Clearly this isn’t Mara’s first rodeo…

…or perhaps she watches too much television.

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Let’s see whether any of Mara’s assumptions are correct, though.  Will “Backpack Guy” (love that name) succumb to cultural norms and let his guard down, simply because a female happens to be prostrate at his feet?   And what is the plan other than knowing where he is?  And I love how “wildlife” is represented in panel three- a lovely Mexican Rat!  Let’s hope they don’t mistake that for a dog and want to bring it home!

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Snap-n-rap, huh?

The lesson continues…

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Friends?  What are those?  Rusty hasn’t had a friend for as long as he’s been alive, from what we know…  poor little guy.  His head is about to explode.  This much (teen) cultural assimilation is probably more than he can take…

Yea… Now What?

What’re we doin’ again?

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Oh, yea… following the guy with the backpack containing the contraband antiquity…

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Rusty was given this phone when they arrived in Mexico… he literally doesn’t know what it’s used for…  But just imagine for a moment a time without smartphones.  It wasn’t that long ago.  People would literally walk around with their heads up and eyes forward, seeing what was in front of them.  Imagine you time-traveled from, say, the year 2000 to the present, and you saw all these people staring at these devices… literally everywhere… what a strange sight that would be.  Dana Carvey does a bit about John Lennon checking in with Paul McCartney about this phenomenon…

Yea… It’d be a shame if anything were to happen to you…

As the Howler is about to bite into a live fish (wow, what a way to go, huh?) Joe gives a final round of “parental” advice to the tweens…

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But what is their plan, anyway?  To find and follow this unknown guy and see who he gives the artifact to?  Then what?  Surprise?!  We got you!?  We aren’t playing freeze tag, you know…  or maybe grab some footage on their “cameras?”

Wrong again!

The raptor did NOT come up empty-taloned!  But now has to face a howling monkey, which are never as “nice” as we want them to be…

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Because cell phones create a force field around otherwise vulnerable youth?  I think that’s a great and grave misconception, if ever there was one…  cue the kidnappers.  Two kids are about to go missing!