Friday (mostly) one-liners
Newspaper comics version of horseshoe theory: when new-look Mark Trail and eternally old-look Blondie come to the same position on cryptocurrency and the blockchain.
Gasoline Alley, 3/10/23
Say what you will about Gasoline Alley, but it absolutely nails the experience of having a long, rambling, irritating conversation with an old person that goes nowhere.
Hagar the Horrible, 3/10/23
In terms of “comic strip wives that might be interested in a three-way,” I wouldn’t have put Helga at the top of the list, but to be honest I wouldn’t have put her at the bottom either.
Hi and Lois, 3/10/23
I’ve never had a large enough home to be blessed with my own man cave; are they for … masturbating? Is that what you guys are doing in there? Jerking off? That’s sure what I’m getting from today’s Hi and Lois!
177 replies to “Friday (mostly) one-liners”
Hi & Lois – I feel like Man Cave should be a brand name, like Fleshlight – but only if we’re talking about masturbation. Have a room just for that seems wasteful. Just get off in the bonus room, which has a name ripe for punning!+
As a person whose first experience with Gasoline Alley was collections of the original strips by the original creator, I always feel a bit weirded out by the look and storytelling of the new GA strips I encounter here at the CC.
Not to get hoity-toity, but it’s a bit like if somebody from Shakespeare’s age were to travel to the modern world and see a production of Romeo and Juliet, and be flummoxed by the fact that the words are pronounced differently from how it was back in Willie’s days and by the fact that, for no clear reason, Juliet isn’t just looking out through the window, but standing on a balcony that was nowhere in the original play or script.
FC: Don’t buy it, Thel. Jeffy’s just looking for an excuse to get his hands on your boobs.
Gasoline Alley: “…And since I’ve pleasured myself with this hand, it stands to reason that you kids have also…”
Gasoline Alley-Okay it’s official Walt is an immortal.
Blondie-“I live such an empty existence,” Dagwood says dejectedly hanging his head in shame, “I can only try and fill the void with constantly eating.”
Spiderman-“I don’t need to see your face. It’s not your face I’m interested in.”
MW-Steve’s going to go off and work for a human doctor in a combat zone.
JP-“And so three months later.” “I’m sorry, Sam, I was so drunk I forgot to call you.”
@Mikey: “Not to get hoity-toity, but it’s a bit like if somebody from Shakespeare’s age were to travel to the modern world and see a production of Romeo and Juliet, and be flummoxed by the fact that the words are pronounced differently from how it was back in Willie’s days and by the fact that, for no clear reason, Juliet isn’t just looking out through the window, but standing on a balcony that was nowhere in the original play or script.”
And if, in general, the play no longer made a lick of sense.
BLONDIE: Well, Josh, you made me look. I’ve been avoiding the new-look Mark Trail since I first laid eyes on it, right up until today when I followed your link. Damn you. I must admit, it depicts what a good vet’s office SHOULD look like: a roomful of rashy animals with a vet who is EXCITED about treating them. Please send the link to Dr. Ed Harding. (Also, the squirrel in that first panel looks like someone has just shoved a bent twig up its ass. Just sayin’.)
That Dagwood can have something described to him as useless and insane and his only reaction is ‘Gosh, I wish I could afford that’ says a lot about our current political moment.
H&L: Chip HAS a man cave. What makes you think he’s moving out?
HtH: To make the image complete, Helga’s horns should start wiggling in panel two, like Killer’s hat flap thingies in “Beetle Bailey.”
In fact and in truth, Uncle Walt died in 1983, surrounded by family and friends. Everything you have seen in the forty years since then have been the final hallucinations that passed thru his mind in the last fleeting seconds before he slipped away. How do I know? I’ve been dead since 2010.
Did Vikings have sofas?
…Did Vikings invent sofas??
JP: “It is a far, far better thing I do . . . ”
GT: “I cried because I had no shoes . . . ”
CS: “If silence be good for the wise . . .”
GASOLINE ALLEY: “What, Abraham Lincoln? Don’t be ridiculous! I was talking about George Lincoln Rockwell — we used to shake hands a lot at American Bund get-togethers. Wait, did I say that out loud? Er, joke, of course I really meant, uh, um, *Elmo* Lincoln! Want to hear me do the Tarzan yell? AY-YA-Yackargh cough cough someone get my inhaler….”
Blondie – We all know Dag is completely bereft of anything even remotely resembling intellectual property….
GA – Please don’t tell me how you shake your dick after a piss, ergo I, too, have shook your dick….
HtH – The, in case of my death open this drawer, drawer that keeps on giving….
H&L – Man caves have lost their purpose, now that all the porn is the ethernet….
Adios Amigos, DJ.
Indulging in self-care, Steven can’t help but fantasize about becoming a butcher.
Blondie: “No, son. That sounds like horseshit.”
Hagar knows that if Vikings want to keep their edge they must stick to endogamy and not mingle with Saxon ladies and become settled lords
Unless Hagar’s home’s doorway is way higher than usual, I would think any attempt by Lady Godiva to ride into it would end up with her being knocked off the horse and probably dealing with a concussion. So Hagar had damn well *better* give her a second look, and then call in Dr. Zook, or he’ll have to answer to Leofric, Earl of Mercia!
Well, Dagwood, cryptocurrency is a construct with no innate value, but so is your regular currency. The only reason it has value is that we all agree on it.
Hi & Lois: Chip is in his room recreating the home experiments of David Hahn, AKA “The Radioactive Boy Scout”. I’m not saying all teenage boys’ rooms are highly toxic nuclear sites but I am saying it’s preferable to what he’s probably doing.
A little help, please, Mudges. In our Grumpy’s Gang Dead Pool, coming up April 1, we all submit picks independently so more than one person can have someone. And it’s one point per death, regardless of age. So I plan to draft really old people. They have to be celebrities to some extent. Here’s what I have so far:
Elisabeth Waldo, Caren Marsh-Doll, June Spencer, Frances Wessells, Jack Rader, Iris Apfel, Ray Anthony,Norman Lear, Janis Paige, Bert I. Gordon, Jacqueline White, Henry Kissinger, Glynis Johns, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, Rosalynn Carter, Jimmy Carter, Sister Jean, Doc Nagobads
Also, these are some potential value picks – a little younger but with high potential: Daniel Ellsberg, Dawn Lyn (Dodi on My Three Sons), Dikembe Mutombo, Celine Dion, Martina Navratilova, Superstar Billy Graham, Terry Bradshaw
I can pick 20 out of those. Then we have specialty rounds. For the Dick Round, everyone picks Dick Van Dyke. I like to be different and go for style points. This year I had Dick Swett, former member of Congress. I’m thinking about going with Dick Pound, who is older.
