Friday, February 29, 2008

Mary Worth 127

Plot. Advancing. Too. Quickly... Must. Make. It. Stop.

A rift in the Mary Worth Time-Space Continuum is causing mass disorientation. Time speeds up. Drew Corey spontaneously sings Rogers & Hammerstein songs in public. Dr. Jeff stands in the background while a blue-&-black-haired stranger says good-bye to his son.

As much as I would like to think this is the last time I ever see Dr. Drew Corey, I'm quite convinced by this rush to Vietnam, that we're simply being set up for more Drew and Vera in just a few short weeks when Drew returns home as a new man (played by a young George Clooney).

Edited to add: How the heck did Mary and Jeff (and the stranger in the green jacket) get to the gate without a boarding pass?? This really is 1978 isn't it!

I blame the Dharma Initiative for all of today's current strangeness! Mary Worth conspiracy theorists, beware!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mary Worth 125

Drew has lost all manual dexterity. Smack to the head. Followed by uncordinated spasms.

"Maybe one day I'll be able to thank her.... and then we can fall in LOVE again, and do this groovy new dance I made up!!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mary Worth 124

Dr. Drew Corey always makes sure his pants match his hair.Now, be honest. Did you laugh and laugh like me when you read the above? And it wasn't a cynical laugh either. It was just a delighted giggle about every single element of today's strip.

Jeff's continuing obsession with his nebulous fund raising campaign. Drew's melodramatic entrance. The notably small word balloons when we've grown accustomed to some seriously stretched-out speeches lately. The looks of utter shock on Jeff and Mary's faces at an extremely predictable plot twist. There's still something characteristically self-aggrandizing in Drew's statement, "I want to help," and I can't help but expect him to say next: "It's just the thing that will help me forget Vera and what a fool I've been."

Ah, yes. It felt good to laugh at Mary Worth again.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mary Worth 123

I love when Mary Worth and Dr. Jeff Corey get ticked off with each other. Mary, constantly passive in her aggression, Jeff pulling out the bold italics to hold firm to his position. For some reason, Mary is crazy-squirrel intent on making sure Drew "finds himself" in a third world hospital, rather than on the slopes of Switzerland or the warm beaches of the Caribbean. Jeff puts on his big boy pants and stands firm: "Mary, stop trying to send my son to stinking Vietnam, where I almost died two years ago. Whatever he wants to do, I'll support HIM, so shut up."

So loyal is Jeff to his spoiled-rotten son that he draws no boundaries: If Drew wants to climb a tree, I'll support him. If Drew wants to carve soap, I'll support him. If Drew wants to eat a rat, I'll support him - which coincidentally is a popular menu item in Vietnam according to the Wall Street Journal.

What kinds of things would you, dear reader, like to see Jeff support his son, Drew, doing? I think it's time for another Not-A-Real-Contest. Make your suggestions by February 29th and the winner gets to pick a song for the Charterstone Jukebox. The only rule is that you keep it clean - I know, that takes all the fun out of it for some of you, but we're a family-friendly blog. (Not-A-Real-Contests are not real contests.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mary Worth 122

Hmmm. So, Drew has led Vera to the necessary lesson for her greatest inner growth? Dating her new boss? Wow. Way to go, Soul Mate.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mary Worth 121

Today's installment makes me happier than happy. The thought of Drew actually helping others as a doctor is nobler than noble. Rather than just doing it for the chicks and cool cars, or to help third-world children, he'd actually be doing it to get rid of his feelings of self-loathing, which is almost humane-er than humane.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol Charterstone Style!

No one was more thrilled than Mary Worth with the song selections for last night's American Idol contest. Twelve men, all carefully culled from thousands of would be music artists, put together a repertoire so stellar that I am adding four of the songs to the Charterstone Jukebox (in the right hand column of this blog)! It was a lounge singer's potpourri: "Everybody's Talkin'," "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," "More Today than Yesterday!"

