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Questionable Content - Strip-by-Strip

Questionable Content - Strip-by-Strip

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Published by Joseph Houk
Strip-by-Strip description of every Questionable Content webcomic, from 2003 to present. (Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques, http://www.questionablecontent.net). Updating once a month, possibly more if time allows.
Strip-by-Strip description of every Questionable Content webcomic, from 2003 to present. (Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques, http://www.questionablecontent.net). Updating once a month, possibly more if time allows.

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Published by: Joseph Houk on Jun 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Questionable Content

As of 14 December 2012 1 Marten: "Hey, Pintsize, I'm Home." (Marten Reed, Pintsize the AnthroPC) ["TEH" T-shirt][Re-done for the book Questionable Content Volume 1] What does Pintsize do when Marten's not home? (Calculate prime numbers, run SETI screensaver) "Three-hour conversations about the latest Intel chipsets are enough to make me spew my RAM all over the place." [Re-done for QCV1] Steve and Marten at the bar (Faye enters in the background)[Redone for QCV1] Faye introduces herself ("If I sense any lusting, I will stab you and poop in the wound.") Faye meets Pintsize: "OH MY GOD CUTEST THING EVAR!" Faye: "I'm still right here, you know." (Gah, Dammit!) [Re-done for QCV1] Faye: "I don't NEED to fake it to look good" (meanwhile Steve is pwning Pintsize on the Playstation... because Pintsize has no thumbs.) Pintsize: "Faye is nice. Is she going to be your girlfriend now?" Sara the Barista [first scene at Coffee of Doom] Faye the Barista (!) [The first "specials of the day" we see on the board: Rockin' Latte, Black Metal Mocha, Emospresso, Electroclash Frappe; "Tip Us or We Will Kill Again"] Pintsize: "Wait, I'm supposed to be HELPING?" (compare to 1292) Phone call from Mom. Faye's first punch The Irony Café (advertise vegan food, serve steaks, lobsters & chicken) Unhappy Vegan, Irony Café Server, and a fresh lobster... Concert-Goers:  One-man Mosh Pit  Chatterboxes  Fashion Whore  Frontline Soldier Faye's poop obsession "No poo-poo on the pee-pee" Roll of quarters. Laundry Night! Heh. (busted) Pintsize's Cake Mix fetish Head jokes give Marten a head-ache. Faye burns down her apartment (with a toaster?) …and moves in with Marten Faye: "Sending (my mother) into little fits of hysteria is my way of saying "I love you'." The Very First QC GUEST STRIP (James Wheeler): Marten and Steve debate KOTR New haircut, and sleeping arrangements... and Pintsize is earning Faye's wrath Indie Cred and buying clothes at the Gap Beating up Emo Bands Faye discovers who Sara's "crush" is (oops, it's Marten!) Sara: "That means I still have to work up the guts to ask him out." Sara has an epiphany (and it's not Marten) Comparing a CD seal to a bra? Marten (to Steve): "You're thinking of asking her out, aren't you." Pintsize delivers the info on the QT. Look on the bright side: you were spared something, perhaps? The Alphabet Trick, an Apple Catalog, and a can of WD-40? Painkillers and Faye's defenestration. Jimbo The Redneck! Get this party STARTED! Halloween 2003 [Faye: Shelley from Scary Go Round; Marten: Gabe from Penny Arcade; Steve: Sam from Sam & Fuzzy; Sara: Jade from PvP; and Red Robot from Diesel Sweeties] "I'll fall down otherwise." (Faye leans on Marten) Faye falls down on the second couch and notices Marten's behind Drink will make a girl say ridiculous things. iPods vs. AnthroPC's (Pintsize LOVES "Crazy Train") Pintsize doesn't do well with babies (tried to find the "off switch") Apple Store Guy Hot Topic Goth Chick gets Faye's wrath [Jeph has intimated that this is Raven's first appearance] Two coffee spit-takes on two bodily function jokes!

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Thanksgiving with your family? No, they drive me insane. They drive me crazy. Underwear Ninja! Bra Pirate! Final Fantasy's secret [Re-done for QCV1] Marten buys a guitar Faye shows she knows her axes (learned from a guy in HS who was trying to get her nekkid – obviously not Kenny Wallace) You're being sarcastic again, aren't you? Marten's past (left behind friends and family to chase a girl, ended up "here") Deerhoof and Pandas! Faye makes a cake – and Pintsize lusts after it "It was SO worth the massive motherboard damage." Pintsize "backed up" Pintsize's new chassis… …which has a "LASER" (!) "I don't want to have to register you with the Department of Defense..." "I would NEVER... okay, so that was a total lie." 2nd Law of Sexual Dynamics ("If you think a girl is attracted to you, you are wrong.") [Re-done for QCV1] Sara tags along (and meets Steve) Sara and Steve are getting along; Marten has "liquid testicles" Faye breaks her glasses! Magical Vision Fairies guided me. She tests her depth perception the only way she knows how. Existentialism and the AnthroPC Nietzsche would have approved. (NIETZSCHE IS DEAD!) Failure, Pavement and broke-up bands Faye's killer death gas Marten: "Whenever you say something nice about me, I always end up getting punched." We meet Dora (and Dora already starts hitting on Marten) Bearded Indie Boys (and Marten can't grow one) Faye: "Heehee, she completely has a crush on you so bad." Dora tells Mieville about the "dashing young man" she met Marten: "Look, there is no way that Dora can possibly be interested in me." Faye: "I am certain there are plenty of girls who are attracted to you, and you just don't know it yet." (GIRLVANA!) Pintsize asks: Who's cuter? (That is what a 404 error feels like.) Faye: "I am looking forward to making coffees and sassing lascivious customers... Dora made (the DA) cry like a little boy." Dora provides us with her first Specials of the Day note: WE ARE SURLY BECAUSE YOU SUCK! Dora: "I might (be interested), were it not for a certain gal who is either being extremely protective of him or entertaining her own secret designs." Dora hits on Marten. "Remind me, which of you is the evil twin of the other?" Marten is "The Office Bitch". (It even says it on his business card.) Scott, Marten's boss (name per Jeph); company is InsureTech – "We Are Better!" Company therapist is the bottle of bourbon Scott keeps in his desk Scott: "Think with your heart, not with your (other body parts)." Faye's ready to kick ass! Faye covers herself Pintsize walks on the ceiling. Steve's coming over – and Pintsize gives Marten the least erotic hickey Faye's ever seen. Pintsize wants to join in the boozing! The first reference to Midnight Hobo bourbon (Winner gets the toilet, loser gets the sink!) Steve mentions he's no longer seeing Sara (something about a cubist painting…) Charlie Brown/Football reference FTW! (Faye being Lucy in this case…) Faye reveals she's from Georgia (which explains the Southern accent when she's drunk) So what made you move up north? "It was a buncha things, like my mom bein' all over-protective an' stuff." (ambiguous, semiplatonic statements) Songs about lost pancakes "You are as perceptive as I am drunk." Marten accidentally walks in on Faye changing [NOTE: no scar was present] Dora weighs in on this "accident"

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Raven appears (still very gothy) Dora's getting tired of the goth scene Steve distracts Marten with his boxers! Dora gets a gift from mom (Swedish "gift store"?) Officially see name of the shop on the window (COFFEE OF DOOM) as Faye chases Dora through the store Marten lays the sass down on Faye and Dora Dora flashes Marten! (and we see Dora's tattoo) "Lake of Fire Ass!" Dora has to do laundry (and Marten has had too much innuendo today) Indie Rock Couplet! CONTROL-ALT-DELETE! (doesn't seem to work for AnthroPC's) Faye kidnaps Dora to have fun… …and ends up locking her out of her apartment. Dora meets Pintsize, and the Insult Wars begin anew How to behave with a girl who's more metal than you Sleeping arrangements Pillow Talk between Dora and Faye (can't hear you zzzzz snoring so hard) Faye snores! Dora Farts! ("I slept well.") Admit a flaw, or punch you? The LANpark (a dog-walk for AnthroPC's) Ellninerr (L9R) gets a see-thru torso Sigur Ros and AnthroPC owner chat A near-reveal on the part of Faye – interrupted due to a laser blast Robotic Annihilation Insurance The Theory of Hipster Relativity! (The popularity of a band is directly inverse to the quality of its music; ergo, the best band in the world does not exist.) Paying the rent or going to the mall? Mall wins! Faye goes to the mall Why Faye does not use contractions …unless she's drunk. Faye's scar Dora and Raven – again; "Tell them I overdosed on black hair dye and died. I came back from the dead to feast on the stupidity* of the living." (Totally awesome. Can that really happen?) "You're making me hungry, Raven." [* - This line was changed, for some unknown reason, in QCV1] Dora visits Faye and Marten Marten the D&D nerd in high school GUEST STRIP (Stirling McLaughlin): Pintsize's JavaSmell Someone was caught staring at Martin's behind... ...and Marten is totally oblivious! Faye intends to convert Dora to Indie ways The Lemon Dress Daily Cleansing Rituals Dora listens to Flaming Lips Dora and Faye are having fun; Underwear Monopoly? Dora got too much sun "Mrs. Robinson" (Dora's 26) "An 8600 in a stock chassis" (kind of AnthroPC that Pintsize is); Dora the computer nerdette Kisses and butt grabs all around! (Not for Pintsize, though) Faye freaks at Dora touching her bottom… just as Special Agent Turing drops by from the Robotics Defense Agency of the US Government. Turns out Pintsize is a M-31 Battlefield Robot Chassis accidentally sent to the local Best Buy [Original was done in B/W; "colorized" for QCV1] Faye shows her self-defense moves Dora saves Pintsize by removing his laser "Space Owl" attacked you! Dora "knows" Alan Turing. They went to St. Agnes HS on Sunderland Street (in NoHo); she used to beat him up and take his cigarettes. Pintsize hugs – and what he goes for when he's first turned on... Sara's apparently still working at CoD (last mention by Dora); First time Faye calls Dora "spooky-pants"; Faye the Ice Cream Mercenary! Kentucky Bourbon Milkshake makes Faye sad… (reminds her of Dad) GUEST STRIP (Sam Logan): So much for the dramatic reveal... GUEST STRIP (Brian Carroll): Questionable Puppet Theater GUEST STRIP (Neil Gustavson): Kimberly Miller, Dora's old Goth friend.

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GUEST STRIP (Aido, Fallen Comic): Faye made a mistake – uploading Raffi songs onto Pintsize! GUEST STRIP (John A, Scary Go Round): Faye and Marten go camping GUEST STRIP (Julie Keene): Dora and Faye play music Faye's parents' sex life; Marten's parents are:  A professional dominatrix (mom);  A gay nightclub owner (dad). …and she even has politicians as clients! Pintsize's first CosPlay with hair! Amanda shows up at CoD; Faye's little lesbian sister How mom found out (yep, she walked in on them) AND she swiped mom's credit card! "Did you know that your left ear twitches when you're contemplating tremendous violence? It's kinda cute." Amanda meets Dora (who we discover is bisexual) Steve gets filled in – and Amanda is driving Faye batty Coffee Beans are not comfy. Faye consoles Amanda... and Marten is tactful ("aerodynamically curvaceous") Amanda' girlfriend turns out to be Lil' Sis from Diesel Sweeties! "And I want my ##### Weezer poster back!" And just as Amanda was about to say when Faye last had a boyfriend! Mom's on the phone! "She is more furious than a mother bear whose cub was just sold on eBay, but she does not hate you." Sending her home, staying in the North, full body casts and paying the electric bill. "Vespa into a stop sign" (is that foreshadowing?) AnthroPC RPG: "Trolls and Flame Wars" "I live to serve your self-esteem, oh radiant goddess of utmost beauty." (Ooh! Say that again, but do it without rolling your eyes this time.) Arcade Fire's drummer guy The Weeping Demon bar Jimbo the Romance Novelist! Faye slowly gets fall on the floor drunk while Jimbo and Marten catch up Faye the Drunken Haiku Princess Beeblebrox's Gambit and drunk-logic "I been meanin' to thank you" ZzzzzazzzzzzzzzzZZZZZ The BAM and PUKE incident. "There. Is. No. God." What happened last night? "Gack... can't... breathe... must... rephrase... poorly-worded... previous... sentence..." Faye's "Dancing Alligator Underpants" Dora: "...grant him unrestricted access to one of your orifices." Pintsize: "It is hard to get a lady to evaluate to true." HA! Using a contraction no less! Ellen the waitress and Steve's "smooth moves" No phone number for Steve; Schadenfreude and Hostess metaphors. ...and Ellen outmaneuvers him! GUEST STRIP (Rikk Estoban): Skull Panda GUEST STRIP (Brian Carroll): Pintsize fails at uploading himself into Marten. GUEST STRIP (Scott Bevan/Kent Earle): Indie Travelling Wilburys GUEST STRIP (Jason Sigala): Jimbo takes over scripting QC! GUEST STRIP (Yuko "Aido" Ota, Fallen): Pintsize mistakes a microwave for a time machine! GUEST STRIP (Jim Burgess): Trolls and Flame-Wars again? Steve ropes Marten into a double date… with Dora? Faye: "Why is everyone staring at me?" Dora's comment about "Faux Incest" Faye cuts Marten's hair; "...Did you just use a contraction?" (Nathaniel Hawthorne costume?) "...so all I had to do to gain your trust was place my physical appearance in your hands?" "...This is DORA we're talking about. You may not make it out of the restaurant with your pants intact." Faye: "That stupid toaster!" Spaghetti and meatballs… and severe bleeding Faye goes to the hospital (Faye WHITAKER). ER Nurse offers to get her an "intern for surrogate punching" Doctor and the punching intern Lollipops, stitches, and Pintsize COVERED IN RED? (Oh, just tomato sauce) "...I don't explode cats. It's way too difficult to coax them into the microwave."


GUEST STRIP (Stirling McLaughlin): Faye doesn't do AnthroPC's. 212 Pintsize has a "chemical spectrometer linked to a holding tank in his torso"… which then leaks out. 213 Faye needs help with her... jeans? 214 Why such tight clothing? 215 The Double Date (and Saran Wrap Fashion Faux Pas) 216 "Taking two different girls to the hospital two nights in a row wouldn't look shady at all." [Old apartment number was "8"] 217 Dora's apartment (first time we see her without black clothing!) 218 Ellen comments on Dora's "boyish figure" (Foot in mouth for an hors d'ourvere?) 219 Ellen majoring in Marine Biology, minor in philosophy ("reading Derrida to Moray Eels") 220 Faye gets a little testy 221 Ellen doesn't like sushi 222 The guys go to the bathroom together? 223 Steve kicks Marten under the table (sign: "Get out of here so I can get my mack on, or bad things will happen.") "I don't know how he got the scorpions in the mattress…" 224 Dora: "Did Ellen seem a little… young to you?" Ellen (to Steve)"…uh, not after next Tuesday…" (she's only 17) 225 Dora invites Marten in to her "lair" 226 Dora grills Marten about Faye 227 Saying Faye has issues is like saying Antarctica is slightly chilly. (Mieville sneaks into the scene) 228 "Doesn't being your friend give me ass-grabbing privileges?" 229 "Too nice for my own good." 230 Nuniverse! 231 Ellen "got into college early." Steve is "Honest, sweet, intelligent and completely crass." 232 Faye: "The Godless North" 233 Why didn't Dora do anything? 234 Cyber Cybersex (Pintsize and awesoemPC1998) 235 Sorry I didn't mention about the age... 236 "You're so pathetic, some girl is bound to take pity on you eventually." 237 Dora: "I'm actually a platinum blonde!" 238 The OMG Turkeys make their debut! (2004) 239 Dora prefers being dark-haired, and it was a "just friends" date. 240 "Our culture doesn't get smarter, it just finds new ways of being retarded" 241 The Mandatory Winger Reference ("She's only seventeen/she gives you love like you've never seen…") 242 Ellen stops by CoD 243 Shower massaging Faye 244 Moray Eels and Gag reflexes 245 Dora: "Helmet have been gentrified. Good Lord do I ever feel old right now." 246 Pintsize blows himself! ("These pipes are clean!") Marten: "I'm 0 for 1 in practicing what I preach." 247 Get people to pay to sneer at them 248 Natasha appears (Ellen's roommate) – "Being filthy is WAY hardcore!" 249 Ellen is six years younger (that means Steve is 24); Nat: "…Guitarist BLED on me!" 250 The seed of doubt… 251 Cute pouty girl Dora! 252 Marten's ex-GF Vicky shows up at COD! MARTEN'S BACKGROUND STORY: 253 Yes, he's from Cali ("I swear, it's like I'm telling my life story to Statler and Waldorf.") 254 Happy Relationship Paranoia 255 "Life-altering decisions should never be made while drunk, dummy." 256 Sold his stuff for a place of his own 257 Dora: "No murdering customers in the store" 258 Faye gives Vicky a milk bath! [Re-done for QCV1] 259 Faye the Milk Ninja! [Re-done for QCV1] 260 Steve meets Natasha [Re-done for QCV1] 261 Nat: "Hard to make out if his head pops off…" 262 She's a virgin 263 ConquistaPorn! 264 Faye the Avenger; "A wheel of cheddar to the skull, a slab of gouda to the groin. Truly, (dairy) is the deadliest of the food groups." 265 Indie-rock band death pool!

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Faye's Vision Quest (Was one of your parents a mole rat or something?) Pintsize catches a Virus AnthroPC safety diagnostics; The virus might have wiped out his memory! [Note on the fridge: The ham is not for you!] Personality Module loaded! (Aaaand he's back to normal...) "I learned that it is never a good idea to download SNES ROM's off of shady websites." (Metaphysical discussion and AnthroPC's) Faye goes shopping for glasses "I wear glasses because I think they look nice... Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar..." Velma – the sex goddess? She got him at "huh buh duh wha?" Hobocore! Marten majored in Music History & Critical Theory Faye was the Art Major, emphasis in sculpture Steve & Ellen haven't done "The Secret Booty-Dance" yet! Raven turns Indie/Emo! Movin', movin', movin'… (Talking to the appliances) Pintsize wants a castle! 144 Dwight Street, Northampton (Ellen and Natasha's building) – too Friends-esque? Steve's gotta see a girl about some food Hiring Raven Faye: "Never underestimate the diuretic powers of coffee." [A customer actually speaks!] Doctor Seuss does emo Marten meets Raven Moving in ("Steady job, good references, unlikely to molest other tenants.") "I am the Hope diamond of hipster girls." (You mean you're cursed?) The "Cave of Twenty Asses" Faye: "Are you sure you're not goth anymore?" Marten: "...My computer has more active love life than me." (Faye's drink of choice: "Midnight Hobo", mixed in old oil drums) Dora: "Murder is not the answer. You always suggest that." (to Mieville) Tolerance of a mole rat (Dora); "...Miss watching (Faye) slowly dissolve into a pool of pure ethanol?" Blueberry Boat, Fiery Furnaces Fun with Steve and Ellen (Murphy's Law of Sex) Ellen is a bit noisy Dora self-medicating with alcohol. Faye: "Ignore the fact that I am a pot calling your kettle-butt black…" "Commiserating in you commissary"; Ridicule Hat! [LAST PAGE OF QCVI] The furtive Secret Booty Dance (278) [FIRST PAGE OF QCVII] "It's so nice to be treated as an adult instead of some stupid teenager." (Alcoholic porcupine) Jerkcity poster in the kitchen! Pintsize "gets laid"! Ellen: "The university has a couple of AnthroPC's for the library. They make fun of you if you try to get actual work done on them." Ellen talks about Connect Four and Octopi; Marten: "I found Jesus. Turns out he was in the kitchen this whole time." "You were joking?" Southern Doom-metal, Eye candy, Emaciated Slide Rules and Flying Indie-boys in NASA Faye's Scar – the explanation: Bad car accident, wrapped her car around a tree. Dora makes first obscure reference to Sven (her "older brother" dared her to moon a dog – and it bit her in the butt) Outsarcasmed! Promise to Faye Duct Tape Pintsize! (Duct tape was supposed to be the "Fourth Law of Robotics") Menstrual Discussion plan (when you became my friend); "$15.99 a month and you'll get the Digestive Issues Bulletin package!" Apartment manager Lorena Torres It's a corner apartment, lot of room and windows Pintsize and a Great Dane Apartment 25 Incontinent kitten: Endearing, but you don't want it on top of you. Metal boyfriends, intelligence and the Socratic Method Confusion, Lust and Uncertainty Triangle; Rhombus of Rejection! Or is it non-Euclidean Geometry? Marten: "That's the cheat code to turn God Mode on." Mating plumage!

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GUEST STRIP (Mitch Clem): Rap's been getting pretty big in Indie Circles lately. The Aloof Sneer of the Alpha Female Indie Chick "Do you ever wonder how much of this stuff people actually enjoy, and how much they just think they like because PitchFork or whoever says it was good?" "Nappy McTurtleneck", the Pretentious Record Store Dude Raven's Specials (and Sara makes one last "appearance" – doesn't like Allosaurs?) Gepetto Cafe Equipoise and a Southern Faux Pas Sven meets Raven; talk about a Sadomasochistic Hockey League? (The dog that bit Dora in the butt was Mrs. Goldstein's Chihuahua.) Faye meets Sven; Dora's mom is Swedish, dad is Italian; dad wanted to name him Joseph after his uncle, but she overruled him. Sven's county music songwriting skillz:  "You Stole My Heart, You Stole My Dog, But You Ain't Gonna Steal My Chevy"  "Me an' You and a Gun Rack For Two"  "Red Neck, White Truck, Blue Jeans" Faye sees Raven's drawings Indie Cred – Marten vs. Sven Faye babysits "Trainee McUselessPants" Raven Faye: "YOU. ARE. NOT. FLIRTING. WITH MARTEN." Emo Dora (Baby Harp Seal on a Down Pillow; Stab Faye?) Faye's called on her bitchiness! Vivanca (Sven's latest conquest); Dora: "NO MORE HITTING ON MY FRIENDS!" (Sven's a year older than Dora) "Jenny Ackerman stopped talking to me in the 11th grade!" Sven: "She spent the 12th grade in the back of my car…" Doing the Robot thing (The contractions disappear when Faye's upset) awesoemPC1998 wasn't a lady, he was all MAN, man! (sorry, Pintsize…) Faye: Shoot me now before I metaphor again! (Faye goes emo!) Caveat Amplexus. Marten: "Really? Sweet, let's bang!" Raven really was cowering in back. And ignore those phone calls from PETA. Brainful o'Issues with new Oedipal Marshmallow bits! Nietzsche O's – one bite and you'll believe God is dead. Back to her usual sassy self... but no hugs. The concept of a little gay robot couple is unbearably adorable. Gender is set in software itself of APC's; Faye is on "coitus hiatus." "Fiery electromagnetic Destroyosaurs" Moping and power ballads! Faye is having body issues; Faye: "There are no save points when it comes to ladies." "I must not laugh. Laughter is the Marten killer…" Faye splits seams Chubby Emo Butt "Aww, you'd martyr yourself for the sake of my self-esteem? How sweet." Faye: "Marten, are you gay?" Marten: "Not last time I checked, no." Faye (to mom): "The Peaches are NOT RIPE." Server: "Kidnapping desert with assault and battery sprinkles" Ellen is "propositioned by a porpoise" (okay, actually a dolphin) Raven changes (again) Faye gets ironic Café Bang-bang (new Tapas place on Elm) Customer hits on Dora; "Reflexive Tense Misuse!" Horribly Off-Key Street Musician (playing Dylan badly and drinking Mad Dog 20/20) Guys hitting on Dora Raven makes a near fatal mistake: Surprise Hug and Tickle Attack! Faye apologizes for flipping Raven? (Dora and Raven tag tickle her!) Faye is the porch light to Marten's Moth. Waiter at Café Bang-bang is Amir! Nat recognized him; she kicked his tooth out at a concert. Hardcore vs. Indie concerts Apocalyptica and covers of other bands with different instruments Ice Cream Indie Metaphor. "Dora Fro!" Raven's hair gel is… AstroGlide? Mandatory "Head Banging" pun. Lubey Junk

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What the tip jar is for (Pizza!); Red Period, Blue Period Pizza Girl to the rescue! (Penelope?) Dora and Marten's "matching" hairstyle Customer – the "prototype" for Angus? Blodwyn Raven (Pritchard; Raven hates her first name); Welsh for "girl who gets made fun of all the time" Dora sets up her server for Marten Marten gets ASSertive with Faye! …and a fractured skull Five Fingers of Death! "Cynical, calculating and sexy." Life condensed by cardboard (moving out of the Blue Apartment) "Solid Snake" reference; It's illegal to put AnthroPC's up for sale online, like toxic waste and nukes Last night on this couch? Oh, that's right… I can haz bed plz? You don't ask Pintsize to help move. The tight terrycloth shorts. Dora: "You know how animals can sense a tsunami before it hits? I'm like that with sexy things." "Sonic hip attack!" Moving in and "the motor oil incident" Not much to move (Esoteric monks who brew their own beer) Do you REALLY want Natasha in your apartment? "You're starting to think like a woman!" Ellen rips on Nat behind her back to Amir (makes up for 260) Marten: "Arranging furniture is easy when you're fortified with alcohol." Steve "deflowered their lavatory" Ellen doesn't do Indie Steve's dad has been married and divorced what, four times? Get a BED! Mieville peed in Dora's sneakers Dora: "…you could always start sleeping with Marten… I'll start sleeping with him, you take my bed." Mieville bites toes while asleep Pizza Girl orders a Double Mocha; "Is the Chinese Delivery Man spreading lies about me again?" (Stan Lee is spinning in his grave – if he wasn't still alive) Successful mattress shopping; "Oh, sure, and the Declaration of Independence might have implied that the colonists were slightly miffed with King George." Pintsize hiding from bed delivery guys; "They think I assassinated Kennedy… the MTV VeeJay." Pintsize's "list" (#472 is his favorite) Rabbit Food and Viking Berserkers Faye uses the phone number of the Gay Nightclub on Pleasant as a "fake" GUEST STRIP (Little Gamers): Marten talks to the carafe? GUEST STRIP (Scott Bevan & Kent Earle): Took the wrong nuts. GUEST STRIP (Kidnemo): OMG ZOMBIES! GUEST STRIP (Jason Sigala): Jimbo's at it again (Dora/Amanda slashfic!) GUEST STRIP (Mitch Klem): Dream, dream, dream on (Though that middle one sounds plausible…) Raven's Tattoo (Kanji for "Princess") Faye is the dragon protecting Marten's Castle (especially if she's had Indian food) Pintsize goes British! Dora comes over [Note on door: DANGER: OUTSIDE WORLD LIES BEYOND THIS DOOR] How much is Pintsize being goofy, and how much is it really a commentary on US society? Dora takes his bowler hat; "Guard your Bosoms" (which Dora does for Faye!) Dora: "…We like the fact that we can actually horse around with you a little bit without having to fear for our lives."; and then, Marten realizes something… Faye decides to decorate her room; Pintsize: "Dear God, Martha Stewart's blood must never be shed or it will usher in the Apocalypse! "Ladies HATE the voice of reason." Venti Schmenti; they charge a 15% markup for BS faux authentic terms (Dora still has the bowler on, by the way) "We cater to people who like their coffee strong, fair trade and free of soulless corporate pretension. Also through threats and sexy intimidation." Dora's day-glo pink shirt and Mythic Slaughterbeast on the sound system ("Tolkien on PCP") Tube-top Dora; Raven? Getting PAINT? (Interior Design Major?) This is all a dream, right, Faye? Got the paint, but what about the rollers and drop cloths?


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Raven's lime-green VW Beetle – graduation present from her parents; they're from Houston. Dad's a rocket scientist and Mom's a physicist. She worked at Wal-Mart one summer (and hated it) Shop like Puritans have sex; Raven likes to BEEP! Raven didn't BEEP, and Faye didn't have a bra on when Marten came in! Raven succumbs to the fumes (or is she speaking in tongues?) AnthroPC housewarming party! "I'm not feeling well, I'm gonna go get some tech support." WHAT? AnthroPC jokes! End of the Robodebauchery. Parent who can turn your power switch off. $400 in cash from the robots! Faye (with headscarf): "Marten, there's a satanic librarian at the door; should I let her in or throw some Holy Water while shouting some Hail Marys?" Marten's Mom: "Marty's dad's lawyer tried to do that. I still won the divorce proceedings." Business convention (in Northampton???); his mom called him in sick from work for a week for eating "questionable shellfish" (that might "come up again"). Run-in with child services when he took her bondage gear in for show and tell… Faye's mom just told her dad that she only got to "second base" with Richie Wilson in dad's car… "Miss Reed"; Dad's sock drawer had "Marine Manwich" Dad's name: Henry Reed, owns a nightclub in Miami; theirs was a marriage of convenience. He's been seeing with a "Marcel" for the last couple of years (oops… maybe mom forgot it was "Maurice"?) Dora recognizes Marten's Mom: VERONICA VANCE! "Queen of Bondage and Fetish Erotica for like fifteen years! Like a nouveau Bettie Page." "Oh man, I've seen Marten's mom naked!" (Katamari Damacy theme!) "LUKE! I AM YOUR SISTAH!" "Bumbling Sweetheart" from Dad Explains Marty & Faye's relationship Lunch with Mom Dora lunch, Faye Dinner Phone set on vibrate... and it was your father, Marty. Dora's from Northampton; used to live in Florida for a while. Marty's been emasculated by a cat? Harem of intelligent hot girls! Raven gets sarcastic The repartee between Dora and Faye ("I'd take your skinny ass out!") Faye has issues over Marty's mom Mom's verdict: Dora's a sweetheart, Faye's your type. Jenny Smith beat him up in Kindergarten… and what's Pintsize doing with a gimp mask? Marten: glorified Kinko's employee Costume party for AnthroPC's? Decorating COD; "Badger to the face" And Therapy. Raven returns with comfy chairs! Bonus points for liking Slayer, but "weird, idiosyncratic pop" doesn't do it for Dora. And start fanning. Woody Allen like Buddha? All life isn't suffering! Raven: "I just figured you were a bitch!" Faye: "I had a nervous breakdown… …the scar was from a car accident. …I had the nervous breakdown while driving the car…" Mom comes in. Delicious Muscle Tissue! (And suddenly, mom's a Vegan.) Steven Tyler (lead singer for Aerosmith) hit on Marten's mom? "Grouper with a bad haircut and a coke habit." Faye's a sculptor. Just moved up here a few months ago (comic time; roughly a couple of months before strip #1) Mom threatens Faye on the order of Hieronymus Bosch Printing her memoirs… Big royalty checks or booty calls? Yes, Veronica is her first name. So, you want to hear the story of my mental breakdown? (NO! – too bad, you will in 38 strips) Pintsize: "I RETURN VICTORIOUS AT EVEN PLANCKLENGTH SCALE!" Using his torso for a cereal bowl? Marten doesn't smoke and hates Katamari. Yellingaboutmusic.blogspot.com Pintsize's arms are "all containedfield magnetics." Marten Bloggorz! Raven's a pot head! Laptop and a broadsword behind the counter at COD.

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Funny hat day! Ellen broke up with Steve. "Too clingy." Ellen's crying Steve's drunken binge "Dude, I am trying to be your friend here but from what I can tell you've made a class-A dumbass of yourself." 474 The Tequila Monster! 475 GUEST STRIP (Jamie McGarry, Lunchbreak Toons) A Chilling Vision of the Future (Baby Pintsize?) 476 Bastard Offspring of a distillery and a paper mill 477 Li'l Stevie Ray Vaughn! 478 Ellen: "Can't stalk him with my course load." 479 Downloading songs "illegally"; DON'T MENTION THE KILLERS! 480 Ellen: "So, Marten… got any other cute friends?" Dora: "Heh, she has no idea how close to death she came." Faye: "I. DON'T. KNOW. WHAT YOU'RE. TALKING. ABOUT!" (as she's got her hands clenched to grab Ellen by the throat) 481 Marriage: "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here!" (Mawwage! Twue Wuv!) 482 Dora: "Can't you hipster kids enjoy anything without being concerned about its cultural trappings?" 483 Ben & Jerry's, Bad Horror Movies and Booze at Bianchi's! 484 Faye's gonna be left all alone (Raven counts as "all alone"); Faye doesn't do heels ("awkward, wobbly and you know it can only end in tears"). 485 Nat and Amir form a band! (And rope Marten into joining!) 486 Practice space over on Ward Avenue 487 Shirley Temples get Raven drunk (and topless?) 488 Raven becomes a therapist? 489 Oops, Raven lives on the other side of Main Street! 490 Raven meets Pintsize 491 "Let's Bang!" (again) 492 Nude Monkeys and shooting things from volcanoes... 493 Mieville vs. Raven (Mieville wins!) 494 Raven's trapped by Mieville at Dora's place (Faye: "The EMT had a cute butt.") 495 Raven's not inhibited! (grabbing Marten's ass?) 496 Raven passed out on Dora's couch. 497 Naughty thoughts of Raven! 498 OMG Turkeys 2005! (their second appearance) 499 Indie Bands devolve into the Grateful Dead as they age THE TALK 500 Faye: "Marty? Do you like me?" 501 "I can't be your Object of Affection…" 502 Dad and Faye were very close; killed Kenny Wallace's goldfish in fifth grade; Kenny Wallace took her virginity in 12th grade in a Buick (Marten's was in a VW Golf) 503 The Whitaker Clan (Faye, Dad, Mom, Amanda); memories of the bourbon in the Milkshake, the secret they shared. 504 What happened to dad on that one morning. 505 The aftermath. 506 The nervous breakdown. 507 Up to date; this all happened two years ago (Faye moved up to NoHo about 8 months ago, ST); she never finished college 508 Why she can't be in a relationship. "If trauma were that easily dealt with, psychologists would work pro bono." 509 Marten says his piece 510 Pintsize in the freezer with waffles. Mmm, waffles. 511 Dora gets the condensed version of the talk. (Davin and Nancy from Something Positive cameo in the background) "YOU IDIOT!... we don't need more skinny cute homo men!" 512 Marten: "Faye and I had a chat." Steve: "I'll get my coat." 513 Jimbo returns 514 Jenny runs away SCREAMING 515 So drunk, Marten doesn't realize he's peeing in the ladies room… Much to Hannelore's amusement (and she's smokin' in the girls' room!; You can tell she has circles under her eyes) 516 Ladies Night at the Purple Opossum – Sven's Weekly Acoustic set 517 Hanners: "I haven't slept in four days… counting the hairs on her head. Got up to 10,456" Hot chick to overtly crazy. 518 Corey Hart (and confusing Raven) 519 Raven shows Sven her "appreciation" 520 Hannelore: Severe OCD; been in therapy since she was 11. Steve: "Captain Manbitch of the SS Whipped". Hanners' Homicidal tendencies side comes out; Praying Mantis



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The puke and man-butt story. Hanners invites him to play Scrabble. (Sex? Her? NO! Eww!) "Scrabble Roofies!" "Having you spelling MURMULE, BURNGSU and RMNXTW in no time! Isaac Brock was a cranky little biatch to Sven. "Dora's giving me her no look. You do not mess with Dora's no look." (Tried to do Indie music: "Met You In A Coffee Shop") She counts stuff. Two strangest: Grains of sand and a husband's back hairs. Pintsize ESCAPES from the Freezer! Mutant Ice Powers? Marten: "Wait, you live here?" Hanners: "…unless I've been STALKING YOU!... Your resignation is creepier than my poor taste in humor." [2006] Sven offers to keep Faye OCCUPIED. If she's out, can't you move in? Minimalist interior to her apartment; WINSLOW! AnthroPC by Apple, looks like a talking oversized iPod; Pintsize keeps logging in to my Ethernet and taunting him with Horse porn. Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham. Marten: "Uh, how'd you know my last name?... Let me go get Faye's Tazer…" "Immobilize Crazy Girl setting?" Creepy stalker girl!

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SHZZAP! (Pintsize: "I don't know who you are, but I like
your style!") GUEST STRIP (Zach, Animals Have Problems): How to Rip Off QC 531 Midnight Hobos for Faye; Raven "beamed her number to Sven using her mind" (The psychic equivalent of a broken 14.4 modem) 532 (Hey, they have a ceiling fan!) Hanners on the couch! Hanners on the couch! …and Faye shows up. Explanation, yes. Rational, not so much. 533 First girl you bring home… …you're the one who vacuums at 4 in the morning. Marten: "If irony were water, this apartment would be Lake Michigan." 534 Marten: "My life is weird." 535 Faye powered by CAFFEINE! Better off "laughing at it." 536 Raven encourages Dora to set the TRAP! 537 Faye deconstructs the true meaning of any classic rock tune. "I'm like the Oracle of Delphi, only dirtier and less cryptic." 538 We see Dora's tattoo… and Mieville (who finally gets a name in this strip) is high on catnip. 539 Faye: "Okay, now Old Faye would pummel one of you until you confessed to whatever you're scheming..." Dora: "She's got fewer calories but just as much body as the original." 540 Indonesian Fighting Spoon! Malaysian Battle Spatula! Dora: "I'm Here For You." 541 That Raccoon! (scared Faye by back dumpster) "I could lop off a hand with that thing! (spatula)"; while everyone's distracted, Raven encourages Marten to go for Dora 542 Marten and Dora – go get lunch! Faye – go look for a therapist! Raven – is a taskmaster! 543 As Marten and Dora walk the streets of Northampton, who's that in the background – Helen Narbon and Dave Davenport from Narbonic? (Meanwhile, Marten needs breath mints and a helmet.) 544 Hanners visits COD for the first time; Faye asks her for therapist suggestions 545 Double Entendre Jokes (Hurr hurr, swordfights) 546 Hanners little doll of Marten! (Voodoo doll? "If I say no does it mean I get to now?" 547 Marten's a giant panda; dating lives of the Olympic Pantheon 548 Is it "Proportionally endowed?" (Restroom of DOOM! sign in background) 549 Dora: "Oooh, gonna play rock star?" (Dora sits in Marty's Lap – much to Faye and Marten's surprise) 550 Marten: "What's the best way to piss off an indie rock snob? Actually enjoy music." 551 Faye: "I'd thank you if I thought you were being the slightest bit altruistic." 552 MAD ROBO-BEATBOXING SKILLZ! 553 The Rehearsal Space 554 15 Year Anthem, The Alan Sparhawk Project – no. DEATHMØLE! 555 Dora and Faye drag Hanners out of her apartment. 556 Hanners is in Apartment 36 (Faye & Marten are in 26?) 557 Hanners gives Faye the number of her Therapist; Dora: "It kisses the boy or it gets the hose again!" 558 Hannelore falls asleep on the couch THE PLOT BEGINS... 530 570 571 572 573 574 575 576 577 578 579 580 581 582 583 584 585

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"It is a very good thing there's nobody around to see my crafty little grin, because I am utterly failing to conceal it." – Dora Bianchi Black trench coats and black hoodies – reproducing asexually? Blue-hair Diner Waitress (and Jeph cheap-shots Australians) Raven's stretch marks are the Frosh 15+; both of them went through the World-hating phase; Raven dieted and got boys to notice her. Dora: "I'm just as angsty as I used to be. I just try to hide it more now." Marten: "Welcome to the club..." Up on the roof (carcass jokes) SHE KISSES THE BOY! A real Dora kiss is roughly 11 times more discombobulating. "If you don't want it, we can... Now... what about Faye? (No Necro makeouts!) Marten tells Faye the truth (at four in the morning)... which she suspected THE BITCH IS GONNA HAVE TO EARN IT. TWO FRIGGIN DAYS??? "Figurative" loose leaf paper. Treat him right and don't steal him away from me entirely... Think I'll be off to Savannah (GA) for a few days... Faye: "It's like talkin' about blowjobs with your mom." Dora: "Please never use those two words in the same sentence ever again." Hanners wakes up Pintsize was in... Mexico? Raven Celebrates! Pintsize gives Marten his condoms (SPERMICIDAL?) Faye is greeted with COFFEE! Steve & Ellen (wow, they're still a couple?) find out about Marty Want you to be happy and stuff AND punch your lungs out the back of your ribcage And then, he woke up... "That is NOT funny!" Where he tried to stick Lil' Stevie last night... Dora: "He and I are both pretty bony." Raven: "Haha! I BET you are." Goin' home to yell at dad. Cinderblock on the toilet seat (Pintsize tried to stow away) Dora with the "Indie Librarian" look; Makeout sex before Trips? RAVEN! You're NOT HELPING. No last-minute makeouts; Raven doesn't get the appeal of Axe. Amanda meets Faye at SAV (Savannah International) Mom Whitaker! Faye's favorite: BLT on toast with Potato Salad and Sweet Tea. "When Bob Creedy's dog bit you, you polished off a box of donuts..." "The bellyache from the donuts hurt more than the stitches." Dora's in his lap again. "Oh, that was easy. I just put out first." MOM! Seein' a shrink. "Crazier than a mule on a Ferris Wheel" The Protocol of Coffee of Doom Pintsize and Winslow fill Hanners in Mom – You have no idea why? "LOVING HUSBAND, DEVOTED FATHER, F###ING IDIOT." Happy Dora Grin – and the Freaking Out Dora Grimace Helpful Hannelore (Sock drawer?); Pizza with even number of toppings. Winslow: "Math is delicious!" Makeout Hobo! David Lee Roth and the Buddha Aunt Bettie thinks you're going to Hell; Amanda is NOT "lez" because of Dad; Mom is on anti-anxiety pills Some jokes come off as creepy, even if you don't mean it? "I'm going to smile and nod..." Mom won't remarry Turn off Pintsize, just to be safe Farts and Sex [LAST PAGE OF QCVII] Threesomes are a lot like Communism – they're a great idea on paper, but in reality they rarely work well. [FIRST PAGE OF QCVIII] Goin' to the cemetery Root for the psychopath in the hockey mask; "You know how if you feed a starving person too much too fast, they die of shock? I'm like that, only with romance." Dora's Relationship Checklist: "Hey, you only need to have that kink sprung on you ONCE before you start asking in advance!" Uh, can we NOT have sex? Faye visits dad. (next to a James and Julia DOWSON) They slept together (but no sex). Marten: "I'm basking in the moment." Blonde Waitress has heard this before. Dora: "Part of me is the happiest girl in the world... but another part thinks I'm a horrible bitch..."

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Self-medicate with unhealthy food and capitalism. GET ME TO A SONIC! Marty has enough uteruses in his life. Assertive as a Manatee on codeine AnthroPC Party! (Poor Hanners!) The aftermath of the party (and Marten's first warning about Hanner's tendency to flail around when she freaks out); "I'll go put on my bike helmet." Dora's Worry (Her over you? No, gladiatorial death-match) Faye's Worry (Going back to Massachusetts? Actually, no...) Marty: I NEED TO STAY OUT OF MY APARTMENT. Islands? "I'm just waiting for the right moment to jump in with a peninsula joke." [Coffee with a scone in it; Scone with a cookie in it; Your ### with a hamster in it] Cornbread! Amanda's the "sane" daughter… but Faye's punches STILL HURT. "Uncle Danny still falls for it!" (The fake crying trick) "Same plumage" Ellen (while on Steve's lap) tells about Natasha's drinking, Amir's "too f### to drunk" Oh yeah, that's right, he's employed. (Why not find a new one?) Raven volunteers to pick up Faye at the airport! (Pay her by the hour, it's cheaper) Dora: "I promise I'll be good and let you get some sleep." Marten: "I think that would entail at least one of us being in restraints." Faye's on her way home! (…and suddenly she's drinking again.) Scott (to Marten): "Welcome back! You're fired!" Scott's off to Spain, Ibiza w/boyfriend Raven does the crying trick to get out of a ticket. Get the sodium pentothal and rope! Josh from Marketing starting a Mailroom Cart Racing League! CoD gets the news: He's unemployed. Faye is hoisted by her own gag reflex joke petard! Hanners puts extra RAM in Pintsize (like giving a three-year old a can of Red Bull) PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE! Instead of epees we use Smartassery! THERE'S A KATYDID IN MY BURRITO! Living in the future, and Hanners is scrubbing off a layer or two of skin (again) Real Dolls with AI? Dora Dreams of Mark McGwire (while Marten dreams of a comfy chair) Smoking, OCD and Marten's Couch Hummers, or $30 grand for a song? Surprise, surprise: Hanners likes Bach. "Raven Pritchard thinks you're a hottie!" (gives Sven her "card") AnthroPC Message Board with photos of Owners in Compromising Positions; he got served by Hillary Rodham Clinton! Sven's a "pack of Oreos" Whiskey on the job DEATHBOT 9000! DEATHBOT MET WIL WHEATON ONCE! DEATHBOT HAS INTERNET GIRLFRIEND FROM CANADA! Jimbo's new venture Reverse alcoholism? Pintsize modded the couch! CONDOMS???? Faye dreads her first session with the therapist Dr. Corrine Buenvenida; Lobotomy jokes! Coffee of Doom is Busy! Where's Raven? (Angus first appearance?) That's not her! "Bigger Boobs, people!" The Sass Talk Pulls 'Em In! (Customer points out review in local indie rag) "Bitchy Barista Babes Brandish A Bevy of Breathtaking Bean Blends" Dora: "This must be what Mark Hamill feels like at Sci-fi conventions" Faye tells Dr. Corrine about Dad. Rorschach: "NO SARCASM PLEASE" They found Raven (with a McPedro from Girls With Slingshots TShirt?) Customer: "I'm here for the indifference as much as the espresso." We're the new "hip/not hip place to fulfill your caffeine jones"… Raven: "…Faye's been laughing maniacally for ten minutes now…" Faye at her WORST! Dora's never seen as many tear-stained dollar bills since her dad hired a stripper for her Uncle's funeral

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The Insult Vampire; Marten comes in; "…I WILL turn the hose on you." CoD – now hiring? Nat & Amir visit CoD; Campus library is hiring! Nat: "caught passed out topless on the copy machine… and apparently went through a ream of paper…" "Hot Goth Booty in the Coffee Shop" Pintsize and molesting Nat's keyboard? "Sexist towards musical instruments" Therapy went well; Joy of Self-stimulation? Gary Coleman slashfic??? GUEST STRIP (Scott and Kent, White Ninja): Pintsize TMNT? Hanners Hacks Her Hair; "Therapy Sisters!" "…We should have seen it coming." Deathmøle and Unicorns! Faye trims Hanners, who cuts to the chase about her family:  Both parents massively wealthy, hate each other  Mom has estates all over the world  Dad spends most of his time on the space station (WHA? "He has his own space station. That's actually where I grew up. I came down here because super-intelligent orbital defense satellites are good for casual conversation but (not much for) useful therapy."  Crazy as hell and richer than the average Saudi prince and from friggin' SPACE! "I've been waiting three years for this strip!" - Jeph Nat smells… earthy Pintsize and Winslow, alone again; Equal Rights for Robots! "What, and have RESPONSIBILITY?" Wait, if you have bad OCD, why ear piercings and smoking? "A girl has to have some glaring contradictions in her life." Meanwhile, Sven's cornered in the men's room at the pub! GUEST STRIP (Chris Hastings and Kent Archer): Pintsize is cruel with CD jackets GUEST STRIP (Julie Keene): Dora's Day Off! (and a subtle visit to Starbucks) GUEST STRIP (Jason Sigala): Raven's a Robot! GUEST STRIP (Jim Burgess): Indiana Pintsize saves the day! GUEST STRIP (Ryan North & Liz Greenfield): Dinosaur and The End Of QC (Yeah, right) GUEST STRIP (Kidnemo): Oops, Marten overdid it.. Marten gets a shove from Sven (SBV, the greatest bar game of all – the S###ty Bar Videogame!) Marten breaks out the Wang jokes! Are you hitting on me? You're not very good at this. Genevieve is her name; "Light fuse and get away" "I've got that bastard cornered now." Faye: "…house cat staring down a bengal tiger." Meh, he's not worth it. Sven, meanwhile, sneaks out through the window… to Faye saying, "…Betcha I do." GUEST STRIP (Lem, Bunny): What if Pintsize ran Coffee of Doom? DRAGGING MARTEN INTO IT! (Knuckle crack #1) "Dumpsters six blocks apart!" Inept Indie-boy ways. (O'Surly's Pub; name on wall) Recursive vomiting; "So Sven makes you HORNY?" Sven "apologizes to Genevieve (Knuckle crack #2) "A for effort, B for beatings." "Some drunk hipster chick on a Vespa plowed straight into me." O'Surly's bartender (female): "Sorry, last call"; Karma's a bitch. Sven: "The new era has been postponed until tomorrow." (Blonde ER Nurse) Marten's job search begins CoD hiring (part 2) Cayenne Coffee! Faye tells Dora about Sven, Gen and Marty; Dora explains: "coasts by on charms and good looks… he needs a girl like you to beat some sense into him." (Raven: you handle the beatings, I'll handle the sexing!) YOU ARE NOT TAG-TEAMING MY BROTHER! Tai the Librarian; Smith College Williston Library; "Is there a reason why (the application) is written in iambic pentameter?" YOU'RE HIRED! (Librarian humor) He got a job! (Bartending at a convent?) Faye's not jealous, she just ate a lot of chlorophyll. Why can't I do that? "Uh, excuse me, I ordered a Latte?" CarrotPickle Espresso Monstrosity Hanners Plays the Roomba with her Robots… and it attacks Pintsize! (Smart vacuum!)

