Tag Archives: county fair

Nocturnal Dietitians

Link to today’s strip

So they left an hour after the fair closed…and then drove a funnel cake to the Bedside Manor? How late is it? Our county fair closes at 10:00, and I’m guessing that is about standard. It’s got to be approaching midnight. What kind of nursing home lets people just wander in at midnight?

And poor old Gramps has been abandoned alone in his wheelchair, completely clothed, in the middle of the night. Where’s the nurse on call? The only reason he’s calm and smiling is from huffing the cheap nitrous oxide they slip into his ‘oxygen’ tanks to keep him passive and pliable. What kind of cut-rate elder warehouse is this? The kind where the miserable staff hide from the patients in their break room snitching jello snacks and swapping pills.

I mean, look at the heavy lidded eyes of the lady in panel one and tell me she isn’t baked out of her mind on a delicious cocktail of the nursing home specials, oxycontin, seroquel, vicodin, and Miralax. Dinkle could come marching in with an entire rock band, and she would barely be able to blink.


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Scare Thee Well.

Link to today’s strip

Well Mindy has not only annoyed all the exhausted carnies cleaning up the grounds by sticking around an hour after close, she’s now terrified them by randomly shouting into the darkness.

And we’re supposed to be touched as Mindy waxes all nostalgic about a fair trip where they stood in one place for upwards of five hours and blew several hundred dollars on a Tawny the Not-Talking Tiger rip off?

I just realized that the Tiger is Mindy. They were both handed out as a prize to someone who hadn’t really done anything to earn them except hang around too long being pathetic. Pete was just as enthusiastic to get Mindy as she was to get the tiger. Both are pretending they’ve won something great when in reality they’ve been given a cheaply made air-filled squeeze toy by a bored uncaring carnie clown who is tired of waiting for his shift to end.


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Consolation Prize

Link to today’s strip

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh! This is awful. The only possible more awkward engagement involves a shotgun in one hand and a pregnancy test in the other.

Pete was going to propose tonight? On a night they just sort of randomly decided to go to the fair because Mindy wanted to? He wasn’t going to wait to plan a more meaningful or romantic date? And he was either going to propose without a ring, or he’s got a ring in his pocket, bought off credit, that he now has to return.

And his response to losing his ring money is just awful and pathetic. He just offhandedly tells Mindy this. It’s worse than a non proposal. It’s a non-proposal proposal. “I was going to ask you to marry me, but now that I’ve wasted money I would have spent on gold and jewels that retain some monetary value in the long run I’ve instead wasted hundreds on a stuffed tiger worth 5 bucks. But I still want you to marry me, so I’m basically asking the question in the form of a passive statement.”

My sister was going to get proposed to over Christmas. She and her boyfriend had traveled to spend the holiday with our whole family, and her boyfriend had the ring mailed to my parents house so he could propose on Christmas morning. The ring arrived damaged. SO HE DIDN’T PROPOSE THEN. He didn’t even tell her. He waited to get the ring fixed and then set up a date to propose to her later at the place they first met. He eventually told her the story about what happened over Christmas, sure. Because it’s a funny story. But telling her ON CHRISTMAS MORNING, would have gotten him run out of the house.

You can’t tell someone, “I was going to ask you to marry me, but…” Unless the ‘but’ is something along the lines of “I don’t actually want to marry you.” Otherwise it’s a proposal.

I miss Chien. You remember when they sort of implied Pete and Chien had some attraction during High School? That girl was sassy, and snarky, and smart. She was a stereotyped goth-chick, sure, but in a sea of skinny blondes she would have stood out. And she wouldn’t have squeebled over a stuffed tiger. She would have given Pete a dirty look, and then a piece of her mind. I wish Pete was marrying Chien. Mindy is dumb as a box of rocks.


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Murderball most Foul.

Link to today’s strip

At first I thought panel two of today’s strip was incredibly implausible. Why would this game have a hard backdrop behind the bottles that a ball could ricochet off of? Isn’t a game involving throwing hard projectiles at fragile glass bottles while people stand watching dangerous enough already? So I actually looked up a couple pictures and videos of how this carnival game is played. I didn’t see any balls ricochet right back like this, but most of the games I looked at had a hard metal sheet behind the bottles.

And you know what? This game is actually easier than a lot of carnie games. As long as the bottles are standard beer bottles, and the balls used aren’t completely nerfed, this game is less likely to be rigged than the milk bottle toss, the ring toss, or the free throw game.

What I’m saying is, unless Pete is completely inept, he should be able to do this at least once out of ten or so tries.

Which will probably win him a cheap stuffed animal roughly the size of his fist, worth about 10 cents.

Mindy could definitely do better. At both the carnie game and the dating game.


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Got ‘Em By the Ball!

Link to today’s strip

Pete is aware that Mindy’s Gramps was a minor league pitcher right? More importantly Mindy definitely knows this. So either she is under the false notion that this carnie game is easy because Gramps was good at it, or she really gets off on the idea of humiliating Pete.

