended to address, and it was that understandably-infuriated diety who cast down a lightning bolt and started the fire.

  285. Pendragon
    December 20th, 2006 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    Qlunq and Thuq are a shout-out to Dick Tracy’s Inuit readership. But it is a terrible thing to say about someone’s mother.

  286. fuzzmaster
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    Re Luann: Is the lesson Puddles is learning that Santa outsources gift-giving for animals?

  287. MrP
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    Though I think it’s possible that this was said already, I can’t be bothered to read through nearly 300 comments, so I’ll just say it:

    “And they are both excited to be with each other… BUT THEN OH NO GIANT DUCKS RUN BEAVERS RUN TOO LATE YOU’RE DUCK FOOD NOW!”

  288. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    # 221 — HB, you’re identifying snarky me with that cute little doe who sings “There’s always tomorrow?” Aww, kind AND clever.

    # 222 — Thanks, gnome. Yes, this new Marie may have a great new life ahead of her, at least by JP standards (har).

    # 245 — Heckler, having just written a stomach-flu version of a Christmas song for my ailing sister, I know it’s hard enough to rhyme and scan something very simple. But Poe? Wow. I wave my Maumee booster flag wildly in your honor.

    # 247 — Basil, allow me to add one more huzzah for “ubiquiducks.”

    # 254 — Zeeba, thanks. I cannot for the life of me remember what Bitsy Beekman looks like, and have had no luck finding her image on the you-know-what. But I can believe you, especially given that the nice girls in STEVE CANYON look somewhat alike (as opposed to the bad girls like Copper Calhoon). Come to think of it, Caniff really did like those double-vowel names.

  289. Irion
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:28 pm [Reply]

    The story line in FBOFW is so contrived that I hope the smoke Mike smells is Lynn Johnston’s hair on fire.

  290. Brendan
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    Why I hate Anthony? Confessing your attraction to a woman who was nearly just raped, after she’s arguably indebted with you for stopping the rape, is about the sleaziest thing I can think of. After that, there’s no way I can really believe in a Liz/Anthony relationship.

    That said, I honestly hope Michael can save his manuscript, no matter how shitty it is. I mean, come on, a lost manuscript isn’t something you throw around casually.

  291. dramashoes
    December 20th, 2006 at 8:51 pm [Reply]

    I have a theory about Mike’s manuscript. It’s actually his entry for National Novel Writing Month. He’s such a jack ball that it’s taken him ten years to finish what he was supposed to do in one month. It’s an unreadable piece of stinking offal, just like my NaNoWriMo book. But unlike me, Mike thinks that his is worth publishing, because mama Elly raised him with unhealthy levels of self-esteem. So after he saves the work from the fire (and you know he will), he’ll capture the love of several million readers with passages like:
    “My boxcar was filled with doughnuts. Why does the spider grumble? Who put pool cues in the pencil sharpener? These are the rain carcasses that bloat our mystical chewy campfire with glistening peals of necrotic thunder. Sheilagh sighed heavily, a meaningful sigh fraught with madcap distress, and took another drink from the frosty beer mug sitting in front of her at the bar where she happened to be sitting that day.”
    What can I say? Once I realized that the house fire isn’t going to kill anybody, I abandoned hope. FBOFW isn’t even worth making fun of in a way that makes sense anymore.

  292. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    #291 dramashoes-High-five for “jack ball” …Is NICE!

  293. MossMoses
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:35 pm [Reply]

    Ella really must be clairvoyant. Otherwise, how would she know that Gary Dent’s wife discovered his affair? When he left her condo, he advised her not to tell his wife, implying that she did not know about it. It doesn’t help for her to blab about his AFFAIR in front of all those nosy gossiping busybodies either, but I guess since they hold board meetings in the hallway that is okay too.

  294. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    Sherman, set the way-back machine to post #72-
    Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener! …Mmmmm, Sacralicious!…Gggrrrwwwwl-l-l.

  295. yellojkt
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    I would hate to be Lynnion on a communal heavy flow day. Especially with the BossFoob in her twentieth year of hot flashes.

    It amazes me that there is more originality and humor in any given day’s worth of foob-bashing around here than in a year’s worth of the Woes of Lake Milborough

  296. Citric
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    Mallard Fillmore, that is not a cow, that’s a lesser anteater with horns glued on. There’s a difference.

  297. Artist Formerly Known as Ben
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Josh’s theory is being borne out. I’m trying to think of a medical professional with less compassion. At least Hannibal Lecter could feel for West Virginia white trash.

