“Never, ever attempt to out-lame _Mary Worth_.”

The Comics Curmudgeon is a great blog in which Josh Fruhlinger and sometime sub “Uncle Lumpy” provide sardonic critiques of that dying medium, the newspaper “funnies”, particularly the ones that refuse to die, aren’t particularly funny, or just don’t make any sense.

One which meets all three of those criteria is the classic “soap opera” strip _Mary Worth_, in which we see what Jessica Fletcher would have been like if she’d lived in a California condo and never solved any murders.

Recent storylines have focused, interestingly enough, on the perils of the internet: six months or so of our time (a few days of _Mary Worth_ time) in which Mary’s friend Toby frets over being phished and having her bank account stolen because she clicked a message asking for her bank account information. The bank quickly resolved the issue about a third of the way through the storyline; the other 2/3 were Toby fretting about what to tell her husband when he came home from a business trip. When he came home, it was “Oh, sorry that happened, but glad the bank covered the charges. No big deal.”

Then a character–one of them newfangled lady doctors–fell in love online only to discover her boyfriend was a con artist. She subsequently fell in love with the cop who arrested him, and he was later shot.

This led to a storyline about a middle-aged widower who got on Facebook and was contacted by a young man who claimed to be his illegitimate son. Turned out his beloved college girlfriend had cheated on him with some rich dude, got pregnant–and that’s why she dumped him, and this guy wasn’t his son. So the alleged son who admitted he knew all along he wasn’t left town.

The arbitrary break between Mary Worth storylines is a condo pool party, which apparently occured this weekend. In Monday’s installment, Mary observed that some acquaintance had “returned,” and then segued into the day’s cliffhanger: “speaking of returns . . . ”

Says the Curmudgeon:

“But what can Mary mean by “returns”? Have her widows’ stocks declared dividends? Is Carlos Alora back on the job as groundskeeper? Dare we hope for Zombie Aldo? More likely, she just needs to get that copy of The Shorter Bartlett’s Quotations back to the library. Those fines add up.”

Well, surprisingly, we did not have to wait six months to find out: the return in question was a blouse Mary decided to return to “Marcy’s” Department Store! This led to the following comment, a quotation that will go down in history with ALF’s “Remember, Brian, we have nothing to fear but fear itself, or A Very Brady Anything“:

Hey, remember yesterday when I suggested Mary’s mysterious “return” might be an overdue library book? Note to self: never, ever attempt to out-lame Mary Worth.

BTW, as many professional bloggers do, on top of having ads, and huge hit numbers, and merchandise, the Comics Curmudgeon is currently doing a fundraising drive.

I only mention this because I don’t do fundraising drives. I just make periodic requests to download a copy of my audio prayerbook, Hide Me In Your Wounds

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