But the winner of Charterstone Idol was Jason Yeager's unbeatable rendition of Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini's "Moon River." What a delight! Not even Chikeze's orange suit could compete with Yeager's uber-lounge performance. It was a Santa Royale swoon fest. Mary Worth, Toby, Dawn Weston, Vera Shields - all the ladies had to be resuscitated with smelling salts. Then, as they frantically tried to figure out how to text message their votes, they had to be sedated when techno-frustrations piqued to fury.

Apple iTunes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mary Worth 120

Yes, please, please, please ship Dr. Drew off to Vietnam. That's an excellent idea, and sure to cheer him up, just as Dr. Jeff seems so cheered by his own memories of the place. He's so happy he can barely stand on his own two feet.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mary Worth 119

You know in the bottom of the ninth when your team is one run behind with two men on and two outs, and up to the plate steps Chipper "The Babe" Mays who you just know is going to get the job done? Or when Polly Trueblood has been tied to the railroad tracks by Dastardly Dick Diamond for not paying her mother's rent, but over the hill comes Will Goodheart just in the nick of time? Or when the wagons are circled and the Indians (pissed off by European encroachment and Manifest Destiny) are showering the settlers with burning arrows, but in the distance you hear the trumpet call of the Calvary, ready to slaughter the brutal -- okay, that's not such a good example. Never mind. But you get my point!

Here comes Mary to hit one out of the park! Here comes Mary to stop the train at the last second! Here comes Mary to teach the White Man to live in harmony with American Indians and organize a weekly cultural exchange program whereby both races can learn to respect the customs of the other and live in peace without destroying the land.

Here comes Mary in full meddle mode ready to save the day!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mary Worth 118

Drew: "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go upstairs and finish applying my old lady drag queen make up. It's the only thing that will make me feel whole."

Mary! Where have you been? We haven't seen you in over a month, and we missed you! It appears Dr. Jeff Corey may have been sitting on top of you the whole time and you're just now emerging from underneath him. Toonhead is going to go nuts now that her "Where's Mary?" campaign is over. So what have you been up to? You missed all the fun. Vera totally humiliated Drew - again. It lasted weeks!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mary Worth 117

This reminds me of an old religious tract my born-again cousin gave me when I was nine. It was a little comic book about a guy who failed to get into heaven, and so, although he could see the City of God and all its glory, he ended up burning in a cave of fire for eternity. The pamphlet had a little prayer written in it, and if you said the prayer, you would be saved from a similar fate. Did I say the prayer? Heck yes. I'm not stupid. I just wanted to cover my bases. Although, covering his bases by dating both Vera and Dawn is exactly how Drew got into this situation.

If Santa Royale is heaven, sign me up!

EDITED TO ADD: Thanks to Burning Prairie at Comics Curmudgeon, I was able to track down more information on the religious tract I remembered (in case anyone thought I was just making it up). This Wikipedia article even has some of the art so you can compare. Here it is:
I'm glad I wasn't the only one who made this association!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mary Worth 116


Drew, seeing her everywhere probably isn't as crazy as hearing her voice, especially if she starts telling you to do things like, "Jump. Jump off the cliff." Of course, that would be one way to make the hallucinations go away. If it is a cliff. It looks more like a sloping incline overlooking a miniature city or an electric train model. Jump, and you may smash one of those cardboard buildings.

I love that Drew and Vera continue to equate their alleged relationship to seeing the stars. Over and over again. Something to do with "their song," I suppose: 'Waiting for a Star to Fall' as featured in Three Men and A Little Lady and Look Who's Talking Too (and which you can listen to on the Charterstone Jukebox to the right). Of course, the worst love song ever, all about never being able to win the girl's love. Self-fulfilling prophecy I guess.

I'd criticize Drew's anguish, but the reality is I've been there; done that. Sat on the cliff. Gazed at the stars. Walked the halls at night. But in the end, I still didn't get the girl - let's call her 'Vera.' So, a complete waste of time. Fortunately, though, eventually I met my wife and things worked out far better than they ever could have if my pining away had been productive or if my wife and I were merely characters in some soap opera comic strip.

