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Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 12/3/09

It has long been my contention that Parson Tuttle is a fraud, using his position as Hootin’ Holler’s lone clergyman to bilk his gullible parishioners out of their meager savings. Today it has become clear that he never even bothered acquiring the rudiments of a theological education before launching into this long-term grift. He’s desperately trying to come up with some vaguely Biblical-sounding thing about niceness that might get these ladies to make peace with each other, and all he can pull out of his fancy hat is the Good Samaritan; but even the semi-literate locals know that this parable is really about expanding the notion of “neighbor” to encompass mercy and virtue, not just geography or ethnic and religious loyalty, and has little to do with stopping people who actually live next door to each other from feuding. Still, they might yet get some spiritual edification out of it; after all, the parable does involve a man beaten by bandits and left for dead at the side of the road, which I imagine happens in Hootin’ Holler with depressing regularity.

Crankshaft, 12/3/09

I have to admit that I kind of enjoy the often nonsensical “Crankshaft-speaks-to-the-garden-club” episodes of Crankshaft, mostly because there’s so much disconnect between the various components. The ostensible point of the strip is to provide a humorous counterpoint between the ’Shaft’s educational agenda and his wacky and relentless malapropisms; but funnier still is the comical juxtaposition of both with his look of unbridled disgust and contempt and his audience’s terrified cowering. Pretty much the only way to parse any of this is to imagine Crankshaft as an aged absolute dictator, still wearing his proletarian uniform to show his revolutionary bona fides despite years in power, launching into hour four of a rambling, nonsensical harangue that his audience cannot escape or ignore for fear of execution.

Funky Winkerbean, 12/3/09

Ha ha, whoops! I think we’re about to find out that Funky recently decided in a “cost-saving move” not to renew his restaurateur’s license. Westview’s last economically viable private business will be shut down, throwing its already struggling employees out of work just in time for the holidays. Merry Funkmas, everybody!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/3/09

I’d argue that the blame for this whole escapade really ought to be placed not so much on Henry the non compos mentis golf pro but on the neglectful management of the nursing home that allowed the two oldsters to escape. I’d also point out that it’s incredibly common for people with Alzheimer’s to form romantic attachments to each other in care facilities, and that it probably brings a certain amount of joy to their lives. But whatever, Tim! I’m sure your mother will be much happier locked up in your basement! I do hope you and Becka can stay friends, if by “friends” we mean “she will come by a couple times a month free of charge to make sure your mother isn’t dying.”

Mary Worth, 12/3/09

People, people, people, this strip, in which Wilbur confesses (while moodily chewing on an orange celery stick) that his daughter helped him set up a Facebook page, has been live on the Chron Web site for more than 10 hours, and yet nobody has set up an actual Wilbur Weston Facebook page yet. Shame on all of you! Whoever does this first, and makes sure that his six combover hairs are visible in each and every one of his profile pictures, will be a true Internet hero.

UPDATE: Wlibur profile is up! Go to it!

Marmaduke, 12/3/09

It’s a good thing that former president Bill Clinton has his wife’s salary as Secretary of State and the money he makes from his speaking engagements to fall back on, because I don’t think his bosses at the dealership will be pleased that he let a demon-dog with unnaturally powerful neck muscles destroy the roof of one of the cars he was trying to sell.

Mark Trail, 12/3/09

OH OH OH! Please, please, please let Sassy get eaten by a squid!