Monday, April 30, 2007

Again with the spiderwebs

Today's strip is making me cranky because, yet again, I have problems placing the blame for the situation with Yorick (whose name made a lot more sense the last time we saw him--Yorick -> Shakespeare -> language). It's another case of a parent clearly not taking on the responsibility he should, and having it come back and bite him in the butt. If Yorick feels that he can ask for money the day after he got (and spent) his allowance, then it means that this has probably worked for him before. Hey, Yorick's Dad? Here's a solution: Don't give him any money. I know, I'm all with the crazy talk. Teach your child some fiscal responsibility? Perish the thought! Sure, he'll whine--probably because you give him money whenever he asks. Tough. He needs to learn sometime.

I can guess why it's taking Yorick so long to rake the yard; he looks older than his dad. And really, unless there's some pressing need for the yard to be all pretty, I can't get on his case too much if it's only been two days. Unless, of course, he's only worked on that tiny patch of the yard. Not that I'm entirely sure what he's raking; the yard looks fine to me.

Also, nice slang. I wonder if Yorick were a good kid who did his chores and didn't blow through his allowance, would that mean that he talked more normally?

And Mom, stop rolling your eyes in the background. I doubt you're helping the situation any.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Apron dresses

Apparently Al is just hoping that just because I didn't comment on the first few strips this week, that means that I didn't read them. Not so. I know that today's strip is just a variation on Tuesday's strip. And it goes back to the common perception that a even though a person is messy, he or she still manages to know right where everything is. At least it's better than the last idea that Fifi Meisner submitted.

I can't really concentrate on the subject matter, though; I keep getting distracted by Fussina's dress in the bottom panel. Every time I see it, I'm convinced that it's an apron. Then I get kind of squicked out when I realize it's a dress. I think it's the fact that it's sleeveless that throws me off; it's not like it's indecent. Between the sleevelessness and the fact that the front half of the dress is lighter than the back half, it just says "Apron!" to me.

I don't know. Maybe I'd complain more, but I'm fairly neat. Doesn't stop me from losing things, though. Just because a place looks neat doesn't mean it's well-arranged.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

When Al meets Lynn

Apologies for not updating earlier this week. But it's not like those strips weren't anything we'd seen before, right? I'm fairly confident I've discussed those previously, even though I couldn't find the actual strips in the archives.

Anyway, holy crap. Today's strip is just a rehash of Sunday's For Better or For Worse. I actually love it when this happens in the comics, because comics are written so far in advance and it's just kind of crazy to see that two writers planned the same idea for the same time. Obviously this is a few days off, but I'm ignoring that.

I'm impressed that Yorick gets five hours of grammar a week in school. I wonder what grade he's in. We certainly covered grammar when I was a kid, but I don't think I ever consistently had an hour of grammar a day. And honestly, if he gets that much grammar in school, then hopefully he's learning it correctly. A person doesn't always have to speak or write with perfect grammar--I'm aware than I ended the second sentence of this paragraph with a preposition, but it's not about to keep me up at night. As long as Yorick can come off sounding reasonably intelligent most the time, and can write decently, I'm not going to fret over some oddly phrased song lyrics. I'm not even going to get into the spellings--he's just listening to the lyrics, Al; odd spellings can't affect him.

And let's look at the lyrics: "Yo, baby/Who don't love you/I can't getcha off of my brain/No how/You're my favorite chick." Well, yeah. That doesn't make too much sense. But really, most lyrics don't. I have a book that's about how the Beatles wrote their songs, and a bunch of them are just like, "I liked the melody and threw in some words." So...yeah.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Al meets Hollywood

Today's strip is just to annoy me because the other day, after much debate, I decided not to include "show business" as a tag. Typical.

Do Al or submitter R. Feinstein pay any attention to show business? Why is it shocking that an actor might be asked to gain (or lose) weight for a part? Admittedly, that happens more for movies (famous examples: Raging Bull, Bridget Jones's Diary) than in television, and apparently this is for a television part. But still. And if Chuck Chiselchin doesn't realize this, then he shouldn't be an actor.

Maybe Chuck should realize he's not a leading man. He's not being offered a lead role here--unless the show is about an uncle and his niece(s)/nephew(s). Which is possible, I guess. And if it is a lead, be happy! Yay! A lead on a tv show. Though it's obviously a local show, so maybe he shouldn't be too excited. But still. Be grateful for the work.

