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Hidden Agenda Part V

94 thoughts on “Hidden Agenda Part V

        1. Would have commented earlier, but for some reason the site wouldnt load until just now, has it been down all day or something?

        1. No, I meant in the room. With Ellie, Danny, Pumpkin, McFatFat, iNimbus, John Boy, Doc Boy, Annette, and Cubby.

    1. I loooove the expression on ellie’s face as she asks “innocently” ‘Something wrong?’ – she knows EXACTLY what’s wrong! HAH!

      1. With some research I can more accurately say the comments were regarding the bomb skull lighting censor marks for Quinn in the “Window Shopping” comic.

        I think boog and I get partial credit for the awesomeness that is those pajama pants =)

        1. Credit partially accepted.

          But what kind of girl would wear clothing with that kind of language printed all over it?

          A girl who is awesome perhaps?

        2. At least it wasn’t bomb-dagger-skull-lightning pajama pants. There are public obscenity laws to consider after all.

  1. No worries Danny, I know the snacks and drinks are basically going to triple the bill on the room, but I’m sure your employer will gladly cover the expenses. I mean, because you’re on such good terms with him.

    Honestly I’d like to see the expense report for that evening – under justification would he write “SEX”? Granted, no sex will have been had – but it was the reason for dinner and the hotel room, no?

  2. This comic has so many of my favorite things. McFatFat, tubby taters, the iNimbus, the look of horror on Danny’s face. This is like freeze framing on the exact instant that his heart was broken because Ellie didn’t choo choo choose him.

    I also like the whole “newb get’s the thimble” thing.

    1. I just realized what the best part of this strip actually is. Ellie acknowledges the phone and cat but not Pumpkin. She’s definitely smarter than she seems at times.

  3. Here’s the sixty four thousand dollar question, though…can he handle two more nights of this? I seem to recall this only being night one.

    1. I was thinking it was a two day con for some reason. Also with her question earlier today (comic time) he could gracefully duck out of future days past comic time tomorrow.

    1. It does, and I believe that’s because she’s feeling much better about herself (as opposed to immediately after losing her job and being in that fun rut of looking for a job forever) That whole esteem-drive thing the salesperson told her about.

      They’ve got hail.

      1. Yeah, but it got cracked crossing the mobs of Black Friday shoppers. I’m guessing she had the outer casing replaced; the phone should have still been under warranty.

        1. No, it got cracked when Ellie was turned down as a waitress or even a manager at that restaurant job where she’d have to spend half of her day on the bus for the same amount of time just to assemble trays of food.

          And she was in like Flynn and Quit like Pippers in the same way.

        2. That’s what I’m thinking too. Ellie just went on a date, and she’s in good spirits, so the phone’s up and running too.

  4. I have to say, while I thoroughly despise Danny and think he deserved it for being a tool, it does make Ellie a less sympathetic character.

    Just because a hormonal young man is a total idiot who can’t take his eyes off bewbies, doesn’t mean we should sink down to his level and just use him as a wallet.

    1. I just find the whole situation funny, as it was intended.

      I mean, why does Ellie thwarting Danny’s lusty advances have to be through moral or even well-meant actions? I’m here to be entertained, not preached to.

    2. I don’t know, he owes her money that he promised her for her job which as far as she knows was legit and it looks like he plans to actually pay her (cash under the table but I doubt that’s going to bother her.) Everything else he’s offered her of his own free will. She’s not clinging to him and begging for money, he’s offering.

    3. I think you are giving Ellie a lot more credit than she deserves, planning wise. She probably thinks its natural that other people’s stuff is hers. Remember her behavior with Quinn. If she could understand budgeting enough to realize that she needs Danny to pay for things she would never have bought that phone.

      My mental model of Ellie is perpetually surprised by how much/little cash she has. The world seems dark and harsh when she’s broke, sunny and happy when some dude is paying, but I don’t think she makes the connection that her actions are what’s causing this.

    4. Seems in bounds to me. If he’s got style, Danny’s reaction should be to say “Well played,” shake her hand, play a game of Monopoly (or as much of a game as patience allows) as the thimble, and finally tell her he’s demanding a good night kiss and kiss her on the cheek and wink as he leaves for his own room. Then in the future, which we as readers can surmise will exist due to his inclusion on the cast page, he’ll probably be a bit more cautious/less extravagant.

      I don’t think that fits Danny’s character to do that verbatim, but we’ll see what kind of man he is by how he takes this. A decent man can accept being outmaneuvered with grace.

        1. Thimble outrage I could accept, especially since he was out getting refreshments and thus couldn’t speak for himself earlier.

