Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mary Worth 156

Hey, we got a Two-Fer: Two Platitudes for the Pain of One!

Actually, I'd never accuse Rabbi Kushner of spouting platitudes, but appearing in Mary Worth as it does, it certainly has the feel.

In case you need a few more quotes on kindness to brighten your day, here is Karen Moy's secret source. What would Mary Worth be without Google?

Speaking of two-fers, this was a special treat -- Compare last Sunday's upper right panel, with today's:

It's déjà vu all over again. Haven't I said that before?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mary Worth 155

Once again, Toby attempts desperately to get Mary to stop telling this story, but Mary Worth has no intention of stopping. "It's hard to explain it, Toby. But.... I'll give it my very best shot." And then three more weeks of introspective non sequiturs.

Mary has even plopped herself onto Toby's lap so she can't run away.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Post-Gazette is hearing from Mary Worth fans

If you haven't yet contacted Steve Massey, assistant managing editor of features at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to tell him to spare Mary Worth, you should do so now. Call him at 412-263-1174 (It's okay, he published his number in the newspaper to get our feedback on the comics.) He told me this morning he's had "a bunch" of calls saying, "Don't kill Mary Worth." Make sure he knows that Mary Worth is the funniest strip in the paper.

Mary Worth 154

Okay, okay, I'm over my sour-puss reaction from yesterday. Fortunately, you, dear readers, picked up my slack with your hilarious comments. I'm not sure why I was so disappointed. This morning's strip made me laugh again. First, it foreshadows Mary's penchant for marrying into wealth, as her mother obviously did.

Second, "something shifted inside?" That's just plain beautiful, man. It explains why Mary appeared to be in such pain during grace.

What a wonderful story this has been!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mary Worth 153

If you haven't read today's strip, click here. I'm not even going to bother reprinting it.

Now I understand why there was so much build up to this story. She was stalling. I can't say I'm surprised by this turn of events, but I do admit to being massively disappointed... again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mary Worth 152

Before today's powerful installment, I just want to say how much I've enjoyed reader comments. There have been some very insightful observations of late. Except for the porno one. That was very un-Mary-Worth-like and has been removed. Now on to the thing that happened that changed Mary's life forever.

Mary obviously feels a tremendous amount of shame when she realizes Cathy's family is worse off than her own, having to eat a pathetic meal of dry sliced bread, potato mash, and boiled grass with nothing but butter knives for utensils. The parents even sacrificed their own two glasses of water for the children's sake and settled for a tea cup half-full of hootch to numb away the pain. And all Mary has done for months is complain about her hunger.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mary Worth 151

"First, the paintings on the wall and all the furniture began moving around the room, and then the lamp behind me began getting bigger, and bigger and bigger. It scared the living daylights out of me. I never went back to Cathy's spooky house again."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pittsburgh threatens Mary Worth

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is threatening to kill Mary Worth - proof again that most comic editors have very bland senses of humor. In this story, the editor prints his phone number to hear your thoughts. Be sure to let him know Mary Worth and Me sent you. Just wait until his voice mail box is flooded by nearly a dozen calls from our angry readers!

Mary Worth 150

There must be some mysterious and revealing link between how Mary is seated on the Park Bench of Back-Bending Pain and Cathy's dinner table. In the park, legs crossed, she leans precariously against frontal boards, her hip hooked on the narrow ledge holding her upright. At Cathy's home, she somehow holds herself in an upright, seated position by grasping the back of the chair. No wonder she's quiet. The tremendous pressure on her abdomen makes talking impossible.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mary Worth 149

Happy Easter.

For those who are new to this blog, or perhaps even new to Mary Worth, I thought that I'd help you catch up by printing Mary's story so far. It's really very good, and I'm thinking of using it as an audition piece if I ever return to the theatre. At the very least, I hope to perform it on YouTube, the People's Theatre. And now, without further introduction...

