Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mary Worth 1,080


First, work at a restaurant where the customers arrive in an elevated emotional state, such as Diner Across the Street from Hospital.

It helps if the restaurant is not ADA accessible. You don't want your customers to have sympathy for others who are sitting in wheelchairs when you are working for tips. All sympathy should be directed at yourself.

Next, establish your customer's concern for your welfare early on by running from the room in tears and tossing your order pad in the air as you leave.

When you return to take her order, tell the customer that your mother recently died, and you were her primary care giver.

If the customer is a man, tell him it was your father who died. If it is a group of rowdy teenagers, tell them your child was killed with two other friends in a terrible car accident and that they should all drive safely. Remember your goal: you are working for tips. Your customer must feel a connection and responsibility for you.

Finally, establish an immediate financial need before taking the order.

Once you have gained the customer's sympathy, established a familial connection, and created an immediate financial need, all you need to do is show a little self reliance and optimism to seal the deal.

She'll be calculating 25 percent before she's even ordered.

Today's Full Strip

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mary Worth 1,079

"You know what else isn't easy? Cranking my head back over my shoulder while I'm ordering lunch. Gina, darling, would you mind stepping just a couple of inches to your left?"

Today's Full Strip

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mary Worth 1,078

After a long cry in the ladies room, Gina the Waitress has returned to take Mary's order. It's nice that the other servers honored the Waitress Code ("Never Take Someone Else's Table") so that Gina can collect the really large tip she's got coming after keeping Mary waiting 47 minutes.

Today's Full Strip

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mary Worth 1,077

Uh oh. It appears that Mary's remark yesterday about dodging a bullet, may have touched a nerve. Chester the Dog pointed out in yesterday's comments that in the Worthiverse, bullets move so slowly that they would be easy to dodge, so perhaps Gina's pet turtle was recently shot.

I thought this was Diner Across the Street, but I have not seen a truckers cap in two days, and now fancy palms have started to grow, so I'm not so sure.

Today's Full Strip

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mary Worth 1,075

Oh, no! Jeff has cancer and Mary has a table for one to sit at while she regrets not marrying him. Sheesh... now I have to make cancer jokes for the next four months. I'm not up to that.

Today's Full Strip

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mary Worth 1,074

You know what they used to build that veranda? A nail gun. And for those of you who are new, or may have forgotten what monotony REALLY is, may I remind you of Terry Bryson.

Today's Full Strip

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mary Worth 1,073

There's a quiet desperation in today's hope-for-change dialog. It's the same dialog we've been reading for two weeks. Nothing has changed. Two despondent, elderly people, running out of time, their backs to the wall, pleading for something in their lives to change. Is it too late for them? Is it too late for us?

Today's Full Strip

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mary Worth 1,072

Not the same person? Now here's an interesting plot twist. Somewhere in Jeff's past, he seems to have been mysteriously transmogrified into a Kindle reading, incompetent old doctor who loves sea food and has nothing better to do than propose over and over again to the 160 year old lady who pushes the book cart around the hospital. Perhaps this admission will prompt Mary to go on a quest to find the real Jeff Cory and marry him instead.

Today's Full Strip

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Newest Old Favorite Thing

The vending machines at work now sell Fresca. I hadn’t seen Fresca for years and years, so I thought I would give it a try. Crisp, refreshing citrus sensations, and zero calories. I took one sip and was immediately transported back in time to 1974.

I was ten years old. Five friends and I sat in the top floor of our incredible five story fort, eating Jiffy Pop popcorn and passing around a couple of cans of Fresca. The fort was less than a week old. All the neighborhood boys had worked on it together and each floor was designated for different groups of boys based on social status, determined by our age to forehead size ratio.

John and Danny were on the first floor. Richard was on the second floor. Tom and I were on the third floor.

None of us were permitted on the top floor. But the older boys were away, so there we were, deviously crowded into the enclosed box, high off the ground, enjoying a can of Fresca, and laughing about Planet of the Apes and Wacky Packages. The room was large enough for five small boys to sit, but too small to stand up or wiggle around very much. We were definitely wiggling.


Suddenly, the top two floors toppled off the fort, did a summersault, and stopped with a thud. We all screamed. We were now sideways, twisted up around one another, and Tom asked, “Is everyone okay?”

