Friday, May 14, 2004


A bold assessment, I know. In a world where Christian cavemen, drunk British husbands, and Garfield are still going strong, declaring anything to be the "worst comic strip in all of existence" would seem folly. Luckily, thanks to "Pluggers", the risk to my reputation is actually quite small.
When you think about a comic strip named "Pluggers", you immediately wonder what a Plugger is. Possibilities run through your mind. People with lots of power strips? People who love to advertise their stuff in compeletely inappropriate spaces, such as Smackstar One Wallpapers? Some vaguely awful sex act?
But that is where you hit a snag. Because apparently, the entire purpose of "Pluggers" is to define and hone the essential "Plugger" experience, in much the same way "Love Is..." attempts to define love. Except with bears instead of creepy naked children. And complete incomprehensible nonsense instead of sappy aphorisms.
Today's "Pluggers", for example, features a bear in a bed. Did I mention that "Pluggers" is single-panel? Kind of like "The Far Side", only replacing all the genius with mounds of festering bear shit. Anyway, the caption explains to us that Pluggers still sleep on mattresses bought with S&H Green Stamps. Good to know. An important piece of the Plugger mindset has been revealed, thanks to, and I am not making this up, Gladys Crowl of Liltitz, Pennsylvania.
Yes, "Pluggers" is one of those awful strips that rely on the readers to supply the content. Readers all the way from Liltitz, PA to Smallboobs, OR send their Plugger ideas to Chicago, where they are turned into bears on beds for the amusement of, well, nobody at all.
As best as I can figure, Pluggers are midwestern old Luddite old white assholes who are old. A "plugger backhoe" is a shovel. Pluggers wear plaid and old t-shirts and don't know how to work computers and... um.. are old. But why take my word for it after skimming through a month of online reprints about pickup trucks and advanced age? Let's turn to the official definition from the Pluggers website.
Pluggers are the hard-working people the world depends on. They represent the 80 percent of humanity who unceremoniously keep plugging along, balancing work, play and family life. Pluggers encounter and conquer obstacles in their lives, but they always have a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. They're the people who work hard for what they get. Even if they're struggling, they are optimistic about life.
Yes, according to this website, EIGHTY PERCENT OF HUMANITY are plaid-shirt wearing, pickup-truck driving, Wal-Mart shopping, clueless halfwits who can't program a VCR. This is what I hate most about the goddamned Midwest. The Midwest is the South, only with delusions of grandeur.
The South just blindly goes about its business of being racist redneck pigfuckers. The closest they come to having any kind of coherent "movement" is when they get together to celebrate the Confederacy. But in the Midwest, they're not just moronic, xenophobic assholes. They gotta celebrate it. There's always a name for the local branch of the fuckoid brigade. Cheeseheads. Pluggers. "Minnesota Nice". "Missouri Synod". Iowa.
They have a message board on the Pluggers website, you know. Let that shit sink in for a while. In two years, they've amassed 162 messages. Total. The only thing funnier than the idea of a Pluggers fan posting to a message board is someone deciding to TROLL the Pluggers message board. And the only thing funnier than a Pluggers troll is an indignant Pluggers fan defending his or her favorite comic. It's priceless. It's magic. It's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"the fact that a comic isnt funny isnt how you should judge a comic. thats it plain and could, however, follow it up with a speach on how comic means to be funny, like stand up comics. but if you look at the Political comics, hardly are they funny, and have very much a serious tone to them to state what they have to say. with that said, Pluggers is a very ingenius comic where the artist has to depict what the readers send into him, that has to do with everyday life. not an easy thing, i assure you. in short, Pluggers isnt funnier than pissing out a kidney stone, but i still love to read it."
Now, I have been accused of being negative. Cynical, even. But as I sit here, looking at the pristine specimen of Plugger quoted above, I can't help but think that if this is 80% of humanity, we're nearlly five times as DUMB as I would have thought.