Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Big Deal

Lita: Today we shall learn all about the New Deal.

wurwolf: FDR'D!

wurwolf: That's a power shake going on there on the cover. Manly men are conducting business.

Lita: It is a shake between two men who each want to prove their masculinity by breaking the other's hand.

Lita: Ronnie really is a lousy con man. He keeps getting caught.

wurwolf: I've never had to bail someone out of jail before, but I wonder if when you do so you get to stand right there and watch them walk out the jail cell door.

Lita: Once when I was babysitting somebody called the house asking for bail money. I hung up.

wurwolf: LOL! So someone used their one phone call from jail and you hung up on them?

Lita: I'm there to keep the children from drinking rat poison, not to bail their slimebag relatives out of the clink

wurwolf thinks that's the funniest thing she's ever heard.

Lita: I do have to applaud the realism in that first panel, though. My dad was a cop back in the day, and I can totally envision him in a jailhouse looking at some guy getting bailed out and thinking, "Creep!"

wurwolf: I can't say the cop is wrong. Janet's brother sure does look like a creep.

Lita: Is Janet the chick who was taking college classes a couple of tracts ago?

wurwolf: She sure is. So this guy getting out of jail is Jason's cousin, too.

Lita: More importantly, look at the wall in the second panel. Dracula and Frankenstein are wanted by the law?!

wurwolf: Oh come on, they're beloved by all. What crime could they have committed?

Lita: The eating of faces, I suppose.

Lita: (That's FACES. Not FECES.)

wurwolf: I think the guy in the bottom right corner is in jail for the eating of feces.

wurwolf: I wonder if any of those cops are gay.

wurwolf: Maybe the cops aren't gay. I don't see any earrings.

wurwolf: No one's yelling KISS ME!

wurwolf: Ronnie is all, Hey dog! How's it going? The dog is having none of it.

Lita: The dog knows better than to trust anybody who does the fingergun.

wurwolf: The dog was drawn by guest artist, Art Spiegelman.

Lita: Ronnie is turning into Jack Nicholson.

wurwolf: Oh yeah, he's totally giving off a Jack Nicholson vibe.

Lita: He's also giving his sister the sexy eye. He must have been locked up for a while.

wurwolf: Yo, Janet. You can move your car seats back. You don't need to sit that close to the dashboard.

Lita: Maybe she has really short legs.

wurwolf: Then Ronnie's all jammed up into the dash, too.

wurwolf: Also: thinnest steering wheel ever. It's more a hoop than a steering wheel.

Lita: Or maybe she drives kids around a lot. Whenever I get into a car owned by somebody who drives kids around the seats are always way forward and the backs are straight up.

Lita: And then I fumble around for five minutes to find the lever to adjust the seat and they don't help at all. They're like, "La la la, my car is uncomfortable to all but insane children, la la la."

wurwolf: You may be right. You gotta get as far away from those kids in the backseat as possible.

wurwolf: So Bob has a last name: Williams. Sounds generic enough. Not too ethnic or anything.

Lita: I really love the dynamic shown in the panel just after Bob meets Ronnie. Allow me to dissect it, if I may.

wurwolf: Go right ahead.

Lita: Ronnie just assumes that whatever Janet told Bob was bad. Either Ronnie is such an asshead that there's simply nothing good to say about him, or Bob said, "Janet told me all about you" in such a snotty smarmy way that it was clear what kinds of things were said.

Lita: Either way, clearly Bob and Janet have been engaging in the sin of gossip.

wurwolf: Good point.

wurwolf: I wondered why Ronnie was bothered by Janet possibly telling Bob about Ronnie's misdeeds. If he was looking forward to meeting Bob for some potentially illegal activities, don't you think he would be happy that she told Bob about him?

Lita: My favorite part, though, is Janet cruising out of the bottom of the panel with a calculating grin on her face.

Lita: Obviously, either through mere sibling rivalry or because he keeps bugging her to bail him out, she hates her brother and loves to torture him when she gets the chance.

