Archive: They’ll Do It Every Time

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Beetle Bailey, 1/14/08

I actually kind of admire the spare joke at the core of this Beetle Bailey: Beetle doesn’t want to climb the steep hill, despite the fact that the hill’s steepness is exactly the point, because he is lazy and thus resistant to most of the activities the Army has planned to improve his readiness for combat. This being Beetle Bailey, the effect is ruined to a certain extent by the slapdash visuals. The presence of the plunger in panel two is puzzling enough (does Beetle plan to use it as a makeshift bludgeon in a last-ditch effort to avoid enforced PT?); it’s made even more baffling by its total absence in panel one, implying that Pvt. Bailey received and confirmed his orders, went inside to get a plunger, and then came back, coming up with this devastating zinger on the way.

Another problem: the “hill” is clearly a pile of salt or gravel about five feet on the other side of that chain-link fence.

Blondie, 1/14/08

When Blondie says “Well, that’s a real surprise,” she doesn’t mean Dagwood and Mr. Dithers’s shared enthusiasm for a fascinating period in American history; she’s referring to mere fact of Dagwood’s own Civil War buffery, which has managed to go unremarked and unnoticed in 75 years of this strip’s existence. Still, I’m looking forward to future strips where Dagwood affixes outrageous 19th-century-style whiskers to his face with spirit gum and goes trooping off into the woods with his fellow re-enactors. Look for history to change when the defense of Little Round Top is fatally undermined by one soldier’s forty-minute pause to prepare and eat an enormous sandwich.

Funky Winkerbean, 1/14/08

Haw haw! Oh, have you ever noticed that the men, they cannot cook? Becky probably has some difficulty in the kitchen, trying to manipulate everything with only one arm, but when it comes to cooking, a missing arm isn’t anywhere near as difficult a handicap to overcome as a penis!

Mary Worth, 1/14/08

OK, I admit it: I was holding out hope that the love triangle between Mary, Chester/Ralphie, and Ralphie’s Real Owner wasn’t over and that there were new shocking developments in store. But since we appear to be moving on, I now must acknowledge that this is indeed one of the lamest Mary Worth storylines in recent memory, which is, you know, really saying something. Still, I’m glad to see the perpetually self-pitying Dr. Corey the Younger lumbering back into view. In the wake of the dog of a storyline (ha ha, get it?) just concluded, we need his patented brand of ego-driven romantic disaster to cheer us up. Perhaps we’ll see him try various supposedly mood-lifting activities in an attempt to alleviate the psychic pain from his cruel dumping. (“Where’s this ‘methamphetamine high’ I’m supposed to be feeling?”)

We also might get to see him put his medical skills to use. In panel one, Mary is clearly rearing back in terror as that squirrel prepares to launch itself at her face. Tomorrow, Drew will have to do some emergency stitch-up work as Toby desperately tries to subdue the enraged beast.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 1/14/08

Now here’s an exciting story development I can get behind! Does Dr. Rex Morgan, outdoorsman extraordinaire, believe that he can use the possibly decades old and almost certainly highly explosive hooch left in this still to create a gentle, controlled fire that he and Niki can use to dry off and keep warm? Or does he intend to use the moonshining apparatus as some kind of improvised incendiary projectile to fend off their pursuers? Either way, excitement is in the cards! And by “excitement” I mean “massive second- and third-degree burns.”

They’ll Do It Every Time, 1/14/08

Tucson’s “K.L.” is in fact none other than faithful reader The Divine O’F! I’m sure she’s thrilled to have been Scadutoized, even though she looks suspiciously like Ronald McDonald in the second panel.

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Cathy, 1/10/08

Whenever anyone, usually a woman, in a comic strip, or some other narratively undemanding medium, declares, “I want to talk about us,” it only leads to one place: disputes, anger, tears, madness, and broken lives. The marriage of Cathy and Irving, solemnized in February of 2005, is thus almost certainly on its way out. Will Cathy become more readable (or, really, readable at all) if Cathy is ACK-ing not to her accountant, but to her divorce attorney? Will Irving’s bug-eyed manias be more acceptable if they involve an obsessive catalog of all the gadgets that he brought to the marriage that should by right be his after the divorce? Will I be able to derive sick pleasure from week after week of their bitter, heart-rending, and expensive court proceedings? Will Cathy finally be forced to testify, under oath and before a judge, about why exactly she doesn’t have a nose?