Because the look that she’s giving Pete in the last panel lets us know in no uncertain terms that she finds something about this situation arousing. Does she imagine that the pasty, spaghetti-armed lifelong desk drone Pete has the potential to ever live up to the coarse masculinity of her baseball playing, war veteran, deathless Gramps?

She’s got Pete by the ball. The unnaturally tiny, pure white, vibrating ball.


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A Veritable Smorgasbord…of Horror.


Comic Book Harriet back again. And I want to thank Beckoning Chasm for taking one for the team. The last slot was an absolute void of material, even when the strips were available, and he filled it up with snark like only an inviting ravine extending into nothingness knows how.

And what a treat for me! We have Mopey and Mindy! A sad sack of a man only defined by comic books, and a carbon copy of every other blonde in the strip, only defined by the men around her.

I mean, seriously, can you be more of a non-character? Not to get nerdy, but we are dealing with some serious replicative fading. Each Cindy clone gets less and less viable. Cindy at least has a detailed history of independent action. And she used to have an actual personality before the Westview blandification virus infected her and turned her into the same neurotic depressive as everyone else, like an insidious hive-mind of wryness.

Jessica is less interesting, has never had a personality, and also is partially defined by her father, John Darling, who was murdered. But at least she attempted a career for a while separate from her husband. She also occasionally has conversations with other women that pass the Bechdel test.

But Mindy is like a box of expired No-Doz. Perky, yes. But completely flavorless and kind of nauseating. She wandered into her boyfriend’s office one day and he gave her a job because she was good at coloring in the lines. What did she do before other than work at the Valentine? What does she like? Did she ever have any kind of dream that wasn’t being handed a job by a man she knew? The only things we know about her inner life is that Cranky is her grandpa. Pete is literally dating the memory of an elderly man.

Still we’ve got a real buffet of monsters in the background here! From left to right. We have man presumably unironically wearing a Cincinnati Reds shirt. With a projected 7.9% chance to make the playoffs this year, and an average home game attendance of 20,000, nearly filling up half their ballpark, their future is definitely so bright they’re gonna need shades. His landwhale wife in her pointy sunglasses looks like she could have walked to the fair straight from the Far Side. And her terrifying tiny wig may have been stolen from a pediatric cancer patient.

Between Pete and Mindy is either an escaped convict in a hat or a construction worker on break. Right of Mindy’s head is the reincarnation of King Tut, complete with sloping forehead, elongated skull, slim body, and slight gut. Mindy’s arm is blocking his feet, so we can’t tell if he was cursed with a club foot in this life too. Next to him is a poor shoulderless woman who either has prominent rounded ears or a horrifyingly unfortunate nose.

Then we have the return of the dickhead! He even has a nice little coronal line where the shaft of his neck meets his glans, I mean face. He is drinking a refreshing beverage from a reusable cloth cup and straw he has fashioned from leftover fabric from his shirt and hat.

His wife looks like an extra from Planet of the Apes trying to pass. Lucky for them two of their three children look relatively normal. The poor kid in the stoller though. Pull that sunshade down! No one needs to see that! And it’s child abuse to let your lumpy potato child roast in the sun until he’s nice and crispy brown.


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Early Dawning, Sunday Morning

Link to today’s strip (eventually).

Sunday’s strip was not available for preview…and boy, writing that makes me feel like a Tom Batiuk character, saying the same thing over and over and expecting it to be funny…eventually!  As Fearless Leader noted yesterday, I think I’ve had the most “strip not available” entries of all time (a situation which forces me to pull things from my spinnerets to post, and thank you all for indulging me thus).  Still…the most something–it’s an award!  I am Number One!

But the situation makes me scared that I ticked off some Elder God, and as punishment I’m going to show up as a character in the strip.   Can you imagine a more horrible fate?  I bet if you proposed this to Dante, he’d have turned pale and said, “Whoah, dude, I only imagined nine levels of Hell.  You’re like, ill or something.”

But fate is what it is.  Still, I promise if that happens, I’m going to go right up to Les and ask him, “Do you read Sutter Cane?

As for the Sunday strip, I imagine we’re going to see the Bleat crew wrap up their “podcast” and “newsprint” coverage of the fair, using more video footage of various fair goings-on.  After all, the Dark Twin promised “the dark side” of the fair, which–oh, who am I kidding?  That part of the story was forgotten as soon as Tom Batiuk pulled it out of his spinnerets.  Thinking things through takes time away from reading Flash comics.

Speaking of comics, tonight ends my session in the agony booth; tomorrow, the lovely, talented and very well informed Comic Book Harriet takes the center seat.   Please join me in wishing her luck as the long-threatened “Funky-Crankshaft” crossover feature commences.   As for me, I…well, I await the Yellow Sign.


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