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Irritable Sister Syndrome Part 1

For any of you that have ever had a toothache, it is the worst. I have one that is irritating me to death. So much so, the other night I shot out of bed because it suddenly felt like my jaw was going to shoot out of my mouth mid-sleep. There's two things it absolutely hates. When I drive, and when I lay down. We all know shows where a character jerks themselves awake from a nightmare and is suddenly upright, panting in horror. That's pretty hard to do from a nightmare. It's easy to credit that with creative liberty. But I am here to tell you, it's true with a toothache. I practically did a forward somersault. So I scramble out of bed, and rummage through our family medicines, looking desperately for some kind of numbing agent, if any. It's very dimly lit and I'm delirious, but I come across some Benadryl. Awesome! Benadryl. And in spray form. So I read it. It says "COUGHING' on it. Excellent. Somehow, I have something you spray in your mouth to ease the harshness of coughing. It's gotta numb something, right? And it did. It worked pretty well after two sprays. My only thought as I drifted back to sleep was "Damn for something you spray in your mouth, they coulda made that taste better." I wake up the next morning, with appropriate lighting, to realize it said "COOLING," not coughing. Itchy Untasty I'm still alive. Whatever.

98 thoughts on “Irritable Sister Syndrome Part 1

        1. Really, more Black Friday events could use complementary mimosas. If for nothing more than entertainment value. :D

        2. I realize that the news stories about people getting into a knife-fight over the latest X-box (or whatever) are the exception, rather than the rule, and media likes to play up how terrible things are, but I honestly can’t see adding alcohol to the mix to be good for anyone.

          That’s the kind of thing that turns a rowdy crowd into a mob, and changes “stampede at local walmart” into “local walmart burns to the ground”.

          It wouldn’t be so bad if everyone was a happy drunk, but most aren’t like tha-….wait a sec…we don’t need complimentary booze, we need complimentary weed!

        3. You know, I was afraid for just a second you missed the joke. Then I read the last line. You got it. And you almost had me too!

      1. It’d be pretty out of character for her to not be at least a little tipsy. The concussion is just a side question.

  1. Jesus. Are the people of this family freaking immortal or something?

    The only possible explanations for that count of grandparents is either remarriages or multiple generations…

    Yeesh. Either all four great-grandmothers are alive, or multiple greats and at least one great-great-grandmother are still alive.

    1. LOL. Yeah. It’s just ridiculously large. Ellie will have a few cousins in this comic by the time it’s all over. One is the blonde on the contact page.

        1. They’re all part of a Customer Service storyline coming up in the somewhat distant future. So you will see this place again. Also where Cinnamon works. My way of setting them up before I even need them for story purposes.

        2. We did see here a strip or two ago, right? She should be one of the background characters on the wiki. But I think that Barrel should be first.

    2. I count 11 names on the list there, not including Ellie’s. I was actually thinking that some of them might be aunts or uncles, or other distant relatives. At some point in my family we stop worrying about the exact genealogical distinction and just refer to everyone as “cousin”.

    3. coming from multiple generations of large families on both sides, we got to the point that outside of nuclear family, we identify everybody by their generation, so all those of my siblings’ generation are cousin-(name), those of our parents’ are mama-/papa-(name), grandparents’ are grandma-/grandpa-(name)… it works well enough and keeps things simple

    4. At Ellie’s age I had the full slate of four grandparents and one great grandmother still alive. Also one grandma’s brother and sister-in-law (and their descendents) were normal for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, along with her aunt, cousin and cousin’s husband. That’s 10 right there that could’ve been called one version or another of grandparentish name with no deaths or divorces. One grandfather had a brother and sister-in-law nearby too, though they didn’t usually come to the holiday gatherings (not on bad terms, just would’ve been too many people in too small a space and habits didn’t go that direction), so that would’ve been 12, or more than above.

      Granted, all of those past the five I’m actually descended from I called aunt/uncle or just by first name for my grandma’s cousin and her husband.

