Monday, October 31, 2005

Snarking on Snark

I reached a point in posting for Jeremy Jones today in his continuing argument with qnjones posting as Becky, where I started referring to old posts done by Becky, back in the days when Becky and Jeremy got along. Yes, I was snarking on someone else’s snark. I was getting tired of that and was going to call it a day on Jeremy posting when qnjones as Becky posted her very funny ode to Duncan’s purple lips. It was too inviting to resist, so Jeremy posted his hate ode to Becky’s lying lips using the same form and rhyme scheme as Becky’s purple lip ode. I was very amused with myself, but I realize that I need to get out of the habit of referring to old posts for snark material.

Lynn Johnston has moved away from respectful strips about Mtigwakians to strips showing the eccentricities of Mtigwaki. It seems to me that she is snarking her own material with this stuff. Howard, of course, is along to help Lynn out. If Lynn is snarking her own material, then that means that it is definitely not OK to snark the ARB’s own material. My rule is: Do whatever it is that Lynn doesn’t do and you will be on the right path.

Tomorrow is November 1st, and likely the arrival of the November monthly letters. I am anxious to see if Howard gets a mention, in particular if he gets a mention in the Elizabeth letter along the lines of “That jerk Howard got sent to jail for 1100 million years and I will never have to see him again. Nyah. Nyah.” I can’t wait.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fun with Jeremy

In the For Better or For Worse strip today, there was a time span between Weed scaring Merrie and Merrie being back in her apartment with mom and dad. I decided to take advantage of this by going back to my running joke about Merrie being coffee-addicted. Yes, I am still not tired of that gag.

The rest of the day for me was devoted to a church kid’s choir musical and carving pumpkins. I got in some Jeremy posts at the end, once again enjoying throwing nasty but hurting (as in Jeremy’s hurt feelings) barbs at qnjones posting as Becky McGuire. I cannot speak highly enough of qnjones’ Becky when it comes to personal conflict storylines. I am looking forward to some good old-fashioned soap opera-style nastiness between Becky and Jeremy.

Jeremy is a tricky character. Lynn Johnston has made it a habit of turning school bullies into nice people over time as she did with Brad Luggsworth and Candace Halloran and she refers to Jeremy as a bully in his description on the FBoFW website. Jeremy Jones is probably going along these lines ultimately, although the strip will not go long enough to see it to its fruition with out-of-high school Jeremy.

I was quite surprised that the strip Becky McGuire said that Jeremy was her roadie, since the FBoFW website clearly said that Jeremy wanted to join 4-Evah. The October monthly letter from April mentioned Jeremy prominently, so this may still be a possibility in the strip. There were all those strips where Jeremy sat outside the 4-Evah practice area, which made him look well, kind of creepy and stalkerish. Personally, I would love to see the 4-Evah dynamic with Jeremy in the group. The strip’s Gerald clearly does not like the guy, so it would be interesting to see Gerald’s reaction if April defended Jeremy, as she did ever-so-briefly in the strip where the 4-Evah members talked about Jeremy.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Practical Jokes and Banquets

I have 2 stories to go along with the Howard and Jeremy posts for the day:

Story number one:

When I was in my dating days, I went out with a woman for the first time and shortly into the date, realized what an error I had made. The woman really liked calling men “chauvinists” which I suppose dates the time of this story. I had gotten theater tickets for a touring Broadway show and while we were sitting in the theater waiting for the show to start, the woman said to me, “Tell me how much the tickets are and I will pay for mine.” I told her that since I had asked her on the date, that wasn’t necessary. She insisted and so I relented by handing her the ticket stub that had the price on it and she went silent, because the tickets to the show were very expensive. Needless to say, she didn’t pay for hers, but the fact she couldn’t put her in a foul mood for the rest of the evening. In particular, I remember asking her if she wanted to go for drinks after the show and she replied that she couldn’t because she had to be at the restaurant where she worked at 6 in the morning. I was familiar with the place and knew that it did not open until late in the afternoon, and asked her why she had to be there so early. This caused the woman to launch into a series of foul words, as she explained to me in the most derogatory terms that women could be chefs too and chefs had to be at the restaurant earlier than anyone else and if I wasn’t such a chauvinist pig, I wouldn’t presume that she couldn’t be a chef. I was unfamiliar with how the restaurant business works with chefs when I asked the question, but certainly not afterwards. It was with this in mind, that I wrote the Jeremy version of the Tangi / Jeremy Zorro date. I cannot tell you how many times I went on dates, in which I spent the date in fear of saying something offensive.

Story number two:

The second story has to do the story that Tracey Mayes tells about Wilfred Sobinski stopping Gordon’s dad from beating on him any more. I remember in the For Better or For Worse strip, it just seemed to magically happen once Gordon was engaged. There may be a strip with a better explanation that I missed, but I cannot check against the 3-year on-line archive to verify my feeble memory.

When I was in high school, a teacher I had, brought in a speaker from the Ku Klux Klan to talk to the class (something that would never happen today). The teacher was a leftover hippie from the 1960s, and so was hoping to show to the class what ignorant folks the KKK were. This young man was not well-educated and did not speak well, but he explained why it was that he joined the Klan. This is a story I find difficult for me to tell to anyone, because once they hear the words Ku Klax Klan, they usually interrupt my story with some sort of anti-Klan statement, and I can never finish telling it. Anyway, this man had an alcoholic father who beat him and his mother. One evening, the Klan stopped by his house and took his father outside and basically told him that if they saw another mark on the mother or the son again, they would beat him up. The father never touched him or his mother again, and the boy grew up wanting to join the Klan. I deliberately lifted this story for Wilfred Sobinski to answer the question of why Gordon’s father changed his ways. The banquet stuff was not too funny. I tried to throw in a little motivational speaker language for amusement, but sometimes I just get in the mood to do a little characterization. When I do this, I try to leave it for the last posts of the day, as to not interrupt the flow of the snark when most of the posters are active.

Other notes:

No snark on the strip today. Someone posted as Sharon Taylor-Edwards and did everything that I was planning to do and better. The colour strip looks a little difficult, and the main point is a joke on the word change. I will have to think on it.

