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Apartment 3-G, 7/26/07

I know you’re not supposed to think about Apartment 3-G too much, but I can’t help it; it’s what I do. So I’ve been thinking, and I’ve got some questions. Here are the starters: Did Lu Ann and Alan rekindle their love on the adjustable bed in her shared hospital room? Does Lu Ann not realize that Alan’s the one who set her up with the poorly ventilated studio in the first place? Did Alan do it deliberately because he likes his girlfriends dumb, and somehow pre-carbon-monoxide-poisoning Lu Ann wasn’t dumb enough? Was Ghost Albert Pinkham Ryder, whose phantasmagorical svengalisms we had to endure for months and months, entirely a product or Lu Ann’s oxygen-starved brain cells? Are we going to have to endure some kind of carbon-monoxide-poisoning-awareness storyline for months and months? Will there be a telethon? Will Margo plan the telethon? Is “Yay, you may or may not have permanent brain damage” the most gruesome theme for a party ever? Is that why Margo looks so chipper in panel one?

Speaking of Margo (and God yes let’s speak of Margo instead of Lu Ann “Cascade of Noble Tears” Powers), in panel one you can sort of see around Lu Ann’s addled head that our favorite bun-headed brunette is being sized up by cousin Blaze. In a storyline from several years ago, back when she was pretending to be a publicity agent in an attempt to meet a rich man instead of pretending to be an event planner in an attempt to meet a rich man, Margo was supposed to be doing publicity for an off-off-Broadway play Blaze wrote or was directing or producing or something (yes, he’s not just a moron who wanders around wearing ludicrous cowboy clothes, he’s also involved in the legitimate theater!). Only Margo got distracted by something — I don’t remember what, it was probably a rich man or a shiny object or her reflection in the mirror — and she completely forgot to do any publicity at all, and the play flopped. Naturally Blaze was somewhat peeved. Presumably Margo has now completely forgotten who Blaze is, but I’m hoping he’s is sitting there in a state of cat-like readiness, awaiting the perfect moment to lunge and strangle her. And then the noble tears will really start flowing.

B.C., 7/26/07

I don’t believe that fruitcake actually exists. I suppose there are still physical fruitcakes here and there, but I think those real-world manifestations of this traditional holiday treat are hugely outnumbered by jokes about their inedibility, told by and laughed at by an audience that for the most part has never seen one. I accept that ritualized jokes like these, ones everyone gets even though they’re several steps removed from the thing being joked about, are part of the landscape of humor, but in this case part of the ritual is that you make the joke at Christmas time, not in the last week of fucking July.

See, this is why zombie B.C. pisses me off much, much more now than it did when Johnny Hart was writing it and reminding me that I was going to hell. At least then I could say, “Oh, it’s the idiosyncratic output of a somewhat deranged old man who’s been doing this so long he’s in his own little world.” Whereas now I have to imagine the current team saying, “They’ll run this crap for decades no matter how nonsensical the jokes. Ka-ching! Tee time, everybody!”

For Better Or For Worse, 7/26/07

Helpful tip to MCs everywhere: if you have to explicitly tell everyone that the event you’re MCing is great, it’s probably not actually great. (This does not apply to hip-hop MCs, since boasting of one’s own greatness is an well-established convention of the genre.)

Given the strip’s recent unsettling obsession with bathroom matters, I’m a little anxious about the “#2” on the wall in the third panel. Hopefully Gerald has not just interrupted April in the telethon’s poopatorium.

Gil Thorp, 7/26/07

Coach Kaz is going to jump at the chance to switch careers; after all, he’s a coach at a public school, and they have all these liberal namby-pamby rules now that say you’re not allowed punch your students in the face. Since he’s being hired for a delicate and sensitive position based entirely on his proven ability to hand out savage beatdowns, I look forward to the shocking climax of this storyline, in which “Thorpstock” becomes synonymous with “Altamont.”

Mary Worth, 7/26/07

For a brief moment, Wilbur demonstrates that he’s well aware of the thick, choking layer of anguish that is the atmosphere of Planet Weston. But he’s so used to life at the bottom of the well of despair that he sees even the tiniest flicker of happiness as a threat that must be brought to light and then destroyed.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 7/26/07

Ha ha! Snuffy Smith got mauled by a bear! Good times.