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Family Dynamic

I'm starting a Google Hangout, which can be found HERE. You will need a Google+ account if you don't already have one. You may as well now, since it will be part of your chip implant by 2020. Feel free to conversate with me or among yourselves in real time if you'd like. This hangout isn't intended strictly for the comic, but to also allow my awesome readers to talk to each other. Or me. Which ever. You can add me to your circle as well. This may actually get me to USE Google+. Who knows. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I laughed because THIS is somehow real. I've seen this in comments before, and I've actually received a few emails on it just this weekend. And it concerns the warm clothing the girls are wearing in our post-holiday-holiday epic. It's pointed out this comic takes place in Florida, and the characters are heavily overdressed, winter season or not... since it's all happening in Florida. Now, for all who mentioned it, I'm not pointing you out for saying so; I'm actually going to comment on it here for anyone else who may be scratching their heads about it. There are a few things you have to consider, and that I can attest to being a native Floridian. 1) It DOES get cold in Florida. And not just this year from Polar Vortex 1-6 or whichever we're on now. My relatives who are of the snowbird variety (vacation their winters in southern states) have had their share of years they failed to bring warm clothing and froze their asses off. If you show up to Florida in, say, mid-January to venture Disneyworld with only flip flops and shorts.. you will likely be hitting up a Walmart for hoodies and jeans. Yes, it's not snow, and it's not freezing. But it can drop into the 40's or further. 2) Floridian's are warm-natured people. Low seventies to high sixties, people are crackin' out said hoodies and jeans. We are used to sweating, and fleeing to air conditioning since 70% of our day is spent in 100% sweltering humidity. When the hurricanes come, and power goes out for days to weeks, we're akin to it. The opposite is also true. Put a southerner up north in 30 degrees or less (like me) and we can hardly stand it. We think anyone in short sleeves during such an ice age is completely crazy. We get cold much easier. 3) Fashion. Women in the south are the same as anywhere else. They have warm weather attire just as they have every other season. And, come on... it's gotta be shown off sometime. They probably have more swimwear,sure..  but as soon as we're 70-65 degrees in Florida.. it's fuzzy boots, leather jackets, and every type of peacoat.  They bought it for a reason! Did some Florida girl you know go to Colorado last year and pick up a Northface jacket as a momento? You better damn well believe the first day she's back home, and it's cold enough outside, that thing gonna be worn! She's gotta explain what Northface is! It's not like Floridans ever heard of it! Shiiiiiiiiii... Hell, people wear sweats and hoodies in the 80's in Florida. It's comfortable. As long as you're not sweating in it, it can be worn.

190 thoughts on “Family Dynamic

      1. It seems like! At least *~that~* explains the code names, and pops not wanting the police involved…

        …and might be why the rent-a-cops (mall security) know Anise on a first name basis. Well, other than her constant attempts to seduce the bearded bearer of gifts.

      2. You know half the reason that preacher’s children are destined to be troublemakers is that, in my experience, all of the church members expect you to be good. It also didn’t help that everyone referred to me as the pastors kid (talk about identity crisis).

    1. Yeah…did not see that coming. It does perfectly explain the whole “tendency to get yourselves arrested” thing from Thanksgiving night, though, and answers more than a few other questions to boot.

      1. I assumed it was an accent of some sorts. Actually I can say I read his voice with a Russian accent after hitting that part and it didn’t even seem odd to consider a wheel chair bound Russian ninja. At least not weird in context.

      2. Hello, I’ll tell you two things I didn’t see coming…

        One, that their father was police chief. Maybe Index Man could have helped with that snafu. But it does explain the need for alternative names.

        Two, the possible assumption that Wheelchair Ninja was a romantic liason for Ta– Mr. RedHead. Honestly, I could only think of two actual reasons that some guy would be waiting in an elevator that way. One, way, way, way too much of an overactive imagination a’la Inspector Clouseau and Kato, or Mr. Redhead was indeed able to prevent a minor boss from becoming, but in the inadvertent battle, she enabled him to become a major boss and nemesis because she didn’t kill him.

        3) Matthew. Talk about your permanent 100% disabilities. He couldn’t even get a job in talk radio. . .

        1. I’m now wondering how many characters keep the same role. Looks like they’ll all at least have the same personality so far.

        2. Not sure I understand “Looks like they’ll all at least have the same personality so far.” Or do you mean that these rogues will have the same attitudes now that they will have later on in the strip?

          I suppose that the only bad thing is that Wheelchair Ninja knows more about the elusive Mr. Redhead’s family.

          I forsee a possible hostage situation with El– Mr. Lavender and Mr. Not Mine being held suspended over a vat of acid full of fricking sharks with fricking lasers on their fricking heads.

        3. Well, James is playing cards with little kids (one of them in a Boba Fett helmet), Richard is tossing aside a guitar controller to use a regular controller on a video game, Herb is still police chief who has an aversion to opening his eyes and is giving abrupt orders, looks like he’s got the same guy helping him with the signal as is notifying him about the mall, Ellie’s problem first customer at GetMart is questioning suicide pill product, and Ted Danson is making a narrated TV appearance.

          Maybe I should say similar/compatible roles instead of same personality?

