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August 3, 2007

The Dirty Truth

Filed under: Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, costumes, For Better or For Worse, humor — Cidu Bill @ 12:02 am


The final comment, obviously


  1. I’m not sure what’s CIDU about this. Would you like to wear the same stinky clothing day after day when on stage and sweating like a pig for two hours straight? They’d be intolerable after two wearings, let alone dozens.

    Comment by Charlene — August 3, 2007 @ 1:17 am

  2. April believes that successful performers wear the SAME clothing night after night without cleaning them?

    Comment by Cidu Bill — August 3, 2007 @ 1:25 am

  3. No, I think it’s that ANYTHING that’s not washable is considered by some people to be too much of a pain to deal with at best, or a crime against nature at worst. These people tirelessly shop for clothes, find things they like, look at the tag, and scowl as they put it back on the rack and say “Nope, dry clean only.” I, evidently, tirelessly watch while this happens.

    Comment by brien — August 3, 2007 @ 5:22 am

  4. The thing is, I read this in the paper, and found it amusing, but I can’t now explain why.

    Comment by Powers — August 3, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  5. That Patterson clan is loathsome.

    Comment by Krusher — August 3, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  6. Notice that in panel one, the car appears to be flying (at least to me). The tires aren’t meeting the shadow underneath.

    Regarding loathsome Pattersons (5), I’m with you all the way. I think Lynn Johnston and Tom Batiuk should trade strips, since sh*& turns to gold anytime a Patterson touches it, but in Funky Winkerbean, everyone lives a life of constant pain and misery, with good news merely being the setup for extra-special torment.

    My wife has been promising me for years that LJ will retire the strip. Everyday, to annoy my wife, I compose a letter to LJ in my Strongbad voice, urging her to quit sooner. I think that April should drown in the creek saving Edgar, bringing it all full circle.

    Comment by David Skaar — August 3, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  7. I don’t get this one either. If you’re a successful performer, keeping your costumes clean can NOT be near the top of your list of priorities. Unless Lynn Johnston is making some metaphorical statement that I missed…

    Comment by Jim Moore — August 3, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

  8. No, I think it’s that ANYTHING that’s not washable is considered by some people to be too much of a pain to deal with at best, or a crime against nature at worst.

    You do realize that washing something in the machine costs a few pennies, while dry-cleaning it can cost (depending on where you live) $10 or more per item? You’d have to be either extremely profligate, rich, or dumb to not care.

    Comment by Charlene — August 3, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

  9. The point is she doesn’t have time to get them cleaned in between shows (since One Hour Martinizing doesn’t really exist here), so they smell horrible and she has to wear smelly clothes every night.

    How blindingly obvious is that?

    Comment by Charlene — August 3, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

  10. The point is, she’s still thinking in the non-rich & famous mode. Of course at home she still has to wash her clothes because she’s not getting a new outfit every night. But it hasn’t kicked in that she wouldn’t have to wash if she was rich & famous.

    Comment by Cedric — August 3, 2007 @ 8:48 pm

  11. David Skaar–bad news–apparently FBOFW is continuing as a “hybrid” . . .

    Bad news for you, I mean . . . I personally *like* the strip, and the Pattersons, so I don’t mind.

    Comment by laterain — August 4, 2007 @ 1:33 am

  12. Everyone seems to be catching on to the fact that April wouldn’t want to have unwashable clothes, but seems to be missing what (I think) is funny about the comic. She is talking with her dad about how she wouldn’t like to trade families with her friend. Her dad expects some heartfelt answer, or at least one involving how much better she has life than her friend. Instead he gets an answer about how she wouldn’t want to wear disgusting clothes like her friend has to. It might not be that funny, but it’s a simple bait and switch joke here.

    Comment by bAT L. — August 4, 2007 @ 6:50 am

  13. In response to #8 & #9, it seems to me a successful stage performer can afford more than one copy of a costume, and can wear one while others are being cleaned. I understand that dry cleaning is expensive, but that’s still got to be near the bottom of the priority list for a performer. HOWEVER, I understand we’re getting off topic here, so I’ll move on to….
    Comment #6: it is common in comics to indicate a car is moving by showing it above the road. Otherwise, it’s hard to draw tires that look like they’re moving.

    Comment by Jim Moore — August 4, 2007 @ 7:23 pm

  14. You know, this is probably my favorite FBoFW strip in recent memory. It manages to accomplish four or five things in a subtle manner (as compared to the downright un-subtle machinations of the, say, eighteen previous strips in the same storyline), manages to undercut it’s own moralizing, and even manages to be half-way funny.

    It almost hearkens back to the earlier FBoFW I fell in love with so long ago. The well-written character-driven drama that really was funny. (I still have the old collections, and I started reading one the other day, just to see if maybe I was rose-tinting those old memories. I was surprised at how clear the differences were.)

    Actually, the April strips recently have made me chuckle. (see the two squares crack,, the “I’ll find something to complain about” crack,

    And then she follows up with Saturday’s strip which was nothing but pure glurge. I mean, pure. (for a definition of glurge, see

    I thought after that she could sink no lower.

    Sunday was a pun that was so low it made me laugh. “If it’s not broken, don’t fax it!”

    Then came Monday…

    Seriously? Ugh…

    But I digress…

    The strip in the CIDU is pretty good, I thought. A joke about April’s expectations and her down-to-earth upbringing. A joke about Dad’s high expectations of his daughter. Simple-minded moralizing? At a minimum.

    You know what really kills me? If Johnston wrote this all a lot more gracefully, she could get away with it. She always used to have the morality plays within her stories, and they worked. They were convincing.

    When you have to talk them out like this, they stop working. Just a little subtlety, please?

    Oh, well. /rant.

    Comment by Steve — August 6, 2007 @ 12:13 pm

  15. I don’t know how she managed it, but today’s is even worse.

    Gosh, I could just start a whole blog about FBoFW… too bad it wouldn’t be the first.

    Comment by Steve — August 7, 2007 @ 10:02 am

  16. Does anybody remember the storyline where Gordo found romance? I remember it so well. Back in the days when Lynn took my least favorite character and created a romance that was believable, sweet, true to the characters, and downright hilarious?

    I miss those days.

    Comment by Steve — August 7, 2007 @ 10:03 am

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