Two other things: "Y'know, have a paunch stomach." You could just say "paunch." Doesn't that imply stomach? Also, how is this a "living on the edge"? Is Chuck going to start whaling on the tv exec? If so, man, he's less ready for stardom than I thought.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Those pickles and chips really stand out, don't they?

Today's strip marks the return of chef Al Dente, world famous for his super-clean kitchen. Welcome back, Al! As for the content...huh? I mean, I applaud Al for including "They'll do it every time!" in the strip, even though that's hardly the case. I actually just had a sandwich for lunch and I had no problems with the crust. And what the heck kind of bread is that? Also, has Al or E. Loper ever used a bread knife? Yep, they're big. I don't know why, but I'm sure there's some sort of reason. I...really just don't understand. Even when I've found that the crust hasn't been totally cut through, I've never had problems like that.

I'd find this strip a lot better if it were dealing with pizza. I think we've all experienced pizza that hasn't been cut through properly. That's a real pain the butt.

I love the depiction of the Crust That Just Won't Break. I love that the knife just looks about four feet long. I love the inclusion of "uncut" in the dialogue, because without it, the strip just wouldn't make sense, right Al?

I am going to have to kill Al, though. "Thru" just drives me up a wall. Sometimes the language in these strips just really gets to me, and today is one of those days.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

See if I take my tourism money to Florida again

Ah, today's strip is more people in Florida complaining about us folks from Up North. There clearly is a disconnect here. Migraina and Ragmop are really dressed up in the top panel; that has to be a really fancy place. And in the bottom panel, I can only assume that the restaurant doesn't have a dress code; otherwise, the host could just tell them to dress up a bit. Therefore, the place probably isn't that fancy. (And if the top place isn't that fancy, then Migraina and Ragmop are just overdressed, which also is mockable. But that's not the point here.) And by the way, snooty (snotty?) restaurant guy? They can still spend money, even if they are in casual wear.

(I want to add the disclaimer here that I never want to see Migraina in a two-piece ever again.)

And really, Hal Steinberg, how do you know (a) that these people are from "up north" and (b) that they always dressed up for every meal out? Do they say, "Man, when we lived back Up North, we always wore tuxes and evening gowns when we dined out! I love that we can now dress like we just came from the pool when we go out"? If not, shut it.

I kind of want tomorrow's strip to make snide comments about Southerners.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

That cash register thing is intriguing

Today's strip leads to the question, Are there many couples who go grocery shopping together? I know my sister and her husband do, but I can't really think of any others. Anyway, I hate strips like this because I really don't have much to say about it. Yep, that would be annoying. At least the "The urge to" makes sense.

But Elfa won't be complaining if they win $1 million!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Al, do NOT mess with Les Mis

Man, I have so many issues with today's strip. I started off rankled because Les Miserables is my favorite show, so I do not appreciate Les Misebarf. And who the heck would go see a show called that? In general, that poster is horrible. The layout is confusing--though I shouldn't be surprised. It's not like the layout in TDIET makes sense all the time, either. But if the show is starring Lula Patoot, why is there a picture of Walt Warbler on it?

I've spent the last couple of minutes trying to figure out how to phonetically write how "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" should be sung. "Oh, what a byoo-ti-ful morrr-nin'" is the closest I'm getting. Anyway, I don't believe one "does" auditions so much as one "attends" auditions. And isn't Walt a bit old to be doing this, anyway? I suppose someone could wake up at 40 and decide to have a go at Broadway, but it still seems odd. Love the director/producer. And Walt did get results. They were just all negative.

Clearly we're supposed to shake our heads at how those folks in show biz lie on their posters. Really, what the poster-maker should've done is had it say "Straight from New York!" which would technically be true (assuming that he did get this job as soon as he left New York). There's a slightly different connotation, but it's still somewhat impressive. And really, it's Outer Hicksburg. What do they expect?

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Inching closer to accuracy

While today's strip does seem to depict life in a period somewhat close to modern times, it's still not right. The only way this could possibly be accurate is if the "soap serial" Wifey likes is on E!, which does have a scrolling banner with headlines. But if you're just watching a regular soap opera, you're not going to see that. You know what channels have those? News channels. Which, last time I looked, don't actually show entertainment programs. (I'm using "entertainment" loosely here.) The only time I've seen those during regular programming is if there's something the network deems important--generally weather. So I can buy them having a "Heavy floods" warning up. And the ad for the Hap Hapless Show is acceptable as well. (And hey, congrats on the creator of Hap Hapless at the jump from a comic strip to a tv show!)