For the Bang Round (someone you’d like to or would have like to back in his/her/their prime), I have Margia Dean.
Thanks a lot for your careful consideration.
This is too generic, even Dustin’s dad could have made this joke. To be in character it should have been Alex offering a NFT of a Dagwood sandwich and Dagwood rejecting it because if you cannot eat it, it is completely useless!
Cash, Grass, or Ass: It’s actually pretty simple, kid. He touched Abraham Lincoln, you touched him. Thus you touched Abraham Lincoln
To put it another way, he’s touching Abe… touching you…
dah, dah, dah,
WALT’S SENIIIIIIILEEEEEE! BAH BAH BAH. WILL THIS STRIP JUST FREAKING END?
BA BA BA…
RMMD: “Why do you assume I’m unattached?”
“Jesus, have you ever looked in a mirror? That ‘thing’ top of your head is hideous. Besides, you reek of bacon grease and cottage cheese. But look, here comes MY man. Ta-ta!”
JUDGE PARKER: “Protect your family!, Sa. . .heh ha HA HA HA . . . oh, crap, I *knew* I couldn’t say that with a straight face!”
Blondie: Man, I was almost certain that the last panel was going to be some kind of joke about fiat currency, but I guess that would probably be more of a Sunday strip thing. Also, since Blondie debuted three years before the US abandoned the gold standard, it might be just retreading old material.
GA: “It’s true! You’ve also shaken hands with William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, and Spiro Agnew! I…I don’t know why I don’t die. Children, do you think that the good Lord will let me die one day? Kids..?”
HtH: Just imagining the confusion of porn website data engineers as they see the term “Cartoon Viking Cuckquean” spike in the search rankings…
H&L: Jesus, that look on Hi’s face as he imagines having a small space of his own where he couldn’t be disturbed by his shitty family. Sometimes I think this strip is a lot darker than it gets credit for…
JP: (In a timeline where Detective Yelich successfully brings Judge Duncan to the police station without getting killed by the invisible drug assassins.)
“Yelich! You were supposed to be on duty today! Where the hell have you been?”
“Don’t worry about that, Chief, look who I brought with me!”
“Who the… Jesus, is that Judge Duncan?”
“Yeppers! He’s the one who killed his wife and son! Mystery solved!”
“Really? Well, give me a quick rundown of your evidence and case outline.”
“Oh, I don’t have any of that. But it’s cool, his other son told me the judge did it.”
“The other son? Isn’t he mute with some kind of mental impairment? Yesterday that kid couldn’t talk or communicate at all. We still don’t even know his name!”
“He got better.”
“When and how did this even happen?”
“Well, earlier today I was feeling kind of down on myself for accidentally getting some friends of mine nearly killed, so I went and grabbed the kid at his house.”
“From his house? The murder house? How was he there? We’ve had CSI there since yesterday, where was he?”
“And another thing, what on Earth happened to Judge Duncan’s face?”
“Right, so, after I took the judge’s son, he followed us to my friend’s house and yelled scary things at us. So my friends beat the crap out of him.”
“You beat up a frightened old man trying to rescue his son from being abducted?”
“No, I just watched. Well, except for the abduction part, that was me.”
“Good God. At whose house was this happening?”
“Abbey Spencer’s ranch.”
“Abbey Spencer? That Abbey Spencer? The lunatic heiress with ties to terrorist organizations that was on trial for arson recently?”
“Yep, that’s her, Chief.”
“How is she involved in this?”
“Oh, she’s my buddy Sam’s ex. He’s actually the one who’s been doing most of the investigating. In fact, he was at a big gang shootout at Duncan’s lake house this morning with the wife of another murder victim.”
“Sure. Sure, why not. What happened next?”
“Well, we tied the judge up-“
“You didn’t cuff him?”
“No, I forgot I had those. So anyway, we tied him up and then Duncan’s son told us all about the judge’s questionable court record and drug networks and organized crime involvement and assassination schemes.”
“How could this kid possibly know about all that?”
“Fine, we’ll ask him ourselves. Where is he, Yelich?”
“I left him back at the house.”
“You did what? Duncan’s son is our biggest potential witness and still a primary murder suspect, not to mention a minor with no legal guardians looking out for him! Why in God’s name would you leave him behind?”
“Christ alive… so the kid told you his story, and then you arrested the judge?”
“Well, I guess you can’t really call it an arrest since I never used that word or told him his rights or did anything by procedure. I just kind of handcuffed him and brought him here after he got beat up some more. To be honest, I mostly just wanted a human shield to protect me from the meth snipers.”
“The meth snipers. Of course, who else? And none of you thought to call 911 at any point? Why didn’t you at least call for backup?”
“Oh, we don’t trust the police. They’re corrupt and evil and the judge pays them to kill people.”
“Okay, I’ve heard just about enough of this. Sergeant, arrange for Judge Duncan to be brought to the hospital immediately. I also want ambulances and the county ME at that lake house ASAP. And get a few units out to Spencer Farms to pick up the kid and arrest everyone else there for aggravated assault and battery, misprision of felony, kidnapping, and… we’ll figure out the rest of the charges later. Jesus wept… well, Detective Yelich? Is there anything else you’d like to add before I relieve you of your badge and firearm?”
“I don’t know, Chief. I’ve been drinking a lot lately, so my mind’s pretty hazy.”
“Yelich, that’s the first goddamned thing you’ve said that makes any sense.”
Blondie – That’s our joke right there. A single, three panel strip. And we’re done with NFT’s now. We’re not going to have Alex Bumstead getting into stupid battles with people who are all named [thing] bro. We are not going to have screeds about the energy the Blockchain consumes. And thus, when all is said and done, Blondie proves itself the superior entertainment.
Um, I know Uncle Walt is impossibly old, but I’m pretty sure he’s never been 158 years old, and that’s just how old he’d have to be to have shaken hands with Lincoln as a baby. Walt would have had to already be in his 50s at least when the strip started. I think we can officially say he’s lost touch with reality.
