The Morning Line: 10 Things You Might Not Know About "Dennis"
TEN THINGS You Might Not Know About "Dennis the Menace":
1. Despite decades of rumor to the contrary, Dennis is not a lifelong root-beer addict, hopped up on Hines. Today's panel perpetuates this vicious rumor -- which some believe to have been started by Margaret in a fit of jealousy.
2. "Dennis" is best read days or weeks at a time, so the mischievous misadventures of this lovable scamp take on a more compelling quality.
3. By viewing two of this week's strips in quick succession, for instance, we get proof-positive that Dennis is NOT addled from binging on frosty A&W drink. No, turns out this endearing rapscallion merely likes to take luxurious baths in the froth of a root-beer brew. (Dennis cites this as his secret to younger-looking skin after 57 years.)
4. Mr. Wilson cannot be faulted for his gruffness. Not because of Dennis's lovable high-jinks, mind you, but because ol' man Wilson was a lifelong letter carrier who all but admits to his deep-rooted urge to "go postal" on Dennis.
5. Nor can Dennis's dad, Henry, be faulted for his eye-rolling impatience with this son. The man has survived the troubled aerospace industry -- how much more can he take?
6. Nor can Dennis's mom, Alice, be faulted for her lip-pursing impatience. She has a fear of snakes, and one never knows what will turn up in Dennis's laundry.
7. Best pal Joey often looks nervous, jittery, a bit paranoid. Joey, we suspect, is hopped-up on root beer. Resist the urge, Joey -- near as we can tell, you've been clean for five panels now.
8. Were she allowed to age into adolescence, Margaret, we are convinced, would get a body part pierced. Right after she'd had it tattooed. Her lips say "Tracy Flick," but her eyes say "future Amy Winehouse."
9. Were she allowed to age into adulthood, Gina, we are certain, would be Rachael Ray.
10. Ron Ferdinand, one of the late Hank Ketcham's long-time assistants, continues to co-create "Dennis." (We chatted him up once and he's a great guy.) Our childhood thanks him for staying true to the rascally spirit of Dennis, although we would have liked a word-up years ago -- before "Dennis" led to our own pathetic addiction to root beer.
So mere days after Sarah Palin gets tapped by McCain, we get our second woman vice presidential candidate of the season -- but will the Winslow/Carmen ticket see any bounce? And more important: How many days does "Prickly City" take to vet a candidate?...
| September 4, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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