Mark? Mark who?

Finally, a reference to the ONE, the ONLY…  the MARK


And why are you so sure, Johnny?  Why would Mark go the CHURCH?  Because he is a particularly religious man?  Never mind that you are correct (despite the fact that he got waylaid into the SALOON…) it’s nice to see that we might even be closing the circle here?  Oh, such a tease you are James Allen…

Completely off topic (other than it involves Mark…) below is an animated piece done by a true fan…  and if I’m not mistaken, it uses a storyline from a pre-Allen period.  No sound, and wait for it to load…


Or Smart enough??

… Cuz that’s the category you’d be in, Sheriff… you did afterall plan ahead with the candy bars…



Bad puns aside, Johnny, I don’t think you have to worry too much about hurting Ol’ Sheriff Stober’s feelings…  and by the way, leave the punning to the master, Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine

Well, that only took a month or so…

…to resolve the question of “What will we do when we encounter Samson, the Grizzly, who is completely out of range and never leaves the cave?” mystery.  Wheeewee!  Still my beating heart!!


Meanwhile, back somewhere else…  Why don’t we cut to Mexico, or the Caribbean, or the desert southwest, or Kuala Lumpur?  It would make as much sense as anything…

Yup, just like in the movies…

Sorry Campers.  Saturday came and went and the muse didn’t strike…  it was a loverly, mid-summer-like day in the 90’s with humidity to match, and we had nothing going on so we took full advantage of it!  I’ve been pondering the “NUTZ” candy bar punchline for a couple of days now and it’s not entirely out of line…


…having done some camping and hiking in bear country, we never took any food into our tents, but rather aways suspended our victuals, especially sweets, high above the ground, ideally between two trees, in a “Bear Bag.”  If we were in a fixed campsite, there was invariably a “Bear Box” made of heavy duty metal to stow items that might arouse interest, even toothpaste.  The consequence of breaking those rules would be dire- having a bear come visit you in your tent!  Haul you out by your head!  No thank you!!


… said the graduate of film school…  And how nice of Sheriff to unwrap the candy bars…  no sense in having Samson’s tummy ache over trying to pass foil or whatever the candy is wrapped in…

Speaking of movies (OK, serial dramas on Netflix) we just finished watching the first season of OZARK.  Four Stars.  Highly recommend it.  But it got me thinking about one of the common memes surrounding drug trafficking and that lifestyle- what to do with all the neatly stacked Bundles of Benjamins…  In OZARK, we are presented with an anti-hero, one Marty Byrde, who is laundering money for a large Mexican Cartel.  Unlike Breaking Bad where we get to see Walter White go from mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher to drug kingpin Heisenberg, we find Marty already into this life, and the effect it is having on him and his family.  ‘Nuff said, no spoilers… But back to the Benjamins.  Ever wonder how the cash turns into 100-dollar-bills, neatly stacked with a wrapper around them in $10,000 units?  I did the other day and found nothing satisfactory in the way of answer.  Supposing you are in the trade, and your customers all pay with greasy, grimy 5’s and 10’s and maybe 20’s.  You are a long way from 100’s.  And it’s not like you can walk into your neighborhood credit union with you sacks full of cash and request that it be turned into crisp, bound 100-dollar-bills…  at least not without arousing suspicion.  The best answer I found is taking all the small bills to a Casino, buying chips, playing a few hands, and then cashing the chips in…  but that is certainly limited when we consider the sums that are supposedly being laundered… Suffice it to say that with the amount of googling done on this topic, I am probably on someone’s list by now…


I think Samson’s pissed…

…mostly because, hey, who likes to get startled from a sound sleep?  That, and it looks like Sheriff Stober has a bear claw festooned band on his hat… although you’d never know it by the coloring job… they are see-through in the second panel.  And why do they call it a Bear Claw Pastry when clearly it looks more like a Bear Paw??


Johnny!  Listen, boy!  Do what the Sheriff says!!  Now is not the time to be putting Ol’ Sampson (Cousin of Rex over by Cutter’s Bluff?) down!  Reach into the bag!!

Walking meat sacks

That’s all we are to a predator… a walking meat sack.  and given the size of this guy, he needs a good sized meat sack every now and then…


So as Johnny goes from looking like Gene Simmons (without makeup of course) to someone completely different in the next panels,


Sheriff Stober (who has to stand for election every so many years) continues to act all mysterious-like, not really letting Johnny in on the broader plan… Just “reach in my pocket (saddlebag, whatever) and hand me the contents!”  whatever…

Well, we all know a thing or two about snoring…

Snoring, growling, what’s the difference?  All we know is that today’s installment does little to move this “story” along…


But one thing we do know is that the ‘low rumbling sound’ is not the sound of a lion pride… recall the little head fake we were subjected to back in February when we thought Mark might be traveling back to the Heart of Darkness?  What are we doing here, people?  Seriously.  What are we doing here?

He does have a name!!

Sheriff Stober!  I know… All I would have had to do is go back through the dailies, but they are painful the first time around, so I was content to not multiply the discomfort!


So with Mark and Crew safe inside the saloon, we cut back to the cave where we are hoping for an encounter with the Shut-in, Cave-bound Grizzly.  Seriously, is he like Bat Boy of Weekly World News Fame?

Speaking of shut-ins, or not, check out the Believe It or Not entry from yesterday:


I am choosing to NOT believe this… not that Ray and Wilma probably haven’t been to 99.85% of the World’s Cracker Barrel locations, and why not the last one we wonder… but  really??  5 million miles?  The earth’s circumference is roughly 25,000 miles, meaning they could have circled the earth 200 times…  or gone to the Moon and back 10 times!!  C’mon, let’s do a little fact checking here!

Mark Remembers the Civil Defense Drills!

That’s right,Mark, get inside, and when there isn’t a basement (which I think there is…  tunnels, anyway…) take shelter inside an interior doorway!  Mark probably even remembers climbing under his school desk to protect himself from an atomic bomb!


So with Baldy reunited with his money, stowed, apparently, in a bed-roll, he wears a smile that we haven’t seen, probably, well, ever…


Yea, see, I’m just gonna sashay on up to the bar, order myself a couple of shots of rot-gut, and get the next stage outa here… see??