Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's all about priorities

Oh no no no. Today's strip is another hospital strip. Geez.

Are we seriously supposed to feel bad for these people who bought all this stuff, took time off work, and didn't bother checking to make sure the person was still in the hospital? And really, what's the problem? Just go to the friend's house! You obviously have some free time. Are you actually mad that someone being released from the hospital didn't call you? Because I'm sure that this person's top priority is calling all of their friends.

Also, I hate it when people use "thru" instead of "through."

Friday, September 29, 2006

Her baby sister will be named Flora

I love the fact that today's strip was sent in by someone wishing to remain anonymous. I guess Mr./Ms Newark doesn't want his/her kids to find out how much they annoy their parents.

And can I tell you that I am shocked, SHOCKED! that the Groaners have allowed their precious young Fauna to have a boy over. Totally improper. What were they thinking? Clearly this child is out of control. And as was pointed out by an anonymous poster, Fauna and her friends are listening to that happenin' music ("Yeah, yeah, bay-be!") on a record player. When Scaduto's handlers clued him into the concept of cell phones, they clearly forgot to mention the recent upgrades in music technology. Mind you, I love listening to records. There's something about the scratchy quality that I like. (Seriously.) But, wow. No. I am happy that at least he didn't draw little cracked notes to indicate that the music is bad.

Unless...Fauna is going through a phase where she's listening to her parents' music, which they have only on record. I did this myself, and wound up listening to my dad's Beatles records. But I don't think Mr. Groaner would call that a "racket."

This is another case of the whiner just needing to say something. Mrs. Groaner, you are her mother. If they're too loud, tell them. Or...go to another part of the house! (Though, she might not want to stray too far, with that boy around.)

For the actual concept of the strip...yeah, it does happen a lot. We often idealize things when they're gone. It's natural. And I don't really think worse of the Groaners for their general attitudes. I don't have a problem with the concept of the strip. It's the execution.

And why does Fauna have a picture of herself on her nightstand?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

That is a HUGE scarf

Wow, can you still get scarves for only $1.99, as illustrated in today's strip? I'd make some comment about that being a lot of money in Scaduto's world, but Loopina knows that it's cheap, so obviously that's not the problem.

The whole situation fascinates me, honestly. I want to know how old Loopina is. Because how old are you when you start paying for your friends' birthday presents? I'd say that in elementary school, my mom definitely paid. After that, I'm not too sure.

In either case, if Loopina is the one paying for it, why didn't she go with her mom to help pick it out? Really, that's what makes me think that Loopina is fairly young; when kids are little, their parents go out and randomly select the presents. (I think. Honestly, it's all so vague to me at this point that I really don't know.) And I wonder how much Loopina's allowance is?

Anyway, I can't really be too upset with Loopy--she's a kid. A bratty kid, but hey. If my parents paid for my friends' presents, I'd want them to buy good stuff, too; when I'm paying the bill, they're not getting stuff that's quite that nice. Sorry, friends! I'm broke!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A strip where everyone wins

I'm not entirely sure I understand today's strip. Are we supposed to be mocking these guys? It kind of reminds me of the strip from July where the kid thought he did horribly on a test but wound up with a B+. These guys are probably making excuses in the top panel in case they have crappy games. None of them do. They all do well. That's good, right? And I somehow doubt that it does happen every time; if that were the case, most people would spend the hour before each game saying how bad they feel.

Anyway, is it just me, or does the first "s" in "says" look like a "g"? I read that as "Gays" the first time. Makes no sense, but really, what in TDIET does?

And it certainly looks like the guy in the top panel is wearing a pink shirt. So in the bottom panel, are we supposed to assume that the pink thing he's holding is that shirt? Because it looks more like a towel to me. Also, in the top panel, it looks like a girl's shirt. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Al probably saw these guys build the pyramids

Wow, those sure are some jaded kids in today's strip. I remember having work done on my house when I was young (8 or so), but I don't think I was quite that cynical about the whole process. I'm kind of blown away that they're talking at all. What Scaduto is doing, really, is having them talk for him. Because he couldn't figure out where else to put in an exposition box, he had to have the kids say it for him. On the one hand, I applaud him for it, because dialogue > exposition box. However, this is nonsensical. I don't imagine kids really being like this, though I could be wrong.

