Random, thy name is Allen…

I’ll borrow from a comment made recently regarding how many random inputs are being offered up to the readers of this strip.  Now we have a couple of nogoodnicks transferring loot into a minivan in a seedy, tenderloin-like district of Rapid City, SD.  We are being asked to track on fractals… with seemingly no hope of tying off any of these threads, too many now to even name.

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And who in the Hell is “Billy?” Was he left for dead, is he able to talk and give up the caper, of which these two are so proud?  What exactly is Mark Trail going to walk into this time??  And how cute is it that the featured species is mommy and daddy rat and their brood?

Hey now… Watch the hair!!

Let’s not get all mussed up in front of the kid, OK Honey??

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Such awkwardness… Cherry gets all moon-faced and and wraps her arms around Mark.  And it would seem that Mark is either sick of driving after that long trip with Rusty or he’s actually thinking about the family budget- Airport parking rates can add up, especially when he’s likely to be in South Dakota for a couple of months…  Make sure you pack enough underwear, Mark!!

Sure Mark… If you get back…

OK, enough with the prattle… besides, what on earth is that deer in the first panel doing, looking straight up??  Very strange behavior.  But then, I’m not a deer.

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Well, have fun on your trip Mark.  I have a feeling this time we won’t be wondering what’s going on “back at the ranch…”  Oh, that’s right, Mark is going to a Ranch… and a Ghost Town.  Oooooooooo……

What? More setup??

This is once again becoming excruciating.  It’s like James Allen has a “See and Say” pulls the cord, and watches as the arm spins… What kind of animal will I feature today?  Doesn’t matter what’s indigenous where…  tomorrow we will probably be blessed with Polar Bear!

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Sure!  Let’s go to Mexico!  I’m sure no one will be mad at us there!  Let’s make sure we get a complete set of “Make America Great Again” hats… that will be awesome!!

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Yeah… some gear.  I can see Rusty bobbing about above a reef when a large tide pulls him out to sea… careful Rusty- this is all an elaborate plan to take you out of the picture!

Yea… sure Mark…

We’ve heard this one before… the promise of a “trip…” Just you and Rusty… Right, Mark?

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What a lame-o excuse though, “sometimes my trips can get a little hectic.”  What the heck does that mean??  In the words of Obi Wan, Rusty, “Your destiny lies along a different path” than Mark’s.  You need to stay home and be marauded by Dirty Dyer… thought we forgot about him, huh?  Nope, Dirty’s coming to do a little hunting of his own…

No, Rusty, he just masquerades as one…

…you know, like in one of those Wild West shows that used to travel about…  He’s really from Camden, NJ but grew tired of life in the shadows of tall buildings, so after he got his film degree, he moved to the Great Plains where he found his true identity with the First Nations People and they accepted him, not unlike Dustin Hoffman’s Character in Little Big Man, from which he found inspiration while learning to make films…

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The comics-time continuum has snapped back to real time, as we are asked to endure the entire ride home from the fishing grounds… Maybe we get to see something different next week…

Thus endenth, hopefully, the lesson…

Poor Rusty.  Even from a distant, moving vehicle we can see that he is staring out his window, rapidly losing interest in the topic that he started… That’ll learn ya, boy!

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So, you got that?  Nature just feeds on itself in one big, virtuous cycle…  How fitting that the raven is overlooking the proceedings today.  Perched expectantly in a Magnolia tree, a sign that may prairie dogs will soon meet their fate, if not Cherry at the hands of Dirty Dyer… remember him??