The main focus of the day was the set up from yesterday of the practical jokes on Jeremy Jones. I got many great sighting feeds, but I was particularly challenged by the one with the clowns from aprilp_katje posting as Marjee Mahaha. The most difficult one to deal with overall was the Tangi Origami post that started off the day, in which she basically says that Jeremy harps on a girl being fat. This was sort of the opposite direction I was going with Jeremy, where his interest in Becky’s weight is purely for business purposes. The way I treat the ARB posts is that everything posted is true, but discrepancies have to be resolved. Tangi had already posted that she had an eating disorder. So I was going through every slang word I could find for vomit to see if I could find one to match Tangi’s quote of “spare tire.” Finally I came up with “spew attire”, and Jeremy’s reputation was saved. “Mmm. Becky” was a little easier to turn into “imbecile” misspoken as “imbecky.”

Qnjones as Becky is showing no signs of remorse for Jeremy, so I guess we will continue the battle tomorrow. Most likely Jeremy will spend most of the day in bed, and maybe try to skip school on Monday.

Madhouse at Mayes, or a whole lotta drinking going on.

I intentionally kept Howard busy at the Mayes Midtown Motors restaurant distributing the Miracle Drink cure for the Dr. Patterson GPS units. I thought about who could visit the place and be overheard, but nothing came to me except the snark based on the Friday For Better or For Worse strip.

Qnjones posting as Becky delivered a surprisingly vicious blow to Jeremy Jones and Tangi Origami, meaning I was surprised she would have Becky be so violent to Tangi. I had been playing Jeremy as vindictive in his comments, but always leaving a verbal out for Becky, just in case qnjones wanted to call a truce. I was on the verge of dropping another verbal out for the Tangi Origami punch-out, when aprilp_katje posting as April dropped the “Becky’s in the principal’s office” line. One of the joys of working in April’s Real Blog is trying to get your snark in faster than the other person. It is also fun adding revisions as you go to make what your character said work with what the other person’s character just said. Jeremy says what happened in the principal’s office, then Becky says what happened and the 2 account disagree, until Jeremy does a revision (“This happened after I left.”) which makes the 2 differing accounts no longer different.

Becky gets punished, which is probably fair considering. I had fun researching in-school suspensions in the Canadian education system, and had even provided the supervisor, Ms. Connasse, which is a crude slang word in French, basically meaning “a women who is not nice.” The first 3 letters are kind of like a crude English word for women, to give you an idea. I thought qnjones would bite on this lead-in, but it was rejected. Sob! However, qnjones’ idea of Becky cowing wimpy Gerald and Duncan into beating up on Jeremy I found very amusing, so that was OK. I realize at this point, Becky has kissed pretty much all the boys in the strip that are her age. April needs to get on the ball. I don’t think she has kissed Duncan yet.

Something I found interesting in the Meta was qnjones' assertion that Becky was having a meltdown, because her boyfriend betrayed her and aprilp_katje’s “Poor Becky” response. It showed me how much I empathize with the character when I write it. Jeremy’s response would be: “Poor Becky? What about poor Tangi and poor Jeremy? All I said was that she needed to lose a little weight for her act and then she kicked me to the curb, even after all I’ve done for her.” Of course, Jeremy would not actually say that, but he is probably thinking it.

I remember when I was a teenage boy, that teenage boys have no real girlfriend loyalty. If another girl was interested, then so were they. Of course, what I remember was that the teenage girls were only interested in a certain subset of teenage boys that were considered to be popular, so if a boy who was not a part of that subset managed to find a girl who was interested, then there was a good chance that he would never find another one who was interested. I am portraying Tangi Origami with a specific instance in my history in mind. My first girlfriend in high school had a sort-of rival in high school. When I started dating my girlfriend, this rival, who had never expressed any interest in me whatsoever started constantly hitting on me and trying to incite arguments between me and my girlfriend. The difference between me and Jeremy however, is that once my girlfriend did finally break up with me, the rival completely lost interest in me and focused on my then former girlfriend’s new boyfriend.

This posting has been great fun, because it reminded me of all the little things that can cause a relationship to end. I had been listening to Abbott & Costello radio shows all week. The little biography that went along with it mentioned the reason why they broke up as an act. Costello did not give one of his maids a raise; she raised a stink about it, was fired, and went to work as a maid for Abbott. Costello and Abbott got into an argument about the maid and refused to talk to each other, except as required for doing their act for 2 years.

Anyway, the last part is Howard finally getting time to post and finding that Becky is all violent now. Howard has had plenty of violence in his past, so I enjoyed making him extremely sympathetic to Becky. He and Becky have a number of practical jokes in mind for Jeremy, which we find out about when someone (and this means anyone on the ARB) spots a practical joke being played on Jeremy. They need to be nonviolent and indirect (as not incriminate Becky or Howard). Have fun!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Fight! Fight! Fight!

The thing that stood out to me about the For Better or For Worse strip today was the dart in the ceiling. My initial thought was that it would be throwing darts, and I anticipated putting Andy Capp in the strip to explain it. However, a google on “First Nation Dart” came up with websites devoted to blowguns. It turns out that darts have been the weapons of choice for First Nations folk for thousands of years. There was one site talking about a dart that was found that dated by 9000 years. Interesting history for me. It seems I cannot snark on Mtigwaki without putting in some research hours.

The offhand comment I made from Jeremy saying that Becky had put on weight was interesting. I said that Becky needed to make a career decision about whether or not she was going to make a career decision to become another Lindsay Lohan type, having turned incredibly skinny. Then qnjones posting as Becky responded quite differently than I had expected by calling Jeremy a dickhead and firing him. qnjones loves to fight as Becky, so I decided to have Jeremy engage in battle in a Jeremy-like fashion, which is to say that he accepts whatever insults are thrown at him, because he thinks he deserves it, but at the same time he throws caustic remarks back at his attacker.

Then in the middle of all this, aprilp_katje drops the line:

i'm @ my mom's store rite now, & she's left me alone here again. she sed that she, moira, & beatrice have an important "business outing".

This was clearly an indication that Howard was supposed to do another restaurant snark for Elly, Moira and Beatrice. I was initially stumped until I decided to open those October monthly letters again and snark on Elly’s and have Beatrice collapse from GPS sensory overload. It occurred to me then, that there were a lot of people not at the Brenda Starr party, where the tropical fruit punch drink was used to cure people of the GPS problems. So, I said, “How would Howard get that drink to all the afflicted Milboroughans?” Therein lay the idea of the newspaper review originally suggested by schmoosie through Brenda Starr last Saturday.

Tomorrow: Madhouse at Mayes, or a whole lotta drinking going on.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dentist Jokes and Jeremy

I started the day with dentist jokes. I looked at the names of teeth and dental equipment, desperate to make up jokes. Fortunately, since they were coming from Dr. John Patterson, the jokes didn’t have to be good, just reasonably bad. My major objective was to create some sort of ridiculous image for April and Brenda Starr to have when they get back together with Howard. Toothpaste and dental floss were obvious choices. Then I just thought it would be fun to see Brenda Starr with a hand puppet.