  1. Nerds in the deep, I like it :) Very nice LotR parody.

    I was not expecting the return of the bank robber, at all. Tarra is going to get a reputation for abuse of the handicapped at this rate. Also (typo alert) odor does not have an e.

      1. Just for further fun, it really should be “run roughshod,” not “run rough shots.” Still, context makes the idea clear just fine!

        1. Look above at the comment I left on your previous post, it was supposed to go here. The one about the accent. I don’t even know how that happened.

      2. As long as you’re correcting typos, there’s been one that has been bothering me for a while that’s never been fixed. “All Rights Resevered.” I know you may have a joke in there about severing things, but it should be “reserved”

    1. OHHH, LOTR; so that’s where it’s from.

      For some reason I had it in my head that this was from Pitch Black and I was reading it to my self in Vin Diesel’s gravely voice.

      1. The story of the Rusche Prince of the Central Time Zone would go pretty well, I think. Just stay out of strange taxis.

      2. Chillin’ out, maxin’ relaxin’ and staying cool…
        Hangin’ out at the Lakeland mall after school?

        Did you really have kids that were up to no good
        Start making trouble in your neighborhood?

      1. Songs with ale are disproportionately skewed towards polka, and really the mood should match EllieQuinn’s journey.

        Speaking of Ginger’s statements, I’m wondering if the “inciting mass hysteria” she’s talking about is Tarra in the toy store or if Cinn gave away what she did.

        1. I’m thinking that with the area of mass hysteria being in the general vicinity of Team Moron (?) that it was a fairly simple stab at 1+1 and her sisters behavior.

          But what I was thinking was epic Scottish or English pubs in the shire, where the bard tells the tale, and the palyer’s play the instruments (whatever. I’m not naming them because of The Beetles. And then we’ll either go on a path of Paul, John, Ringo and uhm.. him; or it’ll jump into Wayne’s World and tiny talking about the “Shitty Beetles”) and people all around had a good time reliving the epic tales through song, music and liquid spirits.

        2. We don’t know if Ginger knows about the issues at Burlington Coat Factory. If she knew about the ratchantulas it would probably either convince her beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was Cinn or make her decide it was way out of her league, though she could know disturbance without details. We do know she knows about the toy store being bad juju of some form, as she sent Ellie there to help.

          On the other hand, Cinn is dumb enough to openly admit she released abominations of nature, used the panic to swipe other peoples’ shopping, and taunt Anise as her mayhem caused the mall cops to re-prioritize flashing. It’s the whole being dumb with no filter thing.

          Cinn is apologizing, suggesting Ginger does know. But Ginger doesn’t seem nearly mad enough to know the truth, so I’m wondering if she’s apologizing for not watching Anise to keep her from flashing Santa or just a generic/nonspecific apology.

          Time, or a comment by Rusche, will tell.

        3. Dagnabbit. I didn’t read your last two sentences. I agree with that last bit, that Mr. Reddish-Yellow was throwing Mr. Grey off of the trail with a sleight of hand, so to speak.

        4. For good drinking songs that aren’t polka try the pirate metal band “Ale storm” the folk metal band “Korpiklaani” or the Irish folk punk bands “Flogging Molly” or “The Tossers.”

        5. Flogging Molly. Yipes. I loved “Drunken Lullabies” until I read the lyrics. Then it was just depressing. I felt betrayed.

  2. Wait a sec, that next to last pannel, is that the room mate that Ellie replaced?

    That aside, yeah, preachers and cops, their kids are always trouble, one of those two things I am, so I can attest to that being true ;)

    1. Not all along. According to Tarra it’s been three years since they got a real list. She did catch on eventually though which is more than can be said for Cinnamon.

      (see Sisters of the Moon 1)

      Anise probably isn’t too concerned anyway, knowing she’s free to pursue her Santa Fetish without worrying about screwing anything up for anyone else (Aside from the bail and such) might save her some guilt.

        1. Oh, I couldn’t be having more fun if I were strapped into a roller coaster backwards with a hot fudge sundae.

    2. I don’t think poor Anice. I more want to give her a high five for knowing about it (even if she missed a year).

  3. As a native Georgian(hailing from the middle part of the state) I got to agree with ya about the temp thing though we atleast wait till it’s the mid 50’s to break out the winter gear.

    1. Here in Michigan, the mid-50s is a time for light jackets, possibly sweatshirts, depending on how much wind is involved. We keep our houses only slightly warmer in the wintertime. Around 70 degrees, many of us will turn to shorts, though I personally will hold out for mid-70s.

      1. I live in Illinois, just south of Chicago. And the weather here is very similar to Michigan, it can get just as cold but probably has less snowfall. (Lake effect cold fronts, yay) Anyway, I remember I used to good naturedly tease a girl I went to college with who was from Georgia, if it was 80 or less she had at least a hoodie on. Her first exposure to below zero temps was hilarious. Picture the kid from Christmas Story who couldn’t put his arms down because he too many layers of clothes on. In a very similar note my cousin married a girl from the Phillipines last year, this is her first winter in the States. Hello Ice 9 vortices from hell. Surprisingly she hasn’t threatened to move back yet.