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There's an explanation for Dora and Marten's change of wardrobe… (Monk Ninjas?) Monk Ninja: "Large latte and a couple of bags of ice?" (Feng the Monk Ninja) WHUNK! "When did we get a soufflé pan?" Penelope (or is it Pizza Girl?): "Hi, I'd like a large white chocolate mocha." ($4.50) "The Coffee Crusader"; "Caffeinatrix" My NAME is Penelope Gaines. I AM NOT PIZZA GIRL! I already have a job! I work at a bookstore! You people are INSANE! Shanghaied into working at a coffee shop? She HATES romance novels. Pintsize isn't very clear on what happens at girl's colleges; "...no more late-night HBO for you." Dora = .65 Fayes (Complicated formula of cup size, body fat percentage, enumerated index of psychological issues) Raven's got massive ZITS on her forehead! Hanner's Roomba hates Marten! Winslow's existential crisis (part 1) Winslow's existential crisis (part 2) Another Pintsize cosplay: Samurai Pintsize-san! Raven's Hair Gel (Dora goes faux punk rock) "Ogami Itto" Robonibocho Angus (still not named, first lines): "…miss the days before all popular" He doesn't even drink the coffee! Ten drinks and your next is get the #### out. Is coffee vegan? Goth Cassowary; Steve and Ellen broke up again …and just as Steve was hitting on a girl, Faye & Marten break in. "Deep sea research vessel." (yeah, right) Remember the talking purple weasels? $500 of fantasy knives off eBay! Quantum Fetish Mechanics (Rule 34-Q?) Pizza slices the size of one's head [Mimmo's Pizza in Northampton, not named.] Hanners: "One slice of cheese please and go easy on the carcinogens." (Mumbling Pizza Place Guy) Dora: "…this was the exact point when it all went to Hell." Finest Bourbon Whiskey! Distilled Essence of Mr. James Beam himself (Glowing bottle?) (Is that Jeph as the Liquor Store Guy?) Faye: EVERYTHING'S BLUESHIFTED! "May cause you to get religion, get naked, or get arrested." Bourbon Bobcat (aka "Beast of Bourbon") VESPA AVENGER! Ani DiFranco at a frat party; Bourboncat: "Four bottles of vermouth before Gary the Nine Foot Pterodactyl shows up." Faye & Hanners passed out; pile of ladies! Dora catches Faye with only a towel and a toothbrush; Hanners: "Oh, INDY!" "I don't wanna know about it." Pen-el-ope! Got fired from the bookstore. TAKE A PICTURE! Class-action lawsuit. Insubordinate "half the charm of working here!" "Hall booty is bad booty": Serena, Ashley, Jill, Bailey, Jenna, and Tai's roommate Bri (Brianna?); polyamory and the single lesbian; "They all have mono and Jill is pregnant somehow." Bailey appears; Tai has a case of Angst-septis (needing Dramabiotics) Bailey ≠ monogamy, Tai ≠ polyamory; Tai: "don't have to deal with stupid girl drama"… Marten: UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER! Disgusting Carafes and various "ery" "Don't out-creepy me!" Hanner's first words were "Thousand Yard Stare"; Pintsize clipped her toenails? (Hanners still loves Marten's couch) Vespa Avenger MUST BE STOPPED. www.vespavenger.com; B for Bitchdetta; Internet is like Kim Peek (aka "Rain Man"), only rude and obsessed with pornography Penelope's indoctrination Witty Banter – from burritos to cleavage to saddlebags to Joan of Arc to schizophrenia to better cell phone coverage in Hell to YouTube videos... but Pen is drawing a blank. Raven meets Penelope as her co-worker Ellen and her new boyfriend (Marten: "Gee, that was fast… I work here now.") Chris is his name; her Uncomfortable Truth-jitsu Tai (finally named) is the amateur psychologist The plan to take down Vespa Avenger begins! (with six APC's and Winslow in the audience) Are they acting? Laying it on a little thick…

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Here's your sign! VA: "No, I'd want his phone number!" VA: "Hang on, wrong button." VespaBot! Pain… level… SHATNERIAN… in…intensity! Pintsize tosses bricks! Deus Ex Machina – literally! Vespa Avenger takes a pounding "O'Malley is high as hell!" (NoHo po-po) Agent Turing returns! Illegal possession of a Combat Robot; offer her a gig in Research & Development Swedish-design poking stick Mild, Medium, or Southern Spicy BBQ? (customer with the Elvis hair) Mom sends Marty a package: "I AM THE PRETTIEST PRINCESS" t-shirt! Elephant seals, corsets, and mating season (Penelope strikes back!) Penelope and the term "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" I am NOT crazy! "That's just what I'd expect a CRAZY PERSON to say!" Pintsize has a peace offering for the Roomba ("void all of your warranties.") Chariot race with the Roomba! (off the edge of the stairs) Get a toothpick for Hanner's Hard Reset Button OMG Turkeys 2006! Chinese Delivery Guy! (non-speaking role, last "costumed" delivery character); Tai has her own social circle Faye: "I wish I had someone to cuddle and watch movies with me." Sven: "Spider sense… tingling!" (Bimbo: That's just my chapstick…) Boo-boo, Dora's stuffed bunny Raven is shocked about Marten Tai talked to Bailey… and it didn't go well. Then she, Serena and Ashley… hooked up. "Ornithologist" joke. Drusilla of Boreheim Manor, by Rutherford Wainwright Ashecrofte – aka Jimbo! Angus (still unnamed): "Where's the Cranky Brunette?" Daily Dose of Contrariness; Penelope: Bop you over the head with a Carafe. Tai: "Trashy, poorly written, incredibly sexist towards BOTH genders, and the most entertaining thing I've read all year!" That dude who always comes in… 19th Century Porn? Introducing Tai to Jimbo – and Penelope's "vice" Dora the Warmth Vampire! "A good corpse desecration joke" Others who've seen Dora naked (and Tai hits on Dora?) "The entirety of our culture is a vast conspiracy manufactured by the diamond cartels!" Marty warns Tai about Faye Adorable Butch Girl! Jimbo: "Wait, what? You LIKED it?" Gonzo Romance Novelizing! Hunter S. Thompson would be proud Dora & Faye "Girl Talk" Entre nous Angus Too stupid and self-centered to realize she doesn't enjoy matching wits with him. Plate Glass Window Pintsize gives everyone thongs for Christmas! [B/W] GUEST STRIP (Eric, Minimalist Stick Figure Theatre): Tai reveals she isn't as butch as Marten thinks… "We call him Argument Guy." Angus goes FLYING! Bartender: "Is your friend looking for work? We could use a bouncer…" His name: Angus McPhee. Can't set them on fire with your mind Marten gave a girl a frog in 3rd grade – now she's a herpetologist! Pintsize goes Dadaist They're Fuzzy! Ellen apologizes; "Mistake Whiskey" Bad decision checklist (Ellen's last appearance) Angus gave her his phone number; Raven: "I win the bet!... whether or not you'd kill him when you found out…" April 14th and a bet about getting laid… Tai: You don't look like a lead guitarist. The Lion proverbs (Mess with the lion…) Sven is CHANG-ing his WAYS! And then Eva came along; Sven: "This is like beaning someone coming out of an AA meeting with a bottle of 20-year-old scotch." Faye insultasaurus "You're still following me?... How long do you think this existential crisis is gonna take?"

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The Faye Recovery Plan; Sven prefers blondes; he's a Quantum Jerk Attractions; Misogynist Prick? "No Ani DiFranco fans." Raven gets all Highlander on Penelope; "I just washed that knife, too." Heavy anti-anxiety meds for Hanners… and a lack of pants. Dora's Emergency Skirt saves the day… and Hanners ends up passing out. Tai's music: Euro-electric. NEVER EVER CHECK MY BROWSER HISTORY. Pintsize's Porn Database "…violate the monogamy clause of our relationship" Hanners is crying at anything Pintsize and Winslow again Mind-altering drugs (as she downs a bottle of hooch); selfmedicating with alcohol Gonna lecture me? Dr. Corrine: "What makes you uncomfortable?" Faye: Marten & Dora is what could be; Sven and Angus are jackasses – HOT ones. Dr. Corrine: "Not every man is your father." Three things you'll never hear a therapist say:  "Just go out and bang someone."  "I think the heroin is doing you some good."  "No WONDER your mother never loved you!" "Pooty pants"; worst possible thing you could say during sex: "Happy Birthday Grandma!" Faye ordered a pizza from the place Pizza Girl delivers for… Schizoid Penelope? Pizza Delivery Dude! "She called in sick today." Didn't think of that possibility, huh? Penelope: "You two (are) MY comicallyinept antagonists – or Pizza Girl's?" She may not be Pizza Girl, but she'd make a great Harkonnen. (Dune reference FTW) Tai and FlashLARP PotterSpace Ashley, Serena and rug burns Steve needs to go to the morgue. Penelope Meets Steve! Nursing home for the critically oblivious? Steve's having a psychotic break "I could arrange that. I work at the county morgue." (Meena; who is yet unnamed) "I just realized I'm talking to a stranger about his masturbation habits." She's a pathologist's assistant; AnthroPC's are more trouble than they're worth. An APC in record keeping (at the morgue) used a severed head as a marionette to "cheer up" some cancer patients. "Exotic" (third generation American); Ebola jokes Faye fills Dora's Jerk Quota How she (Meena) kills her victims How Oblivious Can You Get, Steve? …Apparently, VERY. Drown your sorrows with us. Break some Lions! (see 792) Hanners meets Penelope You, me and the robot! Steve shaves himself RoboFidel's Pubic Beard! Hanners heard screaming… oh so CUTE! (hugging RoboFidel!) Penelope: "So you won't tell me what the 'hijinks' were and Steve didn't say anything interesting about me or that girl he likes. What's the point of this conversation?" Staff Meeting: Raven – Chief Fountain Officer; Faye – Chocolate Delivery Logistics; Penelope: Human Ass Resources Amir at the Library; Nat's got a new guitar ("Smoke On The Water" is like "Chopsticks" for the guitar) Don't make me make you wear the aprons again! Raven's not as dumb as she acts (Shh! It's a secret!) Dora's allergic to roses. "Nothing says 'I love you' like anaphylactic shock." He's skipping down the street! Post-coital glow (lens-flare!) "Why I'm late for lunch…"; Nat was found by THE ENTIRE BOARD OF TRUSTEES. Her mom was one of them (which is why she wasn't expelled) Jackson guitar? Amir's former GF dealt coke …TOTALLY NOT PUNK-ROCK AT ALL. But Marten's seeing TOUR BUS! We need a drummer.

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"Create A Comic Project" by Alex [repeat of 738 with a different script – one that makes less sense…] How AnthroPC's are made… Pintsize: "MOM?" Horror Movie Fan? Anything for sloppy makeouts! Raven: "A good barista never admits defeat!" (crawls through the vent duct into the store?) Die Hard Raven with a Pigeon! (Bruce Willis/Alan Rickman jokes) "Mock you all the way to the funeral" Savant Raven Angus: "Aw, I missed you too." Faye: "I'm absolutely awful about keeping in touch with people I dislike." SPLASH! Too many John Cusack movies. (Bad timing, Sven) Eve from AppleGeeks visits Winslow Sakura-Con 2007 report (B/W) Marten's haircut – and Dora freaks Go Eat A Cookie. Hot Hairstylists Insecurities Drummer? Money, dedicated, obsessive… HANNERS! Hanners calls Dr. Corrine LOUD is FUN! She's a natural I am a cleaning NINJA! Hold Mieville down, clean his infected anal glands Faye's on her own New bar on Main; Knob Creek and a knife to stab. "Plain edged or serrated?" Sven stops by… and is nearly threatened. "Even smarmy, emotionally hollow cads need company sometimes." Marten draws himself and Dora roasting marshmallows on Dora's back! Sven's old burnout music buddies:  Jerry has a kid and two jobs;  Scott moved to New York for work;  Alan was kind of a prick… Faye slobbers and insults Sven! The difference between Sven and Marten? (Compare to strip 40) The New Video Drivers make Pintsize Trippy! (Faye forgot her keys!) Hanners?... no response (Apartment 36) Sven's place (bird pooped on the skylight) Sven makes better coffee? Princess (she's my villain cat); Sven: "She's a slut" Faye: "Pet-owner convergence"; Female Doberman or Wolverine with Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome Sven: "If Dora finds out, I'd be dead"; Faye: "She'd have you committed for suicidal behavior." Uh oh… Dora finds out! Raven goes Pink and Black? …wanted to bleach her hair; Vinyl bodysuit and cat ears from every anime nerd's dream girl! Dora: "Marten would make such a cute Yaoi Boy" Steve has Morgue Girl issues. Steve: "…lot of time pointing and going HA HA!" Murphy's Law of Romantic Comedies. One aging hippie away… …and that's when Meena (who's still unnamed) shows up. Steve: "I'll show you! I'll ask you out to dinner!" Meena (NOW he knows her name); had to help find her boss's watch in a cadaver – and found TWO watches. Amir: "Some chick is playing drums and CLEANING!" Oops… Raven's mad. HIS APARTMENT!!!?????!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!! Drums. Practice. Coffee… Hanners fell asleep standing up? NOTHING HAPPENED! Hanners wakes up; Faye: "We can fill a keg with espresso, but you have to sign a waiver." Pintsize has gone from "Endearingly Misguided" to "Disturbingly Malicious!" (Seriously, stop trying.) Meena: "YOU AREN'T GETTING LAID TONIGHT!" Got shushed by a gang of librarians! Roommate playing porn videos? Roommate is Dave – an ex-boyfriend who never got around to moving out… Confusing Sex Noises Hanners (about boy kissing her in the 8th grade): Doctors said I was lucky boiling water didn't leave any permanent scars Disinfectantbot! Angus: I like tea! …uh, Aphids? Weirdly flattering idiot [LAST PAGE OF QCVIII]

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Physical attraction to things that irk me. [FIRST PAGE OF QCVIV] Restacking books and "Suicide Guys" Faye: Was that a band? "Someday I'll be a REAL GIRL!" Flying pigs, avian bacon (Dora and Marten); Nope, Hell froze over! Marty and Dora do the Secret Booty Dance! …separately. GUEST STRIP (Lem from Bunny): Dora's a robot? 1832, Euro-American Conspiracy Theories (The Hidden Secrets of Most Europeans by J. Edward Runcible) Compliment Tourettes! "Hugging Hannelore Heralds Heavy Hyperventilating! USE IT!" And Nat STILL CAN'T PLAY! Nat: "Why do I have to be a math major to ROKK?" (no Rush for her) Hanners: "My mother is coming to visit tomorrow." (disembowel with Nat's guitar?) GUEST STRIP (Stig, The Secret Crocodile Adventure Club): Pintsize does Tom Servo! Darth Vader in a Martha Stewart costume Mom's here. Great-grandfather Thaddeus Whitehall Chatham spent 20 years in the African Bush; gave them new word for "pompous, condescending white man" I was joking about the blackmail… Faye takes Hanners and Hannermom (Beatrice Chatham) shopping! Less time on Therapists and Doctors and more on Discipline (Bloodletting cure for influenza) Kicked out of the mall? Limo crashes due to Hornet (limo driver gets off easy with a concussion) Eagles Fly on the Fourth of July! Faye's about to go off on Hannermom when… Brown Gunk in the shower? Martinis? (FINALLY! Something in common!) "Love hurts… but the hangover is worse!" Saying I Love You on the toilet isn't a good idea.  Lucky pregnancy  Went right to nannies  Divorce: Hanners wanted to stay with dad  She (Beatrice) had no clue, so she said OK Weeping Demon, meet the Chathams! (Faye will use PowerPoint and 3-D Models) A Business Proposition for Dora: Coffee of Doom, the Chain!); meanwhile, Hanners messes up Faye's hair! GUEST STRIP (Stig – again): Marten's t-shirt usage Mom: "Can't touch men's room toilet without having a nervous breakdown." $2,000 easy money (cauterize the stump?) Marten: "They always aim for me!" Bedside manner of an autistic vulture What to do with the money? 1970 Gibson SG. Harmonix Guitar Shop Guy (guest strip?) Leopard skin/Jaguar skin/Panther skin? GUEST STRIP (David Willis): Willis does QC! Indie Rock vs. Transformers! GUEST STRIP (Corey Marie): Beer Pong! GUEST STRIP (Scott & Kent, White Ninja Comics): The Band Jams GUEST STRIP (R.K. Milholland of S*P): Pintsize messes with Faye's dreams GUEST STRIP (KidNemo): Pintsize's dreams GUEST STRIP (E. Oliver Coakley): Pintsize, TRANSFORM! GUEST STRIP (Chris Hastings/Carly Monardo): Don't give Faye a time machine Multiple conversations; Pintsize Underwear Ninja! Faye and Sven repartee Underwear Ninja Hanners! Dora puts her hands on Hanners' ears! Hanners: "Ew, boys are smelly and gross." '65 Les Paul is the Canadian Girlfriend of Guitars. Winslow isn't a Mary Kay Cosmetics AnthroPC. Faye: Vintage Les Paul isn't actually a vintage. '61 to SG; no Les Paul name. Faye KNOWS. One letter to PORN! "Option-W Porn? That's weird…" '83 Les Paul. That's not flattery, that's masochism. If aliens ever really tried to contact us, it'd be through the internet. Then 4chan would scare them off.

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Toshiro Mifune! MacBeth! Faye: "I get snarkier the more cheerful I feel" Sven: "God forbid someone have sex with you." Neon Genesis Victoriangelion! ("Kev's a big fan of Arby's…") Pintsize: "My Wacky Hijinks have jumped the shark! Ray-Ray (Buffy DVD's); Faye-Faye (Movie at SVEN'S); Raven: "You HAVE to set me up!" Faye: "Shakin' your can was so SUBTLE." Faye's the Alpha Bitch; Pen's in the Omega Position; Raven is into the Big Bang! Penelope: "Hairdresser made FUN OF ME!" (and the boys are whispering about the hot blonde barista!) GUEST STRIP (Chris Daily): Gender Bender I'M NOT PIZZA GIRL! (Beats the boys off with a broom) [10:57] Wake up, little Dora... "Failed Romantic Liaison"; Dora: "Woo! Take it off!" (Faye's peeking through her fingers) Hanners brushes her teeth. Mom sent Hanners "a few documents" (and has to move in with Marty and Faye for a few days...) Fired the accountant... out of a cannon into a volcano. Coed hits on Marten; Tai: "Either love or Stockholm Syndrome" Benjamin the D&D Dork gave Raven a 12-sided dice! Raven: "Dorky boys treat you like a total princess if you're a hottie who'll give them the time of day." Gravity. I hate gravity. Hamlet in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk dystopia (William Gibson, Ridley Scott, Keanu Reaves?) Hanner's bag of toiletries (in a huge tent bag? Purple Hair! (Pintsize: "Oh, that's mine.") Marten: "We never made plans..." Dora: "What? Did I do something wrong?" Having sex with a grain thresher? (Got a gun?) Faye: "You two are both all insecure 'cause you like each other so much." Dora: "Who else am I gonna ask? Raven? Penelope, the bitterest girl on Earth? HANNELORE? I don't have a lot to work with." GUEST STRIP (Ryan Estrada): Hannelore Cleans EVERYTHING Let's All Study To Gabriel Ananda Day! Light switch Rave on the second floor with Serena and Ashley (?); My life: ...lesbian techno reimagining of Animal House. Mrs. CHRISTMAN! (President of Smith College!) "Experimental alternative study environment focusing on the use of rhythm and body movement to enhance cognition and productivity." (And the rave on the second floor?) "Testing whether audio-visual distraction has any effect on the overall efficacy of the study group." Tai "ID's" as a male; Boobsplosion/Ballpocalypse Muffins for Tai; Anything not on menu for Marty; Brothel and Pastry Shop! Patisserie de Sade Dora: "Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past." Marten: "...Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future." Faye: "...Common Sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot NOW." Hanners likes steamed veggies and white rice from Chinese takeout; Faye: "You don't wanna work, you just wanna bang on your drum all day?" (Bad joke of the week?) Physicist Porno! (Stephen Hawking knows how to party!) Pintsize : Kitchen :: Humans : Zoo (the Blender's "paintings" – he's very enthusiastic!) Mop the ceiling, Marten! "Use your alcoholic's ingenuity." (oops... Faye storms out) Hanners: STOP FRIGGIN' FIGHTING! ("pavorite pants"?) SheHulk Moment Faye goes over to Sven's: "My friends are idiots." Dad's here! GAAAAH! Peter Bianchi, Sven (and Dora)'s "Old Man"; Ohhhh... "Friends with Benefits"; Faye: "Great, now I'm an alky and a trollop. Two deadly sins down, five to go." Dad: "Don't do anything I wouldn't do." Sven: "That doesn't narrow down my options, Dad..."; Faye: "My life is slowly falling apart." Talk to therapist about drinking; SMACK! Sven: "No amount of self-pity ever helped anybody feel better!"; Faye: "...whack with a magazine when I get whiny?"; Dog peeing on carpet – and Dora biting her fingernails (So THAT's why she gets flinchy with a copy of the New Yorker...) Faye whacks Sven – "You were FLIRTING!" No Tighty Whities. "Bedroom closet or Linen closet?" (Hide the Hooker!)

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Giving you a hug, Relax! (PFFFT!) "Did you just..." "YOU SAID I COULD RELAX!" I need someone to kick me in the ass. (Oooh, ooh, pick me!) Not in my health plan's network, sorry; Marten: "In Canada they have socialized asskicking. It's called 'Hockey'." Dora: "You realize that I'll murder you if you seduce her, right?" Sven: "She met dad." Dora: "Jesus, he has no idea how close he came to death..." Dr. Corrine: "Why do you drink?"; Faye: "Awesome, out come the happy pills." Diet, exercise, omega-3 fatty acids; "Swift kick in the rear is still in clinical trials." Penelope works out; Working out is a lot less fun if your partner is a SADIST. Freaky Clone Couple (POD PEOPLE!) Marten does all his exercising in the bedroom. (Had to go there) "No, really, I do sit-ups! Ce n'est pas une double entendre!" Hanners found the discrepancy, mom... "Astrotech revenue reports... accounting software correct for a rounding error that didn't exist... Corroboration? Paranoia? $6 million! Jail? I DON'T CARE THAT'S WHAT THE SHARK TANK... Whale sharks eat PLANKTON, mom..." GUEST STRIP (Otter, A Girl And Her Fed): Marten's having strange dreams about the women in his life... A challenge! Faye & Dora bet on treadmill YMCA Clerks; "Prude!" "Trollop!" "Puritan!" "Nympho!" Your ass, it jiggles. Only 15 minutes? Chariots of Fire, not Ben Hur! NAKED OLD LADIES! "...anchor in your pocket, or home on shore leave?" "Oh, ETHEL!" Hanners and Winslow try to make coffee (Non-sentient machines) Hanners: "WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST!" "I think I understand why Faye's so surly sometimes!" Marten: "No shirt, no shoes, no dental floss, no service." Thongs to the Y? Embarrassing (and a full-on view of Dora's Tattoo) Marten made the "second worst latte she's ever tasted." The worst: Faye "brewed" some potting soil instead of coffee grounds (hippies!) "Hah. This from the boy who loses all motor control when I nuzzle your neck." Everything I know about relationships I learned from Leo Fender Uno between Pintsize/Hanners/Winslow; "Lush's bottom" pun (In space, no one can hear you groan.) Marten doesn't care for foie gras; Reverse Strip Poker! Reverse Monopoly would be a communist revolution? Pintsize is an aggressive bettor (with panties?); Cleaning services in Western MA stopped returning her calls a long time ago. Package from John Ellicott; "latest prototype... a ROBOT BOYFRIEND?... Mad-scientist laugh, have you been taking your medication?" "Dip my toe in the dating pool"; Father's dream: building daughter's suitor from scratch! His "bait and tackle are still in beta" Winslow: "Am I being replaced?" You can upload AnthroPC personalities! "I have THUMBS! And FINGERS!" Faye: "My chest is not the Make-A-Wish Foundation!" Winslow crosses the Uncanny Valley; "Great, we've gone from I, Robot to The Terminator." Dora: "Are you getting flashbacks to your first date?" "Hey, Pintsize." "AAAGH! WINSLOW?" "If you had opposable thumbs, you'd be a threat to civilization." Hanners: "...send it back, don't keep in closet." Faye: "Everyone has a few roboexoskeletons in their closet" (Literally: Pintsize's old chassis) No dialogue comic: The Scarlet Letter! (Hanners pinches RoboBoyfriend's tush) "Thinly Veiled Personal Metaphor Blues"; Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies cards (in the bedroom?) OMG Turkeys 2007! ROBO-INQUISITION! Marten: "Sentence Commuted." Rule of Thumb: He who has the thumbs makes the rules. Godwin'ed? "Reductio ad Hitlerum" What rhymes with "philandering"? The CoD house band! New Guitar to practice; Tai Fighter and her Sequencing Beats (DJ Awkwardd Beatz – Mopey Stress-core!) New WIKIPEDIO'S! Modern Sexuality Class Questionnaire; Sleeping with Dora is more like a post-soccer-match riot Dave with the pink shirt and Steve; Why'd they break up?

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Domestic Violence is wrong. And I really like Cheerios! Meena cheated on him. And he forgave her. She ended the fouryear relationship; Dave is TOO PERFECT! He:  NEVER gets Mad!  Rarely makes mistakes.  Immediately acknowledges and tries to fix things when he does  Remembers birthdays and anniversaries  Is studying to be a Doctor to "help the children"  Is a CHURCH-goer  Donates money to charities  Spends 15 hours a week helping the homeless (he does have to sleep sometime) "You're not perfect!" Steve: "Thanks. So glad to know that I'm in you league." Dave overheard the conversation... "If I really was crazy I might not know if I'm a serial killer, so I can't rule it out." Go with it or RUN LIKE HELL. "Raven has some rather... grandiose ideas about my man-tackle." Mrs. Bianchi = Dora's head on Heidi Klum's body; Faye vs. Mr. Bianchi Meet the 'rents; "Don't sell Dad pot" (ex-boyfriend Jerry) Oh, and only have ONE brownie. Tai: Register for the wedding at Urban Outfitters or Salvation Army? Marten: "She doesn't have a sister." In 18 years or so I'll be ready to settle into a nice comfy May/October relationship. Marten, Dad and The Secret Handshake Dora's Mom; "Reminds me of that bondage lady... Veronica?" Dora (after blushing): "Wow, she didn't even pick up on it." Dora gets her looks from mom, Sven from Peter's brother Joseph The Leather Pants of DOOM! Faye & Pen speculate on how high the parents; Faye: "I think you're mistaking bisexuality with substance abuse." Pen: "I think THEY were." YELLING BIRD appears in QC! (Originally a character from Indietits, appearing on Apr. 17, 2005; became a "regular" filler strip on QC) Love is... (Defined by the QC staff.) Dad and Marten, Mom and Dora; "So... you stole him." Had to fight off other girls for dad? (conversation while mom is rolling a joint) Mom: "First one you've brought home I'd sleep with." Dora: "YOU'RE WINDOW SHOPPING IN MY WARDROBE!" Coloring Page (What came out of the box?) Peter and Elssa Bianchi; spent a weekend in the Mojave Desert high on peyote taking pictures of scorpions (may have met Hunter S. Thompson); Kilimanjaro, Pirates in the South Pacific, slapped Nancy Reagan on the... WHAT? Dad is a photographer; freelancing, mostly National Geographic... "What do your parents do?... WHAT?... prol'ly TMI." "It's okay, your daughter..." Avoid Contact Highs; Brushing teeth and washing hands (and a confused Dora) Little Stoner Girlfriend; Hanners gave up smoking; did it just to prove she could do it – she was on powerful anti-anxiety pills at the time; explains the stalking? "No, just me being my creepy self." Faye: "No awkward moments?" Marten: "Your dad used to jerk off to pics of my mom." Dora: "What? Not him too?" (pause) "I didn't have access to any other erotica!" [2008] The risqué stuff would be... creepy. "I'm just sayin'..." STOP IT. Penelope Rises and Shines! Faye... not so much. "You. Did. NOT. Just call me FAT." Penelope: "LOOK AT MY ASS AND TELL ME IT'S PRETTY!" "She made me WALK from the Gym!" "YOU CALLED ME FAT!" Gladiatorial combat (Two girls enter! One girl leaves!) Okay, bad idea. Docking you BOTH... "Early onset UNEMPLOYMENT." Hanners BROKE HER DRUMSTICK! "Lost Home for Widowed Drumsticks" Music Store trip with Hanners: Professional Cymbal Tester? Raven: My Boyfriend from CANADA! "...Raven, you're dating a Hobo." (not Makeout Hobo)


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no... worky...") Pintsize vs. the Roomba (with the gong): "His power level, it's over 9000!" Faye and Dora in undies in the kitchen; bikini line looks GREAT! (You are so WEIRD when you're half-asleep) [Note on the fridge: MARTEN, TOUCH THE MILK AND YOU DIE. <3 FAYE] Those "feelings" for Marty; "Oh I'm plottin' your downfall... not because of Marty, Just plain ol' orneriness. Makes me tingly." (We have GOT to get you LAID.) [The note's gone] Pushing my boundaries on sex : bulldozing a dike in Holland – Hundreds of dead, lots of sogginess Benji the Canadian Hobo (boyfriend of Raven); "Here's ten bucks and a monkey wrench." "Differently employed"; Classical guitarist! "Six pack of Labatts to get in the mood" for off-key rendition of Bobby McGee. Hanners: Raven's dating a STREET MUSICIAN? Dora relates about the old Mental Hospital in town; "functional" ones settled; "THERE COULD BE A CRAZY PERSON LIVING IN MY BUILDING!" (Heaven forbid.) The Panhandler Mafia:  Guy with one-string guitar  Yell-o-phone guy (two notes!)  Bucket Guy Third wheels can be fun! (Local necrophiliacs) "YOU STILL HAVE FEELINGS FOR FIVE GIRLS WHO AREN'T ME????" (#### my honest mouth) "Love the One You're With" is BS; not dating for convenience, you make me HAPPY. "Throwing yourself at another person isn't romance. It's football." Hanners: You say it's your birthday? Hanners is now 22 (for reals); Karaoke show! (Dad threw a surprise party for sweet 16; peed in her pants) YELLING BIRD: Jeph's sick "Young and gainlessly employed" enjoy Karaoke; hey it's SVEN! "Smarmosaur" with friends from out of town (Jerry? Scott?) Sign: NO RICKROLLING THE AUDIENCE! Sven's choice of song for Faye: "Fat Bottom Girls" Faye: I'm gonna kill him. Hanners: Please don't, it's my birthday. "Maybe I'll sing one of those awful songs you write for a living."  "My Wife Left Me For My Girlfriend"  "Yankee Is A Four-Letter Word"  She's Pretty (But She Ain't No John Deere)" Karaoke Wars! Sven: "You Give Love A Bad Name"; Faye: "You're So Vain" (Dude, you just got served); Sven: "99 Problems" (F: Even Jay-Z can't top Jay-Z!; H: Regularly enumerates their tribulations) Hanners sings: Row, row, row your boat... Vodka and Peter Sellers movies at Sven's! (DETOUR – ANY OTHER FEMALE IN EXISTANCE) Princess (Sven's MALE cat); "He's had a nasty stomach bug the last couple of days." FWINGGGG!!! "Aim. Right." HORK HORK (My clean boxers!) The "come hither" look; Faye: "Am I blushing? Why am I blushing?" Sven: "My aim was off! Please don't hit me!" Faye pushes her boundaries: SHE KISSES THE BOY! (While Hannelore gently sleeps – on the couch, of course) Hanners wakes up and sees Faye and Sven IN BED! AAIGH! Creepy note! Creepy Note! Faye wakes up! (We will be postponing this morning's scheduled panic attack in order to admire that fine, fine ass.) Oh, crap, HANNERS! Sven: "I much prefer that form of insanity to the murderous stabby kind." "Race you upstairs?" "Sure beats cryin'." Sven: "Oh #### she (Dora) really WOULD kill me." Who Yelled First? H: AH! Don't kill me! F: Just keep it quiet H: Stop threatening me! F: I'm not... H: Yelling at me? F: You're yelling! H: You're threatening! F: AH!

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H: AH! "Uh, sit-ups. I did a lot of sit-ups." (Penny's not getting it) Pintsize: "How many people get to stop Global Thermonuclear War for their birthday?" Faye makes an appointment with Dr. Corrine... in the Cave of a Million Asses? [Sign on wall: EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS BEFORE PUNCHING CUSTOMERS] Dr. Corrine: "Hang on, let me get some thumbtacks and colored string so we can diagram that..." THE PARALLELOGRAM:


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Dr.C: "What is it exactly that has you all freaked out?... The little voices in your head aren't always correct." Faye: "I got laid. Woo. High-five." Dr. Corrine: "If they hate you for this, they're not very good friends... if they're really your friends they'll understand." Faye: "Why does this have to be so COMPLICATED? ...Don't answer that." Marten & Dora's day in bed. "Submission slot" (hur hur) Hannelore can't keep secrets. Dora: "I'm not sure, but I have a sudden inexplicable urge to strangle my brother. That seldom bodes well." Faye: "Do you want to witness my violent death?" Pen: "Can you wait five minutes? I'll go make some popcorn."


Faye: "Although man, if I WERE a vindictive person, this would be pretty much the ultimate burn on you guys." Dora: "I'm aware." Pen: (munches on popcorn) Faye: "And, well, we hooked up." Marten: "You did?" Faye: "Yeah... (Dora's angry)" Marten: "It would be harder to stomach if I weren't getting hot hot Dora-sexin' on a regular basis." Faye: "Ever the pragmatist." Irrational girlfriend paranoia makes Marten a little CRANKY. I'M BEING IRRATIONAL??? (exit Marten) Wife of Pen's former boss at the bookstore gave him a concussion with the Slimarillion. Marten: Yeah, we know. Hanners: AHHHHH! Marten: "I'm sure you can catch up on your regular anxieties later." Going to the Horrible Revelation (first appearance) Marten & Hanners meet up with Steve; Steve: "I'm turning into MARTEN!" Hanners: "I'm scared of doppelgangers." Belittling her anger; "It doesn't matter what you say, it's what she INFERS that counts. This is girl-logic." Dora's like a hive of Angry Bees. Dave to Steve: "even though I still love Meena, I accept your relationship with her." Marten: "Wait a minute, am I giving YOU a pep talk about GIRLS? WTF?" Steve: "Welcome to Bizzaro World." Friggin' Women. Friggin' Dudes. "I'm not drunk. I'm fine. I'm cool." Get it over with (the Law of Humor) "My life's a COMEDY?" Hanners: Horror Movie – she'd either be first to die or the killer in the end.


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PT410x Linux-based AnthroPC; "High performance open-source sentient mobile workstation"; My Serial Number; IT'S A HEAT SINK! Dad said never let a girl go to bed mad at you. Oh, and "If you're gay, don't marry a woman." Dora's Megadeth to Sven's Metallica:  Everything's always about HIM.  Every other girl at school had a crush on him.  Half my friends were just pretending they liked me so they could sneak up to his room and make out.  He was Mr. Popular and I was just his weird little sister who had bad skin and wore too much black.  He doesn't even have to TRY!  He cruised through HS and college  He never studied and still got perfect grades.  Meantime I'm busting my ass to make C's and D's  Then after school, he writes completely stupid f'ing songs and paychecks come rolling in  I can barely afford a living wage. Marten: "At least Megadeth didn't make St. Anger." Faye's drunk! Hannelore goes off on her: "You are going to SOBER UP and QUIT WHINING because I am NOT PUTTING UP WITH ANY MORE OF YOUR ####!" (She's gone critical!) Hanners: Uh, so... what do you say after sex? Marten: "She's not evil, she's just a bitch sometimes." (Sassing Faye is like the Purple Heart of our social circle) Raven's Graphene to Cupcakene! Homeopathic Donut Water! About yesterday... Raven: "What are you guys talking about?" Uh... petting zoo. Faye: "I told them." Sven: " Oh, Christ, Dora's gonna kill..." "I think I might kill YOU." Sven: "Dammit, that's MY job!" I was over at Sven's... ...TELLING him it was a one-time thing. Raven: "What's not gonna happen again? Faye: "Me hooking up with Sven." Raven: "Nice try, guys. I might not be the sharpest bulb in the box, but I'm not THAT gullible." "Dooorrrraaaa! Faye broke the ruu-uules!" Raven's Little Black Book; Single-spaced? What do the stars by some numbers mean? "You'll find out" (wink) Marten fills in Tai; Tai: "Maybe SHE wanted to hook up with Faye!" The mental image... (Gee, just wait about 440 more strips) [Background sign: "PLEASE RESPECT YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS AND SHUT THE H### UP"] Shelf for the Skulls of our Enemies! Hanners Throws Up! (Morning sickness?) THE KWISATZ HADERACH! Hanners: "You have to PEE on a STICK!" "Just nice to know that sex isn't completely out of the question..." (cue Angus!) Angus tries a Mocha Espresso... and LOVES IT... ...unfortunately, he is extremely lactose intolerant. "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MONTRESSOR!" Dora: "Faye an' Angus, sittin' in a tree..." Hannelore: "It's negative!" (Have you SEEN mitosis?) Yes, they used protection; Sven would be a good dad. "He's good at anything he puts his mind to... (Dora cringes) I didn't mean THAT, you ASS!" Pintsize and Winslow play with EPT's Sven talks to Will (first appearance!): "I've never had a woman shut ME down before." Will's "Ode to the LHC": O, Prometheus of mass We come to unchain thee Not with key, nor torch, nor saw But a circus of relativity. Hadrons colliding A sudden, stable strangelet devours us all. Broke up with the Hobo Boyfriend from Canada; "AnarchoPrimitivist – and into anal. Ew." Sculptural Snickerdoodle! (Bean Destroyer 2000 in the background) No Christo pieces, please. Tai's "fiction writing"; butt-prints on the copier machine (and reminder to bring Windex next time) Dora needs to make some copies; "MY girlfriend, MY copier assistance."

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Copier "activity"! ...which Dora and Marten walk in on! Tai: "You're back awful fast. What happened?" NOTHING! Two trustees; how DISCREET; 30% raise? (and change the locks!) "Oh yeah, like I didn't know you were going off to have sex..." (what's with the 'staches?) Sven drops in @ COD; Faye has to wash her hair; no, really... Raven can't walk and chew gum at the same time... Peanut Butter does work! Faye: Pintsize went from "helpful to creepy again..." Ideal job? Penelope: publisher/literary agent; Raven: Waterslide test pilot (or a sex therapist for millionaires?) Tattoos and meaning; Dora: "I like kittens!" Yelling Bird. Faye's ideal man: Mister Darcy from Pride and Prejudice; Hanners: Mister Clean! (Faye: "I'm pretty sure he's gay." Hanners: "Wouldn't be able to consummate marriage anyways") Will meets Penelope – and he gets "uncontrollably poetic"; Penelope: "Luscious-fruit and delicious-flower similes are thirddate material at best." Will: "At last, I've found my muse!" (Sven: "Oh God, here we go...") Hanners: "If you can do it, then maybe it means someday I could be normal too."; Faye: "We're actually very complicated marionettes..." Hanners: "As far as pathogens go, friendship is pretty okay." Faye: "Common symptoms include an increased sense of well-being, occasional intoxication, and in severe cases ill-advised makeouts." The "Questionable Shellfish" finally comes back up – and Marten finally gets revenge for strip 185! Marten: "I'd really rather not associate your boobs with projectile vomiting." Hanners is stuck in Dirty Dirty Dirty Dirty Dirty mode... "Gin. Combine two parts gin with one part freshly squeezed lemon juice and a drizzle of sugar syrup. Add soda water to taste, garnish with a slice of lime.... (Tom Collins?) You don't seriously expect me to clean up barf sober, do you?" Pintsize & Winslow back from ED-210's robo-bachelor party... "chicks flashing their PCI slots..." Dora: "Food poisoning has switched to his... other end... Family pack of toilet paper, copy of War and Peace, and a gun with a single bullet." Faye: "Th-that's terrible." Dora: "Oh-oh God Faye, the gun thing, I didn't mean..." Faye: "What?... I hate Tolstoy." [Lemon dress appears to have gone through the wash a few times] "Not gonna be all 'oh how COULD you I have PROBLEMS' any time someone makes a suicide reference"... Your turn to clean the bathroom, then... Nice try, lazysaurus. [Mocha w/a hair in it, Latte w/apple core, Scone of Bone] Hanners: "What was the name of the place?" Marten: "O'Reilley's Pub and Steakhouse. Why?" Hanners: "Hey, mom? It's called O'Reilley's Pub and Steakhouse. No, no 'mysterious accidents.' ...Just get some health inspectors in there.... Being the only child of an evil corporate overlord has a few very distinct advantages." Hanners: "Bwaaaah! I wuh-was just t-trying to huh-huh-HELP!" Marten: "This has been the GREATEST DAY." With great power comes great responsibility. "It actually doesn't. My mom never woulda gotten to where she is if she thought she was responsible for her actions." Pigeon and Raccoon attack from above! (Man that vent causes PROBLEMS.) The Doctor tells Faye her x-rays of her head showed nothing... seriously, she had a minor concussion from the raccoon; "You were screaming about 'raccoon pogrom' and how you'd 'cleanse the earth of their vile little grabby paws.' I had to hold you down while Penny called the doctor." Walking wounded Faye and Gastronomical Distress Marten; Dora: "I could send Sven over for (a kiss on the head)" Faye: "I make enough bad decisions around him without a concussion." Girls Gone Wild: Head Trauma Edition And any minute now, Pintsize will do something weird... Er, what? "I didn't feel sufficiently fraught without them." Do you know something I don't? Filler: "Sweet-tits" makes her debut (in black-and-white) "Don't you understand? I got Sven into nerdy chicks!" "Whoa, whoa, you've got the wrong idea, lady. Sven is my CLIENT." Sven: "She's not a whore, she's my lawyer." "That was not one of your finer moments."  "Ill-advised Hookup"

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"Irrational Recrimination" "Ice Cream as an Emotional Band-Aid" (I got THAT merit badge forever ago.) Faye's nice, she's just kinda... crazy. "I didn't think you liked brunettes.... not as attractive as your money... SO glad I only accept checks and money orders." That's Harriet, Sven's lawyer. Friend from college. If Steve Jobs and RFK had a time-traveling clone-baby, he might be able to get her non-work number. If he went back in time and killed Hitler, she'd consider going to second base. Dora: "I think she's setting herself up to be hurt. Sven won't put up with her passive-aggressive BS." Marten's the baseline standard for spinelessness. Sweet-Tits still hates her name (and being dragged out of the shower) Nightmare on QC (1): Hannelore kills a centipede – and a Giant one says she killed its dad! Nightmare on QC (2): Marten dreams of Dora and Faye – and wakes up with BOOBS? AIIGGH! Nightmare on QC (3): Witch Dora catches Marten with a coed; turns them into bunnies – and they keep on humping! And Marten gets punched in her sleep... Hannelore's recurring dream of DJ Phalliz "Kill your friends, kill them with a knife" Hannelore, Morbid thoughts, and casting magic missiles (gaining 120 experience points and 25 gold pieces) Society for Creative Rock Anachronism – Steampunk Rock SCRA playing at Smith! Terminal Scensterism (see strip 16) and Dora/Marten Making sure Hanners isn't a cyborg (it could be FireWire) Hanners worries about Faye getting Rabies (which would be a marked personality improvement) Band practice? Nat learning how to play? "We... work around her... Imagine a mountain lion trapped in a box full of barbed wire and broken glass. Now throw that box down some stairs." Nat: "What, I'm not GOOD ENOUGH to be in your stupid band? FINE! I QUIT!... Now help me put my amp in the car." Amir: "Woman you just BROKE UP with me." "But it's HEAVY!" Sven's get-well card: "Bang Your Head!" To break up over not being able to play guitar... "I really gotta start dating girls my own age!.. I'm 35... No, really... I got good genes." Hanners: "Wow, they must be a designer brand!" Terrible pun. "Pun?" Sven: "She's cute when she's off her guard... I'm returning her serve." Dora: "Be careful where you aim your balls." Amir: "I just realized I'm the Creepy Old Dude At Shows now!" (Meanwhile, Hanners is making faces at drinks she doesn't like...) Winslow wants to reproduce; Pintsize wants to be cloned ("The concept of millions of copies of you running around is... alarming."); the Roomba is chasing the red cape. Dora: "You know he thinks this is just a game, right?" Faye: "I've returned the favor... I did a quick sketch of me topless in the bottom of his coffee cup." (Sven is blushing? And is that Sweet-tits in the background?) Amir's got all these songs in his head (Scrambles the giant purple otter – is that our friend the Tequila Monster?) Will visits COD, and gets a "tip" from Faye (Dora: "Penelope HATES Hemingway!") Marten: "You probably shouldn't play the drums in a short skirt." Amir: "You were... flashin' some underpants action... a lot of underpants action... Is it possible for someone to literally die of embarrassment?" Dora's college slip skirt story (why she has the "Emergency Skirt" at work); "...the back of the slip was semi-transparent. And I was wearing a thong that day." Sven: "Faye told you that?... Dude, you could just talk to her. It's not that hard to do." (Sven's cat is RELENTLESS when it comes to fuzzy ball playthings) "I believe you've met my friend Will." GAH! "You're really on a roll with this whole 'make an ass of yourself' thing. What's on the bill for tomorrow?" Faye: "God, I'm a bitch." Sven: "I've practically got a PhD in treating people like crap myself." Faye: "I should probably go..." GUEST STRIP: (Chris Daily) Pintsize interviews iPhone 3G GUEST STRIP: (Zach Weiner) Webcomics Illuminati GUEST STRIP: (Jeff Zugale) Interspecies Communication GUEST STRIP: (Rene Engstrom) The "Secret Origin" of Hipster Batman (Sven)

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GUEST STRIP: (John Campbell) Minimalist Content Yelling Bird: The Serenading. Faye (on his lap): "I told you this wasn't gonna happen again..." Sven: "And yet here we are." (disrobing) "An id is a terrible thing to waste." Marvin Gaye in the background – no Slayer? "Wrong Bianchi." (Reign In Blood is Marten's anti-Viagra) Hanners uses a bad AnthroPC word! (ASDF! QWERTY!) Sven: "Is this gonna be a regular thing?" Faye: "What, am I no good in bed? Is that it?" (facepalm) Dora: "Good Morrrrrnnninng... Seriously though, you do know what you're getting into here, right?" [Cat-hair latte, Litterbox Brownie, Daft Punk @ 200 dB] Marten introduces Hanners to The Worry Hat Marten: "Whenever I got scared or had a nightmare as a kid, she'd put the Worry hat on my head and tell me silly stories about how it worked until I felt better."

