At some point in the late afternoon I noticed that Scout was peering intently at something on the ground; then he would get up, cross the yard, peer at something else for a while. Then he would move to another spot on the yard and look at the dirt. Every time I looked out the window he was in a different spot, sitting, looking at the ground.

The answer was sad: Whatever the population of small rodent-type creatures was at noon, it was five less by 6 PM. He had found a nest of fun meat-smelling squeak toys and distributed them around the yard. But they didn’t want to play. GREAT GOING LENNY YOU BROKE THEM ALL.

If they’d been full-grown it wouldn’t be sad - that’s life, or rather its opposite. You had your time, Mr. Chipmunk. You made one mistake and that was it. But when they’re little tiny things you just think awwww shoot I wish that had not happened. Why do you have to do that, dog? Come on inside and I’ll throw the soft thing that squeaks and you can catch it and shake it! That’s so cute! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT SOFT THING THAT ACTUALLY SQUEAKS

But what do you do with them after they’ve expired? They have that pathetic rodent rictus-grimace they get when all the life’s gone. I got out a snow shovel, gathered them up, and threw them over the fence. Not in a neighbor’s yard, but the part of our hill. Scout followed, curious, and watched as five little rodents took flight.

I hope there was no one walking on the sidewalk, because that would have been difficult to explain to one’s self. As if we had mounds of them. Well, time to go shovel the mice.

Scout has spent most of the night looking at the spot where he found the creatures, as if it’s some rodent cornucopia that will produce more if he just waits.

It’s possible they were rabbits, which you don’t like to think about because bunnies are adorable, but let me tell you: based on my nocturnal observations of the neighborhood, bunnies run thick around here like Bisons on the Great Plains.

We don’t want for bunnies, is what I’m saying.


I have been meaning to talk about the worst cartoonist working in the business today, or next week, or any period of time that extends forwards and backwards to beginning of time or the end of the universe, however that happens.

Perhaps this strip runs in your paper; perhaps you read it online to see if it's possible the art has improved in the last few decades, because it seems unlike that anyone can draw that much for that long and get worse.

Look at those people.

First of all, the laptop is the size of a carry-on suitcase. Apparently it's old, and the hinge is bad, so the screen has to be held up. Second: the leg of the table appears to be a varnished carrot, and it doesn't match up with the corner. Third: so what if she caught him? In an era where fridges themselves have interior cameras, this isn't in the least bit funny. But doesn't it just hit close to home, though?

No, it doesn't. This only possibly maybe works if Ray is a neighbor or a handyman and enters her house at 3 AM, but I don't think she'd have that shinola-eating expression.

I mean, literally Shinola.

Again - so close to home:

Doesn't apply to me; I'm a butcher whose line just broke. OF COURSE ONE WOULD BE A CLIMBER if they're seeing this sign.

The writing is as bad as the art. Better wording: "Line break? Next time use Dependo!" It would also be better if A) the man did not appear to be looking at his doppelganger, right down to the clothing, suggesting that he actually makes Dependo or was the model in the ad, and B) the art didn't make it look as if Dependo ALSO BREAKS.

If there's one thing I love for in these cartoons, it's the interior shots.

It's the drapes. They always look like this. They're like sheaves of mutated albino romaine leaves.

Look went to the streets of Paris in 1941 and got an earful.




That's the saddest thing I've read today.






We are at present studying the criminal strategies of the man known only as . . .

We're getting near the end - but of course that doesn't mean the action or the plot accellerates. It's always 65 MPH from start to finish.

Yeah, that wasn't too believable, especially since he sounded so Satany.

Oh, this is great: it’s an actual honest, realistic resolution to a cliffhanger that doesn’t entirely depend on withholding critical information. I’ll play last week’s, so you can see what they do:

What really happened:

Too bad Dr. Williams got ahead of the pack, but he’s soon joined by the shooting thug, who gets thrown over the rail. Then another bench shows up, and . . . well, just look at this.

That’s fourteen seconds. The fight ends when the Copperhead punches the hench and knocks him off a cliff, presumably to his death.

Then we return to Lohman Park, where Dr. Satan is bandaged and pretends to be Prof. Williams. He has fixed the Robot and is going to move to a laboratory downtown set up by the DA, because that’s the sort of thing the DA does. (In serials, the DA is the all-purpose authority who can Get Things Done.)

Well, Speed, who is on to Dr. Satan’s subterfuge, calls Lois - that’s Spunky Doctor Daughter - and says “the guy hanging around the house is Dr. Satan! Stall him! She knows juuuust what to do:

Yes, she has the drop on him, and he’s startled. Meanwhile, Speed and the Copperhead are rushing back to the la-bora-tory to rescue Lois, but remember what I said about the Robot being fixed? Yeah. A hench uses the remote control to disarm Lois; she is bound and gagged like a True Detective cover, and Dr. S leaves with the Robot.

Speed and Cop show up, untie Lois, and she says the Doc left with the Robert, but apparently he didn’t tell his henchmen, because they’ve shown up to pick up the Robot, pretending to be (of course) from the DA. Copperhead gets into the box so he’ll be taken to Dr. Satan’s HQ.

Got it? So Speed follows the truck and the poorly-secured box moves around the back of the truck.


When the henchmen get to the lair, having rested easy, Dr. Satan realizes that the box should not be heffy, as he puts it, because he has the Robert. So he calls Spunky Doctor Daughter Lois to taunt, ad says he’s see through her little ruse, and is going to burn the box.

Not her best moment, acting-wise, but she’s doing what she can with what she has.

Thing is, Dr. Satan really thinks that the box has the poison gas, not the Copperhead. That’s why they don’t shoot the box forty times. And so:

Oh no! Copperhead is in the box! I mean, we haven’t seen him inside, beating his fists on the box lid, but he must be!

Next week: the end! Will Dr. Satan be killed, or turned over . . . to the DA? (For prolonged, legal killing)

That'll do! See you around.



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