  298. King Folderol
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:37 pm [Reply]

    It occurs to me that Michael’s “TICK-TAPPITA-TICK-TAPP-TAPPITA TAP-TICK TAPP-TICK-TAP, TAP-TICK” is reminiscent of Rosie O’Donnell’s “Ching chong ching chong. Danny DeVito, ching chong, chong, chong, chong. Drunk. ‘The View.’ Ching chong” comments on “The View.”

  299. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:49 pm [Reply]

    Foob — This is a shout-out to any Curmudgeons who also hate Michael more than any other Foobian, including Granthony. I have a bad feeling that this fire will turn Michael into a hero, martyr, or both, and I really don’t want to have to screech, foam at the mouth, kick holes in walls, etc. I need to know in advance that you, the other Michael-haters, will be there to share and help express this white-hot loathing, this overwhelming hostility, this feeling of.the deepest possible contempt, this utter…

    Oh, great. Now Lynn’s stupid strip has turned me into Margo.

  300. Red Greenback
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    Fe-Fe-Fi-Fi-Fo-Fo-Fum/
    I smell smoke in the Foobatorium.
    Neddie Brown/ was flushed down.
    Neddie Brown/ he did rebound!
    Well he’s gonna get caught, just you wait and see!
    “I’m a futility symbol, you got nuthin’ on me.”
    .
    .. (I’m no CC Laureate like Uncle Lumpy, but my feet are long fellows)

  301. dramashoes
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    #299: I’m here for you Poteet. My unbridled hate for the abomination of a man that is Michael Patterson shall enfold us both in a black cloud of seething animosity. In fact, you know that stuff in the back of the Satanic Bible? Can you use those on comic strip characters, or is that against the rules? What about the Necronomicon? I’d love to see Yog-Sothoth swallow Michael whole.

  302. Fred P.
    December 20th, 2006 at 10:58 pm [Reply]

    “(seriously, go the FBOFW webstie and read the bios of the various characters-even the minor characters who haven’t been shown in 75 years”

    Lyman Returns (comment one thirty something)- I really like you post. Especially if the term “webstie” was an intentional misspelling on your part- to be read as “sty” as in “pigsty”. Because if so, that’s exactly my reaction too, to Ms. Johnston’s horrid horrid foobiverse of porcinthropoids

  303. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    # 301 — BWAHAHAHA! Thank you, Dramashoes, that was great. I feel much better now. Probably only until I get access to the 12/21 strip, but for now, my body has unclenched.

  304. Poteet
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    # 300 — Red, I like it.

  305. zeeba
    December 20th, 2006 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    #262 A3G History: I was just a little 7 year old zeeba when I started reading the comic pages. I remember when Lu Ann’s husband was shot down in Vietnam. It was in the summer of 66, so the time frame is right. It was the saddest thing I’d ever read in the comic pages until Aldo of this year. (even shed little zeeba tears, even though Lu Ann’s husband I don’t think was ever pictured). It bugged me years later when the new writers referred to her as Miss Powers, when in fact, she is still Mrs. Powers, a widow.

  306. Heckler123
    December 21st, 2006 at 12:10 am [Reply]

    Thanks for the favorable comments on my poetic efforts. I got kudos from the biggies – even Uncle Lumpy himself. I am not worthy….

    Regarding FBoFW – Just when I was starting to become jaded about Christmas, I saw that Santa apparently torched the Pattersons’ apartment. The only thing that could make it more intoxicating for me would be to see Edmund Gwenn’s cane resting against the smoldering remains of the stairwell. It would be a Christmas miracle!

  307. Poteet
    December 21st, 2006 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    12/21

    MT — If only I could just relax and enjoy this beaver bucolic bliss. Instead, I’m nervously waiting for Elrod to drop the bomb. At this point, I’m guessing it will be an irate landowner with a tree fetish. I say that somewhat bitterly because in the Midwest, invasive trees need to be cut to save endangered prairies and wetlands, but trying to convince the public of that is uphill work.

  308. Poteet
    December 21st, 2006 at 12:43 am [Reply]

    12/21

    A3G — So where ARE the bulging shopping bags? Floating overhead?

    JP — Having been gently chastized for my criticism of the new Sophie, I shall keep quiet about my opinion of today’s Neddy. I shall learn to accept the changing of these characters as I accept the changing of the seasons, and true enough, winter starts this week.