@The Real Skeezix Wallet: I would have thought he died in 1986 (the year Scancarelli’s sometimes-bizarre tenure on the strip began).
@lynn, @pugfuggly: I almost interpreted Dagwood’s last line as referring to dollar bills, which would have made the same point as Lynn’s comment while still being weirdly dismissive. Certainly, as pugfuggly alludes to, what Alex says in the second panel, while perfectly describing NFTs, also sounds like a crypto bro’s description of fiat currency.
@Scratchy Scrotum LXIX: Considering he just entered hospice care, is Jimmy Carter even going to make it to April 1?
“I would never waste money on something so stupid.” thought Dagwood as he went to his closet full of Nattily Fashioned Tuxedos.
@richardf8: it’s not over until Dagwood asks if he can use multiple slurp juices on a single ape. I cannot tell you how much I would love to see that.
@Morgan Wick: “I almost interpreted Dagwood’s last line as referring to dollar bills,”
I must admit, it would make Dag’s response a lot funnier.
“Naw son, I got mad bills already. I ain’t need to f— with that internet money.”
@jroggs: “He got better.”
Blondie: I”m less suprised by the fact Alex’s friends are Cryptobros who likely offer to get him on the block chain by showing him nft’s they printed off in their jacket like a cheap watch or good old american crack, and more by the fact Alex has friends.
Blondie: You can tell that we’re at the absolute nadir of interest in NFTs when even this venerable comic decides to do an NFT-themed joke.
Blondie: There’s something wrong with this strip. The teenager is acting like a cranky tech-negative old man. Alexander should be enthusiastically spending all his pocket money on NFT speculation and of course lose it all in the ensuing crash.
Or at least, that’s what the comic should have been like if it had been written a year ago. Today, it’s more likely than not to elicit a reaction of “NFTs? Does anyone still care about those?”
@nescio: ““I would never waste money on something so stupid.” thought Dagwood as he went to his closet full of Nattily Fashioned Tuxedos.”
No, Dagwood doesn’t waste money on clothes. That’s Blondie’s job! He just wastes money on junk food and snacks.
@Scratchy Scrotum LXIX: You should consider June Lockhart and Barbara Rush. Too bad you can’t pick Wilbur: he’s a dick.
“I’ll have to think hard where I go from here! Harder than Moy and Brigman will do anyway, since I’m just a disposable plot device nobody will recall a year from now, just like, what’s her name, Madi! Dogs are great and gramma’s secret recipe is great too!”
Mary Worth: “Dr. Handsome’s Nephew is torn about his career because people am mean” is a plotline I never knew I needed. How much does anyone want to bet he’s on a collision course with the Dawn Weston Drama Vortex? Just a hunch. And a hope since it’d be really funny.
Luann: And once again i’m bitching about Luann after a blissfull week of trying not to. My life was better. I hate BOTH parties in this argument: Luann is snooping because she’s into PIro, and Bernice is pissed about the into piro part despite having a boyfriend and being far too much of a control freak to ever consider polyamory. What i’m saying is I hate almost everyone currently in this strips cast and question why I do this to myself.
Curtis: And then Curtis died. Also didn’t he adn chutney.. date at some point? I remember seeing that in the cc archives.
FC: Thel knows that Jeffy has heard the story a million times already and doesn’t actually listen to her words, so she’s literally talking to the book – it’s become a bit of a ritual, where she talks to the book because you can’t read a fairy tale to a kid without talking, that would just be wrong! What Jeffy gets out of it is the actual turning of the pages. It feels great to finally be old enough to have the required level of dexterity!
So who would Josh have put on top of the Wives Interested In Three-ways List?
It’s a toss-up between Blondie and Loretta Lockhorn, isn’t it.
Dustin: Meg is missing the point. It’s not just that Dustin is lacking in motivation; it’s that he doesn’t see lack of motivation as a bad thing.
And I can’t say that he’s wrong, really. Isn’t he really living in a state of perpetual bliss, content with things being as they are and always have been, content with not having to enter the rat race to better himself, content with never getting an ulcer from all the stress? I’d say that Dustin is an ideal to emulate whose philosophy deserves to be written down and spread to the masses! If only someone could be bothered to do it, of course.
Hi and Lois: Shift that 2nd-panel word balloon over just a little, so it’s coming out of the palm that Hi is holding up so reverently, and you’ve got Comedy Gold!
@Ukranazi Stepan: Nah, Sally Forth is at the top, with Janis an honourable mention.
GA: Much as I’d love to debate the significance of succession chirotony in presidential handshakes, I thought Walt Wallet was supposed to be roughly 130 years old, not old enough to remember the freaking Civil War.
Frazz: Man, don’t you just hate how it’s impossible to not skip songs in music streaming and how radio doesn’t exist anymore but it only gave one channel option you couldn’t turn off like the telescreens in 1984? This sure is insightful cultural commentary!
9CL: Well, the jig’s up now. Maybe we’ll meet these high schoolers after all, or rather some ghoul-limbed skanks and middle-aged men in cheap suits that we’re told are high schoolers.
JP: The Judge exits and thus ends Act 1.
BB: A military version of Iron Chef? That seems very unlikely to me. Isn’t that show about being creative and coming up with new, exciting dishes from a given set of ingredients? That sounds like the very antithesis of military food production.
Crock: Makes sense that Maggot’s favourite restaurant is a drive-through. He’d never get served in a dine-in place, unless they don’t have any “no shirt, no service” rule in Algeria.
MW: “If you need a few days off…PLEASE TAKE THEM! But before you head out, prepare 40 large-dose injections of PENTOBARBITAL. If I’m going to be running ANIMAL HOSPITAL by myself, it will be easier to euthanize the clients if the drugs are HANDY.”
DtM: With a smile, Dennis reveals his hidden agenda: to help build Mr. Wilson’s character. That seems extremely non-menacing. I’m disappointed!
GA – It makes sense because Walt never washes his hands. By the way, that kid’s got the “Spanish flu” now.
Hi and Lois – “If this keeps up, someday he’ll be as big an asshole as you, Hi. That must be prevented at all costs!”
Don Abundio, translated:
“A butterfly! What an original costume!”
“Thanks, but I wish I had your costume…”
“So I could shoot Don Abundio!”
