Trouble in paradise
Mary Worth, 3/1/23
Uh oh! Looks like Estelle is running into the dark side of dating a hot, animal-saving, ivory-tinkling hunk like Dr. Ed: he has other obligations, like to the animals he has to save, or the ivories he has to tinkle, or whatever. Hey, Estelle, you know who won’t stand you up on a date? Wilbur! He’ll always be there for you, even if you don’t want him to be! Sorry, those are your only two choices, I guess!
Every classic comic strip needs to have a longtime married couple who hates each other to remind readers that heterosexual monogamy is a crushing prison, and in Crock that couple is Grossie and Maggot. Usually they just hate each other in a “fun” way, like with quips and such, but their facial expressions in today’s panel let us know that every moment of their existence, in which they’re forced to remain together forever in a strip that will keep going out in reruns indefinitely, is an agonizing one.
Every once in a while I need to remind you, my faithful readers, about the ways in which I suffer for your entertainment and my craft, so I’m going to tell you that my very first instinct upon reading today’s Shoe was to do some online research on whether cloacas have sphincters that allow birds to hold in their poops or if they just have to let it go as soon as it’s ready. Anyway, the material I found was very gross, and the answer is that they can hold it in but not for anywhere near as long as mammals without risking injury so they generally don’t, so yes, Shoe is being literal here, the staff of the Treetops Tribune just let it rip around the office wherever and whenever they need to.
185 replies to “Trouble in paradise”
Mary Worth Mashups: Work load or a load about work?
Shoe: Of course they have a restroom It’s that branch over there with the toilet on it. Sheesh!
Can’t Dr. Ed just bundle up some of the animals and bring them along to the restaurant for his date? He could give injections and set broken limbs and deworm and stuff while he’s waiting for their food to arrive (or for Wilbur to arrive, whichever comes first).
Shoe: “The whole office is a restroom! But enough of my puns. Look at the tiny sleeping Perfesser I keep at the end of this branch! See him slumped at his miniature desk? It’s adorable!”
Shoe-That would explain the mile high stack of paper covered in bird feces.
RMMD-“Was that Truck Tyler? I thought he was murdered in that bathhouse.”
MW-Special guest cameo appearance by Marmaduke.
JP-“Oh, Sam, that’s the pizza I ordered while I was in the middle of my monologue.”
FC-“Know what? We never get any older. We always have a birthday but we stay the same age.”
I guess he’s an emergency vet? Because regular vets have appointments and schedules.
FC – That look you give when you discover that you’re smarter than your older sister, but then realize the bar is incredibly low.
Shoe: I honestly didn’t even realize the joke was that Perfesser is asleep, I thought he was bent over and going to the bathroom off of the side of the branch.
Fun fact: that chalky white stuff in we call “bird shit” is urine—birds don’t drink much water, and have highly efficient kidneys extended alongside the vertebral column for weight distribution.
Bizarro : “Zygote”, “Embryo”, “Spawn”… my suspension of disbelief that someone could have that great a game of Scrabble ™ is distracting me too much…
Garfield : “Burp”? Knowing what lactose-filled cheese supposedly does to pets, shouldn’t that be “TOOT”? And the speech bubble should be coming from somewhere else other than the mouth?
Mark Trail : you can’t do “OH NO! MY ENTIRE ROGUES GALLERY!” when it’s almost always been the same bad guy every time, and even when it wasn’t, the bad guy was lame and interchangeable.
“Look out, Mark Trail! It’s Cricket Bro, and Crypto Bro, and Dude Bro, and [INSERT ONLINE CONCEPT HERE] Bro! They’ve teamed up (again)!”
Safe Havens : Wait, now I’m confused, because should their pre-pubsecent son even be capable of producing flowers?
I’m also worried, because this strip is transformation-fetish furry webcomic-adjacent enough for one of them to end up being “fertilised” by their flowers once they change back
Shoe : “Just hover over the Perfesser and unload your cloaca all over him! It’s okay; I do it ALL the time! Sometimes he doesn’t even wake up after it, he’s so used to it!”
Mary Worth: Boy, I’ll say it’s an emergency! If Dr. Ed doesn’t get over there fast, all those other dogs are going to eat that little dog, and/or the kid that’s holding it.
Ha haaaa! I didn’t literally laugh out loud at Plugger cat man, but I did chuckle audibly!
MW: Look at that kid who tripped on his shoelace and broke his dog’s jaw. “It’s not my fault,” he snivels, but everybody in the waiting room knows how his neglect hurt that sweet puppy. They shun him, and a lady just off-panel is calling Animal Protective Services right now.
Why can’t we hear about all that instead of Estelle, is my point.
Wilbur found out about their date and went around Santa Royale clubbing dogs with a bat.
BB Where, exactly, is this supposed to be taking place? If it’s in the General’s office, which is indicated by Miss Buxley being there, why is Sarge barging in asking about dinner? If it’s in Lug’s own quarters, why is Buxley there? And why am I even thinking about Beetle Bailey, let along writing about it?
Mw I loved that the MaryWorth and Me blog realized the art in panel 2 is a total take on a Norman Rockwell print. Nice job on that one.
And Eshtelle sadly keeps pleading with Dr Ed Harding through her brush while combing her hair with her mobile phone.
@Baja Gaijin: Cassandra Cat.
@Ukranazi Stepan: Though Weelbur would have done as well.
Josh researches the cloacas so we don’t have to.
MW – Where did these people learn to hold cell phones and hair brushes?
9CL – This is like a comic version of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. He keeps going back and eddating the past to try and perfect his Mary Sue. Today we learn she ran the school via secret meetings with Sister Pushover.
LUANN – The ratio of “time the characters sit around and discuss possibly doing something that might be interesting, or would at least advance the plot” to “time the characters spend doing something interesting” is approaching infinity.
Of course, we all approach infinity in our own ways, the challenge is actually getting there…
CS: Let’s see, the award-winning mystery author needs a comic book hack to come in and massage her bio. That must be one truly awful bio.
JP: “Hey, everybody, I’m inviting you all over to my house so you can kill each other! I’ve even cleaned up the place after I killed by wife and kid. Don’t be late!”
