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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Those damned letters

What's Mallard raving about today?

The U.S. Postal Service

It took me three times through this to figure out what the hell was going on. The touch football game threw me for a loop and it wasn't until I stopped trying to figure out why the mystery object resembled a football that I finally was able to figure out that Mallard is grousing about Postal Workers...again.

At the end of the day, this reminds me of nothing so much as his recent rant about Hillary which goes to tremendous lengths (and uses a tremendous amount of text) when just saying "I hate someone or something" would have sufficed.


BillyWitchDoctor said...

Man, Tinsley must have horrible luck with the USPS; he bitches and moans about it regularly, yet I've rarely had a problem with it.

You'd think he'd use alternate means. They DO exist, Tinny.

Oh, wait...I get it. You just enjoying bitching and moaning. Nevermind.

NW said...

It's days like this I wish i just stuck with Crankshaft.

12xuser said...

In Tinsley's world, it's a public service, so it must be terrible.

Of course, in anyone else's hands this could have been funny . . . .

exanonymous said...

Never happened to me.

luke said...

Mallard is being slowly decapitated by the narration box.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just had the USPS deliver an overnight package to me--on Sunday.

rewinn said...

Today's strip is a "poopyhead" joke that fails to be funny because it's badly written. (A "poopyhead" joke is one that, basically, says "Person or Organization X is a poopyhead". It doesn't rest on any facts, except the naked assertion of poopyheadedness.)

1st panel: Usually when verb starts a sentence, normal English says the subject is whoever wrote the sentence. So who arrived? The next sentence is therefore mystifying: "Moved to warehouse". Who would arrive and move to a warehouse?

Tracking reports actually read that way, but the strip doesn't tell us we're reading a tracking report. By forcing the reader to stop and puzzle over what-the-heck is going on, the "comedy" suffers.

BTW: the choice of "Port Washington, WI" is poor; a shorter name would make for easier reading, and anything with 'Washington' in it tends to get confused with Washington, DC. Comic writing must be crisp! Send that package to "Madison, WI" or "New York"!

2nd panel: "We're standing near it. We can even see it...."

Who are we?

What is it?

Why is it noteworthy that "we" can see something that they're standing near?

And what happened to whoever arrived in panel 1?

3rd panel: 'way too many words. "We're using it to play touch football." would get the job done much faster, and almost approach humor.

5th panel: Again, too many words ruins the comedy. And very important: burying the object of Tinsley's attack inside a long paragraph makes it hard to figure out that the whole point of the strip is "USPS is a poopyhead".
More effective would be:
"Jim tore it. We'll leave it alone for a week. We call that 'letting it breathe' here at the USPS."

6th panel: Tinsley shifts his attack from slow and abusive service to pensions, further diluting a very weak "joke". And the final effort to maximize the incompetence of the writing is to follow a question with a question mark.

I go into this detail to show that, while Tinsley's strip is politically absurd (does he realize USPS is partially privatized?), its much worse crime is being incompetently written. It is possible to write funny neolithically conservative strip (see "Prickly City") but Tinsley either can not or will not.

I don't know why; I speculate that it's because comix pages print him for "balance" not quality. He should attack himself for being an Affirmative Action beneficiary.

Kaitlyn said...

You're all wrong! This isn't about the USPS, it's about how employees goof off when they're close to retirement.

Solution? Abolish the retirement age.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mallard seems to be angry that his package is not picked up from point A and immediately delivered to him via a single carrier traveling a non-stop route to his home. He personifies this by sitting in front of his computer all day, furiously clicking "Refresh" on his browser.