      1. With a family that large, they should just open a banquet hall for holiday family gatherings and rent it out the rest of the year. And use it on the Mondays before a family birthday. I mean, who is going to party on a Monday? Right?

        1. We need the information for out wiki page. What country are you from, how long have you been a reader and what is your favorite ice cream to eat, if you were eating it on a couch with Mr. Fatty McFatFat?

        2. Hmm…..Answers to question list:1)I’m from Malaysia 2)I found this comic and caught up to the latest update at the time(the first )appearance of Poppy) in about a day and have being following it once every 1-weeks since then 3)blue.

  2. I’ve found swishing room temp booze around where the toothache is helps alot. Downside it’s a waste of booze,and doesn’t last as long as you’d like same with orajel toothache gel extra strength. But that might been cause I had a abscessed tooth beginning and had to do something for the pain.

        1. Perhaps “waste” as in could be consumed in a tastier manner instead? I’d consider it a waste to do that with good rum or good gin, as I find both tasty mixed but not so much straight and definitely not straight at room temperature.

        2. Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

          Engineering Controls:
          Use process enclosures, local exhaust ventilation, or other engineering controls to keep airborne levels below recommended exposure limits. If user operations generate dust, fume or mist, use ventilation to keep exposure to airborne contaminants below the exposure limit.

          Personal Protection:
          Splash goggles. Lab coat. Dust respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent. Gloves.

          Personal Protection in Case of a Large Spill:
          Splash goggles. Full suit. Dust respirator. Boots. Gloves. A self contained breathing apparatus should be used to avoid inhalation of the product. Suggested protective clothing might not be sufficient; consult a specialist BEFORE handling this product.

          Exposure Limits:
          Not available.

  3. You can’t jerk awake from a nightmare. It could draw the attention of whatever you escaped by waking up. You have to quietly look and listen for any boogymen, and slowly, so slowly, get up and turn on a light to scare them away. This also applies to nightmare xenomorphs, possessed puppets, and axe murderers. Or if you wake up with an actual bat in your room.

  4. I really like how there’s this force of nature in Juniper in this strip, yet at the same time Mr. Grey is quite clearly used to being in charge. Maybe that’s from having all the kids. Maybe that makes for some exciting moments between her and Juniper. I don’t know, but there’s a lot of fun to be had around here in terms of narrative.

    1. I definitely read Ginger in this strip as “Mom’s in charge”. Too early to tell, but the one image we had of her husband makes me think she might be the disciplinarian parent too. I started getting the no-nonsense “has too much to do to put up with your trivial crap” vibe from her in the van.

      I wouldn’t expect run-ins with Tarra are that common, as Ginger seems to be pragmatic about such things, and Tarra’s tendency to name her sisters by number (Ellie on the phone and Pumpkin before the toss were the ones I noticed, but might’ve been more) suggests a certain pragmatism as well.

      I do wonder how they were growing up, and how much of Ginger’s current personality was there before the four kids. I can see some high school friction if it’s fairly unchanged.

  5. The chiropractor I work for took a probiotic supplement that helped his toothache. He eventually went and got it fixed, but it helped him for a few months. I think anything that kills harmful bacteria should help, whether it be a probiotic, or the alcohol that Redneck recommends.

    1. Depending on the issue, the probiotic might help more. Alcohol does dehydrate, so depending on the cause extra dehydration might or might not make things worse.

  6. Juniper’s dedication to the destruction of her liver is awe-inspiring. I think I’d be afraid to go out drinking with her.

    If we’re still lobbying for T-Shirt slogans, “Go barf and get your ass back here” needs to be on a shirt. Though if I may offer a slight critique of the last panel, it’s ambiguous which direction Junipers head is facing. My first impression was that she was doing an “Exorcist” level head spin. I THINK she’s turned back more to face Ginger for her reaction but Gingers pointing finger obscures enough of her body that it’s an impression I have than have anything.

