I’m laughing… I am actually laughing…

In the old days, we never really had much to go on as it related to Mark’s psyche… In fact, it was always assumed that his brain consisted of a fairly shallow pool of emotional intelligence paired with a deep, endless reservoir of arcane and useless knowledge of the Natural world…

But now… oh my. We see his brain whip-sawing back and forth imagining all kinds of things. But with his square jaw firmly set, and in consideration of the fact that he’s got nothing else going on, and with his livelihood and self esteem on the line, Mark relents and dives in!

Something Old, Something New…

I normally don’t check the Sunday offering, but out of curiosity (and as pointed out by Faithful Reader George) I was wondering about what this part of the Trailverse would look like, and here we find Jack Elrod’s take on the common Chipmunk (part of the Squirrel family?) auditioning for a Lifetime special on hoarding.

For what it’s worth, I have personally witnessed a chipmunk make off with a dying Sunfish, left on the shore at the cabin. Gathering yes, but clearly something that would “go bad” if not consumed in real-time…

Speaking of something going bad in real time… we now go to Mark and Bill Ellis talking about potential assignments… with a nod to the age of COVID…

Ha ha! It’s funny because Mark has whiskers!

HA! I see what you did there, Julz… A little not-so-vague reference to (probably) the best known and hated offering of the Allen regime… OK, come out swinging, I guess, but that approach might not work out so well…

Perhaps maybe more important is the fact that Mark is now a verified member of the Gig Economy… Something that I have wondered about over the course of this blog- whether Mark was salaried or paid by the Article… Well, there’s no guessing about that now…

Uh oh… Mark NOT happy… and goes to a dark place… and a cautionary lesson in expectations, which drive satisfaction and (more often) disappointment. Best to keep them moderated…

Oh, I can’t wait to see Bill!

And one by one, we get to see who made the jump!

With the day’s shooting scuttled over an uncooperative snake, Mark and Cherry amble back to their little cabin in “The” Lost Forest. Like there’s another? I don’t think so… I see a greenhouse and Azaleas all abloom…

Mark, you got an email? Really?? The average person, with average on-line habits, probably receives 50 emails a day! Or maybe the excitement is over Bill Ellis reaching out. Let’s see what happens to him- Suit? Horn-rimmed glasses? Crazy slicked-back hair? Manhattan tower office? It is probably all up for grabs…

The Ol’ Mouse in the Milk Can?

I wonder why Mark is bereft of assignments… Could it be he’s a free-lance writer/blogger/vlogger in the new gig economy? Well, anyone reading this blog knows that monetizing this kind of activity isn’t as easy as the “experts” suggest… for every “influencer” out there making bank, there are literally millions not “making it.”

But good for you, Cherry. With your brains and Mark’s sweet back-side, how can you guys lose?

Boy, I am going to learn a lot reading this strip! That’s a euphemism unfamiliar to me… and apparently to Google, since the only results are related to milking mice

Listen to the Lady, Mark…

I see how this is going to be… Mark, the man, is going to be asked to acknowledge his own limitations on a daily basis. While not necessarily emasculating, it’s going to be different that Mark Trail of yore… although I do like Cherry’s suggestion…

Not only doesn’t it rhyme, I am guessing your 4th grade grammar teacher is rolling in her coffin right about now!

Writer’s Note: Not only am I being asked to consume Mark Trail with a new set of expectations, but WordPress continues to create all kinds of issues- like having to enter through an incognito window in order to save the blog entry… which means I have to log in every time, including two-factor codes, any time I wish to make or edit an entry… I checked the google, and it’s a thing, but it would strike me that this wasn’t intended…

2020- such is the way. I wonder if Nostradamus saw any of this coming?

Well, here we go…

It’s not like it took me all day to come to grips with this… in fact I have been looking forward to it. It’s just that my paying gig took up my day starting very early! Anyway, we have seen this one before, which is interesting because it seems to start in the middle of something…

But here are some screen shots of the write-up in <my> local paper:

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Funny how Mark Trail seems to be a thing. At least for people who still read newspapers… I am encouraged by the notion that there will be an actual STORY with and ARC that MOVES. That will be refreshing.

Wrong and Wrong!

Well, here we go Campers, the last of an era, one that brings comfort and calm. One where everything always works out. One where hard truths are buried, like how Cherry banished Andy in a fit of pique

No! Blame it on Tabby! or Cherry! Andy was simply there being Andy, a useful tool in the play called life!

And Mark, remember you QUIT. But I guess this all doesn’t matter much as we head into the Jules Rivera Era!

Milk it, Mark!

Mr. Williams, you will have to forgive Mark Trail. He’s a little dense… a little slow on the uptake. Need to be obvious. He’s been hit in the head many times over his career as the namesake of this strip.

Magic Words? “We NEED you?” “Substantial RAISE?” Not sure what Mark’s needs are, but either one or a combination is probably fairly satisfying… I mean, who doesn’t need a little validation from time to time? Mark just got two doses, at least- a MAJOR (if not manufactured) award, and more money!

OK, it’s t-minus 1 day before Mark joins the 21st Century (for real) and I hope we are all strapped in!

A big, fat raise, huh?

…because that’s EXACTLY how things work in real life… Big boss realizes he’s “wrong,” and as a result feels overly generous… Of course his idea of a “big raise” is probably different than Mark’s…

But here’s a question… How do we go from the black-tie awards ceremony back to the office on Park Avenue? Unless the last strip (from yesterday) was actually “the next day” and Cherry and Rusty were still laying rose petals at Mark’s feet… Only to have Bill Ellis call Mark at Lost Forest from the office? I know, I over-think these things, but I hope that Jules Rivera spends a little more time ensuring continuity than history would demonstrate. Or then, maybe that’s part of the Trailverse I will end up missing most?

Are we surprised? Of course not!

As Mark and his “friends” watch the broadcast of the conservation awards (really?) Editor Bill Ellis of Woods and Wildlife magazine addresses the crowd…

Why not, you know? Why not change the rules, especially when the rules don’t favor the outcome that you prefer? I bet there are some pissed off finalists that are crying foul! Does Woods and Wildlife sponsor this awards dinner? was there ever any doubt that their boy, Mark, was going to be the winner?? I am not clear at all about how unbiased these awards are… I think I smell a rat… or a beaver…

No one is surprised- not even the Beaver Family… but Mark sure looks pleased…

Oh, Mark, please stop with the false modesty! And, Yes, I am pretty sure you still have a job…

Sorry for the delay these last few days, Campers, I was visiting the south shore of Gitche Gumee and was without internet for a few days…

From Port Wing to Bayfield and back… perfect weather and a lovely time!