Chip has hoisted the Jolly Roger because the kids today are into shiverin’ their timbers. Arrr.
Lockhorns: I don’t think Loretta is a better cook during the winter season, so the implication of Leroy’s comment is pretty grim: they spend the entire winter in a permanently smoke-filled house. It’s a wonder they haven’t died from lung cancer yet.
Don Abundio, visual:
With that waist, shouldn’t she be dressed as a wasp instead?
DT: This doesn’t make sense. Sure, Wolfe has gone missing, but how does Dick know that he hasn’t been kidnapped? On the other hand, if there’s no evidence that he has been kidnapped, how come the normally very sensible Archie Goodwin comes running to the police claiming that he has?
There’s something decidedly fishy going on here. Has the NYPD decided to rid themselves of an annoying rival? Has Archie found a way of getting back at his overbearing employer? Is this really a very exciting plot masquerading as a boring story with lots of talk and no action? Or has the writer lost it? Stay tuned for the exciting reveal!
Blondie – Credit to Blondie to actually doing an NFT strip (if not an actual joke) only a year after everyone really stopped caring about it, and not ten years later.
Gasoline Alley – What if Walt is telling the truth, and his “handshake” was a version of Judas’s kiss, and he’s been trapped in the newspaper ever since as a long term punishment for his role in the conspiracy to kill Lincoln?
Hagar The Horrible – Perhaps the creators of the new Hagar the Horrible animated series realize that since no kids read the comics, it’s more prudent to lean into adult animation, emphasis on the adult.
HI and Lois – Chip is watching the Hagar the Horrible “adult” cartoon
Curtis: Okay, why are the Evansii writing this strip concurrently, and does this mean Tara will be beating the crap out of Luann?
Pluggers: You’re a plugger if you have a habit of making puns worse than those of Crankshaft.
@Anonymous: That was me. Stupid WordPress decided to log me out between two posts, just like that!
Fun fact: Abe Lincoln’s coffin was buried ten feet deep and encased in 4000 pounds of concrete. However, he was not cremated. So if you REALLY want to shake Abe Lincoln’s hand, and you’re determined enough, there’s no need to settle for half-measures.
Luann: Wasn’t Luann just complaining that she’d never become a good author because there was no conflict in her life? Well, here’s some conflict for her! Maybe not enough for writing the Great American Novel, but at least enough for a short story. A short one that nobody will want to read.
9CL: Young Amos was clearly too stupid to survive to adulthood. Too bad those teenagers didn’t do anything about it.
@Philip: “Hagar The Horrible – Perhaps the creators of the new Hagar the Horrible animated series realize that since no kids read the comics, it’s more prudent to lean into adult animation, emphasis on the adult.”
But for that they’ll need actual nudity, infidelity and marital drama. Not just two people talking about it.
Luann’s protestation that she is Bernice’s number one best friend rings a bit hollow when Bernice always treats her with unconcealed contempt.
@Ukranazi Stepan: If Loretta was interested in a three-way, it would probably involve two men who aren’t Leroy.
@Peanut Gallery: And that’s how COVID started.
9CL – Of late, we’ve done a lot of rewriting of this strip’s continuity going back to the 1990s. The focus has been on retconning the Amos and Edda relationship, to insist that Amos was born in love with Edda and has been slavishly devoted to her ever since, with his every waking moment devoted to praising and/or gawking at her.
So, fine, he’s always been devoted to her and is madly in love with her lonce beauty and her generous and caring nature.
But Brooke has devoted not one panel to showing us why Edda would be madly in love with Amos. Especially this retcon version of Amos who is not only hideous but written as a complete blank slate moron. He has no personality, he just mutely and uncomprehendingly complies with whatever demands his mistress makes on him.
One would think that someone with Eddas matchless lonce beauty, sparkling wit, compassion, and ability to do things with her prehensile tongue could attract a better partner, one who made the other gals down at the diner jealous. Or, that the author could portray Amos as something other than a blank slate, someone with a pleasant personality or other positive features, of which he is currently in very short supply.
I suppose that it is possible that in retcon world Amos and Edda are the only two students at the school (I haven’t seen any others?) and thus Edda had no other options? Or maybe she was struck in the head by a water-filled balloon that had sati in the freezer overnight and her judgment has been impaired ever since?
GT: “I can set you up with my cobbler. Here, it’s peach. Have some.”
“How does this help me with my shoes?”
“It doesn’t but it’s tasty.”
GA: “When did you shake hands with Abe a Lincoln?”
“Just last night! He comes here with Julius Caesar and Princess Di. We scrapbook.”
Oh, look! The goggle-eyes of horror from Shoe are leaking into Hägär the Hörrible!
“If Lady Godiva rode in, I wouldn’t give her a second look! I don’t recognize the Anglo-Saxon nobility at all, and certainly not the Earldom of Mercia. After all, we Norsemen believe the true king of England is Harald Hardrada. Speaking of which, we’re off to Stamford Bridge for a parley to decide who has the right to rule York, which I’m sure is in no way an obvious ambush. See you soon!”
Gasoline Alley: Due to the nature of the art in this feature, I briefly mistook the lamp in Panel 1 for a human character.
Gasoline Alley: “No disrespect, Mr. Uncle Walt, but that doesn’t make sense!”
“Sure it does! Its logic is internally consistent with a strip built around mawkish, ahistorical twaddle!”
“Mr. Uncle Walt, can I smother you with a pillow?”
MT: No nature plot in sight. Or animals, either. Mark-bro at the water bear camp is on hold, it’s just Cherry-bro arguing with Pesticide-bro about the latest Sunny Soleil society-is-ruining-nature plans.
JP: What’s this, something is potentially about to happen? Nah, the judge and cop will walk out the door and that’s the last we see of them. The scene will likely remain in the house and we get into another round of Sam/Abbey/lil Dunc/Sophie talking for the next two weeks.
GA: Abe Lincoln died 158 years ago, so are you sure you shook his hand, Walt? Or did you shake someone’s hand who had shook Lincoln’s hand? One could continue this line backwards, shaking Caesar’s hand, or Jesus’ hand, or Oog the caveman’s hand. So we all have shook hands with every person who ever lived.
Some of you may remember David Letterman, whose late-night TV show for many years featured “Top Ten Lists” of snappy little remarks. One of those lists I think about quite often was called “Expressions that sound like they ought to be dirty.” It included “Shaking hands with Abraham Lincoln.”
