Apartment 3-G, 1/3/08
The submissive dialog in panel one of this strip seems to indicate that Eric has at last perfected his greatest creation: the Margo-bot 4000, an automaton with all of the external characteristics of a Margo but none of the sass or lip. Why one would want a Margo with no sass or lip is, of course, a puzzle, which may explain why the sexy cyberfemale is already starting in with the backtalk by panel three; surely the Margo-bot would be programmed to at least simulate the real thing’s essential hostility. Presumably the Margo-bot, imbued with these fundamentally conflicting impulses, will, like 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL, eventually go on a killing rampage, probably joined in the bloodbath by the actual Margo.
You know, Crankshaft often consists of this sort of sub-cute Family Circus-style punnery. But unlike the grinning morons of the Family Circus, the Crankshafters usually look angry or upset as they deliver their little verbal jests, today’s panel three being a prime example. “Just as annoying as the Family Circus, but so much grimmer”: That was the Crankshaft elevator pitch right there. I can’t deny that I too would have given it the green light.
There are two little words I find confusing in today’s Pluggers, and they are “-in” and “-law”. Why wouldn’t this have worked just as well with the dog-man’s son (or daughter, for that matter) being the newly minted pentuagenarian? Is the joke perhaps that the son-in-law is significantly older than the daughter? Are you a plugger if you married off your 15-year-old daughter to one of your peers to consolidate both families’ land holdings?