Lita: The guy on the cover is going down the big hill on the roller coaster.
wurwolf: I guess so. He's going to throw up, too.
wurwolf: So are Fang and Badcat best buds now? They're always hanging out together.
Lita: It's like in the book Good Omens:
The Arrangement was very simple, so simple in fact that it didn't really deserve the capital letter, which it had got for simply being in existence for so long. It was the sort of sensible arrangement that many isolated agents, working in awkward conditions a long way from their superiors, reach with their opposite number when they realize that they have more in common with their immediate opponents than their remote allies. It meant a tacit non-interference in certain of each other's activities. It made certain that while neither really won, also neither really lost, and both were able to demonstrate to their masters the great strides they were making against a cunning and well-informed adversary.
Lita: Of course, Gaiman and Pratchett were talking about an angel and a demon, not a cat and a dog. Something tells me that Bob wouldn't approve of that book.
wurwolf: Even though the same principle applies.
Lita: Basically the point is they've been mortal enemies for so long that they really see more of each other than anybody else. As mortal enemies they're closer friends with each other than they are with their overlords over at Cat Corp and Dog Industries.
wurwolf: And so, at this point, what else can they do but hang out together?
Lita: Or maybe Fang and Badcat have called a temporary truce in the name of stamping out the rodent threat. Look at all those rats!
wurwolf: They're spending too much time hanging out in the back of a truck.
wurwolf: According to these tracts, anyone in a turtleneck shouldn't be trusted.
wurwolf: "Glug Glug" Somewhere, wurwolf's husband tells her to go to hell.
Lita: I usually think of glug glug being the noise of something being sucked down rather than something being poured out. Hey! That nice man is cleaning up the gasoline, not dumping it out!
wurwolf: Okay, I like the way Springy notices the inappropriate emphases, so I'm going to note this one here. "How much is the owner paying you?" Like the guy he's asking didn't answer the question the first time he asked.
Lita: Like maybe he said, "What's the guy paying us?" and Charlie says, "Money."
wurwolf: And only $2000? Boy, he's cheap. I wonder how much I'd have to pay him to mow my lawn.
wurwolf: Huh. A totally different person is actually lighting the fire. There's no way that person is the same dude in the first panel.
Lita: Charlie suddenly lost a lot of weight before lighting the fire. Also, what did his friend actually do? I think Charlie did all the work.
wurwolf: That's right. Does Charlie have to split that $2000 evenly with his friend? That's even more dumb. He should have left his friend at home.
Lita: Somehow I'm not shocked this moron is about to get toasted. They lit the fire while they were still loafing around in the warehouse? That's dumb. He should have done like in Bourne Supremacy and stuffed some magazines in a toaster and left.
wurwolf: Also, anyone who wears a loose, billowy coat while dumping gasoline and lighting a fire is just asking for it.
Lita: It's like wearing loose floaty sleeves while deep frying.
wurwolf: Which, way to go, Valentina.
Lita: Charlie looks like the Statue of Liberty when he's being immolated.
wurwolf: He looks like he could be the corporate mascot for Kingsford.
Lita: I think the artist is a sicko. That drawing would almost look pretty (for a Chick tract) if you didn't know it was of a guy's flesh being roasted off his body.
wurwolf: The artists here never put so much care and attention into a picture as when it has someone being roasted alive, or tortured in some way.
Lita: Like in this picture:
wurwolf: Hey! Slow that horsie down! We're nowhere near there yet!
Lita: Oh, fine. Here:
wurwolf: Those firemen don't seem too concerned. "Where is it?"
wurwolf: Maybe it's because their siren is broken and just buzzes now.
wurwolf: Did Charlie's friend bring his kids to the scene of the crime? Wow, talk about bad parenting. Ever hear of a sitter, pal?
Lita: If there's anything kids love, it's listening to the police scanner so they can rubberneck at the scenes of all the funnest local tragedies.
wurwolf: Fred's practicing some awesome dance moves on the roof of that burning building. And why is Fred walking on the building anyway? It's not like there's anyone in there for him to rescue. At least I don't think so. And even if there were, wouldn't there be a better way to rescue them than walking on the roof of a burning building?
