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Funny Paper

"Accuracy in Cake Decorating"

Sept. 17-23

By Scocca & MacLeod | Posted 9/26/2001

ADBUSTERS DEP'T: Why write a punch line when you can use an advertising slogan? "Good friends and fresh mud!" Dennis the Menace exclaims on Tuesday. "It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!" Why is Dennis quoting Old Milwaukee? Saturday, a bird disdains Ziggy's attempt to feed it from a park bench: "What? No Grey Poupon?" And on Monday, Loretta Lockhorn and a friend look on as Leroy hits the bottle. "No one has to tell Leroy to Obey His Thirst," Loretta sneers.

DOOK! DOOK! DOOK! DEP'T.: Leroy Lockhorn ain't the only one trying to wring laughs out of his drinking problem. Tuesday finds Thirsty Thurston, kicked out by his wife, holed up in Hi & Lois' house next to a wastebasket full of empties. And on Wednesday, Hagar the Horrible is jolted when he drinks lemonade by mistake. Funny Paper was startled, however, to see Gen. Amos Halftrack make three appearances without touching a single government-issue martini.

SUN CROSSWORD GIGGLES DEP'T.: NEWT, DICK, BUN, REPOTS, STERNO, ORALLY, PAP, SMEE, SOSA, DOSE, ONO, SPAM, DISCO, GOOBER, DETROIT.

ONE BIG HAPPY: A week of Ruthie is a good week. Monday, Funny Paper's favorite Sun comics tyke engages in creative play in the sink--"rehearsing for my bath," she explains. "Oh no . . . the Army guy gets captured by the shark!" she narrates. "'I'll save him,' says the giant, flipper-footed Barbie! Crunch! The shark bites off her head! EEAAAGH!" Tuesday, Ruthie explains to James how knowledge is power against the tyranny of grownups: "Don't think of it as spelling. Think of it as breaking their secret code!" Wednesday and Thursday, our heroine recounts a brawl with Buggy Crispino, after Buggy asked if she was going to her "big booty support group." Friday, she squelches Cylene's accusations of insincerity: "And when you said my hair was 'curly,' you really meant 'frizzy,' and when you called me 'tough,' you really meant 'pushy,'" Cylene rants. "Cylene," Ruthie says, "you are so stupid!" Saturday, our little first-grader gets theatrical in demanding candy: "Please Daddy?! If I don't get a little treat, my mouth might never smile again because a mountain of sadness will lay heavy on my heart!" After he gives in, Ruthie confides that "Grandpa says I'm begging on a fourth-grade level."

Sunday caps the Ruthie fest with a demented show-and-tell performance in which she terrorizes her classmates with the rubber chicken of death--"dead, because of your smoking!"

BEETLE BAILEY: Sarge, out on the town, berates a mugger for not properly cleaning his sidearm.

LUANN: Knute, the poor man's Zipper Harris, puts the moves on Crystal, dog-collared Teen Queen of Darkness. "You're a goofball," the TQoD sniffs. "You're a gothball," Knute burbles. It's, like, It Happened One Homeroom, starring Knute Gable.

Sunday brings an apparent continuity error, as Luann sets out for school in her fall fashion outfit of orange sweater, black micro-mini, orange socks, and brown loafers--but no walking cast. She got over her crippling ankle sprain in a week? Who is she, Wolverine? Funny Paper is also disturbed by an odd bulge protruding from Luann's crotch region, which we hope is simply a poorly inked skirt-shadow. We hope.

HERB & JAMAAL: Stephen Bentley hauls one from the dustbin of comics history. "Oh, man, I feel old . . .," Eula thinks as she gets up. "Almost every part of my body hurts . . . and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work."

MOMMA: Speaking of not working, Francis spends the week avoiding employment. The highlight comes when he makes a pass at his leggy occupational therapist and gets slugged. Why so effortful? It's getting easier to be unemployed every week now.

CATHY: Cathy primps and frets in preparation for Alex's wedding. "Some women are simmering beauties," Cathy aphorizes. "I'm a stir-fry." Yeah, stir-fried ugly. Meanwhile, Irving, pursuing unvanity, wears a bandage on his shaved head.

