Friday, March 30, 2007

Warning: Rant ahead

Wow. So much hate for today's strip. Because clearly if a child has failed English, you have to blame the teacher (who else?). And taking summer school won't help. Despite the fact that summer classes involve spending all day, every day on English, instead of 50 minutes a day. With, I believe, more personal attention. (I guess. I've never experienced it.)

Clearly it couldn't be Hekkie's fault that he failed. Look, I'm not saying that the teacher is faultless; I am just saying that she has tons of students, and probably not enough supplies. But the child doesn't flunk a course in a vacuum. He's probably not doing assignments, and his parents probably aren't checking in on him and his schoolwork. If a child just doesn't want to do the work, there's not much a teacher can do.

Can a child who is busting his butt actually fail a class? I'm not sure. If a teacher sees that a student is struggling but does actually try, will that child fail? I don't know. I could probably ask the teachers I know. I do know that when I was bombing geometry, I was still working insanely hard, and was in for extra help all the time. I pulled out a C+ (mainly due to the second semester), and was incredibly proud of that.

Anyway. It's not like Hekkie needs to be Shakespeare at the end of summer school; it's just supposed to give him the groundwork. So, shut up, M. Heffernand. And also, bite me.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Things to be mucho negative about

Even though we may never see the Loyal Order of the Caribou after today's strip, I had to make it a tag. It's actually a cute shout-out to Blondie, so kudos to Al for that.

My main problem again revolves around the poor placement of dialogue balloons. When the Head Caribou is saying "But it was voted on to run a raffle," it certainly seems that he's responding to Jugbutt's outburst. Even though we're reading the Head Caribou's dialogue first.

Anyway, this is just a case of insane stupidity. I mean, Jugbutt knew he missed a meeting. I imagine that there are people like this out there, but hopefully not too many. And what's wrong with a raffle, anyway? Why does Jugbutt have such strong feelings about them? It's like a raffle done him wrong at some point in his past.

"But like we mean, mucho negative"? *bangs head against desk*

I just wish everyone were wearing the antlers at the meeting. That would be awesome!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Soapy, that's not right

It seems that all King Features syndicate comics were out of commission yesterday, and the inability to see what happened in Mary Worth was killing me. Damn you, Washington Post, for stopping carrying that fine comic! Anyway, that means two-for-one today!

Yesterday's strip returns us to the world of soap operas. I've never been a soap fan (other than primetime soaps; I went through a phase with Sisters), other than for a couple of weeks in college. Clearly this woman's problem is that she missed a Friday episode. Absolutely nothing happens from Monday to Thursday; Friday's where the action is at. Of course, Fridays normally end in a cliff-hanger, to bring you back on Monday. Honestly, this woman is probably fine; the soap is clearly going over exactly what happened. I think it would've been awesome if this had been about the soap comic strips. I mean, it's essentially the same concept, but it could be about someone who missed Aldo crashing to his death in Mary Worth.

In today's strip, we learn that Al doesn't understand the difference between simply stacking plates and actually cleaning up a kitchen. Even the addition of wiping crumbs off the tables doesn't even begin to compare to actually washing dishes and pans, etc. I love how the husband's solution to the wife complaining about cleaning up the kitchen isn't volunteering to do it himself (because God forbid any man actually do housework), but to go out to dinner. And "the little woman"? Hold on while I wait for my head to explode. My question is what the heck did these three people eat to result in so many plates? Anyway, this one kind of reminds me of one from last November--I guess it's the combination of restaurants and acting the same at home and while eating out.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

2-cent stamps are cute!

Al gets credit for timeliness for today's strip, as the postal service is again raising rates (to 41 cents) in May. The big question today is, Who buys 300 stamps? It's OK if you're buying the forever stamp--that seems like a decent investment. And, obviously, then you wouldn't have to stand in line to get 300 2-cent stamps. Of course, if I were in the position that Migraina is in, I'd probably eat that 2 cents and just get 100 of those stamps. Honestly. And I like how she's getting uppity with the clerk (who undoubtedly has heard countless people complaining about the rate hike)--don't take your aggressions out on him, yo.

My other question involves the top panel. Migraina seems to be saying "Huh? What's that?" in reaction to...nothing. Al probably should've put the husband on the left side of the panel. Or just not had Migraina say anything at all! It's possible. Of course, it's also possible that in the week between the first panel and the second, Migraina could have used another stamp. Obviously not.

