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Family Circus, 10/8/09

If you’re like me (which is to say the sort of person who Thinks Too Much About Things, and is a little OCD), your first response upon seeing the numbers in today’s Family Circus was to whip out the old calculator, Billy-style, and see what kind of timeframe we’re talking about. 4,206 days is 11 years and 191 days! And one of the reasons I was curious about this figure is that I’m never entirely clear on how old any of the Keane Kids are supposed to be. It’s hard to tell, given their gnomish stature and obvious cognitive deficits, but, assuming that kids are still getting their license at 16 like they traditionally have, today’s numbers put Billy at four and a half years old, which struck me as wildly off, considering he’s supposed to be the oldest of four, and he and his little sister both go to school. Then I realized that there was a sure-fire way to determine Billy’s canonical age: the “drawn by Billy” panels, which, after a bit of searching through my archives, yielded up the crucial bit of data: Billy is 7, and so appears to be proclaiming that he won’t be getting his driver’s license until he’s 18 or maybe even 19! I feel bitter for him making me think about this as much as I have, but at least I get to point out that he either cheerfully expects to repeatedly fail his drivers test, or is incapable of doing math, even with a calculator.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 10/8/09

Speaking of things that irritate me all out of proportion to their actual transgressions, why does Barney Google and Snuffy Smith think we need a title card informing us that we’re going “shoppin’ wif th’ Tuttles”? Do they think that we’ll be dangerously disoriented by seeing the strip’s trademarked dialectical banter thrown about by a pair of risible hillbilly stereotypes who aren’t part of the strip’s core cast? Please, give us some credit. Most readers will see vaguely old-timey rustics crackin’ wise and droppin’ Gs from the ends of gerunds, smile wanly, and move on with their lives without troubling themselves to place the narrative in some larger context; Snuffy Smith devotees, meanwhile, will immediately recognize Hootin’ Holler’s sole pastor, and will be pleased to see that he remains a money-grubbing fraud.

Mary Worth, 10/8/09

Good lord, in the second panel, Dr. Jeff looks less like a father rushing to his daughter’s side to comfort her in her time of need and more like the leader of an angry vigilante mob, or perhaps like a majestic but enraged lowland gorilla. It’s almost as if he’s hoping that he’ll spot a heroin dealer or user on his drive to the hospital and have the opportunity run them down with his car. I was wondering why he was so worked up, but then remembered that Scott is, of course, the son of Dr. Jeff’s one true love. I can’t wait to see the bloody revenge he wreaks on Santa Royale’s comically dressed underworld!

Marvin, 10/8/09

Ah ha, I finally figured out what this week-long feces-plot is really getting at: it’s Marvin’s origin story! “And from that day on, the world knew him as … THE PANTS-SHITTER!

Apartment 3-G, 10/8/09

Isn’t Margo’s dad supposed to be some rich businessman? Shouldn’t he be able to afford enough Just For Men to dye the hair on the sides of his head as well?