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It’s Dangerous Out There

I got way too caught up in the details on this one. That second panel took 12 hours to color. Now if any of you are original owners of Bitcoin, yes they are that big. No, not really. But I wanted Tarragon to have an equivalent to the oversized Batman penny in whatever crap she's left at her parent's house. When you find out what's in the box, please be sure to check back on this comic for what it all really means. UPDATE 2/16/21: No power or water, sporadic internet. Roads pretty much impassable with another round of snow/ice forecast to come in overnight. Probably will be stuck like this until Friday according to our local power company. Texas' power grid is obviously ill-prepared for winter storms like this. Claire said the last time she remembered any sort of blackouts like this was in 2010 or 2011, and those only lasted a few hours. We're now going on 3 days. All seven of us are sleeping in the same room to stay warm, house got down to 40 degrees last night. Unfortunately we've also lost some of our livestock because of this, even though we prepared their stalls with heat lamps, they don't do much when they have no power. We're also probably going to lose a whole batch of duck eggs we had in the incubator. Will have to pray for power to get any comics done over this next weekend. Will update ASAP, stay warm everyone. UPDATE 2/25/21: Apologies for the delays. Everyone is fine. Finally got power and water back. And by water I mean our well pump is working again thanks to power. Town is still without water, and they keep cancelling school again due to that. Lost about 7 ducklings total. Didn't post a new update because I was going to do that with the next comic. Was hoping that would be done for this Friday (2-26) but I'm not done coloring it yet, unfortunately. It's 10 panels with 15 characters, so I created a perfect storm for myself with so much other stuff going on. Here's a small preview: Should most assuredly have this up by Tuesday (3-2.) I really thought I'd squeak a few comics out this week, but we had so much clean up after the snow storm, and I have to run most all the errands for Claire because of the baby, I just got super behind. See you Tuesday. -Chris

131 thoughts on “It’s Dangerous Out There

      1. Considering that Pumpkin spent a while wrapping her chest and wearing loose hoodies, I’m not sure she’d be excited about something that emphasizes her body. With her level of excitement, I’m thinking something more out there then simply something boob-enhancing.

    1. Sith Lord is actually gender neutral! My headcanon is that it’s because Ajunta Pall (the first Sith Lord) was NB and wanted to standardize the nomenclature to prevent issues.

      1. Or we could just point out that English didn’t exist a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and that maybe the language used during that time had its own gender-neutral term that was used. :P

  1. I’m going to be the first person to say that I found THE Easter egg (singular) and nobody can take that away from me.

    Also, I’d assume the box contains some attire, but as to what “#1” would mean clothing-wise eludes.
    (Oh, also spotted what was probably the prototype for kefuffle)

  2. Hmm, ‘out there’, ‘center of attention’ , ‘what everyone wants’ and top that’s not as baggy as you think.
    Umm, a rreally swishy cape?

  3. I called it. Empathy and sympathy seemed far more likely to me than an accusation, fight or argument. Tarragon always struck me as someone who takes her big sister responsibilities very seriously and the age gap probably means they rarely conflicted in the past.

    Whatever is in that box must serve as a magic feather for self conscious big chested girls, Maybe a gift certificate for a breast reduction?

  4. This comic would be a good one as a Patreon bonus to have a high-res version with the layers for Tarra, Pumpkin, & the speech bubbles gone.

  5. God that is a) such a fucking toxic worldview and b) FUCK no wonder so many of the sisters are coping poorly if this is what Tarragon has been telling them. Fuck, this is not a healthy way of living.

  6. It’s the soul of a mob boss, right! Right? I mean, if Quentin Tarantino movies have taught me nothing, it’s that every mysteriously glowing box contains the soul of a mob boss.

  7. Well, obviously that’s not a healthy outlook. The first part though, probably is correct.

    Also, sad as it is… I want to see that zero suit because obviously she’s a Samus clone… and yeah. Cant unsee that now.

  8. No wonder they’re so chaotic when they get together. They can’t all be the center of attention at the same time, but they gotta try.