As for the concept of the strip, well, it's a stereotype. I have no idea whether this type of situation still pops up with any sort of frequency, having spent the past 6 years living in apartments I've rented and the 4 years before that in college dorms. The work that's been done on my apartments has been pretty prompt. Not that this necessarily means anything.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just shave it off, already

Maybe it's just because I've had a long morning, but man, the meanness of the wife in today's strip really got to me. I mean, I realize that the strip is all about the little things that annoy us in day-to-day life (and by "us" I mean "people in the 1950s"), but will we ever see a couple who could possibly be happily married? Even in strips that aren't about married people clashing, the spouse is frequently in the background, looking horrified. It's just so sad.

Anyway. Hekkie's hair in the top panel is truly frightful. He doesn't need to comb it, he needs to cut it. I would suggest that his refusal to comb it is more because of the style of the times, but we know that when Hekkie grew up, none of the kids had wild, unkempt hair. And I wonder how old Young Hekkie is supposed to be there?

I'd discuss the bottom panel, but then I'll just focus on the wife yelling at her husband. And I think we're supposed to be laughing at the guy. How can we? His wife is horrible. But would he really be using a comb? I'd think using his hands would be easier.

I will say, though, "skull turf"? Awesome.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Psst, this is why there are locksmiths

Scaduto really needs to stop including "Ever happen to you?" in his strips, because it makes me want to just say, "No" and be done with it.

Anyway, no, what happened in today's strip has never happened to me. I once locked someone else's keys in her car, and I've locked myself out of my apartment, but no, this situation has never happened to me.

And as it appears in the strip, it never would happen. They're going shopping! Why would the woman leave her purse on the seat? What woman would ever leave her purse on the seat? That's just asking for it to be stolen, and we all know that.

But otherwise, yeah, that sucks. And...that's all I have to say, really. Too bad they weren't in that convertible that Scaduto loves so much.

Oh, and really, who actually says "Gulp"? Makes no sense, but I shouldn't be surprised.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Some friendly, folksy, good will snark

Can I just say that thanks to today's strip, I now want to use the phrase "Tough crumpets!"? Because that's awesome.

And again, another case of people falling for advertising. I really shouldn't be surprised, as we know that the typical TDIET reader is not exactly a spring chicken, and older people tend to be a bit more gullible. But really. And honestly, this doesn't look like a case of false advertising, really; I'm sure that most of the servers at Smiley's are good, friendly, competent people. These people just got stuck with the crappy guy. Because honestly, taking back the order is his problem, not the manager's. Though the family should talk to the manager about the crappy service.

I do like how everyone in the restaurant is staring at them. I guess the waiter is talking really loudly. Hmm, there's a waiter in the background who does look a bit surly, but I'm not going to judge on appearances.

What I am going to judge is the insane language. "Tough crumpets," while awesome, is strange. "Snackery"? "Repast"? And what kind of ad is that? "For that warm, cozy, family, good fellowship repast"? What? It's a "good will snackery"? What does that even mean???

And honestly, Smiley's looks a bit too nice to be a "snackery."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oh, and he just missed Talk Like a Pirate Day

I was so happy to see my favorite convertible in today's strip. To illustrate how sad my life is, yesterday I was actually thinking about how it hasn't shown up lately. But never fear--it returns!

Now, I know next to nothing about boats, boating, boating etiquette, etc. The difference between these two situations seems to me not that they involve two different forms of transportation, but that in one case--the boats--the two vehicles have a fair amount of distance between them. They're obviously not going to crash, causing damage. In the other case, however, if the two vehicles didn't actually crash, they came very close to it. I know that after I'm involved in near-misses like that, I'm pretty shaken up. I don't necessarily yell like that, but I'm not all, "Oh, hello, fellow driver! Lovely day, no?"

It also should be considered that if a person is out on a boat, then that person is relaxing. It's probably a weekend or a vacation, and the stress level is low. When driving, well, it could be any situation, really. Maybe someone is late or was just fired. Who knows? Not that this excuses rude drivers, of course. But driving and boating are two different mindsets.

