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Panel from Slylock Fox, 2/10/19

I’m not even going to go into the insane “solution” to this puzzle — Smitty went in and “stole every item he had purchased earlier”? So it’s like he’s helping himself to a two-for-one deal? Also polygraphy is bunk, but not even its defenders would claim that it’s precise enough to indicate unambiguous truth-telling when someone is giving a narrowly tailored answer that is technically true but hides a larger lie? — and instead just want to point out Buford Bull is a well-known member of Slylock’s rogues gallery. How do we know that Buford isn’t making a false accusation of theft as part of some kind of insurance scam? It’s clear how Slylock and the animal regime he represents assesses a criminal vs. criminal dispute: when in doubt, blame H. sapiens.

Panels from Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/10/19

There’s a lot to unpack in today’s Snuffy Smith throwaway panels, guys. At first, it seems that Snuffy is saying his wedding to Loweezy was a “shotgun wedding,” a term typically used to denote a scenario in which a young woman has become pregnant out of wedlock, and her family uses the threat of violence to coerce her paramour to legally bind himself to her and their future child. This seems to reveal some unexpected details about the world-building of the strip: it implies that Loweezy and Snuffy were unmarried lovers relatively recently, for instance, seeing as Tater is still a pre-verbal toddler. And what about Jughaid, a nephew of one or the other of them? He’s got to be at least 9 or 10 years old: does that mean that he was already dependent on Snuffy or Loweezy before they got together? Or was the orphaned lad put into their care specifically because they had formed a stable home?

But here’s an important detail: what brings up memories of Snuffy’s wedding day isn’t the sight of shotguns, but the sound of them — lots of them. That doesn’t sound like the somewhat ritualized coercion that can precede weddings brought about by unplanned pregnancies; it sounds a lot more like an ambush. In cultures where the authority of a central state is tenuous, kinship is all important, and blood feuds last generations, from the Appalachians to Afghanistan, weddings and other family gatherings are often a site of violence. Maybe Jughaid’s parents died that day, and by Holler Law he was subsequently adopted by the surviving couple.

Panels from Beetle Bailey, 2/10/19

Ha ha, it’s funny because years in the army have left Sarge more comfortable killing his fellow human beings than interacting with them in social situations!