RMMD: The plot thins.
GT: “Coach Thorp, you’re two days late!”
“Sorry, I was delayed by a Black History Month PSA.”
MW: But Dr. Jeff working late at the Clinic is totes okay.
How far can a server be thrown to hit a comics writer? Asking for a Moy….
Shoe: That explains why, in spite of having laptops, the office hasn’t gone paperless, in response to a question none of us ever thought to ask and that, in retrospect, none of us wanted answered.
@Anonymous, MT: I still love Jules, but I wash we got a Rogue Gallery/Legion of Doom against impervious Fists O’Justice Mark during the Elrodball Era.
Crock: The rare Crock/9CL crossover, featuring Amos as the Wise Sage.
MW: “Yeah, there was a pile-up on the Riverside Dog Park. A pug stalled in the middle lane and a great dane tipped right over trying to avoid him.”
Also, good to know that Estelle’s poor fine motor skills aren’t just specific to phone — she also doesn’t know how to hold a brush, evidently…
Crock: It’s funny because ‘I do’ is a phrase to mark the moment you get married, and it’s all downhill from there, apparently!
REX MORGAN: Truck probably checked to see if there was an unattached woman in town who happened to own a bank or a liquor store or a brothel, but no luck with those, so he decided to settle for a cafe. I mean, yes, he likes diner food well enough too, it’s just not his first choice. (Or, as roots rock musicians say, his ‘druthers.’)
MW: “Plus, the ghost of Norman Rockwell is here, and he says he won’t leave until he gets to paint a wholesome portrait of a boy with a bandaged puppy.”
@Uncle Lumpy: Because “Ed Hardin, DVM” would swiftly pivot from being about caring for animals to finding work for washed up Jazz pianists.
MW: Pretty sure a vet at a clinic with set hours will tell pet owners doing last minute walk-ins to come back tomorrow or go to a 24-hour animal hospital. Then again, this is a world where a person can be treated as missing and assumed dead while simultaneously running up credit card charges for a week, so what do I know? At least we can enjoy a chuckle from Estelle clearly talking into her hairbrush while grooming herself with her phone.
CS: Lillian Mackenzie,
novelistbookcauser extraordinaire, is now incapable of writing a short paragraph about herself even following a simple template and must reach out for help from another writer to write her bio for her. Look, Batiuk, nobody made you stop writing Funky and you don’t need excuses this dumb to bring in cameo characters. Just have Mopey Pete walk into the panel and start yammering about his lame eco-comics whenever you want with no reason given; it will be less stupid than this.
9CL: Yep, that last panel certainly follows the previous three. No questions.
RMMD: Now this is an ominous strip. What will we see tomorrow?
A) Hank Jr. and Yvonne walk into the diner, where Wanda is sobbing from the emotional impact of something Truck told her just before he left.
B) Hank Jr. and Yvonne walk into the diner, where they behold the aftermath of a massacre with all the restaurant staff and customers lie on the floor and slump over tables and counters in pools of their own blood, while the last refrain of “Glenwood Motel” plays on the jukebox.
C) Hank Jr. and Yvonne walk into the diner, where they order omelettes and talk about the wonderfulness of Truck Tyler and roots country music and diner food.
@Baja Gaijin: AIIEEEEEEEEEEEE, IT BURNS!! “Wonder Mary Woman”—how can I unsee THAT???!!!
CS – “He’s a very good comic book writer! Better than Tom Batiuk, who unnecessarily set off my boyfriend’s name with commas in the first panel! Seriously, why would you do that?”
MW – “I’m sorry, Estelle, but I just can’t date a woman stupid enough to mistake her hairbrush for a phone.”
MW: Dr. Ed has reeled in Estelle and now she’s caught in his scheme. If she wants to see him, she needs to schedule an appointment and pay for his services.
PHANTOM: “We’ve got LIGHTS back! Orange ones, for some reason, but still!”
MARK TRAIL: Mark’s ‘old rivals’ are a gang called “*GULP*”? Is that an acronym or something?
WALLACE THE BRAVE: Sterling has all of the most irritating habits of a cat, with none of the cuteness.
MW: The dog with the classic cartoon toothache bandage is the only one that looks sick. What, no around-the-head birdies or lightning bolts?
SHOE: On the bright side, there’s the lucrative side hustle in guano.
The best part about the Norman Rockwell homage is that the woman’s cigarette has been replaced with a smartphone. One addiction begets another!
JP: So Sam was never supposed to be at the lake house where the double-TPK shootout happened, even though Judge Duncan specifically told Sam to meet him there at the lake house at the time of the shootout he orchestrated. And never mind how Duncan expected the entire C18 drug cartel to be permanently wiped out in a spontaneous skirmish with a handful of dirty cops. Congratulations on making one of the dumbest sequences in fiction history even dumber, Francesco Marciuliano.
Anyway, Sam’s goldfishlike attention span has once again been broken by shiny lights outside. Presumably this is Gloria, who has finally returned with news about Steve after being gone for 90 minutes or eight hours or six weeks or however long Marciuliano thinks has passed in-universe. But we can’t rule out the possibility that it’s more oxy gang members and corrupt police, who will emerge like clowns from opposite sides of their shared Toyota Camry and start shooting each other while everyone in the house runs around the living room waving their arms and yelling until the next deus ex machina bails them out from the latest danger.
“How do you know when the magic has gone out of your marriage?”
“When you start re-tweeting ‘Lockhorns’ cartoons with the hashtag ‘#relationshipgoals.'”
BTW, Charterstoned, Victor Buono was on Perry Mason again last night. Who doesn’t love that guy? For my money, he truly was one of the greatest character actors of his or any other time.
Stella did not realize that Ed belonged to a small but dedicated group of Rockwell re-enactors. Ironically, he has no role today since his group reimagined the perspective of this painting to exclude the veterinarian.
This is, of course, Wilbur’s plan to rope Estelle back in; he’s outside drop-kicking dachshunds at Dr Ed’s office
@Weaselboy: CS – “He’s a very good comic book writer! Better than Tom Batiuk, who unnecessarily set off my boyfriend’s name with commas in the first panel! Seriously, why would you do that?”