This was to offset the fact that the snarkable material in the For Better or For Worse strip was quite difficult today. I eventually came up with 2 snarks on the strip. The idea that Polaris was automatically associated with snow machines was amusing to me. So I took the idea to the next illogical step, and made the Polaris snow machine obsession a little more citywide, using actual names of the makes of Polaris snowmobiles in the snark. Thanks to aprilp_katje for providing the link.

The second idea came when schmoosie posting as the Professor (at least I think it was schmoosie) came up with the idea of relating GPS sensor frequencies to harmonic dissonance in music. I was then able to take the words Liz used in her lesson and transpose them into opera musical terms as Howard. It was pretty dull stuff, but at least it was something to do with the strip.

I posted a lot as Jeremy Jones today. I was just in the mood to do that, instead of doing yet another day of Howard overhearing conversations in the restaurant. I intend for Jeremy to be caustic and not very long-winded, in a direct contrast to Howard who is often long-winded and tries overly hard to be nice. I found that the long-winded part was difficult to avoid, if you are using the character to explain some action going on. In the event that the upcoming November letters chuck Howard in jail, then I may sign on for Jeremy full-time. We’ll see what happens.

All About Mira

I have been looking for an opportunity to do some Sobinski snark for awhile. Originally I planned to have Lovey Saltzman and Mira Sobinski cry on each others shoulders at the Kelpfroths about how they did so much for Mike and Deanna, but were constantly ignored in favor of Elly. Unfortunately, we had the strip sequence where Lovey gave the Kelpfroths the eviction notice, and that messed up my plans. Today, I decided to do it in another venue--the "family" party for Wilf Sobinski.

I went pretty far back into Sobinski history for this snark. An interesting thing I noticed about the nature of the relationship between Deanna and Mira is that Deanna's attitude toward her mother has changed over the years from respectful disagreement to covert hatred. During the strip sequence in which Mike throws Wilf and Mira out, after they interrupt their romantic dinner, Deanna says to her mother, "Mike's not a bad person. He'll apologize." The next time Mike throws them out after baby Robin is born, she has no such apologies. In the most recent strip (the lake trip) featuring Mira, Deanna has moved to thinking bad thoughts about her mom, without Mike even being around.

Tomorrow - More teaching about snow machines. Not an easy snark. I may have to wait until the end of the week to do this week's sequence in total.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Too Much Coffee for Merrie

The "Elizabeth needs a lesson" was difficult to snark. I decided to focus on the coffee aspect of it, and lean back on a joke that I had established from the previous week, that little Meredith is a coffee addict. I duplicated most of the lines from the strip and tried to write them with an emphasis toward Meredith and 3-year-old speak, but it wasn't too successful. The words are outside the 3-year-old vocabulary, but I couldn't change them too much or I would lose the recognition for the lines from the strip. It seems I have been doing food obsessions lately, given that I had Grandpa Jim have cookie obsession on Sunday. I wonder if this will be a recurring theme.

The poster for Ardith Narayan (whoever that is) has been asking for someone to link her to grandpa Jim, so I have let Howard take this one by the reins and Ardith will interview and be hired by Jim and Iris without too much trouble, hopefully humorously. The character will then be well-placed for Jim and Iris snark and well as be able to mention her past association with Deanna for Dee and Mike snark. I hope that poster takes advantage of it.

I enjoyed running through the Elly moralizing passages of the strip for "Elly's suggestions for teaching lessons to Moira and Beatrice." I decided to go back through strip chronologically backwards until I got enough items to fill a paragraph. It didn't take long. I went from October back to March and stopped. You know you just don't fully realize how preachy the woman is until you take it all in with one sitting. She did not appear in a single storyline sequence without at least one moral platitude. I have to admit the one in airport where she is denouncing the gum chewers, burpers, show foo'ers, cell phone talkers, and people who spill drinks on themselves is a classic. Lynn Johnston was able to cover all her pet peeves in a single panel. Now if she could have just shown the same streamlining with Mtigwaki.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Jim and Dixie WWII heroes

I thought I was snarked out after the Brenda Starr party. Fortunately, Lynn provided me with primo snark material for both Dixie and Grandpa Jim today. To explain why Jim would ignore raisins in a search for cookies when he apparently regularly gets cookies, I invented a cookie obsession. I tried to find someway to work cookie monster (the muppet and not the Blogger) into the scenario, but I couldn’t come up with anything. I nearly fell on the floor though, when I saw Dixie do the sticky-out tongue laugh. That was hysterical, Lynn, and I guess a shout out to us who make fun of it. The dog does it too. A careful examination of Dixie yielded more snark, and I ended with my running joke about Howard temporarily absorbing the personality of a nearby character – this time, Dixie.

I tried to engage the poster for Ardith Narayan (whoever that is) into a snark duet, but that did not work. Oh well, maybe next time.

As for tomorrow, Liz has trouble with lesson plans. That’s a difficult snark for Howard. He can’t say he toured into the lesson planning building in Mtigwaki. I will have to think on it.

This is probably a lead-in to an appearance by Constable Paul Wright, whom I plan to post as. I was hoping for a storyline involving Michael quitting Portrait magazine, but I suspect that Lynn knows that if she goes too long without getting back to Liz and the good constable, she will have to go through the trouble of reintroducing her readers to him. I hope schmoosie, who posts as Liz is ready for some hot romance posting.

Brenda Starr Party

It was interesting to have all those obscure characters in the room for snarking. It was harrowing to have so many of them. I kept on saying, now what would this character say to this other character? And then I would say, now can I make it funny? With these many characters, it was hit or miss, probably more miss than hit.

The stuff about Lovey not knowing where her home was, came from a reply reported on the FOOBiverse Journal from Stephanie van Doleweerd, FBorFW website designer to our own aprilp_katje about the location of Mike and Dee and Lovey’s home in Toronto. The FOOBiverse Journal snarkers chewed it up and spit it out and I took the leftover into my Lovey snark. Thank you FOOBiverse Journal. And of course, thank you Stephanie.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

So much snark it has to be notated

A lot going on today. Normally, I wait for aprilp_katje to post her snark for the day’s strip, before I snark on it, but this Saturday’s strip called out for snarking with such a vengeance that I could not wait. Sorry aprilp_katje. I will try to be better behaved in the future.