Lita: The urge to moonwalk just overtook him.
wurwolf: He sure is pissed off that the other dude is harshing his dancing mood.
Lita: The other guy just doesn't understand what it's like when Dance Fever takes you. But Fred does. He's a renegade. A Renegade of Funk.
Lita: Ok, I'm posting that other picture now. You can't stop me.
wurwolf: Why would I stop you? Do it.
Lita: Now that we're there I don't have much to say about it.
wurwolf: Me neither, but that guy shouting for someone to get Fred might want to move it himself. He's about to catch on fire.
Lita: He did catch fire. Check the next pic. His mustache is gone.
wurwolf: Wow. Singed right off his face.
Lita: That's the sacrifice our brave firemen are willing to make to save our lives.
wurwolf: Either that, or he had time for a quick shave while Fred was being rescued.
Lita: "Is Fred gonna make it?" "I don't know!" Really. How would the guy know this soon? It's not like he has time to do an exam.
wurwolf: "I've run some tests and I can conclusively say that Fred will make it!"
wurwolf: It looks like Fireman #10 was able to grow his mustache back while Fred was being loaded into the ambulance.
Lita: Maybe it's a fake mustache and he's able to take it off when he feels fire is threatening it.
wurwolf: Maybe it's a fake mustache and the glue came off because he was sweating.
Lita: Maybe it's a fake mustache and he likes taking it off and on to keep his underlings off-guard.
wurwolf: Maybe it's a fake mustache and he removes it when he's concerned for one of his colleagues.
Lita: Maybe it's a fake mustache and he only wears it for speaking engagements.
wurwolf: How did they find Charlie's body on the first floor? He was outside the building when he tripped on the gasoline can.
Lita: I thought he was inside. Damn the lousy art!
Lita: Oh, dear God! Bob's trolling the burn unit again! Sweet weeping Jesus have mercy!!
wurwolf: Fred's wife didn't know Bob beforehand. She just found him roaming up and down the hall, looking for a burn victim he hasn't cornered yet.
wurwolf: She must hate her husband. She unleashes Bob Williams on him and then makes a break for it!
Lita: Like the poor guy hasn't suffered enough.
Lita: And of course Bob immediately goes for the one-up. "You think what YOU went through is painful?"
wurwolf: This is why Bob loves the burn unit so much. Hell makes it easy for Bob to one-up these guys.
Lita: Why do bad things happen to good people? So Bob can have the joy of one-upping your pain.
wurwolf: "Are you an expert on hell?" "No, but Jesus is." Oh Bob. Don't be so modest. You know plenty about hell.
Lita: All evidence shows that Bob is certainly far more fascinated with Hell than he is with Heaven.
wurwolf: If he's not the expert, then maybe he should shut up about it.
Lita: And I'm not even surprised anymore when Bob finds one of the fewer than 10 adults in America who don't know that Jesus Christ has ties to some religion or other.
wurwolf: Bob lives in the most willfully ignorant city in the world.
Lita: That's the kind of city that would attract a guy like Bob.
wurwolf: Fred's trying to claw at Bob's head in his desperation to get away from Bob.
wurwolf: What is Bob's fascination with putting his head right next to Fred's raised cast?
Lita: The bible says nothing about personal space.
wurwolf: Bob doesn't wait for confirmation from Fred about hearing the story. He launches right into it.
Lita: Wait... Jesus told a true story about hell... And what story does Bob tell us?
Lita: A parable! Jesus didn't even say it was a true story! He told it as an example! Like a fable!
wurwolf: Bob's a literalist.
Lita: But we shouldn't have to take even the parables literally! They're generally accepted to just be stories! That's what they're for!
Lita: I am so disgusted right now.
wurwolf: Nope. According to Bob's kind of people, everything in the Bible actually happened.
Lita: I just... I can't... I have no words. It's just... GAH!!!
wurwolf: I like that the rich guy's butler is shoving a ham in his face. Back off, buddy! He's eating a turkey leg!
