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Gil Thorp, 10/30/09

I may not be the most knowledgeable guy in the world when it comes to football — I lost all my play money in my family’s NFL pool by the end of week four this year — but I know enough to know that generally when one of your guys runs a punt back 98 yards for a touchdown, that’s a good thing, right? And yet there’s Coach Kaz, looking horrified and flapping his hands around theatrically. I suppose it’s not considered classy to run up the score when you’re already winning by more than two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and we’re going learn some Valuable Lessons About Sportsmanship.

In a larger sense, I’m finally figuring out that there are really only two basic story-driving Mudlark character types: troubled loners and loudmouth jerks. And in this year’s football storyline we’re getting one of each! In SAT analogy terms, Duncan Daley:Cully Vale::Jamarr Gaddis:Andrew Gregory.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 10/30/09

Oh, man, just when I thought I couldn’t love Cue any more, what with his shiny bald head, his general attitude right on the border between menace and dyspepsia, and his continued and reckless use of the word “crib,” it turns out that he’s also a small-time pot dealer! “Take it easy man … I just called to get some weed” shall be solemnly inscribed in the book of Greatest Rex Morgan Quotes Ever; it certainly compares favorably to “Sorry, baby, I didn’t mean to kill your buzz” for soap opera drug lingo verisimilitude. Now, you might think that Cue is being pretty selfless, passing up an opportunity to profit from the sale of illegal narcotics in order to bring these poor souls back to their home, but he’s actually thinking strategically. Someone in his line of work would love to have contact with a group of people who are largely idle all day, have a little bit of money, and don’t particularly care about any damage they might do to their short-term memory. Yes, sir, this trip’s gonna be lucrative for ol’ Cue, reward or no.

For Better Or For Worse, 10/30/09

Today is the day when I break my blood oath to ignore the pure rerun installments of FBOFW on this blog. I do so because I am so very, very amused by the title of the girlie magazine that John is reading not ten feet away from his wife in panel three. What sort of photography, pray tell, graces the inside pages of Nacho Man? Are there pictures of nearly nude ladies, their most intimate parts concealed only by a thick, gelatinous layer of melted nacho cheese? Are there sexy photo spreads featuring other popular bar foods, like chicken wings or mozzarella sticks? The mind boggles, and one ought to be thankful that we can clearly see both of John’s hands. Also of note is the ad on the back of this fine publication for Lion Tamer cologne, which, I assume, smells of sawdust, circus peanuts, panicked sweat, and lion shit.

Crock, 10/30/09

I kind of love the miserable expression on the face of Anonymous Legionnaire On The Left in panel two. It’s as if he knows that he will only appear in this one strip, and that his only purpose in his mayfly-brief existence is to elicit the punchline for this awful, awful joke, but despite that terrible self-knowledge, he is incapable of stopping himself.