What I’m saying is, it’s pretty disturbing that Walt is trying to tell a bunch of preteen kids that shaking his hand makes them a bunch of little Chip Flagstons.
@Morgan Wick: @Scratchy Scrotum LXIX: Considering he just entered hospice care, is Jimmy Carter even going to make it to April 1?
Ah, that is the great question, Grasshopper. This can be a frustrating sport. For a league starting January 1, I had Pele, who died a few days before. So I replaced him with whatever Pope was about to die, and said Pope expired before the new year. One of the great injustices in my life was with the Grumpy’s Gang Dead Pool, the one that starts April 1. I had Ruben Amaro, who died a few hours before April 1. So I missed out on that, and I ended up tied at the end of the year and then lost in sudden-death overtime. I should have called Ruben and read soothing and inspirational passages to him to get him to hang on a few more hours. Then, at 12:01 a.m. in the morning, say, “Gotta go. So do you!” It’s so unfair.
Thanks, Morgan, and also to Charterstoned for your suggestions.
No masturbation comments about Nephew McSteven? I can create an entire wanking theme to go with High and Lower and Gasoline Alley. C’mon, Mudges. You can do it.
Hägär the Hörrible: “How long would the first look last?”
“Not long, since I’d be struck blind. You…you do know how the story goes, right?”
Alt joke: “How long would the first look last?”
“What do I look like, a peeping Tom?”
HtH: Sure seems like Helga would be at the top rather than the bottom?
Walt is a WWI veteran, let’s say he enlisted at 22. He cannot have shaken Lincoln’s hand. It would be as if Taylor Swift had shaken hands with Bob Kennedy! Just because Walt is old, it doesn’t mean he lived all the past! The fact that the past is flattened in an amorphous mess without chronological coordinates is a bad symptom of post-modernism.
@Ettorre: Math mistake, but the concept stands
MW – Dr. Nephewson’s going to run into Dawn, isn’t he? She does have a thing for doctors (past failed romances include Dr. Drew, who cheated on her, and Dr. Ned, who lied about being single.) A vet’s close enough. She ain’t that picky.
Teenage boys never leave their rooms before they get a girlfriend, then they grow up and never leave the man-cave after they get a wife. It’s the circle of life!
Random memory time: When I was very young, my family knew a veteran of the Spanish-American War. That was pretty neat. I tell the kids that it wasn’t at all unusual for us to know people born in the 19th century. Nobody seems to think this is interesting.
Sally Forth: Tragic Sally is the best Sally!
Blondie: Daisy’s eyes go wide in distress because she was hoping to make a killing on DogeCoin. (Daisy is easily tricked. She’s a dog.)
@Uncle Lumpy: Keefe is a really solid artist, and panel 2 of that strip is excellent.
@astroboy: First date – washing crude oil covered ducks…you know…with Dawn!!!
@Ettorre: When Gasoline Alley reached the point where Walt Wallet would have to die, they sacrificed their real-time premise to make him an eldritch monster that devoured the future. It’s not that much of a stretch to feed him the past as well.
Alexander: Would you ever buy something so crazy, Dad?
Dagwood: No, I’ve got no balls.
HtH — If Lady Godiva wants to ride into Hagar and Helga’s hovel, she’d better be astride a Shetland pony. . .
Blondie–I haven’t been a teenager since the 1980s, so maybe things are different now, but it seems that teenagers wouldn’t have the kind of disposable income to waste on NFTs–most of them, anyway. Who are these friends of his who are throwing this kind of money around?
On the other hand, Alexander debuted as “Baby Dumpling” in the strip in 1934, which would mean he’s turning 89 this year. That’s certainly old enough to not know a bad internet-based investment from a good one, and if the other 89-year-old kids in high school are as sharp as he is, then I’ll believe they’re using their reverse mortgages to load up on lucrative NFT futures.
@Charterstoned: re Josh’s flashback link to nu-look Mark Trail:
We’re sorry to have to report the featured Foreground Fauna for that day, Stan Squirrel, is no longer with us. It turns out he actually *did* have a bent twig up his ass! And we thought it was just great acting – our bad.
Fortunately he had signed up for the extended coverage on his death and dismemberment policy, and we were able to get that covered under “acts of stupidity.” So his family is well provided for with no pesky lawsuits. RIP, Stan.
@Sid, Agent to the Animal Stars!: Moving right along!
Mary Worth: Gee, Uncle Ed. If I’m going to have fur on my hands all the time, I want it to be something fun. You know, like jerking off.
REX MORGAN M.D.: Once again, Rex Morgan M.D. is snoozeville, so I’m going to layer the Dynasty filter on it to punch it up a bit:
Wanda: “Sounds like we have a lot in common. This place was my dad’s, and I’ve been working here since I was a kid.” (“I, of course, respect the family business and contribute to it. I wouldn’t make my parent work themselves to death all alone like a slave!“)
Wanda: “Retirement sounds nice, but still a long ways a long away for me” (“I’m still young fresh and active in the prime of her life, unlike you you dried-up old bat!“)
Yvonne: “You never know…maybe some sweet guy will come along an change up your life.” (“I married a guy who could take me away from the soul-numbing drudgery of diner management. Good luck getting the broken-down losers you shack up with to do that while they bum free meals outta you.“)
“How could we have shot Lincoln?”
“Simple! Since I shot Lincoln with this hand, and you’ve shaken this hand, you shot Lincoln!”
“No disrespect, Mister Booth, but that doesn’t make any sense.”
“Sic semper tyrannus, you little shit!”
@Schroduck: “After all, we Norsemen believe the true king of England is Harald Hardrada.”
Not to be confused with King Harald Godwinson, who tricked Hardrada into the ambush that cost him his life! If Godwinson hadn’t taken an arrow to the eye (disputed) at the Battle of Hastings, his troops would never have broken formation and charged down the hill, finally falling for the last of multiple “fake retreat, lure the enemy to pursue, then turn around and rout them” gambits, and you Brits would all be speaking English today!! As opposed to whatever that godawful sequence of syllables you use is called!
@gardenornament: Wasn’t that supposed to be “the joke” of the whole exercise: That this “assignment” was simply ironic foreshadowing of “wacky misunderstandings?” (The “irony”, of course being how this stupid “mysterious letter” subplot being a example of how not to set up conflict, since it’s so horribly contrived and artificial.)
