Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Of crappy husbands and crappy cousins

Yesterday's strip continues the recent thread of retirement and dealing with a retired spouse. I honestly have nothing new to say about this (other than "The urge to retire him to the moon" actually makes some sense, so good job, Al!). I am kind of curious about the top panel--what does Dragbutt thinks his wife does all day that will go away once he's retired? And why does she seem pleased by that? You'd think that she'd realize that cooking, cleaning, etc., doesn't go away when someone retires. I don't know.

Man, I really feel bad for Arfo in today's strip. That's just a crappy situation that Fignewt left him in; even Mrs. Fignewt's expression seems to imply that she knows that this sucks. This is a situation where I really feel like I need more information. Did Fignewt really have to go to his mother's? Why? I don't think I can make a judgment without that information. This really all depends on the personalities involved. I just want to know why it's "Living on the brink." That's just silly.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm all about the disclaimers today

I admit that today's strip ventures into completely unfamiliar territory for me. I can't remember the last time I went to a yard sale. It's extremely possible that it was over 20 years ago, but it may have been a touch more recently. But don't most yard sales get more people than that? From what I've read (...in humor columns), there are people who spend their Saturday mornings going to yard sales and snatching up all the good stuff. But, as I said, I have no idea. I'd like this strip more if the woman were saying something like, "What? How can you not have [insert something insanely specific/hard to find]?" That seems to be a touch more realistic, but still humorous. Well, as humorous as these ever get.

But for all I know, this could be a completely realistic situation. I do love the moose head in the background. I would totally buy that!

(Side note: Is that a computer monitor I see? It might be a tv, but looks more like a monitor than a tv. Stop the presses, if it is a monitor!)


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not so great with the pop psychology

I'm confused by the wife in today's strip. She seems rather nonplussed in the top strip. Maybe she understands that it's silly to get a new car every 4 years? Although, you know, it's really not bad, assuming that they're leasing it. If you want a new car that frequently, I imagine that leasing would make the most sense. As for furnaces, well, I have no idea how long the average lifespan of one of those is. For some reason I'm thinking 25 years, but I could be completely off. But I live in an apartment, so I don't need to know!

But no, I don't know why Fester (no relation to the Addams Family, presumably) would think of 19 years as "practically new." It could be psychological. Maybe he and Mrs. Fester were the ones who replaced the furnace, and to admit that 19 years is a long time, he'd have to admit that he's old. Or something.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What kind of home office doesn't have a stapler?

Today's strip alerts to the fact that it's apparently "Strips about working at home" week in TDIETland. It's almost like Al has only recently been alerted to the fact that people work at home now (though I'm fairly sure there have been strips here and there about it in the past).

Well, at least the bottom panel indicates that Al does realize that women have careers and such nowadays, though I can't help but notice the haircut of the wife. I almost feel like Al is making a statement, but I could very well be overanalyzing.

Again, this is a case where the guy working at home needs to say something. I know that it's hard to convince someone dropping by or your wife that you need to do work--it's very easy to say, as I sit in an office, right? I would hope, though, that Fondue pointing out that he's trying to, you know, make money, might help him persuade his wife to leave him alone for a while. I feel more sorry for him than I do for the woman in the top panel. I know that it's insanely frustrating to do housework while someone's just lounging around, but him watching tv doesn't stop her from doing what she needs to do. And she could, you know, tell him to get his own lunch if he's so hungry. And also maybe do chores of the sort mentioned in the bottom panel?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

HDTV, but no computers

I love the juxtaposition in yesterday's strip between the plasma HDTV (and wow, correct terminology throughout! Al must've had an assistant help him with this) and the actual image we see on the tv. It's in a shade of gray, and the ancient-looking ballplayer is tossing the ball in some random fashion. It doesn't look like he's throwing the ball on a play; maybe they're just tossing the ball around the horn after a strikeout? Anyway. The strip. Some of the set-up Junior is going on about isn't required for having a plasma HDTV (not that I do know what is required, seeing as I have a 27" regular tv). But home theater and DVR? Nope, not necessary. My parents just got an HDTV, and I don't believe they have a DVR. They certainly don't have a home theater system. I do like how Al not only had to write "Dunce" on the dunce cap, but tell us that this means "Dummy." Thanks!

