Well, at least we haven’t lost that Mark Trail wit…

This is, as they say, a long walk for a short drink of water… and this proves at least that Mark can be in on a joke, even when he is the joke… but it registers nary a courtesy laugh from Cal and Abbey.  I’m guessing they can’t wait to be done with Ol’ Mark.

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Looks like Mark is in the middle of the boat… I was thrown yesterday by carelessly placed speech balloons.  And things appear calm… and should be unless a rogue wave takes them out.  That would be about par for the course.

Speaking of Rogue Waves, have you seen Rogue One, a Star Wars Story?  Brilliant.  This has nothing to do with our current Mark Trail Story line but just thought I’d mention that.  Happy New Year everyone!  See you in 2017!

And, it would seem, confidence that there’s enough gas in the tank to get you home…

…along with “a few days of ‘vacation’ remaining”… considering it took 5 months of strip time to play out the last 36 hours… aaaggghhh!!

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Capital idea, Cal!  Why don’t you head back to Kauai?

And what the hell is floating in the water in Panel 3?  An empañada? Oh that’s right… that would have made more sense in the cave adventure… Probably what Jose and Jefe snacked on en la cantina when they were plotting their human trafficking scheme.  Which added nothing to that story line either… other that shooing Mark & Company into the Cave of wonders…

Not to mention that Abbey’s head, center of the boat in Panel 3, (assuming that’s Mark still talking, since Abbey is technically on the job…) has grown freakishly large.  Oh my goodness, can we please just be done with this?

That’s OK… You look better all blurry…

More sympathy!  Ecchhh!  Not the Trail way!  Obtuse is what we’ve come to expect… Clumsy, incapable of feeling- at least that’s how Mark is around and with his wife… Hey, ever been paddle boarding?

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So, as this wraps up, and yes,it will take a week or two at this rate…  We are left to wonder what else is on the Whiteboard at Allen, Inc…  We wonder whether North America Syndicate, unit of King Features Syndicate,  unit of Hearst Holdings, Inc.,  is at all invested in this strip, whether they will throw struggling writers a lifeline, perhaps play muse?  Do more than collect on the annuity that is Mark Trail and other long-running serial strips…  Given that they literally control this world, one really has to wonder whether they are paying attention at all…

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I mean, look at this!  If this isn’t world domination, I don’t know what is!  Clearly they are taking their cut and one has to wonder what the “creators” are getting… It’s clearly a situation that if you want to play, you have to play by these rules!

Here are a couple more:

The Universal Press syndicate

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and the Washington Post Writers Group:

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The latter is interesting as it has the fewest , but features (in retried state) a favorite author of mine, one Berkeley (Berke) Breathed, creator of Bloom County, Opus, Outland and a host of other creative works.  Although it appears that Bloom County is being resurrected, after 25 years, through Opus the Penguin, to embrace the new age, internet and everything…

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OK, clearly, as I take few days off around the Holidays, I have a little time on my hands…  Happy New Year a-comin’… 2016 has been a ride, hasn’t it??

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Uh, yeah… That’ll be exciting.

And in what… like four years??  As I recall the IUCNWCC (really?) is a quad-annual event.  It just happened in September of 2016, so the next one isn’t until 2020!   First you have to get on the agenda as a speaker, and speaker calls for the next “congress” won’t happen for at least a few years… by that time it’s old and dusty news.  Plus, Abbey, what have you got? A “he-said/she-said” tale with no pictures, no evidence, just a person (you) weaving a highly improbable tale that only puts you at the scene based on another’s witness- Mark Trail, who we all know from the funny papers as being highly suspect and barely able to keep his own credibility boat floating…  I can see the PowerPoint now, full of clip art pictures of travel documents and manifests from Honey and Darling (Lord knows where they are by now…) and stock photos of the the RIFA and its ravages…

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And just when I was about to rail on the presence of ORCA in the Hawaiian Island chain, I learned that while rare, these overgrown, distinctly marked, sea-faring porpoises do actually make their home there (proving that in every species a certain number come to their senses and figure out that warm is better than cold) and feast on marine mammals like baby humpback whales…

What’s this? Sympathy? Empathy?

Seems a bit strange coming out of Mark’s mouth, but yesterday he expressed sympathy over Cal’s lost helicopter, and today he’s telling Abbey he’s sorry about the fact that they didn’t get a “specimen” to prove her hypothesis about invasive species on the island!  But she’s got Mark as a witness, and a more impeachable source one could not possibly ask for!!

Mhmmm, like Yoda, I speak, on the day of Princess Leia’s passing 😦

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Got new for you, Cal Ol’ buddy… those ants weren’t going anywhere anyway!  Not unless they hitched a ride on Abbey or Mark… which could well be the case!!  Now they will need to be quarantined for a month or so in order to ensure that they aren’t harboring any stowaways…

Apparently Cal has lived for millennia now…

Ticks on the geological clock, as it were…  For one man, in a lifetime, to claim that he has seen coral atolls rise and sink suggests that he was around when Captain Cook plied the trades and even before that…

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So this is our Christmas Present… knowing that Mark and Abbey are safe, and but for a (hopefully) uneventful ride back to one of the big islands, we are done with all this nonsense.  Well that only took months… to live a couple of days. Let’s all assume that Cherry has had a  life changing experience as well with the shirtless conch-blower and will regard Mark’s return with little more than a shrug, even as he recounts yet another harrowing tale of death being cheated…