Mush and Bilge Water…

As the cranky hermit crab from The incredible Mr limpet (Starring Don Knotts as an animated fish amongst live actors) would say…  These two need to get a room, or at least box seats at Target Field and get caught in the Kissing-Cam…

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Are we done yet?  That’s all you get Cherry!  Let’s head home!!  For what?!?  I don’t even want to imagine…

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Is this a KISSING book??

Remember the grandson played by Fred Savage from The Wonder Years questioning his Grandfather played by Peter Falk in The Princess Bride??? He was being baited and switched into listening to a chapter book being read aloud to him whilst sick in bed…  That’s what I feel is happening here…  OK, James Allen, WE GET IT…

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But let’s examine the words more closely…  Mark is feeling lucky because he HAS A PLACE TO LIVE… and will do almost anything to not mess that up… Even subject himself to Cherry’s advances…  Even make Cherry feel like he really cares about her… Or is this James Allen getting back at Elrod for years of inattentiveness on Mark’s part?

I might add at this juncture that James Allen has yet to draw Rusty once since taking the helm…  is this a clear message, that he never approved of Mark and Cherry taking on this troubled, underdeveloped child??

…and you know, Mark, I do have a life… one that actually gets satisfying when you are away…

Well, back to “As the Trail Turns…” More blah blah…  What ever happened to punch punch, kick kick??  Mark has this silly grin on his face that can only tell you, James Allen, that he doesn’t quite know HOW to behave now that he has been home for so long…

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I am going to start a petition to get Mark back out with the bad guys!  Who’s with me??  But Cherry, let’s be clear- Mark’s “job” being a nature writer is just a front- for what we are not sure, but why don’t you ask him to show you his last check from Woods and Wildlife Magazine…  Is he on salary or is he paid by the article?  Does he get any money for living expenses? Because at this rate you will both be working at Wal*Mart in your “retirement…”

Andy says, “I’m Outa Here…”

“C’mon Master, I am dying here!” says the Big Dog…  By panel three Andy is hearing what we are all hearing… “blah blah, away from home a lot, blah blah I’m sorry about that, blah blah blah…”  Please let this be the precursor to Editor Bill Ellis or someone calling Mark back to the world outside of Lost Forest.  This is getting tedious beyond words… Aside from the fact that Cherry is doing her best to model for the ubiquitous redneck mud flap profile in panel one…

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Black Capped Chickadees are meant to act that way Mark, but not you… C’mon James Allen, let him leave the nest…  He’s much more interesting when he is operating without a search warrant and getting into other people’s business…

Metrosexual Mark…

Well, forget everything I just said (as in yesterday) about how relieved I was that James Allen wasn’t changing any of the long-held notions about role clarity…

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Maybe “doing dishes” isn’t the end of Mark as we know him, but it is a departure from what was…  and what we held most dear about him and his cloddish, oafish, generally obtuse nature…  so there he is, sleeves all rolled up, drying dishes… I am speechless…

No, Mark, you are not … STARVING

Maybe a might peckish after heading out for an afternoon drive only to find yourself fighting for your life and spending the night in a tree!

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But of course you were able to forage… “Some Berries for breakfast!”  not much to keep body and soul together, huh, Mark??

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So of course we find ourselves back at the table where meals are served and strong, black coffee is poured…  Cherry, Baby, what IS going on with your face in the first panel?  You return to your normal look of utter supplication at the sight of your man, but seriously, you look a little alien whilst pouring coffee!

I am SO glad that James Allen isn’t messing with any of the well-defined roles in the Trail-verse…  Doc fixes animals (without receiving so much as a thanky-kindly…) Cherry serves and Mark sits there like a prince…  But wait!  Cherry made a joke- “glad you were able to get away from that bear, Honey…”  Bear…  Honey… Get it??  Ha! That’s a joke, son!!