MARY WORTH: Dawn Weston primps for her last-minute date with "'Woody-Don't-Call-Me-Forrest' Hills" (her nickname, not ours). "EEEEEEYYYYYY!!" she exclaims Tuesday. "My hair is a mess! . . . And what am I going to wear?!?" Wednesday, first panel, she's cheerfully checking her answers in her full-length mirror. "Thirty minutes to shower, wash my hair, and look human!" she says. "That's a new record!" Jeez, if Dawn Weston was Cathy, Cathy would have ended after three days: "I'm fat! I guess I have to eat less and exercise more! . . . I hate this outfit! Time to pick out a better one! . . ."

Dawn also seems to have a healthy degree of disrespect for her would-be beau, even as she swoons over him: "For all I know the guy is married and has a houseful of little twigs!"

CLASSIC PEANUTS: "Life is rarely all one way, Charlie Brown," Linus explains. "You win a few, and you lose a few!"

"Really?" our hapless hero exclaims. He breaks into a big, wistful grin. "Gee, that'd be neat!!" O, Charlie Brown. Nobody's better at having it bad.

JUMBLE: "FOCUS" ON HIS WORK, THE LAWN RANGER, A ROTTEN DEAL, A QUICK FIX, A "HIGH" PRICE, THEY WERE AT "ODDS."

B.C.:It's Multiple Mutual Anachronism Monday, as prehistoric Native American stereotype Conahonty (who continues to look like a badly drawn Fat Broad) puts an ear to the ground and declares, "Five, no, six dinosaurs coming." Ugh.

Friday, Johnny Hart gives us two fish lusting after a fishing lure with twirling tit-tassels. Nice gag, Johnny the Evangelist.

KUDZU: More fish-sex humor, albeit by accident: Doug Marlette ventures a cutting-edge shark-attack joke, in which the Rev. Will B. Dunn, sitting in his bathtub, appears to be receiving fellatio from a shark.

APARTMENT 3-G: The crew for the sailing expedition to the Bahamas grows. First Tommie adds her name to the farewell-party sheet cake, so it reads "Bon Voyage, Margo, Lu Ann, AND TOMMIE." "I believe in 'accuracy in cake decorating,'" Tommie says, by way of announcing that she's joining the other two G's. Funny Paper believes in accuracy in cake decorating too. So if the original cake design was just for Margo and Lu Ann, why does the inscription say "Margo, comma, Lu Ann" instead of "Margo and Lu Ann"? Could the cake decorators see this plot wrinkle coming too?

Then, on Sunday, Cousin Blaze shows up at the marina. "Ahoy, Bahama mamas," the cowpoke says. "Say 'hello' to your new cabin-mate!"

SHOE: Saturday, Shzz izz fzzz. What? We're mumbling? Saturday, Shoe is fzznzz. Louder? [deep breath] All right: SATURDAY, SHOE IS FUNNY! There. We said it. "Some guy promised me his old tractor so I could salvage the parts. Now I find out he's giving it to someone else. He sent me a John Deere letter." OK, maybe it's not that funny. But Funny Paper chuckled.

NON SEQUITUR: Wiley presents "Talk Radio Meditation": a guy in a suit, sitting cross-legged before a radio set. "Tell me my opinion," he says. "Tell me my opinion. Tell me my opinion. Tell me my opinion . . ." Yeah, Wiley! Tell us our opinion about talk radio!

YOU CAN WITH BEAKMAN & JAX: It's You Can With Beakman & Jackson Pollock! A question about how to make paint leads Beakman into a discussion of Lavender Mist #1. "Lots of paintings by Mr. Pollock have paint thrown all over the place. They're called all over or action paintings. Look at tangled-up, long grass in a field and compare it to this painting."

Um, OK, but how do you make paint? "WHAT YOU NEED: Colored chalk--white glue--hammer. WHAT TO DO: Grind up or pound on the chalk until you get a powder. . . . For every two sticks of chalk, add 1 tablespoon white glue and 1/4 cup water and mix well. This is your paint. . . . All paint is solid pigment floating in a vehicle. In your paint, the chalk is the pigment and the glue is the vehicle." Hey, while we're at the art-supply store buying chalk and glue, how about we pick up some paint?

THE COLL-EGG-TABLE EGGERS FAMILY: Lori Lee Landi has us stumped. This week's "Eggs-ample": an egg-person who appears to be picking his nose with his right hand and raising a toast with an invisible beer can with his left--labeled "Egg-sis." We're myst-egg-fied. He looks like a third-base coach.