  9. I think I might know what’s in the box – maybe. Chris himself dropped a big old clue, which has to do with what Quinn and Pumpkin both like – and what, based on the fact that she (Tarra) kept it in a box for what I figure is (was?) years, Tarra liked, or likes, as well.

    1. Ha! Yes, Jethro; I’m still “lurking about” on occasion… XD
      I pop in and out of here once in a while. Having a full-time job, the comic often takes a back seat to my other concerns.
      I am not even going to speculate what is in the box. Interesting that it’s emanating a golden glow, but that may just be for effect.

  10. A box labeled #1? Nothing ominous there. Anyone who believes their destiny is to be the center of attention is bet avoided. None of us need that level of narcissism in our lives.

  11. Back in the Christmas arc, I was thinking Tarragon didn’t deserve to be eaten by Dheu.

    Changing my mind a little now…

  12. “Grumpy”, Jace and Shane: I couldn’t agree more. I’m not entirely sure every single character in this comic is completely believable – but that’s just me.

    1. There was a poll years ago about comic direction. One, more grounded and believable. Two, over the top and breaking into other genres essentially. The second one won. And thus the comic went this way.

      1. What other genres? And what did SS break into other genres FRom (meaning what genre was it originally/at first; how did it start out?)

        1. Almost got my hopes up during a brief comeback a couple years ago, but somehow, I knew better, and was not surprised when they quickly stopped updating again. One of the first webcomics I ever read, and sad to say, it’s effectively dead.

        2. Oh, wait, lookit that, they’ve been updating pretty regularly since June 0f 2020.

          Aaaaaand, I haven’t really been missing anything at all.

        3. You might check out the ‘Greg and Tony go to the edge of the universe’ and ‘sex change’/‘inside Greg’s/Mae’s subconscious mind’ stories. une 0f 2020.
          “haven’t really been missing anything at all.”? You did indicate, maybe, that you were sad it was effectively dead. Which is it? No biggie; I’m just curious. I think you should give it another chance — but it’s your call.
          (Did – do – you think its characters are believable?)

        4. That’s exactly what I did before I wrote that follow-up comment. I’ll be quite frank – I quite enjoyed the comic back when it was “Greg and his pals have weird adventures throughout space and time”. I have zero interest in “Mae and her everyday family life during Mae’s transition oh and occasionally videogames”. I wish Mae nothing but the best in life, and appreciate the comics I did enjoy, but it is no longer one that interests me, hence my “Aaaand, I haven’t missed anything.” comment – the last three comics are literally Mae discussing estrogen doses and the changes in her body; not my cup of tea – and there’s nothing wrong with that, Mae can tell the story that she wants to. Many comics I read changed and I lost interest in them for various reasons over the years, LICD, Questionable Content and Sinfest just to name a few, who eventually morphed from wacky and entertaining shenanigans to virtually emulating real life, getting overtly topical or extremely political or in the case of Sinfest, becoming the mouthpiece for a literal sex-worker unfriendly trans-exclusionary radical feminist (‘m not exaggerating that last part, you can look it up in multiple places). Comics change, comics get stale, comic updates become sporadic, and my interest in them fades.

        5. Yes, comics change (and/or get stale, and/or get sporadic; everything you said there) – and sometimes WE change. We mature; we become more aware; we notice things about comics (and about other things) that we didn’t notice before. I’m with you there! I agree!
          Now if you want to discuss Sinfest (maybe you don’t!), I VERY MUCH 100% agree! I miss the old, non-‘mouthpiece’ Sinfest (though I did and probably do/would have issues with it); I miss the old gang of commenters that discussed it on the (its?) thread.
          I still read it, though; I have less of an idea why than I have an idea why, given that I noticed, a WHILE ago, for-me-at-least-problematic stuff, I (still) read SS.
          why I (still) read SS

  13. I’m trying to figure out what Tarra would have that would also appeal to Pumpkin. To make her gasp like that, and presumably shake her out of her shell? Maybe something that would appeal to her cosplay sensibilities, if it’s clothing at all.

