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Apartment 3-G, 9/19/08

I suppose that eventually the Apartment 3-G Terrible Downward Spiral Of Clean-Cut Middle-Class People Into Addiction storyline will cease to be transcendently awesome — presumably, right around the time that Ray’s squirrelly histrionics cause Alan to take a hard look at his life and straighten up and fly right and earn the love of a good woman and blah blah blah — but let’s enjoy the ride to its fullest while we can, OK? It’s actually sort of like drug abuse in that way: deep down, you know that you can’t sit in your room giggling over phrases like “Please! I hurt so bad!!” forever, but that doesn’t stop you from being taken up by the highs in the here and now. Perhaps even better than Ray’s sincere yet laughable description of the pangs of withdrawal in panel two is his expression in panel three: he seems to be thinking, “Hey! I know! I could reduce Alan to a powdered form and then smoke and/or snort him! All my problems would be solved!”

Hi and Lois, 9/19/08

The idea that innocent baby Trixie might look out the window and learn about the emotional pain and verbal abuse that lurks behind her suburb’s cheery facade is actually rather poignant; her look of wide-eyed horror in the final panel says volumes about what it’s like to discover that people who love each other can wound one another far more deeply than any strangers could. But bringing in the brother-sister metaphor just makes the whole thing creepy and weird. I like my domestic degradation without the unsettling incest overtones, thank you very much.

Sally Forth, 9/19/08

Watch out, Sally! She can quote the Last Starfighter, and she rests her fingers delicately on her collarbone, Ted-style! Also, it may be an optical illusion, but it appears that she might kind of have breasts? HOW CAN YOU COMPETE WITH THAT?

Beetle Bailey, 9/19/08

Oh, Freud would have a field day with this.