I'm gonna tag this as "stupid husband," too, because I blame him for not watching the show itself. I understand the scrolling marquee is distracting, but still.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Well, at least there aren't any typewriters

Today's strip is set in an office, which means that yet again we can see that Al continues to ignore the presence of computers in pretty much every workplace in the country. (Maybe clerks don't get computers?) I'm trying to figure out whether we're supposed to be bemused that (a) McTidy lost the contract in the first place, (b) that he had to go to Slobbo to get it, (c) that Slobbo found it readily, or (d) all of the above. Probably (d). And it's such a cliché--this person has a messy office, but knows where everything goes! Whether that's true every time, I don't know.

I like how Slobbo doesn't just have a messy office, which is how it usually is. (In fact, while we've seen variations on the "person who's organized one place, but not in another" theme before, I don't believe we've seen "Arfo insists on being spiffy and neatly coiffed at all times, but take a look at his office...Oh, yeah!") No no. Top buttons unbuttoned, some stubble, eyes barely open, messy hair, the works. Methinks that Slobbo may have been on a bit of a binge last night.

Speaking of, isn't McTidy a bit well-dressed for a clerk? Do clerks even have offices? I mean, I know they say to dress for the job you want, but that seems a bit much. Unless his first name is supposed to be Clerk. Hmm.

And is anyone else thrown off by the strip no longer appearing in the center of the window?

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Suck it up, Ferdie

Holy crap. How many times is Al going to do variations on this same strip? I almost think I should refuse to say anything about today's strip, seeing how we've seen similar strips at least twice before. Apparently there is just tons of wackiness when it comes to people visiting (or not!) sick people.

I really can't blame these people too much. It seems somewhat natural to be more concerned and visit when someone is in the hospital, as opposed to just being at home. Sure, it would've been nice if someone had stopped by Uncle Ferd's place...assuming he told them. He had to have. But I wonder how he put it. I wonder how close these relatives live. But God knows I've felt like crap and nobody's come to help me. I'm not feeling much sympathy for Uncle Ferdie here.

And honestly, don't complain. At least they came.

I'd like to point out that this is at least the second strip submitted by J. Lopez of Seattle (the other one; and one from Toledo). Talk about a loyal reader, oh yeah!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Weather ranting

Oh man, today's strip is veering into the territory of one of my pet peeves: people complaining about weather forecasters. Check out this entry if you want to read my standard rant about this.

Anyway, the kid's an idiot. I learned very quickly to always assume that school wouldn't close. In a lot of ways, it makes the snow day that much nicer because you don't have to worry about your homework. Seriously, never ever assume that school will be cancelled. And it's not like he'd "miss" the exam--it would just be pushed back a day.

Then, of course, are the problems with the strip that are above and beyond the concept. The kid is up, dressed, and eating breakfast before he noticed that the huge storm missed the area? He didn't bound of out of bed and look out the window first thing? What teenager is all, "Sure, I'll get up and shower and dress at 6 a.m., even though I believe school is closed!"?

And Al, we can't actually listen to what's being said in a comic strip. We have to read it.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Penalty for unnecessary Latin

Not that we needed more proof that TDIET is clearly set in the 1950s, but today's strip provided some. Lunch at a swanky bistro, that I assume we're supposed to find expensive, is a whopping...$32? Parking in an attended lot is...$0.75? Seriously, that's only $16 a person, including tip!

Which doesn't really get into the substance of the strip, I know. And yes, this sort of thing does happen. It's amusing, actually, because the other night a friend of mine told me a story that basically was this strip:

My friend and his boyfriend went out with a couple that they met at church. They were having a lovely time, chatting, etc. The bill comes; my friend's boyfriend picks it up and puts down enough cash for their half of the tab. And they just keep talking...and talking...and the other couple doesn't even glance at the tab. The waiter comes by a few times, and still the other couple does nothing. So my friend finally grabs his credit card and pays for the entire thing. Afterward, the four of them go someplace else and the other couple offers to buy dessert. So my friend bought dinner and got a $4 cookie and coffee. His boyfriend refused to have anything, so the other couple couldn't claim they were even.

Anyway. Not sure of the use of "non compos," which I believe means "not in control." What? Usually it's "non compos mentis," which I actually believe Al has used before. That implies "not sane," but that doesn't fit it. It just seems random.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Just divorce him!