The commas make it a nonrestrictive appositive, meaning it elaborates but isn’t necessary to indicate which boyfriend she is referring to. In other words, she has only one boyfriend. With more than one, a restrictive appositive would be necessary and the commas wouldn’t be used.
For example, if she were dating the Green Bay Packers, she would say, “My boyfriend Benjie Franklin can’t cover a receiver worth a shit, but he’s a great writer.”
Shoe: So, the Perfesser isn’t napping, as he appears. He’s actually purring in ecstasy in the afterglow of a satisfying dump. Just when I think I’m out, they pull my right back in.
@Inspector Gotcha: Victor Buono was on Perry Mason again last night. Who doesn’t love that guy? For my money, he truly was one of the greatest character actors of his or any other time.
He was great. Amazingly enough, he was only in his late twenties when he played King Tut on Batman.
Dr. Ed is compassionate and he properly communicates with Estelle should something happen. That’ll never do. Any woman interested in a healthy relationship would never have hooked up with Wilbur in the first place.
Does Maggot have that shovel because he had to dig that opening in the sand pile for the sage?
MW: If you’re the sort of veterinarian who allows their waiting room to fill up with people who randomly show up without an appointment, I have two questions: 1) Where are you located? I would love a vet where I can just blow through, and 2) Why haven’t you figured out not to make plans on a weeknight?
Sometimes it can be a fun (?) game to switch the word balloons on different comic strips! For instance, imagine the word balloons for Shoe or Crock applied to Mary Worth. Crock works pretty well, but Shoe is almost frighteningly appropriate, and frankly a lot funnier than in the original strip.
JP: Sam wasn’t supposed to be there? Then why did one of the gunmen call out Sam and Gloria’s name? It must be that the gunman recognized them and is someone known to Sam. Sophie! Do you have an alibi for this morning?
I see it’s dark out, so this day is finally wrapping up. I guess it will soon be Christmas morning!
Quentin Tarantino’s Judge Parker: “Who’s outside?”
“It’s the Wolf!”
“They sent the Wolf?”
“Yeah, man, it’s the Wolf!”
“Well, let him in!”
The door open, revealing Sally Forth. “I understand you gentlemen have a problem?”
@Catt: And isn’t the first panel something like a Roy Lichtenstein painting? Perhaps this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh%2C_Jeff…I_Love_You%2C_Too…But…
MW: Ed could always drop in later for a booty call.
Being around Luann would damage anyone.
MW: ”One dumb kid here tied a handkerchief around his dog’s head, and now it can barely breathe! I either have to do a tracheotomy or try to get that knot untied, but it looks like a grannie.”
Not for the first time, I find myself wondering what Grossy and Maggot’s skeletons look like. Is it just a big pointy-headed skull under there, or do they have a vestigial thorax?
Come on, King Features, kill ‘em off so we can find out. Judging by today’s strip, you’d be doing them a favour.
Shoe: Fun fact: You can train a parrot to poop when you snap your fingers. It sounds a little silly, but it can be useful to have Polly do her business while she’s on the perch, so that the tank is empty when you put her on your shoulder. You just have to be careful not to watch West Side Story together.
Crock: What the hell are we even looking at? You can’t make an igloo out of sand! (Somehow that sounds like the title of the next Dilbert book.)
@Calvin’s Cardboard Box: Luann: Last week, all we (the readers) heard was that his family was “messed up.” Then Tara told Luann that she wouldn’t tell her his back story because it wasn’t Luann’s business. Now Tara says she doesn’t actually know anything about him. Clearly the writers have not put any thought into the plot here, but is it too much to ask for consistency from one day to the next?
MW – “Hold on a second, Ed. I’ve got another call coming in on my hairbrush.”
Crock – Wait, so “I do” means “Let’s have sex right away”? Maybe I should stop rejecting wedding invitations, it could be more entertaining than I thought!
Mary Worth: In my experience, there’s one thing and only one thing that would cause a veterinary practice to stay beyond their customary hours. Gonna be a whole lot of dead dogs in Santa Royale tonight, is what I’m saying. (Ask about our half-off special on Pomeranian euthanization!)
Don Abundio, translated:
“Hilda, bring the vacuum cleaner to the boss’s room”
“He wants me to clean at 1:30 in the morning?”
“No. He wants to play bridge”
“The vacuum cleaner will be the dummy”
MW: Well, we convinced one of the
dameslady producers to take some of the heat off of Libby and Pierre today! And got gigs for a lot of our Canine clients! Dogs are good!
I gotta thank my Intern for helping set up this tableau, choosing just the right clients to compose the scene. That PhD in Art Appreciation has really paid off! As well as his paint-by-numbers hobby….
” But we can’t rule out the possibility that it’s more oxy gang members and corrupt police”
Given the way this plot is going, I don’t think we can even rule out the possibility that it’s those savage guard dogs from the Judge’s house, who got tired of being forgotten and, just as Young Dunc suddenly realized he knows how to talk, have suddenly realized they know how to drive.
Shoe: People (or birds) are called “perfesser” because a) they are intelligent; or b) because they play the piano in a whorehouse. Is there any history in this strip of the Perfesser being either one of those?
MW: Damn, wish my vet would take walk-ins….
Anyway, clearly the message here is that one should seek out a man like Wilbur, who has very few professional or personal ambitions, interests, or obligations and is very cavalier about them, and therefore always has plenty of spare time for a date and/or stalking session.
Shoe: I suppose I should have guessed why the Perfesser always has a pile of newspaper strewn about him.
Shoe: On a whim, I plugged Josh’s commentary into the Hemingway Editor app, which revealed that you would need post-graduate education to read his sentences comfortably. The next time somebody tells you bird poop jokes are lowbrow, you tell them Josh is here to prove them wrong!
FC: Kudos to Dolly for recognizing that people have birthdays once a year. You’ve been paying attention, little girl!
““They sent the Wolf?”
“Yeah, man, it’s the Wolf!”
“Well, let him in!”
Shouldn’t the next line be: “Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin”?