This week has been great for snarking. Lynn’s writing has left so many nice holes in the character development to be filled with snark. It was a pleasure to work with Lynn this week. It really made up for the Mtigwaki stuff. Well, not really, but it’s a start. After this, I have high hopes for the Michael quitting his job at Portrait sequence, since he has been painted as a dangerous lunatic by none other than Lynn herself.

As for today, I knew it would be a good day for posting, when I saw that I wasn’t the first poster of the day. It’s usually a bad sign when I am first. Arizona is on Pacific Coast Time right now, so the Atlantic Coast Time people have a 3-hour lead on me.

Some notes:
1. The Brenda Starr snark about the Mexican and French food comes from the current, awful storyline on the Brenda Starr strip.
2. I researched the charges against Thorvald McGuire and posted them on the Meta Canadian thread. It did not look good for Thorvald. I am hoping that my anonymous poster on Canadian law will come in and save the day. If not, I will probably add my research to a post sometime tomorrow.
3. “We are Women, Hear Us Roar” is a takeoff from the original lyrics from the Helen Reddy song done in first person singular. This was the Women’s Liberation National Anthem of sorts back in the 1970s. The fact that it came from Helen Reddy and not a singer more appealing to young women, tells you a lot about the women’s liberation movement.

A digression: Back when I was in college, I went to a debate between Phyllis Schlafly and the late Bella Abzug over the Equal Rights Amendment. I know that really dates me. The audience was composed almost entirely of college women, who were overwhelmingly pro-Bella and pro-ERA. They booed whenever Phyllis spoke and cheered whenever Bella spoke. The thing that struck me at the time was that Phyllis looked very much like June Cleaver in her style of dress and demeanor, whereas Bella looked just like she does in all her pictures, with her unique style of dressing. So, I had an expectation that Phyllis was going to actually argue that women should know their place and that sort of thing. However, that was not the case. Phyllis debated circles around Bella. Phyllis would address Bella’s points directly, whereas Bella kept on referring to Women’s Liberation political rhetoric to make her points and did not actually address the points being made by Phyllis. That could be because Phyllis was a lot younger than Bella, but here’s the kicker: Phyllis’ points were not anything like what I expected. She was in favor of the principles of the ERA, but did not like it because it was poorly written and believed that it could be misinterpreted to undo some of the advances that women’s rights had already made in the laws of some states. After seeing Phyllis and Bella in action, I believe that one of the many reasons the ERA failed to pass, was because it was unable to get the support of the women who are the backbone of the Women’s Liberation movement, the women who like listening to Helen Reddy.

4. As near as I can tell, Neiman Marcus and Macy's do not exist in Canada. The “find a store” function on both their websites has no Canadian entries. What’s up with that? Does Canada have stringent laws to protect their native department stores from foreign invaders?
5. All the Gilligan’s Island things referenced were from actual Gilligan’s Island episodes. One of the things that makes that show timeless is that there was nothing too far-fetched that their writers would not try for the sake of humour. Gilligan is invisible, Gilligan switches brains with animals, Gilligan turns into a human radio. After today though, I’m not sure what I have left for Professor snark in the Brenda Starr party. Someone else may need to pick that up.
6. I decided to pull in some of the April’s October letter stuff the ARB ignored about Becky’s activities, just so we would have covered it before the November letters come out. So, it has come out that Becky has done some performances that were not with Gerald, April, and Duncan. qnjones who posts as Becky handled it well, as usual.
7. I actually could not find any Bajan food restaurants in Toronto, although the_berserker can feel free to correct me. They do have a Bajan food festival sometime in July, but I could not tie that in. So, we had to go with an imaginary restaurant this time. The menu items and band name, I did steal from a Bajan food restaurant located in Barbados. Barbados must be very touristy, judging from the website pictures.
8. I continued with the line of painting Michael a little more sympathetically, along the lines of phatsmacky’s recent Michael posts, but it’s hard to undo the damage already done by Lynn.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Abbott and Costello

I am pretty excited that my Dee and Carleen conversation snark on Thursday is a nearly perfect lead-in to their last panel appearance in Friday’s strip. Of course, if it were completely perfect, Merrie would follow them in asking for coffee. But that would be too much to hope for. I have been building on the idea that there is a lot more to Carleen and Dee’s relationship than the strip has shown. Apparently Lynn Johnston agrees with me too, so I will continue in that direction. I fully expect Weed and Mike to do exactly what Dee and Carleen tell them to do. The only question is what will that be? Will it be (a) they tell them not to buy or (b) they tell them here’s a better way to buy or (c) something completely different? I think I will need to leave all venues open. We know that Dee and Mike are going to end up in the Patterson home in Milborough, but there is 2 years to get that done and anything can happen between now and then.

I have been listening to a recording of Abbott and Costello radio programs I borrowed from my local library. Almost all of their jokes are puns. Bud Abbott says some line and then Lou Costello comedically misinterprets the line, usually by mispronouncing one of the words so that it means a different word. It was with this in mind that I tried writing my Elly / John dinner conversation snark. It was harder to write than I thought it would be, and so I gained an appreciation for some of A&O’s better jokes.

The recording also has the original radio commercials that were aired with the program, which in their case was Camel cigarettes. It is fascinating stuff. The Camel advertisements in 1940 – 1946, keyed on some survey of 113,567 doctors done by 3 independent organizations, where the brand preferred by doctors was Camels. The other thing they did was to honor servicemen of the week. Their way of honoring servicemen was to provide 120,000 free Camels a week to the service. 40K for each of the 3 radio programs Camel sponsored weekly.
After WWII was over, they continued to do this, by providing free Camels to the military hospitals. That is just American capitalism at its best.

I played the radio program with the “Who’s on First” sketch for my boy, who got confused. In his school, they drill it into his head that smoking is bad. By the way, my boy laughed quite a bit during “Who’s on First”. That sketch is timeless and doesn’t involve any mispronounced words. The radio version is lightning fast. It is much faster than the movie version, where they do the same sketch.

It’s a busy day on Friday. Howard has to get tested by the Professor and go shopping for Becky, April and Gerald to prepare for the Brenda Starr party on Saturday. I suppose we could get a tux for Duncan, in case he has yet another canceled date and decides to show up too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Kid Snark

I noticed in the strip with Lovey and the Pattersons, that Robin is crawling toward Deanna, and then by the end of the strip, he has fallen asleep. Therein lies the snark about narcoleptic Robin. Merrie and the coffee is a little more obvious from the strip. I like the coffee zombie Merrie idea, so I may use that one again.