Either Walt has totally misunderstood the AIDS pandemic advice of “when you have sex, it’s as if you had sex with all of your partner’s partners” or he’s talking about the man playing Lincoln in a Presidents Day mattress ad. Actually, it’s probably both.
@Mikey: But a traveler from Shakespeare’s time would be familiar with the upper gallery that was a common fixture in stages of the time, where musicians were stationed and actors occasionally appeared for dramatic purpose. Presumably this is where the tradition of the “balcony scene” started, even though it’s not explicitly stated in the text.
Said traveler would probably be more perplexed by Juliet being played by an actual woman and not a twelve-year-old boy whose voice hasn’t changed.
@Scratchy Scrotum – with History of the World Part 2 in the can, I think Mel Brooks can now die a happy man. If you haven’t watched any of it, the Kama Sutra sketch wouls be right up your alley (not to be confused with Allie). Also, Dick Cavett for your dick round.
GA: Walt’s a lich, isn’t he? I mean, that’s the only way any of this makes sense?
HtH: Helga is familiar with the couple’s game of “in the unlikely even that such-and-such celebrity comes to our door begging for sex, you can take them up on the offer no questions asked,” and is indulging Hagar so she can bring up her deep thirst for Gruffydd ap Llwelyn.
I really like Keefe’s work on Flash Gordon, too. Ted as Flash isn’t much of a leap, and Sally as Dale works just fine.
“Chip never comes out of his room.”
“A teenage boy needs his piracy. I remember those days, hauling up the skull and crossbones and reaving my way across the briny deep.”
“So we all have shook hands with every person who ever lived.”
With some exceptions. Frances O’Connor and Prince Randian, for starters.
Best art (no particular order): Manley (Phantom), Scancarelli, Keefe, Toomey (Sherman’s Lagoon), Borgman (Zits).
Luann: This is a lot of fuss for a “do you like me? check yes or no” letter.
MW: So, is Wilbur’s clueless stalking the false crisis and Steven’s professional malaise the true crisis, or vice versa? Mary needs to know which platitudes to spout.
MW: Life imitates art! News reports today state that there is a dearth of veterinarians, leading to the death of more animals who don’t get qualified care quickly enough. Turns out Moy has her finger on the pulse!
And it’s thready and weak! That Pomeranian is going down!
@Charterstoned:And more will die because this punk is taking his “self care” time!
Here in the shadow of OSU’s truly excellent School of Veterinary Medicine, there’s a veterinarian on just about every street corner—at least five in our small town, plus two animal hospitals, plus a rabbit rescue center (the “Rabbitat”).
GA: Walt is playing the 6 degrees of separation game with those girls. Next thing he’ll convince them they shook hands with Kevin Bacon and had sex with Elvis.
Blondie: No, I’m sorry, but I absolutely refuse to believe that Dagwood is intelligent enough to not fall for every single crypto scam out there.
Gasoline Alley: Walt leaves out that after he and President Lincoln shook hands, Lincoln immediately several hours washing his hands as thoroughly as possible to get the stench of Walt off them. Walt, meanwhile, has been one for hygiene, so of course he still has a little Lincoln on him after all these years.
Hagar The Horrible: Hagar’s expression of absolute shock is fantastic, even if it’s completely out of tune with the actual content of the strip itself. His wife’s mildly sarcastic(?) comment and/or possible threeway suggestion is so horrifying that Hagar is left speechless, eyes bugging from his head!
Hi And Lois: And everybody had a good laugh until it turned out that Chip was actually using his “man cave” to build bombs, having been radicalized by hardcore online anarchist groups.
Candorville: Piling on but it feels good.
@Uncle Lumpy: #113: That’s THE OSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
BTW: When I was a kid there was a pro wrestler who went by Doctor Big Bill Miller. Unlike like other wrestlers who stuck the title doctor in front of their names (Dr. Death, etc.) he was a real doctor, holding a veterinary degree from Ohio State. He played football under the Woody Hayes regime and lettered in that and wrestling. He was also big, standing at 6 feet seven inches. He fought as an ac/dc wrestler, whipping up on heels and faces alike and his trunks bore the scarlet and gray of his alma mater.
@Uncle Lumpy: I understand the Rabbitat is just down the road from the rat rescue, the Ratatat, not to be confused with the Ratatatat, a local machine gun emporium.
@Guillermo el chiclero:
Gotta say the weirdest thing about living here is the Woody Hayes veneration.
@Voshkod: I thought the Ratatatat was the local inking parlor…!
@Voshkod: And I can’t believe I forgot the Rattletat, the rattlesnake rehabilitation center and snake handler church, two blocks to the west.
@Robert Carlson: “Did Vikings have sofas?”
Who cares? The artist certainly doesn’t, and is probably counting on the audience not caring either.
I just wish the creators would realize that there’s a difference between intentionally using anachronism for humour (like in the Flintstones, or perhaps in the first few years of this strip as well), and just filling your strip with anachronisms because you’re lazy and don’t care. That could, perhaps, make them pause and think few milliseconds before their golf game.
(sorry for being so grouchy about this strip, but the lazy cultural appropriation grinds a bit on my Nordic nerves).
@ectojazzmage: “Blondie: No, I’m sorry, but I absolutely refuse to believe that Dagwood is intelligent enough to not fall for every single crypto scam out there.”
It’s not intelligence that stops him from falling for them. It’s lack of cash. Why else the wistful look in the last panel?
Expensive, but worth it.
Seems like Walt is confusing shaking hands with the clap.
“How long would the first look last?”
“Eh, a few seconds for me to determine she was unarmed and on a nice horse. Then I could either kill her or capture her for ransom. Either way, free horse!”
@Uncle Lumpy: “Here in the shadow of OSU’s truly excellent School of Veterinary Medicine, there’s a veterinarian on just about every street corner”
I remember driving up from Dayton to take our German Shepherd, who had a herniated disc in his back, to the OSU Vet School back in the late 70s. We had to lie about his age to get them agree to try the surgery to repair his back, but he came home and could walk again!
@Old School Allie Cat: I do not know what a Fleshlight is, but some instinct is telling me not to google it, and I should listen, right?; Right.
@Old School Allie Cat: Good suggestions. We don’t have Hulu or whatever, so I can’t watch it yet. Yes, Dick Cavett would be a better pick, but Dick Pound is funnier. Thanks for the picks.
