No one would have believed in the early years of the twenty-first century that Westview was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than Les’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as pizza mongers busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
Yet across the gulf of the internet, minds that are to Les’s mind as his is to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded today’s strip with beady eyes, and slowly and surely picked at nits.
Here ends my snark stint,
So off will I slink.
Coming up next:
Billy the Skink!
The artwork today isn’t bad, and the facial expressions have been mercifully smirkless of late. We see Young Les as he discovers Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe on the in memoriam table. He thumbs through the volume, a look of wonder and bemusement on his teenage features. And then—
Hey, wait a minute! Les never wrote this book; he read it. It is no heartbreaking work of staggering genius. No! It’s a temporal loop, a quantum fluctuation that has existed since the Big Bang itself, a flaw in the matrix, an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. Or something.
Still, it doesn’t explain how this innocent boy became an insufferable pedant. It’ll take more than quantum time paradoxes to explain that.
“You’re going to get cancer, but you’ll have a chance to survive it if you make sure your clean bill of health is legitimate. You’re going to get a clean bill of health too soon because of a paperwork error. Here’s a copy of my book with all the important dates highlighted,” Old Les does not helpfully add, because he’s nowhere to be found and useful as a football bat.
You’re in a hell of your own creation, we could unfairly tell the autograph, but of course it’s not its fault, but its author’s. Because here it comes, what passes for denouement in Westview. But not today.
Today is mostly about Crazy Harry talking to the future (obese, naturellement) version of his wife, the 1980s’ The Eliminator, a video-game dude too good to beat, until he turned out to be a gamer chick.
Or something about Batiuk fishing for a “girl power” Pulitzer. I can’t quite be bothered to remember her name or the last time their putative children were mentioned in the strip. Because they’ve been erased from history as thoroughly as has Hulk Hogan.