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Ditch Digger

133 thoughts on “Ditch Digger

        1. There’s not a scrap of blue in your costume and you’re speaking with an English accent. This makes NO sense. None.

        2. But if you know your history it really does make perfect sense.

          In other words…

          Your boy’s a limey fork-flinger, Mother.

      1. Like Dan Akroyd’s Cigarette in “Ghostbuster’s”? That was one of the most epic dangles I’ve ever seen in cinematic history.

        1. Which is all the more epic since it WASN’T supposed to dangle….. but it was so awesome the editor/directors went with it…..

        2. Over 17 hours later an no comments about epic dangles in cinematic history? I feel like I’ve misjudged the Internet.

      1. Speaking of filter, I’m still stuck on trying to figure out what “ditch” is subbing for. Mama Buckingham was obviously struggling to talk about something she found distasteful. I’m sure it will make sense when revealed but right now “ditch” seems like it came out of nowhere.

        1. Well, I think it is a euphemism for Juniper’s apartment, she is obviously not very neat, and perhaps it is not in a good part of town? Cheap and dirty?

        2. Venkagoback,

          The mother is taking Anise’s lead on the “ditch” since she herself doesn’t know where exactly Juniper lives. Which is probably with friends, pretty much anywhere someone has a couch or carpet samples to spare.

        3. Having been going through Archer DVDs recently, I was thinking “whore island”, though Cinnamon probably would’ve felt compelled to complete the quote at that point and get herself immediately thrown out.

        4. ‘Cheap and dirty’ does sound like Juniper.

          I mean, like something Juniper would go fo… oh, who am I kidding.
          I mean like Juniper!

    1. I think she’s equal parts ignorant and naive. But such terms are rarely common in everyday vernacular. A much more common term is “dumb” which is what her sisters christened her.

      And in this strip, she’s certainly earned her namesake!

        1. I would probably say selfish more than anything right now, but, I’mma go and get a dictionary.

          Let me see, d-i-t-….

  1. Damn Cinn! why not throw yourself in front of a car while u are at it??
    But i have to give it to her, she sure knows how to give her mother a reality check about her own deeds..

    Also, love how Pumpkin’s face is completely horrified :)
    But id does make u wonder where Juniper is living now.(if not always)

    1. Not sure what deeds Mom needs a reality check on. She a mother with a husband and yes 7 kids. But it doesn’t look like she a “bad” mom but a very frustrated one trying to cope with a daughter that, as Rusche stated, has no mental filter. I would also say Cinnamon has no sense of self preservation either.

    2. I don’t think it’s a “reality check” like you said. Cinnamon said something that SHOULDN’T have been said. I may not have been Rosemary’s biggest fan, but there is no excuse for a child being so disrespectful to her parents.

      There was easily a more tactful way of telling her mother about her bedroom activities, but to state it so blithely is insulting. To state it the way she did in response to her mother’s statement is just plain wrong.

      Pretty sure that Mrs. Buckingham has bothered her children at some point, but she doesn’t need a reality check.

      1. Ellie’s question brought it up, not Rosemary’s. I’m far from a Cinnamon fan, but her issue here is not recognizing when she should shut up or say, “Well! How ’bout that local sports team!”

        In my experience, sexual conversation taboos vary pretty widely from family to family (and sometimes parent to parent, my mom’s much more comfortable to talk openly about that sexual topics than my dad), though the other sisters’ response does suggest the Buckinghams aren’t particularly low taboo.

        1. Damn it. I need to get in the habit of proofreading when I go back and rephrase something…

        2. Ellie asked a question, and Cinnamon made the statement. I wrote what I wrote in response to someone saying that Rosemary was getting a reality check. A reality check is more inline with the intention of putting someone in his/her place who needs to be put in their place. Cinnamon was being obliviously rude by throwing a fact in her mother’s face.

  2. Oh, oh, oh! What if “you can go room with Juniper in her ditch” is really just a veiled threat from mom? There is the “i’m going to stab you” look mom is giving Cinn, she obviously wants to make sure her daughters turn out well……

    Did mom kill Juniper and bury her out back? Is she threatening to do the same to Cinn if she doesn’t get her shit together? Is this the ultimate kick-out method???

    No..I really don’t think that, but hey; if Chris wanted to suddenly make this a slasher/horror comic, this would be the perfect time to swing it around.

    This strange comment brought to you by Monday Morning, and the fact others have already said what I was gonna say, lol.

    As always, awesome work Chris. Hope you got some time to recharge yourself over the weekend. And this worked really well as one strip. If part of this was supposed to be Friday and part today, I think it worked out that Friday’s got pushed back.