@Twinkles the Elf: Ed Harding, ER Vet!!! If that was on teevee, I’d watch the shit out of it.
@Inspector Gotcha: #43: Was that the episode where he played the manager of a travelling theatrical company? Great episode.
Mary Worth – I know the impulse is to say that Wilbur injured/poisoned the dogs to sabotage Dr. Ed, but given how he’s been owned by Libby and Pierre, any attempt Wilbur made would end up with him stuck in a tree and needing the firefighters to pull off the animals and get him down.
Crock – Their facial expressions in today’s panel let us know that every moment of their existence, in which they’re forced to remain together forever in a strip that will keep going out in reruns indefinitely, is an agonizing one.
“Why couldn’t our creator have been Scott Adams?” – lament of many a zombie legacy strip characters this week.
Shoe – I like to imagine the Bird people in Shoe exist in the same universe as Slylock Fox, just years later. Unlike the animals in Slylock, the bird folks rejected adopting the human society and tried to maintain the Old Ways. Gradually they wore down and accepted some of the human technology and customs out of convenience. It would explain why the Treetops – Tattler survives in print form, since many of the caged and domesticated birds kept the Old Ways of lining the floor of their bathroom with newspaper.
@Ukulele Ike: Bear in mind, intelligence is a relative term: to the residents of Hooten Holler, anyone who has earned his high school diploma might reasonably be called “Perfesser.” Likewise, Gilligan’s Island’s Professor was able to invent an entire array of coconutpunk technology, yet the mechanics of basic boat repair consistently eluded him.
Now, is Shoe’s Perfesser more intelligent than the other bird-people around him? That is a question that would require more time than I have, and instruments capable of microscopic measurements.
LUANN: Tara is perhaps the nearest thing this strip has to a likable character, as we can see today that she’s not afraid to “speak truth to power.” Well, admittedly, she’s just talking to Luann here so it’s more like “speak truth to clueless vacuity,” but, for this strip, close enough.
GT: Gil and his wife are holding hands? Weren’t they in the process of divorcing? I’m so confused.
Judge Parker: “Oh shit, it’s the narrative police! They’ve got a warrant to put this thing back on the rails! You’ll never take me alive, copper!!”
@Shrug: Either that or, “No, man, I’M The Wolf. Open up, I got the stuff!”
“The Wolf? The Wolf’s not here.”
@Ukulele Ike: I’m pretty sure in one of those Ring Lardner stories a baseball player was dubbed “The Professor” because he was seen reading a BOOK on the team bus.
#67 MW: Anyway, clearly the message here is that one should seek out a man like Wilbur, who has very few professional or personal ambitions, interests, or obligations and is very cavalier about them, and therefore always has plenty of spare time for a date and/or stalking session.
This is my fear for where this is headed, and I wouldn’t put it past Moy to go this route. Mary: “You see, dear, I was right all along because of course I am. Wilbur may have his endearing quirks but at least he’s THERE.”
@jroggs: Every time I see a reference to “Hank Jr,” I think the famous outlaw country singer has suddenly shown up in RMMD. Which, given the writer’s obsession with “roots country,” is probably more likely than an actual medical storyline appearing.
Mary Worth: God. Moy really is gonna do it isn’t she? She’s gonna contrive something to have Estelle pick fucking Wilbur over this vet guy isn’t she? Fucking Lord. This strip is absolutely batshit. I’ve said it before but it really is impressive just how completely and utterly and horrifically dysfunctional Moy manages to make all her characters and relationships without meaning to.
Crock: “Are you going to give us any actual advice or just keep making lame zingers that’d get you punched in the throat in real life?” “Answer hazy, ask again later.”
Shoe: If somebody responded to my requests for a bathroom by making a stupid pun joke like that, I’d take it as a free invitation to relieve myself on their desk.
9CL: Brooke seems to be airing a lot of petty childhood grievances lately. First he goes after the stuck-up “Marys” who would not deign to notice him in Catholic school, and now he’s targeting the nuns who smacked him with a ruler for drawing sexy lady gams on his math homework.
C’shaft: “And since comic books are the pinnacle of literature, he’s the best of the best!”
GT: You could shuffle these panels at random and the comic would make exactly as much sense.
JP: That’s just what this arc needs–another person to spout exposition!
Lio: Lio’s squid is either a woman or gay, and either way that is something I did not know.
Luann: Tara knows Luann’s attempts to “fix” a trouble loaner would be the relationship equivalent of tackling a leaking toilet with a sledgehammer.
MT: I will forgive everything if one or more of these characters ends up dead and Benoit Blanc shows up.
@ectojazzmage: All Vet Ed has to do is become as loathsome at Wilbur. Easy-peasy. “I can still make this date if . . . everyone, your pets are terminal. Bring ’em in and I’ll prep the shots. No, stop weeping, just put ’em down so I can put ’em down. And bam! Made the date!”
DT: On a meta note, the current story arc and the discussion about Nero Wolfe here on this page made me buy one of the books (“Plot it Yourself”). I read a few of the mysteries a long time ago, when I was a teenager, but wasn’t too excited and haven’t read any since then. I’m willing to give them a second chance now.
@gardenornament: I love the Stout Wolfe stories, but they are all about the atmosphere. If you’re a fan of play fair mysteries, they don’t work, since “Wolfe had Saul Panzer break into the suspect’s office and steal incriminating evidence” is a perfectly acceptable solution.
@Baja Gaijin: #1
Oh my gosh, those are good! I think my favorite is flirtatious Cassandra Cat…although Plugger Cat is a good one…I can see him taking up Dr Ed’s entire evening with a litany of Plugger ailments. OTOH, I can see Cassandra taking up his evening in other ways…
Luann: Tara doesn’t know Luann very well if she thinks she can “damage” her cousin in any way. Unless you count “bore to sleep” as “damage”, of course.
Luann: Tara seems a bit possessive. I sense some incestuous desire there…
“or for Wilbur to arrive, whichever comes first).”
…speaking of deworming…
MW – It’s obvious that Karen Moy doesn’t have a pet herself or if she does, she never takes it to the vet. You don’t get in the door these days without an appointment and if it’s urgent, you pay through the nose at all emergency clinic, where the vets work shifts.