  309. Merdz
    December 21st, 2006 at 12:44 am [Reply]

    Of course the manuscript is a key. The laptop keyboard is just a bunch of popcorn.

  310. Red Greenback
    December 21st, 2006 at 12:46 am [Reply]

    Poteet, me too! I’m so into this “beavers in love, ducks fly above” scenario…I really dread the “JACK BALL”(thanks, dramashoes!) falling on this bucolic wonderland.

  311. alamo
    December 21st, 2006 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    The smoke is from the cigarette that Lucky is smoking after consummating his excitement with his new playmate.
    even odds!

  312. Poteet
    December 21st, 2006 at 1:20 am [Reply]

    12/21

    FBOFW — What the (Margo) does Michael think he’s….no, no, let me look at this differently.

    Okay, so now I know tomorrow will bring a veritable feast of Foob commentary. Yes, that’s it. And I shall wander amid the various beautiful steaming hot dishes with their piquant and savory odors, mentally blessing Joshreads and all who sail in her. Yes indeed.

  313. mfdshan
    December 21st, 2006 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    #308
    At the rate that the artwork is devolving, in about another week, JP will make the monkeys of (DT)GT look like supermodels.

  314. Poteet
    December 21st, 2006 at 1:37 am [Reply]

    # 310 — “Jack Ball” — yes, I forgot that’s the right term. Thanks, Red, for reminding me. And your gentle description is so apt. Beavers in love, ducks fly above…why can’t it always be like this?

  315. Mibbitmaker
    December 21st, 2006 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    #237: Thanks, Harold. Allie Cat made a huge mistake. I was crying in the shower about it, too… until I realized: I’m going to get a $100.00 suit all wet? COME ON! Okay, that was aliiiiittle cornball.

    And, no, “Mibbit” isn’t an “Arrested Development” reference, just cartoons I draw. (practically the only thing in this post that’s not an AD reference)

  316. SelfCalledNowhere
    December 21st, 2006 at 1:50 am [Reply]

    Am I the only one who read today’s Funky Winkerbean, or am I just the only one who wants to admit it? Poor John. He broke a sweat walking into a hospital. When is he going to have a heart attack and die, leaving the Winkerverse without a comic shop? Oh, the tragedy.

  317. King Folderol
    December 21st, 2006 at 7:34 am [Reply]

    #312 – That’s a pretty great lesson Mike’s teaching his impressionable kids. Not to mention the trauma they’ll wind up with if Mike does indeed die in this fire.

  318. MsChicken
    December 21st, 2006 at 7:55 am [Reply]

    As a Jewess, I shouldn’t care about the existence of Santa Claus, and yet when I visit this site, I think “He IS real!”

    This is where I come to share in the loathing of the Foobiverse, and where I know that Josh and all commenters will list its countless failings with care. You will know that it is a cigar that sets the house alight as mr downstairs neighbor falls alseep in his chair, having worn himself out from a day of thumping on the ceiling with a broom. You will observe the sheer idiocy of Michael’s exclamations, not to mention puzzle at the way in which he completes a manuscript, and then seems to have more interest in preserving the physical draft than in, well, backing the f*&^ing thing up. Why he was not holding a flashdrive in his hand, intending to carry it with him whereever he go lest his house go up in flames (as I did upon ‘finishing’ my diss) tells me he deserves whatever is coming.

    And what is coming? Well, I would wish that Granthony would rush into the building after Michael and return with Michael snuggled in his arms (with ma and pa foob wondering where Paul was in a tiresomely pointed way) but let’s face it: unless the strip itself goes up in flames in some sort of self-aware gesture to its own suckiness, my wishes are not coming true.

    So Santa Claus will have to exist here, where we all join together to hate on the Pattersons and their perversely ardent embrace of all that is pedestrian.

  319. MsChicken
    December 21st, 2006 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    I’d also like to add– in my apparently endless quest to heap my disdain on the foobiverse in the hope that it eventually crumbles:

    If Michael were at the “oh muse… sweet smell of success” point of having “finished,” this would mean that there were enough drafts of the novel printed out that they could serve as the papier mache base of Granthony’s full-scale model of lower Canada.

    And as to the “how to act in an emergency” comments: Damn skippy you don’t ask toddlers to get their coats and boots and whatever else unless you expect the child to burn as they go scurrying for the emergency gear of tutu and fluffy slippers. Jeez, if they haven’t encountered actual children, has noone in foobville seen “Kindergarten Cop”?

