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I must've inadvertently squashed thousands of ladybugs while I spent 8+ plus hours on my roof hanging icicle lights for Christmas. Maybe it's just the time of year, or area...  it was a biblical plague of them. But the fun kind. From all the running in and out, a cluster got inside and had some sort of AA meeting in a corner of our ceiling. Ladybugapalooza

65 thoughts on “Smartmouth

    1. So…panel four. What sound effect is best there? A foghorn? The “you lose” from “The Price is Right?” Or that modified foghorn thing that sounds like “WUAP-wuahhhh.” ?

        1. The irony, is that whenever I get the chance to do so, I totally make the “Price is Right – You lose!” tune… so that makes the last panel even more fun, when that tune is “cannon” to this strip.

          Also, as it’s been mentioned before, Ellie does look like she got Cinnamon’s gift money… unless that’s a normal wad of cash to be stuffing into a card. I’m always happy to get a birthday card with money in it (it IS the perfect gift), and sometimes find myself making a similar to Cinnamon, when it’s empty (though I try not to look greedy).

        2. I’m picturing more of the “whaa-whaa-whaa” muted horn sound effect. But the price is right works.

        3. Me, I quit watching “The Price is Right” after they got Drew Carrey to host it.

          Also, I’d go with the “Whaa-whaa-whaa-whaaaaaaaaa” sound as well.

          But now that I think of the two of them, I’d rather go with the effects from “Strange Brew” when the step-father emerges from the packaging line.

  1. You know… I would’ve thought Cinammon had this little lesson coming long, long ago.

    Then again, she’s probably forgotten it already, and has had this lesson happen many, many times.

    I don’t necessarily approve of filching on birthday presents, that’s all kinds of cruel, but perhaps it might actually have an affect.

    …and it’s not like she didn’t have that coming.

    1. Until a gift is given, it can be taken away. I don’t see it as filching, just preemptively taking payment for rent, and being an a$$.

      I mean, who would have thought that a girl could be so stupid.

      Makes me want to quote D.C. Cab. But I shall not, for it deals with popcorn.

        1. Unless you’re trying to prove a point while rubbing salt in the general vicinity of any wound.

  2. I think that we have a bit of a behind the scenes look with the family dynamic here. Contrasting to what we saw when we were first introduced to Ellie behind a computer, she was, what’s the word, oh yeah, kind of a leech.

    Maybe not 100% in all aspects of life, as we can see it now. But it certainly seems to be that Cinnamon is a hell of a leech. But able to get out and work.

    The only possible downside is that she was sleeping with the boss as well as living with the boss, or the owner’s son at the arcade job. When the layoffs come there, I wonder who would be the first to go, if this is the case.

    1. I find myself kind of amazed she’s working at an arcade, until I remembered there are still plenty out there. The e-sports bar and the beercade concept are helping, and there’s always Chuck E. Cheese.

    2. Honestly, her rich boyfriend could have nothing to do with her job and she’d still be high on the list of “first to go” if the place doesn’t have a massive turnover problem. I seriously doubt she spends an hour on the clock without getting a complaint.

      1. I tend to think that she’s getting enjoyment out of seeing all of those kids trying to earn their tickets.

        “Ha you little punk, can’t get the ball in the middle. I did that five times last night on every ball.”

        You know, I’d bet that she got the job because: 1)she was hanging out there every day after school, 1a)maximizing her quarter’s worth ratio per ticket payout, and offered a job to keep her from getting into the profit margins or; 1b)just hanging around enough until she was offered a job.

    3. You bring up a fine point. Ellie used to be a leech, and she never worked. Cinnamon is a leech but she DOES work. On top of that, Ellie moved past her bad habits, but it looks like Ellie’s done MUCH better for herself. Cinnamon, on the other hand, has not done better for herself.

      Where did it say that Cinnamon’s job came from sleeping with someone involved with the arcade? I mean… it makes sense, seeing as she’s a little dumb, and probably couldn’t get the job on her own, but was that ever stated around here?