Lita: Thus she has unleashed The Bob on him, and can now leave, satisfied that Ronnie will not escape.

wurwolf: It's like she's finally had enough of Ronnie's bullshit and she has released the kraken known as Bob on him.

Lita: That one look has made me love Janet. Now that I look at the earlier panel in the car, she gets the same look as she mentions that she is taking Ronnie to meet Bob. This is my kind of woman. I can only hope she won't ruin it later.

Lita: I wish I had a Bob that I could introduce my irritating relatives to.

wurwolf: Sadly, I've had a Bob as a relative. It's a nightmare.

Lita: I don't, by any means, want to be related to Bob. I just want to have a tenuous enough relationship that I can introduce him to people I don't like, and then not talk to him at all at any other time.

wurwolf: Bob looks like Michael McKean with dark hair there.

wurwolf: I like their circular booth. It looks like they're in one of those sleazy lounges in LA.

Lita: "I'm dead"? Why is Ronnie so upset that Bob knows he's a crook? I thought everybody knew he was a crook.

wurwolf: And why would Ronnie care if Bob knew? So what?

Lita: Is Bob in homeland security or something?

Lita: If I told my sleazy cousin that I told Bob about how sleazy he was, he'd just be like, "Ok." And then he'd make a disgusting sexual comment and leave his bong in my grandma's kitchen.

Lita: And realistically, right now my cousin knows exactly as much about Bob as Ronnie does.

wurwolf: You can already see that Ronnie's going to be an easy conquest for Bob.

wurwolf: Ronnie's as dumb as Hunter was in the last tract. "Sure! Who is he?"

Lita: Note the suddenly blank yet depressed stare on Janet's face. She's suddenly realized the flaw in her cunning plan. She will have to listen to this whole story.

wurwolf: And she just realized she's caught between them. No quietly slipping off to the "ladies room" for her.

Lita: She is currently contemplating sliding down in her seat between Bob and Ronnie and crawling out of the restaurant.

Lita: Go for it, Janet. Nobody would blame you.

wurwolf: Hell no.

wurwolf: Esau is a combination of Ernest Borgnine and Barry Gibb.

Lita: They remembered to make him all hairy.

Lita: I am now forbidding all Robin Williams jokes! Do not do it!

wurwolf bites her lip.

wurwolf: Jacob's scheming ways are obvious because he's sitting in the dark. Esau is out in the big, bright, dumb sunlight.

Lita: Bob... Please... what is a birthright???

Lita reads the caption at the bottom

Lita: Oh... something you have a right to... from birth.... Phew, that was tough.

wurwolf: I was stumped by that one, too. I'm so glad Bob explained it to us.

wurwolf: And I have question. It's pretty clear by this time that Bob's talking about a Bible story. He's not talking about two dudes he grew up with. Why hasn't Ronnie bailed by now? What guy who spends time in and out of jail would sit still as soon as he suspected anything religious?

Lita: The chaplain has had to have moseyed past Ronnie's cell a few times by now.

wurwolf: I think Bob has a hypnotic stare, like a snake, that holds his prey still until he's ready to strike.

Lita: That would explain those scary, empty, clear, colorless eyes.

wurwolf: Lita, what do you think? Do you think Esau will be dumb enough to do it?

Lita: Look at Esau. What he ought to do is say, "I'm the heir, Mofo" and punch Jacob in the face. Then he can eat what he wants.

wurwolf: Yeah, Esau's like twice the size of Jacob.

Lita: He's looking cranky, too.

Lita: I like the chicken hanging out on the couch right next to Jacob. She's like, "I'm the third heir, bitches! Feed me!"

wurwolf: I think Esau has a loophole. Jacob's asking him if he swears he can't eat his birthright, not that it's a deal. Esau needs a good lawyer.

Lita: Poor Esau. He didn't mean to give away his birthright. He meant to say, "I'm this many years old."

wurwolf: Ronnie is positively leering at Bob.

Lita: I think he leers at everybody. So does my cousin, actually. I wonder if the artist of this tract has met him.

