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Beetle Bailey, 12/12/23

One of the whole points of Beetle Bailey is that the title character is lazy. Or, I guess if we’re being more charitable, despite the fact that he’s enlisted in the notoriously hierarchical U.S. Army, we could say he simply refuses to do things that he doesn’t feel like doing, even if he’s ordered to do so — that he’s “somebody who’s caught in the system that they have to resist in order to exist,” in one of Mort Walker’s more poetic descriptions of his most famous creation. This is all well and good and honestly entertaining when Beetle is refusing to peel potatoes or mop the floor or whatever make-work tasks Camp Swampy has on offer; but today’s strip, which features an terribly injured man trapped in a burning car, his dog howling out in desperate hope that someone can help his master before he dies in one of the most horrifying ways imaginable, makes Beetle’s bit of doing a real half-assed job at everything, including providing or calling for assistance in an emergency, somewhat less comical.

Mary Worth, 12/12/23

Who’s the worst possible person to try to introduce to the idea of a polycule, and what’s the worst possible way to do it? I’m tentatively going to go with “Keith” and “like this.”