In a world…

…where comics have no sound, we sometimes wonder what these characters sound like, right??  For whatever reason I am assigning the voice of “Droopy Dog” to Mr. Holland, CEO of Riverway Chemical…  especially the last line in the second panel, “some local people…” really seems to fit, especially with the seemingly benign facial expressions being offered up…

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Wow, Mark, you are really IN the Swamp??  Currently?  Why that’s extraordinary!  I happen to own it!  Do you have my permission?  Have you been scouted by one of my lackeys?  I plan to mine every last ounce of titanium from this pristine and somewhat virgin ecosystem because you know why?  All I care about is ME.  That’s right, not anyone else, not future generations, not any friggin’ turtles or alligators that might call the swamp home…  They mean NOTHING to ME!!   Muuuaaaaahhaahhaahhaaa!!!!

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Absurdity prevails again!

OK, let’s count ways:  (1) There is a high-rise, city-style office building on the edge of the swamp- replete with mangrove and wildlife… (2)  Mark has the direct dial number of the CEO of a Multinational Chemical Conglomerate… (3)  Justin Holland is in the office and answers his own phone… and (4)  he answers it like someone who works in a call center…

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…oh and (5) Justin has heard of Mark Trail and actually reads his articles (of course, why hasn’t or wouldn’t he??) and (6) Mark is so secure in his own skin that he can make business calls wearing nothing more than a smile…  OK, one might make the case that he has his trunks on, but I ask the reader to imagine otherwise!  And what exactly are you doing with your left hand, Mark??

Finally, what’s up with Justin?  Huge head, small body, narrow shoulders, not exactly painting the archetype of the eco-villain, now is he??  Probably got beat up a lot when he was a kid…

yea, enough of this lollygagging…

… emphasis on the gagging …  Time we made time getting up the canal – we have a date with destiny – with Justin Holland of Riverway Chemical.  I just wonder, though, is the “h” hard or soft in “Hollland?”  Upon which sylla’ble do we place the empha’sis?

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And who is that watching the Trails?  Is this Papua New Guinea?  Some type of indigenous tribesman?  15 minutes from Elizabeth City??  Or is this Swamp People meets Mark Trail??

You must mean that “Mother of an Alligator…”

OK, I was wrong.  Not the first time and it won’t be my last…  I searched this time for “alligator nest” and viola- here’s what we are talking about…  So the bear went to the mound looking for a tasty snack of gestating Alligator… (mmm… crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey in the middle…) And yes, The Mother Alligator took exception to that…  Oh Mark, How could I have ever doubted you??  My hat is in my hand…

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“HA HA HA …”  that’s a fairly robotic laugh…  I prefer the highly punctuated “HA!” as in, “WOW!” or “COOL!”  But then I have always suspected that Mark is an Android, devoid of the “feelings” circuit  that would allow him to express and modulate emotion beyond what he is apparently capable of doing…

sorry, Mark, now you’re just making stuff up…

The only reference to “Alligator Mound” is an Indian burial mound in Granville, Ohio… and what on earth would that Alligator, painted Boat Motor Green, have to do with the haystack?  His head would barely fit inside, if in fact you are suggesting that he was using it as a hiding place…

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As for Alligators attacking Black Bears…  right…  best I could find is an animated scuffle from animal planet which is 100% CG…

OK, whatever…  carry on.

He has a thing for bears, or so it would seem…

Who?  Mark?  James Allen?  The whole Mark Trail enterprise?  When Allen took over the helm and began to apply his vision to the Mark Trail comic legacy, he quickly introduced us to a cranky  Black Bear with a sore foot who then promptly treed Mark Trail… only to be bested by Mark’s cunning and apparent dominion over nature by forcing a confrontation with Rex the ill-tempered Grizzly, over by Cutter’s Bluff…

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But with the Cherry peep-show over, we have to get back to business, and business is all about Nature and Nature is all about preservation and halting evil, profit-motivated people from destroying it!

But wait- what’s in that haystack that looks like a beaver lodge, except that a beaver wouldn’t build a lodge on dry land…  they are hard-wired to try to dam up the entire waterway…  how curious…

OK, now you are just toying with us…

Have another, Cherry, you are on Vacation!  First one of your life, so why not make the most of it?  And what kind of “drunk self” are you?  Which of the seven dwarfs do you become?  Sleepy? Happy? Dopey? Grumpy? Randy?  Oh, that’s right, that wasn’t one of them…

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And leave it to Mark to wax encyclopedic on the topic of Butterfly diversity in the Great Dismal…  Fascinating.  Truly fascinating.

At least they are back to calling each other something other than “Honey…”