I must admit, though, that I kind of love that Scaduto uses "matey" and it's actually in a proper context!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I guess it does sort of qualify as something they'll do every time

In today's strip, Scaduto informs us of the fact that sometimes people buy exercise equipment, and then they don't use it! My God! What a new and completely original idea! You can hear the thousands of people across the country reading this, chuckling to themselves and saying, "You know? He is so right!" I'd be surprised that only one person is credited with the idea, except that I realized the only one person bothered submitting it because everyone else has accepted it as fact.

Love Migraina covered with cobwebs in the background of the second panel. Hey, at least she's reading in a position that she theoretically could've maintained for a decent amount of time, unlike the jogger in a previous strip that I can't seem to find at the moment. Although I do think that holding the newspaper in that one position for a lengthy period of time would be tiring.

I'm going to ignore the "Living on the Edge," which again makes no sense in this situation.

But hey, those treadmills are really handy to hang things on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The good OLD days

Re: today's strip: Yes, that does make you old. Not "getting old"--already old. Very old. I mean, a corsage for a first date? That might be in the ice box? And yet, I feel like back then, he would've been picking up Elsie at, say, 4 or 5, not 8.

And d'ya notice that the kid's mother in the flashback looks exactly the same as every other woman Scaduto draws--women that are supposed to be contemporary? And that the kid in the flashback looks more modern than the kid with the Prince Valiant haircut in the present?

Although I am a bit in love with the kids in the present. Particularly the one rolling his eyes and thinking "Good?" Hee.

Anyway, any guesses on how old this guy is who's having the flashback? I want to say 70s or 80s.

Monday, September 18, 2006

On television watching and etiquette

Today's strip is yet another situation that you know sucks, but at the same time, part of the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the victims. I find it hard to believe that the guests here don't realize that the hosts are talkers, and as such, should realize that they'd probably talk through a tv show. If they really wanted to watch the show, they should've gone home. Or thought ahead and recorded it. Not that I'm the most socially active person on the planet, but if I have plans that could possibly conflict with my favorite show, I record the show. It's pretty basic. Though, really, Scaduto possibly doesn't realize that you can record the shows on tv these days. (Although he did include a 52" television. He's tricky!)

Of course, if you're leaving a social event for a television show (and I'm certainly not going to judge you for that), you don't actually say that you have to leave so you can watch tv. Make up some other excuse. The guests clearly look unhappy at being invited to stay. Just leave. It's that easy.

As for the show itself, "our favorite mystery serial"? If it's a serial, then it looks like this is the finale, if we're finding out who the killer is, which means the guests really should've tried harder. I do like how we don't know what show it actually is. Mystery serial? I guess kind of like Reunion last season or Kidnapped and Vanished this season.

Anyway, the lesson here is, if you really want to watch a show, behave in such a way that will allow you to watch it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Maybe next week's movie will be "the ultraest"

So today's strip is about those wacky talking pictures the kids are going to these days. Although, I'm not sure what he means by "plunk down $9.50 per ducat." Isn't "ducat" a currency? I mean, he's not talking about going to another country and exchanging cash, is he? Ahh, thank you, where the third definition is "Slang. A ticket to a public performance." I'm not going to query when that slang was most popular, but my guess would be 1949.

And yeah, this probably has happened to me, though I can't think of any specific instances. I've certainly gone to movies knowing that the reviews have been largely negative, but I also know that I don't necessarily agree with reviewers. But, really, this is just another case of people going to the movies without any really thought into what they're going to see. I can understand complaining about paying $9.50 for a crappy movie (and you know that the submitter, who's from the Bronx, must have specified the amount, which undoubtedly horrified Scaduto; I imagine he flipped when he heard that movies cost more than 50 cents these days), which is why most people don't go to a movie without some knowledge of the movie, its plot, and/or whether it's been panned or praised. But if you're going in just off the street, all, "Hey, let's see a movie!" (which, again, I've done), you probably shouldn't whine about it too much.

Even going in prepared, yes, you can get caught off-guard on occasion. Which sucks. So...I'll give him that, I guess.