Apartment 3-G, 1/10/08

It’s not clear whether Blaze is actually paying to have his super-cool New Year’s bash catered by Magee Dangerous Emotional Mood Swing Event Planning LLC and Ruby is filling in so that Margo and Eric can have sex, or if he’s just conned Ruby, his sister/cousin/whatever (I believe where they’re from it just all falls under “kin”) into cooking for nothing so he can mingle with the hepcats. On the one hand, Blaze’s last professional dealing with Margo came several years ago, when she was a wildly unqualified publicist rather than a wildly unqualified event planner; he hired her to promote his play and she, like, forgot or something, so you’d think he’d be wary of throwing more money her way. On the other hand, there are some pink, green, and yellow balloons in the living room, and that’s just the sort of half-assed and aesthetically misguided touch we’ve come to expect from Margo’s crack team.

That plate of whole, unskinned potatoes sure looks to be piping hot! Thankfully, Ruby can just set it down on the bottom of panel two.

Gil Thorp, 1/10/08

I don’t really have a lot of dealings with teenagers — they made me anxious when I was a teenager, and I haven’t really seen anything since that’s made me change my mind about them — but the idea of Andrew Gregory desperately texting his ex-girlfriend to boast about his athletic achievements strikes me as a slightly more accurate depiction of the emotional contours of high school life than most things that happen in this strip. Not accurate, however, is the way Andrew’s Vulcan ex is holding her phone in the last panel. It’s like there was pre-existing drawing of her holding a dead fish, and it was reused with just a little redrawing.

They’ll Do It Every Time, 1/10/08

Say, if my records are right, “Patrick Duke” is none other than faithful reader captainswift! Congrats to you, Patrick — but did you send this one to Al by e-mail or real letter? Or by smoke signals?

Bonus Scadutoism: “Fumpher”.

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Curtis, 1/2/08

The Curtis annual Kwayzee Kwanzaa digression never disappoints. Never. This year, we have the tale of a master thief, who stole a water buffalo’s hide while she was bathing (did you know that water buffalos are people inside their hides? It’s true!), then married and impregnated her, only to earn the wrath of a two-headed poisonous snake by stealing its eggs. Really! And now the snake has done something awful to the buffalo lady, probably changed her unborn buffalo-human hybrid baby into some kind of three-way buffalo-human-two-headed-snake hybrid, and a valuable lesson will be learned, namely: don’t do mescaline, kids. I hate to say it, but the whole thing make Hanukkah look kind of boring. Did the Maccabees ever transform into animals, or marry animals, or anything? Can we get a deuterocanonical rewrite here?

Gil Thorp, 1/2/08

We saw last week that Andrew is exactly the sort of quick-witted sharpie who might actually recognize a double-entendre like “We’re not huge — but you don’t have to be if you’re talented” when he sees it, and might enjoy trying to slip it past an obviously hungover Marty Moon. We’ll be looking forward to hearing more ribald quips from this hatchet-faced wunderkind once he starts talking about “the Bucket.”

Marvin, 1/2/08

His medicine cabinet … and his bloodstream. Those heavy lids and eyebags indicate that Grandpa has been so doped up by the pharmaceutical-industrial complex that he can barely stand up straight. The saddest thing is that this strip is taking place at two in the afternoon, and he’s just managed to lift his head off of his drool-soaked pillow long enough to shamble into the bathroom and get another fix.

They’ll Do It Every Time, 1/2/08

If my record-keeping is on track, then “Bob Bennett” is actually faithful reader benro, who apparently goes to a doctor’s office frequented by vomiting fetishists. Bonus Scadutoism: “Woopee”.