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Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/29/07

Ha ha! Awww, Rex doesn’t like mean ol’ Hugh! Rex thinks Hugh’s a bad son! Plus Hugh was not nice to Rex! So Rex has busted out the angry face! It’s OK, Rex, it’s OK, Heather’s got the situation in hand now. Put down the celery before you hurt somebody with it.

Archie, 5/29/07

That Archie! You can totally tell why all the girls are always fighting over him. He’s thrown into a state of naked panic and despair whenever he has to make the simple kinds of choices necessary to function as a human being in society! Speaking of which…

For Better Or For Worse, 5/29/07

For whatever reason — residual affection for a strip I liked in my youth, some vague desire to keep a hold of my dignity — I always feel like I need to step back from full-throated Foob hate, so I’ll try to keep this as rational as possible. It is, in fact, true that buying a house a huge leap, a stressful responsibility. It’s natural to worry that, if your financial situation changes, you might not only lose the house, but all the money you’ve invested in it to that point — a worry that might be all the keener if a big part of your income comes from freelancing and is thus not predictable. And then there are the little costs, like maintenance, that would normally be your landlord’s responsibility that suddenly you have to cover. It’s a Big Deal.

And yet exactly none of this has actually been discussed in the strip. We don’t know why Mikey is so freaked out about buying the house; as far as I can tell, he’s just sitting under some kind of smoldering cloud of existential dread about it. It’s not like he even really had to decide to do it — with the fire and his parents’ machinations, it’s like the choice was made for him! (In real life, this could of course be the very cause of his unease, but again if that’s the case, nothing has been said to that effect.) Today we learn that Mike is in such a state about the prospect of property ownership that he wants to punish his body until his mind shuts down. The turn to booze and drugs is inevitable. If Mike spends all his days in the coming frozen-in-time version of the strip in some sort of dreamy opium haze, every Foob outrage we have suffered to this point will have been worth it.

Judge Parker, 5/29/07

If you’re sympathizing with Sam’s hair-pulling panic in panel three (“The ladies, they’ll just go out with that credit card and come back with three new dresses they don’t need! And an apartment in Paris! Am I right, fellas?”), I must remind you that all of the fabulous wealth that keeps this motley family in the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed at stately Spencer Farms is Abbey’s (inherited, I believe). Perhaps he’s worried that any pinch on the family finances will reveal that his claims to be contributing with his big-shot lawyer’s salary have been nothing but lies. I’ve been reading this strip for two and a half years and I haven’t witnessed anything from him that might qualify as a billable hour.