Mary's Story So Far
A monologue

To quote a wise person, “Kindness is my true religion.” But when I look back on my past I know [my compulsion to help others] is more than that… You know, it’s fascinating how our experiences shape who we are in so many ways! Something happened in my past! Something I’ve never forgotten! I have a story to tell you! It’s really not out of the ordinary to look back sometimes! We’re all in the same boat, really! I’m not alone when I say that something happened in my childhood that shaped who I am today! I usually don’t speak about my past, because I like to live in the present! But you asked where I get my compulsion to help others, so I’ll tell you a story! You know, I wasn’t always as you see me today! Remember, things are not always what they seem! I went through a difficult time as a child, before my mother remarried and circumstances improved! My father was out of the picture early on! This forced my mother to look for work, and left me to fend for myself! I was a child of a broken home who had no one to properly take care of me! My mother did her best! Unfortunately, it often wasn’t enough! Whose to say why things happen the way they do? We grow in character because we struggle. We learn and overcome. I used to go to sleep without dinner. Hungry for food… for love… most of all, for a feeling of self worth! Later on, things improved! But not before I went to bed hungry for more nights than a child should have to bear! There were times in my childhood, when I felt unloved, and unworthy! It wasn’t only due to the lack of food or money, either! [My mother] wasn’t a consistent presence in those days! Still, I hoped things would change! It’s been said, “Suffering produces endurance… and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Luckily, I had my friend, Cathy. She didn’t care that my clothes were more than a little worn. We played as kids do. We used to talk and laugh and delight in the insignificant. Friendship isn’t a big thing. It’s a million little things. Sometimes we didn’t talk. Friendship needs no words. Despite having a friend, the feeling of being lowly and unworthy persisted. I tried to pretend I was the same as other kids, but at home I faced cold hard reality. There’s more to my story. As I said before, something happened that was a turning point for me. It raised me up. Made me feel differently about myself. As I was saying, when I was with my friend Cathy, she made me feel better as friends often do. With her I felt like a normal little girl, instead of a neglected child in a broken home. At my house it was a different story. Having her as a friend almost made the long days and nights more bearable. Almost...

To be continued!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mary Worth 148

I am writing this blog entry. It is really funny. It isn't too cynical, but it makes a humorous point. You are laughing.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mary Worth 147

Oh, Good.

You know, I never promised to post every day, and if ever an installment of Mary Worth was worthy of going unnoticed, today's certainly qualifies. However, I just want to take a moment to thank you, dear reader, for sharing your time with me. I am quite stunned that so many people are actually reading this blog. I particularly enjoy the comments of others, even if it is just to say how much you enjoyed or despised the day's cartoon.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, whether you celebrate Easter or not. There are a lot of people suffering today. There's been flooding in Missouri, and tornadoes in Tennessee, and there are people still displaced so long after Katrina. These problems just scratch the surface. While I'm sure that I'll find many things to commend and condemn in Mary Worth's coming plot (please let there be a plot!), this story reminds me that some children won't wake up to Easter eggs and Peeps on Sunday morning, and it won't be for religious reasons. It's easy to be cynical, but maybe, just maybe, we can renew ourselves this spring by reaching out to someone less fortunate. Let's not forget to ask ourselves, "What would Mary do?"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mary Worth 146: My apology

First, let me say, these are beautifully rendored cupboard doors. I had a set at home, and they were horrible. We had to replace them every six months because they'd fall apart until we finally redid the cupboards, so I see Mary's cupboard and think how pathetic her life was as a child.

Second, I just want to apologize to Joe Giella for yesterday's rant. I'm ashamed of myself. Giella is one of the greats, and I had no right to criticize him. It's just... well, it's just that here we are travelling back in time fifty years, and -- well, personally, I've always dreamed of owning a Giella original drawing of Mary Worth riding in the Batmobile. Giella inked Batman for years - he even penciled Batman for three or four years in the 60s. So I figured Giella knows how to draw a car with a tail fin, and I was just hoping that by now, we'd get to see a cool classic car, or a malt shop or something. But I'll settle down now and trust the master to depict this story in whatever way he feels is best. Joe, you are great; I have not lost faith, and I apologize.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mary Worth 145

How can you talk when you're being strangled?

I would think the best thing about drawing a 50-year flashback would be the opportunity to research period architecture and design that would enhance the romantic nostalgia of the story. Based on the house, it appears Joe Giella may not be all that much into research. Or drawing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mary Worth 144

Delighting in the insignificant? That's my entire raison d'être. It's why I love Mary Worth! I feel so validated today.