    [Big Bang Theory voice] TIARA, IT’S A TIARA!

  14. Jace and “Grumpy”: True! I understand that – and very much agree. I’m good with that! Not everyone is, though. Some are drawn in ONLY by good storytelling – and yes, SS contains FINE storytelling, just a different kind of storytelling. Some storytellers insist on telling their own story (whether it be the story[ies] of their own lives, or of other fictional or nonfictional people or events, or whatever [while still VERY MUCH loving, appreciating and respecting their readership/fanbase], and would NEVER do reader polls to determine [any aspect of] how they tell it. One problem I MIGHT POSSIBLY have with SS is that seemingly, from what little I understand – is that for his readers’ sake, Chris depicts at least a good bit of not-exactly-small cleavage. Hey, it’s Chris’s story! If that’s what he wants to do, how he wants to tell it, Yay! Fantastic.
    … I may have said, or talked about, this before, but the indication that – seemingly – SS’s readership likes breasts, and Chris delivers, fuels readers’ desire to have their own way in at least one aspect of the storytelling. That, and that – at least to me – this particular aspect touches upon the issue of sexism.
    …Me, I’m good with all of it. No prob! I don’t care either way. But I wouldn’t mind if the art contained at least a little bit less front-and-center cleavage.
    (There’s one other (semi-related) problem, besides that, I might have with SS, but I’ll, maybe, talk about that later.
    AND!: I’ll tell ya: IMHO, the good – nay, beautiful – aspects of SS’s storytelling make up for – maybe more than make up for – any of its possible problems or shortcomings. I read the “David bares his soul to – and talks about his past/loss with – Ellie” bit, and I was IN. SOLD. HOOKED. (A bit but not entirely like Robin Williams said in Good Will Hunting: “I’m in. I’m fascinated.”)
    Chris is – was – Very Much telling his own story his own way — THROUGH David Stevens.

        1. perHAPS! They may actually be better off, if only physically. Being to so great a degree NOT shortchanged might give one back problems. (And) they may be happier for not being the center of attention (many people are happier so) in that particular way.

  15. Jace and “Grumpy”: True! I’m good with that! Not everyone is, though. Some are drawn in ONLY by good storytelling – and yes, SS contains FINE storytelling, just a different kind of storytelling. Some storytellers insist on telling their own story (whether it be the story[ies] of their own lives, or of other fictional or nonfictional people or events, or whatever [while still VERY MUCH loving, appreciating and respecting their readership/fanbase], and would NEVER do reader polls to determine [any aspect of] how they tell it. One problem I MIGHT POSSIBLY have with SS is that seemingly, from what little I understand – is that for his readers’ sake, Chris depicts at least a good bit of not-exactly-small cleavage. Hey, it’s Chris’s story! If that’s what he wants to do, how he wants to tell it, Yay! Fantastic.
    … I may have said, or talked about, this before, but the indication that – seemingly – SS’s readership likes breasts, and Chris delivers, fuels readers’ desire to have their own way in at least one aspect of the storytelling. That, and that – at least to me – this particular aspect touches upon the issue of sexism.
    …Me, I’m good with all of it. No prob! I don’t care either way. But I wouldn’t mind if the art contained at least a little bit less front-and-center cleavage.
    (There’s one other (semi-related) problem, besides that, I might have with SS, but I’ll, maybe, talk about that later.
    AND!: I’ll tell ya: IMHO, the good – nay, beautiful – aspects of SS’s storytelling make up for – maybe more than make up for – any of its possible problems or shortcomings. I read the “David bares his soul to – and talks about his past/loss with – Ellie” bit, and I was IN. SOLD. HOOKED. (A bit but not entirely like Robin Williams said in Good Will Hunting: “I’m in. I’m fascinated.”)
    Chris is – was – Very Much telling his own story his own way — THROUGH David Stevens.

