I’ve often wondered at the obviously complex relationship between Dagwood and Mr. Dithers. For a while, I thought that Dithers was really Dagwood’s millionaire father, who disowned him when he decided to marry low-class flapper Blondie (this is the strip’s pre-Depression backstory, FYI) but who was never able to cut the kid out of his life completely, and so has kept him employed despite his obvious incompetence. I don’t think that’s true, but it’s hard to tell exactly what keeps these two together, not just professionally but socially as well. Today at least hints at the source of their codependence: their relationship provides the sort of dramatic highs and lows, the anger and catharsis, that their stable, happy, and boring home lives never could.
Normally, of course, I’d be imputing some kind of sexual relationship or tension here, but it’s obvious to anyone who reads Blondie that the only kind of thing that stirs Dagwood’s loins involves pastrami and lots of mustard.
As a regular reader of the shambling nightmare that is Crock, the core grotesqueries of this particular strip — that the dog intends to urinate on the cactus as an act of malice, and that the cactus can bend on its own accord and fire off its spines as defensive missiles — come as no surprise to me. I am a little perturbed to learn that the camel’s name is “Quench.” I understand that there is a certain conceptual nexus between camels and water-drinking, but it doesn’t seem quite right; it’d be better as the name of a robot that, in an ill-conceived promotional exercise, can morph into a bottle of the new Quench™ brand sport energy drink, in the upcoming Paramount/Dreamworks film Transformers 3: Revenge of the Thirsty.
Oh, and the camel is wearing a hat, which is also inappropriate.