Then again, maybe Ed would just rather be nose deep in squeezing anal glands than spending time with Estelle. I can’t blame him.
@Baja Gaijin: All of them are good and offer different (but all valid) motivations for Dr. Ed. By the way, it stands to reason that Mr. Cat Plugger should go to a vet rather than to a human-doctor, but are there really any human vets left in Cassandra’s world? After the Animalcolypse, I’d say it’s rather the humans who get treated by vets (who are all animals, of course; you can’t entrust such an important job to a mere human).
Panel 2 of Mary Worth is my new favorite. The dogs and humans gathered around the kid and his adorably bandaged puppy is gold. It feels like they’re not there for veterinary care, just to look at this adorable couple, the living incarnation of a cute video on YouTube.
CS: Crankshaft is going to get even crankier when he finds out he’s been upstaged in his own strip by another tertiary Funky Winkerbean character. Harry Dinkle was bad enough but Mopey Pete?
CS: If Mopey Pete includes in that bio how Lillian ruined her sister’s life I’ll never make fun of his Howard Wolowitz hairdo again.
@Scratchy Scrotum LXIX: I see your point, but it made it sound really clunky in my head.
Yes, let’s go ask the hermit sage who lives alone in the desert about marriage. After that, we can ask Poulet about leadership, or Crock himself about successful counterinsurgency operations.
MW: Uh-oh. Looks like little Skippy tied that bandanna too tightly around his dog’s head and cut off his airway. Luckily, Dr. Ed’s diagnosis, once he sees the patient, will be quick and decisive.
“Sorry, son, your dog is dead from strangulation.”
@Voshkod: Or Wilbur Weston a.k.a. Wendy about anything!
Oh, wow, that’s amazing! Great work by June Brigman! Very clever!!
MW: A disappointed Estelle puts down the phone and gets ready to heat up a microwave dinner. She tells the pets that she isn’t going out tonight, and they are happy. She gives them their dinner and sits down to eat hers when she hears a soft knocking on her door. It’s Wilbur with a carry out sack of ribs and fries from Porky’s Rib Palace and a 6-pack of wine coolers. He also brought his complete collection of “Rocky” DVDs to watch. Estelle is unnerved. Libby is tense and angry. Pierre just wags his tail. Mary whips up a fresh batch of muffins. Dr Ed is never seen again.
Bird Man 1: “Does your office have a restroom?”
Bird Man 2 looks around the office and sees newspapers strewn across the floor, inartfully lining the cage of his existence: “The whole office is a restroom.”
9CL: So Edda managed to bond with the terrifying Head Nun (or whatever the title is for the leader of a school run by nuns) by first insist on treating her like an equal and suggest negotiations on equal terms, and then sticking her tongue out at her? Sticking her tongue out a lot, it seems.
Either Sister Steven is far less formidable than she looks, or she has a tongue fetish. Stranger things have happened in 9CL. At least Edda didn’t seduce her by showing her legs.
@Daisy: “FC: Kudos to Dolly for recognizing that people have birthdays once a year. You’ve been paying attention, little girl!”
Well, it seems to have come as a surprise to her, but better late than never. “I thought people only had a birthday the year they were born!”
The obscure footage of Matthew McConaughey expressing this sentiment specifically with regard to the Keene children has mercifully been lost to history.
Archie: Is there a joke in today’s comic?
Archie: What happened to Veronica’s boobs? Or is that some other dark-haired girl? In that case, why is Archie talking to her? Aren’t two girlfriends enough?
@Peanut Gallery: That sounds like a line from “Get Smart.”
“Max, what are you doing?”
“Sorry, 99, I have to take this call…darn it!”
“I have another call on my toothbrush.”
@gardenornament: Looks like Big Ethel, who is more or less Jughead’s girlfriend (mostly less). The only girl I can think of in the Archieverse who isn’t drawn to Dan DeCarlo’s standard Veronica/Betty model.
As for joke, I think it’s a very sad pun on “iPhone”.
I cannot imagine what unspeakable things whoever Estelle represents did to Moy to incur such pathological vindictiveness, but I’m kind of relieved Libby was already missing an eye when she came into the picture or I’d have some uncomfortable questions.
CS: Wouldn’t writing a bio be a good reason to bring back the one-armed journalist Crankshaft befriended? I bet he’d appreciate the work. Then again, all the Funky characters are unemployed now, too.
Your take on this calamitous strip is the best ever, and far more entertaining.
GT: “I hope I’m ready. I lifted some weights for fifteen minutes last week.”
“What’s that Gil?”
“Looks like Martinez is here. He prepared by upping his steroid shots.”
“Put my principal down Martinez!”
@Rube: “As for joke, I think it’s a very sad pun on “iPhone””
Of course. I’m a bit slow today…
It’s still not funny, of course.
@34 Charterstoned: Imagine the state of my retinas. I had to remove the background, color correct the artwork, and remove a speech bubble, far longer than your peek at the mashup today.
MW: I’m calling it. Estelle will offer to bring takeout food to the vet clinic when Dr. Ed is finished so they can at least enjoy a meal together. She’ll go to Woody’s Barbeque where she’ll run into guess who.
RMMD: Oh boy! Another week of a boring couple eating greasy diner food together. The only thing that can save this is if Hank 2.0 does the Jack Nicholson chicken salad sandwich schtick.
RMMD: Not smart, Hank. Bringing the former owner of a greasy spoon to another greasy spoon. Yvonne will just start critiquing the swill, saying it isn’t as good as the swill she used to serve at her place.
Back in my single days if I was dating a woman of a certain ethnicity I’d never take her to a restaurant of her ethnicity, unless the place was owned by a relative or close friend of her family because she’d say it wasn’t as good as her mama’s cooking.
To be literal about it, we really do have just one actual “birth day”… the date we were born. After that it’s just the annual remembrance and/or celebration of that date each year. But I won’t try to explain that to Dolly. It’s so much fun to see her try to figure out these commonplace life events in her own lovable, bumbling way.