  16. My mistake! I didn’t think I’d already posted that. (Can you say “long-winded”, boys and girls?)
    What was that, Steve, about how you’d like an edit button?

  17. Have to wonder about their fusion having aftereffects. Scary times ahead if Pumpkin’s mindset turns to Tarragon’s because of it.

  18. The more I see of this family, the more toxic they get. No matter how well drawn they are, there comes a point where you just have to voluntarily step away from the crime scene and leave the section of the train tracks where all the trainwrecks gather. I’ll check back in later once the paramedics leave.

  19. (And) Steve:
    Your two-strips-ago comment
    (“
    Holy shit, yes. Gender is not “arbitrary.”
    You can identify as an attack helicopter all you like but that don’t mean you can fly.
    “)
    made no sense.

    1. Seems like perfect sense to me. Or, put a Batman comic in a hard cover for “Hound of the Baskervilles“…. or maybe wrap an apple in a banana peel and it will never be a banana.

        1. A VERY good thing!
          Noncis-es and nonheteros of all kinds are just looking to be happy with their sexual preference(s) and/or their gender identity. If they’re happy being bisexuals or lesbians or male homosexuals, YAY! More power to them! They have every right to be what – and who – makes them happy.
          And
          If they gender-identify more as males – or as females – regardless of the sex of the bodies they were born into (if being so makes them happy), and if there’s a way for them to become the gender they know they are, they have every right to ‘use those means, rather than spending some or all of their lives being uncomfortable in their own bodies. (With help, surgery or pills, or even cross-dressing, apples can BECOME bananas; Batmans can BECOME “Baskervilles’”!)
          And no, Steve, they ([at least] 90% of the time) DON’T like ‘identifying as an attack helicopter’. Yes, in a way, maybe, they have a choice, but that choice is VEry stark and VEry difficult. Becoming the opposite physical-body sex is a difficult – and not always pleasant- thing to go through — as I hope you can imagine. But it’s WHO THEY ARE – just as you (Steve, ANd Mr. Blue, know and are happy with who YOu are). What I’m saying here – the gist/core – also applies to gender preference.
          Live and let live, my friends. There’s no need to judge – or (try to) decide for – anyone else.

        2. I don’t have much problem with the “live and let live” notion. So just go ahead and apply it to me, too.

          I don’t believe your gender is a changeable thing. You were born with it. It is a function of your reproductive hardware. Anything else is play-pretend that I’m not particularly interested in getting in on. Don’t even get me started on the ‘recently discovered” additions. You can call yourself “xe” or “xir” all you like but I do not recognize those as words in English. You can use whatever pronouns you like to describe yourself; hell, go ahead and make up a whole new language to talk about yourself. But I won’t understand it. Nor am I obligated to.

          I also believe that you’re no less a human being for engaging in such behavior, though. I will NOT call you a “huwoman” though. Or spell it “humyn” or anything like that.

        3. RE “I don’t believe your gender is a changeable thing”: you can refuse to believe that all you like; it’s (still) very much true for them. It’s not something you can decide (for them). Again, it’s a question of being happy in their own bodies – or not.
          (And) RE pronouns: You’re right: you have no obligations, in this matter, whatsoever. You can call them whatever you like. But understand that calling them, properly, by WHo they are, shows basic respect — just as you might feel disrespected if someone called you “xe” or “xir”. You’re not “xe”; they’re not “he” or “she”. The issue=core identity.
          THAT, to me, is what “live and let live” means — but that’s just me. I could ALWAYS be wrong! Questioning my beliefs, I figure, is ALways a good thing to do.
          I invite you to – even just the TINIEST bit – question your own. But hey, you don’t HAVE to!

        4. I think part of it is a question of how much effort someone else has to go through. I don’t have a problem with the concept that people have named a variety of perspectives that were lumped together into a whole bunch of things that used to all share the same name. I don’t have a problem with people really enthusiastic about such things choosing their place in such new options. I do have a problem when people expect me to learn about all those different concepts and perspectives that I don’t actually have a lot of personal interest in and follow them.