        1. Most of the time the lake effect stuff ends up swinging down into Michigan City and around Berrien County. This year, however, has been unusually high for snowfall. We’re all a little freaked out by this, especially after last winter’s ten inch total. We’re up over 70 at last report, so…yeah.

        2. Not sure what our total accumulation has been so far this season but yea, we just had another ten inches this weekend. And -11 again this morning. I’m very much ready for spring.

        3. California has been great this year so far. We are having year round summer. You are welcome to visit, but you will need to go home after two weeks; so we don’t run out of water.

        4. We can bring water. It’s disguised as snow. I’m running out of places to put it anyway (Michigan, and not even in the lake-effect snow area).

          I can attest to cold in Florida, though. Last time we went to Daytona Beach, it was 44 degrees for a high. It was warmer here than it was there. We don’t have an ocean view, though.

        5. Amen. I love Michigan, but I am so sick of winter right now. I can handle the cold, but the goddamn drifting snow is really getting to me. I mean, I had to sleep over at work last week because of it. I had no choice there, not when we had a snow plow get stuck in the snow drift covering the entire road right out front.

          Naturally there’s talk about a possible serious winter storm next week with the possibility of 10 to 15 inches of snow. They better be wrong. Otherwise I’m getting my camping gear out and plan on long stay and a hopefully not too long series of back-to-back shifts.

          Weather like this makes it so fun to laugh at southerners once it drops below 50 degrees down there.

        6. If you want to laugh at southerners, I think it was last week that Atlanta got two inches of snow and pretty well shut down.

          I remember my dad & grandpa have had to get some snow plows unstuck with a backhoe at times, though thankfully we don’t get things bad enough for that very often.

        7. As I recall, it wasn’t just snow. It was also ice, and even us Michigan types know ice is not to be trifled with.

        8. Warm as it is normally in Atlanta, ice would be expected from residual heat causing snow to melt during initial fall or refreezing as it turns to night. Ice is certainly very bad, but if you’re aware (and don’t have someone who’s being dumb too near) driving on ice is doable with proper practice and precautions. Honestly for calling in “snow chicken” to work I mainly go by the traffic report on accident counts. If it’s less than a level two and the roads are empty, it’s drivable.

          I’d heard that Atlanta issues were more the percentage of the population that wasn’t familiar with snow/ice driving combined with the scarcity of plows and salt that made things not good, and then the mass exodus of people trying to get out “before it got too bad” was what led to the gridlock and people stuck at work (or kids stuck at school, more precisely).

        9. Yeah TOG, snow and ice, plus it seemed to have hit at peek rush hour traffic. The crazy thing, the newspaper comic “Sally Forth” had something like that a week or two ago.

          But hell, I respect ice and snow. I wanted to go and look at the river yesterday, and I had to drive down about a 12 – 15 degree grade with an Ess curve leading off to a steeeeeeeeep hill on the right, steeeeeep valley full of trees on the left, a country club golf course at the bottom of the hill, but not the end of the curves, squirrels behind me and the road lines up at the end parallel to rail road tracks. And if that doesn’t get you, then the little park where people sit in their cars to watch the river, tug boats and trains go by has two sets of tracks and cliffs.

          Soooo… I put it down in first and lightly rode the brakes about five miles an hour behind you. Then I looked at the river, blinked and went right back up the thing with only a feather of a foot on the gas pedal. My pickup truck didn’t slow down to a crawl, but well, I could have easily been passed by a scooter doing 70 mph.

        10. I’m tucked up in Maine, where people complain about the heat when it gets up to the mid70s to 80s, but will put on windbreakers and sandals when it gets to 50. It scared us when we heard it was colder in the South than it was here a week ago.

        11. I went to Sarasota with my family to visit my brother for Christmas back in ’07 or ’08. Freezing cold Christmas morning, had to have been at least 28 degrees.

        12. Mr. Blue can sleep on the couch, baby. As long as no one is named Bhodisattva. And if anyone, anyone did any postgraduate work at Chino.. I’m going to have to go and get me some new speakers.

        13. I’m pretty happy to be out of lake effect areas. The cold isn’t so bad for me (when not a 20 year record), but the snow always bugged me. Didn’t even like sledding as a kid after age 7 or so.

        14. I loved snow up until I had to drive in it. I’m seriously considering moving south after this winter. NC is looking tempting.

  4. Comic Book Nerd, Fake Spiderman, Wheelchair Ninja, Matthew The Bank Robber…we’re well on our way to a Sinister Six out here. I did not expect this comic to have a Rogue’s Gallery.

    Ooooo, let’s get Alex the Evil Hipster back in to run it. They could even have a Mystery Men-style argument over what the group is called.

      1. The Revenge Society! No…no, that’s stupid. And no, Wheelchair Ninja, we’re NOT calling ourselves “The Poison Fist of the Pacific Rim,” either! The licensing costs alone to get it from the Yakuza would be ridiculous, and we’re not even ON the Pacific. We’re on the ATLANTIC. And Matthew, so help me, if you suggest “The Backwards Burglar Bunch” ONE MORE TIME, I am going to choke you with Fake Spiderman’s own web cartridges.