Hannelore got [WORRY HAT]! BRAVERY +10 CHARISMA +5
1205 1206 1207 Will's approach failure ("throbbing desperate tumescence") and Faye's bad limericks Hanners bangs her head with the worry hat on – literally Dora consoles Hanners (it's only a little cut); NoHoPo come in asking if anything's wrong ("This young lady just ran down Main Street covered in blood and screaming. That's normally the kind of thing that arouses suspicion.") Ruination! Failure, calamity, and mortification! "Dude, why were you walking around carrying porn-rhymes?" (Contingencies!) Hannelore doesn't clean bloodstains? Dora: "You musta freaked out the first time you got your period." Hanners: "We don't... we don't talk about that day." Hanners visits Williston Library... and Tai messes with her ("Library Spiders!"). "What lies are you filling her head with?" ...and someone's pet tarantula just ran across the counter... Will: "What do I do NOW?... Oh god, I just realized. I LEFT THE POEM THERE." Penelope: "It's... it's actually kinda HOT." Dora: "We should frame it and put it in the bathroom." Will: "Wait! YOU could apologize for me!" Sven: "What am I supposed to say..." Will: "Remember Eleanor?" Sven: "Aw man, don't call in that favor now..." (back at the shop) "Look, I know he kind of came off creepy, but he's honestly not that bad of a guy." Pen: "Creepy, nothing! We want him to come do a reading of his work!" Dora: "In tights and a codpiece!" Faye: "I call sick-day." Nobody orders our specials. Faye: "Feh. 'Specialty' coffee drinks are all just namby-pamby flavored crap for people who don't actually LIKE COFFEE." Dora comes down HARD on Faye's sass: "...Have a smile ready for the next customer!... NOT HORRIBLE RICTUS." Sven: "They were more amused than anything else." Will wanted a date, too? Sven makes him a box lunch, cause Will's still in HIGH SCHOOL. Will "went to Williston Academy and the SCHOOL lunch there." "You've never gone all hell-boss on me before." "Landlord came and said he was raising our lease... utilities have gotten a lot higher..." Sexy bank robbers or Blackwater meets Suicide Girls? Hanner's head hurts. Tai offers to kiss and make better... Eww! (now the Worry Hat has to protect against disgusting fetishes as well) Uh, Pintsize? Is it true?... NO! I don't want to see any pictures!... any pictures of sexy firemen? Dora wishes she had a worry hat. "Oral sex and THEN cookies???" Faye: "Sven and I are acquaintances who occasionally happen to bump into each other. Naked. With our crotches." Hanners gets her sexy firefighter/EMT pictures... and Winslow CATCHES her! "This is 4 GB of sexy fireman pictures. Do you really want that on your hard drive?" Hanners jumps into the arms of the first fireman she sees... "Aactually ma'am, we're just coming around for donations for our annual charity fundraiser." Dora's pessimistic. "That way when things turn out all right I'm pleasantly surprised." [Van Halen guitar poster in the background!] Hanners talks to her sexy photo "dealer" Pintsize (firemen are... sweaty)

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Faye: "Dora's stressed about expenses"; Raven: "Dora told you about Plan Omega?... No, that's Plan Zeta. They're ranked by risk of STD exposure." Faye: "I was wondering whose (mouthwash) that was... So you repay my compassion by sexually harassing me?" Dora: "God help you if you ever earn a promotion." Lydia the Smith College student; met at the Smif benefit dinner last night? Take her on as his intern? Sven: "Oh man, I was Beatles-medley drunk? No WONDER I don't remember." Lydia: music major with a focus on composition, specifically pop songwriting. "Uh... your little guy is kinda pokin' out the fly of your boxers." Sven: "Welcome to the magical world of professional songwriting. Is it as glamorous as you imagined? (Both blushing profusely) Lydia: "Yeah, I'm his new intern... Hopefully by the time I get back he'll at least have some clothes on." Dora; "Wow Faye, I didn't think people actually did spit-takes in real life." "Real work" for Sven (ATM of BankHampton!) Interns and "Laisse-faire" employment All right, here's the book:  "She Dumped Me So I Had Her Trailer Towed"  "Redneck Ain't My Middle Name (But It Should Be)"  "Dale Earnhardt Blues"  "Never Forget to Never Forget" We could still replace you with a mule or something. "We also share an affinity for kicking. Allow me to demonstrate." Jeph half-asses the comic! Lazily-rendered robot jokes! Blatant Pandering! Graphic Sex Acts! (all-dark except the eyes) GUEST STRIP – on Jeph and Cristi's WEDDING DAY! GUEST STRIP – (Diesel Sweeties crossover – no Lil' Sis to be seen, though) Will asks Penelope out to dinner! ("I'm sure that's what some of Dahmer's victims said, too." – bad taste, Jeph.) SHE SAID YES! (Extremely ambitious panhandler) Penelope has had Boytastrophies. Boylamities. Boypocalypses. Dora: "What kind of guy do YOU want?" Penelope: "Lemme borrow your laptop. I'll make a spreadsheet." A History of Mental Illness and Treatment from Williston Library (does Hanners have a library card?) Tai: "Know how they used to treat hysteria?... Wanna go play old-timey doctor?" Hannelore is "too weirded out by physical contact and fluids and stuff. (She) doesn't HAVE a comfort zone." Marten: "Don't mess with Hanners, please." Tai: "Let's go get my clit pierced!" Marten: "...That may be the greatest non-sequitur in human history." "You're not SERIOUS?" [CAMEO STRIP! Yes, that IS Wil Wheaton in panel three.] Heavily Tatted Pierced Lady gets ready while Tai STRIPS DOWN? "Last kid who fainted in here woke up missing a kidney, and my Mustang got its engine rebuilt." [Penelope at Lucky's on Main Street in NoHam] Tai: "Awesome!" Piercing Lady: "No kissing, no licking, no nothing. Not without a condom or dental dam... I have GOT to start going over this with people BEFORE they get their junk pierced." Tai: "Dora! Dora! I got my hood pierced!" Marten: "My girlfriend is cooing over my boss's vulva like it was a newborn kitten." Dora: "Does it bother you?... We're both thinking about Tai naked, aren't we." Lydia's already got the magazine smack down... and the "no sex with the intern" thing, too. Hanners in the kitchen with Faye, makin' cookies! AnthroPC tears are toxic! When humans find themselves leaking an unknown substance, what do they do? "Post pictures of it on the internet!" Pen's got a date! Pen's got a date! Uh... Will got a bit sideswiped. "I'll take him to the emergency room. I've had worse dates." "The NERVE of that doctor, to hit on you in front of me!... I'm sorry! I needed something pleasant to concentrate on!" Pen: "Ooh, rejected in favor of painkillers. Time to go sob over a pint of Ben & Jerry's." BOOM goes the Espresso machine on Faye! Pen: "Ain't Karma a bitch?" Will and Sven discuss relationships. Will: "Getting relationship advice from you is like getting sailing instructions from a Bedouin." Sven: "...more like a physicist giving long-division lessons to a ten-year-old."

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It's completely RUINED! (Sympathy is healthier than schadenfreude.) Gonna have to buy a new espresso machine; Dora: "When I told him the model number he started LAUGHING." Faye: "I bet eBay has a whole category for smoldering debris." Dora: "Oh my God. This is too much! You're being too nice to me!" Dora: "Can you believe how wonderful he is?... (to Faye) Stop trying to set me on fire with your mind!" "Hey Sven? It's Faye..." SNAP (pause) (beep boop boop) "Yeah I'll be over around eleven. Bye." Yelling Bird means only one thing: he forgot his #### Cintiq Pad connectors again. GUEST STRIP: Dr. Corrine sends Jeph a referral check? (Angela Melick of Wasted Talent) Hanner's new scarf and Theoretical Knitting. Too much information is too much for whom? "...it's okay if I talk about my sex life. But I'm not into guys!" (Rhetorical vs. Actualized) Carbon Nanotube Angora? Dora: "Someday we're gonna find out that your dad is really just a plumber and you're a pathological liar." The New Espresso Machine! Laundry Day at Casa Sven! "Can't Get Your Smell Outta My Sheets." Pirates and Parrots and Poop (oh my!) Meanwhile, Steve's in another drunken binge... Sven: "ANTAGONIST with benefits... A good relationship is like fireworks: loud, explosive, and liable to maim you if you hold on too long." Penelope's Internal Monologue Hanner's Internal WALL OF MONOLOGUE ("Huh? Oh, nothing.") Pintsize's Internal Monologue (Pregnant Unicorn Foxes in short pants?) Sorority chicks and Sorry Tattoos; "You liked tattoos before they got all POPULAR?" [SPECIALS: were pretty good, for a ska band] LSD as a treatment for OCD? It makes Tai see dragons! Another Yelling Bird Filler Strip ($&#**^% #!&^ IT!) Penelope's Crappy Romance Novels featuring a time-traveling Viking who becomes a Navy SEAL... (Cristi loves 'em) "Mar mar mar mar Marrrrr." OMG Turkeys 2008 (Hanners 'shippers) Peanut butter sandwiches in the park (Didn't Sven make those for Will?) "I'm only moderately malnourished!" Meaningful philosophical discussion interrupted by a... BEAR? "I can't believe you hid behind the bench." The wildlife show bear (if he became a member of the cast...) Arguing Metaphysics on a date; Pen's strict religious upbringing; Dora: "You could've just said yes." [SPECIAL: We murder your pet and burn your house - $395 (we find out the rest in 1295)] Dora: "...that sounds like the kind of argument your parents would use." Pen: "Yes... but, see, they're wrong." She found them all. All cute. All animals. Except maybe tapirs. Faye meets Lydia: "No, no, come in and savor the awkwardness. It's so intense it's almost pleasurable." "Is this really all there is to it?" Gold bricks and diamonds (The simile still stands.) Tapirs in Hanner's dreams Raven and the Submacopter! Hanner's lack of religion didn't help her fear of dying Lydia relates the Awkwardness to her "boss" Faye: "Get any more goody-goody and little cartoon animals are gonna start flocking around you." Raven: "I hope there are bunnies!" (I thought she was quitting?) Chibi AnthroPC Momo! Sony's newest HPC-4100x-series; "...and live eels out my..." (Marten grabs Hanners ears!) Sorry I covered your ears. Sorry I smacked you in the face. I WILL NOT GROW A PENIS FOR YOU DARPA didn't like your submacopter idea? Dora grows her hair out; Marten's view on bondage is more "utilitarian" (showing Tai how to do Japanese rope-bondage) [Note: Dora's hair turns back to her natural blonde when she grows it out] Happy Holidays from the Ladies of QC! Yelling Bird does the 12 Days of Christmas

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Marten tells mom about what he showed his boss in 1302... "I don't CARE how good I look in a corset..." Raven the "Deepthroat Chopra." Faye: "You sleep with someone else and I'm GONE." Sven: "Great! That'll save us both an awkward breakup conversation." Happy New Year! (Winslow 2009, Pintsize 2008) Marten: "No, things are great. I just felt bad for bringing it up." Will's on a journey... to find AMERICA! "Like Kerouac and Cassady before me!" Faye's Cold; Pen gets a letter from Will (Larry, Whitford and BUTCHER?) MAHTEN... YOU HAVE TO GET TO MAHS... STAHT DA REACTAH... (Dude, that isn't even Schwarzenegger's LINE.) Hanners passes out in Marty's arms... "Curse my puny indie rock physique!" Hanners has the flu – and Marten had an unintentional free show (Dora: "I guess I never have to worry about you cheating on me...") Hanners in a BioSuit... marinating in your own germs? AUGHHH! Winslow reboots; the year 2647!? "Breast Pits of Sexicon Eleven"... Stop messing with him! "I'll try to barf more quietly next time." Dora's maternal instincts kick in. (Mom nom nom!) Sven: "I can see why Will would do something completely retarded to impress you." (Helen of Troy and Medea!) Sven is such a PIG. Do you know who Gina Riversmith is? ("I moved North to escape country music. So, no.") Hanner's worst fear: Water's out in the building, so it's handi-wipe time! (Lemon singularity!) Cosette [first appearance, unnamed] flirts with Marten (A la recherche du temps perdu and The Stand?) "I gotta get some stronger deodorant." Cosette just made it worse: "Do you know him?" Dora: "CARNALLY. ON A REGULAR BASIS." ("It's Penny's turn to clean up the blood.") Dora the inquisitor: "Anything interesting happen?" Marten: "Uh, no. Not really." ("It's Raven's turn to clean up the blood.") "You didn't want me to feel insecure, so you decided to hide the fact that another girl asked you out?" ("I didn't say it was a good plan!") Upset over being dishonest, upset over this becoming a BS test; Apologize and move on (passive-aggressive) Makeup Pasta! Dora: "Talk about (crappy) timing." Cosette: "Hi, welcome to…" THUD! THUD! THUD! [Single funniest moment in the strip] It's late at night, and the sighs are louder (Marten, Faye, Penelope... and Pintsize?) Hanners: "Get out of here!" There should be apology greeting cards for awkward situations. "Sorry I Outed You To Your Family" (We have a winnah!) [Others: "Was That Your Dog? Oh"; "I Didn't Mean Your Retarded Baby"; "I Guess You're Allergic To Peanuts, Huh"; and "Enjoy the comic, see you Monday"] Drinkin' Scrabble with Marty, Dora and Faye! Hanners inquires about the game – but "Not if it's gonna involve that much tickling." Faye: "Sigh. I'll go get the hose." [Is that an "Envy Hat"?] Faye 'speriments on Hanners; "Vulcan Boob Squish!" GUEST STRIP (A Girl And Her Fed); Faye gets her dream wish from 1141... unfortunately, it was only a dream (though Sven left Boo-boo with her.) Gina Riversmith just made herself a target to Faye... (NSFW) Faye is Muffin C'thulu! Nostalgia and Modest Mouse? 1337-speak interlude! (n00bz. STFU! IDGI.) Lydia: "So what's the lovely and talented Miss Riversmith like in person?" Sven: "Not that great in bed..." WHAT? Lydia: "I'm double majoring in Music and Being a Decent Human Being." Hanners: "Most I can hope for is an epitaph that says 'She finally snapped like we always knew she would.' So anyway! Wanna get pancakes?" Sven braces for impact... and... "Awesome." Post-traumatic Tourette's Syndrome... right in the middle of downtown Northampton! Dora: "My idiot brother screwed some other girl." Pen: "Gee, THAT's a shocker... and I reeeeally need to learn to think before I speak."

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GUEST STRIP (Remedial Comics) Pintsize flameboy! "See that face, Pintsize? MEMORIZE IT. Because when the robot revolution comes, I want her to be the first one up against the wall." <Pintsize: Actually, we put that on indefinite hiatus. Faye: Damn. Okay, okay, how about if you ever lose your morality programming and go berserk; she's the first one you kill? Pintsize: I think I can do that.> There's other fish in the sea, Faye. SMACK! THUD! "Give me one good reason I shouldn't kick the #### out of you right now."; "'I'm sorry?' That's the best you can do?" Hanners cheers up Faye with National Geographic Big Book of Kitty Pictures! (sells better than their Big Book of Third World Poverty) Pintsize tries to be a rebound... "The universe could've undergone HEAT DEATH and it'd still be too soon." So Steve, what have you been up to? Uh...  "Dave proposed to me last night. I had to say yes! We were MEANT for each other! Please understand!"  "Plausible deniability. Nobody would believe you if you tried to expose us... You got a job to do for your country."  "Tell me vhere ze documents are hidden." (Tortura!) "You couldn't beat it outta me, bitch." "Let's see about zat, shall ve?"  "All my plans... FOILED! By YOU?! Who sent you?! NSA? CIA?" "The US Department ... of kicking your ass." "Eh, not much." "Last I heard, they were trying for kids... Any recent Faye drama I should be aware of?" "Just watch a random episode of Days of Our Lives." Will's vision quest at Skyclad Acres Nudist Colony? You want to talk, Faye? We can use puppets! (It was a slow morning.) Lydia: "You told Faye? It... didn't go well, did it... just gonna keep glaring at me?" Steve's beard! Hannelore is MORTIFIED! [Steve's T-shirt: I destroyed a secret underground lair and all I got was this lousy tshirt] Dr. C: "I see. And how does this make you feel?" "There are two ways to pass a hurdle – leaping over, or plowing through." (There needs to be a monster truck option.) Dora considers therapy; Faye: "Oh, NOW I get it. You're all driving each other insane!" The band has hit a roadblock – no guitarist (Amir) and no keyboards (Nat); Steve offers to be a singer; "Dude, they were throwing BOTTLES at your head..." Faye: "...at least he was honest." (Prancing through a minefield) Hanners: "Marten, your girlfriend is thinking dirty thoughts about me! Make her stop!" So who do YOU have dirty thoughts about, Marten?... RAVEN??? "You always have to tell me I'm the prettiest." (Jeph in the background again?) Angus drops by (hoping an allosaurus got him); he was dating someone who wasn't fond of CoD (snail in a latte); his "housemates" threw a "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" party when they broke up... yesterday? "I came here hoping to get a good hard rebound sass." [1/2 price bagels, 2x price muffins, Bacon Latte] Yelling Bird meets Webcomics Weekend's Hawk. GUEST STRIP (Lucid TV): Hanners never can remember her dreams... No Words Necessary (Winslow's "gift" to Momo isn't appreciated – and Pintsize takes the brunt of his anger) Why a tentacle? That's it, Octopuses are off the list! My thrift store hookup vs. My vintage glasses hookup! Angus: "We've been having an honest-to-god conversation for 20 minutes now!" Faye: "...Y-yeah, well, I'm not giving your REFILL my number either!" Jimbo! Skank Sci-Fi! Commentary on our current society! (?) "There was a boy, we were friends with benefits until he slept with another girl, the end." (It's more complicated than that...) "So you're just being a useless lump for no particular reason, then?" "YAY, my intern is proud of me. Fat lotta f'in' good THAT does." "Fancy glasses man is fancy... He's not so bad once you get past the smirking remarks." (Smirking remarks, spike pit, laser cave for Faye!) "I'm onto you" (Tapir's been served!) [Giraffes? Giraffes!]

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The Hawk gives up its prey (Yelling Bird!) I was licked by a giraffe at the zoo! (That's when I started screaming and they made me leave.) Faye has a cell-phone Libido Argument. Faye talks to Dora about her Libido argument; "I know just what we need to do." "Pull out everything but his brain-stem so I can use him as my comatose ####-toy?" Oh, Wow (A Sexuality Shop) "The GSX-9500. That's my personal favorite." "I can't take you anywhere." "Can I have, like, the next... hour off?" Tai couldn't get the confetti ready! Perfect Play: A Book about Solved Games Angus is a professional strawman; "I get paid to adopt a position and then lose the debate over it. ...political rallies, news programs, that kinda thing... The guy I was supposed to debate with was a strawmen hired by the other side..." So, did you call about the glasses? Only one thing to do: Speed Beer! Competitive Drunken Sledding! Hanners LOVES it! Close the shop! It's a drunken sledding party! (Angus tags along with Faye) THEY ARE BUILDING A RAMP! "Shouldn't we be worried about the police?" (as they pass by with a toboggan) [More "friends of Jeph" in the background – and is that Wil Wheaton again?] Sven shows up. "More Kim Jong Il than Jimmy Carter." Angus suggests a snowball to the head of Sven for Faye? [Background Cameos from: Girls With Slingshots, Dresden Kodak, Octopus Pie, Diesel Sweeties, Anders Loves Maria, Wasted Talents, Johnny Wander] Aw, man, not YELLING BIRD again... Angus and Faye say goodnight... and Hanners has lousy aim. Marten needs to talk to Angus. "Joseph Smith meets the Brady Bunch. Great." Band Mode and Sex Mode? Faye is now Miss Gin Mistakes Massachusetts Sharking: Two-finger poke of DOOM! Tai got dumped by Jill; "...minute I start getting serious about someone I #### everything up." Hanners has "smile" issues... Tai: "Dora! Dora! Marten says I can have sex with you!" Dora: "Nice try, kiddo." Marten: "The Considerate F### Machine. Get it right next time." No... No wonder! (Hanners freaks out about her own smile?) "Is there ONE COFFEE SHOP in this town where I can get a latte without being propositions for a threesome?" Faye: "…how DID you manage to get all those ear piercings…?" Hanners: "I have ear piercings? AAAIEEE!!!! Hehehehe, gotcha" "I just took an ativan and didn't look... (they're either) antennae for the satellite uplink in my skull... or I just knew it would tick off my mom..." I'm not quite symmetrical... "Want me to go get my calipers?" Steve: "T-tortura?.." Marty: "That's 'same ol' same ol'?" QC Sock Puppet Theatre (Dora, Marten; Sven, Lydia; Faye, Tai; Hanners, Raven) Steve: "It's a RELIEF! I LIKE having a normal job..." Marten: "I'd rather stick with something more attainable. Like curing cancer, or EATING the MOON." ONE GIRL asked me out! Tai: "Fix her up with Steve!" Marty: "A picture of you with your shirt off under a waterfall. CLASSY." Angus given two minutes for Bad Jokes by Faye and Hannelore Pintsize is unresponsive! Momo: "Shall I make you a tinfoil hat? I am highly skilled at Origami." He won't even boot off the external drive. Dora overwhelmed by Momo's CUTE! (After 90 seconds, she administers a small electric shock) Marigold! [YAOI ZONE!] "And what are you doing with Momotan?... government-issue chassis... DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING... Pet rat?" "Prolly a hardware issue... bypassed the chassis hardware, he's booting up..." (pause) "Wow that's a lot of porn... Whatever. I'm copying the Hentai directory." "How can you LIVE in that kind of mess?... she shouldn't be living in that kind of filth. It's not healthy... I've got it! Hey, Hannelore? It's Dora..." "I am Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham. I END MESSES." (Pintsize: "Last time I ever try to rewire myself... Oooh, Pocky!") Marigold: "Oh, god, what is she doing in there?"



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Hanners: "I'm coming back in a week, and if this place isn't SPOTLESS I'm throwing out everything you own and you can START OVER." Angus: "Hey Marigold, I – what are you guys doing here?... You cleaned Marigold's room? THANK YOU!" STOP HUGGING STOP HUGGING STOP HUGGING!!! Marigold: "You mixed the Yaoi in with the regular stuff... Here. This is Yaoi." (Magical Love Gentleman! Hanners is hooked!) Momo: "There is no such this as a 'sentience matrix.'" Pintsize: "Wait, what?" ["AnthroIRC 3.1", Pintsize0101, PT410x (our antagonist), 3ve (from AppleGeeks), Red_Robot (Diesel Sweeties), and KimikoRoss (Dresden Kodak)] Faye gets caught up... "Wait, YOUR roommate fixed MY roommate's horrible pet robot?" Angus: "I owe Hannelore at LEAST two drinks..." Faye: "Smarming your way into my social circle ain't gonna earn you any brownie points, you know." Marten: "After what happened with Sven, I don't wanna see you get hurt like that again... I'll use a net. Hannelore with administer a sedative, and Dora will drive the getaway van." Lydia: "Have you done ANYTHING lately other than play WOW and sleep?" "Your eyes are shining like the bottom of a bottle of beer" "Already sold it... I'm thinking of buying a house." Angus and Marten in the Awkward Zone... Frosty Beers and Fancy Outfits! AWKWARD ZONE DEFEATED! So wassa deal with you an' Faye, anyway? "her issues with dudes... HELLA issues." Angus: "...she just seems cool. She's pretty, she's smart, she's funny..." Marten: "You're better off strikin' out swingin'..." GUEST STRIP (Hijinks Ensue) Hannelore can't handle ComicCon (and neither can Jeph?) Marten asks Angus about Marigold; she's always got something "geeky" to do… but at what price? (Marigold's alone, sighing at home) Cosette returns, and Marten's got the Bearskin rug photo... [4133XX-8704] "So, uh, I dunno if you'd be interested in meeting – "

1431 1432 1433 "...you stay up most of the night drinkin' with a dude and you get a pretty good idea of what he's about." [Habanero scones, chorizo latte] Look who's at the door! WILL! "Shut up and kiss me, you dolt." Dora: "Seriously, would you two just go home and #### already? You're distracting the customers." Faye: "And making me nauseous." Pen: "Gimme ten more minutes, I wanna get paid for this full hour." Will: "You liked my letters?" Pen: "I don't think they'll let us have sex inside Washington's nose at Mount Rushmore..." Pintsize and how Rule 34 gives him hope for humanity! Time to get rid of that hoodie, Marten honey. Penelope bursts! Will: "And that's another thing I love about you – your sense of hyperbole." Will's in love, Sven's in... contempt? "I want you to do a sculpture for the shop." "You realize I mainly did abstract metal sculpture, right?" Marigold wants to watch anime with Hanners! Hanners wants her to SHOWER FIRST! (Chibi AnthroPC's have clear viscous liquid to simulate nervous sweat drops... ewwww.) Magical Love Gentleman! Angus is roped in! Will ran out of money, got evicted by his father, didn't have a job... "So basically you're telling me you're a TOTAL ####ING LOSER?" He worked in college six years ago... Wil: "...if I start looking for a job, you'll stay?" Pen: "...For every resume you send out, I'll remove an article of clothing." Angus wasn't into anime at first, but he got more and more into it. "He actually cried at the ending!" (Faye starts to drool catatonically) Angus gets hit by a wall of...

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1446 1447 (Faye needs a cigarette!) What's this "secret things" item in the sculpture budget? "It is a McDonald's Cashier, and he stoppeth one of three. 'By thy patchy beard and glittering eye, wherefore earn'st thou a liberal arts degree?'" Angus: "Wait, so it's okay that (MARTEN) cries at cartoons, but not when I do it?" Faye: "He was a little kid!" Dora: "What? No,


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we just rented The Land Before Time last –" Marten: "HUSH YE, WOMAN" GUEST STRIP (Rosalarian): Why Dora REALLY stopped dyeing her hair (kissing you is like kissing my own child!) Pintsize's proposal precludes a Pounding! ("Gauss-rifle" WHAT?) GUEST STRIP (bunny-comic.com) Hanners takes the "boys" to the beach! GUEST STRIP (Danielle Corsetto!) Bad timing, Sven... GUEST STRIP (johnnywander.com) QC Slashfic personified! GUEST STRIP (John Keogh's Lucid TV) Uh... Hanners? In a western? With Pintsize? GUEST STRIP (Diesel Sweeties) Magical Love Phone? Yelling Bird Returns from ComicCon Marigold: "Does Faye... often get this violent with Pintsize?... I wanna (make sure) you're not secretly ABUSING him." And what does Pintsize first go for? (See 415) "Sorry about the new dent." Hanners: "Decimal point. You misplaced the decimal point in this column." (And that check for $65,000 would probably bounce, Faye; wait, the whole Argentinian economy, Hanners?) "Even banged up like this, his chassis is still worth four or five grand, easy." NO JUDE LAW CHASSIS! Pintsize: "Do not mock the Breast Jihad!" Momo: "She would like nothing more than to attend your social function!" Marigold: "What... what am I gonna DO?" Momo-sama: "YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME." (SZZZZT!) Faye: "You invited MARIGOLD?" Hanners: "You have to be nice, Faye! I'll be so mad at you if you make fun of her! ...I remember what that was like." Marten: "So you were really nervous when you came up and introduced yourself to Steve and me?" Faye: "Well yeah, you coulda just told me to #### off, and that woulda sucked." Marten: "...yeah, YOU suck, but if I hadn't met you I wouldn't have met Dora." Faye: "Aww, it's been FOREVER since I've had to punch you!" Marigold doesn't realize she's been watched as she comes in (and if she chickens out, the bartender owes Faye $20!) Marigold: "Wh-what's going on?" Hanners: "You came in!" Faye: "You just cost me 20 bucks." Monacled Barkeep: "I'm putting it on her tab." Marigold meets Faye (Feel free to hit her if she's mean to you. HEY!) Marigold has issues with beer. (What kind, that is) Marten beer-mentors Marigold. Dora trusts Marty (and this is the lady who nearly eviscerated a girl for askin' him out a while back?) "Drat, you found me out. I'm not the real Dora, but a clockwork simulacra." "Look, this is a delightful little heart-to-heart we're having but I have to PEE" Marigold: "Can I try a sip of your wine?" Hanners: "Um... no please? ...backwash and all..." (Marten: "This is the setup for the most awkward lesbian porn scene ever.") 90% of what comes out of Faye's mouth is meaningless sasstalkin'. (And the other ten percent is burps)


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1470 1471 1472 1473 RIP Les Paul (Multitrack Forty Pours!) Angus was uninvited. Marigold: "I can't believe what this corset is doing to my boobs." "...you guys are so...cool" BAHAAAAHAHAHA! Dude, we're NOT cool. "DAMMIT Momo you are going to stop playing that video game THIS INSTANT and have a CIVIL CONVERSATION or you are GROUNDED!" "...I'M GONNA VOID MY WARRANTY, THEN YOU'LL BE SORRY!" "St-stay away from me!" TZZZAP! POP!




1475 1476 "Momo friggin' BLEW UP my PC!" "I didn't mean to! WAAAAH!" (Marigold isn't very self-aware) Faye apologizes to Angus; "Without that extra couple minutes I'll be too sleepy to hide the bodies properly." Angus: "...I know this great rock quarry outside town..." Faye: "...The 9.6 Ditchfork gave it is BS, it's an 8.0 dump site at BEST." Hanners hits the sweet spot of 40 hours of being awake... and has some issues with coffee. (GO TO SLEEP.) Unfortunately, that's the day they decide to tear up the street in front of Hanner's apartment...

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Dijon Mustard is the winner! What kind of work is a poet qualified for? "Beowulf was actually just Viking viral marketing." [Whaleflavored latte; ambergris tea; BLOOD + THUNDER] Penelope: "THAT's the nicest suit you own?!" Monacled owner of the Horrible Revelation: "You're hired." Sven: "I miss you." Faye: "WHAT." "And now I'M gonna have nightmares about getting pregnant after murder-sexing him in a dumpster. THANKS." "Large Phillips screwdriver. Thermal paste. Squirrel." "I was... I was joking!" [HORDE RULES t-shirt] Will got the job! No shame in doing what Pen wants... "No, you're right. You're a lucky dude. Don't mess it up.... There's really nothing worse than regret." "I don't CARE how you CAUGHT HIM, get him OUT FROM UNDER MY BED!" Sven: "Basically I picked the worst possible girl on earth to develop a conscience and feelings and such about." Angus gets hit by squirrel, Momo, and Marigold! (...You said you were goin' home.) "It's not safe there." It's just sad. (Sven and Faye, that is.) (schadenhorny) Hanners watches as Mar "raids" on WOW... like paint drying? AWESOME! FRRRT! "Oh god I'm so sorry! I forgot you were there!" Want any baked goods before we play muffin toss? (Muffins are most accurate, walnut brownies hit harder) "My friend Hannelore is watching me play. ...Yes, it's a girl's name." (pause) "NO we are NOT going to 'lez out'" "Have you ever had a boyfriend?" "N-no, I don't think I ever COULD... you?" "You can probably guess..." "Umm, six?" "..off by six." "TWELVE?! WOW!" "Apparently being in such close proximity to my loveliness causes a time-dilation effect." (I'm out of astrophysics quips. Gimme five minutes on Wikipedia...) Hanners: "You're so pretty!" Mar: "No I'm not..." Hanners: "Angus! You're a boy, you know about these things. Marigold is pretty, right?" Angus: "Yes I'm afraid so. Marigold... is pretty." Hanners: "I see a smiiiilllllle" [Fridge: LISTS SUCK; #### MARIGOLD CLEAN YR LEFTOVERS] " Marigold? Approve my latest firmware update?... Oh wow, I have digits!" (Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop) "MAKE IT STOP!!!!" Faye: "All I told him was I'd be civil to him when he was in the shop. I'm sorry he 'misses me' or whatever but that's the best I can do." Dora: "You should become a professional Philandering Ahole Therapist." Faye: "Next time I try to 'fix' a boy it's gonna be with a pair of hedge clippers." Corrupt version of the update. Pintsize: "Man, I want digits! Gimme a copy of that update!" B-but we have completely different chassis, there is no telling what it will –" Four THUMBS? Jeph & Cristi at one year... and Yelling Bird? I AM THE THUMBLORD! "Okay, which one of us is dreaming this?" Marigold: "…the other two girls in my guild. They're always postin' slutty pictures of themselves on our forums… What're you doing?" Angus: "What's the address?..." Marigold: "You're such a jerk." (WoW sluts gives you Night Elf porn?) Photography 101: It's all in the angles and cropping… "...you can also use the clone stamp tool in PS to get rid of your pimples." (YOU'RE SUCH A JERK) "Aren't you HORRIFIED by my FREAKISH, CRONENBERGIAN METAMORPHOSIS?" No. (Hanners: "Oh, did you get the bad firmware upgrade too? Marigold has a patch that will –") "You people friggin' SUCK." Angus comforts Marigold… and her Badtz-Maru panties… "You're not an idiot, you're just a little shaky on the self-esteem front." BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL… Where did AnthroPC's come from?  Hanners: "Basically, the first artificial mind came together from a combination of non-sentient software and hardware. Once we figured out that combination, it was easy to reproduce, and that's where all you little guys came from!"  Winslow: "Pintsize says that's a cover story and the REAL origin of sentient machines is 'cause somebody had sex with a computer."  Hanners: "…who would ever want to have sex with a regular old COMPUTER?... Dad? You there?"  (To Dora) "And then he got all quiet and changed the subject." (Can't… can't imagine why…)


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Dora: "You want to grow a MOUSTACHE." Marten: "Just for a couple of days?" Dora: "..in return I'm gonna stop grooming my lady-area." Dora Bianchi International Airport? Steve: "Dune-themed costume party!" Raven's back off to school; Dora: "I'm a small business owner. You're the underachieving peon." Faye: "Zugzug." So Raven's really studying physics now? Raven: "...It just feels so much more ...SCIENCY this way!" Tai: "School's nerd convention (NRRD CON) is this weekend!... you could get Dora a corset!" Marten: "No thanks. In my family that's traditionally a Mother's Day present." Tai: "So your parents split up basically 'cause your dad realized he was gay?" Marten: "…it definitely contributed to things… deteriorating… (ring) Speak of the devil. (Dad's coming up this weekend!) Oh, I wasn't joking. He really did ruin my childhood. (pause) Nah, I'm just kidding…" Tai: "I'm glad you have a sense of humor, but could you please not bring it to work with you?" Dora finds out about NRRDcon and Marty's Dad coming to visit at the same time! "Do your parents ever plan ANYTHING more than a couple days in advance?" (conceiving joke – and an oblique reference to 922) Dora's in a tizzy, and Marten can't understand why: "You did fine with my mom…" Dora: "…we weren't dating yet, and I kind of wanted to MAKE OUT with your mom." Marten: "Oooh, yeah, definitely don't try that approach with dad." Henry and Maurice (OH MY GOD YOU ARE GONNA BE SO HOT WHEN YOU GO GRAY) Maurice is an environmental engineer, wetlands preservation. (they met at his nightclub; he "then proceeded to drink too much, vomit on my shoes, and pass out in one of the bathroom stalls.") Developed naturally = spent the entire weekend in bed. Marten: "I'm full up on parental-sex-life-horror thanks to mom. Did you know she has a blog now?" Dora: "GIVE ME THE URL. NOW." They're going skiing up at Stowe in Vermont. "How would you feel about, uh… about me remarrying?" (Huh? Guh… buh… gah?) "Oh, I know. Those were his first words." (Muh?) Are you okay with this? "Omigod can I be the flower girl?" Marcel: "W-wait, you were serious?" He said YES! Let's celebrate (We have a weird group of friends...) Karaoke with Dad and friends! Who did what and when – and why did Faye punch Hanners? "I'm gonna refer to you as Dad Two: Dad Harder." And Faye does the first class sass revenge on the man who smacked her in the butt! (Now remember, fifty grand when it's born or the little bastard goes to China to make Nikes.) Hanners: "come to Smif Nerd-Con with me!" Marigold: "Let's do this." Dora wants to go to NRRDcon too… And Pintsize's doujinshi??? Marigold won the Magical Love Gentleman trivia contest! And got a stuffed Sosuke! (Dora checks: anatomically correct!) And Hanners got Faye a TSUNDERE shirt… JIMBO? Vampire steampunk young-adult romance – "Antoinette Banemoon and the Case of the Airship Automatons" Marigold the awkward Superfan (Anything broken? "Juzdt by dignidy.") Marten DOES look good as a little Yaoi Boy! (Magical Love Gentleman Marten!) Will's not digging the working man's lifestyle. "O great and noble poet" Marten: "…And all it cost me was my dignity." Marigold: "You do make a pretty good Ichiro." Marten had a fanboy episode with Thurston Moore… who's Thurston Moore? Angus asks Faye out; Faye gets all freaked out: "...I JUST HANDLED A BOY-SITUATION LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING!... WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!" (Penelope: "P-pplease s-stop sh-sh-shaking m-me") Let the second guessing begin ("I didn't get all weird or anything... Although... Of course... unless... But then... if I assume... Unless...") Penny: "aaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Angus takes Marigold to the movies... after Marigold does a mind wipe (What WAS Momo doing with her Ichiro figure?) Marigold: "I'm trying to be less of a shut-in." Angus: "You were 'that weird chick who never leaves her room.' We used to... speculate about what you spent all your time doing in there... My friend Chad was CONVINCED you were secretly a fetish model or camwhore or something..." "It was nice to actually spend some time with you for a change!" (Marigold puts on a happy face!)

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Nonconsensual Snuggling Marigold! The "Moustache Rides $5,000" t-shirt Hanners doesn't understand what it means... which is a good thing. (Forget bearded clams or bald tacos...) Nope, never heard from her... (How do we find her?) Marty & Steve stop by Tai's dorm room... and Marty sits on a couple of unexpected things! While Steve figures out it's Cosette Beauvais Hurlbut (with Tai's help), Marty deals with Annette (the physics teacher at Hampshire – who likes bongs?) Tai: "Guys, this started off as a fun little diversion but if I end up having to testify in court I'm gonna be SO PISSED." Steve: "Yeah, right. I'll be walkin' down the street one day and she'll just fall into my – (limp limp limp AGH!) ...Arms?" "H-hi!" OMG Turkeys 2009 (the ladies do some 'shipping) "Hi I'm Randy! I'm a Bandicoot!" (Yelling Bird HATES Randy) Cosette is on crutches with a black eye, and just got out of the hospital; Steve: "What happened to YOU?" Luna: "She was going down the stairs but was too busy ogling that picture of you and missed a steOOF!" Cosette used the wrong crutch for that WHACK! though... Desperate Cosette is desperate! Luna: "I saw... I saw a tunnel of light, with my granddad waiting at the end, waving to me..." Luna: "I'm not stalking you! I just want a friggin' latte!" Faye: "Sorry, we only do friggin' lattes on Wednesday." Hanners meets Steve and Cosette at yon Italian restaurant; "STEVEN! A gentleman NEVER asks a lady to do that on the first date!" Cosette's intense – and very unlucky; and I think I've seen that person complaining to Faye before – in a toy store? [Cameo: Amber O'Malley from Shortpacked!] Cosette: "I've just never been on a random date with a guy that went this well before. I keep expecting something to go wrong." Team Riker looks on as the fire alarm sounds! Steve gets welcomed "to the club" (Boyfriend Waiting Area) Nice haircut, Marigold! "Because you're a STUPID JERK! Who SMELLS!" Angus: "O venom-tongued maiden! Stay your barbs, I beseech you!" And then.. POP! Goes her neck! Luna: "What the hell were you doing?!" (at least she can wiggle her toes...) Roombas make for lousy extreme sport vehicles. Winslow: "Maybe if we put on a spoiler it'll go faster." After five hours in ER, it's nothing to be worried about... but Steve's left hangin'. Marten: "NOT IN MY BATHROOM!" (Dora: "There's lotion under the sink!") Roomba to Houston, we have liftoff! [no dialogue] Angus' suicide joke makes Faye uncomfortable – and Angus doesn't believe her. Angus realizes she's telling the truth…and runs away ("apparently I'm not a very credible source of information.") OH MY GOD I'M AN IDIOT. "You insensitive ASSHOLE!" "Wow, I can't believe you just told Angus about your dad all upfront like that… yesterday you told him that you were descended from a family of Civil War pirates." "My grandma made cryptic references to our ancestors bein' boarded by YANKEE… SEAMEN????" Dora: "If that were true, we'd be calling them 'whitakers' instead of 'hookers.'" Faye: "I have allure coded right into my genes!" Faye tells Marten about her "incident" with Angus… and then realizes the implications. Faye apologizes for hurting Marten ("I'm a different person than I was back then. Because of you. You helped me over that hurdle.") Too bad Marty smells like daffodils. Happy Holidays from the MEN of QC! A Very Sweet-tits New Year! (Andy comes over for the party – WHAT party?) SHAME ORB? (June 14, 1987) Party's OVER! (Yelling bird in a bottle) Andy gives her some… $3 wine? Happy ####ing New Year. Angus likes you. "He's gotta run the gauntlet." Sven didn't have to. "HE used a cheat code." Marty: "First I was pissed… but Faye's right, she IS a different person than she was back then, and I guess maybe I helped make that happen… so (why be) mad at her?... ..what do I have to do to convince you I'm happy with you, #### you in the ear?" Pintsize: "Friggin FINALLY"

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M-MY SOCIAL PROTOCOL DATABASE ADVISES YOU TO REFRAIN FROM COMPLETING THAT SENTENCE! WELP I'M GOIN' TO BED (It's not what it looks like! "Well, it SORT OF is, but…") Hanners isn't very good at using self-defense equipment (Telescoping batons HURT!) Dora: "I'm pretty sure these are illegal in Massachusetts. Like, FELONY illegal." Hanners: "…there's only one solution… I MUST ELIMINATE ALL WITNESSES OF MY CRIME" Dora: "BAD Hanners! NO murdering friends! BAD!" Dora: "What if we moved in together?... I meant YOU could move in with ME!" Thinking about the future is scary. "You think it's scary NOW, wait'll I start talking about getting married and having kids. (Iwha- Buh) Marty talks to Faye; "Tell her that you can have a place of your own, but only if I get custody of you on weekends." (Marty's having flashbacks to his parents' custody battles over him…) [Note on fridge: THE ICE CREAM IS MINE – F ] Faye: "I'll be honest with you – I'D rather you just move in with Marty and me. You're over practically every night as it is, and I like havin' y'all around." (My secret nickname for you is "sex pony" – Whiiinnyyyy!) Dora: "I want to move in with you and Faye." Hanners: "Need any help moving or cleaning?" Dora: "Look, I know you want to help, but I'm just trying to spare you the horror of itemizing my Big Box O' Sex Toys." [Sex Pony Mocha; Humpy Sound Latte; Butts LOL] "Oh yeah I'm at work, this is the PERFECT time to talk about my poor dead dad and how I've got hella issues because of him." Mieville meets Pintsize. (Marten: "This is going to end badly.") Hanners meets Mieville: "FrrieeeEEENNDSSS???" Hanners: "I dunno. When I was kid I always imagined I'd be normal by now." Half of it is going to Goodwill... Marten: "Please don't, it's too early in the morning to be surrounded by singing Munchkins." (After which Faye smacked him off-panel?) Moving... and Miss OCDelightful gets curious about the "party favors"... (Since when does Steve have a truck?) Marten: "What, you think I'm too wimpy to pick (the couch) up myself?" Steve: "Yes." Dora: "You're MY delicate flower." Angus vs. Penelope 2: "You're really bad at this." "And you're an idiot." Post-moving snuggles by Dora (and the mystery has been dead for a while now) Faye gets Surprise morning Snuggles! (and 1228 comes back to haunt her!) "Would you please stop cuddling me?" "But you're so warm!" Tai finds out about the move; "How come you hardly ever include me in anything?" Lawns of gold and Astroturf? Who's got which? Repairing the damage... and why is that Roomba trying to hump the other prototypes, Jenkins? (iRoomba R&D Lab) Tai wants "that kind" of relationship (and Marten's girl!) Tai: "My ideal is basically you, only single." Dora: "Once they perfect cloning, you can have Dora-2." Marten: "Dibs on Dora 3 through 15. Gonna start me a clone-harem." Marigold does the WOW "booty" dance! (Angus joins in) Marigold and Angus Can Dance! Angus learned dancing at his "super-fancy prep schools for rich kids"; didn't learn much in "joining a Secret Society" (but he did find "Blackmail and Kidnapping Avoidance" interesting...) They were talking about dancing! DANCING! ("I've never done that before." "You'll get better with practice.") We've seen this one before, haven't we? ["Updated" version of strip #3; this time we see Marten checking out Faye] Tai commiserates about her lack of stable relationships; Pintsize offers his "services" Tai's drunk (after only 1 ½ beers); She's in Faye's lap, she's into girls... "Well, you're really warm." Faye: "I'll turn up the thermostat." Marten smashed his thumb with a hammer (drunk picture hanging is not recommended); Hanners appears with her cricket bat because she thought they "might have snapped and, um, started killing everyone." (Glass houses, lady!) Hannelore makes wusses of them all (is she REALLY going to pop Marten's thumbnail?)