And again, love that the ticket-taker is in the full-on uniform. Must be some classy movie theater! Particularly when you consider how dressed up everyone is. Another detail I loved--the previous audience is from "the early show." Why not "an earlier showing"? Sorry, sorry. Too logical. I'll stop now.

But...hey! It's the same poster from the August 31 strip! I guess Blue Kisses turned out not to be "The greatest, ultraest movie ever produced!" I do wonder why it opened 8/31 in Boston, but not until 9/15 in New York.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

There is nothing wrong with mental health days, yo

I'm kind of torn about today's strip. On one hand, I totally am with Dragbutt. Practically every morning when my alarm goes off, I have a quick debate with myself about whether I can call in sick that day, taking into consideration (a) how tired I am, (b) whether I have anything at work that's pressing, and (c) how much work has sucked lately. The vast, vast majority of the time, I come into work. But it's a debate I have frequently, and on occasion, I'll give in, call in sick, and spend the day lounging around. I certainly don't begrudge other people doing it, so it annoys me that Mrs. Dragbutt feels the need to force him out of bed and into the office.

I can kind of feel her pain, though. First of all, she's up before him for some reason--she presumably doesn't work outside the home herself (because, well, I don't know that Scaduto really realizes how many women do, and her comment about helping her clean implies that she'll be around). Getting kids ready for school? Who knows! But she's likely on some sort of schedule (Monday: Laundry, Tuesday: Clean bathroom, etc.), and I can totally see how having Dragbutt around might upset those plans. And she might really have something important to do, and he could be a pain.

(Or maybe her plans involve continuing a torrid affair with the pool boy! That would be awesome.)

Really, the ideal compromise would be for him to sleep in, her to abandon her cleaning plans, and for them to do something together. Let him actually play hooky and they can go have fun. Everybody wins!

But no, that's too logical. Also...she's not a "bridey." These two have clearly been married for more than a couple of months. Al, get rid of "bridey" and "wifey" and "hubby" and all the rest. Just say "his wife."

I'm debating...who are we supposed to sympathize with? I'm thinking the wife (because, really, the default sympathy is with the wife when it comes to this strip).

And I'm pretending that the submitter is actually Javy Lopez, recently of the Orioles and the Red Sox. He just said he was from Toledo to throw people off.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One guess for what's making me go gray

I'll give Al credit; today's strip does seem to be a case of "they'll do it every time." It's human nature. It's easy to be all, "Oh, it's fine, you look great!" when something happens to someone else. But when it happens to you, different story. And I'm kind of amused by his "locks" "retiring." The phrasing just really amuses me.

The wife's gray hair did throw me off, mostly because I don't think we've seen anyone with gray hair up to this point. I opened up the page and was confused. Not that that's abnormal. And Scaduto should draw more men with hair like Barfwell has in the top panel; it makes them look younger. And in that top panel, lady, your hair isn't "turning" gray, it is gray. She would've realized this and come to terms with it long before that moment.

Barfwell's dialogue in the top panel is odd. It mixes flattering statements ("Natural gray's very becoming, looks swell") with exasperation ("Get over it, willya?!"). And his demeanor obviously suggests that he isn't pleased with her complaints, but he could've not included anything complimentary.

I'm disturbed by the submitter's name ("Hairy Louie").

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Al's starting to catch up to the times

I pulled up today's strip and was shocked. Shocked! It's about cell phones. How does Scaduto know about them? They didn't exist in 1953! Not that the strip itself actually says anything worth noting. My God, you mean some people who have cell phones are rude and act obnoxiously with them? Whoever heard of such a thing? Anyway, it pulls Al to at least 1998 or so, which is impressive in and of itself.

Although there's yet another comment about a sarcastic sister-in-law. Migraina wasn't the one who complained about her last time, but maybe they're all related. Who knows? And I "We're going to Tahiti" isn't actually sarcasm. It's snobbery.

Anyway, I'm impressed. It's an old concept, but by old I mean 10 years, not 50. Good job!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Well, if the towels just touch you and you're clean...

I had to read the exposition box of today's strip to realize that Hekkie is a boy. Al, there are other ways of drawing hair. That haircut? It's a girl's haircut. Please stop using it on boys. Although I suppose it's possible that Al is looking back to his youth (circa 1890), when little boys did have such haircuts.