    I hate ladybugs. They are so gross. I prefer spiders over them. Hell, I prefer moths over them. At least moths are cute.

  4. For some ppl, the only lessons that work(and they remember) are the hard lessons like cinnamon just found out.(again)
    Now Ellie has some cash for food again after she bought her Inimbus.
    As for your ladybug problem, its that time of the year again, so all the bugs are trying to find warm places to crawl into, here in the Netherlands i also have problems with them(and i live on the top floor of 3 story building..) not to mention that in the States they have more wooden buildings then concrete, so u must have them pretty much everywhere!
    Make sure u call the exsterminator on time,couse u might have to…

  5. I lol’d. Which at 4 AM with the prospect of having to scrape my car out of ice and snow is an accomplishment. And Ellie’s stack of cash appears extra fat, did she benefit from Cinnamon’s life lesson?

  6. You haven’t SEEN biblical until you’ve experienced boxelder bug infestation. We get them every year here and there are days I can’t even go out on my front porch. I think we go through a half-dozen flyswatters over a 4 month period. (We have animals and don’t like to use poison.)

    Also is that an unfinished joist where your molding ends Rusche? My OCD must know.

    1. Oh goodness – boxelder beetles. Growing up they were a constant nuisance at my childhood home. Turns out the new owners had to chop down this magnificent HUGE silver maple we had in the back yard because that was where they were coming from. Makes me sad as I really liked that tree, but when all the neighbors complain and the exterminators trace it back to your property, what can one do? Long story shorter – check any nearby maple trees, they may be infested.

  7. For ladybugs: consider the use of a tiny vacuum. They’re available online for $20 or less and allow for quick, easy, bug collection that doesn’t require touching bugs.

    For Cinnamon: Well, I think even the most charitable would suggest she had it coming.

    You know, some people balk at the idea of cash as a gift, but frankly, I don’t see it. It’s a very useful gift, and usually welcome. For Ellie especially so.

    1. Cash can be a great gift (especially in Ellie’s case right now) but it sucks when people just give each other cash or gift cards because it’s easy for them not having to think about a good gift. Which is like all the time, these days?

  8. Loved this comic! I also have ladybug problems in the winter, and thought I’d share some info I found online a couple years ago – not really on “how to fix this situation” but more “how/why/when did this situation occur”. Lol, I’m very big on teachable moments!

    Why do ladybugs come into my house in the winter time?
    A. Ladybugs are attracted to the light colored houses. Especially, homes that have a clear southwestern sun exposure. Older homes tend to experience more problem with aggregations due to lack of adequate insulation. The ladybugs come in through small cracks around windows, door ways and under clap boards. They want to hibernate in a warm, comfortable spot over the cold months of winter. Ladybugs gather in groups when they hibernate, so if you see one, you can be sure more will follow. The best way to keep them out is to repair damaged clap boards, window and door trim and to caulk small cracks.

    Once the ladybugs are in my house, will they eat anything?
    A. No. Ladybugs don’t eat fabric, plants, paper or any other household items. They like to eat APHIDS. Aphids are very small, but very destructive pest that feed on plants. (If you have rose bushes, you have probably seen aphids.) Ladybugs, while trying to hibernate in your house, live off of their own body fats. They, also, prefer a little humidity. But our homes are usually not very humid during the winter. In fact, they are rather dry causing most of your ladybug guests to die from dehydration. Occasionally, you might witness a ladybug in your bathroom getting a drink of water. Now, that’s a smart lady!

    How can I get them out of my house?
    A. If you don’t have a lot, just leave them. They will leave when spring arrives. Disturbing them will only cause them to stress out leaving yellow markings on your walls. The yellow stuff, you see, is not waste matter, but rather, their blood. Ladybugs release a small amount of their blood which is yellow and smells, when they sense danger. Some people have said that it does stain on light colored surfaces.