    1. I think it worked out better as well. That was the good thing about not having any of it finalized. I could move the panels around and change the dialogue flow.

        1. But the creepy looking guy who could have been the killer was kicked in the wookie. Maybe the bug gas will do something to his brain and we … I’m going to quit this line of thinking.

        2. Though to put my assumption in some context when I first started reading Shotgun Shuffle the header was a close up of Emo girls blood soaked claws and tired guys cast silhouette looked more menacing (like shotgun and gas mask menacing, not frail old guy on oxygen tank menacing) so I was anticipating a shocking twist into Evil Dead 2 style comedic violence at any moment. While I still hold out hope for that eventually I’m starting to assume it isn’t going to happen. Though I guess I’m still pretty satisfied with how it’s turned out.

  3. So very many kinds of wrong, but at the same time so very very funny lol

    Honestly not sure what to say about this strip. I mean, I have a LOT I could say, its just a matter of trying to choose. I’ll leave it at ‘I love Cinn’ I think lol

    1. I dont think she is gay….but I honestly wouldnt be surprised if she was bi. Though I think her orientation is most likely along the lines of ‘doesnt care’ at this point.

      1. personally, I don’t care. Just don’t use it for getting ahead of others in business and such. That’s what talent is for. And not the people named talent, or the little people of which you steal their talented works and claim for your own. . .

    1. And I don’t know if you said something about this in previous posts, but how Christian is Mama Buckingham? That could explain her discomfort with discussing this topic.

        1. Oops. I guess it makes sense that her mother wouldn’t call her home a ditch right in front of her. Anise’s hair then.
          Juniper is the slutty one then.

      1. She reminds me a lot of my mom, so I’m guessing she’s pretty Christian like mine. But she’s probably an open-minded one. She’s knows and accepts that her daughters will likely be having pre-marital sex, and she is not condemning them for that.

        Whether she’s very religious or not, though, hearing one of her young daughters talking about shacking up with a guy is probably rather uncomfortable. There may be a time and place for that conversation, but it’s not when the family is gathered for a little birthday party.

        1. Considering her comment to Ellie at the start of the comic about finding a rich boyfriend, she’s not shy about hinting it, even if she doesn’t say it as openly.

        2. WOOOOKIE.

          Nah, I just think that her mom was pissed off at the time said comment was made, and was an appropriately placed stab at trying to get her daughter’s rear in gear, instead of reared, so to pun.

        3. No disagreement that Rosemary said that in anger, and I never took it to be a serious suggestion. However, I do think what a person says when they’re pissed off is a good thing to take into account when attempting to evaluate what they truly believe as opposed to what they want to consider themselves to believe.

        4. I just read that three times, and I’m still confused. When a person is pissed off, they’re more likely to state the cold hard truth than to bite their tongue?

        5. I consider it more that what a person says at any given time is governed by several concerns. Being pissed off is more a rolling of the dice and chancing the average levels of concern about various things. Say think about if you were the person you ideally wish you were, think about the person you were at your absolute worst, the person you were at your most tired, the person you were at your most excited, and the person you were when you felt that everything was going against you. Each of those “persons” has a different weight to their vote. When you’re happy, bored, angry, horny, drunk, tired, mischievous, confused, or whatever other variation you happen to be at, there’ll be some degree of different weight between each of those “persons.” I named five options off the top of my head, now think about having 20-100 of those options.

          That’s what I’m saying about judgement of a person involving their being in different mental states, with anger being an interesting one for observation compared to a calm/normal state.

          As a somewhat mathematical thinker, I consider it as attempting to observe an N dimensional object through an (N-M) dimensional filter (where N & M are both positive with N > M). Each observation gives more information to start to approach the fully N dimensional object, though in practical reality it’s unlikely to reach the full object.

  4. I do find it amusing how even Rosemary has “Oh for the love of God” written on her face in the second to last panel. Ellie’s and Pumpkin’s reactions are great too. Hope you got some sleep Chris!

    1. That look very much reads “If I stab you now I’ll still have six left and I’m with that, don’t push me any further.”

        1. I heard Bill Cosby’s voice saying, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out!” (not that I remember the exact phrasing of that skit right now)

        2. DAMN, I WANTED TO BE THE FIRST TO SAY THAT. You took the thought out of my grey matter. Except the mother would be more like, when I think of all the stretch marks and bloating and wet pants that you did to me, because of you, the pain, I was in labor for 72 hours, 36 minutes and twenty two seconds with you. It felt like world war four in there, you pushing your sister around. You don’t think I felt that. It was worse than a John McEnroe tennis match against Jimmy Connors.

