Sunday, August 26, 2018

'Mary Worth' and the shameful ballad of Tommy

Lower that eyebrow, mister!

This has truly been the summer of Tommy. Can there be any doubt? The last few months have simply been dominated by the saga of this sandy-haired ex-meth addict, as depicted in Karen Moy's syndicated comic strip Mary Worth.

I'm sure you've been following Tommy's adventures as closely as I have, but for you few stragglers out there, let me get you up to speed. Tommy is the twentysomething son of Iris Beedle, an attractive, blonde, fortysomething divorcee who lives in the same condo complex as Mary Worth. Iris used to date another of Mary's neighbors, pudgy, befuddled advice columnist Wilbur Weston. They broke up. It was a whole thing. Iris is with a younger, more successful guy named Zak now. And Wilbur? Well, Wilbur takes a lot of long walks these days.

Meanwhile, Iris has had her hands full with her fully grown, live-at-home son. Up to this point, Tommy's been what you'd call a ne'er-do-well. He ne'er does well. How often does he do well? Ne'er. He's been in jail on drug charges before, and he recently got addicted to Vicodin after literally attempting to move one piece of furniture. This guy is one end table away from perdition.

Anyway, Tommy's clean now and working at a supermarket, where he met his current girlfriend Brandy. Problem is, Brandy is sickened by the very mention of drugs or alcohol due to traumatic events in her own family, so Tommy's been afraid to 'fess up about his extremely sketchy past. The last few months have shown Tommy grappling with this problem, and I've been there to document it every step of the way.

Some of this I already covered in my last Mary Worth post just a month ago, but I've done so many more since that they warranted another post. As Tommy's story finally reaches its conclusion this weekend, let's look back on a summer of great memories. (NOTE: Click on the images to see them at full size. I can't promise it'll be worth it, but the text will be more legible.)

Since this is Mary Worth, Tommy went right to the source for help. It did not go well.

That's how I like my jokes: cheap.

Their conversation got intense.

And under those sweatpants? Nothing but support hose, baby.

Tommy, being a good Catholic boy, then took his problems right to the confessional, where I imagined that his old nemesis, Wilbur, was there to greet him.

Sorry, Wilbur, but that's Frasier Crane's line.

But it turned out Tommy was talking to a genuine priest. Talking a little too much to be honest.

Don't judge. Priests need their rest, too.

Tommy eventually had an epiphany, which I turned into a cheap pop culture reference.

Props to Allison Hayes, y'all!

Tommy's confession seemed like it would never end.

I don't even know if that's a priest he's talking to anymore.

Tommy emerged from his confession haunted by voices, one of which I imaged to be Zak.

How does he get his stubble so perfect?

Like Wilbur before him, Tommy decided to go on a walk/vision quest.

I'm pretty sure Dorothy can hook you up with those pills, Tommy.

He eventually decided to spill his guts to Brandy, but the words didn't come easily.

Even Shatner might balk at that pause.

They went out running, which I spruced up with a cameo by Jay Johnston from Mr. Show.

Not pictured: Champion the Drinker.

Tommy made some pretty shocking confessions that day.

Brandy's father was into really long pauses, too.

We learned a lot about Tommy's own past.

Side note: doesn't Ivan Drago look great with long hair?

Brandy took the news very well, as you'd expect.

Her last words to him were "Meep! Meep!"

Meanwhile, Mary and Iris had a very odd, stilted conversation about Tommy.

One of these images is slightly retouched.

Eventually, Tommy and Brandy got things sorted out and spent a nice afternoon on the beach. An afternoon I decided to make just a little nicer.

Next problem: Tommy's Faberge egg addiction.

Iris was so proud of her son. Despite the evidence.

And you thought Iris was the only cougar in this family?

And now, Tommy and Brandy have a wonderful future in front of them, with no problems on the horizon. Well, maybe one problem on the horizon.

That's it, kids. Carpe diem. Carpe that diem all night long.