  7. I’m amazed the Benadryl worked since it is an antihistamine, not a pain reliever, but if it made you feel better I’m glad.

    Now go to the dentist…

  8. I’m…..I’m so beyond honored…i just…I’m…..more on that later.

    Also, I’m laughing so freaking hard at your cooling story. I’m glad you’re still alive but man, ha ha ha!!! What being half asleep does to our brains.

  9. Since Juni isn’t in trouble (yet), I am going to assume she got the voucher and dishwasher. And she hasn’t even been arrested (yet)!

    How on earth do they have so many grandparents? Divorces? Multiple generations of grandparents? Adoption?

    1. My guess is it’s kind of like a great-aunt / great-uncle setup. Assorted brothers of the actual grandpa and grandma, which is why they’ve all taken on assorted diminutives as opposed to actual grandma / grandpa. Instead of six great aunts and Grandma, it’s Grandma, Granny, Neenee and the assorted alphabet soup.

      1. What if everyone got married at 18? And with the average lifespan around 70, add on top of that the strength of the women in this family…. It’s probably a wonder that some of them weren’t put on TV by Willard Scott and what’s his name now from N**’s T***y show and the We***er Ch***el.

      2. I’m with Steve on the grandparent/great-grandparent siblings and siblings-in-law.

        Yeah, for some reason it seems like the large family tendency doesn’t just appear, but is a habit on at least one side. We have seven sisters, and the only sister who started on kids already having four before she’s turned 30 (even if one is adopted from Juniper, which hasn’t been specifically confirmed/denied yet). At least one of the Buckingham parents most likely comes from a large family for one or more generations. If some of those grandparent siblings either didn’t have kids or have kids who moved elsewhere and don’t come back for Christmas, they’d be likely to be part of the same family Christmas.

        What I want to know now is what the hell Mamma and Pappa Buckingham do for a living. I’d already thought supporting seven kids was pushing it, but Christmas shopping for all seven of those, four grandkids, and eleven grandparents too suggests one or both would have to make damn good money.

  10. So, in keeping with my comment I made yesterday and the fact that others expressed interest in helping maintain it… I give you…


    The shotgun shuffle fan wiki made by fans of the comic for fans of the comic. And god help me, I just realized I made a typo in the url…

    Anyway, go nuts guys, I have to get back to pretending to work for now, expect me to do something with it this weekend.

    Friggin’ typo…

        1. Which of course isn’t any logical place because it’s shuffled in.

          Yea, that totally makes sense, it’s my final answer.

      1. By the way, that is now a quote in the wiki newsbox. I will strive to maintain this auspicious level of quality.

        1. Speaking of which I assume you have no problem with the use of character pics for their bios and such as long as you are credited correct? I assume but won’t do it until I get the a-ok.

        2. Got pages up for the sisters in the wiki. That’s pretty much all I have time for this weekend, anyone else who is interested feel free to jump in.

        3. I’ve got some wicked idea for formatting. (Not the) Lakeland Police Department Perpetrator Database LPDPD, Florida Southern Student Union Profiles (FSSUP), O’Jacks and Get Mart pages for some of the other employees.

          I also tried to create a logo for the one square in the upper left hand portion of the page, but I got aggravated when I couldn’t find the font that Chris used in my attempt to approximate what he had. I know that it is a sans serif font, bold type for the shotgun, and same font for the shuffle with the capital S.

          I was going to do something cheesy with a pseudo puzzle of shotguns, like those number/picture slide puzzles and the title on it. Too 8-bit with the rasterization and pixelation of the graphics.

    1. Not for some period the way the strips are looking. His next appearance if all goes as planned wont be until he’s “summoned” ala Final Fantasy.

  11. Rusche, are you intentionally making Mr. Grey more attractive? Maybe it was because the first two times we saw her she was passed out then chibi-fied, but it seems like she gets younger and slimmer with each new comic.