And the good news? My 'Vera' hallucinations have almost stopped.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mary Worth 115

Well, this oughtta be good! That guard rail is looking awfully flimsy. I'm not sure it would hold up to an entire bottle of scotch. After Aldo Kelrast drove off the very same cliff in 2006, I knew they'd put up a barrier, but I thought it would be just a little bit sturdier.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Beacon Journal Spares Mary Worth

Well here's some good news we don't see every day. The Akron Beacon Journal is conducting a survey of its readers to see which comic strip they should hack. We all know how these surveys end up usually, since most people who read the funny pages are morons who want nothing more than a quick laugh, and are unwilling to invest in the kind of committed relationship Mary Worth requires. However, in announcing the survey, the comics editor made this wonderful statement!
A special note if you prefer the serials: For this survey, we're mostly interested in the mix of funny strips. So fans of Mary Worth, Rex Morgan and Judge Parker? You are safe.

That's enough to make me subscribe to the Akron Beacon Journal right there, and I don't live anywhere near Ohio.

If you'd like to read the article, in its entirety, it's here. The survey, however, is for their print readers only. And based on the readers comments section of the online article, no one has been able to figure out how to take the survey anyway.

Mary Worth 114

And she DOES IT AGAIN! Vera, you are vicious! Every word, carefully calculated to cut Drew down to his corroded core!

But cheer up, Doctor Depression. With this post you have officially surpassed Mary Worth herself with appearances in my blog. Drew 58; Mary 57. If I'd posted more often, you would have passed her up weeks ago. As much as we all enjoy watching you roasted alive by woman after woman for your arrogance, I think I speak for the entire Mary Worth fan base (and I realize speaking on behalf of 17 people is a tremendous responsibility, so I'll choose my words carefully) when I say, "Bring back Mary Worth!!"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mary Worth 113

AWESOME! Vera is the greatest revenge artist of all time! Drew two-times her five months ago with college co-ed Dawn Weston. When Vera finds out, she stops returning any of Drew's phone calls and let's him drift in anguish for months. Then, out of the blue she calls up Drew and suggests, "Let's get together for donuts and cold coffee at the very crowded and rotating Junction Road Cafe." Drew's hopes bounce back so quickly that they launch to stratospheric heights. And then she kisses him. Drew is in La-La Land; he's already forgiven Vera for dumping him just because he cheated on her, and he's about to propose marriage when in walks Ryan Harris, employer and swain. Vera and Ryan cuddle, coo, fawn and ultimately kiss passionately in front of Drew. His heart breaks. His hopes plummet faster than they rose, and just as they're about to shatter on the pavement into a million pieces, Vera lays out the steel jaws of death with this wipe-the-crud-off-my-shoes-with-your-heart line:


She is without mercy. She is without compassion. She is the cruelest of women. She has extracted her revenge on Drew with such meanness that he has no option. He must kill himself. He must follow in the tire treads of Aldo Kelrast - drinking himself into literal oblivion behind the wheel of a nondescript sedan.

While Drew has no doubt deserved to pay mercilessly for his crimes, I have to admit that even I felt a twinge of compassion for his suffering when Vera suggested they be friends. Unbelievable.

Vera. I tip my hat to you. I could not have guessed you would ever even attempt to avenge your broken heart, let alone do it with such complete and utter disregard for human life. Well done, Vera Shields. Well done indeed.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mary Worth 112

"Something seems to be missing." Words I never want to hear a doctor say.

I just hate to see Drew lose that ol' spark, ya know? The fire in the belly when he knew he was the hottest young stud in the O.R. Now he's just a mopey Gus, defeated and pining away for his soul mate, the equally bland and ridiculously dressed Vera Shields.

One thing is certain, though: After a month of conversation at the Junction Road Cafe, their coffee could certainly use a warm up.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mary Worth 111

The Dharma Initiative is alive and well at Junction Road Cafe (shout out to e at Long Live Locke!) I have absolutely no explanation for the mysterious woman who instantaneously materializes in the second panel, but perhaps this Orchid Station Orientation Video will help shed some light.

