After Kind Of Watching The First 45 Minutes Of Moonraker


So, like, after the events of the movie there had to be some investigations about how the Drax Corporation got the contract to build space shuttles, right? Like, there’d be some 70s Congressional Hearing, on TV, with people’s names identified in little white Helvetica chyrons. And you’d have the Deputy Director of Manned Space Flight or Whatever explaining, “Yes, well, the Drax Corporation’s project to eliminate all life on earth we rated as a task separate to and not reflecting on their ability to build or operate space shuttles. Our selection guidelines, as published by law in the Federal Register and I can provide you with the exact page reference, placed more weight on their operational ability. And every selection committee member gave them the highest possible marks for their task-management and organization computer-interface-system. Furthermore, their estimate for the first four years of annual operations management costs was only $17,250 above the Office of Management and Budget’s estimate. For all four years combined, that is. That alone was so dramatically better than Boeing, North American Rockwell, or Grumman’s proposals as to decide the matter. In any case we will in future requests for proposals include `not deliberately trying to provoke global extinction’ as soon as the NASA Office of General Counsel finishes advising us on the wording.”

So I’m not saying that that should have been the sequel, but I’d kind of like to know how the whole scandal played out is all.

Previously On Apartment 3-G


First, I wanted to point folks who missed it over to my mathematics blog, since I did another comic strip review over there, and there aren’t really exactly word problems to do except the one that I solve for you.


Second, A Labor Of Like tried very, very helpfully to fill in what’s happened in the backstory to Apartment 3-G, since I’ve given up all hope of understanding what’s happening in it, and I didn’t want that to get lost in the comments where nobody sees them. Here’s the attempt at filling in the backstory:

Previously on Apartment 3-G:

While on her way to the Diner, career coach Margo is stunned by the sudden appearance of Sam from behind a nearby potted plant.

Years earlier, back when people still said, “Gosh”, Sam had gone into the kitchen to get some mint jelly for his leg of lamb, only to vanish mysteriously.

After moonlighting at a sports bar in Boston ever since his disappearance, Sam come to the realization that he can no longer work with Diane because she insists he wear a tie. Sam’s tie is at the cleaners because Lu Ann spilled strawberry jam on it, and his tieless neck has created too much unresolved sexual tension with Diane.

In a moment of candor, Sam lets this slip to Margo. Margo is unsure how to react, because she has no earthly clue who Diane is. (She only remembers Sam because everybody knows his name.) Her insecurity about not knowing whether she should be happy about Sam’s employment status vis-a-vis Diane causes her to lash out.

This takes Sam by surprise. He realizes that Margo may not have been the one who asked him to pass the mint jelly, but might instead be the woman who poisoned his cat. Asking for clarification, Margo explains that due to her impending appointment to check Skyler’s job status, she has time neither for Sam’s friendship nor to explain the whole thing with the cat, so she gives him the brush-off. Before leaving, Sam offers Margo a goodbye hug. Unfortunately, in all the drama, he completely forget the dish of mint jelly he was holding, and inadvertently gets it all over her shoulders, just as he had all those years ago in Marrakesh. Luckily for Margo, this time the condiment blends into her green trench coat.

Inside, Margo is greeted by her friend Skyler, who has been temping at SPECTRE. Skyler has just learned that she has been offered a permanent position in the Bond villain accounting department. Margo realizes that Skyler will not require any employment counseling this week, and quickly terminates the encounter to go find a damp cloth for her coat.

Meanwhile, at the Towers Hotel, Martin is searching for clues regarding Sam’s mysterious disappearance when he is surprised by Lu Ann. Lu Ann has filled his tub with strawberry jam. Martin questions the reality of said jam, as on her last visit Lu Ann had brought imaginary raspberry preserves, leaving Martin with a mouthful of bread and chunky peanut butter. The scene ends on the unresolved sexual tension implied by Martin’s scurrilous lack of neckwear.

And I admire all this work put into the backstory, but honestly, there’s this vast desert of nothingness going on over there. The story right now seems to have reached a point where LuAnn is being haunted by some manner of anthropomorphized incandescent bulb, and that’s going to have to pass as action around here.

Luann meets someone named 'Mike Downey' who looks like an incandescent bulb.
Frank Bolle and Margarget Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 20th of March, 2015.

I Don’t Know What’s Going On In Apartment 3-G Anymore


Prepended, 23 November 2015: Hi again. For what I have to imagine is my last review of Apartment 3-G plotting please look to last Friday’s entry. For a couple guesses about the sad state of comics in the post-3-G world there’s Sunday’s essay. Overall, it’s been a terrible year for comic strips, not just for Apartment 3-G. Also yes, the rumors are true: Edge City is coming to an end.


Prepended, 23 September 2015: Hi. I’ve seen a good number of people finding this page as they try to figure out what’s going on in Apartment 3-G. I’m happy to be of service. I’ve taken to following closely enough the big pile of — for summer 2015 — absolutely nothing that’s been happening.

To that end, and to help the confused follow along, I’ve been updating fairly regularly as nothing progresses. The most recent explanations of the nothing going on can usually be found by looking at the Apartment 3-G tag. They should be available through the link in this paragraph. To sum up: since writing this, I have worked out what’s going on in Apartment 3-G, and that is nothing. But I am trying to keep people up to date on what kind of nothing is going on. Thank you for reading.

The thing is that the article after the horizontal rule here was written to describe the mess that was Apartment 3-G‘s summer 2014 storyline. And that was a big sloppy mess, yes, but somehow less inept than 2015’s, possibly because it was shorter even after the action stalled out for six weeks straight. But I don’t want to confuse people who’re already confused by 2015’s failed storyline by explaining 2014’s failed storyline without warning.


I’m not embarrassed to admit I have no idea what’s going on in the comic strip Apartment 3-G anymore. Last year saw a crushing pile of dullness stacked upon other piles of dullness, in a story about a wounded deer-kangaroo-fox-nightmare hybrid that never actually did anything. Now, I don’t even follow the action well enough to say what’s supposed to be going on. All I’m confident in is that the scenes are becoming some experimental drama, where all the dialogue is mixtures of atomized conversation, any line of which might make sense, but which in sequence, don’t seem to mean anything.

Margo is angry with Sam about something or other. And Skyler is the new Bond Villain.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 15th of March, 2015. I’ve followed the backstory but don’t understand it either.

In Monday’s strip I guess that Lu Ann has brought some homemade jam by some means to Martin’s hotel room, although, how? I’d like to think she’s brought a proper Yogi Bear-class picnic basket through the streets of Manhattan to deliver a mason jar of plotberry juice to Martin, who I guess has something to do with something that might be happening to someone, somewhere, but that’s entirely my imagination. I guess it’s nice that the strip is leaving us free to decide stuff like that, but it feels like they’ve given up on drawing anybody or anything below the shoulders.

Lu Ann surprises Martin with some homemade jam, which is alleged to exist, and might even be strawberry, I guess.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 16th of March, 2015.

Also apparently in the 3-G universe the next James Bond film is going to have a woman as villain, which could be cool, especially since the current actor in-continuity used to date 3-G personality Margo, who broke up with him when she remembered she has to either break up with or kill all her fiancees, and it just didn’t feel right to kill the guy playing James Bond, I guess.

Anyway, my mathematics blog has a roundup of comic strips that did Pi Day stuff, or did mathematical topics somewhere in the past week, and if you wanted to read that instead I don’t think you’d be doing too badly.

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