Nothing Is Happening In Apartment 3-G: Yes, They Actually *DID* Break Time


So the first thing: Margo’s complete bodily disappearance since Tommie used her imaginary stethoscope on her continues. She’s allegedly been checked into Manhattan General and diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. It’s not much of anything, but it will do.

The real shocker this past week was delivered on Friday, and repeated on Sunday. If we are to believe the silly things that come out of Tommie’s mouth then Margo’s entire journey of amnesiac wandering through a city haunted by people she kind-of recognizes was an experience lasting two days. This is staggering news. Besides the months of aimless wandering and two-shots Margo had a bit of business eating breakfast and yelling at people. If I’m tracing all this back correctly she set out on the streets in January, ten months ago. The character makes references to feeling “so tired” in December 2014. (“So tired” isn’t given in-strip as a symptom of hyperthyroidism. But it’s probably meant to be a signal of such, by the rules of soap-opera medicine.)

Tommie explains that Margo's whole calendar year of confusion and aimless wandering has been two days of hyperthyroidism. Meanwhile, the background setting is 'generic apartment' although it's supposed to be the hospital, probably.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 4th of October, 2015. Before you snark that this doesn’t look much like a hospital please consider that Manhattan General is one of those hipster-friendly indie hospitals. It’s got lots of overstuffed old chairs and odd, mismatching mugs for coffee and tea, gluten-free BiPAP masks, and there’s board games that migrate around all the wings and they hold open-mic prescription poetry readings every Monday evening, and the lobby there’s this old taxidermy raccoon dressed like the Eleventh Doctor. So don’t go saying that doesn’t look like a hospital room when you just don’t know the style of the place.

So this entire calendar year has taken up between one and two days of time. This, amazingly, isn’t a record. When Brooke McEldowney first broke free of all editorial control and good taste and coherent storytelling ability his 9 Chickweed Lane spent eight months covering the events of one weekend in Belgium. Rex Morgan is nearing the fourth calendar year of the first trimester of June Morgan’s pregnancy. Still, it’s one of the most lopsided reader-time-to-character-time ratios to be seen outside web comics.

After the preceding week’s bout of actual information being delivered, thus counting as stuff happening, this week looked ready to slump back into absolute nothingness. Eric was declared to have spent the night in “that chair”, presumably in Margaret’s hospital room. Then Tommie has the idea to send Eric to tell Margo’s parents what’s going on. This might be because she doesn’t know how to contact her roommate’s parents. This might be because she knows they aren’t going to listen to the things she says either.

This may sound like I’m being pointlessly mean to Tommie. But remember, her idea is to have Eric convey important information to another person. Eric is the person who figured the best way to let Margo know he was not in fact dead was to haunt her as she wandered aimlessly around Manhattan without identifying who he was or why he was there, in actions which dragged on for months, our time. I would expect Tommie could more efficiently deliver information to Margo’s parents by tossing a bottle into the ocean and hoping it’s found by someone who would then write a message about Margo’s condition and toss it back into the ocean.

'Eric knocks and ... ' talks with Margo's Dad on the streets of the city.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 8th of October, 2015. Margo’s Dad, Mr Margo’s Dad, walks around the streets of Manhattan carrying a small door that anyone wishing to speak with him must knock on. It’s carried below the waist so as not to interrupt people.

But, possibly to get the story ended already, Eric instead rushes directly to Margo’s Dad, who’s on the streets of Manhattan in front of that car that might be facing either direction again. At least on Thursday he wasn’t doing well at getting information across, but he is doing very well for having been dead for five years (in strip time, maybe a week?) and for being Margo’s Dad seen from the other angle.

Margo's Dad and I'm just going to go and guess Margo's Mom have a conversation interrupted by Eric who's Margo's Dad from another angle and a little bit smaller in his shirt.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 9th of October, 2015. It cannot be easy to carry on a conversation with yourself from a different angle.

Oh, yeah, my mathematics blog: Here’s the Monday comics and that wasn’t nearly enough; here’s Friday’s. Please read them in case the flow of time resumes.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

4 thoughts on “Nothing Is Happening In Apartment 3-G: Yes, They Actually *DID* Break Time”

    1. To be fair, Margo’s Mother does have the advantage that she’d spent her entire life as a housemaid and the lifetime of steady manual labor … oh, I don’t know. At this point I think they’re just taking advantage of any character looking about the same any two panels in a row.

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