Friday, December 21, 2007

Good luck at the tolls, everyone!

Lugbutt's problem in today's strip is obvious--he's used to throwing a horseshoe. As we all know, horseshoes are much heavier than quarters, so he overestimated the effort it would take. Poor guy. But hey, at least he has a first name now! So that's nice. I do admit that this is one of my great fears. Luckily it's not a situation I encounter often, but when I have...yeah, paranoia sets in. At the point Lugbutt's in now, you just give up the quarter you lost and toss in a new one. Very carefully. I'd also like to point out that this strip is timely. AAA estimates that today will actually be the busiest travel day of the year in my area (which doesn't really make sense, but anyway).

Also, I wanted to let you all know that I'm heading across the country tomorrow to visit the folks. I may try and check in next week, but I can't make any guarantees. I will definitely be back January 2. Have a great break, for those of you getting one. And happy new year!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm a loser, baby

First, I wanted to acknowledge reader D.B. Echo, who managed to get an acknolwedgement of Al's passing into his newspaper as a letter to the editor. From him (as originally commented on CC):

I’m still rather pissed about the mainstream media generally ignoring Al Scaduto’s passing. So much so that I decided that if my local paper (which carries They’ll Do It Every Time) was not going to mention it on their own, I would make them mention it.

My plan worked, and my letter made it into their Letters to the Editor page. Unfortunately, some good stuff was trimmed at then end. Here is the letter in its original format, with the edit shown in bold. Please feel free to copy and revise for your own local papers.

Al Scaduto died on Saturday, December 8 at the age of 79.

If you don’t know who Al Scaduto is, turn to the comics section of the weekday version of the
Citizens’ Voice and look at the lower left-hand corner. Al Scaduto has single-handedly written and illustrated the one-panel comic They’ll Do It Every Time for the past eighteen years, and prior to that co-wrote it as part of the team of Dunn and Scaduto.

Al Scaduto was a gem of a man, gentle, kind, and polite,
as noted on the blog The Comics Curmudgeon ( in comments by his many fans, correspondents, and even several family members. Sadly, his passing has gone almost completely unnoticed by the mainstream media. He was loved, and will be missed.

Thanks for sharing, and great job.

On to today's strip. I'm fine with the premise of the strip (guy never wins anything, but the one time he is chosen randomly, it's to find something bad in his food) (he probably also gets chosen to sit on the jury of the trial that lasts forever, and his employer won't pay him for that time, so he only gets the $15/day or whatever). It's the specificity of him finding a stone in his food. That just seems so bizarre, that I have to wonder whether L. Gerner suggested it. I mean, of anything to find in his food, I wouldn't think "stone." But hey, maybe he can be a winner in the end. I bet that since he obviously needs dental work, he can probably sue the caterer (maybe even the location of the event) and get the money for that, and probably damages to boot. I'd tell him to look on the bright side, but that has to be tough when your name is "Loozer."

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

10 a.m. isn't sleeping TOO late

I admit that I don't understand today's strip at all. The mother says that the kid doesn't get enough sleep on school nights because he goes to bed late. (I don't really know what to make of the "And don't stay in bed long enough and sleep"...implying that he gets up too early? Huh?) And when the kid doesn't have to get up...she wakes him up. Which will make him cranky. Which she complains about. So she should let him sleep in, I guess. My question is whether the mother actually wants the son to be doing something, or whether she's just waking him up on the principle that he shouldn't sleep late. If she's just waking him up so he's up, that's stupid. But if he has to do something...well, get up.

Yeah, I don't know.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Reunionate? Really?

Today's strip provides a nice continuation from last Friday's strip. Sure, Loopina appears to have changed outfits, but that's OK, as apparently this reunion lasted well over a weekend. Such stamina!

I do feel bad for Loopie here, but then, that's the risk you take when hosting people. It's common courtesy to offer to help clean up when you're a guest, but it's something I wouldn't necessarily count on, if that makes sense. You'd think, though, that if people brought food, they'd at least want their dishes back, right? Maybe they used disposable containers, which would make Loopie's job a bit easier, at least.