Blondie: Sit down, Alexander. You’re about to hear all about the worthlessness of paper currency, the fecklessness of the Federal Reserve system, and the need to return to the gold standard. Who needs NFTs when we already have bills?
Between Friends: Steve, Steve, Steve….there’s a reason everyone calls her the “Slut Friend.”
@Scratchy Scrotum LXIX: Is there a real Dead Pool? I thought it was just a metaphor. And I don’t know who half those people are. But, here’s my hint. Noam Chomsky is 94.
@Calvin’s Cardboard Box:
Cornell wins on large animals and exotics, but you can’t beat OSU for pets. The standard of care around here is really extraordinary.
@Robert Carlson: “Did Vikings have sofas?”
No, but the Byzantines had ottomans.
9CL – It is clear at this point that Brooke first writes the dialogue, then goes back with his Thesaurus and does a search-and-replace for each word with a polysyllabic substitute.
“But perseverate! What glowing plasma transmits across the proximate windowpane! It the Eastward cardinal compass point, and Edda is the active source of hydrogen fusion!”
@jroggs: Too soon, man.
@jroggs: “Byzantines had ottomans.”
Yes, but the ottomans were incredibly complex and had a seemingly infinite number of sides and it was a tedious exercise in physical geometry just to figure out how to sit on it and not fall off.
GIL THORP: Whoops! It looks like Atazhoon’s shoes were being bound by the same tape used to hold the strips 10,000 subplots together. Uh-oh!
@Guillermo el chiclero: #117
” there was a pro wrestler who went by Doctor Big Bill Miller. Unlike like other wrestlers who stuck the title doctor in front of their names (Dr. Death, etc.) he was a real doctor, holding a veterinary degree from Ohio State.”
I remember Big Bill Miller — didn’t he also wrestle for a while under a mask in the AWA as “Mister M” (not the most subtle of alternate names)? And I recall hearing that later Hard-Boiled Haggerty also used that mask and that name.
One other (current) professional wrestler who has real medical degree is Dr. Britt Baker, a dentist. She’s a busy woman, both maintaining her professional practice and wrestling for AEW.
Former WWE wrestler “Harvard Chris” Nowinski has a PhD (in Neuroscience), but he didn’t receive it until after his wrestling career was over.
@Uncle Lumpy: #113
“Here in the shadow of OSU’s truly excellent School of Veterinary Medicine, there’s a veterinarian on just about every street corner”
I’m visualizing shady-looking characters in long coats with a lot of internal pockets who sidle up to you and say “Heh, bub, wanna score some cut-rate spaying and neutering?”
BB: what’s Cookie’s rank? He does have a rank, doesn’t he?
@Professor Well Actually: Contract Line Cook, Haliburton.
Pluggers – I still may not know exactly what a Plugger is, but based on the last three days, I’m getting pretty clear idea of what’s on the minds of the sub-section of the strip’s fan base that submits ideas.
@Professor Well Actually: “BB: what’s Cookie’s rank? He does have a rank, doesn’t he?”
Not necessarily. He might be civilian employee of the Army. We’ve never seen him wearing a uniform, anyway.
@Calvin’s Cardboard Box: “Yes, but the ottomans were incredibly complex and had a seemingly infinite number of sides and it was a tedious exercise in physical geometry just to figure out how to sit on it and not fall off.”
“This ottoman is utterly byzantine. It must be from East Roman Empire.”
@gardenornament: I agree. If my kid had a “bff” who treated her like that I would have tried to explain that the friendship was really a frenemy-ship and maybe it’s best to let it sink. Of course, my kid is not in college, but she’s about as mature as Luann here. And now they make Tara treat Luann like ass too, not to mention her parents’ constant carping. Does anyone actually like Luann — except Shannon?
@Ukulele Ike: “Between Friends: Steve, Steve, Steve….there’s a reason everyone calls her the “Slut Friend.””
I get this feeling that Steve is aware of that epithet and that’s why he’s making such a big deal out of this.
@Calvin’s Cardboard Box: Edda only wants someone no one else will want. That way she never has to worry about losing him. That’s my armchair analysis of the day.
@Victory Garden: “Does anyone actually like Luann?”
The Evansii probably do, though they have an odd way of showing their affection.
@Professor Well Actually: According to Wikipedia:
Cookie (Cornelius) Jowls—the mess sergeant, who smokes cigarettes while preparing the mess hall’s questionable menu (infamous for rubbery meatballs and tough-as-rawhide steaks). He practices no sanitary food preparation measures aside from wearing a chef hat, and is almost always seen wearing a tank top. Walker once described him as “the sum of all Army cooks I’ve met in my life.”
As Voshkod and gardenornament point out, in the modern military onbase food preparation is normally contracted out to civilians, but in this strip it’s always 1955.
Hagaaaar – So Hägar brought an Ottoman back from Constantinople when he left the Varangian Guard. And he, Helga, and Lady Godiva will soon be sharing it.
@Rube: And he probably saw quite a few:
“In 1943, Walker was drafted into the United States Army and served in Italy, where he was an intelligence and investigating officer and was also in charge of an Allied camp for 10,000 German POWs. After the war he was posted to Italy where he was in charge of an Italian guard company. He was discharged as a first lieutenant in 1947.”
@Scratchy Scrotum LXIX: Sorry, Scratchy. You already missed out on one:
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Bert I. Gordon, the sci-fi director who aimed to terrify drive-in denizens of the 1950s and ’60s with low-budget films featuring colossal creatures, shrinking humans and radioactive monsters, has died. He was 100.
Gordon died Wednesday in Los Angeles of complications from a fall in his Beverly Hills home, his daughter Patricia Gordon told The Hollywood Reporter.
Highlights (lowlights?) on his B-movie résumé include The Cyclops (1957), The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Beginning of the End (1957), Earth vs. the Spider (1958), Attack of the Puppet People (1958), Tormented (1960), The Boy and the Pirates (1960) and Picture Mommy Dead (1966).
In the ’70s, Gordon directed Vince Edwards and Chuck Connors in The Police Connection (1973) and wrote and directed How to Succeed With Sex (1970), Necromancy (1972), The Food of the Gods (1976) and, starring Joan Collins in the muck, Empire of the Ants (1977).