        1. Stop calling me FAKE Spider-man, I know I’m not really Spider-man but damn dude, that hurts every time I hear it. It’s like salt in the wounds man.

          Besides, I thought we were going with Spider-man and his amazing friends?

        2. One, don’t even suggest that. Stan Lee has ears EVERYWHERE, and I’m not taking that crazy old man on in court. Ever since my parents cut me off I’m taking fast food jobs to keep my apartment; I’m not about to take on “Stripperella” money. Long story short, we are NOT “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends.”

          Two, I’m not calling you Bizarro Spiderman, if that’s what you were hoping for. You’re not the real Spiderman. Therefore you are FAKE Spiderman. Get used to it.

          Honestly, how’s a guy supposed to run a proper revenge league when he can’t even keep everyone on their proper code name?

          …League of Revengers? Mmm…meh. One for the “maybe” pile, I guess.

        3. Now that you’ve mentioned it, Bizarro Spider-man is awesome.

          League of Revengers is to vanilla, we are The Revengenators!

        4. Why oh why couldn’t I get a decent league of villains to work with? I’d even take the Flash’s villains at this point. I have this sinking feeling that the only competent one in the bunch is the ninja.

          All right, fine. You’re Bizarro Spiderman. And…Backwards Burglar…if you’re going to talk, TURN. AROUND.

        5. Dude, I’m totally the star player on this team. Sure he’s a ninja but he’s in a wheelchair if you hadn’t noticed (it’s even in the name man). And it looks like he just had his has ass kicked.

        6. Are you kidding me with this right now? At least The Indian Burn actually got injured in the fighting. Wheelchair Ninja is in a wheelchair. I don’t even know how Backwards Burglar is walking upright right now.

          And don’t even ask about my poor bent Wookie….

          You got your feelings hurt. Excuse me if I’m not putting a lot of faith in you right now, Bizarro Spiderman.

        7. You just proved my point for me, despite withering emotional abuse I emerged from unscathed from the conflict thus far.

          Hey, who’s watching Backwards Boy? I think he’s trying to get through that shopping cart barricade but he keeps pusing the carts further together instead of pulling them apart.

        8. You’re just lucky I haven’t learned how to kick like a mule, you dirty hipster punk. At least I didn’t get kicked in the groin by a little girl.

          Damn, dropped mah gun..

        9. I can’t think of the full group name, but I think “Terra-fied” needs to be in it.

          That said, I really wanna see Neck-Injury-IV-and-Wheelchair Ninja deflect projectiles with his wheels when facing a lesser enemy than Tarra.

      2. Rusche, in keeping with the 70’s & 80’s musical references and considering that people are always going to be telling him to turn around, I’d like to nominate “Bright Eyes” as Matthew’s nickname. I mean, every now and then the wheelchair or traction gear may fall apart, too.

        1. That is quite possibly the worst song in the world to listen to while hungover. You’re an asshole.

    1. You were actually dry heaving instead of faking? I just assumed you were tired of Ginger’s comments and were pretending to get a little peace & quiet.

      1. Technically, considering he probably is over 18 and Pumpkin is under, it should’ve been a knee or heel to the balls that he shouldn’t have recovered from yet.

        1. Only as a bluff by Herb to get the nerds to drop any charges they have against #2 & #7. He knows his girls and I’m sure he knows Tarra wouldn’t have hesitated to kill someone attempting to actually pull something sexual on Pumpkin, so the fact the guy’s alive is enough to let him know it wasn’t sexual.

        2. If I were Herb, and Pumpkin my daughter, while that guy would leave a free man, I probably would’ve scared him to the point that literally shitting himself wouldn’t be unexpected. I’d probably have words with Pumpkin at home about carelessness too and possibly sign her up for some self-defense classes.

          Although in this instance if I were Herb, I’d be most interested in using this guy’s fear to make sure there were no legal issues for Tarra or Pumpkin.

  5. okay, been a lurker for long time, and I normally let these things slide. Today, I guess I just can’t for some reason… *sigh*

    The term is actually “roughshod” not “rough shots”. It comes from the horse-riding era.

    roughshod: adj
    (of a horse) having shoes with nailheads projecting to prevent slipping

    so… if you rode ‘roughshod’ over someone, it would hurt even more because in addition to trampling damage, you would sustain deep lacerations as well.

    Still, “nerds in the deep”, I love it!

      1. It’s also possible that with his neck injury he has a hard time talking. Possibly something keeping his spine generally in place pressing on his vocal cords. His talking could be an attempt at indicating labored speech as well.

        1. Me, I’m halfway wondering if it’s a spoof of Stephen Hawking, or if it’s a sloooooow transformation from Wheelchair Ninja into a Ph.D. of pain, with only a computer voice for commands.

      1. And they make sure that they have the pre-order deposit purchased, receipt copied, scanned, duplicate printed with the original in a safe inside a safe deposit box.

  6. I just realized, it looks like Tarra has an actual Nightwing villain in her rogues gallery. DC introduced a dirty cop whose head got twisted around backwards, so he wore mirrored shades so he could see in front and behind him at all times. His name was “Torque.”