Anyway, Hekkie's mom should simply not make more towels available to him. I've heard of people who never use the same towel more than once; I am not one of these people, as I do my own laundry and it costs me $2/load. And really, this towel behavior is learned from somewhere. His mom can break him of it. I'm amazed that she only sent him to camp with one towel; I mean, there's breaking the habit and just being gross about it. Unless he has access to laundry there. Hmmm.

An all-around stupid strip, but at least it's not offensive. Although the insane names are starting to get to me. Hekkie is not a name.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Scaduto goes too far

I'm sorry. Did Al Scaduto actually use the term "little woman" in today's strip? For real? Not in a mocking way? Are you kidding? This is distracting me so much that I can barely read the rest of the strip. Blood? Boiling.

I do like the name "Ferd" mostly because my dad's name is Fred and we once got a high school graduation announcement from one of his cousins addressed to "Ferddie, [Mom], and the Grils." Your public school system at work, Oregonians!

Anyway, it looks like this Ferd Foghorn is an abusive jerkwad. Skylights rule. And your wife and child should never look at you that way.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I thought everyone loved a parade

Swell. Today's strip features yet another wacky adventure in the hospital. As a commenter suggested, the problem here is clearly that only 90-year-olds read this strip and make suggestions, so the percentage of strips about hospitals and the medical system is going to be astronomical. It drives me up a wall.

I would think that if you're in a hospital (a hospital that clearly doesn't look like one; it looks like these doctors and nurses are tromping into this guy's bedroom at home) (but at least we don't see an obvious broken leg or bandage around the head), you should probably be more concerned with whatever the doctors need to do to you than some important phone call. And whoever is calling you should realize that you're in the hospital, and would be understanding about timing, etc.

Also, I'd think that the hospital would frown on a patient doing a blood test and eating lunch at the same time. And wouldn't the nurse taking the temperature also be able to take his blood pressure? Wouldn't most people in the hospital already be hooked up to machines that would tell you that sort of thing (except, of course, in the case of the broken leg)?

Clearly my knowledge of hospital life is minimal, thankfully. But honestly, judging from some of these strips, I'd say that Scaduto isn't that much more knowledgeable than I am.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Screw you, Hettie

Holy crap! Today's strip is simply unbelievable. We are supposed to hate Miss Hettie Hewline, right? Right? What kind of crap teacher reams out a student like that? At first I was going to add, "in front of the whole class" to that, but no. No decent teacher would actually say that to a student's face. Good Lord. If you think a student is an idiot who's going to wind up living in a van down by the river, you complain to your mate or friends or family (and I have friends and family who are teachers, so yeah, I've heard complaints, but nothing anywhere close to this). You don't say it to his or her face! Geez! Because that will help. Although I'm hopeful this kid will be all, "Screw you, Miss Hewline!" and become the CEO of a major corporation. And she even has a child! Agh!

Seriously, this woman gets no sympathy. She is horrible. I'm so upset I can't even rail against the various other things in the strip that make no sense. (Like, the premise of it.) I'm going to try to forget that I ever read this.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Attack of the killer giant babies

When I first saw today's strip, I sighed. Not another doctor strip! I thought. Luckily, it's not. (Although I use the word "luckily" loosely.)

I'd like to point out that that is definitely not a newborn. It's huge! It takes up the entire bassinette! It weighs at least 20 pounds! He's huge!

And no, a baby should not be exposed to secondhand smoke or people coughing and sneezing all over it. I assume we are supposed to look at the people in the bottom panel as the ones in the wrong, as opposed to the medical staff in the top panel. Although with Scaduto, you never know...

(And do people still wear face masks like that around babies these days? I've never actually had any experience with newborns, so I don't know.)

The "Like it is dep't" in the exposition box makes me think of the baseball saying: "Hit 'em where they ain't." I feel like Scaduto also hits them where they ain't--he's making points that make no sense. Or are insanely commonsensical. You know?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A dining dilemma

I love the diner in today's strip--it's the combination of him looking like he's about to fall asleep and his horrible, horrible hairpiece. And the way it's drawn makes it look like the hairpiece is the one doing the thinking. Maybe it's a hairy attachable brain?