Meanwhile, down on the "honorable mention" list, one Maria Bellantoni of Bel Air, allegedly age 10, gets a nod for "Eggs-istential." Eggs-istential. Age 10. Funn-egg Paper is a combined 70 years old, and we have no idea how we'd even draw "Eggs-istential." An egg reading Camus? An egg drawing a navel on itself to gaze at? Here are some other honorable mentions: "M-eggs-ican" (age 10), "Cow-egg-boy" (age 8), "Egg-static" (age 11). "Eggs-istential," 10 years old. Bull-egg-shit.

THE PHANTOM: The Ghost Who Walks joins the "ghost pirates" for a rendezvous with their "ghost ship"--and a submarine surfaces. "These '16th century pirates' . . . modern submariners!," the Phantom muses. "That tail pod! She's a Soviet nuclear boat!" "Power up the hologram generators!" a pirate orders. Aha! It's not a "ghost ship." It's a (former) Soviet nuclear submarine equipped with holographic projection equipment. That's way more plausible.

ZIPPY: Zippy pays another visit to these parts, dropping in on our local "defunct, rotting-away, pre-computer kids' theme park," the Enchanted Forest. Why doesn't Bill Griffith just pack up and move here to the Land of Pleasant Living and Decrepit, Surreal, and/or Creepy Landmarks? When's Zippy going to chat with the Bromo-Seltzer Tower? Or the horse-in-a-block-of-cement statue down by BGE?

JUMP START: Crunchy's elderly mother dabbles in counterfeiting-as-conceptual-art. How can you spot the funny money? "For me," Crunchy says, "a red flag goes up when Abe is clean-shaven." Her one-dollar bill features George Washington. Carver.

MARK TRAIL: It's showdown time with the Hillwilliamses. Rusty lures them from their smugglers' cave by creating a diversion with their pickup. "We're on an incline," he thinks, in a fit of mechanical aptitude. "Hopefully, if I put the gear in neutral, the truck will roll down the hill." Bingo. The Hillwilliamses go to look, Rusty unties Mark, and they lay a tripwire for the returning smugglers. Ah, the tripwire: the Dodge Neon of nonlethal-weapons technology. Economical, no-frills, and readily available. Oh, and effective, at least in fiction: "WHAT TH'?" the lead Hillwilliams ejaculates as he stumbles over the taut rope, dropping his gun. Good thing the armed one was in front.

Even as the action picks up, Jack Elrod makes sure to include his trademark animal spectators. A bear watches Rusty take the truck; a clearly agitated squirrel takes the foreground as the Hillwilliamses chase after their runaway pick-em-up.

Sunday's featured aspect of nature: our "extraordinary" estuaries, in honor of the upcoming National Estuaries Day, Sept. 29.

BLONDIE: A leering bum asks Blondie for a "freebie."

CURTIS: Curtis and Barry go back to school, where we see Chutney, Derrick and "Onion," and some new character, a wide-eyed, freckle-faced white classmate of Barry's named Tommy.

FAMILY CIRCUS: Not one but two strips ponder the afterlife this week. "If I go to heaven, will I hafta take HARP lessons?" Billy whines on Friday. "When I go to heaven I hope I get to sit on the same cloud as Granddad," Dolly says on Sunday. How come it's "if" for Billy and "when" for Dolly?

Monday, Dolly yells at P.J. for tearing up a book. "Stop that, P.J., or we'll take you back to the pet shop where we bought you!" Um, Dolly--about that seat on the cloud . . .

Tuesday, the most neglected member of the Circus Family, scruffy beta dog Sam, gets verbal with "Sam's Advice": "When one of your family is feelin' down, lie nearby very quietly and nuzzle gently . . ." No wonder Jeffy is feeling down in the picture. The dog has better language skills than he does.

Elsewhere on the language-deficiency front, on Wednesday Billy struggles with his spelling work. Lifting his pencil from a sheet where he's written "Monday Tuesday Wed," he says, "I'm not getting married, so why do I hafta spell 'Wednesday' like this?" Not getting married? But where's the next generation of towheaded dullards going to come from? Anyway, it's not "Weddin's Day," you nitwit. It's Woden's Day. You won't be getting that harp if the Father of the Norse Gods has anything to say about it.

THE BOONDOCKS: "[I]f you could choose a super power--like flying, or super strength, or super speed, or shooting energy beams from your eyes or whatever--what would you pick?" Caesar asks. "I think I'd like the power to crush the throats of the insolent with the Force--like Darth Vader," Huey says. Funny Paper would like the power to crush the drawing hands of Wiley Miller and Mike Peters. Or the power to talk to all kinds of aquatic life, like Aquaman. Just kidding. Even Aquaman thinks Aquaman's super power sucks.

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