  320. True Fable
    December 21st, 2006 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    Sign me up too, Poteet. I used to like Michael when I was what, twelve? Now I hate just about everyone in the Fooberverse except Paul, and if he doesn’t ride off into the sunset with a cute Mitigawki honey instead of getting sucked into the Pooterson household of trauma, I’ll end up hating him too.

    Look it up in Dante’s Inferno. I’m sure that the fifth level of Hell is identified as being on the Patterson’s block.

  321. mattt
    December 21st, 2006 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Wow, thanks Josh and everybody for all the background info on the A3G gals. You sure know your A3G! I’ll let you decide how good that is.

  322. cheech wizard
    December 21st, 2006 at 10:06 am [Reply]

    288 – Poteet: You can’t remember what your BEST FRIEND looked like? I’m sure Bitsy would be very hurt if she knew. At least, I think they were best friends, in an odd-couple type of way. She was way tomboyish and plain Jane, always in a white t-shirt and leather flying jacket, and wore a Confederate-type cap. I seem to recall she also had Princess Leia-type braids on the sides of her head.

    As a tomboy, Bitsy never had any romantic pursuers, except for the time she was taken hostage by some desperate type who forced her at gunpoint to fly them way out into the boonies somewhere. But he told her, “I love you.”

    Right before the state cops drilled him between the eyes. And Margo thinks she has it rough.

  323. SmartPeopleOnIce
    December 21st, 2006 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    #297 (AFKAB) At least Hannibal Lecter could feel for West Virginia white trash.

    snarf!

  324. Poteet
    December 21st, 2006 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    # 322 — Arrgh, this is so embarrassing. Bitsy, wherever you are, I do apologize. Thanks for the memories, Cheech. Somewhere, somehow, I’ll find Bitsy again.

  325. cheech wizard
    December 21st, 2006 at 5:14 pm [Reply]

    Ahh, it’s not so bad. At least you had a friend you could rely on. All I had was a stuffed lizard on a cart. Though I mighta had something to do with how he got there.

  326. PurpleMartin
    December 21st, 2006 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    FOOB: Even I was smart enough when I wrote a book to make sure there was an off-site copy available, I even carried a disc on me for months until I found a place online to store the files.

    Is that photo albums in her arms too? I guess she had time to go dig those out of the cabinet too after she got the kids fully dressed.

    By the way, Ive always taken the side of the supposely “horrid Kelpfroths, and their ever present broom pounding on the ceiling”. Ever live in a thin-walled apartment underneath kids pounding around on the floor upstairs? Its a nightmare if the kids are not properly behaved, forget any sleep and peace. I wonder why Lynn cant imagine that there may be an apartment dweller or two who is ON THEIR SIDE?

    Oh well if the fire’s isnt too bad, maybe it means at least they will finally move out.

  327. Frank Drackman
    December 21st, 2006 at 7:19 pm [Reply]

    Panel 4 of FBOW has got to be the gayest panel in comics history.

  328. blase
    December 22nd, 2006 at 1:01 am [Reply]

    I for one would love to see this “ginormous ubiquiducks” symbolism become more widely incorporated into the cultural lexicon. Just imagine, ubiquiducks on “Congratulations on your Engagement” greeting cards. Grownups could knowingly nudge-wink at the symbolism of the “impending act” during prime time TV shows, while the kiddies would just assume there’s a pair of ginormous ducks flying above. (…That’s assuming there are still innocent kiddies around in this day and age.)

  329. John Davis
    December 22nd, 2006 at 4:04 pm [Reply]

    I bet Mike dies. The fam’s been having a crap run as of late.

  330. Craig Shergold
    December 23rd, 2006 at 11:09 pm [Reply]

    18: Which big guy? The giant squirrel? Deer? Elk? Moose? Beaver butt? Kelly? Snake/Jake? Hermit crab?

  331. Craig Shergold
    December 24th, 2006 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    114: In Canada that would be hate speech, and thus unprintable.

  332. sarah
    December 26th, 2006 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    Why doesn’t Michael have a computer? In what time does this comicstrip take place?!

  333. Emily
    December 26th, 2006 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    “I took a bite out of Michael Patterson’s novel. It was a cookie full of arsenic.”
    —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

    (Happy holidays everyone—I hereby declare myself unlurked!)

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    Mr. Jones obviously kept changing the fish’s water and cleaning its bowl. He’s going to need some therapy.

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