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Mary Worth, 10/5/08

If I had to Scotch® tape an episode of Mary Worth to the side of Voyager XLIV or whatever the hell number they’re up to now, it would be this classic: blue-and-yellow drama lighting, hand-jivin’ histrionics, a “happier times” bedstand photo and the lonely, lonely park bench Toby fears will be her future home. Added bonus: no Mary! Why inflict her on the stars, and risk their terrible retribution?

Ian’s fury, of course, is less about trust than the unconscionable $1.09 charge from Pretty Purposes. It’s tempting to suspect Toby’s dream of duplicity equal to Ian’s — a message from her subconscious to get out now! But since Toby never listens to her conscious, what chance could its downstairs neighbor have?

Panel from Judge Parker, 10/5/08

Ha ha ha! Wait, we missed that?

Panel from Pardon My Planet, 10/5/08

You know, you two never smile any more, and your looks are starting to go. It’s pretty obvious blow has taken over your lives, and it’s time for an intervention. I know a lady.

Panel from Funky Winkerbean, 10/5/08

I think we’re in for a week of “Everybody Loves the Dead Chick.”

Here’s an exercise: We’ve had phishing in Mary Worth, hospice care in Rex Morgan, M.D., illiteracy in Crankshaft, pet adoption in Mutts, and of course — interminably — “Cancer is Bad” in Funky Winkerbean. I’m sure I’ve forgotten scores of others, but what new Public Service Announcement opportunities are out there for a comic strip that wants to Make a Difference rather than Entertain its Readers? Shoe cautions us about the dangers of H5N1* Bird Flu? Sherman’s Lagoon demonstrates best practices for water safety? Get Fuzzy portrays Bucky’s valiant struggle with rabies?

* Corrected from HN51 — thank you faithful reader Victor, and damn you, Google — damn you straight to hell!

Panel from Mark Trail, 10/5/08

But why go out on such a sour note? Look! It’s a skink!

Josh will be back tomorrow with COTW — and maybe tales of his Hot Blogger calendar photo shoot in NYC?

Thanks everybody for a fun week!

— Uncle Lumpy