    Also, I find Juniper’s expressions hilarious in this strip. The one in the second panel is perfect for t-shirt/meme.

  12. Silly question, I was looking back a few days and saw the list of upcoming comics, was this one supposed to be “Hungover?” Or was that comic dropped?

    I’ve also noticed a few interesting touches to Mr. Grey’s style. It’s interesting to remember that all of the girls are “young,” but the idea she has that many kids seems to age her slightly. I feel like I want to say Mr. Grey occasionally looks like she’s in her 30s, but somehow I suspect her mid-to-late 20s is more accurate.

    Also, I’m still trying to figure out if any of her kids are actually Mr. Rainbow’s. I’m going back and forth in my head trying to figure out what age Juniper was when she dropped out of school, and whether her appearance in the bathroom that one time was her actually attending or just hanging out to see who she could pick up after she gave birth (and apparently got her figure back).

    1. Which child is Juniper’s will be answered in this storyline. If you go back to the strip “Odds Are” I run down the sisters initial creation, and I think I wrote that Ginger is 27 or 28. I use the ‘T’s under her eyes to make it look like more like wrinkles. The bathroom scene is pre-pregnancy.

      1. I’m going with Hashtag. Given that Juniper only met Zane 3-4 years ago, the older two are too old to be considered. That leaves Tag and Sandy. While a long term relationship between Juniper and Zane could point to Sandy being their kid, this is Juniper we’re talking about. I’m not betting on her being in anything long term.

        Instead, I guess that Juniper got pregnant shortly after shacking up with Zane. This would mean that she delivered (and dropped out) during Ellie’s junior year. The start of this strip was two years after that, and we haven’t seen a year come and go yet. So that means that our mystery kid is somewhere between two and three. Sandy is dressed like he is well under 1, so Tag seems to be the obvious choice.

        Unless there’s some information I missed about Juniper dropping out during her senior year, I feel like this is pretty cut and dry.

        1. Your points are all valid, I also submit that Tag’s hair is similar in color to Juni’s.

  13. I suffered from a chronic toothache for a while, and by far, the best relief I found was clove oil. I got it at the Walmart pharmacy, but you may have to look around a bit. Just get some on a q-tip, gently bite down with the tooth that hurts, and let it go numb.

    Be warned, though, it has a terrible smell, and it can stick around for a while. Best to do it outside.

        1. Is that where Randal gets that schtick from in the cartoon version of Clerks?

        2. It is. I, unfortunately, had to once have a tooth pulled before braces were put on by a dentist with a sense of humor. I have an incurable sense of curiosity, and make it a point to rummage through drawers of any medical office I’m in while nobody else is there in case, you know, terrorists attack or something and I need a weapon.

          This dentist had, for some reason, a Black and Decker power drill in one drawer, and the fact that when he arrived he stuck his head in the door and said, calmly, “Is it safe?” just started to freak me out.

  14. It also occurs to me, I wonder if all of these relatives are local or if they need to ship presents around the country. Rusche pointed out that at least one cousin will show up in an upcoming story, so if every distant relative of the Buckingham clan actually lives in the same town (or neighboring towns depending on how closely smushed and suburban they are) I’m going to be suspicious of any new character that shows up regardless of race, rage, or gender as “okay, how is this one related to Ellie in six degrees or less?”

  15. I just realized something, with Gin– Mr. Grey being the only married sister, then she could easily be purchasing presents for the boys’ grandparents, as well as her husband’s grandparents as well, and included them in her list for presents to purchase.

    Mr. Rainbow may have been too ill of will to have either counted or kept track of the conversation after the first five recognized names on the list. . .

  16. It may interest you to know, that the mummies of several Pharaohs, the GOD KINGS of Egypt, died lingering deaths in hideous pain from abbesses of their teeth.

    Most of us in the first world today have no idea how truly blessed we are.

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