In the end, I can sympathize with the hostess, but can't back her anger in the end. One of those "Plan for the worst, hope for the best" situations--hope that people will help you clean up, but don't expect them to.

Mind you, I can say this because I rarely have people over, much less host any sort of large dinner.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

It's no worse than the "Armada"

Today's strip confronts the issue of the environment. Huzzah for being topical, I say. It does play into my guilt that I don't use reusable bags. However, I drive a Prius. I'm hoping that makes me better than Gus Greenearth, who hopefully realized the irony of his name when he bought his "'conservation' gas-guzzling huge SUV." I...don't understand the "conservation" there. It's not an adjective. Unless...the SUV is called a "Conservation"? Wow. That'd take some balls on the auto-maker's part.

I also think the kid would've seen the problem in the top panel. He did, presumably, drive to the grocery store in that SUV.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

No squid? I'm disappointed

Today's strip is actually quite appropriate for this time of year--a party! Whee! I'm just having a hard problem figuring out the point. Loopina brought all of her favorite foods, and people are complaining about individual dishes. I...what? I guess maybe it should've been potluck, but people would probably still object to some of the dishes. And the thing is, the complaints (too spicy, too salty, two vegetarians, no fish, no sugar) each apply to only a few of the dishes. Too spicy? Well, have the ham. No salt? Try the turkey. No fish? Ham or turkey. No sugar? Skip dessert. I imagine that the side dishes are mostly vegetarian. It's not like none of these people can eat, and Loopina will have to lug this food home. I guess she doesn't want people whining? Hey, I thought that was what family reunions were about.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dogs, dieting, fashion, cars...and some meta

Sorry for my delinquence of late; I know, I've been terrible. I do recommend checking out the comments on the entry at CC about Al's death; some of his family and friends have checked in, and some people have also written some pretty moving comments. I also suggest reading this blog entry by a reader. Both he and Josh have managed to articulate their feelings about Al much better than I. (This is why I'm an editor, not a writer, people!) I will say that it makes me sad that there's been virtually no coverage of Al's death. TDIET is one of the few comics that's carried nationally, and has been around for a long time. You'd think the passing of its artist would merit some attention.

Anyway. On with the show. Four days in brief recap...

Monday. Mrs. Goosegg should rely solely on the dog for vacuuming purposes; I mean, why have a vacuum at all if you have a dog? Also, where did that table come from in the bottom panel? I'm sure you all also saw that this is a CC reader-submitted strip. So exciting!

Tuesday. I can't really fault Ragmop here. Part of the key to losing weight isn't to necessarily cut out all fatty foods; it's just to eat them in moderation. If he can be happy with samples only, more power to him. And isn't Fatburger a real restaurant?

Wednesday. This is awesome for many reasons, except the similarity to last Monday's strip. I love that Migraina actually calls him out for not going with her suggestion, and I love that Al included "send him to the moon" with the "striped shirt" piece. It could've been "The urge to stripe his shirt" or something, but the "to the moon" made it all worthwhile. Awesome.

Today. Oh, kids these days, with their loud music. Maybe Hekkie heard the plinking between songs on his radio. Notice that he never says that the noise bothers him; maybe he's just upset by his car making a weird noise? I know I am. And I applaud him for taking good car of my car.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rest in peace, Al

It appears that our friend Al Scaduto passed away this weekend at the age of 79. I definitely recommend reading what Josh wrote over at Comics Curmudgeon, and I can't help but echo his sentiments. While we may enjoy poking fun at the strip, and poking fun at Al for his apparent belief that it remains the 1950s (though it seems more recent strips have been bringing us closer to the present), it remains that from everything I've read, Al was genuinely good person. The way he responded to readers and sent submitters the strips was wonderful.

Al wasn't the first person to draw TDIET, and we'll have to see whether King Features decides to continue with the strip. As has been said before, it's doubtful that the new artist could truly replace Al Scaduto.