Today's strip confuses me. Who are the two women in this strip? Is the woman next to Ragweed someone who works in his "home office"? Is she a maid? What's going on there? And really, this shouldn't come up. Mrs. Ragweed should say, "I'm sorry, my husband is working right now." If the jerks go into his study and start talking to him, he should just say, "I'd like to chat, but I'm really busy and possibly broke, as this 'Past due' invoice indicates. I'll give you a call later." If they won't go away, just don't engage. Continue working as though they weren't there, and they'll get the hint. And honestly, does this happen? Do whole families stop by in the middle of what's presumably a workday? If he's doing work on a Saturday, then I can see an issue. I feel bad for Ragweed and His Ladies, but they need to grow a spine, as is the case in so many of these strips.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

When carts attack cars

I don't mind today's strip. (How's that for a glowing recommendation?) I don't think I've ever seen anyone just push the cart away like that; usually the problem comes when the cart is left in the front of a parking spot. You don't see it, so pull in, only there's a cart blocking the front third of the space. I hate that.

No, what really sells me on this strip is the passer-by who comments that it's the same guy who takes up two parking spaces. What a jerk. I also like "a pox on." You can't lose with that phrase.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Annoying friends, underage drivers, and a decent strip

So apparently there are times when I actually have to work at work, and work at home. So today is catch-up day!

I suppose the top panel of today's strip has happened to me--we've all experienced boring people who talk our ears off. I don't think I've ever heard any of them ever say anything like, "Let me go," though. The rest, sure--they've got stuff to do, etc. (Which does rightfully make you roll your eyes.) I could almost see the "Let me go" comment if the person saying it was joking, but that obviously isn't the case here. I also think Al needs to cut back on the use of cobwebs; he's been using them a lot lately.

Yesterday's strip was frustrating because there is NO WAY that Junior looks anywhere near old enough to drive. Al drew him the same way he draws small children, so Junior looks like he's maybe 10, which just makes the strip frightening. As for Junior's predicament, it's a tough one. Honestly, if I were him and found talking on the phone to be that much of a distraction (and I admit that I do occasionally talk on the phone while driving), I'd just let it ring and deal with the consequences. Obviously his mother won't be happy, but the alternative is getting smooshed by a huge truck while ramming into the side of another car. And what is up with the seat in my car? It looks like a couch cushion.

Tuesday's strip was, as I know, submitted by a reader of the Comics Curmudgeon. You can tell because it's a decent concept, and is even well executed. I think we can all relate to that, though in my experience, the beginning of the message isn't so much a person saying "ah" and "um" a lot so much as rambling about whatever pops into the person's head. The buttons on the right side of the phone/answering machine confuse me a bit, but I'll give props to Al for actually drawing a cordless phone. Good work!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

I don't think the golf clubs fit in my car

What impressed me about today's strip is that it's actually season-appropriate. Spring has come and gone. Anyway, I can't get particularly worked up about this. Was Mrs. Arfo particularly counting on those vegetables, or is she just annoyed that Arfo is all talk, no action? If the latter, then it's probably just the latest thing in a long line of disappointments. I feel bad for her, but she's probably used to it. I like how Al is piling on Arfo--not only did he not plant the garden, but he's a crappy golfer, to boot. At least he drives a nice car.

On a different note, I'm taking a short break. I'll be back Tuesday. Tomorrow I head off for a long weekend with my sister and baby niece!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Return to Rachel Ray

Should we look at today's strip, or should we simply flash back to last October? I'm at the point where I kind of hope that Al looks at his suggestions and is all, "Seriously, another one complaining about tv chefs? I just did a strip about that! Don't you people have anything original to complain about? *sigh* At least it's not about waiting at a doctor's office."

Well, at least Al could be a bit original about it. But he's not. He uses the "turn the egg whites inside out and beat counter-clockwise" in both strips. And for some reason, Mrs. Barfwell is confused about the "counter-clockwise" part. If it were me, I'd be hung up on the "inside out" part of that instruction. I'm just happy that in today's strip, there is a valid complaint in that the chef actually said that the recipe would be simple, and it apparently isn't. That beats the previous strip, when the home chef just thought it would be easy. Although I will say "zucchini pot pie"? Ew.

Anyway, just check out what I said last October. Who knew this would get easier as time went on? This is going to get to the point where I just have to link to previous entries.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

There's a grass joke in there somewhere...

Honestly, strips like today's strip are the kind that I like the least. I can't get annoyed with Al going over the same material over and over. There's no particularly egregious grammar. There's no "Ohh yeah!" or "to the moon" or "the urge to" or "living on the edge." (OK, I admit "hose water" is kind of bizarre.) It's the kind of strip where you look at it, and go, "Yeah, that sucks." I can't relate--I live in an apartment, so I don't have to worry about the lawn. Honestly, I have nothing to say about this. If you have any amusing comments about rain, or fertilizer, or grass seed, feel free.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Cleverness in der strip

I...I'm not sure what to say about today's strip. I saw the top panel and got annoyed--another strip about waiting to see a doctor? Al just did a strip about it last Wednesday! It hasn't even been a week! And then I got to the bottom panel. And I admit that I was impressed. It perhaps isn't the most original joke, but it shows a degree of cleverness that's usually lacking. So, kudos to Al and Mark S.! I hope Mark is a reader of this blog or the Comics Curmudgeon, as that would help keep my worldview somewhat intact. I mean, I will say that Lugger needs to calm down a bit if the wait has had such an effect on him. But still...amusing.

