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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 09/ 3/2008

The Morning Line: On the 'Trail' of Love, Lust and Caution

By Michael Cavna

Twin damsels in distress! One shining white knight, radiant with Brylcreemed hair! The snarling threat of Mother Nature! And o, that ever-treacherous cavern!

Pell-mell arrives the "other woman," Kelly Welly. (NAS) Enlarge Comic

You could read the current "Mark Trail" story-line without hint of metaphor, allegory or innuendo, but you would do so at your own peril. To travel the "Trail" without packing the proper literary device is a fool's errand. (Godspeed to those who try, but you'll die on the mountain from intellectual starvation or soul-crushing boredom.)

Instead, join those of us who bellow: "We're on to you, Mr. Elrod!" We know full well that this whole rockslide rescue is no mere adventure tale. Out of either intrigue or ennui, we see it is an elaborate metaphor for the perilous path to undying love and marital devotion -- to say nothing of steamy conjugal visits amid the stalagmites.

Look -- there! -- our hero is finally entering the denuded stony perch (yes, kids, "denuded" is a geological term) where, upon rescue, impassioned female sexuality is unleashed. He has reached his devoted Cherry Trail, only to be intercepted by Kelly Welly. All we can do is advise the surprised Mark Trail to make sure Kelly has set down her camera, or this whole sordid story might end up on YouTube.

Do we overembellish? To that, we would reply: Who cares? It's so much more fun this way. Even Jack Elrod must realize that.


Thank Borgman & Scott for sparing us the graphic details. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

LESSONS IN CARTOONING: Speaking of PG-13-rated funnies, mention of Papa Duncan's "butt crack" in "Zits" reminds us of a working cartoonist who tells a story of being fired for drawing rear cleavage against his editor's wishes. So the lesson to be learned, apparently, is that you can say certain words as long as you spare readers the unsettling image.

Here comes the family that knows from corn. (KFS) Enlarge Comic

SALLY FORTH: Another sign that the Forth family is even more dysfunctional than yours. This scene of rural adventure smacks of being part "Field of Dreams," part "North by Northwest" and part "Children of the Corn." And much to our vexation: The last panel cuts out right as the action is getting some kind of interesting...

By Michael Cavna  | September 3, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: The Interview: 'Hulk' Writer Jeph Loeb


Interesting, then, that Mark Trail can use a visual metaphor for the tunnel of love, but Zits can use only (thank goodness) a verbal reference to Walt's plumber cleavage. Meanwhile, though, we see today that Luann is headed to the tattoo parlor to get some skin art. Will this be something that she can show us on her bicep or ankle, or will it be something in a place that she can only describe and not show? Oh, the dilemma!

Posted by: Seismic-2 | September 3, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

What is sad is Mark Trail has been nothing but repeats for a LONG time!! I am not aware of Elrod's passing. If so, my condolences to the family; if not when is he going to do new script?!!

Posted by: John Messano | September 3, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Elrod is really toying with his viewers--you don't think the shape of the, uh, cave entrance is that Freudean by accident, do you?

Posted by: wdc | September 3, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"THRESHER!" That sub sunk decades ago. Threshing machines are for grains like wheat or oats. This is CORN! Farmers call it a "corn picker", "picker/sheller" or maybe "combine".

Posted by: MSchafer | September 3, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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