        3. Bill Cosby: My father established our relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, “You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.”

        4. Bill Cosby: My mother said to me: “When your father gets home, he’s going to shoot you in the face with a bazooka! And I’m not going to stop him this time, either! You know, he’s always wanted to kill you! The day you were born, he said, ‘Kill it!’ *I* stopped him from killing you for *eleven years*…

          [he starts sobbing]

          Bill Cosby: …and this is the thanks I get for saving your life!”

        5. You know, I listened to those bits when I was younger (as in under 10 years old), and Mom still pointed at Dad’s fraternity paddle and I did have the expected reaction (even though Dad mentioned to me after I was grown that he’d never used a paddle on me because he wasn’t sure about the level of force and was concerned).

          I know Bill Cosby may seem old fashioned to some people these days (and be too associated with pudding pops), but damn if he didn’t have some good points.

          Also, I feel old for other reasons this week (saw someone who mentioned her graduating class was identical to mine that I thought was MINIMUM five years older than me), but this also helps confirm that.

        6. But will we eventually see a car chase that ends with nine hundred cop cars at the bottom of Spook Hill?

  5. Wow. Cinn doesn’t have any sort of transition between brain and mouth does she. I love Pumpkin’s expression. And Ellie’s facepalm.

  6. So Rosemary has a violent identical twin… who dresses exactly like her?

    Also, Cinnamon… now I see why you are The Dumb One.

  7. Well, this is one time Cinnamon can’t blame it on Ellie!

    Speaking of Ellie, I love her cringing in the fourth panel…

  8. Sweet Lord, Cinnamon really is the dumb one. That’s a special kind of stupidity to go and push mama’s buttons like that, especially when mama is already miffed with you, regardless of whether it’s your birthday or not.

    She’s got a bad case of brutal honesty, and unfortunately cannot seem to put the brakes on it when she’s getting herself into trouble. Is it poor socialization that makes her think it’s alright to start back-talking her mother about sex when the family is eating? Her trademark stupidity? Or is there something just a bit deeper going on in Cinnamon’s mind? Time will tell.

  9. time to change my avatar…Cinn is slowly falling down on my “like” list. Eegads woman, calm your chatter! haha

    but panel 5 is seriously funny to me, love it!

  10. So in the pic with the panel where the matriarch of clan Buckingham looks alternating simmering rage/stabbity time she reminds me VERY strongly of someone I knew growing up, specifically a friends Italian (Sicilian specifically) mother. Something about the cheek bones and the “I’m in charge and don’t you forget it” power scowl. Which reminded me of the fact I’ve noticed more than once that Ellie seems to have a slightly (and I mean slight, it’s sublte but definitely noticeable) darker skin tone than some of the other characters which I think I initially assumed was stereotypical appearance fixated tanning. Is there a question somewhere in there? I’m not even sure, I lost track. Oh yea, Buckingham family tree. I don’t usually speculate webcomic character ancestory but when I do I make horribly tenuous allusions to popular commercial inspired memes.

    I have no idea where I’m going with this so I’ll just stop now. It’s a not enough caffiene sort of day again…

    1. Closest conspiracy theory I can think of is Mama Buckingham miscarried and adopted the children of two other completely different women (hence Ellie’s different coloring, Cinnamon’s behavior, and neither Ginger nor Tarra asking why Mommy didn’t get fat like with Juniper).

      Honestly I’m going to to with hair/clothes/background coloring and comparison panels being pretty rare with tanning possibilities for an additional variation (maybe enjoying more well-rounded laziness with outside laziness along with inside laziness). Today’s example has her in more obvious shadow than Pumpkin, and I don’t have a good eye for such things, but looks within expected normal variation for siblings to me.

      Also, I like the phrase ‘stabbity time’ and am going to nominate 3:29 AM as ‘stabbity time’ because no one wants to be woken up at 3:29 AM.

      1. She stole all of those kids out of the hospitals from 300 miles away, and left a rock wrapped in plastic wrap in the bassinets. She walked out of the Hospitals dressed like what’s her name in “Kill Bill.”

        But actually, seeing as how this is Florida, seven kids, and upper middle class, with that hair and crucifix. Is Mother Buckingham Cuban?

        1. I think you’re looking for the name of Elle Driver.

          Which is preetty close to Ellie, but not quite.