  7. When I was a kid I lived outside of Fort Lauderdale. I was a transplant from the northern midwest and I remember thinking how wimpy the native kids born and raised in FL were during the so called winter. But the other side of the coin is true as well. In July and August I was going what the hell is with this humidity and the locals where “Meh – it ain’t that bad!!”

    1. Wheelchair Ninja is Tired Guy knocked backwards into time to the spot before Mr. Redhead’s team was poisoned. Therefore, she appeared before the committee after creating a paraplegic. But then, he succumbed to Foreign Accent Syndrome during rehabilitation from all of the nursing stereotypical females present in webcomics. But no strong silent types, like Helga.

  8. I wore a jacket every day to school in Florida because it made me look good even when it was 100 degrees out in a metal room filled with 40 other people and no AC, because you could wear a sweater when you needed to instead of wearing that ridiculous uniform that my dad wanted me to wear that 90% of the school was smart enough to get permission to not wear whose parents actually understood it’d get them bullied if they did wear it.

    It gets hot, yes, but I’d hardly say it’s unbearable, and it does prevent sunburn. On the other hand I walk barefoot in the snow now in Vermont so I could just be insane.

  9. HAHAAA Ah, you magnificent bastard. “We cannot checkout” good god, I love it.

    Anyway, on the topic of cold: OOOH MAN I WOULD LOVE 40’S RIGHT NOW. Get some of this snow off the ground, that’s for sure. And the ice. Went through three bags of salt and the corner I’m on is STILL a sheet of ice. I’ma have to break it up or something…

    Funny thing is, I have no tools for that ’cause we’re ALL getting it worse than we normally do right now. I’m in Michigan, so we’re used to snow, but it has just been utterly ridiculous. 40’s would be a friggin’ tropical heat wave right now…

      1. Mr. Blue doesn’t know if anyone else besides Mr. Blue is from Missouri. But Mr. Blue is in the bootheel, and we had three to four inches of ice with the start of the polar vortex. Watched a guy take a six foot pry bar to that stuff. Raise the bar, watch your feet, let go, repeat.

  10. I want to see Ginger commit her own crime now. She may be aiming to be the only straight man in an insane family, but she still got some of those trouble-making genes, enough to push the boundaries of legality. Other than her disobedience of traffic laws, of course.

    I find it unsurprising that poppy is Da Chief. I mean I didn’t have a clue beforehand, but now that I know it really is just fits. I have a feeling the cops at the station just love the girls. It probably makes their jobs rather fun, bringing them in to talk to their poppy.

    Since none of them are currently incarcerated, I have to wonder. Does he invent special punishments for the girls, so they stay out of prison but justice is still served? Or does he just let them run around and do whatever so long as they don’t leave incriminating evidence?

    1. Well, for Anise, with ambiguous topfreedom laws in Florida he probably has some latitude in what to enforce or not. Tarra would have a good case about defending her underage sister from an unknown adult male, and considering that the adult male who’d been manhandling an underage girl would end up getting questioned (and ultimately let off if all charges were dropped), that takes care of that one.

      Juniper probably spends time in a cell to sleep it off upon occasion, and depending on how severely she’s burned her bridges, she might get worse. Though if the scooter she stole belonged to the mall as opposed to a patron, then the B&E to the store he told her to go to is all that she’d have done against the law tonight.

      Now if the ratchantulas became known as traced to Cinn, that’s something he’d probably have to do something about. Especially considered they were raised in his own house.

      As for Ginger, I think her mom gene is stronger than her troublemaker gene. She’s gotta wait until her kids are all over 18 before she gets herself arrested.

      1. I have to play Devil’s Advocate here TOG.

        They are their father’s daughters. And it would seem that they should know what is and isn’t kosher in Lakeland. (Ha, regional joke, maybe)

        And since they are the Police Chief’s daughters, they should know how to toe the line, step up to the line, cross the line, but not step on the line. Or a crack. They’d never hear the end of that. Stepping on a crack.

        Juni– Mr. Rainbow = Otis now? I don’t know. She’s dressed up nice, stylish, kind of sexy, without overtones of drug using band groupie. The only evidence of substance abuse seems to just be the alcohol. I’m going to bet that she has a job in mainstream media.

        I’m going to hate to have to say it, but with the O’Jacks infestation, El– Mr. Lavender working there when it was shut down, and the girls going shopping at the mall where a second, more intense infestation/breakout occurs… It’s going to be lucky (in the real world) if he doesn’t get fired, Cinn.. Mr. Reddish-Yellow thrown into Federal Prison or Guantanemo for illegal genetic experimentation, possession of a N.B.C. weapon of mass destruction, alleged terrorism, and El– Mr. Lavender lucky to work in food service ever again.

        This seems to be a hell of a lot worse than the Bad News Bears at their worst.

        And for Mr. Grey, she’s either known where the line is, never been caught for anything too harsh or watched her sisters make most or all of the intense mistakes.

        1. Poppy will be fine. While it could look suspicious that a girl who worked at the infested restaurant was at the mall at the time of the evacuation, you must remember that the mall is rather busy with business at the moment and there is likely several former O’Jacks workers there.