I do need to briefly mention yesterday's strip. I usually don't even look at the weekend strips, but an anonymous comment sent me there. And oh, so worth it, and not even just for the mention of the Loyal Order of the Caribou. There's also the hobo from the 1930s, transported to the current day to beg for coffee money. (Honestly, that look is out-of-date even for Al.) There's a mention of belching and a jackass husband who goes to mind-numbing meetings to get away from his wife (and there's no "c" in Yakeena, Al). There's a wife by the name of, God help us all, Nudella. But no, the best part is Knockwurst von Smeek, whose wife rolls her eyes as he breaks his neck. That might be mild concern, but...I'm still a bit scared. There's too much ambiguity there.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Flashback to last summer

I saw today's strip and immediately thought, "I've seen this before." And not in an "Al has used this general concept before" way. No, in a "Seriously, this is an actual reprint of another strip." Well...I was almost right. I spent a couple minutes staring at the two of them and wondering why Al actually went to the effort of drawing another strip when he had done this before, almost exactly. Maybe he just wanted to work on the bottom panel of the strip from last year a bit more, so focused solely on that. So since I'm already a bit cranky because it's Friday afternoon and I'm at work...just go back and read what I wrote (and what you said) last August. It'll save us all time.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

He is 14 going on 15...

OK, there is no way that the kid in today's strip is either 14 or 15. He looks maybe 10. Every now and then Al shows that he can actually draw people somewhat well, but for the most part, we get this. The strip itself doesn't make sense. It would be fine with just the "You're too young to go!"/"You're old enough to do that!" contrast. Honestly, as drawn, if I were Junior, I'd wondering whether my mom knew how old I was. I can see how this situation might be frustrating, but there's a huge difference between going to a concert and being able to keep your room neat. But seriously, if my kid looked like that, I wouldn't let him go to a concert, either. Oh, and Mom, here's a thought--let him go to the concert if he keeps his room neat. See how that works? (I'm a great mother in a hypothetical world.) What's particularly disturbing is how the mother's hair recedes a few inches between the two panels. Scary!

I had considered commenting on yesterday's strip, until I looked and noticed that it was just about waiting at the doctor's office. Shocking new material. So I'm skipping it.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What is that on Loafly's shirt?

I glanced at today's strip, and before reading it, figured that it would be something about how the boss is shocked that a slacker worker like Dragbutt would expect the boss to hire his lazy son. (I wouldn't hire someone named Loafly, either.) Of course, in that instance, if Dragbutt is such a crappy worker, the boss should've fired him ages ago.

Mind you, that isn't the situation. I guess the strip makes as much sense as my scenario. (Work's been crazy today, OK? My brain isn't functioning too well at the moment.) In either case, I really hope the boss doesn't hire the kid, and not only because his name is Loafly (which I'm now reading as "Low-fly"). I mean, the kid says "Duh" when being introduced to a potential employer. This does not look good.

I like how the employees are staring, stunned, at what Dragbutt is doing. I'd be horrified, too. They appear to work at some sort of factory, and I have to think that Loafly would increase the likelihood of an industrial accident.

I will comment that at least the phone on Mr. Bigwig's desk isn't rotary.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

I didn't even realize I had a "hair" tag

I just don't get today's strip. Usually the hypocrisy in TDIETland is a tad more subtle--Fignewt is upset at his wife for spending money on her hair, but then he blows a ton of money on his clothes. Or something. I suppose the reason that it's so blatant is because it was sent in by a barber; he probably saw wives get scolded for spending money at his place, then the husbands come in and get the full treatment. Though it's not often that a "barber" would offer expensive frills; when I think "barber," I think your basic shop where a man can go in and get a shave and a haircut. The kind of place depicted in the strip would employ "hairdressers."

This bothers me, though, because as soon as Fignewt got home from the salon, his wife should tear him apart. He obviously knows that the hairdresser doesn't simply "comb your hair." It's been a while, but this kind of strip annoys me. The wife just needs to not accept that kind of crap treatment from her husband.

And why are the people who work at his salon all French?

That all having been said, I did kind of chuckle at "Headicare."

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