All I can say is, dang, that's spooky. My Mary Worth Conspiracy Theory continues to thicken ... and, no doubt, confuse.

On the upside, it looks like Vera won't be getting back together with Drew. Vera may be smarter than most people give her credit for. Although, I suspect dating your new boss isn't really that much smarter of an option.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mr. Rogers and Me

I just finished reading a fantastic book: I'm Proud of You: Life Lessons from My Friend Fred Rogers. Actually, I listened to the audiobook on my daily commute, and I loved it.

As long time readers of this sparse blog know, Fred Rogers has been my hero for a long time -- since 1982, in fact, when during my senior year of high school I hosted our class talent show as Mister Rogers. I prepared for weeks. I originally thought I'd be able to get huge laughs making fun of him, he seemed like a very easy target. But after a month of writing my script, listening to records, and watching the program, I walked into the kitchen where Ma Wanders was frying ground beef. I said to her, "Mom, I don't think I can do this. I can't make fun of Mister Rogers. He's too nice. He's too good." My mom looked at me and said very simply, "Don't make fun of him, pay tribute to him." So that's what I tried to do. When I entered the back of the theatre singing the Neighbor Song the audience went crazy. After the song, I talked about what a neighbor is, and asked, "Will you sing the Neighbor Song with me now?" The cheer was deafening. They sang loud and joyously. Everyone knew Mister Rogers and everyone loved him. I think the fact that I tried my best to capture his intimacy and his LOVE made the show a hit... For three nights we packed the house, some people coming every night. It was amazing to see the football team singing along to Mister Rogers, but later I performed the same routine at a prison, and seeing the reaction there touched me even more profoundly.

The only reason it worked was because I was doing my best to honor a man who taught me to be better, and who was willing to affirm the value and worth of everyone he met, even those of us he never met. I've always treasured the memory of trying to walk a mile in his sneakers.

I'm excited that a documentary is being made to celebrate the life and teachings of Fred Rogers. Learn more at Fred Rogers and Me. Or watch the trailer below:

Mary Worth 110

Woah. Woah. Woah... Please do not discuss this. Please don't make me sit through Vera explaining the nuances of Hello Kisses, of letting Drew know that she's no longer repulsed by his very essence, but it doesn't mean she wants to see the stars and ride smallish horses with him. I'd rather listen to Drew continue to talk about himself and how sad he is.

Toonhead has been keeping track of how long it has been since we've seen Mary Worth. I think we're on day 7,437. Maybe 7,436. But it feels like 7,437. This new topic of discussion should probably keep us locked inside the Junction Road Cafe, with its rotating walls, spinning tables and polka-dot motifs, for at least another year or two.

Bring back Mary! Bring back Mary!

Monday, February 4, 2008


Thank you for donating to the Santa Royale Rehabilitation Fund. Current beneficiaries of the fund include Dan Smithers, Jill Black, Helen Clark and Wanders himself.

Your donations help a lot! Thank you!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mary Worth 109

It certainly looked painful, at least.

But it wasn't as painful as you think; in addition to being her boss, Ryan is also Vera's chiropractor and with just one bone-crunching, watertight-lipped kiss he was able to realign the vertebrae in her neck.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mary Worth 108

"I am indeed a lucky man to own her."

I can't tell which is spinning around faster, the donut case or the table they're sitting at; but either way, I'm getting dizzy.

And I can't tell which is making me sicker, the spinning room or what passes for normal adult conversation in Santa Royale. Either way, I think I may hurl.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mary Worth 107

We're enlightened about a lot of things! No minimum wage (wink wink). Race-based compensation (wink wink). And sexual harassment is really cute and funny (wink wink).

There's a lot of speculation that Vera is setting Drew up - that she really isn't dating Ryan Harris. At first I didn't buy it because of the level of affection they're displaying. However, I will accept the theory on one condition: Instead of Ryan being her boss, Ryan is her homosexual colleague and confidante -- a gay version of Mary Worth, willing to meddle to fix this relationship. Because that would be so cute and funny (wink wink).