          If I had a close friend who happened to fit in one of those areas then I’d likely learn about that specific area and try to be respectful to that friend and that’d carry over somewhat. For complete strangers I’m more of the mindset that the things I owe them are to make an honest effort not to cause them intentional harm and leave them to go about their own business as they do the same for me. The intentional harm covers punching people in the face and obvious things like that, but learning and using an arbitrary pronoun not so much. I’ve gotten to the point that I tend to assume that people want him/her to match clothing/grooming choices and try to go with that from basic courtesy and I can understand some other general concepts like gender fluid that I’ve picked up in passing, but I just don’t have the interest past that and do resent anyone who tells me that I’m a bad person for not doing so (I’m fine with being considered a bad person for other reasons, though; and I pretty well never argue about being considered an asshole).

          For sexuality there’s a bit of “rule 34” that I just assume that any kind of thing someone describes in terms of sexuality probably exists out there somewhere. As long as there’s no harm involved for participants, I’m definitely in the same live & let live attitude but not terribly interested in learning the ways things slice up unless someone I care about wants to talk to me about it.

          For me a lot of this is the confusion some people have about tolerance vs acceptance. Freedom requires tolerance, but freedom can never mandate acceptance, and I’m pro freedom. I’m perfectly content to tolerate people living as they wish if it doesn’t cause harm, but I refuse to accept that I’m obligated to make accommodations outside the norm if I don’t choose to.

        5. Nowadays, mR. Blue, he CAN. There are ways, like I said: surgery or pills or some combination thereof (I don’t pretend to be anywhere near up on it – though I know that at least two of my friends who have gone or are going through it use, at least a good bit, pills – and/or non-surgical medicine). Or just good/plain old(-fashioned) cross-dressing (BOTH sexes).

        6. That would imply that merely looking like something would make me that something. You can take a car, slap a sail on it, remove it’s tires for a smooth bottom and call it a boat. You can insist that everyone around you calls it a boat. Eventually since it looks like a boat and it’s called a boat, it passes as a boat. But it’s not a boat. At least not a good boat. You put it on the water and it sinks, because you didn’t change the insides. And on top of that now it doesn’t even make a good car because you took the wheels. You can call your car a boat, and out of respect some people can call it a boat too, but don’t expect it to float. Because it’s not a boat. As for calling Steve a Xe instead of a he just to annoy him, that’s like calling him a bird. You can call him a bird, but everyone can see he’s not. It’s even sillier than passing the car as a boat.

        7. True. I am not an attack helicopter.

          I may wish I were. YOU may believe I am. It changes, ultimately, nothing.

          It doesn’t matter how often I INSIST you refer to me as an attack helicopter, or how often I throw a fit when you don’t, or how many small businesses I sue because they wouldn’t make a cake with motor oil to satisfy my delusion that I’m a heavily-armed flying machine. But I am no more able to fly and throw missiles around than any other human being, small dog, house plant, or domestic car is.

        8. -Ah, but remember: as I said, it’s a question of identity, of who they are. You can, or not, let them identify as whichever gender they’re happiest as; you need not be so rigid/logical/insistent that “there’s NO POSSIBLE WAY things – or they – could be this way. Lighten Up, my friends! :):):)!
          -I was merely suggesting that some people may find it just as annoying to be called he or she as Steve finds it annoying to be called xe. It’s a question of empathy and/or sympathy: put yourself in their shoes; imagine where they’re coming from, how they feel.

        9. Hmm, Lake of the Ozarks and the Duck Boats.

          Besides, surgery and/or the pills changes the original in a way that renders your argument moot. However, the comic seems to have something akin to modification from an external source. Anise. However, the question in this discussion is, is the person being true to themselves in going through these changes or are they going from one type of bird to a werewolf because they want to be included in a group that may not have feathers at all.