          And even if they had surveillance of Mr. Reddish-Yellow releasing her abominations, it will be her to pay for it. I don’t see why daddy would have to pay for his daughter’s crime, so long as he doesn’t try to cover it up or manipulate the system to her benefit. And I doubt they would be able to prove it. She did quietly slip them out of her purse during one of the busiest shopping days of the years in a very crowded mall where there may not even be a camera watching.

          What I think she may get in trouble for it taking the ‘abandoned’ goods. While sneaking out hell-beasts may be hard to prove, it’ll be easier for the camera to pick up her grabbing all the dropped shopping bags as the store cleared, but that would depend on whether or not she did her salvaging during the frenzy, which would mask her activities rather well, or after the store was cleared when there would be damn good footage of her looting.

        2. Sorry, ever since the Dollar Store had Christmas Jell-o pudding on sale for 40 something a box, I’ve had “Puddin, Company’s calling.” So, keep in mind, while I use the Mister J. moniker, it does not mean that I imagine myself as Harleen Quinnzel.

          I can agree that while Mr. Reddish-Yellow is seen as an adult in the eyes of the state and the public, there is the political backlash that would occur against him if it were to get out that his family had a hand in any of these omega level pestilence outbreaks.

          I would guess that even with the possibility of the camera catching anything after she dumped her purse, it might only show the puddles on the floor and the vermin in the air. On the other side, her being the dumb one may or may not help her, unless she wants to play the “I hate people, and I wanted to watch them _____” when she didn’t go nuts with the rest of everyone from the ratchantulas would in and of itself be suspect. Hell, Batman would have trained BatWoman to look for things outside of the ordinary. Like he did the rest of the bat family.

          And as for the abandoned goods, I suppose that if they were outside of the store’s security perimeter and in the mall’s main access way/ promenade then possession would be 9/10ths of the law. If she walked out of the store without those items being purchased would be another very definite story.

        3. Juniper was recently mentioned to have pawned a birthday gift that she’d really wanted for a long time (camera), and the comic with Anise/Rosemary referring to her residence as a “ditch”, Rusche said in the comments that Rosemary didn’t know where Juniper lived and it was probably crashing with friends. I agree that her substance abuse likely doesn’t extent past alcohol (or not commonly), because I think Ginger would’ve said something about it if it did. But alcohol’s plenty for a person to screw up their life with. All that combined, I don’t see Juniper being financially solvent, can be presumed to not have her name on a lease, and isn’t concerned about her parents’ knowledge of her lifestyle. That being said, I don’t think she considers a night in the drunk tank anything to worry about past a glare or a small lecture from Herb, which she’s probably used to shrugging off.

          We’ve seen two other O’Jack’s employees there, so I don’t see anything to tie to Ellie if Cinn isn’t caught. Herb really can’t try to cover up Cinn if she is caught, but the degree of political fallout depends on how precarious his position is. If no one else really wants the job and he’s reasonably well liked, he’ll get sympathy as opposed to demands for a resignation. I’m of the opinion he is on relatively solid ground, because I suspect he’s not a stranger to bending the rules a bit for his brood, and it’d be odd if there weren’t something in Cinn’s (or maybe Anise’s or Juniper’s) past that could’ve been used against him before now if someone were after him.

          For cameras, it depends how seriously the investigation goes. Law enforcement does request pictures/video from the public, so there are a lot more cameras than store/mall surveillance cameras that could’ve caught her. Additionally, if the cameras notice one person not panicking, that’s suspicious. They can also run it backwards to try to trace who was in the area the ratchantulas appeared from and narrow to groups that way. Also they probably know the slime is associated with them, so a shot of the slime bubbling out of her bag would be incriminating. If it’s taken at 50% of the seriousness of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, I’d say that they’ll track her down.

          The abandoned items could go either way, but it might require the people who purchased them to notice and attempt to reclaim them before charges would be brought, and those people probably figure it’s all been trashed/destroyed. Not really sure how that would be handled. But also the mall’s likely to have cameras too, so being in the mall proper wouldn’t keep her off camera.

        4. Okay, I don’t know what kind of camera it is, but I’m going to guess that it’s not cheap, since they allow for interchangeable lenses.

          I can agree that her name is more than likely NOT on any leases. But there is still a slim chance that there is something there. We could conjecture about Mr. Rainbow’s lifestyle until the cows come home, but she looks well fed, well and fashionably attired and there does seem to be a suggestion of moderately decent footwear. She’s sneaky and pays attention. But sometimes the booze does the talking with her. I’m going to go with her, because if she was in control of the drinking, she wouldn’t be drunk. And heaven help her if she ever gets a hold of spirits that tells her what to do.

          Both of those O’Jacks employees were on the clock, and seen by several witnesses, supposedly. And one of them is a struggling mother, supposedly. And the other some guy in an elf suit. Seeing as how there may be increased camera surveillance in their areas because of high traffic, money, kids, public stuff, they could easily be crossed off of the short list.

          The tracking and takedown would only be if there were any slime residue left on her bag. I’m going to allow for artistic license and guess that it all plopped out like that slimy snot stuff in a bucket.

          I wonder if the ratchantulas are going to destroy the security center before they are taken under control… Or does Herb have access to 007 level technology?

        5. Rusche has specifically stated that he doesn’t believe all characters have to be redeemed. I don’t think he was just talking about Alex there, so I’m betting Cinn and/or Juniper fit in that category as well.