Anyway, there's no way that the bill comes to $7.95 in a place where the waiter is dressed like that. Unless the diner went in and ordered only soup or something. Which I suppose is possible. Or maybe the owners of the restaurant are just overcompensating by having the wait staff dress up.

I don't really understand why the relationship between the diner and the waiter is so contentious. Why do they so distrust each other? Did the waiter do a crappy job, and that's why the diner only wants to leave $0.50? Did the diner keep making outrageous demands and act pissy, so the waiter feels the need to hover?

Not surprisingly, I just don't understand. And I don't know that I've ever experienced this, or seen anyone else experience it. I'm not sure what we're supposed to be taking from this strip.

I'm also not sure why I think that They'll Do It Every Time is some sort of teaching device that I should be learning from.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Avoiding the laborious

Today's strip: People are hypocrites. But at least it didn't include another indictment of the medical profession. Also, wasn't Balto a husky? Or a German shepherd?

I already have a headache, so I'm refusing to put any more thought into today's strip.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Your baseball talk is not winning me over

I love how Lugbutt is actually taking notes at the bar in the bottom panel of today's strip. That is awesome. He actually brought a pad and paper to a bar!

I also love how the baseball discussion consists solely of listing teams. And not always teams, sometimes just the cities. (And they both mention a mix of AL and NL, which is odd.) Because that's exactly how I discuss baseball. It's not about the players, it's about the teams. Of course, I imagine Scaduto would use "Mantle" and "Williams" to discuss players, so...

As for the content, I'm hoping that the doctor did mention some health-related topics to Lugbutt. But really, when I'm actually getting the check-up, I usually don't talk about health, either. It's more like, "I'm going to ignore what you're doing and just chat about other things." It makes it easier to deal with. Then, when I, you know, have my clothes on again (oh yeah!), the doctor and I will start to discuss the findings from the check-up.

"Bathe your eyes in seltzer water"? Wouldn't that hurt? But, again, we're dealing with home remedies vs. doctor recommendations, and I don't particularly feel like getting into that debate again.

Friday, September 01, 2006

It's certainly enough to make me cry

I guess I feel bad for Grogley in today's strip, but...meh. Really. It's another, "Yeah, that sucks" strip. I don't disagree with sentiment behind it; he shouldn't have to put up with a harridan wife (and I must admit that it's a nice change to see a husband being beaten down by a wife; far too often it's the opposite). So I'll tell Grogley what I usually tell the put-upon wife: Get out. It's iffier in this case, though, as there are (downtrodden) children. (And Junior doesn't look like he could possibly be "sassy" to his mom; he's far too beat-down.) (And I feel bad for the girl, who has a face like a 55-year-old man.)

I'm trying to figure out the "Your lov-e-ly sarcastic sister called today" line. He is trying to show that the wife is being hypocritical by implying that being sarcastic is bad by using sarcasm herself, right? I almost feel like that's too clever for this strip.

So Grogley's the manager of complaints at a department store. As manager, he'd still have to respond to complaints, but I'd think the vast majority of that would be handled by the people on the front lines (i.e., customer service reps, not the manager). In my world, managers have to deal with a lot of paperwork and such, and deal with actual customer complaints only when a customer requests to talk to the manager. I could be wrong, though.

I think I put my finger on why I can't feel too bad for Grogley (beyond the "manager" issue). This strip harkens back to the ol' "I had a long day at work and just want a nice, quiet dinner at home with the family" situation. (Actually, it blatantly says that in the caption.) Which leads to the work vs. home debate. Because being a stay-at-home mom, from what I've heard, is not easy. She could've had just a crappy a day as him--and honestly, it sound like she did. (Though, "oil delivery man"? Huh? Just say the meter reader or something, Scaduto, because no. Just, no.)

Wow. I guess my thinking on this totally changed. Both Grogley and Mrs. Grogley suck. As does Scaduto, for the "Living on the edge" which doesn't even make sense in this case! Usually when he uses it, it's at least because the wife is about to smack the husband around. Unless...Grogley is about to knock Mrs. Grogley around. Hmm.