          It is a rather subjective question that only one person can answer. And I don’t think that one person can subject another person to a third person’s situation if they don’t want to. But I will ask this, is the new group being receptive because of the individual’s content, or their cover? I suppose a Shakespearean evaluation could be double sided as well. I was just thinking of my physics professor who would go into an aside about some act that centered around, “Brush up your Shakespeare.” That and I that or answer on the content and cover will not be evaluated on this plane, but another.

        10. I don’t know what ‘Lake’ or ‘Duck’ refers to. I’ll look them up.
          RE your first paragraph, there: changes the original how? Does this mean that an apple CAN become a banana?
          Remember/understand that dissatisfaction/discomfort/unhappiness in/with one’s body/gender occurs/begins, yes, sometimes as a teenager, sometimes in one’s 30s, sometimes not until one’s 50s (and sometimes one goes a long time without being completely aware of it, or not expressing it/outing oneself for at least one reason), but very often begins – and he or she is fully conscious/aware of it – well before 10 years old. And Then, after, as a result of, that initial awareness, he or she goes goes for surgery or pills. The gender preference/identity – as far as I know – is the core, is what matters. The body change is just so they’re EXTRA happy. We may not be our bodies, but our bodies aren’t 100% insignificant RE who we are.
          I believe they’re being true to themselves, and not putting themselves through such radical changes merely to be included in some particular group. And I believe that I’m addressing/focusing on, here, content, not cover.
          RE “a rather subjective question that only one person can answer”: True! As a cis/hetero, I can’t speak for them. I have no idea what it’s like for them (tho: I do call at least two of them friends, so I MIGHT POSSIBLY have 1% of an idea); but I can try to imagine – and I believe that the trying – being empathetic, caring, putting oneself in another’s shoes – is KEY. It keeps us (more) human.

        11. ‘Lake’ and Boats’: got it. I just Googled it. I don’t see, though, that that has Much To Do AT ALL with what we’re talking about here. I don’t get what, if anything, you’re saying. LGBTQs as far as I know don’t ‘drown’ people. They just want to not be ‘drowned’ themselves.

        12. -And remember that, as far as I know, they define “float”/“sink”/“fly” as ‘merely live their lives the same as everyone else does, in and with dignity and happiness and and freedom from any form of harassment or discrimination or disrespect’.
          – RE “ out of respect some people can call it a boat”: Yes please! That’s all I’m suggesting: that you, if you want, call them by the pronouns they prefer to be called by. You need not sweat whether they’ll ‘plummet’ or ‘sink’; just be cool and respect them and they’ll get by just fine.

        13. I do have a bit of a problem with Bruce Jenner wanting to do what he did. I’m not going to watch the next Matrix movie Because of whay the brothers Wachoski did.

          Personally, I think that they’ve turned their backs on the future of the human race. Then there is the whole question of the philosophical ethics of, “Doctor, do first no harm.” I can see body modification/reconstruction as a result of medical necessity due to illness or accidental mishap. But the concept of “are they/ aren’t they” is to much of playing god. Now with the following question based on the current state of affairs in the US due to the pandemic and severe weather, several areas have been taken out of modern society and plunged into roughly the, let’s say, 1820s. All but the most absolute surgeries are taking place due to not only a strangle hold on the availability of medical equipment, but utilities as well. So if these surgeries were to proceed, which I don’t think that they were available before due to medical ethics weighing in, where would this take place now? And what about the cases where people did this only to find out that they have buyer’s remorse?