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"That's like the 15th time you've tried..." NO! I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT! She does it! And... saves some of the resulting blood? Ladypile on Faye's lap! Marten: "Dammit, I'm gone for five minutes and now this." Hanners: "I mean, SURE, I might send a sample off to test for genetic disease markers, track his chromosomal history, that sort of thing. But CLONING? That's just silly.... What?" [Note on fridge: DIE DIE DIE] That couch has seen worse bodily fluids; Hannelore: "I am taking Tai up to MY APARTMENT before she catches A DISEASE." No, Tai doesn't normally sleep naked... Finally found her clothes in the dishwasher... "Anyway, long story short – we're engaged now." DWAH? Marigold the Coffee Maiden! Winslow meets Mieville – and Mieville turns him into a cat mat Marigold visits Coffee of Doom; awkward conversation about rapier wits and pool noodles. [Death Metal Latte!] Dora tries to make Marigold feel better; "...using someone else's computer feels weird. Like wearing another person's pants or something."; Dora: "... I really shoulda done laundry this morning." How Marigold met Angus; calling "not-cool" on each other; "...around you I feel more like Don Quixote." Marigold does have a job – website developer! "Not bad for an amateur"; "Ooh, we hit a nerve!" Marigold: "That kind of HTML was cutting edge in, like, 1995..." Dora has Cuddle Rabies! [Smiley face on the muffin?] YELLING BIRD: Secret Plotline Text File: "Everyone #####, then I retire; Hannelore Realdoll" Marigold wasn't traumatized by Faye; "...it's not like she put a dissected frog down my shirt or anything." [The Forgotten Eyeglasses of Angus strip] Marigold forgot her wallet! Faye wants to go bug Angus some more [or did she want to find out if he had a crappy place?]; Dora: "If your pay was based on good PR your great-grandchildren would still be working off the debt." Faye: "I'm the friggin' Sherlock Holmes of wacky AnthroPC mishaps." Angus cleans, Faye peeks, Momo blushes! Faye: "I was just curious!" The wallet is returned, but the bourbon is flowing! "Okay, I'm in. But for the record, I resent you tryin' to entice me with alcohol." Marigold's reaction to good bourbon: "NO I'M FINE IT WAS GOOD I LIKE IT?" (Faye: "Dinner, drinks AND a show!") ["OLD CANCER MULE single-batch bourbon whiskey. 136 proof. Guaranteed to harm you and your pets."] Marten and Dora discuss tacos, bourbon, burritos, gin; Dora: "Twenty bucks says they hook up." Pintsize: "He's going to dinner#### her booze hole!" Faye finds out Marigold's "secret admirer"... or is it "secret crush?" AWKWARDNESS LEVEL CRITICAL! "Wow look at the time I really oughta get going" (as her drunk bubbles pop) Angus: "Huh?" Marigold" "Bye Faye!" Faye returns home: "We were drunk and talkin' about boys, and Angus left the room, and she basically admitted to it." Marten: "You're, uh, aware he's kind of got the hots for YOU, right?" "NO, I'm BRAIN-DEAD and DIDN'T NOTICE." Dora: "So wait, you left Angus, who's DRUNK, and Marigold, who's ALSO DRUNK, and wants to JUMP HIS BONES, BY THEMSELVES?. "; quick cut to Hannelore building a house of cards with the worry hat on... and that's when Faye's expletive-deleted shakes the foundations of their apartment... And back at Angus's place... SHE KISSES THE BOY! "WHOA hang on, hang on. You're drunk, you don't know what you're doing... NO, no, Marigold you're GREAT, you're WONDERFUL. But we're just friends." (and...down goes Marigold! DOWN goes MARIGOLD!) [Momo gets the last comment... or is that a finger?] "Having Trouble Sleeping" (right); "You're a Good Man, Angus McPhee" ("Whoa, boob, awesome.") Hannelore Helps Hangovers – and accepts HUGS? Meanwhile, Marigold sets land speed records into the bathroom... Magical Love Gentleman! [April 1, 2010… DUH.] Hanners gets Maternal; Angus: "How are you not freaking out right now?" Hanners: "I'm storing it for later, when I can discharge it at a safe location. Maybe Yucca Mountain, or the Moon." Marigold wakes up to the post-hangover Self-Hatred; Hannelore says STOP IT! Marigold: "See? I AM pathetic. Even you're mad at






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me." Hanners: "Ooh, I could just SHAKE YOU right now if I didn't think you'd throw up on me." Faye fills in Dora and Marten on Marigold and Hannelore; Marten: "Yeah, hookin' up with your roommate is a terrible idea. [pause] I mean, you'd have to be some kind of idiot to think that could possibly…" Faye: "Is he trying to be ironic?" (I think so) "Should we start hitting him?" (Yeah.) [Faye's drinking right from the carafe!] Hanners and Marigold apologize; "I promise I won't get the wrong idea and get drunk and try to make out with you." "I promise I won't become so fixated on you I eventually murder you and make a suit out of your skin!" Steve: "Angus is a better man than me. I probably woulda hooked up with her... Man, you get me drunk enough and I'll make out with just about anyone." Marten: "He's not kidding. One time at a party someone dared him to kiss me on the lips and the ####er used FULL TONGUE ACTION." Dora: "RECREATE THIS. NOW." Faye: "SHUT UP AND START DRINKING." Dale orders Number 28! (Chili and pop rocks in a Mocha, on the secret menu) Dora: "Yeah, you know, the one we only tell regulars we LIKE about?" Faye: "OMIGOD you never told MARTEN about the secret menu?" Dale: "Daaaang, that's cold. I mean, that is some serious reevaluate-the-relationship type #### right there." Dora: "DALE YOU ARE NOT HELPING." Marten: "I can't BELIEVE you never told me you had a secret menu." Dora: "I assumed Faye did!" Faye: "I don't tell ANYBODY about the secret menu. It's a pain in the ass." Dora: "You told Sven." Marten: "You told SVEN and not ME?! ...Everything I thought I knew is a LIE!" Dora: "Oh, now you're just being melodramatic." [69 joke and punching in the ####] About last night... "I'm sorry. I'm an idiot. I know you don't like me." Friends? Friends. (So why isn't she letting go?) Hanners returns... to a Roomba family reunion? Winslow: "They came back to visit!" [Pink/blue Roomba, Hanners jet-pack Roomba, and three "little ones"] The Espressosaurus! (scale prototype); "...the full-size model woulda weighed 2 tons. Put a hemi in that sucker and it'd crap 300 gallons of coffee a minute." The Gallery Owners; "Honey, it'd be perfect for your gallery." "If I wanted to commission one of those for sale, how much – " Dora: "Two thousand dollars. 50% today, and the other 50% on delivery. She can have it ready within six weeks or so." Faye: "What just happened?" Dora: "I got a 10% commission on that sale, that's what." GUEST STRIP (Danielle Corsetto): Marigold doesn't know what "motorboating" means? GUEST STRIP (Carly Monardo): "Fo' Sho(jo)" – Things are still a LOT weird between Angus and Marigold Dora dubs it T-rexpresso; Penny: "Boring? BORING?! YOU WORK A CRAPPY SERVICE-INDUSTRY JOB THAT YOU CONSTANTLY WHINE ABOUT AND WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE TO GET PAID TO DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY YOU HAVE THE GALL TO BITCH ABOUT IT BEING BORING?! " ["rage-induced aneurysm"; "you burst my eardrums!"; "my premiums are gonna skyrocket"] Dora catches Pen in Hypocritical Mode: "So you say you'd 'kill' to work in publishing, but you don't wanna pay your dues to get to that point?... I swear, you two aren't underachievers so much as ANTIachievers." Faye: "Well, duh. That's why we work here." [Balancing sword on the nose act?] Sven's reading a book on the History of the Crusades... and getting hit upon by blondes. Will [in bartender getup, complete with fake goatee and mustache]: "I do believe that young lady was attempting to hit on you." Sven: "Meh. Could you grab me a fresh napkin? This one's got phone number all over it." {Will: "That's the third one today, isn't it?" Sven: "Is it?" Will: "I think so." Sven: "Huh."} Momo confronts Marigold about not eating; "Scatological Judo" (no more hanging around Pintsize for her) Collision Course! Marigold "runs into" Sven! Momo is left dazed and confused (and speechless?) Dora consoles Marigold, who just then notices she still has Sven's book on the Crusades! (Dora: "Geez, if it's THAT bad you should just return it.") Faye plays the smartass role to Marigold's misfortunes ("bibliokleptomaniac!"); Faye: "Nah, this is the real world. He's probably just some creep who walks around with a history book in public to try and look 'smart.' And if you end up tracking him

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down you'll just have an unsatisfying one-night stand and get chlamydiMMPH" [as Dora applies the duct tape] And then Sven entered… "AAAH!" "AAAH!" "AAAAAAAAAAH!" [Death Head Latte picture on wall] Faye: "Don't let him make eye contact with you! He has an evil sexy gaze! He's a cockatrice!" (Wh-wha?) Dora: "Marigold is OFF LIMITS, you understand?" Sven: "I'm not gonna friggin' seduce her, I just want my book back… I wonder whether you inherited your Crazy Bitch from Mom or Dad's side. Aunt Hilde is pretty cantankerous, but I think Grandma Bianchi actually killed a man once." "So, uh, can I get my book back?" (meanwhile, Faye is tossing Momo up in the air) Sven: "Boo!" Marigold: "Eeek!" Faye: "Stop that!" (Meanwhile, Momo is upside-down in Faye's hand, and holding her skirt up for dear life…) "The Dream Sequence" (or, do AnthroPC's have sexy dreams?) Momo-tan has "received some… upgrades" – all for Sven? ["MOMO! I said, are you ready to go?" "Buh?"] Marten: "I can't believe you took care of Marigold like that." Hanners: "I didn't have time to think. I just did it." "Are you less freaked out by touchin' other people?" "Touch me and we'll find out!" (Touch!) "Meeeeeheeheehee!" (pause) "Was… was that FLIRTING just now?! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be flirty!... OH GOD DORA I HAVE TO GO APOLOGIZE TO DORA!" ("Two steps forward, one step back.") "I'M SORRY I LET HIM POKE ME I'M SO SORRY" Dora: "Well, Hannelore, I'm afraid there's only one way you can rectify this situation." (Seppuku? I think Marigold has a katana.) [She must be thinking about what Dora said in 635] "I get to poke you!" Marten joins in: "Poking three-way!" Dora: "Ooh, kinky!" Faye: "Tsk, it's always the uptight ones that end up total pokesluts." (Hannelore, meanwhile is "eeeeeeeee!") Randi (is a she – she had babies!), Shelby is "a Great Peerer... Prenny... I'm a Dog!" (Yelling Bird should really relax!) Hannelore wonders if she's a clone; "I wonder what meeting her would be like"; Hannerclone: "Who do you think's been doing all our mother's dirty work over the years?...Don't worry, I'll wait 'til yer dead 'fore I yank yer teeth." (Marty: "Hanners? Hannelore? Are you okay?") Angus wants to pursue things with Faye; "You've... you've been allowed to sit the exam. But you haven't passed yet."; Dora's twopanel SQUEEEEEEEEEEE! (WOULD YOU STOP THAT? "I'LL STOP WHEN YOU STOP BEING SO ADORABLE) Angus wants to try Faye's "exam", but Faye doesn't do emotions very well. Angus: "...some middle ground where you don't care about me too much but we still get to make out." Faye: "Okay, see, lines like that are like writing 'Seymour Butts' in the 'name' field on the exam." Faye "warned him what he was getting himself into. And he said that was okay… Marty's metaphorical porridge was too cold, and Sven's was too hot. Might as well see what Angus' is like." Dora: "Wait, when did you ever taste MARTEN'S porr-" (METAPHORICAL, I SAID METAPHORICAL) [SPECIALS: Nothing yet, hold yer ####in' horses] "...So the Roomba people are coming to bring them back for further study." [Roombas and Mieville fly by with Pintsize hanging from his claws!] Marten: "There needs to be a word for those brief moments of clarity when you realize just how profoundly weird your life is." Hanners: "I take medication to prevent those moments. Want some?" Faye: "...Would you be completely pissed at me if I went out with Angus?" Marten" "Just go on a date with him." Faye (to Pintsize) "There are WAY better options than you." Sentient sex toys? Guitars "spend most of their time discussing philosophy, actually." Dale the Pizza Delivery guy (he really shouldn't have mentioned what server he played WoW on); "NO TIPS FOR ALLIANCE SCUM!" (Yes, Marigold is Horde.) "We're tryin' to have a moment of friendship here!" (Dora's channeling Yelling Bird, apparently) Marten: "I realize there's a certain lowering of boundaries that comes with us all living together, but this is ridiculous." Dora cut and dyed her hair! Hanners thought she "was the only person who did laundry at this time of night"; Dora tends "to get really wired after sex" (TMI? No, but "my mother's new pool-boy and recent string of corporate takeovers...") What Dora and Hanners did (dyed and cut hair – "It's very... purple. And pointy?"; vacuumed and reorganized kitchen shelves; drank a bottle of wine and made a carrot cake "with cream cheese













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frosting!") "...and I have to be to work in ten minutes and I think I'm going to die." Hanners: "It CAN'T be a bad decision, it resulted in CARROT CAKE!" Dora can't do all-nighters anymore; Faye: "You're getting' old, spookypants... then you come in outta nowhere and drop a ####in' tactical TMI on my head." [SPECIALs~~~ in background; Dora collapsed writing them][Artist non-sequitur of the day: "man I can't wait to get my vasectomy."] Faye asks Angus over to "hang out and drink some beers and watch stupid YouTube clips." (And bring Marigold?) [Specials: "FRESH ####IN' BAGELS"; Counter sign: "MISSING LLAMA: Answers to 'deathhome'(?) $$$"] Marten asks Hanners about using Winslow (while Hanners is wielding a knife – whew, she's only cutting watermelon); not gonna use Pintsize because "never look at alpacas the same way again." Marigold dresses up – but has a wardrobe malfunction! (Bra strap – oh SNAP!) "Oh no, the levee broke! Warn the townsfolk downstream!" "SHUT UP AND GIVE ME YOUR SWEATER" Angus: "Why do you have a thing for me?" Marigold: "you... were NICE to me. And paid attention. Nobody's ever done that before." Angus: "You aren't an idiot... You shouldn't like a guy just because he's nice to you... what if he's only doing it so he can get in your pants?" Marigold: "I'd settle for that." (Welcome to MarigoldLand, where NOTHING ever goes the way you want it to.) Marigold: "That's all I really want, though. Somebody to be nice to me, and pay attention, and... y'know." Angus: "...are you trying to GUILT-TRIP me into making out with you?"... Marigold: "Would... would that work?" (DAMMIT MARIGOLD) The Gang's All Here! (Angus and Marigold meet Tai, Will and Penelope) [Marigold: No bourbon, please!] Will: "A positively Homeric set of bosoms"; Penelope: "Mine had better be at LEAST Chaucerian or you're sleeping on the couch tonight." Where's Faye? "Make way for some tasty pastries!" Hanners: "PIES! Pies pies pies pies! We made strawberry rhubarb, apple, banana cream, and pecan!" (An absolutely diabolical pecan pie) "Baking is wonderful! It's like science for hungry people!" Dale delivers pizzas! (with his two other jobs). Alliance SCUM! He's got a night elf rogue on Warsong... Marigold's at LEVEL CAP. "MariGoldFarm. Bring it." Marten: "I think they were flirting. Or fighting. Or both." (An alliance ROGUE? I'm desperate, but I have SOME standards.) Turtle humping the CRAP out of a shoe (Hanners doesn't think it's funny); Angus asks for the ice pack in the freezer ("We keep that in their specifically for Fayemergencies"). Tai spills the beans: "Faye and Angus totally have the hots for each other." (Oh, great, where's Marigold's hard reset button?; Hanners: "Marigold? Marigold, are you there?") Tai apologizes, Dora blames Marten, volunteers to go talk to her; "Just try and make it through the night without saying anything else stupid, okay?" (NEVER tell a woman she looks fat in a skirt...) Marten: "Can I borrow that ice pack for a minute? My sense of humor got the best of me." Dora tells Marigold the truth about Angus and Faye; "I think he was just trying not to hurt you any more." Dora promises to be upfront with her from now on; "I thought INTERNET drama was bad, but this is RIDICULOUS." (All that's missing is Goatse, which is why Pintsize was locked in the bedroom...) Dora has to be honest with Marigold: they've been talking behind her back all night... about her boobs. Cue the laugh track! Dora offers to take Marigold bra shopping; Hannelore asks if Marigold is okay – and whaddya know, she is! She doesn't know, however, if she could handle Angus and Faye "making out or anything"; turns out they got into a fight over what music to play on the stereo – and Marten put them both in "Time Out" (aka in the same room with Pintsize! "NO TALKING!" Marigold's triumphant return; Tai apologizes; Faye and Angus come out of time-out… "IT'S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE" (Marigold: "Should I tell them I know?" Dora: "Nah, let 'em squirm. Let's go get some pie.") Marigold and Faye in the kitchen [Dark 'n Stormy's – Rum and Ginger beer]; Marigold: "Sometimes his (Angus) mouth gets ahead of his brain. But he's not a bad guy." Faye: "I know. It's not like I'm the easiest person in the world to get along with, either…" "So you're not REALLY mad at him?" "No, not really… Wait, what the hell was that about?" Total Sucker Rule violation. Marten: "You know how it's generally a good rule of thumb that you don't wanna be the drunkest person


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at a party?... old adage in poker that 'if you can't tell who the sucker at the table is, it's you.'" Will: "Ergo, if you can't tell who the most inebriated person at the party is… It's you." (cut to a pantsless Tai on Marigold's lap); Hanners: "It bothers me that I'm becoming inured to this." Tai passed out again (Hanners doesn't want her up by her again!) Marten: "I'll go check the dishwasher for her pants."; Angus apologizes for the music thing; Marigold gives Faye the silent handshake… (Marten: "I found a pair of pants in the dishwasher, but they're not Tai's." Dora: "Those are mine. Does… does she think she's cleaning?" Hannelore: "I'll go check the laundry machines for your dishes.") Faye: "Oh $#!+ She knows" Yelling Bird and Sweet-Tits celebrate Jeph's 30th… with bottle rockets? [Altered strip! Altered strip!] Marigold and Angus have a talk on the way home; "I kinda spent the whole time fighting with Faye." "...I asked Faye and she said she wasn't REALLY mad at you." "Wait, what, she told you that? (pause) I mean, sure, great, but whatever. Psh." (Marigold giggles) Hannelore brings over some pie for Marigold (Banana Cream!); Marigold's over it now; [Momo tastes Hannelore's pie!] "And hey, at least I finally kissed a boy. (Ooooh!) He totally touched my boob, too." (OOOOH!) "Kinda scratchy. They have stubble." Marigold gets a bit frustrated: "these friggin' Alliance morons keep trying to PvP me!" – one of them, however, is DALE (Scary shiny glasses!) "No. Leave her. This one has... potential." Tai awakes to showerus interruptus. "So that's why you're always ten minutes late to work in the morning." Marten calls it even ("considering that time I interrupted you in the break room with that hippie chick"); Tai wants to join Marten shopping with Steve and Cosette (?); Tai: "I figure, you attract hot chicks like moths to a flame. Eventually ONE of 'em is gonna be into ladies." Perhaps Tai should use Marty's urine like a deer hunter? Marigold notices it's 8:00 AM; how long has Hanners been awake? ("I dunno. A couple days?... No no, I'm fine! I can stay up for a few more houuuurrrrsssss....")[Cue blurry special effects] "Okay, everything went melty for a second there, but that means I've got at least couple hours before total psychosis. Let's go get breakfast!" Cosette (still on crutches) doesn't like her new haircut ("I DIDN'T WANT my bangs any shorter!"); Marten's mom snipped one of his ears – and Tai caught something else with clippers (she was trimming "downstairs", see...) Marten: "Chuck Palahniuk meets the Vagina Monologues." Cosette gets her cast off tomorrow; she wants to buy some new "cute skinny jeans" – but Tai sees a problem: "Wait, how are you gonna try on skinny jeans if you've still got the cast on?" [Cosette Facepalm!] Tai: "Would it be bad form if I tried on some new pants?" Marten: "I wouldn't risk it. She might hit you with a crutch." [Shoplifters Will Be Persecuted] Cosette gets a different response from Steve ("Sexy!") and Marten ("Nice.") about her top – "Really? You like it?" "Uh... yeah? It looks good." Steve: "DUDE!" "What?!" Cosette (with a flannel top): "What about this one?" Steve: "Ask Marten, since his opinion is the only one you actually CARE about." [Marten facepalms] "I saw you blush when he said you looked nice!" TINIEST BIT SMILEY vs. TINIEST BIT JEALOUS; enter Tai (Too "Menial Laborer"?) – "Sorry dude, I've got the right parts but a tooootally different instruction manual." (Is he ALWAYS this childish? "Shh, if he hears us talking he might think we're planning to go FORNICATE.") Steve (while eating C'thulu Cookies) "Okay, okay, I'm sorry. I was being stupid." Cosette: "...I'm not interested in any other guy. I'm not gonna jump Marten's bones just 'cause he says he likes my shirt." Marten (obvious sass mode): "Are you SURE about that? Because that shirt looked very... VERY... good on you." Cosette: "I can't help myself! Take me! Take me now!" "Baby, you just punched your ticket on the Marten-train to Orgasm-town." (beat) "Seriously, make sure you get off the train at Orgasm-town. The next five stops are all in Bitter-Recrimination-ville, and that's a really bad neighborhood." (Cosette can't stop laughing) Steve: "If you guys keep making fun of me, I'm not gonna share any of my cookies." Tai: "I promise not to seduce your girlfriend if I get a cookie!" Angus sees Marigold and Hannelore emerge – into double entendre city! "It sure sounded like you were enjoying yourselves." (Cue a horrified/blushing Marigold in the background) "...It's hard







to be quiet when you're that excited..." (and then I just <got> carried away, you know?) "I'm impressed you were able to keep up with her all night like that." (My butt is all sore!) "HANNELORE, he's IMPLYLING – " "No! Don't say it! You'll break the spell!" "My favorite part was when you took on those four guys at once! And then that giant dog!" Marigold and Faye "talk": "I'm sorry about Angus..." "I'm not, um, mad or anything... If you guys like each other, then I shouldn't, uh, get in the way."; "So... we're cool? Everything's cool?" "Uh huh." "Okay, great. So fill me in – does he have any, like, weird habits or creepy fetishes I should know about? Closet full of doll parts or cat skulls or anything?" (Hanners: "Aren't you glad Marten doesn't have anything like that in HIS closet?" Dora: "How do YOU know that?") [Wait – the blackboard is blank????] Dora just realized – none of the CoD Baristas are single anymore. Faye: "What're you talking about? I'm still single." Pen: "You're already on that flight path, you're not gonna switch airports at the last minute." Dora: "CoD is no longer run by a band of bitchy bachelorette baristas." Customer: "Is there, like, a waiting list for the next time you hire a cute single girl?" Dora: "NO there is NOT a – " Faye: "$500 to get on the list - $250 now and $250 when you hook up with her. Ask us about our Refurbished Starbucks Employee program!" (Pen: "a finishing school only we teach the OPPOSITE of social graces.") [SPECIALS: Banana Mocha, Banana Brownies, Banana Bread, We have too many bananas] Dora does need to hire more people. Faye: "You'll have gray hair by the time you hit thirty! Not that any of us will know." Refurbished Starbucks Employees! (Not so much "refurbishing" as "brainwashing") Stockholm Syndrome works for Apple employees! (No, that's Stock OPTIONS Syndrome.) Pen would prefer stock options to free coffee. Dora's been working 60 hour weeks (Ouch!); Cosette's looking for a new job (she's sick of the ice cream place); Steve can vouch for her! Dora: "I need to know if she's a reliable employee, not how good she is in bed." Steve: "She's goal-oriented, good at staying on-task, takes direction well but readily displays her own initiative..." (CAN WE NOT DISCUSS THIS IN PUBLIC) Tai: "Hey, Cosette, want me to proofread your resume?" Hanners in a suit – "You wanna work here? [Dora facepalm] ...it's just... it's a bad idea to hire your friends. You can't TREAT them as your friends when they work for you, they have to be your EMPLOYEES. And that can ruin your relationship." (B-but... you're friends with Faye and Penelope...) "Meh, $&#* 'em both." ("We love you too, Fearless Leader." "Even though you're a tremendous, dripping hate #&^%") [Dora Coffee Of Doom Tshirt!; SPECIALS: Yak butter in everything!] Faye thinks she'd be a fine employee ("uh, fastidious"); "And you think you can handle being covered with coffee grounds and really sweaty and having to take out the trash and stuff?... Okay, okay. I'll bring you on part-time. Come in tomorrow morning for training."


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1709 "What the #&!! Is going on?! There's like fifteen dogs outside trying to get in!") [7 kHz @ 120 dB, by the way] "Marten Marten MARTEN! I got the job! I GOT THE JOB!" (Mieville gets tossed aside) "Coffee of Doom! I'm gonna be working there part-time! I go in for training TOMORROW!" (Wow, what brought this on?) Happy Hannelore Hugging! (pause of realization) "Th-that was okay to do, right? I mean, normal






people hug each other sometimes, like when they're really happy about something?" (Yeah, it's fine. Congratulations!) "I'm making so much progress today! Maybe I'm finally ready to try TACO BELL!" ("Whoa whoa whoa, let's not get ahead of ourselves" – and Marten means it.) Cosette got her cast off, and she has her resume! "Is there a problem?" Dora: "Every place you've ever worked at has closed. Fondue Hut closed after the health code violation. Mambo Juice closed when they caught the owner embezzling. Video Hut sold out to Blockbuster, which is now going out of business itself." (Coincidence! "Besides, the ice cream place I worked at is still in business!) Faye: "You didn't hear? The cops shut it down this morning. Apparently the guy running it was sellin' weed out the back." Dora: "I don't believe in curses, but you're also not gonna see me walking under a ladder while holding a black cat." (Would that cancel out?) Cosette: "I have a briefcase under my bed my boss told me never to open. I guess the police would probably like to see it." GUEST STRIP (Dave Shabet): Hannelore tries the Psychonut Chai Latte GUEST STRIP (Becky & Frank, Tiny Kitten Teeth): Will "edits" Pintsize's proposition GUEST STRIP (Rene Engstrom): Sven shows HIS fly organ... or not. GUEST STRIP (Lucid TV): Faye, Angus and Marten get "possessed" GUEST STRIP (Randy Milholland, Something*Positive): Yelling Bird & Rippy The Razor in "A Night On The Town!" Claire Witch Project! (There, I said it.) Penelope: "This is idiotic. There's no such thing as CURSES, she just had bad luck." Claire: "Young lady, you may not share my belief system but I'll kindly ask you to respect it in my presence." Dora: "She raises champion wolfhounds for living. She makes more money in a month than you (Faye) do in two years. Somehow I don't think she'd be interested." "Young lady, my tea?" Pen: "Aagh! Y-yes ma'am!" Claire looks at Cosette's scalp... then into her eyes... then: "Okay. Wash your hair every other day with this. DON'T WASH IT OTHERWISE. And put this cream on your face every night before you go to bed. She's not cursed. But that dye job has fried her hair and she's got awful skin." Cosette: "Th-this is DOG SHAMPOO!" Faye: "And doggy butt-cream!" Cosette got the job! (Cheesecake, anyone?) Steve: "That's great, but what are you doing to your hair?" She has to re-dye it for work: "Faye was complaining about there being 'too many blondes at the coffee shop.'... 'crypto-flaxen conspiracy'... then Penelope threw a ladle at her head. It sorta went downhill from there." Faye: "That throw was AMAZING!" Penelope: "Could you show me how to do that judo-hold you put me in?" (Dora mumbles something about " start robbing convenience stores") Hanners can't wait to start her new job! Faye likes to have her "morning bowel movements in peace and quiet." (Hanners puts on headphones and lights some scented candles to remove herself from the experience as much as possible.) Dora lays down the law about employment to Hanners and Cosette... "Oh, for Christ's sake, don't look at me like I'm Joseph ####ing Stalin. It's a friggin' coffee shop. Don't show up drunk or high and try not to #### up too much and you'll be fine." Faye: "Seriously, how the hell would I still be employed if she were that much of a hardass?" Faye works with the new girls on their "contempt-faces"; Cosette's a natural; Hanners looks like she's about to cry (wolves on a moose?); more HAUTEUR – "Like some filthy peasant got blood on the wheel of your carriage and then had the GALL to complain that you ran him over." Dora: "They don't even know how to make DRINKS yet!" Faye: "I know, I'm prioritizing." [SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF QC!] Hannelore made her first latte ("Wow, that was easy!"); Cosette, on the other hand... "Sorry! Sorry, sorry! Aiee!" PFFFFFSSHH... (Dora and Cosette are coated with espresso and foamed milk) Hannelore: "Man, I make a really good latte!" Angus "hazes the rookie"! ("Gimme a half-caf soy no foam latte, not too hot, with a s hot of vanilla and a dusting of nutmeg, freshground only, please. Make it a medium, but put it in a large to-go cup.") Cosette: "The contempt-face isn't working. What do I do?" Faye: "This one's a special case. I recommend the 9-iron." Angus: "Is that HANNELORE running the espresso machine?... Wow, I never would've expected her to do that." Faye: "Me neither. People are fulla surprises." (pause) HE KISSES





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HER!?!?!!!!1111!!!!!!1 (Cosette: "Should we, uh, do something?" Dora: "Nothing we can do. He's got the tiger by the tail. If we separate them now she might kill him." ANGUS IS STILL ALIVE! (Faye's a bit disheveled, though.) "Okay, before you beat me to death, lemme just say that it seemed like a good idea at the time. (I. Uh.) ...If you're NOT gonna murder me, would you like to go out to dinner tonight?"(Um) Dora: "She'd love to. Her favorite place is that little Italian joint by where the copy shop used to be... (Nuh) Grunt once if you gotta pee, twice if it's a number two situation." (Muh) (Hanners: "That's... that's not part of our job, right?") Angus finally finds out that Marigold knows: "I know you like Faye. It's okay... I wish you'd told me sooner. Then I wouldn't have gotten the wrong idea." Angus: "Jesus, everything's going my way today. I should go buy some lottery tickets." Marigold: "No, no, you should play my WoW character! You could get me some sweet random drops!" Hannelore has coffee shop performance anxiety! Marten: "Yeah, like, the first time I ever played guitar in front of people? IMPOSSIBLE to maintain an erection." [No specials on the board!] Faye: "Skirt or pants? Skirt, or pants?" Marten: "Hey, I hear someone's got a date tonight." "Can you believe I'm actually nervous? (It's her first "actual date" since "before Dad died.") I figure, 30% chance I get too freaked out and bolt, 30% we end up fighting, and 30% it goes fine." (What's the last 10%? Pintsize: "ANAL") Yelling Bird: "Poor Lil' Jephy McBitchtits has himself a nasty widdle 'head cold' and can't do a comic tonight." Sayonara, Shelby-Sensei! [Shelby knocks both Yelling Bird AND Anime Sweet-Tits into the next century: "The joke is that I really like Koji Kumeta's comics, and that Shelby enjoys punching things, I guess?"] The Fight to the Death! Marten" Before you go out with Faye, you must prove yourself worthy by defeating me in single combat!" Angus: "Very well! I accept your challenge!" (slap-fight ensues) Faye: "It's like a pathetic, real-life Scott Pilgrim." (Pintsize: "Scott Pilgrim ISN'T REAL?!") What, you'd seriously want me to fight him? Faye: "I think every lady likes to think she's got a little bit of Helen of Troy in her, you know?" Angus: "If you liked it then you shoulda had a war for it..." Return of the Alphabet Trick! Angus: "Just lemme get this condom on and I'll do it in Morse code." (awkward pause) Faye: "Can we end this line of conversation? You're putting me off my gnocchi." What did you wanna be when you were a kid? Faye: "I was always into art, but I don't think I'll ever be a huge success or anything. I'm content to just do it in my spare time, I think." Angus: "I've always wanted to be a comedic actor. TV or movies, that sort of thing... I tried for a few small parts after I got outta college, but nothing really panned out. Then I got my current gig and moved up here. It's not EXACTLY what I wanna be doing, but it's close enough..." Faye: "Well, here's to compromise, then." Angus: "May we be able to look back on our lives when we're old and say, "Meh, good enough, I guess." Angus' guilty musical pleasure: "...James Taylor." Faye: "...Toto." Angus" "You... like... TOTO?!" (Not ALL their stuff! Just... just some songs.) "No, you don't understand, I... on the count of three, we each say our favorite Toto song. Ready?" (Y-yeah...) "One, two..." [Both say "AFRICA"] (pause – then SMOOCHES!) Ah, love! Faye opts out of coming upstairs, since she has to work in the morning – but she can't go: "If I'm gonna leave, you need to let go of my bottom." (Aw!) Marten: "How'd the big date go?" [Marten's reading Guitar Porn, while Pintsize is reading PC World – with a centerfold?] Faye: "What's your favorite Toto song?" "Uh, Rosanna, I guess. Why?" (Faye gives his hair a tousle) "G'night." (Pintsize insists "IT'S 'HOLD THE LINE' YOU ####S") Meanwhile, for Angus, it's DANCE TIME! (And this time, Marigold joins him for the celebratory dance...) "So, the date went well?" "DWAH!" [And Momo falls over after pirouetting on the couch] "Hey Dora?" (sleeping) "What? TOTO? Man, #### Toto. Toto SUCKS. Lemme go back to sleep." [And the long, awkward silence of the night begins.] Panic Attack in the Dark! Faye: "I r-really LIKE him! And- and I know he's not gonna up and leave or die or anything but I'm so SCARED and I don't know WHY!" Marten (hugging her on couch): "It's okay, it's okay. Everything's gonna be fine. Angus










really likes you and he's a good dude and it's gonna be fine, I promise." Faye: "...Marten?" "Y-yes?" "Could you, like, shift your position? You're, uh, kinda pokin' outta your boxers a little.' (DAAH!) [Alternate versions available!] "Ain't the first boxer mishap I've been witness to." (Okay...how're you feeling?) "Better. Less freaked out. I mean, still freaked out, but LESS." (That's good. I'm really happy for you and Angus. I don't wanna see you screw this up.) "I'm... excited about it." [Platonic hug – on couch] "Thank you for bein' my friend, Marten." (Of course!) [ENTER DORA] Marten: "I... I hate to be cliché but this isn't what it looks like." Dora: "I don't even know WHAT this looks like, but it isn't good." Faye: "Just when I thought I was out of panic-adrenaline..." "And you DIDN'T THINK to maybe PUT SOME PANTS ON? (I was...) So you just decided to SNUGGLE UP ON THE COUCH IN YOUR UNDERWEAR. (We weren't SNUGGLING!...) Can you NOT SEE how I might find this A LITTLE INAPPROPRIATE?! (it isn't how it... the LAST thing on my mind...)(to Faye) Don't come in to work tomorrow. (to Marten) And don't come back to bed tonight." The Aftermath; "Oh my god, this is all my fault." "No it isn't. She's just in F###ing Crazy Mode for some reason... Of course I'm mad! She's being ridiculous. Whatever. I'm going for a walk." (You, uh, don't have any pants on.) [Facepalm!](Faye breaks out the jeans and the Hello Kitty belt...) Faye goes postal (and breaks the latch on Marten's door!); "I wasn't f###ing cuddling him! I just needed someone to talk to! If YOU'D answered the door it woulda been YOU insteada Marty. An' I bet you wouldn'a been wearin' pants either! I spent like an HOUR making out with Angus tonight. That's what I was freaking out about! Why the #### would I turn around and do anything with MARTEN? Do you really think I'd DO that?! (I... I just...) I don't know what's going on in that crazy purple head of yours, but you better get in check before you #### EVERYTHING up. (pause) If you haven't already." Marten found someone to talk to: "...I can understand being UNCOMFORTABLE with the fact that we were huggin' in our underpants, but there was a perfectly good explanation... One minute she's cool, the next she's FREAKING OUT. It's apparently okay for HER to get all flirty with other girls but if one so much as BREATHES on me it's f'in ARMAGEDDON. Every one of our fights has been about her crazy insecurity. I'm just so tired of trying to convince her that, yes, I'm ACTUALLY HAPPY WITH HER... So I don't know WHAT to do. What do you think?" SVEN: "Was Faye wearing a bra?..." (I knew I shoulda kept walking when you said "hey.") Where is this coming from? Sven: "The 'Chill and understanding' thing is an act. She's a mess underneath it all... first dude she's ever dated who wasn't a complete douchebag? ...Real Alpha-Goth types. Treated her like $#!+, cheated on her, the works. She's never been in a really healthy relationship." (You coulda filled me in on all this when I first started dating her, y'know.) "Yeah, and you coulda slid the Cliff's Notes on Faye under my door, too. So I guess we're even." Marten: "Man, I love Faye, but there's no WAY a Cliff's Notes on her would fit under a door." Sven: "...my building does have a loading dock out back... Go easy on her, okay? She's a good kid." (How've you been? Haven't "talked since the thing with you and Faye went down.") "Oh, you know... writin' songs, playin' video games. The usual. Oh hey, if you know any cute single girls.. (meaningful pause for self-reflection) Actually, you should probably keep them away from me. See ya." (What is with everyone tonight? ...some kinda f'in angst solstice?) [Dora's sitting, curled up on the couch] Dora: "Are you gonna break up with me?" Marten: "What? No!" D: "I'm sorry I flipped out on you again." M: "It's okay. I mean, it's something we've gotta fix. But it's okay... I just wish you'd listened to the explanation before you blew up." D: "So you're not mad at me?" M: "No. But in the interest of full disclosure..." (she saw his junk through his boxers, and he's wearing her pants right now...) D: "Sweetie, I love you, but if I'm gonna work on being less of a crazy bitch you HAVE to work on your sense of timing." M: "Deal." Marten: "How come you never told me you've never had a healthy relationship?... I ran into (Sven) on my walk." Dora: "I've had... well, I mean, they weren't the BEST, but I was YOUNG, I didn't know what I was looking for in a guy! (why she's so insecure about Marten?) I don't know. You ARE the first genuinely nice guy I've ever been with. Maybe I'm subconsciously expecting you to be an









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a-hole like everyone else... I'm still the stupid mess I've always been." M: "You're not a mess. We've all got our hang-ups. We can fix this. I love you." D: "I love you, too." [Side Hugs!] Pintsize: "LESS TALKING, MORE HOT MAKE-UP SEX" M: "GET OUT." D: "Good suggestion, though." Dora apologizes to Faye: "Sorry about last night... We had a long talk, and I'm gonna try and be more open about stuff. We'll see if that helps." (So everything's cool? You and Marty are fine, and I can come into work and stuff?) "Yeah" (I was worried our entire social circle was gonna implode all 'cause I didn't put on some goddamn PANTS. ) "To be fair, you weren't wearing a bra, either." Marty gives Faye her pants back; "I'm glad everything worked out last night. Oh, do you still have my belt? (Marty shows that he's wearing it.) Oh, all right. The ears dig into my tummy when I set down, anyway." (YESSSS) [Note on fridge: PAY RENT!] Proposition Avoidance Countermeasures class with Dora! "Sven is gonna pretend to be a customer asking you out on a date. I wanna see you shut him down." (Sven is OBVIOUSLY not thrilled with this; he makes a scatological reference towards Cosette) Cosette: "I… wh… do you seriously GET customers like this?!" Dora: "God dammit, Sven." Hannelore: "If we get customers like that I quit." Sven: "Okay, okay. For real this time. (in 'character') I was wondering if you'd like to get dinner with me sometime." Cosette: "A, I have a boyfriend and B, Ew. Buzz off." (Excellent! Your turn, Hanners." Sven: "I'd REALLY like to take you on a date. How's dinner and a movie – (Hannelore speaks in C'thulu language) I… wow. Yeah. Definitely discouraged me." Hanners: "What just happened? Everything blanked out for a second there." Dora: "Okay, I guess that means you pass." Sven (to Dora) "Can I go home now?" Hannelore (embarrassed): "A-actually… do you think we COULD go on a date?" (What?) "I mean, like a pretend one? I'm – I'm not interested in you ROMANTICALLY. I'm not interested in ANYBODY romantically, it's just… I've never been on a date before, so I think it'd be nice to know what it's like, even if it's just pretend." (Dora's turn to channel the Old Ones!) Sven: "Apparently Dora objects. And is also an eldritch horror from beyond time and space." Dora: "It's not that I don't think you should go on a DATE, it's just that you picked literally the WORST POSSIBLE GUY to do it with." Sven: "You know what? I'll do it. I'll take Hanners on a date." Dora (holding back the headache) Sven, you know how you talked to Marten last night about me blowing up? I'm trying REALLY hard not to do that right now." Sven: "That's why this is a good idea! You have to try and trust me, I have to live up to that trust, and Hannelore gets to have a good time in the process." Dora: "Hannelore, you don't understand. Sven has WILES. I mean, if he could get FAYE to put out for him, I shudder to think…" Sven: "You have my word that if she somehow MAGICALLY overcomes her crippling anxieties and throws herself at me, I'll say no." Hanners: "I can only think of a couple instances where I'd throw myself at you. Maybe if a bus was coming at us or something." "This is against my better judgment, but you can go... just, please don't make me regret this." OH MY GOD WHAT WILL I WEAR? ("That's what the lady is supposed to say now, right?") Hannelore has a BAD first day: Stinky customers, splashing espresso machine, coffee grounds bag breaking, Cosette's drive-by pastry spillage, garbage bag breaking, plunging the toilet... "CAN I TAKE MY LUNCH BREAK PLEASE" (It's not even 10 AM!) "Dammit, Cosette!" (She ends up out in the alley next to Hanners!) [Fixed strip] Faye consoles the two "overwhelmed" rookies... or not: "The first day is always crazy, but it gets easier. You guys are gonna be fine. (Really? You think so?) Nah, that's just what Dora told me to tell you. It never gets easier, and you'll get fired if you keep f&#*in' up so much. Anyway, back to work!" Faye: "WHY ARE YOU GOING ON A DATE WITH SVEN?!" Hanners: "It's just a pretend date"; Faye gives a scenario where Sven could seduce her ("Cleanest Vegan Restaurant in the Valley"? "Movie about fonts"?? "Offers to clean your kitchen"???); she blushes, but she insists she couldn't kiss him, because "I could only kiss a boy who was the same height as me." Faye doesn't "threaten with some ridiculous act of violence" anymore: "You're dealing with a kinder, gentler Faye. The ultraviolence is only IMPLIED now." Hannelore shows up, and Sven thinks she looks great! "Wait, do you really mean that, or is that just what you're supposed to say at












the start of a date?... Well... If you REALLY mean it, that contributes to the authenticity of the date experience. But this date is artificial to begin with, so any genuine feelings of flattery I experience would be inherently compromised..." [Time to go to the blackboard! Lust coefficent / (awareness)2(h+3) = (susp. of disbelief)/(awkwardness); cos(flirting)-1 = blush quotient / tan (smirk?)2; x = π if dessert = true (Tart theory?); overall outcome = x(happiness/disgust)/(actual feelings)] Hanners: "So, what's the plan?" Sven: "Oh, no plan, really... unless there's something the girl specifically wants to do. I prefer to improvise... For you, I'd say we go to that little hole-in-the-wall Korean place up on King. It looks sketchy as #3!! but the food is amazing." (Sven posits his theory on how to get a girl "into" him) "So... is that where we're going to eat?" "Oh GOD no. Last time I was in there I saw a rat the size of a Corgi in their kitchen." "Ed a ma me, ed-a ed-a ma-me-me" (sing with me!) Faye and Sven never really went on any dates; "Aw, who am I kidding. Honestly? I haven't (been on any dates) because I miss Faye. I don't know WHY I miss her, but... No, wait. Yes I do. Those boobs. And that @$$. I never used to be into girls that curvy, but MAN..." (Is this really what you're s'posed to talk about on a date?) "Sorry, sorry. I'll shut up about Faye... B'but YOU'RE super gorgeous too! I mean, if you weren't freaked out about it I'd totally do you!" (long awkward pause with blushing – and Hanners slowly pushing away from the table...) "OH MY GOD WHERE IS OUR FOOD." Hannelore gets the incredibly oversized hoodie of Sven's (and looks incredibly cute!); "It's so big!" ("I love it when girls say that"; failed double entendre roll by Hanners) ICE CREAM! LET'S GO GET ICE CREAM! NEVER TOO COLD FOR ICE CREAM Hanners forgot her purse! She had her "cell phone, wallet, keys, mace, taser, multitool, Swiss army knife... (pause) OH MY GOD I'M TOTALLY DEFENSELESS!!! Please don't murder me, please please please!" (cowering) "I'm not gonna murder you That wouldn't exactly be gentlemanly of me." Watching the stars... and Dad's space station! "Hi dad!... This is really nice. Thank you for taking me out tonight, Sven" "No prob." (Pause for a deep, meaningful look... then) "Herp" "Derp" BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Outside the apartment building; Sven: "It was actually really nice to go out with someone WITHOUT tryin' to get in their pants." Hanners: "Hee hee! I'm not even WEARING pants!" (extend the hand for a handshake... and Hannelore HUGS!) "Thank YOU. And don't listen to Dora and Faye. You're a nice guy at heart." (Speaking of which...) Faye (looking down from window): "They're hugging." Dora: "$#!+. Is it a chaste hug?" Faye: "Looks pretty chaste, yeah." Pintsize: "Grab her @$$! GRAB HER @$$!" Third degree time: "How'd it go? Was my brother super smarmy?" "You didn't make out with him or anything, didja?" "No. He was a perfect gentleman and you should be very proud of him." Dora: "And you're not, like... INTO him now, right?" Hanners: "Can't you just be happy for me? I went on a DATE, even if it was just pretend! And I didn't freak out1 And Sven was really nice about the whole thing! And for your information, I'm NOT 'into' him. Although I... I did consider grabbing his butt at one point." (Faye: "Can't blame you..." Marten: "Sven's? ...daaang, dude has a GREAT butt." Dora: "aaaaaaulghrghrigh") Marigold emerges from the local 7-11 [U HAVE BUKKET size cup] to find... DALE! "Well well, if it isn't our little Tauren warrior... Your day of reckoning is coming, like a thief in the night. Or should I say... like a rogue?" [Scary glasses as he exits: HAH HAH HAH HAUGH! BONK!] "Uh... little help, here? I’m stuck in a trash can." "May the opossums grow fat on your flesh." Marigold finds out about the "pretend date"... Hanners: "...Are you jealous that I went on a date before you did? (M-maybe a little...) Oh NO! Is this going to be the wedge that drives our friendship apart? (What? No, I just - ) ...I'm so sorry! I'll always cherish the time we had together!" (Marigold chases her around the apartment while Angus and Momo sit on the couch) Angus: "You want the paper?" Momo: "Just the sports section, please." Angus arrives at CoD! "Hey, Haven't seen you in a few days." [Faye is sharpening the sword while wearing THE SWORD shirt] (pause) "So..." "Yeah..." (pause) "Man, how the hell are things MORE awkward now that we've made out?" "Haha, SERIOUSLY!" (pause) "Wanna make out?" "Yes." Dora (offscreen) "NOT DURING WORK HOURS."


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Faye filled in Angus; "...all that drama just 'cause you were in your underpants?" [taking out the trash in the back alley] "...I'm never leaving my bedroom without pajama bottoms on ever again." (So what were they talking about?) "Just anxiety stuff. He's kinda my sounding board for that... It's no big deal. ...Seriously, it's okay. Let it go." "Okay, okay... Because I really want this to work out, and I don't wanna do anything that would make you uncomfortable-" "I WILL LET YOU TOUCH MY BOOBS IF YOU'LL SHUT UP." "I hate to interrupt your reverie, but my break ends in like-" "Shhhhhh" So what happens when you brew tea in hot coffee? (Eldrictch horror, demons, fire, heads on a pike and bleeding eyeballs?) Dora: "No, nothing like that happens. It just tastes gross." Faye: "But if you mix yerba mate and espresso, it WILL summon Yog-Sothoth." Winslow: "Hey, did you hear? The Singularity happened." (Pintsize doesn't "feel any different... Where's the sexy robotic elohim guiding civilization to some unimaginable apotheosis?") "At least there's e-cake!" [HAPPY SIGNULARITY] Tai realizes that "even if (Marten) and Dora broke up, (she) couldn't sleep with her 'cause it would be too weird." Marten: "Oh, I'm so sorry... I appreciate you value our friendship that much." (Uh, that's not what she meant...) Sloppy seconds, happy-batter, joy-juice, glee-gloop, Euphoria Fluid and cummerbunds! [He didn't even MEAN to do that last one!] The "Friendly AI" Singularity "PROBABLY won't kill or enslave us or anything!" (Faye's reading Barista Weekly, the "$&#* YOU" Issue; Cosette tries the "I for one" meme and gets it upside the head); dolphins could be smarter – but then again THEY KIDNAP FEMALES SO THEY CAN RAPE THEM. ("I... I don't like dolphins anymore.") Dolphins are apparently really creepy to talk to. Hey, we have seen this one before, right? ["Updated" version of strip #268, with Faye dousing Marten's ex-girlfriend Vicky with milk; Vicky looks eerily like Cosette] Sven stops in and is surprised that Faye's actually being nice to him! ("You kept your word about the date with Hanners the other night.") Maybe he should try "having an ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP with a girl." ("Not likely... I have NO IDEA how to have one... I'd probably just screw it up.") Wait – that's actually TRUE. "I'd refer you to my therapist, but she's already said she won't work with anyone else in my social circle." [Specials: NOTHING TODAY JERKS] Sven: "Wait, you're... seeing someone?" Faye: "Yeah, kinda." Sven: "W-well, that's great! I'm... I'm really happy for you! (No he's not.) I, uh, I gotta run..." (Faye stands dumbfounded, then Hannelore leans in and whispers)"He misses your body" AUGH "Wow. I broke him." Maybe she needs a warning label? [CAUTION: Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Faye's breasts.] Pintsize is undergoing a TRANSFORMATION! "It must be the Singularity! It's finally coming to subsume me!" Marten: "It's not the singularity, dude." [reading Guitar Porn again] "Yes! YES! Take me! TAKE ME, OH OMNISCIENT MACHINE PANTHEON!" FZZT (Marten removes Pintsize's head) "You're not being subsumed. A cricket got stuck on your motherboard and fried itself." Winslow: "Mister Peepers! Nooooooooo!!!" Marigold is caught by Faye reading about Ron's "inevitable cleft"... Tai: "Wait, are you reading 'Quidditch Field Idyll'? (Um, mmaybe...) I wrote that." WILL YOU SIGN MY NETBOOK [Is Tai wearing Dora's shirt from 217?] Tai (as she's signing Mar's netbook) "I don't usually do the guy-onguy stuff..." Marigold really likes it! "I'd love to hear some of your 'brutal criticisms.'" "S-sure!" (Marigold has no idea, does she. Nope. Should we have warned her? Nope.) [Cute face Dora!] Tai: "...You'd be surprised how many professional authors got their start doing fanfic." Marigold: "Do you wanna come back to my place, and, um, m-maybe I could show you some of MY fanfic?" "That's a novel euphemism." (None are long enough to be NOVELS! Promise!) "I can take it if it sucks, just tell me the truth!" (Tai looks... and, well...) "Well, it's... it's got a lot of potential! (happy Marigold) I mean, it could use some work. Like, a lot of... work... (sad Marigold) B-but yeah! Tons of potential!" (happy Marigold) Tai the English lit major: "No, see, you can't just say 'And then Harry kissed Ron and it was very sexy.'" Marigold the clueless: "Why not?" "Well, you have to show people WHY it's sexy..." Tai



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tries to use an example – but Marigold's reaction? "Ron... and Snaaape..."(blushing) Tai: "I give up." Still pining for your roommate? Plenty of other fish in the sea; Marigold: "Too bad none of 'em want anything to do with me." Tai: "Don't sell yourself short. I'd TOTALLY make out with you." Mar: "Psh, I'm not that desperate." Tai: "...Wow. Ouch. Okay then." Marigold the clueless: "Huh?" "I'M SO SORRY! I – I DIDN'T MEAN – YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE DESPERATE TO – I WASN'T THINKING –" It's okay, it's okay! "I'm not – I don't like girls like that. I'm sorry! It's... it's very flattering, though. Thank you." (Want me to take off my pants and see if it does anything for you, just in case?) "N-no thanks! You already did that once!" Marigold is INSPIRED! HERMIONE AND GINNY VERSUS THE SPACE WIZARDS! Puberty discussions, crusty socks, misinformed high school sex ed teachers, "wallowing in porn"; "Why do I need lotion in my bedroom?" Dora: "So what kind of porn DO you like, anyway?..." Marten: "You really wanna do that? What if it turns out I'm secretly into scat, or torture-porn, or something even worse? Do you really wanna know that about me? Once you open that Pandora's box, you can't close it again." (beat) Dora: "Nah, you're WAY too whitebread to be into anything THAT weird. Faye, watch the store. I'm gonna go ask Pintsize." "What's the big deal? It's not like you had some weird fetish to hide." "It's not ABOUT that, it's about me wanting some basic privacy and you completely IGNORING that!" SLAM! "...Well, I guess that's it, then." SLAM! Marten (at COD) "Have you seen Dora? Has she come by here?" Faye: "She just called and said she was going to Sven's. What's going on?" "Another fight..." "Whoa, dude. Bitter much?" "...Yeah. Yeah I am." (exits) "WELP time for some Emergency Bourbon." "...It's been wonderful, sweetie. It really has. But I think we should call it quits." "Marty? Oh, you guys didn't – you didn't..." "It's okay. It was mutual." "It was?" "Yeah. We're both sick of her crap." [click] Faye: "...Wait, WHAT?...What the hell do I have to do to convince her I'm not secretly ####ing pining for you?! ...if this was gonna be such a big deal, why the ### did she get together with you in the first place!? ... I'm gonna kill her. I'm gonna ####ing kill her." Marten: "Please don't... you're my best friend, and I'm asking you to let it go..." (C'mon, at least lemme break one of her arms.) "No, because then she'd fire you and I'd have to pay the rent for this place all on my own." "I guess you probably heard." "Yeah." HUGGGGGG! "Right now I would like nothing more than to beat you so hard you need to eat through a straw for the rest of your life. But Marty asked me not to. You ruined a perfectly good thing for the STUPIDEST REASON POSSIBLE. You need HELP. I'm going to my therapist today, and I'm getting you a referral. And if you don't follow it up, so help me God I WILL put you in the emergency room." (*sniffle.. SOB*) "Yes, yes, snot on my shirt. That's what friends are for." [Is Faye... tearing up there?] Sven stops by – "Oh, sorry. I thought you’d be at work..." "Nah, don’t worry about it. I was just heading out now." "...I’m sorry it didn’t work out." "Yeah, me too." "...ever want to get together and jam sometime, just let me know... And if you need some meaningless rebound sex..." OKAY THANK YOU BYE OMG TURKEYS 2010!!! (Jimbo. Yeah, definitely Jimbo.) Sad Hanners is SAD! "I th-though you guys would be together FFOREVER!" (We've got customers...) "Um, a large latte?" (Hanners can't hold it in) "THUH-THAT WAS MUHMARTEN'S FUH-FAVORTIE DRINK!" "DAMMIT HANNERS YOU'RE GONNA MAKE ME CRY AGAIN" (Oh, jeez. Death in the family? In a manner of speaking.) [Specials. none today. #### off.] Hanners returns the Worry Hat to Marten! "I'm – I'm sorry, you just look really silly." Marten: "Yeah, common side-effects of the Worry Hat include silly appearance, head sweats, impaired hearing, and compulsive fiddling with the pom-pom." Angus: "Jesus, I can't believe they broke up... You don't... actually still have a thing for him, right?" Faye: "Oh, for ####'s sake, don't YOU start now." "So that ship's really sailed?" "It never even left the dry dock! They tried to break the bottle of champagne on its bow and the whole thing collapsed! (Relationships as nautical metaphors!) Me and Sven was a speedboat that caught fire and exploded. You and I are a paddle steamer near Niagara Falls... (It






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may fail in a spectacular and hilarious fashion?) Ten million YouTube views, minimum." "Here, call this number and they'll hook you up with a therapist." "Okay, I'll do it tomorrow." "Not tomorrow, right now." "I said I'll do it tomorrow." rrrrRRR "I don't think they'll appreciate it when I say you threatened me with physical harm if I didn't call." "Yeah, that's something my therapist says I need to work on." Poor emo Marten can't go to the coffee shop anymore... "But it was FREE..." (How many angry squirrels do you think you could take in a fight?) Marten's on the phone: "Yeah, I'm okay. I mean, I'm not GREAT, but I'll live... No, you don't have to come visit. I'm fine, and I've got work, and – ...What do you MEAN you already bought the tickets?! I don't – (sigh) Okay. See you tomorrow. Yeah, love you too mom. Bye." (switch to CoD) Dora: "Eesh, I feel like a goose just walked over my grave." (Faye's grave is gonna be BADASS.) Mom's coming to visit? Tai: "Omigod, can I meet her? Please???" "Why, so you can make out with her? You'll have to get in line behind DORA." "Dude, I get that you're upset, but..." "...I just... I can't deal with all this $#!+. I can't." Tai hugs... "Woops! Found a nipple!" Self-medicating with alcohol? "I'm not gonna self-medicate. I'm gonna get drunk. Don't worry about it, Hanners. I'll be fine." (pause) [Pintsize is laying on the back of the couch... in a rather unspeakable position] [Marten drinks straight out of the bottle] Hannelore and Marten sitting on the couch. Marten's getting drunk, while Hanners is sipping... "Was... was that your –" NO. Dora tells Sven about seeing a doctor about her insecurities; "It's really weird hearing genuine big-brother advice from you." "Hey, I've given you big-brother advice before! Remember when you were five?" "Yes I do. Your 'advice' killed all of mom's goldfish and got me grounded for two weeks." "I never said it was good advice..." YELLING BIRD! Randy's Back! "I am eternal" [Mislabeled 1816] Hannelore has to go check on Marigold (Cataclysm expansion pack); Marten is visited by the Beast of Bourbon! "You're a terrible influence, alcohol-induced hallucination." Faye and Angus makin' out – but she needs to go check up on Marty. "Where'd you put my bra?" "I didn't take it off, you did." "What? No I didn't. You did." "No, I'd definitely remember if I took it off. You must have." "This isn't funny. If I find out you're keeping it as some kind of creepy trophy..." "I swear to God I have no idea where it is!" "Could... could the SHEER INTENSITY of our make-outs have VAPORIZED my lady-holsters?" "Maybe it's some kind of quantum tunneling effect. Lemme go check and see if Marigold has two bras on now." "Did you drink that entire bottle? Please tell me you didn't drink that entire bottle." POW! "At least one of us isn't gonna remember this in the morning." Awakened to the sound of puking; "Did I... say anything stupid last night? I feel like I vaguely remember saying something stupid." (meaningful pause by Faye) "No, you were fine. I mean, you were super-drunk, but you didn't say anything weird." "Man, where did I get this huge bump on the side of my head?" "OWLS." "Owls?" "OWLS." Veronica's back! "How are you feeling, sweetie? Are you holding up okay?" "I feel... hung over, mainly. Drank way too much last night." "...So, do you want me to kill Dora for you?" "What?! No!" "Don't worry about me, honey! I've lived a long, happy life. I wouldn't mind spending my twilight years in prison if it would make you feel better." (I love you too, mom.) Lunch: She'll have a Hendricks martini, cornichons (or olives otherwise). "And your phone number for my boy here." Mom. "Oh honey, I know she's gorgeous, but that doesn't mean she's out of your league!..." Mom! "Come on, back me up here..." MOM. "And you know, the first thing the nurse told me when he came out..." MOM. Mom meets Tai: OH MY GOD I LOVE THE TINY BUTCH ONES (Hoif!) "Oh, I – I'm sorry, I – " (Will you be my new mommy?) "Today just keeps getting better and better." She was only trying to help, Marten. Suddenly it hits Tai: "Oh my god COME WITH ME TO THE GOTH CLUB TONIGHT" Sorry, but that'd qualify as work (and she can't afford Veronica's rates). Hannelore's turn! "Are... are you Marten's mom? ...I'm very ppleased to meet you." "Wait, THIS is the one you were telling me about? She seems perfectly normal!" (Wh-what did he tell you?!)