Lita: Where's Janet? I think she may have taken our advice.

wurwolf: If she's smart she did.

wurwolf: I think their parents had Ronnie when they were in their early twenties, and Janet when they were in their late forties. Because it looks like there's a huge age difference between the two.

Lita: Either Esau was REALLY hairy, or that poor goat was REALLY ill before they killed it.

wurwolf: If Esau was as hairy as a goat, that's just sick. Use a razor, dude.

Lita: Wax was invented back then. Though possibly not Brazil. So maybe Esau was without options.

wurwolf: I think in addition to being blind, Isaac had a bit of the Alzheimer's. What parent, without seeing, can only tell the difference between their kids by feeling their arms?

Lita: Poor Esau. He really does get the poopy end of the stick in this story.

wurwolf: That's what he gets for being dumb.

Lita: Barbarians. Fortunately, now we live in a civilized society that has laws to protect the dumb.

wurwolf: Esau needed Malcolm's lawyer.

Lita: It's good to see that Jacob's dad isn't at all pissed about the whole "Stealing my blessing" thing.

Lita: Or maybe he is. He probably knows Laban better than Jacob does...

wurwolf: Isaac's headcloth looks like he's been taking some styling lessons from the salesman's father in the Hired! short.

wurwolf: You can only see the back of Janet's head in that panel. You can't see that she's nodded off.

Lita: Maybe it's not even her. Maybe it's a balloon in a blonde wig.

wurwolf: Bob and Ronnie don't even notice. They're so into each other.

Lita: She used a Sharpie pen to draw a happy face on it before she left.

Lita: And there she has made her fatal error.

Lita: Bob will glance over at her and think, "Wait a minute... NOBODY smiles while I tell my stories!!"

wurwolf: We should have started a drinking game where we take a drink every time someone says "deal" in this tract. We'd be so hammered by now.

wurwolf: I like God's escalator.

Lita: Laban looks like a heavily bearded Ronnie. Maybe he's his great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandpa.

wurwolf: He's got an earring. Is he gay?

Lita: He's evil. He probably is gay.

wurwolf: Does Laban have a cigar in his mouth?

Lita: They live in a tent, yet they still have a nice big bed with a wooden frame and mattress and pillows and stuff.

wurwolf: They got their bedroom furniture at IKEA.

Lita: This is how you know it's a true story, though. Jacob married this woman and then had sex with her without even looking at her hard enough to figure out she's not the right chick.

Lita: Just like a man.

wurwolf: He went all Dwight on her from This Boy's Life: "You get it lying on your side or doggie style. Those are your only choices."

wurwolf: Bob's really into this story. He loves it.

Lita: Laban had conned the con man!

wurwolf: Bob shouted that out to get his point across.

Lita: Jacob is cross-eyed with rage.

Lita: I see what Janet did now. She replaced herself with a wax replica.

wurwolf: Smart, Janet. That's those college courses coming in handy.

wurwolf: The camel in the next panel has a hind leg attached halfway down his body.

wurwolf: Laban turns into a troll when he's angry.

Lita is checking some bible verses

(Genesis 30, if you care)

wurwolf: Go ahead, let me know when you're done

Lita: Anybody surprised Chick left some stuff out? Looks like Jacob is taking all kinds of wives. He's crazy with wives.

Lita: Rachel and Leah are all like, "Sleep with my maid!" "No! Don't sleep with her maid! Sleep with MY maid!"

wurwolf: That's right, he had another couple of kids with the maid.

Lita: And then Rachel's all like, "Hey, Leah, you can sleep with Jacob tonight if you give me some of your mandrakes." These women are all pimping Jacob out to each other and everybody else they meet.

Lita: Jacob is a STUD!

wurwolf: In every sense of the word.

wurwolf: Well... except for as a piece of wood used in building houses. I guess not in that sense of the word.

Lita: Oh, he is clearly in possession of a very impressive piece of wood.

Lita: The whole sequence where Jacob leaves Laban is much more complicated than the tract would have you know.