Qnjones as Becky has posted that Becky has been taken away out of Ontario in a car with her mother, but that she is not really in trouble, but she can’t post about it. I decided to play Howard as being naïve about what’s going on with this one. Placing Becky out of Ontario makes it pretty difficult to drop clues about what she is doing. Even Mtigwaki is in Ontario after all. Phil and Georgia are in Montreal. John’s sister, parents and niece are in Winnipeg. With one day travel, Montreal is more likely. Maybe Becky is going out there to do some Phil and Georgia snark. In any case, Howard has no connections out there, so I will have to sit tight and see what qnjones does.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Yiddish translation and tenant law

Yiddish is tricky to figure out. The Roman letter spellings are trying to transcribe sounds from the language, which does not use Roman letters. Because of this, when Lynn uses a Yiddish word for Lovey’s language, the on-line Yiddish translators oftentimes can only translate the Yiddish to English, if you know the exact spelling that they used for their translator, so it can be tough to figure out what Lovey is saying. In my massive Lovey and her husband Morrie go to dinner with Dee and the kids snark, here is my translation:

This restaurant is schlecht. Bad.
You get tziganna bibkalach and the food is trafe. Small portions. Non-kosher.
Be a mensch and not so meshungina. Decent person. Crazy person.
We won’t eat; we'll have a little nosh with Deanna is all. To eat only a little.
pierogies, Golabki and Kiełbasa, Zywiec Beer – All Polish foods.
You look kentlech. Familiar.
What kind of mishigas is that? Craziness.
Mazel tov on the eviction. Congratulations
Oy, you have such a shayna punim. Pretty face.
Plus that Melville was such a schmendrick. Jerk.
Oy gevalt. I keep forgetting you are a shikse. Non Jewish woman.
That was a real good chochmeh of yours. Idea.
A lot more tzorress than just the cigar smoking and ceiling banging. Trouble.
This food is mechaya. Particularly delicious.
What schmutzics those Kelpfroths were. Dirty People.
You are too kreftik for them. Strong or crafty.
This cheesecake is geschmak. Delicious.
That was a real mitzvah you did. Good thing.
That Portrait magazine has turned your Michael into such a faigele. Pervert.
It’s got him all furblungit. Confused.
These kids are brechn. Vomiting.

Judging from Wednesday’s strip, it would appear that Lynn is a little better versed in tenant law than I would have guessed. The big surprise was that the plotline opens up to Mike and Dee buying Lovey’s houses. After 2-3 months of the monthly letters spelling out that Mike and Dee would be going back to the Patterson home, this is a surprising turn of events. However, I was quite pleased that the charges Lovey expressed in the strip matched the ones I had predicted in my snark for today.

A whole lotta Deanna snarking going on

While Lynn Johnston is content to ladle out revenge against the evil Kelpfroths, I decided to take advantage of Howard's new job, to get in a little Deanna/Tracey/Carleen snark. I am convinced that Deanna and Carleen are best friends. I know of so many ladies who, once they were settled with a permanent fellow, went through efforts to either get rid of their man's best male friend or to set up their man's best male friend with a woman she could tolerate (like when Deanna did matchmaking for Carleen with Weed).

I remember, during my dating days, being set up on dates by my male friend's girlfriends or wives, usually with one of their best single female friends. Those dates were always a disaster. Most times, the single lady would spend her entire time talking only to my male friend's girlfriend or wife. Whenever the single lady did display some interest in me, it would turn out that she had something seriously wrong with her. I suppose this says a lot about me actually. There is something about me that attracts women who need counseling.

One lady was in charge of the Animal Shelter and got in big trouble for having most of the animals killed (she claimed animal storage space issues, but the animal rights folks seriously disagreed.) One other lady was unhealthily thin and never talked around her friend or her friend's boyfriend. But when she was alone with me (and this no exaggeration, because I did actually time this one) she could talk for over 3 hours nonstop. She was quite odd, but her conversation style was interesting to examine. She talked like Homer (the writer of the Iliad and the Odyssey), which is to say, she would tell a story, and then when she got to a part of the story that required another story to explain something, she would start into that other story. She would do this until she went several layers deep into stories. Then once she finally finished one of those stories, she would back out to the story of hers she had interrupted. It would have been fascinating, except the stories were tedious revenge stories.

Anyway, I think that Deanna and Carleen are secretly good friends, and so I delighted in them telling stories about how they manipulated their gullible men.

Tomorrow we will deal with eviction law. Put me to sleep already.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Flashing for Fun

It was a slow day on April's Real Blog. The snark du jour was Elly Patterson's oft-repeated "I have hot flashes" joke. A quick check against medical websites showed that hot flashes can occur for several years after menopause, so the strip was medically sound. My snark today mainly played off of the insensitivity of Dr. Patterson to his wife's plight.

Looking at tomorrow's strip, it appears that Melville Kelpfroth is making another appearance. This time, I am not in Disneyland, so I can provide the Howard perspective. Also, tomorrow, Howard starts at the Mayes Midtown Motors restaurant and begins to face the horror that awaits him there. I thought about having Fiona Brass work there, but I am having second thoughts. I don’t know enough about Fiona to do a proper snark on her. Plus, she is so much in the ancient history of the For Better or For Worse strip, no one is likely to get the snark, even if I did it.

The mystery in April's Real Blog for me now is what qnjones is doing with Becky's mom and her new boyfriend. The hints she is dropping imply that Becky's mom and escapee dad are back together. I am not sure how Howard would apply to that situation, but I will think on it.

Of course, there is also the running story with Brenda Starr. I am going to wait for schmoosie to return before starting back into that. It is much more fun to post with her as Brenda than to flail about on my own.

Back from Mouseland

Disneyland is an interesting place. I went there in October, expecting the crowds to be less than usual, due to the fact that the California kids should be in school in the middle of the week. As it turned out, Northern California kids were on some sort of holiday, so the place was jam packed with people.

They are in their 50th anniversary of Disneyland celebration, which means that they have a special 50th anniversary parade, a special presentation retrospective and a daily reenactment of the founding of Disneyland using Walt Disney’s original speech. They also have 50’s all over the place. By the way, there is a terrific Aladdin live-action musical thing, that is a must-see and I do not say that lightly.

The hotel where we were staying provided the Los Angeles Times every day for free, so I was able to follow this week’s editions of For Better or For Worse. I was sorry that Howard was not there to provide his perspective of the Kelpfroths’ being on the receiving end of Patterson-style justice. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ARB posters had devoted a great number of posts to schmoosie’s proposal describing the disappearance of Howard.