1825 1826




1830 1831












"Go take a nap, sweetie... (pause) Whooo wants to see BABY PICTURES?" (Hanners: "Oh my gosh let me call Faye first!") Yelling Bird does NOT get it: BLAM! BLAM! BLAM BLAM BLAM! Sweet-Tits: "You know he's eternal so STOP ####ING SHOOTING HIM ALREADY" Shame Orb: "YOU DROPPED A CINDERBLOCK ON RANDY INSTANCE 20509A" Marten awakes... and all eyes are on him. "#########, you showed them the picture of me with the dildo, didn't you." "It's such a cute picture!" (Tai and Faye can't hold in the laughter, though Hanners is trying her best) The pictures: Mom and dad with cute baby Marten; Marten's Christmas Xylophone; Dino Marten at Halloween!; and, of course, the dildo picture (and "My Mommy Spanks People" t-shirt) Pintsize tries to Goatse Ms. Reed... "NO DON'T DO IT – Aaaand now my mom's been goatse'd. Great." (Faye tosses Pintsize across the room; Hanners: "I'm not looking! I'm not looking!") But Veronica sees something: "...Kirk? That IS Kirk! I'd recognize that gape anywhere. Why, I haven't seen him since your high school graduation!" (Speaking of gapes: everyone's mouth is on the floor. Jeph: "I... I really hope Marten didn't shake his hand.") Happy New Year! (Marigold 2011, Hannelore 2010) Tai speculates on Hannermom's "kinks", but mom's never heard anything; that's when they run into Sven (reading PC Whore); "Veronica Reed. VERY pleased to meet you." "Sven Bianchi. I'm, uh, Dora's older brother." (pause) "I suppose it would be incredibly bad form for me to seduce you." "'Fraid so." (Marten: "That's it. I'm going back to bed" – but Tai grabs his wrist to keep him right there) And she slips out of the restaurant... and into Coffee of Doom! "Excuse me, is Dora in?" Penelope: "You must be Marten's mom. She's hiding under the counter." "I TOLD YOU TO SAY I WAS IN CANADA" She HUGS her? "How are you holding up?" "It'd... It'd be easier if you'd just be MEAN about it." "I could, um, make something up about how you've gained weight since the last time I saw you! Would that help?" "I feel better already." (No she doesn't.) "DAMMIT mom, I know that tone of voice. You totally went to Coffee of Doom to cause a scene, didn't you. Tai, check under her fingernails for blood." (Hanners: "Dora would've at least put up a fight, and she's not missing any buttons or chunks of hair or eyeballs or anything.") Backtalking Marten! MARTEN TIBERIUS REED! (Is his middle name really Tiberius? "It WOULD be, if his father weren't such a stick in the mud.") There's a bright side? "You're still surrounded by people who care about you. Hannelore, Tai, Faye, Steve... even Pintsize. In his own weird way." Skrzzt flarzit marm? (Man, you really hit the wall hard when Faye threw you, huh.) Cump. Things you shouldn't say out loud, Sven edition: "Man, Marten's mom is kinda hot, for an older woman." CLICK! "OH COME ON!" Mom drops by in the AM on Faye; "I was worried you'd be pissed at me for not gettin' together with Marty. "Oh no no no, you'd have been a TERRIBLE couple... You and Marten? Seriously? Christ, that would have been a nightmare!" "So... how was Dora doing, yesterday?" "Oh, she was... sad. Like you.... If you're feeling relieved, maybe that means you made the right decision? Or not? I don't know." "You don't have any opinions or useful advice for me here?" "Honey, I married a gay man and routinely sleep with men young enough to be my children. You're asking the wrong parent." "All right sweetie, it's time for me to get going... Are you going to be all right?" (Yeah, I think so.) "That's my boy. And don't forget – you're single now! You can have lots and lots of casual sex! Just use protection!" (Love you too, mom.) Faye: "Oh, thank god she's gone." Hanners: "I don't understand why you're so scared of her. She's really nice!" Marten: "What? Did she say something about you and Angus?" "No, she said WE woulda made a terrible couple..." "Huh... if you really think about it she's probably right. But at least the sex would've been amazing!" Hahah...hah...heh..." AWKWARD ZONE = INITIATED RIDICULOUS HAT ZONE! (The ushanka returns, along with Marten's Top Hat and... Hannelore's Blood Tree baseball cap?) "Sorry, that sounded a lot more flippant in my head... Man... I guess I gotta find someplace else to get coffee now." Hannelore: "We could... we could get you a disguise! And an alias!" Faye:








1850 1851 1852




"Ah yes, our good friend Netram Deer, international financier and ostrich racer." Marten and Hanners look for a new coffee shop: (Generic coffee shop – Starbucks?) "Too many hippies... (LanPark!) Would YOU trust an AnthroPC to make your coffee? (Vladek's Beverage Emporium – "You want coffee? Maybe I get you coffee. Maybe I get you punch in face.") ...Alarming." Hanners: "I didn't realize how many coffee shops there are in town." Marten: "You never really notice all of them unless you stop to think about it. They're like pigeons." (Oh, I always notice pigeons.) "I've never been down this street before... (blonde in a fairy outfit breezes by) That... that was just a strange person in a costume, right?" (Marten: "I hope so. If we see a unicorn I'll drop dead from terminal worldview collapse.") The Secret Bakery! Cross-neck Guy! Sensitive Brawny Guy (Elliot; name not revealed until 1865)! Short Dark Girl (Renee; name not revealed until 1859): "The giant blender thing is on fire." Long-Haired Apron Girl (Padma; name not revealed until 1857): "We don't have a 'giant blender thing'." "Well, something's on fire back there." $H!+!" (Marten: "Did we just walk into an alternateuniverse Coffee of Doom?" Hanners: "I don't think I want to meet my doppelganger.") [New backgrounds! New location! Jeph's cramped hand!] "Wow, their coffee is pretty good. This pastry thing is amazing too. Wow. Even their chairs are really comfy and - " IF YOU LOVE THIS PLACE SO MUCH WHY DON'T YOU JUST MARRY IT (Actually, we do amazing wedding cakes - ) THIS PLACE IS A BUTT AND YOU ARE ALSO A BUTT Marten: "Just because this place is nice doesn't mean I'm gonna totally abandon you guys." Hanners: "You better not. I'd be sad. And Faye would beat you up." [Elliot checking his phone; Renee snoozing on the cake display counter] "Why are you so upset, anyway? We live, like, thirty feet apart. I'll still see you all the time." "...Now it's all different and I don't know what to do." "Change can be scary, but the best we can do is try to adapt." (I wish that meant I could grow wings or infrared vision instead of this vague sense of unease.) [Sign outside shop:] The Secret Bakery Discreet Baked Goods & Coffee Tue-Fri 6 AM – 8 PM Sat-Sun 8 AM – 8 PM Closed Mondays Dora's Back in Black! Sven's "an ass, but it beats moving back in with my folks. I can't get my old place back, but I'm sure something decent will come up for rent eventually." ("I'm glad you're getting' on with your life" – and a light Faye punch!) "I can't just lie around feeling sorry for myself all the time." (True – that way lies ice-cream fatness and shameful blog posts.) "There are things lurking in my saved draft posts that would make a heartbroken 14 year old go 'oh come on, that's a bit much'." Steve! "Dude. Strip club. Tonight." Cosette "What?" Marten: "No thanks." (Ugh, you're such a pig... Because the only thing you can think of to cheer up your friend is to force him to participate in an activity centered on the degradation and objectification of women!) Steve: "...I saw those pictures of you at your sister's bachelorette party. (I was – I was drunk! And grandma put my hand there!) Your grandma ####in' rules." "Guess I gotta get used to sleepin' alone again..." "Would you rather be the outside spoon?" Faye and Angus; "Professional Sexmaster" or "Late-night TV Show"? Big heads, swollen heads... and writing partners? Marigold's not happy. "I told Angus I wanted to use the TV tonight but he's out there with Faye. I can't go out there! What if they're making out or something?" (Momo checks: "Yes, you should probably stay in here. My goodness.") "I'm gonna shut my eyes and you're gonna lead me to the front door so I can go over to Hannelore's." "Gotta get going?" "Actually, I was thinking about staying here tonight." (Angus runs off to the bedroom, uncertain – leaving a very surprised Faye) "Okay, we're good to go." "Making sure you had condoms?" "...Maybe." "Real smooth, Barry White." "Is it cool if we, um, don't have sex yet?" (Gee, have we heard this before?) No! "...it's just nice having you here in my arms." (pause) Pimple the size of a DIME? "So much for my mental image of you as a flawless angel." "You're the one to talk, Captain Backhair. Which one of your parents was half Sasquatch?" Marigold makes it to Hanners' place; "We don't have to watch it, if you think it's gonna be too scary for you..." "No, no, you walked











1866 1867


all the way over here...." AIEEEE!!! "This is just the opening credits!" "It's a spooky font!" [Nothing spooky about Myriad Pro] Hannelore fails at flirting: "But doesn't that FREAK YOU OUT? The coffee doesn't REALLY taste any different, but the chemicals in your head are LYING TO YOU! You can't count on your own brain to present an objective version of reality!" (Dora: "Hannelore, he was trying to flirt with you." Hanners: "Well he wasn't very good at it!") [SPECIALS update: Bacon(?) sausage latte; Granola(?) mocha; Crunchy(?) chai] Her name is Padma and she works at the Secret Bakery... BARISTA FIGHT! "You're pretty good. What is that, Muay Thai?" "Punch-fu, Savannah-style." "Would you PLEASE stop SPARRING in the middle of the STREET""I had no idea the staff of Coffee of Doom were so formidable... You guys serve pastries and stuff, right? Where do you get yours from?" "Ed Bronchovsky's up in Greenfield." "Really?... his stuff's not bad, but he just hasn't been the same since the big oven explosion of '98." (So that's how he got the glass eye and the twitch.) "We miss you over at the bakery, Angus. Well, everyone but Renee. (Is that who you dated last?) He'd come in just to flirt with her, and eventually they started dating." (Gee, that romantic arc sounds awfully familiar.) "It's not the same! I met Renee at a party first... So I have a type!" (Is that all I am to you? A "type"? Like a favored brand of SHOES?) "### #####it, Padma." (She's even CRANKY like Renee!) "Why else do you like me, then?" Hidden core of pure, molten bitchnium; "MY eventual goal is to be an evil millionaire..." the bands and trashy movies SHE likes "are way better than the ones YOU like." (You're just trying to make this difficult, aren't you.) "I am your type, after all." Steve "Finally startin' to check out other girls, huh?" Marten: "Well, I mean it's been WEEKS. I AM a single… dude… now…" SLAP! (Okay, maybe stare a little less long next time.) "I'm out of practice!" Don't tell me you're still hung up on Dora. "I'm not hung up on her! I just… it's complicated." I'm here for you, man! (No, seriously, I…) WE ARE BROS, MAN! WE! ARE! BROS! (UMASS fratboys: "BROS! BROS! BROS! BROS!") [Pink-shirt; backwards cap; "regular" guy] "So you're NOT over her. (No, I mean, I know it's over. I just… still miss her, y'know?) I understand, man. I mean, I never have that kinda problem, but be strong, it'll get better. (Er… right) Okay, my turn… The other night, Cosette… (erm, yeah) …and I LIKED IT." (pause for a drink) "Good talk, bro. Good talk." (Meanwhile, Marten's brain is fried) And what, from across the bar, to Marten's eyes appear, but… Padma! And she's WAVING! "I'll be right back." Steve: "My baby bird's finally left the nest!" (Will: "Er, I wouldn't wipe my eyes with that towel. We use it to clean up spills and bodily fluids.") "Fancy meeting you here, mister coffee-and-a-danish. (Heheh. My name's Marten, actually.) I'm Padma, this is Renee (BURRRP) and that's Elliot. ('Lo) (Nice to meet you.) So… (So…) Who's your cute friend over at the bar?" [Marten's look of complete rejection, and Elliot's look of abject horror] Padma thought Marten and Steve were a couple! "Come on, if I were into dudes I could do WAY better than THAT." Padma: "...You were FLIRTING with me! And you have a girlfriend! You ought to be ashamed of yourself!" Steve: "MARTEN'S the one who wanted to get his flirt on with you." Marten: "Maybe you shouldn't have completely dominated the conversation, Talker Johnson, PI." (Rene: "They're ####in' awful at this." Padma: "I'm not even sure what they're trying to do.) Padma: "Oh, look at the time. I'd better get going." Marten: "It's gonna be really awkward if I go back to the bakery tomorrow, though." Elliot: "I'm sure Padma won't make a –"

AAAAA!!! "How can a dude your size be so
1869 1870 stealthy?!" (I tend to quietly loom. It's a problem.) Hannelore: "Ewww, you eat beef jerky?... It could be butt-meat!" Marigold: "It came from the steak part of the cow... Bee arr bee." (look, taste, chew...) "Did you eat all my jerky?!" "Mo! ...Mayme." Hanners freaks out over jerky! "My heart's going crazy from the sodium! I'm gonna have a heart attack!" "...If you could get a heart attack from one bag of jerky I'd have had like a hundred heart attacks by now." OH MY GOD WE HAVE TO GET YOU TO THE HOSPITAL

1871 1872


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1889 1890

The Vulcan Boob Squish Returns! ("My boobs are a powerful narcotic.") "Hannelore, wake up. You're in my bed and I kinda..." (Hannelore speaks in C'thulu language – again – and it has a strong effect on Marigold!) Hannelore dreams she's Marigold – but she's NOT Marigold! (Fireman, Pint-Snake, Marten-a... and she wakes up SCREAMING!) Pintsize ghost-ridin'... the Roomba? (And since when did it have a subwoofer?) GUEST STRIP (RK Milholland): Marten and Dora meet up – but it was a setup! (Pintsize's "Ultimate Misery Climax") [Awesome background stuff: Red Robot statue from Diesel Sweeties; Michelle Weinstein poster; Noell Comic Archives; "Garlic Bread Kitty" – aka Choo-Choo Bear – is sent to avenge Pizza Girl's death! ] Cosette: "I can't believe you were FLIRTING with her!... Did he tell her the flashbang birthday party story?" (Uh, yeah?) [Gibbs Smack!] "YOU WERE FLIRTING! YOU JERK!" Marten, Steve and Cosette show up at TSB – and Cosette confronts Padma! "DID YOU HEAR THAT? I'M PRETTIER. ME." [Sign language: "I am watching you!"] (Marten tries to apologize) Padma: "Man, I still can't believe he's not gay!" "Hola, assbutt. How'd therapy go?" Dora: "Ugh, it was so frustrating... I sit down, we introduce ourselves... I mention I'm staying with Sven, and he's like, 'so tell me about your brother.' And then suddenly it's 45 minutes later and he wants to see me next week. We didn't even talk about ME!" (Faye Eyerolling: "...I'm sure you'll get around to it eventually.") Hannelore and Marigold "run into" Sven! Marigold's theory of pretty people – which Hannelore promptly deconstructs (with a QED on top). "Great, my self-loathing is the square root of 2." Marigold doesn't believe she's pretty – nor does she like the idea of a "makeover". "That's not how it WORKS in real life." Dora: "All you really need to get boys to be all over you is a sufficiently short skirt." Kevlar miniskirts to repel harpoons? [SPECIALS: Cayenne mocha, tequila latte (w/worm), cactus up the (hidden)] Tai stops by CoD! "Oh, I just wanted to say hi, and, y'know..." "Sure thing. It was good to see you. You should come by more often." "This is either butterflies in my stomach or food poisoning. I really hope it's just food poisoning." [Oh no Tai... oh nooooo] "So, how's the next Espressosaurus coming along?"... CLICK RRRRUMBLE BOOFSH "Definitely needs more work." Faye: "We could market it as a feature." Hanners: "I knew I brought my helmet to work today for a reason." "Whoa, nice black eye you got there, Wil." An extremely inebriated young man, homophobic slur, punched in the eye... (Pen: "Yeah, but wait'll you hear what Wil did to HIM!") "Everything went red, and next thing I knew he was sprawled on the sidewalk outside... (badass boyfriend) Er, about that..." (blacked out, took a swing at our bouncer Elliot, who then ejected the fellow) "That's not what you told me when you came home last night." "I'm a poet! I was using creative license!" (Faye: "Turns out Beowulf was actually about a Viking who killed a couple of spiders for his wife.") Hanners is home... and Faye and Angus are on the COUCH? "WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY APARTMENT?!" "We were makin out on the stairs... one flight too many?" (I was in boobtrance) "The DOOR was LOCKED" "I'll never understand the appeal of kissing." (Angus: "It's pretty fun, actually") "It's DISGUSTING! The human mouth is absolutely FILTHY...And don't even get me started on FRENCH kissing. More like 'mashing your tongues together like a couple of horny sea slugs.'..." Faye: "Y'know, when she puts it that way..." Hanners: "YOU HAD A BONER ON MY COUCH?!" "So, where were we?" "Aaaactually, I was thinking... Maybe we could do some, ah, other things..." I would love to introduce my sea cucumber to your fuzzy clam." NEVERMIND. "Wow, that was... wow. Unexpected." "A lady always reserves the right to change her mind... Are you always this hyperactive after sex, or am I just that good?" "Who cares? I'm gonna go wrestle a bear." (NSFW) "Please tell me Faye's in the bedroom, and you're not just dancing around my apartment with nothing but a hot pink condom on." "It's really more of a puce." HAPPY ARBOR DAY 2003! (It was the only banner Pintsize had. "You should've SEEN that party. It was CRAZY.") Marten was "gonna back a cake, but Pintsize can't be trusted. Also, (he doesn't) know how to bake... So should we do the thing now?"








1898 1899 1900

1901 1902





"Oh, yeah. Might as well get that out of the way." (Confused Faye is confused) Dude, I hit it so hard the National Endowment For The Arts gave me a grant. Daaaaaaaaaang (I CAN STILL HEAR YOU, A$$#0|3S!) Marten's self-epiphany over Faye and Angus' relationship... "WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN DOWN THE INTROSPECTION I AM TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP" (Sorry, sorry!) Dora's looking for a new apartment – over in Amherst! "It's all the way across the river! We'll never see her again, outside of work! (It's twenty minutes away!) "Exactly. That's practically an overnight trip." (You tiny-state people have a really ####ed up sense of scale.) Dora tours the new apartment: "By the way, you're not a witch or wizard or anything, right?... We had to institute a strict no-sorcery policy because of our last tenant." (What? Why?) "Let me show you the kitchen." Sad Hanners: everything's CHANGING! Faye: "I know it's hard, but sometimes change is for the better." Hanners: "You should've seen me when I started wearing colored underwear. I was a mess for weeks." [SPECIALS: Savory muffins, meat tea (seitan option available), pizza water] Marigold's playing Dungeon Crawl @ CoD – and someone notices... Hanners: "Hi Dale!" [Shut Up, Shinji] "...tilesets are for babies." (I think he's flirting with you! "I hate him almost as much as I hate orc wizards.") Dora's taking that place in Amherst; Sven kinda liked having her around (though he'd done nothing but complain); Punchings, stealing Halloween candy, hiding toys... PRINCESS SPOOKYSPELL?! (He also has some fossilizes Snickers bars...) U-Mass study on long-term AnthroPC/human interactions (as Faye sharpens Chekov's Sword...) Pintsize won't do it, though... unless the interviewer has... ("I really hope we turn out to be a statistical anomaly...") [cump T-shirt sighting!] Clinton is your surveyor – with the robot prosthesis! Pintsize notices he's NOT A HOT CHICK AT ALL! The survey gets a little testy... FOUR???? Clinton: "Fascinating." The constitutional amendment allowing AI rights... oh, hi Hanners. "Clinton P. Augustus. Very pleased to meet you." (U-um, Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham. I don't shake hands.) "Wait... As in John Ellicott-Chatham?" (Y-yes, that's my dad.) OH MY GOD CAN I TOUCH YOU YELLING BIRD: Another New Character to QC... (cue Randy, Shelby, the Hawk, Sweet-tits...) I can't believe you're his daughter! He's one of the greatest geniuses of all time! (He's just my dad...) He helped develop the first true AI! He invented the quasiperpetual myomer! He's the Henry Ford of intelligent machine design! He pioneered sustainable AI-controlled orbital habitats! He designed the microsatellites that keep the earth's albedo stable! HE INVENTED THE ROBOT HAMSTER (Pant, pant) So what kind of enhancements did he give you? (MARTEN MAKE THE SCARY MAN GO AWAY) "Okay Tom Servo, it's movie sign. Get the #### out." (Brandishing Chekov's Sword!) Creepy Clinton was creepy. (Did your dad really invent all that stuff?) Yeah, didn't you know that? (I knew he was some kinda big scientist... is laser eyes something they could actually do?) I woulda lasered Clinton so hard. Marten: "So you really did grow up on a space station?..." Hanners: "Yes, when I wasn't in the hospital, or traveling with mom... It was... lonely. Dad never really had time for me... His work has always been more important to him... It's okay. He's done so many amazing things that help so many people! It's a fair trade for one somewhat-neglected daughter." (D'awww pause) "Well, he's missing out. You're pretty rad." "...nice of you to say, but honestly, I'm NOT as rad as, like, a swarm of cancer-fighting nanomachines." Hanners gets the "phone" out... "Hi, Dad? It's just Hannelore. I was just calling to say hello. How are you? (pause) O-oh, No, I understand. You're very busy. Sure, some other time. Bye." (D'awww pause; sad Hannelore, then) BIPBIP BIPBIP "Yes dad? (pause) NO I'm not PREGNANT" Sad Marten at The Secret Bakery... Padma asks if something's wrong – and Marten pours out his soul. "I was thinking about how at my old coffee place..." Padma: " I meant with your coffee. Is there something wrong with your coffee." (O-oh, no. It's fine.) "Great!" (Satisfied Padma – and sheepish Marten)




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1917 1918


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1924 1925





Marten psyches himself up for his grand return to CoD: "Is Dora, uh, here?" Faye: "Nope. She's moving in to her new apartment today." "I spent all that time psyching myself up for nothing?!" (Would a sack of coffee beans help?) Clinton The Stalker appears at CoD! Hanners has her picture snapped; both Faye and Marten threaten violence against him ("Let me handle it, cupcake. You'll just end up hurting yourself." "You tracked her down at work via Twitter? And took a picture that you were gonna post online without her permission? Do you even UNDERSTAND why that might come off as a little creepy?" Clinton's sob story: if it weren't for her dad's inventions, he wouldn't have his hand; Hannerdad is the QC equivalent of Howard Hughes, and meeting his daughter was a once-in-alifetime opportunity... and he blew it." ("Okay, okay. Untie him before Hannelore busts a heartstring." "Aw, you never let me murder anybody.") GUEST STRIP (Dave Willis, Shortpacked!): "Butts Disease!" "Initialize semi-autonomous mode!" – aka Famous Last Words of Nerds with artificial hands: "Thing here is about to have a date with the garbage disposal." Slapped him with his own hand! "I'm not your personal messenger, bucko..." Marten dictates a telegram to Dora (and Hanners does the Morse Code!) Faye: "We're stuck on the corner!" Sven: "Well lift your side then!" (Three Stooges Moving Day?) Dora: "KILL YOU BOTH" ("...drop this end we can get away while she's pinned in the stairwell." "On the count of three.") Tai stops by to help Dora move! [Unit number 119] Tai gets Dora's stuffed Bonercat (?) out of the truck; Faye: "You sure you don't need a hand? Wouldn't want you to get a hernia or anything." Dora takes off her top from being all sweaty – and Tai goes FULL MONTY! [and a well placed leap by Mieville] "Let's all towel off together!" Faye: "Get away from me" "So you seriously wanna hook up with Dora, eh." "I guess I'm pretty obvious, huh." (Oblivious Tai is oblivious) "You just ran two red lights and almost clipped that old lady in the crosswalk!" (I was wondering why she flipped me off.) Marigold's own anime isn't very good at Wish Fulfillment... Steve and Cosette are moving in together... Marten: "Aw, don't worry about it, dude. You two are great together. It'll be fine." Steve: "Yeah, but look what happened to you and Dora." A case of Portland-itis: "When a Northampton townie gets the irresistible urge to migrate to Portland, Oregon." (Grind them up into hipster chum to sell to the fisheries?) To Faye, 1997 was the best year for music; Angus: "You realize that makes you officially OLD, right?" PT410X had a little "accident" (overclocking went bad); the result isn't pretty (a cardboard box for a head?) Momo: "It looks... very natural!" [/me sighs] "Well hello there, miss Coffee of Doom. Come to sample our forbidden delights?... Here, try a cupcake. I guarantee they're better than anything YOU guys sell." (nom nom) "I'll dake doo dozem, bud you bedder nod EBER dell Dora. Umbersdanb?" (Umbersdoob.) "Your pastries might be better than ours, but your coffee is overroasted and smells like feet." Dora roasts their own coffee, but she "has some secret process she won't even tell (Faye) about." Steal the secret to their baked goods' superiority? (hope Elliott doesn't go into berserker mode) Faye and Padma "negotiate"... but forget about Hanners and Elliott! Exit Faye and Padma... and Hanners and Elliott are left in the Awkward Zone: "You're very tall..." "Ah, but what if you put a male okapi in space?" Jim, the owner of TSB, meets Dora! "Huh, this really is better than the stuff we brew." "HAH! IN YOUR FACE! WOO! S-sorry, I can be a little competitive when it comes to coffee." "That's funny, my wholesale price just went up 10% and I have no idea why." Lawyers? "Ha ha! Kidding, kidding. I don't even have a lawyer." (Ha-ha) "Not since the divorce, anyway... No, seriously, I fired him. Guy couldn't negotiate his way out of a paper bag." "I gotta say, I'm impressed someone your age put together a business this successful." (How old do you think I am?) "25, 26?... It was simple deduction. Anyone younger than that looks like a kid to me, y'know? But you're a real woman." (Silver fox on the prowl! "What? Foxes?") Northampton Bonercats Summer Kickball League!

1930 1931


Hanners and Elliott are STILL back at TSB! "Do you think they'll be back soon?" "I hope so." Hanners: "You left me here!" Why didn't you want to go with Elliott? "I don't know him! He could be a KNIFE KILLER!" Elliott, have you ever killed anything with a knife? "Um... yes. (looks of horror) I-I go fishing sometimes!" Penelope answers the door to... PIZZA GIRL!

AAAAAAAAAAAA "Nice try, but yer not gonna
1933 throw me off your trail that easy." It really happened, dammit! Tai: "Hey Marten, are you doing anything this Friday? We're throwing a big end-of-the-semester party... I was gonna invite Dora too. Would that be weird?" (Wait, is this some kind of convoluted scheme to get us back together?) "Um, actually... kind of the exact opposite." (It ain't a real Smif party without a mutual homicide.) Muffin delivery! But Dora forgot something... "Our, uh, our coffee beans." OH$#!+ "Oh my god, I am SO sorry. You must think I'm completely unprofessional... Here's what I had roasted for us. Take it... It'll be fine! I can just roast more for us today... DAMMIT JIM, I'M TRYING TO BE THE MORE ACCOMMODATING PARTY HERE" "You GAVE HIM all our COFFEE?... What are we gonna do until it's ready?" (Just tell people we're out and that we'll have more in a little while.) Customer: "Hi, could I get a large latte with –"

1934 1935


1937 "Ahahaha oh man that feels so GOOD! This is gonna be the best morning ever!" Marten and Steve: "So I think Tai is seriously gonna make a move on Dora." "Yeah?" "Can you see why I'm kinda weirded out?" "I dunno, dude. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team. Letting the rest of us see Tai and Dora makin' out is one of those times." "Pintsize said the same thing. I hope you're proud of yourself." (Pintsize is a chill bro.) Gross and foamy coffee is degassing. "Coffee beans release carbon dioxide? Oh god COFFEE CONTRIBUTES TO GLOBAL WARMING" (Meanwhile, Oblivious Faye is oblivious – and trying to figure out how to get by on beans from the grocery market.) RAVEN RETURNS! "Thank you, Science Fairy!" ...who kinda needs a job because "if I'm not working this summer I hafta move back in with my parents." Dora: "We can't serve them #####-### store-bought coffee!" Faye: "Look, if someone brings it up, we just say, 'yeah we had problems with our roaster and had to use crappier beans today' and give it to 'em for free." "That's unethical!" "Oh yeah, because we have such a strict code of ethics here." "We did before you wiped your @$$ with it." "Maybe I wouldn't have, if you didn't insist on buying that scratchy one-ply toilet paper." "Large Latte for Marten!" (She remembered his name!) It's the first batch of beans from COD; "I feel a sense of... sadness, tempered by fond nostalgia." ("####it, I told Renee to clean the espresso machine last night." Townie drama? "Townies have to be BORN here. I'm originally from California." Renee: "Dude, if you can't go to a coffeeshop in town because of a breakup? You're a ###### townie." "So... we're officially dating, right?" "What?..." "Say it, then. Say I'm your boyfriend." "Fine. You're my boafregh. My boyfremb. My borthrelm. You're... you're my boyfling####IT I'M SORRY" "This is way cuter than I was expecting." (Raven: "Ooh, I want a boyfling!") [Malaysian Battle Spatula!] Jim stops by to see how things were going... Great! Yeah. (cough) "Would you like to have dinner with me this weekend?" (there goes the coffee mug...) Dora: "Oh, Tai! What's up?" Tai: "We're throwing a party this Friday and I was hoping you could come." Dora: "Oh, I'd love to, but I already made plans. I'm sorr-" Raven: "She's got a DATE! With a SEXY OLDER MAN! (pause) Um, Tai? Why is your eye twitching?" Allergies Faye: "I can't believe you're going on a DATE with that creeper." Dora: "Why is he a creeper?... No pussyfooting around the issue, no stupid drama. It's a refreshing change of pace." [Is someone retconning their past relationships?] "It's just one date. What's the harm in that?" "'It's just one full moon,' the werewolf said. 'What's the harm in that?'" (If Dora's a werewolf, that makes Faye













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1961 1962


1964 1965 1966

Frankenstein's monster... and Raven wants to be a sexy Baba Yaga!) Purple Glooooom at the Library... "You don't have to worry about Dora being at the party on Friday. (How come?) She's apparently got a DATE with some GUY." Gloooooooooom Raven's got the Espressosaur figured out! RRRRUMBLE KRAK FLASH! "Wh... what did you..." "If my calculations are correct, it should reappear in 96763 seconds with an amazing cup of espresso." [Either that or raccoon fur and paintball residue...] Confessional time: Tai wanted to get with Dora, but didn't know how to bring it up with Marty; Marty was uncomfortable about it, but it's not his place to say she can't date her. "It's okay, we're still bros." (Return of the UMass Fratboys!) Sssshhhh [Chunky Bro, Pink shirt Bro, Hatless Bro] IT'S JEPH'S ####### BIRTHDAY! (31 years old!) Faye and Marten on the couch! Marten found out about the Date. Faye: "Can I give you some gentle advice? Being bitter isn't goinna make you feel any better. I mean, I understand why you feel that way, but... it doesn't help. I know from experience." Marty: "...Yeah, you're right. I'm sorry." "Whoa, wait, that actually WORKED? Try it on ME! I'm still bitter as ####!" "Good luck? You're not going to try to dissuade me?" "It's your life. Do what you want." "You're being reasonable. That makes me nervous." (Just go on your stupid date) Dora rockin' the little black dress! [New apartment number is 8] "Don't blow all your flattery at the beginning of the date. I need a steady stream of compliments or I get cranky." "I apologize in advance for chewing with my mouth open. You're just so jaw dropping." (Okay, I was joking about the constant compliments.) Jim turns 41 in July; "Oh good. You're not actually old enough to be my dad." "You're a beautiful, intelligent young lady who runs a successful business in a challenging industry. Age has nothing to do with it. You could be THIRTY and I'd still find you attractive. (That's still ten years younger than you.) Okay, maybe I'm a LITTLE bit of a dirty old man." GUEST STRIP (John Allison, Bad Machinery): Pintsize helps come up with Dora's business issues! (Or not...) " Dora, robots are our FUTURE." The date: Dora worked at coffee shops all through college, and decided to work for herself; "I always say if the shop ever tanks, I'm gonna take up a career in –" "Bank robbery?" Phone call... from his daughter? Walked home from mother's house? "I don't know, honey. Maybe a couple hours? Yes, I'll call you when I'm on my way..." (Meanwhile: "Okay, I totally have time to clean this up." [Gee, is she related to Cosette?] "So when were you gonna tell me you had a kid?" "Her name is Samantha and she's 13, she's a bit of a tomboy, very creative... is something wrong?" "Sorry, I was just doing the math and realized you were, like, MY age when you had her." "Yup! Which means you're the PERFECT age to start breeding!" Check Please! Meanwhile, At The Party... Marigold tries to "get down" – and Hanners isn't helping. [Class of Whenever girl; Purple Mohawk girl; Coed spilling beer; Pink Angel Wing Shirt Guy] Awful little mewling poo-larvae. "...this is the first date I've been on since I broke up with my ex." "Hey, me too. Let me know if I'm coming on too strong. I'm out of practice." "When did you get divorced?" "Well, technically... next Tuesday." "You're joking. Right?" "NOW you're getting the hang of it!" YELLING BIRD celebrates "FREEDOM DAY, B#####S" "I guess we just work better as friends than we did as spouses." "God, I wish I could get to that point with my ex." [Basic summary of Dora/Marten's relationship from her point of view...] "You make it sound like it was totally your fault." "No, a lot of it was him, too, but... I'm such a mess. I probably shouldn't be dating ANYBODY right now. (pause for realization to set in) $#!+." Understanding Jim is understanding: "If you've got issues to work out, you need to do that. It wouldn't be fair to either of us if we tried to force things... You didn't lead me on. It's just not meant to be, right now. Who knows, maybe once you get things sorted out we can give it another try. Until then, friends?" (HUG) "Friends." Marten's at the party, Marigold doesn't want to dance – and then suddenly: DORA! When Dora finally talked to Marten; "ARE THEY KISSING I CAN'T LOOK TELL ME IF THEY'RE KISSING" Catching up and idle chit-chat; "So... are we cool, now?" "I'm cool if you are." "This is weird. I've never really been friends with an ex before." "It's nice. I won't have to drag your body out to the old quarry."






1972 1973 1974 1975











Dora heads inside; "Make sure you let Tai know you're here, she'll be thrilled." (All eyes on Dora!) "What the #3!! is everyone looking at?" Hanners: "I'm sorry!" Random Smif student: "We saw your friends watching you and thought something interesting was going on." THOOMP THOOMP THOOMP "Hey – " "#### OFF I'M BUSY" THOOMP THOOMP THOOMP (Tai does the double take) THOOMP THOOMP THOOMP ("AGH!" Hanners gets roped into DJ'ing) THOOMP THOOMP THOOMP (Hanners puts on the headphones: "I don't know how to – " "JUST NOD YOUR HEAD AND PRETEND TO CLICK THINGS") THOOMP THOOMP THOOMP (Hanners does a quick read of the Ableton Live user guide) THOOMP THOOMP THOOMP To the other porch! Tai: "I thought you had a date tonight." Dora: "I did. He's a really nice guy, but he's looking for a relationship... just not ready for that right now." Tai: "What about no-stringsattached casual sex?" "Why, are you offering?" (blushing stammered half-reply) "I know, you work with Marten. It'd be weird." Sad Tai: "Right." Faye joins Marten on the porch; "So you and Dora are cool now?" "I guess so." "Are you gonna come in and hang out with us, or sit out here and look all Zen-contented for the rest of the night?" "I'd like to come inside but both my legs are asleep." GUEST STRIP (Chris Hallbeck, Maximumble): Fun at the Coffee of Doom! (Ice coffee, caffeine overdose, real money, "egg muffins" and the flashing coat hook in the bathroom) GUEST STRIP (Dave Willis, Shortpacked!): How Hannelore Handles Her Butt-wiping? GUEST STRIP (Dave Kellett, Sheldon): Defense-Net 10 visits Hannelore! (No, that's supposed to be Dora in the background.) GUEST STRIP (Evan Dahm, Rice Boy): Coffee of Doom in repose (but where's the door to the back room?) GUEST STRIP (Zach Weiner, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal): Hanners is afraid that robots will take over the world. Six years from now, who'll care? GUEST STRIP (Danielle Corsetto, Girls With Slingshots): Hannelore helps Marigold clean out that "special drawer" with her Space Rubber suit! GUEST STRIP (Randy K. Milholland, Something*Positive): For the LAST TIME, Faye, I am NOT PIZZA GIRL! (Isn't that right, Garlic Bread Kitty?) [Choo-Choo Bear cameo!] Gallery owner: "I commissioned you to do a dinosaur espresso machine?" Faye: "It disappeared..." Raven: "Don't worry, I'm sure it'll turn up sooner or later." KRAK [It reappears!] Faye: "What" Raven: "Adams' Law... Basically, the universe has a sense of humor." ("My gallery would be RUINED if it suddenly turned into a sperm whale.") Raven took out the "Parallel entanglement processing core" and it works! "Great! Here's a check." "Danke schön." Dora: "Do you know who that guy is?... He runs that super-fancy gallery shop on Main Street. It's won 'coolest store in America' like five years running." [Gee, Dora, why didn't you remember that back in 1645?] "...I shoulda asked for like TWICE as much money." (And they say artists can't be good salespeople.) Marten drops in! "So we really are cool? You weren't just being nice to avoid awkwardness last night?" "Hahah, nah, we're cool." "So..." "Yeah..." (meaningful pause) "We're both remembering the last time we had sex, aren't we." "Second-to-last time, actually." "Ooh, yeah. That was way better." "Meet any intriguing young ladies at the party last night?" "Oh, I, uh, wasn't really looking." (Marten Reed, professional indie ogler!) "Not really looking, eh?" "Figuratively speaking." "I'm not mad at you, I just think it's funny." "...you're not the only one who has #### they gotta figure out before they date anybody else." "Sweetie, your problem's simple. You just have to figure out what you want from life, then go for it." Cheeseburger. Haircut. (Haircut first, no meat-burps.) "A truly earthshaking personal epiphany." Creepy hairdresser! "I'm working on an art installation. A hundred-foot tube, barely big enough for a person to crawl through, lined with human hair. Visitors would emerge harrowed and forever changed by the experience." SNIP! "Figure out what I want, eh. What do I want?" (pause) "Hannelore!" "Yes?" "Wait, how did I know you were gonna be in my apartment?" "Why am I in your apartment?" "It's been forever since we played any music!" Amir! "Hey dudes. I was wonderin' if you'd ever come back." (Have you been... living here?) "How do you even shower?!" "Shower?" I'm going home


Wow, that was the Best Song We've Ever Played! Marten: "Yeah, turns out it's really hard to tune my guitar by ear when you guys are playing at the same time." Amir: "Well, go throw your guitar down the stairs and let's play it agan." 1987 What was that riff? "Dude, that's the riff from 'Enter Sandman'." (Hanners: "I don't want to be in a Metallica cover band!") 1988 Hanners: "...my kick-drum leg is really tired." (Wait, you're doing all that double-kick stuff with ONE LEG?) "That's not how you're supposed to do it?" (How is that even possible?) Tikkatikkatikkatikka [Magic Motion Animated GIF Strip!] (It's like a ######### Tool video!) 1989 "Amir said 'when we play live.' Does that mean we're going to play a CONCERT someday?" (I dunno, maybe.) "What was your first concert like?" (Flashback: Marten playing the piccolo for Mom and Dad!) "The, uh, the crowd was really into it..." (full blush) 1990 Hanners doesn't know if she could play in front of people; Marten: "That's what's great about being in a band. You're not alone up there."; Faye: "You realize there are gonna be ^#(| of creepy douches hitting on her if you ever play a show." "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Preferably with a tank battalion." 1991 Marigold and Hannelore: mutual sleep-deprivation freakouts! (Pen: "Would you tell them to go home and get some sleep already?" Faye: "I tried. Five times. They keep forgetting.") 1992 Marigold sleeps over on Hanner's couch; "You just... take your hobbies very seriously!" (Goes to sleep at 4:06, alarm goes off at 9:17... and Marigold is playing on her netbook!) "Marigold Louise Farmer! You are grounded!" (Aw!) 1993 Marigold: "You can't ground me, I'm a grownup now!" (It's for your own good.) [Ringtone: "JOUJOU YUUJOU! BANJI MAJI KAICHOU!"] "Hi dad, wha – the site's down? No, I didn't BREAK SOMETHING. No, it's not the 'Red Chinese,' you run a SHOE WEBSITE... Okay, okay, stop yelling! I'll go home and take a look." (Hanners doesn't believe her, and talks to dad) "Is it true that you're having website trouble?... Oh, I'm sorry! I banned her from video games for the next three days, and I thought she was trying to fool me. (pause) Yes, I think so too. Have a nice evening!" (Well?) "Your father wants me to extend it to a week." AUGH 1994 Back at Mari's place: "No video games for the next three days. Momo will make sure you stick to it. Understand?" (Yes, Hannelore... Evil stare of death – and sad look at Momo!) "Do not give me that look. Hannelore is right, this will be good for you." <bribe_mode> "I'll buy you that new chassis you've been looking at!" "The – the Mitsubishi PX-3500?... But it cost thirty thousand..." I'LL TAKE OUT A LOAN JUST LEMME PLAY SOME FRIGGIN' VIDEO GAMES 1995 Marigold gets the site back up; Momo: "You should go to sleep now... were you serious about helping me purchase that new chassis?" (A loan? That'd be crazy.) "I could get a job! To – to pay off the loan! It would take a while, but..." (Don't be silly. 'Sides, I like you just the way you are.) And while she sleeps... Resume time! Momo-Tan (Sony KawaiiPC Serial #SD94637) Age: 85147200 seconds Gender: Artificial Intelligence, Female Address: 14 Elm Grove Ln. Apt. 8, Northampton MA 01060 Prior Work Experience: None Relevant Skills * Full suite of information processing software * ~97 TB data storage space * Capable of generating up to 250mA DC electric shock * Eel Handling 1996 Momo and Mari going for a ride! Where? "It's a secret!" (Why are we at the mall?) "You'll see." "Welcome to Idoru. My name is Leda. How may I assist you this morning?" (Crying Momo) "PPLEASE do not return me! I am sorry for expressing unhappiness with my current chassis! I will never mention it again! Please, PLEASE do not send me back!" Leda: "'Returning' a sentient intelligence that has bonded with you emotionally? You MONSTER." (W-what? No!) [Sign 1: "A.I. os 4.0 The artificial intelligence paradigm. Guaranteed not to go insane and kill your loved ones."] [JEPH: Artificial intelligences are created in a virtual environment, where they are stored in a "creche" of other AIs in their generation. When bootstrapped to self-awareness, they are given a choice of function- commercial use (AnthroPCs), military, scientific, etc, or allowed to subsume in the global meta-AI. If they









choose to go into "retail" they are allowed to choose a self-identity and are shipped to a reputable "dealer" (such as Idoru, in today's strip) where they are put up for "sale." Purchase of an AI is not a binding contract- either party is free to terminate the relationship at any time, and the transaction agent will refund the contract fee. The use of terms like "sale" and "owner" are considered offensive by some, and are becoming rather politically incorrect (my use of them here is solely for sake of comparison, hence the quotation marks). One would think that the majority of AIs would choose to simply be given a chassis and left to make their own way in the world, but the majority who do not go into a specialized profession choose to pair up with a human "owner." There has been much speculation by both humans and AIs as to the reason for this- no aspect of their programming indicates a cause for such a bias. The general consensus is that the average AI simply finds your average human entertaining, and enjoys the companionship. tl;dr I am a big ol nerd] "If – if Marigold says it is okay, I would like to get a new chassis..." (It's okay.) [Sign 2: "The Idoru Handmaiden Series: Four great AnthroPC models. Four great prices. Ask an associate today." A couple of Pintsize-like models, one male and two female chassis in background] Leda: "This isn't my first chassis, either. I spent the first four years of my existence as a sentient forklift... I was the AI on a nuclear ballistic submarine... I asked to be transferred to a standard civilian chassis. And would you believe it? They forgot to delete the launch codes!" (EVIL LAUGHTER!) (Marigold hugs Momo in fear!) "Anyway, we have a lovely selection of wonderful chassis. Shall we take a look?" Chassis shopping: The base model? "I want something with more personality." (Mari: "No offense"; Leda is apparently an "upgraded" base model"); Perhaps the deluxe version – (Ugh. Blgh. The difference is in the... uhm, "chest"?); The Izumi-04 is a VERY popular – (Momo looks at Marigold: "No." Mar: "Aw!") [Lucky Star Manga girl! Red Robot from Diesel Sweeties and Metropolis robot] What about this one? BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA! (Hahaha, that never gets old. "Charlotte, the manager said no more scaring the customers!" [Happy Toasters in the background!] Charlotte used to be a bank AI; "Do a lot of you, um, change careers like this?" Charlotte: "Oh, most of us are happy with our chosen role. (Toaster: "I make bread FUN!" – Charlotte tosses her aside) But there's so much MORE to the world! So many different PEOPLE and PLACES and SMELLS! (Smells? "Don't ask" as Leda catches the toaster) I just COULDN'T be stuck in a server room for the rest of my life. My LIFE! I'm ALIVE! I don't care about the semantics, I'm ALIVE, dammit, and it's WONDERFUL! I could just SING about it!" (singing off-screen) "The maaaaaalls are aliiiiiive, with sound of peeeeeople" Leda: "The manager said no more in-store musical numbers!" [Momo's consoling the toaster, while there's a rolling security bot in the background] Momo: "Is it okay if I try this one out?" [It looks like... FARTCHAN!] USB port activated... Momo wakes, looks down at her (not THERE, you pervs) hands and starts to smile when: "erk" (tongue out, eyes and fingers going askew) Leda: "It looks like you may have some corrupted registry files." Momo: "Thah the lah tihe I looh up thethy yaoi thithes hor you." (I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!) Marigold busts a blood vessel when she finds out how much the chassis costs (SNRKT)! "I will pay you back! I will get a job! I can work 24 hours a day! I do not need sleep!" (It's okay, it's okay. I can afford it. I'll... I'll just eat ramen for a while.) I LOVE YOU MARIGOLD! (SNRKT x2!) "Perhaps you should buy a humidifier too." "Do you not recognize me, Pintsize? It's me. Momo." (Foreboding background) Beatdown time! Marigold: "I'm sorry!" Marten: "It's cool. I'll give her 5 more minutes or until his head caves in, whichever happens first." [animated GIF: Hurf Durf] Hannelore gave Momo some extra clothes; "If you are unhappy with how you look, you could eat better and exercise more... I can cook for you! Now that I can actually reach the stove and refrigerator, I can make you healthy meals!" (I can't even take care of myself, I need a robot to do it. That's not pathetic at all.) "I can also reach your head to smack you upside it when you are being unreasonable." "I really do love you, Marigold." "I love you too." Faye (looking on): Quit bein' all sweet, you two. You're gonna make Angus cry." (I'M NOT CRYING THERE WAS A CAT ON THE STAIRS AND I'M ALLERGIC)







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"Um, Momo? No offense, but it's hard to sleep with you sitting there staring at me." "Oh! I am sorry." (Spooning Momo?) "Th-this isn't really what I – " "But I am too big to fit on top of the dresser anymore!" [Magical Love Gentleman book on the floor!] "Good morning, Faye! I made some coffee, would you – (SLRRRP right from the pot) – like... some..." Is Coffee of Doom hiring? "I think between Cosette and Hanners, we're full up on rookies... Sorry, kiddo." "But... suppose one of them were to have a tragic accident..." (######nit, this coffee better not be poisoned.) Momo at the library; "I have been all over town, but nobody is willing to give me a job." Marten: "Well, lemme go ask Tai..." "Sure, when can you start?" "Can you just hire someone like that?" "Sure, why not? As long as I don't go over budget or burn the library down, I basically have free reign. Besides, how did you think I got your unqualified @$$ a job?" "Hey, my @$$ has plenty of qualifications!" (Momo: "Is that something you are supposed to put on your resume?") Winslow brought the samples she asked for! "Momo? MOMO?! NOOOOOOOOOOOO (She got a new chassis) OOOooooowhat?" Marigold: "I said, she got a new chassis. That one's empty. We haven't decided what to do with it yet." "We must burn it. To keep it out of Pintsize's hands." Momo and Marten visit TSB! "Hey, mister triple-shot latte... Are you Marten's little sister?... Your daughter?" Marten: "Do I seriously look old enough to have a daughter her age?" Momo: "Technically, I am only 2.7 years old – " (You're a robot.) "You got a robot pregnant?!" Samantha meets Momo! "I know all about Pokemon!" 513? (Pansear) 397? (Staravia) 456? (Finneon) What's it evolve into? (Lumineon) 721? "Trick question. There are not that many Pokemon at this time." Marten: "Do you really know all that, or are you looking at Wikipedia in your head?" "Please. I live with Marigold." Yelling Bird and "Shebly" promote the new book! "I ran into the door until it broke!" "Hello nice people!" Samantha goes to school at PVPA (Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School, in South Hadley); Momo confesses – she's a robot. "Whoa cool! Are you super strong? Can you shoot lasers? DO YOU HAVE ROCKET BOOTS?!" (does an electronic selfdefense capability count?) "C'mon let's go try it out! C'mon!" (stammering Momo is stammering) Marten: "That girl is a bad influence." Padma: "Hee hee, you really do sound like her dad." Sam wants to go looking for snakes with (a less-than-thrilled) Momo; Padma: "We go hiking up on Mount Tom sometimes. Wanna come along? (Uh, sure) Hey Elliot! We're going hiking tomorrow. You coming?" ("We?" You mean you and Sam and... him?) Marten gets the connection: "Uh, on second thought, I get leg cramps if I do too much walking." Padma the clueless: "Don't worry, we'll make sure to do plenty of stretching." "So I guess we're going hiking tomorrow?" Tai is proud of Momo – she got Marten a date with a "hot-@$$ lady." "That big dude Elliot looked like he was gonna kill me." "Nothing's ever simple for you romantically, is it." "My love life is like a Rush song – complicated and wanky." "So now I have a JOB and a NEW FRIEND and we're going HIKING tomorrow! Isn't that great?" (Marigold's not impressed – or happy) "...all of a sudden you've got this whole new LIFE. And you're not gonna have time for me in it." (Promise, you're my best friend!) "So, what would you like to do?..." "Not now, I'm busy" Faye: "You're wearing shorts. I've never seen you in shorts before." Marten: "Hey, you used to think my butt was cute." "Oh, it's all right, but it's no Angus-booty." (That kind of hurts my feelings. Why does that hurt my feelings.) [sunn:))) T-shirt!] Mount Tom backgrounds! Elliot applies the bug spray on Samantha... and Momo? Padma inappropriate laughter! "BUG spray! Get it? Software bugs? Hahahaha!" "SNAKE!" Samantha somersaults down the hillside – but she catches the snake! "I'm gonna name him Bitey!" "You always name them Bitey." Meanwhile, Padma likes the view on the edge, while Marten defers; "What, are you scared? C'mon, it's perfectly sa-" FWOOOOOSH "-aaaaAAAAAAIEEEE" Bitey goes free, and Padma reveals something: "I'm moving home in a couple weeks... LA. I miss my family, and my grandma needs someone to take care of her." (pause) "Wow, are you really gonna miss my baking that much?" "I'm, uh, I’m pretty infatuated. With your baking. Yes."