  5. Ooh, something I must point out regarding the “is Danny a creep or not?” subject: his immediate response to Pumpkins presence. Now, he could have gone full creep and been like Mr. “I’m not hearing a no” from the convention line, but he didn’t (thankfully, because that would have been way too much creep, especially if it got pulled after the she tells him Ellie’s her sister)

    So, we know he grabbed drinks, don’t know if Ellie asked for them or not (convenience of having the scene change after him saying he was going to grab some beer for himself, we don’t know what she said) and is now in the presence of 2 Buckingham girls who are going to demolish him in monopoly. All that booze is going to him, to console his soon to be shattered ego.

    Also, Mc Fatfat will be the true measure of Danny’s character.

  6. mmhm. I suspected Ellie wasn’t being totally oblivious to Danny’s intentions. That face confirms it. We are talking about a would-be Tarra, here, after all. I don’t blame Ellie, considering Danny was okay with using (in-universe anyway) 4th-Wall Substances to speed the date along. I wonder if there’s a way to tell if someone’s been using montage..

    1. If there is a way to tell, Ellie could have been warned by her father how to spot it. He is police chief and wouldn’t want any of this daughters mistreated. If a guy is going for illegal substances to hurry up the very first date to get to the sex, then sex is all he wants and thus he would not work as a long-term partner.

      After all, knowing the signs of Montage could save the girls a lot of heartache and Herb a great deal of paperwork. I am willing to bet that screwing around with a Buckingham girl like that would involve a lot of violence and property damage and maybe restraining orders. Herb and Rosemary ain’t gonna want none of that, so one of them would at least try to train the girls to spot and subvert the bad ones.

  7. I’m a bit disappointed that his reaction wasn’t something like “two for one sale? Niiice”

    But this works, too!

    And yeah, I’m sure Ellie’s been pursued by enough guys that she knows the deal… though wasn’t it a point in a strip way back that hardly anyone ever asked her out -because- she was too good-looking?

    I dunno. Either way, trolling has occurred. Let’s see how the dude takes it!

    1. Perhaps you missed the earlier comic that pointed out: SHE’S FIFTEEN. (unless of course, you’re hoping he would get the same treatment as the last person undeterred by that fact).

      I’m very glad his response wasn’t what you said.

        1. It’s usually not hard to figure out that a fifteen-year-old is a minor, especially when that fifteen-year-old is actively trying to avoid being appealing to superficial males.

  8. Nice solution here, and good misdirection on Ellie’s part with the phone and cat. Now I’m wondering if Pumpkin’s other two friends are going to show up too.

  9. Deliverance of Ordinance on target. Good hit, Good Hit.
    Confirmed, He has been shot down.
    RTB to rearm and Refuel.

  10. Wow, I think Pumpkin looks bustier every time I see her. Is this intentional? Or have I been over-analyzing her bust since the Join Usssss strip?

      1. It could be a combination of my over-analyzing and her flattering outfit with the misleading side-boob in the third panel.

        This could make for a funny running joke though. Pumpkin and her amazing ever-growing rack. Her fate is sealed, we can only watch as the ta-ta’s take over.

        1. Well, there was Ellie’s comment about boob growth schedule for Tarra and herself while Pumpkin was changing. She might be due to bust out this year. I was told that I followed my dad’s growth pattern in terms of height and muscle development nearly exactly. It happens sometimes.

          Granted, not from earlier in the day until later in the day, but we might see Pumpkin’s potential chagrin and cosplay modification requirements from bustiness as a story (or side story) before all three arcs are done.

  11. The one thing I’m thinking of is that maybe Danny isn’t immediately thinking “Oh crap, I’m not getting laid tonight.” It might be “Oh crap, a woman just sent me out to buy booze and now we’re alone with her underage sister. I’m being set up. The police will bust in any minute now because of those laws about parties and minors and booze. The cat’s obviously in on it.”

        1. Let them wake up! Chances are they could use a laugh anyway. If you can do no more on earth than make someone laugh, you’ve done well.

  12. Yep, she’s been stringing him along to bilk him. Now she’s entered the passive-aggressive end-game. Regardless of what you think of Danny, it’s still selfish to manipulate someone for money. This right here is why she doesn’t get second dates. :/

    On the flipside, it’s another reason I voted for Blind Guy. Ellie wouldn’t benefit from dating the male equivalent of herself. Blind Guy, on the other hand, would neither try to buy Ellie nor put up with this kind of BS without calling her out. Though his reaction to Pumpkin showing up would probably be way less composed than Danny’s was.

  13. I think the phone may actually be worth a substantial fraction of the price Ellie is paying for it. It found her hotel room, which is not registered under her name. It did not just find her.