First off was the presence of Professor Roy Hinkley, Jr. from Gilligan’s Island. I utilized the plotlines from one of my favourite Gilligan bits (the one where Gilligan turns into a human radio) and the other continuing gags where Gilligan on a bicycle provides the human energy for a lot of the Professor’s inventions. Then I tossed in the usual jungle jokes. 96.3 FM is actually the Toronto Classical radio station, which I figured would be a favourite of Howard’s, particularly during Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.

The toughest part was doing the genetic research on aging and homosexuality. Most of the genetic research on homosexuality concentrates on studies that were done some years back comparing the percentage of men that were homosexual as twins vs. the percentage that were not. After some looking, I found an obscure reference to the size of the INAH 3 nucleus of the hypothalamus in homosexual vs. heterosexual men. The reference compared the homosexual nucleus favorably to the size of a woman’s INAH 3 nucleus, so this became the discriminating factor to determine no aging for Milborough women and gays, despite the fact that the main conclusion of the research is obviously flawed.

Schmoosie posting as Brenda Starr mentioned porphyrias, the symptoms of which really don’t have anything to do with aging or homosexuality, but it does have to do with enzyme disorders. I keyed on the word enzyme as something that could be related to the running gag about tongues that I had been using for gay conversion. Much to my amazement, the recommended treatment for acute porphyria in the medical web page I was reading is actually a high-carbohydrate diet. That worked out so perfectly with our running gag about Elly Patterson eating pastries, I could not ignore it.

Finally, there was the aging. The standard disease for early aging is Werner’s Syndrome, which occurs after puberty and usually kills people in their mid-40s. It was a good match for the Milborough aging seen in Anthony and Gordon, but there is no cure for Werner’s Syndrome, so I dropped that idea. The other thing I spotted was a study on trying to prevent aging using a method to prevent telomere shortening. Taking the language from that study, I went the opposite direction to causing aging and linked all 3 conditions together, by having Howard cheat and say, “Somehow this happens.” Well, the other aspect was reading through all the scientific language and trying to boil it down to layman’s terms, so the stupid thing would be somewhat understandable to persons without a genetics background.

schmoosie as Brenda Starr was dropping hints that Brenda Starr and Howard had a meeting with someone who spent time in the Amazon and who would intimidate the Professor. I had no idea about whom schmoosie was talking. I tried to Google on comic strip characters in the Amazon, but the stupid thing gave me a gazillion listings for for comic strip collections. The only character I could think of was the Phantom. Unfortunately, the Phantom's country is named "Bangalla" and is generally considered to be located in Central Africa, whereas the Amazon is generally considered to be located in South America. So, if questioned about this matter, I will conclude that the Phantom could have visited the Amazon, even if he doesn’t live there.

aprilp_katje posting as Shawna-Marie spotted Brenda, Howard, and a man with an eye patch watching the Maple Leafs practice. The man with the eye patch had to be Brenda Starr’s husband, the ever-missing Basil St. John. I had Basil reinterpret his need for the rare black orchid to sustain his life to sustain his lust. Also, the recording of “One Night in the Starr” is a takeoff on the Paris Hilton’s “One Night in Paris” video, which was my favourite joke of the post.

I had originally planned to get Howard working the Mayes’ restaurant to get some snark on Michael from that direction. Much to my pleasure, phatsmacky reappeared posting as Michael, so I may be able to get some interaction there. phatsmacky seems to be trying to move Michael to a more sympathetic position in April’s Real Blog, so I have posted things in an effort to help him move that way. I think that will work out well, since the strip is playing Deanna Patterson as the catalyst for getting Mike away from Portrait magazine. Lynn Johnston constantly uses her female characters to move the action, but with Michael and Deanna, the action doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you consider Deanna’s motivation as a little insidious. Much has been made of Deanna’s role in her unexpected pregnancy with Merrie, but I also noticed that she was the one who sent Weed after Carleen, who eventually ended up living in the same complex of buildings as Deanna. Anyone familiar with the relationships of couples to each other, knows that the female-female relationship is the key to the relationship’s success. Deanna must really like Carleen, and that has not been explored in the strip at all, since Deanna originally played matchmaker for her and Weed. Also, exactly why is Deanna pushing Michael to quit his steady higher-paying job, for the riskier less-paying freelance work? The ARB posters have put Deanna into the “Elly is forcing me to do it” situation, but I prefer Deanna to have some say in it. Throughout the courtship strips, Deanna used to irritate me with her “I can’t get married unless this or that happens” stuff. She is a manipulator, just like her mother, but a lot less obvious about it. ellcee, who is listed as the poster for Deanna could have some fun with that. If not, Howard will, even though it will be 3rd hand.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Off to Mouseland

I thought I was going to have more time to participate in the Thanksgiving dinner posts, but I was wrong. Too much trip preparation for me. As I was looking through the mayhem that was Thanksgiving, I was struck by this fact, “There’s no way I can put this together in my head, add Howard input, and still prep for my trip.” So, I took the easy way out and had Howard fall asleep in the escaping Thorvald’s car.

Anyway, Howard is going to disappear for the week, which is to say not post. Fellow ARB posters, you can go on your merry way without him, or you can drop hints and clues as to what he has been doing that would keep him from posting. I had originally planned for Howard to go back to jail with another surety failure, but the October monthly letters established who Howard’s surety is, so that was no longer an option. So, we are going this route instead.

What you have is: (1) Tracey Mayes has invited Howard to look at hers and Gordon’s restaurant to possibly take a job. Tracey came up with a completely different explanation for her actions in the old Howard conspiracy storyline. Tracey’s story is full of holes, but that’s what will make things interesting. (2) The mysterious Brenda Starr. I tried to add a little more mystery to her, by adding to schmoosie's hints that she is investigating the gay / straight relationships in Milborough. Schmoosie has dropped so many hints about Brenda’s real motivations, that I am sure she has something in mind about this. Plus, Brenda is the last person that Howard acknowledges seeing before he disappears. (3) The effect on Becky’s mom Krystle, when Howard doesn’t show up for work. I guess she will notice this on Tuesday, since Howard has Monday off for Thanksgiving. (4) The effect on the other ARB characters who have a regular relationship with Howard, when he stops posting. Ah, you guys won’t even notice I am gone.