          Remember that calories are both the measure of food energy and thermal energy and alcohol is flammable. Glucose (blood sugar) is 4 calories per gram. Alcohol is 7 (fat is 9). So as much as Juniper apparently drinks, she’s either got a crazy metabolism, gets all kinds of exercise, or doesn’t eat much. Otherwise she’d be nowhere near as thin as she is. She also looked to have dark circles around her eyes, which could be transient or could be prolonged not treating her body right. I never disagreed that she’s intelligent, she just doesn’t care about quite a few things that most people do. I don’t consider it out of the question that she might be in control of the alcohol and just not care to. I certainly see a certain degree of “Live for today. Screw tomorrow. And you know what, screw you if you want to tell me something otherwise while we’re at it.”

          Living creatures wouldn’t have to be released right when they appear. They could be hidden somewhere asleep to come out on their own later, so being somewhere else when it happens doesn’t necessarily cross anyone off the suspect list (which is also why Ellie, probably on cameras far enough away not to notice when they come out, can’t be immediately crossed off either).

          Also forgot to comment on Ginger. The thing with her is that she obviously runs a tight ship with her sisters, so she most likely tries to with her sons as well. Getting arrested would undermine too much of her authority with them. That’s why I’m saying she’ll wait until they’re all over 18 for the kind of fun that might get her arrested.

  11. Hahahahahahaha
    I loved the last part!!

    Also Wheelchair ninja needs to know when you slow down. He should be in a fully body cast by the end of all this.
    Also…did Ginger really expect her dad not to find out if he’s the chief of police?!? LAWL

    1. She only said they better hope Herb doesn’t find out its their fault. Not that it happened. I mean, he’ll hear about and recognize Anise, but that was pretty much a given and maybe even a tradition by now.

  12. I’m loving Ginger’s less-cartoony look in panel 7. Or maybe it’s the hair? Somehow the Veronica Lake style works even better for Ginger than it does for Anise.

    1. Ginger has looked increasingly hotter as the strips commence. Though to be fair Chris did not portray her in a very flattering way the first few times she appeared (passed out drooling on herself for instance.)

      1. My guess, is that perhaps Mr. Grey and Mr. Rainbow are the only daughters to have procreated offspring and such. This alone would give further speculation as to the location of Mr. Rainbow’s child, but that’s not where I’m heading with this.

        I’m going to put out some speculation that Mr. Grey got married soon after high school, or during college. And that William was/is one of the Lakeland LEOs or that they met during college and things worked out.

        I don’t know much about how families in Florida make it on a one person bread winning household…

        1. William being tasked to look after the boys is a mark against him being a cop. If he were a cop he would’ve likely recently came off shift, be on shift with Herb now, or have to go on soon after. Holiday season has a lot of drinking, family gatherings leading to negative feelings that get vented, and all the consumerism of Black Friday has a lot of money/valuables changing hands making it tempting for theft. Giving William enough time off to be able to do that would look a bit like favoritism I’d think. Definitely not a certain argument against, just a suggestive one.

          @TheLastOutlaw – It does indeed take a very special woman kind of woman to pull off the passed-out-drooling-all-over-herself look, so agreed it’s no surprise Ginger looks better with a bit of life in her eyes.

        2. Well, what if ten percent of the staff were given thanksgiving off barring an outbreak of OMEGA PESTILENCE, or the rogue’s gallery showing up and taking over the place.

          But then, that’s assuming that Herb has the scheduling under his belt. I’d guess that some captain somewhere does that stuff. Personally, I don’t know. But if Herb did ask for it, and being me on this end of the typewriter, I’d have put in the request for it in July. So, that would have taken favoritism out of it.

          Personally, I’d let him know that I won’t be pulling any favors for him. That’s probably where Mr. Grey would be baking goodies for the guy in charge of the schedule. Not quite Hot Fuzz levels. But who knows?

  13. I love this webcomic series and usually get the jokes. The last two panels don’t make sense to me though. Would someone please explain it even though we know explained jokes are not the funniest?

    1. The last two panels are a parody/homage to the sequence in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (the first LotR movie) where the Fellowship is travelling through Moria and discover the room where the last dwarven survivors had barricaded themselves in prior to their final fate.

      1. There is a nice transcript of the film here including a pictorial recap. The reading from Balin’s journal starts at the top of the linked page (the LotR analog to the note Ellie and Quinn just found) http://www.tk421.net/lotr/film/fotr/22.html The previous couple pages of the linked site cover the initial journey into the mine which includes the parodied line “This is no mine, it’s a tomb.” Of course you could just go watch the movie. Despite the fanboyish love/hate relationship I have with it is awesome.

        1. Thank you TheLastOutlaw. I have seen the movie and read the book but it’s been years since I’ve done either.

  14. This makes me wonder if there’s a Cinnamon origin story coming. Apparently she only shows intelligence when she snaps and does something nasty.

    Maybe she used to be smart and evil, so they did something to her and now she’s dumb, except when she gets too angry and reverts to her evil genius ways?