@Peanut Gallery: Jim Bouton made the same observation in his baseball memoir “Ball Four.”
Now we know why Wilburp wanted that list of Dr Ed’s patients, it takes a while to go around making puppies sick.
” Likewise, Gilligan’s Island’s Professor was able to invent an entire array of coconutpunk technology, yet the mechanics of basic boat repair consistently eluded him.
The late Russell Johnson would reply to that –“If you were a nerdy wimp stuck on an island with Ginger and Mary-Ann, would YOU be quick to fix the boat?”
I remember the story as set on a Yankee team bus where Yogi Berra pounced on a newspaper a new teammate had finished and tossed down, assuming it was the SPORTING NEWS, only to be appalled to find out it was the NYTIME or WSJ or somesuch instead and got profane about “What is this shit??”
@Rube: I went though at least 75% of the Nero Wolfe oeuvre as a teenager, and one thing that really struck me is that Rex Stout was really into having his murder victims run over by an automobile.
We had a fine public library and mass-market paperbacks were under a dollar, so I also read stacks of his popular contemporaries — Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, plus forgotten hero detectives like Max Carrados, Philip Trent, Philo Vance, Dr. Reggie Fortune — and can’t think of ONE instance where the author killed someone with a car.
Stout was possibly getting a rake-off from General Motors.
@Ukulele Ike: Well, was the chauffeur dead before or after the car with driven off the pier in The Big Sleep?
Gilligan’s Island’s Professor was able to invent an entire array of coconutpunk technology, yet the mechanics of basic boat repair consistently eluded him.
And in one of the many TV movie sequels he even built a spaceship out of coconut technology. Yet he couldn’t fix a boat. But the dummy named the spaceship The Minnow so of course it crashed and left them stranded on another planet.
@TheDiva: I must salute your use of ‘coconutpunk’ as a genre, and I look forward to seeing some new works in this field.
The Maas-Namiko drone whipped around, tracking me with a pair of mounted caseless cannon. “Eat coconuts,” I growled, hurling a pair of single-polymer cocobolos into the left prop.
@Guillermo el chiclero:
@Inspector Gotcha: #43: Was that the episode where he played the manager of a travelling theatrical company? Great episode.
It was the totally hokey episode about a crabby old biologist who was attacked by a gorilla he kept in his home laboratory. Gavin MacLeod was also in it. Victor turned out to be the murderer. His terrific confession was full of indignant outrage. Good stuff.
Crocky — “When ‘I do’ becomes ‘not now.'” Or, as we say in the marriage counseling business, The Lockhorn Threshold.
@Voshkod: No fair. Hammett and Chandler count as literature.
JP – Someone’s pulling up in a car? For God’s sake, I hope it’s a writer.
FC – What about Leap Year babies, Dolly?
9CL – It looks like Brooke has suddenly developed a tongue fetish. I can’t figure out any other reason for this.
@Inspector Gotcha: #123: Didn’t see that one but he was also the murderer in the one I saw.
@I speak Jive: “9CL – It looks like Brooke has suddenly developed a tongue fetish. I can’t figure out any other reason for this.”
I certainly hope he hasn’t, but I’m afraid you’re right. We’ll know for sure when adult Edda starts sticking out her tongue when performing.
I had the TV on when I was upstairs this morning. Matlock took eggs out of the refrigerator.
@Baja Gaijin: I always like the flaming skeleton. The last two are the most disturbing – I almost missed Wonder Mary because I didn’t scroll to the end at first.
@Ukulele Ike: Correction: That’s DR. Ed Harding.
JP: It’s Gloria. She’s come to tell everyone that Steve died of old age while Little Dunk was bloviating.
@WEP: “Jim Bouton made the same observation in his baseball memoir “Ball Four.””
The writing of which earned Bouton the nickname “Shakespeare” in the clubhouse.
As in “Fuck you, Shakespeare!”
@Ukulele Ike: Funny, until you mentioned it, I never thought about all the death by cars in Stout.
Something that I did think about, reading Ellery Queen: I have never in my life known anybody who participated in a tontine, but roughly 50 per cent of all the victims in the Queen stories did.
@I speak Jive: #126
“ JP – Someone’s pulling up in a car? For God’s sake, I hope it’s a writer.“
Ha ha!!! *thumbs up*
Bizarro: I wasted far too much time trying to find a “K2” among the Scrabble tiles.
@Shrug: re JP: heh heh heh No, our dashing Dobermans, Darryl and Dennis, haven’t learned to drive … yet! heh heh heh But I wanna assure everyone they’re OK, even if the production company seems to have forgotten them. We’ve had them in a safe house since the shoot-out… it looked like everyone in the cast was at risk of gettin’ plugged.
Now that everything is being “cleared up” by Lil Dunc’s exposition, we’re gonna put them in the special Judge Parker Witless Protection Program. Next time you see them they’ll be Rottweilers!
Shoe: “Does your office have a workroom?” “No.”
MW: “Oh… what happened, Ed?” “Someone, I mean something better came along, I mean came up. Not better better, I mean just work. Woof woof. Meow meow. Chirp chirp. Moo moo. Aroooooooooooo. Wow, it’s really busy here. Gotta run.”
Crank: “If I, a novelist, can’t write a two paragraph summary of my life, I don’t see how a comic book writer could do it!” Lillian is about to learn an Important Lesson about how comic book writers are just as capable of basic writing tasks as literally everyone except her.
Crock: One of the things I “love” about the Wise Sage strips is the way that the artist at some point decided that hermits live in caves
because drawing new characters is hard, but was unwilling to betray his vision of the Algerian desert as an endless stretch of bright yellow sand, without any rocky outcroppings that a cave could exist in because drawing that would also be hard, and resolved that dilemma, as is so often the case, with “Eh, whatever, it’s just Crock.”
FC: You know, when Jeffy is looking at you like you’re an idiot, it’s probably time to reconsider ever saying anything again. It worked for Li’l Dunk, Dolly!
JP: So this whole time I’ve been thinking “Eventually, Ces is going to have to explain why two armed forces arrived at the lake house at the same time as the Judge arranged to meet Sam and Gloria, and why one of them addressed Sam and Gloria by name, and why both forces made a point of not shooting at them. And this explanation is going to be even dumber than the rest of the story.”
