Dirty, I am sure your folks have long assumed your demise…

I mean, how would they assume otherwise when your self-determined sobriquet is “Dirty??”  And isn’t there a law concerning the self appointment of one’s own nickname?  Sort of like in Seinfeld when George thought it would be great to have the nick-name “T-Bone…”  and despite his best efforts it not only didn’t take but got attached to someone else!!  And he ends up with the nickname “Koko” after a monkey someone knew!

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Really?  The “Tingling Bros. Circus?”  That your parents used to take you to?  Considering the amount of care you were showing the Native Rhinoceros population, I find it a little difficult to buy that you have a love for circuses!  Unless of course it was the fact that the animals were caged and abused… so maybe this does all fit…

Well, anyway, welcome back Dirty.  If this is actually the start of a story line, and not a head fake, settle in folks. It wont be resolved until late summer or early fall…

Dirty, I’ve never been so glad to see anyone in my life!!

OK that’s a bit of an overstatement, but if the sight of you and your scared face is the price to pay to never see Baldy, Blondie and Pilot McPonytail again, I will gladly pay it!!  Recall too, those of you who might be joining the journey late, that Chris “My friends call me Dirty” Dyer was last seen dead after a fiery explosion over the smuggling of Rhino Horns… And since Mark is calling him “Chris,” we can assume that he did not consider him a “friend…”

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So what is Chris Dyer doing casting about in Miami??  One thing’s for sure… He’s as surprised to see a newspaper box as any of us would be… right up there with finding a pay-phone!!

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Brickell Bay…  not quite South Beach…

That was a really looong walk for a short drink of water…

Really?  Can this be it?

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A cut here and paste there, a bad one-liner, and voila!  The story wraps up!

I guess it takes a nature writer to know when too leave well enough alone… despite whatever “arrangement” one might have with Nature…

And are we to believe that this all just goes to plan?  That the Trio of Terribles will just comply now that they have been “caught?”  OK, Whatever…

 

Johnny! Why you doin’ the perp walk?!

Seriously.  There is so much wrong with today’s installment I barely know where to begin…

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By “these three” one would assume by looking at the picture that Johnny is among them, right?  Yea, and what about that Grizzly? (Yes Mark, there was an entire story line that didn’t involve you…) Does he only object to people walking toward (what’s left of) the Ghost Town and lets people leaving get a pass?  Or does Sheriff Stober have a fresh stash of Nut Goodies in his other pocket?  And what about the trip back to Jimmy and Sarita’s?  The one that takes days  into weeks to accomplish, even on Horseback, which they don’t have at this point?  And do you really expect these desperados to remain compliant, even without being shackled?  And what about the FBI who is still safely sheltering in place during all the tornado activity?  Finally, what happened to the bedroll full of cash from the bank?  Blown from there to Kingdom Come I would imagine…

Yup… and standing there talking about it ain’t doing you much good…

I have to hand it to Lone Elk…  It’s as if he’s seen this all before… Or he’s just entirely bored with the story line.  If that’s the case, I totally commiserate…  I have a choice as to whether I come back… He’s stuck in the middle of it!

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But I thought they wanted to get to the bank… or at least the tunnels below it… And I figured that they’d be inside already lifting up the trap door!  Saying hello to Samson!

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Yak, yak, yak…  But look at Mrk’s hair in the second frame!  Not that’s a twister!! One that can dishevel the ‘do!  But now I am confused- again- is that the trap door slamming shut?  Is Mark on the other side of it??  Or did the entire structure come down on top of him??  I’m not really worried, since no one dies in the James Allen Trailverse…  and he wouldn’t have a job if he killed off Mark.  Unlike that rotten-to-the-core political operative Johnny Walker, who went over a cliff with a wounded elk…  Ha!  Get it?!  Johnny Lone Elk… Johnny Walker killed by an elk??  I guess there are only so many word combinations to draw from here…

See Jane run!

Thanks, Mark, for once again pointing out the obvious…

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If I recall, Johnny knows where he’s going, Sheriff…

Unless Johnny thinks he can dodge a funnel cloud by taking a less direct route and changing course repeatedly…

Happy Turkey Day, all.  Got a date with a 21-pounder on the Weber grill…  along with Bourbon Sweet Potatoes and other fixings.  Oh yea, and the Vikings are playing the Lions… GO LIONS!  Can’t let those dirty bums run away with the NFC North, especially after what they did to the Pack!  Or should I say what they did to the one player who converts the Packers from mediocre to contenders every year…

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Like Lambs to the Slaughter…

It would seem that a broken right hand and a fall from the sky is all it takes to (finally) subdue these desperados…  Such sad faces signaling defeat!  No fight left in them at all…

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And thank you Sheriff for pointing out the Bank… I guess it doesn’t say “Bank,” it just looks like every other non-descript, camel-brown building on this abandoned main street…  And what’s with your right hand?  All withered and shriveled and decrepit?  Ick.

You know, let’s hope that they ignore, or at least don’t believe, the story of the Grizzly… Have Samson attack and eat them.  That would be awesome!

Do you think the artist is sick of drawing rain drops?

Probably, but not a sick as we are of looking at them…  Remember the remake of the movie Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick?  Singing in the rain?  Remember how it never stopped raining that entire movie?  I never realized that until it was over…  very dark.

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Speaking of dark, that’s where you are heading, sweetheart.  No question that you were in on this whole thing.  What?  Did you get a romantic urge to play a latter day Bonnie Parker?  Not like Baldy ever approached the charm of a Clyde Barrow

So now they are all going to go to the Bank to hole up in the caves and wait out the storm, never mind that they have been adversaries for months now… that there may be a hard feeling or two connected to this… But no, not in the Trailverse, apparently.  No one stays mad, no one dies, people fall out of the sky and land on a haystack.  REdemption is always around the next corner…  Why, I am sure that all the bad people had rotten childhoods without the requisite support network.  No one starts out bad… they just get that way for lack of love!  Baldy doesn’t need prison… he needs a stretch on a couch, talking to a professional, creating strategies to break the cycle of generational thievery!

Yup, you keep an eye on the Bald Guy…

…and make sure you keep your gun barrel pointed up at the sky… that’s the best way to catch as much rain as possible…  and I guess that Baldy doesn’t realize that the gun jammed, so is still treating it and the Sheriff with respect…

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But Mark… moving the injured?  He said his back hurts.  But apparently not so much that he can’t walk.  What a wuss…  falls from the sky and crashes through a barn wall only to be led to safety by his captors…

And the Tornado, which has been kept at bay for the last week’s worth of minutes (if you know what I mean) suddenly reappears and begins to bear down on the crippled cohort…

Weeeee! Look at ‘im go!

‘Chute ripped from his harness, Pilot McPonytail hurtles across the sky like a cruise missile, while the three amigos simply watch slack-jawed and gob-smacked.

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I suppose that the last week or two worth of installments represents mere seconds in actual time, but I am still wondering why the hell Baldy isn’t in cuffs, knocked cold or subdued in some way… He’s still the bad guy and still has fight left in him.

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As for today’s installment, I grow increasingly confident that Mr. Allen is drawing inspiration from your comments!  Why Just the other day Richard Bryant, Esq. predicted that Pilot McPonytail would land in a “convenient haystack…” and voilà! it is so!

And of course Mark is immediately on the scene, inquiring after his welfare… as the pilot-turned-projectile miraculously survived being tossed through a wall at terminal g-force velocity, able to raise a crooked hand as if to indicate that any spinal cord injury is in the lumbar and not the cervical region…