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Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/1/09

What must it be like to be part of a couple in which both you and your spouse work in the demanding but rewarding medical field, with human lives literally in your hands, day after day? Since I’m a terrible person, I assume it mostly involves petty score-keeping. “Oh ho, Peter, it looks like you managed to kill someone — again — while I nobly went above and beyond the call of duty and found one of my missing patients just before she developed deadly pneumonia. Advantage: Becka!”

Family Circus, 12/1/09

I’m going to skip over Dolly’s chilling views on mother-daughter relationships (“I can’t believe she’s wasting her time talking to that old bag! When I grow up, I’m not even going to tell Mommy where I live!”) and focus on little Jeffy, wearin’ his best penny loafers and just stone cold maxin’ and relaxin’ in that doorway. I love the way he’s holding that book in his lap like a little table. Obviously he has some dim idea that education might be his ticket out of the Keane Kompound, but since literacy will be forever beyond his capabilities, he just grabbed a thin little brown volume (the Reader’s Digest abridged version of Leviticus, probably) from whatever shelf he could reach and carries it around the house with him, hoping it will help, somehow.

Mary Worth, 12/1/09

Mary’s expression of palpable and inappropriate relief may indicate that even a master meddler has her limits; even she doesn’t have the spiritual strength to deal with the emotional problems of a sad sack like Wilbur. “She’ll only be gone a few months, but who will wipe all this dirt off my face? I’m far too sad without her to deal with basic hygiene! Will you do it Mary? I think there are some towels over by the side of the pool.”

Dennis the Menace, 12/1/09

“An’ that’s why we’re buryin’ this snitch in a shallow grave.”