What could possibly go wrong?

Well I’ll tell you what could…  Readers of this strip will surely recall what a flock of flying geese can do to a Helicopter called in to help put out a fire!  But I am sure that there is a TC on the island game for a little run to a abandoned atoll…And how many of you got the Magnum PI reference without clicking?  Extra points if you did!!

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So as Editor Bill Ellis continues to keep his talent feeling important by offering another, much cooler, option, he continues to recover from PTICS (Post Traumatic Insurance Claim Stress) and can now rest easy that Mark will be a mere passenger in someone else’s craft, limiting his exposure to financial loss.  Of course he can only hope that the charter company has really great insurance, and that something happens to Mark, upon which time he could file a claim against that company!!  Makes me wonder if they have a policy on Mark himself in order that they might profit from his demise???  hmmm…  I should give Bill a call.  Of course we know that Mark is invincible and that the policy would never pay off.

Who knew that we could ever get so much mileage out of an insurance-themed discussion?!  And how many of you know that it was Ben Franklin that started the first fire insurance company in the new world?  The Philadelphia Contributorship… in 1752.  Keep coming back, kids… You can observe a lot by watching!

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Marky Mark!!

Remember Mark Wahlberg (I mean, he’s still around and all…) but remember how he got his start as a Calvin Klein Underwear model?  20 feet tall on Times Square??  Well, he’s got nothing on our Mark!  I think that James Allen likes to draw boats and the human form.  Mark has never looked more fit and trim…

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And who the heck are you, Editor Bill Ellis?  Last I checked it was a free country and boat rentals, while maybe not mentioned in the Bill of Rights, are certainly not excluded…  And unless word has gotten out about what an awful risk Mark is, he should have no issues renting a boat on his own dime…  Or apparently a helicopter on the company dime…  we’ll see where this goes…

OK, I think we’ve milked this as much as we can… so as we leave this chapter, called “In Which Mark tries to Rent a Boat and Bill says No!” we can look forward to his figuring out another way to ruin his vacation…  not to mention the landscape.  For a supposed naturalist, Mark tends to leave a pretty heavy footprint…

Just like one of those guys…

Poor Bill Ellis!  He doesn’t realize that he IS in one of those “Serial Comics…”  He thinks he’s real!  Sort of like Buzz Lightyear thinking that he is actually a “Guardian of the Galaxy” and not a child’s plaything

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So as reality continues to set in on The Trail, and as his “vacation” with Cherry is blowing up like the rental boats of yore, Mark is still determined to “get the story…”  Oh, I know, why don’t you (as was suggested by faithful reader Daniel P.) ask Abbey to come around and pick you up in her ocean going dingy?

Oh Mark, grow up…

I know that you are perpetually 32 years old, but you are acting like an 8 year old who didn’t get his BB-gun for Christmas…  so with Cherry’s chortle still ringing in his ears, Mark is dealing with the fact that he got denied.  This probably hasn’t happened in the entire history of the Mark Trail Comic Strip…  When has Mark ever heard the word “No?”  Never.  Not to my knowledge, anyway…

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So with Mark’s Lizard brain wracked in confusion, he’ll have to get creative.  Let’s see what kind of drive he has- or whether the right side of his brain has any juice whatsoever…

Ha! The chickens come home to roost!

Consequences!  I love it!  Eat that, Mark!!  Mark is absolutely incredulous in panel two… and the pile of paperwork I had earlier supposed and the burden it has placed on the Magazine (and not to mention our usually game editor) are also true…

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So dig into your own wallet, Mark, if you can find it…  or get creative, at least.  You can get to the island… Just find a local charter and pay the freight, if this is so important for you… Your days of just picking up the phone, calling the Magazine and getting what you want are over.  Join the 21st century where expenses are tight and boondoggles, especially ones that possibly end in large insurance claims, are frowned upon…

Wait for it… Wait…

This is actually kind of funny.  Tune in tomorrow, gang, when Editor Bill Ellis suffers an aneurysm…  Or perhaps, like Inspector Clouseau’s superior, Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus, he will develop a permanent nervous tic based on all the mayhem Mark creates…

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Note the many things going on here… and not…  Editor Bill Ellis is out on the veranda again, when the building clearly has no verandas…  Note that Mark is saying “I” and not “We” when he talks about meeting up with Abbey… sorry, Cherry.  And unless you count female graduates from Ohio Wesleyan University, there tends to be -0- diversity in this strip. I was just struck by the whiteness of the pallet in today’s  offering.

I also ask, where is the evil?  Where is the poaching and the looting and the cheating?  Who is Mark going to get to punch?  A couple of skeletons formerly known to us as “Honey and Darling?”  We saw where White Nose Syndrome took us… on an interminable stretch underground.  Right now I don’t have high hopes for this story line either…

Leaning Tower of Hearst?

Maybe it’s just the hour of the day and I haven’t quite woken up yet, but it seems like the Hearst Tower in the second panel is a bit off kilter…  hmmm, ever thought of the word kilter? Whether one could use it alone, without the modifier ‘off’ or ‘out of?’  Well it turns out (according to The Google Machine) that the very definition of the word means to be out of balance or harmony…

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so to say that one is off or out of kilter suggests a double negative (always dangerous) and therefore “in” kilter?  Or simply kilter or kiltered?  hmmm spell check doesn’t like that last one…

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But the Merriam Webster Official Scrabble Dictionary gives it 10 points, suggests it means “good condition,” and can be plural.  Good to know…

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Anyway, as Mark regales Editor Bill Ellis with tales of Stories Written in the Past and current whereabouts, a Snowy Owl makes its appearance in the big apple.  Seems a bit out of kilter, there as well…  Peregrine Falcons have been know to take up housekeeping in our larger cities, but owls?  And aren’t they by nature nocturnal?  Hmmm… something is certainly amiss here…  And there’s that mouthful again- the IUFCNWCC…which we have established as being real, but is in serious need of re-branding.