        14. – Miss out on a Matrix movie because of THAT?! Maybe you’re taking the whole thing too seriously.
          – RE ‘buyer’s remorse’: remember that very often, people know who – what gender – they truly are as early as 3 or 4 years old – which means that they’ve had a LONG time to think about it, which means that by the time they decide to proceed with it, they’re well and truly SURE. The chances of buyer’s remorse, afterward (in those cases), thus pretty damn low.
          – RE “philosophical ethics”: I don’t see that philosophy has much to do at all with doctors’ decisions to operate or not. I think it’s (more) a question of whether it does physical harm, which is a more cut-and-dried and less abstractly philosophical question. True, operations may sometimes be botched (as in “Angry Inch” – and that one [single] movie may or may not accurately reflect the actual, irl, number of times botched operations – or mishaps with pills take place), thus screwing the operatee over, mentally and emotionally, for the rest of their life), but that’s true of any surgical operation. I would hope that the operatee is well (made) aware of any possible risks, pre-surgery. As I said, a decision to undergo surgery – or pills, or cross-dressing – is not very often (as far as I know) an easy one (especially knowing what awaits them afterwards, including but not limited to possible harassment, discrimination or disrespect), and the operations themselves are very often far from pleasant.
          – I don’t completely understand your next-to-last sentence. If you’re saying that sex-change operations take away money and medical staff (not limited to doctors) and medical equipment/resources that are sorely needed to save lives at risk from COVID or COVID-related or -involved illnesses like cancer, or the common flu; or that sex-change operations put both doctors and patients at risk due to the chances of COVID being transmitted before, during or after such operations, you MIGHT have a couple of valid points; IDK.

        15. Oh, and RE “turned their backs”: Don’t worry, my friend; there are PLENTY of cises and heteros (people able to reproduce) out there, if that’s what you mean. ANd: it may well be that sex-change operatees can still conceive, and/or give birth, post-op. They can MOS DEF raise a child or children.

        16. Easy! Merely dig up Doyle’s corpse (or even just find some of his DNA; IDK) and drop it into the Lazarus Pit, just as Batman/B. W. gad done to him (Last Crusade. Check it out, if you want. I liked it.)

      1. Say you go to the store and buy a can of corn, but when you open it, it contains peas. Do you accept that the can was mislabeled in production and it’s actually a can of peas, or do you insist that because it was labeled “corn” at the factory then it’s really corn and HOW DARE this corn choose to present itself as trans-peas when it’s CLEARLY corn?

        1. Thank you, Alias! This is what I’m saying! Lighten up, everyone! FAR from least of all ME!
          (Looking back over this whole sub-conversation, I noticed that I was the one who started it. Cool that it took on a life of its own – thanks for jumping in, TC and “Alias”! – but I think I’ll back off and simmer down (at least for now, and at least a tiny bit).

  20. Two of them have definitely failed at being the center of attention, from what we’ve seen. Granted, they’re also the two weirdest ones…

  21. If you have to, go out a few at a time to your car to warm up, make sure the exhaust is clear, and don’t all go in at once so you can have someone outside to check for CO poisoning. God be with you all.

  22. Just so I make sure I say this, Steve: I – and perhaps they – VERY much appreciate that you “also believe that you’re no less a human being for engaging in such behavior”. That means a lot. I forgot to say that in my previous reply.

    1. People in general could probably be making that point clearer, but then a lot of people probably treat it like a given anyway. There are tons of behaviors out there people disagree with; homosexuality, transgenderism, so on and so forth, but a lot of people don’t feel the need to come right out and say that, regardless of those things, you’re still a human being at the bottom of it. None of those people should feel less than human, and I really don’t think anyone’s actively trying to MAKE those people feel subhuman. It might still be happening, though, which is certainly a problem.

      1. Definitely agree on the “no less human” and the thing that I’m mainly getting here is that I think you tend to lean conservative in your definitions of racism, sexism, ____-ism (I do too).

        Taking racism as the example, from what I’ve seen conservatives tend to consider racism to be if you view race as a thing that matters outside the occasional biological aspect (such as perhaps SPF needed, or for certain medical tendencies/reactions); where people on the left seem to think it should be taken into account for a variety of reasons and in various areas.

        That being said, there are people who are genuinely racist and they can hide in either side. Hiding on the political right happens from it being a “why would you even mention or talk about it” so just keeping quiet or saying that it shouldn’t matter can keep someone hidden. Hiding on the left does tend to require saying positive things about the race in question, but can also easily twist a worldview of the other race being “lesser” into rhetoric and actions in terms of saying that the race needs help in some way and can be a bit more public about policies that harm the race in question as long as they’re dressed up to seem like good intentions.