And, I have to be fair, “And then that happened. None of the questions you the reader might have about it actually exist. Maybe you’re remembering it wrong.” isn’t dumber than the rest of the story. Which says a lot about the rest of the story.
MT: I mean, I assume this is Cricket Bro and the Bee Sharp guy, and maybe the … shipping magnate? I’m pretty sure there was a shipping magnate? Anyway, the point is they’re not as instantly identifiable as Jules seems to think, and it’s hardly “Lex Luthor and Brainiac have joined forces!” even if they are.
Pluggers: You’re a Plugger if you sometimes stop dead in the street and stare at your lower clothing in bewilderment, thinking “They can’t both be called joggers! That’s just crazy!”
RMMD: You know what would be mildly interesting? If Yvonne was like “Well, speaking as a former diner owner, I’m honestly not impressed with this place.” Dear lord, I’ve just read that back and realised how low my bar for “mildly interesting” has become with this strip.
S4th: Look, if someone’s ringing your doorbell, it’s not Hallowe’en, and you aren’t expecting a delivery or anything, it’s probably someone trying to sell you something. Ignore it.
Crock: “When ‘I do’ becomes ‘but I don’t do that‘.”
@Baja Gaijin: Can’t choose! Although the first one is kinda sad.
@Twinkles the Elf: Vets also allow room in their schedules for walk-ins.
9CL: We joke about the hellmaw when she shows her molars, but now we understand why Amos is in love with her, or more accurately is in thralldom. That prehensile tongue can no doubt do magical things.
@Rube: It was the damnedest thing, wasn’t it? Who could have seen that coming?
@Der Rosenkavalieren: At least where I work …
MW: Estelle needs to head to Community College and become a veterinary technician. It’s a 2 year course, and it will fill her idle hours and give her something to think about other than finding male companionship. And then she can become Dr. Ed’s assistant. She can be with him day and night, from dying Pomerians to tooth-achy Beagles. Maybe they can consummate their relationship on an examination table.
@Goolius Boozler, 9CL: Brooke’s heteronormative stuntness prevents him to realizing the obvious: that Adult Edda would be a lesbian’s perfect dream in the bedroom.
MW: I can understand not hiring extras for TV and movies, the expense, etc. But a comic? You make poor doc out like he can’t manage his business. Oh oh, I see where this is going, look out doc here comes Stelle to smother you with volunteer helpfulness.
@gardenornament: Archie: We could hardly be expected to pick up on an iPhone pun when Jughead is speaking into something that looks like a 2003 Nokia.
@Tom T.: I was puzzled myself, but probably the artist had never actually seen an iPhone and just drew the first phone they saw. This strip probably dates to the days when iPhones were new.
My favorite part of “Pulp Fiction”.
Harvey was so great (his simple politeness and courtesy was such a contrast to the rest of the film) and while I generally don’t like director cameos, Tarantino was hilariously earnest in sucking up to Mr. Wolf.
Sally Forth would try to be helpful but you know Ted would probably blow somebody’s brains into the car while they were cleaning it.
@Rube: Bouton got the last laugh and mended a lot of fences before he passed away (most notably with Mickey Mantle).
I met Bouton at a book-signing for one of the anniversaries of “Ball Four”.
He was involved in the creation of “Big League Chew”.
I asked him “how’s the bubble gum business?”
His answer: “Last year, I made more money on bubble gum than in 13 seasons of Major League Baseball….combined!”
@UncleJeff: That’s good to hear. I’ve never seen an actual Big Leaguer chew Big League Chew, but my kid used to like it and it seemed like a good quality gum.
“MW: Estelle needs to head to Community College and become a veterinary technician. It’s a 2 year course, and it will fill her idle hours and give her something to think about other than finding male companionship. And then she can become Dr. Ed’s assistant.”
No, by then she will have met a hunky 20-something tech millionaire and decided to marry him. Oh, sorry, wrong storyline.
Mary Worth: Oh no Stel’s entirely resonable and kind love intrest.. has to work late. Gasp. I’m guessing this is either a setup for wilbur to stalk her… or going to lead to a boring week of talking about this event. Mary Worth is an eternal coinflip.
Crankshaft: Mopey Pete’s a comin! I do like Rose’s sweet attic bookstore setup, not so much her weird condecision about comics writers. Like seriously you run a bookstore that’s likely used books. Don’t be a snob about it. What’s the point of having a tiny bookstore in your neighborhood if you can’t go and get some snoopy or spider-man?
On the Fasttrack: While I like this strip the long lulls where it’s just gag of the week are a bit more noticable when your reading it day to day versus when I binged it. I mean granted it’s still better than “Guys Asshole dad’s heart monitor shenanigans” last week, I just want to see more of the Patina plot they set up and then have had go at the pace of a dying snail.
Kevin and Kell: really, REALLY screwed up today. So for those not reading it , Ophelia is a trans species turtle, though simply wearing a shell instead of medically transitioning like Bruno (Which is a valid option). The problem is a bunch of turtles sponsored her wedding and while them accepting her was great.. it’s now gone to asking her gopher groom to become a turtle and him deciding “Hey they accept me okay” which is just.. bleh. If your going to do a trans allegory please.. actually think it through. I love bills work but holy crap is this terrible
Gil Thorpe: In good news at least , THE LIFTATHON IS LIFTAON. Not only do I love this event for how questionable and stupid it comes off, but with his life deterorating , I can’t wait to see Coach Martinez somehow make things worse either by competiting to show up gil and his students or just to heckle, both of which josh predicted but with all the recent events it’s become all the more likely it’s happening.
“Crankshaft: Mopey Pete’s a comin! I do like Rose’s sweet attic bookstore setup, not so much her weird condecision about comics writers. ”
You mean Lilian? She’s not considered a sympathetic character around here – where she’s usually called Loathsome Lilian. Condescenscion is totally on par for her.