  11. I appreciate that the troublemaker’s familiar name is “Cinn”. I suspect webcomic license for how the character was intended to turn out, though in real life I wonder how often during Cinn’s hijinx Rosemary would’ve found herself wondering if she’s jinxed her child’s nature by giving her that name.

    Also, I am quite fond of the spice Cinnamon, but not the character at all, so it’s nice to have another official name for her.

  12. Rusche, cannon question. Going in this story arc, the early (go w/ the rich boyfriend) comic, and Ginger’s self-named intro comic, Rosemary eyes have no iris and a white shine in the pupil. Anise has the same eyes in this story arc, but blue irises on her self-named intro comic, Small Town Saturday Night comic, and the cast page. Which is intended?

    I ask not to be a pain, but more because they’re expressive in slightly different ways with a blue iris or without, and I’m curious if you’re changing the direction you were considering taking her character, balancing more sisters to have Rosemary’s eyes, or just an oops.

    Considering that I can count on one hand all the people in real life whose eye color I remember, I do find it odd that I’m noticing this.

    1. It just depends on the shot. Sometimes Quinn’s close enough I make her eyes green. It’s just a fluctuating thing I tend to do. Probably borders on ‘bad habit.’

      1. I have zero problem with “Artistic license where both A & B fit and I use whichever is closest to this particular chosen expression.” Attempting to fit a true personality into such a short space can require such devices.

    1. Well Ginger passed on special characters. Letters might be female and special characters male, or maybe each generation is a different character class and he’ll be a number (I vote 73 if he’s a number).

  13. I love how the wallpaper is seamless in panels six and seven. But someone earlier mentioned that the mom’s twin sister is there as well.

    I think that someone, somewhere had performed the Picard Maneuver.

    Or is that just what happens when someone says something so utterly and profoundly stupid.

    Like when Hilly ate that second piece of chocolate custard pie. . . .

  14. I… think most people are displeased with her but I can’t help but like Cinnamon a bit for that. Makes me think of all the times I wanted to say something blunt like that… but knew it was a bad idea. So it amuses me, especially because I tend to not mind talking about sex at all from a disconnected point of view… but I know it freaks most people out.

    1. I see Cinnamon with Adam Sandler’s “Billy Madison” mixed in with Jim Carrey’s “Lloyd Christmas” from Dumb and Dumber, with the Three Stooges, Chrissy Snow from “Three’s Company” along with vapid, clueless and two of the other dippy dinks from the tales of Bobby the Bearded Lumberjack and the six dippy broads.

      1. Your comment reminds me of an odd situation in college.

        I don’t remember the situation, be at least one friend and I were near some other guy I kinda’ knew. At some point, due to a provocation I don’t remember (with a hazy thought that it might be related to an episode of Quantum Leap, for some reason), the guy I kinda’ knew said something to the effect of, “That’s screwed up, women shouldn’t be allowed to wear pants.” (The implication here being wearing pants as opposed to a skirt/dress.) The other friend’s immediate response was, “Yeah, what the hell! Women should wear nothing but panty hose, suspenders, and be given a jump rope!”

        I remember keeping a straight face and the guy I kinda’ knew stating agreement and then kinda’ looking confused as we immediately walked away before either of us lost it.

  15. Oooooh boy… Cinnamon just made an uncomfortable situation even weirder… I’ve got to hand it to her… for once she didn’t pull the: “Ellie did it!” card. That… that counts for something… right?

    Also, and I know it’s going to get me a dirty look from Rusche… but how did Anise get rid of the cake on her face from the previous comic so quickly?! Is it a continuity error, or did she just wipe it off in her hair?

    1. Anise is a cake eating pro and wouldn’t let any of that go to waste. I’m picturing an off screen moment between strips where she cleaned her own face with her tongue like Scooby Doo.

      Just me?

      Ok then…

      1. I could see the off screen Scooby Doo, but my first thought was actually that she originally taught McFatFat his vacuum trick and she has sufficient control to just get the cake and icing around her mouth and not, say, the plate in front of her too.

        And as to not playing the “Ellie did it” card when talking about her sex life for her boyfriend…that can easily be misunderstood. Also Cinn may be dumb, but she’s gotta be cunning to have managed with little enough mishap to not be in a lot worse trouble by now. And I suspect she experienced Ellie’s reaction to being accused of sexual indiscretions in high school often enough to know better by now.

        1. In my experience, a person’s position smart/dumb axis seems significantly less related to the degree of cunning displayed than I’d expect.

  16. As much as Cinn is digging her own grave with every comment, “We have to hear when you and dad have it” makes me laugh every single re-read.

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