Bert I. Gordon was also reportedly the director of the most movies seen on the original “Mystery Science Theater 3000”.
@UncleJeff: Man, a lot of those titles are hard to turn into porn parodies . . . or are already porn parodies.
@Guillermo el chiclero:
So wrestler Dr. Jerry Graham was not a real doctor? At least a Ph.D or a DC? Oh the humanity.
@Shrug: #139: Another celebrity who I was surprised to find out was a doctor was Edgar Buchanan of Petticoat Junction fame. He was a practicing dentist who got bitten by the acting bug in middle age. His dentist wife ran the practice while he did his Uncle Joe gig.
@Voshkod: I get the impression that Beetle Bailey started out as a pretty good parody of the Army Walker was drafted into. Now it really doesn’t resemble anything. At all.
GA: Years ago the George H W Bunch Presidential Library in College Station, Texas had an exhibit of presidential portraits on loan from the Smithsonian. It included plaster casts of Lincoln’s hands. The right hand was noticably larger than the left because it had become swollen from shaking hands with several thousand supporters at a political rally the previous day.
@Uncle Lumpy: Manely’s best work these days is reserved for The Phantom while Judge Parker gets clip art rejects. I suppose the quality of the artwork is related to the quality of the stories.
@Anonymous: I would guess quality of the pay is the big issue. I understand Phantom still has a big international following, while Judge Parker is probably just hanging on to being profitable for the syndicate.
@Victory Garden: Does anyone actually like Luann
Oh my, yes. Go read the comments on GoComics.
@pugfuggly: H&L: Back when this strip started, Hi would have had his “study,” with a desk and a sofa and some barware. The children would not be allowed in.
@Poteet: It’s an inverted d!ldo (not sure if I’m allowed to use that word here). Roughly the size and shape of a flashlight.
“ Is that what you guys are doing in there? Jerking off?”
Lois grew up with a brother, for crying out loud. Don’t tell me Beetle didn’t lock himself in his room for hours. Too lazy to masturbate, but hey…
DT:”Wait, you’re starting the investigation with a blithe statement that no crime has been committed, based on zero evidence? Can I get someone else? I’ll even take Detective Yelich!”
GT: I’m surprised to learn that Gil only knows one cobbler, since I thought there had already been a load of them in this storyline.
HtH: I was all set to launch into my usual “Lady Godiva wasn’t actually a habitual nudist” rant, when I suddenly realised that, just this once, the strip never actually says she was. You win this round, Hägar the Horrible!
MT: This is an even less astonishing Legion of Doom than “the Bros are still hanging around with each other” over in Mark’s storyline. Oh wow, Ernest has “teamed up” with Violet, the woman he’s been working with in all his past appearances, and who we recently learned he’s having an affair with! What a twist!
RMMD Look, Yvonne, you fell in love with a guy who lived a long way from where your diner was, and when he proposed, you were already pretty much ready to retire and prepared to move. That’s your story. It doesn’t mean that finding love and quitting the diner biz are necessarily synonymous.
Lou was a Navy man, I think, based on his anchor tattoo, so couldn’t he compete with Cookie? And Lucky Eddie lives in a warped timeline, so why couldn’t he, too? Vikings were militaristic after all.
My point is three lousy cooks with a military background competing on Iron Chef would be like a really awesome episode of Chopped were contestants actually get…. chopped.
I don’t know.
Anyway. Waiter!?!? Another martini. PLEASE.
Pluggers: Wasn’t this joke “Dunlap‘s Disease” the last time it appeared here? As in “belly done lapped over his belt? The word “lop” means to cut or shorten, and doesn’t seem appropriate here.
In any case, this joke was old back when Pluggers walked on all fours.
@Tom T.: Thank you. Enlightenment without suffering, much appreciated.
@Charterstoned: There has been a shortage of large-animal vets in the rural Upper Midwest for some time. It turns out that for many vets, working with All Creatures Small is more rewarding and profitable than working with All Creatures Great.
Non Sequitur: Yes, my friends – that is ME in “heaven” today… but rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated. (snort,snort) I was all too happy to play the role of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates in this comedic, yet thoughtful, scenario.
Sure, it’s all a little heavy-handed with the two-legger “Hunter” facing his final destiny as he appears before the Supreme Elk! But this comic is not exactly known for its subtlety. At least they didn’t write “NRA sucks” anywhere in the panel. At least that I can see….
@Shrug: in my young wrestling fan days, we had an AWA wrestler known as Dr. X (Great mask).
His real name was Dick Breyer and he was a hero in Japan as The Destroyer.
Before my time was Dr. Sam Shepard. He was the real life inspiration for “The Fugitive”.
He could not practice medicine any more but could wrestler and use the feared nerve hold later used by Mick Foley and Dr. Britt Baker, DMD
@Poteet: I think that’s a constant complaint in rural areas, everywhere. Vets would sooner work with pampered kitty cats than perform c-sections on enraged cows.
@Rube: Yep. Easier hours, less travel, less physical exertion come with cats and dogs. Fluffy is easier than Flossie.
GA: While Walt passed from “really old” to “impossibly old” some time ago, he’s still too young to have ever met Abraham Lincoln. The premise changes if he’s talking about Elmo Lincoln, which he may at least think he is.
H&L: If Chip really is self-pleasuring behind the door with its not-so-jolly-roger, I would think that his mother would at least want to stand further away. But perhaps *shudder* I shouldn’t go making assumptions.
Crock: Presumably Ralph only means that he’s avoiding the non-pornographic parts of the Internet.
DtM: Turning it around and making a joke about Mr. Wilson’s hairline wouldn’t be the most menacing thing Dennis could do, but it would be more menacing than this.
GT: It won’t be the most surprising thing in the world if Atazhoon’s janky shoes turn out to be some kind of Gil Thorp budgeting ploy.
Phantom: Brace yourself, Diana. Your hubby is knocking out a guy’s teeth with his big-pimpin’ skull ring.
GT: Gil knows a cobbler. His name is Geezil. He cobbles shoes. Just don’t tell him you’re one of the Jones Boys.
Pluggers: What, three pluggers are fat in a row? How about pluggers are old, or cheap, or believe in every right wing conspiracy theory?
“No, I meant it doesn’t make sense that you shook hands with Lincoln… You’d have to be over 160 years old! It’s not humanly possible!”