Lita: Maybe there's just no more room on the table and the butler has to just hold the ham there until the rich guy is ready to serve himself.
wurwolf: I think they could move that bowl of grapes.
Lita: Nah, he needs to choke on one of those a couple of panels down.
wurwolf: Gross. I do not need to see a dog actually licking Lazarus' sores.
Lita: The artist thinks you do.
Lita: Is it even worth mentioning that this story has nothing to do with poor Fred's situation?
wurwolf: It really doesn't. Absolutely nothing to do with it, other than hell is a burny place.
Lita: Bob only brings it up because he's able to talk about Hell. But it has nothing to do with Fred. It's not like Fred's been rich all his life and can regularly be seen kicking the poor around. And it's not like Fred's been destitute and friendless and is in need of comfort.
wurwolf: They're running out of situations that mirror Bible stories in these tracts. They're going to the well of burn victims a bit too often.
wurwolf: This time, it's Abraham who looks like Richard Mulligan.
Lita: And Bob relishes the opportunity to describe, in detail, exactly what Hell is like.
wurwolf: Well, all I have to say is, at least the rich guy can keep on a mustache, even when he's on fire.
Lita: I suddenly have a burning desire to see if the same is true of Bob.
Lita: Bob looks so smug when he tells Fred that Hell is forever. You can tell he's glad about all Hell's inhabitants. Especially Bruce.
wurwolf: He is so hard right now.
Lita: He only wishes Fred were a little younger.
wurwolf: Well, Fred is pretty tender right now.
Lita: You know, based on what you just said I suddenly find it disturbing that we can't see either of Bob's hands.
Lita: I also suddenly understand why this tract is called "Scream."
wurwolf: If that's the case they should have named "God With Us" Scream.
Lita: Most of these tracts, really.
Lita: Now we're on to the standard "Jesus gave you a love gift" sequence. I just want to pause to point out the demon squirrels playing outside the hospital.
wurwolf: They do have pointy horn ears.
Lita: They're kind of cute, like all demons in these tracts are.
wurwolf: I think the squirrel on the tree is getting ready to jump, and the other squirrel is going to catch it.
Lita: He's like, "Come on, man! Do it! I'll catch you!" And the other squirrel is like, "No way, man! It's too high! I'm scared!"
Lita: And the first squirrel is like, "It'll be ok if you pray to Lord Satan!" And the second squirrel jumps and then the first squirrel sacrifices him to Baal.
wurwolf: They're actually very cute. I'd like to see a tract about these two.
wurwolf: Man. You know we're burned out on Bob's big witnessing wrap-up when we're noticing how cute the squirrels are.
Lita: Well, they're pretty much replaying the same conversion we've seen in all the other tracts. Nothing new here.
wurwolf: Only this time instead of seeing Fred's lumpy butt in the air, we'll see his lumpy arms.
wurwolf: Man, Bob is rude. Who is he to say that Fred is having filthy thoughts? I think Bob's actually talking about himself here.
Lita: He has a guilty conscience.
Lita: It's like the old saying goes, "Clean mind, clean body. Take your pick."
Lita: I think it's really rude of Bob to continue haranguing Fred about dying in his sins after Fred already converted. Is it because Fred wouldn't get out of bed and wave his lumpy butt around? Does he suspect that Fred's conversion is insincere?
wurwolf: I don't think he is talking to Fred. I think he is talking to us.
Lita: Well that's kind of presumptuous of him. He doesn't know me.
Lita: He shouldn't assume that just because I can tell the difference between a story that's meant to be a parable and a story that's meant to be taken as true I'm going to Hell.
Lita: And the fact that I spend so much of my free time making fun of Bob doesn't mean anything either.
Lita: I think there's a skeevy skinny-mustached child-toucher that should just mind his own business.
wurwolf: Whatevs, Lita. I'm gonna go back to watching those squirrels.
(All the comic panels are copyright Chick Publications 2002 and the images were used according to Fair Use laws in the US.)