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Judge Parker, 12/13/05

There have been plenty of vile romances in the soap opera strips over the past few years, but the clumsy flirting in this strip is ickier than most. The ape-faced Judge Parker Jr. clearly believes that his clever chopstick gambit marks him out as a definite señor smoothie. Meanwhile, I can’t decide if April in panel three is supposed to be gazing dreamily at our crimson-oversized-sweatshirted lothario (and setting him up for the weird eye-gouging fetish he’s going to have to deal with in their inevitable post-married life) or just bored beyond comprehension (and thinking of jabbing herself with pointy things just to stay awake).

Incidentally, I know it’s just terrifically overdone shadowing, but the poor girl looks like she has more hair on her hands than Wilbur Weston.