But panel two scares me. I find nothing delightful or insignificant in discovering that Mary Worth and Cathy have Super Breath. It is perhaps one of the most abused and volatile of super powers. How has Mary restrained herself all these years given the temptation to quickly solve all her problems with Super Breath?

I mean, even Superman couldn't control his Super Breath when Wonder Woman got on his nerves.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mary Worth 143

Because, you see, Cathy was blind. Which made her really bad at hide and seek.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Akron Ohio Keeps Mary Anyway

As previously reported on this blog, Akron Ohio's Beacon Journal took a comics survey, but promised not to cut their serials. Bold move considering how many people in the Buckeye State expressed their utter hatred for Mary Worth. Is this a case of an editor being smarter than his readers, or just more disturbed? The Condo Board salutes the Beacon Journal for its courage in the face of unpopular opinion.

Mary Worth 142

I'm having trouble keeping up with all the promises this story is committing to answer: Why is Mary Worth so compulsive about helping people? What happened to Mary's father? Why is Mary's mother so uninvolved? And perhaps the biggest question of all: Why did Mary feel so unworthy? What was she guilty of?

But one question has been answered by this morning's Sunday Serenade: What did little Mary do for food?

So if we suffer and endure long enough, perhaps we'll get some character development in this story? I hope.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mary Worth 141

This is going to break my heart, but at least Mary has one of those classically ambiguous art pieces that she's still so fond of framed up on her wall.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Not-A-Real-Contest 2

Wheelhead selected "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee for the Charterstone Jukebox - his prize of privilege in our most recent Not-A-Real-Contest contest. The condo board has approved of his selection and issued the following statement:

"The Charterstone Condo Board hearby and heartily approves Wheelhead's sagacious selection of Sir Elton John's powerful musical rendition 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart.' We commend Mr. Wheelhead on his excellent taste and his discerning familiarity with the moral and upright sensibilities of Charterstone residents and this august body."

Congratulations, Wheelhead. You may listen to the Jukebox in the right hand column.

This morning's Mary Worth post follows below.

Mary Worth 140

We skipped the story and went straight for the platitude. The end. I know I was hoping for an actual tale of Mary Worth as a child, but we're probably all better off. Now, who wants to bet Drew comes home from Vietnam this weekend?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mary Worth 139

Just when I'd given up all hope for a flashback, it happens. This story is going to go one of two ways: Either someone does a good deed for Mary and she spends the rest of her life trying to payback the favor, or she commits some misdeed so horrendous that she spends the rest of her life trying to atone for her guilt. Either way, I fear, it is going to be pretty pointless.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mary Worth 138

Uh oh. Mary's mother had to work. That spells trouble. This story is going to be great! Of course, I had hoped we'd get a flashback and see Mary hussling the streets of Detroit in her youth, but I think having Mary stand by that house for three weeks and just tell the story is such a better way to go.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mary Worth 137


Mary is as changeless as the current plot! But I almost expect her to rip off her rubber mask and eat Toby's brain.

Please, lady, stop talking ABOUT the story, and just TELL it! My head will implode if this prologue goes on for another day. Yesterday I was joking about how quickly Drew went off to Vietnam, but in all seriousness, Drew decided to go to Vietnam on February 26 and his plane left the ground on March 2 - six days! We're on day five of Mary leading up to this flashback and I'm really going to be disappointed if I have to wake up ONE MORE MORNING to find Mary still talking about the story she is presumably about to tell!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mary Worth 136

Oh, for the love of Pete. It is taking Mary longer to introduce this story than it took Drew to uproot his entire life and move to Vietnam.

My forecast for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: "You see, Toby, I'm going to tell you a story about my past. Sometimes things happen in our past that shape who we are today."

Wednesday: "I hope I won't bore you with this story, but it is important for you to hear it if you want to understand my compulsion for niceness and why I am so wonderful."

Thursday: "Toby, without hearing my story, you'll never really know why I am the way I am. It's a long story, though. Are you sure you want to hear my story?"

Friday: "On second thought, this story is so shameful. I really can't bear to tell you."

Saturday: "Toby, let's go back to the pool party and make a new friend."

