You got to know when to hold ’em…

 

…know when to fold ‘em… and clearly Mark is throwing in his hand on Chris Dyer…  poor guy.  Only sort of knew what hit him…  The karmic forces are alive and well in the Trailverse.  But does overrun mean trampled?  Literally?  It actually looks like Chris Dyer is getting overrun by The Fog… not hooves…

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But clearly among Mark’s many other skills is the fact that he can out-run a Cape Buffalo at full gallop…  since he appears to be set on rescuing Lori from this marauding herd… and he needs to get out in front of them if he is to do that…

Well, who’s getting Buffaloed Now??

Recap for those who just might be joining story…  Chris “I have a Dirty gambling problem” Dyer has eyes for Lori “I’m a Dentist on the lam” Tompkins, and is afraid that Mark “I am a happily married man but there’s not an invitation I know how to say no to” Trail is getting in between them… So he coaxes Mark out into the tall grass, away from camp, hiding a machete behind his back (I swear I saw it a couple of days ago…) and now they are being overrun by Cape Buffalo, the baddest of Sub-Saharan Bovines…

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And judging from the cloud of dust in panel two, there is an actual herd behind these leading two beasts.

Oh the humanity!  The one is bearing down on Dirty, it doesn’t look good, ladies and gents!  He has barely enough time to let out a meager thought balloon…  Will be actually get crushed/ gored/ trampled?  Will Mark get away to save Lori?  Is anyone at camp witnessing the carnage?

The way this strip jumps around these days, tomorrow’s installment might well be all of them enjoying a nice Cabernet, recounting lusty tails of stampedes avoided…  Stay tuned!

Time for the Nature Lesson…

The Mighty Cape Buffalo… Nothing to trifle with, it would seem… except these appear to be a special variety with WHITE HORNS…  huh.  I wonder what that means?  Other than right now it appears to be a two-buffalo stampede…  Is that like a two-car funeral, heading for safari camp?  Well, Dirty is getting more than he bargained for at this point…  trying to get Mark eaten by an apex-preditor and ends up stirring up a heard of large bovines…

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Whether it’s Bear, Hippo, or other wildlife, James Allen takes us where the action is, that’s for sure…  I wonder if he spends his spare time watching NatGeo??

What’s the old joke?

I don’t have to run faster than the lion, I just have to run faster than you… And without planning this part (I am sure…) Mark’s noble nature is playing right into Dirty’s hand (if you will pardon the gambling metaphor…)  As Mark tells Dirty to Run, he places himself in mortal danger of being Lonely Mr. Lion’s main course…  or Wait…  are my blurry eyes are making out a set of horns?… Not a lion but a stampeding herbivore?  Oh please.  That’s not nearly as exciting…

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Of course lions don’t make a BRRRRMMUMBRUMBBLLE sound do they?  Is that two sets of horns and a cloud of dust?  O M G!!  it’s a STAMPEDE!

Under severe cross examination and admonishment…

…dirty appears to be shrinking…  If only to make room for Mark’s lecture…  And Mark, poor Mark, so misunderstood… such is the burden of one who goes through life seemingly without issues or baggage of any kind… the burden of one who finds himself on a five-star safari ten minutes after he finds that his original plans have been scuttled…

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And now, Mark, you are taking the place of Dr. Phil??  “How’s that workin’ for ya??”  I can almost hear it in his tone… “Seems the two of you have some things to work on…” More like “Ditch the stupid handle, ‘Dirty,’ grow up and stop thinking in terms of ‘odds’ and getting rich quick…  Take it from me, I have been a kept man for longer than anyone, including me, can remember, and I can tell you, you are going about this all wrong…”  Sage words (again) from Mark Trail…

But what’s Mark got behind HIS back?

“Another Man…”  “Another Man”  Dirty, you’ve got issues.  SERIOUS issues.  But at least you get right to the point.  No more “it’s a lovely day on the savanna” for you.  No, let’s get right down to the matter at hand.  Mark, you may have done nothing to earn the enmity of Dirty Dyer, other than be your old obtuse, un-self-aware, unsympathetic self, but there you are, in the tall grass, lured there by the man who sees you as a threat.  A man with questionable natural hair color (does his hairdresser know??) with what appears to be a Machete hidden behind his back…  But Really… where exactly was he hiding that when he was luring mark away from the safety of others??

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Let’s recall Chris’s plan…  Dispatch Mark, make the pick-up, sell the goods, pay off gambling debts, win Lori’s heart…  Seems foolproof to me…

Male Bonding at its Finest…

I knew a guy in college named “Curt” and we called him “Dirt” because it rhymes and because he was such an asshole… especially with women.  He thought it was great and never figured that the joke was on him…

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Yes, and we all know from experience that marriage solves all financial problems…  makes perfect sense.  Again, with the “I Bet” language…  Dirty, it’s a freakin’ wonder the two of you ever got together in the first place…  I mean really, what could she possibly see in you??

But wait!! Is that Mr. Lion in the very foreground of the panel?  Looks like it!  Where on earth is the animal life so thick that it won’t fit all into the same frame?