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her display intelligence, just cunning. The being dumb thing comes into play by doing a poor job of covering her tracks. Granted, the ratchantulas may have caused enough panic to have made that moot, but they also might have a tag on them “Property of Cinnamon Buckingham” or all come home to buzz in loud and obvious ways around Chez Buckingham after they get out of the mall.

      1. I could only see the homing instinct if there was some pigeon in there. But rats? Man, don’t those things just run free? Although, with the three different dynamics of Hive mind, family attitude and loner aspects of how those specieis dwelled before hand would be a bit of an interesting thing now. Soo, if the spider identified with Cinnamon before she became Mr. Reddish-Yellow and morphed into ebil debil birl then perhaps I could see your point.

        However, now with the introduction of the Tarantula and not spider man, are we going to see a possible super villain dynamic being introduced?

  15. Being from Massachusetts, and being considered a weirdo even here for what I wear on a regular basis, describing weather in the 40s or 30s as “cold” is not what I’d consider cold. I’d probably consider Florida hell from that description, as I hate being too hot and sweating up a storm. It’s snowing outside and I’m wearing shorts.

  16. Why do i get the feeling that whenever we meet mysterious sister “X” she is going to be on a S.W.A.T. team or some other special task force.

    1. Mr. Blue is of the thought, that what with Mr. Redhead having the “The Perfect One.” status, that perhaps there were another set of twins. But, then, Mr. Blue takes away from Mr. Blue’s theory that Mr. Reddish-Yellow has a split personality complex.

      1. Well you don’t have to be perfect to join an organization or military (so many idiots in there) and many of them would probably force you to cut your hair on a regular basis.

  17. As a native to Maryland…. well I’m used to the weather changing every ten minutes anyway so I guess I have a “jack of all trades” level of exposure?

        1. Ah I’m familiar at least with where that is lol. What kinda work brought you up to my neck of the woods (state-wise anyway)? If you don’t mind me asking :P

        2. Got transferred out of Florida with HHGregg back when I worked for them. This was when they opened their mid-Atlantic market. You have a store or two in Baltimore, Annapolis and such. I shipped them all their 4 million in Grand Opening merchandise.

        3. Ah very cool. I can’t say that I’ve ever been in one though. Sounds like your work history has you pretty well traveled.

  18. So I’m surprised Ginger doesn’t know better to make that statement in the form of a challenge to Anise, Juniper, & Cinn. Depending on the circumstances, I can see any of them choosing to make her regret her words.

  19. I grew up in central Florida, and I can verify- he’s dead on with the clothing points. Forty degrees is darn cold in Florida, because we were not hearty Chicagoans who sneer at anything in the positive temperature range.

  20. Boooo, the black hoodie looked way cooler on The Dumb One. Give it back.

    the last panels were great. Its interesting to see how surreal the situations can get.

  21. Ack it won’t let me reply anymore. Either way, I’m glad you don’t have to put up with that anymore. I don’t think I could handle having to move that often.

    1. Just maximum quote depth. You can reply to the last one of (max depth – 1) and you’ll show up in the chain.

  22. For those who haven’t noticed, the Tarra thumbnail has been unlocked. We have broken ground on TVtropes! Or perhaps borken ground would be more appropriate…

      1. Sister X is still out there. Who knows after that.

        Also, I want to give props to Chris for his accurate depiction of police officer radio use. The cop is using his radio with his weak hand (the hand on the gun side is called the strong hand). It drives me up the wall when I see a movie or TV show where a cop will reach across their body with their strong hand (taking it farther away from their sidearm) to use the radio. Completely wrong. It’s a very small nitpicky detail and I wouldn’t even have ranted about it had he gotten it wrong because so many do, but the fact that it was done right deserves praise. I reserve the right to bitch about his OC/pepper spray placement once it becomes more apparent which side of his belt it’s on. The magazines are right though =)

        1. And that’s something else that bothers Mr. Blue, why does a cop need to carry magazines for? What’s he going to be doing? Sitting at a coffee shop eating donuts all day?

          No, I know what you meant. I just wanted to say it.

    1. I’d actually been thinking a few days ago about what could possibly be a good site for Tarra to link off to. Considering that her life is practically one enormous Chuck Norris fact-type joke, TVtropes is a very fitting choice.

      Also we can now spell GOSH with sisters on the side (or technically SHONG, but I don’t know what a SHONG is so I’m sticking with GOSH).

      I was trying to figure out what site’s link Cinn would be fitting for, so I checked Wikipedia for a page on this comic. None there yet, but I found http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Sunshine interesting (side 1, track 1 if you didn’t notice). And here I thought Rusche was partial to Fleetwood Mac references…

      @Steve – Quinn’s already there, so we’ve got a lot more than just the sisters that are available.

  23. I hear ya on the clothes/weather thing, I’m from the other side of I-4 myself. I’ll wear sandals/flipflops til it hits about 45 with the wind chill. Everything below that is classified as “cold”, below 32 is “really cold”, below 20 is “F-ing cold”, and below 0 is “Get me the F- outta here!”.

    Story-wise, definitely wasn’t expecting the dad to be the police chief.

  24. You should link this comic to the creators of the cop show Blue Bloods. They would likely get a kick out of it. Use this strip as the linker though.

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