I debated whether or not to tag today's strip as "abusive husband," but decided that this qualifies as emotional abuse. I mean, honestly. Fauna, get out of the marriage! For a second I was contemplating why she even had to ask her husband if she could take night school classes, like, she isn't a child, Al. But then I realized that in Al world, Fauna obviously doesn't have a job (Women in the workplace? The horror!), so she'd need the money. Obviously if she's taking a number of classes, it's something to discuss...but man.

And why would Fauna believe that "enjoy her company" and "talk to her" nonsense? I mean, she's married to him. She knew that this is how it would be. She had to have known. It's pissing me off, because you can see that Fauna is upset. You'd think she would know that she was married to a jerk. Agh!

Maybe I should track down this Fifi Meisner and have a talk with her.

Also, what the hell is up with the batter on the tv? I'm just going to assume that we're seeing the end of a swing.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Don't people ever write in about the foibles of renting?

I just stared at today's strip for a couple of minutes. It's not that people don't have furnaces that burn oil anymore, it was the inclusion of the phrase "oil burner service." Man, this is the reason I'm in no rush to buy a place--renting is fine with me!

Anyway. At least nobody's really in the wrong today. You can't blame the boss at A-1; it's not like he knows the dimensions of the rooms where people have their furnaces. Though I imagine most furnaces are in fairly tight spaces, so either Biff Behemoth has learned to adjust to these things, or this is his first job.

Really, I don't have much to say about this, other than, really, how often do people have problems with their furnaces? And also, this obviously isn't something that happens every time, as you'll note that A-1 has plenty of scrawnier guys to send out.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

SUV from the 50s

Today's strip just sort of baffles me. Are there people who would honestly put up with this? I'm sorry, but if my husband was all, "I'm taking the SUV," I'd reply, "I assume you're taking the kids and the Johnson kids to school, since there's no way we're fitting into the other car." This situation would happen once, not every time.

Love how the SUV looks like no SUV I've ever seen (but at least he got the lingo right!), and how he had to include that it has air conditioning. Oooh, fancy. Not too sure about those "kids," though. They look like they're 50. Not that that's unusual in a TDIET strip.

Honestly, couldn't the neighbor have driven that day?

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Newsflash: Doctors are busy

Today's strip is yet another one in the medical world. Huzzah. Nothing makes me happier. I mean, I realize that the people who submit ideas for this strips are either (a) doing it ironically or (b) 100 years old. Medical strips are bound to happen. But still. I sighed as soon as I saw the doctor.

Look, I realize that it's an issue that doctors don't spend enough time with their patients. Really, it falls on the patient's shoulders to make the doctor spend time with him or her. And "Just an Observation"? Those forms you fill out with your medical history, etc.? It's possible that the doctor looks that over before going in to see you. It's not like it's wasted time. (I have to tell myself this, as I'm switching doctors, so I have one of these epic forms to fill out.)

Anyway. Look, if you have something you want to talk to your doctor about, bring it up. Pretty much ever doctor I've dealt with has been fairly brisk--not unfriendly, but clearly not dawdling. However, they pretty much all have asked if I have any questions or anything I want to bring up.

Of course, I'm really not sure about this patient. Those forms are really only things you do the first time you go to the doctor (except the insurance card; some offices photocopy them each visit), and I would expect to spend a little time with the doctor on my initial visit. What's really throwing me off is the doctor saying that he'll see the patient "next month." Dang. Who goes to the doctor that much?


Monday, April 02, 2007

Ha ha, Daffia called Arfo's sister a big mouth! Funny.

Today's strip is yet another about people who talk too much. First it was a teenager who did it; now a wife. sense a stereotype here. Anyway. I would like to point out that it is an issue if Daffia feels that Arfo isn't communicating with her. I mean, my grandmother (...and father) is a huge talker; she talks way more than my grandfather. But it's not an issue, because he gets his point across when he needs to. And she knows that and knows where he stands on things.

Who knows. It's possible that Arfo legitimately doesn't have much to contribute, and thus doesn't speak up. Then I guess it would be annoying. This strip frustrates me, because I can't tell if Arfo thinks they don't communicate. Here's a tip, Al and N. Teany--Talking doesn't equal communicating. I know! And if Arfo does have something to say, speak up, dude. You know your wife is a talker, so force your way in and say something. (And psst, Al, it's "Arfo can't get a word in edgewise" not "sideways.")

Mind you, if I were Arfo, I'd probably have shot either Daffia or myself by this point. "Y'know, I love to watch my tv soap program"?

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