  23. Advice from a Wisconsin resident here: As long as you have no water pressure, close off your valve at its source (from city? well?) and drain all the pipes in your house by opening the lowermost spigots (do you have basements down there?). Take fittings apart if you have to, to get the last of it out of low-lying spots that don’t have dain valves. Naturally catch as much of what bounty remains in buckets as you can, store it in a bathtub if need be. This way, if you DO actually freeze up, your pipes won’t burst. If you have water pressure but no electricity, open up one or more widely separated spigots juuust a crack, a steady drip is all you need. Moving water freezes much less readily than still, and even that little drip can and does make a big difference! Paying the utility for wasted water will cost MUCH less than replacing pipes and/or belongings! Pass this along to anyone around you that doesn’t already know.

    1. It would be better if insurance companies didn’t have an embolism every time someone says the word “woodburner”, but that’s not likely.

  24. Damn. So sorry to hear about the loss of power and especially the animals. What Rexhinalt said above, was mostly what we did down here next to the Third Coast. Only got down to 14 here, mostly a lot of ice and sleet, with barely a dusting of snow on top of it. It warmed to 40 yesterday and 50 today, melting almost all of it away. I’ve done the everyone in one room before, back in the ice storm of ’97.

  25. Just checking in hoping to hear that Rusche and all his family are fine. Anyone following him in other places hear any more news?

      1. Just trying to check in on Rusche. I’ve fallen away from checking the comments the past few years, but I do still keep up with any updates to the comic. I’ve also fallen off on logging into Patreon to check things out there too (I think I’ve logged in once in the past four years).

        Hope things are going well for you, Pat.

  26. Matttexan may be some sort of other news in that he could possibly let us know how the grid and weather are doing. If I’m not overstepping. But with the mention of a farm and possibly being on the periphery of the grid, it may still be bit of time before they can get their power restored. The only other way that I could think of is keeping an eye on rural schools and cross reference that with their respective electrical suppliers. I’m not sure if the Waffle House indicator would work here.

    1. For the time being, a lot of grocery stores and restaurants (even Waffle House!) are out of some items, because the supply chain has been severely disrupted. For most of this week, nobody could move anything, with all the roads iced over, and except for some cities in N Texas, there was no salting the bridges, we use sand. As far as locations, Rushe is up around Dallas, I’m next to the Gulf in “Near Houston” (it’s called Beaumont, an hour and a half away along the Interstate), and right now we’ve hit 70, and did not have freezing temps last night, for the first time since this storm started, so I’d hope that the ice caps are receding around the DFW Metroplex. (My cousins in Waco, a couple hours south of DFW, showed off pics yesterday of their piles of snow melting away.) You’re right about any power issues, as now the infrastructure will need repairs and hardening against any future storms (hopefully).

      1. Only so much can be done on the power lines. I still think that Texas needs its own grid structure. The reason that I mentioned Waffle House was because DHS looked towards it as an example of a corporation utilizing the individual stores operating status as a guide towards measuring a disaster.

    1. I always considered saying something like that to be people just asking to jinx themselves.

      I did immediately like the “2020 showing 2021 around the workplace” meme picture with a couple of famous clowns. I don’t know if it existed on 01 Jan, and I certainly didn’t see it that early if it did, but with the way people were trying to convince themselves things were going to be magically better I immediately resonated with that one in a, “Yep, seems about right”-sort of way.

    2. Depends on where you are, I guess. This time last year, Michigan had had a five-inch rainstorm and half of Australia was on fire.

        1. That’s why they’re both so beautiful. Burnt offerings clearly work.

  27. Knowing Tarragon, the box contains whatever is in that briefcase that’s in every Quentin Tarantino movie.

  28. I initially misread the box labeled “diamond plated” as “dinner plates” and was immediately drawn years into the past to Ellie’s fast food adventures.

  29. The box contains Tarragon’s Parragon superhero costume. Upon contact with Pumpkin, it immediately transforms into Sailor Moon fuku.

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