I was lying by the door and looked outside. I was startled by what I saw. “Uh, guys, nobody move,” I warned.

But it was too late. The tree branch we had landed on broke with a snap and we dropped like a rock another five feet, smashing onto the hard ground. The wood around us splintered and split into all kinds of jagged fragments. Nails jutted out around our heads. Dust filled the air and we coughed and choked as we emerged from the mess. Mrs. Wray came running out of her house screaming. But somehow, none of us were injured, although I remember my legs felt like rubber bands.

And I was covered in Fresca.

So, now, anytime I want to relive the perils of my childhood, I can wander down to the vending machines and buy a Fresca, which now comes in peach and black cherry flavors as well. The new flavors are quite tasty, but they don’t invoke the same vivid memories as the original.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mary Worth 1,071

Remember, in the Worthiverse, "a little longer," could be anywhere between seven and 34 years.

Today's Full Strip

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mary Worth 1,070

Mary, you big tease. If you don't intend to marry Jeff, just say so. Don't string him along for years on end until someone better comes along. Jeff already broke up with you once when you denied you were seeing Ron Amalfi, and he only came back to you because you made seafood scampi. If you turn him down this time, he has to go for good. There's only so much rejection a guy can take. Even a guy like Jeff.

Today's Full Strip

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mary Worth 1,069

I don't know if it's the music, the wine, or the smell of the local waste transfer station from the veranda, but I think Mary is starting to break down! We may hear wedding bells by 2027.

Today's Full Strip

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mary Worth 1,068

By now, Jeff is so used to rejection that Mary's response, "What did you ask me?" doesn't even phase him. After the most romantic proposal in the world, in which Jeff drafts out their articles of incorporation, Mary seems quite surprised. As was pointed out yesterday by Punky, this is what is called a segue as we prepare for the next so-called story. There are three segue conventions used in Mary Worth: 1) Toby and Mary gossiping over coffee, 2) Jeff and Mary reflecting over coffee while they read on the couch, and 3) Jeff proposing to Mary. The marriage proposal is starting to feel a little over used.

Now, wait a minute... I know many of you are wondering, "Hey, Wanders, what are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be hiking 50 miles on the Appalachian Trail?" Yes, that was the plan. We hiked for two days and had a great time being together, but after about 17 miles, my son and I had a little discussion. The trail was not what we had expected at all. We were hiking into the south end of Shenandoah National Park. If you've ever driven on Skyline Drive, you have some idea of the spectacular hike we expected this to be. Stunning views from above the Shenandoah Valley to the west, and rolling piedmont to the east. In fact, one mile into the hike we climbed up onto Humpback Rock and, indeed, the view was spectacular. But from there on, it was basically a green tunnel through nothing but trees. It was boring as heck. Every time my son stopped to wait for me (yes, the rocky trail and my 47 year old knees, meant I was much slower than I was as a teenager), I could see on his face that he was as bored as I was. After two days, we talked it over. We decided that the hike was dull, the available camping locations disappointing, and the water scarce. We had climbed a mountain, camped, and hiked quite a ways. We figured it was time to call the hike a success and go to Dairy Queen, where I had a banana split and he had the Oreo Brownie Earthquake and a double cheeseburger for dinner.

Today's Full Strip

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mary Worth 1,067

So, Mary's idea was to hold an expensive Event at the fancy Venue, see who comes, and hope that sometime in the nebulous future, they might receive some funding? Fund raising sure sounds fun and easy.

A note to my readers: My son and I head out tomorrow morning for a 50 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail. Speaking of fund raising, if you would like to sponsor our hike in memory of our young friend Brian Taylor who died from terminal mental illness last year, please send donations to:

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
c/o Marian Taylor
325 Westfield Circle
Alpine, UT 84004

It should be a great hike, and the kind of hike Brian loved. I'll be back in a week. Hopefully, I won't miss the Event at the Venue.

Today's Full Strip

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mary Worth 1,066

Hopefully they'll be generous with donations in the present, too.

I have to ask myself what is motivating these influential Santa Royale Benefactors to come to this nondescript event. Concern over the sudden closure of a clinic in Vietnam? More likely, they all owe Mary Worth a favor since her meddling in their lives resulted in their acquiring HUGE sums of money.