And speaking of which, I really should start using up my stamps before that rate increase goes into effect. I'm also debating how many forever stamps to buy. What can I say? My grandmothers like it when I write to them.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Don't taunt me with retirement on a Friday

Today's strip is a return to the topic of retirement after almost 4 months; I opened the page and it was like a flashback to early November. The thing that intrigues me about this strip is that Migraina is clearly in the wrong--she complained before, she's complaining now. Not surprising, really. What makes it intriguing is that the strip was submitted by "A number of wives all over U.S.A." I doubt that they were trying to make themselves look bad. I really can't imagine how they could've worded their complaint to make their husbands seem wrong. He was never around before, but now he won't go away! Well, you got what you asked for, so...

Which is not to say that I don't understand. I live by myself and often think that it'd be nice to have someone else around, but I know that when I do live with someone, I like holing myself up in my room. (This worked best with my last roommate, who was the same way.) But complaining to Al about this is not the way to handle it.

Also, "Give an earful" as a way to say "Listen in"? Doesn't work. Unless he's saying that "wifey's gripe" is giving an earful...which I guess it is. But the whole is worded very strangely. Which...right. This is TDIET. I shouldn't act surprised.

I do like the kickin' big-screen tv in the background.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is the riot squad related to the brute squad?

Al is seriously trying to kill me with today's strip. Well, not just today's strip. It just seems that a few recently have been like, "When a child is very small, he or she acts one way. And then it grows up and is suddently acting differently! Can you imagine?" It would upset any parent if their child wasn't speaking by age 2; by that point, most children are talking. I'm kind of hoping we're supposed to be shaking our heads at the parents: Mom and Dad were so worried when Hekkie didn't speak as a baby; but now that he's a teenager and chatting on the phone, all they do is complain! But I don't think that's supposed to be our reaction. More like, Hekkie didn't talk when he was an infant, but now he won't shut up! What a brat!

Man. And who actually says "Yakking" like that? Quite frankly, if I use the word "yak," it's most likely in a totally different context.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Maybe Wombo should join 4-Evah and Eva

There's very little redeeming in today's strip. Wombo's hair is that typical atrocious pageboy--and I don't even want to tackle the hair of the kid playing the guitar. And what high schooler starts a band that's drums, a guitar, and a saxophone? And really, Donald Hutchinson, you can't see the difference between a kid liking loud music when he's creating it and a kid who'd like it to be quiet when he's trying to concentrate on his homework? Sure, Wombo should probably just head up to his room instead of being that close to the tv room, but based on the kids we see in these strips, we should just be happy that a kid is trying to do his homework. Seriously, how come he's sensitive? Because he's doing work! And parents, way to support your child's activities in that top panel. Is that the mom's tongue sticking out? Sheesh. Shut up, Al and Donald.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Well, Mom's washing is finished

Now, I'm not blaming the mother for what's happening in today's strip, but...I'm kind of blaming the mother for what's happening in today's strip. Her three sons (one of whom looks like a girl) all look pretty old. By this point, you'd think Mom would have realized that she's not getting all the clothes when she gathers them up to do the laundry. In any case, I can't believe she's all shocked by this development. (And I like how Al has to specify that she's machine washing them--no more of those pesky washing boards! This mom has all the latest gadgets!) And if she's smart, she'll just tell her boys that tough, she just finished the laundry. They can either wait until she does it next, or they can wash their clothes themselves.

I do like how they're all piling on at once. They practically have enough for another full load right there!

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Monday, March 19, 2007

He'd buy it off an infomercial, not in a store

Really, the problem in today's strip is one of customer service. Are we supposed to blame the salesman at the...what kind of store is that? He's wearing an apron! Anyway. Are we supposed to blame him for trying to sell this guy a product? It's his job. The problem is his craptastic attitude in the bottom panel. People who work with the public really should never say, "Tough!" like that to a customer. And a lot of times, companies still have replacement parts on hand, even if the item itself has been discontinued. But really, what salesman would include "replacement parts" in the pitch?

Yeah, that's all. Sorry for the lateness and the brevity; work today was kind of crazy.