As for this blog...well, obviously, we'll just have to wait and see. I'll continue to comment on the strips, but it'll be with a heavier heart.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Lack of truth in advertising? Say it ain't so!

Today's strip illustrates a valuable lesson: Commercials don't always show the truth. Now I realize that you're all shocked by this revelation, but it's true. Maybe I'm just cynical, but I can't work up much sympathy for our protagonist. With something like car repairs, you don't go to the place with the good commercials. You do research, you ask friends and colleagues. And when it comes to car repairs, "reasonable" does not necessarily equal "low, low." Some things can be fixed fairly inexpensively. But not everything. And since I have no idea what's actually wrong with the car...I can't judge. It's bad form for the guy to say "Big bucks," but we all know how Al doesn't want to use actual numbers.

Anyway, J. Wurshell, you can just take your car to another shop. He gives you the option. And if it needs to be be it. But it's not like there's nowhere else in Cleveland to get your car fixed. And don't blame your television for commercials. Your television loves you!

In yesterday's strip, a couple shows up unexpectedly and is shocked that the couple they've stopped in to see isn't available to socialize. Well, duh. If you stop by to see someone without calling ahead, you're taking a chance that the person is going to be out or busy. My friends know that they're more than welcome to just pop on by anytime, but that doesn't mean that at any given time, I'll have the time to talk. How far away is the couple coming from, anyway? Honestly, do people do this that much? I can think of one time when I was driving by a friend's house and stopped to say hi. He wasn't home. I certainly didn't get upset about it. It happens, you know?

The growling dog does make the strip, though, I think.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

STILL can't make it on your own

Today's strip totally threw me off, as I was convinced it was a repeat of the strip from November 12. It's not quite the same, but I had to look at this before I discovered the difference. The premise is the same, though--wife loaded down with groceries who has to open the front door herself. NOOOO!!!!!! Anyway. I still lack any sympathy. Do people really expect their spouses to be waiting by the door when they go grocery shopping? I understand that this is probably frustrating, but who knows what Mr. Cat was doing. And now that he's actually at the front door, he can help bring the groceries in. It's all good.

I do wish that Al would space these sorts of things out better, though.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The urge to buy some merch

Today's strip is another that revolves around working at home. This honestly blows me away. I guess more of the TDIET audience than I thought works from home. And miraculously, it even looks like that's a computer monitor in the bottom left of the panel! I'm just going to give Al the benefit of the doubt on that one. But honestly, are we sugpposed to feel bad for Dragbutt? I mean, who's fault is it that his office is cramped? Just organize a bit, throw some stuff out, invest in some filing cabinets, and you're golden. Quit whining. It's true that crap grows to fill the space, but it doesn't need to be so messy.

I hope you all saw the need t-shirt being offered by the Comics Curmudgeon. Need to let others know that you want to do something horrible--or just completely nonsensical--to them? Then that is the t-shirt for you.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

I don't want to see Alf in his undershirt

I'll admit that Al threw me for a bit of a loop in today's strip. I was sure that the bottom panel would show Migraina in the pink dress, saying that she sent the other one back. Migraina doesn't care about her husband's opinions! Ha ha! As it is, though...I don't know. Clearly Alf doesn't really care which dress she keeps. Is this a financial thing? Another, "Oh, women, with their spending money on clothes!" gag? I don't really see an impetus for her to take one back if she likes them both, unless there are other things going on here. Just bizarre. And while the pink dress is OK, the one with the bow looks more suited to a 10-year-old.

I realized this morning who the target audience for TDIET is (other than us, of course): Andy Rooney. Thanks to The Amazing Race coming on directly after 60 Minutes, and football frequently delaying the start, I keep catching Andy's rants. Have other people seen these? They're crazy. He did a whole segment on people who bring books to work, asking them whether they read on the clock. Apparently he doesn't understand the concept of reading on the subway. Or during lunch. Bizarre.

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