  14. I take back my previous comment about Ellie being wrapped up in her own fun. As other commentators have point out, those eyes are too knowing.

    It’ll be interesting which way the next couple strips go. I’m assuming that since Danny’s on the cast page, this night isn’t the end of his involvement in the strip. So I see this either going:

    a) Ellie confronts him on his plan, he gets flustered but they eventually get back to an equilibrium where they could date (can’t wait to see Blind Guy’s reaction) or

    b) Ellie’s newfound confidence and Pumpkin’s business sense find a strategy to drive traffic to Danny’s site on the remaining day of the convention, justifying the expense to his partners and offsetting his frustration at the run-around he’s just received.

    1. In terms of “Strategy for getting clicks on the site”, it seems like Ellie should make an account and ask to friend folks, who would then need to register for the site in order to accept.

      1. There’s also the fact that Ellie has grown some, but is still quite immature. She may not be that far from the girl who ordered Pumpkin to fetch her lingerie to counter-post risque pics on [presumably] Facebook for the attention. Add in Pumpkin’s cosplay business going for some free advertising in the mix. I can see it as in character for them to go for it.

        Now whether it’s in the plans for such a scheme to work or fail miserably is a different question.

  15. What if Mr. McFatCat is actually a long-distance tele-transport device? He lets things go out as well as in? Kinda like Ed in that one episode of Ed, Edd, & Eddy when he ate everybody’s food in the culdesac!

  16. Hey, if Ellie were playing a game here-if she were offering something implicitly much less explicitly (and no, her mere presence doesn’t count), that would be one thing.

    On an ethics level, I am a *little* uncomfortable with the whole ‘hey, by all means continue buying me things’ angle, but that’s got nothing to do with a male-female thing and more my own thoughts on money and people. But on the other hand, her ‘gracious host’ has been less than subtle since before he actually met her on what *his* game was.

  17. I totally see this as a test- Because he is on the cast page. Shes throwing him a curveball and seeing how he handles it. Seeing if he will bother sticking around even when sex is off the table, if he thinks shes worth the extra effort.

    Sure she could be having fun in the mean time (who doesnt have fun one upping?). But shes testing his true character by getting past his hormonal driven one.

    1. Admittedly, “Can You Survive a Night of Buckingham Monopoly?” is one of the odder tests of strength out there, but for her, makes some sense.

      At least they’re not playing “Stop, That Hurts!”.

      1. Since we have hints that Ellie hasn’t had a serious relationship before, but she does continually show herself to be very socially aware, so I suspect she’s well aware that any guy she’s with is likely to assume a faster sexual pace than she might be comfortable with.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if she has several “put on the brakes” strategies predetermined for her potential gentlemen suitors and has had them for quite some time.

  18. Didn’t notice anyone siding for the poor boy. At least he didn’t have a little thought bubble, after confirming he was in the right room, going ‘mmm three-way’

    1. I don’t see this as the type of life lesson that deserves pity for Danny. He just sunk a fair amount of money on an incorrect assumption that he got himself worked up over with no real leading on from Ellie’s side (time spent in booth babe outfit doesn’t count, as she was hired to wear that kind of outfit and her attitude toward him was friendly/matter-of-fact and not seductive).

      She’s not being hostile, changing her tone now that the money’s already spent, emotionally toying with him, or anything like that. She’s including him in all the activities that she’s partaking in as fun and isn’t trying to get him to buy her things for her own use later or give her money for no reason (just the $100 he owes her, but she wasn’t being impatient about that either). To top it off, she picked a method to say no to sex without rejecting him personally or making him feel unwelcome or brushing him off for future interaction. She introduced him to a family member and picked an activity for the three of them that takes a long time. From a “sex now” stance that’s an “absolutely not.” From a “potential relationship if you quit rushing” stance that’s not particularly negative. He does already have her phone number.

      Now if he calls her on a $0 activity that could be fun or to get dinner/see a movie going dutch later and she says absolutely not then I’ll be a bit disapointed in her and more sympathetic towards Danny, but I dobut that’ll be her attitude ($0 activity I could see her swapping one for another, and the dutch thing might run into a ‘not in the budget but how about $0 activity instead’). She does want to get out and have fun more.

  19. Seems to me it’s a nice evening, having a long personal one on two game of monopoly. He could go home with all the marbles (i.e. real date with Ellie) if he’s willing to play the long game.

  20. Wow, have’t posted in years, but must say the comic looks great, altrough i don’t like the convention dissing at the beginning of the arc.
    I must say that Pumpkin really looks sexy in this page, seems she’s growing up like Ellie bodywise from the looks of it,

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