Friday, March 16, 2007

You can tell Al hasn't job hunted in a while

The key question about today's strip is whether Migraina asked these questions before or after the personnel manager had asked her questions. If so, well, that's a bit rude. But honestly, she probably has already spoken with the person she'll actually be working for. The personnel guy won't be quizzing her on her qualifications; he'd just go over her resume in general, then talk a bit about benefits and the company in general. When you're interviewing with the folks in HR, this is the kind of information they're going over. Absolutely nothing of what Migraina is asking is inappropriate. Her tone seems a bit presumptuous, but people interviewing are always told to ask questions. And, quite frankly, this type of information plays a big part in whether or not a person takes a job. I just recently switched jobs, and trust me, the fact that my new employer gives the week between Christmas and New Year's off--paid, of course, Migraina--was a definite pro for taking this job.

I won't even go into the fact that the personnel guy would have his own office, with a door that closes. Interviews are confidential, Al.

The only thing working for me in this column is the idea of hiring someone just to fire them. Sure, you wind up having to deal with a lot of issues because it (severance, etc.), but still. Heh.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

But why wasn't Mom given a name?

There are times I wonder why I even bother with tags. Theoretically they're there to help me go back and look at other strips similar to the current one. Then something like today's strip happens. It sure seems somewhat familiar, but I can't be bothered to dig around for the strip I'm thinking of. I'm probably thinking of the one from February 12, though. (Yes, I gave in and poked around a bit.)

Is Mom "reminding" Lupina in the top panel? Reminding her that she's only 15? I guess the key here is whether Mom ever taught Lupina to cook. I can definitely imagine a 15-year-old whining about being stuck at home and having to fend for herself, unless she knows she has some decent food in the fridge. I mean, she's 15. Of course she's going to whine.

As for dating...well, that's a bit different than throwing something together, isn't it? I find it hard to believe that this is Mom's decision--does Dad have no say in this? And aren't fathers generally the more protective ones of their little girls?

Anyway, I can't get too worked up over this. It seems pretty common of parents. Perhaps not "every time" but not uncommon.

Of course, the big question is why Al spelled it "Lupina" instead of "Loopina." Or even Loopie again.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Not that I know anything about embezzling

Today's strip is making me contemplate the way people talk in this strip. Not the expo box, though heaven knows that language is stilted. But the toast...I guess we can assume they're toasting going into business together. Still. "Pal o' mine"? And Al is pulling out the stops in the expo box, too, between "heh heh" and the stereotypical "Oh, yeah-h."

I wonder how long Damin and Pythio (and if anyone can shed light on these names, let me know; the best I can do is "Damien," though I'm sure "Pythio" means something in Greek) have been in business by the point of the second panel. There seem to be other employees (working on typewriters, of course), which implies that they've been in business for a while. And if one of them has been embezzling, that usually doesn't come out for at least some time. I would think.

I feel sad for the red-haired one. At least the other guy got a new tie between the first and second panels.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's like politicians have a bad rep or something

Al takes a bold step in today's strip, venturing into the world of politics. Sort of. I think the key here is that as a politician, Foghorn only makes pledges about education, highways, and taxes. We're never told whether he actually keeps these pledges. (Of course, he's just a candidate, so this might be a moot point.)

As for his family harassing him, I feel the son clearly has a valid point. He needs to go to his soccer game (though it's not like he's in uniform). The allowance issue...I don't know. Why is she asking now? I feel like perhaps there was something tied to raising the allowance, but we'll never know. Trimming the hedges is something that he can't do if he's taking Junior there to his soccer game. See, Foghorn? Take the easy chore to get out of the harder one?

I think the daughter is just out of luck, though.

(It goes without saying that Foghorn is overreacting. If people in real life acted the way these people do "every time," a lot more people would be in anger management.)

(And I had a fantastic time in Florida, thanks for asking. I'm trying to deny that I'm actually back.)

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Can't we just have peaceful grandparent-grandchild relations?

Today's strip made me a little happy, because this one illustrates a grandparents who doesn't mind spending time with a grandchild. Look how happy everyone is!

Of course, why Mom and Dad let Loopina spend the night at Grandma's is beyond me. Crying and whining like that should not lead to the child getting her way. Of course, the parents are probably just happy to get her out of the house for the night. This leads to the second panel, and the question Why in the world would they indulge her and pick her up at 2:25 a.m.? Loopie will just cry for a while if she doesn't get her way, then fall asleep. And why the heck is she up at 2:25 to begin with?