Oh My God or Setting Up the Cliff Hanger

Today I spent a little time setting up some dissatisfaction between Howard and his boss, Becky’s mother Krystle. I have done several stories with Howard having to fill in the parent role for Becky due to some indiscretion of Krystle. Then a major tiff between Krystle and Howard makes it reasonable to consider a job offer that will be proffered by Tracey Mayes, the godmother of Milborough crime. I ended the day with an extraordinarily long post detailing a conversation between Howard and Tracey, where Tracey basically offers him his life back. The purpose of this is twofold. One, it sets up a cliffhanger for Howard for when I leave to go to Disneyland on Monday and can no longer post. The idea behind the cliffhanger is that Howard is going to disappear on Monday without saying anything to anyone about it. Then it will be up to the April’s Real Blog posters to provide clues or sightings as to what happened to Howard, if my fellow ARB posters so desire. Two, it cleans up the ARB version of Tracey enough I hope, so that qnjones who occasionally posts as Tracey can post closely to the Tracey that is presented in the For Better or For Worse strip.

I totally turned Howard in a complete fanboy (or as I like to call him fan gay) about schmoosie’s Brenda Starr character. I really enjoyed mixing together Brenda Starr worship statements and an “Oh my god” with some fairly lucid observations about other things. It was a sort of comparison / contrast kind of dialogue and fun to write. Tomorrow, we have the qnjones Becky Thanksgiving magnum opus, for which I will make some contribution. And aprilp_katje has the opportunity to do the same thing with the Patterson Thanksgiving. I just hope schmoosie and I can keep up.

As for the Sunday strip. God what can I do with that? We don’t rake leaves in southern Arizona.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Getting to Know You. Getting to Learn All About You.

Elly finished up her Mtigwaki pow-wow sequence and Howard did a snark covering the whole thing too. I find that sometimes it is easier to snark about a storyline once it is completed, than it is to do the day-by-day snarking. When I first introduced Howard to April’s Real Blog, there were all these venues for snark from recent storylines. I would move Howard to the venue by some means and then snark on the situation as a whole. Sometimes I would do it piecemeal, putting out a bit at a time and then letting other ARB posters lead me to where my next piece of snark would be, and then other times, I would just tell a long story.

Now that Howard’s been around awhile in the ARB (going on 3 months. Can you believe it?), those stories have been exhausted. Howard has lost a lot of his innocence in the ARB and can no longer play off the idea that there is some erratic behaviour from someone he has never met. So Howard has been stuck with just the day-by-day snark. For me that type of snark is a lot harder to do. You really start focusing on very small things, a choice of words here or a gesture there, and it is difficult to turn that into a full-fledged snark. That being said, I should mention that aprilp_katje has been doing that every day for 5 months. I am amazed at how consistent she is in producing good quality snark of the day-by-day variety.

Constable Paul Wright reappeared in the Saturday strip. I cannot tell if Lynn is about to jump into the Paul / Liz love story or if his line about “I’ll soon have a few days off” means that we won’t see him again possibly until December. I am going to be gone starting Monday to go to Disneyland, so if Paul / Liz starts up, I won’t be there to start the posting of Paul with schmoosie as Liz. So, I hope it will be a little later. Actually not as late as December, but who knows? We haven’t seen Mike and Dee in the daily strips since early June, so it is possible.

Yesterday, I actually posted more times as Jeremy than I did as Howard. My policy with Jeremy is to only post as him, if someone mentions him, or he just flat out has to snark. I have no plans for Jeremy, while I am Disneylanding. Howard, however, is a different story. I plan to leave him on a cliff-hanger, just before I depart. qnjones suggested I take Howard to Disneyland, but since Canada had a hard time allowing Martha Stewart to visit because of her criminal background, I doubt they would let Howard leave the country for Disneyland.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Good Hair Day

First off in the day on April’s Real Blog, I had Howard, Iris, May, Frank and Jim review the April hair pictures to provide comments. That was dull. I couldn’t come up with anything funny.

Then next was the eagle feather bustles and trying to fit them through doors joke. The symbolic language for cursing in the comics did actually originate with the Katzenjammer Kids, which is the oldest sequential art comic. The Yellow Kid was earlier, but he couldn’t talk and he was not sequential. He was more like a one panel political cartoon. Writing would appear on his shirt expressing his thoughts. This was obscure humour, but some of the people who read this stuff are pretty sharp with their comics’ history. As for the jokes about the outfits, I honestly cannot say if the Ojibway people do a spiritual quest to figure out what they are going to wear. Around here, it is a matter of economics. Those outfits aren’t cheap.

Howard got a haircut, and so did April. I know that in the strip, her hair never grows, but it was nice to acknowledge that most ladies visit a salon to get at least a trim.

Then schmoosie as Liz did her masterpiece of Liz and the now-named bloody face guy from Tuesday’s For Better or For Worse strip, Billy Strongblood. Schmoosie said I tapped into her brain for Howard’s response to her masterpiece. Actually Howard hates Mtigwaki with a capital H, and his bizarre protectiveness of Elizabeth is the hallmark of his character starting from the first day I posted as Howard when he said he attacked her in order to reconcile Liz with Anthony, whom he believed to be her grandfather. On the other hand, this is a big step away from the complete naïveté normally associated with Howard, in that he basically says Billy Stronghold is full of B.S. Ooh. I should have used that joke. Oh well, maybe later.

Finally, a new running joke for Howard. The idea is that he has been exposed so much to the Foobiverse characters that he takes on their attributes temporarily like he has been exposed to an infectious disease. I don’t know if anyone else finds it funny, but I love running jokes.

For Friday’s strip, we have lots of material – the comparison of a ceremonial drum’s loudness to a heartbeat which is not loud, why tobacco and fresh cedar are gifts to mother earth, and why those gifts suddenly remind Elly of her own mother and is that a new hairdo on Liz, or just a bad colouring job?

Mr. Bloody Face

I really spent most of today taking humorous setups from other April’s Real Blog posters. Schmoosie as Liz gave me the “pass the information to Dr. McCauley” post about the tapeworm. I read back through the John Patterson October monthly letter from the For Better or For Worse website and was frankly appalled at his lack of sensitivity to poor Ted McCauley. In poking fun at that, I actually changed very few things from the monthly letter. The John meanness spoke for itself.

As for the snark on today’s strip, I was initially stumped about what to do, until I read the line “I wondered, what truths those tears would tell.” It occurred to me, “What truths would the tears tell?” The Cherokee Trail of Tears story or the general story of natives’ abuse at the hands of the white? Then I thought, since this is the recounting of a real-life meeting between Lynn and a native (his picture is on the website), the native might actually say to Lynn, “Your strip used to be a lot funnier” or a number of other things that are a lot ruder. That led me to what would a truth-teller say to the Mtigwaki characters and the general post. It seemed to get a good reaction from my fellow ARB posters, which was pleasing, since I found it a little funny myself. The only hard part was trying to figure out something that would actually embarrass Howard. I should mention that I consider schmoosie’s follow-up to my truth-teller story to be superb.