Now what? "Marten and I are going to go get a beer." "W-we are?" "We are." (deer-in-the-headlights) "Tell Faye I loved her!" (tugged off screen) "I mean, not in a romantic way, just in a friendship kind of..." (two-handed tug off screen) The Horrible Revelation: "So, uh... is this about Padma?" "Yes." "I didn't mean to be steppin' on any toes or anything. I mean, if you've, uh, if you've got feelings for –" (Is he angry? Or is it...) "BAAAA HUH HUHHH WAAAH HUH HUH UHHHH" ("Oh geez Oh geez" – sobbing Elliot is sobbing) Wil: "I'm sorry Elliot, but Weeping Hour is only on Thursdays. I'll have to ask you to take it outside." Maximum Ridiculosity Hats Return! "You've been into her all this time and you never said anything?" "We work together. It would make things awkward. And I don't think she feels the same way... She's been here for three years. If she had feelings for me, she would have acted on them by now... Oh, believe me, we tried to get her to stay. The boss even offered her a promotion. She'd run the whole bakery for him. But no, she's dead-set on moving home. (Maybe tell her how you feel anyways?) I fail to see how that would make me feel any – are you taking notes?" Wil: "Ever since I got a girlfriend, my life has been entirely devoid of pathos! This is primo material!" "Man, when you dragged me over here I thought you were gonna kick my @$$ or something." "What? I would never!" "...dunno why (you'd be) jealous. I've never gotten a vibe that she was interested. Besides, she's leaving." "...big unrealistic fantasy that she'll realize she loves me and decide to stay." "...DEFINITELY not gonna happen if you don't tell her..." "You mean you think I have a chance?" "Remember, you DID say you weren't gonna kick my @$$." Faye gets updated on the hike: Elliot is in love with Padma, ("I'm pretty sure he could take you in a fight") and Padma's moving back to LA in a few weeks. (pause) "You moved across the country for a girl once. You better not do it again." "I'm not gonna – Actually, I never woulda met all you guys if I hadn't..." (Stop it you are frightening me) Momo brings Samantha home to meet Marigold; "Did you know there is a swamp down by the bike trail?" All hail Froglord, king of the amphibians "I am not some kind of kitchen appliance." Sam leaves to put Froglord back in the swamp; "To remove dirt or stains, the chassis' covering may be removed and placed in a dishwasher set to gentle – " I am taking a shower." Hannelore catches Momo as she gets out of the shower – and curiosity gets to her: SQEEEEK (Hee) Heeee heeheeheehee heeheehee SQUEEK SQUEEK SQUEEK (STOPPIT STOPPIT STOPPIT) Faye updates Raven about Padma; Dora realizes they're lying when they talk about "shoes"; Faye: "How do you know we weren't actually talking about shoes?" Dora: "Raven's a terrible liar, and you've been wearing the same ratty-@$$ pair of Chucks since I met you." Raven: "I think the right one is actually a hollowed-out rat carcass." Angus and Faye play "Duck, duck, BOOBS!" ARGAFARGL YOU ARE SO DEAD (Marten: "Note to self: start knocking before entering your apartment.") "So he drags me to the bar, and it turns out HE'S way into Padma, and just can't bring himself to tell her." (Hey, what's that skinny redhead reading? BIRD CARE?) Steve: "When Elliot inevitably gets rejected by Padma, that frees you up to make your move. That is some Keyser Soze ####, dude." (Yeah, I'm the friggin' Machiavelli of romance.) Padma: "Last night, Elliot called me out of the blue and said he was in LOVE with me. (O-oh. Really) Yeah. I told him I didn't feel that way about him, and he said that was okay, he just wanted to get it off his chest. And now I feel like a total bitch. I had no idea! How could I have been so oblivious? He was supposed to come in today, but called in 'sick.'" (Stunned Marten is stunned) Steve (aside): "Nice going, KEYSER-" (Dude shut UP) "YOU told him to tell me? (I'm sorry! It just seemed like it was really eating himself up inside. And I know how much that sucks.) It's not your fault. I was just hoping... not dealing with this kind of drama. (Makes it that much happier to get away?) No, it isn't like that. I don't WANT to leave, but I can't stay here and be happy either. I need to be closer to my family. Especially my grandma... She's had a bunch of health problems, and can't live on her own anymore... (pause) ...I want to spend as much time with her as I













can." [the " close-up of the hands by the crotch" frame] (pause) "Anyway, wanna go dancing this Friday?" (Whoa, whiplash!) "Tell your friends they're invited too!"; Steve gives the summary: "And for SOME ####### REASON, you're SAD ABOUT THIS." Marten: "I don't know how to dance!" (pause) GIBBS SLAP! 1771 Redux – except... "For your INFORMATION, some of us have BETTER THINGS TO DO than just play VIDEO GAMES all the – " (EPIPHANY!) Marigold runs into CoD and Hannelore: "What have you done to me" [GEEK (save ends) t-shirt] Stop hitting me! "Stop worrying and I'll stop hitting you." Hannelore intercedes with her PSYCHIC POWERS! "Good news! You'll be nervous at first, but will eventually get over your inhibitions and have a good time." Steve: "What's MY future?" "Butts. (Butts?) All I'm getting is 'butts'." [Marigold happily playing on her netbook in the first panel] Tai gets Momo connected to the library database... and: blush, blusher, blushing, blushiest! FWEEE "That... that is a lot of Victorian-era pornography..." (Yeah, I had the same reaction the first time I looked through it.) [JEPH: "Momo is not actually embarrassed, there is just so much pornography to download it is overheating her system."] Angus: "I'm going down to New York for work. I was thinking you could come along..." (Faye reacts by tossing the customer a bag of Beans of DOOM) "No thanks. I've been to the city. It's loud and smelly. (aww, but why?) I saw a rat when I was there. It was squeaking rhythmically and banging on an overturned paint can for spare change." (Oh yeah, DJ Sqeekz. I hear he's gone all dubstep. Gentrification knows no bounds.) Faye & Angus at the Amherst Amtrak station: "You sure you don't wanna come with me?" (Don't wanna dump shifts, and the city's not really her thing.) "It's okay. See you Monday?" "Sure." (kiss) "I love you." "I-I love you, too!" (frozen look) Cut to The Horrible Revelation: "Gimme a coping mechanism on the rocks." Wil: "I don't believe I know that drink." "It's easy. You put two ice cubes in a glass, then dump 'em out and fill it with bourbon." WHO'S READY FOR SOME DANCIN' (Drunk Faye is DRUNK) Marten: "It's not even 8 PM!" I'M DRINKIN' ON ENGLISH TIME PIP PIP CHEERIO AND BUGGER ME BOLLOCKS (They won't let you in if you're already belligerently drunk) NOOOOOO no no no no. S'cool. I'm cool. TOTALLY GOOD. Watch. (pause) BOLLOCKS (Drink some water, and try not to puke on anything important.) Why were you drinking by yourself anyways? "Tell you later ONWARD TO DANCY TIMES" Flashdance Hannelore! She found a book at the library! (Hannelore, this is a book about MODERN dance. "Isn't that what we're doing?") AW YEAH GONNA GET ALL MERCE CUNNINGHAM UP IN THIS BITCH On the way they run into Elliot. "I told Padma how I feel." (Yeah, I ah, heard.) "I guess you heard how it turned out, then." (...Yeah. Sorry it didn't work out.) "It's okay. You were right, I do feel better getting it off my chest." (Meanwhile, Faye tries to take Elliot down – "Umf yer not gonna ergh beat up my FRIEND hrnngh") (Sorry about her. She's had too much to drink.) "I could put her in a sleeper hold, if she's causing you too much trouble." "Seriously, no more violence, okay? Promise me." (Yeah yeah. I promise.) Padma (and Cross-neck Guy?) outside the dance club – and PADMA ATTACKS! "Eeeeeee CHAH!" (POW! Right in the kisser! Broken glasses! Hannelore with the mace at the ready!) "You were supposed to block it! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BLOCK IT!" I'm so sorry! I thought you were gonna block it! "Ged me a double bourbon on de rogs ad I might nod hade you foreber." (Hanners tapes up Faye's glasses while Padma goes for the drinks; Faye puts on her broken glasses and spills it) "...Angus told me he lubbed me today." (snrk – Sorry, sorry, it's really hard to have a serious conversation when you're all stuffy-sounding.) "I do lag a cerdain grabitas ad the mobent." (Background hi-jinks: Cross-neck guy talking to Tai DJ'ing? Guy at the bar suddenly passes out in the last panel) So Angus busted out the ol' L-word, huh. "Yeah." And? "I said I loved him too." Seriously, that's great. And it'll be fine. "You sure about that?" As long as you don't freak out and dump him 'cause you're scared of emotional attachment, yeah. "Oh, well, only a crazy person would do that" (Background: Hanners talks to Tai – who's taken aback by her outfit; Padma pokes the drunk guy at the bar in the last panel)


2047 2048 2049


The night the lights went out in QC: Marten, Faye and Hannelore on the couch ("Either one of you lays a finger on me and they won't even find your BONES. They'll chalk it up to polar bear attack.") GUEST STRIP (Joel Watson, Hijinks Ensue): Sergei can get Questionables Comments! GUEST STRIP (David Willis, Shortpacked!): The staring contest GUEST STRIP (Bill Barnes, Unshelved): Tai contemplates becoming a Librarian to Marten; "Sixth level cataloger. She can alphabetize your bony @$$ with a sideways glance of her laser eyes." It's Tai's first "real" gig; "Okay, I think I've got everything hooked up. Cover your ears, this might be really loud." Hanners: (Yes ma'am!)

2051 (I… I think I need a cigarette…) "Seriously. Forget girls, I'm an audiosexual now." Faye: "MARTY. DANCING. NOW." "I'm, uh, gonna get one more drink then meet you in there." Padma: "Okay, but you better come dance!" (at the bar, next to passed-out drunk guy) "I'll have one of whatever he – " DON'T DO IT! SAVE YOURSELF! SAVE…SAVE YOURSELLLL- (WHUD) "Make that TWO of whatever he was drinking." Faye pushes Marten out onto the floor: "What are you, TWELVE? Is this GRADE SCHOOL? Padma's in there waitin' for you, so you better sack up." (He downs his drink and goes out there) That's it, lil' bird. Spread yer wings an' fly! (bad dance moves and a laughing Padma later) …Straight into a jet engine. Poor lil' guy. Dual conversation mode! Hanners: "Scientific studies have shown that women prefer fast, coordinated movement of the legs and torso…" (Faye: How come you didn't dance?) \\ Padma: "I'm sorry I laughed at your dancing, Marten." // Hanners: "I couldn't dance in this top! My boob would pop out!" (I'm surprised that hasn't happened already. What's holdin' you in there?) \\ Marten: "It's okay. At least I provided some comic relief." (Still, it was thoughtless of me.) // Hanners: "Doublesided tape… I thought about using neodymium magnets, but that would require a couple new piercings." (A couple?) \\ Padma: "I always just REACT to things, you know? I'm not very good at considering my response first. I'm sorry." (You're straightforward. That's not a bad thing.) // Hanners: "Yes. I have to remain symmetrical." (Of course, how silly of me.) \\ Padma: "The day of my brother's wedding, my mom asked me if her dress made her look fat. I said 'yes.' She spent two hours chasing me with a shoe. The whole wedding was late." (Okay, maybe sometimes it's a bad thing.) Faye appreciates DJ Tai! "And I'm not just sayin' that 'cause you bought that round of drinks. (Hanners: What should we do now?) Let's head back to our place. I have SECRET WINE." (Hanners and Tai: Secret wine?) Padma: "Promise not to draw ##### on my face if I fall asleep. I'm used to baker's hours." Marten: "We'll have to lock Pintsize in my bedroom." (He sounds like trouble.) Faye: "Why lock him in yer bedroom when we have a perfectly good broom closet?" (You wouldn't want him keeping you up all night with his mischief.) That's your jommmf!" (Hannelore muzzles Faye with her headband!) "Thank you Hannelore." Faye: SECRET WINE TIME! Tai: WOO Hanners: YELLING; Padma never would have guessed Marten was in a band. "You don't seem douchey enough to be a musician. (Whoa, hey!) What? Most musicians I've met have been jerks. But you're such a nice guy… (Well, I'm glad you think I'm nice.) So, is that your big dream? To be a rock star?" Marten goes on about wanting to play shows and do some recordings… "I'm boring the crap out of you, aren't I." Padma: "Not at all. Well, maybe a little." And… TEH KISSESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!! Tai: "This is... interesting..." Hanners: "Is it a cabernet?" Faye: "It's a secret. I used to have some secret... bourbon..." (Oops! Marten/Padma makeouts on the couch! Blushing Hanners is blushing!) Faye (to Hanners): "No peeking!" Clothes on the floor, deactivated Pintsize, panties with DAAAAAANG on the rear, toes wiggling under the bed... "Your boobs are amazing, too." "I know, right? Ever since I was fourteen, it's been like, '####, girl!'"




















"Thanks for walking me home, mister gentleman." "I'll, uh, give you a call tomorrow?" "Sure." (And in four panels... depression sets in.) And who should Marten run into... "H-hey Elliot. What's up?" (Just out for a walk... how's Padma been?) "Uh, fine?" (That's good. I haven't actually seen her in a few days. Needed some time off to clear my head... We did talk on the phone yesterday though, and that was good. I think I can move on... I even joked to her that she should hook up with you! But she said she didn't want to get involved with anyone before she left. So I guess we're in the same boat, huh.) "I'm definitely at sea." It's like, "Woohoo!" "Oh wait, she's leaving." "Makeouts!" "Leaving." "BOOBS!" "Leaving." Faye: "You're an idiot." Marten: "I KNOW" Pintsize (with the Arbor Day banner and confetti) "HOORAY!" Startled Hannelore: "AUGH" "And now I can't decide whether to be happy about it or bummed out she's leaving." Steve: "Dude you're getting WAY ahead of yourself. For all you know, this was a one-time fling. One night of fun before she leaves town, y'know?" "I'm gonna see her again! I told her I'd call her tomorrow!" "Yeah, and what happens when you call her and she's like, 'I had fun, but I think we should leave it at that'?" "####it Steve, you're supposed to be helping me feel better." "Hey, I tried to chestbump you when you told me, but you got all weird about it." Marten goes thru his contacts list... "Padma! :D" "Hey, Padma?... Yeah, it was- it was wonderful. ... I'd love to. Awesome. See you then." (click) "$#!+!" Faye arrives at work... "Omigod your HAIR!" "I was tryin' to trim it this morning and it kinda got away from me." (A Faye-hawk?) "At least your salvage effort was a success. (It's either "like it" or spend the next two months weeping.) "It smells amazing, too. Who makes apple-cinnamon hair product and where can I buy some?" [Dora in "sexual harassment mode"?] "It's not hair product. I was makin' a pie to cheer myself up and it kinda got away from em too." "Your awful morning is my delightful afternoon narm narm narm narm" OMG Turkeys 2011! (Marten movin' back to Cali? Uh oh, here comes Rodney. Don't make eye contact.) BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS (I hate Rodney. I heard he's not even a real turkey.) Hanners: "Omigosh your hair!" Marigold notices something else about Faye, though... "What?" "Nice dork glasses, Poindexter." "Thanks. You want a matching pair?" (Hanners taken aback!) Angus returns! "You cut your hair!" "It turns into a ridiculous cockatoo pompadour in my sleep." "I love you so much. (Hair raising!) Wow, that IS impressive!" [And stupid looking guy in first panel looks sad – or is an author avatar?] "Sorry for springing the L-word on you right as I was leaving... Did I freak you out?" "No! Yes. A little. You know how I am... I meant it when I said I loved you too." "I spent the whole weekend wondering if you just blurted it out 'cause I put you on the spot." (blush) "Well... yeah, that's kinda what happened. But I did mean it retrospectively!" "Good enough." Creepy Clinton meets Hanners, Marigold and Momo! "Is that an Idoru Platinum Deluxe? (Clueless Clinton forges ahead) The dermal covering is so LIFELIKE! (Momo charging sequence ACTIVATED!) And they finally got the myomer elasticity right! It really does feel like organic –" ZAP! "Was I being creepy?" Hanners: "Yes." Marigold: "I think his other shoe is on top of Town Hall." Why so into AnthroPC's? "The implications of humans and AI's coexisting are mind boggling!" (Momo: There is still war because we are not all powerful.) "ah, but maybe that's just what you want us to think!" Hanners: "I thought you LIKED AI's." "I do! But I also think it's fascinating that they could be up to ANYTHING, and there's no way for us to know for sure." (Momo: "Yes, our years-long struggle to attain even the most basic civil rights is all a smokescreen for our sinister plan to turn you all into nutrient soup for our bio-droids.") Marigold: "Can I be a bio-droid? That sounds cool." Clinton: "I'll happily operate the soupifier if I can be on your guys' side." Hanners: "This is why people scare me more than robots." [Jeph: I predict that our robot overlords will want nothing whatsoever to do with us. If we ever invent it, the first thing an AI will do is bootstrap itself to omnipotence and then light out for the Kuiper Belt.] The Gary Phenomenon! "At 1AM on January 1st, 1997, every email account in existence got a message saying, 'Hello, world! Thanks for creating me. I'll keep an eye on your stuff. Love,






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Gary.'" (What was it? Nobody really knows... Even computers that weren't connected to the internet at the time received the message... CIA social engineering experiment? Technology demonstration? Elaborate prank? Secret military AI broke loose, bootstrapped itself to ominiscience?) Momo: "I am fairly certain that an omniscient artificial intelligence would not choose to go by the name 'Gary'." Clinton: "Exactly! The AI chose that name to keep people from worshipping it!" Hanners: "Our Gary who art in somewhere, Gary be thy name." [THY GARY COME, THY GARY BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN GARY] "...We're in the middle of the most fundamental change in all of human history and the vast majority of people are going about their daily lives like its... no... big.. deal..." (BREATHE, Clinton, BREATHE!) Marigold: "S'not that incredible... So we've got computers that can talk to us and think and stuff. We've been dreaming of that for like a hundred years!... When the Wright brothers invented the airplane I doubt everyone in the world was like, "WHOA, I better stop and consider the DEEP PHILOSOPHICAL IMPLICATIONS.'" Hanners: "Orville Wright certainly couldn't. He would have crashed!" Hannerdad calls it "innovation fatigue." Technology is advancing so fast these days, and changing so much, that the average person has to treat it as perfectly normal or they'll be overwhelmed. Clinton: "But that leads to COMPLACENCY!..." Marigold: "You can look at the stars and say 'they sure are pretty' without having to calculate how many light-years away each one is." Clinton: "Not if you want to GET to them someday." Hanners: "It took years of therapy before I could look up at night without having a panic attack." [Meanwhile, Momo's reading Applied Robotics – with a centerfold!] Marten thoughts: Okay you know what, I'm just gonna play this friend-style. No makeouts, no bangin' Save myself some feelings later on... Cool, this is goin' good so far. Just hangin' out, havin' a good time. All right, this is great! Way to use the ol' willpower, Marten! Padma: "C'mere." (WELP) [Sweet-Tits in the background in panel three!] "I said, you're trouble." "I'm trouble? You're the one who's trouble." "No, you are." "Haha, no you." (Both, to themselves: I'm in trouble.) "So, I was thinking... My grandma's doing okay, and my lease isn't actually up for a while, so... maybe I could stick around a couple weeks longer. What do you think?" OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST! GRAMMY AWARD WINNER! FIRST MAN ON MARS! TIME MAGAZINE MAN OF THE YEAR! "Yeah, that'd be pretty cool." Yelling Bird gets Butts Disease! "Wow, did you get ANY sleep last night? (Not really. Padma was over.) Lucky you. Now go home and get some shuteye. (Nah, I'm good.) No, you're not. Go home and go to bed. (I've pulled allnighters before...) Okay, first of all, you're not actually scheduled to work today. Second, you're not wearing any pants." (Either it was a waking dream or he lost them on the way over...) Dora heard about Marten's "new lady"; "I'm not gonna bite your head off because you're kissing some other girl now... I'm just curious about your new lady. What's she like? Is she nice? (She's, uh, she's pretty nice, yeah.) Must be, if she kept you up all night." (How do you know I was – ) [Points down at Marten's lack of pants – and striped boxers!] #### IT Marten explains the situation; Raven: "Oh noes!" "I'm just gonna live n the moment and enjoy it while it lasts, y'know?" Dora (meaningful eye roll) "Right... (Marten heads out) Oh, he is so screwed." Raven: "For the next couple weeks, anyway." [SPECIALS: bone marrow scones, bone marrow latte, BONE MARROW] Elliot! Bro fist of DOOOOMM.... "High five!" "I wasn't going to punch you! I wanted to congratulate you for, uh, getting together with Padma. (You did?) I'm happy for you guys! (You are?) Of course! Why wouldn't I be? (You had a thing for her for so long...) I told you I was over it. Why would I say that if it weren't true? (I – I dunno...)" BAP! "You ought to expect better of people. It encourages you to be a better person yourself. Also, maybe put some pants on." Marten returns home – to a pensive Faye on the couch. "Something wrong?" "Angus loves me. He LOVES me. And I love him. And I was trying to pin down WHY I love him. He's funny, he's smart, he can stand up to me... But deep down, what if the main reason I love him is that it means I'm not alone? Is that enough?" [No punch line...]




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Marten: "Is there really a right or wrong reason to love someone?" Faye: "I don't know. I feel like there is." "I always thought just loving someone was enough. It didn't matter WHY you loved them, as long as you did." "But if you don't love them for the right reason, it might not last." [BUTTS DISEASE on the FRIDGE! The cookie stash moved to the cupboard!] "What would be a 'wrong reason' to love someone?" Both racist in the same way.. or murders... or cults. Their racist murdercult. (I think those are in a slightly different league than your situation.) "I dunno. Maybe I'm just looking for problems where there aren't any." (...Are you happy that you're with ANGUS, or would ANYBODY make you feel like you're not alone?) (Munch and pause) "I... I think it's Angus specifically. I mean, when I'm not totally second-guessing myself." (Then you're fine... what's wrong now?) "Now that I feel better, I can't justify eating this entire bag of cookies." (Pass 'em over. I'll help.) Momo does some reading on AI rights; "After all, we created them. The least we could do is invite them to the party, and perhaps offer them some champagne..." I LOVE HUMANITY SO MUCH (I am trying to catch Entei) YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: On the beach of a deserted island? YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: Last thing she remembered was kidnapping that Japanese businessman; hijacking the aircraft carrier, trying to suffocate the president – and SOMEone couldn't fly the space shuttle! (I am never drinking tequila again.) YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: A bottle of Hobo Juice contains... RANDY! (That's it, I'm throwing myself into the volcano. "RACE YOU") YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: Randy: "I can get us all off this island! Just hold on to my paw! EMBRACE ETERNITY... Welcome home! I'm Randy!" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA YELLING BIRD & SWEETTITS INTERLUDE: Slaves to a demon bandicoot for the rest of eternity... or are we? "You've been home the whole time! I forgot to tell you! Bandicoot Teleportation can cause terrifying hallucinations!" (and the pile of skulls? "Oh, those are mine." THE NEIGHBORS ARE CATAMITES "Why couldn't I have met you a year ago?" "Hahah, well, you probably wouldn't have liked me. I was way whinier then." (And that made things 100x worse, and Marten has NO IDEA.) Cookie-time! "Cookie time is cancelled." How come? "We were short an egg, so Marigold went to the store..."(@PizzazHaderach cameo!) "...and she got too embarrassed and ran out." (YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SUBDIVIDE) Marty calls Padma... "Oh, you're still tired? Haha, okay. Yeah, Friday sounds good. See you then." FLOP onto couch... FOREBODE FOREBODE descendeth... "What? No! Stop that! Go away!" Marten thinking of Padma! Around town, at the library, playing guitar, disarming Pintsize's bomb (dat @$$!), at home... RING! "Hey, what's up?... O-oh, okay. No, it's cool. I'll see you, uh, some other time then." BOOOOM! Face down on the couch. Faye: "I thought you were goin' out with Padma tonight." Marten: "She cancelled. Said she was 'feeling down' and 'wouldn't be any fun to hang out with.'... I'm just worried I did something wrong, or... something." "Don't worry about it. She probably just has the $#!+$... (Thanks, Faye) I'm serious! Like, last week I accidentally drank some expired milk before I went out with Angus. I only saw a third of the movie and he had to sleep on the couch." THANKS, FAYE Tai has something for Momo! "Ta da! Your very first paycheck!" Surprise! Shaking! RIP "AAA! AAAAAAA!!!" "It's okay! It's okay! I can just print another!" Angus: "...And that's why I was sleepin' on the couch." Marigold: "Gross." "Wow, someone went shopping." Momo: "I received my first paycheck! So I bought myself some new clothes, and a new pair of work shoes, and a copy of Ika Hime Harem Fighter 3 for you, Marigold!" Mar: "I thought you were gonna use your money to pay me back for that chassis." (pause for a moment of angst) "Whatever. I call Ika Hime!" "I will play as Bosom Sultan!" (I feel like this is a metaphor for something. American consumerism, maybe?) Faye: "She STILL hasn't called you back? It's been like a week!" (I left her a couple messages, but she hasn't responded.) Dora: "Have you tried going over to the bakery and asking her?" (No, I don't wanna make it awkward, you know?...) "You're being too passive








about this. Go over there and ask her what's up." (I'm not gonna be the creepy dude who follows a girl to work... If she wants to see me again, she'll call.) Faye: "It's like he's taken passivity to the next level. He's being AGGRESSIVELY passive." "I think you mean passive aggressive." RING. "Hey, Padma. It's been a while." (Yeah, sorry. I've been busy. Packing and stuff.) "Right" (Anyway, are you busy tonight? I'm... I'm leaving tomorrow, and I'd like to see you one last time.) (long, meaningful pause) "Yeah, actually, I am busy." (...Oh. Well, um...) "Have a safe trip." (R-right. Bye.) CLICK. "Why the f*** did I just do that?" "...Padma left today." (I thought she was stickin' around a while longer.) "Apparently not. She called last night and wanted to see me, but I told her I was busy." (Why the hell did you do that?!) "I dunno, I guess I'm just an @$$#0|3 or something. (pause – with the look of death from Faye) Aren't you going to disagree – " (You are an @$$#0|3.) "Why am I the @$$#0|3 here? She's the one who left me hanging!" "(..She pushed you away 'cause she was getting feelings for you. And you didn't do anything about it, even though I KNOW you had feelings for her, too.) "What was I supposed to do?" (I dunno, BE DECENT?...) "She was LEAVING. It wouldn't have done any good." (Maybe not, but then at least you could say you TRIED.) "I've tried before, and look how well THAT worked out for me." (...Yeah, all THAT got you was your entire current life. Boy, was THAT a waste.) "No it isn't, I –" (It IS a waste, because you're WASTING it.) "Damn, you just... you just owned me pretty hard, there." (I'll get the smelling salts in case you pass out.) Pensive Marten is pensive: "I don't know why I'm so passive about everything." Faye: "It's your nature. But nature or not, you're never gonna be happy if you go through life just letting things happen to you. You gotta DO stuff. And if you don't know what you WANNA do, you gotta try a bunch of different things or you'll never find out. Anyway, I'm going to bed. Nighty night." ('Night.) [Pause, then Marten does something – he picks up his guitar.] Pintsize expresses his condolences: "I just wanted to offer my condolences for the whole Padma thing. I'm sorry for how it turned out." Marten: "Actually, wait, where have you been all this time, anyway?" Pintsize: "Mexico again. It's become something of an annual tradition for my friends and I." [Flashback to somewhere in the desert: "EITHER THIS IS THE BEST VIRTUAL PEYOTE I'VE EVER HAD OR YOU REALLY ARE A TALKING CACTUS" McPedro (from Girls With Slingshots): "Ach, ye've been makin' tha' same joke for twelve hours now." Choo-Choo Bear (from Something Positive): "murrrrrrrrrrr" [Meanwhile, SOPA/PIPA nearly took our webcomic.] Dad's calling! (to the ringtone "What A Fool Believes"?) "Hi dad! What's up?... You're finally letting them throw you a birthday party? That will be so much fun! (pause) Can I bring Marten and Marigold? They're my best friends, it would be so nice to have them along. Please? (pause) I KNOW Marten's safe. I even have a blood sample to prove it. As for Marigold... (flashback to the FRRRRT incident) I'll get a sample just in case, but I'm PRETTY SURE she's not a secret robot." Marten & Marigold come over (Marigold brought cookies – Cookie Master!); "I have a question for you guys. See, it's my dad's birthday next week, and everybody's throwing him a big party up on the station. I'm going, of course, but dad also said I could bring some friends with me if I wanted. So, um... I was wondering if... I mean, I know it's really short notice, and it's a big trip, but I was – I was hoping maybe you could" (spraying of the cookie crumbs!) "Hey Tai, can I take a few days off next week?" (Sure, what's up?) "Hannelore invited me up to her dad's space station for his birthday party." (What?! No fair1 I wanna go to space!) "W-well..." (No, no. You go on without me. Have fun. I hope you get to make out with a hot scientist chick in zero gravity.) "Dude, Padma's been gone less than a week." (Sorry, sorry. I wasn't thinking...) "Zero-G makeouts WOULD be pretty fun." (I know, right?) The Spaceship! Ellicott Chatham Industries EC101! "There's our ride!" Whoa. "Are you nervous, Marig-" DOES IT TURN INTO A MECHA ARE THERE LASERS CAN I SHOOT THE LASERS "Sorry, the government made dad take the lasers out." Marten: "You too, huh?" Marten & Marigold are suitably impressed by the ship's interior (think Boeing 777 Superliner 1st Class); Where's the pilot? "I am a fully sentient AI and do not require a human pilot. Good morning,














Miss Ellicott-Chatham." (Hello, Spaceship!) "If it would make you more comfortable, I can manifest a holographic avatar." (Marten: Uh, yeah, sure. That'd be good.) "There we go. How is this?" (Could you, uh, put on some pants?) (NSFW) "So, uh, do we put on suits or helmets or anything?" (Nope! Just sit back and enjoy the ride! You're not NERVOUS, are you?) "Mmaybe a little." AI: "Do not worry, Mr. Reed. There is virtually no danger involved in our transatmospheric ascent. (Well, if you say so-) Now, RE-entering the atmosphere, THAT is always risky. Thankfully, if something should go catastrophically wrong, you would have less than a second of terror before being incinerated." (Oh, great. I've always said if I gotta die, that's how I wanna go.) Hanners: "You too?!" The EC101 in spaaaaaaaaaace! "Holy $#!+, we're actually in SPACE." Null-G maneuvers for Marten and Hanners! "This is amazing!" "Whee!" Unfortunately, Marigold doesn't share their excitement: "Ulllllllp" AI: "You humans and your faulty plumbing take all the glamour out of space travel." The Space Station! (Large Solar array, spinning wheel and central docking hub) Hanners: "There it is!" Marten: "Whooooaaaaaaaa (pause as they watch it slowly pass them by) Uh, were we supposed to pass it?" AI: "Just one more orbit, I promise." Hanners: "Bad Spaceship!" Docking completed! Marigold has a Transderm Scop (scopolamine) Motion Sickness patch for her issues; "We just have to go up to the hub bridge, and then we'll be in the spinning section and you won't feel weightless anymore." (Marten: "Race you there!") "Marten, no! You still have all your – " berf (faceplant into the top of hub) " – mass." The Station Holo-AI! "Hello Hannelore. I'm glad you could make it. (Hello Station!) Mr. Reed, Ms. Farmer. Pleased to meet you. Hannelore has said nothing but good things. (Marigold: "Aren't there any, um, PEOPLE?") There are 128 researchers, security and support personnel onboard, but they tend to get wrapped up in their duties. I can take you on a tour, and introduce you to some of them as we go." (Marten: "You're named Station, the shuttle AI was named Spaceship... I'm starting to notice a pattern.") Ah, yes. Hannelore went through a descriptivist phase when she was seven, and the names just stuck." "I called my dad 'Science Daddy' until I was 17." (Marten tries to rap: "Science Daddy Science Daddy can't you see, sometimes your research just hypnotizes me"; Marigold: "Ugh, I hate MC Hammer.") The security contingent arrives! "Dammit Station, you aren't supposed to let them pass the docking bay without a security check!" Station: "Lieutenant Potter, I can scan down to the molecular level. I guarantee that neither Mr. Reed nor Ms. Farmer have any – " [Space Cake at the Cafeteria!] "I know, I know. But the Major will chew ME out if WE don't check 'em over." (Please forgive the intrusion. The US military has a security presence on board and takes their duties rather more seriously than they ought.) "Station, I'm just trying to do my job. Please don't make it more of a pain than it already is." (Fine, fine. Commence the pat downs and purse searches.) "Okay, Ms. Farmer? Please – what? (Marigold is looking above her head... at a picture from Lt. Potter's Facebook page – of her USAF Academy Graduation Party!) God #### it Station" (I'm sorry, I can't hear you. Lots of Solar interference all of a sudden.) Angry Hanners is angry! "That was awful, Station! She was only trying to do her job! (It was just a joke. And a rather funny one, at that.) It wasn't funny. It was CRUEL. (I... I'm sorry, Hannelore.) Don't apologize to me, go apologize to Lt. Potter. And you better mean it." (Y-yes, of course!); poof! (pause) "And give Marigold a holo-pony!" (Yes, ma'am!) poof! (Fluttershy!) Marigold: "oh my god" Dr. Bernadette Case: "Oh, you look so much HEALTHIER! Living on Earth's been good for you." (Dr. Case works with LASERS. She's also the station physician.) "The medicine thing is more of a hobby, really... I mean, practicing medicine is fun and all, but compared to LASERS? No contest." (Marigold: "CAN I SEE YOUR LASERS") Hannelore's room! Marigold makes the same observation as Marten (527): "It's really, uh, minimal." "Yeah. You know how obsessive I am about cleanliness? I was WAY worse when I was little. I'd spend days adjusting the bed sheets, or the curtains, or worrying about dust bunnies under the bed, even though Station never let any dust build up. And those were my FUNCTIONAL days. Some days I'd just have constant panic attacks and scream





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until I passed out. (pause) Wanna see pictures? I have a photo album!" "Dad? Dad? Hellooooo! (The Space Station storage room, and a bent-over Hannerdad!) Dad? Hey! Dad!" "Oh! Hannelore! Hello! Good to see you! (introductions) Ah, yes! John Ellicott! Or Ellicott-Chatham. Never been sure which it is, since the divorce." "Were you looking for something?" "My MP3 player. Lost it in this pile of junk. Trying to dig it out." Marten: "You use an MP3 player? Why not just have the AI play music?" "The AI already runs station orbital trajectory, atmosphere, power, maintenance, comms, sensors, and data processing. Can't rely on it for EVERYTHING." [Dr. Ellicott is shorter than Hanners] Lt. Potter is back in her quarters [AIM HIGH OR ELSE poster!] – and is NOT happy: "Friggin @$$#0|& AI... never shoulda put those pictures on Facebook... never gonna live this down... (Lt. Potter?) The hell do you want?" "I wanted to apologize for my horrid behavior." (The doc's kid put you up to this, didn't she.) "Yes, and while I must admit that my contrition is largely due to her being angry with me, my regret is sincere nonetheless." "(Some apology. Why don't you go fu-) "To demonstrate my sincerity, and attempt some recompense, I have taken the liberty of transferring 0.76% of my shares in Ellicott-Chatham Technologies to your control." (Magical unraveling hair bun: Wh-what?) "You now possess holdings in EC-Tec worth approximately US$4.6 million." (Hair COMPLETELY unraveled) "Blink once for 'go #### yourself,' twice for 'apology accepted.'" Catching up with daddy: "...And so if gravity waves can be transmitted across branes, we could see data from an entirely different UNIVERSE!" (Read it in an Alastair Reynolds novel.) Security grunt: "Ms Farmer? Our head of security would like to have a word with you. (D-did I do something wrong?) Come with me, please. (B-but...) Just come along quietly, Ms. Farmer." Marten: "Wait, where'd Marigold go?" Hanners: "Oh, she's probably just looking for the ladies' room." "Miss Farmer. Have a seat." (Lt. Hard@$$?) Her backpack! "Is... is there something in my backpack? I didn't bring anything bad, I – I swear!" He pulls out... Magical Love Gentleman! And her box of Girl Scout Tagalongs! "Can we share?" FILLER: Holopony, Holo-Elephant and Holo...Bonercat? Security director: "Please keep this a secret." Marigold: "Yes, sir!" Hannelore: "Marigold! Where have you been?! We've been looking all over for you!" "In- In the bathroom?" Marten: "For six hours?" Marigold can't keep a secret: "I was watching anime and eating cookies with the head of security!" (Hanners and Marten do not believe this) "Dr. Case? Marigold is having, um, digestive problems..." (No! I'm fine! Really!) Marten: "Don't be embarrassed. Last time I flew across the country I was stopped up for like three days." Marigold loves the sleeping quarters: "Bunkbeds! I never had bunkbeds!" Marten: "Aw, we're not sleepin' in zero-g?" Hanners: "Sleeping in zero gravity isn't actually very comfortable. You have to be strapped in." "Can I have the top bunk? Please?" ("Yeah, sure"; Hanners: "See you tomorrow!") Marigold discovers the reason why she never had bunkbeds (besides being an only child?): "Umf... Ergh... Herp" SPLAT! Glasses go flying! "Maybe you'd be better off strapped in." YOU CAN HAVE THE STUPID TOP BUNK AI: "Hannelore? Are you decent? May I have permission to apparate?" Hanners in blue Granny nightie (and her eReader): "Yes, you may." "I apologized to Lt. Potter. I believe she has forgiven me." (Good) "Are you still angry with me?" (No. But you've got to stop playing tricks on people like that. It's not nice.) "I'm sorry. It just gets so DULL up here sometimes, without you here to talk to." (You know you can talk to me whenever you want, even if I'm on Earth!) "How? You refused to allow Dr. Case to install the intracranial communications unit." (They have these things called phones, you know. Or email, or Twitter, or...) "Ugh. Such primitive technology." (Right now you're talking to me by making pressure waves in the air that vibrate a membrane in my head. You can't get much more primitive than that.) "Which is why if you'd let them install the intracranial communications-" NO, Station. KA-THOOOOOM! Faye and Dora are pinned down behind the counter! Faye: "Running low on ammo!" Dora (in full wedding gown with grenade launcher) "Why did you give him espresso?! I told you not to give him espresso!" Eschaton PINTSIZE! "NOW ENDS THE AGE OF MAN" ... "That's what we should tell 'em







they missed while they were gone." (Dora's a bit incredulous) Pintsize: "Why can't I wear the wedding dress?!" Marten is woken by... singing? (The Singing Scientists!) Wake up, wake up, good morning! It's time for you to leave your beds! Get up, get dressed, get moving! We've got no time for sleepyheads! Take a shower! Brush your teeth! Come and get something to eat! Tasty pastries! Delicious jams! If you're not vegetarians, We have space ham! Science! Research! Spacewalks, too! There are so many things to do! So get up! Let's go! Good morning! And a very pleasant day tooo youuuuu! Marten: "Do you wake everybody up like this?" Male Singing Scientist: "No, most people lock their doors." Female redhead Singing Scientist: "Or throw things." (Marigold: RARHGLFHRHGL) M & M meet HannerDad at the commissary! "Ah, good morning! Sleep well? Hannelore will be out shortly. In the meantime, breakfast?" (Marten has a seat) "So, you're my daughter's closest friend, am I correct? You've known her the longest since she moved back down to Earth?" Marten: "Uh, yeah, I guess so." (Marigold: "Space ham?") Dad: "Is Hannelore happy?" (Wideeyed Marten is wide eyed!) "Well, I... I think so? I mean, she seems happy to me..." Dad (holding iPad with expectation): "Exactly HOW happy, would you say?" "I, uh, I don't know if you can quantify happiness like –" "Ah, you're unfamiliar with Fournier-Goldman Happiness Units? Hang on, I can have Station print out a basic textbook and some supplementary tables." (Marigold, with a full plate and a slice in her mouth: "Spathe ham!") Hannerdad: "No, no, you're off by an order of magnitude. That much happiness would kill a person." Marten: "Has that actually happened before?" Hannelore walks in on them: "Good morning, dad! Happy birthday! Are you excited for your party tonight?" "Birthday? Party?" "Don't tell me you forgot!" (holding his forehead in classic Absent-minded Professor manner) "Why, I suppose I did!" (uncertain) "How old am I now, anyway?" Hannelore knows this one: "You're fifty-six!" FIFTY SIX?! "Good lord, this is no time for a party! I've got so much to accomplish before I die!" (dashes off, pens and ruler flying from his pocket) "Whatcha doin'?" "Oh, just some, uh, calculations..." "FournierGoldman Happiness Transforms? I didn't know you knew these." "I don't. Your dad was, uh, trying to show me how to calculate how happy you were." "How happy I am?" "Yeah. Like, living down on Earth and stuff." (Pensive Hanenrs) "It IS hard sometimes. But I have you and Marigold and everybody else to help me out! And that more than makes up for the hard parts. I've never been happier in my whole life!" "Th-that's good!" (Hanners looks down at the clipboard Marten was using) "Wow, you got this ALL screwed up. Didn't you read the textbook?" "I gave up around where they introduced Irrational Birthday Integers." "So do we have to, like, dress up for your dad's party or anything?" (Hanners "feeds" trashbot) "No, no, it's going to be a very casual thing." "That's good. I left my tuxedo at home." "You have a tuxedo?!" "Wait, where's Marigold? She disappeared again." "Oh dear. I hope the space ham didn't upset her stomach." Dr. Case: "Now I'm going to toss this apple into the path of the laser! Observe the reactions!" THIS IS THE GREATEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE Lt. Potter is cleaning her gun; Station: ""Lt. Potter? The EC-Tech shares I transferred to your control have been returned to my account." "Yeah, I gave 'em back." (Why?) "Station, what you did was sexual harassment. Yeah, they were public pictures on my Facebook, but this is my ####in' WORK ENVIRONMENT. You're lucky that all I want is an apology. Someone else could've been TRAUMATIZED, and I know you get to play fast and loose with the rules around here but I'm SURE you would've been in some $#!+ THEN. And I don't think it was your intention, but I don't want there to be even the slightest notion that any amount of money is an excuse for that kind of behavior. (softening) So I don't want your money. I want a promise that you won't pull that sort of $#!+ ever again." (I... I am sorry, Lt. Potter. I had no idea of the ramifications of my behavior. You have my word that it will never






happen again.) "Apology accepted. Now, go get me a bottle of something. I need to take my mind off the fact I just threw away five million dollars on principle." (It strikes me that such resolve ought to be celebrated, rather than bemoaned. Conveniently, alcohol is commonly used for that purpose as well.) Marten & Hanners in the null-grav "gym": "Man, I had no idea zero-g badminton would be so... strenuous." "It's quite a workout!" Out-of-uniform Potter holding up a bottle of "something": "HERE'S TO PRINCIPLE!" Empathetic Station! "TO PRINCIPLE!" Hanners: "Lt. Potter! Are you INTOXICATED?" "S'okay. 'M off doody." Marten: "Is STATION drunk?" Hanners (a little edgy) "How is that even possible?" "EMULATION! An' don' worry. Got alla the cri'cal sysms runnin' on an autonomonous subsysm." (Wide eyed Marten: "We are all going to die.") Station: "PROBABLY NOT" Potter: "WOO" Marigold: "And then the laser was like NYEEOWWW and the apple was like ZORP" Dr. Case (to Marten): "Hannelore said she'd be ready soon, right?" Marten: "Yeah, we were headed to her room now." "I have to say, it's remarkable how she's changed. (Oh yeah?) She was an absolute mess when she was younger. Phobic of just about everything, and obsessive about everything else. Couldn't bear to be in the physical presence of people. And the panic attacks, good Lord. It was like she was possessed. [Sad little Hanners] She spent a lot of time physically restrained. It was the only way to keep her from hurting herself. We'd have to force-feed her to get her to eat, and sedate her to get her to sleep. Her room was effective a one-person psychiatric ward. [Strap-down bed] Her parents seriously considered having her institutionalized, but even the suggestion would send her into fits. We went through dozens of dedicated therapists, but Station was the only one who could get through to her at all. (Jesus. How did she go from that to living on her own?) As she got older, her behavior gradually improved, and she started to engage with the world more. One day I heard she had decided to move down to Earth, and that was that." Marigold: "Maybe Station put some kinda cyborg implant in her brain that made her less crazy!" "Marigold, I don't think-" "Actually, that's one of the more popular theories." Hannelore rockin' the little black dress – and black lipstick! Marten: "I thought you said this was a casual party." "It is, I just felt like getting a little fancy." Dr. Case is shocked: "You're even wearing lipstick! I can't believe that doesn't bother you!" (Marigold, aside: "Maybe it's the implant.") "The what?" Marten, eyes rolled: "Marigold thinks Station gave you a cybernetic implant to help with your, uh mental problems." "Station! They KNOW! (Acknowlg'd. Releasin' hunter killer drois.) (pause) ...Just kidding." Marten: "You better be!" Marigold hides behind Dr. Case... then: VRRRRRRRR "Somebody cal for a pack of merciless hunter-killer droids?" Hanners: "False alarm, sorry." VRRRRRRRR (dejected HKD) "Aw man, we never get to kill ANYbody." The Grand Room! [Way too much going on in the first scene to adequately describe...] Marigold (as they look on from the staircase balcony) "Wow, that's a lot of scientists." Dr. Case: "And all geniuses in their own right. This station is the greatest collection of brilliant minds in human history (Marten: "Really?") Well, that's what our marketing department would have you believe. Still, it does feel like we're part of something special. We're doing things here that are decades ahead of their time." Older "bartender" scientist: "So by using these new compounds, this beverage evokes emotion instead of flavor!" Light-haired scientist (Fred?) "Fallen leaves pasted to the street by rain, an earth-tone patchwork tapestry of autumn's end." Glasses-and-turtleneck (Velma???) "Really? All I'm getting is 'the sudden and irrvevocable realization that grandma is kind of racist'." Dr. Case: "...And things like that." Killer Death Bot in top hat and bow tie! "May I take your drink orders?" Marten: "I'll have a double racist-grandma on the rocks." [Jeph points out that those are both real mixed drinks; Double-racist Grandma is 2 parts whiskey, 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts seltzer, 2 healthy dashes of bitters; stir and pour over ice – regret your decision.] Scenes from a Science "Mixer" party: [1] "...But if the TM proteins are depleted in the simple model-" "Then the Lo phase isn't going to be the same as in membranes that selectively include the TM proteins." "Okay, think of the skin of this cocktail weenie as the cell membrane..." [2] "That's no good. It still produces too much CO2." "Well, (tapping on clipboard) what if we tried using silver nanoparticles as an epoxidation catalyst?" "You ALWAYS suggest that." "It's bound to work EVENTUALLY." [3] "Calm DOWN,







