The current story in Karen Moy and June Brigman’s Mary Worth has focused on Wilbur Weston, a giant mayonnaise sandwich of a man. As usual for his stories, it’s about how he’s screwing up his own relationships by acting dumb. Wilbur Weston’s day job is advice columnist. Doesn’t this strain credibility?
I rule that it does not. First, it is hard for any of us to change the ways we screw up our relationships. We wouldn’t screw them up if it were easy for us to spot what we were doing wrong, or to do something else. Second, an advice columnist gets a problem in a clean, discrete lump that sets out (one hopes) all the relevant information. Spotting the relevant information while in the midst of the mess is hard. Yes, I would expect him to be better than average at diagnosing his problems and prescribing a cure, once he was aware he was the problem. And I don’t expect him to be any better than any of us in following the cure.
So this essay should catch you up to late October 2021 in Mary Worth plots. If you’re reading this in 2022, or if any news comes out about the comic, you should find my most up-to-date pieces at this link.
1 August – 23 October 2021.
After my previous plot recap we saw a couple weeks of Drew Cory wondering why Ashlee’s left town and told him she doesn’t need his money after all. With Mary Worth agreeing they don’t understand Ashlee, the story came to an end, the 15th of August.
The current storyline, which has been pleasantly wrinkled, started the 16th of August. Wilbur and Estelle, whose last name I don’t seem to have recorded, are having more dates where they get together and sing. Estelle’s one-eyed cat Libby likes to sing along, somehow raising Wilbur’s ire. Wilbur locks the cat in the bedroom, where neither she nor Estelle want her to be.
Wilbur’s position is simple: he doesn’t want the cat interrupting his singing. Estelle’s position is simple: Libby’s a cat, she likes being with her. Libby’s position is simple: she can make Wilbur’s life miserable. So she does, including peeing on his end of the sofa. Estelle forgives this; Wilbur does not, and demands the cat apologize. Estelle declares that she and Wilbur need to take a break.
While pondering how anyone could choose a pet over him, Wilbur runs into Saul Wynter. He knows Wynter as that grumpy old recluse. But Wynter’s changed, becoming a warm, outgoing, sunny person, which he credits to his new dog Greta. This seems a bit weird since Wynter had a dog, Bella, when he was all misanthropic and unliked. But I rule this acceptable too: Greta, a rescue dog, was shy and needful in ways that we can suppose Bella was not. And the experience of helping Greta seems to have given Wynter an emotional security that Bella didn’t.
Wilbur has the brilliant idea to draw the wrong lesson from this. He goes to the Animal Shelter and adopts the first dog he sees, a French bulldog he dubs Pierre. At the dog park Pierre meets Sophie, a French bulldog kept by Carol. And Carol meets Wilbur, an experience both find pleasant enough. Carol explains some of the little things an expert dog-owner knows, like that dogs should have toys.
Estelle catches a glimpse of them going to the pet store, and leaps to the conclusion Wilbur has a new girlfriend already. So does Wilbur, who mentions how he and his ex loved having singalongs. She doesn’t like singing. She likes salsa dancing. He doesn’t like dancing. He likes travel. She doesn’t. He likes talking about everything his ex liked and did. When he accidentally calls her Stella, she calls the date off. This may seem abrupt but we’ve seen two or three panels of him every day. She’s seeing the full thing.
Wilbur calls to apologize, the way he was always apologizing to his ex for embarrassing spectacles. She points out he’s nowhere near over his ex, and that’s where things stand as of late October.
Dubiously Sourced Mary Worth Sunday Panel Quotes!
- “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.” — Gloria Stuart, 1 August 2021.
- “I will trust you — I will extend my hand to you — despite the risk of betrayal. Because it is possible, through trust, to bring out the best in you, and perhaps in me.” — Jordan B Peterson, 8 August 2021.
- “He did not care if she was heartless, vicious and vulgar, stupid and grasping. He loved her.” — W Somerset Maugham, 15 August 2021.
- “Those who’ll play with cats must expect to be scratched.” — Miguel de Cervantes, 22 August 2021.
- “I never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same about people.” — Doris Day, 29 August 2021.
- “Love is unconditional, relationships are not.” — Grant Gudmundson, 5 September 2021.
- “Attitude determines the altitude of life.” — Edwin Louis Cole, 12 September 2021.
- “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” — Helmut Schmidt, 19 September 2021.
- “Morning will come. It has no choice.” — Marty Rubin, 26 September 2021.
- “Back in my day, people met in the real world, not on their telephones.” — Julianne MacLean, 3 October 2021.
- “Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.” — Erica Jong, 10 October 2021.
- “I am not what you see. I am what time and effort and interaction slowly unveil.” — Maugham, 17 October 2021.
- “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” — Groucho Marx, 24 October 2021.
It’s the ghost of the Ghost Who Walks, who doesn’t walk! The conclusion of The Visitor to Tony DePaul and Jeff Weigel’s The Phantom, Sunday continuity, if things go as I plan.