Andre Boisclair is a Quebec politician, who apparently bought a lot of drugs from Quebecois biker gangs and yet still manages to maintain political power. He’s sort of like mayor Marion Barry for Washington, D.C. I was a little surprised to read that biker gangs are a real problem in Quebec. I got this one from qnjones posting as Becky that her father had been in a Quebecois biker gang. It was a little too obscure to be funny I think.

Then aprilp_katje set me up with Winnie Kelpfroth visiting Howard in the bake shop after buying a number of undisclosed books and magazines. A visit to the FBoFW website showed that Winnie likes mystery novels. So, it took a little while to produce a list of gay-oriented mystery novels with gay-oriented titles. The magazines are simply the gay-oriented ones I could find that did not include pictures of naked or semi-naked men. I figured an aunt wouldn’t buy porn for a nephew. Winnie’s presence allowed me to do some Mike and Deanna October monthly letter snark. It also allowed me to set up some events for Howard that I have in mind once the For Better or For Worse strip gets back to Mike and Dee and has Mike quit his job.

Wednesday’s strip talks about the call of the dancer being compared to nature’s call. The dancers near where I am are pretty young, and their call is usually their parents telling them they are going to do it. I also discovered that there is a whole porcupine needle art industry, and it is one of the oldest native art forms. There are not really any porcupines in my section of Arizona, so I am unfamiliar with this craft. Anyway, I can see some possibilities here for tomorrow’s snark.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sex, Pastries, and Tapeworms

aprilp_katje posting as Marjee Mahaha put Elly in the Krystle’s Kakes and Pies with an exceptionally tight bun (a running joke from when Howard had fooled Elly into thinking his short hair was actually a very tight bun), which meant that I had to put Howard also there to meet her. In Monday’s For Better or For Worse strip, Elly has awoken in her an intense and passionate feeling for shopping. I was trying to write something to go along with this, and the thought occurred to me that I could have Elly “go after” Howard. I was unsure how that one would play out, since Elly is usually portrayed as completely uninterested in sex.

I also wanted to take advantage of a suggestion that schmoosie had posted as Liz, which was that Elly had a tapeworm, and this explained her extraordinary eating. This was a concern, since I had posted things like her consuming twice her weight in sugar and flour, which is more than a little excessive. So somehow I had to get Elly into Dr. McCauley’s office to find the worm and then to get Howard also there to observe the tapeworm. I then thought of the Mtigwaki t-shirt worn by Jesse Mukwa in Sunday’s strip, and decided to put everything together for worm decoration.

It made sense to me for John Patterson to want to assault Howard for being “gone after” by Elly, but that also proved to be the means to get Howard into Dr. McCauley’s office, since John and Ted McCauley share the same office building. The John dialogue when Howard is in the dentist chair is lifted liberally from his October letter. After having established the tapeworm, it still left the unresolved passion between Howard and Elly. So, I set up a meeting with Elly at Iris’ place. Elly’s dialogue to Howard about him attacking her instead of the actual reverse, was taken from Elly’s comments in the September letter WRT Howard attacking Liz.

While Howard was at Iris’ I decided to do some Iris snark. Her October monthly letter had a recipe for Nanaimo bars. There are actually quite a few recipes for this on-line and I compared them to Iris’ recipe. They matched pretty closely, except Iris’ version had less sugar in it. On a few websites for Nanaimo bars, they mention controversy between the States and Canada over the origin of the pastry. Apparently it is also known as New York Slice. This was obscure stuff to snark, but I managed to work in an argument between Iris and Elly about it. Then the thought occurred to me, what would happen if Iris overhead Elly talking about kissing Howard. That led to the shopping trip for April. Whew! A busy day!

As for tomorrow, so far I have been unable to find a medical condition that involves blood coming from your eyes and mouth. This person in the strip is pictured in the galleries on the For Better or For Worse website, so Lynn may be actually quoting from a real person. I really have no idea what to do with this. We may be back in the monthly letters again for tomorrow’s snark.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Shoot me now. It’s another week of pow-wow.

I was really busy today, so I didn’t get many posts in. I mainly sat back and enjoyed reading the Robert Freeman party snark from my fellow April’s Real Blog posters. There was a lot of good stuff.

My fear came true, once I was able to view Monday’s strip in For Better or For Worse -- another week of Mtigwaki pow-wow. I suspect I may be relying on those monthly letters for snark until the pow-wow madness stops.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Mtigwaki and the Robert Freeman Party

I was pretty busy all day, so I knew that my snark would have to be done in the early morning. So I spent most of the morning researching grass dancers and eagle feather traditions and crop circles occurring in Ontario. As I got into it, I think I have an understanding of how Lynn put together this Mtigwaki sequence. She has pictures on the For Better or For Worse website of her at a pow-wow and I think she got all her information from Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, the Baloney and Blannock cartoonist, who is probably not a scholar of Native tradition. Then she passed on what information she had to whomever it is that scripts her strip these days. The Non-Canadian English spellings I mocked are a clear indication that Lynn was not responsible for the lettering, which leads to the possibility that she may not even be responsible for this series of strips. The inaccuracies in the grass dancer and eagle feather traditions can easily be explained as “poor notes left by Lynn to the person(s) ghosting her strip.” I did receive some good love for my snark, which made the effort all worthwhile. I fear for another week of this stuff. I am not used to having to research this much for a FBOFW snark, and there is almost nothing to snark otherwise. I had pretty much planned that to be Howard’s snark of the day. The rest of the crew was scheduled to work the Robert Freeman party from the strip Boondocks.

At the end of the day, I returned from my activities (Pokémon Rocks in Phoenix) and found that aprilp_katje had especially requested Howard’s presence at the Robert Freeman party and you know I would do most anything for aprilp_katje. “Boondocks,” the strip by Aaron McGruder is not carried in my local paper, and I do not follow it on-line. So I knew that it was going to require a little effort to catch up on the current plotline and remind myself who the characters were. Then someone threw in Luann DeGroot from the strip “Luann” and Jason Fox from the strip “Foxtrot.” Marjee, Maynard and Vicki Simone are also there. It came to be too many characters for my poor feeble brain to wrangle. I think I have done a lot of setup for the other April’s Real Blog posters to do their jokes about the Robert Freeman party. I look forward to what shows up tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have a cheese sandwich while I read it.