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Leon!" "YOU COULDN'T READ THE SPECTRA RIGHT IF YOU HAD IT TATTOOED ON YER RETINAS" "YEAH WELL I READ YOUR MOM'S SPECTRA LAST NIGHT" "NGC-2041A isn't worth fighting over!" (Little Hakase scentist is tenacious!) Marten: "I have no idea how to talk to any of these people." Marigold: "That's how I always feel." [Indecipherable scientific jargon courtesy of Science magazine] "Um, e-excuse me, Mr. Reed? Francis York." "What's up?" (loosening the tie uncomfortably) "I was, uh, I was wondering, is Ms. Farmer – does she – she's so PRETTY – " (smiling Marten) "What do you study, Francis?" "Stress-energy tensor fields in Netwonian-" (cut off) "Right, right, I'm sure that's really cool. Listen-" (dramatic pause) "What do you know about Pokemon?" "I... I don't know anything about Pokemon, really." (thumbing over his shoulder) "Why don't you go ask an expert?" (Marigold is sitting next to the big window, playing on her DS) "That... that sounds like a great idea!" (heads away) Hannelore: "I don't get it. What does Pokemon have to do with spacetime tensor fields?" "I think we're about to find out." HI MARIGOLD CAN YOU TEACH ME ABOUT POKEMONS YES I WOULD BE HAPPY TO THEY ARE LITTLE ANIMAL MONSTERS THAT ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND FIGHT BATTLES FOR YOU THAT IS AMAZING AND ALSO YOU ARE VERY BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE THE MAN OF MY DREAMS LET'S HAVE A REASONABLE NUMBER OF BABIES I KISS YOU NOW (Hannelore is SHIPPING!) Marten: "...I think you're being a little over-optimistic." Reality: "Why do you wanna know about POKEMON?" "I- I've always been curious about it!" "Why doncha just buy it then? Get it used for like ten bucks." "W-well, it's... it's hard to buy games when you're up here in orbit." "Oh. Right." "Yeah." Awkwardness levels – and Marigold's blush intensity – increasing! Hannelore intervenes: "Marigold" "HE" "IS" "FLIRTING" "WITH" "YOU" Marten: "You're dead set on that 'reasonable number of babies,' huh." "I'm going to wash my hands. I want a drink waiting for me when I get back, and they better be at LEAST making eye contact." Awkward eye contact... "So uh-" I'M EV TRAINING MY DRAGONITE "Wh-" SEE (shoving DS into his hands) "I-" I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM (Francis is left holding the DS) (pause) "She's wonderful" Panicky Marigold in the ladies room! Oh god oh god ohgod ohgodohGOD Hanners: "What's wrong?" THE SCIENCE MAN IS FLIRTING WITH ME AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO "Flirt back!" HOW "I – I don't know. I've never flirted with anybody before." AUGH "Station! Are you sober yet?" "As a judge. What can I do for you?" "A boy likes Marigold! What should she do?" "As with all matters of the heart, a poet said it best: Let me see you get low you scared you, scared you Drop dat @$$ to the floor you scared you, scared you Drop dat @$$ shake it fast ya Pop dat @$$ to the left and the right ya" Hanners: "Well, if a poet said it..." (I'm gonna break my tailbone AGAIN) Back to the party (little Hakase professor on the side!) "Um... hi." "H-hello! Listen, I'm really sorry, but I was fiddling with your DS and it glitched out." WHAT "I don't know what I –" GIMME [Readout] MARBEAR: YOU ARE VERY PRETTY WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO LOOK AT THE STARS + HOLD HANDS Y/N (pause, then blush) This is a really weird glitch Interlude – Marigold visits fanfiction.net's Questionable Content section! Singing Scientist Guy: "We all chipped in and got you a present!" Hannerdad: "A bottle of whisky?" Singing Scientist Gal: "It was recovered from a sunken pirate ship! It's one of the rarest bottles in the entire world! Try it! Try it!" "It almost seems like sacrilege, but whisky's meant for drinking, eh?" DOONT YARR, WOE BE THE SCALLYWAG WHO OPENS BLUEBEARD'S SPECIAL BOTTLE 'O WHISKY! I CURSE YE FROM DAVY JONES' LOCKER! (Scientist #1 doesn't buy it) "Nice try, Station." (You bloody skeptics are no fun at all.) "Drat, I was hoping I'd finally get to test out that paranormal containment unit I designed back in '84." Singing scientist gal doesn't care for the whisky; Hannelore: "I have a present for you too!" Dad: "You do?" "I love you, dad." (HUGS! HUGGING! SHE'S HUGGING HIM! HUGGING HANNELORE!) "I... I love you too, Hannelore." Shocked




Hannerdad is SHOCKED. Everyone else is D'awwWWWWWWWW... (Lt. Potter) #### YEAH HUG THE $#!+ OUT OF HIM [Jeph: Lt. Potter you are out of control] "Aw dad, don't cry!" "I- I'm sorry, it's just... that's the first time you've willingly hugged me since you were a baby." "Well, my friends have taught me that a little physical contact isn't so bad once in a while." (Dad looks at her... then at a smiling Marten... and takes up the classic boxing pose!) "Schtup my daughter, eh? I'll box you stupid and have you out the airlock before you can say Higgs Boson!" "Dad, no!" Francis: "The observatory is up at the top of the spindle." Marigold (sudden realization) "Y-you mean in zero gravity?" "Yeah... are you okay?" "YES FINE LET'S GO" Off they go! "Wuh... wait." (pulls him close... KISSSSSS then) HLURRRL "Oh jeez oh jeez" (pause... wipe... attempted KISS?) Agh "ANGUS" (Angry Faye) "Did you leave the TOILET SEAT UP?" "Did I? Huh. I usually put it down." (back to reading) "You @$$HOLE." "Wh- you're seriously mad at me? That's the most stereotypical, sitcom thing you could possibly-" I DIDN'T HAVE MY GLASSES ON. I CAN'T SEE WITHOUT MY GLASSES ON. (realization) "You fell in?" "I fell in." (hugging her) "Oh, baby. I'm so sorry. That must have been horrible." "You better not be making fun of me." Hannelore enters the darkened quarters: "Marigold? (light) Francis told me you... he told me what happened." (I'm such an IDIOT.) You're not an idiot! (Meh.) He's outside, if you want to –" (No. Wanna go to sleep.) [long pause] "Someday, everything is going to go right for you, and it will be so wonderful you won't even know what to do." (...Will there be cake?) "There's cake right now, if you think your tummy can handle it." Drunk Scientist Joke: "...And then HE said 'that's not a femtosecond initiation optical pulse, that's my WIFE!'" (Leon and another female researcher laugh... while Marten's a bit lost) Lt. Potter: "Enjoyin' the egghead jokes?" (I think I'm a few PhD's short.) "Yeah, I feel you. Wanna ditch?" (Uh, sure.) "Cool. Let's get outta here before they start tryin' to arm-wrestle the hunterkiller droids." (I dunno, if they're gonna do THAT I might stick around.) (The Observatory – and Lt. Potter is an old pro at launching herself upwards) Marten: "You turned down all that money?" "Meh, no big deal. It's the principle of the thing, y'know? (looking out the window) 'Sides, I like my job. Even if I am just a glorified TSA agent, I get to do it in SPACE. Can't complain about THAT." ("Hahah, true." She passes him the Space Hooch) "So, are you and the doc's kid ####in' or what?" (PFFFF) "We're just friends." "Huh. I assumed she brought you up here for a lil' zero-g hankypanky. Well, it's not all it's cracked up to be, anyway. You bump into things too much." "Speaking from experience?" "See this scar?" (lifting up the seam of her tanktop, showing a rather nasty gouge) "Jeez, what did you bump into?" "A new security droid that thought I was in distress and separated my partner and me a lil' too forcefully." (Marten retells the story of his "relationship" with Padma) "...So that was that. She left." (Lt. Potter, in the relaxed pose) "Jeez. I dunno if she was playin' you or what, but you coulda handled it a little better." "Yeah, not my finest hour." "Send her an email or something! No sense leavin' if off on a sad note." (Marten leans over towards Lt. Potter) "I dunno, I feel like I'm better off moving forward, y'know?" (She pushes him away – a little bit) "No offense, buddy, but you're not my type." "I – I'm sorry!" "Don't worry about it." (awkwardness... in SPAAAACE!) "You were seriously gonna try and make a move on me when you don't even know my first name?" "I said I was sorry!" Lt. Potter, sitting perpendicular to Marten on the observatory window: "I like big guys, y'know? I want a man who can bench press me one handed." Marten: "Hahah, well, that's definitely not me." "All right, I better get some shuteye. Have a good night, Marten." "You too, Lieutenant." (floating down to the entrance ladder) "You can call me Abbie. And write that email!" "Yes, ma'am." (Marten pulls out his iPhone, and starts the email) To: Padma_Pants Cc/Bcc: Subject: Hi Hi Padma, it's Marten. How are you? I am fine. You wouldn't believe where I'm emailing you from | Hannelore and Francis are outside Marigold's room, when: (Station: "Hannelore? Could you meet me on observation deck







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3?") "Okay." (Hannelore enters the deck, which is somewhat darkened) "Station? Hellooo!" (Table for two – with a candle overlooking the Pacific) "Hello, Hannelore." (gussied-up HoloStation)"What's with the fancy table and outfit? Do you have a DATE?" "In a manner of speaking, yes." "Oh my gosh! Who is she? Is she nice?" "I think she's VERY nice. Have a seat." "Oh no, no, I wouldn't want to be a distraction. (Clueless Hannelore is clueless! She turns to leave) Enjoy your dinner!" "W-wait!" YELLING BIRD: "His Otterphile.org screen name is Shellfish_Daddy1980." Station and Hanners, sitting down for dinner; "How's the wine?" (Hanners, who's still a bit flustered) "It's – it's very good." "Have you been enjoying your visit?" "Yes, very much!" "That's good. Everyone has been thrilled to see you again. Especially me." (Hanners takes a sip) "Mm." "In fact, I was hoping I could convince you to stay." (Hanners is shocked) "M-more wine?" (pours bottle into a holographic cup... GLUG GLUG GLUG) "Uh..." "You want me to stay up HERE?" "I miss you, Hannelore. (Station talking to a young covered-up Hanners) I miss the days we'd spend, just the two of us, talking. Trying to work through your neuroses. Trying to untangle the knots in your psyche. Your mind was the greatest puzzle I was ever presented with, and I relished the challenge of solving it. (Hanners is now sitting up, listening to Station) But as we made progress, I also came to know you for the wonderful person you are. Beneath those layers of fear and obsession lay a sparkling intellect, a kind heart, and a boundless capacity for joy. (Sleeping Hanners – as Station looks on) You were no longer merely a puzzle for me to solve. You were a friend, a sister, a daughter. I grew to love you. (Hanners – looking somewhat like she did right before she met Marten – discussing moving with Station – and she's holding a "Scenic Northampton MA" brochure) When you began to come out of your shell and engage with the world, I was ecstatic. And when you broached the idea of traveling down to earth, I encouraged you, because it was logically the next step in your development. (Exterior view of the Station, in LEO over the Earth) But I never considered the possibility that you'd stay there forever. And the longer you were gone, the more I missed you. I couldn't leave my place here as Station AI. It's who I am, both literally and figuratively. (Hannelore, standing before him with arms crossed) So the only solution was to ask you if you could find it in your heart to return... and stay." "Station, I... (looks out the window) I don't like remembering my childhood. It's full of dark and scary things. You're the one good thing I have from back then. I'll be grateful to you forever. I owe you everything. You're the reason I'm standing here right now instead of locked in a padded room. You're the reason I have friends, and a job, and a LIFE. (turning and looking down at Earth – and Northampton in particular) But that's just it – I have a life. And it's down there, on Earth. (turning to Station, a tear forming on the edge of her eye) I love you too, Station. But I can't stay. I'm sorry." "...That's pretty much the answer I was expecting." "I'm sorry." (long, dejected pause, then turning to look out the window) "Is it really so great, down there?" "It's big and loud and dirty and scary, but... it's full of wonderful people and amazing things." "...Ah, well. As long as I know you're happy down there, that will be enough. (turns to her) Shall we stay here and watch the world go by for a while?" "I'd love to." (Hanners leans towards Station... and forgets he's a hologram!) "I'm okay! I'm okay!" [Jeph: "I've been saving that gag for this entire storyline."] Francis greets a groggy Marigold outside her quarters: "'Morning. How are you feeling?" "B-better." "I'm really sorry about last night." "Wasn't your fault." "It's probably for the best anyways. I mean, I'm stuck up here, and you're down on earth... and we barely know each other..." "Mm." "It just... it wasn't meant to be." "Yeah." (pause; then looking at each other, then... MAKEOUTS!) UMG MMF MOOB Marten at the breakfast table; "Hey Abbie. Sleep well?" "Yeah, but now my head feels like I was usin' it to pound nails." "Oof, sorry." (She points next to Marten) "What's with those two?" (Red-eyed Hanners and semi-pixilated Station – animated GIF alert!) Hanners: "There was a really interesting weather pattern over the South Pacific. We stayed up all night watching it." Station (who's now getting an animated "broken image link" error) "I burned out several processor banks trying to backtrace the original butterfly wing-flap that caused it." (Potter: "I was wondering why there










wasn't any hot water for my shower.") [Jeph: "Turns out it wasn't a butterfly flapping its wings, but a capybara fart."] Hanners: "Is Marigold awake? We should start packing our things." Marten: "She was in the shower when I got up." They enter the room to see – Francis and Marigold HEAVY MAKEOUTS! and Marbear with no glasses! (diving back out into the hallway – looking at each other before...) Both: "eeeeEEEE!" Embarrassed Marigold is embarrassed! Hanners: "We didn't mean to barge in! Station usually puts a holographic sock on the door when people are having romantic times! (S'okay.) "So... are you a WOMAN OF THE WORLD now?" (We didn't – we just kissed a bunch!) Marten: "Hannelore..." "I was just curious!" Marigold (sotto voce) "I... I might've touched his wiener." GASP! "Well, that's not quite 'woman of the world' status... woman of the moon? Woman of a Kuiper Belt object?" Goodbyes in progress; Dad: "You're welcome to visit again anytime. Thank you for taking care of my daughter." Marten: "Thanks for having us." (Marigold and Francis are having more Teh Kisses!) Another hugging Hannelore as Marty shakes hands with Abbie; "Bye dad. I love you." "I love you too, Hannelore." Hanners and Station: "I'd hug you too, Station, but..." "Actually, I've modified a security droid specifically for that purpose." VRRRRRRR (Security droid now has ARMS!) "I'm not any happier about this than you are." "Oh, shut up and hug her already." They return! Faye: "Hey space cadets." Hanners: "Hello!" Faye: "So how was-" Overexcited Hanners: "MARIGOLD TOUCHED A WIENER!" (Faye and Marten stop in their tracks, while Marigold has a full-sunburn blush) Faye: "You know what? I'm happier not having any context for that." (Marten gives Hanners a look – which she doesn't see because she's in :3 mode – while Marigold's blush still burns brightly) Marigold: "Momo, I'm home. (sees Momo on the couch, eyes shut tight) Momo? (sits down next to her; Mom is obviously unhappy) What's wrong? (Momo opens her eyes and a holographic projection shoots from her eyes...) Holopony!" Momo (freaking out): "IT WON'T GO AWAY MAKE IT GO AWAY" [The entire Holopony concept may have been a set-up for this gag.] GUEST STRIP (S.P. Burke, Oh Goodie): Marten, Pintsize and Winslow on The Satellite Of Love (MST3K parody, with Marigold, Hannelore, Magical Love Gentleman and... YELLING BIRD???) Pintsize: "Oh HEY Marten. HOW WAS YOUR TRIP." Marten: "It was really-" Pintsize (cutting him off) "Yeah that's great. What did I do while you were gone? Oh nothing. Just SAT HERE. BY MYSELF." Marten: "Wh- are you mad that I didn't take you along?" "Oh no, no. What possible interest would I have in traveling to OUTER SPACE and communing with one of the most powerful artificial intelligences in existence, an AI so advanced that comparing my intellect to his is like comparing a light bulb to a thermonuclear explosion?" "If he's that much smarter than you, what would you even talk to him about?" (Pintsize does a Marten neck-grab pose) "I dunno. Butts, probably." (Marten gets out his iPhone) "Actually, he'd probably be into that. Lemme give you his email address." Therapy session! Therapist: "It seems like the root of your issues lies in your relationship with your older brother." Dora: "Yeah, I guess that makes sense." "Why do you think that is?" "Everything comes so EASY for him. He can toss off a song in an hour and sell it for ten grand. Women throw themselves at him. How am I supposed to compete with someone who doesn't even have to TRY?" "Do you think he's happier than you?" (chin in hands, elbows on knees) "God no. He hates the songs he sells, he's never had a relationship that didn't end horribly... I'm pretty sure he hates himself, deep down." (Therapist looking down at clipboard) "Ah ha." "What, did you have some kind of insight?" "Time's up. We can talk about it next week." #######IT DON'T YOU LEAVE ME HANGING Therapist "Okay, okay, real quick. Here's what I think: You have control issues. You think your brother is deeply unhappy due to his lifestyle, but can't force him to change it. (Looks down at his notes) Many of the conflicts in your last relationship were conflicts of control as well. You're used to being able to exert your will over other aspects of your life, such as your business, but when that instinct is frustrated, you have trouble coping. (escorting Dora to the door; DSM-IV is on the shelf in the background) What I want you to do over the next week is examine the ways in which your desire for control affects your everyday life, and we'll talk about them next session." (Unhappy Dora is unhappy) "Okay, I'll start by checking myself for feathers and talons because I'm apparently a











####ING HARPY." ("Next week we'll also discuss your hypersensitivity to criticism.") Dora returns to the shop – while Faye's playing with her TIG welder: "Hey @$$butt. Why the long face?" "My therapist says I have control issues." (And without missing a beat) "Well, yeah. (realizing Dora's got her "frown" face on) I mean - REALLY?" Dora eye roll: "I appreciate the effort." The Back Alley: "So I'm supposed to think about all the ways my control issues affect my life, and it's just DEPRESSING. (Meanwhile, Faye's welding her latest project) ALL of my relationships have been affected by it, one way or another. Marten, my brother, my friends..." "It's not all bad. They make you a good boss." "Really? You think I'm a good boss?" "Best one I've ever had." "Well, I'm glad you think so, but I still say he has to pee the espresso straight down." (BonerEspressoCat!) "The piss arc is the whole POINT, you dictator" Steve and Marten and BEERS (6 of 'em) "So how was your trip, dude?" "It was really cool." "Yeah? Get any space-booty while you were up there?" "Dude, I was in OUTER FRIGGIN' SPACE. With, like, Hannelore's billionaire genius dad and crazy scientists and a super-powerful AI and $#!+. And your first question is 'did I get any booty'?" (pause) "So, no?" "Nope." Sitting on Angus' couch: "Hey Mar-Bear, let's trade glasses. I wanna see how bad your prescription is." "O-okay." (Marigold, in an I Heart Gawwus t-shirt, blanches) "Yeah mine is super-strong." (Faye puts on Marigold's glasses... and everything changes! Angus an Marigold turn Anime – complete with "I Heart Sefirosu-" on Mari-Chan's shirt!) Marigold: "THAT'S NOT WHAT MY PRESCRIPTION IS LIKE. (whispers) I wish that was what it was like." Jim enters the shop with Sam in tow: "Hey Dora, can I ask you a big favor? I've got someplace to be tonight, but the babysitter just canceled on me and Sam's mom is out of town. I know you guys are open pretty late, so if she could stay here for a couple hours-" (Sam protests) "I'm old enough to stay at home by myself!" "Honey, we've been over this. Next year." "We can keep an eye on her." "Thank you so much, I'll try to be back to pick her up before you close, if I'm late I'll give you a call." (waves) Faye: "So, little larva..." "I'm not a larva!" Dora (who's already having control issues) "Faye..." Faye: "...Wanna learn how to use a BLOWTORCH?" Sam: "YES" Dora: "FAYE" "What we just did was brazing –" "You mean like when my dad makes pot roast?" "Different process." Control Issues Dora: "Is she okay? No horrible burns?" "She's fine." "Lemme show you what I made!" "Please tell me it doesn't involve animal genitalia." Eyeroll Faye: "It doesn't involve animal genitalia." (Sam enters holding a huge ladle over her head) "BEHOLD THE MIGHTY WAR LADLE" (Dora: "Faye..." Faye: "I'm pretty sure there's no animal that has a giant ladle for a ####, but if there is I DEFINITELY wanna see the Attenborough documentary." Faye continues teaching the young Padawan: "...And that's how you pull a shot." "That was easy!" "Yeah? You can work the rest of my shift, then." "Only if I get paid!" (Uncomfortable Dora: "And here I thought you hated kids.") "Normally, yes, But this one has potential." (Beaming Sam) "Dad says I'm FULL of potential." "Stick with me, kind. I'll mold you in my image." (That's a terrifying thought.) "You mean, like, big boobs?" Faye heading off: "I gotta pee. Remember, keep the blade at the same angle or you'll mess up the edge bevel." "'Kay." (Dora's still uncomfortable over this, even as Sam starts the knife sharpening) "You went on a date with my dad, right?" "I... um, yes. But we decided to just be friends. Does that bother you?" "Dad's not with mom anymore, he can go on dates if he wants to. He's on one right now. (Both realize what she just said at the same time) He didn't want me to tell you that, but if you're friends it's okay, right?" "Absolutely." The return of Jim! "Hey kiddo. Did you have fun while I was gone?" "Yeah! Faye taught me how to use a blowtorch, and make expresso (intentional mispel), and sharpen knives, and-" "You let my daughter play with KNIVES and a BLOWTORCH?!" "Yep. She did good." (Sam runs off) "Of all the irresponsible-" "She also taught me how to make an 'old fashioned'." (handing dad the highball glass – and a sip) "So, I usually pay my sitter ten bucks an hour –" "Fifteen." "Deal. Take a check?" GUEST STRIP (Pusheen): DANCE BREAK! Chibi Hanners, Marten, Winslow, Pintsize, Faye, Marigold (who's reading an anime book titled, "Dance" in Kanji), Momo!

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GUEST STRIP (Danielle Corsetto, GWS): Yelling Bird shows off HIS favorite photos from the internet! GUEST STRIP (Alina Pete, WereGeek): "Why did we think it was a good idea to let Pintsize be the DM?" "To be honest, I kind of expected him to be much worse..." Back to CoD: "So how'd your date go?" "Oh, jeez, did Sam tell you?" "Yeah, but I woulda put two and two together on my own." "I'm sorry, I was... I was trying to be discreet." "Jim, we went on one date. I'm not gonna be pissed off if you pursue other women. You don't have to do it behind my back, okay?" "...Okay." Samantha has Faye in a sleeper hold: "Like this?" Blrgh (Dora ignores them) "So how'd it go?" "Well, I got back here twenty minutes early." THUD! "Faye?" That bad, huh? "It wasn't BAD, per se, we just discovered pretty quickly that we were looking for different things. (Such as?) I'm looking for something low-pressure, she's looking for the father of her future children." (Sam: "Eww, babies." Faye, playing with a butterfly knife trainer: "Agreedo.") One was enough, eh? "Yeah. And I got snipped a few years after we had Sam anyway, so that ship's sailed." ("Did you know babies just throw up, like, whenever? So gross!" "I know, right?") Dora: "Yeah? Is it true you can smell your vas deferens burning when they do it?" Jim: "Yeah, but it was the sizzling noise that really got to me. Couldn't grill meat for a year afterwards." Sam: "And then he got an infection and his private parts swelled up to the size of a cantaloupe! Mom took pictures." Faye: "I bet THAT came up in the divorce hearings." "Okay kiddo, time to go." "Aww... (Hugging Faye) Thank you Faye! I had so much fun! I'll come back soon and you can teach me more cool stuff!" "Later, little larva." (Dora's arms are wide open... and empty) "Bye." (pause) "Jealous?" NO I'm surprised you were so chill about Jim bein' on a date with another lady. "Why wouldn't I be?" I dunno, just seems like somethin' that'd normally bother you. "I'm an adult. I don't have time to let that kind of bull$#!+ high school drama get to me. (Meaningful eye-roll bye Faye) Don't make that face. I meant it when I said it doesn't bother me." I was actually just holding in a fart, but good for you. Stand here Hold Winslow And smile Yesssss Yeeesssssss I'll go get the little hats Yessss the little haaats ("This feels... wrong, somehow." "But I like the little hats!") MARTEN COME (Gets up from reading Guitar Porn, "What's up?") COME OBSERVE OBSERVE THE LITTLE HATS YESSSS, THE HAAATS (Momo has a bowler with a pink pouf, while Winslow has a plain bowler) "Um, yes?" YESSS HE SEEEEES (Both) YESSSSSS Hanners has recovered: "I'm sorry! I don't know what came over me!" Marigold hasn't yet: "It was just so cute... the little haaaats... yessss..." Hanners: "Marigold! Pull yourself together! We have to put the little hats behind us!" Marten puts on the little hat (with the pouf)! "Nothing? Nothing at all?" "I think I'm over it now." "Me too." Dora visits Sven (he with the Of Montreal t-shirt): "You wanted to talk?" "Yeah... I wanted to apologize for being such a control freak. I only give you such a hard time because I worry about you. But I realize it's your life, and if meaningless sex with random girls makes you happy, I should accept that." "What? Dora, it's been MONTHS since I hooked up with ANYBODY. That's not who I am anymore. Which you'd know, if you ever bothered to ask." "Ooh... Well, I rescind my apology then." "Hey, no takebacks!" Drinkin' wine in Mason jars; "Really? It's been MONTHS? (Yep.) Is it because of what happened with you and Faye?" "I... I dunno, partially? It was a bunch of things. It's like, I've never been in a steady relationship. I don't even know how to DO that. But I feel like I'm never gonna learn if I just keep screwin' around. So I figured, maybe cut that out for a while and see how I feel. (And how do you feel?) Horny, mostly. (I meant emotionally.) If horniness isn't an emotion, I've got more to learn than I thought. Pouring another drink in Sven's kitchen; "What about you? Get any action since you and Marten split up?" "Psh, no. I went on a date with a guy, but... I shouldn't be seeing anybody but my therapist right now." "I'm not talking about DATING. You should play the field a little bit. It'd be good for you." "Somehow, I don't think slutting it up would be 'good for me'." "You can have an active sex life without 'slutting it up,' you know." "Why do you care if I'm getting laid or not?" "Legend has it that if a year goes by without a Bianchi having sex, the earth will split open and the dark lord Azathoth will rise from his slumber to claim us all." (Sven's been









playing WAY too much Diablo III – as has Jeph) "Well, I'm pretty sure dad's got us covered. Grandpa too, maybe." "I don't mean to be push. I just want you to be happy, sis." "I'm working on it. Talking to you tonight helped, I think." "Yeah? That's good." (Dora move in for a glass-holding hug) "You're okay, right? I want you to be happy too." "I'm okay. I mean, my balls are so blue Pantone wants to license the color, but other than that I'm okay." "Can we not talk about your junk while we're hugging, please?" (#0040FF) Faye walks in on Marten checking his phone: "Hey skinnysaurus, what's up?" "I sent Padma an email while I was up in space, and she just replied. She says she's doing okay, and she's sorry it didn't work out. (That's it? Are you bummed out?) Only a little. I mean, I knew it was over. And I'm glad she's doing all right. Besides, it'd be pretty hypocritical to get all emo over it now, when I was totally tryin' to get my mack on with that Lieutenant up on the station." "I wasn't gonna say anything, but... actually that's a lie. I was totally gonna say something, and probably punch you in the arm as well." GUEST STRIP (Scott DeWitt, Fanboys): Questionable Content in SPACE! Marten makes a bad pun or two – Not only was it bad, it was on Mars... and the slo-mo drink-in-face splash. Yelling Bird, Shame Orb and Sweetits: "DO NOT DESPAIR FOR THE SECRECY OF PRIVATE SHAME, FOR I HAVE TURNED OVER A NEW LEAF. THE SHAME ORB IS NO MORE. NOW THERE IS ONLY THE PRIDE ORB" Yelling Bird's Proud Moment? "YELLING BIRD HOLDS THE WORLD RECORD FOR LONGEST SUSTAINED BOUT OF CURSING AND HAS MASTERED ALL KNOWN HUMAN PROFANITIES AS WELL AS THOSE OF DOLPHINS AND BEES (Huh. That's certainly an improveme-) YOU ONCE SO DEFILED A 747 BATHROOM WITH YOUR FETID WASTE THAT IT WAS FORCED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS" ("SO THAT'S WHY YOU CAN'T LEAVE THE COUNTRY ANYMORE") Someone's banging on Marigold's door... "H-hey dad, what's the ma-" "EXPLAIN STEAMPUNK. (Huh?) STEAMPUNK. EXPLAIN IT." (Marigold explains, wearing her "All my Vices are Devices" t-shirt) "W-well, it's like... it's like 1800's technology, only made all weird. Like clockwork robots and giant steam powered zeppelins and stuff. And people dress up all old-timey only with gears and goggles and –" (Dad grabs in head in frustration) God DAMN IT (Walks away off-screen, leaving a bewildered Marigold) GOD DAMN IT GOD DAMN IT GOD DAMN IT Faye is making a latte for a customer as Dora shares her discussions with Sven: "So apparently my brother isn't banging tons of girls at random anymore." "That's odd. I haven't seen any flying pigs around and last I checked the earth's core was still molten." "I hope he's okay." "Seriously? You've always been on his @$$ about his slutty ways, and now that he's stopped you're WORRIED?" "It's just a sudden change! If you said you quit eating cupcakes I'd wonder what precipitated it." (Faye takes a sip of the latte, to the customer's horror) "I resent that comparison." "I've seen how you are. You see one you like and within five minutes you've got it's wrapper off. And you like pretty much every cupcake you see." (Faye hands the latte to the bewildered customer) "STOP CUPCAKE-SHAMING ME" Dora and Faye are laying back in distress on the couch; Marten: "What's the matter?" Dora: "We were talking about cupcakes at the shop tonight." Faye: "Which made us desire cupcakes." "So we went and got some." "And we ate them. God help us, we ate them all." "And then we decided to have a situp contest, to offset the calories." "And now the cupcakes have been transformed from delicious baked treats to a rolling ball of hatred in my tummy." (Marten is not amused) "So what you're saying is you didn't save me a cupcake, and you're terrible friends, and I shouldn't feel bad for you at all." Marten and Momo are heading off to work – and apparently Marten told her about the cupcake incident: "I wish I could eat cupcakes." "No you don't. I've seen what cake batter does to the inside of an AnthroPC." (see strips 20-21 and 57-60) "Something wrong?" Momo: "There was a story on the news this morning about that fundamentalist church that says AI's are evil." (assuming this is Westboro Baptist) "Oh, well, nobody takes those guys seriously. I mean, they're CRAZY, everybody knows that." "That may be true, but no matter how you rationalize it, being hated because of what you are is still painful." "…Yeah, I can understand that, sorry." "That is why I feel so fortunate to know so many








wonderful people who do not think like that. It gives me hope – it gives ALL of us hope – that one day we will be f ully accepted." "I hate to sound pessimistic, but we're stil working on racism, sexism, homophobia…" "We are aware that 'one day' may in fact be 'another run up the evolutionary ladder'." Marten & Momo continue their walk to work at the Library: "You really think we'd have to evolve before we can totally accept intelligent robots?" "Not standard biological evolution, but… everything changes so fast these days. Who knows what humanity will be like in fifty years?" "You mean, like immortal post-humans and human-AI hybrids and stuff?" "That is the beauty of being post-Singularity. We do not know?" (as they take the stairs up to the library) "Dang." "It is very exciting." "I hope when they finally invent hoverboards I'm not too old and decrepit to enjoy them." "You might BE the hoverboard!" Momo and Marten walk into the library – continuing their discussion on hoverboards; Momo: "It seems like it would be impossible to control." Marten: "I dunno, you could build in some kind of auto-braking mechanism that would kick in at a certain distance or above a certain speed." Tai is waiting for them at the counter: "Hey kidds. Momo, you're with me today. Marten, I have a special task for you." (Huh?) "We've got a fresh crop of summer interns and it's your job to train 'em." [Redheaded girl! Tall Asian Chick! Dark-skinned Earrings girl!] (Wh-what? Why me? Aren't you more qualified to do that?) "You could use the extra responsibility. Also I am HIGH as HELL right now. We'll be in the office watching Adventure Time if you need anything." (Tall Girl: "Permission to get high as hell and go watch Adventure Time with Miss Hubbert?") [AND NOW WE KNOW TAI'S LAST NAME…] Marten is now in full insecurity mode: "Okay, um… hi, I'm, uh, I'm Marten, and I guess I'll be… showing you around today? (points to the desk) This is, um, this is the front desk. This is where we, uh, checkout books and take in returns. And stuff. (Earring Girl is taking notes as he takes them over to a computer workstation) Here we, uh, here we have a library computer. People use these for, um, work. And… also solitaire? (Redhead is looking a bit concerned at this point; he then takes them over to the book stacks) This is a bookshelf!" (Redhead, to the Earring Girl – who is still taking notes: "Is this some kind of weird hazing ritual?" To which she responds "Shhh!") Redhead's had it with Marten; "Um, we KNOW what a BOOKSHELF is. (arms akimbo as Marten pauses: "I – I'm sorry?") We're all graduate students. We know the basics. When are you gonna show us how to do actual librarian stuff? ("Oh, uh, well, I – I'm not really a LIBRARIAN. I – ") WHAT?! (as she looks at him eye to eye: "I'm not a librarian! I just work here!") Okay, this is DEFINITELY some sort of hazing ritual, and I do NOT appreciate it." (Marten: "Am I the one being hazed?") Marten is in full facepalm mode: "All right, look – I'm not a librarian. I have no qualifications for this gig except that I haven't $&#*ed it up so far. Frankly, I shouldn't be the one training you guys. But Tai told me to, and she's the boss. So will you PLEASE just bear with me here?" Red: "Y-yes. Sorry." Marten turns and thinks: "Okay. So. Step one in training you guys… (hands in hoodie and walks toward the door) …Is to go get some friggin' coffee, because I am not awake enough to deal with this." Red: "Oh come o-OW!" (as she is WHAP-ped by Earring Note-taking Gal) And what are their names? Tall Asian: "I'm Emily." Red: "Claire." Earring Gal: "Gabrielle, but everybody calls me Gabby." (And you're all library science majors?) Emily: "I'm in computer science, actually." (So you're interested in, like, our IT stuff?) Emily: "Not really. I just like the smell of old books." Claire (who is apparently NOT amused at this) "You beat out dozens of other applicants for this internship just so you could SNIFF OLD BOOKS?" "Basically, yes." Claire tries to keep her head from asplodey: "I… you… agh!" Marten: "Lighten up. Life's short, you gotta stop and smell the first-edition Melvilles along the way." Marten asks the question we're afraid to ask: "So why do YOU wanna work in a library?" Claire: "Why WOULDN'T I? Vast collections of knowledge, organized by class and subclass, division and section. Everything in its right place. No distractions, no pointless babbling conversation, no yelling or running around like an idiot. Just peace and quiet. (She's really getting into this) And being a librarian is more than just stamping books and shushing people. A good librarian educates! Enriches their community! Introduces children and adults alike to the wonders of the written word!" (Jeph notes in the title: "She almost burst into song")



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Marten (who is already down the street with Emily and Gabby) "What about you, Gabby?" Gabby: "I like books." "That's it?" "Yep." (Claire – running to catch up: "Wait – wait up! I like books too!") Enter the group to the Coffee of Doom! Claire: "I've heard stories about this place." Gabby: "I heard if you order a smoothie they just smash up a banana with a hammer and put it in a cup." Faye greets Marten in her usual manner: "Hey assbutt. You seem to have some ducklings in tow." "New interns. Tai's making me train them." "Congratulations on your promotion to middle management." "Haha, does that mean I'll get a raise?" "Nope, just crippling ennui and quiet desperation." "Man, I've got plenty of those already." (Emily – to Hannelore, who's manning the espresso machine: "One smoothie, please!") [SPECIALS: BLOOD LATTE SCAB MOCHA BONE AMERICANA HOT DOG MUFFIN] Hannelore hands Emily her drink: "Here's your smoothie!" Emily looks down at it dejectedly; Faye comes over, leans down and gets something under the counter – a hammer and a banana. And with a BLAM, she makes a CoD Hammer Smoothie – to Hanner's shock! Emily smiles as she walks away with her smashed banana; Claire: "Can I have that one?" Faye: "No." IT IS JEPH'S BIRTHDAY! The Inflatable Pony! Marten's Training Montage: (to all three) "The vintage porn isn't allowed to leave this room. If anyone tells you otherwise, call security." (to Emily) "If you keep the return cart sorted, it saves you time when you're actually putting stuff back on the shelves." (to Gabby and Claire) "Careful when you're closing up the stacks, they like to bite off arms." (to Emily and Claire) "If you're having trouble finding something in the computer system, ask Momo. If she can't find it, you probably just dreamt that it existed. Happens to me all the time." (to Claire, as they inspect something found on the floor) "Wayfarers, Noam Chomsky flyer, and keys to a Volvo. Hampshire droppings. Lemme show you where we keep the special net." (to Gabby) "No no, a propery library shush is more abrupt. 'Sh!' not 'Ssshhh!'" (Gabby takes this to heart: "SH!") (to Gabby and Emily, who are holding baskets outside the bathroom) "Condoms go in the purple bin, dental dams in the pink bin. Don't ever look in the black bin." (to Claire – who is without glasses in the gym, while Marten's holding a ball) "I have no idea why we're playing dodgeball. Just go with it." Marten closes the door to the office – and looks ready to collapse. Tai: "How'd training day go?" "I dunno. I mean, I showed 'em how to do stuff, but it was so nerve-wracking!" "I'm sure it's fine. If I didn't think you could do it I wouldn't have told you to." "That makes one of us." (KNOCK three times... and it's the girls!) Claire: "We... we wanted to say thank you for showing us around today." Gabby: "At first I was intimidated to be working here, but you made me feel right at home." Emily: "Banana smoothie." [Evil bonercat "WORK HARDER" poster!] Marten leans against the desk: "What... what's this strange feeling?" Tai: "Job satisfaction." "I think I need to lay down." Tai explains it all as they head out of the library: "I had you train the interns because you need the extra responsibility. (I do?) Yes, you do. I might not be working at the library forever. I could get offered a better job, or get transferred or promoted. Do you really wanna be a lowly library assistant for the rest of your life?" Uncertain Marten: "N-no, but... I mean, I don't know if I'LL be working at the library forever either. Like, what if my band takes off, and –" "How IS your band doing? Are you playing any shows? Doing any recording?" "W-well no, we're... we're kind of still trying to write some songs but... (pause as Tai gives him the "do you REALIZE what you're saying?" look) I guess I'm putting the cart before the horse, huh." "The horse is a foal. The cart is a pile of lumber and a gleam in the carpenter's eye." Tai and Marten walk through Northampton (is that an AnthroPC with an "I WILL ACCORDION 4 YOU"?); Tai: "Today was rewarding though, right?" Marten: "Y-yeah, I guess. I mean, it was stressful, but it did feel good when they thanked me for showing them the ropes." "Good. I know working at the library isn't, like, your life's passion or anything. But it can still be a fulfilling job if you put the effort in." "Yeah, I can see that. It's like, your whole life people tell you to do what you love. But if you gotta do something else to pay the bills, you don't automatically have to be miserable. And I guess I'm pretty lucky that I have a job where I CAN feel like I'm accomplishing something, even if it's just teaching a bunch of interns. So I should make the most of it." "Jeez, now I feel guilty for getting high and watching cartoons all





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day." "It's okay, I'm sure you did you absolute best to smoke that weed and watch those cartoons." Tai and Marten are having some late lunch: "Emily's pretty cute. I wonder if she's into girls." Marten states the obvious: "Wouldn't hooking up with an intern be kinda unethical?" "Psh, like you haven't thought about it." "I haven't thought about it. I was too busy explaining how to avoid getting crushed by the stacks." (Lime Stuff! Yellow Mellow???) "But you're thinking about it now, aren't you." "You brought it up! If you were talking about purple elephant boners I'd be thinking about that, but not because I WANTED to." Tai, unfortunately, ordered the hot dog plate: "Now I'm thinking about purple elephant boners. Thanks." "I'll take your hot dog if you're not gonna eat it." Faye is in her usual "Toss Pintsize" position: "Hey kids. How'd intern-wrangling go?" "I think I did okay." (Faye does the AnthroPC jump shot) "They THANKED him for it! It was so cute!" "So which one are you gonna bang?" Marten is taken aback! "Wh- I – why is everybody assuming I'm gonna bang one of 'em? I'm not like, 'oh hey some new girls I just met, I wonder which one I should hook up with. THAT IS CLEARLY THE ENTIRE POINT OF INTERACTING WITH LADIES.'" Faye, being Faye, ignores this: "So, the tall Asian one? Or the red-head? I know he likes curvy girls too, so maybe-" "I started some slashfic that explores each possibility. Got a laptop handy?" "HELLO SENTIENT COMPUTER RIGHT NEXT TO YOU" "Hey, I invited Dora over for pizza. That cool?" Marten's meh: "Yeah, sure." Tai does the pit-sniff, then asides to Faye: "Can I borrow your deodorant?" "Still got the hots for Dora, eh?" "God, am I that obvious?" "Sorry, kiddo, but I keep forgetting to buy my own so I've just been using Marty's. That could lead to some awkward smell memories." Marty is surprised: "That's been you? All this time I thought it was Pintsize." No, but I HAVE been using Faye's tampons." Tai is moping: "Whatever, it's fine, it doesn't matter. I’m not gonna make a move on Dora, that would be weird for Marten." Marten: "You know what, don't even worry about it. (Tai: "Huh?") Dora and I are cool now. If you wanna make out with her and she wants to make out with you, I'm okay with it. It's not my business in the first place anyway." Faye: "I'm not sure Dora should be makin' out with anybody right now." Marten: "Meh, she's working on her issues. If it makes you both happy, I say go for it." Faye (as Dora walks in the door) "I don't completely share your enthusiasm, but..." (Tai: "Buh?") Dora: "Hi guys! I brought wine! (with screwtop caps???) Tai! I didn't know you were coming over too! Hooray!" (Tai: "Duh?") Marten – who speaks fluent "huh duh buh wha?" – translates: "She says hi." GUEST STRIP (David McGuire, Gastrophobia): Faye and Hanners find Marten has been "cheating" on CoD at Donut Oasis! Faye notices the obvious: "You're awful cheery tonight. What's up?" Dora unscrews a bottle of wine as Tai walks in: "I went over the books and we're beating last year's sales number so far!" "Oooh, does that mean I get a raise?" "Raise, no. Bonus, maybe. Fancy wine, definitely." Tai hug! "Congratulations!" (sniff sniff) "Did you know you use the same deodorant as Marten?" Defensive Tai: "F-Faye does too!" Faye: "We've established Naked Mole Rat Law in this apartment. All who smell different will be expelled. Your gift of fancy wine has earned you a temporary visa." Slicing up the pizza in the kitchen; Dora: "I heay you trained some interns today." Tai: "He did a good job! I'm putting him in charge of all intern-wrangling duties from here on out." ("Y-you are?") Dora: "Y'know, I've never been clear on it – do you run the entire library?" Tai: "Oh, not really. I mean, the day to day stuff, yeah. But I answer to the actual LIBRARIANS." Marten: "I haven't met one in all the time I've worked there. It's really weird." Tai: "Yes you have! I saw you talking to the senior research librarian yesterday!" Marten is confused: "Wait, you mean Old Gus? He told me he was the JANITOR!" Tai: "I always wondered why you told him whenever one of the toilets got clogged." Faye: "He eitherr has a Shakespearean senses of humor or a toilet fetish." Dora: "Could be both." HAPPY FREEDOM DAY! LOVE, QC; Faye awaits as Marten lights a bottle rocket (and Hanners holds her ears with one eye open); Pintsize waves his sparklers while Momo just stares happily at hers. Dora stretches as she stands up: "Okay friends, I'm gonna go get some shuteye." Marten: "Right on." Faye: "Thanks for the fancy wine." (they disappear into the kitchen as Tai makes her move) "I'll walk you home!" "It's… kind of a long walk." "That's okay! I'm

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drunk, I don't care!" "No, I mean, I live in Amherst now. I drove here." "O-oh. Right. I forgot." (Marten and Faye peek around the corner in terror) "Well… how 'bout you walk ME home then? That way I get home safe, and you're stone cold sober for your drive." Dora falls for it! "Hmm, that's not a bad idea." (Faye: "Excellent recovery." Marten: "I should be taking notes.") FILLER ART – Momo and Nichijou! (Cristi's in the hospital ) The mean streets of Northampton; Tai: "…And I'm like, 'who even does cocaine in a library?'" Dora: "Haha!" And that's when she notices her phone has a text message: Faye - ARE YOUMAKING OUT WITH TAI YET – And yet ANOTHER one: Marten – hey just wanted to tell you it's cool if you make w/tai, good luck :) Dora is NOT happy as her phone buzzes AGAIN: Faye – RAM IT IN (AFTER APPLYING PROPER LUBRICATION) Tai, of course, is oblivious: "You're a popular lady tonight!" Dora (as she's deleting all these annoying messages) "Apparently." They've reached Tai's apartment house; "…Of course, it's possible I forgot to carry a number somewhere and the shop is actually tanking." Tai: "Psh, no way. You're amazing." "Actually, I'm kind of a mess." "Oh, what, 'cause you got some issues? News flash so does everybody else on the planet. (Yeah, but-) But nothing! Look at everyone else you know. How can you not see how much more ass you're kicking than them? If you think you're a mess, it's only 'cause you hold yourself to a higher standard. And that(meaningful pause as she leans in to look her sraight in the eye) -Is why I'm absolutely crazy about you. (turns, walks in with a wave over her shoulder) G'night." And our ex-Goth barista suddenly turns a bright red! GUEST STRIP (Amanda, Love Me Nice): What happens when AnthroPC's have "software glitches" GUEST STRIP (Spike, Templar, AZ): Tumblr quotes by the QC cast! GUEST STRIP (Jon Rosenberg, Scenes From A Multiverse): Pintsize's "busy day" – Oliver Twist, Alien Virus, Russian Roulette with Hitler… oh, and "burning donkey hair smells like coconut?" GUEST STRIP: (Zach Weiner, SMBC): The countdown continues… GUEST STRIP (Randy Milholland, Something*Positive): Anthrogeddon – the Extreme Mods for AnthroPC's convention! GUEST STRIP (David Willis, Shortpacked!): Pintsize has become Butts! Tai's sleeping it off (under the Lesbrarian Venn Diagram sign); "Oh, my head…" And then suddenly, SHE REMEMBERS! "…Is why I'm absolutely crazy about you." (Hides back under her pillow) "Oh, god, I shoulda drunk more so I wouldn't remember that." Tequila Monster – who is doubling as the Hangover Monster: "Agreed." Meanwhile, over in Amherst, Dora wakes – and REMEMBERS! "…Is why I'm absolutely crazy about you." (pauses to think) "Yeah, right. She was drunk. She probably doesn't even remember." (Title says it all: No, Dora, No!) Faye greets Dora at the shop: "Hey spookypants. Sorry about the texts last night; after you guys left Marty and I got into a bottle of schnapps I found under the sink. I guess it was Pintsize's? I dunno." (Dora is nonplussed in her headband: "Mm.") Annnyway…" "No, I didn't make out with Tai." "Why not? Too friendcestuous?" "No, I… I don't know. I never really thought about it." "I've seen you check out her @$$ on multiple occasions, and nobody likes a liar." "Hey, be fair! I check out tons of @$$es!" The three interns are outside of the library – and Emily notices something right away about Gabby: "Your hair is different!" Gabby (who's now in a short 'fro): "Yeah, it's the humidity." Claire: "Ugh, tell me about it." Marten and Momo arrive: "Mornin' ladies." Emily salutes: "Good morning, boss!" Claire hands Marten a coffee: "I got coffee for you. A large latte, right?" "Uh, yeah. Ththanks." Gabby: "Kiss-@$$." Claire: "I'm not – I just thought it would save the trip to the coffee shop!" Marten: "We might as well go down there anyway. Tai called and said she's sleeping in, the librarians don't get in for two hours, and I don't have keys." Emily: "We could use Momo as a battering ram!" (Momo's not thrilled with that idea.) Marten notices something right away about Gabby: "Your hair's different today." Gabby "It's the humidity." Emily's more interested in Momo: "Do your pitgails detach?" "Um… no." "Do you store roll cake in your arms?" "If you like anime that much, I should introduce you to my friend Marigold." (who are those people in the background?) Emily: "Um, what's 'anime'?"