Lita: There's some business with spotted sheep breeding. But there's more.

wurwolf: The tract doesn't have much time for spotted sheep.

Lita: Laban's greed with the sheep did not go down well with his daughters. They're both married to the man Laban's trying to cheat. They're fully aware that Laban is pretty much saying, "I don't care if this is the man responsible for keeping you girls and your kids clothed and fed. NO GOATS FOR YOU!" He fully doesn't care if his daughters and grandkids are all destitute.

Lita: Genesis 31 has Rachel stealing one of Laban's household gods as they run away.

Lita: Laban chases them down to get his stuff back, but particularly his household god. Jacob doesn't know Rachel stole it and tells Laban to go ahead and look for it.

Lita: Laban comes to Rachel's tent, where Rachel is sitting on the god which she hid in her saddle. She tells Laban that she can't get up right now because she's on her period.

Lita: Menstruation was a big deal back then. She's pretty much defiling the hell out of her dad's god by sitting on it during her period. That takes some pretty hardcore pissed-offedness.

wurwolf: I'm having a hard time trying to figure out that wrestling panel. I really can't tell the difference between what's supposed to be the wrestling figures and just plain grass.

Lita: Jacob looks like he's wrestling a big burlap sack.

Lita can't tell who's asking who for whose blessing, and wonders who just changed his name

wurwolf: The camel approves of Jacob and Esau getting back together. He was hoping these two crazy kids would pull it together.

wurwolf: Janet has totally fallen asleep.

Lita: She's got a Muzak version of "The Girl from Ipanema" playing in a continuous loop in her head.

wurwolf: See what I mean about Bob's snake stare? He's trying to hypnotize us.

wurwolf: It looks like Ronnie stuck a 2-liter soda bottle cap on the end of his nose here.

wurwolf: Janet looks like she just crawled out of bed in the next panel. Bob just leans back and prepares to reel Ronnie in.

Lita: Holy crap! Look what's happened to Janet!!

Lita: Bob's monologue is killing her!!

wurwolf: Wow! She looks so haggard! It's like it's affecting all of her this time, not just her hair.

wurwolf: Every time a person converts, they're always down on their knees, burying their face in their hands.

wurwolf: Can you not receive Christ in any other posture?

wurwolf: Too bad we didn't do the drinking game. The word "deal" was mentioned 12 times, 13 if you count the cover.

wurwolf: We could have gotten so shitfaced.

Lita: Fortunately in the penultimate panel we find that not only is Ronnie saved, Janet is as well.

Lita: The conversion is happening, and Janet weeps bitter tears knowing that at any moment she will be free.

wurwolf: That's really what she's crying about.

Lita: She thinks, "I came so close to death this time. I shall not be so foolish again."

Lita: Run, Janet. Run like the wind.

wurwolf: And don't look back.

(All the comic panels are copyright Chick Publications 2000 and the images were used according to Fair Use laws in the US.)


Anonymous said...

Ya know what kills me is the name of the tracts--Chick tracts. Why not Stud tracts? Sounds kinda sexist if you ask me. I know that's the author's last name, but if my last name were Chick, I don't think I'd write tracts--not if I wanted to be taken seriously anyway. Either that or I would use a pseudonym. Like Stud.

Anonymous said...

I love how you worked in the geezer from 'Hired!'. It's 6 degrees of MST3K :)

This Bob character has always sort of reminded me of someone who I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then in that panel towards the end, when a man is on his knees before him and he's gently coaxing him under the table with his hand, it clicked: John Waters.

Love this site. In the future, I predict you'll get a mention in an Entertainment Weekly sidebar. Or at least an award from one of those bodies that gives out website awards. :)

Keep up the great work!

ns (bw bw)

wurwolf said...

Haw! He does look like John Waters! The artist changes everyone's look around so often that Bob has looked like Hitler, Peter Sellers and John Waters at various times.

Thanks for the nice words, Springy! From your mouth to God's ears..... or not, if He's really mad at us for making fun of Chick tracts.