@Der Rosenkavalieren: #140
Re. the first mashup panel: Perhaps stress is causing Dr Ed to hallucinate people and pets filling up his waiting room when in reality the clinic closed two hours ago but no one told him. This would be something else he and Estelle have in common…stress- and/or paranoia-induced hallucinations.
@Rube: I have seen “Big League Chew” in the Twins’ dugout.
Fun fact: Bouton told me his concept was for a brown-colored shredded bubble gum (to look like the chewing tobacco then common in baseball circles).
A research panel of mothers shot that down and they went with shredded pink bubble gum (later solid pieces).
@gardenornament: You may have missed Tom Batiuk’s new theme song, “Big Bad Lil (Is Sweet Lillian Now).”
Cranky Winkershaft: Let me get this straight. Loathsome Lillian’s best selling mysteries spring fully formed from her mind to her computer, but she’s flummoxed when she has to write a bio for her website. Good thing there’s a comic book writer around. When he gets to the part where she ruined her sister’s life, maybe Darren can draw the illustrations. It’ll be heartwarming.
MW – What? You’re working late? I’m going to report you to veterinary clinic management! Oh, wait, you are veterinary clinic management.
MW: If Dr. Ed Hardy says Dr. Ed Hardy has to handle a sudden outbreak of mange in Santa Royals, then Estelle will just have to understand that for Dr. Ed Hardy nothing comes before Dr. Ed Hardy’s patients.
@gardenornament: Good to know. I do also need to read what GoComics has of crankshaft, just to familiarize myself. See with Mary Worth it’s easy enough as Josh’s abridged version is better, taking storylines and genuinely cutting out the weeks of talking, and talking and more talking before something happens. With Funky and Crankshaft they have a detailed universe, and while I can’t read from top to bottom without paying through the nose, I can at least read what I got and hope I surivive the experince. I appricate you all helping me ease into it though.
@Little Guy: Brooke’s heteronormative stuntness prevents him to realizing the obvious: that Adult Edda would be a lesbian’s perfect dream in the bedroom.
Or, at least, a heteronormative male’s idea of what lesbians surely dream of.
@Goolius Boozler: “9CL: We joke about the hellmaw when she shows her molars, but now we understand why Amos is in love with her, or more accurately is in thralldom. That prehensile tongue can no doubt do magical things.”
She can use it to satisfy herself, while Amos is still lying in a heap on the floor with one arm (and nothing else) sticking out..
@Calvin’s Cardboard Box: “There was a young gal from Nantucket….”
Crock-The marriage has never gone out of my parents marriage. Somewhat recently my dad bought my mom bags of ketchup potato chips because she likes them and can’t them where we live.
Shoe: Shouldn’t Boris Johnson be asking about a loo instead of a restroom?
Anyway, the material I found was very gross,
No links? I am very disappointed.
“Look out, Mark Trail! It’s Cricket Bro, and Crypto Bro, and Dude Bro, and [INSERT ONLINE CONCEPT HERE] Bro! They’ve teamed up (again)!”
Drugged Squirrel Bro
Crock: I’ve heard my share of jokes about how being married means you never get laid anymore, but it’s downright weird hearing them from a hermit ascetic.
MW: The other patients and their humans are all giving that kid with the untied shoelaces and his dog with a toothache or something a wide berth. Reason to fear? Could this be another Damien Thorn, only with more of a casual vibe?
9CL: Brooke wouldn’t admit to knowing who KISS are, so sadly there will be no strip where Edda reunites with real daddy Gene Simmons.
BB/HtH/H&L: Dawg is doing penance for the dietary sins of Sarge and Hagar.
GT: Gil and Mimi have gotten to know each other so well in their years of marriage that he can actually tell when she’s making a joke, something that would be undetectable to the rest of the world.
JP: What the kid was saying before he was so rudely interrupted…still doesn’t make any sense, and it looks like throwing another character into the soup is supposed to distract from that lack of sense.
MT: Well, one of those people is his father-in-law, or at least has the Hulk Hogan ‘stache that Jules gave Doc. Another one bears a striking resemblance to Fred Jones of Mystery Inc. As to the rest of them and how they count as Mark’s “rivals”, that’s yet to be established.
WtB: Always good to see Sterling on those occasions he shows up, although maybe not as close as his dad is seeing him.
MW-There was an incident at the dog show.
@Liam: MW-There was an incident at the dog show.
Lucky it was only that. If it had been an occurrence, I’d be worried that a bridge over a creek might have involved an owl.
SHOE: I appreciate Josh’s research so much that I shared it with a friend who is also abnormally interested in birds, and we agreed that it was new and fascinating. If I could go back in time about fifty years, I could explain to a college friend whose first experience in Europe, specifically Geneva, was being pooped on by a gull, that the gull probably did not do it on purpose.
@Guillermo el chiclero: I cannot decide whether putting the Dark Side Of Lillian in that bio would bring me more schadenfreude (because Lillian would be reminded of the awful things she did) or suffering (because I’d be reminded of the awful things she did).
JP: Like I said yesterday, I hope that’s the film version of Jack Torrance out there. The past few weeks of JP have put me in the right mood.
Oh, God. First Pluggers becomes a weird sex thing, then Blondie, the Rex Morgan and now Shoe is into scat? This truly is the end of days…
Shoe: I mean, the writers of this strip let it rip all over its readers, on a daily basis, so why wouldn’t they do the same, diegetically.
You don’t suppose Wilbur poisoned all those dogs just to distract Dr. Ed…
After spending the day looking at pictures of cloaca and bird defecant on our behalf, I must say you’re doing a remarkable amount of not destroying this site and hunting us all down for putting you in this position. A level of self-restraint I admire. I won’t be emulating it, but I admire it in you.
I learned a new word today. Thanks!
Thursday JP: It. Just. Keeps. Getting. Worse.
JP: Damn, it’s not Jack Torrance. Or Godzilla.
MT: That’s it, farewell, so long, good-bye, adios, I’m taking an indefinite break. I’ve stayed on the ride until now, but I am not going through the bro-shit again.
Any notice the boy with the dog is from a Norman Rockwell painting?
@That Guy: Norman Rockwell re-enacting is all fun and games until it’s time to do “Murder in Mississippi.”