By the way, I think Karen Moy is a wonderful writer. Not many could turn a phrase like she.

Today's Full Strip

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mary Worth 1,065

A pink tie event is the perfect way to raise money for all those Pinkos in Vietnam!

Today's Full Strip

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mary Worth 1,064

Jeff seems to have created some sort of "hot or not" algorithm to determine whether or not Mary Worth is right for him.

Today's Full Strip

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mary Worth 1,063

I know a lot of cynics are worried that Mary and Jeff will continue to discuss Drew's dating life this week, but I have greater confidence in Karen Moy's writing abilities than that. There is no way that tomorrow she continues writing about Drew's eligibility with the ladies. No! Tomorrow is a new day! A new story awaits! Isn't this exciting?

Today's Full Strip

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mary Worth 1,062

The panels above are just two from today's Festival of Smugness. What a warm feeling it must give Mary and Drew to picture Liza sitting in class her first day of Sales 101 and realizing, "This isn't working for me."

Today's Full Strip

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mary Worth 1,062

A beautiful choice of words, Dr. Cory. I'm sure the guy on the gurney is thrilled to hear a doctor say how great it is to turn off the switch.

Today's Full Strip

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mary Worth 1,061

Standard denouement in the Worthiverse requires Mary to explain what has just happened to other characters in her world because, hey, life is confusing. I for one certainly had no idea what was going on until this helpful conversation.

Today's Full Strip

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mary Worth 1,060

Mary Worth and Me salutes Joe Giella for the progressive cultural diversity he has included in today's strip by incorporating a woman of color as a background extra working as a scheduling assistant in the hospital. Before you know it, people of color will be moving into Charterstone. Keep up the great work, Joe.

Today's Full Strip

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mary Worth 1,058

I was lucky to learn what a miserable profession sales would be as a Cub Scout trying to sell Scout-O-Rama tickets in my neighborhood. I finally sold one ticket to an eighty year old lady down the street... not enough to even qualify for the free subscription to Boys Life, let alone win the Schwinn Stingray with the monkey-hanger handlebars and the sissy bar on the back. But bless the little old lady down the street for buying the Scout-O-Rama ticket. I looked for her at the event, and worried she'd want her money back because she'd missed it.

After graduate school I tried a sales job selling ads on the back of cash register receipts. I went through two days of training, and because I was an actor, I nailed the sales presentation. The directors thought I was the best trainee they'd ever seen. However, the pitch was full of deceptive practices like telling the retailer that we we would lose money if the presses weren't rolling, and I only had one more ad to sell before we could run the presses, so let me call my manager and see if I can get you a price break. Of course, there's nothing wrong with selling something at a discount, but the part about one more ad and the dormant presses was pure cow pie. And everyone got the same so-called discount. I quit after one day.

Of course, my favorite sales experience was when Mrs. Wanders and I were newlyweds. I came home and she laughingly told me that some salesmen had just come by selling magazines. The story was that if they could sell enough subscriptions, they'd get to go to Hawaii instead of living lives of crime, or some such nonsense. However, when Mrs. Wanders first answered the apartment door, the lead salesman had said, "Hello, are you a model? Is that your Porsche in the parking lot?"

I ran out in the hallway and the salesmen were downstairs. I said, "Hey, there's no soliciting here."

"We're just selling magazines."

"Then why are you asking my wife if she's a model and driving a Porsche?"

With that, the lead salesman, who was quite big, turned around and ran out of the building. The younger salesman looked sheepishly at me and said, "Sorry." Then he followed his trainer outside.

Suffice it to say, one of my favorite things to ask my wife is, "Are you a model? Is that your Porsche?" She laughs and kisses me every time.

Today's Full Strip

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mary Worth 1,057

Oh, the sweet, sweet irony. If only someone had said this at the Aldo Kelrast intervention. Then that story, too, could have had a happy ending.

Today's Full Strip

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mary Worth 1,056

Genius! Genius! Don't you wish all of your problems worked out this well? But, alas, life often proves to be far more complex than a Mary Worth plot. Pity really.

Today's Full Strip