A question about Mark Trail, God help me...

Before I start: in my defense, I only read the comic strip Mark Trail when it’s posted at The Comics Curmudgeon, like all right-thinking people.

Now. In the latest adventure, Mark Trail and his freakishly ugly boy ward, Rusty, blew out a tire and drove off-road to a beach. Mark, unable to punch the tire into submission, instead had to jack up the car to change the tire the old-fashioned way.

Due to mishaps with Rusty’s incredibly stupid dog Sassy, Rusty crawled under the car and, thanks to said stupid dog Sassy, the jack collapsed and the car landed on Rusty. That’s where we are now with today’s entry. Since the jack is now broken, Mark is now concerned and stymied about how to save Rusty, whose leg is trapped by the axle. Because he has no shovel, you see.

My question to you all is a practical one: If the kid is trapped under a car on a sandy beach, wouldn’t it make sense simply to dig a trench beneath the kid so that the kid can be dragged out while the car remains in place? You don’t need a shovel to dig in sand – hands will work fine.

Would this work, logistically? What would you do in such a situation? Or if there are any other Mark Trail fans, have I missed a day’s explanation about why Mark can’t perform a fairly straightforward digging operation with those manly hands of his?

And this is officially more thinking about Mark Trail than anyone should ever do, and I’m including the writer Jack Elrod.

Hands can dig in sand, yes, but you won’t be able to move much in the way of volume. A good sized shovel can shove, at a WAG, about 50 times as much sand per scoop than hands can.

You think Mark Trail, wilderness maven, would have the good sense NOT to jack up a car on SAND. At least find a piece of driftwood or something to stabilize the jack. Or at least empty the back of the wagon before jacking the car up on sand.

You’d think Mark Trail, who in an earlier adventure with Rusty, was shown to own and operate a digital camera, would have at least a basic cell phone.

Mark should have let the damn dog be eaten by the alligators earlier in the week.

Sometimes I think this strip only exists for those who mock it.

But I NEVER miss a day!

Is it even necessary to dig? Assuming a reasonable amount of give in the sand, wouldn’t Rusty be able to wriggle out?

Why would Mark Trail be going anywhere without a shovel? Makes no sense to me.

God as my witness, I thought that turkey more spry.

Two things that didn’t seem at all right to me:

  1. Trying to jack up the car on sand.

  2. A small puppy being able to knock the jack out once the car was jacked up.

Maybe some clam poachers will come along soon and Mark can disarm them of their clam-digging shovels.

And am I the only one who keeps thinking that Rusty is the dog?

Make sure you clarify this before gnawing off any legs.



Nicely done.

Ha! Great answers, guys.

Lynn Bodoni, shovels are definitely better than hands, but in this instance we have a time element. Mark chooses to make no attempt at digging with his hands, despite the kid losing feeling in his leg, and instead decides to abandon the kid (remember: tide is rising) for a walk to a possible shovel-owning shed.

Wouldn’t making some fast attempt at burrowing a hole, if nothing else to relieve the pressure off Rusty, be preferable to leaving the kid by himself?

You misspelled “Jackelrod.” (More information about Jackelrods can be found on the Internet.)