Of course, there will be a lot more exclamation points.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mary Worth 135

Okay, okay, get on with it already. You've got our attention, Toby's almost finished eating an entire batch of snickerdoodles, now start your dang story.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mary Worth 134

I'm am FREAKING OUT! We are going to have a Mary Worth Flashback!!

LOST fans, click here and let your Pavlovian saliva glands over flow!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Mary Worth 133

This year's pool party is so awesome we don't even need a pool!Toby makes doing good deeds sound like some sort of mental disorder. And religion like some sort of enabler.

But looking back on her past?? Looking back on her past?? Could it be? It's too good to be true. Be still my heart, but I think we're going to get a Mary Worth Flashback! Those of us who are LOST fans, are just going to lose it. Please, please please let us have a Mary Worth flashback!!

Edited to add: I don't know why Mary didn't attribute her quote. For those who were wondering, it was said by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mary Worth 132

I'm going to skip the circuitous illogic of Mary's response for a moment and offer my own good advice to Mary: Stop being such an arrogant busy body. Pride cometh before the fall, Mary. Pride cometh before the fall.

I really, really hope this is a set up for a new story where Mary ends up destroying someone's life because she's too busy to consider whether or not the advice she's giving is actually good. But alas, I worry it is simply denouement to the Vera and Drew storyline reminding us that even though she couldn't hook them up, she does have a "track record."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not-A-Real-Contest 2

The winner of our most recent Not A Real Contest is Wheelhead, for making the only non-violent contribution: Joining a Benedictine order with Dr. Drew.

However, Wheelhead's first suggestion was torching Mary's condo so I'm hesitant to even issue this award. (Jeff, by the way, does not live in a condo, Wheelhead, as he resides in a Suburban Man Cabin.)

Congratulations to all our contestants. You're all equally disturbed! Wheelhead, let me know what song should be added to the Charterstone Jukebox. As always, the condo board has the final approval.

Mary Worth 131

I don't want to give you the entire story, but here are the simple words Mary used at the 2004 Pool Party to "nudge" divorcée Anna Tieg when she first hooked up online with her old high school boy friend Brian who she knew was now married:

And the rest, as they say, is history. Mary Worth: Home-wrecker.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mary Worth 130

After nearly an entire year of effort, Mary failed to get Vera and Drew together. But at least she can claim credit for making that baby.

People expressed some surprise about the Charterstone Pool Party guests yesterday. For those of you who have never attended a Charterstone Pool Party before, there are a few rules of which you should be aware:

  • You must make a new friend (you will meet someone new).
  • No swimming.
  • No swimsuits.
  • Especially no swimsuits if you are a woman in your 20s.
  • Dress is business casual, although a tuna fish t-shirt is also acceptable.

And a new rule of which I was not aware until this morning: Babies are allowed, but only if they have gigantic 18 pound heads.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mary Worth 129

Oh! Oh! Oh! Pool Party!!! Pool Party!!! I totally didn't expect this! It's only March!! Usually, the Pool Party doesn't happen until the summer!!

So now we've come full circle. The Charterstone Pool Party, where Drew hit on two women within minutes of each other and ended up breaking both their hearts, an act that ultimately dumped His Hairness in Vietnam. While I can already spot Wilbur Weston and Ian Cameron (Professor Chin Beard, who has not been featured in Mary Worth since before the launch of this blog last June), the two Charterstone residents who I really hope will attend and bond are Vera Shields and Dawn Weston.

Now, get a plate of pretzel sticks and some round things and a glass of catsup and relax! It's the best party of the year.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mary Worth 128

While I do admire Santa Royale's remarkable devotion to public transportation (nobody drives to the airport anymore), I do question their patriotism. They have proudly displayed the Soviet flag, the Canadian flag, the Latvian flag, and the People's Republic of China. But where's Old Glory? Maybe that explains why they haven't been able to secure any TSA funding from Homeland Security, and Mary was able to get her purse full of 5 ounce liquids and gels, knitting needles and pepper spray to the international gate without a boarding pass.

Well, this is the million dollar question. While I can't really say I actually loved Drew, I am counting on forgetting him. In fact, I'm willing to pay for therapy to help me forget.

Today's Full Strip