    1. I hope your avatar never changes. It is like Cinnamon’s mind has accidentally brushed against a rift of knowledge and she has gone into a ladybug facts trance.

      Now I know why I never see them anymore, my house is brown. That is disappointing, their little congregations are cute.

  9. A thought. Is Cinnamon jealous because Ellie is probably the ‘favorite’ twin? She’s brains and boobs over Cinnamon, after all. Doesn’t mean they love Cinn any less, only that Ellie is probably better company.

    I can’t blame Rosemary for not giving Cinnamon any money. Cinn could consider the gift of living in momma’s home rent-free for a while as her birthday gift. It’s not like she’s not going to get more gifts from other people as it is, as she’s not shy about making sure her sisters each get her one.

    1. I don’t really think Cinnamon is overly envious. I think she’s more in her own self serving world. And her mother is already letting her move back in. If she’s going to have the nerve to backtalk the very person helping her out, she deserves this. =P

  10. And Cinnamon learns the important lesson of keeping her mouth shut in front of the people that are giving her gifts. HAHAHAHA

  11. “You disagree with me about conversational etiquette, I emphasize that you are not the favored daughter. I know it’s cruel, but it’s a cruel world… partly because people who think like me are in it apparently.”

    Just kidding, I’d like to think she took the money out as a form of rent for letting her move back in.

    1. I’m guessing that she took Cinn’s out when she went to get the cards (maybe transferring to Ellie’s, maybe not). She might’ve put in less than Ellie had in the first place as an attempt to subtly support Ellie being independent for once without it looking like a handout, but I’m thinking the complete lack of anything but the card was a direct result of the conversation.

      I don’t care if it’s a coupon for a small fry at McDonalds, but giving a gift to one twin and not one to the other seems very clearly a message in my mind. A harsh one too (from Mom especially) but not undeserved for Cinn.

      1. Oh don’t get me wrong. Cinn’s a total dingbat who needs to have her idiocy pointed out at every turn. It’s just that… favoritism among sisters is probably too indirect a vehicle for that message. Particularly to a dingbat like Cinn. It’s more likely to provoke conflict between the sisters than it is to get any of them to fix their problems. And just comes across to me as kind of… terrible (harsh is not a harsh enough word).

  12. Ya know what also works for a sound effect? A Whoopee cushion, and done on panel two, with a little dust effect coming from the envelope. A Classic.

    1. I can’t imagine anyone with holiday retail experience putting up Christmas decorations willingly. My guess is that he’s acting under duress.

  13. Cinnamon’s expressions are always top notch. Maybe its that silly pouty thing she’s always doing, but I always find her funny.

    And you know… you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you. Otherwise, you’re just BEGGING for this to happen.

  14. Speaking of ladybugs, once upon a time in Northern Idaho, the wife and kids and I went traipsing into the wilds in that most traditional of all Christmas pastimes, cutting the family tree. I put chains on the front tires of the old stickshift Plymouth Voyager, and off we went into the logging areas for our prize. We found what we felt was a prime specimen, lashed it to the roof and returned home, placing it next to our wood stove. While decorating said prime specimen, our kids noticed that there were bunches of little ladybugs tightly attached to the trunk and branches. I looked and bo and lehold, hundreds of the wee beasties. We thought that they had clustered there and died from the cold.

    Come the next morning, we discovered the little bastiges were faking it. The warmth from the fire had roused them from their slumber and they were exploring their new digs. Luckily, not all woke up but we were still finding live bugs and carcasses clean into the next summer.

    Nature. Bah.

  15. … actually, those don’t look like ladybugs – those look like Mexican Bean Beetles. Ladybugs = red, while Mexican Bean Beetles = orange. Ladybugs are good, they eat aphids (which eat your garden plants). Mexican Bean Beetles are bad, they eat your pumpkin, squash, and other plants.

    In other words, kill them with fire. Or hell, any way you can.

  16. Also, Bean Beetles can bite. It’s not bad, but can be annoying, and they WILL set up shop in your house, and leave stains. Everywhere.

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