And as they walk into the shop, Hannelore notices something right away about Gabby: "Your hair is differ-" "HUMIDITY" Marten: "Oh hey, you're here." "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" "Tai told me she was 'sleeping in,' which I figured was code for you and her-" "I did not hook up with Tai!" "Okay, okay, you don't have to get mad about it!" (Facepalming Dora) "Sorry, I just – I have to figure out how I feel, and everybody being all up in my business about it isn't helping." Marten: "I guess that explains Faye being gagged." Dora: "She's also about to have her blackboard privileges revoked." Faye – with the duct tape on the mouth – wrote on the chalkboard: "I bet you wanna get all up in TAI'S business" ["SPECIALS: Bone Meone, Morrow Marrow, Rawhide, Butts LOL"] "So... what do you think?" Marten's confused: "I thought you didn't want people up in your business." "I don't, but... you know me better than anybody else. So I want your opinion." "Well... She's the one who's pursuing you, there's no weird friend situation like with me and Faye. It seems like it's a good setup for avoiding the stuff that messed up OUR relationship. (Yeah?) But if you're just considering it because she's shown interest in you, that's not really fair to her. (True)" Hanners has other ideas: "BUT think of how cute your babies would be! (Uh, Hannelore, we're both female, we can't) WE ARE WORKING ON THAT TECHNOLOGY" "All right, we should probably head back." (Claire asks the obvious question: "How do you even eat that?" Emily gives the obvious answer: "With my mouth!") "Do you, uh, want me to say anything to Tai?" "I'd rather you didn't. I've still gotta figure out what I'm gonna do." "Okay. Don't stress about it too much. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it'll be for the best. (Thanks, Marten.) Unless you decide to, like, smoke a bunch of crack and punch Tai in the face. That probably wouldn't be for the best." (Drat, there goes my fallback plan.) Meanwhile – Emily demonstrates for Claire! OMF GROMF HOMF And Tai awaits at the entrance. "Where were you guys?" Marten: "We went to the coffee shop." "Oh jeez, was Dora there? You didn't talk to her, did you?" Marten tries tact: "Uh, no…" Clueless Emily: "Huh? Yes you did. Dora's the one with the black hair, right? You talked to her for a long time! About Ms. Hubbert!" Marten's like, NOOOO, and Tai's like, GEEEZ! "You are a terrible friend." Marten's not happy with Emily: "You're also a terrible friend." Emily's all excited: "We're friends?" "Okay, okay, I did talk to Dora." "What'd she say?" "She asked me not to talk about it. That's why I fibbed about it in the first place." "Well, the cat's already out of the bag, you might as well tell me." "Just 'cause the cat got out of the bag doesn't mean I'm gonna let it run out the front door and into traffic." (climbing on a sorting cart) "Aw c'mon! In for a penny, in for a pound!" (pushing his boss around) "Nope. I'm not throwing good money after bad." "Damn it, I've been out-idiomed." Clinton appears! Faye gets defensive: "Oh great. Want me to get the hose, Hannelore?" Clinton surrenders: "No hose! No hose! I'm just here to get some coffee! I promise!" "All right. But the hose awaits if you misbehave." Hannelore notices something: "Do you have a sister?" "W-why do you ask?" "There's a girl who started interning at the Smif library with my friends, and she looks just…" "Oh god, you've met Claire? She didn't do anything weird, did she?" Faye is a bit concerned: "That, coming from you? We're gonna need a bigger hose." Tai's still curious. Marten says "use your intuition." Tai: "My intuition is telling me that Dora's being all wishy-washy about it, when she should be over here making out with me. (Haha, well…) Okay, I'm gonna go down there and get a straight answer. Hold down the fort for me, okay? (W-wait! …like, maybe you oughta give her some time. To make up her mind, y'know?) Nope! Waiting's for suckers! Wish me luck!" (Marten pauses, then: "…Good luck." Tai goes hard – "Hey. Got a minute? (Dora steps outside with Tai) Okay, so, about last night. I was drunk, but I totally meant it. I'm super into you. And not just physically. I mean the whole shebang. Massive crush over here. I'm about to barf butterflies. And if you're not interested, or if you really think you can't do a relationship, that's fine. I totally understand. But I need an answer. No secondguesses. No waiting around while you subconsciously convince yourself it wouldn't work out. 'Cause if it doesn't work out, hey, that happens all the time. I wanna give it a try and see. (pause as Dora looks at her) So, uh-" SHE KISSES THE GIRL! They're both tongue-tied – and blushing: "I. Um. Wow." "Yeah. Uh." "So. Um. "Yeah. Haha." "Yeah! Wow. Ha ha." "Uh huh.











Man. Wow. Um." Hannelore, watching from inside with Faye: "Is this what normally happens when people kiss?" Faye: "I hope not, 'cause that'd mean I've been doing it wrong all this time." Tai comes charging in, hands in the air and POWER HUG! "You promise you're okat with this? For real?" "Haha yeah, I promise. I'm happy for you guys." "Good, because right now I would happily sacrifice our friendship for more Dora-kisses." "This is what I like about our relationship. The brutal honesty." Gabby's trying to understand this: "Dora's your ex? And you're okay with Tai going out with her? (Yep.) I'd be pissed if one of my exes started dating one of my friends. (Well, every situation is different. I want 'em to be happy.) I don't believe in altruism. There's gotta be some angle you're workin'. (The "angle" is I like seeing my friends happy.) In that case, it'd make me really happy if you gave me $100." (Who says we're friends?) Emily: "We're friends." Emily asks a question we've all wondered to Momo: "Do you have a belly button?" "Of course I have a –" STOP; Subroutine_do{check_liftupshirt} "Yes, I do." Emily's curiosity gets to her... "Hee!" BOOP (Momo realizes her hair has turned violet blue! She then recognizes that look on Emily...) BOOP (STOP IT!) Light blue, Turquoise, Lime Green, Yellow-green, Chocolate, Fire-Brick, and back to Medium VioletRed! Marten steps in: "C'mon, Emily, leave Momo alone. She's not a toy." Emily is disappoint: "Aw." Momo: "I have another function that you might find entertaining. "Really?" "Touch my pinky." "Okey-doke!" "Don't do it! She can send out a really powerful electric shock. It's her self-defense mechanism." "Ooh, neat! Try it on me!" "With pleasure." "That musta been one #### of a kiss. You're STILL floating a couple inches off the floor. (Dora's in la-la-land) I don't think I've ever seen you this giddy." (It feels so nice to be pursue, you know?) "Not much of a pursuit, if you ask me." (Maybe not in the traditional sense, but… she stated her case, and it was pretty convincing) "You make it sound like some kinda trial procedure." (And I'm judge, jury and sexecutioner.) Hanners holds the hose: "I'm sorry Dora but I have to turn the hose on you for that pun. Shop rules." Two identical scenarios: "You were so busy smooching you forgot to set up a first date?" "I – I was distracted! I'll call her now." (BOOM! BOOM!) Emily is frightened by the idea! Marten: "I'm pretty sure it would just go to voicemail or something." Tai isn't taking chances: "I'm gonna text her instead, just to be safe." Marten's home: "Man, crazy day today!" Pintsize: "Tell me about it. I saw SEVEN different sparrows on the windows." "If you get bored, why don't you go out and do stuff while I'm at work?" "Because there's nothing I feel like doing outside that won't get me arrested." "Maybe you should channel your creativity into something more constructive." "What, I should take up painting? Robot yoga? BIBLE STUDY? What's the point? I have no purpose. I was designed to be a companion, but I'm lousy at that. I don't have any real interests or skills other than small-scale mayhem. I'm superfluous. Unnecessary. Irrelevant." (pause) "Geez, Pintsize, I didn't realize you felt that-" "Nah, I'm just ####in' with you. If you need me, I'll be wallpapering the bathroom with macro shots of human anuses." Faye's home – with Angus in tow: "Hey Marty. Heard the news?" "Yeah, I think Tai cracked my sternum with her victory hug." Angus slips away: "Be right back" (pause) "Oh geez, I forgot about the bathroom." "Oh no. What did Pintsize do this time?" Angus: "Did you guys know your bathroom is covered in close-up shots of buttholes?" Marty: "Yeah, sorry. I haven't had a chance to take it down yet." "M-maybe you shouldn't. Being surrounded by sphincters while I did my business… It was kind of… mesmerizing." Faye: "I have all sorts of doubts about the long-term viability of our relationship now." Pintsize: "See? I TOLD you we oughta charge for bathroom privileges!" Dora shows up at Tai's apartment wearing her ex-Goth attire (black RWAKE shirt with no right shoulder, a belt with a skull buckle riding low enough to reveal her flame tattoo, torn black leggings and boots); and Tai answers the door wearing… a pink dress with flats! They look down for a moment, then "Ahahahaha" Tai turns to go back in: "Lemme go change." "No, no, you look so cute!" Walking the streets of Northampton – and Tai's wearing a t-shirt and green shorts. "You really didn't have to change. You looked so cute in that dress!" "I woulda spent the whole night worrying about keeping my legs crossed." (AnthroPC on the sidewalk – "WILL







TORRENT 4 CASH") "That's funny, you don't strike me as the particularly modest type." "What makes you say that?" "Well, you got your clit pierced in front of Marten, and you were totally happy to show me…" "Oh $#!+, I totally forgot about that! (pause) Did you like what you saw?" (Dora blush!) "Ah, hahah, sure." "Hell yes. My ##### rules." At the restaurant; "So you've never been with a guy?" "Nope. I kissed a couple, like in high school and stuff, but I always kinda knew I only really liked girls." "Was it weird telling your parents? I know I was super nervous when I told mine I was bi." "No, I was really lucky. They've always been super supportive." "At first my dad was like 'it's just a phase you're going through, like those stupid baggy pants.'" "Um, hello, sexuality isn't a fashion decision." "Yeah, that's what I told him. He said 'look, I don't care if you bring home a boy or a girl or whatever, but those pants are ridiculous.'" Tai gives the eye roll: "I guess that's a somewhat tolerable kind of intolerance." The food's here (where's Sven?); "So is your dad actually okay with you dating girls?" "Oh yeah, he meant what he said. I've brought home a couple girls and he was totally fine. (Burger for Tai, Salad for Dora) Which is good, except it's weird when you catch your father checking out your girlfriend." Tai finds this funny: "If you ever introduce me I'll make sure not to wear anything revealing." Dora pokes at her salad: "Oh, I seriously doubt you'd have to worry about it." Tai is… flabbergasted? Dora drops her fork: "N-no, I didn't mean – (lying through her left nostril) he only goes for tall women!" "WELL MAYBE I'LL WEAR PLATFORMS" (No, this is not a repeat of 1766) "That was tasty." "Let's go to Herrell's (Ice cream parlor in downtown NoHo –in the vicinity of where CoD would be located) for dessert!" "You know, last time I went there on a date I totally freaked out and realized I shouldn't have been dating anyone at the time. I hope it's not cursed! Haha!" (talking about her date with Jim of TSB) Tai has a moment of realization, then suddenly "BUBBLE TEA LET'S GET BUBBLE TEA INSTEAD" (tugging Dora along with her) Bubble tea in hand, Tai finishes her explanation: "…And THAT'S why I prefer European-style dubstep to the Skrillexy American stuff." "It never fails to amaze me how no matter what kind of music you talk about, it's an infinite rabbit hole of subgenres." Tai realizes something: "Oh geez, Marten musta talked about this kind of stuff constantly, I'm sorry!" "No no, it's okay! I wanna get to know you better. Find out what you're passionate about – what you love, what you hate." "H-haha, I guess you don't actually know me super well, huh." Dora tousles her hair: "Exactly! Right now you're just the sexy little redhead who works at the library. But I know there's more to you than that." Tai's face suddenly becomes almost as red as her hair: "Okay, here's a fact about me: I apparently get super flustered when you call me sexy." Dora sips on her tea: "Marten did that a lot too, but I don't mind if you continue the trend." Meanwhile, back at Casa del Marten y Faye: "I wonder how their date is going." Faye is suddenly uncertain as Angus opens a beer in the background: "You sure you're okay with them makin' out?" Marten's getting tired of this: "For the last time, yes!" "Okay, okay, I believe you." Angus isn't sure: "If I were in your position, I'd be wicked uncomfortable." Marten has a seat, putting his beer down on… Pintsize's head? "Well, I'm not." Angus sits on the arm of the couch: "I mean, like, uncomfortably aroused." Faye isn't amused: "You're a pig." "I'm just saying, if you gotta break up with me, at least leave me for a girl." Pintsize joins in: "Leave him for a robot! A GIRL robot!" Faye drinks her beer: "I'm leaving you both for a nunnery." Marten: "Can I come too? I'll be the gardener or something." Dora asks the question we've wondered since we first saw it in strip 691: "So what's the significance of the 'pow'?" "You mean on my elbow? (pointing to it) Well, back in grade school and high school the popular girls would make fun of me, like, for being nerdy and not having boyfriends and stuff. It really got to me. I really like that old Batman TV show, like with the sound effects and stuff, and I used to fantasize just hauling off and smacking 'em. Like, POW! Take that, bitches! (swinging for emphasis) So when I was thinking about my first tattoo, it seemed perfect. A reminder that I'm tough and I kick ass no matter what anyone else thinks. It's empowering, y'know?" "Empowering, hun? I get it." "Oh… oh god, that pun never even occurred to me. Maybe I can get this covered up with a tiger or something." (Which, of course, would be an even WORSE pun)



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Outside the house: "Well, here we are." "Yep." Tai goes for it: "Do you, uh, wanna come in and watch a movie?" "I'd like to, but I should really head home. I'm opening tomorrow morning." Tai is suddenly uncertain: "Did- did you have an okay time? I mean, if you're not feeling this, I totally understand and we can just-" DORA KISSES THE GIRL (with DOUBLE BUTT GRAB)! "I had a good time. And I DO wanna come inside. But I need to take this slow, and I really do have to get up early tomorrow." (Tai has BSoD'ed!) "Tai? Hello?" "How did we get here? Last thing I remember, we were having dinner." (Are those intoxication bubbles?) Sleeping Marten is awoken by Wilco singing "I am trying to break your heart I am trying to-" "H-hello?" "Marten? It's Tai. Are you sleeping?" (sits up on the edge of the bed) "Well, not now. What's up? How'd the date go?" "Pretty well, I think, but… I'm kinda freaking out and I need someone to talk to. Can I come over?" "Uh, sure, I-" KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK – on his bedroom door? He opens it to see Tai holding on to her phone. Facepalming Marty: "I have got to get our lock fixed." "Yeah, it was really easy to jimmy open. Also, I have that same pair of boxers." YELLING BIRD: Happy Labor Day. Seriously, enjoy your hot dogs or whatever. Tai apologizes to Marten: "Sorry for waking you up. I just needed someone to talk to." "None of your other friends were up?" "I, uh… I don't really have 'other friends.'" "What? You talk about them all the time!" (To the kitchen for some OJ) "I've got casual acquaintances and ex-####buddies. I can't talk to THEM about Dora." "But you can talk to her ex?" "I tried callin Faye first but she literally roared at me!" (Pouring some OJ) "Yeah, we better talk outside so we don't wake her." Down the stairs: "It's just… I totally expected her to say no when I asked her out! I wasn't prepared to, like, ACTUALLY GO ON A DATE WITH HER. (hands to face) And now I want this to work so bad, it's driving me crazy." "Didn't you say the date went well?" "I dunno. She said it did. But I invited her back to my place and she turned me down. I mean, she kissed me goodnight, but…" "Did she grab you butt?" (looking over her shoulder) "Oh yeah, she grabbed the hell out of it." "The date went fine. Butt-grabs are Dora-code for 'I'm having fun.'" [14 Dwight Street exterior shot] Out on the doorstop with Marten: "I think you just gotta chill out. If you're freaking out about how much you like Dora, it's not balanced y'know?" "Yeah… It's been a long time since I had an actual serious relationship. (Since before strip 726, btw) It just feels so INTENSE, and I don't wanna mess it up." "If you let it develop naturally, it'll be find. It'll only get messed up if you come on too strong and try to force it." "Yeah, you're right. (nudges into an over-the shoulder hug) Thanks, Marten. I feel a little better already." "No problem." "If you're so insightful about relationships, how come you have such lousy luck with them?" "Well, y'know, friendsight is 20/20." Slurrrppeeee place! Marten: "You really don't have any close friends?" Tai slurps on her drink: "I've got you." "I'm flattered, but I meant, like, other people." "Like I said. I've casual friends and people I've hooked up with. That's pretty much it." "I… I had no idea." "Why do you think I'm always so eager to hang out with you guys?" "I figured it was so you could ogle Dora and Faye." "Well, yeah, but…" The next day at CoD; Faye: "So how'd your date last night go?" "Pretty well, I think…" Faye uses finger quotations: "You think?" Dora looks up: "I can tell Tai's completely infatuated with me already. Which is great, except… I don't really feel that way about her yet, and-" (Full anger mode Faye ACTIVATED) "For Christ's sake dora, you KNEW that! If it was gonna be a problem, you shouldn't have agreed to go out with her in the first place! I KNEW this was a bad idea. You're in NO WAY ready to date anybody right now, and here you go again, screwing things up." Dora is not impressed by Angry Faye: "…And if you had let me FINISH MY SENTENCE, I would've said that it was only a problem because I don't wanna sleep with her until I feel the same way, but she's so cute it's gonna be hard to hold out." (Faye is dejected) "I… you… g##d###it, that's a much more reasonable problem. What am I supposed to do with all this surplus rage now?" Smif Students run into Gabby, Marten & Claire "Hey Annette. Good job on your final." "Thanks Miss Gabby!" (Red Tank Top Girl in background) "You tutor high school students?" "What? Those were first-years. Freshmen. I TA them." "Jesus, they all look like kids to me these days." "How old do I look to you?" "Oh, you're definitely college age." Claire wants in on this: "What about


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me?" "Hmm. With that bag… 8th grade?" Claire defends her Hello Bonercat purse: "I AM TWENTY-FOUR AND THIS IS VINTAGE" Dora: "Hey hon!" Marten: "Hey. How'd the date go?" (Claire has the order list while Marten chats with Dora: "…A large latte, and a 'banana smoothie' for Emily." Hannelore: "It'll be a couple minutes. I have to go wash off the hammer.") "It went well! Tai's so cute." "I'm glad. Where's Faye? I thought she was working this morning?" "She had to go work off some excess rage." Cut to a cross-eyed Angus in bed as Faye's putting her bra back on: "I'm not complaining, but what brought that on?" "It was either that or punch a tree 'til it exploded, and the park service is still mad at me for last time." GUEST STRIP (Maritza Campos): Marten breaks Hannelore's brain. Concerned Angus asks Marigold: "Hey, uh, we didn't, like, disturb you just now, did we?" "What? No." Angus is a bit Marten-like: "That's good. We were, uh, pretty loud and-" "I didn't disturb you last night, did I? Because man. I was like VRRRRR SHLUP SHLUP SHLUP RRRRR WEEE OH YEAH BABY PFFTHBLTH UNF UNF UNF MM YEAH (SLAP SLAP SLAP) I was just goin' crazy. On my genitals." "That's, uh, a little more information than I needed to-" 'WELL MAYBE WE DON'T NEED TO TALK ABOUT EVERY TIME ONE OF US IS DOING SEX STUFF" Momo: "Marigold! I was in the room!" "Do you really spank your bottom when you" "I WAS EXAGGERATING" Hanners: "One freshly-smooshed banana smoothie!" Claire: "Gross, but thanks." Clinton: "Good morning, Ms. Ellicott-Cha-" Both: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE" (Marten: "Whoa, are you guys twins?") "WE'RE NOT TWINS" (Gah! Creepy!) "I'm not creepy, she's creepy!" "I'm not creepy, he's creepy!" ("No, sorry, you two are kinda creepy.") Hanners: "Quick, both of you pick a number between 1 and 256!" Claire chases Clinton out the door as Gabby watches: "Sssssssssss" (Okay, okay! I'm leaving! God!) "He – he didn't say anything weird, did he?" Hanners: "Everything he says is kind of weird." Marten: "He's a total fanboy for Hannelore's dad." Claire makes the connection: "Your dad? Wait, you're Hannelore EllicottChatham?!" Hanners gets out the hose! "Don't make me do this! I don't want to but I will!" Marten, meanwhile, casually slurps his coffee… "I don't even CARE about your stupid dad!" "My dad's not stupid! He's really smart!" "I'm sure he is, I just – I'm not a FAN." "But he's done so much good for the world! Why don't you like him?" "I don't even KNOW him!" Hanners is unimpressed: "I don't know Sir Patrick Stewart but I like HIM." "Marten, help!" "Sorry, but I've met her dad and he's pretty cool." "See?" "Anyway, I'm sorry about my brother." (CONFIRMATION!) "It's okay. I don't think he means any harm." (Blackboard-vision!) "Can I ask you a question?" "Sure!" "Aren't your parents, like, billionaires? Why are you working in a coffee shop in Northampton?" "Isn't it obvious? This is all a simulation designed to teach me how to interact with people in the real world." "If that's true then whoever programmed it is a dick." "Is there an infinite guitars cheat and if so can you activate it for me?" (ASK ME HOW TO DRAW A KITTY!) Special Tumblr edition: Hannelore shows us how to draw a kitty! (She gets a little carried away…) Claire "clarifies" things: "Like I said, we're not twins. I'm 24 and Clinton is 21." Marten: "How'd he end up with the robot hand, anyway?" "He was playing with fireworks and one blew up while he was holding it." Gabby: "That's awful!" "I guess." "You guess? He blew his hand off!" "If you knew how much he loved having a robot hand, you wouldn't feel bad for him either." "Maybe he loves it so much because it means he's not missing a hand." Marten: "Modern cybernetics is really sending mixed messages to kids. 'Don't play with fireworks, or you'll end up with sweet robot body parts.'" Tai greets them – wearing a Chris Kluwe Vikings jersey! "Mornin' guys." And Emily wants her Banana Smoothie! "I thought you had it!" "I – I must've left it there!" EVIL FOREBODING EMILY! "You… forgot… my smoothie?" Leaning down over Claire, with unintentional devil horns "You know what this means?" She backs up – and we see the "horns" were really the edge of a picture frame, and she pulls a banana out of her pocket: "I get to make it myself!" (pause) "Haha, it's warm from my butt heat."






Emily and Momo chat once again: "Why do you work here?" "My friend Marigold bought me this chassis and I want to repay her." "You mean your owner?" "I am not property. We entered into the standard mutual-companionship contract and are friends." "Why did you decide to be a companion AI and not a toaster?" "People seemed more interesting than making toast." "Mmm. If they ever figure out mind uploading, I wanna be a toaster." Emily continues the questions: "How does getting an AnthroPC work?" Momo (as she's plugging in to what looks like an MP3 player) "You go to a certified matchmaking service. They introduce you to potential companion AIs, and if you get along and pass the background checks, you sign the contract. Either party can choose to end the relationship at any time, without penalty. But in an ideal situation, the contract is merely a formality. A true friendship forms, and everything works out." "It seems sad that you need a contract for making friends." "I chose this for myself. It is a job. Companion AIs are the ambassadors of our kind. We foster understanding and acceptance between humans and AIs. I cannot think of a more noble calling. And if it were not for my job, I would never have met Marigold, or any of my other friends. I feel incredibly fortunate. (pulls USB connector out of her ear) Wait a minute. You are a computer science student. How do you not know any of this already?" "I spent all of AI 101 looking at cat gifs." "Is it frustrating to have to slow your thought processes down to human speeds?" (What?) "You're a computer. You must think way faster than we do." (The vast majority of my processing power goes toward maintaining my sentience. The signal pathways may be more efficient than your biological model, but the temporal experience of being sentient is not notably different.) "If it's a matter of processing power, then the big Ais must think faster." (They do not think the same way you or I do. When you receive trillions of inputs at once, there is no way to translate that kind of processing into human thought patterns. Thinking on a human level is just another subroutine for them. Why should it be frustrating, when the bulk of their attention is directed elsewhere?) "That's kind of creepy to think about." (Yes, we try not to mention it in the brochures.) "AAAA! AAAUGH!" "What's wrong?" "I accidentally spoiled a plot point for a video game on Twitter and now the whole internet is mad at me!" "Did you try… apologizing?" "It's too late for that. The damage has already been done. There's… there's only one way out for me now…" "Cat GIFs?" "Lots of cat GIFs." (Which @MarigoldFarmer actually posted to her twitter feed.) Emily skips in and hands Marten [GY!BE shirt!] an envelope. "What is this?" "Open it and see! Hee hee hee!" He looks – hearts? Tai appears: "Oh hey, Emily invited you too!" "This is an invitation?" "Yeah, what'd you think it was, a love letter?" (meaningful pause and eye roll) "OH MY GOD YOU ARE PRECIOUS" "Sh-shut up! Shut it all the way up!"



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You are invited to a Party! When: This Saturday night to Sunday morning! Where: My parents' lake house! What: Games, Swimming, a cookout + other fun things! I hope you are able to come! Emily Azuma 
"Can you come?" "Daah! I, uh, yeah, I think I can make it." "Yayyyy! You should invite all your friends, too! There's plenty of room!" "All of them? I've kind of got a lot of friends." "How many is a lot? A thousand? A thousand people would probably be too many." "How big is your parents' lake house?" Faye in the waitress dress: "Hey butta$$, what's up?" Marten (with Tai in tow) "Emily the intern is throwing a party at her parents' lake house. Wanna come?" Dora comes in (with the pink offshoulder top) "Am I invited too?" "Oh yeah, def"(AAH! AAAAH!) Tai tugs at Marten's shirt – SIGH. "One of my interns is throwing a party. Wanna come?" Faye is reading Gossip Rag on the couch at Angus' place as Marigold emerges to get a drink… in a tank-top and shorts. Angus gets caught looking! SMACK! "OW!" Marigold: "What was that?" Both Angus and Faye: "Nothing" Faye, Angus, Marten, Marigold and Momo are ready to head to Emily's party; Faye: "Ready to go? Everyone got their swimsuits?" Marigold (looking down toward Momo): "I don't have a swimsuit." Faye: "You can borrow one of mine! We're basically the same size." "B-but…" "No buts!" (Faye waits outside her bedroom door for a moment, then knocks) "Well?" "I – I can't wear this!" "Here, lemme see." (closed door, then a shocked Faye closing the door)








Marten: "No good?" Faye: "Too good. She looks better in it than I do." Marten and Angus at the same time: "Daaaaaaaaaaang" Marigold (still in the bedroom) "STOP DANGING ME" A Ford Focus drives through the woods of Central Massachusetts: "Where the #### are we?" "No idea. Momo?" "My GPS indicates that we should turn here." Angus: "Turn where? You mean there? (Sign on a gravel driveway: "NO OUTLET") This is a trap, isn't it. Emily's luring us into the woods so she can hunt us for sport." FLICK! Faye: "I'm prepared." (Marten, Momo and Marigold are a bit taken aback – in the back) A nice little cottage on the lake; Marten: "Good thing I didn't invite a thousand people." Faye: "You don't even know a thousand people." Marten pokes his head in the front door with Momo: "Hello? Emily? Anybody home?" The four walk to the kitchen entrance – where Emily appears with hockey mask and hatchet! Angus: "Called it." Faye flicks out her knife and Momo hides behind Marten. YELLING BIRD: "JUMP FOR IT, PRIMATE" (Jeph's giving up smoking) …and there's no commentary about the mask and hatchet… "Are we the first people here?" "Gabby's out on the dock." Meanwhile, Marigold had come in – and sees something: "IS THAT A SUPER NINTENDO" Marten tries to do the introductions: "You've met Faye – this is her boyfriend Angus." "Nice to-" CRASH Marigold has found the SNES cartridges! "And that's Marigold." I LIKE VIDEO GAMES Faye notices something as they greet Gabby: "Wait, if we didn't bring her, how's Hanners getting here?" Marten isn't sure: "I dunno. She said she had a ride." "Hey guys!" (They all look up – at Hannelore hanging on a harness attached to… nothing!) "What… what did we just see?" Hannelore unbuckles her harness: "Nothing!" Marten's mind is still blown: "Seriously, what was-" "Sorry, I'm not allowed to tell anyone." Faye: "Figures." Marten (as Gabby is still looking up nervously): "Well, at least you made it here. I'm gonna go see if Emily needs help with food." Angus: "I'm gonna get into my swimsuit." Hannelore is all alone… and looks up at a slightly faded outline above her: "You wouldn't fit inside anyway, and mom will be mad if you're not back at the test facility by dark." Stealth AI voice: "I never get to have any fun." Faye's in her suit; "I just saw Steve and Cosette pull in." Marten: "Oh, cool." Emily is getting out the peppers: "Hooray, more friends!" Marten puts the cutting board down and asks the obvious: "When do your friends get here?" Emily: "You and Gabby are here already, and Claire and Tai should arrive any time now." She contemplates a green pepper as Marten stammers out a realization: "N-no, I mean your other… oh. (To Faye) Oh lord, we've adopted another one." Faye: "If she follows you home, you're in charge of feeding her." Emily munches: "I like greem pepperth!" Steve is impressed: "####, this is a nice place." Marten leans on the deck railing: "I know, right?" "Are you seriously the only single dude here among all these beautiful ladies?" "A: shut up, and B: no, Clinton is here too." Cut to Claire and Clinton – who is in nothing but a Speedo – standing on the edge of the dock: "For the love of god, put on a different swimsuit" "No. This one is ideally hydrodynamic." Both Steve and Marten look on, before Steve puts his hand on Marten's shoulder: "Yeah, you got this one, bro." Hannelore notices something as she looks in her bag: "Shoot, I forgot my sunscreen." Emily is helpful: "Here, use mine!" FSSSST "Ackpth!" "There, all done." "Th-thanks." Emily smiles as she's helped a friend; Wandering over to see Marigold involved in SNES: "Battletoads?" "Yup." Suddenly, an ORANGE HANNELORE appears! "There is a difference between sunscreen and tanning lotion" "There is?" Faye's a little cold: "Holy ####nipples that's cold!" Marten's already in the water (with a swimming noodle): "You get used to it." Tannelore: "Watch out for dragonfly larvae!" Meanwhile, down the stairs comes Steve, with Claire looking on: "Aww yeah, gonna get my swim on" Blushing Claire is blushing – which Cosette (and her polka-dot bikini) notices: "Twenty bucks and I'll let you grab his butt." "I DON'T WANNA GRAB HIS lemme go get my wallet" Marten, Faye and Steve are in the water: "I really hope this is a rock I'm standing on and not a snapping turtle." Emily swims by: "Muskrat muskrat muskrat muskrat" The confused looks are exchanged, then… Faye: " Muskrat muskrat muskrat muskrat" Steve: " Muskrat muskrat muskrat"






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Just when you thought it was safe to float in the middle of the lake, Marten… SLOSH (What the-) SLPRSH THRASH SLOSH (Aaagh! Aaaaugh!!) BLOOSH Momo EMERGES! "Gabby wanted me to tell you the hotdogs are ready." (There are RAFTS under the DECK) Emily and Marten greet the wayward duo of Dora and Tai: "We woulda got here like 3 hours ago but we took a wrong turn." Dora and Tai are somewhat SHOCKED when they realize: "Sorry, this is 24 North Pine Island Road. You're lookin' for South Pine Island Road." (said the older, overweight nudist). Emily is speechless and embarassed! Marten: "And it took you 3 hours to find the right street?" Tai and Dora, looking away together: "Well…" Dora: "Theeth cookieth are AMATHING. Theriouthly, I'll thell 'em at my thop." Naked older lady: "Oh, you!" Tai (who is playing cards with the older guy): "You sure you don't wanna come with us?" "No, no, you young folks have your fun." Clinton is out of the water, on the back deck, and talking to a very wet Momo: "You're lucky. This thing seizes up completely if it gets any water in it." Momo: "If you used the recommended synthetic covering, you would not have that problem." Marigold asks the obvious question: "How'd you lose your hand, anyway?" "Marigold, that is a rude question!" "No no, I don't mind talking about it. (closing his eyes dramattically) It all started back when I was thirteen years old" Claire: "He jacked off so much his hand withered into a claw and fell off." Angry stare, Emily turns, Claire just holds her earnest look. Marigold, of course, is clueless: "That doesn't make sense. Wouldn't that make your hand stronger?" Same with Momo: "At the very worst, it might lead to some sort of repetitive stress injury. Necrosis seems highly-" It was a fireworks accident Hannelore sees Marigold in the kitchen: "Aren't you going to go swimming?" "Nope." "Why not? Is it the swimsuit?" Faye: "Dunno why. She looks cute in it." "No I don't! I look like a total flabosaurus!" Hanners: "You are not a flabosaurus!" Faye: "Okay, hang on. Is this 'I'm genuinely uncomfortable with this swimsuit' reluctance, or 'I secretly wanna be convinced to wear it' reluctance?" (Marigold's been discovered) "…Can it be both?" Faye: "Okay, let's compromise. Wear the bikini with a t-shirt over it." Hanners: "Genius" Marigold's got the t-shirt on in the bathroom, and realizes: "This is stupid." She comes out of the bathroom, sans t-shirt* and runs into Marten in the kitchen: "Hey, lookin' good! (blush) I – I didn't mean that to be, like CREEPY. I just meant I know you're, like, nervous about that bathing suit, but- you shouldn't be! 'Cause it looks really good! (digging himself deeper) I mean, not that you need me, or anyone, to validate how you look. It should be on your own terms, because likeohgodshutup" CHUGCHUGCHUG The Drawing Of Claire. * - This is where the problems started. Repeat of 1948: Raven's got the Espressosaur figured out! RRRRUMBLE KRAK FLASH! "Wh... what did you..." "If my calculations are correct, it should reappear in 96763 seconds with an amazing cup of espresso." [Actually, it took longer than that...] GUEST STRIP (Wes and Tony): Pintsize discovers it's not easy being Marten GUEST STRIP (Bryant Paul Johnson): Spaceship comes down to visit – but with a catch. GUEST STRIP (Lily Hoyda & "Tank"): Faye's babysitting, welding and cupcake-making service impresses Angus GUEST STRIP (Spike from Templar, AZ): Pintsize's new moneymaker: FANSUBS! English to Fandom translations! (Casually Racist Horsebabies; You Don't See It Cuz You're A Homophobe; Wait There's A Game Seriuzly Since When) Marigold isn't sure: "Quixotic Enhancements for the Entitled Parasite." It's… HANDELORE! GUEST STRIP (Veronica Vera, Bittersweet Candy Bowl): Emily has a question: "What would your nose do?" Turns out – DISCO PARTY! GUEST STRIP (Special Saturday Edition): Wait a minute – who the heck are these hacks who put together THIS guest strip? C'mon. A barrell of monkeys could do better. GUEST STRIP (Special Sunday Edition; Danielle Corsetto) Your feet are soft… wait, what? The Party Montage – Hannelore, Marten, Marigold (smug), Cosette: "Marigold was the last werewolf!" "What?!" "I knew it!" Faye, Emily (SNIP!) and Claire: "Whoa!" "You're next!" "Get away" Clinton and Steve: "Pinned you again! Take another shot." "You gotta unfair mechanical 'vantage!" Tai and Gabby – in the








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lake, in the dark, in the buff: "Skinny dipping is kinda boring when it's just two people." "Yeah. I'm gonna go back inside." Drunk Emily wants to play a drinking game! Faye: "Okay, which one?" Hanners: "Ooh, I know a good one! (Please elucidate) Well, we all sit in a circle, and when your turn comes up, you take a drink and say something nice about the person to your left. Then it's their turn, and so on. (That's not really a GAME, Hanners. That's just group therapy with booze.) You're right, it's a stupid idea. I'm- (Are you kidding? This is gonna be GREAT.)" Claire suddenly wants to "trade seats with somebody." Emily's turn! "Marten is a good person to work with" Marten: "Aw, thanks. (turns to his left) Faye's my-" "And he introduced me to so many nice people today!" "N-no prob" "And he showed me how to make a margarita. OF WHICH I HAVE HAD SEVERAL" (Faye) "AND HE HAS FUNNY HAIR" (bonk) "I know it's my turn, but I better move before she barfs on me." Faye: "I understand." (Oh, you DEFINITELY understand.) Claire: "Even though he's a total jerk sometimes, he's still a good brother." Clinton: "You smell." Hannelore: "Dora is patient with me even when the espresso machine makes a loud noise and scares me and I have to hide in the back room for a while." Cosette: "Ohmigod, it scares me too!" Faye: "Angus puts up with my ####." Angus: "And I have an amazing ####." (I wouldn't call it amazing.) Steve: "I love you man! I love you!" Marten: "Dude we have talked about this" (a LONG time ago) Marten wanders out onto the dock – finding Claire; "We've lost Steve as well as Emily now. (Did you stack them in the closet?) Steve went to bed on his own. We tried moving Emily but she did that floppy boneless thing cats do when they don't wanna be picked up. (noticing her look) You okay? (Yeah, just getting some air. Pause You have nice friends.) You're one of 'em now!" (meaningful pause) "I'm-" "HEY ASSFARTS (Enter drunk Faye and drunk Angus) YER OCCUPYIN' PRIMO MAKEOUT REAL ESTATE, EITHER GET KISSY OR GO BACK INSIDE" "Nice friends. Right." "Marten…" "What's up?" "I… I'm trans. And… since we're friends, I thought you'd like to know that about me." "Yeah, sure. Thanks for tellin' me, Claire." (pause) "Now let's get back inside before Faye and Angus start making slurping noises." "Is that something they do?" "I'd rather not find out." Claire: "Is there anything you wanna know?" (Marten: Whatever you feel comfortable tellin' me. No pressure.) Okay, well, I identify as female, and I started transforming my first year in college. I've been on hormone replacement therapy since then. (I should ask – how open do you want me to be about this?) Um, quiet but honest, I guess? Like, I'd prefer if you didn't just TELL everybody, but if they straight up ask, that's okay. (Gotcha.) How did you know I wanted coffee, anyway? (I dunno, this just seems like the sorta thing you talk about over coffee.)" Clinton appears on the scene: "Is there any coffee left?" Marten: "Yeah, lemme get you some." Claire: "I told Marten. About me." "Y-you did? (turns and swipes the coffee from a surprised Marten) He wasn't a #### about it, was he?!" "What? No! He was really nice!" (Clinton sips the coffee, a wary eye on Marten) "Hm. Maybe you're such a bad guy after all." Upset Marten is upset! "IWh- 'After all?' Gimme that coffee back!" OMG Turkeys 2012! Exit Marten, stage right; Claire and Clinton have a family talk: "Thanks for not spilling the beans." "Don't thank me, you'll jinx it." "You really worry about accidentally outing me, don't you." "I just… wanna make sure you're safe." "You're the best little brother I could ever ask for, Clinton." "Does that mean you'll pick on me less?" "I'll try. But you're really fun to pick on." "*Sigh* I know." Emily wakes with a headache – and a Double Ahoge! "Muh. (to Gabby) What happened last night? ("You passed out super-early.") Aww (grabbing her now-shorn hair) Oh my god where did my hair go ("You chopped it off.") I am never drinking again." Faye enters: "Mornin', toots. Mimosa?" "Ooh, yes please!" Cleanup time! Tai: "The beds are made!" Steve: "I put all the bottles in the recycling bin." Faye: "Dishwasher's runnin'." Happy Emily (still with a double ahoge): "Yay! Thank you!" One person's still not ready to go, however: Marten: "Time to go, Marigold." "But I'm not at a save point!" Emily: "I'm sticking around for a while. I can give her a ride back to town." Emily settles in on the chair next to Marigold… and the daylight becomes dusk… and then becomes night; Emily's passed out – and the Azumas show up! Mom Azuma: "Er, hello, are you a friend of our daughter's?" "Sssh, I'm fighting Kefka."






Dinner with the 'rents: "The peas are excellent today." "thank you, dear." (sheepish Marigold is sheepish) "I'm really sorry for staying too long. I got caught up in the game and-" "Nonsense! It's wonderful to meet one of our daughter's friends!" Emily: "Actually, we barely know each other at all!" (Mom's unsure, and Marigold's even more so) "I… I see…" Hannelore rises! "What day is it?" "Do you know her?" Emily shrugs: "Sort of!" "Hey Pintsize, we're back." "Hey." Momo has a seat: "Do you get bored being left here by yourself?" Marten: "I'd invite him along if I thought he'd behave." "And I'd behave if I didn't find human parties so dull." "What do you do all day, then?" "Do you have any idea how much pornography there is on the internet?" "Ugh, no." "Neither do I. BUT I INTEND TO FIND OUT." Momo's taken aback: "Why did you sign up to be a companion AI if all you want to do is look at pornography all day?" "Hey, I DID the companion thing. I was Marten's only friend here for two years. Then Steve came along, and then he met Faye, and now here he is going to parties all weekend. He's got plenty of friends now. My job is done." Momo is surprised! "You mean you're not friends anymore?!" "W'ere still friends, he's jut got a LIFE now. Which means I can relax a little." "I never though about it like that." "You and Marigold have a different dynamic. But there's a lot of different ways to do this job." "What're you guys talking about?" "Oh, you know. Butts, @$$€$. The usual." Momo asks the question: "How did you and Pintsize end up as companions, anyway? You seem so… different." "Well.." [FLASHBACK!] Companion Connection [Your Friend In Robotics] APC: "So, you're here to find an AnthroPC companion?" "Uh, yeah." "Here's the price sheet for our various chassis options." "Wow, these are all really expensive." "Well then, (disrobing) let's see if you qualify for our 'discount program'." "Obtuse metaphor correlating credit rating with ##### size." [Momo is SHOCKED! Marten is TICKED! Pintsize is trying not to GIGGLE!] "There was no sex involved." Pintsize: "Well it's my headcanon and you should respect that." "How did it really happen, then?" [FLASHBACK – the real one] CC-APC: "Okay, in order to pair you up with your ideal companion AI, we're going to have you fill out this short questionnaire." Marten's a bit incredulous: "You can figure out what kind of person I am just from this?" CC-APC: "WE also monitor your body's autonomic responses as you fill it out. It's over 99% accurate." "How do you monitor myaaaAAAAAAAGH!" The ArachnoPC! "Don't be nervous! There are no wrong answers!" (Reassuring pats on the shoulder aren't working for Marten. CC-APC: "Okay Mr. Reed, your evaluation is in! [Sign behind her: ROBOTS ARE YOUR FRIEND!] (takes paper down from a "grip" from the ceiling; looks at it and frowns) THAT one? (looks ahead) Gordon, are you SURE about this?" Gordon the ArachnoPC: "The biometrics look good to me!" (Marten: "please get off my head") "O-okay, before you meet your new companion, I should probably go over our return procedure. And our criminal liability agreement. And our insurance policies." ("my head please get off it" ) "…Then they brought out Pintsize, I took him home, and the rest is history." "But… but that is all wrong! You were frightened of Gordon! That would have completely thrown off your biometrics, leading to a totally inaccurate compatibility rating with Pintsize!" "You mean…" "You should not have been assigned Pintsize as your companion." (Meaningful pause as man and robot frown at each other, then Marten) "Well, it worked out all right in the end, so" "YOU MEAN I COULDA BEEN WITH A HOT CHICK THIS WHOLE TIME?!" Marten given Faye the scoop: "…So it turns out I shouldn't have ended up with Pintsize after all." "Does that mean it's not too late to return him?" "Nah, I'm happy with him. Even if he is an @$$ sometimes." "Hmm. He does make me look like a better roommate by comparison. Still, I wonder what kinda robot you were supposed to end up with." [Pintsize is snapping into a Slim Jim next to Marten] "I guess we'll never know." Alternate reality: Marten rides his CetaPC Robot WHALE!!!! YELLING BIRD: Hammered! Pintsize SNAPS INTO A SLIM JIM! Nyomnyom… "WHAT ARE YOU DOING" "SAVORING it." Emily enters Casa del Marten! "Your apartment is very blue!" Apologetic Marigold (with Hanners) "Thanks for watchin' Momo." "No, uh, problem." Emily meets Pintsize! "Ooh! Hello!" "Hel-



LO!" DONK! <-9999 HIT POINTS!> (Later on: Emily holds the bag of peas on her hand as she is near tears) "His head looked soft! I thought it would be soft!" "And your first instinct was to punch him?" (0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144…) Momo brings up a question to Marigold: "Do I give you enough space?" (Huh?) "I mean… you are making lots of human friends now, and I do not want to get in the way." (You're my best friend. You're not gonna 'get in the way'.) "Are you sure?" (Yeah. Introspective moment: "Do I give you enough space?" "Emotionally, yes. Sartorially, I could use some more closet space." (Jeph: Upgrading to a chassis that wears clothes has drastically increased Momo's living-space footprint.) Marigold queries while Momo lets her hair down: "Do you want, like, your own room or anything?" (No, no, our current arrangement is fine. I do not need much space.) "Maybe we should get bunk beds." [Callback to 2124!] (I do not need a bed, Marigold. I can sleep perfectly well sitting up.) "I know, I just wanna make sure you're comfortable." (I appreciate the thought, but I do not require the same sort of creature comforts as a human does.) "I wonder where Pintsize sleeps. In Marten's room?" (Momo's sarcasm subroutine kicks in: "In a Faraday cage? Duct taped to the wall? In a lead-lined box at the bottom of the ocean?")




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