At least Mom and Dad have one bed. I was almost expecting side-by-side twin beds, with the nightstand in the middle.

I also wanted to let you know that I'll be out of town until Monday night; I'm heading to Florida, where it's presumably a bit warmer than 30 degrees. With less snow than we have here. And more Orioles! Woo! Right, so no updates until Tuesday.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb

I hope everyone noted that Monday's strip--the somewhat meta one--was submitted by a Comics Curmudgeon reader. Good job! And judging from the comments over there, it seems like a lot of readers are submitting ideas. Which makes me wonder how many of these are meant sincerely and how many are meant ironically?

Take today's strip (please!). I can only assume that the submitter is the same commenter who commented recently that he thought his idea would be published soon. Congrats! (And Matt, if you still have the e-mail with what you told Al, I'd love to see it. It seems he's pretty good about using ideas almost exactly.) I can't imagine that Matt is shocked that young boys are amused by violence, but become all cranky about it when they get old. Although Alonzo sure has gotten cranky, if a simple Batman-style punch ("Pow!") causes him to rant about violence.

I am impressed with the use of the name "Alonzo." I mean, that's a real name. Not terribly common, but better than "Arfo."

Of course, that was squandered by "when he was a kid at the every-Saturday matinee cartoons." I realize that "weekly" is just too basic, but could that sentence be any more awkward? Or just "when he was a kid at the matinee cartoons every Saturday"?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Great. Now I'm craving pizza.

I feel like it's been a long time since there's been a medical-themed strip, so you can imagine my relief when I opened up today's strip. They're always so...confounding. Why is the patient having flop sweat? The person who has flop sweat is the person who is actually doing something, not prone with his insides all over the place. The patient might be concerned, but honestly, I would actually be reassured if a bunch of doctors who are specialists in the procedure will be involved in my surgery. Honestly, how is that not reassuring? Even assuming that Dr. Allthumbs has never done this procedure before, thus requiring the have the specialists right there! If he messes up, you have three doctors right there to fix you up.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of facility these guys are in. They're lying in beds with no sort of monitors nearby. Color me confused. And, of course, the other guy has his head wrapped in bandages to assure us that yes, he does require medical care.

And honestly, a pizzaectomy? Really? Most of us just refer to that as "throwing up."


Monday, March 05, 2007

"Silly dribble" you say?

I'm wondering whether Al went meta with today's strip; we've certainly seen Loopina pop up a number of times in TDIET, and though Hap Hapless isn't a name I remember Al using, I wouldn't put it past him. Anyway, clearly what Junior is "missin'" is that his comic books are "Comix," as opposed to the "Comics" that appear in the Sunday newspaper. There's the difference.

I can kind of see Dimwiddy getting annoyed if Junior only reads comic books, but really, any reading is better than none at all. And are Junior's books funny, or are they graphic novels? I mean, is Junior reading Superman or is he reading Archie? Because there is a difference.

Of course, I'd probably kill Dimwiddy for being so obnoxiously loud while reading the comics.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cartoons trump football--but not baseball

The wording in today's strip took me a while to understand. The "in come your daughter and granddaughter Loopina" completely confused me. I didn't really register that the daughter and granddaughter had just walked in the door; I only noticed Loopina walking into the living room. Combine that with naming only the granddaughter and not the daughter (not that we need either name), and I was like, "Why is he saying both the granddaughter and daughter are walking in? Only one person is!"

I will give credit. I saw "Granpa" and got annoyed at the lack of a "d" in there, but then I noticed that Al put in an apostrophe. So that's OK.

But I'm having a hard time accepting this strip, particularly after yesterday's strip that ripped on a daughter for not talking to her mom (the theory being that she only talked to her mom when she wanted money, but I'm not buying into that). It's not that I'm not sympathetic to Grandpa. I'd be a bit annoyed, too. But I refuse to get worked into a huff because a granddaughter, cuddling up to her grandfather, has certain shows she wants to watch. She has just as much right to get upset about having to watch football (which, pst, Al, football season is over) as Grandpa has to get upset about having to watch cartoons. Loopina would probably prefer to be at home as well.

Honestly, it's lose-lose here, except for the mother and grandmother, who look like they're having a jolly time in the background. Good for them.

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